there and back again

I’m back from Java and Bali, but not really. There were too many moments where I scrunched my eyes shut to etch the beauty like a lithograph into memory.

east java


batu karas




I’m closing my eyes again. Conjuring up the lithographs. I have to savour them for a little longer, especially the things so beautiful that it seemed too sacrilegious to take pictures of them:

The hushed conversations between childhood friends at 2am in sticky Singapore heat.

Barreling around potholes on the coastal road to Batu Karas, balancing small plates of peanut sauce-drizzled jicama and young mango on our laps in the van.  

A seaside wedding, with a Balinese sunset spilling through a carved teak door onto the bride and groom standing at its threshold.

Riding shotgun on a scooter with a sunburnt daredevil and a surfboard named Talullah.

Spending half of the 10 hour Helsinki-Hong Kong flight flitting through international political economy, food scarcity, development, and immigration policy with a debonair Finnish septuagenarian.

And of course, so. much. rice.

Sigh. Are any of you still stuck in limbo, too? Let’s close our eyes together — ready? Go!