Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Free Land - Miscellaneous

I don't know why I feel that I need to write one more posting about Thailand.

So, here are some of my miscellaneous thoughts about Thailand. about the people, habits, and unique and different things that I can't resist, in random order-of course.

1. The King and Royal Family

The picture below is a statue of King Rama V, one of the most successful Thai Kings.

I grew up in a country with such a hatred to the government. Most of my friends from all over the world don't have any sympathy to their countries' governments either.
Take my Canadian friends for example, they didn't even care that Queen Elizabeth II is still the monarch leader in the country.
Or that some of my German friends go for demonstrations all the time to protest their government.
My British friends didn't even care about the royal family or any elections.

So I was asking some stuff about Thai royal family when I asked,
"So, if your King dies..."
and Jo was like, "Oh my God! Alien! that's such a terrible thing to say..."
I was so surprised.
I mean, Thais honor their King so high, it was almost like they think their King, who is now really old, will never die.

This is something very new for me.
Here I am. Mocking my country's leader all the time, and my country never actually gets better.
Maybe if Indonesians learn from Thais, how Thais respect and honor their leader, Indonesia will be as amazing as Thailand.

(Amazing Thailand. that's their tourism tagline)

2. Garuda and Naga

I am pretty sure that both 'Garuda' and 'Naga' words come from Bahasa Indonesia.
what I'm not sure is where are those two words come from? Sanskrit?

I totally got a wow moment when I learned that Indonesia and Thailand have the same exact words for Garuda and Naga.
and another wow moment when I found out that Thailand also use Garuda as their national emblem.
Can we be more similar than that???

3. Star Trek-y Escalator

I had to wait for about four hours in Suvarnabhumi Airport when I got to Bangkok, in order to fly to Chiang Mai.
About half an hour of my four hours was spent on admiring this escalator below.

this is no ordinary escalator.
the going-down escalator consists of a downslide, a flat area, and then another downslide.
the same thing happens with the going-up escalator.
why would they put two slides instead of one slide per one escalator?
Jo and I have no clue. It was just an extra-ordinary escalator that needs to be admired.
as Samuel said, "everything looks very much similar to everything on Star Trek." LOL

4. Jelly Fish

I saw lots of jelly fish on Spongebob Squarepants.
I saw Seven Pounds and how the lead actor (played by Will Smith) dies with a sting of jelly fish.
I had many jelly fish dishes in my life.
but I couldn't recall any moment in my life seeing a real jelly fish.
And I even touched them in Phuket!!!
how cool is that???

of course the one I touched was the totally harmless ones. the eat-able ones.

5. Wawee Coffee

If you're going to Thailand as a huge coffee lovers and you're still drinking Starbucks instead of Wawee Coffee, you're missing on the whole point of having a cup of Thai coffee!

Wawee is a local coffee joint in Thailand, which sell coffee for half the Starbucks' price.
the coffee is also served in a pretty wide range of drinks. hot, cold, icy, flavory, you name it!
they also sell a wide selection of local tea. not forgetting the world-famous' Thai milk tea.

I also got a wow moment when I drank their coffee for the first time.
I had an ice coffee, one of their signature ones, and it was served in a totally great cup.
The plastic in their plastic cup is very thick, it's almost similar to a water bottle.
when I asked the barista about their amazingly thick plastic cup, she was smiling and said,
"don't worry. we recycle. our plastic is better than Starbucks', isn't it?"
Oh yeah!

6. Never-bored Bamboo Dance

Have you ever seen the dance on the picture below?

if you haven't seen it, go to almost every South-East Asian countries and I bet you can find it almost every where. (well, I think. besides Singapore, you can pretty much find it every where else)

I remember learning to play/dance it back when I was still in elementary.
We learned it on boy/girl scouts.
I saw this bamboo dance as a traditional Filipino dance.
and when Thailand has it, Laos and Cambodia should have it.
and when Indonesia has it, I bet Malaysia has it.
and that pretty much cover South East Asia.
(I have to get back to you about Brunei, Myanmar, and Vietnam)

7. The Motionless Guard

It's very interesting to see a Thai guard who can not move at all.
I mean, seeing the Buckingham Palace guard for me was nothing new. Almost all the British guard are caucasians and therefore they look like a bunch of dolls to me.
But Thais are so very similar to Indonesians, therefore they look like a bunch of real people to me.
imagining a real person not moving for such a long time is unbearable.

