“When you see a female dressed in a manner that is unacceptable Islamically, do not for a moment think that she is lower than you spiritually. If you do that, then you are lower than her. Believe me, that is the teaching of your religion. She might have a link with her Creator that you do not know about. She might have a heart that is tons better than yours. She might have one weakness that is outward, and you might have fifty weaknesses that are hidden.”—Mufti Ismail Menk
Ketika KKN, aku yang saat itu mengenakan kaus lengan pendek dan celana pendek menerima sebuah pertanyaan, “Kamu miring, ya?”
Teman yang bertanya adalah sarjana kedokteran hewan. Masih saat KKN, teman-temanku memperhatikan kedua kakiku memiliki selisih panjang saat aku selonjoran di lantai. “Dulu sekolah dimana, Fin? SLB?”
Saat aku main ke kos teman kuliahku, aku duduk di tempat tidurnya. Kausku cukup tipis sehingga dia bisa berkomentar, “Kok bengkok?”
Aku bilang, “Coba, pegang aja.” (Jangan ngeres ya hahaha)
Alhamdulillah komentar-komentar tersebut muncul saat aku sudah siap. Jawaban-jawabanku juga bisa dibilang santai, bercanda malah. Aku sadari sekarang bahwa ini adalah bagianku. Kadang-kadang aku juga sering meraba buku-buku tulang belakangku sendiri yang menonjol. Meliuk-liuk. Aku tidak ingin lagi berandai-andai bilamana tulang belakangku lurus, ataukah kemungkinan kedua kakiku akan sama panjangnya, bilakah aku menjadi makhluk seimbang kiri-kanan…. Sudah cukup :) Semua orang punya kekurangan dan kelebihan; kelebihan yang baik adalah bila orang tersebut berbesar hati akan kekurangan yang ia miliki.
Aku bertemu dengan seseorang yang hebat di Postcrossing. Sekarang dia memakai kursi roda, tapi semangatnya tidak kunjung padam. Dia bilang aku harus bisa menerima diriku sendiri dan supaya aku tidak pernah berharap orang lain akan menerima kita. Dia ada di barisan para-rider (para-equestrian) dari Finlandia. Tulang belakangnya juga bengkok, cedera, saat ia terjatuh dari menunggang kuda tahun lalu. Dia masih mengendarai kuda, bahkan setelah harus menggunakan kursi roda. Salut! Semangat dan impian ternyata bisa juga menyeberangi samudera.
Kartu Pos Hitam Putih/ Black and White Postcards (8th Exhibition as held by Komunitas Postcrossing Indonesia)
I’ve been thinking that updating my postcards collection will be a good idea. It’s been a long time for me not to update my postcards section. 2013 is a amazing years as I receive many postcards and letters too, and unfortunately, some of them get lost, or I assume so because I do not get reply or news whether they already receive those or not.
Anyway, I joined a mini postcard exhibition on Komunitas Postcrossing Indonesia on Facebook by the theme Black and White, November 2013. I wa not the first winner, I was the runner up =) The first winner on this 8th exhibition was Mas Rachmad, resides in Belgium. He then asked me to give a theme for the upcoming exhibition, which is (officially) Traditional Costumes! But hey I’ll let you take a look at my Black and White postcards ;)
Grand Duchess Tatiana
Grand Duchess Olga & Grand Duchess Tatiana
Left to right: Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia
Left to right: Maria, Empress Alix, Alexey, Tatiana, Olga, Tsar, and Anastasia
Those four Romanov postcards were sent by my friend Pavel and his wife, Alena. They are from Syktyvkar, the capital city of Respublika Komi, a region with Komi language (a branch of Uralic language, yes, close to Suomi, Hungarian, or Estonian) is widely spoken (Alena is now in Peters, continuing her study while Pavel is now placed in Chita). Those postcards are very beautiful because Tatiana, my favorite Grand Duchess, is on every card sent by them. During my community service, the students I was currently teaching were mesmerized by those postcards. I know, black and white photographs always offer timeless pictures, eternal expressions, and sometimes, sadness because most people you find in black and white pictures are already gone. Because of their curiosity, I then decided to give them a brief of Russian history. They were sad to know that the Grand Duchesses (or as they called them, Princess) and Crown Prince were shot to death. I hope it was a good decision to teach them a little bit history. Pavel and Alena are very kind to send me Romanov postcards regularly, when they have time (I really like Pavel’s profile picture on his VK, diving with Alena).
Left to right: Olga, Marian, Tsar, Empress, Anastasia, Aleksey, and Tatiana
Still Romanov postcard, but this one was sent from a far away city, Magadan, Russia, on the very east of the country. Magadan was a transit center for prisoners sent to labor camps during Stalin era. The sender was Igi, and it was my first direct swap ever! Those five Romanov postcards got so many (Facebook) likes from the members of Indonesian Postcrossing Community, and I was really glad to ‘preach’ about European history that time, like why George from England was so similar with The Last Tsar, etc.
That was sent by my dear friend Ruslan, a Muscovite, when he was on duty photographing so many things in Peters. He stayed only a few days in Peters but he was care enough to send me postcard, a black and white one, picturing St. Petersburg in the good old 1990s. This postcard was written and stamped in St. Petersburg, which is the reason why I appreciate this postcard (and him too) so much. Imagine Peters like the way it was back then on 1990s, probably painful traffic jam wouldn’t exist by now.
We were in a souvenir shop, but Lord, it was 9 PM so that souvenir shop was the only one that was still open in the famous Arbat street in Moscow. Lyusha, one of my friends from languages exchange program, handed me a bag of souvenirs, among them is this good postcard of Belorusskiy railway station. Yes, this postcard is blank, and never be sent and probably not in million years. This is a gift from my dear friend Lyusha and it will stay unwritten, unstamped, and stay here with another postcards of mine :)
Heartbroken and hungry, I was so genius to buy this postcard (and another 9 postcards of Frankfurt) while I was in airport. I tried my best to find Gummybears or Gummibaerchen as in Deutsche, but no result. Those postcards, including this, made me lost more than 10 euros (ouch). I like this postcard simply because it shows how large the platz was! And how nice the houses were!
