a very-late report (better late than never, eh?)

Off to Gold Coast, Queensland and then to Sydney afterward, not to mention of packing all of our stuffs to send them off first to Indonesia really made me unable to spare my time to write down something in this blog.

Yes, today is twenty first of December, which means four days (what??) to go for us to fly back to Surabaya. Geez. Cannot explain why I feel a bit reluctant to go back to Indonesia. Well, alright, I can explain to you a bit later on. Now, allow me to give you some brief pictures what I was doing during our holiday in Gold Coast only.

Day 1:

Forecast of the day : warm

We arrived at Coolangatta Airport, Gold Coast about 10 in the morning. We consisted of my, Erwin, his sister and her husband. After messing around about what our transportation would be during our stay there, we were off to our hotel by bus, which turned out to be one and a half hour journey from the airport! After that, bus was always our main transportation (that is the only main transportation to go everywhere, anyway!).

The hotel was nice. We’ve got two bedrooms, two bathrooms, our own kitchen equipped with its tools (except rice cooker, which forced us to cook rice by saucepan), a nice dining room as well as a living room and a balcony to look the view outside.

Sea World became our first choice out of the other two to go to since we only had four hours left before it closed (all theme parks closed at five, how lazy they are, eh?) after we left our luggage in the hotel room.

Please do not imagine Sea World here like Sea World in Jakarta or commonly. We firstly also thought we would be entertained to enter a huge aquarium with thousands fish swimming around you instead of a big outdoor park which has several ridings such as sliding from the water tower to the bottom and let the water splash on you. Mind you, we (me and my sister in law, who is also pregnant at the time) could not ride those things.

Fortunately we were truly entertained by several shows held like The Quest of the Golden Seal, which was starred by four clever and cute seals. They can dance, imitate the way you walk, clap their hands and tease one of female volunteers by kissing her hand and lip. Another show presented the other smart creatures: dolphins. They can jump very high in the air and even the staff can ride on them. Really cute! You can also swim with them as well if you want but another fee will be charged for that.

If you just want to see what is in Sea World, you can have the monorail which will take you around the big park. There were not actually so much things to do there except watching the animal show, playing the ridings (for Erwin and his sister’s husband) and taking some pictures at several interesting spots.

Still, when we got back to the hotel, we felt a bit tired. Our first day was closed by me and my sister-in-law experienced cooking rice by saucepan. That is obviously not an easy thing to do!

Day 2

Forecast of the day : hot

Dream World was where we went off in the second day. Having been refreshed by one night rest, we were prepared to have an adventure in the park.

There were so many interesting and challenging ridings in Dream World, which were obvious for us, pregnant women, not to play on. For many times I complained both to Erwin and my sister-in-law, I did want to play! However, there were two ridings which did not have prohibition signs for pregnant women to ride on and we really enjoyed those two. The first one was like arung jeram (I forgot what is the name) but it was not too dangerous at all. The second one is called Log River (I’m not too sure of the name) and it was like Niagara gara in Dufan but it was not that big. Yet, we still found ourselves definitely wet after having the riding....

Giant Drop is one of the ridings I would really love to play. You are to be taken up till 120 metres above ground and after a few seconds, they will release you down to the ground. Erwin said that is challenging, it is like his butt even did not touch his seat when they released it down. However, it was Tower of Terror Erwin admitted as the most challenging of all. You will ride a kind of car on rail, and the car will take you up almost 90 degrees and it will slide down retreating after reaching the peak in a second. The other challenging riding according to the riders (Erwin and his sister’s husband) was like an extreme roller coaster. Actually, I did challenge them to ride Wipe Out, a kind of machine which will spin you around as though you were a wave. Erwin said he did not want a machine to spin him around and make him sick. He did not ride The Claw too for the same reason. He thought it was too much after having the Giant Drop and the Tower of Terror. However, to end the day, he tried the last riding (once again, I forgot the name of it, a very poor memory I have, eh?). It was like an UFO spinning around faster and faster for a few minutes. You will enter the UFO and when it gets faster, your body will be glued on to its wall but you still can crawl without being worried you will collapse from the wall because it is like the machine taking the gravitation only in the room. Yet, if it is in the fastest spinning, you cannot move your body at all till the machine gets slower and slower and then stops. Erwin went out from the machine, got dizzy and could not walk for the next few minutes.

While we were walking from one spot to the others, we, of course, took some pictures at some interesting areas. There is also an area where Australian animal are breed like dingo, kangaroo, koala, etc. Well, the last riding we (me and my sister-in-law) had was only a small roller coaster only spinning around and when we pressed the button, it could go up. Actually, that kind of riding is for kindergarten children. Not interesting at all.

I just wish I could go there once more when I am not pregnant. I will definitely have all the ridings it has!

Day 3

Forecast of the day: cloudy and a bit windy.

Movie World became our last destination in Gold Coast. Unlike Dream World whose visitors mostly were youngsters, Movie World’s visitors were mostly family groups, which consisted of parents and their kids. There are not too many dangerous ridings like in Dream World. The interesting ridings in here are Lethal Weapon, Superman Escape and Scooby Doo Spooky Coaster. Those three ridings are alike each other: roller coaster with different spinning and story.

The interesting part in Movie World is that you can meet lots of cartoon characters there, such as Batman and Robin, Catwoman, Shrek and Fiona, Marilyn Monroe, Austin Power, Tweety and Sylvester, Scooby Doo and the team, Zorro, Daffy Duck, and so on. You can also find a Harry-Potter shop there with its cauldron, wand, cloak, broomstick, etc.

All in all, at the end of day, we were so much entertained by Police Academic show, mostly because for a half hour, while we were sitting and waiting for the show to begin, one character of Police Academic was standing in front of the stage, pretending to arrange the audience but actually he was doing funny things that made us laugh. It was kind of difficult to explain the funny things he did because if you did not see him by yourself, you could not laugh as loudly as we did.

There is something I learn, however, from this vacation – that sometimes you cannot remove everything you see and experience to a modern thing like digital camera. It can help you but still, there are some moments you can only enjoy and keep it in yourself as a group of sweet memories. The moment we laughed together (e.g.: when the rice we tried to cook on saucepan was not well cooked), the moment we were disappointed (e.g.: when we found out we could not play almost all ridings in the three theme parks), the moment we were pissed off (e.g.: when the only bus to go back to the hotel passed by and we could not catch it even though we were running after and we had to go back by taxi instead of waiting at the bus stop another one hour in a cold night), the moment we tried to take care of everything by ourselves in the hotel and many more. Well, I believe I won’t forget everything we have experienced during these three days.

It was just too wonderful to be forgotten.

Thursday, 21 December 2006
02:16 pm

ps: I have written it long, long time ago but did not have much time to post it down here. Hope it was not too late for me to share my experience during my vacation in Gold Coast.

me and him

Today is exactly ten months and ten days since I got married with Erwin. There are still many times before us to share together. And so far, I come to the conclusion that characteristically Erwin and I are really, really different persons. Below are the reasons why I concluded so.

- does not come naturally with music;
- comes naturally of being a leader;
- a thinking person; before he acts, he will think about the whole scheme of his action;
- a better person to get acquainted with new people;
- value goodies from the economical point of view;
- prefers to watch epic and science fiction movies;
- does not like reading books;
- does not really care about outfits he wears;
- If finding some difficulties, he tries to find any way to solve them;
- likes to play games that need strategic and brainwave, such as Sudoku, Magic

The Gathering, Rammiking, etc;
- playing games for winning;
- can carry on doing something in front of computers for hours;
- any food will do;
- can understand something difficult and confusing easily;
- a more reality person;
- live for tomorrow;
- a sensitive person;
- innovative;
- carefully look out of what he does and speaks;

- comes naturally with music;
- comes naturally of being an entertainer;
- a spontaneous person; she does not think much before she acts;
- a better person to maintain good relationship with friends;
- value goodies from the style and popularity point of view;
- prefers to watch cartoon movies;
- loves reading books;
- cares about outfits she wears;
- if finding some difficulties, she lets the other people solve them for her;
- likes to play games that only need some lucks, such as the Game of Life, etc;
- playing games for fun;
- can carry on doing something in front of computers only for a few hours;
- not any food will do;
- takes time to understand something difficult and confusing;
- a more dreamy person;
- live for today;
- an inattentive person;
- creative;
- carelessly look out of what she does and speaks;

I can spend another day to make the list of our differences longer, but surely I do not want to, thank you very much.

Sometimes, I am annoyed with our differences. I do have desire to do something we really enjoy together. Apparently, only one thing we can enjoy together. Theater. And we have nothing to do with that here, so….

However, I find that it is far more interesting to have a typical different partner than alike. You can complete each other. What I cannot do is covered with him and otherwise. More than ten months, I realize that we influence each other and it will take another long list if you want to know.

Just like the quote we took for our wedding invitation:

He was my cream, and I was his coffee. And when you poured us together, it was something.
-Josephine Baker-

Cappuccino will be very delicious if two different ingredients are blended together.

Friday, 17 November 2006
2:27 pm

where is the baby???

An empty stage. No settings at all. Beyond space and time.

