Notes: Good People, Good Heart

www.catatanfani.comSometimes I wonder, where are the good people going? Sometimes, I feel that there are not many good genuinely kind people around. If some are being  too kind, I often think that there must be motivation behind that. Or if some are being too friendly, sometimes I think that they would just blast me in the back. But then, I guess I am wrong. I guess I am too blind to see the fact that actually there are so many genuinely good people around me.

So today, I went to Coldstone, an ice cream shop in Gulshan 1. I went there, not to have ice cream but to have a cup of cappuccino and a piece of brownie. I love their coffee and I love their brownies because it’s not too sweet and very moist. It’s just finger-licking good and it seems that I am addicted to it. “Oh nooo…..! Is it gonna be another coffee cake disaster again?

Anyway, as am in love with their brownies, I somehow become their regular customer for coffee and brownies, not their ice cream. Even one of the waiters started noticing me and always remembering my order. I vividly remember when I ordered coffee and brownies without ice cream for the very first time, he raised his eyes brows and asked “Only brownies?” and I said “Yes, only brownie!

It came across to me that somehow he  found it strange because many of them came to Coldstone to have ice cream but I only ordered coffee. So he tried to assure himself that what he heard was correct and asked me similar question every time I went there. “Ma’am, you don’t want ice cream?” and I answered “No. I just want coffee and brownies please. I love your brownies because it’s not so sweet and very moist,

As I finished having my coffee, I asked for bill and this waiters somehow surprised me by giving me four pieces of free brownies. “Ma’am, this is for you, from me.” He said politely with friendly sweet smile. I was somehow moved by his act of kindness.

I must say that this is not the first that I encountered with this kind of circumstance. Yesterday for instance, my personal trainer gave me a big surprise, one unit of bicycle. I know some people might find it strange but it doesn’t matter to me. Or last year for instance, my nanny gave me a set of clothes for baby A when he was born. It was a set of nice clothes. Or, the day when my driver brought me green coconut or fruit or vegetable from his villages. Or, my Indonesian friends who invited me to have some homemade mouthwatering Indonesian food in the last minute. Or, the day, one of wise Indonesian lady dropped me a package of vegetable.

These occasions got me thinking and reflecting that some of these people are just ordinary people. Some of these people might not earn a fortune. Yet, they always try to give the best to their boss or friends by spending large amount of money to give the best present to their boss as a form of gratitude or the best gift to their friends as an act of kindness.

Although I must say that some of us sometimes might think “Oh, they want more money that’s why they give us this kind of gift,” or “Oh, it’s just a way for them to show their gratitude for giving them job and treating them well as they know that some of their peers are not as lucky as they are. So they are just genuinely being kind,” or they are just simple people with good heart, expect nothing in return. Right?

Meanwhile, we, the upper middle class or the educated people, often time count how much money we want to spend on gift to a family or friend, which is also not bad as we must always be aware with our cash flow. Or, some even have to brag how much money they have spent on a gift to their friend and complained how cheap and worthless gift they got as a return simply because they wanna show how generous they are while the rest are just plain old cheap people. “Ooo boy

As a conclusion, the occasion taught and showed me that many ordinary people tend to have genuine heart than the upper middle class people who tend to be busy counting every penny that they have and/or or being suspicious or being to calculative in their move. Of course, we cannot generalize them all. Yet, I believe that being kind is so easy and it is free of charge. Yet, sometimes I wonder why aren’t we doing that more often?! I asked myself and I don’t know the exact answer. I guess we are too critical or too suspicious or too calculative in our move. Hence we often have trust issue with people around us.

Ride the bus

 

Catatan: Suratmi dan Problemanya

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Ini adalah sebuah cerita tentang Suratmi. Suratmi adalah seorang asisten rumah tangga yang enggak kenal lelah. Bahkan, kalau diajak plesir, dia linglung dan bingung karena enggak ada yang dapat dia lakukan secara rutin. Luntang-luntung sana-sini, hanya bermain dengan Bejo, putra Bu Nuning. Asyik memang tapi kalau Bejo sedang tidur, lagi-lagi dia nganggur. Pusing bukan kepalang rasanya. Sebaliknya, dia sangat giat kalau diminta lembur apalagi Bu Nuning enggak enggan memberi upah tambahan.

