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blog blog - loving years - context before loving Laurensia blog-formative years

Surabaya – In Father’s Workshop

Looking back, I was born in Surabaya, near the poor slum area where there were crazy people, prostitutes, and the gap between rich and poor. Our family lived on Jalan Dukuh Kupang Timur gang 13 no. 75. I grew up and played in several alleys adjacent to Dolly’s Gang, which signifies the gap between a paradoxical iceberg phenomenon related to the necessities of life and the city’s identity.

I met one kid named Hamid every day, and he is a crazy toddler. Every time I pass him, I look at his genuine behavior such as running while showing arm-pit, laughing a lot unpretentiously, and always half-naked, walking without clothes. I asked my mother, who is Hamid. I found out that he came from a low-income family, his father and mother had many children, and his home is beside my grandmother’s home. I enjoyed it when I saw him, and it looked like he found his inner joy even though other people couldn’t understand him. He has a smile on his face, and I smile because of that. His smile is contagious, and my mother used to say,

“are you crazy? stop smiling and daydreaming.”

My father worked in Jakarta, and my mother, me, and three brothers were in Surabaya.

My father comes home once a week. The trip to pick up my father at the airport along with my mother is a lasting memory. We made The journey to Juanda airport at night. Usually, my father lands at 19:30, my mother drives, and we pass Waru, where rice fields stretch on the dark horizon. The journey was quiet, and we listened to the only sound of church songs set in a red civic car.

This red civic car is quite an impression because this is my father’s first car where he gave this car to my mother in Surabaya, while my father himself used a green used Kijang in Jakarta. It’s a pickup car. The pickup often gets hit and crashes because the driver is also a beginner or an impromptu driver, my father’s handyman. Uniquely, the green deer has an air conditioner that is colder than my mother’s honda civic. As if some futuristic junk, my dad didn’t have enough of one. He had two.

Our house in Dukuh Kupang consists of two plots, and each property has its access road. The left lot has garage door access with doors made of stainless steel pipes. At the same time, the right plot has one height with a canopy of thin iron plates, which is the entrance to the main house, while on the left, there is a small building plan field on the perimeter of the building. On this side, there is a small workshop, in which there is a chicken coop, craftsmanship tools such as saws, chisels, hammers, nails, or used plywood boards.

I was lucky because my mother was super busy at that time. She was active in the catholic group. When I was six years old, she cooked cookies to sell and loved to go to prayer groups. She is a busy person.
My mother likes to bake cakes to give or sell to people. She is pretty independent and firm in educating us, four sons. I know that our mother and father are always busy. I always like to accompany my mother for prayers or gatherings with church gatherings. While my mother was super busy, I had my own time in the workshop. I adored my father’s trace in the workshop, not because I saw his work or how he was working but simply because of the experiments he allowed me to do, and he always encouraged us to build our stuff. This workshop is where I make my wooden sword. One time, I created my sword using plywood. I used a saw to cut the plywood and make my toy. I get a feeling that we can make things by ourselves, even though it’s probably not perfect if seen by others, but it was perfect for me. I was proud of my toy.

Our residence is also adjacent to the carpenter’s house. From the front, you can see people passing by, and the workshop is always busy. Every time I pass the carpenter, I see piles of doors and wood – used wood. I just found out that Mr. Pardi, the head of the workshop, is a confidant of my father, who helped him make the doors for his project. Every year my mother and father always held a big meal celebration. All the chief craftsmen and their deputies will be present. The event was about chatting until the morning, including drinking events that have become their tradition. It’s an act of gratefulness celebrating the spirit of togetherness. It’s started by my grand father.

One time my father invited us to Jakarta, we stopped at my father’s boarding house. The room was small but warm. There my mother decided to help my father. From there, we plan to move to Jakarta. Leaving Surabaya was not easy. I had fallen in love with my freedom to play in my father’s workshop, chasing chickens, but seeing my father’s face when he landed and showing his face at the arrival gate made me miss. Maybe my mother wanted us to grow up together. I am in 3rd grade, and my little brother is going to kindergarten, my second big brother is in 6th grade, and my first big brother is going to 1st grade of high school. At that time, I was pretty sad that I had a feeling to move, where I already had my comfort zone in Surabaya. I didn’t know what would happen in Jakarta. I missed my playground, workshop, our fantastic house, and activity in praying groups. But I was excited to experience life with my father. I can see him every day, and It must be exciting.

In my father’s legacy

Surabaya

Looking back, I was born in Surabaya, near the poor slum area where there were crazy people, prostitutes, and the gap between rich and poor. Our family lived on Jalan Dukuh Kupang Timur gang 13 no. 75. I grew up and played in several alleys adjacent to Dolly’s Gang, which signifies the gap between a paradoxical iceberg phenomenon related to the necessities of life and the city’s identity.

One time my father invited us to Jakarta, we stopped at my father’s boarding house. The room was small but warm. There my mother decided to help my father. From there, we plan to move to Jakarta. Leaving Surabaya was not easy. I had fallen in love with my freedom to play in my father’s workshop, chasing chickens, but seeing my father’s face when he landed and showing his face at the arrival gate made me miss. Maybe my mother wanted us to grow up together. I am in 3rd grade, and my little brother is going to kindergarten, my second big brother is in 6th grade, and my first big brother is going to 1st grade of high school. At that time, I was pretty sad that I had a feeling to move, where I already had my comfort zone in Surabaya. I didn’t know what would happen in Jakarta. I missed my playground, workshop, our fantastic house, and activity in praying groups. But I was excited to experience life with my father. I can see him every day, and It must be exciting.

on site, playing in beach with family
me drawing in my father’s table
My mom, me, Mondrich, and my dad
My dad and his craftsmen
me and my little brother Mondrich.

I write this to show how I am thankful to my parents that have nurtured me and inspired me. They helped me grow, showing an example and encouraging me always to show my best, focus, be happy, and respect people without expecting somebody to listen while singing and dancing.

Up front, an educator must set a good example. In the middle or among students, the teacher must create initiatives and ideas. From behind, a teacher must provide encouragement and direction“,

Ing ngarsa sung tulada, Ing madya mangun karsa, Tut wuri handayani.”
― Ki Hajar Dewantara

Oleh Realrich Sjarief

Founder of RAW Architecture

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