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review

Between: The ‘Couple App’ Review

Not so long ago, my boyfriend asked me to install an application for couple that he found few days before. The app is named Between. Sounds good, I thought. He then offered to install it to my phone–because installing a new app was too much work for my slow phone, thanks to my laziness to move the photos from my phone memory.

My boyfriend’s main reason to install this app for us was because we needed a shared calendar. Being a type A, I often get everything scheduled and have the urge to fulfill the schedule. Unfortunately, I usually forget to tell him the whole plan, and get annoyed if the schedule is not followed. I am the one who needs this, actually. Haha. Using Between, we both will get the notifications each time new task is added. Between the tasks at work and everything we needed to do in daily life, this is such a functional feature. This is like Evernote or Trello etc in more fun form. I love it. Now I don’t have to remind him over and over again about my movies plans and he doesn’t have to tell me repeatedly about his business trip schedules–so that I do not make other plans when he has to work–and our agenda can finally be organized. No hassle, no squabble.

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We put everything we both need to do, either together or just for one of us, no matter how insignificant the task is. (However, for a person like me, there is no such thing as insignificant task). But this app is more than just a shared calendar. This app is super private. It can only contain two users, which in my case are romantically involved, and this is basically like a small private social media for couples. There is a chat app inside, and it’s filled with cutesy lovey-dovey stickers (those are gifs, by the way).

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It also has a Memory Box where we can store photos, videos, notes, etc, and we can see it all in the home screen. Lovely, although I am not sure this will make my home screen feel like home if I put too many things in the memory box.

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To add more lovely nuance, Between also has a events (put-your-important-dates) feature and show it in our home screen. Oh, of course, we can change the home screen to our own photo. Like those cover photos in other social media apps.

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Wonderful, eh?

If you’re attached to your lover and your lives have tangled up to the point you can’t deny that you feel like you’re going to explode arranging schedules, use this app. It’s amazing to have your life finally get back on track again. Really.

But if you’re not that attached, or not really into the guy or girl you’re with (let’s assume we use this for romantically involved partner, though surely you can use this for work too), or this app brings too much commitment (darling, I can see where you are and what you’re supposed to do at what time), or you’re simply someone who doesn’t want your personal space to be invaded, perhaps this app is not for you.

3/5. And that 3 mostly comes from the shared calendar.

Have you ever tried this app?

 

Organized and happy,

Aulia

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taken from Daniel H Gray
Life

Homeland

Saya menghabiskan tanggal 17 Agustus tahun ini di Bali. Waktu di Bali banyak habis di jalan–saya bahkan sampai ke Bali dengan menggunakan mobil dari Banyuwangi–jadi saya punya banyak waktu untuk bengong memperhatikan jalan dan orang-orang. Jalanan Bali penuh dengan dua hal: orang asing dan bendera merah-putih. Hal yang pertama sudah jadi hal lumrah. Hal kedua juga sebenarnya biasa karena masa-masa ini adalah masa perayaan peringatan kemerdekaan negara tercinta, tapi tetap saja saya takjub sendiri saat sadar bahwa bendera merah-putih nyaris ada di tiap rumah di Bali. Besar-besar pula. Bendera di perkantoran Jakarta saja tak melulu sampai sebesar yang saya lihat mencuat dari pagar rumah orang sini.

Lalu saya jadi terpikir soal nasionalisme, Indonesia, dan Ariana.

Ariana yang saya maksud adalah Ariana Alisjahbana. Saya bertemu dengan Ariana tahun lalu, saat sedang di Singapura. Juni tahun lalu, saat sedang mengikuti Singapore MUN, rekan saya di acara tersebut–Mbak Fitri Mayang Sari, pendiri Orang Jakarta–mengajak saya bertemu dengan Ariana. Sudah lama tak bertemu, katanya, dan kebetulan Ariana sedang di Singapura. Ariana sendiri sebenarnya sedang kuliah di Berkeley. Keberadaannya di Singapura pun untuk urusan sekolah, untuk magang di Google sana. Keren, ya. Saya yang anak ingusan ini belum apa-apa sudah terpukau.

