Friday, February 27, 2015

The Asian Issue

You know what I really hate? When guys tell me the following:

  • Are you asian?
  • I love asians
  • Where you from? China? Thailand? Philipines?
  • I bet you are Thai/Viet/(insert other asian country)
  • My ex is asian
  • Asians are so hot
First, if we just met I don't give a damn that your ex lover is asian, that you are into asian women and what your personal opinion toward asians. Second, I am a person. I am much more than my race. Yes I love white rice, cheap stuffs, korean cosmetics, and rilakkuma but I also like Starbucks, I don't know American Apparel, etc. Everyone regardless of their race has their own personal interests, likes and dislikes and feelings. I would be much more appreciative when a guy actually thinks I'm cool because I like George Costanza from Seinfeld, or that I study abroad million miles away from home to travel and basically finding out what I want in life than a guy who only could see my outter characteristic.
Also it's so annoying when you try to guess which country I am from. Maybe this is personal, maybe other people like when people guessed their nationality, I don't know. But take last monday when I went to this bar and a guy told me that I must be from Thailand and insist that I am Thai even though I said No repeatedly. Why the need to know my nationality? I need a valid visa to talk to you?
Of course most time people just ask the question because being a foreigner in Germany, right? And some people genuinely wanna know to start a conversation etc and that's totally fine. But if you're being all gigly and naming countries in front of me, I just wanna punch your face.
I really appreciate it if someone I'm talking to know something about my country, like "aaah Kopi Luwak, right?" or I don't know some random word in Bahasa Indonesia. I think it's so cool to appreciate other cultures and cool when people actually know about mine. But then again, if you act like you know my country because you watch CNN or whatever more than I do, but you also never even been to Asian, I think you should just be more careful of how you articulate your opinion. I mean you should always anyway, no matter what the contex. Yes praise Lord hallelujah for Freedom of Speech but I think that shoudn't be over-exploited into talking shits and hurting others' feelings. Have some human decency.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Sort Of About Feminism?

I just recently (by recently I mean about 45 seconds ago) saw my mum's profile picture on her Blackberry Messenger App, in the picture she's holding a baby boy, I'm assuming it was taken from her recent trip to Turkey because the boy look nothing asian and yeah but that's not important.
The thing that suddenly crossed my mind is, "She's finally holding a baby boy, after all these years and 4 daughters". I remember vividly when my mum was pregnant about 14 years ago, everyone in the family, my big family expected a baby boy. At that time my mum and dad already had my big sister, Theresia, me, and my little sis, Cecilia. And like any other patriarchal chinese indonesian family, we wanted a boy, to take over dad's business and what not. I remember I was the only one who wished for a baby sister. See, 14-15 years a go I thought boys are gross (fascinating how my mind didn't change after all these years).
So on the 11th of September 2000 my sister Sydney was born. No baby boy for the family. Boo boo.

Upon seeing my mum's pic my mind has been drifting, like how would things be if we had a boy in the family, what if I was a boy, if my sister was born a different, more superior gender.
Is this silly of me to type my thoughts about this, is this why I study sociology (in fact I should be studying for my exam instead of blogging, God help the girl!).

I think it is great that feminism is all the rage right now, even though it's mostly represented as either in crazy cat ladies form, or a beautiful-privileged celebrity, like Beyonce or Emma Watson. Ok, unpopular opinion right here: I'm not too crazy of both of those two. They are gorgeous really and I think that is great that as a famous person they are actually setting good examples for, say, teenage girls. But it's tiring to over-praise them, how people 'queening' (is that even a word?) Beyonce. I mean she is great, really great but there are tons of other female out there who also deserve the praise and recognition for what they've and they're doing.

The root of gender differences is so deep that it's already cemented into our minds. Like how I actually developed a wish to be a male and not a female when seeing my mum's holding a baby boy. Because when a baby boy is born, he is celebrated, and when a baby girl came in to the world she is accepted.
Because male get paid better, because the world celebrate male, because manliness is cool but showing feminine side is weak and lame. How 'boyfriend jeans' is cool and effortless chic, but a boy wearing a dress is mentally-troubled and a sicko.

What roots in the society into perceiving male as good and female as less good?
Just because guys have phallic shaped genitals and the female yonic? What gives?!

I guess what I'm really trying to say is that it's really suck, how overly masculine the society could be, the society where term like 'penisneid' actually exists. Women need equality, we don't need no ladies night at the bar if we actually get better paid and earned more money so that we can pay the full price of our beers.
Writing this blogpost wouldn't even help a girl out there because nobody is even reading this, but hey, the internet is a magical place. If you are a girl and reading this, respect yourself and rejoice being a lady, you deserve being here, you are not less. If you are a guy, you do not need to get through all these, drink your beer and burp and get your ass kissed for whatever the thing you are doing, and congratulations on having a penis and all the benefits it earns you in life.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Beginner's Guide To Brew Your Own Kombucha

So #eatclean and #stayfit is your goal in 2k15 and you're running out of money to support your ~~*groovy hippie*~~ lifestyle because organic foods and drinks are SO expensive.
Don't give up just yet, go dump diving or something. Or make your own kombucha!
Kombucha is loaded with health benefits which you can google or click here to educate yo'self. 

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink so it's basically good for your guts. And it's cheap and easy to make! I'm super clumsy and my life is a series of unfortunate events -but if I can make my own kombucha, I guess you can too!

