A place is only as good as the people who live there...
12.03.2013 37 °C
Seven years in Surabaya. Can't even imagine now how time flew that fast. Each time I renew my contract as an expatriate teacher, I just felt that it just wasn't time to go just yet.
My morning routines of going to school during my last year in Surabaya was riding an hour of my life away across the city from the west side to the east where my school is located. It was not such a waste actually. Houses, trees, buildings would go past my windows, reminding me that my time there would not last. There was always an end to anything. I guess that's what makes me feel like a tourist for 7 years. I've felt that nothing was for certain, however i may try to make it permanent, such as wanting to buy a big sofa, kitchen knick knacks, etc.
i live in a quiet neighborhood of Citraland. They call it the "Singapore of Surabaya". Well due to this total rip off copy of Merlion smack right in the middle of the entrance of the whole big estate owned by Ciputra.
(my quiet neighborhood)
(my quiet neighborhood on a cloudy day)
If you are an expatriate, it is good to live in this area. You get to have a wide space area to jog, and you get to get away far from the growing density of city folks.
One thing that I miss in this city is the absence of public busses and Jeepneys. Everything around here can be reached through either your own car, a motorcycle or, for most Filipino expats, a taxi. I had a long standing relationship with the taxis here in Surabaya. If you'll count all the rupiahs I have spent riding these taxis, I could actually afford to buy my own car. (Had I known I was goin to stay for a couple of years...)
(Taxi rides to anywhere in Sby)
(another taxi ride along Citraland landmarks)
I did enjoy my many taxi rides in this city. Some drivers would be nice enough to make small talks. Some just let me be which at times help when I am too tired to converse. Blue Bird Taxis were the best. You can call them anytime, and they don't fight with you over fares and directions. A bunch of honest drivers, i must say.
My friends and I fell on this vicious cycle of going to the mall every weekend, either to watch a movie, have dinner or just hang out in some cafes somewhere in the city. Every weekend, it was a different place. But the same activity. (I can't remember what kept me sane. haha)
There isn't much to see here in Surabaya actually. You have to be deliberate in order to appreciate this city. You just have to look at the right places.
(Condomeniums near Pakuwon Trade Center)
(West Surabaya Skyline)
(guard house somewhere in Citraland)
(Citraland's ClubHouse. They served good Nasi Bebek, fried duck with the works!)
These places were just as good as those who you go with. Every restaurant, a certain road, or even just a boring rooftop, holds a memory or two that reminds you of the friendships that transpired on them.
And ofcourse, that just made it doubly hard to say goodbye to this city. My relationships with the people of this city obviously was the reason that kept me sane in my 7 years of stay.
(girlfriends over coffee one weekend)
(Me and Lia during one of our church's ministry week)
(last lunch in Kahyangan Restaurant in Citraland. They serve good food. with Live music at nights.)
(last dinner @Loop near Pakuwon Trade Center)
Well, I don't have much to say in terms of being a tourist in this city. You'll have to live here to experience this city at its best.
...ending this log with a post written for another blog:
"A place is as good as those who live in it.
The love, affirmation and the affection that goes with it.
The words and the deeds that spoke of them.
Evident in every moment graciously given.
These are just a few of the many reasons why one ever comes back.
And you realize that there are times that your heart is somewhere but here"