Saturday, October 28, 2006

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

Friday, October 27, 2006

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

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