Thursday, June 26, 2008

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Short Vacation in Jakarta

My husband has accepted the offering to work in the other oil and gas company. The company offered him better salary, facilities and carrier development. After signing the work agreement, he resigned from the previous company. The consequence of his decision is our family has to move to Jakarta. Since it is not easy to bring the family move, the company gives us flexible time until we are ready. We plan to move to Jakarta on this coming January 2009.

Due to our preparation to move to Jakarta, we did a kind of “survey” on 5-8 June 2008. My kids called it a short vacation. The purpose of it is to find a proper house in good area with good facilities for our family to live in.

I, my husband and my three kids leaved to Jakarta on Thursday, 5 June by plane. Rafif, my youngest boy, was so excited. The last time he went by plane was two years ago, in 2006, when we spent our vacation in Bangka Island. At that time he was still one year old, he didn’t understand anything. So, he was enthusiastic because he felt that this was his first flight.

The flight from Palembang to Jakarta is only 45 minutes. We arrived at 15.05 WIB at the Cengkareng airport , and then we went to a hotel at Casablanca, Kuningan, Jakarta Selatan. Traffic jam everywhere in Jakarta, as usual. We arrived at the hotel on 17.30 WIB.

In the Hotel

It was a new five star hotel, but I thought the service was not really good compared with the other hotels I‘d ever stayed in. There was nothing special with the lobby. I thought they should redecorate it. After checking in, a handsome and nice bell boy brought us to the room. But when the door had been opened, he said.” I am sorry Sir, this must be a mistake. The room is not ready. The front officer didn’t know that this room isn’t ready. Would you please stay here for a while? I’ll be back soon.” He apologized and leaved us waiting in the corridor. The bad thing was, there was no sofa or chair available in the corridor. So we stood there for some minutes, my kids sat on the floor.

Finally the bell boy picked us up, and took us to the other room. The room was tidy, modern-minimalist style. Then some room boys came, one of them asked my husband “How about the mini bar, Sir?”

“Just keep it.” Said my husband.

I was so busy with the kids so I did not notice what they did next, and then they leaved.

“ Mama, I am thirsty.” Anin said. I opened the refrigerator but I was surprised, there was nothing there.

“ What did the room boy do? Why did they take all the snacks and beverages in here? “

“ It must be misunderstanding. I said I wanted to keep them that way, but they took them away. “My husband looked angry. He called the room service, told him what had happened.

A few minutes later, the room boy came again. He put all the snacks and beverages back into refrigerator. The phone rang; the hotel officer apologized about the incident. Ah…finally, everything went well.

My kids wanted to swim, but I didn’t think that’s a good idea. I took them to the bathroom, and let them play in the warm water in the bath tube.

It’s dinner time. I ordered Oxtail Soup, Fried Chicken, Orange Juice, Strawberry juice and Tiramizu. The kids ate the soup reluctantly, but they really like the Tiramizu. Mmmm…yummy.

My three kids finally fell into sleep. Ah… Peacefulness….that’s what I felt to see them sleeping…

Surveying at Bintaro and BSD city

On the next day, my husband’s friend, Herianto Syafri, picked us up at the hotel. We went to Bintaro and BSD city. The main purpose of going there is to survey. We wanted to know the house, schools, and other facilities there. There were many housing estates with good facilities there such as The Green, The Green Cove, Bintaro Regency, Menteng Bintaro, etc , but the prices were so expensive . Well, actually I understood why they were expensive. The customers would not only get beautiful houses but also the complete facilities, and good environment. We came to the prototype of houses and being amazed by the exterior and interior design. They were modern- minimalist-style, following the trend of the houses recently.We hadn't make a decision to buy one of them, but at least we had an overview of living there.

Having Fun at Ocean Park, BSD city

My kids insisted me to take them swimming, and they couldn’t wait any longer. After having breakfast, we waited for Richard, my husband’s friend. He, his daughter and his son came to pick us up and took us to the Ocean Park.

I told my kids to enjoy this moment because there would be no other vacation ahead, since their father should start working in the new company on 1 July. The kids will go to school again in 14 July 2008. My kids were so happy playing in the pools there. Here are some pictures taken by my husband.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Finding My Soul Mate ( Part-5/Ending)


In the early morning, I gave the letter to the driver. He brought it to Palembang, and posted it soon.

