Yogyakarta, a Home That Never Was

It is the emptiness of those shelves that reminds me I’m running out of time. Those shelves and the big boxes, labelled with the address of home. After today, the inexistence of these boxes and those shelves will remind me that it’s time to say goodbye to this 36ft square room I’ve considered to be purely mine.

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Now I just feel stupid. My reminder should’ve been a calendar. Telling me that as of today, I only have 18 days left. 447 hours. But no, somehow I took peace in not having a calendar. And in not knowing how many days I have left, and in not paying attention of catalogueing my entire bookshelf. Only this emptiness is inescapable.

And this emptiness is here to stay. Until this room I proudly call mine is void of everything that is me. Until this room is only like a hotel. Until I lock the door for the last time and hand in the keys to my landlord.

I’ve been here for five years, but still it seemed not enough. The lost hours fill me with regret, I should’ve make the fullest of being in Yogyakarta. I haven’t been to Yogya Palace, haven’t make a proper trip to the Royal Tomb in Kotagede, or the Water Castle in Tamansari. Now that my time is running out I regret not spending time as a tourist. Instead, I was  faithful resident, happy simply from the fact that I’m here.

Being a resident is probably why I dread going home. It probably would’ve been easier if I simply treat this city as a tourism spot. If I was a tourist I probably will treat going home the way you treat the end of your vacation. Accepting that the last look of Adisutjipto Airport, simply is a step back to real life. For years, Yogya has been my reality, my real life.

Yogya, will you be the same the next time I come? Embracing me with smiles and help in everything I do, welcoming me and making me feel at home? Will I dread going back to my reality, the next time I visit? Or will growing into a metropolis wipe all the warmth?

You should’ve been a transit, but somehow you became home. This is a note for you Yogya, a home that never should have been.

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