Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards

There's new blogging awards in town ! It's called Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.
It's not like me to ask for some favour, but in case you like the way I blog things around, feel free to nominate my blog :p ha ha ha.....
For nomination link, click here.
Thank you!

The journey to find new friends and communities in Singapore

Having been in Singapore for almost two years now, I have joined several meeting groups looking for new environment and searching for friends: local, foreigners and fellow Indonesians. Because I believe life is much more valuable by having new friends and learning new cultures. And here goes the story, the journey to find friends and communities in Singapore (and along the story I'm gonna tell you a bit about each group I encounter or have joined).

The first group I tried joining was a group of Fellow Indonesian Moms in S'pore. It turned out my effort to join to be such a blunder, and the group's communication was limited only to an email mailing list, so it wasn't that worth it. So I continued my journey by searching for a group of mothers or stay at home mom, and I found this group: New Mothers Support group or NMSG. The group mainly consists of expatriates or ang moh (Caucasians or white people in hokkien) and their activities including talks and mom-baby socials in Gymboree and botanical garden. I found joining the group to be helpful because it consists of different nationalities and it's filled with informative sessions. I presume I was the first Indonesian to have joined the group.

After my daughter was big enough to be left at home with my helper, I decided to pursue my passions for writing. The journey started by taking a course in Feature Writing by NUS Ex. The teacher was nice and the class itself was fascinating. The class was filled with Mainland Chinese, some Singaporeans and two Indonesian students, including me. Realizing I need to have more discussion to sharpen my creativity skills (blah!), I joined a group called "Singapore Writers Meetup Group". Don't get me wrong, although it's called a 'writers' group, it's largely consists of writers wannabe or aspiring writers, including me, hi hi. During the group weekly meeting the attendants discuss about their writing process or do several writing exercises. Due to scheduling conflicts I have only able to attend one meeting, but I look forward to join the fruitful upcoming meetings!

And my journey continues. The latest group I joined is the Friends of Museum. It has several discussions cum study groups and it provides a course for becoming a valid Museum Docents in several Singapore Museums; the peranakan museum, the national museum of Singapore, the Asian civilisation museum and the Singapore art museum. So cool! I plan to join the course for peranakan museum but I need to hold back due to again, scheduling conflict (blah). And like an official course, it has a specific curriculum, some reading list and materials, a thesis (research paper) and a final presentation in front of a Panel. Whoa! Like NMSG, it's largely consists of expatriates and, like before, I have the feeling I'm the first Indonesian to have joined.

I still plan to join this group called Primetime, a group of working and professional women. I haven't joined just yet, so I still cannot give info on this one. I'd like to join the group though, if I got 'the' job *fingers crossed*.

My journey to find more groups or communities to cure my culture–thirst pangs still continues. I do wonder though, if I could find a group of 'Singapore-window-shopping' lovers, or better yet, 'singapore-discount & bargain-shopping' group. Let me know if you heard about them.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

reciprocal link

Expat Women Blog Directory

Baby Olympic

Rania is a big girl now. She has yet to walk on her own, but her fave activity is now playing with her push carriage/cart that she got for her 1st birthday form Auntie Wita (thank you Tante). She started by pushing it slowly, but after a couple of hours she was able to grasp and was moving very fast; I ought to register her to Baby Olympic - Cart pushing. We wouldn't now if she would win or not, but otherwise I can start teaching her about ... errr... becoming an ice cream Seller?

Monday, 24 August 2009

No photos or videos!

I can not upload my photos or videos, due to 'javascript void'. What the hell was that supposed to mean!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Hawkeye and Amy

I'm so relieved to have found some children's book series that I used to read during my childhood, in the community library near my condo complex. The series is called "Can you solve the mysteries with Hawkeye and Amy" or "the little detectives " Indonesia. This series of books were the first ones that filled up my early detective-sleuth reading list. Late in life, the list added up with Manga detective like Meitantei Conan or Kindaichi Case files, to Agatha Christie's work wonders like Poirot's cases, Miss Marples stories, or Parker Pyne's chronicles.

