Koala Poo for Nibbles?!

Who wants some?

Koala Poo Milk Chocolate

Photo courtesy of Cik Fazeila 🙂

Keeping A Discussion Healthy

So I posted a facebook status that’s triggered pros and cons a few days ago. When I was about to post it, I knew that it’s going to be responded from high and low. I posted it anyway because I always love a good discussion. However, sometimes there’s someone that just…how do I put it…spoils? Corrupts? Anyway, they’re usually the ones that make a discussion nggak ngenakin and kinda lose the fun. It can be me, or any one of us. That’s why we need to keep learning. Of all things that I learned from the ongoing discussion in my facebook wall, is how to keep a discussion fair and healthy. I’m making a list and everyone is welcome to add on to it 🙂

1. Digest thoroughly.

This is important. After all, we have to know exactly what are we going to discuss. Take time to read or listen to the topic carefully. Don’t rush to take a stand, process the information neutrally first, for it would allow us to come to a better and fair judgement. Don’t deny a fact, there’s no use. I repeat, this is important. Nothing is more awkward (well, silly for the audience) than charging like a wounded bull only to realise at some point that we might be wrong.

2. Take it easy.

Keep our calm. Remind ourselves at all times that we are just discussing. We discuss to find the truth, not to find flaws and faults. It’s easy to lose ourselves, especially in the middle of a heated argument, but remember that it’s just a discussion. Don’t win a discussion and lose a friend.

3. Courtesy is a minimum requirement and it must be insisted on at all times.

Simply put, don’t be rude. A free and fair forum in which people feel safe to express their opinions greatly depends on being polite to one another. Avoid ridiculing, name-calling, labelling, using violent language, ranting, swearing…yeah, you get the idea….Once any one of these enters the discussion, the emotional temperature will go up and participants will start to defend themselves. No matter how right you might be, nobody will listen to you anymore because the exploration of the issue no longer matters, and the focus of the discussion changes to defending ourselves or hurting others’ feelings.

4. No hitting below the belt.

First of all, we all know that this is a boxing metaphor, right? No literal hitting at all! Discussion should never change to a physical fight, okay? Okay. What I’m trying to say here is avoid making remarks that are too personal. Even if it’s right, it’s degrading, irrelevant and totally unfair. Not to mention nosey! Try to focus on the issue at hand. Seriously, attacking personal issue won’t do you any good. It will only become something others use to attack you right back.

5. For your own safety, know where the emergency exits at all times.

Sometimes, there are participants who really can’t seem to take a hint that they’re making the discussion unbearable. Even worse, sometimes there are people who’ve been told literally but keep doing whatever insufferable stuff they were doing. If you really can’t bear it and the moderator doesn’t seem to be able to kick the person out of the forum, sometimes the wise thing to do is to just leave the discussion. There are things that are more important than a discussion. Hey, think about your health and wellbeing! Think about your heart, literally and figuratively. Think about your blood pressure. Hell, think about the frown you’d make and the botox you’d have to perform and the money you can use to go travel had you not perform a botox!

Anyone got anything to add on to the list? 🙂

Selamat Ulang Tahun

Lying awake next to your snoring self, I finally decided to write this little birthday message. I wasn’t going to, y’know, because I doubt a message of a few lines could sum up all my feelings for you. But, I feel like doing it, so I’m gonna do it anyway, okay? Just please bear with me for a moment, okay?

As you very well know, this is the first time we celebrate your birthday together. I was always away on your previous birthdays. Hey, I warned you, buddy, but you married me anyway. You know, it always amazes me how you can be so selfless. How you never seems to be wanting anything, other than what I’ve done for you, no matter how small. How you never demands anything, not for me or everyone else. How you can be so grateful of life, of everything, of me. How do you do that?? Anyway, wishing you a happy birthday used to be simple. You seemed to be happy with whatever I’d got to say, and I could get on with whatever things I was doing. But this year, staring you at the face on your birthday for the first time ever since we’re together, it makes me feel that I have to wish you a happy birthday every time we catch eyes! Silly, right?

