… continued from Part 1. Link HERE
After we milked the cow, we went home and played some cards again. Playing some cards is very fun. We had lunch, and as usual most of us ate loads of rice. After that, we went downhill back to where we arrived. We went on board an angkot, and went to a faaar away place called Pasar Parongpong. Each of us got split in teams according to our tasks before the trip (I got paired up with Adam). We had to interview the same topic as our tasks also.
Me and Adam got the task for anything made out of soy (tofu, tempe, etc.). I prepared the questions, and Adam is going to do all the talking. We searched the market for a tofu seller, and found an old seller. We asked the questions, and turns out he bought them, instead of making them! We tried another seller, but turns out he bought his products too. Then, he told us that everybody in the market bought their tempe and tofu as well!
Well, the results were that we had to prepare NEW questions, with different and complicated pathways and it’s like a “choose your own story” book. We asked some questions, and had the results:
His name is Pak Haji Asep, he sells lots of stuff, ranging from veggies to MSG products. He buys his tofu and tempe and he got them from Ciroyom market. He says that there are no tofu factories in Lembang and if there was, it’s copying the ones from Ciroyom (who says?!). The tofu seller that he brought from was on the side of the market, on the streets. He always buys from the same seller. He has been selling in Parongpong market for 15 years now.
I wrote all that with short words, and then extended them again when we wrote the results. Then we went home by angkot, having to go uphill AGAIN (urgh). We went home, and some people played weird sounds with the piano, and I was left reading Lucky Luke and Kung Fu Boy on the shelf.
Not long after, we had to go again, to the tofu factory. When we were going out of the house, someone pointed out that there were caterpillars on the tree, and I made a sound similar to this: EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!
Oh, and did I mention that there were dragon caterpillars on that tree in summer? Try to search up “dragon caterpillars” on Google and you’ll be screaming for your life. Luckily it was rainy season, and the only caterpillars available at that time were the fluffy ones. Still very terrifying though.
We went through gardens and extremely small roads to reach this tofu factory. By the time we arrived, they were doing some serious work. I did some looking, and here is how tofu is made.
First off, they clean the soy beans and submerge them in a square container, and then they go through a grinding machine so the soy beans look nice and mashed. Then they go under a boiling process, which I think is the coolest because the fire is inside some kind of hole and any fire outside or at the side of the hole is sucked into the hole, making some kind of fire waterfall with a valley of fire under it. It was awesome.
Next, they put some kind of cloth (I’m pretty sure it was cheesecloth) on the inside of a wooden container and put the boiled mashed soybeans inside. Then, it is covered by a lid that presses the mashed soybeans and it’ll be left for a while. After waiting, the whole container is flipped upside-down, and the container is lifted, leaving the now semi-solid tofu on top of the lid.
It is then cut into small cubes. And there’s also this process of making the outer skin of the tofu yellow with turmeric, but I didn’t see that process because I was busy writing the making of a tofu on my logbook. Then, it is sold. You can eat it raw, just saying.
When we were done, we discovered a small old and rickety wagon that has handles like a motorbike on the front end so we pretended to ride a racing motorbike with it. To make it work, someone had to sit on top of the wagon (it had no walls covering the sides) while grabbing the “motorbike handles”, and someone pushes them from the back with the actual wagon handle. It was jolly good fun, and sometimes we crashed into the sewer system beside the tofu factory.
I also tasted a bit of the raw tofu that hasn’t been cured in turmeric, and it got me all feeling sick after. When we went back from the tofu factory, we tasted some kind of food called “seblak”. It was fine, 50/50 taste. Husayn and Alevko enjoyed it very much.
We went home, took a bath and read more comics, played more weird sounds on the piano, and played the most overused and excessive card game.
Then, nightmare happened. We were going to do an activity, and we were split in teams. There was a group who makes yogurt, a group that made condensed milk and a group that had to pluck off feathers from a dead chicken. Me and Aza were included in the condensed milk-making, but we thought it was too girly and moved to plucking off a chicken’s feathers instead, with Raka and Tata.
We thought it was going to be fun, but it a gross rollercoaster of feathers. First, we had to grab the dead chicken by the feet and dip it headfirst into a bucket of hot water to make everything easier. The downside was that it stinks like heck when we dipped it in the hot water, because some steam escaped and it carried the smell of raw chicken with it.
I was glad that the wind didn’t face me when the steam was in the air, but it was a different story for Raka. The wind always faced against him and the steam kept flying into his face, making the whole process a nightmare to him. When we were done dipping the chicken, we had to drop it into another bucket to pluck the chicken’s feathers. The chicken still had steam coming off it, and this time the steam flew to Aza. Then it flew to me. The smell was horrendous. Can you imagine the smell of a boiling-hot raw chicken?
When we began plucking off the chicken’s feathers, I was in charge of the wings. Tata pulled a feather, which turned out to connect to the head. It lifted the head up and Tata was surprised and dropped the head back into the bucket.
Each one of us was majorly grossed out and left except for Aza, leaving him to do pluck the feathers near the chicken’s bum. Tata and Raka changed their work to pulling cassava in the garden, and I changed back my work to making condensed milk.
Most of us saw Aza poking the chicken’s bum because there was poop that was just sticking there. Eeeeew. After he got rid of the poop, he began to poke the chicken’s bum for no explained reason, ask him if you will.
When we had dinner, there was a selection of food, including uncooked tofu. Someone asked me if I wanted to eat the raw tofu, but after my experience of eating uncooked tofu, no way. When we went to sleep, the corner of the room that all of us slept in turned MUCH darker and creepier. I hid in my sleeping bag until morning, no joke.
The next day, we took a bath and tidied up all out stuff, because it was time to travel to Bandung. We went by angkot to a place and took off by bus all the way to Bandung. After we dropped out, we walked to a place where there were lots of food sellers on the side of the street. We bought some snacks, and I bought some cakwe, a fried food that other people claim to be savoury, but I claim to be a dessert.
Then Kak Aryanti took out some toothpicks covered in grated turmeric for testing if any of the street food has unhealthy content like formalin. If it has unhealthy content it will change color (purplish, I think). Luckily none of our food had unhealthy content.
After we’re done eating, we walked through very, very busy roads with very old and rusty buildings to go to a place called “alun-alun” (pronounced ah-loon-ah-loon). Some of us bought a food called peyeum made out of cassava, but me and Alevko didn’t eat it because it smelled horrid.
Then, we arrived at alun-alun, beside a mosque. Aza bought a rubber ball and we played soccer. After we played soccer, we had sholat and walked again, this time heading for a very famous street called Braga. It has old buildings and lots of food shops.
It also had discos which is just eugh. We visited a restaurant that has loads of ice cream options, and I chose Oreo, just like the most of us did. After I finished, I realized I forgot to check for a halal sign, and I majorly freaked out. But Kak Alam told me there was a halal sign on the front. Phew.
After that, we went to the Bandung train station with Angkot. We printed out our tickets and took off in the train for 4 hours.
We played card again in the train. Man, is this trip ALL about cards?!
4 hours later, we arrived at Gambir station in Jakarta. We took photos (am unhappy) and went home. I forgot to eat dinner on the train so I ordered McDonalds. After I got home, I told my mum about the trip.
I had a good time 😀