And yet, mystery-cum-sleuth-cum-whodunnit novels have never failed to entice me. During my scavenger hunt in the community library, along with Hawkeye and Amy I also found this semi-sleuthing-chicklit called: "How to kill your husband and other household hints" by Kathy Lette. Talk about a new genre of chicklit.

Well, I hope that my list of borrowed books can help me pass through the hours of fasting during the Ramadhan. Beside praying and reciting the Koran of course. AND taking care of Rania. AND blogging. And... ouch, whatever. Don't mind, this is my empty stomach is talking. (PS: And I haven't even started fasting just yet, still having my period!).

Thursday, 20 August 2009

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Hurry before someone else does!

My Cupcake

I was so busy with all the rambling thoughts, the vacation, that I forgot to submit this.

31 July 2009

One year ago today, at exactly 3 in the morning I felt a kick on my stomach. I thought I was just being tired because I slept at 12.30. But two more contractions later I realized it was for real; the tiredness had drawn my energy, but the feeling of being able to see my baby soon had eradicated them. At 5 in the morning, me, my husband and my Mom went to the hospital. The sky was pitching black at that moment, but our hearts were pounding with happiness.

We arrived at around 5.45 am and at that moment the effort began: the pain, the throbbing, the thirst and hunger. At 3 pm I started pushing and my lovely hubby helped the process with all his energy, he even held his breath too! Not only that he didn't hesitate in holding her crown or cutting her umbilical cord. You have a very daring Papa, Rania.

And after 14 hours of pain and nearly 3 hours of pushing... you came out. Just one cry and I forgot all the pains, the 38 weeks of carrying you on my tummy...

... And now, look at you. Now you stand up, talk and run with your carriage. I never thought God's Love can come in such an adorable figure.

Happy Birthday my cupcake of blessing. I will always love you as the light and fortune of our life, just like we named you Mayeesha for "life's blessings".

The Ramadan fasting and the Hungry Ghost Month

Last Sunday, one day after we got back from Bali we went to watch "Where Got Ghost" A hor-medy film by local director's Jack Neo. The fact that I still worn out after the trip and never have enjoyed any kind of ghost film, have made me a bit resistant to watch it. But I have made a promise to hubby so I went. To my surprise, it was funny and creepy at the same time and has some moral values as well. It consists of 3 independent stories that portrayed Singaporeans and their values including kiasuism (wanna be the best) and the metropolitan-mixed-with-kampong-spirit attitude. First story was of a group of con-men that stole oranges meant for spirit-praying, the second was about a couple of NS men that did not follow instructions given to them during field trip which led them to the 'spirit land' and the last was about 3 siblings who tried getting rid of the ghost of their lovely mother. I screamed and laughed at the same time. It was hilarious!

The movie however got out just right before the start of Hungry Ghost month, which, according to Singapore-Chinese culture is the month to honour the ancestors' spirits that come back to earth during the month (the hungry ghosts). On the contrary, for the Muslim society tomorrow will be the start of Ramadan, a month of fasting from emotional zeal which rituals including not eating and drinking during the daytime.

This is what I respect from living in Singapore: that completely-opposite cultures and religion could go hand in hand.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Connected and Disconnected at the same time

I just came back from my first family vacation with my husband and child. I've been to Bali several times, if not many; but this trip has been one of the most interesting. We stayed in a villa in Ubud, owned by my Distant Aunt and her Family, from Europe. It was a remote villa like 10-15 minutes from Ubud center, was located next to a river, a paddy field and a .... duck farm. The view was breathtaking. And it was properly prepared for enjoying the scenery: there wasn't any house phone, there wasn't any television (but it has a CD player), there wasn't any computer and there wasn't any phone signal when you need it. When I went there before, I got jaded and ended up asking someone to drive me to the centre for an internet cafe, everyday.

