It all started with my Dad telling me that he was going home on the 23rd of September. "You must not tell Mom, because it's a surprise," he said. I still don't get it why he threw a surprise for my Mom, when the one that should be surprised is himself. In the evening, 24th September Eve, Dad called me saying that he almost arrived at home. "I'm bringing the whole crew with me. Just tell Mom that you're gonna have friends coming over," he whispered. Again, I still don't get it why he whispered, when I should be the one who's whispering. I went to a warung (a small grocery shop) to buy some beers because my Dad told me to. Of course, I lied to my Mom, saying that I wanted to buy ice cream.
The clock showed that it was six in the evening. Three cabs arrived at my residence. Out of them, came out foreigners with fancy casual clothes. My Dad and I were very eager to surprise Mom. "Now, go get inside the house with the crew," said Dad. So, I did. Mom was having some companies, my dog's trainers to be exact, and they were all chatting in the living room. They had to pause when I exclaimed, "Mom, my friends have arrived!" The look on their faces was priceless as they saw grown-up foreigners popping out from the front door. My Mom got a "What even..." stamped on her face.
But then, my Dad popped out out of nowhere. My Mom was very surprised and we all cheered for reason that escaped me. Since we didn't have any food at that moment, the crew are welcomed to leisure at the backyard, with bottles of beer and packs of snacks that I got from my working place. Soon, my Dad's friends showed up one by one, and they brought food, which was a good thing because I'm pretty sure that the guests were all famished.
Tante Risni, the wife of my Dad's roommate in Doha, Qatar, came with ehr children. She brought boxes of traditional snacks, which were Martabak and Bolu. Martabak, you see, are deep-fried thin egg filled with meat, veggies, and some more eggs, while Bolu are cake. Later on, Oom Uda (Oom means uncle, but it doesn't have to be blood-related) and Tante Merry (Tante means aunty) came with their children. They brought big pots and dinning utensils, and the next thing you know, the table was decorated with food.
|Preparing the Eco-friendly plates|
|Put this here and put that there|
|A bowl of mixed lungs, meat, and crispy skins|
|A plate of Martabak|
|The broth for Soto Padang|
|Various dishes, awesomely cooked by Tante Merry|
Tante Merry cooked us wonderful dishes! There were Soto Padang, Rendang, Sambal Goreng, and many more. The dishes were spicy to my liking, but they were all awesomely delicious because Tante Merry is a great cook. I love her Soto Padang very much I even got myself a second serving. Soto is actually broth with mixed foodstuff in it. It's technically a soup, but soup and broth with foodstuff are two different things here in Indonesia. In Soto Padang, you can find crispy skin, meat, lungs, rice noodles, crackers, peanuts, and bean sprout in it. It is very delicious, a must-try for those who are not familiar with it.
The guests were very happy to be able to try Indonesian cuisine as they were all foreigners, even thouse some couldn't handle the spicy dishes. I was very enthusiast to explain what is what and what to eat with what to them, it made me feel like some kind of a food expert.
|Would you believe if I said that those people in the middle of the photograph are my friends?|
|Time to have some munchies|
The crew had to leave early because they were very tired from a 9-hour-flight. I thought the party was over, but then my Dad's friends started to show up head by head. The house was crowded again and it was time to put some ice cubs into shot glasses. I had a medical check up appointment on the following day, so I had to force myself not to grab a glass of my own to be filled with Glenfiddich.
A friend of mine named Memes, who is the daughter of my Dad's best bud whom I call Romo, also came to visit. We didn't join the adults drinking and munching on peanuts, instead we devoured half a watermelon by ourselves.. with a spoon! It had been my long-life dream to eat a watermelon with a spoon, and I finally did it! Scooping watermelon is a lot more fun than clinking shot glasses.
The clock finally stroke twelve. Memes and I took out a box of red Velvet cake from the fridge and decorated it with pink and red candles. We brought the cake to the center of the living room and started singing Happy Birthday, followed with the others merrily and joyfully. My Dad gave a short speech before blowing the candle, thanking everyone for their presence at that moment and praying for each on of us. Then, he blew the candle and cut the cakes into pieces. I got my share and, I have to admit, although Red Velvet cake is getting too mainstream and boring, this particular birthday cake is delicious and very enjoyable.
|"Pakde" here share the same position with "Oom", both means "Uncle"|
|What are cakes without a shot of Dalmore?|
|Are you ready to blow the candles?|
Mom and I got my Dad a birthday present and he was over excited when he found out what it was.. a box of GoPro. He went full Joker, I could see the corner of his lips touched his ears. My Dad was overwhelmed, making my Mom and I happy as well. It was a wonderful birthday party!