Jadilah sore itu kami menyusuri Orchard Road sambil ngobrol-ngobrol. Nggak sih, saya cuma mendengarkan sambil foto-foto Mbak Fitri dan Ariana yang sedang ngobrol dan menimpali sedikit. Ariana bercerita banyak tentang dirinya sebagai diaspora di Amerika. Tentang bagaimana dia bekerja di World Resources Institute (WRI) dan berjuang supaya WRI membuat cabang di Indonesia. Berkali-kali mengajukan proposal (dan saya yakin, membangun reputasi agar suaranya didengar), dan akhirnya WRI Indonesia benar-benar dibuat. Adanya WRI di Indonesia jelas berarti sekali. Berapa banyak sih think tank yang sejenis WRI ini di Indonesia? Lebih-lebih yang memfokuskan diri pada pembangunan berkelanjutan dan hutan-hutan.

Lalu, mengapa sekarang ke Google? Ariana bilang, dia penasaran, bagaimana suatu perusahaan bisa sebesar ini dalam dunia teknologi. Saya ingat Ariana bicara juga soal bagaimana memahami teknologi yang berkembang akan berguna banyak bagi Indonesia, tapi saya lupa bagaimana detailnya. Yang saya ingat, penjabarannya membuat saya terpukau dan bertanya, “What drives you?

“Indonesia yang lebih baik.”

Di trotoar Orchard Road yang mulai remang, nyaris tertegun, saya mencatat jawaban Ariana dalam hati. Tidak ada jawaban yang bisa lebih nasionalis lagi selain ini.

Di tengah pembicaraan saat itu pula, Ariana sempat membahas stereotipe tentang bagaimana mereka yang menetap di luar negeri dicap tidak cinta tanah air hanya karena tidak tinggal di negara tercinta.

“Indonesia juga butuh dikuatkan dari luar,” ujar Ariana, yang saya aminkan dalam diam.

Saya pikir, tak perlu kita sibuk menilai orang yang bagaimana yang lebih cinta tanah air. Toh, semakin banyak orang Indonesia yang berkarya di kancah internasional, semakin baik. Dalam hal apapun. Entah Anda pejabat, pengusaha, insinyur, penulis, arsitek, seniman, jurnalis, desainer, apapun. Tak perlu repot, sekadar berkarya dengan baik dan mendedikasikan karya itu untuk Indonesia (sadar ataupun tidak) pun sudah cukup “berbuat” bagi Indonesia. Misal, para seniman seperti Trotoart yang karyanya di Jakarta Biennale membuat saya terperangah saat pertama kali dengar. Atau para desainer yang membawa batik ke level dunia dan membuat bisnis batik di Indonesia semakin seru. Atau contoh lain yang begitu gamblang bisa juga kita pelajari dari Ariana–yang bekerja di lembaga global dan berusaha sekuat tenaga agar Indonesia lebih dikenal di lembaganya yang mengurus tentang lingkungan–hingga akhirnya berhasil membuat kantor cabang di Indonesia. Hal yang tidak mungkin mau repot-repot dilakukan oleh orang yang tidak memiliki Indonesia dalam hatinya.

Meski, tentu menguatkan Indonesia dari dalam juga sangat diperlukan (saya sendiri bekerja di instansi pemerintah). Kadang juga, setelah menguatkan dari luar pun kita masih perlu benar-benar kembali. Ibu Sri Mulyani, contohnya. Ibu Sri Mulyani berkarier dengan baik sebagai COO di World Bank (dan berhasil membuat bangga sekian ratus juta orang Indonesia), saya yakin membuat nama Indonesia semakin diperhitungkan di luaran sana, dan kembali ke Indonesia begitu diperlukan (dan berhasil membuat ratusan juta manusia Indonesia bersorak). Teladan sekali. Atau mungkin, kalau Anda pengusaha besar nan bisnisnya mendunia, mengikuti program pemerintah yang sedang hits saat ini, Tax AmnestyAmnesti Pajak, bisa jadi sarana untuk “kembali”. Kita semua tahu tujuan utama program ini dibuat, untuk merepatriasi dana dari luar negeri, agar dana tersebut bisa digunakan di Indonesia untuk pembangunan ekonomi dan infrastuktur. Kurang cinta Indonesia apalagi, kalau kita bersedia menarik dana yang selama ini kita bisniskan di luar untuk kita investasikan sendiri di Indonesia, untuk membangun Indonesia. Enaknya, difasilitasi pula.

