Selamat Hari Jadi Perkawinan Pak Kumis dan Bu Kepik

Apa yang istimewa dari tahun ketiga perkawinan kami? Waktu.

Tahun lalu sekitar minggu-minggu ini kami sedang sibuk merencanakan kehidupan selanjutnya setelah saya mendapat berita pemutusan hubungan kerja. Beberapa bulan kemudian kami putuskan pindah dari Jakarta. Kepindahan kami ke Singapura adalah sebuah pilihan yang besar untuk kami, baik dari sisi materi maupun nonmateri; Bapak-bapak dan ibu-ibu tidak serta merta bisa nengokin cucu ketika mereka kangen, Pepi yang tiap weekend pulang ke rumah kami, sekarang sudah tidak bisa lagi, niatan mau ngajarin Dedek biar kerja di Jakarta pun pupus sudah (Maaf ya Dek, janjiku belum bisa kutepati), perasaan bersalah karena Mbak Lilik dan Mbak Dati harus pulang kampung dan bekerja buat sesuatu yang mereka gak gitu suka, perasaan ngerepotin orang-orang karena harus ngurusin urusan kami yang masih tertunda di Jakarta, dll.

Waktu itu pilihan saya cukup sulit: bertahan di Jakarta, tanpa kelihatan hasilnya akan ke mana dalam beberapa tahun ke depan, atau nekat pindah ke Singapura dengan bekal pengetahuan seadanya, harus menurunkan *gaya* hidup, hidup *pas-pas-an*, tapi ada pengalaman baru yang gak cukup diukur dengan uang. Terima kasih ya Jeng, tanpa dukunganmu semua kenekatan ini gak bisa kita jalani seperti sekarang ini.

Oiya, tahun ini kami mulai banyak jalan kaki dan berolah-raga, tinggal di rumah susun yang seharusnya buat orang Singapura, bukan private apartment atau condominium, tanpa kendaraan pribadi, kemana-mana jalan kaki, naik bis, naik kereta, yang belum pernah naik perahu doang. Jauh beda sama sewaktu di Jakarta; mau beli bakso ke depan saja musti naik sepeda motor. Semacam gaya hidup yang bikin kami melihat dan memperhatikan banyak hal; Mungkin lain waktu saya akan berbagi tentang hal-hal di Singapura yang tidak pernah kelihatan di mata para turis.

Tahun ini kami memiliki waktu bersama-sama lebih banyak dari tahun-tahun sebelumnya, saya sampai rumah setiap hari jam 7:30 – 08:00 malam, masih punya banyak waktu untuk main dengan Lemon, bercengkerama dengan Ajeng dan Lemon sambil kruntelan di atas kasur. Semua itu bikin tingkat emosi cukup stabil dan kami merasa lebih sehat, walaupun kerinduan terhadap Bersih Sehat tidak mungkin dipungkiri.

Beberapa bulan pertama sungguh berat untuk menjalani perubahan ini; Buat saya tidak begitu berarti karena tiap hari masih sama saja bekerja, malah lebih nyaman karena perjalanan sekarang tanpa macet, Si Ajeng yang sedikit stress pada awalnya; dari yang biasanya kerja, tiap hari nyetir mobil BSD – Bogor, sampai rumah mendapati anak sudah rapi dan tidur nyenyak, hari-harinya biasanya diisi sama meeting dan mengurusi orangutan dan keribetan birokrasi kementrian atau kebuntuannya menulis laporan, dll, sekarang harus menghadapi anak yang sedang lucu-lucunya, dan bandel-bandelnya, dan sedang di masa yang sangat-sangat mudah meniru sesuatu yang baru, dan … harus mengajari sekaligus menahan emosi itu tidak mudah lho. Sampai suatu ketika kami ngobrol; sepertinya tidak rela membiarkan anak kami diajari orang lain yang kami tidak tahu latar belakangnya seperti apa.

Tapi itu semua berjalan secara alami; Mother-children bonding itu mulai tampak hasilnya, keduanya tampak sehat dan bahagia. Si Ajeng juga semakin jago memasak, padahal masakannya sederhana saja seperti steam ayam, semur ayam, ayam bakar, ikan bakar, sayur bayem, sayur sop, steam tahu, tumis kaylan, tumis kangkung … Tapi semakin ke sini rasanya semakin mantep, sudah seperti rasa masakan ibu. Dia juga semakin jago dandan, tiap kali ada saja metode baru dalam bedakan atau memerahkan pipi dan bibir. Yang terakhir kemarin, bedakan dengan kuas, yang biasanya dia lakukan itu dengan jari. Pengetahuannya soal dandan dan materialnya sudah setingkat tukang elektronik yang paham bikin monostable multivibrator pakai IC 555 di luar kepala, mungkin lebih.

