by Amalia


Yep, that is a greeting that only me and my Japanese friend understand. We lived in the same dorm during our first year in Brisbane. We had a weird friendship, I have to say. We barely talked (in depth) and I have little memories of us except this unique greeting.

One conversation we had that I fondly remember was about my headscarf. He asked me why I wore it and I answered it as short as I could as I wasn’t so sure if he’d be interested in the longer version of the story. And then he asked me: "When will I be able to see YOUR hair then?!" I jokingly answered, "when you marry me!" And that became his frequent question directed towards me ๐Ÿ˜›

One day, he asked me the word ‘paper’ in Indonesian. And I told him, it’s ‘kertas’. Since that very day, every time we bumped into each other, he’d mention that word. It became our greeting and we highly took pride of it. Everyone around us would probably be wondering, what in the world are these two strange people are talking about?!

Years passed by and we barely bumped into each other anymore. Now that we’re so further apart, we’re only connected through Facebook. When the earthquake and tsunami occurred in Japan, I wrote to all of my friends residing in Japan and my Japanese friends living outside of Japan, asking them if they or their families and friends are affected in any way. I wrote to all of them, including him.

I was so glad to hear that he and his family are fine. But one thing that touched me was when he wrote CARTUSSSS (he didn’t know how to spell the word, hence cartusss). I felt nothing but touched when I read his message. Wow! He still remembers that!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ I believe it was at least 4 years ago since I last saw him!

One thing I feel so grateful about when it comes to these events: Queensland floods, Egyptian revolution, and Japan earthquake/tsunami is that: my friends and I are reconnected again. It doesn’t matter if we were only a hi-bye friend, bumped into each other for only few times, had little memories to remember, or never wrote to each other before. The thing that matters to me the most is that we are able to connect again and knowing that they are fine. Even if it’s only in the form of very short messages. Sometimes it helps just to show that this insignificant friend of them still remembers them. I hope they would realize that the world still cares for them and they’re all in our thoughts and prayers ๐Ÿ™‚