The idea to clear out hard stuffs and stiff things out of minds seemed to make its debut when the class of 2003 (particularly those who were eager for travelling) came up with suggestion to go to Malibo Anai this weekend. In fact, the time was right for a successful trip. My zodiac said that, “If you are planning any travel, today is the day to push these plans forward and make them happen.”
Making all the arrangements could take more time than we thought, but there were some amazing bargains and upgrade opportunities just riped for the picking. All we had to do was looking in some unusual places, and we would surely find them. Some suggested to go to Bungus for a beachy-sandy trip, others kept on arguing to spend the weekend in the hillside. Some just wanted to have fun by going around West Sumatra by cars, others were busy to defend their arguments to bring us swimming in the lake, or natural public baths. But the majority would agree to have the trip to Malibo, cause it covered them all: fresh air, ponds to swim, natural inhabitants, not too far away from home, and of course the most important, it was certainly not the most expensive resort in the world.
Getting the traveling companions, the plan was made. Although some faces showed disappointment, hesitance, and dislikeness (everybody has an altered ego, afterall), the trip was sure to work out. It was not that they didn’t care about the others’ feelings and opinions, but please be sure, that this trip should have been our ‘last’ trip before we were all scattered to continue our lives. Disminish any conflicts, calm any angry tones, we would be packing tomorrow morning no matter what.
Tetty had called the car rental company she used to deal and with some long arguments we agreed to take two cars, Kijang, because the drivers available were not used to drive another minibuses. We found it relatively easy to deal with the cost, and without thinking too much broader, we took our leave. Andri was appointed to drive the first car with supposedly Efrizal as the back up driver. Tetty and me owned the second car, with a planned shifting system from Padang, Malibo, Bukittinggi, back to Padang again. We left for Malibo with two cars and twenty-two hearts.
The journey was filled with songs and laughters (I had no idea what it was like in the first car). They guys kept telling stories, the fishermen kept throwing their nylons and rods, the shy kept smiling benevolently, and the crazy were busy moving and bubbling here, there, and everywhere. We played The Beatles, The Corrs, and some my guilty pleasure of Westlife hits. We really enjoyed the moments. Warm and intimate.
Malibo only took one and a half hour to reach. Before entering the gate, we were all posing and smile to the blitz. It was a matter of fact, that taking picture was actually the most important thing of all. Before having comprehension exams, they had pictures; in the graduation day they got shot. It is as if the world will leave you, if you don’t take pictures. “Now, take another picture, another, one more shot!” Fortunately, the camera industry grows rapidly that people can buy the digital cameras. What was it supposed to be with the old-fashion one? The people will not be aware that they have taken the same pictures in the same background seven times and they will soon run out of film rolls. So, we arrived in Malibo for good.
Surely, swimming would be the first agenda before the others. To see the crystal-like water stream, fresh air (something we would never find in Padang until we all die), and the fact that there were not so many visitors in there, triggered your adrenaline. Took of clothes and jumped down the chilly pond. I forced myself not to join the swimming party, not because I was still in a not-very-well condition, but more to the anxiety that I would fall asleep while driving the car. It always makes you feel hungry and sleepy after moving and swimming in the pool cause it takes a lot of energy. It’s a pity I could only see.
Meanwhile, those guys just ‘came back’ to their childhood times when they found water to splash and dive in. And it’s true that Darwin claims that human cannot live without water. Laughters were all heard louder than ever. Some showed their swimming skillsd by doing butterfly style and practicing the salto things from the edge of the pond. While most of the girls were hesitant to join in, Refi and Fani found their golden opportunity to get into the water. “If men can earn money, women can either. If men may speak in public, women may too. If men can swim in Malibo, nothing should stop women from doing the same,” so they claimed.
So it came to pass that those lads overwhelmed the pond. Oska seemingly was the master of all. He could do the salto overtimes, swim and dive like there was no tomorrow. He treated the pond as he wished. Pole was curiosly attracted to jump down the pond from the board, but all he could do was standing still and descending back into the water peacefully. But, there was no stunning frame other than that of Firman, Wahyu, and Renal, who eagerly showed their muscular, the-result-of-going-to-gym bodies. While Boy was busy taking pictures with my ray-ban glasses, some other girls sat on the carpet we ordered, preparing the snack and drinks. Some were very ‘women’ (you know what I mean), some were caught gossipping, some just sat and played with the water, but Afni found her best time yet in Malibo to sleep like a mama’s sweet girl. I myself busied myself walking around the resort, taking pictures of beautiful view, la belle, and had a cup of coffee, while looking at the energetic golden fishes in the rescued pond.
