It feels good to be outside. Under the shade of tall tropical trees, catching a nice cool breeze while strolling around the park. Taman Prestasi city park follows the curve of the Kalimas river right next to it. It is long and narrow, green, and filled with swing sets, slides, and climb-ups. The look on Anja’s face each time we go to a park is pure joy. So Jeff and I made it a mission to take her to parks and outdoor playgrounds in Surabaya as much as we can.
I left this city 20 years ago and I returned with a husband and a toddler last year. Both Surabaya natives, Jeff and I had been worried about outdoor activities. Surabaya is known for its heat, traffic and congestion and it is saturated by indoor shopping malls. Are we just going to be indoors all the time? What to do with a toddler in this city? I had those questions in mind along with so many other things anyone would after a major move across the ocean. Time went by. Jeff and I were too busy to notice city parks! Last week something inside of me just nudged and prompted me to take the three of us to visit a park nearby where we live. And wow, how glad I was to do so. We liked Taman Flora (Kebun Bibit Bratang) a lot. There is joy in discovery, isn’t there? Especially when it is a clean park with playgrounds in it. That “discovery” felt encouraging. I was determined to look for other parks nearby.
A keeps asking for the swing while we’re walking through the park. She lights up immediately when we find a set, farther away from the crowd. She doesn’t care if the swings or slides or climb-up are not made of quality materials. Aren’t kids awesome that way? She plops down on the seat and swings slowly. Our daughter notices our gestures and hears every little thing we say. So Jeff and I try not to be so critical toward things we find different from what we are used to from our lives abroad.
The three city parks we visited are decent. Sure, the playground could be better. But for Surabaya to have these outdoor spaces where we could stroll, feed the deer, swing and slide, and just enjoy being outside in the city for a bit, I think is pretty damn good. Keep up the good work, Surabaya! Stay clean and green!
Note: The third park we visited in these past two weeks was Kebun Bibit Wonorejo – forgot to take pictures!