Saturday, May 29, 2010

Going Dutch

This month has been interesting with a Dutch theme. I guess you can take a girl out of Lowland, but you cant take Lowland out of a girl.

I've been dealing with some Dutch companies, and reconnected with some of my friends from Lowland. It's been super busy, but fun.

The nicest surprise was when MvO, my fave flat mate, called me on my birthday. So happy to hear his voice & talking to him again. The last time we talked was after my dad passed away. He was surprised that I still speak Dutch! One fact about MvO that I found very interesting statistically: Both of his parents and I share the same birthday. As I was his only flat mate ever, what are the odds for someone living only with people with the same birthday like him?

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Official

In the last six months I've been to three weddings. After each one there's a rumor going around about me and a certain guy. By 'guy' I mean whoever I was with, or talk extensively during the whole thing.

Back in October it was the 'next year' whatever.

Two weeks ago, I was acting as my mom's best friend's eldest son's date (confuse? me too) and was told to be in the family picture too. My distant cousin and distant aunts teased me about it. The way I see it, I was just doing a favor, I've been in his position back in October. For what I've been through with the whole kebaya and not enough sleep, I might as well be on any pictures!

Last night, I met up an old pal from NL, N, at another wedding. We talked, laughed, commiserated with each other, took some pictures together, and made a deal to hang out together. Then some aunt was talking about N and moi.

I guess it's official, each time I go to a wedding, I'd be with a different guy, and there's going to be rumor about us. Might as well enjoy it and makes every one guessing. Dont they realized, not even mama Lauren knew..

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I love a good pijat, massage. Back in lowland, thanks to a good health insurance, I had it at least once a month, but there were times I had it on weekly basis because of my connective tissues problem. Most of the time it was done by professionals: physiotherapists (I had 3 on my list for different specialities), Chinese tui na practitioner; sometimes a friend did it for me.

Back in Indonesia, I havent found any good physiotherapist, let alone someone specializing in Manual (in Dutch: Manuele) therapy. In fact last week when I asked about it to an Occupational doctor, she said her therapist is a doing it manually. Sigh.

There are a lot of people who can give you a good pijat in this place, some studied it through courses, some did it autodidact. But sometimes, I need manipulation for my joints too. That's when I have problem finding someone I can trust not making me in a worse state than I already am.

This morning I tagged along W to her office, to get what she called an 'abuse of our body' by this sweet gentle Timorese guy with a funny laugh. W did it before after a fall, and she said it was quite painful when he manipulates her bones, but afterwards it was worth it. Since I am a bit of a masochist, I decided to try it out as my upper back (T4) has been hurt for a while.

First I looked at, joked, teased W during her session. Then it was my turn. He started on my left foot, because I asked him to check my ankle which has been dislocating off and on it's place when I do certain movement ever since I sprained it during a speed skating session more than 7 years ago.

OMG. There were moments I wanted to scream had it not W was on her phone with her boss!

But to his credit, my foot looks and feels better now. Then he did my back, and ended with my left shoulder that was dislocated back in the beginning of 2006. The guy said it's going to be painful to manipulate that area. Guess what? It's not nearly as painful as when he did my foot. W was wincing each time he did something on me, while I was pretty ok about it. The guy said it's good that I have a high threshold of pain, because otherwise I'd be crying by then and he'd had to stop before putting every things back to its position. He told me to heat up my shoulder twice a day. It took him 3 hours to work with W & I. Afterwards we had a great lunch that we deserved. Do you notice, being in pain makes you hungry.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


This month is a census month up and down Indonesia. On telly you see ads promoting it, and urging people to participate. So I thought with such fanfare it would be a hugely detailed census.

Today a fieldworker came by and did her thing.

She asked who live in this house, their names, birth data, last education, employment, marital status and where they were back in May 2005, if you are/were married she asked how many kids do you have and where they are now. She, then, accesses the house: what kind of floor, how big, how do you prepare your meal (gas, electric, etc), what kind of drink water do you have, was there any deceased in 2009 in the house and that's about it.

While she was filling the form with her pencil, I peeked in.

There are plenty things she didnt ask me but was supposed to get information of. She just assumed that since she saw the Koran, and I said mom is a moslem, every one in the house was moslem. I found it interesting. There are people with different religion living under the same roof in this country, she didnt even account that possibility. If all fieldworker did the same thing, no wonder moslems are more than 80% in this country according to the previous surveys.

Then the health section was left blank. There were some question about eyes problems, some movement problems, etc. Since she didnt meet mom, how could she be sure that mom didnt suffer any of those problems without asking me anything. I need prescription glasses, and she didnt put anything on my part of that survey.

When I asked how come it was so little to be asked, she said that was her briefing, just basic questions. She was told that if someone living in this city just for his work, he will get assessed at his hometown. If no one is home, she have to go back to that place on other time.

Oh well.. it's just a census.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Full Circle

This is one of my happier places. It's still as ugly and dirty as it was eons ago, with an 'improvement' of having 3 airco's, a projector and a better sound system. The guy in the front left is even dirtier than ever. I seem to recall someone gave him a name, but I cant recall the name. If I remember correctly,those benches have been witnessing generations with dreams going back from the colonial periods to these days.

Going back there, and sat on one of those bench brought back wonderful memories.
That day it felt like a full circle.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mom vs Son

It's kinda funny when the mom is more interested and into you than the son.

Friday, May 07, 2010


Mom was at the DPR the other day. Apparently there are two big display cabinets full of masks. All of them are ugly looking masks. No beautiful mask at all.
She said, 'It's a reflection of this place, full of ugly-mask wearing people. Those esteem members are wearing these.'

Thursday, May 06, 2010

You Got to Love the Russian

A Russian governor told a popular TV Show that he was abducted by Alien. State Duma wants him to be interogated to find out if he leaked any state secret to the aliens. Weird that they are not concern about his state of mind while governing.

Well, at least he has something to talk about with Japan PM's wife on their next meeting.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

on Grief

At some point in our lives, we grief. It's something that we humans have in common, even though it looks different for everyone. Not only we grief over death. We grief for change. We grief for our loss. Loss of loved ones, loss of someone or something that we forged a bond with.

Our grief is unique. It comes in its own time, in its own way. When it hurt so much and you thought you cant take it anymore, remember that it too will pass. Dont know how, dont know when, but somehow one day it will. We just need to learn to ride it. Because the worst part of grief is we cant control it. All we can do is to feel it when it comes, be honest about it and let it go when we can.

There are times when we thought we pass it, the grief comes back with vengeance. Grief takes time. But dont let it consumed you, because you are braver than you believe and stronger than you think.

Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross said there are five stages of grief,they look different on any of us:
and acceptance.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Papa Yang Tau

I showed mom some photographs by Rarindra Prakasa. At first she said it was taken at certain time so the rays will look like that. She got a point there. When I told her I am trying to get the tutorial for processing the picture, then she said, "Ngga tau, Papa yang tau." She doesnt know, my dad knew.

OMG. The way she said it, it's like I could've just gone to the next room and asked him.