What to do when you are stucked in airport?


Stucked in airport with no wifi connection is bad. Even worse since there is not any cafe or nice place to have snacks during the wait. And I am in this kind of situation right now, in my hometown, trying to catch a flight to Jakarta which as usual, got delayed for more or less 2 hours. I am sitting on a hard, non-cushioned metal chair, together with at most 13 other people who are also placing their hope so the plane can arrive soon and we can start going to Jakarta.

So in this kind of hard situation, let’s try to do some wild imaginations on how should people spend their time waiting at airport. I mean, arguably, I am now at one of the most primitive airport in the world, what could be worse than this?

  1. Make yourself busy with your phone. This, I strongly believe, is the thing that most of the people will do while waiting at airport. Even at a small town like my hometown, right now I am seeing most of the people (yeah I know, only 13 persons) are busy with their phones. I was one of them until recently I charge my phone and switch on my notebook to write this nonsense. Bear with me, please. In fact, for this option, you can have so many sub-options like: playing games, watching movies, just browsing on some websites, chatting, stalking somebody on social media, watch porn and the most common thing that any mobile phones can do: making phone call. Which one do you like to do most?

  2. Reading. This is quite specific hobby, not everyone like to read. But I can see based on my observation (I am quite an observer, you know), quite many people like to read during waiting time at airport. From novels, biography, magazine, comic books, or some study books for students, you can choose anything you like to read. You can use conventional books or electronic books such as Amazon’s Kindle, iPad, or any other tablet/gadget. Many said that reading is good to add your knowledge. I agree on this, since if you read manuals how to swim more than 50 times, you will be an expert in swimming because you know all the knowledge you need to swim. Again, this is nonsense writing, so please do not take it seriously, even though I am very serious in making nonsense writing.

  3. Writing. This is even more specific thing to do. Only small amount of people will do this, and I believe in this very room (again, out of 13 persons), only me who are doing this. I always try to bring my laptop with me if I went on a trip, especially if I am going alone. This laptop has been my perfect companion since I bought it, since it is light and quite slim, I can always just put it in my backpack to bring it wherever I go. I can also always do the writing by my phone, but it is quite challenging since it would be in a smaller screen and the typing will not be as comfortable as using laptop’s keyboard. Next question is: what to write? Anything. Even at the moment I am writing this nonsense.

  4. Going for a massage. This is only possible in bigger airport, who usually has a massage service. You can get free massage or you can get a paid one for a better service. At Changi airport, you can find some free massage chair (it is not that impressive, normally the machines only do massage on your feet) and use it as long as you want. If you need more comprehensive massage, you can go to any reflexiology hut inside some airports but you will have to pay for that, and usually it is not cheap. If you want to be massaged by human but you want it free, you can do this if you are traveling in group. You can take turns to massage each other, and it’s free. Train a lot, and you will be as pro as the massage hut’s masseur in no time.

  5. Shopping. This is the best activity you can do, only if you are at a very big and comprehensive airport and you have money to spend. Unfortunately, I am here in a 50 square meters room full with metal chairs and 13 other desperate people, no shops, the best you can do is to have a mie-bakso outside the building to spend your money to. Oh how I miss Changi airport now, free wifi, lots of foods, lots of stores, ok ok I understand that I need to stop roaming around Changi airport in my mind. But yes, shopping is one of the options you can do in airport, since the price have to be cheaper because of the tax free items. One friend of mine once said, you can buy a branded bag way cheaper in Soekarno-Hatta international airport, so he did that several times. Next time going to airport, bring your credit card and do the spending spree!

  6. Going to a cinema for free. Again, this is another way for me to express how I miss Changi airport. Because the only airport I know that provides free cinama entry (of course you can’t choose the movie), is Changi airport. You want to have this experience? Go to Singapore, you’ll have it for free.

  7. Have a walk in sunflower garden. Changi airport, again, how I miss you!!!
  8. Stalking people. This is the simplest thing to do because you don’t need any gadget or tools to do it, and you don’t have to spend your money. It is easy and free. You’ll just have to find a nice sitting spot and just sit there waiting while looking at people commuting inside the airport. If you are going to stalk for pretty ladies, I suggest you study the place first to know where the spot used by flight attendants to go for their flight, and you can sit there. Even better if you wear sunglasses. You’re welcome.
  9. Take a nap. This is the second to simplest thing to do. Why? Because you will need to find a comfortable seat or maybe bed to get to sleep, unless you are that good that you can even sleep in a noisy places or you are able to sleep with your body standing straight. Kudos for those people. I am jealous of you. Remember to put an alarm before you take a nap because I believe you would not want to miss your flight, right?

Oh no, I have listed down 9 options already! And look, I have been wasting around 1 hour since I started to write this nonsense! So this is one of the proof that writing (especially nonsense topic) is one of the best way to spend your time at airport. I am gonna switch again to my mobile phone, I hope it is fully charged now, so I can continue my reading on my favourite manga: One Piece. More to that, please coming soon, plane!

Update for this post: I did not manage to fly that day, I tried to take bus or train but was not available as well. So i stayed overnight at my parent’s house just to get the earliest train the next day so I can reach Jakarta just before my flight to Singapore. I made it and now back at Singapore safely 🙂

-alexteja

Advertisements

Work-Life-Balance


I am about to reach my 32nd years breathing in this world. I have been spending my last 9 years to earn for a living, after the whole 18 years preparation period at school before. So I am going to share my view as an inexperienced (realizing that 9 years of professional experiences is nothing compared to those successful men out there), about what is ‘work-life balance’, based on my own point of view. Do feel free to criticize or to disagree on this.

