Not quite feeling myself this week…

I haven’t written in awhile – it’s not really that there’s not much been much happening but rather that the stuff that has been happening I think you would all find boring; its all wedding party stuff really:

Trying to source a wedding cake: My hot tip is to not do too many bookings on the one day – eating cake samples every 2nd hour does not clense the palate and DOES interfere with the weight that one is desperately trying to lose!

Dress fittings: I had my calico one today and am amazed at how cold it was standing in a room in all but a calico dress. I think I handled the whole pinning situation rather well and must give props to the designers assistant who did not prick me once!

Bridesmaid issues – actually there certainly IS a story there… forget being a bridezilla – I have a covert bridesmaid-zilla… and I personally do NOT think she is very covert about her ‘diva-ness’!

But all the above is sort of the least of my worries as I battle to understnad why I have been feeling rather ‘funny’ and ‘weird’ lately – I have no idea how to actually define or describe how I’m feeling but its a little “off” to how I am normally feeling – Mr A has noticed and keeps asking me “what’s wrong?” and “have I done something to upset you?” and more often “what can I do to make my princess smile?” Bless him greatly for trying – i appreciate it beyond comprehension! I’ll be ok for a little while and then I am back to this ‘funk’!

Then there’s me thinking about having to get mum’s tickets organised; oh yes did I forget to mention? Mum apparently wants to head off to Indonesia and possibly UAE for Eid this year and is hoping to head off on the 3rd of September. She very diplomatically (not) asked about how once she’d found the best price and got the dates sorted how “we” were going to pay for it – which was clearly mum’s way of saying “how and are YOU going to pay for this?”. I told her how her last years trip cost me a bit as she had wanted an open ticket that would be valid for a year and did not want to travel something like Virgin/Air Asia/Tiger (read: budget airline) that this meant the tickets were a little bit of a pretty penny (which really makes me wonder why when she paid for her own tickets JetStar was more than sufficient but since I had to pay somehow JetStar was now far too inferior!). Anyway, i said that based on last years costs i was happy to pay half that amount… Well, she’s done her research and organised her ticket to be a one year open ticket (like last time) where she still has to put in some rnadom return date (she has selected 03/03/2011) and she leaves on the afternoon of September third – oh and apparently the travel agent has emailed me the details and I am paying for her ticket – ALL of it.

Don’t get me wrong; this isn’t really a blog post about me lamenting that I am having to pay for the ticket. I worked out a long time ago that I am definately great at driving her places, paying bills, fixing ‘stuff’ and organising appointments. What upsets me is that i am having to “suck up” that this beyond a one way street – that i am not a complete moron to have not noticed that she is conviently away just prior my wedding party and a whole shitload of time after. I am come to realise that i have no idea about anything when it comes to my mother –  that even as i am typing this i am ranting! In some ways I more than expect it (this ‘situation’) and am happy to claim it as my duty as a Muslim daughter – i mean some people would claim that as a Muslim child my job is to “shut up and put up” and to remember that as she is the mother her word is gold – her requests should be met with nothing more than ‘yes mother’ – but i ask these people: where and when is the line drawn? I am NOT talking about retribution or being vengeful or rude, but rather at what point do i continue to take the ALL of THIS???????  Would a simple ‘thank you’ would go astray. Plus, whilst I am pre-programmed that this is how it has to be I don’t understand how my mum must think that it is more than ok to say what she wants, expect the earth and still its never enough  

Before you quip that that perhaps i should remind her that this means (her departure + return dates) she will not be here for my wedding party – believe me I know and i did remind her! I spoke to her about it the other morning; the conversation entailed her asking me if I had already paid for her ticket (*sigh*) – I told her that I was paying for it on Thursday (today). And her asking if I would come to Indonesia with her? I told that I was very sorry but that I wouldn’t be able to come with her – she then went on about how the family would LOVE to see me as they did not see me on the last trip she went on. I went on to telling her that I was not able to come as surely she must remember that i mentioned my wedding party was on the 30th of October – her answer was so eloquently put mashallah:

“I don’t care about your wedding – I want you to come with me…”

I must say that although I knew that she probably would not be at the party and that I more than realise her stance and her denial on the subject matter that is Mr A and I, that hearing this statement has hurt more than all the denial and other stuff she’s said in passing. I can’t quite put my finger on why though – perhaps its because that while she was putting her head in the sand i could rationalise to myself that she doesn’t really comrehend what i am doing – that she is just lost by this whole situation. But the fact that she is able to very clearly articulate that she DOESN’T care is such a slap in the face that as a daughter my role is to care and provide but that i should not expect the same in return. Perhaps this really hurts because its just one more hurtful thing that she’s said that i have to sit there and take. 

