The Bittersweet of Yogyakarta: A Memoir

Lutfi Hanifah180410160040

Special Region of Yogyakarta, like its name, it also had a special story for me. First time I went to Yogyakarta, it was in 2015 when I had a high school trip with my friends. I was so excited at that time because other than it was my first time to Yogyakarta, it was also my first time to go on a trip with friends which meant no parents. Because it was my first time to go to Yogyakarta, so it kind of surprised me. I didn’t expect that Yogyakarta was that nice, start from the people even until the places that I visited with my friends. I fell in love with Yogyakarta from the first time I step my foot there, because I didn’t see much traffic not like what I usually saw in Bandung, not hearing so many car honks to us, so I thought my trip would be great.

We arrived in Yogyakarta around 5 am in the morning, where we took a bath and do the preparation in the public bathroom which also my first time to experience it. After that, we follow the trip schedule from our school until 7 pm when we finally done and went to the hotel. I thought the most interesting part was when we actually had our free time, just we, ourselves with no teachers. We started to make a planning where we could go at that time, what food should we eat, and where we could shop to buy souvenirs. So, we didn’t really waste the time, the first place that we visited was the northern city square where they held a festival named Sekaten Festival. We tried so many rides such as ferris wheel, round up, and carousel until we couldn’t count how much money we have spent for that place only. Until one of my friends Shafira, reminded us that we still had some places to go to, so we couldn’t spent all of our money on the festival.

After enjoyed so many rides in Sekaten Festival, we went to southern city square not that far from the first place. In southern city square, we saw the legendary banyan trees. They said if we could walk pass the trees, our wishes would be granted. Then because of that myth, we couldn’t skip it just like that. We tried it too with the blindfold which we could lend for Rp. 5.000,00 each person. It was quite expensive actually, but our curiosity got us much better than anything, so it didn’t really matter. My friends tried it one by one and most of them succeed in passing the banyan trees easily, so I got more curious. I tried it last and while I walked straightly passing the tress, I pray to god. I wish our happiness would last longer, and I wish we could enroll to our favorite universities. In southern city square, we could also lend a beautiful odong-odong because they put so many lights that made them pretty to go around the square. We had so much laugh while riding that thing because that was also our first time to drive it. We had a hard time to drive it at first, but then we managed to drive it smoothly thanks to my friends who worked really hard to pedal it. I was really happy because at that time we didn’t really think about anything other than just enjoying ourselves and have fun.

Without we realize it was already 10 pm when our stomach started to grumble, so we decided to go to Malioboro to shop and to buy some foods. We then ate in aAngkringan, a long carrying pole with hampers on either end. I ate nasi kucing for the first time, which was a small portion of rice with toppings such as sambal, fried fish, seasoned potato, and quail egg satay. It was so delicious with Javanese taste that was sweet but spicy at the same time even my friend, Nadila had to take another portion because she liked it so much. I thought I couldn’t really get this taste in Bandung, so this new taste was really overwhelming and matched really well with my tongue.

After we were full, we went to Malioboro Street where there were a lot of shop to buy souvenirs for people at home. Many people said that Malioboro is a must place to visit if you go to Yogyakarta, and I agreed with that. We finally spent almost all of our money here because we wanted to give the souvenirs for our family, our relations and also our other friends. We bought so many things start from batik until the famous bakpia pathok, we bought them in Malioboro. We also had a lot of discount because Malioboro was a place that you could bargain to get a cheaper price. After we stroll around Malioboro, we went to Malioboro mall that could be reached by only walking for some meters. Not much to see in the mall because it was like the average mall we could find in Bandung, but before we could continue our walk my friend, Nabila started to realize that she forgot her shopping bag and it was left behind. She start panicking because that shopping bag contained all of the souvenirs she bought before which cost a lot of money. We tried to calm her by saying that we would go and find it with her, so that we went back to every shop we visited before but in the end, we couldn’t find it anywhere.

