Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Dont Get Sick When You Are Poor

Reading this story make me sad. A toddler died after being denied of treatment. When my father had cardiac arrest, I was lucky that we could admitted him to the hospital and had emergency heart surgery without paying any down payment first. I heard later on that in the midst of commotion a cousin of mine left her ID card there as guarantee. The fact that we came with two professors of medicine and a couple more doctors didnt hurt either.

After he passed away, we could immediately take his body home. It wasnt until the next day that I went back there to try to settle the bill and get my cousin's ID back.

One thing from the toddler story that I noticed, they took her to a small private hospital. The doctors referred them to another private hospital. If they took her to the public hospital the story might ended up differently. At least they wont cost as much as at private hospitals.

Of course there is ASKES and ASKESKIN, health insurance for civil servants and the poor, which help reducing the burden of payment significantly for those who has them. But, certain health service providers treat those card carrying patients differently. Therefore people prefer to go to private hospital wishing to be treated better, eventho they have to pay more out of pocket.

Indonesia needs to overhaul its universal health care systems, perhaps starting with a better referral systems from family doctor to specialist, from puskesmas to hospitals. The same goes for the mindset of health service providers and patients. People needs to realize that card carrying or not, all patients need to be treated in the best possible way. People also needs to realize that going to a private hospital doesnt always mean getting a better treatment.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Yo, I'll tell you what I want,

what I really really want...
If I am not such a computer killer, I soooooo want the rumored iSlate.
But I settle for a better health, so I can carry on with my evil plan.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Hold off Until Middle Age?

Prostate cancer kills. Some folks believes that having too little sexual activities leads to prostate cancer. While this study said otherwise. Or at least, guys need to wait until middle age to really into it.

It's interesting that one of the findings is men with cancer is more likely to have had sexually transmitted disease than those with out cancer. It reminds me of cervical cancer in women. Is HPV also a factor in prostate cancer? Another thing, is Viagra sponsoring this study? Hmmm....

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Netherlands and Indonesia 60 years on

According to the Dutch, sixty years ago today was Indonesian Independence day.
According to Indonesian, sixty years ago today was the day that Dutch government acknowledged our independence.

Some Dutch authors wrote an essay asking for the Dutch government to formally acknowledged that Indonesia's independent day was on August 17th 1945.

That's the thing about Dutch. When it comes to people's wrong doing, I get this feeling of Dutch government being 'holier than thou'. But when it comes to their own mistake, they swept it under the carpet.

Take the VOC. Yes, it's the first multinational company ever. The Dutch should be proud of that fact. But they also need to know the atrocities that VOC did all over the world. When I went to the VOC exhibition at the Maritiem Museum in Rotterdam ages ago, there was no single mentioned about the down side of VOC. What about the slavery? What about the genocide? What about the opium trade? Those were part of the VOC. Then prime minister Balkenende added an insult by telling his people to embrace the spirit of VOC.

If you look at the history books that students in lowland use, there is limited mentioned about Indonesia. In one book it touched the subject in 2 parts, in total of 4 paragraphs. How could you explain the common history of Dutch & Indonesia in 4 short paragraphs? Of course there's no mention of Indonesia paying the Dutch 4 billion guilders for the war expenses, nor some of those Dutch fighters were ex-Nazi who were given the choice between going to jail in lowland or fight in Netherlands India during what Dutch called "politionele actie".

I bet their book only mentioned South African apartheid, and not the one in Indonesia between Dutch and other European decent; Arab, Chinese and other foreigner; pribumi.

It's been sixty long years, just deal with it, will you?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Bogor Palace

I took this pic at the very same spot where my mom danced 37 years ago, under the dome of the palace. The room called The room of 1000 mirrors, it has two out of five mirrors that survived the Japanese occupation. That spot is also the Zero kilometer of Bogor. It is actually not allowed to take picture inside, so this one is a privileged. We were also told that those who did, not always got any pictures. Some blame the palace being haunted. I'd say faulty flashlight/camera.

Apparently from that spot, you can draw straight line all the way to the Jakarta's presidential Palace. How cool is that?!

Friday, December 25, 2009

It's christmas...

I had some memorable Christmas eves in NL.

The worst one was the first one. I lived in a building where there were 45 people living in it, in the ground floor there was a chinese restaurant. Several days earlier I made a deal with this Hindustani gal in my floor that we were gonna stay home for the Christmas eve. So, after running around the city all day, around 7pm I went home. Knowing full well that there were no more public transportation after 8pm. The restaurant was bustling. You could hear it from my room up in the second floor that people were coming and going. The elevator were still in used. I made some snack and watched some telly.

By 10pm, the lift wasnt moving any more. I knocked that gal's place and got no answer. Darn! She bailed out on me.

I looked out the window from my room, no lights reflecting from my building except from my room. I went to the kitchen on the other side of the building and checking the reflection, no lights except from my place. I made sure the doors were locked, took some drinks and the phone with me and ran to my room and locked the door.

Around 11pm there were no more noises from the restaurant. It's getting creepier by the minute.
I started to dial my friend's number. We ended up talking till 4.30am. At first because I found it too creepy to sleep, then when I was already sleepy around 2.30am, my friend insisted we talked until his turn to do the laundry at 4.30am.

By 9am we met up at a pal's place for Christmas brunch, and I vowed to never spent Christmas eve alone again.

One of the nicest ones was when I was on this silent retreat up north, that night there were some snow falling. I woke up at 4am, it felt so peaceful, and full of love. When I went to the garden before meditating, there were some stars visible. Beautiful night.

Today, I am staying over at The Bogor Palace with some of my family, creating new memory.

From my family to yours,
Merry Christmas,
May love, joy and peace be with you

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lost in Translation: Donkey Bridge

This happened years ago to a friend of mine at his University in the southern part of the Netherlands. A Dutch lecturer teaching Economics in English. He was trying to explain how to use a short cut in learning things. He said, "It's easy to remember using donkey bridge."

My confused Indonesian friend realized his lecturer was literally translating "ezelenbrug" or "jembatan keledai" to English. That's mnemonic to you in Dutch & Bahasa Indonesia.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lost in Translation: One Fruit Known

I was browsing for some Japanese recipes when I stumbled into this:For a moment I thought what "fruit known" is. Never heard of it before. Then it dawned on me:
Satu buah tahu! One piece of tofu!

Wave....

My friend was kind enough to invite me to googlewave. The thing about Gwave, it's not very clear to navigate for my liking, not intuitive enough. My other friend told me to think as a developer while using it.

It's also a bit slow in loading, then again perhaps it's our connection that is just too slow to use Gwave. Therefore the waves were jumbled, especially when we included gadgets.

The idea is great actually, especially when you are working on something with others, we can explain things visually on real time. On that thought, maybe they need to add a gadget for us to doodle like the one on YM or MSN, or perhaps they already have that but I just havent seen it?

But as glorified mash-up between email and chat, it still needs improvement. After all it's still a preview, not even a Beta.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oops! I did it again...

... I think I killed my Macbook battery (and it's only 1.5 years old).
Another casualty of my long list of computers that went dead on me.
Def. not a good ending for 2009.

I'm so panicky at this moment. HELP!

ps: I just realized, I killed 4 computers in the last 3 years!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mind v Heart

Which is easier to do, purifying your mind or your heart?

My hunch is purifying the mind is easier... still need to think about this one.

Any thought?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ik mis Holland

Saw pictures of white lowland.
Started listening to Dutch songs again.
Reading Dutch book (!)

man.. ik ben veranderd..

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Opposite of Love

Most of the time, after a break up I dont even think about getting back with an ex. I said most of the time because there were occasions when I thought there's an unfinished thing with him. But the urge stop after we talked a lot openly as friends. It's probably what they called "closure".

In the end I couldnt see myself getting back with him. Because I figured there is a reason why they call it a Break Up, let's face it, it's broken. We are more suitable as close friends.

I noticed at the time of our break up that I was confused, shock, sad, and hurt, but I couldnt hate him at all, I also couldnt be angry at him. I wished I could, so (I thought) it would be easier to get him out of my system. Now, I am glad I didnt hate him. First of all, hate and anger takes such a huge amount of energy, and not the good one. It drains our energy. Second, like Gerald Schroeder put it, with hate there is still strong emotional attachment that often has at its roots what was once, and could be again, love. I think the whole point of breaking up is to not having strong emotional attachment to that person anymore. More over, hate destroys not only its victim, but also the hater itself. Why would I do that to myself after all I've been through?

