YLCCC 2017: 3 Days as a Climate Ranger

“Earth provides enough for everyone’s need, but not for every man’s greed.”

(Mahatma Gandhi)

Earlier this year from February 24th to 26th 2017, I got a chance to participate at the Youth Leadership Camp for Climate Change 2017 (YLCCC 2017) in Bandar Lampung with a visit to UNESCO site at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. YLCCC is a 3-day training which aim is to equip 50 selected youth from all over Indonesia with knowledge on climate change. The selection itself was rather rigorous and competitive. Prior to this event, the prospective participants must make a team consist of 5 persons with gender balance (either 3 women and 2 men or 3 men and 2 women). Each team had to fill the form, also send our Curriculum Vitae along with motivation letters.

Actually, my team failed once in the selection of YLCCC at Gunung Leuser National Park which was held some days prior to the one in Lampung. But we tried to edit our motivation letters to make sure that our intentions delivered into the committee’s minds and fit the requirements. February 20th, 2017 marked the day when we got the announcement of our participations. It was a good news for my team: Reni, Uty, Faris and Garda, as we were able to participate in the event.

Day 1 – February 24th. 2017

On the first day, 50 delegates who come from different places in Indonesia gathered at Ashoka Luxury Hotel in Bandar Lampung to learn and discuss climate change. This event was held by The Climate Reality Project Indonesia, YFCC (Youth for Climate Change) Indonesia, UNESCO, SIDA, UNCC-LEARN, UNITAR in order to equip youth with knowledge on climate change and share the knowledge after the event. The committee greeted us with a warm welcome and gave us a morning coffee. It was a nice first impression.

The first thing was a pre-test! The pre-test was conducted by the committee in order to assess the participant’s knowledge on climate change. It contains 10 questions about various topics which we will discuss for the following 3 days. Then, we had welcoming remarks from Shahbaz Khan (UNESCO Jakarta), Amanda Katili Niode (Climate Reality Project Indonesia) and Kristina Rekakavaz (UN:CC Learn). Next thing, we had an ice breaking from the MC, Ms. Lia Zakiyyah. After that, we had a coffee break and lunch.

We had some sessions afterward. The first session after the lunch was a brief introduction on climate change by Mrs. Amanda. It was a nice session. Even some of us who did not really familiar with climate change issues and terms were getting enough insights on climate change. After that, we had a short introduction on UNESCO and how can UNESCO help in combating climate change. UNESCO has a role in educating sustainable development goals, to assess the risk of natural disaster, to monitor the effect on climate change in UNESCO sites and to promote low carbon use.

Then, we had an introduction to Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park by Mr. Timbul Batubara, the Head of Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. He told us about the programs in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park and its correlation with climate change. He has done various works which helped to raise a number of rare species there. The next session was about Carbon Footprint by Mrs. Murni Titi. The participants learned how to calculate our carbon footprint use.

Learning about carbon footprint with Mrs. Murni Titi. (Source: YLCCC Team)

After the next coffee break, we learned about how to communicate climate change to the mass from Ms. Lia Zakiyyah. The main emphasis of this session was that so we can portray positive vibes that we will gain if we prevent climate change from happening. Since most of these days’ campaign on climate change portray only the dangers caused by climate change. The last for today was a session from Ray Nayoan about how to turn our ideas into a great short movie which will be the good for climate change campaign.

Day 2 – February 25th, 2017

We were supposed to gather at the hotel lobby at 6.00 am, but it turned out that most of the participants showed up late at the venue. It seemed that the participant’s lack of rest triggered this. Hence, we entered the bus at 6.30 am and had our breakfast there. We had to have our breakfast on the way because it takes about 3 hours from Bandar Lampung to the meeting point at Bukit Barisan National Park (TNBBS). We got a warm welcoming remark from TNBBS.

Balai Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan. (Source: YLCCC Team)

The 10 teams were divided into 3 routes: Rhino Camp, Tarsius, and Turaff Waterfall. My team went to Rhino Camp with some other groups. We started our journey from the post of Rhino Camp with some guides from locals and TNBBS. The guides told us that we can encounter elephants and Rafflesia arnoldi if we are lucky enough. In the end, we did not encounter any elephants or Rafflesia flower. We only saw some of the elephant’s traces such as the feces’ and footprints.

It was not easy to encounter elephants because they have a great sense of human signs such as smells and sounds. They could predict human whereabouts from 5 kilometers distance. Some of us have taken a bath this morning and smelled good so it could be the cause of why the elephants did not show their nose for us.

The view of the main post at Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (TNBBS).

What really interesting about our journey today, was our encounter of Nephentes. As we already know, Nephentes could digest small animals such as ants when it entered its inside. The inside of Nephentes contains water which can be used for cures of various diseases before its bloom, but it will become toxic once it has bloomed.

Other than that, we also managed to plant some small trees in some areas which have been prepared by the guides. It was fun and also encouraging. Our hands were dirty, but we were happy to do these things. At the end of the journey, the guides released some birds as a symbolism of the birds’ rights to have freedom within nature. There were also some other animals which have been confiscated from irresponsible hunters such as kukangs and snakes which also got released.

We went back to the hotel and arrived at 19.28 pm. After a one-hour break, we got two sessions from Ms. Lia and Mr. Ray. Ms. Lia reviewed how we can frame our campaign into positive thinking, while Mr. Ray reviewed our video shots which we took prior to the session while we did our journey at TNBBS. Our videos were not really good, which become the main topic of the discussion. Mr. Ray pointed to some of our faults while taking the videos and gave some solutions to overcome these problems. Finally, we got a new task for tomorrow! To make a short film: the script, the shooting, and the editing. Not forget to mention, we also got some tasks for the post-camp activities.

