Recommended

featured

[Outdoor Exploration户外探险]:旅行就是回家

Interview with a Chinese Magazine, “Outdoor Exploration” (户外探险) on traveling and travel philosophy. 旅行就是回家 Agustinus Wibowo 印尼华人,旅行作家,2002年开始背包旅行,曾三次进入阿富汗,在那里生活了将近三年,并曾深入阿富汗最人迹罕至的瓦罕走廊地带,寻找电视新闻以外的阿富汗;也曾游历中亚五国所有的边境地区。每次的旅行,他都选择最艰苦的方式,搭车、住最廉价的旅馆。在旅行中,他全部的兴趣都在人的身上,已经出版两本旅行文学畅销书《A Blanket of Dust: Dreams and Pride from the War-torn Afghanistan》《Borderlands: A Journey to Central Asia》《Ground Zero: When the Journey Takes You Home》,最近还将余华的小说《活着》首次翻译成印尼文版本。   只有在旅行中才没有身份 [...]

July 27, 2015 // 0 Comments

Indonesia: The Dollar Worshipers

I am Indonesian. I had to go abroad urgently. Thinking myself a nationalist, I automatically logged into the website of the national carrier—my pride—Garuda Indonesia. I did the e-booking for the international flight ticket. I was surprised that all prices were quoted in US Dollars, instead of in my own currency, Rupiah. I was confused, but I had to pay anyway. I got more confused that none of my national bank debit cards was accepted for the payment. Garuda only wanted Credit Card with the international logo of Visa or Mastercard. I was heartbroken. Our country’s national airline refused our own money and denied our own national banks. Alas. My Credit Card was over limit. I rushed to a private tour agent. I was relieved because they said they could help. But they quoted a price much more expensive than the one I saw earlier on the website. And yes, it was also in US dollars. I asked whether I could pay in rupiah, or use my debit cards. No, they said. Better bring us crispy US dollar bills, otherwise you have to agree with our unfavorable exchange rate. I ran to the nearby ATM, withdrew about a hundred pieces [...]

June 5, 2015 // 13 Comments

Marukara 3 September 2014: A Dangerous Adventure with Indonesian Illegal Traders

The coastal region in the southern Papua New Guinea near the Indonesian border is notorious for the illegal cross-border trading activity. Indonesian traders often cross the sea border from Merauke in the west and venture to Papua New Guinean villages to do their unlawful business. This is a very dangerous journey, due to attacks from the pirates and possibility being caught by joint PNG—Australian border patrol. I could sense the over-cautious attitude in Herman—a Marind trader from Merauke, whom I saw one boat of three passengers floating on the sea near the Buzi village. Marind is a Papuan native tribe inhabiting Merauke, a big city and its surrounding regions at the Indonesian side of the border. Thus, as a dark-skinned and curly-haired Melanesian, Herman did not look any different from the PNG villagers in this area. It was Sisi who disclosed Herman’s Indonesian identity to me. Herman’s boat was heading from west to east, making a short stop in Buzi as he was to meet someone here. At that time, Sisi was about to cross the sea to Australia (Boigu island, only six kilometers away across Buzi), so she walked to the water and talked to Herman. “There is one [...]

May 19, 2015 // 6 Comments

中国网:呈现|“寻家”之路 道阻且长(No.103)

印尼人?中国人?从18岁起,奥古斯丁开始只身踏上“寻家”之路,当行走成为挑战自我的模式,他的足迹开始踏及吉尔吉克斯坦,巴基斯坦,土库曼斯坦,伊朗,遍布整个中东。终于,他通过行走得到了内心的和解,打破了旧有的“墙”,让当下和过去握手言和。 An in-depth article from China.com.cn (中国网) on my searching of identity as a Chinese Indonesian, about my winding journey to find the real “home”.   中国网 原创 2015-05-09 陈潇 印尼华人作家奥古斯丁最近把自己微信签名改为“新书要出啦”。34岁,十余年旅途,行走阿富汗、巴基斯坦、外蒙古等地。按他话说,《Ground Zero》作为他第三本书甚至凝聚他30年行走心血,一切视角核心围绕“家”。“对,我就是想给大家讲一个回家的故事”。 “寻家”因于他曾分不清自己是哪里人,印尼人?华人?这种自我身份无法认同的过程驱动他踏上寻家之旅。如今,他用文字讲述自己的故事,在路上寻家的过程。 实际上,印尼,中国,印尼华人,两片土地,以及在这上面生活肇始非同源的人们,从上上个世纪开始曾为生存而共存或斗争,更多沦为政治纠葛而罅隙,周遭山河变,转眼一切让在新土地上生活的人们,开始尝试和自己内心和解,用时光消融曾经的伤或痛。 [...]

