Sitting in waiting room, my gaze focused on my watch and INTRA bus office yard….Never saw when he arrived, from right side of the yard, he shouted to me. It was nice to meet an old friend.
His kindness and simplicity was still the same as Erwin who I met in Kuala Lumpur 2013 ago. Remembered again when he gave me a small box of red cakes on Kuala Lumpur’s Hop on Hop off. And now, he gave me four hours of his time to enjoying Pematang Siantar.
“Come on, bro, ride up!“, He said while turning backpack to his chest. I Instantly glided on his 90’s Japan motorcycle towards his home. He had to change a teacher uniform which he wore before going around the city.
1. Warung Miso Pematang
“Let’s have lunch first, bro! There is something special for you. Come on!“, His smile ignored my rejection because he just wanted to be a good host. Tracing the “rat path” which I never knew its exact location, I felt the rear tire was a bit shaky. It made me believe that Erwin is a sincere and simple person.
“Warung Miso Pematang. Oh, is this the special dish that is meant?“, I muttered. Erwin rushed into the restaurant with its front door at the back. While I was still in the yard, busy capturing the picture. It was amazingly delicious, a bowl of Miso, a mixture of yellow-white noodles which are flushed with soup mixed with fried tofu, chicken liver-gizzard and mushroom for USD 1.3.
2. Pedicab Monument BSA (Birmingham Small Army).
“Come on, I’ll show you the Siantar icon!“, He spoke while cranked the motor starter. I give a thumb as agree sign. Riding along Sudirman Street until finally arrived at a motorized rickshaw-crowned monument. Supposedly said that this city has almost 1,000 war motorbikes. Therefore you have to queue to be able to take a picture in front of the monument.
3. Sintong Bingei Public Library
Right behind the monument is a public library owned by the city government while on the right opposite is Pematang Siantar City Hall where the Mayor worked.
4. Pematang Siantar City Hall
Gecko ornaments in most of large buildings in Siantar made me to asked a question about it. Erwin briefly explained that gecko is a wisdom and wealth symbol for the Batak ethnic. Local people call it as Gorga Boraspati.
5. Hangout Area near Pedicab Monument
While on right side of the monument is a coffee shop row which seems to only wait for short time to be filled by city millennials to hang out at night.
6. Pematang Siantar City’s Bunga Park
While right behind hang out area is Bunga Park. As a Child Friendly Public Open Space makes this park as a favorite place to spend time with family after work.
7. Ganda Bakery
“Bro, it’s almost dark, let’s go back to INTRA office!“, Erwin reminded me. I jumped on his motorcycle and hurried to INTRA bus office. Upss ….”Why Bakery?“, I suspected.
“Don’t flatter yourself, I don’t buy bread for you, but I will buy it for my family at home“, he thinly smiled. I was burst out laughing when seeing his act. I took a moment to enjoy storefronts with fragrant aroma of tempting bread.
Ten minutes later, I was standing outside and waiting for him to complete payment at the cashier. And then….He held two packs of bread in his hands.
“This is for your breakfast tomorrow on the way“, he said while offering a packet of bread with srikaya jam which was famously delicious. It was forbidden to refuse it, so I accepted it with many thanks.
“Come on, now it’s really going to INTRA Bus office and not stopping by anymore!“, He said with a laugh. That was the end of my fast journey at Pematang Siantar.
Thank You Erwin. See you later.