Posted in Review, Thoughts

Super Sunday

What kind of things that could define such title?

Watching a Bollywood movie about the struggle of a child with dyslexia. Almost every scene is so relatable in many ways. It described a lot the saying that not all disabilities are visible. It also reminded me so much about the struggle and the long way to find the answer for the little girl.

How I wish we had more teacher like Ran Nikumbh. Someone who believes. Someone who is willing to step in and understand there’s so much more to see behind a child’s behavior. Someone who believes that every child is special. The scenes below is one of my favorites from the movie.

After long writing about Dangal few years ago, Taare Zameen Par is another must watch piece from Amir Khan. In Amir Khan, we trust.

The next thing was having a hearty dinner served by the chef’s cooking. A set of japanese comfort food. Been having non-rice dishes for few days. Today’s supper felt like having a grand breakfasting.

Salmon veryyummy and a bowl that makes miso happy (wish to be as genius as languagenerd account)

And last but not least, the sky served me some dessert with its soft beautiful sunset colors.

For others, these might be just an ordinary Sunday. But, for me, these are things that fit my definition of super Sunday. Things that filled the whole part of yourself inside out with warmth and gratitude.

Posted in Places, Thoughts

Constant Craving

Walking and going around by public transportation have been one of my constant cravings but doing it here takes a bit effort. Time, distance, destination, accessablity, they should be taken into consideration. Risk is another point in current situation.

It should meet the requirements of this lazy person go-out-rules such as : the place and route taken are within manageable distance by public transport (no car) for a 7 yo and all done within 2 hours back and forth. The destination should be within certain budget spent there. Quiet and secluded are two other things for now.

Only three places that could move the heart : book store/library, parks, or ice cream shop.

The first one, we almost have none, or closed.

The second, we have few, but all is also closed.

The only choice left is the third one.

Who eats ice cream in the morning? We do.

Sudden finding of a gelato place which served in early morning, you can call it a hidden gem. Even better when the place is nice, quiet, semi outdoor, even better they have good gelato with many choices of flavours.

The sudden trip cost reduced morning piano practice time, left the dishes unwashed and quite long walking to and from the train station. Got lost a bit here and there because of my lack ability in map reading was unavoidable, yet, managed to find this secluded place without ended up calling bajaj for help.

Glad the buddy trip is no-complainer although she must be tired. She nailed the long walking in nice weather, quiet empty street and one and half cups of gelato as a reward.

Walking is always therapeutic. I love the empty street and empty angkot and train, the silence, the sound of bird chirping, the cloudy weather, talking while walking with the little girl.

It could’ve been better if it is easier and costs less so we can do it more often.

I am not complaining though. Not when I have the craving satisfied.

Posted in Langit Senja, Maternité, Thoughts

Di Toko Kue

Beberapa hari lalu ada kejadian yang cuma terjadi beberapa menit tapi efek yang ditimbulkan ke saya pribadi jauh lebih lama dari kejadian itu sendiri.

Kami sedang beli kue di toko kue jajanan pasar favorit. Waktu lagi bayar di kasir, saya sibuk cari sesuatu di dalem dompet atau tas, tiba-tiba ada suara dari samping. Ketika saya menoleh, gadis kecil ini sedang memegang plastik kue yang bukan punya kami. Di sebelahnya ada ibu separuh baya.

Berbekal sepotong kejadian yang terlihat di mata saya, reaksi pertama saya adalah menegur,

“Be, itu bukan punya kita”.

Tapi, tiba-tiba ibu di sebelahnya menyahut,

“Oh ngga, ini dia bantuin saya tadi plastiknya hampir jatuh”.

Mbak yang dikasir menimpali,

“Adeknya baik sekali, langsung nolongin ya,”.

Saya ibunya serasa ditampar keras dan mau nangis.

Nangis karena malunya luar biasa.

Saya ibunya, lebih dari orang lain, milih buat ‘menegur’ dengan nada yang kurang enak dibanding menanyakan dulu alasan dia pegang plastik punya orang lain.

