A. At home preparing for the Trip
I wasn’t really ready for the trip. I have not packed my luggage and also have not bought Christmas Gift for my Online Daughter Cichi (Now call Spiritual Daughter). Also I remembered that I had not book my seat for the Flight yet, so I called JetStar and confirmed my seat. Then I went to Jurong pt at around 10.15am and I bought a brooch for Cichi. On reaching home, I discovered that Cichi SMS me at 8.13am saying that her Boy Friend will pick me up in his Motorbike. Lolz, that means I cannot use my Brand New ABN Amro Luggage bag. I continue to type my reborn again Testimony. Oh dear, what present to give to her Boy Friend? I really have no time to buy. So I went to my Metal Cabinet drawer and found a brand new mouse, I decided to give this as Gift. I can’t finish my Testimony, as I am running late, I decided to pack up for my trip. I found my Samsonite Cloth Luggage and decided to use it, as it is more ideal for my ride on the Bike as it is Flat. After packing in everything that I needed for 3 days. I found space for my carry bag with Lap Top. Wonderful; but I am running late. It is 11.45am. I am supposing to check-in 40 minutes before 13.35 hrs, the flight time. There will be no refund or reschedule of flight if check-in after less than 40 mins before departure time at 13.35 hrs. At the Road Side, just outside my apartment; 1, 2, 3, 4 taxi passes by without stopping and I was really desperate, going to be late. So I prayed to our Lord Jesus for help. Just then a Vacant Taxi came to my rescue just across the road. The time is 12:21pm. Oh dear, I wonder if I can make it to the Airport, 40 mins before 13:35 hrs. i.e 12:50 hrs. On my way, I constantly prayed to Lord Jesus; and said unto our Lord “if it is God’s will that I should not be in Surabaya, then I shall be late”. Finally, the Taxi arrived at Terminal 1, exactly 12:50pm, traveled a distance of 39.1km. I quickly rush in to check-in at the ValueAir counter; just in time. Praise the Lord.
B. Arrival in Surabaya on time
While on flight, the gentlemen sat beside me saw me reading Bible and he turned around and said, “you are a good Christian, and he ask if I do preaching service?” I told him “No, I am just Servant of God” So I asked him for his reason for coming to Singapore and he said he has to come to Singapore once every 3 months for his treatment at Glen Eagles Hospital. The Flight stewardess served us a piece of meat bun, plain water and a cup of coffee. Budget Airline what, what can I expect, paying airfare of S$68 only. Then we exchange name card; and I found that he is a Catholic Priest based in Surabaya. We share some common knowledge like, how to stay young and happy. We both agreed that we must have a joyful and happy spirit within us. This is some joke I shared with him. Saeedah (my Colleague) had mentioned that she is feeling old sitting besides 2 old men and how I managed to convince her that it is the joyful and energetic spirit that keeps a person young. I tell her of a real life experience where a man of only 33 years of age but doesn’t look like his age, haggled and full of white hair. 2.45pm Surabaya time (it is 1 hr behind Singapore) Our ValueAir landed perfectly without Bounce. I told my newfound friend that I was here in 1992 on transit to Australia with the Republic of Singapore Air Force. The C-130 bounces 3 times on landing.
Cichi SMS me to wait for her Boy Friend at Judang, that means Taxi pickup area, I think. A good-looking young man approached me and said “Are you Stanley? I am Cichi boy friend, Rudy.” So I replied, “Yes, I am. Am I so glad to meet you. Thank you”. After introduced ourselves, I came to know that Cichi and Rudy is our Brother and Sister in Christ. They both attend Bethany Church Service. God Bless. It is drizzling outside. Rudy asked me to wait for him while he rides his Bike here. Within short wait, Rudy arrived with his small Bike. I sat on it with my Samsonite in-between him and me. He was very concerned that I might fall sick by getting wet. But I told him that it is okay. The destination is going to takes about 2 hrs, so my back will get wet. Rudy started his small Bike and off we go into the drizzling rainfall. Wow, what a ride! There are more bikes than cars and it is amazing to see Cars giving way to bike and bikes gave way to Bicycle. My rider waved in and out of traffic amongst all the other bikes. Throughout the journey, I prayed to Lord Jesus for our Safety. So many turns, left and right, squeezing in between vehicles and at one stage a van was just inches away from my back, threatening to hit me. It was very exciting but dangerous. We are about 1 hour 15 mins into our journey and Rudy decided on a mid-way stop. We had our food at JS PLAZA Lt.2 Rudy bought me KFC as I had not changed Sin dollar to Rupiah. He ordered himself, Japanese style food. Then I wanted to take picture with Rudy but he said he don’t like to have his picture taken. So I just take a shot of the shopping center. Having our belly filled up we continued our journey. Same experience again, waving in and out of the traffic. Smelly dung from Cow and Goat being breed domestically by the roadside. What a sight! Finally almost 40 minutes we arrived at Hotel Cendana, so Rudy asked me what is my budget for the hotel. So I tell him, in the region of US$30. So he did not hesitate to move forward and ask the Security guard standing in front of us. The friendly security guard guided Rudy to another Hotel, only 2 mins away. Hotel Pregolan. It is like cottage house. So I chose Standard room and the rate is exactly S$30 after conversion. Perhaps he heard wrongly, thought I said S$30, LOLz. I request Rudy to bring Cichi to meet me on the same night. So I waited but fell asleep.
