Tag Archives: history

Kabayan…

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Salah satu hal yang paling saya sukai adalah ngobrol dengan orang pinter. Ngobrol dengan orang pinter — nggak harus ngobrol langsung lah, lewat facebook status aja misalnya, bisa menginspirasi saya. Dari inspirasi… tada… blog post!

Pernah denger tentang Kabayan? Kalo kamu seumuran sama saya, pasti kamu inget tokoh Kabayan dari buku pelajaran SD, atau dari film layar lebar si Kabayan yang diperankan oleh almarhum Didi Petet. Saya sendiri mengenal Kabayan lebih dekat karena papa saya yang asalnya dari Tasikmalaya, sangat suka dengan karaktern ini. Ya… Kabayan memang quintessentially Sunda. *mati gue, quintessential itu Bahasa Indonesianya apa ya?*

Karakter Kabayan ini digambarkan sebagai seorang yang berasal dari kampung, biasanya pengangguran proletar, juga tidak pernah mengenyam bangku sekolah formal. Tapi, si Kabayan ini selain setengah mati jatuh cinta pada Nyi Iteung, anak gadis si Abah dan Ambu, juga terkenal baik hati dan cerdik luar biasa. Biasanya cerita berkisar mengenai Kabayan yang terlibat masalah karena Abah tidak menyetujui hubungannya dengan Nyi Iteung, tapi berhasil mengelabuhi Abah yang terkenal sebagai tokoh berpendidikan di kampungnya…

Ngerti kan?

Mau dibawa ke mana pembicaraan ini? Well… Ceritanya beberapa menit yang lalu saya membaca, mengomentari, dan akhirnya terlibat diskusi singkat dengan… um… si Gigit (sebut aja begitu, karena dia hobi membuat status facebook yang mengigit… oke? Terima aja). Nah, dari obrolan itu, saya dan si Gigit punya teori yang berbeda tentang orang bodoh, dan orang yang tidak berpendidikan.

Menurut saya, ada perbedaan yang mendasar antara orang bodoh, dan orang yang tidak berpendidikan. Meskipun keduanya sama-sama tidak diuntungkan keadaan, kita bisa mendidik orang yang tidak berpendidikan menjadi orang terdidik, tapi kita tidak bisa memintarkan orang yang pada dasarnya bodoh. Saya selalu menganalogikan otak manusia seperti prosesor komputer.

Orang bodoh adalah orang dengan kapasitas otak Intel Celeron… bagi yang masih muda dan imut, dan belom pernah denger Intel Celeron, itu adalah prosesor sebelum Intel Pentium, dan Intel Pentium adalah prosesor sebelum Intel Core. Sedangkan orang tidak berpendidikan itu adalah orang dengan HD yang masih kosong, karena belom download software apa-apa. Orang tidak berpendidikan bisa dididik, sama seperti kita bisa mengisi HD yang kosong… tapi kalo prosesornya ble’e, ya percuma softwarenya tidak bisa dipakai — seperti orang bodoh, bisa dikasih tahu tapi belom tentu mereka ngerti bagaimana menggunakan pengetahuan itu.

Bagaimana kamu tau itu orang pintar atau bodoh? Atau apakah dia berpendidikan atau tidak?

Seperti biasa saya punya pendapat yang tidak terlalu populer, tapi berhubung saya ngomong di blog saya sendiri, jadi tidak ada yang menyensor. Ahaay…

Menurut saya, tidak ada alat ukur pintar-bodoh, cantik/bagus-jelek, sehat-sakit, gendut-kurus, dan lain sebagainya yang mutlak dan sempurna. Tapi, ada alat ukur, dan secara definisi, yang namanya alat ukur itu harus bisa distandardisasi, dan standardisasi paling oke adalah yang bisa dikuantifikasi — artinya bisa ditunjukkan dengan angka… Misalnya, buat standar bagus/cantik-jelek kita punya golden ratio Fibonacci (kalo bingung, google! jangan males…). Kalau mau standar gendut-kurus kita pake standar BMI. Pintar bodoh pun bisa diukur dengan test IQ.

