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Our little friend named ‘Sorry.’ September 24, 2006

Posted by altari in feelings, from previous blog.
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Happy Fasting! May our fasting be better than the previous years, and be blessed by Allah SWT. Aamiin.

…and suddenly my SMS inbox is full with messages about ‘forgiving and be forgiven.’ This got me thinking, that it seems to be easy to apologize and also feels light to forgive, in this blessed month.

I did find circumstances where it’s just not easy to say ‘sorry’ though. I know it’s just a simple word. But for it to come out of my mouth, it must go through a ‘war’. A personal one which no one else can actually hear it, but it creates this thundering voice within. It’s when I don’t think I’ve done anything wrong but apparently what I don’t or even do might disappoint another person. Been there done that?

Driving in Jakarta can be quite stressful. The city is known for its unpredictable traffic. The freeway itself doesn’t represent the words ‘free’ and ‘way’ either. First it’s not free from toll fee (which is likely to rise from year to year, yet everyone’s still excited using it) and it’s often jammed (again, everyone’s still excited using it.)

So one morning I decided to pick the regular street instead of freeway. I thought, what’s the difference? Both must be jammed at that hour, only with regular street I would be free from toll fee. But I missed one important factor; drivers on regular street tend to see it as their grandparents’ street. Yeah, they adore the street so much they drive as they like. There’s a saying: only God and the driver know where he goes (Indonesian fellows, trust me, this doesn’t apply to Bajaj drivers only.)

Clock was ticking. Got a meeting in the office in half an hour while I was still an hour away. Severe traffic jam. And my bumper hit a motorcycle behind. Neat...

The motorcycle was on the right of my car. The rider thumped on top of my car machine! Man, he looked furious. I was so ready to hear him screaming at me.

….But he did not.

He pulled over instead. Me too. I got off and went to see how he was doing. The bumper looked fine. Meanwhile the voice within is telling me not to apologize and pay compensation to him. It convinced me that I was on the right track, so it shouldn’t be my fault. I knew I wasn’t wrong but it’s just not easy to decide who’s right or wrong on the street, especially if the traffic law is being ignored.

In Indonesia, vehicles are driven on the left side, where motorcycles and bicycles are supposed to be driven on its very left side of the road. That is of course the theory. Most motorcycles prefer its right edge instead, really the edge. So can you imagine what happens when suddenly a truck comes from the opposite direction?

Anyway, I apologized and offered him compensation. He accepted my apology, but not the compensation, and drove on. Case closed. I respected how sincere he was in forgiving me. You don’t find such a quality everyday these days, right? And his choice to say ‘no’ to my offer of compensation… oh well, I’ll just leave this un-commented.

Still, I’m sorry that he drove on the far-right edge of the left side, gambling his safety against large vehicles which may run at top speed from the opposite direction. I don’t want such a kind person to have an accident. The world needs his rare qualities.

In the end, glad knowing that people still listen to the word ‘sorry.’


Getting Set for The Swan Dive September 23, 2006

Posted by altari in from previous blog.
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Hello, for both of us.

I’ve still got 6 pillow-thick books to gulp while all I want is sleep… zzzz…. BUT! There’s an 88% probability of failing the December exam coz I haven’t studied much yet. A fellow candidate told me that the other classmates who took the June exam had all failed. Moreover, as if it didn’t shock me enough, those who failed have Master degrees. So thank you, mate, for the news. It helps keeping my eyes wide open, a lot.

Well, well, what have I done? Maybe this is just a dream (or so I wish.) No books, no exam, no one failed it… I must be sleeping now. And yet, by the time I see this posted tomorrow, I’ll know I’m dreaming to dream… *sobbing*

So I’m planning to take this certificate from the US, which is simply an addition to dozens of problems in my life. Myth: the percentage of passing the exam accross the world is below 10% of total candidates. Fact: the percentage of passing the exam accross the world is wake-up-girl-coz-still below 10% of total candidates. Being aware of such an encouraging statistic, I entered the Visa number to register for the coming December exam. Yeah! Although there’d better be a good logical reason to insist on doing it. If not, then I must have accidentally hypnotized myself. Well done!

Sure, sure, for the sake of the idealistic way of speaking’s, I’d like to enhance my knowledge… add value to my degree… make my forehead more flashy (oof, enough please) if possible. And guess what? Whatever. I will take the exam because I wanna take it. I’m ready for the swan dive no matter what. So I suppose this is beyond mad. Don’t you? Especially since I don’t swim well….

… Welcome to my home!