Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year Where ever You are

As we're ringing the New Year,
a simple prayer from St Francis of Assisi seems fitting to start a new leaf of life:

Lord , make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is HATRED, let me sow LOVE
Where there is INJURY , let me sow PARDON
Where there is DOUBT, let me sow FAITH
Where there is DESPAIR , let me sow HOPE
Where there is SADNESS , let me sow JOY
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
For it is in GIVING that we RECEIVE,
It is in PARDONING that we are PARDONED,
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life...............


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Season's Greetings

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa
Happy Holiday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Note to self #2

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Dream

I had this weird dream last night. A bunch of us were in some sort of tour bus along with others. I was sitting at the back. Somehow my friends started to give me a tiny piece of paper with their religion in it. They said I'd better hold those papers and give it later to this guy. Other people didnt do that. I remember this guy's an atheist in real life, but in my dream his paper said catholics, then another guy whom I have no idea what he believes also has the same thing written on his paper.

Unlike most Indonesians who ask people's religion, I find it too personal and it can be used against me, so I never ask the question unless I have to. So, why did I dream that?

Sunday, December 19, 2010


It's late, and I just remember I had to translate this thing for tomorrow. It went well until I translated "beer" to "bir". It wont be wrong if it's not for kids. Nor if it was from English.

And I dont even like beer. The liquid kind, that is.

When I Said "I Love You"

... it’s not because I want you or because I can’t have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I’ve seen your kindness and strength. I’ve seen the best and worst of you. And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what and who you are.
— Joss Whedon


Neither abstinence from fish nor flesh, nor going naked, nor shaving the head, nor wearing matted hair, nor dressing in a rough garment, nor covering with dirt, nor sacrificing to fire, will cleanse a man who is not free from delusions. - Buddha Gautama
It's weird to quote the Buddha when I want to talk a bit about hijab. However, it makes sense [I think] as a hijab is just a piece of clothing that one put on to cover up one's aurat/awrah, intimate parts of the body. I need to remind myself about that fact each time I see women in hijab who are talking or acting in such way that I find them as a disgrace of the hijab.

I believe, hijab is a tangible reminder for us to be modest, because it is more difficult to 'cover up' our heart and mind than just wearing a piece of clothing over it. I guess the general public, of course, disagree with my notion, as most people are more into ritualistic side of any religion anyway.

Nowadays, there are more and more Indonesian women who wear head covering in any kind than ever before. The one with 'full pressed body', the one that looks like a tent, the one that you can see their palms and face, the one that you can only see their eyes, and lastly what I find the worst kind as it is contrary to what the Koran said: the one that you cant see anything but a massive flowing clothing with presumably a woman underneath it. Mind you out of all kind of covering, I really think the last one needs to be banned for the sake of security (ours and hers as often she couldnt see clearly underneath that thick black clothing).

One of my friend asked me what's the deal of Indonesian women wearing jilbab (that's what Indonesian called for that piece of cloth). I said, there are women who are doing it because they really believe that it is written in the Koran, but there are plenty who are wearing it because it's a trend. Yupe, it's trendy to wear a hijab and people would thing you are a good religious person because of it. Some would say you look much prettier in one, eventho honestly I think very few Indonesian women have the facial bone structure to wear this look but I digress. Some elderly ladies wear them because they just dont bother to take care of their grey hair. Kids wear them because the school or their parents told them to. Some wear them because everyone in her circle is wearing them.

I've met enough women with hijab whose mouth & mind are as dirty as, if not more than those who are not wearing one. Some steal other women's husband and even resorted to use black magic to get what their want be it work, love, or money. I didnt see the point why they need to wear that kind of clothing under this weather while not improving their mind and mouth. Perhaps it's their way of setting a new 'improved' image of themselves. After all in this place anything remotely religious is deemed good.

That being said, a good friend of mine wears hijab. She used to be one of those anak disco, a reveler (perhaps more than I ever did), until one day she went to Haj pilgrimage and decided to wear one, and never took it off. At home she still wears short pants around her husband and kids tho. What I love and respect about her is that she is consistent, in her acts, talks, dresses as one unity. She doesnt curse, no matter how hurt she was nor said anything bad or with sexual connotation about or to anyone, she is ever so polite, and helpful. She never said anything implying her way is better than mine. In fact she told me that I need to be consistent in what ever path I choose. Each time I look at her, I know she's not wearing hijab just for other people's sake, but she's really wearing it inside and out. As I think it should be.

But hey, it's just my bias opinion.


it's the little things that occupy the biggest part of the hearts

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Missing the Snow

I've been looking at my friends pictures of the Lowland covered in snow. THICK SNOW. I'm so jealous. I miss the snow. That being said, I'm not missing when its melted. I wonder if I ever see snow again.

It's official...

