… just my little note, over life..


Something is unsettling with me. Well, to be precise, something has been unsettling with me for a while.

It all started due to my observation- to my new friends, old friends, new environment and the old one- pretty much everything revolves around me. I try to take notice.

Among many things in my head, I’d like to write about “knowledge gap”.

Let’s say I have been observing the social media users’ behavior upon their like, love, comments and no-interactions. They all the source of my observation which actually could unfold many things.

So, what is the knowledge gap I am talking about right now?

Did you ever take notice to a popular post like food that everyone could relate? It’s becoming popular easily because people could relate- the relation built due to the shared knowledge. That’s the key words.

And in my observation, that’s what makes a post (be it a picture or a thought) about overseas can be infamous, or for many people can appear arrogant. (mind you, I aiming this piece for my fellow Indonesians)

It’s because many people (or some depending on your social media friends/followers) can not relate to you. And why is that? To my own theory, it’s because of the knowledge gap, i.e., something that you may experience on a daily basis may be foreign to them, or the food that you can buy only for a few bucks in the country where you are currently residing may be expensive for them, among others. In that situation, one thing that is just an ordinary stuff for you is becoming a source of arrogance for them (or for some of them). For you, you just want to share your daily life, so you can still communicate with those who are now continents apart, but it may not be the same case for them. Who knows your picture depicting a capitol of Washington DC or the liberty statue is taken as a means to show off by them. We’d never know and we could never guess. However, you could tell by their reactions upon their reactions on the post: some find it entertaining and educating, while others just simply don’t care or choose not to be bothered. I suppose, there are a few people who may think that you just wanted to brag or show off about your life, which may be essentially different from them. And just like any other differences in life, we need to treat them wisely and open-mindedly. The wrong treatment over differences often leads to misperception or even worse, misunderstanding .

Is knowledge gap something new? No, it is not. We have had it since we were kid, since we attended school. One thing that is very close is our relationship with our parents and later later on with our teacher. The relationship between a teacher and their student occurs due to the knowledge gap. Our teacher to whom we authorize our trust to be our “superordinate” in knowledge is the person who will endow their knowledge to us. In a traditional classroom (like the type we had when we went to school), students were usually “treated” as the inferior ones. We, as the students, submitted our trust to our teachers and are (expected to be) submissive. Complication often occurs when there were two or three students who tried to ask questions to the teachers, which for many appeared to “challenge” the teachers’ territory or their superodination. It may be rubbing their insecurity. Who knows.

(Masih inget kan gimana guru kita suka marah kalau ditanya dan kita dianggap nantang dan sok tahu? Lalu, kita dianggap nakal, sok tahu, songong karena itu, padahal mungkin di antara anak yang bertanya banyak yang benar-benar karena ingin bertanya, out of their curiosity about knowledge)

Nah, di ranah media sosial, hal ini juga bisa terjadi. If we take a look at the demographic friends on our social media (in my case, it’s Path), our connection is usually our friends who are at the same age with us (or with me). For many Indonesians, age is an important matter- suggesting if you are older enough, you are supposedly to be more knowledgeable or more experience, while otherwise is not normally appreciated. With this notion, the peers (or teman sebaya) should have at least the same amount of knowledge.

Complication happens when you share some of your overseas posts or thought reflecting your current knowledge, which may appear to be source of brag for some people. Again, one post that is only to capture a simple and daily life may appear to be an object of show off because of this knowledge gap. For you, the post is just projecting a piece of your overseas experience, but this may be something that is not relatable. Therefore, one post could be a source of problem. It can be construed as “sombong amat, postnya tentang jalan-jalan ke luar negeri mulu.”! or “males ah buka akun si x, isinya cuma jalan-jalan ke luar negeri.” Padahal mungkin itu cuma foto di jalan raya atau warung kopi aja! Tapi karena ada gap, persepsi bisa jadi jauh berbeda. Intensi tidak bertemu dengan persepsi. The intention may not be met due to the knowledge gap.