This postcard was given by my awesome research partner, Sophia, when we met for the last time in June at Bahnhof waiting for my ICE to Frankfurt :( The title of the postcard is Stark Tobako (Strong Tobacco).
"Aku suka kartupos ini, mereka semua anak-anak nakal," said Sophia in perfect Indonesian.
This is not a postcard, but a maxi card because the postage stamp is on the picture. This was given by my father, to me, not to my brother because he knows that I have a deep interest on mail things. As I am currently on a progress on finishing to read Soekarno’s book, Sarinah, I can say I adore this man a bit, because of his thoughts on how to treat women.
"Koeat karena bersatoe, Bersatoe karena koeat." -Soekarno
Those postcards made me the runner up of the (fun) exhibition :) I will of course post my postcards here whenever I get time (and internet connection).
Dengan rahmat Illahi anak perempuan ini berumur 21, dua puluh satu hari yang lalu. Ulang tahun pertama ayahku mengucapkan ucapan selamat dan doa di layanan pesan singkat; tetapi pesannya tidak singkat. Umur bioskop, kata temanku T, umur saat kamu harus bersiap menghadapi angka tiga puluhan sembilan tahun lagi. Ini umur yang tepat untuk memprojeksikan harapan-harapan dan keinginanku. Ini umur yang tepat untuk duduk di bioskopku sendiri, menonton apapun yang kumau bersama orang yang kusukai. Secara etimologi, bioskop berasal dari bahasa Londo, bioscoop; bio + scoop, literally means watching life.
21, umur yang unik, umur dimana aku harus melihat masa depan dan menonton masa lalu. Resolusiku selalu dimulai saat pergantian umur, setelah evaluasi. Supaya gampang. Umur 20 menyenangkan, pertama kali aja lilin pertamanya angka dua. Mari nonton di Bioskop Afina, barang sebentar saja! (Sebelum itu, mari ucapkan alhamdulillah dan bismillah terlebih dahulu)
Pada umur 20 tahun aku:
Berbeda dengan generasi-generasi sebelum kami, aku dan saudara-saudara sepupu perempuanku (dari pihak ibu) merupakan generasi perempuan pertama yang (akan) bekerja. Selamat tinggal, tradisi! We were clueless at first. Beberapa pekerjaan (dan juga beasiswa) tidak membolehkan kandidat perempuan. Disini kami berusaha untuk menempatkan kategori jenis kelamin sebagai kategori pertama yang harus kami lihat. Apakah pekerjaan tersebut boleh dilamar oleh perempuan? Apakah beasiswa tersebut membolehkan perempuan untuk mengikuti proses seleksinya? Bulan ini, sebelum dan sesudah berulang tahun, aku sudah meletakkan riwayat hidup di berbagai perusahaan, mendatangi dua panggilan tes (baru saja pulang ;-) ) dari dua perusahaan, benar-benar mencoba peruntunganku sendiri sembari bertanya, inikah yang kuinginkan? Yang seperti apa sebenarnya yang aku mau? Merasakan sensasi deg-degan saat lihat laman perusahaan, mengecek apakah lamaranku sudah diproses, bilakah aku lolos, dll
2. Tinggal di ‘dunia baru’
Aku pernah tinggal di tempat yang susah terjamah, dulu sekali, saat balita. Tapi bahkan tempat tersebut masih jauh lebih baik daripada desa yang kutempati saat KKN. Jujur, pertama kalinya aku tinggal di desa, lengkap dengan ternak, sawah, ladang dan pekuburan yang tak sepi. Tidak lama, memang, hanya dua bulan. Layaknya pesantren kilat, KKN ini membuka mataku supaya melihat lebih banyak. Air yang kotor, asap pembakaran sampah harian, telek bebek di dalam rumah, anak-anak yang tidak naik kelas, orang gila lewat depan pondokan… Terkadang memang keinginanku terlampau banyak untuk tinggal sementara. Dunia baru ini seperti menyadarkanku dari realita di bulan Juni, saat aku merasakan canggihnya Eropa selama sebulan. Ini seperti program ‘pendidikan ulang’ Mao di Cina. Biarpun begitu, desa yang kutempati ini cerminan negaraku ini; sanitasi rendah, hak-hak masyarakat yang susah diakses (air, pendidikan, hiburan, dll), primordialis, agama yang ‘kental’, dan juga (entah bagaimana) korupsi. Membayar pajak bukan berarti lampu jalan raya di sekitar rumah Anda terang benderang, lho. Aku juga diajak melihat festival rakyat setelah panen. Aku juga merasakan pendeknya hari di desa. Meneliti tai sapi supaya tau sapinya sakit atau tidak. Diajak menonton sinetron-sinetron Indonesiar karena ibu pondokan gemar menonton itu semua setelah taraweh (Damar Wulan, dll deh yang tiba-tiba kepalanya jadi ular terus nyaplok, atau tiba-tiba jadi kelinci. Jangan lupa elang terbang). Tidur di kasur yang gatal. Lidah dan kuping jadi masuk ke pengaturan bahasa Jawa. Lihat serunya pasar malam yang ternyata nggak dekat dan naik kora-kora. Hancurnya hati ketika dikatain “Mbak Bencong” sama anak-anak SD tempatku mengajar.
Hanya dua bulan, tapi terlalu banyak kisah, ada aja tiap hari. Ini hanya terjadi di umur dua puluhku, semoga.
N.b. sampai sekarang nilainya belum keluar juga untuk mahasiswa/i FISIPOL. Bete.
