Tuesday, December 25, 2012


A Librocubicuralist.
A Bibliophile.
An aiwendil or aviphile.
A watercolor painter geek.
(Sadly) A Bruxomania.
A graphomania.
An oligomania.
An amateur musician geek.
Stationery aficionado.
An ailurophile.
Some sort of an aquaphile as well.
Quite talented climber.
Easily attracted to lights.


So far?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Mirror Cycle

"Treat people exactly like how you want to be treated."

I have heard this saying a lot of times, tried to apply it several times, but rarely success. But no stoping, I'm starting over again. Especially as an exchange student, you got the nice starting point to do that.

Remember how people say that karma exists? For me, karma doesn't necessarily mean the after effect of your bad things. Life is basically a cycle of mirror. You'll be treated exactly as how you treat other people, and that's why sometimes you got the bad attitude. Well, kind of describing karma as well.

I truly believe that what you get is what you have shown. Like, if you show how much you love books, most people will have tendencies to give you your book wish list or bookstore gift card. Tendencies, by any means, it doesn't necessarily have to be true. It might be 85% true. Or the least possibility is that they knew what you want so bad and they can give it to you any convenient time possible. In the case of giving.

Or, if you show people how much you like spicy food that is considered spicy for Americans but not even spicy to Indonesians, people will relate you with spicy stuff, probably order spicy stuff for you, too. For the sake of what you've reflected.

Therefore, it's right for me to draw a conclusion that we got what we've reflected. More or less.

And it's hard, super hard, to treat people exactly like how you want to be treated, because all of the selfishness any human kind always has, our tendency to gain more with less loss. Gain more, less loss. I personally think I have mistreated some close people in my life, and I am indeed trying to do better than the mistreatment. I realized I made mistakes and hurt people, sometimes. And I don't want to be hurt by those people. Selfish, pretty much. But at least I understand the equation of social treatment, now.

Which is why, I always try to do stuff one, super short step at a time. Just like my environmental project,mi might be reckless to not being Eco-friendly enough to most of my life parts, but at least I try to make certain good things to be my habits--which is working out pretty good.

And like the mirror cycle theory, I might not be able to do it to some of my closest people since I got grudge on them sometimes and it's hard to even calm yourself when you think you've tried yet the result is still bad. Because in the end, humans do good things to be reciprocated. Naive.

But at least I can start one thing at a time.

Being an exchange student that came from a majority country to a minority country gave you a chance to feel what it's like to become a part of the minor society in your country--which is major in America. Which is Christianity.

Seeing all the different methods they use to teach their children, elders, young people about God make me realize that my religion is, too, mighty. I learnt a lot about my own religion by mirroring my perspective through the Christianity glass. I can understand Allah SWT and Islam better because there's certain things I can compare to. In fact, it made me believe on Allah SWT way better than before I came here.

I respect Christianity as much as I want them to respect my own religion. I want them to think of my religion as a peaceful, friendly religion that I tried to show them while I'm socializing with them. Islam, despite those terrorism image that people tried to pin it to, is in fact a very open religion. Despite our rituals, we are very tolerant. At least that what I feel when I was in my country.

Thus it's pretty normal if in day, I went to church (which I always do every Sunday in America since my host parents are pretty devoted) with my host parents and host sister, I tried to stay awake and pay attention more, not disturbing people, because that's how I want other people to do when they come to Our House. I want them to respect Our Holy House as much as I respect theirs. And I will, in fact, try to sit straight and look straight. Because of that, I also have a motivation to be better in my own religion services. To look up straight and pay attention, at least.

And I gues it's pretty normal if my Muslim friend got a chance to learn about Christianity and show them how we respect their religion ended up falling asleep while the church is having its sermon and choirs and I poked them to wake up and pay attention. Because what that friend did will make people think of my religion as how they saw him/her. Will ruin all of my efforts to gain their respects and at least treat us the way I treated them. What my friend did, would not only harm the essence of the sermon itself, but also my religion's pride. What she did would mirror all of us.

