Well, hi, hello….

I don’t know how many months I was absent from this blog, probably about three months. The event that marked the beginning of the absence was the Champions League finals between Juventus and Barcelona in May. The Spanish club defeated Juventus 3-1. Can’t tell you how emotional that loss was for me. Not only because the fact that Juve was playing in the same stadium in Berlin, where which the Italian national team won the 2006 World Cup but also because my high expectation. Then, there was Alessandro Del Piero who was especially present for his former team.

And personally, I really wished Juve beat Barca because I hate media and football fans considering Lionel Messi as the best one ever in the planet. I really hated that. I hope Juve never ever buys the player despite his personal achievements. Thankfully, he never wins a prestigious trophy with the Argentine national team. I was so happy watching him crying in front of the camera after the defeats in the finals of the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Copa America. Those have proven that football is about 11 players not just one Lionel Messi!!!

The saddest of all was not about the defeat actually. Juve was the underdog team, his squad was much cheaper than that of Barca. It was about Andrea Pirlo instead. It wasn’t about how he cried after the match but more on the fact that the rumour about him joining New York City was coming out again and this time around was stronger than before. This rumour made me anxious for some weeks. I frequently checked Twitter to find about the rumours. Initially, I did not seriously digest the news as media usually blows things up, some even without any confirmations at all.

In regards with Pirlo, things were at first just rumours. No confirmations from either the player, the would-be club he was going to join in, or from Juventus. I felt calm for several weeks despite the facts that Pirlo was indeed in New York to watch a baseball game. The few weeks passed there came a series of gloomy news shuttering the hearts of so many Juventini.

The first one was the departure of Carlitos Tevez, the successor of the magical number 10 jersey belonging to former Juventus captain, Alessandro Del Piero. Tevez made up his mind of returning to his former club, Boca Juniors. His reason was very personal; he wanted to get close to his family in Argentina. While my heart was already breaking because of that I completely understood his decision. Family is the thing that should be in your heart after all. Anyway, I’d like to extend gratitude for Tevez after just two amazing seasons. He was such a hard worker while with Juve. He scored goals almost each time he was on the field. His dedication, professionalism, and his work ethic were unquestionably. I wish him best of luck with Boca.

The first shake was done then the second one, the much-stressful one eventually emerged: Andrea Pirlo heads to New York!!!! That was the second most devastating news after Ale left Juventus back in 2012. That was even more saddening than the departure of Antonio Conte in 2014. My heart was completely broken for Pirlo was my third most favorite football player of all time after Ale and Gianluigi Buffon.

I am speechless to describe how loss that I have to encounter due to Pirlo’s departure. Ale is for me the best in terms of professionalism, loyalty, work ethic.. Gigi is best for his leadership, consistency as a champion.. while Pirlo is applauded for his brain, his distinctive freekicks, his game plan. He is such an artist… He is a very rare player in today’s football industry.

I miss his way of plotting balls, planning which ball he is going to pass, right or left.. I will definitely miss the way he takes dead balls in the black-and-white jersey. Even until the time I am writing this piece of story, I miss him playing for Juventus a lot. It has been the second week of the 2015/2016 season, Juve had lost two matches that makes me missing him even more.

Somehow… my love to Juve is above all else. Gradually, I am moving on from Pirlo though not yet 100%. Juve’s start of the campaign is poor so I must put more focus on that.

So that’s about Pirlo. Other news that kept me out from blogging was the reunion with all my senior high school friends after about 13 years of being apart. This happened so unpredictable. Usually, I only met those who were close to I when we were at the school. Three people were the highest amount. But now… we just held our much-awaited reunion at the school after the Eid Al-Fitr last July. I was one of the organizing event members. The past four months were so crowded. My closed, introverted life suddenly has become so loud with the high number of chats via WhatsApp group. I talk a lot, too, which sometimes makes me feel so bitchy.

So, it’s the friends that have taken out so much energy in the past few months. On one side, I think I deserve to have done that because it was so nice to get in touch with those who played a good part of my life. Each time I feel that we can still share good laughs and stories like we did when we were teenagers despite the 13 years of cutting off, I feel so amazed. I am happy to have them back in my life again.

We chat a lot, every day, about silly things most of which are about food. Sometimes, we talk about serious topics, sometimes gossiping around, calling things that occur in the past. I, and my friends residing around the capital, have held two rendezvous. It’s so awesome that I can still feel normal, not awkward, with them all, especially with those living around Jakarta, after so many years.

Oh.. In between those stories, my boss gave me additional jobs twice that forced me to work overtime. That was another factor leading to my hiatus for this blog. But now, I try to get back at my ‘world’. This blog is where my heart will forever belong to. And also JUVENTUS. I will attempt so hard to write things that have filled up my mind. I have to take them out before I go crazy.

Of course, it’s impossible to write all the things that happened in this piece. I sum them all only. But now… I come back. I read ‘Agnes Grey’ and I subscribe Orange TV to watch Juventus. Man, life is good! So happy to get back at this road!!! *drum rolling*


Much Ado About PSSI

I have written quite a lot of things about Juventus, Alessandro Del Piero and Italian national team but none about Indonesian football has been in the blog. And truth to be told, I am ashamed with myself. Despite the poor performance of the local football, I should have stood by them. I hope this small post can show how much I want the national football team to soar and record more achievements as what we have done in the past.

In the past three years, Indonesia has been, I may call it, as a football fan powerhouse. The huge number of football fans here has drawn some big football clubs from Europe to drop by in the country to greet their loyalists, including I.

In 2013, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea FC have visited the country within three weeks. I watch Arsenal and Chelsea here in the Gelora Bung Karno main stadium for the first time. Although I am the clubs’ fan, watching the world class players playing in front of my very eyes is truly a pricey entertainment. I really love seeing the clubs’ fans, or I call them as my fellow football addicts, celebrating their days.

A year on, it’s time for all Juventini, including I of course, have our own kind of Juventus national day. I lost for words to describe how grateful I am for the very rare experience in my life. I bet thousands of Juventini in the country feel the same way. For your information, Juventini in the country ranks second after the club’s native, Italy, in terms of the number of fans or specifically called as Juventini.

During the period, too, there has been several pay TV that puts European football leagues as their top selling product. The most-sought is definitely the Premier League given its attractive competition, some say so. Some of the pay TV are Nextmedia, OrangeTV and TransVision.

