There is this cafeteria inside my institution territory that we, cadets, always visit everyday. It doesn't have a name, so we named it after its' division area: Kespen. Kespen stands for Keselamatan Penerbangan, or Aviation Safety Division, which is one of four main majors in Sekolah Tinggi Penerbangan Indonesia (STPI). Kantin Kespen, or Kespen Cafeteria, is located in the old Kespen area -adjacent to where my division is, the Pilot Division. We, pilot cadets, are easily hungry, and the only budget-friendly dining place is Kantin Kespen. So, don't be surprised if we keep coming back to this particular cafeteria within two to three hours span in just a day.
|The atmosphere at Kantin Kespen|
At Kantin Kespen, you can find pretty much everything to fill your empty stomach with. Sure, you might not find anything fancy here, but every food and drinks that are sold here are both budget-friendly and stomach-filling. What more can a cadet with Rp10.000,00 in his pocket possibly ask, right?
The first thing that you will find here is a buffet of dishes that you can have for your meal. You can have your warm fluffy rice with any dishes that you like - either it be vegetables or beef, seafood or eggs, fried chicken or grilled eggplants, you name it. My kind of meal would me a plate of Rp2000,00 worth of white rice, accompanied with a scoop of marinated mussels, a spoonful of stir-fried baby squid, fried tempe marinated in sweet soy sauce, and a piece of tempe fritter - and it goes pretty damn well with a glass of cold and thirst-quenching american-orange-flavored Nutrisari.
|Your selection of dishes to go with your rice|
|Sometimes, the cafeteria serves fried rice instead of plain white rice|
|When my favorite dishes were sold out, I usually go with other dishes to sought for solace|
If you don't feel like having a meal, you can browse through the snack section to ease your craving. On the table, you will find lots of snacks, such as candies, biscuits, and crisps, and a couple tray of fritters. Most snacks are worth a thousand rupiah, but there are some which are half price less. Whenever I come to Kantin Kespen with a full stomach, yet have the urge to nibble on something, I usually go with the fritter. My favorite would be the banana fritter and sweet-potato fritter, but sometimes I like to have me a plate of sambal and sweet soy sauce covered tempe fritter. Pure awesomeness.
|A table full of snack|
|One of the worker at Kantin Kespen who take over the frying section|
|In the midst of making deep-fried tempe|
|A plate of fried tempe glazed with sweet soy sauce and sambal|
When you're not in the mood to eat anything and just looking for something to quench your thirst, you can always go to the so-called "bar" and order yourself a drink. It's not like those bars that you usually find at pubs and night clubs, but it is how it is, and it's got a bartender who make us drinks as well. The drinks that they served here are at Kantin Kespen are mostly instant and in sachets, such as instant cappuccino, condensed milk, fruit-flavored drinks (which is known as Kool-Ais in America), and oat milk drinks named Energen. If you prefer to have canned drinks and bottled drinks, you can always head to the fridge and chose the drink you like. But, you can always grab yourself a glass of water if you're not in the mood for something with flavor though, not to mention it's free of charge.
The rush hour in the cafeteria is usually in the morning, between 7 to 9 AM, followed by an hour after mid day, and during tea-time. Usually, during tea-time, there will be food vendors parking their carts to sell their food products. The regulars are rujak vendor, es podeng vendor, and bakso vendor - and when those three vendors come, I will definitely spend some more rupiah to ease the crave.
|What kind of drink will you have today?|
|In the middle of mixing a drink|
|The sight of Kantin Kespen during rush hour|
|Breakfast has never been this good at STPI|