Monday, December 22, 2008

Tribute - Entry#1

I always feel that supporting women's right is a good cause. Women certainly has a unique position in our society, and while labelled with physical weakness, in general I think they are not weak.

I always admire my mom, not least that she is capable to support all three of her children by herself until today. For twelve years has passed since our family weep in his death. In my eyes, she reflects a strong figure, and I belive that there are a lot of women like her in far more unfortunate situations in various corners of the world, trying to make ends meet for their family.

I always wondered what's on their mind, how much have they earn for the night, what did their children and family feel when I see women on the street selling various goods. Most importantly, I wondered if they can provide enough for their family. It was almost 4 years ago that I first see women selling roses at Dago during the night. And I still feel the exact same way everytime I encounter them, riding past them on my bike.

I always feel weak whenever I'm around them, realizing that there is little help that I can do for them. So I pray. For the best of them. And for my mother.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Apa iya ini caranya memimpin?

Contoh Kasus B: Acara yang melibatkan pelantikan bertradisi. Di suasana dingin tangkuban perahu, c. 2006.

Kecapekan mengejar-ngejar pembicara agar berpartisipasi di rangkaian workshop pelatihan selama lebih dari dua bulan. Berputar-putar Bandung, berbagai macam panggilan telepon. Dan kegiatan kami adalah bagian penting dari organisasi yang dipimpin lelaki itu. Empat huruf nama depan. Empat huruf nama tengah. Diawali dengan huruf A.

Tapi semua berjalan lancar. Hingga datanglah puncak rangkaian acara.

Dan kami mengundang para alumni. Sayangnya salah satunya tak puas. Kamipun paham mengapa.

"Coba, yang di situ namanya siapa?" tanyanya sembari merujuk kepadaku.
"Emmm, Mateo Maleo?" salah satu dari mereka mencoba, dengan sia-sia untuk menjawab.

Dan dia pun murka. "Mereka belum belajar apa-apa! Apa iya pantas kita terima?"
Sang pemuka dengan huruf pemuka yang membuka itupun tiba-tiba berganti haluan, "Ya sudah, kita jangan lantik saja mereka sekarang."

Apa iya, di tengah-tengah acara yang kami harapkan jadi acara pamungkas hingga kami akhirnya bisa istirahat dia seenaknya memerintahkan agar kami menderita lebih lama? Tak hanya Ia tak pernah terlibat, namun ucapannya itu juga membuyarkan semua acara yang telah disusun dengan susah payah. Di tengah acara. Tidak memberikan dukungan. Para anggota yang letih. Apa iya ini cara memimpin yang baik?

Adu mulut tak terelakkan. Saya rasa Ibu Hijau ini masih ingat. Dan meski akhirnya acara bisa selesai, kami tak pernah lagi melihatnya dengan cara yang sama.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Certainly this is not the way to lead?

Exhibit A: The case with a Heroes-like poster for the event.

Time: Some half a year D-Day.
"I now delegate the power to you to conduct the following events for your division: sun observation, night observation, and a general lecture. All targeted for general public. And with a telescope training for our new members. You have full liberty to conduct the events on the available timeline, and I assure you I'll do my best to assist," so he says,* as the man of the highest power.

Time: Two weeks D-Day.
"I think we should borrow a room at Campus Center, as it would be very easy to grab people's attention. Can you do the administration needed for that?" then she politely asked me. After all, being a superior in this organization did not put her all the way above her equals. She needed me and a lot more people.

Time: A week before D-Day.
"You know, I think it's too much hassles to borrow the room there. let's just use the big one in our department. Definitely easier. I'll ask for the paperwork."
I agreed with her. Not really motivated.

Time: Day D-2
Then I said: "Here's the poster design you asked. Hope it's not too bad."
But she beamed excitedly, "This is good. What do you guys think about it?" She continues to ask the nearest group of people.

Time: D-Day, 0900
"Can you come over a.s.a.p. and bring your laptop with you? We had a glitch here, mine won't relay the sound, his won't connect to the projector."
She sounded urgent, and I understood the urgency. I am, after all, a part of this wobbly committee. That and I plan to attend an information session at campus anyway.

Time: D-Day, 1130
Me and her already in the campus auditorium, a different event altogether. Envying the thrown chocolate bars by people from McKinsey. Suddenly her handphone buzzed. It was a message from him, all power and wish-wash.
"Where are you? People are now dispersing. No chain of command. Did you really think you were capable of handling the event? If you weren't, maybe you shouldn't have hold the event today after all."
She was silent. Then she gather her act fast. But I can feel that the message is a certain buzz-kill. It came during the event. From a superior. Not a support during harsh times. And what good really did he hoped to come from the message?

Time: post-event, 2030
Over donuts and coffee and sodas and ice creams, we debase. A somewhat larger group of people has join us. Complaining behind their back. Venting off after an exhausting day. And it was all.
But tomorrow will never be the same.

*Diction, language, tone, and manner of speaking may not be accurate. This dialogue, and all dialogue hereafter, although put under direct quotation, served only to describe the chains of events. But you should've gotten that by now. This is, after all, a mere blog.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Miserable is an understatement

The journey home from Mataram is by far the most unpleasant part of the whole trip. It began in the morning with a queasy feeling from the thought that my holidays are over, the thought of having to haul a heavy backpack, along with the thought that my luggage has somewhat grown several kilos. around 8, I realized that I hadn't retrieved the feedback envelope from the Education Officer, and that the form detailing the NTB representatives for ISDC were still incomplete.

