Twenty four years ago…
I was born in Palembang, South Sumatera, Indonesia. I lived with five other people in the house; mom, dad, brother, and two nannies. The house was located at the main road. As I grew, I saw green grass on top of the soil, mango tree grew well, some pine trees and other plants stood beautifully at the front yard. When it rained, it was so good to look outside and see every drop of it. I remember the smell of the wet grass, wet soil, hmm…
I saw many tricycles around the neighborhood. I saw people walking to school… or riding a bicycle. People did their groceries in the traditional market. They usually went with tricycle to the traditional market. I remember the smell in the market, smell of fish, smell of wet ground, smell of fresh veggies.
At school, there was certain day every week where we would get free milk and breakfast. I remember how they serve it, I remember the smell of the food, the fresh milk. I remember reusable plates they used. They were colorful and clean.
During free days, we didn’t go to malls. We only had one mall in Palembang. There was no air conditioner. So, instead of going to a mall, we liked to go to friend’s house or just played at home. I remember how much I loved playing rocking horse. When going to my friend’s house, we liked to play dolls, hula hoop, swing, or simply hide and seek. I remember how fun it was! I remember the good feeling to have my body moving here and there, laughed, it was priceless.
Then I moved to Greater Jakarta at the age of four. I remember how I didn’t like that idea. But it turned out fun too. I could ride bicycle in the neighborhood. I played marbles with my brother and cousins. I remember how we liked jumping on the bed. I remember how I loved role playing with the kitchen set toys I had. And we had so many local games we played without using any equipment, we just need people. I remember how crazily fun it was to interact with friends, ran and jumped here and there.
I remember the air I breathed every morning, it was fresh. And it is sad when I breath the air today, it is full of pollution. I remember that I had better views almost everywhere, I saw trees, I saw people walking, cycling, sitting together on the bench and laughed. I remember how friendly people were back then, greeting each other and smiling. I remember I could just walk on the side on the street with my mom without getting my face dirty, and now I can’t have my wet wipe stays white when I use it after a short walking in the neighborhood.
All of that was beyond measured. I wish the future could feel it too.
One thing that I still can’t remember… it’s — when did all this change?