On my last day in Bandung, Sunday, I woke up really early, like at 5 am or some craziness like that. I hadn’t slept well and I knew why. I was coming down with the flu. This was because I had made 3 stupid decisions the day before.
First, after leaving the Museum Geologi, I had spent about an hour walking around in a light drizzle with wet hair – remember I had washed my hair that morning. Then, after I got back to my hotel in the evening, after the angklung show, I had sat in the air conditioning of Starbucks, again damp from the still-falling rain, for about 2 hours. Then I went back to my room and showered and sat around writing and messaging people for about an hour, wrapped in a wet towel. Three stupid decisions.
So I woke up that Sunday morning and popped 2 Panadol multisymptom because I was going to church! And I had no intention of missing that.
While I was in the cab on my way to the angklung show on Saturday, I had used the time in the traffic to Google English language church services in Bandung, and I found 1 not too far away. I emailed them to confirm that they actually had a service and the time, and they emailed me back confirming that they did and that it started at 9 am.
I got my Starbucks breakfast to go and had a cab pick me up. I got to church about 20 minutes early so I sat around outside sipping my mint citrus tea. The people were very warm and welcoming. Most of the attendees seemed to be ex-patriates and the service was conducted by people whose native language is English, so I could easily understand what they were saying.
They had praise and worship, collected the offering, and did the usual welcoming everyone and greeting new people. The sermon that Sunday wasn’t a sermon as much as it was a discussion. They were trying out a new format, where someone was speaking on a topic but the service leader was acting as a sort of moderator and taking questions texted in by the attendees. There were about 40 people in attendance so it was kind of overkill with the requests for texts instead of just having people stand up and ask what they wanted to. But kudos to them for trying to bring technology into their worship experience.
I have to say that, overall, the service was boring. There was no energy in the praise and worship and I didn’t sense any passion. But who am I to judge, really? They were very nice and kind to me, so I count it as a great experience.
When church was over, I ordered up a cab and hoofed it back to my hotel. I had a 2:30 pm train to catch back to Jakarta and the traffic was awful, so there was no time to hang around. I changed from my church clothes, got myself a grilled beef sandwich to go from the same restaurant of the day before, and caught another cab to the train station.
By this time, I was really stuffy but still wasn’t feeling too bad – the Panadol were still with me. Once I boarded the train, which shockingly departed right on time, the story changed. I wasn’t in executive class as I had been on the train ride to Bandung; I was in business class, which is a step down, because the executive tickets were sold out when I was doing my booking. I didn’t mind, except that they had air conditioning units blowing at full blast and the seats didn’t recline. So the AC kept blowing cold air on me every few minutes. I asked them to turn it down but of course they couldn’t because I wasn’t the only passenger to consider. They tried to shift the vents but they’re automatic so they just went back to intermittently blowing cold air on me.
Still, I enjoyed the view out the train window on the 3 and a half hour ride back to Jakarta. I saw rice fields and rice terraces – I don’t have any pictures because they went by too fast and kept popping up unexpectedly. And I saw those same little towns and villages again.
The train arrived in Jakarta on schedule just before 6 pm, and I got myself another cup of mint tea from the Starbucks in the train station, because I wanted a hot drink to help clear my increasing stuffiness. Right outside the station, I caught a cab back to the centre and arrived just before 7 pm. I took 2 Pharma and went to bed by 7:30 because by that time I was feeling a little low.
Even though I came back from Bandung sick, I was still happy that I had gone there. It’s a nice smaller city and I definitely like it better than Jakarta – it’s cleaner and just generally nicer, I think. I understand that the terrible traffic I experienced over my weekend there is because lots of Jakarta dwellers go to Bandung on the weekends, so I don’t hold the bad traffic against them since it’s not really their fault.
So, I had my first train journey in Indonesia and I enjoyed it, both ways. And I saw yet another city in Java. I relaxed, I wrote, and I saw a few things. And I went to church. I think I did pretty well for 3 days off.