I started my professional career as a trainee. I spent my first 4 months to be trained Java-Oracle-Networking, as well as soft skills such as presentation and amazingly: table manner (which immediately evaporated out of my mind as soon as the lesson is over, I am so sorry for the trainer). So during that time, as a newborn professional who was trying to grab onto anything good enough to start, I did not even have any concept of work-life-balance. it was ok for me to come to office after office hour, it was ok for me to have non-paid overtime (there was one period of working late until midnight every single day, and I remember it was for one full month), and I was not too pushy if my salary raise is not as what as I expected. All of those were for the sake of learning. I felt like I need to take whatever knowledge and experiences I could take during that time.

Then, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked I had more confidence. I started to look outside, and I began to compare. I know that in some way, it’s bad to compare, but in this kind of situation, you had to. I realized that it was the time for me to move on, because I was hungry for more exposure. Hence, in short, I have worked for 5 companies since I left my first job, including the current one.

Once I experienced a work environment in which you are expected to be available 24/7 (the boss even said that this is because I work in IT field and it has to be like this). During that time, it looks as if you are not allowed to have a peace of mind, even if you are out of office, even if you are overseas during holiday. What do you think about this? Is this the opposite of work-life-balance? Or do you think this one is still in balance?

Another experience of mine was surprisingly quite an opposite. This time, I was pushed not to work outside working hours. I was told not to bring your work home. Everybody tried not to contact anybody from work for work-related purpose outside office. So what about this one? Does this mean work-life-balance?

I believe not. It is not that simple. For me, work-life-balance is entirely subjective. To what? To the environment and level/position. Of course all of my experiences entirely are related with IT industry since I am working in it. Now, let’s talk on why.

Environment. If you imagine that you are working as a bartender (I am trying to imagine something entirely different than mine), you are working hard every day, standing, preparing drinks. But what kind of possibilities could happen after his/her working hours finished? Nothing. Nobody will call him/her after his/her shift ended. On the contrary, if you are a bodyguard – for example, you can expect that you will work almost 24 hours a day during your guarding period. You should be fully alerted during that period. From this two simple examples, I can understand that based on the environment or the type of job we are working on, there are some certain different standards that allow us to determine if we have work-life-balance. We can’t say that for the bodyguard you have to provide 9 to 5 working hours, or we can’t say that for a bartender you have to work fully 24 hours a day. Each of the environments has it’s own standard.

Level/position. I always thought that if I got promoted to a certain level in my professional career, I can enjoy my life better. I can have more spare time for me and family, or I can be more relaxed in life. But reality sometime speaks differently. I have seen a unit manager in a bank who worked non stop for 3 days. So clearly this is not the case. But again, ideally, if you are in a higher position, you will have more responsibilities. You will have more pressure since you are not in the bottom anymore. Your subordinates will pressure you, as well as your bosses. Even if you are on the top of the hierarchy, you will still be pressured from your peers or from your subordinates. But wait, let’s try again to imagine if you are a fresh graduate. Again maybe similar as my case before, you will be care less about your working hour. As long as you got your basic salary paid, you will work as hard as you could. But if you are a general manager, you have somebody to delegate your works to, you have a team you can manage to get something done. So ideally, you should have more time for something else.

Let’s try to summarize these. Based on environment, there are different standards that define work-life-balance according to each ones. As well as for each level/position, there are different responsibilities that also define work-life-balance. So for me, work-life-balance means you can divide your time according to your standard and role. You can’t simply ask for the same annual leave quota between a fresh graduate and a general manager. The more the responsibilities, the more off-day is provided by the company. For me, work-life-balance is not a rule. It is a mindset of each person on how he/she will work. It is a culture that should be initiated by individuals, not entirely by company rules. Basically, companies want you to work as hard as you can, because companies are based on profits. But if the individuals already have work-life-balance mindset and tried to apply this to each-other, at the end, it will define the culture of the company itself.

Work-life-balance is to prioritize. What would you prioritize in life? Mine is family. Second is work. So I will try to put family first instead of work in every occasion, as best as I can.

So what is work-life-balance according to you?

Note: image in this post is courtesy of www.huffingtonpost.com

-alexteja

2016 in a Nutshell


3 months have passed after my last post which is to remind me of my old habit: writing. Nevertheless, the darkness upon me had been more powerful than before, which prevented me to “wake up” and write, and to procrastinate more and more. To be honest, I have been keeping some drafts inside my blog for quite long, sometimes when I am able to update, I will update, deleting some sentences, adding a bit more, until 1 and 2 months passed and the total rows of the draft remains the same. Pathetic.

Thus, I will share, in this last post of 2016, how I managed to come to the end of this year alive and kicking, with some big hopes to be achieved next year. December is the most exciting month of 2016, but we will come to this later, first…

I started this year with sadness. Even though I managed to get one decent picture (at least it was the most decent I can make with my pocket camera) of Marina Bay Sands Firework during new year’s eve celebration, the starting month of 2016 seems to be grey, maybe even a bit dark.

My father fell sick, a serious one, so that I have to go back to Indonesia just to take care of everything I could manage, for the sake of returning my father to his previous healthy state. I was so lucky, repeat, I am so lucky that I have a very supportive sister, with amazing abundant care for family, which she has shown it during the time my father undergo the surgery and the post-care in hospital. I have difficulties since I am working outside Indonesia, so at that time, she was the most capable person to handle almost everything. And we are so blessed, since all the family surround us with care and love, especially for my father, so we can steadily and confidently went through all the rough path and at the end, my father was able to (even though not fully) come back to his daily routine life.

Another one of this year’s marks was our relocation from the old house in Boon Keng, to the new one in Bishan. After so many tiring and exhausting viewing sessions, without any satisfying result, we got stressed out since it seems like we would not be able to find a place that suits us. Again, in this case, God helped us. He is present in the form of the new owner, a nice Catholic family with great faith, who are very caring and willing to rent out their house for us to live. Another blessing in our life. Even though the location is not as we desired, but the ambience of the house, expected from a humble religious family, somehow warmth our days so we can adapt quickly and enjoy our days since then.