But now, I have a daughter, which means I can not jump on a motorcycle and hastily ask someone to drive me to find internet and leave my baby crying for her milk. So this time, before I arrived on the villa 7 days ago, I took a deep breath and prepared myself to do some 'digital detox' in my own way. The first couple of hours were the most difficult. Both me and my husband checked our phone so often, tried searching for a wi-fi connection, played with my daughter for a couple of hours and then got bored. And during dinner time in a Resto in Ubud Centre I cannot helped myself to search for an internet cafe. I sneaked out and checked my email. No important messages have arrived, but I felt good after doing it. I just felt connected to the world.

But after that, I continued my dinner and began thinking about it. How stupid I was? This was supposed to be a vacation, a place for relaxation? Why should I worry about the outside world? Why should I be worried about being disconnected to the rest of the world? And that moment I decided to get connected to the 'real world' and disconnected from the 'online' world.

Technology brings us closer indeed. I remember I used to send recording cassettes of my twaddle talks to my grandma via post mail, which could take a couple of weeks to reach her. Now, just five minutes after making video of my Rania's first steps, I could easily upload it to Facebook and my mom could easily watch the video in less than 10 minutes after it was made. Technology made us connected to each other easily, but also made us disconnected to nature and life as well. With the rapid movement of technology that surrounds our lives every day, sometimes we just forgot how life was like before it exists. So now, I'm gonna return to enjoying life before technology exists. I'm gonna smell the wind, gonna taste the food and I'm gonna see people, real people. So if you cannot reach me sometimes, well, just let me do my 'disconnected' moment for a while, OK?


Wednesday, 5 August 2009

The rocky boat of marriage

And as an avid TV watcher, one of my most favourite channels is E! Yes, like any normal woman in the world, I love to hear news of other people, err, celebrities I mean. And now that I have my own family the newest story that grabs my attention is the Gosselin family split-up. In case you don't know, the Gosselin family is the well-known family of the reality show "John and Kate plus 8." Yes, a family with EIGHT children: a pair of twins and a group of sextuplets. And you think you have such a huge responsibility hah? He he.

Anyway, the shows is about how the couple, Jon and Kate, that are trying to cope with issues of raising eight children. From the shouting, the travelling, the potty training to making new rooms for the kids. Kate shouted a lot to both Jon and the children especially during the last few episodes, but I guess that's what people do when they have to raise eight individuals in similar ages. Jon however cannot cope with the pressure of both his marriage and the family's TV show so he ended up having several so-called 'affairs'. I even found a picture of him with a young lady … and he's wearing earrings! Again, from the TV, I found out that Kate also did some 'naughty' stuff. She has a bodyguard (what for? I dunno) and the media portrayed her as a very bossy person which is why the family has so many 'ex nannies'. But I have no right to judge them. Life must be hard for them and I can tell from the show that they did everything they could for the children. I was just upset to hear about the splitting up and apparently the divorce.

What I learn from this kind of situation is that, at some point your 'boat of marriage' would hit rock bottom, storm or even tidal waves. Some of use survive, some don't. I have some friends who had been through such times and eventually split-up. There is this couple that split up because of financial problem. Another, because there are too many people involved in the marriage: the husband, the wife and the lover. I even found a marriage that ended because the 3rdperson instead of a lover is …. The mother in law.

Sometimes I wonder, is there such a mantra for having a harmonious family? I always say tolerance, but I guess patience is also a key. Before we got married it feels like eternity to wait for a call from our then-boyfriend. But after the lavish wedding party, we have to deal with not only the kissing and cuddling, but also with our spouse's bad breath, his habit of leaving the toilet seat up or the all too-spicy food. For me in the end, there's no perfect plan to split-proof our marriage. What we can do is to make sure that when the hard time comes, we have to put our common sense in our heads and work from there.

And oh, I guess having a dinner for two in the weekends also works. *wink-wink*