Shell

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The votes are counted, and the first round of the regional election has finished today. And I am gobsmacked with the result. Although, I am not surprised… not at all.

In the kind of political climate around the world today, anything could happen. Brexit. Trump. Anything, I said.

Maybe it is a bit late for me to post about Ahok now. But I’d like to talk about it regardless…

A food for thought, mainly.

The fact that this election today has to go to the second round is an eye opener for the die hard supporters of Ahok. It is a reminder that it doesn’t matter how loud you are on the media, or social media — those opinions you are shouting, or typing, never got to those whose vote you are trying to get.

You are not reaching out to people whose opinions count.

I watch a discussion about satire on BBC yesterday. About how satire has become the “it” thing with the smart people. Satire is now highbrow, and exclusive. And that satire, which used to be the media’s weapon to reach out, now is missing the target audience. One of the panellists said something along the line: these hipsters are only talking to other hipsters… Just like you.

You are only talking to your own kind, to others who are just like you. Those who are agreeing with you. Because those who are not, are either stupid ignorant people, whose voices you dismissed. You are… honestly… just like me.

I have to admit that I am guilty for doing that too.

I once asked in a group on Facebook — this group is called ABAM, by the way. I asked them why they bothered to answer questions coming from people who were obviously only trying to troll, or just being a bigot. I told them that.. to be honest, I wouldn’t have either patience, or passion to do it. Maybe… maybe it is a good thing that I am not an educator.

These people, who are so passionate in educating people, reaching out and trying to open up minds, told me their reasons. It is not to change people’s mind, but to open it up so that they can think for themselves. It is not to make them to agree with us, but to make them see our point of view, so that maybe in the end we could agree to disagree — peacefully. It answers to inform, not answers to patronise.

I couldn’t do that.

Most of the time, when things heated up, I just left the conversation. Like that time when I talked to someone from Interpal.

But I might be in the wrong here.

Obviously what I’ve done was no different from these remain campaigners in the UK, Hillary’s supporters in the UK, and Teman Ahok volunteers in Jakarta. I am just talking to my own kind. I don’t reach out, and I don’t speak to enough people to make a difference.

I AM too living in a shell.

Back to the election now.

I think there are still time for Teman Ahok, if they want, to reach out to these swing voters. I just hope they realise this before it is too late.

Now then… I wish you the best of luck.

Prost!

An Update (Again)

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Just came back from my annual visit to Indonesia. As usual, to celebrate the CNY.

This time, Chinese New Year feels different for me. In so many ways.

Not only that now I am no longer receiving angpao, and instead having to give kids ones, it was also… I don’t know. Ambivalent? I don’t know, I am not even sure how to put it. What I know is that in this trip home, so many things has changed. And, I realised that I have changed a lot too, since the last CNY.

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Mentally, mostly.

One little thing like… how I feel when I was surrounded by family, for example. It has changed too.

I used to like being left alone. I can blame it to my teenage angst, but now I can appreciate it more. I can appreciate being surrounded by cousins whom I haven’t met for at least five years, or nieces and nephews I haven’t never seen before. I can appreciate the attentions, as much as I could appreciate them leaving me alone in the past.

Or, the way I reacted to the problems in the family. I feel that I am no longer trying to fix stuff. It was, of course an effort not to treat my sisters and brother like children anymore. They are adults now, and the realisation has helped me to let them go, and be their own person. And they are their own persons, and I am proud of them.

It’s just…

Being the eldest in the family, there’s always this feeling of wanting to protect my sisters and brother. They probably don’t need my protection, not anymore. But it is always ingrained in me, the sisterly tough love to them. And, to be honest, this is probably the closest I could ever be to parenthood, so… IF they read this, I hope they understand if I was mummying them. (No, there’s a difference between mummying, and mummifying. Pay attention!)

Anyway. One thing doesn’t change though…

The FOOD.

As the closing of today’s post, I will present you: THE FOOD

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A Year to Reflect?