The session about video-editing with Mr. Ray Nayoan.

Day 3 – February 26th, 2017

Today we began our activities at 8.00 am after having a quick breakfast due to our late wake-up. Our first task was to shoot a short video to give positive frame about climate change. Our team chose “Think Eat Save” as the theme. The main purpose of this theme is to prevent the viewers to not throw away the food and take it only as they needed.

Wasting the food can increase gas emission on the earth. So we should decrease meat and other foods with high carbon consumption. In addition, by decreasing meat consumption we can replace it with vegetables. Consuming vegetables can decrease carbon emission on earth.

We took 2 hours to take a video, from 08.00 am-11.00 am. We were guided by Mr. Ray on producing visual story-telling. He gave tips and tricks such as managing ISO, duration, zooming and angle. In presentation session from Mr. Ray, we can understand the materials. But in reality, it is not that easy. We got some problem like taking the angle, noises from surrounding areas and lighting. But that is OK for us as a beginner. At 11:00 am, we started editing the video. The movies of my group did not finish yet due to the short time.

After lunch, all of the group presented their videos. It was a funny moment to watch how diverse is of each team’s video. They made video campaign with their own style. Unfortunately, my group video could not be played due to the technical issue. Mr. Ray gave each group technical advice to make sure that they can make good videos.

At last, we got a post-test from the committee. The problems were similar to the pre-test which we got on our first day. If we were to recall, most of us can do the test better than the pre-test. We also wrote a postcard which we sent to our address to remind us the dream to combat climate change in our own ways. It was a memorable experience, especially for me who love to do Postcrossing around the world.

We were sending our postcards!

Lust for Life: The Stories of the Great Song, Book, and Film

The phrase lust for life gives me goosebumps when I first reading it. The phrase which contains three words made my heart pounds as I began to think of its meaning. The first word, lust, has a mean of a strong desire for something to be completed soon. It also works for both concrete and abstract objects, i.e. wanderlust could be interpreted as someone who has a strong desire to wander. Hence, I came to a conclusion that lust for life could be meant as a strong desire to get what life could offer, to fully experience what life is and to get its very meaning.

I first ran across the phrase lust for life some years ago while I was reading a manga called BECK by Harold Sakuishi. It was a manga about a junior high sophomore called Tanaka Yukio (Koyuki) who did not experience much of his life while he was longing to write an autobiography someday later in his life. His life changed when he met a guy called Minami Ryusuke who is fond of music and later introduced him to musical world and even formed a band called BECK with him (The series title originally derived from the name of the band that they formed). This series eventually became the second bible of my life, since the story told the details of Koyuki’s struggle to the path of success.

The cover of the 1st volume of BECK tankoubon manga.

The story centered around Koyuki and his relations with the band members. Although it is basically a manga about a band, Sakuishi-sensei has inserted some comedies and romances. Including the relationship between Koyuki and Minami Maho, Ryusuke’s half-sister. The main conflict started when BECK made an enemy of Ran, the major Japanese music producer in the story, who played a major role in the everlasting struggles that BECK has to face. It was also the reason why they had to sign a contract with infamous Lust for Life indie label for their first and second single to be produced.

There are various musical influences on BECK name for characters and places. Such as Morrison Hotel, the hotel where Jim Walsh was staying in Tokyo, originally derived from the name of the 5th studio album of the late the Doors. Another example is the name of the indie label Lust for Life which originally came from the song with the same title by Iggy Pop which was released in 1977. The song performed by Iggy Pop and co-written by the late David Bowie. The song itself was a big hit at the time and even ranked 149th on the list of Rolling Stone magazine “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

There is a background story to this song, which Pop told in the Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Story behind the Song :

I was living in Berlin in the ’70s. David Bowie came over to see me and stayed. The wall was still up; Berlin was an occupied zone. Every Thursday night, the Armed Forces played Starsky and Hutch and we could pick it up on rabbit ears. Armed Forces TV had an audio signal like the Morse Code.

David picked up his son’s ukelele one day and knocked out the chord progression for this song and suggested the title. Lust For Life was my mom’s favorite book. It is a biographical novel about Vincent Van Gogh, written by Irving Stone, that was turned into a movie. It was a metaphor for my career at that point. I wasn’t enjoying success yet, much like Van Gogh who never saw any of the money or fame that his work did after he died.

Certain lyrics in the song, like “Johnny Yen” and “hypnotizing chickens,” refer to Williams S. Burroughs’ novel The Ticket That Exploded.

What the song talks about is how indispensible it is to be alive and excited but, ironically, our joys also make us vulnerable. Perhaps the people who aren’t too excited about things do better.

The funny thing was that the music was very bouncy and up. The band’s track had a great feel. We recorded it in a studio over there and we all hit it out of the park in one night. It was released in Holland in 1977 and became a #1 single. Then it sat on the shelf for awhile. It bubbled under the radar for about 20 years until the youth movie Trainspotting played the song loud in its entirety to open the movie. I was back in America then. The record became a multi-platinum soundtrack and it was a hit video here for me. It changed my life. “Lust For Life” was in other films as well, including Desperately Seeking Susan, but they weren’t as good for the song.

The most interesting thing about it is that as time goes on, the public will make of something what they want to. It’s a happy song. People don’t care about the irony in the verses. Whole families come up and thank me.

[Taken from http://www.chickensoup.com/book-story/30747/lust-for-life ]

From that story, I found out that the song has a reference to the book and film of Lust for Life. The book is written by Irving Stone, first published in 1934, while the movie adaptation released in 1956. The movie, as well as the book, became an initial success at the time.

