Thursday, December 16, 2010

Singapura - sebuah catatan pengembaraan #1

Banyak hal yang membuat aku terkadang terkagum-kagum akan betapa hubungan antara manusia begitu beragam.

Waktu aku naik transpotasi umum dan pundak kami saling mendorong pelan karena padatnya bus, aku menoleh ke belakang, melihat kurang dari sepersekian detik. 'Excuse me,' kataku, tapi selebihnya aku lebih peduli pada blackberry yang kugenggam atau mp3 yang lagi kudengar. Aku tidak peduli.

Waktu aku jalan di koridor sekolah, seorang anak yang kukenal sekali atau dua kali di hari orientasi menyunggingkan senyum sopan, hanya untuk ramah tamah. Kubalas, dengan senyum tipis yang sama. Selebihnya, aku lebih memikirkan bagaimana cara untuk naik ke loker di lantai tiga dengan secepat mungkin supaya aku tidak telat menghadiri kelas.

Waktu aku masuk ke kelas, ada teman-teman sekelas yang baru kukenal selama tiga bulan ini menyapa, mengucapkan selamat pagi. Di antara sebagian dari kami ada ikatan pertemanan -- hijau, tapi sedang bertumbuh -- di antara yang lainnya hanya keharusan karena kita semua terperangkap dalam satu kelas untuk tiga tahun lamanya. Kita sama-sama memedulikan hal yang sama: tentang bagaimana agar bisa bertahan di dalam kelas design yang sangat sibuk dan penuh tekanan ini, dengan sebisa mungkin membuat hari-hari menyenangkan dengan berteman.

Waktu aku mengucapkan 'See you in tomorrow's class!' pada lingkaran teman yang sedang menjalin ikatan agar lebih dekat lagi seiring waktu belajar ini, dan berjalan pulang, aku kembali masuk ke dalam bus -- yang jauh lebih kosong di waktu pulang. Aku mengeluarkan blackberry dari handbag, memulai percakapan dengan teman-teman di kampung halaman. Menanyakan kabar pada yang mulai merenggang. Menanyakan perkembangan cerita pada yang tetap erat. Bertukar ucapan rindu, basa basi pada yang renggang, tapi dengan setulus hati pada yang dekat. Kami memedulikan hal yang sama, apakah di masa depan kita akan tetap terpisahkan jarak, dan apakah persahabatan ini tidak akan terkikis jarak.

Pulang ke rumah, aku menemukan teman serumahku sedang menikmati makan malam di depan televisi. Tersenyum menyambutku pulang, aku mendesah lega karena di tengah kesibukan dan kepadatan kuliah, aku masih punya seseorang yang menyapa ketika aku pulang, dan yang menemani ketika aku makan. Aku memikirkan bagaimana hidup ketika aku telah dewasa dan harus berpisah tempat tinggal dengan orang tua, apakah rumah itu akan menjadi dingin dan sepi tanpa orang untuk diajak bicara ketika makan malam.

Di antara orang yang tidak kenal
ada juga yang hanya setengah kenal
atau yang kenal tapi pura-pura tidak kenal
atau yang pernah kenal, tapi kini tidak kenal lagi
ingin kenal semua, tapi tidak bisa
ingin kenal semua
tapi dunia terlalu luas.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Arrakis

Jadi ini cerpen yang kutulis untuk Fantasy Fiesta 2010. Though, di last minute, I decided not to participate. Tapi eniwei, aku tetep post di sini, menyemarakkan Fantasy Fiesta. Moga-moga tahun depan bisa mengumpulkan keberanian dan ikut! :)

Enjoy.

