A Quick Apologetic Note

Yes, no new post after a week now. As I have expressed earlier in this blog, I don’t feel like I deserve to be blogging.

People are starving in Sudan. Kids are orphaned in China. Gabrielle Gifford was shot in Tucson. Alix starts having nightmares. So on…. so forth…

There are many other important things in the world rather than sitting in front of my PC and indulge in blogging aimlessly.

Having said that, I had been blogging quite regularly for a few weeks now. But I am beginning to wonder if I should keep going. (I know it’s too early to say anything like that, but it doesn’t stop me from wondering anyway)

Few days ago I decided that I should not be blogging in the evening when my husband is at home. Wouldn’t it be better to just chill and chat with one’s spouse rather than babbling endlessly on the internet? Well, which ever way, I don’t think it’s fair to make him a blog widower.

I have also decided that I should not be blogging in the day when my son is at his busiest. Wouldn’t it be better to just play and sing and read and feed and deal with poop and puke? (well, may be not the poop and puke part. *lol*)

We all travel through time only one way. All the time that has slipped though our hands is not going to come back. My son, my husband, and I are growing, I surely don’t want to miss anything in the process.

To sum everything up, I won’t blog in the evening, nor in the day. So the only time I can do it, is when everybody is asleep: at night. Perfect!

Wait, only one problem… when everybody is asleep…

Yeah right, I am one of the everybody, so I will be asleep as well. 🙂

Oh isn’t life full of dilemmas and dead-ends? How should I deal with this predicament? (I have waited my whole life to have the opportunity to use the word ‘predicament’. :D)

Anyway… I am sorry (not sure to whom) I haven’t been doing anything with my blog lately. I hope I can get my self out of this predicament (ha! that word again!) one way or another.

Don’t give up on me just yet, will you?

Dian Retno Wulandari. Dealing with a particular predicament. 😀

Facebook Will End on March. True or False?

Please find the article here, where Mark Zuckerberg allegedly made a statement about closing Facebook, and told users to back up their photos before the offline date if they don’t want to lose those photos.


I heard about this rumour when I skim-read my FB news feed a few days ago. I dismissed it instantly. “Ah… must be just a hoax.” I wouldn’t waste my energy digging into the matter. But then, a friend that I consider to be respectable (his initial: DMW) also posted a link regarding the issue on his FB page. Now then… hearing a rumour is one thing, but hearing it from him is a totally different story.

So I clicked his link and it directed me to a news page, full of statements coming from Mark. The article was so well written, it made my back sweat.

“Oh my Lord…! What should I do without Facebook? Does this mean I should go and hang out more with my friends? Does this mean I should get back into calling, texting, and emailing people? Does this mean that when I want to share photos I have to upload them to flickers or email and tell everybody I just uploaded them? Does this mean I need to remember people’s birthdays, or put them on my agenda-book? And worst yet…, how am I supposed to get my nose around what people are up to without Facebook? How…??!!” (being nosy is my first reason to be on FB) 😀

In short, I panicked. I was not ready to let go of FB… my entire life flashed before me… playing Farmville, finding old friends, ignoring new friend requests, commenting on photos, making stupid status updates, judging people… The whole memory came rushing back to the surface of my brain… and I got all emotional…

After a few seconds of self pity over the unruly fate of Facebook, I started to compose myself. Everything will be just fine. I can manage. Life will move on, and I won’t let it ruin me. Even better perhaps…, I get to go out with friends instead of chatting on FB… or I can get into the excitement of buying real birthday gifts rather than some quick birthday notes on FB wall…  or I get to send Christmas cards instead of saying Merry Christmas as status updates… or I get to have some extra free time to play picnic with my little son… Yes! Everything will actually be better without FB. World was a better place before Facebook. 🙂 All things settled. Whaz da biggie dude?

But a few seconds after those few seconds… I saw the header of the news page, and it was “Weekly World News ”. Do you know what this mean, my dear readers…? Do you…?? Do you…??? Well…, I do. Because my heart sank when I read the header.  This means the whole thing is a lie. This website is renowned for making the best hoax ever circulated on earth. So, no, sadly, Facebook is not going to end after March 15th. Why would they anyway? They just got valued 50 billion dollars!

And then… my entire life flashed before me… playing Farmville, finding old friends, ignoring new friend requests, commenting on photos, making stupid status updates, judging people…

“Oh My Lord…! Does this mean I get to do all those things all over again? But what about my plan of hanging out with friends? What about buying birthday gifts and sending Christmas cards? What about that picnic with Alix? Why can’t Facebook just be gone? Why…??!!” *sigh*

Did I just waste my energy digging into the matter? 😀

Dian Retno Wulandari .Can’t decide whether Facebook is good or bad.

