Category Archives: Legacy of the Distant Past

Fajri vs Maulia: a new rukoon of wudhu (this post is in both Bahasa Indonesia and English)


Kisah ini datang dari masa saya masih SD akhir, dan adik saya SD awal. Adik saya saat itu sudah belajar caranya wudhu dan shalat, tapi ternyata berhasil saya kerjai.

This story came from my days in elementary school. I was in my last years, while my sister was in her early years. At that time, my sister has learned how to do wudhu and shalat, but still I managed to prank her.

Saya bilang bahwa ada satu bagian wudhu yang gurunya (Bu Asni <3) lupa ajarkan: membasuh PERUT.

I told her that there was one part of wudhu that the teacher (Bu Asni <3) has yet to teach: washing the tummy!

Adik saya awalnya tidak percaya, tapi saya sangat meyakinkan. Saya bilang bahwa tiap gerakan wudhu ada maknanya. Wudhu adalah sarana mmbersihkan diri. Bicara yang buruk? Kumur 3x. Mencium yang buruk? Basuh hidung 3x. Melihat yang buruk? Cuci muka 3x. Berfikir yang buruk? Usap kepala 3x, dan seterusnya.

At first my sister did not believe me, but I was very convincing. I told her that every part of wudhu has its own meaning. The purpose of wudhu is to cleanse oneself. spoke bad words? Rinse the mouth 3x. Smelled something bad? Rinse the nose 3x. Saw something bad? Wash the face 3x. Thought of something bad? Wash the head 3x, etc.

Habis makan yang buruk? Ya cuci perut 3x. Adik saya yang masih unyu polos pun percaya. Dia pun mengulang wudhunya dengan menambah rukun baru: membasuh perut.

After eating something bad? Wash the tummy 3x. My very little and innocent sister then gave in. She repeated her wudhu with an additional rukoon: washing the tummy.

Semoga Allah memaafkan kesalahan saya dulu x_x

May Allah forgive my mistake x_x

Fajri vs Maulia: a new rukoon of wudhu (this post is in both Bahasa Indonesia and English)


Kisah ini datang dari masa saya masih SD akhir, dan adik saya SD awal. Adik saya saat itu sudah belajar caranya wudhu dan shalat, tapi ternyata berhasil saya kerjai.

This story came from my days in elementary school. I was in my last years, while my sister was in her early years. At that time, my sister has learned how to do wudhu and shalat, but still I managed to prank her.

Saya bilang bahwa ada satu bagian wudhu yang gurunya (Bu Asni <3) lupa ajarkan: membasuh PERUT.

I told her that there was one part of wudhu that the teacher (Bu Asni <3) has yet to teach: washing the tummy!

Adik saya awalnya tidak percaya, tapi saya sangat meyakinkan. Saya bilang bahwa tiap gerakan wudhu ada maknanya. Wudhu adalah sarana mmbersihkan diri. Bicara yang buruk? Kumur 3x. Mencium yang buruk? Basuh hidung 3x. Melihat yang buruk? Cuci muka 3x. Berfikir yang buruk? Usap kepala 3x, dan seterusnya.

At first my sister did not believe me, but I was very convincing. I told her that every part of wudhu has its own meaning. The purpose of wudhu is to cleanse oneself. spoke bad words? Rinse the mouth 3x. Smelled something bad? Rinse the nose 3x. Saw something bad? Wash the face 3x. Thought of something bad? Wash the head 3x, etc.

Habis makan yang buruk? Ya cuci perut 3x. Adik saya yang masih unyu polos pun percaya. Dia pun mengulang wudhunya dengan menambah rukun baru: membasuh perut.

After eating something bad? Wash the tummy 3x. My very little and innocent sister then gave in. She repeated her wudhu with an additional rukoon: washing the tummy.

Semoga Allah memaafkan kesalahan saya dulu x_x

May Allah forgive my mistake x_x

Umra: A Few Interesting Incidents and What I can Learn from them

I just had to, you know

I just had to, you know



My first (and hopefully not the last!) umrah was a very VERY beautiful experience. I mean, when you ask in general what was it like, I cannot give you anything that you cannot google. The procedure of umrah has not changed since eternities ago, maybe the architecture has changed much but that is something you can look up on the internet.

The beauty of this trip was experiencing it, and beyond description of words. You have read about these places and the history behind each ritual, you have seen pictures of the places, and the change of it from time to time, but if you have never been there you have no idea. To think that Rasulullah s.a.w. used to walk where we walk, stand where we stand, and we touch the ka’bah that was built by Adam a.s. and Ibrahim a.s., and to look at the grave of Rasulullah s.a.w. and the strongest of the Sahabah r.a.

However, there were a few little incidents that might be interesting coincidences (if you believe in coincidences, that is, because I don’t).

  1. Royal Bank of Scotland Online Customer Service

If you don’t feel like coming to the branch or reading help manuals, you can opt to do an online chat with a random customer service officer (CSO). Before I went to Umrah, the day before that was, I contacted the online CSO to set my debit card so I can use it abroad. Some random English name came up and asked what I needed.

I thought to myself “oh man, it would be so nice to coincidentally find a Muslim CSO to help me with this, so he gets the barakah as well.”. Right when I had that thought, suddenly the chat ended abruptly. Maybe connection problem, I don’t know. Then I tried to reconnect, because my problem wasn’t solved. As soon as the chat was connected, the CSO said “This is Mohammed, how can I help you?”

  1. “Not on the flight’s list”

When I was already at the check in counter, I just realized that my ticket has someone else’s name on it. Plus, the guy at the counter said that my (real) name is not on the flight list even after checking many times with different name variations. Another guy had the wrong last name. They dealt with his problem first since it seemed easier, which lasted for like around an hour or so. The clock was ticking.

I tried to have good faith. I thought to myself that Umrah is Allah’s invitation. If He invites me, nothing in the heavens and earth would prevent me from going. If He did not invite me, He knows my intentions.

A few minutes before the other guy’s problem was solved, I tried texting people on the top of my Whatsapp list. The only one who replied in that instance was a good friend called Mariam, who was fasting with her friend. Alhamdulillaah, she was fasting and it was approaching Maghrib! So inshaaAllah their du’as are very likely to be accepted and she (and her friend) agreed to pray for me. Not to mention, there was a very special incident that involved her which reminds us to the power of du’a (click to see the story), and it just had to be her again who reminds me the power of du’as.

When it was my turn, and the lady on the counter checked, my name showed up. Nobody knew how it disappeared, and nobody knew how it suddenly showed back up. I think I do, though.

  1. Hajar Aswad

While in Makkah, most people want to touch and kiss the hajar aswad. The black stone from jannah! But then, “most” means hundreds or even thousands, and the thing is relatively small. Not to mention, people push like crazy from all directions so coming towards and away from it is terribly difficult. Many stories of people going for multiple hajj and umra, and not being able to even come close to it.

May Allah bless my parents for sharing the best and easiest way to touch it.

