Bali to Java: The Quest Continues

   
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Sequel article of Lunch in Ubud

   
 

Kendrick went out with Maya and Mangku Marendra a couple of times to see the traditional dance performance and other Bali’s exotic places. During his stay in Bali, Kendrick attempted to meditate more often.
The longer he attended the yoga class, the more he became calm. His mind was still filled with many thoughts, sometimes it traveled back and forth DC and Bali, mixed-up with his quest but then, it was lessened, until one day, he managed to break down his thoughts one by one. However, Kendrick’s heart was still searching. He has become calmer but his yearning heart remained unanswered.
He was sitting in an open-air café, gazing at the beach, delighting the sunny weather, pondering.
God, maybe, this is not my path. It seems to be my friends’ path of life and I haven’t been satisfied yet.
Kendrick searched for his diary inside of his leather backpack, seized it out, and started to write.
God, I think I’m going to end my stay in Bali. Where should I go next? I’m still not able to feel You, the way the Mangku expressed in his words and eyes. Am I doing it wrong?
Well, maybe, I should take another road but where should I go?
Suddenly, his cell phone rang. He startled to hear the sound. It had been quite a while since he heard it ringing. Is something happening in my house in DC? Is it on fire? He frowned and rashly opened the flip.
"Hello? Professor Lovington?"
"Speaking. Who’s this?"
"I’m Ahmed Badullah, your friend from the conference."
"Oh, yes. Of course, I remember you. How are you?" Kendrick’s imagination ran into a tall man around of his age with a white turban, pointed nose, and trimmed beard.
"I’m fine. I heard from Mangku Ida Marendra that you are attending the meditation class."
Kendrick chuckled. "Yes, but I’m about to leave."
"So, have you found what you are looking for?"
"Hum…" Kendrick was hesitant. "I found the peace inside me but I haven’t got my ultimate answers."
"Listen, I’m still in Bali and about to take a pilgrimage throughout Java Island. How about if you come along with me? I can go in company. I’ve rent a car."
Gee, could this be an answer from God? "Hum, okay. When will you leave?"
"Oh, great! I know you would say yes. I’m leaving on Monday."
"Two days from now? All right."
"Great. Pick you up at eleven?"
"I’ll be ready. Thanks, Ahmed. See you."

Kendrick wore the beige clam-digger pants with a white cotton shirt. He stretched out his arms in front of him to examine his appearance and smiled.
I’m ready to start a new journey.
He walked slowly across his room, turned the doorknob, pulled a deep breath, and aimed to the receptionist at the front hall of the hotel waiting for Ahmed.

At eleven o’clock sharp, Kendrick saw a green landrover approaching the hotel. Ahmed jumped out of the car.
“Kendrick! Hi! How have you been?” He shook Kendrick’s hands cheerfully. "Oh, this is Hamdan. He’s from Java. He used to drive pilgrimages to the sacred places. Ahmed patted Hamdan’s back who immediately gave a blushing gesture.
“Hi,” Kendrick greeted him.
Hamdan was a skinny dark-haired man in his thirties with a heart-shaped face and friendly gesture. He bent his shoulders every time he walked passing the two men and rushed to close the door for them.
No one had bestowed him such a respect. “Does he have to do that?” Kendrick’s eyebrows curled.
“It’s his way of giving a respect. He considered us superior.”
Kendrick would never imagine one of his students would do that to him.
“Well, well, all right then, if he feels convenient with it.”

They drove a couple of hours to the harbor and took a ferryboat to Java Island.
“So, could you brief me on this journey?” The breeze teased his hair touching his soft face repetitively. He let the sliding window next to him open to get the ocean breeze penetrated inside the condensed cabin.
“We’re going to Surabaya to the first stop of the nine shrines of the Sunans we’re going to visit.”
“I’m sorry, do you mind shedding a little light on the journey for me? What is a Sunan?”
“It’s an Islamic title for the earliest Islam preachers in Indonesia. It means God’s messenger.”
“Oh, I see.”