It was until at one point I became indifference about him, that I started to move on. It took me a while to be able to be his friend again. I think the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Kids & Gift

It's December, a month full of presents with Sinterklaas & Santa Claus are coming to town. I've noticed that kids these days get much more expensive presents than before. Maybe Colson can tell us more the difference through out the decades.

Growing up I only got present on my birthdays, later on in NL sometimes on Christmas too.

In retrospect, what make a present means so much to me is not the price of it, but the fact that I got what was connected to me. Like the time I got a bunch of Stargazer Lily from my pal on my birthday ages ago, it meant more than the present I got from my bf at the time eventho his was more expensive. The same goes for this year's present, the best surprise. Ever.

When my friends had a baby, I always made a point of also giving the older kids a present so they dont feel left out because of the new arrival. But I dont think it is wise to do it all the time like what my cousin do to her kids. I heard about this yesterday when I reminded my mom about a niece's upcoming birthday. Mom said that it means we need to get two presents for the birthday kid and her sister because that's my cousin's habit. Bad habit, I say. We never have to do that to other nieces or nephews, why do we have to indulge her kids? Well, to be fair, if the parents wants to spoil their kids it's their business. Just dont tell me to do that, too, cause it's not my thing.

Mom said my cousin doesnt want her kids to be jealous. Well dear, the kids have to learn that there's time that someone has their moment and you just have to step back and let them enjoy the attention and be happy for them. Simple as that.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When is Cheating Cheating?

I heard male & female has different take on what is considered as Cheating. Of course when sex involved it is cheating, most people would agree to that. How about a kiss? a flirt? An emotional closeness? In person or via internet?

A gal friend said kissing is not cheating, an ex said consciously flirting is, for me emotional closeness (I know the different between closeness with your friend and your "friend") is considered cheating but not when it's just unconsciously flirting. Another ex thought if it's online it's not cheating. This bloke I knew kept forgiving his wife for sleeping with other men because 'she cant help it'. While this gal I knew could not even accept her bf talking to other gal without her around.

Is it true, that for most guys what is considered cheating is when it is physically involved and for most gals is when it is more emotionally involved? Is it because a betrayal for a woman hurt her dignity, while for man it offended his manhood?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sending Good Vibes

Today, I was at the doc because my itch is getting worse, and I have no idea what the cause of it. While I was there I was approached by someone and was told to support two people I care about. It's not the first time someone told me something like this in the last couple of months, especially about one of these two people.

When this first happened I found it weird, but I figured there's nothing wrong about supporting people you care about, right? So, eventho I have no idea their problems are, I hope they know, that in this corner of the world someone send them good vibes and hoping whatever they've been through will soon be over.

May all being be liberated...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sex or Lack of It in Indonesia

My plan was to be at the meditation center today trying to clean up my soul, but I am writing about sex (or lack of it) instead. Well, I guess it's fitting since in some teaching sex is also a form of meditation ;)

According to the Asia Pacific Sexual Health and Overall Wellness survey which interviewed about 500 men & women in Indonesia between 24 and 74, there are more Indonesians who are not sexually satisfied than anywhere else in the region. It is said that erectile dysfunction was common among men in the country but their pride and lack of knowledge preventing them from seeking help.

The result is actually not surprising when you see how many men are smokers in this place, add to it huge work load and lack of physical condition, no wonder the men are not "up to standard". Judging from what I've seen near my place, there are lots of shops selling sexual enhancement treatment, viagra, jamu, mak erot, and g_d knows what else. Therefore it is probably a real problem in Jakarta.

However, taking the fact that sex is still taboo in this part of the world, I would've thought people would bragged that they have a satisfying sexual life when answering the interview. At least, the men would. Just like when you interview people how much they earn per month, those who have low income would give you higher amount than their actual income to safe their face.

If you think Indonesian has lack of interest in sex, I disagree. One of the most search things on the internet from Indonesia is sex, ok, probably more porn than educational information about it. If you read Jakarta Undercover, you realize how resourceful Jakartans are on this matter. I keep hearing stories about some affair between so and so, and this or that person has more than one wife.

So the interest is there, but the execution is unsatisfactory.

I think the problem is communicating about the sexual needs between partners. Unlike Catholics who have to take marriage classes prior of getting hitch, the majority of Indonesian who are Moslems dont have that preparation. Sex education at school is lacking in most places, because people are afraid that youngsters becoming followers of free sex movement. It is common to assume that wife has to follow her husband lead. If a woman wants certain way her husband can be suspicious about her knowledge, not to mention hurting his self-esteem. On the other hand, if he is not satisfied with his wife, he might look for other women.

It is interesting to know that back in the beginning of 19th century in Java there was this book published about sex called Serat Centhini, rumour has it it is more comprehensive than Kamasutra. I was told that women in that book was portrayed as being more open about sex instead of just being submissive about it.

I cant help but to wonder, if it was true, how come women back in 19th century Java was more open about sex than women of today? I feel like Indonesians are more conservative these days than before. My hunch is it is due to religious movement. No wonder that there are a lot angry people in this place, too much stress and pent-up sexual frustration me thinks.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Bit Rich?

The New Economics Foundation's study reveals that there's need to rethink how people are paid. Take the investment bankers, they are overpaid at the expense of others. They maybe good at creating wealth for themselves, and perhaps for their banks, but looking at the state of our current economy, they are draining the society. For every £1 they are paid, they destroy £7. Compare to hospital cleaners who create £10 of value for every pound they are paid.

It angers me reading about the very same bankers who landed us all in this economic climate, and yet they want to have their billions dollar bonuses while there are millions of people out of jobs and homeless since the start of this world wide collapse.

Those bankers might be rich on paper, but they really are poor.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Evil Plan

I'm working on my Evil Plan.
Coz, you cant be part of Duvelkus without an Evil Plan ;)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Argh Moment

x: can I speak with your mom?
me: she's not home
x: so when are you getting married?
me: hm.. dunno
x: your bule boyfriend, is he here?
me: no..
x: are you dating anyone else here?
me: no!

ok.. that's mom's nosy friend. "Friend' is not the right word, mom tolerate her out of respect for her husband. I try to limit my interaction with her because not only she is nosy but she just want to feel good about herself. I get the "my daughter is better than you" in all variation from her all the time, and she told everyone who would listen about it.

She just assumed I have a bule bf. What I dont get is if I was in a long distance relationship, which she assumed I was in one, why would she asked about me dating someone else over here? Gosh, I heard about her daughter having two bfs (locally) at one point, and she sounded proud that guys fighting for her daughter. But I am not like that. At. All.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Mongolian Cafe

I was talking about Mongolian Spot with T, whose kid has the mozaic trisomi 22 . The Mongolian spot reminds me of this weird conversation I had with this bunch of guys back in NL. We were trying to meet up later on that week and trying to figure out the place to be. So, this guy suggested to meet up in this Mongolian Cafe in the city center. In my years of living in that city, I had never heard of Mongolian related establishment. I asked him where it was.

Ok, I know women got bad rap about not being able to read the map, but these guys, despite all doing their PhDs, were not even be able to describe me how to get there, let alone giving me the name of the street. In the end, we settled on meeting near the biggest bookstore.

That night, they took me to this Dutch Cafe, with a nice art deco stained glass windows, the one I used to hang out during my first year! There was nothing Mongolian about that place. None at all.

Their explanation was: One of the waitresses told them that she had Mongolian spot when she was a baby, which means she has Asian (Mongolian) ancestor in her family tree. Hence the Mongolian Cafe.

With that logic... no wonder I dont understand men

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Amicable Divorce

There are a lot of divorces around me this year. But what happened today was something unusual for Indonesian standard. There was the most amicable divorce I've ever heard. I was with the couple last night while preparing their witnesses for their divorced trial this morning with the soon-to-be-ex-husband's lawyer. We were joking around, having a nice meal as if today is just another day, and not the last day of them being a couple.