I just fried my brain sitting for the two exams since 9 o'clock this morning. By the look of it, I'll be sitting for the same exam this time next year, but if I passed both exams this time around.. I'll sacrifice a goat and make it Kambing Guling, eventho I wont be eating any of it.

I dont even remember what I wrote. I'm in such state at this moment.

Eventho I want to go to any party (I dont care which one as long as it's a party), but I think I am more in need of: SLEEPING!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Indonesian scientists are pro-smoking

This article is kind of ruin my morning. I guess those so-called scientists never had the experience of having their love one died of smoking related diseases. I wonder how much the cigarette companies are paying them.

Note to self: crossed Brawijaya University from recommendation list.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Argentine Tango

Today I had a meeting with an Argentinian guy. It's been ages since I listened to Latin Spanish. It's cute. We talked a bit about his country and Argentine Tango.

I heart Argentine Tango. Mucho.

Out of many dances I'd learned since my childhood, I feel Argentine Tango is the closest to the reality of man-woman relationship. It can be fun, sad, sensual, flirtatious, playful, slow, or in quick tempo. There's smooth flowing motions but also sharp turns. There's no choreography, it's all about improvisation. There's a synergy between opposites, between the dancers.

There's an old saying: Tango is 4 legs, 2 bodies, 1 heart. It's because it's not merely about moving from one step to the next, but it's about feeling and sensitivity. Each dance is a new dance created by the (new) partners according to the music, the mood, the moment, the state of their inner beings.

The first thing you'll learn at tango class is to be in tune with your partner's movement. It's not about calculating/expecting/anticipating his or her next step, but paying full attention to their subtle signals and accommodating it. You learn to just walk in sync and in rhythm. Sometimes, you are not even embracing your partner. Only after you master this, you'll learn the basic moves.

In order for a man to be a good leader, he must be clear and unwavering in his intention. He must lead with certainty and conviction. Certainty is the key. The woman needs to trust and let the man take control. She must be open, receptive and patiently waiting for his lead and responding to that accordingly. There's this frantic male energy and female calmness in the dance, and it has to be in balance. If the male energy is too dominant, you are risking throwing her around, losing the connection and being disrespecting your partner as well as compromising her balance. Therefore, the man also need to wait and listen to their partner's respond. If the woman doesnt respond correctly to the lead, she is just there dragging along behind without grace. If the man is not leading, the woman will not following. If the woman can figure you out, you'll lose her attention and she'll start dancing on her own.

Vale, Vamos a bailar!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It wasnt meant to be

A couple of weeks ago, at the end of the week, my boss told me a lead for an investment. We figured it could bring us at least 30% profit. Before I was able to take care of it, I was bed ridden. I tried asking my brother to take care of it, but he didnt.

Today it would've brought us 100% profit.
It's one of those things, it's just not meant to be.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weird Conversation #4

We just wrapped up our meeting. The guy rose from his chair, looked at me, and approaching me.

+ Are you related to T? His niece, perhaps?
- Yes sir, I'm his niece
+ I thought so, you look a bit like him. So, Are you from his side, or from his wife's?
- Actually, from his wife's side.
+ Yeah, your uncle is arabic descended.
* She's also B's niece
+ Oh, no wonder. I know you uncles.

Today I told oom T & B about this, and they were laughing. Oom T looks very Arabic, I look very Indonesian. Our similarity is having the same malocclusion. My uncle didnt even remember the guy or if both of us (I used to tag a long Oom T's meetings or functions) met the guy before.


I went to see this monk today, Bhante Uttamo. He was one of the funniest and wisest people I know. He taught mindfulness meditation. What I like about his teaching was he also taught about mindfulness in the real life. Sitting meditating was just a practice for being mindful in the real life.

Yesterday I said I wouldnt ask any question today, because most of the time when it comes to meditation, the answer would be: Just observe the sensation. However, I ended up asking a lot of questions. I formulated in general questions, as I asked them in public. His answers were all actually specific to whatever I was struggling. There was only one person who knew about the story behind my questions. After the meeting she commented that now I had the answers I was looking for. Yupe. I know I'm in the right path eventho sometimes I made a detour.

Someone asked about desire in Buddhism. He said it is ok to have desire as long as we are not attached to it. Just as well with love. According to him, to love means we are acting in such way to make the one we love happy without wanting anything in return. As soon as we expect something from that person, it's a form of attachment. Need to ponder more on that one.

What is interesting, some of his example about mindfulness in real life I learned it before from my dad. I've never thought about it as being mindful before. In 8 hours I learned so much, and laughed so hard with him. I feel like my battery has been recharged.

Perhaps like the bhante said, we have enough good karma for us to meet each other at the right moment. Thank you Bhante!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Meeting Up People

It's been 2.5 years since I came back. A lot has happened. There were some ups, but there were much more downs. I lost myself in the process. In short, I've changed. I'm not as happy-go-lucky as before. A friend said I'm more assertive, probably it's her nice way of saying I'm more bitchy. I used to be very flexible with my time, now I am not. When people upset me, I used to let it slide, now I dont.