Kepala penuh dengan berbagai skenario ‘if only’ dan ‘I should have’.

Sampai beberapa lama, baik si ibu dan mbaknya masih terus mengapresiasi hal kecil yang dilakukan gadis kecil ini dengan terus mengulang kata ‘baik dan pinter’.

Saya ibunya, ngga mau kecolongan lagi. Turun dan lihat ke matanya sambil bilang,

“You have really done a good job and I am so proud of you. Thank you for being so kind by helping the lady,”.

Selain mau nangis karena malu, mau nangis karena bangga juga.

Siapa bilang ibu selalu tau segalanya?

Ibu dan orangtua juga manusia yang ngga selalu tau dan selalu perlu belajar hal baru, bahkan tentang anaknya sendiri. Bahkan ketika hampir seluruh waktu dihabiskan dengan mereka. Belajar yang bukan dari buku yang ditulis peneliti dan ahli parenting ternama, tapi juga dari orang asing yang bahkan kita ngga tau namanya.

Tapi, semakin lama, saya semakin sadar kalau anak itu gurunya orangtua. Kita yang perlu lebih banyak dengar, lebih peka, lebih berpikiran terbuka, karena kadang ego orang dewasa suka bikin ‘buta’.

Makasih, bu guru kecil.

Maafin muridnya emang suka pendek sumbunya.

Posted in Thoughts

Tangled Thought

Many times, a lot of conversations happen inside the head and the urge to write is so strong yet the time doesn’t allow it.

Often, I feel like writing whatever things inside although it won’t make a nice reading to other people. Lots of (unpopular) opinions that need to be blurted out, just because.

Sometimes, I just want to keep writing the same thing all over again with different situations. Complaining over the smallest detail. How boring current daily life could be. How hard to fight the urge to do nothing everyday but end up to do many then whining how tired I am in the night.

Doing constant self validation during hard times, questioning reality versus expectation, worrying whether we are or I am on the right track, whether this little girl misses a lot without a formal school, and so on.

There are times when I feel there’s a very thin line between feeling quilty and feeling sufficient. The guilt of thinking that we dont maximize and utilize the resources in our power since the outcome might be not really obvious or acknowledge the efforts done daily, look back how we have progressed so far since the starting line.

Torn between comparing current situation to the past or to the others and constantly reminding my self that doing such thing is not really the right to do. Either the past or the person, it’s totally uncomparable. The situation might be similar, but we deal with different human being.

Another scary thing that we couldn’t help repeating the bad cycle of our own inner child and to break it is such a hard work. Playing blame game will just make it harder.

Adulting is difficult. Sometimes or most of the times. I realize that other than the ability to keep learning, the other important thing we often forget is the ability to unlearn. The courage to break the old pattern and start again from the scratch. In whatever point you have arrived in life.

Although I still have a lot, but that’s for now I think.

Posted in Langit Senja, Maternité, Thoughts

Eye Mask dan Stroller : Cerita Anak dan Uang

Mendekati tahun ke tujuh, saya mulai melihat sudah waktunya mulai mengenalkan uang ke gadis kecil ini. Beberapa tanda seperti pemahaman matematika dasar yang sudah cukup memadai, emosi yang sudah cukup matang, yang terlihat dari bagaimana dia bisa menahan diri ketika menginginkan sesuatu.

Dia sudah melewati banyak situasi marshmellow test dan lulus dengan baik. Hal lain yang juga sudah jelas terlihat adalah dia mulai banyak keinginan untuk punya sesuatu yang dia tidak terlalu butuh.

Sebelumnya saya pernah tulis hal yang berkaitan tentang uang di THR dan Anak. Sejak pertama kali terima uang THR, saya langsung pisahkan uangnya di salah satu tabungan saya yang jarang dipakai. Ketika saya rasa uangnya semakin banyak dan semakin membingungkan karena potensi tercampur dengan uang saya semakin besar, saya memutuskan untuk membukakan rekening sendiri untuk dia. Bank langganan saya punya produk untuk anak yang mudah sekali. Jadi, beberapa bulan sebelum kami berangkat ke London, uang anak sudah punya rumah baru lengkap dengan buku tabungan dan ATM dengan namanya.