The complication could get worse, if you are at the same age with them, which in their mind should have the same amount of knowledge and experience. Thus, your willingness or better yet, your intention to share your thought and slices of everyday life may be construed differently by some of your social media connections. For you sharing is caring, while for others, your sharing could mean bragging.

And that one thing that I need to constantly notice, be aware of, and to pay attention to these days. I need to treat the differences wisely. I am not saying I have more knowledge, but I am just saying the knowledge is different due to the different experience. I may know one thing, but am in the dark for many many many other things in life. That is why I live by this principle “everyone you meet is a teacher”. I am convinced that there are always many things that others know that we know nothing about. Rather than, take other people’s posts as a source of arrogance, we may start to think that person is actually trying to communicate with you, about life that she is living so next time you and her meet up, you both can talk!

And, that’s what I do: I like it when people share about their children, their life, their experience that I know nothing about. It can be their post as a mom, parents, and many things that I have never experienced. Rather than taking their posts as bragging, I am taking them as their way to talk to their friends, including me. So everything is actually a source of learning. We just need to be wise in treating our differences, because being different and changing are the most natural and sustained phases in life.

Thus, it may be better to call this as “knowledge difference” than a gap. Yeah, I think I like this one better.

My two cents.

On one fine and shiny day in the Spring season,

at a local coffee shop

Nelly, Spring, 2016.

 

 

(suka duka traveling!)


Entah kenapa nih lagi stuck banget rasanya dengan Chapter analisis, udah dipelototin bolak-balik tetep aja masih belum dapet ide lagi. Biasanya kalau lagi mentok gini, L ngajakin hiking atau jalan ke danau atau taman sekitar, tapi karena L lagi sakit, jadi kita memutuskan di apt aja….

Dan ide-ide buat nulis hal lain selain D itu pun minta dikeluarkan… Koleksi kenangan saat jalan-jalan baik liburan atau perjalanan urusan konfrensi atau workshop keluar lagi…

Yang paling baru sih perjalanan ke Missoula bulan lalu, tapi cerita-cerita seru lainnya masih lumayan banyak dan sayang kalau dilupakan gitu aja.

Salah satu yang menarik adalah pengalaman jalan-jalan ke Tokyo tahun lalu atau Winter break tahun 2014-2015. One of the highlighted pieces of the whole adventure.

Dan, satu keseruan di antara keseruan yang lain itu pun dimulai… serunya kami sih. Hehehe.

Kami tiba di bandara Narita sekitar jam 10 malam dari bandara O’hare, Chicago. Setelah urusan bagasi selesai, kami pun menuju loket tempat penjualan tiket subway (shinkansen). Petugas cukup ramah walau dengan bahasa Inggris yang terbata-bata dan pelayanan cukup mudah juga cepat, karena tidak ada yang mengantri. Kami pun berjalan berjalan mengikuti marka jalan, saat asyik menggeret (hihihi, apa sih menggeret) dua koper besar kami, kami pun dihentikan dengan sangaaaaaaatt sopan oleh polisi Jepang (Asli, itu polisi, mau kasih tahu kalau kita salah jalan caranya sopaaaaaaan banget!) kalau kita ambil arah yang salah. Baik banget deh. Sampe nunduk-nunduk gitu lagi.

Singkat cerita akhirnya kami pun sudah sampai di dalam Shinkansen yang akan membawa ke hotel kami. Kereta lumayan sepi dan yang pasti bersih!!!!! Gak ada sampah satu pun. Singkat cerita kami sudah sampai di hotel (tulisan berikutnya bakal ceritain deh gimana kita sampai ke hotel di tengah malam itu, another fun and exciting adventure!).

Setelah check-in, kami pun menuju kamar kami dan leganya rasanya bisa mandi, dan lurusin badan setelah 12 jam dari O’hare, Chicago. Sebelum istirahat, kami pun menyiapkan itinerary untuk besok juga menelpon salah satu kerabat kami yang tinggal di Tokyo. Ryo-san, sahabat saat di Athens, Ohio.

