Indonesians say we ourselves are friendly citizens. That we are one of the people that can welcome foreigners easily and can greet them without being hesitant. “Is it right or wrong?” one may ask. Indeed those are true and we are proud on that easy going-ness with foreigners.

But how about being friendly to our fellow Indonesians? In that case I want to order Indonesians based on their origins according to their hospitality ranked from the most friendly to less friendly:

  1. Those who live outside JABODETABEK
  2. Those who live in JABODETABEK

If I may quote Rick Jordan’s The Red Pyramid ” It takes strength and courage to admit the truth”. There are reasons why The Jabodetabeks is placed in the bottom position (P.S since there is no demonym for this, I will start calling Jabodetabek citizen –> The Jabodetabeks, the word works for plural and singular :0)

The Jabodetabeks try not to mind other’s business. While keeping quick pace to reach anywhere and getting things done, they limit their interaction with total strangers. In commuter train, I rarely chat and see people chatting with others. To divert the empty-mindedness we distract ourselves with cellphones or tablets. The Jabodetabeks are similar with people from big cities in the world. The worst part is that they sometimes ignore people doing wrongs in street such as littering or crossing over red-light street light.

They do not have good topics for chit chat other than TRAFFIC. Oh this one is so true. When I was in Jogja, a stranger successfully talked to me for such long period. As he talked his heritage and culture, I was preparing to be asked about the traffic we do not love so much. Luckily that time the bullets weren’t shot, fyuuh…

Any act of super kindness behavior is considered potential crime. T__T Well this one is the ugliest. I admit myself that I always put barrier on super kind act from strangers. Being reluctant of getting help from other is one of newest trend from the city people. We as the independent people rely on ourselves not trusting sincere motives from strangers.

The reasons I wrote those was because of my experience during waiting for IELTS’ speaking test in Jakarta, Saturday  at May 7th. There are many people in the test room. I could immediately tell that the test participants were grouped into 2 categories. There are the quite ones and friendly-conversation lover ones. I mostly talked with participants coming from outside Jabodetabek and zero from Jabodetabek. They were warm, honest, curious and easy to talk to. These people have the value the Jabodetabeks need to copy. May us have good contemplation regarding behavior on chit chat 😀

See you on the other side #TheJabodetabeks!

Satu tahun yang lalu di bulan September, saya berkesempatan untuk mengunjungi Pulau Ternate. Ternate adalah sebuah kota yang berada di Pulau yang memiliki nama yang sama. Ternate sendiri pernah menjadi ibukota provinsi Maluku Utara, namun telah berubah sejak 2010 ke Sofifi. Saya sempat diceritakan oleh tukang ojek yang mengajak saya berkeliling (nama : Darwin), bahwa Sofifi lebih mirip pedesaan, dan banyak pegawai pemerintah di Sofifi itu tinggal di Pulau Ternate, jadi untuk bekerja mereka menyebrang dengan kapal.

Sayangnya, masih banyak sekali keindahan Maluku Utara yang bias saya kunjungi seperti Halamahera, Morotai, Tidore dan lainnya, namun waktu membatasi waktu liburan saya yang hanya 2 hari di Ternate. Tapi dua hari di Ternate, bias di katakan saya menang banyak!! Indah sekali pulau ini, dan saya bias melihat diri saya tinggal di Ternate. Tidak jauh tertinggal dari kota lain, namun masih sangat tentram dan tidak terlalu ramai.

 

This view of Gamalama Mount and downtown from the Great Mosque of Ternate City

 

Masjid yang sangat besar dan megah ini, terletak di pinggir laut. Tadinya memiliki dua menara mengapung, namun 2 menara tersebut rubuh di awal 2014

Masjid yang sangat besar dan megah ini, terletak di pinggir laut. Tadinya memiliki dua menara mengapung, namun 2 menara tersebut rubuh di awal 2014.

 

Hal yang tidak mungkin bias kita lakukan sebagai warga Jakarta, langsung lompata ke laut untuk berenang.

Hal yang tidak mungkin bisa kita lakukan sebagai warga Jakarta, langsung lompat ke laut untuk berenang. Hal ini membuat saya jatuh hati dengan kota ini. Pinggir pantai yang bersih, dan air yang jernih sangat mengundang semua orang untuk terjun. Saat itu saya tidak bias terjun, karena khawatir dengan barang-barang saya. Beautiful!