Pengalaman menggunakan uangnya sendiri pertama kali terjadi dua minggu lalu. Entah belajar dari mana, tapi anak ini suka tidur pakai eye mask. Karena belum punya, dia gunakan masker scuba kartunnya di mata. Ketika satu hari saya dan dia ke toko peralatan rumah, ketika antri di kasir dia lihat ada eye mask untuk anak-anak dan dia tanya apa boleh kalo dia mau eye masknya.

Saya ngga mikir dua kali untuk mengizinkan dia ambil karena tau ini adalah sesuatu yang dia pakai setiap malam. Ketika saya liat harganya juga wajar, saya bilang,

“Boleh ambil. Bayar pakai uang sendiri ya. Ada ATMnya sama mama,”.

Liat ekspresi bangganya pas teken PIN ATM sendiri di mesin EDC seneng banget.

Setelah ujian 20 surat pendek yang lalu, ayahnya janji untuk beliin sesuatu kalo hafalannya bagus. Jadi sehari setelahnya berangkatlah mereka berdua ke toko mainan tanpa pengawasan dan salahnya saya ngga bilang jelas berapa batas harganya. Saya juga berpikir kalo ayahnya ngerti lah ya berapa batas wajarnya.

Ketika mereka pulang bawa hadiah dengan wajah sumringah, saya tanya berapa. Mata membelalak lebar denger harga yang disebutkan ayahnya dengan nada kasual.

Kami sebagai orangtua, secara pribadi punya cara pandang yang beda tentang uang dan saya jelas sekali melihat ini banyak dipengaruhi oleh pola uang yang diajarkan sejak kecil.

Saya terbiasa mengatur uang sendiri dari kecil. Pola uang saku saya adalah bulanan. Cukup ngga cukup harus dipikir supaya cukup. Ini berlaku dari SD kelas 4. Saya sudah nnenghasilkan uang sendiri setelah lulus SMA. Sedangkan ayahnya berlaku uang harian/mingguan. Kalo habis nanti tinggal minta lagi.

Alhamdulillah di frame besarnya kita cukup sepakat masalah uang ini. Tapi, ketika ke anak, perasaan jelas beda. Apalagi jelas uangnya ada. Apalagi anaknya sudah berusaha keras untuk itu. Saya sih sepakat aja, cuma rasanya kurang pas kalo anak yang sudah mulai bisa berpikir ngga diajarkan bahwa uang bukan sesuatu yang selalu ada. Uang bukan seperti kasih sayang ibu.

Ayahnya lebih dari cukup untuk membelikan mainan dengan harga yang lebih mahal, tapi seperti salah satu prinsip yang saya pegang dalam banyak hal termasuk mendidik anak, “Not because you can, it means you should“, begitu juga masalah yang berkaitan dengan uang ini.

Anak jelas belum bisa dan belum waktunya merasakan susah dan lelahnya cari uang. Tapi, bisa dimulai dari menghargai apa yang sudah dipunya dengan cara menjaga sebaik-baiknya. Tapi, itupun harus diajarkan. Gimana mau jaga kalo ngga tau dapetinnya susah? Orang taunya ada aja barangnya. Kalo rusak nanti juga bisa beli lagi.

Mau dijelaskan mahal atau murah pun abstrak buat mereka dan sama sekali ngga bisa diukur. Mahal itu seberapa? Murah itu kaya apa? Di hadapan anak ini boneka yang dibeli di Pasar Gembrong sama yang di Kidz Station ya sama aja kecuali harganya yang beberapa kali lipat.

Seperti hukum alamnya manusia dengan barang, excitementnya pun berkurang dengan waktu. Di hari ke berapa, hubungan dengan mainan barunya mulai merenggang. Dari di bawa kemana-mana selalu bersama, pelan-pelan mulai tergeletak dimana aja. Mulai sering harus ditanya bonekanya ngga diajak. Lalu beberapa hari setelahnya tiba-tiba anak ini mendekat dan tanya apa boleh dia beli stroller untuk bonekanya.

