A farewell always leads to a hello

[Singapore, July 14th 2012]

Here I am blogging from a bunk bed somewhere in Novena, with typing hands smell of dishwashing soap and tired legs rested up. I'm here, at last.

These are stories from my last weeks in Jakarta before Singapore.
By the time I went back to Jakarta from a week of loft hunting in Singapore, it was the first day of fasting month. There were times when I couldn't handle the sadness I can't even speak nor write about it. My world was flooding with unpleasant loneliness. I was sick as well throughout the whole week I have left in Indonesia before my departure, I became selective on who to see before I left on my limited time in between bed rests. And those were the times I really realize how home feels like. Sometimes the people who support you like your backbones are surprisingly the people you never expected.

I spared a night in Bandung with the people who always welcome me with friendly chatters and family smiles, and it was about the only happy time I had before leaving hometown. I found myself running out of excuses not to love that sparkly city even more. We drove more uphill this time past midnight and I spent hours spacing out stargazing and making wishes that may not even come true. I was still very sick yet I stayed up all night, all sleepless and happy.

I went to Cibubur, an area so far from Jakarta town where I grew up in. I roamed around with a high school friend and everything had changed around here. I no longer found my favourite food stalls that used to be around, I drove through areas where I used to bike around in the afternoon when I was 7. I parked in front of my old house, which now belongs to another family I don't know. The house was no longer painted maroon, and I can still see the balcony where my old room used to be. I imagined playing detective, scanning a stranger's house. Everything was bizarre, Cibubur was bittersweet and full of memories.

Often I think good farewells are not meant for me. I've never had any proper goodbyes whenever I'm leaving a place but somehow I'd like to keep it that way. That way I know I have something to drive me back to where I started, that nothing really ends, that nothing is really over, because I don't want them to be.

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• The view to Stamford pool on a late lunch at Bistro, Cibubur •
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• Strolling around my old neighbourhood •
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• Where I used to bike around and bump into snakes in my early years •
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• Bandung. Always the best getaway •
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• Midnight street food munchies •
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• A quick stop in the hills •
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• Making bonfire •
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• I saw a shooting star again •