 

Bagi para pengunjung yang berpikir Ternate itu sangat tertinggal, di pinggir pantai sepanjang Masjid Al Munnawar adalah pusat kota yang dipenuhi pertokoan. Ada sebuah Mall yang cukup lengkap di mana, banyak keluarga dan anak muda yang sering berkumpul, mall itu adlaah Jatiland Mall. Sepanjang jalan ini adalah daerah reklamasi pantai. Dan memiliki banyak pilihan untuk bersantai seperti taman di pinggir pantainya. Di sini ada juga taman skate untuk kawula muda Ternate. Saya tidak yakin ada taman skate board di bekasi (setelah saya gogle, ada loh satu taan skate yang tersembunyi di

 

SIluet di sore hari. Pulau di seberang sana adalah Pulau besar Halmahera. Foto ini saya ambil dari  taman di sebelah Masjid Al Munawwar, di Jalan M. Djabir Shah.

 

 

 

Indahnya sore

Sepasang sejoli sedang menikmati matahari di sore hari. Maafkan untuk kualitas gambar yang pas pasan :p Sudah menjadi hal biasa untuk warga Ternate bersantai di pinggir pantai pada sore hari, sepulang bekerja dan sekolah. Tak sedikit yang memanfaat waktu untuk berjualan di area pantai saat sore itu

 

Gapura besar di jalan Sutan M Djabir Shah

 

Hari itu, perubahan cuaca sangat dramatis. Di sianghari bisa bergantian hujan dan terik dalam beberapa jam. Saat itu memang di bulan September yang seharusnya masih cerah, namun awan tebal terkadang menyelimuti pulau ini secara misterius. Inilah beberapa misteri Pulau Ternate dan Gunung Gamalama yang sangat stunning.

Sehabis hujan, dari depan gunung gamalama. Jalanan tamapk bersih dan udara sesegar di pegunungan tanpa polusi. Masih kelihatan kan awan di puncak gamalama?

 

Tunggu yah post selanjutnya

 

This was writen at the commuter train station of Manggarai. During my way on the Jakarta Busway from office to Manggarai Station the sun reached the western horizon for setting. I was thinking my future plan while being pressed from front, sides and behind by fellow passengers in the city, who received recent poll of being worst city to inhabit (http://thejakartaglobe.beritasatu.com/news/jakarta/tale-two-surveys-jakarta-really-among-worlds-worst-cities/).

Seeing the sun set with its yellow shades in this clear sky after being hit by non stop rain for 3 days, I imagined being in the peaceful middle east. Why I picked middle east was because I listened to Fajum, an instrumental song by Oluf Dimitri with strong middle eastern melody. Peaceful middle east also stuff I always hoped for in this recent time. This imagination and sudden planning happened caused by this booming population who commuted along with me striving to reach home at appropriate time. Hope those who commute can bear patience and hoping government keep their plan on track with this increasing population who only wish a comfortable mobilization.

So 28th Jan, I arrived at home from Balikpapan from my 14 days work. I decided to go for night drive around Bekasi city, a city inhabited by 2.3 million people, and I tried to drag my sister to join but she refused. It was 8.30 pm. I don’t know whether she has turned into a baby or everyone’s tired but not me.

So initially I want to go to a mall to find a snack but I thought of saving money for other purpose. I headed to Bekasi Station. On my way for no-destination drive I was amazed to see the development of this city with new stadium, parks and many new shopping malls. But I could not resist to comment on the behaviour of the cars drivers, motorcycles riders and pedestrians. Eventhough there was no-stop or no-parking sign along the road, they still stopped their cars or even parked it and also people crossed the street anywhere and anytime they want. Dunno whether they were heedless or just being lazy.

Then as usual the street to Bekasi Station was crowded. Traffic.. Good now I was stuck and left with half empty fuel at the car’s meter. So trying to save fuel, I turned the AC off and opened the window. Shamelessly I increased the music volume to get the approval of the passing through motorcycle riders’ that I had a good taste of music. I played The Generational’s Alix album throughtout my drive.

Thinking of myself after spent 15 minutes stuck in the street that I had to see everything in positive manner that God willing I wiould see something new. Then out of nowhere I saw 2 guys who I taught were the station officers happened to be 2 white Mormon missionaries. I was pretty sure after I googled their typical uniforms and realized that 2 guys I met outside national library in Melbourne were Mormon missionaries. Still a new experience to see this stuff in Bekasi.

After I passed Bekasi station, I learned that Kartini street and Proyek area are the best place to have many culinary options at night. Also the square or Indonesians called as Alun-alun remained full of people, young and adult from different communities. Choices of food sold at Alun Alun was lesser than the one’s at Proyek.