After that little comment she proceeded to make other little jibes comments that again, i sit there and listen to whick led me to sit there and pray for more patience – it is beyond words to just sit there and hear that sort of statement and never be able to say anything back – because as a daughter my role is to be patient; to listen; to not utter a bad word that would upset her (God only knows I upset her enough), to remember that she raised me and that in her way she is trying to do what’s best for me, that I am to respectfully sit there… and take the verbal slings and arrows with silent prayers and deep breaths I silently sat there listening to her say:

“No one loves you like me – I am your mother and I am the only person in this world who really loves you. everyone else is just lying – its ALL camouflage; one day you see – there is only me; everyone else is just pretending… ”

I tried to stop listening at that point – I am sure you catch my drift. We said our goodbyes and I got off the phone not long after that. I sat there next to Mr A (he was driving us to work) thanking Allah that I somehow ended up a rather well adjusted human being and that it truly is by the grace of God that, when I think about all the f#$ked up crap I had to endure with my dad and then with they way my mum behaves and says in the last ten-ish years that I did not end up a mentally screwed individual!

A few minutes after I get off the phone Mr A then turns to me and asks; “everything ok?”

My answer?  “Fine sweetie – i love you…”

He knows me so well and touches my knee, smiling he tells me he loves me too – SOOOOO much (he says).

 I mean really – what is there to say?

My Trip and Mum

You know how i am off to Bali tomorrow? Well – you guys are all one step in front of my mum! I have not even told her… i had thought about it. Seriously i had – but then i knew how it would go – how she’d be disappointed and sad and that she MUST see me and blah, blah, blah… so instead i DID mention to her sometime ago (probably about a month back) that Mr A and i were intending to head off to Indonesia… you should have SEEN the look on her face as she thought i was heading off to Jakarta and was obviously wondering how she was going to ‘create’ some lovely concoction of a story about me and Mr A…

Anyway; i seriously cannot be bothered with all the mayhem anymore – its all a little too ‘much’ and melodramatic for my liking; she has sid a few things of late (more than once) that has upset me SO much that i don’t even think i can write about it at the moment! I will let you know once i am over it!

Rather than let things fester and let myself feel more like crap i decided to play around with dates when i was planning this trip…. in case you all didn’t realise (not that you would) BUT….

I WILL BE AWAY FOR BOTH MOTHER’S DAY AND….

MY BIRTHDAY!

This was (in NO way) an accident – it was actually purely purposeful – i seriously couldn’t deal with spending mother’s day pretending that we’re a happy family of 2 with her; it would seem BEYOND hypocritical to me… BUT at the same time i couldn’t think about not spending mother’s day with her when i knew she was only20 minutes away. Then I thought about my birthday (on the 12th of May people) and how i knew it would create an issue with Mr A and his parents who would want to do something for it and my mum would not want to come/be there BUT she would expect me to be there with her instead… and then i would inevitable end up having a fight with one or all of them!

So this was my solution!

WHILST I AM AWAY:

I shall take heaps of photos – I am generally a rather snap-happy photo-taker! I know it has been ages since I posted any pics on my blog but I WILL be doing so once i get back… PROMISE

I will TRY to get a spare minute away from Mr A and post a few bits and pieces on my blog – failing that i will pop on some twitter updates… something to try and let the blogsphere know that all is alive and well!

Well people – tomorrow i am off! Tonight i am headed to the movies with Mr A and some of his friends to watch Ironman II….

Talk to you all soon!

P.S Mr A has told me that i am NOT to make friends on this trip – i am notorious for being friendly and end up organising ‘stuff’ for us and new friends to do which (apparently) annoys Mr A… grrr – we will see how long i can go without forging a holiday friendship!

P.P.S Mr A is MOST excited about the prospect of riding an elephant… he asked me today if there was ANY way we could arrange for him to ride a tiger (bless him)! i told him that i was pretty sure that they are NOT meant to be ridden and that if he TRIED that he may get eaten… no amount of bibery would save him then!

