#BaliDiary: Enaknya Tinggal di Bali

Setelah 27 tahun hidup di dunia, hal yang gw pahami tentang diri gw adalah bahwa salah satu bentuk kebutuhan gw untuk saat ini adalah merantau, millenial banget gak sih… hehe, ya gapapa toh, mumpung masih bisa! It’s when you break out of your comfort zone that you really find yourself. Dan gw percaya bahwa everyone in life is looking for a place to call home, gw gak percaya bahwa hidup adalah hanya menerima pilihan yang dipilihkan orang lain buat lw, meaning that bukan berarti the place you’re born in atau pun your parents’ origin bisa dipaksakan menjadi identitas seseorang. That’s why I’m moving places to places to eventually decide which one is really my home.

Gw udah pindah-pindah tempat beberapa kali dalam hidup gw, tapi so far, mostly di Pulau Sumatra. Destinasi perantauan impian gw dari dulu adalah Bali, gw penasaran banget sama Bali, saat ini dan sejauh ini, menurut gw satu-satunya daerah di Indonesia yang ‘Cihud Banget!’ adalah Pulau Dewata. Dan akhirnya ketika gw memilih untuk melanjutkan studi untuk karir impian gw, gw memilih melakukannya di Bali ketimbang di daerah lain seperti Jakarta atau Surabaya etc. Karena juga, dari masalah kualitas seimbang dengan harga yang jauh sangat lebih murah. Sampai dengan tulisan ini dibuat, gw udah tinggal selama 1,5 bulan di Bali. Satu bulan sebelum pindah, gw sempat 2 minggu liburan di Bali–terakhir kali gw ke Bali di tahun 2009–yang membuat gw makin mantap untuk memilih Bali.

Namanya juga hidup, kenyataan seringnya gak seindah mimpi kita dulu. Pasti lah ada juga yang bikin gw sebel tentang Bali, pasti lah ada juga bad days. However, buat gw, lebih baik having bad days in Bali than having bad days anywhere else. Yang gw bakal bahas sekarang yang enak-enaknya aja dulu, dari sudut pandang gw sebagai sesama orang Indonesia juga.

  1. Banyak hiburan yang MUDAH DIJANGKAU

Terutama wisata alam, alias banyak banget pantai-pantai yang indahnya pake banget tapi lokasinya juga gak jauh-jauh amet dan tiap daerahnya memiliki keunikan sendiri-sendiri. Nuance yang lo dapetin dari pantai di Kuta berbeda dengan yang di Canggu, beda lagi dengan yang di Uluwatu, Sanur, dll. Dan yang paling penting adalah MUDAH DIJANGKAU, alias gak jauh-jauh amet. Jalan 30 menit juga udah ketemu pantai, pantainya bagus lagi! Di kota-kota yang pernah gw tinggali sebelumnya, hiburan terdekat cuma mall atau pusat perbelanjaan, sedangkan gw bukan anak mall. Di Pekanbaru, untuk nemuin wisata alam aja harus ditempuh dalam 6 jam dulu deh ke Sumatra Barat, itu pun baru ketemu air terjun Lembah Harau, apalagi kalo mau ke pantai, beuh… makin panjang lagi perjalanan! Gw suka wisata alam, tapi gw juga gak suka kalo harus terlalu banyak effort dan preparation untuk menjangkaunya. Emang sih jumlah transportasi publik di Bali sangat minim, tapi untungnya sekarang udah ada taxi dan ojek online dengan tarif yang murah, sangat membantu buat orang yang gak bisa mengendarai motor seperti gw ini. Makasih banget, Bang Nadim!

2. Gak banyak mall tapi fasilitas lumayan komplit

I’m not a big city girl, not a fan of big malls kayak yang di Jakarta. Tapi kalo tinggal di daerah yang semuanya serba sulit di dapat atau pola pikir orang-orangnya masih tertutup, gw juga gak nyaman. Di Bali cuma ada sekitar 3 pusat perbelanjaan yang bisa disebut mall, itu pun kecil-kecil kalo untuk ukuran mall. Namun fasilitas lumayan lengkap kok!

3. No macet

Dibilang gak ada sama sekali sih ya gak juga, ada juga macet di daerah-daerah tertentu dan kadar macetnya masih level tempe, cuma dikit dan lw masih bisa bergerak, bukan berarti stuck total berjam-jam seperti Jakarta. Sehingga, hidup lw masih bisa impulsive, kalo tiba-tiba mau ke suatu tempat, masih bisa dilakukan. Gak kayak di Jakarta yang hidup lw tiap harinya hanya bisa memiliki 1-2 rencana. Dari lokasi gw tinggal ke Pantai Canggu jaraknya 14 km dan hanya memakan waktu 30-45 menit.