Yaa yaa yaa… IQ bukan segalanya, ada EQ ada SQ whatever… Saya ga peduli dengan yang dua terakhir itu. Tidak ada standardisasi EQ atau SQ, dan tanpa standar ukur, saya akan selalu ragukan objektivitas pengukurnya.

Balik ke si Kabayan ya? Saya yakin kalau Kabayan bisa dites IQ, dia bisa jadi punya IQ di atas rata-rata. Banyak kok orang dengan IQ tinggi tapi tidak sekolah. Banyak juga orang dengan IQ rendah lulus dengan nilai bagus di sekolah — kerja keras itu ngepek, Bro. Tapi maksudnya apa saya ngomong panjang lebar tentang ini, dan hubungannya dengan pembicaraan saya dengan si Gigit?

Jadi gini, Git… Kalo orang itu bodo, ya udah kamu nggak bisa ngapa-ngapain lagi. Ini menjawab pertanyaan: Kok bisa sih lulusan universitas negeri terkenal di Indonesia percaya sama teori bumi datar? Atau, kok bisa sih lulusan luar negeri macam si Blabla masih kolot, dan rasis macam begitu? Karena kita bisa mendidik orang bodoh, tapi kita tidak bisa membuat orang bodoh menjadi pintar… Ini masalah kapasitas otak, dan sayangnya sampai saat ini ga banyak cara untuk mengupgrade otak setelah lewat golden age. Buat orang-orang yang udah terlanjur tua dan bego, kamu bener… kita cuma bisa kasian karena buat mereka sudah terlambat…

Dan kamu juga bener, ini juga efek over populasi. Semakin banyak anak, semakin sedikit perhatian yang bisa diberikan kepada mereka di saat golden age mereka. Tidak cukup nutrisi, tidak cukup pendidikan. Tapi ini satu-satunya solusi yang bisa saya pikirkan buat memintarkan generasi berikutnya. Generasi hari ini udah kadung, Sis…

 

Law[less] and [Dis]order

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I love watching Law&Order. Husband, not so much — but really, I am the one with the remote control in the house so he has to deal with whatever crap he thinks he’s watching. I’ve been watching Law&Order since I was in high school and old enough to understand the awesomeness of the program.

Of course I understand, that for some people it is not more than usual crime drama. For me it is more than that. It is more than CSI where a group of people are sweeping the crime scene, trying to solve the puzzle. With Law&Order, the puzzle is usually not difficult, nor unique. It is usually just a common crime done by common people. But that’s not all it is about.

The original Law and Order has this very famouse narration in the beginning of the show:

In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate, yet equally important, groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.

Got it? That’s at least the idea of how the criminal justice system works in the US.

How about Indonesia?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the trial for Jessica started weeks ago. The official trial, that is. Months ago, I have talked about this, and I have sensed how scarily flawed our criminal justice system — that is, if we based our judgement on this trial. How even the judge seems to “nudge nudge wink wink” with the persecutor, ignoring the fact that this case has not got enough evidence to go on a trial.

Yes. Of course… I have watched enough Law&Order to understand that there is something called “Circumstantial Evidence”. Unlike CSI who are working with hard evidence such as DNA, fingerprint, fibres, and blood spatters, the detectives in L&O also works with circumstantial evidences. What are they? Motives, opportunities, and alibi, and the like.

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/File:L%26OUK_poster.jpg - I was going to post Jessica's photo, but really... if she's proven innocent, I don't want to be responsible to be one of those people who immortalise this trauma for her. So... How about Law and Order UK instead? -

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/File:L%26OUK_poster.jpg – I was going to post Jessica’s photo, but really… if she’s proven innocent, I don’t want to be responsible to be one of those people who immortalise this trauma for her. So… How about Law and Order UK instead? –

However… “She looks dodgy” is not a circumstantial evidence, it is an opinion. “Her attitude is unusal” is not a circumstantial evidence either. It might lead the investigation to find evidence, but opinion is opinion and SHOULD NEVER EVER be used as an evidence. Circumstantial evidence could be: “oh she’s got a connection to someone who can get her cyanide”, or “this is the evidence that she will gain something from the death of the other girl”, or “this is the evidence of the relationship in the past, and here are some witnesses who heard her said something about killing this woman”. Strong circumstantial evidence.

