My Head is Full of Dreams

Kamis, 19 Mei 2016
Several month ago when I had a trip to Bandung and Jakarta with my brother, there were plenty of times when he was being annoying so I need time for myself. In that particular moments, I always listened to Coldplay’s “Fun” from their album “A Head Full of Dream”. 

The trip with my brother turned out to be fine. Be fought a lot, indeed, but when we got home, we learned about each other a little bit better. No matter how much I suffered because of him during the trip (and I know he suffered because of me too), there was a precious thing followed after that; no matter how irritating we are for each other, we’ve got to grow up and deal with it because I only got him and he only got me. And I could relate to the song very well. One lyrics really represent that trip "Don't say it's all a waste. Didn't we have fun?"

Months later, every time I listened to Coldplay’s “Fun”, I always remembered my brother and that one bitter sweet trip. So I feel obliged to share that nice song with everyone. However, they haven't made the official video for "Fun" yet and I couldn't find the cover song I deem good enough. So, I decided to post the video for "Up and Up" instead. I basically love all song from "A head Full of Dreams" and this particular video is awesome!

And yeah, you are free to ask why I tell my story about one song and post other song instead. You know, things don't always meet your expectation. but I know everyone will love this song :)

SOVED Bengkulu and Some Things I Never Thought I Would Do

Selasa, 17 Mei 2016
Wake up and suddenly I am in Bintaro…. 

It’s been a week since I leave home and I am not going back at least until next three days. I really can’t wait to go home actually, but I have to get my head straight for tomorrow. I have been saying about this “big thing” to do. I will write it later in the next post about that “big thing”. For now, I believe the four days experience in Bengkulu deserves its own post.

Right after I returned from Suwarnadwipa, I moved back to my parents’ house. It had been almost eight years in Padang that I finally decided that it was enough. No matter what I face after it, the first thing I had to do is going home. The pick-up car would arrive at 5 PM and there were still several things I had not packed. I rushed my way from Suwarnadwipa. The heavy rain poured hard when I just reached Bungus. When I arrived at my rented room at 3 PM, I was drenched, tired, and anxious. I packed in hurry then the car came. I brought all my books, clothes, old matrass, and small clothes rack. That’s all my belonging. It wasn’t much. There were only a very few thing a have.

I arrived at my parents’ house at 9 PM. My parents and little brother somehow looked happy to see me home but I really was exhausted. My mom and dad helped to arrange the boxes then I just collapsed on my bed. 

It was a nice day the next morning I woke up. I still could feel the fatigue all over my body but seeing the sunrise peeking from the shoulder of Mount Marapi made me feel relaxed and calm. I had a nice homey breakfast, then when everyone off to work I did a big pile of laundry and unpacked my boxes. I watched TV, played with the babies of my cousins, and watered the flowers. I had two days before I had to go again so I really treasured it. I would have all the spare time in the world again at the end of this month and I could really do all the things I wanted to do when I was home. But now, this time, I had a DCA duty in Bengkulu. So, this is it;

SOVED Bengkulu was the 4th SOVED and the second time I got the honor to become the DCA. The date was from May 12th to 15th. I left from Bukittinggi to Bengkulu alone at 11th and this is one of the best thing I had ever done. At first, I thought leaving alone with a big bus from SAN company mean I have 20 hours of unbearable lonesome, boredom, and despair. Maybe I would puke my stomach out and arrived looking like a corpse in Bengkulu. Maybe someone on the bus would pickpocket me, or do nasty things. But really, I was all wrong. I was safe and sound, I didn’t get even the slightest nausea or carsick. I made sure I eat enough when the bus stopped for dinner in Gunung Padang, a place near the border between West Sumatera and Bengkulu. The bus run all night long but the speed wasn’t really fast. We expected to arrive in Bengkulu at 6 AM the next morning.

"Expected". The reality was the bus stuck in a place called Taba Penanjung, around 36 kilometers from Bengkulu. Apparently, there was a hard rain last night and it led to horrible landslide. The landslide blocked the road pretty bad and they needed excavators to clear it. The people said that the landslide wouldn’t get cleared before noon because the excavator need to be brought all the way from Bengkulu. That’s the moment when my peaceful road trip ends . I tried to wait and think positively, maybe they’ll clear it faster this time. But when it was already 7 AM, I started to see the point. It is really possible that I will be late, I was already late enough. I needed to arrive in Bengkulu University before SOVED Debating Seminar start. I met some other debater and adjudicator from UNP and UNSRI but I couldn't be relax even though I know that I am not the only one who would be late. 

Some local people started offering ojek and get the passengers to the other side of the landslide. People who needed to go to the airport and did not want to miss the plane were willing to pay. The ojek would go through a small village road on the hills, and people can get car, or bus, or other ojek, anything they could get, at the other side. I decided to take the ojek too. They wanted 20 thousand rupiah for a 2 kilometers ride. At normal condition, I would strongly protest that expensive price. But then, I just agreed and jump onto the motorcycle seat.

