Friday, August 5, 2011

Acheh Day 1

My second trip was to Acheh, Indonesia. Acheh or through history, it was called as 'Serambi Makkah'. The reason we choose to fly there are (1) for free medical check up & Sunnathon (2) to learn what could be learn from the history of tsunami that had taken more than 30 thousand life.

We went there by airasia. It was booked during the promotion week.

We went there with colleagues and Prof @ my mentor during my first 2 years of life at college.

It was around 1pm when we reach there. The difference in time between Indonesia and Malaysia is around 1 hour only. So, there was no jet lag problem for us.

We had not taken our lunch yet but since its evening already when we reach there, we were brought by Pak R to Solong Coffee, a cafe where they produce the most famous coffee in Acheh called, Ulee Kareng. Once I tasted it, it was...........a headache. I'm not in love with coffee and it was not my favourite drink so it's difficult for me to describe the taste. But, I bought a packet back with the price of 30,000 rupiah. Scary is it knowing that I'm holding around 1 million ......rupiah. hehe.

After the coffee treat, we went to the mass Muslim cemetery where they buried all the bodies after tsunami. Watch how they create a beautiful gate with Surah Al-Anbiya, 35 written on it. "Tiap yang berjiwa akan merasakan mati Kami akan menguji kamu dengan keburukan dan kebaikan sebagai cobaan dan hanya kepada Kami-lah kamu dikembalikan."

26 December 2004, where it all starts..

It was a peaceful place. And my heart cried as I feel the sadness felt by their families out there. How would they live after this knowing they've loss their love ones? No one knows. It's a tragic memory to be remembered. Around 30,000-35,000 bodies where buried here.

Beside those cemetery, there was a leftover building of a hospital that was destroyed by tsunami. No one survived including the doctors, nurses and patients.

We had the chance to enter the building. Everything was badly damaged. The walls and floors creates huge holes and cracks. I wonder how the patients were at that time. Trap in a building with water flooding. It must be scary.

One of the helicopter that had been destroyed by the death wave.

Next, we stopped by at a mosque named Baiturrahim. It was one of the mosque that survived from tsunami. Even though the distance between the mosque and the ocean wasn't that far, it doesn't shows massive damage.

This was supposed to be 'mata air' before 26 Dec 04, where it provides the villagers around with the most important thing to survive, water. But after tsunami, it can't be used anymore due to the sands. Pity them.

When you enter the mosque, just beside the doorway, there's a small exhibition of photos during and after the tsunami. There, we met an uncle named Pak X. He told us that he was one of the tsunami victim that had been saved and is still alive. He told us that he was in the street on that day, walking, when he saw water as fast as 80km/hr sweeping off the street full of citizens. He was shock and try to save himself. He ran and ran until he was caught in the waves, a dark one. He was then stab by a long steel over his abdomen. Lord knows how painful it is. He couldn't remember what happened in the waves but he was landed somewhere 500-600 meters from shore. Passed out. On the second day after tsunami, everyone gathered the dead bodies into the mass grave. Neither anyone knows that he's still alive. He was half covered by plastics they used to cover dead bodies. He was about to be thrown into the massive grave when suddenly one of the medical staff from Bulan Sabit Merah felt his pulse. Present! A weak one though. "Hidup lagi! I need help here!", shout the medical staff. All he could remembered was that. That moment. That moment when was able to said, "Thank you Allah.." It was a terrifying moments of his live. He thought that he would be buried alive. Not anymore. Guess Allah did gave him a second chance. Below are some of the pictures shown in the mosque.

After the short visit, we went to the beach nearby the mosque. There, the speciality would be 'jagung bakar' and there's also 'pulut panggang'. This is one of the beach that is damage by the tsunami waves in 2004.

After we enjoyed eating corn, we stop by at the nearest shop on our way back to buy something really important. As you know, this place is called Serambi Makkah, so we actually need to stay in a religious school named owh-its-a-long-winded-one that I couldn't remember. In malay we called that place 'sekolah pondok' or they called it, 'Pasentren'. There's a rule in Acheh that woman are not encourage to wear pants and no one can free hair. And so, we have to find long skirt or they called it, "Rok" or a long shirt down till knee level if you still want to wear pants.

After we bought 2 pairs of Rok for the whole 4 days in Pasentren, we headed to another mosque that survived after tsunami. It's the Baitulrahman. We reach there at dawn when it's time for our Maghrib prayers. It was so beautiful. Subhanallah. The mosque is surrounded by a small mosaic human-made river-like drain with clean water where we could sit and enjoy the water flowing over our foot. It was nice. Kids would play around with the water.

It is not allowed to wear pants in the mosque as some of our friends were caught and got scolded by one of the man inside. Still, no one inform us before about the do's and dont's in Acheh. That's whats' lacking during the trip.

After our prayers, we stopped by at restorant to have our dinner. It is called Ayam Penyet Pak Ulis. We enjoy the foods and the sambal was....very spicy! Yummeh..

We had drinks such as Alpuket. It's a must if you have a vacation in Indonesia. Alpuket is a drink which consist of Avocado + sweeten condensed milk + chocolate syrup. The picture above was another dessert called im-not-sure-of-the-name. It's consist of coconut syrup + jackfruit + jelly + peanuts. It was nice of course. Well, for me who enjoyed eating, I would say every foods and drinks are nice! huhu..