We had a great present this year, my parents came to Singapore, at last! Even though my father’s condition was not as fit as before the surgery, but somehow, by God’s blessing, he managed to reach Singapore. They were staying for a week, and I was able to get those days unoccupied with works so I could accompany them to have the first family picnic in our life. Yes, you are not mistaken, first family picnic of our life. We have never had such a luxury before, since my father is the type of person who like to stay at home more than travelling, and my mom simply doesn’t want to go out without my father. So there we were, with zero experience to hold family picnic, at least managed to get one. Bless the Lord!

This year, my wife and I entered the thirties. Yes, we turned 30 last July. So, even though we had quite rough time at our own work life, which made us stressed out and sometimes snapped out, we decided to end this year with style. We are going to UK for the first time, just the two of us, and as part of this UK winter trip, I was able to secure a pair of tickets for Liverpool’s home match against Manchester City, on the last day of 2017! How exciting is that? So the next post at 2017 will be about the trip we are about to take, and as well for the targets I am trying to reach in the upcoming year. I can’t hide it that I am so so so damn excited now!

So, thank you for reading my little note, thank you for your supports, maybe prayers, and simply, for everything. I sincerely hope that your end of year will be as merry as mine (I am quite confident that mine will be awesome), even maybe merrier than mine, and I believe we can step in to 2017 with our own style and hopes, and may all of our plans and dreams, be blessed by the Lord, so that we can have a better life, and a better world to live on.

Merry Christmas 2016, Happy New Year 2017.

-alexteja

 

 

Lamborghini vs Milk Wagon


Today I read quite many news about a tragic accident happened at Surabaya. Actually, I would rather call it a ‘dumb mistake’ than an accident. And the dumb one is not the boy who ran off his Lamborghini over the padestrians. No, not him, but his parents.

The title I chose for this post doesn’t mean that the Lamborghini was having a race with the milk wagon. Of course it would be an interesting one if it happened, even more if the milk wagon won the race… oh cut the crap, I am not gonna write about that nonsense. Actually, the title means more. When you had a child, which one will you give to them, a Lamborghini or a milk wagon?

Please, don’t interpret this literaly. I, of course, will not hand a milk wagon to my kid. Not even a Lamborghini because it is too damn expensive. What I mean here is, the Lamborghini represent wealth, luxury, and power. The owner must be a wealthy man, surrounded by luxury and power. Even though not all Lamborghini owners are similar to my description, but I think my description can represent most of them. In the other way, a milk wagon represent simplicity, hard work, and modesty. The owner, most likely doesn’t surrounded by wealth, live in a humble attitude, and works hard everyday to support the family. Once again, I believe I still can find a bad milk seller but this is just a parable.

Me myself, I did not come from a wealthy family. My father is not a boss, until now he is still working at a store owned by family members. He has been working there for like, almost, all his life. But I am grateful. From his humble life, I learn a lot about being modest. I learn a lot about honesty. I learn a lot that to gain people’s trust is difficult, even more difficult to keep them. That’s why, when I am graduated and started working for a living, I have a good foundation about how to be a good man, not how to be a wealthy man.

People my age, most of them now have their own business. They have the talent to open shops, selling stuffs, and even to gain money from stocks market. I don’t have that fancy opportunities. I admit I maybe don’t have any talent as a merchant, trader, or anything similar with that. But I think I have some valuables inside my which are inherited by my father: humbleness, modesty, honesty.

Back to the accident between the Lamborghini and the milk wagon, it is a pity that a young man (if I could not say a boy) that age, with so many supports in term of wealth, with so many great opportunities he could take to develop himself even further, has to experience his darkest times most likely: in jail. Even worse because there is one man dead because of him. If you are his parents, what will you feel right now?

So, I would rather teach my kid with humbleness and modesty, rather than to provide anything except for a good example from the parent’s life. Remember, kids are imitator. There will be a phase in their life which will be influenced, directly or indirectly, from the parent’s behaviour. Then as a parent wannabe, I am going to make sure that my kid(s) will have a good parents in me and my wife. And I think you should as well, don’t you?

So, Lamborghini vs milk wagon? For me: neither. I like VW Beetle better.

-alexteja

What Flood Taught Us, Jakartans?


Flood in Bundaran HI Jakarta - 2013 Jan 17
Flood in Bundaran HI Jakarta – 2013 Jan 17, taken from Facebook Page of The Jakarta Globe

Gue bukannya mau ikut-ikutan trend masa kini di Jakarta, yang memberitakan banjir seperti semua orang di social media, dan juga semua saluran televisi dan radio, tapi emang ada beberapa point yang menggelitik yang gue alami sebagai “warga Jakarta” yang juga terkena efek dari banjir beberapa hari ini, walaupun masih dikategorikan sebagai orang beruntung yang bisa dapat listrik dan juga tidak kena genangan air.

Jadi seperti yang kita semua tau, dua hari belakangan Jakarta udah kayak kota mati. Kantor pada libur, ataupun karyawannya meliburkan diri. Sama saja, toh semua juga merasa susah. Intinya, banjir kali ini secara keseluruhan merugikan hampir seluruh warga Jakarta, dengan korban jiwa yang juga tidak sedikit, apalagi korban materiil yang sudah tidak terhitung jumlahnya. Di tengah kesedihan, keprihatinan, dan juga kepedihan yang kita alami, mari kita melihat beberapa point yang bisa kita gunakan buat evaluasi dari peristiwa bencana banjir ini.

