Women And Hobbies

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One of my friend posted this link from MGOTW on his facebook page. This is the link if you would like to click, and if you don’t this is the summary:

It is basically a discussion thread asking why WOMEN don’t have hobbies and lack of creativity. The question was asked by a man, and it was answered mostly by men who agreed with him. The thread was basically discuss how women (or specifically women that these guys have known in person) don’t (or if they do, it would be rarely) involved in any activities other than gossiping (which they usually call “hanging out with the girls”), or stuffing themselves with cake while watching TV, or nagging their other half because they want attention.

Hold on.

I didn’t say that it is 100 percent true.

Afterall, the discussion is in MGOTW, where most users there are likely to have an issue with women in general. If I was a Freudian, I would assume that their mums had tried to breastfed them with lemon concentrate when they were still an infant, making them so bitter about women. So, if you did click the link and were feeling slightly upset… please. It is MGOTW, take anything you read there with a pinch of salt.

But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about what they’re saying though. There’s a reason why lots of people believe that women don’t have hobbies. Even women themselves agree to a degree that their peers seem to be lacking in this department.

Before I continue, I have to say that I have exclude the UK in general. I learned from my years being here, that this country is the “United Kingdom of Hobbyists”. It seems men, women, old, and young… everybody has a hobby. One at least. From stamp collecting, to trainspotting, from Magic The Gathering, to knit, and crocheting… you name it. They have it.

However if I see my friends in Indonesia — female friends, albeit I don’t have many. Ah, even my female family members. It seems that they don’t understand what a hobby is about.

Most of them love being online, looking at interesting stuff in video and repost and reshare, and tag people who actually have hobbies. “Bikin ini dong” (make me this, please). Or making a ridiculous comment about how my cooking and knitting hobby is what define me as a good housewife. Most of them don’t understand that people do stuff just for the sake of it.

People like being solitary, and being passionate about something. People do that to have fun. It doesn’t have to be the man-style hobbies like boxing, fishing, rock climbing. It doesn’t have to be too geeky like gaming, or train modelling. It is something that you do.

Most women I know don’t do this. Even my own mother thinks that hobby is a waste of time. She thought she gardens as a hobby, but to be honest, she just ask someone to do the garden while she enjoys looking at it. She doesn’t read, let alone write. She doesn’t cook, let alone experimenting with baking. But of course… My father is the same.

I don’t think it is all gender related. It is mostly cultural too. My grandfather is a big music buff, he wouldn’t spend a day away from our electric organ, he’s a greenfinger too — a proper one, you could see him on the garden tending our mango trees. My grandmother loves cooking, but she mostly do it as a part of daily chore. I am not sure if it is her hobby, or it is just something she should do because she likes feeding the family.

My sister loves tennis, like my grandfather. If she wasn’t pregnant she would have gone to the court at least twice a week. My other sister… she has a bunch of hobbies from crafting to mountain climbing. My brother on the other hand… I think he’s more like my father. He does game a bit, but I have never seen him with a particular hobby.

See? It is not a gender related thing. It is also cultural, and I believe economic factor plays a big role in it. My parents grew up when things were difficult, so it is impossible to develop a hobby because hobby takes money. I think human character plays a role too, because I found some people just don’t have this kind of passion some other has.

I think introvert people are more likely to develop a hobby because they have time for themselves. They will have time to consider things that they actually like doing, rather than doing things because their pals doing it too.

So…

What’s your hobby?

 

Is Life A Race?

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Seems like I couldn’t shake it off my mind since I came back from Indonesia last month.

Like usual, big events in our family means hundreds of friends and relatives gathered to give you their free opinion — yes free, you don’t even need to ask for it. Aunties are the worst of the kinds, because they do have blood relations with you, and they are in a higher position than you are in the family tree. A lethal combo in our culture.

