Resistance is futile
Padang Travel Blog› entry 24 of 82 › view all entries
Not a bed of roses
Mike and I travelled to Padang together and stayed at the same hotel.
While looking for lunch we met Ricky (a Chinese Indonesian who works for the maker of the famous Kopiko sweet found around the world). He was absolutely godsent as there was apparently nowhere to find food ... he took us to a pangsit (or kolomee in Malaysia) stall. Yes, pangsit with pork, cooked by a Muslim man.
Sadly, Ricky’s view of life in Padang isn’t as glossy as my hairdresser’s.
During my stay in Indonesia so far, I had stuck to safe food. It can come off the street but it must be freshly cooked, so that somewhat limited me to murtabak, mi goreng and pancakes.
For dinner we started off walking ... just as I had just reaffirmed to Mike my commitment to safe food, I found an eating house called “Pagi Sore” (Morning and Afternoon) ... yes, they were open for dinner.
I took one look at the rendang and couldn’t resist ... the dry fibrous chunks of buffalo meat in a super-rich nearly-dry black gravy was just heavenly. It was bursting with flavour and wasn’t very hot. We also tried dendeng or crispy dried beef which was okay.
Thinking that we wouldn’t tempt fate with too much of the food that’s been sitting all day, we opted to continue Dinner Part II at the murtabak stand.
I complimented the lady on her rendang while paying and she said “tahan seminggu” meaning it can last for a week! Gee thanks ... I wonder why she volunteered the information.
Leaving too soon!
My four days in West Sumatra has been pretty full-on especially on motorbikes.
It has been very enjoyable and I very much liked:
· The scenery: volcanoes, hills, lakes, mosques, houses, padi fields and buffaloes.
· The people: their curiosity and willingness to chat to me as a visitor.
· I didn’t like being so wary of all the food that’s been sitting in the window all day (or all week?). I got my confidence too late and wish I had an extra couple of days to eat eat eat!
· Hotels here aren’t good value ... you pay about USD13-18 in West Sumatra per night for a relatively simple place. In Jakarta you’d get something plusher for the same money ... in Bangkok you could even get 3-star.