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Andrea Hirata —
Andrea Hirata is an Indonesian author best known for the 2005 novel Laskar Pelangi (The Rainbow Troops) and its sequels... (wikipedia)
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.
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'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.
It's hard to be a minority. People look at you a different way, like you don't belong, and I don't think many people realize just how difficult it is to live as a minority. Where I come from, we learn to tolerate one another. Whether one is of Chinese descent or Malay descent, what matters is we're part of the same country, the same world.