I only had little time to attend the Indonesian Dental Student Association Yearly Meeting (MUNAS PSMKGI XIII) which was the last two days so I decided to extend my stay a day and not feel bad about the tickets that costed around almost $100 (round trip) to get there. I took the flight from Jakarta to Surabaya, then from Surabaya to Jember, East Java, (where the meeting was held) by train in just four hours.
I only spent a little time till the end of the meeting. It is not the kind of my travel if I don’t do any social visit, so my friends and I from the association went to visit the nursing home for old people in Jember. It was nice to visit them and hear them talk about their lives before they entered the nursing home. One of them were so excited to have visitors. And visiting them taught me a lot of things.
These old people have nowhere else to go, either they are stranded by their families, left or may be they volunteered to be nursed but what ever it is they have no one other themselves. So when they had us came and listen to them and do activities, they were so happy. I met one of the old women who was excited to know that I came from Jakarta. She told me that she used to work for Rhoma Irama’s wife (the fourth wife I guess) and then she changed places to work. They thought that they would see us again and they kept asking when will they meet us again. I felt bad knowing it is one in a million to visit them but I just wished that people would eventually come to see them.
They reminded me of me and how I used to neglect my parents, I would not even want my parents to end up that way, so it is a great warning for me.
The next stop was the Papuma Beach. Papuma Beach is kind of far away from the center of Jember. I kind of took like 1.5 hours to get there. Then as we arrived we had to drive up to the top to enjoy another shore and sure we can not use the bus, so we switched to cars. And as we arrived we were indulge by the beautiful view of the big stones and the clear water of Papuma Beach. Luckily I went there on a weekday so it was not full and we could enjoy it so much.
At the Papuma Beach you could enjoy the other view from the cliff where you can see the waves crashing by the big stones with its clear blue water. I spent the rest o f the day there and surely enjoying every moment of it taking pictures and selfies with friends.
I went to couchsurf and an international studies student hosted me, Mahardy Aiman. He was very kind and generous to take me around Jember visiting the Jember University, the Rembangan Hills, then the trending Kafe Kolong Coffee Shop that was built under the Masprit Bridge, Jembersari. Then he kindly dropped me off at the Jember Train Station.
Jember University had a wide complex with different faculties facilitating it students.
The Rembangan Hills was another view from the top where you could enjoy much of the view of the farm fields. And in the top you could also have some food provided by the locals food shop.
Kafe Kolong is also a must visit for people who would love to experience an outdoor coffee shop under the bridge, this time it is the Masprit Bridge.
To explore Jember you could do it within a day or two and surely the places to visit are:
- Papuma Beach then Watu Ulo
- Botanical Garden
- Rembangan Hills
- Kafe Kolong
I only visited 3 out of 4 and missed an experience in the Botanical Garden. Mas Ardy (the name I call Mahardy Aiman my host) said that if I want to explore and have a great stay at East Java I better stay for at least a week because I could have enjoyed the Ijen Mountain and other mountains for a great trekking experience. I missed a lot of it because my mother was waiting for me at Surabaya and wanted me to go home soon.
But I never regret the Java people experience as East Java was where I came from, so I like being there, I like being apart of the people and mostly I like the fact that the living cost there is very cheap.
So there you go, embarking another journey to study the people where I came from.