Sunday, July 31, 2011

Over the Counter Meds

Elsewhere in the world, it's not easy getting antibiotics. However, in Indonesia, doctors are giving out prescription with antibiotics easily, citing that in tropical country the chance of infection is greater than in developed countries. This has some merit, but still doesnt justify why some doctors prescribing antibiotics for common cold in this country. Repeat after me: Antibiotics wont work against virus.

Anyway.. I last night my ENT doc Aunt said over the phone that I needed to get some antibiotics and some saline nose spray. So, I had two options: forged my dad's prescription or just go to pharmacy for the meds. I asked our guard to get me those without any prescription. He came back bringing only one third of the antibiotics I need saying,"This is all they've got. They need a prescription for the saline nose spray."

Oh, the sheer stupidity of that sentence.

Elsewhere in the world, saline nose spray is an over-the-counter medicine and to get an antibiotics we need a prescription. Indonesia has other rule apparently.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


According to the Oxford Dictionary:
terrorist |ˈterərist|
a person who uses terrorism in the pursuit of political aims.

However, judging from the media as of late, nowadays Western media uses the word 'terrorist' only when it comes to Islamist/colored person who uses terrorism. They are reluctant to apply it to blond-conservative-Christian-member-of-Freemason-killer even though he clearly terrorized not only Norway with his acts, but also the world & was also charged by the Norwegian police for acts of terrorism.

I didnt hear anything about his rampage until Saturday late morning. In the first articles I read there were notions that the perpetrator was Muslim radical(s). There were even some Islamic groups claiming it was theirs. Later on, as it turned out, it was Anders Behring Breivik, a puur blood Norwegian psycho, who has no remorse of what he had done. He even thinks that it was not against the law! The sad part was, some media still tried looking for anything to link him to radical Islam.

These atrocities remind us that terrorist comes in many colors. We need to learn not to jump into conclusion based on our own assumptions.

My heart and prayer goes out to the victims and their family.
Norge, mitt hjerte er med deg!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Elly Anita An 'Anti-Trafficking Hero'

TVOne interviewed Elly Anita, a former migrant worker & victim of human trafficking in the Middle East. She only studied at elementary school level but managed to learn English, Arabic, Cantonese and how to use internet. Her English is much better than some of university lecturers I've met in Indonesia.

She was awarded by the US government the 'Anti-Trafficking Hero' award and was invited to the UN to talk in their Geneve HQ.

What did she get from the Indonesian government? Nothing. Nada. Null.

In the midst of her struggle in the Middle East she managed to contact one of Indonesian Embassy for help and was sort of being told off that it's her own fault why she ended up in Iraq. It was IOM (International Organization of Migration) who helped her & 16 of her friends.

Nowadays she work for Migrant Care helping fellow migrant workers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I ♥ Prof. Rodney Grahame

Back in 2006 after years of dealing with chronic pain and was diagnosed Fibromyalgia in the previous year, the RSI on my right wrist/thumb was at the worst, I needed weekly physiotherapy on my hand and I couldnt type/write for a long period. At that time my RSI therapist said there was nothing more he could do because I was too mobile. My joints are abnormally mobile.

So I turned to GoogleGod. He told me about Hypermobility Syndrome Association, Ehler-Danlos syndrome (EDS), and the likes. I learnt about Prof Grahame in those forums. I started reading his papers and articles. He talked about Hypermobility Syndrome aka. Hypermobility-EDS.

Nothing confirmed yet, but things started to fall into its places.

Somehow I got hold of his email address and I emailed him, asking his opinions and suggestions. He basically agreed with my hypothesis of what I have based on the fact that I scored 6 out of 9 in Brighton Criteria. He told me that there is only one expert in the Netherlands and gave me his name & house address which was in the same city as mine.

After getting a referral letter from my GP, I went to see the guy in Gouda where he worked. I went there twice before he sent his diagnosis to both my GP and a specialist physiotherapist he referred me to. I have Hypermobility Syndrome (HMS).

