Archive for April, 2010

Peeking on someone’s mind

Friday, April 23rd, 2010

On the bus this morning, I was supposed to contemplate on market commonality, resource similarity, resource dependence theory, international joint venture, coopetition and the zephyr database. I was supposed to take an advantage of my 20-minute-journey.

It would have been a productive moment, since on the third day of next week, I have to present some written stuffs to my professors.

But what could I say?

It was very serene (on the bus, I really mean it … it was so quiet)

The only sound heard was the buzz of the engine and the bell that in fact alarmed that some souls were not daydreaming (unlikely mine). They were ready to continue their day

In the serenity, my mind wandered.

Then I saw a young lady sat at the window side.
She opened an envelope and began reading a letter.

A letter sent from far away.
A love letter written in exotic Japanese calligraphy on a delicate silk blue paper.
Read from the up side to the bottom.
Truthfully a love poem, if it was not an original piece, surely it was a nice translation of one of Khalil Gibran’s line in one of his love letters addressed to May Ziadah.

The lady finished reading the letter, put it in her bag.

For a couple of seconds, her eyes questioned …
She leaned on the window.

And I heard a sigh then I saw a smile

…Could the shadow of mine engross his days, frame his every step and color his breath?
Let time and space come between us, I do not care …
They eventually will be in agreement with me …

[These lines were not written by Gibran but were sung by Trie Utami – humming the song, I got off the bus and rushed to the Uni]

Re: Birthday Wishes

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

I sent  birthday wishes by email this morning…
Best wishes to my professor …
Just like a regular birthday email:

…wishing him a joyous birthday … wishing him all the best …

and before I signed the email, I added this line

… and thank you for being such a resourceful mentor …

[He introduced, guided, encouraged me to work on some analysis I never heard before.
He listened to every question - even the dumbest one - of mine...
He does not always know the answers to my questions but always remembers my not-yet-answered questions and reminds me to find the answers]

The email was sent at 09:19 and replied at 10:41.

My professor thanked me for the wishes.

Above his signature before the end of the email, he wrote:

… and for all your kindness and appreciation of me, that I don’t deserve…..

On this line, I did not agree.
But, I might copy and paste it in the reply of the birthday wishes sent to me.

A Journey with aunts: I got another aunts [the second part]

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

It was happened because of the calling…

Arrived early in the morning in Dubai, again I was yawningly alone and sitting in front of the boarding room that had not been opened yet. I never sleep during any journey… I could not, though I always try hard to …

My 8 hour-or-so night flight from Jakarta to Dubai has been exhausted by watching movie
I watched The Blind side of Sandra Bullock, Little mermaid, half Hindustan movie (of which the title and the story I did not get), half Chinese movie full of graceful martial art movements … and listening to Celine Dion complete play-list…

In the plane, I sat at the alley. Two women sat beside me, one sat in the window seat, the other was in the middle… They were Indonesian, yet no conversation - except, “where are you going?” the stupid question replied even with dumber answer, “Dubai!” - of course… as if the airplane could get the passenger out in the middle of the track - occurred between the three of us.

While I was enjoying the meals, the drinks, the movies, the songs, [I did eat up all the meal, the wine, the beer, the juice, the coffee], the blanket, the little pillow … the two women beside me did not accept any meal and drink nor use the entertainment appliances. Yet, they did enjoy the sleeping [the blanket and the pillow]…

So, back to Dubai International Airport …
Well, surely it was International…
Majestic and grand, modern, clean and with clear instructions and directions …

I was completely entrapped in glorious Arabic and perfect English announcements, in Arabic and Latin scripts .. and totally thrilled with names that sounded so far away … “Teheran!” “Glasglow!” “New York!” Names that never be mentioned at CGK-Jakarta.

And backed to my seat in front of the boarding room…

At about an hour before the flight, the room opened.
Then I proceeded to the seat in the boarding room, my boarding pass had been issued from Jakarta.

I had just enjoyed the warmth and tranquility of the room for about ten minutes, when an announcement came. It summoned me, “Lamria Siregar, Suzanna! please report to the boarding desk” [My professor booked the ticket under Lamria Siregar as my surname name, later I explained (again), 'Professor, Lamria is my middle name, my surname is Siregar!' ]. I reported and the crew explained that because of there was a lady with little children or whoever and whatever reason they decided to move me. I agreed and that was a blessing came.

My official seat should be in the third of the four-seat row. I had just put my backpack on the rack above the seats when the aunts came… They were noisily chatter in sweet accented English. I counted, “one, two, three, four, five … six!” all ladies in my mom’s age … sixty to seventy years old. All as nice and beautiful as my mom. Their skin complexion was the same as my mom’s .. Their white hair and smile totally looked like my mom’s mom… I guessed they came from Hawaii, considered the dialect they talked in.

“Would you mind changing your seat with me?” The first of the six aunts started the story.
I agreed. I was again at the alley, “But what happened, If I have to back and forth to the rest room?”
Another argued.
“You can pass me by, Ma’am!” I did respect the elders.
“OK!” She seemed relieved.
So I was in the fourth seat, three aunts sat on my right, then on left was the alley and next the other three aunts sat. Practically, I was in the middle of the aunts.

