Friday, August 31, 2007

A Little Quiz for the Weekend

There are 22 gloves in a drawer (SOOOOOOOO SORRY for the wrong typo, NOT 22 pairs but 22 gloves!!!). 2 pairs are yellow, 5 pairs are white, and 4 pairs are brown. The drawer is in a dark room and you have to take a pair of gloves of the same colour from there. How many gloves in total do you have to take from the drawer at the same time to make sure you'll get the right pair of gloves?

Have a JOLLY weekend, everybody!!! ;-D

Hogwarts House Quiz

Thanks to Waterlearner, I decided to try out this Harry Potter Quiz he he he he...and here's my result:

Which Hogwarts house will you be sorted into?

Anger Management

After writing the story about my brother, I remembered one time when I made him cry. Let me tell you this story first before I got to the "anger management" issue. We were playing in my parents' bedroom and for some reason he got me angry due to something I don't remember anymore. Back then I decided that instead of raising my voice to scold him, I would give him the "silent treatment".

I did my best by thinking of serious stuff while my brother did his best to try to make me smile again. He made faces and told jokes, but I wouldn't budge. I thought to myself that he deserved the silent treatment. Little did I know what it'd do to him. After a while, he gave up and CRIED!!! I was flabbergasted!!! I didn't mean to make him cry. I just wanted him to stop teasing me and leave me alone. You can imagine the guilt I felt back then. He cried as though I had done the most terrible thing to him. I guess the silent treatment was crueller than scolding him. Well, at least I learnt that the hard way.

On to my subject. Anger. Being angry isn't bad in itself, but you have to know how to channel it and how to project it. You mustn't project your anger to yourself to somebody else, either. We live, we learn. Have you ever snapped? Until I realized that I was capable of experiencing that, I had never understood the word "snapped".

When I was in Elementary School, I once snapped. I forgot what happened, but I think my brother teased me too much again, so I got mad. That split second I lost control of myself. I didn't even know what I was doing until after I was done doing it. I threw something to the floor HARD. Gladly it wasn't a plate or any dangerous item. I just felt this SURGE of emotion (kinda like when Donald Duck is angry, then you can see his hot-red blood surging up to his brain and he gets puffing mad - that was what I felt) and I lashed out.

Since then, I had promised myself NEVER to let me lose control like that again. Years went by without any anger management problem. Then about a year ago, it happened again on a fiercer scale.

You see, I had worked home as a translator in Bandung. That meant I spent almost all my days at home, except when I went out to the malls or church. That meant I was smack-dab in the war zone whenever my parents argued with each other. I don't remember them arguing much when I was younger, though. I know they had disagreements, but that's that.

Those of you who've read my blog early on would know what's happened to my Dad. During the past few years, he's undergone "power syndrome". In short, he used to be underestimated by SO MANY people at his work places (he had had several jobs in his lifetime), so he struggled so hard to prove them wrong. Thus he kind of attached his self-worth to his job. Plus he's a traditional man, so I guess he took it upon himself the responsibility of being the bread winner.

So for the past few years, my parents have argued more often than before since my Dad becomes super sensitive and he directs his anger towards Mom. He has also begun to forget some things lately, so he's also angry to himself as he can't remember many things. Being a traditional man means he's got a big ego. Sometimes when Mom gently reminds him to eat, he gets pissed off. Again it's a problem of projecting his anger towards somebody else.

Anyhow, they didn't argue every day, but since I was home, it was often enough to make my blood pumping and ears hot. One day they couldn't stop arguing. Dad wouldn't stop, even though Mom had said sorry. Dad kept on picking on Mom. Then I snapped. I kept on hitting on my computer desk with both palms forcefully to get their attention while YELLING at the top of my voice (they were in a different room).

I have to tell you that my voice didn't sound like my voice at all. It was like an out-of-this-world voice. I had never been able to yell loudly, but that one time my voice became SO booming and loud that I was shocked. Believe it or not, I did NOT know what I was saying. It was like something else was in control of my body. My brain wasn't processing what I was doing, it seemed. My voice became like the voice of an evil woman character in a Disney movie who got angry and yelled an order to her servant.

If I remember correctly, I was yelling these words while still hitting on the computer desk with full force, "STOP! STOP! STOP! Enough! When will you two stop acting like kids? You said it was enough but you kept on yelling at each other! Where is the love?!?!?!?!"

Then Dad walked into the computer room while saying something like, "What did you say? Stay out of this! Don't be disrespectful to your parents!"

I was amazed that he didn't yell the words out. You see, being a traditional hard-headed man, he would always raise his voice whenever he got into an argument or whenever somebody else tried to step in to stop it. However, that moment he didn't even yell at me. I guess he was too stunned by my force of anger (or my out-of-this-world voice) to yell back at me.

I remember YELLING something like this as a reply, "Oh, so I CAN'T say a thing, is that it?"

Dad replied, "Sure you can, but you don't have to shout."

I YELLED back, "Oh, right, but I can't change who I am. YOU're the one who kept on saying, 'Oh, this is just how I am, I can't change,' so guess what, this is also who I am!"

(Side note: He kept on saying that he was born that way, that's why he always raised his voice whenever he had an argument with Mom)

He stayed silent while I kept on pouring out my wrath. By this time, he had stopped near the doorway of the computer room.

I continued YELLING with Cruella de Vil's voice, "Do you know how uncomfortable I feel? If I try to stop the argument, you'll say, 'Oh, you're siding with Mom' or something like that. I'm SICK and TIRED of all this. Don't you know how bad it feels to hear the two of you arguing like that over and over again? It's SO TIRING, you know?!?!?!?!"

He stayed silent and backed off to the living room, too shocked to speak another word. My chest was heaving like crazy (it was as if I had done the toughest kind of exercise in my life) and at least realization washed over me and my hands started shaking. I could hear my Mom sniffling and crying in the bathroom (our house isn't THAT big). Dad sat on a chair and didn't do anything much.

