A Gift to Myself

March 18, 2019

Playing with the Kite
Last September I decided to give myself a gift for the first time for my upcoming birthday which is in March the next year. I saw that there will be a Maroon 5 concert in Singapore on March 7, 2019, which is around my birth date as well. Actually, I don’t really care about band or music or any particular bands or actresses that I like that must be seen that time, but Maroon 5 is a band I often sing their songs in a karaoke room with my friend when I was in college and their songs is familiar with me, so I just decided to buy the ticket and enjoy my first concert in Singapore.

My friend & I were born in the same month and close date (4 days difference), we always celebrate our birthday in between our date which is on March 7. I asked her to come with me and celebrate our birthday together by watching a Maroon 5 concert, but she refused. I was sad, she is the one who loves Maroon 5 but I am the one who ended up watching them, how funny. Then, I randomly asked another friend who wanted to come with me to Singapore, and someone volunteered to me through my Direct Messages Instagram. He was a friend I only met once back in 2013 when I was hiking in Mount Merbabu and he always asked to join me to travel abroad so that he could have someone to accompany him understanding the rules and route because it was his first time ever stepping out from our country. So it happened, we decided to come together because I also didn't want to watch the concert by myself.

I bought the concert ticket in September & my flight ticket was in October 2018, it was when my bank account still in a healthy condition so I just impulsively transfer the money recklessly. And yeah, it was still so far from the concert's date, but I don't have a choice because I have to buy the ticket when the price was still affordable enough for my saving. That's how I planned every travel I've done as well, planning long before the actual date's coming.

Then the day came, after arrived in Singapore I go straight to the hotel and because my friend and I didn't take the same flight because we started from a different place, so we met at the hotel. We change our clothes and walked towards the National Stadium to see the concert which was close to our hotel.  But we got stuck in the queue line because I accidentally brought my camera that was prohibited and had to store it to the locker room with a 10 SGD deposit. We managed to entry to the stadium afterward and began to watch the concert together. It was fun at first, Adam was so sexy until slowly I became bored and tired and couldn't enjoy the concert as I wish to before. Maybe because I don’t really know the lyrics and I was too tired with repeatedly listening to their song every day before the concert's day came, funny right? The concert then over and we back to our hotel to sleep, we went to a restaurant closed to our hotel first to fill our stomach then headed to our room. Yeah, we had the same room with a twin bed, don't worry I often did that with my other guy friends without having any problem, we respect each other though.

Our second day in Singapore came and we strolled around Raffles to the money changer then went China Town and just walked around the town, followed to the Bugis area and ended up upset to myself because I lose my control when I saw cheap stuff there and bought many of them without thinking that my luggage was too small to take them all. We went back to my hotel and my friend slept because he suddenly fill ill until the next day and I decided to walk by myself and asking my Indonesian friends to help me with the stuff I bought from Bugis. Luckily I have friends who were ship's crew and asking me to came to the harbor the next day to leave my stuff to his friend to Batam and then shipped them to Jakarta. I did what my friends told me and planned to go to Harbour the next day.

I felt a bit recover from my angriness after that, especially after I walked around by myself, eat something, and buy cloth in the city area. But I got upset again after I back to the hotel, but my friend was hard to reach because he was on a call with his girlfriend. I unable to went upstairs without the key and the key was in the room. After a long wait to reach my friend, then I come with the idea to just ask the receptionist to help me to go upstairs. I felt relieved after I managed to enter my room with the receptionist helped and no longer had to deal with waiting for my friend to finished his call because he was still on call with his girlfriend when I entered the room. We were talking then until 01.00am and it was time for me to celebrate my birthday that was come.

The next day we strolled around in Little India, Garden by The Bay, Marina Barrage but first, we went to Harbourfront to leave my stuff to the ship's crew then sent it to my house from Batam. Done in harbourfront, we headed to Little India and Marina Barrage, it was my first to stroll around these places. We randomly taking pictures in India until we drown out and went back to our hostel to rest for a bit. Then we take a bus again to Marina Barrage and spent our time there until the sunset came. We also walked through Garden by The Bay and ended up in Marina Barrage. I love an open park where the locals playing and a place where not many tourists either. Marina Barrage is a place where people can play their kite and has a beautiful and great time when the sun ready to set. Not too hot nor too dark, we can enjoy the greatest light, and the view of the Singapore landscape of skyscraper when the sun ready to set is romantic.

The moment when the sun was set in the park.
When the light was darker, we went back to the bayfront with me riding Neuron scooter and my friend waling by himself until a point we would meet again. Riding the scooter was fun, it was my first time ever riding a scooter that's why I took the chance to ride it to experienced the feeling. When I looked for information about rental scooters or bikes in Singapore, it always so expensive so I gave up looking. However, when I found out that there were many scooters we can find in Singapore just by scanning the barcode and cheaper than the others rent, I was so happy and unlocking right away when I saw them. I ride the scooter from Marina Barrage to Marina by The Bay until I reached Bay Front and it cost not much, just 2.8 SGD for 15 minutes which absolutely cheaper than others.