The noisiness faded away, as the airplane took off.
The aunt who sat right beside me made a sign of cross, then grasped my palm as we shared our prayers. It was so sweet.

At some thousand feet in the air, we started to know each other.
They did not come from Hawaii. but from Guam. Polynesians … that’s why they looked like my mom…
The moment we started to be acquainted, a lot of things happened along the journey.
I had to train them to used the earphones and the TV-like machines.
They kept on offering me food, “Try this nuts, they are good!”
“No… take more… This sweet is good!”
“Hmmm, the airplane does serve good food, don’t you think so?”

They taught me about Guam… To some extent, Guam share almost the same history (related to the US) as The Philippines.
They all retired teachers. Fifteen ladies in the group, and they would be in Europe for two weeks. For a start, they picked Rome. In Rome to see the Pope in Easter.
Well, I wished, in my sixties I would have the same experience as my aunts, enjoying Europe with old friends.
They were glowing in their golden ages.

Five hours flashed. The airplane landed smoothly.
My six aunts hugged and kissed me…
“I will email you, Suzanna!” One of them exclaimed.
We were in Rome …

Oh Rome, I may be far away from home…
But believe me, Leornardo … being chaperoned by all my wonderful aunts …
I might easily fall in love with you …
and come again [and again] :-)

A journey with aunts: Aunt #1 (first halve)

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Should I give a title to my second journey to Catania (March 29, 2010) it will be best titled as “With Aunts”.

A first aunt came as I was yawningly alone and lonely waiting in front of the boarding room D2 at the Airport in Jakarta. Ninety minutes to the new day. I took the last bus from the train station to the airport at 19:30, arrive an hour later and went straightly to the check-in counter and had a lot of time to catch the flight… Even the boarding room had not been opened. I was sitting on the bench in front of the waiting room.

Back to aunt#1: A genuine dame, well-groomed with branded handbag and shoes…
My torn jeans, off-colored blouse, old sneakers and old laptop backpack really seemed scoundrel compared to hers. Not more than five years younger than my mom (I estimated).

She smiled and asked “Are you with the *** airlines heading to Dubai?”
I nodded.
“Are you Maya Sitompul (MS)?” <names used in the story were all changed>
“No…!”
“I have to meet MS… Well actually I saw her picture on the internet … in the email - I mean - her aunt - the aunt of MS - sent me her picture … She - MS - has a black straight hair…” I quoted her whole words, all her explanations were written between hyphens.
Oh… and me with my wavy hair… knock-knock-knock …

“This is the first time for Maya to go to Frankfurt!”
I did not know when I have any chance to go to Frankfurt. Hello???

“She is 22 years old!” Aunt#1 declared
Ha? I was 22 years old when Indonesia finally won its independence from the Dutch colonization :-)

With all the non-MS characters and fates, this elegant lady aunt regarded me as MS???

“I’m Suzanna Ma’am… Suzanna Siregar!” I introduced myself.
She mentioned her name.
“Well…, at last I’m not alone to board on the plane …!” She seemed relieved.
“But where is MS anyway…!!!???, Suzan… are you sure that you are not going to Frankfurt?”
“Yup, Rome … I am going to Rome … then to Catania”
“What would you do in Italy?”
I tried to explain my prime objective going back to Catania… I myself was not so sure what would I do in Catania.
My aunt#1 wisely understood…

“And you, Ma’am… What are you doing in Frankfurt?” I asked.
“I live there… It’s been more than 25 years, I live in Frankfurt. I married to a German… My husband is a professor in Quantum Energy (?).” I really did not catch what the expertise of the husband of this beautiful lady. It sounded like Quantum Energy, but I was - am - not sure.

“So, you are now German? I mean… Do you hold a German passport now?”
“Yes!” She smiled…

A lady passed by… and my derangement arose, “Maybe she is MS!” backed to the real reason of this story.

Aunt#1 shook her head, “No… she’s a married woman!” Ha? She was indeed has an-aunt-special talent, knowing which married lady which the non-married one only by a flash glance. Great!!!

Next … a handsome man passed by in front of us, I became insane, “Hey, maybe he is MS!”
My aunt#1 and I laughed hilariously.
Then we repeated the game for several times … We figured out that MS now wore veil, was with a golf bag… or else….

“OK, let me write down my address…. you should come to Frankfurt…. you might marry a German!” Oh boy, she was indeed my aunt since every aunt of mine insisted that every niece of hers should be married. I offered my small note book and she began writing her email, address and telephone number.

The boarding room was opened.
Hand in hand we entered the room.
We even had our picture taken…
And when the real MS appeared, I knew for sure she would have a great travel companion…
MS would arrive in Frankfurt sound and safe.

As we came into the plane and my aunt#1 and I went apart to our seats, she hugged and kissed me.
And whew … I missed her already.


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