Jakarta people are very proud of their then city’s small resident who now becomes the most powerful man on the planet. Indonesia and, Jakarta particularly, will welcome Barack Obama, the president of the United States, who will visit Indonesia in the coming days. The visit will surely tighten the relationship between the two countries especially when the guest president is so familiar with Indonesia.
The small Obama was formerly a pupil of Menteng Dalam Elementary School in Jakarta. Obama came to Indonesia in 1967 together with his mother Ann Durham and his step-father L. Soetoro. His step-father met with his mother by mid of 1960s and married her after the latter divorced with his former husband in 1963, when Obama was just 2 years ancient.
He was enrolled at the first grade pupil of Menteng Dalam School in 1968 under the name of Barry Soetoro, as an Indonesian citizen born in Hawaii. He finished his study at the elementary school only until the 3rd grade as he had to leave the country to his birthplace in Hawaii in 1971.
Known as a smart pupil, he once composed an article and read his dream in front of the class on his aspiration to become a president. It was not clear whether he wanted to become the president of Indonesia or the country where he was born. But one thing for sure, his dream came right when he was inaugurated as the 44th American president in December 20, 2008.
Bakso and Nasi Goreng
After staying at Menteng Dalam, the small Barry and the whole family removed to a rented house in 1970 belonged to a retired military personnel, at Jalan Amir Hamzah No 22. The house today is preserved as the Jakarta Governor Fauzi Bowo has declared it into Jakarta’s cultural inheritance. Many people including foreigners wanted to buy the house at a much higher price after Obama became the American president.
The small Barry had a lot of friends and loved to get along with the environment where he lived. This made a strong emotional bond with his fellow mates, teachers and neighboring children. He has been accustomed to Indonesian food especially bakso (meatballs), nasi goreng (fried rice), and rambutan, a hairy fruit which tree grows up easily in Jakarta.
The strong memory related to the taste of the meals has made him still long for them. We sincerely hope that during his visit to Indonesia, His Excellency will have a chance to taste bakso and nasi goreng.
Selamat datang Mr. President!