No White Flag Yet

For the last two weeks, I’ve been wrestling with digital drawing software, Adobe Illustrator. Two weeks prior, I focused on studying only the basic theory of graphic design (well, I procrastinated a lot during my PMS) because I didn’t want to just jump to tools without knowing what’s the fundamentals of something, when I learn something or am interested in something, I’ll be a nerd for it, I like to study what people are bored of studying.

This year I’ve learned fashion design skill and how to construct the garment and everything. And the second thing I am learning now is graphic design focusing on illustration. I started with learning for fashion technical drawing only which is not complex but when it comes to illustration, it’s like hundreds stairs up. Especially there are so many styles of illustration with different techniques, even for two things that look almost similar.

These two weeks, I almost lost my patience, I really hated myself because I couldnt learn things as fast as I wanted to. I almost snapped at my Macbook then I realized I’m poor and wouldn’t be able to afford a new one right now, so I hit my bed and pillow and slept.

And that one thing is like the very basic thing to acquire if I want to be able to go to the next step, which is the coloring technique in Adobe Illustrator. This sounds trivial right? No it’s not as easy, to just put a color in a shape is easy, but to find the right process formula for the whole drawing is hard.

I can say that I’ve watched and rewatched for so many times almost all Adobe Illustration classes on Skillshare and let alone YouTube, just to learn each artist’s workflow. That’s my learning style, I would dig a lot for the basics, learning from as many people (because every one has different knowledge), because if I dont find the right way about the basics, I’ll risk my time and energy in the future. And everyone’s creative process is different, one thing may work for him/ her but doesnt feel comfortable for others. I followed each of them, I followed along their step-by-steps and workflow, and found out there’s always flaws in the formula/ steps. It does the job but not the way I wanted it, there must be a time-efficient way to do it, the way that’s more efficient when you have to edit some parts of the drawing, I just need to find what and how it is.

I took 4-5 hours a day just to finish one simple drawing for almost two weeks, and they’re all sooo ugly. The ideas are cool, but I lacked the technique to make them, it always fell far from my first plan/ imagination. After collecting, trying and mixing each teacher’s and youtuber’s knowledge and skill, I finally found it, just today, after drawing and re-drawing the same thing 6 times–because I always got stuck in some steps and had to start from the beginning. And that’s my days had been these two weeks.

I was feeling so down, because some people just got so good at things so easily and instantly and it takes me 10 times harder work and longer time. I’m not smart like my brother who can easily master everything so fast. I felt so worthless and useless for being not good at something I like doing, something that I should do better than other people. I whined, why can’t I be smart like other people, talented like other artists, why I only have strong wills and hard work. I wish I had a superpower to learn everything in one week.

But anyway, I’m glad that today I found it, but already too tired to draw tonight. I’ll start again tomorrow, and I’ll be posting more digital illustration soon on my IG as I’m collecting my portofolio. Wish me luck!


The Hardest Puzzle Ever


Isn’t it funny that sometimes life is just like a mystery puzzle set?

Sometimes you think you need to have every piece, sometimes people can just feel complete without needing to have all of them. Sometimes you think you have everything but still you feel there’s a missing piece that you don’t know what it is.

Sometimes you just wanna barter the pieces you have with other pieces which there’s no guarantee they will fit better.

Sometimes you have 9 out of 9, sometimes you can only find 2 out of 9. Sometimes the number of pieces you have change in every phase of your life, today you have 8, two days later you lose 3.

Sometimes someone becomes the one that completes the missing piece, sometimes that person leaves and costs you more missing pieces. Sometimes you become that piece to another person’s puzzle set.

Sometimes you think how to put every piece in order, which one has to be placed first, or you can just do them randomly. And you think, “Did I take the wrong step if I put this piece first?”

Sometimes you keep looking for the missing piece while in fact it’s been sitting next to your hand for so long and you were just not looking.

Sometimes you steal the piece from others, sometimes you achieve it by yourself, sometimes you’re just tired to think about the puzzle and create another imaginary puzzle set, sometimes you just wanna restart the game and don’t wanna mess up again. Sometimes you just have no choice. What does happiness really mean?

