To be kind… 

At the beginning of this month, it was a national holiday for Indonesians and the sixth day of fasting for the Muslims. I visited my friend in a hospital who had surgery the day before. The hospital was near my office, and I was reluctant to go every day to that area. But my friends in the same WhatsApp group were going, and I thought in a few weeks I would not have to go to that area every day anymore. So I decided to go.

Just as I walked out from my room, my older brother was furious that my dad did not come home, since the latter was supposed to look after Z. They turned to me. I told them that I wanted to visit my friend in a hospital, and though at first Z did not want to come with me, his father made him go. And so, we went on our way.

I reached the hospital room, my friend who had a surgery the previous day was recovering, and all my friends had come – my best friend brought her daughter along. Not long after, the 3.5m x 3m hospital room was turned into a playground; we laughed, we teased each other, and my nephew and my friend’s daughter were playing and screaming. Those two hours were really fun. But soon, things went sour.

We bade our goodbyes at around 2.30pm, my friends parked their cars at a nearby shopping district, while I parked in the hospital. I drove my car out from the parking lot, and as a good driver (or rather, as a driver), I looked to the right and I looked to the left to make sure my way was clear. I (thought I) did notice a car from my right, but it was far enough and drove slowly, so I stepped on the gas and turned right. Suddenly, at the right side of the car, a speeding motorcycle was going to run through my car! I instantly stopped my car, but the motorcycle seemed to make no effort on breaking at all! And I witnessed with my own eyes when the motorcycle hit my car, and the passenger flew from his seat to the ground.

I was stunned! I turned to see the guy who fell, and I saw someone else was trying to lift him up. I was given a course on basic life skill, and I knew that anyone who just had an accident should not be moved, there were steps to be done before the sufferer gain consciousness, but that’s another story.

I was going to get out from the car to do the steps I was taught, but alas, the collision was great enough to not only make a dent on my car but actually crashed the fender that made my door could not be opened! In the same minute, I notified my family as well as my friends (I was going to have a late lunch with one of my friends). The security then told me to move the car to the loading bay and told me to get out from the car. With a great effort (of jumping to the passenger seat), I managed to get out from the car and had a talk with the security.

My friends who got my message, all gathered not long after. I told the security that I did look right and left and did not see any motorcycle, and the crash on the fender proved that the motorcycle was at a high speed. It was not even a big road, it’s a small road where many cars go in and out from the hospital. The security then gathered the motorcycle driver and I and the first said that looking at the position of my car, I was right. They said they were going to check the CCTV.

I figured it was going to be a long process. Knowing Z would not be patient enough, I asked my best friend to take Z for lunch with thorough instructions on what to order, while the other two friends accompanied me to the security’s office to have a talk with the motorcycle driver.

The security, who was an eyewitness, told his supervisor what he saw, and the supervisor asked how were we going to settle it. First, the motorcycle driver blamed me for stopping in the middle and he couldn’t shift to the left resulting in crashing my car, and he asked me to take responsibility on his motorcycle and his passenger’s hospital bill (the passenger turned out to be his 70 years old father). I mean, who drives a motorcycle at a high speed while a 70 years old (father or not), is sitting at the back???

I told him that I made no mistake, and my car was totaled as well, there was no way I would be responsible for his fault, too. Then the motorcycle driver said that he would take care of the motorcycle, but I should still be responsible for the sufferer. I still said no, and I was helped by my friends, though I was worried that they overdid it as well. It was a dead end at the moment, so I told them if this continues, it’d be better to just bring the case to the police. The motorcycle driver said if that’s what I want, then he’d go along. So the supervisor told his supervisor and we were to write a report on the event.

My friend WhatsApp-ed me, told me to give the motorcycle driver some money as a ‘condolence gesture’, but I didn’t have to bring the case to the police. On the other hand, my best friend had a little trouble handling Z. So I told the motorcycle driver, what my friend told me. I told him that I had other things to do, I would give him condolences money, and I wouldn’t bring the case to the police. And he said, it depended on the amount of condolences money he got. Doy! I was trying to be kind, but he was insolent! So I said that we might as well just call the police.

