The Bon Voyage Repercussion

They say home is where your heart is. So to know where my home is, first I have to know where my heart has been.

It’s 5 in the afternoon and I am currently inside my father’s car, on our way to relative’s house. I just realized that the endless highway of Jakarta is very loud. Well, to be fair, maybe it’s just because I am used to the quiet of Japan. Although the weather is really nice, people are grumpy. You know, traffic jam equals honking cars equal grumpy people. And grumpy people do not look up into the sky. Or feel the warm sun. Or breathe in the perfectly humid air. But thank God, I know better.

I just came back to my country, Indonesia, from studying abroad in Japan for 11 months. I am proud to say that I came back here not only with 3 extra suitcases, but also different way of seeing things. Yesterday I had my breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks in 3 different countries. As fancy as it may sound, it was surprisingly tiring. I am telling you, holding in tears for more than 12 hours is one hell of a job. And it was awful. Being here means I am not in Japan, which means I can’t see my friends, which means I have to keep things for myself. And I am not good at that subject.

I was born and raised here, in Indonesia. This is my home. I mean, this was my home. Well, technically my home is still here. Dang it, I don’t know what to say. This should be my home, right? Like, I have lived here for 21 years. Still, this place seems oddly unfamiliar and strange upon my arrival. Feels like wearing an oversized T-shirt.

I don’t know if it’s the street vendors, the smell from independence days’ celebration, the language, the people – it’s just… different. I can’t point my finger to what makes it different. It just is, okay? It becomes louder, the way seems longer, the language seems harder to be spoken.

Here the sun sets at 6pm and rises at 5am. The temperature is around 28 degrees celcius all year round. Fruits are cheap and easy to find. Foods are spicy. People are speaking in language I can comprehend, but it is difficult to talk back at them because the only language comes out of my mouth is either English or Japanese. And it’s not because I forget how to speak in my native language or a very good English/Japanese speaker, no. It’s about my reflex.

Things I Hate To Love

The first day after I came back to my country, I started to develop this feeling of hating things. Hating things that I loved so much. I hate loving my futon, loving the moon from my window at 2am during summer, loving the crazy humidity of Okinawa, loving my wonderful Japanese/foreigners friends. I hate loving the awkward coffee dates, lunches, and dinners I had back in Okinawa. I hate falling for things and people way too easily because now I am left with scraped knees and memories only.

Apart from growing hatred, I am also losing my identity. I have no home. When I was in Japan, felt like Indonesia is my home. Now that I’m back here, Japan feels more like home. I guess it is proportional, where home is. As you grow, your home changes. And you never really stop growing, right?

I am missing my life in Japan at this moment. It is weird to actually understand what people are saying, talk to my friends in my native language, drive cars. It is unnatural to sleep on my fluffy bed, watch normal TV shows and ads *lol. More importantly, I am missing my friends. It’s not the same without them. The thought of not being able to see them ever again is just unbearable. I never thought moving on would be this… heart breaking.

You might be surprised by how easy it is to part ways with someone for the rest of your life. That’s why when you find people you want to keep for the rest of your life, you do something about it. You fight.


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