Sunday, April 08, 2007

welcome to our story

it took almost a year to finish it.

four of us,
four styles of writing,
four characters to build the plot,
four continents to travel through in the story.

satu benang merah di dalamnya.

we love it.
hope, you will, too.

[cetakan kedua sudah beredar dan dicetak dengan perbaikan warna dan halaman. beberapa toko buku yang saya datangi meletakkan travelers' tale di bagian buku laris atau best seller. sementara koran sindo dan majalah cosmopolitan memberikan good reviews untuk novel ini. juga, 43 good reviews dari teman-teman di berbagai blogs dan website. thank you buat support-nya]
march was a traveling month. i spent only two weeks staying in jakarta. right after arriving from bali, i have to be at the airport early the next day departing to surabaya.

a scary moment occured at the runway of ngurah rai airport when my B747-400 flight carrying more than 300 passangers, mostly japanese tourists , aborted its take off. the plane started running fast from the edge of the runway going to its V1 speed ready to lift off when a sudden jolt was felt and the pilots aborted the take-off immediately. i've been in many take-off situations, but not once experiencing an aborted take-off.

in ten days from today, i will be flying to bali again invited to cover an indian-japanese wedding. quite unique. a week after that, singapore is on the schedule.

sometimes, i just wanted to be at home reading all the novels i haven't had time to read. but, i guess, they have to wait.

morning came. and, it was time to sail to catch some fish.

ada yang bisa kasih tahu nama persembahan buah-buahan ini?

visited a small temple during the photoshoot and there was a ritual going on. didn't know what the ritual name was, but it was so colorful with lots of fruits offerings on the ground. the priest took the money offering that put atop of the fruits offering. after the ritual, one of the hotel employees gave one of its offering to me and the team and we ate them all.

the boat sailed leisurely around east bali passing amankila and alila manggis. the clouds grew thicker, the blue sky turned greyish as it came to an end. rain would be just a matter minutes. physically i was tired from a long flight home from japan but having all these sceneries and with camera on hand, feeling tired was just out of question.

i was following a couple having their pre-wedding shoots here. the weather was just beautiful. the sceneries! bali is so beautiful even the word 'beautiful' is so understated.

i would want to have my pre-wedding shoot like this, too, i said to the one who arranged it. "just tell me the date and i arrange it for you," that one said.

took only one-day rest, the next day, still exhausted, my schedule flew me to bali for another photoshooting. this time, i would be in karangasem area where i the magazine never covered. it turned out, karangasem district was quite far than where i usually stayed in jimbaran area. but, i didn't regret it. blue sky, clear water, sea breeze not to mention hearty breakfast. it was just superb!

sakura blossomed early this year. such beautiful flowers indeed! in the daytime, its pinkish color grace the surroundings and in the evening the color gives light to the darken night.

one of otosan does during his retirement is farming the strawberries. you just can't resist having fresh cold strawberries after dinner which followed by drinking hot green tea.

i just can't get enough of sushi. makan sushi di jakarta, di bali, di singapore, di kansas city, di bangkok, di sydney rasanya semuanya gak ada yang nyamain daripada makan sushi di negara aslinya sendiri. nasinya tetap sama, nasi jepang (nippon kohan), tapi the way they made them, the way they curl the rice into a sushi shape and the way they cut the fish and make it into a nigiri sushi, it's just different.

knowing that i love sushi, otosan and okasan came one night and brought two trays of sushi that we ate together during dinner time. okasan cut the fish by herself and made me felt so honored.

kitkat anyone? what i like about this kitkat wasn't because of its chocolate taste. i forked in Y190 just to buy its can. japanese is so meticulous in packaging. if i couldn't contain myself, i would fly home with over-weight luggages full of cans.

just like the shape of its can. a Rp9,600 fanta can

my four-and-half years old nephew, masyu, looking to a japanese-bred puppy outside a grocery store. japan is a very safe country. people can just leave everything out and nobody will bother to steal or do bad thing. a couple of years ago, i, foolishly, left my passport at a post office in narita airport before walking through the immigration and i just realized it after more than half an hour. luckily, i remembered the last time i touched my passport and frantically ran to the post office. amazingly, the passport was still at the same place as when i left it.

my march started with a quick trip to tokyo. it was my fifth time visiting japan. i still remember like it was yesterday, when i was still a secondary school. i was dreaming of visiting Tokyo Disneyland one day but never thought i would ever be able to do that. we were poor. and, i said to my father when would i be able to fly away visiting other countries and seeing Tokyo Disneyland. father simply answered, keep visualizing and keep praying.

as i landed at narita airport after 7 sleepless hours sitting in upper-deck (never choose an upper-deck seat on a long-haul flight), i remembered what my father told me when i was 11 years old. one day, you would be able to visit Tokyo Disneyland. don't give up hope.

i would never give up my hope.