Tidak sampai seminggu kepuasan terhadap mainan barunya sudah menurun dan muncul keinginan baru. Di sini saya liat dia sudah mulai bisa diajarkan tentang prinsip kebutuhan dan keinginan.

Waktu dia mau beli eye mask, saya ngga ragu langsung bilang iya karena saya tau dia memang butuh, dipakai setiap malam dan dengan harga yang sangat wajar sesuai isi dompetnya.Tapi ketika dia bilang mau beli stroller, ini jelas masalah keinginan dan sama sekali bukan sesuatu yang mendesak.

Akhirnya saya ajak dia lihat harga stroller mainan di toko online dan dari sana saya bilang bisa beli tapi ‘kerja’ dulu. Sebelumnya saya juga bilang kalo dia bisa aja langsung beli untuk harga segitu dengan uang yang ada di dompetnya, tapi kalo terus pakai uang tanpa ada pemasukan, satu saat uangnya akan habis. Maka saya tawarkan untuk dia melakukan sesuatu di luar tanggung jawabnya dan bisa dapat uang untuk beli strollernya.

Sejak beberapa waktu, anak ini sudah punya tugas di rumah sendiri seperti halnya saya dan ayahnya. Beberapa hal yang berkaitan dengan dirinya sendiri dan sedikit yang tentang kebersihan rumah. Karena kami memang ngga punya ART sejak awal, jadi semua orang punya tugas masing-masing di rumah.

Tugas anggota terkecil meliputi membereskan tempat tidur dan kamarnya sendiri, menjemur pakaiannya sendiri ketika jadwal mencuci baju yang lebih banyak adalah bajunya. Kami mencuci baju seminggu 2x, dipisahkan warna. Umumnya warna bajunya adalah yang cerah dan batchnya lebih sedikit, jadi memang ini jadi tanggung jawabnya. Selain itu dia juga mencuci piring bekas makannya sendiri. Nah, untuk uang tambahan ini, saya menawarkan dia untuk mengambil alih sedikit dari tanggung jawab saya dan mendapat uang dari sana. Tugasnya sama cu sedikit lebih banyak.

Dia akan membantu saya mengangkat dan melipat jemuran ketika batch baju ayahnya yang lebih banyak dan berat lalu membantu saya mencuci lebih banyak piring selain piringnya sendiri. Satu sesi dihargai Rp 10.000.Setiap selesai satu sesi, dia akan menagih uangnya dan saya berikan uang fisiknya.

Saking semangatnya, semua sesi yang dibutuhkan buat beli stroller selesai dalam waktu dua hari. Strollernya pun ngga mahal. Sesuai kemampuan anak 7 tahun aja.

Target awal semua pekerjaan selesai dalam waktu 3 hari. Selesai terkumpul, dia kasih uang sebesar harga strollernya dan saya pesankan di marketplace.

Senang sekali liat dia semangat kerja karena punya sesuatu yang dituju. Pada dasarnya anak ini (dan semua anak-anak fitrahnya) suka juga bantu, lebih sering dia menawarkan diri dibanding saya nyuruh. Saya sebagai orangtua yang seringnya lebih pilih cepet beres dan ngga ribet, tentu lebih seneng ngerjain semua sendiri. Membiarkan anak yang ngerjain tentu lebih lama, lebih sering kerja dua kali, tapi di sini intinya mendidik bukan?

Bukan tentang apa yang orangtua mau, tapi tentang apa yang anaknya perlu. Jadi, kecuali ada alasan yang sangat krusial sekali, saya sebisa mungkin tidak akan menolak bantuan yang dia tawarkan dan selalu bilang terima kasih karena sudah membantu.

Saya sangat kagum sekali melihat langsung gimana anak-anak belajar. Mereka benar-benar menirukan apa yang mereka lihat dan dengar. Bukan apa yang orangtua suruh. Jadi sebenarnya memang ngga perlu sampai berbusa ngomel, cukup tunjukan perilaku kaya apa yang kita mau mereka punya. Children see children do.