Tentu, dedikasi, niat, dan cinta, bukan hal yang bisa dinilai dalam sekali pandang ataupun dalam sekali aksi. Kembali atau tidak, berbuat atau tidak, yang terpenting adalah apa yang terpikir saat Anda harus menjawab pertanyaan ini.

“What drives you?”

 

Sedang serius,

Aulia

 

 

*ilustrasi yang indah di atas diambil dari sini

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Life

Defining Self

Begitulah. Sekarang pukul satu dini hari dan saya didera keinginan untuk berputar menari waltz sendiri di teras rumah. Biasa, jam-jam segini memang rawan melakukan hal-hal di luar kebiasaan. Cuaca Jakarta sedang terlalu panas untuk saya, sulit sekali untuk tidur, jadi alih-alih berbaring saya malah membuka tumblr saya dan membaca beberapa postingan terakhir.

Di salah satu postingan, saya mengutip kata-kata ini setahun lalu.

Don’t wonder. Let me wonder. Let your friends wonder. You, define yourself.

Otak saya berhenti berputar sekejap saat terdengar samar pertanyaan dalam diri, “Lalu sekarang sudah jadi seperti apa?”. Jadi seperti apa? Entahlah. Ini sudah setahun dan kalau menengok ke belakang saya rasanya tidak melakukan banyak hal. Tentu saya masih sibuk, agenda saya selalu penuh dengan hal-hal menyenangkan, tapi agenda setahun terakhir berbeda dengan agenda setahun sebelumnya. Jika dua tahun lalu saya bisa menang PokemonGo saking seringnya pindah tempat, setahun terakhir ini saya seringkali hanya di rumah dan sekitarnya.

Am I actually defining myself?

Iya. Tentu iya. Mendefinisikan diri adalah hal yang sangat personal, tidak ada standar atau ukuran ataupun cara yang pasti untuk ini. Tentu akan sangat membantu jika bisa mengetik ini di wikihow dan menemukan jawaban yang tepat (sungguh, pertanyaan ini ada jawabannya di sana), tapi langkah dalam perjalanan mendefinisikan diri tetap saja hanya bisa ditentukan sendiri. Apapun yang saya lakukan–atau tidak lakukan–mendefinisikan saya. Saya bisa saja melakukan hal yang berbeda 180 derajat antara tahun ini dan tahun lalu, tapi saya rasa saya tetaplah saya. Saya tetap orang yang tidak mungkin tidak menangis di semua adegan mengharukan dalam film, tetap orang yang hobinya mengutip dialog atau lirik atau puisi, tetap orang yang berdebat dengan ibu kalau sudah soal korupsi.

Sambil menulis ini saya berpikir, lalu ada perkembangan baru apa? Ada yang berubah tidak?

Ya. Saya tetap saya, tapi yang berubah juga banyak. Jika saya patung, pemahat saya sedang sibuk cungkil sana-sini, menyesuaikan ini-itu. Saya bisa merasakan, kok. Sakitnya nyata. Terlepas dari berubah jadi lebih baik atau lebih buruk, memangnya mudah mengubah diri? Apa mudah, dari yang tadinya bisa sesukanya jadi disiplin? Apa mudah, dari yang biasanya ramah mudah tertawa jadi pendiam dan hanya senyum saja? Tidak ada adaptasi yang tidak menyakitkan. Kita berubah hari dari Minggu ke Senin saja banyak mengeluhnya, kok.

Tapi semua adalah bagian dari proses. Proses yang lambat, perlahan, dan mungkin tak ada ujung. Di ujung mata saya bisa melihat pemahat saya sibuk sekali mencungkil dan mengetuk-mengetuk. Terus-menerus, sedikit demi sedikit. Sakit? Iya. Lebih-lebih saya tidak tahu seperti apa bentuk saya sekarang, jadi lebih indah atau tidak. Jadi lebih baik atau tidak. Mengesalkan? Sangat. Seringkali saya ingin berhenti dan mengundurkan diri saja, pindah ke gelembung dan hidup nyaman di dalamnya.

