Called By Name

Sebagai orang asia, kita mempunyai budaya memanggil orang yang lebih tua atau yang kita hormati dengan menggunakan titel: Pak, Bu, Tante, atau Om. Naah… ketika di Indonesia saya memanggil teman-teman yang usianya jauh lebih tua pun langsung menggunakan nama mereka, karena itu memang membuat kami merasa lebih dekat. Meskipun atasan masih tetap saya panggil dengan sebutan ‘Pak’ atau ‘Mr.”dan ‘Ms.”

Berada disini saya pun menjadi terbiasa memnggil mereka dengan hanya nama, bahkan pada direktur sekolah saya. Yang membedakan adalah cara saya berinteraksi tapi sapaan tetap menggunakan ‘hanya’ nama saja. I can cope with it.

Agak canggung adalah ketika teman serumah saya dikunjungi kedua orangtuanya. Ya! Ketika dikenalkan,, “Rie, this is my Mum,…. and this is my dad, …..” Biasanya kita akan langsung menggunakan kata ‘Tante A dan Om A” :p Lidah saya masih belum bisa diajak berkompromi dan yang keluar adalah: “Nice meeting you….” Setelah beberapa hari barulah saya terbiasa memanggil mereka dengan nama.

Seperti juga di tempat saya membantu pelatihan salah satu olah raga di tempat saya bekerja. Karena mereka bukan siswa saya langsung, tapi anak-anak tingkat atas, koordinator pelatihh memperkenalkan saya dengan ‘hanya’ menyebut nama saya… hmm baiklah.. terasa agak janggal, apalagi ketika salah satu siswa ternyata bisa berbahasa Malaysia dan mulai menyapa saya dengan sebutan ‘Kak’ hehehe

Dari perspektif saya yang lebih muda dan juga ketika saya yang lebih tua dalam kesempatan lain, yang terasa adalah perasaan lebih akrab.. Interesting huh..how the way you are called give the feeling..

 

Going Umrah as A Local

Bukan berarti udah pernah umrah pake visa umrah yaaa😜 tapi tau dari cerita orang-orang. 😇

Keberuntungan tinggal di Saudi Arabia dan berada beberapa jam, kurang lebih 1,5 jam, dari kampus tempat saya bekerja menjadi tak terkira sebagai seorang Muslim. Kampus menyediakan transportasi menuju Mekkah setiap minggu pada haari Jumat dan Sabtu. Berangkat KAUST – Mekkah pukul 8:00 dan Mekkah – KAUST pukul 17:30, cukup padat untuk melakukan ibadah pada Hari Jumat. Saya dalam dua kesempatan selalu memilih Hari Jumat supaya masih ada satu hari istirahat pada Hari Sabtu dan tidak terlalu capek kembali bekerja pada Hari Minggu.

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On the way to Mecca

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Bus kampus mengantar kami sampai di Masjid Aisha. Disini banyak rombongan yang menggunakan bus mengantarkan jamaah disini karena memiliki area parkir yang luas dan memungkinkan untuk parkir dan menunggu. Dari sini, kita bisa menggunakan bus Saptco. Abang penjual tiketnya duduk dekat bus paling depan dari deretan bus yang berjejer. Daaan…yang buat kaget adalah harga karcis bus… 2 Sar!! Saya sampai berulang kali memastikan pada teman saya yang mengangsurkan 4 lembaran 1 riyal, “Two for one?!! So you paid four for both??!” Teman saya mengangguk-angguk sambil senyum. Ini semacam bus Trans Jakarta gitu… tapi sayangnya waktu kami naik, semua kursi sudah terisi dan kami harus berdiri. Waktu muka saya terlihat agak bingung karena banyak yang berdiri, teman saya bertanya: “Haven’t you been standing on the bus, before?” Hehehhe… “More than you can imagine, mate!” 😛 Tapi kemudian ada dua orang gentlemen yang duduk di barisan paling depan mempersilahkan tempat duduknya untuk dua orangtua suami istri dibelakang kami. Si suami mempersilahkan salah satu dari kami, dan saya menyuruh teman saya untuk duduk. I’m impressed that it came from Saudian. Bukan rasis tapi berdasarkan apa yang saya ketahui so far.

Kesempatan lain kami tidak menemukan bus beroperasi, waktu itu saat selepas musim haji. Jadi kami menggunakan ‘taxi’. Kami pikir waktu itu mobil dengan logo taxi yaa seperti taxi umumnya, ternyata it was shared taxi. Maksud hati supaya langsung cuuss.. yaa sudahlah, itu bagian dari perjuangan dan cobaan.. 😛 Ternyata oh ternyata…untuk mendapatkan penumpang jadi PR juga karena yang duduk bersebelahan harus sesama jenis. Analogi di otak saya yang bermain adalah ibarat main tetris..harus sesuai baru bisa fit inAnywaaay… lanjuuut.

