Back in December, we decided to have a week-long trip to Indonesia, specifically to Jakarta and Purwokerto (my, hm, I want to say it as ‘hometown’, but it’s not exactly my hometown. I was born and raised in Cilacap, Central Java — and my parents moved to Purwokerto back in 2005 when my dad retired.)
It was interesting, mostly because our daily schedule has changed tremendously — me with having full-time work and now we need to plan everything ahead. Even back in November 2019, both my husband and I had to discuss our 2020 business trips and ensuring one of us are there to handle the house and the kids 😂
So we decided to go back to Indonesia on December 20. And as usual, there are not many pictures 😅 (serious question, folks, anyone has tips on how to take pictures during vacations? I found it’s hard for me because I usually forgot stuffs or not quick enough)
My father-in-law lent his car to us (“I didn’t use it that much anyway”) so on the next day after we arrived in Jakarta, we went to Purwokerto by car. We expected the traffic won’t be super bad, although there were lots of lorries and trucks carrying God-knows-what throughout the island’s northern route (this route is actually really popular among truck drivers because the roads are not as treacherous as its southern counterpart.)
It was pretty fun, mostly because the kids are such city kids through-and-through and KLites (😆) so they never actually saw trucks carrying living chickens or livestocks. When Ari pointed out, “Wira, look at the cattle on the truck!” Wira’s first retort was, “you are lying” then “WHOA!” We also pointed rice fields to them; “this is where your food came from” and they got so confused when they unable to see shallots when we passed shallot fields in Brebes, Central Java, because, “mum, those are grasses! Where are the shallots?”
A tip when traveling with kids: Prepare lots of food. A lot.
Rey is that kind of child, well, person, who got really really cranky when she got hungry or sleepy (Ari commented Rey is basically mini-me) and when she started to answer every single question with, “no,” it means she’s cranky and she needs food or sleep.
We stopped several times along the highway road to get some rest and meal. I personally quite glad to see the toilet cleanliness has improved a lot. I remember when I was still in school, toilet cleanliness was such a big topic at that time. Many people commented and protested about it. It sounded so trivial, but I’m glad we had that kind of talk because now we see so many improvements.
It has been a rainy journey too. I’m glad things went quite fine during the trip. It was quite a stark contrast with Kuala Lumpur as we greeted with warm days when we arrived.
Purwokerto, December 22 – 24
We didn’t explore the town as much as we wanted because of some reasons. Mostly due to tiredness and the weather has been quite cloudy so we decided just to stay at my parents’ house. The kids had a blast harvesting mangoes from the front yard and Wira commented that now he knows how it feels to be Upin and Ipin when harvesting rambutan.
Jakarta, December 25 – 29
We met our good friends when we were in Jakarta. Our tremendous thanks to Alderina and Tommy for hosting us a dinner while we catch up and gossiping 😆
Jay and Dwi joined the merriment too, with Dwi’s lemon-curd soufflé (delicious!)
And this is when the unexpected happened. We are expected to go back to Kuala Lumpur in December 27; until Wira started to vomit several times and we had to admit him to the nearest hospital.
The paediatrician informed us that Wira’s symptoms were bacterial infection on his tummy/gut. It’s actually one of the very common issues happened on children raised outside Jakarta — as ‘pretentious’ or ‘obnoxious’ it sounds. Ari conveyed his friends’ sympathies and well-wishes from his cycling group in WhatsApp, and one of them commented his child, too, got the same issue. “We live in Bali, and one time, we went to Jakarta for a vacation. My kid got the same infection like Wira’s.”
Now, we might wondering, how was Rey, then?
This girl gulped down two bottles of Yakult and in the middle of asking for the third when Ari told her no (and matched with Rey’s stubbornness and refusal of rejection with equal, “NO. REY WANTS.”) And it happened almost daily during our trip, so you can imagine what kind of gut Rey has on her tummy. I commented, “kuman aja sebel kali ya liat Rey” (“even the germs and bacteria would be annoyed with Rey and decided to leave”)
This case reminds me of a similar case happened during my teaching years. We had several Korea students for our exchange program back then, and one day, most of them got ill. My students commented that their Korean friends got ill due to salmonella infection. “Apparently it’s from the egg they consumed in the canteen, miss,” one of my students informed me.
Now, the uni canteen served hundreds of students every day, and only the Korean students that got ill while the Indonesian students looked really jovial as usual. Realizing they have different entire universe with galaxies and black holes on their tummy, my students tapped their tummy and commented proudly, “our stomach can digest many things.”
(I remember one time I had lunch with my students and one of them ordered this Himalayan amount of rice and, I kid you not, equally impressive amount of deep fried chicken skins. “Do you want some, kak?” I shook my head and smiled nervously with, “no, thank you,” as I could feel impending clogged arteries.)
Even though the infection was not super serious and recognized on its super early stage, both the paediatrician and us felt it would be better if Wira admitted to the hospital so we could keep a close watch on him while he’s recovering.
Thankfully, it was only for one night. Right afterward, the paediatrician gave green light to discharge Wira from the hospital and we can go home in December 29.
Moral of the story: Don’t forget to get your daily dose of probiotics ✨