Pelacurisme

Akhir-akhir ini gue sering memikirkan hakikat sebagai seorang bitch, eh salah, maxudnya sebagai seorang wanita…lantaran ngebaca comment di blog salah seorang temen gue (cer..hehehe..) tentang masa depan perempuan. Jujur aja, gue rada shock ketika ngebaca pendapat radikal si pemberi comment, yang memperluas pengertian whore-a.k.a pelacur, atau juga kadang-kadang disebut bitch. Gue stuju ga stuju, lantaran kata bitch itu uda overused bgt, tapi sebenernya, bitch itu refer ke apa sih?

 

I love you, Om!

Umurnya 17, tapi pacarnya 27, seorang eksekutif muda di perusahaan multinasional yang kemana2 selalu pakai kemeja. Mince (jelas bukan nama sebenernya), memang terlihat lebi dewasa dari usia sebenernya. Badannya semok nan semampai dan profesinya sebagai part time model memang mengharuskannya memakai make up penua wajah. Terlebih lg pergaulannya dengan org2 macam gue yg lebi tua 5 taun dari die, pengaruh asap rokok, asap dari smoking gun Zouk dan alcohol. Wajar saja jika Mince gak doyan sama laki2 seusianya.

Mince nampaknya tidak sendirian. Coba aja pasang mata lebar2 di mall2, di restoran cepat saji dan dipintu SMA selepas magrib. Pasangan cewe ABG berbadan matang dan esmod berdasi bisa di-spot dengan mudah.

 

The Goddes’ reply

Sial, sial, sialbanget.Entahkenapa, guebgitutercengangdengannovel the Bondmaid, yang barusangue reviewdenganhubungannyadengan wanita2 modern super mandiri yang bersediadigantungdandiselingkuhi. Gue masihgregetanajasama sang Heroine, Han si pembantucantik. Kenapasih ada wanita se-pintaritu, se-berbakatitu, tetepmaunungguin pria yang bahkanbukanpacarnya ? Kenapasih dia gakmemberontakketika pria itumenolak dia habis2an, lalumerayu, lalumemperkosa, lalumenolak dia lagi ? Bahkanketika dia mati gara2 sang pria dan jadidewi, dia tetaptidakpernahmarahpadakekasihnya. Boleh2nya sang pria jadipenjagakuil si dewi, huh, ga pantes!
Dan ditengahkegregetanitu, guemembayangkan reply yang seharusnyadiucapkanketikadiasudahmenjadidewi, ….Seandainya sang dewibisacurhattentangperasaannyaketikaingattentangkematiannya. masihdengangayabahasa sang novelis….

 

The Bondmaid

Kategori: Buku
Jenis Sastra & Fiksi
Penulis: Catherine Lim

Buku ini termasuk sebuah golongan khusus yang gue sebut “Hopeless Romance”, satu genre dengan The Leap Year (film tentang sepasang kekasih yang Cuma bisa bersua empat tahun sekali), Raumanen (novel indo tentang pasangan batak-manado yang berakhir tragis ketika si perempuan hamil dan meninggal sedangkan prianya jadi mandul dan ga bisa memberi penerus marga), Maria Cinta yang Hilang (telenovela tentang wanita miskin tak berkelas jatuh cinta dengan si kaya yang tampan) atau Romeo and Juliet yang sudah jadi inspirasi berjuta2 Hopeless Romance yang lain.

 

Fire

My sister returned back from Indon today. The first thing she did once she reached home was complaining about the road congestion near the airport. The road just never got repaired after some damage by a fire incident few months ago.

Her complain brought me back to that moment, when the accident happened. I was there, passing the location, in a highly populated area in Chinatown. The blaze was visible from quarter kilometers away from where the fire began. The smoke raised high, blackened the Jakarta sky which has been polluted from God knows what. Damage was uncountable. Thousands of people lost their place of living, their place of work, their most precious treasure. Half of them or more might not be able to return to their normal state of living. Half of them or more might even not able to return their normal state of mentality due to unbearable stress.

 

RASIS!