It was after Fajr jamaat when I told my friends “guys, lets give it a shot”. But seeing the disgustingly large crowd, they said that it was impossible. I begged them to join me, saying “lets try for 15 minutes and if we fail then we go Allah knows our intentions”. They chose to leave and try some other time. I did not want to give in to this.

I knew that I can perhaps join the fight and push, but then I realized that I was here for Allah. Certainly I do not want to do anything with the help of Shaytan, or else, even if I touch the stone, will that make me feel any better? So, as my parents told me, I just trusted Allah and I told myself that I don’t want to hurt anyone in the process. If He wishes me to touch it, Allah will make people push me towards it. If not, He knows my intentions. So I just waited patiently, sometimes letting people cut infront of me.

Allaahu Akbar, it took me less than 15 minutes to get there. I touched it, kissed it, and stopped simply because I know people are waiting and I don’t want to do dzulm to anyone. I did not push anyone, infact people were pushing me towards it. And when I wanted to leave the stone, it was as if people made way for me!

  1. Praying in the Hijr

The Hijr Ismail is that D shaped thing, that if you pray in it then its as if you pray inside the Ka’bah. If you cant pray there, at least to complete your umra you should pray in that particular corner but not within the D thing. Tons of people crowd the place as well, and it is hard to even enter much less pray there. People even pass infront of each other praying!

But after touching the Hajar Aswad, my spirit was high. I might as well try pray at the D thing as well! So I gave it a go. I queued nicely, with the same intentions as trying to approach the hajar aswad. I thought that if I make other’s affair easy, then Allah will make it easy for me. So when this random guy was praying, and I saw people might cross infront of him, I tried to block the way so he can pray in peace and people had to find another way. You know how tempting it is to just pass infront of him hoping to catch someone else’s spot when they are done (cz the deeper they are inside, the likelier it is for them to be done). But that’s not what I should do. Not until when he did salaam, I moved to the side.

Right after that, an old man who also just has finished praying, touched my hand. He pointed to the ground he was praying on and said “use”. I thanked him and prayed my two rakaats. It was always as congested as ever, but nobody even passed infront of me! After doing two rakaats, I called to an old lady who was close to me and asked her to use the spot.

  1. Praying at the Rawdah

This is in Madinah, in Masjid Al-Nabawi. The carpets of Masjid Al-Nabawi are red, but there is a very special area where the carpets are green. The hadith tells us that if you do two rakaats shalat there, its like praying two rakaats in jannah! Allaahu Akbar! ME WANT!

But it is congested as expected. People are more chilled, though, unlike in Makkah. One must pay attention to their feet, to watch if they have managed to enter the green carpet. Some wait until they find a good spot, but others just pray right where they are. If they are lucky, others will try to block the way for other people to pass infront of them while praying. So I, and a few others, tried to support people who are praying by blocking people from passing.

Then I thought that the congestion broke a bit, and there was a little space infront of me. Not exactly enough for me to do ruku, but inshaaAllah people around me will help make it easy for me. However, Allah decreed differently. The people’s help was not needed. After takbir, from the corner of my eyes I realized that the congestion magically turned into a very orderly shaf! And after I finished my salaam, it turned back to a mess again hahaha.

I prayed there multiple times, and this never happened again. I always had to struggle a bit, wait longer, try to be patient if someone blocks the path of my ruku or sujood, etc.


These are just a few little incidents that were interesting. Some lessons that I got were as follows:

–          Remember that you are there for Allah. Do not use the help of Shaytan at any times either in losing patience, abusing others, etc

–          Trust Allah in your du’as. There are no limits to du’as. Allah would either grant them or give you something better.

–          There is no harm in helping others in goodness. When you give something in goodness to someone, you did not lose anything and infact you gained more than what you give.

Im no expert of umrah or anything. I just went once. But these are what I have concluded, and I hope it could be useful to those who read J

Wassalaamu’alaykum warahmatullaah

Pelajaran dari Lomba Debat: Suatu Kerinduan (Bocoran Tulisan untuk Kumpulan Cerita Penerima Beasiswa LPDP hahaha)

Dear all,

Teman-teman awardee LPDP sedang menyusun sebuah kumpulan cerita dari sesama awardee yang mendapatkan beasiswa ke luar negeri (S2 maupun S3). Ada yang menceritakan tentang suka duka mencari beasiswa, hal-hal positif yang bisa diambil dari negara tujuan untuk diimplementasi di Indonesia, bagaimana bertahan hidup di luar negeri, dan lain sebagainya, termasuk kategori “Lain-Lain”. Kumpulan cerita ini sekarang masih dalam tahap editing, tapi biarin deh, ini aku post tulisan yang aku kirim buat mereka, di bawah kategori “Lain-Lain” (walaupun nggak tau juga ya, siapa tau ada juga bagian dari kisah ini yang diedit, so you know inilah versi yang belom diedit).

Selamat menikmatiii ^_^




Pelajaran dari Lomba Debat: Suatu Kerinduan

(Fajri Matahati Muhammadin, LLM in International Law, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, P.K. 2)

Kemenangan yang Ajaib

Pada tanggal 9-10 November 2013 di King’s College London, saya mengikuti lomba debat bahasa Inggris khusus WNI di United Kingdom (UK) yang diadakan oleh ISIC dan PPI-UK. Di lomba tersebut, saya berpartner dengan Omi Ongge (beasiswa DIKTI, di London Metropolitan University) atas nama Jogja Debating Forum (JDF). Setelah mengalahkan tiga tim di babak penyisihan (Newcastle, Indonesia Mengglobal, dan Edinburgh), tim kami lolos ke final untuk rematch melawan Indonesia Mengglobal.

Yang ingin saya ceritakan adalah hikmah yang saya dapat di babak final lomba tersebut, saat melawan tim “Indonesia Mengglobal” yang terdiri dari Willy Limiyadi (Oxford University) dan Santi Nuri Darmawan (King’s College London). Di babak final tersebut, dewan juri terdiri dari empat orang akademisi bergelar Doktor, satu orang Inggris yang tidak saya kenal, dan Bapak Dubes RI untuk UK.

Tema mosi untuk babak tersebut adalah (diterjemahkan) “kurangnya cinta tanah air, yang berimbas pada kurangnya permintaan pasar, menghambat daya saing industri manufaktur Indonesia”, di mana tim kami berperan sebagai Tim PRO.

Objektif dari pengalaman saya sembilan tahun menjadi pengajar dan juri debat, kami kalah (walaupun barangkali tidak telak). Saya kuliah hukum perang dan partner saya politik, sedangkan lawan kami kuliah ekonomi. Tapi terjadi keajaiban. Tiga juri memihak kami, dan tiga memihak lawan. Karena seri, panitia meminta penonton menentukan pemenang.

Alhamdulillah, penonton memilih kami jadi juara!

Kenapa kami bisa menang? Banyak spekulasi. Memang saat menyampaikan argumentasi, saya setengah stand-up comedy sehingga menghibur banyak penonton. Mungkin penonton (mayoritas peserta presentasi paper ilmiah) sudah lelah dengan rangkaian acara yang panjang, sehingga agak kurang tertarik menyimak penjelasan yang relatif rumit tentang faktor-faktor daya saing industri manufaktur dan lebih senang dengan lawakan saya? Itu adalah salah satu alasannya. Namun, yang lebih penting lagi, adalah mendengar apa yang dikatakan oleh beberapa penonton yang saya tanya setelah acara selesai.

