Acatraveler's Diary

which of the favours of your Lord will you deny

Aku dan ibuku baru saja berbeda pendapat semalam; baiklah ini memang bukan yang pertama kalinya. Sebagai seorang gadis penyuka jalan-jalan dan baru lulus sarjana Strata 1, ide menikah setelah wisuda belum terlalu menarik bagiku. Rasanya aku masih ingin menaklukkan puncak-puncak diri yang belum kucapai, menghabiskan masa-masa mudaku, atau bahkan sekedar menjejakkan kaki di benua lain sendirian saja. Tidak, bukannya aku tak ingin menikah.

Tentu saja aku ingin menikah; tapi setidaknya, belum ada keinginan di umur ini atau satu dan dua tahun lagi. Menikah itu sebuah konsep untuk menyempurnakan separuh agama; yang susah-susah mudah dijalankan. Tapi sekali lagi, aku berkaca ke dalam diriku sendiri. Kira-kira, mampukah aku menghabiskan sisa waktu hidupku bersama dia yang ditakdirkan untukku? Kira-kira, siapkah aku untuk selalu mengalah agar rumah tangga kami tak pecah? Kira-kira, siapkah aku untuk selalu bersabar menghadapi keluhannya, kantuknya, lelahnya di malam hari sementara aku juga butuh untuk didengarkan? Kira-kira, siapkah aku selalu bangun pagi, menyiapkan diri, seisi rumah, juga pakainnya? Kira-kira, siapkah aku selalu mendengarkan curhatannya tentang keluarganya yang jauh di sana jika ada masalah?

Jujur. Aku belum siap.

Menikah bukan hanya persoalan tempat tidur, dapur, dan sumur. Banyak tanggung jawab lain yang menuntut kesigapan dengan fleksibilitas dan kesabaran tinggi. Tidak tanggung-tanggung, bahkan saking dahsyatnya pernikahan, arsy Allah berguncang kala janji suci kedua mempelai ditunaikan. Pantaslah, Allah menyebutnya penyempurna separuh agama; karena menikah bukan soal yang main-main. Menikah tidak hanya mempersatukan dua insan, tapi dua keluarga yang berbeda latar belakang budaya, pendidikan, dan lingkungan. Perkara menyatukan dua kepala di dalam satu rumah, sama dengan belajar sekaligus ujian setiap hari. Menurut beberapa pakar pernikahan Islami, di masa awal-awal menikah, selalu ada hal baru yang kadang-kadang membuat geleng-geleng kepala sampai sakit, atau menghela nafas panjang, atau menangis, bahkan hingga tertawa terpingkal-pingkal. Di lima tahun kedua, akan mulai menghadapi masalah yang agak serius; terutama tentang anak-anak dan riak-riak berumah tangga. Lima tahun ketiga, kebosanan pada pasangan mulai muncul, masalah yang awalnya sedikit rumit menjadi tambah rumit seiring anak-anak yang mulai menginjak masa remaja dengan kompleksitas emosi dan diri mereka.

Dan aku membutuhkan seseorang yang bisa membantuku melewati semua fase itu dengan sederhana.

Siapakah gerangan? Aku belum tahu di mana dia, siapa dia, sedang apa dia. Padahal, kau tahu, tidak sesederhana itu urusannya. Kuharap, ibuku mengerti, kenapa aku bersikap seperti ini.

You (#1)

It is like a general love story one has ever made. Simple, cute, and always happy in the beginning; but mostly terrible in the end. But to make it different, I want to say it through the song lyrics. It surely would have mixed lyric from .

This first one, I would like to write about

My whole world changed from the moment I met you. And it would never be the same.
(I Do – 911)

It was a hot afternoon. I was really hungry, and exhausted. Thinking about my future plans in doing research funded by the Ministry of Higher Education in my campus, my mind gave up to my starving stomach to go to the canteen. That day, I conducted semi-quantitative research in my former high school; so I asked some teachers to help me spreading the questionnaires to their students. In a brief, I did on research about innovative learning and teaching styles using 8 ways of students interests. However, they seemed to be not liking the research activities. Yeah, I understood.

