Luxury

Luxurious is tea,
Detaching from everyone
But not everything—

terima kasih, Abu Marlo beserta para guru di 499 episode Dialogue Positive – you are all blessed!

A Guest

A guest, Beloved,
Makes host happy yet confused.
Smile sweet and thank, too.

I’ve met hosts with different types of personality or characteristics. When the host is a person, it’s just about that particular person. When the host is a company, it shows me the company culture or local culture.

I’ve got a few “cute” treatment from some hosts.

One company in Koka was informed that I’m a Muslim. My colleague told them “Rike eats halal, please find the food source from now.” They didn’t clarify to me and just followed that pranking colleague blindly. And in my 3-day visit they fed me halal food they ordered online and had to be delivered long trip to that remote area.

“Is it good, Rike-san?” The host asked me on the last day.

“Do you expect honest or polite answer?” said I laughing.

“Be honest please ha ha…”

“I tried NN-san’s food from your canteen. I love your food much much better. This online food tasted good but didn’t taste fresh.” It was impolite like hell for most Japanese host I guess. 😂

“Our canteen food is not halal. I’m sorry about the online food.” He must have wanted to commit suicide after that. 😁

Then I started preaching what halal meant to me. And they said they would not order the halal food for me anymore and give me their canteen food the following years. 😂

delivered from Kanagawa 🙏🏼

The second was one company knowing I’m a Muslim as informed by the branch in Malaysia. So they knew I pray although they never knew I only pray when wanting to.

So they brought me to a small room to do afternoon prayer. I asked if they have Muslim employees so they had the room, they said it was prepared for me. They moved out table, chairs and other cultural ornaments. 🙇🏻‍♀️

The first day I prayed, the other days they asked if I would pray. I said no. Then again I preached what type of Muslim I was and they nodded heads looking confused— they might think how would a human being can be this obedient yet disobedient to her God.

prayed in the prayer room specially prepared for me one day then chanting the same prayer in this shrine another day; God isn’t discriminating 😍

The third is also about being a Muslim. I came with 6 other people for 2 days and the company gave me fruit salad while giving nice beef/chicken/pork, egg, vegetable, rice lunch to others. They said they only had salad as halal food and no restaurant near the industrial area cooks halal and non halal food separately.

My colleagues explained that I could eat this and that but “not pork only”. So the next day they provided my favourite Vietnam spring roll with “vegetable and pork” not “pork only”. I left the lunch box untouched and went back to the yummy salad. I’ll come back next year, please give me pho. 😁

special salad for me – thank yow!!! 😘😘😘

Some people are so naive not knowing what to do and deciding to do their bestest best to respect the guests. God bless them.

I enjoy being a (not so good) Muslim. Misunderstood but still well treated by those willing to respect others. God bless you! 💝

Salaam….

a cute torii in Minakuchichohinokigaoka (damn not easy to read and write)

Gifts to You

These gifts, Beloved,
Peace and love hummed to loved ones
Living here and there

One of the Javanese and Islamic teachings that I will never leave for the rest of my life is sending gift of prayer containing peace and love to my loved ones wherever they are, whether they are physically wandering on earth or spiritually gathering around life.

I believe that my passing-away ancestors are living in different levels of consciousness (call it hell, heaven or somewhere in between up to your liking) and they are watching their offsprings without being able to directly communicating with us. They deserve my gift as they have been my line to get the chance to be here now. They deserve peace and love as they have done the best they could to draw a meaningful family tree. Yes, some might have made silly mistakes but hey that’s what Buddhism calls “karma”. Yes, some might have caused shameful stains on the family picture but hey that’s what Islam calls “alam syahadah”. Whoever and whatever they were, all of my ancestors deserve good wishes sung to them.

I also wish peace and love to those I love still breathing the air. Wishing all of them health and happiness. 💝

We Javanese Muslim will send gift by reciting some Javanese prayer closed with Alfatihah, a short chapter in the Quran containing peace, love, praise, forgiving, protection and guidance. A basket of beautiful wishes—

How light this heart is to be sure that all whom I love are well.