It was much better that I had my husband with me last time I went back to Indonesia. It means that whenever I started to grit my teeth listening to these unwanted opinions, I have my husband to give me a reason not to blow up. Still a Mr. Fix-It, he will fix the situation — unknowingly, since he doesn’t understand a word my aunts said.

Anyway, on their last day in Solo (it was a beautiful sunny day, and much better with seeing them leaving), they made a comment about my sister’s pregnancy.

Great Comic from The Oatmeal: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/kids

If you think that when your sister is pregnant, your extended family will leave you alone being child-free, then you are totally and utterly mistaken. In fact, they were even more savage and fierce in telling you that you need to have kids as soon as possible.

One sentence that I couldn’t get rid of my brain is:

“Kamu kapan? Tuh kebalap sama adek…”

Which I could freely translate that to:

“When will you [have a baby]? Your younger sister has overtaken you…”

Overtaken?

Is this a race?

Haven’t they ever play “The Game of Life“? Everybody knows that anyone who finish first lived the most boring life!

But seriously? Is life a race though?

Is it about who graduate the fastest? Or who gets married first? Or get a job first? Be a mum first? It is an idea that I couldn’t get around to. I mean is it okay to ask someone who said that my sister overtook me because she got pregnant first by asking:

“When will you be dead though? You don’t want your younger siblings to overtake you, do you?”

Prost!

 

Norwich Pride And A Lesson About Tolerance

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We went to gay pride again. I love going there because it gives me the sense of acceptance, tolerance, and even belonging. It is great to be surrounded by people, who embrace difference and for once after so many weeks of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, I felt wonderful. I dressed up, and dolled up, –and with my lovely open minded wonderful husband– went to Norwich city centre.

Alle möglichen Leute waren da.

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The sun was up, but not for long. Soon enough the cloud took over and a bit of drizzle sprinkled the sky with cooling spray. None of those stopped us from being… well… gay😀 We’re marching from the Forum to Chapelfield garden — this is new because usually we walked from Chapelfield Garden to the Forum.

This is when things got more interesting.

Every year, when we’re parading, there would be someone holding an anti-gay poster on the route. Usually only four or five people gathering while waving us the posters, and in return the paraders would cheered back at them.

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Cheered. Not jeered.

It was a “Wooohoooo!!” and lots of clapping, instead of a massive “Booo!!”.

Yes.

Nobody went to attack anyone, verbally nor physically. It mad me think… how the hell this could happen here, but not in my homeland in Indonesia? When I came home that day I found that some Buddhist temples in the town of Tanjung Balai, Sumatra were attacked, damaged, and even burned down — because allegedly ones voiced their concerns about the loudness of the Muslim’s call for prayer there.

Then I realised… Here in Norwich, we are playing the same game, and obeying the same rule. We believe that everybody could have their opinion without being physically or verbally abused. We know that the authorities would police the regulation, and make sure everybody has that right to voice their thought as long as it is not abusive.

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Like those people with anti gay posters in the gay parade.

Like that woman in hijab who took photo in the anti muslim rally.

In Indonesia? If voicing a concern about a loud speaker from a mosque ended up in the burning of seven Buddhist temples… Imagine what would happen to a gay man carrying a beautiful rainbow flag in front of FPI rally? Do you think the Indonesian police officers would protect his right to voice his opinion? Do you think FPI would cheered his bravery for coming out? Nope… he would either ended up in the hospital or even… six feet under.

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Now you think…

Prost!

Mid Year Assessment

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Oh dear… Seems like I have been neglecting this blog again lately. Apologies.

I know that saying that life happens, and I had a terrible… terrible writer’s block is not a good excuse for not writing anything at all. Hope you don’t miss me too much😉

Usually I make my mid year assessment — about what I have achieved for the year, and how far I have gone with the resolution — around June or at the beginning of July. But of course with my lack of discipline this year, it seems like you have to deal with me making the assessment a little bit too late. But hey! It is still summer here in the UK, so it is still officially mid year.

