Notes: A Conscious Consumer 

I don’t know exactly how many clothes I have been purchasing in these last ten years. It must be hundreds or could have been thousands. And where are those clothes now? Most of them have been donated, given out or thrown away. Why? Those were either already washed out, destroyed or simply out of trend. Well you know….I was one of those consumers who “sees now, buys now” but I have been trying to change to be a conscious consumer in the past few years now. Why? Here is my story 
Back in 2011, I had an interesting conversation with the domestic assistant who worked in my apartment in Jakarta. She told me that she used to work in a garment factory. She also mentioned about her workload, about her salary as well as a heartbreaking incident story where she was pregnant but unfortunately she had miscarriage when she worked over-time in the factory. She lost her baby. I am not sure whether it was work-related or not. Since then, she decided to leave her job in the garment factory and worked as a domestic assistant in South Jakarta.

Few months later, I went to Canada for Christmas. I went for Christmas shopping in several shops including GAP, Zara and Timberland. As I was checking on the price tag, I found out that those products are made in Indonesia and the price was high. I must say that I was slightly shocked. Why? It was because I remembered my conversation with the domestic assistant of mine. “Wow! This is crazy! Why would I purchase this while the labour are not getting paid fairly,” I walked away and entered another shops. Again, I found many apparel are made in Indonesia. I then decided to look in the Internet.

As I looked in the internet, apparently many garment and foot wear products which are distributed and sold in North America are made in Indonesia or China. Although it got me proud to see those products are made in Indonesia, it somehow got me upset because many labour who made these products only earning peanuts. I understand that other costs are also added but still it got me sad. I decided to not purchase any that time.

Those events actually change the way I consume garment products.
Do I stop buying clothes? Not yet!
So how? I start to buy less and less.
Why? It is because I don’t need it. If I feel that I want or need a new clothes, I tend to have it made. At least, I know who makes my clothes and pay accordingly. Alternatively, I will get clothes from local designers who are transparent about its supply chain. Or sometimes, I purchase pre-loved collection which is still pristine. Otherwise, I only purchase new clothes in a couple of occasion in one year. Not just that, I am also pretty picky about the brand. I tend to look for information regarding how ethical the company is. Although I must admit that we cannot really trust those report 100%. Most importantly, I refuse to pay on full price. Why? If a brand can sell their products with 70% discount, it means that a brand still makes profit from that price and I don’t want to get ripped off ūüôā. Hence, it is very important for me to keep myself fit so I don’t have to purchase new clothes simply because it does not fit me any longer.

Other than that, these days, if i go out purchasing clothes, it must be for my seven months old baby boy. Yet, I don’t purchase it simply because it looks cute so I want to buy many but simply as we need it. For me, this is my way to train myself to be a conscious customer. It is not only good for the environment but also for my saving. As you can imagine, how much money I have been spending on clothes which are eventually not being worn and forgotten or thrown away.

At the end, I believe that the way the consumers consume garment products can eventually force the company to be more ethical in producing their products where it should be good for the society as well as the environment.

Leave a comment

Filed under Fashion, Notes

Photo: Yangon’s Sneak Peek

SONY DSC

The famous Thanaka Wood, the ancient natural sun protection from Myanmar [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Enjoying their lunch on the side walk [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Myanmar style rickshaw [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Drying [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Can I have cosmopolitan please? [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Visitors [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Source of life [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Ain’t bad restaurants [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Decoration [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Buddhist Ritual [2017:EO]

signature

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Photo

Photo: The Faces of Yangon

SONY DSC

Shy [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

It was a real a scorcher, the temperature reached up to 39 degree Celsius [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Asthma Aid [2017: EO]

SONY DSC

Praying [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Drowning into cyberspace [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Warm smile [2017:EO]

SONY DSC

Monk-to-be [2017:EO]

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Photo, Uncategorized

Photo: The City of Yangon

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSC

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Photo, Uncategorized

Catatan: Simbok

Hampir lima bulan terakhir ini, saya telah menjadi seorang ibu. Hal yang sama sekali tidak terpikirkan oleh saya satu tahun lalu karena saya terlalu menikmati pekerjaan dan hobi saya. Belum lagi saya berencana untuk meneruskan kuliah di Kanada setelah saya diterima di University of Toronto. Tapi, apa boleh buat. Kata orang yang percaya dengan adanya Tuhan, Tuhan punya rencana lain. Saya hamil dan lahirlah baby A awal Januari lalu, my monkey fire baby.

Meskipun tidak direncanakan, jujur saja, saya sangat menikmati menjadi seorang ibu apalagi setiap kali menyusui. Somehow, it comes across as a very special moment between myself and him. I even often say to myself “I will do anything to make him happy and healthy. I will always be there for him” As they say, breastfeeding helps a mother bonding with their child. So, I guess it is true.

