Labor of love

One o’clock in the morning. About 10 people start another beginning of the day. Three more hours and all tiring job will be over.

I struggle not to take a second cup of hot coffee to prevent me from sleeping. “How many stories left?” I ask my editor. “Just wait a minute,” he replies. “After translating editor’s note and round up you may go home,” he says.

At first, such kind of thing seems so hard for me. It’s been a long time I have not slept after 12 p.m. I am worried about my health, my biological clock, such and such thing. First, second, and the third day feels worse. But the fourth day tells me the other way around.

Just one long and one small tables in the room where which we all can work. As day changes, I begin to feel I am going to get wonderful stuff from here. When the editor, whom is my former boss when I am at The Jakarta Post, offers me to become a translator for SEA Games bulletin, all I ever wanted is actually money. Very handsome payment. But things turn out much better than that.

I finally befriend with them. I listen to their stories. They are extremely funny. We are not officially introduced to each other, not all. But sooner or later, we know each other’s names. They are all senior sport journalists, whom unfortunately I do not have any chance to meet them when I cover sport news in Indonesi National Sport Commitee (KONI).

Well, here we are. A non-stop 14 days of working. Making a-16 page of United & Rising official SEA Games bulletin.

For about two weeks, my life is in such a mess. I go to KONI office at the ninth floor in the afternoon, sometimes late than that. It feels like I return to old days when I am at The Post, only this is worse in terms of schedules and deadlines. In the first day, we even hold a meeting to question what goes wrong by getting all done at 4 a.m???

It feels so hard at the beginning but somehow we do not really mind with that. I tell you what. That’s because of laughter and silly stories from all of us. Even we laugh at ourselves, for instance, when we are hungry or thirsty then find no food or mineral water left in the freezer.

Men's team omnious event

I am so thankful for him. His name is pak Ayid. A small, middle-aged, short man. He loves wearing glasses. Despite his old age, he has a high spirit. He says boldly. I can’t concentrate once he shares his stories. Everybody stops doing their work then listen to his crap. He doesn’t look stressful to have worked until 4 in the morning. He lives in Bekasi, very far from the KONI office but sees no problems with that.

Here’s the most memorable moment. The third edition of the tabloid causes a problem. There’s a mistake in the front picture. The Singapore’s contingent files a complaint. In my previous media, this triggers anger from former bosses. They blame us. I already expect this is going to turn out like that…but I am completely wrong.

Malaysia defeats Indonesia at the event of the 26th SEA Games in Velodrome Rawamangun

Pak Ayid and pak Kuntoro, who are in charge of pictures lay out, admit their mistakes. I am not really surprised because they select the pictures in the morning amid tiredness. Pak Ayid then jokes. “This is all because we have to look for Haji Harun’s photo. We spend a lot of time for that. And look at his picture. He is so big that two pedicabs won’t take his body,” he says.


Haji Harun is Malaysia’s amateur boxing president. Luckily, I do not bother myself to look at his picture while translating a story about him.

He makes another joke. On the way to the KONI office, he falls asleep in a bus. He sits at the edge of the seat. Suddenly, a man sitting next to him saying “Sahur, sahur!”. That happens in the afternoon. Pak Ayid wakes up in a great shock. What the hell is that! The man actually wants to get away from the line of the seat but he does that in a kind of funny way.

Three other people whom I love to share is Pak Ari, Pak Jefry, and Pak Olie. They are awesome as well. And not to forget Pak Yongki who suddenly appears in the editorial smoking room with fresh jokes.

Oh, I have one thing. I don’t know his name but that comes from a senior reporter. So, we are now in a full focus to work in one of the afternoons. Suddenly, a cellphone rings. It sounds like a pop music ring tone. But as the owner of the phone is out, the ring tone continues. We can’t stop laughing once we listen that the ring tone is “Alamat Palsu” or “Fake Address”, a recent famous dang dut song from Ayu Ting Ting. Wkwkwkwkwkwk.

What an unbelievable experience. I even have to leave the room because I can’t concentrate working while hearing their stories. Amazing people. I really wish I can work with them again.

I later realize those are the things that keep me away from sick. I get fever but not serious. I can even watch badminton and track cycling at the Istora and Velodrome Rawamangun, respectively. In just two weeks, I also have chances to learn terms for almost sporting events. I find it easy to translate news on games, such as basket ball or badminton. But  it is really difficult to translate news on mind sport like chess or bridge. Martial arts are a bit hard, too. Anyway, I am happy doing that.

Now I know that’s true when people say you will be happy even if you have to be a slave for something that you really love. I have proven that!

Just wondering how they do not fall down. Must have a good balance!


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