For a FEW minutes I couldn't do anything much. My chest kept on heaving, blood pumping, and my hands were still shaking. Then I wrote an email to my closest friends, telling them what had happened. I just had to let it out of my system. I couldn't go straight back to translating in that state.

Finally I stopped shaking, my breathing got normal again, and I could think. You know what I was thinking? That moment I realized what "snapped" really meant and that some "good" people might experience the same thing. That moment I realized that anger management problem might lead people to kill. That people might kill not because of hatred or because they intended on doing so or because they were basically "bad", but because of the surge of wrath that blackened out their logic. I shivered, thinking of what I was "capable" of doing with anger. That night I was shivering again before I went to sleep, reliving the situation and still feeling stunned that my brain managed to "freeze" during those minutes. I just didn't know what came out of my mouth! Unbelievable!

My Dad refused to talk to me for a whole day. At first my ego kicked in and I told myself, "Fine, you don't want to talk to me, I don't want to talk to you, either." In another post, I'll explain how similar I am to him, so I can understand why he didn't want to talk to me. However, I relented finally as I didn't want to prolong the "silent treatment" to each other and there was this one occasion where I could talk to him naturally about something. He only grunted, but the next day he started talking to me again. :-))))

Post Note:

Tell me something, you never thought I was capable of doing something like this, did you? *wink* Well, unfortunately you're wrong.
I sure DO hope I'll NEVER EVER snap like that again, though. And I sure do hope my Dad manages to solve his anger management issues, as well. :-))))) It may take a while as I know he's been hurt and he has to adjust to being a retired man, but I know with God, nothing is impossible. :-)))))

Additional Note:

I remembered being amazed that during those minutes of yelling, I didn't cry. Usually whenever I felt that frustrated and angry, I'd cry while talking. I think I did shed tears after I calmed down, after my breathing started to get normal again, after I processed what had actually happened.

Another thing I remember when I got SOOOOO angry back then was that I almost lost faith in marriage (even though I wasn't married yet back then, but I had planned a wedding already). My cynical side, the latent enemy of mine, reared its ugly head and tried to convince me that people would change and they would be defensive and hurt the ones they loved the most, etc. etc. etc. Gladly the cynicism subsided!!! PHEW!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

7 Priceless Experiences Meme

Angela May tagged me to do this meme. Since I've lived in Bandung and now I'm living in Sodankylä, I guess I'll write 7 things about both places.

Seven Priceless Things About Bandung:

1. Lots of varieties of FRESH food and spices everywhere. Fresh veggies, fresh meat, fresh fruit, fresh seafood. And if you go to a traditional market, you can bargain!!! Lots of malls and factory outletssssss!!! And lots of resto and food sellers!!! Oh, and the beautiful part is that malls and factory outlets are open even on Sundays. On Saturdays and Sundays malls are open from 10 am till 10 pm. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!!!!

2. You can find pretty cheap beauty salons with AMAZING offers: creambath (1.5 hour full head, neck, arm, and back massage), facials, haircuts, hair coloring, highlights, etc. Price ranging from €3-50 (hair coloring may be expensive if you have VERY long hair).

3. The tropical weather (summer all year round). You don't need any winter clothes. You can get out of the house and wear tank tops and capri pants all year round. The mean temperature in Bandung is around 25-33'C.

4. "Wonderful" traffic where you can find assortments of death-defying drivers, jaywalkers, rickshaws, and street vendors. And traffic jams everywhere!!! Plus you'll find mounds of garbage in some places (Bandung's recently having garbage problem). Plus you'll find lots of garbage here and there: people don't throw garbage in the garbage cans, so the city is dirty.

To see pics of street vendors, go here: Street Vendors. (in the middle of the page)

Below is a photo of rickshaw (becak) in Bandung, taken here:

5. When it's near Lebaran Day (Muslims' Biggest Holiday - the "victory days" after the fasting month), you'll find yourself not wanting to go out at all as everywhere people flock around and traffic jams get worse and worse and worsseeee. Yet on Lebaran Days (usually two days), the city suddenly becomes SO empty. All those people go back home to their villages to gather with their families and relatives.

6. The sound of adzan (Muslim's call of prayer) is heard everywhere as there are many mosques all around the city. You'll hear this sound a few times a day. If you live very near to a mosque, then you'd better be able to sleep like a dead man during the nights.

7. During fasting month, you'll hear lots of noises outside the streets and alleys when the Muslims make rounds to wake one another up to have early breakfast (usually at around 4 am) before they start a LONG fasting day (no food, no drink until around 6 pm). You'd better get used to the noise! ;-D

Click here to see pics of Bandung (there are some traffic pics and traditional market pics, too): Life in Bandung and Bandung City Homepage.

*** According to Wikipedia, the population density in Bandung in 2004 was 14,976/km² (5,782/sq mi)

Seven Priceless Things About Sodankylä:

*** According to Wikipedia, the population density in Sodankylä in 2003 was 0.8/km².

1. NO TRAFFIC JAMS!!! I've been here 5.5 months and I've NEVER seen any traffic jams and I've NEVER even heard any car horn. YIIIPPPPPPIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!!!

2. Berries, berries, berries everywhere! I eat A LOT of berries here. I LOVE berries!!! And you can go berry hunting too in the forest!

3. Temperature is the opposite of Bandung. The worst temperature in this village was -53'C (gladly it doesn't happen every year!!!). This year the worst temperature was -35.5'C back in February and the hottest temperature was around 26'C sometime last month.

4. SAUNA!!! You can't come to Finland without experiencing sauna. It's one of the greatest inventions for a cold country like this.

5. Beer, beer, beer! People here party like crazy and they party TO get drunk. It's insane, actually.

6. Women rule. I've heard lots of people saying that Finnish women are very independent women and there are also SO many women working in the parliament. There're so many female ministers and hey, Finnish current president is a WOMAN!!!