Ketika saya menawarkan untuk membantu dia menjemur pakaian yang memang tugasnya, dia menjawab dengan jawaban yang hampir selalu saya kasih, persis tanpa ada yang kurang sedikit pun,

“Thank you for offering the help, but I can do it by myself for now,”.

Lucu dan sok tau.

Kenapa bukan dikasih uang saku?Menurut saya, belum waktunya. Apalagi dengan masa pandemi ini, kebanyakan di rumah, uang saku sepertinya masih bisa di waktu mendatang.

Hepi dengan mainan barunya?Jelas.

Tinggal berapa lama aja hepinya berlangsung yang kita ngga tau.

Tapi yang penting, saya dan dia sama-sama belajar sesuatu yang baru.

Posted in Books, Langit Senja, Maternité, Thoughts

Daily Menu at Home

As we have been studying the first batch of Juz amma for more than a year, we brought an exam simulation to the little girl which planned to be done at the end of this month. But, suddenly she asked us to do that yesterday.

“What about now?”

Just like that.

So we wrote down 20 surahs she had learned in a small paper and she would pick it. Passing mark is 70% of 20 surahs. She did it pretty well. Calm and confidently. I asked her another bonus surah since my favorite wasn’t picked up.

Statistically, 20 surahs in a year are not that much. But, just like in any other subjects I have been teaching her, I prefer going slow and consistently done without zero days.

We didn’t enroll her to any school for these six months. We have secured a seat in one of primary school for the next school years. So within this interval, she just studied at home with me.

I can’t and will not teach her like any real schools. Her daily schedule would be like this :

One quran session after subuh only lasts for 15 minutes.

One iqro session after dzuhur only lasts for 20 minutes.

One piano session in the morning only lasts for 40 minutes.

One numbot session before piano only lasts for 30 minutes.

One reading together session before bed only lasts for 15 minutes.

One mixed subjects after piano session only lasts for 30 minutes.

As she loves reading, she is usually doing it in her free time by herself. Other than that, it’s free time. She could play, singing, watching, or whatever. Sometimes I take her outside cycling or just going around to do grocery and bakery visit. She gets one hour of trash in youtube kids everyday and another hour to watch real thing in either Netflix or Prime Video. She always wakes up by 5 am and goes to bed before 8 pm and by 8 pm, her day is done. My shift ends.

Setting such schedule above, we aim for nothing but building good habits. What we want to build is the habit, the exictement and the love for learning. For the sake of learning, not for grade, not for exam, or for any prizes. The habit that will turn into values and in the long run become the character and hopefully the destiny. The legendary Atomic Habits from James Clear summed it well below :

Recently, I also have been reading Simplicity Parenting from Kim Payne. He said in the introduction page :

“Daily activities says a lot about who we are as a family. You can see what a family holds dear from the pattern of their everyday lives”.

The rest of the book told exactly everything that we have been done. What children needs is secure environment to grow. How? Through regularity and daily rhtym at home. They need to know what to expect each day and there’s no better way to do it than setting and having daily schedule at home.

I am currently enjoying the result of rhytm and regularity that has been built since she was baby. She has been waking up at 5 since she was a baby. Few years ago, I wrote two similar in this post and this one.

When she ate for the first time, her first meal was fruit juice right after wake up. Seven years later, the first plate she has after subuh and Quran is still the same.

“Children depend on the rhythmic structure of the day—on its predictability, its regularity, its pulse. They benefit from dependability and regularity throughout childhood, but especially in the first three years, when the greatest learning takes place unconsciously. Not only can children find security in the patterns of daily life, they can begin to find themselves”.

Setting regularity and rhytm to the child’ daily life is not only beneficial to the children. It makes parenting much easier. We don’t have to find new things to do everytime.

Boring? no.

Why?

