Archive for the 'Family' Category

**k Tetangga Selalu Terlihat Lebih Hijau: Impian, Perjalanan, Cinta Kasih, dan Tagline

Kalo diminta nggambarken potret versi romantisasi/idealisasi dari dirimu, apa yang kamu bayangkan? Bagaimana ekspresi wajahmu? Bagaimana posturmu? Pakaian apa yang kamu kenakan? Di mana kamu berada? Sedang apa dirimu?

Ndak tau kenapa, beberapa hari belakangan ini yang terpikir di otak saya adalah gambaran saya yang sedang berdiri tegak, membelakangi kamera/penggambar. Saya pakai pakaian lengkap, jaket, celana jins, sepatu tracking (saya sebetulnya ga punya), dan tas ransel, yang terlihat berat, banyak isinya…walaupun yang nampak di gambar cuman dari paha ke atas. Karena membelakangi, muka saya dan ekspresi muka saya ga kelihatan. Jadi ada kesan agak emotionless. Ada beberapa orang berseliweran di kanan kiri jauh dekat, tapi itu bukan keramaian. Latar belakangnya kabur agak berkabut, tapi saya membayangkan di balik kabut ada tampak samar-samar bangunan-bangunan residensial dan ruko-ruko yang agak tua, mungkin macam di Eropa.

Entah kenapa bayangannya seperti ini. Saya mengartikannya sebagai saya yang selalu siap pergi ke mana impian berada. Impian apa? Ya salah satunya impian mengelilingi dunia. Barangkali saya sudah berkali-kali nulis soal ini. Kalau ditelisik ke belakang, barangkali asal mulanya adalah motivasi orang tua. Orang tua yang selalu mendorong saya untuk menjelalah negeri lain, untuk bisa berbakti di manapun saya berada. Dan alasan lainnya ya alasan praktis. Bahwa buat keluarga kami yang jelas-tidak-kaya-walaupun-kalau-ngaku-miskin-pasti-ditertawakan, sampai beberapa tahun lalu, ke luar negeri adalah kemewahan yang hanya bisa berada di awang-awang. Jadi, ketika saya akhirnya punya kesempatan, saya ndak mau menyia-nyiakan lagi, setelah sebelumnya saya sejujurnya agak menyia-nyiakan juga. Saya senang tahun 2012 lalu saya bisa [ke Jerman], tapi itu cuman 10 hari, dan sekarang saya masih stuck, ndak terlalu jauh dari kampung halaman saya. Biar gitu, saya pingin pergi lebih jauh lagi.

Namun, sejujurnya, saya agak takut dengan hal itu. Barangkali ini efek menyebalkan media sosial juga: suka membanding-bandingkan dengan teman. Kalau saya melihat beberapa teman saya, baik di dunia maya maupun nyata, yang sudah berkeluarga dan menetap, kadang ada terbersit keirian dalam hati saya. Bahwa saya pingin juga punya juga yang begitu itu. Bahwa ada yang lebih muda dari saya dan baru saja punya anak, saya pingin juga seperti itu. Bahwa ada yang sedang merantau dan setiap hari kangen anaknya, saya pingin juga punya seseorang yang bisa dikangeni seperti dalam konteks ini. Lha lak itu tamak namanya. Tapi ya kenyataannya begitulah. Ditambah lagi, dengan kondisi saya yang sekarang ini, sepertinya membangun keluarga menjadi sedikit lebih susah. Apalagi kalau bukan [tentang] [kolam].

Kembali ke perjalanan. Saya punya keyakinan bahwa masa-masa saya di Singapore akan berhenti tidak lama lagi. Saya berharap setahun lagi saya sudah tidak di sini lagi. Saya mulai mendramatisasi kondisi ini. Tempat yang dulu saya anggap membosankan, ternyata lambat laun bisa juga jadi menyenangkan dan menenangkan, kalau cara hidupnya pas juga. Pada saat yang bersamaan, saya juga mencoba mewujudkan yang saya tulis di paragraf sebelumnya. Tapi, sejauh ini hasilnya belom bagus. Saya masih punya harapan, saya yakin. Tapi kalau sampai saat saya pergi saya masih belom dapat progres yang bagus, saya ndak tau lagi kapan yang di atas itu bisa terpenuhi.

