Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mission: hot chocolate

ciobar: il gusto che scalda l'invernoAs the temperature drops and the rain starts to fall, it's time to talk about hot chocolate. Hot, creamy, delicious, sweet, dark chocolate liquid.

I love chocolate drink. Cold or hot. White or dark chocolate. With or without whipped cream. With or without marshmallows.

But it was only last Monday I was introduced to Italian hot chocolate that was so thick you have to spoon it. Reminiscent of a cup of hot chocolate custard, it was made from Cameo's Ciobar mixed with milk. And I L.O.V.E every single drop of it. (D, you ruined me for life! ;))

As I couldn't find any Italian shop selling Ciobar in NL, now I have a mission to recreate the same experience without using Ciobar. So far I found several recipes using egg yolk(s) and/or using cornstarch that I can try. This will be an interesting winter...

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Orgasm for Peace

Want to join an anti-war movement with a twist?
On this winter solstice day (Dec. 22th) GlobalOrgasm for Peace, a brain child of Donna Sheehan and Paul Reffell, is urging people all over the world to have orgasm on that day while focusing on world peace. You can do it anywhere you like, at anytime you want, with as much privacy as you choose.

According to their site:

The goal is to add so much concentrated and high-energy positive input into the energy field of the Earth that it will reduce the current dangerous levels of aggression and violence throughout the world.
Make love. Period.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Home is where the heart is

I remember having a conversation with one of my aunts at my parents (then) new house during one of my vacations. She asked about how I feel about being at home.

'Home? I miss home' I replied
'But you are home' she interjected
'My home is in NL, this is my parents', not mine.'

It was a weird vacation. There I was at my parents' and I had homesick. I missed my home. My (then 7077 miles away) tiny place in a tiny land. Until that point I'd never had a thought to call Holland home. Before, I had this love hate relationship with Holland. With its gloomy weather: it is grey most of the time, too windy and too much rain. Its flat topography: mount St. Peter is only 300 meter high (yeah, I know!), I live in a place 7 meter below the sea-level yet price of seafood is high. Its foods: raw herring (yum), drop(yuke), bitterballen(hmm), patat met or patat oorlog (lekker!), and milk produce (hmmm), to name a few. Its people with their sobering take on things and their way of gezelligheid. And of course its liberalism and Dutch tolerance.

I guess Holland grew on me. It wasn't love at the first sight like it was with Barcelona. Holland snuck up on me while I wasn't looking.

I know some would see me as a snob, calling Holland as my home. I don’t care, it is just how I see and feel it at this moment. It is home where I can do what ever I want, when I want it, with who ever I want to do it with. It is home where I can safely be myself and by myself. It's home in the sense that it's the only place I've been for the longest stretch in my life.

Growing up I moved from place to place, the longest one being 6 years in a row in one small town. I remember feeling envious when a friend of mine told me about him living in the same flat for 22 years. His home. How I wish I had that luxury. The closest thing I have is living up here for more than one third of my life. So sue me for being snob.

Indonesia represents my roots, my upbringing, my carefree youth and my early education. While Holland is the country where I (mis)spent my adulthood, where I fell in and out of love(s), where I lost and found myself.

I still am Indonesian, with Indonesian passport. Yet I feel out of touch with Indonesia. I have no clue who’s who in Indonesian politics, or entertainment industry for that matter. I have no clue how much things cost in Rupiah, except for the price of a kilo of baby corn is Rp. 12000 in Jakarta as my mom mentioned it the other day.

However, when I am up here in Holland I feel nostalgia for Indonesia. Its foods. Its climate. And, oh, the fact that we have maids. Yes, I am spoilt that way. I really miss having maid when I am sick and have to take care of myself, when my RSI acting up and I have to do household chores. Yes, you can get sick from eating at kakilima's. Yes, 35 degrees is now to hot for me to function properly and I can't stand airco so I'd be damned. And yes, sometimes having maids suck. Despite all, I'm still longing for Indonesia that I knew of. The one that I left behind.

Maybe I am just doomed to long for Indonesia when I am in Holland and to long for Holland when I am in Indonesia and yet never truly, completely feel at home at neither places.

Tell me, how many homes is one allowed to have?

Monday, November 06, 2006

How could...

... a pharmacist tell her customer to get her (acute) diarrhea medication the next day?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Saudi and Women

Apparently Saudi's government is considering banning women from Mecca, claiming that the city is overly crowded. Now, I know that women in Saudi lead strict lives. They are not allowed to drive, need permission from their male guardian to go to school, to have a job, to travel and to stay in a hotel. The fact that they considering banning women as a solution of overcrowding mosque is beyond my comprehension, why don't they restrict both men and women by limiting the amount of visa they issued?

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

On Hypermobility

Can you do any of the movements on the picture to the right? If you do, chances are you have this condition called joint hypermobility.

It means you can move (some of) your joints more flexible than most people. It is also known as 'double jointed' or 'hyperlaxity' as your range of movements are larger than normal. In its very mild form there are few symptoms and need no treatment. But in its more severe form the joint can get dislocated easily. There is also a very rare form that is part of serious illness such as Marfan syndrome or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.

How do you know you have hypermobility?
First you can check yourself using 'Beighton score' as shown on the picture above. Only about 3-5% adult can score more than 4 on that test. If you score more than 4 and experience joint pain in 4 or more of your joints for more than 3 months it is likely you have hypermobility. It is advisable that you consult your doctor to determine if the hypermobility is the caused of your pain or something else. For you doctor to confirmed the hypermobility diagnose, they are going to use the '1998 Brighton Criteria'.

There are four factors that cause hypermobility. First, the shape of the end of the bones. A shallow socket of your hip bone, for example, would give you a larger movement but it could also mean that your hip bone can dislocated more easily. Secondly, the weak or stretched ligaments due to altered collagen fibers. Then, the stiffness or tone of your muscles affect whether the joints is rigid or loosely held. The last but not least, your impaired sense of joint movements can lead you to overstretched your joints before realizing that you are doing it.

Hypermobility and you
Having hypermobility may affect your day to day life. For some, pain is part of life as their muscles have to work much harder when the joints are suppler than when they are rigid. If the hypermobility is caused by altered collagen, this may also lead to varicose veins or hernias.

Gentle exercises to strengthen the muscles are advisable but don't over do it. However, high impact exercises and contact sports are more likely to caused injuries or caused more pain. So, stay away from squash.

When you have pain, try to rest and physiotherapy first. If it fails, then try paracetamol. If the joint swells, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drug such as ibuprofen may help. But be careful if you have stomach ulcers as it can caused bleeding. You can also use topical painkiller directly onto the aching joint. As chronic (long term) pain can lead to depression and in turn depression increases the pain, therefore you may need professional help to cope with it. Ask your doctor about pain management programmes.

According to Dr. Grahame, the leading researcher in this field, people with this syndrome need larger dosage of local anaesthetic than normal. Remember this fact when you need to do root canal on your next appointment with your dentist.

As their soft tissue is supple, sufferer of hypermobility should avoid surgery if possible because their soft tissue doesn’t always heal well and quickly. Some also prone to bruising easily and may require more blood transfusions if major surgery is carried out. Talk to your surgeon about this condition prior to surgery so they can modify the surgical technique accordingly.

Hypermobility is known for at least the last 30 years, but there are lots of doctors who tend to trivialize this condition. While those doctors having trouble diagnosing their patient’s illness even though the symptoms are clear, they sometimes label the sufferers as hypocondriacs which, of course, doesn’t help the patient at all. Try to talk to rheumatologist about your condition. If you live in the UK, there three hypermobility clinics, one of them is at University College Hospital in London.

All being said, there are some advantages in having hypermobility. Certain sports like gymnastics, diving, hurdlers need a wide movement/flexibility in certain joints. Flexible fingers can help musicians playing keyboard or string, for example. Dancers need the widest range of movement in most joints. How about a stint at Cirque du Soleil?

The thing about this syndrome, you can’t cure it but you can learn to live with it once you know you are having it.

For more information:
Living with hypermobility syndrome

Monday, August 21, 2006

And Then there were twelve

Apparently after redefining what planet is, our solar system has 12.. yes, not 9 but 12 planets inclusing a double-planet system Pluto-Charon..
Let's meet all of them:
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptunes, Pluto, Charon, and last but not least: 2003 UB313 aka Xena.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

61 tahun Indonesia

Enam Puluh Satu tahun yang lalu
Kemerdekaan diproklamasikan
dengan semangat pluralisme

Enam Puluh Satu tahun berlalu
Merdeka! diteriakkan
tapi pluralisme itu semakin padam

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And now, for something completely different

The guys at eepybird created this movie of their experiment.
Why do Diet Coke and Mentos make an interesting combination?
It's physical, not chemical!
It's boiled down to nucleation sites.

For scientific explanation just click in here.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Gaarder on Israel

I had this urge to brush up my Norwegian last night and started reading Norwegian newspaper again when I came across Jostein Gaarder's op ed on Israel-Lebanon crisis. His harsh critics toward Israel policies titled "God's Chosen People" gain both support and criticism from in and out of Norway. As my Norwegian is not sufficient enough to do a decent translation, I put here excerpt from Sirocco's.

There is no turning back. It is time to learn a new lesson: We do no longer recognize the state of Israel. We could not recognize the South African apartheid regime, nor did we recognize the Afghan Taliban regime. Then there were many who did not recognize Saddam Hussein’s Iraq or the Serbs’ ethnic cleansing. We must now get used to the idea: The state of Israel in its current form is history.

...To act as God’s chosen people is not only stupid and arrogant, but a crime against humanity. We call it racism...

There are limits to our patience, and there are limits to our tolerance. We do not believe in divine promises as justification for occupation and apartheid...

