In 30 seconds, write 10 things in life that you want for YOURSELF, let it be ambitions, possessions, big stuff or small stuff. A new car? A better job or education? A bigger home? More money? Name it.

Remember that you only have 30 seconds.

Ready?

Start!

1. ___________________________.
2. ___________________________.
3. ___________________________.
4. ___________________________.
5. ___________________________.
6. ___________________________.
7. ___________________________.
8. ___________________________.
9. ___________________________.
10. ___________________________.


Okay, 30 seconds up. Done?

Good.

Now answer the question below:






















Obviously, you've survived well enough without those 10 things you mentioned up there. So are you just so unhappy with yourself that you'd want to have more than what you really need, or just plain ungrateful for what you already have?
I feel that I'm going to writing realms that I've never been to before. The clarity of this thought is as scary and exciting as that moment before jumping over a cliff with a bungee rope tied around our legs.

I found this prayer assuring, as much as it is fitting with the rest of the topics that's been pouring out of my head in the last 3 weeks or so…

"Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars."


May The Force be with you...
"We are constantly hatching an enormous number of false ideas, conceits, Utopias, mystical explanations, suspicions, and megalomaniacal fantasies, which disappear when brought into contact with other people."
Jean Piaget (1896 - 1980)

I was sitting in my favorite chair in Big Daddy's backyard garden when Big Daddy showed up from his bedroom. Big Daddy usually takes a nap in the afternoon, and today, he came out of it wearing a full grin and a story on his lips, right when the rain started pouring cats and dogs and frogs.

"Did the rain wake you?" I look up to him from my laptop, slightly alarmed by the marks of mischief on his normally tranquil face.

He spat, "A man came to me this morning, telling me in full condescension that the Qiblah in my mosque is not aligned with the sun. This smartass then said that he was going to make it right."

I sit silent, partially because I enjoy his grandfatherly-style of storytelling and partially knowing well enough when to keep my mouth shut when a man in his position is venting about a pet peeve.

He continues, "So before I went to bed this afternoon, I said to the Lord, 'Lord, we want some rain',"

He raised his voice to high enough to penetrate my ear against layers of thunder claps and rain and an uncontrollable laughter, "So there you have it, kiddo, lots of rain, and no sun to align the Qiblah with."


Morals of the story:

1. When a you're a smartass with ideas, reconsider your style of approach. Never ever approach the elders with disrespect. I got this from experience, that no matter how small, or senile, or traditional they may seem, elders are elders, and bad luck always comes when we cross their path with disrespect. Especially when it comes to adding adjustments to a well-established system in the elder's care. If you're right, you'll have your ideas implemented, and still win his respect. If you're wrong, you'll just learn something new and not walk away embarrassed.

2. Some elders do reach the leadership position without bribe, or tyranny or corrupted democracy. Some elders really are natural leaders in a society, out of intelligence and wisdom and sense of justice. Rare qualities to find in mankind today, but maybe the world is not yet in complete mayhem in favor for people like them. In Big Daddy's case, who secretly holds a doctorate degree in the practical matters of his religion, would it be too difficult for him to know the direction to which billions of Muslims would face during their daily prayers?

3. This is controversial, but it's the thing that started me write: Some people are gifted with abilities beyond measurement. Like power of words. The power to heal. The power to move clouds. Most of us would rather not pay attention to what the senses cannot perceive. But then, we've abused our cerebral capacity to conform with what is normal and accepted. What if one day everything that you're sure of is challenged, everything that the media has fed you with proven fabricated, and the fairytales you no longer put your hopes in become true?

Tell me a story.
"Things are seldom what they seem,
Skim milk masquerades as cream."

W. S. Gilbert (1836 - 1911)

This one's for the ladies.

I don't know how this started to develop, but I think that I have a slight tendency to distrust younger women who are wearing the jilbab.

First of all, this point of view is absolutely not based on a religious views. I have absolutely no problem with the fact that women from all monotheist religions cover their hair. Hair covering is not a Muslim thing, or a religious thing, or a social thing. It's merely a statement of modesty and humility to the Lord. It's personal, it's private, and it is ibadah (an act of worship).

That said, what were these women thinking when they covered their hair and then went out dating in tight clothes? What were they thinking when posting photographs of themselves on facebook or friendster? What were in God's name were they thinking when they plastered the jilbab over their heads?

Modesty my royal Indonesian ass, that's what I think they were thinking.
You see why I don't trust these women – specifically, younger Muslim women who are not living in fashion-challenged areas like Aceh and Saudi – who cover their hair?

They embody the epitome of hypocrisy. They claim religiousness, yet they never miss an opportunity to speak ill of others. They claim modesty, yet the price of that headdress covering their hair cost more than an month's worth of meals by civil servants' salary standards. Not to mention the money spent on the internet and phone, trying to nail species of the opposite sex (especially because covering your hair decreases your fucking chances to get laid, you fools!).

I'm not so obtuse to generalize that ALL covered women are hypocrites, shallow and materialistic. I'm talking about the general population of the bell-curve. You know whom I'm talking about, because they make up most of the covered population. And it pisses me off.