Royal Copenhagen Tea House was as full as always today, filled with people from various genre and background. I was not sure why, but the place seems to be a popular place for Singapore’s upper-middle class society to hang out, spending their mundane afternoon (and their money too). Maybe because of its strategic position right at a corner of Takashimaya, or the fine Danish porcelain makes their tea more savoury.
Whatever, the reason, the crowd always creates delightful scenery for they really know how to ‘display’ themselves. I scanned through the crowd and made note on the latest fashion, if the squared white gold necklace is back to trend or if a waist-line jean has made a come back. But my eyes strucked at a table at a corner, formally placed for special reception.

It seemed that they were having an engagement high tea celebration for the ones sitting at the centre, were this young couple.
The man was this tall Chinese guy, a lean and fair man. His face was what the Chinese would call the ‘face that brings fortune’, for his face was relatively wide and incredibly fair, shining with huge smiles.

The lady, was this Northern Indian lady, slim and slender with wavy long hair. Her eyes were bright hazel and with her dimples, she had an adorable smile.

Both seemed to come from well-to-do families, judging from the clothes, the jewels, and the manner they put. What a couple, one might say, if not for the racial difference.

I could clearly see that none of the family actually appreciated their children’s choice. I would say so because if not because of this young couple, the two families might have as well not sit together. They were split into two, the Indian family on the left, and the Chinese family on the right.

Throughout the tea reception, the couple seemed to enjoy themselves most, sneaking holding hands and exchanging lovely gaze. Yet, the rest of the families were eating in silence, their eyes tucked on the plates in front of them. Sometimes, when the guy chatted happily with his girlfriend, a man, whom I assumed was his father, would give his disapproval look, wondering how on earth his son fell in love with someone who was notChinese.

The girl’s family did not behave differently, for the mother, who sat right next to the guy’s father, maintained the very minimum contact with her in-laws. Throughout the eight courses of meal and dessert, she gave that snob look, tried to raise her pride with the glowy accessories.

The rest of family followed that trend. When a little boy, maybe the girls’ brother asked for a simple meal instead, the Chinese family gave a insulting look, perhaps on the taste that boy developed.
I did not stay until the end of their reception, but what supposed to be a party, for me was more of a wake of someone’s death. Or was that so for the family? For they saw death when their gorgeous children picked the least likely spouse?

This incident reminded me of a story two years ago, when a guy stood up and said at a ministerial forum, something like:“It makes me shiver to see two person of different races holding hands.” That statement, frozed most of the listeners, including the youth minister, who is a Chinese-Indian born.

People would have easily blamed that guy for being racist and the two families who ‘celebrated’ their kids engagement as backward.

But then later I met a cleaner, who challenged me to think, could parents avoid or hide their disappointment? Is there any deeper reason why a couple of different race could not be together?

Let me share my cleaner story. My first encounter with her was when my morning bathing was disturbed by sudden knock on my bathroom door. I was living in a dormitory then, and had to bathe in a communal bathroom. I could not open the door directly as I was full with bubles and soap. The next thing, I was blasted with allegation in Chinese. From my poor Chinese ability, I caught up words of ‘room key’ and ‘where do you live’. I hardly searched for my room key and passed it to her through the space below the door.

She was still asking me a lot of questions. I finally gave up. I grabbed my towel and with that, I faced my enemy, the lady cleaner. There she was, right in from of my door, looking at me suspiciously. She then once again asked me if I lived in that block. I said yes. Of course she did not believe me, she said that area was the boys’ dorm. So I had to (with my towel, mind you) showed her where my room was, and opened it using my key. It was by no means that my room was near the bridge connected to the boys’ dorm.

No apologise given. She was rambling about how she had never seen me, and that a lot of girls stayed over at their boyfriend’s room and loitering the toilet, giving her hard time. I said I had been living there for two years. She muttered, “Malay girls..,love to sneak around…no morality.”

I told her I was Chinese. It did not help that I have a caramel color skin and eye lids. She still distrusted me. She asked how come as a Chinese I could not speak well. I told her I was Indonesian born Chinese, never mind that my maternal grandmother was half Arab and my paternal grandmother practiced Kejawen.

Our relations only turned better when she saw me eating roastpork with rice. “You eat pork?” she asked, half amused. “Yes, I’ve told you I AM Chinese,” I said, tiredly. She nodded with approval.

In order to better our sour relations (she was my cleaner after all), I gave her a piece of a nice clothing, together with some Indonesian cakes. The next day she once again questioned me if I was really Chinese. “My husband asked me if the one giving those was Chinese, we are not to accept anything if not from a Chinese,” she explained.

