Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I do solemnly swear

It sure is a blessing from Allah to be able to witness a history being made as Barack Obama took his oath to be the first African American president of the United States, yesterday (1/20). I had been sitting in front of the TV since 10.30 PM last night, watching and waiting for the main show to take place: the sworn in and the inaugural address.

Obama's sworn in was quite unforgettable. If the oath should be said in a similar way like saying the ijab kabul (wedding vow in Islam), then Obama had flunked and should have gone through it once again. Was he too excited?

Another interesting thing to notice from it was the way Obama put his hand on a closed bible rather than on an open one. I didn't know it until I learned it today from someone in my office.

Source: Daily Telegraph, Google

From left to right: George Washington sworn in; George Bush Jr.; Obama

The inaugural address was exceptional. Wonderful words were being used in the speech and made it one of the powerful speeches I had listened so far (I hadn't listened much, though, haha). You would react upon hearing moving words like these: "Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met." In fact, there was an uproar by the people as soon as Obama said the words.

Nevertheless I was a bit taken aback by how some Indonesian people reacted. They did not make much comment on the content of the speech, but on the minuscules like the dress Michele Obama was wearing, how it did not match Barack's outfit, and the like. They just show how civilized Indonesians are, don't they? *wink

Speaking of Michele Obama, my mind drifted as I watched her step down the few stairs that took her to the inauguration stage. I was wondering why married women should bear her husband's (family) name. I'm sure women like Michele Obama is capable of 'standing up' on her birth name and need not to fear that she won't be recognized for herself.

Then perhaps what this woman wrote in her letter to a newspaper last week reflects just how vulnerable a woman could be when she is using her own birth name (Note: If you can't read the letter, just press the Ctrl button on your keyboard and scroll your mouse to adjust the size).

Source: Kompas Daily, 17 January 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


The term 'upsize' should be familiar when you are visiting Starbucks and you are using BCA credit card to pay your coffee, because that's when you get to 'upsize' your order. That means when you initially order a tall cup, you have the privilege to get your coffee in a bigger cup - that is grande - when paying with the BCA credit card (Why does this begin to sound more like a BCA advertisement? Ah, nevermind).

Actually, that's the only familiar 'upsize' term I know so far. Oh, and this:

Many times people mistaken two things about me: age and weight.

First: Many people think I'm about 26-27 years old, while the fact is I'm much younger (yeah, rite). It does me good when I meet people I'm not hanging out on a day-to-day basis, but it develops a mixed feeling for me when somebody at the workplace who is five or more years younger treating me like I'm no older than one or two years away from him/her. I mean it's great that I look that young, but it's not so great if those younger people begin to act in a way that they are not supposed to do to older people. But then if I think of it again, perhaps I have been behaving in a way which make them think I'm not old enough to gain more respect from them. I don't know. Have I?

Second: Some people (women, mostly) said this to me: "Oh, I envy your body. How come you are so thin?" Reality check: I'm not thin. Not after I ruined three of my trousers (I broke the zipper) because my waistline grew a lot. And they have been my favorite trousers!!! Tsk. Now I have to get new ones.

Then again, should I "upsize" my clothes, or should I just exercise? The more difficult route should be the healthier choice, but can I commit to it?


Monday, January 05, 2009

Gov't officials are doing horror now?

You may call me a wimp, chicken, or anything, but the truth remains that I'm not an avid fan of horror movies/stories. I always think that life has been too burdensome to live through, so why waste it with watching movies/reading stories that will create nightmares to your sleep? I can stand detective or murder theme, but never horror.

It's the tense that I can't bear from a horror flick: The sound of the soundtrack which makes the movie even more scarry than it has already been, the agony of expecting the worst to happen but not knowing when exactly it will happen...

I remember when I was about seven years old, my parents played one of Suzanna's horror movies
at home while I was out playing in my friend's house. It was the one with a scene in which Suzanna as a long-haired backless ghost (we call it sundel bolong in Indonesia) ordered a big portion of satay, and when the satay seller gave the food to her, he instantaneously freaked out as her back blurted out the satay she had eaten as soon as she finished chewing it. Unfortunately, I got back at the same time the scene was playing, and until now I never forget that particular scene.

Too bad. Recently I had to encounter another horror, only this time it's in real life which made it even worse.

It happened yesterday. After my husband finished reading Sunday edition of Kompas paper (because I got up later *grin), I took my turn and went straight to the pages on life as usual. And bang!* On that page, there was a big picture showing 'mutilation' of the remnants of the Majapahit Kingdom and I let out a squeal as soon as I laid my eyes on it.

Oh my God!

I was hoping that I was only daydreaming, but it was as if the picture had screamed the fact to the world. You might wonder why I reacted in such a weird way. You see, having been born in East Java, I always believe that in a way, I may have an ancestor who spent his or her life in Majapahit either as commoner or better yet, an heir. I know it's ridiculous, but hey, anyone can have his/her own imagination, right?

And so I found myself not eager to continue the rest of the story. It was for me another kind of horror. I dreaded to read the whole story and found out something far more horrible in the later section. You know, this is worse than horror movie, because unlike a movie, I could not just turn it off so it would stop playing. The tragedy happened for real!

I'm really sick with government officials right now. No need to go to the DVD rental to get a horror movie; It's already played in real life by those short-minded dimwits. Oh I wish I had not been born in a country which did not pay any single respect to its own history!

*No actual sound was produced. It is to highlight the shock I was experiencing.