7. Snow and Santa. Naturally you can find lots of snow here. You can find lots of winter activities being offered by travel agents. And in Rovaniemi, you can meet Santa all year round. That's his official house!!! Click here for further info: Santa Claus' Village.

Oh, and one more thing I forgot about Sodankylä. MIDNIGHT SUN in summer!!! Come here in summer and you'll never see the sun set below the horizon!!!!! ;-D

I'd love to tag Frasypoo. Would LOVE to hear about India!!! ;-D

Which Language Do You Use to Think?

Now the above question may be relevant only to non-native English speakers who live abroad or to native English speakers who've lived in a non-English speaking place.

I've just come to realize that ever since I moved here, my brain had switched to English to think. Back in Indo, I mostly process my thoughts in Indonesian, though once in a while I forced my brain to think in English for practice sake. I only realized this a few days ago when I caught myself thinking in Indonesian. I felt that something was off, and then I shrieked inside and said, "Of course!!! I'd been thinking in English lately. No wonder it felt weird thinking in Indonesian again!"

So, how about you? I'm mostly curious about Max's answer, as she's lived in different countries (Portugal, Canada, London) and she can speak LOTS of different languages.

My Brother and I

I was going to write another topic, but this morning out of the blue I felt compelled to write this one first (I had jotted down 4 other ideas to elaborate as different posts).

My brother is 2 years younger than me. We are two different worlds, yet we never had a real fight. Of course when we were kids, we used to fight (you know how kids are), but even then we never had any big fights. He used to follow me everywhere when we were kids. I love the great outdoors (read: I LOVED going out of the house to play with my neighbours after my homework was done), whereas he's always been a homebody.

He's a real charmer (friendly smile), he has LOADS of friends, and LOTS of girls like him. He has a way with them. The first time a girl kissed him was when he was in Kindergarten, can you believe it? He always blushes now whenever we mention the story to his girlfriend. LOL!!!

My Mom used to be confused with the many girls who'd call him and even send him cards and packages. Some of those girls were REALLY aggressive!!! Now my Mom's glad that he's found the love of his life and that they'll get married this December. I remember that there'd be girls from other High Schools who called him and asked him to meet them someplace. They claimed that they'd heard about him from their mutual friend who went to the same High School as my brother did. Amazing, isn't it?

I never envied his charm (gladly). I've always been the bookworm. At the university, through a close friend of mine, I got to know lots of other friends and we kinda hung around together a lot. After they got to know the "real" me, I asked them what they thought about me when they first saw or met me. I've always been quiet when I meet new people. I want to "test the waters", so to speak. I'm not a good ice-breaker, but if the person I meet is pretty talkative, then I'll have no problem. *grin*

Anyway, wanna know what they said about me? They said that they were shocked after getting to know the real me. Here are some things they said came to their minds when they first saw or met me, "You're a fridge. You look so cool (fridge-cool, not "cool" cool). You're a rock. You're a bookworm. It seems that you're the type of geek who studies hard every day." I giggled non-stop when I heard their answers.

Since then, I considered it my luck that people had a "distorted" view of me. It wasn't that I misled them on purpose. It's just that I can't possibly show every side of me to a stranger. That'd be too much. And I find that it's an advantage for me, as well. Let the blind be blind. I won't correct their view of me. If they don't want to dig deeper into the real me, then so be it. It's their loss, not mine. And I shall giggle happily knowing how wrong they are. *grin*

Back to my brother and me. When we were kids, we used to play on my parents' bed. One of the "games" he loved so much was when I pulled him across the bed (diagonally) by the ankles (he was still smaller than me back then, so it was an easy feat for me). He'd giggle and laugh and ask me to do it again and again and again. I LOVED doing it. It was priceless to see the glee in his eyes. Such wonderful memories!!!

Then during teenage years, before he had a girlfriend, he used to ask me to escort him to the malls to find a shirt or a pair of pants or shoes with him. Boy, it made me feel PROUD to be his big sister. It made me feel useful. It made me feel trusted. I kinda felt sad when he turned to his girlfriend later on, since it used to be "my task", but I'm happy that he's found a GOOD, THOUGHTFUL, WONDERFUL girl to be his wife.

I remember one time he took me to a faraway place to treat me. It was a special treat. NOW I remember why he took me there!!! He had been going there with his girlfriend and he knew I had been wanting to go there. So, it was TRULY special since he did it deliberately by spending time with me. We went to the restaurant on his motorcycle. The journey took around 40 minutes one-way. My back was hurting when we got back, but it was one of the things I'll NEVER forget. I was SO touched that he did that for ME!!!

My brother's also a natural musician. When we were kids, I took an English course, whereas he took an organ course. He stopped the course eventually for lack of interest (even though he won an award once in a competition). Then in High School I wanted to learn how to play the guitar, so I got a guitar for my birthday. Then I took a private course, but I realized that I wasn't really musical, so I stopped after a while. Now gladly my brother's taken up the guitar (he can just listen to songs and learn to flick his guitar just through listening!!! His ex organ teacher used to say that my brother had sharp ears). He also bought himself a bass guitar since there was already a lead guitar player at church. So nowadays he's a guitar bass player at his church. His girlfriend is a singer at the same church. Great combo, eh? *wink*

I'm SO proud of my brother. During the past few years, he's truly grown into a man. I was shocked a few times already by listening to his wisdom. It's shocking for me 'coz he used to be my "younger" brother, but nowadays I'm not so sure anymore. He's grown SO much.

In one email, he said he missed teasing me. Gladly now he has a new "victim" to tease, i.e. his girlfriend. LOL!!! Yeah, he's such a tease that once when he was in Elementary School, the teacher asked my Mom to come and meet her. She said that my brother didn't finish his task she'd given him as he kept on moving from one table to another to tease the other kids, so she punished him. LOL!!! Yep, that's who he is. Such a tease!!!