The story of Lust for Life centered about the life of infamous yet famous Dutch-painter Vincent Van Gogh. Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890) never experienced success even once during his 37-years life. He has shifted from various career such as painting dealer, Evangelic pastor before settled down as a painter. As a painter, he even faced various problems and rejections from his neighborhood, acquaintances, other painters and even his families.

The one who never stops supported Vincent was his younger brother, Theo Van Gogh, who was a paintings dealer living in Paris. He gave Vincent 100 franc per month at first and raised it when his salary raised to support his brother who had not sold his paintings yet. Theo even backed up and gave Vincent good advice when all other Van Gogh family members were thinking that Vincent is a disgrace to the Van Gogh name.

Vincent Van Gogh self-portrait (1889)

Lust for life, as Iggy Pop described in the above-mentioned passage, has become a metaphor of a strong will which Vincent Van Gogh bore. It described well of a person who worked hard yet never ever encountered success in his life. It is important to note that success is just a bonus which you will get through your hard work. What is really important is not about enjoying your success, but it is to share your passion, something that you valued highly, to the outside world. That was what Van Gogh did, by sharing his feelings through his works. Even though he never experiences the fame and money his works have brought. So do not forget to live your life to the fullest.


Seminggu pertama dari Bulan Februari 2017 ini kuhabiskan di Kota Gudeg Yogyakarta, atau yang lebih akrab disapa dengan Jogja. Jogja selalu menyimpan banyak cerita dari sejak pertama kali aku berkunjung ke sana di tahun 2004. Bisa dibilang aku selalu mengunjungi kota ini dengan berbagai alasan setahun sekali sejak aku lulus dari SMA. Berbicara tentang Jogja, ada banyak hal yang bisa diceritakan mulai dari keramahan para penghuninya hingga kekayaan budayanya dengan tempat-tempat bersejarahnya. Walaupun begitu, aku mencoba menghindari untuk memilih kuliah di Jogja karena tempat ini adalah zona nyaman yang luar biasa bagiku. Kali ini, aku ingin mencoba membahasnya dari segi yang sedikit pribadi melalui hal-hal yang memberiku kesan ‘nostalgia’.

  1. Kacamata

Kenapa aku harus membahasnya mulai dari kacamata? Beberapa hari sebelum aku sampai di Jogja tanggal 1, aku mengalami peristiwa tragis (sebenarnya nggak tragis-tragis banget sih) yang menyebabkan kacamata yang biasa aku pakai sejak tahun 2015 itu patah menjadi 2 bagian. Peristiwanya terjadi ketika jalan-jalan penutupan kepanitiaan Pemira IKM UI 2016 di wahana Ice Age Dufan. Gelapnya pemandangan di wahana tersebut membuatku tidak fokus dan menabrak dinding tak terlihat itu dengan begitu kerasnya. Kacamataku patah menjadi dua, dan ada sebuah bekas lecet di dekat mata sebelah kananku. Tragis bukan? (mencari simpati, wkwk)

Sebenarnya ada satu kacamata cadangan yang kumiliki, tapi ia hilang tak berbekas entah ke mana ketika aku pindah tempat tinggal ke asrama.

Mendengar penuturan ceritaku itu, Kak Rani, yang sudah pernah kuceritakan sebelumnya, kemudian memberiku sebuah kacamata dengan lensa minus satu yang sebenarnya nggak pas dengan mataku. Kacamata yang diberikan Kak Rani itu adalah sebuah kacamata dengan frame merah, dengan kesan feminin yang ditampakkannya. Namun, ternyata kacamata itu sangat cocok dengan wajahku. Entah kenapa, hampir semua kacamata cocok jika disandingkan dengan wajahku. Kata Kak Rani, aku bisa menggunakan frame dari kacamata pemberiannya untuk digunakan dengan lensa kacamata lamaku yang telah patah. FYI: kacamata yang diberikannya padaku itu adalah pemberian mantannya dulu.

Tapi dasar orang sibuk, aku benar-benar nggak punya waktu dari pagi sampai malam untuk pergi ke optik sekadar untuk membetulkan kacamataku, walaupun aku harus bertingkah seperti orang setengah buta dalam setiap kegiatanku. Dari luar, orang melihatku biasa saja karena aku memakai kacamata yang diberikan oleh Kak Rani sebelumnya. Namun, sebenarnya aku melihat seperti orang yang tidak memakai kacamata. Lalu aku jadi bertanya-tanya, “Seperti inikah yang dirasakan oleh temanku Hadhara saat Youth Adventure dari Jogja ke Jakarta atau temanku Andin saat FLS berlangsung?” Sungguh rasanya aku telah benar-benar bergantung pada kacamata ya, sejak aku pertama kali memakainya di tahun 2006.

Alhasil, begitu keretaku sampai di Stasiun Lempuyangan Yogyakarta, hal yang pertama kali kulakukan adalah mencari toko optik yang masih buka sampai menjelang tengah malam. Berbekal bantuan Google Maps, aku menemukan Optik Tugu yang di hari itu masih buka sampai jam 10 malam, kebetulan letaknya juga dekat dengan Stasiun Tugu yang hendak kutuju setelahnya. Akhirnya aku segera menuju ke tempat itu sambil menggondol kacamata lamaku yang patah.

“Wah, ini nggak bisa kalo cuma ganti frame. Harus bikin kacamata baru mas.”

Pernyataan dari mbak-mbak di toko optik itu cukup membuatku bingung, karena bagiku ini adalah alamat mengeluarkan uang lebih untuk bulan ini.

“Kalau bikin baru harganya berapa mbak?”