A man appears on the stage. He looks confused seeking for something. His eyes go to every single spot that is possible to find what he is looking for. Another man crops up. He is sweeping the floor and looks to enjoy what he is doing. Suddenly the first man gets his attention. The second man approaches the first man and goes, “Are you looking for something?” “I’m looking for a baby,” answers the first man. He still looks confused and keeps looking to everywhere. “Did you lose your baby?” asks the second man. He has stopped sweeping the floor. “It’s not my baby,” says the first man. The second man looks puzzled. “You are looking for the baby that’s not yours?” As though not listening to the second man, the first man goes, “Last time I saw it here.” “Ok, then,” said the second man decidedly. “I’ll help you looking for the baby. Is it a baby boy or a baby girl?” “A baby boy.” “How old is he?” “He’s just born.” The second man, again, looks extremely annoyed and puzzled. “He’s just born and then lost??” The first man, however, does not pay attention with the second man’s perplexity. The second man does not give up. He follows the strange man who’s looking for the baby and asks again, “Is he lost with his mother?” “No,” answers the man. The second man gets angry and more annoyed, “Do you think I’m idiot? Are you going to tell me that a newly born baby can run away by himself??” “I thought I saw him here last time.” “When did you see him last time?” “A year ago.” “A year ago?!?!?” “Yes.” “And why on earth do you just look for him now??” The first man does not answer him. He just keeps looking for the baby. The second man approaches him, touches his forehead and goes, “You’re sick, man. I’m sorry but I cannot help you. I have so much things to do, cannot bother myself with freak like you.” The second man leaves the man who is still busy looking for the baby, while the other man turns up furiously talking on the phone. “I told you yesterday we need the money to provide dinner at our Christmas party! Don’t you dare to cut it out! I certainly don’t want to have a Christmas party without big meals! (inaudible) I don’t want to know about it! If you need some money, you can have some of the money we provide for that charity. (inaudible) What? Do not touch the money for the decoration either! Are you insane? I want the most splendid decoration ever for the party! Absolutely with the Christmas tree and the manger! Alright, alright, I will take care of it!” He hangs up the phone and still looks furious. The first man approaches the furious man and asks, “Do you see a baby?” The furious man looks at the first man as if he is an alien. “A baby?” “Yes, I thought I saw it here last time.” The furious man looks more irritated, “No. Sorry, but I’m a very busy man, looking for a baby as well and definitely have no time to help you.” The first man looks excited. “We can look for the baby together! You can look for it in that side, I will look for it in this side, see? If you find it first, just shout and I’m coming.” The furious man goes maddened, “Listen, I am now a chief of the committee of Christmas party at my church. I am very busy. I do not have time to help you looking for your d***** baby, so….” “I believe you just said that you are also looking for the baby?” “Yes, but I am looking for the fake one, you see, for the Christmas party at my church. Sorry, I’m in a hurry.” Then, away the furious man goes leaving the first man confused. Suddenly behind the first man, a dandy man turns up and greets him very politely. “Good afternoon, gentleman.” The first man jumps and looks extremely surprised. “You give me such a fright,” says him. “I’m sorry to bother you, but I heard you are looking for a baby.” The first man excitedly answers, “Yes! Have you found the baby I have been looking for?” “It depends on what kind of baby you are looking for.” “(confusedly) What do you mean?” “I have many different kinds of babies. Some of them are made in Australia, some are made in China, the others are made in Japan and also in US. What kind of baby would you like? I certainly have….” “I’m looking for a baby who’s just born….” “Sure, sure. No problems. What size do you need? XS? S? I even can give you TripleXL if you want. Or if you would love to see the ancient one, I have one which they said it used to belong to Queen Victoria long time ago, and the price…, well, ehm! a bit more expensive, of course.” “Ehm…, but….” “If you want a cheap price but still have a good quality, you might be interested with those which are made in China.” “Ehm, but pardon me….” “Or would you love a more sensational one? They sent me the latest products yesterday. Coming from Europe. A baby who can sing Shakira’s songs and dance the way she does. Isn’t it brilliant? I can fix up the best price for you, of course.” The first man begins to be annoyed with the dandy man and is leaving him eventually, “Sorry, but I’m in a hurry.” However, the dandy man does not give up so easily. He tries to reach the first man and says, “Alright, as it’s Christmas time, I can give you the very best price you’ve ever had. You can have another one for free if you buy one. Only during Christmas, isn’t it great?” “I’m really sorry, but I do not have time for this….” The dandy man then gives the first man his card and says, “Alright, this is my card, never hesitate to call me if you change your mind. See you around!” The first man feels very relieved as the dandy man leaves him. He continues to look for the baby and meets a woman. “Good day, Ma’am,” greets him. “Good day, Sir.” “I am looking for a baby. Do you see one?” “A baby?” “Yes, he’s just born.” The woman suddenly gives him her smile. “I know. You’re looking for a baby who’s lost last year, are you not?” “How do you know?” “I used to be like you, Sir. Every year I have to go looking for the baby. I was looking everywhere, but once I found, I lost him again. Found and lost, found and lost. Just like that. I was getting tired, then.” The first man looks very sad. “I’m also getting tired looking for him, Ma’am. Nobody helps me. They mind their own businesses. The man who just swept the floor said I was freak looking for a baby that’s lost a year ago.” The woman laughs. “I used to be called freak as well, Sir, but not anymore.” “(amazed) How can you do that? What did you do so you cannot lose the baby anymore?” “Easy, Sir. I keep him.” “You keep him?” “(composedly) Yes. I keep him in a very secure place. Every time I need him, I see him, feel comfortable and keep him again.” “(confusedly) Just keep him, Ma’am?” “Yes, so I do not need to look for him again and again, do I? They no longer call me crazy if I look for the baby every year.” The first man leaves the woman thinking about her suggestion before an old man greets him. “Are you looking for the baby, son?” “(surprisedly) Yes, Sir. I was looking for the baby when I met a lady, who suggests me to keep the baby once I find him so that I do not need to look for him again every year. I..I’m getting tired to do it.” “(wisely) Many have lost the baby every year. Some, then, are getting tired and too lazy to look for him again. And there will be times when they no longer seek the baby and replace him with the other babies. They never know this baby is irreplaceable.” “Have you ever lost the baby?” “I have spent my whole life losing the baby many times. I never feel tired to look for him because I believe the baby will find me first.” “I don’t understand.” “You will, son. Trust me. It will be the baby who finds you first and does not let you seek him any longer.” After saying so, the old man leaves the first man perplexed. In a few seconds, the first man leaves the stage. Only his voice is left, “Do you see a baby?”

The story above is adapted from a script play that I wrote weeks ago. Inspired by Erwin’s idea, I meant every single sentence I wrote down. And yes, it is true. We only seek Baby Jesus at Christmas while the other time, we do not really care about The Little Baby who was born two thousands years ago to save our lives. Sometimes, I notice people do not care about The Baby anymore. Some uses Christmas for their own benefits, such as business, splendid celebration, etc. The others think that they can seek Jesus only when they need to. I myself sometimes fall to every character I have made in the play. Sometimes I become the person who does not care at all with The Baby. Sometimes I become the person who uses The Baby for my own benefit. Another time I am only too absorbed with splendid celebration and forget the meaning of it. One thing for sure, I will never get tired to seek the Baby if I feel I lose Him. I believe what the old man believes – that The Baby will find me first long before I really find Him. He loves me.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006
12:57 am

PS 1: Dedicated to those who are still seeking the Baby. Keep seeking for it will never be too in vain.
PS 2: Thanks to Erwin, my beloved partner for inspiring me to write down this story.

to: my dude

At my home, comfortably warm sitting before our old PC, showering outside with a bit of ray.

Supporting companies: a cup of hot cappuccino and CD of Mozart.

To : my baby (who’s turning 5 months this week)
Inside mummy’s tummy

Dear my baby,

Hey, how’re you, Dude? Mummy guesses you are fine inside mummy’s tummy, eh? You’ve been kicking and tickling your mum’s tummy today. It’s ok, though. Your mum’s enjoying it because it means that you’re healthy. So keep kicking and tickling unless you feel you want to sleep, anyway. You need a lot of time to sleep, of course.

Now, Dude, let’s play a game called ‘do you know?’. Because I am almost sure the place where you’re living know gives is way too warm, too exclusive for your own. That’s why I want you to know what’s happening outside your world, and the most important thing, what’s my feelings over it.

Dude, do you know that last Friday was the most incredible day of my life? It was because I saw the glimpse of you for the first time. I saw that you are beautifully growing inside me. Yes, you have been growing very well. And nothing but that could make me a lot happier.

Dude, do you know that you already have five fingers each in your left and right small hands and five toes each in your left and right small feet? You were even sucking your thumb when we’re peeping into your world.

Dude, do you know that you were actively moving around when the nurse tried to show us all of your anatomy? And I am proud to have an energetic baby like you. I am really.

Dude, do you know that we actually did not really care to have you as a baby boy or a baby girl? As long as you are healthy, growing very well, that’s enough for us. However, yes, we are way too happy to know your sex even though we’re not ready to let our family and friends know about it yet.

Dude, do you know that when we got the pictures of you, your daddy suspects that you will have the shape of my mouth? It is too early to do it, isn’t it, Dude? You still have four months to grow fast.

Dude, do you know that your mummy cried when she was seeing the glimpse of you through the screen for the first time? She was too sober to realize that you are growing beautifully well inside her tummy. Come on, do not laugh at her, as you have given her an amazing experience to become a mum.