3. Belajar bahasa baru
Kata pribahasa Ceko, seseorang yang bisa menggunakan dua bahasa akan hidup dua kali. Yang hanya satu maka hanya akan hidup sekali. Dengan logika tersebut maka harusnya orang Indonesia hidup lebih dari sekali :p Selama dua bulan, aku dan beberapa senior diharuskan mengikuti kursus bahasa Jerman untuk persiapan kami tinggal dan ‘rodi’ (hahahah!) disana. Beberapa mirip dengan bahasa kita sehari-hari, karena banyak kosakata kita yang diserap dari bahasa Belanda (yang masih serumpun dengan bahasa Jerman). Beken, brug, teh-kopi, leker, kelar, anfal, mop, Oma-Opa-Tante, bus, dll. Kalo gak diharuskan juga aku pasti gak mau deh, karena disaat yang bersamaan namaku terdaftar di rumah sakit untuk operasi bedah mulut darurat. Belajar bahasa merupakan salah satu cara untuk belajar kebudayaan bangsa tersebut. Kayaknya kalo janji untuk ketemuan di percakapan bahasa Jerman, tidak ditemui skenario, “jangan telat ya!”, atau “Insya Allah ya”. Kalau lagi membaca contoh percakapan di kafe, pelayan selalu bertanya, “Zusammen?” atau “Tagihannya digabung?”, kalau di bahasa Indonesia, mau tagihannya dipisah atau digabung, biasanya sih request dari pengunjung/pembeli. Dari dua contoh itu kita bisa menganalisa sedikit kebudayaan disana sebelum akhirnya benar-benar tinggal disana.
Ada yang tahu kenapa setiap kali kosakata bahasa yang kita pelajari bertambah, saat itu pula pengetahuan kita tentang bahasa asing lain terlupa? Help.
4. Belajar bahwa tidak semua orang mengerti kita (jadi biarkan mereka bertanya!)
Di umur 20 tahun aku belajar bahwa tidak semua orang mengerti kita, sama seperti kita juga tidak mengerti sebagian orang lain. Tidak semua orang paham kenapa orang Indonesia selalu ceria, heboh, dan ngerumpi setiap kali bertemu dengan sesamanya, atau kenapa orang Jerman tiba-tiba (aka dadakan) bikin janji outdoor saat matahari muncul. Atau, “mengapa kamu makan sambal banyak sekali?”, “Mengapa kamu makan dengan sendok?”, “Mengapa pakai tisu basah di kamar mandi?” (hehehe). Sama seperti aku juga tidak bisa mengerti mengapa cowok-cowok di kamar lantai bawah kami tega-teganya nge-bong, atau mengapa mereka pakai sepatu di dalam rumah, atau mengapa orang Rusia doyan banget pancake (blinny) nyampe lapis 5? Kalo masalah vodka mah udah gak usah ditanya ya.
Pada suatu malam, aku dan housemate-ku Julia duduk di meja makan berhadapan menyantap makanan kami. Dia makan salad nasi dingin bikinannya pakai garpu. Aku makan mi dok-dok bikinanku sendiri pakai sendok dan garpu. Dia merasa oke untuk tidak bertanya-tanya kepo, jadi aku merasa tidak juga perlu bertanya usil kenapa gitu loh makan nasi pakai garpu? Mana nasinya dari kulkas. Dicampur pula pakai vinegar. Tapi kemudian dia nyadar kenapa sendok dipakai sebagai ‘perkakas’ makan aku, karena aku biasanya memakan nasi dengan sesuatu yang berkuah. Atau ketika aku sadar mengapa nasinya harus dari kulkas. Selama tidak mengganggu, tanyakan alasannya.
“Kenapa telinga kamu ada bolongan tindikannya, tetapi kamu tidak pakai anting? Apa yang kemudian terjadi?”
Bertanya itu sunnah, menjawab itu wajib, kata Indina.
5. Mendapatkan teman-teman baru
Ini bukan hal yang baru. Setiap tahun, teman-teman baru pasti ada, tergantung juga dengan kemampuan sosial (hahaha!!). Tahun lalu aku dapat teman-teman yang baru di dunia surat-menyurat, tahun ini aku bertemu teman-teman dunia maya, entah bertemu langsung atau bertemu lewat surat/kartupos ;) Aku pernah baca tapi lupa sumbernya darimana, teman adalah keluarga yang kita pilih. Aku senang karena sahabat pertamaku masih menjadi sahabat pertamaku. Kami masih bertahan walau sering tidak bertemu. Kami surat-suratan melalui buku harian, kemudian di pos dan kami baca cerita kami sendiri; apa yang kami alami, siapa yang ingin kami bicarakan, dll. Kami bahkan jarang sms-an, atau chatting, tapi kami masih utuh.
Tentang teman-teman baru, tahun ini aku mendapatkan banyak teman dari program KKN. KKN kami nggak keren sih, nggak mengharukan juga kayak punyamu, mungkin. Aku bersyukur dalam dua bulan itu akhirnya aku dapat teman-teman. Yang senasib. Masalah nasib kami yang naas ini aku rasa udah pernah aku tulis, dan karena bukan sesuatu yang baik atau yang aku harapkan untuk terulang kembali, jadi gak aku tulis banyak ya. Selain itu, aku juga jadi punya banyak teman dan kenalan dari program DAAD sejak tahun lalu. Tambah teman kos juga, dan tambah teman di language exchange partner program. Dan juga seorang seniman yang asyik! Bertambah pula teman-teman diskusi sesuai minatku, seperti teman-teman dari negara-negara Afrika, teman-teman dari Rusia, teman-teman yang satu aliran minat. Atau hanya teman-teman yang asyik untuk diajak berteman. Aku syukuri hadiah ini dari Illahi.
Aku memang tidak bisa memilih dari keluarga mana aku akan dibesarkan, tetapi aku bisa memilih di lingkungan sosial yang mana anak-anakku nanti akan kubesarkan; siapa diantara teman-temanku nanti yang akan jadi tante atau om, jadi teman keluarga yang akan kami kunjungi, atau teman yang kupercaya untuk dititipi anak-anakku.