“Di sini kami ada 2 pilihan mas. Kalau yang cuma lensa doang garansinya, itu 350 ribu. Kalau yang frame-nya juga garansi, itu 650 ribu mas.”

Berhubung keuanganku sedang cukup terbatas dan belum tentu ada waktu lain untuk bikin kacamata lagi, akhirnya kuputuskan untuk membeli kacamata yang harganya 350 ribu. Kalau berpikir mahal murahnya, anggap saja ini investasi. Kali ini aku memilih frame kacamata berwarna ungu. Mungkin ungu kesannya feminin, tapi memang pada dasarnya aku ini senang dengan hal-hal yang sifatnya feminin. Contohnya, kerapian kamar, warna favorit, lagu-lagu yang kudengarkan, ketidaksukaanku pada pekerjaan pertukangan, dan sampai saat ini kebanyakan dari wanita yang pernah mengisi hatiku pun punya kepribadian tomboi.

Kacamata baruku!

Oleh-oleh pertamaku dari Jogja, kacamata baru!

  1. Garda dan Bayu

Bayu Rakhmatullah, mahasiswa Fisika ITB angkatan 2013 yang sedang pusing karena TA, adalah orang yang sukses mengompori diriku untuk pergi ke Jogja dengan kemampuan persuasifnya yang mengagumkan. Padahal pada awalnya, aku sempat ragu untuk pergi ke Jogja karena ada beberapa orang yang jarang ketemu, yang aku sudah punya janji untuk ketemuan di wisuda semester gasal UI yang jatuh tanggal 4 Februari 2017. Tapi setelah menimbang-nimbang, karena aku juga ada Musyawarah Nasional (Munas) Komunitas Relawan Anak Baik Indonesia (KORBI) di Kaliurang, Yogyakarta dari tanggal 3-4 Februari, akhirnya aku putuskan untuk berangkat ke Jogja dan membatalkan janji yang lebih awal.

Sedikit prolog tentang Bayu, dia sangat sering melontarkan kata-kata “zonk” dan “t*i kucing” ketika menemui sesuatu yang tidak dia sukai. Seperti halnya ketika kami menemui Pantai Baron yang ternyata sedang keruh airnya karena musim hujan. Penampilannya sangat jauh dari anak ITB yang kesannya kaku. Terlepas dari itu semua, Bayu adalah orang yang benar-benar memikirkan orang lain sampai mungkin kita akan merasa kalau dia begitu berlebihan. Seperti usai kunjungan kami ke Sarkem, Bayu tampak begitu paranoid untuk memastikan Garda tidak mampir lagi ke sana. Yang kusuka dari Bayu adalah, ia selalu menjadi dirinya sendiri di mana pun dia berada. Sangat jarang aku melihat orang yang topengnya tetap sama di mana pun ia berada. Ia akan tetap mengatakan “zonk” dan “t*i kucing” sambil tertawa kencang dengan siapa pun ia berbicara.

Sedangkan Garda adalah tuan rumah yang rela menampung Bayu dan diriku di rumahnya yang sederhana di Bantul. Pertama kali melihat Garda, mungkin kamu akan berpikir kalau dia orangnya kaku dan kurang bisa diajak ngobrol. Tapi percayalah, semakin kamu mengenal Garda, kamu akan melihat sosok seseorang yang peka terhadap kebutuhan orang lain dan punya cara yang tidak biasa dalam mengekspresikan niat baiknya untuk membantu orang lain. Seperti misalnya ketika kami sedang di perjalanan mengendarai motor melewati jalan desa di sore hari, Garda berhenti sesaat sambil berbicara dengan seorang bapak tua yang sedang memanggul sebuah kayu besar di pundaknya. Tadinya aku dan Bayu mengira kalau ia sedang menanyakan arah jalan. Sesaat kemudian, bapak tua tersebut sudah ada dalam boncengannya. Rupanya ia menawarkan untuk mengantarkan bapak tua itu sampai depan rumahnya!

Bersama kedua orang ini, aku mengunjungi beberapa tempat terkenal di Jogja dan sekitarnya seperti Malioboro, Benteng Vredeburg, Bukit Rhema yang muncul dalam film Ada Apa dengan Cinta, Pantai Indrayanti, dan SARKEM! Aku yakin kalian semua tahu atau minimal pernah mendengar sesuatu tentang Sarkem atau Pasar Kembang. Ia adalah sebuah tempat lokalisasi legal yang letaknya tepat di depan Stasiun Tugu Yogyakarta. Malam itu kami bertiga menguji keberanian kami berjalan memasuki gang Pasar Kembang.

Begitu masuk, kami diminta uang ‘keamanan’ 5 ribu rupiah per orang. Kala itu masih jam 8 malam, tetapi para kupu-kupu malam sudah menunggui kami di pelataran depan rumahnya masing-masing sambil menyapa kami ramah. Di dalamnya, ternyata gang tersebut cukup luas, ada banyak tempat karaoke dan kafe juga. Yang membuatku terkesan, ternyata masih ada musala dan sebuah taman kanak-kanak yang berdiri di gang tersebut. Hasil observasi kami malam itu, selalu ada sisi baik dan buruk dari sesuatu yang membuat kita tak bisa begitu saja menghakiminya sebagai baik atau buruk. Cerita yang lebih mendetail dari ini sepertinya kurang layak untuk dipublikasikan karena sumbernya masih kurang lengkap dan tidak diperbolehkan untuk memotret secara langsung kondisi dalam gang tersebut.

Kiri: Bayu, Kanan: Garda. Di Foodpark UGM.

Bayu dan Garda kini sama-sama sedang berjuang untuk menuntaskan pendidikan sarjana mereka. Mari kita doakan mereka segera lulus dan diwisuda tahun ini. Amin.