Not only that. Some of the local’s brands have been the major sponsors of the European clubs. For instance, the national flag carrier, PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk, for Liverpool FC. Then, PT Bank Danamon Indonesia, Tbk , which has been in commercial affiliations with the Manchester United. The latest one is gadget firm Advan that has teamed up with Barcelona to grab the club’s fans to become its buyers.

Unfortunately, despite the growing enthusiam for foreign clubs, the country’s football achievement has been dragging down. One of the reasons is the mismanagement of its football association or Persatuan Sepakbola Indonesia/PSSI.

Last week, the Minister of Youth and Sport Affairs Imam Nahrawi shocked the country by issuing a ministry decree that suspends the PSSI. It, thereby, does not acknowledge all of the association’s activities. What makes this looks like a thunder in the middle of the sunny day is that it is published a day before the association’s extraordinary congress has concluded La Nyalla Mattalitti as the chairman of the association replacing Djohar Arifin.

The decree that suspends the association from carrying out any activities has been triggered by the association’s decision to have kept allowing Arema Cronus and Persebaya playing in the QNB League, opposing the ministry’s recommendation. Three warning letters have been sent yet left ignored by the association. The two clubs are prohibited by the Indonesia Professional Sport Board because of technical and legal reasons.

While the suspension has ignited disappointment from the current chairman along with newly-selected board, local supporters couldn’t be happier. They say this decision has been much-awaited. They expect the ministry’s planned transition team will bring a new era for the PSSI. They want old regime, which is allegedly connected with a political party and has failed to lift up the achievement of the national team, be scrapped.

The supporters say they want the ministry to completely clean up the association from people who take advantages (money) from the association for the sake of their own. Despite the fact the decree does not resolve the most basic problems, even makes the already existing problems much more complicated, they say the ministry decision is still preferable. At least, they say, this will take the alleged irresponsible persons out of the association.

And I, as one of the supporters, have the same saying. It’s nothing wrong at all to have it all started again with brand new people in charge than leave the matter to the wrong people. While in the past I choose to stay silent and keep my eyes out of the matter this time around I choose to make a stance. And that is by keeping my eyes close at the development of the matter. I’d love to see the national team to win again, being a king in the Southeast Asia as we once were. I think my hopes are not impossible…

Fifteen Self-Questions, Defining Moments As A Juventini


Having been a football fan for about 17 years with Juventus FC as the years-long beloved football club, these rhetorical questions, moments underscore what life means for a football enthusiast, Juventini in particular :

1. This question have popped up in my mind, a lot of time: did my mother wish me as an athlete when I was inside her womb?

2. My father has introduced me to football but neither he nor my male relatives play the game yet I like playing football, sometimes. Am the weirdest one in the family?

3. When most of my girl friends adore Francesco Totti but I still have the heart for Alessandro Del Piero, is there something wrong with my choice?

4. When my friend says the reason I leave her house is for watching a football game held nearby the village where we live but I deny her statement, I then ask for myself: why should I lie to her?

5. I feel so alive whenever I and my schoolmates, most of whom are men, gather in the schoolroom, talking about the matches before Monday morning ceremony begins at SMUN 1 Karanganyar. I feel superior, too, because Juve is dominant during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

6. When I and my friends ride our cycles to the city just to buy magazines, posters that sell Juventus pictures. Priceless!

7. One of the most memorable moments that later embarrasses me each time I look back at is when I cry after Italy loses to South Korea in the 2002 World Cup. I keep cursing the referee who I strongly believe has helped the host in the game.

8. After more than 10 years of not meeting each other, my former classmates says she remembers me most because of my distress when Juventus loses to Lazio in the 1999-2000 Serie A title competition in the last game marked with flooded pitch. Should I be proud or embarrassed with myself because of that?

9. The first time I officially ‘show up’ as a Juventini is when I join in the mass watching held by the Juventus Club Indonesia to watch the last ever performance by Ale for Juve in the 2011/2012 Italian Cup final. My feelings are completely mixed up. Initially, I am frightened because I go there by myself in the dead of the night. Then, I feel so weird when some male Juventini stare at me probably they think I am lost or something like that. But once the game is on, I get so excited to have watched him playing although Juve is defeated. I go home feeling somehow joyful.

10. You can say my weirdness, bravery comes to its climax when I go crazy on my own during the 3-days Juve Tour last August. I go to the airport by myself. In the sea of Juventini, most of whom are men, I don’t give any damn at all. I visit their closed training sessions with blooming heart and again, I don’t care with what other Juventini say about me going there solo.

11. The most insane moment of all is when I am inside the Gelora Bung Karno stadium complex, singing ‘Storia Di Un Grande Amore’ so loud till the male Juventini standing beside me look annoyed, shouting the name of ‘Fernando Llorente’ each time he scores, jumping then having some narcissistic pictures taken. What a party! A much-anticipated one!

12. I can still feel goosebumps in my hand each time I pass the Gelora Bung Karno stadium complex because of the Juve tour.

13. Thanks to internet, I have some good Juventini fellows with whom we exchange a lot of information, thoughts, curses, etc, although, yes, via virtual world.

14. I can be so lunatic only by reading through Twitter timeline filled with the outrage of some Juventini when the club plays poorly or is beaten during a live game.

15. My much-awaited time are at 02:45 a.m each Wednesday/Thursday or 01:45/02:45 a/m every Sunday/Monday morning or 9 p.m each Sunday Jakarta time.

I’ll update the list after I get new defining moments. For the time being, I’ll leave you with those.

Pieces of My Happiness

Alhamdulillahirobbil’alamin… almost all of my teenage dreams have all come true. Below are the tears of the tickets, the entrances of my long dreams, from sport to music. Can’t feel enough to say thank you to Alloh swt for granting my wishes in very remarkable, surprising, perfect ways and moments.


I’ve kept those dream tickets in the past seven years or so. I have another ticket yet I may have thrown them away or I have forgotten where I put them.