Si Lemon … Pertumbuhan anak ini cepat betul, tidak akan cukup menceritakannya sekarang, kami selalu membagi video atau photo tentang tingkahnya yang selalu ada saja setiap saat, tiap hari pasti ada kata-kata baru, sudah mulai bisa menyusun kalimat dengan benar, sudah bisa bercerita dan berpura-pura, sudah bisa marah dan ngambek (dan keras kepala seperti bapaknya tentunya). Kadang itu semua muncul begitu saja, tanpa diajari oleh ibu atau bapaknya. Ini yang orang-orang bilang masa kritis di mana kepribadian anak terbentuk, tapi kami gak berniat membentuknya, biarin semua alami saja, kecuali dia melakukan hal yang sangat menyimpang barulah kami akan tegur, lain itu biar jadi dirinya sendiri.

Semoga tahun ini berjalan dengan lancar dan kami diberi cukup kesabaran untuk mengelola perasaan dan segala persoalan kami dan keluarga kami. Mau apa habis ini? Saya juga belum tahu, masih pengen nyobain hidup di tempat lain, tapi belum ada rencana pasti, sampai sekarang kami masih dalam tahap adaptasi, masih sering salah sangka, masih kurang tepat mengira-kira, dan masih mencoba melupakan keberadaan Bersih Sehat di dunia ini ­čśÇ

About Singapore

I moved to Singapore last year. Moving from Jakarta, where I had been living in for about nine years. My love and hate to this city collided into something too complicated, unhealthy relationship, ugly but also beautiful.

I always complain about Jakarta; its traffic jam, its public transportation, its bureaucracy, and all of sudden I feel I am nothing to this city. I came to this city, admiring its strength and its size, I wished I was one of its darling, and I give all my love to her, and I stay. For nine years (actually it’s because I don’t have any other choice, or choices with big risks, or even worse choice that I don’t consider it as a choice). Jakarta is always like that, it’s like a beautiful girl who offers you love, live, but you have to be really patient for her weird attitude. She loves boys with big money, and she could give warm to almost everyone under her arm, but do not expect too much. She could be really angry at you for no reason, and you have to struggle very hard to make her happy.

I was always complaining, swearing for all Jakarta’s traffic jam, it’s just so horrible as my arse cannot take it anymore. Then I was thinking to move from this city. I want to live in Singapore, it looks so beautiful, modern, less stress, and feels really cool, I guess. So at that time, I don’t want anything anymore from Jakarta, it has already hurted me so bad (but I know if I stay, she is still lovely, in weird way, as usual). So I look for every single information about Singapore, it’s like, love at the first sight. I love it! It’s just as precise as my imagination depiction. It’s just very suitable, and I want to experience the feeling to be a tourist, to be a fresh lover, to this city of dream.

Singapore is a good place to forget about the world, you don’t have to think about making the world better, but you still have to pay tax (in the lower rate than Indonesia).

I passed the first month, I went to Marina, Orchard, Sentosa, almost every signature places in Singapore. That’s Singapore; clean, well ordered, on time, big, modern, amazingly engineered. This girl is like the second or third generation from an old family who struggled and succeed on the battlefield, her parents sold everything to make her decent and beautiful to be loved by the world. It’s just a cool place to live in. It’s modern, clean, healthy, no mosquito.

The second month went by, as well as the third and the seventh. I am not a tourist anymore, I am one of the residents of Singapore. I started to sit in one of hawker centers, I started to eat Malay foods (I don’t know why they call it ‘Nasi Padang’), Wee Nam Kee Chicken Rice, having coffee, boiled eggs and kaya toast almost every morning for breakfast, riding a bus from near of my premise to the nearest MRT station, go to the office and complaining about the expensive cigarette-but-I-keep-buying-it (If you smoke one pack a day, you can buy 1 gram gold in one week by saving that money), talking about almost everything with my colleagues, and I often talked about Jakarta.

