Tag Archives: communication

Burkini, Duterte’s Middle Finger, and Indonesia

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The video of the Philippines’s president dropping the F-bomb to the EU has — unsurprisingly — gone viral. I have never noticed this new president until his conversation with Indonesian president — about the Philippine’s citizen who were convicted for smuggling drugs and now in death row in Indonesian’s prison — went viral too few weeks ago.

How refreshing.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone what he does. However I do believe that every country has a right, and sovereignty to make their own internal law. In Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, for example, drug smuggling means capital punishment. It is beyond me that so many people couldn’t just let them be.

President Duterte called them a bunch of hypocrites. I can see why he does.

In France you are not allowed to wear burkini in the beach, because French has A LAW against it. When people around the world criticise this law, and condemn this too, one of my French friends would get very offended and tell other non-French people off for failing to understand what this religious symbols mean for the French people.

In America, you can carry guns. When some people got killed, lots of people around the world would criticise their gun laws. But a friend from America said to me once, people who are non-American don’t understand that it is their law, and their rights to carry a gun, and what those rights and law mean for the American people.

Why don’t the same rules applied to third world countries like Indonesia or the Philippines?

Indonesia was under a massive scrutiny when we were about to execute nine Australian drug smugglers. People said that the death penalty for drug smuggler is inhumane and barbaric. Now the Philippines has to endure the same thing, because the president is doing a so called “bloody war against drug” in his country.

People who are not Indonesian and not Filipino don’t understand how drug, and drug cartel has undermined the very core of the country. They deliberately introduced drugs to underages, and school children. And, these people won’t back down just by threats of prison time, unlike most criminals in first world countries like the UK, US, or some European countries.

Drug is different in first world country, and third world country. People in the UK called it recreational drug, but it is no recreation at all in Indonesia. When I showed my objection towards drugs to my ex, he felt heavily offended — as for him recreational drug is a part of… you know, youth freedom, the trial and error of life, hippy kind of thing… For me? Coming from Indonesia, it is the reflection of either rich people gone bad, or poor people trying to run away from life, by ruining it even worse.

Do I know someone who died from drugs? I do. But I am not going to speak for him or his family. I leave it at that.

I just want to tell people who complained about this drug war, and burkini. If you want to go to a beach and wearing burkini, don’t go to Nice. There are plenty other places where you can wear your unique looking – sharia approved – beachwear — try Tunisia, their tourism has been suffering after the gunman attack to British tourists few years ago. If you want to go to the beach, and at the same time wanting to be able to get high on drugs, don’t go to Bali. There are plenty other beaches where you can kill yourself slowly, without the government having to help you with the means of firing squad.

Prost!

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The Ashley Madison Meltdown

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Actually, I was going to title this article with “How The Ashley Madison Meltdown Affects People’s Outlook In Marriage As An Institution”. But it does sound too pretentious, doesn’t it? Well, I have to make do with the current title then.

Right. So, what is Ashley Madison? If you haven’t heard about it at all, you might want to start google, or if you can’t be bothered at all, I would make it a little bit easier for you by presenting you this video:
http://player.ooyala.com/iframe.js#ec=V3MWwzdzrcsH1ge7gJAlliN8Evo-kXMM&pbid=7dfd98005dba40baacc82277f292e522

How am I for being extra generous today?

Ashley Madison is a dating site, mainly dedicated to people who are married to have something on the side. It has millions and millions of follower, but what made it to the headline is when a hacker broke in and stole personal information about the members, and gave it away in the dark web.

The Ashley Madison Meltdown, I should say.

It contains the personal information of — obviously — married people, including — allegedly — people from the UK government. There were at least one hundred UK Government email addresses found in the millions of data for public to see online. Not surprisingly, it has been ruining people’s lives.

I am not going to — of course — discuss the moral message, nor the motives behind this data stealing activity. I just wanted to know how people has seen their marriage now.

Mr. Fix It and I have never seen marriage as a sacred bond between us and god. We don’t bloody care about the sanctity of the religious mumbo jumbo, we did what we did just to make my mum satisfied that she thought she has kept her promise to her god. But those mumbo jumbo, the threat of being burned in hell is what kept many bored couple who hates each other from either killing each other or getting a divorce.

I wonder how many insecure couple would start wondering if their partner has been in Ashley Madison. One Australian lady called the radio station just to ask if her husband was on the list. She was pretty upset when she found out that he was. At least she was pretty brave to actually go and ask to get to know the truth. But, how many worried husbands or wives are now just sitting there in front of their iPad, reading the articles and thought, “what would I do if my partner was in that list?”

What would I do?

I would be surprised of course. I would ask him why he never told me that he was in that website. Obviously. Would I be angry if he told me that he has joined that kind of website? I don’t think so. Here’s the thing.

My husband and I are quite open in talking about the possibilities of extramarital sexual adventure. We talked about this before and we agreed that it might or might not happen, but we would tell each other if we are looking. I would not be angry if he joined this website to seek for a thrill, but I would be pretty upset if he wouldn’t tell me in advance.

