To Be Unholy


My dad is sell­ing our house, the house in which I grew up in Indone­sia. The house of pain as I like to think of it. I swear if you were there, you’d be able to feel unhap­pi­ness ema­nat­ing from every cor­ner. I haven’t been in that house in over 5 years and yet I don’t miss it. It isn’t home any­more. Not since my moth­er passed away any­way. And I’ve nev­er been a big fan of the nosy, med­dling neigh­bours.

I was just think­ing about the neigh­bours we had grow­ing up. The cou­ple liv­ing next door were devout Mus­lims. Once they com­plained to my moth­er about me play­ing Silent Night — a Christ­mas song — on the piano which they thought was inap­pro­pri­ate and un-Islam­ic com­ing from a Mus­lim house­hold. I guess they picked the wrong parental unit to file such a ridicu­lous com­plaint. My moth­er told me about it and we had a gig­gle. It was our lit­tle secret. She nev­er told me to stop play­ing the song. What­ev­er I liked to play on the piano was fine by her. Since then, when­ev­er I felt like play­ing the piano and I knew the neigh­bours were home, I’d play Silent Night just to be annoy­ing. If I felt gen­er­ous, I’d play the only oth­er Christ­mas song I knew how to play, It Came Upon the Mid­night Clear, which I doubt the neigh­bours knew was a Christ­mas song.

Had it been my dad they had com­plained to, it would’ve been anoth­er sto­ry. It Came Upon the Mid­night Clear would’ve been the only Christ­mas song I’d be able to play at home, because to him, the neigh­bours were always right.

I miss my piano. I hate that the last mem­o­ry I had of it is of the smell of the cig­a­rette the man who bought it smoked inside our house when he came to pick it up. No one had ever smoked inside our house when my moth­er was alive.

For Goodness’ Sake


I have issues with reli­gion. I real­ly do. It’s nev­er been my thing, most­ly because I hate being told what to do and I like to think for myself. I know reli­gion works for some peo­ple and all I can say is more pow­er to them. But I’m not going to go into the heavy stuff with this entry. I just need to rant about a few things that have been bug­ging me for awhile.

Since I was raised in a fam­i­ly of Mus­lims, let’s start with Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha is a hol­i­day cel­e­brat­ed by Mus­lims world­wide to com­mem­o­rate the will­ing­ness of Abra­ham (Ibrahim) to sac­ri­fice his son as an act of obe­di­ence to God. To make long sto­ry short, God — who appar­ent­ly has strange sense of humour — replaced his son with a sheep. And so began the tra­di­tion of sac­ri­fic­ing live­stock to feed the poor on Eid al-Adha. It’s all good, except they do the slaugh­ter­ing in pub­lic, and par­ents actu­al­ly take their lit­tle kids to wit­ness the bloody mur­der! So wrong! Don’t they know what a trau­ma­tiz­ing expe­ri­ence it could be?

And then there are peo­ple who dis­agree with the whole slaugh­ter­ing ani­mal thing. They ask, why don’t they replace the ani­mals with fruits and veg­eta­bles? Well, it’s because meat is rel­a­tive­ly expen­sive and there­fore less afford­able to the poor than fruits and veg­eta­bles. The ani­mal slaugh­ter is for a good cause. I’m okay with that, but I’m not real­ly okay with the ever­green tree slaugh­ter hap­pen­ing around Christ­mas time because it’s sole­ly for dec­o­ra­tive pur­pose. Noth­ing high­er than that. And yet, peo­ple who com­plain about the ani­mal slaugh­ter on Eid al-Adha have no issues with the chop­ping of the trees. What’s up with that? Is it because trees don’t make nois­es, nor do they look at you with mourn­ful eyes?

Last but not least is my San­ta Claus rant. What’s with all the lying to the lit­tle kids about presents com­ing from San­ta Claus? Would it be wrong just to tell them instead that the presents come from their par­ents because their par­ents love them very much? Don’t you think that maybe it would make kids respect their par­ents more? I also find the whole sitting-on-Santa’s-lap thing kind of creepy. Creepi­er still is when it’s grown-up women who do the sit­ting. How could you be sure that under­neath his big, red pants San­ta isn’t hav­ing an erec­tion while you’re doing that, because it is Fake San­ta after all, i.e., not real­ly a saint?

Okay, I’m feel­ing bet­ter now that I’ve got it all off my chest. Move along!

