An Unforgettable Journey
I’ve never been one for field trips, let alone field trips that require me to leave the cozy confines of my home to go to some place for the sake of “hanging out” and “living”. So naturally, I wasn’t exactly thrilled when I was informed about a trip to Padang during my second year in Ichthus. I was looking for a stress-free week with little to no schoolwork to bother my otherwise-free time, and the field trip was more or less fate’s way of telling me that my rest was gonna have to wait. For about a week. Yaaaaay. Have I mentioned that I’m not an affable, welcoming kind of person? Yeah, well, if you didn’t know that already, you do know. So yeah… three days of being away from home, spending most of my hours on a bus full of people I (mostly) would like to know but know nothing about? Sounds like the perfect scenario. If you haven’t yet detected the sarcastic tone of my writing here, I feel really, really sorry for you.
But yeah, that was the basic premise of the field trip. Granted, I’m not exactly the best at first impressions, so you might wanna take my opinions with a pinch of salt. Or a tablespoon of it, rather. Little did I know that this field trip would more or less change my life in this school. Now, you might remember me saying earlier that I didn’t have the highest of hopes for this journey, but a part of me told me to go. Granted, I very well could’ve decided not to. Then my parents would’ve forced me to join in for the sake of “socializing and getting a life” anyway, but fortunately we didn’t get to that point before I decided to embark on this peculiar journey with my mates. The papers were signed, and I was officially part of the Padang trip. For better or worse, it was too late to back out now.
I’ll skip over the uneventful bits of the journey (i.e. the airplane trip and the introductory bus ride) and skip straight to when things really started to look up. Now I’m aware that the very action of calling some parts of the trip “uneventful” is probably not a good way to preface my gradually growing fondness of the trip, but I implore you to keep reading on before spontaneously judging me.
First and foremost, the cuisine. One of the dishes the trip-takers (yours truly included, of course) consumed was a delicacy known as Satay Padang, which is basically skewered meat seasoned with a special sauce. If you understand Indonesian well enough, then let's just keep the explanation simple and say that it's basically satay with soto sauce. But the fantastic food wasn't all the trip had to offer. Oh, no sir. This metaphorical rabbit hole descends MUCH deeper than that.
After I got used to the whole "stewing in a bus for extended periods of time" thing, I was completely enraptured by this surprisingly phenomenal journey, and in an unexpected twist, the hotel became the LAST place I desired to be in, which was essentially like my previous field trips, except, you know, vice versa.
Nearing the end of our two-day journey, we had dinner at a resort that just so happened to have an open stage for the night. No one was performing, so a few Ichthus students decided to lighten the mood by bringing a few of their songs to the figurative table. Some of the performances were beautiful and poignant, and some of them were renditions of “All Star” by Smash Mouth. Hey, no offense, All Star Guy,at least you tried. Unlike the dude who's too busy trash-talking about it on the school blog.
By the final bus ride, I was chatting with my acquaintances like there was no tomorrow (which was technically right, considering that this WAS our last day in Padang). Suddenly, my entire attitude dramatically shifted. What had started off as more or less a forced excursion turned into a genuinely enjoyable journey with my copious compatriots, both old and new. By the end of the trip, I had become friends with people I never would've thought about talking to (and am still close friends with up to this day!), explored new horizons that I never would've otherwise discovered had I not participated in the trip, and generally had a good heck of a time. Looking back to that experience and ruefully reminiscing the terrific times I had while I was there, I can say without a doubt that my venture to Padang was truly an unforgettable experience.
Author : Jason Alexander
Date : 3 June 2019
Posted by : Ichthus web admin