Alfatihah to all whom I love. You’re loved. You’re blessed. Don’t shop too much. 😁

Happy weekend!

born as part of a nation doesn’t make someone higher or lower – being born a Javanese, Aborigine, African, Arab, Chinese, English, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Sundanese, Vietnamese or whatever is a gifted tool to contribute the best quality of culture in sustaining and respecting humanity – respect yourself, respect other human beings 💕
if not respected (by you), your origin will be a boomerang (spun around hitting you) – be grateful for being born as you are, never wasted, fully loved, surrounded by beloved only if you accept who you are 💕

Idyll

Idyll, Beloved,
Found in rural area;
Hidden heritage—

Saw a package in front of my door today. It had been there for several days as instructed to the courier while I was away for a biz trip. Three pieces of jarik batik (long fabric with traditional batik patterns) from Yogyakarta were delivered safe and sound.

Idyllic gift for myself for the hard work in the past one year. Thank you, dear self! 💕

💕 thank you
this handmade batik was crafted by Mbah Suhir, a 93 year old batik maker – truntum background with sido asih (combination of 2 classic patterns) – I’m blessed!

Truntum (depiction of thousands of jasmine flowers) symbolises life under divine guidance and peaceful life fragrant like jasmine. Sido asih symbolises living in love and compassion.

210*120 cm – shorter jarik is for male as he won’t put any pleats when wearing it
the one-sided black “sido asih” handmade by another senior batik maker (still trying to find her name) – I’ll keep this beauty with love 🥰
250*105 cm, classic batik – longer jarik is for female as she will make some pleats at one end of the cloth to beautify the lower apparel

While sido asih pattern bears common symbols everywhere in Java island, the color and the strokes show its place of origin. Black and thin lining is originated from Solo, white and bold lining is originated from Yogyakarta.

“nitik cakar ayam” two-sided classic batik handmade by Ibu Suminah (80 years old batik maker) 🥰

Nitik (literally means making dots/points) is an original batik pattern in Bantul district, Yogyakarta. Nitik “cakar ayam” (literally means chicken claw) symbolises someone who is good at providing good life for his/her family (hard working, prosper and wise).

Two-sided batik is such a luxury to have in modern day. It doesn’t always show the price; but it is more about the maker has to block both sides of the fabric and it doubles the time of craftsmanship. Most batik is one-sided nowadays.

Can’t wait to directly thank the batik makers for their love to Javanese culture.

Matur sembah nuwun, Mbah. Mugi penjenengan dipunbarokahi dyaning Gusti Allah Kang Maha Agung. 🙏🏼💕

Alfatihah

Surprise

Daruma city
You’ve witnessed left eyes were drawn.
Wish me the right ones.

A group of people in Takasaki wished me a happy birthday in an online meeting. A real surprise that made my day! I almost cried of happiness! 🥺

This evening one of them went back to Tokyo and she sent me messages with photos taken in Takasaki station. Another sweet surprise!

ありがとうございます, AWさん。また来年お会いしましょう!

Looking forward to a set of daruma dolls of different colours I ordered from Amazon (because of cancelled plan to buy them in its original city). Not a real surprise but hope the dolls give me a little shade of surprise! 🤩

Salaam.

daruma doll in Takasaki station sent with a message “Happy birthday, Rike. Come on draw my eyes!” 😂
“Enjoy!” another message with another photo 😂

(Stupid) Weekend

Weekend, Beloved,
When heaven moves to kitchen
Where AirPods are on—

It’s always good to hear from good and best friends especially at weekends in which time feels like unlimited, calls can be done while cooking or cleaning the house. Topics vary from food to rubbish, celebrity to annoying friends, spirituality to sexuality, neighbourhood to social media, history to future, measured dream to dreamy imagination, everything.

This morning a group call stopped abruptly in the middle of a topic “what’s your most interesting experience in social media”.

F1 (friend #1): You all know. We married.

F2 (friend #2): That’s happy. Try again.

F1: Scammer! It was long before this marriage. A guy put a French guy photo uploading activities of the rich handsome guy who was actually not himself and after one month I found that he was from an Asian country trying to get my money. It became a twisted plot when finally I found who he was. He made up stories that he lost his business, he tried many things but could not make it and had no choice but doing what he was doing.

F2: Was it the one you told me?

F1: Yes. You?

Me: I stalked my crush. I thought he played numbers to align with the numbers of my postings, followers and followings until finally I knew he was adjusting his numbers of postings, followers and followings to align with his fiancée’s numbers! 😫

F2: How did you know that she was the fiancée?

Me: Long story short: I found their photos having vacations to many different places every single year with one particular hashtag of their nicknames put together. They’re liking each other’s postings, too. Since then I stopped stalking him. I guess they are secretly married. Why was I so stupid? 😁

F2: Better stupid then knowing you are and so you learn. 🙂 Ok my turn. I watched porn videos.

