Notes: Working in Isolated Place

ORG__DSC5072Sometimes I wonder why some people working in isolated places such as conflict zone and mining site tend to be cold and alcoholic. When they fall in love, they hardly know to express their feelings even by a simple touch, hug and a nice word like “I am here for you” or “I got your back“.

As they make a lot of money, they love their lover or partner with money, plenty of money. Interestingly enough, when they get mad or jealous, they would tell you how much money they have spent on you. And, when you refuse their money, they go nuts. Why? I think it is because they feel that their love has been rejected and somehow have no power to control them. I somehow believe that some of them fail to understand that not everyone wants to be loved with money. Right?

As some of you might be aware that those who work in an isolated area would have R&R time so they can either spend time by themselves, family or the loved one. Unfortunately, sometimes their focus will not be 100 per cent on the loved one because they tend to be tired from travelling and work.

As they recovery from all the tiredness and R&R days only a few days left before heading back to the working place and somehow their mind is already in the working place. I wonder whether it happens to men only or also women?!

Ride the bus

Notes: Rule #1

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I am an introvert but when I live at someone else’s house, I will not lock myself in the room all the times and only come up when I am hungry. That is why I do not like staying at other people’s house even for one night because one is forced to socialize with others.

However, if I have to stay at someone’s house, I will force myself to socialize with other and take some time to help the host to do some household task because the host has been kindly hosting me. Otherwise, one is considered to be very rude.

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Indonesia: Broken Heart

IMG_0059I am proud of being Indonesian. I even often get easily annoyed whenever foreigners make a bitter criticism about Indonesia or look down on us. However, seeing what happened in Indonesia recently, I feel that this country seems to get backwards.

I am one of the lucky one to be able to leave the country, I can even be Canadian, Brits or both if I want to and never look back. However, I still have my family, Indonesia is my home, I love its cultural diversity, it’s super beautiful. Yet, imported religion slowly ruin it.

The government and coward people make me sick and tired of this country. I know I can leave and always come back but I want to make a contribution one day. How? I don’t know. Perhaps through writing.

The thing is although the Internet penetration is increasing, it does not necessarily inform all Indonesian properly. Instead, it appears as an entertainment. As a result, important issues are neglected.

Pramoedya Ananta Toer wrote “Unsur modern belum lagi mengubah tata pikir pribumi. Dunia pikirnya masih tetap seperti lima abad lalu. Cara menanggapi dunia belum berubah.” (Rumah Kaca).

I hope with the Internet, Indonesian are more well informed about everything including humanity than feared with the future.

Ride the bus

Indonesia: About LGBT

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Goodbye 2012! Hello 2013

You know what makes me upset about LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) debate these days in Indonesia? Well, let me tell you.

Last night, a good friend of mine sent me a message telling me how concerned (s)he is about all these LGBT debates. (S)he wondered what the government/parliament next step toward it whether they are going to ban it altogether, ban foreign funding for LGBT activity (including reproductive health awareness) or even worse if they plan to stop distributing subsidised ARV in the country. (S)he is wondering. 

Honestly, this condition would not just have a negative impact to the LGBT community but also all the patients, let me repeat myself again ALL PATIENTS, (which also include heterosexual people) who have been getting ARV for free so they can survive and live their lives as a healthy person. So, I said to a good friend of mine that everything will just be fine. Let’s have faith in it.

Since the fall of  President Soeharto in 1998, religion has been used as a political commodity to control people. Sometimes I am wondering whether we, the people of Indonesia, can have a discussion about certain issue without bringing a religious perspective or not.

It is very devastating because I feel that this country is heading to a dark age than moving forward to the future. What about if we discuss what really matters and crucial to citizen’s daily life such as food supply, education, health and infrastructure, instead of the sexual orientation or religious preferences, which are very personal?! Can we?

PS: If you do not know what ARV is, you can search on the internet. It is very googleable.

Notes: Let ‘Em Talk!

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As I scrolled down my Facebook’s newsfeed, I came across to an article by The Guardian on a Philadelphia born model Amber Rose titled “Amber Rose interview: Even when I was a virgin, I was called a slut“. I must say that I have been admiring her spirit, I have also been listening to her interviews and following her Instagram as well as Twitter account to understand her perspective on women’s world, as a result, I immediately read the article because I think that Amber is an awesome woman who is outspoken about woman issue. So, I assumed that this article would be worth reading.

As I finished reading the last sentence, this article got me thinking about my personal experience. As time passes, we grew up, we learnt and we choose our own value of life. However, everything that we do, it often becomes the subject of discussion for others.

