Tag Archives: social

Making Sense of Money

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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 ūüėÄ

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.

 

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Pro Life? Pro Choice? (pt. 2)

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Part 2? Where’s the part 1?

It’s been years since I wrote this. Almost half a decade ago, I stated that I support the legalisation of abortion, although I wasn’t sure that I should be categorised as a Pro Choice supporter. Of course since then things have shifted a bit, and now I am a full fledged Pro Choice supporter, and don’t care as much what people would think about me as I was when I was younger.

It is wonderful knowing that in many countries abortion is now legalised. It is wonderful to know that in many parts of the world, women could make decision for themselves, and their own bodies. I know that there are still many oppositions, especially from religious bigots, and so called Pro Life supporter, but at least the government has acknowledge the importance of legalising abortion. That’s halfway done.

Now the fight is for the right for ALL people to have control of their lives. Not only women, but all people, to have a say about what they want to do with their OWN lives? You still don’t know what I am talking about?

Okay. I say it.

Euthanasia.

For some people it is as touchy of a subject as abortion. How do we¬†talk about people helping other people to commit suicide is -for some people – unthinkable. Pro Life supporter, like usual would be against anything ending a life, but it is not their lives they’re talking about, is it? It is someone else’s lives, and… you know what? I don’t think Pro Life supporter actually knows what pro life actually means.

I think Pro Choice supporter is a true pro life. For them, what is important is not about prolonging the life, or keeping people alive. Yes life is important, and you should definitely respect it. But more than that, it is also important to acknowledge the quality of life.

What drives Pro Choice people like me to support both abortion and euthanasia is not hate, nor disrespect of human life. It is mercy, and compassion.

Did you watch “The Wolverine” film (bear with me)? In the first few minutes of the film Wolverine found a heavily wounded – but alive – bear. After being shot by an irresponsible hunter, the bear couldn’t barely move, and was in immense pain — death is imminent, but it would be slow. He did what Wolverine would do, claw and all… end it quickly, and with dignity. That’s mercy, that’s compassion.

If you are a veterinarian, or have a veterinarian friend, you might have seen or hear stories where your friend might have to put a dog to sleep because of an incurable illness. Knowing than keeping the dog alive is a torture, you would have to bear that tough face, and inject that liquid to the dog’s body, and see it slowly drift away in peace. That’s mercy, that’s compassion.

How can you see that in animal and can’t see that in human? That is beyond me.

Animals can’t beg you to get this over with, humans could. And they do.

It is not desperation, nor depression that bring them to do this. Some people do want to have a peaceful, painless, and dignify death. Some people want to die surrounded by people they care about. Some people just don’t want to die in pain, or be remembered in their worst condition. Whatever it is, it is their wish — probably even, their LAST wish.

And how could you say no to that? Because you think keeping them alive is more important than HOW they would live that prolonged one or two years of their lives? And why is that? Is allowing them to choose to die is against YOUR moral belief? Well tough then. It is not what they believe.

That’s why I think Pro Life supporters are not a true pro life. They are not celebrating nor supporting life, they’re a bunch of bigots, wanting to feel good about themselves by playing god with someone else’s lives.

Prost!

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!

The End Of Brangelina?

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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 ūüėÄ

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 ūüėģ

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?

 

Women And Hobbies

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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?

 

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!

 

Norwich Pride And A Lesson About Tolerance

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We went to gay pride again. I love going there because it gives me the sense of acceptance, tolerance, and even belonging. It is great to be surrounded by people, who embrace difference and for once after so many weeks of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin, I felt wonderful. I dressed up, and dolled up, –and with my lovely open minded wonderful husband– went to Norwich city centre.

Alle möglichen Leute waren da.

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The sun was up, but not for long. Soon enough the cloud took over and a bit of drizzle sprinkled the sky with cooling spray. None of those stopped us from being… well… gay ūüėÄ We’re marching from the Forum to Chapelfield garden — this is new because usually we walked from Chapelfield Garden to the Forum.

This is when things got more interesting.

Every year, when we’re parading, there would be someone holding an anti-gay poster on the route. Usually only four or five people gathering while waving us the posters, and in return the paraders would cheered back at them.

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Cheered. Not jeered.

It was a “Wooohoooo!!” and lots of clapping, instead of a massive “Booo!!”.

Yes.

Nobody went to attack anyone, verbally nor physically. It mad me think… how the hell this could happen here, but not in my homeland in Indonesia? When I came home that day I found that some Buddhist temples in the town of Tanjung Balai, Sumatra were attacked, damaged, and even burned down — because allegedly ones voiced their concerns about the loudness of the Muslim’s call for prayer there.

Then I realised… Here in Norwich, we are playing the same game, and obeying the same rule. We believe that everybody could have their opinion without being physically or verbally abused. We know that the authorities would police the regulation, and make sure everybody has that right to voice their thought as long as it is not abusive.

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Like those people with anti gay posters in the gay parade.

Like that woman in hijab who took photo in the anti muslim rally.

In Indonesia? If voicing a concern about a loud speaker from a mosque ended up in the burning of seven Buddhist temples… Imagine what would happen to a gay man carrying a beautiful rainbow flag in front of FPI rally? Do you think the Indonesian police officers would protect his right to voice his opinion? Do you think FPI would cheered his bravery for coming out? Nope… he would either ended up in the hospital or even… six feet under.

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Now you think…

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…

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.

 

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 f√ľr 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.