Grateful Person of Hot Water

It’s a weekly community meeting. Ten of us are sitting together. We are asked about one of the things we are really grateful about. 


One says A and B, about job and families and health and any other general things. This one impresses me the most. 


“I’m so grateful of being able to have a shower with hot water,” that’s what AR, a 28-year-old man tells to the entire people in the room. 


We are all seeing him silently. Our mouth might not say a word, but our eyes do asking why, staring curiously. 


That’s how the story starts. 


“Once I lived in a village which water derives from the rain. The water was… It was bad. It got sticky to your skin whenever you try to rinse off your skin. That kind of feeling you get when there is remaining soap which couldn’t be rinsed off no matter how many times you try to rub it. The only way to deal with it is by convincing your mine that the water is clean while it was not. That’s how I finish my shower all the time.


Long story short, some months after it I moved to another place. This time, the water was not sticky as the previous one, but it had wiggler! Well, I got no idea whether this is better than the previous one or not.


Then I moved again to another place, this time to a little bit slum area of this city. Hmm, maybe not slum, maybe just a suburban area. I had less working experience, less money as well. That’s why I couldn’t afford to rent a good living place. Working up until night and wake up early in the morning. One of the hardest thing to deal with after stepping my feet to the bathroom and before going to sleep is, cold water. It’s the kind of cold which made me shivering. My bones can feel it. I dislike showering with cold water. And I did it for several months. 


But today, I’m so thankful that now I get a better job. I can rent a room with hot-water shower. I don’t need to take a deep breath before showering. No more winter season during my cleaning time. I am happy, so grateful.”


That’s how AR impresses me, and maybe others in the room as well. Showering with hot water might be something ordinary for several people, but for some others, it’s a type of luxury. 

WFH VS WFO

At Jakarta, Indonesia, Covid-19 Outbreak makes our Governor issue regulations, letting employees work from home (WFH) to reduce the spread of the virus. But not all people has the privilege to do WFH. Some still needs to work from office (WFO) every day.

As for me, working in a bank industry, and I’m still in probation period, I have to WFO every day. Well, actually I don’t really have that urgency to come to office every day, but as an in-a-probation-officer, I choose to fulfill 100% requirement of my boss, so that’s what I do, go to office every day.

I know that most of my friends are working from home every day. And I’m kind of envy. While I need to wake up minimum 1 hour earlier than they do in order to be able to reach office on time, they can wake up just some minutes before their working time.

I got envy too, I need to spend more money for transporting from my living place to office. And since Covid-19 happens, my company placed me to an office more far than my first office, so I don’t only need to spare extra money for grabbing a car, but also spend more time to travel as well.

While my other WFH friends can happily work with their family, but here I am working with my workmates. Not that I hate my workmates, but it is nicer to work at home, so cozy and surrounded by the people whom you love.

Another thing, my friends can enjoy lunch at home, while I need to wake up another 1 hour earlier to cook. Well, I can order food online, but there will be another extra cost.

At least those all what make me envy with WFH peeps of mine at the first place.

But after having quite a few conversation with them who do WFH every day, they’re experiencing different struggle than me. And now after I hear it, I don’t know which one is better.

They indeed can wake up a little later every day, sometimes they even work after lunch, which is not more than 8 hours a day. But all of my friends experiencing this truly aware that this new condition is not good and they want to change their laziness. They said they get used to of working on their bed, sometimes sleep during their working hour, doing anything but not working. And it becomes their new normal, Kind of a bad habit for them.

Some are having a long-working-hour, working even after 7 pm, having no boundaries.

Some are being sick, too many cholesterol because staying too long at home and not doing workout.

Well, what I want to say, either you are working for home or working from office, we are facing difficulties and we are adapting to it together. Now I stop complaining, which is good.

Instead of trying to change the thing I can’t change, I try to enjoy the things meant to be, adapt to it and finally learn to love it.

Donor Fighter

COVID-19 outbreak is still on air in Indonesia. The number of positive patient keep increasing day by day. Not only airplane industry get the impact, it works too for travel, hospitality, transportation, and many other industries. Without exception, thalassemia’s patient as well .

In this session, where so many people choose to stay at home, a patient with thalassemia major unfortunately still need the same amount of blood transfusion once in every two weeks.

So here I present, a story of SN, mother of a patient with Thalassemia major, a stranger who soon become a friend of mine.

An old friend of mine contacted me for a need of O+ blood. I was hesitated at first. It is quite a brave decision to go out these days. But as I rethink of the consequences, finally I dare myself to go out of my house and donor my blood.

That’s how I meet SN, a mother yet a donor fighter. Why do I say that she is a donor fighter?

Well, during this outbreak as well as holy month of Ramadhan, it gets more difficult to get a blood donor. And SN needs to collect at least 3 bags of blood once in every 2 weeks. I wonder how she is able to get this. This outbreak drives her depressed. Absolutely people tend to stay at home. Why would they bet their own life just to donor their blood to a total stranger?

“It is quiet stressful. This pandemic drives me crazy,” told her to me.

“So, how old is your daughter?” asked me to her curiously.

“She is turning 17-year-old this May.”

“And you have been doing this for 17 years?” startling me a bit, amazed as well.

She was nodding and smiling. “Wow, I am impressed. But, it’s not always like this, right? How do you usually get the blood?”

“Yes, it is usually not this difficult. I only need to go to PMI (Indonesian Red Cross Society) routinely, go to hospital and then get transfusion. It is usually become a bit difficult during Ramadhan, yes this session. But right now is the hardest because it is a double event. I’m so grateful God send me some angels to donor their blood. Like you,” smiled her to me.

I think it is one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen lately, a very sincere one, spoken from the bottom of her heart. Makes me feel more human in this huge world.

“My very pleasure, glad to help, SN.”

Deep inside I compare what I’ve done with what she has done. I only do something very small. I wonder how she can live this kind of life every single day. Such a fighter.

“Have you ever lack of blood? I mean, you need minimum 3 bags of blood twice a week, how if you only get 2? Or even lesser? How if unfortunately my blood doesn’t pass the examination, how if there is just not enough donor? Will something bad happen to your daughter?”

“Well, it happens many times, especially during this pandemic. If so, I will need to borrow the blood from hospital, then find a donor and return it to hospital the next time.”

“Ah I see. I wonder how much you need to pay for blood transfusion every week? And anyway, is the blood for sale? I mean, I donor it freely to PMI, but do you buy it from hospital? Or they give it to you freely?”

“I used to buy it, before government issue BPJS. It costs around 400k a bag (around 28 USD). But if it is without BPJS, it could cost 15 million (around 1.035 USD) and need to be paid twice a month.”

When I hear it, I was like, “Wow, not a small amount of money.”

She went through it all, going through it now, and will keep going to it. As a stranger, the best thing I can do is keep donor my blood and if possible, help her to find another donor.

“Hey, friend,” she called me.

“You are still young. If it is possible, before you get married, check to doctor first whether you and your-husband-to-be has the the blood of thalassemia carrier. If it is just one of you, it is safe then. But if two of you are, be careful.”