Friday, July 08, 2016


realising a long-planned trip is always a nice thing to do. especially when the trip is for a vacation. high expectation lingers until the day come when you finally can go. you pack those bags, mark the check list of things to do, to bring, to settle, and so on. 

this year's 'idul fitri' public holiday is being spent there in bandung and then here in malang - where i write this note. 

earlier this week, i took a seventeen hour trip on malabar train from bandung in west java, to malang, here in the east. no, it was not the quickest way to get here from jakarta. but compared to the exhausting traffic jam experienced by those travelling with cars - it's not the slowest method either. 

we know 'mudik' is not always just about to be the fastest to arrive at home, or the longest holiday break; it's about the time spent with family. a reunion, or 'silaturahmi'.

soon i will be back to the capital city; soon works will resume; soon the crowds will shift; and soon deadlines will emerge the horizon. better summon up the optimism, flex the muscles, warm up a little bit, and then get prepared for whatever the coming weeks may bring! 

Thursday, June 02, 2016

calea victoriei

this very afternoon i wandered alone through the calea victoriei in bucharest city. those light steps were perhaps similar to the ones i took fourteen years ago when i last came here in 2002, and also a year before - the time i first visited romania in 2001.

there are several unthinkable experiences in your life that you feel so humbled to encounter. deeply grateful. when your sight was curiously taken back through time, seeing yourself walking, and then you are amazed to realise something. your heart is capable to feel and understand - even though perhaps your mind couldn't hardly derive any conclusion.

this is the same bucuresti. with its calea, piata, strada and, located in orlando ten, the ambasada republicii indonezia. that was where i, as a curious stranger, used to play badminton with other curious strangers.

who knows where will i be in the next fourteen or fifteen years? what would bucharest be like? i need no definite answer.

to me, more than anything - this third visit to romania feels as if a curtain has been shed and a window has been opened before my eyes. enabling me to recollect, reflect and always be thankful. for the journey, the friendships, the compassions, the lessons, that shape this attitude, which i probably shall carry through the rest of my life.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

harpers ferry

"...perhaps it's the color of the sun cut flat and coverin' the crossroad i'm standin' at. or maybe it's the weather or somethin' like that. but mama, you been on my mind..."

Friday, December 06, 2013


please tell me again - slowly if you can - how to correctly spell your name;
for i've tried it many times, with attempts to make it rhyme and sound quite like mine.

just right there and then - you said it again that everything happened for a reason;
and when i missed by a blink, how to correctly write your name, it also happened with a good lesson.

maybe i don't know the name. or maybe ours' is the same.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


went home for the second time this year. with a handful of things to do, things to say, things to remember and things to forget.

people to meet and people to greet. rendezvous of hearts, joyful days to celebrate, surrounded by relatives and friends.

the mandates i was tasked to carry and fulfil. the assignments entrusted upon me to complete. as a second secretary, and as a restless bee. trying to make sense of it all:

how long does it take for flowers to realise that the sun is shining and that the season is right for them to bloom?

Thursday, June 27, 2013


that morning while walking along a wet pavement,
he gently eased a snail to the safety of a grass
with his toe.
to spare anyone passing a dirty shoe
or the pain of even a small murder.
the snail did not know what had happened
and that its life had been spared -
and might even cross the pavement again -
but a giant the snail could not see or comprehend
had given it another chance of life.

"i wondered if perhaps the same had happened
to me some time in my life
when unbeknown to me,
some thing or some one
had gently eased me to safety
with the touch of a toe."

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


a note written with a date mark of april 27, several years ago - which i first discovered in my late oxford days. not quite sure who it was he, victor, wrote it for.

"...turn from the wall, and shrug off your coat of many sorrows. there are a thousand smiles waiting to guide you through the coming days.

turn not to the wall, but to the mirror, for there are eyebrow lines and white teeth so perfect that you overlooked them in your search for blemishes.

when the mirror has done with you, turn to the window, for the window can look back with different eyes and find those perfections, simply because you believe in them.

in the wall you will find nothing. in the mirror, you will find yourself. but in the window you will find whatever it is you seek.

someone else is somewhere looking through a window, which could in its turn become yours. i know you will not believe this, but that someone could find you beautiful.

for love sees no plainness or deformity within the window frame, only the clarity and perfection first seen in the mirrored image of the mind..."

and he concluded that love is always beautiful.