Hari itu, hari Selasa. Jam dinding menunjukkan pukul 19:38. Suratmi masih berada di rumah Bu Nuning, dua setengah jam sudah dia lembur. Meskipun sudah tak banyak lagi yang harus dia lakukan, rasa lelah mulai menggerogoti tubuhnya. Dia ingin segera menyelesaikan pekerjaannya lalu pulang. Kebetulan, malam itu Bu Nuning memberinya kepala ikan kakap merah yang bisa ia gunakan untuk membuat kari ikan sayur sebagai santap malam keluarga. Sambil berdendang, Suratmi mengepel lantai dapur.

Kringggg….. kringgggg…..telepon seluler Suratmi berdering kencang. Biasanya Tukijo, suami Suratmi, atau Ratri, adiknya, yang menelepon untuk memastikan bahwa Suratmi baik-baik saja. Maklum, hari sudah mulai gelap. Tanpa melihat siapa si penelepon, Sutami langsung mengangkat teleponnya.

“Hallooo……” sapa Suratmi girang.

“Heee Suratmi…. Aku tahu di mana kamu bekerja sekarang. Jalan Samudera No 50 kan? Nanti, aku akan menunggumu di pengkolan jalan. Tapi jangan berharap kamu akan pulang ke rumah dan bertemu dengan keluargamu kalau suamimu tak segera membayar hutangnya,” kata seorang lelaki di balik telepon Nokia berwarna hitam miliki Suratmi. Suratmi tertegun, terdiam.

“Siapa kamu?” kata Suratmi singkat.

“Kamu tahu siapa aku!”

Suratmi kembali terpaku. Mukanya merah, keringat mulai bercucuran di dahinya. Takut dan bingung, itulah yang Suratmi rasakan.  Dia sangsi apakah ia harus memberitahu kejadian tersebut pada Bu Nuning atau menyimpannya dalam hati. Namun kalau Suratmi tak cerita, dia pun takut pulang. Bagaimana kalau laki-laki tersebut betul-betul menculiknya?

“Nyah… boleh saya bicara? Malam ini saya takut pulang ke rumah,” kata Suratmi memulai perbincangan. Suaranya sedikit bergetar. Bu Nuning hanya mengernyitkan dahi, penasaran. “Lho kenapa Mi?”

Suratmi terdiam sejenak lalu mulai menceritakan kejadian yang baru saja ia alami dan asal mulanya.

Tukijo adalah suami Suratmi. Dia adalah pemilik sebuah apotek kecil di Mymensingh, sebuah distrik di Bangladesh. Cerita punya cerita, Tukijo ternyata gemar meminjam uang dari renternir sebagai modal menjadi renternir. Sialnya, para peminjam kabur semua dan meninggalkan Tukijo dengan hutang yang cukup besar sebanyak 65 juta rupiah dalam 10 tahun terakhir ini. Meskipun dia berusaha untuk membayarnya, bunganya terlalu besar 40 persen pertahun.. Jadi hutangnya pun tak kunjung lunas.

“Akh… lagi-lagi perkara uang,” pikir Bu Nuning. Bu Nuning pun diam sejenak.

Jujur saja, mendengar cerita tersebut, Bu Nuning enggak langsung percaya. Siapa tahu itu hanya alasan Suratmi untuk meminjam uang. Pasalnya, beberapa bulan yang lalu Suratmi mencoba meminjam uang dari Bu Nuning dan Pak Prapto, suami Bu Nuning, tetapi mereka menolak permintaan tersebut. Tuman, kalau diiyakan terus. Ya toh?

Tetapi, kalau cerita tersebut memang benar adanya, bagaimana kalau debt kolektor datang ke rumah dan melakukan hal-hal yang enggak diinginkan sama sekali, seperti pembunuhan misalnya. Celaka dua belas bisa-bisa! Memang, Bu Nuning terdengar berlebihan. Namun, belum lama ini, asisten rumah tangga Pak Tebu baru saja dibunuh di rumah Pak Tebu saat Pak Tebu ke warung seberang. Bayangkan saja, hanya ditinggal 20 menit dan mati sudah si asisten rumah tangga! Mengerikan bukan? Jadi enggak salah jika Bu Nuningpun was-was. Ya toh?

