Daily Archives: 9 February, 2013

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The One With Symphony Surabaya, Part 1

Did you know in Chinese, Surabaya is called “Four Water”? As in 泗水 (pronounced “Sìshuǐ”)

I learned that from the very pixelated, very old screen of the inflight entertainment of my Cathay Pacific flight to Surabaya. The four hour flight was uneventful, except some Indonesians (maids) who seem to have no reservation to chat right across me. So I did the polite thing and held up my magazine higher and higher in a fruitless attempt to block out their line of sight.

And oh, this is the closest I ever get to the equator. It might come as a surprise to you (as it was to me) that Surabaya is actually located in Java, not Sumatra, and that it is located between Jakarta and Bali.

And that it is rather close to Australia!

First impression of Surabaya. It was a rustic town, kinda like my own hometown of Menglembu, with instances of “modernity” and “urbanisation” here and there. It is quite disconcerting to see a towering new hotel built right next to a slow flowing river where thatched huts and abandoned old buildings hugged the riverbanks.

Symphony Surabaya Day 1

We got in to Surabaya rather late in the day, and checked in directly at the hotel. Garden Palace Hotel is a large, clean and unpretentious accommodation of choice by my travel buddy, Chris, located within a large compound with at least one bar and one club (which for some reason thumped our some real loud music from 6 a.m. onwards one day. Goodness knows what the youngsters were up to. This old chap needs his sleep!). The hotel is well equipped with restaurants – Indonesian, Chinese, Japanese, Western – and throughout we sample some of them. Some were okay, others were not worth mentioning.

Thank God for the nearby shopping mall.

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The One With Symphony Surabaya

For the past couple of days I have been way too preoccupied with work to even think about my upcoming trip Surabaya. During those rare minutes between office and home when my brain was free to disengage itself from normal operation, the only thought I had (on loop, I might add) was…

… what should I name my blog posts?

A definite blogger job hazard if there’s one. But hey at least I got an answer. Hence Symphony Surabaya.


(Image Credit)

It would be too much detail for me to go into why I am heading to Indonesia for Chinese New Year. If you know me as well as I think some of you do, a holiday in the tropics leaving behind a winter in Hong Kong (okay, in reality that’s all relative) would be entirely out of character for me.

Give me cold, chilly holiday. Snow? Oh yes please!

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