it should've been a heartwarming video

I saw a video of a lost cat reunited to its owner. The owner being interviewed about the moment they contacted him after scanning the 19 y.o. cat's microchip. "A couple of weeks before she called I thought there's going to be something special about this Christmas..." That's when it I lost it. There's nothing special for my Christmasses. I mean, aside from Jesus coming to the world and what it entails, and stuff. My birthdays, anniversaries, nothing. Nobody bothered to make them special.

I scrambled over to my snack cabinet at the first sting of tears on my left eye. Food has always succeeded to comfort me, but this time it failed. All the resentments came flooding me like violent sea waves: the latest one being having to go to work amid this Covid 19 outbreak, while my mother-in-law spent 14 months of minimum wage (my money!) in a whim to feed her ego.

I don't wanto to be drowning in tears at 7 a.m. holding a piece of loenpia Semarang. I believe nobody does. But can we really help it?

how many books can you read per light years?

What was once considered pure fantasy... is now looking a little more plausible. Earlier this week, NASA announced the discovery of a possible Earth-like planet...
-- Potentially habitable Earth-like planet discovered 31 light years away --

"I had two childhood dreams that I thought would never, ever, come true," I told my pondering husband: "One was to be an astronaut, and the other was to have a library at home." I had to forgo the idea of moon landing the day I found out I didn't have perfect eyesight, which was sometime during my teenage years.

"With inflation rate and stuff, how come books now are significantly cheaper than they used to be when I was a kid?" I asked quizzically, gesturing to the unholy amount of books I just purchased. "Tomorrow I'm applying for astronaut!"


My whole life right now is focused on ‘coping’ and ‘getting through it,’ so I’d like to make some time when I can just relax and drink some tea from a favorite cup.
-- Spark Joy --

I really love writing! I know I do! Marie Kondo told us about one of her clients, who after having tidying-up lessons with her, found out that she really did love her job. Me on the contrary, have this thin-but-unshakeable feeling that I should make writing my main job.

Will I succeed if I do?

cats and their impeccable timing, a.k.a why i can't buy squid anymore

So I was stopping by a famous eatery near my home to buy their special squid dish, take-away when I spotted two cats nearby playing with each other. One was white and the other was orange.

"How cute! Are the cats yours?" I asked the lady who's making my order - secretly hoping that she'd be distracted and add more pieces than usual into the styrofoam container.

"Cats? I have a white female cat..." she popped her head to see outside, and the orange male one chose that exact time to bite the female's neck and mount her. "But never an orange cat."

The act that I'm sure will result in this in a few months.

the downside of marriage life -- part eight

bali wedding

The husband and wife were about to enter a restaurant selling Japanese food when suddenly one of them heard his mobile phone ringing. "From work," he mouthed to her: "This won't take long." They proceeded to enter the restaurant, got seated, and were handed the menu, all while the husband's talking on the phone.

Five minutes later and the call didn't show any sign coming to a end, the wife called the waiter to place her order. Their order. She chose the strangest-sounding stuff from the menu for his hubby.

"Our apologies, but we ran out of shisamo," said the waiter. At that time the husband ended the call and flipped his phone shut. "Then we'll have karito," he said. And to his wife, after the waiter's out of hearing range: "And what on earth is a shisamo?"

"No idea," said the wife, "Why don't you google it?"

"From now on I will continue to order random things for you if call from work is taking too long."

tortured fish

And that's the story of how the husband almost ate the most terrified-slash-offended-looking fish, like you insult the fish' ancestor while threatening to cut it into seven pieces or something.

well you see, the thing is...

toilet stalls

I'm a girl. When I poo, I do not wish other people to start calling my name - but my colleague did. Repeatedly. "Do you happen to be in here?"

The first time it happened, words failed me. Now I'm kinda used to it. "What?"

"The guest is having difficulties connecting to the wifi."

Rolling my eyes up, I mustered an answer. "Too bad, the guest will have to wait 15 minutes. I'm... busy."

But I couldn't finish the dump. My colleague had scared the poor poo-poos into hiding higher up my arse.

With such a mood I went off to the company's guest area. "Hi, sorry that you're unable to connect to our wif-" And like in the movies, the kind that cast Drew Barrymore, the guest lifted his d*mn handsome face. Like, super-handsome. I've never seen a company guest this handsome. Like the byproduct of a lab's crossing experiment between Andy Lau Tak-wah and Snoop Dog.

andy lau snoop dogg
I know right? No longer hard to imagine...

