Small and Long Chats

Lately, I have been blessed in meeting all sorts of people that made my day much better.

I will tell you the people who lid me up this past week.

1. Dhee and Julez

These two girls have been my dearest friends since forever. More than 10 years, these girls has made me laugh and smile through my days of growing up. We don’t regularly meet, but when we do, we would already have these precious moments that I cannot really describe in words. They have been there for me, at times when I need them. Never have they thought of me as anyone stranger than life, as they have accepted me the way I am today, and will always be. Julez is in Jakarta at the moment, while waiting on her break-through of her digital e-book and as for Dhee, the newly wed and already pregnant, is working her way in finishing her school, also teaching English in a nearby campus in Jakarta. We, three, have reunited after an absence of 8 years. Definitely enjoyed the day in one of the oldest mall in J-town, and continued with a half an hour photo session back in my place for old time sakes. We will be meeting again soon this coming week before Julez goes back to Riau, where she lives. This small rendezvous was a very very fun one.

2. My uncle, Om Iwan (“Om” is “Uncle” in Indonesian)

This is my favorite uncle whose a pilot from my dad’s side.He is one of the excellent pilots of Garuda Indonesia, and has brought many planes from Seattle to Indonesia. (That’s something huh.) He has always been the most exciting, adventurous and kindest uncle that ever lived. When I was still a kid, he would always kidnap me to go out of the city to have an adventure… Whether it was going to the beach to chill and eat barbecue fish and drink coconut right from the tree or even just chilling, watching the latest movie in the theaters. He has always been a very happy person. And as years gone by, we had connected again through the same hobby that we both have, which is photography.  So one day, I introduced him to Toble (if you read my previous blogs) , and we exchanged our love for cameras and I notice he had a hand-grip strap for his camera, which I have been looking for. After a while we haven’t met for quite a while, he says to pick something from his house, and it was a hand-grip strap! AHH!! Awesomeness.

So he told me to drop by his place to get it anytime I can. Knowing that he usually flies off to who knows where, sometimes, to Europe, or Australia, Japan. I would never know whether he’s in town or not. I decided to drop by one day. Didn’t expected him to be home, but as I was leaving after receiving the small gift, he drives in his garage just in time to chat with me. It was nice to talk to him again. Always admired him since I was a kid. Told him to ask my dad to go cycling on Sundays. He gladly agreed to it and asked my dad to join him that Sunday morning.

3. Mba Dinar (“Mba” is called “Sister” in Indonesian)

A lovely working mother of two whom I met because a dear friend Afra, referred me to her as a freelance writer. Mba Dinar needed someone to write for her upcoming website next year, and needed someone who can connect and share her vision, translating it all to an inspirational journey. After all the bbm texts, phone calls, only-one-time meeting, we met again for the second time for a 2 hour interview. If I was going to write about her, I needed all the information I can get by asking her questions of her visions and dreams about her new upcoming business plan she was going to make. That Saturday morning, I had a one-to-one session with her in a small coffee shop in Kemang, and thankfully, we had the place to ourselves, where it was just quietly set up for us both. I recorded our conversations through my laptop, enjoyed and exchanged of common principals in life. She had a great desire to help others and to come across someone like her is very hard to find these days. A soft, melancholic lady with a heart of gold for me, she was a figure of a big sister I long wanted. A person with gave you the touch of words that made you feel good about yourself and never tried hard to please  you.

Our conversations had lifted my heart, my own desires in life. Funny thing is that I felt really connected to this lady that I have only known for a couple of days. I only prayed under my breath that she will be the one of my mentors in life. 🙂

4. Ibu Nuning (“Ibu” is “Mrs / Madam” in Indonesian) 

Last Sunday, I paid a visit to SOS Children’s Village again to also donate my old books and toys to the kids there, and met Ibu Nuning. A lady who has been working for SOS and the kids for 27 years now. I thought she was amazing, her love towards the kids and her job has made me look upon myself and wonder if I’ll ever find that strength to go through this life. Sharing small chats, and discovering that she has already lived without her husband by her side for 13 years,but only because her husband is also working for the SOS Children Villages in Semarang, Central Java. They have this long distance marriage, and still working along fine. She said she prayed every night for strength to do as she was destined to do. And thankfully, until today, there hasn’t a day gone by that she has regret her decision. Every month she will have at least one time to go visit her husband in Semarang, but that she has gone through for 13 years. I can never imagine what she is going through, but I am so sure, she is blessed and well taken care of by God himself. God bless her for her love towards the things she goes through in life.

