Diaspora

Bismillah,

Sebagai diaspora yang sudah merantau jauh dari tanah air sejak 13 tahun yang lalu, ada masa-masa dimana saya merasa homesick parah dan ingin sekali pulang. Back for good.

Saya kangen masakan Indonesia. Saya rindu jajanan-jajanan pinggir jalan yang kurang higienis tapi toh akan tetap saya lahap juga.

Saya kangen bertegur sapa dengan orang-orang dalam bahasa saya sendiri.

Saya rindu naik angkot. Turun seenaknya di tengah rute angkot tanpa harus memikirkan saya mestinya berhenti di bus stop yang mana.

Saya kangen tinggal di Jakarta – dengan segala kesemrawutan dan macetnya.

Saya rindu jadi bagian dari kota dimana saya menghabiskan 18 tahun pertama hidup saya.

Lalu saya sadar – kalaupun saya pulang sekarang, Jakarta yang sekarang sudah bukan lagi Jakarta yang saya rindukan.

Atau mungkin karena kalau saya pulang nanti, tantangan yang harus saya hadapi sudah berbeda dengan tantangan dari Jakarta 13 tahun yang lalu.

Saat saya back for good nanti, saya sudah harus memikirkan bagaimana bertahan hidup di Jakarta. Biaya sekolah, akses ke fasilitas kesehatan, sewa rumah, dsb, dst.

Mungkin wacana back for good ini hanya akan jadi wacana, atau mungkin akan kami eksekusi secepatnya. Who knows.

Yang jelas saat ini, detik ini, saya kangen Jakarta.

photo-1470847355775-e0e3c35a9a2c-1024x1280
Source: here

 

Oversharing dan Rumah Tangga

Bismillah,

Tetiba jadi pengen bahas ini gara-gara abis baca artikel ini.

Jangan fokus ke Nia Ramadhani nya ya :p.

Saya setuju banget sama apa yang dibilang mbak Nia dan mas Ardhie (sok ikrib, ciee).

Setiap pernikahan kan pasti ada masalah, nggak mungkin nggak ada berantemnya. tapi kita nggak pernah curhat-curhat di medsos. Kita selesaikan di kamar berdua sudah.

Dalem banget guys. And so true.

Terus komentar psikolog nya juga jleb.
Continue reading “Oversharing dan Rumah Tangga”

Kesempatan dari Papa

Bismillah,

Bicara soal kesempatan, saya mau ga mau jadi ingat Papa.

I don’t have such a close relationship with him. I am not Daddy’s little daughter at all. Memori saya tentang masa kecil saya dengan Papa adalah Papa yang keras dan mendidik saya dengan tangan besi.

Papa saya selalu bilang, beliau tidak bisa mewariskan harta pada saya dan adik-adik. Yang bisa beliau berikan untuk kami hanyalah pendidikan. Dan untuk itulah, Papa mendidik kami dengan sungguh-sungguh.
Continue reading “Kesempatan dari Papa”

Why I can’t ever be a professional blogger

Nowadays, every time I read people’s blog, it seems like everyone has their own niche. Some focus on parenting, others choose cooking, and the rest are choosing whatever they think they are doing best.

Based on what I read, they think it will help them target the correct readers and perhaps, correct sponsors to help them in monetizing their blog. Being a professional blogger.

Nothing is wrong with that, haha. But I just think it’s boring.
Continue reading “Why I can’t ever be a professional blogger”

Together

Tiap kali Ramadhan, rasanya hati jadi mellow satu bulan :’) Dan lebih-lebih lagi tahun ini karena ini pertama kalinya kami puasa di Eropa (18 jam!) dan jauh dari segala macam suasana Ramadhan yang dulu kami rasakan di Asia.

Makanan halal yang berlimpah ruah.
Suara adzan dari mesjid di dekat rumah.
Komunitas Muslim yang besar.

Saya dan suami menghabiskan separuh umur kami di Singapura. Boleh dibilang, kami besar dan menjadi dewasa di sana. Anak-anak kami pun lahir disana. Sewajarnya kalau kami merasa kehilangan dengan suasana Ramadhan di Singapura, terutama dengan teman-teman sesama Muslim disana.

Sejujurnya waktu kami memutuskan pindah ke Berlin, saya sempat nangis karena bakalan kangen berat dengan teman-teman di Singapura.

