Category Archives: Byqtch Please

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.

 

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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.

Food Culture Paradox

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Food is a big part of our culture. Three most important celebrations: Birth, Marriage, Death — are always celebrated or commemorated with food. Even in the daily life, food plays a very important role in our culture. It shapes us, it defines us. And we do… I mean, really do love our food.

We love our food so much we want everybody else to love it too. We cannot handle seeing other people not eating something. When we go abroad, and see some unique local food, the first thing we do is buy some extra so that our family and friends at home would be able to try them too.

Ever seen an Asian on a restaurant? While some people would start their meal by saying grace? We won’t start tucking in until we get a really good food photo. For what? Well… We just want to tell people that we know (or we don’t)  that we just had a great meal. And it is important. Good food means good life.

However…

As much as we love food, and feeding people. We worship skinny figure.

We don’t like fat people. We would encourage people to go on a diet, or suggest a really nice tea that somehow could melt down the extra fat on our thigh. Sometimes even, we didn’t realise how hurtful that is for the other party. But of course… we did it because we love them — or so we thought.

This is what I call “The Food Culture Paradox”. As a culture that embrace food, we have become a bunch of enabler for binge eater. We feed them because we love them. We want them to enjoy the finest thing in life and in our case it is a packet of pocky, green tea kitkat, macaroons, and blueberry cheese cake. We saw their waistline get bigger and bigger most of the time pushing to the dangerous limit. But we can’t stop feeding them, can we?

I admit that I have this problem too. I know that some members of our family don’t need more encouragement to binge. But every time I visit home, I would ask them if they want to have pork scratching or jaffa cakes. I know that my husband needs to cut down on sugar and fat, but still twice a week there would be cupcakes baking in the oven, or unlimited supply of biscuits in the jar.

What to do then?

To be honest? I don’t know.

Where to draw the line between being kind and wanting your friend or family to enjoy the food that you do enjoy too, and being an enabler for someone who are obviously addicted to comfort food? How do you know when you give that incredibly yummy cake, that you are not actually clogging their arteries with fat, and slowly killing them?

I don’t know.

But it is interesting, isn’t it?

Yuyun

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Disclaimer:
If you haven’t heard about Yuyun, you are probably the lucky one. I wish I could keep you from knowing who was Yuyun and what had happened to her, but I couldn’t. And I shouldn’t. So, before I even begin, I would like to apologise if this particular post ruins your beautiful day.

***

Yuyun was a 14 year old, Indonesian middle school girl who was allegedly kidnapped and gang raped by fourteen boys. She was on her way back from school that day, and she never made it home.

I don’t know what is different from this particular case, that it has got the mainstream media attention. Is it because that she is still really really young? Is it because the number of rapists? Is it because the fact that she was killed on the scene? Or… Is it because it is time for Indonesian people to recognise that we do have rape culture in our society? — so I hope.

Since I was really young, I was taught to dress modestly by my parents. Girls would have to wear a vest underneath their white shirts so if the shirt happens to be see-through they wouldn’t inadvertently showed off their underwear. My mum would wear petticoat when wearing light coloured skirt or dress, or something that slightly fitting to avoid indecent exposure. Can you imagine how hot it was wearing all those layers in a tropical country like Indonesia.

Very. That’s the answer.

But we did it. I don’t mind doing it at school as it is a part of a uniform and most of the time we will be indoor. But we did it outside the school. And what is it for? To prevent the unwanted. To protect ourselves from being a victim, because we know… we know exactly what would happen when we become a victim.

We will be blamed because we are not wearing enough layer. Or that our skirts are few centimetres too short than the decent length. We will be blamed for walking alone. Especially after dark. Because good women would cover themselves up, and not being seen outside without chaperones. And bad women? Well… they’re asking for it.

Now… that’s depressing, isn’t it? That’s why I am so lucky.

I got away.

But that couldn’t be the solution for millions of women in Indonesia (and many other countries like Indonesia). Not everybody could get away from that kind of situation.

Maybe.

Maybe Yuyun case is different.

If there should be a silver lining from this terribly sad story, it must be that this could be the turning point for Indonesia and law to protect women in this country. Maybe Yuyun would be the Indonesian equivalent for the Indian Jyoti Singh. Maybe this time everybody will take action.

One can only hope.

 

Fat Fashion

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Disclaimer: There is nothing PC about this entry. It is rather harsh, and most probably will make some people feel incredibly offended. However, it is a piece of thought, and it is not directed to a particular person. It is just an observation, and maybe… all of us need to get a life. 