We call child murderers ‘child murderers’ and will never accept that such have a divine or historic mandate excusing their outrages. We say but this: Shame on all apartheid, shame on ethnic cleansing, shame on every terrorist strike against civilians, be it carried out by Hamas, Hizballah, or the state of Israel!

...For we are human first of all — then Christian, Muslim, or Jewish. Or as the Jewish rabbi said: “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others?” We do not accept the abduction of soldiers. But nor do we accept the deportation of whole populations or the abduction of legally elected parliamentarians and government ministers.

We recognize the state of Israel of 1948, but not the one of 1967. It is the state of Israel that fails to recognize, respect, or defer to the internationally lawful Israeli state of 1948. Israel wants more; more water and more villages. To obtain this, there are those who want, with God’s assistance, a final solution to the Palestinian problem...
To my understanding of this prophetic piece, Gaarder is not anti-semite, he is anti zionist policy of Israel which is a completely different thing. I think in this heartfelt appeal the author of Sophie's World uses some of his wording unwisely that can be interpreted as anti-semite. He is in fact stating an uplifting prospect of ending the apartheid in the region by saying 'But fear not! The time of trouble shall soon be over. The state of Israel has seen its Soweto.' This is refering to Soweto massacre in 1976 which was the turning point of apartheid movement in South Africa.

Today he published another op ed to clear up the misunderstanding and the translation of it can also be found at Sirocco's site. The op ed along with this article might give more insight about the intention behind his critic toward Israel's policy against Lebanon.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

You can get a child out of war...

A message from Ceasefire Campaign

Dear friends,

For more than four weeks now we've watched the bloodshed in the Middle East with horror. For a month, global and regional leaders have stood by and failed to take the necessary action to stop the violence.

Finally, last weekend, the US and France reached agreement on a plan. But it's now clear that this flawed compromise plan, which did not call for both sides to stop all attacks, has failed to curb the violence.

This is unacceptable. Over a thousand innocent civilians have already been killed, thousands more wounded, and almost a million people have been made homeless.

The UN Security Council is currently meeting to resolve the crisis. They need to know that the world is watching them, and that anything less than an immediate ceasefire is not good enough. Click below to sign this petition demanding that the members of the UN Security Council take immediate action to end this bloodshed.

Please sign the petition today, and then spread the word by forwarding this email on to all your friends and family. Our goal is to deliver a petition to the Security Council with 1 million signatures, and to publicize the petition in major newspapers in the capitals of the US, UK, France and other Security Council members.

Thanks so much for your help,

Ricken Patel

PS: Groups and leaders from across the world and from diverse perspectives agree that an urgent ceasefire is an important part of resolving this crisis. Most countries of the world, from Lebanon to Tanzania to India, have called for a ceasefire, and have been joined by major international NGOs such as Oxfam and Amnesty International. Christian leaders such as Pope Benedict XVI, and the World Council of Churches have also called for a ceasefire. Arab and Muslim organizations such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Arab League have also been joined by Israeli and Jewish groups such as Meretz Israel, Degel HaTorah, and Brit Tzedek v'Shalom in calling for a ceasefire.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

War: What is it good for?

Politics is war without bloodshed,
war is politics with bloodshed
- Mao Tse Tung

I am opening a can of worm here. Normally, I avoid discussion about the situation in the Middle East. The Dutch have this saying 'onbegonnen werk', a task that is doom to fail. Think about it, they say G_D put his prophets one after another in the region and yet there is still no peace over there. So, how on earth can you expect UN can bring peace in the Middle East?

However, there some points I've been wondering about.

1. The Lebanon situation started when Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers. According to BBC, Nasrallah wants to give Israeli pressure to release the thousands of Palestinian prisoners in its jails. The way I see it, Hezbollah is in fact put a higher price on Israeli than on Palestinian. Two Israelis against thousands Palestinian, what an insult! With a friend like Hezbollah, who needs enemy?

2. Israel wants to wiped out Hezbollah by bombing all over Lebanon. Bad, bad, bad move. Ok, I know nothing about politics or war strategy for that matter. But if my brother hits you and you come to our house and whacking my grandma, you'd better believe that the whole family will be united supporting my brother, even though some of us doesn't agree or even hating with him. The same will happened in Lebanon. There are Christian, Muslim and Druze in Lebanon. I hate to think that most of them are supporting Hezbollah now. When will Israel and the USA learn?

3. Israel maintain that they already warned the Lebanese to evacuate from the south before they shelled and air struck the area. Hello? In order to evacuate one needs some kind of transport. Not everyone got one. If they do, there is a chance that their cars are targeted by Israeli missiles. I don't see they have much choice but to stay put. Because one way or another they are bound to get hit by a missile or a bomb, or whatever that is that can blow you up into millions of pieces anyway.

4. I was astonished when I read that in the beginning of the war USA was more concern about expediting the shipment of their bombs to Israel than humanitarian relief for the Lebanese. I was even more bewildered knowing that USA, UK (and The Netherlands) did practically nothing to push for ceasefire. It seems like they just give Israel a blank check to do whatever Israeli wants disregard of the outcome.

5. According to Webster dictionary, terrorist is the systematic use of terror especially as a mean of coercion. Now, I'm as clueless as this kid in this article of who the terrorist is.

Monday, July 31, 2006

After ugly duckling gets make over

..and then there is oneIn the last couple of years there are lots of tv programme about make overs. The results are amazing. Ugly duckling turns to swan. Although sometimes the results are a little bit too much for my liking.

Don't get me wrong, most of the time I have no problem about people improving their body. If it makes you happy and you got the means, just do it. But I do have problem about extreme surgery. I have problem with the doctors feeding the obsession of their patients for the sake of money. Just look what happened to Michael Jackson. Hideous.

As I said, the results on the shows are amazing to say the least. Perfect eye sight, perfect teeth (well, you know how I love to see those pearly smiles), perfect body complete with a boob job. Seems like a boob job is a must-have surgery in those shows. The patients' confidence seems elevated, they seem happier and more comfortable with their bodies. Good for them.

Then they go home, and the show ends there.

In my daily live, I've seen orthognathic surgical patients all the time. In fact I've been one myself. So I know first hand how a surgery can affect your life. Most of the time I heard good stories. Better looking, higher confidence, happier, feels like being able to tackle anything. But there are also some bad ones. Like the one that can't handle that he looks more handsome now after the surgery and he ended up at the loony house. Or the more devastating one, where the patient ended up killing himself after the surgery. Granted those two cases are extreme cases and if I'm not mistaken they had some psychological problem to begin with. However, it shows that not all make over ends well.

The thing is, the orthognathic preparation before the surgery was longer than the preparation of those people on those shows had. Some of orthognathic patients need about two years of wearing braces, which also altered their appearance gradually. They and the people around them have time to adjust with the idea of having their face (slightly) altered after the surgery, unlike those on the make over shows. Sure, the producers of the shows would say that there are psychological assessment beforehand, and psychological sessions during the whole process. But is it enough?

I wonder once those lucky people of the shows got home, would their relationship getting better or worse? As one person changes so much (both physical and attitude) in such short period of time, who knows how the others would react. I guess in the beginning everyone is excited and happy. How does it goes in the longer term? Wouldn't you want to see how they are in, say, two years, maybe in another show? I sincerely hope that their relationship still works afterwards.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Akankah pemerintah belajar?

Knowledge is power
- Sir Francis Bacon, 1597
Delapan belas bulan yang lalu Indonesia mengalami musibah tsunami yang amat besar. Ratusan ribu orang tewas, infrastuktur hancur. Ketika itu salah satu masalahnya adalah orang tidak tau apa dan bagaimana tsunami terjadi. Setelah gempa terjadi, ketika laut tampak surut justru banyak orang yang berjalan ke pantai. Dan tersapulah mereka oleh ombak yang datang bergulung.

Setelah itu pemerintah bersama negara² asing berupaya memasang pelampung (buoy) untuk mendeteksi terjadinya tsunami di Samudra Indonesia. Biayanya amat besar dan butuh waktu lama untuk semua alat terpasang, serta infrastruktur penyaluran informasi tertata rapih.

Delapan belas bulan yang lalu, saya menulis tentang tidak adanya pelatihan bagi rakyat di Indonesia tentang bahaya gempa bumi dan tsunami. Pelatihan seperti ini harusnya tidak memakan biaya sebanyak memasang sirene di sepanjang pantai di seluruh Indonesia. Tidak juga memakan biaya dan waktu yang lama seperti memasang buoy disepanjang perairan Indonesia. Tapi entah mengapa saya tidak mendengar opsi ini dilakukan di sana. Padahal hampir tiap minggu terjadi gempa yang cukup besar di salah satu bagian negeri ini.

Kejadian Tsunami di Pantai Selatan Jawa tanggal 19 lalu adalah bukti ketidak siapan pemerintah dan rakyat menghadapi bahaya alam ini. Berita bahwa ada kemungkinan terjadi tsunami yang diterima pemerintah 20 menit sebelum kejadian tidak diteruskan sampai ke rakyat. Bahkan ada kabar, ada pejabat yang memilih tidak memberitakan kemungkinan tsunami itu dengan alasan seandainya tidak terjadi maka beliau akan malu. Apa beliau tidak merasa malu dan berdosa sekarang?

Rakyat setempat yang setelah gempa pun kabarnya mempunyai ide bahwa baru akan terjadi tsunami dalam beberapa hari. Sehingga mereka kebanyakan tidak berusaha mengungsi ke tempat yang lebih tinggi.