Sure, last week the hell broke loose. I went to their place for a while and the tension was there. That night, I heard that there was a huge row about whose getting the kids. The oldest wants to be with his mom, and the youngest wants to be with her brother. The next day they went to the second court session together, like there wasnt any argument before.

It was good that they argued in their home and not in the court. So, everything was practically settled, all they need was the court rulling. The judges (we have three judges in Islamic court) kept asking the question, "Are you sure you want to get a divorce, because you both dont seem to have any problem?" After all, unlike other divorcing couples, this couple came together in the same car, was civilized to each other. When she needed to go somewhere, he walked next to her, just like any loving couple you know, sometimes even holding her.

But yes, they decided to get a divorce due to irreconcilable differences.

When I saw him after the court session he was all smiley and said, "Alhamdulillah, we are now divorced". I just hope he really can accept it, and not having a break down after this. I know she'll be alright. She's a tough gal. For the kids sake, I wish all divorces are like theirs.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Adultery = Jail

Today I heard two cases of adultery involving foreigners & the law. The first one happened in Semarang. This guy works at a cruise ship and was told that his wife was pregnant. He figured that the labor date would be around June, so he took a leave. After the two months leave ended, and still no baby, he went back to work. Come August, the baby was born. The guy knew it wasnt his, because he was away 9 months earlier and the baby looks bule. Apparently she had an affair with this Italian guy. He took his wife to court and she is now jailed. I have no idea about the Italiano, my guess is he paid someone and left the country.

The second case I heard it during dinner. There were this two couples who were good friends. One couple is foreigners, the other is Indonesian. Both were childless despite years of trying. One day, the Indonesian wife got pregnant and turned out the baby is eurasian. It almost ended up in court. Somehow after both couple got divorced, the newly form couple ran off abroad before they got caught.

According to this lawyer I knew, you can get up to 5 years in jail for adultery in Indonesia. Speaking of Indonesian marriage law, I think I read it somewhere years ago about (at the time) a new proposal of marriage law where there also stated that if one promised someone to marry but he later on didnt keep that promised, he could be sued for that. I wonder what happened to that proposal.

Kangen

I miss my dad

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Multilanguage of Love

This article on love and language gap gets me reflecting about my own past relationships and the languages we used. I dated foreigner before, even if I dated Indonesian, they happened to speak at least two other languages other than their mother tongue. No, I didnt put multilanguage as my requirement for a guy, it just so happened that way.

Myself, I am trilingual. I like learning languages, I just dont have the brain to retain them or the tongue to speak it fluently without any accent. There are situations that I prefer using other language than my own mother tongue to express myself, and there are situations where I wished my counterpart speaks Bahasa Indonesia.

Unlike the writer of that article, it didnt bother me that my boyfriend told me that he loves me in other language other than his own. What matter is the emotion behind it. Did he really mean it or not? Cause you know, sometimes you just blurt out some thing that is not supposed to be said. Since it's already out there, you cant take it back. And it became awkward afterward.

As I mentioned earlier, in certain situation I prefer using certain language. I find "ik hou van jou" is more difficult to say than "I love you", or even "aku cinta kamu" eventho it conveys the same meaning. In Dutch I prefer "ik heb je lief" which is more poetic and in Indonesian "aku sayang kamu". Then again it also depends on to whom I am saying it.

Of course using other language increases the chance of miscommunication because some nuances can be lost in translation, take the example in the article:

In German you can say “ich habe mich gerade wieder in dich verliebt,” which translates as “I just fell in love with you again,” but which actually means a moment when you realize again why you are in love with someone, an outburst of love.
Imagine debating about something and one of you asked the meaning of the word the other just used, it can be irritating at times. But you cant say that it only happens when you have relationship with a foreigner, because even with fellow Indonesian from other tribe you can experience the same problem when they use words from their language or dialect.

On the other hand, you cant deny certain accent is sexier than the other, and your vocabs grow;)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Most of us have experienced breaking up at some point in our lives, some even many times over. Some break ups are amicable, some are acrimonious. You can ended up stalking your ex, or you can ended up befriended him/her or you can also ended up not in contact at all. Each to their own.

They say it's easier to get over of someone by not in contact with them for at least one month. In this digital era, you cant just cut off your offline connection, sometimes you also need to do it digitally too. With all emails, chats, social networkings, twitter, and skype we are more connected than ever. Do you blocked your ex from IM and defriend them on social networking? Two third of my exes are on my social networks, and we befriended after we broke up. I know some immediately checked out my profile after I put up pic of a baby that I took at this park but that's about it with them, I blocked them from IMs. With the others we still text/skype each other for birthdays and they called me up when they found out my dad passed away. The rest I have absolutely no idea about them online or offline.

Then came the question of how do you expect your friends and family to treat your ex? New York Times "Modern Love" column examined that in an essay by Charles Antin. Antin had an amicable break up and still friend with his ex on Facebook. All seems well until his grandfather joined the networking site and befriended his ex. Antin was angry.

I never said anything about taking side to "my people". The way I see it, the break up is between me and him, if my people was friends with him before, why do they have to stop for my benefit? Tho I've noticed that in some of my break ups I ended up still friend with their friends. There is however this gal who went out once with me & my then bf, who later befriended him on IM, etc. One day she told me that my ex asked about me (married or not, etc. the same ex who checked out my profile I mentioned above) every now and then. I found it rather odd, is not like they were friends before. I didnt say anything about it, but dont they have anything else to talk about beside me if they are really friends?

What I think the most difficult part of breaking up, aside of losing a close confidant, is to forgive the other person just as we forgive ourselves for the break down of the relationship. The lost of trust & dreams, anger, rage, indignation, humiliation, and hurt, (dont forget the hurt!) of a break up can ruined our own chances of happiness. Those negative feelings not only consumed us, but also keep our connection with our ex longer than necessary. Sure, we might meet a new person, even falling for him/her. However there's always this part that is connected to our previous break up that lingers that can ruined our chance of success in the new relationship. For example your ex cheated on you, and you are still not at peace about it, chances are you are more suspicious about your present partner because you dont want to experience the same thing again. Of course it is logical and understandable. But guess what, he/she might broke up with you because of your suspicion.

Good luck dealing with your break up. As hard and painful breaking up is, just remember what Mitch Albom said:

all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Wifey

As far as I know, you pronouced WiFi as /ˈwaɪfaɪ/.Somehow over here people pronounced it just like Wifey.

We had this convo while looking for a free WiFi for J's iphone when he was here:
J: Do you have free WiFi?
x: Huh? Oh you mean Wifey, yes we have Wifey.
Me: Now you have your wifey, I need to get me a hubby.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Remember The White Pebble

Hugh Macleod wrote about the white pebble over at Gapingvoid months ago. It doesnt matter if you are Christian or not, it is still a great advice.

Being Happy

When I put 'Happy:)' as my status yesterday, some of my guy friends asked if I already met the one. My gal friends asked what I did, or what I got that make me happy. Interesting reactions. I expected the other way around, or maybe it showed how well the gals know me.

Yesterday, I did mundane things and some of them didnt even go well, I didnt even have enough sleep the night before, but I felt as happy as when I was the US last year.

I feel I am more equanimous than I ever was in the last couple of years, and that's a very good sign. I am still scared about a lot of things, but there's positive vibes around that has been missing. Ok, not missing but I've been insensitive to it. And, no guys or things involved to get this happiness, which made it more genuine.

What make you happy?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Years ago I wrote about where home is. I still dont know where it is. I think it was J who suggested getting a third option. I am still thinking about it. The thing is, I worried about mom & her health. Sure, she said she's ok about me away as long as :
1. I already got a job there, or/and
2. I got married and my hubby is over there.

I am not sure that she's really ok if I only fulfilled #1. Plus, most of the time I talked to someone about moving, they all talked about taking care of mom. But they are also the same people who keep saying that I dont need to listen to people, that I need to stop pleasing everyone. Is that mean I also dont need to listen to them?;)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

How to Get the Price Down or If it's too Good to be True..

Our neighbor across the street just had been conned. A while back someone was interested in buying one of her houses, the one in Bekasi. When her daughter refused to sell that house before selling the one near Ciliwung river, that guy volunteered to buy both houses, and get this... he was willing to pay more than the asking price. Sweet.

