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

 

Photo: Yangon’s Sneak Peek

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The famous Thanaka Wood, the ancient natural sun protection from Myanmar [2017:EO]

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Enjoying their lunch on the side walk [2017:EO]

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Myanmar style rickshaw [2017:EO]

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Drying [2017:EO]

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Can I have cosmopolitan please? [2017:EO]

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Visitors [2017:EO]

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Source of life [2017:EO]

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Ain’t bad restaurants [2017:EO]

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Decoration [2017:EO]

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Buddhist Ritual [2017:EO]

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Catatan: Skilled Workers

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I wanna see the world

Sejak melahirkan, saya belum sempat melakukan Brazilian waxing lagi. Selain takut akan rasa sakit di bagian luka operasi caesar, saya juga belum menemukam tempat yang bisa dipercaya kebersihannya di Dhaka. Ada sih tempat waxing tapi sayangnya enggak hygienic di mana mereka menggunakan satu mangkok besar dan satu butter knife untuk semua customers; belum lagi kain blacu yang dipakai sepertinya dicuci ulang -karena saya pernah lihat bulu rambut di kain blacu tersebut-. Ngeri enggak sih? Emang sih lebih ramah lingkungan karena enggak harus cuci mangkok dan buang kain berkali-kali. Tapi, gimana kalau ada salah satu customers yang punya penyakit kulit? Ya kan?

Anyway, kemarin saya baru ingat ternyata adik asisten rumah tangga saya bekerja di salon. Saat libur, dia bekerja sebagai freelancer mulai dari memijat, meni-pedi, scrubbing , eyebrow threading dan juga waxing. Dengan modal gula dan lemon untuk homemade sugar wax, baby powder dan kain blacu, akhirnya saya bisa waxing di rumah. Brazilian waxing dan half legs waxing. Cepet, bersih dan rapi.

Nah, kenapa saya cerita ini? Saya suka dengan orang-orang seperti perempuan bernama Rina ini. Dengan keterampilan yang dimilikinya, dia sangat passionate dalam melakukan pekerjaannya. Hal itu nampak ketika saya memberikan kain katun untuk waxing tetapi ternyata kain katun terlalu tipis, susah untuk angkat bulu rambut sampai ke akar-akarnya. Dia sampai kesal sendiri setiap kali mencobanya. “Huh? What happened?” katanya penasaran karena  tak satu helai rambutpun ketarik. Meskipun demikian, dia terus berusaha dan dengan cekatan, dia menyelesaikan pekerjaannya dalam satu jam saja.

Rina mengingatkan saya pada hairstylist langganan saya. Andre. Dia ‘pegang’ rambut saya dari tahun 2011. Kalau tidak sibuk, hampir setiap bulan saya ke salon. Entah untuk coloring atau haircut. Saya enggak pernah ke salon lain sejak kenal Andre. Atau Mas Boni, penjahit langganan saya di ITC Kuningan. Dia tahu bagaimana memotong batik menjadi dress tanpa mengubah motifnya. Atau Mas Otoy, anak buah Mas Boni, yang tahu bagaimana memermak pakaian tanpa merusaknya dan tetap nyaman dipakai.

Saya suka dengan orang-orang seperti ini,  mereka tak malu dengan apa yang mereka lakukan.  Selain itu, mereka make sure memberikan service yang terbaik untuk customer mereka agar mereka kembali lagi. Dengan demikian, saya sebagai customer tak rugi merogoh kocek untuk kinerja mereka bahkan tak enggak memberikan lebih.

Jujur saja, saya suka iri dengan orang-orang yang memiliki keterampilan seperti ini. Entah memotong rambut, memijat, memasak, menjahit, olah raga atau main musik. Mereka menggunakan kreativitas mereka dalam bekerja dan mereka tidak harus bekerja pada sebuah perusahaan, mereka bisa menjadi pekerja lepas di waktu tenggang misalnya dan dapat menggunakan keterampilan mereka di mana saja mereka berada.

Jadi pengen belajar menjahit..

Ride the bus

Photo: The Street of Bangladesh

One of the world creative entrepreneur, a street ear wax cleaner [2016:EO]

One of the world creative entrepreneur, a street ear wax cleaner [2016:EO]

Another little boy who is lost in the cruel world [2016: EO]

Another little boy who is lost in the cruel world [2016: EO]

Give no shit, take no bullshit and lice your life [2016:EO]

Give no shit, take no bullshit and lice your life [2016:EO]

 

It is ironic that Bangladesh is one of world garment manufacturing center for many of the global fashion brands and yet it is still extremely poor and under-developed [2016: EO]

It is ironic that Bangladesh is one of world garment manufacturing center for many of the global fashion brands and yet it is still extremely poor and under-developed [2016: EO]

He earns less than a glass of gin and tonic a day [2016:EO]

He earns less than a glass of gin and tonic a day [2016:EO]

Grateful [2016: EO]

Grateful [2016: EO]

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Jakarta: A Father, A Janitor and A Scavenger 

When I returned to Jakarta from Canada, I just realized how polluted Jakarta’s air is. This condition has made me thinking twice about my morning routine of doing street running on daily basis. However, instead of discontinue my morning routine, I decided to run very early. Normally I do it at 4 a.m. It might sound crazy but that is the only time where I can breathe a little bit of fresh air in the city.

My new activity somehow has opened my eyes about the other side of life of Jakartan. At 4 a.m, there are still many young people hanging out in one of the most popular Jakarta public park Taman Suropati. Based on my observation, some of them are having a fun chat, some are having a serious discussion, some are singing or dancing and some are having a very very very late dinner or super super early breakfast. Meanwhile, the city janitors are getting ready to sweep the street and some street food vendors are cleaning up their cart, eating utensil and getting ready to go home.

At the first early days, I somehow notice how dirty Taman Suropati is. Many people just leave out plastic waste, tissue or paper at the park. They simply do not care to throw it a proper place. I must say that it is very upsetting to see Jakartans just throwing plastic waste in the park. It just made the park look dirty and ugly. Yet, I also notice that some scavengers actually take the advantage from the dirty environment whereby they can collect those garbage and turn it into some cash. Still, it does not mean that I agree that they do not throw the garbage to the bin. So, I decided to talk to one of them.

Khodir, a Jakarta-based janitor [2016:EO]

His name is Mr. Khodir. He is a 47 years old janitor, who works for Jakarta Provincial Government. His duty is to sweep the street along Sunda Kelapa Mosque area and the official residence of vice president in Menteng area. He works eight hours a day and starts at 5 a.m. Normally, he would finish his job by 5 pm with four hours of break in between.

As a janitor, he told me that he earns 2.7 million Rupiah. Unfortunately, he sometimes receives his salary once in three months whereby his salary will be piled up within three months. Although he receives a huge amount at the end, he simply cannot support his family properly because he does not have enough saving. As a result, he has to collect plastic waste and sell it. From that activity, he could generate money for approximately 50,000 Rupiah.

It is actually very saddening knowing the fact  that while he believes that he has a steady job to support his family, this condition somehow has “forced” him to be a scavenger to make sure there is always an adequate food for his family on the table and provide a proper education for his children. 

Life is hard in Jakarta. It might be just as hard as another’s life in big cities across the world. For ordinary yet uneducated people, some of them would prefer to work their ass off, earn small amount of money and stay away from the dirty jobs, meanwhile some would choose to engage in dirty activity to earn big buck simply to meet up with big city’s lifestyle. It is you choosing it for yourselves.

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