It has become a routine of some sort particularly after having worked on my legs with my personal trainer. Going home would have been my next move but my legs had a mind of its own. They would straight away head to this new cosy nook I discovered. Literally next Helio fitness centre at Bekasi Cyber Park, past the row of restaurants starting with Domino’s Pizza and ending with McDonald’s- or you might want to cut through the parking lot – is the newly built Aston Imperial Hotel and Conference Centre. On the left of its entrance is the lobby lounge, its comfortable sofa-like chairs surrounding either a square or circle tables, that has provided me with a quiet spot to get lost in my head. A corner near the counter is the spot I’ve selected to plonk down on the chair to collect my thoughts and rest my fatigued legs.
The view is hardly picturesque from my cosy nook, albeit it’s nowhere near the undulating rice crops against the lush foliage of Bali or the rolls of waves rushing to the shore and dissipating into traces of white foam, they offer a chance to observe the denizens of Bekasi. Zooming through the intersection on an ojek – motorcycle for hire – or their own Fortuner or Avanza, I wonder at their stories: Where are they heading to? How did their day start – on a good note or not? Are they happy with their lives? Do they like their jobs? Do they like living in Bekasi? I let those questions sashay through my mind which, thankfully, overwhelm the other wretched thoughts pressing consistently and heavily on my heart and soul for a few moments.
Prompted out of my silent musings by hunger pangs, the menu at the lobby lounge – an extension of the Imperial Coffeeshop on the second floor – is a cornucopia of savoury, filling dishes from local to international dishes that would satisfy any gastronome. The chicken sandwich on wheat bread served with French fries is a light repast that goes well with either a drinking jar of iced cappuccino or freshly blended pineapple juice. When feeling particularly ravenous, I opt for the 10-piece chicken satay with lontong (or rice cake) and sweet-spicy peanut sauce. The servings for both orders are huge so I end up packing them to go and having them again while marking papers. Meanwhile, dessert was a special treat following a post-yoga class with my gal-pal, Theresia. We were extremely famished and after completing our meal we had a sweet coup de grace of three scoops of ice cream – vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry.
Finding a cosy nook is like finding a needle in a haystack in the midst of the urban jungle where everything is packed with people. But lady luck seems to have noticed that I needed a respite from my heavy heart and led me to a cosy nook, a corner that lets me recover from my workout sessions and to stay the continual assault of the low-spirited thoughts.