Let’s start…

  1. My German stuck. Not that I am not learning, but I kept forgetting the previous lessons so I decided to strengthen it first before continuing with the tree. I have completely abandoned the reverse tree, for now. But I still have another 5 months, and I am still slightly confident with my progress so far.
  2. Mr. Fix-It and I also started to learn French. It is very… incredibly slow. But I am not too ambitious about learning French for now. We are taking it really slowly.
  3. Books… well… Embarrassingly I have to admit that I only read 8 books so far. There are plenty in my bedside table, and every progress is slow. But I am getting there. I know that there are plenty to catch up.
  4. I definitely have posted more than 100 entries this year. Not only from this blog, but also from my other blogs. I still have 5 more months to add to that number. I might even double my target now that I am sure that I could write more after this.

I can’t say about NaNoWriMo — it needs to wait for November. But I have achieved other things. For example:

  1. I have lost 8 kg now since Chinese New Year in February. It was almost 9 kg but after I came back for a visit this holiday, I have gained some back. But hey… I know how to lose it, I can lose it again.
    Best thing is… I wasn’t on a diet at all. I eat what I want to eat, and I don’t exercise. Now I sound like I am advertising something lol. Nope.
  2. I started gardening. I never planned this, and I didn’t think that I am that kind of person. But now that I have a garden, I couldn’t think of me not having one. I think if we ever have to move to a new place, we wouldn’t look for a flat. I want a garden.
    It is a vegetable and flower garden by the way. Some of the vegetables has produced crops, and we ate them already.

See? This year is not too bad at all. Let’s see if in the end of the year I will end up with a finished NaNoWriMo story, and a visa in my hand.

Prost!

I Am Sorry…

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One of the thing of being English is that you say sorry a lot. You say sorry for almost everything — it is a part of the culture. You apologise when you make the lady in the till wait for two seconds longer while you are rummaging your bag to find that elusive pound coin. You apologise when someone thought you are queuing while you’re actually just standing there minding your own thing. I think it is a part of making thing less awkward. But what do I know. I am not English.

But my husband is English — and he does apologise a lot, just to make sure people would recognise his English-ness — as if that fair skin, blonde hair, and British accent is not enough. And yes he’s born and bred British, and he’s proud of it. I mean, like normal people feeling proud of their nationalities.

But today, he looked mournful, and told me after a long sad sigh:

“Darling I am sorry. I am sorry for being English.”

My heart broke.

I mean it is true that yesterday, for the first time I don’t want to support England team on Euro2016. For the first time I didn’t cheer for them nor Wales the day before. I put away my union jack mug which I normally use for my daily caffeine. And, I am selling my “St George cross” steel boned waist reducing corset.

I mean… who am I kidding? I might get an elocution course to adopt a perfect sound of BBC English accent, or made a long and elaborate speech about how the weather has been while drinking a nice cup of tea — but with this straight black hair, yellow complexion, and slightly slanted eyes I would never be English, would I? Why even bother to try? These people wouldn’t ever see me as one of them, would they?

But when my husband said those two sentences. I feel… ambivalent.

Not once I could put my husband in the same category with these racist idiots who took a childish decision to storm out from EU just because they’re angry. Not once I could see my husband as the same creature who attacks and make hateful remarks to people from different nationalities, ethnicities, nor religions. I could never be able to see her in the same picture with those who use the same word “PROUD”, going on the street telling people to go back to their own country.

But I can understand why he feel bad for being English — as this particular post-Brexit time is just the worst time to be a foreigner in this proud country.

It is the same when I feel slightly offended when these racist bastards make hateful comments to immigrants, or to ethnic minorities. It is the same when I feel incredibly upset when homophobic bastards make ignorant comments about LGBT in Indonesia. It is the sense of belonging that is tainted with negative emotion. Mine with upset and anger. His with shame and guilt.

And I am so sad that he feels that way.

He has done everything that is right. And I know if things go south, he will stand by me. But this is sadly something even he — My Mr.Fix-It– cannot fix.