What I saw in the trial of Jessica was criminalisation. The fact that the case is so high profile, and the eyes of the media are all on it, it would be embarrassing for the persecutor to ditch the case and admit that there’s no case against this woman. It reminds me of the trial of the former KPK director Antasari Azhar.

At that time there were NO evidence linking him to the case. It was clear that the evidences were planted, and even the circumstantial evidence were made up. The witnesses disappeared after the trial, so that nobody could prove that they have committed perjury. Even the family of the victim begged the court to continue the investigation and release Antasari as they KNOW that it wasn’t him who killed their beloved one.

But in the end, they brought him down anyway.

And, hey! If it worked for a high profile individual like Antasari Azhar — a man with such a status, well known as someone who’s always in the right side of the law, why can’t it work to Jessica? She’s just a young woman, visiting home to see family and friends — maybe for Chinese New Year — oh and minority too. Should be easy, isn’t it?

But if it worked to Antasari Azhar and Jessica, two high profile cases in the country, how do you know that there are no cases like them that is not covered by the media? How do you know that if one day you are so unfortunate being caught up in a criminal case, and you’re innocent… How do you know that you could get a fair trial? How do you know that you can rely on your evidences, alibis, and innocence? How do you know that things would be alright if you do everything right?

You don’t.

http://www.metrotvnews.com/embed/0k8gEPob

To close my entry today, I will give you a video… The video is a fragment from Metro TV’s program NSI (News Story Insight) presented by Aviani Malik about the victims of wrong persecution that you might have never heard before.

Prost

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…

And I Am The One Who Is Being Hateful? LOL

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Police officer in France was stabbed to death by someone who declared allegiance to IS, not a very long time after the Orlando massacre. In Orlando, 49 people were murdered in a mass shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, USA. The murdered who doesn’t deserve to be named has pledged allegiance to Islamic State before he went on murdering people.

Many Muslims from US and UK tried so hard to distance themselves from this, by saying again and again that this is not Islam. Etc. Etc. Even the father of the murderer said that he didn’t condone what the son did. It didn’t surprise me at all. Who would in the right mind applaud this horrible act publicly on international media. Oh wait… of course! Indonesian netizens!

Let’s see what they said about this — someone shared these screenshots on my facebook:

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translate: Thank god. May the shooters (sic) receive pahala

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translate: that’s fine. They’re gays

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translate: aww… why just shoot them? Bomb would finish everything. The infidels. teehee…

 

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(1) In the eyes of the world, he is a murderer. But in front of Allah, he is the warrior of Allah’s religion (2) May Allah receives your jihad Omar Mateen. Doesn’t matter if the majority hates you, but by god’s will in front of allah your goodness is received. amen (3) Slaughter these people (homosexuals). In Islam, people like those would have been punished to death by thrown away from tall buildings and stoned to death.

Indonesian authority raided food seller — who were just trying to make an honest living for themselves and probably their families, who’s selling food during the day in ramadan month. Oh… it is ramadan month, isn’t it? Some people are not eating during the day (by their own choice by the way), and now everybody else can’t eat in front of them — because it is disrespectful.

authorities turned the food shack upside down for selling food during fasting month

Using force to punish non-Muslim people from eating in public is not an isolated incident — it happened in predominantly Muslim countries. Elderly HINDU man was beaten up for eating in public during ramadan month in Pakistan. And only few years ago, in Malaysia SCHOOL CHILDREN who didn’t fast had to eat in TOILET because their act of eating could offend their fellow student who were starved by their religion.

Don’t worry. Click the link. I didn’t write those news, I won’t get paid for the click you do.

I am just showing you what many of apologists failed to understand. It is not a phobia. It is a deductive conclusion. It is a criticism towards a religion who insisted that they’re a religion of peace although the reality they’re far from it.

Yeah yeah… I know you’re going to say: “oh it is not the religion, it is the people”, or “oh it is only few of the bad ones, I know some of the good ones”. Well. I know some of the good ones, it doesn’t mean that the religion is not flawed from the root. It should and it is open for both interpretation and criticism — being an ideology. But then if I am criticising it… I am the one who’s being hateful?

