Anthology of Two Months

I have no idea how to construct a poem a real poetry for it has no formula but sense. It might be the closest and finest assumption, if justification is reluctantly unacceptable, of deterring myself from writing or sharing a bit of words. It was just too perfect of timing to observe how things have been happening. In the other hand, which might be an extraordinary case, I was busy with part-time jobs, rewrote final undergrad thesis with sizable time of reconstructing a computerized model of my research, and the most important one and I wish I deserve an exception, traveled back home. All of them kept me from voluntarily giving my blog a chance to be touched down.

I was just doing more on facebook instead, posting one or two phrases and some picts, giving comments, liked friends' status and did other facebook stuffs. A typical young Indonesian, a trait that I couldn't easily reject but more attached into it. Let me myself attempt to catch the derailed one. So, I would like to welcome myself to stick (again) on regular post.

Within these recent two months, were full of talks. Too many serious occasions, accidents, and events were out there. But when I looked down within my home country alone, I found out that something vibrantly was sounding as it spoke out loud. Discussing its vibes has inspired me to divide it into few headlines as I am going to phrase out as follows.

Election and Telenovela

Literally I don't definitely name Indonesia a country where mummies are living in. But an action of few of its citizen is just too ridiculous for I personally never thought of. It's all started when word for 'election' has been steadily aired and overheard. Yet, it is just  too captivating for me as a spectator of political game as it performs a show as dramatic as unending soap opera. Well, an elect-president based on official counting by legal commissioner as result of people's ballot was already announced,  but seems the announcement still should encounter challenge from the loser side. And the drama has yet ended up even until now.

Everything seems clear now, mega-delusional disease is escalating rampantly. It may top Ebola in terms of severity as it has no tangible vaccine to deal with. It is so funny if you happen to understand Bahasa and watching live what was going on in the court. Not because how the procedure took place but responses of every question by the judges to the losing president hopeful and his team were too immature for high-profile presidential election case. Some interviews conducted previously have shown how he disgraced his attitude himself. I personally supposed him a person with solid integrity as bold as his winning opponent. But my measurement has been kinda noised lately. I wish I am wrong. I do.

Despite of all of this stunning drama, I highlight Indonesia election of this season, to be frank, is very stiff. Smear campaign is subject of the talk. Unfortunately still many people grab the information just too immediate without trying to clarify.  On the other hand, number of people who put concern on 9th of July during power-transfer period is soaring. Almost every Indonesian I met down on the street profoundly voiced their choice with full of confidence based on their own unique consideration. I guess this is how democracy really works. I know it is not perfect but the process counts!

Escaping Away from City Crowd

Election result would be on Tuesday, the day that I finally opted to leave Bogor as highway that connects to the airport by system forced me to pass through capital Jakarta. Thus, I decided to take very morning flight, at 5 am the aircraft B737-900ER flew me to Lombok. As suggested on TV news, I anticipated mass rant that may pour down the street and paralyzed the city by cruising the highway where lights had yet dimmed. Fortunately all worries disappeared, at least it went on not as worse as it was predicted. 

As I arrived in Lombok, I felt nothing but more relaxing breeze. Well, I didn't let myself missing the very brief moment after few weeks I had been prevented from the warm sunshine for I was working much inside air conditioned room while outside full of rain.

I traveled eastern-ward to my home island, Sumbawa. The further I walked, the slower time throbs. I isolated myself from political vibe. I did really focus on how to enjoy quality family time, learned how to stop frowning and started to laugh out loud with childhood friends, and did business as usual as a native Sumbawanese, speaking the rumor in local language with its solid dialect.

To me personally, visiting my hometown where I was growing is a pilgrimage of my own version as others travel to Ganges river, Mecca, Jerussalem, Vatican or Nepal. A place where I was born has taught me on how to use a mirror. I stood right in front of it, in my mind, where I contemplated and interpreted a reflection.

It was the time that now has already helped me to grow fonder of what I have got and being more thankful. As I traced the town and tried to remind past memory, I spiritually felt more fulfilled. Not because on my ID card I still retain certain religion, instead I'm not a pious boy who visits praying place regularly, I remember I was there once during my stay, but because of life lesson in school at hometown in which I had opportunity to understand people from different background. It is pretty easy to find a church or pura stands just few miles from or on the doorstep of mosque. Or visiting my friend on occasion (s)he celebrated his/her religious festivity. The most simple one, at my school, we had special event on Friday when every believer regardless what kind of his/her belief, every student did spiritual class provided with at least one preacher for each religion by school authority. If you happen to be unbeliever, and when Indonesia officially legalizes no religion option, I guess my old school would matter nothing on your status. You would be welcome to be there.

It is also no surprise when you see a girl who wears hijab has a closest friend the girl that with short pant and a party-goer. Or a teacher wearing hijab works at Catholic school. Or the biggest fund for religious festivity in your neighborhood come from someone who holds different religion. Or taking religion paper test as it is still compulsory in our education curriculum, sitting next to friend whose different religion and happens to you to answer the question until few numbers before you realize that the paper test actually doesn't belong to you, then you are aware that many similarities in context of concept in it with what you believe.

I realized that this tiny town has became a laboratory for my real life as it teaches me to scrutiny more on similarity instead of stirring upheaval due to different stances. In here, between Lombok and Sumbawa, I become more accustomed to see kid nowadays mix blooded, Indo, they call it. Love and compassion have broken down geographical, cultural, and even religious barrier on establishing a noble relationship, called marriage. As result, a newborn offspring is delivered with brand new face in the upcoming years, the untold story. 


As final boarding call announced, I immediately approach the aircraft gate. This medium-haul narrow body airplane is going to take off within few minutes. but my memory of my hometown is indeed still calling. I never feel that so lucky. And for first time ever I'm suffering homesick fever. I do really miss my family and friends. They really made my day. The lesson I bring to fly with is so priceless, something that frankly I haven't gained yet much in where currently I study and work. Thanks folks!