Minggu² ini, adalah awal anak kembali ke sekolah. Biasanya pelajaran belum berjalan penuh. Apa tidak bisa disisihkan barang 5 menit untuk mengajarkan apa yang harus dilakukan bila terjadi gempa? Hanya 5 menit, dan boleh dibilang tanpa biaya. Siapa tau 5 menit itu bisa menolong jiwa mereka dan orang di sekitarnya, seperti cerita Tilly bocah 10 tahun yang pernah menerima pelajaran tentang bagaimana terjadinya tsunami di sekolah dan dapat menyelamatkan banyak orang di Thailand saat terjadi tsunami tahun 2004.

Kapan ya pemerintah belajar dari sejarah? Katanya tidak ada rotan akarpun jadi.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Anti vaksin ala Indonesia

Bertahun yang lalu, saya membuat mailing list untuk pemerhati dan orang tua dari anak berbakat (gifted atau hoogbegaafd). Salah satu yang paling saya tidak bisa suka adalah bila orang main meneruskan email yang tidak jelas, apalagi bila email tersebut sudah sering berkeliaran di dunia maya. Seringkali alasannya karena mereka tidak bisa browsing sehingga tidak bisa mengecek kebenarannya. Tapi kadang alasan itu tidak bisa saya terima karena email yang sama sudah muncul beberapa minggu sebelumnya dan sudah dibahas.

Tiap mailing list mempunyai aturannya sendiri². Satu hal yang akan membuat anggota mailing list anakberbakat automatis kehilangan keanggotaannya adalah bila mereka mengirim email anti thimerosal karya Ines yang sudah wira wiri sejak Desember 2003 di dunia permilisan Indonesia. Cuplikan email itu sebagai berikut:

From: Ines Indrati Muljawan [mailto:inesim@...]
Sent: Wednesday, December 03, 2003 11:23 AM
Subject: [milis tarki] Hati-hati Thimerosal dalam Vaksin

Setelah kesibukan Lebaran yang menyita waktu, baru sekarang saya bisa
dapat waktu luang membaca buku "Children with Starving Brains"
karangan Jaquelyn McCandless,MD yang diterjemahkan dan diterbitkan
oleh Grasindo. Ternyata buku yang saya beli di toko buku Gramedia
seharga Rp. 50,000,- itu benar-benar membuka mata saya, dan sayang,
sayang sekali baru terbit setelah anak saya Joey (27 bln) didiagnosa
mengidap Autisme Spectrum Disorder.
Karena kalimat awalnya berhubungan dengan Lebaran, maka selama bertahun-tahun setiap habis Lebaran mulailah email itu berkeliaran, harus dibahas lagi karena orang tua panik. BOSAN. Lebih baik membahas yang lain daripada mengulang² seperti piringan hitam rusak. Belum lagi konsekuensi dari kepanikan itu, banyak orang tua menolak anaknya divaksinasi. Akibatnya sekarang semakin banyak terjadi anak terkena penyakit menular seperti campak. Katanya mendingan kena campak daripada kena autis. Padahal campak bisa menyebabkan kematian.

Rupanya sejak sering dikomentari bahwa itu email lama dan bukan musim lebaran lagi, email diatas diupgrade pada bagian awalnya tapi sisanya sama persis walau nama Ines dihapus. Subyek email tersebut makin bombastis, dari Hati-hati Thimerosal dalam Vaksin menjadi Vaksin penyebab Autis. Contohnya sebagai berikut:
Subject: [Isi sendiri nama milisnya] Fw: Vaksin Penyebab Autis
Vaksin penyebab Autis

Buat para Pasangan MUDA. om dan tante yg punya keponakan... atau bahkan
calon ibu ... perlu nih dibaca ttg autisme.. Bisa di share kepada yang
masih punya anak kecil supaya ber-hati2........ Setelah kesibukan yang
menyita waktu, baru sekarang saya bisa dapat waktu luang membaca buku
"Children with Starving Brains" karangan Jaquelyn McCandless,MD yang
diterjemahkan dan diterbitkan oleh Grasindo.

Ternyata buku yang saya beli di toko buku Gramedia seharga Rp. 50,000,-
itu benar-benar membuka mata saya, dan sayang, sayang sekali baru terbit
setelah anak saya Joey (27 bln) didiagnosa mengidap Autisme Spectrum

Saya bisa mengerti mengapa Ines menulis email tersebut, menurutnya Joey terkena autis karena vaksin berthimerosal. Efek thimerosal yang digunakan sebagai pengawet vaksin serta ada di tinta untuk tattoo masih belum banyak dipelajari. Hanya saja sampai sekarang masih belum diketahui penyebab autisme itu persisnya apa karena banyak faktor yang saling terkait. Tapi para ahli sepakat sebab utamanya genetis. Tentunya hal ini tidak ingin didengar oleh orang tua, karena kesannya mereka itu penyebab penderitaan anaknya. Jadi dicarilah kambing hitam: Vaksin. Yang harus diingat, dalam MMR, yang sering disalahkan sebagai penyebab autisme, tidak pernah digunakan thimerosal sebagai pengawet.

Untuk menyebut penyebab autisme adalah vaksin yang membuat orang panik menurut saya kelewatan. Bahkan cukup banyak study yang tidak bisa menunjukkan koneksi antara vaksin (terutama MMR) dengan autisme, salah satunya study di Canada yang baru dilansir awal Juli ini. Yang menarik, study di Yokohama, Jepang dan Denmark menunjukkan jumlah penderita Autisme meningkat biarpun vaksin disana sudah tidak menggunakan thimerosal dan tidak diberikan MMR.

Salah satu akibat dari kepanikan massa di Indonesia, sekarang banyak dokter yang tidak mau memberikan vaksin MMR tepat waktu ke anak yang telat bicara. Alasannya takut nantinya si anak autis , jadi ditunda sampai anak bisa bicara. Selain takut dibawa kepengadilan bila ternyata si anak betulan autis, padahal sebenarnya menurut Volmer mereka yang autis sudah tampak gejalanya sejak bayi jauh sebelum diberikan MMR. Sebetulnya praktek ini tidak sesuai dengan petunjuk satgas imunisasi Indonesia. Ironisnya petunjuk ini bahkan tidak diikuti oleh beberapa dedengkotnya sendiri. Dengan berkurangnya jumlah anak yang divaksinasi, maka kekebalan kelompok (herd immunity) pun turun yang artinya resiko anak tertular penyakit menular seperti polio, campak, semakin tinggi.

Sebetulnya gerakan anti vaksin ini tidak hanya di Indonesia, tapi di mana², terutama di Amerika. Hanya saja bedanya, di negara maju pelayanan dan fasilitas kesehatannya jauh lebih baik daripada di Indonesia. Begitu ada satu kasus meningitis misalnya, semua anak langsung di vaksin seperti yang terjadi di Inggris dan Belanda misalnya. Ingat apa yang terjadi di Indonesia beberapa saat lalu dengan wabah polio? Butuh waktu lama bagi pemerintah untuk melakukan imunisasi massal, itupun tidak semua anak tervaksinasi. Akibatnya penyakit seperti polio sulit diberantas.

Jadi tolong, kalau melihat email seperti di atas, jangan diteruskan karena cenderung menyesatkan. Gunakan cara lain untuk membuat pemerintah menyediakan vaksin gratis tanpa thimerosal, misalnya dengan menulis ke mediamassa, atau ke perwakilan anda di parlemen atau ke mentri Kesehatan. Sementara itu, bila takut menggunakan vaksin gratis dari pemerintah, belilah sendiri vaksin tanpa thimerosal. Banyak jalan menuju Roma, tanpa harus menciptakan panik massal.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Nadine, Miss Universe & FPI

Unlike the guys at Tjelaan Rakjat, I've been avoiding saying something about Nadine Chandrawinata, Indonesian candidate for Miss Universe pageant this year. Mom said if you don't have anything nice to say, you'd better not saying anything.

However, after reading this news, I just can't keep my mouth shut. So Nadine wore a bikini during a photo shoot. I don't understand why people, and by people I mean FPI, need to make such a big deal out of it and took the matter to the police.

In the FPI's world, Nadine and her entourage are guilty of doing indecent act, and participating in an organization which involves in criminal act. Oh please! Saying that wearing a bikini as not conforming with Indonesian culture is just ridiculous. Which Indonesian culture are they talking about? There are some Indonesian tribes whose female members are still topless, while their male counterparts wear nothing but a penis sheath known as koteka. I remember growing up seeing Balinese women taking a bath openly, and some of them were topless all day. I know FPI said that wearing bikini is not Islamic, and Indonesia has the biggest Moslem population. What's that got to do with Nadine? I don't think Nadine is a Moslem and the last time I've checked, Indonesia is not an Islamic country. Come to think of it, check out Miss Egypt, as in Miss of the Arab Republic of Egypt, in all her glory.

Why do we have to make a rule for everyone that is based on one particular belief? And could you tell me what kind of criminal act did Nadine and her entourage do? The way I see it, all that she did was trying to help Indonesia getting some positive publicity. Something that is scarce these days with earthquakes, tsunamis, and bird flu hitting the news every other week.

And don't get me started about how Nadine friendship with Miss Israel hurting other Moslems. Would FPI said the same thing if Nadine befriended Miss Israel 1999, Rana Raslan, who is a Moslem Arab Israeli?

So there, I said my piece, I'd better shut.

Sunday, July 02, 2006


... orang Indonesia kelihatan protes hanya bila ada hubungannya dengan Israel?

Buat saya aneh bila urusannya di nun jauh disana orang protes, sementara bom di Poso tidak kedengaran ada yang protes. Kalau mau protes tentang hal yang jauh juga, kenapa ngga pada protes saat orang saling bom di Irak?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Occupational Hazard

I was at this public oration of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon the other day. There were a lot of oral surgeons, orthodontists, and some other specialist in the field that has connection with oral and maxillofacial attending the lecture. I've noticed, each time my friend Sita who was with me at that time speaks or smiles, those oral surgeons and orthodontists checked her out. They were literally checking her braces-mouth out before asking about her surgery.

