Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Sound of Waves

They were getting ready for bed and he was fumbling for his mobile phone. He let out a curse, seemingly to have trouble with something on his phone.

She asked, "What's wrong?"

"I need to change my morning alarm sound."

"Oh, why's that?"

"Your sleeping sound has kept me awake."

"My sleeping sound?" she asked, confused.

"Yes, you know that I've been using the sounds of waves to wake me up in the morning and lately your breathing during sleep sometimes resembles the sounds of waves on my mobile phone. So just like last night, I thought I heard the waves, so I woke up and then realized it was your breathing. Went back to sleep and then after a while I woke up again to the sound of the waves, but I realized it was still your breathing."

"Oh my, no wonder you've been tired. Why did you pick that particular sound in the first place then?"

"Because it's the least noisy one. Now I've changed it to the sound of birds chirping."

She laughed. "But what if I end up making sounds like birds chirping in my sleep then?"

"Then I'll just have to change it again."  

"Fair enough," she replied.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Writing Challenge: Disturbing

This is what I found disturbing:

Blogging along mostly for myself, trying to work on my thoughts or simply to record some events in my life...and then one day a popular blogger shared a particular post and suddenly that post had over a hundred views that day. Feeling overwhelmed, excited, and thankful at the same time for the flood of visitors.

After that, every now and then whenever I feel really good about a certain post, I wish for that kind of validation/attention again, even though that shouldn't be my goal at all. And then I wished I hadn't gotten the validation/attention in the first place because then my life as a blogger would have been more peaceful.

Back to earth, blogger! Back to earth!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Language Mess

Let me try to tell you how messy my brain gets in incorporating the languages in my head. I have four languages in my head: Indonesian (the national language in Indonesia), Sundanese (the regional language in Bandung, my hometown), English, and Finnish. Indonesian and Sundanese are my mother tongues, whereas English and Finnish are two foreign languages.

I started studying English at the age of 9 or 10. Went to an English course. Back then we only started learning English in Junior High School (13 years old). Continued studying English at uni (4 years) and then I started tutoring kids and translating books from English to Indonesian until the age of 28.

Moved to Finland in 2007, started studying Finnish on my own for about 9 months, then went on a full-time Finnish course for 4 months and self-study continues until now.

I use Indonesian and Sundanese mainly with my family through Skype calls and in Facebook with my Indo friends. I rarely use long sentences purely in Sundanese, so most of the time Sundanese words are used in Indonesian sentences to describe things that can't be described better by using Indonesian terms/words. I use English mainly in my blogs and FB and my online activities. I use English verbally with hubby, because when I used Finnish with him, my English pronunciation becomes so weird (Finnish has a similar pronunciation with Indonesian language). So these days I use Finnish with hubby's family and at work and in FB with coworkers/Finnish people in my FB. 

My skill levels on those languages have declined in some ways. True, I speak more Finnish these days due to my work, but I'm less concerned with the grammar because most people use the informal version of the language anyway, so bye bye grammar to a certain degree!

Hubby says that I have talked in my dreams using English, Finnish, and Indonesian (he guessed it was Indonesian when he couldn't decipher what I was babbling about in my sleep).

Now let me give you examples of the mess:

1. Every now and then I blurt out an Indonesian word either at work or at home. I have NO idea why! 

2. Sometimes I think in English, Indonesian, and Finnish respectively on separate occasions. For example, while writing this post, I think merely in English.

3. Sometimes when I start to think in English (for example), I forget one word and have a hard time finding it on my own. Instead, all I have in my brain is the Finnish or Indonesian word or both Finnish and Indonesian word instead.

4. Sometimes when I speak to hubby in English, I have a hard time finding one word, so to make it easier, I use the Finnish word instead. Not good, I know. 

5. Sometimes I try to write an email in Indonesian and then get stuck with one word. I only have the English and Finnish version of the word in my head and the image of the word. Nice! Not! 

6. Because both Finnish and Indonesian only have one word for "he/she", my brain has reverted back to its Indonesian root. These days when I talk to hubby in English, I mix up the use of "he/she", "him/her", "his/hers" because in both Finnish and Indonesian, it doesn't matter either way.

7. Sometimes at work when I've just finished serving a tourist in English, my brain forgets to switch back ASAP to Finnish. So, I end up using English to serve the Finnish customer behind the tourist, which usually makes us both laugh. :-D

8. There are times when I start stringing up a sentence in my head in English, but all of a sudden in the middle of the sentence a Finnish word appears. 

