Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Short Sojourn To Cirebon

Hello lovelies, how are you? Sorry for the one-month blogging hiatus, I had to finish works before the end of the year. Boss CO, my direct boss, had decided to resign and Boss NPM, the higher supervisor, thought I could manage without any supervision. Eep! Somehow I always give people a false idea that I'm such a tough woman ::sigh::. 

Anyway, last week, my office was holding a business meeting in Cirebon, West Java. When I first heard about the trip, I was unimpressed. I mean I passed this city whenever I was going to or leaving Semarang for Jakarta during my university days. At that time (late 1990s and early 2000s), Cirebon train station (as well as all train stations, actually) had so many food hawkers and vendors, they were allowed to enter the economy and business class trains and they were very persistent in offering their goods. Persistent as in they would shout at you to catch your attention. Very loudly.

All trains going to Central and East Java stop in Cirebon before they are making a turn to either the northern railway (Semarang) or southern railway (Yogyakarta, Solo or Malang). Now, Jakarta-Cirebon is a three-hour trip, and if you're like me who loves taking an evening train (because the economy and business class trains felt cooler at night than on midday) from Jakarta (usually depart at 8 or 9 p.m.), you'll be most likely to arrive in Cirebon at 11 p.m. or 12 a.m.

It was not an exciting experience to be awaken from your beauty sleep by food vendors shouting,"Sale pisang, sale pisang (Sliced sweetened banana)!" right in your ears. It's midnight for God's sake, I could have sale pisang first thing in the morning, not now. This is why I have reservations about going to Cirebon.

Fortunately, things have improved since then. PT KAI has banned food vendors from enter the stations let alone trains (Yay!). Almost all economy and business class trains have been installed with air conditioner (Hip hip hurray!). And there is electrical socket in every seat (Bless PT KAI directors!).

While Cirebon is geographically located in West Java province, it is the closest city to the border of Central Java province. Hence, it has a language that is a mix between Sundanese and Javanese.

The event in Cirebon was quite packed on daytime, but once the sun was set, we had time to roll around the city. Here are the photos I took during the business+leisure trip.

Cirebon train station. Cirebon has yet to have an airport, so land transportation is the only way to reach this city.

 Inside Cirebon train station, a group of musicians are playing keroncong songs.

 This is where I stayed in Cirebon. Nice hotel with an extensive buffet menu for breakfast #important

Nasi Jamblang, a local delicacy. It is basically rice wrapped in jati leaves and served with side dishes, such as tempeh (soybean cake), chicken, sambal (chili paste), etc.

Empal gentong, also a local delicacy.

 Nasi lengko+sate kambing, rice with vegetables topped with very spicy peanut sauce and goat meat on skewers. There was also a bowl of ice durian, not pictured #confession of a girl who eats a lot

Batik Trusmi. When I posted this photo on my Path, my friends were split between the one on the right (Rp 375,000) and the second one next to the one on the right (Rp 675,000). I didn't buy both because I was planning to go to Yogyakarta after Cirebon, but that will be for another post:).

Just when I patted myself in the back for being able to survive the temptation in Trusmi, my colleagues took me to Panembahan, which has even more beautiful batik. Argh. I must return to Cirebon one day and buy some of these batik! #resolution

We had a half day to explore the city and went straight to Keraton Kasepuhan Cirebon.

Intricate details on a column

Bas relief of a bull on the side of the gate

Jewelries that belonged to the Cirebon Royal Family

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