At that time, I was close with a guy, a quarter French, a quarter Dutch, a quarter Vietnamnese and a quarter Chinese. But nevermind the mix, he looked Indonesian. She suspiciously watched over us. But when my other Singaporean Chinese friend camped in my room after a full night doing project and came out of my room at 10 o’clock the next day, she did not say anything. “Boyfriend ah? Boyfriend?” she asked with full smile.

She was indeed racist. But could I blame her for treating me that way? Later, after we were closer, she told me about her only son. She took great pride of her son, the bright and the handsome. One day the son married a Malay and converted to Islam. He no longer joined the Tao pray and celebrated Chinese New Year together with his family. “All I want is just a child who will pray for me and my husband after our death,” she lamented. “Our Chinese New Year is so empty now, we wish he could just come and drink tea with us,” her eyes were watery when she said that. I somehow could feel the pain and the loneliness she felt. She did not hate the Malays, she simply missed her son.

During Chinese New Year, she gave me hongpao. I was really touched by that. She was not rich at all, yet, she spared that amount of money to wish me well. I came for the tea celebration and lifted the josstick although I did not pray a word. Honestly, I could not imagine myself growing old and celebrating a family reunion not with my own son, but with a random young girl.

From that experience I realized, it might not the race that created issue, but the custom, the togetherness that could no longer be preserved. For her, as a Confusian, she believed that the world of the death is interconnected with the living. If she died and no one burnt incense, cars and things to prepare her life after death, how could her spirit rest in peace? As a convert, her son could no longer pray with josstick and praise the Monkey God. But it was really a sad experience to pray alone when the other families were uniting in a temple.

For the last part, I would like to discuss a research done by the International Relations Faculty. The research, published several months ago shows that Singaporeans were very much educated on racial harmony. For example, 99% Chinese would not mind working with people from other race or having superiors of other races for that matter.

But when it comes to marriage, the percentage drops. Only 33% willing to have spouse from other race, drawing sharp division between private and public sphere.

I met the professor who does the research, questioning if such condition shows a hypocrite society, where you uphold racial harmony, as long as it does not touch yourself. Deep inside, you doubt the idea that people from different race could live harmoniously in the dearest, most private way.

My professor, an Indian Chinese who married a German, said that even 33% was indeed a good enough ratio. He said that it was normal for anyone to prefer marrying someone of the same ‘kind. “When it is work, you gotta be professional, race and your personal matter could not hinder your way. But when you marry someone, you brought him/her to your personal matter, your custom, your culture, your beliefs. Some people just could not accept the stark contrast and we could not blame them to opt that way.” He said.

This research and my cleaner’s story did not mean to undermine interracial marriage. I applauded those who do fight for their pure love and build a strong family foundation from that. But way before we blamed someone as skewed, backward, or racist, please think about their background. Perhaps there are more than just skin color that gives obstacles.

Marriage is not a Word

“Pokoknya makan ga makan asal ngumpul, Gy!” kata seorang temen dengan berapi2 tentang rencananya langsung kawin (nikah) setelah lulus2an nanti.

Gue Cuma bisa melongo. Di tengah era globalisasi masa kini, di masa broadband internet makin terjangkau, di saat Mass Destruction Weapon sudah diciptakan, masih ada ya yang mikir buat kawin cepet? Dan takjubnya lagi, yang ngomong bukan perjaka kampung dari Lembah Baliem; beliau adalah calon sarjana elektro dari universitas ternama di luar negeri.

“Yakin loe mau kawin umur 22? Trus anak loe mau dikasi makan apaaa…” spontan gue bertanya. Maklum, sepengetahuan gue, gaji fresh graduate itu cenderung minim, apalagi beliau adalah one of those guys yg menolak emansipasi wanita berkarier. Temen gue itu dengan mantab menjawab bahwa semua itu bisa disiasati, mengutip kenyataan bahwa pemulung aja bisa kawin dan punya anak delapan. Justru karena dia pemulung makanya pikirannnya ga panjang…pikir gue.

“Tapi berarti kan standard hidup loe bakal turun, siap gak istri loe idup bgitu?” gue tetep ga mau kalah.
“Itu dia gy, makanya cari istri jangan yang boros, cewe gue sederhana!” bgitu junjung sang calon sarjana.

