The word “RANTAU” itself isn’t really popular on the internet but it is a pretty well-known word amongst Indonesians (and possibly the Malaysians too ya?). Based on my own interpretation, rantau is when someone goes out of his or her homeland in order to seek better fortune in life. Ever since I stepped my foot on the UK, rantau is always the first word that came to my mind.
In my family, rantau is in our blood. Well, I suppose it leans more to my dad at least since he had been traveling to Malaysia ever since he was around the age for secondary school, alone. It wasn’t for any educational reason and I don’t think we had any relative in Malaysia that time… What he did was sneaking himself inside a ship to Sabah and let himself get pitied by the ship’s cook. Then he started to boast around how he got free meals on the ship by just helping around in its kitchen.
Oddly enough, it managed to become a booster for me in the beginning of my journey. So I thought, “If Dad managed to conquer Malaysia, why not me? I should go even further than he did!”
When my mum, my dad, and my sister ended up accompanying me to the UK before the school started, it was during lunch time when we were like the typical clueless tourists because we had no idea where we should go for our meals. We got into McDonalds and encountered the classic meal issue for Muslims–p o r k.
Then all of a sudden, my dad cried.
I was rather petrified to be honest, and panic too in a way because I had no idea what I should do! My sister quietly munched her meals whilst constantly glancing at my dad, which… wasn’t very helpful too. When my mum came back after ordering a decent menu for us, my dad quickly rubbed his eyes and sobbed quietly.
My mum then asked my dad why he cried and his only answer was; “No… I just started to get all nostalgic somehow.” In between his sobs.
Just some days after than he posted this status on Facebook
“Sometimes in life we feel happiness and sometimes we become sad when we reminisce about the past. The present and the future, that is to live and life.”
Parents, they constantly protect their children from making mistakes. Maybe they have been through it before and they don’t want their children to make the same mistake as they did. But I know that my dad isn’t preventing me from choosing which path should I choose, because he knows well how making mistakes is the only way that can make us truly learn the value of life.