About ten years ago, we came to this restaurant with friends. It was in the middle of Jakarta, but it was magical here.  To enter, you have to walk across a small wooden bridge, and the place beyond the bridge was pure Balinese.

Coincidentally, I was on crutches at that time, having fractured my ankle the week before. And as I valiantly struggled across the bridge, he had came from behind and picked me up into his arms easily. He was grinning ear-to-ear.

Somehow, that grin stuck in my mind, as did that night, though it was just dinner with a small group of good friends. There were mosquitoes and the restaurant didn’t serve wine. Not all that brilliant, yet it was.

A couple of nights ago, we got dressed up to go to Payon. We had talked about this for a long time. We toyed with the idea of inviting all the friends who were at dinner on that long-ago night, though we opted for dinner a-deux, carrying a rather expensive bottle of wine with us, reminiscing and laughing as we walked the familiar roads of my old neighbourhood.

And then the shock. Payon was no longer there! It was covered with green aluminium hoardings. It was a building site! We stood there in shock.

But it was.

As we walked away sombrely, we said to ourselves, “It’s OK. We have been there when it was at its best. It is part of our history.”

And that is life. Things and people come and go like the winds, storms and seasons, but only the real remains. The rest are just part of our life’s journey.

As we say in Dutch, storm is het mooiste excuus om je aan iemand vast te klampen ❤

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For more photos of Payon please visit this page.