“I will arrive at Jakarta around 14th jan, Where are you at that time??” -Sung
“Im homeee… not in Jakarta~ Are you here already? In my hometown in Cirebon, West Java. 3 hours by train from Gambir main station.”-myself
“So if i want to see you I have to go there right?”-Sung
It started with our simple Facebook chat Sungwook Yoo on new year about his plan to travel to Indonesia. I met Sung at Harvard Project for Asia and International Relations 2012 in Taiwan and shared the same hostel as well as good talks every breakfast and supper with a bunch of cool kids, like Elda (Indonesia), Tyas (Indonesia), Alam (Indonesia), Son (Korea), Sanchit (India), Esteban (Argentina), and Hiroshi (Japan). We were so close since then and interested to go to each other’s place in the future. But, who thought we will meet in my very own home in Cirebon?
On January 16, 2013, I fetched him from Cirebon Station on a cloudy afternoon with my father and my friend from Cirebon, Galuh. It was raining cats and dogs, but Sung seemed happy about it. Our first plan that day: having lunch with Nasi Jamblang, going to Muludan Festival and Cirebon Palaces, and having dinner with Empal Gentong!
First stop: Nasi Jamblang Ibu Nur. Nasi Jamblang is a traditional food of wrapped rice in teak leaves and various dishes including beef stew, tempe, fried tofu, scrambled egg, and chili sauce. We had luch in Nasi Jamblang Ibu Nur in Jl.Cangkring, and we’re happy Sung was really like it! After we had lunch, my dad drove us to Great Mosque At-Taqwa near Cirebon City Square for Muslim afternoon prayer. Sung once told me in Taiwan that he was really inspired by my five-time-daily-prayer even in the middle of the busiest days. In our hostel in Taipei, he had a a chance seeing me praying on the hostel rooftop at night and feeling the solemness..
Our next stop is Muludan! My dad was not with us after this. Muludan is a festival and night market conducted a whole month in celebration of Prophet Muhammad birthday. It is conducted by Keraton, Cirebonese local Palaces as a part to preserve our deep culture and tradtion. With the help of Galuh, we plunged into a buzzing hawkers and people to visit Keraton Kasepuhan, Keraton Kanoman, and Masjid Agung Kasepuhan. We had chance to see the heritage of Cirebon Royal Palaces: Singa Barong Carriage, armor set, canon, and the famed paintings. The rare collection of royal heritage and architectural in Cirebon Palaces depicted the rich acculturation of Javanese, Middle Eastern/Islamic, Indian/Hindu, and Chinese civilization in Cirebon as well as ancient time’s relations of this city with international trade. At last we had a dinner with Empal Mang Dharma, a beef curry special to Cirebonese.
Follow our journey was we wrapped up the adventure with meditating, shopping, and monkey feeding in Cirebon on the next day. This is Sung’s story in Cirebon, what’s yours?Tags: Cirebon, HPAIR, Indah Gilang Pusparani, Keraton Kanoman, Keraton Kasepuhan, Masjid Agung Kasepuhan, Muludan, Sungwook Yoo, Taipei, Taiwan