Sunday, January 22, 2006

Adriane Goes To Semarang

Adriane came to visit last wkend. She came bearing a little duffel bag because I told her to pack light and that there's no need for her super hairdryer, changes of pretty clothes, heels and accessories. When you come to visit me in Smg, you just need to pack a couple of loose T-shirts and comfy drawstring pants and you'll be all set. According to Adriane, you also need to bring an empty suitcase because she went home lugging easily 10 kilos more than what she came w/. It was all food. Everything from the usual suspects - lumpia (spring roll), wingko babat (coconut cake), milkfish - the 3 big Semarang specialties - to honey, homemade kaya and lots of gudeg. I can't give gudeg an English name. I don't know how to describe it. It's rice w/ lots of stuff at the side, including cooked young jackfruit that tastes meaty.

I don't think 3 hrs went by without us eating something. Here is an abbreviated photographic recap:

Nasi Ayam.

All the soto that Adriane demolished. Soto is different in every part of Indonesia; in Semarang, it's clear chicken soup w/ bihun and fried garlic and served with fried tempe and bergedel (potato fritter). The second bowl fr the left is where Adriane hoarded her fried tempe. The people sitting at our table had to fight to get their share of tempe because Adriane was hogging the tempe tray all to herself.

Dawet, a dessert w/ sticky dark brown syrup made fr the flowers of aren palm, avocado, jackfruit, coconut, palm seeds, agar-agar and Adriane's deluxe version had durian too.

Dawet fr another place. Adriane showing her knack for multi-tasking. Lekker in one hand, dawet in another. Lekker is good stuff. It's banana and choc crepe, super crunchy.

Death By Kue Bandung.

Kue Bandung just defies description. There's no good reason to consume so much BlueBand margarine and chocolate and peanuts in one bite except when you are having Kue Bandung. A friend of mine ate 2 slices of Kue Bandung every night (it's an evening snack) and at the end of his 1-month holiday, he had gained 8kg. Not an urban legend.

The army of workers who had to keep up w/ Adriane's monstrous, incessant appetite for chilli. ok, actually, this photo was taken at the gudeg stall after hours. It was sick how the sight of all that chilli made Adriane salivate.

Hanging out w/ my cousins.

When we went to his hse, Richard was doing his abacus assignment, so that reminded me that he's my little freak show. I made him compete w/ Adriane on mental calculations. How did the former valedictorian compare w/ a 7-year old? Not bad. It was a tie. Richard was bewildered by this big adult who was shouting, super competitive and who refused to continue playing after she outscored him by 1 point. He was very gracious and tried to teach her the abacus too, but his student was too thick. They both gave up and we all decided playtime was more fun. Look at the expression on his face. He's like, 'omigod, why do I have to do this?'

Then we hit Brux, the bar up the street fr my cousins' place. It's a casual establishment in a beautiful old house w/ a big garden. We went in our shorts & slippers and since it was raining, my Hello Kitty umbrella. We were cool. Adriane had a Corona and because I am weird, I ordered Bir Bintang w/ Ribena. It was lurid purple.

I wish I could say that Adriane and I did other things aside from eating, drinking and hanging out w/ my cousins. But we didn't, really. My mum asked Adriane if she wanted to see the old part of town. She said ok, but old buildings don't interest Adriane as much as food so she took like 2 pictures from the car window and asked what's for lunch. Karen visited the market when she was in Smg and Patrick explored the old town on foot and gamely tried jamu (herbal concoctions), another Semarang specialty. Howie just sits in my house, playing X Box, eating food we buy back for him and ordering room service pisang goreng (banana fritters). My maid makes the best pisang goreng.

Everyone shld come and visit me in Semarang! Just bring drawstring pants and a good appetite!


Blogger rochuna said...

i think i should just quit my job and let you tour me around Indonesia...

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks very delicious!

2:19 PM  

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