I realized I haven’t talked about my feelings in this blog lately, I mostly talk about my travels and other things that I find interesting and informative as they bring more traffic to my blog. Of course who wants to read about sentimental crap. And yeah I’ve been lucky enough that so far throughout this year I’ve had great journeys and relatively in happy and positive mood. But of course I am not always happy. In every year, there must be gloomy moments. I think it’s the first time this year I have it.

No matter how many times life gives you lemons, you’ll never be as prepared as you thought you will be. I understand it very much that in the end, everything depends on how we react to it. But it’s not always easy. Sometimes I wish I could be an ignorant person, sometimes I don’t wanna understand things that I understand, so that I’ll stop feeling worried, so that I’ll stop feeling sad.

Sometimes I just want to forgive myself to feel like this and make it an excuse to not do anything beside being sad. Then I regret the time I spent being sad, because only the time you enjoy wasting is not a wasted time, they say. And eventually, stumbled upon the quotes that I always come back to, “If you do nothing, nothing happens.” And here I am pouring my feelings through drawing and words. Not a big thing, not even matter to other people’s lives. But life is still a mystery. We’ll never know, we’ll never know.

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.



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.

Moving to West Sumatra for Beginners – Part 2

Tulisan ini adalah sambungan dari tulisan sebelumnya. To understand more about my background, read here. I re-state, this is purely based on personal experience and perspective (yaiyalah namanya aja tulisan di blog), hence, this doesn’t solely describe all Minangnese.


  1. Indirectness

Seringnya di media dan ketika lw gede di rantau, image tentang orang Minang yang disebarluaskan adalah bahwa mereka terlalu straightforward dan cenderung gak peduli perasaan orang lain. Setelah pindah dan tinggal di Sumbar, menurut gw image tersebut exaggerated. Menurut gw, mereka—walopun suka kepo—tapi menjunjung tinggi indirectness alias basa-basi, yang mana artinya kalo lw terlalu to-the-point, bisa terkesan kurang sopan. Sebenernya ini hampir mirip dengan suku Jawa yang juga indirect, cuma beda bahasa aja. Jadi kalo kalian udah terbiasa dengan basa-basi adat Jawa, kurang lebih mirip dan selain masalah bahasa, you’ll do well.

Nah yang susah adalah buat orang-orang yang besar tanpa kenal adat seperti gw. Bukannya berarti gw gak sopan ya, tapi perbedaan makna ‘sopan’ buat gw dan buat mereka. Susah buat gw membaca kode-kode yang mereka coba sampaikan. Karena, kalo ditawari sesuatu, mereka jawabnya langsung enggak, padahal mau. Tapi kalo gak jadi dikasih, besoknya disindir-sindir secara indirect. Nyindirnya pun, karena gak to the point, palingan gw baru sadar 1 bulan kemudian, itu pun karena ada yang ngasih tau. Jadi, sekarang gw pake rumus sendiri bahwa jawaban mereka yang sebenarnya adalah jawaban setelah ditanya tiga kali. Buat antisipasi dari merugikan diri gw dan mereka, jadi gw berterus terang aja menanyakan maksud yang sebenernya karena gw gak pandai kode-kodean, so if you don’t tell me directly what you really want, you will not get it from me. Dan gw juga meminta maaf sebelumnya karena gw kemungkinan besar gak ngerti maksud mereka apa, jadi kalo nanti gw salah melakukan, langsung dikoreksi aja.

  1. The Art of Mencemeeh

Yang kita tau, yang paling disukai orang Minang adalah sambal. Tapi bagi gw yang paling disukai orang Minang adalah sambal dan mencemeeh, alias mencemooh, kadang niatnya sih nge-jokes, kadang entah lah. Bahkan kata mencemooh itu sendiri dicemooh menjadi mencemeeh. Untuk menunjukkan kekaguman dan kasih sayang pun mereka seringnya dengan mencemeeh. Maksudnya mungkin pingin mendekatkan diri. Contoh yang paling gampangnya adalah how they do catcalling here. Gw anti banget sama catcalling walopun menggunakan adjective yang baik-baik sekali pun. Di Jawa, catcalling yang sering adalah “neng geulis” atau “cah ayu” yang artinya “gadis cantik” dan sebagainya. Di Sumbar they catcall you by the shape of your body or the color of your skin. Tadinya gw gak tau kenapa orang-orang pada bilang ‘lesuik’ ketika gw jalan, teryata ‘lesuik’ artinya kurus. What the F, are you bodyshaming me?? Rasanya pingin gw tampar pake barbell. Ketika manggil orang lain pun juga begitu, cewek-cewek lain yang badannya lebih berisi dipanggil “Puak” dari kata “Gapuak” yang artinya gendut. Coba aja bayangin ada orang yang gak lw kenal tiba-tiba manggil lw gendut seolah-olah lw adalah karung beras. Gw shocked pas baru pindah ke Sumbar menyaksikan ini, sehingga sering gw konfrontasi. “Kenapa panggil saya kurus?”, jawabnya “Adiak kan kurus mah.” I replied, “Kalo gitu saya panggil kamu ‘randah’, ya.”

