Konnichiwa, Tokyo!

Shibuya crossing

It was almost 10 in the evening, the streets were busy with hundreds, if not, thousands of people shuffling bystilland the wind was blowing pretty heavily just as predicted. Signs of stores and restaurants, they shine the brightest at night, forming such a intriguing aggregate. I kept my hands clenched inside the pockets of my jacket. I refused to go home just yet trying to read all the signs in hiragana or katakana with my basic Japanese skill. For my very own personal amusement, of course. Tall buildings and crowds streets makes me feel so little, in a world so big. Being in such place with no one who knows me, or whom I know, practically makes me an alien.

Life has been pretty tough for me this yearnot that it's not for everyone, too. I have been busy distracting my self with a lot of thing such as writings, business, internship, and I even joined a competition related to my studies,something I've always wanted to do for the sake of good resume, of coursewhich I didn't win, by the way, but still a thing to be experienced. The outset of this Tokyo vista was also one of them. Clueless, uncharted, things are happening too fast. I was looking at my laptop screen for days, hopping from one coffee shop to another, doing my final project before graduating uni. Until one day I was notified that I got accepted for an exchange semester to Japan. I was surprised because by that time, I had thrown my hopes away and was gonna face my fate to finish uni early January next year. But not only fate gives you the thing you deserved, it also has the right timing for it. I didn't know anyone before coming to Tokyono families, relatives, friendsI don't look like locals, and most people just don't speak English. I was always kept busy with my own errands that when I actually went out, the city just made me feel like a tourist. I felt like living abroadto be more precise, living abroad alonecould be the retreat I needed.

Somewhere around Shibuya

It's been roughly a month since I stepped foot in Tokyo, and sometimes I still feel like Charlotte in the set of Lost in Translationboth for the language limitation and existential crisis. The first time I walk myself in to the train station, I could barely see my way, because it was filled by people walking towards every direction. I have to take 3 different trains everyday just to go to school, and complicated as it sounds, I lost my way home a couple of times on my first week. Everyone here walks at a remarkably fast pace, completely unaware of anyone else's existence. Somehow to me, it shows that they value time so much. Coming from Jakarta, a city that is just almost as crowded, Tokyo, however, gives me a complete different view. People queues behind lines and give ways for others to get off the train before they get on. Bags are kept on laps to allow other passengers to sit, and phone conversations are absolutely forbidden, something I had never experienced back home. It was strange at first, but since I'm the alien in this country so I'm the one who has to blend in. And guess what, it actually feels good to follow the rulesto live in orderliness.

To start with, the city is not that much of a stranger to me. I went to Japan exactly a year ago for a summer holiday. But although it looks like I took pictures in every corner of every famous touristy spot there is, it was only a 5-day tripeven then I knew it was way too short. I've always wanted to come back but never would've thought I was gonna spend months herejackpot, eh? I have only visited few places so far. Everyday I just have this tendency to wander around instead of going straight home. It raised me to wonder, how does it manage to always has something new to be discovered? It's just crazy how it never gives me the fulfillment I neededat least for now.

I cant wait to share more.



Bali Photo Diary



24/7: 21

Eyes are closed and hands are linked together in clenches. A little girl's scream is her utter candidness towards flying. The wheels starts moving and there's a very loud silence heard from the engine machine until the plane takes off. Buildings and houses gets smaller as we fly higher. The ground rushes so fast in the air as if we're motionless, and I think, I am never so close to floating clouds, to the purple evening sky, something I always gaze at on my way home everyday. Everything is just as beautiful as any other day yesterday, only today I'm only a glass window away from it.

From my window seat I see the sky gets older by night. Then I started to question whether stars really exist because all I can see are plane lights. Are we at the highest point of stratosphere yet? Half-buried in my own thoughts I confide to sad songs on my playlist. Jason Mraz -  Plane. About how I can't see any house from here. Or how to hand a square of the airport. How I think human sadness are somewhat self-taught because all babies cry when they were born. How in a few hours I will yet again commemorate another anniversary of blankness and prodigy; getting older.

24/7 to me is July twenty fourth, 1996. I was born on a Wednesday, and I picture it to be a quiet summer day  with a chance of wonderment. My parents decided to name me after their names, featuring the blonde supermodel Schiffer, and the bountiful Mrs. Gorbachev. I am only a day old and a fist small but they have put such a glorious devotion to me. But who I am now is not who I am a thousand years from now. Bodies will be decayed and names will be forgotten. Like footsteps on the sand, all will be vanished in a wave roll. Even these words I have been trying to pull for the past hours will somehow be eaten up by time. And unless I'm someone's Bella Luna, no one will ever sing an ode of me or reread my writings every night just to put themselves to sleep. Even if someone did write my name in calligraphies, it will only be a placeholder between oblivions. C'est la vie.

Throughout the years I experience the things that have brought such a turning point on the way I see life. Being left alone in an empty street, somewhere between running away and coming back home. Sadness is time-consuming. Mourned, I look over the choices I unconsciously made. How things would have ended differently if I had used little less logic. Heart was broken into shatters but no apologies were ever offered. Those morning yawns and evening glees, where did they go? People carved paths only to go separate ways and I wish friendship lasted but sometimes bonds are only flukes. Life happens 24 hours a day, 7 days a week but it never promised to be exactly like yesterday. All I'm trying to do is keep up.

24/7 to me is a matter of perspective; all those time I've lost or all the time I have to start over. I choose to see it as a chance to start again, making peace with fate. I reassure myself that things happen for a reason. Replacing beliefs with scenarios, preparing for consequences. The sun is warmer today and my heart is lured away by the scent of late summer days. Dancing to new tunes never felt so good. Old flame flung and I'm getting to know love even better from a distant way. Life blossoms and blooms again.

24/7 to me is chasing dreams. To do the impossible. To complete all the checks on my bucketlist. To travel India for months and dance in the streets of Rio like the scene in Twilight. To be a friend to someone over their 5-minute-long crying sound through voice note, or through silly videos we recorded when we were drunk. We will laugh at every weird shape of avocado until our faces hurt. I'll love. Every little insect, and every giant tree. Both myself and the people around me, including actors and singers and writers that don't have any idea that I exist. I'll meet the one and we'll fall hopelessly in love. We'll buy Balinese hippie buddha statues in every color to put on our living room tables. Our children will be named after our muses and we'll grow old together riding bikes and chasing sunsets.

24/7 is... what goes without saying...
I just hope your heart is as calm and serene as the skies above me as I'm writing this...

July 23rd,
somewhere between Jakarta and Bali,


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