Back to my story. I walked to the canteen. And there he was. I admit that I have written this part of story many times. However this was how everything begins; and I always love to play it over and over again. I ordered a meal, spicy chicken with rice and salad. He ordered a bowl of noodle. Just because I recognized him as the same-year schoolmate and my bestfriend’s friend, I waved to him and requested him to sit with me.

I had not known him in person before, but that time, it was different. He asked me what I was doing there and so did I. From this simple conversation, I knew a fact that he just published one of his campus’ event in my school. He also started to tell me everything, about his study in one of the most expensive private campus in the city. About his riding hobby, about his organization in campus. And I sat there listening to him and replying his stories with mine. Well, it was a fine afternoon and a discussion with such an old friend. (wait, an old friend?) It was just like I met him after a long separation (?). After this, we got back to our campuses.

Not long after that, my lecturer assigned me to do a field research about youth culture. Then, i remembered that he was active as the member of big-bike community. Actually, I had several communities to be researched; K-pop lovers, gamers, football fans, and muslim youth. Yet, I decided to choose his community because I thought an issue related to the big-bike driver was becoming a hot topic on the media. From there, I contacted him starting to discuss about the topic with more intense frequency. I attempted to reduce the gap. I followed him and arranged some meetings with the other members of community. I, of course interviewed him and his friends to acquire the data I sought. He also gave me some videos to understand how the moto-lovers would do anything for their motorcycles (his analogy about his bike is like a hot-and-sexy girl). Yes, this community was so masculine (not to discuss around gender limitation and perspective).

I got so comfortable with these activities, research I meant. And maybe with him too. Because every time I got engaged with his community and the books, and the interviews, and the scripts, I was happy all day. Despite its complicated and messy schedules, I was smiling all day to make the thoughtful and resourceful report. Certainly, in the end, I got an A for the research!

And in the end, it turned out to be an unstoppable temptation.

A great kick start about my research career has begun. Projecting myself as a keen, diligent, and fearless researcher in the future drives me to take further steps to have more research, more presentation, and as a result, more journeys! After all that research on his community, I got a summer camp scholarship in National University of Singapore; it was my first time abroad. I had to present my research in the most prestigious conference on earth, Inter Asia Cultural Studies; where all of my audiences are the professors, PhD and master candidates, and international journalists (you know, even my Dean was there) just because my presentation had the similar topic with Mr. John Roosa and his wife, one of prominent scholars from Canada experts on history and human rights. The next year, I was also invited in a conference in Cambodia and short program in Japan, the country I had been dreaming for six years.

This is why I name this episode with the very first line of 911 song. Because simply when I met him, my whole world really changed.

Believe It or Not

It is just a strong feeling that could not be erased easily. After a long storm has swept tons of liters tear and countless questions and doubts, also sadness.

But I dont know why this feeling just stays ahead, waiting for something I could not understand yet 🙂

Because in the end of every day, I say “thanks God, you have sent him to me,” despite anything he has done, to ruin or to cheer my days.


Going to the Owner of Infinity

How many nights does it take to count the stars? Thats the time to fix my heart.

Realizing that you are not someone important for the one you love is hurt. It is accepting the fact that we dont want to know, yap against our human nature which tends to only see what we want to see. That’s reality, we re often on the edge of these situations.

So the story goes as I met him in an occasion and got along with him. We support each other, we listen to our randomness with sincerity and patience, we walk into the storm together, we work out our solutions towards our challenges, and we dont need a long time to be…

Bestfriend. For each other.
It is one fact we know. But we dont understand, yet.

