Sunday, August 23, 2009

Unemployed, Penniless and Proud (for Juan)

I arrived at Jakarta Sukarno Hatta, Indonesia, one day before our independence day. I supposed to feel a hint of excitement, good spirit. Alas, a crowd kept bumping against me as if I was invisible. In England people automatically apologise whenever they rub elbow against each other. As a result of a year of practising, I kept saying sorry no matter how hard they ran over me. I suspected this was the reason why I got off from the airport with mild-severe bruises all over. But it was all made up by the scent of food. Real food! Hot, spicy, greasy, strong flavoured, Indonesian heavenly food pampered my taste buds and all injuries were forgiven. This is my country anyway and it just took me a few seconds to get used to the noises, the humidity and the street hawkers who shouted to my ears as though they were sure I had hearing impairment since born (let alone personal space, space only means something extra terresterial here).

In two following days was the beginning of Ramadhan, the month of feasting. It's the month before Idul Fitri (Eid ul-Fitr), the biggest muslim holiday, also the biggest holiday of my beloved country. I didn't realise this until I wrote letter to my teacher at university. "We will discuss about your job after Idul Fitri," he replied. After Idul Fitri! After about two months! Everything is at a pause at the moment. What shall I eat in two months? I was quite confident about my job that I spent my last few pounds of pocket money to buy Chinese food take away in every mealtime for my last six days in Wakefield!

Have no money to my name, now I'm living with my parents. I was trying to get money from them, by helping them run our home industry. But since I was always away for going to university, doing the government employment scheme, volunteering in England, etc. I've never been involved in their business. I am totally clueless to help them with their job. Soon I was subtly made redundant in order to prevent further calamity. Nevertheless I want to keep myself busy. I checked my email every 5 minutes. Then every 2 minutes. When I found no new message anymore, I became a bit lonely. So I checked my sent items, counting how many wrong spellings I made in each letter. It was surprisingly a lot. I must bear in mind to use spelling check everytime I write an email, otherwise it will be quite embarassing (or I just phonecall them to avoid misspelling). But then I got pretty bored to read mails that the message I've already known. So then I checked my spam box. It was more interesting. From Martin Money tips I knew that there is 2for1 offer for NatWest Pro40 cricket tickets,
valid for 16 different matches across England, taking place between 4 Aug and 13 Sept. The tickets cost £12-£15 so it was quite a bargain! If only I knew what cricket is! (and if only I was in England). Then there were also an offer from telemarketing ("Work from home recruitment: You are hired!") and matchmakers website ("Daters wanted: Flirt with sexy singles"). How do they know my email address? I believe they sent these mails randomly because I don't want to take this personally.

Facebook is currently a huge popular phenomenon in Indonesia, because we can check it every single second from our mobile phone like nervous ticks. So, to be online on Facebook has become a very moment habit. I got into this social network to catch up with friends, besides I have the whole time in the world to socialise at the moment. I wrote on several walls, made comments on almost every status and pictures, sent messages to close friends and searched for friends from elementary school (found it hard to remember exacly their full name, turned out that mostly people sign up with different name). At first it was entertaining. I got responses. I got a lot of responses. But then I was confused to whom I chatted about what, which subject I discussed with who, whose weird picture I made funny comments on, which news I've already passed on whom, who I tagged and who tagged me? I suddenly realise that some questions were similar and I was tired to type the same answer. I decided to copy and paste the answer. I was loosing my interest sooner than later, I moved on more conventional but also more personal and direct device to socialise with friend: telephone.

Yet the conversation sadly went like this:
Me : Hello friend, how are you?

My friend : Hey Ria, what have you been doing lately?

Me : Nothing, I'm just messing about in my parents' house.

My friend : But you're back at home now, right,, not that one, the other one, ask him to wait...yes...errr....Ria, hang on a minute, I've got to go. Could you call me again later? I have a impatient patient at the moment.

Me : That's fine. Talk to you later.

My friend : Bye. See you in a bit.

And that's how my friend saved the world. I hung up and went to see what food my parents have in their fridge.