I know you are all thinking, if it's too good to be true. But, hey, mrs H thought positive, people. After all, she had already won a car from a bank this year!

So, anyway, mrs. H. went to show both houses to this guy, who she said a Batak, that's the only thing I know about the guy. Then she heard nothing from him.

Fast forward a couple of weeks later, mrs H got a phone call from one of her neighbor in Bekasi who just got back from out of town asking if she already sold the house. "No", she said. "Oops", said the neighbor. Turns out, her house was already gone. It's literally gone with only the foundation left. She frantically went there to check things out.

According to some of the neighbors, this group of 6 Madurese people did the demolition in 5 days flat (no pun intended). When some of the neighbors asked them, one of them said he already bought the house. Since people saw mrs. H was showing the house, they thought nothing of it, and didnt bother asking her. Three trucks load later, the house was gone. They took practically all with them. When it was too much to load into the truck, they gave away some bricks to the neighbors, and did some land filling in the neighborhood with some of the rubble.

When mrs. H reported the whole thing to the police, one of the guys said that in 30 years he's been in the force he never heard something like this. As mrs H has no idea the real identity of that Batak guy she met, the chance is small getting him to pay for what he's done to her house. That property price, I should say the plot of land price is slashed by around the third by this.

However, the story didnt end there. When mrs H checked her other house, the neighbor said someone claimed he already paid the down payment for it. Later on the guy still came back trying to get to the locked house!

Mrs H. said she's been tested by gawd. I said easy come, easy go.. from what I understand the late mr. H was not very kosher in gathering his means.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Being There

I love technology. I dont always own the newest or bestest gadget, but I love technology. I thank gawd for internet becausef it I am still in close connection with my friends & family abroad. But technology also have its dark side. It can disconnect people too. I noticed it more in Indonesia than in NL.

When I hung out with my friends in lowland, we were really talking, laughing, having a good time. Sure, every now and then someone would check their mobile or answered a call. When I hung out with my friends in Indonesia, there's always moment where all of the sudden everyone is checking their mobile or blackberry, or both and becoming oblivious of their surrounding. Those with blackberries are the worse. If it is so important BBM-ing, why are you bother meeting me? We might as well chat online. I am very good at it, with years of experience behind my back. And I dont have to dress up, put on some make up and go out of my way to see you chatting with someone else.

Why cant people just be there where they are, fully present?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

URWanted

For her perfume campagne Demi Moore wants to know what you want in guy or gal. There are two videos of URWanted that are my faves:
1. mr kutcher's


2. 5 years old PJ's:


What do you want in man or woman?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Internet and Thanksgiving

I spent Thanksgiving listening to 3 of my closest friends talking about their babies. The eldest of these kids is almost 2 years old, and he still hasnt walk on his own, or really talks. The good news is, he is more confidence in walking on his own after staying at grandparents' place last week. The second one is still in an incubator at the hospital waiting for the result of his chromosome test. The bad news are he might have trisomy 21 or trisomy 13, he has GERD, abnormal genitalia, lung infection & ailing liver at this moment and the insurance wont covered the expenses because it's all congenital. The good news is his tiny leaky heart is healing properly. The youngest one is still in the tummy and she is just like her mom, mischievous. I think she'll be a great goddaughter:)

These people means the world to me. They were always there when I needed support. I am glad that I could at least be there in a way for them, by listening to their problems, supporting them, encouraging them, eventho from a far.

I wish we could all be in the same room, but for the moment, I am thankful that we have the Internet to connect us from all over the world.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I Screamed, But There Was Nothing to Hear

We all have our share of frustrating situation when no one listen to us. But what this Belgian guy has been through in the last 23 years is another level of frustration. It is beyond believe.

He's been misdiagnosed as being in a vegetative state all these time, even tho he was actually conscious despite being totally paralyzed. Rom Houben has what it is known as locked in syndrome following a car accident and a sedation that went wrong. He has no control of his body, but still lucid. The only way for him to communicate is via a specialized computer.

His story is part of this movie called 'To Walk Again' by Stijn Coninx.

It is a sad and happy story.
It is a hopeful story.
It is a miracle story.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Show Me That Smile Again

They say the first 5 seconds of meeting someone is the most important thing to make an impression. One of the first things people will notice is how you look. The brightness of your eyes. The lovely smile on your face.

Sadly, there are people who have facial deformation due to their circumstances. It could be because of a disease, or congenital condition. It could also be an accident, or victim of violence. Their appearance could lower their self-esteem. The treatments they got from people could traumatized them. It is worse for those who are still young, from poor background in developing world as their chance of getting help is more limited.

Thankfully, there are some foundations such as The Smile Foundation, Medical Mission Foundation, and Facing the World and their volunteers and donators that help those kids from all over the world.

Kudos to them who help this kids getting a better future with a smile on their cute faces :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Envy

I really envy them. Good on them.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Superstition

It's Friday the 13th. Some people are superstitious about it, since Friday and 13 are considered unlucky. For Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese, number 4 is considered bad luck because phonetically it sounds like death in their language.

I still get confused when I go to malls in Jakarta, because most if not all dont have 4th floor, but they have lower ground, ground, upper ground floor, followed by 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 3rdA floor.

Some places in Java also have certain superstition, that people try to adhere.

Take Prambanan temple in Central Java. It is said that unmarried couple should not visit this temple if they want to continue their relationship. The source of this believe, I think, because of the legend that Loro Jonggrang asked for 1000 temples to be build in 1 night by Bandung Bondowoso before she would agreed to be his wife. Before the dawn, he already finished 999 temples. Knowing this, Loro Jonggrang tricked him by lighting huge fire in the east so the cock began to crow. As Bandung Bondowoso used help from the spirit world, they left him when they thought it was already morning time. When Bandung Bondowoso found out about the trick, he was furious and cursed Loro Jonggrang into the 1000th statue.

In Trowulan area, there's Bojong Ratu temple, it's the gate to the ceremonials site of Majapahit. It is said that the ashes of Hayam Wuruk one of the greatest king of Majapahit is buried there. According to local belief, if a person with certain standing came to this temple, he would lost his position. Therefore, eventho some of Indonesian officials visited other temples in the area for meditation/praying, they never visited Bojong Ratu temple.

The other superstition is about Nyi Roro Kidul, queen of the southern sea, and her fondness of green clothing. So people are not supposed to wear green clothing when they are in the area of her kingdom, which is basically along the southern part of Java. It is said if one wore green clothing, the Queen would've taken you with her.

In my father's family there is this superstition about our family cemetery in Central Java. It is said that no menstruating women are allowed to get in. The last time I went there was with my late father ages ago. Upon arrival, I found out that I had my period which I wasnt supposed to have at the time. So my father said that I just followed him till the edge of the cemetery, and he alone entered it. At that time I had no idea about that superstition. Since I didnt feel comfy about hanging out by myself over there (there are lots of snakes in the area), I went in but not close enough to where my father was sitting. Hours later, on the way back to Jakarta I started to have this violent stomach ache, followed by high fever. I ended up really sick for 3 days and missed out my organic chemistry final. On the 3rd day my father started to get sick too. He was even ended up hospitalized! Logic said we both were just too tired from the trip. But those who has sixth sense told my father that he broke a rule, and my father agreed. I asked him what rule they were talking about, and he told me about my entering the cemetery. That's when I found out about that superstition.

I never have any problem visiting my father's cemetery while having my period eventho people said it's one of haunted cemeteries in Jakarta. But let me tell you this, to be on the safe side, I wont visit that family cemetery in Central Java while having my period ever again.

Believe it or not, some places are just too weird for my liking.

Monday, November 09, 2009

What to Wear

Starting in January 2010, in West Aceh, it is not allowed for women to wear jeans or tight pants. If they catch you wearing one, they take your pants/jeans and cut it up and make you wear a skirt they provided. The government of West Aceh is ready to supply 7000 skirts for this. Isn't it interesting, that they have enough money for that but there are still poverty in the area. What if all women in West Aceh wear jeans/tight pants on January 1st? That'll teach the government.

Honestly when it comes to Aceh, or other places in Indonesia where sharia or part of sharia is implemented, stupid/crazy policies such as this one isnt surprised me anymore. It is sad that Indonesia turns into this state which I believe is far from what our founding fathers envisioned.