She started crying after that, blaming us for not reminding her and not to take notice beforehand. Of course, that was ridiculous but I was trying to understand her because I knew she was upset and sad for losing that shopping bag. Until one of my friends, Elda couldn’t take it anymore and start to yell to Nabila because she didn’t stop crying and blaming us for what happened. The situation got darker and the tension between them got thick after that, when they were yelling and shouting to each other until some people looked at us. While I, Nadila, and Shafira tried to stop them, Nabila storm off of the place alone and left us. We knew from that, that it wasn’t going to be easy. Finally I, Nadila, and Shafira tried to talk to Elda about the situation and we tried to make her understand about it, and after so many long talks she understand it and willing to apologize to Nabila regarding her action. So we went back to the hotel and saw Nabila in the lobby cried alone. We came to her, calm her, and then apologize to her. She also admitted her mistakes and apologize for what she had done.

Indeed, just like its name Yogyakarta was very special. In just a day, Yogyakarta allowed me to experience their nice things about this city, allowed me to get closer to my friends through our experience in their amazing places, but also gave us another different story which we didn’t really expect in the unexpected place. But good or bad the stories about this city would remain special for me just like what Yogyakarta should be.

Photo by: Pradito Rida Pertana on tribun jogja (July, 13 2018)

A School, A boy, and the Memories: A Memoir

Rizky Aprilia Fajarningtyas


July 2003.

It was the time when my family and I moved to Bekasi after six years of living in Yogyakarta. Around the same time, I started elementary school. SD Bani Saleh 6 was the school which was chosen by my parents. It was not really big, but the atmosphere made me felt safe and serene. I spent six years learning many stuff, but I felt it was very short because I enjoyed my time there. Happiness, sadness, Laugh, fear, anxiety, and shame were the feelings behind my journey of my school life. However, this school was a place that taught me a lot of things. I met many great teachers and also various types of friends – that made me amazed because I was just a six-year-old girl who knew nothing about other human life and interaction before. Academic and non-academic activities could be carried out well because the place was guarded strictly by securities, so people who did not have any importance matters were prohibited from entering the school. The shady trees around this school brought the cool air that made me happy studying at that place.

When I was in the first grade, I was placed in class 1C. It was located on the corner of the first floor near the stairs. Maybe this made my class a bit dark and felt damp. This class was quite large to be occupied by around 32 students. This place was a witness where I met my new friends for the first time after moving out from Yogyakarta. It was a bit hard for me to adapt in my new school, my class specifically, because I came from another city. I was six and I was required to be able to adapt quickly in the new surroundings. It was so challenging and made me felt anxious. First day of school was felt so hard to be passed. I had no friends because I was uncommunicative to others. So, those days was just filled with my solitude. Yes, I felt alone in the middle of crowded atmosphere. I tried to observe other students, how they behaved and how they got along with each other. I envied seeing they mingled, started a conversation in the hallway of the school, and ate their packed meal together in the class or at the bench outside the class. They enjoyed their days, whilst I was just alone and kept my eyes on them from a distance. Actually there was a person who got acquainted with me, but it did not get long because after that meeting, she was back to her friends. The lack of confidence made me became an antisocial kid. In class, I chose to sit at the back row to avoid people’s attention. I was sit with a girl which even I did not know her name. Those bad days went on about a month. Luckily I survived.

At first, being at the back row was fine for me. I could understand what my teachers explained. I also made a note in each subjects. However, I started to feel something was wrong with my eyes. When my teachers took notes on the whiteboard, I could not see clearly. The writings were blurred, so I had to open my eyes bigger to be able to read that notes. My class had a dim light and lack of sunlight because it was blocked by another building. It made me felt dizzy when I looked up to see the objects. I knew this could not be done for a long time. After all, I had to go back and forth from my seat to the front so that I could take notes.

One day, I was in math class and as usual, we had to write about the explanation of the material we learned that day. Like I did before, I went to the front row to see what was on the whiteboard then I went back to my seat to write. It seemed that my teacher saw what I did. So, she told me to move to the front seat. The decision from my teacher was very helpful for me. She also told me to sit at that place until I did the eye check and wore glasses to help my sight.