19/12/07 2315 hrs
Then about 11.25pm I heard my door being knocked. Rudy and Cichi were here. So I opened my door and let them in. Rudy bought SIM card for me. I briefly discussed with them of my plan. So we had decided to meet the next day, which is 20/12/07 11am. But later Cichi SMS to me saying they would come at 1pm instead as she has something to do.
I woke up, continue the testimony and managed to complete it. At 10:27 am, I received SMS from Cichi saying that she and Rudy cannot come till 1pm because they have something to do. Oh dear, so I am stranded here till 1 pm. So I waited but both of them are not here. I went to HOTEL CENDANA nearby, 3 minutes walk. Found out from the desk girl that I can use the Credit Card to purchase meal at Restaurant there. I am really hungry. The waitress brought me to the seat and passed me the manual. So to play safe, I asked if they’d accept Credit Card, she said must-spent minimum $100,000 Rp. So I studied the manual. Most costly main meal cost only $34,000 Rp. I have got to buy 3 meals to accumulate to $100,000Rp. So I can’t eat here too, headed back to my Hotel. Then at 1.54pm, I received SMS from Cichi, asking me to prepare myself, as they are bringing me to the Mall.
Rudy drove a Boxed pickup here with Cichi accompany him, of course. So I hop onto the front seat beside Cichi and off we go. Rudy reminded me to carry my Computer along so that I can show and teach Cichi web design. Ah yes, we arrived at PLASA SURABAYA. Pretty big Plaza like Jurong Point. Shoppers here comprises of at least 45% Chinese and Rudy told me that, this shopping center is for middle and upper class. Yes very clean, many good branded retail. Passed by some Toy shop, I mentioned that I am looking for Rubik Cube for my younger son but I suggested to Rudy that we could eat first. So we went and have meal together. I ordered Satay with rice and another plate of rice with Beef. Rudy and Cichi ordered salted vegetable soup with pork rib, Kabar stick. I have my other order of desert, Ice jackfruit and fruit mixture with syrup. While Rudy have Avocado and Coconut mix. I offer to say payer of thanks before consuming our food. Lolz, Cichi said that Rudy complained that my prayer was too soft because he can’t hear my prayer. Then I said, I have to be mindful of Muslim around us but he said it is Okay. I asked for the Bill but Rudy refused to give because he said that I am their Guest, I should not pay. So I told him that if he doesn’t let me pay this meal, next time I dared not come to Surabaya. See my trick worked. He reluctantly gave me the bill and I paid him $100,000 Rp. Meal cost $98,000 Rp. The desert was so delicious, they are all make from fresh fruit and coconut milk, unlike back home where it is all canned stuff, Yak! Then we went to have a look at the Multiplex Theatres and found out that most of the new show that Singapore already been showing for weeks is not here yet. I can see some concern in Rudy’s eye, so I told them, I am not watching movie, as it is 8pm already, don’t want to tired them out. Rudy told me that he is not rich, he provides service and skill to his friend in return for accommodation, food and the trading in glassware, and they will split profit. So, perhaps I think, they have been sourcing for transport so that is the reason why they came late. Then Rudy and Cichi said that tomorrow, they can’t meet me as they have to help prepare and attend a friend’s wedding. On the way back, apparently the rain had stopped. So I kept my umbrella, but once out of the building, there are rain droplets. Rudy turned hero for Cichi, he removed his T-Shirt, bare top to let Cichi cover her head. Wow, a hero to the rescue. Lolz, I thought I should take my shirt too and throw it onto the floor, so that Cichi don’t have to walk on onto wet floor, ha ha ha.