Both of us still kept our dating site profiles, and we know each other profiles and once in a while used it as a tool to relight the fire and get the spark again. I would send him a message there just to make his day after a long time at work. He would do a creepy role play and send me a message there just for a giggle. We are best friends as we are partners and lovers. And I think that’s why I have never once questioned if he has got any secret affairs behind my back.

I think that’s what a marriage should be.

I know that I have only been married for just over a year, but I have seen many crumbling down marriage. I have been approached by some married male friends for a sexual favour — in which I always turned down for a very personal reason — despite of their happy marriages. Yes, people with an affair are not necessarily an unhappy one.

People are bored. They don’t call marriage as “settling down” for a reason. When you are settled for too long, you would start to feel the itch to move around. And when your partner don’t move with you, there would be some other bored people to get around with. Hence the affair.

Probably, it was the affair that keeps the marriage together. It could be one night thing, but some people comes home with less thing to think about. Husband is tired and old and not wanting to do anything else than watch telly and then go to sleep — find someone to go travelling with and get a hot steamy sessions so that you don’t have to come home and nag for your lack of self fulfilment. Wife is always covered in puke and poo as you just had twins — find a pair of massive boobs to fondle and a hole to poke, so you’re too tired to do anything else or complain when you come home.

Or you can talk.

Problem is… some people take things a little bit personally. Especially nowadays when people do take suggestions as blabla-shaming. “I know you could eat whatever you want, but you haven’t stop eating since your get up in the morning” is body shaming or fat shaming. “Sorry your mascara is melting, do you need a tissue” is make up shaming. “Do you want to go jogging with me” is another body or fat shaming. If you could not tell your partner that she/he needs to take a shower (because it’s an odour shaming) then you shouldn’t be surprised if you find yourself filling the form and writing an Ashley Madison’s profile.

Gah… It’s getting too long now. I don’t think anyone would read anything longer than this. I know that there are other things that count, but for now I will leave it at that…

Making “THE” Fuss

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I am so inspired by one of my blogging friends — Rae’s blog post few days ago, so I asked her if I could make a blog post about it. She gave me the permission, there it is…

** DISCLAIMER**
It’s going to be a long one, so if it’s tldr, just skip… OK?
**

On her blog, Rae told her story about her personal achievements. One particular story that I would like to highlight is the one where she found a courage to confont her superior at work. She stood up for herself and confront her superior at work, when she found out that her working ethics had been unjustly questioned. And when her superior listened to her, she apologised for being unfair, and acted professionally. Quoting from Rae’s post, “no hard feelings”.

Personally, I think this is incredible. I always assumed that Rae and I was brought up in a similar environment. Probably not exactly the same, but similar enough. At least that’s what I gathered from reading her blog. From where we come from what Rae just did few days ago was considered outrageous.

Before I went to the UK, and experienced myself the importance of assertiveness, I would not even dare to think about confronting a superior, a teacher, my parents, and elders. I was told to keep it to myself and not to disrupt the “peace” and put everybody in an awkward situation. I was taught not to make a fuss about “little things”, and just go on with the consensus. I was trained to put up with things, for the sake of the convenience of people around me. I was brought up believing that telling other people the discomfort they have inflicted upon me is bad.

This is why when I totally got it when Rae said: this is something that my old self would never do.

Well… I think this is just the perfect time to tell you one of the backstage stories about my wedding day that I promised you before. But before you go on reading, I would like you to think of it not as me grudging or regretting my wedding day. It was one hell of a day, no doubt, but I was happy nevertheless. I was only telling you one of the backstage stories 🙂

Long before the Indonesian wedding reception was planned, I have properly married to Mr. Fix-It in registry office in Norwich. So when my parents told me their wish to hold a celebration in Indonesia, I made an agreement with them that it will be small, and that I am not going to get married again. I told them that I understand that the objective of holding a party in Indonesia is to announce our wedding, and to show friends and relatives that: this is not a shotgun wedding, that I did not get married because I was pregnant out of wedlock, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. Hence, there is no hidden marriage whatsoever.

Agreement made, I let my family in Indonesia deal with the preparation of the wedding. I just let them, trusting that they would hold on to the agreement.

But I should have known better. Nothing is weaker than a promise an Asian mother made to her daughter — to let the daughter to have what she actually really want. So the wedding got bigger, she wanted us to get married in front of god in the church –she did not even care if both Mr. Fix-It and I were non-believer, and she wanted the traditional Chinese ritual to be held as well.

My husband is White British gentleman whose knowledge about China is stretched as far as the Chinese takeaway restaurant 300 metres away from our house. And suddenly you expect him to start bowing around to little old Asian fellows? You should have the decency to at least warn me about it so I could prepare my husband so that he wouldn’t feel humiliated.

Anyway, one of the rituals required Mr. Fix-It to stay at the hotel for a night, and picked me up in the morning. Allegedly, it signifies how the groom picked up the bride from her family and bring her with him for the rest of his life. This time I could no longer stay silent.

