the highlight of 2015

after a dark period in my life in spring/summer 2015, something came up that cheered me up and made me look forward to it. you know how you get excited when there’s something good to look forward to? it gets you going no matter how tough your present day feels like.

this thing is a gift from my mum: a year-end trip to Bali, Indonesia.

before i start, i would just like to say that many people (Indonesian and others) take it for granted that they can be around their families throughout the year. many of the people i know who live outside of their own home countries can visit their home countries & families at least once a year, some even many times a year. those people are quite lucky, and i hope they know it.

the last time i went to Indonesia and met my family was 4,5 years ago. the last time i spent Christmas and new year’s eve with them was 10 years ago. i couldn’t even remember anymore what it feels like to celebrate both events in +30C degrees!

the last time i went to Bali was about 5,5 years ago, and all my life i had only always visited Bali for a maximum 7 day trip. this time, i was there for 2 weeks.

so what all did i do there in 2 weeks, you might wonder. which temples did i go to, did i surf, did i snorkel, did i dive… well, sorry to disappoint you, but both my husband & i had been there as tourists a few times that now we didn’t even do any tourist-y thing. the main point was to just spend as much time with my family as possible, doing everyday stuff that might be boring for some but very precious to me as i can never do it while i’m here and my family is half a world away.

in a true Indonesian style, to be honest we had some mishaps in our trip, one of them was my sister getting food poisoning right on Christmas day and ended up in the emergency room. other mishaps included unexpected traffic jams that lasted 2 hours (it was in front of the Monkey Forest in Ubud), the AC in our hotel room being broken (not funny when it was otherwise +35C degrees outside), and… actually, let’s just forget about the other mishaps. :p because the most important thing is, i was with my family! yay!

the highlight of this trip, and probably of my whole 2015, was the new year’s eve. my whole family & i went to stay at a villa in Umalas, and not only the place itself was gorgeous, but what we did was something i hadn’t done in a long time with my family: sitting down together watching TV, playing cards and dominoes, listening to my dad’s choices of music, having lots of laugh… and when midnight came, we watched the fireworks (& flying lanterns) from all around Bali and hugged each other at 12 o’ clock. 🙂 that was simply priceless.

now i am back here in cold Finland (it just turned -20C degrees right on the day we came back here. thanks a lot, mother nature!), and seeing these pics got me teary-eyed again. i don’t think parting with my family will ever get any easier, no matter how many times i have visited my home country and family over the course of my stay abroad.

but anyway, without further ado, here are some pics of my trip.

first, our hotel, which is more like a lodge than a hotel, since it only has 10 rooms. very peaceful & lovely.

next, the sights we saw and things we did when we visited Ubud. unfortunately it rained every day when we were there, and then there were the traffic jams. but like i said, at least we were all together during those days!

after our stay in Ubud, these were all the other things we did, which was fun for us but maybe boring to you… 😀 some were taken in Sanur beach, some were in Batu Bolong beach, and most of them just around our hotel.

and lastly, our new year celebration. 🙂

that’s it for now, and my, what a lengthy post this turned out to be! again, i wish you all a great 2016! may love and happiness always be with us! 🙂

PS. the pictures shown in this blog post were taken by 3 different cameras & people, but most of them were by my husband and my sister. thanks for letting me use them here!

i (c)am(e) here

oh dear, i’m afraid i’m losing my interest in blog writing. before i came to WordPress, i used to write on my Multiply page like once every 2  months (except in the summer when i sew lots of clothes :p), but for some reason after i moved here, i write at least once a week. last week though, i fell ill, and since i couldn’t think of anything else to do (let alone write), i indulged myself to watching TV series. i become hooked to Fringe series, and have ever since used my free time to watch more episodes of the series. so that’s the reason why i haven’t been writing lately (like anyone cares?). watching TV is much easier than writing a blogpost, LOL.

but anyway, something came to my mind last night that i just had to write it down.

a memory of watching myself on a videotape from when i was 4 or 5 years old.

before you assume i’m a narcissist, let me finish (or start) the story.

for as long as i’ve lived, there’s always only been me and my older sister. i don’t have any other sibling, it’s always been the two of us.

but for my parents and my sister, there was a short time when there was another family member. my other older sister, who was in my mum’s womb for some time. my sister was probably around 3 years old at that time, and my parents were expecting their second daughter, when suddenly something happened to her, the unborn child.

i think she was already 6 or 7 months inside my mum’s womb when they realize that she hadn’t moved for a while. they checked on her, and it turned out that she didn’t make it. she was gone, before anyone had the chance to welcome her properly, physically. they had to take her out of my mum’s tummy, and of course, my parents, especially my mum, was crushed from the whole experience.

for 2 years, i was told, my mum was depressed, until suddenly i came to her. this time, of course, everything was okay, and i managed to come out just fine. 😀 i became the second daughter, when in fact, i was the third. would i even be here if my parents had their second daughter? i don’t know.

i don’t really remember how i was told about this middle sister, the one who was a stillborn. i don’t remember when exactly i was told about her either. but i remember distinctly this videotape that came to my mind last night.

i remember that my dad took the video, and he told me to just play normally as he recorded it. on the video, i was playing on one of my parents’ working desks (they had their office in our own house), and talking to myself, and occasionally, my dad would ask me things like what am i playing, stuffs like that. i think i said something like making a present, and my dad then asked, for who? i then answered, for my second sister. he knew that i was talking about the other sister, the one who didn’t make it, so he asked me what her name was. for some bizarre reason, i said, “Veni.” FYI, we never named her, and still haven’t to this date. i have no idea how that name came to my 4-year-old mind.

another thing i remembered afterwards was that when my sister heard that i named our second sister “Veni”, she protested. LOL. 😀 why in the world would her name be “Veni”, when our own names are intricate & oh-so-Javanese (thanks to our dearest dad)?? well, i didn’t know what to say to her back then.

but last night, it came to me. it’s strange, since i couldn’t have possibly known it back when i was 4 or 5, not having been going to school at all, how could i have possibly known that “Veni” would mean something in another language?

but it does. at least in Latin, it means something. something that is surprisingly relevant to my second sister’s experience. i’m sure you know what i’m talking about. 🙂

Veni, vidi, vici: I came, I saw, I conquered. “Veni” means “I came”.

she did come, even if only for a short while. and though i never even met her physically, maybe when i was 4 or 5, when i was playing as if i made her a present, she whispered those words to me, so i knew that she was there, that she came to us.

i’m writing this down now, before i forget about it in the future. because, dear second sister, we’ll never forget about you, no matter what your name is. you came to us, and though it was brief, you will always be a part of us. 🙂

L & P

masih keranjingan sama scrapblog..
masih nyoba2, dan lagi2 kepentok sama keterbatasan foto.
it took me around 1 week to finish it *hosh hosh*.

but nonetheless, i love it, and it’s dedicated to my one and only sister.
hope you’ll enjoy it as much as i did making it, mbak!

for bigger & better viewing, please click here.