I wonder if we have similar guards in Indonesia...
I can't remember what the Keraton guards look a like.

8. Lost in Translation: Books

So as many other Bangkok visitors, I spent a whole day in Chatuchak weekend market.
I felt that I tear the market apart.
I went from one end to the other, I walked too much. I was so tired, I felt like loosing my legs.
That was when I found out they also sell books.
mostly secondhand, but if you really look, some of the books are still in really good condition.
I was in the middle of the market, wondering around, and I found books in Bahasa Indonesia.
It was very shocking.
The seller didn't even speak any English and she was selling books in Bahasa Indonesia!

When I asked her how she got all the books. She said some tourist sold or gave them to her.
I wonder if anyone will buy them...

9. Pork or No Pork?

I wrote before how Thais are crazy about pork.
I also wrote about how I don't really eat street/market food in Indonesia.
but in Thailand, their street food always looked so good.
I was so tempted to buy them but I didn't wanna risk it.
Eating pork was not worth it.

10. Boiling Cocoon

I went to many fabric factories.
I know how people made thread, I know how to made silk, I know how they create a piece of expensive hand-woven fabric.
But somehow, I got all fascinated by these cocoon.

how they were so tiny, but they made up a spool of thread.
how they were so rough, but they got really soft after dyeing.
and how they transform uni-color fibre to colorful fabrics.

I took lots of pictures of the cocoon. I don't know why.

So there, some of my miscellaneous thoughts about Thailand: its people, habits, and others.

Now, I can't wait for my next trip!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Free Land - Bangkok

My trip in Thailand was ended in Bangkok: The City of Angels.

I was really happy about my stay in the city because I got to stay in a really cool hostel called Lubd, which means "good sleep". The hostel was right under a BTS Station and it was across the street of MBK and in walking distance to Siam area.

The most fascinating thing about Bangkok is the transportation system.
Aside from the popular Tuk Tuk, which I somehow didn't really wanna get on because it was very touristic and it is basically robbing every tourist, they have the understandable and affordable BTS, MRT, and water transportation system.
Two pictures below are me on the BTS and Jo with a boat.

However, no matter how great the BTS, MRT, and water transportation system in Bangkok is, the roads are still stuck on daily basis: traffic jams. Plus the traffic jams happens in really odd hours, which is in the evening. I noticed that the traffic was fine in the morning. At 7-10 am (which is the range of time when people usually go to work) the traffic was enjoyable. But when it got closer to 5 pm the traffic started to build and it usually lasted up until 10pm. It's like no one actually got up to work, but everyone is going home.
Later, thanks to my friend Samuel, who met this random person who understands about Bangkok's transportation, I found out that tourists are the main users of BTS and MRT. Most of Thai people use their own car, or maybe bus.

So anyway, Jo and I took the boat to visit some places.
The picture below is a temple called Wat Arun.
"wat" actually means temple in Thai.
Wat Arun is in fact my most favorite temple among many other temples that I visited in Thailand. I think it's because most of the temples are dominated with the color gold with a lot of Chinese influence in it. As I am not a big fan of the color gold or the somehow Chinese influence architecture or decoration, I wasn't that impressed by any other temples as I was impressed by Wat Arun.
Although most of Wat Arun's decoration was made out of ceramic and porcelain from China, it just gave me a different feeling. It was pretty impressive.
No wonder I took tons of pictures in this temple.

The picture above was a scenery taken from (almost) the top of Wat Arun.
(There was actually a higher spot than where I took the picture, but it was off limit for tourists)
Yes. in Wat Arun, we could climb the stairs and see a really nice scenery of Chao Phraya River.
Grand Palace is actually in the far distance of this picture.

So, the picture below is the Grand Palace.
A very crowded and touristic place.
When I was there, the sun was shining like it was the last day of earth. it was damn hot.
The gold color actually hurt my eyes.