All these time, people said I was hypochondriac, that it was between my ears. Those people need to read this paper:

Patients with HMS often have complaints that are frequently diffuse, chronic, and inconsistent with observed pathology. These individuals may be improperly identified as having hypochondria, as malingering, or as having nonspecific chronic pain, without further investigation into the source of their complaints. Individuals with HMS may not get a diagnosis, or they might be misdiagnosed. Failure to recognize the underlying HMS may lead to unnecessary or inappropriate diagnostic studies, surgical procedures, and patient management, especially for children.

I am forever indebted to Prof G. Even though I've never met him in person, he showed me the light in the end of the tunnel. Following my diagnosis, I did what ever I need to do to 'cure' the RSI, and made peace with Hypermobility. I still have the occasional dislocations. But now I know that during that time of the month where I am even more prone to dislocating myself, I need to take my time moving my limbs.

The sad thing about having this syndrome in Indonesia is nobody really understand and bother to learn about it. There is no HMS expert in ASEAN Region! Part of it because most Asian are more flexible than European, plus HMS is not a life threatening syndrome therefore, I guess, it's not 'sexy enough'. After I bought & read Prof G's book for my dad, he told me that in his career he only saw less than 10 cases of Ehler-Danlos and none of them the Hypermobility type. After he read the book, he agreed with me that I have it from my mom's side. My brother also has dislocating problem with his jaw, but he's not as flexible in his limb as I am. However, I remember flexing his flexible outer ears when we were kids.

I was hoping that my dad could teach his students back then. Now I cant even find that book in his office/home. I wonder if he lent it to someone? Seems like I need to get another book of Prof Grahame to teach my doctors over here about HMS.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Four Chords Songs

Australia has Axis of Awesome with their four chords songs:

Indonesian Kuburan band came up with "Lupa lupa Song" about forgetting singing a song with 4 chords.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Darsem is Free

Darsem is a former Indonesian domestic worker in Saudi who killed her employer when he tried to rape her. Saudi's court sent her to beheading. Lucky for Darsem, the family of his employer decided to forgive her in exchange of some money, around IDR 4.7Billion.

After Ruyati's faith, the government decided to pay Darsem blood money. Now Darsem is free and just got home in Indonesia.

While I'm happy that she is now free and empathized with her ordeal, I dont agree with the fact that the Government is paying the blood money. I think from all the money we collect from the migrant workers we could find a fund for blood money. After all part of it is to pay for their security, why not using that fund instead?

As the Government paid the blood money, my question is: from which fund? Who/what are we sacrificing in order to safe one person? More often than not, the first fund the government use for things like this or that of Sport games is Education or health fund. I know we cant really put a price on a human being, but IDR 4.7 Billion is plenty money to educate a lot of people such as Darsem so they have better skills. These skills might've safe her from working as domestic worker in Saudi, or at least prepare domestic workers to work abroad so stories such as Ruyati wont happened any more.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dance Dance Evolution

One of my earliest memories is going to a dance class at one of my neighbors' house when I was around 3 year old. I did Balinese dance back then. Mom said I learnt ballet at kindergarten but I have no recollection about it. I remember competing dancing at provincial level a year later, it was a modern dance.

At elementary school I did a lot of dancing, at one point I danced 5 days a week. Some Balinese, Banyuwanginese and Modern dances. I then practically stopped dancing through out high school years. After moving to NL I took up Ballroom dancing, until my dance partner decided he rather spent his time at church then at dancing hall. Having no partner-in-crime, I then took up Flamenco and Tap dancing. Since both arent exactly social dances, I decided to exchange my tap & flamenco shoes to Latin shoes and learnt how to dance Argentine Tango. I found a partner that I was comfortable to dance with. I need to feel comfortable with my Tango partner because it's a very intimate dance with a lot of close embrace. Afterward I also took up Salsa because it is more accessible to the mass, plus you can dance salsa by yourself if you want.

I tried going to Argentine Tango class in Jakarta but it is not as good as in lowland, and I ended up helping the teacher teaching the beginner guys, which in turn hurting my lower back by doing too much of repetition & abrupt stops. Until I find a decent class & partner, sadly I have to stop doing the Tango.

