Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The ‘Brady Brunch’ after years of living by my self

Since I moved working to Bandar Lampung, I live at my Auntie’s house (because I’m poor and need to save money for my uncertain future. Lol. No, it’s serious). For the first several months, my parents come along due to their unbearable boredom in my hometown (West Sumatra) as well as to organize my brother’s upcoming wedding which will be held in Bandar Lampung instead of my hometown. So, we live under the same roof again after years of living severally since I was in high school.  My other older brother and his family also like to stay in my Auntie’s house rather than in their own. I suspect it is because of their laziness to do the laundry for my Auntie’s got a housemaid.  Lol.

So, now I live with three lovely oldsters who can’t never take criticisms (my Mom, Dad and Auntie), two childish adults (My brother and sis-in-law) whose minds are busy with parenthood, admiration to their first son and how-to-increase-family-saving kind of things, and my baby nephew who’s cute but likes to fart. Not to forget, a half-day housemaid who is just like any other Indonesian housemaids; Dangdut and Bollywood lover.

In Indonesia, it’s common for adults to live with parents or relatives, moreover there are some cultures in Indonesia that recommend married daughter(s) to live with the parents and bring her husband and children to the parents’ house. It’s also regarded politeness to stay in a close relative’s house rather than renting an apartment/ room if you live in the same city they live in.

I considered myself not really Indonesian in the way I think and the way I see things, I am quite individualistic and tend to disagree with some traditions in Indonesia, especially when it comes to Indonesian’s concepts of politeness. Moreover, living with parents/ family can be more difficult if you are already accustomed to living by yourself, just like in my case.

When living severally, conflicts rarely occured, almost never.  But after we’re under the same roof again, it can somewhat feel like hell (this statement may sound a bit rude or ungrateful for Indonesians’ ears, but I like to say truth rather than telling something beautiful just because it’s regarded more polite. Deal with it).

We don’t see eye to eye in almost everything (**This actually already started since I was a kid, I am different and skeptic that for my parents and family I am a such a rebel. In fact, I am not. I just need better, honest and logical reasons rather than platitudes). For my parents, their daughter is just and will always be a little kid. While for me, I believe in my own self-control and the power of knowledge and logic.

I LOVE MY FAMILY SO MUCH, I really do. BUT it doesn’t mean that I have to always agree with all the things they think I have to do. I don’t need to tell or report all the details to every bit of it about what I did, what I am going to do nor why I have to do things.  Making money is not as easy as what it used to be in their times. Our generation needs to work our ass off to survive, bahkan PNS juga gitu sekarang broooo… My parents think that working should not be so different from school time that they even think to call on my office to let me go home at 4 pm EVERY DAY so I’ll get home before Maghrib. Mom, you can’t be serious… --.—“

I know my parents love me so much the way I do for them, but I what I want and need them to do is to ADMIT that they don’t show it in the best ways either. You can’t always demand, you need to give too. The problem is, maybe my parents and auntie are already too old for negotiations that I should remain quiet and nod to everything they wish with a smiling face if I don’t want to be trapped in an overwhelming endless drama.

On one side, living with family gives cheaper living cost, I don’t need to pay the rent, food and laundry. But on the other hand, another thing becomes so expensive, rare and luxurious, which is a time for my own.

After a long tiring day at work, what I dream is a peaceful privacy for relaxation, reading, improving knowledge, crafting, talking to my boyfie or besties or just sleeping (recharging). Now?? I don’t even know anymore if weekend really exists. If I still have office works to do on holidays, I choose to go somewhere else like café to finish it rather than at home. Because at home, they won’t understand and I can’t never get things done.

However, another thing that you realize more when you live with your parents is that they’re old and so old. They’re not as fit as they used to be. My heart breaks when looking at my father groans in pain (my father can’t walk anymore without the help of a walking stick). When I am so tired and just want to lay on my bed after work, I recall my childhood that at that time maybe my parents were also so tired after work and just wanted to rest, but they chose to spend time with me, listening to stories about my school days and how my friends and I believed that we’re secret agent just like Spy Kids. Therefore, I walk out my bedroom, and ask them, “So how’s El (my baby nephew) doing? Did he pee on you today?”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I live in an underdeveloped overpopulated poor not-so-Islamic country, according to Google’s autocomplete

It is not a new thing to put this kind of keywords into Google’s search engine and wait for the autocompletes to show up. Many have done it before for the same reason; a climax boredom. However, it is fun (even though most of the times it’s not important) to know what others think of our selves, some of them might be true, though we choose to deny them.

Google’s autocomplete suggestions probably could be the representations of what the rest of the world think of the place I live in. Because it derives from the most frequent previous searches by Google users or other places on the web. 

