Teddy’s Jakarta

Teddy W. Kusuma, or in the blogging world he is called Twosocks, is a half of The Dusty Sneakers. I tweeted the other day to say this is probably going to be the best written in Indonesian update of my blog ever. It is because Teddy wrote that part.🙂 I really love his and his other half Maesy writing in their blog and book.

My thoughts to do this feature is also partly inspired by their book The Dusty Sneakers, Kisah Kawan di Ujung Sana, where Teddy wants to keep discovering Indonesia and Jakarta. Their book is romantic, soothing yet real, it provides reader the believe in humanity and hope, just like their writing on the blog. Do read the blog and book, and I dare you to not fall in love with it, like I have.

Anyway, I usually have the Indonesian writing at the end, but this time, so I don’t ruin it I want to put Teddy’s first then my not-so-good English translation in the end.


 Indonesian


Rumah adalah….

Sore hari saat Ibu membuatkan teh panas yang kerap terlalu manis. Beliau lahir dari generasi dan lingkungan yang meyakini bahwa sudah seharusnyalah teh dibuat manis. Jika gula yang ditambahkannya sedikit, ia takut dianggap pelit. Jika kau meminta teh tanpa gula, ia meyakini kau hanya  sedang malu-malu.

Selain itu, rumah juga adalah di mana Maesy berkeliaran di sekitar dengan pakaian rumahan sembarang yang hanya dianggap menggemaskan oleh orang yang terlalu menyayanginya. Sabtu pagi, saat kami melakukan hal sehari-hari, minum teh, membaca, omong-omong, mendengarkan lagu, bercanda, memotong kuku, menonton film, dan semacamnya, adalah saat di mana saya merasa ada di rumah.

Di mana saja kamu pernah tinggal sebelumnya?

Bali (1980-1998) dan  Jakarta (1998-Sekarang)

Maesy and Teddy

Apakah memori terawalmu akan Jakarta yang masih kamu ingat hingga sekarang?

Sebuah siang di Blok M, pertengahan Agustus 1998, saat saya bertengkar dengan penjual limun di dekat jalur masuk bus. Saat itu, hari kedua saya mulai merantau di Jakarta, saya hendak putar-putar dengan bus kota. Seorang kawan berkata, pergilah ke Blok M dan mulai segala sesuatunya dari sana. Kemanapun kau berkeliaran di kota ini, jika kau tersesat, carilah angkutan untuk kembali ke Blok M.  Dan di Blok M pula, di siang yang terik itu, seorang penjual limun memancing keributan.

Ceritanya karena sedang haus betul, saya memesan limun dan langsung menenggaknya hingga tandas. Saat hendak membayar, si penjual berkata harga limunnya Rp 3,000 segelas. Itu harga yang tidak masuk akal untuk ukuran waktu itu. Saya mulai merepet bahwa harga limun segelas tak mungkin lebih dari Rp.500. Ia berkata yang jualan dia, terserah dia mau kasih harga berapa, dan salah saya tidak bertanya sebelum membuat gelasnya licin. Adu mulut berlanjut, orang-orang mulai merubung, penjual gorengan, pengamen, penjual kaset bajakan, orang lewat, macam-macam.  Keributan berakhir dengan saya terpaksa membayar, kalau tidak salah, Rp.1500. Jauh dibawah Rp.3000, tapi jelas lebih mahal dari harga asli limun sialan itu.

Saat kamu jauh dari Jakarta, apa hal dari Jakarta yang akan kamu rindukan dan mengapa?