May 10, 2015 // 0 Comments

Tais 30 August 2014: A Nation in Waiting

Nobody would deny, Tais is a very blessed land. See how green the vast pasture surrounding the village—even though your economist mind may ask why such a potential fertile land is just wasted and overgrown by wild grass as tall as your chest. See how bountiful their garden products are, their huge yams and blue yams and cassavas and sweet potatos, their super-sweet bananas and super-hot chili and super-fresh coconuts and super-big oranges. When the men go hunting to nearby jungles, they almost never come home empty handed. The people of Tais never ran out of food, as their land provide much more than enough for its 80 families spread in the 1 kilometer breadth of their village. Despite of this, you would see the children were very unhealthy; they have skinny bodies of bones but with big bellies. I asked Sisi—my host in this village—why. She just laughed, and said that it was children loved to eat too much. But I thought it was due to their monotony of diet, most of which was carbohydrate. Their food, if not boiled yam or boiled potato or boiled cassava, then it must be roast yam, roast potato, or roast cassava. Sometimes [...]

May 8, 2015 // 1 Comment

My Healing with Vipassana (1): A Happiness Seeker and His Breath

Something was terribly wrong with me lately. I used to feel much “alive” when I travel on the road, but returning to days of monotony confined in Jakarta apartment always brought depression to me. It’s ironic to feel lonely amidst a busy and noisy apartment block inhabited by thousands of people. I was sure, my depression had something to do with my family problems. Since I lost my mother five years ago, sadness and fear slowly grew inside me. Three years after that, my father passed away. Year after year, I could not handle this loneliness anymore. I felt more and more insecure. Every quiet night I go to bed alone, I was bombarded by frustrating thoughts. Am I still needed in this world? For the sake of whom do I still need to continue my life? Even worse, I have depression and anxiety at the same time. As the negativity piled up, once in a while, I even contemplated of doing something very, very stupid to end my life. Until then, a friend suggested me to try Vipassana meditation. He himself had attended the course, and called the experience ‘life changing’. I have known earlier that much of our [...]

May 7, 2015 // 5 Comments

Indonesia: A Blaming Nation

This happened again. The police arrested one of the leaders of the anti-graft body. The President seemed helplessly requested the police not to make any controversial moves, as they have already done in the near past. The request seemed went to deaf ears. The public outcry was directed to the President, blaming him too weak to sit on the position. It is a huge contrast to the enormous support the Indonesian public has shown to Joko Widodo, a.k.a Jokowi, during the presidential election, less than a year back. He was duped as “Indonesian Obama”, “a new hope”, “someone from us”. Unlike other predecessors or other president candidates, he does not come from political elites or military family, nor does he lead any political party. His uniqueness as an “outsider”, a “working class and really working” governor, has produced an unprecedented euphoria among Indonesian public. Suddenly, people from the elites to the roadside vendors, from Chinese-ethnic merchants to Papuan mothers, from his fanatical supporters to his dire opponents, talk about only one name—his name: Jokowi. But during Jokowi’s first months as Indonesian president, the high hopes started to crush. The public survey shows the public support has decreased. Back in the [...]

May 3, 2015 // 9 Comments

#BoycottBali: Siapa Membutuhkan Siapa?

Saat menentukan destinasi liburan, ada beberapa hal yang biasanya kita pertimbangkan: kemudahan visa, atraksi di destinasi, biaya, keamanan. Tetapi warga Australia diminta untuk mempertimbangkan hal lain: ada tidaknya hukuman mati di destinasi yang dituju. Itu tergambar dari gerakan boikot dari media sosial Australia dan sempat menjadi trending topic beberapa hari lalu: #BoycottBali. Gerakan ini berkenaan dengan rencana Indonesia menjalankan eksekusi mati terhadap dua gembong narkoba warga Australia, Andrew Chan dan Myuran Sukumaran, yang ditangkap di Bali pada 17 April 2005. Mereka berdua adalah pemimpin dari kelompok beranggotakan sembilan orang Australia, dikenal sebagai “Bali Nine”, yang berupaya menyelundupkan 8,3 kilogram heroin senilai A$ 4 juta dari Indonesia ke Australia. Death Row Diaries of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (source: news.com.au) Di saat-saat terakhir ini, pemerintah Australia gigih meminta pengampunan kepada presiden Indonesia. Tetapi presiden Indonesia yang baru terpilih, Joko Widodo, juga gigih untuk tidak memberikan grasi terhadap kasus narkoba. Jokowi—demikian dia biasa dikenal—beralasan bahwa Indonesia dalam keadaan “darurat narkoba”, dan mengutip data mencengangkan: 4,5 juta orang Indonesia harus direhabilitasi karena narkoba dan 40-50 orang Indonesia mati setiap hari karena narkoba. Sebagian publik Australia menuding Indonesia yang melaksanakan hukuman mati sebagai negara barbar biadab. Sementara Andrew dan Myu dipandang sebagai [...]