So these are the people I’ve come across last week, that has given me more meaning to my life. These small and long chats are the fruits of my life that I never replace… Thank you God…

Small and Long Chats

The Small Coffee Shop called “Kopi Dimana?” or “Where’s the Coffee?”

Now I’m going to write you a true story of a couple I know… this isn’t any other couple you see everyday. My urge to write about them was when I actually came to them. Here it is…

As my own personal self discovery still continues to seek its happy place, along my path, at my current place where I work now, I found a sweet story of two individuals who are also trying to make a difference in the world today by owning a small coffee shop with their specialty in manual brewing of Indonesian coffee beans from the island of Sumatera to the islands of the Gods called Bali.

Ary and Ajeng, two partners and crime, set out to show the world how they would make it on their own. They build an empire of friends and colleagues in their previous life and had the ability to work their way through the toughest industries in the entertainment world until one day; fate brought them to a point where they couldn’t continue.  Their days that were filled with the luxury of living suddenly vanished without leaving a cent behind. This could have been the lowest part of your life, when you seem to have it all, until one day it just stopped and you had to let go of all the things you have treasured or even invested just had to go. From material things to friends, they had to just leave it all behind. It was a phase that they had to go through. And like every human being, they fell hard, despair and with no trust in anyone or anything. But they needed to survive this hard-knock life and the only spirit they needed back then, was only to stick together through thick and thin no matter what happen. After a long isolation from the hard-hitting ground, with only their minds to rely on, they decided they would get back on their feet again through these precious beans.

Indonesian coffee always has been one of Indonesia’s great assets. The word “Java” in a cup is also known for coffee in Indonesia’s soil shows how Indonesia’s coffee is one of the well-known coffee in the planet. Its sophisticated taste from the tropical lands has made Indonesia heard worldwide and by acknowledging this, these two individuals plan to make Indonesia’s coffee bloom its scent and taste again in our own country and hoping one day spread worldwide. They thought about how a particular coffee brand have made it to malls and because of its brand, sadly, Indonesians nowadays tend to be more attracted to the look of its brand, rather than the taste or quality of the type of coffee itself. With a dream to fulfill, they wanted to make the people of our nation to realize that Indonesia’s coffee has a much better taste than these brands that have been sprouting out in Jakarta’s and the whole of Indonesia’s malls and plazas. A vision and mission, clearing their minds from thoughtless doubts, they started their journey.

From a distance and corner of my eyes, I would notice their presence near our office. Day by day, they would be sitting with my aunt and uncle who owns almost all of the office spaces in this area, chatting over a cup of tea or coffee, only passing smiles as I come in and out of my office. But as times goes by, I also notice, they also had this 1 small wooden table that only fitted a few coffee pouches and 4 tiny stools to sit on. Later on, weeks passes, they had a few wooden furniture, then came out of nowhere, a bar, then bit by bit, it developed and became a small coffee shop filled with tall stools, long benches to sit on and blinds to block the sun from glaring the small cafe. From then on, I realized that I was a witness to their struggles of building this small coffee shop near our office, so one day I thought, I just had to taste and see what they had to offer. And at my most humblest mannered, I told them that I wasn’t really a coffee fanatic, not like my sister or my parents. I knew what coffee tasted like but I wasn’t a fan, nor had the addiction to coffee or what so ever. All I knew was that coffee could make me wake up for hours, it’s best when I had to work late and keep my eyes wide open for long hours of shooting. So the thought of a coffee shop near our working space, and when work seems endless, I guess, we wouldn’t mind having a small coffee shop with their various of coffee to drink.