Not yet sleepy and still starving for city strolling I continued heading to an intersection at the map below. There was a seafood stall that was crowded for weekday time I thought. This place will be my next place for culinary trip in the city.

IMG_8893

I figured out that Bekasi was lacking with higher education institution. I found that Cut Mutia street filled with two or three higher education istitutions the only big university was Unisma in other area. I saw many students roamed Cut Mutia area at night but not many food stalls for those students. So I continued driving, soon I had to add Kemang Pratama area and Galaxy area for those who were hungry during night. Galaxy area was more alive than Kemang Pratama at night. Only fewer shops opened at Kemang Pratama during night. I bought porridge from Bubur Ayam Jakarta for 14k rupiah.

So that was my night drive I guess. There are many areas I want to explore at night. See you.

Cerita ini adalah bagian dari trip saya bulan September 2014, sangat sayang untuk tidak di bagikan.

Alhamdulillah sudah waktunya off berarti waktunya me time. Dan hari ini adalah hari pertama dalam ekspedisi melihat Indonesia timur. Gak harus ke hutan dan naik gunung, tapi lebih eye witness terhadap apa yang disebut Bhinneka. Perjalanan ini dimulai dari kota Balikpapan, Provinsi Kalimantan Timur.

Hutan Kalimantan

Saya sendiri bekerja di sebuah perusahaan yang berjarak 2 jam dari balikpapan. Dan ritual kerja daya adalah Rumah-Soekarno/Hatta-Balikpapan Airport, Sepinggan-Mutiara Camp/Office. That’s it, jarang sekali roaming around kota ini. Palingan hanya check in di Path lalu pergi lagi. Akhirnya saya putuskan untuk berkelana di sekitar Balikpapan sebelum saya tidak lagi bekerja di field.

Buat kalian yang belum pernah ke Balikpapan, tiga hal yang menjadi highlight yaitu :
1. Bersih
2. Harga segalanya mahal
3. Tidak ada pengamen masuk2 ke angkot
Hal hal itu pokoknya gak jauh dari kehidupan penduduk Balikpapan dan pembicaraan banyak pendatang atau tamu yang berkunjung.

Perjalanan dari Mutiara menuju Balikpapan

Setelah perjalanan dari Mutiara ke Bandara Sepinggan, gak terasa akan dimulai nge-bolang day-1 ini. Dimulai dengan naik angkot dari Bandara Sepinggan untuk ngirim barang ke rumah dengan jne. Dengan arahan Mba Henny (pegawai vico dept air transport) saya naik angkot no. 7 ke arah Balikpapan Permai. Biaya angkotnya sekitar Rp. 4000 setiap trip. Lumayan mahal kak. Satu lagi hal yang akan kalian rasakan, yaitu hospitality yang tak ternilai menurut saya. Dengan aksen Sulawesi Selatan yang tebal, penumpang dan supir angkot yang saya tumpangi menunjukan jalan dan bercerita tentang jalanan di kota Balikpapan. Di angkot lain, sang pemilik adalah orang Jawa yang sangat ramah. Jadi penduduk Balikpapan itu cukup diverse. Mulai orang Jawa, Banjar, Bugis, Dayak, Tionghoa dan Toraja. Jadi wajar saja kalau di Balikpapan ini cukup aman dan jauh dari kerusuhan, karena memiliki tenggang rasa yang tinggi.

Siang ini langsung check in ke My Guest Home, lumayan dengan 250k sudah dapat penginapan yang super nyaman, shower dengan air panas serta service yang sangat ramah. Dan lokasi di pusat kota, dekat dengan tempat apapun yang kamu mau. Lalu hari itu karena saya baru menyentuh kota, saya segerakan ke biosokp :p maklum 2 minggu di tengah hutan. Urusan bioskop di Balikpapan ada blitz dan cineplex21. Kamu gak bakal kekurangan bioskop lah di sini, dan alhamdulillah harganya gak berbeda dr yang di Bekasi. Dikirain bakalan mahal banget. Yasudah saya sempatkan untuk solat di Masjid At Taqwa di Balikpapan yang lumayan bagus.

