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Published: August 24th 2012
There’s <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">this man on the train. I see him every day when I manage to catch the 07:15 service into Marylebone. When you do the same thing at the same time every day, you start to see the same faces and note people’s habits and changes. For example, the girl that sits on the first right 4 seated area facing towards the direction of the trains running, is very spotty, chubby and can be very loud. Hence why a few people have disappeared from our carriage I think. There’s the obese gentleman that sits in a two seated area and snores like a pig enjoying the trough. Then there’s <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">this man. He always sits closest to the door in a two seated area on the edge so he can get off the train quicker than everybody else.
<em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">This man is a short man, very tanned. I previously decided either Pilipino or Indonesian. Those were my guesses. But this morning, I heard him on his mobile as I sat next to him in the seat closest to the window. I’ve never heard an Indonesian or Pilipino speak in their language, but after hearing him, I made a decision that he was Indonesian. A brief thought came into my head: <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ask him. Go on. Yes you could wait until the next time but right now, you’re all about grasping today!
Until he finished his telephone conversation, I started reading “Committed” by Elizabeth Gilbert. A book I bought weeks ago but was heavily reluctant to read because of the cliché. I’m a woman, going travelling, in search of something, bla bla bla. And as much as I love Liz Gilbert’s story, for some reason I find myself defending my reasons for travel distancing myself from her reasons in an attempt not to become that cliché woman, which many women have become since the release of “Eat Pray Love”. No fault of Liz Gilbert’s of course. All the woman did was tell her story.
“Excuse me….where are you from if you don’t mind me asking?”
“I’m from Indonesia.” <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Ha! I’m a legend!
“Oh ok. Thank you……..”
“Have you been before?”
“Well no. But soon. My husband and I have decided to go travelling next year and it’s definitely on our list.”
“Oh how lovely! Where in Indonesia?....Bali?” <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Damn! He thinks I’m that woman!
“Yes. 6 months around southeast Asia and a year in Australia. Well that’s the plan anyway”
He then made a few suggestions of places we should go. I asked him for a pen and looked for a blank page within the back section of “Committed” and wrote his suggestions. So there, next to a picture of Elizabeth Gilbert are my notes:
- <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Gili Islands (Touristy)
- <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">Boat from Bali to Flores
He asked me more questions about our travel plans and smiled with genuine happiness for our decision but laughed when I mentioned that we’ve sold our house. I laughed too. It is utterly ridiculous in social retrospect. Turns out <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">this man is an accountant. He moved to the UK from Indonesia to study accountancy then planned to head back home. 10 years later, he’s on a train talking to me. He said he definitely has plans to move back to Indonesia and buy a house and that he understands why people are packing up their lives here to unload onto paradise islands. Stress, the economic climate etc.
After we’d finished speaking I went back to my book and he indulged into a newspaper. At certain times, I’d be interrupted by snoring fatty on the right, pull away from my book and just look out of the window thinking about my reasons for travelling. <em style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal;">I’m not a Gilbert wanabe am I? At the end of the train journey, I was reassured. I checked my phone to find a text from my husband:
“I love you uncontrollably baby!! X x x x” I smiled and responded.
“That’s such a simple yet perfect sentence. Thank you my darling husband. I love you uncontrollably too. xxxx”
At that moment, I was quickly reminded of my reasons. I want a life with my husband equated by uncontrolled freedom. When I say uncontrolled, I mean within my meticulous habits. No more alarm clock, no more plan plan plan, no more excel spread sheets of what’s what. Just me, my love and our ability to go where the wind takes us and above all, to enjoy!
A week ago today, I complained to my estate agent. After agreeing the sale on our house, we had heard nothing from the associate who agreed it 4 weeks prior. I wrote a very “me” letter to the director of the sales department saying how deeply disappointed I was with the level of service etc and that while I am not a 16 year old school girl who needs grooming every day, I do expect some update as to the progress of our sale on a weekly basis at the very least. He soon responded apologising profusely and gave our file to someone more competent to handle from here on in… or out I suppose. Turns out the associate in question was later fired following a string of complaints, mine being the final thread.
That day I went home to find 3 things had come through our letter box.
1) A letter from the contractors for the construction site next to our house, saying work will commence in 3 days from receipt of the letter. (Work commencing Monday 20th
2) The contract from our solicitor to sign over the house to the new buyer.
3) A Cancer Research bag for any unwanted clothes.
Yet more encouragement from the Universe that we’re doing the right thing. So Scott and I have decided that our preferred completion date will be 28th
September 2012. But until then, there’s so much to do. Paperwork to finalise and more importantly, selling our furniture. The adult life we built, all being sold for half price to live an adjourned youth and as the long tedious days go on, we get more and more inspired to make our fresh start.
- Gili Islands
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