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Friday, September 30, 2005

Reply to Comments: Pious People and Me

Refer to the comments in the previous posting.

Dear Thal, Daisy, and Cyan, thanks for your comments and glad to know that we share the same sentiments.

The two last bloggers seem unable to read deeper beyond the text. I deliberately use a provocative and metaphoric language to test the water. It is truly interesting to see their reactions.

Dear Lia, thanks for your comment. I don't dispute the verse you cited. If you read carefully I don't even conclude those rituals as blatantly wrong. I would suggest you read between the lines. My posting was about PREJUDICE. I hope it clarifies the matter, but I won't defend myself on my religion, because my view is that it is none of your business to know about how I do my rituals etc. It is my personal business directly with God.

Dear Anonymous, firstly read my reply to Lia above.

Secondly your comment is giving a blatant example of what I was talking about above. Thank you for that. If you pay close attention without prejudice, you should be able to read that I was talking about how my appearance (of non-piety) nullifies everything I said, including things that inherently and indisputably true. It is like, you won't believe if I say "the world is round" or "leaves are green" because I do not appear pious enough for you. It is as ugly as dismissing whatever Martin Luther King says about humanity just because he is black-skinned.

Anonymous, you are free to put certain judgment on me. It is your right to call me anything - apostate, infidel, etc. But if you dismiss what I say on the basis on your judgment against me, and unable to separate that there are things that are not embedded to my attributes, then you are a prejudiced bastard.

Now that I have explained myself without metaphors and if you still don't get my point, I pity you.

(Small Summary Notes:

1. I would love to argue that you have no right to judge me, but I don't think I can do that because certain people need a firm standpoint in seeing many issues in the world. So there you go, judge me as whatever you want. But please do not prejudice against me nor deafen your ears from everything I say. I might say something that contain a seed of truth in it.

2. I won't elaborate further on how I do my rituals and how I interpret the verses and rituals in this posting because
a. It is my business directly with God and not yours
b. It is a separate issue and not directly relevant to this posting
c. It is up to each individual to choose with full conscience what rituals they want or need to do, and again, this is each individual's business with God, directly and without direct interference from others - just like you can't dictate a man to love someone.

3. Usually I would delete the last comment posted by anonymous coward who do not have the guts to say who he/she is, based on basic netiquette. But since the last comment is a clear reprensentative of blind prejudice, I would leave it there. I just pray that Anonymous can feel more secure and confident in the future.)
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Rants: Pious People and Me

Maybe I have to don a headscarf or a veil, prostate myself together with other pious people, sing and cite the verses of the holy book loudly in a language that common people do not understand, putting in middle-eastern phrases in every sentences I say, and not eating unlawful food, or even to the extent of not brushing my skin against men and lowering my gaze to the ground all the time to avoid eye contact with unlawful men. Maybe I have to do anything, that makes me appear pious to others.

Maybe I have to do all those things (without true sincerity from my heart to God) so that people will listen to me seriously when I talk to them about basic things and common sense such as love to all humankind, non-violence, and honouring women. When I do all that, people won't accuse me of being liberal, secular, atheist or even being an infidel. Suddenly, when I do all that, people are not prejudiced against me.

It really annoys me when people are pre-judging me from my surface-appearance and hence not taking what I said to its essence, deeper meaning.

It really annoyed me when one (apparently) pious person said what I was about to say (on love, non violence, and honouring women), those people nodded to him in agreement. But when I said it, I am bashed with prejudice, rebutted without mercy, and accused without defense.

Then on a second thought,
Maybe I should not do all those things, just because I want to appear pious. I don't do those things, because I don't believe that God would judge my deed based on how I appear to other people. I should not give a damn on how other people see me as. I can be anything to their eyes, and I don't care. Those people have no right to gauge and measure my faith and closeness to my God. And if they don't take my words seriously on love, non-violence, and women's honour, pity them. I believe that the truth in peace and love, naturally, will overcome anything else.
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Sunday, September 25, 2005


Noe went to his first swimming lesson with Aquaducks at Suntec swimming pool. He didn't seemed to really like it, but he wasn't really fussy either. I don't know whether he likes swimming.

Later that day, we went to see Halfestride performing at walawala. We met Thalia and Ari there.

The next day we went to Handono Family Birthday. Yes it was family birthday, because the father and the two son's birthday falls on consecutive days in September. Auntie Niken was the party organizer.

These are the guys and the birthday big boy.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Noe Half Birthday on Campus

Okay okay this post might be a bit late, but Noe is now six months old. Six months is equal to half year. Time really flies! We sorta celebrated his half birthday - with half candle to be blown - in the BBQ last Saturday with our colleagues.
Owww.. look at him.. sleeping like an angel!

Because Noe is such a small baby and we do not employ baby sitter or maid, Noe always goes wherever we go. We took him to various events, from weddings, art gallery, to even, cinema and movie screening (Soe Hok Gie and Singapore Gaga). Noe seemed to enjoy all that! When we told Bridgette about it, she was surprised to find out that Singapore events and venues are quite receptive towards babies (or maybe, we're too lenient in taking Noe anywhere we go - thanks to the Parents Survival Kit courtesy of Wicak Soegijoko - , and Rani is unashamed to breastfeed in public - including in seminars)

As you might also have known, on weekdays Rani has agreed to take care of Noe during the day, while Indi would do the evening shift. Therefore, during the day, Noe follows wherever Rani goes, including to library, classes, seminars, and events around town. Last tuesday, the school of public policy held two very interesting seminars on the World Bank's World Development Report 2006 and Vietnam inequalities case study. Since it took place in the morning, Rani brought Noe along to the seminars. Noe, again, seems enthusiastic about the seminar (Photos courtesy of Liza Munira)

Later, he became too tired and decided to just sleep. Right after breastfeeding in the Seminar, Rani conveniently put Noe on the foldable mattress that came with the Parents Survival Kit on top of the table.

