Catatan: Tentang Bekerja

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Perempuan yang Bekerja [2016:EO]

Sebagai orang yang enggak bisa anteng dan meneng, saya enggak bisa hanya duduk di rumah dan do nothing sebagai ibu rumah tangga. Bahkan, saya enggak pernah berminat atau bercita-cita untuk menjadi a fulltime housewife. Rasanya ada sesuatu yang kurang dalam kehidupan saya. Apalagi sebagai wartawan, dulu saya selalu bertemu dengan orang yang berbeda-beda setiap harinya dan mendapatkan ilmu baru dari mereka. Belum lagi pekerjaan saya dalam dua tahun terakhir ini yang benar-benar membuka mata saya sebagai individu dan citizen di sebuah negara. Tetapi tahun ini saya harus mengambil jalan tersebut, menjadi a fulltime housewife.

Kenapa? Well, sebenernya tahun ini saya akan melanjutkan sekolah untuk program Master of Global Affairs selama dua tahun di Munk School, University of Toronto, Canada. Rencananya, sebelum kelas dimulai di bulan September lalu, saya mau mengikuti suami saya ke Dhaka, Bangladesh untuk beberapa bulan. Tetapi saya terpaksa harus menunda program tersebut karena saya hamil dengan due date 10 January 2017.

Enggak dapat dipungkiri bahwa sebenarnya banyak perempuan hamil yang masih dapat meneruskan sekolah atau pekerjaan selama musim dingin di belahan bumi utara sana. Tetapi saya memilih untuk mundur kali ini. Kenapa? Well, pertama sebagai first time mom,  I don’t know what to expect during the pregnancy dan saya akan sendirian karena suaminya bertugas di negara lain; bayi akan lahir di musim dingin dan I hate winter, the temperature is unbearable for me; dan yang terakhir saya khawatir saya enggak akan fokus dengan kuliah saya karena dua hal tersebut. Dengan berbagai pertimbangan tersebut, saya memutuskan untuk mengirimkan deferral request email ke mereka. Thanks God, they approved.

So now, what am I going to do in Bangladesh? A new country which I don’t speak its language and can hardly understand its alphabet. Saya mulai stressed. Ada yang bilang “Ya udah sih, mendingan kamu belajar menerima hal tersebut dan nikmatin aja.” atau ada yang bilang “Kamu sih enak, walaupun jobless setidaknya enggak moneyless.” Well, setiap orang kan berbeda-beda. Saya enggak setuju dengan pendapat tersebut. Kenapa? Karena saya belum memenuhi dua kebutuhan dasar saya sebagai manusia sebagaimana dikemukakan oleh Abraham Maslow, yakni ego/harga diri (esteem) dan aktualisasi diri (self-actualization).

Lagipula, apakah hidup ini hanya melulu tentang uang saja? Uang memang penting apalagi kita enggak akan pernah tahu akan apa yang terjadi suatu hari nanti, tetapi saya menyadari bahwa uang enggak membawa kebahagiaan. I can say this because I have been there. Rocking a lot of the high-end fashion designers stuffs and eating in fancy restaurants/bars, yet I was not happy. It does not mean that I don’t like beautiful things anymore but I value things differently. Dan bisa saya bilang, memang jauh lebih menyenangkan apabila kita membeli sesuatu dengan keringat kita sendiri.

Lagipula, sebagai perempuan Indonesia yang melakukan kawin campur, stigma ‘numpang hidup sama mister‘ akan terus melekat pada mereka kecuali mereka bekerja. Lha wong sudah bekerja keras saja masih dilabeli numpang hidup sama mister kok tapi ya itulah manusia.

Saya jadi ingat kata-kata Bapak saya: rumah tangga itu bagaikan gerobak yang ditarik kerbau di mana gerobak akan bergerak lebih cepat jika ditarik oleh dua ekor kerbau ketimbang satu ekor. Selain itu, ketika salah satu kerbau tersebut sakit atau mati, gerobak masih tetap bisa dijalankan meskipun dengan seekor kerbau saja. Dan saya teringat oleh kata-kata tersebut sampai sekarang.

Jujur saja, sita-cita saya, saya enggak cuma bekerja hanya demi uang tanpa menikmati apa yang saya lakukan. Saya ingin mendapatkan pelajaran dari pekerjaan tersebut juga. Dengan begitu, saya akan terus merasa tertantang untuk terus meningkatkan pekerjaan saya dan pengetahuan saya akan sesuatu. Dan tentu saja dengan harapan enggak mengecewakan perusahaan. Selain itu, saya ingin bisa memberikan manfaat terhadap orang lain. Mungkin saya terlalu optimistis, saya lebih memilih untuk bercita-cita tinggi dan terus belajar untuk menggapainya. There is nothing impossible.

Tetapi kali ini, saya harus mengalah untuk sementara hingga saya melahirkan dan mengisi waktu luang saya dengan membaca buku, mendengarkan kuliah umum dari universitas terkemuka melalui podcast, membuat catatan dari kuliah umum dan buku yang saya baca tersebut, olah raga dan belajar memasak. Dengan demikian, saya terus dapat mengekspresikan diri meskipun secara terbatas. Lha wong Mbah Lindu yang sudah 96 tahun saja masih mengekspresikan dirinya kok, masa saya enggak.

Tentu saja ini adalah sebuah pilihan dan setiap orang memiliki prioritas yang berbeda-beda, ada yang memilih jadi fulltime housewife, ada yang memilih untuk terus bekerja, yang penting selama kita bahagia dengan pilihan tersebut, kenapa tidak? Ya toh?