“Ba a tu? Awak ndak pendek do”

“Iya, itu IQ kamu.”

Tapi lama kelamaan gw capek juga mengedukasi yang harus dimulai darimana, catcalling ato bodyshaming. Karena toh orang Minang sendiri sepertinya meng-embrace their hal itu, banyak yang menggunakan nama panggilan ‘lesuik’ atau ‘gapuak’ untuk dirinya sendiri. Ya sudah lah, toh merekanya juga gak sakit hati. Asal jangan ke gw aja. Tapi tetep aja gw gak tega gitu kalo liat anak-anak kecil yang dipanggil “Gapuak”, “Kaliang”, dll.

Hal yang paling berasa beda di Sumbar bagi gw adalah how they make jokes. Bagi gw jokes mereka offensive sedangkan bagi mereka jokes gw belagu. Seiring waktu, gw mengerti mana yang bagi mereka lucu dan gw bisa ngikutin (tapi gw gak akan ikut menertawakan beberapa hal seperti fisik, gender, etnis, dan agama). Saran gw, kalo lw baru pindah, in order to fit in, jangan nge-jokes dulu, watch how they joke first.

  1. ‘Kesatuan’

Kesatuan disini bukan bermakna ‘unity’, melainkan opposite dari ‘diversity’. Di Sumbar, suku yang dominan adalah Minang dan agama mayoritas adalah Islam. Dominan disini mencapai angka 90%. Hal yang terasa lucu bagi gw adalah ketika mereka mengatakan bahwa diri mereka berbeda dan gak mau disamakan, orang Bukittinggi anti disamakan sama orang Pariaman, dll yang seperti itu lah. Sedangkan di mata gw mereka semua sama, sama-sama Minang. Saking jarangnya suku lain, waktu gw sekolah dulu ada teman yang dipanggil dengan nama daerah, si Jawa. Satu sekolah memanggil dia ‘Jawa’. Sedangkan di Lampung, walopun ada suku yang dominan, tapi hampir semua suku ada, kalo semua dipanggil pake nama daerah, si Padang, Bengkulu, Kalimantan Tengah, duh, rasanya kayak ajang putri-putrian dong, ya!

‘Kesatuan’ disini suka bikin gw kangen dengan suasana multi etnis, kangen dengan makanan-makanan khas daerah lain. Kangen dengan logat berbicara yang berbeda-beda. Kangen berteman dengan teman-teman yang berbeda agama.

  1. ‘Kekeluargaan’

Bagi orang Minang, kekeluargaan adalah penting banget. Dan keluarga disini maksudnya bukan nuclear family tapi extended family seluas-luasnya. Waktu pertama kali pindah, gw kerjanya dikenalkan ke orang-orang yang katanya sodara. Lalu gw tanya, “How are we related?” ternyata gak jarang yang jawabannya adalah ‘saudara sekampung’. Ya gw ngakak dong, eehh… ternyata mereka serius, that term really exists! Orang Minang suka berkerabat dan menjalin tali silaturahmi, banyak sodara tanpa aliran darah dan tiba-tiba jadi sodara. Pikiran gw saat itu adalah, kalo ada yang namanya ‘sodara sekampung’ apa ada yang namanya ‘sodara se-kelurahan’, ‘sodara se-negara’, ‘sodara se-benua’, se-galaksi sekalian. Trus berapa banyak dong yang harus diundang kalo pesta? Sekampung? Buju buset, bisa abis tabungan orang tua gw buat ngasih makan orang sekampung tiap ada hajatan!