P.P.P.S Funny other thing that Mr A asked me today? 1) Will they have ATM’s over there and 2) Will they have internet over there – again i thought: *bless*… then smacked him across the head and told him that we were NOT going to a 3rd world country and that i would hazzard a guess that even THEY (3rd world countried) have internet in the major cities these days!

My ‘lil Ode to Jakarta, Indonesia…

Growing up I used to go to Indonesia more often that I can count; I grew up eating and smelling Indonesian foods and now that I’m not living with my mum I’m amazed at how much stuff I have managed to pick up from just watching her.

I think about the next time I’m going to head over there and am so excited at the prospect at bringing Mr A there; of showing him the places I go to each time I’m there; walking down Jalan Sabang; a street known for all its little restaurants and roadside vendors; taking him not just to all the pretty malls and they have but also the ghetto part where things are so cheap! Eating satay at a stall by the side of the road… having bubur ayam (chicken rice porridge) for breakfast… eating at the Padang restaurant… having pempek with udang goreng (fried shrimp)

Whilst blog surfing (I was actually looking for a recipe for an Indonesian layer cake – the search is continuing; I am asking mum for her recipe this weekend) I stumbled across this blog: http://selbyfood.blogspot.com/

Her pictures had me YEARNING for us (Mr A and I) over to Jakarta NOW!!! To soak up the atmosphere and taste the foods… while looking at some of the pictures I was transported back there… it had me on the phone to him right away

But before all of that here’s a small taste of the Jakarta that I can’t wait to show Mr A;

We’ll start with Jalan Thamrin:

Jalan Thamrin: i have NEVER seen it this 'quiet' before!

Jalan Thamrin: i have NEVER seen it this 'quiet' before!

Remember I mentioned Jalan Sabang? 

jalan sabang; i can already smell the foods & hear the noise!

jalan sabang; i can already smell the foods & hear the noise!

And some food: 

Bubur ayam (chicken rice porridge) for breakfast anyone?

Bubur ayam (chicken rice porridge) for breakfast anyone?

The Bubur ayam cart - this is fresh!

The Bubur ayam cart - this is fresh!

How about some Mie (noodles) for a quick snack?

How about some Mie (noodles) for a quick snack?

& here's the cart it came from!

& here's the cart it came from!

How ‘bout we stop at a Padang restaurant for lunch – my treat?

How ‘bout we stop at a Padang restaurant for lunch – my treat?

Padang restaurant selection: where you only pay for what you eat!

Padang restaurant selection: where you only pay for what you eat!

Some fruit to ease the heat/chilli on the tongue?

Some fruit to ease the heat/chilli on the tongue?

I am craving Rujak Buah (fresh cut fruit with a chilli, peanut and palm sugar ‘chutney’)

I am craving Rujak Buah (fresh cut fruit with a chilli, peanut and palm sugar ‘chutney’)

How’s this for a portable/small business? Jalan Sabang is great!

How’s this for a portable/small business? Jalan Sabang is great!

Some freshly made serabi cakes to take back home?

Some freshly made serabi cakes to take back home?

Let’s get 10 ‘kue ape’ (ape cake) to share? They’re so delicious!

Let’s get 10 ‘kue ape’ (ape cake) to share? They’re so delicious!

Then later on we’ll have ‘pempek’ after dinner?

Then later on we’ll have ‘pempek’ after dinner?

Don’t even get me started on all the shopping malls…. Maybe I’ll do them next?

Here’s one to get you started – Plaza Semanggi (at night)… *sigh* ahh shopping; how I miss the Zara store…

Plaza Semanggi (at night)

Plaza Semanggi (at night)

Can I speak to the president?

So… here we are; Thursday morning and I must admit all seems normal. I am sitting at my desk, its raining outside and Obama is the US President elect! Seriously, I am so, so happy that he won! Funny when you think that I’m not even America, nor do I travel there but here I am excited at the possibilities… excited for the future that is the USA; excited for the possibilities in relation to the current ‘relationships’ that America has with other nations. This is a great time…

 

Congratulations Obama!

 

I loved his acceptance speech… “…yes, we can”, the story of the 106 year old lady and all she had seen; it made me think of some of the elderly people in my family and how long they lived and all they had seen.. Amazing when you sit down and think about it… 106 years old… all the inventions, all the changes in the universe.. the concept of travel from ship to plane… not just the change to colour TV from black & white but the notion of television all together!