-------------------------------------------------------



ARRAKIS



Hal yang paling tidak boleh kulakukan adalah berharap. Walaupun harapan itu tampak begitu dekat untuk menjadi kenyataan, tetapi dalam hidup ini, aku lebih sering dikecewakan. Setiap kalimat yang keluar dari bibir lelaki yang kini memelukku dari belakang itu adalah harapan. Itu berarti, aku harus sadar bahwa setiap harapan dari kalimatnya itu akan menjadi janji-janji palsu belaka.
Orang-orang bilang, jika takdirmu lumayan, kau akan menjadi pemilik kedai kecil yang akan menutup usahanya di sore hari dan menghitung penghasilan di malam hari. Jika takdirmu baik, kau akan bertemu jenderal dan ia akan menikahimu, dan seumur hidup kau akan hidup dari penghargaan kerajaan kepadanya, walaupun kau akan sangat jarang bertemu dengannya karena perang. Jika takdirmu amat sangat baik, mungkin kau akan bisa hidup di kastil mewah di Kitala, dengan satu sisi menghadap ke laut dan sisi lainnya menghadap pepohonan hijau. Dayang-dayang akan mengurus dan membersihkan setiap jengkal lantai kastilmu dengan sukacita, karena mereka hidup berkecukupan. Kau dan suamimu akan dibicarakan orang-orang. Putramu akan dielu-elukan gadis-gadis, dan putrimu akan menjadi perebutan pangeran-pangeran.
Sebagai penari di rumah hiburan, mereka berkata, aku memiliki takdir terburuk dari yang buruk. Berharap adalah salah satu pantangan bagi mereka yang bertakdir buruk. Tapi takdir adalah perangkap: kita tidak bisa meminta, kita tidak bisa mengubah. Apa yang tersisa adalah menjalani.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hometown

Maybe when I am already abroad for study, my mind will wander back to my hometown.

Maybe I would think, back there in my hometown,

I would try to wake up at 7 every holiday, yet I am too lazy to do so. So I would curl back into my blanket after turning off my alarm and think, this is happiness.

I would go downstairs to find the whole dining table is filled with toasts, cakes, cereals for my breakfast and think, this is happiness.

I would sit in front of my room's desk, turning on the AC. I would find that I have no homework at all (even if I do, I won't do it anyway), so I turn on my laptop and start to write stories and think, this is happiness.

I would walk around the fabric department store, clutching my bag tightly, afraid of those pickpockets. But when the grumpy auntie in the sewing counter smiles at me because I’m a regular, I would think, this is happiness.

I would sweat and sigh a lot when I sew. I would stay up really late sewing a dress or anything. But when it's finished, I would stare at it like there's no tomorrow, smile and think, this is happiness.

I would drive my car and look out from my car's window to find pollution is extremely heavy outside. But I am inside my car, with music I love turned on, even though seems so near, but I am far from the outside world. I would think, I am so privileged, and this is happiness.

I would drive my car and find it really hard to park the car all by myself. But that's when the parking guy shows up and helps you by shouting direction from outside. Where in the world I can find something like this if it's not in Indonesia? I would think, this is happiness.

I would loathe Indonesia's traffic jam so much. I hate it with my heart. But when I have my friends inside the car, making jokes and chatting around happily, I would think, this is happiness.

I would go and hang out with my best friends at night, going to places we've never been before. We would laugh and joke around and not giving any damn of what others think. I would be so happy and think, this is happiness.

I would be happy to sacrifice my sleep time to chat with my best friends through late night calls. Even though before I rang their number I was crying, but I was definitely smiling when I ended them. I would think, this is happiness.

I would eat together with my brother's family every Sunday. I would laugh at how my parents smiled at their grandchild, and think, this is happiness.

I would hate myself once in a while, on how others are just plain luckier than myself. But I would realize that I am too lucky when my servants came to ask what would I have for dinner. I would reply them kindly and think, this is happiness.

I would be so uncomfortable on how I am a minority. But when I show up for my extra Japanese courses I take, and how people don’t look at you by what kind of skin color you have, and how I am treated kindly even though I am outside my circle, I would think, this is happiness.

There are so many things in Indonesia that I hate. But I’ve come to realize that there are always some kind of happiness that I had from those things, and I certainly will miss them when I’m not here anymore.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Confusing path after High School

My sewing teacher said to me, "I know, it's the most confusing time for you is right now. It's too hard to decide which path you should take after high school since everybody is saying entirely different things, pushing their opinions on you. I gave you my opinions, but it's for you only to decide your own future."

