.summer is over.

Summer is about to come in Melbourne, it is not over yet, but this song brings back a lot of memories. All those memories are crystal clear, just like yesterday. I can still feel your hand intertwined mine. We were once thought it was perfect for each other. The universe conspired to let you be part of my story, there are  happiness, pain and tears written down inside it. There is not a thing I regret or want to change except one important fact that we are not together now. So maybe it is just another harsh reality we have to deal with. This song will always remind me of you. For all the promises we shared. For all the ‘summer’ we spent together. I love you, T… Always…

.Jon McLaughlin and Sara Bareilles’ Summer is Over.

But summer is over
We were tangled in the morning sun
Felt you getting colder
And we knew that we would come undone
It’s back to my town, back to your life
Gray skies are blowing a kiss goodbye to the lovers
Summer is over

SoundCloud: Summer is Over

Melbourne Day 24: Independence Day and Eid ul Fitr

I thought I will not survive 24 days in Melbourne, but I do. Today is the last Ramadan and tomorrow we will celebrate Eid ul Fitr. It is a weird feeling, I don’t feel the Ramadan festivities, no hustle and bustle of people preparing to break the fast,  no adzan echoed, no mosques anywhere around my flat, Ramadan in a non-muslim country really feels different if not lonely. It is good though, I know I will spend my entire life in Indonesia, so this is an experience I want to have.

InsyaAllah, tomorrow I will pray Ied in Melbourne University. Since weekend train has limited access especially early in the am, I will stay the night with a new friend I coincidentally met last week in a community gathering for Orang Minang. That day my flat mate asked me to break the fast in her friend’s house. She said there will be a lot of Indonesian people gathered in South Morang. I said yes and we went to South Morang, a north-east suburb from Melbourne Central City. It’s really far. We stopped at the last train stop; it’s not even in the map yet because it’s a new rail extension.

Oh, yesterday was the Independence Day of Indonesia (17/8). I didn’t go to KJRI to attend the flag ceremony because it’s quite far from Caulfield. I spent the week watching 17 movies to celebrate the independence day :p (oh well, I was just too lazy to study and read journal, so I watched movies instead). Here are the list:

  1. Kite Runner
  2. Osama
  3. A Separation
  4. Fetih 1453 (Conquest 1453)
  5. The Stoning of Soraya M
  6. 3 Idiots
  7. Mr. Nobody
  8. She’s the Man
  9. He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not
  10. The Lucky One
  11. Cyberbully
  12. The Patriot
  13. Gladiator
  14. The Five-Year Engagement
  15. Game Change
  16. Cracks
  17. The News Room (HBO TV series)

Most of the movies I watched are heavily focused on Islam and its practice in Muslim countries like Afghanistan, Turki, and Iran. I miss watching different movies and some movies I watched gave me more than an entertainment, it opened my eyes to different things in the other side of the world. Most of them made me sad.

It is not the first time I watch Kite Runner, I also read the book long before I watched the film.

The Kite Runner is a 2007 American drama film directed by Marc Forster based on the novel of the same name by Khaled Hosseini. It tells the story of Amir, a well-to-do boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, who is tormented by the guilt of abandoning his friend Hassan, the son of his father’s Hazara servant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of Afghan refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the Taliban regime. (wikipedia)

This morning I read BBC News about the ministry of education in Afghanistan that will not mention some key information in Afghanistan history to bring unity of the people (read: Why Afghanistan’s past is being ‘rewritten’)

Osama is movie I picked from movie suggestion generated by Youtube. The main character of the movie disguised herself as a boy, Osama, to be able to work so she can support her mom and grandmother after all the men in the family died because of war. Taliban were repressive to women and didn’t allow them to work. This movie is also heart-wrenching. Made me sad, especially when I see what happened to the women during Taliban regime. I feel very grateful to live in an independent country where women are having equal treatment as men.

Offering a different angle of story, A Separation tells a life of a separated couple in Iran. Getting divorced is not a common thing there. I love the intrigue woven into the story.

Well, there are more opinion about the 17 movies I watched, but it’s almost time to break the fast, so I will keep it for next time.

