“Ga niet dood voor dat je naar Parijs van Java gaat”
Don’t die before you visit Paris van Java
It all began after isya’ 2nd August 2003. It’s the night of online SPMB annoucement. I rush to the nearest (and the only) internet waroong in my hometown, Boyolali. I enter the magic number, my test identity number. And few seconds later, seconds that feels like forever, there it is. Some words suddenly materialized. It says, “Anda diterima di pilihan pertama, Teknik Elektro – ITB”.
Just that. And all the sudden, my body feels light like a feather. I rush back home. That night, it feels like the cold night turns into a carnival; warm, colorful, stars turns into bright skylights, happy faces everywhere, people jumping and dancing. Joy is in every nook and cranny of this little city.
Arrive at home, I told her, my mother, that I was accepted.“Alhamdulillah, sujud syukur Le”, and no more words could be born, suddenly tears burst from her eyes.
Tomorrow, I’ll be going to Bandung. Paris van Java.
It’s already been six years from that time. And I realize there’s still a lot of things about Bandung that I don’t know. That’s why, yesterday when I go to Gramedia, I got caught up with this book. Jendela Bandung. It’s written by seasoned journalist that has been working for Kompas newspaper in Bandung for more than 30 years, Her Suganda. It’s more like a collection of journalistic reports rather than a book.
It has story from the beginning of Bandung, when governor general Daendels strike a land with his stick and proclaim that this land shall be built into a city. That point now becomes Bandung zero kilometers. This book is also a story about a transformation. From a jungle into westerner leisure city. From a small city into a cramped metropolis.
This is a book from someone who loves Bandung, and for others who got caught by the beauty of priangan land.