I am a very fortunate person, indeed! Wait for another dream coming true, ameennn…

Nine Life Lessons I Learn As a Football Addict

When a ball is played in a football field by world-class players; when it comes to prestige, win-or-lose philosophy; when it comes to emotional involvement between fans and players or fans with certain clubs or players with specific clubs… about 17 years on, and below are just a few lessons that I have recently drawn out as a huge football lover:


It starts with one name: Turin. I have always wanted to visit the city that lies in the north of Italy. Juventus, my most favorite club ever, has called me to go there since I was a junior high school student. At some points, I still laugh at the thought of saving money just to go there. But when I really learn about it, no dreams are useless. Turin is only a trigger. A motivation. Studying, working and praying hard to be at the city one day is what it teaches me.

When the time is right a dream will come true. I proved that last year when I met Alessandro Del Piero, the best footballer ever in my heart, in Sydney, Australia. I have been working so hard for about six years. I have saved part of monthly wage without initially knowing how this would end up. When I learned that he was going to be two years in Sydney, I firmly decided to meet him even if that meant I must have spent almost half of my entire saving. I would do it all by myself for the sake of fulfilling my dream as well as giving an early gift for my birthday.

Each time I remember on how I have spent the huge money, how I have patiently managed to go through all visa-passport related stuffs, and most important of all, how I have conquered the anxiety and afraidness, I couldn’t help being proud of myself. So, how the dream has finally guided me! Meeting Alessandro is a goal. Making it all happen with my own efforts is what it’s all about. The end is important but the journey is way more precious. I have become that brave, that amazing, that awesome thanks to the dream of meeting Alessandro. How much have I learned that dreams are the ways of Alloh swt to lead me being a much stronger and grateful I am today.

‘Insha Alloh’ going to Turin is just a matter of time. One day, I will be there. With the consents of Alloh swt, I will go through a hard, long, tiring yet fun process that will take me there just what I went through with Sydney and Alessandro. And it’s going to be so much worth it. Can’t wait to start the journey.


Football players are the people who teach me of loving what they do and stick to that. They don’t regard their likeness as trivial thing. They remain committed to play, follow their heart, inner voice, sacrifice their education and family to pursue their dream of being the best ones.

It is from their seriousness over what people may consider as small one that amazes me. It’s their persistence, their hard training that somehow teaches me about the power of passion.


I have been a huge fan of Juventus or call me as a Juventini for about 17 years. I have adored Alessandro for more than 13 years. Standing by their side through good and bad times; keeping a strong support during the ups and downs; being sad and joyful when they win or lose; sacrificing all I can for the ones that I love the most all through these years, are so wonderful. How much I can learn about this faithfulness. How much I have grown up over all these times thanks to their models. How much I can apply this attitude to my real own life. And how wonderful this small kind of act can remind me that being faithful, either in the football world or real life, is getting so rare nowadays.


It’s definitely not an easy task to be a great let alone a legendary footballer. With so many talented players going in and going out, love and passion are not enough. Hardworking, raising performance bar, beating self-enemies are keys to always be in the world’s most popular sport. How footballers can play in good shape twice per week; how they can remain in good ball possession even after 90 minutes; how they can remain cool-headed in a world cup finals can only be attained through super hardworking, and may be, just my opinion, intensive motivation sharing sessions. In football or in real life, hardworking is the key of the success. And ever since I have been a huge Juventini, I have applied this principle into my daily life. Sometimes, whenever I get lazy I fancy their faces playing on the field. This works a lot though!


I have fallen in love with football since the first time I watched Juventus playing on the field. Can’t remember whose side it was against. All I can recall is that I was completely mesmerized by the teams’ accurate passings. The more I watch the more I get hypnotized. I am a big fan of free kicks. I always look forward to watch Andrea Pirlo shows his magic in each of the free kick that he takes. He’s the prominent player who shows me that football is all about beauty though it is Alessandro who firstly introduces me to that value in his book ‘Playing On.’

And I really love salto-driven goals with the salto goal from very far distance by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when his nation, Sweden takes England is the one I remember the most. It’s one of the best goals ever. The most difficult one a footballer can make. For me, watching football games is like watching art performances. The way each footballer creates touches, passings, free kicks, or penalty kicks, especially Panenka kicks, are all artistic.


Again, it’s Andrea Pirlo who amazes me at this point. His passing accuracy, his brilliance in attack mapping shows me that in order to be a great footballer you need brain as much as you need physical strength. And at this point, too, I salute to all playmakers, such as Zinedine Zidane, though I think Pirlo is the best of all (subjectivity may apply).

You can’t never ever forget coaches. Yes, coaches are the core for this point and I can’t say much because I still learn how to understand each attack or defense system; what it means as, for example, defending is the best attack; total football; and other systems. Best coaches are not only smart in translating his tactic into positive outcome but also the ones who can make their players give their best in each of the game.

All I can say here is that my most favorite coach ever is Marcello Lippi, Juve’s best second coach and the last coach that leads Italy winning its 2006 World Cup. He is so damn outstanding; he is not only smart but also is a great motivator for being able to turn the ‘calciopoli’-plagued national team into a world champion at that time. What a truly winner you are, Mister Lippi!


Eleven players with different characteristics, various abilities and mixed experiences all come together as one team. They set aside their egos, their willingness to be the only best within one team for the sake of the victory. How they can translate coaches’ strategies into goals then eventually win the games are mind-blowing. This can be way more incredible if it is a group of ordinary, cheap players who conquer star-studded team. In this instance, I salute to Diego Simeone who lifts the La Liga trophy for the 2013/2014 season with his team Atletico Madrid, beating super expensive teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Diego is one of the best coaches in the current football world. I adore him but still, he is well below Lippi.


I always feel touched whenever I watch footballers celebrating goals and victories. I learn to look at that attitude as human beings euphoria. The pictures do not only tell their satisfaction of finally winning the games after so many hard trials, say, within 90 minutes or even until penalty kicks. But also, their way of celebration, they closeness through huggings always touch my heart. Eleven players from different nations probably speaking various languages can come into one friendship under one team for one triumph. How beautiful is that!

My most sentimental yet incredible friendship is between the trio of Gianluigi Buffon-Alessandro Del Piero-Andrea Pirlo. They are the 2006 world champions. They play for the same team, Juventus, before Ale leaves the club in 2012. They remain as awesome active players as ever despite their old age. Looking at their pictures when Juve takes on Australian All Stars last August in Sydney, Australia, I am so moved. They don’t only set good examples as footballers but also as friends.

