Pulau Mandeh (Mandeh Island): A Memoir

Syarifah Aini180410160096

My family and I decided to go on a holiday back then in December 2017. We did a research for an exciting place in our hometown, Padang. Then one of my relatives said, he knew one place and that it was nice. It was an island called Pulau Mandeh. We went there with other family members, there were 3 cars. The more people came, the more fun it was.

The road we had to take to get there was bad. Big rocks cover most of the way. The struggle was real. But it was all worth it. After we arrived, we were welcome by the enchanting view of this island. Though it was so hot, we did not care. We could already felt the excitement by just looking at the view of the island. We could not wait any longer to jump into the water, so after we took many picture, the tour guide took us to a stand where we could get our equipment ready.

There were several small islands there that were included in the package trip we took. The first island was Pulau Setan. In this island, we could enjoy the banana boats and other entertainment stuff. I could not forget how my father forced the mothers to take turn. They did under one condition. My brother and I had to come with them to make sure everything’s alright and that the tour-guide did not flip the banana boat in the middle of the island (because actually that was how it worked). The tour guide said yes to them but there was my father, asked the tour guide to do exactly the opposite. After several turns in the water, the tour guide did flip the banana boat and the mothers did not prepare anything. They screamed and pulled my brother and I to hold on for dear life. They were so scared they screamed “Astaghfirullah! Ya Allah! Rifa! RIfqi!”. The rest of the family on the seashore laughed so hard seeing them suffer. It was so funny. They hated my father after the accident.

Next we moved to the second island. I could not remember the name but it was also terrific. On this island, there were these tall and huge rocks that we supposed to jump from up there to the water. I was thinking that I would never ever do that in my life but after seeing my brother jumped, I thought “it could be fun to try” besides, I came here all the way from Bekasi, it would be a waste if I did not try. So with all the power I had, I climbed the rock, it was 4 meters tall, and prepared myself to jump. The tour guide was standing beside me and encouraging me saying that it was okay and safe, he said he would jump with me if I want. So with everything I had in me, I jumped. All I could think of was “When will I touch the water? Why does it take so long?!”. When I did touch the water, sunk in so deep and finally came back to the surface, I grinned really big. I was completely FUN. But that was it. I said to myself that it was my first and last time. Unlike me, my brother did not stop there. He wanted to jump again but this time, the rock was 8 meters long. He was brave. After he jumped, he said “it was nothing” and that wowed me.

The last day we stayed in that island, we spent the rest of the evening enjoying the beach that lied in front of our very eyes. Watching the sunset with the whole family was a rare thing since the adults were all busy with their own things. It was beautiful. When the night finally came, we were served by the local people there. They cooked us some rare menu they invented themselves. We were surprised when the food came. There was this one meal I liked the most, it was Rendang Cumi. Where would you find this kind of menu, Rendang Cumi, other than here?? And it was so good! You could really felt the squid and not smelt fishy at all. I still even remember the taste until now. We ate the dinner near the beach. It was peaceful. We were eating the rare dishes while listening to the sound of the waves rumbling through the night. I embraced the moment by taking pictures of us laughing while showing off the rare dishes. The last but not least that happened that night was a storm. While we were enjoying the beach and the togetherness, suddenly there was this huge bang on the roof above us, not so long after that, a thunderbolt followed. That scared us. Turned out, the huge bang was a coconut tree trunk that was striked by the thunderbolt. After that, a heavy rain poured the island and we were stuck in the gazebo. After we waited for like 15 minutes, it was becoming heavier, and that when we realized it was not just a heavy rain, it was a storm. We saw people’s clothes flying from the string where they hung them, many tree trunk fell to the ground. We could not even go in to the house because it was that bad. We waited for almost an hour until it was less heavy and hurry went inside the house. It ended there. We all went to sleep with a happy, full tummy and a little worry mind about the storm as if it was about to come again. Alhamdulillah, it did not. The locals then said that it was a normal thing to happen since the place was literally near the beach so the weather sometimes could be bad and some other times it was all good. After that being said, we considered what happened last night was one of our unforgettable moments while spending time there.

To wrap it all, while spending 3 days there in Pulau Mandeh, all I felt was happy. I was happy to have the chance to spend 3 days full of joy with my big family. Because, with all the business they have, it is so hard to find the time to go holiday like that again. That is why I decided to make this into a memoir because this is a memory I will always remember. The banana boats and the screaming mothers, the rock I jumped from, the rare but good Rendang Cumi, the storm, they were all unforgettable.

Photo by; My Father

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