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!