F1, Me: What?! Where?!

F1: When?!

F2: 😂😂😂😂😂 Prank youuuuu! Of course not! I don’t have interesting experience in social media. I’m too busy with my work. Hey! Why are you both so excited? You want?

F1, Me: No!

F2: I do want.

F1: What? Say that again! I guess you have done it, you just don’t want to admit it! You’re a man and impossible to not watch that kind of videos! Don’t lie!

Me: Hmmm…. Ok, ok. That’s interesting. It’s fine just admit it.

F2: What’s wrong with you, ladies? I’m joking!

F1: (left group call)

Me: Are you there?

F2: (left group call)

Me: (feeling confused and stupid after talking to husband and wife who probably started a fight because of one failed joke)

What a (stupid) weekend! May all beings be happy.

Lesson learnt: plan your joke well esp in front of your wife! 😝

writing is about mixing time, place and characters from real plots 🥰 to tell the truth 🥰 gotcha, gotcha, gotcha!

Dream Home (ranting)

Dream home, Beloved,
A place where nature meets hearts;
Hearts warmly greet souls—

The conversation with a long lost friend came to a topic of “where we want to live if ending living alone?”

Living in Singapore was never part of my dream. A visit in 2010 gave me impression that I would die of hunger in a week with Indonesia salary. 😁

Now this city is a lovely second home; my impression has changed. I won’t die because of hunger but I will die because of loneliness if I stay single retiring here. I still can’t find enough friends like those in home country. There are three but all of them will retire in Bali and New Zealand sooner than me.

Residing in a landed property where gardening and backyard dining is affordable is a preference, yet I don’t have the luxury of living in such place here. And I don’t want to die alone in a locked condo found rotten after days or even weeks. Oh God, please protect me from such horrible thing. Amen….

F: I’ve always wanted to live in Ubud and it will happen very soon. I’ll open a spa with all traditional herbal from all over Indonesia. I’ll quit my job soon. I want to live my own life as me, no one can tell me to do this and that anymore! No bloody politics anymore! Visit me often! You’ll find my spa super special! I’ll give you discount! Be a regular customer! Hey! You once wanted to live in Thailand?

Me: Someone informed me about a good property in low price near my favourite hotel in Ayutthaya. Yet Thai have controversial life style I’m not comfortable with in a way. I’m too simple, sometimes too honest and can be against those status-oriented that I might not be able to adapt well. Not a true dream! Hey! Actually love to live in Kyoto!

F: You’ll die in three months after you complete second round of shrine, temple and ancient house hopping! 😂

Me: Dying of walking! 😂

What a refreshing conversation! And yes, I’ll visit her spa soon! 😍

Lesson learnt: Will only live with those I love and loving me where home is a real feel. No excuse.

Salaam…. 💝

gebyok – the Javanese teak wood door symbolizing the host’s living in welfare, peace and harmony with nature 💝
angkul-angkul – the Balinese gate symbolizing warmth welcome to guests and privacy of the host at the same time 💝

Nowhere (good memory)

Nowhere, Beloved,
To depart. Wait for next train.
Look around and pray.

Checking my old photos, I saw an almost forgotten one. A station that was giving me the most alarming experience in that trip.

Back in April 2017 I was in a solo travel for 20 days in EU region when the train from Lyon left me no choice but changing train in Bourg-en-Bresse. It was rainy and windy, almost 5pm local time, some passengers got off with me but all of them went out of the station (perhaps to go home) and only I stayed to wait for the next train at 7:15pm.

For almost 45 minutes and no one was coming. A group of young men entered the other side of the railway. They sounded chatting and giggling. I tried to avoid looking at them. It was my first time feeling insecure in the trip.

I continued reading my book (now pretending) as I felt so uneasy with the noise across the lines.

“Hi! Lady!” I looked around. No woman but me. Damn! They called me.

I didn’t say anything, my eyes looked back to my book.

“Hi! Hi!” Don’t say anything, Rike. Don’t look at them. My left hand slowly moved down to my Swiss knife in the inner pocket of the jacket.

Only prayer in heart and some strategies that were taught by my brothers on how to use the Swiss knife and simple kicks to defend myself from bad guys.

“Lady!” They shouted at me more loudly after some time.

“Lady!” The guys laughed out loud among their French words. I saw them waved their hands to me. They whistled at me. I wondered why no one was here but those guys. In my country there are always many people selling things around railway station. There are always tricycle riders moving around.