Apparently, finding car, or bus, or other ojek at the other side of the landslide was not easy. An old ojek man is willing to take me but not until Bengkulu, it’s too far. I tried to convince him with bigger money, but he didn’t budge. There was no car or bus I could take to Bengkulu because they all were stuck on the other side. Of course they were, I was so idiot that I didn’t think about it. I assumed that there would be plenty of angkot. But there was nothing. Bengkulu was still too far that the angkot didn’t reach that point of landslide. At that point, the road toward Bengkulu was empty, while the side leaving Bengkulu is stuck, didn’t move an inch. There is no point of taking ojek if I still stuck here. But I kept asking around, if anyone, ANYTHING, could take me to Bengkulu.

That THING turned out to be a tanker truck carrying vegetable oil from Bengkulu to Lubuk Linggau. The driver of the truck offered me a ride. He had been stuck there since 5 AM and he couldn’t wait all day. He said he would just come back to Bengkulu then leave again tomorrow. I was bending in a drain cleaning my shoes from mud when he just randomly threw my neck pillow to the passenger seat of his truck. I got stunned, hesitated. I did need a ride but that was not the ride I had in mind. It was a bloody tanker truck and there would be only me and this driver on it. I looked at that man; middle age, typical. But still, he was a complete stranger and God knows who he really was. He could be a serial killer, or rapist (Oh my dear God!). But at the balance of probability, he also could be just a husband and a father trying to feed his family, and for my faith to humanity I believed that the latter possibility is more likely. So I dragged my suitcase onto his truck, rejecting his help so I looked tough. I didn’t know why I think looking tough will save me from the horrible possibility. 

There was only 20 thousands rupiah left in my wallet. I didn’t know how to pay that man if he really took me to Bengkulu. He tried to start conversation, and I responded him a little bit excessively and over-friendly. I always did this. When I had this stupid idea that a stranger maybe will harm me, I tried to befriend them, be nice and relax. But this man really was not a serial killer (stupid me!). He took me to Bengkulu safe. When I tried to give him my 20 thousands, he rejected and just told me to go so I don’t get too late. Then, I was the one who question my own humanity. I felt ashamed for having nasty idea about that nice friendly truck driver. 

I arrived at Bengkulu University just in time. The opening ceremony hadn’t over yet so I took the time to take a bath at the toilet. That was the second ridiculous thing I did that morning. A lady stared at me in confusion that I had a towel on my head while struggled to put on my pants. She didn’t asked much, Thank God, but it was still an embarrassing moment.

So, there went SOVED. I had a great time meeting the old and new people. Unand sent two teams, Paul and Elsa, Dian and Kevin (they went straight here from Pekanbaru after NUDC Regional), and Widya as our N1. That was very nice and lovely, having this kids around. I felt like this is the real AO, the one I love. Not to mention that we made it to the final round this year and claimed the second place. This was the first time. I was really happy with this and I knew I can peacefully leave now. They could manage all thing just fine.

That’s how SOVED 2016 goes. The AO kids went back to Padang, I continued my trip to Jakarta…

Suwarnadwipa; Dusk to Dawn

Saturday, 7th May 2016, 5:59 PM. Suwarnadwipa Island

Evening. Night was creeping in. The temperature was gradually dropping as dark replacing the sun shine. The rain which had been pouring in the afternoon had stopped and left the trace of fresh smell on the ocean water.
I wrote this on a cottage in the beach. My hearing was filled by the sound of soft wave slapping the shore. I got two cuts on my fingers when I accidentally hit the sharp coral underwater when I crazily swam a couple of hours ago. The cuts made the uncomfortable feeling on my fingers. But it would not be as uncomfortable as sleeping on a cottage without a wall, with no pillow or blanket or even jacket, I only shielded myself with my thin shirt and my jeans. It even had already cold. I could not imagine how I will survive tonight. Even though the beach was amazingly beautiful, I wouldn't make me warm.
We; Jo, Iiechan, Restu, Dina, and myself, planned to visit Suwarnadwipa, but didn't plan to stay. We went with three motorcycles. Restu rode together with Dina, Jo was with Iiechan, and I rode alone. It took two hours to get to Sungai Pisang from Pasar Baru. the road from Pasar Baru to Bungus was just fine but the road from Bungus to Sungai Pisang was a total hell. Like a real total hell. It wasn't asphalted, went up to hill then go back down with super sharp slope filled with pebble and mud. I was scared to death. It had been only four month since I got Jesse and I was not proud of my riding skill. I almost fell several times but managed to get there safely. when it's the time for us to go back, it was already dark and there's no way I could manage to ride through that hellish road. It's hard for me to ride there when it's bright, riding in the dark will be totally impossible. So we decided to stay. We rent this wall-less cottage, bait ourselves to cold night and wait till morning to go back. I left Jesse in Sungai Pisang, in the house of the boat owner.

So, long story short, this post will be all about Suwarnadwipa. the scenery is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L. There was this island with cliff and some other were covered with funny looking vegetation. There were also massive rocks which form small islands. I loved the deep turquoise color of the sea and when I see it closer it was crystal clear. I always fought the urge to just jump off the boat every time I see this kind of water, and I eventually did. I rented a snorkeling goggles and swim around in waist deep water. there was a pair of beautiful swing above the water and people can go banana boating, diving, or hiking to the hill behind.