Giving a birthday gift used to be easy, too. On our first years together, I got you the most expensive gift I could afford at the time. The following years, I got you gifts that I thought would be useful for you. But I knew, those gifts were never spot on. This year, I’ve been thinking about what to get you since January, I’ve been raking my mind. What could I possibly give you? A ton of kisses? A loving hug? A few buckets of love? Even all of those put together wouldn’t be enough, for you are so dear to me. So on this day, the day of your birthday, I can only give you a promise. I promise you my devotion, my love, my companionship. I promise you: Me.

Happy Birthday 😉

Telur Tetap Bergizi Walau Asalnya Dari Pantat

A recent dispute with a friend brought me to write this. So, this friend, who owns a restaurant, accused a competitor of copying her menu and stealing her employees. Me, thinking that she made the post publicly, replied and said to her not to accuse someone. I think I was quite polite in stating my opinion. I remember, I told her to think positively and maybe the competitor got the idea from somewhere else. I imagined a lot of people have heard of the menu, because I have, and I am not someone who pays much attention to culinary trends.

It didn’t occur to me at all that my opinion would annoy her. I thought, because it was a public post, it should be okay for the public to response, whatever their responses might be. But it did annoy her and judging from her words, very much. She said, and I quote, that I “don’t have manners” and I am “lower in class” than her, and she didn’t want to “lower herself to my level”. Oh, she also said that I think I am “smarter than all of them because I just got back from overseas.” Not necessarily in that order, as she kind of said it over and over.

Am I hurt, given that this is my friend who said this mean stuff?

A twinge of disbelief, yes. But no hurt. None whatsoever.

Honestly, I think when we post something publicly, everyone else has the right to disagree with us. But my personal feeling aside, somehow I can understand how she felt. I get this whole you-don’t-know-anything-don’t-you-dare-criticize-me-go-mind-your-own-business thing perfectly.

When I was in senior high, there was this friend. She was the girl who spent her times at musholla performing dhuha prayers, killing times by reciting the Qur’an. She was the one who extended her headscarf and spoke gently and mentioned a lot of Subhanallahs. We all liked her. She liked to gave me advices, mostly about dating. She’d told me that it was sinful to date and that dating might lead to zinah and all the rest of it. I was a teenager and dating was the most important thing in the world! But, even though she failed two of my pedekate attempts, I still admired her.

It wasn’t very long until I found out that she had a long-time boyfriend. I was shocked, but not nearly as shocked when I found out that they were intimate with each other. I mean, they kissed and stuff. Naturally, I sought confirmation and when her best friend ratted her out and confirmed everything, I was enraged. I felt betrayed. She was just like us but had the nerve to act righteous the whole time?? I lost all respect for her. I refused to listen to everything she said, I scoffed at her whenever she gave religious advices. I even called her a munafik. I was very angry and it wasn’t until I finished college, which was 4 years after high school, that I’d made peace with my feelings towards her.

So, yes, I can understand that feeling, the feeling that people are not good enough to preach and tell us what to do, because they don’t know what they’re talking about. I used to feel like that. In fact, sometimes I still do.

I think it’s in our nature to defend ourselves, to defend our opinions. And it is very much easier to deny than to admit that sometimes others DO know better. Deep down, we know that sometimes what they say is true, but we prefer to put up this wall of shut-up-because-you-know-nothing.

It’s regrettable, really, that we tend to focus more on the advisor than the advice itself. See, when we focus so much on who’s said it and their backgrounds, we’d miss their intentions, which may be good for ourselves.

In my case, I shouldn’t have cared about her boyfriend, because he didn’t have anything to do with her advice. The fact that she might be a munafik should’ve never been my concern, because in the end, her advice was right and valuable.

