Quotation of the day: July 26th, 2011

“Kiss slowly, laugh insanely, live truly, and forgive quickly”

– by Paulo Coelho –

 

Well, in shorts, keep the positive surround us. Life’s too good to be whined.

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Reading and Writing

‘Everything happened for a reason’ – well, I am 100% believing of that statement. No matter of the effects – good or bad, it still a reason.

I remembered that ever since I can read, I’ve read a lot of books. It is still fresh in my mind when one day when I was at 4th or 5th grade, my mom was mad at me as I was spending my whole day reading 20s comics (in a day). Comics have been my first-time-experience of reading (I still read comics nowadays).

FIRST BOOK (WITHOUT PICTURES)
It was in high school, when our Bahasa Indonesia’s teacher assigned us to read a novel and write a synopsis about it. At that moment, I really hated the facts of I need to write the synopsis and had to read the whole story book without single picture in it. My first novel book was something from Nora Roberts (this book should be for adult, and I was reading it when I was 16 :p). The book was originally English, but I bought the Indonesia-translation one. I had to admit that time that it turns out to be really interesting to read a book without picture. Since then, I am adding novel in my book collections.

MORE BOOKS
Going to college, I bring this habbit together with me, I read more books. This time, my cousin gave me the full English novel by Phillipa Gregory – ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’. I was quite surprised by myself that I am interested well on the stories, and it turned out, English textbook was not that scary. Since then, collection has expanded through original books.

Books have been teaching me a lot. Even though some stories are fiction, I found out that it teaches me as well. Until now, I’ve read the whole series of Harry Potter (which book lover not doing this?), Jodi Picoult’s My Sister Keeper, crying over Cecilia Ahern’s P.S. I Love You, stunned by how Amy Chua writing ‘Battle Hymn of The Tiger Mother’, laughing on Miiko (Japanese comics by Ono Eriko), and digesting both Reader’s Digest and National Geographic each months.

Thank you books, I am the way I am now is contributed by you as well. πŸ™‚

WRITING
I have mentioned about how I hate writing the synopsis for the assignment. Untill few months ago, writing has never crossed my minds.
Once, in high school, I had a diary, oh well, you can imagine what’s inside. Boys, boys, and boys. I was a teenager back then, what you can expect from a super-unstable-teenager? πŸ™‚
Did I re-read what I wrote? Oh yes, I did and I burned the whole diary because I was broke up with my boyfriend back then (diary contains that particular boy only). Today, I am laughing for that memory. But as my first sentence in this blog: That will happened for a reason as well. I learned my hard way that writing (despite of cheesy and stupid), have an important role of keeping memories, knowledge, ideas, and many more. Well, this statement just came into me this last one month.

All this time, I am living in an envinronment where people are too busy too read. I meet (okay, not meet, just trying to contact an old friend) couple months ago). He has time to read, and he DO reading. I though I’ve read a lot of book, but I learned that he read more. I admire you for this (okay, here’s the cheesy part of my writing today ;)). And truthfully, by you encouraging me to read, I am inspired to read more, to know more, and most importantly to write. I read his blog, I learned that ideas, knowledge, and everything in life could be recalled, by WORDS. So, thank you for inspiring me writing this blog – probably you’re reading this, I beg you not to brag this in front of me πŸ˜‰

So dear, my Friend-who-has-inspired-me and book-readers-all-of-the-world: keep reading, and writing, and inspiring the world. πŸ™‚

– Reading and Writing: July 19th, 2011 –

Family: Grandfather (Akong)

Who should I start for the series of my family? Of course it must be my Grandfather (in Teochew dialect: Akong)! Like his name which means “Hero” in Chinese; he is our own family hero, and for sure, he is THE number one in our family.

Young Akong

Akong is originally coming from China together with his parents and siblings. As other people, this migrations are meant to get a better life. He was born in 1927 (this year, he is 84!). Together with his parents and siblings, they are crossing seas and oceans, to Indonesia, in Borneo (Kalimantan) islands at cities called Pontianak.

His early life in this country was not easy. Indonesia was colonized by Dutch until 1940s (more than 100 years) until Japan came in 1942 and taking over Indonesia. So basically, he lived in the war-era in 1940s of Indonesia. Then, when Indonesia declared the independence day, his life was not (yet) getting better as well.

