Monthly Archives: July 2014

Integrity and Other Tough Shits…

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We are waiting.

Yes, we are waiting for the result of the presidential election a week ago.

Media has been broadcasting not only the various controversy quick count results, but also the news about the cheating allegations towards either candidates. Some got the news about an angry candidate, while the other media accused the other candidate of being fake by going for a pilgrimage. In the end, media has splat Indonesia into two. I am not surprised that in the end of this month we would get ourselves into a civil war.

You might want get some foreign currency just in case.

However, one of the hottest keyword during this painful excruciating waiting time is: cheating.

We hate cheaters don’t we?

We condemn the cheating success team. We want someone who is honest, playing and running the election with high integrity… and shit. And we did not realise… integrity is taught and learned.

You are angry that we are being cheated by the other presidential team, but when you were confronted about why you cheated on your exam, you would say: that’s a form of creativity. You say that they shamelessly changed the result on the c1 form, but you proudly said that you exchanged exam papers with your friends, and you passed the subject with flying colour. You would condemn the presidential team who fake the survey, and quick count result, how about then when you silently marked up the number on your table to make your thesis look good in front of the panel?

You said that we shouldn’t keep silent because that’s the right thing to do, but why did you silenced the mother whose son were expelled from school because he did not want to help his friends and teacher cheated on the exam? You said we should speak up when you see injustice, but did you say something when your teacher missed one number you answered wrong and gave you better score than you deserved to have?

Those politicians, you would rant about them promising things they would never fulfil after they’ve got what they wanted. But was it you promising your children ice cream they never had? We would talk about how willing these officers to change whatever the cheating candidate wants for the price of a car. Was it you bribing your son’s teacher so he could be moved to the next level although academically he was flunked?

I am not saying we are not entitled to a great honest president whose integrity isn’t questionable. But I am afraid that we would no longer able to provide this kind of people in the future if we don’t prepare the next generation with the needed tough shit we would need in the future.

I am afraid the next generation would pick up what you do, and do it because you are their role model. They would cheat, and told you it’s a form of creativity. They would bribe their way out. They would lie, and break promises exactly the way you show them how. And they are our future.

So just stop for a moment. Stop the shouting, the cussing, and the ranting. Stop accusing, cursing, and blaming. What have we done ourselves? Have we done things right? Have we got the right mentality to keep the nation with the needed integrity? Or we do need the “Revolusi Mental” ourselves?

That’s from me.

Good night 🙂

I VOTED!!

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So, I have voted on Saturday 5th July 2014. Yes, the election abroad was held before the 9th July. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be, it’s even pretty straightforward.

The Indonesian embassy is not too hard to find. It is located on Grosvernor Square, just near Hyde Park, London. You would be able to see our red and white national flag next to ASEAN’s flag. On this particular day, it is even easier to spot, because you could see people queuing to vote.

All you need to have is your passport. I saw some people come around without their passport, and couldn’t vote. I can understand his disappointment. I mean, I would be disappointed myself if I couldn’t vote after giving a lot of efforts to go there. However, I agreed with the committee that if you could not present anything to prove that you are an Indonesian citizen to be able to vote.

After I got myself registered, I was sent to the TPS3. This time, Mr. Fix-It would have to wait in the different area, because he was not going to vote. They have 3 different voting areas, people would sit on the waiting room, and wait until their name is called. When your name is called, you would have to present your passport once more, and then go to the next desk to get your ballot paper.

If you have never voted before, this is what happened when we vote.

One of the committee would open the paper in front of me, and show me that the paper is not tampered. After the ballot was signed, I took it to the voting stall. Unfold the ballot paper so you could see both candidates. You poke the ballot with the poking stick provided in the stall. Make sure you do it properly (they have the instruction in the wall, so you wouldn’t go wrong). Fold the paper back, and go out from the stall. Walk to the voting box, and drop your paper inside the box.

Next, you would get your finger — pinky finger of your left hand– dipped in the special ink, to show that you have voted. This is to avoid people cheating and wanting to vote twice.

At the embassy, they were having a little gathering. People are around swarming and eating Indonesian food. I didn’t stay long enough to join them, I have done my part for my country, I don’t need to socialise :p

There’s one thing though, that made me a little bit proud.

On our way to the embassy, Mr. Fix-It who accompanied me all the way said, “I admired your dedication. You go all the way here from Norwich just to vote and go home.”

Yes.

I don’t have any reason why I shouldn’t.

Whoever the next president probably wouldn’t affect me as much, as I am no longer living permanently in Indonesia. But it would affect my family — my parents, my sisters, my brother, my friends, my grandmother… It would affect people that I care about. So yes, I went all the way from Norwich to London and back (almost 8 hours return journey), to vote and contribute.

I told my husband that in Indonesia, this particular presidential election is a big thing because IT COULD change Indonesia for the better. So if my voice could contribute in this, I wouldn’t mind doing this again, and again.

So, if your TPS is just on your neighbourhood, or even 10 minutes driving. GO. Use your rights to choose your own president.

If you think that whoever the president wouldn’t affect your life, think about how it would affect your beloved’s lives. You still have two days to think about it, and choose wisely.

