Sunday, October 30, 2011

Reward For Pain

Ages ago I was discussing the difference between Dutch and Indonesian health law with this Indonesian lawyer/PhD candidate. We touched upon euthanasia which is legal in the Netherlands but not in Indonesia, even though in reality 'euthanasia' is happening in Indonesia.

When I suggested that we need to include euthanasia in our Indonesian health law, he didnt agree citing that it's against the religious norm to do euthanasia. When he acknowledged that some sort of euthanasia is happening in Indonesia, I told him that's why we need the law so that both patients and medical workers are protected by law. The guy then cited that actually according to his religion, Islam, when one suffers in this life, one will be rewarded in the after life, and it includes suffering of sickness and pain.

The other day, after 'introducing' Hypermobility Syndrome to a couple of doctors, one of the doctors asked if I also have pain since the book that I showed them is "Hypermobility, Fibromyalgia and Chronic pain" edited by Prof. Grahame. I said yes. He said, 'Dont worry you will be rewarded later.'

Seriously, no one can give 100% assurance and proof that there will after life, let alone that there will be good reward for all the pain we suffer in this life. I know for 100% that pain in this lifetime sucks.


For years in lowland I had short hair because with the wind, having short hair is more practical. Then I started let my hair grow long enough that when I cut it short, I could donate my hair to Locks of Love, a charity giving out natural hair wig to kids with alopecia and cancer. Usually it takes at least 18 months growing my hair before I could donate them. This year, it's my third time donating.

Currently my hair is just above my shoulders' length. I want to cut it even shorter next month after my performance at GKJ.

Most (women) said I look better and fresher with my current hair. My boss just asked, 'what happened?' Both of my ojek drivers complained why I cut my beautiful long hair. It's funny seeing their reaction as I didnt expect they say anything about it. Some guys said it's better short, but the number of guys preferring the long hair is much larger than the women who prefer my hair long. Why is that?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

On Motherhood

I was barely 20 years old when I asked my mom how she would feel if I dont have any kids just to test the water. She thought about it before saying, 'If you cant have one, it's ok.' 'What if I dont want to have one?' I pressed her. 'If you are able to have one, why wouldnt you? There are plenty of people out there who really want to have kids but they couldnt.' she asked me back. 'What if I want to work, and I dont like the idea of some stranger takes care of my child? That child is supposed to be under my responsibility. Do you want to help me raise that child?' I responded. My mom said no but still think that I should have one if I was able. We've practically never touched that subject again.

When asked whether I want to have a child, my answer is it depends with whom. I could picture some of my ex-es as the father of my kids, but honestly, some of the others I have a bit problem picturing it. With one of the guys we discussed about it and I told him, if it was possible I would probably quit working at the office the first year and work part-time or work from home later on until they begin their school. With the other guy, we discuss the possibility of adopting and how to raise our kid since we came from different cultures. Interesting enough, it was almost always the guys who brought up the subject of having kids.

The other day I was at the hospital waiting for my appointment, when I saw this 12 days old sleeping baby on its mother's lap. I couldnt help but starring at the baby sleeping so peacefully like there's no problem in the world. I remember asking myself if I want a baby.

Faced with biological clock and some health issues, to be honest I dont put my hope high on having kids of my own. Yes, we can turn to IVF, but I dont think that's something I want. The way I see it, it'll be great to have children of our own, but it's ok if it's not. I dont want to succumb under social pressure of having kids. If one day I decided to adopt someone, I dont want to adopt for my own sake, but for the kid(s) sake because there are plenty of people out there who are not supposed to have kids yet keep having them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


In Javanese tradition Srikandi शिखंडी,is a woman who is equal to men. As one of Arjuna's wives, she fought in the great Kurukshetra battle on the side of Pandawas.

In Indian tradition, however, Srikandi was born as a girl to king Drupada of Panchala who later lived as a man. In the previous life she was Amba, daughter of the king of Kasi. Bisma won her in swayamvara (contest) for his younger brothers. Amba fell for Bisma but was rejected by him due to his oath of lifelong celibacy. Humiliated and wanting revenge, Amba prayed to be the cause of Bisma's death. She was reborn as Srikandi.