Agen Ind*mie

Terus terang saya agak muak membaca materi yang sudah kami unduh tentang topik tersebut. Begitu banyak yang harus dibaca, sedangkan waktu begitu sedikit, dan sebagian besarnya terlanjur kami habiskan dengan mengobrol. Omi maju pertama, menceritakan bagaimana industri garmen Indonesia jatuh bukan karena kualitas tetapi karena pembeli lebih suka label asing. Itu saja yang berhasil kami serap dari bahan bacaan, dan saya tentu harus bawa materi yang berbeda. Saya memutuskan untuk curhat saja.

Sebetulnya saya intinya menyampaikan bahwa kecintaan produk dalam negeri bisa menjadi ajang mouth-to-mouth advertising saat putri-putra tanah air sedang ada di luar negeri. Jenis advertising tersebut sangat efektif karena tidak memakan biaya, dan langsung berdampak pada grassroot society. Tapi, sambil curhat ternyata saya malah seakan menjadi agen mie instan terbaik dunia.

Saya bercerita bahwa saya begitu suka pada merk tersebut, tetapi kecewa dengan ‘Export Product’ yang dijual di UK karena rasanya agak lain (baca: kurang micin hehehe). Akhirnya, saya mencari pemesanan online untuk mencari produk yang lebih otentik. Dan karena biaya kirim yang lebih irit kalau memesan banyak, saya akhirnya memperdayai beberapa teman dari negara lain (misalnya Estonia, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, Palestina, dlsb) untuk ikut membeli. Mereka memang suka Ind*mie, tapi belum pernah merasakan produk ‘otentik’ (kecuali yang dari Hong Kong).

Kisah kawan dari Hong Kong menarik juga. Di sana, Ind*mie nomor satu diikuti Niss*n di nomor dua, karena Ind*mie jauh lebih murah walaupun Niss*n lebih enak. Sedangkan di Korea Selatan, Ind*mie nomor dua karena, walau Niss*n lebih mahal, tetapi warga Korsel lebih cinta produk tanah airnya. Tentu contoh ini saya ceritakan dalam argumentasi saya.

Sangat menyenangkan rasanya saat berargumentasi di podium, sambil tertawa terus menerus bersama penonton. Sayangnya, saya harus kemudian agak berkecil hati karena begitu pembicara kedua lawan kami maju (Santi), berlapis-lapis analisisnya menghantam argumen saya yang hanya didukung oleh curhat kangen mie instan tanah air. Karena itulah, saya fikir mungkin kebetulan saja juri memutuskan seri dan penonton sedang ingin dihibur saja.

Bukannya itu salah, karena bisa jadi itu memang benar. Tetapi saat saya tanya beberapa kawan di bangku penonton, mereka mengatakan hal yang sama.

Gue jadi pengen makan Ind*mie”

(Ada yang menambahkan “…padahal gue udah makan.”)

Santi pun memulai pidato argumentasinya dengan (terjemahan): “Fajri kok berani bilang Niss*n lebih enak daripada Ind*mie?

Setelah pidatonya selesai, kami bersalaman dengan lawan kami, dan topik pertama yang dibahas adalah tentang kurang otentiknya Ind*mie yang dijual di UK, dan kami sedikit berdebat lagi produksi Ind*mie mana yang lebih mendekati otentik (Santi: Produksi Saudi, saya: Impor dari Hong Kong yang dijual di Chinese Store). Diskusi senada dengan kawan-kawan lain terjadi setelah acara usai.

Cuma kebetulan saja yang saya bahas di lomba ini hanyalah mie instan. Pada kenyataannya, bukan cuma ind*mie saja yang dikangeni oleh para WNI yang menonton acara tersebut. Kisah Ind*mie ini hanya puncak gunung es dari apa yang ingin saya ceritakan (walaupun sudah menghabiskan setengah jatah kata hehehe).

Ind*mie cepat hilang dari pembahasan, karena beralih ke objek lain tapi dengan tema yang senada. Silih berganti kami bercerita tentang betapa kami rindu masakan tanah air. Ada yang rindu sambel terasi, dan yang lain pamer karena berhasil menemukannya di UK. Saya membagi betapa terharunya saat menemukan kecap dan sambal merek A*C di Chinese Store, dan betapa kecewanya saat mendapatkan informasi penjual tempe di Edinburgh tempat saya kuliah yang ternyata HOAX!

Sehari sebelum babak final, sebetulnya awalnya diumumkan bahwa di kompetisi tersebut tidak disediakan konsumsi. Kami juga kecewa karena katanya Gita Gutawa dan Maudy Ayunda akan tampil, tapi mereka tidak jadi. Tapi kemudian, ternyata dibagikan nasi rendang dengan kuah pedas khas Manado (iya bukan ya?). Saya kurang tahu asalnya persisnya dari mana, yang jelas kuahnya tidak murni beraroma Padang. Namun itu tidak penting, karena ada satu hal yang pasti: ini rasa INDONESIA!

Saya sudah makan karena mengira tidak akan diberi makan. Akan tetapi, dalam bus menuju pulang, saya melahap konsumsi dari panitia sampai habis, termasuk emping yang sebetulnya tidak boleh saya makan. Keesokan harinya, setelah babak final selesai, kotak makan tersebut juga menjadi topik hangat pembicaraan. Seorang kawan dari Nottingham bercerita bahwa dia sebetulnya tidak begitu tahan dengan makanan pedas, tapi tetap melahapnya sambil bercucuran keringat dan air mata. Saat itu, saya tidak malu mengatakan keras-keras bahwa saya rindu makanan Indonesia!

Tuh Kan, Kangen..

Sebelum saya berangkat ke UK, banyak teman-teman yang bertanya apakah saya akan kesulitan beradaptasi di luar negri. Salah satu kekhawatiran orang-orang adalah kesulitan mencari makanan Indonesia, karena takut seleranya tidak cocok. Teman-teman calon penerima beasiswa LPDP juga banyak yang yang khawatir hal yang sama. Apalagi, Edinburgh adalah kota di UK yang tidak banyak akses ke bahan-bahan makanan Indonesia.

Saat itu saya tidak khawatir. Pertama, masa kecil saya dihabiskan di Manchester UK (usia 1-6 tahun). Setelah pulang, butuh bertahun-tahun untuk menyesuaikan lidah dengan tempe, tahu, dan bumbu khas Indonesia. Saya biasa kok makan makanan asing. Kedua, saya bukan orang yang “kalo bukan makanan Indonesia (atau malah, makanan daerah!) saya nggak bisa makan” seperti banyak teman dan anggota keluarga saya. Saya senang mencoba makanan baru. Ketiga, sekian lama hidup di Jogja, saya mulai bosan dengan makanan yang ada. Karena itulah, dengan tenang saya mengatakan “santai, saya tidak akan kangen makanan Indonesia!”