Malamnya tidak lupa saya sempatkan untuk ketemuan dengan teman kuliah saya di S1 Teknik Perminyakan, dia bekerja di TEPI (Total E&P Indonesia). Cerita tentang kerjaan kita dan banyak hal. Walaupun saya tidak begitu dekat dengan Gani saat kuliah, namun doktrin kaderisasi di jurusan sangatlah kuat. Teman seangkatanmu adalah keluargamu. Doktrin yang baik, namun kenyataannya gak semua orang mengiyakan. Kami makan di Ocean’s. Sebuah resto premium di Balikpapan, dan lokasinya bener bener di belakang hostel gw gan. Kalau kata Gani ini resto sih biasanya tempat farewell boss boss Total. Makjaang, dari tadi cuma bolak balik menu karena gak di cantumin harga di aneka seafoodnya. Berhubung saya kenyang yaudah makan yang sewajarnya aja. Indian Food T_T di restauran seafood. Sedikit ragu, namun semua hilang ketika kita cobain masakannya. Gak heran ini bisa di bilang sebagai the best restaurant in Balikpapan. Kita beres jam 10 malam, dan kesimpulan pembicaraan kita adalah harus sering-sering bersyukur. Karena sudah cukup letih, saya langsut istirahat di hostel. Ohiya kami makan berdua total 250k. Balikpapan high price issue strikes agaaiiiin. T__T

To be continued…..

 

Firstly, I want to say congratulation for every Muslims in the world who fasted during this Ramadan and blessed with better understanding of sharing, selflessness and keeping patience. Also Happy Ied Mubarak, as we Indonesians say Selamat Idul Fitri or Selamat Lebaran.

Ramadan

Maybe to tell only five things are considered few to be learned during Ramadan, but these are essential to be observed.

1. Jihad is hard! It does not mean that the security was tightened during Ramadan for terrorism acts. No the Jihad I meant was to struggle against ‘the evil temptation”. For Muslims, not eating and drinking are easy, but to perform full and continuous prayer and stay away from bad talking were always hard but it is not impossible for some people. So my trick for this was keep trying to please The Lord, even we sinned in the middle. As the God is the Most Forgiving. I remembered that Ustaz Nouman Ali Khan’s post in Facebook was saying to never give up even you already reached two third of the Ramadan.

2. Indonesians flocked mosques the one third nights, then gradually chose Malls over congregational Taraweeh in mosques as Iftar/breakfasting invitations from friends received more. Then in the last-third nights, we could see people who were committed to continuous prayers. I personally admired those people and found my self to struggle for better prayer in Ramadan as I stated in point no. 1. It wasn’t bad at all to break fast with your friends, but it will be better in Allah’s favor. Inshaallah, if I can meet next Ramadan I will ask my friends and families to do breakfast in mosques so we can go Taraweeh together.

3. Be grateful at any situations (Inshaallah). As in July, Muslims in Indonesia experienced 3 things, they were World Cup in Brazil, Presidential Election and Ramadan Fasting. One thing for sure Indonesians did not face was the rockets above their homes. Yup, I am talking about Palestine-Israeli conflict. As 1 Aug 14, more than 1400 Palestinians and 50 Israelis are dead due conflict. 1 message for Israel, your reason of defending yourself and Hamas uses human shield are non sense. If there is a terrorism activity inside New York City, so it is okay to bombard the whole city to make sure you eliminate the terrorist even the number of civilians dead are huge? Think yourself! STOP the occupation from Gaza and West Bank, you can’t make Jewish only democratic country while there are Arabs inside. That is apartheid! At the end, i want nothing but communal peace between the citizens, like Indonesia, The Netherlands and Japan we can make peace after wars in the past time. I support peace between State of Palestine and State of Israel. Build better future! And also my prayers for all victims.  #FreeGaza #FreePalestine

4. Race towards goodness. It wasn’t the race about who lost weight the most or who wore the best Ied’s Baju Koko or dress. Nut finally it is all about pleasing the Lord with prayers during Ramadan. Give charities is encouraged a lot, to the poor, needy, orphans. Do you know that the orphanages in Jakarta are full booked during Ramadan for Iftar events. That amazed me, I hope after Ramadan, the blessings for those who need are not decreasing. Giving charities in Ramadan is encouraged since the rewards are multiplied, but do not brag about your charities. Why? Let me quote a verse from Quran.

“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah , with what you do, is [fully] Acquainted.” Al Baqarah : 271

So let it be the secret between you and the God. Also don’t stop at charity, do all act of kindnesses, with the intention for Allah alone and the most important is do not stop after Ramadan.

5. Salute for people who fast far from families and celebrate Ied. I worked for a fixed schedule by 2 weeks working and 2 weeks off, so this time I experienced Ied at field. It is quite lonely but how to cope? Make your own families there. Skype with them. It just reminded me for point number 3 I wrote, be grateful for every situations. Palestinians celebrated Ied without families and homes.

Finally I want to wish you all the best during and after Ramadan.