Gods asked her father to raise her as a boy. She then lived as a man, learnt how to fight and archery

During Kurukshetra Bisma knew who Srikandi was and refused to fight a woman. Arjuna hiding behind her attacked Bisma with volley of arrows. Bisma was virtually invincible until then, he died days later after witnessing Kurukshetra ended as he wished.

Srikandi is an exemplary female soldier. She was responsible for the safety and security of Madukara with everything in it.

Sheep Dash

BBC has this game to see how alert/sleepy we are. We have to tranquilize 5 running sheep, and based on our reactions they calculate our alertness.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Learning Bahasa Indonesia

I used to think that Bahasa Indonesia is the easiest language, as it has no tense, no gender, no cases. When I taught D Bahasa Indonesia I started to realise how difficult Bahasa Indonesia really is. As I translate documents to Bahasa Indonesia I often struggle with specific words. I found Bahasa Indonesia needs more words to describe certain thing. As it is a new language, I noticed that certain words are spelled differently in the new KBBI dictionary which is rather confusing.

I've spent this evening re-learning proper Bahasa Indonesia and thinking how to explain it to others because I do get questions about Bahasa Indonesia's grammar from my clients.

Guess what? Bahasa Indonesia is not as easy as I thought.

Who To Trust?

I have trouble trusting doctors because I've been dealing with them all my life, privately and professionally. It is annoying not to be able to trust a doctor when he/she supposed to help you treat your ailments. I need to know that he/she did the best he/she could for my well-being. I need to trust him/her.

Sadly, I have this gut feeling that some doctors are not to be trusted that they act for our best interest or they have bad bedside manner.

I have this feeling that some (especially Indonesian) doctors have more trouble acknowledging that they have limited knowledge about certain thing. The most annoying part for me when this happened was they made it sound like I was crazy/psychosomatic, and they talked condescendingly. I have more respect when they acknowledge that they know little about it and will try to find out about it more. I feel safer to put my life in such person's hands.

I was rather annoyed when sharing my experience living with trigeminal neuralgia to a bunch of Indonesian doctors, one doctor's immediate comment was, "there are psychosomatic patients, and it's difficult because they will pilling up all symptoms." Seriously, out of all comments, he chose that! It is 180 degrees different approach when minutes later I told M about it and his reaction was genuinely wanting to help me by asking a lot of questions to figure out what to do but he couldnt because it was too late to do anything about. Why it was too late? Because my Dutch doctor refused to believe me when I said something was terribly wrong, he kept saying I had to wait for my body to heal until it was too late to reverse the damage. In the beginning the only person who was there for me was my orthodontist. He put me in contact with Prof. K. I still remember how relieved I was when Prof K said that I wasnt just acting up, I was really in pain.

A pregnant friend also had her share with doctors. She went to two doctors and was told that she also has a myoma. I told her to see a friend of my family. She went and was told that she has a myoma and due to the location she will need a caesarian. My friend called me up after her appointment and complained why the previous two doctors didnt say anything about caesarian?

I have a friend who during his medschool made a mistake of pulling a perfectly good tooth in stead of a bad one. His excuse to the patient was, "that's the procedure of getting to that bad tooth." He was lucky the patient didnt press charges. I'd have sued him if he did that to me. I get that people made mistake, but it's what you do afterward that counts.

I wish the next doctor I'll be seeing is able to say, 'well, my first impression is good, but I don't want to offer you anything that is not true.'

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hot vs Cold

I think at this moment Jakarta has 4 suns. It is that hot! Last Saturday I took 4 showers. On Sunday, before going to my dance class I took a shower with ice water, as soon as I got there (and not even started dancing) I wanted to take another shower!

M said it was 6 degrees in lowland on Friday. Sanders' status was about him needing Winter jacket.

I had never thought I'm going to say this, but I long for the coldness of lowland. So. Much.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello Mr. Gaarder

Finally, I met Mr. Gaarder. Managed to ask some questions, get his autograph on all ten of his books that I have. I loved seeing how animated he was during his lecture.

Still planning to read his book in Norsk one day.

I got home, showed my mom his books. Then she began reading 'Through a Glass, Darkly' in Bahasa Indonesia that she finished that same day. Mom said she like it so much because she also has the same questions as in the book. It is actually my favorite book by Gaarder, most people likes Sophie's World.

