Thursday, November 2, 2006

A Postcard from Tajikistan

I received email today notify that a postcard arrived in home Weymouth. I read it and suddenly I felt so alive. The card from Agustinus Wibowo or I called him Gus Weng -one of my backpacker's friends. Gus is sort of respect name to the brother muslem who has knowledge more about Islam- usually common in East Java or pesantren neighborhood. I knew he is NOT muslem but his knowledge maybe far more than me who been born with it.

Mbak Ambar,

Many thanks for your support so far. I was in Tajikistan now and found that birocracy so complicated. I am not enjoy staying in Tajikistan because lacked of strategy. I even haven't got time to wandering around the city. Little bit disappointed specially because I spent lots money for visa. It might be not my best luck. By the way, how's America?

Agustinus Wibowo
ps : Happy Eid Mubarak. Forgive my mistakes in the past.

Gus Weng been travel extensively in area that most of muslem conflicts, such as Afganisthan, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan or even another South Asian countries (Mongolia, Tibet, Nepal, India). I knew him virtually, we never met in real world. Our "friendship" started when I sent personal massage about his photo of Angkor Wat during a sunset on one of the photography website. It's a beautiful picture ! It just so enchanting piece !

And then I am getting know about him when he launched his personal website contains of his photos and journal couple years ago. Sometimes we chat about several aspects of his journey. How's his photos in India compared with the series in Tibet for example. How's his volunteer jobs with Danish aids during cartoon carnages in area affected by great earthquake in Kashmir. He wrote beautifully about muslem's life in the countries he visited. Most of its about history, festivals or personal relation. He wrote honestly and even sometimes so naive.

He only young boy (he refused if I mention that) but if you see the depth of what he wrote in his journal, you will find a great surprises. I knew how difficult to write about cultural and religious combined so called travelogue but he did very good job on that. Not because he is so humble but also he is so human. Sometimes he felt uprising mood, sometimes he felt lonely. I knew that feeling specially when you traveling alone.

We shared moments when someone robbed him in Nepal, or a middle age man tried to have a sexual encounter to him. But also when he been punched by police or people in the streets. We shared also about difficulties to get visa for Indonesians like us. We shared jokes sometimes but we always laugh for the same things.

I admired him actually. He is been writing for National Geographic China for his first journey in Afganisthan, met the Taliban and visited great Budha site in Bamiyan. Now he is about the harvest his long stretch journey when more media contacted him for pictures and journals. I always knew that he is not a usual boy.

Keep contact Gus Weng, anytime if you see me online.

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