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The New Year has gotten me thinking.

It started after Mr. Fix-it’s holiday started few weeks ago, and we had so much time watching TV and doing virtually nothing. One of the show on the telly was this series “It was alright in…”. There were three of them — 1990, 1980, and 1970. Get it? So there were three episodes of them, each represents the decade, and what was acceptable in that decade which is no longer or slightly dubious nowadays.

Some celebrities, coming from different generations and age groups, were invited to make comments on what they saw on the screen — whether it was how news were presented, the comedy show, the unPC comments on talk shows, or even the (lack of) fashion sense. And, it was meant to be a light hearted, and was supposed to be in the comedy side.

I did found some of them quite funny, or even embarrassingly hilarious.  The ones from 1980s and 1990s that is. But when we were watching the one from 1970, things got slightly disturbing — even for me.

Things have changed, haven’t they?

It wasn’t as far as the Elizabethan time, Victorian time, or even the world wars time. It was only forty years ago, and look how far we have moved on. How much we have changed, as a society. And even it does make me excited, enthusiastic, and hopeful, it does make me feel scared too.

It made me think of myself, in thirty to forty years from now, where would this blog be? Would my ideas, and ideology still be relevant? Would I be in the right side of history?

I would like to think that I am doing the right thing, but I am sure that there were so many people in the 70s thinking that they were one of the most forward thinking and open minded people too. And they were not. What if in decades from now I would be the bigoted one?

You know what?

I think I should start this year by apologise in advance. For me and for people in the future. If this blog is still around by then, and if the world has changed so much and this blog has become offensive, and no longer relevant to the current sociopolitical correctness then — I apologise.

This blog is not perfect, but today, in this time period, I am trying to do what is right according to our sociopolitical situation today. If there are any wrongdoing, offence, etc. it wouldn’t be intentional. It is just what is acceptable today.

We have different questions, different priorities, and different cultural movements compared to the world in the 1970s. I believe things would be different too in 2050s or 2080s.

So, apart from apology, I would also use this blog to reflect, review, and retrospect, or even retract. Things have changed, and it will keep changing, and the only way I could be relevant is by knowing the changes.

That’s for today. See you again soon 🙂

Happy New Year 2017

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Another year has passed. Although I couldn’t say that 2016 was a good year for me and (probably) the rest of humanity, I am still glad we have gone through it — alive.

Well, I am not going to talk about the past today, because I think new year is the best time to talk about the future. And for the very near future, a.k.a year of 2017, this is my resolutions:

  1. Since I managed to lose a bit of weight in 2016, why don’t I make it a promise to myself to be a better groomed person. I will take care of myself better — not necessarily full on make up everyday but.. hey, I am getting older. I don’t think it is a bad idea at all to take care of my physical appearance.
  2. I will read more. I will keep the target of 20 books I didn’t get to achieve last year. That was silly of me, but I think reading books would help keeping my brain sharp. I will have to spare more time to read.
  3. Blog entries? I will make it 200. I have at least two active blogs, and I managed to write 150+ blog posts this year, and… since blogging is the only way I could keep practising my writing skill, I should think of raising my game a bit. 200 blog entries in a year? I think that’s not too ambitious, is it?
  4. My German is getting better, and I was okay in trying to practise it everyday. BUT, it seems like I couldn’t be discipline when I am trying to learn other languages. Right now, I have Welsh, French, Hungarian, and Spanish on my list. I have to make up my mind and choose one instead of learning a little bit of everything. Let’s see how I can improve my language skill this year.
  5. Expanding my social circle. I find this the most difficult thing to do. My husband does have friends who are nice, and we get along alright… but unfortunately we have a complete different interests — in hobbies, political opinion, socio-cultural interests, etc. And, I can’t spend too much time with mums because somehow they would start talking about their kids, and it is sooo difficult to pretend that I care.

There… Wish me luck, and I wish you the best with your resolutions — if you do have one, and wish you a wonderful year ahead — even if you don’t have any. I will see you soon, and hopefully more regularly this time.