 

Back to president Obama for a moment – hehe, how good does that sound? J

 

While I was in Indonesia I was chatting to my aunt about the debate that we were watching between Obama and McCain… my cousin walked in and joined into the conversation for a moment and commented about how Obama looked when he was a lot younger which left me confused, so I asked her what on earth she was going on about?

 

Apparently, she had gone to primary school with him!!!! I know someone and am actually related to someone who went to school with the president of the US!!!! I was in shock!

 

Proof that there are less than 6 degrees of separation! I tried desperately to convince my aunt at that time that in the even that he won she should call him and congratulate him – you know, an old school friend calling to say! She was like “he probably doesn’t even remember me, it was primary school… and anyway there’d be so many assistants to get through!”

 

I don’t know why she doesn’t get it? I tried to explain to her that I was essentially 1 person away from meeting/speaking to the president of a country but apparently she bloody won’t be moved!

Holiday Tid-Bit Part III

Things I learnt on the trip…

v     That the 2 or 3 lanes on the road are purely decorative and in no way mean that there will only be said 2/3 lanes. Instead, motorists are free to “create” up to as many lanes as they are physically able to.

v     If you are a motor bike (ride) do not limit yourself to any one lane… instead duck, dive and weave through the traffic… ensure you nearly always cause an accident my getting so close to cars that I swear to god I grazed a few legs.

v     Your horn is there to be used at least every other minute – in fact a minute is probably too long! Your bumper is to remain close (if not attached) to the nearest motor cyclist

v     That mosquito’s are far, far, more stubborn and clever than us humans give them credit for! Even with the aid of insect repellent sprayed in my room plus insect repellent cream slathered on (myself) plus the air conditioner being on so cold that I had a quilt on my bed (hello – I’m in a tropical country with high humidity with a quilt on my bed???) they will still, somehow find someplace to bite me!

v     That in saying this I would like to thank the mosquito that bit my lower lip and made it look as though I had just had my lips done… Angelina Jolie eat your heart out!

v     That apparently it is considered perfectly ok to attend the wedding of someone I have never met but am somehow related to

v     (This one is realllllyyyyy unbelievable…) That I can actually get frustrated in a (shopping) mall due to its overwhelming size! Seriously – a mall with 2 completely separate sides (so one is on one side of the road with another on the other side… there is a bridge/pass between them with stores in there also!) that is about 5 or 6 levels plus a whole level for the food court seemed heavenly but by the end of the day it seemed just too much!

v     That a food court that boasts over 500 options of restaurants/cafes is more choice than my appetite can handle!

v     That I have no comprehension how some people can live in a country with this much heat and humidity and NOT have air conditioning!

v     That in saying this I like to take a moment to say a huge, MASSIVE, gigantic INFINITELY ginormous THANK YOU to the creator of the air conditioner! A thousand upon thousands of salutations to you and your family… to your children… and your children’s children… and your children’s children’s children!

v     That I LOVE being able to order a large quarter pounder with cheese meal from McDonalds and know that it is totally halal

v     And that the WHOLE meal only cost me about $5.00 (Aussie dollar)

v     That arriving to dinner/lunch/get together/etc over an hour late does not raise a single eyebrow!

v     That on the flip-side, arriving on time creates havoc as its something that they are totally not used to!

Mr A & Bali…

As you peeps may be aware I am heading off on holiday in October with my mum. In order to provide myself with some solace I am thus planning another trip about 6 to 8 months after that to somewhere ‘beachy’ and relaxing where the Aussie dollar is fantastic… Cue: Bali.

 

Just some quick info: I spent a good 5 years in Bali when I was little living in Kuta where my parents owned a hotel there. Even after i was at school we (mum and I) would travel over there about 2 to 3 times a year and so all in all I think I’ve got a pretty firm understanding of Bali, where what is and the people. Lets not forget that I speak fluent Indonesian and that overall even after my mum sold the hotel we still went over to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia) every year and Bali every other year. In the last 4 years Bali has sorta come off the radar as mum didn’t want to go and I didn’t travel alone… so gone was Bali from my itinerary L

 

So I am planning this trip and have asked if Mr A wanted to come with me and soak up some sun and chill! Comments/statements I am hearing are not merely disinterest but disdain! They have included all (plus some I cannot recall at this moment);

 

“Why would I want to go to a country that hates Australians?”