Dude, do you know that your poor daddy still cannot hear nor feel the way you move inside my tummy? He tries to hear you everyday but maybe you enjoy kicking and tickling your mum’s tummy too much, don’t you?

Dude, do you know that your grandma teased your mum about you becoming a football player just because I told her you like kicking my tummy during these past two weeks? Haha, I hope you become a great musician or something so while your daddy hopes you become a scientist or something so. Well, it is really about a matter of time. You have enough time to decide what you want to be. And God will help you anyway, Dude. So don’t mind what your parents’ want, but mind your God wants.

Well, now seems your time to have a rest, eh? After kicking and tickling your mum’s tummy? That’s okay. Sleep well and if you think time to kick and tickle your mum’s tummy is on again, I am always ready to play with you.

Love you,
Your mum

Thursday, 2 November 2006
2:00 pm

gado-gado #6: i'll be home for christmas

December this year will be the month we’ve been expecting for. We’re going home to Indonesia. Yes, even though it is splendid to live here, we also long for going home, seeing our family and friends. I planned to go to my hometown and stay there with my parents celebrating Christmas as well.

That was our plan before we got news that Erwin’s graduation day turned out to be on 20th of December not 15th, which has abruptly changed our plan to fly home soon after his graduation day. So, after we’ve got the news, Erwin ran off to buy our tickets, praying that we would get flight before Christmas. Well, since it is December, a time when many students and people fly off to have holiday, Erwin came with a disappointing news that we got the flight right on 25th of December after midnight. As if it is not bad enough, we will have three hours waiting in Kualalumpur before the plane flies us home to Surabaya.

Forget the plan. Forget Christmas Eve with my family in Pekalongan. Forget, forget, forget!!!!! I won’t be home for Christmas! I’ll be at the airport for Christmas!

Suddenly, this weird but relieving thing comes up in my mind. I said I want to be home for Christmas. Home. Not house. Home. Well, whom am I going to be with in the airport? My husband and my baby inside my tummy, of course. They are my family. They are my home. And you know what, I should stop grumbling since I’ll be home for Christmas. I’ll be with them. Furthermore, God is everywhere. We can pray wherever we are since He is everywhere. We can send our pray and thanks to Him even in the airport with my family on Christmas day. What else should I fret of?

Besides, this flight will make us experience to set our feet on Kualalumpur although we will just be waiting there for three hours in the airport.

I’ll be home for Christmas, you can count on me...

Saturday, 28 October 2006
3:54 pm

And the Gado-gado is finished here….

gado-gado #5: another play

Time is flying so fast. We are already on the edge of October and soon are reaching November. And it will be only one month away before Christmas. Wow, Christmas is near already….

In our church, a committee for Christmas celebration has been assigned. Once the committee members were announced, suddenly something came up in my mind. Something careless, perhaps, since Erwin did not seem to agree at all with me. Just after the ceremony, I came to the chief of the committee and offered a play for Christmas to him. Yes, I did offer him a play for Christmas. How stupid I was, eh? I mean, I still could not manage time for myself with the double jobs and now why should I bother myself with another business?? I said to him (the coordinator), hey, I had a script for Christmas and if you don’t mind Erwin can be the director and I can coordinate the players. Hohoho, jessie the heroine! Well done! Absolutely beautiful!

I was arguing with Erwin after I heroically offered myself to be the coordinator for the play. Erwin said it was not that easy to find the players in the church (remember how difficult to find the members for a choir?), especially the script required six main male characters, three supporting female characters and one supporting male character. Even though it was not a too difficult script, it was still hard to find the players. I did write the script and I wrote it for Imaji theatre, which the members I know very well were able to play it. Ndableg, I called them. And I do not think people who had been chosen to play in this church as ndableg as them.

Erwin’s worry came in real. Most of those who seemed to be brave enough on stage and quite suitable with the characters in the play refuse to do. One said he could not play drama at all, would be too nervous. Another said he was too busy to do the assignments and the committee’s tasks altogether. The others said they could not manage the time for practices and time for themselves. It turned out to be easier to find the three supporting females. I almost gave up. I already said to the committee chief that if we end up not to find enough people to play, the play has to be cancelled. He agreed, but apparently he kind of forces those who have been chosen till now. And forces do not come in very good to make a commitment. Now, Erwin asked me to write another script that do not require too many players in it. It means another project, another play. I’ve got some ideas but I am too reluctant to write it.

Ugh…, why should I offer a play at that time??

Saturday, 28 October 2006
3:27 pm

gado-gado #4: stuck in a moment

To be honest, I am actually doing my project at the moment. I am now trying to write a long story to be sent to a publisher. Who knows I am lucky enough or something to publish my first book? Well, anyway, forget it. Perhaps it is too good to be true, since… yes! I am stuck in a moment! I cannot manage to continue in my spare time because of the double jobs, my pregnancy and the house-works have absorbed all my time.

Okey. Blame everything, Jessie.

(Sigh). Hm. Yeah. It was just me who cannot do my time management very well. I am always very bad in time management. But I really, really did not have time to comfortably sit before our computer and write.

You do. Admit it.

Well, maybe. But I use the time to give myself have a rest. Hey, I really need more time to take a rest for my baby’s good.

So, why should you take double jobs, then?

(Inaudible). Well, we do need money before flying home, anyway. A house. Baby’s stuffs. Everything.

Ok, just forget your dream, then. I thought you still want to be a writer?

Of course, I do! I still want to be a writer. Only right now… geez, ok. I will try my best to continue the story, not to blame everything and say I do not have time to do this and that.

That’s the spirit, dear.

(Desperately) Come on, inspiration!!! Come to me!!!!

Saturday, 28 October 2006
1:20 pm

gado-gado #3: the grapple and the glory

As I mentioned before in my previous post, Erwin and I joined our church choir to go to choir competition. However, the practice was not as smooth as I thought. Compared to the choir I had ever been joined, I mean. And honestly, in the first place, I somehow forced myself to admit that the choir team was the worst team I’ve ever had.

First of all, the members were coming in and out. I mean, one or two people turned up in one practice but not turned up in the next one. So we were having the first practices with different people. As though it was not enough yet, almost no one wanted to join in the alto group. They seemed to think that the soprano part is the easiest one (well, actually it is not!). I was of course willing to join the alto group, but my previous experience reminded me that I was never able to reach the lowest note of the alto parts because as a matter of fact, I do have a soprano voice. Then, one by one moved to the alto group, even the one who actually has a really soprano voice. Perhaps she thought that she could do double jobs, anyway. Since at the end, I found out that she joined the soprano 1 group to reach the highest note of one of the songs we sang. I mean, what for? If she was already willing to join the alto group even though we all knew, she knew she should be in the soprano group why had she to sing the soprano part as well?

Second of all (it’s getting more like an essay, anyway), during nearly two months practicing, we’ve got three different conductors with three different styles. The first conductor could not join with us in the day of competition because she would be off to Queensland. She already planned that travel long before the date of the choir competition was announced. Therefore, she only coached us in the first practices and whenever the actual conductor could not come. The second conductor was actually the actual conductor. I mean, he was supposed to conduct on the day of the competition. Yet he rarely turned up in our practices even though we had to admit that he was a very good teacher. We learnt to sing better every time he turned up. The third conductor was the one I told you above - the one who actually had soprano voice but joined the alto group. Apparently, she had experience a lot about singing and teaching vocal because well, she could do three jobs altogether! She could join the soprano and alto group and now she could teach us as well! She turned up as the third conductor since the actual conductor barely turned up in the practice sessions. The difficulty fell to the choir members since they had to learn three different styles of the conductors. Every time we got used to with one’s conducting style, another turned up and conducted us with different style which honestly forced us to have adapted another style.

Third of all, well, it was very typical of Indonesian people’s problems. It was about punctuality (!). Typical, right? I had the same problem when I was dealing with youth community once in Indonesia. I was about disbelief that I would find the same problem here, where mostly the people and the system are very punctual. I reckoned it was a bit hard for the coordinator to collect all the members punctually. In one practice, we should get started on 6pm, but we did on 7.30pm! Only one or two members turned up before six, the others turned up after 6 and even after 7! That was a problem.

Forth of all, we could not find a pianist while the day of the competition was getting near. The pianist who had been chosen in the first place had to go back to Indonesia because her father was ill. We found another pianist, but she could not make to come in every practice. So we never practiced with music. Mind you, it was pretty difficult after all. They said this second pianist was good and could play and read the music sheets very well. Well, we did not really need a very good pianist but could not commit to come even in the practice anyway. The same way with the conductor, actually. Then, we finally made to find the third pianist. She was willing to practice at home first before playing in the practices with us. However, in the following practice, when she was ready to play the piano for us, the second pianist turned up and suddenly replaced her, saying that from the time on she could make to come to our practices.

Along with those problems, we were practicing between our busy times. I mean, most of us are students and they already got their own problems, like assignments and exams. The day of the competition had come and another problem turned up. The program would get started at 5 pm, according to the schedule. There were only four choir teams managed to join in the competition. Two of them are from Melbourne, one from Sydney, and the other one from Brisbane. Our coordinator had managed with the committee of the competition to make our team singing lastly on account of our conductor could only manage to come and conduct after six. A kind of his belief, I thought. We decided to wait for him to conduct us since we were all ready to sing with his style. Fortunately (but piteously), the program started after 5.30pm (remember, we dealt with Indonesian people anyway!).However, it had been 6 o’clock soon and our turn had been near and near, the conductor still had turned up yet! Then, we decided to replace him with the third conductor straight away. We all had been ready in the backstage when the second conductor turned up! Geez, I did not know what’s on his mind, after all. What did he think about this competition? Well, yeah, we already decided to have the third conductor anyway, so he just wished us luck (!) and took a seat among the other audiences while we were singing on the stage.