It's like, being selfishly surrendered to the urge of sleepiness rather than humbly respecting others and tolerate it. It's like... Showing how we actually slept in during our own khotbah. Which made me super embarrassed.

Self-reflection? Might be true. But at least I'm working on fixing my own habits, by any means, not letting people around me to do the same mistakes as well.

My Thing-A

This is how a four years old Tennessee girl with extraordinary body height (that doesn't make her look like a four years old since her parents are extraordinary tall) speaks.

By adding a southern accent and an A in the end of the sentences.

"Dina, you mess my thing-a"

"Calm down-ah"

"Blaid my hail-ah (braid my hair)

So on and so forth.

Oh, plus, she cannot say R.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Girl With Icy Hands

Her only problem.
When you are not even comfortable touching your own pinkish cheek with your own hands because they're too cold. For no reasons.

And every time she goes to a cold movie theater, she will not try to sit on her hands because they're cold. And rarely someone wants to hold hers, at least to make her a bit warmer.

She doesn't whine about it, it doesn't really troubles her. It's just... Unusual. When your whole body is humanly warm yet your hands are like icy, cold water in a glass with melted ice.

It's pretty sad, though. Little kids don't like to be touched by her cold-skinned hands, although they love playing with her. They laugh together, yet they don't want to hold her hands when they're having an afternoon walk. Her sister doesn't want to hold her smooth, silky hands because they're too cold. Cold, cold.

She wasn't even born in a four-seasons countries, she's as healthy as those tropical kids that happily run in the forests, although living in a tropical country doesn't mean you literally live inside a forest.

Now, winter is here. The air is getting colder, and so are her hands. She can't touch herself, warm the cheeks, because it's cold. She can't touch her neck because it's freezing, even her legs.

And one day, she said, she wished for someone who longs to hold those cold hands. To hold them when they're in a movie theater, or walking in a park in Fall. To willingly have her touches their cheeks with her icy hands. To blow warm air to her hands when it's started to get chilly. To stay on hold with her, no matter how cold her hands turn to be.

For someone who will kiss her hands gently--like her mother and father did--and says how much they like her icy hands, talented twinkling fingers. How they long to be touched by them, just like herself wanting to touch her cheeks with her hands. The cheeks.

Or to buy her a cup of hot plain water just to hold on to it. Or letting her touching their hairs while she's reading her favorite books.

Way off track, though.

And one day, she said, she wished for a colder hand, so that the someone she longs so much will hold it tighter, keep her hands in their pocket, taking care of them.

Not being shocked of how cold her hands are, or saying "Don't touch me, your hands are too cold!"

As if that's a nicer way to say, "Don't touch me, you're a very cold person."
By heart.

Quite similar with The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo, huh?

She literally has cold hands.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

School Soothing

No, no, I mistyped. It's School Shooting.

As you guys may have heard, there was this tragic event that happened in small town called Newton in Connecticut, where around twenty some people--most of the are elementary kids--were shot dramatically by a young guy that somehow got some sort of mental illness and just BAM BAM BAM to the elementary school.

I don't really know the chronology of the story, but long story short, his mother turns out to be one of the substitute teacher in the elementary school and the guns that he used to kill the victims were his mom's. We also found out that the killer killed his mother first and the brutally went to the school and just did the massacre. And then he did suicide. Like Arthur Conan Doyle, left the story hanging... I'm not sure I can use Mr. Doyle as a comparison, but anyway...

It happened last Friday, and everybody still talks about it.

For you who don't know it, you might think living in America is very liberal and fun and fast and easy and rich and popular and so on, but those lives are paid with consequences. Most of Asian countries--Indonesia, to be precise--might look like poor, un sanitized, crowded, third world countries. All of the sweatshops that your History teacher showed in your class probably came from the Asian countries, Indonesia one of them. Indonesia itself is not that liberal, pretty strict, and still developing. You feel like being chained.