At the front row, I sat with a boy. He introduced himself and also asked my name. I would not mention his name, let’s call him Malik. That was our conversation and we were back to our own business. He was busy with his note and I kept trying to read the notes on the whiteboard. Moving to the front row did not help me as much as I thought because my sight was still blurred. I started to feel anxious until I did not realize that Malik saw me. She called me and handed me his notes. He helped me, so I did not find difficulties to read the writings on the board. I was little surprised by what he did, so I did not say anything but thanked him. Since then, he often lent me his book when he finished taking his notes. We also started to chat and he taught me the subjects that I did not understand.

A few weeks later, I had worn my glasses and my sight became clear. I did not need to borrow Malik’s notes anymore. And the good news, as time went by, I began to have courage to mingle with other students in my class. I met two people and always ended up together. How’s Malik? He was still fine, although we were not as close as we used to. He was with his friend and so was I. The rest of my first years went well. We began to explore school life that apparently we have never known and tried before.

In the 2nd grade, Malik and I became classmate for the second time. We were accepted in the superior class. It was located near my previous class and it had a good lighting both from the lamp and the sunlight, so, it helped my sight so much. Here, our academic activities were more hectic than the other two classes. This class was always crowded because the eagerness to learn of other students was bigger. The friendship of Malik and I became more distant than before because we had our own group of friends. In the 3rd grade, Malik and I, and the other seven students became the representative to represent our school at the assessment of school’s rating at the institution (the institution was in charge of my school, there was six branch for the elementary school, from SD 1 until SD 6 Bani Saleh). Whether we wanted it or not, our study time was added in order to get the good result when the activity was held. We often studied together in a room near teacher’s office because the atmosphere was calm and far from the crowd. There, Malik still explained to me about what I did not understand, like we used to do. Even until know, I still do not know why he did good things for me.

My friends and I tried to be more active when we were in the 4th grade. We joined different extracurricular. I did not know whether it was a coincidence or not, but Malik took the same extracurricular as me. We chose scout as our non-academic activity. He was with his friends. Since then, we always met each other when we joined regular exercise every week in school. Our scout team was well-known among other elementary schools because we often won at various scout competitions. We were trained with great discipline so that we can maintain the achievement that was achieved by our seniors. We trained at the school field with our instructor. He chose that place because the field was decent for us to do scouting stuff. When the competition was near, we trained more intensively every day after school. It was tiring of course, but we enjoyed all the process, so every single matter felt memorable for us. Malik and I were on the core group that often represented our school to take part in competitions. We had lots of time to meet. Unconsciously, we became close friend. We often hanged out and played together around the school when there was a break in the middle of training. We usually sat near park to relieve our fatigue while chatting with others. We often fight because of little problems and jokes that slightly over the line, but we were still friends. We were just around 10 or 11 year old kids who did not understand about personality in each individual. After all, my school was a memorable place for me. I got many lessons there and I could meet Malik, a funny and attractive boy.

Photo by: Rizky Aprilia F

When I Visit Aki: A Memoir

Nurul Hanun Asyifa


My father never really told me that his parents had separated since he was little. I remember how confused I was when he announced that we were going to Banjar to visit my grandfather. I certainly thought that it was rather odd to visit my grandparents in two different cities. But my father did not say anything, not even when I asked him if he had two homes. He just smiled and answered, “Aki will be very glad to meet his beautiful and handsome grandkids.”

I was around six years old when I visited Aki in Banjar for the first time. When I think about Aki, I think about his small house with two coconut trees in front of the front porch. There were always ducks or chickens running around the front yard. The old and odd smell of the house, and the smell of tobacco which lingered in the air. As long as I could remember, Aki was always old. He would be sitting in the front porch wearing sarung and smoking tobacco. When he noticed us walking toward his house, he would stand up and smile—waving his hand and throw away the cigarette. The first time I saw Aki, I was hiding behind my father’s back. Before I turned six, I had never really visited him, so I could not remember how he looked like. Aki often forgot about things, but he never forgot about me and all the crazy and imaginative things that I had told him. My mother said that it was because of my curly hair and the fact that I was the naughtiest grandchild.

