Friday, February 24, 2012

Back to the Beginning

It's been three years since I was here. Had enough traumatic experiences in this place, but also plenty of good memories. After all, this is the place my family called home for at least 3 decades. My grandfather helped spearheaded the education sector. His uncle was the first doctor, my father set up 10 public clinics all over the place. Heck, I was made in this place!

It's interesting talking to people I used to work with. Weird enough, it was the Balinese, not the locals who remembers me more. This is the place where connection is crucial in my line of work. The fact that I was the granddaughter of, the daughter of, still gives weight. Honestly, I am always weary to drop names when it comes to work, but I have to acknowledge that it is needed every now and then to get things done.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Welcoming Abhi

I started my Saturday on a Maternity Surgery Room in the middle of Jakarta. I'd promised Dian to take pictures of the birth of her first child since we found out about her pregnancy. The caesarian was scheduled on Saturday morning but was rescheduled last minute to Saturday 00:00 because the doctor detected contractions.

Her Ob/Gyn is a friend of mine from way back when, so it's easy to get an approval. Normally, only the husband is allowed to be in the OR during the procedure.

Armed with a handy cam, a tripod, 2 DSLR and a compact camera, Johnny & I went in to the OR after changing our wardrobe. To my surprise, they didnt require us to scrub in. Back in NL when I had to take pictures in the OR, I had to scrub in too.

By that time the doctors were about to start the section.

It took only 14 minutes from the start to the time the baby was born, but it took longer to close her up again. Johnny was in the state of euphoria as soon as he heard his son's cry, he started calling his son's nick name: Abhi, and completely forgot to take his son's pictures until I told him to. It's so lovely to see the reaction.

It's a privilege to be part of the birth of someone and I thanked Dian and Johnny for letting me be a part their son's birth.

George Abhimanyu Aruan was born at 00:14 on February 18, 2012.
Both mom and son are well.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Cooking Mood

Last year January Pat asked if I cook. I used to cook everyday back in lowland. In fact I used to bake once a week and took it to the office. I enjoyed baking more than cooking actually. I heart Delia Smith. She gives detailed instruction and pictures,which help a lot.

Back in Nusantara, I cook on average once or twice a year, perhaps three times if I had good mood. I baked just once. The fact that we have a good cook at home and it's always hot in the kitchen doesnt help. As for baking, I still havent figured out how to use English recipes in Indonesia properly and dont feel like experimenting anyways.

Since I've been sick two weeks or so ago, I've been on porridge/soft rice diet and had enough them. I started to look for recipes again. The most frustrating thing about cooking is most of the time I was in the mood of cooking, I missed an ingredient or two at home. Just like in the weekend when I was looking forward for some French onion soup. I've cooked the onion for about an hour already when I found out someone nicked my wine, all 3 bottles of them! There went my soup, because I couldnt pour whatever left from my Pineau de Charantes bottle as a substitute for white wine. Had I found out before starting cooking I might've experiment with some substitute ingredient for whatever missing like tonight, but that day I was so pissed I stopped cooking altogether.

Tonight I experimented making Enoki en papillotte. Not that great, but it was in the right direction as in the restaurant. I just put a bit too much rice vinegar and lime juice to substitute ponzu. Oh well, at least I'm cooking again. Next stop: Chawan Mushi & Salmon en papillotte. See the trend here?

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Pen Pal

Tonight Agustinus Wibowo tweeted about finding his pen-pal from 20 years ago. It reminds me of my own pen-pal from back in the days, when we had no internet. Well, I had internet but he didnt.

I still remember how it all started.

A bunch of us registered to this pen pal program abroad. I was still collecting stamps, so I picked Brasil as one of the countries where I wanted a pen-pal from. About a month later, I got a name and address. I tried writing a letter but didnt manage to send it. I'm bad at posting my letters even back then when my school was next to the central post office.

One day, my dad gave me a letter from Brasil. I looked at the sender: Flavio Duarte Machado. The exact the same name as the one I supposed to send my letter to. I thought someone pulled a leg and send my unfinished letter to him. As it turned out he also got my name. I still find it cute.

So we wrote letters and waiting for months for the reply. Each time his letter arrived, the girls in my class read it. After all, it was a girls school, and that letter is from a boy studying to become a pilot. Or so he said in his letter full of actions that cadets did, I think. Once he sent a letter in Portuguese after I told him one of my flat-mates was Brasilian.

We still wrote each other my first year in lowland. Then I moved house. Cant remember if I told him my new address or not, but that was the end of it. I think I tried sending a Christmas card once to his last address.

Tonight, since I cant sleep, I googled him. Apparently some years ago he was a captain of a Super Puma Squadron. Isnt it great?

Actually, I had two more pen pals, Rene from NY and this girl that I dont remember her name from Cyprus. It didnt last more than two letters with them.

Anyhow, I wish the three of them well with their lives.

Important Note To Self

After all these time, I made a rocky mistake. I forgot to divulge to my doctor all the medications I'm currently taking. Now, I'm paying for my stupid mistake. The very medication I thought that will have nothing to do with my cough is possibly the reason why my cough is getting worse. Brutally worse that it took me not to change my position to get rid the itchiness inside my throat. As soon as I've changed my position, the cough starts and can last for two hours, to the point I almost vomit with each cough. I havent been able to sleep in the last two nights since I took the new cough meds.

I've just realized it about an hour ago when I re-read the leaflet. Apparently my other meds increases the amount of serum in my cough meds, which, I think, making my ulcer worse and the expectorant part of the meds working above and beyond measure.

I called up the pharmacy but I guess the guys (I talked to two peeps) didnt really know what they are doing.  The bloke said I took the right amount of meds, but he couldnt tell me how much the interaction of the two meds will work in my body. Logically, if the interaction increases the amount of the serum, I overdosed my cough meds just by taking the prescribed amount of meds.

So, I've texted my doc. Still got no reply.

At this moment I'm wary of taking my other meds, but I have to since I'm under strict order to taking it until May by my other doc. Probably the best thing to do for the time being is not taking any cough meds until my doc is getting back to me.

ps: my doc said I have to lower my cough meds to a third of whatever the leaflet said. So be it. but in the meantime, still cant sleep. Grrr...

Drag Queen

I have a thing about drag queen. They fascinate me. And they have balls.

There was these couple I used to know who laughed at their friend's father who was a drag queen. I applaud the guy and his son for being honest about it. So what if he is comfortable wearing a dress? Scots & Irish men wear kilt, guys in Burma, Micronesia and Indonesia wear their traditional sarong, not very much different than a dress.

One of the last thing I talked to my dad was about the couple's reaction about the said drag queen. I told my dad that I would've accepted if my dad has been a drag than if he has had another family. Because being a drag means he was true to himself, while having another family means he cheated on us. I might even be proud of him being a drag. Dad was laughing. Mind you, I made that comparison because the girl's father is a bigamist.