I landed in Jakarta a bit more than three weeks ago. I am always utterly amazed at how easily our living places change in a matter of a few hours (though in the case of Indonesia it takes one full day for this to happen). What surprises me even more is how natural and spontaneous the mechanism of immediately rebuilding my life in a different and foreign environment has become. It is true that I have changed many countries in my life, and that the places where I learned to live where quite challenging. Like any other thing in life, I guess that exercise and repetition help speeding the process of feeling at ease in a new home. Anyway, for the last three weeks I have been measuring the space around me, both at home and outside, finding my rhythms, building a routine. And I am pleased to say that despite my fears, I feel happy and fulfilled.
What I did fear was to settle down in a place so very far from my sick mother and my youngest son and to live on a different time zone, which would complicate my working routine. I was afraid that the humid heat surrounding me would weigh heavily on my already low blood pressure. Deeper inside was probably also the feeling of guilt to have to let go of Palestine, to commit to make another place my home. Well, it turns out that things find a solution or an arrangement much easier than what we think in our sleepless nights. I don’t like to be so far away from my mother, but I have come to terms with it, and have found a way to feel active with her from here. My son is happy and cheerful, and this puts me in a relaxed state of mind. As for my work, it is indeed a bit complicated. Since most of my clients reside in Europe, and are not necessarily available during the day, I have to coach mostly at night, when the working day is over in Europe. Still, I find it less complicated than what I had expected. The passion that drives me is a good motivator when I have to sacrifice a night with my family and lock myself up in my studio to coach.
The heat is becoming bearable and anyway we always have air conditioning on (and I am starting to hate it). As for Palestine, I realized I will never let her go. She is strongly set in my heart, and despite the geographical distance I feel I will always be committed to speak and act for her. This is enough to make me come to terms with the fact that I am no longer physically present.
I love the house we live in, and I move in it with an ease that makes me love it even more. It is a warm, elegant and original space where it is fun to reproduce the gestures that fill my life everywhere. Same with the outside: when I take a taxi, shop at the supermarket, go to the doctor or sit down in a restaurant, I think of when I used to do the same but in a different place – and though there is a common feeling to the experiences, every action is different because the place is different. I look at the left hand of my taxi driver, and while I wonder why they all have long nails in the small fingers, I remember how difficult it was to interact with some taxi drivers in Jerusalem and how fun it was in Lima. When I arrive to the cashier at the supermarket, I cannot help but remembering the rudeness and unfriendliness of most cashiers in West Jerusalem, and how it always upset me. Here I look at the gentle smile of the lady who has packed my bags and taken the payment, and now joins her hands on her heart and bows elegantly. I am stunned and realise how I am not used to kindness in my daily interactions any more. Sometimes I even feel embarrassed in front of the sweetness and politeness of people here. It really feels like I have landed on another planet. And this makes the whole discovery even more exciting.