The securities asked if I was certain. I claimed that I already offered to settle this “family-way”, but the motorcycle driver did not want to accept my offer.

The securities showed me the CCTV recording, and it was shown that I was already in the right way, and the motorcycle driver was on the right lane too, except that he drove too fast. I was certain that even if we went to the police, the police would side on me, I even found out the number of the police who helped me the last time I had accident.

Z came back with my best friend some times later while the motorcycle driver was in the emergency room. Z kept on asking when could he use gadget. And I tried to explain to him that the predicament was not good. What if I had to go to jail, because even if I was right, there’s a sufferer caused by this event? Z insisted that I was right, and he tugged the supervisor’s arm telling him in Indonesian language that I was right. I was going to stop him before my friend told me to let him be. He was learning to be assertive. But Z got nervous in the middle that he started to stammer and speak in English.. lol.. poor thing, though. I asked him what did he want to tell the supervisor, and he answered that I was right and shouldn’t go to jail. So I told the supervisor, who was all the while smiling.

The security told us that the police had arrive and we’d better go the emergency room. As we walked out, my father came. He left his meeting and went straight to me. I told him that we called the police and we were going to the emergency room. He said it was better to see the patient, and he said that I should take care of the matter myself, which I intended to do.

When we got there, the motorcycle driver’s brother had arrived too. The patient had gained consciousness and sat up, but he had a large bump on his forehead, and his whole body was in shock. He had not been treated except his wounds being cleaned. It turned out that his family worried about the hospital bill.

So, we all gathered at the hospital doorway, and discussed what to do. The brother still claimed that I should help with the hospital bill. Then I said I didn’t want to, because it meant that I was wrong and I had greater loss. This debate went on for quite some time.

Then my father said that he would check how much was the bill so far, because he felt sorry towards the patient, and I went to my friends. My father came back to me and said that he would take care of the bill. I asked him how much it was, but he didn’t want to tell me and I kept on asking, finally he answered, it was predicted to be five million. Five million rupiah! That was almost 500USD! Naturally, I said no. I said I should take care myself, and I didn’t want him to bail me out every time this kind of things happen. But my father was more persistent, he said there was a guy that needed help, that it’s a holy month, and it’s never wrong to do good, etc, etc.

I went to my friend, pouting. I told him about my father’s decision. I said that I was not happy, disappointed, even. How would the motorcycle driver learn his lesson if we paid the hospital bill? He could do the same thing and blame the next person. But then, my friend said that my father was noble, he saw beyond who’s right or wrong, because in accidents, no one wants to be wrong. Especially in this case, there’s a sufferer. My friend said no wonder my mother loves my father, he’s a very kind man, and he acted what Jesus would have done. I was almost crying when my friend said that, because I knew I was hard hearted and I failed to be kind when there’s an opportunity to do so.

So, my father went to the cashier, the patient was being treated, and we waited. My father came out with a weird look in his face, he told me that he only paid 360 thousand rupiah for the medicines. 30USD!

After everything was settled for the time being, and the patient walked out, my father told me to talk to the patient. I was going to do that without him telling me so. Anyway, I walked towards him and asked how he felt. He said he still felt some pain in his body, and I wished him speedy recovery.

Then in the car, my father said, we would never lose to be good. He was actually helped by an acquainted doctor in the hospital, that’s why he didn’t have to pay for the doctor fee nor the room, just the medication. And somehow, I still wasn’t moved. I rebutted by telling him that when I was living alone, I served in church, and yet, I still experienced disasters.

For two weeks, my car was in the workshop, the interior was dented and they didn’t have the spare parts. Closing to holiday, the workshops were fully booked, too. And my car could have stayed in for three months.

If you ask me, I had no idea what I’ve learned. But a few days after that, I heard a sermon by a Muslim preacher nearing the break fasting hour. He said, why would anyone constantly fast, constantly pray in the mosque, if he is not kind. And I felt a slap on my face. It’s like, God is trying to teach me something that He even used a preacher from another religion for me to hear!