And I accidentally develop that certain feeling. It is only because he is like a miracle in my life. Changes happen when I meet him. I cant deny that I have special feeling. He just touched my heart with his simple acts. He might feel that I was different to him, yet he just gave a signal not to do more than friend. In the other side, I disagree it unless he makes a confirmation. I think, it is not the end. I keep ignoring the signs, even though I have learnt about symbolism and signs through semiotics in my entire college life. How ironic.
By only being on his side, though I cannot be in his heart, I could live up my days. Live my life with many unimagined things I never experience before. Spend my time with brighter smile every day. I learn to live with this feeling.

Though he tore my heart day by day, well oh it was just me who let him tear me apart. I made a promise to myself that I have to be ready that someday, somehow we would be apart.
It is one fact he doesnt know. But I really understand.

Then, one day he told me that beautiful one. He told me the reason, which makes me dissappointed. He chooses her because she is simple and perfect, physically. Well, he does not admit it yet to her, but he plans to. He will.

So, based on the fact that we are bestfriend, I lied to him, to chase her.
This is one fact I dont want to know. But he understands. And I have prepared all this time, to be apart.

I never count that all of mine
If i tried it would be like

Then, I think again about beyond this infinity. Instead of stopping into the infinity, why would I not go to the Owner of it? Here, my heart and mind tell me something, about what is the real essence about loving people. They remind me about the most sacred love, a love because of God. A love that doesnt have reason, doesnt ask anything, doesnt sacrifice anything, but the devotion to the God. So the human love should not exceed her or his love to Allah. The reason is because human often asks something unreasonable, and only He owns any kind of unrealistic, unbelievable, unthinkable types of love. Moreover, he holds the heart of everyone, every creature in the planets. So He must understand the big puzzle of our lives. Then, I hope I could be patience to love because of Him.

In the past, a friend asked me, “How to love because of Allah?”
I cant satisfy her with my answer.
And now, I just got the right answer

Why it is marriage, not only wedding

Tomorrow, my oldest cousin from my father’s brother will say a vow to his soulmate and life-mate (jodoh), InsyaAllah. He uploaded a wedding invitation card in Instagram, informing the world that they would be re-united after waiting for a long time. So, I know it too, even my mother has told me since last month. Then, as my apologize to him, I give comment below his caption.

After a series of a prayer, “Have a blessful marriage,” I wrote.

Usually, I use the word “wedding” to congratulate families, friends, and colleagues. But this time, I change the word with more complex understanding, so it is a “marriage”.

A vow spoken from a groom to his bride is a life-time promises. It is not only seasonal love or the childhood love or something wizzy wuzzy. It means growing old, making a family, walking side by side, facing the hardship, and celebrating any kind of moments, (by any means also sleeping) together. You carefully choose and pick someone to be your life-time partner, so that it is a serious decision you have ever made.

Here, I realize that wedding is only a celebration, ceremony to legitimate the status of the two love birds. But marriage refers to the rest process of one’s transformation about his or her life. It really is a huge and heroic step.

So, ya… I lift my hands and pray for a blessed marriage; a sakinah, mawaddah, rahmah marriage when the vow has been clearly spoken to shake the arsy of Allah.

Somehow, We Need Encouragement and Reason

There must be something behind the great things achieved by people. A reason, a strong one that keeps them moving though in a very desperable step and uncertain future. A reason which keeps the dimmed light flaming, though it is surrounded by the dark.

Tugas Cowok dan Cewek

​Hari itu, pertandingan voli di Desa Lebuh telah selesai. Kami, anak-anak KKN, kompak pulang bareng dari lapangan, jalan kaki. Kegiatan jalan kaki dari lapangan ke posko yang meskipun sebentar ini telah meninggalkan kenangan tersendiri. 