There was no television or any kind of electronic entertainment in the house. As a six-year-old kid, it was impossible to have fun there. When my father was talking to Aki, I grabbed his arm and asked him that I wanted to go home. Aki did not say anything, he just laughed and shook his head. My father said that there were many interesting things to see around the house, for Aki’s rice field was not so far from the house. My dad never scolded me, but I knew that he indirectly said no to me. So, I decided to wander and look for fun things around Aki’s house. My best-friend-cousin, Rifqah, came along. My father was right, there were indeed many interesting, and yet, scary things to see around Aki’s house. Rifqah and I found an old well near the coconut trees. We were very curious and we decided to see the well. Suddenly, there was a little boy shouting from distant. We were very surprised to see him, he then yelled at us in Sundanese, we could not comprehend all the words that he uttered. Turned out, he was Aki’s neighbor, and he knew the history of the old well. I still cannot remember that little boy’s name, but I can remember the look on his face when he told us the horror story of the well. The old well was Aki’s, and a long time ago, somebody had committed suicide and died inside the well. The spirit of that person was still haunting the well. My cousin and I were so frightened that we instantly decided to leave that old well for good.

We then continued our adventure, we wandered around the bushes to look for interesting things. My cousin yelled from distant, she said that she had found something very interesting. Indeed, it really was. There was a railway behind Aki’s house. I was so excited because I thought I was going to see some trains crossing the railway behind Aki’s house. But no trains ever crossed that railway, and I did not know why—not until in the evening. Aki was smoking in front of the porch, watching his chickens and ducks from where he sat. My cousin and I approached him, and we sat beside him. Aki immediately threw away his cigarette, and he smiled. Aki always looked so happy every time I asked him random and rather uncommon questions. So we asked him about the railway behind his house, said that we had been waiting all day to see a train crossing that railway.

“The railway is no longer used.” said Aki, opening his story. Then he told us about the railway, which was actually built a long time ago, “When?” I asked, “A long time ago.” answered Aki, “But when?” asked Rifqah. Aki let out a small laugh as he said, “A long time ago.”. And indeed, it was a long time ago, before my father was born, and even before Aki was born. The railway was built in the nineteenth-century, when the Dutch still colonized us. Aki’s house was actually a garden full of vegetables, and there was a rubber plantation. The railway was very helpful to send vegetables and rubbers to the city. Then he told us about how the house was when my father was still a kid.

“There used to be a mango tree right there—near the duck house. Your father used to climb it, especially in mango season. But your father was too skinny when he was a kid, and he fell off the tree once. I think his arms were not strong enough to hold his own weight. Then your father moved to Kuningan with grandma.” told Aki. I was just nodding my head, trying to imagine how the place looked like years ago as Aki asked, “This house is very small and old, there is no bathroom inside the house, but are you happy here?”

I could not say yes, because I did not think I was very happy about visiting Aki’s house. There was no entertainment, no television, and there were too many ducks in front of the house. I was not able to understand how happy Aki was when his grandchildren finally visited him. Of course, we could not visit Aki every year. It took me years to finally realize that Aki was actually lonely. Aki always tried to make his grandchildren comfortable, so they would stay a little longer. But the ducks were still running around the house, the old well was still scary, the house still smelled like tobacco, and the railway was still not in function. It was very hard for me to stay in the house even just for a few days, especially when I was younger. However, as I grew up, I no longer see Aki’s house as just a small, old house which smells like tobacco. The last time I visited Aki’s house was around two years ago. When we were walking toward the house, Aki was sitting in the front porch, wearing sarung and smoking tobacco—he always did that, and he always will do. When it was time for me to go back home, I felt a sad feeling suddenly came and surrounded my heart. I got out of Aki’s house and looked at all those ducks and chickens looking for food on the ground. Then I walked past the coconut trees and all the bushes near them, thinking about how old those trees must be. I glanced at the old railway behind Aki’s house, still hoping that a train might cross that railway someday. I was still feeling nervous when I walked past the old well, asking myself if there was really a ghost living inside that well. And finally, as I reached the end of the footpath, I looked back at Aki’s house. Aki was standing there in front of his house. His hands were folded behind his back. I waved my hand at him, could not wait to visit him again and see him smile.

