Thinking of a resolution

January 6, 2010 by

I’ve made enough New Year’s resolutions to understand that my resolutions are almost always far-fetched.

At least ten years ago one of my resolutions was to stop eating meat. The timing couldn’t have been more right, as it was then that the great economy crisis hit the country right where it hurts the most: the colon.

When the clock stroke at midnight this New Year, I was wide awake on my over possessive bed, focusing on my handwriting, which had gotten pretty “tidier” by the year.

Tossing and turning in a semi-deprived state of consciousness, flashes of my striving to achieve my resolutions came to mind—in montages. Fiddling with my might; not a pretty sight.

I once vowed to avoid speaking in slangs, for fear of contributing to the “destruction” of Indonesian language. And then there was the time when I set out on a quest to understand the true meaning of the concept of love, which brought me to my semi-deprived state of consciousness. And then there was also that time when I vowed to keeping my hair forever green.

It becomes clear that I am not to make any new resolutions this year, but to continue with my quest. Only this time, in a better way.

So here's a photograph of me thinking of a resolution,


Joking of catching the terrorist

August 18, 2009 by


My boyfriend used to joke of how Indonesians don’t have a good sense of humor. Oh, Indonesians joke and laugh but more often on stuff that are actually not funny. TV producers use slapstick comedy and shallow riddles in their comedy shows and get high ratings for that to the frustration of media workers working for them. Very rarely do we use irony.

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The Calendar

June 28, 2009 by

I wanted to put up a post for Annisa, thinking that it would be really fun to write something about the origin of birthday cakes. But then sudden changes of wind made me think of this little vignette, a short story that has been running amok in my mind for some time now.


One of the things that she found really difficult to do is ripping off the pages of the calendar. She was sentimental like that.

If only she wasn’t five years of age, it wouldn’t have been a problem. But she was, indeed, that young when she told her mother in a tone that was almost apologetic about how she couldn’t sleep because of that.

“I just can’t do it,” she cried.

The first time she told her mother, she was too busy cooking to listen. There were lots of things to be done in the house, and the mother herself hadn’t been able to make enough time to cater her own needs. There was, of course, no maid in the house.

She had decided early in marriage that she would not allow anyone else to take care of her babies. Outside influences were, for her, exactly the way they sounded to her.


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Little things or a personal interpretation of daily semiotics based on impulsive fleets of the heart

June 27, 2009 by
Growing up makes you forget.

Growing up makes you forget.

I was walking solo down through TIM at sundown. ‘I love this place at this hour,’ I thought to myself.
The furious heat was calmed by the cool breeze. ‘Why is it always breezy here? This is so nice,’ I thought to myself.
I passed by food stands, catching whiffs of delicious conversation laced with the aroma of pempek, soto sulung and sate kambing.  ‘Yummy, this smells so good,’ I thought to myself.

A pot-bellied, middle-aged man who wore shorts, a striped khaki shirt, a navy blue beret and orange Crocs walked by me, spotted my smile and tipped his hat off to me. ‘My, what a nice man’, I thought to myself.

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Neoliberalism indirectly muddies economy, bans presidential candidates in Acronymesia

May 23, 2009 by

In a turn of events that has already come to be known as the dirty neoliberal conspiracy, all six presidential and vice presidential candidates have been banned from participating in the upcoming election, and the heart of the country’s economy is literally covered in mud. Read the rest of this entry »

The Oh-So-Significant ‘Others’

May 20, 2009 by

As far as absurdity goes in my daily job, this certainly beats looking Sri Mulyani right in the eye or sleeping under a highway.

Wondering if the pillars ahead are real or cardboard, it struck me that this is the first time I have ever been inside a church. No, there was that time back in high school when I accidentally walked in before a mass was about to start, but that was because I mistook the place for band’s rehersal studio.

This is not a mass, but still the awkwardness feels tingly; more so because the gentleman speaking to the audience, which now includes myself, starts to talk about Islam, the nation’s largest religion in terms of followers.

Being one of those followers, I have always been somewhat enclosed in a cocoon separating us as Muslims from ‘the others’ Christians, Catholics, Buddhists and so on. ‘We’ are engrossed in our own discussions about ‘them’, ‘the others’ whose beliefs differ from us.

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I Heart Kemang

May 15, 2009 by

When I tell locals that I live in Kemang, the first thing a lot of them say is, “Oooooh, Kemang. A lot of bule [Westerners] live there.” Of course all the restaurants, bars and boutiques attract foreigners, but there’s a whole lot more to Kemang than coffee and couture.

The Contrast

Kemang is an area of stark contrast: You have modest kampungs through the back streets, which run parallel to enormous houses for the rich. There is plenty in between, like my kos, which is like a share house.

This is a family's house in Kemang, complete with a garuda

This is a family's house in Kemang, complete with a garuda

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Click on the links, it’s all about family

May 14, 2009 by

On my vague attempt to do some academic work done, I found this. It’s a 15-year-old article by Fareed Zakaria interviewing then Singapore prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Yeah, I can’t believe it’s that old. But, it was a very interesting read.

I don’t agree on Lee’s fierce support on Eastern values in which the individual exist in the context of family. I mean, of course family is important. But, surely a person could live his own life freely under universal values of kindness.

I think a lot of young Indonesian holds the same ground as I do but with a bit of compromising, which reminds me of a column written by Kartika Jahja. (READ IT!).

I friend of mine said that there’s a generational gap between parents and children. A lot of parents don’t actually know the lives of their adult children. I think the problem here, is that children rarely have the guts to confront their parents or when they do, it will either jeopardize their relationship to the point of being disowned or make parents cry and get ill because of stress. Hence. Kartika’s title “What you see ain’t what you get”.

Snaps from Sulawesi

May 13, 2009 by

I have to get out of the house ASAP. Oh … the trials and tribulations of not having your own space. But I am really keen to get something up. For those of you who don’t know, I am the half-wit who made the incredibly intelligent decision of moving from Jakarta to the middle of nowhere, or what seems like nowhere when you are not constantly surrounded by people, cars, vendors, motorcyles, people and people. I have become a little bored and a little obsessed with turning my photos into fake polaroids.

Here are some snaps from Tana Toraja.

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Jemise, phone home

May 8, 2009 by

It is my turn to post some deep, meaningful philosophies, but my brain is doped up on MSG from the cheap crisps I got at the warung and I have the flu. Excuses, excuses.

But I didn’t leave you, my pretties, hanging high and dry. I made something in ode to our fellow Om’bak bloggette who has recently left Jakarta to go back to Australia.

Jemise, we miss you heaps. xox

I didn't mean to compare you to E.T., Jemise, you're cuter and your forehead's not as big. xx

I didn't mean to compare you to E.T., Jemise, you're cuter and your forehead's not as big. xx