Jadi, di tengah jalan kami berdiskusi soal pembagian kerja cowok dan cewek di posko. Awalnya gara-gara para cowok mengeluh karena kelihatannya malam itu tak ada makanan, padahal mereka sudah seharian kelelahan di lapangan, tapi tak ada yang pulang untuk piket masak. Sementara para cewek membela diri dengan alasan capek kalo harus terus-terusan masak di dapur untuk 14 orang dengan peralatan plus listrik yang sangat terbatas. Ya, sebagai cewek yang juga kebagian piket masak, aku memang merasa kelelahan karena harus berada di dapur dari pagi sampai sore, mengingat banyaknya bahan yang harus dimasak. Istirahat hanya ketika makan siang dan makan malam.

Akhirnya kami saling berdebat. Para cowok menyalahkan cewek karena merasa tugas seringan itu saja tak mampu dilakukan. Sementara mereka harus bikin plang jalan, konsolidasi warga, dan rapat bersama Pak Kades, yang mengkonsumsi waktu serta tenaga lebih banyak. Lalu para cewek mengeluh karena terperangkap kebosanan di dapur dan posko. Kami, para cewek kota yang memang biasanya kelayapan di luar rumah (karena harus kuliah, ngerjakan tugas, atau kerja), seakan menemukan neraka kalau harus di posko sepanjang hari dengan urusan kompor dan rumah tangga. Dan para cewek menyalahkan cowok karena begitu sampai posko, malas-malasan kalau disuruh beli air galon atau cuma bantu cuci piring atau cuma ngangkat air. Marah-marah pula kalau makanan belum siap. Memangnya para cewek ini pembantu, bisa disuruh-suruh begitu saja.
Tak cuma sampai di situ, kami meneruskannya dengan membicarakan bagaimana  menjadi suami atau istri yang baik dan ideal. Karena menjadi suami atau istri yang baik juga menyangkut sebaik apa mereka mengerjakan tugasnya terkait peran  di dalam rumah tangga.
Tapi perdebatan ini berakhir ketika Bang Ian bilang, “Sebentar, lalu apakah kita di sini suami istri?”

Dan sontak membuat kami tertawa malu-malu. Lalu kami sadar, bahwa di sini kami adalah keluarga yang, memang harus saling membantu. Yang harus mencintai tanpa lelah. Yang harus menerima seburuk apapun masalahnya, lalu memecahkan masalahnya bersama-sama.

Yummy Perkedel Ayam

This is it! My extra favorite bites!

Yo, selain cokelat, aku juga hobi banget ngabisin perkedel kentang ala Mbah Uti. Perkedelnya beda dari yang lain, dan sampai sekarang, cuma Uti yang bisa membuat perkedel jenis ini. Selalu, dan selalu, mbah uti membuat perkedel dalam jumlah besar untuk memuaskan hasrat cucunya yang tak pernah puas makan perkedel. Hahahaha… *evil laugh*

Karena ternyata, penggemar perkedel di rumah bertambah; apalagi kalau bukan adikku yang paling kecil dan sepupuku #duh bikin persaingan tambah berat buat rebutan.

Tapi, untunglah Uti mau menyisakan bagian terbanyak untukku. Tau karena apa? Jelas karena aku membantu beliau dalam proses pembuatannya yang ekstra panjang nan melelahkan itu. Bayarannya setimpal, lah. Ekekeke. Okay langsung saja ke resepnya.


1. Ayam 1,5 kg

2. Kentang 3 kg

3. Bawang putih 1 ons

4. Bawang merah 1 ons

5. Garam secukupnya

6. Merica sebutuhnya

7. Pala sebutuhnya

8. Daun pisang

9. Telur ayam

Cara membuat:

1. Cuci ayam hingga bersih, rebus hingga matang. Pisahkan kulit dari dagingnya. Suwir-suwir dagingnya, lalu haluskan dengan ditumbuk.

2. Uleg bawang putih, bawang merah, pala, garam, dan merica. Biarkan sejenak.

3. Kupas kentang, iris menjadi empat atau lima bagian. Lalu goreng kentangnya. Setelah matang dan selagi panas, haluskan kentang. Campur dengan daging ayam.