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A Place Full of Fish and Serenity: A Memoir

Evi Eprilliani

This is the story of my first attachment to a place. I have a spacious yard or area around my house. When I was a child, I grew up with my elder brother as my playmate in the house. We often playedPlaystation together until we forgot about time whenever my brother bought a new game. Actually, I never got turn to play but just watching him on his joystick was already exciting. The reason he forbid me from touching the joystick was that I am still a kid who knows nothing, apparently, he was afraid that I would break his precious item. Soon, I grew bored of it so I played outside more often. Unsure of what activity I wanted to do, I wandered around the yard with my bicycle while singing Gita Gutawa’s song. I went round and round, enjoying how the wind was caressing my face and hair. When my feet were about to get hurt from too much pedaling the bicycle, my father asked me to follow him to the fishing pond behind my house.

I rarely came there because of the rumor that people often found something scary within that area, either it was a voice or in a form of a woman. Just with the thought of it, I already got goosebumps but my father was waiting for me to follow him to the pond. We needed to walk in a straight way for about 25 steps, then the ponds were on left and right. My family owned the pond on the right side with a big mango tree. The location of the pond was near a paddy field, a tennis court, and the back side of the hospital. It was usually quiet there when no one played tennis. My father apparently liked the calming atmosphere and decided to fish there whenever he had free time. There was a chair made from the log which we used as a chair. The log’s surface was not smooth, the small part of the wood often got stuck in my pants. The water of the pond was so murky that I did not expect to see any fish below the water and for my father to catch a fish. The area smelled like nature, a good combination of the aroma of grass, tree, and water. A refreshing and clean air to be inhaled. The sound of cicadas and crickets filled my ears. Before my father set up his fishing rod, he went back to the garage to fetch a small hoe. Turned out, he looked over the area near the pond to find a mushy soil with worms inside. I joined him and able to collect some worms with my own hand. Then, we prepared the hook with worms as the fish bait. When he about to throw the hook, he offered me to throw it instead. It was my first time to touch a fishing rod. The item felt heavy as if it was full of a burden to catch a lot of fish. The wire of the rod quickly vanished below of the water. Slowly it went deeper as time tickling. I could not wait to catch my first fish. I wanted to show it to my mother too.

While waiting for the fish to eat the worm, my father and I talked about that area more. My father told me that the area would be changed, sooner or later. The tennis court near the fishing pond was going to be demolished because the hospital urgently needed extra space for a new parking area. At that time, I listened half-heartedly because my focus was on the end when the fishing line met the water. Not long after the contest staring battle with the surface of the water, something bit the worm down. I pulled the handle and rolled the reel only to find a fish on the end of the hook. I was so happy that I was able to catch a fish for the first time. I asked my father to release it because I was afraid the fish would bite my finger, its scale was also slimy and slippery. I felt so happy to finally able to catch a fish on my own even though the size of the fish was not that big. Throughout the day, we were both so happy and my father laughed whenever I panicked or screamed because the fish would not stay still.

