Day One

“Teaching in the school, we cannot pay you a proper salary. Maybe the money you will earn here only can afford your petrol”, said the principal.

Talking with the principal about what things that would be going on, I didn’t mind about the salary. Somehow I knew that I should be teaching at here. It was a small school, run by a Christian foundation which is based in my city. The school’s location, however, is far from the city. It’s in the border, where we can find big truck, big bus on our way to get there. Border….

I have 12 hours (1 hour lesson is 40 minutes) in a week to teach. Though we will teach for a whole month (it means 4 weeks and sometimes more), we will only be paid according to how many hours we teach in a week. For example, if we have 12 hours in a week, and for one hour we are paid -let’s say- 16,000 rupiahs (it’s around $1.25), so count it yourself how much you will get in a month. Demand? Cannot. That’s the system. Just take it or leave it.

I took it.

It is a small school belongs to a Christian education foundation. There are only one class in each grade, whereas each class only consists of 17 to 30 students. Sometimes the number is less because many students skip the class. There are only around 10 teachers, 3 staffs, and two old couples who live at school’s area and sell food in the school canteen during the break time. The teachers sometimes only come when they have schedule to teach because some of them also have schedule in other schools.

It is a school which accepts those who are dropped out from their previous schools. It is a secondary education institution that becomes the last choice for mostly students. It is a place which simple and homely. It is a home for those who seek love and affection.

And I was there. I am still here. Writing.

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You Deserve!

This morning I received message on my LINE from my former student.

“Miss, I am accepted”.

Suddenly, I felt so happy to hear the news from her.

She was my student for English conversation. She was the junior of my little brother when they worked together in a theatre club of their Senior High School. Since that time, I felt so connected to her cause we both could talk about art performing and of course, did some information about my brother.

She applied for immigration academy. I had just heard from her about immigration academy. Before, I had no idea if the people who work in immigration office should have education degree in academy of immigration.

In the previous year, she also applied. After some tests she was announced failed, which was almost the final test. She was sad, but didn’t give up. She tried it again this year.

She told me about the tests, which were a lot. Be it, academically, physically, interview, medical check up, and even virginity. Yes, I am not kidding. Virginity test was included for the test and the candidate (female) should be virgin. It’s interesting topic, isn’t it? Lets talk about it later.

I witnessed how hard she tried, how much money she had spent since the tests were held in Jakarta. Even she exercise a lot; running, swimming, to meet the body goal and prepare for sports tests.

There were no any words to respond from me but “Alhamdulilah, Praise The Lord”.

She said thanks to me for guiding her and supporting her during her hard times facing the tests. I was so flattered then my heart was touched for such kind of her gratitude, but still… “It’s because your hard work, dear! You deserve it”.

I finally feel the feelings of being a teacher. We watch one’s process of reaching their dream. We even don’t feel that we do something special, but for our students, it may means a lot for their life. We are happy, we are proud when we see our students achieve their goals, their dreams.

And one thing I learn very precious things from her: WORK HARD PAID OFF.

Hasil tidak akan pernah menghianati proses.  –unknown

Congratulation, my dear student! May your heart, your steps, are always blessed to lead you becoming a person who can give good vibes for the world. Your dream has just started.

Tinderella

The girl in the corner was sitting quietly, staring at her iPad. She was sweeping right and left. So did the girl in the centre. She was staring at her iPhone, did the same finger movement as the girl in the corner.

Some take it easy. Some take it hard.

They were lonely. They were hurt.

They were empty inside. They were cheering up.

They needed someone to talk to or someone to fuck.

They might find an evil, might find an angel .

 

 

 

Plis, deh… Jangan Gatel Lagi!

Mbak gatel.

Aku pernah denger lelucon pepatah begini: uang memang nggak bisa menjamin kebahagiaan. Tapi lebih baik menangis di dalam mobil Mercedes Benz daripada di atas sepeda motor. Kalau aku sih mau nambahin dikit jadi gini: uang memang nggak bisa menjamin kebahagiaan. Tapi lebih baik menangis di dalam mobil Mercedes Benz daripada di atas sepeda motor, apalagi kalau pas hujan deras. Soalnya hujan-hujan naik motor itu agak syusyah juga. Mau nutup helm, jalannya nggak keliatan. Kalau nggak ditutup kaca helmnya, muka kena air hujan yang turun dari langit, yang rasanya kayak ditampar bapak pakai sandal waktu aku kecil. Pedes, cin!

Kalau aku sih nggak pilih keduanya. Kondisinya ama-sama nangis soalnya. Kan sedih. Tapi kalau disuruh milih, aku mau milih di dalem Mercedes Benz dan bahagia. Sorry, it was out of options.

