Meeting You Only Makes Me Wanting You Even More

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I saw a bright ray was especially shining under him as I caught him showing up in the balcony of the Sydney FC’s training camp amid the cloudy Friday morning on November 29th, 2013. I was left astonished, my eyes kept savoring the super fast moment, even my heart stopped rattling to have eventually met the one and only Alessandro Del Piero. I wasn’t prepared to have firstly seen him in that very accidental kind of way, in that very unanticipated moment yet I was able to have captured, felt the most precious moment that lasted only for a few seconds. Sometimes in your life there were experiences that came up so suddenly, lasted so quickly but it took all your breathe away. Such sayings are way too much but all in all, the first experience of meeting Alessandro was just like that; unpredictably, surprisingly, greatly, incredibly, unforgettably. I was like; “Hah! Was that Alessandro Del Piero?!”

He walked very fast when I and his another fan were following him going to a training field where he and his teammates were doing light trainings. He looked at me but did not say any words. Alessandro seemed ignorant to the words said by the male fan I just met in the training ground. At first I thought Alessandro was cold and unfriendly.

Such thoughts quickly ran away from my mind once I realized his teammates had been training for quite some minutes before his arrival. May be Alessandro was detained by some affairs that caused him to come a bit late in the training field.

One by one, me and the male fan were joined with dozens of his lovers; boys, adults, girls, old men. We came around to see him only. And Alessandro remained focused on his exercises. He looked serious listening to his coach instructions. Sometimes, he did his own training method. Once in a while, he laughed but this rarely happened. Again, the thought that he was a bit arrogant came up as he wasn’t seen to have a look at us. As many as the negative thoughts came up I immediately washed them away. I instead enjoyed the very speechless minutes by gazing at his movements, smiling all the way, saying gratitudes in my heart, reinstating myself that this was not a dream. Too many dreams have come into realizations and I lost for words to describe them all at the moment and until now. I didn’t capture many pictures or recorded the moment in a camera. I simply deeply felt it, memorized it in my eyes, heart, head and mind. I placed the very much-anticipated moment to the deepest part of my soul. Let it be savely put in my memory forever and ever.

As the training session was over he quietly walked towards us. He did not greet us but he approached us. I didn’t dare to ask for pictures or get my jersey signed. I was too afraid. It was until one of the awaiting fans asked for a photograph that I encouraged myself to ask for the help from an oldman bringing an umbrella to take a picture with me and Alessandro. How surprising to have known that Alessandro knew I was giving my camera and was waiting for the moment to get the picture taken, for suddenly, he stopped having his pictures taken with another fan, took a few steps to where I was standing, directing his face to my camera without me having to ask… then ‘click’.. a picture that rewarded my whole 13-year old wait, patience, tiredness, anxiety, money, and all… I was overjoyed that although he seemed ignorant but in fact he did know my presence and gave what I wanted without me having to beg him to do so. For me, he is the kind of boyfriend who proves his attention with actions not words.

The only words that came out from my mouth were ‘thank you’ but he did not reply. Never mind, though. I wanted to dance all around after that but I managed to have kept my manner properly. Alessandro then was busy signing jerseys, books, while I took his pictures. I kept saying ‘thank yous’ all the time that he eventually replied them with ‘you’re welcome’. He even winked at me. How sweet!

The picture was enough. I did not dare to get my jersey signed. But looking at the other fans’ who got not only once but two of Alessandro’s signs, I braved myself to give my pen and asked for him to sign the jersey I was wearing at that time. He declined the pen and I was a bit offended. But that was for fun. I thought he knew the pen might not work well on the jersey as I bet he had signed too many jerseys prior to this moment. Done and done! The picture, the reply, the winked eyes and the signed jersey. These were abundant! This experience teaches me that when it’s meant to be then it’s meant to be; when the moment belongs to me then I’ll have it no matter how long I must wait, no matter how difficult the path that should be taken.

He did not smile a lot but he made sure each fan got what they wanted. After he finished with our moment, the fans moment, he asked who owned the pen. LOL. The funny moment that somehow showed how closed we were with the world champion. The brief part that told me how ordinary he could be. As the owner of the pen got his item, Alessandro left us. I repeatedly warned myself not to mourn over the sweetest ending of my long trip, not to be ungrateful, not to ask for more because I was given more than I had expected, not to get mellow as we parted since I may meet him again some other time.

A year has passed. All the memory remains refresh in my mind. He is now in India. I’d really love to meet him again and again. When the time is for us to meet again, I’ll bring my future everlasting pal. I hope he is so fond of him, too. And I wish I’ll have another picture taken with Alessandro again, this time around Ale will be in the middle of me and my beloved friend, amiiin…

*How relieved, again, to have completed this post for the memory about the meeting with Alessandro Del Piero was weighing my whole week, this whole day when today was exactly the day I met him. Alhamdulillahirobbil’alamin.. thank you Alloh swt…*

Taking the Overwhelming Sydney First Anniversary Trip Out of My Mind

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A grizzly, clear sky greeted me from low-cost AirAsia X airplane window a few minutes before it touched the ground of the Kingsford International Airport, Sydney, Australia. I was so much relieved as I have eventually reached the destination after being about 10 hours in two different planes. I felt so nervous too for I was clueless on which path I should have chosen after leaving the airport:Left? Right? Go straight?