I MISS him, too!!! I know for a fact that he felt burdened to take care of my parents once he knew I was going far, far away. He took that responsibility, God bless his heart!
I'm just glad that I have him as my brother.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Special Thank You to Shinade (Jackie)

Jackie's awarded me her personal badge. I TOTALLY LOVE the images she has in her blog, so do visit her blog if you haven't dropped by there.

I'm VERY honoured to have this, so


Here's my wish for you...


Oh little time, so many things I wanna say, but let me just write this short post quickly. Sometimes the brain just wants to pour out EVERYTHING at once, whereas other times it refuses to give me ideas. LOL!!!

Anyway, yesterday my hubby went home during lunch break and as usual we hugged and kissed. Then I noticed a hickie on his neck, so I said, "Hey, I made a hickie!"

He started to look at his armpit with a confused look on his face. I began to look at the same spot myself, trying to look for whatever it was he was looking for.

He said, "What? Where?" while trying to pull his T-shirt on the armpit section to get a better look.

I began to get confused myself as I didn't get what he meant by that. So I repeated myself while pointing to the red mark on his neck.

Then he began nodding and said, "Oooohhhh...I thought you meant hiki!!!"

In Finnish, hiki means "sweat" and it's pronounced similarly to hickie. LOL!!!

OK, now I have to run to the supermarket to buy some food he he he...

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Potty Training

Read about parents potty training babies here: Parents begin potty training at birth.

It reminds me of what my parents did to me when I was still a baby (younger than one year old). I don't know when exactly my Mom started potty training me, but it was obviously when I was pretty young. Back then (I was born in 1978) in Indo there were no disposable diapers and most mothers were still work-at-home mothers, so they started potty training their babies early on.

Well, during the nights when my Mom detected that I got anxious and I kept on moving around in my crib, she'd wake up and wake me up and potty train me. She said that parents could detect when their babies wanted to poo or pee.

Anyway, after some time Dad reprimanded Mom for waking me up every night to pee or poo. My Mom was seething inside, so one night when she heard me moving around anxiously in my crib, she didn't do anything. A while later, Dad woke up himself and found out that I had peed and I got pretty wet all over (I guess I must've peed a lot), so Dad had to change everything I was wearing. He did that while cooing, "Oh dear girl, look at this mess. You're really wet, honey."

Mom was laughing inside. She said to herself, "Even though you think it's cruel to wake the baby up in the middle of the night to poo or pee, it is by far more practical than having to change everything, you know?" But she said nothing to Dad.

The next night, when my Dad heard me moving around in my crib, it was he himself who woke me up to potty train me. LOL!!! Mom loves telling me stories about my childhood and this one always makes me SMILE. ^_______________________________^

My Brain Pattern

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a tempered, reasonable way of thinking.

You tend to take every new idea in, and meld it with your world view.

For you, everything is always changing. Each moment is different.

Your thinking process tends to be very natural - with no beginnings or endings.

Random Thoughts in Early Autumn

1. I hope I'm not catching flu. I've been sneezing today and I'm a bit lightheaded. Better drink lots of vitamin C. I think it may be due to the weather changes. It's been steadily 10'C for the past three days.

2. One More Indonesian Habit:

Back in Indo, whenever I go out and some neighbours happen to be on their terraces, they'd ask me, "Hey, where're you going?" And then sometimes when they see you coming back home from someplace and they see you with a shopping bag (supermarket shopping bag), they'd say, "Ah, been shopping, eh?"

You may think that they're nosy, but actually they're just common chit-chat questions (though I admit that there ARE nosy people back there who ask such questions since they are REALLY curious about your activities). Finnish people LOVE talking about the weather, but in Indo, that's the kind of questions considered as common chit-chat questions.

I once read that a foreign woman living in Bali got SO fed up with that kind of question. She was confused on what to say and she thought that all those people weren't being friendly, but being SUPER nosy. Poor woman.

Actually, you don't have to answer truthfully to such questions.

  1. Where are you going? Oh, just taking a walk.
  2. Where are you going? Out.
  3. Where are you going? To the stores. (You don't have to elaborate your answer)
  4. Where are you going? To a friend's.
  5. Ah, you've been shopping, eh? ----> You can just smile. You don't have to say a thing.

3. While watching Spiderman 3 last night, I felt sorry for Mary Jane. I was thinking to myself that I wouldn't want to have a relationship with a superhero. He'll be TOO busy saving other people to have time for me!!! And my primary love language is quality time, so my love bank'll be depleted quickly enough if I have a relationship with a superhero.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Award!

THANKS A BUNCH to Amber, a brilliant, intelligent, and thought-provoking woman whose blog I admire, for this award! If you haven't been to her site, go visit it now!

This award goes to these blogs I love which I've read for quite some time:


Funny Language Debacles

I went to visit a website called 6d and found this article on funny language debacles. I'll only copy one paragraph written by Sally Armbrecht and you can read the rest of the article here.

When I came to Finland it never occurred to me that my name, Sally, would be mistaken for a Finnish slang word and cause confusion. The first occasion was when my boyfriend’s aunt called her daughter in Canada, telling her, “Timo has started to date an American Sally.” She slightly mispronounced my name and said sälli, a slang word for ‘dude’. At some point the phone call was cut short, and the result was that for a couple of weeks this cousin thought that Timo had come out of the closet and was dating a guy from America.

I advise you to read the article, especially if you need a laugh or two today (who doesn't?). *wink*

If I ever have funny experiences with Finnish, I'll surely write them down in this blog for your entertainment. ;-D

3BT: August 27, 2007

1. Calling a friend who lives in Indo by using Skype even for just a few minutes felt AWESOME!!! Thanks, Skype!

2. Hot sausage soup with jalapeno chili. Jalapeno chili gives a kick to my soup. YIIIIHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

3. Watching lots of birds flying about happily to and fro. Cute, CUTE, CUUUUUTTTEEE birds!!!

4. Being able to see the world through other people's perspectives. Such a privilege!!! With my "preferred isolation", I get to know more and more aspects of life that way.

