web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: December 2005
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Friday, December 30, 2005
Try To Have a Good One, This Time

Excerpts from In Memoriam, by Lord Tennyson

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

It seems too much to ask for, perhaps? If all of us agree to do the right thing, maybe Tennyson's words will ring true, this year.

In the meantime, come usher in 2006 with us at the Curve. We promise it will be indulgent madness. Suhaimi will sing and I'm not too sure what I'm supposed to do. Nevertheless, I will take it as an opportunity to fulfill my New Year resolution : in 2006 I want to be Gwen Stefani. In fact, I have already bought a 30 ringgit blonde wig at Mangga Dua to help me achieve this, even though my husband thinks it makes me look as though I have a penis between my legs. That is to say, he thinks I look like a drag queen. Oh who cares, I bet lots of drag queens look like Mrs Gavin Rossdale.

If you're reading this anywhere indoors, stop right now. Get into your car, onto your bike, hop into a cab, run, do whatever, for you must be at the Curve on the 31st of December, 2005. It's your last chance to see us make a fool of ourselves, this year.

Happy 2006, people! May you have 365 days of blessings.


Friday, December 23, 2005
What Have I Done?

Never, ever make a decision at the start of your ovulation cycle. Especially after you've had a good dose of caffeine and is facing the prospect of not seeing your husband for a long time.

Saiffuddin left for Jakarta, yersterday, back to what is for all intents and purposes, his current domicile. I sent him off at the airport, and while we were waiting for his flight, I took out 600 ringgit and bought myself a ticket. It's scheduled for tomorrow. After the purchase, Saiffuddin and I sat at the obversation deck, watching the day turn into night, munching on chocolates, mulling my recklessness. I felt enormously guilty.

"Why didn't you stop me?", I scolded.
"Why should I?", he grinned.

Now I have to face the terrible task of telling my children, my mother and most of all, Suhaimi. I think I'm going to chicken out and let them read it in this blog. I'll be back before New Year's Eve, I promise! See ya's!


Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Things We Will Miss

Haha, so much for posting regularly.

Today is our last day in Jakarta : my three children, Ti, my maid, my husband and I will be on a KL bound flight at 11.20 am Waktu Indonesia Barat, thus ending our month long vacation here. Well, except that my husband never had a day-off, so it wasn't much of a holiday for me. I didn't manage to buy even one fake handbag.

It is now 6 am, and the city is already awake. It looks like a clear day, as I glance out from my apartment window. My husband has made a temporary home in Allson Residence, which by all appearances seems to be run by Sunway. It is a comfortable three bedroom, and the building has verdant gardens, manicured sorroundings and a lush tropical pool, but the only catch is that it contravenes the basic rule of real estate : location. Allson Residence is in Senen, the Batavian equivalent of Chow Kit. Next to our apartment is a shopping mall called Atrium, which holds the dubious honour of being the first building to be bombed in Jakarta.

So the view I get when I look out the window, is Pasar Senen, one of the biggest wet markets in Jakarta. It's also a Bursa Kue Subuh, where sellers of traditional cakes and delicacies from all over the city get their supply. Apart from that, a huge section is reserved for onderdil, or auto spare parts. The whole place is fringed by wooden kiosks selling boots, shoes, leather jackets, shirts and pants, all sourced from other people's clotheslines and front doors. Yes, I mean it's stolen. Needless to say, I have never ventured into Pasar Senen, even though I am told it has the cheapest telekungs, batik, beaded blouses and comforters in Jakarta.

The roads sorrounding Pasar Senen is clogged with buses, motorcycles, cars, orange three- wheeled vehicles called bajajs, and their version of the mini-bus - mikrolets, which is really just a small van cramped with passengers. Pasar Senen never sleeps, and it will not allow others near it to do so, either. So Pasar Senen tops my list of things I will miss in Jakarta, for the sheer fact that it refuses to be ignored. I am so tempted to venture into its dark innards, but I'm a lily-livered shopper. Anyway, here are the other reasons :

Batak Free Radio
One of the small wooden shops in Pasar Senen sells pirated music. 24-7, the shop will advertise its content, at full volume. During the day, the music is not so audible, but at night, I can clearly hear their playlist : Christmas carols in Batak, lengthy ethnic percussion stuff, plaintive Minang ballads, the requisite dangdut, Bob Marley and the Wailers, but most of all Batak Top 40. As a concession perhaps, from midnight till this morning, we got Ebiet G Ade.