I know my boss remembers the teeth more than the face of his patients, so does my dentist uncle. My other doctor remembers the kids more than the parents. My surgeon remembers my breast and not my face. I guess that's occupational hazard for you.

It makes me wonder about ObGyn... euwwwwwwww

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Translasi bahasa

Kadang saya bingung dan sebal membaca berita koran di Indonesia yang hasil terjemahan. Apa tidak ada yg koreksi? Apa gunanya ada editor? Bukankah surat kabar punya tanggung jawab memberikan informasi yang benar?

Contoh yang paling anyar adalah berita tentang bunuh diri di Cina yang terbit kemaren di situs BBC dan muncul hari ini di situs Kompas. Mari disimak:

In China, one woman kills herself every four minutes.Tiap menit 4 Wanita bunuh diri di China
According to World Health Organisation statistics, China is the only country in the world where more women commit suicide than men.
Every year, 1.5 million women attempt to take their own lives, and a further 150,000 succeed in doing so.
Menurut data yang dimiliki WHO (organsasi kesehatan dunia), China adalah satu-satunya negara di dunia yang wanitanya paling banyak melakukan bunuh diri. Setiap tahunnya 1,5 juta wanita mencoba bunuh diri dan sekitar 150 ribu wanita "berhasil" bunuh diri.
Suicide attempts may often be impulsive, but they are the result of burdens that weigh heavily on the shoulders of rural women.
Marriage is a big issue where traditional attitudes still prevail.
Many marriages are arranged and operate like business deals in which the groom's parents "buy" the bride, and she becomes part of their family.
Hasrat bunuh diri mungkin bersifat impulsif, tetapi sebenarnya hal itu adalah akumulasi beban yang selama ini dirasakan wanita pedesaan. Di pedesaan, orangtua memiliki hak untuk menjodohkan anaknya. Pernikahan di sana seperti "usaha dagang", di mana pihak laki-laki membeli mempelai perempuan untuk menjadi anggota keluarganya.
For every one hundred baby girls born in China, 117 boys are born, according to the official figures.
By 2020, China could be short of around 40 million women, leaving many young men unable to find wives. Xie Lihua is worried about the consequences of this imbalance.
Menurut data resmi, dari setiap kelahiran 100 bayi perempuan, ada 117 bayi laki-laki yang lahir. Diperkirakan tahun 2020, jumlah wanita di China hanya sekitar 40 juta dan membuat para pria kesulitan mencari istri.
Warna ditambahkan untuk memperjelas.

Isi artikel itu sudah berubah jauh kan? Padahal bahasa Inggris yang digunakan menurut saya cukup sederhana dan mudah dicerna. Bukan bahasa yang dipakai membahas masalah pelik di suatu jurnal ilmiah. Tujuan memajang artikel diatas adalah menunjukkan kesalahan yang sering terjadi di media Indonesia.

Saya bukan ingin sok tau seakan-akan saya tidak pernah membuat salah dalam berbahasa. Saya masih sering membuat kesalahan dalam tulisan saya, baik dalam bahasa Indonesia, Inggris maupun Belanda. Saya juga mengerti kesulitan menerjemahkan istilah bahasa asing ke bahasa Indonesia, karena dalam kehidupan sehari-hari saya pun harus seringkali menerjemahkan dari bahasa yang satu ke yang lain. Tapi kesalahan saya tidak sampai membuat arti yang jauh sekali seperti contoh kalimat² di atas, padahal saya tidak mempunyai editor.

Apakah saya meminta terlalu banyak bila menginginkan agar dapat membaca berita yang benar?

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Siapa yang tidak pernah nyontek? Salut saya kalau anda tidak pernah nyontek!

Jujur saja, saya pernah. Tidak sering, biasanya pas ulangan harian dan hanya satu dua pertanyaan dan caranya pun masih low tech. Apa karena jarang, sedikit jadi tidak masalah? Tidak juga. Malu sih iya, koq ngga mau usaha sendiri dan kalaupun usahanya kurang tidak cukup lapang dada menerima kekurangan. Karir contek-menyontek saya hanya sampai SMA, setelah itu tobat. Lagian lama² saya pikir kalau lulus karena hasil contekan, saya tidak yakin sendiri akan kualitas saya. Di kuliah paling banter saya melihat di sekitar (di sini jarak tiap meja hampir 1 meter ke meja yg lain) apa kira² yang lain sama bermasalahnya dengan saya atau tidak, alias banyak kosongnya dalam ujian esai, atau distribusi pilihannya kurang lebih sama pada ujian pilihan ganda. Kalau sepertinya sama bermasalahnya, jadi tenang... bisa buang bodi, soalnya susah. :)

Pernah ketahuan? Ngga. Walaupun pernah ada insiden, teman yg sudah saya kasih contekan beberapa soal dan sempat saya contek 1 soal tapi ternyata nilai dia lebih rendah dari saya, lapor ke bu guru. Kocaknya pas si ibu tau dia juga nyontek ketawa aja, dan komentar, "Makanya jangan ngasih contekan." Kejadian itu contoh, nyontek itu ada seninya. Biar dikasih jawaban benar, kalau salah contek jadinya ya tetap aja kita salah. Kalau diberi jawaban salah, tapi kita tidak main jiplak, siapa tau malah jadi jawaban kita benar.

Tapi rupanya jaman makin maju, orang makin 'kreatif' menggunakan tehnologi untuk menyontek. Sekarang kita bisa membeli karya tulis atau cut and paste paragraf dari Internet. Bila diberi tugas membuat program pun bisa kita outsourcing ke programer di India atau di Rumania misalnya. Ujian pun sekarang banyak yang menyontek menggunakan telepon genggam. Pertama kali saya mendengarnya dari teman saya yang sedang mengambil spesialisasi kedokteran di Universitas terkenal di tanah air bingung. Koq boleh sih membawa telepon genggam ke ruang ujian? Di sini, semua telepon genggam harus dimatikan dan masih juga dipasang alat untuk menghalangi signalnya. Lebih bingung lagi bagi saya yang gagap ber-sms, membayangkan harus menulis jawaban satu² via sms.

Kalau dipikir konsekuensi menyontek itu ngeri juga, kasarnya bila insinyur sipil salah hitung, jembatan bisa ambruk; arsitek salah hitung, bangunan ambruk; dokter salah diagnosa, pasien bisa mati. Apalagi dilakukan di negeri yang nilai batas lulusnya amat rendah seperti di Indonesia. Kalau tidak salah batas lulus ujian SMU tahun ini hanya 4,25, yang artinya mungkin cukup menjawab benar tak sampai 40% dari seluruh soal untuk lulus karena adanya konversi nilai. Apakah nilai/angka sedemikian pentingnya dibanding kualitas sehingga menyontek merupakan jalan keluar? Apa masalahnya terletak di manusia Indonesia yang cenderung bodoh dan malas berusaha, atau sistem pendidikannya yang kurang baik, atau dua-duanya sehingga orang menyontek? Apa konsekuensinya bagi kualitas sumber daya manusia kita?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Our first...

... foods shaped our taste buds.

Cancer Research UK found that we inherit our taste for high-protein food, but our environments influence our preferences for fruit, vegetables, and wait for it... puddings. Another study carried out at Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia , USA found that eating preferences may even develop long before you introduce solid food to your child. These findings suggested the power that parents have in shaping their children's dietary preferences, good or bad.

If you talk to my parents, especially my dad, about how to feed your baby, you will hear the story of how they took me to Chinese restaurants when I was a baby, fed me with shark fin soup and regretted it. No, not because it is considered as not PC to eat shark fin, you know, the whole Greenpeace talk. But because those experience for ever changed my taste buds. :)

Here's the thing, our family comes from Javanese background, though I'd like to think that my heritage was from all over Indonesia, but the Javanese part has the greatest influence. However, when it comes to eating, I am more Chinese or Western than Javanese. To my father's frustration, each time we have Sayur Lodeh at home, which is according to him a dish fit for a king, I have several option to eat: a) rice with some Kraft cheddar cheese (the one that I couldn't find in NL) and a piece of chocolate as dessert, b) if it's for lunch and I am not that hungry at the time, I drink a glass of chocolate milk before and after I took a nap, c) rice with our family recipe of scramble egg or d) Nutricia's baby cereal with 4 fruits (Yes, I am that weird) . Give me macaroni schotel any time of a day, or dim sum for that matter and I'd be a happy camper.

Sure, there are some Indonesian foods that I love, like my mom's signature pepes daun singkong (Steamed cassava leaves), sate bandeng and rabek from Banten, my aunt's gulai with no coconut milk that I still couldn't replicate despite having the same spices from her (I might have been using the wrong tomatoes), I also miss this dish called kaldu kokot that Yuk Nur, my mom's grocer, made us when I was a kid. Notice the trend here?;)

Learning from my parents' mistake, if you can call it that, I know that I won't give my child any Sayur Lodeh so I won't get in to trouble of having to cook them. Yes, we have to introduce a lot of foods to tastes, but I draw the line in Sayur Lodeh. As they say, first cut is the deepest....

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


It's (almost) summer. In fact, as the temperature reach 30 degrees in some parts of Holland today, it means we are having our first (unofficial) heatwave this year in the Netherlands. A heatwave means five consecutive days with temperature above 25 degrees and three days with the temperature above 30 degrees. To make it official, the temperature at De Bilt must register those values, which is not in the case this time. According to the KNMI record, June heatwave is unusual, only 8 heatwaves happened in June in the last 100 years. The last one was last year.