Dan seperti ada tertulis di sesi favourite quotes di halaman about Facebook saya,

“A rolling stone gathers no moss.”

***

Sekian dulu postingan saya. Tadinya cuman pingin menjelaskan visualisasi romantisasi diri saya. Ternyata akhirnya secara tak sadar saya juga sedang menjelaskan tagline blog ini.

Renungan Martabak

fritz-martabak

Postingan ini adalah sebuah respon terhadap foto martabak yang diunggah [Fritz] di Facebook, seperti tergambar di atas.

  1. Tentang martabak: Ini baru martabak! Bukan “martabak” manis alias terang bulan itu!
  2. Tentang sepi jualan: di sebuah kantin di sini ada satu stall yang sepi, walaupun lokasinya di dekat pintu masuk. Jualannya katanya makanan Cina ala Taiwan. Yang jualan juga bapak ibu sekitar paruh baya. Kalo waktu makan siang sepiiiii begitu. Jarang sekali saya liat ada yang beli. Beberapa minggu/bulan lalu saya nyoba beli juga. Setelah dimakan, yaa…memang bisa dimengerti kenapa sepi. Ndak ada rasanya. Lama saya ndak beli lagi…kemarin kami ke kantin itu lagi, stallnya udah kosong. Bisnis makanan memang keras. Kalo kerja kantoran, ada kolega/bos yang marahin situ. Kalo jualan begini, ndak ada feedback dari siapa-siapa. Pembeli ndak kasih info apapun. :/
  3. Tentang lapak di pinggir jalan depan rumah: waktu di Jogja dulu, ada bapak-bapak jualan ayam mentah di perempatan dekat rumah, lagi motong-motong ayamnya. Itu sekitar 6-7 pagi. Mungkin bapak itu baru buka jualan, jadi belom ada yang beli. Kami–saya dan bapak saya–lewat naik mobil. Bapak saya nyapa, “laris Pak…” “Njih, matur nuwun,” jawab sang bapak penjual ayam. Buat saya menarik sih. Di Singapore ndak ada yang ngucapin begitu. Mungkin kalo di sini udah diteriakin, “laris laris, beli dong!”, setidaknya bingung. 😆
  4. Tentang martabak lagi: di Jogja kemarin saya nganterin beberapa temen orang asing + Indonesia jalan-jalan. Salah satunya ngidam(tm) martabak jalanan. Maka belilah kami martabak dari mas-mas yang jualan di dekat tempat mereka nginap. Belinya martabak spesial pake sosis dan jamur jumbo, pokoknya yang paling besar dan paling mahal buat mereka, beli dua! Bikinnya terasa lama, soalnya kami musti pergi ke tempat lain buat acara selanjutnya. Lalu setelah jadi satu, ebuset ternyata besar banget. Saya bingung, ini mereka (lima orang, plus saya plus teman bapak yang nyopirin) bisa habis ga. Elhadalah, beberapa jam kemudian dua martabak jumbo itu habis. Dan itu mereka masih pingin nambah martabak Italia aka pizza, jumbo dua juga. -_-

The Recent National Strike and Me

Yesterday in Indonesia, many doctors (as in medical practitioners) were on strike to show sympathy towards one of their peers who was sentenced for imprisonment due to malpractice accusation…or something like that. One of the consequences was that many patients did not get immediate treatments. People in social media, I believe, talk about this issue, as noisy as what can be expected from social media (although I am quite lucky for my decision years ago to only select a few whom I will view regularly, so the noise I received is reduced to some extent). But that’s all that I know. Actually, to be honest, I do not in general have any interest on the issue, since [it has little to do with me], and even if so, I cannot think of how I can contribute to solve the problem.

Except for one thing.

My mother is a psychiatrist, and somehow I have a little feeling that those who cursed the doctors yesterday also cursed my mother. I was thinking of calling her, but my father called me first, so I used that occasion to talk to my mother, whether she and her colleagues joined the strike, how it was doing in the hospital, etc.

Well, I don’t want to write too much here about what she said, but I was glad that she was OK. 😛

Lighting Business

“Daddy!” I called him last week.

“Daddy, I found one lamp, one antique lamp, which looks wonderful, and may look good for our house. Take a look at this photo…*sending e-mail*…how do you find it?”