That explains why she is rarely to never display any tantrum, in whatever setting we have been. We dont only bring this regularity and rhytm in daily life, we bring it everywhere. During our traveling time, we wake up at or before 5 am for subuh and followed by first breakfast with fruit and bread then an hour later for rice. We always go out by 8 am and always back home by maghrib. By 8 pm, we are all in bed.

That explained why I had never enjoyed Paris, Tokyo, or Seoul at night. Three times in London, the one and only night time in London was this day of witnessing the beauty of London Night life.

Do I miss a lot? Not really.

Because it’s more important to enjoy everyday of the whole seven days than to sacrifice the rest of holiday for the sake of enjoying one beautiful night.

More importantly, staying healthy after the holiday is as well a point to note. With keeping our daily regularity and rhytm during traveling, we keep our physical and mental health altogether. We resume our daily activities again right after arrived home.

There are a lot of good points from the book such as the importance of art for young children, the benefit of having silent time, to declutter things like the toys, books, clothes, as well as the schedules. Having clear space has strong relations with clear mind. We simplify things to live better.

Just like the big message from the book : Our life will be simplified by simplifying our child’s.

Yes, it’s really true.

Posted in Review, Travel

Memperpanjang Paspor (+Anak) di MPP Jakarta Selatan saat Pandemi

Mudah, cepat, sepi, praktis.

Setelah tiga kali ganti paspor sejak pertama kali punya, baru kali ini prosesnya semenyenangkan ini. Paspor dewasa di atas tahun 2009 hanya perlu dua dokumen untuk perpanjangan : eKTP (asli dan fotokopi) dan paspor lama (asli dan fotokopi). Ngga perlu ada dokumen apapun lagi.

Sedangkan untuk paspor anak masih perlu dokumen-dokumen lain yaitu :

1. Paspor lama (asli-copy)

2. Fotokopi akte lahir

3. Fotokopi kartu keluarga

4. Fotokopi buku nikah orang tua

5. Fotokopi eKTP kedua orang tua

6. Surat pernyataan izin orangtua untuk memperpanjang paspor tandatangan di atas materai. Ini saya bikin sendiri.

Semua dokumen harus dibawa aslinya untuk verifikasi.

Pendaftaran dilakukan melalui aplikasi bernama APAPO (antiran paspor online). Bisa diunduh baik di Android dan IOS. Setelah memasukan data pribadi pilih mau perpanjang atau permohonan paspor baru. Nanti bisa pilih dimana kita mau perpanjang.

Setelah pilih MPP Jaksel, lalu pilih tanggal dan jam tersedia, lalu keluar barcode. Selesai.

Mal Pelayanan Publik Jaksel ini hanya melayani perpanjangan paspor baru karena hanya seperti outlet kecil di lantai 3. Jadi kalo untuk permohonan paspor baru harus datang ke salah satu kantor imigrasi wilayah.

Dalam situasi pandemi ini, masuk ke MPP perlu scan barcode yang nanti juga digunakan untuk keluar. Masuk ke lantai 1 lalu diberi nomer antrian dan bisa langsung ke lantai 3.

Sampai lantai 3, imigrasi ada di sebelah kanan. Waktu itu kami datang sesuai jadwal jam 11. Kosong ngga ada antrian sama sekali. Cek dokumen masing-masing, isi formulir, dan pengambilan foto dan biometrik.

Imigrasinya cuma bilik kecil seperti ini

Total dari datang sampai selesai untuk tiga orang sekitar 40 menit. Semua nyaman dan menyenangkan.

Kecuali, petugas yang ada di biometrik.

Penuh dengan basa-basi dan pertanyaan ngga penting yang tidak menyenangkan. Komentar-komentar sampah pun sesekali terdengar. Kalo ngga ada dia, saya kasih lima bintang. Tapi, karena ada dia, empat cukup.

Selesai proses foto dan biometrik dikasih tanda terima buat pembayaran dan pengambilan. Pembayaran bisa dilakukan di ATM yang tercantum di kertasnya. Petunjuk pembayaran juga sangat jelas.

