Journal_pane_8526191568274189

“THE RED RIBBON: The True Story of An Afghani Survivor”

Sometime last year (2018), I had the privilege to recite Abdul Samad Haidari’s poem called “The Childhood Street” at Salihara, South Jakarta. I didn’t know that the poem would be part of this book later on. Reading “The Red Ribbon” poetry anthology is an eye-opening experience. You have to read this with an open heart and mind – and a strong gut. Allow yourself to be transported back in time and place, where the world around you in in total chaos. That’s when a faint hope and a little love ar...

12 September 2019, 08:43 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191568274186

“THE RED RIBBON: The True Story of An Afghani Survivor”

Sometime last year (2018), I had the privilege to recite Abdul Samad Haidari’s poem called “The Childhood Street” at Salihara, South Jakarta. I didn’t know that the poem would be part of this book later on. Reading “The Red Ribbon” poetry anthology is an eye-opening experience. You have to read this with an open heart and mind – and a strong gut. Allow yourself to be transported back in time and place, where the world around you in in total chaos. That’s when a faint hope and a little love ar...

12 September 2019, 08:43 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191567486780

“THE CLASSIC CASE OF BROKEN (AND REBUILT) BRIDGES”

I remember one of the places I used to work at in the past. No, I’m not going to name any names here. Consider this a mere case sample. There was this new guy at work. Let’s just call him Barry*. He’s younger than me, good-looking, and chatty. He was also very loud and friendly. It didn’t take long for him to have finally won friends...and admirers. (Duh, what else is new?) I liked him too...at first. We’d got along okay. I’d even thanked him personally when he covered for me at work. Then th...

03 September 2019, 05:59 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191567161361

“THE PHANTOMS WHO HAD ENTERED AND LIVED AT HOME”

I don’t need to tell you this. We all know that phantoms are everywhere. Life is full of them. When we were kids, we usually knew what most phantoms looked like. They were shadowy, silently lurking in the darkness. Once they came out into the light, we could see well how scary they looked. Big, with mean-looking expression and sharp teeth. Some even had burnt, fleshy skin that had to be hidden behind a cover. In the real world, they’re far more tricky. A lot of phantoms are much smarter. They...

30 August 2019, 11:36 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191566036669

“FROM EMOTIONALLY-DISTANT TO EMOTIONALLY-DETACHED”

Perhaps you have been at this stage in your life before. Sometime ago, something big happened to you. It had gotten so unbearable, which lead to this familiar decision: Distancing yourself from your own emotions. Denying your feelings, operating on autopilot. Why not? In this patriarchal society, feelings have always been underrated. Of course, you can never lie to yourself. The shield never lasts. You will always have to rebuild the new ones. You are forced to think clearly and sensibly at a...

17 August 2019, 11:11 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191565400870

"THE RARE LOYALTY"

Let’s just face it. This is what happens in this reality: Loyalty’s a rarity. You may say I’m being rather pessimistic these days, but please – read it again. A rarity is not the same as ‘nonexistent’. I’m not saying that loyalty’s completely gone. I know people who still believe in and work hard for it. I know those who don’t, calling it stupidity. I’m also aware that there are people who manipulate one’s loyalty for their benefits. They are the worst. No wonder more people are lacking faith...

10 August 2019, 02:34 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191564851316

"WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM BEING PICKPOCKETED...FOR THE THIRD TIME!"

“On July 30, at around 8:00 pm at Karet-Kuningan Trans-Jakarta Shelter, South Jakarta, somebody behind me had dared unzipped my backpack and taken my phone and wallet away. I'd realised then about 30 minutes later. My phone number is **-***********. Fat chance that I'll ever get any of them back. So I'll be doing a lot of 'first things first' tomorrow, from visiting the police station to the bank to the Trans-Jakarta centre with a police warrant for a permit to watch their cctv records. Whoev...

03 August 2019, 05:55 PM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191564285961

"THE PROBLEM WITH BAD JOKERS"

The world is full of bad jokers. They’re everywhere, including someone you know. Perhaps you’re also one of them. What’s wrong with joking around? Not really, as long as the jokes are considered appropriate by the current audience around and at the right place and time. What makes a bad joke? The opposite of what I’ve just told you about joking around. So, what makes a bad joker? You have no idea and you’ll be surprised. Look, I get it. You want to impress people. It’s fun to have them think ...

28 July 2019, 04:52 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191563673552

"THE BEST ABOUT BEING AND KEEPING BUSY"

When you go back to being busy, there’s always the good and bad of it. For starters, you may not feel too happy about putting off some of the things you enjoy doing the most. You know, sleeping, writing, and other fun stuff you may call hobbies. Work comes first. Honestly, I miss writing a lot whenever I’m at work. It’s not that I don’t do the same thing here. I miss writing what I really, really love. You see, this is just one of them. Of course, I can still deal with this. First things firs...

21 July 2019, 02:45 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191561799074

"THE EID HOMECOMING"

He returned home this Eid holiday. The hometown still looked the same as always. Not much had changed for the past couple of years. He hesitated at first. Should he go straight home or book a cheap motel room first? He should’ve thought this through. Besides, he wasn’t ready for their reaction. Some people here might also have recognised him. He hadn’t gone away that long. They could surely tell in just a glance. They might call home or not. He didn’t want to risk it. He went to the cheapest ...

