Selamat Medan! The journey to Siantar

Y’know, there’s some saying out there that goes somewhat like you can’t be friends with the competition, or about how there’s no friends in the workplace.. Something along those lines.

Well, myth debunked! Or maybe it’s just because I have had the good fortune to meet extremely wonderful people in my line of work, and you don’t know how thankful I am for it.

Even with all the “famous blogger” jokes that this bunch of sometimes annoying but always loveable girls like to throw at me, all the time. LOL. They just like to do their very best to annoy me because it’s so hard to get me to bite the bait and rise up to the occasion, and they don’t ever stop trying.

It’s been a good three over years since the very first time I stepped into you-know-where, hovering anxiously over stocks that were waiting to be released and snatched up like fresh meat at the market, and I swear that the first time I laid eyes on those two girls, I was totally like… OMG bitch please. Stop snatching stocks away from me! It’s a cutthroat industry, you know.

I guess it came as a surprise to all of us that a few years down the road….. We All Became Friends. What a shocker, really.

Back to the gratitude bit: This bunch has been a constant source of support throughout the highs and lows, the good times and the bad. It might not seem so on the surface, but it’s not all a bed of roses being “self-employed”, and trying to run your own business. There are endless opportunities for wallowing in self-pity, with sky-high stress levels and plummeting account balances, sigh.

Up til today, I don’t know how I landed myself in this situation, but what I do know is that I have fellow companions fighting the war and battling on with me! We laugh together, moan together, cheer one another up over bad sales figures, talk about our relationships, commiserate over ban mian and Arnold’s Fried Chicken and basically are each other’s appointed Aunt Agonies. Sometimes we go for three hour long suppers that end at 2AM just because we can’t stop talking, lol.

And we LOVE it when happy things happen to any one of us! So we were super happy and excited to fly over to Medan, Indonesia, for the weekend, to witness Vera’s wedding back in her hometown! Our first holiday together, outside of work too! Whoop whoop!

So now you know. This journey to Siantar actually began three years ago! :’)

In this entry are our chronicles of Day 1, touchdown in Medan! It’s nothing very coherent, but these photos are precious memories and I’d like to journal them down. There are even more photos from Day 2 (the wedding) and Day 3 (sight-seeing!) that I’ll post up in later entries!

That’s Min, Simin, Yingdan and Reenie for you!

Being at the airport at 10.30AM on a Saturday morning is like way too early to feel awake. But nothing stops us from being all trigger happy for the camera!

We reached Medan airport in less than three hours, brimming with enthusiasm.

Sleeeeeepy faces still! Spot the TVD outfits hehe!

But noone’s gonna object to jump shot on the tarmac!!! This picture totally captures all the craziness and overexcitement! 

I really don’t know why there’s SO MUCH LUGGAGE for just a 3D2N trip to Medan. We exceeded our baggage limit! And there’s just on the way there!

Mega and Widya picked us up at the airport, and off we started on the three hour long road trip to their hometown in Siantar.

Our pit stop for lunch thanks to our super hospitable hosts, Mega, Widya and Halim. We furiously devoured all the food!

For the urban city dwellers like us, the road to Siantar was somewhat of a sight. We drove on rough, knobbly roads through villages and kampungs, passed huge expanses of rice fields and plantations, and even once had to halt to a stop.. to allow three geese to waddle across the road! What a surreal moment.

To be honest, I was amazed that our three poised and pretty Indon girls came from such a rural area. Siantar is very very different from the bigger cities like Jarkata or Medan, and it is really like a very large kampung. There are no public transport systems available, and we had to be driven about the entire day by drivers hired for us. Kids as young as ten or eleven years old ride on motorbikes (without any helmet, mind you) to get around! None of the vehicles abide by any traffic laws and crossing the road is extremely daunting and heart-stopping.

It felt like I was thrown back twenty years in time, what with the old shophouse facades and the way everything looked as if they had not changed for the past thirty years. It was like a different universe all together. Couldn’t connect our three elegant Indon taitais to this place, really. Certainly an eye-opener for all of us first-time visitors to Siantar!

Despite all that I said above though, our hosts checked us into a pretty nice hotel/resort! It’s apparently one of the newer hotels in Siantar, and it was very decent!

Spent some time resting and freshening up before we were ferried off again for dinner.

More food O_O

On my side of the table: Reenie, myself, Yingdan, Mega and Halim!

And the other half: Jamie, Shimin, Simin (how confusing), Min and Widya!

Enjoyed the hearty meal over much laughter and talk, as always! We love rowdiness and great fellowship together!

It was so great to catch up with our beloved Indon girls, Vera, Mega and Widya! We don’t see them as often as we would wish to, cos they’re always flying back and forth between Indonesia and Singapore. And we’ve been talking about flying to Medan forever, so this was like.. FINALLY we did it!

As if the hospitality was not enough, our Indon hosts went out to get us some local snacks for supper, while we had convulsing-with-laughter sort of hilarious games that night!

Putu Bambu…. MY NEW LOVE. Like Tutu Kueh but with Gula Melaka and OHH SOO GOOOOD!! It was melt-in-the-mouth crazy kind of delicious.

The pancakes that look like Mee Jiang Kueh and taste somewhat similar are called Martabak Manis, and had various flavours like chocolate and cheese, peanut butter etc..

They ordered WAYYYY too much. So these snacks ended up as forfeit for our games!

Min + Min

We ended up playing Heads Up with some of our new Indon friends, and it was just tooooo funny! It’s somewhat like electronic charades and you can download this app on your iPhone or iPad! This is definitely a superb ice-breaking game, all of us were just rolling on the floor with laughter after awhile HAHAHA. Ahhhh. I don’t usually like to play games (too lazy because games require a lot of energy) but even I was totally engrossed in Heads Up! (And pretty good at it too, may I add)

By the time we ended the night, there were no more Martabak or Putu Bambu left. Mission accomplished! And we were dead tired from incessant laughing. Went to bed feeling super pooped but damn hyped up and excited about Vera’s big day the following day!

Parts 2 and 3 to follow shortly!

PS. All photos were taken with my Olympus EPL5 17mm 1.8 and edited for that old school film effect! I know the pictures don’t seem as crisp and bright as my usual, but I thought this was a fitting way to bring across a more authentic feel of Siantar, somehow.


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