As expected, being a first timer in this public-transport trip along Java, I lost a bag.
I brought two bags for this trip: a backpack and a sport-bag (the one with a shoulder strap). My reason at the time was, in case I wanted to spend more than one day in a city, then I can just use my backpack and leave my other bag in my hotel. This way I don't have to carry all my clothes with me when I go around town. Both were quite small in size. I was determined to travel light.
Mind you I had been quite careful. In a bus, I always sit with my backpack on my lap, and my sport-bag between my legs, with the strap all around my ankle, so it is not easy to snatch. Or so I thought.
It went well for the first few days, until one day I was on a bus, on my way to the next city. It was in the middle of the day, hot as hell. As always, backpack on my lap, sport bag between my legs, strapped around my ankle. After a while, I fell asleep hugging my backpack.
When I woke up, the backpack was still there, the sport-bag's strap was still around my ankle, but the bag was gone.
I felt so stupid. Why didn't I think of that. It's a removable strap. Of course.
The next two days I was so upset I could not really enjoy my trip. I lost most of my clothes, and more importantly, I lost my camera, with pictures of the cities I had visited so far.
I was so angry. Along the way cursing the bag thief. And myself.
But then I realized something. I felt lighter. I felt free. There was nothing to worry about anymore. Less bag to watch. No valuables to guard. It's just me and my backpack, and I felt great.
And losing my camera made me pay more attention to what I see. No more of that busy grabbing the camera to take a snap. No more acting like a tourist taking this and that wherever I go.
Now I realized what a waste my previous days were. It was not a trip. It was a photo-taking exercise. I did not immerse myself with the surrounding. I was a mere spectator.
And for the first time in my life, I actually thought that my life can be simpler.
That in life, I don't need much at all.
When I was preparing for the trip, picking the light-and-easy-to-dry clothes that I needed to bring, I realized how overflowing my drawers were. Clothes everywhere. And socks. Socks everywhere and always not in pair. So I made a mental note: get another drawer for all my socks.
When I got back, I realized how absurd that is.
Yes, my drawers were full of stuff, but how many of those I actually wear? When I sort all my clothes, I ended up with a third that I actually would wear. The rest were the 'no way on earth I am wearing those' type, and the 'do not fit my waist anymore' type.
So I donated them. And I did it quick because I knew if I waited another day, more and more would be pulled back and kept. I have a habit to hoard and I am not proud of it.
Now my drawers are half empty.
And the note? To get another drawer? Just for socks? for SOCKS?
That's just insane.
I couldn't believe I thought of that in the first place.
Whoever thought of that, I was not that person anymore.
That sport-bag I lost liberated me.