EF # 23 : Convenient and Safe Homecoming

“I had booked return tickets for Dea and Caca to Pontianak. They go home first because they will go to the school ”said my wife. This morning before I went to the office, we continued talking about our homecoming (mudik) plan to Jogjakarta.

I have booked one way tickets from Pontianak to Jogja for homecoming and my wife told me that she has booked return tickets, too. She was right. We better buy return tickets as early as possible, because the price usually more expensive if we buy suddenly.

Tickets is one important thing that we have to prepare when we plan to homecoming. Especially when we use public transportation like plane, train, ship or bus. We have to allocate special budget, because 50-60% homecoming cost used for transportation, both public or private transportation.

What else we have to prepare for homecoming? Make a list and schedule some interesting place to visit. I said to my wife to make a daily schedule. So, we can manage our time when we are in Jogja and Semarang.

For example, on the first day, we plan to go Taman Pintar, Malioboro, Benteng Vredeburg, Kraton and Pasar Beringharjo. Interesting places which we can see some historical objects and education tourism. Next, on the second day, we can schedule to see Gembira Loka Zoo and Dirgantara Museum.

We can also schedule some days to enjoy some culiner tour, especially local foods like Gudeg Bu Ahmad, SGPC Bu Wiryo, Soto Kadipiro and Angkringan Sego Kucing Lek Man. I’m sure, for some people who had lived and studied in Jogja know that places.

If we plan to homecoming, don’t forget to bring some souvenirs. My daughters often buy bracelets, necklaces and key chains in Malioboro for her friends.

Last, we also need to notify to the head of household and explain how long we will homecoming and who will stay at home.

So, prepare it and have a nice homecoming trip.

[BEC GIVE AWAY] I Will Make a Member Book

If I were an administrator of BEC, I ‘ll make a book of BEC members profile.
Why? Because each member can know more about each other. I am sure, many members of the BEC is pleased to have the book.
The book contains the profile of each member and also their impression after followed BEC.
I think, the book will be the best prize and useful for every member.

EF #20 Falling in Love in the Forest

Every year, some students from different universities come to my workplace to follow working practice. One group usually has 4 – 6 students. They will stay in the field for 2 months and join with some activities like timber cruising, road construction, harvesting, nursery, planting, research and development and community development.

Every activity has a coordinator who will organize them. How long they follow timber cruising and stay in the forest, prepare logistic during stay in the forest and determine who is the timber cruiser to accompany them. They will stay together  in the forest with eleven person in one big tent.

Not only working practice, some students also carry out a research. Company usually appoint one employee to accompany the student. They stay in a certain camp like production camp or forest establishment camp depends on their research.

He will help the student to find a right location, coordinating with the head of the camp, making some sample plots, collecting data and attending student presentation.

In this process, two person who never knows each other before getting closer and closer. Even, I have ever seen they walked in couples. They actually fallen in love.

I believe that God determine our marriage partner, but we have to try to find her/him wherever they are. Some female students who carried out a research or accompanied some foreigners as a translator, finally met their marriage partner not in the campus or in the city, but in the forest.

EF #19 My Handwritten Letters

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I never imagined this moment to send a letter so easy and fast. This morning, I just sent an email to a friend who was in Bogor. In a matter of seconds and a click, an email I sent from the middle of the forest has been up in the city of Bogor.

Twenty years ago, I still remembered when I sent letters and waited for the answer took about two weeks. At that time I was already working and had a serious relationship with someone who is now become my wife.

To send the news, I wrote it in the pages of letter paper. Inserted in an envelope, wrote the address on the front of the goal, sticking stamps and sent it through the post office last.

At that time, the houses in the town usually had a mailbox. The postman didn’t need to go to the home to give the letter. Simply, putting a letter in a box that is already available. Usually the mailbox will be filled by the greeting card during the holiday of Eid, Christmas or New Year. Mailbox not only contained letters, but also brochures, leaflets and even newspapers. Now, I rarely see mailbox like it because it has been replaced by email.

