Saturday, February 23, 2008

Electrical power

We now live in a world where electricity and telecommunications are all taken for granted. People won't get amazed by a city lighted up by electrical power. It's the other way around: people will ask "hey, why aren't there electricity here?" if he or she finds no electricity around her in some place, i don't know. Uhm, it's the same too with phones. One cannot leave his or her home without bringing a mobile phone. It's like leaving without taking your wallet with you


We rely on both too much now.

But it's okay. As long as service companies who delivers electricity and phone services can keep up with the growing demand, it's okay.

People will suffer huge losses when these services gets disrupted. It's not hard to agree on that.

This makes me wonder, uhm, how did people live centuries ago when there hadn't been any electricity? How did people arrange meetings when there weren't any phones? How on earth did they survive??

Friday, February 22, 2008

Musim udan

Sak menika nembe musim udan. Ameh saben dinten, udan. Biasa nipun udan e sore2, saged nganti deres sanget. Tapi menawi deres, biasa nipun buten suwi, namung sedelok.

Musim udan menika, sok ngantos saged banjir. Contho nipun Jakarta, sempat kebanjiran, saking parah ipun, jalan tol menuju Bandara nganti putus. Calon penumpang kudu numpak truk tentara men saged liwat.

Sak menika pantura nggih banjir, sekitar daerah Kudus. Selain iku, sak niki wonten gelombang pasang laut, akibat ipun kapal2 boten saged merapat wonten pelabuhan. Termasuk kapal2 ingkang mensuplai bahan bakar kangge pembangkit listrik, akibat e pasokan listrik sameniko terganggu kangge daerah Jawa lan Bali.

Mugi-mugi kito tansah sabar ngadepi musim udan samenika, katah2 berdoa wontenipun Gusti Allah SWT, mugi2 pinaringan slamet lan rezeki saking hasil bumi tanah Indonesia ingkang subur meniko...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

What are western values, anyway?

Having lived overseas for a couple of years (total almost 8 years including childhood) makes me think like anyone else there (in Sydney--whether i like it or not--). You may say, I've acquired some Western values, as the results of it.

Okay. Here are some of my thoughts which I think I got them from Sydney. Please tell me, are they that bad?

1. I think that you should always say "thank you" to anyone who's done something for you. (including saying thanks to the bus driver). But no, tipping isn't compulsory.

2. I believe you should always at least smile to your neighbour, or say salam to a stranger you've come across outside a musholla.

3. When you're in the class, you believe that not all of what you teacher say is true, and you should always be critical. This also includes TV news, books, and public opinions in the newspaper. It's a free country, so you can speak anything that you think is true, while still respecting others.

4. We are all mates. No tall poppies please.

5. Say what you want to say, don't keep it inside (like when you see a car not stopping on a red light, you have the rights to shout at em and call them whatever you think is appropriate :D)

6. It's your life, so "you can control where you go, you can steer" (man, i love this song :D from missy higgins - steer)

Sorry if it seems as if I've become a terrible person after living in Sydney a couple of years. I hope you can understand. And at the same time, I will keep trying to adapt back to Indonesian (well, actually in my case JAVANESE) values.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Really, was it THAT long??

I now live in Yogyakarta, my hometown where I was born some twenty-something years ago. I just recently moved back from Sydney, where I did my masters degree for 2.5 years (phff... too long!!).

Now that I'm back, uhm, you see... it's not the same as it was before. Many of you might have come across the word "REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK" before, and uhm, the exact thing is what I think happened to me when I came back.

It's not that I am shocked or anything, it's just that, uhm, okay okay, i am. But not shocked about how hot and humid it is in Indonesia compared to Sydney, or surprised i am to see how everyone now seems to have the same hair colour. Nor am I unsatisfied with the "wild traffic" here. It's not that.

It's actually more about my attitude. And probably about my personal views and opinions. I realize now that I do not longer have those manners I used to have (as a matter of fact, I was shocked when I unconsciously handed over something to my own mother with my left hand... i really don't know when i started to get this un-Indonesian habit).

We are all expected, as we return home, to be able to readapt back. To adapt the changes of our surroundings, that's not too hard. It's only a matter of time, and we'll get used to it anyway. Different climate, for example. In my experience, it only took me less than 4 weeks to then feel 33 degrees as normal and 27 as cold (cold, not only cool, but cold). Adapting to the way we should drive in the new traffic conditions takes even shorter time: 4 days. (but to slow down my speed to less than 40kms/h on city traffic: 1 month :D)

Being able to hand over cash without worrying that we might make mistakes (or being handed cash without having to examine the coins and notes very closely): i think 1 week?

These all just flow naturally, and everything will be just fine in no time.

However, the hardest thing that I felt to change was attitude. It's HARD to change your attitude, or uhm, kebiasaan as we Indonesians say it. Especially if it's already planted deeply in your head, or even heart. I have to admit, i might now have developed some un-Indonesian attitudes.

One simple example. My last blog entry was about Suharto. Many people might think that I have total lack of respect to the deceased and his family, while actually I was just expressing my views of the truth, irrespective of the unfortunate circumstances.

Phfff.... please help me on this.

I'm still working hard to change my personal attitudes so that it is accepted within my own family (parents), and yet I feel that's so hard to achieve.

Seriously, has it been THAT long that I lived in Sydney far from my parents?? :-(