Tapi alhamdulillah, sejak kami sampai di Berlin, kami disambut dengan komunitas Muslim yang juga sama baiknya. Dari merekalah kami merasa kemudahan-kemudahan mengalir di waktu kami membutuhkan. Mulai dari info makanan halal, kegiatan mesjid, bahkan sampai mencari pengasuh anak dan pesan kue Lebaran.

Bumi Allah itu luas, dan sesungguhnya persaudaraan antar sesama Muslim itu bahkan lebih luas lagi.

Benar adanya kalau kebersamaan dan silaturahmi itu bisa memperluas rezeki. Dan lebih penting lagi, membuat betah untuk tinggal jauh dari tanah air.

فَبِأَيِّ آلَاء رَبِّكُمَا تُكَذِّبَانِ

“Maka nikmat Tuhan kamu yang manakah yang kamu dustakan?”
(QS. Ar-Rahman [55] )

H-7 Idul Fitri. Yang kangen mudik.
92c4a39ccb411b660632f537ac085077

Pengaturan Keuangan Keluarga

Sudah hampir akhir bulan, dan artinya apa? Gajian yesss.
Tapi tunggu dulu.
Tagihan telpon, listrik, gas?
Sewa rumah, cicilan kendaraan?
Biaya sekolah anak, les, jalan-jalan?
Keperluan pribadi, pos buat orang tua, nabung dana pensiun, dana darurat?
Dan tiba-tiba saja rekening gaji berkurang 80% *nyesss*


Preambule nya panjang amat tapi intinya sih saya ingin coba berbagi manajemen keuangan keluarga ala keluarga kami 😆

Jadi ceritanya, sejak kecil, saya termasuk yang organized soal uang. Mungkin bukan organized lagi ya, tapi sudah taraf pelit kalau kata adek saya mah, haha.

Alhamdulillah, kebiasaan itu terbawa sampai sekarang dan membantu sekali saat saya membuat budget bulanan keluarga kami.

Disclaimer dulu ya. Mungkin ada beberapa tips saya yang ga applicable karena kondisi tiap orang pastinya berbeda-beda – tapi mudah-mudahan ada yang berguna.
Continue reading “Pengaturan Keuangan Keluarga”

Kembali Nonton J-Dorama

Berhubung lagi minggu hectic (baca: anak-anak lagi pada sakit dan saya sendiri tumbang karena batpil), akhirnya memutuskan buat nulis yang ringan-ringan aja, such as.. Drama Jepang *jeng jeng jeng*

Preambule – dari kecil saya udah doyan nonton dorama Jepang, tapi kan dulu akses terbatas yaa, jadinya ya cuma modal nonton dari tivi aja. Inget banget dulu Indosiar yang paling heboh kalo soal dorama Jepang, mulai dari “Tokyo Love Story”, “News no Onna”, “Long Vacation”, dsb dsb. Aaah, memories. Dulu juga masih jamannya nonton film/tv series asing yang di dubbing, dan saya masih hapaaal banget suara dubber-dubber nya Indosiar.
Continue reading “Kembali Nonton J-Dorama”

So goodbye, and smile.

So today is New Year’s Eve

And I am waiting for a train at Alexanderplatz. Going to our Boxhagener house to collect a few items left while letting Husband taking care of Z and M at our Moabit house.

Feeling mellow right now cause .. this will be the last time I am coming to Boxhagener house 🙁

I only stayed there for a month but that house saw a lot of memories already. M took his first long steps there. It saw us struggling with finding house and nanny and all..

I have moved house three times this year and each move was so sad. Why do I have to feel so attached to a house? And when can we settle down?

2017 has been a year of changes for us. From moving to Hougang to Kovan. From Kovan to Berlin. And now from our Boxhagener house to our Moabit house.

When we moved from Hougang, we only looked for a house that is temporary or 6 months at least cause Husband already accepted an offer from Berlin and he wanted us to join him as soon as we can – it made no sense if we rent another house for a year.

But I haven’t found a job yet so the best we could do is looking for a short-term house with a possible extension.

I remember feeling so uncertain. I cursed myself for saying yes to Husband.

And then we found Kovan house.

The house was smaller than Hougang. But it’s only 5 mins away from Z’s school. And to Kovan MRT, it’s only two stops away. We also had playground right below our block.