5. The anticipation burning in my heart for my hubby's return from work. I MISS HIM!!!!!! I MISS squeezing hiiiimmmmm with all my might!!!

6. We have Spiderman 3 on our HD. Downloaded yesterday. Tonight we're gonna watch it together while eating chips (I've asked hubby to buy some as they're on sale HI HI HI). YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY!!! Bliss!!! ;-D

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Nice Matters Award

Max has just bestowed me with this Award. THANK YOU, my friend!!! There are two versions of this award: one for female, one for male. MARVELLOUS!!! ;-D

Rule: I have to tag 7 other people. ;-D Isn't it NICE to spread around something nice? ;-D

The author of this award is Bella-Enchanted and, in her blog, she explains what the award is about:

"This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people , good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"

So, I'd love to share this award with 7 individuals:

1. Michelle at Crow's Feet.
2. Bill at Almost a Dad.
3. Victorya at Victorya Chase Goes to Therapy.
4. Fish at Fish Without Bicycle.
5. Mother Hen at The Chicky World of Mother Hen.
6. Jennifer at The Art of Intimacy.
7. Frasypoo at This and That...

3BT: Weekend Wrap

1. Being spontaneous for once in my life. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!

2. Sleeping in from 9.30 pm to 9 am with my hubby at my in-laws'. MMMMMMMM...SO refreshing!!!

3. Watching two sisters (aged 74 and 63) chasing a fly to kill it. It was such a WONDERFUL sight! ;-D

4. HOT fish soup made by my mother-in-law on a cold windy day (it was only 10'C). YUMMY!!!

5. Receiving many comments on my post. It felt GREAT coming back from my in-laws and noticing that lots of people had left comments there. *grin*

6. The comfort of wearing socks or even double pair of socks. Warm, warm, warm!!! I never really thought of the importance of socks in Indo as I didn't need to wear them, but here they're a NECESSITY!!! ;-D

Matrix Ping-Pong + TV Tetris Game

A friend of mine sent it to me a while ago but I kept on forgetting to post it. Just an entertaining video clip for Sunday (after the serious post I wrote the other day HE HE HE). In Japan there's this TV show where people get to show their creativity in front of a panel of judges and an audience. The highest score is 20 and in the end the best of the best will get money he he he...Enjoy it!

This one is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH fun he he he he...May your Sunday be filled with laughter just as mine did when I saw this video clip hi hi hi hi hi hi hi...THE JAPANESE ROOOOOOOOCCCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007


I've been reading some sites on the pressure to be thin in Asia and it seems that they're all in agreement with one another.

A friend of mine who was considered medium-built in Indo moved to Holland a few years ago and since then she'd received so many compliments on being tiny (she's lost weight over the years, so she's now considered average-built in Indo). She said that whenever she went back home to Indo, again she felt the pressure to watch her weight more carefully since she didn't feel slim or tiny in Indo.

One of the things I "hate" in Indo is what they considered to be "normal chit-chat topics". The "normal chit-chat topics" would be:

1. Marriage:

In wedding parties, you'll hear that question: "When's YOUR turn?" (especially if you've got a boyfriend and you've been together with him for more than three years and you're both old enough to get maried)

When old friends meet one another (they're old enough to get married), then usually they'd start by asking, "So, what do you do now? Have you got married? Kids?"

The worst thing is that when you're single at the moment and people keep asking those questions to you. And then before you reach 30, your mothers become more and more worried about your life and then she starts introducing you to the sons of her friends or friends of friends. Well, I know that it happens to single guys, too...their mothers start panicking and ask around to find "potential" girls for their sons.

2. Kids: This is one of the most annoying "chit-chat topics" EVER!!!

Imagine that after just being married for a year, everybody starts asking, "When are you going to have kids?"

The situation gets worse if you're a Chinese and your husband is the first born child in his family and your in-laws are DYING to have a grandkid. YIKES!!! It gets even worse if your husband is also DYING to have a son whereas you're dying to have a daughter. It gets even worse if your husband THINKS there's something wrong with you since you haven't gotten pregnant yet even after a year trying and then he wants her to take some tests to make sure there's nothing wrong with you. It gets even worse if your mother starts pushing you to take the tests since your mother thinks that your in-laws are DYING to have a grandkid from you. And then it gets worse when everybody you meet (friends, relatives) starts asking the question. Pressure, pressure, pressure!!!

I mean, COME ON, give them a break! I've read somewhere that 80% of marriage couples who have sex regularly without any protection can conceive in a year and that 20% of them ARE NOT going to conceive within a year!!!

It's not over yet, you know? Then if your first kid's reached 1,5 years old, everybody starts asking, "When are you going to have the second one?" (gladly usually they stop there as they assume you'd want to have not more than 2 kids)

3. Weight:

Some people, upon noticing someone getting a bit plumper, say, "Hey, you've gained some weight, haven't you?" or "Hey, you look plumper!"

Nice going!!! I never really had a HUGE problem with my weight (initially), but after some people mentioned that to me, I started to think I were such a fat cow! I hated those remarks. Once I realized that they'd really gotten into my head, I was ANGRY!!! I was feeling okay with myself, but I let their remarks make me feel bad. That's NOT okay. I've been healthy and my weight is still within my normal body weight range. How dare I let them make me change my mind about it?

The funniest thing was when I contracted lymphoma tuberculosis and my doctor said that my normal weight should be 44 kg, whereas some people had told me that with that weight, I looked chubby. Right! Ever since then, I decided that I'd decide what the best weight range for me (HEALTHY weight range) and I'd exercise regularly and stay healthy and I wouldn't let anyone else make me feel bad about myself, INCLUDING MYSELF (as long as I'm healthy). Period.

And you what the worst thing is? It's that they DO NOT compliment you when you've lost the weight you've gained.
I think my friend's right. She said that Asians didn't compliment a lot, whereas westerners did. After moving here to Finland, I've learnt to give more compliments than when I was back in Indo.