It was a lazy weekend, and I was lying there feeling happy drinking my coffee, while playing TsumTsum on my phone. Out of nowhere (possibly out of the kitchen), my husband decided to weigh himself. If I haven’t told you yet, we just bought a weightwatcher’s bathroom scale, because we are thinking of getting ourselves in shape. (The first step to tackle a problem is to know how big the problem is — or the number is)

He looked a bit gloomy when he read the number, like I would too. I told my husband that I feel fat.

This is what he always does. He would dismiss me saying that I am fat, probably thinking that if he is agreeing with me it will make me feel bad. But I am not that kind of person, I don’t fish compliment to feed my self confident. However, lately, I have developed a new theory about why he dismisses my concern about bodily fat. Maybe he simply can’t see it.

I am not saying that he can’t see it because he’s blind. I am saying that he is biased. It is not because he loves me and accept me the way I am — of course he does, he married me. But that’s not the reason why he is biased. He is biased because in this country we are surrounded by a lot of overweight people. He started making comparison and unconsciously normalise what is considered as fat and what is not.

There are hundreds of articles or news (you could just google it), where people are protesting that one clothes manufacturer didn’t have more plus size dresses. Or that a certain brand doesn’t have “normal” size women to model their frocks. But what is not normal about being size UK 10? That’s S/M or size 8 in the US, or 38 EU size. That’s 36 inches bust circumference.

The reason why size 10 is not normal is because size 16 is the new normal. Based on a research, size 16 is the average size of women in the UK. No wonder when I have ballooned from size 10 to size 12, my husband is still saying that I am not fat.

Because, that’s the culture.

That’s the culture when people making all these “chubby is cute”, “curve is sexy” kind of thing as an excuse for giving up losing weight. Sometimes I wonder when these women said “I love myself, I love my body”, was it self appreciation, or just an excuse to make themselves feel better? Not that I see nothing wrong with it… I understand that for some people, denial is a form of self defence mechanism.

Before you said anything, I will tell you… in all honesty. I have gained more than 10 kilograms since the first time I arrived in the UK in 2011, and 8 kg of them was after I started the contraception pills. In the beginning of this year I has stopped consuming these pills because I managed to find a doctor to fit in the coil in my womb. Since then, I have lost 4kg.

4 kg in two bloody months.

And, before you said anything more, I will tell you that my sister has PCOS. It is Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. Her metabolism system is slow. Her insulin level is low. Not only that she is prone to diabetes, she also has problem losing weight because of that. But she lost 7 kg in four months, just with going tennis once or twice a week, and not snacking after dinner.

7 kg in four months.

So, I know how hormonal changing, or any illnesses, or disease could affect how your body reacts to… food. But I also know that it is not entirely impossible to do.

I am not saying that being thin is always the healthier way to do it. Some people are so obsessed with having thigh gap, or collarbone… well… I dont  mind having those. But I probably wouldn’t go the extra way that might harm myself. But going to the other extreme and finding it okay to be obese… Really?

Normalising being fat, and probably at the same time condemning people from taking care of themselves is not what you call “loving your body” is it? You said YOLO, and then scoff yourself silly with whatever your eyes see. If you know you only live once, would you want to live it dying on your bed not being able to move because you are too heavy to enjoy moving about?

Oh well…

Ranting does make you hungry doesn’t it? Time for cake…

Prost!

Meine Fortschritte Deutsch zu Lernen

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Hallo

 

Ich heiße Bybyq. Ich lebe in Großbritannien mit meinem Mann (Ich liebe ihm). Wir leben in einer kleiner Wohnung. Unsere Stadt Norwich ist eine schöne Stadt. Es ist klein, aber hat es alles was wir brauchen.

Ich schreibe gerne. Ich mag auch kochen, stricken, und häkeln. Ich lese viele Bücher denn ich lese gerne. Ich mag jetzt Haruki Murakami, aber ich mag immer Agatha Christie.

Shit this is difficult.

Don’t Be Gay in Indonesia!?!

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I thought we were past this now, and I cannot believe that today, in 2016 I have to write about LGBT again. *deep sigh* *find a happy place*

Right!

I tried to find articles about LGBT I have written in the past. I couldn’t find them. Do you know why? Probably, I have never written about LGBT before. And do you know why? Maybe, in the past people were not such an asshole like people in Indonesia today. Maybe in the past, despite of their opinion about us, they would just leave us alone. Or maybe in the past, people were nicer without so called religions.

from upi.com

I don’t know. All I know is that now media tried to picture us as the bad guy of the universe. Not the people who bombed buildings, not terrorists who ran around shooting police officers, not the group of people who destroy buildings and businesses in the name of their oh-so-mighty-god. Oh no… not the religious leaders who molested their apprentices/students-whatever, not the wife beating abusive father drunken thug who litters on the street. No. The enemy is us… What a sick, twisted mind, that could produce such an ignorant conclusion – thinking that LGBT is a problem?