I am not the one who kills, condone killings, brutalise, vandalise, violate other people’s lives. And I am the one who’s being spiteful for not being a politically correct apologists — who would rather blame the guns instead of the ideology who pushed someone for being a complete and utter arsehole?

Of course the gun made it worse but… really… Should the French government banned knives too to stop stabbing?

 

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.

 

When Mr. Fix-It Is Having Days Off

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Belated Happy Easter, people.

Yeah.

It is said that Easter is supposed to be a bigger celebration than Christmas if you are a Catholic. Roman Catholic. I’ve been told that by my teachers at school. Mind you, I was schooled in a Catholic schools, so I just took in what they told me.

And, why? I heard you ask. Why Easter is supposed to be bigger celebration that Christmas. Well… Apparently being undead is a bigger magic trick miracle than being born.

Anyway… I am not in the mood for religious argument. Talking about Easter is supposed to be coincide with Jewish Passover, or that what we now celebrate as Easter is actually he pagan spring solstice celebration. But oh well.. it doesn’t matter. Does it? People will believe what they want, and I could just ignore it and enjoy the holiday it gives me and Mr. Fix-It.

We went to London.

My plan was brilliant, of course, by taking my beloved husband to V&A museum. It wasn’t heavily packed with people, considering it was Sunday, and school holiday. But sometime after lunch Mr. Fix -It decided that it would be nice if we abandon V&A and go to Science Museum.

And then we realised. Going to museums that catered for kiddies in school holidays is not a good idea.

Granted that the queue in front of Science Museum was not as long as the one in front of Natural History Museum. But you couldn’t judge a museum from the queue in front of it, really. Because when we went in to Science Museum, it was packed with people. I hated it.

I mean… I never hated going to museum, but I never went to a museum when it was incredibly… incredibly packed with children like that. Oh the agony. Wished we never left V&A.

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Me trying the gauntlet. Should have bought hand gel to sanitise my hand after putting it on.

Oh well.. We did have fun though. We went home completely exhausted, but happy that we did what we did. I wish he could have a longer holiday 😦

 

What Does it Mean to Downsize?

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After working with WordPress.org for so many years, I found working with the free version of WordPress.com quite challenging. I agree that some of the features are quite helpful — the stats, the notification, etc. But those are nothing considering what I lost by “downsizing”.

Yes, I consider moving to free WordPress.com from WordPress.org as downsizing, and I don’t mind doing that for now since financially, it is just the right thing to do. And of course, just like many people who have to significantly change their lifestyle after a financial hit, I do need to readjust things:

I found that the “theme” options are not as vary as what I used to have. They are not as customisable either. So are the widgets… I used to have plenty of them, customisable and all– for my blogroll feed, etc. But now I have to settle down with the “standards”. So far it is okay, except that I might have to remove the little amazon.co.uk affiliate link that I used to have lurking around the corner.

Some widgets like the old blogroll feed I had was somewhat important to me. It helped me a lot in tracking which blog I follow is posting an update without having them sent to my e-mail. It is gone now, and I realised that some of the links I had had to be removed since they are now inactive. I don’t like that, but again, it is something that has to be done.

It is exactly like how people has to readjust after a financial hit, or retirement. They sold their big family home, and move to a small home for two. Making a more sensible purchasing decisions instead of splurging in a outrageous luxuries. I mean, I’ve been through this before, and I will be able to do this again.

But you have a job now, you ask. Yes I do have a job. But whether or not I think this is a good and rewarding job for me or not, I was warned in the beginning of the job not to post anything damning online — which could backfire legally for me. So, I will leave it like that, while looking a better rewarding job 🙂 But until then… Yes. This would be SuperByq for now.

Argh! Enough with this doom and gloom thing. I realised that I have been so productive in the beginning of this year. It is just my German that needs a bit of picking up. Remember my goal in the end of this year? Being able to speak German, and one other language — I am still considering which one. So, I will finish this entry by wishing you all the best of luck.

