In the heat of things, we would try all avenues to solving a problem and when all fail, we make a last ditch attempt to get it sorted out.
When I am traveling, I like to get to point A from point B as soon as possible. I prefer it that if I need to rest, I do my resting at home. Not along the way. In other words, I'd rather not stop for any reason anywhere either for teh tarik or restroom break.
Especially in the old days.
Imagine traveling for 8 hour say to Dungun from KL using the old road during those days. Once you overtake a truck or lorry, you don't want them to be able to overtake you again. That they would do if you stop along the way.
Imagine after trailing a truck for 30 mins, you don't want to have to do it all over again. You will get that the deja vu feeling.
Nowadays it is not too bad with the NS or East Coast Hiway.
A friend Lokman told me of his travel with the family and he was already late. The traffic along the hiway was already heavy. If he were to stop, he would at least be 30 mins behind. Nay, if he stopped for 30 mins, he would probably be behind at least 2 hours since he would hit peak hour traffic in KL and the hiway traffic would have also worsen by then.
He may have a chance to still perform the prayer when he arrive at his destination, but decided to stop nevertheless and perform the prayer.
But the opposite happened afterwards. The traffic was clear - all the way until he reached his destination.
"That, Man, is the power of the prayer," he said to me at his office when I went avisiting one day, "Allah permudahkan perjalanan kita."
When he picked me up at my hotel at 8 am on Friday to drive me to the Sepinggan Airport, Pak Suryansyah asked me how long is the trip to KL.
"Dua jam dari Jakarta, Pak," I told him, "Tidak jauh, tapi saya akan cuma tiba di rumah jam 7.30 malam, kira-kira 12 jam dari sekarang."
That's how long my my travel would take me. To be honest, I don't really care as I was fully prepared for it - mentallly. I knew all along that this was going to be a long trip, if only in duration, and not necessarily in distance. I was resigned to that fact and would consider going to the lounge at Sukarno-Hatta to kill the time, even if I have to pay to get in.
Yeah, yeah, I travel cheap and there was no way my cheap ticket would get me into the business lounge!
As long as I have a cushy comfortable sofa and internet, I would be able to survive the long arduous hours. The waiting lounge is not conducive for long waiting period, and the bookshop there was a tad too small for me to be spending 3 hours or more there.
The Friday crowd at Sepinggan was typical I guess. Everybody wants to get out and return to wherever they came from. Saw this long snaking queue, so I stood at the end of it and asked the person in front what queue this was.
"Lion Air ke Surabaya, Pak," they told me. Phew, lucky me. The queue to Jakarta was much shorter!
Inside Lion Air brand new 737-900ER, there is a prayer pamphlet that list all the prayers for the major religions in Indonesia. As soon as the aircraft accelerated, I, having no English newspaper to read - tried looking for Jakarta Post at Sepinggan Airport, but they don't have it, started reciting the doa.
The flight was uneventful - just the way I like it. We landed at Cengkareng at 11 am with my next flight scheduled at 1510 hours.
They have not even opened up the check in counter for the flight; only for an earlier 1310 hour flight. Long queue there, and not wanting to battle the passengers for that earlier flight, I went to the airline counter to see if I can queue and check in for my flight, so that I could go and sit in the lounge.
"Sudah delay Pak, pesawat bapak berangkat jam 1630," he said, "Harusnya bapak sudah dapat sms kami."
I didn't know. I had thrown my Malaysian simcard away in exchange for an Indonesian one. I should have thrown my cheap phone and get one of those dual simcard phone the next time. But then again, this is me. Cheapskate me!
"Well, can you just check me in nonetheless?" I pleaded with him.
Without batting an eye lid, he said, "Bapak ambil saja pesawat 1310 ini, bisa."
Hmmm, what's the catch here? No he did not ask for additional fee for the exchange. I not only got an earlier flight without having to pay anything extra, I also managed to bypass the queue of about 20 passengers and by 5 pm I was already at home in BTHO when I was scheduled to arrive the earliest by 8.30 pm.
Perjalanan yang begitu jauh menurut waktu menjadi lebih pendek.
The power of doa? You bet.
Here is a similar doa I found on the net.
"Ya Allah, kami bermohon kepada-Mu semoga perjalanan kami membawa kebaikan dan takwa, dan amal kami Engkau ridhai. Ya Allah, mudahkan perjalanan kami dan dekatkan kami jauhnya perjalanan yang kami tempuh. Ya Allah, Engkau adalah teman yang menyertai kami dalam menjaga perjalanan dan pengganti dalam menjaga keluarga kami. Ya Allah, kami mohon perlindungan kepada-Mu dari kesulitan dalam perjalanan kami dan pemandangan, serta kejadian yang buruk yang menimpa harta, keluarga, dan anak kami."