Why? First of all, because they have nothing else to talk about. Secondly, that is how society taught us. Our society constructs standard what we can and cannot do, the standard of what is right and what is wrong. I would understand that those standards are constructed based on scientific research with sufficient evidence but when it is based on morality, it is very subjective.

In my own experience, I have been called slut or gold digger even right in front of my face over and over again. It still happens until today sometimes. At first, I felt hurt but I grow thick skin by now. At least, I do something real and some (or many) recognise it.

So, if I may say….. do whatever you want to do as long as you do not hurt other people, as long as you are being responsible about it. Never do something just to please others while you are suffering from it.

Notes: The Ugly Truth

LRG__DSC6436When I returned to Indonesia last October, many told me that I have gained weight. I was afraid to admit and accept the fact that I have gained weight. Why? It is because I used to be very disciplined with my diet and exercise. It is just an ugly truth for me.

Although people told me in a joking manner, hearing the ugly truth somehow made me a bit depressed that time. Even worse, as a sensitive person, somehow I felt that I was being mocked or bullied while they might not intend to mock or bully me.

Therefore, I was thinking of losing my fat in an instant way by doing some pricey treatment and went to nearby clinic. As soon as I was sitting at the clinic, the doctor offered me a various treatment, which is crazy-expensive. So I said to myself “Should I do it? But That’s not me.”

Yet, I took the cheapest treatment acupuncture on that day. But I felt so guilty because I have been always against an instant way to be skinny. In the end, what is wrong being curvy?

I forced myself to get back to my normal routine by doing my morning running, exercise and controlling my diet with the expectation that I could go be 43 kg and lean again. I mean I am still lean but I want to be leaner.

However, my personal trainer said to me that I look better now because I look healthier than before. I am fit and not fat. All I need to do is to ignore those, who have been controlled media about the perfect female body image.

At the end of the day, being healthy is more important than being skinny. Although I am 47 kg, all my extra small size clothes are still fit me well.

Notes: Faith and Relationsh!t

LRG__DSC6447I often heard people saying “I cannot marry this person because we do not have same religion” or “I cannot marry this person because (s)he doesn’t wanna convert into x religion”. It got me thinking and wondering what love really is.

Frankly, I just do not understand when a lover asks, demands or even worse sometimes FORCES their partner to convert into certain religion or belief simply to get married, simply to prove that (s)he loves him/her.

What is the point to make them convert into certain religion, has it on the paper but they just do not believe it. Even worse, it is not uncommon that some of them would make fun of it and disrespect it because they do not believe it.

Meanwhile, if (s)he does not convert, one of them will consider her/him for not sincerely loving them. And sometimes, if (s)he does not convert, it is often translated or concluded or defined that their lover does not respect one’s parents. Really?! 

First of all, your love should not be measured based on their belief, race or social status. Secondly, you marry her/him and not her/his parents. And last but not least, you just cannot force one to convert into something that they do not believe in. I just find this dumb and stupid!

Sadly, it is pretty common practice in Indonesia because regulation only allows the legalization of marriage to be done in a religious institution. You cannot just go to the civil registry. Even worse, those religions are imported religions in this country.

Forcing an individual to convert into certain religion means that one forces others to lie to themselves. If one can lie to themselves, it is not impossible that (s)he will lie to their partner too.

You see how religions play with people’s mind. Lovers forget what love is. Lovers forget that when you love someone, you must love them unconditionally.

Notes: To Sacrifice or Not To ?

ORG__DSC5026.JPGAs I scrolled down my Facebook’s news feed this morning, I came across to a piece titled “I didn’t realize my husband was depressed until we divorced“. It was published by British media outlet Telegraph. It is a very interesting piece. Worth reading. And when I read it, I feel like deja vu.

Over the years, I learnt that the key to understanding that other people are being depressed is by looking into ourselves first. Whether are we at the right stage of mind or not? And then, we will be able to see other people’s problem.

When we are in a serious long term relationship be it being married or engaged, communication is very important to keep the relationship going. It is true that we should not ignore any behaviour-changing of our partner as humanely as possible. However, it is not as easy as it is said especially when both of them are not at the right state of mind.

In that situation, the couple then normally will not be able to communicate rationally, the couple will not be able to see things clearly. The woman will always sound nagging and the man will always sound angry all the time. And if the couple is not willing to see it within themselves and admit it (that they are not at the right stage of mind or depressed), it’s hard to change the situation.

The thing is many people do not want to accept or admit that themselves or their partner are being depressed because many still consider or associate depression with mental illness, which is embarrassing for many.

It then causes depression rooted in oneself and makes the situation worse because of ignorance. Screaming. Yelling. Glass shattered. Hospital. Self-harm. Committing suicide. Getting drunk. Saying nasty things to each other. Etc. It can be very horrible and traumatic.