Ngobrol-ngobrol tentang kemewahan, suatu hari di bulan Maret 2016, aku pernah nginep di salah satu hotel bintang lima di Surabaya yang konon Syahrini suka juga nginep di situ. Ceritanya, itu adalah momen reuni dengan none-none syantik semasa aku kerja di Jakarta. Dan itu aku digratisin karena mereka paham bahwa aku yang paling kere kangen berat sama aku. Kalau buatku sendiri, Surabaya seperti rumah kesekian karena aku sering transit di Surabaya dari Denpasar maupun nebeng bobok di rumah sahabat-sahabatku di dekat Juanda. Jadi, kala itu aku juga nggak excited-excited amat waktu bilang,”yeay, akhirnya main ke Surabaya!” *yaapa sih kon iku -.-

J.W.M.

Saat itu, aku sedang menderita sakit gatal-gatal. Literally gatal. Jadi sekujur tubuhku gatel dan muncul bintik-bintik merah. Itu berlangsung selama sekitar tiga bulan. Meskipun udah ke dokter, minum jamu, mandi rempah, pakai bedak, tetap aja gatelnya nggak reda. Reda sejenak habis mandi, lalu timbul lagi dan rasanya harus selalu pengen digaruk. Bersyukurnya, mukaku nggak ikut bintik-bintik meskipun sempat agak mruntus. Belakangan diketahui bahwa sakit gatel itu adalah bagian dari stress/depresiku pada waktu itu. Kapan-kapan aku ceritain kalau lagi mood.

Bintik-bintik merah menggemaskan.

Kembali lagi tentang kisah sehari melancong mewah, makanlah daku seporsi kepiting saus padang yang endez. Lalu sesampainya di hotel gatalnya makin manja, minta digaruk. Akhirnya aku berendam air hangat di bath-up dan dikasih garam dikit (uda disiapin dari hotelnya). Tapi seperti yang kuceritain di atas, gatalnya reda sejenak setelah mandi aja, habis itu balik lagi. Akhirnya, tidur di ranjang cantik bak princess pun juga nggak lelap karena sering kebangun dan garuk-garuk.

Lega sementara…

Terus kaitannya sama lelucon pepatah di atas tadi apa? Kalau menurutku, mau dimanapun kalau kita lagi nggak enak ati, nggak enak badan, rasanya ya kemewahan itu terasa hambar. Pun sebaliknya. Mau dimanapun dan dalam kondisi apapun, asal sama orang yang asik dan disayangin, pasti bakal indah.

Di akhir cerita, aku tetep haha-hihi sama teman-temanku: membahas masa depan, diskusi tentang ketuhanan (agak berat ini topiknya), dan ngomong saru konten 17+. Terima kasih untuk kasihnya, kawan. Kini aku sudah nggak gatal.

Santi. Santi. Santi.

14 Tahun Bali Bombing

Aku dan adikku sedang berjalan menikmati sore (sekitar jam 20.00 itu masih sore kan?) di daerah Kuta. Masih terlalu pagi untuk nge-bar, sekedar pesan sebotol bir yang harganya 2 atau 3 kali lipat dari harga normalnya. Dan, ah lupakan ide itu. Aku sedang di Kuta dengan adikku, ‘gadis Jawa baik-baik’. Repotlah nanti jika aku harus adu argumen kala liburan.

Gadis-gadis penyebar flyer dan penyambut tamu adalah pemandangan yang menjadi ciri khas bar-bar disini. Sesekali mata mereka memandang ke sesama pekerja wanita yang lain. Sekilas ada titik persaingan di antara mereka. Mungkin. Salut aku atas daya tahan tubuh mereka dari angin malam yang akan dengan mudahnya menyentuh kulit gelap mereka yang tak tertutup banyak kain.

Berhentilah aku dan adikku di tempat ini. Tempat dimana 14 tahun yang lalu suasananya pasti tidak seperti saat kami disini. Aku masih SD saat menyaksikkan beritanya di TV. Sekarang hanya bisa membayangkan mereka yang harus bekerja malam untuk menafkahi keluarga di kampung halaman, dan mereka yang sedang berusaha menikmati hidup sejenak selepas kerja keras di Negara asal mereka, dengan sekejap meninggalkan dunia untuk selamanya.

Di sini, di seberang sebuah monumen yang bertuliskan nama-nama korban dalam tragedi bom Bali. Monumen yang bagiku hanya sekedar bangunan, namun sarat akan makna bagi keluarga dan orang dekat para korban. Ah, Tuhan, semoga KAU berikan kekuatan untuk mereka yang ditinggalkan.

Amor Ring Acintya. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti.

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Photo by Reza Yunita