When those guys got even merrier and happier, I saw a shadow moved the tall doors behind the guys.

A tall black lady drew a trunk and went across line 1 to line 2 and to line 3 where I was almost ready to hurt any of the guys if they approached me.

The guys stopped their noise. The lady walked towards me.

I didn’t feel better. This lady could stop the guys’ laughters and whistles, she must have been able to do stronger thing than that including killing me— I had to be alert!

“Hi! Going to Geneva?” A soft voice greeted me.

“Hi! Ya! Are you?”

“Yes! The train will arrive soon.”

“Thanks God!”

“No, it is just the schedule.”

😁

We eventually were sitting in the same cart. She was working in the UN headquarters and traveled back from personal leave. She said I was lucky to take this train, not later one that might have made me encounter with more men in the station unluckily often drunk.

“Thanks God!“

“No, you just need to choose the right timing.”

😁

I almost forgot that I met this smart wise tough lady. Wherever you are, Madam, I wish you good luck! Thank you for saving me with your timeliness.

Salaam.

Bourg-en-Bresse station

No Losing!

I will win
In any battle.
My flag is rising
As high as the farthest star
Reaching you
Bravely!

In me is a girl who dares!
I’m brave!

Don’t try me!

I am….

Brave!

I won’t give up! You sell, I buy! ALL!

A Dream

A dream, Beloved,
A bloom of sleep or a sign?
Each has drawn a smile.

Sometimes a dream brings me to an immediate mood of contacting a friend. Last night I dreamt of someone who has set a strong boundary against me. I dreamt of this person surrounded guarded almost like being swarmed by many tough guys and beautiful ladies; becoming the top of all! Waking up this morning, I decided to text this person who has blocked me in WhatsApp (of course I made mistake as the reason) and summarised my dream— what I didn’t tell was that those guys and ladies in my dream rigorously chased me away. And as expected of course no reply; maybe another anger and frustration against this ridiculous me 🙃

Then I prayed that this friend is enjoying the best time of life; which must be happening now.

I’m still smiling remembering the dream. How could it be such dream? Scary yet entertaining! I must have been traveling to a multiverse! Maybe it was a sign about a raising boundary; or simply because I was too tired!

Thanks for the dream.

🙏🏼

Endgame by Gita Wirjawan

Excellent people highlight other excellent people. Hope Gita Wirjawan’s dream to build his “Darul Hikmah”(“House of Wisdom” where scholars dedicate their expertise and vision for the good of the humankind) come true to bring this nation to its brilliantly wonderful era.

God bless you, Pak Gita!

Some latest Endgame shows worth watching – long talk, might need patience and passion to enjoy.

This region needs leaders whose strength level of leadership is at least the same as Soeharto (minus his corruption & dictatorship), Mahathir Mohamad (minus the history of racism among races), Lee Kuan Yew (minus $&@¥£€%~), Marcos (minus his corruption & dictatorship), King Rama IX (minus &@$)(/????) so we can be decently respected. The current most leaders are all like “kerupuk melempem”, corrupt and weak.
literacy – wish my nephews love it more 🪶
protecting Mother Earth through public policy 👍🏼

Sketches

Sketches, Beloved
Turning imagination
To the sensible
That won’t last longer than life;
Let go from the very start—

Sometimes I asked myself “what will happen to all these sketches when I die?” 🫥 Not easy to answer until I realised what I have done to most of my mistakes: let go.

🤡

orchid – in progress; let go from the very start

Cheese!

Two friends are chatting under a tree.

Friend #1: I think God takes care of us very well.
Friend #2: I think God stopped working after creating us.
Friend #1: You just don’t know.
Friend #2: I just don’t care.

Suddenly a lightning strikes not far from the tree.

Friend #1: Cheese!!!
Friend #2: What the hell are you doing?
Friend #1: I told you! You don’t know! God just took a picture of us gossiping.
Friend #2: @&@$#%^*~


(this is a very common joke among Indonesians, modification is applied here)

It is the way some crazy heads respond to what’s striking around them. 🤩

enjooooy!

Without Love? (ranting)

Love at the first sight
To what’s captured by senses
And stays in the heart—

One beloved person called me asking why I didn’t attend a nephew’s wedding party yesterday. I said I couldn’t as I’ve been physically “beaten up” because of an accident recently. After what happened, sorry and better be careful, don’t go biking at night, wear the right shoes; she started ranting….

“What are you looking for in life? Look at your nephews and nieces getting married one by one. They wish their best wishes for you but you don’t seem to care. You’d better find one man and get married and they will attend your wedding party with all love and gifts.”

