Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Am I Missing the Point?

I dont normally watch telly, but last night I sort of had to and saw:
This member of parliament said that Ariel Saga is terrorism. The 'actors' on the tape are terrorizing Indonesian and foreign homes with the sex scandals. They need to be prosecuted for corrupting children's mind, and can get up to 12 years imprisonment. The esteemed member refused to see the actors might be the victim in this case, to him they are guilty of making the tape in the first place. Period. He didnt say anything about limiting children's exposure to violence and sex from the media.

The real terrorist, Jibril was sentenced for only 5 years. He is appealing and his supporters were cursing the judges. Judging by how he looks, I dont think he has any remorse.

This police officer said that they are going to find out who blew the whistle on irregularities in some high ranks police officers' bank accounts. He said nothing about trying to find out about the irregularities itself, or what they are going to do about it.

It's too depressing.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Think BIG! Riches! Power! Pretend you could have ANYthing!

I LOVE Calvin and Hobbes. I used to buy one of their books after each of my exam period. This particular strip reminds me of a conversation I had in Amsterdam. This elderly lady asked me 'If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?' I answered, 'I want to be happy.' She and the rest of the people on the table called me naive.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Join the Party?

The other day a friend emailed me, asking if I was interested in joining a party. Political party to be precise. My mom is against me going into politics, because what it had done to some people around us. I dabbled into it before for other party than the one my friend's. I have to say it wasnt my best experience.

I guess it's an opportunity for networking, but I am not entirely sure about this. Should I or shouldnt I join the party?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Current Obsession

This week I've been obsessing about this bag that I have in my mind. It's a 3D but not in a boxy kind like any regular bag. I want it twisted. I want it neutral with a hint of bright color.

Back in high school we learnt how to do technical drawing. Our teacher gave us an object, and we have to translate it from 3D to 2D from different perspectives. I loved it. Now I tried tapping to that part of my brain while designing this bag and some other ideas I have.

The thing is, I tried drawing the pattern, then I made a prototype but it didnt fit properly when I did the twisting. My first attempt looks a bit wonky. The upside of it, I think it is more ergonomic to handle. My second attempt is more a purse than a bag, but it's more symmetrical. So I am in the right direction. Maybe I should keep the same pattern as the purse for the bag, more oval than what I had in mind.

My goal is to make a bag big enough for my camera but it doesnt look like a camera bag, and cute enough I can carry every where. And, oh, I need to get a logo to match.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Angel and Satan

I was in a great deal of pain since last night, that I couldnt even think straight when I heard this discussion this afternoon, so please take this into account. I cant recall what prompt the discussion, but this lady asked why there are more moslems who are possessed by satan than christians. To my understanding the guy said something about there are more satan and spirits in Islam than in Christianity. He then said that moslem are not really into the six pillars of faith in Islam any more: belief in god, in angel, in scriptures (Koran, Bible, Torah, and Psalm), in the prophets (including Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad), in Life after death, and in divine decree. The rest of the discussion is gone in my clouded mind.

Come to think of it, he is right. My whole life, I heard more about satan do this and that than about angel from moslems, while christians talks more about angel and less about satan. Why is that? Where did this fascination of satan stem from?

My Monkey

Lala is one of my cousins' children, so I guess she's my niece. One day, when I was in NL and hadnt seen her all her life, Lala's mom urged me to Skype. Apparently Lala and her sister asked her if I was for real, because they kept hearing my name but had never seen me. My cousin said to me, "I need to show my kids that you are not a myth!" So, we skyped :)

Ever since we met, she's pretty attached to me, literally. The whole time we were in Bogor last year, she followed me around, insisted on carrying my bag while I took pics, and sometimes just glued her whole body to mine, like koala's baby to its mom.

For European, I think, it is pretty common to use animal as term of endearment, not for Indonesian. However, we sort of called her my monkey. When her mom protested of her being glued to me, Lala would say, "I'm a monkey." Cute.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


The last time I was on a proper holiday was last year. I think I might've ruined someone's holiday at that time. Sorry for that. Anyway.. I have no idea when my next holiday might be. There's an option of going to Lampung next month for a couple of days, and every one I care about over there kept asking me when will I visit them again. Oh, the irony of the place. Not sure that I am ready to go back there. Long story. Perhaps I could just send them books for some of the libraries over there.

Then there's this wedding in Surabaya which I am attending for one night, but that's not a holiday. That's a social obligation.