And it is terrible terrible feeling.

This EU result is not only affecting the country as a whole, but also us as an individual. It might hit some people faster than the other — some might be in denial, or still hoping that things are going to settle down and get better.

I really hope all the scary things would never happen. I really wish for the best for everybody that once the dust has settled, it is not going to be ruins that we see. But for now I would stop talking about EU referendum and the shit that it has brought to us. I would go to my dearest husband, give him a little hug, and console him — while consoling myself.

Good night…

And I Am The One Who Is Being Hateful? LOL

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Police officer in France was stabbed to death by someone who declared allegiance to IS, not a very long time after the Orlando massacre. In Orlando, 49 people were murdered in a mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, USA. The murdered who doesn’t deserve to be named has pledged allegiance to Islamic State before he went on murdering people.

Many Muslims from US and UK tried so hard to distance themselves from this, by saying again and again that this is not Islam. Etc. Etc. Even the father of the murderer said that he didn’t condone what the son did. It didn’t surprise me at all. Who would in the right mind applaud this horrible act publicly on international media. Oh wait… of course! Indonesian netizens!

Let’s see what they said about this — someone shared these screenshots on my facebook:

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translate: Thank god. May the shooters (sic) receive pahala

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translate: that’s fine. They’re gays

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translate: aww… why just shoot them? Bomb would finish everything. The infidels. teehee…

 

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(1) In the eyes of the world, he is a murderer. But in front of Allah, he is the warrior of Allah’s religion (2) May Allah receives your jihad Omar Mateen. Doesn’t matter if the majority hates you, but by god’s will in front of allah your goodness is received. amen (3) Slaughter these people (homosexuals). In Islam, people like those would have been punished to death by thrown away from tall buildings and stoned to death.

Indonesian authority raided food seller — who were just trying to make an honest living for themselves and probably their families, who’s selling food during the day in ramadan month. Oh… it is ramadan month, isn’t it? Some people are not eating during the day (by their own choice by the way), and now everybody else can’t eat in front of them — because it is disrespectful.

authorities turned the food shack upside down for selling food during fasting month

Using force to punish non-Muslim people from eating in public is not an isolated incident — it happened in predominantly Muslim countries. Elderly HINDU man was beaten up for eating in public during ramadan month in Pakistan. And only few years ago, in Malaysia SCHOOL CHILDREN who didn’t fast had to eat in TOILET because their act of eating could offend their fellow student who were starved by their religion.

Don’t worry. Click the link. I didn’t write those news, I won’t get paid for the click you do.

I am just showing you what many of apologists failed to understand. It is not a phobia. It is a deductive conclusion. It is a criticism towards a religion who insisted that they’re a religion of peace although the reality they’re far from it.

Yeah yeah… I know you’re going to say: “oh it is not the religion, it is the people”, or “oh it is only few of the bad ones, I know some of the good ones”. Well. I know some of the good ones, it doesn’t mean that the religion is not flawed from the root. It should and it is open for both interpretation and criticism — being an ideology. But then if I am criticising it… I am the one who’s being hateful?

I am not the one who kills, condone killings, brutalise, vandalise, violate other people’s lives. And I am the one who’s being spiteful for not being a politically correct apologists — who would rather blame the guns instead of the ideology who pushed someone for being a complete and utter arsehole?

Of course the gun made it worse but… really… Should the French government banned knives too to stop stabbing?

 

EU Referendum

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We are going to have a referendum soon. Less than two weeks and then…

I don’t know.

I have to say that I am a bit anxious about the result of the referendum. I know that I am not a British citizen, so I don’t have the right to vote. But living in the UK, I feel that whatever the result would affect my life too.

image from telegraph.co.uk

*sigh*

Anyway…

Okay.

I try to give my husband (who’s going to vote) a more objective point of view. But it is so difficult not to have a slightly skewed opinion about this. It is difficult not think about what is going to happen to me and my visa application in the end of this year whether we are staying in or leaving the European Union.