Tapi, apa iya, baru setengah jadi lalu berhenti?

 

Sibuk bicara dengan langit-langit,

Aulia

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Life

Eid Mubarak!

Happy Eid al-Fitr, everyone! It’s the fourth day of Lebaran (Eid al-Fitr), and I am happy that I can spend my fourth day of it with my big family! It is rare. Usually it is just two or three days-off for us employees, but for this year, the government sets the holiday for a week straight. Overjoyed, I am.

Every Lebaran, there are some classic matters that you will find in Lebaran in Indonesia. Some of them will make you feel very very very homesick if you happen to be not in the country when Lebaran begins.

  1. The gatherings
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My boyfriend’s family. Taken from his camera.

Friends. High school friends. Junior high school friends. Elementary school friends. Any of your childhood friends. Family. Nuclear family. Big family. Big big big family. You name it. This is the time of the year when you actually can gather with families or the friends that have lived in different areas, everybody goes back to their hometown. Everytime I open my Path, I see grinning faces in kaftans and kokos with joyful captions. The hashtag #lebaran in Instagram itself contains these kinds of photos, mostly selfies, instead of photos of the feast or the celebration.

2. The feast

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Opor ayam

You may eat rendang everyday in your life but you surely can’t refuse to eat rendang (again) or opor ayam when Lebaran comes. Those two are the mandatory when it comes to Lebaran feast. In some area I find that they have another unique food for their feast. In Banyuwangi, my boyfriend says, they usually cook tape ketan. I never see it in my Lebaran time. And in my place, usually my grandmother cooks sambel ati-pete and sayur tempe santan to accompany opor and rendang. Also, to entertain the guests who flood during Lebaran time, my family usually serve pempek and tekwan, brought directly from Bandar Lampung.

If you think the feast is “homesick material” enough, wait until people start to stroll around their hometown and post the food they eat to social media. Wait until those friends you have post pictures of sroto and mendoan as their hometown is in Purwokerto, or post Bebek Sinjay as they stroll around Surabaya. Each time I see those pictures, I weep. Take me there!

3. The kaftans

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Taken from Instagram @vendart

Different from ‘the gathering’, this section covers how people looooove to wear (new) kaftans and take #ootd photos and post them on social media. This is my yearly routine, to observe how kaftans are still happening since…6 years ago? I mean, okay, you wear dresses or long pants or vests on your daily basis, but when Lebaran comes suddenly it’s kaftan time. It is okay. It is beautiful. And actually, my all-time favorite is to watch the kaftans in family uniform. Yes, some families have uniforms for Lebaran. And I love love love to play a guessing game with myself, which color will they wear this year?

4. The question

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Taken from Google

In Lebaran family gatherings, Indonesians have a cruel opening line that every 20’s hates but keeps coming: Kapan nikah? When will you get married?

This is true. Sometimes they don’t even ask the “how are you?” question and just go straight to “kapan nikah?“. For example, an aunt comes and she says hi and you do ‘salim‘ her and then she will say, “Oh, sudah besar, ya. Sudah selesai kuliah, ya? Kapan nikahnya? Oh, look at you, you’re all grown up. You’ve graduated college, right? When will you get married?”.

A question that can only be beaten by “Hehe, iya, Tante. Hehe, yes, Aunty,” and a grin.

I honestly don’t hate this question. In my opinion, they actually only want to start a conversation. The question is just a result of their social awkwardness. Give them a credit to start a conversation, guys. I myself try sometimes to start a conversation with my aunts, uncles, grandmas, and grandpas, and most of the time I struggle. I don’t know what usually happens in their ages, and it feels just so awkward to actually ask about their lives.

For example, I have a cool uncle, and I ask about his job, and since he’s a director in a ministry (just found it out few years ago when I asked him this!) he’s hesitant to directly tells me about his job. Perhaps he’s shy, perhaps he doesn’t want me to think he’s so proud that he will blabber about it. I am used to straight-forwarded people, asking about jobs (skin-deep question) is a normal thing to do. I feel awkward. I just want to start a question and know more about him, but well, it is not as easy as mingling in a friend’s birthday party. No, not at all.