But Alhamdulillah there's no gun ownership. Not some random people from out of nowhere that have mental sickness and own a gun and come to a random school and shoot the kids. Or temperamental person who thinks problems can be settled in with just shooting the trouble-maker. No, no, we don't have that kind of threat... So far. We might not have any LockDown drill for students, to ensure that we know what to do when there's some random guy that come to school with guns and ill-heart... Which is staying on the corner of the room.

You might want to read about what really happened in the Connecticut shooting. My English teacher said that one of the victims is a teacher that hid the kids in the closet, and then when them killer came and asked where the kids, she lied and told him that they're in the gym. The killer brutally shot her, for lying. Hem.

In my country, you don't experience that kind of things... So far that I know. Hearing stuff like "random guy came to school and shot the students" is totally new to me, as a foreign exchange student. The fact that those things happen in this liberal country frightens me a bit... Because just like those kids, I'll never know hen it'll happen in my own school.

The case was kind of left hanging since the killer killed himself. No one will ever know the very true reason--motive--behind the tragedy, without a single clue, and nobody knows what might have caused it and how to prevent it. It's left hanging, tragically.

And today, there were a lot of parents coming to school to pick up their kids, because of some rumor about the exact same things that wandering around the school community. I saw quite some police officers walking back and forth, as if they're trying to act that everything's just find, we just have a bunch of new police officers for no reason. My lunchmate freaked out--although he's a guy, and his sister is a very easy-going girl that doesn't worry as much as he does--and even one of lunchmate went home since his mother picked him up. The bus was kind of empty--which is good, I can sit on the front seat--and lots of kids are not coming to school. Wonder what will happen tomorrow.

Anyway, we're watching "The Crucible" in English class and "BONES" in Anatomy class. Finally.

One thing that crossed my mind this day was the fact that none of these would have happened in Indonesia.

Just saying.


Since everybody was talking about it, I assumed I got the chance to write about it.

If tomorrow is the end of the world...

I will not choose America as the last place to stay. Or, America would be one of the least places I want to be, if it's really going to be the end of the world.

Not merely because I nearly finished my fifth month of exchange year and thus I am staying away from my natural family and it sounds so pitiful to experience the end of the world with your new family and friends without being able to hug those blood related family of yours, or no, not just blood related, heart related.

No, not merely based on that reason, although it's one of them.

If people know when the end of the world will come, everybody in my country would probably be staying in masjid and mosques by now. All of my high school friends will hug each other and pray for our well-being-ness and life after death. One of my saint-like friend, M, will be there. She's the first person that crossed my mind when I think about praying together.

Everybody will start praying, read Al-Quran together, ask for forgiveness. It'll be one of my most favorite day because it feels so peaceful and everybody is just loving and embracing each other, in a mannerly way.

I might cry quietly while hugging my brother and sister (of course after I arrived in Jakarta). I will ask forgiveness from my parents, I will miss them pretty bad after life. But I think I'll leave happily since it feels so peaceful, everybody is just so caring and gentle.

I might be wrong, there might be some part of the scenario that is not as perfect as I imagined it would be, but I think it's close.

And also, I might be wrong.

First impression of having the end of the world in America is that instead of praying and peacefulness, people will do crazy stuffs, like driving cars when you're not old enough, do everything that they've wanted to do since years, apocalypse everywhere. Although I'm pretty sure that might happen in Indonesia as well.

Like they said, You Only Live Once, they'll definitely do things that fulfill the "live once" theory.

And with the gun issue, those gun owners would probably come out and start another apocalypse in order to save themselves. Me and my host sister would probably just watch the tragedy, since there's nothing sentimental we can really do about it. Again, it'd be so pitiful to not being surrounded by people you have loved since your early years, but hey, who knows.

I'd probably run and scream, instead of praying, because that's what everybody does. If you ever watched The Walking Dad Dead, I think it's pretty much like it, although I never watch it that show.

