To Be Unholy


My dad is selling our house, the house in which I grew up in Indonesia. The house of pain as I like to think of it. I swear if you were there, you’d be able to feel unhappiness emanating from every corner. I haven’t been in that house in over 5 years and yet I don’t miss it. It isn’t home anymore. Not since my mother passed away anyway. And I’ve never been a big fan of the nosy, meddling neighbours.

I was just thinking about the neighbours we had growing up. The couple living next door were devout Muslims. Once they complained to my mother about me playing Silent Night — a Christmas song — on the piano which they thought was inappropriate and un-Islamic coming from a Muslim household. I guess they picked the wrong parental unit to file such a ridiculous complaint. My mother told me about it and we had a giggle. It was our little secret. She never told me to stop playing the song. Whatever I liked to play on the piano was fine by her. Since then, whenever I felt like playing the piano and I knew the neighbours were home, I’d play Silent Night just to be annoying. If I felt generous, I’d play the only other Christmas song I knew how to play, It Came Upon the Midnight Clear, which I doubt the neighbours knew was a Christmas song.

Had it been my dad they had complained to, it would’ve been another story. It Came Upon the Midnight Clear would’ve been the only Christmas song I’d be able to play at home, because to him, the neighbours were always right.

I miss my piano. I hate that the last memory I had of it is of the smell of the cigarette the man who bought it smoked inside our house when he came to pick it up. No one had ever smoked inside our house when my mother was alive.


For Goodness’ Sake


I have issues with religion. I really do. It’s never been my thing, mostly because I hate being told what to do and I like to think for myself. I know religion works for some people and all I can say is more power to them. But I’m not going to go into the heavy stuff with this entry. I just need to rant about a few things that have been bugging me for awhile.

Since I was raised in a family of Muslims, let’s start with Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is a holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. To make long story short, God — who apparently has strange sense of humour — replaced his son with a sheep. And so began the tradition of sacrificing livestock to feed the poor on Eid al-Adha. It’s all good, except they do the slaughtering in public, and parents actually take their little kids to witness the bloody murder! So wrong! Don’t they know what a traumatizing experience it could be?

And then there are people who disagree with the whole slaughtering animal thing. They ask, why don’t they replace the animals with fruits and vegetables? Well, it’s because meat is relatively expensive and therefore less affordable to the poor than fruits and vegetables. The animal slaughter is for a good cause. I’m okay with that, but I’m not really okay with the evergreen tree slaughter happening around Christmas time because it’s solely for decorative purpose. Nothing higher than that. And yet, people who complain about the animal slaughter on Eid al-Adha have no issues with the chopping of the trees. What’s up with that? Is it because trees don’t make noises, nor do they look at you with mournful eyes?

Last but not least is my Santa Claus rant. What’s with all the lying to the little kids about presents coming from Santa Claus? Would it be wrong just to tell them instead that the presents come from their parents because their parents love them very much? Don’t you think that maybe it would make kids respect their parents more? I also find the whole sitting-on-Santa’s-lap thing kind of creepy. Creepier still is when it’s grown-up women who do the sitting. How could you be sure that underneath his big, red pants Santa isn’t having an erection while you’re doing that, because it is Fake Santa after all, i.e., not really a saint?

Okay, I’m feeling better now that I’ve got it all off my chest. Move along!


Sure Sign of Twitter Overdose

Foggy Day II

The thing about online presence and social networking is this: sometimes you get to read too much about someone. Their whereabouts, the music they’re listening, the food they are eating, are posted there on Twitter, and we really couldn’t care less about it. Yet when they’re absent and we haven’t seen any status updates for awhile, we sort of, kind of, miss them. Does it mean that you’ve been conditioned to care after undergoing the torture of reading TMI updates for so long or is it just in us to care? Or should I search and replace the “we” and “us” in this paragraph to “I” and “me”? Because that’s how it gets with me.

I really don’t care about the minor details, but I do need to know that the people I know — even if I only know them virtually — are fine. Sure you might think I don’t care about you because you probably don’t care about me or my well-being, but somehow, in a way I can’t quite explain, I do care about you. I just don’t need to know where you are or what you’re doing every frickin’ minute! I’m sure your stalkers would appreciate such updates but please, just think about the common, non-stalkerly population, mmmkay?



Against the Sun

We got our H1N1 flu jab on Friday. We came in half an hour before the clinic started but the queue was already twice the length of the hall, and it was a pretty big hall. Fortunately, there were about 6 or 8 arm-jabbing stations (for lack of better terms) so the line was moving at a decent pace.

Watching the people in the queue was kind of interesting and a good distraction for me. My hands got cold just thinking about the prospect of having a needle penetrating my arm. Anyway, the old man in front of us was a social butterfly and he occasionally would leave the line to say hi to some people, including an actor he didn’t really know. The old man behind us talked in a Scottish accent and he was kind of gossipy. And yes, there were a lot of senior citizens.

After standing in line for about an hour, our turns came. First we had to answer some questions and then off to the arm-jabbing stations! The nurse asked me if I’d had a flu shot before. I said no and she said, “You must be very healthy!” Ha! I have a pretty good immune system, that’s true. But if by healthy you mean fit, I am so unfit it’s not even funny.

The arm-jabbing part took only a splitting second but man, even now, four days later, my upper arm is still tender to the touch. But at least I can now lay on my left side without hurting (too much). The first couple of nights were no fun at all and I had trouble sleeping. Mind you, the left side is my favourite side to sleep on. But eh, I guess it’s a small price to pay considering the alternatives.


Blogging Under Pressure

Branch and Twigs

I didn’t get the cold. As usual, an Advil, a Strepsil and a good night’s sleep fixed it. I’m really thankful for my immune system.

I’ve been browsing property listings obsessively. The last time I did that, we ended up buying a house in another town. Not sure if it’ll come to anything this time around.

I’ve been finding it hard to blog. Blogging used to be easy when I knew that only strangers read this crap. Now I’m always worried I’d offend anyone I know if I spoke my mind.

Sometimes I wish there were a million other Firda Bekas in the world instead of just me, the one and only.




Yesterday, it was a beautiful, sunny, t-shirt kind of day. Today, it’s back to the grey, one-digit-temperature kind of day. I guess the change is a bit too much for my body because I’m not feeling too great right now. I hope this won’t turn into a full-blown cold.

We went thrifting yesterday and I went all girly-like and picked up two blouses, one hooded cardigan and a pair of shoes. I get a kick out of hearing nice comments about what I’m wearing and I’m always proud to say I got it from a thrift store. Salvation Army chic doesn’t have to mean bag lady-look. ;) Mind you, I’m far from being trendy. I don’t even wear make-up. But I like feeling good about what I’m wearing. Though admittedly most of the time I care more about comfort than fashion. As long as it’s comfy, I don’t care if it makes me look fat.

Ugh, too headachey to write more.