“Not my priority”, I said.

“What is your priority? Your work? Your dream? What?”

It is sometimes annoying to be a single woman in a society in which marriage is highly appreciated and considered as highway to happiness. I feel so lucky for living overseas away from those caring so much about me so I can enjoy my life the way I love to. Many of my single girl friends call me now and then telling me how tiring it is to answer the same questions again and again even when they don’t seem to have problems for not getting married. We are mentally and financially stable. 😁

“Ok, tell me I’ll find one. I know you won’t want one like your last. Tell me.”

“Sexually straight and not abusive in any way possible.”

“That’s easy! It is just you so difficult! Sometimes you just have to give up your priority or your love. I got married without love and it goes well. Many of us do and it goes well. Know that we worry about you.”

Alamak…. 

Weekend still goes well. And I’m happily looking forward to another week.

Life is a mystery, and so is love. I love my life and I don’t worry. 🥰

message for all whom I love

the right place possible – Jun. 19, 2022/17:12

Marriage

Married, Beloved,
To your shadow that follows
Wherever I go.

Divorced, Beloved,
From your doubt that hunts and haunts
Wherever I hide.

—-

One very long chat decorated a night. A childhood friend did sharing about what she had experienced when we were away for about 10 years, busy with our own life. This is her promise to tell the full story after giving hints and looking puzzled when meeting me.

She married thrice. First husband died of illness. Second abused and cheated her and so they divorced. Third one, this one has brought a lot of stories and enlightenment.

How she finally decided the third after the traumatic second has strengthened about my own lesson in life – acceptance. How she lets a seemingly perfect person be with her imperfect figure does add amazement about one of my loyalist. How she ignores words and stares from people disapproving her behaviours has told me she is still girl going foraging in the wild with me in our lively early age.

She hit me with some bitter comments about my complicated points. She ridiculed me for being so guarding and distant from risking broken heart to happen. She also highlighted how her love transforms to friendship that I would have not believed can happen to her – she is not a “friendship-friendly” type of person, she is a snapping turtle 😑

There are things she has regretted about all 3 decisions but the regret has brought her to a final realisation that her life has shaped her into a composed, mature woman strong yet flexible enough to be beautifully bent by the hardship of life. The pain pays off, she said. What a beautiful creature my dear friend is! 😘😘😘

This weekend has given me another package of lessons from our childhood. A blast from the past!

Weekend is still long. I’d better have more fun!

May all beings be happy! 🙏🏼

the commitment on paper needs realisation in 3 dimension reality with soul and trust – red torii in progress

Cut This?

Cut this, he said.
Nope! These fruits don’t need slicing,
Not for fine dining.

—-

I miss places where eating fruit is the combination of hard work and excitement. At very young age, some rascal friends and I would just pluck some fruits from the trees —our parents called it stealing and lectured us for weeks, we called it adventure— then eat them just like that. We even peeled sugarcane with our teeth like powerful fighters. 😎

I’m blessed to experience that prime time. Trust me it sounds rather uncivilised but that’s what has made my generation more humane than my niece and nephew’s generation that has to use knife to enjoy the helpless berries. 😀

Happy weekend!

🥳

hi, chef. most of those fruits won’t need knife to eat. give them to me and I’ll finish them in no time with no tool 😎

Sunset

Sunset, Beloved,
Serene pretty end of day
To be in your lap—

—-

I’ve limited contact with human beings for the past 2 years either due to the blessed pandemic or my own will. It feels good to seclude myself: doing what’s sweet and enriching, talking only to those encouraging and infusing positive vibes, working with all heart and soul.

Only calls from colleagues and family are those I’ve picked. Very very limited number of friends have been the preferred channels. The rest is next layers, not priority.

Only 6 people have been my favourite for the past one year — they are the easiest to laugh things with; at the same time the most serious to discuss crazy things with. We can talk about how stupid we are especially when in love 🤮 up to how we are afraid of dying ugly and in debt 😑

My mom and 2 older friends are kind of those I would respectfully listen with a twist – hey sometimes my ears are itchy too… My youngest brother and 2 same age friends are whom I impatiently argue with and patiently listen to each other. They are the definition of best friends of mine.

Thanks for becoming my sunrise, sunstroke and sunset. Beautiful friendship is about acceptance and trust! 💝

Alfatihah for you all my best people

sunset is beautiful reminding me of those sweet sour best friends 🥳