Monday, March 31, 2014

Hongkong: The First Glance

I always save most of my wage to prevent myself for spending too much of it. Besides my phone, I never really buy something expensive. But then my mom has something to do in Hong Kong for a month, coincides with my one-week-mid-term holiday. I coincidentally got a great deal on the plane ticket, and so I decided to have a little adventure by myself. I was not sure to spend a lot of money for something that is not going to last, but I think I need a time off to just have fun and enjoy the 'now'. This is the money that I made by working hard, so I deserve to spend it, right?

I have never flied solo. I am not a traveler. So I prepared myself for the worst. Luckily, Hong Kong has one of the greatest transportation system in the world, so it's not hard for me to reach my mother's place by myself. 

The city bus

Hong Kong is a very comfortable country for a commuter. Bus, light bus (an elf-sized angkot), tram, MTR (subway), ferry, you name it. Everything is well-maintained and convenient. They are also relatively fast and affordable. The public-transportation users are not second-class citizens,  unlike in Indonesia.  There won't be any traffic jam (at least not as bad as in Jakarta)  because only the rich owns the car,  due to the tax and parking fee. I wouldn't want to use private cars too if I lived there.

And here's my favorite part: I can use octopus card (like flazz card in Indonesia) to pay for everything. I was just dreaming of paying for angkot with flazz because I don't like to carry cash, and I can really do it here! As someone who daily commutes to work without private car myself, I'm beyond happy to experience this. Seeing the transportation system, to be frank, made me feel embarrased of my own country. I really hope Indonesia will be as well-developed as Hong Kong when it comes to the transportation. 

(taken from Tumblr)

But it's not only the transportation. It's also about the citizen's culture and attitude. The Hong Kongese are very dicipline. They follow the rules. They are not lazy. They work hard and walk fast. They run when the MTR is just passing by, even though they know the next MTR is going to arrive in the next 2 minutes. They seem individualist and too work-driven, though, so I know they are not perfect either. From what I heard, most of them are also not willing to have children before they get settled. But even with their flaws, I think we Indonesians need to learn a lot from the Hong Kongese.

Hong Kong is a modern, highly-developed country. The government is clean and transparent. My mom's Indonesian friend who is a permanent resident of Hong Kong told us that the government once had "surplus" and treated the permanent resident by giving them HKD 6000 (around IDR 8 million) each, as a thank you gesture for always paying the tax. Imagine how much the government spend for its citizens! This thing will not happen in Indonesia, at least not anytime soon, I guarantee.

Hong Kong also has a lot of places to wander around and to have a quick getaway. Mountains,  peaks,  beaches, and parks are available nearby if you want to get fresh air.

A soothing view of Stanley Beach

A stunning view of the city from Victoria Peak

A peaceful view from the cable car at Ocean Park

Shopping malls, markets, amusement parks, and museums are also available if you want to spend your time.

The famous Bruce Lee,  found at Avenue of Stars

A part of "Sculpting the Living World" by Ju Ming,  found at Hongkong Museum of Art

"Water Drop" by Danny Lee,  found at Hongkong Museum Of Art

Old Hongkong,  found at Ocean Park

I fell in love with Hong Kong. I spent hours wandering around to explore the city by myself, something that I have never done in Jakarta. Heck, I have never even had lunch at a restaurant by myself before. I love to realized that pulling myself away from my usual crowds and be in solitude has given me serenity.

I also met a few new friends: An Indonesian and Filipino expatriates my age who struggles to survive living in the city and a few tourists who are friendly enough to start a conversation with me. It would not happen if I travel with large crowds or with my family, I suppose.

I should to this again someday: travel with just a few mates or even by myself, exploring new world and observing different types of people. Being a minority, and finding out that mosques do feel like home when I'm away. Those are the feeling I can't explain, and yet I got hooked on it.

Being in Hong Kong made me sure that I really want to spend at least a year abroad. If that's even possible. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


 Setidaknya punya tujuh puluh tahun
Tak bisa melompat, ku mahir berenang
Bahagia melihat kawan yang betina
Berkumpul bersama sampai ajal

Besar dan berani berperang sendiri
Yang aku hindari hanya semut kecil
Otak ini cerdas, ku rakit berangka
Wajahmu tak akan pernah kulupa

Waktu kecil dulu, mereka menertawakan
Mereka panggil ku gajah
Ku marah
Kini baru ku tahu, puji di dalam olokan
(Mereka ingat ku marah)
Jabat tanganku, panggil aku gajah

Kau temanku, kau doakan aku
Punya otak cerdas
Aku harus tangguh
Bila jatuh, gajah lain membantu
Tubuhmu di situasi rela jadi tamengku

Kecil kita tak tahu apa-apa
Wajar bila terlalu cepat marah
Kecil kita tak tahu apa-apa
Yang terburuk kelak bisa jadi yang terbaik
Yang terburuk kelak bisa jadi yang terbaik

Kau temanku, kau doakan aku
Punya otak cerdas
Aku harus tangguh
Bila jatuh, gajah lain membantu
Tubuhmu di situasi rela jadi tamengku

- Gajah, written and sung by Tulus (2014)

The first time I heard that song through my earphone, I almost cried. The 'almost' exists because I was on a public place at the moment. The music and lyric was written wholeheartedly, and brings back so many memories from the past.

I used to be bullied at school, from primary until high school. "Gajah" was never my name, but my friends used to call me names. Names that are not really nice to hear.

I always wanted to look strong, though, so I just laughed about it. After all, my friends still loved me and still wanted to be my friend. After all, I was not the kind of children who get bullied, sit on the corner of the room, and have no friends. That's why, the submissive me kept telling myself that I didn't have to be upset about it. Yet sometimes I did cry at home when I couldn't handle it anymore. Kids are mean, especially around their preadolescence. Most of them can be obnoxious and disrespectful.

As I grew older, I learned to stop caring about bullies. I even realized that I should have pitied them. They were insecure, and they projected it into someone else's weaknesses, so that they could feel better about themselves. I learned to ignore their insults, and to think low of them.

However, even if I never liked it, being bullied helps me be who I am right now. It helps me learn that life cannot be impeccable all the time, and you have to suck it up. Being bullied as a child also made me be protective of those who are bullied. I'm going to be furious if some kids bullied my students, for instance.

Let's control ourselves not to make fun of other people, especially if we don't know them very well. Those people we made fun of is no less than us. Maybe we don't mean to hurt them, but a joke is no longer a joke if someone feels offended.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...