6. Mengerti bahwa definisi orang Indonesia tidak terletak pada perawakan fisik
Aku cukup yakin kalau aku terlihat Indonesia banget, terutama kalau udah buka mulut, dialek Ngapak kan cuma milik Indonesia, ya nggak? :p Belum lagi hidungku yang kelewat eksotis ini. Tetapi rupanya tidak demikian. Aku ingat betul saat kami, delegasi-delegasi dari Indonesia duduk ngerumpi di ruang sidang saat waktu rehat, seorang perempuan Rusia mendekati kami dengan marah-marah, pake bahasa Rusia lagi. Dia terutama marah pada Mbak Monik, salah satu dari kami, mengira bahwa Mbak Monik delegasi dari Cina yang mangkir dari diskusi panel. Mbak Monik dan kami semua kebingungan dengan repetan bahasa Rusia, mencoba berkali-kali mengajak perempuan itu berbicara bahasa Inggris. Berbekal bahasa Rusia yang mepet, aku bilang bahwa kami semua ini pakai bahasa Indonesia, bukannya bahasa Rusia atau Cina. Ia lalu mendengus sambil malu, lantas berjalan menjauhi kami, setelah bertanya padaku “ot Indonesiiy?!” yang kujawab dengan “da!! Miy nyet Kitaiskiy!”.
Atau ketika lagi cuci tangan dan membenarkan kerudung di hotel, ditanya oleh delegasi lain, “Are you Malaysian?” Kayak Malaysia kedaftar aja sih di G20?
Atau di Kedubes Rusia di Jakarta, disapa oleh orang Rusia dengan, “Namaste!” Wait…..
Atau ketika lagi ngantri di kasir di toko Rusia dekat flat, disapa oleh bapak-bapak Rusia, “Otkuda ty? Yaponiiy?” Bozhe moi…
Atau saat kami duduk untuk makan siang bersama delegasi-delegasi dari NGO Rusia. Pendengaranku pasti nggak salah, karena seorang cewek bertanya ke teman sebelahnya, “Kamu yakin mereka semua dari Indonesia, bukannya Cina?”. Pengen banget deh bilang, buka buku sejarah deh, dan baca bahwa beberapa dari kami merupakan keturunan Cina, Arab, India, negara-negara Eropa, Iran, Aborigin, dll dari masa lampau. Aku pribadi kesulitan mendefinisikan perawakan fisik orang Indonesia. Indonesia itu luas, kali, dan kayaknya memang ada definisi Proto-Melayu, Deutro-Melayu, lalu campuran dari keduanya. Lalu kecampuran lagi dari bangsa-bangsa yang lain, mengingat negara ini kepulauan yang strategis untuk menjadi tempat persinggahan (sampai sekarang loh), menjadikan pernikahan campur menjadi sebuah hal yang lumrah, melahirkan anak-anak bangsa dengan perawakan fisik yang susah didefinisikan. Sebenarnya, definisi orang Indonesia juga berbeda, dari satu pakar ke pakar lainnya. Sejauh ini, diriku sudah disangka sebagai orang Cina (berulang-ulang), orang Jepang, orang India, orang Vietnam, Thailand, Filipina (berulang-ulang juga), dan orang Malaysia. Belum pernah deh kayaknya disenyumin orang terus ditanya, “Are you Indonesian?”
So how to define Indonesian? Orang yang mengakui bahwa Indonesia adalah tanah airnya, orang yang berbicara bahasa Indonesia sebagai bahasa ibunya, orang yang menyebut dirinya sebagai orang Indonesia. Belum pernah aku membaca bahwa warna kulit sebagai parameter ke-Indonesia-an kita. Jule pernah bilang sehabis makan masakan Indonesia di Pesta Jalanan, “Maaf kalau ini menyinggung, tapi setelah kulihat-lihat, warna kulitmu lebih terang daripada warna kulit teman-temanmu yang orang Indonesia. Ternyata orang Indonesia tidak bisa ditebak dari warna kulit atau ciri muka, ya!”
Mau mendefinisikan Indonesia secara budaya? Kadang malu banget karena jamaah-jamaah haji asal Indonesia terkenal tidak bisa antri (doyan nyerobot, kalo dikasih tau maka semburan marah keluar) dan doyan membasahi toilet. Tetapi, masih bantahku yang orang Indonesia, tidak semua orang Indonesia demikian. Tidak semua Indonesia makan nasi, makan sambal, doyan ngerokok, dan malas belajar. Tidak semua orang Indonesia korupsi, tidak semua orang Indonesia santai, tidak semua orang Indonesia ramah dan periang.
Hari Kemerdekaan Indonesia kurayakan di desa tempatku KKN, sembari berpikir, orang Indonesia itu ya selalu semangat kalo lomba makan kerupuk!
P.s. “Is it true that Indonesians eat with chopstick?” tanya A, mahasiswa Kenya.
Bioskop Afina 21 ini bukan bioskop yang bagus, hanya sekali seumur hidupnya, film-film yang ditawarkannya pun terbatas (terbatas nulisnya, maksudnya, hehehe). Sekarang, di hari kedua puluh satu di umur 21 ini, aku hanya bisa mempersembahkan peristiwa-peristiwa yang menarik di umur dua puluh, sesuatu yang tidak akan terulang, walaupun masih berharap panggilan tes penempatan kerja masih ada :p
This is a song I always love to listen. “Three rubles for vodka and a loaf of white bread. But now probably everything is expensive.” And the thing like “I am small” and “Tall buildings” suit me a lot. This song tells you about how nice it was for Reg to see tall buildings in Soviet, before moving to America. I love the way she sings in Russian. It is a beautiful song, and at some parts, it is also a painful one.
“Pria dan wanita sama-sama belum merdeka dalam menguasai badannya sendiri, selalu dibatasi dan diintimidasi oleh pandangan dan peraturan yang sebenarnya belum jelas benar atau salah.”—M. Rizqy Daru’lzain
“Dalam penjara mereka memasukkan saya ke dalam suatu kamar yang pintu dan jendelanya tertutup. Saya tahu apa sebab mereka begitu ketakutan dengan saya. Sayalah satu-satunya perempuan yang telah membuka kedok mereka dan memperlihatkan muka kenyataan buruk mereka. Mereka menghukum saya sampai mati bukan karena saya telah membunuh seorang laki-laki (padahal) ada beribu-ribu orang yang dibunuh tiap hari, tetapi karena mereka takut membiarkan saya hidup. Hidup saya berarti kematian mereka. Kematian saya berarti hidup mereka.”—Firdaus (Perempuan di Titik Nol karangan Nawal el Saadawi)
Every language has its own version of um. French has euh, Korean eum, Finnish öö, Russian eh; even sign languages have signs for um. The fact that most languages have some kind of um suggests that it serves a natural and important language function.