Yang pertama yang gue dapatkan adalah: Jangan terlalu mudah menghakimi sesuatu. Kemarin kebetulan gue mendapat kesempatan buat ikutan bantu-bantu posko banjir di gereja gue. Pastor parokinya, Romo Heri, sejak pagi sudah berkeliling bersama seorang pastor lainnya dengan sebuah sepeda motor, untuk memantau situasi warganya yang terkena banjir. Siangnya, beliau bercerita sebuah renungan yang cukup menghentak buat gue. Begini ceritanya: “Terkadang sesuatu yang kita anggap tidak penting, bahkan kita hindari setiap harinya, bisa jadi dewa penolong yang sangat kita harapkan saat kita kesusahan”. “Contoh paling nyata: gerobak sampah”. “Setiap hari kita menghindari gerobak bau itu, namun coba kita lihat sekarang, orang berebut untuk naik gerobak itu melewati genangan air, bahkan berani membayar!”. Betul juga ya, kalau gue naik motor pun gak mau dekat-dekat gerobak sampah, bau! Tapi kenyataannya sekarang si gerobak bau itu sangat dibutuhkan lho! Hal ini bisa menjadi bahan renungan buat kita, apakah kita juga menjadi hakim yang buruk buat orang-orang di sekitar kita? Apakah kita juga sering menghakimi orang terlalu cepat? Apakah sebenarnya kita layak menghakimi orang sementara kita tidak melihat diri kita sendiri?

Yang kedua adalah soal kepedulian. Gue melihat di posko yang terdekat dengan gue, yakni di posko gereja gue sendiri, ternyata orang-orang cepat tanggap ya dalam hal bantuan buat orang-orang lain yang membutuhkan. Gue salut lho! Bahkan orang-orang tajir yang gue tau, ternyata cukup peduli dengan datang langsung ke posko dengan bantuan yang mereka bawa. Luar biasa! Di saat anggapan orang-orang kebanyakan terhadap para orang kaya sangat buruk sekarang ini, ternyata masih banyak yang peduli, masih banyak yang tanpa pikir panjang langsung membantu, tanpa diminta namanya dicantumkan di koran, ataupun diliput televisi. Ternyata kemanusiaan di kota megapolitan ini masih ada…

Yang ketiga ini lebih kepada sebuah kritik. Berdasarkan pantauan mata beberapa orang yang terjun langsung ke lokasi banjir yang termasuk parah, banyak sampah berserakan dan terbawa genangan air, dari sampah makanan, sampah plastik, sampai bangkai-bangkai tikus atau kucing, dan berbagai ‘benda’ lain yang rasanya sudah keterlaluan joroknya. Ini menunjukkan apa? Warga Jakarta itu JOROK bukan main. Kira-kira dua atau tiga minggu lalu, gue melihat sendiri apa yang diberikan orang tua-orang tua bagi sebagian besar anak di Indonesia tentang kebersihan umum. Hasilnya, NOL BESAR. Gue menyaksikan seorang anak kecil dengan mudahnya melempar gelas plastik bekas minuman ke tengah jalan, padahal di sampingnya ada tong sampah. Yang membuat kesal? Orang tuanya ada di sampingnya dan cuek dengan perilaku anaknya, dan gue hampir yakin sebenarnya orang tuanya pun kalau buang sampah seperti itu. Bandingkan dengan cerita dari negara tetangga kita, Singapore: Ada seorang bapak dan anaknya sedang makan ice cream cone di tengah teriknya matahari siang itu. Seketika ice cream si anak jatuh ke trotoar. Sang bapak dengan sigapnya langsung mengambil cone-nya, lalu mengambil tissue dan membersihkan sisa ice cream yang ada di trotoar sampai bersih! Luar biasa! Apabila terjadi di Jakarta? Sudah hampir pasti ditinggal begitu saja. Jadi kalau masyarakat masih pada protes ke pemerintah Jakarta yang baru saja duduk 3 bulan ini, gue rasa salah alamat. Coba liat dulu masing-masing, sudahkah anda membuang sampah pada tempatnya?

Yang terakhir adalah persatuan. Dengan kodratnya sebagai manusia, gue liat memang perlu ada sesuatu yang mempersatukan sekelompok lebih orang. Dan sayangnya seringkali sesuatu itu adalah peristiwa buruk seperti bencana banjir ini. Di saat bencana seperti ini, tidak penting lagi apakah orang itu adalah orang Batak, Jawa, Betawi, Tionghoa, dan sebagainya. Tidak penting lagi apakah orang itu orang Islam, Katolik, Buddha, tetapi yang penting adalah orang itu butuh pertolongan, ya ditolong! Sungguh sebenarnya gue pengen liat hal ini tidak terjadi ketika kita sedang mengalami musibah saja, seharusnya hal ini terjadi setiap hari!

Intinya, semoga banjir ini gak cuma membawa kepedihan semata, tetapi juga menjadi pelajaran bagi kita semua. Gak sekedar pelajaran, tapi juga menjadi titik perubahan buat masing-masing dari kita khususnya warga Jakarta, sehingga apabila hal ini pun masih sampai terjadi lagi, tidak menyalahkan satu sama lain, melainkan mencoba membangun lingkungannya, membangun kota-nya, sehingga menjadi lebih baik. Dengan demikian, menurut gue tidak mustahil Jakarta bisa bebas banjir.

Terakhir, untuk yang mengalami bencana banjir, tetap semangat, tetap berusaha, dan tetap berdoa. This to shall pass! God be with you!

Regards,
Xander™

Oh Snap! It’s December Already!


Image

It’s December already, just a few days left to go pass through 2012, entering a new number with hopefuly a new luck, a new fresh start. I don’t know if what I am feeling right now is legit to be called quarter life crysis, but I do far from what you called the comfort zone. I am a 26 going 27, with so many things inside his head, so many , so many problems, so many pressures, but despite of all the bad things, there are also so much hope, so many smiles, so much laughters, and so much love. Sometimes I complained to my mind, about why did it store too many stuffs in here, and sometimes it made me feel like I am willing to empty my head for a while, but I can’t, because frankly, I am not giving myself permission to do that.

