Journal Province: West Java Regency/City: Depok

Paying My Ten Years of Absence

The left one is a photo of me in 2013, and the right one is a photo of me in 1993, in front of the kindergarten Al Kautsar.
Written by Jayu Julie

My presence in Depok in my mind was about my childhood which I underwent so properly. From the first year of my education age at Kuncup Melati Kindergarten to my dream failure to enter SMPN 3 Depok together with my best friend. Ten years ago I had closed my childhood life story in this Cornelis Chastelein town. After that I had not lived in Depok anymore.

And now, 10 years later, I happened to come back to Depok to reminisce and get to know more again about this growing little city which had been an administrative city before.

The left one is a photo of me in 2013, and the right one is a photo of me in 1993, in front of the kindergarten Al Kautsar.

The left one is a photo of me in 2013, and the right one is a photo of me in 1993, in front of the kindergarten Al Kautsar.

#1 Mosaic Before ‘Absent’

Being bored playing at Kuncup Melati Kindergarten, I had asked my parents to move me to TKIT Al Muhajirin on Borneo Raya Street. The reason had been simple, because the park toys there had been more and more complete, besides, my best friend who also my neighbor had already gone to school there. Every morning I had been picked up by my best friend’s father, riding a blue vespa down the Lamandau and Borneo Street until we had arrived at the new school.

In Elementary, I had been sent to SDN Mekarjaya 18 on Sonokeling Raya Street, again together with Tyara, my best friend. Depok had become so close to me at that time, because I found places and fabulous experiences which made me couldn’t forget it. My house had been exactly across Al Kautsar Mosque and Madrasah, Depok on Barito Raya Street, not far from SMPN 3 Depok. And behind that madrasah, I had found dry gutter which connected to the water channel of the mosque which was also dry. That water channel had also connected to water channel of Mahakam Stadium behind it. When the rainy season had come, that gutter became a cause of flood because its water channel was used to hold the waste. Really, the area around my house had been flooded constantly. Well, I had made this dry gutter as a station to play marbles and picture cards after school that madrasah’s keeper knew me well and often shouted, “Oh my God… Miss Ayu, you keep playing in the gutter!!! I will tell your mother!!” Whenever he had said that, I would flee bringing my marbles and picture cards with me.

Mekar Jaya 13 Elementary School.

Mekar Jaya 13 Elementary School.

In the afternoon, sometimes I had ridden my bicycle on the yard of SMPN 3 Depok wearing only short and undershirt. My hobby had been annoying Junior High students who were doing extracurricular of PMR there. When they had been drilling on the field, I had ridden my bike standing up in front of them and disturbed the progress of the exercise casually. Well, I was a little girl back then.

Other time, I had asked Tyara to play rollerblade in Siak Complex which wasn’t far from home. This complex had been considered quiet and safe from the moving vehicles. Besides that, Siak Street had also connected to the street headed for Mini Mahakam Stadium on Rasamala Street. Make no mistake, Depok had had its sport stadium too, which is our pride. This stadium building had actually met the standard of sport stadium with its quite big concrete stand and its quite wide field. But unfortunately, it had been in neglected condition. Its stand had been dirty, it had smelled like urine, and had been covered with dirty graffiti. The rooms under the stand had not been used properly either, instead, it had been used as settlements which might be illegal because those rooms were supposed to be for management office and store. Nevertheless, for me, that stadium had been a cool place to play. On this field my cousin and I had often played badminton, kite, bicycle, football or just rolled on the dry grass. In the end of 2000, when I was in 5th grade, my family and I had had to move to other town. I had been forced to bury my dream to continue my education at SMPN 3 Depok. Here, I had closed my childhood story book with Depok in it.

#2 Mosaic After Came Back

Ten years later, apparently my second mosaic with Depok magically was glued together. I joined as a participant of akumassa Depok together with Zikri, Fauzi, Ageung, Lulus, Barjo, Merre and Reza. Thus of course, whether I wanted to or not, I had to know deeper about this city which I had ever lived in for years. I had to remember and reminisce my childhood, map it, and then look for good mass circulation place to be recorded. Then it became: ‘Depok, I’m back!’

Unexpectedly, in this second mosaic I found the places and fabulous experiences like before, where I saw my childhood town through the camera frame, talked and merged with people that I just knew at that new place, they also were more considerate with their social interaction. Depok had developed in such a way. Margonda that I’d used to remember as a street where small shops had stood sparsely in a row now had become a street where metropolis buildings stood in a row. All buildings almost didn’t have gap and they stood so close to each other fiercely. The town that once had been populated by 12 Protestant clans now was populated with thousands of inhabitants from any ethnic groups, origins and backgrounds. I saw the detail of this development result when I was in the shooting of ‘Cemerlang’ video.

Oh yes, I remembered when I was in 4th grade, my school had arranged the program to watch together at the cinema in order to commemorate the G-30S/PKI. At that time, Ms. Nur, my homeroom teacher, had said that we as the nation’s children could not forget about Indonesian history, no matter how murky that history had been. So in throngs, my classmates and I had walked toward the Gloria Theater which was located not far from Agung Market Depok. That theater had been gloomy and dirty, and it had smelled like urine. Many chairs had already been broken. But all those things had not discouraged our curiosity to watch the movie.

The former Glroia cinema located in the Great Market Depok.

The former Glroia cinema located in the Great Market Depok.

At that time, the movie that we had watched had been a propaganda movie made by director Arifin C Noer which was released by New Order government. According to my homeroom teacher, at that time every Elementary School had been obligated to make a special program to watch that movie every September 30th. And yesterday when I had wanted to do a research on that theater for the making of akumassa video, my cousin said that the theater had already not existed for long and had been replaced by a metro mini pool. It was deeply regretted, because local theaters had slowly been scraped by the popularity of luxurious theaters at the mall.

All of a sudden, my recollection spun back to 10 years ago and it made me wanted to record new things about present Depok. The camera frame didn’t restrict the visibility, instead, it zoomed the far objects. Through the videos that we made, I actually saw and knew more about Depok closely. I became a part of the mass that merged and I interacted with people whose social life I’d never dreamed I’d touch before, like terminal thugs in Lapo, when I made shots for ‘Terminal’ video.

Both mosaics were glued together, making me magically met Depok again. Looking closer through camera frame and merging as a part of mass. Me (aku), mass (massa) and beloved Depok.

About the author


Jayu Julie

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