There are parts of me that still 'Dutch'.

Like I still ask for mayo for my (thick) fries, or still show up on time even just for meeting friends. It bothers me when people show up late, especially without any news about it. Take my friends from Junior High. We met up twice, and I always be the first person to show up at the venue. In the last meeting the first 2 people who arrived at the venue was my friend who lives in NL and I, the rest were at least 1 hour late. I told them early on, I had another appointment afterward, so I left about 1.5 hour after arriving. The late comers commented why do I have to leave so soon as they just arrive! Are you kidding me?

What worse is when someone cancel a meeting without telling me about it. Between work, class, traffic jams, I dont have much spare time. When I said I'm meeting someone, I'd do my best to be there. Even if I felt like crap, I'd try to make it. If I cant make it I make sure you know about it, depending whether I have enough credit on my cell, most of the time I call because in my experience I dont always get my sms (I have no idea why I use 2 providers and they are the same).

I still try to go out my way for those important people in my life. Now, however, when I feel like they didnt even care about me/what I'm doing, I stop making the effort. I figure, why would I have to bend over backward for someone when that person doesnt appreciate it.

People would say that I need to lighten up about it, but I feel it's about respect & appreciation. By being late, you are not respecting and appreciating the other person's time. Plain and simple.


I was talking to one of mom's friend the other day. She talked about her son and how she wanted her son and I to go to Myanmar, because her sister just came back from a trip up there. Apparently there's a temple that she wanted us to visit.

Ever since I met this lovely girl from Myanmar before I left for NL, I always want to see the place. Then I started learning Vipassana that was thought by Goenkaji who happen to be from Myanmar. I want to one day do Vipassana in Myanmar. However, I heard that to meditate in Myanmar we need a special visa and in order to get it, I need to get a letter from both meditation centers in Indonesia and Myanmar. What a hassle! Plus, I tried emailing and calling the Myanmar embassy in Jakarta about it but to this day I never get any reply.

Who knows we might ended up going up there one day. For the time being, both of us are busy with our own things.


I went to the doc yesterday, he didnt believe my calcium result, so I had to do another blood test today. The result came back in the normal range eventho it's on the higher side. Phew. Last night he said based on my other blood test, I have some viral thing going. At least I dont have to be worried about a future of osteoporosis or worst yet: renal failure.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Touching Ads

Watching these two ads, made me cried because I miss two of the most important men in my life: my dad & grandpa.

Disconnect to Connect

This Thai ads shares the same sentiment that I have about being connected. I often feel invisible when I am surrounded by people who are into their (smart)phones. Mind you, there are many of such people in Jakarta.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Perhaps It Explains My Irritation

After an exam, I went straight to the hospital and stayed there for 5 hours last Saturday because I felt like crap. I thought the bugs still bugging me. However, the doc told me to get another blood test to check my electrolytes.

I just called the lab to ask for the preliminary result, and it seems like my calcium is way too high, almost 4 times higher than normal. The lady said she's going to check some more to make sure before I see the doc on Thursday for a consult.

4 times as high means hypercalcemia. That explain the irritability I've been experiencing which I thought due to stress. Good thing that I havent been in confusion, which is also another side effect. It seems that my hormones are still imbalance. In worst case scenario, it could lead to renal failure.

So, it seems like I have to do more hospital run after this. Fun! NOT.
Oh well, better now than if it was too late, eh?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Good News at The End of The Year

Today is the last day of Islamic/Javanese calendar. Some people would do certain ritual tonight to start the new year in a 'better' way, cleaning up the old habits.

Well, after being busy and sick as of late, finally I went to see Harry Potter followed by dinner after work. I got home to 2 great news. One of them was courtesy of Colson and his family. The best Sinterklaas gift. Thank you so much. The next one was about this short trip in January, which could lead to another trip. I feel like dancing now..

A great start of the new year, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saudi's Women

I want all Indonesian women who want to have Shariah implemented in Indonesia to read this article. Seriously, I dont get why Saudi has a seat in the United Nations Women's Rights Council, their track record of Women's rights is preposterous.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Moment of Truth

When a guy tells you he's an asshole, believe him. He's telling the truth.


Colson reminded me about Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet and what they are going to do to those who are naughty. Zwarte Piet scolded you then take you to Spain. SPAIN! Just think about things you could do in Spain when Piet scolded you. I need to work on my naughtiness so they take me to Spain. So I can be in Barcelona again, be in places Gaudi touched, be in places that inspired Miro, Picasso & Dali. Not to forget: dancing Flamenco again.

That's it: I'm taking up Spanish again next year, besides there's a chance I'm dealing with Spanish company next year.

