Category Archives: The Byq Family

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!

 

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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…

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.

Should You Drop Out School?

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Facebook feed is definitely a source of writing inspiration nowadays. Especially if you have different kind of people in your list — people from different cultural backgrounds, age group, jobs or expertise, etc, who love posting statuses, or sharing stories. Or in this particular day, someone from my list shared a video.

It is not just a video. It is a video from a TED talk. A boy. A teenage boy. Talking about how — according to him — school is making us less intelligent. I couldn’t post the video directly from facebook, so I went to youtube and found it there for you — obviously to make your lives so much easier.

You’re welcome.

 

There. What do you think?

Do you agree with what he said? That school makes us less intelligent? So, should we all just drop the education and stop going to school altogether — for the sake of creativity?

Or, you can start seeing the flaw in his argument — when he started contradicting himself about the meaning of success, and that there are different kind of intelligences? I let him off for that one, mainly because he is still young, and probably he didn’t get the chance to learn that in academic writing such flaws would be heavily scrutinised by the professors.

But of course… That’s not the problem.

The problem is… I agree with him to a certain degree.

I too was a “victim” of how school tried to shape us into something that we are not. I remember quite clearly what happened when I told my teacher that I wanted to go to Language Department, instead of Natural Science Department. I remembered that I was coerced to change my option, because I was “too smart” for Language Department.

Now? Now I am working with languages, and I love it. I still wish I took that Language Class. If I did, I might be better now in my German. Maybe I didn’t have to start from the very beginning. Maybe I would have got a basic knowledge of German or French… Who knows?

I also agree with him that there are different kind of intelligences. I too have witnessed so many of my friends who were considered as stupid, or slow has flourished after they graduated high school and took art and design route, or music, or business. Something that they didn’t learn at school at all.

But how about people who don’t have that “specialities”? How about people who are just the average? People who needs to get a basic level of education to get a job — to get money — to feed their family, etc.

What this boy said about “school makes us less intelligent” is not unfamiliar for me at all. I have heard the same argument over and over again, only at that time when I was younger it was “school doesn’t make us rich” or “school doesn’t guarantee our success“.

But.. success…

This is what I considered as the hole in this boy’s argument. He started impeccably when he said that people are unique because they have their own unique intelligences, but he forgot that we also have our own unique aspirations. For him success is having a flourished company, that makes a lot of money — that’s why he argued that he is better at managing a company than those who graduated from Harvard. For some people it is being a president, or an MP. For other… it is having a happy family.

For me, it is mastering 10 languages, and writing books.

So, if you ask me if you should drop out from school… well… you probably might.

 

 

What Would You Do If Your Child Is Gay?

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We have had this conversation a long time ago when I was still hanging out with Onyed’s friends. It was almost ten years ago, can you believe that? So when the question was raised again not so long time ago, on one of my acquaintances on their facebook status. Basically these people are questioning the paternal instinct of people who are supporting LGBT in Indonesia.

I couldn’t and wouldn’t screenshot their status, nor link you back to them, because I don’t want them to go viral. I am with “don’t make stupid people popular” thing, so you should — unfortunately, take it from me or leave it 🙂

Basically they’re saying that they believe that human rights shouldn’t cover being gay or lesbian. They believe that it has gone too far. And to be fair, I don’t care of what they are believing in — it is their human rights after all to have faith in something. But then in the end of their argument they’re asking this:

“To people who are supporting LGBT, what would you feel if it is your child that is gay?”

Ten years ago, I thought it would be fine. Of course. It would be okay to have a gay child. But now I start to question my answer. Do I really want to have a gay child in Indonesia — where they would be persecuted by being themselves? Would I have the heart to let them be bullied by these bigots? If I have a gay child, my problem would not be the fact that they are gay, but the fact that they will have a difficult life in Indonesia.

But what would I feel?

I would feel the same. I would love them all the same. I would support them, and help them to find their true happiness. I would do what I think a parent should do for their children, after making them suffer enough by being born to this world.

I shouldn’t think differently.

Wait… wait… What’s that? Oh! I can hear some of you say: “You are not a parent, and you don’t want to have children anyway… you wouldn’t know how it feels to have a gay child.”