And look what I found about Indonesia, my dearest homeland:

Then I change “Indonesia” to “Indonesian” and the results are filled with so-deep questions that we all should think about. Especially on why our names are so long.

In order to prove whether they really are the representations of what people think of us, I typed other countries in to see if Google and I share similar thoughts on Japan and Zimbabwe.

And Yup, we do. Japan is sexually weird. Really. Such a turn off. Otaku? Eww… Semoga Tuhan menerangi jalan mereka.
Back again to Indonesia, it is the easiest thing to spot unequal development in Indonesia.  Proof? Simple. West Sumatra, my hometown, does not even have XXI or any other proper movie theatres. It may sound simple, but trust me it's hard to live in. How can we be developed if we’re only fed with horror movies (porn in disguise)? About the education and the system?? Don’t even ask me.

Not-so-Islamic? What an ugly truth, but truth is truth. Indonesia, one of the highest-Muslim-populated countries in the world, ranked 140th among 208 countries studied in a research by Scheherazade S. Rehman and Hossein Askari on how Islamic are the Islamic countries. The assessment is based on their economic, financial, political, legal, social and governance policies practices, surprisingly resulting New Zealand and other non-muslim countries on the top of the list. 

Maybe all the autocompletes are not merely shallow-based stereotypes. Maybe it’s just who we are. Unluckily I am not famous yet, that when I type in “(my name) is”, nothing shows up but my self-centered selfies.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Things about moving

I'm now counting down the days for my moving to Bandar Lampung, the city where I was born in and spent my first 17 years of life. When I was 17, I moved from Bandar Lampung to West Sumatra then after 7 years, I’ll come back to Bandar Lampung by the end of this week.

In my 24 years of life, I have moved from places to places four times; Bandar Lampung à Payakumbuh (West Sumatra) à Padang (West Sumatra) à Pekanbaru à Bandar Lampung. I consider my first moving (from Bandar Lampung to Payakumbuh-West Sumatra) the hardest one. Not only because it's my first experience but also because at that time I hadn't finished high school yet. Moving after high school graduation is much different from moving when you’re still in the second grade. After high school, you and most all your friends leave town  and spread to different cities and universities, almost all your friends experience starting the new life at the time. But in my case, I was the only one who left and all my friends still had time together. It hurts a bit knowing your friends are still having good time there, sharing laughter and doing all the retarded things together meanwhile you’re feeling out of place in the new area, alone. I used to call them all the time in order to stay intact with the gossips and news but making phone calls was still expensive at that time and I thought my calls would eventually bore them, I was afraid that they’d pity me. Then I knew I should start getting a new life and move on, because their lives still went on, without me. Reality bites, deal with it!

Things will feel worse when you move to an area which is not better than your previous location. This is the first time I witness the development gap of my country, Indonesia. Well, West Sumatra is beautiful without any doubt. Some people say that the green sawahs and all beautiful scenery and simplicity of the people make it a peaceful place to live in. The problem is, I don’t hang out in sawahs. There’s no 21 Cineplex, this is the hardest thing to believe that it’s real, I was like “Are you kidding me?? How am I supposed to survive??” To be honest, for me, this peaceful area can be somewhat stressful.

To make more drama, even though Bandar Lampung and West Sumatra are located in the same island, the cultures I had to adjust with are really different. I didn’t understand their point of views and neither did they. About language, Minangnese don’t even speak Bahasa Indonesia, even in an English class, they will speak Minang language. BAMM..!!

However, no matter how much you complained about the area, you still have learned many things from it and been accustomed to some things, places, and people of the area. That when you eventually have to move again you’ll realize that you’ve been attached to them that much (at least, more that what you thought you knew).

It’s nice to come back to Lampung, I had my childhood and most of my teenage years there. But seven years surely have changed many things, and feelings. Things that I used to know will now feel so strange. People I used to spend time together when I was senior high, I don’t think I have some (or probably most) of them in my Facebook friend list. Even those I have, we don’t communicate that much anymore. Leaving/ moving shows us that sometimes a relationship is not like what we thought it was. That’s how to know which ones your true friends are.

Luckily, now I have job to keep myself busy and at certain age and situation, you’re no longer as friend-needy as you were in highshool. Besides, I already make plans of skills I have to master while in Lampung. By experience, I’ve learned how to adapt and make friends and most importantly how to not be overly attached to things, people or situation. I am excited about this Lampung thingy but I will surely miss how noisy my roommates are, my stubborn boss, my office mates, the kids I at the orphanage I used to teach and play with, and especially... Mr. Where-have-you-been-these-1,5-years, ‘coz I’m gonna miss him so. Hikz!