#1908, Allson Residence
The apartment came with nice, warm wooden furniture and mint green walls, but it is a little boring. The signature Mokciknab decorating trick is to buy lots of little cushions, useless mengkuang baskets, and as much orchids as you can afford. I think my sisters will agree that the place looks a lot more like me, now.

Stuff You Eat/Drink that You Can't Get in Malaysia
-A drink called You.C1000 Health Drink. It's the most delicious way to get your vitamins.
-Avocado juice with chocolate sauce.
-Susu Chap Junjung condensed milk in a squeegee bottle, but with added chocolate. The cheapest fudge you can find.
-Nasi Timbel. A peasant's lunch - rice with fried tauhu, tempe and fresh ulam, with sambal on the side. If you can afford it, you can add fried chicken.
-Instant Swiss Roll Mix called Tepung Kek Pondan. It is not a misspelling of Pandan. It's the name of the manufacturer.
-What you call pondan, they call wadam's or wariya's, shorthand for wanita-adam or wanita-pria. Starting at about 5.30 in the evening, these glamorous creatures will wait at traffic lights and serenade you as your car stops for the light to change. It is polite to thank them with at least 1,ooo Rupiah. I can't see why they shouldn't be included under the heading Stuff You Eat/Drink.

My Sopir, Pak Rifai
I suspect Pak Rifai is a little on the effeminate side. He has a penchant for cooking and likes to accompany me shopping, and gives me advice on tudung, flowers and furniture. He has three sons, all of them studying to be chefs, currently doing their training in Dubai and KL. The youngest son, whom he is particularly proud of, was the winner of last year's Abang dan Nona Jakarta, the city's most celebrated pageant. I will miss having someone a little on the effeminate side driving me around.

Real News
Journalists and editors who don't pull their punches. Newscasters who ask straight questions and unflinching in their quest for answers. In the media here, there is a constant pursuit for truth, or at least, a constant battle against bullshit. The complaint you get from the taxi driver is the same polemic you'll read in the papers and and hear on TV. In general, I don't have to wade through propaganda and decipher spin, to know what's really happening. Now it's back to everthing's-coming-up-roses Malaysia. Sigh.

I'll post pictures soon. Right now my kids are up, and my husband is nagging me to take a bath. See you in KL!


Monday, December 05, 2005
Thank You Modbloggers Indonesia!

I am constantly gatecrashing Modblog gatherings, perhaps because only Modbloggers care to hold gatherings in the first place. I have to admit, Modbloggers tend to have more fun than Blogspot owners, who are usually intense, private people. (read : stuck-up tight arses, except you, Suhaimi. Being a tight arse, in your case, is a compliment)

So when in Jakarta, I am not breaking the habit. Modbloggers here held their first get-together in Plaza Semanggi, and me, the muka ngga malu, asked to be invited. (I ought to be a Modblog Mascot, because when Modblog Malaysia had their first barbecue, I came along, too) Thanks to the Event Organizer, the lovely Nattever (yes, you were the EO!) I had the privelege of meeting some very interesting diarists.

First impression : female bloggers in Jakarta are babes. The group I met are at least 15 years younger than I am, so I stuck out as the tante among the gorgeous nona's. (Nattever described me as a cewek in her post. The people at my kantor could die laughing. Itu bukan cewek, dong! Itu ibunya cewek). They were nice enough to hear me complain about my kids, and were patient enough to answer my questions about internet consumption habits of young Indonesians. In turn, we also discussed Takeshi Kaneshiro ("Ganteng!", said the girls), the possibility of meeting again in Dufan (Dunia Fantasi Ancol) and of course, Modblog's frequent black-outs. (There are benefits of being owned by Google, guys) RiefXavier was the one who tolerated me the most, along with his two sisters yang lucu, so I'll give him a shout-out here.

I lingered for about an hour, an hour of brat-less bliss, in the company of young adults, instead of screaming children. Then the time was up, and I had to rescue my husband, who was being held hostage at an arcade in Plaza Semanggi. I was so happy I didn't yell at my kids for almost 45 minutes.