I am living with many worries, worries about the plan of our choir to go to Germany next year (this one occupied A LOT in my mind), worries about my job (lately, it’s been far from stable at the office), worries about future, about financial, future marriage, and also some others little stuffs that always keep my brain worked. Sometimes, those worries will keep me exhausted. But sometimes, they will remind me that I am still alive. Alive person will always have worries. Then when I came to that, I still could be grateful.

Since it’s reaching the end of 2012, I will have to take a few steps back, to reflect on my life this whole year, and to think clearly where should I put my next step on. May the force be with us. God speed.

Regards,
Xander™

Fate (Takdir)


Gue masih gak ngerti dengan yang namanya takdir. Konsep takdir itu gak bisa gue cerna, udah beberapa kali gue mencoba untuk memikirkan apa yang orang sebut dengan Fate, Takdir, yang katanya sudah ditentukan dari sananya, oleh Tuhan yang Maha Kuasa, yang setiap orang sudah ditentukan jalannya sejak dia diciptakan, sejak dia di-hidupkan ke dunia sebagai mahluk apapun. Takdir.

Di satu sisi, takdir itu sudah ditentukan oleh Tuhan. Tapi kalau semua sudah ditentukan oleh Tuhan, balik lagi ke pertanyaan mendasar di kehidupan ini, kenapa harus ada orang jahat dan orang baik? Kenapa harus ada kejahatan? Kalo misalnya seseorang sudah ditakdirkan menjadi seorang pembunuh misalnya, karena memang itu takdirnya, maka setelah dia membunuh, dia berbuat jahat. Karena berbuat jahat, dia mati masuk neraka. Adil? Kalo begitu konsep takdir, gue sangat-sangat kasihan sama orang yang ditakdirkan masuk neraka semenjak dia diciptakan. Poor soul.

Satu sisi lagi, konon kitalah yang menentukan takdir kita sendiri, kitalah yang mengusahakan nasib kita sendiri. Gue malah makin bingung, kalo gitu, gak ada takdir donk, semua mungkin, everything is possible. Biarpun ini lebih absurd, tapi gue lebih suka konsep yang ini. Berarti gue bisa melakukan apa aja dengan tau segala konsekuensinya. I am the master of my life, I am the master of my fate. Lalu kalo begitu, bukankah Tuhan jadi gak mengatur semuanya? Berarti Dia jadi bukan maha segalanya donk? Arrgghh… puny brain, emang gak nyampe kali ya mikirin ginian? Semuanya salah nih jadinya…

Takdir. Kalo ngomongin takdir, belakangan ini ada satu pertanyaan yang selalu muncul di benak gue. Pertanyaan itu adalah: why me? Why “why me?” me? (uwogh, the inception of why me). Jadi gue sebenernya belakangan sering merasa berbeban berat. Beberapa kali berasa gak mampu, berasa kok gue yang harus menanggung semua beban pikiran ini. Kalo ini takdir, kok Tuhan ngasih takdir ini ke gue, ngasih skenario ini ke gue ya? Konsultasi gue ke beberapa orang mendapat jawaban: “Ambil positivenya aja”, “ini melatih diri kita menjadi lebih kuat”, “kalo diberi beban besar berarti kita dipercaya untuk menanggungnya”. Sungguh, tidak satupun dari kalimat-kalimat di atas itu bisa meringankan beban gue saat itu. Yang bisa mengangkat semangat gue lagi adalah kalimat ini: “Tuhan gak bakal ngasih tanggung jawab yang gak bisa kita tanggung”. That’s it.

Kalo begitu, berarti gue sekarang membelot. Gue sekarang mengadopsi konsep takdir yang pertama, yang sudah Tuhan sediakan buat gue sejak gue diciptakan. Berarti, semua tantangan dan semua tanggung jawab yang gue rasa berat ini, sesungguhnya, karena itu ditakdirkan buat gue, berarti bisa gue tanggung. Lalu urusan orang yang ditakdirkan masuk neraka? Gue kembali menyalahkan otak gue, puny brain, maksud Tuhan mungkin lebih dari itu, gue aja yang bego gak tau bahkan mendekati maksud-Nya pun tidak.

Anyway, kalo dari antara anda kalian ada yang berbeban berat, ada yang lagi stress, capek, dan merasa: “why me?” juga sama seperti yang gue rasakan, coba pikir lagi deh, kita hidup aja cuma bentar, paling 70 tahun, lewat dari situ bonus. Apa sih yang mau kita cari di hidup kita? Kalo yang menciptakan kita aja udah menentukan jalan kita seperti apa di dunia ini, kenapa kita capek-capek komplain? Kenapa kita capek-capek mengeluh? Tinggal jalanin aja sebaik mungkin, let God do the rest. Yup ngomong sih gampang, gue sendiri pasti nanti menyangkal omongan gue ini, makanya gue tulis di sini supaya kalo gue berasa down lagi, gue bisa liat tulisan gue, dan gue bisa menentukan lagi apakah konsep yang gue pilih di sini itu benar ato gak. Namanya juga manusia, bisa salah dan pasti salah. To be old and smart you have to be young and stupid first. Hidup ini proses pembelajaran. Gak ada noda, ya gak belajar.

Hmmm… at the end, gue juga masih belum ngerti konsep takdir yang pas, konsep takdir yang bener, apakah ada takdir atau enggak, whatever. Sejauh gue mampu menghadapi hidup gue yang sebentar ini dengan positive, dengan harapan, dengan kebahagiaan dan cinta, gue rasa yang nyiptain gue jelas-jelas mencintai gue. What can you expect except for being loved for your entire life?

