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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Just Want To Go Home

It's Friday, 6.30 am in Bali, Indonesia. My mom would already be off to the market to buy fresh vegetables and meat for today's meal. My youngest brother would be in the shower, getting ready to go to school. My other brother would still be in bed, sleepily resting from his late-night wondering. My elder sister would wake my little nephew patiently for his school, too; and boiling water to make tea and milk. He (my nephew) would staggered sleepily to the sofa, and laying there with his bottle of milk, watching morning cartoon. My dad would come from his pavilion and sat on the sofa too, teasing my nephew and trying to win the remote control back. At that point my mom would be back, with plastic bags filled with groceries hanging from her scooter. My brother in law, who would be watering the plant then, would helped my mom with the groceries, as well as my youngest brother (who only done so with my mom's strict request/yelling). She would come to the front door laden with grocery bags and scolded my dad for teasing my nephew, and will kick the door to my brothers' room to wake my sleeping brother. A cup of coffee and a small traditional cake would be deposited on the patio table, where my dad would sat and enjoy while reading a newspaper and smoking his cigarette. Then they would all go, one by one. My youngest brother would go first, because he is the nice-kid-you-want-to-date type of kid and hates to be late. My younger brother would go next, because he is a rebel type of kid (or asshole, depends on the situation) and he didn't give much care on things. Then my brother in law. Then my little nephew, walking to his nearby kindergarten with his mom. Then my sister, after returning from my nephew's kindergarten. Every single one of them would give my mom - who would be cooking in the kitchen - a kiss in the cheek, every single one of them would give my dad a cheery wave and the customary "Going now, dad!" (in exception to my nephew, who would give both my mom and dad a kiss and a hug), every single one of them would say hi and greet my grandfather (if he happen to woke up and fiddling with the front yard garden). And with that, our morning ritual ends.

Lazy brunch with mom and my little sister

I miss my family so much that it hurts. But what I really missed most was these interactions, these jewels of human relations. We don't have much, and at times we don't have any. A liter of soda is considered a feat, and we shared it with the 9 of us. Our meal is a chicken divided into 14 pieces to accommodate every one, or two slices of meat as big as a thumb. My nephew's toys were inexpensive, yet he could easily change a chair and helmet and other mundane daily object into his own racing bike or train or whatever he wanted. My brothers have a second-hand PlayStation2, which they were obliged to share with each other (and occasionally my nephew). And that is all there is to it: Share. None of us hoard our food or our belonging. The rule of the thumb is that if you decided to eat food at the house, prepare to share. If one of my brother opens a bag of chip at home, everyone could stop and ask to sample it. And even if you played secrecy and eat it in your room, you'd eventually share, at least with my mom. Not because she wanted to, but out of respect since she was indeed, the lady of the house. And that's one more thing: respect is earned, not demanded. My mom and dad never demand us to respect her, but what else can you give for someone who had worked themselves out just to ensure you have a good education (all the way through college) and good future ahead? If they had demanded me respect for those reasons, I would've hated them. Education and future is a child's right, not a privilege that parents can give the child and he/she should be grateful for it. But my mom and dad did not demand that respect, nor do they complain on the cost of raising us, and for that they earned our highest respect. These little things are what have been keeping me alive. It is a strong pillar which I can hold on to and not get lost in this harsh, cruel world. Yet now I lost that pillar. And thus, I lost myself. 

The boys

I met some really nice people here, but there were too many insecurities. I talked to some of them and despite our pleasant conversation, I could always feel their insecurities deep down inside. And plain jealousy. And indifference. And no respect. I saw children hooked on games on their cell phones during dinner parties, seemed oblivious and careless about the world around them. I mentioned this at a dinner party, and a man in his mid thirties gracefully explained, "Well I think I have seen more in my lifetime than you, and you need to realize that...." which then followed with an excuse why I should understand these rascals' behavior. And that is the other thing: I don't take excuses. This is not to say I refuse to understand on why people behave the certain way they do, I would and I have been preaching on better understanding on people in general. But I would not take an excuse that aimed to justify the said behavior. For instance: "You don't know how to speak nicely because your parents cussed you all the time? I am sorry to hear that, and I would tolerate your cussing now and then, but you need to understand that it is unpleasant for me, and for your own sake learn to try to speak politely." See how civilized it is? But what happen is these jerks keep pulling the same stunt and again and again blame their parents/government/world/mental health for their behavior instead of forcing themselves to fix themselves. And coming from where I am, it is incredibly hard to have pity and understanding and tolerate the selfish behaviors when people here have a lot more to be grateful for. Life doesn't take our sorry excuses, the hardship is there for us to conquer and made us a better person. It doesn't care whether you have a rich parents/poor parents/one parents/no parents, it would move accordingly and you better stop complaining and shout out excuses because like it or not it would still move the way it had been destined. Difficulties should be a reason why you are so proud of yourself (i.e. you manage to overcome it) instead of an excuse on why you are a failure. 

Chow down!!

Sheltered in the security of  a stable government, I could see why people here are somewhat out of touch with the 'real' world. I laughed every time someone say: "I have seen more in my lifetime". Really, but have you experienced it? Knowing that you might not be able to finish school because you lack of money, knowing that you might not be able to eat or worse - give your family and especially the little one something to eat, knowing that the law is so unfair and you can't trust the police and not only you have to worried about the bad guys you also have to worry about the police, knowing that you have no health care of whatsoever and you will be screwed if you are ill for more than 2 days, knowing that your government doesn't care about you and you are left to fend off yourself, knowing that life will not reason with you and there is no dignity even in death. The fact of the matter is, people who had experienced such things would never, ever be so rash and cocky and said "I have seen more in my lifetime", because the experience is so humbling and they know and realized that there are far, far worse thing in life even though they haven't experience it. Sometimes it is almost funny to hear these so-called experienced people calling out to themselves, yet sometimes it hurts. Like when people told me they know how I feel because they had spend some time in tropical paradise. It made me feel I want to bitchslap them. I left my family, friends, and everything I know and love behind. It was my fucking life and not just some half-ass vacation. Talk to me like that when you have spend at least 20 years there and could speak in my language and understand my culture; otherwise please shut up and stop thinking you can relate to me. The annoying thing is I couldn't even be that upset with these people, because I know that they are just ignorant and misinformed.

I just want to go home and restore my faith in humanity, and more importantly, I want to found myself. I want to go back and give and accepted love unconditionally. I want to see the extravagant power of life, the beautiful display of human conquering life's challenges and came out as winner. I am sick with this lame excuses and "You have to understand!!!" thing that is forced upon me. And that's just the thing, I wanted and willing to understand, but I will not cower to someone's demand to understand him/her. It hollowed me, and I can feel I'm losing more of myself every day. I just want to go home. I really do.


  1. Hang in there, day. You survived in indonesia, you can survive anywhere in this world :))

  2. huhuhu... seandainya bisa sering2 ketemuan ama dayu. tabah penemuan ya, dayu!!!

  3. miss I could totally relate to your posts. somewhat it's the plain truth about our society...I miss you heaps! please continue writing/posting here, i'd gladly read your posts again :3 -love, gia and tasya


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