Friday, October 05, 2007


This morning started off sunny AND foggy. It's an interesting mix. It was only 3'C when I woke up, but now it's risen up to 5'C in the shade (probably around 7'C in the sun).

I was going to write something else, but then another topic came into my mind. As you all know, Indonesia is a developing country, so there aren't any benefits for people and even the pension money is usually insufficient to have a decent "rest of life" for those who're retired. Thus Indo people have to learn to save as much money as possible during their productive years to prepare for their retirement OR start a business after they retire. Of course this doesn't apply to people who own companies or stores as they can delegate the tasks to other people or their own kids (as long as the companies/stores still run well).

What I don't get is how some parents depend on their kids like leeches. They don't get how hard it is for their kid to support their own families. Once you have a kid in Indo, then your expenses will be SO big, especially if you have more than one kid. Everything in Indo lately isn't cheap anymore, especially compared to the standard salary that people get. I don't wonder if lots more people in Indo (who have standard salaries) choose to have only one kid as the cost of everything is up to the roof these days. Education is SO expensive. I also don't wonder if lots more wives in Indo become full-time career Moms due to inflation, especially if they have more than one kid.
Back in my days, the price to get proper education was still reasonable. But nowadays it's all about money, money, money.

One of my close friends married a guy who supports his parents. It IS noble to do that, but the parents don't even care about his growing expenses (now they've a 2-year-old son). They keep on complaining on getting less and less money and that the money he gives them isn't enough. I mean, give me a break. Other than the expensive cost of medicine, how much can two old people spend monthly? My friend's husband decided to quit his job last year due to some reasons (basically, his superior made his life a living hell in the workplace), so he went unemployed for a few months. At first he didn't tell his parents 'coz he didn't want them to worry. I think it's a bad move, don't you?

Finally he told his parents about this and then they blamed her (my friend) for not having talked about it with them before he made a decision. They said that since they hadn't talked about it with them beforehand, that meant that they didn't think of them at all (meaning they didn't care about whether he could still support their life or not by resigning from his job). Ain't that grand? Even after they knew that he was unemployed, they kept on asking for more money from him. He paid for their house rent already and their monthly expenses, but whenever he visited them and they needed other stuff, they'd ask for more from him and he would ALWAYS give the money to them!!!

Plus his elder sister keeps on wanting to "borrow" money from him and he ALWAYS gives it to her no matter how big the amount she asks, even though he knows FOR SURE that she won't be able to return the money. Isn't that crazy? It doesn't make any sense. I'm an eldest daughter and I would NEVER do such a thing to my younger brother. A big sister's supposed to HELP the younger brother if she can, not suck him dry like a leech.

Anyway, he's got a new job now, but he receives a smaller amount of salary. He doesn't tell this to his parents. So since they get less and less than they used to get, they keep on complaining to him. Every year during Lebaran holiday (the Muslim's victory day after a month's fasting), the parents want him to take them for a vacation and his sister asks for money from him. My friend has told her hubby to be honest with his family and to tell them that his salary now isn't as big as it used to be, but he wouldn't budge. My friend doesn't even get any grocery money anymore because he gives too much to his parents and sister.

I can't believe a guy who's already 39 years old can't set boundaries. I mean, I KNOW he's being a VERY GOOD son, but it wouldn't do any good to anybody in the end, would it? His own son keeps on growing and soon he'll be at school and it's going to cost SO MUCH. I don't get it. If his salary is SO huge so that he can afford giving the big bulk of it to his parents AND still have enough for his own family, then I won't wonder about all of this. But the fact is that he doesn't even have enough left for his own family.

My friend's chosen to be a stay-at-home mother since her own mother didn't take care of her when she was a kid. That's why she's determined to raise her own son herself. Now that the son's getting bigger, she's thinking of being a tutor and finding school kids to teach at home. I sure HOPE that'll work well for her, 'coz then she'll get some income to help out with the family expenses. I think that she's been using her own savings account to cover everything these days, but how long can it last? I wish her luck in finding students. :-))))

Anyhow, most of all, I don't get the parents. How can there be parents like that? Oh well...enough ranting. Time for me to go grocery shopping as there are discounted items at Lidl HI HI HI HI...

