That choir competition in 2009 was the first chance for me to finally go abroad. Even if it was for a competition, but still it was held outside Indonesia. It was in Penang, Malaysia, to be exact. I got really excited, because I was going to go abroad and for a pretty long time too.
Although the rehearsals were extremely tough, I thought that it was worth it. Even with the tension from the nearing competition, I still felt elated. At last, the day of departure had arrived. I had my passport done days before. I had packed my luggage, brought my musical scores, and I was ready to go. Throughout the journey, I slept almost all the time, because it was a night flight from Surabaya to Kuala Lumpur. All of us arrived in KL very late, yet we still needed to go by bus from KL to Penang. After a long and tiring journey, we finally arrived in Penang at dawn.
We kept practicing and rehearsing every time. No time to slack off or the coach would have our head. I felt a bit disappointed since I did not have too much time to really enjoy my stay there, because of those rehearsals. We kept rehearsing from morning to evening. We did not have time to do anything except for sleeping, eating, and taking a bath. However, after the competition, our coach was getting easier on us. We did a little sight-seeing around Penang; we even took some pictures, before we were heading back to the hotel for another session of rehearsal. We needed the extra rehearsal, because we were going to perform two songs for the Friendship Concert. After that concert, we took many pictures with other competitors from all around the world. We changed souvenirs and e-mail address so that we could find each other via Facebook.
After that concert we still have one day left and we roamed over Penang within the span of that day, before we needed to be in the airport. We took some more pictures, bought souvenirs, and ate in the small restaurant in Penang. We had a bit of misfortune because the plane was delayed for an hour, but for me, that was a very good experience. What a Penang fantasy indeed…