Well, speaking of weight, I read something that made me COMPLETELY shocked. It was an article written a few years ago, yet I think it's still relevant enough to link here.

Read here: Asia's Killer Diet Pills

Here's the headline:
Singaporean actress Andrea De Cruz needed a transplant to save her life after the diet pills she took damaged her liver

This is also what I read here: Calorie Count Forum.

My mum would call me from Indonesia and ask "Are u thin or fat?" We are chinese, and it's important to be a perfect daughter.. I gained so much after I came to the States, I guess it has something to do with less pressure that we have over here.. Over there, I was 96 lbs and they can still call me chubby. :( I even feel afraid to go home because people always say: OMG What happen with u????? What did u eat???? I can't recognize u anymoreee


A women I knew/know who is very wealthy and japanese has threatened to cut her 21 year old daughter out of her will if she doesn't lose X amount of weight in X amount of time. I was horrified when I learned this! Until this point I never knew how bad it really was for some in the culture.


i also happen to be asian and have lived in both asian and western cities. local asian people can be so unforgiving sometimes. for example, my aunt from hk who had come to canada to visit me was like, "omg! your arms are so fat now! how much do you weight?" when i said 115, she was like, "omg, when did you hit 100? you were so skinny back there!"

i wanted to say '...yeah, that's cause i'm a grown woman now...not a kid.' it made me want to crawl into a hole and die.


Last year I went to Bangladesh for my brothers wedding and they have the exact same mindframe and belief that being super skinny is beautiful.

I am a UK size 8 (considered to be quite small over here) but when I was in Bangladesh I was made to feel as though I was obese! No clothes would fit me and everywhere I went people just looked me up and down. Even my cousins who live there were horrible because I wasn't a size 0 and therefore I wasn't beautiful. They completely screwed me up mentally and I've only just got myself back on track (only took a year!).

Looking back, they are just a bunch of malnutritioned mini's and I can't compete with that. I'd rather eat healthily and be healthy than starve myself to be one of them.


Hey another Asian here. I'm one of those out of the norm ones since i'm 5'11 and weight 140 to 150 lbs ( i dunno exactly how much i weight)

I agree that it's the type of food and cultural difference that makes Asians tend to be on the skinnier side. At least it's less likely to see a size 16 in Asia......Before i came to canada i weighted 130 lbs and i was i'm 27 and i've gained 10 or 20 lbs....i believe it's the food that's available to you....and eating has become a kind of social activity.

I know the media is pushing a lot of girls going insane because I'll be called VERY FAT if I lived in Hong kong. I wouldn't want to go out at all because I know i'll be pointed's really frustrating but I am in that culture background and I know it doesn't make sense but I am trying my very best to lose that 10 or 20 lbs....*I was already tall when i was 16.*

It's funny that all my Canadian friends call me too skinny, but all my Honger friends say (or imply) that i need to lose some weight.

And in Diet Blog, Bijou wrote this in the comment section:

i just wanted to add that the pro-skinny culture in Asia (especially East Asia) is much more institutionalized and vicious than it is here in the U.S. the young women there are supposed to be thin and fair-skinned, but never muscular. dieting is advocated while muscle-toning exercise is discouraged. my own mother warned me of developing bulky calves after i started working out. thankfully, my calves only got leaner. i actually avoid traveling back to Asia because it's like the parting of the Red Sea whenever i walk down a sidewalk - i can almost hear people thinking "Big American girl coming through, make way!" keep in mind, i'm 5'2" and 103 lbs.

I'm not really sure what I want to say by writing this post. Just letting off some steam, perhaps. LOL!!!

Just one warning, though:


Ahem. That's all I wanna say, I guess. ;-D

Journey Video Clip

Used to watch this Taiwanese series, At The Dolphin Bay. I TOTALLY love this song she sings in the series he he he...Hope you enjoy it as well!

Here's Angela Chang with Journey!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

3BT: August 22-23, 2007

1. Being spooked again by my hubby.

2. Pretending to sulk for exactly 5 seconds after being spooked. LOL!!!

3. Being squeezed A LONG time last night. He wouldn't let go. It's one of the BEST feelings in the whole wide world. *grin*

4. Teeth are WONDERFUL, esp. if you've got no problem with any one of them (going to the dentist can be SO expensive). You can chew food with them and best of all, I LOVE being nibbled!!!

5. Reading these words today:

He (God) knew the size of my pain, the color of my frustration, the fabric of my fears, and the fashion of my insecurities.

SUCH comforting words!!! ;-D

6. The anticipation brewing inside me as I'm about to buy ice-cream at the supermarket soon. YIIIPPPIIIIIIEEEEE!!!! There are SO many choices. I wonder which one I'll pick today. I'm drooling already. *tee hee*

7. The wind rustling the leaves.

8. Feeling the warmth of the sun on my back MMMMMMM...

9. Hubby running to the door to hug me tightly. He came home for lunch break while I was at the supermarket. Now I know how WONDERFUL it felt to be greeted like that. *HUGE grin*

10. A cluster of birds flying away as I was passing nearby. I LOVE Finnish nature!!! ;-D

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Coma and Amnesia

Have you ever thought of being in a coma? (yeah, a morbid thought coming from Amel's brain)

I once saw a movie (don't remember the title, unfortunately) where a woman was in a coma for more than ten years, I think. During that period, her best friend had become SO close to her daughter and husband. I didn't watch the movie from the beginning, so I didn't know how it first started. All I know is that when the woman wakes up from the coma, the hubby, daughter, and best friend are all SO happy. However, then she finds out that reality's changed a lot. Her hubby and best friends are in love and her daughter has considered her best friend as her mother figure. And she's also confused about the "far modern" world she's now in. How scary is that? I think it'd have been better for her to die.

If you're ever in a coma, would you want your loved ones to unhook you from the machines or not?

