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Thursday, August 26, 2004

Rants and Avocado Milo Smoothie

When we bought Gas yesterday, we were surprised to find out that the price has increased. As the Gas-man told me, all price increased since the new PM started. Hmm I didn't noticed this until he told me about it! Similarly, when I went to grocery store, the price of a lot of food items has silently increased (aside to the poultry and egg double-price increase due to chicken ban in malaysia). Perhaps when the new government announced all the nice perks and bonuses that made people happy, silently and subtly they increase the price of stuff at the background.

Yesterday afternoon, minister announced all the measures and bonuses to boost baby birth rate. I wasn't so surprised to find out that the benefit are only applicable for Singaporean. Fair enough, I thought, they wouldn't want to give cash bonus to Permanent Residents that could eventually leave Singapore anyway.

The only thing that I am disappointed with, and that's because it reflects unequal role of men and women in raising the child, is that the extra four weeks leave is only applicable to women. The government did not go all the way to emphasis to the people on gender role equality, I assume that's because they do not want to lose productivity of their male workers. I think a small step to reflect gender role equality is to make the four-week-government-paid leave to be an option that can be taken either by the father or the mother. For example, the father could elect to take four week leave until the baby is one month old, because this is the most crucial period while baby is still not adapted normal biological clock. Or the father could also elect to work half-time over the period of the eight weeks after the baby is born, in order to help his wife with infant care when the wife is taking her mandatory 8-week maternity leave. Moreover, since the four weeks is a flexible option, the mother can also elect to take the additional 4 weeks all for herself.

Why do I recommend to also share the leave with the father? Firstly, because I personally think 8 weeks maternity leave for women can be considered sufficient, plus now it is also supplemented by increased subsidy in infant care. Secondly, the equal role of father in child-rearing will therefore be emphasised stronger and would imply to equal role of men and women in general.

OK that's my rants on communal issues for now.

This morning I couldn't have a hot meal breakfast since I couldn't open the jar that contains carrot cream soup I made last night. I guess this happens because we pour the hot soup into the jar and close the lid when it's still hot. As a result, having stored in the fridge over night, the cap shrank and gripped too tightly to the jar. I guess I should've poured hot water on top of the cap to try to open it, but I just don't have time to do that. Finally I just made a quick smoothie:

Avocado Milo Smoothie
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 tbs of Milo
  • 1 glass of milk
  • some ice cubes

Put all ingredients into the blender and mix until smooth. This made a fast, rich and fulfilling breakfast drinks. You can also changed the avocado with two pieces of banana.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004

Yesterday's Dinner and Today

Yesterday we had a great dinner at Garibaldi in Purvis Street. Garibaldi was having a Summer Truffle Festival, and I took this opportunity to try the Angel Hair Pasta with Cheese Sauce and Shaved Black Truffle. Masindi was having Ravioli with Saffron Sauce and Mushroom. Both tasted heavenly and the service was simply excellent. Too bad we didn't have much time to order dessert. We were late to the 911 movie and missed the early scenes of the Florida election.

After the movie, we continued to have a drink and dessert at Carlton Hotel. The dessert was okay, not so excellent. But this is the first time I had coffee during my pregnancy (although it was decaf)! We stayed up until 3am, I was struggling to stay awake. Surely the coffee was really decaf, because I didn't become alert after having it.

Today we woke up at 11am (lazy huh...). First thing I noticed when I checked my email is the email from Rita, that told the success story of Christiawan Lie in the US. Chris was our friend, who tried his luck in Singapore to become an illustrator for comics, and to teach comic drawing. However, Singapore rejected him, because he didn't have formal education in graphical illustration or arts. Yes, he was an architecture student from Bandung, and in Singaporean term, with your architectural credential you're not allowed to move to other sector. Singapore conveniently ignore the fact that his work has been published by major publishers in Indonesia, and the level of his work can actually be judged just by looking at his portfolio. I can imagine Chris became sick of such ignorance towards his work, and decided to try his luck in the US. Not too long after he arrived in the US, he got his work published in What Is Enlightenment? Magazine issue 26 titled "Indiana Diddy-Dogg and the Ark of Empty-Vee". Singapore can now regret losing such a creative talent, haha!