Pengambilan paspor bisa dilakukan dalam 3 hari kerja dengan membawa kertas tanda pengambilan, bukti pembayaran dan kalo mewakili orang lain dalam satu keluarga harus menyertakan fotokopi kartu keluarga. Kalo yang bukan satu keluarga harus dengan surat kuasa.

Paspor lama di atas adalah paspor biasa. Paspor baru di bawah adalah paspor elektronik. Harga penggantian paspor biasa masih sama Rp 350.000 sedangkan paspor elektronik Rp 650.000.

Paspor baru sudah ada. Biarpun kapan dipakainya masih tanda tanya.

Posted in Thoughts

Go Public Transportation!

Going around with public transportation is one of the most enjoyable things to do in a city.

Wandering aimlessly is therapeutic. It’s space and time needed to declutter the mind.

Somehow, I feel safer being inside the bus or angkot more than taxi and I prefer Kopaja or metromini to Transjakarta. I love watching people and having small talk with taxi driver is such a torture.

I once survived a year lived in Jakarta alone (without the parents) when I was 12 years old, went here and there by public transportation.

Went to school every morning at 5.15 by Bus 213 Grogol-Kampung Melayu which the route was practically passing almost every part of the city. From west, south to east. I was so grumpy went through it daily. After 213, I still had to chase another angkot which discriminated schoolers badly since they didnt pay full fare. There were days when I really had to hang outside the angkot. Crazy. It was totally exhausting. I almost always arrived at school tired and messy.

But, when you were desperate enough, then you would find a way. While sardened in the 213 bus, for few days, I paid attention and found out this bus passed the flyover to my school. So when I stopped nearby, I just need to walk shortly then continue with the same angkot but heading to the opposite direction which was always empty! So, I just had to stop across my school and went through the pedestrian bridge. Voila.

My life changed drastically by this new finding. Instead of leaving home at 5.15, I could leave a bit longer around 5.40. Instead of arrived at school very close to bell ringing at 7 am, I arrived at school 40 minutes before when the school was still empty. This new route only took 20 minutes instead of 1,5 hours.

How the same route looked totally different from another point of view.

I was so proud of myself.

The journey returning home was no better. Went home by Patas AC 55 Pondok Kopi-Grogol which only available once every 1 hour. Missed the schedule, chose between waiting for another one hour or changing 4 bus and angkot to home. Of course, I chose the easiest one. Life was hard enough already at that time.

Weekly trip from piano course which finished at 21.30 and dealt with the scary and dark terminal Manggarai to take bus 78 Manggarai-Tangerang.

It was one of the hardest trainings in my adolesence years yet proven to be the most useful one. I knew a lot about Jakarta’s street without maps thanks to massive experience of going by public transportation that time.

After being a mother myself, I still couldn’t imagine how ‘brave’ my mother was (insane is more correct word actually) to let a 12 years old little girl went through this by herself.

From other’s point of view they might say it’s crazy, but what she did was actually doing her job properly. To let her child experienced something that she has to deal with. I really adored her strong heart and grateful for the choice she made for me.

Fast forward to recent years, I have been taking this litte girl since few years ago going around by public transportation and I hope to do it more often, for leisure and soon as the part of the training until she is ready to enjoy the fun on her own.

We went for early morning trip by angkot and new MRT few days ago as a warming up. I am more than happy having this little tough walker with me. No complain, no whining, although I knew it must be (a bit) tiring.

MRT Jakarta is such a big milestone for the city. It would be great having it all over the city. LRT is on the way and hope it will be ready soon.

Hope they will keep up the good work and we can continue enjoying more reliable and comfortable public transportation in the future.

Amin!

Posted in Books, Thoughts

Living with Risk and Luck

It’s been almost a year living during this unusual situation. Some countries have more clear view ahead, but sadly, not us in this country with such stupid useless brainless and heartless government.

Unintentional decision to do the smallest thing could lead to something big that we can’t handle. We’re forced to think twice or thrice about everything we do, whether it is necessary, unavoidable, or even as a matter between life and death.

Sometimes it’s quite overwhelming and I found dealing with this in Jakarta is much more overwhelming. How can be deciding to go out for simple walk within less than 5 km take tens of googling for days as if I want to go out of town to the unknown jungle?