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Indonesia: Death Row and Drug World

Indonesia will soon make another international headline as the Attorney General Office has been preparing the execution of drug convicts after executing 14 drug convicts last year. Despite the fact AGO has not published the names and the dates,  Beritasatu TV has reported the names of nine drug convicts who would be executed within weeks.

As many of you might be aware that under President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration, the Indonesia government has declared war on drugs. President Jokowi stated that he refuses to grant any presidential clemency requested by drug convicts. As a result, any drug convicts, who have been sentenced to death by the court, would be executed. The government believe that capital punishment would give a deterrent impact and eventually stop drug trafficking in Indonesia. Nevertheless, this step has triggered controversy both in the national and international level.

Many argue that capital punishment is not the answer to the drug problem in the country and it is considered against human right. The government ignores the noise and carries the punishment anyway. As a sovereign state, Indonesia has its rules and regulations which could be implemented. The only way to stop capital punishment is by urging the government to revoke the capital punishment from the regulation. Yet, as I listened to the national radio program, many people actually also support the government decision to execute the drug convicts to tackle the drug problem because it is worrying.

Interestingly enough, some media reported how inhumane Indonesian government is because the government of Indonesia did not give notification about their execution to the convicts as well as the family. Is it true? I doubt it. Hence, it got me wondering “If some want to defend the drug dealers and trafficker from being executed, what do we really know about those drugs convicts? Should we have sympathy toward them?” I do not know.

So last month, I came across to two books titled “Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail” and “Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World” at a bookstore in Ngurah Rai Airport Bali. I found the title and cover very interesting. I read the blurb. It seems to be juicy, it is about crimes, drugs, sex and politics in Indonesia. I decided to buy two of them.

Yet, I was actually bit sceptical because of this book was part of a trilogy written by Australian author Kathryn Bonella who wrote “No More Tomorrows Schapelle Corby“. You might wonder “And so?

Well, Schapelle Corby was a convicted drug runner, who was found guilty of smuggling 4.2 kg of marijuana into Bali in 2004.  Denpasar District Court sentenced Corby 20 years imprisonment on May 2005. Since then, she has consistently claimed that she was innocent and fought for her release by filing appeals, judicial reviews as well as request for presidential clemency. On March 2010, she filed presidential clemency claiming that she has been suffering from mental illness. She eventually won the presidential pardon under the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on February 2012. She was then released on February 2014 but must remain in Indonesia to July 2017.

The thing is rumour has it that the release of Corby was actually part of government deal whereby the SBY government had struck a deal with the Australian government to extradite an Indonesian fugitive Adrian Kiki Ariawan, a graft convict who fled to Australia in 2003. However, former Vice Minister of Law and Human Rights Denny Indrayana denied that the extradition of Adrian Kiki Ariawan had something to do with the release of Schapelle Corby.

Unfortunately, I have a conspiratorial mind and I was suspicious. I said to myself, perhaps these books are actually forms of pressure to the Indonesian government to release Corby. Is it possible? But who is Corby? How important she is?  Was she a mule or a horse? Was she really a victim? Or did she play a victim? Is it a way for a convict drug dealer to escaping heavy punishment by claiming that they are suffering from mental illness?

And by the way, one of her lawyers was Hotman Paris. How much did she pay him? Is she coming from a filthy rich family? How could she afford him? Where is the money coming from? Or is this book just a form of comprehensive criticism to the Indonesian justice system?

I must say that it is hard to tell. Everyone has their own story. Everyone has their own agenda. We cannot just buy her stories through media, including books. Right?

So I began to read these books to find the answers and the red line. Instead of finding the answers, I actually start to have more questions. Yet, I must say that these books are eye-opening and easy to read for non-English speaker. If you want to know further, you can check my upcoming post on “Hotel K: The Shocking Inside Story of Bali’s Notorious Jail” and “Snowing in Bali: The Incredible Inside Account of Bali’s Hidden Drug World“‘s review.

Ride the bus

You Never Miss What You Had Until It’s Gone

ORG__DSC6329It was 10:06 p.m. when I stepped into the house last night. I just got home from watching the premiere of Indonesian film “A Copy of My Mind” at 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. I felt restless and extremely exhausted. All I thought about was good night sleep. After I finished the shower and got ready to bed, I heard my phone beeping. It was from a good friend of mine. Yet, I did not answer his message until I woke up this morning.

Beb,” my friend wrote.

Yes,” I answered.

“I want to break up (with my lover). I’m a sex addict and he said to me that if I slept with other guys, we’re done” My friend wrote.

“Well, if it is the best for you then go ahead. But remember, we have a certain condition that everybody cannot just accept it easily. Unless you enjoy being alone and do not need or want to have somebody to come home to or make you feel complete, then you should break up and continue the adventure.” I went on,

“At the end, casual sex only gives us temporary happiness and temporary sense of acceptance. Those hot, rich and handsome guys normally give no shit about us at all. As soon as they’re done, they are just gonna go.” I continued.

“So I think, we have to ask to ourselves ‘Why do we want to trade one great guy with a beautiful personality and most importantly loves us so much, who also can accept us the way we are, with those dickheads? What are we looking for?’. As they say ‘You never miss what you had until it’s gone.'” I said.

True,” he answered.

Sometimes we just take our lives for granted until we lose everything and regret it. When it is gone, it is gone.

PS: This writing was inspired by my conversation with a good friend of mine. Of course, I shared this story with my friend’s permission.

Reflection: Don’t Be Selfish

Let's listen [2010: E O]

Let’s listen [2010: E O]

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind et each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for their own interests but also for the interest of others- Philippians 2: 3-4

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When we hold our tongue and listen, we communicate our care. For an open ear speaks volume to a heart that’s in despair – Sper

Ride the bus