Tag Archives: Life

Making Sense of Money

Standard

How do you know you have more money than sense?

Well… In the UK, one comedian said: When you buy a biography written by a fictional meerkat millionaire — who was invented in an advertising campaign.

In the tech world: When you actually drill a hole on your iPhone7 to make a earphone slot.

In Indonesia: You ask someone to magically double your money.

Byq… What the hell are you talking about?

As much as Indonesia is a predominantly Muslim country, there is a big percentage of people who believe in supernatural stuff — that is more cultural related than religion. Some people believe in local magical creatures, or superstitious old midwives’ tale. Some believe that other people possess supernatural powers.

We were once — or even until today– crazy about indigo kids. We loved it when some villagers claimed that their goat’s poo could help curing cancer. We were ecstatic when a kid sit on the table, smoking cigarettes and ramble something, pretending that they’re connecting to the spirit of the dead. And some believes that some people could double your money by keeping the money in a box, and pray over it.

You’re right, I am talking about that religious cult.

It surprised my parents that people could be THAT stupid. It surprised me that they were genuinely surprised to see how people could be THAT stupid. I mean, they have lived longer than I do, I always assumed they have seen more stupid people in their lifetime than I have. Apparently not… Longer life doesn’t guarantee fuller experience.

It surprised my father that people THAT stupid could have a lot of money. I told him that some people have more sense than money. And money can’t buy common sense. He’s happy with my answer.

It surprised my mother that there are thousands of people actually believe this, and still believe in the leader even after all his lies are now open in public. I told her that it’s what a brainwash do to people. The difference is that if the number of believers is in thousands it is called a cult, and if it is in billions, it is called a religion. She’s not amused — doesn’t matter, because I do 😀

And you know what surprised me? What surprised me is that one of the political leader in Indonesia — a public figure people seen as an educated person, that can be trusted — a member of a political party in Indonesia believed that shit too. Not only that he was once endorsed this cult leader as “National Treasure”, he even involved in the cult, and be a member of it. It is amazing that every time I go back and visit Indonesia, I can always find something that is so pathetic it is amusing.

It never ceases to keep us entertained.

Anyway, if you really don’t know why believing that anyone could double your money while keeping it inside the box is stupid, let me explain to you how money actually work. The simple way. Just because I am feeling generous today.

The history of money started when people start trading. People used to bartered their goods with other people, but then barter system gets really difficult as you would have to find someone who wants your goods and has the goods that you want at the same time. And they have to be in the same value, so whoever trading could get a fair trade.

People then invented money system. It helps trading and valuing goods and services. The money we know today is printed by the government, and circulated by the national bank. So, if the government printed X amount of money, that will be the money that is in the circulation. IF anyone claim they can double the amount of money you put in the box… how can he do it without changing the amount of money circulated by the national bank? No they can’t, because they can’t print their own money.

Simple logic.

 

Advertisements

The End Of Brangelina?

Standard

Well… until they are officially divorced, I won’t say that they’re divorced. Not yet. But it wouldn’t stop me from talking about this particularly recent celeb story 😀

I don’t usually talk about celeb gossip, especially about someone’s getting married or getting divorced. Seriously.. it is Hollywood, everybody gets married and divorced all the time. But this particular power couple is somehow… not quite the same.

Yeah, someone actually made this 😼

Okay, I have to admit, before anyone else pointing out, that I was Team Aniston. True that Aniston was never and probably would never be like Jolie — mother of six, who worked for social causes by endorsing charities, and at the same time working on great box office films. True that other than being Rachel, I don’t even find any of her films worth watching.

But my family have once had to go through a painful period of time because of some morally questionable woman. And having an ex-partner who cheated on me did give me a good perspective on how horrible it could be to be where Aniston was. So Team Aniston, no question. Yes, please throw any argument you think would make me change my mind… I cannot see how it could.

Anyway.