So what is this important language function? Why do people say um? Not because they are nervous. Scholarly studies of the word reveal that the use of um does not correlate with anxiousness or any particular personality traits. Rather, um is used to signal an upcoming pause—usually uh for a short pause and um for a longer pause. The pause may be needed in order to find the right word, remember something temporarily forgotten, or repair a mistake. Um holds the floor for us while we do our mental work. It buys some time for thinking.
It is possible we will not meet again on earth. To think this fills my throat with dust. Then there is only the sky tying the universe together. (Naomi Shihab Nye)
Aku tahu semua orang pasti pernah didera rindu. Ada rindu yang amat menyiksa, membuat pemiliknya menangis dan berdoa. Ada rindu yang biasa saja, ya rindu, tapi mau apa lagi? ya sudah. Ada rindu yang tidak pernah terungkap dan terucap, tetapi dihamburkan di hadapan Tuhan; entah di tangan yang menengadah ke atas, atau diantara jarak mulut dan lutut yang terduduk. Ada saja orang yang malas rindu; entah mereka hanya bercanda atau itu memang jawaban mereka saat kutanya tentang rindu.
Tidak semua orang bisa menyatakan kerinduan; pada beberapa bahasa hal ini terbentur dengan status sosial/hirarki, kedekatan, gender…..tapi perasaannya tetap sama. Tidak semua orang juga dapat mengutarakannya karena kondisi mereka masing-masing.
Aku kangen sekali dengan oma. Tangannya yang pucat senang sekali digerakkan meraba wajahku. Gemar bertanya, kamu mirip siapa? Kamu setinggi apa? Pacarmu seperti apa? Oma, ini masih kulit yang sama, masih pula rahang yang sama, tak bosan juga jemarimu meraba.
Aku kangen sekali dengan teman-teman yang hingga kini belum kujumpai. Aku kangen dengan teman yang dengannya aku rela tidur berdesakkan dengannya, di kamar dengan akuarium berisi ikan mas kesepian, dan bersamanya kuhabiskan kue nastar hingga penghujung pagi. Aku juga kangen dengan teman yang gembel didepanku tapi necis luar biasa dihadapan pacarnya. Aku rindu dengan teman-temanku di Merauke dulu.
Aku kangen, kata-kata ini mulai terdengar seperti kaset bodol. Aku kangen dengan sambal yang ini dan gorengan yang itu. Dan seprei berwarna itu dengan corak ini. Aku kangen dengan burung yang rewel itu. Juga kura-kura. Aku ingin bertemu lagi dengan teman yang ini, ibu guru yang itu, dan pelajaran ini. Aku kangen dengan lagu yang itu dan ingin mendengarkannya lagi. Aku selalu ingin komik itu kembali, dan kamu juga jangan pergi lagi. Aku ingin mencium keponakanku yang itu lagi. Aku ingin mendapatkan kamu yang itu kembali. Aku kangen. Aku rindu.
Tapi aku juga takut. Aku takut aku tidak bisa bertemu lagi, denganmu atau dengannya. Dan juga dengan mereka. Adakah kesempatan muncul untuk kita berdua lagi? Senja hari lagi, berdua? Ketika orang-orang menghamburkan kerinduannya di atas sajadah, atau di dalam gereja, atau diantara asap-asap wangi dupa…….kuhamburkan kerinduanku di atas papan ketik sembari mengingat nama-nama, sebegitu indahnya 26 abjad menghasilkan banyak nama-nama yang selama ini kukenang.
Dear Roman, I’ve tried to email you but it ended up disappointing my self as your email is unactive. I hope you are okay, you eat good and healthy food, and you enjoy your life there in USA. I also hope you finally enjoy movies and be happy. I hope you… well…. are able to enjoy movies without any deep analysis hahaha! If you are Roman and read this, please please email me :) I have many stories to tell to you, and I really hope to get many lectures from you too! Regards,
(Less than) 60 days inside the jungle of coconut trees
I never imagined my self living in Kulon Progo. Not saying that it is not a good area to live in, but to be very honest Kulon Progo was never on my mind before. Indonesian students should accomplish community service (KKN) in (remote) villages before graduating, and I actually applied for a placement in Purwokerto (the city my parents live in). Yes, I was accepted. I also got several people added me on Facebook because we were in the same KKN team. I also had a chance to learn the programs we were about dealing with. Sounds perfect, right? I could imagine I could go home for Eid, spend time with my parents, and could even dare to imagine that I would not run out of foods because my mom would gladly deliver foods for me there. Besides, technically I know the exact village we were about to spend months in; rivers there and there, cool and nice waters, perfect weather, and to the fact that I have so many friends I got to meet in Purwokerto. Life was good.
….Not until five days later. Five days later, LPPM (the one who is responsible for KKN program) texted me (the hell) that I was placed in Kulon Progo and that was because the team in Purwokerto was over quota. The heck?! It was a week before my departure to Germany, and two days before I left to Jakarta to manage my Russian visa. I mean, so many things to do!! Not to mention the packing thing, the theme and programs I was signed up for…….. well, the theme is very animal-science. It was about sheeps. In Kulon Progo. In a village named Bumirejo. Never heard of it before, never knew what kind of people I had to deal with, never knew what was good food there……never knew that the people are very Javanese. And never imagined what life was like when you had to watch sheeps.
