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Friday, March 6, 2015

Lunch for The Travelling Girl

Dear lady who bought me lunch today,
Thank you for the gesture.

You saw me panicking and ransacking my bag at the cashier earlier today. You must have seen all the mess and chaos in my backpack: the cables, the books, the computer, the plastic bags from my recent purchases. You asked me if I am a travelling girl and offered to pay for my lunch. I tried to refuse but you insisted.

I don't even know what 'travelling girl' means. I really don't. Does that mean that you think I am homeless? Or that I travel around by myself to see the world? But I have a place to come home to. And I did not travel around only armed with my backpack. I was only in the area to wait for my husband to finish his work hour.

Yet in a way, I am a travelling girl. I am thousands of miles away from the place that I called my true home. Everyday is a learning experience for me these days as I try to adapt myself in this new found land. Two years and counting, and I am still 'travelling' in this country called USA. Every time I hop on a bus or train I would armed myself with my backpack, all ready for the world. This is a habit I have ever since I was a young girl in my hometown Jakarta. You'll never know what the road has to offer, especially when you are so far away from home. Every time I am out there, I see all sorts of things: smiles and sadness, amusing things and shocking things, the beautiful and the not-so beautiful. Every time I walked outside my door the world open itself before me just like a mystery chest. I do not know what the day would bring, but I know each day is an adventure, each day teaches me something new, each day is another special day. 

Even within me I also travel. Each day my soul travel further within myself: understanding more about myself and people that I love, going further and deeper to achieve the peace and happiness. Debating and reasoning and then accepting, are those not a journey that one must travel to? As a writer, my journey does not end with myself. I tell the stories to my reader, and embarking in another journey with them in hope that they too can find the way to their happiness, to achieve understanding and acceptance in order to finally see the beauty of life and the peace within. I do not travel by myself, I also travel with others. I traveled both physically and mentally, and the journey never ends. It can be tiresome and lonely, and I've started losing myself little by little. But then you showed up, dear lady.

Today my travel taught me about kindness. I could have said no to your offer, dear lady. I have enough money to pay for the lunch, and I suspect I am not a travelling girl in the way you might have thought. But it all happened so fast and I was so perplexed that I blurted a 'Yes' without thinking carefully. If you ever read this article, you might be disappointed in me. If you are, I beg your forgiveness dear lady. I want you to know though that your kind gesture leaving me feeling emotionally satiated. I want you to know that I have unknowingly harbored negative and cynical views of the world, thanks to the hatred and ignorance spread in every media around us. Your kindness wiped it all away. 

I am but in the beginning of my journey, and there will be trials along the road. And if I stumble along the way, if I ever break down and wanted to give up, I will read this post for my strength. I will remember the kind lady that showed me the world can be a nice, giving place. I will remember her smile and how she said I am such a sweetheart when I flustered and repeatedly told her 'thank you' in my goofy way. I will remember that I am loved and that I am too, precious in my own way. Thank you once again, dear lady. I will spread your kindness to another 'travelling girl' at the first opportunity I have, but for now, please accept this humble thanks for the kindness you have shown me. The lunch only cost you less than $6, but the kindness that you gave me is priceless. 

Thank you so much.

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