4. Balinese’s high tolerance to differences

Aset Pulau Bali bukan hanya kekayaan keindahan alamnya, tapi juga manusia-manusianya! Suatu daerah gak akan bisa mengembangkan potensi pariwisatanya kalo belum mampu menghargai perbedaan. Mau dibangun fasilitas infrastruktur semewah apa pun juga, kalo orang-orangnya gak bisa memberikan rasa nyaman, tentunya gak akan maju. Nah ini dia kerennya orang Bali! Mereka memang terbuka dengan perbedaan, tapi bukan berarti mereka kehilangan jati diri mereka. Adat mereka tuh masih kental banget lho, tapi mereka gak pernah memaksakan itu ke orang lain. Jadi turis-turis yang datang pun merasa nyaman namun tetap dapat melihat sesuatu yang eksotis.

Sudut pandang mereka tentang aspek-aspek kehidupan pun menurut gw unik. Bagaimana mereka bisa dibilang lebih spiritual ketimbang religius, toh yang mengaku religius pun belum tentu spiritual. Makanya gw lebih sering ngomong sama orang Bali ketimbang sama bule-bule disini, karena gw udah bosen ngomong sama bule, toh gw bisa ketemu bule lebih sering, tapi jarang-jarang gw bisa ketemu sama orang Bali.

5. Biaya hidup masih terbilang standar dan ada pilihan

Well, masalah harga, kemampuan seseorang berbeda-beda. Yang bagi gw standar, bagi orang lain mungkin murah atau mahal. Semua ragam harga untuk kebutuhan sandang, pangan, papan ada di Bali, dari yang murah sampe yang mahal. Kalo dibandingkan dengan daerah kecil lainnya, pilihannya termasuk lebih banyak. Harga kamar kosan tergantung lokasi, kamar kosongan seharga Rp 500.000 – Rp 800.000 masih banyak kok ditemukan, untuk kamar kosan lengkap (AC, water heater, bed, cupboard, wifi, fridge, mini kitchen, TV) range harga dari Rp 1.800.000 – Rp 4.000.000 (tergantung lokasi). Untuk transportasi, karena Bali kecil, dari satu tempat ke tempat lainnya palingan cuma berapa Km, jadi gak boros ongkos ojek online. Makanan pun pilihannya beragam, dari masakan asli Bali, provinsi lain dan negara-negara lain ada. Mau harga dari nasi-lauk (nasi kucing) yang harga Rp 5.000 sampe air putih yang harganya Rp 100.000 juga ada. Oh ya, berhubung gw udah jarang makan nasi putih, jenis makanan yang gw konsumsi (biasanya untuk sarapan), seperti quinoa, couscous, almond milk, chia seeds dan kawan-kawan mereka yang lain, lebih mudah didapatkan, merk dan harga pun variatif.

6. KTP = Kartu Diskon

Yang baru gw temuin di Bali selama tinggal di Indonesia adalah fungsi lain KTP Indonesia. Biasanya KTP cuma digunain untuk administrasi pengurusan apaaa gitu, tapi di Bali, dengan menunjukkan KTP Indonesia bisa mendapatkan diskon di berbagai macam events dan tempat hiburan seperti cafe, tempat gym, coworking space, amusement park, penginapan, bahkan yoga studio! Diskonnya juga gak tanggung-tanggung, kadang sampe 50%! Di beberapa tempat, kalo lo memiliki KTP Indonesia dan berasal asli dari Bali, diskonnya bakal ditambah! Anehnya, tempat-tempat yang memberikan diskon KTP ini adalah bisnis-bisnis yang dikelola oleh bule. Gw pernah berbincang dengan salah seorang bule pemilik yoga studio, dia bilang kalo alasan dia memberikan diskon adalah karena dia tau bagi orang Indonesia, harga Rp 130.000 per visit itu mahal banget sedangkan bagi standar bule hidup di Bali adalah murah pake banget. Jadi gak bisa disamaratakan antara orang Indonesia dan bule. Sedangkan tempat-tempat yang dikelola oleh orang Indonesia sendiri malah lebih sering menyamaratakan harga, malah kadang lebih mahal, padahal mereka sebagai orang Indonesia seharusnya lebih tau lho susahnya orang kita cari duit! Hiks!

7. Banyak museum

Well, gak semua orang sih bakal suka museum, tapi gw suka dan gw mendatangi suatu tempat berulang-ulang. Banyak seniman internasional yang memutuskan untuk tinggal dan menghabiskan masa tuanya di Bali lalu membuatkan museum untuk karya-karyanya.

8. You’ll be surprised with the persons you run into

Banyak orang yang merasa pencapaian karirnya sudah cukup dan merasa ingin tinggal nyaman di Bali, atau orang-orang yang berprofesi sebagai digital nomad. Misalnya ngajak ngobrol orang di kafe, eehh ternyata si kakek penulis buku apa gitu. Atau malah ketemu youtubers yang ternyata kondang banget di suatu negara. Atau orang-orang yang sangat ahli di bidang-bidang tertentu, orang-orang yang kerja di Google, Microsoft atau retail fashion besar, etc. Orang-orang ini juga gak pelit ilmu, kadang mereka suka berbagi ilmu gratis di tempat-tempat seperti cafe dan coworking space. Gw belajar tentang basic web design, online marketing sampe cara membuat channel Podcast dari orang-orang yang gw temui disini. Paling berkesan adalah ketika gw ketemu Mbak Niluh Djelantik di Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2017 kemaren dan youtuber fitness cewek Indonesia Yulia Baltschun karena gw ngefans giling sama dua perempuan Indonesia ini! Pernah gw baca di buku seorang travel writer, Becky Wicks, bertuliskan, “People don’t choose Bali. It’s Bali that chooses people.”

