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December 19, 2012

Kanapa saya di sini?

That was the question I was asking the waiter and the cashier serving me last night over dinner. And also to practice (or brag?) that finally, I am getting the hang of Bahasa Indonesia.

“Kanapa saya di sini?”

Why am I here?

Last night was difficult. I found myself sending my sister some distressed Whatsapp message begging her to go online in Skype.

I had some idle time before dinner and decided to browse through Facebook. And what did I see? Posts of people who are preparing for Christmas holidays or photos of people attending their Christmas parties.

And where am I again? Oh. In Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country in the whole wide world.

At least my workplace tried their best to catch even a little of that Christmas spirit that I am so used to. They put up some Christmas trees here and there and some of those glittery tinsels hanged in odd places around.

Still, Christmas, Philippines. Incomparable. Don’t get me started.

So I tried to entertain myself by watching TV while I eat dinner alone. Channel News Asia is discussing how 2012 fared with 2011. Another reminder. New Year. Indonesia. Haaaayyyy…

My sister was still trying to connect to Skype though she was failing terribly. The internet connection she has that time was terrible.

I jogged my brain. Who else can listen to my childish rants? Aaaahhh. Alan.

He said he is in Serendra and cannot Skype. But of course this is me and I don’t take no for an answer. A few minutes later and my Skype was ringing. The connection again was terrible. I think this time it is from my end. He gave up with Skype and just called me in my Indo number. And I still have to check if it is a collect call as what he claims. Do collect calls still exist? That is so historical. Anyway.

The call helped. Hearing something familiar and speaking something familiar made me relax.

I was still at a loss on what to do after that. Dinner is finished and I still have some time before I hit the bed. The other expat colleague was sprawled in one couch drinking his Bintang wondering as well why the hell he was here.

Then the cashier told me he will leave the resto for a while as he needs to attend some Christmas party planning. That my bill will be handled by the waiter. That he will try to be back as soon as he can.

Wait! Christmas party planning! That sounds familiar. Where is it? I wanna come! I wanna join! So I dragged the other expat and bundled his Bintangs and off we went to gatecrash some Christmas party planning.

One part of their Christmas program is a skit. They were practicing. I volunteered myself to be part of it. Yes, this is me. They say for my part, I can speak in English. Tidak! No! I will speak Indonesian. I will try to twist my tongue and speak Indonesian.

I got a round of applause after I did my part. Whew. Now the loneliness is lifting. Social interaction. It helps a lot.

And I got to convince the other expat that we sing together some English Christmas carols. Yeah. I love embarrassing myself in public. We still have to practice our songs though.

The planning was over. I went back to my room. Alan went online in Skype. The connection was a little bit better. We managed to have some decent conversation. About Simuno at Panaguri.

Yeah, we spent almost 2 hours recalling our Filipino subjects back in grade school and high school. It started with my Bahasa Indonesia which I am trying so hard to learn. I told him that Bahasa Indonesia is a little bit easier to study and remember for a foreigner than studying Filipino. They don’t have any tenses here. No need for prefixes and suffixes.

And that’s where all those pangngalan, pangabay, pantukoy, and panguri came out.

Nerdy talk. 2 hours of remembering lantay, pahambing at pasukdol. Of pasalaysay, pautos, patanong and padamdam. Of laughing our ass out with pambalana and pangatnig.

Oh my gad. It was hilarious. And I just amazed myself that I can still remember all these things.

Thank gad my internet connection turned bad when we started talking about stoichiometry, joules, valences, Kelvin, Rankine and others. I suck in those subjects.

I learned one thing.

Yes, loneliness can creep in once in a while but there is so much more in life than that. Family, friends, new experiences and old memories.

Life is good.

So, kanapa saya di sini?

I still don’t know.

And I don’t care.

Because life is what we make it.

I will just take it one day at a time.

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