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When I Think of Bromo, I Think of an Otoped

To say that Bromo is beautiful would be an understatement. One could spend all day roaming around its savanna, trying to catch what the sands are whispering in its desert, or watching the caldera changes as the clouds ascend and descend. Yet, what I remembered the most was how Bromo reminded me of why I keep traveling: the sky. Being a Jakartan, I am so used to gray smoggy sky that I have forgotten to look up. In Bromo, my neck hurt from looking up all day to see how vivid the sky really is. It could be so golden in the morning, achingly blue at noon, a mellow hue of orange-lavender at sunset, and a sparkly jet black at night. In fact, my favorite memory in Bromo was one left uncaptured, under the sparkly jet black sky.

The Dusty Sneakers - Bromo

It was a little after midnight, when most of our travel companions chose to curl up in our homestay, while Twosocks found a World Cup viewing party in a security guard post a few minutes away. Najib and I had too much adrenaline from the day and too little interest in soccer, so we made ourselves comfortable on the sidewalk of an unlit bridge and looked up.

What I saw was a majestic theatre of stars, complete with shooting stars gracing the sky every few minutes, but what I managed to ineloquently blurt out was only, “Whoa, this reminds me of the Taiwanese TV series, Meteor Garden.”

I could tell that Najib wanted to laugh, but bless his heart, he didn’t. Instead, we talked about how metaphors for such a starry night never seemed to be quite adequate. Incubus, for instance, came up with “the sky resembles as backlit canopy, with holes punched in it” in their song ‘Wish You Were Here’. We then talked about how people made up the constellation centuries ago, and that we should gave it a try ourselves.

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The Dusty Sneakers I Bromo

The Dusty Sneakers I Bromo

I squinted hard. “A unicorn,” I said.

“A boar,” I said again, a few minutes later.

Najib stayed quiet for a while, but then he said, “You know, I only see inanimate objects.”

“Like what?”

“Like an otoped.”

I am ashamed to say that my heart wasn’t as blessed as his, for I immediately burst into laughter. I haven’t finished laughing when he continued, “And a book.”

Najib started laughing too, and since his laugh is one of the most contagious I know, I laughed so hard I forgot to make my wish when more shooting stars flew by. The only thing I could think about, amidst our giggles, was how I long for the day I could see an otoped and a book in the Jakartan night sky.

The Dusty Sneakers I Bromo

July 2014,



  1. waah. nice post 🙂
    jadi ikut bayangin indahnya malam itu di bromo.
    oh. ya. salam kenal dari Sidoarjo.
    baru follow blog ini dan langsung jatuh cinta 🙂
    I wish someday I’ll find my perfect travelmate, like you found your Twosocks, Gypsytoes!

    • Halo Nadhira, salam kenal juga! Kami belum pernah ke Sidoarjo, semoga suatu hari bersua di sana. On travel mates, I do feel lucky that Twosocks and I have found one another, but there are always different kinds of perfect when it comes to traveling, no? There is the traveling-done-with-best-girl-friend kind of perfect, traveling-with-your-childhood-friend kind of perfect, the meeting-strangers-turned-friend kind… May you always find the “perfect” travel mate for every kind of traveling! 🙂

      • Ah. Iyaaa. Emm di sidoarjo serunya wisata kuliner atau wisata lumpur sih kak. Hehe
        On travel mates, friends sometimes are flaky, travelling alone sometimes is uncomfortable, and strangers are strange. Hahaha. Gak semua bisa dpt travel mate yg perfect. Tapi, kesempurnaan hanya milik Allah semata dan kekurangan adalah milik saya.. *nah knp jadi Bunda Dorce*
        Enjoy world cup final, Gypsytoes!

    • I am no mountain climber like Twosocks, but Bromo offers the beauty of mountains without all the pain of hiking. You can even take a day trip from Malang. Sold yet? 😉

  2. Rifqy Faiza Rahman

    Ah, Bromo. Bersama Tengger dan Gunung Semeru, saya merasakan ikatan yang sangat kuat seperti cinta dengan tanah-tanahnya, raut wajah pribuminya, dan lekukan alamnya. Saya percaya setiap orang yang berkesempatan singgah di Bromo akan memiliki warna cerita dan sudut pandang yang berbeda, seperti penuturan yang Anda tulis di artikel ini 🙂

    Maaf jika saya meninggalkan komentar dalam bahasa Indonesia, salam takzim dan respek dari anak Pacitan, kiranya njenengan juga sudi singgah dan memberikan kritik-saran bagi tulisan saya karena saya pun belajar dari Anda juga 🙂

    • Halo Mas Rifqy, terima kasih sudah singgah dan berkomentar. Saya selalu suka membaca Bahasa Indonesia yang baik, mungkin karena saya sendiri kurang piawai, dan komentar Mas Rifqy apik dibaca. Pasti kami akan sering singgah di blog Anda! 🙂

          • Rifqy Faiza Rahman

            Naaah, saya sempat mikir begitu, berarti saya tertipu 😀
            Lain kali dikasih caption belakangnya kak, yang komenntar itu kakang mas atau mbakyu :3

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