Indonesia Anonymus

We are a group of Indonesians, ranting about our beloved country. This blog is a result of many people grumbling about many things in many ways.
Feedback: indonesia.anonymus at gmail dot com


Anonymus is the Latin word for anonymous, the correct English spelling. The Latin spelling, however, is traditionally used by scholars in the humanities to refer to an ancient writer whose name is not known, or to a manuscript of their work. Read more at Wikipedia.

Our blog in Bahasa Indonesia (but rarely updated) can be found here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The journey of a broken heart 4

(Note: this is part 4 of 'the journey' series. To read from the beginning, click here.)

4. The Baggage

As expected, being a first timer in this public-transport trip along Java, I lost a bag.

I brought two bags for this trip: a backpack and a sport-bag (the one with a shoulder strap). My reason at the time was, in case I wanted to spend more than one day in a city, then I can just use my backpack and leave my other bag in my hotel. This way I don't have to carry all my clothes with me when I go around town. Both were quite small in size. I was determined to travel light.

Mind you I had been quite careful. In a bus, I always sit with my backpack on my lap, and my sport-bag between my legs, with the strap all around my ankle, so it is not easy to snatch. Or so I thought.

It went well for the first few days, until one day I was on a bus, on my way to the next city. It was in the middle of the day, hot as hell. As always, backpack on my lap, sport bag between my legs, strapped around my ankle. After a while, I fell asleep hugging my backpack.

When I woke up, the backpack was still there, the sport-bag's strap was still around my ankle, but the bag was gone.

I felt so stupid. Why didn't I think of that. It's a removable strap. Of course.

The next two days I was so upset I could not really enjoy my trip. I lost most of my clothes, and more importantly, I lost my camera, with pictures of the cities I had visited so far.
I was so angry. Along the way cursing the bag thief. And myself.

But then I realized something. I felt lighter. I felt free. There was nothing to worry about anymore. Less bag to watch. No valuables to guard. It's just me and my backpack, and I felt great.

And losing my camera made me pay more attention to what I see. No more of that busy grabbing the camera to take a snap. No more acting like a tourist taking this and that wherever I go.
Now I realized what a waste my previous days were. It was not a trip. It was a photo-taking exercise. I did not immerse myself with the surrounding. I was a mere spectator.

And for the first time in my life, I actually thought that my life can be simpler.
That in life, I don't need much at all.

When I was preparing for the trip, picking the light-and-easy-to-dry clothes that I needed to bring, I realized how overflowing my drawers were. Clothes everywhere. And socks. Socks everywhere and always not in pair. So I made a mental note: get another drawer for all my socks.

When I got back, I realized how absurd that is.
Yes, my drawers were full of stuff, but how many of those I actually wear? When I sort all my clothes, I ended up with a third that I actually would wear. The rest were the 'no way on earth I am wearing those' type, and the 'do not fit my waist anymore' type.

So I donated them. And I did it quick because I knew if I waited another day, more and more would be pulled back and kept. I have a habit to hoard and I am not proud of it.
Now my drawers are half empty.

And the note? To get another drawer? Just for socks? for SOCKS?
That's just insane.

I couldn't believe I thought of that in the first place.
Whoever thought of that, I was not that person anymore.

That sport-bag I lost liberated me.


Anonymous Kamil said...

IA (or the guy who made the trip), you're really spelling out what's been running in my head.

Everytime my travel takes me to a foreign land, to places where history took place, where uninhibited traditional rituals are performed, that's every time I see tourists NOT looking and immersing themselves in the activity. No. Everyone now "sees" the world through their 2.6" LCD on their camera. Everyone wants to capture the moment, but none wants to live it.

Great post. I agree with the rest of the post too. Will forward this to everyone of my friends who travel/take too many photos with flash to the point of annoyance to people who do, if you don't mind.

5:13 AM  
Blogger Oscar Guo said...

so we should modify the adage that says "You can’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone", then?
i do like your life-free and smell the roses philosophy of yours, sometimes our minds is heavily occupied with agendas and goals, it makes us forget to appreciate the world, as is..

11:24 AM  
Anonymous b4nch4 said...

really enjoy reading your story, can't wait for the next one =)

8:43 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...


You described it beautifully:
"Everyone wants to capture the moment, but none wants to live it."

Feel free to forward any of the posts and thank you for the kind words.

That's a good point. The "You can’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone" is still true too, though, depending on the situation.
Thank you and glad you like the post.

Thank you. The next post is coming. Hopefully. (Can't really tell, these days everybody seems to be -or pretend to be - busy).
But we'll do our best not to disappoint you.

9:21 PM  
Blogger nCy.voiLa said...

i totally agree ..
it's true that from all the wardrobe we have, usually we only wear one third of them regularly..
especially women ;) .. i do wardrobe recycling once a year..

I'm catching that the baggage could be a metaphor for our past as well?
sometimes the past haunts someone until he/she can't move on, and of course it needs to be unloaded ..

PS : although i enjoy this story, i still find it annoying if i lost one of my belongings .. :D

i lost my mobile phone once, a pickpocket took it when i was in a tram.. and i did have the same feeling as the writer..
at first i was frustrated as my mobile phone got everything i need: organizers for my classes, appointments, to-do-lists, all the important messages from my now-ex-boyfriend, and because at that time i was an international student in foreign country, surely i need my mobile all the time to communicate with my family..

in short, i can't be separated from my mobile :D
but after that "pickpocket" incident, as i need to wait for a new mobile for a week, hence i was mobile phone-free for a while, i did feel lighter.. i didn't have this compulsive need to check my mobile every hour anymore, i started to take notice of people when i'm in public, and etc.

but yeah, although it's good for me to have that experience, it's still annoying to lose something, i hope i will never have this experience again in the future.. :D

7:56 PM  
Anonymous colson said...

To draw wisdom from an unpleasant experience demands philosophical talents.

I would love to say I would do the same. But unfortunately I only can imagine myself raging in a similar situation, though actually I could do with a few pair of socks less as well.. Not so much the theft itself, but the thought of some rascal invading my privacy...

An inspirational post though.

9:53 PM  
Blogger yugho said...

i really enjoy your story and totally agree with it. More and more ppl are taking pictures while traveling that they forget to enjoy it with their own eyes and heart. :)

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Silverlines said...

You know what, I printed the story and read them before bed. All series (by far) of the journey of a broken heart.
Some blessings in disguise? :D

But I like the philosophical way of Al looking at things he found during his trip.
Par Fait!!!

9:14 AM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

nCy . vLa,
Thank you for sharing your experience of losing your phone.
Yes, it is good to have a phone-free life once in a while (but not by being forced to it by having our phone stolen...)

Thank you. The writer did admit that he went through a 'period of rage'. So you are not alone...


4:15 PM  
Blogger Indonesia Anonymus said...

Wow, you're too kind... Thank you.
And your comment also did us some good:
The thing is, not all of us here at IA actually read Al's posts. (Some like to pretend they're busy).
They thought they just let Al take the reign of this blog and do 'whatever that can cheer him up'.

So when we forwarded your comment around, they are all interested to read more.

All because of your comment. So thank you.

6:34 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home