So I voted. You’re next…

Film Review: East is East

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Title: East is East
Year: 1999
Language: English
Genre: Comedy
Director: Damien O’Donnell
Actors: Om Puri, Linda Bassett, Archie Panjabi, Jimi Mistry

Review:
In mid 1940’s a Pakistani immigrant, George Khan came to Salford, UK and got married to Ella, an English born and bred woman. Twenty five years later, George Khan’s family consists of Dad, Mum, six sons, a daughter and one fish and chips shop.

After one incident that has practically smeared his face with black ink, George Khan — worried that his family wouldn’t be able to be accepted by the Pakistani society by being half-bred, tried to integrate his half English family to the Pakistani community in Bradford. The only way he thought the best, might not be the way his children wants. The clash of cultures have begun.

I couldn’t help comparing this with “The Namesake“, as I watched these two films back to back. Of course it is not completely the same, they also have different storytelling point of view. While The Namesake took the modern American, and a bit of Hindu – Indian as the background of the story, East is East portrayed the life of the family of Islam – Pakistani life in the 1970’s England.

I would leave The Namesake behind, as we have already talked about it last week. East is East is a completely different film. It is categorised as comedy, and since it was marketed more to the English audience, it doesn’t surprised me at all. It has different kind of comedy to those the American’s Hollywood comedy films. It is closer to how the Korean film makers made their comedy drama.

It began with a hilarious self deprecating joke, taking on the stereotypes we always heard. Some viewers might missed the tongue-in-cheek attitude and could easily thought that this is offensive. But these viewers might be just some closed minded bigot who could never take piss on themselves – a.k.a. the boring people.

While the story developed, it became darker and gloomier, and then without you realising it, you have stopped laughing and started to think… “oh shit”.

Watching this is not necessarily an emotional roller coaster, but it definitely gets me. I might be a little bit objective since I could easily relate to the characters, but it could only happen with the brilliant script writing and good actors. You might not realised at the beginning as I did that the little girl over there was Archie Panjabi, you might know her from her prominent role at The Good Wives, although she played a role on Bend it Like Beckham with the young Kiera Knightley.

This is a must watch, at least according to me. I would rate this film 9/10

Are You Ready To Vote?

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I am.

After days of being ignored by the electoral committee in London, I finally got informed that I could vote in the Indonesian Embassy in London tomorrow.

Some of my friends in Norwich has already got their ballots sent to their residence in Norwich. All they needed to do was to send back the ballots to the Indonesian Embassy after they voted. It is so much more efficient since you wouldn’t have to go all the way to London, and you wouldn’t have to queue. However I couldn’t do that.

The reason was because I registered late. The same reason why I did not vote for the legislative election three months ago.

The election abroad would be held earlier from the national election in Indonesia. While you in Indonesia will vote for our next president on the 9th, we would have to do it earlier probably considering the transportation of the ballots back to Indonesia for the counting.

So which candidate am I going to vote for? Well well well…

Honestly, I have lost my confidence in both candidates, so I am no longer considering any of the candidates as the reason why I vote for them. I will choose based on the coalition, and guess what? I dislike FPI… So you know roughly which one I would pick JUST to make sure FPI would be banished from Indonesia.

If you– like me, want our government to beat FPI and other radicalism, please use your voice. If you’re like me, and you want a better MENKOMINFO, whose job isn’t only censoring everything that he finds offensive, please use your voice. We might not agree with ALL of JKW action, or his coalition, BUT being abstinent means giving more chance to the worse candidate.

And we don’t want that.

Do we?

 

Oh… Rubbery…

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Last week was the first time I heard about this new fad: Loom Bands.

I could remember one of my childhood friends (not that I have many), posted it on her social media, but I did not give a damn because I thought it was only one ugly bracelet she was going to show. But apparently this is just “in” not only in Indonesia, but also here in the UK.

So, what do you do with loom bands? Loom bands is basically small rubber bands. Do you remember the little rubber bands you use to tie your hair? This is the same exact rubber band. But since nowadays girls prefer to let their hair down, or using scrunchies to tidy their hair (so it wouldn’t pull their hair too much), rubber bands are no longer selling. So of course the rubber manufacturer has to find a way to sell it again.

Ah, why don’t use the rubber bands as a creative projects for kids. So they made a loom board, so that kids (and their mothers) would be able to create stuffs with the rubber bands. The easiest things to make are accessories like bracelets and rings.

And people are just keep making this non stop… for fuck sake

When I was a little girl, these kind of activity (bracelet making, art and craft thingy) is a girl thing. You know, the colourful friendship bracelets, or a make a wish bracelet charm, etc. is a very girly thing. While the girls are busy making this bracelet, and probably trying to make it as not-girly as possible so that their boyfriends would not too scrutinised while wearing it, the boys are busy having fun on the open, kicking the ball, or their friends, or just running around being arseholes.

But not making bracelets.

So I was kind of… well, surprised might not be the most honest word I could find to express what I felt when I knew these little boys are making bracelets from rubber bands, but that was the only non-offensive way to do it. Of course I don’t want to generalise or even tell that boys should play football and girls should play house and dolls, but seriously…

It was just an ugly stuff to make.

It’s not even a pretty bracelet.

So, when my hubby’s buddy’s son gave me two bracelets and one ring, made from these ugly loom bands, what should I say? I couldn’t just throw it in his face and say: this is ugly, why do I want this to be around my wrist, you little fucker? Of course not. So, instead:

Ah… thank you. That’s… rubbery…