Sunday, 27 May 2007

A Birthday Reflection

Reaching the age of forty seems to be an age to reflect back to things I’ve been done to this day.

Hearing the age forty makes me feel really old, but the spirit inside me is still very young. I even feel as young as a new graduate. I do hope to be able to start my new life. Life begins at forty! That is the spirit I’ll use to start my new period of life.

Being invited to Seoul, South Korea, by Ohmy News International is one of my birthday presents.

My passport was expired seven years ago. Actually my last journey was ten years ago. I went to Singapore on the expense of the Bureau de Cooperation Linguistic et Educative de Singapour and the SouthEast Asian Ministers of Educations Organization Regional Language Centre. I was a newly wed back then, three months after my wedding day. Rather than having my own honey moon I accepted the invitation. I met friends from Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunai Darussalam, and may be more (I do not remember). It was one of enriching moments in my life. The session with Jacob Gautel taught me how to dig into our creative minds. It is now a reinforcing experience to my teaching young learners.

Then pregnancy and the May Riot changed my whole life. My pregnancy made me to stay out of my job. It was in the six months of pregnancy when I started being a bit deaf (not totally). It was really annoying because my job as an architect need me to communicate a lot. I am lucky tough, I recently read that some people did experience the same situation and it stays after the delivery.

I was thinking to go back to my university (Trisakti University) to apply for a job as a lecturer. The May Riot changed all my intention, I was afraid to be trapped in the campus and would not be able to come back to my son. Having children changed the perspective and courage to face difficult situation. I could not think only on my own sake and pleasure. Priorities were changed.

I did not really experience the trauma, but seeing it on the television already made a traumatic psychological burden. No wonder those who were really on the spot fled away. (Read “Day of Destruction” the newly published article from Jakarta Post Weekender).

Renewing my passport is another sad story. It was clearly stated in the information board that I do not need to verify my SBKRI (The Certification Letter to certify me as an Indonesian Citizen). But in the practice, the young woman asked for my SBKRI as she stated that my father formerly has the Chinese name made it an obligation to prove my Indonesian Citizenship. May be she was blinded as below of the information fact she circled about my father was another legal information stated my number of SBKRI. I do have my old passport too, so what is the matter?

The matter might be in my courage to try to do all the process of obtaining a new passport by myself. May be in her eyes I should use the service of “calo”, a mediator to make things faster. Corruption is really rooted into the very low rank officer. Sometimes people accused Chinese Indonesian to be a person close to bribery. May be it was true for certain persons, but for most of us we were conditioned to be that way.

I read in the newspaper that one of my old friends from the French course in CCF passed away. Madame Lucia Sutan Assin, was a nice friend. Some older friends were passed away. I’ve also missed Mr. Thung Kim Tek, he was a great motivator to my stamp collecting hobby. The generation is changed. It is the time for my generation to inspire the younger one. It is a heavy burden in a changing and globalize world.

I’ll do my best and I do hope that tomorrow will be a brighter future.

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