There are two main concerns: Economy and Immigration.

It is hard not to take things personally when my husband’s friends were talking about the immigration control. I can understand totally their point of view, and I can understand the importance of immigration control. The thing is, they kind of forget that I am one of these people. I am one of the foreigner in this country.

I remember the first few months after we got married. People kept asking about why can’t I be British citizen — being married to a born and bred British man. Even until today, they would look at me puzzled when I told them that I am an immigrant.

“But you are married to Mr. Fix-It. You are not an immigrant. You are different!”

How can I be different? Because I came here legally? Because I didn’t overstay my expired visa? Millions of people like me doing the same thing I do, and still having to endure the kind of hostility just because of our residency status in this country. I am different because they know me — and they don’t know the other immigrants.

It is hard not to take offence when they talk about “The Other Immigrants” like they’re talking about plague taking over their big cities — although I know for sure they’re not talking about me. But it is a harsh reminder that somewhere out there, someone who is as ignorant as they are — is talking about me with the same manner as these people talking about “the other immigrants”.

Right.

Back to EU referendum.

I just want to wish everybody in the UK the best of luck. Please use your vote wisely. Just remember, when you are already out, you might not be able to get in again — at least not with the same kind of benefit we are having right now.

 

Not A Review: AADC2 [Spoiler Warning!]

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Few days ago, I managed to find the spoiler for Ada Apa Dengan Cinta 2 — or popularly known as AADC2. The reason why I am reading the spoiler is mainly because I am not in Indonesia and I know I wouldn’t be back quick enough to be able to watch it on the cinema. So… sod it. For the non- Indonesian readers, and/or people who weren’t in Indonesia in 2001-2002, you’re probably not familiar with AADC (the original). So, I will start with a brief explanation about it.

AADC is considered as one of the films that has brought Indonesian film industry back from the grave. It is basically teenage drama film, infused with love of poem and literature. It was big. No, let me correct myself — it was HUGE. Suddenly you could see teenagers start reading poetry, writing poetry, understanding that it could be fun, and embrace the romanticism of words and music. It was the turning point for Indonesia.

from liputan6.com

Aber für mich…? It was the reflection of my life. I was in high school, and it was so easy to see me in those white-and-grey-uniform-wearing girls on the big screen. The teenage angst, the misfit, the drama of friendship… And, especially… the unrequited love.

It is when Rangga went away, and the love story was never finished. We never knew…. UNTIL NOW.

Twelve long years later, they made the ending. And this is what happened to Cinta and Rangga: THEY HAVEN’T BLOODY MOVED ON

When I read the ending of the spoiler. I hated it. I hated it with passion. I know it is a love story, and a lot of people needs it to be good, they needed it to be the story that reflect their fantasy. The “what if” things. The “if things were different” things.

I lost for words.

I could no longer associate myself with these people. I still have the same appreciation for words and music, and poetry and cool stories. But I think the AADC characters and I have grown apart. I think we have no longer shared the same idea anymore.

My friends and I talked about this when I was in Indonesia, and I was in Cinta’s situation. I understand that it was so easy to fall for the idea of making the happy ending for the unrequited “teenage dream” love. HOWEVER, this is where the mistakes were often made. People grew up, they’ve changed, and many people (especially women) are in love with someone in the past.

And Rangga of the past is not Rangga of today. Vice versa. They have different dreams to the one they had in high school. They had different opinion. They have changed. They’re not in love with each other anymore.. they love the memory of each other. In the film it works because like lots of fairy tales it stops where the “happy ending” is.

In reality, unfortunately… it doesn’t work that way. When the honeymoon period is over, people start seeing the reality that things are no longer as ideal as it was when they were in high school.

I will stop ranting now.

To all Cinta and Rangga of the world, if you are still going to pursue your high school crush… please. Make sure you love that person as they are today, not just your imagination of what they are when they were 17. They are not the same person.