Prost!

Hindsight is Always A Good Thing, Isn’t It?

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Months ago when the media started to pick up the migrant and refugee situation, I told my husband that we were lucky that in the UK, our Prime Minister decided not to back down with the European Union’s idea of taking in refugees coming from Syria. It was definitely not a popular opinion, and many has branded me either racist or fascist.

I mean, how silly is that?

We are living in a world where political correctness has taken over the freedom of speech, and freedom of thought. I agree that some people are just dickheads who would say anything out of spite, which some people deemed as hate speech. This is where the the blurred line is drawn. How do you know when you’re being critical to an ideology, or when you are just being purely hateful?

In my own definition of hate speech and freedom of speech, the line is drawn where the opinion is targeted to. I believe that ideologies, ideas, opinions, as well as beliefs are open for criticism. You can criticise liberalism, democracy, capitalism or socialism, nihilsm, humanism, Christianity and of course Islam as an ideology, but… it has turned into a hate speech when you start attacking a person, personality or their lifestyle.

How about the sentence “British women going to Syria to fight alongside ISIS and being a jihadi bride is stupid”? Does it mean that the women were stupid – which is an attack to a person? Or does it mean that going to Syria to be a jihadi bride is stupid – which is a criticism towards the idea of going to a war torn country to marry a terrorist she never knew?

Back to the day when I said that I was glad that our PM refused to accept those so called refugees. Why did I say that they were “so called” refugees?

Simple Definition of refugee

  • : someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons

Full Definition of refugee

  1. :  one that flees; especially:  a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution

Refugee.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 9 Jan. 2016. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugee&gt;.
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So… If someone has fled from Syria to Turkey for example, then Turkey government had to take them in because they are refugees. I can deal with it. But since Turkey is not a war torn country and that these people were not persecuted in Turkey, once these refugees left Turkey to find a better life in Europe their status would change into… “economic migrant”. Can you follow the logic up to this point? If you can, please continue…
If, these people who is now an economic migrant tried to enter a country illegally, their status would be now an illegal immigrant. Would you be surprised if a country would reject these people as they are now illegal immigrant?
No. I totally support them.
When PM Cameron decided only to take proper refugees — those who are from the refugee camp to the UK, after the Home Office got all the documents and background check, many British citizen called him inhumane and embarrassment to the country. They got so defiant and even printed a sticker saying that “refugees welcome” and put it in their house’s window. Why? I think it is just because that was the most PC thing to do or say.
I wonder what is in their mind when Norway had to teach these people about consent and rape. I wonder what is in their mind when France and Belgium is now dealing with terror attacks. I wonder what they are saying now after Germany — who has accepted more than a million refugee now is dealing with sex attacks in several cities (most notably Cologne). Angela Merkel is now tightening the border and wouldn’t let any more refugees in. But isn’t it a bit late for that?
Of course some apologist would say that there’s no link between the sex attacks and the refugees, and that we shouldn’t generalise refugees and crime rate. No we don’t generalise. We don’t say ALL refugees are shit because that would be hate speech (according to my own definition of hate speech I said above). We are saying that the idea of taking shitload of people without checking their background beforehand is just the definition of silly. We are saying that ultimately the government’s responsibility is not to the welfare of the refugees, but to protect its own citizen first and foremost.
I will end it here for now. Wish Germany the best of luck.
Prost!

Happy New Year

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I would like to say Happy New Year to all of you 🙂 I hope this is the last time I would apologise for the unproductive year of 2015. New Year is always a good time to restart, and recharge — open a new blank page and begin again on a clean slate. Yes, I haven’t made resolution last year, but I would like to do it again this year. Obviously a more achievable targets this year:

  1. By the end of this year, I would like to finish my German tree in Duolingo. And its reverse tree. So I could, at least, converse in a very simple German lest I have the chance to visit the country this year 🙂
  2. I would also like to learn another new language. Preferably Welsh, French, or Spanish. It would be too ambitious if I learn all three at once, but I wouldn’t push it too far. I would rather be fluent in one language than knowing few random words in many.
  3. I would like to read at least 20 books. Yes, I read 16 books last year and I was pushing it. But this year I am planning on being more discipline too. So 20 book shouldn’t be too ambitious.
  4. I would post at least 100 entries this year. Yes, it means I would have to post at least one entry every three days. But I have more than one blog, so I think it should be much easier to post 100 entries in two blogs.
  5. I would like to finish NaNoWriMo. Now… this is incredibly ambitious. I have participated for so many years and I have never finished one. So, hopefully, this year would be a start.

