Nama:Ask me! a0z0ra[at]gmail.com
Suku: Tiong Hoa
Agama: Kristen Katolik
Ras: Mongol
Adat-Istiadat: ikut orang tua
Hobi: denger musik, baca macem2, nulis macem2, nongkrong bareng temen, mendalami iman Kristiani.
Harusnya: pulang Indo, nulis macem2, kerja wartawan budaya, bina keluarga sejahtera, ikutan nongkrong bareng Romo Sandyawan dkk, ikut2 politik buat angkat derajat orang Tiong Hoa dalam hukum.
Ternyata: terdampar di San Diego CA USA, hedon dan hedon dan hedon...
Jadinya: merenungi hidup segan mati tak hendak dengan nulis2 blog

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    Friday, June 29, 2007

    A song about Jane Doe 

    It is a hate-love relationship, dearest, that girl of mine
    I like her bad attitude, the charade that she's doing
    while it's apparent that she was scared, lonely, lost

    That pretty girl of mine

    Feels like if I approached her she will squeak
    I can hear her heartbeats running faster
    and she will be extremely polite

    I have no idea what causes her like that
    I feel rejected,
    probably she feel rejected as well

    Like hell I'm trying to avoid her, because she reeks of bad news
    Yet no, I can't stand not knowing about her, that naive girl
    She speaks loudly, laughs thunderously, whines annoyingly,
    every inch of her voices invite everyone to calm her down
    and hold her, as to take care of her, to make sure she's ok
    thus they will get another serving of her exploding personality
    in which they can't get enough of, a sweet addiction

    Yes, I, too, can't take my eyes & heart from her
    I don't know what to do with her
    She's so fascinating, yet so foreign, like from another disturbing reality

    -- John Doe

    * Apparently, I've been watching too much CrunchyRoll.

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 4:37 PM  |   0 comments

    Tuesday, June 26, 2007

    You can only give what you have received 

    Father Bruce in the last San Diego Indonesian Mass said: "You can only give what you have received"

    True, how true. You can't give what you haven't received, simply because you don't understand what to give. Until you received love, you can't give love. God loves us first, then we pass the love. Husbands love wives first, then mothers love the children. Parents love us first, then we pass the love to the world. That's the correct order. It's like a baton.

    I saw the people who always lighted up the world, with smiles on their faces. They must have received something wonderful. Perhaps acts of kindness from their families, from their friends or relatives. Or most important, they receive wisdom & knowledge from their creator.

    With wisdom & knowledge, it is only possible to explain how someone can give so much without expecting anything in return. Mother Teresa must have received an understanding so personal and touching that it provided her energy to give continuously to the poor and needy. I believe that those who "burnt out" from too much giving must seek this knowledge, it is the Ultimate Fuel.

    Until you truly understand God's love, you can't pass love His way. But how to understand it?

    All I know right now, is that the love He gave us on the cross. Son born into the world in a stable. Son died on the cross as a perfect sacrifice to atone our sins. Son give His mystical body to the faithful as an intimate wedding communion with His bride, the Church. Thus, humility & sacrifice seems to be the theme.

    I'm still young and naive, it may take years to gain such deep wisdoms thus I'm taking my time. However, I definitely can rely on the love that my neighbors gave me. For this I will say thank you to those who have given me love. My parents, sister, bf, friends and strangers. I will try my best to pass the baton. I failed way too many times before due to my selfishness, but with His help I will continue to go forward and to give you what I have received.

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 12:23 PM  |   2 comments

    Tuesday, June 19, 2007

    Attention, shop-owners 

    Once I wrote about how I don't like to buy clothes in budget shops because of their salespeople here.

    Apparently, I'm not alone :)

    Check out these polls from FabSugar:
    - Do Salespeople bother you?
    - Where are the nicest salespeople?

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 4:29 PM  |   0 comments

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Brown Noser 

    There was a time where I succumb to kissing ass of the pack leader. That may be my own friend, or teacher, or professor, basically someone who's on top of the pyramid. In Indonesia, those who know the art of mengambil hati is considered smart. It is the basic of survival. Most Indonesia parents have passed this down to their kids.

    But what is it about kissing ass/brown noser? Whose ass are we kissing?

    For my past cases, I did most of the stuff you can considered kissing ass because of one reason. I didn't really want to do it, but in that specific moment I feel like it is the best choice I had.

    It is due mostly out of fear. Terror. Some imaginary events (but can be real) that are unpleasant. Something that I don't want to happen to me.

    Let's say, that I don't really agree on one person's behavior. But I will keep quiet. Yet, I even encourage the behavior by imitating them. I don't really like what I'm doing, but yet I'm doing it. I fear that if I don't do that, the leader won't like me, thus I'll be out of the group. Without protection, without warmth, without any social support. That would be bad.

    I guess, this is animal kingdom at its core. As social animals, the pack leader got the final words. Once you're out, you're dying. However, are we not humans? Are we not better than a pack of wolves?

    Should we always follow the leader in the name of making our lives easier? Hidup susah kok dibikin tambah susah. (Why make a hard life harder?)

    I know this is a big jump, but let's play with this scenario. If you are a German living under Hitler's rule, and you can save Anne Frank's family from the camp by smuggling them out of the country, do you have the courage to do that? Or will you just shut your doors and do dinner as usual? Or even join in the crowd yelling "Dead to Jews"?

    A big jump, nonetheless. Now put Munir to the equation. You know that his poison murder is unjust, yet I know some Indonesia people blame Munir's death on himself for messing up with Da Big Guys (TM). This will sound especially ridiculous especially for Westerners who are Christians; they really adore martyrs. Their whole history was based on the sacrifices of people, notably Jesus and His disciples, Joan the Arc, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., etc etc. Based on this, they give support and huge honors to the martyrs: Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Aung San Suu Kyi, etc etc. Yet we the Indonesians think of martyrs as bad guys. They are losers because they lose their lives, so to speak. Even if their sacrifices were for their people's own good. Indonesian society failed to bring justice to these martyrs. They haven't succeed to make heroes out of our fallen good people.