I was torn between the decision to go to Australia, pursuing the title Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, and to go to Singapore to study Fashion Design in Raffles. As you know, from this blog you can see how I love writing. And from my other blog you can also see how much I love fashion. But I am more interested in going to Singapore, honestly.

If you're a high school graduate like me, do you experience the same thing? If you've graduated high school long time ago, did you feel the same back then? Did you choose your own path, or did your parents decide it for you?

I figured that I'm pretty lucky to choose everything by myself, though that makes me extremely confused. Many of my friends don't have that privilege. Their parents chose what's best for them, thought that some certain faculties can ensure their future.

My sewing teacher thought that having a title in Fashion Design doesn't help you with your future. It's better to have a title in Business, IT, or even English Studies is better than to study Fashion Design. Her opinion is that you can study fashion even after you graduate, you can take some courses and you can be even more successful than those who enroll fashion schools.

If I am her child, I'm definitely going to Australia to study and get the title Bachelor of Arts. Even if my heart decides to go to Singapore and study fashion, she won't let me. That's if she is my parents.

I think her way of thinking is very wise. She's in the same age as my parents, and she's had so much experience in her life. But my way of thinking is also different from hers. I won't be able to decide my own future with our way of thinking clash. I am now considering myself very lucky to have two similar thinking parents.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I've passed the test!

And I am now almost a high school graduate!

Last week (last week I guess?) I was informed that I've passed the national test for graduating high school here in Indonesia. We call it UAN here. My school has prepared their students for ages before: while the test is in March, they've prepared it since January or so. And it was never ending tests and exams for me! Of course, the best thing is to do all of them with smiles and good laughs, because even if it made me suffer, I went through it all with my friends.

They said my school passing percentage was 100%. Really happy to hear that, but on other side, I really believe a lot of cheating was involved.... Nevertheless, I am here to talk about how I am really sad to think that maybe, God is unfair sometimes after all.

When we all laugh and happy for graduating from high school, there's my friend who is now still sick. It was months ago when she started missing school, and even the doctors didn't know what she had. It was really bad for her that our teacher even encourage us to see her after our exams, fearing us to be infected. I don't know myself what sort of disease she has.... I rarely talk to her even if we're in the same year. She didn't participate for UAN and now she has resigned from school, and gone to Singapore for medication.

Another thing is about university. One of my friend has been studying like crazy and getting into extra courses for passing the university test. She has tried to get in twice, but failed. She is now trying for her third time, and I am proud of her.

But to think about it, my other friend, played all night before the university test. He didn't even bothered to join extra courses or anything. For the registration form, he filled it hastily and nothing was done properly. He didn't give that much money for the university donation either. But he's in. Just one try and he is now in.

... sometimes things are unfair huh?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Big Bang

Anyone find this Music Video EXTREMELY entertaining beside me? I've watched it thousand of times and still haven't got tired of it....

Big Bang, Last Farewell. The first korean boyband music video that made me goes (0___0) !!!
P.S. I love his car. But wearing sunglasses in car at night was downright weird.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A delightful speech

When I read this I was feeling almost dizzy: I wanted to cry, yet Mrs. Rowling's humor made me laugh at the same time. It certainly was one of the most influential speech script I've ever read....

-------------------------

J.K. Rowling, author of the best-selling Harry Potter book series, delivers her Commencement Address, “The Fringe Benefits of Failure, and the Importance of Imagination,” at the Annual Meeting of the Harvard Alumni Association.

Text as delivered follows.
Copyright of JK Rowling, June 2008

President Faust, members of the Harvard Corporation and the Board of Overseers, members of the faculty, proud parents, and, above all, graduates.

The first thing I would like to say is ‘thank you.’ Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.

Delivering a commencement address is a great responsibility; or so I thought until I cast my mind back to my own graduation. The commencement speaker that day was the distinguished British philosopher Baroness Mary Warnock. Reflecting on her speech has helped me enormously in writing this one, because it turns out that I can’t remember a single word she said. This liberating discovery enables me to proceed without any fear that I might inadvertently influence you to abandon promising careers in business, the law or politics for the giddy delights of becoming a gay wizard.

