Monthly Archives: July 2012

One Lucky Bastard Indeed.

Tonight, at exactly 7 PM (GMT +7), the destiny for over 600.000 high school graduates in Indonesia will unveil. They fought for only about 106.000 seats in the university of their dreams, and the results are in. Most of the tweets from the youngsters clearly shows that they’re nervous. Well, I did, so I know how they feels.

It was also about 4 years ago when I waited for my result. Only difference is, I didn’t really want to go to a state university. I was more interested in getting into a private university, with most of my high school friends. In a state university, I don’t know anyone. Yes, I’m that insecure. At that time, I didn’t really care about anything else, because if I fail, then I can just go to the private university. Problem solved.

It was also around July when I waited for my results. Around 9, my Dad came to my room and said, “Don’t you want to see the test results? You can check it on the internet. I can take you there.”

Yes, he’s nervous. I can tell. But I just shrugged, and said, “No, it’s fine. I can just check it on the newspaper tomorrow morning.” Before you ask, the results are actually available in two formats: internet, and the newspaper. Only difference is, you have to wait until morning to check the results. If your name is not on the list, then you’re not accepted.

After I said that, he went out of my room, and left me to my games. I didn’t care. I’m not curious. I didn’t even study well for the acceptance test. At the end of my test, I said to myself, “If I get in, then it’s truly what you want, God, cause I know I’m not satisfied with what I did. If I get in, then it’s my destiny to go to a state university.”

However, around midnight, I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about the test results. I kept thinking why my parents wanted me to go to a state university so bad. Some time during high school, when I said I wanted to be an International Relations student, my parents said no. And then, when I already set my mind to be a natural science student, they wanted me to be a social science student instead. I couldn’t help but wonder why.

Around 6 in the morning, my alarm went off. It’s around the time when the newspaper boy deliver the newspaper. I went out, and the newspaper was there. I took it inside, and read the results, one by one. I didn’t even care if it’s not the major that I applied to, I see it one by one.

By the time I reached my major, I left out a sigh, and said to myself, “This is it.”

And there it was. My name is on the list… I didn’t believe it at first, but when I took a second glance, I knew that it really was my name. I jumped with excitement, and went to my parents’ room to tell them.

“I GOT IN! MY NAME IS HERE!”

My Mom just got up, and she cried. She hugged me and I heard her say “Thank God, Thank God.” I glanced at my Dad, and he was crying. After the most dramatic test results reading ever, they went out, wore their reading glasses, and read the test result. I was still trembling with excitement when I saw Mom calling my brother (he was still working in Bali at that time) and my Dad looked at the test results.

I knew he’s relieved. He was nervous, because if I didn’t get in, he had to pay for my tuition at the private university, which is about ten times my tuition at the state university. He was nervous, because he was afraid I couldn’t finish my education, or worse, couldn’t finish it in time.

It was by far the most dramatic family moment. It was also the first time I saw my parents cry because they’re happy, and I could tell that they were so proud of me. When I arrived at my grandma’s house to check on my Mom, all the newspaper were highlighted. I didn’t know who did it, but all my relatives congratulated me for it, and I knew that getting into a state university is a big deal. Only 1 in 6 can get it, and I was that lucky bastard πŸ˜€

Until now, if I feel like International Relations was not my calling, I always trace back to that day, the day when I saw my name on the list. It was destiny that I’m an International Relations student.

p.s.: it was about a month later when I knew that the International Relations major of Airlangga University is one of the most prestigious major in Indonesia, make it one of the hardest major to get into.

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Noodles!

I have a love-hate relationship with instant noodles. I love the taste, but I hate it when I realize that it’s not a healthy food to eat. It’s a pity, actually, because I like making instant noodles. Easy to make and customize, at least for me πŸ™‚

Anyways, I found an interesting page tonight. A fella named Hans Lienesch, or also known as The Ramen Eater listed the Top Ten Best Instant Noodles in the World. You can read the list here.

Out of all ten noodles, I’ve eaten three of them. Yes, they’re all Indonesian, and yes, all three lived up for their reputation. They’re all very tasty for instant noodles, and totally worth the calories πŸ˜€

Now that the Ramen Eater has listed the top ten best noodles, I guess I can add one more thing to my bucket list: try all of them!

p.s.: The best noodle is actually my brother’s favorite noodle. My mom used to buy one every time we go shop for groceries.Β It’s best eaten with eggs, although sometimes I add sausage too πŸ™‚

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English-Speaking Indonesians

For almost 5 months of being “exchanged” here in USM, almost every exchange student say this: “Your English is very good. Do you speak English everyday in Indonesia?”

Usually I would answer with an awkward laugh and say, “Hahahaha… Thank you, but I don’t speak English in everyday life back home.”

The next thought that come to my mind is this: was that a compliment or was that a code for saying “oh, finally, I can speak to an Indonesian.”Β As a cynical person, I don’t take compliments very well, so I usually go with the latter idea.

Here is the bitter truth that, regrettably, must be revealed: if you travel to Indonesia, and don’t know any local friends, you’ll probably get lost. Almost each part of Indonesia have their own local language, that sometimes, even Indonesians can’t speak to fellow Indonesians cause they can’t speak the local language. English won’t do so good either, even if you’re in a big city. This is quite disappointing, at least for me, because there are so many beautiful views in Indonesia, that can only be reached if you have a local friend there.

So what’s the problem here?

Well, I don’t want to blame the government or the teachers. Me being able to speak and write English is because of my English teachers (and my love for games and books, but that’s another story).

In my own opinion and experience, the problem with most Indonesians is that they don’t have enough courage to practice foreign languages! When we learn a new language, the first thing we do is pick up a pen, write the new vocabularies, and start memorizing for the test next week. Of course, written languages are important, but what’s the point of learning a language if you don’t get to use it to SPEAK to other people from different countries?

Learning a language is not just about being able to write in other language, but also the ability to LISTEN and RESPOND to what they’re saying. If you don’t use it, then what’s the point of learning a new language anyway? It’s not about the grammar mistakes that you make, but it’s about conveying your opinion so that other people understands what you mean. As long as they understand, they won’t care about how many grammar mistakes you made.

The good thing about being an Indonesian is that I don’t have a certain accent that makes it harder for me to learn a new language. Have a listen to Indian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, or Thais when they talk, and they all have different accents. Which is cool and unique, but sometimes can be very hard when it comes to learning a certain language.

So, fellow Indonesians, still afraid to speak in foreign languages?

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