While I was half-helping the guest half-dreaming about what our kid together would look like, my tactless colleague's eyes caught mine. The one who'd patrolled bathrooms in search for me. And I realized, in horror, that she'd probably told him what she had thought I'd been doing then.

andy lau snoop dogg
Buh-bye ex future son.

But in all fairness, I wish that the internet in my country will get better now that it's half a year to 2018. I mean c'mon, it's about time. Don't you think so?

haven't been blogging for a long time

crabtree & evelyn

... Sorry about that. So what do I do while not blogging? Not much, really. I didn't get far with my Chinese language learning, nor did I do many useful things.

I tried to reread the whole Harry Potter saga but got stuck in The Order of the Phoenix, a.k.a the fifth book of the serie. I spent like, a month reading it. Umbridge's reign was not easy to read. I think she's even worse than Voldemort. Dunno why, for Umbridge never killed anybody and Voldemort's victim body count is plenty.

I've also been going around shopping malls trying new scents, for my current perfume, Issey Miyake's L'Eau d'Issey, is but a few more sprays now. I think it won't last till end of this month. Still I haven't bought anything. My favorite so far is Caribbean Island Wild Flowers by Crabtree & Evelyn. But they only have it as Eau de Toilette, which is too weak in projection and sillage for me. It's strange, because their other EDT, Somerset Meadow, has OK-ish sillage.

Caribbean Island Wild Flowers smelt like canned tomatoes to me. I also noticed a faint whiff of butter and walnut. Those three notes were not listed in Fragrantica when I browsed the internet later. Well, that's what makes perfumes exciting, right? No perfume will smell the same on two people.

what workouts can be done to achieve such fitness level?

plank workout

There are two things you need to know about me: that I just opened the pages of an ancient book that says armed with a spear, a man fought and killed 300 others in one encounter and that I believe it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go back to my daily regimes...

happiness is...


Happiness is knowing that you're improving yourself day in, day out. Happiness is knowing people who you love are safe and sound. Happiness is donating to the need of others. Stuff that are serious like that. But, hey, a trivial thing like browsing an online shop and seeing a shirt that's similar to the one you bought for less than a quarter of the price is also happiness.

n___________n Can't stop smiling!

the downside of marriage life -- part seven

einstein's marriage

Not me, but a friend's.

The husband said, "Family is where you can be yourself, laugh at yourself and still feel happy." On a different ocassion however, the wife said: "My husband's family set three requirements for wives: wives should be able to do make-up, wives should be able to cook, and wives should be able to have children."

She continued, saying how the husband always taught her to never say no. She should learn to cook, she was not allowed to say 'I cannot cook'. She also had to produce offspring for the sake of her husband.

For the beauty, she said she's thankful to be talented enough in the field of make-up. Btw I think she's being humble here. She definitely has great talent in doing make-up -- her face is so different without it.

She concluded that she had become who she was because the moulding of her done by the husband. Remind me again what the husband said? Oh right, "Family is where you can be yourself."

it wants the d

the D

Liberty is being free from the things we don't like in order to be slaves of the things we do like.
-- Toaster's handbook; jokes, stories, and quotations --

In a kind of ironic turn of events, right after I blog about how the 'M' key on my laptop wasn't working properly, my bookcase's top row collapsed, and books came down raining onto the laptop.

Not collapsed actually, just had some loose screws... And tilted. I cannot find the exact phrase, English is not my first language.

book case
Still at its place.

Somehow the experience was surreal. I was using the laptop at that time. My brain remembers it in slow-motion. Like a scene from apocalypse or disaster movie when the ocean creates a massive wave and it reaches its tallest then starts pouring water towards the camera. Only it's books, not water in my case.

The aftermath.

I was unhurt. Not a single book touched me. Strange I know, but then I saw my laptop. The biggest, heaviest book in my possession had fallen right unto it, among other smaller books. It was a Chinese-Indonesian dictionary, all the 1233 pages of it.

chinese dictionary and peanut
No banana, peanut for scale.

With heart still pounding, I came closer (I had somehow pushed my chair backwards). The lid was in an extremely reclined position, about 150 degrees, but there's life on the screen. I removed the books and loo', the keyboard's not whole! The 'D' key was missing!

Only after cleaning the mess some more did I find the D. But the plastic thingy behind it was broken, the key cannot be reattached. Outside of that, the laptop's working fine.