It is said there were 10 to 20 percent more elderly and sickly people die during heatwave. A lot of them were due to dehydration. You might think you drink enough fizzy drink, cold beer, or whatever nice cold beverage you can find. You can't be sure that you have enough liquid in your body as you sweat a lot under the heat and some of those drinks can act as diuretic.

So how do you know that you are dehydrated? Yorkshire Water a drink water company in -where else- Yorkshire, has developed a device to help people gauge their bodily fluid's color. The yellower the fluid means you need to drink more. You are dehydrated.

The company came up with three designs, for children, for female and for male. It is interesting to note, that on the flip side of the men's pee-o-meter they included a ruler for those who need reassurance in something else ;)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Check Out My Breasts!

This is how you check your breastsBack in September I found a lump in my right breast while doing my own breasts check. It was scary! I went to the GP as soon as possible, mind you, My GP only do two morning sessions a week without appointment, the rest of the week are appointment only.

After an examination, I was told to go back within a month. So, I thought it was nothing. There is no history of breast cancer in my family, my risks are small and I knew the statistic of breast cancer, most of the cases involve women above 50 years old. Then I talked to my colleagues and Sandra was adamant that I have to be careful about it because in her experience it was also harmless at the first time around she found a lump. However, last year she found another lump (I believe it was for the 3rd time), it was cancerous and was removed immediately. That's not something I want to hear.

One month past, I went back to the GP as the lump still there and it almost always hurts. Those who know me understand when I said I am in pain; I 'm not kidding or looking for attention. I am used to pain, my pain level is quite high. So, I don't normally complaint about pain unless it really bothers me. He said the pain is a good sign; it is rarely cancerous, it is probably just fibrocystic change. Well, it's easy for him to say, he's not the one having pain in his breast, is he? Anyhow, I was told to wait three months to see the progress.

Last January I went back to his office on a Friday, and after another examination he made me an appointment with... Mammae (Breasts) Clinic for Monday! He said he just wants to make sure. The thing is, most of the time in Holland it takes ages to get an appointment with the hospital, except if you are an urgent case. It took me 2 months just to get an appointment to do CT scan a couple of years ago. So, an appointment for next Monday was unnerving to say the least!

By Sunday evening I was getting anxious, so I searched Mayo clinic to read about what kind of things they are going to do with me on the next day and what I can expect from the result. Bad idea. Bad, bad idea. I freaked out. At first I thought I was going to the clinic by myself just like I always did, but by that time I was starting calling out my friends. Most of them were either unreachable or already got something planned. At the end U said he would swing by the hospital after his interview. Fine. I am not afraid about the mammography or the USG, but I need someone with me during the consultation, in case I am getting some bad news.

In the morning I was surprisingly calm and went to the hospital alone. First I met this nurse to do the intake interview and a physical exam, and she drew the area of the lump on my breast. Then, I was sent to the Radiology department. While waiting for my turn, I called U to tell him that he didn't have to come by, as I was my-old-self by then. First I did the mammograms. You know, I bet the inventor of mammograph is a guy, because most of the time guys won’t need to do mammograms. Boy, it hurts. First, the nurse had to positioned my breast in a certain way and then pressed it like when you make a waffle to take the x-ray. I don’t know how they do it with guys (yes, there are men who got breast cancer) or women with not much flesh up there; I think some pulling (ouch!) of the breasts is required.

Then came the USG, it was a walk in a park compared to the mammo. The only discomfort was the cold gel the doctor was using. After getting the result from the radiologist, I met my surgeon. A female doctor who once worked at Cikini hospital back in the 80's for a couple of months. The verdict was: a cyst, a fluid-filled sac about 1 cm³. Nothing to worry about. But I still have to go back in 3 months for check up.

In the end, (both Sandra's and) my story ended up well. But there are many other stories that ended up in tears. Therefore I urge you, male and female readers, to go to that site, and learn to check out your own breasts before it was too late.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tak kukira...

Saya pernah mendengar dari salah satu paman saya bagaimana ketika beliau sedang berada di salah satu restauran di hotel berbintang di Jakarta didekati perempuan² berseragam putih abu². Mereka minta ditraktir makan. Koq ngga malu ya, minta traktir oom² yang tidak dikenal?

Saya juga pernah mendengar cerita kenalan saya, lelaki setengah baya, yang didekati dua perempuan muda di Plaza Indonesia yang berakhir di kamar hotelnya selama akhir minggu, bertiga. Entah itu bualan kenalan saya saja atau benar² terjadi.

Tentunya kejadian seperti ini banyak terjadi, dimana-mana. Tapi jika kemudian orang berpikiran negatif setiap melihat perempuan muda dengan lelaki yang lebih tua, tidak tepat juga.

Saya ingat ketika mampir di A&W Sabang bersama suami sepupu saya sebelum saya pergi ke sekolah dan ia pergi ke kantor siang itu. Di pojokan lantai atas A&W duduk sekelompok murid SMA 25, jl A.M. Sangaji yang tampaknya sedang bolos. Saya tau mereka membicarakan kami berdua dengan konotasi negatif, lengkap dengan pandangan² yang tau sendiri lah seperti apa.

Saya ingat ketika saya berjalan dengan suami tante saya yang bule berambut putih dan anak mereka yang masih kecil. Dikiranya saya istrinya :)

Herannya, ketika saya jalan dengan pria yang (beberapa tahun) lebih muda, tidak ada tatapan aneh. Dikira pacaran sih iya.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Tak kuduga...

When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity.
Dale Carnegie

Sering saya dengar komentar negatif atau pandangan negatif bila orang melihat perempuan Asia bergandengan tangan dengan pria kulit putih, apalagi bila beda umurnya jauh. Jujur saja, saya sendiri pernah melayangkan tatapan heran ketika berpapasan dengan wanita belia Asia yang bergandengan mesra dengan pria bule tua yang lebih pantas jadi ayah, bahkan kakeknya. Koq bisa ya? Apa yang mereka omongin ya (terlebih bila saya tau kemampuan komunikasi keduanya terbatas)? Itu yang ada di pikiran saya. Terlepas dari motivasi keduanya, bagi saya itu urusan mereka. Toch mereka tidak merugikan saya.

Saya juga pernah menjadi 'korban' pandangan negatif itu. Mungkin juga pernah menjadi korban komentar negatif, tapi paling tidak saya belum mendengarnya langsung :)

Ceritanya saat liburan menanti hasil penerimaan universitas, saya beserta ibu, kakek, nenek, serta oom dan tante saya menginap semalam di Pelabuhan Ratu. Di hotel Indonesia tepatnya. Malam itu, setelah makan malam, kakek saya, yang saat itu sudah berusia 70 tahun lebih itu, penasaran seperti apa disco dari dalam. Mungkin karena sering dengar cerita anak, cucunya, jadi ingin tau juga apa sih itu. Untungnya di hotel tersebut ada disco yang kebetulan malam itu buka. Maka pergilah kami berlima, kecuali oom saya yang masih ada kerjaan, ke disco! Coba, berapa diantara kalian pernah mengalami ke disco bersama nenek & kakeknya?

Baru sepuluh menit kami di sana, kakek saya sudah tidak tahan dengan lampu dan bisingnya lagu yang diputar. Padahal kakek saya sudah punya masalah dengan pendengaran lho! Jadi kami pun keluar dan mengantar nenek dan kakek kembali ke kamar mereka sebelum balik lagi ke disco:D

Berhubung ibu dan tante saya 'turun' berdua, daripada saya di'tawar' karena duduk sendiri, akhirnya saya ikutan turun ke lantai disco juga walaupun saat itu lagunya ngga jelas. Awalnya sih saya asyik sendiri di sebelah ibu dan tante, lama² ada bule muda yang tadinya joget sendiri dibelakang tante saya mulai mendekat. Akhirnya asyik deh kita berdua joget seenak hati mengikuti irama tanpa pernah bertukar kata. Tidak satu katapun. Bahasa tubuh itu universal! ;)

Tapi lagi asyik²nya, koq rasanya ada yang ngeliatin ya... Saya tengok ke kiri. Uh! Itu pandangan... tajam, menghujam dari seorang perempuan yang sedang joget bersama teman (?) prianya. Berhubung saya tidak merasa salah, ya saya cuek aja. Tapi tiap kali menoleh ke kiri, lagi² tatapan bermakna itu mendarat dari dia. Terlebih ketika musik berhenti dan saya beserta si bule itu minggir. Padahal komunikasi diantara kami cuma 'thanks', dan saya langsung mencari ibu dan tante saya yang sudah duduk untuk mengajak kembali ke kamar.

Paginya, saya menemani kakek saya keliling hotel, dan seperti biasa kami gandengan. Tak dinyana, saat sedang gandengan dengan kakek tercinta di lift, perempuan itu masuk ke lift yang sama. Kembali pandangan penuh tuduhan itu mendarat. Bahkan lebih ganas daripada malamnya. Saya malah kumat isengnya, jadi semakin nempel mesra! Dari pandangannya seakan² ia menuduh saya saat si kakek tidur, cari sampingan dengan bule. Pokoknya lebih ancur daripada cuma dengan bule deh. :D

Rupanya, pertemuan dengan perempuan itu masih harus terjadi lagi. Untungnya, kali ini ketika kami akan meninggalkan hotel, dan terjadi di lift lagi. Bedanya kali ini ada seluruh keluarga saya yang sedang bercanda tentang pengalaman di disco ketika ia masuk ke dalam lift. Sampai sekarang saya masih ingat raut kaget bercampur malunya dia.

ah.. tatapan itu...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Chernobyl 20 tahun kemudian

Wilayah yang terkontaminasi radioaktifHari ini adalah peringatan kecelakaan reaktor nuklir di Chernobyl (Chornobyl dalam bahasa Ukraina) di Ukraina. Kecelakaan yang menyebabkan kontaminasi radioaktif di Rusia, Ukraina dan Belarusia ini efeknya masih dirasakan sampai saat ini, bahkan pada mereka yang pada saat kejadian belum lahir.