I’ve forgotten why I started this post. Seriously. I think I have babbled too much, I have lost focus.

Oh well… luckily, I haven’t been talking about something serious. I mean, if it is that serious, I would have remembered, would I? And really, what is so serious about someone getting a divorced? Brangelina doesn’t do anything for me. After all, since Pitt divorced Aniston, I think he lost his charm (on me anyway).

Hugh Jackman though.

Yum.

Oh yeah… what I found interesting is how the internet has reacted to it. Lol. I know I am being completely hypocritical because I am reacting to it too by making this post. Maybe I am just an opportunistic blogger wanting join the recent trend. I don’t know… like I said, I have lost focus and forgot what I was trying to say about this thing.

Karma is actually one of the more interesting characters in HIMYM...

Karma is actually one of the more interesting characters in HIMYM… Image source: http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/how-i-met-your-mother/images/29441729/title/7×18-karma-screencap

I mean… there must be some moral of the story in this. “What goes around, comes around” maybe? Or “A leopard never changes its spots”? Or something rather flippant like “Hey.. Karma is a bitch!” (or a stripper, in HIMYM).

What do you think?

 

Heute Bin Ich Eine Tante Geworden…

Standard

Yes… and my German is getting better and better everyday, thanks to practising daily 😀 Oh, you’re can’t be bothered to copy and paste the title to google translator to know what it is about? Well… let me tell you what it means.

It means, “today, I have become an aunt”.

Yes my kind ladies and gentlemen, the lovely readers of Superbyq. Congratulate me because today, I am officially a proper aunt.

Of course I was an aunt before this. My cousins have got kids. And my husband has a nephew, but his nephew is not… you know… my direct nephew. And it is not the same because with my sister, I have been following her pregnancy process, and growing a sense of belonging to that baby. Aunthood is probably the closest I would ever get to parenthood.

Are you asking if I am not brooding? Nope. Still not.

I am still genuinely happy for my sister, and overjoyed with the new addition to our family. There is no question about it. However it doesn’t mean I would like to be the one contributing :0 Let’s not ruin today’s happiness with this “my womb my decision” rant, okay? Let’s just celebrate the day I officially become an aunt.

Ich bin außer mir vor Freude! Ich möchte mein Glas erheben, zu gratulieren meine Schwester und Schwager. Ich wĂŒnsche ihren Familie vielen GlĂŒck und gute Gesundheit.

Prost!!

Women And Hobbies

Standard

One of my friend posted this link from MGOTW on his facebook page. This is the link if you would like to click, and if you don’t this is the summary:

It is basically a discussion thread asking why WOMEN don’t have hobbies and lack of creativity. The question was asked by a man, and it was answered mostly by men who agreed with him. The thread was basically discuss how women (or specifically women that these guys have known in person) don’t (or if they do, it would be rarely) involved in any activities other than gossiping (which they usually call “hanging out with the girls”), or stuffing themselves with cake while watching TV, or nagging their other half because they want attention.

Hold on.

I didn’t say that it is 100 percent true.

Afterall, the discussion is in MGOTW, where most users there are likely to have an issue with women in general. If I was a Freudian, I would assume that their mums had tried to breastfed them with lemon concentrate when they were still an infant, making them so bitter about women. So, if you did click the link and were feeling slightly upset… please. It is MGOTW, take anything you read there with a pinch of salt.

But it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about what they’re saying though. There’s a reason why lots of people believe that women don’t have hobbies. Even women themselves agree to a degree that their peers seem to be lacking in this department.

Before I continue, I have to say that I have exclude the UK in general. I learned from my years being here, that this country is the “United Kingdom of Hobbyists”. It seems men, women, old, and young… everybody has a hobby. One at least. From stamp collecting, to trainspotting, from Magic The Gathering, to knit, and crocheting… you name it. They have it.

However if I see my friends in Indonesia — female friends, albeit I don’t have many. Ah, even my female family members. It seems that they don’t understand what a hobby is about.