Saptco Bus, Mecca

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In the bus

Naah kalo ada yang udah nonton film ‘A Hologram of The King‘ ini sepertinya sekitaran momen waktu Tom Hanks takut karena ada polisi yang melakukan random check.

Sekitar 15-20 menit kami sampai di Masjidil Haram. Hari Jumat, pukul 10 kami sampai disana dan pintu depan tempat Ka’bah sudah ditutup agar jamaah tidak menumpuk di lantai satu dan kami diarahkan ke lantai 3, yang artinya putaran Thawaf tentu saja menjadi bertambah untuk tiap putarannya. Dinikmati saja… 🙂

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Kami hanya dapat melakukan 2 putaran Thawaf dan memutuskan untuk mencari tempat untuk menjalankan Shalat Jumat karena jalanan berthawaf mulai menyempit dan berdesakan. It was pretty warm day and people got sweaty. You don’t want to be packed in this case.. 😛

It is a place for your practice to hold your negative thougths adn reverse to positivity karena balasannya instant!

Setelah mendapat spot untuk shalat -ini lumayan sulit- Alhamdulillah kami menemukan tempat untuk kami berdua. Bukan rasis tapi tipikal etnis tertentu, mereka suka sradak sruduk dan gak sabaran. 😦

Sambil menunggu waktu shalat Jumat kami membaca doa, snacking…, membaca Qur’an, snacking… 😉 Pukul 1 Shalat Jumat selesai dan kami meneruskan 5 putaran yang tersisa -tersisa kok 5..hehehe.. separuh lebih jamaah sudah meninggalkan Masjid jadi tiap putaran menjadi lebih cepat karena jalanan lebih lengang.

Pukul 2:30 kami memulai Sa’i, cukup padat tapi tidak berdesakan. Alhamdulillah kaki kanan saya –am crippled– dapat bekerja sama sampai perjalanan terakhir Safa – Marwa. 🙂

Sebelum kembali, kami menyempatkan diri mendekati Ka’bah dan shalat Ashar sebelum mengejar waktu kembali ke Masjid Aisha tempat bus kampus menunggu kami.

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Tapiiii…kami lapar! Naah lihat gedung yang menjulang dibalik Ka’bah itu? Pukul 3:45 berarti kami punya waktu 45 menit mencapai gedung itu, dimana kami bisa menggunakan toilet –I need to goooo..- dan membeli makanan.. Yep! That building is a Mall, Al-Baraj.


Daan disini seperti juga di Al-Balad, Jeddah, para penjual langsung menyapa saya dengan Bahasa Indonesia yang lumayan fasih! Bahkan di Masjid Aisya banyak signage yang menggunakan Bahasa Indonesia. Seringkali kalau ada yang bertanya, dan tahu saya orang Indonesia, mereka akan memuji “Subhanallaah…sister!” Kalo di Al-Balad langsung saya sambut…”Diskon yak!” 😜hehehe

Anyway.. setelah membeli makanan kami bergegas mencari taxi, real one, tapi harus pakai tawar menawar. Luckily, saya berangkat dengan seorang teman yang beasal dari India, yang sangat membantu karena kebanyakan pengemudi taxi disini adalah orang India. Kali ini dengan tarif 30 Sar, dia mau mengantar kami dengan catatan sebelum pukul 17:30 kami sudah sampai di Masjid Aisha 😜

My Take Away

Life outside of the campus is so different. I can feel Saudi Arabia as what I thought I will see and find. The money value wise, it’s a huge different! Especially when I saw the bus driver collected 2-sar for each time passanger hopped in. Apart of free bus we have, taxi is expensive to go outside of  the campus. Indeed, I have two different ‘world’ to live in.

Still… I am blessed.. 😇🙏🏼💙

Akulturasi Budaya

Hmmm…yaa topik ini tentu saja menjadi topik yang paling dominan ketika kita berbagi cerita berada di lingkungan multikultural.

Menjadi menarik bagi saya untuk bercerita saat mencoba mengambil jarak dan menganalisa -hehehe jadi inget mata kuliah filsafat 😛

Budaya courtesy saat mendapat undangan makan bersama yang diberikan melalui email, saat kegiatan makan, dan paska acara makan-makan sangat berbeda. Ketika di Indonesia saya juga mendapat undangan makan-makan dari teman expat tapi tidak menjumpai courtesy disini, yang sepertinya memang lazim. Apakah ituuu?

