In celebration of 8th year anniversary since the first day landed in England
I remember the first time I arrived in Bournemouth Train Station with my parents and struggling to fit few of my suitcase into one yellow taxi. I remember the first time I saw Westbourne where my college is and its tiny English neighbourhood with red bricks and no store higher than two-story. I remember buying my pink fluffy robe, which I still kept until today. I remember the weather just about the right temperature last days of Fall. I remember thinking the town was just in the perfect size, not too big, not too crowded. I remember the first double decker ride where I sat on the back and had forgotten to bring an extra layer of jacket and one of the first friends I had in college, Daniel, lent his for me so I did not freeze to death. I remember the amount of endless tears at the Coach station when my parents were leaving for Jakarta and I spent the next hour thinking whether or not I should buy the next flight home. I remember my first trip to fish and chip place somewhere just a bit farther than Westbourne with Daniel and Hide and how they made me feel less homesick. I remember the first hangover after having a welcoming party at Sixty Million Postcards. I remember my first heartbreak, waiting at the bus stop. I remember how I met Marta at the first university induction lecture where she hated me for asking how does Bulgarian language sounds like but then in the next three years we ended up synching like a pair of device — she’d text or call me just as soon as I thought of her and vice versa. I remember it was Christmas when Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You was being played at every store in Bournemouth, even at the German Market at the Square, and everyone had left home and I was alone and I hated Mariah Carey ever since. I remember making friends with the bartended and the bouncer and I ended up going to the Whisky bar for the next three years. I remember feeling wanted and appreciated. I remember not wanting to go home. I remember lighting up fire at the firey exhibition with a bunch of French artists at the Bournemouth Gardens where I dressed up as witch from the 1920s. I remember staying up at the library all night and still made it to the 8 A.M lecture. I remember feeling like giving up. I remember celebrating my 21st birthday at the Whisky bar with my friends and I felt whole. I remember walking home, barefoot, at 3 AM with Marta by my side and that was the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. I remember the hardship and how Tya, Adhit and Mamet helped me got through it. I remember moving in and moving out. I remember making Ayam Bumbu Kecap and jasmine tea for this boy I met at Winchester and his reaction was “I want this forever in my life” and in return, he made me Bibimbap from scratch. I remember walking down to the beach and waited for the sun to rise. I remember meeting all kinds of people. I remember Victoria Station and the smell of engine waste, I thought it was beautiful. I remember the fireworks by the London Eye on new years eve. I remember the Thames and how I went on a date with a guy I worked with just across Tate Modern Museum and it felt like I was a story straight out of a Young Adult fiction novel. I remember the 5 pounds Chardonnay Marta and I drank in less than one and a half hour. I remember the day I submitted my dissertation and how Marta and I spent the rest of the day at the park, reading George Orwell and drinking Cider. I remember searching for jobs to stay while writing a letter to myself, half yelling in capital of how I should stay. I remember packing up what was essentially four years worth of my life into one suitcase. I remember going to Gatwick and had to pay for the overweight fee. I remember getting on that plane and my heart was never the same since. I remember all of those as if it was just happened yesterday.