February 21, 2015 // 49 Comments

To Live 活着 by Yu Hua 余华 (Penerjemah Bahasa Indonesia: Agustinus Wibowo)

To Live (活着) karya Yu Hua (余华) adalah buku terjemahan pertama saya dari bahasa Mandarin ke bahasa Indonesia, akan diterbitkan Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 7 Februari 2015.  Novel kedua karya Yu Hua yang saya terjemahkan, Kisah Pedagang Darah (许三观卖血记) juga akan segera terbit setelah ini.   Buku peraih penghargaan yang awalnya dilarang terbit lalu menjadi buku paling berpengaruh di China dekade terakhir ini. Dari seorang anak tuan tanah kaya yang menghabiskan waktu di meja judi dan ranjang pelacur, Fugui kehilangan harta dan orang-orang yang dicintainya. Dia berusaha bertahan hidup di tengah kekejaman perang saudara, absurditas Revolusi Kebudayaan, hingga bencana kelaparan yang melanda China akibat kekeliruan kebijakan Mao. Kisah tragis kehidupan seorang Fugui merangkum kengerian perjalanan sejarah negeri China di tengah ingar-bingar revolusi komunis. To Live adalah karya kontroversial salah satu novelis terbaik China yang sempat dilarang beredar di China, telah meraih berbagai penghargaan sastra internasional, difilmkan, dan telah diterjemahkan ke lebih dari 20 bahasa. Dengan kata-katanya yang sederhana namun bergemuruh dan menggugah, Yu Hua bercerita tentang sebuah China. Yang begitu nyata, tanpa basa-basi.   Purnakata dari Penerjemah Berhidup demi Hidup Saya menemukan tubuh nenek saya terbujur dalam peti mati kecil, matanya terpejam, bagai dalam tidur yang begitu damai. Cuma satu peti [...]

February 3, 2015 // 18 Comments

Tais 30 Agustus 2014: Kulit Hitam dan Kulit Putih

“Apakah di negaramu, orang kulit putih juga ada yang jadi pengemis?” Singai Suku, lelaki kepala desa Tais yang berperut besar itu bertanya kepada saya. “Kulit putih? Kulit putih yang mana?” tanya saya. “Kulit putih yang seperti kamu.” “Kulit putih dan kulit hitam semua sama, semua ada.” “Apa?” Singai begitu terkejut sampai melongo. “Kenapa kulit putih harus mengemis? Kalau kulit hitam jadi pengemis itu wajar. Tapi kulit putih? Itu tidak masuk akal!” Ini adalah salah satu dari begitu banyak percakapan yang cukup membikin stres selama saya berada di Papua Nugini. Mengapa mereka selalu menganggap diri mereka lebih rendah daripada kulit putih? Beberapa hari yang lalu, saya pernah menunjukkan foto-foto yang saya ambil di Afghanistan kepada Sisi—perempuan muda tuan rumah saya di Tais—bersama warga desa lainnya. Sisi terpaku menatap gambar anak-anak jalanan korban perang di ibukota Kabul yang mengemis dengan berbaring telentang di atas aspal panas. Sisi menggeleng-geleng tak percaya. “Tapi mengapa? Mengapa mereka harus hidup seperti itu? Mereka kulit putih, bukan?” Boneka kulit hitam dijual di sebuah toko di Port Moresby (AGUSTINUS WIBOWO) Warga Tais hidup dari berburu (AGUSTINUS WIBOWO) Di Papua Nugini, walaupun saya bukan kulit putih, mereka selalu menyebut saya kulit putih. Menjadi “orang putih” di sini, saya menerima [...]

