It’s 6 A.M. and my last day in Indonesia is about to start. If all goes well, I will actually have made it through. A friend once texted me ‘sick of this country, I can’t even see any of its good bits’… after having been here for, perhaps, a week? So yes indeed, I feel as if I’m totally entitled to say I’m p-r-e-t-t-y exhausted. In fact, whenever anyone asks me, I can no longer pretend that I’m sad or disappointed to be leaving now. I answered one question by victoriously raising my fists and exclaiming that I was FINALLY about to go home!
After saying goodbye to my colleagues yesterday, I went straight from the office to the famous Botanical Garden in Bogor. It was there that I realised that although I may be leaving Indonesia, Indonesia is not leaving me. Because how much I may sometimes, yes, loathe this country, I was never bored with what I was doing here. Ever.
Here ‘s the thing… I sit on a couch and I watch. The schemes are vicious, the plans big, the disasters cruel, the affairs very secret, the heroes heroic, and the bad guys not always really that bad. And as the plot unfolds, I judge and I shake my head in disbelief, and I clasp my hands and hold my breath and clutch my heart. And of course, everything turns out exactly right too, sometimes. Bliss.
Indeed, I got totally hooked on this soap opera.
Moreover, in the course of these past months I somehow ended up nestling myself between a bunch of others. They are also watching, vigorously analysing, predicting, guessing and recapping episodes of the past. They’re laughing and sharing the way old friends do, so the mood is quite cheerful. There’s an abundance of good, strong coffee. I grab a hand of peanuts myself. They don’t even mind that I talk with a mouthful.
And then a door opens.
TO BE CONTINUED…