Prost!

The 2016 End of Year Recap

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Golly! Is this that time of the year again? Time to recap the year and list of what I have achieved this year…

Okay. From the resolution, these are what I achieved:

  1. Mein Deutsch wurde besser. Ich kann manche sätze machen, obwohl es ziemlich lange dauert. Yes… It took a while to compose that sentence. In fact, it always takes a long time for me to make a sensible sentence. But it’s getting there. All I need to do is to get more learning sources so I could expand — as Duolingo is now a little bit predictable.
  2. I haven’t reached my book challenge, nor Nanowrimo. So both just didn’t work.
  3. I definitely reached the blog post goal, although it is not posted in this site.

Other thing that I have achieved:

  1. I have lost around 11kg since Chinese New Year. The reason why I didn’t lose too much after mid year assessment is because we went to Indonesia for a holiday, and since I have lost a lot the weight loss gets a little bit trickier.
  2. I get my visa extended, so it will be okay for the next three years. Wohoo!!
  3. I am doing well with handcrafting, and gardening — until I went to Indonesia again for my sister’s wedding in November and came back to the UK with a nervous breakdown.
  4. Mr. Fix-It and I travelled a bit, although it was our usual trip to Indonesia during Summer, and Wales for Christmas.

I really wish I could achieve more though… But I can’t complain too much… this year wasn’t a good one for me. Let’s just hope that next year would be much better than this — with less pressure from immigration, and new plan laid ahead, I think there would be some progress to be done next year.

But until then, let’s enjoy the last day of 2016.

See you next year 🙂

 

2016 — Not Looking Back In Anger

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To be honest… 2016 was probably not the best year you want to remember, wasn’t it? I mean… really…

Just when you think that the death of Lemmy in the end of last year was the end of the count, you heard about David Bowie, and Alan Rickman within a week. And, when in the end of the month I told Mr. Fix-it that Terry Wogan was gone as well, he asked me to stop updating him with these distressing news.

But really… the big names were not the only ones going. The humanitarian issues from Syrian refugees, to the Rohingyas in Myanmar. The bombings both in the Middle East, and in Europe, and the terrorist attacks like those in Nice and in Berlin were just few of the examples. One that was much much closer to heart was the death of Jo Cox, obviously… The Labour MP who was murdered by someone who was and is still not worth mentioned or remembered. No… seriously, that ‘someone’ is so pathetic, that I refuse to mention his name in this blog — and after all that guy has already found guilty and I am glad with the decision.

When we mentioned Jo Cox, we would also remember Brexit, and when we talk about Brexit we also remember the 2016 US Presidential Election. Both were shocking for some people, and surprising for the others. I can mention some people who are still not able to move on from both events.

Oh yes…

2016 hasn’t finished with us really…

Both in the UK and in Indonesia, the rise of bigotry and intolerance increased with the rate I have never seen before. Seems like one side is fuelling the other with hatred… Same hatred, different side of the fence. It is getting both tiring and worrying, but not as worrying as MY own problem– my visa extension application.

It was done in the end, but… it was quite traumatic (if you want to know about the details, I would talk specifically about it later — but not now, because we are not talking about it now…), but gee… It is not as traumatic as finding a dead cat in our host’s house when we were visiting in laws in Wales for Christmas (yes… I know…).

So… there you go, 2016. It is almost the end of the year, and I do really hope that all those would make a good excuse for not posting for the last month. YES!!

All these effort to write an elaborate post just to excuse myself for slacking from writing. Apologies. I will try to do better next year…

Prost!

 

The True Truth?

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Few weeks (months?) ago when one of the very popular motivator (or in my word: bullshitter) in Indonesia was in a really big crisis. What crisis, you asked? Well, if you asked, chances are you are not an Indonesian, or at least you are an Indonesian but you don’t live there. Or you are an Indonesian who lives in Indonesia, but you are just detached from real world, or probably was locked up in a bunker without any contact with other human being.