I have been enjoying Singapore unconditionally, but I do realize that I miss Jakarta, I miss Roti Bakar Eddy, I miss Sop Kaki Kambing Irwan, I miss the Rangkasbitung train, I miss the traffic jams, I miss the smell of my own sweat. I miss her soul. Jakarta is not dry, it’s wet with its sweat, its soul is full of curiousity, it offers me mistery, puzzles, struggles. Singapore, I know something is missing in your soul. I know I might be wrong, but in my opinion the huge and mass engineering has erased the history of your anchestor, they are remaining in an interactive projector located in somewhere in Singapore Flyer. Something is missing, it is like you are in IKEA, you would love to try the chouch but you realize that there is ‘do not try’ sign, and if you choose to do so, you will get fined.

I have been trying to get the amazement of Singapore into something big, something that always surprise me, but I failed. Instead of enjoying the Singapore living, I prefer to compare it to other cities where I had lived once, compared to Kuching, where laid-back life is a must-choice, its simple roads, its warm and humid air, its waterfront, its river and its mountains, Singapore is more crowded and alive. Living in Singapore is like living on stage, you cannot fail, and you must go on, where in Kuching, living is like watching the show, you can choose to not to and enjoying the air of the golf fields or Tebedu’s river instead.

I always tell myself to be grateful for the lack of traffic jam and stress in Singapore, but sometimes I miss the sweaty and heavy traffic Jakarta. When I think about money, Singapore dollar is definitely bigger than Indonesian rupiah. But sometimes I miss the real nasi padang, or sate ayam or nasi gila payed with thousands rupiah.

In the search of those missing parts of Singapore, I tried to change my point of interest. I went to drift in Little India, but I was disappointed, I went to Clarke Quay but I was not able to wet my soul, I went to Kampong Buangkok, but it was just an old and abandoned museum of the old Singapore. I still saw the limit line, yes, the limit; the ‘do not touch’ sign, ‘do not cross’ sign, the murals painted on the streched plastic or framed on a wall in VivoCity, or neat murals in Arab Streets. I wish I could see murals under the train track in Admiralty, or a big painting of Mickey Mouse or Ogres on HDB walls somewhere in Yishun or Bukit Batok, or copies of Banksy’s work on the walls in Ang Mo Kio or Serangoon complex.

Continuing the search, I went to Singapore Art Museum, I didn’t expect too much, especially after I met one of my best friends who studies visual design in Weimar, Germany, who just recently visited Singapore, and she gave me the same vision of Singapore; it is dry. Dry as gin. With that vision in mind, I went to SAM this evening, and I feel that the line was broken, those limits of creativity had gone, somehow they disappeared, I feel like I saw the freely painted mural on one of the biggest building in Marina Bay as in my imagination, I was blown with Singapore youth’s arts, my soul was crying out loud spectating one of the best Indonesian artist’s works, I found my lost kid, I found another beautiful face of Singapore. Yay!

I was in love and amazed by the free-form of art exhibited at SAM. I felt a bit relieved. However, I didn’t get the same satisfaction like when I went to Taman Ismail Marzuki’s galleries to enjoy their art exhibition, or my old memory in one of galleries in Magelang located across Mendut Swimming Pool. SAM put the art into something ‘rich’, ‘classy’, ‘difficult’, ‘expensive’, ‘exclusive’ which is good in one side (it might be good for the artist, the curators), but on the other side, I expect art as something that can be freely enjoyed, ‘cheap’ and ‘easy’. But at least, it felt really good.

These poor conclusion leads me to some more excitement to explore more and more Singapore’s faces. I would like to be surprised by its museums, art exhibitions, murals installations (there was one big mural competition held by The Singapore River organization that I missed because I was too busy with my office mural project, which was my first serious mural project, and it is really important for me) that I want to visit.

After proof-reading this writing, I feel I am a bit too much. But I forgive myself for this since I am deeply in love with any shape of art and its transformation.

Soal Berkesenian

Cita-cita saya sebenernya adalah pengen jadi seniman. Itu lho yang rambutnya gondrong awut-awutan (kata istri sih Gondes, Gondrong Ndeso), pakaian sembarangan, kumis dan jenggot gak dicukur. Lalu karena keadaan, saya akhirnya belajar elektronika, ujung-ujungnya malah jadi tukang ketik kode (bukan bermaksud menyederhanakan pekerjaan programmer ya).

Akhirnya saya berhenti, setelah sekian lama selalu aktif menggambar dan menulis sajak. Kembali lagi suka menggambar beberapa tahun lalu, kemudian saya mulai bergaul dengan seniman beneran (ya yang kaya tadi saya bilang itu).