Not Too Bad ...

Bogor Station in the morning

Whimsical depiction of extravaganza is perfectly conspicuous and too much captivating for passer-by at little slums area in Jakarta, if Chinatown is too high as comparison. Shared public toilet for no less than dozens of these happy settlements, yellowing river right next to the kitchen, children playing with lots of joy all through narrowing alley that divide every neighborhood, my notion of impression once I happened to lurk into communes of three hot spot areas within the capital city. I, since a couple week ago, who has been joining a research activity for megapolitan disaster management initiated by an university in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, will work on these fields for some weeks later on. Interviewing the settlement, translating the report, spending some hours to reach the location for I commute daily from Bogor, are kinds of my endeavor to run the project.

As an aficionado of aesthetic urban landscape, the contrary of living between highrise concrete building and outlier downtown is striking. It is a portray of contemporary artwork made by intangible social ego. The scenery is the body, the city's life is the soul. To me, the overlapped voice of grassroots down beneath vibrant city's noise is way more fascinating. As this research covers up interview with the slum settlements, I can barely recognize their voice is seamless and honest. Different study case yields different buzz. Slum area in North Jakarta has its own echo and sometimes similar point of interest as questioned is responded by varying perspective compared to that of fellow compatriot in Central and South Jakarta . The pro and con is common.

One highlight that I draw from the interviewee's perspective, is how their assessment on incumbent government. Although this part is minor of research inquiries and is avoidable in order to keep the scientific value of research objective, for I here write on a blog, the measurement is valid unconditionally. Some people voluntarily express their fulfilled satisfactory what the Governor has done to them, some others complain about for being excluded subject of blusukan. This account has suggested me that these people are wanting for being taken care of, seen, visited and recognized. Although the real problem is quite complex, even seems always more complex when some snobbish media extravagantly add glitter on news to spoil people's opinion. Let me alone to have my own assessment, and these settlements whose mirror is crystal clear have directed me to address my perspective goal: understanding the matter comprehensively.

Living at such slum, for some people, never look opulent instead too desperate. Bur for the kids I met through the alley, they never complain about despite of their fully informed account of blessed apartment right over there, to them, is no more than bird cage. The old ones, as life what they understand is not always fulfilling, are frankly aware that their existence would not last. Anytime the govt would demolish their settlement in favor of refurnishing city landscape. But what they expect is evacuation to appropriate decent housing complex. Though, it does not successfully work for a commune in North Jakarta, other areas are waiting to prove for more accomplished story.

The immense gap I captured at these areas has paid my inquisitiveness off as I have been wondering why Jakarta straddles this circumstance for that pretty long. However, I still have no sufficient answer to explain . I'm just too curious to return to these area again by this week and finding out more fun facts to share with.     

Un Petit Appel

It was not missing MH370's black box resonated alert but my dad's call at that night. For few days I was not in telephone line, he might be kinda anxious. Well, it had a reason, simply just because my mobile phone lost its buzz. When it got the vibe, my dad's voice was already there.

He then started the convo, deliberately asking "What happens, son?" gently. As always, he has no more words than an usual intro, a distinct voice compared to Mom's call in which she goes straight to the matter. No later than a minute, he tried, though kinda awkward yet still subtle, asking another questions. Some of it were just the same as he used to. But that night he added a quiz, "How's your choice?". Sounds vague, until then I got the point, he meant my vote belonging to whom.

This year's election is the second term of mine to celebrate the democratic euphoria as real. And my dad's curiosity about my vote is no big surprise. But not until I deliberated my ballot. He was still wondering the reason behind my cast, of course he would be fine to listen my explanation. Then I quested his voice in return. Claiming himself as silent supporter of those politicians, ranging from newcoming competitor to old-fashioned icon on TV, made me a little bit surprised. Knowing that mine and him is in opposite side, he offered me a chance to complain. But I refused, I chose to make a deal that we agree to 'disagree' on our own instead. Sounds fair right?

His point of view is mostly influenced by local newspaper, TV news but almost no internet. He is a maiden of buzzfeed. The only thing I know about him and his acquaintance with internet is Facebook. He might be overdue. He is a sort of bloke who still pertains traditional way of circulated accounts. Sitting with neighbors with local printed newspaper in hand, he is simply simple person of his own living at hometown where he was born, bred, grown up and is running daily job. To me, his life could be so boring, but frankly I do admire his determination is inspiring. He is the one who always teaches and trains me to think beyond his limitation, being critical, standing-out amongst talents, all things democratically he has inculcated in me even before this country transformed into what so-called recognized juvenile democratic nation. He is the first person who refused the idea of sending me to religious boarding school as many people around us would decide to. Instead he suggested me to run my education in public school where I could befriend many kind of people from different background, though I had to leave home and even until now.

My dad's view in some parts are though still conservative, much intrigued by traditional influence which in my measure is irrelevant. Perhaps I'm too naive, lost translation in his childhood. Thus I try hard to thread his past and my today experience, obviously contrast. But one thing I understand, his vision is solid. He barely knows I never ever live the way he was, how his dad trained him. He knows exactly I supposed to be who I am, not himself nor even his ancestor.

When his phone was offline, I realized that I had to recharge mine, almost running out of power. It has been an hour since we started the talk. Then I think, I would be better to give my vote to candidate who has similar trait with my dad, someone who is able to vision the future and in the mean time is adaptable to underground matter. And of course my vote only belongs to those whose political maturity is unquestionable with humble attitude. No matter what your party flag is. I and my dad would love to look forward what will happen. Coz we'll talk it up later ;-)

Hommage à père!