I still have a lot to learn. I know I’m not a perfect human being, but then again, no one is. I know every week I said I wanted to be better, and yet, every week I failed. I think I’m going through a journey, I don’t know what, but I do hope to be a better person.

– Dum vivimus vivamus, dum vivimus servimus –

My Nephew

My nephew is one of the smartest kids I’ve ever known, and I’m not just saying that because I’m the proud mamauntie (yes, I created a unique name for myself when he was born). He is my older brother’s first born.


Z was born in 2009, his mother taught him sign language when he was a baby, and he quickly picked it up. By the time he was three years old, he knew his alphabets and he could read children’s books by himself.


He really likes space and galaxies; he can recite all the planets in the Solar System, including the Dwarf Planets. He remembers the circumference and diameter of each planet, including the rotations and revolutions; how many Earth days (or years) for every planet to rotate around the Sun. One time I came back from Japan, and I brought along with me a puzzle of the Solar System’s picture that had the circumference, the days, etc. Z was happy when he got it, but quickly he noticed that Jupiter’s fact was wrong. He told me that instant and asked for a pen so he could correct it. He was not even seven years old when that happened.


Z chooses his diets strictly, he only eats what he wants to eat, and the options were usually very little in a period of time. For example, there was a time when he only liked pizza, rice and celery, and fish. And he could eat them every day for a few months without getting bored. Lately, he only eats eggs (boiled or omelet), canned tuna with rice, and chicken nuggets (from McDonald’s, meal no 4, and the drink has to be lemon tea). There was one weekend when Z’s father was out of town, which leaves Z in the care of my younger brother and me. Z ate his breakfast, but by 11 o’clock, he was hungry again. He whined that he was hungry, but he didn’t want to eat anything we suggested. And after persuading him, he finally settled for rice and tuna. But since we hadn’t cooked rice, Z whined again. He said he was getting sick if he doesn’t eat soon. Then he took a nap for half an hour while waited for the rice to cook. And when he woke up, he was having a fever! My younger brother and I were confused. I forced Z to have lunch and then rest.

While we were in the bedroom, my younger brother came. Then he said, “Z, why do you get sick after you said you were getting sick? It might be just your suggestion.”

Z then asked, “What do you mean by suggestion?”

My brother replied, “You know, it’s all in your mind. You were not sick, but you think you’re sick, so you got sick.”

“You mean placebo?”

Both my brother and I were surprised.

“Where did you learn that word?” I asked.

“I read it on the Internet.”

The following day when I told this story to my dad, Z overheard and then he said, “What I did was nocebo.”

That was a word I didn’t know. “What’s nocebo?” I asked.

“It’s a negative version of placebo,” he said.

I Googled it, and boy was he right!


One time we went out of town and ate in a restaurant. It had unique patterned wallpaper. I asked him what the pattern looked like. He said, “it looks like cubes, but they are actually hexagons.” Again, my eyes were wide opened. Apparently, he knew his dimensions as well.

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One of the things that I like to do to Z, is to help him be independent and to have critical thinking. I was raised that way, and with his intelligence, I believe Z would be a great person if raised properly. Last week, we had a scavenger hunt, three scavenger hunts to be exact. Z just loved finding things. When he was having trouble finding a few things, I would say, “It’s around you; you were looking, but you did not see.” For the first two scavenger hunts, I accompanied him. I told him to take pictures of the stuff he found using my phone. I taught him how to focus on the objects and in a way, composition (just the basic, center of interest).

The last one, while I was doing my work, I sent him off without my phone. I told him to thoroughly describe the things he found: where did he find it, what color, where did he find it, what was the object doing (if it were an animal), what brand (of the black car), etc. He still could not describe too well, but with a lot of practices, I’m sure he can give better descriptions. 🙂

Atë, Até or Aite

Disclaimer: This story about goddess is (of course), fictional, has nothing to with Olympian pantheon of Greek mythology and religion written in Homer’s Iliad or whoever’s and purely for fun. Also, this disclaimer is really unnecessary.

