Sejak kecil saya selalu menyukai benda yang bernama buku. Masih tajam teringat dahulu ketika setiap hari saya akan datang ke toko buku seberang sekolah dan menanyakan tentang buku cerita terbaru kepada tante pemilik toko, walau saya cuma akan membeli seminggu sekali saja. Sebagian besar uang jajan saya dahulu habis untuk buku, dan saya bisa merelakan untuk tidak jajan di sekolah apabila ada buku yang ingin dibeli. Pernah suatu ketika saya belum punya cukup uang untuk membeli buku yang baru terbit, harganya 1.100 rupiah, dan saya dengan polosnya ingin nyicil dulu seratus rupiahnya.
Sampai sekarang rasanya kesukaan itu tetap berlanjut. Buku menjadi salah satu pengeluaran terbesar saya. Namun pengeluaran yang cukup besar itu selalu terbalas setiap kali saya selesai membaca buku demi buku yang dibeli. Dan ketika kembali menginjakkan kaki ke toko buku, hal yang tersulit adalah menahan diri agar tidak membeli buku. Saat berada disana, diri seperti terbelah dua, ada seorang anak kecil yang ingin membeli buku-buku menarik bagaikan mainan yang baru saja dilihatnya dan ada bagian diri lainnya yang pelit, yang sepertinya lebih dewasa dan bekerja seperti akuntan, mengingatkan diri bahwa saya sedang bokek dan harus menahan diri. Perdebatan dan cekcok terjadi. Namun keadaannya seringkali, apabila tidak selalu, si anak kecil yang menang. Fortunately!
Saya tidak pernah memikirkan kenapa saya bisa suka membaca buku. Pikir saya selama ini, toh banyak orang juga membaca buku, dan kita tidak memerlukan alasan khusus untuk suka membaca. Tetapi dari beberapa percakapan dengan teman-teman saya, mereka mengungkapkan kenapa mereka membaca buku dan itu membuat saya berpikir kembali kenapa saya bisa menikmatinya. Saya sangat menyukai perkataan seorang penulis tentang hal ini, E.B. White: "As in the sexual experience, there are never more than two persons presenting the act of reading, the writer who is the impregnator, and the reader who is the respondent".
Saat membaca buku adalah sebuah yang saat yang unik, kita berdialog dengan keadaan yang soliter, saat yang pribadi namun juga berbagi, berimaginasi. Membaca buku buat saya mirip seperti halnya sebuah perbincangan, semakin kita menikmati semakin lama pula kita betah untuk melanjutkan perbincangan itu halaman demi halaman. Like having a good conversation.
Do you like to read books?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Bima, NTB. 2008
Last week probably was one of my busiest seven days in this year. But busy doesn't always mean stressful and exhausting. Well, it was tiring a bit but it didn't drain all my energy, yes I had fun too.
It all started with Bima, Nusa Tenggara Barat. I was there for a short assignment. I would be there for the next three days. The assignment was quite simple: to photograph several local community projects in the area. But on the contrary the journey was not. I was travelling with a writer and we have to spent almost 5 hours flying and on the road to finally arrived to Bima. Since there is no direct flight to Bima, we have to fly first to Denpasar and connect our flight from there with Merpati to Bima.
It was three O'clock WITA (Central Indonesian Time) when we arrived at the small, casual but tidy airport of Bima. But it wasn't until tomorrow for our travel around the area, I spent the rest of the day resting to charge my stamina back.
On the next day we travelled to several spots to see the local projects. It was really hot and dry, which reminds me of Banda Aceh and Yogyakarta. But by far this is the worst heat I ever experienced. It was like hell but the views were heaven.
When we arrived at the first site it was almost noon. The infrastructure project were simple and it was built by the locals themselves. Besides the heat everything was casual, normal and a bit boring. But then the extraordinary (read:the fun) started when the smooth journey to a village outside the city was disturbed with a flat tire. And of course the fun didn't stop there. When we arrived at Ntori village, a lot of people have already gathered at the local office.
Leaving a foot trace during a flat tire break. Bima. 2008.
The head of the village greeted us along with several elders. It seemed that everyone misunderstood thinking that we are representatives from the NGO instead of a 'mere' writer and photographer. Even after Evi, the writer, explained about our false 'celebrity' status they still want us to give a speech in a formal conference event. Fortunately for me, a person who is holding a camera, I could find an excuse to get out of that. And yet the suprise still continued. They gave us presents and souvenirs in a formal ceremony way. I felt really uneasy about this. People just smiled and very generous, something that I rarely finds in the city like Jakarta.
Afterwards, we travelled up to the hill to see the infrastructure project, a tunnel bypassing a hill to flow water from the source to the village downhill. The people were very proud to tell us that they built it using their own hands. I still couldn't believe that these people could do the work without any heavy machine. It's just 'luar biasa' (extraordinary) as they said repeatedly.
The water pipe tunnel at Ntori village.
During this trip I learnt a commonly used yet unique local sentence: Kelimpo Ade, which has a lot of meanings. In general people in Bima use this sentence to say sorry or to say be patient. Our driver who is a native of Bima said that the sentence is perfectly used for a conversation with a debt collector. Well, they did say it has multiple meanings :D
The rest of the day it's just a normal job. Except before we left, one of the villagers gave us another souvenirs, bottles of Honey from Bima. We are very grateful although very uneasy yet again. I must say that people in Bima are one of the most friendliest people I've ever met. They really treated us like VIP guests and they were really sincere.
On wednesday, the next day, we left Bima for Jakarta. I didn't have too many adventures there but surely I brought something back.
For facing the following days of the busy week I could say to my self and fellow friends, a local wisdom from Bima, be patient, be brave, be persevere, Kelimpo Ade.