I left my friend for scootering by myself because he didn’t want to unlock another scooter that available there, he choose to walked instead so I left him until some point. I waited for my friend in the bayfront and suggested he to see the light show that shown at 8 pm in front of the Bay Front. He was so eager to see the show and walked so fast to reach some point and videoing the show. At first, he wasn't like the idea of seeing the show, he was always busy with his phone. But he turned like a crazy tourist after saw what the light show looked like. LOL. After the show ended, we saw a night marker with lots of games at the Prudential Marina Bay Carnival, so we just entered the place to see how their games were without doing any of it, it was so expensive to get 1 ticket of the game so we just there to see people playing and went out after several minutes.

Then we rushed to Suntec City Mall to refund my cloth because it wasn't as good as I would imagine when I bought it at the closing time of the store. My friend also went to Uniqlo and bought some clothes there, and we went back to our hotel afterward with tiredness all over my body. My friend was hungry at that time and went to a restaurant nearby meanwhile I just rest in my place and thinking about my age that added 1 year on that day.

The next day, my friend was flying back to Indonesia when I was still asleep. I suggested a route to the airport to him and how to reach that place while my eyes still close, then let him back by himself. It was his first-time travel abroad so, he still needed my help of direction and transportation. 2 hours later, I woke up and checked out from the hotel and went straight to the bus stop and went to East Coast Park after I leave my luggage on storage of the hotel. I had breakfast in the East Coast Park an unlocked a bike then cycling there and began cycling around the beach route for 2 hours.

It was so hot at first, I didn’t plan to cycle outside the beachside actually, but as I pedal my bike I felt like I really want to pedal as far as I can. Especially when it was still free to use The Mobike’s Bike for 2 hours ride, I didn’t want to waste the chance of having this free riding! I cycle and cycle until I reach Garden by The Bay Eastside, then I went to the toilet and began to cycle again toward Garden by The Bay Southside. Actually, I want to ride the bike to the National Stadion because it closer to reach my hotel and it was the same route as well to my hotel. but I wasn’t sure about the track from my google maps, so I decided to follow some family that was in front of me and ended up on the Garden by The Bay Southside.

When I saw my Mobike's Maps, it is shown that I could cycle to Marina Barrage until Bayfront, so pedal my bike and cycle again until I reach Bayfront. It was so nice to bike around again after so long, in 2013 I had the chance to live for some months in Pare Kediri and bicycle is the only transportation I could use there. So I bike around for months there and not having the experienced to bike again after I left the city. The moment when I cycle from the beachside to Garden by The Bay southside, then cross the sea and finished at Bayfront was amazing. Although it was sunny and tiring but I felt refresh and I was so happy. I could sea people loving the beach so much because everywhere I see on the beachside was people having a picnic with their family or friend. And along the bike track as well all I could see is people who bike around with their family, their couple, or alone like me.

If I compared this experienced to my country, maybe I would never had this amazing views inside the city. There wasn't any bicycle track in my country which makes me annoyed because I had to fight to ride my bicycle in a track where another transportation were taking the same track as me. So many honking, so anxious about getting crashed by another car or truck, has to deal with vehicle emission which required us to wear a mask and it was hard to breath the air with this mask. Thats why I ended up giving-up cycling these days because it hard to kept pedaling when there is no bicycle track for us the ride.

Done with bicycling, I went back to my hotel to take my luggage and went straight to the airport. I arrived in my country in the evening and felt happy with this gift. The concert, flying kite, scootering, and cycling was so memorable to me. It was the best gift I ever gave to myself after I earn my own money. Maybe for the next upcoming birthday, I have to give myself another gift, a place where I have never been there, or another experienced I never had maybe?

Mobike and Garden by The Bay Southside.
A birthday party is something rare to celebrate in my country especially in my environment or inside my friend's life. Even just saying “Happy Birthday” is something they would never say, because they said it's something forbidden for the religious things and waste their time to do so. My friend even refused to accept my "happy birthday"'s text instead asking me to not giving them those kinds of wishes or text again next time. I respected their decisions even though I didn't agree to them either.

If this friend is someone I really cared about, I would tell them that we have to appreciate someone who giving us a congratulated's wishes or text, because it means they care about us. If she/he didn't want to congratulate them that’s fine though, but don’t refuse their congratulation's wishes/text to you to respect their care of remembering your birthday. To make it simple, just think how wonderful it is to have someone who remember the day when you were born. It’s not easy to remember someone's birthday actually and if there is someone who remembered it thanks them and appreciate it.

After all, thanks to the universe who let me live till now. I wish something good will come to my life and I could be happy in my life and loved by everyone too. This gift is something I should give to myself every year from now on. It might not special for everyone else, but it is so special to me because I'm the one who knows my own struggle in my life. A gift to myself don't have to be expensive or fancy things, but enough with something that make me comfortable of doing or having it.

So, have you ever gave a gift to yourself?

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“Berbahagialah dia yang makan dari keringatnya sendiri bersuka karena usahanya sendiri dan maju karena pengalamannya sendiri.” Pramoedya Ananta Toer, Bumi Manusia


2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Umi has read 3 books toward her goal of 12 books.