Mom is not in the mood of staying in town during the end of Ramadan, so that's a possibility, but the tickets are expensive. Then, while looking for cheap tickets, I found out that Airasia has this dirt cheap flight to Myanmar from KL. So I thought, I could go and meditate there. As it turned out, to meditate in Myanmar you need a special visa which cost more than the flights, plus some letters from both meditation organizations in Indonesia and Myanmar! So, I struck that plan. Another cheap destination was Phnom Penh. I've always wanted to go to Angkor Wat, it's about 8 hours away by boat/bus from that city, then we could fly out from Siem Reap. Mom vetoed the trip, she still wants to go to Vietnam to buy some handicrafts plus visiting a family who invited us the other day. So I emailed them asking when would it be the right time to visit, still got no reply.

I realized something, making a holiday plan, and anticipating it, probably gives me more happiness than actually doing it. For the time being, I am taking comfort in daydreaming of far away places.

However, I just booked myself for a 10 days meditation at the end of the year. It's not a conventional holiday, but it is a form of getaway. Fingers crossed I could make it to that one.

Equality or Something Like That

According to Indonesian Constitution:

Article 27
(1) All citizens shall be equal before the law and the government and shall be
required to respect the law and the government, with no exceptions.
Article 28D
(1) Every person shall have the right of recognition, guarantees, protection and
certainty before a just law, and of equal treatment before the law.
Sounds great. Ideal. However, in reality, my confidence in our judicial system is getting lower and lower these days. Seeing the unequal treatment before the law of those with and without money, those with and without connections left me broken hearted. What's the point of reformation if it's still the same, if not worse, problems we face every day?

There are plenty of people who supposed to be arrested still walk free, no body prevent them from going abroad, if they finally did (try) prevent them from fleeing abroad, it's always been too late. There are those who supposed to be free ended up in jail. Life is not fair, but it seems it's more unfairer in this place.

Let's see what happened in the last few months. Please, correct me if I was wrong. Take the Anggodo case, he confessed of bribing, but I cant recall he is banned from going abroad eventhough at one point he was a suspect. The witness of Miranda Gultom's case, Nunun Nurbaeti, the wife of former National Police deputy chief Comr. Gen. Adang Daradjatun, who is the alleged broker of this bribing case still walks free in Singapore. Dont get me started on why she's still a witness instead of a suspect discussion. When I heard that there's travel bans for Luna Maya and Cut Tari who are witnesses at that Peterporn case I couldnt believe it, but moreover, I was flabbergasted reading this at Kompas' site:
Rather than promising to defend the stars’ homes or arrest the radical extremists making the threats, police said they would detain Luna Maya, 29, and Cut Tari, 32, for their own protection.
“The reason is not simply to arrest them but to protect them from mass organisations that are furious,” chief detective Ito Sumardi told reporters.

I thought, the police should protect the witnesses, and arrest the Islamic thugs, NOT the other way around. Is it just me, or the police is afraid of those pulling the Islamic card? Because it is not the first time those thugs get what they want and the police turns the blind eye. Those thugs also did the same thing as what their leader said about Luna-Ariel-Tari:
Their acts have insulted Islam and will have a bad impact on the morality of our young generations.
Please tell me, what rights do we actually have as a common citizen of this country?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ariel Oh Ariel...Ooh...

With the Peterporn story, I guess we are going to see Anti Porn Act in action. The thing is, with Ariel being arrested as the 'actor' of a porn movie. I dont think the police can make a solid case based on article 4.1 of it. I am no lawyer, but in that Act is said that art. 4.1 is not applicable for those who made porn for private consumption.

If the police want to slap him with the Information and Electronic Transaction Act, they need to prove that Ariel stupidly enough spread the video that potentially kills his career. Logically, if Ariel was that stupid to spread them out, I think he would've not spread the one with his girlfriend. I know some guys spread his ex's videos for revenge, but spreading his own girlfriend's? Let's say Ariel was such a douche who taped his sexcapades with famous Indonesian beauties, in order to spread them around, then it's right to charge him with art 4.1, art 29 of Anti Porn Act, and art 27.1 of the IET Act and art 282 (on good moral) of Indonesian Criminal Code.

If Ariel didnt start the spreading, and confessed to make the tape for personal consumption, he should've been free from all charges. The ones who should be charged with IET Act are those of you who voluntarily and with no right distributing and/or transmitting and/or making an access to those porn movies. It also means those media outlets who screened part of the movies are the ones who should've gotten charged with art 27.1 of IET Act.