“Well, son,” he replied, “it indeed looks good…and indeed it is your right to choose a good lamp for you. But are you sure that it can match other lamps in our house? You know that our house is very old and have a very Javanese atmosphere.”

“Yeah, I know, Dad, that a Javanese-style lamp might fit better…but I am in Singapore, how can I find Javanese lamp sellers here? My network contains mostly locals–Chinese, Malay, Indian, you name it–and some more from other countries. If I should go for the ‘perfect fit’, I should just return home, right. And to be honest, I want to have some foreign touches to a little bit diversify our house. You can see that the houses in our neighbourhood; no, our hometown, are very local. We are not global enough, and in fact that is why I started my journey to go abroad.”

“No no no. Son, I am fine if you look for a foreign-style lamp. But you have to know that this lamp has to match our electricity configuration and house style. Our concern is still compatibility. The lamp does not need to be of Javanese style, but it has to fit a Javanese atmosphere here. You don’t want the lamp to explode or fall to our heads, right?” *laugh*

“…Hahaha, yes, I  agree with you on that thing Dad. That’s the scary thing. I don’t want our house to explode because of a single lamp…”

“…and I have to be honest with you: based on my experience, the style of the lamp in the photo is not generally suitable for a Javanese house like ours. Well, I am not saying that all lamps which fall under this category are not compatible, no. Some are compatible (I have seen some), but not all. Heh, even some Javanese kind of lamps are also not suitable for us. If you really want foreign style kind of lamps, why don’t you look for such and such styles?”

“…Dad, my network is limited, and lamp with those styles are very rare here…”

“Well, I understand that…”

“…Dad, I am scared now. Actually I have doubts as well about that lamp…*explaining such and such doubts*…and that’s why I haven’t made any enquiry.”

“It’s OK. It’s just an enquiry, so if you think the lamp looks good, go for it: contact the seller and ask things about the lamp. I just have to warn you: 1) do not, I repeat, do not say prematurely that you want to buy it, and 2) do look around as well. Take a look if there are actually lamps which actually are more suitable.”

“Yes Dad, I undestand that. The thing is this…if it turns out not to be compatible, it is easy. I can go to other sellers in my list,”—I do make a list!—“but what if it looks compatible? Can I proceed with the paperwork? Because I can’t help to think about it (I mean the above things), and if you don’t like the style at all then I better don’t enquire at all, right? Waste of energy.”

“Well…”

***

I forget the rest. Well I can just ask him though. Anyway, my hope is actually simple: to find one lamp which I can use not only to brighten my room, but also other rooms in my house. But given my journey, this turns out to be not so simple. I have been dreaming, since I was a kid (probably about 14 or so) to have my own lamp someday. But I always failed in the past. Now that I have gained some knowledge on electricity and lighting art as well as some skills in business negotiation, I want to try it again, but my past failures make me very very careful now. Doing lighting business is quite tricky (and I do speak in understatement): one day you might find a lamp is good, another day you don’t. You may suddenly decide that one lamp does not fit your house style, but the seller may think that you are a perfect buyer (well lamps are precious!), and ha! Drama. I have seen some friends’ lamps crack, fall, or even burn an entire house because of these things, and these add up the worry. On the other hand, I saw some friends—or competitors, depending on your point of view—find their lamps so easily, to the point that I wonder, are those lamps really fine for their households?

Anyway, if a good situation arises, I have to make my enquiry. I have concerns, a lot of concerns, but apart from being constantly tied to computers (because of my job), I think solving compatibility issues is another thing I am “trapped with” in my entire life, as I want to visit many countries and broaden my knowledge on different styles of lamps. I have to face them and solve them. For now, at least I am glad that I (think I) have been given a green light.

Interfaith Relationships and Interoperability: An On-Progress Concept

I don’t know why last night (i.e. several hours ago) I found my mind stumbling with the mystery of interfaith marriage, an issue very personal to me (but that’s another story™). A building block had been established as early as [the end of 2009], possibly even earlier. At that time, however, my view was rather based on emotional observation, immature idealism, and narrow view. Those who know me personally know what happened next, but that’s also another story™. Nevertheless, considering how ideas actually evolve and how a man develops, it was somehow normal. Now, I have learnt more, and what I want to write here is a development of the previous idea.

