Sunday, October 2, 2016

Jurnal Gadis yang Tersesat - day of arrival

Finally! After 13 hours flight (with 7 hours spent by sleeping, 2.5 by watching running man, and 3.5 by eating) i arrived in amsterdam. The flight was enjoyable, i sat beside a woman from den haag (or the haag). She said she was having a holiday in Indonesia.

The first thing that i noticed, people were super tall.  I was like a dwarf. And all of them spoke very good english. I would have no problem!

I was afraid i would be banned or discriminated because i wore hijab, but i wasnt. The officer was nice. He asked me the standard questions, like what i did in netherlands, for how long, and what i studied, and asked me to show my invitation and recommendation letter and that was all.

The airport was really big. It had 30 luggage belt with one belt was as big as my campus basketball field. They even had Victoria Secret store outside the terminal.

I was picked up by a student of UMCG, the university i will do my exchange. To go to groningen, the only comfortable and close way was by train for 2 hours ride. The price was 26.7 € which wasnt cheap compared to Indonesia train with longer destination. Appearantly, there is discount card if you live in Netherlands. And if you are a student, you can even get a special price and discount. You can choose between gratis weekday ticket or gratis weekend ticket and outside that time, you get 40% off. And remind me, what was the benefit of being a student in Indonesia?

My pickup was really nice! She told me she had to ride on her bike at 5.15 in the morning, and then took a train for 2 hours in order to pick me up at 8.15. Wow. Me? I'd prefer my morning beauty sleep, thank you. She showed me where i could by sim card, (i had to spend 30 € for a sim card! With only 1 gb data plan and 15,5 € phone credit. I figured I wouldnt need the phone credit if I had Internet (and its Netherlands. They wouldnt have internet breakdown, would they?). I could just use whatsapp to call anyone. So i transfered my phone credit to my data plan. At this time, i miss Indonesia. (65.000 rupiah for 14 gb!) And water (seriously, a bottle of water 600 ml costs more than a card box of 1 L milk! 1.75 € and 0.99 €).

We chatted a little bit at the bus terminal and the train. She told me she just graduated from bachelor (or S.Ked in Indonesia). So she still had 3 years more of study which consisted of, 2 years clinical rotation and a half year research, and another half a year to do pre-residential thing (she could choose any department she wanted at anywhere in the world to deepen her knowledge about her department of interest. Things like that). Ah, how convenient!

When i stepped out of the train, the cold wind slapped my face. It was 7 celcius and a little bit raining. But i kinda like the cold though. It was refreshing. From groningen station to my housing, i have 2 choices, either by bus or a cab. She suggested i should take a cab, but i told her i wanted to try the bus. She worried i would miss my stop and i had to walk for hours ( she didnt come with me). Being a stubborn i prefered bus with all the risks.

The driver was nice. He asked me where i live,  and told me where the stop. He would even remind me if the bus reached my stop (he spoke a very good english)

Here in Netherlands (not just Netherlands i think), pedestrian has a right of way, meaning they are the king of the street. All vehicles (bicycles, motorcycles, cars and even the busses!) have to stop whenever they spot a pedestrian trying to cross the road. And being my first time seeing this, i compared it to Indonesia, our reaction to pedestrians (yes, i'm also the guilty part) would be "this is no road for weakling like you". Haha

I live in kajuit (its pronounced as Kayāt) so from Groningen station I had to take bus at platform J, bus number 3 and stop at Lewenborg terminal. Now finding the number was the problem and google maps didnt help either. Thank god, i aggreed to  buy a sim card. I called my house owner, and she picked me up. Appearantly, i just missed one block.

My landlady was having a meeting (its "pengajian") so we didnt chat much at first. After all people gone, i talked to her and her family. She had been here fpr 2 years to take master at RuG and her husband worked in Netherlands (i forget the name of the company). She had a cute 3 year old daughter. She just went back from hajji, and her mother and aunt are here to visit her. And her mother is from West Sumatera!

