I Heart Bandung

In Heartwarming on March 19, 2008 at 7:56 pm

I’m writing this from the posh Hyatt Regency Bandung hotel room where the broadband connection costs an stupid ridiculous $15 per-24 hour.  Or was it $50?  Whatever.

When I was still a student at ITB, everytime I pass this hotel, I used to say to my friends: “Hey, one day I’m gonna come back here and stay THERE. I’m done with crappy kos-kosan and stuff.”

And now I’m here. Although on a business trip, it’s still the same. I’m here. I thought it was gonna feel different, but it’s really not. Bandung still looks and feels the same as twelve years ago when I first set foot in this charming town. Yesterday I went to Bandung Indah Plaza, and although things changed there, I can still see me and my best friends shopping for groceries at Yogya Supermarket -which to my amazement has not lost its customers to the supposedly bigger and better Hypermart downstairs-.

Every trip to Bandung, be it long or short, is always memorable to me. And as crowded as it is nowadays with B-plated cars swarming around the streets, I still don’t mind its traffic. I could swear and scream my head off if I’m stuck in Sudirman or Thamrin, but I always take my time to enjoy the sights when I’m stuck at Dago or Tamansari. It brings back so many memories, good and bad ones. And at the end of the day, I always feel heady after inhaling the thick air of memories. Everything have changed, but in some ways they haven’t changed a bit.


Tomorrow is the start of a long-awaited long weekend, and yet I have to return to Jakarta. My friend once said “Returning to Jakarta after staying in Bandung is like returning to your spouse after a romantic affair.” Maybe she’s right. Me and Jakarta have a somewhat abusive but comfortable relationship, while Bandung serves as a calm and serene part time lover who’s always there whenever I need calming down.

Well abusive or not, Jakarta is my life. But still… I never want to say the L word for Bandung-afraid that I might have to commit further to the town-, so I’ll just say…

…I’ll be dreaming of Ganesha street, Braga, crappy Cihampelas, Setiabudi, Dago and your fierce angkots every night.

Because I think my mind belongs in Jakarta, but my heart still resides here.

Now will you excuse me, I’m gonna step out to the balcony and try to throw water balloons… or just water -seeing that I don’t have balloons- to people.

Sentimental doesn’t mean cutting down silliness. HA!


  1. it reminds me to the old kfc or whatever fastfood outlet somewhere not far from holiday inn hotel, back in early 1980s, that i could only see and dream about it through the windows of “honda” angkot, or from my motorcycle when i could finally ride one, as there were never enough money in my wallets to support even my simple life for a full month…

  2. aroengbinang: aahhh… see? you’re still having that affair with the town too, and this so-called love affair will last for life. i think Bandung has that effect on former temporary residents 😀

  3. Hey I think the last time you talked about Bandung, you reminded me about Warung Internasional, off the LIA building across KFC. Is it still there? 🙂

    I do share the same feeling that you have about Bandung. I guess for most of people who spent 4, 5, 6 years studying in Bandung, we somewhat grew up there. For some, it was the first experience living away from their parents. All of these contribute to the lasting memories about Bandung.

  4. bleu: Warung Internasional is still standing tall and proud. dunno about the ‘goodies’ they used to sell, though. haven’t done my research that far. hahahahkakhakak! yeah i agree. it’s the first time i lived apart from my parents and tried to survive on my own there. so yeah, Bandung had contributed some very important elements in my independence. and it always pisses me off whenever somebody speaks ill about the town without even having lived there, which is very weird because it’s not even my hometown. hahahakhak 😀

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