Sure Sign of Twitter Overdose

Foggy Day II

The thing about online pres­ence and social net­work­ing is this: some­times you get to read too much about some­one. Their where­abouts, the music they’re lis­ten­ing, the food they are eat­ing, are post­ed there on Twit­ter, and we real­ly couldn’t care less about it. Yet when they’re absent and we haven’t seen any sta­tus updates for awhile, we sort of, kind of, miss them. Does it mean that you’ve been con­di­tioned to care after under­go­ing the tor­ture of read­ing TMI updates for so long or is it just in us to care? Or should I search and replace the “we” and “us” in this para­graph to “I” and “me”? Because that’s how it gets with me.

I real­ly don’t care about the minor details, but I do need to know that the peo­ple I know — even if I only know them vir­tu­al­ly — are fine. Sure you might think I don’t care about you because you prob­a­bly don’t care about me or my well-being, but some­how, in a way I can’t quite explain, I do care about you. I just don’t need to know where you are or what you’re doing every frickin’ minute! I’m sure your stalk­ers would appre­ci­ate such updates but please, just think about the com­mon, non-stalk­er­ly pop­u­la­tion, mmmkay?


Against the Sun

We got our H1N1 flu jab on Fri­day. We came in half an hour before the clin­ic start­ed but the queue was already twice the length of the hall, and it was a pret­ty big hall. For­tu­nate­ly, there were about 6 or 8 arm-jab­bing sta­tions (for lack of bet­ter terms) so the line was mov­ing at a decent pace.

Watch­ing the peo­ple in the queue was kind of inter­est­ing and a good dis­trac­tion for me. My hands got cold just think­ing about the prospect of hav­ing a nee­dle pen­e­trat­ing my arm. Any­way, the old man in front of us was a social but­ter­fly and he occa­sion­al­ly would leave the line to say hi to some peo­ple, includ­ing an actor he didn’t real­ly know. The old man behind us talked in a Scot­tish accent and he was kind of gos­sipy. And yes, there were a lot of senior cit­i­zens.

After stand­ing in line for about an hour, our turns came. First we had to answer some ques­tions and then off to the arm-jab­bing sta­tions! The nurse asked me if I’d had a flu shot before. I said no and she said, “You must be very healthy!” Ha! I have a pret­ty good immune sys­tem, that’s true. But if by healthy you mean fit, I am so unfit it’s not even fun­ny.

The arm-jab­bing part took only a split­ting sec­ond but man, even now, four days lat­er, my upper arm is still ten­der to the touch. But at least I can now lay on my left side with­out hurt­ing (too much). The first cou­ple of nights were no fun at all and I had trou­ble sleep­ing. Mind you, the left side is my favourite side to sleep on. But eh, I guess it’s a small price to pay con­sid­er­ing the alter­na­tives.

Blogging Under Pressure

Branch and Twigs

I didn’t get the cold. As usu­al, an Advil, a Strep­sil and a good night’s sleep fixed it. I’m real­ly thank­ful for my immune sys­tem.

I’ve been brows­ing prop­er­ty list­ings obses­sive­ly. The last time I did that, we end­ed up buy­ing a house in anoth­er town. Not sure if it’ll come to any­thing this time around.

I’ve been find­ing it hard to blog. Blog­ging used to be easy when I knew that only strangers read this crap. Now I’m always wor­ried I’d offend any­one I know if I spoke my mind.

Some­times I wish there were a mil­lion oth­er Fir­da Bekas in the world instead of just me, the one and only.



Yes­ter­day, it was a beau­ti­ful, sun­ny, t-shirt kind of day. Today, it’s back to the grey, one-dig­it-tem­per­a­ture kind of day. I guess the change is a bit too much for my body because I’m not feel­ing too great right now. I hope this won’t turn into a full-blown cold.

We went thrift­ing yes­ter­day and I went all girly-like and picked up two blous­es, one hood­ed cardi­gan and a pair of shoes. I get a kick out of hear­ing nice com­ments about what I’m wear­ing and I’m always proud to say I got it from a thrift store. Sal­va­tion Army chic doesn’t have to mean bag lady-look. ;) Mind you, I’m far from being trendy. I don’t even wear make-up. But I like feel­ing good about what I’m wear­ing. Though admit­ted­ly most of the time I care more about com­fort than fash­ion. As long as it’s com­fy, I don’t care if it makes me look fat.

Ugh, too headachey to write more.