Sebenarnya hal ini merupakan hal yang sangat menyedihkan karena meskipun kota tinggal di abad 21 dan berbagai negara berlomba-lomba mengembangkan dan mengimplementasikan internet finance and banking, masih banyak orang yang tidak memiliki akses ke dunia perbankan atau koperasi. Namun meskipun tak sedikit pula yang memiliki akses ke dunia perbankan, tak sedikit pula yang menyalahgunakan untuk hidup hedon padahal ngutang. Kalau sudah begini, dikejar debt kolektor, mau lari ke mana? Ya toh? Suratmi! Suratmi!

Ride the bus

Jakarta: Pasar Pocong

Mrs. Atun has been a traditional herbal drinking beverage jamu seller for decades in Pasar Pocong, Jakarta [2015: EO]

Mrs. Atun has been a traditional herbal drinking beverage jamu seller for decades in Pasar Pocong, Jakarta [2015: EO]

Selama lima tahun tinggal di Jakarta, baru beberapa bulan terakhir ini saya dolan ke Pasar Pocong, sebuah pasar tradisional di Kelurahan Menteng Atas. Hampir setiap pagi saya ke Pasar Pocong untuk  berbelanja kebutuhan sayur dan buah-buahan. Selain untuk mendapatkan sayuran dengan harga lebih murah, saya pun bisa berinteraksi dengan para pedagang dan mengetahui cerita masyarakat yang bekerja di luar gedung perkantoran maupun pusat perbelanjaan di Jakarta. Cerita masyarakat biasa yang mungkin jarang saya dengar di food-hall shopping center, bar atau restaurant-restaurant di Ibu Kota.

Enggak jarang para pedagang bertanya pada saya mengapa saya lebih memilih untuk ke pasar seorang diri ketimbang meminta pembantu saya untuk berbelanja, termasuk Mbak Tatik, seorang pedagang buah asal Klaten, Jawa Tengah “Ngapain mbak ke pasar? Kan bisa nyuruh pembantunya ke sini.

Saya bilang ke Mbak Tatik bahwa dari dulu saya memang suka ke pasar tradisional untuk berinteraksi dengan masyarakat pada umumnya. Selain karena harganya lebih murah ketimbang belanja di supermarket seperti FoodHall atau Farmer Market, saya pun juga bisa kenal mbak Sri pedagang sayur, Bu Atun penjual jamu dan Mbak Gethuk penjual tiwul.

Dari mereka, saya bisa tahu kapan harga pangan naik dan turun, saya bisa tahu apakah akan mempengaruhi penjualan mereka dan lebih tahu kehidupan orang-orang yang mencari uang di luar gedung kantor atau shopping center.Mana bisa saya berinteraksi dengan para pelayan di supermarket yang cenderung jutek setiap kali melayani pelanggan.

Memang sayuran di pasar tradisional enggak seindah atau sebersih sayuran di supermarket. Bahkan saya harus mencucinya berulang kali saking kotornya. Belum lagi, akhir-akhir ini saya mulai kecewa karena brokoli, daun mint, cilantro dan beet roots cepat busuk. Sayangkan kalau dibuang begitu saja?

Jujur aja, saya sebenernya sempat berpikir untuk berhenti belanja di pasar tradisional karena buang-buang uang. Harga murah tapi cepat busuk. Buat apa? Namun, saya tahu bahwa saya tetap ingin ke sana untuk mendengarkan cerita para pedagang Pasar Pocong.

Untung aja setelah berbagi cerita ini melalui Facebook, beberapa kawan saya di Facebook menyarankan agar saya merendam sayuran tersebut ke dalam air es selama satu jam. Sayuran tersebut kemudian dibungkus di dalam koran lalu di lemari es. Dengan begitu, sayuran akan tetap segar.

