Thursday, October 26, 2006

Reykjavik-Copenhagen-Oslo-Bergen

I did my last fasting of Ramadhan in Reykjavik. The next day is the holyday,Eid ul-Fitr.
Usually I'm with my family and go to my home town in Solo, Central Java.

Apparently, my Eid ul-Fitr this year is a bit (read:totally) different. Instead of being in Solo, I was in Oslo, Norway. But anyway, SOLO and OSLO are pretty similar in the writings...so it's ok :p

Here's some update on what has been happening with me in the last few days:

Sunday - Oct 22nd

Last day of fasting, went out with Thordis and Svetla to buy stuffs for the flat. But the most important thing was we now have a DVD player...say good bye to the VHS ("good bye VHS") :-)
In the night after finishing the fast I went to see Tesha, my Indonesian friend in Iceland. He's going back to Indonesia the next morning after 6 months in Iceland, and he'll be together with his family for the holiday...He's very happy to meet his family again.

Monday - Oct 23rd

Thordis drove me early in the morning at 5am to the airport even though she's very sleepy (thank you babe..!!!). I was about to go to Norway for their National Conference. Took off at 7.15am. Then arrived in Copenhagen for a few hours, and as my previous experience with the lovely airport there (also for a transit), my flight to Oslo was delayed. But it was great, coz it was delayed only for 1.5 hours (compared for 1.5 day when we're going to Poland last August). So keep smiling. Arrived in Oslo around 6pm. Took a train to the central station, and Lars and Viktor picked me up there and we went to the MC office, met Annika, Borge and Zara. Stayed there for a while then went to the MC flat, watched "King of Queens" and "The Simpsons" in the TV then go to sleep.

Tuesday - Oct 24th

In the MC office from 10am until 12.30 in the night (except to buy Hongkong beef rice and Hongkong noodle for lunch and dinner with Borge) preparing for the conference.

Wednesday - Oct 25th - The Luggage Day...!!!

We're going to Bergen (south-western coast of Norway), the place where the conference will be held. Our train leaves around 9.40am. On the way to the train station, the wheel of my luggage fell off...but it's ok. Less than 2 minutes after that, the steel that connects the wheel and the thing that we pull up to carry the luggage also broke and fell down...but it's ok, I can still carry it. Everything was "fine" until 1 minute later, the thing to put my grip to carry the luggage also broke and got separated from the luggage...but it's ok, there's still the another one on the side of the luggage.

Arrived at Bergen at 6pm, went to the LC office there for a while, then ready to go to the supermarket with Lars and Magnus...and guess what? of course, the other place to grip on the side also broke down...I can't do anything but just smile, that's the best way to deal with it...
So i carried it with both hands to the supermarket, put it in the trolley there. Buy some stuffs, then met Aneesh, that will be the chair of the conference, and together all of us went to the huose to have dinner and now I'm writing this before I go to sleep.

Tomorrow we will start the conference.
So I will update the story later.

Smiling for an uforgetable day,
ali

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Will I see you again....?

It's 4.45 a.m in Iceland, I'm now sitting on the floor in my room, afraid that I might close my eyes and fall asleep and "not saying anything" in the last night before Ramadhan goes away again for the whole one year.

I am what I am
...and I am who I am
I'm a person in love,

At first I thought I will not see you this time,
But you came to me with all excitement,
Welcoming me with a wide open arms.
No matter how bad I am.

I know you mean a lot to me,
Yet I also know that you mean much more than I thought.
I wish I could know you better,
Because I know some of your beauty are still hidden.

Seeing the beauty,
The complexity,
The simplicity.

To seek the values,
To understand the meaning,
To learn.

And now, just when I start to know you better,
it's our last night again.

And even you will come again,
I still ask my self "Will I still be here when you're back?"

A wish to God,
A simple wish just to be able to be with you again.
A wish that this is not a "good bye", but a "see you later"
With God will.



Every ending is a new beginning. And by the end of this Ramadhan, we should have taken our self to a higher level and be a better person.

And by Ramadhan ends, the first day of Syawwal (the month after Ramadhan) comes.
It's the Eid ul-Fitr Day.