There is another thing. My visa would be expired by the end of this year. I am not sure if I could get it extended easily. Of course Mr. Fix-It and I would work so hard this year to make sure that we could fulfill all of the requirements needed for this visa extension. I am not going to put this in my new year resolution list because… I don’t know. Just because. I don’t believe in jinx or anything like that. I just don’t feel like it. It feels slightly more personal this way.

So, was nun?

Frohes Neues Jahr! Ich wünsche dass 2016 wird immer spaß und glücklich sein.

🙂 Prost!

Migrant Crisis and Refugee Situation…

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It’s been months now that the media pressing about the story about the EU migrant crisis. It has been discussed probably too many times, and been seen from so many different angles. So, what is my position to this migrant stories?

Hm…

Let me start slow.

Al-Jazeera said that they would stop using the word migrant to describe the Syrian people trying to seek help, and instead using the word: Refugee. I could not agree more with them, because there’s a fundamental difference between a refugee and an immigrant. However, a refugee status can only be given to those who are under a direct threat in their own country.

Our family once thought of that when May 1998 riot broke in Solo. As Chinese Indonesians were being targeted, tortured, raped, and or killed, we thought it was the best for us to flee the country to seek asylum. But we didn’t. Our relationships with our neighbours, and my father’s networks helped our family. Things got better for us too, although slowly and painful. But I know many of our friends and family fled for their lives — some even never came back.

I apologised for this particularly disturbing photos #sorrynotsorry

So, I understand how it feels to choose between staying and risking your and your family’s lives, and take whatever you can, flee and start over in a land of strangers. I remember holding my passport when we were hiding in a hospital, while doctors and nurses are making human shield and barricaded the building, knowing that they weren’t the ones the mobs targeted. My mother told me that if things went south, I needed to go to Singapore and we would meet again there. She was as unsure as I was, of course, but we did not say anything.

It sucks.

Singapore was of course only an hour flight from Solo. That’s probably one of our closest neighbours, which would accept us being ethnically Chinese.

But then again, we didn’t go. These Syrians refugees did. And, I don’t blame them for fleeing their country. They could die if they have stayed. It’s just human nature to try to survive no matter how bad the situation could be.

Unfortunately, when it is as big as Middle Eastern conflict, it is not going to be that simple. After ISIS went on a rampage, millions of people were forced to flee for their lives and seek asylum. “Millions” is a big number, and some of these people are very particular about where they would want to go. Germany, Switzerland, England, France are probably the main destination… but why?

Many people saw this picky attitude as slightly rude, some grumpily said that they’re being ungrateful. Some of them were welcomed in Hungary (Hungarian government complying with the EU immigration rules that asylum seeker should be given refugee status at the first country they arrived in), but protesting and wreaking havoc because they wanted to go to Germany and Austria. Some of them could have seek asylum safely in France, but forced their way by breaking law to enter the UK. And some of them are not a real refugees — some were found to be illegal immigrants taking advantage of the chaotic border situation in the European land.

Like I said, I can understand how it feels to be helpless, because I was there too. But, I cannot blame this negative attitude toward the whole European migrant crisis thing. I cannot blame the government for taking an extra caution, considering there are resentment among their own citizen. Easy example: The angry far right Germans radicals decided to burn the refugees shelter, causing deaths.

Is that what you want?

So… If you ask me what is my position about the whole refugee thing…. this is my position:

EU has a rule. If the refugees want to be given the asylum they wanted, they should go by the rules. If they’re being picky, then the EU countries should be allowed to be picky too. If the refugees don’t want to go by the rules, then EU countries should be allowed to refuse them asylum. I think it’s the only way it could be fair for both of them.

But that’s me.