My most favorite picture-taken spot in the Grand Palace complex was on the picture below.
It was actually a replica of Angkor Wat.
One funny thing was when my dad asked me where I have been in Bangkok, he asked whether I went to Angkor Wat or not. He had no clue that the real Angkor Wat is actually in Cambodia.

So, one of the most important thing that I did when I was in Thailand was eating. LOL
It is funny because I don't really eat street food or food from a traditional market in Indonesia.
Despite the pretty similar unhygienic way of cooking, I eat street/market food in Thailand anyway.
And below is my typical lunch, when I was in Thailand.
Papaya salad was almost always there, in almost every meal that I had. and I basically had tons of chicken cooked into something. It is simply because Thai people don't eat beef (they actually consider cow sacred, much like Balinese) and I don't eat pork (which I felt like their main meat).
The unusual thing that I found in Thai way of eating is that they eat a lot of sticky rice.
They eat sticky rice at lunch, at dinner, with mango, with milk, with coconut milk, with almost everything.
(They don't eat sticky rice with durian and fried banana, though, it is still only the Sumatran's way of eating, and I am so proud of it. LOL)

So, when I went to Bangkok, my extended family was basically freaking out. They all thought my parents were crazy to let me go there alone.
No one is over the latest Thailand's political drama. When people got shot, tourists got stranded in the airport, and mall got bombed.
Below is the picture of Central World. A mall intended to be the biggest shopping mall in Thailand which got bombed a few months ago.
You can't really see the damages now, because they are starting to build it back up again.
Jo was surprised that I was really interested in the bombing site and everything. She was a bit shock when I started taking pictures.
Well, I guess it was because I wasn't near the bombing sites when there was a riot in 1998 in Indonesia.

One part of my Bangkok Trip was going to Ayutthaya.
Ayutthaya was basically an old city where the Thailand's capital was, back in the old days.
On the streets of Ayutthaya I saw the reminds of old temples, kept for the sake of history.
One of the most interesting things I saw in Ayutthaya was in the picture below.
It was a Buddha head caught in the roots of a bodhi tree. Pretty amazing, if you asked me. Plus the tree is growing every year, so there's a slight possibilities that in several years ahead, the Buddha head will be on the same level as the human's average height, which is extremely cool.

Below are the pictures of the temples that I went in Ayutthaya area.
From this visit, I understood that Thai people didn't always care about their tourism/historical sites. There were times when people actually came to the old temples, stole something, and sold it as an antique. Besides, they were robbed by the Burmese pretty bad.
So, basically on the picture below, the damages on the temples, including the headless Buddha was because of the old-ignorance way of living.

After visiting the temples in Ayutthaya, I can only say one two things:
1. Borobudur is a million times better!
2. Thai people, which are mostly Buddhist, SHOULD come to Borobudur!

Now that I think of it, I didn't take that many pictures in Bangkok.
Aside because I travel mostly alone (Jo only came for one day, more or less), I actually just went on a lot of walking and enjoying the city.
I didn't even buy that many stuff on my shopping day in Chatuchak weekend market.

My over all visit to Thailand was really fun.
I wouldn't reject another invitation for another visit to the country.

plus, special thanks to Jo Chawandit and her family to help me in many ways.
Too bad I haven't met the complete member of the family.
Can't wait for another visit on getting to know the family!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Free Land - Phuket

So, my second stop in Thailand was Phuket.

here's the thing: I love beach.
Beach is one of the most fun places I like to go.

there are lots of freedom when you're in a beach.
you don't have to worry about your clothes, because you're going to take it off, anyway.
you don't have to worry about how you wear your hair, because it's gonna be wet, anyway.
you don't have to worry about screaming out loud, because the sound of the wave usually eats up your voice, anyway.
you don't have to worry about it's being too hot, because you are actually aiming for the tanned skin, anyway.

As much as people say Bali is better than Phuket, I didn't even notice.
I love Bali and I like Phuket.
Both have gorgeous beaches. Both have hot temperature. Both are very touristic.

So, on the very short period of time I stayed in Phuket alone, I tried to make the best out of it.
And I did. I came home with tons of great memories from Phuket.
I wouldn't complain when if I'm offered to come back there again.