Being Appreciated

My friend's Facebook status was:

@ Marioteguhquote: If you are not appreciated where you served at this time, allow your heart to hurt a little, but still be the best.

I'd say look elsewhere where you are being appreciated. You work hard but the boss doesnt appreciate that, perhaps a new boss will help you excel even more, because you'll work much better and happier if the boss appreciate your effort.

Life is too short to be surrounded by people who don't appreciate who you are and what you do.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Reminder for Foreigners

When you visit Asia, especially in Indonesia, dont forget to bring small souvenirs to save yourself from embarrassment. More importantly when you are visiting an institution. They will give you souvenir. If you dont have one with you, dont tell me that I didnt warn you.

Dont be arrogant & know-it-all just because you are from the developed country. People can make your life miserable because of it. They can make up special rules for you.

Friday, December 03, 2010

SBY VS Sultan of Jogja: Apple won

We knew that Putin has one. During the eruption of that unpronounceable volcano in Iceland, Jens Stoltenberg, Norwegian PM used one to govern his country from the US while being stranded.

Our president and Sultan of Jogja have a disagreement about the head of Jogjakarta province. For days, the media covered with it. The way I see it, it's all about money. What else matter in this land? It always comes down to it.

What interesting is, Apple is the winner of the battle.

SBY has been known of using IPAD for his speeches. So far, the famous logo was hidden from the camera. Then SBY made a speech on the situation with Sultan. It was more prominent than the Garuda, our national emblem.

You see, SBY need to invest in teleprompter just like Obama to avoid something like this to happen. If he still wants to use his Ipad, he'd better concealed the logo.

In the meantime, with a free advert like this for Apple, does it mean Indonesian get discount for Ipad?

Korean Drama

No, I am not going to talk about what happen between South and North Korea at the moment. It's too depressing.

Some of my friends are into Korean drama/telenovela. Never caught the bug myself, tho. I found out the surge of Indonesian students in South Korea is partly due to their exposure to this drama. They fell in love with Korean sceneries and people, and from there they decided to study in Korea.

I touched about this phenomena during our lunch the other day, as a way of introducing other culture to Indonesians. It's probably cheaper than having a tourism fair/cultural night to get wider audience.

As I was lounging in front of the telly this afternoon, my cousin & maid were watching one of Korean Dramas. I have no idea which one, it's about a boy and a girl who likes each other but trying to conceal their feeling. Old story. The guy is cute, too pretty actually. The girl is very cute. I didnt see any scenery tho. They shoot everything indoor in this one.

As it is in Korean, we have to read the subtitles. However, the subtitle is terrible. It's in pidgin Bahasa Indonesia. I think they use some machine to translate the whole thing. It's cheap to do that, but most of the time you cant understand the translated part. The grammar is mostly completely wrong, that it made absolutely no sense why they even bother reading the subtitle.

I wonder, if watching too much of Korean Drama with awful subtitle can in the long run ruin your command of proper Bahasa Indonesia.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Circus in Town

They finally arrived last Tuesday. Had I not been bed ridden, I'd have joined the dinner that night. The next day, in the front of the hotel there was a demonstration of women in black/white jilbab carrying Arabic banner demanding sharia law. Gosh, I wish I was rich enough to give those ladies one way ticket to middle east or at least to Aceh. What a welcome to those who've never been to Indonesia before.

The 1st meeting didnt go as well as I thought it would be. Too abstract, too much unimportant information about some trees. I dont get it. This is the opportunity to talk about cooperation and the guy talked on and on about some stupid trees. What a waste of time. Plus, the one who really had prepared for the meeting didnt get the chance to talk. That's how most Indonesian bosses are. Sad, but it's the reality.

Had a great dinner by the pool & there was an impressive presentation by this high school kid. Later on I overheard my boss telling his wife that a member of the delegation told him that I was very sexy. I still dont know how to take that. Ok, normally I go to work in a pair of trousers and a blouse, long sleeves, covered up with a wee bit of make up. I make more effort when I have to meet a client. Last night, still feeling under the weather, I put on a moss green knee-length dress with a matching crop cardigan and some make up. I showered and got ready in less than 30 minutes because I needed to prepare everything to the last details.

The ladies said I looked great. I can take 'great'. The guy who helped me at the executive lounge said I looked gorgeous. I can take 'gorgeous' any time. But 'very sexy' from a client to my boss. I dont know what to think. Until I figure it out, note to self: stay away from dresses. Anyway, I am back to the usual uniform of trousers & blouse today.

Both of our today's meetings went well. It was more concrete, and by the look of it, my client's objective can be reached just by this visit. The bosses are very pleased. Fingers crossed come end Q1 2011, that thing I've been praying for would materialized.

Despite the excruciating pain I had last night, I really enjoyed the circus in town. It's worth the pain.