You see? If all you remember in years to come is the ‘gay wizard’ joke, I’ve come out ahead of Baroness Mary Warnock. Achievable goals: the first step to self improvement.

Actually, I have wracked my mind and heart for what I ought to say to you today. I have asked myself what I wish I had known at my own graduation, and what important lessons I have learned in the 21 years that have expired between that day and this.

I have come up with two answers. On this wonderful day when we are gathered together to celebrate your academic success, I have decided to talk to you about the benefits of failure. And as you stand on the threshold of what is sometimes called ‘real life’, I want to extol the crucial importance of imagination.

These may seem quixotic or paradoxical choices, but please bear with me.

Looking back at the 21-year-old that I was at graduation, is a slightly uncomfortable experience for the 42-year-old that she has become. Half my lifetime ago, I was striking an uneasy balance between the ambition I had for myself, and what those closest to me expected of me.

I was convinced that the only thing I wanted to do, ever, was to write novels. However, my parents, both of whom came from impoverished backgrounds and neither of whom had been to college, took the view that my overactive imagination was an amusing personal quirk that would never pay a mortgage, or secure a pension. I know that the irony strikes with the force of a cartoon anvil, now.

So they hoped that I would take a vocational degree; I wanted to study English Literature. A compromise was reached that in retrospect satisfied nobody, and I went up to study Modern Languages. Hardly had my parents’ car rounded the corner at the end of the road than I ditched German and scuttled off down the Classics corridor.

I cannot remember telling my parents that I was studying Classics; they might well have found out for the first time on graduation day. Of all the subjects on this planet, I think they would have been hard put to name one less useful than Greek mythology when it came to securing the keys to an executive bathroom.

I would like to make it clear, in parenthesis, that I do not blame my parents for their point of view. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. What is more, I cannot criticise my parents for hoping that I would never experience poverty. They had been poor themselves, and I have since been poor, and I quite agree with them that it is not an ennobling experience. Poverty entails fear, and stress, and sometimes depression; it means a thousand petty humiliations and hardships. Climbing out of poverty by your own efforts, that is indeed something on which to pride yourself, but poverty itself is romanticised only by fools.

What I feared most for myself at your age was not poverty, but failure.

At your age, in spite of a distinct lack of motivation at university, where I had spent far too long in the coffee bar writing stories, and far too little time at lectures, I had a knack for passing examinations, and that, for years, had been the measure of success in my life and that of my peers.

I am not dull enough to suppose that because you are young, gifted and well-educated, you have never known hardship or heartbreak. Talent and intelligence never yet inoculated anyone against the caprice of the Fates, and I do not for a moment suppose that everyone here has enjoyed an existence of unruffled privilege and contentment.

However, the fact that you are graduating from Harvard suggests that you are not very well-acquainted with failure. You might be driven by a fear of failure quite as much as a desire for success. Indeed, your conception of failure might not be too far from the average person’s idea of success, so high have you already flown.

Ultimately, we all have to decide for ourselves what constitutes failure, but the world is quite eager to give you a set of criteria if you let it. So I think it fair to say that by any conventional measure, a mere seven years after my graduation day, I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.

Now, I am not going to stand here and tell you that failure is fun. That period of my life was a dark one, and I had no idea that there was going to be what the press has since represented as a kind of fairy tale resolution. I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.

So why do I talk about the benefits of failure? Simply because failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realised, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter and a big idea. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.

Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.

So given a Time Turner, I would tell my 21-year-old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a check-list of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your CV, are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult, and complicated, and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.

Now you might think that I chose my second theme, the importance of imagination, because of the part it played in rebuilding my life, but that is not wholly so. Though I personally will defend the value of bedtime stories to my last gasp, I have learned to value imagination in a much broader sense. Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.

One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working at the African research department at Amnesty International’s headquarters in London.

There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes.

Many of my co-workers were ex-political prisoners, people who had been displaced from their homes, or fled into exile, because they had the temerity to speak against their governments. Visitors to our offices included those who had come to give information, or to try and find out what had happened to those they had left behind.

