Friday, July 29, 2005

Bandung hotspot

I finally get a reasonably fast Internet connection. Wireless and free! Too good to be true...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

IFF 2005: Food, music and the farewell

The second of July 2005 was a memorable day. That was my last participation in the Indonesian Food Festival (IFF) in Enschede. The IFF is held every year by the Indonesian Student Association in Enschede (PPIE). I participated once before, in 2004, and it was enjoyable. While IFF is always about food, I didn’t contribute anything related to the food, but to the music. In this event, I participated as an entertainer; specifically as a singer and a musician with PPIE-MC band, which is a great band. It consists of some great people. Not only capable musicians, also people with great personalities. Araz, the coordinator, is a stunning pianist. He is a superb musician and a very nice person too. Tommy is a kind-hearted guy who plays bass and guitar extraordinarily. Wikan, a man who ‘found’ me, is a guy who can make a dazzling sound on the piano. Joe, a very fine person who is an astonishing drummer. Andrew, a sometimes ignorant yet sweet guy, is a very engaging vocalist and my duet partner, who sometimes also plays guitar. Diana who has a very fine voice (and a very cute daughter, Tara). Sometimes, we have additional vocalists: Njo, a very fun and a very nice guy who is also a "wannabe" singer …:P, and Rino, a very cool guy who can really sing. We also have Adit who is a loyal supporter and a good photographer. These people are lovable. It was always enjoyable to sing and play music with them.

In the IFF 2005, we performed some Indonesian songs, with a couple additional English and Dutch pop songs. I think it was a successful performance. People enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed them. I enjoyed every second of it. At the same time, I was feeling kinda sad, it was my last performance in the IFF and (perhaps) also my last with the PPIE-MC. It was a joyful performance .... yet kind of heartbreaking.

A day after the IFF, my band gave me a farewell jam. They played some music. We sang some songs we knew together. They also played some special songs for me. As the music flew, I tried to enjoy my last 'moments' with them. I tried to chew my last bytes of 'musical ectassy' with them. Joy, madness, laughters and tears mingled with our music and our togetherness. Each song they played spoke to my heart. Made each second of my last 'jam' with them so valuable, so precious that I didn't want it to end. But life goes on. I had to say goodbye anyway. The last song they played for me, "What a difference a day make", closed my precious moments with my beloved PPIE-MC friends.

Bye, dag, adios, my friends. You're always in my heart and our music is always alive. See you again somewhere, sometime, somehow.

luv,
mer

p.s. Thanks for Araz, Joe, and Andrew who wrote special notes about our farewell. They mean a lot to me.

Monday, July 04, 2005

.....e....n....s....c....h....e....d....e


mer, enschede centrum, 30 june 2005

It is me in Enschede, six hours and twenty four minutes before KL-809 will take me off the sky, flying from Schipol-Amsterdam to Jakarta. This is not my first time leaving the Netherlands. However, this one feels so different. Something is missing from me. Something that I leave in Enschede, my home. Something that grew in the space between me and Enschede. Something that has made my stay in this city so wonderful. Perhaps that something is the learning experience. Learning to love and to be loved.

My last days in Enschede have been so great. I enjoyed every second of it. I felt so loved, as if love had been pouring from the heaven just for me. My professor, my colleagues in my department, my friends in church, my music friends.. and even some people whom I never really knew, seemed to embrace me with love. I never realized that my last stay in Enschede has been so different if compared to my other periods of stay. I only realized it when I paused and thought about what had been happening to my life here. Enschede is always Enschede. Never really changes. People are people, they can be loving and unloving. But within the nexus of Enschede, me and people, things can change. And when you put love within this nexus, things are transformed. Perhaps that what has been happening in these last few months.

Ah, now it becomes too hard to leave this city and people who love me and whom I love. Yes, today I can say that I love this city -- something that I couldn't say three years ago, nor two years ago. Not because of it is Enschede, but because it's my Enschede, the space and place where one wonderful piece of my life was woven. Because in every corner of this city, I have memorable moments and events that are great part of the history, the history of my life.