Nah, kejadian sebelum tidur ini yang seru. Saat Lesky menyiapkan itinerary dan uang untuk naik kereta besok pagi. Nah saat itulah kami baru sadar kalau Lesky ternyata sudah memberikan 1000 yen, saat membeli tiket kereta, bukan 10 dollar. Kebetulan kami memang sudah menukar uang saat di O’hare sehingga kami sudah punya Yen saat tiba di Narita. Warna dari pecahan 100, 1000 dan 10 Yen memang sekilas sama. Mungkin setelah berada di pesawat 12 jam dan capek, Lesky salah mengambil uang. 1000 Yen kira-kira sama 100 dollar. Lumayan nyesek dan syok sih. Kami juga yakin bahwa petugas di loket juga tidak memperhatikan. Jadi, ya, malam itu kami sadar bahwa kami baru saja kira-kira kehilangan sekitar 90 dollar-an. Lumayan bikin syok yaaaaaaaaaahhhhh, kan lumayan bisa buat jalan-jalan…..

Lesky lumayan kaget, dan gw tentu aja BT donk. Pengen ngomel, tapi udah gak punya tenaga, udah ngantuk juga, tapi sumpah sebel aja gitu. Β Mau marah gak tahu deh ama siapa. Tapi sumpah, belajar ikhlas itu susah banget ya. Asli susah. Apalagi saat itu, hehehe. Gw bayangin bisa buat apa aja itu 1000 Yen….

Lesky sih bilang: Ya, ikhlas aja. Kan udah hilang, mau gimana lagi? Insya Allah nanti dikasih gantinya.

Tapi, tetep aje yeeeeee, sussaaaaaah buat ikhlas hieiiheihe. Gw tetep merengut-rengut. Semakin Lesky nyoba yakinin gw untuk ikhlas, semakin gw pengen ngomel. hihihi. Kelakuan banget emang gw ini.

Besok paginya, kami pun siap-siap untuk perjalanan hari 1 menyusuri kota Tokyo. Saat mau sarapan, hape Lesky tiba-tiba ada notif. Email dari kantornya.

Gw pun tambah sewot ya: Duh, please deh, masih check email aja, liburan nih, liburan. Sambil ngeloyor mau keluar kamar.

Lesky tetep baca email dan gak lama kemudian, dia deketin gw sambil berbisik: Tuh aku bilang apa, kalau kita ikhlas, Allah tuh Maha Pemurah. Alhamdulillah, barusan dapat email dari J*** (nama bosnya Lesky di Madison), kalau aku dapat bonus yang jumlahnya 3 kali lipat. Insya Allah sebagai pengganti uang kita yang hilang tadi malam, ya.

Ya, tentu gw seneng, tapi hikmah dari semuanya adalah: memang ikhlas itu ilmu yang paling sulit dan susah. Kemampuan melihat hikmah pun sampai sekarang masih tertatih gw pelajarin. Tapi gw selalu ketemu pengalaman yang membuat gw selalu percaya: Allah is there. Juga, selalu ada hikmah di antara semua peristiwa!

**

 

 

Terima kasih, Pak Polisi (suka duka rantau)


Hari itu, akhir Maret, tiba di bandara kota Missoula, negara bagian Montana.

Bandara kota kecil, bahkan lebih kecil daripada bandara kota Madison. Jangan dibandingkan dengan O’hare, Chicago, JFK atau Laguardia di NY, Seatac di Seattle, atau LAX di LA, jauuuuhhhh. Bahkan dengan bandara ukuran sedang pun, seperti di Atlanta, bandara ini… masih jauh lebih kecil. Bandara kota ini super humble dan modest😊😊😊😊, hampir seperti bandara di Yogyakarta.