Dengan sewot gue langsung mengambil kalkulator dan selembar kertas. “Nih, yo kita itung2an ya…”
Ambil gaji fresh grad insinyur 2 juta, berhubung beliau cumlaude dari luar negeri, dibayar 3 juta…
Gaji Perbulan): 3.000.000
Uang sewa kontrakan (perbulan): 1.000.000
Uang makan tiap hari (minim): 15000x2x30 900.000
Cicilan Motor (perbulan selama setahun) 300.000
Bensin motor, onderdil, taxi kadang2 300.000
Alat kontrasepsi 125.000
Total pengeluaran 2.650.000
Sisa tabungan 350.000

Gue tersenyum kemenangan. Ini brarti Cuma kebutuhan inti loe doang, dengan asusmsi loe nge-kost di blakang kuningan (biar hemat bensin), satu kamar berdua, ga punya tv, ac dan dapur sendiri. Tiap hari loe naik motor, istri loe jalan kaki. Makan 15.000 pagi-siang-sore, brarti harus masak terus, itu juga ga pake ayam, tau ga satu potong mentah sekarang 5000? Sisanya 350.000, gue kasi beberapa alternative: beli baju baru 1x sebulan buat berdua dan sisanya ditabung buat ikut arisan, bli lotre dan makan bakmi gajah mada 1x sebulan, tapi ga bisa nyicil rumah; atau semua ditabung, dan dalam skitar 20 taun kemudian loe bisa mulei mikirin BTN tipe 21. Tapi brarti tiap weekend bakal ngombe di rumah mertua buat nonton gebyar BCA.
Oh ya blum gue tambahin, err..itu brarti loe ongkos kawin dikasi orang tua ya? Soalnya dah ga ada sisa nih…
Giliran temen gue yang sekarang melongo. Mungkin kurang sadar kalau kawin itu..tidaklah murah…tapi kalau orang sudah ngebet, semua masalah jadi keliatan..kecilll….

“Tapi kan gaji gue gak selamanya 3 juta gy! Pelan2 pasti bisa, dan gue bakal sangat menghargai istri gue, yang setia nemenin gue dari jaman susah.”

Tapi giliran uda bergaji 5 juta, tentunya masalah lain lagi. Orang tua ngebet momongan…kondom expire, pil gagal, tau2 muncullah si kecil! Tau gak susu dancow sekaleng uda 75 rebong, dan uang pangkal SD swasta bisa sampe 10juta? Loe mau anak loe minum air tajin dan sekolah di SD pinggir kali?

“Orang tua gue bisa kok gitu, mreka juga Cuma punya rumah kecil, tapi gue bisa dididik kaek gini, bahkan bisa dapat beasiswa!”

Gue Cuma bisa mengangkat bahu. Rupanya beliau masih terkenang romantisisme taun 70an, disaat suami istri saling meneguhkan dalam derita…beliau belum sadar, bahwa calon istrinya berasal dari jaman yang berbeda. Wanita jaman skarang adalah lulusan sarjana, sanggup mencari kerja dengan gaji cukup, telah termanjakan jaman yang member segala kemudahan; nonton bioskop tiap minggu, ngegosip di kafe dan pake baju bermerk tiap ada pesta. Wanita jaman sekarang ga butuh kawin buat makan….
Gue kira temen gue itu aneh. Tapi dalam survey yang gue adakan setaun lalu…nampaknya ada kecenderungan untuk anak2 seumuran gue itu buat kawin cepet. Gue lumayan kaget, 5 dari 7 perempuan yang gue Tanya menjawab, “yah, kalau calonnya ada sih..kenapa harus ditunda2…”, dari 7 itu, satu gue…

Jangan salah sangka dulu, gue juga bukan feminis lesbian anti pernikahan. Baru kemaren gue berkeluh kesah tentang btapa basinya tinggal di apartment sendiri. Tapi harus yah secepat itu? Gue ngerasa, alasan2 yang dipakai kurang logis, kurang teranalisis dan kurang jangka panjang ajah.

