The sky was dark.
A misty grey cloak draping the horizon, slowly settling on structures and concretes.
A vast expanse of bleak veil.
The driver was silent. The car engine droned in monotone litany as I looked around. Sounds from outside came in muted; surreal sounds in a surreal world.
I saw buildings. I saw trees. I saw the road.
I saw people.
And the hazy air settled on everything, to corrode and pollute and transform.
And I felt a numbed sadness.
It’s weird. How my eyes needed three full years to see the country with new lens.
I felt… a dogged resilience, an almost primitive ignorance, a silent existence–wafted from the crowd, smirking through stained windows, mocking me, the ‘civilized one’, for being out of place.
It’s Midgard. The land chained to the Earth. Batavia.
Then I saw trees, again. Cihampelas. And I still don’t feel like I’m coming home.
But realization creeps in. My place is here, bound by fate, sealed by birth, written by God; not in the shimmering land of abundance I’d left behind.
City of flowers, Parijs van Java–swirling masses of milling people, a light sheen of existence barely visible but always present, fleeting images of Life. A safe harbor for the weary, a haven for the disillusioned. My home.