However, there is one thing that till now I miss from a letter written by hand and not replaceable by email. What is it? When receiving a letter from my loved one, somehow suddenly felt heart palpitations. Not enough to read it only once. I still keep some letters handwritten by my wife until now. Some my handwritten letters also kept by my wife.  Those handwritten letters are part of the memories of the past

Have you ever experienced a period like that ?

EF 18# Between Kindness and Firmness

One complicated relationship is when we have to firm with a person who has given kindness to us. Sometimes we don’t have the heart to express what we feel because of his or her kindness before.

One example happened in my family. We’ve a good neighbour who often help us when we’re in trouble. One time, my wife looked there was a snake behind our house. She screamed and got out from the house. One man who was working at workshop in front of our house heared my wife’s sound. Then he went into the house and killed the snake. His father owned the workshop and our family has a good relationship with them.

Every Idul Fitri, we always come to their house and they treat us well. We often asked for stay longer and they provided breakfast with special food, like fried liver sauce, ketupat and chicken curry.

We also came to their house when we got sick, because one of that family is a massage theraphist. He would massage our legs with special oil and then we felt better. Our child also ever got a massage when his arm sprained. We respected him because each treatment was done, he never asked for wage. When we knew that he didn’t receive money for his massage therapist, then we decided to bring fruits or cakes to substitute his wage.

Our relationship changed when my wife complained because of the sound of a noisy workshop. When our children studied in the evening, they couldn’t focus on their subject because the workshop still active. My wife then sent SMS to the mother and explained that tomorrow the children would get examination. They disturbed with the noise came from the workshop.

Afterword, in the morning she came to our house and her family apologized for the noise from their workshop. My wife explained that she didn’t prohibit their family working but the working time should be limited.

Several days latter, the attitude of that family changed. The mother didn’t smile kindly again when she met my wife. When my wife met her in regular social gathering (arisan), she wouldn’t start to talk. My wife than asked for my suggestion to overcame this problem. I said,”Kept a good attitude with her and didn’t change”.

“Should I come to their son’s wedding?” asked my wife by phone
“Yes, you should come because they invited”I said
“What if they don’t accept us?”
“You keep calm and don’t be angry”I answered

In the wedding party, my wife accompaned by our second daughter then walked to the stage to greet the bride and their family.

It was not easy to act like that because I ever faced it before. My wife explained that after attended that party, walked to the stage and shaked their hands, she felt like escape from the heavy burden.

Thank you my dearest wife, you have passed from the life exam.

EF #16 : Positive Values from Ande-Ande Lumut Story

Ande-Ande Lumut is my father’s favourite Indonesia tale. When I was a child, he usually told this story and sometimes sang Ande-ande Lumut song. The story was about a prince who was trying to find a wife. Then he held a contest to choose a woman who will be the queen.

Some women from several villages came including a mother with four daughter, Kleting Abang, Kleting Ijo, Kleting Biru and Kleting Kuning. Actually, Kleting Kuning was a stepchild. So, she treated differently by her stepmother. She often asked for to wash her stepsisters’ clothes and also another homework.

After they knew there will be a contest, Kleting Kuning’s stepsisters tried to beautify themselves and wearing nice dresses.

“I also wanted to participate in the contest”said Kleting Kuning.

“What? With ugly clothes like that, you do not worthy to participate in”said Kleting Abang.

To participate in the contest, from their home they had to walk and acrossed the river. When they arrived at the river, there was no boat to take across them. There was only one big crab called Yuyu Kangkang.

“I would take across you after you kissed me”said Yuyu Kangkang.

They accepted what Yuyu Kangkang wanted. One by one kissed him and they were taken across by Yuyu Kangkang.
Walking behind her stepmother and stepsister, Kleting Kuning also arrived at the river.

She met Yuyu Kangkang and also asked for to kiss him if she wanted to take across the river.

Kleting Kuning refused Yuyu Kangkang’s request. She walked around the river to find a canoe. Her effort succeeded. She hurried up paddled the canoe to take across the river.