But, hey, that's just my opinion, what do I know about Indonesian law.

I think one of the reasons of this witch hunt is the number of kids who are watching those movies. Mind you, there are a lot of Indonesian kids carrying Blackberry or other high tech phones that can browse the net. I think most of warnet or home computer for that matter dont have parental control software. Do we need to blame and regulate internet if your kids watch porn when you dont even try to prevent that from happening yourself? I dont think so.

The thing about those video that I found rather amusing is the opinions of those who already watched them. Colson found it not extraordinary. In fact he said: Just the usual boring stuff. Well, then again he's Dutch, not there's anything wrong being Dutch, but over at kikkerland, things are much much, did I say much, more liberal than in this so-called God-fearing-Indonesia. Now, I have to say I didnt see it, other than still pictures on telly. So I cant say anything about the performance. I just observed some Jakartan (elderly) ladies talk about it. Ranging from 'great staying power', 'huge', 'how come our husbands arent like that', 'OMG it's too much, I dont want to see it any more[walked away]...(after hearing some comments) I have too see that[walked back to see]', 'What are they doing now..(followed by explanation by others)', to 'Gila bener'. Those comments, made me wonders, maybe that survey is right after all.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Not My Week

We started this week with an early phone call. We lost another uncle, this time from my father's side. Then while visiting an uncle from my mom's side at the hospital, we found out that mom's headache caused by her blood pressure sky rocketing to 160/110. So, we only visited my newly widow aunt briefly to bring her some food for the prayer session that night.

The next day mom wasnt getting better, she was on a different brand of meds that made her heart palpitating. There were also some deadlines for my part.

By friday, I had to go to the hospital. Verdict: Ear Infection. I was put on antibiotic for 5 days. Great. Followed by visiting my family's graves to get some paperwork only to find there was some damage to dad's grave. Back to the hospital to get mom an oxygen tank as she has trouble breathing. When I got home, we thought the tank wasnt working. I had a splitting headache, so I waited to my brother to take that tank back. By 8 PM we were back at the oxygen depot, and was told that the tank works!! Grrr...

This morning I forgot my cellphones, so I had to cancel getting my present from my BFF. Just minutes ago I finally able to meet my deadline but I am not satisfied with my result. An email that I suppose to distribute to others tonight never arrive.

All things considered, I'd be glad if I could start next week without losing any other family member!

Friday, June 18, 2010

... Don't Forget the Databases!

From the University of Washington Information School
Hat tip to Legal writing Prof.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Ever since I am back to this country, one of my uncles has this yearly ritual with me. Well, actually he did it on our last meeting in lowland too. Each year, and this year happened last Sunday on a 7th day mourning of my recently deceased uncle, he asked me if I want to go back to Medical School, to be precise to his Medical School where I would need to wear a jilbab to attend. For some reason, he never asked my cousin E who is actually obsessed about becoming a doctor.

As much as I love(d) the subject, and a lot of people thought I have a knack for it, not to mention the fact that my dad groomed me for it, I dont think going back to Meds School is the right thing to do. It takes ages and money. Plus, I dont think I have the patience in dealing with (Indonesian) patients and their family. I already got frustrated getting the same frequently asked questions from people who are not bother reading materials that we supply upon joining our mailing list for parents of gifted children. In Indonesia, the doctor's money comes from his/her individual surgeries, not from the day time work at the hospital. So, being a doctor means I would've dealt with patients and their family. Not something I look forward to.

Another thing, I dont think Indonesian Health Laws gives enough protection to both the medical practitioners and the patients. If you compare it with the Dutch equivalent, there are so many things that needed to be address in Indonesian Health Law. Another reason not to practice medicine for moi.

Anyway, I always told my uncle that I cant stand the heat if I have to wear a jilbab, because most of the time I cant even stand the heat without an airco in a normal clothing anyway. So how about a head dress combines with a tank top, would that be ok? If it is, I might've thought of going back ;)

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Yesterday, for the first time in my life, I wished I wore a jilbab so those lice wont jump to my hair from this gal's. She had gazillions nits and was sitting next to me on busway.

I had to stop myself telling her to spend less time on her cellphone, and more on her hygiene.