4. Campurkan dengan bumbu hingga merata.

5. Bentuk sesuai ukuran perkedel yang kita inginkan dan bungkus dengan daun pisang.

6. Kukus perkedel selama 30 menit.

7. Goreng perkedel dengan baluran telur agar mengembang.

Siap disajikan!

Sambal Bilis

Ngomong-ngomong soal #KKN, satu hal yang perlu dibahas! Apa itu? Bagi-bagi resep makanan! Ini akibat (positif) dari jadwal piket rutinan dua kali seminggu, bareng anak-anak dari Seluruh Indonesia itu. Beberapa gadis di kelompokku sangat mahir mengolah berbagai bahan makanan bak koki profesional. Jadi, aku pun belajar dari mereka. Dari yang sebelumnya cuma terampil bikin camilan biasa, aku jadi tahu beberapa resep makanan berat dan kudapan dari luar Jawa. 

Sesuai daerah KKN yang kutempati, masakan yang seringkali dinikmati adalah masakan Melayu, dengan bahan-bahan yang hanya ada di tanah Melayu. Salah satunya yakni sambal goreng bilis. FYI, masakan tersebut adalah menu favorit baruku selain rendang. Oh ya, bilis itu istilah lain dari ikan teri. Teri yang mana? Teri khas Melayu, variasinya ada teri Medan yang ekstra mini sampai teri yang ukurannya sebesar jari. Kata Silpi, salah seorang koki Melayu totok di kelompokku, masakan sambal bilis ini andalan para mahasiswa Melayu di tanah rantau. Biasanya, mahasiswa asal tanah Melayu yang baru pulkam rata-rata akan dipasok dengan setoples penuh sambal bilis plus salah satu jenis Indomie (aku lupa rasa apa). Eh iya, langsung aja lah ke resepnya.


Bilis (sesuai kebutuhan dan keinginan), Cabe merah, Cabe rawit (sesuai kebutuhan dan keinginan), Bawang merah, Bawang putih, Terasi, Garam, Gula, Kecap, dan Minyak goreng. Bahan lain selain teri, seperti kacang tanah boleh juga ditambahkan.

Cara Memasak:

1. Haluskan bumbu sambal goreng (bawang merah, bawang putih, garam, gula, cabai rawit, cabai merah)

2. Bakar terasi hingga agak gosong. Masukkan ke dalam bumbu yang sudah dihaluskan

3. Tumis bumbu sampai baunya agak harum. Angkat dari penggorengan.

4. Jika ukuran bilis agak besar, pisahkan kepala dan tubuhnya. Setelah itu cuci yang bersih dan goreng bilis hingga matang dan agak kering (tingkat kekeringan terserah, yang penting matang). Kalau ada bahan lain selain bilis, pastikan digoreng sebelum bilis agar bau dan rasanya tak tercampur dengan bilis.

5. Masukkan bumbu yang sudah ditumis dan aduk rata dengan bilis yang sudah matang. Masak hingga aromanya harum dan bumbunya meresap. Tambahkan kecap. Waktu yang dibutuhkan tak terlalu lama, karena tumisan terakhir ini agar bumbunya meresap sempurna.

6. Sajikan dengan nasi putih pulen hangat. Tambah nikmat jika disajikan dengan nasi uduk (nasi dicampur santan). Di Jawa, sambal goreng bilis (teri) biasanya lauk khas untuk nasi kuning bersama kering tempe, tapi entah kenapa aku tak terlalu suka kombinasi ini.

Jujur saja, nasi dan sambal bilis ala Melayu ini masakan andalan selain tumis sayur dan telur dadar saat uang kas menipis dan sindrom malas masak melanda para petugas piket 😀

Tapi yang jelas, masakan ini masih tetap yahud sampai sekarang. Tiap kali kangen dengan squad KKN, aku selalu memasak sambal bilis untuk menggenapkan rindu pada mereka. Hmm… Mau mencobanya?

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