Atë, Até or Aite, depending on where you’re from or what your reference is. To simply define me, I’m a goddess. In a gist, I’m a goddess of mischief, but if you are curious enough, I’m willing to tell you that I am more than that. I am the Zeus’ first daughter from Eris, I am the goddess of mischief, delusion, ruin, and folly.

I have ruined lives ever since I was banished from Mount Olympus, after a little prank I pulled on Heracles, Daddy’s little boy. According to those who has little knowledge about the truth, they put the blame on me, besides, who dares to blame the horrifying, terrific, powerful Hera, wife of Zeus. Hera had been jealous of Heracles even before he was born.

So, what shall I tell you about? There are many adventures I went through after I descended from Mount Olympus, for example: when I made Erato (one of the Muses) fell in love with a mere mortal, or when I put grated lotus in Eos’ wine and she couldn’t wake up and the day almost didn’t come? There was even one time when I blinded Heracles when he was finishing one of his tasks.

I should probably tell you how The Mighty Religion of Greek has lost its glory and the existence of gods and goddesses were being questioned. You see, there were times when every Greek knows the major gods and goddess, they believed in Zeus and the Olympian deities, the Titan deities, the Oceanic deities, and the Chthonic and even Primordial deities. Every mortal worshiped their gods and goddesses, both major ones and minor ones; I was worshiped whenever the naughty little ones misbehaving. For so many hundred years, we reigned with nothing to be afraid of.

As Greece became larger and well-known, many immigrants came or were brought in. These people have their own beliefs; the Romans have their own gods and goddesses, the Norse, the Mesopotamians and the Celtic, too.

It took sooner than we realized, that the mortals became less and less ‘believing’ in our existence, until we were nothing more than memories. The Greek Mighty Religion became Ancient and then it became myths as if we never happened at all. We stayed on only in books and folklores.

Back then, I was always playing around, being mischievous and laying unfortunate events on everyone I met. Hades reigning underground, Hermes ran around from one place to another place, Aphrodite keeping the love grows between new couples, and so on and so forth. To your amazement, though, we still do what we do, but we are invisible to mortals. Many minor gods and goddess had successfully vanished and their tasks were being taken over by major gods or goddess.

After all of these, even Chronos couldn’t turn back time.

I was approached by Ares a few decades back, who was very happy – too excited even, when he saw me.

“I still can’t believe that you’re still here,” he admitted.

“I miss out all the fun when I pull pranks on these miserable mortals?” I smirked. “I’m never bored, Ares.”

“I don’t think I’ve seen you since the Guelderian Wars in 1500s,” he said.

“Oh, I saw you many times after that, but you were too busy inspiring the warlords, and your peak season was during the World War I?”

“And World War II.”

“I still never thought that we would have to step outside Greece.”

“And Father still hasn’t let you back into Mount Olympus? As mad as he was after the battle of Troy, he was willing to heal my wounds.”

“Haven’t you heard? He sent Litea to bring me back, a few centuries ago, but I refused to return; I outran her. Can you imagine her expression in that repulsive face, and with her crippled legs? After all, what is the point if all we do now is travel around the world to do our duty?”

Then I left him, but not without leaving a vision of Aletheia, our sister, someone he held in his heart dearly, and whose whereabouts is unknown. I think Ares hated me more than ever.

“It was never the worship or the temple, or even acknowledgement from the mortals we were looking for,” Aphrodite told me a few decades back. “What matter the most was the ability to live comfortably, never having to break a sweat to get tasks done. Look at those mortal, they work hard most of their lives, and at the end, all of them have to face Hades. We never have to care about the afterlife, because we’re immortal. “

A few years back, I met Aletheia. She was still as beautiful as ever, and spoke of the truth painfully like she always does. “We’re coming to a complete end. Look at the major religions in this Earth, and look how many of the population ever remember that we exists. Even Father is growing weary. Maybe you should go to Mount Olympus to see him.”

