Guessing

Guessing, Beloved,
The least inaccurate points
Of mangosteen seeds—

lovely sweet manggis (mangosteen in English) – no child at my time disliked this fruit, to eat and to play guessing game – we children liked to go to Nasikah’s house to enjoy free mangosteens in harvest time 😍
how many seeds are inside? 5? 6? 6 of 1 big, 4 medium and 1 small!
inaccurate! it’s 5 of 1 big, 3 medium, 1 small! 😆

That’s what we call “tebak buah manggis”, guessing game to decide whether the number of sections at the bottom of the fruit accurately matches the number of seeds inside. Mostly matching, yet this time it is not! 😆 Life is sometimes unpredictable even with good database; anomaly is a rule whose patterns are not yet formulatable oops formulated by human beings — please excuse my English, I’m not a native. 🙃

Like someone we love. We thought they are 6, in fact they are 5.

Fair enough to say: seldom expect accuracy in estimation; better be sufficiently into the least inaccuracy so it won’t drop one down to abyss when finding inaccurate things. I’m trying to be wise as myself for myself about myself. 🥰

Oh dear, mangosteens!

Playground

Playground, Beloved,
Where crickets find the shelters,
Light heart run around—

Back to my playground — am I the crickets hiding from the stomping feet of the children playing? Or the the light-hearted children stomping their feet around?

Comfort comes in different ways to different people.

May all beings be happy.

Pulau Jerejak, a name in the bucket list forever and never getting approval for a visit from anyone meeting me in Malaysia — I’m sometimes a cricket in this playground 🤓

Prime Crime

Partners in crime, Love
Sail from torii to torii.
A ship of good friends—

Fushimi Inari Taisha, our favourite shrine has its duplicate in Singapore 😘 being with partner in crime is always prime time 😂 thank you!

Little Bird

Little bird, dear love,
Telling her to soar then go home
To where her heart is—

Home. Is it a what, a who, a whom, a whose, a which, a when, a where or a how? She knows hers and it doesn’t always the same as others’. 💝

shared rice with a little bird in Cointrin Airport before boarding for Amsterdam then home – a trip worth doing she should repeat 🥰 …

Surprise

Daruma city
You’ve witnessed left eyes were drawn.
Wish me the right ones.

A group of people in Takasaki wished me a happy birthday in an online meeting. A real surprise that made my day! I almost cried of happiness! 🥺

This evening one of them went back to Tokyo and she sent me messages with photos taken in Takasaki station. Another sweet surprise!

ありがとうございます, AWさん。また来年お会いしましょう!

Looking forward to a set of daruma dolls of different colours I ordered from Amazon (because of cancelled plan to buy them in its original city). Not a real surprise but hope the dolls give me a little shade of surprise! 🤩

Salaam.

daruma doll in Takasaki station sent with a message “Happy birthday, Rike. Come on draw my eyes!” 😂
“Enjoy!” another message with another photo 😂

Dream Home (lunch break)

Dream home, Beloved,
Sitting with all senses on,
Capturing moments—

Lunch break + very very heavy rain = early wish of birthday getaway to come true!

sitting here while writing a bunch of love letters to whomever I want – 2023
long chat in Ubud – 2024
tranquil nights in Angkor – 2025
ocean air breathing in Ninh Thuan – 2026
walking in the depth of souk – 2027

To be continued with more destinations in 2028, 2029, 2030, 2031, 2032, 2033, 2034, 2035, 2036, 2037, 2038, 2039, 2040, 2041, 2042, 2043, 2044, 2045, 2046, 2047, 2048, 2049, 2050, 2051, 2052, 2053, 2054, 2055, 2056, 2057, 2058, 2059, 2060, 2061, 2062, 2063, 2064, 2065…. As if I knew how long I will wander around here? I hope to live as long as time is mentally and physically enjoyable with family and friends without bothering them.

Long life, fresh and sane!

Then came the calculation part…. A lot of coins to spend to comfortably celebrate that way in those particular places. Easy! Just need a clover pendant to make it happen. 😝

4-leaf good luck charm immediately wanted!!! to make dreams come true 🍀

Thanks for the rain and daydream. I know there is more than meets the eye! Life is so rich and I accept all the gifts.