Hey, I am not judging. I am just saying, with all those noise, it is unlikely that you don’t know who I was talking about or what it is about. But I acknowledge that there would be reasons why you might not aware about this, and because of that, I will tell you…

Because I am nice, that’s why.

So. there is a man who made his fortune by bullshitting the country — they call this person a motivator. I’ve never found myself motivated looking at this old baldy, he’s kind of off putting if I might say quite frankly. This man loved to profess his love in public, telling people how a man should be — even went as far as telling how a woman should behave. I had a long rant about that, but unfortunately it was ages ago and it was on other blog. Can’t find them 😦

Anyway… this guy. This guy who preached about the value of family. This guy. Yes…

One day there’s a man appeared out of nowhere and told the world how fake this guy is. This man said that he is the son that has been abandoned by this baldy motherducker. This guy came out, with evidence and supports from this so called motivator’s family members to back up his soppy story. In the end, he didn’t ask for financial support or whatever… he just wanted him to admit that he was a lousy father, and a liar.

After trashing the story, and went as far as challenging this guy to go on a DNA test, in the end this piece of crap admitted that this man is his son anyway. He still grumpily denied the accusation of neglect and abuse, but anyway… it is not what I was going to talk about. Actually… the whole story about this man is just an intro to what I want to talk about.

Yeah… it is that important that I spend the whole 350 words just as an intro to what I am going to talk about.

I am talking about truth and honesty.

There is a difference between admitting something, and confessing something. When you voluntarily reveal the truth that other people don’t know yet, you are confessing something. When you are confronted with an information, and you tell the person who confronted you that the information is true, you are admitting something. For some people they are just the same thing, but done in a different timing.

But timing is everything isn’t it?

If that motivator told people in the beginning that he made a mistake when he was young, and he has a son that he hasn’t seen for ages and he was sorry and would have done anything to give a better life to that son… He would be seen as a noble, a changed man. But when he has covered this up for years, and then publicly confronted with the truth… and he admitted it… he’s not confessing. And if he’s saying sorry… I think he’s just sorry he’s got caught.

If that motivator has confessed his past in the beginning, no matter how bleak it was… he is now the nation’s hero who’s come back from the fall. But no… he hid the reality, and then admitted only when someone has opened up his scandalous past — which in the end makes him a liar. Now it would be hard not to question everything he has said in the past. It would be almost impossible to take his words seriously. It would be unlikely to trust him again in the future.

And I think that is a fair judgement, isn’t it?

When your friend, or someone come to you and confess something… it takes courage, and integrity to tell you about something unfavourable they have done in the past. They take the risk, and they will have to accept whatever consequences that might come with their action. But it says a lot about their personality, and character.

Why am I talking about this so suddenly?

Uhm…

Actually I could talk about whatever I want to talk about, and however long I want to talk about it. And, I don’t have to tell you my reason talking about this random thing. This blog is pretty random anyway, isn’t it? But I do have my own reasons, and let’s just keep it for myself for now 🙂

Heh…

 

Letter To My Sister

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As you might have known, I like writing letters to my sisters and brother, although I know they don’t really read my blog. I don’t mind. I don’t write for them, I write for myself. It might be good for them if they visit this place every now and then to see what I have in mind that I cannot tell them directly, but if they don’t… well.. their loss. Ha ha.

Anyway…

Dear my Baby Sis.

I call you Baby Sis because you are. I know you are an adult and you are dying to be treated like one by us — our parents, aunts and uncles, and Grandma, and especially your sisters. Tough shit, you are still our baby sister, and we won’t stop worrying about you no matter how old you are and you will be. Have you seen our aunts and grandma? Have you seen how they treated each other? Yes, we are the same, this kind of thing runs in blood.

So suck it up and listen.

I know you have a new life, and a long long life ahead. It is time to start planning properly. Start finding out what you really want, start finding out what makes you really happy. Your happiness is not attached to other things, or people, it is in you and your state of mind. I learned it the hardest way, and I realised the best moral lesson from Disney’s films (our favourite) is Ohana from Lilo and Stitch.

