Reality Juggler

life is a flame

I thank God for Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp and their application called, Uber. My life is so much easier now that I don’t have to stress out because of Jakarta’s traffic (not because the traffic is less) and also gives me a very-lazy-to-drive habit. I meet different kinds of Uber drivers every day. Some uber drivers are annoying, but some are an inspiration and interesting.

As my meeting concluded, I ordered Uber via its application to get me to the next meeting. When I got in the car, the driver was approximately the same age range as my father. He started the conversation by asking how was my half day so far and my original roots. Apparently he was a mix of Javanese and Japanese. His parents met when Japan invaded Indonesia in 1943. He grew up with pure Javanese culture with a little splash of Japanese way of life. Although he didn’t explain in detail, but Javanese and Japanese cultures are sometimes in accordance. That’s why his parents were able to survive the marriage and society at that time.

He smiled when he found out that I’m half Javanese and half Sumatrans. Although he did not show his disappointment, but somehow I could tell that it was there when he found out that I was brought up with a mix of cultures instead of pure Javanese. Also the fact that I couldn’t speak Javanese properly.

Then we talked about recent political issues in Indonesia. Indonesians these days… if only they understood Javanese proverbs and cultures and implemented it in their daily life, most things that occurs nowadays wouldn’t likely happen, he said. People these days are lacking respect. Not just respect for others, but respect for themselves, he added.

Then he asked whether I am married or not and do I have a partner or not. I was so close to being annoyed, then he continued by asking: am I happy? I didn’t answer him right away while trying to find out where this conversation was going. ‘Urip iku urup, cah ayu’ he continued. He told me to ask my father what it means.

As my destination came close and my father hadn’t replied to my text yet, he reminded me to be happy and to not regret every decision that was made. Because there lies unhappiness and happiness is created by yourself. I thanked him for reminding me and for the deeply pleasant journey.

About half an hour later, my father replied to my text. The literal meaning of ‘urip iku urup’ is life is flame. But it means something deeper than that. It was basically a Javanese proverb that means as ‘life goes on, so live. Be good to others, make yourself useful to others, do not regret whatever happened in the past and move forward’. I froze for about 5 minutes while reading my father’s text.. had I just attended a class of life? Whatever it was, I was so glad to meet and talk to my Uber driver. There are times in life where you need to meet that kind of person just to remind you what life is all about.


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