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.

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?


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.

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


Suramadu Bridge

It's been a week since the official inaguration of 5.4km Suramadu Bridge. It costs us US$428 million, and it supposed to last for 100 years.

But judging from today's news it wont last that long.

46 streetlamps has been stolen along with nuts and bolts on the sides of the bridge.It's cable stayed, that holds the two main pillar, has been damaged by sharp object.

the joke is: the Madurese is into trading scrap metal.

But seriously, who done it?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Not my luck

I got this email asking my permission to publish my pic on a book. Thing is... I dont know where the original is. I might deleted it, or someone took the CD it's on.

Oh, it's killing me.

It reminds me, I should get myself a decent camera!


As yet another member of my inner circle's marriage is in trouble, it got me thinking about divorce. How come those who got married by choice (= love) have a higher rate of divorced than those who had arranged marriage?

OK, We can assume that those who agreed on arranged marriage are more conservative, so they tend to avoid divorce. However, in the USA, according to Barna Research Group the rate of divorce in the conservative Christian group is significantly higher than in the Atheist/Agnostic group. So what give?

I also know that those who live together prior to getting married have a higher rate of divorce. Is it because that piece of paper makes one take one's partner for granted?

Or is it because of the high expectation and bigger ego in one or both of partners that lead to high divorce rate? Why cant we compromise?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

You know the feeling

when logically you know that the end is near,
but emotionally you just want to hold on for just one more second...

boy, it hurts, innit?!

what can I say,
masochist is a bliss...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Love is a practice

When it comes to relationship, romantic or otherwise, I am clueless. I seriously thought I might be an Asperger sometimes. Seriously. Coupled with the fact I scored low in a facial expression recognition test, I really wonder, maybe I am a high function aspie.

I've been told that I have no empathy when I did things because I thought that very person who accused me of having no empathy might needed it. It's very confusing for me. And frustrating too.

When I started learning about Vipassana, I also learnt about Metta Bhavana (it's ancient Pali words), an ancient Buddhist meditation of cultivating (bhavana) love, kindness or friendliness (metta). Apparently practicing Metta leads to a more empathetic, more considerate, more forgiving person. In short a better person.

I asked a lot of question about metta bhavana that Ven. Ratanapala asked me the reason behind it. Luckily he was very patient to explain more about it.

He also touched a bit about relationship in Buddhist way, which is easy to say than do. A relationship without attachment. Come to think of it, it's nice not to be attached to anyone but still in a loving relationship. Non-attachment doesnt mean one is not care. It doesnt imply complacence or indifference, or not having a commited relationships. But it has more to do with our urge to defy change.

Anyhow, I still need to learn about love, empathy, the whole nine yard. But I think I am on the right path.

May all being be happy

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

it's a... it's a...

As I blogged ages ago, I have trouble finding words at times. If this happened I just used the first word I could think of regardless of the language I was using at that time. It's frustrating. Some said I just need to concentrate. Probably they are right, but then again probably they dont. That's why I am interested to know why the tip-of-the-tongue happens.

According to this study, it happens more to those who are bilinguals.

It makes sense, that as bilingual knows more words, but uses less individual words than monolingual, bilingual will have more difficulty accessing certain words in its brain (especially those that are not use very often).

Oh well.. I just need to deal with it

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Walk the World 2009

I went to End Hunger: Walk the World with mom this year. Unlike in NL where they have their own website, I couldnt find Indonesian's event's website. Information is difficult to obtain in this part of the world :(

As I write this, I think the event in NL is still going on. I bet they are showing clips from Walk of World from other timezones along the way like the last time.

Speaking of the Dutch event, I would like to compare it with Indonesian one.

As I said, it's easy getting information about the Dutch event from their website that's in English and Dutch languages. They put up the route, video, info about the sponsors, and some facts about hunger. One can register on the website and also order some cheap sandwich & drink for that day.

Their Indonesian counterpart doesnt have their own website. I googled about the event and could only found 1 site about today's event: a reportage on it's press conference with Luna Maya, WFP's ambassadress, but it only stated that the event is held in Plaza Barat Senayan at 7am, and nothing about the ticketing. However, on Moving the World's site there's a page about Indonesian's event looking like that pic above. It only stated the contact person, even the timing indicated at 00:31 AM!

Here's what I found weird. This is an event that aims in getting donation. I can understand having its own website costs money. So how come the organization didnt use the opportunity to spread the word about it in , that I assume, free page? All they needed to do is to fill in the correct information, so there's no/little need to answering email inquiring about it.

Speaking of email, I tried emailing the contact person for information, but he didnt reply. If I were him, I would've created auto reply email with basic information.

Ok, to their defence, they put up several billboards on Jakarta's main roads. However, the way they design it is not very effective. They put the venue, the artists who are giving concert (big names like Andra and the Backbone, etc), the ticket's price, huge logo of the sponsor, but when it comes to where to get the ticket they use smaller font. I dont think you need a degree in marketing to know that it is important for your costumers to know where they can get your product, right? I kept missing out that info of this event!!!

So what to do?

I remember back in NL people could just go to the venue and register on the site. So we decided to do that this morning. We arrived at Plaza Barat Senayan at 7 AM. The security wouldnt let us in without tickets, but they had no idea where we could get them. They sent us to the other gate. Most of the volunteers I asked had no idea either. One gal told us to go back to the 1st gate and just give donation on a designated box to get it. Well, no one told us about that scheme before. Luckily, we met two gals, one of them is selling the tickets (just standing there with no sign like some kind of black market seller) and the other took us in to get our t-shirt.

We hung around chatting at the dompet duafa's tent before we started the walk. The thing was, we didnt have any breakfast and started to get hungry but there were not much we could do. Unilever tent's was giving out free sandwich for its own employees, other tents that we passed by only sold chips. So we did our 5K walk sans food. On the way we got free buavita juice and at the end point we got free ice cream. So unhealty... I was told that in the previous year the ticket included a snack and a t-shirt. I guess the economic down turn hit the sponsors' budget too. Oh wait.. Unilever booked some gains this year :P

Any way.. It's been a good day. The volunteers, organization did pretty well. Hope more children get food from this event.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Talk about being biased..

One day, a cousin of mine was wearing his dishdasha (Arabic robe) at a family function. Mind you, we have Arab's blood in our family tree amongst others.

One of the guests, who happened to be a Christian, commented about my cousin looking like a certain kind of Arabs in that robe, in any case, not a good kind. To that, my cousin reminded that guest that he in a way was also insulting Jesus as he forgot the fact that Jesus wore the same kind of robe as my cousin's.

That's the thing. I heard many times comments like that directed toward moslems. As much as I think it is not necessary and pretentious to wear something Arabic like that in Indonesia, I do think it's their right to wear anything they want as long as it is not due to peer/parental/social pressure. Because, honestly, I think in some circle there's a pressure to dress as such.

I also cant understand why that guest needed to give comment like that. After all, priests and nuns in his religion is known to wear long robes and veils. So, what's the different?