A Fight In An Angkot

There was a time when I was in a middle of an intensive daydream (I mean reflecting); suddenly an annoying sound of my cellie disturbed me. It was an sms from a friend which sounded like this: “*chuckling* I’m in an angkot (a small shuttle bus operated in Jakarta) and there’s a couple in front of me and the boy is sulking while his girlfriend trying to make it up to him. In an angkot? Haha…funny!” So I sent back by saying: “Why don’t you mediate them. It’s OK to be love diplomat sometimes.”

…they open their eyes wider to show how innocent they are when they say, “We’re only some humble artists.”

After sending that, a thought came into my mind; I don’t think International Relations professors in a well-known university ever think of what the contribution they can give to help a couple in a conflict just like when they asked their students to make peace scheme over…say India-Pakistan’s. I assume it’s because they have never been stuck in the situation my friend in. They have never been in the middle of real life crisis in an angkot so they think there’s always something more important than that.

But to my friend, this is something real which closely happens. What if the conflict turns into open warfare and the girl starts hitting her boyfriend with her handbag? I guess my friend would have thought she had picked the wrong angkot. To avoid that situation, I gave her an advice which is more pacific, though personally I would do otherwise. (What can I say? People call me she-devil).

Later I think this is the difference between power and influence. If you have a power, you can make a decision and act accordingly while if you’re influential you can’t make the decision or act based on it, but you can influence the powerful one to make it the way you want. This is the distinction! The influential people don’t have to take responsibility for the advice they gave before. It’s them who do the action.

This is what happens to those “whisperers” (this word became so famous in Gus Dur’s ruling period). They have no responsibility when they’re whispering a stalwart PM that the neighbors around are pigs so he can launch pre-emptive strike to protect his country (a stupid policy that has drag his far away cousin in a mud called Iraq).

They also have no responsibility when the public opinion assumes that the nearest neighbor in the North is the biggest threat. They’ve got the benefit, though. If people aren’t scared, who will buy their products? And if people don’t feel threaten do you think a government in Pacific would consider to arm its F-18s Hornet with cruise missiles just in case the neighbor messing around? Hey, do you mind? This is the way we do business. If not, how can we feed our family @%^&*#$^@%#?

Do you think those whisperers have ever been stuck in an angkot with a couple who’s in the middle of a quarrel? I wonder what they would advice them. Hmmm…interesting!

Actually, there are two things which more dangerous than terrorism, car bombing or an attack from the North. (1) Socializing too much with someone who’s highly influenced by International Relations. Only them who date and use dependency theory or regionalism at the same times and it’s only them who launch a crazy idea which sounds like this: “Love in Pacific Perspective: An Analytic-Empiric.” (2) Read too many e-mails from someone who claims to be a writer.

I remember the story of Victor Hugo (you know, a French writer who wrote Les Miserables, Notre Dame de Paris etc). Hugo was not really good-looking, but he was known to be a womanizer. Why is that? They said he could write very enticing lines that made many women crazy about him. I assume sweet-nothings have nothing to do with a gender, though. So be warned if you suddenly feel like flying away after reading what they wrote. It’s their trick. And watch carefully when they open their eyes wider to show how innocent they are when they say, “We’re only some humble artists.”

Ah! Let’s leave the bullshit above and let’s talk about something more interesting like a dream. Yesterday I read that my friend is about to live up his dream. I’m sure he would make it because he has an attitude. He always set his eyes to the goal and never misses a thing. Whatever he does, whether to be a good CEO somewhere or to be a host in Discovery Channel, he tends to be successful. I always admire his persistence. This is what makes him different from me. I, on the other hand, love to unleash a new idea without really mean to pursue it just because another idea comes up and it’s more interesting than the last one.

Even for finishing a “thing” that would be launched in January, I need an extra support from some friends (those who would hang me if it’s not finished). So I don’t think he needs extra encouragement not like my other friend who dreams to have a bookstore. I think we’re the same. So to encourage each other we make a magic spell like this. I wish, “You will have a bookstore where I do the book-signing,” and since three first books are critical to determine whether you’re successful or not, she wishes “You will do the book-signing for the next novel in a bookstore I own.” Both of us absorb the wish and feel it somehow would come true.

Back to my friend in an angkot. We finally ended up sending sms to each other. My advice came too late and I guess she already had a dinner when my message reached her cellie. So I gave her advice about lots of chocolate and ice cream which sounds like this: “@#%*(*(%^#!@$%#@…!”

*An extract from an imaginary column written by a columnist who prefers to be anonymous and lives happily with three cats named Timo, Baby and Nigel.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. freesms
    Feb 18, 2010 @ 13:23:58

    excellent work


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