My first coffee drink was coffee with milk, sent to my office on a cold rainy day. They offered me their house blend, which they told me it wasn’t too strong back then. It was good. But with a big curiosity, I started trying the other coffee they had to offer.  From Toraja to Aceh’s coffee beans, I tried it all, and I got hook on Aceh and Bromo’s aroma and taste. It suited my personality and mood, and I would always have a good feeling after drinking it. I realized that coffee could be a regular drink for me now, especially because of Ari and Ajeng’s touch in manual brewing, it had a special touch of people who were in love with coffee. Not just making them as a beverage, but also connecting their heart and soul in making this special coffee brew. I guess this is why it tastes different from other coffee drinks outside this small coffee shop. I was addicted. Naturally. And every time, I come to work, I would head straight to this place to do most of my work here now. But what makes it special is because now I get to know these two special people and their struggles through Jakarta’s hard knock life. Each day, we would start telling stories about each other. From their successes to their failures, they have been through a lot which makes it more interesting, because I begin to realize that life is about striving to find your happiness. Tough but still its a wonderful journey on its own. With this small coffee shop and the people in it, has made me become more aware of things I have to go through in life. The people that come in and out of this small coffee shop, is also a wonder on its own. I’m pretty sure, Ary and Ajeng could see and listen from a far, the wondrous minds of each and every individual who come and visit their small cafe and without judging. Not only to talk but to listen to what they have to say and share about their days of finding happiness. This coffee shop has become richer than anything I can imagine.

But again, whatever happens, I think they’ll turn out fine, because they are doing this with their hearts, passion and with a little patience, I’m pretty sure, someone will come up and make their dreams come true. I don’t know what’s in store for them in the next 5 months, a year or so, but if they keep on believing that something small can make it big one day, I think that’s the only thing they have to keep in mind. You may fall hard on things you couldn’t have imagine, but when I hear their stories, I look up to them and their small coffee shop, and I pray silently that everything they had work for all these past few years together will pay off one day.

Mas Ary and Ajeng, never give up hope, cause you both are giving me a great example of how I should view my life in. Whatever it takes, never stop believing cause if you want it that badly, it’ll come by. Dreams do come true when you truly believe in it and the Universe will show you the way.

The Small Coffee Shop called “Kopi Dimana?” or “Where’s the Coffee?”

One Single Afternoon – Sneak Peek

This can be a lot to take when you have only had one single afternoon with someone you just only knew and met, but has given you a vision of what you want to be like one day. This post explains it all. This is something I will treasure and keep in mind. read from bottom to top. And it doesn’t stop there. Dear friends also keeps writing on.. and not just from the “Goddess” herself, but also the husband. Today is a lot to handle, and so I will write it down tomorrow about it. And what really happened on the 7th of March. This is a sneak peak to what I have received that day. Goodnite. Goodnite Universe…

One Single Afternoon – Sneak Peek

A Moment with a Goddess, Dewi “Dee” Lestari

Speaking of Fame and Glory from my previous post, I hereby want to just share an experience I had today, and it really reflects and relates to the post I wrote 9 hours ago to this post that I’m going to share with you. So bare with me.

“Supernova”. A book once recommended to me when I was only 17 years old. I was not exposed to Indonesian books back then and I must say, my Indonesian back then, if we can give it some level, it was Indonesian for a 6 grader. I had no drive to read this book, and had so much difficulty reading it. A dear friend had mentioned his admiration to the author, Dewi Lestari, as his idol, his star, his passion to read books back then and until now. For me, I did not have any interest or what so ever.

I was young and did love books, but only at mere teenage level, where hopeless romantic love story would only make my heart move in ways that even small words of poems and stories came up to mind. Written in scrap books and piles of used papers, I was also writing the deepest feelings of a 17 year old finding out what life was all about. And until now I still am.

Today, another blessing in disguised, had fell in my hands. I had a task to meet the author of “Supernova”. She was also the writer of the short film we are planning to make “Filosofi Kopi”. And our mission was to meet and tell her the development of this short film that was based on HER work and how its going to look like. 2 of my colleagues and friends were ecstatic, but for me, I was lost.

Honestly, I was confused and well, I really didn’t know how to put my face in this, because I knew many and many of my friends who speak highly of her and her books. Her stories had captured many lives, from making coffee shops, or even just having a moment of a father and son. This woman had inspired many but I was not among them (not just yet). So this time, I was given a chance to meet her in person, to see her and have an interactive conversation through bits and pieces of stories that will be shared.

So there I was, driving my friends to pick her up in her cozy warm house. My two friends were complete fans and read all her books, but we also tried to remind ourselves in the car on our way there that we were here on a mission. And that was to send her news about our updates on the project we were going to make based on her short story. So let us not get carried away.