Hampir setahun yang lalu saya bertemu dengan rombongan anak² dari kawasan yang terkontaminasi di Belarusia, negeri yang wilayahnya paling banyak terkena imbas debu radioaktif. Bocah² Belarusia yang sepintas setelah liburan dua minggu di Belanda tampak seperti bocah Belanda lainnya ini banyak mengalami masalah kesehatan, sehingga liburan ke wilayah tanpa radiasi merupakan udara segar yang dapat menaikkan daya tahan mereka. Tidak hanya anak², kebanyakan warga daerah yang terkontaminasi mengalami masalah kesehatan, diantaranya masalah tiroid, kelenjar gondok, yang dapat berupa kanker.

Menurut kabar, pemerintahan Lukashenko sejak tahun lalu sudah mengijinkan pertanian di wilayah yang terkontaminasi. Entah untuk konsumsi siapa, karena saya tidak yakin orang dari luar Belarusia mau mengimport produk dari wilayah itu yang tentunya mengandung bahan radioaktif. Bahkan di dalam negeri mereka sendiri orang yang mampu akan lebih memilih produk impor daripada dari wilayah yang terkontaminasi.

Sembari mengenang kecelakaan ini, saya berpikir tentang sumber energi dunia. Cadangan minyak bumi semakin menipis, begitu juga dengan batu bara. Belum lagi polusi yang diakibatkan keduanya. Tenaga air, angin dan matahari seringkali masih terlalu mahal untuk hasil yang sedikit. Mungkin tenaga nuklir adalah jalan keluarnya, bersih, hasilnya banyak dan tidak terlalu mahal. Hanya saja butuh kehati-hatian yang amat sangat. Apalagi bila pilihan ini diambil oleh Indonesia yang berada di atas Ring of fire yang artinya resiko keamanannya pun bertambah.

ps: Ngomong², apa saya juga harus test radioaktif ya? Soalnya saya sempat mengkonsumsi makanan dari Belarus. Hmm..

Friday, April 14, 2006

Saya versus Anak STM

Kejadian ini sudah lama sekali, jaman saya masih pakai seragam putih biru. Tapi ini contoh ngga enaknya jadi perempuan di Indonesia yang dianggap sebagai obyek.

Suatu sore, sepulang dari sekolah, saya berdua teman saya, yg juga perempuan, sedang berdiri di halte bis di depan BPPT, jalan Thamrin, Jakarta. Hari mulai gelap, tapi bis kami belum lewat juga. Dari arah Sarinah kami lihat ada segerombolan anak STM berjalan ke arah kami dengan gaya mau tawuran yang sangar lengkap dengan linggis, rantai besi dan entah benda apa lagi.

Semakin gerombolan itu mendekat, kami berdua merapat, berharap cemas agar bis segera datang sebelum gerombolan STM itu semakin dekat. Di sekitar kami masih banyak orang kantoran, kebanyakan bapak², yang juga sedang bernasib sama, menunggu bis yang seperti lagu Koes plus: tak datang datang!

Tiba², salah satu anak STM itu menjamah pipi teman saya sembari lewat. Duh, marah sekali saya melihatnya! Ketika saya mau bergerak, teman saya menahan. Katanya biar saja, jangan cari gara² dengan anak STM. Akhirnya saya diam sambil geram.

Saat saya menahan marah itu, ada seorang anak STM yang dengan santainya memegang pipi saya sembari lewat juga! GILA! Saya sudah tidak perduli. Cowo itu kurang ajar dan perlu diberi pelajaran!

Saya uber dia. Saya gebuk punggungnya. Dia berbalik, memegang tangan saya yang mau menggebuknya sekali lagi. Dia mau memukul saya balik. Saya pelototi dia dengan tatapan yang kata ibu saya mengerikan dilihatnya. Temannya teriak, 'Cewe tuh, jangan di pukul!'. Dia marah, 'Ni cewe gebuk gue duluan!'. Ya ampun, dia lupa awalnya siapa yang cari perkara. Bapak² yang sesama penunggu bis tidak ada yang bersuara hanya menonton saja. Entah mengapa, tidak ada nyalinya mungkin, atau realistis tidak mau melawan anak STM yang sekampung itu.

Sembari tangan saya masih dipegang karena saya masih usaha mukul, saya ngoceh, 'Coba ya jangan kurang ajar pegang² cewe seenak jidat. Pikir kalau itu kejadiannya sama ibu atau saudara kamu yg cewe. Mau ngga?' Kemudian saya balik berdiri di sebelah teman saya menunggu bis lagi. 'Gile, ni cewe sangar', itu komentar yang saya dengar di belakang saya.

Rupanya kalau perempuan membela dirinya tuh sangar.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Trauma di Pasar Serang

Kemarinnya, saya baru buka kartu per telefon ke ayah saya. Awalnya ayah saya bercerita pengalamannya nyasar ke acara kawinan saudara di daerah Banten sana. Akhirnya saya bercerita mengapa saya enggan ikut ke Banten bila ada acara (nyekar maupun sekedar kunjungan). Trauma.

Dulu, jaman saya masih awal SMP, kami beramai-ramai pergi nyekar sebelum bulan puasa. Salah satunya ke kuburan keluarga di daerah Banten. Setelah nyekar kami mampir di pasar Serang. Tadinya saya anteng nunggu di mobil, karena terus terang saja, saya males pergi ke pasar yang hampir selalu becek. Lama², karena yang lain tidak balik², akhirnya saya turun juga menyusul sepupu yang sedang ada di toko di seberang pelataran parkir. Sampai sini semuanya masih normal² saja.

Ketika saya sedang berdiri di emperan toko sambil memperhatikan orang yang sedang lalu lalang, tiba² saya terkejut ada tangan merogoh selangkangan saya dari belakang! Kontan saya menjerit. Ya ampun, mimpi apa saya semalam! Bersamaan sepupu saya keluar dari toko, lewatlah si empunya tangan dengan lenggang santainya di depan saya (saat itu saya tidak tau kalau dia yang berbuat). Sembari syok, saya cerita ke sepupu saya bahwa ada yg melakukan tindakan pelecehan seksual, tapi saya tidak tau siapa karena dari belakang. Sepupu saya langsung panas dan bertanya orang² sekitar apakah ada yang melihat kejadian itu. Mau tau apa tanggapan orang sekitar? Ada seorang bapak yang dengan santainya sambil nyengir bilang, 'Oh, itu si X yang barusan lewat, dia sih emang orang gila yang suka ngerogoh cewe yang pakai celana panjang.'

Apa saya diperingatkan ketika si gila mendekati ke arah saya? Tidak.

Kebayangkan bagaimana rasanya saya saat itu? Malu, marah, nyolot, bingung, kaget, semua campur jadi satu. Seandainya cerita si bapak itu betul, pelakunya sakit jiwa, mau gimana coba? Namanya juga sakit. Tapi saya ngga bisa lupa gaya si bapak tersebut. Caranya bicara seakan-akan yang baru saya alami adalah hal yang biasa, sebiasa bila kita bertanya tukang bakso sudah lewat atau belum dan ternyata baru lewat, dan bukan pelecehan seksual!

Sejak saat itu, bila saya dipaksa ikut nyekar dan kemudian mampir di pasar Serang, saya memilih kepanasan di mobil!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mac XP: two religions are better than one

Apple has decided to offer users of its latest Intel-inside-model the ability to run Microsoft Windows OS as well as MacOs X. Using a free download called BootCamp, one can switch between these two.

Now, it is a great move of Apple. It makes transition from PC to Apple easier for some which can be translated more market share in the long run. Investors are loving it, the share of Apple jumped almost 10% the day after the announcement. However, I wonder the long term implication of it. Would it mean software developers have less motivation for producing programs that run with the MacOs?

In a way I can't see why one wants to run Windows (with all its problems) on Mac. Well.. ok, I can. Some programs or games are only available on Windows or firstly release only for Windows. But the truth is, I'd rather see MacOs running on PC! Why o why they didn't come up with that!? It would be neat. PC without all the hassel. Imagine that.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Roos van Lembang

Tiga tahun yang lalu, dalam rangka ulang tahun beliau yang ke 88, kami para cucu sepakat membuat film dan buku tentang hidupnya. Semua kami kerjakan bersama, mulai dari wawancara, mengumpulkan data, membuat script dan buku, shooting, editing, sampai acting!

Sayangnya, setelah wawancara terakhir pada tanggal 23 Maret 2003, Uty, demikian panggilan sayang dari kami, terkena stroke dan meninggal keesokan harinya. Beliau tidak pernah melihat buku dan film hasil karya para cucu dan cicitnya yang berjudul Roos van Lembang.

Kemarin, tiba² alarm handphone saya berbunyi. Saya yang tidak merasa memasang alarm untuk reminder jadi bingung, ada janji dengan siapa. Ketika saya lihat bunyinya: Ultah Uty 27 Maret. Selama ini alarm itu tidak pernah jalan untuk mengingatkan saya akan hari ulang tahun beliau!

mijn liefste Uty,
eerlijk gezegd weet ik niet wat ik moet zeggen
'gefeliciteerd met u verjaardag' lijkt me ongepast voor deze gelegenheid
dus, wens ik u vrede en geluk waar u ook bent
ik hou ziel veel van u
veel liefs,
uw mooie kleindochter

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Perangko Lenticular

Yang anda lihat disebelah adalah animasi dari salah satu perangko lenticular yang baru kemarin saya beli dengan harga hampir 10 kali harga aslinya! Seperti kebanyakan anak², saya dulu rajin mengumpulkan perangko. Kini, hanya bila saya melihat perangko yang menarik saja saya simpan, entah itu sampul hari pertama, entah perangko mint yang belum dipakai, atau perangko bekas.