Begitu juga dalam menjalin hubungan dating ato marriage. Lw gak hanya cukup ngambil muka di depan orang tua ato adek/kakaknya, tapi lw juga harus ngambil hati om nya, tantenya, tantenya dari tantenya, dll lah. Tahap “dikenalin ke keluarga” bisa jadi artinya adalah lw dikenalin ke om-tantenya segala. I was like, “Really? Did they help to raise you like, say, financially?”. Jawabannya, “No, they didn’t. They’re my family.”

Gak cuma sampe tahap perkenalan, pengambilan keputusan pun ibarat pemilu. Kebanyakan orang Minang menimbang penilaian keluarga terhadap pasangannya, sekali lagi, keluarga disini bukan nuclear family. Kadang gw suka merasa lucu ketika ada teman yang harus putus dengan pacarnya karena tidak disukai keluarga. Waktu ditanya keluarga yang mana, jawabannya pamannya. Zonk! Lalu mulai lah mereka bercerita tentang adat. Lalu aku terlelap.

Moving to West Sumatra for Beginners – Tentang Bahasa


Tulisan ini buat kalian yang akan atau baru aja pindah menetap sementara atau permanen ke provinsi Sumatera Barat berdasarkan pengalaman gw sendiri. Bisa jadi karena alasan ikut suami, kuliah, pindah kerja atau orang tua pindah, dll. Terutama kalau kalian sebelumnya tinggal di daerah lain yang menjadi pusat transmigrasi, seperti tempat gw dulu; Bandar Lampung. Walau pun sama-sama berada di Pulau Sumatera, tapi culture shocknya berasa banget!

Kalo bicara tentang Sumatra Barat, pasti yang dibilang alamnya indah, kota wisata, dll. Tapi informasi semacam itu cuma lo butuhin kalo lo mau jalan-jalan, sedangkan gak mungkin kan hidup lw jalan-jalan ke Jam Gadang mulu? What I write is something people don’t tell you about what it’s like living here, karena waktu gw pindah dulu, gak ada yang kasih tau gw tentang hal ini, akhirnya gw jadi clueless dari masalah bahasa, cara berpakaian, sampe cara becanda pun gw gak ngerti.

Karena ini topic yang luas, jadi gw akan bagi di beberapa post. Di postingan ini gw hanya akan khusus membahas tentang bahasa.

Sebelumnya, gw jelasin secara singkat dulu asal muasal gw. Mungkin ada kalian yang backgroundnya kurang lebih mirip sama gw. Kedua orang tua gw berasal dari Sumatera Barat, tapi mereka udah tinggal di rantau selama berpuluh-puluh tahun. Gw lahir di Lampung dan waktu umur 17 tahun gw pindah ke Sumatera Barat. Lima tahun gw tinggal di Sumatera Barat (SMA kelas 3 dan kuliah 4 tahun), terus gw ninggalin lagi selama 5 tahun, dan sekarang gw balik lagi karena adanya negosiasi dengan orang tua. Sebelum pindah di umur 17 tahun, gw jarang banget pulang ke Sumbar, palingan cuma lebaran, itu pun 3 tahun sekali. Dan walo pun orang tua gw berasal dari Sumbar, tapi gw dan kakak gw gak pernah diajarkan bahasa Minang kecuali “Ciek, duo, tigo”. Orang tua dan tante-om gw kebanyakan di rantau lain, jadi kami semua gak pernah berbahasa Minang. Singkatnya, keluarga gw dulu adalah “Minang KTP”, walopun di KTP gak disebutin juga sih suku mah… Walopun pernah 5 tahun tinggal di Sumbar, bahasa Minang gw tetep broken Minang, hehe…

PENTING: Karena tulisan ini dibuat berdasarkan pengalaman gw sendiri, jadi potensi subjektivitasnya tinggi, bisa jadi orang lain gak merasakannya, jadi gak bisa dijadikan acuan ya… Gw hanya ingin berbagi pengalaman. Mohon bijak dan gak sensipe. If you’re easily offended, please close the tab immediately because I’m not gonna sugar-coat this, karena toh gw bukan duta pariwisata ini, it’s not my job. If you love yourself, you’ll criticize yourself to be better. If you love your people, you’ll do the same.