9. No radicalism

Pasti tau donk situasi politik di Indonesia lagi panas-panasnya banget, liat TV dan timeline dunia maya malah bikin esmosi, apalagi semakin mendekati masa akhir jabatan presiden Joko Widodo. Di daerah-daerah yang gw singgahi belakangan ini, sering gw melihat spanduk-spanduk provokatif di ruang publik yang sangat bersifat politis, beberapa pernah gw liat membawa-bawa agama. Yang paling parah yang gw inget adalah waktu gw maen ke Jakarta di bulan April 2017, ada yang berdemo dengan tulisan “Kami mau ulangi lagi Mei ’98 demi keadilan!” Astagaa… kurang cukup ya sejarah massacre di Indonesia? Hal-hal seperti ini membuat gw merasa gak nyaman. Kebayang deh gw gimana stressfulnya mereka yang hidup di Jakarta yang rajin kebagian demo. Nah yang begitu-begitu tuh gak ada di Bali, setidaknya sejauh ini, dari hasil ngobrol sama Balinese, gw belum menemukan radikalisme apa pun mendapat tempat di Pulau Bali. Di satu sisi, bagus sih bikin awet muda kalo hidup tenang dan menjauhi fake news. Tapi di satu sisi juga, just because you ignore it, it doesn’t mean it ain’t happen.

10. Kesadaran Go-Green lebih tinggi

Salah satu dampak positif dari wisatawan yang datang adalah mereka umumnya orang-orang yang sangat concern kepada lingkungan. Ada banyak organisasi-organisasi non-profit untuk menjaga lingkungan yang didirikan/ dikelola olah percampuran orang bule dengan lokal, seperti green shools. Bule-bule ini menularkan konsep responsible business yang menimbulkan awareness effect walau dalam hal kecil seperti no plastic bags use di toko-toko. Jangan heran kalo setelah belanja takeaway food atau produk lainnya kalian tidak diberikan plastik bungkus, kalau pun ada, terbuat dari kertas daur ulang. Concern tentang Go-Green ini lebih tinggi jika di daerah-daerah wisata seperti Ubud, kalo di Denpasar yang paling minim turis, penggunaan plastik di toko-toko masih tinggi. Pernah gw makan di salah satu cafe di Ubud, ada bule yang complain kenapa itu cafe masih menggunakan plastik. Complaint-nya serius lho, bukan cuma sepatah-dua patah kata. Saking niatnya ni bule complaint, ternyata dia kontak temen-temennya dongs buat dateng ke itu cafe. Terus rame-rame mereka ceramahin si manager cafe yang langsung minta maaf ke bule-bule itu, malah dibilang, “Jangan minta maaf ke kami, minta maaf ke alam. Minta maaf ke Bali.” Abisnya ya mereka ngancem, kalo sampe ini cafe masih menggunakan plastik, mereka gak mau datang ke cafe itu lagi dan bakalan bilang ke turis-turis yang lain berita yang sama. Nah lho!

11. Balinese massage is easy to find

Gw rutin melakukan massage sekali dalam 2 minggu dari gw masih SMA sampai sekarang. Ada nenek temen gw yang waktu itu kulit badannya (bukan cuma mukanya doank) yang masih terlihat begitu muda dari umurnya, dia bilang salah satu rahasianya adalah rutin massage dari umurnya masih 20 tahunan. Ternyata gw udah ikutan melakukannya juga selama bertahun-tahun, haha. Namun waktu pindah ke daerah Sumatra Barat, susah banget cari tempat pijat yang maknyoss, biasanya harus kenal sama orang yang bisa buat dipanggil ke rumah. Mungkin karena di daerah itu image massage masih negatif dan walau pun sesama perempuan, masih banyak yang gak nyaman untuk buka baju almost naked. Tapi di Bali, spa dan massage tiap sudut ada! Eits, jangan langsung negative thinking ya sama semua tempat massage, karena masih banyak kok spa and massage yang bener-bener pure relaksasi, without ‘happy ending’ buat kaum pria.

Balinese massage itu asooy banget deh. Di Sumatra, gw harus coba-coba dan cari-cari tempat langganan yang pijitannya endang. Sedangkan di Bali, gw asal nemplok aja kayak cicak jatoh dari atep, tetep aja sampai saat ini belom ada yang mengecewakan.

12. Surga bagi yang berkulit coklat

Umumnya orang Indonesia sangat memuja-muja kulit putih. Sedangkan di Bali, jumlah produk tanning lebih banyak dibandingkan produk memutihkan kulit. Di Bali, lebih banyak orang-orang berlomba mencoklatkan kulit ketimbang memutihkan kulit. Gw yang memang sudah dari dulunya suka banget sama kulit coklat juga ikutan mencoklatkan lagi kulit gw yang sudah coklat ini sampai mencapai coklat maksimal. Beuuh, kalo kulit lw coklat, rambut lo item, udah deh… melenggok-lenggok jalan lo disini bak Miss Universe. Tingkat kepedean dan kesok-cantikan kalian disini akan meningkat karena disinilah kita benar-benar dianggap eksotis! Yeahh! Hidup brown skin!

