Bandung is one of the most important cities in my life. And I’m super excited to write about it.
This morning, my memory flew into cold nights, glasses of beers, tasty food and somehow a Boston Red Sox’s tshirt.
I lived in Bandung for seven years. I left the city to comeback home to Jakarta in 2008, but still, I’m a frequent traveler to Bandung.
Caption: “My latest ride to Bandung with my gf. We took a train that now no longer operates.”
First of all, let me ask you before we proceed to my story, “What do you know about Bandung?”
If someone asks me that question, I’d come up with these three things: Food, Fashion, and Creative Movement. This is exactly what Bandung represents nowadays.
It all went back to 2001; I decided to leave Jakarta to be a full time resident of Bandung. What made me moved at the first glance was its musical scene. Bandung was known for its wonderful music scene. If you’re into independent music, at that time, Bandung was the only answer to your needs.
Dozens of bands came up and released their own stuff. And it inspired me a lot as a grown up teenager –is that even a term in people’s life?—. So, that was the simple reason why I moved to Bandung.
Caption: “Left is Arian 13 now with Seringai, in 90s Arian was a legend in Bandung with his old outfit, Puppen. Right is Boit, the owner of Omuniuum, Bandung’s finest music merchandise shop.”
Of course, when you live on a daily basis, then music can’t be your only thing. The artsy atmospheric of the city really drove me crazy back then.
I always fall in love with a spot in Jalan Cicendo, where few old pharmacy factory surrounded a cross road. It always gives me a romantic feeling. It always feels like I’m lost in time, somewhere in mid 30s where Dutch Colonialism still ruled Bandung.
Or other example is Gedung Sate, which was named after its symbols on the roof top of that building that look like sate, traditional Indonesian food. It’s the heart of the city, the symbol of Bandung where the city’s house of representative takes place.
Then Jalan Braga also will be included on my most romantic spots in the city. Jalan Braga is like a parade of cafés with various kind of entertainment. You can find dangdut until rock music here. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll find one of Bandung’s finest musicians playing in one of this parade of cafés randomly.
On a bigger scale, If I have to pick one single best thing of Bandung, I’d pick its food. Personally, I think Bandung has its own personification of food. And 98% are halal food.
The traditional one is called Masakan Sunda. But you can find hundreds of other thing in Bandung, from a world class steak, pizza, until traditional snack called Siomay or Baso Tahu. You can also find pastries like baked brownies or pisang molen. Most of them are something that’s not prepared in a common way.
People in Bandung mostly are creative. They always think the other side of the coin to make them different from other town’s resident. Therefore they always find a way to make an innovation that makes lots of money. It happens also in food business. If they want to get widely known or having loyal customers that would keeps the car running, they need to improve from time to time. In this case, restaurants in Bandung need to be creative either to put alternative music, or giving out good price, or it can be providing you breathe taking view just like what the Dago Pakar area has.
Taking a sneak peak on other thing, then you can look at its fashion. For youngsters, Bandung is categorized as fashion Mecca in Indonesia. In terms of manufacturing stuff, Bandung has the best collection nationwide. In terms of design, remember that factor; creativity. Nowadays there are new emerging scene of fashion in Bandung, filled with young designers who are often to be appeared in Kompas or The Jakarta Post, two leading mass newspapers in Indonesia.
(source from: Skyscraper City)
Any age group will meets its expectation to find a fact that Bandung is superb in terms of fashion. This city has its own magic. You can find good materials in Pasar Baru near the Station Hall –Bandung’s main train station—, you can find selected clothing boutique in Jalan Trunojoyo area –home of Unkle347, No Label, Ouval, God Inc. and many other clothing line—, or as simple as you can find a branded factory outlet that surely a shopping haven for those who always seek good deals in shopping.
Umm, that’s where I found my Boston Red Sox’s tshirt. Hehe. I never want to know where the source of getting that kind of tshirt here in Indonesia is. On top of all, most items considerably cheap.
Get a good picture about Bandung?
Well, one thing you should remember that Bandung is a hill top city. The temperature is very nice, a bit cool and windy. Think of Penang Town in Malaysia. I can easily compare these two cities. They both have a perfect view to lay back, small city kind of thing, and warm people to host you.
Still haven’t got a good picture? I have two solutions for you.
One, go to Uncle Google. Ask him to answer your curiosity.
Two, don’t ever think, just book a ticket to Bandung (Airasia.com, flying KL-Bandung 3x daily!)and make a short trip over the weekend. I bet, the statistic of people who decide to make a second coming to Bandung is high. You want to be on that cool group? Well, you decide.
Just be careful though, if you’re not careful ith the temptation caused by Bandung’s food, then you all can be like me; having extra 20kg during my seven years tenure there. So sad.
09 June 2010 – 01.28
Lived in Bandung for seven years.
Quoting Michael Stipe of REM in Leaving New York, “Leaving was never my proud.”