Today's news, however, surprised me.

A student is expelled from the university in Brazil because she wears mini skirt. I am curious how short her mini skirt is, because I remember seeing Indonesian students wearing mini skirt to class in Jakarta and got no problem. So, how come in the land famous of it's itsy bitsy bikini a woman cant wear a mini skirt to her class?

It's interesting to see that no matter where you are, there's always a chance that somebody in power try to control what you wear.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

P&G and Me

The guys at P&G did it again.

As it happens, I am a loyal P&G customer. Not only I use their products that are in the market in Indonesia, but I also use their products that I personally need to import. Like the Pert shampoo that I cant get in Indonesia or in The Netherlands, each time I need to import it from the USA or I buy it whenever I find it abroad. So, you see how loyal I am for their brands.

Alas, the feeling is not mutual.

They always managed to get me hooked on something, and then acting unavailable. I swear I think P&G is a male.

My newest and biggest pet peeve is about their sanitary napkin. Back in the Netherlands I only used Always. The normal with wing variant to be precise. I've tried other brands but I am allergic to them. After years of problem free, several years ago P&G Holland decided not to sell them in Holland anymore. I called up their customer service, and was told that they still carry them (it said the same thing in their website), but couldnt tell me which supermarket/pharmacy/shop carry them. After searching up and down the land with a little help of my friends across Holland, we still couldnt find Always normal, let alone the one with wings! I called those big supermarkets chain and was told that they did carry it anymore.

So, I tried contacting the Brand Manager of Always in Rotterdam to ask where I still could get them in the country, but was told by the receptionist that only big buyers could talk to the manager, and I have to talk to the customer service eventho I told her my predicament. I called customer service again, pleading for them to get me some information about its where about. I was told my option is to use the ultra variant which I hate. Long story.

Not giving up, I tried to contact that Brand Manager again pretending to be a big buyer. Just my luck, the same receptionist answered my call and recognized my voice. She started to rant about my lying as a big buyer. I was really pissed with her because as a woman, she, of all people, should be able to relate to my problem and help me to get some solution.

My savior was a German online supermarket Schlecker that also services the Netherlands. Since then every a couple of months I'd be ordering bulk of sanitary napkins all the way from Germany! No thanks to P&G Holland.

Before I went to Indonesia, my BFF also supplied me with some from the USA, just in case. Sure enough, I couldnt find them in most of Indonesian supermarket, and if I did it's very expensive. To my relief, I still could find Whisper, also by P&G, that I used to use before moving to lowland. However, it didnt last long. I've been coming home empty handed for the last month looking for Whisper at supermarkets around Jakarta. I still have some left, but I need to get some new ones ASAP.

See, the P&G did it again.

Friday, November 06, 2009

On Anggodo

The stories of Anggodo - KPK - Police - AGO are all over the place day in day out. When ever Anggodo opened his mouth, something outrageous came out. The money he spent. His connections (those who are involved are from Surabaya ranging from prostitute, attorney, police officer). It's all seem like we are watching a sinetron, with a more interesting plot, funnier dialogs and better acting. The Chief Detective even cried at a Parliament meeting!! Talked about crocodile tears.

But one thing about Anggodo that I cant help but commend him: he did this for his brother, Anggoro, who run up against KPK.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Eat, Pray, Love and Discriminate

I've read the book Eat, Pray, Love. It was alright, I guess, but not something I want to reread tho. It's a beach book, nothing more than that. If you want to read about living and eating in Italy, Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy by Frances Mayes is much well written, to be enlighten I'd rather read Dalai Lama, Meister Eckhart, or Coelho, and as for love, there are gazillion books out there about it since the beginning of time.

At this moment Brad Pitt's company is filming that book in Bali with Julia Robert and Javier Bardem starring in it.

On one hand, it's a good way to promote Bali, (and probably also Indonesia). It's not often that foreign companies is granted the permission to do filming in Indonesia. It's a pity, I think we could attract more tourists by promoting it that way. Look at Thailand for example, they attract more tourists to Phi Phi Leh Island after the released of the Beach. Of course, we also need to be careful about the environmental and cultural impact from it.

On the other hand, when I read this article on JakartaGlobe, I cringed. Do I live in South African Apartheid era? Yes, I know expat in Indonesia get paid so much more than Indonesian. Yes, I know average Indonesian goes ga-ga when they meet bule. It's upsetting to read not only a foreigner gets paid $100 a day, which is 5 times as much as Indonesian extra, even foreigner kids get paid 2.5 times as much at $50! But the fact that they separate locals from their foreigners counterpart that did it for me. Why cant they just put two kinds of food and let people eats what they please? Why locals eat their nasi bungkus in some tent, while foreigner eats their western food in the Pura Dalem along with the cast and crew? Are local not worthy enough to mingle with the cast and crew or even eat the same thing? Whose fault is that, the foreign company who hires them or the local legislations and ruling that allow that to happen?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Being a Flirt

Some of my closest guy friends said I am such a flirt. While others said I am judes, I guess you could translate it to bitchy if not rude, tho I dont think both are the right translation.

Anyway, I always thought I couldnt flirt, each time I tried to flirt someone, I ended up not with the guy I was flirting with! (Therefore, I give up flirting consciously). So, the notion that 'I am such a flirt' was something I couldnt fathom. Until ages ago when I saw this BBC programme called Would Like to Meet. When their dating expert, Tracey Cox, showed body language of flirting, that's when it downed on me. I did/do those 'flirt moves' unconsciously when I am talking to people. No wonder they called me a flirt. No wonder I got into troubles. But what can I say, if it's in the blood... :)

I was chatting with Sean about it and he too has the same thing about flirting unconsciously. He loves flirting tho. Then he told me his latest MO, which is hilarious, I have to blog it. Bear in mind he's American in the UK, and oh... he's deaf, and proud of it.

sean: when i came to here last year
sean: i decided to test my flirt skills
sean: i found it very interesting that if i was came to women... hearing women
sean: then they would start to ask me what is my name
sean: i will say
sean: oh i am Deaf
sean: they would say oh dont lie
sean: what is your name
sean: then i would struggle to say "S... Ha..wn"
Triesti : hahahaha
sean: they would repeat after me
sean: i would nod
sean: then they would say oh give me a kiss!
Triesti : u rascal
sean: silence is powerful!
.
.
.
sean: also if i gave them strong eye contact
sean: it will make them weak in their knees

So ladies, be warned!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Reunion

For years I've tried not to go to reunion. I dont see the point of getting together with people I didnt even hang out with in the first place. I do however try to keep in touch with some that I was close to. We talk on the phone, chat, email, and even visit each other in far away places.

It seems to me that ever since everyone are in Facebook, there are more and more reunions. I saw a friend of mine had kindergarten reunion!! So far I managed to dodge it.

Until today, that is.

Since yesterday was one of my BFFs' birthday and she's organizing this get together, I have to attend it. Tho I asked if the rest of the gals remember it was her birthday yesterday, and she said she didnt think so. I guess it wont be a birthday lunch, more of a small reunion. Sigh!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ken Dedes

The first time I saw her statue depicted as Prajnaparamita, the goddess of Wisdom, was in Amsterdam more than 3 years ago. Earlier this year I saw it again in Museum Nasional Jakarta, as beautiful as the first time I saw her. It is said that its beauty is comparable to that of Monalisa.

Ken Dedes was the first queen of Singhasari, a kingdom in East Java, who was considered as the origin of the lineage of kings in Java, from Singhasari, Majapahit, to Mataram.

I've been having synchronicity about her lately, it all started with seeing the really bad replica of the statue Prajnaparamita at the Trowulan museum. That replica didnt do justice to the real thing. So I was explaining about the statue a bit, how it was found in Singhasari where we were passing by the day before, and was brought to Holland for some years before brought back to Jakarta since 1978.

Then the other day, I was reading Kompas, and stumbled upon this short story based on her life. I'd never read Kompas' short story before. I thought it was an article about dance, when I read the title.

Yesterday an aunt called for hours to ask me about Ken Dedes and history of Java. Apparently our mutual acquaintance is writing a book and has difficulty explaining about Ken Dedes.