29 June 2019, 10:04 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191561386938

"IT'S NOT ME, IT'S YOU!"

Some people try to deny the fact that they’re actually the real problem. You’ve probably experienced this before. You can sense that there’s something off about them, yet you can’t exactly pinpoint what it is. This is not about those who are openly and rudely against you. In fact, most of them are pretty smooth. Most of the time, they act all polite and nice. Many others hardly notice or suspect anything about them. One of the subtlest signs is from the jokes they make. They can be corny or s...

24 June 2019, 03:35 PM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191560574841

"I...ALONE..."

Thirty-seven years of my mortal life so far and I don’t think I’m that easily surprised anymore. Maybe I’ve already lowered some of my expectations on many things, including people. That is one way to avoid disappointment, like literally. Is it bitterness – or just the fact that I’ve finally resigned to becoming more at peace, accepting reality as it is? Have I gone too cold and cynical for my own good? The thing is, I haven’t given up on my personal dream just yet. No, I will not do so. I’ve...

15 June 2019, 06:00 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191560252199

"ALL APOLOGIES..."

We’ve just gone through the annual tradition of Eid-ul-Fitr. Eid Mubarak, everyone! It’s also called Lebaran in Indonesia. I don’t know if it’s the same thing in other countries that also celebrate it. Sorry, I haven’t checked yet. I only remember vaguely that in Saudi Arabia, Eid-ul-Adh/Hajj is more widely celebrate than this Eid. Then again, correct me if I’m wrong. The annual Eid tradition I’m talking about here is the exchange of apologies and forgiveness. If you have lived here long enou...

11 June 2019, 12:23 PM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191559275247

"POINTS OF VIEW"

How does it feel to write a journal from different angles or perspectives? I’ve never really tried it. I’m not sure how. Even if I have, I may not realise it. This idea simply popped out of mind at random. I don’t know how this will work out, but I think I’m going to give this a try. See how this will work. Most writers use either the first or the third person narrative. You know, the ‘I’ or the ‘he/she’. I sometimes use both when I see fit. Me, I also use the second person narrative. I know ...

31 May 2019, 05:00 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191558453469

"THE BAD BLOOD BEFORE THE BLOOD BATH?"

The bitch-fest seems to drag on and on No wonder the soap operas’ ratings are down Each finds ways to stab their opponents perhaps until all is completely gone What’s with the bad blood? To them, you’re just the big, fat jokes pawns to crash against each other to pieces while they take your leftovers for sale if still valuable They care not of the possible bloodbath as long as they escape the massive wrath and even its aftermath You’ll be just remains, stepped on their walking path Please,...

21 May 2019, 04:44 PM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191558386259

"FACES OF YOU"

This could be about one’s hypocrisy – or merely survival in this society. Most of the time, it’s both. Sometimes it’s by choice, other times it’s out of necessity. Sometimes it can be both. Some people say that honesty is still the best policy. (Oh, really?) Say whatever you think or feel at the moment. It doesn’t matter how they might react. If they’re hurt or offended by the truth (according to you), then it’s not your problem. They’re the ones who need to grow up and just deal with it. Rig...

20 May 2019, 10:04 PM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191558170363

"YOUR TOXICITY"

It’s the environment I’d rather not be in full of such impossible demands and scolding remarks for my lack of perfection This is not my weakness I’ve regained my strength and courage to walk away from your toxicity Good luck in trying to find a substitute to fill the space I’m leaving behind... R. (Jakarta, April 14, 2019)

18 May 2019, 10:06 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191558149238

"THE LADIES' NIGHT: Albens and The Redhead"

I wasn’t looking for romance. I wasn’t into that sort of fun anyway. So, what was I doing that Wednesday night at McG’s – the pub downstairs from where I work? I accepted a kind invitation from Ashanti, this girl at work. “You know what it is.” She winked at me before she strolled away. “It’s the ladies’ night.” Yeah, I do. Free drinks – or should I say, booze. No foods. Not too appealing for the broke and the hungry, but... Oh, well. What the hell. I was too bored and angry with the world. I...

18 May 2019, 04:14 AM
l
love
comment
Journal_pane_8526191557696877

"QUIET"

Sssh... Hear the silence. Listen. You may not have before Too busy talking delivering demands ignoring the signs... ...worst of all, exercising your childish tantrum. Sssh... Don’t talk too much Your ego is too bloated and loud You’re out of touch You’ve asked a lot even with so little they’ve got Sssh... Watch their micro-expressions. Can you feel the tension? Blame them for not speaking? Perhaps you haven’t been listening. This boat is slowly sinking. Sssh... Why is it so hard for you t...

12 May 2019, 10:34 PM
l
1 love: edith26
comment
Journal_pane_8526191557653778

"CURIOUSITY SCARES THE CAUTIOUS"

On my last commute between places on this island, I suddenly had my own train of thoughts. As I stared outside the train window, my mind drifed back to my childhood. Specifically, my kindergarten years. I’ve told this story to some people already. Readers, be prepared. Just don’t blame my parents or the school after this, okay? It was all on me. So, it was the celebration of Indonesia’s Independence Day on August 17. The school was crowded and noisy with an afterschool festival. It was sunny ...

12 May 2019, 10:36 AM
l
love
comment