Have a SUNNY weekend, everybody!!! (both in and out)


  1. What is the other side to this story? Somehow I think they are 2 sides. The society today operates on polarized opposites. And this is a classic example.

  2. Mother Hen: Two sides? Hmmm...I never thought of this story that way. Let me think about it first. So you think it's a classic example? That means you've already heard so many stories like this. Interesting!!!

  3. First, I'm in Sinagpore. so it's really terribly sunny here.

    Second, this is kind of what my blog's about and what our govt is trying very hard not to get into.

    In the old days, more children meant more hands to work on farms. People had kids because kids were their financial plans. You bring up a kid, and then expect the kid to look after you when you are old. That's why most financial books recommend you save for your retirement FIRST and let kids borrow to go to college if there isn't enough money. You can't borrow for retirement !

    I know a cleaning lady in this situation. Her son can only afford to give his parents about $200 a month. You can't live on $200 a month in Singapore. So at age 60, with no skills having been a housewife all her life, she now has to go out to work.

    That's why I'm very much for increasing financial education so retirement can be a reality. And the Singapore govt is currently trying its best to sort out what to do with an aging population, and how to avoid a squeeze on the generation in the middle with aging parents and young dependent children. Obviosuly govt doesn't want to land up with the bill to support them ! The pension scheme went out years ago.

  4. Karen: It's good that you can borrow money for college. As you know, Indo govt. isn't rich enough to do that.

    Yeah, living on $200 a month in Indo is also tough for two people.

    Indo still has a VERY VERY VERY long way to go. It's kinda sad if I compare it with Finland's many benefits (kids, unemployment, etc.). Oh well...but different countries have different problems.

  5. That sounds like an incredibly stressful situation. Is it cultural or are your friend's huaband's parents more demanding than most? Perhaps they were expected to provide for their parents in the same way and don't see why things should be any different for their children.

    Hope you got some great bargains at the grocery store :-)

    Have a lovely weekend, Fish

  6. Fish: I can't imagine how stressful it is for my friend. It's making me frustrated just listening to her stories.

    No, this is gladly not a cultural thing, but I know there are other parents like that. I don't know how his parents were raised, though.

    Well, I managed to buy some stuff for food next week at a reasonable price, so I'm pretty happy with that. Plus chips were on a discount. YAYYYYY!!! ;-D

  7. I think maybe his parent are bing just a tad bit selfish. They need to realize that everyone goes through a time of hardship. Your friend's time is now and the parents need to be a little more understanding.

  8. I must say that I agree with Mother Hen, a classic example. There are similar cases here in M'sia. Even amongst my relatives and it's quite frustrating. Most probably because the way they're brought up and what they believe in.

    In my observation, some parents particularly older generations tend to have this kind of thinking, where they 'own' their children even after their children are married. I've heard many real life stories about how parents would say that they've gone through hard times but still they managed to raise their children, but when they are asking for money from their children, they feel like 'begging'.

    I guess it all depends on the members of one's family to really sit down and discuss, to make each party understand the situation, compromise and be more open-minded. It will be difficult, but who knows, someday things might get better. ;)

  9. Sindi: Yeah, but it's hard 'coz the guy doesn't even tell the parents that his salary is now smaller than it used to be.

    Choc Mint Girl: I wonder if Asians can relate more to this story than foreigners. It seems that you, Karen, and Mother Hen know more about this than others.

    I forgot to mention that the guy's family may be doing that 'coz they think that the girl's parents are rich. Of course they have plenty of money (much much more than the guy's parents, but that doesn't mean that my friend wants to ask money from her parents after she gets married. That's the craziest part of this, I think.

  10. That's what I've been thinking. It might be that this thing usually happens in Asia (??)

    Oh, that explains why...They're taking advantage of your friend, and the son (hubby) is just caught up in the middle.

  11. Yeah, I suppose so, Crystal. And yeah, they're definitely taking advantage of my friend. Unfortunately, the hubby always takes the side of his own parents and sister. :-(((