In an instant, I got addicted to fish at the pond. After I came back from school, I put away my bag, changed my clothes quickly so that I able to spend most of my time there. There were many days when I decided to come here alone, without my father. Somehow, I grew attached to this pond. All bad thought I had about this before long gone, I understood why my father liked to be here. It was indeed a peaceful place, the ambiance made me want to stay there, enjoying nature. There was a time when I forgot to tell my mother about my whereabouts and she was looking for me until she had to call all my friends. When she found me, she quickly wanted me to go home and stay in the house. I was confused and thought my mother did not like me to go to the fishing pond anymore. I did not go back there for a few days because I did not want to make my mom angry, but my father asked me to join him again. Conflicted, I decided to just go with my father. I was not alone, so my mother would not mad at me right? Turned out, we got so many fishes that day, was it because I did not go there for a few days that this place was grateful for me to be back?

Until suddenly, one day the fishing pond was being closed and people gathered there to fetch the fish with their own hand. The construction of the tennis court was happening too. There were many people and the place became different in my eyes. Too many strangers and men with a big body who made me scared. There went the peaceful atmosphere, the green grass also covered by mud and cement, and the area smelled very fishy. The big truck contained rock, sand, and cement also passed in front of my house every day to deliver the building material. The area around my house felt so busy. I did not like the situation at all so I decided to go back to the house and joined back my brother with his Playstation. I confronted my father, as of why the pond needed to be demolished too. It was my favorite place at that time. My father said it was because he was afraid the waste from the construction would be thrown away into the pond which would make the fish to be killed. It was better for the fishes to be collected alive rather than later when they already dead. He could not do anything too because he did not have a right to voice out his opinion in the plan of demolishing the pond.

I wanted to go back fishing at the pond, but I could not do anything. Often times I stayed in a gazebo quite near the empty pond, not looking particularly at anything but the difference was really felt. I missed my fishing pond. I missed the breeze, I missed the sensation of victory whenever a fish was on the hook, and last I missed the time I spent there with my father. He was a busy man with long working hours but we able to spend so much time near the pond together, talked about many things. He was always there when I had a hard time facing the fish. The day after that, I spent most of my time back to the room again because for me it was a familiar place beside the fishing pond. The fishing pond will always be remembered by me because, at that place, I felt closer to nature and also to my father.

Photo by: Jurnal Asia

The Time of Our Lives: A Memoir

Inats Mahara Saniya


I was around 14 years old when I visited Bali for the second time.

The first time I went to the tropical island was a year before the second one on a school field trip. Days were well spent and the trip produced pleasant memories to be dearly reminisced, so when I was informed that the whole family, including families from my mother’s side, were planning a big family vacation to Bali, I was simply ecstatic. I looked forward to exploring more of the island with my cousins, whom I was deeply fond of. It was in August, the perfect time for the families to gather as the children were having school holidays. The night before the flight always had to be the most chaotic, and at times, fun experience. Picking outfits which took longer than half an hour, gathering all the valuable documents, buying snacks and drinks, and stuffing all of them into the suitcase could be exhausting yet exhilarating at the same time. I remember laying all my favorite dresses on the bed just before helping Mom zipping up her suitcase. Time passed insanely slow when we anticipated for tomorrow, so I slept and drifted into dreamland.

The next day we boarded the plane in the afternoon. Looking back, it surprised me how nonchalant I was having to travel by plane. I can barely get to the airport without sweating out of anxiety now, but back then, I was pretty composed and even seemed to mildly enjoy flying. I sat in the middle as my two older cousins, Hanna and Cindy, sat on my sides. I wore a blue striped sundress which reached down until my knee, and my look was perfected with a pair of sunglasses to give off the traveling vibe. During the short flight, we didn’t do much except for taking a few pictures and talking about what we’d do once the plane touch the ground.

Maybe it was the atmosphere of vacation, maybe it was the realization that you were about to actualize the scenarios you had created in mind about your ideal vacation, or maybe it was both. For as soon as the plane came to a halt in the runway, I couldn’t contain my excitement to immediately exit the large vehicle and officially ‘begin’ the trip. My head immediately thought of the beach, as the last time I was in Bali I could only play around in the beach for less than an hour. So this time, with my cousins, I was determined to have fun under the sun for as long as I please.

