From Surabaya to Lasem, to Probolinggo, to Banyuwangi, and last, back to Depok. A trip primarily relied on bus as public transportation, relied on people whom I just met and shown me kindness like long lost family, relied on new-made friends and a long time no see friend and his family, and all the people who welcomed me with warm smiles and stories.

This is a thank you post.

Thank you Mba Agi and Mas Pop for the Lasem that I got to experience because of you two. Also the people I met there and welcomed me and Mba Agi like a family. The opas and omas, Om Santio, Om Gandor and Om Bagio, Om Hendri, Om Sigit and the Batik artists who had shown to me Lasem as you lived and experienced it. Thank you. It was a short but nonetheless a memorable trip. I got a lot to think about what I want to do next as a person.

Thank you Om Santio for the Myanmar postcards, sharing those encouraging stories of traveling and showing your precious family collections. Thank you Mas Pop for sharing your stories and knowledges on Lasem and Rembang. It was a treasure. I hope to be able to give back as much as you give me, I bet you will see me again in the future and hopefully we can meet with a good story to exchange next. Thank you Om Gandor who told interesting stories of the oldest temple in Lasem and the Ca Bau Kan house story. Om Bagio for sparing one day to show us your effort to keep Lasem heritage close to you and therefore for others too. Your generosity was very much dazzling, I aspired to be you one day. Om Hendri who told interesting your family Batik heritage stories. Om Sigit for the story of being Indonesian Tionghoa and your batik story. Those whose name I forgot but had actually sent me warm smiles and greeting and some even shared me beautiful life stories. All of you guys were awesome people and I definitely had some serious luck to be able to meet you guys.

Thank you!

Thank you Dhimas and family, Om and Tante and Nimas for the kind hospitality and stories about Leces and Probolinggo and the culinaries blast from the time I arrived right to the time I had to say goodbye, that pecel pincuk, lontong kupang, rujak cingur, nasi jagung, tahu telor, petolo that I didn’t get to eat! Oh my, I owed you big! The people I met on a trip to and in Madakaripura, Tanjung Tembaga, and Gili Ketapang. Like seriously, you guys were so nice and welcoming (and, especially Bu Jalil and friends in Gili Ketapang, super fun and funny). Thank you for sharing your stories with me!

Thank you for the people I’d met in Banyuwangi. People from the angkot who kindly greeted me, gave directions and offered help. The Tripoli motorcycle rental! Oggy! Thanks a bunch for the help with the rental and letting me stay and chatted with me for hours as I waited for the night bus to go back to Surabaya. You and your friend offered me good advice on traveling in Banyuwangi.

Thank you Pak Imron and friend who accompanied through the cold night while we waited for the night hiking, who offered me conversation, and led me to campfire, and kept my company until we had to separate on the hike. Gangs of people whom I met on hike to the Ijen Crater. The Sugar Glider community from Bali who shown concern on my lone hiking session. Oh my, the Banyuwangi dudes who annually hiked the Ijen every 17th August who accompanied and helped me on the hike and trip down the crater to see the blue fire. I was sorry that we splitted up after the sulfur-acid attack and I couldn’t find you guys to say thank you and take picture! If you somehow stumbled on this post, yes I was that lone and brave girl who hiked alone, thank you for the warm companion that night!

Pak Tongenek of Bangsring’s Samudra Bakti community, thank you for sharing your story! Last, but not least, Pak Ganef and Pak Rusdi on trip down from Ijen. Pak Ganef who randomly offered me oranges and advices on the mask to decrease the sulfur attack impact, also who escorted me to the night bus on last day and kept checking on me until I safely got back to Depok. Pak Rusdi who became my travel mate back on ‘ngeteng’ trip back to Jakarta from Surabaya.

Thank you for the precious experiences!