    Too big of a jump too? Let's just stay with our inner circle here. If your boss/group leader saying something disgraceful to your coworker/friend, and you know that it is not right, what would you do? Would you risk losing your job? Or would you smile and even spice things up to make the boss/group leader happy? What is your purpose here? For the love of humanity and justice or covering your human ass by licking somebody's ass?

    Oh btw, I think the boss/group leader may also appreciate good, honest, nice feedback that is not causing him/her to lose face. This may be a good post later on.

    Back to the topic, so what to do? I am still struggling with fears. Sometimes I can control them, other times I fail and succumb to the art of butt-kissing.

    However, I know very well that after I done that, I never fail to regret the acts. Something inside me protested aloud. Something humanly, almost universal like. I'm pretty sure I'm not alone.

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 1:46 AM  |   4 comments

    Thursday, June 07, 2007

    Status Bags 

    Despite everything that they have said, He succeed beyond recognition

    But then His relatives said

    "Who is this guy? Isn't he the son of Mary & Joseph? The brother of James & Jacob?"

    They remembered Him from the old days. How He used to live for 30 years. And they looked down upon His humble, humble family.

    So they refused Him.

    That is an interesting story of Jesus being rejected in his hometown.

    I have a question. What will happen if I go back to Indonesia?

    Indonesia is a land of status. Status is attained by childhood, the family that you were born into. I was born from an OK family and hang out with people who took buses and metrominis to school.

    With God's grace, my family was capable of sending both me & my sister to US. Sudden change of environment.

    My sister adapted successfully. She is always the flexible one of the family. Her easy going attitude makes her popular among all people, including those who were born of status.

    Me? I adapted reluctantly. I missed my good old days where I can just hang in the background, not causing too much noise. Good ole' wallflower girl.

    Back in my old days, I was used to dress so casual. Pure Blue Jeans & Oblong T-Shirts (TM). Slengean.

    Cannot do that here.

    Those who were sent to study in US happened to have really good families & financial situation. They were raised in famous elite neighborhood such as Kelapa Gading, Pluit, Taman Kebon Jeruk, etc. Some even have swimming pools in their homes. Their families would happen to own big factories or government contractors. Others have doctors, professors, architects, bank director as their parents.

    Me? I was raised in Glodok (the China town). Not so much of an elite neighborhood. When the riot broke in 1998, I couldn't go home. I have to spent my night in Tebet, sheltered by my Muslim friend.

    In some circle they would display their status using cars & bags. Watch out, don't mess with me, I have power and you know you need me someday. You can't just say screw that and move on with your live. You have to adapt all you can. Try to be humble & don't make too much noise. Otherwise you'll end up alone.

    While in US you can easily talk to friends who you'll classify "too high" back in Indonesia, I don't know if that casual relationship would still exist once you go back. No doubt, they may try hard to be friendly, but we both know they live a completely different lifestyle than what I'd like. So what to do?

    I'd love to learn more from these "high-status" people, but sometimes it is very stressful for me to interact with them. There's a huge gap that I don't really understand. I feel like I don't deserve the relationship. They come from a very privilege background, while I'm just a humble girl with good fortune.

    However, I know well that if I continue to keep still and not going "upward", I would have no use and all that expensive investment would go to waste. I can't keep my inferiority much longer. I have to look up and climb the stairs. It is easy to say, very hard to do. Should I start buying those status bags to blend in?

    Inside my heart, I'm still that simple, wallflower girl. I looked upon those people as untouchables. I wonder why that is. Supposedly, we are all humans with the same status underneath all that. In reality, I feel that a lot of people in Indonesia cannot readily adapt the world without status.

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 5:45 PM  |   0 comments

    Monday, June 04, 2007

    Laziness & Low self-confidence 

    Laziness will make you trust the currently popular values on your circle without second thought.
    Low self-confidence will make you trust somebody else's (or the crowd/mob) opinions more than yours.

    These two go hand-in-hand with the famous status quo illness. People know that they need to change, but they are lazy & insecure.

    Buang sampah sembarangan (littering)
    Common value: Littering will make the city dirty & unhealthy. I don't like a dirty city, you don't like a dirty city, your children don't like it too etc etc. It's common everywhere - people like a clean place.

    - Lazy: (Alone) I can just throw it right now. That stinking garbage can is 5 meters away! TOO FAR for my liking. Besides, the city is already dirty.
    - Insecurity: (In a crowd) Uh oh. My boss has just throw the soda can into the street. Hmm.. my colleagues also did that. If I walked to the garbage can I will get labeled as goody two shoes. Everyone will think I'm too high and unapproachable. Why not follow the crowd?

    The cure:
    - Laziness: Gotta have fines & good enforcement system. Learn that to have order, people need to heed the rules.
    - Insecurities: Cultural reward system for the good citizens that will uphold their status. Give them something popular in demand so that people will want to follow their footsteps.

    - Lazy: (Alone) Hmm.. garbage can is over there. Stupid Rp 5,000,000.00 (around $500.00) fine with those preman (casual-dressed) police officers everywhere. Now I have to walk 5 meters to throw this stupid soda can.
    - Insecurity: (In a crowd) If I throw this soda can in the garbage can, I'll make sure the boss & colleagues sees me. Perhaps they can nominate me as "Good Employee" to win that scuba-diving lesson.

    Permalink - a0z0ra @ 3:58 PM  |   0 comments

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