Minggu-minggu awal sampai di Edinburgh, UK, saya sangat puas makan beranekaragam masakan internasional. Mulai dari makanan India, Timur Tengah, Mediterania, hingga makanan lokal, baik racikan sendiri maupun sekali-sekali beli. “Tuhkan betul, saya baik-baik saja?” batin saya, saat teman-teman saya di Facebook atau Whatsapp entah mengeluh karena kesulitan menemukan tempe atau nasi, atau bersyukur karena menemukan teman-teman PPI dan bahan-bahan makanan Indonesia.

Tapi minggu-minggu terus berlalu, dan rasanya ada yang begitu hampa. Makin muak makan makanan dengan roti (kebanyakan yang saya beli selalu roti, karena paling murah), dan yang lebih memuaskan adalah makanan India atau Thailand. Itupun tidak bisa benar-benar memuaskan, sedangkan itupun tidak bisa sering karena mahal kalau makan di restoran. Sebetulnya kesimpulan sudah ada di kepala, tapi saya belum mau mengakuinya.

Suatu hari saat saya masuk Chinese Shop, barulah saya sadari kalau hati tidak bisa bohong. Begitu melihat botol botol kecap dan sambal merk A*C, meluaplah perasaan yang tertuang dalam wujud kalap. Saya beli masing-masing satu botol, lalu bahan-bahan lainnya termasuk nasi dan beberapa bungkus ind*mie.

Malam itu juga saya memasak nasi goreng ayam. Setelah kenyang makan (dengan bayangan ind*mie untuk sarapan besok), saya sudah tidak bisa menyangkal lagi. Makan bukan hanya dengan mulut, kerongkongan, lambung, dan usus, melainkan juga dengan hati.

Karena itulah, saat saya mengakhiri pidato babak final lomba debat ISIC, diiringi gemuruh tepuk tangan dan tawa, jelas sekali bahwa curhat saya bukan curhat biasa. Sampai sebegitunya hingga saya yang mestinya menganalisis industri manufaktur malah curhat kangen ind*mie, dan penonton yang merupakan akademisi atau mahasiswa Indonesia yang berkuliah di UK dan datang untuk karya ilmiah (dan semestinya menilai analisis kami) juga ikut merasakan kangen yang sama.

Saya memang petualang  makanan, dan juga petualang pendidikan. Banyak sekali teman-teman yang juga begitu, dan karena itulah kita dapat jumpai warga Indonesia di segala penjuru dunia. Semuanya ingin mendapatkan hal yang baru dan tidak bisa didapat di tanah air. Tapi walaupun demikian, kemanapun kita pergi, ada sebagian dari hati (lidah dan pencernaan) kami yang masih tertinggal di Indonesia.

Education: England vs Indonesia

Assalaamu’alaikum everyone!

As requested by a dear friend Muhammad Firmansyah Kasim, S.T., D.Phil (cand), I will share some experiences I had in my early education.

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1995 Memories: Lunch Box Surprise

Ladies and Gentlemen,

today I have a story for you. Its a true story that happened around 1995, when I was in 3rd Grade of Elementary School. This year was a very significant year for me, because at that time I could finally attend a full academic year and able to speak in Bahasa Indonesia fluently. I just returned from England the year before, and was barely able to speak in Bahasa Indonesia.

So. Finally able to speak in Bahasa Indonesia, I socialized so much better than I used to do during the previous year. At the time, we talked about all sorts of things, most of which involves showing something off. Mainly, the kids showed off what cartoons they watch and how they can imitate the characters. Or, lying about having or being able to do something cool. We didnt have much games other than Sega and Nintendo at the time, and nobody even talked about them. So, yeah.

One of the things that I could be proud of and show off to my friends was my packed lunch. My momom was very VERY creative when it comes to making me awesome stuff to eat at school (although I also really loved the siomay that my canteen had). Among the things that my mom likes to make for me would be a sausage sandwich.This was pretty unique, because it is not too known for people to make sausages into sandwiches. Or, at least at that time. Sausages were either eaten with rice/french fries, or put in a hotdog bun. So when I told my friends that tomorrow I will bring a sausage sandwich, they went, like, OH MY GOD HOW DO YOU MAKE A SAUSAGE SANDWICH! IV NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE!!



The next day, early morning while preparing for school, I checked the dining table and there was my sausage sandwich sitting inside my lunchbox. The lid was off because it was still hot. The sight of it, was, Subhanallah


So I smiled, then prepared the other stuff I needed to bring. My red and white uniform, socks, shoes, bag, and all the other stuffs. Then I did this tradition that we still practice until today at home, which is to go upstairs and say goodbye to my grandma and grandpa (but that day, grandpa wasnt home because he was gone for some aerobics for people with heart disease), then to my mom and dad, before I go.

Then, I heard a horn honking infront. 6 am, thats my ride to school. I had to run so that it wouldn’t leave me. I passed by the table, finding that my lunch box has already been closed. I just grabbed it, tucked it in my bag, and ran outside.

I arrived at school around 30 minutes later after picking up other students. Passing my friends, I proudly announced that the Sausage Sandwich is in my bag. They asked to see it, and I said no –they had to wait until break time which was around 9.30-ish. All of us waited for break time enthusiastically for two different reasons. My friends were extremely curious of what a Sausage Sandwich would look like, and I really couldnt wait to show it off.

At last, break time came. Around ten kids came around me to look at what I had for lunch. They always expect something special, because my mom on many occasions makes me stuff that they have never seen before. And now, Sausage Sandwich. Before opening my lunch box, I looked around to see whether everyone who is curious enough has gathered around. After making sure that I had as much attention that I could gather (most of the other kids weren’t too interested, but around ten was good enough for me).

Moving slowly for the suspense, took out my lunchbox, smiled, then opened it. And inside it, I found this:

Sausage Sandwich

Sausage Sandwich

For a few split seconds, my mind tried to process what just happened. Then for the next few seconds, my entire life was played in front of me. All the things I have done, all the things that I have not done, all the things that I should have done, all the things that I should not have done. Wasnt really much, though, because I was only 8 years old at the time anyway.

But nevertheless, I do not dare to see or even listen to the reactions of my friends, but I just know that its a mixture of laughter and disappointment.

Me no find=no exist

Me no find=no exist

I spent the rest of the day in shame. Everyone was like “mana gak ada sandwich sosis” or “iih Fajri bekal mpeng!” and other stuffs. They didn’t matter. All particles of my brains were, at that time, allocated to figure out what has happened. What have I done to deserve this??!!

WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY ???????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My instinct as a future lecturer of law brought me to start wondering, who the hell did this to me???!!!!!

I had only one piece of evidence, which was the mPeng. Grandpa wasnt home, so he was not on my list. My lawyer-detective instincts took over me, and my mind was racing. I listed the potential suspects.

Candidate Suspect 1

Suspect 1

Birth Name : Dini Elfiah

Titles : Mrs/Dra

Ethnicity : Cino-Suroboyo

Age : 32

Relation to Me : Mother (allegedly)

Occupation : Farmer (Judging from photo, might be a cover up)

Alibi : was in kitchen at the time, which was next to the crime scene. But claimed that she had no knowledge of the crime.