Dream Home (ranting)

Dream home, Beloved,
A place where nature meets hearts;
Hearts warmly greet souls—

The conversation with a long lost friend came to a topic of “where we want to live if ending living alone?”

Living in Singapore was never part of my dream. A visit in 2010 gave me impression that I would die of hunger in a week with Indonesia salary. 😁

Now this city is a lovely second home; my impression has changed. I won’t die because of hunger but I will die because of loneliness if I stay single retiring here. I still can’t find enough friends like those in home country. There are three but all of them will retire in Bali and New Zealand sooner than me.

Residing in a landed property where gardening and backyard dining is affordable is a preference, yet I don’t have the luxury of living in such place here. And I don’t want to die alone in a locked condo found rotten after days or even weeks. Oh God, please protect me from such horrible thing. Amen….

F: I’ve always wanted to live in Ubud and it will happen very soon. I’ll open a spa with all traditional herbal from all over Indonesia. I’ll quit my job soon. I want to live my own life as me, no one can tell me to do this and that anymore! No bloody politics anymore! Visit me often! You’ll find my spa super special! I’ll give you discount! Be a regular customer! Hey! You once wanted to live in Thailand?

Me: Someone informed me about a good property in low price near my favourite hotel in Ayutthaya. Yet Thai have controversial life style I’m not comfortable with in a way. I’m too simple, sometimes too honest and can be against those status-oriented that I might not be able to adapt well. Not a true dream! Hey! Actually love to live in Kyoto!

F: You’ll die in three months after you complete second round of shrine, temple and ancient house hopping! 😂

Me: Dying of walking! 😂

What a refreshing conversation! And yes, I’ll visit her spa soon! 😍

Lesson learnt: Will only live with those I love and loving me where home is a real feel. No excuse.

Salaam…. 💝

gebyok – the Javanese teak wood door symbolizing the host’s living in welfare, peace and harmony with nature 💝
angkul-angkul – the Balinese gate symbolizing warmth welcome to guests and privacy of the host at the same time 💝

In Harmony

In harmony, love,
The art, the breath, the weather
With the city vibe—

I prefer enjoying the artistic vibes of a city to enjoying the crowd of its party or clubbing. People’s effort to entertain others through art on the street while at the same time earning a living is more humane than people’s effort to escape from their allegedly humdrum life by forgetting who they really are (my humble opinion).

May all beings be happy. 💝

performer who stunned a boy (and the spectators behind him incl me) with her dance and smiles – I’ll definitely be back to country coded +31 😍
enjoying music in a city corner – should be back someday 😍 (country coded +32)
the literary man on the wall of a city – should I be back to country coded +44?

Dear Lover

Lover, Beloved,
With whom air and joy is shared,
By whom tears soon dried—

Being excited about solo travel wished in near future has made me remember places visited alone years ago. One of them is Madrid. Exciting one! Also ridiculous one! This trip was where I had: Korean food for lunch (my hunger came earlier, while people in Madrid have lunch at around 2pm so the most recommended Madrid restaurant was not open yet), Chinese silk bought (order from my beautiful best friend who was craving for it), lapis lazuli earring studs purchased for €80 (found them only S$40 in Lucky Plaza, might be only IDR300,000 in Jakarta), walking around the same street 4 times to find one place that was shown very clearly in Google Map…. I was lost in mind because of too many handsome faces on the road 😂

Madrid though won’t be a city I will go alone anymore. This place is too romantic to go without a lover.

One more thing, be careful of pickpockets! Too many, too many!

Salaam. 💝

I still believe I saw Cristiano Ronaldo in Starbucks there but none of my friends believe me 😆

Sweet!

Peaceful, Beloved,
Sitting remembering you
In this sweet silence—

Sometimes just don’t get it why Japanese is like that but now accepting it as it is a culture with which a nation is built and shaped based on nature and history; like a Korean being a Korean, a Javanese being a Javanese, an English being an English, a Vietnamese being a Vietnamese, etc. As long as it doesn’t disturb loyalty and integrity, it’s ok. 🥰

Komoro, Japan: it was my first time seeing things were for sale but no seller was present, buyers just put the money in an open box for what was taken; in my country some people would probably take more than what they pay 🤓
it looks not so pretty, but trust me these roses were super duper sweetly fragrant! missing Komoro but I know I will only go there next year – the most “ulu-ulu” place I visited in Japan 😍

Ruined Through History

Forbidden city not.
Imaginary power
Ruined through history—

What’s built on weak foundation will collapse. Lies, betrayal, tyranny, iniquity adorn the strong marble slabs and zhennan wood logs, remembered through time.