February 3, 2015 // 33 Comments

[VIDEO] Net TV (2014): Talk Show Perjalanan minat khusus bersama Agustinus Wibowo

Indonesia Morning Show Net TV 29 December 2014: Talk Show Perjalanan minat khusus bersama Agustinus Wibowo Agustinus Wibowo not only travels, but also learning the life of the people in the regions he visits. He has visited countries like Afghanistan, Mongolia, Pakistan, and just returned from a three-month journey in Papua New Guinea, and is projecting to visit all Indonesian borders. In Indonesia Morning Show NET TV 29 December 2014, Agustinus talks about his journey and what he has learned.     Talkshow in Indonesia Morning Show program of Net TV on traveling to unusual places to learn about the life of the [...]

January 27, 2015 // 7 Comments

Daru 22 Agustus 2014: Mengapa Harus Ada Batas di Antara Kita?

Seorang guru bahasa Inggris di Daru High School bertanya pada saya tentang Indonesia. Dia ingin memastikan kabar yang dia dengar: “Orang-orang putih” (maksudnya orang Asia termasuk Jawa) di Indonesia membutuhkan tengkorak manusia untuk membangun gedung tinggi dan jembatan; tumbal itu bikin mereka “orang putih” semakin kaya dan semakin sukses dibanding orang hitam. Di Daru, dia bilang, tahun kemarin beredar kabar bahwa orang Indonesia banyak menyelinap ke Papua Nugini untuk membunuhi orang sini, lalu diambil kepalanya buat membangun rumah dan jembatan di Merauke sana, dan membuang begitu saja mayat tanpa kepala itu ke hutan atau pulau. Saya syok. “Dan kau percaya itu?” “Semua orang heboh. Sampai tak berani keluar rumah, khawatir dibunuh orang Indonesia,” katanya. Bahkan orangtua menasihati anak yang nakal atau keluar malam dengan: “Awas nanti ada Indonesia.” Ini rumor zaman batu yang beredar di abad milenium, dan herannya, orang percaya. Sangat percaya. Indonesia menjadi nama horor, bagai hantu yang bisa datang sekonyong-konyong mencabut nyawa. Indonesia menjadi nama untuk menakuti anak yang nakal (AGUSTINUS WIBOWO) Warga Daru sempat ketakutan mendengar rumor tentang pemburu kepala manusia dari Indonesia (AGUSTINUS WIBOWO) Rumor ini membuat saya sedikit bimbang ketika memenuhi undangan Mekha dan guru-guru lainnya untuk berbicara di depan murid-murid kelas XI di [...]

January 19, 2015 // 25 Comments

Port Moresby 20 Agustus 2014: Terbang bersama Air Niugini

“Satu hal yang kamu ingat,” kata seorang staf Kedutaan Indonesia di Port Moresby pada saya, “PNG itu singkatan Promise Not Guaranteed. Jangan dikira kalau kamu sudah punya tiket, kamu sudah pasti akan bisa terbang.” Minggu lalu, pemerintah Indonesia dan Papua Nugini menggelar pertemuan perbatasan tahunan di Port Moresby. Satu delegasi Indonesia 40an orang berangkat dari Jayapura, menyeberang perbatasan darat ke kota Vanimo di sisi Papua Nugini, dan dari sana mereka bersama rombongan Konsulat berencana menggunakan penerbangan domestik Air Niugini dari Vanimo ke Port Moresby. Tetapi begitu tiba di bandara, mereka diberitahu bahwa sudah tidak ada tempat duduk lagi bagi mereka, walaupun mereka semua sudah memegang tiket terkonfirmasi. Alhasil, delegasi besar itu terdampar di Vanimo, padahal pertemuan akan dibuka keesokan harinya! Tidak ada penerbangan lain sampai tiga hari ke depan. Dengan bantuan gubernur di Vanimo, akhirnya mereka berhasil terbang ke Port Moresby pada waktu terakhir, dengan men-charter pesawat khusus! Jacksons International Airport, Papua New Guinea (AGUSTINUS WIBOWO) Hari ini saya akan terbang dari Port Moresby menuju Daru, pulau kecil yang sebelumnya adalah ibukota Western Province—provinsi ujung barat yang berbatasan langsung dengan Indonesia. Saya semula ingin menumpang perahu nelayan atau perahu kargo atau perahu cepat apa pun untuk menuju ke sana, tetapi [...]

January 12, 2015 // 22 Comments