I had so many works to do before I came home that day. After finishing some reports, and the entire job on my to-do-list, I came to my boss, telling him that I took a day off in the afternoon. Then I went to Palembang. I did it because on the next day I had an appointment to meet the third candidate.

I arrived at home in the evening. I was so happy to see my parents and my sisters were watching TV. I missed spending time with my family. My job had kept me away from them. I joined them and felt so relax, at least for a moment.

My phone rang, and there he was, the third candidate. He confirmed our meeting on the next day at 4 pm in a cozy café in the down town.


The morning came. It was such a beautiful day. I wondered what would happen to me. Would I found my true love? Would I fall in love, or being impressed by someone special?

I thought I would go shopping to buy some clothes, before seeing the third candidate. I did not know why I was so enthusiastic. I felt I was so close to the happiness I‘d been searching. I called my friend; she was contented knowing that I was in Palembang. She picked me up on 10 and we went together to the shopping center.

I had a great time with her. I really enjoyed shopping. It was exciting to spend the money I‘d earned for anything I liked. Then we decided to have lunch in a café.

We chose the seat next to a glass-window. Through the window, I could observe people passing by on the sidewalk along the busy road. The café was on the corner of the crossroad, near the traffic-light. I saw some kids offering newspapers, beverage, and other goods to the drivers and car passenger, when the traffic-light was red.

Almost all of the kids were boys. There’s only one little girl, soon I focused on her. She was skinny and pale. Her skin was tan, and her cloth was faded and dingy. Her long curly hair was untidy, blown by the wind. Her little fingers grasped some plastic-toys with various colors. But there was something interesting; she had big eyes which were glittered just like she had a high fighting spirit. I didn’t know why I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.

The traffic-light turned to red. The cars stopped, and those kids ran towards the cars, offering their goods. The little girl stood beside a car. Her little hand knocked the car’s window, and then she peeped through the window, trying to offer her toys. What happened next shocked me. The driver pushed the car’s door firmly; striking her thin body fell to the pavement. Her toys scattered, some of them were broken. The car’s door was being closed again, and then the window was opened. A reddish anger face appeared; his mouth shouted something at the poor little girl. I couldn’t hear his voice, but I was sure it was a kind of revilement. But what made me completely shocked was the face, his face. It was him, the third candidate…what a surprise!

The little girl got up, she was crying. Some little boys helped her picked up her toys. The girl ran away, the traffic-light turned to green, and the car went away fast. I got up, ran out of the café, leaving my friend that was dazed seeing me running. “Where are you going?! What happen?!” she said.

I ran and ran trying to find the little girl. I saw her running through the alley between two stores, and then disappeared in the crowd. I didn’t know why I chased her, but I just wanted to hug her, or told her something to calm her down, or gave her some money to bear the loss of her broken toys, or did anything to make her feel better. I just felt I was responsible for what had just happened to her. But, unfortunately I couldn’t find her.

Along the way home, my mind was upset. How could he do that to the poor little girl?

She was just a kid, one of the needy kids who struggled for her life. She didn’t do anything to harm him; she was just trying to get some money. Why was he so cruel? I couldn’t tolerate what he had done to her. I didn’t want to meet him, no way. There’s nothing left to say, but I was sure that I had found the answer. He was not my soul mate. I tried not to judge him, but what I had just seen revealed there’s something about him that I couldn’t accept.

I called him at 3 pm, one hour before the meeting. I cancelled the meeting. I told him I was sorry that I couldn’t accept him. He asked me why. “I am absolutely sure that I am not the best one for you. I don’t want to be your wife. Please forget me. I hope you understand.” I said. He might be angry, but I didn’t care. At 4 pm, I went back to the field.


There’s only one left. I was not sure he’s the one. I thought maybe there’s none of the four men was my soul mate. I was tired of thinking about having a good husband.

Suddenly I remembered one of my friends. She was graduated from the same faculty with the fourth candidate, but she was his junior. I thought she could give me some information about him.

I called her. I told her about the fourth candidate then I asked her if she could help me to get some information about him, how his character and attitude was, good things and bad things, or anything about him that could give me a picture of his personality. She said she will ask her senior who was also the fourth candidate’s classmate. She promised me she would tell me soon.


I didn’t have to wait too long for the information. When I called her again, she was ready with the info. She got it from the informant that the fourth candidate was intelligent, always able to help his friends, and idealist. He had a strong character, a good skill of leadership, and a good sense of humor. The informant recommended me to accept him. So far was so good.