Life is undeniably karmic: what is sown is what is reaped.

So satisfying to see time reveals the truth!

Salaam.

part of the Forbidden City – Beijing gave me an extraordinary time of legal short course, first snow flake of my life + of that winter and debris of horrible history 👏🏼

Self Discovery (ranting)

Point zero, my love
Here now, unshakeable ground
After the earthquakes—

I’ve been a full time thinker for the past one week…. Thanks to the physical weakness brought by the virus! 🥰 And here is the ranting abridged 🙃

Life has always suggested me to walk through places where paradoxical situations exist and has made me weigh what life path should be chosen. Luckily life has always sent me angels (fallen angels included 😄) who remind me that life isn’t only about exploiting what’s considered lucrative and physically pleasant; it’s also about exploring what’s wising-up and spiritually enriching.

When I was young; books, courses, lectures, workshops were kind of “subscription” I had to shape a level of mental toughness. Yet there was exhaustion and anti-climax for intensity every now and then (good deed included 😄). Losing faith, difficulty to trust human beings and skepticism to almost everything triggered me to deconstruct my own mindset.

Another “point zero” came and brought a decision to take a course inspired by one friend named Eva (not one of my close friends but she is definitely one trusted human being). I promised to myself that this would be my LAST course to finally be unshakeable me.

I flew to Edinburgh and was driven from the airport to a place called Chisholme House by Mr Brix who became an excellent opening of my self re-discovery. He introduced me to the richness of self re-discovery even before the course started. That was when I felt so lucky to have read Ibn Arabi, Rumi and English literature although not extensively and to have learnt Javanese wisdom that is considered “local” by many of my friends (which I always disagree) as Mr Brix’ languages were using all those keywords in the repertoire from my literature reading and cultural wisdom. Indeed Mr Brix was a “gate” welcoming me to a true friendship or fellowship bonded by humanity.

The course was simply daily schedules for us to an experiencing life or “human beings who work” — physically, mentally, spiritually, socially in connection with their own self, other human beings and nature. Of course the classes was the superb! Collins, Hiroko and Aaron were excellent facilitators and to me they are role models of ordinary yet impressive human being! Collins was a loving husband and father cum the best administrator. Hiroko was a loving mother and wife cum an excellent painter! Aaron was an excellent chef cum wise philosopher! 💝

It was so normal a life that I felt so blessed. We woke up in the morning then took a bath or at least took ablution. We started the day with a group meditation — everyone: the course participants, kitchen staffs, office staffs, garden staffs, etc except those who overslept. Then we had breakfast — English breakfast! After that we started the class; the staffs started their duties. After that we had tea break then WORK! Work meant doing the assigned chores (garden, kitchen, house, laundry). After that class again then English lunch! Then lunch break for one hour. Class again. Mediation again. Work again. Afternoon tea. Personal time (we could go to the hill, forest, sleep, talk to staffs or participants, whatever). English dinner. Discussion time. Free time. Sleep…. Repeat.

Completing the “self re-discovery”, I found that life is like riding bicycle, balancing while moving. I lose, I win. I fall in love, I break heart. I get sick, I get cured. I trust, I distrust. I think, I feel. I work, I take a rest.

Balancing is about knowing the limit. I lose against someone/something but I gain wisdom. I fall in love at the same time I have to accept the unpredictable responses. I get sick then I will be cured. I trust with or without reasoning yet can also distrust because of the true or false reasoning. I think based on logic yet when logic doesn’t count, only feeling of acceptance will neutralise the situation. And, when I am tired, I should take time-out. Just like that!

And I actually graduated with flying colours from many “extra” lessons: doing laundry, washing dishes, house keeping, potato harvesting, making bread, cooking English lunch, preparing dining table, raking dry leaves, going up and down the hills in the rain, walking in the moorland, listening to silence, listening to others’ opinions, identifying and recognising true intelligent people, trusting the right people at the right time in the right place, respecting stupid idiot (myself included 😂), taking a bath in the cold morning, and more and more!