Or maybe they just don’t think? You know… thinking is a sign of intelligence. Considering Indonesian’s average IQ is only 87 — and there are ten of thousands of us with IQ more than 100 (with some people with IQ more than 130 in Mensa Indonesia), there must be millions of people with IQ lower than 80. It is borderline intellectual functioning. Isn’t it? No wonder they are just so dense… no wonder they failed to contemplate this:

Translated from Bahasa Indonesia: “if a GAY sexually abuses someone, people blame their GAY-ness. Why is it that if a STRAIGHT does the same, it is the individual that gets the blame? (Why don’t you blame their STRAIGHT-ness – as the reason why they sexually abuse people?)

It is 2016. It’s been 10 years since I got acquainted with LGBT communities — from si Onyed, obviously. Superbyq is about to have it’s 6th anniversary. It’s been more than 4 years since I left Indonesia, and almost 2 years of being married. And Indonesia… is going backwards, instead of catching up with other civilised countries. What the F is going on?

Our Minister of Research and Technology made a statement about banning LGBT from campuses. Our so called Mental Health practitioner “revised” the universally acknowledged DSM to his own version and called homosexuals and transgenders as mentally ill. Now, not only the so called religion of peace are making long marches to demonstrate their ignorance on the street, the other religions are following their footstep in the bigotry lane.

If several days ago, Mr. Fix-It and I had the “what if” idea, and thinking of coming back to Indonesia and live there. Now, I don’t think that is the case. I don’t want to live in Indonesia. I don’t think I could live among these people. I don’t think I could survive living among these idea. I don’t think, I could give up my freedom of being me, and going back to where I have to deny my own identity.

I am so glad that in Indonesia we still have people like MerryDT who is still trying to educate these bunch of dimwits — because I have to admit, I don’t have the patience to face these kind of people. People like her are the reason I can still have hope that this country could bounce back and catch up with modern civilisation. But, until then, I would rather stay here where I could raise my rainbow flag, wave it around with pride.

Like I said before… this is a grim time to be an Indonesian.

Prost.

Home

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I know… I know it is a late post, but as I always say… better late than never. You could disagree with that, but let’s agree to disagree. Agree?

Yes. I am home. In this case I am now back in Norwich after a whole month holiday in Indonesia. You might ask me, what I have achieved during my whole month of doing nothing in my parents’ house. Of course you might. And I might answer: WISDOM.

I think “wisdom” sounds much better than “nothing… really”.

Alright… I did not really achieve nothing. Okay? I got something done. I had my hair cut, and dyed it purple (yay me!!), I met my family and some of my friends, and caught up with the latest news, I also had a coil contraception placed inside my tummy (stories about it — coming soon). I also did a little research and looked around the city and contemplating the “what if”.

The very what if we rarely mentioned before.

“What if Mr.Fix-It and I move to Indonesia?”

Of course it is silly considering today’s social and political situation in Indonesia. I really can’t see me living in a country where LGBT is still considered as illegal. I have been living here where people could be themselves without any kind of social punishment — for being themselves. I can’t see how can I live among people who condemn LGBT — even among them are some of my closest relatives (stories about it — coming soon).

But most of all, a month in Indonesia teaches me what it means to be home, or even… what home means for me.

People said that home is where the heart is. I believe so too. But what if you don’t know where your heart should be? My family is still in Indonesia. My parents, my sisters, my brother… my dogs. Life is much easier there as I could get stuff done without lifting my middle finger.  But… at the same time, my one and only beloved husband is here in Norwich. I am the queen of my own kitchen. I am the lady of my own house. My knitting projects are here… My heart is utterly confused.

How do I decide where home is?

Well… apparently it was quite simple. On the day I arrived in Norwich, after 10 minutes taxi ride, I found this:

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It is stuck in my front door by my husband. When I saw it, I knew I was… HOME.

Superbyq is Moving… Again…

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I don’t know why but it seems that I have never learned my lessons. But forgive me, that after all these five years with me, you will have to listen again how frustrating it is to move my blog from one place to another. Yes… I am moving Superbyq from iPage.

First of all, I am moving superbyq to wordpress.com. Few days ago iPage sent me an invoice for my incoming renewal — yes I was aware that it was that time of the year again. But unlike so many others, I do read my e-mails, and realised that in that invoice they said that they were going to charge me £250++ for two years service. That is outrageous really.