I had to admit, we did sing really well. Even the second difficult song (sang without music) which turned out to be better than the first one. We also saw the judges’ face satisfied with the way we sang the two songs. My friend, Dilys who came to watch us singing even said that we sang very well. I horribly thought maybe we could make to be the first winner, then. Well, yes. I said the grapple and the glory in the title, didn’t I? We won the first prize! We shouted, we cried, we were kind of disbelieving, but we won! All the struggles we were having during the practices were simply laid behind and forgotten. I do believe that was God’s work as well. He saw us struggling and grappling so hard. I just hope that we did not fly to the moon after the glory and let our prides be on top of everything.

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
Philippians 4:13

Saturday, 28 October 2006
1:04 pm

gado-gado #2: working and making surprise in nasty weather

As I told you before I took double jobs since last month and along with it, the weather here is getting nastier. Well, I have no idea whether the weather in Melbourne is always such nasty every spring or not. I won’t be here next spring, anyway. Something that I will be missing for sure.

Three weeks ago, I reckoned I could work in the morning (8-10 am) Monday to Friday and in the evening (6-10 pm), Monday to Thursday. However, I have picked a very inconvenient time to take the extra hours at that time.

First of all, along with the extra hours of working, I had already planned to give a surprise in Erwin’s birthday. Something that could make him touched and it had to be something different. After deciding what kind of present I would give him, I began to prepare the surprise secretly. Secretly means that all things to do with the surprise were done behind his back. He was not supposed to know what I was doing. What I was doing to prepare the surprise was to borrow a handy camera from a friend, to purchase a DVD RW, to make a list of Erwin’s friends, to collect the friends’ contact numbers and to have appointment with all of them. And what I was doing could not be found out by Erwin. That’s the challenge. Do you have any idea how difficult it is? What do you reckon I was doing then? Yep, I collected his close friends and asked them to say something about and to my hubby before the handy camera for his birthday while I was recording them. The most difficult thing to do was how to meet them in my spare time without Erwin’s suspicion.

So, let’s take a moment to imagine. With my double jobs, I could only have a few times to meet and take a shoot of them after the morning job or before the evening job. It would be more difficult for me to meet his friends on weekend because what should I say to him if I had to go out to meet them? However, I did not exactly how, slowly but surely I got the recording one by one.

Meanwhile, the weather did not always support me to do all those things. Sometimes, it was too hot (like 36 degrees!) and made me awfully dizzy. Another time it was too cold. One day I went home after working in the morning and taking some shoots of Erwin’s friends, I almost collapsed and decided not to go working in the evening. Yet I took my spare time to have a rest and forced myself to go working later. It was no good, admittedly, especially for my baby. I got upset stomach then and almost vomited in my workplace. I reckoned I had to be too tired after all. Besides, Erwin was also not well. Blocked nose, sore throat, often sneezing, I kept consuming Vitamin C to stay healthy for my own good.

Three weeks passed and I got the close friends recorded in the DVD. I had arranged not to go working on his birthday on account of the surprise I had planned. So…, on his birthday eve, I pretended to forget buying his present but just after midnight, I pulled out the present I hid in our disused wardrobe and gave it to him. He’s kind of surprise and more surprise when I handed a little DVD plate to him to be played on. You know what, it was so astonishing to see his face when he’s watching his friends say happy birthday to him. I believed he was touched after all. And seeing him so made me feel that all things I was working on pretty hardly to collect all his friends were fully paid.

Friday, 27 October 2006
6:29 pm

gado-gado #1

Gado-gado : an Indonesian salad dressing with peanut sauce

Well, well, well…. Where have I been? This blog has been neglected for nearly one month! Or more? Well, yeah, I admit I was kind of busy lately. So many things to do, so many things happened, yet so little time to sit down and write them all down here.

Therefore, since so many things to tell about, I divided all of them into several parts. This one is kind of introduction, actually. And those parts I am about to tell you not only talk about one thing, but also many other things. Gado-gado, I called them. As much as ingredients in it, as much as talks in this blog.

Tuesday, 24 October 2006
3:05 pm

this spring

This coming spring means a lot for me and maybe my hubby as well. The first week of spring isn’t really like spring. It is like winter extended. We got two warm days in the first week, but the other days were cold as winter. Geez. Welcome to Melbourne.

Yet all in all, this spring I took double jobs – morning and night. I know it sounds tiring but it’s still ok for me. I did feel tired and exhausted after three days in a row I worked morning and night. I worked from 8 am to 11 am and from 6 pm to 10 pm. I just found out that it would take almost an hour to go home by tram at night after 10 pm! My friends asked me why I should take double jobs. It would be very tiring especially for pregnant woman like me. They offered me, I answered. However, maybe I have been obsessed with earning more money so that we can have enough and much money to build a new house soon after we go back to Surabaya. I told you I sincerely do not want to live longer time in my mother-in-law’s house. Funnily, last night I just read in my yearly Daily Bread and it told me how people are often too wrapped up with anything that could make life better but forget the true meaning of life. I have no clue whether the reading strikes over me or not. Yet, I did feel it too. Maybe I have been too wrapped up with my idealistic purpose for my life, then. Dunno. I am still struggling with it.

Talking about body, I already feel the changing of mine. My tummy is pretty itchy sometimes and my friend told me it’s because the skin is stretching to accommodate the growing baby inside. True. I put the lotion Dilys bought me last time. Hopefully it will not be badly stretched after I deliver the baby. Moreover, right now I have a great desire to always eat. I feel always hungry and that’s why there are plenty of snack at home right now. Once I even flew away to the nearest store just because I want to eat a chocolate. Well. Like a pig, you know. Always craving on food like that.

Anyway, spring in Melbourne is kind of weird. We’ve got a rain the whole day, once. We’ve got a hot weather in one day (28 degrees!!) like hasty summer but in the following day, it was cold again (18 degrees!!). No wonder my skin is getting dry. I have to put lotion everyday. But since I am too lazy to do it sometimes, my skin is pretty dry now. And, oh! Even though we’ve sometimes got warm weather in the afternoon, it’s getting colder in the evening. Really! And today… gosh, it’s actually warm (24 degrees), but very windy. The wind drives me crazy. Nasty weather, eh?

Alright, maybe it’s like a quick report after two weeks absent from writing something. And you know what, now is almost at the end of September. That means, it is only two months away before we fly back to Indonesia. Expecting but not expecting.

Friday, 22 September 2006
12:24 pm

woman: a beautifully crafted creature ever!

Why do I have to bring this idea up right now, right here in my blog?

Two reasons:
1. This is a woman’s blog;
2. A woman is indeed a beautifully crafted creature ever in the world.

Let me compare Melbourne and woman. For those who do not live in Melbourne, let me give you a slight review of the weather in this beautiful city. Melbourne is a place where you can experience four seasons in one day. And shit!, it’s true. The sun may brightly shine on the city in the morning, then suddenly clouds come to shield the city like a super-big umbrella upon the streets in the afternoon. Somehow, even though the forecast news said there will be some shower in a day, the weather might be perfectly fine, but then be desperately cold at night. Once, when I was working and looked outside, I was so amazed with a view before me. The golden ray and crystal water dropped together along the streets. Amazing!

My current boss said the weather in Melbourne is like woman. Why? That was an interesting idea, you know. For what he said is definitely true! Woman’s feeling is undoubtedly unpredictable. My male friend even asked me, is a woman really unpredictable? I gave him my answer with all my heart: yes, because if woman is predictable, man will not be crawling after her. He laughed over my answer. One of my characters that has attracted my hubby is that I am so unpredictable. I never think I am till he told me so. So, girls or women never get desperate if your partners said a woman is a confusing and unpredictable creature, because they still keep desperately running after us like a strong magnet.

Well, yes, we are confusing and unpredictable creatures, guys, but remember you were all born through women’s body. Your mothers took a great deal to deliver all of you to this world. You can never imagine how strong woman’s body that is able to carry a several-kilos creature for nine months with all the risk, sober feeling, and physically pain in here and there. When I firstly found out that I am pregnant, I was so scared thinking about the labor. Many horrifying imagination cropped up in my mind. Yet my former boss as well as one of my best advisors told me that a woman’s body is beautifully and perfectly designed to deal with the pain during labor, in which a man could possibly not take it even with their strong body.