We moved there and I secretly hoped we could call it home.

And then came that offer from Berlin in September.

We were only at Kovan for less than two months and we were already going to say goodbye to even more precious things we had in Singapore.

Our helper.
Z’s school.
Friends.
Our Muslim community.

My heart still breaks remembering all of those. I really really couldn’t bear to think about it.

But I need to follow Husband. Our family is not a family without him.

As I am typing this, I am crying a bucket.

I left Singapore with a heavy heart.

It’s been a month but it still feels like half of my heart is still with Singapore. I don’t know when can I call someplace else as home.

Maybe because I know that I probably will never be able to come back permanently to Singapore again.

Our next stop after Berlin will be another country or – going back home for good.

I .. don’t think I am ready for that yet.

I keep thinking what makes me miss Singapore so much. Sure I was there for 12 years but if I am being honest, I think I spent half of it complaining about Singapore and its system.

When I left for Japan in 2010, I don’t think I was ever this sad.

Maybe because of so many memories with my kids there?

They were born in Singapore. They thought Singapore is their home. Heck, even Z called himself “Singaporean”!

M didn’t know about all of these yet but if he does, I’d think he would also call himself Singaporean.

Agh, this post is getting more difficult to write.

I guess I need to find a way to deal with my own feelings. I can’t always cry and sad every time I remember Singapore anyway.

In the meantime..

Happy new year 2018!

What is home?

I have been pondering about it for quite some time now.

When I first came to Singapore back in 2005, truth to be told, I didn’t plan to stay here this long. My plan was: finish college, finish the bond, and then… go somewhere else. Maybe going back to Jakarta, maybe to another country – who knows?

Well, a plan is a plan. I ended up staying for 10 years and Singapore was soon becoming a place so familiar and dear to my heart.

But will I call it a home?

Sure, it’s a place where I practically grew up from my teen self to an adult (hah). It’s a place where my boys were born. It’s a place where I feel the most comfortable with so far.

But how about Jakarta? The city where I spent the first 18 years of my life. The city where I met my husband. The city that never fails to make me longing for its food and its memories. The city where I met my best friends and importantly, the city where my parents are staying.

Doesn’t feel right either.

I guess that’s true what people say about being a diaspora.

So,

here you are

too foreign for home

too foreign for here

never enough for both

‘Diaspora Blues’ by Ijeoma Umebinyuo

I am only counting days until I am moving to Berlin. Can I call it home later?

Cerita Hijrah

That title sounded heavy.

Ngga sih, ini isinya mungkin bisa dibilang agak remeh. Cuma cerita hidup – kilas balik to few years back. (or maybe a decade back? OMG I AM OLD CRYYY)

Background cerita dulu cause I like my context yow.

I used to be an active blogger walaupun cuma sekedar cerita ngalor ngidul curhat ga jelas – saya bahkan pernah nge blog soal bikin tahu isi, sodara2. Dem I was drama queen. Sebagai blogger, of kors lah kita mesti bangun network (hachih). Melalui bloghopping, saya menemukan beberapa blog yang rutin saya baca. Simply because I love the bloggers. Tiap baca tulisan mereka – apapun itu – I felt happy. As simple as that. That’s the power of writing for me.

Setelah demam blog mereda (sad face), beberapa dari mereka ada yang completely stop blogging atau pindah ke blog baru. Ada yang dulu cuma bikin blog di blogspot, wordpress, free provider lainnya, sekarang pakai domain sendiri. Isi blog nya pun makin beragam. Dari yang cuma cerita kehidupan kampus (karena dulu masih anak kuliahan), sekarang cerita working life or life as a mom (aiihh).

Life goes on. People change. But they are still the same old bloggers that I love. Their writings still make me super happy!

Dari beberapa di antara mereka yang masih aktif, I found out that they are now wearing hijab. Which makes me even happier! Apalagi kalo baca cerita hijrah mereka  – merinding dan terharu bacanya. Tiap orang punya cerita sendiri, tapi saya selalu merasakan hal yang sama: it’s so humbling. Sebagai muslimah, hijab adalah bagian dari diri kita. And I feel so, so honored to be part of people that can read their stories.

And I want to share mine as well – mungkin tidak terlalu dramatis, tapi cerita saya juga bagian dari bagaimana saya menemukan identitas diri saya sebagai muslimah.