So, chillax. That kind of questions will keep coming in Lebaran. If you find yourself get too furious about it, watch this Alain de Botton’s video about how to remain calm.

Well, most of all, to me what actually identifies Lebaran in Indonesia is the takbiran. The repetitive takbir in mosques, until the prayer starts in the next morning, is a celebration ritual that perhaps I will miss most if I ever celebrate Eid al-Fitr abroad.

 

Eid Mubarak,

Aulia

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Life

The Marriage

When I published my posts about the preparation of my wedding, questions came at the drop of a hat.

“WHY? HOW? ARE YOU SERIOUS, THIS IS NO JOKE?”

I was nervous at the first time I got the questions. It made me think twice, confused about how to explain about my decision, and my crazy side that needs external validation started to panic. I know that marriage is a serious matter, that it needs to be well thought out, and I know why people feel like having the urge to ask those questions (I’m relatively younger than everyone else in my circle), but knowing these doesn’t help me overcome my anxiety.

I trailed back and compiled some answers for the question.

“Why do I get married?”

Why don’t I? That’s my first answer to a friend who asked me this. This is the kind of question that I need to understand comprehensively before answering, it depends on what kind of person who asks me this. A religious one? (Easy, just answer that it is to complete half of the religion). A romantic? (I fall in love. Deep, deep, deep, deeply in love. And this is my actual answer!). A philosopher? (Man, this one is hard). A feminist? (I need to carefully pick my words so that it does not make him/her think I surrender to a form of women’s oppression).

So why do I get married?

Because I want to. I’ve always wanted to. I know that this seems weird because I look like an independent woman (*cough*) and marriage seems like a thing that society uses to cut freedom (for both sides), even a symbolic institution signifying the subordination of women to men. Moreover, if we mention about the correlation between marriage and commitment, about how marriage does not necessarily increase the commitment between two lovers, why bother taking a hellish surf in the marriage tide while you can just relax on the girlfriend-boyfriend beach? (Let’s put the religion aside on this argument). Logically there is no good reason to say yes to marriage, so why do I keep doing that? To avoid the Satpol PP sweeping?

It may be half true. The reason about why I think marriage is necessary is because I feel like I put the same amount of effort in the means of committing myself in a girlfriend-boyfriend relationship as in marriage. For example, I don’t mind switching priorities. I put my lover first, always first, if I want to, or if he asks, or if he deserves it. My current lover, the one I am about to marry, meets the three categories. So I put him first. You know what happens when I put my relationship and my lover as my priority? I ditch almost everything else other than him. My friends, my organizations, my colleagues, my leisure time, everything. I become dependent. I cut my own freedom. It is not that extreme, but it can be perceived easily by people who interact with me. It seems like I withdraw myself from the crowd.

The problem with (my) society is sacrificing that much for a lover is considered too much if that is not a marriage relationship. They will say that it’s a careless move, done by a silly lover drunk in love who can’t think clearly about the disadvantage that may come. What if we break up? What if we don’t get married while I already put that much effort, letting go almost everything that defines me, only for a pseudo-relationship? It is different with marriage. If it’s for a marriage, what I do is normal, it is even encouraged. You indeed have to put your lover (and family) first.

To be fair, the judgements probably only happen in my head. But the problem with me is that I care too much about what my society may say about me. My constant need of external validation is just too strong to ignore. I, who love to put that much effort in a relationship, want an external validation. I want people to think that it is normal for me to refuse to go out because I want to be with my boyfriend, sitting in silence doing nothing, rather than spending the night sipping coffee with my friends and talking endlessly about how funny life is. But, no. People react differently to the word “boyfriend” and “husband”.

And after all the effort I do willingly, I want the husband effect. Society may change, but for the time being I am the one who needs to adapt. If I want the husband effect, I need to get married. With this person, I would love to.

Speaking of which, another question that also comes often is: “Are you sure?”

You mean, getting married? With this person? 100 percent sure. This person is always kind to me. I can tell him everything, he can tell me everything, and I never have any desire to hide anything for him. Any. Being with the one who knows your flaws, even the biggest ones, really helps. I started to accept my own self because of him. And perhaps because of that, I am willing to adapt to him. Me, the idealist, the perfectionist. I even feel amazed. Also, this person is the first person who never makes me doubt my efforts, I know he is willing to do the same for me.