If you are against certain players or coaches and you really hate them you should really think about it. Or reconsider your views. I dislike Zinedine Zidane and David Trezequet but they Ale’s best fellows. I hate Sir Alex Ferguson, former coach of Manchester United, but he is a great fan of Mister Lippi. Conclusion: I still dislike Zidane, Trezequet and Fergie but in lower dossis of hatred. The point is friendship among footballers or coaches, especially when they meet outside the field, is always touchy for they show that they are the same with us when it comes to friendship.

Being my own kind of athlete

Being a sport lover since 1992, a die-hard Juventini since 1997 and a Delperista for 13 years onwards, here’s how I can be my own athlete, my own champion. And I have RECENTLY concluded about this.

No, I don’t have to train several hours per day, racing 100 km/per day to be my own version of winner. All I have to do is trying to get up early during weekends, jogging and doing exercises two or three hours per week. Thanks to sports, I realize that I have to love my body. And I can do this by doing exercises, eating and sleeping well. Jogging while circling Gelora Bung Karno main stadium per week while imagining the faces of the mentioned players, especially Alessandro, has made me a champion.

Being a champion at heart is as important as well. Putting high respect to all people, even to the ones I dislike is the highest lesson learned from my unlikeness to Zidane, Fergie or Mourinho. Another value of life is looking at the inside not from the outside whenever I fail. Just like whenever Juve loses the games, never ever blame external factors, even if they may have their say on the defeat.

The last and the best point that I would like to write here is keep on improving myself. I specifically learn about this from Alessandro who keeps on playing even if he turns 40 years old today. He teaches me to always beatnegative destructive thoughts, keep on raising my life bar and there’s no age limits to do what I love.

How abundant! And this post is way much longer that I initially expected! Thank you Alloh swt for making me loving football for I don’t know how to live without it now. Thank you football. I owe you a lot!

Happy Birthday JUVENTUS!

tanti auguri Juventuspicture source: www.buzzyfootball.com

Writing about Juventus is one of the topics I would like to avoid. It’s not because that I know a lot about the club that would make it hard for me to put them down into some posts. But it’s more because I love it so much. It has been the part of my life for more than 17 years that I have to carefully put into so much love and affection in each of the post about the club. And doing that is so damn terrifying. Expressing your thoughts about something or someone you completely love is such a great task because you have to contemplate, feel the love before you put those unspoken emotions into words. And after you have done that you know you won’t feel enough. You know something remains missing. And you will never evel feel enough. Later, you realize no words can ever enough to express your love. Then, it ends up being you and the feeling you have in your heart of which you will only share it with God or with people as crazy as you are.

That happens with me and Juventus, especially this year. That what makes me to still unable to share pictures about its tour last August in Jakarta. It’s not about that I have no time to put all pictures here in this blog. It’s more because I have not moved on from the tour. The best three days this year, one of the best moments in my whole life so far. Between 4 and 6 August. It’s the kind of best moment you would like to capture it in your heart forever and ever. It’s the kind of time when you really wish the clock would stand still.

Even now, each time I pass Gelora Bung Karno main stadium on the way back home from my office I still feel those emotions. The night when thousands of Juventini pack the stadium, singing, shouting, clapping our hands. I can’t describe those moments. The night still feels like a dream for me. Too wonderful to be remembered. Sometimes, I’d like to avoid remembering those days. It’s just way too beautiful.

So, that what makes this year’s birthday feels so special. And it will be as special as ever because I have finally met the darling, the beloved, the one and only JUVENTUS FC! I’ve met the Juve boys whom I have usually watched in TV screens. I’ve eventually encountered the team which has been inside in my heart,; the club that has encouraged me to dream; the team that has taught me a lot about the values of life. It is never enough to say how much I love the Old Lady…

And thanks to the occasion now that I have amazing new Juventini friends with whom I can share, chat with, joke with (just one of them actually) about the club. I have some fellows who have the same passion and insanity. I finally have the best buddies to get crazy with. This makes this year’s birthday celebration becomes even more something. And the annual occasion will even get more special next year and the years after that.

It’s been 117 years since the club has been founded. It’s started out with shared passion from a group of boys in Turin. They enthusiastically reach the dream till now it becomes the best Italian club. Their very old passion is now within the heart of every Juventini, including me. They teach us what it means to wear the black-and-white jersey. They pass on their values of what it means to be part of Juventus. It’s the determination, the pride, the love, the dream, the heart, the passion, the togetherness, the winning mentality, the respect, the history, and best of all .. the family.

SO, happy birthday Juventus. The older you are, the more beautiful you become. Stay graceful, remain on top and keep on winning! Thank you for the joy, the sadness, the victory, the defeat, the life lessons. Finally, thank you for being part of my life..


Forever love,


A Juventini. Through and through.


Flowing Like Water

Recently, two good friends of mine ask this similar question:
“Eny, what will you do with your future?”

The first questioner, my office mate, is a wonderful person. She is married and has a bright career at our office. Now, she continues her post graduate study at the University of Indonesia. I adore her.

The second one, my former journalist pal, is as awesome as the first one. She prepares her future at home in Kudus, Central Java, by setting up a business with her parents.

Then, I simply reply with: “I have no exact future plans. I live my life like flowing water.”

‘But you have plans, right?” the first friend asks again. “Yes, I do have. But for now on, I enjoy what life has in store for me.”

Seven or six years ago, it would be impossible for me to say those things. Back then, I am a very ambitious person. I work from morning to almost midnight. I rarely enjoy my days off. In the first year of my professional life, I have only one day off. I keep in touch with news almost every day. It is my food. It is my life. Literally, my office life is everything. I seldom visit my family far away in Central Java.

No, nothing’s wrong with that. I am young and restless. I have to make ends meet. I have bunch of dreams. I have lots of energy. I am very healthy to stay up late at nights and enjoy unhealthy life style.

Experiencing from 9 a.m-5 p.m working cycle per day never crosses my mind. I would be so boring being at the same cubicle doing the similar kind of task every day.

After three or four years being a journalist, I come at a crossroad. Will I resume my career as a journalist, being in the field, spending the weekend writing about news? Or I stop doing that?