21/12/07 – 8.30am
Today I got a FREE and Easy day myself. I woke late about 8.30am; I started to continue my trip dairy. Read Bible and complete one more Testimony. Then it started to rain. I decided to walk to the mall myself and along the way, many Taksi horn at me, hoping that I would ride on them. Many turn here and there, round the perimeter of the building and I finally reached Mall in 10 mins. It is about 3pm. I walked every level of the shops surveying the things being sold there. I need to buy the 4 X 4 Rubik Cube for my younger son but couldn’t find any toyshop selling. Nothing much to buy as mostly branded is just slight cheaper than Singapore. No even up to S$10 cheaper, I am comparing Shoes, Shirt, pant, and watches. I finished my shops tour at all level; it must be 4.30pm so I asked the information counter if there is an Internet surfing facility there. I was told there is two free Wi-Fi surfing, 6th floor, Coffee Bean and Ground floor the TeleKom Kopi Cafe. I bought a 3-pin plug converter and secure a seat for myself. It is good that I am Multi tasking. I get to read some of my emails, and then I am hooked on Yahoo Online Pool while tweaking the Shopping cart script. I realized that this script is not bug free and is not 100% adaptable for Multi Language. I don’t know. Just Praise the Lord for the Wisdom. For I never have gone for any course or training on php programming script but somehow I managed to solve the problem in 45 mins while enjoying some pool game. I continue to do some graphic amendment and create new folder for Bahasa Indonesia.
So my trick is in the Language file, put all the button links there so that upon calling of particular language type, it will automatically show the correct Language Title banners and buttons. It Works, Great! I had won one online pool game and lost four. 🙁 Oops it is 2015 hrs, I better hit for home. As I stepped out of the building, my cheerful face becomes worry face. The landmark building that supposedly guide me home has been engulfed by darkness. I am not sure of my way home. So I prayed to our Lord Jesus to help me to calm down. Slowly but surely, I started to remembered my direction, yes; turn right, walk straight pass 2 car dealers, past 2 buildings and then turn right along shopping building parameter and walk straight, look for road junction where there is a Yunan Shopping center at MTX building. Yes found it. And I make it back to the Hotel around 8.40pm. Back to Hotel, I sing praise to our Lord Jesus Hallelujah, Hallelujah. I watched live telecast of Europe Soccer but fell asleep. Just before sleeping at 1.30 am somehow I getting to smell familiar perfume. “Are you here?” then I went to sleep. The day before, heard a voice saying “What is it going to be now?”
I waited but somehow both Ruby and Cichi wasn’t here in the morning. Ah yes, I have the same breakfast for the past 3 days, 4 slice of bread with some butter, chocolate sprinkles, 2 hard-boiled eggs with salt at side of the plate, one cup of coffee and one cup of tea. It is about 12.30pm and both of them still not here. So I decided to check out first to settle my bill, 507,000 Rp for 3 nights stay. That is less than S$28 per day. Getting worried, I called Rudy and Cichi couple of times but no answer. Then, I start to help myself to ease my tension. I get to know the Desk girls and joke with them. Tell them about my Friendster account and Yahoo chatter Id, get to know all the 3 girls name. Tell some more jokes. Oh yes, I gave away my Singapore 20 cent coins to all 3 of them plus a Male cleaner; they all like it very much. Then all the girls take my coin and rubbed against their back shoulder and they said that it is for Luck. I told all 3 of them to rub on my back shoulder, so that I can have more lucks than them. Ha ha ha. Just then Rudy called me saying he will be here at 2.15pm. When I was just about to have more joke fun, both of them came and I hopped onto Ruby’s Boxed Pickup and he drove me to Airport. I checked in first and then once I come out of the secured area, I took pictures with Rudy and Cichi. We have lunch together. Cichi have Fried Noodle, I have beef on rice and Rudy have Beef soto with rice. This time I volunteered to do the thanks prayer but both of them still have their eyes close even I had said Amen. Lolz , they said I prayed too soft again. I paid the bill even though Ruby insist that he should be the one paying since I am their guest. Ruby seems lost for words till I kept saying it is okay I want to get rid of my Rp. Then I depart for Singapore arrived at 6.45pm Singapore time. Journey takes about 1 hrs 45 mins. At Airport, no none came to pick me up so I took a Taxi home.