And yes, that was the last course in my life. Ordinary yet impressive, like what I always want myself to be to and for those having in touch with me.

I want to be back there not as a participant but as a guest in the English breakfast or lunch bringing a best friend who deserves an ordinary yet impressive life.

…. 💕

Thanks for today! 😴

Salaam…

farmhouse where participants and volunteers slept during the “Self Discovery” in Chisholme Institute (there are male house, female house and couple wing) – missing the place and good friends there 💝
the main house where we meditate, contemplate, brainstorm, do household chores, enjoy meal and good company during the “Self Discovery”
‘The Monument to Man”: this place is one of reminders for me to stay on this track: a track where life abundance isn’t always represented by or captured through social high class and luxury show off – ‘ve lived among those with abundance yet humbly bowing to the underprivileged – thank you for this decent life 🎀
hi, Edinburgh! I’m sure I’ll be back 🥰 next time with someone I love with heart and soul 😘

Be Patient

Shanghai, Beloved,
A pearl wrapped in gloomy smog,
A dream with no sleep—

Dear World, you’ll get better. Or else, please hide your ugly faces from me for just a while.

Sending warm regards to MZ, RL and other Shanghainese ladies that I know in the modern Shanghai.

Happy weekend!

May all beings be happy.

💝

Shanghai, used to walk in its cold lanes in Decembers, listen to Chinese senior citizens laughing while dancing in the public dancing floor, walk back to hotel with tummy full of food and heart full of joy and head full of next year’s plans – now Shanghai is a hello at the end of the line

Dirgahayu, Indonesiaku ke-77

Duhai, Indonesia. Serupa apapun engkau, kau adalah tempat lahirku. Walaupun saran dan nasehat bertaburan untuk menjadi pemegang status PR di rumah keduaku ini, aku tak goyah. Nggak papa…. PR atau bukan PR passport-ku tetap Indonesia. Hanya cinta dan hidup-mati saja yang boleh membuatku jadi PR atau pindah kewarganegaraan. Selain itu, no way!

Indonesiaku, terima-kasih telah menjadi tempat lahirku dan tempatku belajar hal-hal pokok untuk menjadi manusia utama. Kalau aku dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di negara lain, mungkin aku jadi orang yang bermewah-mewah dan tidak down to earth.

Indonesiaku, kemanapun aku pergi, kamulah darah yang mengalir di tubuh ini. Dimanapun aku tinggal, engkau tetap menjadi tujuan pertama pulang atau liburanku (ya setahun satu atau dua kali deh). Dengan siapapun aku bergaul, kamu tetap warna primerku.

Kecintaanku padamu bukan pada para pejabat buruk yang mengurusi ketatanegaraan. Kecintaanku tulus pada tanah, air, udara, rakyat dan makhluk di sekitarnnya.

Merdeka!

what a coincidence! this number is really escorting me this year
💝
didn’t attend this year’s flag-raising ceremony in the embassy because of this cute virus 💝 next year I will, bismillah!

Journey

Journey, Beloved,
Counting every blessed milestone;
Deletion of doubts—

My personal definition of Australia: where beer is consumed more than water. It might be wrong to others but that was what I saw with these very eyes with no doubt. 😎

hello, Sydney. when will I see you again?

Welcome

Welcome, Beloved,
To where you belong. The home
That keeps missing you.

They are welcoming me home with love ♥️

the I-thought-you-would-have-died-when-I’m-home one 😘
hallo! 😘
the toughest of all! 😍
budding 🥰
😘😘😘
I thought it was a keiki! a bud! 😍

Flowers

Flowers, Beloved,
Dipping her days in colours,
Leaving her in awe—

Thanks God for the flowers around which have helped me much to be in good mood. Suddenly get the urge to ritually pray and thank for all the blessings sprinkled on to me—

Weekend, bring me to Masjid Sultan. 🥰

rugosa roses, tiny dots that entertain 💝
that day was as tough as bougainvillea; 39 degree Celcius! 🥵
crape myrtle (bungur China in Indonesia) not crappy at all
calming lotus 🥰
a bunch of lotus flowers for SGD1.4, they said 😍
lily and hydrangea ♥️
see you again soon, red carnations 🤗