Until the day-6, I was still not sure about my feeling for him. I was waiting for what people said about the stage of love. They said that to fall in love, someone will experience the three stages. The first was lust or erotic passion, when the estrogen and testosterone became active and create the desire to experience love. The second was romantic passion or attraction. When attraction came into play, someone would lose his or her ability to think rationally, at least when it came to the object of his or her attraction. The third one was commitment. This was the real love. That’s what the theory said.

I kept doing shalat Istikharah. I believed God would show me the way…


I had to give a report to someone in the fourth candidate’s office. I had tried to find the office boy, but I couldn’t find him. Finally, I decided to give it by myself although a half of me was reluctant. I didn’t know why I was afraid of seeing the fourth candidate. The image of him suddenly emblazoned in my mind. He, with his muscular body…What if he was a kind of man who like to hurt woman by doing violence? If I was his wife, would he hit me, kick me and hurt me…… or would he protect me, treat me amorously and give me a comfortable feeling?

The image of him vanished when out of the blue he was standing in front of me. He smiled, and looked into my eyes. What happened to me next was so strange, I couldn’t control my emotion, I was so scared. The uncontrollable emotion forced me to act like a fool, I whirled and ran. I ran fast, left him behind and went back to my office. Oh God, I just wanted to calm myself down. I did not understand what I really felt.

One of my friend asked me, why I seemed so scared. I told her what had happened, and then she laughed at me. “What’s so funny? I didn’t tell you a joke!” I said. She couldn’t stop giggling, “Don’t you realize? You have fallen in love with him! Yes, I’m sure. I can see it in your eyes! You are afraid because you try to deny it. You don’t want to admit it! That’s so funny!”

“No, I don’t! You are absolutely wrong!” I shook my head.

She chuckled.” Why don’t you try to relax and welcome him. There’s nothing wrong to fall in love with him. He is a single, attractive and educated person. So why not?” She left me alone.

There came the office boy brought me a note from the fourth candidate. He wrote:

Hi, did I make you scared? I’m sorry. Can we meet this evening? Don’t worry; I will understand any decision you’ll make. I will treat you kind, although you will refuse me. But still I hope you are the right one for me.


The office boy was still standing in front of me. I asked him”What are you doing? Don’t you have anything to do?”

He gave me his big smile “I’m waiting for the reply. I won’t go before I got it.”

I took a sigh, then I wrote:

I’m sorry I left you just now. I was confused. I still don’t know what to say in our meeting this evening.

The office boy took the note. Then I got back to work, trying to focus on my job. But the closer the time to the evening, the more I felt frantic.

When the office hour was almost up, the office boy came again. He gave me another note. The note was filled with a beautiful pray, wrote by a beautiful handwriting as follow:

This is the pray of Istighfar, which you can do when you are confused, or when you need guidance.

God bless you…


I didn’t know where the feeling came from, but it was just like a magical feeling. A tremendously relief, a flowing peacefulness, a powerful conviction, or whatever it was, it’s so strange, it’s so hard to express.

After praying maghrib, I did the istighfar pray which he gave me. “God, if he is the one you choose for me, please show me, please give me the sign so I can be sure to accept him…”

The time came. There he was, sitting on the chair, in the living room, waiting for me. He smiled at me. I felt my heart filled with warmth. I sat on the chair. Silent filled the air. It was strange. I felt a comfortable feeling, being with him.

A few minutes passed. He kept staring at me, and then finally he said,” I don’t mind accompanying you in the silent, if you want me to. I just want you to know, I did shalat istikharah and also fasting. Day by day I was sure that you are the one for me. But everything is up to you now.”

“I don’t know what I really feel. I’m not sure this is love, because it happens too fast. But I feel comfortable when I’m with you….” I couldn’t say another word, my heart beat so fast.

“Was that a kind of “Yes”? Did you try to say that you accept me?” His eyes glittered.

I nodded. I said silently,”Oh my God, I am so shy. I act like a fool. What’s wrong with me?”

He took a sigh of relief. “Thank God. I’m so happy.”

Since that day, everything ran smoothly. The more I knew him the more I was sure he could make me happy. He was smart and knowledgeable. He could be a good adviser, a great partner to discuss, a shoulder to cry on, a romantic lover, and also a sturdy opponent on debating. We knew each other better, and our love grew up hand in hand.

