On Indomie…

Before I step beyond the border of my comfort zone

You are in my luggage ‘must’ list

You lure me into the world of procrastination

By the spices fragrance

That is your perfume

Back home Mum would nag me

If I consumed you too much

But here

She said you’re a staple food for us

Somewhat a life safer too

I didn’t really know your worth back home

As I took every bite of you here

I can feel the bitterness in my tongue

Of homesickness

At the same time

Your broth warmed my heart

As if you were saying ‘It’s okay, you’re not alone’

For every slurp

For every burp

It feels like I’m home again

**

Inspired by this

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Sacha Stevenson belongs to Sacha Stevenson

 

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Khatulistiwa di Hati

Papa yang seorang Bugis tidak selalu jauh dari hal yang namanya ‘merantau.’ Ia selalu bercerita bagaimana orang-orangnya selalu sukses di daerah perantauan tapi tidak pernah lupa akan daerah asalnya.

Papa bilang yang namanya merantau itu sedihnya selalu terasa di saat take off. Berdasarkan pengalamannya merantau ke Jakarta hanya dengan kardus berisikan indomie dan pakaian, ia meninggalkan pelabuhan Makassar dengan banyak harapan yang ia nantikan di ibu kota. Tiba-tiba ada semacam film kecil yang kembali berputar di kepalanya. Di situ ia melihat wajah orang-orang yang ia cintai dan segala memori yang teramat berharga baginya, dengan bangga Papa mengakui di saat itu ia hampir menangis.

Kalau Papa saja sudah begitu ke Jakarta, bagaimana aku yang harus menaiki pesawat selama dua belas jam ke benua lain?

Semenjak aku menginjakkan kaki di negeri asing ini, aku tahu pekerjaan pertamaku adalah menjadi seorang diplomat kecil bagi negara. Anak-anak di sekolahku tak banyak yang tahu di mana itu Indonesia sampai aku menyebutkan bahwa kita ada di atas Australia. Kalau ditanya tentang pemerintahnya, korup adalah kata yang pertama kali muncul. Malu memang… saat menyebutkannya, tapi begitulah kenyataannya.

Di sisi lain, bagiku Indonesia bukanlah sekedar negara korup yang hanya bisa dimanfaatkan negara-negara maju. Mata teman-teman asingku terbelalak pada saat aku menyebutkan populasi Indonesia yang berjumlah sekitar dua ratus juta nyawa, kita punya tujuh belas ribu pulau, beratus-ratus bahasa tradisional, keanekaragaman hayati yang buanyak, daaaan daftarnya terus mengalir.

Di saat aku bergidik karena hawa dingin yang menyerangku di bawah mantel tebal, di saat aku merasakan kehambaran di setiap makanan yang aku santap, di saat aku mencium bau rempah-rempah di supermarket, aku mulai membuat kesimpulanku tersendiri; bahwa Indonesia itu bukanlah sekedar negara, tapi juga surga!

Sayangnya, beberapa rakyatnya tidak terlalu bersyukur tampaknya…

Hatiku mencelos saat mendengar beberapa pengakuan dari sobat-sobat Indonesiaku di sini. Beberapa memberitahuku bahwa hidupnya akan lebih baik di negara lain yang pemerintahnya tidak korup seperti di Indonesia. Tapi aku tetap keukeuh mengajak mereka untuk melihat Indonesia tidak hanya dari sisi tersebut. Justru figur-figur seperti mereka yang lulusan luar sangat dibutuhkan, tetapi… mereka malah lari.

Saat ditanya apa yang aku pilih untuk ke depannya, mau tetap di Indonesia atau… bagaimana? Dengan mantap aku berkata, “Aku sudah terlalu cinta negara kita, gimana aku mau pindah?” Janjiku untuk Indonesia sudah bermula di situ. Aku mau diriku dan pengetahuan yang aku sudah gali di negeri asing ini berguna bagi banyak orang dan juga bagi negara.

Bagiku, cinta bukanlah sesuatu yang harus tumbuh di antara dua insan manusia yang saling mengasihi satu sama lain. Cintaku untuk sebuah negara yang telah menjadi tempat kelahiranku dan unsur-unsur budayanya yang sudah menjadi seperti tiang hidupku, adalah cinta yang juga dapat menjadi abadi.

Orang-orang mengenal bentuk cintaku sebagai patriotisme, suatu hal yang sudah jarang ditemukan di antara generasi-generasi penerus bangsa kita. Aku tak ingin rasa ‘cinta’ itu tiba-tiba hilang dalam sekejap di saat yang tradisional bercampur dengan modernisasi. Dari tari dan lagu tradisional, lalu dapat menjadi pulau-pulau yang tak terurus dan akhirnya diklaim bangsa lain. Aku tak mau generasi penerusku kehilangan kesempatan untuk melihat langsung apa yang telah kulihat dengan mata kepalaku sendiri.

Ada sebuah slogan berkata, “tidak kenal, maka tidak cinta.” Jadi… bagaimana kalau kita mulai ‘berkenalan lagi’ dari sekarang? Agar rasa kepunyaan itu–rasa cinta itu kembali lagi.

 

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Because weekend is one of the many words I can relate to for Bali.

My First Pancake Tuesday

I didn’t get the chance of having a bite of free pancakes back at school, but I’m congratulating everyone who managed to bare the long queue in the canteen.

In the morning, my school’s headmaster held an assembly associated with pancakes and how different countries in the world have their own pancake recipes for celebrating the “Shrove Tuesday.” As he kept on rambling on and on about it, my mind drifted to a… more likely similar thing, I suppose.

Kue Cubit or Poffertjes as the Dutch refer to it

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Surabi~

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The one and only, Kue Ape

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I ate these delicacies today.

Mentally.

Haha.

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Rantau is in My Blood

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

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“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.

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Indomie Seleraku

Just several weeks ago I tried to buy some Indomie from a nearby oriental shop. During my first weeks staying in the UK I thought such thing as Indomie wouldn’t even actually available in the country. I know for one that the Netherlands have some mini markets selling Indonesian-related products (yep, kompeni has it all), but… the UK? Really??

It was during lunch time when one of my Indonesian comrade, Sekar, blurted out how she wanted to go to the oriental shop. Then a grin was immediately plastered on my face and off we went on our mini quest buying food products that can repair back our taste bud into its original state.

Finally, I won’t need to struggle with a bulgy luggage full of Popmie & Indomie anymore!

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