I want to write my wonderful life experience this time. It’s about my amazing learning and living experience in Pare. Don’t you know about Pare? Come on, you gotta be kidding me! Pare is one of the disctric in Kediri regency in Indonesia. Pare is well known with its English Village (Kampung Inggris in Bahasa). English learner all over Indonesia would come to this village to learn english because two reasons mostly, first I could say the course/class fee is cheap enough (compared to the course in most cities in Indonesia), second they can enjoy the village atmoshphere while learning english almost 24 hours effectively. And guess what? The visitors are not only from Indonesia, there are several visitors from the other neighbouring countries as well such as Brunei, Timor Leste, Malaysia, and so on.
I’ve known about this English Village for very long time ago (I’m not sure when was it exactly), but there was no such a reason that can bring me to be so eager to go there until I found an article on National Geographic magazine describing and explaining about this English Village. In my mind at that time was: how the hell amazing is Pare so it can be written in National Geographic? So I decided to go there. I took the train reservation to Kediri directly from Bandung, where I currently live right now. And now I’ve got the answer for the previous question: Pare – The English Village is fucking awesome!
I departed from Bandung at 8.30 p.m. on December 23rd 2013 and arrived in Kediri after being about 14 hours on the train. Pare is about 40kms from Kediri, so I continued taking pedicab from Kediri train station to the street which the busses that go to Pare pass through. It’s the same bus that goes to Malang. The pedicab’s fare is so expensive, it charged me Rp15,000! It didn’t take me so far, only 1km maybe. While the bus’ fare was very cheap, it took me for more than 30kms from Kediri to Pare and only charged me for Rp7,000. Then, I got off the bus and I stood on my feet in Pare. The first word in my mind was: wow!
Before we proceed to the next, I’d like to tell you something important about my spirit to learn english. I’ve been learning english since I was a child, before my parent sent me to a kindergarten. I officially took english courses when I was in elementary (primary) school until high school. I was sick of learning english without satisfying progress and was so confident that there was no a single english course that can help me to be better in english. I have taken a bunch of courses and I felt that they only gave a small impact to me. It wasn’t worth to pay expensively while the impact was so damn I could say nearly nothing. I knew mostly about english grammar, but I couldn’t use it when I speak. Write was difficult for me, morover speak: disaster! I realized that to learn language, we have to habituate it, use it in our daily conversation and in every chances we get. I thought maybe Indonesia was not my place anymore, I should go overseas to the native speaker countries. So I stopped taking courses since then until one day, in my college, I was interviewed using English and my english was so messy, I felt embarrassed. Going overeas seems impossible to me if my english is still that bad. I started thinking that I must learn english again seriously so I can speak as if I’m the native speaker. So that’s also the reason why I came to Pare. I heard that in Pare the student will learn english 24 hours effectively all day long and all night long. So, we can proceed the story to the next.
I took a package program from The Marvelous USA Course because my intention to Pare is to learn speaking with American accent, so I came to the office at Jl. Brawijaya no.94 beside Ar-Rahman mosque to do the registration. In the office I met two others new member, they introduced theirself as Ahmad from Cilacap and Jhon from Pekalongan. When we were done with the registration, we were about to go to the camp, waiting for the vehicle to pick us up, but it’s kinda long and adzan zhuhur has been echoed from the mosque beside, so we did sholat then. After that, we went to the camp using the vehicle that is usually used to bring gallons of water, the same type as KAISAR or VIAR, something like that, a motorcycle in the front side pulling the opened trunk (i dont know what is it called, trunk, box, container, or whatever) behind it. Finally we arrived to the camp. I was shocked. The condition of the camp was very different from what I expected. The condition was far from what we call it “proper”. I didn’t know that the condition of the camp instead which at the end brought us to be vey close each other, as if we are a family now.
At the beginning Ahmad, Jhon, and I met the other members in the camp, those were Erik and Zami (both from Palembang), Ihsan (from Garut), and also Peru and Irwan (both from Rangkasbitung-Banten). The camp was the new camp for Marvelous, we the first eight members fortunately got a chance to treat the camp, because we were the first generation there. So we cleaned it up and tidied it up. The camp nowadays well-know as “The Absurd Camp” in Pare, located in Jl. Flamboyan beside Toko Pojok. Actually it’s Marvelous Camp 2,but we tend to call it “The Absurd Camp” rather than marvelous camp 2. The idea of word “Absurd” came from Ihsan that was absurd as well. He spreaded the absurdity syndrom to all over the members so we are all absurd right now. And no wonder, he became the topdog in our camp. Topdog is a slang word for captain of the class.
Pare was not too large (about 3kms in radius), but if we don’t have a vehicle it’s too long to reach several places which we should go everyday. The favorite vehicle for the visitors is bicycle. We at that time had just come and hadn’t had any bike yet, so we went to the rental bike place together, to rent some bikes. Well it was the peak season at that time and influenced the rental fee to be two times higher, so we got Rp100,000/month when it was usually only Rp50,000/month. The fee also depends on the type of the bike. The one I told before was for the cheapest type. After we got a bike to ride, we searched some food to eat. Well, we had been so hungry after doing chores in the camp. We started our friendship from that first day in Pare and became such a fucking friend forever*.
(*Fucking friend is our term to refer a relationship that is beyond bosom friend and off course beyond best friend)