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#BaliDiary: Who Let The Dogs Out

Bali is known as The Island of Gods. Many people come to Bali for the spiritual quest. Been living in Bali for over a month, I can give another title to the island as the Island of (wild) Dogs.

In the island I am from–Sumatra–people don’t like dogs, mostly for ‘religious’ reasons so that they can do irreligious things to this ‘haram’ animal; like throwing them with stones for no reason, even kick them out if the dogs just want to lay down under cars for shade during a super hot day. I’ve never had pet in my life because my parents never allowed us to have one. So until now I don’t know how to pet one even though I actually want to. In Sumatra, especially West Sumatra, the dogs are afraid of humans. I feel sorry for the dogs and I never want to hurt them or any other animals. My achievement was when a dog which was beaten and kicked often was not afraid of me because I let her sleep under my car for shades and I talked to it–from a distance, because I still don’t know how to do physical contact with animals. I told her that she should not listen to those mean humans, she’s a normal beautiful animal and those people are just shallow. I don’t know if she could understand human language but she became protective of me that when a stranger came to my house when I went to a nearby ‘warung’ and let the door open, she barked at him and stood in front of my door. The guy was a delivery courier though.

I found it sweet and that they’re very very loyal. Reminds me of some movies I watched in my childhood in which dogs joined in and played  for a hockey club. So I began to imagine to play and run along the beach with cute fluffy short-legged dogs, with my long-black hair down and beautiful sunset sky. Imagine how sexy that scene would be in a slow-motioned clip. I was waiting for it to happen before my flights to Bali.

When in Bali, it happened, unluckily with some modifications. Instead of running along with me, they ran behind me to chase me for no reason with unstoppable barking. The dogs in Bali, especially in Canggu and Ubud, are very different from what we have in Sumatra. They’re not afraid of humans, but also not in a friendly way. They’re as scary as Japanese Yakuza (though I haven’t met Yakuza in person).

I wanted to do a morning walk. A morning walk in Bali, that sounds like a movie, ain’t it? What happened next was indeed like in movies,  HORROR MOVIE though. Sensing I am an easy prey and has a lot of bones, three dogs chased me. WTH, they have 12 legs and I only have two!! I screamed for help in my girly sundress, made me look more like Annabelle than a sexy sweet beach girl that I planned to be. I literally almost cried having thoughts in my head that my family and friends would read my name in newspapers; GIRL KILLED GANG-CHASED BY WILD DOGS IN CANGGU. Luckily a tourist couple helped to rescue me from the frustrating situation meanwhile three local guys–who previously cat-called me–just laughed and one was ready to record a video. How dare you, you son of sandwich!!

That was just one of my numerous thriller experiences with wild dogs in Bali. These dogs are not always street dogs, they have owners. But how could they be so different if I compared to dogs that the tourists bring. In Bali, you can find people drive bike with dog, even two dogs in one bike, that looks very cool and cute. And these dogs are swag, friendly and tamed. I believe that the way animals behave to humans are the reflection of what is wrong/right about the community.

Later I made friends with a local who loves dog so much and always travel with two dogs on his bike. He loves dog from the heart as real friends, not as fancy accessories or toys that you sell when you get bored of. He told me that many locals treat dogs just as house security and don’t give them care and affection that they long for. Also common that they’re left in the street when the owners don’t need them anymore. Well, even humans can behave wildly in that situation. So please, if you can’t love your dogs, don’t have one so that a sweet girl in sundress like me can have a peaceful walk in Bali.

PS: Not all areas are like this. Only in Canggu and Ubud that I found dogs are a bit uncontrollable. Other than that are safe(r), people treat dogs as pets they love.

Cihud Bali Dogs

Sally Sendiri

Have you ever been haunted by your past? Well, I have. Not by things I did, but by something I didn’t do.

Ada kejadian yang sebenernya gak terjadi langsung ke diri gw sendiri, tapi efeknya besar dan lama ke the way I saw my self; full of shame and guilt. Di tahun ke tiga/ empat kuliah, gw bertemu  dengan dosen yang kemampuan akademiknya jadi tertutup dengan sifatnya yang super duper irrationally moody-menjurus-ke-pendendam, tambah lagi waktu itu beliau lagi hamil besar. Seantero jurusan tau bagaimana she treated students she personally liked and disliked, because she was not afraid to make it obvious, sehingga kisah seorang senior top student yang sudah dia gagalkan 3 kali ujian menjadi momok bagi mahasiswa jurusan gw apalagi bagi yang pingin lulus cepat/ tepat waktu.

