Monday, February 22, 2010

Tari and Her Adventure

One day, Tari, one of our maids, went up to my mom and asked for her permission to go for Indonesian Idol audition. That's a surprise. I heard her sing a bit before, but never heard her sing a full song. From what I heard, she has a pretty decent range.

Mom told her to go. We thought she should try it out, and it's good that she has the nerves to do that. I know I dont.

Sunday evening, Tari went to the mall near our place to buy some new clothes for the audition. That night our other maid, who was away for weeks for family matter came back.

By 5am the next day, Tari left for the audition with Ari, our ojek. She said she wanted to get there early and be in front of the line. By 7pm, she called me up telling me that she might be late, because she's still waiting for her turn. Apparently she's number 30000 something, and the person who was auditioning at that time was number 17000 something. I was about to tell her to go home when she said, 'but now it is based on queue position, there are about 5 more people in front of me.' Fine.

She got home around 9.30pm.

She told me she was through to the second session and was told that if she passed, someone will phone her before the next audition. She sang 3 songs in those two sessions.

Days passed, I asked her if she got that call. She didnt. She said confidently, 'It's ok, there are some other times.' Good on ya, kiddo

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Split Second

This week has been tough on a good friend of mine. His father had a heart attack last Saturday. He was flat-lined for 10 minutes before the paramedics revived him back, but he fell in to a coma. Last Monday the docs did brain scan and it showed some damage. How bad the damage could only be determined after he woke up and did a series of test. At this moment, it's a waiting game for them.

What happened to their family, brings back my nightmare.

For half an hour I stood there alone watching medics tried to bring back my father. I couldnt call my mom and brother about it because they were still on their way, it would only sending them even more frantic in the middle of Jakarta's rush hour.

For half an hour I stood there, in disbelief that it was a flat-line that showed on the monitor attached to my father. I wished it wasnt true. I looked at his doctors friends standing there in silence, trying not to catch my eyes.

For half an hour I stood there, pleading him to come back. Just long enough for my mom and brother to say goodbye.

For half an hour I stood there, in the room or at the door, trying to be brave for him. I didnt want him there without his family, but it pained me to see him like that.

He came around not long after my mom and brother arrived. We took turn to whisper to him and he turned his head to the side where someone talked to him. When it was my turn, he look at me and tears ran down his face.

They took him for a two hours surgery. I signed his inform consent. It felt weird.
That night he passed away. I signed his death certificate. It was surreal.

We were lucky that we didnt have to decide to pull his life support. My friend and I discussed about that option the other night. They wont let him to be a vegetable.

Until it happens to you, you have no idea how it feels to loose a parent. You might be independent from them, you might not be close, you might even not share his blood. But a death of parents still affect you.

A split second disruption turned what was a great day into a terrible one.
But that's life, and we move on.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Proposal

We were dating for several weeks, on one fine Saturday we had lunch at his place. After finishing our fab pasta with octopus in tomato sauce, he was fixing some dessert behind me while I was watching the cloud. All of the sudden I heard this:

"you know, I am going to propose to you.."

Shock. Did he say what I just heard? Oh please dont do that now, it's too soon. "What did you just say?" I asked while slowly turning facing him, bracing myself of what may come.

"I am going to propose..." Hang on, let him finish I told myself. "...that we go to the beach after this, it's a good weather."

Phew! Horray! He just wanted to uitwaaien, to walk in the wind for fun.

Happy V day people!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I am a Second Class Citizen

Back in 2005 I wrote about how the Supreme Court was hatching a plan to make foreign men deposit a huge amount of money before marrying Indonesian women. It is said based on The Egyptian model. Of course, the Egyption model will set you back only one tenth of the Indonesian proposed amount.

Fast forward to 2010, that plan is now becoming part of the Draft of Marriage Law. Article 142 paragraph 3 stated, The future husband who has foreign nationality must pay a guarantee fund to The future wife through an Islamic bank for the amount of 500 million rupiah.

It's just wrong in so many levels.

It sounds like the old Turkmenistan rule except theirs is applicable to both men and women, unlike ours which is discriminating against women.

The way I look at it, if Indonesian Government genuinely wants to protect our women, they can start with protecting our TKI (foreign domestic workers). Everyday we read stories about some abuse they endure from their foreign bosses, bad treatment from our own people upon their return, also from people from their agencies. There are more women going abroad to work than those who got married to foreigners.

I dont get the reasoning of putting $50,000 as a deposit. It can only create more barrier for these couple to get married. Not every foreigner could afford that steep price. The couple could, of course, just live together which give even less protection for these women than a marriage. Plus, for those trying to by-pass this ruling, it can create an opportunity for more corruption.

Does this applicable to non moslem Indonesian? Because to my knowledge this law is only applicable for moslem Indonesian. If I was right, then it is not in accordance to what the prophet taught. I always heard that he urged for making it easier for people to get married because it is an honorable act.

What if the couple stays married forever, how or when could she get access to the deposit? How about the compounded interest of it? What if after all these time, the wife died first, could her husband get his deposit back, because I am not sure you can give your asset to a foreigner in this country?

Why dont the government make prenuptial agreement compulsory for those marrying foreigners. It can hold at courts all over the world, giving more protection in the future for both parties, probably even better than a deposit can do in the long run.

I would feel like my government is pimping me if they made my future husband pay for their permission to marry me. I would feel so very dirty.

Thank you Indonesia, for once again, making me feel like a second class citizen in my own country.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Path

For weeks people in the family, by that I mean aunts, cousins, mom, are pressuring me toward their direction. Saying that's what my late father wanted.

Great! Bring the death in the argument.

It's rich coming from them who didnt even grant their father (my grandfather) his last wish. When they were on their journey, my grandparents didnt push their children to choose the same path. Why cant they grant me that? Why cant they understand that it's my journey?

Let me decide my own path, cause by the end of the day, I am the one who walks on it, not them.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Gasp! I Have Trouble With Bahasa Indonesia!

To my horror, I realized how terrible my Bahasa Indonesia vocabulary is. I have to acknowledge that there are words that I forget its existence, and words that are absolutely new to me. With knowledge of several languages, I take for granted all foreignization words without even bother to look for the domestication ones.

In the early days of this blog, I pushed myself to write in proper Bahasa Indonesia. At that time I tended to mingle what ever words came up in my mind, I sometimes mixed English and Dutch, but I mostly mixed Bahasa Indonesia and Dutch/English (and at some point German) when I talked to fellow Indonesians. Basically just like what most Jakartan I meet over here. Although, my excuse was I did it because I was lazy to think of the proper word to use after spending all day in certain language before switching to the other. I dont know what's the excuse of Jakartan to do that, as all if not most of the time they use Bahasa Indonesia.

So now, I am re-learning my mother tongue, specially for certain areas. And boy, it's not as easy as I thought.