Some coincidences, huh?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

On Communication

Once upon a time in a place far, far, away, one of my close friends told me his view about his future wife. He said at the end of the day what matter most is not how sexy she is, how nice she is, or how rich she is, but the ability to talk to each other. I agree with him. Communication can make or break a relationship. The thing is, there are numerous kind of communication, and I dont only mean: in person, or using cellphone, IMs, etc.

Take the Javanese way of communicating, it's all subtle and indirect. Someone could be angry but he didnt look or sound like it. If you are used to this kind of communication, from what is being said you know he is angry. But if his audience is not used to this kind of communication they would think everything is normal, even great.

My father used to ask why I wanted to do something when he didnt like the idea of it but didnt have the heart to say no to me. I knew he didnt want me to, so, most of the time I didnt follow through with my plan after such question. Of course when I bailed out, outsiders would asked me why I did since they didnt think my father minded. Let's just say we had our own way of communication. I understood his 'metamessage', the implication of his spoken words.

After years living in lowland, I now need to adapt to Indonesian way of communicating. I was used to people very directly telling like it is - sometimes to the point of pretty brutal. Now I have to relearn how to read between the lines, hold things back and add loads of sugar coating, and how each ethnic has their own way of communicating. It's more intricate to navigate.

Then there's the technology factor. Some people loves to talk on the phone, some doesnt. The same goes with the internet. I opened up more when I chat or on the phone, because the way the other person reacting toward me in person could clamp me down. While some would find chatting or talking on the phone gives not enough information, so they prefer talking in person.

Men and women also communicating differently. I think when women tell you their problems, sometimes they just want someone to listen and give emotional support, and not giving them any solution. While men would react to such conversation by giving out solutions, because that how men are. They tackle problems.

A close guy friend of mine said that he knows that women talk about every things with each other. The first time I heard it I was surprised, because my girl friends and I dont do that. I do not share every things with my BFF, she knows what matters tho. She knew that secret of mine at Postsecret, for example. Then I saw that Friends episodes where Rachel said sharing every things creates bond. Well, I dont know about that.

I guess what I am saying is, yes, communication is the key. But not only the words are important, we also need to understand how people communicates their thought. It can happened that a person just asked an innocent question but you take it as an insult, and it all goes down the hill afterward just because of the different way of communicating.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Next Year!

I used to hate when people asked me when my turn is at weddings. So when I have to accompany my mom to weddings, I avoid her friends as much I could by searching for food or other people who I know wont ask me that question.

To my relief, at the only wedding I couldnt get out of I wasnt asked that question. No. Not once.

Apparently people changed their tactic. After telling me to get some of the bathing water from Siraman ritual which I did to humor them, and steal the bride's flower which I didnt do, (both supposed to speed up my chance of getting married) now they just said to me, 'Next year!', or 'You are next'. And they still said the same thing a week after the wedding eventho I told them I am single. They said I have plenty of time, more than 400 days to go till the new year of 2011.

Grrrr

Sometimes I wonder why does people do that? Do they think it's helping by saying that? Seriously. Stop it!

Friday, October 23, 2009

On Breasts and doctors

It's October, it means breast cancer awareness month. There are lots of Pink Ribbon products in stores to raise money for breast cancer research. I dont know if kids these days learn how to examine their own breast, but back in the day, I didnt learn it at school/sex ed. I learned it from books/leaflet and from my doctor.

I really do think it's important to learn how to do it properly from a young age. I dont know about other people, especially other women, but I remember how scared I was when I thought there was a possibility that things were worse than it was.

Until then, I never thought much about how important my breasts to my being female. I mean I was, and still am, happy with mine, but that's just about it. However, facing the possibility of something really wrong with it, I couldnt help but to wonder about living without it. Would I still feel feminine without (part of) it? How would others, particularly men, perceived a woman with scarred torso. I didnt even think about losing hair due to chemo, or even death. All I could think of was lopsided chest! Yeah, I am that shallow.

This year I had another little scare. I guess that's part of the territory of having HMS, we, 'mutants', are more prone of having cysts. After waiting for ages and became angry for their service at the cancer hospital, and logging my complaint, I got to see an oncologist, who just said that I need to get pregnant to balance out my hormones. Thanks for your advice, doctor!

Being in that hospital and seeing that doctor made me miss my old oncologist and how she talked me through it and assured me 3 years ago. Not only this doctor didnt address my problem, instead of acknowledging that he's not in capacity to advice me about hormones, he was very condescending.

Maybe I met the wrong doctor, the one who just interested in cutting his patients up and not really communicating with his patients. I do, however, think, no matter how good you are at cutting people up, if your bedside manners and communication skills let you down, you are more prone to have dissatisfied patient. I wouldnt be surprised that one day someone would sued you.

Therefore, I was quite pleased to see this consultant Medical Oncologist at the other hospital. This handsome professor was so down to earth, took his time to explained things to me, and gracefully enough to refer me to another consultant endocrinologist who he thought could help me much better with my problem. And, did I mention he waived his fee because we went to the same med school? No, I didnt say he's good because of that, I've heard good things about him from my other friends too. I bet, if he did something wrong, his patients were more reluctant to sue him because of his bedside manner and communication.

I understand that seeing cancer patients day-in-day-out could get you. But treating them as human, not just as an object is a must. My father always told me that as a doctor you are also there to help them cope with their illness. I used to complaint to my father as he spent too much time with his patients and their families. Now, I wish I have such doctor of my own.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thank You!

For (one of) the best gifts I've ever received,
For taking your time listening to my rambling,
For keeping me company and endured the 'abuse',
For every wise word of encouragement you've shared,
But most of all,
For every time you've been there for me.

You are awesome!

And I am so grateful to have you in my life.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Why is My Bed Moving?

At 14:55 I was typing on my bed, while waiting for the workers to finish putting up together my wardrobe. All of the sudden the bed was moving.

First thought was: 'a truck is passing'. Man, it must have been a huge silent one, as I didnt hear any sound and this morning when they delivered my wardrobe, the truck was huge and I didnt feel any movement.
I went out the room, and yelled out, "Earthquake". But it didnt really dawn on the rest of the house. So I told them to go out of the house. I saw one of the maids was sweeping the floor outside at the back.

This was my first big quake since ages.

After most of us went to the front of the house the tremor continued for several more times. The water in our fish pond was making a huge waves. I went back in looking for that maid that I saw in the back garden. She was still there, sweeping near the fish pond.

I went back and logged on usgs.gov, and turned on the telly. It was 7.4Richter according to USGS, 7.3 according to BMG, with epicenter off coast of Tasikmalaya. There's a possibility of tsunami. Not Good.

We tried reaching Yanto, a bloke who used to live and work for us, but now living in Pangandaran on that coast. We couldnt get through to both of his mobiles that we know off.

About half an hour after the first quake, Yanto called. He said his house has cracks all over, and he is afraid to get inside. People are afraid of tsunami, and they are expecting it. So I told him to go else where safe. He assured me his place is on high ground, and his family is safe.

After all the commotion, my maid came in from the back and asked us if there was any earthquake, since she didnt notice it!!!! I am sure it was at least 5Richter in Jakarta, so it was perplexing that she didnt feel/notice it. Oh well, at least she's ok.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hell's fire is hotter

That's what Rosnida, a teacher at Pasundan 7 Junior High Bandung was trying to do by lighting a match and burnt her students during religion study, one of them was burnt on her cheek.She also said that more women ended up in hell.

And the whacky thing is, the principal only gave her a warning and the parents just pasrah, accepted.

This news is so wrong in so many levels.

First of all she's a teacher, who supposed to teach, not abusing her students.
What can her students learn from someone like her? That you can do whatever you like to get your point across? I dont get how she could be so sure that more women ended up in hell & that hell is hotter that a fire, did she have first hand experience? What more important is teaching those kids that they have to be a good person who is responsible and respecting other people. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you as the prophet said in his last sermon.

Second, the principal only gave her a warning. She should be sacked for corrupting her students by promoting a system where moral integrity and intellectual honesty is discourage. I really couldnt wrap the idea why she could get away so lightly. Gawd knows what she's been teaching those kids. With all the fanatics & terrorist around, I am seriously concerned on what religion teachers are teaching Indonesian kids. If such a thing happened in what I suspect to be a secular school, I could only wonder what's going on in Islamic school.