KKN period was during July-August, and on June I was in Germany doing my best for the research. I was sick for several times there and lost many kilos. Not in a good condition. I did not really enjoy the foods; big thank you to my mom for bringing me 8 packs of Nasi Liwet instant, kering tempe, abon, keripik tahu & tempe (thus instantly added 7.5 kilos for my carriage). Right at the end of June, I flied back to Indonesia, and arrived in Jakarta on 1st July-2nd July (FYI KKN was started on 1st July). I flied from Jakarta to Jogja on the first flight only to catch up the service. I really didn’t care about what life brought me to that day. I took taxi from my sorority house in Jogja to Kulon Progo. No preparation. Took about 2 hours to reach that small and remote village. Exhausting and upset, what welcomed me were vegetables. And the fact that the theme was switched into thing I never understand up until now, and every student was so angry and upset. And to the ‘real friends’ I had to deal with. That was not the worst thing. The thing I could never really handle was several people of us. Anger and disappointment. And homesick to Purwokerto was so unbearable.
People may say I am a spoiled child. So what? If that doesnt disturb you, you probably should shut up. If I want meat in my plate, I will buy or cook it. I will never burden you. If I want to sleep comfortably, I will try to make whatever-I-sleep-in looks nice and comfortable. If I want clean clothes, I will wash them. I will struggle for everything I want. To be very honest, I cannot stand eating vegetables all day; I myself never like vegetables my whole life. I then was informed by a person in my team that I should eat vegetables for this one, and that I was a really spoiled student. I bought my own chickens, alright? I bought my own lamb flesh and corned beef. I also bought you some.
The new theme was about ‘Integrated farming based on sustainable development’. For me, that sounds silly noticing sustainable development of course is not there yet. And up until now, I do not find my major fits the theme. My programs there were basically my hobbies instead of applying the knowledges I had received during university life. Another worst part, the nuclear team (that was consisted of 7 students) did not really help the students from social sciences. Including me. So I made several programs that really fit into my personality and likeness instead of major; like postcards things and glass painting. Never about farming. You know the feeling, right? Exhausted, upset, hungry, the feeling of getting lost and eventually hated life and destiny. Plus, I also had to write my research report on that period, while my seniors probably treated themselves with good Indo foods, quality time with family & friends, while I was stuck there inside coconut trees and rice fields thinking about what to eat and what to do and what conversation I actually should have and in what language. And how to survive with shitty signals. Good thing is the postman was so dedicated to deliver the package my mom sent me ;) <3 The Post Office was very far, though.
I stayed in the best house in the village with another 5 students; from veterinary, Korean literature, biology, industry engineering, and nursing science. It was nice. I lived with ducks and chickens. I never forget the smell we had to inhale everyday for people there burn their own rubbish. Thanks to God, still, for we had refrigerator, TV, washing machine, and a proper toilet. I know in several villages you should go to the river to do your toilet-things. And instead of firewoods, we had gas stove. Life was good, though it was Ramadhan. The social dynamics among us six was not that good, though. Personally, there was a person I dislike for several reasons I cannot explain here. I was trapped with five students, and I thought every of us wanted to cooperate to do programs we already arranged. That student I dislike was not one of people who love my thought about cooperation.
I lived inside the jungle of coconut trees. It was nice, though we got so many insect bites, hahaha!! I helped my friend doing his program; researching about cows’ and goats’ dung and codified them. As if my life is not shitty enough ;) My very first experience, and that was fun noticing I never be able to do that here in Jogja. I remember I was called as ‘transvetite’ by several students; as for them I look like a man inside a dress. Thanks. I never forget the expression in their faces when I explained the picture postcards received so far. They were so enthusiastic when I explained the murder of Romanov, it was so coincidence because it was 17th July.
I cannot forget when my friend acted like a master chef but what she actually could cook was only tempe. The fire was inside the frying pan and she poured water to it. Booom booom hhahaha fun!!! How could she be that dumb ;p I love her anyway.
I had accident too, like getting my head hit the road after falling from motorcycle. The helmet fell off my head and yeah, bump. My previous surgery also kills me, and so does my lumbosacral. My blood pressure was very low it only reached 95/70. Almost every week I went back to Jogja to buy things we needed daily, and of course to finish my programs. Some time I went to Jogja to consultate my research report, some time I went to Jogja just to get body spa, facial time and hair spa. I am now addicted to body spa. The feeling of getting your body wholly massaged and scrubbed and then you put your own relaxed body inside a hot tub……is superb! I massage people almost my whole life, I also would like to be massaged :p
I cannot forget the time I spent with my host mother, talking about life and destiny, and how life has brought her into something she never realized before. I cried. She is a widow (her husband left her), has no child, and lives alone. She is old already, probably still younger than my oma, but still, old and lives alone :”( She asked me for forgiveness for she couldnt really serve the best. Afterall she is only a villager, she told me. Do you know that I probably am the one who broke her heart most of the time……? :(
I cannot forget that people really mocked me because I was unable to speak their own language while I was there. Javanese language is not everyone’s language. Picture this, people there are all Javanese, almost all of them are Muslims, and they all speak Javanese. Very homogenous, and feodal on certain cases. It was really hard for them to accept someone totally different; a group of 24 young students from different cultural backgrounds and religions, and different majors and different languages to communicate. BAM.
I learn that life is hard. Life is really hard, and being a pig doesnt help you to get over it. I realized that not all children were educated in schools. There live young mothers (who are only 20s!), and nutrition is the last thing they care about. In the village I stayed in, they have 8 mentally crazy people. Why? So sad, there was nothing I could do for that :(
I was given a title there, Pig. Pig because I eat like one, I look like one, and my legs look like its. APigNa. HA.
I had a chance to be a part of the villagers, a chance to blend with them.
Of course, I never forget friends who really care about me. The ones who laughed at me and laughed with me. The ones I laughed about. I dont care about my programs and the correlations they had with the theme; basically I was happy and glad that I survived no matter my health issues and another sentimental things that occured. I will never forget my host mother.
We, the students of Universitas Mada, from various departments, the soon to be veterinarians, scientists, engineers, lawyer, nurses, nutritionist, dentist, linguists…. were placed together without knowing each other first, in a remote village to help the people there with whatever we absorbed from classes we attended so far. Last Monday we were officially dismissed from the service by the village chief and the lecturer that was responsible to take care of us. I was like yeayyyyy bye village. But I had things came to my mind; it is probably the last chance for me to be there, will I see my host mother again? Will the kids miss me? Can I hug baby Raphael again? Will the children marry early like the elders did? Will our work be paid off?
