Learn the Goods and Leave the Bads

Written by Mega Ai

It’s been a week since I and he decided to end our togetherness we’ve built for almost two years.

Flashing back the time in 2012, in the same month, May, for the first time, I and he went out together to watch a musical drama. Well, I supposed to watch with two of my friends but they had to cancel it because of some reasons. Since I already bought the tickets, I’ve gotta resell the ticket or it will waste. And ya, I found him and his close friend as the buyers.

Anyway, I and he joined the same voluntary organization in different division. We did not really know each other until a certain program was created and my division had to work together with his division. We worked together until the day we watched that musical drama. So, we had made friends for about a half year when we went out for musical drama.

I never had any special feeling toward this guy until that evening. I was wondering, why I never realize this charming guy within six months in the organization? I saw him as a partner in job. No more. That evening, I saw his attitudes and personality in a better way. He looked pretty cool by that couple hours together, I start admiring this guy since then.

Since that musical drama, our conversation in instant messaging started to talk about not-jobs-things. We started going out together more often. We went out for book stores, grabbing some foods, ice dreams, drinks, watching movies or just hanging out together. Also, travelling, sometimes.

Months later since the musical drama, he asked me one question, would I ever say yes if he asked me to marry him one day? I guess I didn’t give him an answer yet. He made everything’s clear by that night. A week after, I want to make a clear relationship. Then, 25-26 August 2012 in the midnight, we declared to be together. Yes, we made a commitment by that time.

Since that day, there was nothing extremely changed. We were still working together in the organization. Had different arguments about our jobs sometimes, just like before. The only different was actually our relationship status.

I never realize that we’ve been together for almost two years. Time flies, really!

We experienced many things together. We, at least me, learned a lot through our togetherness. We collaborate in many projects both commercial and voluntary. We wrote articles together, made some postcards, did video project, and many others. I do really thankful for the chance to work together with him. It was not always easy to work together as a couple. You have to struggle harder to be as professional as possible, including when you have problems with your relationship. Having that moment, I also very thankful, I learned again.

We also experienced LDR. Can you imagine that we always live in the same city but then we have to be separated 16.000 km away with 6 hours different for 4 months? Both of us agreed that was sucks. We argued and fought a lot during our long distance relationship. Some friends said, the feeling that you are missing people that you love, make you super duper sensitive. It was easier to get mad, to get hurt and cry, and the like. It was a hard time, but we were happy we could pass it and learned a lot during our long distance relationship. After I went back home, we appreciate more our time together. Meeting him again after 4 months was the best time ever. It was just soooooooo relieving!

Well, I can say, we shared every single thing, joy and also sorrow. We gave supports to each other in our hardest time in this life. Again, I was very thankful that I have someone to rely on when you are down. Someone who were willing to be in your side in your hardest life. I was happy because happiness that we had was real that both of us can share.

People said that a relationship won’t be perfect without any problems. We had it, sometimes. We fight sometimes, and we broke few times. Haha. About breaking up, I admit that I am the one who was always easily giving up our relationship.

Some of my friends asked me, what makes me love him like a crazy. Hmm, I have many reasons why I admire him. I could not break down all the values he (who is younger in age than me) taught me. But I know he taught me how to be not very selfish, how to listen and respect others. He taught me how to hold on your principal, being humble, how simplify thing rather than complicate it, and he taught me how to be brave to face the life and future. I owe him a big deal though. And every time I asked him, what makes him loves me. He always answered, “I just love you,”. That’s all.

But yeah, as a human being, he has weaknesses as well. I’d prefer not to mention in here.

Unfortunately, there was a different principal between me and him in regards to “close friend”. I will not force him to follow my principal, and vice versa. After such a long and deep thinking with many considerations, I decided to end our togetherness, for (I hope) the good sake of us. We agreed to separate nicely. We might failed in this relationship, but as a friend said to me, relationship is a never ending learning. I promise to learn from what I went through so far. It was hard and sad. I might get lost for a couple of time. But I promise myself, I will surely move on.

If this guy read this note, I just wanna say Thank you, and Thank God to letting we meet!! It was a great time to have you walking in my path, for a little while. 🙂



Lampung, The paradise of Sumatra ^_^

Couple months ago, someone gave me a handmade notebook before I flew to the furthest country I’ve ever been. On the back of the notebook, he put a quote that I will always remember.