Yet I survived. although the half kilometer or so walk in search of tukang pulsa to load my cell pre-paid credit was note-worthy. 2 shops unable to give service, 3 others were suspiciously still closed at 9.30 am. also getting laughed at by the SPG in an XL-only shop (eh, it was worth a shot), and I finally able to reload my cellphone credit in a shady store, similar to those dreadful, soul-sucking girlie shop like you saw under the name of "Stroberi" or "Bunga" in Bandung/Jakarta/Jogja malls. Only less pretentious (it was named "Girlie", displays racks full of women underpants and bras (of various color and size) but has a strangely punk-like design for its banners). Surely double-take was the only appropriate reaction, and I did precisely just that. Waiting for a full two minutes before the shop attendant showed up just didn't help. At all.

And at precisely 10.02 I checked out of my room, went out in search of a decent taxi from the pool some 20-meters away and found none. Law of Murphy in work, Ladies and Gentlemen! Out of vanity from taking ojeg offers I then walked some 400-meters (remember the backpack!) and just right to after that I slipped and hurt my ankle. Right in front of hordes of motorcycles waiting for the red light to get green. Embarassment? Checked.

But I finally got a taxi and after a short drive (only IDR10K away), I found myself idly waiting for the check-in counter to open (5 minutes), then proceed to the deserted waiting room, where all the souvenir shop attendants were gathering and watching the cables from the public TV available. because I foolishly did not take out my Altered Carbon from the backpack checked in as luggage, then aloneness, and awkwardness ensued.

Only after an hour or so did the waiting room get crowded, a third of the people waiting are tanned caucasians, in various length of waist line. But the flight went just fine from Selaparang Mataram to Juanda Surabaya.

Precisely after landing did it get to the most miserable part: I am hungry, and I see no western fast-food franchise in sight. I am craving for MSG. I don't dare enter to one of the restaurant, knowing whatever I would have bought there wont sate my need. thankfully the Alfamart there provided Cheetos, and my 20K there was well-spent. Too bad there's no Kusuka available.

around 2 pm, I checked in at the Merpati counter, this time remember to pull the book out of luggage, I head to the waiting room, which in 10minutes was completely deserted as all Air Asia passengers to Cengkareng went aboard.

And that is NOT the scariest part. because after I boarded the plane to Husein Bandung, I noticed that:
1. the plane looks old.
2. It seems that there are more people on this plane than on my previous flights.
3. the wings is visibly battered. some screws seems to be missing (but I might be wrong)
4. it CREAKS! the seat right in front of me creaks! the seat right next to the emergency exit creaks and squeaks!

The fact that halfway on the fight the plane was visibly shaking also did not help. I can sleep just fine on the reportedly superultrabumpy Cebu Pacific flight from Manila to Cengkareng, but my heart clearly pounded extra hard on SBY-BDG flight.

Then we landed. on the pitiful Hussein Sastranegara airport, which in contrast to Juanda, did not host a colorful range of aircraft with various airlines logo on their tails, but an even more battered-looking Batavia craft, and two intimidating planes with TNI-AU writing in it.

But fine, it only has one baggage carousel and the sugarcoating did not help much (two girls greets us in the arrival gate). The manner is typically indonesian while waiting for the luggages. Rude line cutting, carefree smoking, well, I can say no more.

Though even more pathetic was its airport taxi fleet. Old. With fleas in side. Ridiculously expensive (40K for airport-tamansari?). and the driver uses the safety belt on his side to prevent the seemingly inevitable collapse of his chair to the backseat area. and tying it up on the handbrake lever on to his gearstick.

If anything, the only improvement is the long-overdue repair of the trafficlight in the Tamansari intersection. and the comfort of getting to someplace I can call my room to write this. hopefully more on the next writing.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Laptop and RSS

And this day finally come.

The day my laptop begin its journey downhill. the left Ctrl key is now officially beyond my repairing capability (not that I have the expertise anyway). The actual incident did involve a knife, a bad habit of laptop at the foot-side of the bed, and a bad room layout. Que sera sera..

There are dead pixel on the screen already, back from a few months after the purchase. Not a nuisance.

The strange thing is, I dont feel the same attachment with my laptop the way I have with my phone, though it is capable of so much more (obviously). Perhaps because it weigh 2.5 kilos, for one.

but then if there's a good thing from this is that I found a blog worthy subscribing to its RSS, after a quick search using keywords "keyboard acer rusak". A nice blend of gadgetry-related writings, social observation, it even has some quantum-mechanics and philosophy. Hmmm, I might use some of his material for Filsafat Sains A. And better yet, I suspect we share the same absurd campus (it would explains some of his observations), similar age group, albeit different interest and stance on japanese culture. and football. He writes mostly in Indonesian, which is a big deal for me, as I dont have enough grace to write something good enough in my own mothertongue. It honestly crossed my mind that had he been into debating, he'd make a good debater.

And looks like he updates his blog frequent enough. Hopefully it will be enough while sanggar cerita, and Morning Coffee with Dimas had their hiatus.

postscript: Kalo mau lebih jauh lagi, sebenernya saya kangen sama Sinema Indonesia, Spitting the World Politely, dan Whodoyouthinkheare. Vipertongue, The Fool Has Landed, Bertanya atau Mati! dan kolomnya Dave Barry gak diupdate terlalu sering. Jadilah Nguping Jakarta, Vittachi, sama The Naked Traveler jadi top-3 RSS feeds saya sekarang. It's a pretty decent mix on Tabbloid.

postpostscript: apa kabarnya MemorabiRia sama desperate exasperation ya?