New Kid on The Block*

15871834_10158132364510094_4498883074623820572_nI can still remember, vividly, the first moment when I got off from Öresundtåg at Lund’s Central Station. The cold winter air was slapping on my face like waking me up from a long dream, and I whispered excitedly to myself: “Okay, this is real.” But then, I stepped out outside the station and that was when my new kid on the block moment began.

My first days in Sweden were a combination of anxiety and excitement. Everything was just so different from my home country or any other places I have visited: the weather app seems to never predict correctly since the weather changes almost all the times, the shops close quite early, and everyone seems too busy to have small talks with stranger. I felt lonely and detached. I felt like everybody was looking at me as if there was something wrong with my face. I also felt completely lost in translation, literally and figuratively. I remember going to the nearest shop worrying about what the shopkeeper might say in Swedish.

Then, I realised that most of the times, those were all just my own uneasiness. I mean nobody said moving to a new place would be easy. But, it is actually a choice, to drown into hassle that I create myself, or to start embrace every moment and get familiar with the Swedish ways of life. I chose the latter and made some changes.

How, exactly? Continue reading “New Kid on The Block*”

Seorang Penulis yang Bertanya pada Dirinya Sendiri

Seorang penulis suatu hari bertanya pada dirinya sendiri.

Apa jadinya jika dunia kehabisan kosakata?

Akankah diksi menjadi sunyi?

Tak ada lagi awalan atau akhiran?

Tak perlu lagi imbuhan?

Pertanyaan-pertanyaan itu tak kunjung ia temu jawabnya.

Tapi setengahnya ia tak lagi peduli.

Toh, kata sekarang makin kehilangan makna.

Tak lagi diperhatikan tanda bacanya.

Tak lagi dihiraukan ejaan dan aturan bakunya.

Seseorang bisa bilang ”kami” atau ”kita” tanpa peduli bedanya.

Barangkali penulis itu sedang mencari cerita dibalik bahasa

Atau,

Ia hanya seorang penulis yang tengah lelah merajut aksara.

 

Lund, 15 Desember 2017

Better When I’m Writing

Zaki asked me the other day, what things I am still passionate about lately. I gave him three answers, and among those, the first and most definite one was writing. Later I realised that writing is actually the only thing I consistently do since I was still in the elementary school. Though I must admit, I never had any chance to work on it properly.

Part of it was because it seemed like being a writer was less prestigious than being a doctor, or a teacher, or an astronaut, or an architect, or any other profession in this world. And it was just so hard to keep your passion when everyone around you didn’t take it really seriously. In my case, I found it was hard for me not to be tempted with the idea of being “somebody”. And the general definition of “somebody” in Indonesia is anything but freelance, including writing. Most people will consider it as merely a hobby.

I got some people who supported my passion, in different ways, though. My dad used to take me to his school library so I spent most of my childhood drowning into books and that’s how book became one of my obsessions (there’s a story about it here). My mom gave me a diary so I had something to write on. And there was a teacher in my junior high school who once asked me to join a writing competition. I didn’t join the competition at the end (because I wasn’t sure what to write and bit lazy, to be honest) but he was one of the few people who made me feel that I can write. Somehow. Someday. Continue reading “Better When I’m Writing”

Senandung Musim Gugur

Jauh sebelum saya mengunjungi negara empat musim, musim gugur sudah menjadi musim favorit saya. Meski lahir dan besar di negara dua musim yang hanya mengenal hujan dan kemarau, entah mengapa saya merasa terhubung dengan memori musim gugur yang saya baca di majalah-majalah, saya lihat di televisi atau saya bayangkan dari puisi-puisi. Mungkin karena karakter dasar saya yang (sok) romantis dan melankolis. Sehingga daun-daun jatuh saya anggap sebagai momen magis yang menghanyutkan.

Jangankan musim gugur di belahan bumi selatan atau utara, “musim gugur” di kampung halaman saya, yang ditandai dengan daun-daun pohon Akasia yang berguguran, atau pohon Jati yang meranggas, sudah cukup membuat saya duduk melamun lama menikmati setiap detilnya.

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Musim gugur di kampung halaman

Ah, saya ini memang sentimentil. Gemar berkubang dalam romantisme yang saya buat-buat sendiri.

Continue reading “Senandung Musim Gugur”

The Colors of Autumn

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The leaves turned red on those days of October

When fall was here and winter was near

Could you taste the sweetness in the air?

The taste of a life free from despair?

I pictured us walking hand in hand

Along the way where everywhere was a yellow lane

I remembered how I would have waited for you

On that old wet bench in Lundagård around 1 pm or two

Our love grew strong despite the wind

Flourishing like mushrooms under the autumn rain

I became gold, you were getting brown

To the colors of heaven we were all belong.

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Lund, 2017/10/23