9. I've started getting more and more confused about English grammar, because my brain sometimes automatically tries to use the Finnish structure of the sentence instead of the English one. 

10. I start to get more confused with the new slang words that my fellow Indonesians use. I have no idea what they mean and it's hard to catch up with the new development when I'm not using it daily (well, not verbally anyway). I wonder how much further away I feel the mental distance between me and my mother tongue the longer I stay here. 

That said, don't wonder why my English has become kinda quirky these days compared to the old days when I didn't know/use Finnish too much. Has anyone else experienced similar problems? 

Note: Apparently they have a term for this kind of phenomena. It's called Language Attrition. It can happen to your mother tongue as well as any other foreign language that you've studied. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

3BT: Random Days

1. Hubby let me create a character for a game he was playing. So now he's playing the game using the character that I created for him he he he he hehhhh...

2. Had a rough day the other day after waking up to pee during the night and then couldn't get back to sleep again, but thankfully I could take a long nap after work.

3. Talked to my coworker about number 2 and found out she had the exact same problem that same night (after she went to pee). Ha! What a coincidence! She was laughing and wondering if it was the full moon or something like that which kept us awake he he he he he...

4. Not being able to go back to sleep inspired me to write this (click on pic to read):

5. Listening to this epic song. It just sounds SO GOOD in my ears!

6. After some rough days at work, I had some days off and lately work has been pretty well. Having some easier days make a whole lot of difference for a change!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer-Autumn (Kesä-Syksy)

The temperature has been going rapidly down lately compared to those glorious, hot days that we had had this summer. From the 30'C during the days, it's now maximum 20'C. Mostly it's even cooler than that, especially when the sun isn't shining. The temperature these days are about 8-17'C and it gets darker after 10.30 pm. Funny how it still managed to surprise me when I looked out of the window last weekend at around midnight and noticed that the street lamps were on!!!! Yes, they have been off for months already he he...We'll be able to enjoy the stars and the moon again! :-D

The trees have noticed the difference in temperature, as well. I took some photos today at MIL's place with hubby's mobile phone. Here are two original photos that I didn't edit at all.

And below are two photos taken with Painting Camera program on hubby's phone, which I then edited using ACDSee. I don't know why the second one came out so small when I transferred the file to my computer, but oh well...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Get Over vs Get Through

The other day I found this brilliant quote that I think sums up what I believe in terms of my infertility journey (don't know who wrote the words):

"You won't get over this, but you will get through it."

The phrase "getting over" makes me feel like one needs to put an end to something. Close the book and forget about it already, why bring it up over and over again? I can't believe you're still writing the book and talking/wondering about the details after all this time.

I've never had anyone tell me per se to get over infertility, but I have felt some people getting uneasy about the fact that I keep sharing/talking about infertility-related issues. Probably because it makes them feel awkward and helpless, not necessarily because they don't want to listen to me. 

Just like what Jean Vanier wrote: "As we approach people in pain, they reveal to us our pain and brokenness." - A Rebel for Peace, page 134-135 

I have read several cases where the infertile was told harshly to "get over it" by some people/friends and I know how much it hurt (it would have hurt me greatly if someone had told me such a thing, especially when I was still in so much pain and confusion inside). Being invited to enter a place of pain isn't an easy thing to do - both for the one sending the invitation and the invited guest. Remember The Ring Theory when you're invited to enter someone's place of pain.

I still think it may be possible to get over infertility (specifically childless-not-by-choice) for some rare individuals. I've read several people who wrote that their infertility didn't have any impact on them (or not anymore at the very least). OK, granted I have no idea if they were telling the truth or not because they were just comments I read online below some infertility articles/blog posts, but I'd rather be open to that possibility considering the fact that I've read a similar message more than twice. 

Out of curiosity, I checked out the meanings of "getting through" in an online dictionary and here are two descriptions that I think are suitable for my own journey:

1. Become clear or enter one's consciousness or emotions/to make someone (i.e. myself) understand something.

I have gained much more clarity about myself and I've learnt more about others as well during my infertility journey because I've had to face those jumbled feelings and thoughts and figure out which is which. I've had to stand naked in front of myself and God as well and learn that we're all connected and that we're only humans. I've had to cling to a very thin thread of faith even when my whole being is in a confused and angry state and I've been granted peace beyond understanding as a result of many people's prayers for me.

2. Succeed in reaching a real or abstract destination after overcoming problems. 

The abstract destination is to find meanings to my infertility journey, to feel some serenity in chaos - even if it means we'll never have children. I've found several meanings to my infertility journey so far.