This woman was the one who prepared my lunch. Had all the accessibility to my lunch box, contents, and has resources to buy and mPeng.

Likeliness to Commit: VERY HIGH

Candidate Suspect 2

Suspect 2

Suspect 2

Birth Name : Muhammad Amirullah Makmunsyah Oktaufik

Titles : Mr/Ir., Ph.D.,

Ethnicity : African

Age : 35

Relation to Me : Father (allegedly)

Occupation : Something to do with the government

Alibi : claimed to be getting ready for “work” at the time of the crime. Claimed to not have knowledge of the crime.


Has a job, seems to work for longer hours than the woman, so perhaps more money, thus more resources to buy an mPeng.

Most inner-city violent crimes are perpetrated by black men (for reference, check here).

Has a Ph.D., very intelligent.

Likeliness to Commit: VERY HIGH

Candidate Suspect 3

Suspect 3

Suspect 3

Birth Name : Siti Maemunah

Titles : Mrs/Sarjana Hukum

Ethnicity : Unknown

Age : 500

Relation to Me : Mother of Suspect 2

Occupation : Lawyer


She is a lawyer. LAWYER. Enuf said. Your argument is invalid.

Alibi: claimed to be on the second level of the building when the crime allegedly took place on the first floor.

Likeliness to Commit: VERY VERY HIGH

Candidate Suspect 4

Suspect 4

Suspect 4

Birth Name : Maulia Pijarhati Muhammadin

Titles : Liun

Ethnicity : Lalat

Age : 3

Relation to Me : Sister (Still awaiting results of DNA test as evidence)

Occupation : self-employed


Intellectual level unknown, motivation unknown, skills unknown.

Known to have a profound interest on chocolate cookies

Alibi: Suspect refused to answer any questions other than with the following statement “apiechu” (the Intelligence Bureau cooperating with Oxford University Professors of Symbology and Freemasonry are currently trying to decrypt this statement)

Bear in mind the principle of “Presumption of Innocence”

(General Explanation Point 3(c) of Law No. 8 of 1981 on Criminal Procedures, and Article 8[1] of Law No. 48 of 2009 on the Judiciary)

Likeliness to Commit: VERY LOW




Goodbye Jogja: A Good 7 Years of My Life


“An airport is a place where people say goodbye” – Yulida Nuraini

A few weeks ago I went to Jogja urgently to deal with my graduation bureaucracy. It was very strange to, after living there for seven whole years, to stroll the streets as a visitor. Passing places that I used to regularly visit and see felt so strange. It felt like it has been a very strong memory in a distant past, while it actually wasnt. Perhaps that is how distant the city feels to me now.

I have started to permanently reside again in Jakarta for around 2-ish months. I vividly remember that day when I left my board house for good, with the help of Pina and having our last breakfast together in Kopitiam. I also remember saying goodbye to Indri, Pipit and Tika in Tugu Yogyakarta train station just before I left with the remnants of my belongings that I used to keep in Jogja –a majority of my belongings have already been delivered in advance via post. At the time, I had felt for sure that I simply do not belong to the Jogja anymore.

However, doing that does not yet mean that I have really left Jogja. The more I think of it, it is only fair to say that I have left the city when I have completed my mission. I moved to Jogja to pursue an undergraduate degree, and will only be completed when I have officially obtained it. Perhaps I do have plans to return, but it will be in a relatively distant future. When that day comes, it will be a whole new place for me.

So here it is. November 20th, 2012. Today, I am officially titled Sarjana Hukum. Bachelors of Law. Of course, this is but the beginning of my journey. Yet I can not deny that it is a conclusion, a bittersweet ending, of a very important episode of my life. It is time to move on.

I am posting this from the airport, finally ready to leave the city. And by “leave”, I do mean mission accomplished and that I am completely away from Jogja. My parents and sister are with me here. But while waiting for the flight, it is hard for my mind not to wander around back in time and reflect upon my 7 years in Jogja.

This is gonna be freakishly long so I have divided it to subsections which you can just jump right into if anything might interest you. However I really hope that you could actually take the time to read the entire posts.

I. Living in the Special Region,

II. The Department of Physics,

III. English Debating and Jogja Debating Forum,

IV. Faculty of Law, and

V. In The End, At The Start


Goodbye Jogja : Part I – Living in the Special Region


Tugu Yogyakarta

I must admit that I never dreamed of coming to Jogja. For years, I have dreamed of studying law at Universitas Indonesia but then UGM entrance test came earliest –and I got in. My moving to the city was initially intended to simply get my undergraduate degree and come back to Jakarta. Another thing was to actually try what it would be like to live alone. Little did I know that I would be experiencing so much more.

I flew to Jogja in 2005 with my heart racing fast. It was exciting but also made me pretty nervous. Entering the city for the first time in my life, I imagined that Jogja would be a very traditional province where its people would be very devouted towards the Keraton and Javanese culture.

Not that such notion isnt true. But what I had in mind was everyone wearing beskap and blangkon and kebaya, and every once in a while we would see someone randomly dancing in the streets “merely to internally explore the fascinating feel of art in their soul”. Of course that was not true. But the aura of traditional values in the people was strong –certainly, I mean the locals (as there are also a huge amount of migrants from other parts of Indonesia studying or working here).

During my early years in Jogja, I spent four years living in a koskosan in Sendowo which was walking distance from campus. It was a nice place where I lived with nine other guys. It didn’t end up nice throughout the end, however, thus I chose to move away to kontrakan Cacat Asmara around mid-2009.

There was a funny experience I had in my early days. I was walking home from a cornershop, when a becak was passing by. Then the guy waved his hand to me –or so I thought—so I waved back thinking “aww, people here are really kind”. Then I found out that he waved not as a kind gesture to me, but as a sign that he was about to make a turn just ahead.

My inability to speak Javanese has always been a joke, but the best experience I had was my first encounter with the language. One evening, sometime before class starts, I was waiting for a bus when two middle-aged guys approached me. They seemed very tired and confused, and asked me what bus to take to get to the Giwangan Bus Station. It was not until months later did I understand what they said. At the time, they panicly asked me that question but in krama inggil –the highest level of polite javanese. In the following years, I am already accustomed to respond with “maaf saya belum pinter bahasa jawanya. Bahasa indonesia aja ya Pak/Bu/Mas/Mbak” (I dont speak Javanese, perhaps Indonesian s’il vous plait?). But at that time, it was my first time and I panicked. This was my response:

“Im really sorry, Sir, I really want to help you but I dont understand the local dialect in this city and I have no idea what you are saying, could you please ask that guy over there?”

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I spoke in ENGLISH. To this date, I still have  no friggin idea why the hell I did that. The two men then looked a bit terrified and went on like “Sori Mister Sori Thenk yu”, then went to ask another person passing by. Many ridiculous things like this has happened during my life in Jogja. The legend continues for seven years.

