Notes: The Wanderer

www.catatanfani.comRunning has always been my thing and I have always been into outdoor running. Unfortunately, since I moved to  Bangladesh in early 2016, outdoor running did not seem to be visible. It is because I cannot wear my ‘normal’ running gear -sport bra and short- as it is culturally inappropriate. As a foreigner, I just have to respect the local culture. Additionally, the 2016 terrorist attack which occurred in July 2016, has also limited our movement. Therefore, I decided to give up my hobby partly and started doing indoor running at the gym.

I must say indoor running is quiet boring because all I had to do was just staring on the screen all the time which then led me to think ‘When am I going to complete this run?‘. I did not enjoy it all. Yet, what to do? I had no choice. I had to force myself to fall in love with it. After months of training, I become used to it and I did not mind one way or another as long as I run.

For me, running has always been an important activity to me because it provides me a good dose of endorphin which puts me on a good mood. Additionally, it also helps me to cope with my anxiety and depression problem. Hence, there is just no way for me to skip one run unless I am on the plane or being hospitalized.

Anyhow, three weeks ago, I started to do an outdoor running again, here in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Of course, I still cannot wear my normal running gear but what to do? At the end, I have to compromise and that is okay. I must say that despite the fact it was extremely hot having myself covered with long sleeve shirt and long pants, it was not bad at all actually. As I run around the park, crossed the street and went inside small alleys, I discovered so many things including the road, the beauty of local attire and the contrast of people’s lifestyle which I would never see if I only run in the gym. And I must say that since I arrived in Dhaka, other than the birth of my son, I have never been happier because I was able to run outside.

Outdoor running  means a lot to me. It gives me the sense that I am a free social being  and  I am not trapped. I can see what kind of place and society I am living in. I wish this place doesn’t have security problem so I can explore the city by running every morning without any worry.

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Spirituality: Hamsa

Got this antique pair of hamsa earrings at St. Lawrence Sunday Antique Market. It is only for 20 $. Hamsa prayer: Let no sadness come to this heart; Let no trouble come to these arms; Let no conflict come to these eyes. Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy of peace. 

Hamsa earrings [2014: E O]

Hamsa earrings [2014: E O]

Photo: Home Cooked Indonesian Lunch

Tumis pucuk labu, hati ayam bakar dan sambal bawang [2013: E O]

Tumis pucuk labu, hati ayam bakar dan sambal bawang [2013: E O]

Tumis daun singkong teri, ayam goreng dan sambel terasi [2013: E O]

Tumis daun singkong teri, ayam goreng dan sambel terasi [2013: E O]

Cah sawi hijau tauge, bandeng goreng, terong goreng, tempe goreng dan sambel terasi [2013: E O]

Cah sawi hijau tauge, bandeng goreng, terong goreng, tempe goreng dan sambel terasi [2013: E O]

Sambel terasi, tauge dan terong [2013: E O]

Sambel terasi, tauge dan terong [2013: E O]

Tumis kacang panjang [2013: E O]

Tumis kacang panjang [2013: E O]

Pepes Ikan Kembung [2013: E O]

Pepes Ikan Kembung [2013: E O]


Notes: Save Your Sorry

Save your sorry. One thing I don’t need is any more apologies. I got sorry greeting me at my front door. You can keep yours. I don’t know what to do with them. I’m gonna have to throw some away I can’t get to the clothes in my closet for all the sorries. I’m gonna tack a sign on my door, leave a message by the phone. If you called to say you’re sorry, call somebody else.


You were always inconsistent doing something and then being sorry. Beating my heart to death talking bout you sorry. Well I will not call, I’m not going to be nice. I will raise my voice, scream and holler, break things and race the engine and tell all your secrets bout yourself to your face. I won’t be sorry for none of it. I loved you on purpose I was open on purpose. I still crave vulnerability and loose talk. I’m not even sorry bout you being sorry. You can carry all the guilt and grime ya wanna just don’t give it to me. – Jo (For Colored Girls)
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Indonesia: Jamu, Vagina and Libido

A traditional homemade jamu seller in Pasar Pujokusuman, Yogyakarta

A traditional homemade jamu seller in Pasar Pujokusuman, Yogyakarta [2013: E O]

Since I was child, I have been introduced to jamu by my parents.  Nearly every day, my grandmother always bought me a glass of kunir asem (kunyit asam) or beras kencur from Bu Tarmi, a neighbor of mine who made homemade jamu.   Beras kencur is believed to help me to overcome coughing; while kunir asem is believed to cool down the body from fever.