Lastly, how could those parents accept such person to continue teaching their children? There are better teachers out there, who could give better education to your kids. After all you paid a good deal to that school for your kids education, you might as well getting your money's worth.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anti-wholesale

On one fine Sunday, we ended up in Bekasi area looking for food to bring home. Mom spotted a hawker selling crispy sweet rolls (Semprong).

M: I have here Rp 5000, how much do I get for that money?
H: I'm sorry ma'am, I normally sell them in three packages for Rp 20000
M: No, I dont need three of them, how much is it for one package?
H: Alright, I give you one for Rp 6000, because normally it's Rp 20000 for three.

I wonder where he learnt his trade...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monks & Hostesses

After all monks are men, too.

It reminds me of my fave priest. Somehow, instead of me confessing to him, I used to listen to his experience being celibate and serving his congregation. The choice between Gawd and flesh.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cultural goods thievery: Bolivia v. Indonesia

It's been years that Indonesian complaining about Malaysian stealing our cultural goods. The latest one is Balinese Pendet dance being claimed by Malaysian as part of their tradition in their tourism ad "Malaysia truly Asia". They also claimed Rendang, Reog Ponorogo (I thought the name Ponorogo gives the clue that its root is definitely not Malaysian), Rafflesia Arnoldii, Batik, and that Mollucan song Rasa Sayange as part of their heritage.


According to Malaysian 1971 National Culture Policy, the national culture among others must be based on the indigenous Malay culture & suitable elements from the other cultures may be accepted as part of the national culture.

Now let's see about Malaysian ethnic groups. Their indigenous people which counted for 5% of their population has similar culture to Indonesian Dayak.
Then there are chinese with their peranakan culture and Indian ethnic. Malay are the largest ethnic group. It is interesting to point out that according to Wikipedia:

Malays (Malay: Melayu) are an ethnic group of Austronesian peoples predominantly inhabiting the Malay Peninsula, the east coast of Sumatra, the coast of Borneo, and the smaller islands between these locations. The Malay ethnic group is distinct from the concept of a Malay race, which encompasses a wider group of people, including most of Indonesia and the Philippines. The Malay language is a member of the Austronesian family of languages.

Taking this into account, I think it's safe to say that Balinese nor Molluccans are not part of the equation of Malaysian ethnic group.

I can understand when they claimed Rendang as their traditional food, it is part of share Malay culture. As for Raflessia arnoldii, although it was first discovered in Indonesia, it grows in all Malay archipelago as far as the Phillipines.

I guess Malaysia is exercising their policy of taking suitable elements of other culture as part of their own when it comes to Pendet dance, Batik, Reog and that Molluccan song. Their ambassador for Indonesia kept citing about the fact that there are really those things in Malaysia for as long as he could remember. Of course they do, there plenty of Indonesian people living in Malaysia taking their culture from back home (Bali, Java, Mollucas, etc). Just like there are plenty of Dutch people living with their culture in Australia. But, we dont see Aussie claiming wearing clogs as part of their culture, do we?

Now I dont blame solely on Malaysia for this mess. Indonesian government has done little to protect its heritage. The last time this happened, our minister promised to catalogue our culture. But is it enough just to do that while Malaysian government is already busy claiming them with patents?

Maybe we should take note from Bolivian government in its dispute with the Peruvian. It started as Miss Peru wearing a Diabolical costume inspired by La Diablada dance as her National costume at the Miss Universe pageant in Bahama this month. According to the Peruvian, the costume is part of share culture of Altiplano in the highland bordering Bolivia, Peru and Chile. However, Bolivian believes that it was originally in Bolivia and then spread out to the neighboring countries. Sounds familiar?

The Bolivian Culture minister is said would sue Peru in the International Court of Justice in The Hague. The Bolivian government is also doing tv ads at CNN en español and Telesur on this matter.


In the light of these events, Indonesian need to do our utmost in protecting our culture. We cant leave it to our government and its catalogue business. But as a nation we need to do something about it. How much do we know about our own culture? I bet most Indonesian kids nowadays are more knowledgable about Disney's characther or anime than about local folklore. How many of you could dance any traditional dance, play any traditional musical instrument?

Maybe it's time to teach ourself and our kids more about our own rich tradition before other people steals them from us again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Indonesian First Animated Feature Film... or so they say

Back in July there was press conference about "Meraih Mimpi". Supposed to be Indonesian First Animated Feature Film. It is said that the producer chose to premiere it abroad to get international recognition before showing it in Indonesia. Well, a quick search at IMDB.com, you cant find Meraih Mimpi in that site. However, you can find Singaporean first animated feature film "Sing to the Dawn". Check out their trailer, it's the same animation as Meraih Mimpi but in English.

Hold on, is it Indonesian or Singaporean?

Well, it's kinda both. It was created based on Singaporean Ho Minfong's children's book. Apparently the whole animation was done in Batam by a team of mostly Indonesian animators. It was later on localized by Nia Dinata's people. But since Singapore Government paid the $5million bill, the credit goes to Singapore, people.




Since I havent seen the whole movie, I cant say much about it. But from what I've seen so far, I found the Indonesian's dialog is a bit difficult to follow. I know it's not easy adapting foreign script to proper Bahasa Indonesia, couple that with the fact we tend to use more words in our sentences than in English, I guess it also making it difficult for the actors to say their line as close possible as the animated movements.

All in all, kudos to Indonesian animators for their wonderful work.

Reel to Real: The Daily Prophet

The most read daily paper in the wizarding world is becoming a reality this September. Well almost. Entertainment Weekly is scheduled to published a video-in-print edition in its 18 September edition in LA and NYC. Just like the Daily Prophet, it will display moving pictures on a slim-line screens.

I want to see it. So, John, would you please bring that edition to the big durian? *batting eyelashes*

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lanjutkan!

Apparently months of campaigning takes its toll on our president. His campaign slogan was Lanjutkan! (continue). I guess it is becoming his second nature to utter that word.

So when he was leading the ceremony of Independence day yesterday at the Presidential Palace. He said Lanjutkan! in stead of Laksanakan! (carry out).

I wish it happened last year when we were there.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I think I might be pregnant now

Fantastic! Fantastic! Fantastic!


I heart him. sigh

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Copy Paste & Blog

I ve noticed that a few of (Indonesian) blogs are nothing but a copy paste of someone else's blog. It is not about copy-pasting parts of it, but the whole blog. Why would people do that? Is it their way of becoming part of (what Roy Suryo called as trend) blogging world?

I found out years ago that some people copy-pasted my emails to this open mailing list in their blogs. Some put my name on it, some didnt.

The last one that I know of is my friend's art blog has been plagiarised by this person who seems to be a student of one of Surabaya's art schools. What interesting is this bloke is not shy in putting up his picture and a link to his facebook. I would have thought if I did that I wouldnt want people to know the real me. But that's just me. Would you exposed yourself when you plagiarised someone's works?


Saturday, August 08, 2009

New Mantra




Everything is going to be OK



Monday, August 03, 2009

Who would have thought

a homeless man had millions in his bank?

An interesting choice of living. He had no home, slept on the grounds of senior center, ate the hospital while having this much wealth. I dont know why he chose living like that. Though I couldnt help wondering, that by doing so he also took a place for someone who really didnt have much choice.

Was it his redemption? Or was he just being eccentric?

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Good ad


It seems like their signing is more similar to ASL than BSL
ps: I was told that it seems to be more independent sign language.

Sweet for my sweet

If you take your coffee without sugar or your pancakes without syrup, chances are you've got some European ancestry in your blood. New research reveals that people whose early relatives lived in Europe are more sensitive to sweet tastes than those whose ancestors came from other parts of the world.
I dont know about European as a whole, but Dutch loves their sweet. Seriously, I've never seen people who LOVE their sweet as much as the Dutch. During their fraternity/sorority's initiation, one of the rules is not eating any sweets during camp week. And I can tell you how they miss their snoepjes, sweets, during that time. Sure, most of them dont use that much sugar (if any) in their coffee, but their cakes, candies, chocolates are very sweet.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

For once, a good news about getting old..