The picture above was taken in the Phi Phi Island area. I was on the speed boat, which was a very fun experience.
I mean, I've been to a few speed boat before, but that one was like a never-ending roller coaster ride. It's crazy! I was jumping on my seat, non-stop!

The picture below was taken on Maya Beach, in the area of Phi Phi Island.
Of course it was very crowded, now that everyone knew that Leonardo DiCaprio shot the movie The Beach here.
As for myself, I don't care that it was a touristic place. the most important thing is that I had been to the same place where Leonardo Dicaprio had been.

The picture below was taken in Khai Island, one of the snorkeling spots.
It looks rocky and coral-ly, but it is an advantage as fishes tend to hide between the corals.

Besides the beaches and the trips to several islands that I took, I also went to see a show, called Phuket Fantasea.
It was basically a show, similar to circus, where dancing meets singing and talented animals.
The stunts that they did was fascinating and they used real animals to perform. Too bad I wasn't allowed to take any pictures during the show. And it is also too bad that I got really tired after a long day. I felt that I didn't appreciate the show enough to enjoy it, because I was too tired.

So, besides Phi Phi Island, I also went on another trip the next day.
there was slight changes between this trip and the trip I took to Phi Phi Island.
I took a big boat, instead of a speed boat, which is actually calmer and more relax.

On this trip, I also got to do some canoeing, which is very fun.
The picture below showed me on a canoe with a guy that pedaled for me because we went through some caves and it was a bit tricky. But I was actually pedaling by myself too. and it was very fun.

The canoeing with some kind of 'tour guide' was interesting, because the tour guide told and showed me all sorts of stuff.
Of course he showed me various caves and everything, but the shaped cliffs are the most interesting part. And the picture below is one of them.
The tour guide hesitated to show me the shaped rock, because I was a girl. He said he took many guys to see this shaped rock, but not a girl.
When I asked why and I insisted on asking him to show me the shaped rock, he gave up and said I should see it for myself.
When we finally got to see it, he said to me, "don't you think it looks like a penis?"
I laughed.

The highlight of the trip was the James Bond Island.
It's funny that the island seems to lose its real name and it holds on to the name "James Bond Island" because it was used as a set for a 1974 James Bond movie.
The island was very crowded with all the souvenir sellers and all the tourist, but if you find a right quiet spot with a right background, you can get the best of it!

and on the very last minutes of my time in Phuket, I decided to go to the beach at the end of the road on my hotel, Patong Beach.
It was a crowded beach, very touristic, very similar to Kuta, minus the famous sunset.

I was actually sad when I had to leave Phuket.
Just as sad as I would be, everytime I have to leave Bali.

I hope one day I can come back to Phuket and fall in love again.

The Free Land - Chiang Mai

Okay. I finally talked myself out of laziness and wrote this.
I'm gonna share a little bit of my traveling experience. This time, I went to Thailand.

Back when I was still in Canada, I met a Thai girl named Jariyamart Chawandit, or Jo for short.
To be honest, I never really wanted to go to Thailand.
To me, Thailand wasn't very appealing. It's just a south-east asian country, similar to Indonesia. what's the fuzz?

Jo had been asking me to come to Thailand for a long time.
well, basically every summer holiday, when we got to talking.
So, here I was, in Indonesia, talking to her through windows live messenger, complaining about how hard it is to get a visa to travel to Europe, when she said I should come to Thailand.
"it's closer and cheaper and you don't need a visa." that's what she said.

She was right.
So when I had nothing to do and my parents were dying to kick me out of the house, I decided to go to Thailand.
and here's my first stop: Chiang Mai

Coming to Chiang Mai made me realize that Thailand is divided into at least three parts: North, Central, and South.
Chiang Mai is a city in the North of Thailand with its own uniqueness.

My very first stop in Chiang Mai was the Night Market.
I bought some stuff in the Night Market. They had some very interesting stuff, but the most interesting things are the food.
Below are what Jo and I had for dinner.