Now I truly understand that interfaith relationships are a VERY HARD concept (pardon me for the capitalisation). Even regular relationships are already hard, considering how two persons under the same umbrella can actually have totally different world views. Never mind extremely conservative ideologies, never mind the fundamentalists, never mind social taboos. In liberal societies, judgments might be far and between, and more religious clerics may be willing to give blessings in interfaith wedding ceremonies, but interfaith relationships are still VERY HARD (again, pardon me). I observe the following things.

  1. A religion in itself is a system with a clear(er) boundary. You either profess or you do not. Although different religions can share the same golden rule, in details, one religion’s view can contradict another’s. This is as opposed to ethnic and cultural backgrounds, which can be blurry, to the point that a friend of mine could say that he was 25% Malay, 25% Chinese, 25% Sundanese, and 25% Batak, although he identifies himself more as a Malay. This is also different from how religions can adopt elements of local culture, like me bearing the labels “Javanese” and “Catholic” at the same time. And even “Indonesian”, for that matter. I cannot see how one can hold more than two religions at the same time without creating a new world view. If you know, please enlighten me.
  2. I now see marriage not only happen between two persons; it also ties the knots between their two families. In this situation, complexity raises by numerous folds, as an additional one person to consider rises the problem’s dimension, eventually creating an [explosion]. While you might be able to make common grounds with your partner, it might not be the case with your in-laws. You may not communicate with them regularly, but even one rare fundamental disagreement with them can spread to you and your partner.
  3. Some problems might be due to lack of preparations by the couples themselves. Love blinds. Add immature decision making, couples might not talk intensively about their differences, and a time bomb is on the make. Even after considering a lot of things, lots and lots of them, eventually in your marriage, you might face a situation which you never thought of before.
  4. Interfaith couples are more likely to divorce [link].
  5. (I might add more later on)

Therefore interfaith relationships in their nature are VERY HARD. I have to be honest: the way I see it, interfaith couples are very likely to be depressing. They are risky and relatively unstable.

***

But there is actually a chance for interfaith relationships to work, right?

For some couples, they do work. I have aunts and uncles who have such marriages. So, is there a formulation to increase global happiness for interfaith couples? Ethnic differences in the past might be obstacles to marriages, but it seems to me they are less so nowadays.

I think I see something from my Computer Science background which can help. The keyword is [Interoperability], which is a study on how different systems can work together and maximise their (united) performance.

The thing is, I am not really familiar with Interoperability. I don’t know advanced concepts, and I am not aware of their current status. I can only say, based on my experience on doing research making use of different libraries, three things.

  1. There are a lot of conflicts. On one occasion, I gave up using one very famous library (let’s call it L1), free but closed source, because the provided libraries were not built with the same configuration as another library (let’s call it L2) which is more fundamental to my code. L1 was built with Multithreaded option (/MT), L2 was with Multithreaded DLL (/MD). L1 doesn’t support L2’s configuration, and vice versa. L1 and L2 broke up and eventually I found an alternative library (L3) which has the same purpose as L1 and can be integrated to the system. Now, what can make a happy ending possible for the relationship between L1 and L2? Either 1) L1’s developers publish L1’s source code so that I can use L2’s configuration when building L1, or 2) I join the company who makes L1.
  2. There are also a lot of gives-and-takes. By a lot, I mean a lot. While a library can provide a very fast implementation of an algorithm, it might lack performance for other algorithms, or they might not exist at all, the solution of which you have to implement yourself. Also, while I aim for as strict abstraction as possible, such that I only allow library-specific code in a wrapper class, it can simply be beyond reach at times. For example, the interfaces to save a data structure in different formats are very different, and I am not sure how I could have a unified access to both formats. Since it lies well down below in my priority list, currently I had library-specific codes inside the main project, with a hope that the future me can move it to the wrapper.
  3. Solving differences and dependencies can be very tough, especially if solutions are obscure, not readily available, or beyond your knowledge and reach when the situation arises. Be mentally prepared, and do give a lot of time for it. Are you willing to dedicate your entire life just for your interfaith marriage, with the possibility of giving up some other dreams of yours?

I do not currently have any idea whether there is a good or bad conclusion for this, or even if it is conclusive at all, but I hope someday I can continue to develop this framework.


lambrtz looks like this

Me

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