Well, I guess it all depends on how "bad" the injuries are. Miracles MAY happen in any case, though I wouldn't want to think of myself being supported by machines for too long. If I don't show any brain activities anymore, I would want to be unhooked from the machines.

Sometimes despite the advantages we may enjoy from it, I think modern technology also makes things more complicated, don't you think so? It gets harder for you to make some decisions as there're many more grey areas. What a dilemma!

Speaking of morbid about amnesia?

I've also watched a movie about a guy who had amnesia and then got married to another woman whereas he had actually had a wife. What would the law say about such a matter?

I wonder how the old wife must've felt when she found out that her husband was alive AND married to another woman. And that he'd forgotten most of things about their lives.

I admit I know nothing much about amnesia, yet after watching such a movie, I can't help wondering about the whole situation.

What would I do if I have amnesia? Would I ever remember anything at all in the end? Would I feel frustrated because I don't even know who I am?

Questions, questions, more questions he he he...I'm just rambling here again. ;-D

What About My Birthday?

Inspired by the Birthday Meme I read in Mother Hen's blog, I decided to write this one though nobody tagged me he he he...

My birthday is November 29.

Here are a list of things I found through Wikipedia when I wrote my birth date.

Three events:

  1. 1944 - The first surgery (on a human) to correct blue baby syndrome performed by Alfred Blalock and Vivien Thomas.
  2. 1945 - The Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia declared.
  3. 1975 - The name "Micro-soft" (for "microcomputer software") is first used in a letter from Bill Gates to Paul Allen.

Two births:

  1. 1831 - Louisa May Alcott, American novelist (d. 1888)
  2. 1898 - C. S. Lewis, Irish writer (d. 1963)

One holiday:

  1. Albania - Liberation Day (Dita e Çlirimit)

Judge Gently + Two Frogs

(click on the titles to view the original sites)

Pray don't find fault with the man who limps
or stumbles along the road,
unless you have worn the shoes he wears
or struggled beneath his load.
There may be tacks in his shoes that hurt,
thought hidden away from view,
or the burden he bears, placed on your back
might cause you to stumble too.
Don't sneer at the man who's down today
unless you have felt the blow
that cause his fall or felt the shame
that only the fallen know.
You may be strong, but still the blows
that were his if dealt to you,
in the selfsame way, at the selfsame time,
might cause you to stagger too.
Don't be too harsh with the man who sins
or pelt him with word or stone,
unless you are sure, yea, doubly sure,
that you have no sins of your own-
for you know perhaps if the tempter's voice
should whisper as softly to you
as it did to him when he went astray,
it might cause you to stumble too.

A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.

The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.

This story teaches two lessons:

1. There is power of life and death in the tongue. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day.

2. A destructive word to someone who is down can be what it takes to kill them.

Be careful of what you say. Speak life to those who cross your path. The power of words... it is sometimes hard to understand that an encouraging word can go such a long way. Anyone can speak words that tend to rob another of the spirit to continue in difficult times. Special is the individual who will take the time to encourage another.

Author Unknown


1. For those of you trying to lose weight, beware of beverages you drink daily!!! This is what I read in Joy's Healthy Bite: (click this link to read more, I'm merely giving the excerpt)

Consider this: Trim 500 liquid calories from your daily diet and you'll save 3,500 calories a week. That's potentially one pound of fat lost per week and more than 50 pounds lost at the end of the year!


  • Soda (20-oz. bottle) = 250 calories
  • 7-Eleven Big Gulp (32 oz.) = 400 calories
  • Large movie theatre soda (44 oz.) = 550 calories
  • 7-Eleven Double Big Gulp (64 oz.) = 800 calories

2. A premarital counselor of my friends once said this: "Marriage shouldn't be a 50-50 establishment, but a 70-70 one."

The reason is that if you start marriage with a 50-50 "arrangement of give and take", then you'll definitely be keeping score cards. Once you feel you've done your parts, you'd expect your spouse to do his/her parts. If your spouse doesn't do one or two things on his/her "to-do list" and you end up doing those things, then you'll feel that your spouse "owes" you.

Ideally speaking, both partners should wish to give 70-70, since when your love tank is full (by receiving 70), then you'll naturally end up wanting to give more and more and your spouse's love tank will be filled more and more and he/she'll give back more to you and the cycle continues.

3. Sometimes when I go to Finland Forum and read the discussion, I get discouraged about my future here. Reality is harsh. However, every time I start thinking about reality, I stop myself and force myself to look UP and submit my worries to Him. Nothing is impossible for Him, though I'm still learning to believe, believe, believe.

As I said before, I tend to look too far ahead and try to "predict" any problems that may come so that I can prepare for plan B, C, D, etc. I know it can be futile, yet that's how I operate.

It's when I focus on the "problem predictions" and see no way out (no plan B, C or D), worry starts gnawing away my faith. I'm learning to believe, believe, believe. I'm learning to believe in HIS provision, grace, greatness. I'm learning to believe Him and lean on Him. I'm learning to let go and let God. It's NOT easy. I keep on stumbling and falling and rolling on the ground.

4. The other day the postman came to bring two packages for us. The first one is a package of Asian food and spices sent by my German friend. WHOOOPPPPPPEEEEEE!!! The second one is from Amazon UK. My two new novels have arrived!!! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!! I can't wait to read them, but I'd better finish the book I'm reading now before I start reading them!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Daydreaming Meme

Epi tagged me to do this meme about what I do with $1,000,000.00!

  1. Pay tithe to my former church in Bandung.
  2. Buy a house for us both and a new car (and maybe some kitchen gadgets).
  3. Send enough money to my parents so they can live well and enjoy their old days without having to work too hard. If they want to open a small kiosk or something (to make sure they won't be senile early), I'll support them with the funding.
  4. Travel to several places.
  5. Go back to Indo to visit my family and friends, bringing lots of Finnish products and bringing back lots of stuff from there (spices, food mixes that I can't find here, etc.)
  6. Start my own business: maybe open a small bookshop (I LOVE the bookshop owned by Meg Ryan in the movie "You've Got Mail").
  7. Save the rest of the money for kids and for the rest of our lives.