Jamu is a traditional herbal medicine, which is made from parts of plant either from its roots, leaves, fruit and also bark; such as tamarind, turmeric, ginger, papaya leaf, curcuma and also bratawali. Some of jamu tastes sweet but some of them taste very bitter.

As I understand, there are many type of jamu which are specifically made to cure illness such as stiffness, dizziness, fever, high cholesterol, itching, diabetes and hepatitis. While there are also some of jamu are made to improve sexual pleasure either to increase men sex drive such as purwoceng and tongkat ali  and also to tighten the women’s vagina such as galian rapat, rapat wangi or empot ayam.

A traditional homade jamu seller was making a glass of galian rapat, which is believed to tighten vagina

A traditional homade jamu seller was making a glass of galian rapat, which is believed to tighten [2012: E O]

Unfortunately since I moved to Bali then to Jakarta, I could not find any good homemade jamu. Many of those jamu just tastes like a glass of mineral water with a little bit of food coloring. Or perhaps, I just have not found the proper place that sells proper  homemade jamu.

Other than that, despite the fact there are many instant jamu sold in the pharmacy or supermarket, I would not buy it because it does not have the same taste as the homemade jamu. I just want a real homemade jamu. Period!

Therefore whenever I visit Yogyakarta, I often try to go to Pasar Pujokusuman to buy a homemade jamu from an old lady, who has been selling  for many years [unfortunately, I have never asked what her name is] . She always is concocting the remedy as the customer order the jamu so she can make a fresh glass of jamu for the customer.

'I would not make jamu galian rapat for unmarried woman'  said a traditional homemade jamu seller.

‘I would not make jamu galian rapat for unmarried woman’ said a traditional homemade jamu seller [2012: E O]

Every time I visit her stall in Pasar Pujokusuman, I always buy a glass of galian rapat, galian singset and also kunyit sirih. But oddly enough, if a female customer wants to buy a glass of galian rapat, rapat wangi or empot ayam [type of jamu which is believed to tighten the vagina], she always asks the customer whether she is married or not, instead of asking whether she is virgin or not. Weird, isn’t?

I wonder if she would ask a male customer, who wants to buy purwoceng or tongkat ali jamu [type of jamu which is believed to increase male sex drive], the same questions. *sigh*

Well I guess as I am living in a ‘religious’ country, consuming galian rapatrapat wangi or empot ayam is considered to be sinful if you are not married because it is then  letting somebody to do a free sex with a good quality vagina. But who gives a damn about it anyway?! You can always lie about your marital status just for a glass of homemade jamu. No?

So if you have never tried to drink jamu or you wanna tighten your vagina or increase the sex drive,  you better try it. I can tell you that it works well to my body. Other than that, it tastes good and very cheap.

Drinking a glass of fresh homemade 'jamu galian rapat'

Drinking a glass of fresh homemade ‘jamu galian rapat’ [2012: E R]

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Photo : Flores

Timorese kids playground to enjoy the breeze and sun

The faces of Timorese kids from Ende, Flores, Nusa Tenggara

In Nanggale Village, Timorese women are making home-made salt for living

She is one of Timorese woman from Nanggale Village, who is selling home-made salt for living only for Rp 3,000 [35 cent] per kg

The first Catholic Church in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara

A bunch of Timorese women are making a home-made Kain Ikat, a traditional fabric, and selling it to tourist with the range price from Rp 100,000 [11 USD] to Rp 500,000 [550 USD]

Flores is one of a beautiful tourist destination in Eastern Indonesia. It is located in East Nusa Tenggara Province. In July 2010, I visited Flores for five days with E to celebrate our second anniversary. I would say that Flores is extremely beautiful. There are no skyscraper or many vehicles around. The air is just very clean, the place is just very quiet and peaceful.

While I was in Flores, I visited number of popular tourist destination such as  Kelimutu Mountain  and First Catholic Church in Sika.  It was really such a wonderful trip. But one of the memorable moment was my tour guide took us to have dinner with local people underneath the tree. We had a very simple homemade local food such as dried fish, chili and corn rice. It was very tasty. I really had a wonderful time with them.  It is always good to be able to see the local people daily life in their small town and their hospitality to new people.

A homemade traditional dinner from Timorese Family in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara

I would say that I was really satisfied with my trip to Flores and I am looking forward to do similar trip either to Eastern Indonesia or West Indonesia.

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