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Saturday, August 21, 2004

Ants in my eyes!

While on the bus i felt something tickling my eyelid. I ignored it and rub my eyes instead. Few seconds later i felt a stinging sensation inside my eyes, and i was sure it's an insect bite. My tears run all over, while masindi tried to blow my eyes and tried to see what's in it. He couldn't see any foreign object in my eyes. After minutes of pain & tears, Masindi saw a dead ant dangling on my eyelashes. Finally my body natural defence system expelled the foreign object out, and now i'm left with swollen eyes.

We're on the way to watch Fahrenheit 9/11 in Shaw Towers, with Elizabeth, Anthony, Mas Gita, Mbak Yasmin, Shwita, & Budi.

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My 3cm-Tall Baby

First thing to say today is, Happy Birthday my dear brother Captain Fighter Pilot! Guess what his SMS said:

"Kalau memang SBY-Mega rebuttan jadi RI1 dan partai sibuk koalisi, jangan pedulikan! Karena pada tanggal 21 Agustus 22 tahun yang lalu telah lahir - THE MOST POWERFUL AND PROMISED NEXT PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE!"

Alamak, what confidence! We're proud of you my dear brother, and let me present to you and to all of you, your future little niece/nephew! We went to see the doctor again for our 10week consultation. Dr. Chang did a scan rightaway to measure the size of this little baby. The baby is 3cm tall. During the scan, we saw the baby heartbeat (160 beat per second, really fast), which looked like a small pulsing dot at the center of the body. Then we also saw the baby waving the future arms like doing some kind of dance, or perhaps the baby tried to wave at us knowing that we're looking through the scan.

Doctor seemed to be quite happy with the progress, and he reminded me to take a lot of rest and eat a lot of nutritious food (meat, fish, green vegetable, fruit) NOT too much sugar and carbohydrate (DANG, I have been eating Ben and Jerry's these past few days!). I think I really need to increase my fish and vegetable intake. And now all my trousers started to become smaller (or is it me who became bigger?). Luckily I managed to find some cheap strap-tied trouser in a mall nearby, that can be flexibly adjusted according to the size of my tummy.

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Saturday, August 14, 2004

How Religion Was Taught to Me

(posted to Smandel 96 Mailing List)

ngelantur dikit....

Gue rada sedih ngeliat gimana agama diajarkan di sekolah2 dan di rumah2 dengan sangat dogmatis, saklek, dan penuh dengan ancaman2.. terutama, sangat ditekankannya konsep 'surga' dan 'neraka' plus 'dosa' dan 'pahala'

Gue inget banget waktu kecil dulu ada komik2 agama dimana neraka digambarkan segitu menyeramkan sampai skrg gue masih inget, misalnya orang yang disetrika, dicambuk, atau dicekik sampai lidahnya keluar (bayangin gue dulu umur SD udah disodori dengan gambar2 begini). semua penuh ditakut2in. Dan gue inget banget, pas dulu belajar ngaji, diajarin kalo baca ayat ini, pahalanya berapa ribu kali, untuk berapa malam, berapa puluh malaikat turun ke bumi, etc.

Apa bener kita mau agama dijalankan karena penuh dengan ketakutan terhadap azab? Apa bener kita mau agama dijalankan karena pengen selalu menghitung berapa sih pahala yg udah didapat? Kesannya, ngejalanin agama sekedar dagang pahala sama tuhan doang, gitu..
kenapa gak bisa menjalankan agama lebih krn sadar akan konsekwensi sebuah tindakan terhadap umat manusia yg lain, atau sekedar berdasar kecintaan terhadap tuhan dan umat manusia lain yang gak berharap balas (pahala)... living the world with unconditional love, dengan tulus, kira2 gitu..? ..

susah ya ngegambarinnya dengan konkrit? tapi mungkin utk menutup sedikit curhat ngelantur gue, dan ngegambarin apa yg gu emaksud, gue kutip ucapan dari sufi Rabi'a al-'Adawiyya

"O my Lord," she prayed, "if I worship Thee from fear of Hell, burn me in Hell, and if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me thence, but if I worship Thee for Thine own sake, then withhold not from me Thine Eternal Beauty."

