From the dessert menu at Batavia Cafe, KotaTua Jakarta. A really quaint Dutch colonial restaurant which is said to be haunted. I had a really lovely dinner there with old pals but no, we didn’t indulge in this sweet creamy orgy of an ice-cream dessert thereafter. I had their creme brulee, which, for the lack of better word, is simply orgasmic.
Our Eid, which started out as a non event actually turned out to be a jam packed full day. I cooked and baked from 5am onwards. At 810am, we left to go for Eid prayers at e neighbourhood mosque which we thought would start the prayers at 830am but when we arrived at 815am, it was already time for khutbah? Oopsie…
Breakfast, jigsaw puzzle, lunch, jigsaw puzzle followed(not me definitely,but the spouse. I busied myself attending to the tummy reactions caused by the not so cooked lemang). Finally at 3pm, we visited a friend whom we’ve been meaning to visit since her dad passed away a month ago but never got the chanced to. There, I had the best Nasi Dage I’ve tasted and shamelessly helped myself to seconds.
While feeling like sleepy dugongs thereafter, we dragged ourselves out to buy tickets for the European Film Festival. Went back home and crashed for a bit after that. I was out again by 630pm, went for maghrib and then watched the really impactful Dutch film, THE ONLY ONE. Post film discussion was at Delicious over latte and strawberry shortcake. While the latte was almost perfectly done, the strawberry shortcake was a disappointment. It was dry and the berries ain’t fresh.
Reached home at 10ish and read through some work emails. At 1130, the husband got hungry and we went out to get him mee hoon goreng and teh tarek from Pelita.
It was 1230am when we finally got home for the FINAL time just now and I am dead pooped, with a looming deadline tomorrow, so really I should be working now but I can’t cause my mind is too tired and I am winding down by typing this.
I am slowly trying to finish the book Think Big by Donald Trump. Very early into the book, he wrote there that one of his principles is that if someone does something bad to you, get even. Stand up for yourself and fight back. If you don’t and you let the person do bad upon you or victimize you without retaliating and/or fighting back just as hard or more, you are just a schmuck. His is the theory of fighting back to the end.
In most faith, we are taught that a bad deed begets another and that what goes round comes round and all those karma theory. Or that in the Christian faith, if someone slaps you in the face, you give the other side. Or that in my faith, just let HIM do the even out for you. This is the theory of total acceptance and leaving it all to the natural balance of good vs evil.
In Martial arts, specifically in aikido, we are not allowed to give the first strike. We are only allowed to defend. And even then if our rights or our lives or those we are defending are in danger. And we are not allowed to injure our enemies and to treat them with utmost respect. This is the theory of upholding justice but within a certain limit/boundaries.
I do get what Mr Super Confident Trump is saying. His principle is that for anyone not to be the wimpy kid on the block that gets pushed about and bullied. And it has been ingrained in me through faith that I have to just leave the ‘getting back’ to God, that ‘karma’ or ‘what goes round will come round’. And I am also learning, through aikido on how to uphold justice, even to the point where I have to fight.
I am still trying to reconcile between Trumpism, my faith and my art. And in doing so, trying to find the middle path in the midst of all three.
If you are familiar with martial arts film or at the very least watch the Karate Kid movies, you would be familiar with the episode in the martial student’s life where the martial arts teachers make their students complete a certain task, which are totally revolting to the students.
Just look at what Sensei Miyagi made Daniel, the original Karate Kid do in the 80s. Or the part Mr Han made Dre hang his coat for probably a thousand times in the beginning of their training session in Karate Kid 2010. Or even Kung Fu Panda… you get the idea.
I was not spared.
As I have mentioned before, I have a terrible focus problem, which makes me unable or difficult to do certain task, which needs me to be focused, e.g driving and such. And focus, is unfortunately everything in learning martial arts. One cannot afford being distracted while fighting, which I, in all of my seriousness in learning aikido, still cannot master this fundamental requirement. In the middle of the technique for example, I can get distracted with the passing car for instance, if we train outdoors, or the flap on another dojo mate’s hakama or whatever else. I have the attention span of a squirrel, if I may put it that way.