Kalau boleh berterus terang, awalnya menyusui adalah sebuah momok bagi saya. Mengapa? Well, baby A lahir melalui operasi caesar di mana tim dokter harus memberikan bius lokal di tulang belakang. Efek bius tersebut sangat amat mengerikan, saya terus menerus muntah setelah melahirkan. Bahkan saat saya memberikan asi untuk pertama kali, saya pusing tujuh keliling dan muntah. Bayangkan saja, bukannya saya bahagia melihat baby A untuk pertama kali tapi malah muntah-muntah karena efek obat bius tersebut. “What kind of mother am I?”¬†Saya sangat¬†frustrasi kala itu. Sampai-sampai, sambil menangis,¬†saya bilang pada perawat yang membantu saya malam itu “How can I breastfeed my baby if I cannot even sit up right and I continuously throw up?

Tidak hanya efek obat bius saja yang membuat saya takut menyusui tetapi juga¬†my engorged breasts. Pada hari pertama, payudara saya langsung membengkak karena produksi ASI yang cukup tinggi atau oversupply. I did not know whether I should consider that as a blessing or a curse because it was very painful. I even got angry, “Why nobody told me about this horrible breast engorgement?” Well, it’s easier to blame on other people, right? ūüėĀ

Kebayang dong, masih dibawah pengaruh obat bius, payudara membengkak dan harus belajar menyusui baby A. It was very stressful and frustrating. Untungnya, dengan sabar para perawat dan konsultan laktasi terus membantu saya bagaimana untuk menyusui baby A dengan benar. Tetapi jujur saja, entah mengapa rasanya sulit sekali untuk menyusui saat itu. Bahkan, saking susahnya, setelah pulang ke rumah, saya sampai harus memanggil doula ke apartment untuk kembali mengajari saya bagaimana untuk menyusui baby A dengan benar.

Lucunya, meskipun baby A belum punya gigi, saya takut digigit; sehinggasaya pun membeli peralatan perang untuk menyusui mulai dari nipple cream sampai nipple shields yang pada akhirnya pun enggak pernah saya pakai.

Boleh dibilang bahwa setidaknya dua minggu lamanya saya mengalami kesulitan dalam belajar bagaimana menyusui baby A dengan benar tanpa menderita. Bukan cuma itu saja, dalam dua minggu pertama tersebut, saya pun sempat kena mastitis dan harus bolak-balik ke konsultan laktasi di rumah sakit. Thankfully, setelah berbagai kesulitan tersebut selama dua minggu pertama, sekarang baby A langsung ‘nemplok’ tanpa digiring setiap kali mau makan. And, I must say that I do enjoy breastfeeding him. Again, it’s a very special moment especially when he looks at me, smiles at me and hold my shirt so tight as if he doesn’t want to let me go. Bahkan, saya kadang takut kalau nanti dia sudah tidak mau minum susu dari saya. I guess, this is the joy of being a mother.

But yeah, I swear to God, it was very difficult at the beginning. I even thought that nine months of pregnancy was actually way easier than the first three days of being a mother. I vividly remember, there was even a moment where I even had a breakdown and cried “I have never been so dependent like this,” because I could hardly do something, I couldn’t even get a glass of water for myself or just take a look at my phone.¬†

Anyway, boleh dibilang, meskipun saya sangat menikmati setiap detik menjadi seorang ibu karena bisa terus berinteraksi dengan baby A dan juga melihat perkembangannya, saya juga sangat rindu dunia kerja. Entah mengapa saya jadi merasa sedikit dungu akhir-akhir ini. Oh well, I really need to get the wheels turning either by going back to work or doing some study.

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Catatan

Catatan: Skilled Workers

Sejak melahirkan, saya belum sempat melakukan Brazilian waxing lagi. Selain takut akan rasa sakit di bagian luka operasi caesar, saya juga belum menemukam tempat yang bisa dipercaya kebersihannya di Dhaka. Ada sih tempat waxing tapi sayangnya enggak hygienic di mana mereka menggunakan satu mangkok besar dan satu butter knife untuk semua customers; belum lagi kain blacu yang dipakai sepertinya dicuci ulang -karena saya pernah lihat bulu rambut di kain blacu tersebut-. Ngeri enggak sih? Emang sih lebih ramah lingkungan karena enggak harus cuci mangkok dan buang kain berkali-kali. Tapi, gimana kalau ada salah satu customers yang punya penyakit kulit? Ya kan?

Anyway, kemarin saya baru ingat ternyata adik asisten rumah tangga saya bekerja di salon. Saat libur, dia bekerja sebagai freelancer mulai dari memijat, meni-pedi, scrubbing , eyebrow threading dan juga waxing. Dengan modal gula dan lemon untuk homemade sugar wax, baby powder dan kain blacu, akhirnya saya bisa waxing di rumah. Brazilian waxing dan half legs waxing. Cepet, bersih dan rapi.

