Visiting Lumajang: Rewinding Memories


It’s like rewinding my childhood memories when I visited Lumajang for a week, 8-14 August 2010. A stretch of street I walked up to schol, my ex-house, elementary school, junior and high school, city square, and several favorite shops and street vendors that amazingly still exist.

Then a small reunion with my old-time mountain climber friends*. Shared stories about what they are doing now to make the ends meet: one owns a mobile phone repair and retail shop, one owns chicken farms, and one works for regency govermental office. They seems enjoying life in this small and peaceful town.

*During high school, I and my friends established a nature lover and mountain climbing group. As a group, with limited financial ability as high school students, we had climbed Semeru (the highest mount in Java) 3 times, Lamongan mountain 2 times, Argopuro mountain, Raung mountain, Arjuna and Welirang mount, Batok mount, each one time, all in East Java,  during high  school holiday. A week before I went to Lumajang,  I found a stack of my mountain climbing photo albums in Bandung. What nice memories they are.

The remaining days were to enjoy the first 3 days of Ramadhan in different atmosphere than in Qatar. Enjoying only-in-Ramadhan food, performing tarawih (Ramadan night prayer)  in nearby mosque, listening to a blasting sound of firecrackers, and sahoor wake-up call performed by village children.

One other important activity was photography hunting of variety of objects. Paddy fields with Semeru mount on the background, tree-lined streets, a quiet village street, or golden sunrays touching sugar cane leaves.

Mount Semeru (the highest mount in Java) and paddy field near my parent's house

Lumajang is a regency in East Java Province of Indonesia, located 145km SSE from Surabaya the capital. It took me 3-4 hours by bus to Lumajang from Surabaya owing to heavy traffic-ladden small provincial road. Lumajang is well-known for its pisang agung  (big banana), jackfruit, sugar cane farms and factory (inherited from the Dutch), tea farms, the largest Pura outside Bali, and its Semeru – the highest mount in Java – national park.