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!


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.


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


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?