An Old City Story

May 11, 2015

An Old City Story

There are so many things I can tell you about this city. The history, how this city were built. The interesting places, place to eat, place to have fun, place to learn about the city, place where I’ve grown up, the shady places, the place that will make you cringe. Anything. Just ask me, and I’ll tell you where. It’s easy. I grown up here. A city located in the center of a land called the Pasundan. The land that were made when God were smiling, said M. A. W. Brouwer. Of course I can’t object to that. It’s 2015, but the air is still as magnificent as ever. I’m not saying fresh, because it is not, but still, it is lovely. One of its greatest writer once said: “Bagiku, Bandung bukan hanya masalah geografis, lebih dari itu, ia melibatkan perasaan.” (For me, Bandung is more than a geographical matter, more than that, it includes feelings). True that. Bandung is beautiful because I was grown up here. Forged memories with beautiful people that resides here, or those who are just on a temporary visit.

It was great. It was.

It was a small game center, not far from my highschool. 5 minutes walking, and you’ll be there. A small door, with big windows surrounding it. With a small vendor that will sell you instant noodle whenever you’re hungry. From inside the game center, you can listen to people screaming, their heroes are dying, or other players took their loots, or a simple victory cry “ANJING ! AING MEUNANG EUY !” (YES !  WON ! EAT THAT YOU FUCKIN WANKERS). Sounds harsh, but cursing is quite normal here. As long as it is not in front of your teacher or parents, it’ll be fine. In this small game center, I forged one of the most wonderful memories.

There were these guys, my closest friends at the time. The small statured guy whose drawing and designing skill is beyond good, and his unique mind is always amazed me. For once he talked about how Moses split the Red Sea via an Earthquake. It is a popular theory nowadays, but he talked about this 11 years ago. Not so popular back tehre. Then the tall one, with thick eyebrows and sharp eyes. The first time you meet this guy, you’ll never guess that this guy can never be serious. He’s almost on par with Jim Carey, I assure you. Later on, this guy is my mate in my Japanese language course. And then, there’s another tall guy with thick eyebrows, his eyeballs are huge, he somewhat looks like Rowan Atkinson. Nice guy who can never say no to his sister. So yeah, whenever his sister need him, he’ll be gone from the game center.  His gaming skill is above average, so it’s kinda bugging us –the guild if he left for his sister. And then there is another tall guy. Very tall. Another great gamer. He’s the bullied one in the gang, but he never care, because he enjoys it. We suspected that he’s an M, but we’ll never know. And the last one, another small statured kid, with mushroom shaped head. The smartest among us –school wise, the most religious of us, but still, a little bit of mischief can guide him out of the way. Easy peasy.

Never once my day went boring with these guys. Playing games, cursing, ended up being best of friends. Wished that those time will never over. But I can’t, huh ? Time is always moving on, and there they go. One of them go to a design school, the other to an economic school, the other one into a movie school, the other ended up working in a hotel, and the last one become an expert health lab technician. And me ? I went to a graduate school of International Relations, another place to forge another set of great memories.

Years have passed after the game center, I found myself in a small village near Bandung called Jatinangor. If you hear the story about it, how ‘remoted’ it is –compared to a city like Jakarta, of course it is somewhat so remoted, you don’t want to live here. I didn’t to. I didn’t want to live there. I used to go there with my mom when I was a little kid. It’s dusty, nothing’s fancy. If I ever enrolled in the university there, I don’t want to live there, I’d just live in my home, and make a quite long journey over there everyday. I don’t mind.

In Jatinangor, I met another bunch of wonderful people. There’s this guy who’s always talk big, the “dude-ish” kind of guy. Buzzed cut, with a thick Jakartan accent, once enrolled in a Jr. High in Washington, US. First impression is of course “what a cocky bastard”, but later on, you’ll know he’s the best kind of friend you can ever have. And there’s another guy, kinda girly, easily got scared, but always fond of something new. Also academically gifted. Ah, also he’s very critical of his surrounding, you’ll always want to discuss about anything with this guy. And then, another smartass. Always have his hair messy. If he’s enrolled in a natural science program, he’s undoubtly a mad professor. Academically genius, with deep voice, and a piece of cigarrette on his hand. You can talk about anything –related to social science with him. Another one, a very charming guy (I guess), very smart, a genius writer, won so many awards as a Batik and language ambassador, but never get once so arrogant with those awards. Pretty amazing guy. He’s smart, logical, but he’s into mysticism. Amazing. And there’s this guy, a tall, skinny guy, a good friend from Jr. High. Football head, love to collect vintage football jersey. I’m his loyal customer, ALL of my football jersey, I got it from him through internet buying. Pretty awesome and nice guy and always give you bonuses when you shop with him.