Alhamdulillah this Ramadan is full of blessings; I get a chance to study abroad (which has been my life-time dream),  go to different continent, fasting in a non-muslim country and still healthy despite the extreme weather.

Happy Ied ul Fitr, Taqaballahu minna wa minkum. May Allah accept our saum and all of our acts of Ibadah, forgive our sins and all our shortcomings. May the guidance and blessing of Allah be with us. Amien.

Melbourne Day 15: I cooked fried rice :p

Days passed by too slowly when you count it. Can’t believe it’s been only 15 days since I got that Tullamarine passport stamp. I thought it’s been a month or so. Well, I am fooling myself. Week 3 lectures just finished and there are still 9 meetings before the finals. Long weeks before I can go home. Essays are waiting to be finished and journals are waiting to be analysed. Despite all the hardship I have to go through every week with all the assignments and materials, I like my course. My previous course where I learn about Tourism and Hospitality Management was not my interest -although I still intend to finish it, but Communication and Media studies is something I can picture in my head. It makes sense to me. Maybe that’s what you feel when you are interested in learning something. Maybe. I still find those journals scary!

Melbourne Zoo, Docklands, Ikea Richmond

So, Day 15 and I have gone to Melbourne Zoo, sent postcards, checked out some parts of Melbourne City; South Dwarf, Docklands, Victoria Market, Ikea store Richmond, tasted a number of famous dishes (Pancake Parlour, Mad Mex’s Quesadilla, Menya Ramen’s Gyu Tan Don, Salero Kito, Nusantara, Lord of the Fries, Spanish Doughnuts’ Churros), and watched movie at Hoyts. I finally went to Clayton yesterday (8/8) and had a wonderful breakfasting with the boys from Arnott. Cooked myself a delicious fried rice for breakfasting today:p I made friends with those from Singapore, Australia, Afganistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. From what I see in the class, the ‘westerns’ mingle with their own and the Asians usually hang out with Asians. It’s a poor thing actually.

Quesadilla @MadMex, Melbourne Central Shopping Center

Short Stack Pancake with Chocolate Ice Cream @PancakeParlour

I keep on paying attention to some friends who are giving ‘weird’ look to the other Asian friends who have difficult English accent to understand. Well, the same look are given when the westerns are talking too fast with their accent. So, the diversity is there. This is the face of international class. One thing I am intrigued by is the number of chinese students in the class. They are the majority! I think there should be more Indonesians studying abroad. I could not imagine what will happen in the next 10-15 years when these young bright people are taking control of the media, commerce, politics on behalf of their country. Will we be able to catch up or will we be hundred steps behind? Well, it’s just my two cents.

The upcoming plans are going to Consulate General of Republic of Indonesia for report on arrival and attending Ingrid Michaelson concert at Corner Hotel (I am thrilled!!). Few things I wanna do in Australia are visiting Gold Coast, Sydney Opera House, Great Ocean Road, Mount Buller, tasting kangaroo meats, pavlova, vegemite, fish and chips, coffee. I hope there are time (and money :p) to enjoy the city and the suburbs.

24 hours in Melbourne

I am still trying to hang on in here!

Melbourne Day 7: I wanna go home…

It’s not even a week since I landed safely in Melbourne, but I passed my honeymoon phase already.

Yang sekarang dirasakan adalah rasa gelisah, gak betah dan ingin pulang. Cuaca yang dingin mungkin adalah salah satu penyebabnya, mungkin juga karena roommate saya akan pulang ke Indonesia (di saat perjuangan saya yang panjang baru akan dimulai), mungkin karena tugas-tugas di kampus yang sudah menumpuk (baru juga week ke-2, tapi tugas sudah menanti tiap minggu :'() atau mungkin juga karena ada banyak hal yang mendorong saya ‘gak kerasan’ di sini. Saya kembali menanyakan ke diri saya sendiri alasan mengapa saya ingin kuliah jauh di luar negeri. Dulu saat di Indonesia, ide sekolah jauh dari rumah sepertinya sangat menarik. Saya ingin sebuah kesempatan untuk melihat ‘dunia luar’, kesempatan untuk lebih menjadi diri sendiri tanpa terus menerus dipantau oleh keluarga, namun saat ini semua kehangatan keluarga terasa sangat mewah. Jangan dikira bahwa kehidupan di luar jauh lebih mudah, kenyataannya masih banyak penyesuaian diri yang harus dilakukan.