Most of them love being online, looking at interesting stuff in video and repost and reshare, and tag people who actually have hobbies. “Bikin ini dong” (make me this, please). Or making a ridiculous comment about how my cooking and knitting hobby is what define me as a good housewife. Most of them don’t understand that people do stuff just for the sake of it.

People like being solitary, and being passionate about something. People do that to have fun. It doesn’t have to be the man-style hobbies like boxing, fishing, rock climbing. It doesn’t have to be too geeky like gaming, or train modelling. It is something that you do.

Most women I know don’t do this. Even my own mother thinks that hobby is a waste of time. She thought she gardens as a hobby, but to be honest, she just ask someone to do the garden while she enjoys looking at it. She doesn’t read, let alone write. She doesn’t cook, let alone experimenting with baking. But of course… My father is the same.

I don’t think it is all gender related. It is mostly cultural too. My grandfather is a big music buff, he wouldn’t spend a day away from our electric organ, he’s a greenfinger too — a proper one, you could see him on the garden tending our mango trees. My grandmother loves cooking, but she mostly do it as a part of daily chore. I am not sure if it is her hobby, or it is just something she should do because she likes feeding the family.

My sister loves tennis, like my grandfather. If she wasn’t pregnant she would have gone to the court at least twice a week. My other sister… she has a bunch of hobbies from crafting to mountain climbing. My brother on the other hand… I think he’s more like my father. He does game a bit, but I have never seen him with a particular hobby.

See? It is not a gender related thing. It is also cultural, and I believe economic factor plays a big role in it. My parents grew up when things were difficult, so it is impossible to develop a hobby because hobby takes money. I think human character plays a role too, because I found some people just don’t have this kind of passion some other has.

I think introvert people are more likely to develop a hobby because they have time for themselves. They will have time to consider things that they actually like doing, rather than doing things because their pals doing it too.

So…

What’s your hobby?

 

Yuyun

Standard

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.

 

Indonesia Is Not All Doom And Gloom…

Standard

In the midst of news like religious intolerance, LGBT intolerance, corruption, and also child rape, I saw this one article about a foreign national being killed in Bali. I remember I thought to myself: “Oh no. Another human rights violation  now?”

And then I read the whole story.

source: rappler.com

This foreign guy is apparently an ex MMA fighter, and from the photo I could see it too. He looks like a tough guy with muscles as big as coconuts He lived in Bali, with his visitor visa which is already expired, and while he was there he was pretty much being a thug — carrying knife everywhere for the purpose of mugging for money, threatening restaurant owners and refusing to pay for food and drink, and also trying to have sex with someone else’s wife. It’s been awhile on facebook until someone suggested to report this to the police.

And they did.

So, police send him a request to come to the station for questioning. He didn’t show up. So, few police came to his place to arrest him, and later to deport him on the base of the expired visa. But thing went south from here.

Instead of going peacefully, this guy started to threaten the police with knife. Not only resisting arrest, he managed to attack and stab a police officer several time to death. Other cops have given three warning shot to the air, but he still didn’t stop.

source: straitstimes.com

So, in the end he was shot and died.

The other photo is pretty grim, and I suspect it has been taken down because I couldn’t find it any more. But it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I found this quite positive.

Yes, I am sorry that he is dead. I send my deepest and sincerest condolences to his family. But how about the family of the police officer he stabbed? How about the safety of other people in Bali? This is not ideal, but I will back this action if its needed because I believe this is the right thing to do.

This is not the only time Indonesia has put her foot down against foreign threat. The execution of Bali Nine is the other thing. And also our Maritime Minister Susi Pudjiastuti who burned and sunk foreign ships who entered our water without proper permit.

source: 1shareindonesia.blogspot.com

Indonesia is not all doom and gloom. It grows its backbone and now getting stronger. I hope it is not only tough to foreigner but also to domestic threat — home grown terrorists, radicalised group, intolerance and assault to minority groups etc.