Nah dengan begitu, saya enggak perlu khawatir untuk belanja sayuran di pasar tradisional lagi dan terus mendengarkan cerita para pedagang pasar yang diiringi dengan lantunan musik dangdut dari pedagang MP3 di Pasar Pocong.

signature

Notes: Jogging on Jakarta’s Road

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

My recent achievement [2015:E O]

In these past few months, I have been enjoying my new morning routine, which is an early morning jogging on the road.  What? An early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta? Really?! Yes! I do an early morning jogging on the road in Jakarta, one of the most polluted city in the world.

I actually have been enjoying an outdoor running since early 2014. I used to do morning jogging in the Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s jogging track, part of Soemantri Brodjonegoro’s sport center in Setiabudi Subdistrict of South Jakarta. However since companies rent the sport center for some company’s event week after week, I decided  to do my morning jogging on the road than running on a treadmill in the gym.

According to Nike+, I usually do jogging for as far as 4.5 kilometers on week days and go for as  8.4 kilometers on the weekend. It does not take me long to do 4.5 kilometers of jogging, it only takes me maximum of 30 minutes. On the other hand, it takes me maximum of 55 minutes to do 8.4 kilometers of jogging. Not bad ay? Not bad at all!

As an early morning routine, jogging on the road taught me three things – time management, which side of the road that I run on and the type of shoes that I should wear.

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

Coffee is the best mood booster [2014: EO]

What is it about jogging on the road and time management? Well, if you happened to live or visit Jakarta, you would understand’s Jakarta traffic. It is insane and I don’t want to deal with it!

I don’t want to do jogging when Jakartans are going to work, which means that many motorist and kopaja (Jakarta public bus) would be racing and speeding recklessly because they don’t want to be late. They, then, would get their way no matter what…. some of them would drive on the sidewalk!  On the top of that, the air would be highly polluted, which then cause me difficulty of breathing. In order to avoid all of those, I must leave my apartment at least by 5:30 or 6: 15 a.m the latest. However sometimes I do it later than 7 a.m sometimes.

The fact that I am working as a jurno, I also have an obligation to submit stories first thing in the morning. Indeed time management become very important for me. Since then, I have been learning and trying to be discipline in managing my time so I am able to submit stories before I do my jogging and still be able to go to gym (sometimes) and followed by meeting some sources or attending events or discussion at the same time. It’s not perfect tho but I am getting there.

Believe me or not, I usually start my day by 3 or 4 a.m. I would brew coffee, prepare fruit salad, wash my face or shower, write story while having coffee and fruit salad and go for jogging, continue write another story and go to work. I would reach home by 5 or 6 or 7 p.m and I would immediately sleep so I could have minimum of 6 hours sleep.

I must say that it is not easy. It is not easy at all to be discipline and manage time properly. If I failed, my mind would not be at peace and I would be cranky for the rest of the day.

For me, jogging is very important. It is because I have been taking strong medication, which has nausea and anxiety as side effect. In order to get rid of those side effects, I must do some cardio exercise.

As a bonus, I also leant that  if there is no adequate jogging path or sidewalk for jogging, I MUST  jog on the left shoulder facing on-coming traffic  and I should not wear training shoes for jogging on the road. Training shoes are fine to run on the treadmill or jogging track but they are uncomfortable yet painful for long distance jogging in rough surface.  Unfortunately  3 out of 4 my sport shoes are training shoes! So does it mean that I need to get new pair of running shoes? Well, perhaps! Ha ha ha!

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

My first 2015 jogging by Bosporus Strait, Istanbul, Turkey [2015:ER]

Recently, many people often questioned me whether or not I have participated in the running event or runner club in Jakarta. Even one guy suggested me that I should be a running athlete. O.M.G! What? That is actually not bad idea at all. But I must say that I actually do jogging just because I want to be healthy and get rid of side effect of my medication. That is all matter to me.

Having said that I have never participated to any  running event or join to runner club. One of the reason is because  I don’t really have much time to do such a thing right now. Perhaps when I have been able to be discipline in managing my time properly, I would do it one day.

In the end of the day, health is the most important thing. I should not force myself to do all kind of activities -work, sport, hobby, socializing- as I am not a robot. I am just another person who wanna be healthy. Cheers!

Jakarta 140315

signature