It’s Monday night. I find myself sitting in a big table in Cazbar, drinking glasses of good red wine, listening to the good music (although there was one time I raised my eyebrows when they played Wham!’s Wake Me Up Before You Go Go – and was surprised that nobody protested, not even Jasper, the cute bar manager who was sitting next to the player). Mr. Mck was sitting with Jasper, leaving me alone in peace doing my blog. Which is perfect because Cazbar provides fast and free wi-fi, and the dial-up internet in my apartment really makes me want to chew my jeweled sandals. They’re waiting for Pasky to turn up; and mr. Mck has started a rumour about him being a Singaporean James Bond. It’s yet to be proven, but having known him for a few years, and no one could really tell what he does for a living, it might be true….
It’s our first quiet night. My weekend started in Surabaya last Friday when my father knocked on my door at 5.30 AM, and I landed in Jakarta at 10.00 AM, had lunch with my ex-colleagues (who now are scattered in three different companies which compete against each other, but our friendship never ends), was being nosy by visiting Provis‘ new office in Indonesia Stock Exchange Building and met my ex-bosses and ex-colleagues, told them I felt like I was back home, listened to the British CEO commented about Scotland and being Scottish (read again: he’s British. Cute though, but still British). The Friday night started in Coffee Club, then Red Square, and ended in X2. Picked Stuart up from the airport the next day, and after a couple of hours of rest, we went to Cazbar and finished after 3 AM. Sunday was at Ritz-Carlton for brunch with free flow champagne which then continued at Eastern Promise. In short, I started my weekend on Friday at 5.30 AM and finished it on Sunday at 10.00 AM.
What’s my point of telling you all of these?
That this is exactly why we miss Indonesia. Shopping malls which open until late, taxis which are easy to hailed on every corner of the road, bars which keep serving drinking until the last drops, barmaids who pose for sexy calendars (*cough) and friendly (*double cough), cheap Sunday brunch, sunny weather, busy bars and nightclubs everywhere which are still buzzing after 2.00PM on Monday nights….
Yes, from the surface, everything is exactly the same. But the only constant is change. Since the beginning I have noticed that a) life goes on and b) hence my friends’ priority has shifted. Before long I’ve realized that either my friends are getting busier and it’s difficult to incorporate me back in their lives, or I don’t matter as much as I do to them as I used to. Or they’re just lousy at committing to personal schedules.
How could I foolishly think that when I arrive they will set their schedules clear for me for the whole 2 weeks and ready to meet whenever I want to? Since I have arrived, we haven’t gathered in a complete form; there’s always one or two who couldn’t make it. It was quite hard to take since last Friday (two rejected since they’re ‘having other plans with other friends’), and then last Saturday, when (I thought) everyone would have gathered to celebrate ‘me coming home‘ and give me ‘the late birthday present’, and I ended up celebrating it by having text messages canceling the lunch (which I didn’t initiate in the first place and the one who did, actually the first person who canceled), up to the point I had my limit and canceled it altogether. I have a big event coming in next August, and one of my friends says that she might go to another country for another wedding. She didn’t turn up on mine last August.
But then I realize, time doesn’t stand still. Life goes on. Everyone’s moved on.
It’s been 6 months that I have been hanging on to what I have had here in Indonesia, while in fact I’m already physically not here. Despite always have managed to get brand new gossips about everything (sometimes I was the first to know!), I am not in Indonesia anymore. Everything has changed. Everybody has changed. People make new friends. People have new lives. I don’t know whether my friendships with my friends are different from mr. Mck (Pasky arrived from Singapore, went home, had shower, then met him after 10 PM, but he made the effort to see mr. Mck), and I’m starting to wonder…
In between this posting and my glasses of red wine, I was chatting to an old virtual friend who happens to be a son of Indonesia’s Minister. And both of us agree that time will prove who our (real) friends are. There will be people in our lives, but only a handful will stick around. No matter who we are, what we are, and where we are.
And when you have those people, just hang on to them. You’d rarely find someone like them. Those who care. Those who show they care. Those who appreciate when you care and return them.
“False friends aren’t always that bad because it shows you about yourself and teaches you to be strong and life goes on.” – Josh Wojo
“Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” – Kahil Gibran
“You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back.” -Barbara DeAngelis
“Life is partly what we make it, and partly what is made by the friends whom we choose.” – Tehyi Hsieh
“Friends are born, not made.” – Henry Adams
Related post: I’m Too Busy For You