I just realized my tone has become heavy again, haha. OK, let’s try to keep this light.

*

Back in 2003, adik saya berangkat haji. Saat itu sebenarnya saya juga ditawarkan untuk ikut – but I didn’t take the offer because my school responsibilities were too many and I couldn’t afford missing classes for more than two weeks.

Sekembalinya dari haji, adik saya pun memakai hijab. Waktu itu rasanya sih biasa saja. I thought it’s just compulsory. She’s a hajjah, so of course it’s her responsibility. She needs to represent that title.

Lama2, saya pun penasaran dengan hijab. My mom has been wearing it ever since she got married, tapi saya baru merasa super penasaran setelah melihat adik saya memakai hijab for few months. I saw something different with her. Yang tadinya super grasak grusuk jadi agak kalem (notice ‘agak’, hahaha), etc. I just couldn’t explain why but somehow I wanted to try wearing hijab.

Pada suatu hari, saya pun mengambil bergo milik Mama dan memilih baju lengan panjang untuk keluar rumah. Which ended with Mama asked me to change instantly, haha. She said I wasn’t ready.

Saat itu saya tidak mengerti why I was told that I was ‘not ready’. How do we define ‘ready’? How?

Until one day in 2004, I decided ready or not, I had to wear hijab. That time, Mama didn’t say anything. Dan saya pun memakai hijab seterusnya.

… *krik krik*

Sudah begitu saja, hahahaha.

Alhamdulillah, saya tidak mengalami yang namanya takut ditolak lingkungan because of my hijab. Mungkin karena circle pertemanan saya yang terlalu kecil (introvert alert!) dan sebagian besar dari mereka juga sudah berhijab.

Cerita justru mulai seru setelah saya pindah ke Singapura.

I was struggling with being a minority. Sempat beberapa kali saya merasakan saya tidak diberikan kesempatan because of my hijab, astaghfirullah. But again, alhamdulillah. Circle saya yang kecil masih menyediakan support system yang functional. Terima kasih banyak saya haturkan untuk kakak2 mentor dan roommate2 saya tercinta (Echa, Sari, Dika, what would I do without you?). Being a minority was tough, tapi punya dukungan moral dan spiritual dari orang2 terdekat was a good safety net.

Memasuki dunia kerja, saya kembali merasakan perasaan rendah diri. Being a muslimah and wearing hijab di negara dimana saya adalah minoritas adalah tantangan tersendiri. Apalagi untuk kegiatan socializing dimana tentu saya punya banyak halangan. Kadang kala saya juga merasakan konflik moral di dalam hati. Identitas saya begitu jelas terpampang dan orang akan selalu menjudge saya based on that.

Until one day, I decided to stop blaming my hijab. Hijab is my identity. And I should feel proud donning it.

Saya memutuskan untuk pelan2 membangun rasa percaya diri yang ternyata sudah mulai mengapur. Saya adalah seorang professional. And I am one. Dan saya pun menyadari kalau saya terlalu fixated dengan how self conscious I am on wearing a hijab. Saya takut saya di judge tidak fleksibel, saya takut saya dicap tidak bisa perform because I have too many restrictions.

Which apparently is not the case at all!

Once I have started building my confidence better, I started to feel the difference. I realized that people actually respected me for my skills – they never really cared about my hijab. I do have a lot of restrictions – but the most important part is being firm about it. If I can’t socialize at a bar or non-halal restaurant, I will say it upfront. And actually, wearing a hijab is easier cause my colleagues will immediately remind me if the places we are going are not halal, haha! Alhamdulillah.

It has been easier so far and I am proud of my hijab.

Jadi minoritas itu tidak mudah. Mempertahankan prinsip bisa jadi satu hal yang sulit. Iman pun bisa naik turun – sudah fitrah nya. Tapi setelah hampir 13 tahun mengenakan hijab, I can tell few things that can help you getting through difficult times:

  • Your support system. It doesn’t need to be big – but it needs to be strong.
  • Your moral compass
  • Your faith to Him

With recent news about how Islam is perceived around the world, it’s even more important for us Muslimahs to be firm and proud with our hijab – tentu saja dibarengi dengan akhlak yang sesuai dengan tuntunan Islam. Because if it’s not us, then who else?

*

OK I think that’s enough of heavy topic for today :p. Let’s get back to the usual (??) program in few days.