Kebanyakan dari temen2 gue yang udah married itu gara2 MBA. Sedih aja, di jaman serba canggih ini, ternyata ada loh yang ga kenal teknologi kondom, pil anti hamil, spiral, dan menghitung tanggalan haid. Tapi yah…akibat gaptek itu emang fatal..nasi sudah menjadi bubur..apa harus dimakan juga klo ga suka bubur? Satu temen gue married karena calon istrinya uda keburu hamil. Dua hari sebelum pernikahan, beliau dipanggil pastor kepala parokinya, ditanya apa dia yakin mau menikahi seorang perempuan Cuma karena dia hamil?

Nama pastornya harus dirahasiakan dong…masa pastor menentang perkawinan, menganjurkan aborsi? Hiii…bisa dipecat jadi katolik beliau! Tapi intinya, pernikahan itu kan dasarnya harus cintrong, bukan kekhilafan…Dan dari situ, brarti alasan MBA itu kurang valid karena sangat mungkin dihindari. Jika napsuan, pake protection kek, noh uda ada yang rasa stroberi, yg bisa nyanyi…Kalender haid juga dibagikan gratis setiap pembelian 2 bungkus pembalut wanita…

Dari teman gue yang lain, alasannya lainlagi. Sang pria, super ganteng, muda belia dan taat beragama. Gue Cuma bingung aja, kenapa semua perjaka dari gereja dia kebanyakan kawin cepet. Dan alasannya, “Yah, daripada berzinah…menuruti perintah Allah” Suatu alasan yang menurut gue sangat overused. Orang kawin lagi biar menghindari zinah, orang bercerai biar menghindari zinah…Zinah itu kan godaan, godaan itu bukannya kudu dilawan? bukan buat dinegosiasi kan?

Ada juga yang alasannya buat ‘mengikat’ sang pacar. Gara2 kelamaan long distance, atau karena bakal pisah jauh, demi menghindari hal2 yang tidak diinginkan, apalagi udah saling sayang dan cocok, mendingan dijadikan saja. Hmm..gue mahfum, kalau jarak jauh…pertalian renggang…insecurity meningkat…tapi pertanyaannya, siap gak-moral dan materi?

Sperti kata seorang teman yang sedang menjalani proses pembatalan pernikahan, “marriage is not a word, is a sentence; a life time sentence…” dia berkata sambil menggeleng2 kepala, lantaran kasus perceraiannya sudah memakan hampir 11 taun, Sembilan taun lebi lama dari pernikahannnya yang Cuma seumur jagung. Dengan sungguh2 dia menasehati gue agar tidak mengikuti jalannya. “less freedom, more burden, less romance,” bgitu dia bilang. Intinya; jangan layu sebelum berkembang, nikmati masa mudamu!

Dengan bgitu, wajar aja kalau gue melihat perkawinan dini secara pesimis. Berteman dan kenal dengan pria2 yang sudah menikah, malah membikin gue tambah ngeri. Bayangin aja, 4 dari 5 pria beristri ini selingkuh!

Yang pertama, pengusaha Indonesia, malah reunian sama mantan pacarnya di sebuah pulau. Alasannya, sejak menikah istri jadi kurang romantis kurang seru diajak jalan. Apalagi dengan si mantan pacar mereka sempat bersama selama 9 taun sebelum bener2 putus gara2 perbedaan prinsip. At least beliau pernah mencintai seseorang..gue mencoba positif thinking. Tapi setelah dalam sebulan terakhir beliau sudah 2x melancong dengan gaya bachelor, gue jadi bertanya2, ada berapakah mantan pacarnya?
Yang kedua, pengusaha juga. Baru 2 tahun ia dan istrinya dapat lisensi dari mertua masing2. Maklum, mereka beda agama. Sang istri sampe nangis2 dan mengancam kawin lari ketika itu. Orang bilang, kita akan menghargai sesuatu yang dapatnya susah. Nyatanya, beliau sibuk menggebet wanita2 muda, jalan2 dan memblanjai wanita tersebut, bahkan bisa2nya nge-flirt depan istrinya. Klo diprotes, dia Cuma bilang, “Ah, Cuma becanda kok…”

Yang ketiga, seorang om girang. Sudah berkali2 ketauan selingkuh sama istrinya, tapi masih membandel. Yang ini bahkan udah ga punya alasan lagi untuk selingkuh, Plainly buaya.

