I woke up this morning to the sound of Christmas carols – I thought perhaps the occupant across the gangway was in a really festive mood. I only realised that it was the hotel’s pipe music all along when I stepped out to have my breakfast. Being a smallish hotel means that rooms aren’t that well-soundproofed, however I shouldn’t worry about unwholesome noises as the hotel’s lengthy regulations forbid any questionable activities. However, the regulations can’t stop the shrieks of children running around or them having fights in the bathroom. 🙂
I quickly had breakfast downstairs before meeting Yani at her house and then heading off to church. A good friend of mine, Adi, who used to study in Adelaide recommended us to join the Christmas service at their church, Gereja Mawar Sharon. The service was held in a newly built mall that wasn’t even open for the public. Somehow the church had access to use the convention hall for three Christmas services today. The big hall wasn’t even large enough to hold the congregations as it was quite a journey for us to find a parking lot and even to get a spot in the hall. At the end we had to sit in two separate spots – the service was very well-polished as expected with great audio-visual presentations and great music as well. The crowded hall did affect the atmosphere as I couldn’t really get into the ‘spirit’ of the service when the boy sitting next to me asked his dad every 2-minute when he could go home. The journey home was even more frustrating as we had to wait for about an hour before we could get out of the building. That said, I did have a good Christmas service. 🙂
The four of us (Adi, Rossy, Yani and myself) then had lunch at a restaurant not too far from church. We had great discussions about marriage life and wedding ceremonies. Our unconventional wedding arrangement provided us with a lot to discuss – Adi is really instrumental in Yani and I being able to use his home church in the western side of Surabaya for our wedding ceremony. For that reason alone, I am really grateful for his help and support. He helped to convince his pastor that Yani and I were sincere in our plan to get married and that I didn’t have any prior marriages or divorces. 🙂
After the delicious lunch, I returned to the hotel to have a nap while Yani met her cousin to discuss further details about the wedding plans. I got up from my nap feeling peckish, so I went out in the evening to a small restaurant nearby for some Nasi Empal Kremes (spiced beef with rise and some crunchy dressings) – it was surprisingly delicious that I even ordered extra rice. Haha. Yummo.
I met Yani again afterwards to try my wedding ring – even though it does look big, it fits my wedding finger quite well. My chubby fingers provide Yani with good materials to tease me. One of my nieces even says that my fingers look like fat sausages. Hahaha. 🙂
So, as usual, I’m all showered up, and ready to call a day – it has been quite a pleasant Christmas. As I get older, I want to shake off the rigidity of my experiences that have made Christmas less spiritual and more like a ritual. I don’t want to be trapped into making new year resolutions that I have no plans in fulfilling but next year I want it to be my quest to rediscover my spiritual path – to walk into a deeper understanding of God and His plans for my life and for my family. The day after tomorrow, I will have my own family. It is still a daunting thought, but it’s a destiny that I have gladly chosen and taken.