Of course. Well then…

My question is, what would THEY (these idiots) do if they have gay children?

Persecute them? Beat them up until they “repent”? Disown them? Lock them up in their room to straighten them up? Or like my parents — bring them to a psychiatrist who drug them with zoloft to “cure” their gayness?

Don’t you think it sounds like an abuse? Maybe… maybe you’re the one who shouldn’t have a child, just in case you might abuse them in the future…

 

Hi!!

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I think it is time to talk about something lighter and happier than what I have been doing for the last few entries. Let’s do it differently this time, shall we? Yes we shall…

So… Happy place…

My blog is my happy place. Not all the time, but I find that writing makes me happy. So, I was so flattered when my sister told me that one of her best friends — let’s call her B, is — after all these years, still following my blog. I don’t know how she did it, but I am so happy that at least I know I have ONE loyal supporter out there. It does make writing worthwhile, you know? Knowing that someone out there actually read what you are writing.

It makes me feel a little bit cheesed off at the same time, knowing that my sister couldn’t be bothered to read it lol. But well, that’s okay. More room for me to talk about them without having to think of what they are going to think about me. Yay!

Anyway, if B, my sister’s best friend is reading this, I would like to use this opportunity to say hi to you. I haven’t seen you in years. How are you now? I hope you are well… My sister said that you are now working in an online industry. Wow I am soooo jealous. I thought you are going to start your own little online craft shop? When you set it up, please let me know so that I could write about it more 😀

And yes, you are right to be upset with her for not keeping in contact with you. Tell her off some more! She deserves it. No. Seriously.

Anyway, thank you for keeping up with this blog. When I visit Jakarta, let’s have dinner together, shall we? Of course I can totally understand if you don’t want to. I don’t want to come across as stalker or anything. Haha… well.. I shall finish writing now, but I wish you a nice day. And take care 🙂

Letter… Letters… I Don’t Even Want To Write

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Preface

For the last few entries, I have written (what some people called) heavy subjects. I was thinking of writing something light and cheerful to lift the mood a little. This blog can’t be always gloomy, does it? Does it?

But then a call home and everything changed. I was no longer in the mood because of the news I had heard from home. I’ve been holding this for awhile, and there are not many people in the world I could talk to (especially about this particular matter). Therefore, I decided to write a letter instead.

To My Sister

I’ve been known to write open letters for my siblings. One for my brother when he reached adulthood, another for your (other) sister when she got married. I think it is about time that I write something for you. Unfortunately, this time it is not the joyful moment that brought me to the moment I am writing this to you.

Since we were very young, it’s been drilled in our head that we have to stand up for each other. We are pretty much brainwashed in a way. And, until today I am still doing that for every single one of my siblings. I stood up for every one of you, and will do it again and again. And again. The same way you stood up for your sister when we were in Primary School. Although in the end you cried after that boy clawed your face, you did stand up for her.

You don’t know how proud I was when I heard that from my friend — that my sister who just graduated from kindergarten could confront an older boy and fight him to the bitter end.

But how do you stand up for your loved one, when you know that they’re in the wrong? How do you support someone when you are bitterly disappointed with the decision they took? This… Is something that I’d have to work out.

I remember you and your sister must have endured the same thing when I was dating Si Onyed. I am sorry to put you in such a situation. But haven’t you learned from my mistakes? You are the smartest of us all… don’t you see it now what you saw before? Don’t you remember what you told Si Onyed when she confronted you about why you didn’t like her?

This is what you said: “I don’t have problem with you. But if you upset my mother, or any other people in my family, then I don’t want to have anything to do with you.”

Don’t you think it is safe to say that I might have the same feeling about your boyfriend? That I don’t have any problem with him, as a person. Because he might be a generous, kind hearted, smart and humorous. But don’t you see that what both of you (means he included) did was hurting Mum? My mum. Our mum.

Couldn’t you see it from our point of view that… well well.. If this little request from our parents was refused outright before you two are married, how could we expect him to help our parents when big things happened after you’re married? It is normal to think like that, isn’t it? It is normal to assume, and project what is going to happen in the future, based on what we see today, isn’t it?