Saya perlihatkan coret-coretan saya kepada si seniman ini, niat awalnya pamer dan minta pendapat, sekaligus mencari tahu, apa sih sebenarnya seni itu? Art, Artist, whatever itu. Pendapat sang seniman bilang begini, kalimat yang sederhana “Gambarmu ora rampung pak”, gambar saya tidak selesai. Ya, tidak selesai, alias ngambang. Saya paham, menggambar itu bukan ajang pamer soal kemampuan teknis, tapi saya kurang paham soal definisi ‘rampung’ alias ‘selesai’ itu.

Usut punya usut, saya kalut, selama ini saya masih mencari ujung dari sebuah karya, mana sih yang dibilang bagus? Mana sih yang dibilang seni? Mana sih yang dibilang bernilai? Mana sih mana anak kambing saya? Jayus? Luweh!

Saya kemudian, istilahnya, mencari jati diri. Tanpa saya sadari saya menggiring diri saya untuk menjadi orang lain. Diawali dengan menonton karya Jason Seiller, James Jean, David Choe, Agus Suwage, Farid Stevy Asta, Hahan, Andy Warhol, Banksy, dan lain-lain, tapi saya tetep tidak mudeng! Saya mencoba menjajal menjadi Jason Seiller, sedikit bisa sih gambar karikatur macam gitu, lalu mencoba jadi James Jean, saya suka mistis-mistisnya, tapi kok masih gak sreg, saya gak bisa jadi dia, lalu mencoba jadi David Choe, gambarnya ‘keras’ dan ‘suram’, saya coba dan saya rasa bisa menirunya, Agus Suwage, Farid Stevy, Hahan, Warhol, Banksy, there I have tried to be them. Sampai yang terakhir Eko Nugroho!

Sumpah, saya semakin merasa tenggelam kehilangan jati diri kesenian saya. (kalimat dibikin sengaja biar berasa muluk-muluk)

Lalu sore ini, kami pergi ke IKEA, cuman mau beli handuk dan nyobain bakso a la Swedia. Lalu sampailah di tempat pigura, yang mana saya pengen membeli satu atau dua. Istri saya bilang ‘beli aja’ tapi dari raut mukanya saya paham ada sesuatu yang mengganjal yang ingin dia sampaikan. Akhirnya kami ngobrol sedikit, dan dia bilang:

“gambarmu itu ngambang, gak bagus” dengan kalimat lain yang lebih ruwet, “Gambarmu itu jelek, gak selesai, dan ga ada jiwanya”. Bingo! sama persis dengan komentar pak seniman di atas tadi. “nanti kalau gambarmu udah bagus, tak beliin pigura yang bagus deh”. Saya bengong dan langsung kebelet berak!

“Iya ya? Kok kamu tahu?”

Intinya dari percakapan itu, saya paham, gambar saya jelek. “Ada beberapa gambarmu yang hampir bagus, yang ini lho, sama yang ini” kata istri saya, “tapi itu juga kaya masih ngambang”.

“Kalau kamu nggambarnya begini terus” sambil nunjuk salah satu gambar “aku jadi tahu itu kamu yang nggambar”. Ah ini dia, identitas, alias identity. Ternyata istri saya paham soal saya yang ingin menjadi David Choe atau Agus Suwage, atau Eko Nugroho! Ya, intinya kami sepakat, bahwa gambar saya jelek, buruk, tidak memiliki jiwa, tidak selesai, yang akhirnya saya paham, tidak bernilai.

Lalu apa? Setelah perbincangan itu, saya merasa relieved! Saya punya kurator pribadi, dan seleranya boleh dibilang sip (sering saya ngeyel gak setuju sama pendapatnya, tapi nanti, setelah beberapa kali kejadian bahwa pendapat saya busuk dan buruk, saya baru sepakat dengannya, tentunya dia sangat gembira dengan tawa kemenangannya). Saya gak perlu jadi Affandi atau Warhol atau Banksy! Saya cuma pengen suatu hari nanti, salah satu gambar bikinan saya ada di Saatchi.

Mbak Kurator, makasih ya! XOXO

Still

Untuk gadis kecil yang selalu menyimpan senyum bukan buat sembarang orang:

Beberapa saat sebelum kita tertidur.

Setelah beberapa hisapan asap tembakau yang renta itu. Kenangan masa lalu kita menggelitik datang. Ketika hidup begitu murah, ketika senang begitu mudah. Ketika kita masih bodoh, membawa-bawa pedih perih ke mana pun kita pergi.

