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Going Alone


Going Alone

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Ikut Sendiri - DISWAY
Ikut Sendiri - DISWAY

By: Dahlan Iskan

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Finally, I decided to join Disneyland in Shanghai. However, a significant problem arose: how could I get in? I had forgotten to buy a ticket. Initially, there was another plan, but it got canceled.

Rather than wandering alone, I decided to join my grandchildren. I thought I could handle the ticket issue on-site. It should be possible.

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“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” I was determined to prove the effectiveness of that saying.

Not effective.

I couldn’t get in.

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Indeed, before leaving, I was informed: Disneyland was full. No more tickets available.

I didn’t believe it. My determination was stronger than steel. Don’t scare me like that.

Disneyland is as vast as a county – in the world of fantasy. It’s impossible not to have space for just one more person against the Disway disruptor. Disneyland is not like Anfield Stadium that can be filled to capacity.

So, I insisted on going to the subway station. We were a bit late to meet the grandchildren on the roadside –hehe, the hotel lobby was on the roadside. “Why leave at 6:00 am?” I thought. For what? Isn’t Disneyland opening at 10:00 am?

But that was the travel manager’s decision. Although still a high school student from SMAN 5 Surabaya, he was more experienced than the railway company – when it came to Disneyland. He had been to Disneyland in any part of the world. Even if it were in the South Pole.

So, we arrived a little late at Disneyland. Five minutes late. As a result, the queue formation had already changed. Five minutes earlier, the somewhat straight line was still open. Then it closed. Twisted. Turned around. We were put into an endless labyrinth. Too many people. Before 7:15 am. So many people already.

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“Kai doesn’t believe young people,” complained the high school student.

We had to walk further in that labyrinth. Every 50 meters, a turn. Maybe 25 times. Or 50. While feeling cold. A misty morning. The morning mist limited visibility. The sunlight seemed like it went out.

However, on the subway earlier, the high school student had already found a route that only required one train transfer. That only stopped at 22 stations. My wife could quickly get on the train – along with her wheelchair.

Finally, we reached the security checkpoint queue. Cleared it. Entered the spacious courtyard. Scanning the area to find where the ticket booths were.

There. Happy. Over there. Many ticket booths.

All closed.

No one manning them.

An announcement: Disneyland no longer sells tickets on-site. Everything must be purchased online. Since Disneyland reopened after Covid-19.

“I told you….”.

“¿¢§°¿©§,” I muttered to myself.

My wife didn’t show any signs of defending her husband.

I was left stunned. They entered the gate happily – without any pity. Let alone feeling guilty.

“I told you….”.

They entered Disneyland’s gate cheerfully.

I could only stand there, stunned. Alone. Cold.

The atmosphere was like the West Ham players happily leaving the Arsenal goalkeeper who was sad after conceding two goals without a response last week.

After they disappeared from my sight, I snapped out of my reverie. I had to decide to go back to the city.

I realized again: no money in my pocket. The cashier was nowhere to be seen – maybe they were already joyfully having breakfast at one of the restaurants inside.

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Without money.

No breakfast yet.

“Where there’s a will, there’s not always a way.”

There is. There’s a way. That is the detour. The way back to the city. On foot. What can I say.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

I now had the will to go back to the hotel. Even if I didn’t want to, I had to go back to the hotel.

Oops… there’s a way!

There was one person who felt sorry for me. A newcomer. A young person.

I had just met that person a few minutes ago. When we were on the subway, he was sitting across from me – a bit far to the left.

Several times he seemed to sweep his gaze over my face. A sweep. Several times. Occasionally caught my eyes in the act. Silent. Sweep again. Silent.

When we got off the train, he approached me. Half unbelieving, he mentioned my name. With a question mark. We shook hands.

That was my helper god that day. Not a grandchild. Not a child. Not a wife.

He was someone I had just met.

I started to believe again in the following principle: “In this world, everywhere, there are always good people.”

He was a great young Indonesian –明天见(Dahlan Iskan).

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