I didn`t know how I felt on May 13. It was a holiday so I didn`t have work and my host-family was away so I wasn`t sure what I would do or if I should do anything because I was leaving for another trip at 4 am the next day.
I ended up meeting some AIESECers and 2 exchange participants (EPs) from the Phillipines and India, to take a minibus to Badengan Beach in Jepara City. We were all really excited and I just listened to my friend tell me Javanese legends and ghost stories until I fell asleep.
There`s a semi-conscious period between being fast asleep and being wide awake when everything seems really surreal and when I woke up in Jepara I felt like I was still in a bit of a dream world. We stopped in front of a wooden gate that was 2 stories high and wide enough for two trucks. It opened up to a warehouse full of vehicles and intricately carved wooden furniture. From there, we walked up a cobblestone pathway past cascading levels of flowers and stopped on a wooden bridge to take pictures of this dreamland.
It was not a dream, it was an AIESECer`s home in Jepara but it seemed more like a palace with its spiraling staircase, stained glass windows , and hanging chandeliers. The city is famous for its high quality wood and furniture carving so everyone is fairly wealthy.
After lunch we left the palace and went to the Beach. I haven`t been in an ocean for 3 years so I was really excited to go swimming. I expected the water to be cold like it is in BC but all I felt was the warm pull of the waves, soft sand between my toes and salty water on my lips.
We wanted to stay forever but had to head back because one of the EPs had to be on a radio show that night.
When we were on our way back to Semarang I got this really weird feeling. It wasn`t the surreal feeling I had at the palace or the nice feeling of the ocean, this was a bad feeling, an ominous feeling. It was probably the focus on spirits from the Javanese culture that was rubbing off on me or maybe it was all those ghost stories from before but I suddenly felt like something bad had to happen after such a good day all because of this feeling.
We were halfway home and it was already dark, we were hungry but we didn`t have time to stop for food. Everyone was really quiet for the first time all day and then I heard a horrible sound. Eventually, the puttering noise stopped and with it so did our bus. Our engine was dead.
We all got out of the car except for the driver. They tried pushing again and rolled the bus forward a bit but that was it. We couldn`t do this all the way back to Semarang. One guy went to go look for help because no one else on the road would stop to help us. It was getting colder and started to rain a bit. I felt like I was in the middle of a horror-movie.
(to be continued…)