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Page 309: 31 and Still Wandering

/ Sunday, January 10, 2016 /
“I thought I was just seeing and listening, that in my idle wanderings I was nothing but a reflector of received images, a white screen onto which reality projected colours and light instead of shadows. But, though I was unaware of it, I was more than that.” – Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet.

The clouds couldn’t hold the rain any longer. I started to hear uncountable tiny drops hit the roof at 2 PM. The sound that I love, but not that day. Because it was my birthday, and I needed to go to a place to do my annual “ritual”: The birthday trip, a journey where I can contemplate and cleanse my soul a little bit. And rain can ruin it.

This year, I chose a hill. Not too far, Bukit Moko in Bandung. I was planning to go there on foot. And by “on foot” I mean walking from Saung Angklung Udjo. Glad I didn’t do it. Haha. I ordered gojek to take me to the closest spot to the gate. You still have to hike anyway to reach the top of the hill.

For those who haven’t been to Bukit Moko (or Bukit Bintang), the best Route is from Padasuka. Find Saung Angklung Udjo and just follow the path. There’s no public transportation to reach Moko. So either you use a 4WD car or a motorbike like I did.

It was 3 PM when we left the house. We had to stop for a while because it was raining really hard. I prayed to God to make it stop and give me sunset. It was almost 4 PM when the rain stopped. Well..kind of. It was still drizzling, actually.

The road to Moko was pretty challenging: steep, narrow and muddy. There was a time when we had to stop because a vegetables truck was broken down and sort of blocked the road. So we helped them, you know, gave it a push so the engine would start. No, I’m not kidding. My ojek driver was a good guy. He was the one who had the idea.

It was almost 5 PM when we reached the gate. I saw the pines forest from afar and got so excited. The ticket to get in was pretty cheap, IDR 12,000/ person. When we finally entered the forest, the hill was inundated by the mist. It was eerie yet pretty. Kinda reminded me of Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow. 

After taking pictures, we stayed at some kind of shelter because it was raining again. I was still hoping that the rain would stop and the clear sky would expel the mist and invite the beautiful sunset to come. My mind used the chance to drag me to that corner where I can find fragments of memories, thoughts and feelings. About my plans. About that guy who once talked to me about building future together, but then left this country to chase..other things than me. 

[The shuffle option on my phone suddenly chose The Cure’s A Letter to Elise. “but i let the dream go // and the promises broke // and the make-believe ran out”. “Shit..” I murmured before I giggled.]

About my parents. About other guy who has that nice guy syndrome – another short story that i should label as “just another laughing stock”. About mistakes. About life. About fate. About faith.

5.30. The rain stopped, the mist disappeared, and I saw a golden line. Sunset was coming, not really stunning, but it’s still comforting. 

I thanked God for it, took a deep breath, and then smiled before I left the top of the hill.

31 and still wandering. May the Force be with me.


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