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.

Ride the bus

Notes: Losing Your Body? Nah!

www.catatanfani.com (1)Many people say that once a woman becomes a mother, she will lose her body, become fat and have jiggly yet flabby body especially those who has baby delivered through c-section including me. Don’t even dream to get your body back, so they say. But here I am, I prove them wrong. You can still have a well-shape body even you have many children be it through normal delivery and/or c-section.

I started getting back to my training regime at seventh weeks postpartum. I must say that I didn’t find it easy. Sometimes I got frustrated because I didn’t seem to lose any baby fat after working out for one month. Sometimes I got frustrated or even depressed because l only run at the slow pace. Sometimes I even gave up, just sat down, did no exercises for hours and just played with my phone because I felt that I did not make any progress. 

But one day, I said to myself “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Just started again,” so I started to take it easy that time. I just forgot about the aesthetics result and just focused on the form of my exercise as well as my diet.

At the end, aesthetic result is not my main exercise’s goal but sanity is. As a result, I got my body back faster than I expected as you can see on the picture above. 

Ps: no whey protein is being used. It’s all natural diet.

Ride the bus

Catatan: Lelaki Jalang

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Turkish beer, Turkish tea [2014: E O]

Akhir-akhir ini, berita tentang Jennifer Dunn, Shaffa Harris dan Faisal Harris berseliweran di media sosial. Tak hanya itu, berita tentang Sunu, Umi Pipik pun juga berseliweran di mana-mana. Dalam hati saya “Sopo sih Sunu Ki?” Sebenernya saya enggak pernah ngegubris berita tentang selebritis tapi saking banyaknya, saya pun akhirnya iseng ngegugel tentang mereka. Oh ternyata mereka semua tersangkut kasus perselingkuhan. Yang menarik adalah sosok perempuan lah yang selalu disorot sebagai biang keladi hancurnya rumah tangga padahal enggak sedikit family man yang kegatelan bahkan banyak banget. Sayangnya, lagi-lagi perempuan yang disalahkan “Siapa suruh mau?” dan sebagainya dan sebagainya.

Anyway beberapa hari yang lalu, saya pergi sebuah pesta dengan mas bojo. Sayangnya, mas bojo harus pergi di tengah pesta karena akan pergi ke negeri coklat dan meninggalkan saya sendiri di pesta tersebut. Awalnya saya tidak mau ditinggal tapi pestanya cukup asyik, good food, interesting people, fancy venue, welcoming host, groovy music and a lot of wine! Selain itu dapat kesempatan ngobrol ngalor ngidul dengan orang-orang baru dan bertemu dengan beberapa kenalan. Di tengah pesta, seorang laki-laki yang menjabat sebagai direktur mendekati saya ketika saya sedang asyik ngobrol dengan tuan Jendral.

“Hai, mana mas bojo?” tanyanya.
“Dia harus pergi ke bandara karena harus ke Eropa!” jawab saya singkat.
“Wah sibuk sekali pasti? Apa kamu tak pernah merasa kesepian?” tanyanya mulai menjurus pikir saya.
“Akh enggak. Saya ada anak, ada kawan, ada kegiatan. Bagaimana mungkin bisa kesepian? Lagipula kenapa?” Dalam hati, saya sudah menduga bahwa dia pria hidung belang ketika dia tiba-tiba mengajak saya untuk ngobrol di tempat lain padahal saya sedang asyik ngobrol dengan tuan dan nyonya Jendral. Aneh lagi, tuan direktur meminta pelayan menuangkan anggur lagi meski saya sudah menolak.
“Masa?”
“Kau punya istri dan anak?” Saya mencoba mengalihkan pembicaraan.
“Ya, tetapi mereka tak di sini. Jadi aku merasa kesepian. Mau ke rumahku?”
“Sering pulang ke negaramu?” Tanyaku mencoba mengganti topik.
“Tentu! Kau mau ke sana? Ayo temani aku ke sana! Kau bisa tinggalkan anakmu dengan pengasuh beberapa hari saja. Saya tentu terkejut. “Gemblung betul orang ini” pikir saya.

Enggak lama kemudian tuan Jendral pamit dan bertanya apakah supir saya sudah datang menjemput. Saya pun katakan ya dan saya pun ikut pamit untuk meninggalkan pesta.

“Nona bagaimana kalau kau saya antar pulang saja?” tanya tuan direktur sambil mencoba menarik tangan saya.
“Oo alah gemblung gemblung,” pikir saya. “Maaf tak perlu. Saya sudah ada supir.”
Sayapun segera lari meninggalkan pesta dan pamit pada tuan rumah.