Saya selalu menyukai suasana hati saya dan orang-orang di sekitar pada hari Jumat petang. Jakarta, seperti kota-kota besar lain, memiliki energi yang meledak-ledak. Di hari kerja, semua orang seperti berjumpalitan mengejar sesuatu. Beberapa menjalaninya dengan riang gembira, beberapa dengan gerutu yang tak henti. Namun,  pada jumat petang semua seperti berada dalam suasana hati terbaiknya. Para orang tua muda bersuka ria karena akan menghabiskan waktu yang bekualitas dengan anaknya, mereka yang jatuh cinta akan memiliki dua hari untuk merayakannya, mereka para raja pesta akan punya semalaman tanpa takut harus bangun pagi-pagi keesokan harinya.  Ucapan selamat berakhir pekan adalah salah satu ucapan selamat yang selalu diucapkan dengan tingkat keceriaan di atas rata-rata. Ia adalah kabar baik tidak hanya untuk si penerima , tetapi juga si pengucap. Dan suasana hati yang baik biasanya menular. Karenanya, kemacetan di Jumat petang adalah kemacetan yang paling termaafkan untuk semua penduduk Jakarta.

Di manakah tempat makan kesukaanmu?

Rumah makan Padang. Itu adalah tempat di mana kau bisa makan dengan rakus dan dengan jajaran lauk yang membuat liur menetes-netes. Mari membayangkan, ayam pop berwarna kuning, hati goreng berwarna kehitaman yang dibalur sambal merah, daging cincang yang menguning, hijau daun singkong,  telur balado, dan macam-macam. Terakhir, es jeruk dalam gelas besar. Lengkap sudah. Di sana kau bisa makan dengan tangan, mulut belepotan, dan di saat-saat tertentu, dengan kaki yang dinaikkan. Jika ingin makan dengan rakus saya akan pergi ke restoran Padang di dekat Kebon Kacang, Bendungan Hilir, atau SCBD. Namun demikian, secara umum saya bukan penggila makanan. Saya lebih mementingkan suasana yang baik dan teman-teman yang menyenangkan. Orang-orang dekat saya sejak dulu sudah tahu bahwa dengan sepotong ayam dan es teh manis saya sudah akan bergembira.

Dimana tempat nongkrong kesukaanmu?

Taman Suropati di hari Minggu pagi. Biasanya Maesy ikut yoga gembira sementara saya membaca buku di bangku taman di dekat sana sesudah lari pagi di Car Free Day. Di sana juga selalu ada sekelompok pemain band yang nyanyi-nyanyi. Terkadang ada lagu lama Titiek Puspa atau Koes Plus yang dinyanyikan di antara lagu-lagu masa kini. Tentu saya jadi riang karenanya. Saya menyukai taman ini juga karena ia adalah ruang publik dalam arti sesungguhnya. Banyak orang dari berbagai kalangan berada di sana melakukan hal-hal santai, berolah raga, bermain musik, membaca, bermain-main, ketiduran, pacaran, makan tahu gejrot, melamun, tertawa-tawa, dan lain-lain.

taman Suropati by Maesy

Saya juga senang duduk-duduk minum kopi di Jl. Surabaya sambil omong-omong dengan Maesy atau teman lain. Selain itu saya suka bermain-main di sekitar Taman Ismail Marzuki, di sana banyak orang dan kegiatan kreatif yang bisa membuat saya dan Maesy ikut-ikutan semangat.  Belakangan saya selalu nongkrong di Pasar Santa, pasar yang bulan-bulan terakhir sedang naik daun. Selain kopi yang enak, di sana saya selalu bertemu kenalan-kenalan baru yang menarik.

Dimana tempat membeli buku kesukaanmu?

