Sahabat - Prolog


Saya memutuskan untuk menulis blog dalam bahasa Indonesia lagi karena topik yang satu ini, sahabat. Sulit sekali menemukan padanan kata sahabat dalam bahasa Inggris. Mungkin saja karena bahasa Inggris saya masih amburadul dan saya belum sepenuhnya mengerti makna yang terkandung dalam kata-kata seperti friends, buddy, mate, pal, dan sebagainya. Sahabat, hanya satu kata, tujuh fonem yang menangkap begitu banyak adegan dalam perjalanan hidup saya.

Bagaimana persahabatan dimulai? Apa yang membuat saya memutuskan untuk memanggil teman saya ini sahabat? Mungkinkah persahabatan berakhir? Kapan dan bagaimana? Ah teman, saya pun tidak mengerti. Apa yang saya mengerti, saya adalah orang yang berbahagia setiap kali saya menghitung sahabat saya. Sahabat saya tak banyak, tak perlu banyak, cukup untuk berbagi kesedihan, dan melipatgandakan kebahagiaan bersama.

The Social Solitaire

How do we got from here to there?

Some people walk, some drive cars, some ride bikes, some, like me, take buses

Bus, a means of transportation, a public transportation, more precisely. This is a mode of mass transportation that I use here in Canberra, or even back then in Indonesia. Although, the buses here are ten times better than those in Indonesia. Cleaner, more punctual, safer, and more comfortable.

It is times that I spend getting on the bus, sitting alone especially by window, looking outside, watching the road, people and things, passing by when I usually contemplate on my days and my life in general. Of course, it wouldn't be complete without my favorite songs played like soundtrack of a movie; like I am in sort 0f clip with glimpses of my past appearing and dissolving.

But it is that very damn songs that I would curse today (I have to curse at least one thing in a day, otherwise I can't sleep). So, what makes me get agitated by these songs in our iPods??

Because it eases solitary, it creates distance, it alienates us from the rest of passengers in the bus!! Each of us, lonely passenger get on the bus, greet the driver (hi, how's it going? good thanks), take the most comfortable seat where no one sits next to us, put our baggage beside us so that no one will try to sit next to us, plug in those two tiny speakers into our ears, and ignore the rest of the bus. I say we since it's not only me, but most of the passengers.

I imagine, like 100 years ago, there was no public transportation. Every one of us, at least every family might have had their own horses or carts, or whatever. How about poor families? I reckon either they had to walk, or they had to ask for rich neighbour's favour to pick them up, to drop them off, preferably those who are going to roughly the same direction. They must've know each other so during the journey, they were most likely to talk to each other. You know, who will get married, how's your grandson, that the priest had an affair, etc. They didn't mind talking, maybe because they had not invented iPod back then, or even Sony Walkman. They had to talk, to make the journey bearable.

However, as people get smarter, get more fragmented and things are commodified, we invented our own talking friend, our own comfort in the journey. Cell phones, books, iPods.

If bus is going to take us through the same journey, even the same destination, why would we not want to know who are those people taking the same path. Hey, you're listening to music too, maybe we're actually listening to the same singer? Do you like Jamie Cullum? Or maybe, we've been to the same place? Have you been to Tokyo? Or maybe, we want to do the same things in the future? Sky diving, anyone? Or maybe, we just had a crappy trashy day? Ah, same here!

But no, instead of changing our seat to sit next to our fellow passenger, we change our mp3. Instead of listening to their stories, we raise our mp3 volumes. Instead of talking to them, we sing to our songs (worse, we just do lypsinc). Sometimes, it really looks pathetic!!

How do we got from there to here?

We are human, we are wired to interact, we can't stand silence for too long, we need sound!! But we are also built to seek control, to manipulate environment for our own satisfaction. That's why, we find that sound from other human being are, most of the times, annoying (probably because they just talk about themselves, silly stuff, inessential and insignificant). We are not able to know what kind of 'music' will we hear from them in advance. Not like iPod where you can customize 'your talking friends' and skip, delete, remove some of the songs when we feel they don't serve our interest. With human, we can't really control their voices, the volumes, the pitch, the pace. We can't mute them whenever we are tired of them, we can't fast forward or rewind, we can't skip, we can't stop them as we like. Hence, the iPod and those two tiny wicked speakers.

And we call it civilization. well, well....

Garden State

Right, I'll write it down while it's still floating on the stream in my brain.

