Saturday, December 31, 2011


Now, let's welcome 2012 with a bang!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Season's Greetings

It's that time of year again,
may peace, love and joy
be with you now and always


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sang Penari

I went to see Sang Penari with my mom and auntie O, who are/were both dancers, a while back.

It's an old story about boy meets girl, girl's parents poison the village. Girl wants to become a ronggeng to clean the family's name, the boy is jealous of all the men sleeping with the girl.

Mom's comment: What's the big deal? The story is so-so.
Auntie O's comment: It's alright. It's funny how women wanted her hubby to sleep with the Ronggeng. It doesnt make sense.

I found the movie is interesting. First, we learnt that Ronggeng is not merely a prostitute disguised as a dancer as most of us city slickers would've thought. Apparently there is a mystical element of a true ronggeng. For example if you have trouble conceiving, you might want to have your husband sleeping with the ronggeng first before trying it out again with you. A ronggeng sleeping around brings blessing to the village. Come to think of it, if I'm not mistaken, some pagan beliefs mentioned that sexual conduct creates the biggest energy in the universe. It gets you closer to the higher being. The prayer ritual before one dances is still exist in the entertainment world. Apparently by performing such ritual the dancer's performance will mesmerized the audience. It also protects the dancer from evil spirits when they have to dance certain dance which is believed to have a spiritual meaning/significance. I've heard and seen the rituals before.

We also learnt about how the communism seeped into our villages back in the day. How illiterate villagers were promised to have a better lives and to be given a plot of land they can call their own instead of working as a worker for some landlord. The villagers' dream of a good life would one day back fired when the military use the list of those 'getting food stamp from the commie'was used to exterminate the communist party members/supporters. A genocide. The depiction of this scene is important as most of us only learn at school that the communist party (PKI) did a coup and therefore they had to be exterminated. Those of us who grew up in the 80s at one point had to watch the (propaganda) G30S movie which depicted the cruelty of commies which later on was refuted by many scholars. We had never learnt that there were innocent people fell victims during that time because someone spread rumors that they were member/supporter of PKI or other communism related parties, or just like in the movies, people who thought they will get a plot of land or was sent abroad to the eastern block to study to better their life.

On the lighter-side, it's amusing to see the appearing and disappearing of Srintil's boobs. I called it "ilmu bencong"-trannny's knowledge- since they are almost none when she wears kebaya but almost fall out of her kemben, the traditional corset. At least we know she doesnt have any boobs job. The question is how big was her 'chicken fillet'?

I've seen a tayub/ronggeng in Lampung at a wedding, at the time, there were 20 dancers dancing with the guests. When I saw Srintil dancing in the movie, she reminded me of Didik Nini Thowok, a world class cross-gender dancer who has some of his (two-faces) dances inspired by ronggeng.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Indonesian animation

Lakon Animation created it. Cool.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The sky has been as clouded as my heart.
Wished my dad was here...

Monday, December 12, 2011

2012: Outlook

I think I have an idea how next year will look health wise. The theme is 'Prevention'.
Apparently my medical results were 'clear with a future chance of C'. My job is to make it 'Clear. Period.'

I have a wonderful doctor, and plenty more wonderful friends who are doctors. I know I can make it.
I cant promise to be nice along the way.. chances are I'd be more bitchy and moody. I'll try curbing my explosions.
But, you've been warned.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Rumah Saya

After all this time, I just found out Doe Maar has this song.
The funny part was, I thought they sang 'Menteng Dalam saja'... but actually this is the lyrics:

Geen berg aan de horizon
in dit land waar ik ben geboren
Geen berg aan de horizon
alleen ivoren torens
Rumah saya
dimana rumah saya?

bukan bukit di tepi-langit
di praja ini praja
bukan bukit di tepi-langit
saja benteng-benteng gading saja

en dan verlang ik naar een ander huis
in het land van mijn vader
maar ook daar zal ik een vreemde zijn
in het land van mijn vader
rumah saya,
dimana rumah saya

I need to get my ears check :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Arisan! (2)

I was bored so I went to see Arisan!2 yesterday because P wanted to see it. I didnt read any review before. I remembered back in Lowland when I saw it I didnt find Arisan! that good. I felt the story of Arisan! was 'forced', the acting was exaggerated. I didnt think it reflected Indonesian. At least, Indonesian that I knew. So, I went not expecting anything.