Suatu ketika, seorang teman sekelas gw–anggep aja namanya Sally biar kayak lagu–kehilangan ibunya untuk selama-lamanya. Sebelumnya, Sally juga udah kehilangan ayahnya karena ajal. Sebelum ibunya meninggal, Sally sering izin karena merawat ibunya yang sakit. Pokoknya, anak ‘setrong’ banget deh si Sally ini kalo pake bahasa anak sekarang. Sally ini anaknya gak ‘mencolok’ dan gak neko-neko. Kalo ngomong suaranya lembut, gak cempreng kayak gua. Gw gak berteman deket sih, tapi berhubung jurusan gw itu muridnya cuma seimprit–apalagi yang bertahan sampe lulus dan gak gugur di medan perang–jadi cukup lah untuk seenggaknya sering berinteraksi di kelas, tugas kelompok dll selama bertahun-tahun, cuma sama orang-orang itu aja.

Beberapa hari setelah kepergian ibunya, Sally masuk kuliah lagi, pas di kelasnya si ibuk dosen moody ini. Tergolong cepat untuk orang yang masih berkabung, tapi mungkin itu cara dia to cope with sadness; daripada meratapi nasib sendirian mendingan balik kuliah buat ketemu banyak orang. Waktu pelajaran baru dimulai, ada mahasiswa yang telat masuk, karena gw duduknya (selalu) di depan, gw kasih kode ke temen tsb kalo kelasnya baru mulai dan kemungkinan dia bisa masuk. Si temen yang telat, mengetok pintu dan diijinkan masuk sama si Ibuk. Gak lama setelah itu, ada temen lain lagi yang telat. Sally yang duduknya dua kursi di samping gw memberikan kode yang sama ke temen yang telat itu. Tetiba aja, si Ibuk langsung membentak Sally, “Sally, kamu ini sok sekali ya jadi mahasiswa. Berani-beraninya ngelangkahin dosen, siapa kamu bisa-bisanya ngebolehin dia masuk?”

Kelas yang tadinya damai-damai-tegang berubah menjadi totally-tegang. Sally yang anaknya gak pernah aneh-aneh ini kayaknya shocked berat, mungkin itu pertama kalinya dia dimarahi guru seumur hidup. Walau pun yang dimarahi Sally, yang tegang satu kelas, karena lo gak pernah tau apa yang akan terjadi kalo ngehadapin orang mood-moodan. Coba aja pacaran ama orang moody, kelar idup lo, mereka bisa ngeloncat kemana-mana kalo marah, ke tahun 200 sebelum masehi pun bisa. Sally mencoba menjawab dengan suara terbata-bata, “Ma– maaf bu.. Sally minta maaf, soalnya tadi teman lain juga ngelakuin itu ke teman yang telat…” , belom selesai si Sally ngomong, Bu Dosen langsung tambah naik pitam maksimal sampe-sampe dia bilang, “Heh kamu ini ya, saya tu cuma menenggang kamu karena KAMU ITU ANAK YATIM PIATU!!”

JLEBB…

Sally pastinya baru kali itu dihardik dengan status anak yatim piatu (secara ibunya baru meninggal), gw pun baru kali itu seumur hidup gw secara langsung menyaksikan status yatim piatu dibawa-bawa di dunia nyata, selama ini cuma di sinetron. Apalagi antara statement dan response gak nyambung banget, mirisnya lagi itu di salah satu kelas Linguistics. Sally langsung terdiam, mungkin kalo disuruh berdiri pun saat itu dia gak sanggup. Gw yang denger aja pingin nangis, apalagi dia yang ngerasain.

Terlepas dari masalah agama, agama apa pun, negara apa pun, yang namanya menghina seseorang atas sesuatu yang di luar kekuasaannya adalah salah. Yang dilakukan Ibu itu adalah salah, tapi yang lebih salah menurut gw adalah gw sendiri. I have no place to judge her kalo saat itu gw sendiri gak menegakkan apa yang gw percaya benar. Dari saat Bu Dosen mengeluarkan kata-kata itu, jantung gw berdetak kenceng banget sampe pelajaran berakhir, memikirkan apa yang harus gw lakukan, whether I should stand up for her or not, jangan lah anggep dia sebagai teman, anggep sebagai manusia aja, gak ada manusia yang pantas digituin. Gw gak tenang selama pelajaran berlangsung, yang seolah-olah gak terjadi apa-apa. Gw memikirkan harus berkata apa dan kemungkinan resiko dan konsekwensi. Teman-teman sekelas yang lain juga tidak bereaksi apa-apa, tapi sikap mereka bukan urusan gw, yang jadi masalah gw adalah apa yang tidak dan gw lakukan.

Mata gw melirik ke meja Sally, tangannya gemetar memegang pena untuk menulis. Udah tau liat hal kayak gitu, tapi gw tetep aja terlalu lama berfikir dan menghitung ketakutan yang gak masuk akal tanpa mengambil tindakan apa-apa. Duh rasanya gak nyaman banget, lo tau sesuatu yang salah terjadi, tapi lo gak ngapa-ngapain. Sampe akhirnya bel berbunyi, kelas berakhir. Sumpah gw benci banget perasaan itu, perasaan malu aja setelah itu kalo ketemu Sally. Bahkan kalo namanya muncul di halaman Facebook aja masih kebayang. Kok bisa-bisanya gw gak ngelakuin apa-apa, kok goblog banget sih Cihud… Mungkin Sally nya sendiri pun sibuk dengan kesedihannya, gak sempet lah dia memikirkan perasaan orang yang gak membantu dirinya. Tapi gwnya sendiri merasa punya beban moral. Kalo gw jadi dia, sedih emang ditinggal orang tua, dihardik yatim piatu lagi, dan lebih sedih lagi karena gak ada satu orang pun yang ngebelain lw, gak ada yang mau untuk ngebikin lw ngerasa gak sendirian. Buat apa selama ini bertahun-tahun sekelas bareng, maen bareng, ketawa bareng, tapi takut sama ancaman kekuasaan dosen yang padahal mah kalo dipikir logis, banyakan jumlah mahasiswa daripada dosen, buat apa takut, yang bayar gaji dia juga duit orang tua gw.