We spent our childhood, listening to his stories: from how, he would take his bike and selling ‘rujak air’ at the market; how he would be patient when his dad yelling, or raging on him; and how he struggled to feed his 7 children (he was married at the age of 17, my grandmother is at the same age). When we were young, the stories might sound boring, not important, but now, I can see that those experiences has make the now-Akong that we see everyday, and we kept learning from him.

His life started to change, when his children has grown up. When my dad’s was in high school (my dad is 5th child), he started to build his business. It is the distribution agent in our province (West Borneo). Then, together with his sons, he build the business which has grew my uncles into a successful person.

“Hu Kok Cai”

What make him more special? For me, as I am living with him, I learned a lot from him. We learned about photography (he loves that a lot!), Three Kingdom stories (oh yes, he remembered all the details), Chinese old art (from ceramic to painting), and even food.

At home, when dinning time’s coming, I will be his favorite granddaughter (compared to my sister and my brother), as I eat everything – from vegetables, fish, to every kind of Chinese cooking. There is a particular food called “Hu Kok Cai“. Β It is a soup, with green vegetables getting fermented first before cooked. People said it is old chinese food, and kids are usually hating it. Funny, I found it delicious! My Akong is the one who taught me to try that food, he taught me to add the soup with “Vinegar”, and if I may say, the taste is amazing!

This soup has been my favorite soup my entire life. Every time I go back to my hometown, Akong will get to by the ingredient, and asked my mom to cook it for me (I am now working and living at Jakarta). Until now, this soup will be always cooked by my mom whenever I get back to home.

The Disease

A couple years ago, Akong went to his regular check up, and diagnosed with a symptoms of Dementia. It’s usually happened at the elder. Knowing about this tendencies, doctor has given a lot of neurotic medicine to help improve on his neurotic systems, and postpone the real happening of Dementia.

At first, the medicine seems worked, however we know that this kind of disease has no cure yet. Slowly but sure, he loses his memories. I can tell that for sure. I mentioned about my favorite soup before, and how he taught me to taste that food in a better way. From my mother updates recently, she told me that Akong couldn’t remember that this soup tastes better using the Vinegar. He would ask, why we should add the vinegar into the soup. It’s really heartbreaking to hear that he has forgot some of small things that regularly done in the entire of his life. But this is really unpreventable, we have to deal with it and move on.

2011

This year, he is 84, physically healthy, still smiling to us, and joking with us. Well, he has lost some of his memories, but he never lost his memories of us. That’s what’s the most important thing for me (and for my family). He remembers our names well, he never called us with wrong name. He remember his families well, celebrating birthday with a lot of fun, and caring for my grandmother in a perfect way. What else can we ask from this old man? πŸ™‚ He is still our HERO!

Live long, Akong, there is just a lot for you to see from us, your grandchildren. See you on this July 30th!

Sincerely,

Your Granddaughter πŸ™‚

Yin and Yang

‘Life is like a wheel, sometimes you’re at the top and sometimes you’re at the bottom’ – some old proverb that just popped into my mind.

 

Well, I am at one my lowest today; 15 minutes before the end of the day, and all I can do is reviewing what has happened today. Learning to keep positive of all things is not an easy task; but life’s goes on.

As Chinese famous Yin and Yang spirit: everything should be in balance. Somehow today I’ve got my Yin and Yang. I am at the lowest, but at the end of the day, you see that your friends are giving something that means a lot to you: SUPPORT.

It makes me think that I am a truly blessed person.
It makes me rethink that there are more people out there have worst situation than mine. Mine was a usual-working-situation-only.

How can people not thankful of what they’ve got, if we just complained? Be grateful of what we are, remember the Yin and Yang. Balance is the best, too much of everything is overrated.

 

– random writing, July 4th 2011 –

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*Additional on September 14th, 2011*

I got this blog post from Alexia Cahyaningtyas, who wrote regularly at The Jakarta Globe. I found that her post titled “Indonesia, Are We Addicted to Suffering?” is just like this post, keep reminding me of being grateful, and stop whining.