Monthly Archives: August 2014

About Grief

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There are so much I would like to tell you, but for now, I couldn’t just bring myself to it. This is a really bad moment for me, and I could not talk about it. I think, the only thing I could do, and actually the only thing I could think of would help me release a little bit more of the pain I am feeling right now is by writing.

I hope I was right because I honestly cannot handle any more of this…

This morning– after a quick good morning with my husband, as usual I would check my phone. The time difference between the UK and Indonesia usually means there would be some waiting to be read messages either from my friends or family. Or checking emails. The thing about the modern smartphone is, that you could read a sneak peak of what’s going on just by reading your phone screen the first thing, even before you open everything.

But today was not just a usual day. The sneak peak told me there was something wrong.

I couldn’t gathered what was going on.

All I could read and remember was one from my mother saying: “Chika could have been alive”.

I tried to think. Frantically. Hoping that I was reading that wrong. Maybe what mum said was, “chika was in a big of trouble, and she could have been dead… if someone did not saved her. Or she was drowned and could have been dead if someone did not take her out on time. Or she was hit by a car, but she was a live… although, she could have been dead”.

She must have been wording it wrong. You know, mothers usually do that.

But today was not just a usual day. Not in the least. Not for me… at least.

I quickly skimmed the message she’s been posting on our family Whatsapp group (yeah, my dad was there too), and I was wrong. My mum said it just right and clear.

Chika was dead. In an operating table. And she was only 1 year, 4 months and 3 days old.

Now I have to stop and breathe. I might even try to get you some photos of her if I could even finish this entry without hyperventilating.

For some people, Chika was just a dog, or a puppy (because she was really really small), For me, she was a family. She was my baby. Some might not care about her, the way I don’t care about their children, but she is my baby, and I don’t fucking care if people think I was overreacting, because they could shove that ignorance up their arse and stop coming to my blog ever again.

Chika was born on 21th of April 2013. I was in Indonesia, and was waiting for Mr. Fix-It to come to my hometown. She was so small, she would fit and sit nicely (or sleep, like what she did almost all the time) nicely in my palm. Yes, she was not bigger than my right hand palm when she was born. But she was healthy, and growing up very quickly. I couldn’t believe how big she was when I came back from UK, last year.

I cried my eyeballs off when I was going back to the UK earlier this year to get married, because I know I was going to miss her. The silver lining was that I could always go back to my hometown to see her, while my family would always send me her photos. Now the silver lining has gone. And also she.

I am not a fan of favouritism, but she’s definitely my favourite. She used to sleeping with me with her body touching my leg. She would wake me up in the morning because she would need her morning pee in the garden. However at night, she would follow me around, knowing that I wouldn’t have the heart to leave her alone and would take her no matter how grubby she was to my bedroom and take her to bed with me.

Mum would be a little bit worried because my allergy would kick off if Chika was sleeping with me with grubby fur, but I’d rather being ill and take my allergy medication than saying no to Chika’s pledge. Sometimes even, I took her to work, and she would be bored in the office. She would start bullying her friends, and making a mess until she’s too tired to be naughty and sleep in the pile of mess she had just did.

Oh naughty Chika. I really missed her. I couldn’t even say goodbye.

I did not even know how she went. I couldn’t bear reading the whole conversation in the group, and never finished reading it. I just dropped my phone and broke down. I haven’t even said a word to my family, I couldn’t ask anything. My husband did — he texted my sister to find out what happened to Chika, but I told him not to tell me a word.

I don’t want to hear it

Not right now.

All I could think of was the things I could have done to prevent this from happening. I could have asked my mother to take Chika here to the UK. She would have been alive if she is living with me. I could have told my mum not to let Chika take the surgery. I felt I have killed Chika.

I killed her, didn’t I?

If not, it must be my mum or her vet.

Someone must have done something wrong. We must have wronged her in some way, and I couldn’t help thinking that it was my mistake. I would do anything to keep her alive. I would have done anything to keep her with me.

My husband was superb. He was around, taking care of things, and played Hot Fuzz and Paul, so I could watch and laugh, before I then broke down and cry and slept crying. Today was surreal. Definitely surreal and gloom, and emotional too… unsurprisingly.

I just don’t know what I could do. My phone wallpaper was Chika driving our car. My Path’s profile was Chika’s photo from when she was a baby until she last time I saw her. My laptop’s wallpaper was her photo too. When I picked up my knitting, it reminds me that I have bought wools to knit her a puppy jumper. I even asked my mum if she would be my ringbearer for my November wedding in Indonesia.

Now?

In just a second.

She’s gone.

And she was my baby.

My husband said that I couldn’t do anything. That’s a horrible thought. But he said I could grieve. I could grieve and just experience all this pain, and he will be there all the way. He’s been really great. But I don’t know how long I could grieve without falling apart. Because she’s not a dog, she’s a part of me.

She’s my baby.

I’m sorry I couldn’t post any photos of her right now. I couldn’t go through my photo folders to get her photo without wailing like a dying wolf. Just bear with me this time. And thank you…

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Merdeka!