Talking about woman’s body, there are three words which could define it very well. Strong, tender and beautiful. The most beautiful shape in the world, you believe or not, is woman’s. You can say this guy’s body is cut and built or that man over there is definitely six-pack or the lad got all the perfect muscles you have ever known. Cut them out. They cannot be compared with woman’s body. Man might have a great and sexy body, but that great and sexy body can only be covered with outfit of a top and pant. Do you get what I mean? I mean, (maybe except in Scotland or in England or somewhere in Europe) man cannot wear both pants and skirts, can they? While we, women, are free to wear many styles of pants and skirts. A formal wear for man is never far from a fancy suit with tie - that’s it -, for all seasons. A formal wear for women is never the same every time, even every year. Different seasons, different design and style. Not mention of the hairstyle, for whether it is a short or a long hair, it is still good for woman but not for man. I love men with long hair (that’s why my hubby does not cut his hair till now), but somehow when they fall to a working field, working at office, educational field, etc, I am forced to admit that short hair is preferable than long hair. Except, you’re working in entertainment field like a singer or a presenter or a movie star. Perhaps, that’s why RUU APP concern more on what women wear and everything, because no matter what women wear, they will still look beautiful and absolutely gorgeous that men’s eyes are always on them and send a sexual signal to their something inside their pants.

And for further information, woman is not only physically strong and beautiful, but she is also spiritually and mentally stiff. Back in 19s, a statistic in China showed that up to 90% of wives would not get remarried after their husbands left them or passed away, while up to 85% of husbands would get remarried after their wives left them or passed away. Hmmm…, interesting, isn’t it?

“Ladies and gentlemen!” (Why not “Gentlemen and ladies!”? Maybe it’s because some respects over ladies than gentlemen? Who knows?) “Ladies’ first.” (Why not “Gentlemen’s first.”?) “Miss Universe.” (Why isn’t there “Mr. Universe.”?) “Behind a great man, there is a great woman.” I even take a notice that 98,99% of television advertisements are starred with women. I seldom see a television ad. without a single woman in.

You guys can say everything bad about woman. A confusing creature. Unpredictable. Too sexual. Too talkative. Too complicated. Too much demands. Too much tears (no man can help woman’s tears, hahahaha!!). Too much scream. Too much feelings and emotions. Anything. Still, you cannot help living without them.

One secret. Sometimes woman seems to have a great desire to be understood by her partner (read: man), but actually the greatest one is to be loved. You can never understand a woman, but you can always love them. It is quite enough.

Friday, 8 September 2006
4:04 pm

a venerable party of expectant young ladies


I am now proudly presenting that Jessie has been a perfectly happy of her pregnancy.

It is a blessing, you know, I just realize that. Sometimes, it feels like a burden, but is a blessing at present. My baby will soon grow up to be one of the next generations to make this world a better place to live. Hem.

Back to a year before. Location: Surabaya. Specific location: GKI Jemursari.

The end of June and the beginning of July 2005

Christian and Tirza got married. Their holy matrimony was held in Bandung, but the reception was held a week after in Surabaya.

Tirza is now pregnant (but I am not really sure whether she has given birth or not).

The middle of July 2005

Eunike (my sister in law) and Yohanes got married. Their holy matrimony and the reception were held in one day in Surabaya.

Eunike is now pregnant.

The end of July 2005

Aristarchus (my dearest cousin) and Kris got married. Their holy matrimony and the standing party were also held in one day in Surabaya.

Kris is now pregnant.

December 2005

Willy and Magda got married. The matrimony and the reception were also held in one day in Surabaya.
Magda is now pregnant.

7 January 2006

Jessie (that’s me!) and Erwin (that’s my hubby!) got married. The matrimony and the party were held in one day in Surabaya. What a splendid day!

Jessie (that’s me again!) is now pregnant.

February 2006

Ninik and Frans got married. The matrimony and the party were held in one day in Surabaya.

Ninik is now pregnant.

March 2006

Moses and Grace got married. The matrimony was held in Magelang and the reception was held in Madiun.

Grace is now pregnant.

Bless them all! What a venerable party, isn’t it? No doubt, if our children are grown up, they will make friends each other. I can’t wait till I go back to Surabaya. I am having an exclusive club for expectant young ladies with them to share our happiness and worries together!

Tuesday, 5 September 2006
9:29 pm

... and they welcome us

Last Sunday was the forth time for us coming to church where Indonesian people have a fellowship every Sunday. First time we came, the only reason of it was because we would have a farewell party with some friends which could not make us go to church in city as usual. The second time, I was not strong enough to go to city after being off from Mt. Buller. And at the very time, we found out that the priest who is in charge in the church is from my hometown, Pekalongan. I met his wife first and after a short talk, we laughed together as though we were old friends and amused ourselves of what a small world it is. Then, it turned out the priest is my uncle’s friend; his mother is my mom and grandma’s friend. He knows my family quite well. So there we went at the following Sunday and found ourselves a bit contented coming to the smaller community.

It is a small church indeed, compared to the church we were usually going in city. However, the people are quite friendly and we feel welcome there and soon were found out that my hubby can pretty well play guitar and likes to play drum as well. I was also found out as someone who can play music, specifically piano because the priest knows my mom as a piano teacher. Well, let me tell you, I am not a good pianist and in fact, I am sorry to add, I only play piano to amuse myself. I wish I could play the musical instrument pretty well, but I could not.

Last two Sundays, a friend of my hubby has dragged us to join a choir since Pesparani or Pesta Paduan Suara Rohani (A Celebration of Gospel Choir) will be held on October. He was so persuasive that we could not resist him. So there I was, instead of walking home and staying warmly on my couch, sitting among the soprano group and my hubby among the tenor group. In which, we have never been when we get back to our church in Indonesia. I have ever promised to myself not to drag myself into ‘voice’ service such as being a singer or joining in a choir or anything like that, yet people in this church seem not to care whether we really have a good voice or not. A thing that we rarely find in our church at Indonesia. That reminded me of an awful yet ironic experience. Once a friend told me that she almost gave up either in choir she joined or in a task of being singer because a vocal teacher, who undoubtedly has a beautiful, great voice yelled at her that her voice was not good enough to sing in front of the congregation during service. I did experience the same thing and perfectly well understood what she felt. Sometimes, particular people happen to be too arrogant and proud of themselves and feel they are better than anybody else just because they have a great talent and everybody claim and praise and worship of it before them while the others do not seem to have.

So, positively, my hubby and I have joined the church choir and will go with them to the competition next month. I have never ever seen my hubby so thrilled to learn the choir song even at home. It was amazing. He was one of the victims (maybe ‘victim’ is not a proper word, but I thought it is the most right one to define it) of the vocal teacher mentioned above long, long before my friend was. In this church, though it is small and the system does seem in a mess, the sincerity of the people is in the air. No matter who you are and whatsoever talent you have, you are all welcome to join any service at the church. I have even been scheduled to be a singer (what?? Do you believe that?? I was never believed by particular people to have a good-enough voice to sing or to lead the congregation sing in my former church!). They said, never say ‘cant’ for you do it for God and God never care how good your voice is but how sincere your heart is to give the best for Him.

Still, I do not think I would have myself join in a choir nor be a singer in my church at Indonesia. Not in front of people who have taken the place of God to say whether you are good enough to serve in church or not.

Tuesday, 5 September 2006
9:09 pm

the snow and the journey, sickness between

Well, being an expectant mother is not as pleasant as it seems. This week has been the ninth week and I am still trying to enjoy it. No, I am not saying that I still cannot be happy for this pregnancy. I am happy. I am expecting this baby. I love it already. Yet the sickness during the pregnancy has driven me distracted. I cannot eat rice at all for if I do, I will have a disturbing feeling with my stomach. It is kind of you traveling with bus or car all the time, feeling hangover and you never know when the journey comes to an end – like you have a great desire to throw up all things from your stomach. That’s it. I read few articles of pregnancy and found out that crackers and hot water in the mornings can help me to avoid the sickness. Gingers also will do. However, the handiest way to avoid the sickness for pregnant women is to avoid any food that may cause stomach upset. Later on, I found out that it is rice (!!) which set me off to the sickness.

It was Friday on August 18, one day before our trip to Mt. Buller when I suddenly have a strong desire to eat rice for my lunch. So there I was with my hubby having lunch in Chinese Restaurant at Flinders Street and finishing almost all the rice on my own. As a result, I had got a very disturbing feeling with my stomach in the evening. It was like I was barfing on the sink again and again. Yet I was still thinking that I should be alright in the following day to get through the journey to Mt. Buller.

And the day began. The journey that I would have ever forgotten, perhaps. It was ok in the first place. I was asleep in the first hour and after I woke up, I tried to enjoy the journey. Yet when the bus was riding on the zigzagging route, my seat was empty. Where was I? Yes, I was in the toilet (thank God, the bus has a toilet in it!), struggling with my stomach that forced me to stay in it during the zigzagging riding. I threw all things up till nothing could be done but still, the stomach was not settled well soon. I kept praying, oh God, please, let the journey end soon, please, please…, I could not bear anymore. Then, after ten minutes (it seemed like an hour or more to me!), the bus was parked and all passengers started to get off. So did I. I had to get off of the bus immediately!

Stepping on the ground, I saw snow for the first time in my life. I tried to relax, took a deep breath, but unfortunately I could still feel the hangover. I let my hubby get on the line to hire our boots and toboggan by himself for I could not accompany him standing on such a long queue. Not long after that, I ran to the nearest toilet and threw up again. So gross! It was very annoying because I was dying to enjoy my first snow for a long, long time. Yet when the time had come, I could not do it. Annoying, isn’t it?