I shall never forget the African torture victim, a young man no older than I was at the time, who had become mentally ill after all he had endured in his homeland. He trembled uncontrollably as he spoke into a video camera about the brutality inflicted upon him. He was a foot taller than I was, and seemed as fragile as a child. I was given the job of escorting him back to the Underground Station afterwards, and this man whose life had been shattered by cruelty took my hand with exquisite courtesy, and wished me future happiness.

And as long as I live I shall remember walking along an empty corridor and suddenly hearing, from behind a closed door, a scream of pain and horror such as I have never heard since. The door opened, and the researcher poked out her head and told me to run and make a hot drink for the young man sitting with her. She had just had to give him the news that in retaliation for his own outspokenness against his country’s regime, his mother had been seized and executed.

Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone.

Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power. I began to have nightmares, literal nightmares, about some of the things I saw, heard, and read.

And yet I also learned more about human goodness at Amnesty International than I had ever known before.

Amnesty mobilises thousands of people who have never been tortured or imprisoned for their beliefs to act on behalf of those who have. The power of human empathy, leading to collective action, saves lives, and frees prisoners. Ordinary people, whose personal well-being and security are assured, join together in huge numbers to save people they do not know, and will never meet. My small participation in that process was one of the most humbling and inspiring experiences of my life.

Unlike any other creature on this planet, humans can learn and understand, without having experienced. They can think themselves into other people’s places.

Of course, this is a power, like my brand of fictional magic, that is morally neutral. One might use such an ability to manipulate, or control, just as much as to understand or sympathise.

And many prefer not to exercise their imaginations at all. They choose to remain comfortably within the bounds of their own experience, never troubling to wonder how it would feel to have been born other than they are. They can refuse to hear screams or to peer inside cages; they can close their minds and hearts to any suffering that does not touch them personally; they can refuse to know.

I might be tempted to envy people who can live that way, except that I do not think they have any fewer nightmares than I do. Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the wilfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid.

What is more, those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy.

One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.

That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

But how much more are you, Harvard graduates of 2008, likely to touch other people’s lives? Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.

I am nearly finished. I have one last hope for you, which is something that I already had at 21. The friends with whom I sat on graduation day have been my friends for life. They are my children’s godparents, the people to whom I’ve been able to turn in times of trouble, people who have been kind enough not to sue me when I took their names for Death Eaters. At our graduation we were bound by enormous affection, by our shared experience of a time that could never come again, and, of course, by the knowledge that we held certain photographic evidence that would be exceptionally valuable if any of us ran for Prime Minister.

So today, I wish you nothing better than similar friendships. And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you remember those of Seneca, another of those old Romans I met when I fled down the Classics corridor, in retreat from career ladders, in search of ancient wisdom:
As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.
I wish you all very good lives.
Thank you very much.



taken from (you can also watch the video of the speech here): http://harvardmagazine.com/commencement/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Warisan Budaya


Tanggal 26 Februari 2010 kemarin, aku nemenin (half-willingly) Papa Mama ke perayaan Imlek yang diadakan di salah satu gedung di Bandung. Acara ini diselenggarakan oleh perkumpulan marga Huang (semacam perkumpulan marga Sembiring kalau buat orang Batak --kalau ada--, yang ini versi Chinese). Kegiatannya adalah makan-makan di meja, dengan sajian makanan-makanan khas Tionghua, dihibur dengan lagu-lagu dan dance yang dibawakan oleh anggota-anggota perkumpulan. Kadang-kadang manggil artis dari mancanegara juga, untuk meramaikan suasana.

Setiap tahun, acara kayak gini selalu ada. Bisa ada hingga beberapa kali! Merayakan event-event yang bertebaran, menyebar di dalam satu tahun. Sewaktu kecil aku sering pergi dan melihat-lihat, menikmati. Tapi seiring beranjak remaja, apa siih, yang nggak lebih menyenangkan daripada menghabiskan waktu bersama temen-temen di PVJ atau Ciwalk atau cafe-cafe lain? Pergi ke event seperti ini jadi bertambah jarang.

