Taplau Now

Minggu, 22 Maret 2015
“l want langkitang!” I shouted to Jo as she turned her motorcycle to Samudra Street. We drove pass through some other motorcycle with a couple on it. The wind was strong and filled with the smell of ocean. The street was not really crowded for Saturday night, that’s maybe because the eastern part of Padang city was poured with light rain at the beginning of the evening and prevent people to go out. We passed through the bridge. At the point with the bright streetlight, we stopped and parked the motorcycle. There were a lot of vendor who sells night snack like pensi, langkitang, jaguang baka, and karupuak kuah. They set big umbrella and chair on the sand for people to sit and enjoy the beach. A lady welcomed us. I then really ordered a serving of langkitang, fresh water snail cooked in coconut milk soup. My friend Jo ordered pensi, fresh water little clams. It’s somehow ironic that we eat fresh water food at the beach. but liked I said, the place need to serve affordable food, and even though this is practically the sea, seafood is not cheap here. Langkitang and Pensi can be easily found in stream and lake and it make them way cheaper than anything caught on boat.

That area is called Muaro Lasak, a new hang out spot with new concept in the coastal area of Padang city. Most of the people who visit that place are family and young college students who seek for a place where they can sit for a long time and buy affordable food. Time will fly fast when you sit together with friends while enjoying the sound of ocean wave and stars above your head. The light from the fishermen boat beautified the dark horizon. 

Muaro Lasak is the part of Pantai Padang which directly faces the Indian Ocean. The place is beautiful and a perfect to see the sunset. It’s easy to reach because the beach is located near the downtown. This area is already become the important tourism spot for Padang city for decades. But before 2015, the place has somehow bad image for the people and citizens of Padang City because it is also famous for it’s “tenda ceper”. These tenda cepers are a set of two chairs and an umbrella beach which is set very low and cover whoever sit under it. Teenage couples with young blood often secretly make out here and it angers the local people. Padang citizens are Muslim people who uphold their religion seriously and doing immoral actions on their area obviously upset them. 

After tenda ceper are gone, the beach is filled with snack vendors. Since the beginning of 2015, The  government of Padang city finally successful to abolish tenda ceper and create a better tourism spot which can attract more people. the vendors there were mostly local people who live in the area near the beach. most of them sell snacks. They occupy the place for free because that’s their place, their own village. The distribution of area for their stands between them are just based on communal agreement and the feeling of family and togetherness, there is no clear border between one’s stand to other people’s stand. There is still some people who get larger portion because they are brave, having big influence in society. There are also some people who come from other place and open cafĂ© which take bigger place than the vendors, but they have to pay for the place they occupy to local people. 

The lady who own the stand where we enjoy langkitang and pensi talk a lot. Before they open the stand on the beach, previously they sell the snack on the Purus Bridge which take the part of the traffic. As the government of Padang city abolish tenda ceper, they also manage the vendors so they stop using the street and make traffic jam and unpleasant view along the Samudra Street. I personally like it this way. But the lady said that their income decrease since they have to move to the beach, the people have to specially stop and park their cars or motorcycles to buy snack. When they sell snack on street, the people can just stop by and they don’t have to gout out of their car to buy langkitang or pensi. The people who buy snack are mostly travelers from out of tone who are on their way to go back home. They usually buy more than people who sit on the vendors’ chair and enjoy the view. 

The night grew older. The sound of wave is relaxing and soft. The place is getting emptier and there are only some people who still sit on their chairs. They vendors are going to close their stand soon, packing their unsold food, turning off their lamp, and head home. They will be back tomorrow after Ashar and create another dynamic day in the beach of Padang. 

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Seminggu

Sabtu, 21 Maret 2015


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                                                                                                                                27 Oktober 2014