Kembali ke malam itu, kami (gw dan satu kolega) mendarat di bandara Missoula jam 12.10 menit. Setelah urusan baggage claim selesai, jam sudah menunjukkan jam 12.30AM. Shuttle hotel tempat kami menginap sudah menyetop shuttle service pada jam 12:00. Kami pun menelpon taksi, dan tentu saja karena ini kota kecil, kami harus menunggu sekitar 20-25 menit.

Tidak ada pilihan, kami menunggu. Sampai bandara benar-benar sepi, semua penumpang sudah menghilang di gelap dan dinginnya malam. Saya pernah stranded di beberapa bandara kota besar, jam 12, jam 1 atau jam 4 pagi, tidak pernah sepi. Tetap ramai. Jadi memang bandara sepi itu lumayan pengalaman baru.

Saat menunggu itu lah, tiba-tiba kami DIDEKATI OLEH SEORANG POLISI. Gak terlalu deg-degan sih, mungkin dia yang deg-degan karena melihat perempuan berjilbab berkeliaran tengah malam di bandara kota kecil, yang penduduknya predominantly white hehehe. As opposed to the melting pot cities like NYC, Chicago that host any kinds of races, and faith. Tapi, penduduk kota Missoula memang cenderung lebih ramah sih, ini kali kedua saya datang ke kota ini.

Pak polisi bertanya kami sedang menunggu apa, dan setelah menjelaskan bahwa kami sedang menunggu taksi untuk ke hotel. The officer was nicely offering the ride to take us to hotel from the airport!πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜ŠπŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜† and he asked me to cancel the taxi. A good call!

Akhirnya di tengah malam itu, di antara udara kota Missoula yang lumayan dingin di bulan Maret, saya pun untuk pertama kalinya naik mobil polisi. Hihihi. Tentu saja saya gak lupa untuk melihat ada apa saja di dalam mobil itu: beberapa jenis senjata, laras panjang, laras pendek, dan beberapa macam lainnya. Hampir tiap detik si pak pol menerima paging dari 911. Hihihi. Seru kayak di film-film. Saya duduk di bagian tengah, di samping di sebuah kotak, yang saya urung bertanya ada apa di dalamnya😊😊😊😊😊😊

Lumayan seru pengalaman malam itu. Naik mobil Pak Polisi yang sedang bertugas, kayak di film-film. Pak Polisinya pun simpatik, ramah, dan tidak menakutkan sama sekali😊😊😊😊😊😊

Lalu, mengapa pengalaman ini menjadi menarik:

  1. Karena saya besar dengan imajinasi bahwa polisi itu menakutkan (dan komunitas saya diajarkan untuk “takut” kepada polisi), jadi saat saya dihampiri polisi, di negara lain, tentu ini menjadi pengalaman menarik dan baru! Polisinya ramah dan simpatik. For me, he is essentially doing his task: to serve!
  2. Jam 12 malam, dan bandara pun sepi…. Saya pernah tiba tengah malam di bandar O’hare, tetapi masih ramai dan lumayan sibuk, jadi kali itu adalah pengalaman super baru mengalami sendiri berada di bandara yang sepi after midnight!:)
  3. Tentang perbedaan- Apa yang dilakukan polisi kepada saya dan kolega saya yang kebetulan adalah orang China. Dua orang dengan penampilan sangat asing untuk satu kota di mana kaum kulit putih mendominasi, artinya mereka jarang bertemu dengan orang asing apalagi yang berjilbab seperti saya. Artinya? Bisa banget menyatukan perbedaan kan! Asal kita gak berprasangka. Lagi-lagi ini mengajarkan saya bahwa perbedaan itu hal yang pasti dalam hidup dan bukan untuk memecah belah, tetapi sebaliknya untuk membuka wawasan dan memperkaya pengalaman hidup.

4,5, 6, and on, I hope you do find some lesson upon reading this very light piece….

Pacific West, Spring, 2016