Furthermore, they met with the prince. After looking at Kleting Abang, Kleting Biru and Kleting Ijo, the Prince decided not to choose one of them. He explained that they didn’t pass the contest because had kissed Yuyu Kangkang. As a matter of fact, Yuyu Kangkang was ordered by the prince to test women who will participate in the contest.

Finally, the Prince choosed Kleting Kuning to be his wife because of her effort and loyality not to justify the means of achieving the goal.

From this story, I learned some positive values.

First, effort. If I have a plan or desire, I strive earnestly to achieve it. There will be a way if I start to do. Like to do this assignment. Difficult at the beginning, but easier in the end.

Second, loyality. This attitude makes me not easily tempted by other things that have nothing to do with the goal that I want to achieve. Loyality is not only for our family, our wife or our husband, but also for our goal that we decide it.

EF#15 Weekly Challenge : More Outdoor Activities When I was a Child

There were no online games, play station or handphone when I was a child. At that time, I used to play some outdoor games with my friends, like playing gobak sodor, playing marbles, playing kites and playing firecrackers and fireworks when fasting month.

I think some outdoor games have more benefits for us because they combine physical activities and some interpersonal skill. For example when I played gobak sodor, I had to have a good cooperation with my friends to restrict our opponent break through our team. Playing marbles required our foot to move and our hand to take aim the marbles that I wanted to. Besides that requirements, playing marbles also need our accuracy and precision skill to gain more marbles. Are the children still playing marbles now? I rarely see.

What about playing kites? What do you like most in this game? There were two stages I like most from this game. First, when my kites flew in the air and met another one. I couldn’t avoid it and had to fight. I had to decide at the right time whether I had to pull out the thread or extend it to win the game. I think it was the real game of playing kites. This game also gives us a philosophy value, decision making. Whatever our role, as an employee, an entrepreneur, a father, a mother, a manager or a blogger we are all the decision maker.

Second,  I was so impressed in this game when I had to compete with another boys to gain kite broke. At the first step, we looked at the kites that loss and tried to follow wherever it flew. We usually also carried pole to help get the kite. Our sight often to the sky and didn’t give enough attention in the road. So, sometimes we almost hit by passing vehicles on the road. Then driver angry and cursing us  🙂 .

I think this game, playing kite, now still played by the children. Especially when they live in rural, sub urban area or near the beach. It is difficult to find this game in the big city because there are no enough open area.

EF #11 Simple Uniform for Indoor and Outdoor


“Your uniform looks good. Where did you buy it?”asked my friend. He interested in my uniform when we met in the branch office two months ago. Usually, while waiting for the monthly meeting started, I came to his room and we were discussing about anything.

“I bought it from my friend in the camp. He designed this uniform by photoshop, ordered to the tailor in Java and asked for his friend to sell them in the office”I explained. I think it’s a good collaboration and a creative example to increase their income :-). He didn’t do it by himself but offered his friend to join that side job.

To provide employees’ uniform, he also determine what the material, the colour and the pattern of the clothes. Not many employees have special skills like him. Not only master in designing uniform, but also banners and posters.

As you look at the picture, I wear it while accompany the guests from Jakarta. This uniform not only suitable for indoor activity like attending the meeting but for outdoor activity, too. So, if the guests want to go to the field, I needn’t to change my clothes. What a simple uniform.

Di Balik Cerita Sukarelawan yang Tulisannya Direview di Menit-Menit Akhir

Terima kasih buat Bro Ryan yang sudah menunjuk saya jadi sukarelawan tantangan English Friday ke-8. Awalnya saya nggak menyangka akan mengantikan posisi teman lainnya yang belum siap. Ibarat pemain bola yang selama ini duduk di bangku cadangan, terus diminta pelatih untuk tampil di menit-menit terakhir pertandingan.

Demikian juga saat bro Ryan sebagai salah satu punggawa dan penggagas BEC memberi tahu kalau tulisan saya akan direview. Pemberitahuan yang cukup mendadak dan informal.