Quoting Mohammad Sobary:
"Sufi besar Rabiah al Adawiyah pun begitu pula sikap rohaniahnya. Kita temukan pembelaan Adawiyah terhadap nilai kemanusiaan. Ia menyatakan pada Tuhan bahwa bukan surga yang menggiurkan, dan bukan pula neraka yang menakutkan yang membuatnya tunduk, taat, dan patuh menyembah Tuhan. Ia menyembah Tuhan karena cintanya, bukan karena harapan, atau karena ketakutan. Maka, ia pun pernah menggemparkan kaum beriman karena suatu hari ia membawa obor dan seember air. Ketika orang bertanya apa gunanya kedua hal itu, dengan tegas Adawiyah menjawab, ia ingin membakar surga, dan memadamkan api neraka. Dengan begitu, maka kepatuhan kita pada Tuhan akan menjadi sebuah ketulusan, dan bukan karena pamrih."

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Sunday, August 08, 2004

A Sunday Kiasu Fiasco

On our way out from home to go to Esplanade in this nice Saturday evening, we bumped into Jiri and Eddie, who were going to have some raw fish in Chinatown. We decided to take a photo together, with a theme "Two Beasts and A Beauty", or "Two Thorns and A Rose". We also announced to Jiri and Eddie that they're gonna be an uncle in few months time. The future uncles will think about a name to suggest to the baby.

Before going to Esplanade we popped into Femmy's house in Dover Parkview, to see her beautiful twin babies. When we arrive there, we're surprised to see Yudis Batak enjoying his lunch, and he's not ashamed to show that he only come to get free lunch from Femmy. Likewise, we were greeted by lots of great sweets and snacks, such as Seaweed Taffy (dodol rumput laut) and Pinoy Milk Candy. Then the two twins woke up, waiting to be fed. Feeding the two twins are one helluva ritual! First, you lay scrap news paper on the floor. Then put the baby seater on top of the scrap news paper. Then put the baby inside the seater, and dress them in an appropriate feeding gear. Ready, GO! And you can see all the food splattered on the floor, luckily the scrap paper kept the floor clean... really, what a tough job to do!

When we arrived in City Hall MRT station, we immediately regretted our decision to go to Esplanade library. The crowd was simply unbearable, everybody is striving with their full kiasuness to see the Fireworks.

After a painful struggle, we made our way to Esplanade library, just before it was closed. We rushed to borrow the movie, and then rushed back to the bus stop. Then we could hear the fireworks from afar. At the bus stop, to our surprise, we saw the whole traffic in front of Esplanade was at a standstill, and this explained the whole behaviour of people at the bus stop, when the bus came closer. Even before the bus reached the stop, Kiasu people started to walk towards the bus and ignore the whole line of people that had been neatly formed at the bus stop. This led to chaos, and I was not ashamed to scream to my agony to scold those ugly heartless Kiasu people.

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Saturday, August 07, 2004

My Husband's Craving Period

During this pregnancy, my husband is the one who is really craving something. I'm not craving anything at all, but anyway, I only tag along with him whenever he craves for something. He has been thinking about turkish food these few days, so finally we decided to go to Sofra, our favorite turkish restaurant in Shaw Tower, where the price is great and the taste is awesome. In the picture below is the Turkish grape leaf salad (I forgot the name, is it Dolma) with some spiced wheat or rice filling. I also had Lamb Iskander Kebab, and Rice Pudding as dessert.

Look at Rani's expression when having the gorgeous turkish food, she even licks the fork to savour the full taste of it!

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Sunday, August 01, 2004

The Sees at Jebat

I called Bridgette at 12.30 and she was shocked that we had prepared the lunch. She thought she had notified us that the lunch was cancelled, since Constance and Theresa couldn't make it. Nevertheless, she decided to come to our place, just because we have cooked!

She told us her aspiration to work as volunteer in Cambodia for next couple of years. She has already quitted her job as TV journalist, yesterday was her last day in CNA.

Later, Constance called, and she also decided to join us. We had Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and while the others had espresso, I could only watch. It will be eight more months until I can enjoy coffee again!

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