Postingan takdir ini sekaligus mengakhiri masa hiatus gak jelas gue. Welcome back to my thoughts.

Regards,
Xander™

I Miss Blogging


This is my first post from my Blackberry smartphone. And this is also my first post after approximately two months… And I’ve been missing my blog! Not much for now, just a small writing in the middle of my boring office hours, and I am waiting for something good here, so I’ll let you know in my next post!

Regards,
Xander™

Amazing July With Vox Angelorum Part 4


Akhirnya, part 4 dimulai hari ini… Kalo belom tau kenapa tiba-tiba part 4, bisa baca dulu part 1-3 ya! By the way, gue ngetik part 4 ini sambil ditemenin lagu: “Tanah airku tidak kulupakannn… kan terkenang selama hidupkuuu…“ *maklum suasana 17-an*

Jadi kenangan gue sekarang kembali ke tanggal 20 Juli, hari Sabtu waktu itu, yang adalah hari di mana kita, paduan suara Vox Angelorum bakalan berlomba. Yep, this is the day, yang udah ditunggu-tunggu, yang adalah tujuan utama latihan dan cari dana ngangkutin t-shirt selama beberapa waktu dilakukan, yang adalah harapan dari seluruh anggota, alumni, teman-teman, saudara, keluarga, kenalan, dan bahkan yang gak kenal juga mendukung… *ngarep*

Pagi-pagi alarm gue yang paling pertama bunyi, dan menurut dua orang roomate gue alarm gue gak kedengaran, lain kali gue harusnya biarin dulu sampe suaranya ga berenti-berenti deh, hahahaha… jadilah pagi itu gue mandi pertama. Setelah mandi, gue turun untuk breakfast sementara kedua roomate gue juga giliran mandi. Katanya, selama temen gue itu mandi, di kamar sebelah ada yang vocalizing, akhirnya dia pun ikutan vocalizing sambil mandi, namun dengan nada 1 oktaf lebih rendah, maklum dia bass… LOL…. *bagi yang merasa kamarnya sebelah kamar kita, sori ya ada gangguan-gangguan echo dari kamar sebelah*

Saat breakfast, gue ketemu dan satu meja lagi sama Abe, itu lho yang jarang mengeluarkan ekspresi wajah, hehehehe… peace be! Kita memang diminta untuk banyak-banyak ngomong pagi itu, cerewet lah ceritanya, bukan supaya ribut, tapi sebagai cara pemanasan supaya suaranya gak kayak orang bangun tidur, nah waktu itu sempat bilang ke Abe yang keliatannya diem-diem aja, “Ayo be, kan harus cerewet, cerewet donk!” Abe pun menjawab, “Iya iya…” dan kembali terdiam… errr… ahahahahaha… Tapi jujur aja, gue pagi itu cukup deg-degan juga, soalnya buat gue yang baru ikutan choir, ini adalah hari yang ditunggu-tunggu, bahkan buat temen-temen yang udah lebih lama dari gue pun, ada yang lomba ini adalah kesempatan lomba pertamanya, gak heran ada yang bilang kalo gue itu beruntung…

Setelah breakfast, kita ada satu jam kesempatan buat nyoba panggung tempat kita tampil nanti. Kita latihan di sana, coba formasi, yah gitu deh pokoknya, kalo buat gue pribadi, mencoba membayangkan nanti tampil di sana, di ruang itu, dengan tiga orang juri di depan gue, hooo… menegangkan! Kira-kira jam 9 udah disuruh finish latihannya sama panitia, soalnya ruangannya udah mau disiapin buat lomba. Kita ikut dua category, chamber choir dan mixed choir. Yang ga tau apa itu mahluk chamber choir dan mixed choir, gue mau ngutip apa kata Om Wikipedia. A chamber choir or group of chamber singers is the choral equivalent of a chamber ensemble, using voices instead of instruments. This prestigious choir will usually consist of 20-40 elite and dedicated singers. Kalo mixed choir ya choir pada umumnya, buat kita, semua orang nyanyi, kecuali conductor dan pianist tentunya.

Balik ke kamar, ganti baju lomba dan siap-siap, masih deg-degan juga, oh God, gue gak bakal bener nih kalo deg-degan seperti ini, penyakit gue kan kalo deg-degan pasti suara ga enak keluarnya, yah tapi yang tampil pertama kan chamber dulu, dan gue pikir nanti juga bakal tenang sendiri deh begitu gue giliran tampil. Untuk chamber, yang nyanyi memang 24 orang doank, dan gue emang gak ikutan di situ, pernah ikutan waktu latian dan sempat jadi cadangan juga sih, hehehehe… Oke, ganti baju dan siap-siap selesai, dan gue sempat ikutan pemanasan juga di salah satu kamar deket gue, dan akhirnya kita semua ngumpul di lobby. Wah ternyata kostum yang buat cewek bagus juga lho, sementara kostum gue sepertinya bikin gue tambah kurus, dan yang pasti leher gue jadi keliatan panjaaaang banget. Oke, gue gak suka kostumnya.