PS: This probably proves that there is no way of satisfying a woman. 🙂

PPS: You should decide for yourselves if Facebook is good for your lives or not.


 

Grey Hairs, Age Spots, and Stretch Marks.

It’s my birthday today… I am worried scared not sure how I feel about it. I know that my husband has arranged a romantic lunch/dinner somewhere great. Buffet, just the way I like it… with an over the top bouquet of the best flowers in town –as always. But that isn’t what this writing is about.

I want to stay young forever I don’t think I am ready for this new age to dawn upon me. I want to hang on to my previous age and do more with it. Have I done enough through the last year to say that I have lived life to the fullest? No. I don’t think feel so.

As you know from my previous post, in not so long from now I will say goodbye to my twenties and enter the overrated age of 30. Yes, my golden age is dwindling away, and when I’m 30… will I be able to look back at my twenties and smile with contentment? I don’t know… But I am determined to stuff as many things as possible into this extremely limited time I have left in my hands.

“I am still in my twenties… Do not despair, my dear self… I can still shape the history of my golden age. Now is the time!”

Few days ago, just after I cleaned my “stay young forever” mask off my face, my husband said to me: “Why are you becoming so obsessed about the way you look these days?” I squinted at him through my naturally slitty eyes with a deadly look. Not because I didn’t want to say anything, but because I was already on another mask that restricts free movement of facial muscles. 😀 (this other mask is to prevent acne).

Few hours later -mask free- I proclaimed to my husband –and to the whole world for that matter… “I have every right to obsess over the way I look…!” and I better do it while I’m young. No?

You see… I spent practically my entire life not worrying about the way I look. In my teenage I was lucky to have a proportional body, good shiny hair, and a unique face. No worries there. Then followed by university life, career world, and being a wife & mother era. Through all those years I barely used any make up. No sun block, no face powder, no lip balm. Nothing… (to the exasperation of my good friend Amalia). My husband would consider himself lucky when I decided to comb my hair just before we go out shopping. 😀

For nearly 30 years of my life, I’ve never had more than 4 sets of footwear, consisting of 1 pair of sporty shoes, 1 pair of girly shoes, 1 pair of going out sandals, and 1 pair of gardening sandals. That’s my lot.

But during the last year, I have been saying that I want to curl my hair, and that I want to dye it blonde. I bought endless amounts of face cream. I want to wear stilettos, pumps, platforms, all of it! I tried different types and colours of blushes. I bought mascara. I bought lip plumper. Bought long dresses, short dresses, bright, dark, tops, skirts… Everything…! The changes in my behavior must’ve freaked poor hubby out. Bless him… 😀

Point is… I was right (wasn’t I??). I have the right to obsess over the way I look. Like most women do! Now –out of all time- is the right time to exercise this right, to make things more right. Right…??

These days I spent extra time in front of the mirror. Looking closely at my severe age spots scattered around my temple and cheek bones. Running my fingers through my hair, plucking away at my grey hairs. Or simply gazing at the stretch marks around my legs and tummy, convincing myself that they are proofs of a heroic act of bearing a child into the world. *sigh*

With all these additions that come with age… Grey hairs, age spots, stretch marks, wrinkles around my eyes, and some extra fat around my belly… I realized that I am slowly turning into my mother.

Now thatis not such a bad thing. Right?

Right…?!?!

Dian Retno Wulandari. Celebrating a new age.

my 8th bday

That is a photo of my 8th birthday. My last age with short hair. My mother was a model and fitness instructor. My Father died when I was 12 yo. I wanted to be an astronaut. My big brother wanted to be a superhero. My little sister wanted to be me. 😀

Ghana, First Impression…

By an Indonesian who thought she has seen it all.

It was right in the middle of a very hot summer in Belgium that we found ourselves frantically packing our apartment down to move to Ghana. The decision came suddenly, but all we needed to do was look forward to another adventure. That was exactly what we did, and got.

August 2009, smooth touchdown at Ghana International Airport. The hot climate of Ghana was easy to cope with since we came from a painful hot summer in Belgium 🙂 We had done some Googling research about Ghana but still we were feeling nervous apprehensive about it all. I tried hard to see the goodness of this new place. But I must say that the first impression was not impressive at all, well there’s no impression 🙂 . It is sad to say, but Ghana International Airport is the worst airport I have ever seen. Not only that we must ride on a tatty bus to get on and off the plane, the hassle of baggage claim and custom check seems to be endlessly chaotic very challenging.

