The only thing I really knew about Bandung beforehand was its reputation for having a cooler climate than the rest of Indonesia. I also knew that my housemate Anastasia lived with a host family there during high school and really liked it. Perhaps that's an understatement; she raves about Bandung all the time. And the Bandung Institute of Technology is quite famous. And the city is also a shopping mecca for outlet stores. Ok, so maybe I knew more than one thing about Bandung before I went, but knowing those few things still left me unprepared.
We traveled by bus from Jakarta and I was blown away by the beautiful landscape. The urban sprawl of Jakarta quickly gave way to stunning mountains, terraced rice paddies and tea plantations, waterfalls, and traditional houses. Without a doubt, this was the most breathtaking scenery I have ever seen in Indonesia. This is a landscape photographer's dream. I could hardly do it justice by snapping pictures from the bus, but here's one shot to give you an idea of the gorgeous terraced tea plantations.
|Mile after mile of stunning landscapes|
|Yes, the bed is draped in black lace|
The cultural show itself exceeded all my expectations too. There were a few traditional numbers, which were quite good and energetic. And then Heather, one of the Fulbright ETAs in Bandung, took to the stage and started singing. Suddenly, students poured onto the dance floor from every table at the dinner and women were rockin' out in their jilbabs and the night exploded into one big long dance party. There was a congo line, there was some swing dancing, there was even a moment when the band played 'November Rain' and a line of people sat in front of the stage and waved their lighters. Imagine that - a band covering Guns N' Roses at the TEFLIN conference! This night was truly unlike any other English language teaching event I had ever attended in Indonesia.
|'Everybody needs somebody'|
|Jackie by a mist covered volcano crater|
|The angklung -a traditional Sundanese instrument|