Bangkok, Mama, Papa, Syafiq

A New Chapter: Daycare

We are on our first week of Sya’s daycare journey. The hardest part, I believe. It’s the second experience, indeed. Somehow it doesn’t make this second time any way easier than that of the first one. Let’s simply say that we are on the different circumstances. I mean, this time around and about 8 years ago.

It is worries galore.

We are worried about his meal. He is in a public daycare run by a local. Yes, we had made it clearly understood that Sya is a moslem.  Yes, Sya is not the only moslem toddler there. Yes, the daycare doesn’t serve pork to the kids and serve halal-certified chicken. Somehow this worry is just lingering around.

We are also worried about Sya’s language development. He hasn’t mastered Bahasa Indonesia (he speaks a sentence in two words, communicates well, has a very good vocabulary, somehow he’s just two years old toddler. There’s a so much more he needs to learn), yet he has to communicate in Thai with his sitters. How will he deal with it?

Sya always knows how to make the outsides see he has done good, and only shares his not-so-good-things with his family. His sitters said that his progress is good, less crying day by day, and he sleeps and eats well during his time there. Somehow, we witness how he copes with his sadness and fears each time we bring him there in the morning and pick him up in the noon (Sesedih apa melihat bocah yang sedih dan gelisah selama di gendongan  dalam perjalanan ke TPA, terus sesampainya di sana langsung jadi anak tegar yang tanpa nangis pindah ke pangkuan pengasuhnya dan mengucapkan selamat tinggal sama orang tuanya, coba?).

Oh, why the gene is inherited and expressed in you, Sya?

It’s hard for us, but I know it’s so much harder for him.

Why does a child have to suffer in the name of his parents’ choice?

In the end of the day, I am realized this is not the first time for us. We had survived it before. I know how it is played. I know how it will be rolled. Sya will be fine. He will cope it better than I thought. He is stronger than I expect. Yes, ye will turn out fine. InsyaAllah. Just like his sister years ago. May Allah help Sya through this, as we have done our part in the best efforts we can.





Well, well, here is the breakdown:

  • Sya is in 5 pics
  • Soph is in 3 pics
  • I am in 5 pics
  • Pak Suami is in 4 pics
  • There are 3 work-related pics

Somehow, my friend, let me tell you one thing. My life is not that depicted in my Instagram feeds. Not even close. My Instagram is curated, I only post things that I want people see. Just like a house, I only open a window. 

Thank you 2017, and hello 2018. 

Mama, Papa, Sophie, Syafiq

Square One

There’ s a time for anything, i believe. There was time when my world was spinnned around science writing, when Carl Zimmer, Ed Yong, and Atul Gawande occupied my mind (while it wasn’t busy with my primary business, of course). I had so many plans related to this in my mind, somehow none of actions i took then. I am wondering, was i that busy with science writing, or, was i busy imagine it?

After a while i’ve been busy with rumahliliput-hypes only, it finally comes a time when i have a lot of free time to do anything outside that hypes. Those long sleepless nights provided me time to do things useless, of course. Do you know what i do with those times? I stalk. Yes, i stalk in my long sleepless nights. Thank to Instagram (and Twitter, too. Old habit never dies, i guess).

Recently, i found instagram’s account of one i admired for her creativity and struggle to reach her dream. No, i won’t mention her name here.

I catched years since the last time i stalked her in her instagram’s post. She’s just as sweet as she was. She’s just enganged to man with a familiar family name to my ears. And just like that, my stalking journey has officially begun.

I knew that she came from a formal family. Her parents were state officers, and she took a very different path than her parents’. Somehow it’s clear from very beginning that she was raised in a family where education is the first priority. She waited until she was graduated from School of Law before she spreaded her wings, flew away and be who she is known today.

I stalked her family with the help of google. Yes, their formal background would not let his parents possessing instagram account, I guess. Oh, they are retired and her mother run a flower shop.

Sure I was not stop with that. I stalked his fiance, whose big family name. Oh, so he is an aspiring director, a runner, and the our typical of future family man. Lovely.

And so stalked that famous family name. There are television person, actor, restaurateur, philanthropist, and environmentalist there. They love and support each other, i can feel the warmness anytime i look at their pics and read their storiea. They love sports, even the father in his 70s recently participated in a half marathon!

***** **** *** ** *

OK, so, what did you get from this stalking, Tanti?- you may ask.

After did all those stalkings, i realize that family is one’s square one. Yes, FAMILY IS ONE’S SQUARE ONE, i repeat it in capitals. It is the very place where we start, which define our basic color, and eventually where we will come back to, no matter how far we have traveled.

Yes, i know, i am pretty much what my family is. Maybe you see some differences on the surface, but underneath, yep, no need to be discuss further. In my position right now, it doesn’t matter anymore. I accept it, i am good with it.