To start with a clean heart, a clean soul. Though I'm not able to go home to Indonesia, nor to see all of my friends around the world. From the bottom of my heart, with all the humbleness and a very sincere heart, allow me to ask for apologies if I ever harmed you in any possible way...

May all the blessings of this holiday warm our heart and freshen' up our soul.

with sincere smile,
ali

Thursday, October 19, 2006

lights...camera...action..!!!

The last sentence in my first post in this blog was
"And by time, maybe you will start to know more about me, my life, and why the hell did i take that stupid picture :-)" ..(there's a picture in that post :p)

So, besides my experience and my thoughts, I will also write about some important things in my life. And what I'm going to write now is about movies..yess...for those of you who have ever talked with me for more than 30 minutes, then either you remember or not, I definitely mentioned about at least 1 movie... I love movies almost as much as I love AIESEC..hahaha.

I watch and collect movies, especially the old ones that sometimes people never heard of. I also had my own movie rent back in Indonesia. Now, I have at least 1,000 movies....and still buying more. That's why I was always confused everytime I got asked with question like "what your favourite movie?" :)

I like to watch movies that make you think or have great dialogues and show the quality of the actors/actresses. Also movies that have an unpredictable ending. But I also love to watch "light" or even "stupid" movies sometimes like Leslie Nielsen's movies (The Naked Gun).

My all time favourite actors are Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.
Besides of course others like Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington, Kevin Spacey, Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, etc.

I'm starting to feel like I'm asked by my kindergarten teacher to write about my hobbies now....

So, if you want to talk or ask for movies...I can definitely be one of your reference. :P

smiling,
ali

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The first 2 out of 6...

"What's the closest thing to us in this world?"
The students gave him several answers like family, friends, teachers, etc. He said
"None of you were wrong. But the closest thing to us in this world is death".
Because it's God's promise that every living thing will eventually die.

The 2nd question he asked was
"What is the farthest thing to us in this world?"
Starting to have some doubts in their answers, the students mentioned things like the moon, stars, or the sun. Again he said
"None of you were wrong, but the farthest thing to us in this world is our past"
No matter how we do it, what ever our vehicle will be, we will not be able to go to the past.

Those are the 2 out of 6 questions that Imam Ghazali asked to his students.

The last few days I was thinking about this. I also got "reminded" at least twice. Once when Thordis told me that she got stuck alone in an elevator at her office (but thank god she's ok), and then when I read Erica's blog about one of her friend, Donna, passed away (God bless her).

In Indonesian language, the word "world" is called "dunia", it is adapted from Arabic language that is called "Dunya". In Arabic language, one of the root meanings of "Dunya" is near.

As a believer, I believe that there's a life after death. That the world is also a near or close journey. Some people are trying to avoid to talk about death, even they know that they will one day experience it.

For me, I'm starting to try and see death in a positive way. I want to enjoy my life in this world, especially my life after death.

Remembering that it's "too far" to go back to the past, and it's getting closer and closer to the end of my journey in life, death will remind me to enjoy my life, to struggle for what I want to achieve in life by helping others. Until the time comes, and I will say to God and my self with a big big smile : "I'm ready :-)"

That's my thoughts on the 2 questions, and in case you want to know what are the rest of Imam Ghazali's questions to his students at that time, here they are:

"What is the biggest thing in this world?"
His answer was "your desire". So make sure that you have and use the desire you have for the right and good things.

"What is the heaviest thing in this world?"
His answer was "when you're given trust by someone".

"What is the easiest thing in this world?"
His answer was "to leave praying because of something else" (a moslem should pray 5 times a day)

"What is the sharpest thing in this world?"
His answer was "your tongue".


with smile,
ali

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Something before iftar...

I was walking from AIESEC office to find something to eat yesterday. It was almost iftar (time to break the fast; to eat and drink again). The temperature was slipping down as the wind kinda pushed my body back a little. But yet I felt very grateful when I saw the sky changing hues to golden and red so beautifully behind the foggy mountains. So I thought I will just walk and think of what did I do today, what have I learned, or just look around and then end my fasting while watching the view.