I know your name is not Lilo, and although for some people it’s close enough :p, you are a Lilo. You are MY Lilo. And you might want to watch the film again if you forget, but being a Nani, I won’t let anyone or anything to harm you, although it means you will cry and shout and hate me. The difference is, you are an adult, and in the end you will have to choose your own way.

Whatever way you choose, please choose the way of happiness.

There is no happiness in trying to please anyone. And, believe me… the way of happiness is easy. It is always easy. You don’t have to break in, or make a force entry. You won’t feel alone, or embarrassed, or uncomfortable. You will be the best of yourself, and you will feel a whole even though you are alone.

There is no happiness in trying to avoid confrontation, because sometimes it has to be fought. Peace can only be found in freedom, and freedom can only be found in truth. People who said that ignorance is a bliss are cowards who would rather hide in the dark than go out and see the reality.

I really wish you read this, and you understand. That experience has made me bitter and suspicious, but it does me good. It makes me aware of things that you and your other siblings don’t understand yet. Some knowledge that I wish I could transfer, so you could understand without having to experience yourself.

In the end, I wish you a good life.

Prost!

Law[less] and [Dis]order

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I love watching Law&Order. Husband, not so much — but really, I am the one with the remote control in the house so he has to deal with whatever crap he thinks he’s watching. I’ve been watching Law&Order since I was in high school and old enough to understand the awesomeness of the program.

Of course I understand, that for some people it is not more than usual crime drama. For me it is more than that. It is more than CSI where a group of people are sweeping the crime scene, trying to solve the puzzle. With Law&Order, the puzzle is usually not difficult, nor unique. It is usually just a common crime done by common people. But that’s not all it is about.

The original Law and Order has this very famouse narration in the beginning of the show:

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

Got it? That’s at least the idea of how the criminal justice system works in the US.

How about Indonesia?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the trial for Jessica started weeks ago. The official trial, that is. Months ago, I have talked about this, and I have sensed how scarily flawed our criminal justice system — that is, if we based our judgement on this trial. How even the judge seems to “nudge nudge wink wink” with the persecutor, ignoring the fact that this case has not got enough evidence to go on a trial.

Yes. Of course… I have watched enough Law&Order to understand that there is something called “Circumstantial Evidence”. Unlike CSI who are working with hard evidence such as DNA, fingerprint, fibres, and blood spatters, the detectives in L&O also works with circumstantial evidences. What are they? Motives, opportunities, and alibi, and the like.

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/File:L%26OUK_poster.jpg - I was going to post Jessica's photo, but really... if she's proven innocent, I don't want to be responsible to be one of those people who immortalise this trauma for her. So... How about Law and Order UK instead? -

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/File:L%26OUK_poster.jpg – I was going to post Jessica’s photo, but really… if she’s proven innocent, I don’t want to be responsible to be one of those people who immortalise this trauma for her. So… How about Law and Order UK instead? –

However… “She looks dodgy” is not a circumstantial evidence, it is an opinion. “Her attitude is unusal” is not a circumstantial evidence either. It might lead the investigation to find evidence, but opinion is opinion and SHOULD NEVER EVER be used as an evidence. Circumstantial evidence could be: “oh she’s got a connection to someone who can get her cyanide”, or “this is the evidence that she will gain something from the death of the other girl”, or “this is the evidence of the relationship in the past, and here are some witnesses who heard her said something about killing this woman”. Strong circumstantial evidence.

What I saw in the trial of Jessica was criminalisation. The fact that the case is so high profile, and the eyes of the media are all on it, it would be embarrassing for the persecutor to ditch the case and admit that there’s no case against this woman. It reminds me of the trial of the former KPK director Antasari Azhar.