So, what do I feel? Do I feel angry and betrayed and that life is pointless etc? Or do I secretly feel grateful this happened before I had the chance to bring the laptop to the service guy? You guess. ;)

of laptops and fruit juices

spilled over laptop

So really even when they say something they're essentially saying nothing at all, its a technique politicians have mastered for centuries.
-- HMM888 --

I spilled fruit juice on my laptop a while back. It cost me a few tens of bucks to have it repaired, because they needed to replace the keyboard.

However, it still doesn't work properly. The 'm' key must be pressed harder than other keys in order to produce the assigned letter.

That, and some problems in other aspects of life, made me think. How easy it is to feel angry and failing in life when you handle one problem but the result is less than satisfactory. We human wants perfection. Like when I brought my laptop to the service center, I hoped that the technicians would be able to bring it to its original glory, and when they couldn't, I got disappointed.

What should one do?

Well, fixing it seem to be an obvious choice. Or get a new laptop completely. The laptop's already aged a few years old anyway.

However! One must do it with the correct mindset. Remember what I said about what's easy? Yes it is easy to be disappointed. Yes, it is easy to feel angry. Yes indeed it is easy to feel like you're failing in life (for those who like to exaggerate things like I do).

But take a look at people who are successful in life and you'll understand they seldom (if ever) choose easy. They are not super humans. Ask them if they're tempted to choose the easy way.

So be it. As soon as I find the time I'll buy a new keyboard for the laptop or some other alternatives. With an un-angry attitude, without a heart full of disappointment, without feeling like I'm failing in life.

I choose to be successful. How about you? ;)

when the job gets the most of you...


"... this is one of the things that distinguishes us from animals and permits us to do great things, that we are not just pre-occupied with staying alive.
-- Robert Walker's answer to Why is the Dalai Lama seen as evil in China? --

I dreamt I was in an unknown place with some people I didn't know. There was a commotion on the far end, coming to my direction.

"Hurry gave it to her!" 'There she is!' "Bring it, bring it!"

Someone tried to shove a mobile phone into my hand. "This mobile phone is possessed by an evil spirit!"

"Excuse me?"

I refused to receive it. Instead I asked her: "Have you tried turning it off and on again?

things i totally forgot on my second trip to china


... And I'm still kicking myself for those.

Number one is, flush before you use any toilets in China. This is the norm, unfortunately I only got it after the n-th times using their toilets. I was taking a dump when someone enters the toilet stall beside me. Right after I heard the door closed followed by the sound of toilet flushing, I heard her (or him, I don't judge) pee.

I was estatic about that, like having a revelation. That was a short visit about four years ago, and by the second year spent at my own country, I've already forgotten about it.

Again, on my second visit to China this month, I was using their toilet for the n-th times, wondering why it smelled awful, when a mother and her small kid entered the stall beside me. I overheard the mother telling her daughter something like "don't use the toilet yet, flush it first" kind of thing.

-_- I was not a smart person. And no, they generally don't flush after using the toilets. I'm sure there are Chinese people who flush after using the toilets, I just haven't encountered any.

The second thing is handbag choice. If you travel by MTR, you'd want one small compartment, secured by a zipper, accessible from the outside of the bag, not the inside.

As a visitor, you carry significantly more things around while riding a MTR. Your passport for example. And maps. And qingwen flashcards.

What? No, the compartment on the bag is not meant to store passports nor maps nor qingwen cards. You store them in your bag. In the main section of your bag where they belong. The small compartment is meant to store MTR tokens or cards. If earlier this month you saw an overweight foreigner stumbling with her bag in nearly every stations trying to find the tokens between all those documents and maps, you probably saw me.

huo pangzi for the first time

huo pangzi

I really really like this restaurant 火胖子肥肠煲 (Huǒ pàngzi féicháng bāo). It sells Sichuanese cuisine. I've actually eaten there twice during my stay in China earlier this month.

The first time I went there I ordered beef gan guo. There's a story behind this selection, but that's a story for another time, another place. I also ordered mapo tofu and stir-fried cabbages.

The next day I wasn't particularly hungry, so I only ordered seafood gan guo. Turned out to be one of the best things I've ever eaten! I ate the pot clean, even the onions, except for the chili-things.