Bali, in my opinion, was enchantingly beautiful. This indeed seems like an overstatement, but having only been living in Jakarta, the polluted, everyday-traffic-jams city all my life, the natural scenery gave a refreshing image, a breath of fresh air compared to skyscrapers and lined up malls I usually pass through. It might also due to the fact that Bali is highly romanticized, the island has always been portrayed as magical, abundant in beauty and evoking sublime feelings.

After collecting our luggage, we soon drove to the hotel by the car my uncle had rented for the trip. Kuta, the mainstream, over-visited, resort town, became our choice to stay at. I had no problem staying in Kuta, or anywhere in particular since it was the adults who had to pay the bills anyway. So in Kuta, the story of adventurous and mischievous young adults took place.

That night of our first day in Bali, the young kids went out in secret to have fun by ourselves as suggested by Aldy. Our room was located at the end of the hall, and we had to be careful not to get caught trying to pass the parents’ room and reach the lobby. I felt like smuggling some kind of prohibited items by the way we were walking so carefully and not so gracefully. I tried holding up my laugh seeing how nervous we all looked, but my heart was pounding both of fear and excitement. It didn’t take long, for we soon were outside the gate of the hotel. We were welcomed by the night view, which was simply gorgeous. Little shops and stalls were lit with colorful lamps, music was blasting from a café, the wind blew just enough to soothe your troubled mind, and the world seemed to be ours.

We came to eat at a stall that served fried chicken not too far away from the hotel, and Aldy, being the oldest, offered to pay for the dinner. It felt oddly refreshing, unfamiliar yet satisfying. The moon seemed to be just above the roof, the leaves twirled around as if they were dancing. Both foreigners and locals gathered in Kuta, everyone was enjoying the beauty and hospitality of the paradise island. Being outside by our own made me feel like an adult for the night, there was no one to order us here and there and it was just a whole new experience. I was dying to go to the beach on our first day, but it was late and there wasn’t much to see under the dark. So then, we made a promise to go to the beach at least once before taking a flight back to Jakarta.

Our visit to the beach didn’t happen until the last day as we mostly visited cultural heritages. Mom wouldn’t let us go because it was close to boarding time. It wasn’t though, the flight was scheduled to take off in the evening while it was still in the morning. “It’d be troublesome,” she said, “you’d lose track of time and we might be late.” I tried convincing her I wouldn’t, we wouldn’t, and it seemed like the debate wouldn’t come to an end anytime soon. 14-year-old me was a lot to handle, I sulked and made a scene which seemed to drain Mom’s energy in an instant. She eventually let us go, but denied to come along as she’d preferred to relax before coming back home. I quickly unzipped my suitcase to find my swimsuit nowhere inside. I was panicked for a split second, as I could’ve swore I’d put it inside. My cousin Hanna, who noticed my slight distress, suggested me to just wear what I was wearing to the beach, a red shirt with shorts. “It wouldn’t be embarrassing, in fact, I’d just wear a shirt and shorts too.” she convinced me. Her words brought me comfort and without further ado, we headed to the beach. As if experiencing a déjà vu, this time we were only by ourselves again.

Ten minutes was all it took by walk to arrive at Kuta beach. We didn’t waste any time and immediately get into the water and have fun. It was the typical splashing water at each other, racing to be the fastest to reach a point types of game. The waves kept hitting us and Cindy had an idea that we jump together just before another wave hit us. It was quite an idea as I’d never tried it before. Cindy did the countdown, and when she shouted three and the wave was a split second before us, we made our jump. It was smiles and laughter until I could feel stabbing pain on my right knee, which made me lose balance and fell. The beach was no longer mesmerizing, times of fun were short-lived as my focus shifted to the pain. I’d injured myself quite badly since I couldn’t bear to walk. We only spent thirty minutes or so there before going back to the hotel to have my knee checked, which was disappointing as it was shorter than my first visit to Kuta beach. However, all the sneaking out at night and knee injury became the most memorable experiences of the whole trip, which I probably wouldn’t ever forget.

Photo by: Netfalls Remy Musser retrieved from Shutterstock