We are not friends, we are only friends in Facebook, dontcha ever forget tht. There is a reason why I wont ever follow your another social medias, it it because i do not want to get involved in your internet life. We were friends and we were not that close during junior high school. Stop adding my actual friends in Facebook and acting like you really know me. My mother doesnt even understand me well.
I blocked you from my Instagram because you followed me twice asking for my attention to follow you back. You liked your own post on my Wall because up until now I dont give any respond to it. It was three days after you posting it. Lame. If you have a twitter, i will automatically block you so you dont have to struggle more to make me follow you back or something. Thanks to you, i am planning to lock my instagram and twitter later after i get back to Jogja. Thanks for allocating time to call my father’s number asking to talk to me while we were on vacation. Really that was incredible. You are so sweet you should lick your own face.
I know what you said to my friends.
Stop licking my face, i have enough saliva inside my mouth, i do not need any from you.
Stop praising me. You didnt do tht when we were younger. In fact i really hoped we never met. Yea i got it that you were academically smarter and i was the underdog. But stop, okay? Stop praising me. Stop seeking my attention to your existence and presence in internet and social media stuffs. I guess I should block you from my Facebook too so my friends wont get tht strange friend request from someone stranger tht says she knows Fina and is her best friend. You are not.
Alone again here, on this building, being the only girl living here up until tomorrow on the third floor….. Heard things I was not supposed to hear, and apparently my last surgery doesn’t end up well. The surgeons are having their day-offs. The clinic is closed up until Monday. No food stalls open these days. Need a quick appointment for neuro therapy. Gotta back to the service by Monday. Need body spa to the max. The world just doesn’t stop rotating for me. I am hungry.
“What if all women were bigger and stronger than you? And thought they were smarter? What if women were the ones who started wars? What if too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos and no K-Y Jelly? What if the state trooper who pulled you over on the New Jersey Turnpike was a woman and carried a gun? What if the ability to menstruate was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs? What if your attractiveness to women depended on the size of your penis? What if every time women saw you they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands? What if women were always making jokes about how ugly penises are and how bad sperm tastes? What if you had to explain what’s wrong with your car to big sweaty women with greasy hands who stared at your crotch in a garage where you are surrounded by posters of naked men with hard-ons? What if men’s magazines featured cover photos of 14-year-old boys with socks tucked into the front of their jeans and articles like: “How to tell if your wife is unfaithful” or “What your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate” or “The truth about impotence”? What if the doctor who examined your prostate was a woman and called you “Honey”? What if you had to inhale your boss’ stale cigar breath as she insisted that sleeping with her was part of the job? What if you couldn’t get away because the company dress code required you wear shoes designed to keep you from running? And what if after all that women still wanted you to love them?”
It was night already and we were still on the road. We needed hotel as soon as possible, and in Caruban we found one. It was a cheap hotel, but we desperately needed a place to sleep. Two rooms were available, so then one room went for our chauffer, the other one for the four of us (parents, brother, and me).
Two beds, so I slept with my mother and brother slept with my father. Mom already told the hotel staff that we were about to fast so we needed special service at 2 AM for an early breakfast. I knew she woke up by (around) 1 AM, and though I woke up that early too, I guess I was too lazy to move my own body. I was still under my blanket feeling lazy. I was tired and there was nothing I could do so there I was, under my blanket. I knew my mother was desperately busy because she prepared the sahoor, cleaning plates and spoons. But then I heard at least three men talking. It was in front of the door, which was closed. And since I knew mom was waiting for the service, I told her they came. One of them even knocked the door. I told her there was someone knocking the door, on which I got replied that no one was there. I probably was hallucinating or was still high, according to her, but I was not. I heard the knock. I was so insecure so I told my father there was no way I went to the bathroom. He had to drive me to the nearest gas station so that I could use bathroom there.
I hate to close and lock my door. Living with another 24 girls, seems like I am the only one who lets my own bedroom door open. Even when I sleep, even when I go for days, or even months. Until the floor is dusty, the door remains opened. It is so that my friend who mostly live downstair can just call and yell at me instead of knocking my door; so that I can yell at them back. When I go to the bathroom I only close the door. And make as much noise as I can so there is no need for other girls to knock the door, asking me to hurry up or to open the door. Sometimes the girls close my door, afraid that someone will steal something from my room. They do not need to. I hate knowing that an invisible person plays on me. I hate bringing keys everywhere and eventually forget about them. I hate putting my key inside the door knob. The reason why I open my bedroom door is that I can be more aware of everything (especially everyone) that passes by. I feel insecure staying in a locked room. I hate guessing and questioning who is standing right in front of my door. The only door I will happily close and lock is the main door, or the entrance door. I will also happy to be near that door. During the service I sleep on the sofa in front of the main door, like any hansip (haha!). I cannot sleep with another two girls in the same room, firstly because there is not enough space for me to sleep, secondly because they love turning off the lamp, thirdly because they will close the door whenever they sleep, though they will sincerely open the door for me if I join them. No. I chose to sleep on the sofa, in the living room.
Sometimes the open door means the open souls, or the open eyes (like the title of my blog). When I and my brother were younger and still lived with my parents, both of us often heard something unusual. Once we ever heard like there was a group of people walking in the same rhyme. It was irritating. Or a crying woman. Mom never wanted to believe me until she found out that the crying woman lives exactly under her window. I and brother ever heard a group of ducks passed our home by. Like why ducks hang out in the middle of the night? Sometimes I heard a lot of noise in the middle of the night, a conversation among several men. Turned out that our neighborhood was once a training place for Indonesian army against Japanese.
Mother is the only one that is insensitive about astral world among her siblings. She loves locking the doors, cupboards, anything that can be locked. You can just leave them, I ever told her. Up until now I never lose anything from my room, though I lost a large amount of money from my wallet (that I put outside my room). There is no need to worry about belongings. They will just eventually come back. Just open your soul, your eyes, and your ears. Listen more. Pick a clue. Open your conciousness. Though mostly I and brother try hard to ignore what we suddenly hear, or what we suddenly see, we also are glad that our sense is working, that our doors are open.
