Tano Batak Day 1: Arrival - Medan

rantau-prapat Yesterday was my first day of my Tano Batak Trip. I flew with Garuda Indonesia, departing at 07:00am from Soekarno-Hatta Jakarta and arriving at 09:00am at Polonia Medan. The plane departed 30minutes late but I did not really care about that (of course, at least until I live somewhere where everybody is punctual. Hahaha).

Garuda Indonesia was nice in general. The check-in process was relatively quick, one could even do an internet check-in if they wanted to choose their seats in advance. Its own dedicated Terminal 2F was considerably clean, there were no complicated additional queue lines for insurance fees, like the one I had had at Terminal 1 around a year ago with Batavia Air.

We arrived at Polonia safe and sound but experienced something inconvenient when waiting for the luggages. There were porters with their trolleys ready, that’s normal, but they were too many that there was no trolley left. It’s like we were forced to use their service if we want to have trolleys. Thanks to the fact that luggages are commonly created with rollers.

We directly went to Rantau Prapat, a small city located 280km from Medan, and it’s not Prapat and those two cities are different. Anyway, it took nearly 8 hours to get there and it was exhausting. But that was all right, it’s where my father and mother spent their childhood before finally moved to Bandung. This journey will be great and nostalgic so I’m good with any inconveniences.

Shocking driving attitude

Yes, it was shocking. I thought Jakarta has the worst drivers but I was wrong. Now I know that Medan has even worse. In Bandung, beside motorbike riders, angkot drivers has been long known as the worst. But in Medan, most drivers act like angkot drivers and the angkot drivers drive even worse. They will sound their car horn whenever possible. It’s like they can’t wait for any kind of delay and do consider people crossing the street as a serious delay that they will sound their car horn as loudly as possible as if they see somebody doing something forbidden. It was crazy.

Internet connections

Telkomsel and XL have 3G coverage but only XL’s is working for 3G internet connection. Odd that Telkomsel Flash is not working here. Indosat does not have 3G coverage here and I have to use GPRS. But I’m good as I’m ready with this and have brought three different SIM cards.

Food and culinary heaven

This is heaven. We can find any traditional Batak food we want and it was very delicious. If you’re on diet, simply forget it as it will never work here. Hahaha. Batak food here are so tasty, (unhealthy), and abundant. Any variety of it is simply worth to try: sangsang, babi panggang, babi goreng, babi arsik, naniura, lomok-lomok, and the list goes on. Chinese food is also popular and also very tempting: mie pangsit Medan, kwetiau, babi merah, etc. And to end our meals, we have some cakes like Bolu Meranti and Bika Ambon.

Well, this is going to be a great and wonderful trip!

  • I can only smile while reading your blog. You are right about the list of delicious food there. You better enjoy it while you can :-)

    • Why was that? Did I bring up some memories of yours? Hahaha. Yeah, I’m enjoying it while I can as tomorrow I’ll be back to Bandung.

  • lol, I thought the angkot drivers in jakarta are the worst in the world, but medan’s are worse. it’s just like the proverb “above sky there is another sky”

    • I thought so as well but apparently it is not. Anyway, I wonder how the “another sky” would be like if Medan’s is already like this.

    • Uli

      As a information, besides that EVERY DRIVERS (not only the angkot driver) often don’t follow the traffic light! *mau2 gw*
      Although it’s red, if they want to go straight, they wont stop their vehicles..
      salam knal Jubel..

  • oh damn, I miss those foods. sangsang, babi panggang, lomok lomok and bolu meranti.

    you forgot to mention some, susu horbo, mie keling, and kue bohong.

    • Do you find any Batak restaurant there in Japan? Hahaha. Anyway, I don’t like susu horbo, it tastes weird. Hehe. But mie keling and kue bohong are OK. :)

      How are you, Sherwin?

      PS. What is the adjective for “Batak”? Bataks? Batakese? Batakan? Or simply Batak?

    • I’m doing fine here, currently working on my thesis, haha. got to have it done before the end of july. hope you’re doing fine as well.

      sadly, there isn’t any indonesian restaurant here serving bataknese foods (bataknese is, I guess, the adjective of batak). the good thing is I have a lot, yeah a loootttt, of bataknese friends here who can cook very delicious bataknese foods, haha. we always gather after church and, sometimes, stay in each other’s houses just to cook bataknese foods together. very nice, isn’t it?

      you don’t like susu horbo? oh come on, hahaha. if it tastes weird, maybe you should try susu horbo putih, it’s the original version of susu horbo.

  • ooohhh… i long for Bolu Meranti keju!!!!!

    well, this explains why you posted a Facebook update in Batak language the other day. I seriously want to see you use it in person! :D

    • Do you want to see me use that language in person? Not in a million year. hahaha.

  • backsound : pulo samosir do, haroroanku samosir do, ido asalhu sai tong ingotonhu saleleng ngolungku hupuji Ho..

    seriously, i know this song by heart. hahaha btw i’m curious how people are driving there since afaik the craziest driver ever is in jakarta. apparently medan is worse :lol:

    have fun there ya! unang lupa marpoto2 juga. *halah bahasa batak macam apa ini

    • backsound: Laope au marhuta sada. Tung sopola leleng nga mulak au. Di parjalangan ndang sonang au. Sai tu Pulo Samosir ma sihol au.

      I love that song as well. Hahaha. I will visit Pulau Samosir soon. Hahaha.

      Oke, ito. lagi marpoto2 pun kami di sini! *gua juga gak bisa bahasa Batak.