Dua hari sebelum review postingan EF#8, bro Ryan komen di postingan yang bikin saya agak kaget “Tulisannya hari Senin mau direview, Mas. Menggantikan teman yang belum siap”katanya.”Terus tugas saya detilnya apa saja, ya?”tanya saya. “Nanti mentor yang akan mereview tulisannya, Mas”jelasnya lagi.

Inilah resiko kalau rutin posting di English Friday hahaha…. Minimal masuk nominasi admin untuk jadi pemain cadangan kalau suatu waktu ada teman lain yang sudah diminta tapi berhalangan.

Dari kejadian ibarat pemain pengganti itulah ada poin penting yang mau saya ceritakan. Terutama bagaimana saya harus berjibaku memanage waktu untuk bisa hadir dan standby saat jam-jam tulisan direview.

Mungkin saya lebih tepat kalau cerita apa yang terjadi di balik review postingan hari Senin lalu antara pukul 8 pagi sampai jam 2 siang. Kalau dalam film di bioskop mungkin ceritanya semacam behind the scene gitulah. Di balik keberhasilan sebuah film, ada banyak kejadian di belakang layar yang mungkin nggak pernah terpikirkan oleh penontonnya.

Dibalik kesuksesan seorang aktor atau aktris tampil di layar kaca atau layar bioskop, ada banyak peristiwa di balik layar yang mungkin membuat kita terkejut setelah tahu jalan ceritanya. Seperti bagaimana seorang aktris harus shooting dari pagi sampai dini hari dan baru pulang ke rumah saat subuh. Di saat orang lain mulai bangun pagi, justru saat itulah waktu bagi dia untuk beristirahat.

Ada juga yang karena saking inginnya menjiwai perannya sebagai mahasiswa demonstran, dia juga ikut aksi-aksi demo di jalan. Ada juga aktor lainnya yang jadi tukang ojek beneran untuk menyelami kehiduan seorang tukang ojek. Mangkal di pangkalan ojek, menunggu penumpang, dapat penumpang dan tawar menawar sampai mengantar ke tempat yang dituju. Semua dilakukan agar sang aktor atau aktris dapat berperan sealami mungkin saat tampil dalam setiap adegan film seuai tuntutan skenario. Lha, kok malah ngelantur sih ceritanya. Kembali ke cerita review postingan EF#8 tadi ya.

Setelah hari itu datang, Senin 2 Maret 2015, saya sudah rencanakan akan mulai gabung jam 9 pagi, karena pagi masuk kerja dulu bereskan kerjaan-kerjaan yang sudah saya catat dan harus dikerjakan saat itu. Pas jam 9 pagi saya keluar kantor dan pulang ke mess dulu. Kenapa harus pulang? Ya, karena di kantor ada aturan nggak boleh bawa handphone saat jam kerja.

Mungkin teman-teman agak heran, nggak boleh bawa handphone tapi kok bisa posting dan kadang-kadang balas komen? Ya, karena diperbolehkan bawa modem ke kantor untuk cek email, balas email, download aturan-aturan baru, sesekali lihat website dan perusahaan. Nah, saat kesempatan inilah setelah kerjaan tadi selesai sempatkan untuk ngeblog dulu. Yang penting kerjaan pokok beres.

Nah waktu keluar sebentar dari kantor dan di kamar, saya baca-baca review di whatsapp ternyata masih membahas postingan pertama dan kedua. Hari itu ada 4 postingan yang dijatah untuk direview dan alamak saya giliran direview yang terakhir, ini kata mbak Mikan. Dibela-belain buru-buru pulang akhirnya dapat giliran terakhir. Tapi, yo ora opo-opo, jam 9.30 saya balik lagi ke kantor, karena kalau kelamaan di rumah malah bikin orang lain curiga, ini orang ngapain aja kok jam kerja berlama-lama di rumah?

