Thursday, April 29, 2010

My Indonesian Friends

My Indonesian Friends

Just came back from a small farewell dinner with my Indonesian friend, Aji and Lydia. Through our conversations, we were taken back to our HNMUN days, how we missed it, and realized it has been over a year since. Most surprising is that the things we remember the most were the challenges that we faced throughout our journey. Like the suspense when I was left behind on the first flight, our troubles when we got separated and lost after visiting Liberty Island, how me and one of my friend, Hanif got stuck with the subway ticket. Me and Hanif (again) lost our money at New York. I lost it at the ATM , he lost it at the hotel room. How we me and Aji gambled through Washington looking for the hospital he was born in. Me gambling through Boston looking for the place I used to grow up in. How we walked a long way through Chinatown looking for a bus to Washington. There was much we went through; even this blog wouldn’t be enough to fit everything in.

One of the most memorable moments is when we got lost in New York and ran late for a dinner with the Indonesian Ambassador at the consulate. We were from Liberty Island and lined up for the ferry. There were about 15 of us, and we got separated when there’s only 5 space left inside the ferry and the rest of us were left behind. So we had to wait for another ferry which we waited for another 45 minutes! We went easy at first, but then realized we were already late for the dinner! Our Faculty advisors had already arrived at the Consulate and were furious that we are late.

We were already late, and once we got onto the mainland, no taxi were to be found! We walked and walked to find one, but to no avail. So we decided to take the subway. This is when me and Hanif got stuck. Remember the cool American subway in New York you see in movies. Those are not real New York Subways. Those are Hollywood subways. The New York subway we went through was ancient. It’s so old that me and Hanif got stuck at the gate. Our ticket was sucked in, but we cannot pass through. So we went to buy a new ticket, but the machine was busted! It’s bank note slot was busted, so we had to use coins, which we didn’t have, so we had to beg people to for a change of coins with our bank notes. So we passed, got onto the subway, on our way to the consulate. We ran all the way to 58th street from the subway, where the Consulate was supposed to be, but when we arrived there, no Indonesian consulate can be seen. We asked around, and nobody knew anything about an Indonesian consulate. We were puzzled and checked the message our Faculty Advisors sent to one of my friends again. It reads 68th street. 68th? we were on the 58th, that’s 10 blocks away! We were so in a rush, that we misread it! We were lucky that there were many taxi on the 58th, so we took it straight to the consulate.

When we arrived, we can see our faculty advisor’s face all red. We’re an hour late! He’s furious. But we were in the consulate, and there were VIPs, people from other Universities, and all, so we decided to play cool. But it was very awkward because everybody else was wearing blazers, batik and tuxedoes, and we were in our jackets and jeans! We were supposed to change first but because we were running late, we decided to just go straight to the event. But the best thing I remembered is that we all played it cool, and introduced ourselves to the embassy people. They were delighted we finally made it.

At the end of the dinner, there was a band playing. They play classic Frank Sinatra kinda songs. Then, they asked if any of us wanted to sing. Me and Aji has the same passion for classic songs, and one of our favorite is Frank Sinatra’s ‘Fly Me to The Moon’. We were tensed before, running all over New York, and we knew later we’d have a scolding session by our Faculty Advisor. So, why not gamble singing a song in front of everybody?

And so we did, we asked them to play ‘Fly Me to The Moon’, and we both sang together. To our surprise, the head of Indonesian consulate stood up, took his wife’s hand, and started dancing! Then, the other’s followed. Before I know it, everybody was up and dancing. It was one of the joyous night of my life! Not just that I’m not used to sing in public, but now I’m singing in an Indonesian Consulate with a whole lot of people. On our way back to our hostel, I sang Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’ all the way. Fitting isn’t it? Singing ‘New York, New York’ in New York, passing through the city lights, the glittery Times Square which never sleeps. The city that never sleeps as they say. It was beautiful indeed. Then, when we arrived, as we expected, we had a ‘scolding session’ with our faculty advisors. But we settled it okay, and were like best friends again the next day. I will always remember that night in New York

Friendships are built through the hardships we went together. Once a friendship is born, it knows no boundaries. I don’t care whatever tensions that happened or will happen between the Malaysian and Indonesian governments, I love my Indonesian friends. We went through a lot together. When I am with them, never once I felt as an outsider. Even as the only Malaysian in the team. Being together for a year, practicing every Saturday, at cozy cafĂ©’s that I love, and finally getting to the US, and safely back again. It was the best moments I had here in Indonesia.

I couldn’t believe I will be leaving very soon. 3 years has gone by, and I will be leaving my Indonesian friends for good. Who knows when we’ll meet again. Whenever that will be, I’m sure all of them will be successful people in the future. Perhaps we’ll meet again in the US, me attending an international conference, and they were there too. Only, that time we’ll be real the delegates, representing our country for real. Who knows?


[MizZue] said...

soo good you found out your true friend!!! glad for you..and you did have a very memorable journey with them

Yusri said...

"Friendships are built through the hardships we went together. Once a friendship is born, it knows no boundaries."
- it just so true... (ceh cm sdey lak tetibe)..hehehehehe kalau x rase hidup susah, camner nk hargai hidup sng kn..hahahaha said...

Part of growing up, part of life... we all miss the good things we left behind. I miss my student's life, but, life goes on. Cherish the past, memories will stay forever, and, how fortunate you have good ones to always look back to! See you soon...

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