Aside of these guys, there’re also wonderful girls who went to the same campus with me. There are these two thoughest girls I’ve ever known. Both of them went to a same highscool. Both of them have passion in teaching, and both of them are superiorly smart, and kind, and funny, and insane. You’ll never get bored when you talk to them. About anything. About class, friendship, love, everything. And then there’s this Medanese girl who doesn’t talk like a Medanese AT ALL. Because she grew up in Java. One of the best singer I’ve ever know, also one of the nicest friend you can talk about ANYTHING. She’s the friendliest of the friendlies. And then, there’s this a tomboy who were a baseball athlete in her highschool years. Looks like a guy. Sometimes, when she is filling her motorcycle in the gas station, people used to call her Sir. She looks strong outside, but crumbling inside, still, one of the people who can say “MAN UP DUDE ! COME ON !” to me, without any hesistation. And her best friend, is another girl, a small girl, who always talk softly. Always laughing and smiling like a little kid. She’s everyone’s little sister.

And then, in that campus, I have this group of friends whose bonds are tightly forged. The first one is this clumsy guy who I knew since Jr. High. A gifted all rounder. He can do anything, playing football (in a very limited way), playing bass (he’s the bass player of my band), but his most praised talent is in computer and electric. If you need to build a good PC, just ask him, he’ll give you the best advice for the best PC in the cheapest price. The second one, another clumsy guy. Love to read, have an oldman feature (face, hair), weird sense of humor, vast knowledge of… well, pretty much anything. A very nice person. One of the person that ever saw me in my worst state –almost passed out when driving, LOL. Then the third one, a small statured guy with a babyface… with beard and moustache. You don’t judge a book by its cover is a definition for this guy. Although he looks like that, he’s one of the best singer I’ve ever known, also one of the best guitar player, aaanddddd pretty talented in pool. Awesome.

Then, the fourth one, a girl. The little metal head. She loves heavy metal music more than anyone that I know. Modern heavy metal though. She’s one of the nicest girl I’ve ever know, and you can talk pretty much about anything with her, and seeing her surprised face when she hear something insane is something I enjoy pretty much. Then the fifth one, one of the most beautiful girl that I’ve ever know. We call her “capital city.” It’s because she’s somewhat “cruel”, not cruel in a bad way though, in a good way, as she’s always stating the reality. No more sugar for your cake kind of person. Still, a very reliable friend. You can trust any of your secret to her. No leak. The sixth one, the coolest girl I’ve ever known. Talk in a smooth Javanese accent. She’s pretty nice and bold. Her motto is “When you’re with your bestest of friends, hold no bars, be brutally honest.” I like it. Kind of person that will accept you for being yourself. And the seventh one is me. Of course. We call ourselves the “Geng Sepedah.” Very long story on how we “formed”, but well, for the head ups, we are “Geng Sepedah.”

Back there, everyday I wish that I can never talk about them in a past tense. But today, here it is. It was. All the memories were there, in the distance past. It’s not that I can’t move on or something, but something that was being too good will hardly ever forgotten.

Today, everytime I go back to Bandung, it’s the same city –physically. The very same Bandung I left every week. The very same Bandung I’ve grown up in, with some good improvements of course. But… Without these people, Bandung can never be “Bandung” that I once knew. It’s somewhat different. Of course, it’s because the people are changing. It is related to feeling, so when the people changed, it changes. Maybe this is what Pidi Baiq is trying to say, that it is more than a geographical reason, it’s about feeling. In the end, I hate change. This kind of change we need in order to grow up even more. I don’t know.

More than anything, I miss you all: Ojun, Archyd, Nyomen, Bosky, Daud, Khairul, Aros, Nuge, Pradip, Fahmi, Anggi, Gope, Dewa, Ipeh, Nabil, Geza, Reza, Cakky, Meok, Nata, and Aya. I miss you all. Bandung never feel the same without (some of) you guys.


One comment

  1. feelers primed. ready to grope some emotions. standing by. 😢

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