Saturday, 29 September 2007

Waktu Adalah Kesempatan

I was just about to write an article titled "Time is Money" when another experience reminded me that "Time is Actually a Chance (to learn, to share with our beloved, to develop ourselves, or only to recharge our batteries; sleeping)".

The high rise of toll road's price was forcing me to reconsider using my personal car to go to the museum. By changing it into public transportation I can try to minimize the cost of being a volunteer guide. It was quite a while that I do not use the shuttle bus (because their new routes are not really convenience for my journey to the museum). So my first experience was awful, I was terribly late to a meeting in the museum and was also late to pick up my son! I calculated the cost that I should spend in order to get those time efficiency so I was thinking of writing something on that. Time is really can be bought by money!

Yet, as I was better prepared with schedules I got a better experience on my next travel. A woman sitting in front of me is reading a book titled "Ayat-ayat Cinta". I was seated perfectly to peek in her book. As I could probably read faster than her, I was able to follow the beauty of its content.

I have a very tight budget on my personal books. I put my children's books as our family priority. Moreover, I probably still have the prejudice that Islamic book is not for my consumption. I was probably wrong as I read (peek into :)) all those interesting pages. So, time can still be valuable if we can manage to enjoy it!

Friday, 28 September 2007

Paris Kini Memiliki Museum Arsitektur

J’aime Paris! J’adore l’architecture en France! Et voila…La Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine!

It would be another good reason to visit Paris, and I’d like to share this knowledge to other Indonesians. Perhaps one day they’ll be able to visit this beautiful city (in the wonderful country) and they know there is a new interesting destination to see.

Menjadi Importir Yang Bermartabat

I like to bring visitors to the National Museum into the Ceramic Room in the National Museum of Jakarta. There are several important items that shows our position in the international trade in the 14th Century.

The design of a terracotta water vessel with the mammary spout was found in Indonesia from the 10th Century. The same design appeared in the Chinese ceramic later on (mostly from the Ming Dynasty of the 14th C).

Chinese ceramics with the Qur'an writing on it also show how the ancestors of Indonesian people were already gained high status as consumers. They ordered the design as well. Now in the 21st Century, we are still consumers of Chinese products but mostly to seek for cheaper price.

I wrote this article to remind people to be creative and to be able to preserve and develop our own design as our cultural heritage.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Another article from Seoul

An article for Tabloid Rumah. Another article after more than ten years ago writing my first piece for Laras, the architectural magazine.

Berbicara dengan Janin, Mungkinkah?

Is it possible to chat with your future baby?
Yes, I tried it in both my pregnancies!

My boys birthday are 7th July (7-7) and 10th Oct (10-10). It looks like arranged deliveries, but were normal deliveries.

I wrote about the choice of date in my diary as if I spoke to my eldest to be. And he did make we wait for the 7th July instead of the 14th July!

In the second delivery the twins did have head collision. The gynecologist wanted to prepare caesarian. I was afraid of recovery of the post surgery and also to the amount of bill I've got to pay (it should be doubled). So I asked the smaller "baby" to try to come out first, and to the other one to hold on until his brother was born. Then I pray to God to help us. It really worked!

Using music such as Mozart's were also in my experiment agenda. But from all those stories I do want to take the attention of younger couples that the fetus in the womb has the right to have the continuation of his life and also to gain his/her parents attention and love. To help a mother to be comfortable in her pregnancy will also help to gain a smart and creative kid.

Ketika Hidup Harus Memilih!

An article from a fellow contributor in wikimu about her single status was followed by another article from another person about his being single. At least that is how I remembered those articles. I do think that we've got a life full of choices. And being adult is to have the ability to cope with what we had chosen and dealing with the consequences. So I put the title "When Life is about the obligation to choose!"

Citizen Journalism Websites and also my journey to Seoul made me remember those free days without children. Marriage did not really change much of my way of spending time until I've got children.

I also put in a comment I had in my head when reading an article about being honest on not believing in God. Being atheist is also a personal choice, just like choosing a religion. We are free to choose our choice, but we should also be prepared to bear the consequences.

Apa Arti Kejujuran dan Integritas Bagi Seorang Penulis?

A reader's letter in daily Kompas complaining about a recycling article attracted my attention. The response of the article's writer made me even more interesting to know the reaction of other readers. He said that he has the right to republish his own work . Yet, after 8 years he did nothing much to add and he said it was his right to cut and renew some part (the complaining reader said the difference between the old and the new articles are only in the first four paragraphs). He did not even mentioned that the writing was already published before.

So I just asked "What is the meaning of honesty and integrity for a writer?" I think it is a question that should be asked to the readers and also writers of a citizen journalism websites. We, as a citizen journalist, should acknowledged the ethics of journalism.

As a writer he can cited his book (it was already published in a book of chosen articles) because it might still held some important facts. Yet, readers are also have the right to get a fresh view on the recent subject.

Berbalas E-mail dengan Seorang Tunanetra

For most Indonesian I think it is still unimaginable that we can communicate through e-mail with a blind person. The blind in Indonesia are not considered capable of having
a normal vocation. Their jobs usually related only to the massage service. Yet, there are already advanced tools to help them.

Celebrating the International Illiteracy Day, I tried to attract people's attention by the title "E-mailing with a blind". I'd like to show them more possibility for the blind, and also the need to help the blind to reach for their literacy through books in braille. I introduce the readers of wikimu to the organization (Yayasan Mitra Netra) that aim to help the blind and also to the online library for the blind. I wished I could write something for OMNI, but I think I do need more time to really get into it.

