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Today, Jakarta is still the same as it was in previous days. A metropolis brimming with ambitious fortune hunters. Like many who have become slaves to the capital city, everything is about wealth and luxury. People from villages come in droves to this city with the aim of changing their luck despite their lack of skills. Because in their imagination, Jakarta is this bright, sparkling utopia that they see on television screens. You can’t deny the fact that the reputation of city dwellers, especially a city like Jakarta, will always be seen as the epitome of cool and extravagance by villagers like my family and I. Anything can be acquired easily without having to spend hours like we do.

But after personally experiencing life in Jakarta, I began to think that the life of a villager is actually a lot more prosperous. Produce from our own back garden and the nature that surrounds it can better guarantee life sustainability. Villagers are lucky to have fresh air in every corner; a panoramic natural environment that never refuses to be gazed at. Like I was when I was still living in my home in the countryside.

Every time I wake up and take a look outside, I see picturesque mountains and paddy fields, all glowing under the morning sun accompanied by the chirpings of birds from the rooftop. These are moments that I never want to miss out on. Ah. My hometown is beautiful indeed.

At the moment, I’m not there. Right now, I’m in the middle of Indonesia’s heart. Jakarta, a sprawling, polluted city where the air is not as fresh as it is back home. A city where its citizens are always busy the whole day.

My purposes and intentions being here are the same as everybody else’s: to be successful armed only with my determination and the songs that were written back home with Abah and my two sisters. My two sisters and I have tried our best to not depend on anyone else while we’re here. Because we know that Jakarta is an unsympathetic place even for those who work hard. Here, everything is money-oriented. We don’t want to simply trust anyone who’s nice to us, so we have to set aside at least 50 per cent of our doubt remaining just to be safe. That is why we have tried so hard to be so much more independent compared to how we were back home.

This is obviously something new for me. This time, I have to stay here longer than usual, all for the sake of continuing my journey to make my dreams come true. The longest I would typically stay in Jakarta is a maximum of 2 weeks, which is why it’s been so difficult for me. I have had to leave my family behind at home for quite some time. It’s been tough, but on the other hand, I also thought, “What will I become if I stay at my hometown? It doesn’t guarantee that I could achieve anything.” This reflection is the reason why I had to gather the courage to leave for Jakarta with my two sisters. I hope that I’ll be able to help my family financially once I live here in Jakarta and make them proud.

By being successful, I could come home and bring happiness for my parents, and banish all their worries so that we can live together peacefully in our village. I hope Jakarta could help me to achieve my goals so that I could make a swift return home. So that I could enjoy the view in front of my house, go tend to the paddy fields with Father, cook with Mother, reunite with my siblings, and have fun in my comfy studio while chatting about anything imaginable with Ibu Hoho and Abah.

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