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.