Garden State

Oh God, where have I been for so long??? I knew this movie for so long but never really sat and watched it. I was lured by other movies with great reviews, huge ads, sensational trailers, top actors, bombastic plot and such and such. I put it aside, later on...later on.

So, last night I finally got to watch Garden State. It's a gem, a small and simple one. Not a big and sparkling diamond. It's a small deeply glowing onyx. Like when you are out fighting for Louis Vuitton sale and your eyes catch a glimpse of lonely small handbag sitting on the corner of the shop. Fall in love, you move away from the crowd and slowly approach the lonely fellow. You take it, 60 percent discount of Louis Vuitton doesn't matter anymore, go to the counter, pay for it, and walk out of the store. Your steps feel so light. That kind of feeling!!

I'm bad at giving summary of a movie. I think you'd better go to or rotten tomatoes to get a good synopsis. Here's the link

The movie is full of quirky and exaggerating stuff but to my surprise I don't find it weird or bizarre. You feel like, hang on a sec, that thing could really happen. In fact, I did fantasised about a shirt made from wall paper. Or yeah I did random tap dancing in front of some people.

There is one scene that I really love. The spin bottle scene, where Andrew (the protagonist) sits on the couch and watches all his friends moving, dancing, kissing, drinking, like a martian. Everything was so normal yet so out of place. He is part of the space and story (it's his life, after all) yet it feels like taking a sneak peek into someone's life. Ever feel like you find all the routine normal things sound/look/smell/unfamiliar?

I think it encapsulates the whole movie. A martian who is originally coming from earth. Andrew came back home, it should feel like home, but it doesn't, but it's still home. It should feel like a funeral, I should feel sad, but I don't, but it's still a funeral. I should feel like me, but who is me?

Garden State for me is about being 20 something human; a lost one, lonely and disoriented. It's about redefining home, be it place, people, memory or just feeling. It's about comfortably sinking oneself in feeling, be it pain, love, happiness, fear or anger. It's about embracing your present life, whatever it means, whatever constitute it, whatever there is to it. This is it!

Andrew Largeman is lost, lonely, and disoriented in his mid 20s. However, he chose to feel whatever life brings (even if it's pain), and chose to move on (to wherever it may be), and be at peace at home (whatever form it takes).

For me it resonates to what I have been thinking and feeling about my life. If life is a road, I feel like living in a detour. But hell, yeah, I will eventually get to wherever I have to arrive, it might take a while and yes, detour is a beautiful sidetrack of life :))

For Clara

Allow me to write about thing that might sounds a bit bragging. It really is nothing. I mean this is the thing that some people post in their walls, write in their statuses, and you wish that there is a 'Like I Care' button to click!!! I am fully aware of this. But, trust me dear readers, I just feel happy, simply that's what i feel now. And I just want to jot this moment and freeze it in words. So, in times where I find everything is bleak, this simple kind of happiness might sip back into my heart and light the days!! So please bear with me!

Well, recently my days has been so gloomy and lonely. I think I can blame the changing weather partly for my misery. Canberra has decided to test my mood and I, so far, lost points. It's really cold, windy (strong, freezy, and dry), and cloudy as well. Like 3 days ago, the temperature plunged into 5 degree. Hello, I thought we're still in the beginning of autumn here!! And along with falling leaves, falls does my mood. I have a terrible SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) or winter blues (only it's fall, not yet winter). That's why a lot of suicide attempts are done in winter.

So, you can imagine how it feels to find a small package addressed to you at 9 am in the morning. You haven't had any breakfast, still in that pyjama where you can hide yourself in, a thick and long socks, bedhead hair, unwashed face and you opened your door and looked down at your feet, found this small box with your name written on it!! Trust me, it feels like summer in June (we're talking about southern hemisphere here).

It was a thank you gift from my professor in ANU. She is so damn sweet and considerate!! Like three days ago I emailed her (she is by the way, in Norway now on sabbatical leave) to ask about internship opportunity. She replied and gave me some contact numbers (I've contacted them, no reply yet, finger crossed!!). She then asked my address for a completely different things. I didn't ask for what but I gave her. So, the thank you gift is the 'completely different thing' she mentioned before.

