No, I wasn’t about to return home. At least not my home (where ever that is). I was returning to Mutiara’s house
From the busy junction, with MP leading the way, we crossed the road, walked underneath an overhead bridge (which was actually the highway) to the other side of the highway. There we got on an ‘angkut’. The ‘angkut’ was quite full. Somehow we managed to fit in. Mutiara sat opposite me while MP sat next to me. Mutiara chatted. And unlike the previous visit, I could understand most of her chatters.
Along the way, some passengers got off. Leaving us with plenty of space. Before long we too got off and changed to another ‘angkut’. I recognized the ‘danau’ (a reservoir) that I had passed almost a year ago. I recognized a few buildings. Until finally Mutiara and MP yelled to the driver:
Mutiara & MP : Kiri, bang (To the left, Mister)The ‘angkut’ stopped at the familiar junction in front of the gate to Mutiara’s house. We went through the gates. The same buildings greeted us. In the small wooded house was the same man I’ve met last year. He recognized me. We exchanged formalities before proceeding to Mutiara’s house.
Mutiara opened the door to her house. The living room remained the same. However, instead of showing me into the guest room, we went straight up to the upper floor. Everything was the same as my previous visit, except for one thing, they now have a computer corner, complete with a colour printer.
Mutiara introduced me to her cousin, D. From the living area, I could hear a lady singing in the bathroom. Mutiara told me that voice belongs to her younger sister, M. While waiting for them to get ready, I ate dinner. They also ‘fed’ me ‘pisang aroma’ (translated into fragrance banana). It’s actually fried banana wrapped in thin crispy pastry (similar to spring roll casing).
It was around 9pm when we – Mutiara, MP, D, M and me - finally left the house.
Day 1 (Saturday 24th January 2009) – Hopping
Hopping is the best word to describe what we did that night. No, we didn’t not go for club hopping.
The plan was to hop on a bus from Citeureup to UKI. From UKI, another bus to Bekasi, and finally, a taxi to the final destination, the groom’s house. And so we began our journey by hopping into ‘angkut’ back to the busy junction at the Citeureup. There we were, the five of us, waiting for the bus to UKI. Unfortunately, it was already late, and there’s no more bus to UKI.
MP decided that we need to hop on another ‘angkut’ to get to another place that would possibly still have bus. I lost track of the number of ‘angkut’ that we hopped on and off until we eventually got on a bus. I didn’t think we took the bus in UKI. Anyway, the five of us, finally got on a taxi and on our way to the groom’s house. It was almost 12am when we reached our destination for the night.
I had been on the road for almost twelve hours. I was tired and ready to turn the towel in. I dozed off almost immediately after my head landed on the pillow.