After we had our boots on and toboggan in hands, it turned out we had to take another bus to the main spot. I cried to my hubby, “Should we take the bus?? Can’t we just walk??” Of course we could not walk. We had to take the bus to it. I kept praying with all my heart that this journey would not be long and I did not have to feel too hangover and have a great desire to throw up. Thank goodness it took only a couple of minutes to the spot. I felt a little bit better even though I had to go to the first toilet I saw just to make myself sure I would not throw up again.

I did still feel my stomach not too well but I began to relax. It was not as annoying as before. So I touched the snow, made a ball of it and threw it to my hubby and his friend. Trying to make myself better. And even though some friends warned me not to slide down by toboggan considering I am pregnant and all, I did ignore them and enjoyed sliding down by it. That was very fun and could make me forget my upset stomach a little bit. For lunch, I could have nothing but an apple. Then away we went by a lift to the higher spot where we could see people skiing and snowboarding. It was a bit cloudy and windy at it, so I was so thankful to my hubby who suggested me to wear as warm as possible outfit (a shirt, a long-sleeve shirt, a turtle-neck shirt, a sweater and a jacket; a pair of long socks, a training pant and two jeans on them; don’t forget the scarf, the beanie and the gloves). The snow seemed whiter and cleaner and thicker at it than at the lower section.

After enjoying to watch people skiing and the thicker snow, we went to an area where the snowman contest would be held. We suddenly made up the team: me, my hubby and his friend. However, it was them who made the snowman. I was just standing up, cheerleading them, saying “the body is still not strong enough”, “oh, no, the hand is broken again!” or “why is it fatter in the back of it?”. Everybody pronounced that our snowman was good and funny. We called it: snowhulk (I preferred “Hulk returns” for the title, actually). Having it well built, some friends took pictures with it. We were very proud of it. I did not help them make the snowman, though, but hey…, we were a team, rite? Naughty, naughty. Anyway, there were nine snowmen standing motionless with their own styles. Yet, it was the snowhulk my team had made, which won the first prize. Hohohoho…, I guess it did make me better and better. We got a snowman doll and two boxes of biscuits, but my hubby’s friend refused to take the prize. So, I did nothing to make the snowman, but I did get the prize. Ehm! I named the doll: Hulkie.

Well, the snowman contest ended, the last chance to play toboggan one more time was offered and there we were ready to go back to our bus to take the journey home. I kept praying I would be alright during the journey home. I felt much, much better after all. Then, I found myself enjoying my potato cake and drinking zero on my seat in the bus. I put my mp3 on my ears and thought that some music would help me during the journey. It did help. Not long after that, I was asleep with music on my ears. It was about one hour later I woke up and my stomach did not seem to disturb me.

However, the journey did not end yet.

About one and a half hour before we arrived at my hubby’s campus, I went to toilet intending to pee. Yet, I realized that suddenly I felt like to want to throw up again. Yup, I threw up again like a silly girl in her first trip. I was barfing till I felt my stomach was but empty. I returned to my seat and tried to sleep to shake off the hangover. Thank goodness I could bear not to throw up for the rest of the journey. So I ended up happily walking to the tram stop and going home right after the bus stopped in front of the campus building.

That is not the end of the story, for I did throw up again after we got home and did not feel really well in the two following days. I did not even go working on Monday.

And I guess I have to say goodbye to my Antimo that so far keep me away from hangover during any traveling. I hope I will not be too hangover as flying home to Surabaya at the end of the year.

Wednesday, 23 August 2006
8:25 pm

ps: Still, I would love to fly to Sydney and Brisbane before going home to Indonesia! Yahoo!!

love books, love stories, love songs, love..., love.., love..!!!

I just had lunch in Indonesian restaurant. Oh, how I long for Indonesian food I love! Anyway, when I was having my lunch there, my ears caught a tune of Indonesian song. As a matter of fact I don’t really like Indonesian songs. The only group music that I like is Project Pop and it is more like a group of entertainers than singers. Why do I not really like Indonesian songs?

This is the chorus of the Indonesian song I was just listening to during my lunch:
Jangan pernah memanggilku kekasihmu (Never call me your lover)
Aku takkan pernah jadi kekasihmu (I will never be your lover)
Jangan panggil aku kekasihmu (Don’t call me your lover)
Karena aku tak pernah mencintaimu (For I never love you)

Well, that’s it. Indonesian songs are always about love between man and woman. You can count with your fingers any Indonesian songs that do not serenade you about love between man and woman. Well, maybe not just Indonesian songs, but also the soap operas and mostly the big movie (Ada Apa dengan Cinta? Eiffel, I’m in love…!!, Banyu Biru, Biola tak Berdawai, etc). It is a pity that when we hear the word ‘love’, we will straight away think about a relationship between young man and young woman and their struggle to live happily ever after (why are romance stories mostly ended when the couples finally could live together or get married and be marked with ‘happily ever after’??). Love means more than that. And I cannot accept the opinion that love story will always talk about man and woman relationship.

Once, I was introduced to a female student from Singapore. She studies journalism at Melbourne and likes reading and writing. I just thought we could share our ideas since I like reading and writing as well. I asked her what books that can make her interested to read. Then she answered, she likes reading devotional books (!) and autobiographies (!!) and declared that she never likes reading novel nor love story books and said that kind of book was just wasting her time to read. I DISAGREE with her. Yet even though I would love to argue her opinion about love story book, I said nothing – was afraid that my argument would ruin our first meeting.

Ok, let’s talk about books. What is your opinion of Tolkien’s The Lord of The Rings? In my opinion, there are love stories inside. Samwise Gamgee’s love to his master, Frodo Baggins that he would sacrifice anything to be his company destroying the ring. Pippin’s love to Merry as a cousin yet a friend. Legolas the Elf’s love during the journey to Gimli the Dwarf as a best friend. Gandalf’s love to keep the world peace that he refuses Saruman’s offer to conquer the world together. Gollum’s obsessive love over the ring that he would do anything to own it. I daresay even a fantasy book like The Lord of the Rings can be considered love story. Ever read Filosofi Kopi by Dee, one of my favorite Indonesian authors? Read it. Highly recommended. It’s also about love stories. Ben’s love to something called coffee bean that he will do anything to make a perfect drink from the bean. Rico de Coro’s love (Rico de Coro is a cockroach) to a little girl who stays in a house he lives in that he sacrificed his life to save her. Hera’s obsessive love to any man named Herman that for the rest of her life she spent it to look for a man named Herman. Really! Even autobiography books may contain love stories. Beethoven, for example. I like reading the story of his life. He really, really loved music. Even though he lost his hearing, he could not stop loving music. He kept living with music till the day he died. Beethoven’s love to music.

See? Love is not always about man and woman relationship. Yes, you will always find love between man and woman in novels by Sandra Brown, Danielle Steel and a group of authors of Harlequin’s. And I never call the books as love stories. I simply call them romance.

And now let’s talk about music, specifically Project Pop, the only group I love. Why do I love Project Pop? Their songs are also about love. Love to their country, Indonesia (Indovers), love as a fan (Pacarku Superstar), love among friends (Ingatlah Hari Ini), etc. But most of all, their songs talk about everything, not only love. They talk about traffic jam, they talk about a funny fat man, they talk about bakpia and lumpia (traditional snacks from Indonesia), they talk about banci (a girlie man), they talk about dangdut (traditional music from Indonesia), they talk about anything! They are as creative as they can be!

So? Come on! Please do not build a narrow frame toward the word ‘love’. Love is complicated and that makes it different and special. If it is as simple as ‘man and woman relationship’, we’ll never know the true meaning of love.

For God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life.
John 3:16

Wednesday, 16 August 2006
2:09 pm

mad mel and the passion of the christ

Ohhh, I am so thrilled with this idea yet I seemed not to have enough time to write it down.

I suppose you have heard about the news. Well, I do not know whether you have or not. I am talking about Mel Gibson. Do you know him, I believe? He is a famous actor, starred in several good movies, for examples: ‘Braveheart’, ‘The Patriot’, ‘What Women Wants’, etc. Most of all, he has been an inspiration for many Christian people when he produced a talk-of-the-world motion picture, The Passion of The Christ. I had been told that that movie has made lots of people who did not believe in Christ in the first place, do believe in Him and become Christians.

Ok. What happened with this ‘noble’ man? Let’s see the following quotation:

Once inside the car, a source directly connected with the case says Gibson began banging himself against the seat. The report says Gibson told the deputy, "You mother f****r. I'm going to f*** you." The report also says "Gibson almost continually [sic] threatened me saying he 'owns Malibu' and will spend all of his money to 'get even' with me."

The report says Gibson then launched into a barrage of anti-Semitic statements: "F*****g Jews... The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world." Gibson then asked the deputy, "Are you a Jew?"

The deputy became alarmed as Gibson's tirade escalated, and called ahead for a sergeant to meet them when they arrived at the station. When they arrived, a sergeant began videotaping Gibson, who noticed the camera and then said, "What the f*** do you think you're doing?"

A law enforcement source says Gibson then noticed another female sergeant and yelled, "What do you think you're looking at, sugar tits?"