Thailand is damn famous for papaya and mango salad.
This is something similar with those salads, but this one is with meat/seafood and noodles.
The left one was mine: pork free.
The right one was Jo's: with pork all over.
Yeap. they cook lots of pork in Thailand, which is inconvenient for me.

Above is my most favorite meal in Thailand.
It's some kind of rice noodle, cooked in some kind of chicken curry.
It has the perfect kind of taste that I like and it is a northern style cooking.
Of course they also have different kinds of curry with fish and pork in it. I like chicken the best.
And this kind of noodle is the Thai's style of fast food.

One of the most fun thing in the night market, besides the shopping is the busker.
It's very interesting that this group of busker just sat on the road, where the night market was, and played their music. They were sitting in a line, instead of sitting in a circle, as most groups do.
Too bad I didn't know any of their song as they were only playing Thai songs.

The funniest thing on my whole trip to Thailand was seeing Panda.
Even before I came to Thailand, Jo told me about how crazy the Thai people about Panda. When I finally got there, I couldn't help but laugh because of their craziness.
They got Pandas from China and they treat them like Panda is one of their gods.
They put the Panda in two huge fully air-conditioned areas. It was a one way area, so when you left the areas, you can't go back and forth to see the Pandas.
The one way ticket to see Panda would be worth it, if the Pandas didn't sleep all the time and gave their butts to everyone. I was there for almost an hour, the Pandas didn't move at all. I would think they were dead.
And really, Thais are dead-crazy about these Pandas. They have 24-hour cable tv that shows Pandas. and among those 24 hours, the Pandas were only awake for 8 hours.

and of course, what's the point on coming to Thailand without visiting any temples?
Temples are basically the main tourism point in Thailand.
Very similar with Bali.
So Chiang Mai is a city with more than 300 temples and we went to the biggest and nicest one.
But I didn't mean to be rude, I am just really not a fan of gold color, so every time we went to the temples with lots of gold color in it, I didn't really see the beauty in it.
But the visit to temples (or any other religious place, for that matter) is always interesting.
My visit to Thailand made me learn that the Buddhists basically have to pay respect in every single Buddha sculpture that exists whenever they bump into one.
And can you imagine how many Buddha sculptures there is in the world???

I also went to a cultural center where there was dances and food.
The food was good. Some of the food taste very similar to Indonesian cooking. I was a bit surprised.

Basically, coming to Chiang Mai made me learn a little bit about Thailand's culture.
I learned about where Thai people were from, originally.
They have a large number of Chinese immigrants in the country. In the northern part of the country, they still have a quite large numbers of primitive tribe people. It's very interesting that tribes are rather sensitive subject. It is rather not polite to ask people which tribes they are coming from.
That is very different than Indonesia. I would proudly say that I'm a Mandailing/Bataknese if I was ever asked. I would proudly explain my tribes' traditions that I still practice until today. I would wear my tribes' clothing as a fancy clothing to a special occasion.
On the picture below, it's my picture with Jo and two dancers wearing their tribe's costume, which I found very similar to Mongolian (which I saw back in Beijing).

On my last day in Chiang Mai, I went to the elephant camp.
I was debating with myself whether or not I should go to the elephant camp.
I mean, we got a lot of elephants in Indonesia and I've been to many elephant rides in my whole life. I felt like I don't need to see another elephant show and ride any elephant.
But then I did some re-thinking and I thought, "I am in Thailand! I HAVE TO do stuff with elephant!" as they are really go gaga with all this elephant stuff.
So I did. I went to the Maesa Elephant campm which said to be the best elephant camp in the whole world.
And I didn't regret it to the least!!!
Below is the picture of a painting that was drawn by an elephant.
YES!!! the elephant was drawing!!! I turned out buying a bunch of postcards with elephants' painting on it!

And the elephant ride was one of the coolest things I did!
It was like a small roller coaster ride/a very bumpy rocking chair.
It was a bit scary, especially when the elephant decided to scratch herself. She would just move the way she wanted and we were sitting diagonally on its back.
It was scary enough that the elephant went through the small path in a little forest, then it did some turning and suddenly we were riding through a small river with pretty strong current.
It was an extraordinary elephant ride!

