If you are German, see the original article written in German: Bring doch den Reis mit, mein Sohn! Man weiß ja nicht, ob es in Deutschland Reis gibt!
Every time I remember this story, I’ll immediately laugh by myself. One of best travel story I have ever heard is told by Putri, not about her, but about her best mate, Joko, with whom she had flown together from Jakarta to Germany.
Joko was 19 years old when he finally had to have his first flight. Since he is the youngest son of the family, his mother was really afraid that something happened with Joko while he was so far away from the family. Fortunately, Putri was there. They both booked the same flight. Actually it was also the first time for Putri that she was flown by plane. Plus the fact that she had to go to Germany, 12,000 km away from Indonesia. Both of them were nervous as well as curious. The purpose of going to Germany for both of them were not only to travel, but doing one year of German language courses.
In mid-July 2013, Putri and Joko were at Jakarta International Airport to check-in. Their families were also there to say goodbye. They have already read that they can only carry a maximum of 30 kg luggage, heavier is not possible. Putri put her suitcase on the scales. Still too much.
“Damn, I’ve already weighed it!” Putri said. She had to give her mother a couple of clothes to make the suitcase lighter then. Fortunately, she had managed to wear 4 t-shirts, 2 sweaters, and 1 winter jacket, so her suitcase was not so heavy. Joko also did this trick.
Then Joko was finally ready to weigh his suitcase.
“His suitcase was really big, I could even fit in.” Putri told us.
The suitcase was too heavy. He had to get the things out to give his mother a few things.
“I was so frightened when he got his thing out!”
“What’s the matter?” I asked.
“You will not believe it!”
“Why? What was in there?”
“A large pack of rice, I guess it was 5 kilos, or so plus twelve plates!
Putri told me and Tobi (my boyfriend) the story. Tobi could not stop laughing. Then he asked, “Only that?”
“Oh, no, not only that! The cutlery was there, of course he did not forget to bring a rice cooker as well, and a thing you really cannot even imagine!”
We were so curious, and waited until she went on to say, “A big plastic bag with toast bread inside!”
“Toast???” I asked.
“What did he think? He thought that there’s no bread in Germany, didn’t he?” Tobi asked.
“But he had to give his mummy’s rice.”
“It was a good decision!” I said.
Putri laughed so long and then she said, “But his mother convinced him to bring the rice, she’d rather take his clothes than the rice!”
“Bring the rice, my son, you don’t know whether there is rice in Germany, please!” Imitated Putri Joko’s mother.
In Indonesia, a child should listen to what the mother says. What the mother says is a commandment and should be obeyed. As his mother said, Joko left his clothes in Indonesia and preferred to bring his packs of rice. He had taken a large plastic bag with toast bread and carried it as a hand bag all along.
When they landed in Germany, it was 40 celcius degrees in Berlin. And they had a few t-shirts, a few sweaters, plus winter jackets on. Can you imagine how hot they felt?
Do you have a funny travel story to tell?
By the way: this story has been approved by Putri. Joko is a fictional name. I’ve actually met him personally in Hamburg, but it was only for a short time, and since then I have neither met him nor keep in touch with him. I heard from Putri that he went back to in Bandung (West Java) to continue his studies at the university after doing a year courses and internship in Germany.