Kisah Negara Minder dari Semarang

Di Semarang ada apaan sih? Gue seringkali dihadapkan pada pertanyaan ini, setiap kali gue bepergian ke ibukota Jawa Tengah itu. Bayangan udara lembab semenanjung berpadu dengan terik matahari menyapu gedung-gedung kuno yang mulai digeregoti tanaman liar, membuat setiap penanya, baik yang sudah pernah pergi maupun yang tidak, mengerenyit pesimis.   Petualangan, gue menjawab...
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A Christmas Nostalgic

It’s 39 days to Christmas, said a reminder in my facebook page and I am geared for it. This is going to be my first time welcoming Christmas abroad, and I want to ensure, I don’t miss any of the artificial. I bought three Christmas Cds, set a virtual Christmas tree (Thanks to technology) and enjoying Christmas decoration at Orchard.
 
And sometimes, while enjoying cool November rain outside my window, I make some hot chocolate and play “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”.
 
Do you know how such atmosphere will bring your imagination somewhere? Dreaming of white Christmas with every Christmas card I write? While I let my imagination wander, I can’t help but think of Christmas in Jakarta.
 
After so many European style Christmas cards I’ve seen and enjoying the privilege to be the majority here in Singapore, where people started decorate their shops by Aidil Fitri, I decided that I will always identify Christmas with my hometown, Jakarta, where 80% of its population are Muslims.
 
I’ve never seen snow in my life, but artificial snow in air-conditioned mall with red and purple decoration is good enough for me.
 
Initially having my Christmas here would be fun. After all, I am just a Catholic by surface, meaning that I don’t live up the spirit, THAT high. Christmas for me can be defined by nice Christmas decoration, singing all time favourite Christmas songs, posed dinner and midnight church. And I can get them all in Singapore, even better, minus the bomb.
 
But somehow, there’s something to finally see low budget-simple decoration hang at my neighbourhood mall, a week before Christmas, three weeks after Aidil fitri. It is as if it bangs me that “Hey, Christmas is here!” much harder than two months full blown Christmas light at Orchard.
 
And nothing beats singing Silent Night in my humid and damp church with a hint of worry from bombing threat.
 
The suckiest moment would be opening your Christmas present and drink last year’s wine under fluorescent light in your living room and sleep right away after that.
 
Or other option, going clubbing all night long, having good cocktails and get drunk, while realizing most of the people dancing never know it’s a Christmas night.
 
But it will be washed away the next day, once you wake up and for the last moment enjoy the Christmas buzz at a mall, before soon it is changed back to Islamic colours.
 
I guess living in Jakarta has made me appreciate Christmas more, just with the fact that it is so hard for us to have a peaceful Christmas. And I am afraid I could not appreciate Christmas the way I did. As I miss Christmas in Jakarta so much right now, I don’t know how to celebrate it other way.

15th November 2007 | 8:30 am |

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Girls don’t want to know the truth

“Please don’t tell me the truth, girl, coz it hurts like this” It was not a direct statement. It was not a quote from a film. It was a nickname of a friend of mine. Guess what, the owner is a woman. Her nickname made me rethink on the distinct character of a woman, that is hard to be understood by others,
Girls don’t really want to know the truth.

Have you ever watched Desperate Housewives season 3? It is my favourite show. I love the way they mocked women’s natural tendency. Watching the show is like mirroring in a huge mirror that does not show the true you, yet, you still recognize that the reflection is yours. Oh well, I just remembered one episode there, where Bree revealed her friend’s husband affair. Instead of being grateful, the lady was insulted, regretting that Bree had to throw that hurting fact to her face. Despite knowing that her husband didn’t love her that much, she would still prefer to close her eyes and pretending there was nothing wrong with her marriage.
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23rd August 2007 | 4:51 am |

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Indonesia di Mata Dunia

It is almost a week after my country’s independence day. I barely could remember it. No special meal, no ceremony, nothing. But incidentally, that day, Friday, August 17th, was the day I was exposed or reminded to so many stereotypes of Indonesians, from people of various nationalities.

It was the day my Singaporean friends marked me a daughter of capitalism. It was the day I dissapointed my Dutch friend with the fact that I am just an ordinary Asian girl..with her conservative way of thinking. It was the day I listened to BBC and heard reportage on Indonesia. And it was the day my Laotian friend replied my email, reminded me of certain stereotype I encountered in Laos.
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21st August 2007 | 4:50 am |

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Kafka on the Shore

I liked Kafka on the Shore. I couldn’t really describe why. It was just incredibly different with types of English, American, Irish novels; let alone Chick lit. Nothing special in terms of vocabulary. After all, it was translated from Japanese. I was sure there was a lot of linguistic richness washed out when it was transferred to English, ruthlessly. But the story could drown me in. Bulelwa said it was as if the writer was on drug when he wrote it. In some sense, I agreed. There was nothing rationale about it. Everything was absurd and impossible. The chain between one story and another was vain and there was long, very long unnecessary prologue even to describe terms as simple as penis. It talked about the Entrance Stone, Living Spirits, TransGender, but it was not a science fiction. A Sci-fi would pretend everything irrational could be explained clearly to put it into our sense. But Kafka did not. Indeed, it was as if it was trying to highlight the absurdity of its content. It did not push its reader to accept it as reality but more of metaphors, metaphor of our own live. The more absurd the concept was, the more it evokes my thinking to mirror to my own experience, my real life. There was something chaotic in his writing, something unacceptable, yet, we have terms for that, it was very postmodic. Postmodernism thinking never let us drawn into their story. Instead, they would keep disturbing us with things we would not expect and only through that we would actually question ourselves.
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20th August 2007 | 4:49 am |

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A day in a Life of Myself

One of my resolutions after being single is having more order in my life. While that is not necessarily the case, I think it would be good for me to start my first blog by describing my routine, in order to avoid repetition…

Starting my final year in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, I become less of a student than before. Matter of fact, I feel I am more of a housewife without a husband! I wake up early every day, take a bath, make myself a glass of non-fat milk and drink it with some home-made cookies. Then I clean my room, washing my laundry, ironing my clothes and doing other hall-chores. Afterwards, I did some photo-editing until lunch time. All my classes are in the afternoon, but I only go to school twice a week, so I can have my afternoon strolling in Orchard Road, shopping and drinking cappuccino while reading a philosophy pieces. At night, I have drama practice.
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20th August 2007 | 4:48 am |

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