In the beginning of my healing journey, I was frustrated and I was wondering when I could see the end of this healing journey, when I'll get over it. But that has changed. It's been a long while since I've stopped thinking about when I'll get over infertility, because I have consciously chosen not to get over it. Why should I get over it? Infertility has shaped me in many unexpected ways and it has taught me many important lessons and I don't want to forget that I'm an infertile. Besides, I think my infertility journey is beneficial for others, too. And this way I can focus more on the lessons I can/need to learn as I continue my healing journey without the additional burden of having to reach a specific end.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Writing Challenge: I Kid You Not

I love online silly quizzes and long, serious quizzes. Back at uni days when internet started to be the hot stuff in my hometown, a group of friends and I used to take short, silly quizzes. One of them was "Who's Your Celebrity Match?".

Each of us eagerly did it, wishing to be matched with a cool male celebrity. I remember that one of the questions was about the kind of male underpants that we thought was hot. Funny how it was the only thing that stuck in my mind. I don't remember the other questions at all. Har har...

One friend got Brad Pitt and the others got pretty good matches. And yes, we were all jealous of the one who was matched with Brad, because the others weren't as cool.

Oh, wait, you want to know my result? Well, let me just tell you that his name starts with an F and ends with an O. A five-letter word that makes up his first name. His face is famous for gracing hundreds of romance novel covers back in the 1980s and 1990s.

Yep, you can imagine how much my friends had a laugh at my result. And I did try the test again, altering one or two answers, but the result was still the same. No kidding.

P.S. For those who're still confused about who it is, click here to find out the answer.  

Friday, August 08, 2014


The other night we were getting ready for bed. It had been another hot day. 30'C. We turned on the air conditioner about two and a half hours before our bedtime to make sure the room was cool enough to sleep in. Just as I was getting ready to lie down, sounds came out of hubby who was already lying down on his own spot on the right side of the bed. 



A few minutes later: another PROOOOOOTTTTTT.

We did our usual bedtime ritual and then came another PROOOOOOOTTTTT.

So I said to him, "I'm going to give you a new nickname. You're my BFF. Big Fart Factory."

He replied casually with his usual calmness, "Oh yeah?"

And then a few seconds later I went PROOT. :-D

So he said, "Okay, then you're LFF. Little Fart Factory."

I replied, "Fair enough."


Tuesday, August 05, 2014


Been SO busy with work and everything else. A coworker has resigned after taking some sick leave for a few weeks and then two more coworkers are sick this week, so we're three people down and it's been quite rough because it's summer and thankfully our store has been very busy (busier than last year! Even a summer coworker who worked last year noticed the difference), but that means that our work pace has been very very hectic. I'm really looking forward to our holiday and I also hope we can get a new steady coworker soon to replace the one that left, because at this rate we're all going to be too exhausted. 

I've been having trouble with some mosquito bites. They're getting redder and bigger. The worst one has grown into about 1.5 x 3 cm long with a watery bump at one part. was painful yesterday and very very itchy (not so bad today). Actually I'm not sure if they're only bitten by mosquitoes because at that time there were other smaller, more invisible bugs as well. Because I sweat a lot at work and I have to wear work jeans, I think they also keep on grazing those bites and make them even worse, so today I went to the health care centre and was told to keep spreading a thick layer of hydrocortisone cream and taking antihistamine this week, but if they got worse I should come back there. Let's see how it goes...

I had one of the worst PMS symptoms the other week. I almost blew up in fume twice at work (imagine Donald Duck's red face whenever he gets SO angry), but thankfully I managed to stop myself and calm myself down in between. Phew! Exercising at home helped pump up some endorphins. One day I was very tired and grumpy and it was my day to exercise, but I managed to force myself to do it even though I didn't feel like it. And as usual, I felt much better afterwards (pat myself on the back) he he...

Yesterday was also my exercise day, but I skipped because I had had trouble sleeping during the night because of the itch, so I took some anthistamine after work and then fell asleep for a few hours. And still during the night I could go to bed in time. This time around I went to the pharmacy to buy another type of antihistamine that won't make me feel sleepy, because the last time around I was still so tired at work because I had a very early shift. Anyway, my silent relief from the stress and hectic pace at work is the countdown to our holiday. I really really need it and I've promised myself I'm going to have a full body massage at least three times during our holiday he he he he...Hubby once joked, "Only three times? Why not every day?" Yeah, right LOL!!!!