My latest adventure is learning how to do Javanese dance. It is one of the hardest dances I've ever learnt. The way the teacher teaches is to do all at once which proved to be too much information for me. In the beginning it didnt add up in my head. When do I need to put my weight on my right leg, when to switch weight, where to put my left foot, how to turn my right hand? I had to do all at once: learning and doing. It's very different than the way how 'European/Latin' dances are being taught. They break down teaching the hand and the feet movements. After we know what to do with the feet, the teacher adds the hand movement. With Javanese, you have to learn them in one go. There are parts when I said I feel like it misses something/a step. Later on the teacher told us that she deliberately skipped one step because we didnt wear 'jarik', a traditional Javanese clothe that you wear closely around your lower body. Now, let see if I could get the hang of it by October.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Google+ Got My Vote

I've been toying with Google+ and I like it. It feels more secure than Facebook. By secure I mean I'm in control about things that I share. The fact that my family is still not in it is a bonus *grin*.

As Google+ can be used for multiple video conference is whooping Facebook with its one-to-one video call via Skype. I also love the fact nobody asked me to join their stupid games. Seriously, I dont care if your farm is harvesting or your mafia needs a new blood.

I think Google+ is a mash-up between Facebook and Twitter, luckily only the 'good parts' of both (if there's such a thing). Just like on Twitter we dont need to follow who ever following us. We could put our contact in to circles to differentiate what we could share with them. My friend said it's much faster than Facebook to share video's on Google+, I didnt really notice that though. It's also possible in Google+ to download what ever information you've put up online.

There are some bugs though, I opened up someone's profile and in the 'About' area it showed up my own. At first I thought "what was the odd?", but as I refreshed the page, the real input was loaded up.

Anyway, so far G+ got my vote.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Fun Connections

Since the swelling went down, I met up an 'old' friend of mine at this event I attended for work. We've 'known' each other since 2005, consulted each other, talked on the phone every now and then, but had never met until today. Some guys thought the two of us work together. I showed him a picture of mine at the exhibition (I had nothing to do with the exhibition, I just found out that my pic was there just as surprised as I found out about my pic on a while back). He teased, but I told him because he's a friend I could give him my signature for free. It was fun hanging out with him. We bought some chocolates on the way out. I made him tasted chocolate chilli. We need to meet up again!

Then I went along with my family to find some food for my nephew. By food I mean olives and gherkin. I had such a good laugh in the car with my nephew.
him: how old are you?
me: 10
him: no, you'are not.
me: why not?
him: you are taller for a 10 y.o.
me: how old am I then?
him: 17!
me: yay!

Got home, I chatted with this Balinese guy to wish him 'Happy Galungan' and was told about Balinese names that always confuse me. It feels like every 4th person is a Nyoman or Made. He told me that in order to differentiate him to the others, in his village they know him as Made Jakarta (it used to be Made Jerman when he lived in Germany). As he now has kids, they call him Pan Dhava (father of Dhava-his first born), his dad is now known as Pekak Pandu (grandfather of Pandu -his first grandkid). Funny thing was, when I asked what about calling someone who has great grandchildren, he couldnt recalled what to call great grandfather. It is interesting as I heard in Arabic culture the father is also called as the father of his kid such as Abu Abdul (father of Abdul), I wonder if they also change his nickname after having a grandchild. Yes @Hning, you'd better correct me in this one.

Despite a bit of itchiness & dizzyness, it was a good fun day.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Red Lobster

I've been walking around like a red lobster since yesterday due to an allergy. Red. Swollen. Itchy. Decided to stay home today, and just get knock out by meds. sigh.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

How To Start A Movement

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in. @sivers

Saturday, July 02, 2011


I had great morning with a friend, shooting some pictures. Around noon, we went to Ambassador mall for lunch and my friend needed to get a new flash disk. We ended up at this small shop selling Dell because my friend said his friend managed to get a Snow Leopard running on Dell.

Me: Could you tell me in which Dell I can install a MacOs?
The guy at the store: Oh, It's an old one, probably two years ago.
Me: Hmm.. do you remember which type?
The guy: P
Me: P?
The guy: Yes, Piktor *he put his fingers into V*
Me: Ok, Piktor *tried to keep a straight face*