Terima kasih, atas kenangan yang telah kita bangun bersama.

Terima kasih, kamu masih di sini, menuliskan kisah yang sama, untuk kita tertawakan kelak.

Sambil mendengarkan lagu Still – The Commodores

Your Birthday

Hey Lemon,

What’s up, Kid? I don’t want to say much, we have been together for two years since you were born. It’s really a great experience. We see you growing very fast, sometimes when you’re sleep, I and Mom stare at you for couple of minutes and at that very moment, We always feel blessed, very proud of you. I know you don’t like me to be near you when you’re about to sleep, and actually I love it when you say “Bapak Kuwar!” or those “Bapak susu bikin”.

 

Maika Lemoni Amanda

 

We always feel surprised every time you show us something new; your words “Bapak”, “Meme”, “Ibu”, “Lala”, “Nina”, “Hai Fai”, “Hempon”, “Gelibed”, “Gelibag”, your expression trying to mimic your Meme when she’s on the phone, your strange sentence, your expressionist paintings, your singing and dancing.

I just don’t want to miss a thing.

I remember once I had a conversation with one of my friends. At that time, he was about to leave to the United States for his daughter wedding, while he lived in Bali, Indonesia. Originally he is from France, but he moved to Indonesia a decade ago. As far as I remember, he told me this way:

I am in a very deep sadness now. I’d never been with my daughter since she was 5 years old, I left them (my wife and my daughter) at home, I had been dead busy with my work, then I left them to be with another woman. I visit them sometimes, at her birthday, at her inauguration, sometimes at Christmas, I also had a vacation with her. But I never live with her, and I had never grow her up. Once, I invited her here to have a quality time with her, for one month, just before she went to the university, then she’s graduated and started her own life. I’m still trying to keep up with her, having a call once a week, sending emails just to say hello. Now she’s getting married, she will live with a man that I don’t really know, and I don’t really know her as well.

So, when you have kid, you only have a them until they start to go to school, once they go out, then they don’t belong to you anymore, they belong to your community. Don’t work too hard, have more time with your family especially your children.

Kid, happy birthday! We love you so much!

Translation:

  • Meme: Originally from “mama”
  • Lala: Lala of The Teletubbies
  • Nina: Pink bear doll, one of her favourite toy
  • Hai Fai: Hi5 it’s a kid television show
  • Hempon: Handphone
  • Gelibed: AngryBirds, she loves to play this game in her own way
  • Gelibag: Ladybug

RaspberryPi and NFC

Around four or five months ago, I received my RaspberryPi (in fact, I don’t really care about the type or so). After spending almost two years playing with OK6410 (variant of Samsung SoC based on S3C6410), putting almost every free OS for embedded (ARM Linux from the BSP), FreeBSD ARM (succeeded, I got the command prompt, if I clearly recall) thanks to Mr. Yohanes, RISC OS and some proprietary OS like Windows ME (very old one).

Then there was it. My shiny raspberry-pi board ready to be hacked and unfortunately I just lost my passion to do anything with it. I tried RaspberryPi-BuildRoot, then nothing more interesting. I stopped. Until a few weeks ago, I found something on the internet (also discussed it with one of my friends), a product called CloudFTP. Something that triggered my mind to start to hack on something, do something fun as the old days.

I take a look for my old project when try to get NFC works with OK6410 board, thanks to Linux community, to achieve this kind of goal is now very very very super easy. You don’t have to write a piece of code just to make something generic works. The rest is up to your creativity.

So, my first goal is to make NFC works on top of RaspberryPi Buildroot, and of course on top of raspberry-pi device. I might come back to update.

UPDATE: Preliminary patch available here, also I saw libnfc is already available in BuildRoot upstream, so no need to patch it.

GitHub Migration

So, last year we decided to migrate from SVN to Git. After some discussions, we decided to use GitHub. I advised and kind of pushed a lot of things, based on my experience and failures (I started using Git since 2007/2008). One of the important things to use Git properly, in an environment that involves more than two teams and each team has more than three members, is branching strategy.

How could we, the user and integrator, to be always in sync. How could we avoid the bad experience like when we’re using SVN? How could we avoid those huge merge between branches? How could we avoid dead and unusable code (or even untested and utracked and unknown code) to go to production?

I used to follow this model, I found it very straight-forward to adopt.