Should You Drop Out School?

Standard

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.

 

 

Superbyq 6th Anniversary

Standard

I can’t believe it is April already. I means, Superbyq is now 6 years old. Hurrah!!!

If it is a human child — a girl, definitely. Superbyq is a girl. If this blog is a little girl, she would probably doing her homework as she has to go to school tomorrow. Or not? Tomorrow is Sunday, isn’t it?

Anyway. If it is a little girl, she would be in primary school. Probably second year already. Anyway… it makes me wonder how old it is the minimum age for a child to be sent to school in the UK. I think it is 5 year old is the age when a child is sent to Primary School.

6 years.

Really.

This is definitely the longest serious commitment I have ever made in my life. It is personal, and I have invested so much — material and immaterial.

I know that I should have dedicated more time for this blog, and I do feel bad that I haven’t. But I don’t want to feel bad today, as this is Superbyq’s birthday, and… we’re going to have something to drink tonight…

 

Prost!

 

Fat Fashion

Standard

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!

Racist Or Not Racist…

Standard

That’s the question…

Of course I am talking about one of Indonesian Ambassador who few days ago posted a tweet that is considered as racist. Well… Okay. He said “Cina” in his tweet.

And why is this a problem?

Some people don’t consider using the word “Cina” to refer to Chinese Indonesian as a racist comment. But, the word “Cina” is the equivalent of the N word in the USA. If it is said by an African American, it is fine (sort of), but when a White American said it… it is improper. Same with the C word in Indonesia.

It is historical. It is cultural. Lots of people haven’t gotten over it as it has a negative connotative for being used as a derogative term for minority group.

So… when someone with the position like this Mr. Ambassador said the C word in public space, with or without malice, it is considered as a political blunder. A huge one, if I must say.

But here’s the thing.

I, for once, am not a PC Police. I don’t go around the social media attacking people who made the slightest social or cultural faux pas. I don’t even care about political correctness if it is about telling facts. So, I am not going to follow the crowd and condemn this tweet. I consider this as a PR crisis. Told you many years ago that these politicians need to hire people like me to manage their bloody social media. But nobody listens *rolleyes*.

And what if it is not a PR crisis? What if it is not a political blunder? What if this tweet is not just a mistake, but a reflection of how racist this guy is? So what?

I can’t make someone to be not-racist. Nobody can make someone to be not-racist, and it is the same the other way around. Can you… if you are not a racist, be made racist? No.

There is a place inside your brain that nobody can touch. It is where you are truly free, to be yourself. There is no right and wrong about the thing in your head. And if you have a certain idea about something or someone, that is your perception based on your own experience, based on what you’ve heard or seen. There is no such thing as thought crime.

See…

Generalisation. Stereotyping. The kind of thing that you consider so bad is actually the way our brain work to simplify our lives. It is one of our basic instinct and survival tool. It is in the nature. It is been there to help us making sense of the world.

In the past mankind generalise animal as either prey or predator. That’s how they choose which animals they can eat and which one they should avoid. That’s survival. They classified plants to help them understanding the nature. Race, ethnicity… it is how we try to make sense of human’s uniqueness. It helps some people, to reduce the feeling of unknown.

This is humane. And this is what many PC polices don’t understand.

Some people just can’t help being racist. Especially in Indonesia where it is rooted, and where it is being taught from generation to generation. It has been drilled to people’s mind and being reinforced by radical groups. It is something that you can only hope will change slowly. It is not something that you can change overnight.

Heck.. we just start recognising this in Indonesia since 1998. We still have a long way to go.

Don’t get me wrong.

It does hurt when I read or listen to this kind of aggression. Micro or macro, it doesn’t matter. It still hurt no matter how much understanding you could give to these people. Sometimes even, I would retaliate, but most of the time, I’d rather write.

Like this.

Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe, it could help people to understand too.

 

Prost!