Bandung, December 2016

Batari and I spontaneously went to Bandung last December. Although only for a short while, but we had an amaaaazing time with the people and the food.

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Happy breakfast in the green w/ Dian and Toshi.

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The Nasi Goreng Kencur in this place was awesome! Feels like home. Thanks Ben!

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Late lunch w/ old buddy.

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Off to ITB.

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Fell in love with ITB campus.

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Hello past.

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Another reason Batari wants to go to ITB: Seblak! I had a bit chat with the seller about it’s taste and history. He explained, that it used to be eaten only by housemaids – sort of their creation. But now, it’s happening in Java. Seblak is made of cooked chips, mixed with broth and kencur.

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This guy is a street musician. And he entertains with class. He just sits there and play the best song for the ambient.

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Mutton Soup. Ufff.. so good!!

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I command you to come here when you visit Bandung. Not to be missed.

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It was so oh gooooddd!!

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Good junk food. Nyam!

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Playing around with the foot massager.

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Setelah Sepuluh Tahun

Aku sekarang lagi di kereta bawah tanah menuju Alexanderplatz. Di salah satu stasiun tadi, dari sekian wajah yang aku liat sekilas-sekilas, ada seorang penjual koran jalanan sekaligus peminta sedekah yang sepertinya tidak punya penghasilan cukup. Aku ngenalin dia dari wajahnya. Kadang liat dia di subway atau di jalan. Pertama kali liat si orang ini sepuluh tahun yg lalu, waktu aku datang ke Berlin. Dulu agak kaget karena ga ngira bahwa akan ada peminta-minta di negara maju dengan sistem sosial yg menjamin kesejahteraan setiap warganya. Selain itu dilihat dari wajah dan bahasanya, terlihat bahwa beliau adalah orang sini, bukan imigran gelap yang tidak memiliki hak atas jaminal sosial.
 
Setelah tinggal di sini lebih lama dan tanya orang-orang lokal soal situasi pengembara jalanan, aku jadi tau: ternyata warga negara Jerman di sini kalo sampe hidup di jalanan adalah karena pilihan. Kalau mereka mau, sebetulnya ada dasar hukum yang dapat memberi mereka tunjangan hidup yang cukup. Walau pun pas-pas-an… tapi sudah melingkupi segala kebutuhan dasar seperti: asuransi kesehatan, tempat tinggal, makanan dan pakaian. Cuma ya gitu, tiap orang punya alasan sendiri-sendiri untuk ga mendayagunakan kesempatan ini. Ada yg karena “pride”, ada yang karena malas urus birokrasi, ada yang karena kurang sehat mental, dll. Dengan alasan-alasan itu mereka tetap tinggal di jalanan  atau meminta-minta di tengah keramaian.
 
Kembali ke si orang di atas, aku jadi kepikiran aja. Dulu aku datang ke sini untuk kuliah. Sekarang sudah selesai. Sudah beberapa kali berganti pekerjaan. Sudah melihat banyak hal. Sudah cukup jatuh bangun. Sudah lebih dewasa dari 10 tahun yang lalu. Tapi ketika ketemu orang itu tadi, dia masih melakukan hal yang sama. Aku ga bilang dia ga improve dirinya loh ya. Cuma kan karena ga kenal, pas ktemu ya cuma bisa liat dari luarnya aja.
 
Aku ga mau komentar apa-apa soal dia. Apalagi berasumsi dan menghakimi ini itu. Pun aku ga punya pesan moral atau opini apa-apa sebetulnya. Cuma pengen cerita. Makasih kalo dah baca sampe poin ini, smoga ga kecewa. Aku si liatnya semua orang punya masalah masing-masing dan latar belakang yang berbeda-beda. While so, then who am I to judge? Aku bersyukur masih bisa liat orang itu setelah sepuluh tahun berlalu. Bersyukur bahwa aku dan dia masih sama-sama diberi kesempatan hidup.
 
Sugih – Suatu malam di Februari 2016
(Diambil dari salah satu tulisannya di Path)

Essays in Love

Passing an unfortunate woman in the street one day, Chloe had asked me, ‘Would you have loved me if I’d had an enormous birthmark on my face like she does?’ The yearning is that the answer be ‘yes’ – an answer that would place love above the mundane surfaces of the body, or more particularly, its cruel unchangeable ones.
 
‘I will love you not just for your wit and talent and beauty, but simply because you are you, with no strings attached. I love you for who you are deep in your soul, not for the colour of your eyes or the length of your legs or size of your chequebook.’
 
The longing is that the lover admire us stripped of our external assets, appreciating the essence of our being without accomplishment. The real self is what one can freely choose to be, and if a birthmark arises on our forehead or age withers us or recession bankrupts us, then we must be excused for accidents that have damaged what is only our surface.
 
And even if we are beautiful and rich, then we do not wish to be loved on account of these things, for they may fail us, and with them, love. I would prefer you to compliment me on my brain than on my face, but if you must, then I would rather you comment on my smile than on my nose.
 
The desire is that I be loved even if I lose everything: leaving nothing but me, this mysterious me taken to be the self at its weakest, most vulnerable point.
 
Do you love me enough that I may be weak with you? Everyone loves strength, but do you love me for my weakness? That is the real test. Do you love me stripped of everything that might be lost, for only the things I will have for ever?


—Alain de Botton

My favorite paragraphs in de Botton’s Essays in Love. I turned 27 today and can’t help feeling hopelessly romantic.
For my family, whom I love oh so dearly, who loves me unconditionally despite my selfish ambition and frequent unreasonable stubbornness.
 
Batari – Tuesday, October 22, 2013
(Taken from http://batbatabatari.blogspot.de/2013/10/essays-in-love.html)