These days, many Indonesians are getting crazy about how to get home and visit their loved ones in time for Eid al-Fitri holidays. This homecoming tradition is locally known as ‘mudik’, literally means ‘going to village’. The word is a result of urbanization boom in the 1970’s–1990’s, where many people from several villages came to big city like Jakarta looking for work. The city itself has become so overcrowded with nonnatives, that during the times of mudik, it turns to be so quiet, since those nonnatives leave the city to go back to their villages. Or other cities.
A bit like me. I just got home from Jakarta. Well, I am not one of those nonnatives who stay and work in Jakarta. I just went there for some surveys and interviews and to make contacts for an assignment that I am currently working on. With Jakarta, then it has been a month full of travels out of and back in to Yogya for me.
After my past presentation in ART|JOG|11 last month (see my previous post here), I went to Singapore for a week, then back to Yogya for few days, after that off to Semarang for three days, then back to Yogya for some meetings and interviews, off again to Magelang, and back again to Yogya for another meeting with fellow photojournalists. It was supposed to be a break for rest when a photojournalist friend, Dwi Oblo offered me to join him cover Yadnya Kasada ceremony in Mount Bromo. So I went there for another three days. From Mount Bromo, I got home in the morning only to unpack and repack, then off again to Jakarta by train in the evening. During the week-long visit to Jakarta, I took two days to come to Bogor, then spent the rest of the days roaming the streets of Jakarta.
And unluckily, I went home from Jakarta just in time for the 2011 mudik session. Which means I had to fight for a ticket. And eventually I couldn’t find one, all sold out. Plus the long queue of people just couldn’t wait in queue…! But luckily another photojournalist friend, Beawiharta offered me a ride. He was to go mudik from Jakarta to Malang by car. And he still got space in his car where he could stuff me into. Thank you so much, man!
On the way home, there was a car accident right in front of our eyes. In Cirebon, a hearse (yes, a hearse) that was being used for mudik tipped over. Lucky enough, all passengers aboard only suffered small injuries. And probably shocked. Other than that, it was a fairly safe journey. We had to study the map closely though, in order to find alternative route to avoid traffic jams and congestions.
The assignment still goes on though. It’s one of those long term assignments, that takes a whole lot of research, and research, and research—that’s why they give you such a long time to work on. Arrived in Yogyakarta at early morning, I already interviewed another contact in the evening that same day. And for this Eid al-Fitri holiday season, I have a bunch of readings for further research. Yet more interviews await after holiday.
Anyway. Happy holiday! Eid Mubarak, dear Muslim friends all around the world! May peace be upon you.
Yogyakarta, 28 August 2011 — @budinddharmawan