It was pitch dark, about 4 in the morning when the driver assistant woke us up telling that we have arrived in our destination.
“Bangun!! Kalian sudah sampai” (wake up! It’s your destination, you have to get down here”
With eyes half open, and still wrapped around with sarong, we dragged our feet after grabbing our backpack and carrier half consciously trying to find the door. It’s merely like a dream, just about 12 hours ago we had experience on traditional burial ceremony in other remote place, still had our minds on it, how festive the ceremony was, the food, the people and everything around. Then we arrived in another place, just the 2 of us, in the middle of darkness.
Instead of bothered about what the driver’s assistant did to us, we laughed, wholeheartedly while geting down from the bus.
We didn’t know where we were, we barely saw each other, we realized it was only 2 of us and nothing else or maybe with many things around us. Again, it was pitch dark, we barely saw each other’s teeth no matter how wide our laughter were.
As we walked couple of steps, all of sudden we were surrounded by some guys with motorcycles, we did not know where they came from. Our hearts raced, our brains tryin to comprehend what’s goin on. One of them spoke to us. “Hei, the bus station or the port are about 3-4 km from here, and there won’t be any transportation to go there by this hour, you better go with us”
Relieved, because they were only “motorcycle taxi” offering their service, but kept allerted for they probably ripping out our money on the service.
“We’ll walk, thank you” and kept moving forward for whatever we might find in front. Still with sarong, backpack and carrier, each of us holding big fat DSLR camera. Not so handy for our small bodies. I felt one of those straps, be it a carrier or camera’s strap started slicing my shoulder for the weights. While my bestfriend started getting fever. After only some hundreds meter we decided to stop on small restaurant which still closed and hoping it will be open very soon, unfortunately they didn’t but they allowed us to use the toilet and we couldn’t thank you enough for that.
The sun rose eventually at our in the middle of nowhere, and we could see the road, quite rough, as we tried to analize how would we go. The things were not as creepy as we imagined before, when it was dark. We finally decided to use the “motorcycle taxi” to the bus station. As we saw people started their daily activities. Some of them are farmer, more are the boat maker / crafter. As this place wellknown as the place of pinisi boat* production. Our heart raced again, this time for excitement of another adventure. I forgot the hurts on my shoulder caused by the straps, my bestfriend felt better instantly. Our nerves waken up by the smell of the sea. Oh Jalesveva Jayamahe! Di Laut Kita Jaya! In english will be “in the sea we are Glorious!”
We waited inside the bus, was hot and very dry, the driver still wanted to add more people. We didn’t really understand the local language since we came from another island, so the best thing was just try to enjoy ourselves and embrace any condition we had. Then there was a young guy about 18 years old taking the same bus with us, tried to speak to us, asked many things and amazed how we 2 girls (considering from our bodies, we are classified as very small ones) been around some places and ended up in Tanjung Bira. Back to 2006-2007, there were only few people exploring this place and mostly guys, seldom girls. We talked alot and somehow inspired him, but the funniest thing is, he just dropped his destination and went along with us. He is a local person who went to bigger city to continue his study. As I recall, he was assigned in technic faculty, or another thing prestigious, and was about to go back to his hometown for semester break.
The road was rough and it was long, we both were dead tired and we could not even speak any words. I remember leaning my head on the window as I tried to sleep, but I could not, for the road was too bumpy. And we knew nothing about approximate time to get there, back then we only relied on the driver and the time, there was nothing we could do.
As we reached our place to stay, we again smelled the salty air from the sea. Natural endorphine. And we could not wait any minute to go to the sea. Left all our belongings in the room and hurried go to the sea, with cameras. It was breath taking scenery, the bluest blue of the sea. As we blended with local people, all heart warming yet overwhelming. At some points, we felt like our lives stop and started again in slo-mo. I clenched my bestfriend’s hand and said : babe, we’re home!

Home is where the blue turquoise sea.
“me and my bestfriend”


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