The fact that I just got back from overseas shouldn’t have become a concern for my friend either. Even if it was true that I think I am the smartest bitch in the whole world (which is not, at all, true), it doesn’t make my opinion pointless, does it?

It should be the idea that counts, not where it comes from.

I think so.

Don’t you?

After all, telur tetap bergizi walaupun asalnya dari pantat, right?

5 Things I Hate About Summer

I’m feeling like making a list today, and the only thing that popped out in my mind is the same thing that’s been bothering me since the beginning of December. Yes, summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love sunlight, but only when it is accompanied by breezes and low temperature. Other than that, I pledge war on summer. I could list down hundreds of reasons of why I hate summer, but I guess  I’ll settle for five. So, I hate summer because:

1. Heatwave

To begin with, I can’t really function in a hot weather. I can’t think and I can’t focus. Hell, I can’t even open my eyes properly (most of the times). With heatwave, I  basically can only do two things: making ice cubes and taking showers.

2. Flies

In Indonesia, flies only appear in dirty places. Australian flies are so much more confident. Last night, we have to leave our room door open because one fly seemed to think that my room is its playground. Oh, did I mention it was the size of a peanut??

3. Summer clothes

Too. Much. Skins. And not all of them are nice to look at.

4. Long Day.

For a nocturnal being like me, a long day is a torture. Just by the time I am ready to function, there comes midnight, and a few hours after that, morning. And it’s torture all over again.

5. Death by heatstroke.

Hey, laugh all you want, but people die from heat all the time. And I can’t help thinking that I’m gonna die from heat sometime soon.

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait

That’s why I procrastinate.


I Miss My Father

A lot.

If someone had told me that I would feel this way, say, 5 or 10 years ago, I would have snorted and told them to go wrestle something. See, I’ve never been a Daddy’s girl. I was more of a Mom’s kid. I went to Mom every, and I mean EVERY time I needed someone. Even when I knew that only Dad could solve my problem, I went to Mom and asked her to ask Dad rather than asked him myself.

I used to feel that Dad favors my sister over me. Dad was never as strict with my sister, and he spoiled her with gifts. Like most teenagers, it was a very serious problem for me, so I began this you-are-not-fair campaign. It wasn’t until recently that I realize that different kids need different treatment. My sister was never as rebellious as me, maybe that’s why Dad felt the need to discipline me more.

My Dad believed that I’m destined for great things. Big surprise. What fathers do not? He had high expectations of what I would become, and spent so much time talking about it. During my college years, I avoided his phone calls on purpose just because I didn’t want to talk about his future plans. There were times when I walked away from him when it looked like he was about to start talking about schools or jobs. We used to fight a lot because I couldn’t handle the pressure. I felt that he was so stubborn, but then again so was I. I thought he was spoiling himself of these unrealistic dreams, but guess what, it’s in his gene and he passed those traits to me. Now I know that we’re too much alike. I mean, why else did we butt heads so much?

Now I’m kind of obsessed with Dad. I finally know how it feels when people say “My father is the best in the whole wide world.” My heart burst with pride whenever I talk about Dad. I miss him all the time and I know for a fact that I call him more than he calls me. It’s funny to think about how stormy the relationships used to be.

I’ve spent almost half of my life far from my parents. I guess, the absence had made my heart grew fonder. I moved to a different continent  two years ago and I still miss my father every single day. He is the reason why I know I’ll eventually move back to Aceh. I have guilt being far for him because what if my father dies prematurely and I’ve missed out on his last years? I know it sounds gloomy but I think it’s something a lot of people feel, especially as I see my father gets older.

I’m going home next month, and I can’t wait to be in my father’s home and smell his presence and pluck his gray hairs (oh yes we both love this)…well, maybe butt our heads a little. But what the hell, he’s my father and if there’s someone I can tolerate for prying into my life so much, it should have been him. Because he’s my father, and I love him. Very very much.

(not) a daddy's girl?