But once we were in the car and on the road, my heart began to light up. I saw so many similarities between Ghana and Indonesia -my mother land 🙂 The banana trees by the road, the bougainvillea blossom everywhere, the street sellers, the shape of the houses, the big billboards everywhere and oh… the not so immaculate roads and streets. They even sell Indomie (= instant noodle) in Ghana! I was happy but not for long. The Indomie they sell in Africa tastes terrible different. 😀

It didn’t take me long to find out that Ghana is nothing like Indonesia. In fact they couldn’t have been more different from each other. 😦 The first time I asked my driver where I could go shopping, he informed me that he could take me to Accra Shopping Mall. 😀 He described it as something huge and beautiful, and he used his hands gestures by waving them around to illustrate how big it is, and his sense of pride was infecting me with excitement. 😀 Shopping Mall…!! I like that…!! Coming from Asia where the best shopping malls are reigning the world, I am into shopping mall baby…! 😀

I proudly stuffed my wallet with some USD 100, a whopping amount for a developing country’s standard. So off we went to this shopping mall. Woohoo…!! 😀 I was celebrating Ghana until my driver parked our car in a parking lot of something that looks like an old warehouse, I stayed quiet. Then he showed me into this building. Still confused, I wondered if he misunderstood me and took me somewhere else instead. After a while of finding our way inside this building, I asked my driver “Can we just go to the shopping mall?” He replied innocently, “Madam, this is the Accra shopping mall.”

* Gasp* I felt like my heart skipped a beat, my mouth went dry, and my back started sweating. I bowed my head down and looked at the floor. It was not shiny, nor reflective. I tilted my head back and looked at the ceiling… there was no void nor mezzanine. Oh My Gordon Brown…! It is not a 10 storey, nor a 5 storey, but a one story building…! I looked around and saw some few small shops. “Are you kidding me?” The whole setting looks more like a shopping arcade rather than a shopping mall.

Accra Shopping Mall

But it’s ok, I propped myself up and continued with my mission: my first ever grocery shopping in Ghana! It is all just a part of the big adventure, isn’t it? I looked around this medium sized supermarket (=Shoprite), clutching my wallet nervously, excited and scared at the same time, I decided not to worry. I had enough money or so I thought. In Indonesia, USD 100 can buy a month worth of groceries, and in Belgium that amount would provide about 2 weeks’ worth of groceries. So what is there to worry about? I started to fill my shopping cart with one thing after another. All the basic stuff we needed like detergent, coat hangers, towels, disinfectant, etc.

But that was not all my dear friends… The biggest surprise came to me when we were at the cashier, paying for all the stuff we thought we were buying. A whopping amount of over USD 300 for the most mundane stuff I had in my cart. I thought I was speechless when I was proposed by my husband, but this experience gave me a new meaning to speechlessness. 😀 I had no choice but to cancel most stuff I had wanted to buy. I was left with some detergent, fabric softener, coat hangers, clothes peg, shower gel, cup noodles, and baby cereal. That came down to just over USD 100. I shamelessly asked my driver to pay the “just over” bit of the USD 100.

plastic coat hangerGob-smacked, we drove back home and I didn’t say a thing. Being a developing country that is not any better than like Indonesia, I thought everything in Ghana would be good value. But I couldn’t be more wrong. Ghana is simply the most expensive country we have ever been to. Even more expensive than Belgium, more expensive than UK! (I wouldn’t even start comparing it with America) I paid one US dollar for one stupid plastic coat hanger. One dollar! For something that normally wouldn’t have cost me no more than 20 cent.

On our way back, my driver asked me if we have a shopping mall this big in Indonesia. I said: “with all due respect to all Ghanaians, that thing is not a shopping mall. In Indonesia, just the parking space for a shopping mall would be bigger than this entire thing”. “Yes, we do. It is nice”

When I thought I have seen it all, just a week later my maid pissed her pants in my car! Yes, she literally pissed herself whilst sitting in our clean and shiny Land Cruiser, and left the car smelling like an ugly public toilet. Curious? I’ll tell you about it later. 😀 Just keep reading…!

Cheers,

Dian Retno Wulandari. Going Ghanaian!

PS: To be fair to this country, I will also post about some good things in Ghana. It is, however, where our home is at the moment. 🙂