Waktu yang tepat itu akhirnya datang juga, pas jam istirahat kantor, mulai jam 11.00 sampai jam 12.30. Biasanya kalau waktu istirahat, setelah pulang makan siang dulu di kantor sama-sama teman lainnya. Makanannya sudah disiapkan sama mbak-mbak di dapur. Tinggal dipindahkan saja ke mulut :-). Jadi nggak perlu masak sendiri atau ke luar kantor dan pergi cari warung makan, restoran atau jalan-jalan ke mall untuk makan siang. Ini kerja di hutan, bro dan sis :-).

Setelah makan siang, barulah meneruskan lihat review lagi di rumah. Dan ternyata masih giliran antrian yang ketiga yang lagi direview, belum saatnya giliran saya. Sabar..sabar namanya juga urutan yang keempat jadi harus sabar tunggu giliran. Waktu terus berlalu, jam pun sudah menunjukkan waktu 11.45 WIB. Karena sudah masuk waktu dhuhur, aktivitas memantau di layar handphone sementara istirahat dulu.

Selesai sholat dhuhur, kembali ke layar handphone. Rupanya ada pergantian mentor, dari mbak Riemikan ke mbak Eva si ransel biru, the gilrs with the blue suitcase. Pas saat inilah saya jadi pasiennya mbak Eva. Dah….. mbak Mikan 🙂 Langsung direview? Belum juga karena mbak Eva belum dapat linknya, padahal waktu sudah menunjukkan hampir jam 12.30 WIB, saat harus masuk kantor lagi 5 menit lagi.

Menit-menit terakhir inilah baru ada review dari mbak Eva, tepat sirene di camp berbunyi, tanda karyawan harus masuk kantor lagi. Saat itulah serasa berada di simpang jalan. Langsung berangkat ke kantor atau baca dulu reviewnya? Kalau langsung ke kantor nanti dikira mbak Eva, reviewnya saya cuekin kok sampai nggak ada komen atau another question. Langsung ditanggapi, resikonya terlambat masuk kantor.

Keputusan harus diambil dengan cepat, saya pilih yang kedua saya baca dulu reviewnya, kasih tanggapan dan setelah itu berangkat ke kantor. Untungnya dari mess ke kantor nggak jauh. Cukup jalan kaki 3 menit sampai. Jadi nggak pakai macet :-). Tapi tetap terlambat 7 menit sampai ke kantor.

Jam 13.30 saya sempatkan keluar kantor lagi sebentar dan menengok gimana progres obrolannya. Rupanya jam-jam segitu lalu lintas obrolan di BEC learning sudah agak sepi. Tarik napas lega dulu dalam-dalam. Kesimpulannya bisa dilihat di BEC learning. Poin pentingnya sih mbak Eva kasih saran supaya konsisten dalam penggunaan bentuk tense waktu lampau. Terutama kalau sekarang ini cerita tentang kejadian yang dulu seharusnya dilakukan tapi nggak dikerjakan. Harus pakai should have + V3.

Btw, ada satu hal yang bikin saya kaget plus senang waktu mbak Eva bilang “Overall, a fantastic theme” di akhir kesimpulannya. Cuma numpang tanya ya, mbak, yang fantastic itu apanya ya? Theme yang ada di kepala blog atau atau theme cerita postingan EF#8. Rada gagal paham, nih 🙂

EF#8 : Guilty Feeling After Listening “Surga Hati” Ungu

To my younger self,
I often feel guilty after listening Surga Hati song by Ungu. This song likes a warning for me to fulfill God’s calling. And when I watched this song in You Tube, I can’t help my tears falling.

Time goes by so fast. Ten years ago, 2005, I should start to plan pilgrimage to Mecca. Planned to save part of my salary in a bank every month, started to ask and discuss with others who has carried out pilgrimage and also prepared everything before going to Mecca.

My younger self,
But, I just started to think and prepare it two years ago. And perhaps you know that if I have paid the cost completely and fulfill all requirements in this year, I could depart for Mecca 10-14 years next. Still waiting any longer.

My younger self,
Know I understand, God reminds us to do right things in several ways. By family advice, friend experience and other events. What we need is to sharpen the sensitivity and follow our conscience.