“The true traveller is he who goes on foot, and even then, he sits down a lot of time.” Collette – Paris from My Window, 1944. 

About a month ago, starting with having some ice cream together, I and some friends were decided to have a trip to Lampung, one the provinces in Sumatra Island. The flight tickets were booked at the time we had the ice cream, seriously. Well, it was not that sudden plan; we’ve been planning on it since years ago when we’re still in the college.

This week, we made the trip happened. We, at least me, still got trapped in the euphoria of the trip until today.

Actually, this month was not a holiday; there are even many tasks to complete. But we agreed that we need some breaks. Anyways, this is a break, not a runaway.

It wasn’t easy to decide to go travelling or not. Why? Because we realize that after the travelling is over, that would be the hardest time to come back to the daily routine or some people said, come back to the reality. Hehe.

Minutes before I flew to Lampung, he, again said to me, just go travelling but make sure that after you are coming back, you got your mood booster and happy, not vice versa. I said to him, I will though.

On Thursday, right after the class is over; I catch up with the other friends in the airport. We look forward to see Lampung and one of our friends there. Yes, we have a friend there. The magnetic power from him was so strong so that make us excited to be there.

The very first time we stepped on our feet on the land of Lampung, I was just speechless. It wasn’t the first time for me to be in the other island of Java, but still, it feels amazing to be in the other island.

We went around the city and enjoyed the night until the day we went through the sea to touch down the other island in Lampung. It’s gonna be my third time to be somewhere in an island after karimun jawa and tidung island. And you know what; my excitement was always being like the first time for me.

At night, we made a bonfire and baked the chicken. A big struggle to have this chicken cooked but we satisfied with what we made. Yay!

In the morning, we are ready to explore other islands and do snorkelling. We went to balak island which was very very very beautiful and there is only us. It feels like, this island is belong to you. It brings you peaceful and nemo to see!! Yes, we saw nemo!!

Continue to pahawang island, it brings you even more excitement. There was one spot which gives you the best underwater scenery ever! I would never forget.

We are going back to the city and plan to do some culinary. Like a crazy, we eat every single thing. We eat too much. This come to a result, one of our friends got serious stomach ache and we have to bring him to the emergency at the time we have to go back home. It was a hard time, but then we decide to delay our departure to go home. On the last day, we were staying on the hospital. Everybody’s tired. But I personally feel that my happiness to be in this trip was much bigger than the tiring I feel.

Magic happens! It needs only one day to be fit again! We spent our last day enjoying the city from a high place, eating ice cream and delicious food, and spending more time with his family. Last day was just too perfect! If there’s no class coming in, I would probably stay longer. I wish. Haha!

Anyway, this trip makes us happy, but meeting him and his family was even making us happier. I have to say thanks a lot to him and his family (especially his cute nephews and niece) to let us know the life and the culture of people there. It’s worth more than everything. Also, thanks to all my best friends in this trip. Thanks for happiness you shared. I am happy.

This is a note for the trip, hopefully next time, the complete story of the trip can be written as well. This is my story, others might have different story, don’t you? ^__^


Indonesia Power Shift; We SWITCH!

In each day, I realized that the number of people who start concerning about the mother earth is increasing. Last few days were quite exciting, at least for me. A hundred young people from all over Indonesia came to Yogjakarta (one of the provinces in Java Island) and joined in to the camp called SwitchCamp. It was amazing! Not forgetting 20 people, also from all over Indonesia, who have been working so hard to make this happened. March 20th to March 23rd, 2014, was being the moment I would never forget. Hundred youngsters sat aside to learn, to discuss, and to share knowledge, ability, and spirit for a better environment. 

Switch Camp was opened with an art performance, speech videos from Bill McKibben (350), Zeph (350 Philippines), Hong (350 Vietnam), Liangyi (350 Northeast Asia) and also speeches from Syaiful (350 Indonesia) and Natty (350 East Asia). 