Instructions :

**Start Copy**Proposition: If you Have $1,000,000.00…………………………

Requirements: continue above sentences

Tag Mode: 5 bloggers

I decide not to tag anyone, sorry. If someone wants to follow the lead, go ahead. ;-D

Link: Add your anchor and post link below.

What They Do With Their $1 Million1.

1.SYH will spend for Family

2. Miche will give to the needy

3. Montessorimum will keepsake

4. Lovely Mummy will spend & save

5. MummyInVain will fully utilise

6. Babyfiona will buy house and open business

7. MonkeyWong will go for a long vacation

8. Emila Yusof will realise her dream

9. Mariuca will open a Perfume Gallery

10.Janice Ng will upgrade house and go for long vacation

11.Hin will blog to donate for charity

12.Bobo will invest in property and let her parents go on a holiday.

13. Adrian will spend it all!

14. Brad will spend all of his money on foolish gadgets

15.Danielle will buy a cottage in the woods and never look back

16. Brown Baron will hold a $17,500 blog contest.

17. Bobby will be on a World vacation forever.

18. Arsenal Marketing will Tithe 10%, use 10K for advertising, Invest the rest

19. Barrett will do ALOT of Traveling

20. Mommibee will Give, Pay Loan and Education Fund

21. Sean will go for family

22. Seiche would Fix you but good

23. HollyGL will invest, invest, invest in herself and others

24. Epimenides will invest, build a lovenest and live on the beach.

25. Amel will spend some, save some, send some for parents, travel some, and open her own business.

Finnish Sauna

Kathy from Kathy's Klavier has asked me about sauna in Finland.

Finns LOVE their sauna, though I don't know if they go there every day or not. I don't think so, since if you have an electric sauna and you go there every day, then you'll end up paying a HUGE amount of electricity bill later on. And if you have a wooden sauna, then you need LOADS of firewood if you go there every single day.

Anyway, in my hubby's office there's even a sauna room complete with two showers and a changing room, can you believe it? I mean, the office isn't THAT big, yet they have two showers, a changing room, and a sauna room? Tsk tsk tsk...

I think to read the complete sauna guide, you can just go here: Finnish Sauna.

I especially like being whipped by vasta or "birch twigs" (click the Finnish Sauna link to see the pic) during sauna. It's SO fragrant and it makes me feel GOOD.

My in-laws have a portable wooden sauna. It consists of two rooms. One is the changing room (or cooling down room) and the second one is the sauna. Decades ago they didn't have an indoor bathroom, so they went to sauna twice a week to shower (as well as to enjoy sauna). I can't imagine not having an indoor bathroom during harsh winter days since the distance between the house and the sauna was approx. 6-8 metres. BRRRRRRRRRR...

Anyway, here are some pics of my in-laws' sauna. First pic: the sauna from outside.

The second pic is the changing room. I took the pic from the doorway. There's the Pefletti box next to the table. (Pefletti = a disposable tissue designed to endure heat and humidity, we sit on it in the sauna room)

This third pic is the left part of the changing room. As you can see there are some clothes hangers on the wall for us to hang our clothes.

There you go: the sauna room itself. The white "tissue-like" stuff hanging is the Pefletti he he he he...Don't ask me why it's there. I took the pics when the sauna wasn't being used.

The stove and buckets of water!!!

Our regular sauna session goes like this:

1. Father-in-law warms up the sauna before we can go in (they use firewood to heat the sauna), then after about an hour we can go inside.

2. Bring some cider and towels and put them in the changing room, then we'd get undressed.

3. Soak ourselves up first with warm water before sitting down on Pefletti towels in the sauna room and throw some water on the stove. Steam, steam, steam!!!

4. Use the birch twigs (vasta) if my in-laws have it prepared in the sauna room.

5. After a while, we cool down in the changing room while drinking COLD cider. YUM YUM!!!

6. We go inside again and then throw more water to produce steam.

7. Then we go out again a bit to drink COLD cider in the changing room (usually by now the temp. inside the sauna room has gotten up to 70'C)
8. We go inside the sauna room again to wash ourselves and wash our hair.

9. We dry ourselves in the changing room while sipping more cider.

An exception to this order was made the last time we went to stay in the cabin. The cabin is located right in front of a lake, so in between sauna, my hubby decided to jump into the lake twice. The water was TOO cold for me, though. My hubby said that once he did it in September, when the lake water was colder than August. YIKES!!! No, thank you.

This has something to do with ice swimming. This is what I found in
It is common to have a sauna near such a swimming hole, and to cycle from the sauna into the water and back.

I also found a nice set of pics of (crazy) people going ice-swimming here:

Here are some info about public saunas (I've never been to one, so I can't share any personal experiences):
Sauna. There are also some links on this site about sauna and ice-swimming.

Some hot-blooded people may not like sauna since their bodies have a hard time cooling down. Their bodies are so easily heated up. Two friends of mine are like that and they both dislike going to sauna.

All in all, I LOVE sauna since it's TRULY relaxing for me. You can't really do anything much while in sauna as it's SO hot, so you can only enjoy yourself and relax. Plus, I get to drink COLD cider. YUMMY!!!

I think I'd DEFINITELY enjoy sauna more in winter when it's cold outside. Last March when I first arrived here, there was still some snow outside and it was cold for me, yet sauna was always a welcome experience. I salute the inventor of sauna: THANK YOU for creating such a MAGNIFICENT thing!!!

Additional info: Finnish people love going to their summer cottages in the long summer holiday. I've seen SO many trailers during summer coming to Lapland and then they leave this village with their skin SO red like tomatoes he he I guess they sunbathe a lot, swim a lot, and go to sauna a lot during summer.