Aku memutuskan untuk pergi, karena ternyata kakakku dan keluarganya (yang sudah 10 tahun lebih tua dariku :p) juga ikut. Tadinya kupikir, acara kayak gini hanya terlalu 'kuno' dan ngebosenin buat anak-anak remaja, tapi ternyata kakakku dan istrinya juga hanya datang sekitar 1 jam kemudian pulang, tanpa menikmati acara apapun.

Lalu ketika aku pulang dari acara itu, melihat bagaimana orang tuaku sangat menikmati acara-acara seperti itu, aku mulai berpikir. 10, 20, 50 tahun ke depan... waktu generasi sudah bergulir, apa acara seperti ini masih ada? Apa yayasan-yayasan dan perkumpulan marga ala Tionghua itu masih akan tetap eksis? Apa remaja-remaja sekarang akan masih peduli untuk mengurusnya, atau apakah generasi selanjutnya akan menjadi kapitalis dan individualis, atau mencari kegiatan yang lebih 'modern' untuk killing time?

Bakal jadi apa dunia ini? Hal yang mungkin generasiku anggap keren (hang out di PVJ malem minggu sampe kaki pegel-pegel) mungkin bakal dianggap SUPER LAME sama anak cucu kita nanti! Mikirin hal-hal kayak gitu, I just cannot stop wondering. World is fascinating, no?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Friends Forever

Dalam percakapan singkat antara aku dan teman-teman, aku menangkap bahwa dalam pandangan mereka, kata-kata 'friends forever' itu hanyalah seonggok mimpi belaka.

Mungkin para pembaca bisa berpikir: oh, si Fenny, kan dia penulis. Jadi suka 'bermimpi'. Tapi apakah mempunyai teman yang begitu apet hingga akhir menghembus napas itu memang hanya mimpi? Apa ini aku yang terlalu pemimpi, atau mereka yang terlalu realistis?

Sering kulihat film atau komik di mana anak-anak satu gang sangat amat apet, main bareng, ke mana-mana bersama. Lalu lompat ke bertahun-tahun kemudian saat mereka sudah punya anak dan keluarga masing-masing, mereka akan saling menyapa di jalan dan berkata, "Hei, sudah xx lamanya kita ga ketemu, gimana kabar lo akhir-akhir ini?" Lalu apakah ini mengatakan jika kita sudah dewasa nanti, yang namanya koneksi dengan teman itu akan putus?

Aku sangat menikmati SMA. Pernah ada orang bilang, "Fen, lo kecepetan nganggep seseorang sebagai sahabat. Kadang-kadang mereka nggak balik memandang lo gitu. Yang ada lo sakit hati sendiri, kan? Apa bedanya sama cinta bertepuk sebelah tangan versi temenan?"

Tapi bener, aku nggak pernah kapok kok. Menurutku temenan itu amat menyenangkan, dan aku sangat enjoy punya temen sedikit yang apet daripada temen banyak tapi cuma di surface level. Aku harap waktu tua dan punya anak nanti aku nggak hanya punya keluarga yang harmonis, tapi juga teman-teman yang solider, seperti teman-teman yang kupunya waktu SMA. Orang-orang berkata, kalau udah kuliah, semuanya individualistis, nggak ada acara kayak SMA. "Apalagi kalau di luar negeri. Kamu mau ke Melbourne, kan?" kata orang lain menimpali.

Ini adalah salah satu alasan kenapa aku sangat tidak ingin meninggalkan SMA. Apa indahnya temenan memang hanya sebatas hingga SMA 3? Apa memang ada, norma yang mengatakan orang dewasa tidak boleh mempunyai temen-temen segeng yang kompak? Hmmm?

Sesulit apapun itu, jika kita berusaha, kita bisa. Menjaga suatu hubungan dimulai dari komunikasi. Untuk menjalin hubungan agak tidak terputus, dilakukan komunikasi yang berulang yang tidak berhenti. Jangankan teman, jika keluarga memutuskan komunikasi, maka menurutku hubungan itu juga akan putus. Jika kita bisa memelihara komunikasi dengan keluarga, maka sama saja kita bisa memelihara komunikasi dengan teman.