10.02 PM
This cottage turned out to be better than I thought. We slept on the hard wooden floor covered with thin plastic carpet but it's quite warm once we draw the shade. Campers beside our cottage started to play their guitar and sing. judged by their voice and song choice I assumed they are high school students. We start to play our song from the MP3 player in phone and lay as we wish on the floor. We just sang, laughed, and chatted. The night grew older and I didn't feel like sleeping. I wanted to go back to the sand but I couldn't afford to get my feet wet again. 

11.37 PM
Low tide. The sand was cleared again. I couldn't sleep without a pillow, I tried, but I really couldn't. so I went back on the beach, made a pillow from the sand, spread plastic carpet on it, and lay down. I literally tried to fall asleep outside on the sand, under trees, when it's almost midnight. after 26 years I finally had chance to do this. Jo and Iiechan joined me. some other guest were also sitting on the beach, chatting.

I stare through the leaves above my head to the sky without stars. the wave was still softly touch the sand.

Sunday, May 8th, 1:23 AM
It was really hard to fall asleep. I was cold and my neck hurt because I was lying without pillow. I didn't really fall asleep, I was just constantly shifting between asleep and awake for two hours. I gave up when subuh came and chose to go to mushalla. It's high tide then. After Shalat subuh I waited alone on the beach and watch the sky get brighter. The campers started to wake up too. they get out of their tents covered in sarung and jacket. Good for them, they must be having a good sleep last night.

8:30 AM
I went back to the water and swim before the boat pick us up at 9. The water was so clear again. I couldn't be unhappy to see it. It was the most beautiful water I had ever seen. I dive in deeper water but not deep enough to drown me. when I was completely dive, all fatigue and sore from lacking of sleep in my body disappears and I fell all warm, light, and comfort. The cuts on my finger feel better and I get significantly happier. 

The boat came, we kiss Suwarnadwipa goodbye. I stared at the turquoise water and prepare myself for the next thing to do. Holiday is over, I have an adjudicating job next week in SOVED Bengkulu (apparently, SMANTEN debate wasn't my last) and I had to leave to Jakarta right after that. Not to mention that I had to move back to Bukittinggi this evening.

May 6th, 2016. 19.17 PM. IORA Monument, Padang Coastal Area

Selasa, 10 Mei 2016

The sky was clear, just like the sea below it. Stars looked so calm and comforting, even when they’re covered by some clouds hovering on the zenith part of the sky. The high tide started to reach the limit line. The lights from the fishermen ships were scattered on the horizon. Friday night, this area was crowded by people who want to spend their times with their loved ones. Family, lovers, friends. There are so many car and even more motorcycles. People were walking on the sands, taking selfies, enjoying snack from the street vendor, and laugh. Lots and lots of laugh. 

Today was the second day of debate competition in SMANTEN. We could stick to the schedule and finish the final round at 2.30 PM. I promised to meet mbakyu and helni today at 4 PM. So, from smanten, I drove to Gramedia just to let time pass. I didn’t buy anything. Books in Gramedia is far too expensive for me. I’d prefer to borrow books from library. That’s why for now I am registered as a member in two libraries; Public Library of West Sumatera Province in Padang and Bung Hatta National Library in Bukittinggi. It’s all worth it. 

So, as I said, we; mbakyu, helni, and myself, promised to meet today because we want to say proper goodbye. I wrote it last week that I would be moving back to Bukittinggi at 9th. I had called a mover and already had deal with the cost I had to pay. I had done 75% of my packing. Moving to Bukittinggi means that we will be in a different town. And although we also didn’t meet that often, being in the different town would make it even less frequent. I didn’t think that this goodbye should be made into a big deal. Bukittinggi and Padang is only 90 kilometers apart. It’s not like I was moving to outer space and there was no chance to meet them again. Still, I always felt a little bit sentimental about goodbyes. I also felt that this little meet up was decent, we weren’t overdoing it. So, yeah, it’s fine…

We spent some times chatting in KFC Veteran then move to the IORA Monument. We just talked about random stuff. I was absentminded. To be frank, I was a little bit tired, physically and psychologically. The 2nd day of debate in SMANTEN was indeed only took a half day, but I was so tired because I kept being angry and pissed off. The semifinal was so messed up. I know that I had no right to be angry at those young high school debaters but their arguments were so ridiculous that I keep shaking my head. I expected the semifinalist to be at least able to see the burden of proof and the simplest justification. But it was not there. Maybe I share the blame, too. I used the type of motion they are not familiar with. I shouldn’t had my expectation too high. I am too tired to explain but long story short I was being all mean to them. I apologized right after it but it still made me really disappointed. 

I ride home at 8. I started to rain. All the way home, I was thinking about all these things; about how debate in SMANTEN would be my last adjudicating work, how I had a great time doing it, about my trip next week to Bengkulu for SOVED, and about how I was being unreasonably and ridiculously sentimental about this goodbye. I had been saying that life is moving on and so am I, so for now, I will just enjoy all the sentiments and keep my eyes on my goals.