So I told my mum, in front of my aunties and my dad, that it is not happening. I told them we’ve already married, and the mock ‘groom picking up the bride’ is silly. It’s my husband you’re talking about, and we have done the “not meeting the bride until the wedding day” bollock on our REAL wedding day in Norwich, eight months earlier.

She, and my dad took it really personal. It is as if I have challenged, not only their authority, but also their culture, their value, and mostly their convenient. They were very unhappy not because they realised that I wanted something different than “normal Asian bride” would want, but because I spoke out my mind, and disrupt the happy mood everyone’s having in the house.

So my mum told me to shut it up, and suck it up. She told me that everyone was happy for me, and I should be grateful everyone wanted to celebrate this happy day for me, that everyone cares. I don’t — but that does not matter, does it?

Rae’s story about confronting someone for the discomfort they’ve made her feel reminds me of this day (then, it is true that your wedding day is one of the most unforgettable day of your life). The Asian way of dealing with confrontation has been my personal battleground since ages ago. It sent me to the first voluntary counselling almost five years ago, and sent me back to another counselling when I was in the uni two years after.

It affected my relationship with my parents, my friends, my previous lovers, and of course my current husband. And it did not affect us in a good way.

I am telling you this, because this is not out of my introvert personality. Even Asian extroverts have problems confronting uncomfortable situation. They would happily divert the confrontation to different things, but almost never discuss fair and square about what truly bothers them.

I don’t blame my culture, and I don’t hate it either. I just think that there is a room for improvement. Not everybody has the luxury of being able to vent out in our blog like Rae and I. Not everybody has the privilege to experience the liberating moment of finally being able to stand up and confront, and just let loose for the first time.

Oh…

That feels good.

Thank you Rae for opening this discussion (although not deliberately).

Cheers.

A White Man Should Not Marry An Asian Woman

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** DISCLAIMER **
This particular entry is full of generalisation, and stereotyping. It could be offensive, so before you continue reading, it is better to keep in mind that if you cannot handle harsh comment, just skip this part and go ahead with your life. If you want to continue reading, please be prepared with an open mind.

Thank you
**

Not so long time ago, my husband and I watched a documentary about some British men who tried to find themselves “love” abroad. Using the internet and the local dating services they were introduced to local girls who seems kind of desperate to not only marry but also marry a white male from a first world country. Some of them ended up with some genuine girls, some of them seems to date women who just want to get out from their lives, and poverty in their origin third world country.

And these country they’re talking about is usually somewhere in Asia.

So what’s wrong with it?

I am not saying that trying to find love using dating services is wrong. I don’t think going all the way to Asia to find yourself a bride is wrong. But I found this –or their, obsession to find an Asian wife is rather troublesome.

They kept talking about how these Asian women look, how they were very nice, and behave very girlish, etc. But they don’t know anything about these women’s lives — the producer of these kind of program did not think of doing that anyway (maybe because they don’t think that matters). It seems that all these Asian bride hunting is just to get themselves an obedient/submissive, little wife who cleans, cook, and don’t talk back (because they barely speak English at all).

It is as if not important that they cannot communicate, or share interests, or exchange information, or knowing what each other likes or dislikes. That is disturbing me.

One of the men found himself a nice young Thai woman who seems very genuine with their relationship. She was very happy that he chose her from so many girls. He was happy that she seems to understand English, although she couldn’t reply properly. They decided to get more serious and met the girl’s family.

This is where the program became even more unpleasant for me to watch.

The guy was so upset that the girl’s family asked him to send money home regularly if he marry the girl and bring the girl to the UK. He believed that it is a kind of human trafficking, or selling or buying a bride.

Well…

Asian is not known for being tactful. Especially with Western standard, Asian culture seems to be too forward and too personal. On the other hand, Asian people think that their culture is universal, that’s why many of them seems to act disrespectful whenever they’re not in their homeland.

In most Asian culture it is just natural for children to support their parents. It is just natural for children, girls or boys, to send home some of their money to their parents to show their piety and their respect to their parents. When a man take a girl to his house, in Asian (south east asian, and east asian mostly) culture, it means he would take in her parents and her family as his.

If in the modern Western culture people are sending their parents to “homes”, that’s not what happen to the Eastern culture. So I can understand that the idea of taking care of your parents seems so alien to that guy.

But what does that show tell me?

It tells me that arrogance has made a person failed to see how close minded some people are. They don’t bother to learn the girls’ language, the girls’ culture, their lives, etc. All they know is that they now have a nice quite obedient wife they can tell to take care of the household work.

How do you think they develop that kind of subservient attitude if it’s not because of their culture? How could you think they can be so skilful in the house if it’s not because the teachings from their old folks?

Don’t get me wrong, I am marrying a white guy myself. But I really believe that if you can’t be bothered to learn about the culture of the girl you are going to date, don’t bother to date an Asian girl at all.