  1. Musyawarah Nasional KORBI

Acara ini yang bisa dibilang menjadi agenda utamaku di Jogja awal Februari ini. Sejujurnya aku baru beberapa bulan bergabung dengan KORBI atau Komunitas Relawan Anak Baik Indonesia ini sehingga belum terlalu mengenal baik secara keorganisasian maupun orang-orangnya. Namun, aku mendapat kesan yang baik dari berinteraksi dengan para pengurus KORBI dari berbagai regional. Saat ini, KORBI memiliki chapter di Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang, Bogor, dan Jogja yang saat itu menjadi tuan rumah. Sebenarnya ada beberapa chapter lain yang saat ini sedang non aktif seperti Pekanbaru, Bandung, dan Surabaya. Namun, ada kendala-kendala yang biasa dialami oleh organisasi yang baru berdiri seperti jarak dan komitmen yang masih berbeda-beda dari pengurusnya.

KORBI Depok di Munas KORBI. Dari kiri ke kanan: Kak Hasan, Kak Arga, Kak Aldi, remah-remah sari roti, Kak Tri, Kak Musfiq, Kak Hasima, Kak Sri.

Memulai sesuatu itu adalah hal yang sulit, lebih sulit dari mempertahankan. Dan kurasa itulah yang sedang dialami oleh KORBI. Seperti halnya masalah-masalah yang dibahas saat Munas yang lebih berkutat ke hal-hal yang sifatnya fundamental seperti mematangkan lagi AD/ART dan platform dari program-program KORBI. Kuharap seterusnya KORBI bisa lebih baik lagi dalam menunjang Anak Baik Indonesia dan menjangkau tempat-tempat yang belum terjangkau saat ini dan bisa berbagi lebih banyak kebermanfaatan.

  1. Andin

Nama panggilannya Andin, lengkapnya Raden Roro Erika Purwa Andini. Bertemu dengan Andin adalah salah satu tujuan utamaku datang ke Jogja. Apa yang membuatku harus repot-repot menemuinya dalam kunjungan singkatku? Aku juga masih mencari jawabannya, karena aku merasa kalau harus bertemu dengannya walaupun hanya sebentar. Ketika pertama kali bertemu dengan Andin di FLS awal Oktober lalu, aku merasakan semangatnya untuk belajar bahasa asing. Ia tampak berbeda dari kebanyakan mahasiswa yang biasa kutemui di FIB UI. Passionate. Mungkin itu kata yang tepat untuk mendeskripsikannya dengan satu kata. Kembali ke pertanyaan di atas, aku juga masih bingung dengan jawabannya. Entah, mungkin aku mencari sosok diriku pada dirinya? Atau mungkin aku mencoba mencari orang yang satu frame, sepemikiran denganku pada sosok Andin? Coba tanyakan saja pada rumput bergoyang. Hahaha.

Penggambaranku mengenai Andin, berhubung aku tak punya fotonya! Haha.

Ketika kami bertemu di tanggal 5, dia baru saja sampai di Jogja sehari sebelumnya. Kulihat dia terbatuk beberapa kali dan wajahnya tampak kuyu kelelahan dari perjalanan jauh. Mungkin waktu itu bukan waktu yang terbaik untuk bertemu dengannya. Ditambah lagi aku yang telat datang dari waktu yang sudah dijanjikan sebelumnya. Namun, ia masih menyempatkan untuk menemaniku berkeliling Sunmor (Sunday Morning, sebutan untuk pasar kaget hari Minggu pagi di sekitar kampus UGM dan UNY) hingga akhirnya kami mengobrol di sebuah bangku di kampus FIB UGM. Kami mengobrol tentang banyak hal, dari seputar kegiatan perkuliahan kami hingga pandangan-pandangan kami mengenai kehidupan.

Mungkin Andin adalah sosok sahabat yang kuharapkan, yang tak bisa kutemukan di Depok. Seorang sahabat yang dengannya kau bisa menghabiskan berjam-jam mengobrol tentang banyak hal yang random sesuai suasana hati kami saat itu. 3 jam waktu yang kami habiskan di hari itu terasa seperti berabad-abad (lebay). Intinya aku merasa butuh seorang sahabat seperti Andin, seorang sahabat yang punya mimpi sama, umurnya berdekatan, jurusan kuliahnya mirip, hobinya hampir sama. Andin juga suka menulis, dan sepertinya lebih ahli daripada diriku dalam hal ini. Tulisan-tulisan Andin bisa dilihat di http://erikaseprijadi.wordpress.com atau http://miarachan.blogspot.com (ngiklan dikit). Ia juga suka membacakan puisi yang dibuatnya sendiri melalui akun Soundcloud-nya (silakan dicari sendiri).

  1. Waroeng SS

Brace Yourself, ini adalah cerita tentang Waroeng SS atau biasa juga dikenal dengan Waroeng Spesial Sambal.

Aku ingin membuat satu bagian khusus mengenai tempat makan favoritku ini. Bagi mahasiswa UI, Waroeng SS di Jalan Margonda Raya Depok adalah sebuah tempat sakral tempat ngumpul bareng teman organisasi atau sekadar makan-makan biasa. Tempatnya pun selalu penuh di berbagai jam, tidak terkecuali saat Bulan Ramadhan. Yang spesial dari Waroeng SS adalah penggabungan konsep kearifan lokal menggunakan sambel khas Indonesia dengan konsep restoran yang kekinian dan disukai oleh anak muda.