Sampe gw itu ngerasa jijik sama diri gw sendiri. Gw coba biarkan, siapa tau perasaan ini hilang dengan waktu. Ternyata gak hilang-hilang. Kalo aja gw tau rasanya begini, gw lebih baik dibenci dosen dan gagal kelas/ ujian. Kalo gagal kelas/ ujian, bisa ditebus, toh gw bakal lulus juga. Tapi kalo rasa sesal dan perasaan gak bangga sama diri sendiri, ya mau gimana, a moment after it’s missed, a time after it passed and a word after it’s said gak bisa diulang.

Gw jadi inget waktu gw SD dulu, ada guru yang terkenal killer banget karena hobby menampar pipi murid (anak SD lho!), gw pun pernah sekali kena tampar karena alasan–yang setelah gw gede gw fikir alasannya–adalah karena si Bapak lagi bad mood, terus gw nasib apes aja lagi lari-lari ngejer bola kasti di depan dia, yaudah deh gw kena tampar. Orang tua gw sendiri aja gak pernah main tangan ke gw. Alhasil gw jadi benci banget sama Bapak itu waktu gw kecil dan memuja guru-guru lain yang lebih baik, friendly dan gak pernah main tangan. Tapi setelah gw gede, gw baru ngerasa, justru yang lebih jahat daripada si Bapak-hobby-nampar ini adalah ya guru-guru lain yang membiarkan hal ini terjadi. Padahal gw inget waktu gw dan temen-temen gw ditampar itu di lapangan sekolah lho, ada banyak guru-guru lain yang ngeliat, tapi mereka gak melakukan apa-apa. Padahal mereka adults, punya kemampuan dan wewenang, mereka liat kok gw nangis karena sakit dan rasa malu. Dan ternyata, sekarang gw malah berubah menjadi mereka; diam gak melakukan apa-apa terhadap apa yang salah!

Seperti kata-katanya R.A. Kartini yang kurang lebih seperti ini, “Agama ku adalah naluri. Jika aku berbuat baik, naluri ku lah yang paling pertama membahagiakanku. Jika aku berbuat salah, naluri ku lah yang menghukumku, memenjarakanku.” Memang benar, gw dihukum naluri. Seringnya naluri ini membuat repot sendiri, apalagi di jaman ini. Tapi kalo sampai berhenti berfungsi, apalah kualitas hidup ini.

Gw gak bisa memperbaiki apa yang telah terjadi ke Sally dan apa yang tidak gw lakukan saat itu. Tapi gw bisa berusaha agar itu gak terulang. Lebih baik gw kehilangan orang-orang yang memilih pergi karena tidak sepaham, daripada diam membiarkan yang salah terjadi. Hal ini mudah dibilang, tapi gak mudah diamalkan terutama kalo lo dibesarkan di keluarga menengah yang hanya puas berada di tengah-tengah; takut miskin, takut kaya, takut disenangi, takut dibenci, takut ke kanan, takut ke kiri, hanya percaya untuk jadi di tengah-tengah biar aman dan tak terlihat. Tapi satu-satunya yang belum pernah meninggalkan gw sendiri adalah naluri gw, friends leave, everybody will eventually leave, so I have to please her, only her.

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Now it’s funny

Living in Indonesia means you have to be accustomed to natural disasters and mysterious parking men whom we have to pay money to for their unavailing assistance. Western part of Sumatra island is prone to earthquake, that is where I had most of my earthquake experience when I stayed there for five years since my senior year in high school until I finished college.

I hate earthquake not only because it scares the hell out of me but also because it forces me to make ultra super quick decisions about my life. I am very bad at being spontaneous, even when I navigate a journey with a GPS, if the driver asks me suddenly which way to go, I often say the wrong direction. My brain could not synchronize under pressure.

My first earthquake experience in West Sumatra happened to me in the worst situation anyone would want to be during an earthquake, which is when I was totally naked. I was enjoying my bath like a princess, shampooing my hair like Pantene commercials, life was perfect. Until then all of a sudden I felt my boarding house was moving like waves, I thought my shampoo had caused me drunk, but it’s not possible because I used the shampoo on my hair, not in my mouth. It was the bloody earthquake! OMG, can’t you just wait until I get dressed, earthquake??!!