Gue yakin masi ada pria baik di dunia ini, yang jujur-setia-tidak merokok seperti impian wanita2 kontak jodoh. Hanya saja, pernikahan jaman skarang banyak tantangannya…godaan makin tinggi…fasilitas selingkuh makin canggih, tuntutan hidup makin berat, waktu kian mahal. Apa kita siap menyisihkan uang saku yang tadinya buat mango sale buat beli susu anak2? Apa kita siap tampil prima selalu penuh kejutan stiap hari biar ga mati bosen? Apa kita siap berbagi segala2nya, membatasin rencana traveling ke Nicaragua dan Sudan? Kita? yang baru 2 taun lalu ga jadi teenager?

Gue sih enggak.
Suatu kali gue pernah ditanya, “jadi, ga mau kawin kalau belum sukses?”
*mantab,tegas* “Enggak!”
“tapi katanya sayang banget?”
“Mau makan apaaa…mau makan cinta???” Gue tiba2 jadi panik. Terbayang isak tangis orang tua gue ketika gue pindah ke rumah kos2an nan gelap dan lembab, dan 2 bulan kemudian muka gue jadi cemong sana sini gara2 ga bisa ke dokter muka, pake clana cutbray jaman staun lalu.
Jika emang gue mau ikut trend siti nurbaya yang nikah muda, tentunya gue juga mau alasan ala siti nurbaya. Meningkatkan taraf hidup, menghapus hutang orang tua, dan mengangkat status social. Klo Cuma biar hidup susah..hmnm..kayaknya gue pikir2 dulu yah…

Tapi yah…mungkin ada yang memang siap, seperti pacar seorang teman gue. Beliau menghampiri gue dengan senyum semringah. Katanya, semalam dia benar2 menyampaikan anggaran rumah tangga versi gue itu dan kekasihnya menerima, bersedia dinikahi meski Cuma makan tempe 7x seminggu.

Teserah, jawab gue, mengungkapkan pesimisme yang luar biasa. Belum kawin aja berantemnya uda 3x seminggu, sampe kadang2 gue suka appear offline biar ga curhat. Bulan2 pertama si masi bulan madu, tapi bgitu liat tetangga beli mobil…punya kulkas 3 pintu….banting2an piring!

a man from this corner of the earth

Staring through my bedroom’s window had been my nightly routine recently, when I lived at my sister’s unit. Our place is on the highest floor at an apartment with view facing Orchard Road. At night you could see lights beaming from another apartments, hotels and shopping malls.

It became my only entertainment at night, when loneliness and emptiness stroke me to the deepest. Those lights and little voice of buzzing cars down there, were the sign of people existence; that I was not the last person in the world, which most of the time I felt.

I wished I could watch through some windows at an apartment right in front of our apartment. Yet, like most people in Singapore, its residents closed tight their curtain so that nothing would intrude their privacy.
Most, except one man.
He lived on the second highest level in that serviced apartment. At night, he would let his window opened, and he would gaze through it. Sometimes he wrote something on his laptop, sometimes he would just stare blankly.

I wonder what he was thinking about. He was on his thirties, tall and slightly dark. Judging from where he lived, a luxurious apartment in the heart of Orchard, I imagined he was a senior level expatriate, with bustling career at a multinational company. Yet, there he was, sitting alone in the middle of the night, perhaps wandering what the hell he did with his life.

And the more I observed him, the more I built connection with him. I even imagined how his day life was. It must have been a very packed day, full with meetings with clients, global representatives, business lunch and dinner. At night, he might spend it at Clark Quay, drinking with fellow expatriates. Yet at the end of the day, alone he was. His friends were his colleague, and they had family, their own personal life, in which, he was never be a part of it.

I would say, he did not look happy. He looked tired.

Sadly speaking, that man was how I would end up. It was an irony that we have more people in this world, yet less people know each other. Living in a city like Singapore, it was all business. Neighbors do not know each other; colleagues limit their relations, and individuals too busy to call their families.

I am, nonetheless, part of that picture. The young, the ambitious, who appreciate freedom and personal achievement more than anything else. I left my little hometown, although not that far away, to get acknowledged, so that I could get a salary of 3000sing, live in my own private condo, bring my parents travelling around the world. But then, what is it after that? Most important, do I really want that?