Dalam perjalananku ke Jogja ini pun aku sempat mengunjungi cabang Waroeng SS yang letaknya dekat dengan kampus UGM. Konon ceritanya, Waroeng SS pada awalnya berdiri di Jalan Kaliurang dekat dengan kampus UGM sebelum pada akhirnya memiliki banyak cabang di mana-mana di seantero Pulau Jawa. Yang menjadi concern-ku adalah kesamaan dari rumah makan ini di cabang mana pun. Baik dari segi kesan yang ditimbulkan, rasa makanannya, penampilan tempatnya, dan pelayanannya.

Reunian UI Ambitchious Club di Waroeng SS Margonda Depok bulan Mei 2016 (foto ini agak nggak nyambung sebenarnya).

6. The Happiness Project

Aku selalu mengusahakan untuk selalu membawa satu buku bacaan ketika bepergian, terutama ketika bepergian jauh. Karena ternyata hal ini merupakan solusi yang sangat ampuh untuk mengusir kebosanan. Terutama ketika harus duduk diam selama hampir 9 jam di dalam kereta dengan jarak 546 kilometer antara Jakarta-Jogja. Mengobrol dengan orang sekompartemen 10-20 menit mungkin bisa, tapi kita akan bosan ketika semua orang di kereta sudah mulai tertidur. Tidur di kereta bagiku cukup membuang waktu, kecuali memang ketika kita sedang sangat lelah. Karena itu, aku lebih memilih untuk membaca buku.

The Happiness Project karya Gretchen Rubin.

The Happiness Project karya Gretchen Rubin adalah buku yang kuputuskan untuk menemani perjalananku kali ini. Sebenarnya aku sudah membaca 2 bab pertamanya sebelum berangkat, tapi aku menghabiskan sebagian besar dari buku ini hingga bagian akhirnya dalam perjalanan dan di Jogja sendiri. Satu fakta yang kutemukan, kita akan lebih mudah untuk mengingat kesan yang kita alami di suatu tempat dan di suatu waktu ketika kita memiliki sesuatu untuk dikaitkan. Dalam hal ini, bagiku adalah buku The Happiness Project. Ketika mencoba membaca ulang buku tersebut, akan mudah bagiku untuk mengingat-ingat kembali memori dari kejadian yang terjadi di sekitarku selama rentang aku membaca buku itu. Aku menyebutnya teknik asosiasi, karena kita mencoba mengaitkan antara satu hal dengan hal yang lain.

Sedikit menambahkan, buku The Happiness Project sendiri adalah buku yang sempat menjadi best seller di Amerika Serikat pada akhir dekade lalu. Buku ini menceritakan tentang percobaan Gretchen untuk menjadikan hidupnya lebih bahagia dengan mencoba hal-hal yang berbeda tiap bulannya dari Bulan Januari hingga Desember. Dan hasilnya adalah Gretchen menjadi orang yang lebih bahagia yang bisa mengendalikan diri dengan baik dan membawa aura positif ke lingkungannya.


Sebenarnya ini bukan paragraf yang akan menyimpulkan tentang perjalanan di atas. Yang ingin kusampaikan hanya lah agar para pembaca sekalian bisa mengamalkan konsep living life to the fullest. Karena terlalu banyak orang yang hidup dengan membawa-bawa pemikiran tentang masa lalu atau pun masa depan yang belum pasti sehingga lupa menjalani hidupnya di waktu sekarang. “Orang yang berbahagia bukanlah orang yang memiliki segalanya. Mereka hanya melakukan yang terbaik dengan apa yang mereka miliki. Hidup bukanlah perjuangan menghadapi badai, tetapi bagaimana tetap menari di tengah hujan.”

Two Moons to Describe Someone 

​I often think that humans are enjoying the judgments of others about themselves. They enjoy being appreciated for what they have done and their good personalities. But it also occurred that humans have fear of judgments by others whenever their bad side are being exposed. 

Whenever humans in this state of “fear of judgments”, they will try their best to evade the consequences by acting according to what society think is the best. As they are trying to fit, it will create some kind of alter ego and develop other fake personalities which often trigger humans to feel like they are not being themselves. 

That is why I think that there is a possibility that people who we know (or when we think personally that they know us), are not acting with their original scripts. They are trying to find the script within other people around them. They will become original men who try to comfort others, but actually hurt inside. 

It is hard, but it will not be hurt to try it. 

Sharon Creech once said, “Don’t judge a man before you walk two moons using his moccasins.” The term “moccasins” could be interpreted as an idiom to explain about seeing from the perspective. You have to become that person and gain knowledge about sales-marketing for about 2 months. 

So let’s drop the subject now by trying to focus! 

People’s Needs to be Appreciated 

One of the wonderful lessons which I have learned through meeting with new people in my life is about humans need to be appreciated by others. It never occurred to me that I begin to think about how slightly important it is to be appreciated by others. Both of appreciation and acknowledgement are two basic human needs. Humans need to be appreciated for who they are is an important matter which contribute to their desire to continuously improve their qualities of life.

To be surrounded by people who acknowledge us for the way we are is not an easy task. It requires effort to make the circle of those people. The question is how do we find it? We can find it by expanding our networks through various events. Networking events or traveling could contribute to this. We should try to find other people who share similar values to us. It is not necessary to have all of our values blend together, but we have to make sure that most of our values are there within these people.

The first case which I found was in a peer group while you are studying at the class. It often occurs to us that we have a gang or two as a student either at school or in university life. These peers are people who understand the most notable things about us, the one who give us rooms to become ourselves. Some people are failed to get the most of them because they chose the wrong peers. They thought that they have a good peer while actually the peer is the one who destroy them.