That’s the first time in my life I had to choose between my self-esteem and my safety. What if I ran out naked and the earthquake stopped after I threw away my dignity–that I actually questioned if I had one. But if I chose to at least get dressed first, what if the earthquake got worse and torn the house apart? Then I could have died while locking my bra, which is not the dead position I want to die in. I waited for some seconds, still naked, but the shaking kept getting harder so I just got out of the bathroom and found something to cover my body with. No bra, underwear nor pants needed, a very simple and cover-it-all clothing, which was a mukena (RED–a praying cloth for muslim women) that was not even mine!

I managed to escape out of the house with my emergency-dignity-saving cloth, my flatmates and landlords were already outside, frightened. Not because of seeing me coming out of the house, but because of the earthquake of course. I saw some of the neighbors were also wearing mukenas, I wondered if they were also naked underneath.

Then my landlord decided to take us all to safer place heading to higher area in the city because we were afraid it had tsunami potentials, so we should move from the downtown area to a more hilly place. So my landlord commanded us to hurrily pack our belongings and valuables. We entered the house with anxiety and fear of following earthquakes. The first thing I did was of course getting dressed, then another earthquake hit when I just finished clothing my self, but again and again I had to make a quick decisions about the things I had to bring for my survival, what are the things I couldnt live without that I had to pack in my pink backpack. I didn’t think much, I just grabbed anything I saw and ran downstairs.

In the car, my flatmates and I were still shocked by our experience. Since now I had more laxness to think and breathe normally, I wanted to check what I had packed inside my backpack, because it felt heavy. And what I found inside made my eyes out!! I just put my school textbooks into my survival kit! WTH was I thinking?? Ironically the textbooks I brought were Math and History. Seriously, of all subjects that Indonesian kids are forced to learn, why did I choose to save my Math book, a subject that I am most allergic to!! History book was still okay, just in case I couldn’t sleep if we had to stay in evacuation place, the book would be useful for my bedtime story. But Math??? It’s the first thing that I said “I hate you” to in my life, I felt haunted by it, like it forced to stay in my life. To make it worse, that goddamn math textbook was fricking thick like 300 pages, meanwhile my history book was only 200 something. For real?? As I can remember math books were just filled with numbers, spaces, brackets, and Xs and Ys, how could it be thicker than my history book?? Whose idea was this?? I needed to kill him/ her.

I looked at my friend’s next to me, I realised that the t-shirt she chose to wear on that scary day had this writing : “Oh, what a wonderful experience!” along with drawings of sunflower, rainbow and butterfly. Really?? Of all her clothes she chose that reality-contradictory tee?? I wondered if what she had in her bag was worse than my choice or not.

From that first experience, I learned that I had to always prepare my survival backpack so that I could easily directly grabbed if earthquake happened again. I promised my self to directly prepare my survival and pack my valuables as soon as we got back.

It’s almost midnight that we reached back home and chose to sleep in our boarding house as the condition was getting calmer. With a strong determination, I walked to my room, ready to pack my valuables. Then I just realised, I was a high school student and hadn’t started earning money, the question was not even “What valuable things in my life that I have to CHOOSE to save?” but “Do I even have anything worth-saving??” What I treated like gold and diamond at that time was my Naruto DVDs collection, that wouldn’t help me if Armageddon came to me. I didn’t have laptop or netbook, just a very old computer inherited from my brother that I would have been so thankful if anything destroyed it. It’s a kind of mixed feelings knowing that everything I had in my life was worthless, but at the same time relieved that I didn’t need to worry about anything but my own life.

I knocked on my flatmate’s door, she was also packing. I saw a teddy bear doll in her survival bag, I asked why she needed a doll for an emergency situation, she said it was from her boyfriend, she’s taking all the gifts from her BF inside her bag, maybe she thought that would be a romantic way to die. That’s a proof that love makes us stupid sometimes. I looked at myself in the mirror, I didn’t need to save any stupid dolls because I didn’t have any BF to give me any silly furry things, I hadn’t even dated at that age as I was a late blossom. My nothingness was complete. I felt free.

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Life illustrated, Doodling my life

I love thinking about life and laugh at it, whether it’s the past, present or the future expectation. Simple little things that are sometimes silly and we’re shy to talk about to people while actually others are doing the same silly things. We can feel connected to others when one can open up through many mediums, it can be words, songs, videos, drawings, etc. I’ve tried some of them, now I’m trying a new one for my own amusement to laugh about my life, maybe people can feel related to it.

Since in school, I’ve been always the type of student who draws anything that happens in her head about the class–and sometimes the teachers–in her friends’ books (not in my books, i liked to keep my own books clean and free from evidence just in case unexpected bad things happened).

My skill in drawing is just so-so or maybe below average, but I have the ability to express myself well, or at least to me my drawings are still understandable. Using my Samsung tablet, I like to draw random things from silly, good, somewhat inspirational, and naughty (wink!) things and send them to people I am close to. A bit out of topic, it’s why I decided to buy my Samsung Tablet that comes with a stylus pen instead of an overpriced Apple Ipad. Though the real reason was because I was too poor to afford one.