“I don’t want to go to somewhere where the government is corrupt”

“They just throw any white person they don’t like in prison”

“The cops there plant drugs on people; I don’t want to rot in an Indonesian jail”

“It’s a hole…”

“The whole country is poor and corrupt”

“I hate the place”

“Its shit”

“Why would I want to go to someplace where I’ll get bombed?”

(And today) “Balinese police have just arrested an Australian man who they suspect to be carrying drugs… “

“They just pick on Australians”

 

 

Overall you’re catching my drift… with each and every statement, sentence, comment and ‘argument’ (let me tell you that with each lamentation I am getting annoyed) I am becoming more dumfounded by his idiocy… YES… IDIOCY!!!!

 

I responded with comments that have included: “I’m sorry? Did that Aussie guy actually have drugs on him?” (Him: eeerr… we don’t know – he might not?) I then said that this comment was totally F%$ken redundant as he might actually be carrying drugs and that he cannot use this as his basis for argument because it was flimsy at best! He went on with repeating some other comments (“why would I want to go to a country that hates Australians?” And “They just pick on Australians”) which totally made me lose it:

 

“I’m sorry – listen… I’m gonna need to say something here. YOU have no idea what’s its like – to say you ‘hate’ somewhere you’ve never been maddening – I’ve never tried bacon and I don’t claim to hate it. I simply say that I chose not to eat it. to say the government is corrupt – I’ll give you that; bribery may be rife but I’ll put money that just about every developing country has a level of corruption to it. They don’t have a welfare system and they don’t much have a middle class. The rich are richer than you can fathom and the poor are just that. I am angry and disappointed that you think you don’t want to go to a country on grounds that you feel they penalise YOU because you’re Australian. I know how that feels – I’m Australian but am penalised for being Muslim… My cousins who have lived nearly their whole lives abroad have to be regularly stopped in US airports and searched for over an hour on grounds of their fucking ethnicity, name and the fact they hold a UAE passport. Muslims and Arabs are considered suspicious full-stop… if that’s your claim then you’ve got no idea!”

 

He went on then about the legal system and how its “fucked” and then made the comment about the Indonesian legal/corrupt system. My response;

 

“Whatever – don’t worry about it… I think I’d know how the law works there – as a person who has at last count 4 cousins practicing criminal law in Jakarta I think I know what I’m talking about. As a person who speaks the language, goes there often and is more than familiar with the culture, not to mention has an uncle who is a judge at their supreme courts in relation to criminal and illegal actions and actually presided over the Suharto case years ago I think I know exactly what I’m talking about. Do you seriously think that if you, an Australian in a foreign country is caught in illegal activity and needed legal representation that Indonesian law should allow an Australian lawyer to represent you? Is that it?”

 

Do you know what that idiot responded with??? “yes”

 

YES??? Is he insane????? Does he have any brain cells in that head of his???

 

But (trying to be patient here and show him the HUGE holes in his argument), I tried to rationalise what he was saying: “So Mr A, let me get this straight – you’re saying that if an Italian or Greek man was prosecuted for some illegal activity that we; the Australian government should allow him to get legal representation from Italy/Greece? Really… is that what you’re saying?”

 

He said; “yeah… why not?”

 

Me… being really passive-aggressive at this point; “because it doesn’t make sense sweetie (*sarcasm*), that little Italian/Greek lawyer is totally and utterly unfamiliar with Australian law, legislation and policies – to let seek legal council of this type would actually be unfair to him… you’re not realising that one countries law and penalties and set of regulations is not the same as another…”

 

Do you know what his answer was??? What he said???

“Well… its all dumb – they’re all corrupt… and if you’re uncle is a criminal judge over there maybe he’s a bit that way also……”

 

Oh no you didn’t….

 

“Don’t worry about it Mr A, I am disappointed and more angry that you can fathom that you’d say that about my uncle – the person who was the father figure in my life and taught me the value of education and encouraged free, rational thought. Forget you – don’t come to Bali… I gotta go… bye”

 

So… I’m off to Bali on my own… any takers to come with me next year say about April-ish?

 

FYI: I just got a missed call from him and a message a few seconds late: “hey, jst tried to call to see if I’m still in trouble with you? I’m thinking about you”

 

I am choosing to not respond.

 

Ooohhh – I am very annoyed right now…