I can’t talk to you about this now. But as this has stressed me out for the last few weeks, I feel the need to vent out my feeling here. You might not read this — well… you are most likely not going to read this, but maybe one day it will come to your phone or computer for you to see. But until then… please take care of yourself. I love you.

Your Sister

Bybyq

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.

Being Spoiled

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Yes… Me. I am being incredibly spoiled lately.

Ever since I came back from Indonesia, I haven’t done so many household work. It seems like Mr. Fix-It feels the need of keeping me as idle as possible :p~ or… I am just lazy. I am not complaining at all. I still cook though, because we sincerely believe that my cooking is somewhat better than his, and it is important to keep us eating a well balanced meal (almost) everyday.

However, now he is in the kitchen cooking dinner for us. It is going to be Macaroni Cheese. I cannot put up any photos now because it is still cooking, but probably a bit later it will pop on Instagram.

And that’s not the only thing he’s been doing for me. Yesterday we had a dinner date, and went for a proper fine dining. I loved that so much. I loved the fact that he is trying to book us a table at one of the most notable restaurant in Norwich — The Assembly House. I love the fact that we could dress up, doll up, and look good for a nice dinner out.

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Look how cool he is in suit? Yeah? When we were in the cafe in the forum — as we arrived in the city too early for our booking, the ladies there were looking at him. Can’t help feeling completely smug that I was with this incredibly smart looking guy, whose awesomeness can only be equalled by my own dad (and sometimes my brother), and Noel Gallagher.

It was a three course meal dinner we had at The Assembly House. I chose “Pressed Ham Hock — with deep fried gerkhins, mustard mayo and croutons (with salad)” as the starter.

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And “Crispy Confit Duck Leg — with braised Red Cabbage, Lyonesse potato frisee, and bacon salad” as the main course. Yes, it was a struggle to finish both meals, but… img_0134

I was incredibly greedy, I have to admit, but I couldn’t miss the dessert as it was Creme Brulee, with lavender shortbread. How could I say no?

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They were utterly tasty, and it was such a beautiful night, and a great night out. I hope Mr. Fix-It knows that I do really appreciate this effort, and that I do really enjoy the dinner (although in the end he had to help me out by eating the food I could not finish). And… oh…

My dinner is almost ready. Better put this up and get ready to eat…

Prost!

The Bun In The Oven!!!!

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Well… Before you get too excited about this, it is not my bun, and definitely not my oven. But yes, we have a bun in the oven right now.

I have to say that I am extremely excited with my sister’s pregnancy. And I am so glad that I took this visit home this time, just in time for my sister’s first USG photo. You know what? I was the one who saw the little spot in my sister’s uterus. No. That sounds creepy, but that’s the truth. I was the first one to know for sure that she is pregnant.

She’s entering the 5th week now, so she is still adjusting. She’s having the usual pregnancy symptom such as tummy cramp, and little but somewhat constant nausea. Although, I think she is enjoying it as she is expecting this too. It was a really nice surprise as only last month she started the program to treat her PCOS.

I am just happy she is pregnant.

My husband said that for someone who doesn’t want to be pregnant myself, I sound so excited for my sister’s pregnancy. But.. why shouldn’t I? Just because I don’t want to be pregnant, it doesn’t mean everyone else shouldn’t be pregnant. I am not bitter for choosing my own childfree path, so why can’t I be okay with other people’s life decision?

The way I see it: I am happy for not being a mum and my sisters are happy for me for my decision, And now my sister is happy that she is about to be a mum, and I am happy for that decision. I mean, it is not that difficult to understand how someone could be happy that the people that they care about is happy. Happiness for someone else’s happiness. That is quite simple really.

After all, there are more good things come out from this situation. One, my parents are now no longer pushing me to have babies, as now they have a grandchild on the way. Two, since my sister and my brother in law are smart people, we will create a baby with good genes — our contribution to the gene pool.

Ah… time for more and more things to celebrate.

Okay, that pictura above is a little bit over the top… But… In the end, I would like to congratulate my sister and my brother in law for the pregnancy. I hope that the next months would be easier for my sister, and that the delivery would be smooth and safe.

Prost!!

P.S. I think congratulating a pregnant mum with alcoholic drink is a little bit taking the piss…