I may be wrong. Things may change, I may change, he may change. I know there can be inherent risks that make our marriage be very hard to handle.

It is okay. He is worth the trouble.

 

Super smitten,

Aulia

 

 

*Satpol PP (Civil Service Police Unit) is a unit in Department of Home Affairs that assists the local regional head of the government affairs to enforce regulations of the region. In this case, Satpol PP duty is to look for the couples who live together without being married (normally this is not allowed in Indonesia). The question “to avoid Satpol PP sweeping” is actually asked by a friend. Hahaha.

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Life

Slower Time

While watching the photocopy machine glows and releases papers in the office, I let my mind wander to a conversation happened a few weeks ago. A friend of mine, who grows up in Jakarta and now lives in Pare with his family due to work assignment, told me, “I like living here. It feels like I do actually have time.”

I smile. I know what he means and I can relate to that. I personally think Jakarta is an anomaly in the country. It is just different. It is busy. The lights on its skyscrapers are on all night. Its people start their activity before dawn and miss the falling dusk on their way home. It does not give its citizen time to slow down.

I myself do not grow up in Jakarta. I was born in this city, indeed, and I had been going to Jakarta every year for Lebaran since my grandmother lived here, but I did not live here. Before moving here, I only recognized the city in Lebaran time, which meant it was the most quiet time in Jakarta for the year. It was the only face of the city I knew. Imagine what I have to face the moment I actually live in the city. The crowds. The traffic jams. The trains. The buses. The pace of life in this city, versus the pace of people walking in streets. The lack of time.

This sublime city never sleeps. It feels like it gives permission to its people to not sleep either, to be up twenty four hours a day. Last year, when I was still in the college, continuing my study for Bachelor’s degree, I was the busiest person I had ever been. I lived in the suburban, but I took a French class in the downtown. I attended events. I participated in many things I wanted to. I would meet people I needed to see, no matter where or when they asked me to meet. I went back and forth from home to everywhere. I’d been losing sleep, but I did not care. I had no brakes. This city opened the door to almost every possibility, to do everything I wanted to, to live the life to the fullest. This wonderful city forced me to be restless. If I rest, I’ll run behind schedule, and THAT is not ‘fullest’.

But then I decide to stop.

I look back and realize that even though I was happy because I finally became a person who actually did what she wanted to do, I was also a person who ran all the time. I rarely stayed at one place for more than I planned to; I already knew exactly where I should be at the next hour. Wandering around in Jakarta takes more time than it should due to traffic jam and not-reliable public transportation, making people like me worship time much more than we do in another cities. I do not want to run. I want to have slower time. I want to stay longer with people I like. I want to eat and have chit-chat with the friends I have. I want to have more cups of coffee while talking about silly ideas. I want to sit in silence with my boyfriend without having to think about what to do next. I want to spend my time gazing at the sky without having to worry of being late. I do not want to be 100-percent efficient. Well, technically I can’t, I am a person after all.

I want to be present.

So I try to. I switch my priorities. Valuing more time with my family and boyfriend, I restrict my time with the others. I concentrate on actually living in the moment, being more mindful when I am doing things, no matter how mundane that is. I try to have less social media time. I walk in normal pace. I eat better. I exercise. I do small talk. I lead a completely different routine from what I used to have. I am still adapting. What surprises me is that the hardest part of doing this is not comparing my life to other people’s lives, but comparing my life to my own previous busy life. It is hard to see–and feel–like I am less than who I was, while the other side of me tells me that I am not; that this is a right thing to do, that I need to slow down and eventually enjoy the time. 

I honestly do love Jakarta with all of its uproarious routine. It is not hard to adapt with a glamorous city full of various activities to try for a Sagittarian like me. Deep inside, I love being busy, it makes me feel like I have spent my time well. But still, in the end, life is much more than just boxes to tick.

 

Adapting and adapting,

Aulia

 

*Pare is a town in Kediri regency, East Java.

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Life, review

The Cloth Heaven: Pasar Mayestik

For the first time in my life, I went to the well-known cloth market, Pasar Mayestik. Again, in Blok M. What is it with Blok M and wedding preparation?

