Asylum Seekers in West Java Nestled in the interior of West Java, Indonesia, the town of Cisarua has become a hub for asylum seekers from Asia, the Middle East and Africa desperate to find a new country to call home. In this mountainous region known for relentless rainfall, trauma acts as an unfortunate bond between desperate strangers from faraway places. They gather in small pockets of overcrowded dwellings, maintaining low profiles to avoid attracting antagonism from the locals. With no ability to work or study, theirs is a life in limbo, shadowed by their pasts and uncertain of their futures. Initially asylum seekers from Iran and Iraq were attracted to the town by a local population who spoke Arabic (Saudi men had historically travelled there for holidays focused on carnal pursuits). Sudanese, Eritrean, Somali, Afghan, Indian, Sri Lankan, Burmese and Pakistanis followed, lured by solidarity, affordability, cooler temperatures and a proximity to the UNHCR offices in Jakarta. Many arrived with hopes of taking boats on the precarious journey to Australian waters, while others came with a more conservative plan to place their fate in the hands of the UNHCR process. Still others arrived with no clear strategy, having literally run for their lives in the dark of night. UNHCR statistics estimate that in 2013 there were more than 10,000 asylum seekers and refugees in Indonesia, with many of them living in the Cisarua region. It is here that the heartbreaking human stories so common to asylum seekers can be easily heard Many asylum seekers faced unexpected hardship when they arrived in Indonesia and discovered that the conditions promised to them by smugglers were far different to the realities. Tales are common of broken promises by smugglers, who disappear after collecting large sums of money or passports, and landlords collecting rent in advance then kicking out tenants. In the face of the challenges endured in Cisarua, a desperate search for normalcy endures, with asylum seekers clinging to shreds of routine that depict life as they once knew it. A group of Hazaras (largely from Pakistan) have managed to organise their own football league. Others gather once a week at the community pool or the gym to exercise. A rare few have even found love. Whether the policies of more fortunate countries such as Australia uphold the rights of asylum seekers or not, the decision to flee will continue to be made by those living in places where violence and conflict are a daily reality. Desperate people will keep making their way to Indonesia, accepting the waiting game that goes along with it, because they believe they have no alternative. Boats or not, the will to secure a safe and stable future for their families will win out.