By the time I could sit back and relax, it might have been too late. Friends I used to be would get used with me not around. They had their own circle of friends, their own little family or their own ambition, that the only time we meet would be “Hi, how are you? Long time never see…” and we would greet goodbye and never look back. Our only thing that would bind us together was those old good days, not our future.

Family’s love is forever, for sure, but having lived far from them for too long, would things stay the same? Or we were bound to be separated from our parents and live alone? The way my dear man did?

Tonight might be my last night watching him. He had packed his stuff. I could see his luggage and his now empty room. He was sitting on his balcony throughout the night, smoking. He was unsettled and worried. I wondered what he would do and where he would go. But whatever it would be, I hope he make the right decision. I hope he would not be too busy to say hi to his family. I hope he would live with someone and would have meaningful things to do at night. I hope he would not have to stare at the starless night, alone, anymore.

And I hope for the same thing, for me.

Tentang Sebuah Nilai

“Gila aja, gue klo dah kayak gini ga dapet A sih kebangetan!”
Atau…
“Heran, yang tadinya gue kira dapet A, malah dapet A-, yg gue kira Cuma B+ malah dapet A+!”
“jadi maksud loe nilai loe A semua…?”
“Enggak juga sih, ada B+nya…satu…”

Mata gue terpejam, sesaat menyesali kenapa gue harus nyinggung2 soal nilai?! Udah tau di Nanyang Technological University nan jaya topic nilai kaek gitu slalu ada di posisi hot news. Meski sudah terbiasa dengan komentar serupa, gue masi senep juga kalau denger…Dan meski kaeknya basi banget (kaek anak sekolahan ajah urusannya nilai) gue mau protes nih soal sifat pamer nilai…

Siapa sih yang ga butuh pengakuan diri? Apalagi kalau dirinya emang pintar…pasti ada dong rasa pengen di-acknowledge, “Gila, loe mah emang pinter…” tapi dalam proses membuat diri kita itu diakuin, pernah gak sih kita nyadar kalaw kita telah meng-disregard orang lain?

Misal dalam nilai adu nilai itu…”aduh…IPK gue Cuma 3,85..” atau..”yaa..ada B+nya satu…ga jadi straight A dhe gue..” percayalah! Jika anda yang sangat pintar itu tidak mendapat IPK 4 Bulet ataw straight A, mungkin MEMANG TIDAK ADA YANG DAPAT SKIAN! Jadi..jangan cemas..jangan menyesal…syukurilah IPK 3,85 itu! Atau jika anda memang BENAR2 secara TULUS MENYESALI 3,85, SIMPANLAH DALAM HATI! Nilai itu dikirim langsung secara elektronik dan Cuma bisa diliat yang punya kode rahasia, supaya hanya sang empunya nilai yang bisa liat. Nilai ujian itu memiliki nilai privasi yang tinggi dan marilah menjaganya demikian!

Ahh..gue kan Cuma komentar..nilai2 gue juga kok…
Yap! Benar! Itu memang nilai kita dan adalah hak asasi untuk mengekspresikan perasaan kita terhadap nilai tersebut. Tetapi selain kebebasan berekspresi, kita juga diajari TOLERANSI. Pernah gak kepikiran bahwa jika kita sangat sangat pintar, IPK 3,85 itu bisa jadi adalah IPK tertinggi, dan berarti BANYAK ORANG yg IPKnya dibawah itu! Gimana coba perasaan anak yang Cuma dapat 2,5 dan uda syukur karena itu diatas harapan?

Salah sendiri! Makanya belajar dong! Kaek gue, makanya ga bisa puas Cuma dengan 3,85!
Yah..gimana yaaa..manusia itu dilahirkan dengan bakat yang berbeda2…ada yang bakatnya emang Cuma itungan dan apalan, ada yang bakat melukis…dan sebagainya..Segelintir orang yang pertama itu akhirnya menjadi bahan olokan anak2 yang bakatnya Cuma dansa…di club…dan minum…”bisanya Cuma pacaran sama buku, atau anjrit! Cupu banget! Mana ngerti tequila apaan…” Tapi kata orang, tampar pipi kiri kasih pipi kanan…Jika kita meliat anak2 yang ahem..kurang berbakat atau kurang berminat di bidang studi, KASIANILAH MEREKA! Jangan tambah beban moral dan dosa mereka (ngomongin si cupu) dengan perkataan kita…

