Thursday, February 03, 2005

Back from Bandung

Back from Bandung

Apparently there was a small earthquake in the district of Garut, 43 km south of Bandung today but we were in the middle of the city and didn't notice anything at all. During that time we were happily devouring our Sundanese lunch at the Panyawangan restaurant along Jalan Dago.

At 2pm, I did a presentation at a local bank, which went pretty well. When we finished at around four, it was raining and parts of Jalan Dago were flooded with water. Fortunately our hired car was able to wade through the flood and it took us another 4 hours before we arrived back in Jakarta.

Thus ended my two day trip to Bandung, which started with an early Tuesday morning flight from Jakarta on the CN-235. I slept throughout the entire half-an-hour flight and it was only after we'd landed, my colleagues told me that the air-conditioning wasn't working on the plane. I felt glad to have slept through the discomfort.

Everyone I talk to laments how much Bandung has changed over the years. The weather has warmed considerably--I remember Bandung being a lot cooler the first time I was here. The traffic is also becoming more horrendous--no thanks to Jakartans who swarm the city every weekend to enjoy the food and the shopping. Even though Bandung retains a certain old-world charm and the locals are extremely proud of their heritage, still like any other third world country, economic development--even those of dubious value--takes priority over preservation.

Bandung is definitely a candidate of mine as a retirement place; but if the present state of deteoriation continues, I'll have to find some other isolated corner of the world as my hideout. Maybe deep down inside, what I'm longing for is a place like my hometown, which in many ways is not unlike Bandung...

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