Well, what’s your opinion over what Gibson did? I kind of want to yell at him, behave, Man! Behave! However, what makes me interested to talk about him and his case is this.
First of all, I do not really understand why most people took Gibson’s anti-semitic statement very seriously. I mean, he delivered the statement when he was drunk. Hey, I am not about to tell you that I agree with the sentence. But maybe he did not mean it. In this case, I agree with Dr. Phil’s opinion over Gibson’s behaviour. Second of all, I was a bit disappointed with him. Gibson, I mean. Like I have mentioned above, he had been a kind of an inspirational icon for Christian people because he bravely brought the real suffering of Jesus Christ before and during the crucifixion into a motion picture that could be enjoyed by people around the world. I do not know what is his motive to produce The Passion of The Christ and honestly, I do not really want to know, and I don’t want to judge him. Yet, now the movie is being claimed as Gibson’s tool to show the world how bad Jews were (and are) and how they deserve to be hated.

It is just pitiful how the movie has transformed from ‘a good thing’ to ‘an evil thing’ just because the producer said something that could be disapproved by particular society and unfortunately, unforgiven either.

I don’t care Gibson’s whatsoever motive behind the production of the movie. He is a public figure, he could play a hero in his movies, he is the producer of The Passion of The Christ, so what? He is just a man who naturally can do mistakes. And The Passion of The Christ? Hey, I don’t care whoever behind the scene, I just know that the movie has been a blessing for me. That’s enough.

Wednesday, 9 August 2006
10:14 pm

baby blues

During the first weeks we found out that we are having a baby next year, I had not got any affection at all. I fear. I was afraid. I was angry. I was somewhat sad. I felt mad. I was unhappy. It seemed the baby drove me crazy about anything. And something very evil often came up in my mind.

Most of all, I questioned God.

All of my friends congratulated me of my pregnancy. Only one wished me luck. My parents were happy. My mother in law was also happy. Everyone seems happy. Well…, everyone but me, it turned out. And when I told them about my feeling, they mainly said, you should be happy, many couples want kids but they can’t (and I replied in my mind: So why God does not give them any? Why me, who was still not ready to have a baby?); if you don’t feel now is the right time to have a baby, remember that God knows better than you do (and I sarcastically replied in my mind: yeah, we always run to it, if something bad happens, we always comfort ourselves about it: God knows better than we do, and I have no idea whether it’s only a comfort or something truthful); come on, if God gives you a baby now, He knows that you can do it, you’ll be ready for it (and I did not want to reply it anymore since I thought everything I said would be of no use).

For one time in my life, I felt nobody supported me. Nobody would share the fear I had. Blamed I was to be if I did feel that way about my baby, that it was a very, very big mistake if I kind of disliked the existence of the baby inside me.

After all, I could not stand of what I was feeling. I just could not keep it for myself, yet I had no idea whom I could share with. Then I remembered someone and I thought she probably could be the right person to talk with. I told her everything, about my feeling, about my disaffection toward the baby, everything that had driven me mad for few days. And I simply hoped that she would not say I was crazy and what I felt was totally out of mind.

She did not blame me at all. She did not say that I was crazy to have those evil feelings in my mind. She did not say that what I did was totally out of mind. No. She just said that once in her past, she felt the similar thing and it was only natural. It was only natural for a newly pregnant woman to think that she does not feel ready and prepared – to feel somewhat blue. And the result was simple. Baby blues. It is a psychology term that explains of a newly pregnant woman’s blue feeling.

Somehow, the fact that my bad feelings were not totally wrong and were natural made me comforted. I was not the very first wife in the world to feel that way. Millions wives in the world got baby blues.

Slowly but sure, I began to accept this baby. I become more excited to expect this baby. I become more careful to look after this baby. Well, yes, it does not become happily ever after. Sometimes I still feel afraid and worried about everything. I am still worried about a house we have planned to procure. I simply don’t want to stay in my mother-in-law’s house forever nor for long time. I don’t want to be dependent. Yet, still, I guess things are not as bad as I thought. I still believe in miracle. Who knows the existence of the baby bring us a new home sooner than we expect? Who knows?

Saturday, 5 August 2006
10:05 am

ps: You know what, God also will not let me unprepared for the coming baby. I have got a lot of parenting lessons this week. He uses everything to give me the lessons. And let me tell you something, it IS TRUE that if something unexpected comes before you, God thinks you will be ready in time because He knows much, much better than you do about the future. He’s already there.

a fragile creature

Now right after we realize about the existence of a little child growing inside me, I find myself transforming into a fragile creature. I simply cannot do everything I usually do. Here is the list of what I should not do during my pregnancy especially in this first three months ahead:

That seems a simple thing to do, but honestly it is not as easy as it does. Now if I need to go to somewhere else by tram or train or bus, I cannot run after it. I mean, I usually run straight away to the tram stop if I see it coming so that I still can catch the tram and do not need to wait another ten or twenty minutes for the next tram coming.
Unfortunately at my current workplace, lifting is one of the main tasks to do. Every morning I have to remove the tables and the chairs to outside the shop by myself. Sometimes I have to take the big rice cookers after the rice have been well cooked and transfer the rice into the other boxes. Let me tell you, the cookers with the rice inside are pretty heavy to carry, yet I have got used to do it.
This also seems a simple thing to do, but again, I am telling you, it is not as easy as it does. If I am working for six to eight hours a day, I probably only have ten to fifteen minutes to have a seat. Yes, I have to stand for the rest hours. Actually it really doesn’t matter for me. Sometimes I don’t even feel tired not to take a seat for several hours, especially when we are busy in the shop.
Chilly is one of my favorite foods in the world. I cannot live without it. I know it sounds exaggerating, but it is true. I can have meal only with rice, raw cucumber and crushed chilly. Now I have to say good bye to it. However, the fact is I am not supposed to eat any food that I want. I cannot eat a too-spicy food nor a too-salty meal nor a too-sweet drink nor a too-everything which is called food or drink. I even cannot have my favorite half-cooked egg. All food that I would consume should be well cooked – should be well done. Otherwise, the food can harm my baby. Now all food seem monstrous to me. I even do not have desire at all to eat something.
Some readings said that a pregnant woman is not supposed to work hard. However, if I do not work hard, how can I earn some money? Call me crazy but sometimes I just like to be tired, because it means I have done something useful in my life – it means I am working out for our life. Right now, my hubby even does not let me wash the dishes. Actually I enjoy it. Not to wash the dishes, I mean. Yet it no longer feels enjoyable. It is like I suddenly become a big baby who cannot do anything but sleeping, eating, sitting, laying, and doing nothing.

Yesterday, I could not stand the whole thing that suddenly comes up before me. I yelled to my hubby and said: “I HATE SUDDENLY BECOMING A FRAGILE CREATURE!” Then, he gave me a sweet answer. He said: “It is not you who are a fragile creature. It is the little one growing inside you and you are just protecting it so that it can grow well.”

A slight pause.

I have to be honest to you. In the first place, it was hard for me to accept the baby inside me. I was not excited at all. We were not expecting it to come this soon. We are not ready in everything to welcome it. Yet, I know this little child is not mine. It belongs to my Dad. He wants me to take care of it in this world. He wants me to love it as unconditionally as He does to me.

After all, I often talk to the baby now. I let him/her listen to my favorite music (and he/she already knows Disney’s songs, Britney Spears, Hoobastank, Usher, Black Eyed Peas, Josh Groban and many more; hemmm, he/she can talk about music with you soon after he/she can speak). I let him/her know when I am going to work. I let him/her taste the crushed chilly I really love. I let him/her accompany me when I write. I let him/her read Tolkien’s book, The Lord of the Rings with me (who knows he/she will grow up as a great writer like Tolkien?) Deep inside my heart, I know the little child feels what I feel. He/she understands well my language, my feeling, my everything; as it is growing inside me, near my heart.

Tuesday, 25 July 2006
3:31 pm

Ps: I guess, the baby is going to be a musician, he/she always stops disturbing me when I sing or listen to the music! That is so weird!

to run or not to run, that is the question

I have been as lazy as a pig for the last few days. Always hungry as a bear as well. This is terrible. It seems like heaven when I lay myself on the bed with thick blanket covering me, a book in my hands and music in my ear. Probably it is because of the winter (let’s blame the cold weather!). Probably I am tired. Probably I am indeed lazy. Probably there’s something else. Something… weird.

It was a weird and shocking day last Friday. I woke up in the morning as usual, and for some particular reason the only difference was that I had something to do with my urine on that morning. After all, I found myself shocking, somewhat disbelief and simply stunned. I woke my hubby up and told him. He was as shocking as I was. Then he decided to take me to the right place where we could make sure of ourselves.

I do not know whether you might have guessed something or not, however. Yet there’s something to do with me. Something really special which has made us shocking as well as stunned as well as disbelief as well as somewhat pleased.

I am pregnant.

That also means, next year we are becoming parents. There will be one more member added in our small family.

Born – kid – teen – young – in a relationship – engagement – married – pregnant – having children – to be continued. I am just wondering, what a common life I have on this earth.

Would like to run, but can’t.

Sunday, 23 July 2006
1:44 pm

hot water, please!

No, I am not taking you guys to Pop Mie ad. Those words had really been articulated by us for few days back.

Last week was an irritating week. Let me tell you why. I mean, after I lost my hundred bugs, I thought it was enough.

On Monday, last week, while I was preparing myself to go to work, our microwave got something wrong in it. It suddenly made a shocking sound, a little blasted likely, then it made the electricity at our flat went out. Well well well. It meant no heater, no light, no television, no computer, no stove, no microwave, no… almost everything! And it’s winter, let me remind you. It’s winter so we desperately needed all those things.