But as we arrived at her doorstep, she was already outside, waving her hand like a princess with the softest smile I could see. My friend, Ipang, was already sweating big drops of sweat, for he was going to meet his idol, his inspiration for such a long time. And I think I could feel the tension that he could just faint at the fact that he was at her house to see her and shake her hand. She enters my car with a smile of fairytale princess and we were headed to the nearest restaurant to have our little chat that ended up to a 2-hour conversation.

We shared our ideas for her short story that will be transformed to a short film and the development we were processing. She was moved. She enjoyed our ideas and thought it was a great plan to start and share. It was a success for our mission. But later along the little bites that we had through our meals, we ended hearing stories of this humble writer about her reasons and her way of capturing ideas were made in her mind. She was a woman of great passion but with this lightness I cannot explain. She had nothing to hide, her senses were all clear and she spoke of the truth about life. She had been inspired to write in search for the meaning of God and the search for identity. From the moment she spoke this, I was speechless, I found out, she already knew what her life was all about, and it was through her writings that made her feel alive and her search seems endless. The thoughts in her mind she says, were all there, it is only the moment where you need to use a lasso rope to catch it and then make it to a piece of writing in order to be shared. And that was the loveliest message I could hear from a person with big eyes of truth and straightforwardness. Elegantly, she tells the stories of how she was in a trance to writing her stories and that made her feel like another person in another world, and also because of such depth, she too could also feel as if the characters that she had made could be brought to life as if they were with her at that moment. See? A woman so driven with such grace, she awed me. Not because of her books, but for the person she was. And what she believed in. She was a person with a purpose and she is not asking too much of anything but basically she only wanted to share her ideas and creations through her writings, it ended up people looking up to her and seeing her as a flawless human-being. This was fame and glory that was given to her, without her not trying too hard, and that I admire so. But maybe again through time, eventually fame and glory will come across us one day, and we are able to choose whether does it really matter that much or it is something that goes by. And that would take a maturity phase first to come across that, I guess. To stay humble and great at the same time, is not very easy thing I guess… but when the moment she sat there with her conversations filled with dreams, she was particular a goddess which means “Dewi” in Indonesian to me.

I’m sure, many of you would know her more than I do, (who am I? haven’t even read most of her books just yet) but for me, I’d like to say, I am blessed to have engage a small moment of truth from the eyes of a beautiful and loved writer of Indonesia. Her thoughts and views today had made me felt strongly of how I felt about life and passion and now I know what to do. And I know it is to write more stories and keep on imagining for it will touch the hearts of its readers if it is truly from your heart.

Thank you mba Dee, you are an inspiration and I do hope we will meet again in the near or far future where I have read all of your books and have understood all the writings you have made that capture the hearts of our young hearted souls. The Universe has conspired me to meet a writer today in order to live my dreams. Thank You Universe.

A Moment with a Goddess, Dewi “Dee” Lestari

sds001-A Day with Ilma Dina 001

Ilma Zie 's Day Out

Today, i spent my day with Ilma Dina, one of my bestest buddies… since right now i’m not doing anything in particular, and looking for a job… i thought, maybe a little meeting with this lovely girl would be nice.

My day with her was lovely… sometimes i can’t really believe that we have known each other for 3 years now, and well, our story went way back when we were a birthday party and eyeing on a pizza that hasn’t been touched by anyone, and looking over at each other asking the same question, “Who’s pizza is this?” After a long pause without a word from anyone near us, we decided, “Oh well,” and YUMM! We took our slices and laughed.

She was the girlfriend of my friend from my faculty and also a great friend to my boyfriend. AND now, they tied the knot and she is married to our friend and has been a great and lovely friend on mine too. Ever since we liked to talk and meet up.. and well, it was like we knew each other for years… hehehe… We sometimes like to exchange life stories and questions that sometimes we too, don’t even know the answer to them. But its fun how we can find comfort in a friend to just talk, or maybe just listen. And no, we don’t meet often, but i know i have her in my heart, and that i know she’ll be around to talk and make me laugh.

So today was fun, we ate burgers for lunch.. added with a few lessons on how to operate a blackberry, which i’m so so dumb about. hahahaha… and  then went to gramedia bookstore to buy something, and she took me home. didn’t really did much, but i had fun.. really fun… Always a pleasure to have a day with her.. 😀

here is a pic of her and me…

sds001-A Day with Ilma Dina 001