The Art of Walking

I almost forget how fun is it to walk.

Ok, we normally love to walk (or perhaps, force to walk) if we are visiting the city center in Europe country because everything close to each other and normally walking distance. Something that I admire from the city in Europe. But when you are at home, normally you need to force yourself to walk. Especially if people around you aren’t not into walking.

I have noticed many people have dogs here. Perhaps one of the reason to have dogs (over so many positive ones) is to forcing yourself to walk them daily – it gives them happiness, and also make yourself healthy plus out of your comfortable couch.

I remember when I was in Ubud, how I normally go from one place to another with motorbike. It doesn’t mean from one place can be so far from another, sometimes, to go to a fruit store that actually only few minutes away by walking, for us it can be a huge effort. Indonesians are not used to walk. Or, maybe, we just forget the art of walking.

Fortunately, as I mentioned before about how clean most of the city in Europe and how proper their pedestrian street, it gives me a motivation to walk. In a sunny day. It’s hard to walk and enjoying it under the cold weather. Some people do, I prefer to be under the blanket.

Spring is coming, but it’s still cold in randomly days…

Well, lately, I like to walk alone. I set a goal for myself to walk 10.000 steps a day. Not everyday I can reach the goal, but at least, I have this idea (and sometimes a call) to get up my ass and put on my running shoes, to walk outside.

I don’t really like running, because it hurts my knee. I used to run but it seems more joyful to walk, I also can see details of the city around me. For people who live here, it might be so normal and ordinary, for me, it can be too cute to not capture it with my phone, or just interesting how to see the lifestyle of French people.

But I do miss smiling and greetings while walking. Even I am not really often to walk in Ubud, but I know, once I walk and meet other people, once we set eyes to eyes, we will exchange a smile, a greeting or just a casual nod.

Not in here.

French people seem so busy with thought in their head.

Otherwise, it’s something unusual for them to greet people.

I only get “bonjour” few times since I arrived here.

One from a man who is our neighbor, and just arrived home from cycling and notice there was me and Chika sitting on the balcony, suddenly he opened his hat and said to us “Bonjor mademoissele” wahh, that was very gentleman.

The other one just today, a bonjour from a little kid who walked pass me while bringing a baquette.

I do like walking here but I do miss the chance to exchange a smile, a greeting, or a random hi turned into conversation, that normally happened in Ubud.

However, there is some good point with all this stiff personality. People here, tend to get used to see a lady walking alone. They don’t mind so much. Nobody set their eyes to me and look me with odd eyes because I am alone. For them, a woman walking alone is pretty much normal. A woman who sitting alone, writing a journal or eating sandwich, or reading a book by laying on the grass, that’s pretty normal. Nobody came to me and try to ask me personal questions, that mostly will be happened in Ubud.

Yep, Indonesian can approach me and asking immidiately, “Are you single?” “Are you married?” “What do you do?” “Where is your husband?” – especially Indonesian guys.

Well, sometimes at home, when I feel bored or too much eat, I prefer to wear my shoes, bring my earplugs and walking around.

Just like today, I got lost to another park, when intentionally I wanted to go to different park. But it doesn’t matter, because my purpose was to walk and to see more of the city.

Not a bad place to get lost, isn’t it?

I took a wrong road, and my curiosity just led me to more to another ways. Until I ended up in a quiet park that more look to forest to me. It was really nice. I saw some people walk their dogs, so I feel safe which few human around. Later on, I went deep to the forest and I see no one. My radar asked me to go back – to the civilization.

I actually wondered what inside of the forest. Is it really safe to go there? Is it really a trouble to go there? I know Europeans like to walk in the forest, it supposed to be ok, no?

Then I took another road that led me back to the first park that I would like to go.

One of my fave bridge in Poissy, France

It was a sunny and bright day, once I arrived in the park, I see so many people around. They also would like to enjoy the sun as much as I do.

Nobody took any attention to me.

Nobody care about what am I doing.

Nobody talked with me.

Ohh, there was one guy who talk with me. He was an old man and speak the whole time in French to me, sit next to me, and I always said to him, I don’t understand French.

I saw him today, talked to another woman. Very enthusiast while the woman didn’t really take attention to what his saying. But sometimes I saw the woman look to him and give him a word. I wondered whether they know each other.

I took my journal, write some of my thoughts, read my book and then I saw a duck come closer to me. Just as he knew that I have baquette on my bag.

I gave him a few.

Another ducks come closer.

Then pigeons.

A bunch of pigeons.

It was so funny to see how the first duck felt annoyed by another animals around him, so he can’t get the whole bread for him anymore. He was chasing after the pigeons, because duck is bigger than pigeon.

Later on, from far away, a beautiful swan came closer. She obviously took attention what was happened. Is it a lunch time for them?

In the beginning, she was quiet far away, but by time, she came closer and closer.

I bet, from how she looks and react, she actually knew that she is the beauty. Somehow I can sense her arrogancy by how she soo away another ducks and pigeons, over her bread.

But she can do that. She is so beautiful, even me, I fall in love with her.

Nature, has so many stories to tell. Has so many voices to heard. Has so many songs to listen.

For those who would like to listen.

Admire the strength and unspoken voice from this giant tree…

I enjoyed my walk today, thinking I should walk more once I am back in Jakarta and Ubud, I feel my boobs and my legs are getting more in shape by walking, hahaha.

Later on, I went back home, because I already achieved my 10.000 steps today. 12.217 for exact.



Dea Sihotang


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