I’ve been posting some of them on my Instagram and made it one of the regular contents in my account (beside my self-obsessed selfies). I even tried to manage the display of my account to make my doodles ordered in one line because I am somewhat OCD, but it means have to regularly post one doodle every after 2 posts, otherwise it will hurt those pedantic eyes. I use black background and white ink color only to be my trademark, few times I put more colors, but the black background is a fixed one.

Here are some of my doodles, will be posting more of it here later. Visit and follow my IG for more. Cheers!

 

#Forever25

One day before my 27th birthday

Yesterday I turned 27, two years passed my favorite age and hopefully still far from death.

For me in my own world, my age has stopped counting since two years ago. I want to believe and feel–and look–like I’m forever 25 even though I haven’t been bitten (nor kissed) by a vampire.

25 for me was the best age. People said life begins at 30 or 40, I haven’t been both, for me that couldnt be true unless you’re George Clooney, who still looked like 27 in his 40s. Everybody has different favorite age, for me it’s 25 because during teenage years, even though we have the fitness vitality, we’re still emotionally unstable compared to the mid 20s.

My wake-up call in life occurred at 25, where I totally stop being socially dependent on friends or guys and have become more money-wise compared to when I first started making money. Every year, I always try to do new things in life and improve my self, I am happy that none of my 20s so far has been boring, there’s always new things that I did. But my 25 is special for me. I’ve tried many things at 25 and was not even afraid to fail as for me it’s better to fail at young age than feeling dissatisfied in old age. Also, because I was (and still am) not married yet, I had total freedom and financial asset to try and do things I wanted in order to really discover who I am and what I really want in life, I didn’t need to care nor to share, only when I wanted to (luckily, my parents and family don’t need me to help to support them). At my 25, I’ve stopped caring about others’ opinions towards me and stopped following trends. I’ve become more immune to people’s disagreements as I am the one who’s gonna live my life anyway.

By the way, I found this chart on ages we peak at everything throughout life. According to this chart, I’ve passed the peak age for female attractiveness. This hurts, haha, but hopefully it doesn’t apply to me like it doesnt apply to Taylor Swift and Avril Lavigne, seriously those women still look like the first time they appeared in show business!

And after this age, I will be supposedly in the best age for running a marathon! Haha, really? TV series marathon I think… Anyway, I’m still so excited about turning 27, because of my turning-point in my 25, 27 doesn’t feel old at all. Especially because many people still ask whether I am still in college if they first meet me. Lol! I don’t know whether I really look younger or they were just being nice. But if I do, maybe that’s because I keep believing and feeling that I’m 25. Like it or not, I’m forever 25!

25 y.o me

Believing in Talent is a Trap

I used to believe in talent, now I’ve stopped. Believing that we’re born better (in some specific fields) than others is as dangerous as believing that we’re less gifted than others.

It is very human that we like to hear only what we want to hear and what we want to hear is that we’re special and other people are ordinary. One might deny it in words, but believes it in hearts.

In my childhood, I was always compared to my brother’s academic achievements, especially in math. I was actually doing fine, I always got good scores and got into top schools and, but my brother always got the best. He represented the province in national championship in elementary school. Hence I believed that I was less gifted in academics. I wanted to move to different school so that I didn’t have to keep up with teachers’ expectation.

As my revenge, I believed I was more gifted than him in other fields. Besides, actually among my classmates, I did well. I felt that I got lucky many times because I rarely studied but always passed the exams safely and sometimes better than others. It started a coincidence then I kept it as a habit. I didn’t like to work hard, I would be as lazy and laid-back as possible just to see how I could still nail it smoothly without even trying, I was proud of it. I teased my friends who were trying to study. I laughed at my friends who were working hard for their goals. I was not alone. I noticed some of the top students in schools had this similar syndrome; taking everything for granted.

But now at this age, in any fields, it’s not my friends whom I thought were talented that are successful today, it’s they who didn’t stop doing and working hard are. They didn’t start with a mile, they started with small steps. Who’d known that their small steps have almost reached the top? But people who I envy most are people who are living my dream; working in creative fields, growing their names in it. I felt betrayed. Not by other people, but by myself.

I felt like, “It’s supposed to happen to me, not to them! How could this happen? What did I miss?”

And you know what I missed?? I missed thousands of days and nights of practice, learning and working on making it to reality. Days and nights which were supposed to use to focus on things I called passion, I wasted for distractions, I wasted on following what other people told me my life should be. I thought that my dreams would still be handed to me without me chasing it. But the world doesn’t work that way.

I looked at my friend who has published some books. Others represented the country in theater. A colleague that used to be ‘invisible’ now can produce wedding gowns.

I won’t be able to be a fashion designer like I’ve always wanted to be unless I start learning how to sew and fashion design. It can’t happen overnight.

Far too often, we believe that our abilities are innate. In other case, we give up many opportunities just because we believe we don’t have the talent for it. “I wasn’t born with the gift of drawing.” Or “I’m not a born leader. Or “I can’t be a writer, I can’t write.”

Without we realize, it’s the ‘myth’ that holds us back, not our ability. People think that the skills in art are based on talent, if you’re not born an artist, you cant be an artist. If that is true, then why drawing techniques and methods exist? Why Mariah Carey still keeps her singing practice until now?

Talent is overrated. Artists are made, not born.