The decision to write full-time meant I couldn't afford to buy a house. A friend kindly offered me the use of his apartment in a thirty-six-story building full of newlywed couples in the southern area of Jakarta. I didn't like my working space at first, but the scenery and everything going on outside have worked their magic on me.
I changed the course of my life, from the rigidity of mathematics and the corporate rhythm to a more bohemian world.
Happiness is actually found in simple things, such as taking my nephew around the island by bicycle or seeing the stars at night. We go to coffee shops or see airplanes land at the airport.
I've backpacked to countries like Italy and Turkey and observed beautiful scenery, but then I realized that beauty was always very close to me. It is here in Belitung Island, where the rivers, beaches and the terrain captivate my attention most.
From a building right in front of my windows, I can observe the speed of the sunrises and sunsets. The voices of children playing, laughing, yelling, and crying on the playground crawl up to the eighth floor, where I write. Their voices sound so innocent from a distance.
I think writers of memoirs need to be respected for the bold decision they take to bare their lives open. That alone should be enough. The things I write about, if you notice, are sensitive issues for a lot of people. If I told you my age, they would get ideas. The next thing you know they'll be filing lawsuits against me.