Saya menyukai toko buku milik Jose Rizal Manua di Taman Ismail Marzuki. Di sana, jika nasibmu mujur,  kau bisa menemukan buku-buku Indonesia lama yang sulit ditemui. Selain itu, jika suasana hatinya sedang baik, si pemilik terkadang memberi diskon seenak perutnya. Untuk buku berbahasa Inggris, dulu saya menyukai toko buku QB. Itu adalah pertama kalinya saya mengalami toko buku yang juga nyaman untuk sekadar duduk-duduk dan membaca. Dulu, saat awal-awal berkencan dengan Maesy, kami kerap pergi ke sana. Di sana saya mencoba menarik perhatiannya dengan membual betapa saya mencintai buku-buku indah. Sayang toko buku itu sudah tutup sekarang. Dulu saya juga menyukai toko buku Aksara, sayang sekarang ia lebih banyak berisi barang-barang unik dengan harga yang bikin geram. Oh, saya juga pernah menemukan buku-buku bekas bagus di sebuah lapak buku kecil di Taman Puring. Lapak itu milik pria dengan nama keren, Pangab. Ia punya koleksi buku lama yang sanggup membuatmu terharu. Di sana saya pernah menemukan Olenka karya Budi Darma dalam sampul awalnya. Pernah pula saya ketemu buku  Catatan Subversif karya Mochtar Lubis lengkap dengan tanda tangan beliau.

Apakah penemuanmu yang paling kau sukai tentang Jakarta?

Jakarta ini seperti saudara tua dengan kepribadian yang unik. Terkadang ia senang menggerutu, di saat lain ia memberi kejutan manis. Di Jakarta saya ikut bersumpah serapah akan kemacetan yang tak masuk akal atau udara pengap yang membuat sesak, tapi Jakarta juga tak henti memberi saya kejutan menyenangkan. Banyak penemuan saya selama 16 tahun di sini yang akan saya kenang dengan manis. Di sini saya jatuh cinta, menemukan pertemanan-pertemanan yang erat, atau berkenalan dengan komunitas-komunitas yang menginspirasi.

Tapi sudahlah, sebelum melantur, saya bercerita saja tentang penemuan terbaru saya yang akan saya kenang untuk waktu lama. Saya bersama Maesy dan kawan kami Steven, menemukan Pasar Santa dan anak-anak muda kreatif yang berniat menghidupkan pasar yang sudah hampir tujuh tahun sepi. Ada yang membuat kedai kopi, kios piringan hitam, barang unik, makanan lezat, dan sebagainya. Saya, Maesy, dan Steven sendiri membuat POST, sebuah ruang kreatif kecil yang bisa digunakan individu atau komunitas kreatif untuk berkegiatan. POST menjadi tuan rumah untuk diskusi buku, pameran sket, foto, komik, dan lain-lain. Ia juga menjadi kios buku kecil, sesuatu yang kami sangat ingin miliki sejak lama.

Teddy Steven and Maesy post

Pasar Santa menjadi penemuan yang menyenangkan karena ia membawa saya berkenalan dengan banyak kawan baru yang menarik. Saya juga menyukai semangat kawan-kawan di sana yang bertekad membuat sebuah ruang publik alternatif bagi warga Jakarta. Tantangannya tentu ada, bagaimana pasar yang semakin berkembang ini tidak lantas menggeser pedagang lama karena harga sewa kios yang meroket dan datangnya pemilik-pemilik modal yang lebih besar. Saya senang sekali melihat dan menjadi bagian dari kawan-kawan yang secara kolektif mencoba mencegah itu terjadi.

Jika kamu memiliki sebuah tip untuk seseorang yang ingin mengunjungi Jakarta, apakah itu?

Jika ini adalah pertama kalinya kau berkunjung ke jakarta, mungkin kau akan naik pitam akan kebisingan, kemacetan, polusi, atau orang berangasan yang secara tak sengaja kau temui di jalan. Janganlah putus asa, berilah Jakarta kesempatan. Seperti kota besar lain, ia adalah tempat dengan berbagai hal yang campur aduk di dalamnya. Hal memuakkan, hal mengharukan, orang menyebalkan, orang menyenangkan, tempat membosankan, tempat yang membuat riang, semua. Tetaplah mencari, ia akan mengejutkanmu.

 


 

English


Home is….

Afternoons where mum is making me tea, that quite often a bit too sweet. She was born in a generation and a society that is convinced that tea should be sweet. If she puts too little, mum is frighten to be considered stingy. If you ask her ‘tea with no sugar’, she believes that you are being polite or even shy..