At that time there were NO evidence linking him to the case. It was clear that the evidences were planted, and even the circumstantial evidence were made up. The witnesses disappeared after the trial, so that nobody could prove that they have committed perjury. Even the family of the victim begged the court to continue the investigation and release Antasari as they KNOW that it wasn’t him who killed their beloved one.

But in the end, they brought him down anyway.

And, hey! If it worked for a high profile individual like Antasari Azhar — a man with such a status, well known as someone who’s always in the right side of the law, why can’t it work to Jessica? She’s just a young woman, visiting home to see family and friends — maybe for Chinese New Year — oh and minority too. Should be easy, isn’t it?

But if it worked to Antasari Azhar and Jessica, two high profile cases in the country, how do you know that there are no cases like them that is not covered by the media? How do you know that if one day you are so unfortunate being caught up in a criminal case, and you’re innocent… How do you know that you could get a fair trial? How do you know that you can rely on your evidences, alibis, and innocence? How do you know that things would be alright if you do everything right?

You don’t.

http://www.metrotvnews.com/embed/0k8gEPob

To close my entry today, I will give you a video… The video is a fragment from Metro TV’s program NSI (News Story Insight) presented by Aviani Malik about the victims of wrong persecution that you might have never heard before.

Prost

Making Sense of Money

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How do you know you have more money than sense?

Well… In the UK, one comedian said: When you buy a biography written by a fictional meerkat millionaire — who was invented in an advertising campaign.

In the tech world: When you actually drill a hole on your iPhone7 to make a earphone slot.

In Indonesia: You ask someone to magically double your money.

Byq… What the hell are you talking about?

As much as Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, there is a big percentage of people who believe in supernatural stuff — that is more cultural related than religion. Some people believe in local magical creatures, or superstitious old midwives’ tale. Some believe that other people possess supernatural powers.

We were once — or even until today– crazy about indigo kids. We loved it when some villagers claimed that their goat’s poo could help curing cancer. We were ecstatic when a kid sit on the table, smoking cigarettes and ramble something, pretending that they’re connecting to the spirit of the dead. And some believes that some people could double your money by keeping the money in a box, and pray over it.

You’re right, I am talking about that religious cult.

It surprised my parents that people could be THAT stupid. It surprised me that they were genuinely surprised to see how people could be THAT stupid. I mean, they have lived longer than I do, I always assumed they have seen more stupid people in their lifetime than I have. Apparently not… Longer life doesn’t guarantee fuller experience.

It surprised my father that people THAT stupid could have a lot of money. I told him that some people have more sense than money. And money can’t buy common sense. He’s happy with my answer.

It surprised my mother that there are thousands of people actually believe this, and still believe in the leader even after all his lies are now open in public. I told her that it’s what a brainwash do to people. The difference is that if the number of believers is in thousands it is called a cult, and if it is in billions, it is called a religion. She’s not amused — doesn’t matter, because I do 😀

And you know what surprised me? What surprised me is that one of the political leader in Indonesia — a public figure people seen as an educated person, that can be trusted — a member of a political party in Indonesia believed that shit too. Not only that he was once endorsed this cult leader as “National Treasure”, he even involved in the cult, and be a member of it. It is amazing that every time I go back and visit Indonesia, I can always find something that is so pathetic it is amusing.

It never ceases to keep us entertained.

Anyway, if you really don’t know why believing that anyone could double your money while keeping it inside the box is stupid, let me explain to you how money actually work. The simple way. Just because I am feeling generous today.

The history of money started when people start trading. People used to bartered their goods with other people, but then barter system gets really difficult as you would have to find someone who wants your goods and has the goods that you want at the same time. And they have to be in the same value, so whoever trading could get a fair trade.

People then invented money system. It helps trading and valuing goods and services. The money we know today is printed by the government, and circulated by the national bank. So, if the government printed X amount of money, that will be the money that is in the circulation. IF anyone claim they can double the amount of money you put in the box… how can he do it without changing the amount of money circulated by the national bank? No they can’t, because they can’t print their own money.

Simple logic.