Amstel

Kita berjalan di sepanjang Amstel, pada hari Minggu yang cerah di Amsterdam. Setelah menyesap Grolsch dan jus di rooftop Volkshotel, seraya mengunyah kalimat-kalimat elegis tentang keluarga, masa depan, dan peliknya menjadi anarko. Kita kehilangan banyak waktu dan kita mengejarnya. Tapi kita kelelahan.

Waktu memang jahanam, kata Silampukau, band asal Surabaya. Dan aku menelannya utuh-utuh saat kita berjalan melewati gang-gang sempit di sekitar sungai. Dan kau bawa diriku ke Massimo, “kedai es krim paling enak di Amsterdam”. Mungkin iya, mungkin tidak. Tapi yang jelas bibir kita belepotan di depan kedai, sambil menikmati kerumunan manusia yang menikmati akhir pekan yang asyik di kota.

Lalu kita bicara soal Italia. Kau soal Toscana, aku soal Umbria. Kita menyusun puzzle-puzzle yang menyusun imajinasi tentang sebuah negara di selatan, yang kita cintai dengan alasan dan retorika masing-masing. Aku calcio, kau bukit-bukit sunyi di Toscana. Tapi tentu saja Italia lebih dari itu. Ia rumit. Seperti kita.

Kau harus pulang dan mengayuh sepeda ke dekat pusat kota. Movie night. Kita berjalan melewati sebuah gedung jelek di pojok, sepertinya bekas gereja. Lalu bangunan-bangunan kecil, beberapa tampak miring. Dan kita berpegangan tangan sejenak di pinggir Amstel. Dan tertawa. Dan tersenyum. Dan aku (mungkin juga kau) akan mengingat senyum itu sebagai melankoli yang tak selesai.

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Small City Life

From who-knows-when, I always want to live in small city where breaths are easy and life is calm. For 24 years I lived in suburban of urban jungle named Jakarta. There is always busy routine everyday as its patron has. Now, finally, I am moving to another place. A much quieter, less polluted big village named Wageningen. A place where its inhabitants seem like having nothing else to look for in life. Except a serene life.

Two or three days after moving to Wageningen, I visited a place called Stade in Niedersachsen state of Germany. And I found another peaceful space there. Forget Hamburg or Amsterdam, it is a kind of rural town where apples are everywhere. From very big industries that supply all Europe, to tiny garden in almost every house in the town. Pace is slow and days are gone fast in Stade. A breeze in the afternoon makes it perfect.

One day, I went to Amsterdam Centraal. Another day, I was in front of Rathaus of Hamburg. People everywhere. From travelers carrying big backpack, to locals hanging out with fashionable outfit. I never hate tourists or locals or people. But I may not like noisy crowd too much. There were headaches when I first got off the train in Centraal or walked around the Rathaus. The aches growing whenever the picture of going back to Jakarta-esque life comes in mind.

Now, I am going to forget such vision. I want to appreciate life here, life I dreamed of for who-knows-how-long. A small city life.