I was more than pleased to meet all of them.
Sunday. December 20, 2015.
I got a call from my dad informing me about Paman Arul‘s one-week trip to Malang next weekend. The visit’s main purpose was to introduce Amin, Paman Arul’s oldest son, to the life of Banjarmasin students in Malang. I was pretty excited. I began to write an itinerary since I got a whole bunch of interesting places I wanted to show them. I was determined to make their time here the most joyful and educational one.
Sunday. December 27, 2015.
My phone rang as I re-read my well-written itinerary which mainly consisted of famous universities in Malang. It was from Paman Arul. His plane had just landed at Juanda airport. I was to expect him to arrive in Malang in about 2 hours or so. Despite the anticipation I had, I was quite concerned about his lodging expense. Paman Arul said that he would be staying at a hotel which, obviously, was a lot more expensive than renting a guest house. If only he asked me, I could find him an inexpensive and cozy lodging house around my campus complex.
Monday. December 28, 2015.
Paman Arul asked me to meet him at Alun-Alun Kota Batu which I gladly complied. I slightly startled when I found out that he brought a lot bigger party than I initially predicted. Rahmat, Ihsan, Soleha, Acil Erna, Kaka Yuli, Nenek, and Tata also took part on this full-week trip. Don’t get me wrong, I was more than pleased to meet all of them. However, I was afraid the course of this trip might be heavily altered and it wouldn’t be about Amin finding out why Malang was famous as Kota Pendidikan.
Tuesday. December 29, 2015.
Paman Arul’s phone was still unreachable. I had been trying to contact him for an hour and no response was made. I, then, took an initiative to pay the party a visit to discuss our itinerary over the course of their remaining holiday. Unfortunately, They had already left when I got there. Later in the day, I found out that they went to Jatim Park. Paman Arul apologized for not being able to notify me beforehand.
Wednesday. December 30, 2015.
I had to turn down Paman Arul’s request to take Amin on a sightseeing around Malang. I had an appointment with my thesis adviser and couldn’t possibly cancel such an important meeting. Much to my relief, Paman Arul understood the choice I had to make and decided to take Amin himself.
Thursday. December 31, 2015.
New year was just around the corner. This was the last chance for Amin to have a look around campuses in Malang. Inspite of the pressing matter at hand, I couldn’t seem to reach Paman Arul’s cell again. I felt so obligated to have Amin witnessed the joy of being a college student since my dad told me to do so. However, I, once more, had to suffer from another disappointment as the whole party has left the lodging house for Balekambang beach without giving me any kind of advance notice whatsoever.
Friday. January 1, 2016.
I finally met up with Paman Arul and his family. Even though I was very eager to take Amin on a ride around my campus this time, my good intention had to be buried deep down since every access to campus building complex was closed due to new year holiday season. The closest thing I got to showing off the grandeur of Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang to Amin and his siblings was a mere profile video. I believed it was less than enough, but it was certainly better than none at all.
Saturday. January 2, 2016.
I spent a night with the whole party. It was a really pleasing experience. I laughed so much at how funny Soleha was when she told her parents she wanted to take modelling career when she grew up. It made me feel so much homey. In the afternoon, everyone seemed so enthusiastic as Paman Arul drove his rented car to Wendit Water Park. I personally had never visited Wendit before, this was my first and I was glad that I went along with them. We rode on a water bike, challenged ourselves on a very big waterslide, and swam around like we owned the whole pool. We were definitely having a great time!
Sunday. January 3, 2016.
Paman Arul and his whole group of good people were leaving for Banjarmasin. Well, the trip was not exactly as I hoped it would be. But, we still got to enjoy ourselves to the fullest in the past 7 days. Even though Amin never got the chance to have a closer look at Malang universities, I was assured that he already had the idea of how fascinating Malang was. I really look forward to their next visit. That is, if I still live in Malang.