The first three or four years are a very important milestone in one’s career as a journalist. And that happens to me as well. I become reluctant to attend events. I turn out to be easily get bored spending hours while waiting for sourcepeople. I start thinking that my life is useless for going so far away from the office covering certain story. I used to be happy doing that at first. But after three or four years, I rethink about those things. Am I really happy? Is this what I really want? And to be honest, I start getting sick with all the stress, office conflicts that I have been through during those years. Life is tough man, so tough!

Then, I long for enjoying a normal life style. Normalcy in life style means that I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at proper time. I can enjoy two days off per week. I can have regular homecoming schedule. I can hang out with my best friends as often as possible without me having to work during weekends at the office. And definitely, I can perform prayers as punctually as possible. These simple things begin ring in my ears that I consider them as something way more important than just taking some breaks.

It’s like nature conspires to bring where I am now. Definitely far from perfect and ideal but I start loving what I do every day. I can still work and do what I love most; news and translation. My job, though can be quite boring, remains within my interest. I can still deal with media, my foremost love. I translate news from English which is also my passion.

I regulate my biological clock. I can go home once per two months at least. I have funny, kind office pals. It’s been more than two years I have been working from my desk from morning until afternoon and it’s crazy to realize that I enjoy doing all of this. I mean like.. it’s insane to think that the gratitude feelings after waking up each morning is the best mood boaster for the rest of the day.

I can’t believe that doing the similar kind of activities over and over again can bring me a joy. I get bored sometimes but I can overcome this feeling easily. Hanging out with pals is the most wonderful thing to do during weekends. Perfoming a lot of prayers completely help me going through hard times. So crazy yet amazing to have finally realized that those small things, that I used to ignore, are the ones that make my life is wonderful. And once I go with the flow, life surprises me even more like when I visit Sydney and Beijing. Then, watching Westlife’s concert, Juventus match and Shane Filan’s album tour and ‘You and Me’ concert just last Saturday here in Jakarta.

I am grateful and happy with what I have now. I do have dreams (I won’t say it in this post) and stick to it. So, why should I leave the condition that makes me blissful? After years of hectic, stressful daily life, is it a sin that I enjoy a peaceful one?


Thank You ‘Lolita’ and ‘On The Road’

One of the most disgruntled effects because of experiencing heartbroken is losing my reading appetite. Prior to this awful yet precious moment, I am such a bookworm. At least, I call myself as such kind of person. I am so in love with novels. Classic, thick books with long-flowery yet poetic kind of novels. I can’t believe that being heartbroken can even kill this number two hobby (number one hobby is watching Juventus, by the way).

For about two months, I completely shut my mind from reading novels. I have ‘Adam Bede’ in my bookshelf and I retouch the book about this week despite the fact I have purchased this George Eliot’s masterpiece a few months ago. Before the title, I still have another title left unread. Say, ‘Don Quixote’, ‘Perang Muhammad’ and ‘Sejarah Islam’, the last two are not novels, but books about Islam, by the way.

Anyhow.. that’s how being brokenhearted can be so destructive. It takes you out from your own self. It drags you down. It causes you not to do anything you usually fond of. In my case is reading amazing books. Oh and I don’t listen to love songs about two months. Yep, the experience hurts me so much that I even avoid listening to the songs I usually like to hear.

That’s the bleak moment and now I’m back. Can’t be more joyful than the afternoon visit to Kinokuniya bookstore on Thursday, Aug 21, 2014. I know I still have the unread ‘Adam Bede’ coupled with empty pocket but still .. I can’t help myself dropping by at the most favorite store ever in Jakarta.

I glance at some titles, look at the new books in the front area of the large bookstore. Actually, I’m a bit disappointed that the store has yet to add more titles about classic literature. I order them via Twitter to provide Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend but apparently the title is still unavailable. Never mind though.

Through and through. I grab and have a quick look at some books. My focus is almost always on the classic section. I don’t care about another genre. Unfortunately, I have no to-be-read classic books in my mind even after the short literature tour. For me, Thomas Hardy is the only classic writer whose works I always admire. And I have read his best novels. So I must seek another genre.

Here we go… among a few books without plastic wraps, I set my eyes on ‘On The Road’ by Jack Kerouac. I have known his name for quite a long time but haven’t opened the title until that afternoon. And wow.. I must admit that I am hooked by the book and another title whose title I forget.

It’s different from another first person story telling. I feel like rereading ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ but with more mature point of view. The book is great. The language surprisingly catches my heart since usually I dislike reading first person story telling. I prefer to read third person story telling, like the ones I read in Hardy’s books. Jack’s writings are somehow.. I don’t have an exact word other than: so honest.

Once I read the first page I am completely hooked. Looking at the book price I put the book back at the shelf. LOL! One day I’ll return to those titles.

After I haven’t added any classic reference in my to-be-read list then open my mind to first person story telling I can’t resist the temptation of ‘Lolita’. I always refuse to even read the first page of the novel but as the saying goes, the more you avoid something or someone the more you actually want to approach him/her/that. So.. I open the first page and I looveee it.. It’s so strange that it is ‘Lolita’, the name of the book that I wanted to avoid so much given its pedophile theme, is the one that turns my reading mode on again. Well, never mind though because the point is I recharge my reading spirit, return to the ‘Adam Bede’ then get ready for the best pleasure ‘Lolita’…




Satu Foto dan Sejuta Kisah Bersama Alessandro Del Piero


Antri ya…

Mudah tidak bertemu dengan Ale? Jawabannya adalah GAMPANG! Jika mengingat betapa ribetnya perjuanganku mengurus visa dll, rasanya geli sendiri karena ternyata untuk bertemu, meminta foto dan tanda tangan dari sang kapten bisa dibilang sangat mudah dan sederhana caranya. Awalnya, aku sudah membayangkan yang aneh-aneh; bahwa akan ada barikade polisi dan semacamnya di tempat Sydney FC berlatih. Ternyata itu semua TIDAK ADA. Ini langkah yang aku lakukan:

Mencari Tahu Jadwal Latihan, Jam Latihan, Durasi Latihan


Plakat Sydney FC di depan paviliun, yang berfungsi sebagai kantor dan ruang ganti pemain