Sulit beradaptasi dengan lingkungan baru adalah salah satu sifat buruk saya. Di negeri orang, saya diharapkan mandiri. Sebuah tatanan keseharian yang sudah dibangun dan dibiasakan sejak dulu harus serta merta diubah mengikuti kondisi baru. Ada kendala bahasa, budaya, cuaca dan keseharian yang harus dijembatani agar jurang antara kita sebagai individu dan sebagai makhluk sosial tidak semakin luas.

I don’t belong here or anywhere. So where do I belong? 

Selalu muncul perasaan bahwa saya tidak cocok di suatu tempat, namun setelah saya lihat ke belakang, ternyata perasaan seperti itu selalu muncul. Perasaan tidak nyaman berada di suatu tempat. Inilah saat dimana saya harus memaksakan diri saya berubah (atau setidaknya beradaptasi) agar tidak terus menerus tenggelam dalam perasaan ‘I don’t belong anywhere‘. This is the time when I should tolerate less to my own feeling and brace myself for the new challenges in life. Bukankah memang akan selalu ada rasa enggan untuk beranjak dari zona nyaman kita? Well they said, it’s the only way we can grow up.

Catatan minggu pertama saya di Australia adalah tentang upaya mengenal diri saya sendiri. Sudah ada rasa tidak betah dan ingin pulang ke Indonesia, namun beban studi selama 1,5 tahun harus tetap dijalani. Langkah pertama yang saya buat saat pertama kali mencoba aplikasi beasiswa dari Kementerian adalah sebuah komitmen yang harus dijalankan seberat apapun dan setidaknyaman apapun perasaan saya saat ini.

Am I going here for the wrong reason?

Dulu saya merasa bahwa bersekolah ke luar negeri akan meningkatkan rasa self-esteem saya terhadap diri sendiri. Dan jujur saja, alasan lain yang kuat mendorong untuk pergi dari Jakarta adalah rasa enggan dan jenuh akan berbagai macam tanggung jawab dan beban di kantor. Saya pikir, bila bukan sekarang, kapan lagi saya akan keluar dari kantor ini. Kabur dari tanggungjawab sepertinya adalah alasan yang salah untuk bersekolah karena saat ini pun ada banyak beban tugas yang menanti saya. Kemana lagi saya akan kabur? Entah apakah ini merupakan hal yang wajar dari manusia untuk selalu lari dari tanggunjawab, atau ini hanyalah persoalan saya semata? Tapi saya selalu merasa ingin berlari saat merasa tertekan. Saya ingin hidup yang santai, aman, dikelilingi oleh orang-orang terkasih. Nyatanya, untuk sampai pada tahap seperti itu diperlukan lebih banyak pengorbanan dan waktu. Yang saya lakukan saat ini adalah tetap berlari mencari rasa aman untuk diri sendiri. Kemanakah harus kucari rasa aman itu? Bila memang rasa aman itu bersumber dari diri sendiri, mengapakah sulit sekali untuk memunculkannya?

Yang coba saya pegang untuk menguatkan diri sendiri saat ini adalah perasaan yang mungkin akan muncul di masa depan apabila saya melihat ke belakang dan melihat betapa banyak serial kehidupan yang saya jalani dan banyaknya episode berwarna yang telah saya lewati. Pencapaian itu pasti akan terasa sangat manis apalagi bila saya sadar dan ingat betapa sulitnya untuk berjalan dari hari ke hari untuk mencapainya.

Semoga perasaan tidak aman, tidak betah, tidak nyaman dan kegalauan ini akan segera berlalu. Mungkin di masa depan saya akan merindukan berada di sini lagi; sebuah perasaan yang saat ini saya pikir tidak mungkin akan saya rasakan. Who knows?

*catatannisa: Hari ke-7 di Melbourne