Lucu bukan? Tuan direktur tahu saya datang dengan mas bojo, tuan direktur tak menutupi bahwa punya istri dan mau bermain api demi selangkangannya. Tentu kalau saya tanggapi, saya yang dianggap gatel dan sundal. Seperti yang dikatakan oleh Eddie Griffin dan Dr. dre dalam lagu berjudul Ed-Ucation “Biggest hoes, on planet Earth, are walkin’ through the motherfuckin’ neighborhood || You knew when you got with the man he already had a woman ll You knew he already had a family ll But you fucked him anyway” dalam lirik tersebut perempuan lah yang sundal padahal bisa jadi yang gatel duluan sang laki-laki. Begitu pula dengan tuan direkrut, dia lah seharusnya yang dianggap sebagai the biggest hoe!

Tapi mungkin, kalau saya tanggapi sayalah yang dianggap hoe. Bahkan saya tak akan heran jika dia melakukan hal ini dari pesta ke pesta besar. Sayangnya, tuan direktur tak akan dianggap jalang atau bejat malah dianggap hebat karena bisa menarik perhatian perempuan lain bahkan istri orang di luar istrinya. Ya toh? Perempuan jalang dosa besar, lelaki jalang hebat! Begitu kata masyarakat patriarki kita! Ngehek betulkan?!

Ride the bus

Notes: A Conscious Consumer 

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Those make me horny! [2013: Oktofani]

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 “see 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 a 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.

A 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 is not getting paid fairly,” So I walked away and entered other shops? Again, I found many apparels is made in Indonesia. I then decided to look on the Internet.

As I looked on the internet, apparently many garment and footwear 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 labours 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 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 at full price. Why? If a brand can sell their products with 70% discount, it means that a brand still makes a profit from that price and I don’t want to get ripped off 🙂. 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.

In 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.

Ride the bus

Notes: On Mental Health

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Drying and dying [2018:EO]

The world marks October 10 as the World Mental Health Day. It aims to raise awareness about the mental health issue. By raising awareness about mental health, people who have mental health problem could get help as soon as possible because they are aware that they have a problem. And I know very well how useful this help can be for one.

As you might have been aware that depression and anxiety are two of mental health issues which have been openly discussed on the Internet in these last few years. Prior to that, people used to hide those problems. They felt that it is embarrassing and they felt ashamed about it because many tend to bully or mock those who are suffering from depression. As a result, many who are suffering from depression do not get help and it could get worse for some people whether some would turn to be an alcoholic, sex addicts, smoker, drug users or even commit to suicide. 

It happened to me a few years ago…

After a piece of bad news broke in 2009, I have always been sad. I was afraid that I would not have enough time to fulfil my dreams. Since then, over the years, I tried to race with time to do as much as I could. Yet, I always felt that I only did a little and it was never enough. It made me upset. I often got home cried and felt miserable. Yet, I thought it was just a simple sadness. I thought I was just being a drama queen.  

It took me years to realize that it was not just sadness as I started to get suicidal thought or suddenly become hysteric. It even landed me in the hospital several times. Since then, I knew I had a problem and I decided to seek help. Yet, I could not seek help from friends or family. I felt that they would judge me or preach to me. So, I built a wall, kept a distance from people and I tried to seek helps from professionals. It was not easy to find the right one. They offered me various solutions including anti-depressant consumption, therapy section, engaging in a religious activity as well as being physically active. I found it hard. Later I figured that exercise was the best solution among others. Yet, it requires self-discipline. 

I vividly remembered one Monday morning when I felt down and my body feeling week because I did not exercise for nearly a week because I was being lazy. That day, I realized that wonderful effect of exercise toward my mood. Since then, I always tried to make time to do it even only for 30 minutes on a daily basis. I forced myself to run even it is only 4 am and many are still sleeping. As time passed by, I become an addict, addict of exercise.  Happy with the result, I maintain until today even with various adjustment. Frankly, I did not really care about the aesthetic result of exercise as my priority is to feel good about myself in mind, body and soul.

Hence if you have a problem, don’t be ashamed to talk about it and seek for bits of help. Share with those who have similar problems, they might be able to help you or they actually might not be able to help you. Nevertheless, it is all about your willingness to acknowledge it and get help. While for you who know anyone with mental health issues, please try to acknowledge it even only by listening to them. Never ignore them especially if they are the loved one. 

Ride the bus

Music: Take Me To Church

My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral
Knows everybody’s disapproval
I should’ve worshipped her sooner

If the heavens ever did speak
She’s the last true mouthpiece
Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week

“We were born sick,” you heard them say it

My church offers no absolutes
She tells me, “Worship in the bedroom.”
The only heaven I’ll be sent to
Is when I’m alone with you

I was born sick
But I love it
Command me to be well
Aaay. Amen. Amen. Amen.

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice

Drain the whole sea
Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course
That’s a fine-looking high horse
What you got in the stable?
We’ve a lot of starving faithful

That looks tasty
That looks plenty
This is hungry work

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins so you can sharpen your knife
Offer me my deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

No Masters or Kings
When the Ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin

In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human
Only then I am clean
Ooh oh. Amen. Amen. Amen.

[Chorus 2x:]
Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life

Ride the bus