Yang paling kerasa banget adalah masalah bahasa. I grew up in place where we speak in Bahasa Indonesia instead of local language, secara Bandar Lampung adalah korban program transmigrasi jaman orde baru, jadi kalo semua pake bahasa daerah masing-masing, bisa berabe dong. Di Sumbar, they speak mostly in Minang language, even in English class! Terutama di luar Padang, ibukota Sumbar. Ada pandangan bahwa kalo ngomong pake bahasa Indonesia itu belagu, nah bayangin apa lagi kalo lo ngomong pake bahasa Inggris! **gw kuliah di Sastra Inggris UNAND, jadi gw tau pandangan mereka ke bahasa non-minang gimana, yang gw juga gak ngerti, if you hate English that much, why did you choose English Department? Kenapa gak milih Sastra Minang aja? Apalagi kalo kelasnya non-reguler, duh gak ngerti hamba!

Tapi teman-teman gw mengerti situasi gw, jadi kalo ngomong sama gw, mereka pake bahasa Minang yang di-Indonesia-kan, tapi kalo ke temen lain, mereka pake bahasa Minang.

Pertama-tama, gw sempet takjub dengan bahasa Minang dan pingin banget belajar. Tapi gw ini manusia loh, bukan Google Translate, jadi kan pasti butuh waktu dan proses.

Gak semua orang bakal mencoba mengerti ato mengajari lw. Waktu minggu pertama gw pindah ke Sumbar, di Payakumbuh, saat gw mencoba berbaur dalam pembicaraan, seorang teman bilang, “Citra, dima awak?”. Karena gw gak ngerti maksudnya, gw jawab, “Di Kelas.” Teman lainnya menimpali dalam bahasa Indonesia yang ke-Minang-minang-an yang artinya kurang lebih “Mana ada orang Minang yang gak bisa bahasa Minang, 100 tahun pun di rantau pasti tetap berbahasa Minang.” Zonk! Padahal kan yang tinggal di Lampung gw, bukan diye! Begitunya gw coba-coba pake bahasa Minang, dibilang gw sok imut, imutnya dari mana uni??? Pake bahasa Indonesia gw salah, bahasa Minang juga salah. Sampe-sampe gw dicarutin (meaning: bahasa kasar) di depan umum. Oh yeah, these people really know how to motivate others to learn the culture. Satu bulan kemudian gw demo minta pindah ke orang tua gw, I hoped Padang was better. It was, walopun gak totally toleran juga sih.

Walo pun lw bakal ketemu orang-orang yang akan mengerti situasi lw, bahasa Minang tetep penting untuk dipelajari juga, at least Minang for survival lah, contohnya buat nawar barang. Karena beda bahasa, beda harga, dan perbedaannya itu sungguh tega banget! Buktikan sendiri di Pasar Atas Bukittinggi, dari semua pasar di Sumbar yang pernah gw datengin, menurut gw itu pasar yang naro harganya paling bikin pingin ngeyek.

Masalah bahasa, ada juga pengalaman dari sodara gw yang waktu itu pindah sekolah dari Pekanbaru ke Payakumbuh, dia masih kelas 2 SMA saat itu dan dia lagi insecure masa pubertas gitu deh… terus dia curhat ke gw karena teman-temannya bilang kalo dia gak bisa bahasa Minang, dia gak bakal punya cowok, karena cowok-cowok gak suka cewek yang gak bisa bahasa Minang. Dia sedih banget sampe berkaca-kaca, membuat gw yang dicurhatin pingin ngakak tapi gak tega. Sebagai senior yang duluan pindah ke Sumbar, gw udah kenyang deh digituin juga mah, tapi gw telat puber, jadi gw gak merasa tertekan seperti dia. Waktu dikasih tau tentang hal serupa ke gw oleh seorang cowok Minang, dengan polosnya gw jawab, “Ya gak papa sih, namanya orang kan punya tipe, itu hak. Cihud juga gak mau kok sama cowok yang gak bisa bahasa Inggris.” Jawaban gw tersebut entah kenapa sukses membuat gw jadi public enemy. Padahal kan sama-sama mengeluarkan pendapat ya, cuma beda objek, tapi reaksinya kok berbeda. Emang nasib.

Dan walo pun bahasa yang dominan digunakan adalah bahasa Minang, bukan berarti bahasa Indonesia dan bahasa asing jadi gak berguna. Mereka tetep berguna ketika lw lagi gak niat ngomong sama orang tapi lw lupa bawa headset. Untuk menghindari pembicaraan basa-basi yang lebih jauh, pakai lah bahasa Indonesia, ato Inggris kalo mau kode yang lebih keras. Sejauh ini sih berfungsi di gw. For them, responding in bahasa Indonesia all the time is such a turn-off. Yah toh kan gak semua orang penting diajak ngomong kan, apalagi kalo basa-basi nya terlalu menjurus ke urusan pribadi.

