Find the Beauty

I can’t argue no longer when people tell me ‘Sometimes things just don’t happen as planned, no matter how thorough the planning was done’. My sister and I had planned to hike Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Indonesia. The arrangement was all set about a month prior to the trip. As time slipped by, our excitement escalated, until about a week before departure when we learned that Mount Rinjani had erupted, resulting in the closure of the entire national park. After much thought, we decided to have the entire plan changed- have a trip to Bali instead (we just didn’t want to go home haha!). All the flights from Kuala Lumpur to Bali were full. Still not giving up, we decided to fly into Yogjakarta and continue to Bali from there. Yes, we got our tickets! We got to Yogjakarta past 8pm, and the flight to Bali was scheduled to leave around 11pm. It felt like a victory to be able to get out of the country! We were already talking about what we could do in Bali, including the possibility of climbing Mount Agung. Our excitement and hope were taken away from us when the airline staff announced that the flight was canceled as the direction of wind had changed, blowing the ash clouds from Mount Rinjani toward  Bali. At that point, I felt like my whole world had collapsed. They informed us that they might fly to Bali the next day around 7am, but there was no guarantee for that. It was all subject to the direction of wind (at least that was the understanding of my felt-numb brain!). We thought they would at least allow us to spend the night inside the airport. But that didn’t happen. There were quite a lot of us being affected. My sister and I tried to find a nearby budget hotel to crash for the night, but all were fully booked. We ended up going back to the airport. That was the only option left for us. As the night wore on, less and less people were seen. I guessed the others had gone to find their respective ‘holes’. In the end, there were just a few of us left. There were steel benches right outside the airport. Yup! they were our beds for the night. There were two gigantic screens displaying advertisements of all sorts, from cigarette to luxury car. The neon lights were so bright and colorful that falling asleep was hard. I tried to visit the dreamland, but neon lights aside, mosquitoes were attacking me from all angles! As the airport was located next to a train track, trains passed by occasionally, piercing the night with their extremely loud presence. It was definitely frustrating. I finally gave up on trying to fall asleep. My sister had reached her dreamland successfully. I sat on the bench and stared blankly at the fierce advertisements that were displayed over and over again. Silence gradually made its presence felt as the night slipped by. I looked around and watched my fellow stranded passengers. There, I saw the boyfriend tried to cheer his girlfriend up by making foolish acts. She laughed. In the end, he fell asleep with his head rested on her lap. There, the husband and his pregnant wife. They seemed to be enjoying their chat very much, like they had not chatted for a long time. There, the elderly couple. The wife was getting ready for ‘bed’, and the husband was sitting, also watching people like me. My heart smiled at those sights. I thought ‘I don’t get to see this everyday. This moment is priceless’. When morning finally came, the magic of the moment disappeared. After some hassles, we were finally boarding for flight bound for Bali. When our eyes met the eyes of those people who had endured the night, we smiled at each other. No words were exchanged. We were still very much strangers to each other, but perfect ones! 20151108_225835

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