I can understand if they need to raise the price. It is understandable that the price could not stay there forever. But bumping price from £56+ for two year to £250+? That is just preposterous. I am not having it. I did not even want to know how they dared to bump the price 4x the original price. I just thought it was an unfair business trick, as I know some amateur blogger like me would probably stop looking around for a new web hosting, or not reading their bank statement, or e-mails. But not me. I am basically a blogger without a regular income, I do care about every single penny come out from my wallet. So £250+?? Go eat dirt…

That’s how I moved my blog…  here. For now (when I wrote this), this blog is called superbyqcom.wordpress.com. I admit I could have had something nicer for the name, but oh well… I believe it would only be temporary anyway. I would map (I really don’t know the technicality of this), superbyq.com so… by the end of the process you would be able to go to superbyq.com like usual. Sorry for the incovenience…

I realised that my domain name service is about to end as well… so I decided that I might as well cut off my relationship once and for all from iPage and go to GoDaddy instead.

Right… I thought iPage customer service was awesome. They’re quick, and they solved problems. They were polite and helpful. But gee, GoDaddy’s customer service was top notch. They were friendly, helpful, and managed to calm me down, because… you see… moving Superbyq has always been stressful experience for me. And this one is definitely not an exception.

As much as I love being treated with all that formality, I think for this particular case I would like someone who can explain to me with the commoners’ language. I have to say that GoDaddy’s customer service who chatted with me at that time — Tyler (yes I remember because he was incredibly nice to me at that time). I suppose Tyler is a guy, so I would not expect him to look like this:

Okay. This is probably too early to say that GoDaddy is better than iPage. Because one weird thing about their page is that at first, I could find the chat button. So I could chat with them… typey-typey. But then, when I tried to talk to them again, I cannot find the button again. So I had to phone up to ask about my problem. For someone who hates talking on the phone, this is quite frustrating. Luckily the guy on the other side of the line was quite friendly and patient enough to explain what’s going on with my domain transfer.

Right. I will see you again. And I hope next time I will see you in the new Superbyq.com — instead of superbyqcom.wordpress.com. Not that I think [insertyourwebsitehere].wordpress.com is a bad thing… but… oh well. I should shut up.

Prost!

LGBT in Campuses, and Mirna’s Case

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Our Minister of Research and Technology just released one of the dumbest statement I have ever heard from someone in his level — since the new government cabinet was set. I mean, seriously. He told the media that he banned the LGBT to enter universities. I mean… how? Although soon later he revised his statement to: “Banning the LGBT who make out and have sex in campuses” — which was even more laughable than the previous statement.

I am not sure how this LGBT in Campuses noises started. Really, I suspected from how uncanny the timing was — it has something to do with one of the hottest murder case in Indonesia today. The Murder of Mirna.

If you live abroad and probably can’t be bothered to subscribe to Indonesia’s media — and looking at our media, I don’t blame you at all– you might have missed this murder case. Mirna is a the name of the girl who died after drinking coffee in a popular coffee shop in one of the biggest high end malls in Jakarta. When Mirna died, she was accompanied by two of her friends, one of them J was her mate when she studied in Australia.

Police officer could not point a finger to anybody due to the “innocent until proven guilty” principal. But somehow for J, all fingers have pointed at her. I feel bad for her, especially if she is not guilty. I think many mainstream media, from online newspaper to national televisions have the responsibility to report a balance news– unfavourable, not tendentious, and unbiased opinion. But I found that the media was stirring the mud to gain more audience. That’s disgusting.

As the case got more and more audience, the stories and rumours got spread. One of the rumour was that the murder was carried out by J, because she was jealous that Mirna is now married — just married last December. The rumour also said that they were a couple when they studied together in Australia. And then, the criminalisation of LGBT sparked.

The old, outdated belief such as “homosexuals are mentally disturb and would kill anyone when they got jealous rage” reappeared in the media. Forgetting the facts that there are more murder carried out by heterosexuals than gays. The uneducated comments on social media sprung and got out of hand, and nothing that media did about it. I thought it was their job to educate the people, apparently gaining clicks is more important than giving facts.

In my own opinion, the rumour that Mirna and J had a lesbian relationship when they were studying just fuelled the bigots rage, and paranoia that Indonesian students are now aware of the freedom to embrace their sexuality. Some cheap far right online newspaper in Indonesia even described LGBT as an epidemic phenomenon attacking our education system, while throwing in some religious remarks to add in to the bigotry.

Now, universities — one of our last bastion to fight against ignorance, intolerance, and bigotry is under a massive attack. Not only that the minister has said something that has undermined the effort of our academia to educate people about sexuality, this issue has opened the pandora box. The members of the Support Group and Research Center On Sexuality Study in Universitas Indonesia, one of the biggest and best university in Indonesia, is now being threatened personally. Some of them even being disowned just because he wants to help other people.

I don’t think I should make any conclusion for today’s entry. I don’t have to. You know where I stand and I am standing still. I am not sure how long until our country could catch up with the others, but for now I am doubtful that that day will come soon.

What a gloomy day to be an Indonesian.