I have magically managed smiling to some officers at the airport although I felt tired, thirsty and confused. When I was out from the airport and saw the blue sky of Sydney for the very first time, I was like ‘Oh Alloh swt.. Thank you for making me still alive… So, is this Sydney?”

Prior to this arrival, I was told by a hostel staffer on how to reach the hostel where which I would stay during the short trip for free of charge. But when I was at the airport I took wrong ways. I wasted, like, 30 minutes before a van driver took me and other visitors reaching our respective places to stay.

The hostel was quite below my expectations. I had to call its receptionist to confim my staying and pay the fee for he was out of the hostel by the time I arrived. Thankfully, a friendly female Westerner who also stayed in the hostel informed me all about this. She was so helpful. She told me to wait for the receptionist in a backyard. It had been a long time I had yet to reconnect with Westerners so I found myself a bit afraid at first. Once I came into the backyard which was half full of Westerners they looked at me so awkwardly. Yeah, I understood that. May be they were thinking I was a weirdo with my headscarf and Asian look.

Fortunately, I got used to this quickly and I did not care all about that. I paid as much as them so why should I be afraid? As this calm state of mind persisted, I met several new female friends from Germany who turned out to be so kind. The hostel staffers, somehow, were rude.

It took around two days for me to wholly and completely enjoy the city, to free myself from all nervousness, anxiety, afraidness and such. I needed two days to readjust myself that I was now in a strange land, very far from home, had no friends at all in the city. After dealing with harsh hostel staffers, my problem was about eating. I had prepared myself to get used of eating burgers and cakes but after two days, I gave up. I remembered so well I felt so hungry after surrounding and taking pictures at the Sydney Opera House and all I wanted was rice, rice and rice.

A bus trip from the city centre to Kingsford was like a homecoming journey. It was so surprising that food was the first thing that reminded me much about home. I was only two days in the city but I missed home, my parents very much. Four days onwards, I came to Kingsford every afternoon, eating rice and noodles, speaking with Bahasa Indonesia with the stores’ owners and staffers. Call me too much but this experience almost caused me to cry. Each time I came to the city area, I felt like I was at home.

Meeting with Alessandro Del Piero, watching him doing light trainings and playing in the pitch after countless times of only seeing Ale via television screens was indeed the climax of the tiresome, unforgettable trip. Another most memorable, greatest moment was getting lost in the city centre because I was carried away too much amidst its old, elegant, historical buildings. For a vintage lover like me, admiring this kind of thing could take up hours and hours till I forgot that my legs got hurt and I was so damn hungry.

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The next thing was garden wanderings with my most favorite one was the Royal Botanic Garden. I was freely lying on the clean grass while reading Alessandro Del Piero’s book namely ‘Playing On’ in the park. The sky was turning red while the air was fresh, slightly breeze. There were ponds, beautiful flowers all around the large garden; old, new trees were scattered as far as my eyes could see. Empty benches were abundant, too. I was indeed in a paradise.

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The Sydney Opera House experience was a bit mind-blowing. I was taking a moment to feel the beauty that was lying in front of my very eyes while I was sitting, stretching my legs on the clean floor out of the iconic building. The windy air stroke my face while I was seeing a gigantic bridge right across the opera house, blue sky, high buildings, clear waters separating the city centre with its surroundings, big cruises taking guests circling the famous spot, various tourists activities enjoying their holidays and so forth. Under the very bright ray of the sun, we were having fun. Again, I said to myself: ‘Oh God, can’t believe I have made it this far. Can’t believe I was finally here.’

The call from the stomach woke me up from this priceless moment. I had tortured my stomach a lot by walking so far now that was the time to feed it, now with the rice, no longer cakes, burgers or even tasteless eggs.

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Experiencing public transport was very worthwhile, too. Precise, fast, reliable. I lacked of positive adjectives to describe it. Not to forget was having social interactions with Sydneysiders and foreigners I happened to encounter during the journey. This made me love the city even more as a holiday destination.

Time to return to Jakarta, though. I really like Sydney and never find it enough to be grateful for the experience. Somehow, I missed home so much. I missed my family, too. Farewell Sydney! Till we meet again. This time around I hope I’ll bring someone along with me, amiiin.

*How relieved I am to have written this post. I was quite overwhelmed with this so-called one year anniversary of the Sydney trip this week that forced me to put them down into words. A year has passed since I launched the journey and it feels like yesterday I came to the city on November 26th, 2013. Forever thankful*

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