June 2009. I just finished my one year training in management development program in one of the biggest banks in Indonesia. And then, I got the news that I was assigned in Regional Business Development division in Palembang, South Sumatera. The news was delivered after a feast with my fellows trainees and several managers. So, at least I took the news with full stomach.
This assignment is also bound with a contract of two-year. I cannot leave this company and most likely my assignment in Palembang for at least two years.
Now, as per today, I have been here for 2-year, 8-month, and 28-day. And I’m going to leave this place in the next three days.
Sad? Well, not exactly. Though I cannot say that I love farewell, but leaving this place gives me certain impression. To be honest, I am more moved than sad actually. The reasons? Mostly because I finally finished my lessons in this place and am being given the opportunity to enrich my knowledge and experience someplace else. That’s all. And oh, by the way, I quit.
However, let’s not discuss the reasons why I quit, but let’s just savor what I’ve seen and tasted along my way.
If Indonesians talk about Palembang there are probably two things that will instantly cross their mind, Pempek and Ampera Bridge.
So, let’s talk about food ..
Although I don’t know exactly how pempek (closest pronounced as : pam-pack), but the overall idea is the mixture of minced fish, flour, and several other complimentary ingredients. But the main and the most important ingredient is the fish. If you ask the locals, belida fish is the kind that produced the greatest taste of pempek. And of course, the price will be different. If it’s hard to imagine what it looks like, just think of meatball. More or less it looks like that.
There are various kinds of pempek, from adaan, lenjer, telor, kulit, and some other variants. But, the locals say that no matter how tasty pempek is, if it isn’t completed with the right kind of cuko, it will be less satisfying. Now, cuko is like dipping sauce to pempek, but it’s more liquid rather than thick.
It’s like an obligation if you ever visit Palembang, to taste pempek. But, I don’t think anyone will ever have the slightest chance of missing it because pempek stand is ubiquitous.
Other specialties of Palembang are tekwan and model. Both have the same main ingredients, but served a bit different. If pempek is usually served with cuko, then tekwan and model are served with soup with essence from crabs.
I think I’m gonna miss those food because it’s certainly difficult to find such other than in places such Palembang.
Well, actually there are more food to celebrate here in this city. But I wasn’t always prepared to snap some pictures of them. However, my sense of taste will savor the moment the food was inside my mouth.
Au revoir Palembang! Merci pour tous que vous m’ayez donné!