Anyway, all of these End Of The World issue really made my last Thursday before winter break seems... Intriguing. Or any kind of adjectives I can use to describe the peculiarity of it. Everybody was like "Tomorrow's the end of the world, anyway..." Or "Everybody's gonna die tomorrow anyway..." Like that.

Even my lunchmate was freaked out.

Now that you mention it, you'll never know whether there's gonna be tomorrow or not, right? Another tomorrow might be the end of the world.

But this whole End Of The World thing really made you actually worry about what's coming up tomorrow, since you'll never know.
Or is it just me being so critical about uncertain things that started to get brought up because of the Mayans?

Oh well, only Allah knows it.

Friday, December 14, 2012

First Fight


I don't know whether I should be rejoice, but it sure made my adrenalin went up, up, up.

So, this is the story.

It's Friday, today to be exact. I had English III in my first period. We're finally finishing the play The Crucible, a tragic play than somehow depicts witchcraft trials back in the 1700s. Some of the characters are real. One trivia thing, I don't like the play because it ended tragically. Good people died in pride, bad people got away, everybody was hysteria. The act showed you how some people--no matter how much it doesn't make sense--will still hold their greediness, reputation above all. All of the nonsense of witchcraft that's basically based on jealousy, how those people's mind doesn't work at all. Pretty tragic.

We had a pretty time. For a moment, I thought.

Then, we started to collect books and get ready to get out from class. I stood up and picked books from other tables, when I heard some guys on the corner of the class chuckled and said something about "Knock his head with books" and basically, pick on him. Yes, the new guy in class, a tall, big, quite-looking Caucasian kid. He went in front to the table to put some books back, and one of the African guy purposely stood in front of him in his way back and they bumped into each other. I'd say both of them doing it on purpose, and suddenly...


They're punching each other, at that moment, on the place where they stood up, which is next to my table. yes, my book bag was pretty sad looking, I couldn't even get back. I was across the room, pretty much shocked. That is literally the first fight ever that I've seen in such close range. My host sister--sitting on the table next to me--was the other closest witness of the fight. Along with the girl who sits behind me (she's trying to stop the fight). I was so panicked that I have no idea what to do, when the teacher shouted at me, "Go get somebody!"

And I was like, "GET WHO?! WHERE?!"
One of the girl told me to get to the police. I ran outside, but still have no idea where I should go, since I'm totally confused. I even made circles in the hallway before I decided to run to the front office. The principal and some teachers came to our class, while my heart was still thumping really hard, either because of excitement or scared.

The principal asked us to write statement about what happened and he asked us one by one. I was so nervous because I felt like being in an investigation like all of those detective movies I've watched. I was like, "We're just some nice two exchange students that try to bring peace, that's all."

I asked my English teacher whether she has experienced such thing before, and she casually said Yes.

I felt like the only person in the world who just got something that's not even new to anybody in there.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Leaving Date

My host sister got her leaving dates today.
She needs to pick between two dates.
And it's much earlier than her expectations... Even earlier than my leave,

And for the whole afternoon, she's fussing about it. Saying about how she's so sad, she doesn't want to go home, she wishes to come back, and so on.

And I'm just listening.

Happy to her, she didn't have to worry for these past five months about her departure date. Wile I'm here, even when I just arrived in this nation, the wonderful America, with my departure date to go back to my country...

I can count how many days left for me to live this kind of life. The American life, being honored to represent Indonesia.

And I told her that.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


There are some parts of you that you know it's morally right, it's always been, yet it's worldly wrong. And it's you to decide whether you want to stick to one over the other, or vice versa.

One thing I figured out about myself is that I always think people like peace. People like the win-win solution, mutualism. Everybody's happy. The total 100% happiness. I thought everybody wants peace, no one likes war or killing or betrayal or sort of.

...unless I'm being too naive, I did think that's true.

