If someone were to say ten years ago that I would one day return to Indonesia to live by myself without my late husband but in the house he purchased for our old age… I would have never believed it!
To me, Milan, Italy would be forever!
But that wasn’t my husband’s choice all along. He loved Indonesia. He wanted to live in the country.
I was like a floating object that could go and live where the water would take me! And so, this home just fell into my laps!
One Saturday in June 2006 I accidentally stumbled upon a page of a site on houses in Bali.
Years of my absence of living and being in touch with my country, Indonesia, I was very pleasantly surprised to see what beautiful houses Bali offers that I did not expect as my view of the island was only of the luxurious Hotels or Balinese gorgeous Guest Houses/Small Hotels with private local traditional rooms that I have stayed on my several visits there in the past.
Then I saw this very house!! Thinking it was in Bali but it wasn’t! It was in Jakarta!!
Reading the details, it is not far from my brother’s residential area, what coincidence.
So, that was fun to just get to know how progressed Indonesia is on housing!
Then Pietro walked in from his outing while I have forgotten of what I saw on the Internet of these marvellous houses in Indonesia as to me, it was enough to know but was very impressed by it very much.
He who never initiated nor talked about property, yes, at the initial but was more of a passing talks… then walking in and pointing out to me that the apartment on the opposite side of the courtyard to that of where we were living in (rental) is for sale. Hmm… that was pleasantly odd that Pietro had to bring that up showing so much interest in buying the apartment? That sparked about my browsing just a while ago on houses in Indonesia and so I mentioned it to him as I know already we are not financially ready to make any property acquisition at all. So to mention it was just to enlighten as to what kind of houses Indonesia now built. It’s only been just talks between us previously, as admittedly, I ‘m sort of that kind of person that if the man is not aggressive enough in his desire to buy a property, I am lazy to initiate or even think about it. I was just fine with living in the small apartment in the middle of the city as I am a city person by nature after all, so complaints were none on my part but just a few sporadic ones regarding its size. After all when I came to Italy I had a big house in Jakarta already (not as big as this one) and a lovely apartment in Singapore. So moving to Milan in that very oddly designed apartment was something that I have had to adapt.
All of a sudden, Pietro uttered from his mouth, “why don’t you contact the owner?”
That took me by surprise!
Then I did just that and found out that the owner of the property lives in Holland not in Indonesia although Indonesian who migrated to Holland as a child.
The rest is history… Universally guided procedures… onward… with the gentleness, kindness and a business sense of the owner but, albeit its tense moments as well, however, we were of the same minds as both applied the win-win situation mentality to close the deal.
What a house! What a place! What a villa!!
This beautiful and wonderful villa became mine – as also it had to… by name, because at that time, no foreigners were allowed to buy or own property in Indonesia.
For Pietro, it was perfect that he has been dreaming to have but never really planned.
Also, albeit he never mentioned, he felt a sense of guilt to have taken me out of my beautiful home then in Jakarta as well as my apartment in Singapore to come to Milan to live with him in that very old but to me, charming apartment… but for him it was an uneasy proposition he had put me in, therefore, it was his gift to me to show that he wanted to give it back to me what I lost.
What a gift as I had never thought in that way and no wonder just a couple of years before his demise, I was almost offended whenever I mentioned to him about this house as “our” house, he kept correcting me to “your house” referring me. At first I found him cute to say that but over time, whenever he kept insisting saying “your house” to me, I felt uncomfortable and a sense of ominous in my guts that something forbidding might happen…
It happened!! To this day I still can’t believe but accepted it, not even time to cry properly even. I could only shed a tear when I am in the company of people but not when I am alone. Strangely enough.
After a visit of almost three months of staying here with me from end of November, 2013 to February, 2014… for visa purpose, he decided to return to Italy. How disturbing it felt when he chose a date 14th February, 2014… a Valentine date that he was adamant to leave. I couldn’t understand why. I swallowed my longing and pain as in wishing I could spend that special day with him as even the man at the travel agent who helped us booking the flight was taken by surprise that Pietro insisted on leaving me that date.
By 19th of March, he called his last call to me… and acknowledging that he suddenly has “nostalgia” about the house. It was a habit of him to call every day since day one we met wherever he was. And to the last one – a day – depending on the time zone or the accuracy of the moment he left us – or two days previous – which officially declared that 21st March, 2014, was his day leaving us all to heaven. His last words to me when I picked up the phone on that last fateful call was immediately: “Do you know that you are the light of my eyes? You are all my life.” I took it rather off-guardly as it was too much of a sudden declaration on the opening of the telephone call. He made sure he said those words to me… yes, now… my tears are falling… What a man! What an ending! What a generously-hearted man he was!
And so, back to this house… He was like a hero to me… made sure that he left me with security and not only a house in Jakarta that I could call my own but an even more wonderful, beautiful, lovely house I had never could dream of or even imagined and hoped for.
And for this, my gratitude to Pietro Giallombardo, my dearest late husband and to God, is an everlasting and immense that to this day I still have to pinch myself.
And thus, I’d like to share the beauty of this Villa that also has helped me earn some income by having rented it out to an expatriate family yearly as well as a Bed & Breakfast place every once in a while when the house is vacant.
Hope you enjoy the beauty of a love of a man to a woman by my sharing the pictures of every part of this villa and I hope Pietro could see from up there that this gift is here to stay as I sill do my upmost to retain it. Just like the message I receive through the Universe Guidance hereto.