Permisi, Numpang Ngomel…

There were two other articles about events in Jakarta before this article published in Yet, this article is about the rising of prices. I deliberately published it on the 4th September 2007 when the toll road price is also get another adjustment (from 7,500 rupiahs to 11,500 rupiahs...a very high adjustment!).

I also grumbled about the vanishing of the kerosene. It won't help people to change their cooking habit to gas stove but instead it will direct them back to using wood. Doesn't it sound familiar with Indonesian achievement in the Guinness Book of the Records?

Satu Dasawarsa Melayari Samudra Bahasa.

The tenth birthday of the mailing list Bahtera was celebrated by its members. I used this chance to write about the event for

Bahtera is the mailing list for everybody who care about Bahasa Indonesia: BAH (bahasa - language), TER (terjemahan-translation), A (Indonesia) . Translators gave the basic foundation to the citizen to know other cultures and views.

I found this mailing list worth visited as they are all very supportive.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

War is something stupid!

Anne Frank's diary is something that seems so "old"!
But then there was also Zlata's diary from Serajevo.
Now there are blogs from those who live in Iraq.

Why are we being so stupid? Don't we ever think about how nice is it living in peace? One of the blog mentioned that we, ordinary citizens, prefer living in peace but the politician made it this way! War devide is the hatred of war that devide us, not the different religions! Economic gap is also another flame that will fire the war. I am just afraid of the future consequences.

Friday, 14 September 2007

A diary of a citizen reporter.

When you are too busy and have too many problems at the same time you’ve got stuck! The rising prices are not only for cooking oil or other food but to the price of the toll road as well! While the amount of income is not yet fixed, but the amount of cost for children education is rising up you can have an eternal headache as a housewife!

At the same time a lot of issues are taking my interest but I could not really find the time to write them down. This post is going to highlight some issues that I cared about. It’s kind of a piece of my diary as a citizen reporter.

My post on global warming was not taken as an objective matter by the editorial of OMNI, but I did put a lot of effort to write it down, so I just post it in my blog. Surprisingly some comments came to the post. Not an expert myself, I was only voicing how I feel as a person living in the equator. It is really hot in the equator! There are things that I thought should be taken into a global action. To enrich my knowledge I was actually intended to come to the evening lecture of the Indonesian Heritage Society when Neil Franklin doing his presentation on “Tigers, Communities, and Carbon: Sustainable Solutions for Indonesian Forestry”. But the situation was not on my favor. Being single is always easier for woman and having a family had changed my whole life but it is a responsibility I’ve chosen and need to always be adjusted to.

My article in that grumbling about the toll road’s increasing price has also something about the government’s policy towards using gas as the replacement of kerosene. While I am already a gas consumer (as long as I remember my parents’ house used only gas stove), and I am also campaigning toward a better environment to prevent the global warming, I do not agree with this policy of making kerosene disappear from public. Using a picture I recently took in a place almost two hours drive from Jakarta where the house owner use the wood as it was in the old days (things that I’ve just seen in the National Museum of Korea) I’d like to show that this sudden policy in the tight pressure of economy will not effective. They’ll end up having more people cutting wood for cooking! It is just like the light bulb campaign. If the energy saver light bulb is too expensive people will not change their tendency as there is also the economic pressure to use the cheaper one. Or if we do not have a stable input of electricity why would we bother to think about a more expensive light bulb?

Being in the middle level is really something as I could easily look to the higher level of consumption or to look down to the marginalized people to gain more objective opinions. But being idealistic is something difficult to live with. A comment in my article about education is also a question that haunted me before I wrote my blog (it made me feel that writing a blog is different with writing my diary), “Commenting are easy but how to solve the problem?” Yes, it is a question that I’ll never be able to answer eve if I got enough money to finance charity. The problem will always be there, especially when we are working on our own. It would be solved if we are working hand in hand, the government and the citizen, and then intergovernmental…that’s the way out! I’ve chosen to forget about scholarship before as it would tied me to an institution, and I did not want to be tied up (I am a great fan of Chairil Anwar’s poem “Aku”). That question then mirrored in another question before publishing my thoughts in the internet “will this help to solve the problem?” I do want to have readers think about the subject and try to do something. Inspire people to give a helping hand, to be comforted. I knew that in financial term my contribution is nothing, while being only a housewife I’ll never have enough time to really serve the community as (for example) an NGO member. But I do believe that this is at least the thing I could do from my house without neglecting my own children. Serving the community sometimes took time. It gave the pleasure in giving service but in the other hand I swap it with the time for my children.

Other than the objectivity favoring for public I should also learn about the legal consequences of my writing. It is an open public reading. It is not a diary of my own consumption. While I do have the tendencies to make comments on political affairs, I also learn how to limit myself. I saw how an article could be read by readers in another perspective and received as something different than the real interest of the writer. The case of Time magazine with our former President Soeharto is also something that is really important. The freedom of the press is at the stake. If the press or the mainstream media, which should be prepared with the legal consequences failed in winning the case, how would be a citizen prevent herself from falling into the blunder? Who will back a citizen reporter? While we are not gaining more than our idealism when producing our stories, we should really be aware of the legal consequences. There is really a need to improve the citizen knowledge about human rights and fairness in order to establish a better citizen journalism websites (not only “professional journalists” as citizen…but the real citizen as journalist).