People say that idleness is the root of evil. That's why I made every effort not to waste my time doing useless things, e.g. picking my nose or teaching my dog to pick his nose. I made use of my time efficiently. Early in the morning, after running to the nearest street market (no, it's not jogging. The most fresh fish only available in the early morning. I always wake up late so I must run before I run out of fish) I will have a cup of jasmine tea and vigourosly do the washing up. Later on, I mop the kitchen floor (I always make a mess although I only fry an omellete) and straightly clean the sink drain (I always forget to put the leftover into the bin before putting dishes in the sink). I will have a long shower and then read my books (pretend to my parents that I am studying). I'll cook the fish for lunch and happily have lunch just after midday. When the clock hit 2 pm I will be a bit tired and full, the sun will be fiercely hot and my room is brisk with the blowing wind. Time for siesta! I will sleep for adequately two or three hours before I go for a walk in the evening, when street-food vendors are alive with various kind of evening meals. I will have dinner with my family in one of this place, prior to watching television. I will read a few more paragraphs before going to bed at about midnight. I have to say that this is a wonderful world. I might not be filthy rich at the moment, but I guess this is what middle-classes like me do on holiday (in their parents' house). Now I can make my own statement: half-idleness is a bliss.


Vicky Laurentina said...

Ria, this is the moment of a quarter-life crisis: being unemployed, single, and almost bored. Hold on, coz I'll be joining your club in a few days.

kristina said...

miss money eye.....btw who is juan? juan fernando or juan carlos? hahaha
actually i envy you..because you have half emptyness while i almost don't have time for myself and even i can't write a new story for our blog lately.T-T
my daily activities now from monday to friday:
07.00 am: wake up because of alarm and then snooze it for about 15 minutes
07.15: in a rush to take a bath and make up (i often can't have a complete make i just draw alis lancip)
07.45: go to my office....
and then.....all day long working until 5 pm or more...
so....i envy you for your chances to meet street vendor and run to the market to buy fresh fish (btw there's no fresh fish here).

jadi bejo kowe isih iso bareng2 karo wong tuo....kan wong2 ngomong nek wong tuo ke semakin tuo, mengko dewe nyesel nek jarang ketemu trus amit2 ujug2 wong tuone dewe diundang YME.
hiks hiks..jadi kangen karo mami papiku..aku wes suwi rak bali...pak cuti sedino wae angel.,..
so..mending half empty yo daripada half podo wae yo? hahahahha

Sri Riyati Sugiarto & Kristina Melani Budiman said...

Hahaha. Welcome aboard Vic. Aku juga baca blogmu hari ini yang baru beres2 dari Pulang Pisau ya. Kagum deh bisa sempet2nya ngeblog dan ngejawab comment secepat itu selama beberes pulang (bawa pisau? jayus ah). Mau pake kartu anggota apa nggak, Mbak?
Oi Kristina, iya, andai aku bisa bantu2 ya. Aku setengah mati bnr2 kangen kowe. Luwih kangen timbang sego megono dan sambel pete (soale wes mangan, huehehe). Makasih udah nyempet2in baca dan kasih komen. Ternyata aktivitas nge-blogku nggak akan begitu berarti tanpamu (ojo muntah2 sek yo)


Sejujurnya, inilah Ria dan Kristina...

Ria dan Kristina, sama-sama punya ide-ide yang nggak masuk akal saking nggak bangetnya pikiran kami berdua. Obrolan kami ini, berkat kemajuan jaman dan menjamurnya aplikasi internet (hiduplah Indonesia Raya!), kami sekarang bisa tuangkan di blog. Dulu kami suka ngetik-ngetik pake mesin ketik manual di belakang kertas HVS A4 bekas fotokopian. Tapi tetep aja kami tidak berhenti menulis. Kata pepatah: setipis-tipisnya tinta masih lebih tajam dari ingatan manusia. Kata Pramoedya: menulis berarti memetakan sejarah. Halah, kalo tulisan kita mah sebenernya gak ada hubungannya ama sejarah. Cuma mengukirkan betapa masa muda kami ini sangat indah. Dan jelas nggak mutu isinya. Jadi, mending kalo sisa-sisa waktu dan pengen baca yang tidak terlalu berguna sajalah baru buka blog kami... Tapi apapun komentar, masukan dan pendapat teman-teman, semuanya adalah cendera mata yang indah buat kami...

Ria dan Kristina (hualah, koyok undangan penganten. Amit2 deh. Lesbong juga pilih-pilih ah...)

About Us

My photo
pindah2..tergantung mood, Indonesia
Sri Riyati Sugiarto (aka Ria) adalah cewek kelahiran limpung..(pinggiran kota Pekalongan)..habis sekolah di SMU St. Bernardus Pekalongan trus kuliah kedokteran di Undip Semarang..sementara Kristina Melani Budiman (aka Kristina) juga lahir di Pekalongan trus satu SMU ama Ria dan kuliah di Atma Jaya Jogjakarta. kami kenal di kelas 3 SMU tapi mo duduk bareng selalu ga bisa gara2 terlalu cerewet dan kalo duduk sebangku selalu bikin keributan karena hobinya menggosip jadi terpaksa sampai sekarang tidak pernah duduk bareng..untungnya kita ga satu kampus :p