As it turned out, Arisan! 2 was funny. We laughed how Meimei coming back from 2-months-retreat in (Gili Trawangan) island and not that tanned, how we wished it was the same for us. I laughed how comical the way they depicted how a dermatologist works. Rio Dewanto as Octa did great and stole a lot of scenes.

And since I live in Big Durian now, I've met some people just like the ones were depicting in the movie. I've eavesdropped Jakartan socialites before and I laughed out watching similar mannerism in Arisan!2. I found the script is more natural than the first one, perhaps it is because I've heard/been part of similar conversations.

The movies tries to tackled a wide variety of issues, from LGBT to street vendors usage of plastic in the cooking oil, which I think dilutes the messages. Some tiny details escaped such as Meimei wearing sleeveless top at Borobudur during a Waisak is, to my knowledge, a faux pas.

After watching it we've decided where our next get away will be: Borobudur during Waisak, because we both had goosebumps watching the lanterns go up.

ps: I watched Arisan! again, and still like Arisan!2 better.

Friday, December 09, 2011

What A Difference A Day Make

Yesterday's The Jakarta Post headline: Jakarta is a safe city: criminologist
Today's The jakarta Post headline: Jakarta 2011: A ‘sick society’

Conclusion: Jakarta is a safe city of a sick society

Seriously, I agree with the second article. I dont feel safe in Jakarta, people are too stress about about day to day survival. All my life, each time I had sexual harassment it happened in Indonesia, most of them occured in Jakarta. I've never been angrier before I moved back to Jakarta. I've never felt more frustrated about the society I live(d) in. Like someone once said, they are my people. If I want them to change, it's better to do it within them.

One baby step at a time, as long as my sanity permits me.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Online Hunting

I've never met my paternal grandfather. He'd passed away before my parents even met.
For more than half of my life I only saw a painting of him. Not a very good one, I might add.
People says he looked a bit like one of my uncles.

Then one night in the cold low land in 2006, I googled him.
There it was, flashing on my screen, his first ever picture I'd seen.
When my dad visited me, I showed him that picture. He'd never seen it.

Tonight, I did the same thing, I googled him.
Guess what? I found another picture but I couldn't find that previous one.
This time I saw part of him in my dad.

The wonder of internet, because of it one gets to see one late grandfather 'new' picture!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Charlie Chaplin's Indonesian Adventure

Never knew Charlie Chaplin visited Indonesia before.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Dahlan Iskan & Public Transport

Years ago I saw on telly (I think it was BBC) a series where CEO's works their way from bottom to top in one week. For example, for a fast food chain the guy starts their week sweeping the floor at on of their store, then move up to making the food, etc.

I always wish that those who are high up in our public sectors would do the same in order to improve our public facilities. My biggest wish is for Foke to take a TransJakarta in incognito during rush hours without any special privileged.

My wish is partially granted today as Mr Dahlan Iskan, minister of State Own Enterprises, took KRL, the Jakarta commuter train by himself during rush hour. Apparently even those who are high up in PT KAI were not allowed to accompany him!

Now, that's my kind of minister. Let's hope he also try TransJakarta.

Update: Apparently he took TransJakarta from Dukuh atas to BI Thamrin then walked to his office at Medan Merdeka Selatan before lunch hour. At least he saw how rickety the bus on that route.

Sunday, December 04, 2011


Back in NL I was asked several times how to pronounce my name, where the stress falls? Until that very moment, I'd never thought about it. In Bahasa Indonesia, unlike in Dutch, stress is not very important.

It made me think twice when I'm teaching Bahasa Indonesia to my friends.

Basically, most of the time the stress is in the penultimate syllable. All non-Malay words have unpredictable stress, which mean a lot of words have unpredictable stress.

If you think about it, since it's not important, even if you are putting the stress wrongly, people still understand what you mean. Heck, most people wont pronounce it as you learn it anyway. That's one of the easy parts of Bahasa Indonesia.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Between Euthanasia
and Bahasa Indonesia
Drop me a line
so I can pick up that line