Travelling:

It gives you home in a thousand strange places,

then leaves you a stranger in your own land

-Ibn Battuta-

Nowadays, travelling becomes the best choice for book’s tittle in Indonesia. May be it was started by Dewi Lestari with her second series of Supernova, Akar, in 2002. This book introduced backpacking tradition to Indonesian public. In 2007 there are two pubishing house, at least, make travelling as the main theme. They are Bentang and Gagas Media. Bentang with Edensor by Andrea Hirata and Gagas Media with Travellers’ Tale, Belok Kanan: Barcelona. Travellers’ Tale, Belok Kanan: Barcelona is a shared project for four authors; Aditya Mulya, Alya Setya, Iman Hidayat, and Ninit Yunita.

In Edensor, Andrea Hirata transforms a momen of anxiety into his dream to travel around the world. Edensor is the third series of his tetralogy Laskar Pelangi. By the power of dream, Ikal and Arai, two main characters of this book, cross country to Europe and Africa as backpacker. Both are Indonesian post graduate students in Sorbonne, France who get scholarship. This book, just like two previous books of his tetralogy, talks about Andrea’s life from he was a child untill his life amid amazing intelectual people around the world in Sorbonne. But, the most interesting point of Edensor is their touching life when they were in adventure. This part is told clearly, and beautifully, of course with magnificent setting description by Andrea. That each country has different culture, social, political, geographical, and also finansial were the challenge that Ikal and Arai have to take. They often walk step by step to reach some countries and often astray too. They don’t want to be a coward by taking a travel agent, they want to feel these challenges. In their journey, they ever had slept in terrible themperature, -16 degree in celcius, againsted mafia and sometimes pickpocket, even been offered as gigolo. Andrea tells us that travelling offers a hundred of roads to adventure and gives your heart wings.

Contrast with Edensor, Travellers’ Tale, Belok Kanan: Barcelona gives different way to go around the world, flight. Mood and background of this book are more interesting than the story it self. Sometimes we are invited to see some countries’s conflict and it’s straining flight. It seems like the first book contains a lot of names of places. Especially, this is a novel, not a travel guide. The characters in this book are from middle-upper class society. Francis is a profesional pianist, Jusuf, an assistant of regional marketing manager in a big company, Farah is developing a resort in Vietnam, and Retno as official at KBRI in Kopenhagen, Denmark. They plait a friendship since they were in elementary scool and cross abroad to find an answer of their secret. Their courage is just (cliche and common), puppy love.

These differences are natural if we are thinking about vision and mission of each publishing house. Bentang publishes literary works, while Gagas Media is a populer book publisher. We should remember to Jomblo, first novel of Aditya Mulya, how funny this novel is, and the philosophic Andrea Hirata’s Laskar Pelangi that avery part of the funny moment is inserted thinkers tought.

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