New Year in Ubud

Sendiri.   Bahasa for “alone.” I say it often when I ask for a table at a warung or ask about transportation rental.  Yes, I am sendiri and no moment is this more obvious than now,  sekarang. It is close to 9.30 in the evening and I am alone in my little bungalow at my home stay at a family compound in Ubud. Yeah, hearing the family having a get together while the smell of sate grilling fills my room and fireworks explode outside remind me that I am sendiri sekarang. Alone now. Last year, I was at quiet Muang Ngoi Neua in northern Laos. Even then, a small crowd of tourists managed to party at a bar by the river. I stayed in my room. Snuggled under the sheets in the freezing weather. Tonight, the weather is cool and I’m snuggling in my sarong. In nights like this one, I suddenly am sorry for leaving family behind to take on this trip. I am too shy to join other travelers. Tomorrow,  I know I will be alright again and soon this feeling of loneliness will be replaced by a feeling of apprehension for the fleeting days of a holiday that is soon to end. But as of this moment, I am sendiri. Selamat tahun baru.

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