Archive for September, 2008

Mass exodus

September 29, 2008


Jakarta starts to empty.

As traffic flees, change is in the air. The people pulang to celebrate Idul Fitri with their families. The city’s roads become unstuck and the smog clears — it is time for new beginnings.

Selamat Idul Fitri.

Om’bak is taking a short break. We will return in about a week, maybe more, maybe less. There may be the occasional sporadic post in the interim.

In the meantime, use the comment section below to tell us what you are interested in and to give us feedback. What issues do you want Om’bak to address? Whether it be something related to Indonesia, Australia or women in general, what matters to you?


September 28, 2008


A 2006 illustration for my poem of the same title, I Do Not Love Thee.

A 2006 illustration of my poem of the same title, I Do Not Love Thee.

I am not my words am not my clothes am not my hair am not my friends am not my affiliations am not my parents am not my lovers am not my body am not my gods am not my demons am not the books I read am not the movies I watch am not my money am not my investments am not my country am not my sex partners am not my orgasms am not the drugs I take am not the literary movement am not the public service announcements am not the television shows am not my thoughts am not the images in the mirror am not my roles in the society am not in denial am not what you’d like me to think I am. (more…)

Stairway to the little death

September 27, 2008
"lost stairway" - Raphael Goetter

"lost stairway" by Raphael Goetter

There was a lull.
She peeled her clothes off and her lips grew crooked.
Step one. Transcending.
He was vivid in her mind. Every curve, every crevice.
The hollow of his hip, a path carved in bone.
The scent of his musk.
She closed her eyes. She was climbing.

Relationships: why men should drive

September 25, 2008
Princess knows Mario likes to take the wheel

Princess Peach knows Mario likes to take the wheel

I’m Indonesian, born in Indonesia, raised in Indonesia. However, I was not raised to be submissive to men. Neither was I raised to think that women are the same as men. No, I was raised in an environment where women are women and men are men, with their strengths and weaknesses. I was raised to believe that men and women are born to complete one another, not to dominate over one another, nor to equal one another. (more…)

The female expat experience

September 24, 2008

Perception of the male and female expat

“Your meet me call me, to piet padang.I LIKE YOU.SEE YOU BY.And I LOVE YOU,SORRY.”

It was the night before I left Padang, Sumatra, to return to Jakarta, when I received this sms from “Piet Padang”. (more…)

Are you really helping out?

September 23, 2008

Once upon a time far away, there was this beautiful place. The land was rich with exotic plants and animals as with the seas. It was warm all year round in this beautiful land.

Originaly uploaded by dmitry kolchev

Originaly uploaded by dmitry kolchev

It was a land of contradictory though. It was rich but also poor. In the countryside papayas and bananas would fall to the ground and rot. Goats and cows would graze in the grass field, but many men, women, and children starve because their wallets were empty, which stops them from buying the instant noodles. (more…)

Moody in a manic city

September 22, 2008

I don’t know if it is the heat, nasi goreng, a constant yearning for the footpath or pollution messing with my serotonin, but I haven’t been able to hold a steady mood since I first arrived in this city. Tuesday, I was blue. Thursday, I was tickled pink. This weekend: a hyper-colour blur.

Dolly stressed out!

Today, I am stressed and I am crazy. When I have a lot of work on, I lug more onto the pile. Swallowed by stress and restricted by own perfectionism, I create deadlines where they needn’t exist just for the masochistic fun of it.


Don’t be sorry. Just be

September 21, 2008
Freddie died of AIDS in 1991, at the age of 45 and at the top of his career as a bombastic singer of the group band Queen. This was taken from

Freddie died of AIDS in 1991, at the age of 45 and at the top of his career as a bombastic singer of the group band Queen. This was taken from

It happened in 2003. That was when I met the one person that would change the course of my life forever. Attempts have been made to recollect memories of what happened during that crucial period, and they have all been fruitless. The emotional attachment I have with the topic has made it quite impossible to position myself as an objective observer. Perhaps, this time it would be different.


Look into my crystal ball

September 19, 2008
He rocked and rolled while he saw into my future

He rocked and rolled while he saw into my future

This afternoon I got hit by a craving for sweet & sour Asian food so I decided to have lunch at a resto called Kedai Langkawi not too far from my office building. As luck would have it, because it is Friday and my horoscope said that today would be my lucky day of the week, the resto had a fortune-teller on call for their patrons. So along with my Kopi Tarik and Schezuan Chicken Noodles I thought I’d order a side of mysticism. (more…)

I’m too sexy for this porn bill

September 18, 2008

It looks like the anti-pornography bill that conservative parties in Indonesia have been trying to get passed, in various forms, over the last few years is going to make it this time round. It’s being hailed by its supporters as a gift to the people during the holy month.

The civil libertarians are up in (probably uncovered) arms about it. So, it’s going to affect tourism, impact on the rights of women, criminalize victims of prostitution and contravene human rights legislation. It could potentially outlaw poetry, works of art, literature — and bikinis in Bali. 

Blah-di blah blah, I say.