Daerah Istimewa Yogyakarta is not just legally special in its governance system. There is something about this city that brings a different emotion to the air, that I really loved living there. This place did not only give me formal knowledge from campus, but it has given me something else. It gave me friends, family, so much experiences, career as well as networking, which I know I will be enjoying them until many many years ahead.

A very significant part of my life there can not be separated from romance. I have dated twice while I studied there, and each of them gave very huge impacts to my life. First it was with KEJ (2 years) whom I met through Jogja Debating Forum, and the second was with ARK (2.5 years) whom I met in Komunitas Model United Nations UGM.

I will not give full stories, as this blog would not be the best avenue for that. It will suffice for me to say that we, as almost all relationships go, underwent lots of ups and downs along the way. The length of time of those relationships were not short. They had to end, but then I (and certainly they too) walked away with so much more life experiences out of all the mistakes and the stupidities that we might have done. I still keep some items from these relationships. Not that I feel attached to any (or both) of them, but perhaps it serves as a symbolic gesture for me that I really cherrish those memories.

Another important aspect of my life in Jogja was staying alive. Food was excellent! There were so many (cheap) eating places to go to, with such a wide variety. I had burjos which sounds Mexican but is actually mostly Sundanese, selling: noodles, rice with eggs or sardines, and a variety of sachet drinks, available for 24 hours a day. I also had angkringans, selling ridiculously cheap snacks and ginger drinks, a nice place to hang out at night times. Then there were ramesans and penyetans. During my last year in Jogja, I started to like street-gudeg. It was very unfortunate that this high-in-carbohydrate meal is mostly only available at midnight.

The most memorable places to eat would be: ramesan behind Pasar Demangan (but the owners can f*ck themselves, Im never coming back), Popeye’s Fried Chicken (many outlets), Pasta Gio (around Monjali), Kafetaria Kopma UGM, Ikan Bakar UII (Jl. Taman Siswa), Ramesan Pogung D-5, and SS Sagan, but the best and numero uno would be penyetan Hollywood in front of Kopma UGM (opens at sunset).

Despite all that, seven years was a very long time. At the end, I had too much of everything that it was hard to choose what to eat. I was bored with the food, somehow. Good thing I have gone away now.

Other than food, transportation was a menace. During my first few years, the only thing I could drive (or ride) is a bicycle. Other than that, I must catch busses –which in Jogja, they disappear at sunset as if nobody needs to go anywhere after that time. I didnt really like that situation, especially I can not travel long distances fast enough and can not take anyone on my bicycle. Around that time, I had to rely on my friends to pick me up. Among them were girls, including Hayu Qisthi Adila, Ika Septihandayani (iko), and also others, including the tiny Agnes Puspitasari! However, motivation to learn driving a motorcycle did not come until 2008.

Sometime in 2007, I wanted to learn to ride a motorbike. Helped by James Keiyo, I used Agnes Kecil’s bike. I only tried for 5 minutes, only managing to drive in a straight line, then Agnes told me the brakes didnt work. I stopped. But a year later, I was faced with the fact that my girlfriend at the time (Khairiyah) lived in Kalasan –which the only public transport that could reach that place was the A3 bus. It is only available until 5pm, and is not quite frequent (only one bus in around 30ish minutes).

Febrian Tri Yunanta helped me learn in Fakultas Teknik, until I finally managed to drive well. Then I managed to trick Iko into believing that I am already capable of taking passangers, as I have already tried taking Febrian (who was rather big). The truth was I never took passangers before. On our way to Galeria Mall, I then admitted to her that she was my first (if I dont add “passanger”, this would sound pretty sexual hahaha) passanger. I can still recall the “uh-oh” from her sitting in the back, which followed with “I also helped another friend learning to ride a motorbike before, and took me as passanger to practice. Well, we fell a few times”. Oh man, it made me feel really guilty! Oh and if only you knew what Iko looked like, and the way she looks with her eyes, it makes me feel really guilty. But not enough to stop me trying! Hahaha.

Yet I am quite proud of my driving skills. Others complain about how slow I drive, but I dont care. My accident rate is zero percent. Never fell a single time while I am driving. Well, I have experienced people crashing into me but they never managed to bring me down. However, to this date I still do not dare to ride a motorbike in Jakarta. The way people drive here are so close to suicidal that I worry about my life expectancy shall I decide to drive.

Being able to drive, moving to live in Jl Tamansiswa in mid-2009 was not much of a problem. It was a house rented by me and a few friends from Jogja Debating Forum. Actually it was a nice place. However I had to move out by the end of 2011 as an asshole decided to not pay his rent and disappear.

The best place I lived in, however, was in Gang Bali, Jl Kaliurang KM 6.3. I lived there next to Rizky “Uki” Wirastomo, whom also recommended the place to me. The room was quite large, and the air was relatively fresh. I started living there by the start of 2012, and lived there until I departed from Jogja last September.

During my life in Jogja, there were three different realms that I lived in. First would be my life in the Physics Department. It was short, only two years, yet it meant a lot. Next would be my life in the debating world, which was the longest (covered all 7 years of my life in Jogja), and my life in the faculty of law (2007-2012), which would serve as the best finale of my story about me and Jogja.

(Next is Goodbye Jogja : Part II – The Department of Physics)


Goodbye Jogja : Part II – The Department of Physics


Good old times

2005. It has always been a joke, the fact that I had to study 2 years in the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Science, Department of Physics. Many of my friends always said that after I study in law for 2 years, I would move again to either philosophy or agriculture –or philosophy THEN agriculture. Entering this department was a big accident, as many may have guessed.

I used to want to be a dinosaur expert, then an animal planet guy, soldier (yes, friends, yes), musician, etc. Yet my first well-founded and planned future plan was to study international law. Especially majoring in ways to legally override sovereignty (waddya know! My thesis is about the Jus Cogens, which in theory does exactly that!). However, I had a profound hoby in philosophy, mathematics, and physics. Thus when I entered the UGM entrance test, I put law as my primary choice and physics as my secondary choice.

I didnt get in to IPS in highschool because my grades in Economy and Geography really sucked bad. Plus I didnt study at all, like seriously completely at all, for the UGM entrance test. Of course I failed to enter Law. However, the IPA test wasnt too hard. I did excellent on both math types (basic maths and math for science), I did okay on physics, and I know I suck on biology and chemistry so I just did what I can. Certainly, I managed to qualify for the Department of Physics.

Studying in physics was very interesting, most especially classes of Professor Muslim (Basic Physics) in chamber M2-09. Monday, 9am. My “first class” was interesting (check my article : “Test in Life: Reflection of an Insignificant Experience”). But studying in general was just here and there. I had classes that seemed very awesome such as the one with Professor Muslim, which seemed sophisticatedly interesting and extremely high-phased but nobody could answer his test for YEARS. I also had a few classes on calculus where I knew I could have gotten very high scores but then the lecturers dunked my score to E and C only because I never attended class (compare to maths for physics class, where I got B despite never coming to class and infact missing the mid semesters –I personally think the lecturer was drunk). Special thanks to Dr Anwar Dhani, my faculty advisor. He was a very old and wrinkled and wretched expert in atomic physics, and his voice is so small that I must put effort in listening despite the silence in the surroundings. However, he was very VERY kind to me.

