One Year. One Damn Year.

I usually write short bursts of words in my photography IG-page, but this one is going to be a bit lengthier than usual. Buckle up, folks!

Shubhi Rofiddinsa
A Remedy for Homesickness
3 min readMar 27, 2021

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Kota Kasablanka in April 2020. It’s bizarre to see the notorious “Mall sejuta umat” was this empty last year. Taken by Ibi — 2020

Jakarta this time last year was a different city than probably is now. I came out from the quarantine period to see what the city looked like back then, when the pandemic first hit the world.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the roads empty as they were, then. It seemed bizarre even to think about it— the city with more than 10 million people on weekdays — becoming a sleeping giant with fewer cars, motorcycles, and also the people. Almost as if I was in a post-apocalypse movie.

I had plans and all that jazz laid out for last year but the circumstances we were (and are) still facing forced us to rethink about everything, including how to cherish the time we have left.

My solace in the ever-chaotic Jakarta. Taken by Ibi in 2018.

I didn’t think going on grocery shopping could be that rewarding, for example. When every shops, malls, cafés were closed or offered takeaways only during that lockdown, a supermarket (somehow!) saved many people’s sanity.

Got this nice looking Kalita Wave for my daily brewer. It’s the most forgiving if you are starting to brew yourself a cup of the caffeine-goodness. Ibi — 2021.

Or when café-hopping persons like me were forced to stay more at home and probably tried their luck on home-brewing, which turned out to be fantastic! Albeit, it’s still beyond reach to brew a good coffee like one of the baristas at your favourite coffee shop (we’re getting there, anyway.)

Or when Ramadan last year we didn’t even have the chance to do tarawih at one of local mosques near your home. We didn’t go out for a dine-in, which usually at that time almost EVERY restaurant will be fully-booked by people, flocking from everywhere!

Photo by Haidar Assegaf on Unsplash

Yet that absence didn’t actually matter that much. All we need is the quality time we usually wasted in looking for places to break our fast. I enjoyed every second of being at home, sitting at the table and doing our iftar. We probably have been looking for that serene scene, which usually gets vanished because of the time we spent outside.

I am glad that I flew home last year despite the uncertainties and also whether it was the right thing to do or not. I didn’t get much time to catch up with friends, whilst we were adjusting ourselves to be familiar with zoom, discords, and all those kinds of online meetings.

It has been a hell (and wonder) of a journey. From where I live right now, it still looks bleak and uncertainties are still floating around, when the lockdowns are going to be scrapped. It’s tiring, but the only objective I could muster right now is to just hang in there.

Just hang in there. We will be okay.

-SR

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