Awalnya saya sempat agak bingung juga setelah mengundang beberapa teman untuk makan malam housewarming waktu itu, keesokannya bertemu salah satu teman yang datang di jalan (dia naik sepeda motor dan saya sepeda), dia berhenti dan menyapa dengan segenap hati: “It was a beautiful dinner… Thank you, Rie! I’m sorry… I meant to send you guys email but I just haven’t…”

“It was a beautiful dinner… Thank you, Rie! I’m sorry… I meant to send you guys an email but I just haven’t…”

I was like… email? email apaan?? “Thank you for coming, Dianne… Not a problem.”

Dan besokannya ketemu lagi dengan teman lainnya, kurang lebihnya memberikan respon yang sama, menyesal belum mengirim pesan. Hmmm… mungkin mereka kesirep salad Indonesia aka pecel atau mango and sticky rice Thai, atau springroll buatan Lap dari Filipina. yaa sudah lah :p gagal paham sayanyah…

Lalu datanglah giliran saya menerima undangan makan pagi dari seorang teman, dan kami bertiga -teman serumah- semua menerima undangan. It was a very beautiful breakfast!! Karena teman kami ini suaminya adalah kepala sekolah di SMA, dan yang datang tentu saja bukan hanya kami bertiga. Ada sepasang suami istri teman mereka juga yang belakangan ternyata mempunyai ketertarikan riset ilmiah. Dan kebayang topik kita pagi itu… BERAT! Hahaha… Dari kita ngobrol random and light, vegetarian, animal abuse, sampai topik ilmiah tentang DNA dan data.. Menarik tapi berat untuk menemani makan pagi dan kantung mata masih bengkak! 😀

Baiklah melencengnya dah agak kejauhan…hehehe

Kembali pada courtesy… acara makan terasa formal.. hmmm.. atau karena mereka kebanyakan British yang terbiasa dengan ke-formal-annya (mungkin juga sih… baru sadar sekarang hehehe).

Courtesy setelah undangan ternyata adalah menyampaikan kembali rasa terimakasih melalui apapun medianya…email, text, dll… Nah! sadarnya kapan? Siang berikutnya teman serumah saya saling bertanya, “Has anyone sent email to say thank you?” 

Saya: Hah??! sambil tetap mendengarkan betapa mereka menyesal karena lupa belum mengirim email ucapan terimakasih.

Saya langsung angkat tangan 😀

What, Rie?” sambil ketawa… yah namanya aja anak sekolahan…hahhaha

I don’t know that I have to do that… It’s not in my culture, but doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate being invited or I don’t like the food.”

Oh..I see. Then what do you usually do?” 

Nothing. I have said it at the house… so we usually said it at that moment and not really expected to do again after. But I’ll email her today..” nyengiiir…

Trus…langsung flashback… Oooh.. makanya dua teman itu kayak merasa bersalah gitu waktu itu.. manggut-manggut.. 😀

I’m Indonesian…so ora po po lah!! Hahahaha

 

What are the key traits of mentally strong people?

What are the key traits of mentally strong people? by William Beteet

Answer by William Beteet:

  1. Rather be Single Than be in a Relationship With Someone They Don’t Want – Mentally strong people don’t need to be in a relationship, and they especially won’t waste time being in a relationship for the sole reason not to be alone.
  2. They Establish Themselves as Their Own Moral Authority – Mentally strong people are able to withstand public humiliation to live up to their own values. They have engineered their own values, and those are the values they try and live up to.
  3. Willing to Walk Away From Someone They Love – Walking away from someone you love is one of the hardest things. In many ways it feels like a contradiction. Someone who is mentally strong can accept that they need to cut someone out of their life, even if they still, and may always, love them.
  4. Willing to Walk Away From an Opportunity They Want – Mentally strong can walk away from an opportunity on principle. They are willing to say no to good deal because they trust that they will be able to get a better one in the future.
  5. They Trust Themselves – This is a video I made on how to acquire baseless confidence by trusting yourself

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=…

6. Willing to Move if Necessary – They are willing to leave everything they know to achieve their goal.

7. Willing to do What is Necessary – Most people want a lot of things in life but they won’t do what is necessary to achieve those goals. Mentally strong people are able to do the things necessary in order to bring their dreams into fruition.

8. They Give Things 100% of Their Intent but are Free From the Outcome – If you master this you will have mastered the key to being happy. Giving everything you do in life your all, but be unafraid of failure. When you get good at this you enjoy the work, not the reward, which makes it a lot easier to be happy.

9. They can laugh at their Suffering – It takes a strong person to laugh at their misery, but sometimes that’s the only thing you can do to put a smile on your face.

What are the key traits of mentally strong people?

