No no no, I’m not referring to that “mother.” You know an Indonesian saying “Ibu kota lebih kejam dari ibu tiri?” That is the mother I am referring to. Yes, ibu kota literally means “mother of city” or in English “a capital city.” The screwed and over-populated city named Jakarta is where I am living now. Its polluted air is what I am breathing now. Its dirty water is what I am drinking now. Its ignorant citizens are who I am dealing with everyday. The living that I never have imagined before; actually in my first week, I wake up with a strange feeling of “not-believing-the-fact-that-I-wake-up-in-Jakarta.” This fact, however, taught me one thing; that karma does, sometimes, work within quite a short period of time. In my college years, I always told my self that as soon as I graduate, I have no intention of finding a job in Jakarta; I preferred to stay in the city where my Uni lies: Semarang. Jakarta has always been my last choice.
The story began in the fifth month of my first job. After 6 months of the jobless graduated life, I finally found a job in a small bookstore. I didn’t mind being underpaid, as long as I could stay alive, live in Semarang, and being near my girlfriend (she had better job than me at the time). It was a calm five months until a state ministry opened recruitment for the graduated. Actually, I was in Jakarta for a book exhibition at the moment; then my colleague (who was an English Department student – just like me) told me about the recruitment in Ministry of Finance. As a good boy (yes I am indeed :D), I disseminated the information to all my friends, not to mention my girlfriend. She was excited and immediately decided to apply for the recruitment test, and then asked me whether I wanted to join or not. Actually, I was in the state of “I am tired of looking for a job, I have one already and I want to rest for a while,” but considering that the recruitment took place in Jogjakarta, which meant that my gf will have to travel back and forth from Semarang, as a good boyfriend (again, indeed I am a good boy hahahaha), I couldn’t let her travel alone. Thus, I decided to join the recruitment test.
Little did I know that the recruitment consisted of four phases, meaning that I should travel back and forth five times (four times for the tests plus one time for taking the test ID) from Semarang to Jogjakarta. There was no way I skip from work for five times in a month, so I then pretended to be sick or having an urgent matter every time I have to go to Jogjakarta. It was not easy; I need to create several excuses. But thanks to my mischievous colleague that gave me a good idea; he said that if you wanna skip, just tell the boss you have a diarrhea….it is an insignificant illness but can be quite a problem moreover, nobody goes to a hospital for diarrhea and thus the boss won’t ask you a letter from a doctor to prove it (thanks dude, I owe you a lot). But that did not simply work smoothly; one doesn’t simply walk into Mor…oh sorry too much 9gag -_____-. Once, I almost got caught when my boss called me as soon as she found that I am sick; and at the moment, I was in the bus going back to Semarang. She asked me where I was, and asked me about my condition. I said that I was lying in my boarding room. She asked again how did I have a diarrhea, when I was working hard to find a good excuse, then she suddenly came with a good excuse “oh it must be that fruits you ate yesterday with your friends in the warehouse.” (I ate little sour fruits the day before, with my colleague – oh yes, I worked in a warehouse). That was a “fyuuuh” and I immediately answered “yes maam, that’s must be the case.”
So the first trip to Jogjakarta begun, it was taking the test ID card phase. I went by a travel agent with my gf. In Jogjakarta, we planned to stay at my friend’s (her name is Tia) boarding house. The problem was that, the friend is a she, thus it was impossible for me to sleep at her place. Then, she provided me a room (a class room, to be precise) in her work place (she works as a tutor in an –what we call it- uummmm English tutoring agency?) I slept in a classroom with skeleton model staring at me in front of the class -_____- and my gf slept in my friend’s boarding house. Before my second travel (the first phase of the recruitment test), my friend informed me that her boss didn’t allow me to use the classroom again; my friend was confused and she apologized to me for that. I said “it’s okay, is there any mushalla near your boarding house?”; she said “ah yes, there is one”…”okay then, that would work, I can sleep in the mushalla.” So then, I slept at a mushalla, alone…oh…I was not alone, I got mosquitoes around. After the test, I meet someone that would play a great part in the next phases. When I was walking down the street (I was lost, in fact) in a heated day, a person wearing helmet riding a motorcycle stopped by and asked (still wearing his full face helmet) “hey Ru, what did you do here?” and I was like “who the hell are you?” He didn’t answer, instead he opened the helmet. I was surprised knowing that he is Jota, one of my good friends in high school. Then we went to his boarding house, had a bit chit chat, before he dropped me by to my friend’s boarding house where I met my gf.
The announcement came out, I wasn’t aware, to be honest…not until my friend texted and congratulated me. Then I and my gf went to the internet café to just make it sure. I didn’t know how to respond when I found my name in the list but at the same time I could not find my gf’s name. She failed, but I made it; I remember, she cried in sadness and joy. I thought that, things were getting serious; I should tell my parents then. To be frank, I didn’t tell my family that I applied for a job in the Ministry of Finance. It was just I didn’t wanna make them worried, and I couldn’t afford the pressure either. Because onece, I failed in a test in a state ministry, and they keep asking “how could you fail? Why?” oh come on, I failed because I FAILED, shit happens.
And for the next phases, I went to Jogjakarta by my self and stayed in Jota’s boarding house (thanks a lot bro, thanks a lot). Ah, I remember….that time, he also lend me his shirt for my shirt fell somewhere in the way because I carelessly forgot to zip my bag -_________-. When I met my friends in the test site, I told them the incident and they laughed and said “ah so that what makes you look weird today, it is the shirt” -______-
I made through the last phase, and before the announcement of the final result, my father brought me to someone whom I later learned that he is a paranormal. My father said that I need to meet this man, and told him that I don’t want to be placed outside the java island. Yes, I was quite worried that I will be placed outside the Java Island considering that the Ministry of Finance’s offices are located throughout the nation. But I said “dad, I cannot promise you much, how if I don’t make it through the final test,” then he said “son, I am quit sure you’ll pass,” “how could you be so sure” I asked, “look, I had a vision, a dream that somehow I met a tiger, you know son, tiger is a symbol for nobleness, for “working in the palace, kingdom” and public servant (PNS) serves the nation, the kingdom, that is noble.” That was the time I stopped arguing, there’s no use arguing with an old man about superstition, they will refuse to be beaten, so I preferred to be silent and did what he told me to.
And then yes, I made it through. With two of my friends from my English department, I started to live in this “big durian”; interweave my dream in the city of my last choice. Not long, my gf also got a new job in the Ministry of Tourism and moved to Jakarta. So, that’s how I meet your (city) mother – who is scarier than your step mother.
One doesn’t simply walk into Mordor, but karma will simply walk you to Jakarta!