Entjik Mohamad Apan, I’m an island boy!
Posted August 18, 2009on:
His name was Entjik Mohamad Apan. He is my great great grandfather. Of course I never met him. But I have heard a lot of stories about him from my grandmother. Everybody in my maternal grandmother’s family is so proud of him. He was the first “Bupati” in Tanjung Pinang, a small city island in the province of Kepulauan Riau.
My grandmother always reminds me that I’m an island boy (anak pulau). She says it’s in my blood. I’ve never been to Kepulauan Riau or Tanjung Pinang, but once lived in Dumai, Riau, for a year when I was a kid. Now the voice within me tells me I shoud come home.
My Uncle Wanda has been in Batam for several years now and he keeps telling me to visit him. By the way, Batam is just an hour away or so from Tanjung Pinang by boat (I think so). As an island boy, my Uncle grew up in a small city Malang, Jawa Timur, along with my mother and his two brothers. They speak Javanese so well just like any other Wong Malang. But I think it was his destiny to come home to where he really belongs. After so many years trying to find the right woman, somehow his love landed to a woman from Tanjung Pinang and got married three years ago.
Sometimes I wonder if what my grandmother tells me is right. Am I really an island boy? During my short visit to Bali more than a month ago, I realized how much I enjoyed being in the beach and feeling the heat of the sun. Everything else just felt so right too. One word to describe it: Free.
I can’t wait to have my so-called comeback. The food is also a big factor why I want to go to Tanjung Pinang. People have been telling me how tasty Tanjung Pinag’s food is. And it’s all about sea food. There’s this unique creature they love to eat called Gonggong. I can picture myself sitting by the beach on a cheap-plastic chair while enjoying Tanjung Pinang’s famous dishes. I can picture myself being so free and peaceful.
The more I think the more I know I have to come home. I have to go to where it all started. I have to go to the place where my soul belongs to. A place called Tanjung Pinang where hundreds of small islands are united by the spirit of people like Entjik Mohamad Apan.