Setelah di lobby, kelompok mulai dipisah, yang chamber berlatih dulu di luar, sedangkan sisanya sesi foto-foto di lobby. Hasil foto-fotonya? Sepertinya gak usah diperlihatkan di sini. Hahahaha… Yap, setelahnya gue langsung ke tempat lomba, dan memang temen-temen yang ga ikutan chamber bakalan nonton dan kasih dukungan buat tim chamber choir kita. Eh, begitu sampe di sana, dibilang panitia bahwa sebentar lagi giliran Vox tampil, padahal menurut jadwal masih ada tim-tim yang tampil, tapi katanya ada yang dilewat, akhirnya gue lari ke bawah dan ke tempat mereka latian tadi, buat ngasih tau bahwa waktunya tinggal sebentar lagi. Untunglah ketika sampe di sana udah doa, berarti udah siap-siap ke tempat lomba. Tapi beberapa masih ada yang pengen ke toilet, dan gak jadi gara-gara gak keburu, hmmm firasatnya udah ga enak nih…

Begitu sampe, siap-siap, dan masuk. Kita yang ga ikutan udah duduk di deretan-deretan depan buat kasih dukungan. Percaya ato enggak, gue bener-bener deg-degan waktu itu, berdebar-debar di dada… kalo kata Afgan. Gila, gue yang nonton aja kayak gini, gimana yang tampil ya? Gue sangat berharap yang tampil ga segugup gue yang nonton ini. Lagu pertama, gue kurang puas dengernya, lagu kedua, masih ada yang kurang memuaskan, lagu ketiga yang paling sulit, bagus tapi juga kurang maksimal. Dan itu keliatan dari wajah temen-temen yang tampil yang juga gak puas sama penampilan mereka. Gue dan yang lain cuma bisa mendukung, dan gue percaya juga, mereka udah melakukan yang terbaik. Oke, lupain gak enaknya perasaan setelah chamber, sekarang kita konsentrasi buat kategori terakhir yang kita semua terlibat di dalamnya, mixed choir.

Kita berkumpul lagi di lorong luar, a little bit relaxed after the first category, dan pelatih kemudian bilang: “buat yang merasa tidak puas dengan penampilan tadi, ini saatnya untuk balas!” Dan gue entah kenapa jadi fired up! Latihan saat itu rasanya luar biasa, lagu pertama yang bertema tentang hari kemarahan, memang sepertinya mencerminkan judulnya. Sangat menggebrak. Pelatih kita puas banget sama latihan lagu itu, dan bukan hanya itu, tim-tim lain yang nongkrong atau berlatih deket-deket kita sampe bengong-bengong liat kita latihan. Mudah-mudahan bengongnya itu kagum ya, jangan sampe bengongnya gara-gara “duh gila jelek banget itu!”. Setelah latihan, kita berdoa lagi, kali ini semuanya ikut dan doa ini sangat-sangat menyentuh hati, entah buat yang lain, gue waktu itu bilang dalam hati, Albert (teman kita yang jatuh itu) we will do our best and give you the medal! Dan karena takut ada perubahan jadwal lagi seperti tim chamber tadi, kita memutuskan buat lebih awal ke tempat lomba.

Semalam sebelumnya masih ingat gue, kalo gugup kepalkan tangan kanan, kepercayaan diri itu ada di sana. Dan akhirnya giliran kita masuk ke ruangan lomba, urutan pertama, yang ternyata jadwalnya dipercepat juga. Tangan kanan terkepal, yep, naik ke panggung, tiga juri itu udah duduk di depan kita, sesuai dengan bayangan gue tadi, dan MC mengumumkan: “Ladies and gentlement…” *ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing….* ternyata di belakang gak ada siapa-siapa… gak ada yang nonton! Iya lah, secara kita semua di depan, dan juga mungkin yang lain gak ada yang mau nonton… setelah itu tiba-tiba salah satu jurinya bilang, “Haii…” dan langsung dijawab anak-anak dengan, “Haiii….” tapi dengan suara segambreng. Dan kita sempat ketawa waktu itu. Wuih, luar biasa, kegugupan itu tiba-tiba cair gitu aja, ilang gak berbekas. Dengan kepalan tangan kanan yang masih firm, kita mulai lagu pertama. Yep, kalo udah gak gugup, rasanya nyanyinya enak, puas rasanya menumpahkan emosi di lagu pertama, yang memang lagu tentang kemarahan itu. Lalu ke lagu kedua, lagu yang kita nyanyikan waktu jenguk Albert di rumah sakit sebelum operasi, lagu yang berkesan dan berarti tinggi buat gue pribadi, dan juga salah satu yang kalo gue gugup nyanyinya bakalan ga sampe di nada tingginya. Lagu ini pun berjalan baik. Akhirnya lagu ketiga, sebuah lagu yang mengenang Mother Teresa. Dulu gue pernah bilang, waktu masih latihan, sama temen gue Nino, bahwa lagu ini yang bakalan menentukan kita dapet medali emas atau enggak. Sebenernya sotoy aja sih, soalnya lagu ini menurut gue paling wah buat ditampilkan. Dan kali ini kita nyanyiin ini di saat terakhir, penentuan. Dan menurut gue, kita nyanyiin itu mulus banget. Salah satu yang bikin gue legaaaaa dan seneng adalah, ketiga juri itu memberi applause sangat panjang, sampai semua anggota Vox Angelorum turun dari panggung. Luar biasa rasanya. Sejak keluar ruangan itu, gue udah ga peduli gue bakal dapet medali atau enggak, we had fun back there!

Selesai sudah, kita tinggal menunggu hasilnya, waktu itu gue rasa gue udah kasih yang terbaik, dan gue percaya temen-temen lain juga sama. Dan pelatih juga bilang ke kita sesampainya kita di luar, “it couldn’t be better than this”, dan waktu doa itu udah ada beberapa yang terharu. Setelah itu lanjut dengan sesi foto-foto bersama, kemudian acara nyasar-nyasar nyari rumah makan Pasta-Pasta di mana kita bakalan makan siang. Setelah sekian lama berjalan akhirnya ketemu juga itu Pasta-Pasta. Lucunya, manager restonya mirip sama ketua Vox sebelumnya… sempat gue foto sih, tapi gak berani kasi liat orangnya (mudah-mudahan dia gak baca). Ngobrol-ngobrol sambil makan, ketawa-ketiwi, foto-foto, bahkan beberapa sampe udah sempat foto-foto dengan background pantai yang emang gak jauh dari situ, sampai akhirnya kita dipanggil dan memutuskan balik ke tempat lomba, karena sepertinya announcement bakal dimulai…