Setelah memastikan tanggal keberangkatanku ke Sydney, aku kembali menghubungi humas Sydney FC yang alamat emailnya sudah aku sebutkan dalam tulisanku yang pertama. Bisa dibilang aku agak bawel urusan ini. Berkali-kali aku mengirim pertanyaan rinci perihal ini. Bagiku, penting sekali untuk “mengamankan” momen latihan ini karena akan sangat sulit bila aku mengandalkan foto  bersama Ale setelah laga Sydney FC Vs Newcastle Jets. Waktu yang ada akan sangat sempit. Belum lagi jika Sydney FC kalah (untungnya menang sih), bisa jadi Ale bête dan lain sebagainya sehingga dia enggan meladeni permintaan foto dan tanda tangan. Namanya juga manusia biasa. Maka dari itu, kebaikan humas Sydney FC ini aku manfaatkan dengan baik. Selama aku tinggal di sana, aku mempunyai dua kesempatan untuk melihat Sydney FC berlatih; Jumat tanggal 29 November 2013 dan Senin tanggal 2 Desember 2013. Aku bertanya tentang jam latihan, durasi latihan, hingga apakah aku harus memenuhi syarat tertentu agar bisa datang melihat latihan mereka. Harap diketahui bahwa Sydney FC ini tidak setiap hari berlatih. Durasi latihan mereka pun cukup pendek, yakni satu jam ketika aku ada di sana. Melalui surat elektronik itu, aku istilahnya “kulo nuwun” terlebih dahulu. Bertanya soal izin dan tata tertib masuk ke tempat latihan Sydney FC penting sekali bagiku karena aku mempunyai pengalaman yang kurang mengenakkan di Jakarta soal ini. Pas humas Sydney FC bilang aku cukup datang saja tanpa perlu mengurus izin dan lain sebagainya, aku kaget. Ah masak iya sih begitu saja langsung boleh masuk? Bukannya aku tidak percaya, hanya terasa terlalu gampang untuk menyaksikan seorang Alessandro Del Piero berlatih dengan cara sesederhana itu. Aku pun bertanya ke mas Pandu, yang pernah beberapa kali bertemu dengan Ale, soal ini. Jawabannya pun sama.

Mempelajari Lokasi Latihan, Rute Kereta, dan Bangun Sepagi Mungkin


Paviliun Blue Barclay milik Sydney FC

Meski Sydney FC berkantor dan bertanding di kawasan Allianz Stadium, Moore Park, tempat latihan tim ini nun jauh di Macquarie University Sports Fields. Bahkan universitas ini tidak masuk ke dalam peta pusat kota Sydney. Walau demikian, mencapai universitas ini tidak susah. Untuk menghemat waktu, aku bahkan sudah mencari tahu rute bus dan kereta untuk mencapai tempat ini jauh sebelum aku ke Sydney. Awalnya aku ingin naik bus tetapi akhirnya aku lebih memilih kereta karena tak banyak gonta-ganti moda transportasi. Kalau naik bus akan lebih sering gonta-ganti kendaraan. Parahnya, Sydney FC berlatih pagi hari, yakni jam 08.30, walau pada kenyatannya agak molor. Karena aku tidak tahu dimanakah tempat itu berada, aku bertekad pergi sepagi mungkin. Walhasil, Kamis malamnya aku tidak bisa tidur karena takut kesiangan. Jam 6an pagi aku sudah berangkat ke King Cross station, sekitar 500 meter dari hostel tempat aku menginap. Rutenya adalah aku naik kereta dua kali. Dari King Cross ke stasiun Town Hall dengan membayar A$3 dan 60 sen lalu dari Town Hall aku naik kereta lagi menuju stasiun Macquarie University dengan membayar A$5. Perjalanan naik kedua kereta ini sekitar satu jam. Nah turun dari stasiun ini lah proses nyasar dimulai. Aku bertanya ke beberapa orang letak tempat latihan tersebut, yang tidak semuanya tahu. Belakangan aku baru sadar aku nyasar karena salah ambil belokan, LOL! Sebenarnya dari stasiun tempat aku turun tinggal lurus dan ambil belokan terakhir. Ancer-ancernya adalah lokasi latihan lumayan dekat dengan Talavera Road. Untuk mencapai lokasi latihan diperlukan proses jalan kaki yang cukup melelahkan karena kontur tanah yang naik turun. Begitu menemukan ada dua halte mungil saling berhadapan, tinggal ambil kanan dan di situlah ada plakat besar dengan logo beberapa klub olahraga yang berlatih di sana, salah satunya adalah Sydney FC. Begitu sudah sampai di lapangan tinggal duduk atau berdiri manis hingga sesi latihan selesai. Mudah kan?


Stasiun Macquarie University


Kalau udah nemu ancer-ancer ini berarti lokasi sudah dekat

ImageHalaman depan paviliun yang tampak asri

ImageBalkon paviliun


Logo klub yang berlatih di tempat ini

Kesan Pertama Bertemu dengan Ale

Jam menunjukkan pukul 8 lebih dan suasana masih terasa sangat sepi. Begitu masuk ke kawasan latihan di kompleks universitas ini, paviliun Sydney FC langsung berada di bagian paling depan. Pas aku sampai ke tempat tersebut, aku sudah melihat beberapa pemain Sydney FC lalu lalang antara tempat parkir dan paviliun tersebut. Aku rada takut dan deg-deg. Selain karena hendak bertemu dengan Ale juga karena aku takut diusir. Meski sudah jelas-jelas boleh masuk, tetap saja hati ini belum tenang. Hanya ada beberapa pekerja yang berada di luar paviliun. Mereka sibuk dengan urusan mereka sendiri dan tidak terlalu memperhatikan kedatanganku. Untungnya… Agar tidak terlihat aneh, aku membaca denah di depan paviliun tersebut. Baru sebentar mempelajari denah kompleks tersebut, mataku sontak kaget begitu melihat sosok Ale tiba-tiba muncul di balkon paviliun itu. Hah? Itu Ale bukan sih? Hanya dalam kedipan mata, dia masuk lagi ke dalam paviliun dan aku pun terpana antara kaget dan bahagia.


lapangan latihan Sydney FC


Ale dari kejauhan. Waktu itu aku nggak ‘zoom’ karena gaptek soalnya kamera (terpaksa) baru beli