The second case is the dangerous one. Some people who seek to acknowledgements sometimes do not care about what they do either it is bad or good. The results of this matters are various cases which we witnessed in newspapers and social media sites. I am pretty sure that some evil doers do not actually do bad things because they are evil. Some people are in the case to fulfill their economic situations, some others seek for acknowledgement or we could simply call it popularity. It is not hard to find people like this. They are all around us and we need to try to appreciate them for what they are, not by what society demands. Sometimes it is the norm pressure in society which prevented this kind of people to achieve good results in life.

I am not trying to blame the norms. The norms are there to guide us on becoming a better society. But trying to press the norms to some people who can make a greater contribution by adapted to a different norms is not a good thing to do. We should give people rooms to become themselves. People are looking for some ways to be appreciated and we could not change the fact.

A Late Night Chat in Omegle 

You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!

You both like anime.

Stranger: Hello

You: Hi!

Stranger: How are you?

You: Not so well, not so bad either…

You: How about you?

Stranger: I can relate.

Stranger: Got any big plans going on this week/month/year?

You: Doing some essay competitions, even if my chance of winning is few

You: Do you have some big plans ongoing?

Stranger: Ooo, I wish you luck sir/madam. I’m sure you’ll do great.

You: But procrastinating is a part of my daily life, like what you witnessed here when you chat with me

Stranger: Absolutely nothing I’m invited to. But that doesn’t mean I wont crash the wedding I wasn’t invited to! But shh, I’m dressing up as a ninja.

Stranger: Oh, so the delay was on purpose, subtle!

Stranger: But hey, at least you replied. Half the time I get no feedback, or just some sex hungry dude.

You: I could imagine, like what Ranchoddas and his two friends doing. Sneak into a wedding party and get free snacks from there lol

You: Well, it’s not really on purpose. But just without I realized it.

Stranger: Maybe, but this is one I should have been invited to. Sadly it’ll be the second one I’m not invited to.

You: Why don’t they invite you? Did they have some grudge on you based on a problem or two?

Stranger: Nah, one said family only, I can respect that, also probably couldnt go anyways so no big deal. This one, no clue, maybe they just havent yet.

You: Only for family, eh. Is it some kind of tradition or norm in your place?

Stranger: No, just what they wanted. keep it close.

You: I see. It’s pretty sad not being able to attend it when you want to.

Stranger: It varies based on the way someone grows up here, and the money, and just generally who they wanna invite. Some dont invite family, some get eloped etc.

Stranger: Yeah, but it would have just been the thought of an invite that counted for me, even if i couldnt make it.

You: It’s pretty complicated. In my opinion, one should invite all of their families and friends if they could afford it.

Stranger: of course, but weddings are for the bride and groom, should they not want people there, thats their choice, they would have known i couldnt go so she coulda said you would be invited if you could come

You: I think I get the point now

Stranger: So, where do you live?

You: I live in Indonesia

You: How about you?

Stranger: Ah! First I’ve met from there. the USA.

You: Ah, the USA

You: It’s pretty far from here

Stranger: Quite far!

Stranger: What’s your name and how old are you?

You: My name is Bagus and I’m 20, but I’ll turn 21 this July

You: And what’s your name sir/madam?

Stranger: Happy early birthday! Mine’s Sebastien and I turn 23 next month.

You: Happy early birthday too, haha

Stranger: Ty

You: You’re welcome

You: Where do you live in the US?

Stranger: Louisiana

You: Lousiana, I recalled that city is in Johnny B. Goode lyrics by Chuck Berry

You: But I don’t know where it is exactly in America

Stranger: It’s a state actually. It’s the part that has a boot shape jutting into the gulf of mexico

You: So it’s located in the south, eh

Stranger: Yes

You: I’d like to ask your opinion

Stranger: Sure

You: What do you think about Donald Trump? Does he qualified as a president from your perspective?

Stranger: He honestly shouldn’t even be alive. He’s a racist, sexist, rapist, he thinks money can fix everything because it fixed his mistakes and he absolutely is an A-Class idiot. Hillary is better than him but has her own issues. Bernie Sanders swould be way better.

You: I think so too, it’s like he pulled some strings to begin WWIII. Even prohibited Moslems to go to the US. I think that it’s going too far 😦

Stranger: Everything out of his mouth is him going too far.

You: Under today circumstances, do you think that he’ll win the trophy?

Stranger: Honestly, he got this far in, it makes me worry america is occupied by idiots who don’t deserve the gift of life.

You: It’s like the media keep pushing him up

You: I’m afraid that too

Stranger: I think I’ll be moving to canada if he wins. Hopefully he thinks all white/orange (cough fake tan cough) people live in canada and wont nuke it

You: Is it that easy to immigrate from the US to Canada?

Stranger: I was born in canada, so hopefully I’ll just be let in lol.

Stranger: But generally easier to do that then any other country.

You: Haha, I see

Stranger: I had fun chatting with you, viva la revolution if trump wins, gunna go look for more interesting chats! You have a good one Bagus.

Stranger has disconnected.

The Problem of Development 

We tend to judge part of the society who lives in a lower standard than us as incapable to gain better lives. Then we offer them some helpful advices and resources which going to benefit them in our way of thinking. We don’t even bother to ask whether they enjoy being themselves or it is just our prejudices to judge them for living in a lower standard. Will our help strengthen them or just make their lives become harder? Modernization brings up a new advantage as well as more disadvantages for the society.

To be able to define whether something is good for the society or not is not an easy task. That is why we need to carefully examine what society really needs. We can’t press our knowledge which can differ from the reality to the society.

Firstly we have to come up with the same framework with the one who we are willing to help. By trying to keep the empathy on them, we can dig up some basic information on our targeted people. As we are not judging, they will give some input to our insights. This will benefit both sides of the project, between the doer and the target audience.

