Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Along The Highway It Comes

Years ago, before Lapindo mud tragedy, I really loved to travel along the highway between Malang-Surabaya, East Java. It was two hours long trip and I didn’t have any special reasons why I loved it. Simply it was just because I loved to see the beautiful sceneries during the trip. Yes, it was. I could see the gorgeous Mount Arjuno stands beside Mount Penanggungan on the left side of the highway. On the other side of it, I could see amazing Mount Semeru in her blue shadows. Not only those beautiful mountains, but I could also refresh my eyes by staring at the wide green rice fields and savannah. If you take this trip in the morning or close to evening, the scenery would be more heavenly beautiful. It made me addict to do it more and more.

Actually, I was not the only one who had this strange hobby. I had a friend for this, but he was crazier than me. When he was in the blue mood, he would go to the bus station and wusssss ….. He was off to Surabaya. As he arrived, he would take another bus and heading back to Malang again. Just for looking at the scenery along the highway. Hahaha. I had never thought that there was an odd man like him.

Once we had an experience traveling this route together. One morning, I met him on my way home from campus. He sat in front of the library wearing white t-shirt and his fave stone-washed jeans. His yellow The North Face was carried on his back.

“Have you had breakfast?” he asked.

“Nope. I’m late,” I replied shortly.

“Come on. Go breakfast with me.”


“Surabaya. Through the highway. I treat you.” He grinned.

Well you know, I couldn’t let the good chance useless. So I went with him together to the bus station. The weather was great. The sun shone softly warming the world around us and the sky was brightly blue, almost as blue as The North Face on my back. In other words, it was a good day to trip!

We didn’t talk a lot on the bus. I was busy with my Wrigley Spear Mint in my mouth while my friend sat quietly most of the time. I thought he was in his blue mood once again. I saw him sank deep in his daydream. He tore his bus ticket into pieces and every five minutes he threw a piece of it to someone’s curly hair in front of him.

I felt uneasy and worry that that curly-haired man would be angry. I nudged him to remind but he just blinked an eye and said, “He doesn’t mind, believe me.”


Soon after we got Surabaya we had our brunch (breakfast and lunch) at Plaza Tunjungan. Still there wasn’t any meaningful conversation. It seemed that my friend had serious trouble that made him dropped to silent. So why did he ask me to go with him? Really I didn’t understand. Odd friend, I told myself.

We finished our meal when the blue sky changed into cloudy grey. As we sat on the bus home, the rain started to flick against the window leaving wet dots on the glass. The world outside was dramatically turned into gloomy paintings.

“What in this world can make you so sad?” My (odd) friend broke the ice between us.

I scrunched up my mouth for a while and replied him, “Many causes, I can’t tell you exactly. But the saddest moment was when my mother passed away.”

He stared at his feet.

“Then how can you be so strong?”

Our bus now entered the highway. The rain was over. Outside the window a wide green savannah freshen up everybody’s eyes. But I chose to look up the sky.

“Have a look,” I pressed my index finger onto the window. “Can you see that silver line at the edge of the cloud?”

My friend leaned over me getting closer to the window.

“So what?”

“It means that every trouble has a good side. That cloud is like the troubles we had and that silver line represents all possibility for us to be better. Imagine, what will happen to the silver line if the wind blows the clouds away?”

He went mute for a minute.

“What will happen is … the sky turns bright, or … there will come the rainbow.”

“Alright, which one is better, cloud or rainbow?”

“Of course the rainbow is better, are you kidding me?”

“If it is so, why do you feel so sad? No matter what your problem is, you know you have better choice kept behind it. Go and find.”

He smiled at me.

“What a words! How can you be so smart like this, huh?”

I made a face.

“Not that smart I think. I adopt those words from my high school English textbook: every cloud has silver lining,” I giggled.

Anyway, when we arrived at Malang, my friend looked more cheerful. I didn’t know whether it was because of the beautiful scenery along the highway or it was just because of that idiom.

Before parting at the campus, he said, “Thanks for the advice. I’ll keep it on my mind.”

“OK, but please don’t ask me to go with you when you get mad next time. It’s boring!”

Again he laughed as if he had forgotten his troubles.

“No, I promise. If I get mad again next time, I’ll look up the sky and I know everything’s fine. There’s no need to worry.”

I shrugged lightly leaving him alone, “Well, I hope so. See you dude.”