In the year 2010 my father was posted in Indonesia and we joined him there in October. We stayed in Jakarta, a magnificent developed city, and visited all the tourist attractions. The most well-known were Safari Park and Kota Bunga (City of flowers), both a day's journey away. One weekend we planned to visit these two places.
It was a blissful morning with bright sun. My excitement had reached its top most level, wondering what the trip would be like. My mother was busy preparing the food and my dad was gone with our driver to get the car serviced. My duty was to look after the electronic devices such as camera, iPod, video camera etc.
We left the house exactly at 7:30am. My father started conversing with the driver in Indonesian, he knew how to speak fluent Indonesian, and my mother was busy taking care of my handicapped sister. Suddenly, I heard a popping sound and looked out the window to see where on earth it came from! I was astonished to see huge bubbles near our car – the bubbles were refracting sunshine creating a rainbow, it was a stunning scene. For a very moment I thought that I was dreaming and this bubble would take me far away to the land of peace where there were no wars, no fights and no pollution. However, the driver pressed the brakes suddenly and brought me back to reality. My mother drew my attention towards a man blowing bubbles with the help of a giant stick. I admired his talent.
As we drove higher there was a change in the weather and it soon started to rain. I opened the car window and felt the cool air on my face. The air was a mixture of different aromas but unexpectedly it smelled more like tea than anything else. I was flabbergasted as to where the fragrance was coming from.
Oh! I exclaimed. We were passing by tea gardens, indeed an eye-catching view. I was getting impatient so I turned and asked my father how far was it. He answered with a smile, "I present to you the Taman Safari. I beamed with joy and looked around. Huge iron gates were padlocked, keeping the dangerous and wild animals at bay. A warning board with bold letters on it declared that we had entered the area of lions, cheetahs and other dangerous animals. The first thing I saw was a magnificent and exquisite lion. Then we passed a black jaguar sitting on a tree; he glanced at us and was staring right into my eyes. It seemed like he had been waiting for this very moment and wanted to jump right at us. His stare gave me a chill. As we went out, the gigantic iron gates closed behind us and we entered the safer zone of antelopes, giraffes, pelicans, deers and elephants.
I wanted to feed the animals so I held out a carrot and an elephant took it from my hand. Feeling his breath so close made me panic and I screamed. At this point the trainer intervened and controlled the elephant. Though my family laughed, I was in shock at that time but later looked back on the incident with mirth.
The last stop on the safari was the area of the monkeys and there were a lot of different species there including the orangutans, chimpanzees, baboons, gorillas etc.
Our next stop was Kota Bunga, the city of flowers. It is an attractive sight with hundreds of species of flowers; each garden was devoted to a specific species. We roamed around the gardens, saw hundreds of plants and flowers, had our lunch and took pictures.
It was late in the evening when we started back and we were all exhausted. We took the countryside road and passed many villages with lush green fields. It was a memorable trip that will be cherished for years to come.