I dont know if it's just me imagining things, but my head is itching since then. Seriously, FML!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

On Prestige

In Indonesia, the price of branded goods are much higher than in the USA, part of if is due to the luxury goods' tax, another part of it I just dont get why. What I find fascinating, the culture of showing off in this place making it normal to pay the exorbitant prices, some even gloats about paying it because it's a prestige. I remember an old colleague bought a black macbook because of it's prestige, and ended up using Windows on it. I found out about this when he said he couldnt open a pdf file he needed because he didnt have a pdf reader to open it. I told him that's BS, but he was very adamant about it. So I opened his Macbook, and logged into MacOs to show him he could read a pdf without the need of downloading a reader program under his bewildering eyes. I mean really, I thought he was using windows on it because he needed some applications only available in Windows, but no, after more than a year owning a macbook, he just didnt know it came with MacOs which is more suitable for him who was not a computer savvy.

Logically, why on earth spending more money buying a Mac, but you use Windows all the time other than for showing off that you have the purchasing power to get one?

Prayer To Sell

[2:42] And believe in what I have sent down [Quran] which fulfils that which is with you [Torah], and be not the first to disbelieve therein, and barter not My Signs for a paltry price, and take protection in Me alone.

Our clan is in mourning after the death of one of our uncles last Sunday evening. Due to circumstances, as soon as we found out that he was critical in the ICU, mom and I decided should something happened his body would be laid next door and all the wake would be held there as well.

Before we even left the house to see him, we got a call that he passed away. So that night, the whole clan and friends gathered next door praying in front of the body. Then someone asked, who were going to stay with the body the whole night? Someone said that some people need to pray all night near the body. Then it was decided to asked the musholla's (a small mosque) help. A bloke came proposing to read the whole quran all night for 1 million rupiah, citing that's what my family did when my father died. I told my cousin that we were proposed the same thing but didnt do it, because we didnt see the point, plus we believed paying them the said amount for that is only lead the readers to sin for selling God's word for a paltry price. It would've been different if we just gave them donation for their time and effort. They had the guts to tell us if we didnt do that, my father would have trouble in the after life or something along that line. Great.

That's one of the problems I have with that Musholla, they are greedy and sell out. When we were in the middle of burying my father, I had a phone call telling me that they refused to come to our place unless they received certain things for certain number of people. I felt like they kidnapped us for ransom. They take advantage of people in needs. I hate people like that with passion. To me, such people and those terrorists are the real enemy of Islam, they put a shame on the religion, not some stupid cartoonist or someone naming her doll Muhammad.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Never Be Silent... Unless It's About Palestinian

Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel who is a Holocaust survivor once quoted:
"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides."
— Elie Wiesel

"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe."
— Elie Wiesel (The Night Trilogy: Night, Dawn, The Accident)

I think everyone with the right mind will be in complete agreement with above quote.

However, when I tried to find out Mr. Wiesel position on the situation in Gaza, I couldnt find anything. Not an OpEd, not an interview, not even a small statement. I would have thought, being a survivor of something horrific and at one point in his life making the above statement, Mr Wiesel would have said something about the children or women of Gaza, if not about civilians of Palestine who caught between two powers. They, together with their Israelis counterpart, are the real victims of the Israel v Palestine problems.

With your silence, Mr. Wiesel, just as you said, you are helping the oppressor. You are encouraging the tormentor.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

That's a Relief!

I heard that the second time in a week from two different guys upon knowing that I am still unmarried. If only my aunts have the same sentiments. Sigh.

That reaction was kinda refreshing, I get used to people looking pity on me, or promising to pray for me or telling me to be nice so some bloke will marry me in this place. On second thought, why did my old friends said that they are relief?

Does Nusantara mean 'Something Foreign'?

It was a dreary day, the last day of last year, and since we didnt have anything to do, we decided to go to Taman Bunga Nusantara which was practically down the road from where we were staying in Cibodas area.

It struck me when we got there that there was this huge black swan statue in front of it. We took the bus ride to get around the 23 hectares garden and saw gardens from all over the world: French, American, Japanese and Mediterranean garden. Then there was water garden, palm garden, rose garden and a Labyrinth. The only Indonesian theme was a Balinese garden. It's kinda ironic for a garden with such a name.

There was also a swan lake on the ground with Australian black swans (Cygnus atratus) and European white swans (Cygnus olor). As it happened the Australian black swan was their mascot, which explained the huge statue. Dont we have any lovely animal worth to be a mascot for that we have to use an Australian one?

I cant help but wonder, why do they bother calling it 'Nusantara'?