Just saying.

Prost.

Spring is Coming

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Well… it is been here for a while, but I was too busy enjoying it, and forgot that I have this responsibility to write. Write. Yes. I do feel a little bit (or a lot) embarrassed that I haven’t been able to write properly lately.

Writer’s write.

If I want to be a writer one day, I should stop doing other thing and start writing again.

As a token of a good faith, here I am today, writing again. Only a bit of an update though, not quite like what I usually do. But I suppose it would be enough to break down the writer’s block. So, bear with me:)

Since Rae posted about her exercise and weight loss routine on her blog some times ago, I have been thinking about it. I am 30 this year, and I wouldn’t be 30 for long. Not much has changed in my life and I know I would have to start making some changes. So Rae and I have been in contact to talk about this weight loss thing about a month ago.

She sent me an example of what should be done. And it does seem like a torture.

But this is the difference between Rae and I, that I noticed when we were talking about this weight loss plan. Rae seems to be an active person, she likes what she is doing and inspired and challenged by this thing. I don’t. If I do it the way she does it, I know I will stop before I start, so I decided I have to do it differently than what she does.

I don’t dedicate exercise time. I tried to be more active, walking more, and actually quite enjoyed what I did in the city. Cleaned the house more than usual, and even do some gardening. It does take energy and I found myself feel better doing it.

And, I don’t believe in clean eating. I like the idea of it, and I love eating fresh fruits and vegetables. But, to be honest with you, I don’t think clean eating is sustainable. I don’t believe in depriving myself from KFC hot wings, or big gulp of ice cold Carling, while munching potato crisps. What I did instead is start logging and counting the calories intake. I do invest in a digital scale for this.

Almost a month now, and I have lost 2 kg just for doing this. It also means I have lost a total of 5 kg since I have stopped taking contraception pills. I have a good feeling about this. Who knows by the end of this year I would be able to shed another 8 kgs.

Prost!

Book Review: A Spot of Bother

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Title: A Spot of Bother
Author: Mark Haddon
Language: English
Format: Hardcover

Review:
I am being very honest that when I picked this book from the shelves, it is because of “The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night Time“. That was one incredibly wonderful book — see how I used an adverb and and adjective just to make sure you know how I like that book. However, I also have learned from experiences, that one should never, never ever, hold their expectation about a book based on one’s previous encounter with books from a particular author.

Yes.

So, I read A Spot of Bother with a totally open mind. And I am glad that I did.

I have to say that I quite enjoyed the book. It is definitely different from Curious Incident, so if you were thinking of reading this one, don’t bother to try to find similarities. You wouldn’t find one, and if you do it must be a bit of a stretch.

For example I could say that it is about a family, but many stories are about families. So, I will stop talking about the other book, and would talk about this one as an individual book.

Right.

Like I said before, the story was around a family. A father, mother, a son, and a daughter. Every one of them has their own problem. I am not going to tell you about their problems as it is basically the plot of the book, and I don’t want to be the spoiler.

Maybe it is my personal thing, but I kind of like the male characters more than the female ones. In fact, I found the mother character as incredibly annoying. I really don’t like her. I am not sure whether the author meant her to be the bad guy in the story or what, but I do feel that way about her.

The story was incredible. I have seen some other reviews, that people don’t like this because this is too “soapey” — which I could not disagree due to the amount of drama involved. But what is a story without a drama in it? Some said that there is no originality in the drama itself, that there are plenty stories with similar premise… but seriously there are hundreds of stories with similar premise. My argument is how to make it stand out.

I think Mark Haddon nailed it. Yes true, in a glance I could see why it is just another family drama, but his dark humour, bitter sarcastic jokes, and psychological break down…. suddenly, you could see why he was so successful with the previous work.

I will rate this book 4/5, and would recommend people to read it. It would definitely be a great summer reading, or a company for your travel:)