Nah, kenapa saya cerita ini? Saya suka dengan orang-orang seperti perempuan bernama Rina ini. Dengan keterampilan yang dimilikinya, dia sangat passionate dalam melakukan pekerjaannya. Hal itu nampak ketika saya memberikan kain katun untuk waxing tetapi ternyata kain katun terlalu tipis, susah untuk angkat bulu rambut sampai ke akar-akarnya. Dia sampai kesal sendiri setiap kali mencobanya. “Huh? What happened?” katanya penasaran karena ¬†tak satu helai rambutpun ketarik. Meskipun demikian, dia terus berusaha dan dengan cekatan, dia menyelesaikan pekerjaannya dalam satu jam saja.

Rina mengingatkan saya pada hairstylist langganan saya. Andre. Dia ‘pegang’ rambut saya dari tahun 2011. Kalau tidak sibuk, hampir setiap bulan saya ke salon. Entah untuk coloring atau haircut. Saya enggak pernah ke salon lain sejak kenal Andre. Atau Mas Boni, penjahit langganan saya di ITC Kuningan. Dia tahu bagaimana memotong batik menjadi dress tanpa mengubah motifnya. Atau Mas Otoy, anak buah Mas Boni, yang tahu bagaimana memermak pakaian tanpa merusaknya dan tetap nyaman dipakai.

Saya suka dengan orang-orang seperti ini,  mereka tak malu dengan apa yang mereka lakukan.  Selain itu, mereka make sure memberikan service yang terbaik untuk customer mereka agar mereka kembali lagi. Dengan demikian, saya sebagai customer tak rugi merogoh kocek untuk kinerja mereka bahkan tak enggak memberikan lebih.

Jujur saja, saya suka iri dengan orang-orang yang memiliki keterampilan seperti ini. Entah memotong rambut, memijat, memasak, menjahit, olah raga atau main musik. Mereka menggunakan kreativitas mereka dalam bekerja dan mereka tidak harus bekerja pada sebuah perusahaan, mereka bisa menjadi pekerja lepas di waktu tenggang misalnya dan dapat menggunakan keterampilan mereka di mana saja mereka berada.

Jadi pengen belajar menjahit..

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Catatan, Indonesia

Kitchen: Mie Ayam

IMG_5165

[2017: Mie ayam]

Mie Ayam is an Indonesian style chicken noodle which is normally sold by street vendors. The dish is usually used handmade egg noodle, chicken oil, spiced chicken as well as quick boiled bok choi or pak choi. For me, mie ayam is one of my favorite comfort food whenever I feel under the weather. So here I am sharing the recipe of Mie Ayam.

Ingredients: 

  1. 500 gr of handmade egg noodles
  2. 2 pieces of chicken breast (chopped into chunks)
  3. 4 cloves  of garlic
  4. 5 pieces of small sizes of shallots
  5. 3 cm of ginger
  6. 3 cm of turmeric
  7. 1 tsp of coriander seeds
  8. 1/2 tsp of black-pepper
  9. 4 pieces of candlenuts
  10. 2 tbs of oyster cause
  11. 2 tbs of sweet soy sauce
  12. 3 pieces of leeks (chopped it finely)
  13. 1 liter of chicken stock (preferably using the real chicken stock which could be made by boiling chicken)
  14. a bunch of bok choi
  15. 1 tbs of sunflower/olive oil
  16. 5 tbs of chicken oil

Direction:

  1. For serving: prepare 5 medium size bowl, place 1 tbs of chicken oil into it; place it aside;
  2. Wash the chicken, pat it dry and place it aside;
  3. Seasoning paste: in a food processor, place ginger, garlic, shallot, candlenut, turmeric, salt and black-pepper and process them until finely ground;
  4. In a frying pan, heat sunflower oil over medium heat, add the seasoning paste and cook it for 1 minute;
  5. Place chicken chunk into the frying pan and mixed it with the seasoning paste, sweet soy sauce and oyster sauce; cook it for 7 minutes until the chicken well-cooked and place it aside;
  6. In a pot, bring the chicken stock to a boil over the high heat; place the bok choi for 2 minutes, pat it dry and place it aside
  7. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat; add the noodle and stir it quickly for up to 2 minutes; pat it dry;
  8. Place the noodle into the bowl with chicken oil and mix the noodle with the oil;
  9. Add the cooked spiced chicken, boiled bok choi as well as 1 tbs of chopped leeks on the top of noodle;
  10. Lastly, add the chicken stock into the mix and the mie ayam bowls are ready to be served.

Happy cooking!

signature

Leave a comment

Filed under kitchen