As it has finished, we need to define what really best for them. Sometimes the best thing to do is to just keep the status quo, but it is not uncommon for the input to become a useful resource for our project to be done. We can contribute to the maximum potential of ourselves, because we can concentrate on the part which was defined before by both parties, not just one sided.

By doing the project accordingly with an intent to know what we can provide, not what we thought we can provide, we could strike to the point where the society lacks the most. It could strengthen the environment, the world and also the people.

Hai Februari! 

Ketika terbangun melihat kalender di layar handphone pagi ini, kulihat angka 31 sudah berganti menjadi angka satu, begitu juga dengan Januari yang telah berganti menjadi Februari. 32 hari telah kulalui di tahun 2017 ini. Februari menjadi sebuah bulan penentu keberhasilan di tahun ini. Karena setelah beristirahat selama sebulan setengah, akhirnya badai akademik akan kembali menerjang dan berbagai tanggung jawab lain akan datang menghampiri. 

Melihat sebulan ke belakang, aku jadi ingin sedikit melakukan evaluasi terhadap kegiatan di keseharianku. Di Bulan Januari, aku telah melakukan perjalanan ke tempat baru, yaitu Banten Lama yang merupakan situs sejarah peninggalan peradaban dari Kesultanan Banten yang dahulu sempat besar di abad ke-15. Dengan melakukan perjalanan ke tempat baru, aku telah belajar untuk menjadi independen dan mengambil keputusan dalam situasi yang belum familier. 

Selain itu, aku telah mengunjungi Bontang, kampung halamanku selama beberapa hari. Walaupun sebagian besar waktuku di rumah dihabiskan untuk tidur dan menonton film-film picisan, aku belajar untuk menguatkan komitmen. Ya, 7 Januari lalu adalah hari dimulainya 30 Days Writing Challenge yang menuntut komitmenku untuk bagaimanapun caranya menghasilkan tulisan,  apapun topiknya, selama 30 hari berturut-turut.

Januari juga bulan ketika aku mencoba menuliskan resolusi-resolusi yang ingin aku capai ke depannya. Jika Gretchen Rubin memulai The Happiness Project di Bulan Januari, maka aku memulai Januari dengan mencoba menjadi bahagia dengan caraku sendiri, yaitu memperkuat kecerdasan emosionalku (emotional intelligence). Sehingga orang-orang di sekitarku juga ikut tertular virus-virus kebahagiaan, mulai dari hal kecil sesimpel memberi mereka perhatian untuk hal-hal yang mungkin bagi kita bukan apa-apa, tapi begitu bermakna untuk mereka. 

Lalu bagaimana dengan Februari? Jika Januari adalah tahap memulai, maka Februari adalah bulan dengan sejuta kesempatan. Ia akan menjadi suatu katalis yang membawa kita untuk memenuhi apa yang jadi keinginan kita di Bulan Januari. Asalkan kita bisa menjaga reaksinya terus menerus dengan mengisi bahan-bahannya yang ada di pemikiran kita. 

Time Waits for No One

“Time Waits for No One.”

I first read those wonderful phrases while I watch Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo, an anime movie about a girl called Yoshiyama who can leap through time. She kept repeating her day over and over. When she was too lazy to get out of her bad, she will stay asleep and then re-run her day so she was at full strength that day. But when she repeated her days over and over, she realized that her time was limited even though she could repeat it many times. Also, she felt like she lives in an unfamiliar world which is different from her usual living place. She realized that it does not necessarily feel like living when you live apart from other people.


Time waits for no one…


So I came into a thesis that no matter how we want to spend our time wisely, we need to give full attention to people in our lives. There is a saying that most people are either living in their past or looking too far away into the future so that they live in neither the past, the present, or the future. They just spend their time countlessly thinking about what they could do next or other things which could lead to being productive. But I want to differentiate between being productive with living in other worlds.

Humans tend to need some extra times in order to be focused on their obligated tasks. Sometimes they even forget their surroundings and immersed totally within their own world. We often mislead this as being productive. I agree that being productive is something that really matters for us humans. We have so many tasks to do, some are an obligation, some others not. But we should invest our time in order to become productive by managing our time wisely. So we could define a space of time when we could manage to get things done right away and effectively. I know that this is not an easy task to do, and that is why it is important to do some research in order to find our right biological time when our brains are crystal clear enough to tackle our problems.

Finding the right biological time involves various self-development process. We have been granted 24 hours a week and 7 days a week from God. And among those precious time, we must have been encountered some random occasions when we could get things done without many hard works to do and only with few efforts. The answer lies when we have tried to finish our tasks at different times of the day. Be it at night, in the morning, at noon, etc. That precious length of time should be used wisely by us. If possible, we could invest that time to get our things done. Therefore, we do not need to avoid people in order to finish our remaining tasks which often become an excuse to not meeting people.


Kaki Siapa? 

Siapa yang memiliki empat kaki di pagi hari? 

Empat kaki yang menunjukkan betapa lemahnya ia 

Empat kaki yang membuatnya harus menundukkan kepalanya lebih dari biasanya 

Siapa yang memiliki dua kaki di siang hari? 

Dua kaki yang membuatnya leluasa melangkah 

Dua kaki yang membawanya ke ujung dunia 

Siapa yang memiliki tiga kaki di senja hari? 

Kaki yang membuatnya termenung seharian menatap matahari terbit hingga terbenam 

Kaki yang lelah hingga melangkah selangkah dua langkah pun ia tak sanggup 

Siapakah dia? 

Kurasa Sang Sphinx di tengah gurun pasir lebih tahu jawabannya