From Dili to Jakarta via Bali (1)

It was the last day of June 2013.

I was full of excitement as a teen.

Waiting for my Sriwijaya flight at the Nicolau Lobato Airport in Dili.

With a mind of a wanderer, I asked,  “Would this trip be a jolly?”.

Later the flight came and I went ahead in a tremble along the departure gate.

I got on the airplane; a beautiful air hostess with red dress greeted me.

She had the most beautiful smile of the day.

I showed her my boarding pass; she guided me to my seat.

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I sat contently yet carefully paying attention instead.

Another air hostess was demonstrating the flight safety guide.

After an hour, the plane left the ground and started to take off. My heart jumped.

‘I am flying high!’ my mind exclaimed.

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It was my first trip from Dili to Jakarta.

There is a short transit at Ngurah Rai airport of Denpasar in Bali.

That was also my first time to see Bali, although just at a glance.

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Down there, I saw Bali’s beautiful blue sea with the white cliffs.

The red-brown houses formed like beads.

They spread over a huge green carpet of its green field.

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A very long bridge shaped a curvy line over the sea.

How I wondered to explore those places one day.

“Oh, how wonderful isn’t it?” myself said.

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I had heard about Bali since I was a child in 1990s.

People said that Bali is an island of gods, a paradise for tourists.

That time, I wish that one day I too could visit Bali, as a tourist.

I wanted to see the gods. I wanted to enjoy being at its paradise.

Finally, my wish did come true. Even though only for an instance.

Vitalia Ze, Dili-Bali-Jakarta, 30 June 2013.
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My First Lunch in Jakarta

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It was a hot day in Jakarta

I was enjoying my first lunch

A plate of soft white rice

Accompanied with fried tofu, fried tempe* and an appetite-teasing brown fried chicken

The delicious jackfruit Gudeg* in a glossy redness to me

Together they greeted me with their special aromas

That was my first lunch in Jakarta

“Happy Eating…’

VZ, Jakarta, July 2013
*Tempe = A specific Indonesian food made from boiled soybeans and fermented then become a    soybean bars.
** Gudeg = An Indonesian-specific red curry dish made using jackfruit and is typical of popular food from  Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

To A Friend

 

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Stroll With A Friend-By Leonid Afremov 

A long time ago I knew him briefly but not closely. He is a charming, friendly and an easy going person I ever know. I saw him for the first time when he was still a teacher and a learner in that eastern land.  He always shares a sweet smile and warm greeting to everyone. That made me thought that he would be a bright future prophet.

After a few years, I met him again briefly. That time, we met in the center of the Rocky city where he was in rush to catch a bus to Dili. Yet he was still able to greet me and tell me about his new life.

‘I am going abroad after this’ he said with a bright smile. He looked so happy.

‘Abroad? To where?’ I asked.

‘USA. I got a scholarship.’ he said proudly.

‘Wow. That’s great maun*. Congratulation!’ I responded to him with amazement and so we shared our farewell.

After several years, I met him again in the road of Palapaço in Dili. This time, he appeared with a new look and charismatic aura. He stopped, looked at me with his big friendly smile and greeted me yet I look at him in wandering, trying to recognize him.

‘Hey, it’s me. Have you forgotten me?’

After a few minutes, I smiled and looked at him with surprise.

‘Mine, you look great maun. Totally changed. What’s your secret?’ I said.

‘No. No secret at all. I am still the same as before’ he answered with a humble smile.

After a brief Q&As on our latest life updates, we shared our farewell.

 

Today, I heard again about his journey with disbelief.He is lying in the hospital bed for few months due to kidney failure. He looked so thin and pale yet he still managed to smile while receiving much material and immaterial support from his friends. All of them wish him to recover soon.

From this distance, I continue to wish him a miracle. I hope that, as of the prophet who was swallowed by the whale, he could also receive his miracle after three days of faithful waiting.

Here, I continue to hold on the hope that we could meet again someday, With him smiling genuinely at me and said ‘Hi, it’s me again. I am back.’

*maun = brother in Tetum Language.

VZ, Dili, September 7th 2016