Februari lalu saya mendengar bahwa TPG Post Belanda mengeluarkan dua perangko khusus dalam rangka olimpiade musim dingin. Keduanya menampilkan pahlawan speed skating Belanda Yvonne van Gennip juara Olimpiade Calgary 1988 seperti yang anda lihat di atas, serta Ard Schenk, juara Olimpiade Sapporo 1972. Ternyata peminat perangko ala video ini amat banyak. Menurut orang di kantor pos yang saya tanya, perangko ini habis dalam setengah jam! Jadi jangan heran kalau di toko filateli harganya jadi amat tinggi padahal umurnya baru 1 bulan.

Konon, perangko yang dibuat dengan tehnologi Lenticular ini merupakan yang pertama di Eropa. Selandia Baru, negara tempat tehnologi ini berasal, telah menerbitkan perangko jenis ini dua tahun yang lalu, kira² bersamaan dengan terbitnya koin lenticular di Belanda. Seperti anda lihat sendiri, perangko ini memuat 2 detik video yg dikemas dalam 24 frames. Designnya dikerjakan oleh Solar Initiative dan bekerja sama dengan partner dari Australia juga.

Satu hal yang saya tidak habis pikir, TPG Post menjual perangko ini seharga 39 Euro sen padahal ongkos pembuatannya jauh diatas harga jual sehingga mereka hanya bisa mencetak dalam jumlah terbatas. Seandainya mereka menjual per perangko seharga 78 Euro sen pun, saya yakin masih laku dan bisa dicetak lebih banyak lagi.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Five years ago today

...I did what I thought I would never do

I am glad I did it
even though I still am suffering from its consequences

Did it change me? You bet
Would I do it again? In a heart beat
Would I recommend anybody to do it? Heck NO

All I can say is, you just have to do what you think is right in your situation
What is right for me doesn't necessary right for you

Friday, March 17, 2006

Tango, no me dejes nunca

Finally I had a chance to watch Carlos Saura's Tango, which was nominated for Oscar in 1998. I've seen his Flamenco before and fell in love with his way of creating dance movies straight away.

Set in Buenos Aires, Tango is about Mario Suarez, a film Director, whose wife, Laura, just left him. During his process of directing a tango movie he fell in love with Elena, a dancer in his crew, who happen to be a girlfriend of a Mafioso.

To tell you the truth, I dont care about the weak story. I dont care how overacting Miguel Ángel Solá is. I just love the music, the choreography (done by Ana Maria Steckelman) and of course: TANGO, Argentine Tango to be exact, not the ballroom one.

When someone once describes dance as a vertical expression of a horizontal desire, I think he got Tango in his mind. It is an intimate dance, where you are literally press your chests against each other, and depending on your height, cheek to cheek or heads rest together. And this closeness is necessary; you need to connect in with each other in a way so that the woman can respond to the movement of man easily. It is a dance where men are men and women are women. The former lead and the later follow, both with passion!

I think Saura did extremely well capturing the essence of tango in his movie, the sensuality, the passion. Like the dance, there's playfulness in the movie: in several scenes you are unsure whether it is about the reality of Mario's life, or it is his imagination.

Tango, you never leave me

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Museum Hopping II

At this moment there's this interesting exhibition on Indonesia at the Nieuwekerk, Amsterdam. There are about 300 pieces from both National Museum Indonesia in Jakarta and National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden. They even have the statue of Ken Dedes (wife of Ken Arok the founder of Singasari) as Prajnaparamitha, Goddess of Wisdom. That Singarajan statue, which is now part of National Museum Indonesia's collection, is considered as Indonesian's Monalisa because of its beauty.

You can see some of the fortune that the Dutch took with them when they defeated the kingdom of Lombok, and the jewellery and weapons from the puputan (Balinese tradition to go to the battle till death of all member of the kingdom).

According to Discovery travel's site Allard Pierson Museum's Egyptian collection is on the top 5 Egyptian museum outside Egypt. So, as someone who is interested in Egyptian's past, I went there to check it out. Most of their possesion are related to funeral rite, for example a model of funeral boat. Their bronse statue of Bastet and Hellenistic mummy mask are must see pieces. Some of the leather pieces, such as kid's shoes, and clothes are somethings I had never seen in other museum that I visited before.

There's a couple of days left to see the Color! exhibition on the use of gaudy, conspicuous color in Greek and Etruscan pottery, temple and other objects.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Museum Hopping

ByzantiumI've been museum hopping again, and loving every minutes of it.

First, I went to Hermitage in Amsterdam. As I mention earlier, it's the Amsterdam branch of the famous Hermitage in St Petersburg. At this moment they exhibit the Byzantium culture. The collection was beautiful, my favorites was the gift to Alexei, the last tsar's son, made from mother of pearl and three crosses crafted from wood and covered by precious stones and gold. One could see oil lamps and crosses from the early period of Christianity, icons and other relics, and pilgrims' souvenier from the 18th and 19th centuries. In some of the pieces you can see Islamic influence in Christian design. There are even some pieces of the 'true cross', as in the cross upon which Jesus was crucified!

Neshat, Quarez, Dijkstra, Boontje
On the following day I went to Stedelijk Museum Centraal Station (SMCS). Their collections are mostly modern. Iranian born Shirin Neshat exhibits her movies on the relationship between male and female in Islamic society. I love her work in Rapture (1999), a black and white film (or I should say films) split in two screens. One screen depicted Arab men in loose-fitting white shirts, roaming around, playing card, praying in a fort. On the other screen women in their traditional black hijab stand rigidly facing forward in a group, wailing and lamenting. Persian poem is written on their hands. The women part reminds me of Theo van Gogh's Submission (2004), where he used Quranic verses about women on naked female body. Some accused van Gogh plagiarized Neshat's work in Submission.

There is posters exhibition by Michel Quarez, which I don't particularly interested.

On the other hand the photographs of Rineke Dijkstra were just superb. She photographed teenagers on the beach, (almost) naked women holding their new born babies, people at Tiergarten in Germany, the transformation from an asylum seeker into 'Dutch girl' in Holland, potraits of matadors, a young recuit of French Foreign Legion and Buzz/Mysteryland video on clubbing scene in England and Holland. Dijkstra shot them almost always frontally, with minimalist background. In the Beach serie, for example, there were almost no shadows that indicate the time of the day when it was taken. However, there' s something about her pictures that make them intimate.

In their Recent Acquisitions part, I love Tord Boontje's work. His works are always very intricate and romantic, but not too romantic that it makes you want to puke.

There's one thing about SMCS that bothers me: lack of direction. You can wander from one exhibition to the other from several entrances. I ended up viewing Dijkstra's exhibition from the end to the beginning. Sure, you get the map of the museum, but a direction would help.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


Back in December, when I was at my aunt's place, I saw an Indonesian cable channel: GarudaTV. At first I thought they are only broadcasting in the North Holland area. At that time they were only testing their broadcast, so practically all I saw was re-run of xmas video clips, promo ads and once I saw Indonesian sitcom with Becky Tumewu.

It turns out that now you can also receive it in South Holland area. So, yesterday I was watching it. Man, it feels so strange! I mean here I am in Holland, watching Indonesian tv with Dutch subtitle! So far I've seen the series Borobudur and Brama Kumbara's troon, some Ambonese singing, some travelling serie and this programme called 'My World' host by Hans Lazuardi (I guess he's famous in Indonesia, but I've never heard about him before).

Maybe it's just me, but somehow I can't stand the way and/or the sound of some of the presenters talk. Their intonation, their pitch, their use of words. TOO MUCH! People don't normally talk like that, they sound like they are somekind of cartoon characters. And I thought you got training before becoming a presenter.

Then again, I haven't been back for ages, maybe that's how people talk these days in Jakarta. What do I know?

7:35 in the morning

A short film by Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo.
This film got nominated for last year's Oscar.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Another stupid policy from back home

I know it is still early, but I got this feeling it's going to be an interesting day. It is cold, and it was snowing rather heavily last night (which is not that often in this part of NL).

Yudi directed me to this story. For you my dear (female) Indonesian readers, please read it. BIZARRE. Who in their right mind came up with such policy?

I can understand that prostitution is frown upon in Indonesia. But to create a law that stated ”Setiap orang yang sikap atau perilakunya mencurigakan, sehingga menimbulkan suatu anggapan bahwa ia/mereka pelacur, dilarang berada di jalan-jalan umum, di lapangan-lapangan, di rumah penginapan, losmen, hotel, asrama, rumah penduduk/kontrakan, warung-warung kopi, tempat hiburan, gedung tempat tontonan, di sudut-sudut jalan atau di lorong-lorong jalan atau tempat lain di Daerah” (Individual whose attitude or behaviour aroused suspicion, so as to cause a notion that that person(s) is/are prostitute(s), are banned in the public's roads, in fields, in the boarding house, the hostel, the hotel, the barracks, the inhabitants's house/leased, coffee stalls, the place of entertainment, the place of the show, in corners of the road or in road paths or the other place in Local area.) is just beyond my comprehension. A law based on nothing but suspicion!!!

So, in fact even if you are not a prostitute, you can be charged as one just because someone think that you are one! My Goodness gracious.

