Rabu, 09 Januari 2008

Four First (Kepulauan Seribu)

‘seriously?’ asked i.
vit nodded, broad smile.
At our contracted house. Vit played the cassettes and transcripted the conversation.
‘what is cat in your tongue?’, ‘how do people call banana?’ etc came the annoying secret taping. It was dea with a warung owner.
The tale was so exciting: the island’s size is twice soccer field and the area code is 021—jakarta, a spring in the middle of the island, the schools [kindergarten to junior high school] and Nana couldn’t help but inserting coins to call her overtly jealous bf.
They slept at local houses. And they din forget to have fun: renting a motored boat to a nearby island to collect memorabilia. Nimas later told that the turbine was grapped by kelp it couldn’t move that they release all the collected items including the ‘living’ ones: sea stars. Thought it was fun especially when vit showed me the photographs of the boat, the island, and him as a rickshaw [becak]. The sea!
So 3 semesters later I enrolled myself to the class of ibu sri and prof muhajir. Language researching methods. All for the sake of traveling to tidung island: big and lesser tidung at thousand islands [kepulauan seribu]. The class consists of female students except moi. From the beginning I thought to myself, I doubt ibu sri would get us there.
It happened to be true and I’d got C for it! how come? I roared. Jenni and vita resent my resentment, ‘hey come on, you can wash it later’. ‘washing means taking the same credits next semester. C for 4 credits meant a lot. So I sued ibu sri, telling my proposal was for case study not literature—of course I whined about not going to tidung. She gave up and gave me B! hahahahaha. For the first day in the week I could smile. Jenni and vita also smiled.
So, when came the offer from kbspi historia, I got excited: tour to 4 islands for the price of 300,000 rupiahs! I told cika and she got excited too [upon hearing bidadari island]. I wanted to ring vit, but I was sure he wouldn’t come [now I doubt] or martha.
At muara kamal, Cika and I took the front seat in order to get the first view of everything. Eka introduced herself to us. So I shook some hands before returning to my own seat to calm myself from [the boat was rocking and I sat stiff, hahahaha].
4 yrs later on september 16 here I was at onrust island. I couldn’t believe it! hahahahah
Landed and we were hushed to ‘hajj registration office’ to talk of history! I thought, hey let’s take some fresh air before digging the memory!

I thought, it’d be easier to make friends when you are in the same boat—literally speaking, meaning you have a reason or cause to talk to each other. But it never happened.
We din lose hearts especially by taking pictures the way tpi guys did and enjoying ourselves in the beach [if only I swam!] and getting tanned :)
The four islands (Onrust, Bidadari, Cipir, Kelor] were fantastic and mysterious. Why these island? The history boy said, ‘there were only 5 islands used by the dutch: these four and edam which takes an hour by boat’. Sounds like cheese.
meaning not resting, was once used by banten princes for ‘seaside rendesvouz’ due to its cool sandy beach. In 1610, the dutch [east indian company, voc] used the island for commercial use. The Brits destroyed it in 1803, 1806, and 1810. rebuilt, it was later swallowed by tidal waves from krakatoa eruption in 1883.
From 1911-1933, the dutch used it for hajj quarantine. The pilgrims must stay there for about 3 months before leaving for the holy land. the tour leader said that ‘haji and hajjah’ are titles created by the dutch for political reasons [but how about tolstoy’s ‘hajj murad’?]. we slept inside hajj registration office by the pier. It was cool inside, no mosquito. I imagined how the pilgrims slept in barracks with metal roofs and 1.5 m tall walls. The island served as epidemy quarantine (1950-1960) and for beggars quarantine (1960-1965). In 1968 the island was deserted and nearby people robbed the materials that only foundations and toilets left to tell their past glory. Sad, eh?
The island is approx 7 acres from the previous 15 acres in 1700’s.
Whereas the other island sheds their greenery, bidadari is evergreen, superficial—that is, commercial. We went to a bastion [fortress] where java jive filmed their clip back to 12 yrs ago. Two weeks prior our visit, there was a rave party in the fortress. That was shy I saw garbage, spilt foods and vomits, and nails that ruined the ruins. Very romatic for photo shoots esp pre-weds :) It was beautiful and I like the sight of big lizards [biawak] roaming back and fro the beach.
Or kahyangan island was one connected to onrust. Nothing special but remains of barracks. I noted some bush there: graceful, thornless, evergreen. None knew its name. The twilight was so beautiful, too bad we set wrong size for the photographs.
About half a soccer field, 15 min by boat in friendly waves [when tide was high, the waves get mad easily] 5.30 in the morning. The martello fortress was still there, beautiful and 60 % complete. I met a feline there. She has 2 shy kittens that feeds on patinlike fish [ibet the fishermen gave it to the lonesome feline]. How she mated remained a mystery. The beach was beautiful and the kelp grow like mat. Wished I had swam! Next time, I’d wear no goody bag shirts and strike more vogue pose, hahaha.
Listening to the stories was enchanting and a bit scary [especially at night tour]. The islands were bloody, built upon sweat, blood, tears--perhaps, and misery. Still amazed on how the Dutch built the red and yellow bricks. So strong that they withstand the rough climate and years. Some parts of the islands were ‘bruised’ by concrete mixture of wave breakers.

Still curious on how the animals multiplies there. I saw lizards, mourning doves, plenty of fish—caught by fishermens, crabs, hermit [what d you call keong?], and sea snake! Chartered car driver told of __ island, home of many phytons, which none dare to land
I've nothing to complain about now and am looking forward to going there again!
(Sept 06)

1 komentar:

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