Saturday, April 27, 2013

a 3-day respite in tanjung pinang

Tanjung Pinang Ferry Terminal

i was supposed to go home during the holy week just like last year but i wasn't able to book ahead in advance. the plane fare already went sky high that the price could even reach me to timbuktu! wherever that is.

given such circumstance, i instead booked a return-trip ferry ticket for tanjung pinang in bintan, indonesia. no, i wasn't heading to one of the commercialized and plush bintan resorts on the northern part of the island but to an almost pastoral part which bears a stark contrast from my port of origin.

Aston Tanjung Pinang

Aston Tanjung Pinang - Studio Room

Aston Tanjung Pinang - Studio Room

in tanjung pinang, i was holed up inside this studio room in aston hotel and i caught up watching movies in HBO and star movies! since there was a decent wi-fi connection, i also came up with a blog post but for the most part, i was literally trying to exemplify a sloth. i was there for 3 days.

outside was searing hot that i couldn't bear to part from the intense air-conditioning in my room. i couldn't believe there was such feeling when i presumably thought that i am an outdoor person.

Nasi Goreng Kampong in Aston Tanjung Pinang Breakfast Buffet in Aston Tanjung Pinang

Breakfast Buffet in Aston Tanjung Pinang Breakfast Buffet in Aston Tanjung Pinang

of course, there was a good amount of food involved as well. for the first time ever in my down-and-out life, i ordered food from room service. it may be ordinary for you but certainly not for me! i ended up myself being funny because i called room service twice to ask for someone to pick up my plate. on my first call, i waited for an hour but no one came so, i made a second call. then, it suddenly crossed my mind to leave my plate outside my door although, i was hesitant at first because it's an eyesore in the corridor. i left it outside anyway, and upon checking it after some time, it was gone! whew!

the upper left photo was my nasi goreng kampong that i ordered through room service. a bit pricey at the price of IDR80,000 but it was already okay. i was in the confines in my room! what more could i ask for?

the three photos were from my 2 complimentary breakfasts. my food plates may look appetizing because i tend to arrange my food according to color and my fancy. the breakfast buffet at the hotel was not something i'd call stellar although, the choices were just right. but then, it's only breakfast! and i can only count what should constitute in a breakfast with my fingers so, it's better not to take my word for it.

what i loved though was that they have a stall which you can ask on how you want your eggs to be cooked right in front of you! the choices are fried, scrambled or omelette. too bad, there is no boiled option which i would want to try for the fun of it.

Ramayana Parking Lot in Tanjung Pinang

Ramayana Mall in Tanjung Pinang

Ramayana Food Court and Arcade

Nasi Goreng in Ramayana Food Court

Jus Alpukat in Ramayana Food Court

i was afraid that i might incubate magic eggs in my prolonged hibernation that i finally decided to go out on my second day. i hired a taxi which was a comfortable toyota avanza and it was quite huge all for myself! (except of course the driver) anyway, i asked the driver to drop me off at ramayana mall where i still had no idea what was in store for me.

the mall was pretty basic with only two levels so, it wasn't an ideal place to spend my whole day. i ignored the clothes in the first level and went directly to the second level, hoping i would find something interesting. i then came upon a salon which made up my mind to get the most thrilling haircut! i only took a clue from the "gunting" word that i managed to read from the salon's tarpaulin. a few words in bahasa indonesia have the same meaning in filipino and this is how i basically survived during my entire stay aside from the crash study that i did. i was actually freaking out inside (wait... what's that again?) on how my haircut would end up but i was glad that it went fine with only IDR20,000 less from my pocket. that even includes the IDR5,000 tip!

for lunch, i settled at the only food place that i saw alongside the salon. i intended to order another indonesian meal but the woman at the counter wore an impatient face that i hastily ordered nasi goreng with an initial melon drink but then, i remembered alpukat! only then i realized that jus alpukat defined the large piece of the puzzle on why i chose bintan aside from the little pieces which represented my weirdness. for the alpukat, i may have to try making one someday.

the rest of the time, i was elated in ramayana's grocery because it had more or less the same prices in the philippines. after my blissful grocery trip, i went down to the first level and scoured the limited display of clothes but still scored 2 pieces at a very low price!

when i was done with my mini shopping and for the lack of things to do, i sent a text message to my driver (feeling lang!) to pick me up.

Tanjung Pinang, Bintan, Indonesia

Tanjung Pinang, Bintan, Indonesia

tanjung pinang with its subdued character, few sporadic developments and its provincial appeal, reminded me pretty much of home. while the driver and i fell in intermittent silence after our short conversations, my thoughts trailed me into a daydream wherein i'd end up not in my hotel but at my parents' doorsteps instead.

Aston Tanjung Pinang Swimming Pool

Bintang Beer

i sadly shook myself out from that daydream when i was dropped off by my driver back at the hotel.

since the heat was intolerable that day, i shortly took a dip in the pool. i whiled the remaining time by reading a few pages of a book. and before the pool would close at 6PM, i promptly retreated back to my cocoon.

included in my groceries was the bintang beer which i reckoned i should try because i was after all, in indonesia. with beer binge not my forte anymore, i only had a quarter of a mug and shared the rest with my bathroom sink.

Boat in Tanjung Pinang Ferry Terminal

tanjung pinang may be an unusual choice in bintan but i got what i needed that time. quoting from my driver, "so you just come here to relax." and i couldn't have said it any better.


No comments:

Post a Comment