But then, it’s truly unknown jungle out there right now to be honest.

This reminds me a lot about the second chapter of a must-read book from last year by Morgan Housel in his Psychology of Money.

Luck and risk are two sides in the same coin and risk is more something that you can’t see. They are dopplegangers. They are siblings.

Many decisions made during this pandemic depends a lot by how we calculate the risks. From daily life to make ends meet to leisure things to keep the sanity.

The tricky part of this pandemic life is your decision is not all about you. It might have impact on other people and it could be the on the risk side instead of the luck. Visiting my parents’ house is no longer something that I could do without the second thought. Calculating time to visit, the duration, and many more.

Compared to London, in Jakarta the risk seems bigger. It’s not (only) about the virus but more of other things outside our control to deal with this new life. Like less reliable health system which gives you (almost) no space for being sick at the moment, the absence of green areas around the neighbourhood for daily walk or small parks with bench to sit and ponder in silence.

In the end, whatever decision we make, whatever risk we take, may we always be favoured with more good luck and protected from something that we can’t see and handle. Amin.

(I) Never going out without asking The Protector for that.

Posted in Thoughts

Prolog : The Stockdale Paradox

If others hope for great days and full of good things in the new year, I prefer going to the opposite.

Instead of thinking that better days are coming, the thought of let’s keep the seat belt fasten is much more soothing. It makes the brain and the heart dont lose the guard, keep alert, keep looking for the way out, stay firm and discipline to prepare for the worst.

If anything 2012 taught me, it was living with The Stockdale Paradox mindset, especially in abnormal situation or when life pushes you to face something that you have no experience which doesn’t give you the option to retreat and survive is the only way out.

The Stockdale Paradox in Jim Collins Good to Great book said :

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end — which you can never afford to lose — with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

The Stockdale Paradox is a survival mindset. I had been through a lot and survived with this. In 2014, once we knew we were expecting, the first thing we did was preparing the fund for c-section. That time, one was working part time, while the other one was a student with small income. We had no insurance to cover monthly check up, nor the delivery. We covered everything on our own expense.

We chose the hospital carefully, not the cheapest one, but the most comfortable one within our budget. We worked hard and saved religiously. But, was it running smoothly?

Of course, it wasn’t even close.

I had to be hospitalized once even only for two days. High d-dimer forced us to spend our saving for some expensive medecines during pregnancy.

No matter how much we prepare for c-section, it would be so hard on us financially after that. But then, the mantra has always been :

“Let’s always prepare for the worst and let Allah take care the rest”.

In the end, Allah really took care the rest as I once wrote in this post.

In 2020, the toughest event that we had to face is flying long haul during this pandemic situation. Scared is an underrated term to express this.

Been researching all about this for months. From the airline to the exact day to fly. I no longer chose the cheapest one, but the safest and most comfortable one within the budget.

If there was something that feared me most, it was other’s review about how unpleasant the treatment they experienced in Soetta. Unfriendly officer, disrespectful army men, even worse when it was crowded. I had all the worst case scenarios in my head.

But, there was nothing I could do about that other than asking The Most Powerful to take care the rest.

And that day, here is the picture when we arrived that Friday afternoon :

Soetta is far from crowded.

In fact, it was totally empty.

We met friendly officers, from immigration check to health counter, everything went smoothly until the end. I couldn’t describe how grateful I was for that day.

Next week and few weeks after would be the first uneasy battle to survive, among many we might (or would) face this year. Facing the battle that no one would know what the price to pay in the end. Sometimes, I think my heart couldnt handle this anymore. But there’s nothing I can do other than to deal with it.

No flowerly words needed for this new year. Surviving January alone safely means a lot and enough for me.

Remember, we are in no better situation regarding the pandemic in this country than few months ago. Since 10 months ago to be precise.

It’s bad. It’s getting worse and the worst part is hoping this will end in anytime soon is such a false hope.

Bonne année à vous!

Stay safe and stay sane.