This rises a question, the essential one. Has i set a family that condusive enough for Sophie and Syafiq to grow to their optimum potency?


Thank You, Cory

Sok akrab, memang.

Beberapa waktu yang lalu saya terdiam saat membaca ini. Sudah lumayan lama saya tidak membaca tulisan sejenis ini, curhatan. Terlebih yang curhat itu adalah Cory Richards. The one and only Cory Richards.

Cory Richards, bagi saya, adalah semacam Hercules. Setengah manusia setengah dewa. Dari petualangan, keberuntungan, hingga fisiknya yang sungguh subhanallah itu. Manusia sempurna. Makanya, hati saya gremet-gremet saat membaca tulisan tersebut. There’s no such thing as perfection in a form of human being, so I concluded.

Saya, selama ini, menangkap citra sempurna Cory terutama dari feed Instagram-nya, juga rekam jejaknya di NatGeo. Curhatan Cory tersebut, terutama di paragraf yang akan saya capture setelah ini, membangunkan saya dari ilusi tersebut. Bahwa Instagram, dan  juga berbagai sosial media lainnya, tidak menampakkan keseluruhan cerita dari kehidupan seseorang. It’s highly curated. I am not saying it’s fake. It’s a part of one’s real life, nevertheless it has been curated carefully to exhibit a certain image. Pencitraan.

Dalam skala yang berbeda, apa yang disampaikan oleh Cory tersebut adalah gambaran pengguna media sosial pada umumnya. Most people capture the best moments of their lives (whatever that best moments definition is), select carefully according to their tastes and post the selected ones to their social media. Dari sini, muncullah kesenjangan antara real life dan social media life. Dari kesenjangan tersebut, datanglah kesepian. Loneliness, there I said it. 

(Saya tidak akan membahas tentang ini saat ini. Semoga lain waktu saya bisa duduk tenang menuliskannya)

Belajar dari Cory, kesepian akibat kesenjangan itu harus dihadapi. Embrace it, and use its energy to do something useful. Cory Richards membuka cerita lamanya, menerima dan menyelesaikannya, lalu kembali ke Everest dengan perspektif barunya. Kita bisa apa?

Sambil memikirkannya, silakan kembali menyimak #EverestNoFilter. Mas Cory dan Adrian Ballinger  sudah di Everest, dan saat ini sedang beraklimatisasi di base camp-nya.

(Dan saya akan mulai menyimak pidato Bu Susi Pudjiastuti sambil intap-intip sana-sini)


Growing Older

It’s taken much too long. To get it right, could it be so wrong?

In my younger years, this sentence brought me down in so many levels.

(It’s a bit funny to remember those years, though. I never knew that I would do that much for nothing, and realized that nothing meant much later. I was a kind of super silly me.)

(I need to warn Sophie and Syafiq that they have to pass their own silly time once. They need to embrace their time when they think that they dive in a deep end, just to realize that it is only another turn to take a break a while later.)

These days, it brings the whole new perception. I analogize it to things that are not related to its original feeling – or what I thought of as it. I see it in a wider view, from a higher elevation.

*** *** ***

Let start with this thought: how could a thing be so wrong when I try to get it right?

Here is the background. It’s been a while that I am in a not-so-comfort circumstance. I’ve been spending enormous energy in coping it. No, my energy is not drained because I do whatever it takes to solve it. I am exhausted because I am just overreacted to it.

There it is.

How could a thing be so wrong?

It goes wrong when I am overreacted to it. I forget the essence of the problem and am too busy with weighing my loss. I place myself in the center, and there everything else goes wrong.

How could a thing be so wrong (even when I have been trying so hard to get it right)?

It is true that I have done a lot, from my own point of view. I do this and that to mitigate my loss. In the same time, I forget the real problem. I left it untouched. So tell it once again, have I really tried that hard to get it right? Have I?

OK, I am over say it, again. My point is, I don’t treat the problem proportionally.

Let’s back to the background. So, where do I go from here?

I know, this problem of not-so-comfort circumstance has not been solved yet. But, at least, I do understand that it is not about me. It’s time to stop playing victim. I am not suffering that much. I am not the one who needs a helping hand. And maybe, I can help the one who truly needs it.

I think I will go somewhere not-too-far with a warmer heart, then.

*** *** ***

Wait, you don’t know the sentence I used to open this post?

(Oh, it is clear that I am that old and fail to move on from my 90 to early 2000 ears. )

(Speaking of gagal move on, here I post a pic that instantly brought a huge smile on my face. Massive love!)


Take That is a five-piece-band again. Yes, they are with Ant and Dec. The glorious 90s boys band era is back again at a glance.


It is from Vertical Horizon’s Miracle, btw.