I cycled a bit around my neighbourhood in the afternoon, but it rained so i went home, ate my dinner and laid down for a while. Before i knew, the night has changed to morning

Monday, September 19, 2016

Tekad - Metamorfosis (Franz Kafka)

Franz Kafka - Metamorfosis

Jika saja, keluar dari kesedihan segampang ini, hanya dengan tekad dan keberanian untuk memperbaiki diri. Jika saja, dengan memanggil teman-teman dan membiarkan mereka bersuka ria dan mengoceh mengenai kegembiraan atau kemarahan mereka. Bukankah semua itu akan lebih mudah? Tidak akan ada yang namanya "pesakitan jiwa". Hanya pikiran-pikiran kusut dan hati yang perlu ditata. Namun, bukankah itu malah membuat keadaan lebih buruk? Bagaimanapun, menikmati rasa sedih itu sendiri merupakan suatu proses agar bisa bergerak maju melupakan yang sudah-sudah. Hanya masalah waktu yang bisa menghapus kenangan, hingga terasa siap menyongsong hari yang lebih cerah.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ignorance is a bliss

When i was a kid, I used to like riding my bike in the afternoon. I liked feeling the cold wind hitting on my face, causing friction against my body as i pedalled faster and faster while looking at the blue sky, wondering how i could win against the cloud. And if i got exhausted, i would stop and looked at the sky, wondering how i could reach it. Then i would race to the highest place i could find, stacked blocks of stone to make my self a safe standing place without injuring my body and raised my hands trying to touch the fluffy clouds. Then, I would be curious why the sky went higher, and wonder whether the sky was mad at me for trying to do that. But it didnt stop me. I pondered what went wrong, and came to conclusion that i should become taller or go to the end of the world and see my self if there was any sort of bridge that connected this world and the sky. I couldnt get taller anytime soon, i had to wait years for that, so at that time i thought my only choice was the latter. I would go to the farthest place i knew, but i always got scared if i couldnt find a way home. Then i would come home while feeling disappointed from failing a mission, and decided myself i should try again tomorrow and travel further than i could today.

Whenever i talked to myself, i used to wonder if other people did it too. "Do they also talk like this to themselves or is it only me talking like this?" But i never once spoke to anyone about this. I guess i was afraid to be called lunatic if i were the only person who had conversation with their own mind. So everytime this question came into my mind, i always shrugged it off, and told my self that i would know the answer eventually, perhaps when i got older.

There were times when i was really curious about my existence. My favourite concern was "how do i know if i'm talking to myself?" I always asked how i could prove that my mind is mine, how i could know that it was not someone else's mind who got stuck in my body and whether i was talking to my mind, and not to someone else's. What was the purpose of thinking to your ownself, was it to prove your own existence to your own mind? Or stuff like that. And everytime i had this trail of thought, there wasnt any respond or direct answer about my inquiries, so i knew right away that i was talking to myself, the question that popped up in my thought was from my very own mind, and i talked to myself to prove that i was the owner of this body and mind.

But the question didnt stop there. I wanted to know if i could do it in someone else's body. Whether it was possible to enter someone else's body and live their life. Whether we could do soul or body swap or whether we could transplant mind and soul just like how we transplant an organ. These questions led to another, like how we were chosen to be put into this body and live this life. Whether there were any criteria to be born, like how we ended up being a girl or a boy, or the race and nationality and whether we were given choices what life and body we wanted before we were coming into life, that sort of thing. And i thought it would be unfair to just have one life. I mean, what if someone was born with dissability, or into a poor family? Everyone should be able to experience the ups and downs of life.

I didnt try to find the answer. Maybe because part of me knows what it was, and part of me wanted to be blinded. But it was always nice thinking about it. I would play the game, "if i were". My favourite was  becoming an incredibly rich person so i could build shelter to every poor and dissable person on the planet and give them education so that they could live the life they wanted. And i always wondered whether other people thought the same way as i did and how it would be nice if we did, so we could make this place a better place and all people would be equally happy to accept any life they were assigned to.

At that time, i thought if i wanted to know the answers to all my questions then i should grow up. I realized i was still young, and adults would only answer it in an easy way. Even if they told me the truth, my mind wouldnt be able to comprehend it, so i hoped my ten-years-later would understand. I didnt really want to grow up though. I realized the responsibility that comes with older age was a pain in the ***, and i would love to forever avoid it.

And now in my 21-soon-to-be-22 years old mind, looking back at my 16-or-so-years-old younger me, i wish i could turn back the time, and stay kids forever. I miss my innocence and ignorance. Worrying nothing, wondering things i shouldnt have. I really want to turn back to the time when imagination was a hope, not just another daydreaming.