Tak berapa lama pemain Sydney FC sudah mulai berlatih di dua lapangan berbeda tetapi aku tak lagi melihat Ale. Akhirnya aku berdiri di depan lapangan yang menghadap ke paviliun sambil tetap merasa was-was takut diusir. Pas aku masih berdiri tiba-tiba aku melihat sesosok cowok muncul. Aku pikir dia pemain Sydney FC tetapi usut punya usut ternyata dia menunggu Ale juga. Kami awalnya menunggu Ale di lapangan tempat pemain Sydney FC berlatih. Ada logo sponsor untuk menandakan bahwa ini adalah lapangan tempat Sydney FC berlatih. Ada wartawan juga saat itu. Ale masih belum nongol lalu aku mengikuti langkah fans tadi kembali ke paviliun. Yang dinanti pun keluar juga. Dengan langkah cepat Ale bergegas menuju ke lapangan untuk bergabung bersama teman-temannya. Meski aku termasuk gigih, aku sebenarnya orangnya nggak enakan. Itulah sebabnya, meski Ale berjalan di sampingku aku tak mengucap sepatah kata pun. Menyapa pun aku tidak berani karena dia sedang tergesa-gesa. Yang aku lakukan saat itu adalah tersenyum dan beberapa kali mengambil fotonya. Dan untung saja aku lebih memilih diam karena Ale tak menggubris omongan fans cowok tadi yang berbicara dalam Bahasa Italia. Ale memang sudah terlambat berlatih pagi itu. Kesan pertama yang aku dapatkan saat bertemu dengan Ale adalah dia jauh dari kata sombong meski pendiam. Kalau aku bilang ramah rasanya kurang pas juga. Karena waktu itu dia nggak senyum kepadaku atau apa. Dia hanya senyum ke cowok tadi karena diajak ngobrol. Kalau senyum ke orang asing kayak aku tanpa inisiatif obrolan rasanya aneh juga sih. Saat itu, dia diam dan berjalan cepat. Pas aku balik ke lapangan tempat Sydney FC berlatih fans sudah mulai ramai. Makin siang makin ramai. Rasanya sungguh menakjubkan saat itu. Tak ada kata-kata yang tepat untuk menggambarkan semuanya. Seorang pemain yang selama 13 tahun hanya bisa aku saksikan melalui layar kaca dan membaca beritanya melalui media kini sedang berlatih di depanku. Dan yang membuat segalanya makin luar biasa adalah kita benar-benar bebas melihat mereka berlatih. Lapangan hanya dibatasi oleh pagar yang cukup pendek. Jadi kalau mau jahil, mau melompat pun sebenarnya aku bisa, hahahaha!


Ale banyak melakukan gerakan pemanasan sendirian

Betapa beruntungnya aku. Jika 10 tahun yang lalu aku ke Turin pun, kecil kemungkinan aku bisa menyaksikan Ale berlatih bola sedekat dan sebebas ini. Aku sendiri hanya mengambil foto seperlunya. Aku ingin meresepi momen yang sudah lama aku tunggu ini tanpa gangguan klik kamera. Sensasi kebahagiaan ini tak akan pernah bisa digantikan oleh jepretan kamera mahal sekali pun. Melihat Ale berlari, menendang bola, jongkok, berjalan, melihat dia bercanda… Mempelajari ekspresi muka dan bahasa tubuhnya di pagi yang mendung itu rasanya bak mimpi. Bahkan, hingga sekarang pun aku masih tidak percaya. Andai saja waktu bisa terhenti saat itu saja…


“Our bodies grow old, but class does not” Ale dalam bukunya “Playing On”


Maaf foto agak kabur

Yang aku pelajari dari latihan itu adalah Ale sosok yang sangat serius. Dia memilih melakukan pemanasan sendiri sedangkan yang lain bergerombol sebelum akhirnya semuanya bergabung menjadi satu sesi. Dengan seabreg gelar bersama Juventus dan tim nasional Italia, aku sangat salut karena Ale tetap serius menjalani latihan pagi itu. Maksudku begini. Aku pernah membaca di satu blog bahwa sepakbola bukan olahraga primadona di Australia dan Sydney FC bukanlah klub raksasa semacam Juve atau Madrid tetapi Ale tak pernah menganggapnya remeh. Cara dia memompa semangatnya agar tetap terus mencari tantangan di usianya yang hampir kepala empat benar-benar membuatku kagum. Banyak pemain yang satu era dengan dia mungkin lebih memilih membuka restoran atau menjadi pelatih, tetapi Ale tetap ingin terus bermain… Bagi dia yang terpenting adalah terus bermain bola.


tetap melakukan pemanasan sendiri meski satu lapangan dengan yang lain


Mungkin ini semacam latihan menghindari lawan saat berlari

Dari latihan itu aku juga mengerti mengapa ban kapten Juve bisa awet melekat di lengannya. Ale adalah sosok pemimpin yang bagus. Terlihat jelas dia membantu mengarahkan teman-temannya yang lebih muda untuk menerjemahkan kemauan sang pelatih di lapangan. Jadi dia lebih berfungsi sebagai ‘playmaker’ meski posisi dia sebenarnya adalah penyerang. Oh ya, beberapa kali Ale terlihat kesal dan marah kepada temannya yang kurang sigap. Lumayan membuatku terkejut melihat ekspresi marahnya karena selama ini menurutku dia orang yang lembut.


