Archive for September 2014

I know.

Eight in the evening is by no means a time late enough to be thinking things. You shouldn't be second-guessing.
There's sound of engine roaring. Then halting. Gate opening. You'd probably expect footsteps approaching. Front door banging. Stranger barging in.
Brief silence, followed by sloppy footsteps stumbling over bags of trashes you're piling. Plastics scrunching. Panicky footsteps approaching.
Which takes you back to expecting door banging. Heavy breathing. Low-pitched mumbling. Stranger barging in.
But no. Silence is what's following. And it is rather unsettling.

You'd lose to curiosity. Leave your couch. Walk to the front. Take a peek.
A cat is rummaging through your bags of trashes.
And your gate is closed, well and fully closed.
A car is parked right across the road. Someone is chatting happily to your neighbor.

You shouldn't be thinking things. You shouldn't be second-guessing.

I am thinking it's a sign
that the freckles in our eyes
are mirror images and when we kiss
they're perfectly aligned

And I have to speculate
that God himself did make us
into corresponding shapes
like puzzle pieces from the clay

And true, this may seem like a stretch,
but it's thoughts like this that catch
my trouble head when you're away,
when I am missing you to death

When you are out there on the road
for several weeks of show
and when you scan the radio
I hope this song will guide you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
"Come down now," they say
But everything looks perfect from far away
Come down now, but we'll stay.

Iron and Wine - Such Great Heights

Travel Footnote (2)

Ijen, August 21

Ninety minutes after midnight we started the hike. We could not quite make out the landscapes, the sceneries surrounding us through the dark. It was a long, ascending walk - followed by quite a steep descend to the crate, going through the sulphur smokes to catch a close glimpse of the famed blue flames.
We were climbing back up, racing against the sunrise to the top of the mountain. Luckily we were in time to catch the dawn, the emerging light, the dark phased out by the blue and oranges of the sun against the sky.

The most beautiful pictures were the ones only our eyes can capture, it was true. As fascinating as the pictures of sunrise and dusk were, nothing can quite capture how beautiful the morning at the peak was; how the sun casted its lights and shadows in all the right places, how we squinted our eyes at the glaring brights, how golden the lashes looked when bathed with all the lights, the dawning realization of looking down and seeing clouds - how we were at such height.
And actually feeling the gradual warmth taking over the chill over our quivering bodies, our cold skin - how the higher the sun went, the warmer our bodies became. It was quite a reward.

Malang, August 21-23

Another long hours of drive, exhausted but content with the hike. At night of the 21 we arrived in Malang. I wasn't strange to the city - went there once years ago.
It seemed like the rest of the day passed by so fast - sleeping and eating away all the exhaustion.
On 22 we went to Batu. From the museum to the secret zoo, it was a day well-spent. The attractions were well-designed, decent and the contents were not at all boring. One would think that a day visiting museum of vehicles and a zoo of, well, animals, would be quite a cliché, but it was not.
Malang was a pretty enviable city to live in; great food, nice places, even pleasant weather. We had a full-day to explore the city but I didn't think it wasn't enough. When my nephew is old enough to see things and understand, I'd love to have a vacation with him and the family there.

Surabaya - Bandung, August 23

Our schedule was packed and by the morning of 23 we made our way back to Surabaya to return the car, and then board our 15-hour train ride back to Bandung. We smelled all sulphur-y courtesy of Kawah Ijen (it was hard to rid the smell off the clothes) and we had certainly seen better days physique-wise, but despite all the tiredness and the sleepy-ness and for some of us, the cold and illness, we were content with the days spent.

It was quite a week. I wish I kept track of the cities we passed, the places we went to, the foods we ate and the conversations we had. I wish I had a travel journal. Weeks later and the best I could make was travel footnotes: a blur recollection of what happened in merely brief narratives, leaving out details (some of them I forgot, the others I intentionally leave out).
I did remember though, that it was a mightily fine week, an enjoyable voyage, a fantastic travel. Quite an epilogue, closing out my book of college life.

With the friends. Those were the times to remember, and y'all were a part of it, so I'd keep you close in my heart, I guess.