Chiang Mai was a very interesting place.
I was uncertain when my sister went to Thailand for the first time and she only came to Chiang Mai. I was like, "what's up with Chiang Mai?"
And I finally got my answer. It was a must visit place in Thailand!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I think it's in my gene.
My family simply likes being a host.
well, maybe with my sister as an exception.
(my sister hates being the center of attention, therefore she would rather choose not to have the urge to be a host)

It's true.
ever since I was little, my parents have had friends, family, and family friends come over to our place.
My mom would be busy in the kitchen for two straight days. In those two days she'd be very cranky if she doesn't get what she wanted.
My dad would be busy at work. his help would go as far as food and beverages in the menu.
Me? I would be busy getting yelled by mom, because I was trying to help but then I ended up screwing many things. So I ended up giving up about helping, but then I get yelled again because I'm a girl and I'm supposed to be helping out.
Or I would be busy running errands with dad (yeah. my mom usually changes everything on last minute basis, because she always feel that the food would not be enough for everyone. In the end, we got super duper extra left over which we should be eating in the next following week.)
My sister, in any case, is the kind of person whom just doesn't care. She wouldn't help, because she doesn't feel like it and because she simply doesn't care. And the great thing about that is my mom doesn't put any pressure on her refusing to help out, at all.

So, you get the idea.
Ever since I was little, I get used to people come over to my house. Eating, chit-chat-ing, laughing, sleeping over, etc, etc.
I, too, grow up to be very fond of being a host.

I like celebrating my birthday.
I like being the host of fast-breaking occasions that come every ramadhan.
I don't like cooking, or setting up my house, or something like that.
I simply like organizing a free meal event.

I like the confusion about the menu. I like creating sentences for invitation. I like to see the happiness in my friends' faces when they are invited. I like the adrenaline rush when I am not sure about the number of people attending. I like my house being crowded. I simply like being a host.

And trust me: it's genetic!
and I'm not talking only about my mom and dad.
It's in the extended family.
Every time we go back to a little village where my dad originally comes from, we have this huge 'party'. We would invite each and every single person in the village to come to our place. We would eat, talk, give speeches, play music, dance, play games, everything.
We kind of give back to the villagers.
and we visit family all the time.
We celebrate every single moment: births, graduations, Eid Al-Fitr, Ramadhan, Eid Al-Adha, birthdays, weddings, being healthy, goodbyes, etc, etc.
And we blend-in.
My extended family has thousands of friends, more extended family, and family friends.
Our place would be crowded, we would sweat in preparation, but we love being a host.

In fact,
Maybe I already find my true calling: to become an event organizer

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Selain sahur dan buka puasa, taraweh adalah bagian yang paling penting dalam Ramadhan bagi aku. Intinya, perbedaan Ramadhan dan bulan-bulan lain itu paling terasa saat sahur, buka puasa, dan taraweh.

Waktu kecil, sampai sebelum kuliah deh, aku selalu rajin taraweh.
Alasannya macam-macam.
mulai dari gara-gara disuruh ngisi buku ceramah, sampai ngeceng-ngeceng centil.
Ngisi buku ceramah sih alasan biasa ya.
Ngceng-ngeceng centil ini adalah alasan yang sangat kekanak-kanakan.

Tapi ini beneran terjadi deh.
Aku gak terlalu ingat kapan aku sangat semangat buat tarawehan ke mesjid.
Mungkin sekitar kelas dua SD. itu juga ingatan aku tidak jelas dan sangat kabur.
Ingatan aku tentang taraweh mulai terasa jelas sejak kelas empat SD, saat aku mulai ngeceng-ngeceng centil.
Sejak saat itu, sampai lulus SD, niat aku tarawehan tidak lagi murni untuk beribadah pada Allah SWT, tapi dikotori oleh niat mengeceng.