Creating A Path of Your Happiness

This is my first time writing a post with straight away came up with a title. 🙂

I came home today with a very low energy and feel that negativity thoughts are surrounded me after a very long day, and that really worn me out. Problems are stacked up, tasks are piled up, many big rocks so Covey said. I know that to put first thing first won’t be choosing writing a blog as my right choice but the balancing my well-being needing me to do so.

As my payback for bouncing a negative energy telling those lines above, I will share some positive awareness about our being. -Gosh! I sound like a Yogi 😛  but Yes…I do love listening to Yogis or such talk.

Nothing in this world as coincidence… and as that is believed, you can pull all mosaics in your life and try to connect and take the lessons.

Alright… enough with the random thoughts… 😛

The ‘coincidence’ was I bumped into my earlier post that was liked by a reader and brought me back to it . It’s not really giving me the answer for my problems but she, Lizzy, somehow struck me to the point, reminding me again: I will again quote Covey for this… “You create your own weather”.  Yaa..yaa.. you know the term but what is that exactly feel like? How do you know that you really in control for your own ‘weather’? IGNORANCE? So I found this video connecting to next ‘coincidence’.

Happiness is in your mind… Yeah we heard a lot about it… state of mind.. Reflecting on her talk, I think what I did was more of ignorance.. Her analog for ‘mind’ as like a balloon in air that will be easily blown here and there, and that the air is the situation, circumstances surround us. Opinions people say about us, how do we look, how do we talk, how do work, how do we act as we are, what do we eat, what do we bla and bla and bla.. will blow our mind away. Even when we say I don’t care what they say, but even a tiny glint of negativity remain in our mind will crave away our happiness. I love the way Abria Joseph gave the insight of how removing the negativity in our mind. Watch this!

Also if you want to continue on to finding out about this, you might find this video interesting, too. A Yogi talked about consciousness.

I find myself the benefits of meditating and echoing my positive affirmations, things I didn’t practice lately 😦 There is a saying: “When You Want Something, All the Universe will Conspire in Helping You to Achieve It.” Well…It’s not just a saying.

Have a GOOD Day..!! 🙂 coz I am and I will..!

Living in A Golden Cage

It sounds cynical to give analog of where I live now.

As for my previous blog about the compound, after more than six months experience, shifting of perspective indeed occurs. I am grateful for what I have but pluses and minuses also exist.

Indeed, Living in A Golden Cage, I would prefer to say for stating of living in KAUST. We have the facilities what you would dream of living in comfort. We have sports and recreation centers, namely from simply several swimming pools in two recreation centers, fully equipped fitness center, bowling lanes with as cheap as 9 SAR (31.500 IDR) for 1 game, golf course, etc. Marine recreation, from a private beach with inflatable mattresses to slide and climb at the beach, snorkeling with only 75SAR (262.500 IDR) in a lux services to scuba diving (I haven’t tried this one yet). Lots of restaurants are provided, the world famous cafe Starbucks, Coffee Bean, Burger King (I don’t like the menu version of this one here 😛 ), and other international restaurants. We have the privilege of having a cinema (not as fancy but worth to watch for movies) even though the movies will be approx 2 weeks back up-dated from the outside ‘world’ 😛 but I did watched several times. Concerts from inside community who are talented with beautiful music performances from any languages I had never heard the countries before 😛 to concerts or performances that actually invited by the Uni to entertain us. There was Wayang Kulit performance, which was invited from Yogyakarta… What else would you ask for such a facilities?

Not to mention the security wise, the security officers are everywhere on the road and campus area. Speeds are limited to 40 km/h, pedestrians and bikers are prioritized to pass the road, and cctv is in all public area and traffic lights -so don’t you dare to violate 😛 We are spoiled!

Regardless of those facts, stepping out the compound will be leaving all the privileges as there comes boundary of Saudi’s culture and a long commute. So people prefer to step out the country as there are possibilities. Saudi doesn’t have as many local holidays for historical or religious events as there are back home in Indonesia. Therefore, school breaks are time for us to fly away from the cage inhaling outside air. Lunches, Dinners, or any other having meals or tea/coffee together with friends are mini escapes from the workloads.

As for me, Jordan will be where I am heading for the next Spring break… 🙂 and look forward to more of other adventuring places in the gulf countries and around. What else I can ask for more? I am blessed… BUT I miss you… Iyaaa kamuuu… -Hahahahaha ketularan Dodit 😛

Heading ‘HOME’

Home can be associated with any forms: physically, emotionally, or philosophically. And that you would miss your ‘home’ when you kinda apart from it, which sometimes you need to be apart from it to recognise that the ‘form’ is your namely ‘home’.

I had taken a journey of wonder to feed my curiosity and to test myself.

and finding that…

….my physical home is adjustable

…my emotional being has built in stronger foundation that I can count on

…my life philosophy

“Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds, do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff, it will catch fire.”

Anatole France