Over the weekend, I hopped on a 2-hour ferry ride from Harbourfront to visit Indonesia’s Tanjung Balai with a bunch of my colleagues. We were told beforehand that there wasn’t much on the island. The exact words were actually “go there, eat and relax only“. It was described as what Singapore was like in the 1970’s – all kampong (village). Frankly speaking, it’s not much different from most parts of the Philippines, Metro Manila’s outskirts included. Be that as may be, I really enjoyed my overnight stay. It helps that our colleague knows the place really well and that he spearheaded the trip, making sure that our wooden school bus takes us to all the yummy eateries.
From the yummiest Bak Kut Teh at Simpang Empat, to the Mieso Ayam and Mie Ayam at Pondok Mie So Roso Eco, to the crabs and mantis prawns at 123 Restaurant Seafood, to the Char Kway Teow and Kopi C at the local coffee shop, and to the delicious wanton mee with handmade noodles and handmade fish balls at Ng Kim Yong Kue Tiau Mie – we were spoiled with meals that cost a fraction of what it normally does in Singapore.
What else did we do? Absolutely nothing. Every meal was followed by nap time – such pigs, I know!!! – and we treated ourselves to a massage per day. Luke and I also “disconnected” for the weekend, meaning we were wifi free. It made me realize how we – or just maybe me – normally use our phones to escape idle situations. You’re thrown in a room full of people you barely even know? Oh, I’ll just go through my Instagram feed so at least I look like I’m doing something and it’s less awkward that we’re not talking to each other. Oh, you have a few minutes before you leave? I’ll just see what’s on Facebook coz my fingers are really itchy and I want to kill time. Not that I’m really dying to know what’s going on with so and so, it’s just a matter of habit that has been ingrained through the years. This disconnecting even forced my boyfriend and I to find other ways of entertaining ourselves while waiting for our order to come. Normally, someone would bring out their phone, go through the various feeds, find something interesting and show it to the other person. This time, it was balancing soft drink cans, haha!
All in all, it was a good weekend where we did exactly what was planned: eat and relax only. 🙂