Lucu banget kalau mengingat-ingat masa-masa tarawehan pas SD.
aku datang ke mesjid bersama mama dan pembantu.
Mama biasanya berada di shaf agak depan, bergabung sama ibu-ibu pendengar ceramah.
Aku dan mbak pembantu biasanya di shaf agak belakang, bergabung sama temen-temennya mbak pembantu dan temen-temenku sendiri.
Pas lagi ceramah, aku ngobrol sama temen-temenku. mbak pembantu kadang nulis ceramah buat buku ceramahnya (karena dia anak sekolahan juga), kadang juga ngobrol sama temennya.
Entah kenapa, saat-saat tarawehan adalah saat yang paling seru buat ngecengin temen-temen cowok waktu SD. padahal yang keliatan cuma punggungnya doang.
Sungguh kekanak-kanakan.

Anehnya, niat tarawehan buat ngeceng ini terlaksana hingga SMA.
Masih inget cerita tentang my all-time-crush?
Kebetulan rumah kita berdua berdekatan dan dia anak mesjid banget.
Nah, salah satu cara buat ngecengin si kecengan diluar jam sekolah adalah di mesjid saat tarawehan.
Tentu saja si kecengan aku itu udah nongkrong di mesjid sejak shalat maghrib dan bahkan seusai shalat taraweh pun masih nongkrong di mesjid.
Angan-angan aku buat jalan bareng dari rumah ke mesjid atau dari mesjid ke rumah hanya sebatas angan-angan belaka. sampai sekarang belum pernah kesampean.
padahal kan lucu ya, kayak film-film religi zaman dulu. bedanya film-film zaman dulu, perjalanan ke mesjidnya melintasi sawah.

tapi ya, sejak aku kecil yang menurut aku paling mengganggu saat taraweh adalah ibu-ibu yang gak bisa ngurusin anak-anaknya, sampai anak-anaknya nangis-nangis berisik di mesjid.
seriusan ya. itu ibu-ibu bener-bener gak ada ide buat ngediemin anaknya ya?
Aku gak inget sih apa yang terjadi dengan aku saat aku masih kecil.
tapi aku bisa mengingat dengan baik apa yang terjadi waktu adekku masih kecil.

Jadi, ini adalah beberapa tips yang udah dilakukan mama untuk menghindari kerewelan anak kecil saat dibawa ke mesjid.

1. Mama gak tarawehan ke mesjid sewaktu adekku masih kecil. Kayaknya mama baru bawa-bawa adekku keluar rumah pas adekku udah berumur empat tahun, paling tidak.
jadi, tips pertama: kalau anak Anda masih terlalu kecil, tarawehan di rumah saja!!!

2. Gak berdosa buat bawa mainan dan makanan ke mesjid.
Aku inget banget deh, mama mau bawa adekku ke mesjid, bekalnya banyak banget. kue-kue, susu, dan sejuta jenis mainan. Jadinya, pas lagi shalat, adekku bisa main, makan, atau minum sendiri. anteng, gak banyak masalah.
Ada ya, temen mamaku yang mencoba tips ini. Dia membawa anaknya ke mesjid pada suatu hari, padahal anaknya yang dua tahun lebih tua dari adekku ini terkenal banget paling rewel sekompleks. Sebelum shalat, dia heboh ngeluarin makanan dan susu yang dia siapin buat anaknya. taunya, pas shalat anaknya tetep ngamuk. Ternyata, kue-kue yang dia bawa buat anaknya disimpan di dalam plastik dan plastiknya diiket, sehingga si anak gak bisa makan kue-kue-nya. Jadi ya, ini adalah tips tambahan: bawa makanan, minuman, dan mainan yang bisa dijangkau oleh anak-anak sendiri.

3. Gak salah buat sedikit galak ke anak.
Mamaku adalah mama yang galak. Kalau sudah melihat wajah anak-anaknya yang akan menangis, mama cukup melotot saja, aku dan adekku gak jadi menangis.
Kalau berani menangis, mama malah akan membentak.
kalau aku atau adekku menangis tambah kencang, mama malah akan memarahi dan menghukum kami.
Jadi, sebelum siap membawa anak-anak Anda ke mesjid, coba latihan dulu mendiamkan anak Anda.

Ramadhan memang selalu menjadi bulan istimewa yang akan selalu ditunggu-tunggu.
walaupun niat aku belum sempurna, semoga Ramadhan kali ini bisa membawa berkah bagi kita semua!