Other than that, home is where Maesy wanders around with random clothing that is only appropriate to be worn at home, which is only cute to people who loves her.  Saturday mornings, when Maesy and I are doing day-to-day simple things, drinking tea, reading, having conversations, listening to music, joking around, nail-clipping, watching movies and the likes, is the moment I feel that I am at Home.

tea

Where have you lived?

Bali (1980-1998) dan  Jakarta (1998-now)

What is your first memory of Jakarta?

It was one afternoon in Blok M*, it was mid August 1998, I had a run in with a lemonade hawker near a bus entry lane.

At that time, it was my second day of the start of my life in Jakarta, I was about to take a bus ride around Jakarta. A friend of mine said ‘Go to Blok M, you can start from there. Where ever you roam in this city, if you get lost, find a public transport that will bring you back to Blok M.’

And in Blok M, in a scorching hot afternoon, a lemonade hawker started a ruckus. The story started when I was really thirsty, I ordered a lemonade and drank it all off wiithout leaving a drop. As I was about to pay the vendor said it was IDR 3,000 for the glass of lemonade. This price does not  make sense for that time.  I started to argue that it is impossible for a glass of lemonade to cost more than IDR.500. He then said he is the vendor so it is up to him to set the price, and it was my fault to not ask before I finished it off. I kept arguing with him, everyone then start to gather, other vendors, buskers, pirated cassette seller, people passing by all sort. The  Hullabaloo ended when I had to pay, if I can remember correctly, IDR1,500. Way below the 3000,  but obviously a lot more expensive that the actual price of the damned lemonade.

Teddy's Jakarta

When you are away from Jakarta, what part of Jakarta you miss more and why?

I have always love how the people around me and I feel on Friday night. Jakarta, like any other big cities, have explosive energy at that moment. On working days, everyone seems to be in a flurry to catch something or running after something. Some with smile on their face, grumbles incessantly. But, on Friday night everyone seems to be in the best mood.

Young and old are all happy, because they are on the verge of spending quality time with their children, those in love will have two days of celebration of their love, those who loves to party will have all night without having to worry to wake up early the next morning.

‘Have a good weekend’ is one of those greetings that is said in above the average level of happiness. As it is good news for both the deliverer and the receiver. And usually good mood is infectious. Because of this Friday night traffic congestion is forgiven by Jakartans.

Where is your favourite place to eat?

Padang Restaurants. It is a place where you can eat greedily and it is a place where the side dishes looks so good it makes you drool.

Picture this, the yellow Ayam Pop*, Sambal Goreng with sambal, the nice green of cassava leave, Balado Egg, and all the others. Lastly, a huge glass of fresh pressed iced orange Juice. It is perfect. There you can eat with your hands, your mouth covered with food, and occasionally you can even put your feet up.

Note: this is very Indonesian, you have got to experience it to understand how good this is.🙂

When I want to eat a lot I will go to a Padang Restaurant near Kebon Kacang, Bendungan Hilir atau SCBD. Having said that, generally I am not a big eater. For me a good ambiance and company is more important. People who knows me well, would know that a glass of iced-tea and a piece of chicken is enough for me.

image

Where do you like to hang out?

Taman Suropati on Sunday Morning. Usually Maesy take part in Happy Yoga whilst I read a book on a nearby park bench after a good morning run on a Car Free Day. There, there is always a group of bands entertaining us. Sometimes they play old songs by Titiek Puspa or Koes Plus in between new songs. Of course this makes me happy. I love this park also because I think this is what a real public place is. People from different background gathers around to do leisurely things, exercising, playing music, reading, playing around, having a nap, on a date, eating Tahu Gejrot, day dreaming etc.

I also like to sit around, drink coffee and have a chat with Maesy or other friends at Jl Surabaya. Other than that I like hanging around Taman Ismail Marzuki*, where there is a lot of people and creatives things to do that inspires Maesy and me. Lately I am always at Pasar Santa*, a market that has become the place to be. Besides good coffee, I keep meeting new and interesting people there.

