The Adventurous Trip: A Memoir

Veggy Salsabilla Amijaya180410160037

Most of the people would buy a ticket whether were train tickets, plane, ship or rent a car for mudik or made a trip back to their village from far-away days around the time of Eid al-Fitr. My family’s mudik almost every year went by car. I lived in a city which frequently visited on the day of the Mawlid of Muhammed’s Prophet, Cirebon while my hometown of mama, called the flower city of Bandung and the hometown of Papa, the rainy city of Bogor. The hometown that we often visit was the hometown of my mama because Papa’s job not very supported us to visit both of them. So, after driving us to the city of flowers, usually, Papa will be back home soon doing his job, keep the traffic order while the flow of Mudik and back to Bandung again on the night before the Eid prayer.

The trip from our city to our hometown not too long, roughly only 4 hours. The flow of mudik made our trip so long. Traffic jam always becomes an obstacle when mudik comes. However, I think a jam when mudik is superb, as an adventure, although mostly just in the car. Plus the adventure was very impressive because of the presence of my siblings.

Like most of the children, I also had a fairly high imagination. Stuck in traffic jam which I remembered for the first time, I only had one younger brother who was a baby and didn’t have a car, so papa borrowed a car from his friend. A car that was only enough for about 3 people, there was no rear seat, only a large tub without a seat behind it. Mudik at that time or you could say it was stuck at that time made me feel like I was in a car race. We had a PlayStation game then, we used to play this racing car game. Waking up from my sleep in the car at that time, I showed that I had woken up to papa who was driving and mama who was carrying my sister, Billy. I intentionally showed that because I was always happy when they found out if I had woken up from my sleep. Papa will say "uh, daddy’s child is awake." Even though I was happy with what he said, I just replied with a smile without saying anything.

Sumedang, was the fastest trip that can be passed from Cirebon to Bandung at that time, there were no alternative roads such as toll roads, while alternative roads only passed through the residents’ villages directed by local residents, and even so we were aware of the distance that we avoided from the congestion is not far away. We often went for mudik at night because my father’s work also, avoided the heat of the sun when lingering in the car because our car that we use did not have an air conditioner. The atmosphere of the night on the journey was so scary, dark, not many street lights or lights from people’s homes, plus if we passed the Cadas Pangeran which was said have a mystical event occurred, but all that was not felt on the flow of mudik. The shoulder of the road would feel very dense till it didn’t move at all because of open and close road system. After waiting for a few hours, the road was open and allowed to use both shoulders of the road then papa would drive a car like being in a video game that we used to play. The road is twisted and uphill, papa would say "turn left then to the right" with the speed of the car that was fast enough, papa passed a lot of cars right in front of us. I supported daddy by saying "let’s race the car in front of us, pa". When we were stuck in traffic jam like that, papa could always melt a boring atmosphere into fun.

The experience of mudik became different when my younger brother, Billy got to elementary school while I got to high school and had a new sister who was still a baby. At that time we had not borrowed a car that belongs to my father’s friend. Before leaving for mudik and knowing that mudik in the past would definitely be jammed, my little brother and I prepared the need for both of us, not a change of clothes, but a toy that would be played while in the car. Billy and I sat in the back seat of the car arranging the pillows and blankets we were carrying. At that time there was not yet a smartphone, there were only digital games in the past such as Gameboy, I carried it. Playing alternately, occasionally fighting because sometimes we did things, like cheating and finally I always gave in. We played until we were tired, not because we were playing but we were tired of arguing and it was already late at night and then slept. The sun rises yet and has not arrived at the destination, Billy and I awakened to eat suhoor. The road was stopped again, because of the open and close gate system, different from the past, at that time people came out of their cars, even though the situation made me upset but by getting out of the car and seeing people chatting with fellow road users, there were also people who sharing food for suhoor makes the atmosphere felt warm. Not on purpose, we were stopped at near a mosque and there was a small restaurant across the mosque that was quite crowded with people who were ordering food for suhoor. When the sun began to rise I woke up with the sound of papa’s voice asking for help in a loud voice

"Ma, please take the stone quickly and keep it behind the tire"

Mama panicked, having trouble picking it up because she was carrying my sister. The car’s handbrake didn’t work too well, the speed of the car was still slow until our car stopped right at the slanting upward way of mosque of Nyalindung. Papa was confused didn’t know what to do, choose between fall to the cliff that was on the left or crashing the truck that was behind our car. Alhamdulillah, Allah still protected us, apparently, the drivers of the cars in front and back heard papa’s words and help to hold our car. I just cried in fear of not knowing what to do and then waking up my brother, Billy. After the incident papa looked for a big enough stone then told me to get out of the car if the car stopped and put the stone on the back of the car tire to hold it and then took it back if the car in front had started moving. Repeatedly I did it not with a feeling of being upset instead, I was happy because I had other activities in the car. Too often I put and took the stone from behind the tires of our car, the driver of the truck who was behind my car realize what I was doing and said

"Careful kid" he said loudly.

I just smiled at him then continue to get out and entered from the car to put the stone. It took a long time and traveled a considerable distance we finally found a car repair shop and repaired it. Every trip in which far enough from Cirebon, we would always stop by at a minimarket to buy snacks, and stop by at Masjid Agung Sumedang which I thought was quite unique, like before we set foot to enter the mosque or want to get wudu there was water like a pool but the depth was only the ankle of adults. Back on the way Billy and I played some games that only use the finger of us, we never ran out of games to get rid of boredom. Until now, everything has changed with time, smartphones appear, Billy could drive a car, so, he would drive the car and there were alternative toll roads. Nowadays the feeling of Mudik is rarely to happen as the old times. Lately, there are many lights at Cadas Pangeran, I was happy, but was just the trip became less memorable as time went on. I missed the atmosphere at that time.

Image Credit: Veggy Salsabilla Amijaya

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