Night Train to Jogja

Selasa, 22 November 2016
Majalaya, 22nd November 2016. 9:45 PM

After a long frustrating misunderstandings while lodging my student visa, which are mostly because of my own mistake, I finally arranged my medical checkup on Monday, yesterday. I had told my mom about leaving to Jakarta for this medcheck, and she mentioned about coming along with me for a vacation. So, here we are now! On Argo Lawu train to Jogjakarta!

We left from Bukittinggi on Sunday. I finished the medical checkup on Monday afternoon and took the scholarship contract to LPDP right after it. This morning I took my mom to Monas and National Museum and we ride the city tour double decker. We went back to our lodging after ashar, then after maghrib we rushed to Stasiun Gambir. Argo Lawu train would be leaving on 8.15 PM. We get the last row seats on the executive car. It is pretty impressive. The seats are clean and comfortable and they provide the passengers with pillow and blanket. This ride will take 8 hours and 30 minutes. Well, I can handle this. I’ve ride a hellish 20 hours bus ride to Bengkulu. This is a piece of cake. 

Lights flashed on the window on my right side. Streetlights, neon boxes, lights on people’s porch. The train shakes pretty harsh for me to type and the lights on the car is very bright. The scenery outside gradually change. I believe we had left Jakarta because I can only see people’s houses now, no more streetlights or neon boxes. 

Overall, the trip with my mom is fun, waaay better than the trip with my brother. If I spent a lot of time fighting with my brother, my mom and I use our time mostly to think. We talked, of course. But we also keep the silent grow and then we’re drown in our own thoughts. I have to say that for our preference to be silent, I take after my mom. I tried to guess what she was thinking about, and I believe I know what it was. but, I also know that my mom doesn’t like talking about sentimental stuff. So I keep silent too and, not surprisingly, we enjoy it.

I don’t know what’s waiting for us in Jogja. I haven’t book any hotel or plan the trip whatsoever. The constant shake of the train doesn’t make me any more willing to get a hotel. I am really sleepy but the lights are very bright. I just want to sleep right now.

18th november 2016

Kamis, 17 November 2016

So, I got into a minor accident yesterday. Nothing serious, just small scratches on my right elbow and right knee. Some guy with a motorcycle bumped be from behind. It was my fault, I suppose. I didn’t turn on my turn signal. I mean, I always try my best to ride safe. I always turned on my turn signal before. So, I guess yesterday’s accident was the combination of bad luck and carelessness, but thank God I am fine. 

Still, that was new for me. I was about to turn right and from my rear view mirror I only saw one motorcycle loaded with some carpets. I thought it was okay for me to just take the middle lane before I turned right. That’s the moment I lost my balance. For two second I lost my vision, then I fell to my right side. The first thing that comes to my mind when I open my eyes while still lying in the middle of the street was “Alhamdulillah, I wear my helmet.” I could feel my head hit the road twice, and the soft inner part of my helmet significantly absorb the impact. My knee and elbow felt like they were burning after being rub against the coarse asphalt. I stood up, dizzy and confused. I saw the motorcycle which just hit me parked on the roadside. I didn’t see the man who rode it. It turned out that he was the man who just helped me to stand up. 

His face was apologetic. He suggested me to just wait a moment to recover from shock. I knew I was shocked. So I waited. Just for several second and I decided I was fine and that was my fault for not turning on my light signal. He apologized once again, make sure I was fine, then excused himself to go. 

That was my first traffic accident. 

This morning when I went out with my motorcycle again, I could feel that I was not as relax as I used to be. Most of it was because my rear view mirror was still not in the right position and I couldn’t see well what’s behind me, another reason was because may be I was still a little bit shocked.
But yeah, overall, that accident should be a lesson for me to be more careful. 

Drive safe, everyone!

pointless post; I miss my slum area

Jumat, 11 November 2016
7 months has passed since I left my ugly ragged room in Pasar Baru Pauh. As the easternmost district in Padang, Pauh is quite similar to my village; they both have mountainous area and they both are practically a village. The difference is, Unand makes Pauh way denser and crowded. There are thousands of people studying in Unand and it makes the surrounding area economically and demographically grows. Every growing region has its center of development, the metropolitan area, the Gangnam district. And Pasar Baru is the metropolitan of Pauh. Well, when I say metropolitan, don’t imagine skyscrapers and bright beautiful streetlights. What I mean by metropolitan is that Pasar Baru has a lot of economic activities compared to other sub-district. There are dozens of food stands, a bus stop, several restaurant and stalls, internet cafes, photocopy kiosks, grocery stores, stationary stores. There are even cafes where they serve food other than nasi padang, and some of them are open until 11 PM. Trust me it is already very late for this small town.

I lived in a rented room in the slum area of that metropolitan. Did I tell you that my rented room is very ugly? So, there are 8 bedrooms, one kitchen and a small porch where you can park your motorcycles. No living room, no dining room, only a small hallway connecting those 8 bedrooms. Each bedroom is 3x3 meter square and you have to share it with one other tenant. Both of you have to do everything in there, sleeping, studying, eating, even your rice cookers are in the bedroom. These 16 (or less, if a tenant is rich enough to rent one whole bedroom for herself) people share two bathrooms. One of the bathroom is under the stairs, you have to be careful not to slam your head to it. They are dirty and slippery. The walls are also dirty, there are scribbles and shoe marks. The spider web on the ceiling is so thick it forms a shape of birthday ribbon decoration. All this pathetic-ness are located behind a big kitchen of a restaurant. That restaurant uses fire woods. Sometimes when we buy side dish to their place, they give us extra slice of rendang or gulai ikan, maybe because we are neighbors. But most of the time, they give us thick smoke and loud noises of the coconut grating machine. Almost every day, I have to use eye drop because the smoke. The noise of the coconut grating machine is super loud and annoying.

To make things worse, the rent is unbelievably high for its ugly facility. I have to pay IDR 250.000 every month literally for a square meter to sleep on every night. I was lucky enough to get a nice roommate. But the space is never enough, the air is never clean, and the water in bathroom annoyingly stop when you need it the most. Not to mention the electricity bill. Each of us have to pay IDR 60.000 on average each month. I almost lose my patience when I moved out. Seven months ago.
But now, I kind of miss that place and all its messiness. Home is so comfortable it has no challenge. I get slower and fatter here and I don’t want to be deceived by this comfort zone. I miss my slum area.