Today's game in my US History class has perfectly proven that hypothesis is wrong, especially in America. Well maybe, everywhere. Yes, like John Lennon's song, You may say I'm a dreamer. I am indeed a dreamer. It's pitiful to know that in such easy situation, people don't even think peace at all.

So, here's the story. We played this pink-green card game called Everybody Can Win. The objective is to get positive result, no matter how big it is. The rule is, our teacher will give us one minute to decide whether we want to use pink or green card--you can discuss it with other team.
If all teams raise up the green card, everybody gets the positive point.
If there's team who raised up green and others pink, the pink ones get the positive, while the green ones get the negative. If all raise the pink one, everybody get negative point.

It's a six rounds games, each round the points are doubled (for example, 1, 2, 4, 8,...)

One tricky thing about this game is that since it's doubling, if you messed up the first five round--get all minus--but then you won the sixth round, you still won by one positive point. But if you won all the first five rounds and messed up the last one, you automatically lose.

I teamed up with my host sister and some other friends. When the game started, I was trying to campaign about using green all the time, since it won't bother any teams, everybody gets points, everybody gets the extra credits. One of my team member grabbed the card and picked the color, which is pink. Ignoring me, he consulted with other groups about which card to pick, since he knows I'm a too I Love Peace, Win-Win Solution person, he decided to take over.

They're crazy. Yes, they are. Nobody can actually be friend. There's no one to cooperate with. Well, I thought there are... Some. But there wasn't any. I was shouting about what's the point of trying to trick others when all of us can win and just play by the advantage. And guess what? Nobody's listening. I feel like an excluded hippie in a such modern world. In a good way, though. Although bad situation.

I was trying to gain trust which I should not be doing in the place based on my observation throughout the room, that no American in that class room you can trust, and tried to grab the card over. Yes, I made a huge mistake, I pulled the green card in the last round, along with one other team, while everyone else took out their pink card. We just got 31 positive points, and suddenly being smashed pretty bad with the 32 negative points.

Everybody, except for the big guy and my host sister, was mad at me. Well, childish mad, not the mad-mad. There's five people in my team, two didn't really care about the game since it's just a game and you can get extra credit else time, the one was freaking mad--like, "I told you to put pink, and hoooo you just keep saying put green, we better gain trust,..."--and he indeed annoyed me so much, while the other one was just being the cheers for the mad one.

It indeed annoyed me, so much. Both of them are in my bus as well, and all of the way home, they just kept buzzing about how I'm being stupid and naive and not strategically smart. I apologized--sincerely--over the matter that they didn't get the easy extra credits. I was laughing hard, to be honest. You know when you get annoyed so much that you just laugh hard because they are indeed hilarious? That happened to me.

The game--titled Everybody Can Win--made me think again about humanity, the restoration. It might be one of the games that I don't like that much.

It made me realize about human true nature. No matter how easy it is to actually win by just letting everybody wins, there are some little part of our human nature that is selfish. No, most of it. Like my host mum said, You were born with selfishness, as you grew older, people teach you to share. Being generous is not a genetic cause, it's a learning experience. What I saw in the game today was not bunch of people wanting to get extra credits--it's people who like to see others suffer, not happy, less fortunate. Less equal. We were born with inequality, superiority. The joy was not getting the extra credit, but seeing people don't get extra credit or even better, get minus. That's human.

I know that I was supposedly using the pink card. There's no way I'd risk my life for less than 25% of success for using the green card, on the very last round, the biggest point, both for negative and positive. It actually made me wondering. What are the reason I decided to use that green card in the very last round other than bothering my other teammate? To gain trust or having solidarity with friends (because there is indeed a team that raised green card)? Or to just try?

A lot of things happened today. I'm glad tomorrow's Friday.

I might be naive, I won't be.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


Yes, it's already passed, like six days ago.

Before I forget about it.