Begitu sampai ke tempat lomba, gue sempat nanya sama panitianya, ternyata announcementnya jam 3 sore, dan waktu itu sekitar jam setengah 3. Jadi akhirnya kita masuk dulu ke ruangan, dan ada sesi foto-foto lagi, kali ini dengan juri bule, dan juga panitia bule yang katanya cakep, ehmmm… kalo yg terakhir ini gue gak ikutan ya, yang ikutan cewek-cewek doank… dan kita cukup membuat kehebohan di belakang sana, karena yang berebut foto sama bule-bule itu banyak, dan kebanyakan emang dari kita sendiri (cewek-ceweknya lho)… hahahahaha… ups, ada satu juri yang kayaknya paling gak laku, satu-satunya maestro dari Thailand, mungkin gara-gara bukan bule kali ya?

Jam 3 sore! Akhirnya pengumumannya dimulai. Wuih, biarpun gue bilang waktu selesai lomba, gue gak peduli dapet emas atau enggak, ternyata itu perasaan sesaat doank, sekarang gue deg-degan abis. Huahahaha… nungguin emang gak enak, enakan tampil sendiri ternyata. Yap, kategori-kategori lain udah mulai diumumin, udah banyak jeritan histeris kebahagiaan dari beberapa peraih gold, dan tepuk tangan biasa-biasa dari yang silver, dan tepuk tangan seadanya dari yang bronze… dan yang gak dapet? Gak tau deh… Kemudian, tibalah kategori chamber choir. Yap, kita dapet silver. Tepuk tangan biasa-biasa. Sebentar doank. Gak terlalu gimanaaaa gitu. Dan setelah kategori-kategori lain yang juga selalu diiringi jerit-jerit, akhirnya ke kategori mixed choir. Deg-degan luar biasa. Gue duduk di deretan bangku paling belakang. Finger crossed. Dan pengumumannya adalah lawan kita Sola Fide dapet gold. Artinya, kita dapet gold? Masih belum percaya, ditambah lagi dengan kata-kata:  “and another gold, with a perfect 100 points… Vox Angelorum Jakarta!” and it’s like: “YEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! WE DID IT!!! WE DID IT!!! PERFECT SCORE??? HIT ME, I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!!! THANK YOU GOD!!!!” dan gue berteriak-teriak gila. Beberapa dari kita langsung bercucuran air mata, penuh suka cita, jingkrak-jingkrak ga jelas, bendera Vox Angelorum dikibar-kibarin berbarengan sama bendera Merah Putih Indonesia. Rasanya pengalaman ini tak tergantikan. Luar biasa!!!!

Dan kemudian diumumkan 3 choir terpilih yang ikutan Concert of Winners segera saat itu juga, dan Vox Angelorum termasuk di dalamnya! Yeah! Artinya kita harus nyanyi lagi, dengan suara yang udah lumayan abis gara-gara teriak-teriak dan pada nangis, juga dengan emosi yang udah meluap meleber kemana-mana, kita tampil lagi bawain dua lagu. Begitu kita turun dari panggung, applause yang kita dapat tetap luar biasa, kali ini dari seluruh peserta yang menonton memenuhi ruangan itu. Gak bisa berhenti bersyukur. Tuhan udah kasih semuanya indah pada waktunya. Betul-betul gak bisa berhenti memanjatkan syukur sama Tuhan dan Bunda Maria, luar biasa. Waktu pengumuman itu, gue terlalu sibuk teriak-teriak dan loncat-loncat, gak sempat nangis sama sekali, hahahaha… nangis aja sampe disempat-sempatin ya? Tapi waktu kita berdoa di bawah, dan pelatih udah gak sanggup mimpin doa takut ngucur air matanya katanya, maka yang pimpin doa adalah Abe, yang dianggap gak bakal kasi ekspresi hahahaha… tapi mau gimanapun, pertahanan gue hancur saat doa, gue nangis sodara-sodara…

Silver medal and a gold medal with a perfect score, benar-benar kado ulang taun sempurna buat gue. Gak pernah gue bayangin sebelumnya, ikut lomba di taun pertama bareng Vox, dengan pengalaman luar biasa ini. Perjalanan ini memang penuh mujizat dari awal, dan gue bersyukur, kita bersyukur, teranyata apa yang kita lakukan dan usahakan selama ini, sejalan dengan yang Tuhan mau. Semoga tetap demikian buat tugas-tugas dan pelayanan kita ke depannya. Amin! Dan sebelum lupa, gue masih inget, ketika kita masih jejingkrakan di dalam setelah diumumkan itu, kita sempat teriak-teriak, “Albert Albert Albert!!!” sampe mungkin choir yang laen bingung, Albert? Hehehehe… yes we did it bro! Segala rasa pesimis dan keraguan, dan juga kesulitan yang kita alami, ternyata Tuhan membalasnya dengan menyempurnakan hari itu, menyempurnakan segala harapan dan usaha yang udah kita buat.

And this is the end of part 4. Sisanya masih ada sih, tapi kayaknya klimaksnya berhenti di sini… sisanya part 5 nanti kalo ada, gue mungkin bakalan cerita tentang kejadian-kejadian lucu yang terjadi setelahnya, kalo niat juga nulisnya ya. Kalo gue nginget-nginget lagi kejadian ini, sampai sekarang pun gue masih suka terharu, post euphoria sih katanya, mudah-mudahan emang nambah semangat buat choir kita ke depannya! And for the closing, this is the medals, thank you Lord!

 PS: This photos are courtesy of Alfonsus Guritno (again, thank you for your amazing photos!) and from the website of http://www.festamusicale.com

Regards,
Xander™