Where  do you like to shop for books?

I like Jose Rizal Manua bookshop at Taman  Ismail Marzuki. There, with good luck you can find rare vintage Indonesian books. Plus if the owner is an a good mood, he will give you a good discount.

For English books, I used to like QB bookshop, that was the first time I experienced a bookshop that you can comfortably sit around and read. At the early stage of me dating Maesy we alwasy go there. I tried to impress her by saying how much I love beautiful books. Unfortunately the bookshop is now closed. I also used to like Aksara, sadly now it offers more teeth-gritting-priced knick-knacks.

Oh and I  have also found some good second hand books in a small vendor in Taman Puring. The little shop is owned by a guy with a cool name, Pangab. He had a book collection that can make one weep. there I found Olenka by Budi Darma with its original cover, I have also found a signed copy of Catatan Subversif by Mochtar Lubis.

Dusty Sneakers at Post

What discoveries that you made and love in Jakarta?

Jakarta is like an old relative with a unique personality. Sometimes she likes to whine but at other times she gives you a nice surprise. In Jakarta I have cursed and sworn at the illogical traffic congestion and at the suffocating air, but Jakarta also keeps on giving me great surprises. There are many discoveries during my 16 years here that I will cherish. Here I fell in love, found great friends, and got to know inspirational communities.

But that is enough, I am going on a tangent, I am going to tell you about my latest discovery that I will remember for a very long time. Maesy, our friend Steven and I found Pasar Santa, and the group of young creatives that are determined to revive the market that has been laying dormant for 7 years. There is different initiative, a Coffee Shop, a  old record shop, delicious food seller, and unique items etc.

post in action

Maesy, Steven and I then started POST, a creative space that individuals or a group can use. POST hosts book discussions, exhibitions of photos, comic and the likes. It is also a small bookshop that we always wanted to have.

The Market was really fun discovery, because it brings me new and interesting friends. I also appreciate the passion of my friends there that is determine to create an alternative public space for Jakartan. There is of course a big challenge, which is: how can the market grow but not then push out the traditional sellers because of the increasing prices of rent and the arrival of high fund investors? I am happy to see and be part of the collective that is trying to stop this to happen.

If you have one tip for someone visiting Jakarta, what would that be?

If this is the first time you visit Jakarta, it is possible to loose your temper to the noise, traffic jam, pollution and some of the people you accidentally meet a long the way. Don’t despair, give Jakarta a chance. Just like any other metropolitan, it is a place where everything is mixed up together inside. Things that makes you sick, things that makes you sad, people who pisses you off, people who are lovely, boring places and places that makes you happy.


Keep on going, Jakarta will definitely surprise you

 


Notes:

  • Blok M: my previous hometown feature discuss this area too, a lot of South Jakartan have really strong affinity to Blok M. In the 80’s and 90’s this  place is the centre of shops, it has a bus terminal that connects to other parts of Jakarta too and a well known market. In the late 80s early 90s this is where the cool kids hang-out too.
  • Padang Restaurants: are an eating establishment you can find in most areas of Indonesia, originally it is from West Sumatra. The food there are mainly curried and spicy things. To eat here it is an experience in it self.
  • Ayam Pop: is one of the special Padangnese way of cooking chicken.
  • Tahu Gejrot: Another Indonesian dish which is a squashed tofu mixed with sambal
  • Taman Ismail Marjuki: is now sloganed as Jakarta Art Centre, where the Jakarta Art Institute (IKJ) is located, IKJ is where quite a lot Indonesian creatives came out from, it is Indonesian version of Central St Martins.  It is also the location of a planetarium, cinema, theatres and galleries.
  • All of the images are from either Maesy’s, Dusty Sneakers Instagram or Their Blog.


Have a Good Weekend Everyone! Enjoy the place you live in and have fun!