I still can't believe that judge Barmen Sinurat had the audacity to rule that Lilis Lindawati is a prostitute even though the evident didn't backed his ruling. I am not lawyer or anything, I only did a course on Health Law, but I guess when they talked about 'not guilty until proven otherwise' judge Sinurat was absent that day.

Just hoping everythings else go well for Ms Lindawati.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

From the Producer of Brokeback Mountain

A touching story about love...

Ha ha ha America

This one is an interesting but rather long video and was featured at the Sundance Festival 2006. Directed by Jon Daniel Ligon about China V America

you can also watch it here

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I'm going to hell for this...

.. but I can't resist to post the link to the best Blonde joke.. ever.

Go, check it out at Ben Hammersley's site

Ladies, this is the reason...

... why you shouldn't gave that XBOX to your man

Video of the Australian comic group Tripod.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Word of the week 6

Sadhu in Pali means: Well Said, Well done; we agree

Thus, in reply to: 'Bhavatu sabba mangalam', I said: 'sadhu'

Sunday, February 05, 2006

IFFR 2006

La leyenda del Tiempo (The Legend of Time)
Film yang disutradarai oleh Isaki Lacuesta ini sedang world premiere di IFFR. Ceritanya tentang Isra anak Gypsi berusia 13 tahun yang baru saja kehilangan ayahnya serta Makiko perawat Jepang yang melanglang buana ke pulau San Fernando, di lepas pantai Cadiz, Spanyol. Yang menyatukan kedua anak manusia ini adalah Camarón de la Isla, penyanyi Flamenco terbaik yang telah tiada sekitar 12 tahun lalu karena kanker yang dideritanya dan seorang pelaut Jepang yang menjadi juru masak di restoran Cina. Bagian awal film menceritakan tentang suara Isra, yang indah tapi sesuai dengan tradisi duka Gypsi tidak boleh bernyanyi. Diceritakan bagaimana hidup Isra selama setahun setelah ayahnya tiada, saat ia mulai jatuh cinta pada teman kakaknya. Selain itu masalah yang ia hadapi dengan kakaknya yang julingnya ngga konsisten. Kadang yg kiri yang juling, kadang yang kanan, koq bisa ya? :) Mungkin bila ia bisa menumpahkan perasaannya dengan bernyanyi seperti Camarón, ia tidak perlu bereksperimen dengan ganja seperti dilukiskan dibagian akhir cerita. Berikutnya giliran kisah Makiko yang tidak punya talen bernyanyi tapi ingin bisa bernyanyi seperti Camarón. Ia meninggalkan ayahnya yang sakit dan pekerjaannya sebagai perawat di Jepang. Di San Fernando ia bekerja di restoran Cina sambil belajar ritme Flamenco dari adik Camarón sampai beberapa saat setelah ayahnya meninggal. Film sepanjang 109 menit ini menurut saya biasa saja, bagian tentang Ista bahkan cenderung bertele-tele untungnya soundtracknya bagus. Satu hal yg bikin geregetan, giginya Makiko perlu dikawatin! Heran, kenapa Jepang² kaya, bisa beli tas Louis Vitton tapi ngga investasi betulin gigi sih? Merusak penampilan banget kalo buka mulut.

Solntse (The Sun)
Ini merupakan film terakhir dari trilogi mengenai pemimpin dunia karya Aleksandr Sokurov yang juga beken lewat Russian Ark. Bagian pertama dari Trilogi ini, Moloch, berkisah tentang Hitler; sementara film keduanya, Telet (Taurus)menceritakan hari² terakhir Lenin; Solntse sendiri mengetengahkan Kaisar Hirohito menjelang ia 'turun' pamor dari dewa menjadi manusia biasa. Sepanjang film Ogata Issey yang memerankan Hirohito selalu melakukan gerakan mulut seperti mulut ikan saat ia tidak bicara, yang sepanjang ingatan saya tidak pernah saya lihat di film dokumentasi tentang sang Kaisar. Mungkin maksudnya membuat karikatur Hirohito tapi jadinya malah membuat saya jengkel melihatnya. Sama halnya dengan lemahnya akting Robert Dawson yang memerankan mcArthur dan orang² Rusia yang menjadi GI Amerika.

Film Indonesia karya Riri Riza yang katanya jadi wakil Indonesia ke Oscar. Satu²nya yang saya suka hanya quote dibagian akhir tentang 'berbahagialah mereka yang mati muda'. Terus terang sebelumnya selain Gie adalah adik dari Arief Budiman, saya tidak tau apa² tentang dia. Film ini menurut saya kepanjangan dan monoton. Skenarionya lemah, mungkin kalau ditulis oleh orang lain hasilnya bisa lebih ada grengnya. Detailnya juga sering mengganggu, misalnya profil muka Han kecil dan besar yang tanpa operasi Orthognathic ngga mungkin sejauh itu, sampai membuat saya harus berpikir saat pertama kali melihat Han dewasa: siapakah dia? Guru/Romo di Canisius yang berbaju putih, seingat saya pastoor Jesuit bajunya hitam. Bagaimana di Salemba bisa jauh lebih banyak anak Sastra yg saat itu kuliahnya di Rawamangun juga buat saya janggal. Saya bisa menerima kalau lebih banyak anak tehnik, anak Ekonomi di Salemba, tapi tidak anak sastra. Kostum yang dipakai juga seringkali terlalu modern, begitu juga pemakaian bahasanya. Sepanjang yang saya tau 'gue dan lu' itu baru banyak dipakai setelah tahun 80-an, apa saya salah?
Di sisi lain, film ini membawa nostalgia juga sih, jaman masih suka keluyuran ke FSUI Rawamangun tahun 80-an, di Salemba tahun 90-an. Sayangnya CC sejak 90-an akhir gedungnya berubah sih, padahal sebelum itu masih lebih sesuai dengan foto2 CC tahun 60-an.

Mòj Nikifor (My Nikifor)
Film sepanjang 100 menit karya Krzysztof Krauze ini mengisahkan tentang persahabatan antara Marian Wlosinski dan Nikifor, yang bernama asli Epifaniusz Drowniak, sekitar tahun 60-an. Nikifor merupakan seorang pelukis naif (naive painting)yang terkenal di Amerika tapi selama hidupnya ia kesulitan menjual hasil karyanya, sehingga ia harus meminta-minta. Di film ini, ia diperankan oleh Krystyna Feldman, seorang nenek (!) yang berusia 85tahun tapi masih aktif berakting di teater dan beberapa kali memperoleh penghargaan memerankan peran pria dalam kategori pria! Skenarionya kuat, cinematografinya pun indah. Jadi tidak heran film ini telah memenangkan banyak penghargaan.

Menurut kabar, bulan Juni nanti akan ada IFFR lagi tapi dalam skala kecil.

Berburu tiket IFFR 2006

Kemarin malam berakhirlah International Film Festival Rotterdam yang ke-35. Dari entah berapa puluh film yang ada saya hanya sempat menonton 4 film dalam dua akhir pekan dari sekian banyak judul film yang sebetulnya saya ingin lihat.

Pada tanggal 19 Januari dilansir jadwal tayang film selama festival. Saya lihat ada Gie dan 9 Dragons dari Indonesia. Esoknya saya mampir di IFFR untuk membuat Tigerpas karena niatnya saya mau nonton beberapa film yang bila kita memiliki pas tersebut jatuhnya lebih murah.

Sabtu tanggal 21 Januari lalu tiket mulai dijual di De Doelen sejak jam 9:00 pagi. Saya pikir Belanda kan biasanya susah bangun pagi kalau akhir pekan, maka saya sampai disana jam 10:30. Ternyata saya salah sangka dan mendapat nomer urut 896 saja! Kabarnya hari itu hanya ada 1400 nomor urut yang dibagi. Ketika saya cek, ternyata sampai saat itu baru 170 orang yang terlayani dengan kecepatan kira² 100 orang per-jam. Duh, artinya harus balik lagi sorenya. Saya memutuskan untuk keluyuran di kota. Saya menyusuri mulai daerah Pecinan di West Kruiskade, kemudian mampir ke rumah A.M. untuk menaruh titipan, dilanjutkan ketemu U dan menemaninya mencari kado sampai akhirnya nongkrong di cafe Dudok sampai jam setengah empat sore. Rasanya sudah capek, tapi saat sampai di De Doelen lagi, mereka baru melayani nomor urut lima ratus sekian. Hmm.. kemana lagi ya?

Balik lagi ke daerah Pecinan karena baru sadar harus nyariin Blue Band Indonesia dan bumbu Spekkoek untuk J yang pengen nyoba resep Lapis legit. Sayang semuanya tidak ada di toko Cina. Kebetulan ketika lewat praktek dokter akupunktur, si dokter dengan suksesnya menarik saya masuk dan saya bisa reflexologi gratis sembari nunggu ditemani teh hangat! Asyik kan? Jam 5 sore saya coba pergi ke Doelen lagi, teryata mereka sudah sampai nomor 950!!! Yah, alamat banyak film yang ngga kebagian deh. Betul saja, film pembuka, Brokeback Mountain, dan penutup, Good night and Good luck, sudah habis. Begitu juga Me and you and Everyone we know. Akhirnya saya kebagian tiket: La leyenda del Tiempo yang masuk nominasi Tiger awards, The Sun-nya Sokurov, Gie dan film Polandia yang telah menang banyak awards: My Nikifor.

Pada hari pertama festival saya masih berusaha mendapatkan tiket film karena semua reservation harus diambil 2 jam sebelum film pertama mulai, jadi ada kemungkinan tiket yang tadinya sudah habis akan ada lagi. Tapi memang bukan rejeki. Tetap aja semua habis yang mau saya tonton.