Walopun gw pernah 5 tahun tinggal di Sumbar, tapi bahasa Minang gw masih aja kacau balau. Kalo untuk ngobrol pendek sih ok, tapi kalo udah ngobrol panjang ato adu argument, walopun gw ngerti sebagian besar maknanya, tapi belibet ngomongnya. Mungkin karena setelah meninggalkan Sumbar, gw gak pernah mempraktekkan lagi dan juga karena gw punya beberapa trauma masalah pembelajaran bahasa minang gw yang membuat gw ogah-ogahan.

Belajar itu kan masalah ketertarikan. Gw belajar bahasa Jepang otodidak dari buku dan internet lebih cepet dari pada gw belajar bahasa Minang yang sangat dekat dengan kehidupan gw saat itu.

Sebenernya, bukan bahasanya yang rumit. Justru bahasanya itu bagus, puitis dan romantis, banyak peribahasa yang dipake dalam bahasa sehari-hari. Yang gak mungkin banget gw temuin di Lampung, mana ada orang Lampung ngomong pake peribahasa segala. Justru gw excited banget di awal, sampe-sampe gw nyanyi lagu-lagu Minang terus buat belajar, dari ‘Kampuang nan Jauah di Mato’ sampai lagu Elly Kasim. Dan kemudian baru seminggu aja ternyata kenyataan gak seindah dan seramah ekspektasi gw. Yang bikin rumit itu adalah sikap dan pandangan yang buruk terhadap sesuatu yang berbeda, jadi mematahkan semangat gw banget. Gw sering dibandingkan dengan orang-orang yang orang tuanya keturunan non-Minang tapi dari lahirnya di Sumbar, “Masa mereka yang bukan orang Minang aja bisa sedangkan Cihud yang asli Payakumbuah gak bisa?”. Pertama, that’s not an apple-to-apple comparison dan kedua, kalo gw mau shallow juga, Hellooww… sampeyan juga kan orang asli Indonesia, masa gak bisa bahasa Indonesia?? **gw pernah ngomong hal ini ke orang yang jauh lebih tua dari gw, sehingga itu om jadi shocked dan bilang, “Ondeh, agak ba lain anak Ni Len mah…” Dan ketiga, buat gw pribadi, cuma karena seseorang terlahir sipit, kulit putih dan memilih agama berbeda, bukan berarti dia less than anybody else sehingga dikeluarkan. Kalo mereka berbicara dalam bahasa yang sama, sama-sama bayar pajak, sama-sama gotong royong bersihin kota, sama-sama cinta dengan daerah tsb, bedanya dimana?

Anyway, yang bisa dipetik dari pengalaman gw ini adalah bahwa kalo lw mau belajar bahasa Minang ato pun belajar apa pun, lw harus bisa mengontrol ketenangan pikiran lw dan kuat mental walo pun dikatain. Because you can’t really do much about how people will do to you, but you’re in control of how you react to it. Sikap gw yang menutup diri di 5 tahun yang lalu itu gak bagus banget. Karena apa jadinya nanti kalo gw tinggal di tempat lain atau luar negeri. I can speak English well tapi bukan berarti gw menguasai sense of English di setiap negara kan, terus apa jadinya kalo ada yang menghina bahasa Inggris gw dan gw sakit hati terus trauma?? Masa iya mau pulkam tanpa bawa ilmu? Ato hanya berbaur dengan sesama Indonesia aja padahal di luar negeri? Pengalaman gw di bahasa Minang ini membuat gw mengerti kenapa banyak mahasiswa Indonesia yang belajar di luar negeri tapi pas pulang tetep gak bisa bahasa Inggris.

Jadi, sekarang gw lebih open minded dan kuat mental, kalo ketemu orang yang sifatnya tertutup, bukan berarti semua orang Minang seperti itu. Dan gw gak harus ikutan tertutup juga. Ya tinggal tinggalin aja dan cari temen yang lain. Dengan begitu lw bisa liat kalo sebenernya there’s a beauty in this culture.