The friends there were really interesting. The campus was dominated by islamic moderate societies, and I mostly was hanging out with them. But my classmates, other than from that group, were very memorable. I remember hanging out with Juju, Yoyog, Parman, Tubagus, Liya, Friska, Asna, and so many others. They were very nice, and I thank them very much for all the good times we had. Of course, we had this friend whom was such a darling –convinced the whole class to conspire in not submitting a very difficult homework, but then she herself secretly submitted it. For this chap, how about f*ck you.

Half of them are married now. I really regret never being able to attend any of their marriages.

But with some of these friends, especially Ditto and Asrykin, I had really interesting discussions which I will never forget. We discussed a lot on theology, how to actually deduce conclusions and perceive theology. I enjoyed discussing the science of theology, as in whether God exists and to what extent does God influence life of humanity, especially with a mathematics-based analysis. At the time, I finally met friends whom can discuss such issues with me. Among the biggest things I managed to conclude was how to justify that the way we explain God and God-related stuff should be under a different kind of logic. Just like how identifying carbohydrate levels and humidity levels could not be done with the same method, but they must all be done under similar generally accepted principles of science –a grundnorm.

From that point on, I have always enjoyed discussions and even debates about religion especially on the basic assumption of God’s existence. Of course, one discussion/after another has brought me more knowledge, angles and depth of analysis. However the grundnorm I obtained from the discussions with my friends from Physics has always been the basic premise I upheld –thus the name grundnorm.

Another part of Physics which I enjoyed quite a lot was joining Media Informasi Islam -an islamic journalism club. One fact was that the faculty was dominated by hard-line moderate muslim societies which are controlling almost every communities. In MII, I remembered authoring an article on how islamic is also acceptable to common sense. The article was initially posted on the walls of our mosque, but it was soon removed because “this is work of a liberalist!” I got many interesting perspectives here which really enriches my views.

Perhaps God does have a good sense of humor, shown when I reentered the UGM Entrance test in 2007 to move away from Physics and enter law. I had to do the test in that very same building and chamber M209 where I had my first class in Physics. Professor Muslim also died somewhere around that time.

This time I studied really hard for two weeks and practically became nocturnal. For the first time in history, I scored higher in Economy than I did in maths. Then 2-3 months later, I received an SMS from the University stating that I have been accepted in the Faculty of Law.

(Next is Goodbye Jogja : Part III – English Debating and Jogja Debating Forum)


Goodbye Jogja : Part III – English Debating and Jogja Debating Forum


Jogja Debating Forum Awards 2009

Rolling back to 2005, announcements of reregistration to complete my position in UGM Department of Physics. Even before fully entering the faculty, I have already participated in UGM English Debating Society practices. I called out to the indodebaters mailing list asking around for UGM debaters. Dimas Arie and Maria Aleida (both from the faculty of law) responded.

At that time, EDS UGM practices would be on 2-4pm followed by Jogja Debating Forum practices until 6pm, where after that we will pray and dine together. In the following years, many things happened. Seniors of EDS UGM and JDF had personal problems which led to organizational problems, that EDS UGM quit from JDF. For quite an amount of time, I was caught in between. I was an active member and one of the coaches of EDS UGM, but I was also the Vice President of JDF (from 2006 onwards). Infact, I had to resign from EDS UGM due to extreme pressure not only to me but to those that supported me. Furthermore, for many years (which has stopped only recently) I and JDF members have always been labeled as threats and should not be befriended as instructed by seniors to juniors in EDS UGM. It is relatively peaceful now, actually.

EDS UGM was quite significant to me. There, I established a strong foundation of my debating and adjudicating skills (of course, I developed them much later after I quit. But EDS UGM accumulates everything I had from highschool, and concludes it to a strong ground). Under their banner also, I went to my last competition which was the Java Overland Varsities English Debates in 2006.

JDF started out to be a very fun community. An alliance of debating societies of various universities and highschools, we literally debated for fun. Then we always hung out together. Perhaps the PKL eatery in Demangan have already blacklisted us from coming, as we caused so much mess and chaos to the place –shouting, singing, hacking so many tables and pulling them together. In every competition we attended, JDF members have always caught the attention of other participants as we have our unique “war chant” before we start every single round. Yes, its loud and annoying. But thats JDF!

Perhaps it was fate for something bad to happen wherever we conduct our presidential election. In 2006, it was conducted in the UGM Rectorate Hall. Around that time until early 2007, the tension between EDS UGM-JDF went to escalate to its peak so we had to leave that Hall and move elsewhere to conduct our practice. In 2007, we held the elections in Dekat Rumah Cafe (Sagan) –which closed not long after. In 2008, we elected Agung (UII) as president in Depot Pak Raden (Demangan). It also closed not long after. It was a joke to think of a place we dont mind closing afterwards.

In 2009, we elected Meganusa in kontrakan Cacat Asmara. Not long after, we always had problems paying rent due to this certain individual asshole, and then we had to move out because of rent problems also. Somehow, in 2010, this asshole was elected as president. Lumbung Padi Resto did shut down and was replaced by a different restaurant. But Pondok Bambu, where Hanif was elected, still stands until today. I wonder what to make of that.

Since I quit EDS UGM, I was only active in JDF. I became so much more active in proliferating debate through training, adjudicating competitions, and assisting government debate-related projects especially in Jogja. My career in this area escalated, and I really thank JDF for this opportunity.

The best part of it was friendship. JDF was established under the notion of friendship, and it has always been so at least for me. Until very recently, I did not have a best friend in Jogja that was not affiliated to JDF in some ways. Most of my nights and days was spent with JDF friends. And the more I train people, which many of the kids end up calling me “Daddy”, JDF became family to me (and myself becoming a very productive father). Many of these friends of mine have left the city earlier, but quite a number of them remain. This is the hardest part of leaving Jogja.

However, throughout the years, JDF grew weaker and weaker. My generation was highly achieving, but this deteriorated over the years. I personally think that we have failed to train our next generation. EDS UGM was the only debate community in Jogja with stellar achievements, and has become one of the best in the country. I can only do trainings in JDF sessions, every Saturday, yet only so few ever came over the years. Most especially recently, we do not always have enough people for even a single debate.

Many members of JDF are reluctant to come due to many excuses, such as being ashamed to be watched and not knowing anyone there. I think these are perhaps the most ridiculous and patheti excuses I have ever heard in my entire life coming from the mouths of people who dare call themselves debaters. Not knowing anyone is most especially because they dont come to begin with, and this is where the seniors should act and be there to facilitate friendship. Plus, not many of their universities has any seniors with experience and qualities to train, and yet they refuse to pratices where senior and achieving seniors offer practice for free. To feel ashamed of being watched because they think they are bad is stupid. Of course they are bad, and so is everyone else. See the amount of national trophies you have won? NONE. Thats why you need to come together.