Kakinya Ale ternyata kecil

Sesi latihan selesai, saatnya aku beraksi. Aku mendekati dia begitu Ale keluar dari lapangan. Lagi-lagi, meski aku yang berdiri paling dekat aku tak berani memulai meminta tanda tangan atau berfoto bersama. Tapi tak perlu cemas. Meski terlihat diam, Ale paham betul ada banyak fans yang menunggu dari tadi. Saat fans yang lain sudah mulai mendekat dia pun mulai melayani permintaan kami. Si cowok Italia yang aku sebut tadi termasuk dapat giliran pertama. Awalnya aku agak cemas tidak kebagian giliran foto. Untungnya aku berada di Sydney bukan Jakarta. Fans di sini sangat tertib dan saling menghormati satu sama lain. Setelah beberapa saat Ale melayani foto ke beberapa fans, dia tiba-tiba sejenak menghentikan aktivitasnya dan membungkukkan badannya ke sebelahku sambil mengarahkan matanya ke kamera yang terlebih dahulu aku kasih ke kakek berpayung. Dan klik! Foto tak lebih dari lima detik yang akan menjadi kenangan paling berkesan dalam hidupku pun tercipta. Makasih Tuhan…. Bahagia bukan kepalang rasanya. Aku bilang “thank you” tetapi Ale tak membalas karena sudah sibuk dengan fans yang lain. Satu per satu dia meladeni kami semua. Ada peristiwa lucu pas Ale mau memberikan tanda tangan. Pas mulai sesi tanda tangan Ale kebingungan karena dari beberapa spidol atau ‘marker’ yang kami sodorkan dia menolak. Aku pun spontan menyodorkan ‘marker’ yang sengaja aku bawa dari Jakarta, eh dia bilang “No.” Tawaran spidol fans yang lain juga dia tolak hingga akhirnya nemu satu spidol yang menurut dia pas. Ada-ada aja nich si Ale. Meski di satu sisi aku sedikit sebel karena ‘marker’-ku ditolak, tetapi di lain sisi interaksi semacam ini sangatlah menyenangkan. Lucu aja pemain sekelas dia perhatian sama yang namanya spidol atau ‘marker’, hahaha. Rasanya seperti tidak melihat Ale sebagai maha bintang saat itu karena dia terlihat dekat dengan kami. Aku pun langsung menyodorkan jersey yang aku pakai untuk dibubuhkan tanda tangan. Dia agak menarik jersey yang aku pakai lalu langsung menandatanganinya. Sudah dapat foto dan tanda tangan pula.  Senangnya…. Aku sengaja langsung memakai jersey Juve dan bukan menggenggamnya karena memang sangat ingin berfoto dengan jersey itu. Dari sekian banyak pilihan jersey, pilihanku jatuh ke jersey tandang musim 1999/2000.


always a boy at his heart

Saking senengnya aku mengucap ‘thank you’ lagi dan lagi hingga Ale sedikit kaget dan menjawab “you’re welcome’ sambil mengedipkan matanya ke arahku. Mungkin dia bingung kenapa aku bilang makasih berkali-kali. Andai dia tahu perjuanganku bertemu dia ya …


Salah satu ekspresi Ale saat sedang kesal

Pemain yang satu ini memang super baik. Bagi fans yang membawa buku atau topi dia menanyakan nama mereka, meminta mereka untuk mengeja nama mereka, menuliskannya lalu menandatanganinya. Waktu itu, aku berbarengan dengan sekelompok siswa berwajah oriental. Ada pendampingnya juga. Ale pun malah mengajak mereka berfoto bersama. Sebenarnya waktu itu aku ingin sekali bilang agar Ale datang ke Jakarta tetapi tidak sempat karena waktu yang mepet sedangkan banyak fans yang menanti. Jadinya ya sudah… aku jeprat jepret dia saja saat itu. Sepertinya semua sudah mendapat apa yang dimau karena aku tidak mendengar keluhan dan semacamnya. Ada peristiwa lucu lagi. Begitu sesi tanda tangan selesai, Ale menyodorkan spidol yang dipakai kepadaku dan yang lain, bermaksud untuk mengembalikannya. Aku bilang “that’s not mine”. Ya ampun, ingat-ingat aja si Ale soal mengembalikan spidol itu… Sesi jumpa fans ‘dadakan’ selesai, Ale pun kembali ke paviliun. Rasa ngantuk, lapar dan dingin yang kurasakan benar-benar terbayarkan sudah saat itu. Empat sifat Ale yang aku pelajari: pendiam, serius, kapten yang tegas dan idola yang sangat baik.

Perasaanku saat itu mungkin seperti anak kecil yang kegirangan setelah mendapat hadiah mainan dari orang tua yang sudah lama ia tunggu-tunggu. Ingin sekali aku melompat tetapi sekuat mungkin aku tahan karena banyak orang, hahahaha. Selama sesi itu aku tersenyum seperti orang gila hingga aku lupa bahwa malam sebelumnya aku tidak tidur sama sekali…


tanda tangan Ale untuk “Playing On”

Jika ada pepatah yang mengatakan kesempatan terkadang tak datang dua kali itu benar adanya. Senin, 2 Desember, aku ke tempat latihan itu lagi. Ketika aku duduk sembari melihat pemain Sydney FC kembali berlatih, ada pria agak tambun mendekatiku dan kami pun mulai bercakap-cakap. Rupanya, pagi yang kali ini lumayan cerah itu kami sama-sama menunggu sosok yang sama. Aku memburu tanda tangan Ale untuk buku “Playing On” yang baru saja aku beli sedangkan ia mengharapkan tanda tangan Ale untuk bola yang ia bawa. Aku pun bertanya padanya: “Apa klub sepakbola favoritmu?” Ia jawab: “Barcelona.” Dengan agak kaget, aku langsung menimpali: “Loh! Kalau kamu suka Barcelona, kenapa kamu mau bertemu dengan Ale?” (karena Ale bukanlah pemain Barcelona). Dengan sederhana ia menjawab yang kurang lebih seperti ini: “Akan menjadi kebahagiaan bagi siapa pun untuk bisa bertemu dengan Del Piero.” Di tengah hebohnya pemberitaan media soal Cristiano Ronaldo dan Lionel Messinya, aku benar-benar bangga magnet Ale masih melekat kuat bagi penggila bola, termasuk fans Barcelona asal El Salvador ini.


Masih untuk “Playing On”


Aku curiga gelang oranye ini sebenarnya milik anaknya, Tobias. Hahahaha!


“Oh Tuhan! Ale menuliskan namaku di topi ini”



Sayangnya, kami kurang beruntung. Jujur saja, aku sedikit kecewa. Untungnya, rasa bersyukurku bisa mengalahkan kekecewaanku karena aku berhasil memanfaatkan kesempatan pertama dari Tuhan dengan sangat baik. Semoga bertemu kembali Ale. Syukur-syukur di Jakarta, amiiiin….


Seperti diriku, cewek ini gagal move on. Dikiranya Ale masih kapten Juventus, hahahaha!


Lihat Ale dari belakang begini rasanya seperti melihat anak kecil


Taraaaa!!! Tak susah ternyata buat dapat tanda tangan ini. Makasih Tuhan. Sampai bertemu lagi Ale, amiiiin…






Juventus retains its scudetto title for 2012/2013 season. It’s the club’s 31st Serie A title, or 29 title according to Italy Football Association (FIGC). I get these pictures from Juventini Indonesia.




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