Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

I spent the New Year’s eve in Bintan, Nirwana Garden Resorts in Bintan Resorts, Lagoi, to be exact, and spending the last day of 2011 shuttling (islands hopping, to be exact) between Bintan and Batam. Going through the change of year with mixed feelings, here’s the story.

Towards the end of 2011, I was informed that my brother’s family would be spending New Year’s eve in Bintan Resorts, and that my parents are going with them. And my mother specifically requested me to join them to celebrate the new year there. I then decided to go with my son Irza, while my wife and my daughter Inka are staying in Singapore.

My brother and his family and my parents arrived in Bintan on Friday (30/12). They took a flight from Jakarta to Batam, and then caught the speedboat from Telaga Punggur in Batam to Tanjung Uban in Bintan. There used to be a direct ferry from Telaga Punggur to Bandar Bentan Telani (BBT) ferry terminal in Bintan Resorts, but for some reason, the ferry service was not operational.

I and Irza left Singapore for Bintan on Saturday morning (31/12). We took the 9am ferry from Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal (TMFT) in Singapore, and arrived in Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal at 9am Bintan (WIB) time. This was when the bad news came in.

When we boarded the shuttle bus which would bring us from the ferry terminal to the resort, my brother called. He said that my mother fell off the electric bicycle she was riding, and she fractured her arm. When I and Irza arrived in the Nirwana Resort Hotel where we are staying, we immediately went to the hotel’s clinic to check my mother’s condition.

Going back to the hotel’s clinic reminded me of another unpleasant experience I had couple of years back there. When I was swimming on the sea with the kids, my foot was bitten by some kind of a poisonous fish, and I needed to spend couple of hours in the clinic to get the venom taken off my foot.

While the hotel doctor has tried her best to put a bandage for my mother’s arm, it’s not sufficient. The hotel clinic doesn’t have X-ray equipment, so my mother needs to go to the nearest hospital which has the equipment, as well as the specialized doctor who can further check her condition. Luckily, she has a friend in Batam who can arrange for an orthopaedic doctor to check my mother’s condition in Awal Bros hospital in Batam.

I then accompanied my mother and my father to go to Batam, after leaving Irza in Bintan under my brother’s care. We took a pre-arranged taxi to Tanjung Uban, from where we took a chartered speedboat to Telaga Punggur in Batam. From Telaga Punggur, we took another pre-arranged taxi to go directly to Awal Bros hospital’s emergency department.

rontgenMy mother had her arm being X-rayed and the result was not good. She had three bones fractured on her left arm, and most probably would need to undergo operation. I was prepared to spend the new year in Batam when my father decided that he is bringing my mother back to Jakarta so that she can have better treatment (including operation, if necessary) there.

My parents’ Lion Air tickets to Jakarta was for the next day (1/1)’s flight, and I tried calling Lion Air hotline in Batam in a hope to change the tickets to the current day (31/12), but there was nobody picking up the phone. So we decided to go to Garuda Indonesia office located in i Hotel Batam, located near Nagoya Hill, to purchase new airline tickets to Jakarta so that my parents can fly to Jakarta on the same day.

boats-telaga-punggurSince my parents decide to go back to Jakarta on that day, I then had to go back to Bintan, and I needed to go back fast since the speedboats from Telaga Punggur to Tanjung Uban only operate during daylight. After sending off my parents at Hang Nadim airport in Batam and had a quick (very late) lunch at Singgalang Jaya padang restaurant there, I took a taxi to Telaga Punggur (Rp 65k). Finally I managed to secure a seat on a 4:30pm speedboat to Tanjung Uban (Rp 30k + Rp 7k tax). It was a bumpy ride to Tanjung Uban with choppy waters and a full-house boat with standing passengers.

My brother had arranged for a taxi to pick me up at Tanjung Uban jetty back to Nirwana Gardens, although I needed to wait for around 30 minutes until the taxi arrived. We had a brief stop in a sate Madura stall in front of the At-Taqwa grand mosque in Tanjung Uban, before arriving in Nirwana Resort Hotel, in time for the gala dinner and the new year’s countdown party.

It was one of the great countdown parties ever. Great gala dinner, and we also won one of the lucky prizes. Awesome live band, and great fireworks over the sea off Bintan during the countdown. But still, we celebrated the new year with mixed feelings, since at the same time, my mother arrived in Jakarta and directly checked-in to Fatmawati hospital.

The next day (1/1), I and Irza took the 2:35pm ferry back to Singapore, while uncle Arief , auntie Via, Alif and Kayla went back to Jakarta via Batam using the same route: taxi to Tanjung Uban, speedboat to Telaga Punggur, taxi to Hang Nadim airport and then the Lion Air plane back to Jakarta.

At the moment, my mother is still warded in Fatmawati hospital, and currently is undergoing pre-op examination. She might be undergoing operation on her left arm in 3-4 days.

Mohon doa dari rekan-rekan sekalian untuk kesembuhan beliau.

Happy New Year to everyone!