Menurutku, 'Friends Forever' itu memang ada.
Marilah kita berandai-andai... dan jangan pernah berhenti bermimpi.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Alergi

Dengan post ini bukan berarti aku bilang kalau semua dokter di Indonesia itu ceroboh, dan tentu saja selama 17 tahun hidupku ini sudah tidak terhitung waktu aku tertolong oleh dokter-dokter di Indonesia. Post ini hanya sekedar curhat.

Aku ingin share --- sebagai remaja yang diberi genetik yang kurang baik pada kulitnya, seperti hampir semua remaja normal lainnya, aku jerawatan. Aku udah melewati banyak perjuangan dan keadaan itu sendiri udah membangun mentalku sedari kecil: untuk terus mengangkat wajah apapun yang terjadi. Mungkin itu adalah salah satu hal yang membuat rasa percaya diriku bisa sedalam sekarang ini. Di sisi lain aku sendiri tidak pernah berhenti mencari solusi dari permasalahan.

Aku mengunjungi banyak dokter dermatologi, dan setelah bertahun-tahun pengalaman, aku mulai sadar kalau mereka semua ngasih obat yang hampir sama: Isotretinoin. Di lain itu tentu saja sudah tidak terhitung obat krim dan home remedy yang pernah kucoba, tapi one that actually works amazingly well was isotretinoin. Tentu saja, pada awalnya aku tidak tahu kalau itu isotretinoin.

"Ada efek sampingnya, dok?" kutanya. "Makan obat ini udah lama dan terus-terusan."

"Nggak kok. Pokoknya kalau lagi hamil ga boleh makan obat ini. Tapi kalau kamu sih nggak apa-apa. Minum aja yang banyak."

Baru kutahu beberapa saat setelahnya, setelah aku berhenti makan isotretinoin kalau obat itu punya banyak sekali side effects. Di luar negeri, dokter-dokter ngasih isotretinoin (atau lebih beken dengan sebutan Accutane di USA) kalau udah bener-bener last resort, dan untuk minum obat itu pun perlu ngejalanin dua tes kehamilan dan tes lainnya.

Kini aku udah berhenti makan isotretinoin yang ajaib itu, dan sebagai gantinya menggunakan regimen dari Acne.org. Really, it works.... Bukan, aku nggak dibayar apa-apa sama acne.org. Acne.org sendiri adalah organisasi non-profit, di websitenya saja nggak support iklan. Aku juga tahu kenyataan bahwa isotretinoin itu berbahaya dan punya banyak side effects dari sana.

Yang membuat aku agak menyesal adalah, kenapa dokter di sini tidak bersedia menjelaskan dengan jelas konsekuensi jika aku makan obat itu apa, apa gunanya, bahkan apa namanya (selama ini aku nggak pernah nanya nama obat itu apa, di pilnya sendiri nggak ada namanya, baru terakhir-terakhir aku baru sadar namanya isotretinoin). Sejak dua tahun terakhir kulitku jadi lebih mudah memerah kalau terkena matahari, dan aku juga dapet alergi walau sekarang sudah jauh lebih baik. Aku nggak tahu apa itu karena isotretinoin.

Hal itu nggak berlaku hanya untuk dokter kulit saja. Bahkan ayahku yang sekarang sudah terbiasa menggunakan google jadi sering mengecek obat-obat yang dia makan di internet. Terkadang ada dokter yang tidak bersedia menjelaskan isi obat-obat tersebut, bahkan bilang tidak mengandung antibiotik waktu obat-obat tersebut mengandung.

Selain ketidaksediaan untuk terbuka tentang obat, hal lain yang menggangguku adalah prosedur umum di mana seharusnya dokter bertanya sebelum melakukan apapun, "Alergi obat apa?" terkadang dilewatkan.

Aku berharap di masa yang akan datang para dokter di Indonesia bisa lebih terbuka dan menjelaskan sejelas-jelasnya tentang obat yang mereka berikan pada pasien. Bukankah mereka juga ikut bertanggung jawab atas segala hal yang terjadi pada pasien mereka?

Peace,

Fenny

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