There is someone standing in front of your door. That someone wants you to open your door.
Btw, I am now in the most mystical city in Java……Banyuwangi ;) It is only a strait away from Bali. Tomorrow I am planning to go to Inggrisan with my uncle, a place that was conducted by British Colonial, a place where a lot of Javanese were beheaded by the British (that’s why the place is called Inggrisan).
Most guys do not have to deal with the world of women. They’re born from us, they live around us, but for the most part, we take care of our own shit. We buy our own tampons. We deal with skeevy guys who catcall us. We deal with crappier work situations. We deal with getting told we suck at things because we have a vagina, and that we need to be prettier.
Even when these guys married, they still married someone who dealt with this stuff solo. There might be stories and gripe sessions, but they tended to try to equate some part of their experience to the woman’s. Sure, you’re told to be beautiful, but I’m told to lift heavy things! Same, right?
Then, they had daughters.
Kids are very good at not dealing with their own shit. It’s not their job. It’s yours. Suddenly, you’re shoved into a toy aisle where there’s nary a Lego or car or building block, but instead, rows and rows of dead-eyed dolls. You realize how hard it is to find play clothes for a girl, because everything seems to be optimized for ‘cute’ rather than ‘comfort.’ You hear people compliment your daughter only on how pretty she is, and never on how smart or clever she is.
The girl goes to school, and you watch how she’s never called on. You hear someone insult someone else by calling them ‘a girl’, and it stings. Your little girl is awesome! She’s brave and smart and funny! Why would anyone use that as an insult? Then, you remember all the times you did it.
And then, you realize that, all along, you’ve been a part of the problem.
So, it’s not a perfect way to get men to be more aware of feminism. It would be better if they were raised into it. But it’s still a way.
Earlier today I popped down to the Victoria and Albert Museum to take a look at their new exhibition of gifts presented by the Tudor and Stuart courts to the Russian tsars. The majority of these items are part of the Moscow Kremlin Museum collections, and provide an insight to Anglo-Russian diplomatic relations before Russia supposedly ‘westernised’ under Peter the Great.
The exhibition begins with King Henry VIII (r. 1509-47) but the first diplomatic mission from England to Muscovy was led by Richard Chancellor in 1553. At this point Russia was on the road to becoming a great power. In 1547 Ivan V (Ivan the Terrible, r. 1533-84) had been crowned Tsar of All the Russias and soon defeated the Tatars and annexed the powerful Khanate of Kazan. Ivan was keen to be recognised in Europe and welcomed the British delegation. In 1555 the Muscovy Company was established in order to facilitate trade between the two nations. Gifts were exchanged between the two monarchs: Elizabeth sent jewels and firearms to Moscow, while the tsar reciprocated with furs and textiles.
Initially Anglo-Russian relations were such that the Russian tsar proposed marriage to the English Queen. Had Elizabeth accepted, the histories of both states and indeed of the world would have been very different indeed. However, Relations between England and Russia soured when Elizabeth was reluctant to get involved in Russia’s conflicts with Poland, Lithuania and Sweden and the Russian state began to put up barriers to trade with England. During the reign of Ivan’s son Fyodor (1584-98), the prevailing view towards England was a hostile one.
Relations improved slightly during the reign of Boris Godunov (1598-1605), with Grigory Mikulin being sent by Boris in 1600 as an ambassador to Elizabeth. The Russian diplomat was received well in England and is said to have attended the premiere of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. A return mission led by Sir Thomas Smith to Moscow in 1604 was equally fruitful.
The early 1600s saw political changes in both England and Russia. Elizabeth I of England, the Virgin Queen, died without an heir, meaning the throne passed on to King James VI of Scotland, who established the Stuart dynasty in England, ruling as King James I (r. 1603-25). Meanwhile, after the death of Boris Godunov in 1605, Russia found itself in internal turmoil which was only resolved with the election of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov (r. 1613-45) in 1613.
The new political situation brought the two nations closer. King James took Anne of Denmark as his wife, and paid more attention to the Baltic than his predecessor. England aimed to curb the power of Sweden and Poland, countries which had profited greatly from Russia’s Time of Troubles (1598/1605-1613). England paid special attention to Russian diplomats, and it was no different with Alexei Zyuzin’s mission in 1613 on behalf of the first Romanov tsar. The Jacobean court gave gifts to Russia in the form of silver commissioned from the finest London silversmiths.
As Russia was recovering from the Time of Troubles, England came to find itself in political disorder. King Charles I (r. 1625-49) faced opposition from Parliament and was ultimately defeated in the English Civil War (1642-49), and executed for treason in 1649. On hearing of Charles’s execution, the Russian tsar Alexei I (r. 1645-76) proclaimed, “The English have wrought a terrible deed, in killing their sovereign, King Carlus, to the death,” broke off diplomatic relations with Cromwell’s government (1649-60) and invited English Royalists to Russia, many of whom would serve as advisers in Alexei’s government, providing western expertise on a range of issues. Furthermore, much of the Stuart silver plate would be melted down during Cromwell’s rule, while the artefacts presented to Russia by English traders and diplomats remained intact.
Anglo-Russian diplomatic relations were not restored until 1662, when Alexei sent Prince Prozorovsky to London promising to restore trading privileges in exchange for assistance in Russia’s war with Poland (1654-67). These negotiations failed and further missions during the reign of Alexei and his son Tsar Fyodor III (r. 1676-82) bore little fruit due to the divergence of English and Russian political and economic interests. The late seventeenth century would see profound political changes in both England and Russia. In 1688, King James II is deposed by William of Orange, who becomes William III of England (r.1688-1702) during which Parliament would gradually become the senior partner to the king in government. In 1689, forces loyal to Peter I would depose the Tsarevna Sofia and by 1696 Peter would become sole ruler of Russia, initiating major reforms and furthering the reach of Russian political power in Europe.
P.S. Photography was not allowed in the exhibition and being a law-abiding British citizen I refrained from taking any photographs. However I have bought the exhibition book which has some nice images which I may post.