Kalow ditanya?
Jawab. Titik. Tidak perlu ada embel2 “Cuma” atau “Hanya” atau “BT dhe..” kata “lumayan” atau “ok lah” bisa dipakai karena sifatnya netral dan humble.
contoh: “Oi, gmana exam kmaren?”
Jawab: “Yah, boleh lah, 4A+ 2A 1A-…”
….
Biarkanlah si penanya kepo terpesona dengan nilai kita dengan sendirinya…ingat! Nilai yang tinggi akan terlihat dengan sendirinya, ga perlu pake penekanan disana sini!

Sifat kedua yang pengen gue kritisi dsini adalah…kenapa sih anak2 sekolah atow Uni top slalu merasa dirinya lebih pintar dari yang lain? Hidup itu bukan A lebih besar dari B dan B lebih besar dari C brarti A lebih besar dari C.

Entah mengapa, mungkin emang nasib gue…dari SMP kelas tiga pas gue masuk so-called kelas unggulan, ada kecenderungan *meski ga semua* untuk merasa dirinya superior, karena berada dalam grup yang “ter-“

Di Sanur dulu, somehow anak2nya bisa ngerasa sdikit lebih superior dari anak2 SMA ecek2. Gue masi inget, di hari pertama masuk sekolah, qta harus membawa rapor SMP kita. Pas SMP, emang nilai gue cukup mempesona, semua 9 kecuali olahraga 8. Ketika seorang anak ex SMP sanur meliat rapor gue, yg bersampul SMP DB, yang mungkin bukan yang paling ngetop, dia berkata, “banyak loh anak dari sekolah2 luar, tadinya ranking 1, nilainya 9 semua, begitu masuk Sanur langsung ga ada apa2nya…” DI DEPAN MUKA GUE! Perlu gue klarifikasi, gue ga lagi pamer nilai, anak itu ngintip nilai gue gitu aja dan sblum dia komen, gue sama skali blum ngomong…

Demikian juga di NTU…. Pernah dengan sombongnya seseorang bilang sama gue *ini kisah nyata loH! Beneran ada alumni NTU yang ngomong kaek gini! “Susah klo punya cewe bukan anak NTU, intelektualitasnya kurang…jadi kurang nyambung…” Si alumni ini, sungguh bukan yang terpintar dari yang terpintar di NTU, tapi merasa, bahkan yang terbego di NTU pun akan jauhh lebih pintar dari anak diluar NTU.

Atau contoh paling nyata adalah ketika kita protes, “Diluar mah gampang…lha ujian catetan Cuma 2 lembar, jelas bisa dapet A semua!” Ya..gue pun sedih karena nilai gue ga bisa dibandingin sama bekas anak2 kelas gue dulu…tapi yaa..diterima ajah! Blum tentu klo gue diluar gue bisa dapet A semua!

Pernah ga kepikiran, seseorang ga masuk NTU, bukan berarti mereka GA BISA masuk NTU! Mungkin aja mereka sakit pas ujian masuk, atau pas SMA kurang rajin belajar padahal pintar, atau ga hoki kena balloting, emang ga berminat sama sekali!

Mungkin tulisan gue agak memicu tanggapan miring anak2 NTU…skali lagi gue tegeskan, gak semua anak NTU itu sifatnya kaek gitu kok. Bangga secara wajar itu wajar…hehehe…Jujur aja, gue pun tersenyum bangga cenderung sombong ketika ada yang bilang, “wah anak NTU, pinter dong…” Tes NTU emang susah, dan kalian memang sangat…sangat..pintar…Buat kalian, teruskan perjuangan kalian! Pinter dan rendah hati itu okeh banget men! Pasti jodohnya lancar!hehehe…

Tulisan ini Cuma buat segelintir oknum mahasiswa NTU yang merasa superior terhadap sahabatnya di luar sana. Di atas langit masih ada langit. Kita bisa aja merasa paling pinter, tapi dibandingin sama uni lain, dibandingin sama genius2 di luar sana….mungkin saat ini anak2 Harvard lagi ngetawain kita, “Anak NTU itu yah…bisa apa sih…mana bisa masuk ini….”