The first time I and my partner arrived at the market, I was stunned. I thought it would be like Tanah Abang or Thamrin City, a building full of stalls. It was not. It consisted of many shops, individual ones, and they were not inside a building. This is the kind of market that I like. I don’t really like being in a crowded place, I easily feel suffocated, so this open space market with people walking, car honking, sun shining, really makes me happy.

My partner parked the vehicle and asked, “Which shop?”. I answered with hesitation, but I finally said “Fancy,”. Yes, Fancy was one of the most talked shop in the forum each time I searched about where to buy cloth for wedding costumes. One of the blogger said it was the cheapest shop around.

Unfortunately, the Fancy shop we saw from the market entrance was closed that day. The shop was on renovation. Luckily we asked one of the men there and he said that another Fancy shop was still opened on another side of the market. Alhamdulillah. But since we had to walk a little, we decided to stop by the shops we passed.

The first shop we stopped by was Mumbay. The shop was not crowded, only a few people in it, and there were many shopkeepers. One of them asked me what I was looking for, and showed me the clothes that were usually used to make the kebaya I want. It’s been a long time since the last time I shopped for clothes, so I haven’t had any standard for the price in this shop. They offered me beautiful sequined lace in nude-ish gold, the color I’m looking for, for almost half a million per meter. I asked for a bonus, “Can I have it with free lining?”. The Indian that the shopkeeper asked said yes.

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(I already knew from past experiences in Pasar Baru that most of cloth shops are owned by Indians (if not all), but still I wondered about how it always happened).

Anyway, I knew it sounded cheap, but I was glued to the doctrine that Fancy was the cheapest. I walked on. I stopped by another store, and asked for a few clothes, but the clothes were not so good and the price was not too low.

So I walked again, straight to Fancy. Along the way, I saw why Pasar Mayestik was really more than just clothes shops center. There were a lot of street vendors selling food (kue ape, my favorite!), ceramics, and also a shop full of sewing materials. I may talk about this later in next post after my next visit. *so many conditions applied*

When I finally stepped on Fancy, I was overwhelmed. So many people! So many signs of discount! So many rolls of cloth! So messy! I felt like walking into a warehouse, a fun one, and got ready to get lost. Then an Indian man approached me and my partner, asking what we’re looking for. I answered in Bahasa Indonesia, not absolutely sure what language to speak because he still had a strong accent, but he then spoke in Bahasa Indonesia clearly. Fuh.

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He brought us to the third floor, where the rolls of lace cloth located, and there I saw girls and their moms–and some were accompanied by their fiance, busy trying and choosing lace clothes in various beautiful colors. One woman was assigned to help me shopping, and I directly told her what I searched. I told her I was looking for clothes for my mom and my mother-in-law’s kebayas. After a while she gave one last piece of cloth, full of sequins and swarovski, 3.35 meters, for only Rp1.260.000,00. Now, that’s what I called cheap.

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Then I searched for cloth for my midodareni kebaya, and she gave me the lace in the color I wanted, costed only around Rp100.000,00 per meter, which I was sure costed thirty percents more in Mumbay, which I took immediately. And for my mom and my mother-in-law’s kebayas for midodareni, she offered me a roll of sequined lace, not even twice the price of my cloth per meter, which I was pretty sure cheaper than Mumbay or any other shops around.

Why was everything so cheap?!

I got clothes for 5 kebaya, only one of them that didn’t have sequins on it, for less than I expected. I even spent almost half of what I paid only for the lace for my engagement kebaya when I shopped in Pasar Baru. Is this the real life or is this fantasy~

Well, to be fair, perhaps the quality of the product was different from Mumbay or other shops around or shops in Pasar Baru. I am not a picky costumer. If it has the color I want, it feels good on my skin, and it is proper for the costume I want to make, it is good enough for me.

Long live Fancy!

 

Busy grinning,

Aulia

 

*kebaya is a traditional blouse-dress combination, national costume of Indonesia that is originated from Java

*midodareni is a Javanese ceremony held at the night before the wedding

*kue ape is a soft and fluffy center pancake surrounded with thin and crispy crepes

 

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