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Invisible in Toko Oen

If it wasn’t due to its historical value which people often talk about, I might never be here. It’s been a famous shop in Malang, Jawa Timur, but I never had time to visit it though I’d been on Malang almost every year. My dad didn’t like it coz it was hard to park his car at the front of the shop, while my cousin didn’t wanna eat in any restaurants which sold pork. I decided to come here alone, and I just wanna have a cup of ice cream. Coz people said that the shop sold delicious ice creams.

Then I thought that I’d review its ice cream here. Until then I changed my mind.

I came almost 12 a.m last week, in October 19, exact at the time when people are supposed to have lunch. It’s actually just a small shop, but it had a big dining hall which contained ancient Dutch dining tables for visitors who wanna have lunch right there.

I took a place beside window, and all people could see me carrying camera. A minute after I got in, a bunch of Caucasian tourists came in, there were about 4-5 people, and they took place on a table right next to mine. Then there the waitress came, in white shirt and black pants, showed them menu books. I glanced around the room, then I took the pictures of every corners.

Five minutes were over. Then there came a couple of Chinese taking seats on the corner. A waiter came to them, and offered them lunch. I stared at their gestures correctly. I heard the waiter offered them steak and ice cream.

Hey. I got astonished. Why hasn’t any waiter come to offer me the menu?

Five minutes later, another couple of tourist came, Caucasian again. They took another table, not far from mine. The waitress came to them and offered me lotta things. Well, I’d been sitting here for 10 minutes, and nobody did anything to my table?

I began to frighten. Was I invisible until no waiter came to my table? Did they mean to let me sit there without having anything to eat? Well, it’s allright if I may sit there for free. But paranoid minds started to reveal. I might have been hit by truck on the street and now I was dead. My phantom wandered around in ice cream shop for lunch and I didn’t realize that I’d become a ghost.

I opened up my cell and replied some e-mails. No, no, don’t be ridiculous, I said. No ghost can send e-mails!

10 minutes later, three tourists came in, two of them were Chinese and another one was Caucasian. A waiter came to them like a flash, then he offered them lotta foods inside the menu. I heard those tourists ordered shakes, and the waiter moved away. As passing my table, the waiter glanced at me. But he just shut up and walked into the kitchen.

I thought he returned from the kitchen and gave me menu book. I looked at him closely, and he didn’t do anything, only delivering drink to three tourists whom table was right beside my table. I began to upset. Was this the famous Toko Oen? Were the waiters nor the waitress didn’t pay attention to the native customer who sat alone on the table without offered her any drink?

And almost an half hour since I sat my butt right there. When the-waiter-who-didn’t-do-anything-to-me passed by for dishing something to those three tourists next to me, I waved my hand and called him, “Mas, Mas!”

There we go. The waiter came to my table. Then I said to him, “I’ve been sitting here for 25 minutes and nobody has offered me any menu book.”

He looked surprised and he apologized. Then he ran to cashier and gave me the menu book. I’d lost my appetite. However I travelled far to Malang coz I wanna enjoy ice cream in the shop, so I still must do my plan. I ordered a cup of chocolate ice cream, told him to be hurry, and I had it very fast.

My impression? Just so-so. Average. Not really special.

A restaurant may be excellent if it dished tasteful food and drinks. But it would taste poor if the service didn’t satisfy. And I’ll think 10 times if next time I’ll take my guest to Toko Oen. I’m afraid, the waiters of the shop will ignore my guest, same like they’ve ignored me.