They also have the best barley tea! It was free, and you first use it to sanitize your bowls and chopsticks. Although it is called tea, actually it is not made of tea leaves, but sesame-like grains. When I pay, I asked the cashier lady if I could buy the tea grains, I wanted to bring it back to Indonesia.

barley tea
It'll lost its color a bit after you simmer it in hot water.

When I studied my receipt later, I found out that she put it as 一桶饭 (yī tǒng fàn), one container of rice.

The service was wonderful for China restaurants standard. The waiters and waitresses were helpful and very patient to me who can barely speak Chinese. Hey, I can write Chinese, but I can't do it orally okay? And no, no Google for you in mainland China. Good luck with that.

so the day came... -- part two


My friends from uni days and I have been planning to meet but didn't got the drive to do so for a long time. Until today.

We chatted about this and that, and suddenly one of them pointed out that the other had been skipping meals. She'd been having only one meal a day, usually it was dinner. I immediately expressed my concern.

"I am fine," she said: "I don't feel hunger anymore, just a little dizzy."

I closed my mouth though I didn't actually share her view. We then talked about other things.

Going home I was very disturbed. Adult life has messed with us more than we care to admit.

(And yes, there's a post that look like this.)

pakistani guys, wtf?

pakistani burnt letter

Your sisters have curfews to protect them from people like you... doesn't that make you feel bad?
--Wishal Raheel--

People ask me why I'm not too keen having anything to do with Pakistani guys. So one day I thought that it's wrong to judge people from what others say about them and decided to give the next guy a chance.

Worst. Decision. Ever. See for yourself what happened.

him 8:48:32 AM
hello <my nickname>
me 8:58:59 AM
hello <his nickname>
him 8:59:27 AM
finally, you replied me

Excuse me, finally? How many times have you said hello to me before? Just once, right? Or maybe it's a language barrier you're having... Okay, okay, moving on...

him 8:59:31 AM
lol busy?
me 8:59:43 AM
him 8:59:55 AM
at home or work?
me 9:01:22 AM
him 9:01:33 AM
add me?

Sorry, who are you again?

me 9:02:01 AM
introduce yourself
him 9:02:22 AM
i am from pakistan, but live in Canada now
him 9:02:30 AM
recently moved in Canada
me 9:05:24 AM
are you <input the name of a group here>?
him 9:05:33 AM
you are too busy
him 9:05:44 AM
what is <input the name of a group here>?
me 9:05:58 AM
sorry, i mean are you <input the name of a group here>?
me 9:06:03 AM
or <input the name of a group here>?
him 9:06:10 AM
<input the name of a group here>
him 9:06:14 AM
why you reply so late?
me 9:06:27 AM
i have other people chatting with me too
him 9:06:53 AM
ohh wow you are very famous?

What's with that "I'm VVIP" attitude man? You think I am your maid? I'm not in any way obligated to put down other people, just so I can reply to your messages right after you type them!

But, ahem. Another chance, another chance, remember? So be patient.

me 9:07:22 AM
just a little
me 9:07:33 AM
so what are you studying?
him 9:07:46 AM
about accounting
him 9:07:51 AM
so you do not want to add me?
me 9:08:48 AM
the tone of that question is rude
me 9:08:57 AM
i don't like it
me 9:09:27 AM
you won't do well in canada if you don't change your way of phrasing a question
him 9:09:50 AM
him 9:10:03 AM
thanks for your advice
me 9:10:11 AM
it's OK
me 9:10:17 AM
tell me more about yourself
me 9:10:21 AM
how old are you?
him 9:10:41 AM
you did not told me anything about yourself
me 9:10:43 AM
what university do you go to?
me 9:11:24 AM
what do you want to know?
him 9:11:34 AM
him 9:13:27 AM
ok..i think u do not want to tell anything
me 9:14:33 AM
now you're jumping into conclusions
me 9:14:38 AM
so how old are you?
him 9:15:17 AM
<input a certain age here> and u?
him 9:18:37 AM
him 9:19:25 AM
you are so rude
him 9:19:27 AM
him 9:19:29 AM
him 9:19:31 AM
me 9:22:17 AM
and what is so rude about having the same age as you do?

And he didn't reply back! Actually I look a lot younger than the age I told him, so maybe that's the reason why he wrote to me the first place.

My patience to keep replying to such a self-entitled person even when I had to keep myself from clicking the 'block user' button has been fruitful. Now I'll just refer any Pakistani guy who bothers me in the future to this post.