Of course I can not force and can not judge. Everyone always has their excuses. Nevermind that we never had excuses back in my time, but okay. I am just saying, that if we want JDF to develop and help, then members must indeed help out and work together! If nobody wants JDF to continue, might as well just dismiss it and RIP JDF 2004-2012. If anyone knew how hard it was for my seniors and my generation to fight for the existence of JDF and gaining trust from many parties and institutions, they would understand how disappointed I am.

Many institutions from other provinces look at us in high esteem. Yet, this fact only makes me more ashamed. Maybe non-jogja debaters are reading this, and yes guys this is the truth of JDF today. When I left, not much was going on.

I co authored a debating handbook with a few seniors, specially made for JDF and this book was used by at least 30 institutions (as per February 2012). From that number, only 5 of them were Jogja institutions. In one hand, it is great that our handbook is trusted by various institutions outside of Jogja. But on the other hand, why aint our own people using it? If it is because the book sucks, then say so. Criticize the book, then. Its second edition now, and perhaps we might have a third.

I just want to say why JDF means so much for me. I –perhaps—can still be friends with JDF members, and my career in debating is pretty much done. But there is something else that I find very important about debate. Many say that its simply for fun, which is true, but certainly there should be more to it. Some see debate as a thirst for achievements, doing anything possible to win but think that winning is everything that they just have to act like complete bastards. Others see debate as something to do in your spare time which I think is not completely wrong but then they simply wont get the full extent of its benefits. Some assholes, however, debate only to come to one competition and be registered in an organization so that they have something in their CV –and then they will leave and not give a damn.

Debate has many advantages, and is very essential to the life of someone whom wishes to become important and significant to the course of history of mankind.

First, it changes perspective. It stimulates us to think from various angles. More than to help us be more creative in our way of thinking, this should teach us tolerance. As there are many ways to see things, one should understand best not to be cocky and think that they are the only one that is right –in such a way that they underestimate others and treat them like dirt.

Second, it helps us practice scientific methodology. To support a claim, we can not simply rely on prejudice. “Private companies are profit oriented. Uuuu, thats baaad. Thank you.” is unacceptable. We must not simply be bedazzled by numbers or facts, as we know that they dont stand alone. Claims would need to be supported by a well-founded analysis full of good and effective deductions of principles and facts. This should be an important instrument for us to be a contributive citizen in a democratic system, so that we would not be easily fooled by the media. For example, we can criticize whether the increasing of corruption rates and “selective enforcement of corruption” is actually due to our president’s failure (or perhaps, its because more cases are being put on spotlight than before?).

Third, it gives us manners. What I mean “manners” here is not the aspect of adjudication, but attitude in general. We must wait for our turn before we speak and only interject when given permission. We also must deliver our points in a given amount of time, so we can learn that we must control how we talk and give opportunity to others.

Whats more on manners is something that I concluded in the last few years. It is of course important to understand principles of various knowledges and disciplines, it is imperative to bulk up facts and information on various issues, and it is essential to understand how to deduce arguments. However, the truth is that one can not simply prove an argument perfectly –especially in a mere 7 minute speech. I found that the best way to make all those analysis sink in to the audience’s mind is to explain it in the right attitude.

This is especially important to understand, and to take example of in our daily life. Perhaps our head is indeed full of all those awesome analysis, but then if you dont explain it the right way then you simply can not get the message through. To start, you must respect the other person. Then, you must try to the furthest extent possible to understand the way they think. Having that done, NOW you can try convey your message. Afterall, it is your interest to make sure they actually understand (for an extreme example for this, check the next chapter on the Faculty of Law under my story of Model United Nations)

The significance of this in real life is that when you have something to say, or prove, or someone to convince for something, you do not just go providing three points of arguments and two points of rebuttals. I found that many debaters, especially those who end up being cocky bastards, do this. Many debaters tend to speak like they are completely mad at the adjudicators, that they end up doing similarly in real life.

If that is the attitude of a person, they will not get to your points. They will simply dislike you and not really listen to you. When this happens, most of the things you say would not sound like it makes much sense. Some people would say “well, its their loss”, but these would be people who thinks the world only revolves around themselves and will end up being antagonized by the world.

To understand all these advantages of debating made me think long and hard about why I debated. Achievements wont last, money can be good investments but it can be lost also. But it is these important skills that I must have and pratice, so that I could be a better functioning person. One thing, though, is that there are no skills that can come instantly. It will take time and effort, which is something that not everyone seems to understand.

But what is more than all of that, as to why I stay, is because that I do believe that with great power comes great responsibility. I am so grateful for being able to obtain such skills (although of course imperfect), yet there are many who do not have such luxury. This is where I believe it is so important for me to keep on learning and to keep on sharing. Not only because I think I have gained so much thus I have moral obligation to repay, or that it helps me increase my own skills, and it definitely NOT because I think Im the best and I pity the fools.

I believe that knowledge is everyone’s rights, and that everyone who has it must share it to those who dont have it. The more experienced must share with the less experienced. I do not think that I am just another individual fighting for my own goals and then die when I have achieved them (or at least after I have tried), but I believe that I am a man in the course of history where I stand in a system in which I must contribute in. As a human race, I believe we must advance together and if there is anything that this one insignificant Fajri could do to help then I would.

This is why Jogja Debating Forum is very important. It has already obtained respect and trust from various parties including the ministry of education (if only you know how hard it was to gain their trust). We are in position to do so much for the society! This would sound too utopic and altruistic, but what we do contributes to the world! One province at a time, one kid at a time. This is what I stand for. And under my regime, that was what JDF stood for. How about today?

Before I left Jogja the last time, I wanted to have a last practice with Jogja Debating Forum. After a good 7 years, of course I have wholeheartedly longed for a nice and fun debate. I can not remember when was my last debate speech. I missed it and craved it so much, that I was very enthusiastic when I arrived to Hall Rektorat UNY. I brought all my stuff there, by the way. However only a few people came. Hanif, the president, Berli, the Vice President, and Meganusa, the Former President. Hours of waiting, my time was up. I had to leave. Alif arrived on the last second just to see me go.

You have no idea how disappointed and sad I was. As I said, everyone had their excuses. But then, they always had excuses.

Maybe my friendship with JDF members would still prevail, that is something entirely separate (friendship used to not be something separate to JDF). But to convince me to give a damn to any of it’s activities anymore, one must put in a lot of efforts. However, my hopes are high that they wont even need me to give a damn. Despite the lengthy delay from when it should have happened, its time for me to move on.

I heard some activities are taking place there, I hope it keeps up and improves because to return JDF to its former glory would take so much effort –let alone to grow it further. But on another note, this was exactly the situation that started JDF in the first place. Back then before JDF was founded, university and highschool debaters were scattered and were confused how to face the overwhelming from the west. Yet then they found a common spirit in those difficult times and they bond together and formed Jogja Debating Forum. I pray that history will repeat itself and JDF could rise again.

I deeply pray and wish that it will come true. I deeply wish that JDF is not just a place where I got many work and teaching experiences and some income.

I want to remember JDF as a family I once had, but I dont recognize that now.

Afterall, I had so many good memories with Jogja Debating Forum which I will never EVER forget. I thank you all for this.

(Next is Goodbye Jogja : Part IV – The Faculty of Law)