For some background, this lecturer named Sharon Bessell is the main reason I chose Crawford School ANU. She has done an extensive work on children in Indonesia (and also in Fiji and Australia). She teaches Children and Youth Policy in Crawford (but not this year, hopefully next year when I'm eligible to take elective courses, children and youth policy will be offered once again). I think, Crawford School is the only school of public policy that has particular course in children, other university has that under department of social work which kind of far from my background in politics. So, yeah I chose Crawford and got to meet and know this amazing lady.

She is really friendly and approachable. Her lecture is really interesting and engaging (she was one the guest lecturer in one of my current courses). She is the kind of person who enters a room of indifferent people and can melt the ice, people just feel her warmth and radiant. Trust me, it's not only me who says this. My academic advisor actually adores her! And it's hard to get a genuine compliment for this academic advisor of mine, even if you're a professor (he likes to mock our director and some professors =P)

The reason for this thank you gift is that I helped her as an interpreter in her workshop about a month ago. She asked me to help her and hell yes, I immediately grabbed that offer. It was a very rewarding activity. I actually the one who should thank her for giving me that opportunity. I did learnt a looooot!! I'll write another post on that workshop. And moreover, I am paid for that, so this gift is a personal appreciation.

I am happy.

So, let me for the first time ( it feels like a first time) embrace this small, simple happiness and feel genuinely happy without thinking,'ok, so what is exactly you want from me?'. It's not grand, it's not overwhelming like a big wave crashes the rock. It's just a simple act of kindness that seeps into your heart like a small river flow :))

Economic for Lover-1

My Economic Way of Thinking Exam's Question

1. Give an example of sunk cost and show how it should be used in decision making

Sunk cost is retrospective cost in the past that has been incurred and cannot be recovered or traded. In making decision, one should not take sunk cost into account (it should be ignored).

All the time, energy, and resources that you've spent in building relationship with your partner should not be considered in making decision whether or not you break up with your partner. All gone is gone. Don't cry over the spill milk

p.s : I did wrote that as my answer. My lecturer must be proud of me; applying economic concept to relationship issue.

The Piano Man

I have this urgency to write at the time when I should revisit all the tutorials for tomorrow's exam. But who cares! The best feeling in life comes when you do things you shouldn't do *grinn. The worst, though, is regretting as the consequences roll back to you, but it's not for now, so why bother ?!

Have you ever watched the eyes of a piano player when her/his fingers are dancing on the tuts? Well, for me, most of the times my puppy eyes will be closed. It's something I can't help, just automatically. For sure, I can't close my eyes when I still learn the notes. But I can guarantee you, the minute I got the tune and melody in my head, my eyes retreat and wander around in other realm, the world of that particular music.

Music, for me, encapsulates most -if not all- of things that happened in my life.

I lost my mom when I was 8. She's the one who first taught me how to play. I would play the song from hymns as she gently wept and withered in her bed. I played, my eyes were closed.

I met my mentor in life when my father was searching for someone to continue to teach me play. He did not only teach me Mozart and Bach (of course Chopin and Beethoven), but he taught me how to believe in something that I put away along with my grieve. He taught me how to play God, a minuscule part of the Providence and I closed my eyes.

I met my life I knew now when I was playing an organ in a church. A man came and praised my playing. He offered me a place in Uncle Sam's big house to play music there. My heart pounded, my eyes were open big. My father said no, it has to be medicine or engineering. My heart broke, my eyes dimmed, I played alone.

I keep on playing, people keep on showering with compliments. None of them know, each tuts I press, it brought me a glimpse of memory, of things that continue to stay with me, forever. Like the changing of one tone to another, the melody continues, I know in my journey of life, as one phase fade sout and the other unfolds, my eyes will be closed,
but my heart will remain open.

That was very beautiful. Did you just make it up while you were playing? with those closed eyes?

In a motion

In the middle of nowhere
find traces of milky way
out there, somewhere in nowhere

it is the loudest silence
so dim, it shines,
so wide, it confines

even a dog's bark
suddenly has a profound meaning
it adds something to the nothingness
yet, it remains empty

What can be contained in half of a second
of a reality and of a memory?
a falling star, probably?

and how does it end? or does it end?
does the end sacrifice itself to the beginning?
does it matter anyway?

the road ahead keeps unfolding itself
as the ahead molds into the passing
it keeps on fading out

and we, in a motion, always in between
the has and the shall
never arriving, never ever leaving

the destination is the ground beneath
to where we are attached,
yet forever moving.

what can be contained in half of a second
of a reality and of a memory?