• The next day, we took Nancy to one of the most notorious restaurants in Bandung for lunch: Sierra. Similar to Laos, this restaurant is also located in uphill Bandung; hence they almost share the same view. However, unlike Laos, Sierra serves a wider variety of food: from western, Japanese, to Indonesian. The picturesque view, great food, and tranquil atmosphere made it obvious that it made the list of one of the most popular places in the city.

    Thank goodness, it was rather empty that afternoon. Hence, no one bothered to complain how tourist-y we were, taking pictures by pictures before the stunning view. Nancy grumbled that we weren’t doing our job properly. As a Liaison Officer, according to her, we should warn her if her hair is sticking out in 90˚, because that is exactly what is showing in the pictures. We tried to convince her that it was a ‘windy’ effect, but she wouldn’t take it because everybody else’s hair was perfectly tamed.

    I chuckled. I had my own little problem to make sure that my squint eyes aren’t closing in every photo.

    Being rather homesick, I ordered Nasi Campur Bali –an everyday food for us Balinese. Everybody else had Japanese or western instead. Most of us ordered blueberry juice as well. Thus, our job as Nancy’s LO right now is to make sure she doesn’t have blueberry-stained lips.


    After the satisfying lunch, Dania and I were dropped to the Conference Museum. The real Artepolis event itself was not until two days. We were there to help the rest of the committees preparing for the conference.

    We sat in another briefing. My timidness was gradually abrading since I knew some people already by now. Yet, I still sat beside Dania and Andin with perfect pusillanimity. Back then, I didn’t knew that there was nothing to be afraid of.

    I listened carefully to Ibu Dhian, assigning fifteen people to carry fifteen flag for the welcoming ceremony. Those flags represent fifteen countries participating in this international conference. They were down to choosing the last two volunteers.

    “Diandra wants to do it, Ibu!” cried Dania suddenly

    I did not see that coming.

    “Yes Ibu!” added Andin eagerly, “She’ll do it!”

    I knew I have no choice but to nod reluctantly before our chairman.

    It turns out that there was no choreography for the flag bearers yet. I was introduced to Cio, an extroverted college girl, who has a passion for dancing and storytelling –and was very talented at it. I helped her design a simple yet interesting routine. As a girl who has a similar passion as Cio, I had so much fun. For the first time since I started my job, I realized that there was nothing stopping me being myself.

    Maya suddenly came to me and asked if I was a dancer. I replied straight away that I was not one.

    “Don’t lie, you must be one!”

    “Well, okay I can dance a little”

    “Modern dance?”

    “No, Balinese”

    “Me too. How would you like to join the dancing group? We will be dancing on the opening ceremony”


    “Come on! The steps are easy!”

    I agreed, not knowing how grateful I will be after making this decision.

    The dance team consists of me, Maya, and Cio and two other girls named Irene and Uthe. Irene is a cheerful girl, always enthusiastic about what she’s doing. While Uthe is a gorgeous, animated girl who always manages to find something to talk about. Soon I found out that Ibu Dhian herself was going to join the team if I hadn’t said yes. As much as I would love to see her dance, I was glad that I’m a part of this squad.

    Like going through a déjà vu, once again they told me that the choreography wasn’t finished yet. Very surprising. I was rather worried because we were in such a precarious moment. The existing choreography only lasted for two out of eight minutes of the whole song; and we were only a couple of days away from our grand performance.

    We started brainstorming on other moves, incorporating from our different backgrounds. It’s such an enjoyable experience to work them. They were as silly as my high school friends, only cooler. We had so much fun dancing; I was all pumped up for our performance.

    We were stuck in a salient part of a song that resembles war and fighting. Uthe, being as chatty as usual, suggested that we tried a spear movement. It wasn’t possible since we don’t have ‘spears’ in our hands. The only property we had was a long piece of ribbon tied to a balsa stick, which would look real awkward if we tried the movement. Hence, we decided it was Cio’s homework to come out with an idea for the routine.
    It was late when I got back home with Uncle Tata. Dania and Alma had spent their night with Nancy in Laos! I was so jealous. They were home already when we arrived, and brought us a box of the thin-crust pizza for dinner.

    Although I was obviously looking so weary and exhausted, I can’t lie how ecstatic I was for the dance. After freshening up with a shower, I spent a few minutes at the bedroom jumping, budging, and dancing around with my leftover energy. I want to finish that fighting routine.

    Alma was laying on the bed, trying to divide her focus upon her phone and the incessantly-moving me. I was recalling any silat, the Indonesian martial arts movements I learned when I was twelve years old. I could only manage to remember random movements; which would probably mean nonsense in front of my silat guru anyways.

    After sweating allover again, I finished a 1x8 routine of pure impulsiveness. Alma forgot about her phone as I assigned her to be my first audience. She thought it was awesome. I laughed. I still had to work on some moves that weren’t supposed to face against the audience. As soon as I was finished, we showed my new choreo to Dania and Uncle Tata.

    “I made up these moves five minutes ago!” I uttered “It would be better tomorrow, I promise! I haven’t got a lot of energy tonight”

    They were all too eager to see my creation.

    “One, two… rest. Three, four… five, six... seven eight!” I chuckled while dancing.

    They applauded for me. I was so excited.

    “That was really cool!” cried Dania

    “This is so right!” my uncle added. “You are really meant to do this, Diandra”

    I smiled. I can’t help to feel so thrilled. The smile stayed in throughout the night, as the dance music lullaby me to sleep.