We started to safe our money to prepare the wedding party. He took me to his parents, introduced me as his intended wife. I was so happy because his family welcomed me very well. And also my parents, they were happy that finally I found the right man. We felt like the gate of easiness was opened for us. Everything ran well, so easy.

Nine months after the day I accept him, we got married. Since that day, we never stop being grateful to God for all the happiness we enjoy. Thank God, I chose him. He really is the best for me.

June 28, 2008 will be our 10th wedding anniversary. Hopefully our happiness will last forever…

28 June 1998

in the year of 2008


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Finding My Soul Mate (Part 4)

Oh God, I had to give answer to each person in one week. How could I do that? I tried to make a list of the positive things and negative things I saw on those four men, but the result still made me confuse. Making a decision was not an easy thing for me. I thought I would run away from this, but I couldn’t.

In some other cases, I trusted my intuitive heart. I listened and trusted the inner voice that knew what it was I needed to do, what actions needed to be taken. But in this case, I felt just like my intuition had been blocked.

Finally, I chose to hand over this matter to God. That’s the only way. In Islam, there’s one way to find the best option of the problem that Moslem faced. It’s called “ Shalat Istikharah”. It’s a ritual prayer resemble with the obligatory prayer, but the purpose of it was to find the clue of the best choice.

I did it once each day, in 7 days. I wake up at 3 AM, when anybody else was sleeping. I just wanted to feel the peacefulness, just the two of me and my God. After taking wudhu (ritual ablution before prayer), I did Shalat Istikarah. After it, I prayed.

“ In the name of Allah, the infinitely Compassionate and Merciful. Oh Allah, You have power and I have none. You know all and I know not. You are The Knower of all that is hidden. If in Your knowledge, one of these four men be good for me in my faith and in my temporal and religious life, then ordain him for me. And if anyone other than him be good for me in my faith and in my temporal and religious life, then ordain him for me.”


After the first Shalat Istikharah I felt more tranquil. The first candidate came to me. He asked me if I had already made a decision. I said I was thinking about it and I would tell him soon. Deep in my heart I believe I would find something about him, something that triggered me to accept or refuse him.

Then I focused on my job. After typing a report of material usage on my computer, I tried to print the document. But there was something wrong with the printer, it couldn’t print the document. I took a disk, and saved the document into it. Then I looked around, tried to find another printer. There were two other printers, but all of them are used by the other employees.

I remembered there was one printer in the first candidate’s workroom. I thought maybe he could allow me printed out my document there. I walked down along the office corridor and I stopped in front of the door. I knocked, but there was no respond. I opened the door, and entered. He was not there.

There were some papers scattered on the floor. I took them and put them beside the computer. It seemed that he had left the room in hurry. I saw the computer was on, and I could see there was a document, a financial report of salary payment, on the screen. I did not know what I was thinking at that time but suddenly there was an eager desire in my heart to see closer what it was on the screen. I knew I shouldn’t do that but a half of my heart force me to. I came closer to the computer. Actually there were two documents, two financial reports on its screen. When I scrutinized them, I found these two documents were almost the same. The difference of them was the amount of money. Then I knew that he made two versions of report. Why did he do that? Out of the blue, awareness raised in my mind. Soon I left the room.

I sat on my chair, thinking. “So, that’s why he is rich. My company paid the salary of those workers through his company. His company took 20% of the amount, and then…he, the one who responsible to manage the payment, took another 20% for himself. He has already got monthly salary from his company, but he took another benefit illegally. This man is absolutely not suitable for me. Thank You God, I have found the answer.”

In the evening, I told him my decision. I said I couldn’t accept him. I could see anger in his eyes. He said” Why? Was there someone told you bad things about me? And you believe it?”

“No. I have done Shalat Istikharah. I have a deep conviction that you are not my soul mate. That’s all. I’m sorry if I make you disappoint.” I said resolutely.


I received another letter from the second candidate. He wrote that he couldn’t wait any longer for my reply. He wanted to come to the field to see me. He needed a direct answer.

All day long I thought of him. I tried to remind anything, any time I spent with him. Again and again the memories of him leaded me to realize that we had only a platonic relationship all these years. He was friendly, kind, smart, and unique. Although I was fond of him, I could not be romantically involved with him. I couldn’t imagine he became my lover, more over my husband.

In the evening, I wrote a letter for him. I was sorry, but I had to tell him the harsh truth. It would be better for me, and also for him. I hoped he could find someone else, his true love.