FABx Stories Worth Telling

The Roads to Meeting and Missing

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In this talk, Devi and Suma take the stage together to share their different experiences. Devi speaks about not being allowed to play on the street. And “Whenever I went outside to the street, my mom would hold my hand tightly.” For Suma, it was completely different. “We could do everything on the street.” And “For a man, roads are the reason to leave.” Devi had a different view. “For women, the street would always be a way . . . to go back home.” As a girl, Devi was told that being outside at night was a “bad idea.” And Suma was told to go away and bring back as many stories as he could.

Suma: Hello all.

Devi: Hello.

Suma: My name is Suma. I come from Ubud, but I grew up in Denpasar.

Devi: Hi, all. My name is Devi. I'm from Denpasar, but I really love the atmosphere here in Ubud.

Suma: I'm a man and Devi?

Devi: I'm a woman.

Suma: I'm sorry because I just speak a little English.

Devi: No need to worry about me. In my daily life, I'm an English teacher. I teach from home to primary school. I teach from one private lesson to another private lesson house-to-house from one private course to another private course. So for me in my journey as a teacher, the street played a very important role to express myself and my English.

Suma: I had learned English at school. However, I can only remember a bit. I learned English from my uncle, whose job was a tour guide. He picked up words from one street to the other street. Then he composed them into his own sentences at his will. Like I do now. The streets united my uncle and me with various languages to find words and use them as street English.

Devi: Every time I wanted to go out to the street, my mom would be very angry. She would say a girl shouldn't be on the street. A girl should be playing at home with a doll, cooking, playing anything that won't hurt because the street is a line that can draw scars to your body as a girl.

Suma: As a man, scars are fun. Line by line made of scars is a symbol of adventure. The streets serve us with so many scratches of adventure. Running to each other on the open street, playing hide and seek in the alleys and word games on the roadside. We could do everything on the street.

Devi: At the time, the street became a very strange thing to me. How could it not when I was never given a chance to sense the street with my own body? Whenever I went outside to the street, my mom would hold my hand tightly. She led my way as if her daughter would be gone somewhere unknown.

Suma: The streets I had been walking through were increasing in number as I grew older. The streets were getting longer and further. From southern Bali, I moved to northern Bali to study at university in Singaraja. And then the street flung out my future, as well as my vision, my ambition, and my hope.

Devi: On the street I found many encounters. Many farewells but, between the farewells and the encounters, the street always led me back home. Back home to my parents—to my mom and dad, to my beloved love, home to his mom and dad, where I was introduced. And I would call his house my home as well. And then, for women, the street would always be a way and a reason to go back home.

Suma: For a man, roads are the reason to leave.

Devi: A way back home.

Suma: A way to go.

Devi: To be brought home.

Suma: To live away.

Devi: Go back home, my dear daughter, because going out at night for a girl is a very bad idea.

Suma: Go, go away, my son. Bring home as many stories from wherever—everywhere.

Devi: A way back home.

Suma: A way to go.

Devi: Hmm, a man's road.

Suma: A woman's road.

Devi: Men and women on the road.

Suma: What's the difference?

Devi: What's the difference?

Suma: Can't the street be a place for everyone?

Devi: Can't the street be a place for everyone?

Suma: We feel the streets as an alliance.

Devi: That over secrets, miracles, and unpredictability?

Suma: Without taking into account which men and which women along the way.

Devi: Without taking into account which men and which women along the way.

Thank you.

Suma: Thank you.


if you're looking for something to transform your life then they should do FABx. ~ Hoda Monika Agah
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