For me, the only solution is that I have to learn to love myself before I love other people. “Loving yourself” might sound easy but if you are an ambitious person and living in the fast-moving world yet competitive, it’s just not easy.

Why? You just want to achieve more and more for yourself. And when two ambitious people get together, “loving yourself” becomes difficult because the individuals have to sacrifice one thing and another for the sake of the relationship. The question is are we ready to do so, place the relationship before the career?

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Notes: Fear Nobody

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ISIS-linked terrorist group attacked Jakarta on Thursday (Jan. 14, 2016) [2016:EO]

The Jakarta terror attack, which occurred in Jalan MH Thamrin on Thursday (Jan. 14), was shocking for many. It occurred during the day light with the location nearby to Presidential Palace, Foreign Embassy Offices as well as government building. It was even shocking that the terror group did not only use assembled bombs to create chaos in the city but they also conducted assault by firing gun to the police officers. It was pretty frightening.

Anyway, Friday morning, I nearly cancelled my morning routine, running on the street, because I was worried. I said to myself  “What about if those douchebags still go around the town and spread the terror? What about if they suddenly pull AK 47 or M16 especially I run Taman Suropati, Menteng.”

I kept thinking while I turned on my computer to write articles. I opened my browser to see what the latest update. Unfortunately, my internet did not work. I kept restarting but it still did not work. “Fvck it! I’m going to run. I am not afraid!

Over the years, I learnt that I must not fear any radical or terrorist group or anybody because that is what they want us to be, to be afraid. I am not afraid to any radical group or anybody, I am not even afraid to die.  If it happens to be our last day, I just have to be prepared

 

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Notes: The Wanderer

IMG_5977This morning, I came across to an eye-opening article written by Sridhar Pappu titled “Meet the New York Bachelors Who Yearn for Something More” in the New York Times. It was published on January 7.  As a woman, I often wonder why many men (especially good looking and successful one) stay single and just like to sleep around –I am not saying that there are no women who sleep around as well-. I also often wonder whether they want to be a relationship and build a family or not. If not, why? If yes, why do they still stay single?

As I read this article, I somehow found the answers that I have been looking for that many of them actually long for something more.

It then got me thinking. When we are young, engaging in serial dating can be fun sometimes until we realize that it is just wasting our time and energy. But the sad truth is we are not getting younger.

There will be a time where we want to have someone to come home to and share our story about anything even the silliest thing. However, being in a relationship is not easy, getting married is not a magical as Cinderella story either. Why? It is because there are so many things that we have to give up and sacrifice. It even gets harder when both of them are ambitious people.

Even sometimes, you might come across to the point where your marriage or your relationship does not work anymore and it must be ended. But then again, leaving the one that we loved and started another relationship is not as easy as changing your clothes. It requires a lot of efforts. It is just very tiring.

In our life, we often long for an intimate relationship with the right one but finding the right one seems to be hard. Yet, the good news is there is no deadline to find the right one.

Notes: Women’s Voices

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015:EO]

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015:EO]

When I published “Bule Hunter: Money, Sex and Love”  in September 2014, I received a stream of criticism in the net from many people. I would have understood that they criticized my book after they read it but they have not. They criticized it based on some media coverages. Those are including many Indonesian  women, who are in relationship with Western Men and feel offended with my writing as well as other people are who simply narrow minded.

Some of them said that it was just a bunch of gossip, some of them said that it’s not a journalism work because it’s very subjective yadda yadda yadda (Well honey, it’s hard to find an objective journalism work these days. Media is controlled by companies who are linked to govt). Anyway, there were big wave of nasty comments coming toward me. It was terrifying! 

Frankly, I was shocked reading those comments. I refused to read further for few weeks. But I must say that I am grateful because  those haters actually  inspired me  to write my next book.

So when I went to  Times Bookstore in Plaza Singapura, I saw this book and purchased one. I read nearly half of the book within few hours over few glasses of Chardonnay. Since I read the title, I already assumed that it would have similar content to my book Bule Hunter. And YES IT IS!

It talks about Indonesian women, Western men, Indonesian men, western women,money, sex and  relationship. However, it seems nobody attacking the Australian author Malcolm Scott. At least, I didn’t hear about it.

Is it because the author is a man? Is it because the author is a Westerner? Or is it because he choose a soft title instead of Bule Hunter?! Or is it because it’s written in English and doesn’t get a lot of media exposure in Indonesia (if I understand correctly)?

Oh well, we are still living in an era and place where women can hardly say their voices loudly and bluntly! 

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