To combat this, my sensei here made me do something horrid. Well at least to me. He bought me a 300 piece jigsaw puzzle and I have to sit still for an hour daily, doing nothing but the puzzle. Well, for some of you who are puzzle experts or puzzle fans out there reading this, you are forgiven if you smirk and say “300 piece only?!?” Believe me, what may be a toddler’s game for you is a gargantuan task for me if it involves 1) sitting still for more than 10 minutes 2) doing something which requires me to focus for more than 5 minutes at the most.
I had no choice but to do it… So daily, I took the puzzle out. For the first week, I failed. I took it out, worked on it for ten minutes and called it quits. Each day I have to write a log record of my achievements and email it to my sensei. It was embarressingly ‘not happening’.
On the 2nd week, the husband, the jigsaw puzzle expert who is currently working his way through a 9000 piece puzzle of the ancient world map taught me the correct method on how to do it. He was not supposed to help me at all since it would defeat the purpose of the whole exercise, but he gave me a general SOP on how jigsaw puzzles are done.
1) Sort the pieces according to the colours as seen on the picture given. I.e begin with the end in mind.
2) Decide on which portion to start on first
3) Work on one portion at a time. If I cannot fit the pieces in or stuck, try to work on other parts and not fret over the parts I cannot do.
And so began my journey into my first jigsaw puzzle. It was a terrible experience in the beginning. Sometimes, I showed tantrum. I got so frustrated, I threw cushions at the unsuspecting husband sitting quietly reading at the sofa. Or sometimes I pinched my innocent cats, and was rewarded with their ‘what the heck are you doing’ looks. Sometimes I pinched the husband and told him I wanted to beat him up. Well, it was like a scene from the ‘Taming of the Shrew’.
But as the days progressed, my tolerance level increased little by little. I STILL detest the task, but day by day, it was not as bad as when I first started. And hence, one fine weekend, I finished it!
The first thing I did was to yell I DID IT!!! Then I hi-fived with the husband and thanked him for his patience throughout my jigsaw journey, kissed my cats to make up for all the animal abuse they went through when I was tearing my hairs out in frustrations, took this pic on the BB and MMS it to my sensei with the subject title I DID IT!!!
And then I begged him, no more please. No more. But I doubt he listens.
*There’s one missing piece which I suspect either of the cats played with it and kicked it somewhere I cannot see/find. I just hope none of them swallowed it accidently or out of spite.
We went to visit Aunty Meena for Diwali. When we called her to say we were coming, again, she sounded excited. She didn’t allow us to come on the first day of Diwali. She gave the reason that so many people would be at her house on the first day. We knew. Her living room is smaller than my master bedroom and with her siblings and nephews and nieces, she didn’t want to cramp us in like how we experienced 3 Diwalis ago. Not that we minded, but she seems to want to give us the exclusive Diwali visit, in the most endearing way she knows how to.
Some of her Diwali goodies. She makes wicked Muruku, something I always look forward to.
She’s a very pious Hindu and there are many of these deities in her house, which she carefully cleans daily.
Her mean briyani… I love, love, love her briyani. To the point I told her to stop cleaning people’s houses and open a briyani stall.
Her mean chicken curry. Her curry is delicious and it takes her a lot to buy chicken as even chicken is way too expensive for her and her family. But she wanted to serve us something special and she bought the most special thing she could afford. 😥
Training was right after the visit. The briyani made us sleepy like lazy dugongs but we dragged our full selves to Bangsar for training. After training, our gis were soaked with sweat and I never felt so good. My gi was literally soaked with (liquidified) ghee and now I have a headache as I am typing this down. I’m not sure if it’s from the ghee from the briyani or from the overdose of curry and muruku or that training today was tough. Either way, our Diwali was good!
And for once in a whole month, I regretted taking the pics with the BB. The house was dark and the flash function from the BB is not strong enough, hence the photos didn’t really bring out the true colours of Diwali as we experienced it.
I bought my first copy of Aquila Asia and I must say I love it to bits. These Indonesians never fail to ‘wow’ me. They are forever upbeat and dynamic just about every other thing, it is hard to imagine them coming from a country so full of disasters, natural or otherwise.
They know exactly when to sieze the moment and make it great..
It’s not something orthodox Muslims would approve though. But I like it nevertheless. It has a soul, I feel.