Fog and Cheer on Christmas Eve

Bandung Travel Blog

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As this was my first holiday overseas and away from my family, I was more than excited on how it would go. It was my first breath of holiday independence from the stigma of needing to spend it with family.


Despite the fact that I grumpily had to go to work until lunch of Christmas Eve at the last minute, I dared not complain. I was still looking forward to take on my much deserved holiday after four months of undue stress and pressure from work. I just had to quietly resign myself to a last minute shuttle bus trip to Bandung, knowing full well that I was risking being stuck in everybody’s holiday rush to get out of the city.


From a supposed 2 hour ride that stretched on to a ghastly 5 hours, my holiday spirits could not be dampened. I was adamant to not be stuck moping and making last minute plans in the city of Jakarta on a much awaited holiday from where I come from.


Though it was obviously not a big deal in a predominantly Muslim country as I barely saw ornaments around, Christmas parties nor exchanged presents, I definitely did not want to completely ignore it by not being with people I cared and loved.


I hadn’t been to the highlands since February when I was just lounging around while waiting to get a job and it was exhilarating to see the smog of the city dissipating and turning into intense fog in the late afternoon. Giddily seeing my brother and sisters from church, I knew that my weary travel was not in vain.


Just being with people who were also on a natural high was enough to give me energy all through the night. After a dinner of a delicious yet unfinished huge serving of noodles, we all cuddled in the car to experience the spectacular night view from a fancy restaurant up in the hills, Sky Privat. On the way we made a game of confirming as a team, the number of signages put up along a never ending winding road towards our hotel, we concluded with 25 I think. That must have been a whole day task for the carpenter.


The breathtaking view at the restaurant was not to miss. From the top of the peak were the night lights of an entire city alongside the crisp cool air. It was the perfect date spot except I had something even better, I had an entire group of people I’d come to love in my 1 year stay in this new city.


We went high on sharing a cup of coffee, sausages and fries. My sisters couldn’t resist themselves from grabbing the microphone from the live band to spread the holiday cheer by finally singing some carols, yours truly was not exempted from doing a duet of 2 songs either.


As midnight ticked on we all shared in a humble Noche Buena of chips, chocolate drink, bread and spreads in our equally humble abode. It really didn’t matter what we were having, not when I couldn’t remember another Christmas Eve that I had laughed as much. The last four of us retired after six rounds of a sadly infamous yet highly intellectual Filipino board game of Bandila.    


It was surely time well spent as I went back with the group to the humidity of Jakarta after just spending less than 24 hours in fog filled Bandung.
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995 km (618 miles) traveled
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photo by: yuness