Following the seminars, Rani went to have lunch and coffee in around the campus. This is where Rani and Noe meet friends...
Noe with Kah Mei whom Rani met in Hawaii:

Noe with Liza:

Noe with Dr. Evi:

Noe with Rajani:

Noe with Ryan and Shivvone:

Finally, this is Noe with Eyang JW in his office:

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Sunday, September 18, 2005


I yearn for Hawaii. That's why I decided to make Ahi Poke. It was deliiiicious although not as authentic as the real hawaiian Poke.

(Makes 3 servings)

8 ounces fresh ahi fillet, diced 3/4 inch (Tuna, that is)
1/2 cup Maui onion or red onion, chopped (I changed it into shallots)
1/2 cup ogo (seaweed)
2 stalks green onion, sliced
1 tsp. Sesame oil
2 tsp. Soy sauce
3/4 tsp. Hawaiian rock salt (sea salt - but I changed it into ordinary salt)

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate overnight.
Serve on a bed of greens and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
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Bukit Batok BBQ

Sue and Supian invited us to come to their lantern festival and birthday celebration on Saturday night at their apartment's barbeque pit, together with their family members and JTC / JCPL colleagues. It was their first time meeting Noe. Shafiq was really excited to have a new baby brother!

This is the barbeque pit, specially assigned for Muslim party-goers by the government. For us, it is funny to see "a religious barbeque pit".

When the night falls Sue gave every guest a piece of fluorescent straws that can be made into bracelet and necklace, and they're shining in the dark! It's really fun. This is Supian the great satay blower with his shining necklace.

The food are fabulous! We had stingray bbq, prawn bbq with sambal, cuttle fish, and mutton satay, beef satay. And of course, chocolate birthday cake. Later that evening, big brother Haizal joined the party. Too bad he didn't bring his guitar, or else we all could jam. Haizal is soo wide... it's like a King size bed for Noe. Indi also wanted to try how it feels to be like Noe on Haizal's shoulder.

We went home bringing a few big bags of satay, chicken, and seafood. So much food that it lasted us for two days. When we got home, Noe looked really cute sleeping with his fluorescent necklace.

The next day, we visited 9 months old Andika. He really has grown handsome and started to be curious with things around him. It looks like Andika and Noe will get along well together.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Most Common Singapore Names

From what i've observed, the most common girls name in Singapore is Sharon and everything which ends with -yn (jaslyn, sherlyn, etc). Most common boy's name in singapore ends up with -vin (melvin, kevin, alvin, etc).

I know five Sharons in the office (and all of them have quitted) It was quit difficult having several sharons in the same department in the office. We ended up calling the other sharon as Shah-Ron or Shaine. When one of them quitted, life became easier in the office.

Many Singaporeans i know just pick their english name right from the air, and not what their parents gave them.

As for baby names, the current trend in Singapore is to name the baby girls Faith. I know about four baby girls with this name.

As for indonesian baby names, two years ago names started with Z was the trend. For girls, Zahra, Zara, and Zera was very common, while for boys Zaki, Zidan, etc was really popular. Three years ago, Rifki or Rifqi was the most popular boys name in Indonesia.

Surely, names like Bambang, Gatot, or Cipto would not be so popular for children nowadays. I really can't imagine calling a baby "Gatot".
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Today I was glued to the computer the whole morning playing around with Flickr and Google Earth. I was so impressed by geoblogging - attaching geographical information to the Flickr images and the attached blog entry.

So do check out Our Photo Album at Flickr and check out Our Geotagged Photos. If you install Google Earth you'd be able to fly into the location by clicking the link at each photo page in Flickr.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Eating Prune in Nude

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Birthday and Anniversary

September is a very special month for us because: It's Indi's Birthday, It's our anniversary, and Noe will celebrate his half-birthday on the 15th. This year is particularly special because Indi is entering a new decade of his life. So I made him a birthday cake and greet him with it, first thing in the morning.

With a birthday gift from me, now both Indi and I are having matching cellullar phones.

Few days after Indi's birthday, we celebrated our third anniversary! Rani cooked special striploin steak with black pepper mushroom sauce. Noe, as seen in the background, could only watch, unable to join us with the hearty dinner.

To add to our joy, Noe passed another milestone. Now he's able to stay in a standing up position unaided.

During weekend, we decided to celebrate these special days again, at Le Caire Al Majlis Restaurant in Arab Street, Singapore (well known as Shisha Smoking Bar and the food is good and cheap relative to the portion they serve). Since Noe couldn't eat meat, he decided to just eat Indi's curly hair.

Roast lamb with black pepper sauce with potato wedges. It was huge portion (three pieces of ribs)! Mint leaves was added from ice mint tea for condiment.

This month is not only special for us, but also for Siva and his wife. They just got married last months, and we were invited to celebrate his wedding this month in Singapore.

We met Tina in the wedding reception, and she got a chance to hold Noe in her arms.

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Friday, September 02, 2005

First Food

Today Noe started having solids. I know... i know... he's not exactly six months yet. But we couldn't bear seeing him drooling on our dinner table .. yearning to join the dinner. So we decided to give Heinz Iron Fortified Rice Cereal a try, mixed with breast milk. He seemed to enjoy it. At first it is difficult for him to catch food from spoon.

Rani and Noe went for a walk around town today. First destination is to Hany's House to meet with Indosing-mums members for Soto Betawi lunch. Then we went to Raffles Place to buy Indi's birthday present. We saw this beggar in Raffles Place, which creates an ironic scene.

Finally we went to JTC Summit to see some old friends! Siew Teen and Cindy were surprised to see how Noe had grown to become such a big baby!

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