Most of the time you heard about how your (yes, also for men!) clock is ticking as you get older.

However, according to this study in Uppsala, the older you get the bigger chance you have of getting pregnant. Ok, it (only) applies to about 5% of women in reproductive age who have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.

Yes, it's a small study, but still a good news nonetheless.

Normally, as women age, her fertility is reduced due to fewer follicles that are produced each month. But in women with PCOS, the fewer follicles have a positive effect: it stop the hormonal interference and cause follicles to release eggs normally. Something that their body didnt do previously.

So it's true, every cloud has a silver lining.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sip

I was chatting to this Indonesian bloke who was multitasking with replying his email in English. Suddenly he was complaining about his habit of replying or IM-ing in Indonesian.
As it turned out he just replied to this email: "I'll look forward for your call when you have cluster ready", with: "sip". It's what we Indonesian use for "OK" or something along the line.

We were laughing about it when a reply came from his working partner: "sip? what do you mean sip protocol"

He got some explaining to do :D

(Tidak) Mau?

Mobile operator 3 stroke a deal with MU for its Asian tour in Indonesia and came up with this tv ads:

However, after MU cancelled their Indonesian gig, 3 came up with this billboard sans the small prints:

Thursday, July 23, 2009

.... And I am so grateful

that I didnt have such childhood!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Having kids is a priviledge

I dont believe we automatically have the right to have kids. There are plenty people out there who are not fit to procreate but they do anyway because they can, or have the means to have it done.

Take the story about some of the world oldest mothers or fathers. Yes, I include the men, because I dont see why we should turn blind eyes when elderly men procreate but different treatment applied to elderly women. I think these people are selfish for having kids so late in their life.

Sure, in the dawn of advance medicine, there more possibilities for us human. However, we still need to be responsible using the new technology when it comes to bringing a human being to this earth. When you give birth or have kids when you are in your 60s, the chances of you are not going to see them grown up are far greater than having them even in your 40s, let alone in your 20s. It also takes tolls of you physically, and it also carries much higher risks both for the baby and the elderly mother.

If a woman wanted to get pregnant in their 60s, she most definitely needed an eggs donor. If she was single, like some of the oldest mothers around, she also needs a sperm donor. And this part is where I dont understand. With all these orphans and unwanted children in the world who needs love & family, why dont they just adopt? Because the way I see it, they also dont have any genetically link to you any way. Why throw away the money for rounds of IVF treatments that wont always have a good result at that stage of life when you can use it to raise one of the kids as your own?

Kids are not accessories that we can have just because we decided it's time to have them.

I strongly believe, we need to put the children's future welfare first, before saying that it's our right to have a child.

Having kids is a priviledge

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Are you pregnant?

Asking that to someone who is anovulatory is just plain cruel.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

And that moment is finally arrived..

I was on my way downstairs at Morroco House last night, when he held my hand, asking if I would go straight home. "No, I'm just going down stairs," I replied.

"Oh, ok" he said. Then, out of the blue, he mouthed I love you.

Gawd, out of all the guys in my life, it had to be a gay guy telling me that. Great. Peachy. But, honestly, it's also something I needed to hear.

Monday, July 06, 2009

For the record

If my boyfriend did this to me, I would kill him. Then again, if 'my boyfriend' did this, he probably had his own boyfriend.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Fatenah


I hope one of Indonesian Film Festivals will screen the Palestinian first 3D animation called Fatenah. It's inspired by a true story about a young Palestinian woman who had breast cancer, named Fatma.

Back in 2004 Fatma found a lump in her breast, but she was dismissed by a Palestinian doctor (in Gaza). She then sent her medical record to an Israeli hospital for second opinion and was told to get immediate treatment.

Due to the situation in Gaza, time and again she was forced to stay in Gaza. Sometimes its because her ambulance couldnt get through due to the fighting between Israeli forces and Palestine militants, or because the Israeli border soldiers delayed or didnt allow her to cross border.

By 2005 Fatma's story was reported by Israeli's Physician for Human Rights after she died of her cancer.

There are many people in Gaza died because of lack of proper health care due to the occupation. It's cruel to let innocent people died unnecessarily like that. Maybe those leader in both camps see them just as collateral damage. But those victims had lives and dreams just like anybody in this world.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

June is a Divorce Month

In the West, June is a wedding month. But I guess it isnt for Indonesian. At least not for Indonesians that I know.

Let's see... I know a couple who is on separation trial, a friend is in the middle of a divorce trial, another friend just told his wife and her family that he wanted a divorce, another couple is on the bring of a divorce, and I just read on a tabloid that an old pal is asking for a divorce because her so called husband of 7 years swindled her for hundreds of millions of dollars.

Here's hoping for a better July.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seemingly Impossible is Possible

Hans Rosling's lecture from way back

Monday, June 22, 2009

Play and feed hungry people

At FreeRice we could play games and for each answer you get right, they donate rice via WFP. There are 6 subjects: Math, Arts, English, Chemistry, Geography and Languages. It's fun and it's also helping others while brushing up your knowledge.

One good answer is equal to 10 grains.
There are 48 grains of rice in a gram.
A person eats on average 400grams a day.

Unmasking The Stig

Why o why?

I dont need to know who the real Stig is. That's part of his/her charm!

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Places We Live

An interesting 360degrees pictures from Mumbai, Nairobi, Caracas and Jakarta's slum, taken by Norwegian photographer Jonas Bendiksen.

A year ago today

...you sat underneath a small tree and motioned me to sit next to you. I sat down, "See that?" you said while pointing to a patch of land, "I've paid it, it'll be a place for your mom and me".

In less then 40 days, you moved there.
Forever.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pregnancy Denial

I've heard about pregnancy denial before. I just couldnt wrap my thoughts around the idea. Because women are very hormonal during pregnancy. If from normal periods one gets PMS, pregnancy increased the hormones even more significantly.

But today there are two articles on it, one is in the UK, the other is in France. Both ended with the women terminated their babies. It's sad and disturbing.

Apparently, it happens around 2000 times a year in France. What more surprising is Liberation, a France paper, cites mainly mothers with at least 2 kids, not teenage girls as I expected, who suffer this condition.

I remember watching a Dutch tv show ages ago, where a teenage girl with a steady boyfriend had pregnancy denial. She lived with her parents at that time who also had no idea that their daughter was pregnant until near the moment of labour. The girl said she had her periods each month, was always on the pill, and they also used condom. So she had absolutely no idea that she was pregnant since she also didnt have any morning sickness or much of weight gain.

One night she thought she had stomachache and went to the loo. Not long after, her water broke. She called out her parents who called the ambulance. That's when they all found out about the pregnancy!!

I guess it's an excellent example of mind over body. If a woman can think her body not pregnant, is that mean men can think their body to lactate?

Doctors

I was told that I might had some kind of virus. AGAIN.

Is blaming a "virus" the easiest way out for Indonesian doctors when they have no idea what you have?
In NL it was common to get: "it can be all sort of things, I dont know" from my docs. YOU are the doctor, find out! That's why I am paying you for.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Politician

I just finished reading Maya Angelou's Letter to my Daughter, a book with essays, poems of her life. Some part of if is a tad too preachy of my liking, but it's beautifully written.

She wrote on one of the chapter:

We must insist that the men and women who expect to lead us recognize the true desires of those who are being led. We do not choose to be herded into a building burning with hate nor into a system rife with intolerance.

Politician must be told if they continue to sink into the mud of obscenity, they will proceed alone.

If we tolerate vulgarity, our future will sway and fall under a burden of ignorance. It need not be so. We have the brains and the heart to face our futures bravely. Taking responsibility for the time we take up and the space we occupy. To respect our ancestors and out of concern for our descendants, we must show ourselves as courteous and courageous well-meaning Americans.
Now.

I think it's not only applicable for Americans but to all human being who cares about their country.

I've been thinking about who I am going to vote for in the upcoming presidential election. Judging from what I've been hearing on the debates etc, I am torn between two candidates. As no one really strikes me as the best, I have to resort to minimax strategy.

Here's hoping for a better Indonesia

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Effe slikken op z'n Nederlands




Ik mis je heel erg
rust zacht

liefs,
xoxox