“If he wants me back, he’ll find me.” And I left her, after all this time; I’m still not able to trick Aletheia in any way. She’d always rebuke my trickeries and mirages I created.

Hermes was my favorite brother. We shared great memories tricking people, but he was mightier than I am. At one moment, I decided to leave him and did my own magic. I’ve been missing him lately, but I could not find him.

 

A New Page In My Life

After almost six years working in one institution, I finally handed in my one-month-notice. Given it wasn’t instantly accepted, a few weeks later my executive director decided that I could leave. My answer was given on 31 May 2017.

I felt many feelings on that day. Naturally, the first one was relief that I could finally move out from my comfort zone and embark on a new unknowing journey of life. On the other hand, I felt sad. I’m a sentimental person, I have been walking in the same hall, working in the same room and meeting the one same people for almost every day for the past six years. I have many close friends and a few best friends while working in this institutions. This workplace, and these people, they played a huge role in my life. I learned plenty of things professionally and personally. Lastly, I felt lost. It was like losing your purpose, even though it wasn’t a fulfilling purpose.

My father asked me, what’s my biggest fear? I answered, being stuck in one job for the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I really like my workplace; it’s the first job I have after I graduated, but I got too comfortable. After five years of working, I was challenged with tough predicaments, and early this year, I made up my mind that it’s time to move on.

Earlier this year, I had one goal in mind if and when I resign. Soon, I had a backup plan, and another one, and one last plan when all else failed. And when I was told that I could resign (one month later than what I aimed for), I only have one plan left, that is to go back to the States and find a job there.

So, after I resign, I will have about two months before I have to go to the States. My intentions are to finish the stories that I have been writing since 2006 (all in all there are about 6-7 novelettes, 3 of them are finished but still editable and 3-4 more to be completed), to travel to different places in Indonesia, to continue blogging and to take care of my nephew, who needs a motherly figure.

Fingers crossed that I can do them successfully. 😊

-dum vivimus servimus, dum vivimus vivamus-

Ini, lho, Indonesia-ku (This is my Indonesia) (part: Hari Pancasila)

Hasil alam yang bisa ditemukan di Berastagi: markisa, terong belanda, mangga yang lebih besar dari telapak tangan, dan yang tersembunyi diujung toko; tomat cherry

Maluku Hip Hop Community – and, yeah, they are Indonesians!

Ada juga orang yang ketika hiking di Gunung Sibayak masih mengkhawatirkan lingkungan. Mengumpulkan botol-botol yang dibuang sembarangan, untuk kemudian dibawa turun dan diolah dengan seharusnya

Dan para artis negara yang berjiwa patriotis

Pulau Peucang di Taman Nasional Ujung Kulon. Simply gorgeous, and there’s really nothing more to say

Saya bangga dengan Indonesia…

CNY

It’s the new year,
“Don’t sweep off your luck..” they said..
I’ve misplaced all the luck I’ll ever have in my life anyway..

“What will the future bring?” people asked..
I ponder at their curiousity and slow-wittedness
although secretly I ask the same question.. – Elita (10.02.14)

Meaning of Christmas

I think I found the meaning of Christmas in this Javanese culture…
Picture a company in where the CEO/owner/founder was resistant to change (or actually willing to change, but was really hesitant and careful towards changes), who also has been pushed to change the system of the company among other things; and the people within the company were willing and very much eager to change. Yet, with all these things, no parties within the company were formed. The people were faithfully loyal to the CEO/owner/founder of the company.
Imagine another situation, another culture and another place. The company would have been ruined in no time. The people would either step out from the company, or create another company or even create a mutiny.
But not here, not this time. Everyone agreed and still support the CEO/owner/founder; they created a vision of the company together; maybe they were hoping for a change soon or later.

Do you think this is a good predicament? 🙂

Stop me

I breathe and missed you
I drink and embraced you
Covered with dirt, the old me blush
Free me from worrying
I will gaze deeply to the fleck of lights