On the way, I suddenly stopped for a few seconds, and then decided to go a few meters back, took my camera out, and take a picture of the place I was passing by, and some leaves in the shrubs that made me stopped and think.

In autumn, the nature has one colourful farewell before the winter comes. As days shorten and temperatures slowly going down, trees and shrubs start changing their leaves to different colours, until they finally fall back to the earth. When I took the pictures yesterday, some of the leaves are still green, some are red, yellow, and some had already fallen. But these falling leaves does not mean that the trees are dying. It's just what they need to do to prepare and survive the freezing temperatures and other harsh influences from the upcoming winter. And some parts of the tree like stems, twigs, and buds, are actually equipped to survive the winter, so they will be ready to start another season when spring comes....and grow to be a bigger tree.

It's been 2 weeks since Ramadhan started. The main thing that differentiate whether I've been "treating" the month in the right way or not is what will happen with me after Ramadhan. Will I be a better person or not?
I've been trying to improve my self, leave all the negative aspects that I know I have, and also the ones that I don't know I have by the help other people around me.

Like autumn for the trees, Ramadhan brings more colours in my life, yet as well prepares me to survive the winter, which is my life after Ramadhan. It helps me to find which are the things that I can use to survive and keep growing in my life, and as well the things that I don't need to use and just leave behind.

These 14 days has been a blessed for me. So many good things and challenges. I hope the goods will make me more grateful to god for what I have by giving more to others, and the bads will will make me even stronger and keep improving my self.

with smile,
ali

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Iceland is not cold now...

Two brief informations:

1.I want to THANK YOU AIESEC in NORWAY for selecting me as a faci in NTMS...can't wait to meet all of you guys there....!!!!!

2. After experiencing the same weather 3 days in a row, i finally came to a conclusion (guess i can never be a weather man..hehe),
and that is: Iceland is NOT COLD now.......................IT'S COLDER...!!!!
ps: I'm starting too see snow in some part of Esja Mountains

with smile,
ali

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A warm smile in cold weather...


It's been 8 days since my last post.
Someone said that "a picture says a thousand words"...well then how many words can one say about 8 days of his/her life?
So many things happened in the last 8 days. The first 10 days of Ramadhan has passed already. Time flies...feel like I'm just starting. But because it's gonna be too long to write (and nobody will read it as well :p) all the 8 days experiences here, I will just highlight one interesting thing that happened today.

I personally believe that a smile should be given to everybody. Not a fake smile, but a sincere smile!!! So you really mean it because you believe the person deserves it. You smile when someone is happy because you're happy for him/her. Or you give a smile because someone is having a hard-time (of course not a smile for his/her situation, but a sincere smile that can cheer her/him up).

Based on that, I decided to do one funny little experiment.
Today i walked around 25 minutes from my flat to Rarik's office (an energy company where i'm working part-time for), then I walked to see the sea for around 15 minutes, then went to check what movies are playing in the cinema today, and finally to AIESEC office.
Along those walks, I decided to smile to everyone (just a simple smile guys..i'm not crazy yet) that "passes-me-by and see me in the face" and see how they react towards it.

I didn't really count how many people that smiled back to me, but I can tell you that 8 people didn't smile back to me, either because they're in a rush or just because they don't feel like smiling back. But the fact that only 8 people didn't smile back compared to god knows how many hundreds people that smiled back to me was just an amazing feeling. Even more, there were 4 people that I met (in different places) actually stopped and talked to me, and 1 person shared about his problems to me.

Sometimes what we thought as a very simple thing can mean a lot to other people. A smile, a pat on the back...or a simple phrase that we sometimes use just because we need to start a conversation:"how are you doing?".
These things can bring more values to other people more than you can imagine, as long as you're doing it sincerely. And the best thing...It's very very very easy to do it.

Finally, if you're still reading this post, even though you can't see me, I want you to know that I'm also smiling to you. Not because this might be a funny thing to write, but because you deserve it.

Life is beautiful, and so are you!

smiling to you,
ali