S: "Shall we execute our plan?"
T: "By bike or angkot?"
S: "Up to you"
T: ... (considering)
T: (braving up) "Let's take our bikes"
Our first target was Omuniuum, a bookshop across Parahyangan University. We've read some publications about this place but have never actually been there. Leaving Kanayakan, we went through Dago Asri housing complex, out at the intersection of Cisitu (Sangkuriang?) and Siliwangi. We had to go against the traffic for a couple of meters, then slided down Siliwangi street until the bridge. The route has been downhill so far. After the bridge started the ascending road.
Syb could handle the climb easily. Me, I had only my will to stay on the bike. None of us knew the place, so we stopped at a wrong spot - a Circle K - just underneath the aimed address. That's where I had the chance to collapse a bit, before continuing our journey. When we finally got to the place and locked our bikes together, we could feel ourselves sweating like a dog. No, dogs don't sweat; they pant. Anyway, our sweat didn't stop running until another half hour, at least. But let's not talk about perspiration.
The shop was weirdly hidden. There's no sign whatsoever; I had to ask a person at the parking space about the entrance. We had to enter a small, dingy restaurant to reach a staircase that goes directly to Omuniuum. Getting in, I had to rest again on a couch, facing the street. Until Syb called out from behind, "It's all comics here!" (that was enough to get me springing up towards the designated shelf).
The shop isn't too big and choices are limited. Of course, we shouldn't compare it to our favorite second hand English bookshop in Amsterdam: Book Exchange. However, I found interesting books of my childhood: The Famous Five (even the half-comics version), Malory Towers, and a lot more Blyton series, Nina, Tintin, Johan & Pirlouit and many more old (Belgian and European) comics published by Misurind, and novels from my teenage days by Bung Smas. At the end of our visit, our grazing throughout the small shop resulted in:
Confessions of Felix Krull (15K)
Lateral Thinking (35K)
Mangan Ora Mangan Kumpul (35K)
Panji Koming (35K)
Joe Sacco's Palestina (20K)
Tao Te Ching (20K)
The Saying of Confucius (15K)
Crime and Punishment (35K)
It started to drizzle, but no problem - our next target was nearby: Reading Lights, at the upper corner of Siliwangi Street. We only had to go downhill and turn left after the traffic light. No sweat. This place provides more seats and offers drinks and snacks, as well. They seem to have less options of books (compared to Omuniuum) but it's a pleasant place nonetheless. We browsed and picked our books and sat at a table facing the huge window, watching the rain showering the street. It's obvious that we were tempted to try their café service.
On to the menu: hot/iced coffee, hot/iced coffee, snacks, light meals, specialties. Guess what: they have Neil Gaiman Coffee(!). I almost ordered that one, but I didn't, because:
(1) It is an iced coffee, while I preferred a hot drink at that moment.
(2) The mix includes peanut butter, which is not exactly my idea for a drink substance
Maybe next time, when I feel the need to brag to Neil that I've drunk a coffee named after him.
So here's our order:
- Hot cappuccino (the "super" variation, meaning extra thick) for Syb
- Hot honey-lemon tea for me
The drinks were accompanied by two kinds of sugar (white and palm) and each drink came with two pieces of kattetong-like biscuits.
- Pancake with chocolate syrup for Syb: three pieces of folded golden-colored pancakes, swimming in glistening dark liquid, half-melting dark-chocolate buttons scattered all over.
- Honey cinnamon toast for me and Syb: two layers of crusty toasted white bread, cut into tiny squares, damp on the surface with honey and cinnamon sugar.
And here's our shopping spree:
The Human Consequences (Brian J.L. Berry) 25K
The Naked Society (Vance Packard) 30K
The Bonfire of the Vanities (Tom Wolfe) 35K - discount 20%
The sky has cleared up, the sun shone again, we were fueled and ready to go back home (besides, our backpack started to fill up and it was Syb's turn to be the 'pack mule'). Downhill until the bridge, a climb along the rest of Siliwangi and Sangkuriang, then turn right at Cisitu. The road is not steep but it was full of parking cars and stopping angkot, which caused us to halt and slither our way through the traffic. Home safely by one o'clock, tired but refreshed at once. That was a pleasant morning!
Jl. Ciumbuleuit 151 b lt.2 Bandung
[front of unpar, for this time entrance through mie jak & gubuk dongeng]
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Jl. Siliwangi 16 (near Ciumbuleuit)
Bandung - 40141
Ph. 022-203 6515
Tue & Wed : 10 am - 6 pm
Thu, Fri & Sat : 10 am - 10 pm
Sun : 11 am - 8 pm
the photo above is taken from readinglights website