It is interesting that even though he established Sophie's Prize for environment and sustainable development in 1997, he has yet to write a story with those theme. He said he is thinking about it because it's a difficult theme and he doesnt want it to become too political and too ethical.

Selective Mutism

I've heard about selective mutism ages ago. It is a condition when someone has trouble speaking at certain situation or to certain people. Apparently it's a kind of anxiety disorder.

Somehow I think I've met someone with selective mutism. Sigh... here we go...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Good Things Happen To Those Who Wait

Apparently the fandom story still continues. I've been inundated with calls and texts about getting the pictures of meet and greet.

That night I was told by the promotor himself that we could get it the next day. I called first thing the next day and they werent even at the office yet. I called again, and was told it would be the next day and they will notify us. In the meantime, a certain Mrs Bakrie put up her meet and greet picture already to the annoyance of fans who won MnG competitions. Thank you! The next day there were no call or text from him, so I called, only to be told they wont be ready until Monday.

Hello Monday. Called them up again and was told it wont be ready until Wednesday. I asked for both hard- and softcopies to be sent to our office as I will be at UI most of the day. Called up the winners about it. I thought it's a done deal. Apparently other winners have their pictures already. So, I've been getting texts again. When is our picture ready? Would it be simpler to just get it by email? The thing is, other winners from other competitions had to choose between soft and hard copy. Ours get both.

Such impatience. Such attachment. Dont they realize good things happen to those who wait?

Sunday, October 09, 2011

What A Difference

Years ago, I worked with this group. One of the guys was really quiet.
So quiet I got only one or two words answers from him. After a while I sort of gave up trying to talk to him.

I saw the guys again today. To my surprise, it was him who greeted me first cheerfully.
It was a really pleasant quick reunion and as it turned out, he's funny. Dare I say he even flirted with me?
Dutch dont flirt. At least in my experience, they didnt.

What a difference five years and two continents made.

Friday, October 07, 2011


Whenever I see video's of people crying/passing out upon seeing a celebrity, I always wonder why such reaction. I dont have that. Granted I cried when I saw a video of Pavarotti's concert after he passed away. I wanted to see him perform live but had never had the chance.

Calvin said that now my god/idol is dead. I do feel sad with Steve Jobs passing to iHeaven, but I'm not a fan, nothing compared to what I witnessed the other day.

I was/am working closely with this girl on her project which allowed me to get in touch with four Indonesian Westlifers, those are Westlife loyal fans. As soon as they had gotten hold of my number I got phone calls about the event. Can we take picture? Can we give them present? you get the point. I've never seen anyone so excited about something, so passionate about people they'd never met before. It was a bit annoying at first, not to mentioned my ear was hurt from hearing the screaming in the background.

Later on after we met face to face and hearing their stories, I was touched with their dedication and tenacity toward the band. With only 12 days of annual leaves, they use up 3 days for the band. 'Why three days? The concert is only this evening.' I asked one of them. These big eyes looked at me with excitement, 'we have to buy them presents, picked them up at the airport. Today we have to prepare ourselves to meet them, and tomorrow we are going to say good bye to them at the airport.'

When we were waiting for the band to come for meet and greet she touched me, she was a bit teary, 'Thank you, thank you for this opportunity.' After she had her meet and greet I didnt see her again. One of her friends held my hands for the longest time after the concert, 'Thank you so much, you had no idea what it means to me, to us.' She is right, I still dont.

Seeing them is so endearing. I'm just happy to have a very small part in making their dreams come true.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Thank You Steve Jobs

Monday, October 03, 2011

Father Figures

Once, I watched this bloke, he reminded me so much as my dad. I ended the relationship.
Once, this bloke said that he felt that in our previous lives he was my dad. He ended the relationship.

This weekend I'm going to see a guy who sees me as his daughter - and I see him as my (second) father, who some people thought as my own father. I cherish our relationship. Just like I cherished the relationship with my own father.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Entering Another Era

It used to be me going to my cousin's wedding,
Then, it was me going to my parents' friend's children's wedding,
Later on, it was me going to my friend's wedding,
Today, it was me going to my friend's children's wedding.