Long it was for me to wait cause I didn’t join swimming. I had no idea whether my clock running so slow, or the guys bathing so long, I could only sit. We planned to continue the trip to Bukittinggi and had our lunch in the middle of the journey. Thanks God, those lads were already all pale with cold, chilly bodies, red eyes, and hungry stomaches. The show had to go on and we packed each bag, and walked into the free parking lot, where our cars were situated. Err, do I miss something? Yes, they would not forget taking pictures! Hundred of shots were donated with the title of “Farewell my lovely Malibo,” as if there was no chance at all anymore of visiting the place once again in their lives.
So, we left Malibo for good. Tetty gave back the key of the car to me to continue the trip to Bukittinggi. Now, Alind was changed with Boy. The rest would not bother to feel the two different atmospehere from the two different cars. Arrived in the nearest mosque, we took the prayer. The track in Silaiang was relatively peaceful, without many traffic jams and landslides. Some naughty truck drivers might block our way to overtake, but things ran smoothly until we found a fine place to rest and had some lunch in Padang Panjang.
The lunch time itself was not without good moments. The fresh air, the beautiful sceneries of mountaneous terrains, the voluptous menu, and the blitz from the cameras were all more than enough to make us thanked God the Almighty to have created such a merry condition. When things were crowded and noisy before the plates were delivered, these people became all goddamned silent and quiet crunching and swallowing their food. Some took double portions (including me) and were successful enough to ensure everybody that the blame was on Firman’s shoulder, because of his reputation (and got an award in it) as the greedy man. He only grinned and took his own double portion. And the guys kept laughing and smiling.
However, before the sun got down, we should have arrived in Bukittinggi since these people wanted to hunt for souvenirs. In my bare calculation, ignoring other aspects, we had to gather again in Jam Gadang at 6 pm. We scattered our preferred directions. I was intended to buy some hand-made sandals, which were all looking good, cheap, and this town was the producer. I got three sandals with different colors and shape. With a loose- as-a-goose face and a little sweet bargain, I won the game. Fani bid farewell to everybody cause she would stop here and went back home. The Jam Gadang was the witness of how sad and moving the goodbye was. If it could only talk, it would say, “Young men…” It was soon raining and we were all ready to march.
Setti’s house was the next destination before going back to the capital. She was motivated to drop herself home instead of going to Padang because there were some unfinished businesses waiting for her. The road was actually not sufficient enough to pass through by cars, but as far as the drivers concern (in fact, they didn’t take any concern at all), we kept moving. Twenty minutes were more than enough to have some conversations and drinks in her house since it was already 7 pm. If we followed the clock, we would see Padang around 1o pm! After a little clash between the people, whether dropping in sate Mak Sukur or not, we kept moving. Scratches on the cars were ignored, since there was no more time to contract another debate about it. It was true that we dropped in Bika Si Mariana, though some arguments were still heard in the air that we should have stopped in sate Mak Sukur. But there was no use of quarelling about things we actually couldn’t afford to defend with. It’s already 8.15 pm, and all we had to do is to think how we could going back home safely. The spot lights of of the second car were expired. Nothing is more dangerous than to drive at night without lights. And the fact that we should pass through Silaiang once again, willy-nilly, turned me anxious.
If the world should stop
revolving and spinning
And is slowly down to die
I’ll spend the end with you
And when the world was through..
With big hearts, we continued the journey. I should kept on distance to the first car, since we were not occupied with lights. We stayed on 45 miles/hour speed. What could we expect from the situation other than praying to be safely home, and I got to concentrate along the street. It was a ‘heartbeating’ back home. I’m lucky to have friends like those in the second car: Amie, Bundo, Firman, Wahyu, Renal, Tetty, Refi, Alind, and Afni. They kept making jokes, telling stories, thinking the names of their children in the future, laughing out loud: their spirits were boundless. And those small things were enough to ensure me to drive well along the way.
When one problem was gone, another arrived. Problèmes vont et viennent, everyone in the second car were all furious to see Andri limpingly drove the first car. The car suddenly turned left very hard and overtook other cars in a very strange way an amateur driver could have imagined. When we had been fighting against our own anxiety about our light-less car, we had to pay much attention to the car in front of us. Thus, It sucked.
Not until we arrived in the gate of Padang city, the spot lights had totally disappeared from the car. But the street neons helped us recognize the intersections and crossroads. The fuel was still sufficient enough to make a short travel, but what could one do at 11.30 pm? No stores opened, no resort available, and the faces were all very tired. After dropping Bundo, who couldn’t stay much longer in the car, we just stopped in a fried rice stall near Andalas and had some supper, before giving the entire bodies a full rest. The first car would be parked in Andri’s boarding house, while the second car would sleep in Tetty’s garage for tonight. Everyone had come back home. We should forget all clashes and remember the trip fondly. The lights were out and the curtain was down.