I would rather, with all seriousness, have the jilbab banned in all states, than to have hypocrisy be an accepted social standard. Being religious, covered and humble, is not a social trend, or a barometer to social sophistication. It is supposed to be private, and personal, and Godly. You don't need a sheet of fabric to claim religiousness, and by all means, no goddamn fabric or cement could fool the contents of your heart to Whom It Truly Matters.

And don't let me start on companies with policies of not hiring women based on whether or not they are covered. Sure, having all the women covered decreases the sexual tension in an office environment, but why go half-way? Why don't you have separate offices for women and men? Isn't that more effective in eliminating the sexual tension, if that's what you're worried about? Or have a training on social dress codes! Or hire people who are actually there to work, and not to gawk at the opposite sex in the first place!

Now, if - in anyway - the contents of this post bothers you, and makes you want to start spamming my blog with flammable comments, then you are in a way stating your agreement with me.

As it should.

Just please, don't tell me that just because a person is muhajjaba she is more worthy of anything for her apparent religiousness; because nowadays, it fucking hell is not.

Note: There you go, Ms. Kusayer, our long due vent on what we were reluctant to say but heartily, for different reasons, believe in.

"Arrogance functions on the oxygen of its own modesty. 
The self-confidence that is part of being young is sensibly flexible."
Jerome Weidman (1913 - 1998) 

5) Some things just need to be repetitively mentioned.
There are a couple of things that should always bother you. No, I'm not talking about the broken air-conditioner or the pain in your lower back. I'm talking about social injustice and religious exploitation and recycling. I'm talking about too much money, too little money and why it's so imbalanced that even nature disapproves. Some causes need to be raised, awareness need to be promoted, and dogmas questioned. When you read about that in anyone's blog, it's because the person writing it really cares about these issues. So pay attention.

4) I'm an absentminded fool.
Research has proved that writing improves memory, and since I often lose my diaries in my travels, blogging electronically helps me keep track of my thoughts. Since I've mentioned this, have you seen a diary with a big "H" embroidered on its cover, somewhere in a train between the two ends of Java?

3) I have people I want to avoid/update on my wanderings.
This is how catching up becomes as simple as FB or FS or BS for the not-very-attention-deficit. 
When you're prone to travel, you're prone to hear the question "So, how/where have you been?" a lot more than you feel like answering. Nowadays, when I forget to press the" invisible" status on YM, I usually answer: "Do you know that I blog?"

The same goes for the stalkers and former lovers/husbands/wives/pets. Putting this blog in their face is a kindly gesture that automatically sieves them through the thought processes that they don't want to commit to when reading through my slightly deranged mind.

2) I'm a plain, old fashioned exhibitionist.
I show off. I brag. I please my hedonist need of self-love. I leave a blazing trail of broken hearts (mine included) along my travels. Oh, don't judge me too harshly for that; you wouldn't be reading this in the first place if you were not a voyeur yourself.

1) I love writing.
 Cogprints

Aside from that, writing is my main ventilation system, and when I vent publicly, it's supposed to inform and entertain and inspire. Not happening? Tell me how I can make it better. What do you want to know more about that is most likely within my range of knowledge?

Why do you blog?

SaudiWoman tagged me.

Here are the rules:
1. Link the person(s) who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules on your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged bloggers’ blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged.

I must quite quirky; because this list wasn't so hard to dig out.

1. I'm a sucker for stories.
Good stories grab my attention and make me sit still (unconventionally) longer than what an ADHD person would. This is why I love Margarittta and Trevelyana's posts so much. They tell wonderful stories. In a wonderfully sarcastic tone and honest voice that I wish I had enough of.

2. My muse comes to me in the mornings.
Right after that first gallon of coffee, when the shadows are still long and consciousness is not really there yet. She's always there, between 06:30 until 10:00 in the morning. Problem is, once I miss her wings and sleep in too long, I'm usually unproductive for the rest of the day.

3. I cook best when slightly drunk.
I don't know how it works, but the combination of booze and food preparation almost always guarantees a happy stomach. No, I don't put booze in the food. All my dishes are strictly Halal/Kosher.

4. I don't wear makeup anymore.
Based on my terrible sense of fashion, I rarely wear makeup, and out of pure sloth and over-confidence in showing how well I'm aging, I haven't even bothered about lipstick in the last year.

5. I'm genetically prone to bipolar syndrome.
The only non-medication way of tackling that was so simple that I realized I could never live in a place without it, knowing that I'd – literally – lose my mind. It's in the point below:

6. Walking and cycling are my meditation (and medication).
Security issues aside, I would walk or cycle without destination for hours, rain or shine. Yoga has the kind of stillness that frightens me, which is perfectly alluded with the concentration, motion and maneuvering that cycling through jam-packed Jakarta streets has.

I tag
a. G
b. Seth
c. Marahm
d. Saudi Jawa's
e. Trevelyana
f. And because I haven't seen a list like this one before on her blog, I tag Aysha too.

Cheers!
 
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