Last Week's Thursday, the Americans had their annual Thanksgiving celebration. It's basically where people be thankful and be friendly to everybody by inviting them over for some stuffed turkey although my host family had Chicken in Dressing instead and... just be thankful. We invited some people over to have Thanksgiving lunch with us. I had a feast.

...well, come to think of it, Thanksgiving is a bit like Idul Fitri, our Moslem celebration. When we have our Idul Fitri, my mum usually cooks for hundreds portion of food, unusual food. Food that she only makes on big days, like Idul Fitri. We don't really put decorations like Christmas, but we tidy our house, just like Thanksgiving.

It was a wonderful lunch, we had wonderful company coming over as well, and we talked a bunch of stuff... One of them was the Black Friday.

I know, it sounds racist. One of my friend at school always mentions how he doesn't really agree with the term of Black Friday since it sounds so racist, as if only African-American people who come to shop at midnight.

Well, actually, the origin of the name is how in business, black is considered as surplus, you have more profits, and it means your bar of profit was going up up high, to the black level.

Well, anyway. That wasn't my point.

We talked about how this crazy sale day was infecting America. How all the discount coupons came every single day since our Thanksgiving holiday until the Black Friday, bunch of huge advertising papers in the newspaper, so on and so forth.

My mom even knows about it. That famous. I know.

How this Black Friday system works? Basically, they either open the store earlier, like at 12am on Friday, or 4am on Friday. Most of the stuff in those stores are half priced or so I think. People were rage--they were literally running, pushing trolleys, fighting with random people over a half priced bag, some of them might even be stepped on as well.

The crazy commercial in a free country. Huh.

Funny thing is, it's so ironically true that the day before the Black Friday, it was Thanksgiving. Yes, the day to be grateful of life. To be thankful of what we have. To feel blessed and enough.

And yet, not even a blink, those peaceful thoughts about being thankful suddenly disappeared, along with the rage, ambitious, hungry shopaholic people who have been consuming all the advertisement, not even remembering their prayer for the Thanksgiving lunch or dinner anymore. They might not think about the prayer at all when they had their Thanksgiving meal. Maybe, Black Friday is their prayer.

Ironically, true. People change over things like flipping coins. That fast.
No offense, I'm just voicing out random stuff.


No, no. It's not the Everlasting Friend of Super Junior's Fans club. Nope.

It's basically another Christmas movie.

I found it pretty hilarious, even though I was distracted with the iPad, checking all the emails and stuff, but I still managed to find it hilarious enough, YEAH!

The story was about an orphan named Body, or Buddy, which is not his original name. He accidentally snuck inside the Santa Claus' bag, went to the North Pole with him. Every elf in the North Pole was so shocked, and they didn't know his name, except for the fact that he's wearing a diaper with Little Body Diaper tag, so... Basically you realized where his name came from.

He grew like humans--which is not elf--and started to wondering whether he's really his Papa Elf's son. Later on, his Papa Elf and Santa Clause opened the secret, leaving him in a journey of finding his real dad, because his mom died soon after he was born, and his dad never knew he had a son with his high school girlfriend, whom he loves dearly.

The funny things about this movie is that the actor really captured the festive feelings of a man who was raised in a society who loves Christmas dearly, very loving, cheerful, and and the cute stuff, and applied that to the New York City environment.

Body was adventurous. He tried the circling door over and over again, puke, then do it again, grabbing ads papers from the volunteers many times, eating spaghetti with pop tarts and M&M EEEW, I know, right. EEEEEW! He ate gums on the handing steel to the subway, which is another EEEEW. He was going nuts when he knew that the Santa Claus in the department store was fake, like "YOU'RE AN IMPOSTER!"

I like when somebody said imposter. Haha.

Oh, oh, I also like how he really show his love to his real father--with no sense of what's going on--and being so festive about everything.

There are great people who played this hilarious movie, such as Will Ferrel and Zooey Deschannel. Both of them are pretty famous now, so I think it's pretty logical that this movie was so good. Really.

Well, better go watch it! YAHOOO!