This camp is divided into 3 (three) agenda: plenary sessions, track sessions, and regional session. In the plenary sessions, the speakers deliver information and knowledge about fossil fuel, deforestation, and renewable energy which is in line with the focus campaign of 350 Indonesia. And the track session is divided into 4 (four) smaller groups, which are artivism (art & activism), media and communication, creative resourcing, and non-violent direct action. The speakers are all the experts on those fields, the practitioners, and also the activists. In the regional session, the participants are divided into 3 (three) groups based on their focus interest in regards to 350 Indonesia’s focus campaign.Therefore, as the output of this regional session, we have at least 3 (three) action plans in fossil fuel, deforestation, and renewable energy issues. 

There was also a tour during the camp to visit an eco-friendly village in the southern part of Jogjakarta named Poncosari. Poncosari is struggling to be an energy independent village. Wind turbines and solar panels were installed to produce electricity. And three biogas digesters are fully functioned to fulfil community needs for gas.

It is NOW possible to switch from fossil fuel to renewable energy. This village has the proof. On that day, we brought up the message to the nation and the world. We demand “Energy Sovereignty”. Indonesia is rich in renewable energy resources; the sunlight, wind, water, geothermal, etc., but the effort to exploit the sources are not well supported yet. In fact, most of power plants in Indonesia produce dirty energy, more than 60%, from the fossil fuel. That day, youth reps from all over Indonesia were agreed that renewable energy should replace fossil fuel and coal based electricity for more sustainable environment. 

At the same time with our visit to Poncosari, we also commemorated the International Day of Forest on March 21st, 2014. It was a big day for us to stand up against deforestation because as a matter of fact, deforestation was also the real impact of coal mining expansion. 

Now, hundred young people in all over Indonesia are preparing to make those actions plans happened. Anyway, we are ready to SWITCH. What about you? -Mega- 


Behind the Scene: Switch Camp 

I am not going to tell a lot about the process. This is just a personal reminder. About the environment. About hope. About cooperation, responsibility, and also about heart. 

For me personally, meeting the younger generation seems to see my own self. My own self in the past. Whether it’s about what is in me now or that has been lost. Or maybe what I ignore and forget to do. The debt promises toward my own self which are then accumulated, and then explode. 

Meeting with the older generation, at least it makes me aware; people are human being with its positive and negative side. There is a quote from my first boss where I worked that I always remember every time I am going to work, “We do not need a superman, but we need super team”. To be honest, I learned a lot from him. It was so short to work with him, but it left me a deep impression. How then to maintain a balance between the goals and keep the feeling well is important. Difficult indeed and each has its own way to overcome it. 

Some choose to be silent, wait, and then act. Some choose to act based on experience, collide, and then fix it. Some choose to follow the heart, ignore the instructions, but maybe become the most aware of the situation and conditions. There also some choose to follow the instructions, keep the heart, and keep silent until the last day. All choose. 

At the end of the story, we have to undergo what has become a promise to ourselves. Integrity. If it is not, at least it closes to what has been spoken. Could be like Shakespeare; kill all of the characters with the tragedy genre. Or just turn it over. Being Comedy. Classical. Mainstream. Hollywood. Everyone’s Happy. Let through what has happened, but still pack the things that deserve to be presented to the audience in the next story. Without having much frowned, but still able to make it interesting to see. Presenting the names behind the scene, and proud of the work they have done. 

Because we choose. Switch. On, and Off.   -Juned- 

Written by Mega Aisyah Nirmala & Junaedi Ghazali. 

Edited by Hermitianta Prasetya. 

Photographed by tigalimapuluh media team 


PS: I still remember the days and nights we had online meetings through skype and whatsapp messenger. I still remember a small debate occurs during the discussion. I still remember the laughs in every discussion as well. I still clearly remember every single step we did to make this camp happened. 

From the deepest of my heart, I would love to say thank you so much for all the cool committee and the participants which makes this camp even cooler! 

Now look forward to OUR NEXT MOVEMENT!! ^__^

Open Market; a small piece of Europe

Written by Mega Aisyah Nirmala

When I was child, other continent like Europe, America, Africa and others are somewhere so-far-away that I probably couldn’t reach in the whole of my life. But now, I see things differently, every impossible thing in the first place seems to be more possible. Hence, touching down impossible land in my first thought seems becoming more possible as well. You might be feeling the same as you grow older, don’t you?