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First of all, I would like to say Happy Independence Day 🙂

I know, I know it’s a bit late for that and I apologise for the lateness. The thing is, I haven’t touched my laptop for ages, and I know I should have. I need to keep doing the jobseach thingy, I need to keep the blog active, etc. But I just drowned in reading newspapers, crocheting and knitting. Not good.

I thought that posting something about the Indonesia’s Independence Day should be a good momentum to start writing again, but I missed it because I was lazy. So yes, it was definitely my fault. So, could we just move on so that I could start blabbering? Yes we could…

Being Indonesian
Talking about Indonesia’s Independence Day… There was something that one of my blogger friends said the other day about being an Indonesian. It was, probably, not about me, but I could relate to what he was talking about.

Being married to a non-Indonesian citizen, and living abroad could make a born and bred Indonesian lost their sense of nationality, or even patriotism. At least, that was the theory many people believes. But they probably haven’t seen it themselves, how the Indonesian students, or immigrants live abroad (or at least here in the UK).

We, Indonesian students had a really tight knit Indonesian Student Society, called PPI (persatuan pelajar Indonesia). During Ramadan month we invited each other on a mini gathering to break the fast together. Those who built their families in these foreign land kept their Indonesian tradition and not only introduce it to their children but reinforce it to them as well. We helped each other in this part of the world, even better than your neighbour for the last 5 years.

Our patriotism, our sense of nationalism, is not only challenged, but also sharpened and strengthen day by day, living in the country where people know Indonesia as either “Bali” or “Terrorist”. We were and are, and will always be your best cultural endorser, who spread the best word about our homeland, the real Indonesia that we know and proud of.

Even us who, because of our ethnicity, was born with a rather oriental features — was mistakenly recognised as one of those of other nationality, have been brave enough to stand up and tell them that we are Indonesian. We told them, we explained to them, no matter how complicated it was for them to digest, that we are Indonesian because we were born and bred there, and we are holding our green passport.

We were still excited if we saw anything about Indonesia was mentioned in the media. Or saw anything remotely Indonesia was displayed in the store. Even looking at clothes’ tag saying that it was made in Indonesia would make us jump and tell whoever shopping with us about factories in Indonesia and how friendly Indonesia was to foreign investor. We promote ourselves that bad, we lied a little about the “friendly” part.

I really don’t know where did these people get the idea that being abroad, living abroad, and being married to someone who is not Indonesian, but promoting, and being proud about our origin would make us feel less Indonesia than those who are living in Indonesia, but are apathetic about whatever happen in Indonesia and even embarrassed about who they are. If only they could see how dedicated we are. How Indonesia has been mentioned over and over again in our conversation, in our thesis, as a part of our study, as a part of our life. If only they know how many times we correct other people that BORNEO is 70% Indonesia’s and Malaysia only has a strip of land in the northern part of it.

And I have to say that it started to sting a little bit after I thought about it over and over again. Am I being perceived as a traitor to my own country just because I don’t want to stay there? Or because I did not end up marrying an Indonesian citizen?

Indonesian Blog
The same reason has also made me think about changing this blog back into using Bahasa Indonesia. I honestly has considered it as an option.

Mind you that the original reason why I started using English was because I needed to polish my English when I started studying in this country. It is not because I was being snobbish, and thought that writing in English would make me sound more educated or posh, or more modern. I was in the need to broaden my vocabulary in English so that I could converse better, understand better, study better, and in the end get a better result from my study.

I am pretty sure that I still need a lot of practising but since I am no longer required to write in a perfect academic style, I might not need to keep writing in English. But do I have to do that just to prove that I am still an Indonesian at heart?

I have to be honest with you that writing in Bahasa Indonesia would be much much more comfortable for me. There are a lot of Indonesian slang that could not be translated properly in English, such as “gemes”. I could never find an equal word for that one.

But should I? Do I really have to prove it?

Can’t people just take my word for it?

I still need to improve my English. I would have to work in this country, and build relationship with colleagues, neighbours, my husband’s family and friends, who unsurprisingly don’t speak Bahasa Indonesia at all. Isn’t that a really good reason why I need to learn English, respecting them as the host by speaking their language?

Can you imagine if foreign people coming to Indonesia to live there, work there, marrying your men and using our country’s facilities, but for the sake of their sense of nationalism, and patriotism refuse to speak Bahasa Indonesia, not even bother to try to improve their language even after living there for few years. How insulting that would be for you? Putting myself in their shoes, I would like to show them that I am respecting their language, as much as I want them to respect mine.

That’s only fair.

Happy Independence Day
This is a special day for Indonesia. I believe many people has their hopes and wishes for this beloved country’s future. So do I.

I hope that this country is no longer living in the slave mentality, or even post-slavery mentality. I hope that our people could see people from other countries as equal, and not either inferior or fake superiority that makes them so scared of everything vaguely “foreign”.

I hope this country is going forward while holding on to what our founding fathers has laid as our country’s foundation. And be proud of it.

Happy Birthday Indonesia

Merdeka!