Okey, then my hubby called Origin (it’s a company who takes care of electricity fee) but was jumped over the city power to deal with our problem. They sent out an electrician, and in the afternoon we already had lights, television, stove, microwave, heater, computer, everything but hot water. Yes, the hot water system did not even work out afterward. It’s really not the right time not to have hot water in winter, however. Then we made a call to the city power again, and they sent out another electrician to come over our place and the electrician said there’s nothing wrong with the external system he dealt with, so it had to be the internal system.

You might have guessed that we spent the rest of the day with no hot water at all. Thank God I had a shower in the morning before those craps turned up.

The following day was as terrible as the day before. It was one of nastiest days in winter and we still didn’t get our hot water internal system worked out. So at that day, my hubby called our agent and they sent out a plumber, who only checked the internal system and said that instead of having a plumber to fix our problem, we better had an electrician to check the internal system. And he promised that another electrician would come over on that very day to check it. Do you know what time the electrician came over our place? It was almost 8 o’clock in the evening and they just checked the system and told me the tank which produced the hot water should be replaced because one of the cables was burnt up. However, they should make an agreement with the agent first to do it. And that’s it.

Again, you might have guessed that we still spent the whole day with no hot water at all. And we were not crazy enough to have a shower with cold water during this nasty winter.

We were expecting something better for the next day. The tank had been replaced with the new one by the plumber in the afternoon and he said we at that time needed an electrician to turn it on. We were waiting for the electrician to come over for almost 6 hours! We had been irritated enough with all the craps of hot water thing! So it was almost 6 o’clock in the evening, the electrician finally cropped up, fixed the rest of the thing for few minutes ahead and said we should wait for another one hour to have hot water. Since my hubby went to work that evening, it was me who was anxiously waiting for the first hot water slipping through our tap after few days gone.

One hour later… I put my finger under the tap and… hallelujah!!!!! I felt something hot on my finger. We’ve got our hot water back. Ohhhhh, we really missed it!!!

Gosh, I had never enjoyed a shower with hot water a lot like that day before! Hope you understand what I mean.

You never know how much you love something till you miss it. Hemmmm…. Right now I’m still talking about the hot water, not particular person.

Saturday, 15 July 2006
11:04 pm

ps: I sincerely hope all these craps did not come up again. I sincerely do.

after the so-yummy spaghetti and very-nice steak

We were having nice and nasty Sunday afternoon yesterday, since it was raining a lot the whole day.

So there we were (me, my hubby and my mother-in-law) heading to Camberwell to look around Sunday market in nasty weather – raining and cold. And after that I forced them to have lunch in Sofia Italia Restaurant nearby (thank you, Pei Fun for telling me a good place to eat steak!!). Yeah, the spaghetti was so yummy…!!!! The steak was also very niceee….!!!! And we were having big lunch there.

However, the day had not been over yet. We were heading to the city because I needed to go to the shop I work to check my schedule. Then we departed from Melbourne Central station to go home. Almost 5 o’clock in the afternoon, we were ready to go to church and there we found ourselves looking for my wallet and suddenly realized that my wallet had gone! My gosh.... I took several minutes to think about where I possibly left it. Then I took it I had to have my wallet left in Melbourne Central station. Stupid me!

On our way to the station (I went with my hubby), I realized that I might have left my wallet in toilet because I happened to go there first before seeing my hubby and mother-in-law at the platform we would depart.

Well, you know what?? Of course I did NOT find it anywhere in the toilet. Then, you must have guessed that we came to the Lost Property section and it turned out they did not find it either, yet they gave us their number in case they found it later and asked us to call them to check today.

Before we decided to go home, I tried to look for it in the toilet once again. I thought if I did not find it, I had to believe that it had probably gone forever. I DID NOT FIND IT even though for that fact I had to wait for someone pupping and stood there for the horrible smell. I almost gave up when seeing my hubby in front of the toilet but I found him on the phone and I had a strong feeling, the phone had something to do with my wallet.

After he hang up the phone, he told me that my wallet had been found and was at that moment in the Police station at Althem town, one hour from the city. It turned out someone took the wallet and brought it there with her (it had to be her, rite??? I left my wallet in ladies’ toilet, remember?). Then the police found my hubby’s ATM card and called the bank to inform about it and the bank called him about it. Well, that’s it. A few minutes later, we found ourselves in the tram heading to Althem town – a suburb of Melbourne we had even been there before.

It’s been around 6.30 o’clock in the evening when we arrived at the police station and had to believe that they found my wallet but my hundred bugs in it. Yes, I had lost a hundred bugs because I had been so silly and stupid to leave my wallet in ladies’ toilet of Melbourne Central station in the afternoon!!!! Gosh…. My hubby said we’ve got to be happy since the wallet had been found and just let the money go. It’s 100 dollars, however!!!

Then, I realized that I should be thankful about my wallet found so that we do not need to be worried about the important documents like my ID card, ATM cards, driving license, etc since they were safe, likely untouchable and back to my hand.

I sincerely hope someone who took my money could sleep well last night and spent the money wisely. Ha ha… for those who know me, is it possible for me to do so? Guess.

What an adventure.

Monday, 3 July 2006
12:15 pm

smiling jessie

This week has almost passed. It’s a hard week for me, I am telling you. Now, on top of being useless creature, some people told me that I can hardly smile. Smiling is a simple thing, actually, but once I get bad day or troubles, it’s almost difficult for me to smile.

It was easy for me to smile, though. Yet, it turns out it is not easy at all to smile now. I just realize it, thanks to those who told me about my smiling problem.

And after all the bad things happen, I found out that I have to get myself back – becoming cheerful Jessie, smiling Jessie, ‘crazy’ Jessie, a girl who used to make people around her laughing. I told myself: get up, girl, don’t let anybody bring you down, you still have a life, the problems you are facing in your current workplace is no big deal, even if you’re fired, that is not the end of the world!

You know what? I am getting up and over. I will not let anybody bring me down. My problems in my current workplace are also no big deal AT ALL. And yes, it is not the end of the world if they fire me. It would even be good since I will have more time to continue my neglected writings. And maybe, that will be the time for me to get a better job here.

So? I am smiling….

Friday, 30 June 2006
12:59 pm


No, I haven't been fired yet. In fact, maybe no later than next month the boss will fire me. I messed around today. Gosh.

That's why I go online at the moment and start to look for another job.

Monday, 26 June 2006
12:25 pm

a useless creature

Help. I’m useless.

That’s true. I am totally useless here. I am a useless creature. Despite the fact that I have spent so much money in two days only as though I am the richest girl all over Melbourne, I am still a useless creature. A useless creature which happens to be always starved and eat everything offered (read: food). A useless creature which proudly admits she likes writing but in fact she has left her blog behind for a long, long time (just because someone said her writing is only for shit like blog not for a big competition that can bring a glory, a well-known name and money for you) and let herself play computer game all the time instead of finishing all tales she has started. And most of all, when this useless creature thought she has been pretty well through at her workplace, she is actually not. If she was once dealing with job seeking in the first place, she is now dealing with job performance.

Sorry, and one more thing: this useless creature becomes more useless since she is not doing ministry AT ALL, even in church. Meanwhile, four months ago her friends sang a song especially for her before leaving to Melbourne about ‘keep on doing ministry wherever she goes’ (sorry to disappoint you, friends…).

Now, I won’t hide. I want to be honest. I won’t be ashamed to confess how useless and parasite-like I am.

Two weeks ago my boss told me that I was no longer a slow dish-washer and asked me to do ‘kitchening’ in his second shops (he has two busy shops). He gave me two days training to observe what I should do in kitchen because I had to do all by myself in the following week. I was pretty confident when I came to the shop at the week – was ready to work in kitchen even during peak hours. And I didn’t do any significant mistake at that day. The second day, however, was worse – just because one component had to be replaced with another (too difficult to explain in here). The manager told me so. She said I was very good the day before and was very slow that day. What could I say? I did feel I was very bad that day. Then, at the following week, I was still put in the kitchen, I thought I did not do any big mistakes. So, is it a crime for me to ask my boss to work longer hours there? Then the boss told me that the manager in his second shop said I was still too slow to do anything except dish-washing, which has answered my request: he won’t allow me to work longer hours especially during peak hours. Nevertheless, I saw two new girls have quitted washing dishes after two weeks only and started to do something else except dish washing, like cashier, serving food, etc, while I, after two months working there, was still put at the back washing the dishes. Do you know what I feel? No, you do not because you were not me. Deep down in my heart I felt like A BIG FAT LOOSER.

On the other hand, I just feel it was so unfair, though. The first day I worked there, I had started to work, while the first day the new girl worked there, the boss only asked her to look around, observe what’s going on in the shops. He NEVER asked me to look around and observe first before start working.

Until now he only puts me in the morning shift with short working hours (3-4 hours a day). See? No wonder I feel like a useless creature. No wonder I feel like a parasite (the boss only kinds of help me working there, maybe he’s waiting for me to quit). No wonder I feel like a big fat looser.

Today I decide to look for another job. Perhaps it’s just better for both of us (me and my boss). I know my hubby is not too thrilled with this idea, but really, I just have to.

Besides, I just realize that after working in that place, I often come home and feel very tired to do everything, including writing and doing houseworks.

And, guys…, please pray for this useless creature. Please please please….

Sunday, 25 June 2006
10:36 pm