I believe that every struggle will get rewarded and every prayer would be heard. This year, I got a chance to step on my feet in some of the lands in Europe. I couldn’t believe this until I realized that this is real.

I also believe that what I see, what I feel, and what I do during my travel in this other part of the world would be influencing my perspective to see the whole world.

Open Market in Rotterdam

Anyway, there is a bunch of story of life that I wanted to share. But for the very beginning, let me share a story about traditional market. Why market?

I learned how important of the existence of market in Indonesia is. A volunteer organization which concern toward the development of market taught me how market becomes a “place” for thousands of Indonesian merchants relied on their lives. In short, the market and its merchants are the one we fight for. That’s why, market is special.

Not very far from where I live, in Rotterdam, there is an open market called Binnenrotte market. This is the biggest open market in Rotterdam. It also means that there are several other small open markets in this city. Most of the open markets here open once to twice a week. Binnenrotte market opens twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday. The customers of this market come from many different areas in Rotterdam. The activity in this market starts at 8 am until 5 pm. We can find almost everything in here. There are many merchants spread out in around 400 stalls. The stalls are organized based on the commodity they sell. In food area, all the stalls are selling only foods such as bread, vegetables, fruits, cheese, meat, and so on. The food stalls itself are numerous. Hence, the stalls are then organized based the food category. The stalls for cheese (one of famous products from Holland) for instance, they are located next each other. And so does in the flower area, all the stalls are selling flowers, in the clothes areas, all the stalls are selling clothes, and so on.

The merchants in this market make a very nice display toward their commodity they sell. However, organized display will attract more customers and make them easier to find what they need. Also, they put the price tag very clear on the commodity they sell which enables customer to consider what and how many they need to buy.

The merchants always greet and serve the customers with smile. Not few of the merchants and the customers make a short conversation about the commodity when the transaction happens.  

I often go to this market to buy stocks for my daily needs, such as vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs, and also shampoo, soap, and so on. You know, coming to this market is not only for fulfilling your daily needs, but more than that, you are part of the life of people in Rotterdam. That’s sweet, isn’t it?

From the pictures shown, we can see how they display their goods. Also probably we can see how they serve their customers. It’s good to apply what is good in here into our market in Indonesia.


Flea Market in Brussels

Another day, I walked down one of the streets in Brussels, Belgium. It was a very bright day of Saturday. I found an open market near the city hall of Brussels. It was a flea market at Place du Jeu de Balle. It sells antique, old stuffs, and many types of second hand stuffs. We could find many things here. We could find clothes, bags, shoes, kitchen utensils, electronic devices, also old books in some of the stalls. This flea market opens every day since the morning till afternoon. I was there to look around for almost one hour before continued walking.

I continued walking to do sightseeing in the city of Brussels. During my city tour, I found two other flea markets in a residence area. So, I was visiting three flea markets within the whole day. And I am quite sure that there are many other flea markets held in the other areas. Most of these flea markets open on the weekend and they mostly sell daily second hand stuffs.

A friend of mine told me that most of the areas must be having their own day to open a flea market. This is how it works; the people living in a certain area are discussing and making an agreement to hold an open market in their own area. For example, they agree to open a market on Saturday. Then, on Saturday started in morning, the residents living there are opening their own stalls in front of their houses. They sell their old stuffs which no longer used. Usually, their customers are their own neighbours. Opening a market like this is becoming a culture for some parts of people in many areas in Belgium, or at least, in Brussels. But of course, this flea market is also welcomed for other buyers and sellers from other area.

In my opinion, this flea market cultures brings many benefits. First, we don’t waste too much stuffs. Your neighbour or other people might really need the stuffs you are not longer use it. You can get some income by selling those stuffs and the buyers get benefit by having a cheap price for the stuffs they need. Last, of course, the market will give you an opportunity to meet and greet your neighbour, to have and to keep good interaction and relationship with your neighbour.

I think it would be a good idea to apply this flea market system in Indonesia. We can start it from the smallest scope of area, which is neighbourhood (Rukun Tetangga). Of course, we need to keep it in our mind that buying second hand stuffs is not something embarrassing. Otherwise, it is something that will bring you many benefits. So, why don’t we try?