You'll need:
- glass container
-coffee filter/paper towel/towel to cover the brew
-elastics to secure

-black tea bags or loose (you can choose other tea, but black tea is best)
-white sugar (do not use other sweetener, honey or agave!)
-kombucha mushroom, also known as SCOBY or Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, I know this sounds really gross and scary but it is a magical createur that will transform regular sweet black tea into a liquid health goodness (I get mine from eBay, or you can ask around a hippie community? You can make your own SCOBY from kombucha liquid but let's face it, ain't nobody got time for that!)
-starter liquid which can be kombucha you get from stores or use vinegar and water

What you need to do:
-disinfect your container with boiling water and vinegar, let cool
-boil a liter of water
-add around 8 grams of tea (1 tsp = 3 gr), a tea bag is normally 2 gr
-let seep for 15 mins
-add in the sugar, about 100gr (1 Tsp=20 gr)
-let the tea cool completely (!)

-pour the tea+sugar mixture to the container (strain if you use loose tea)
-add in a cup of the starting liquid (either kombucha or vinegar+water)
-with a clean hand (wash with warm water and vinegar) out the SCOBY into the container
-cover the container and use elastics to secure
-place the container in warm, dark place. like your ex lover's heart?! -I mean kitchen would be ideal but i have flatmates and I don't want them to see the SCOBY and freak out, so I keep it in my room.

-you may check your brew after 1 week, try if the taste is to your liking
-you can let it brew for 1-2 weeks (until the taste is ok for you), 3 weeks max because it probably will get too sour to drink
-so if you like the taste of your kombucha you can remove the SCOBY and the newly formed baby SCOBY (everytime you brew kombucha, the SCOBY will give birth to a cute bby gremlin of SCOBY)
and drink it. Or...

-if you want to have your booch fizzy because you're craving soda, you need a second fermentation in which you remove the SCOBY off the kombucha drink and store it in an air-tight bottles. You can also put different flavors if you wish when bottling your kombucha. Use thinly chopped ginger, or frozen fruits and your imagination - the options are endless!
-put the bottle in warm dark place and let it ferment for few days (2-14 days)
-when you like the taste you can strain it or drink it right away.
-store in fridge to stop the fermentation.
-enjoy your own brewed kombucha and instagram it and brag about it at the next dinner party and brew some more and give it to all your friends!

*do not use metal object like spoon or fork to discard the SCOBY or to taste the brew
*it's totally cool if the SCOBY is floating on top, sideways or make itself comfy at the bottom of the container or have like brown strings attached to it, however if you see molds: abort the mission! Discard everything and start from the beginning with a new, healthy SCOBY and be more careful, also: revise your life.
*use the baby SCOBY for your next brew, the mama SCOBY still can be used or stored with a bit of kombucha liquid before you use it again
*I would gladly share my SCOBY baby if you're interested in brewing your own kombucha
*because of the fermentation, kombucha gonna contain a tiny bit of alcohol (about 1%), not that you need to worry about it, but I just feel like putting it out there.
*I got my glass container and bottle from Ikea (the Korken series), about 2,50 euro each.
*use organics if possible, but normal black tea and sugar works perfectly fine too.
*singing Ed Sheeran songs to your kombucha will not make it sweeter - the shorter the brew period the sweeter it will taste. The longer you let it brew, the more sugar will be consumed by the SCOBY. 
*happy brewing!

the SCOBY floating on top // day one of brewing

Sunday, January 25, 2015

On (My) Body Image

I just need to clarify that I am still struggling. I'm way better now in loving my body, but it took years and lots of tears and grunts to be here. It's a rough and long ride.

I don't think I ever been obese, but I've never been 'skinny' either. People would call me big boned, a bit fat, a bit overweighted and that I would look better if I had lost some weights. I could remember being about 11-12 yearsold and I was being told that I better lose my weights at this early age, because teenage boys don't like curvy girls yada yada yada..... I was at elementary school, I was only a child.
Just like honey boo boo kid I was actually proud and happy about my big round belly, I think it look cute, but unfortunately the society don't.
Even close family member would tell me hurtful things about my body and I listened. I guess I let it seep into me and destroying me a little, but sure. Imagine growing up with a broken foundation. And that not only happenned to a little ol' me in my purple Hello Kitty vest, it happens to girls, little girls all over.
When we were a baby, infant, little children, we give no damn about being naked all the time, yet with the increasing number of candles you blow, the society -starting with a soft whisper to a loud shriek- telling you to be ashamed with your body, especially when you don't fit the 'beauty standards'.
I was told that it's embarassing to be naked in front of other people and the only occassion to be naked is when I go to take shower, to clean the unexposed body I have.
So now I have to cover all these lumps with something.
However when you are fat, you are told that you can not wear certain kind of dress, that horizontal lines makes you look worse and that some clothing articles are just not for you. Why are we dictating ourself and our lovely bodies with these nonsenses? We are a modern, very well-developed society yet there's still such silly thing as a certain restriction to what a person can wear.
I should be able to rock a tight (faux) leather skirt and own it. But society said I look like a python just ate a mama goat in those skirt.

All the spreaded beauty standard, do's and don'ts, corrected and altered images of beauty on the billboards and magazines been there for years, it has become a part of our culture. Trends come and go, with the fancy designers, models, celebrities and elites in the front row, we the followers.
But the only trend that has never existed massively is the one where we accept ourselves (our bodies and mind and soul).
In this fast paced life, we are constantly told to be anything but ourself. Be Miranda Kerr, be like that girl from that band, be more like your cousin, etc.

Motivational quote to Be yourself stamped on mugs at the tourist shops, yet not in our brain.

It's tough. I'm comfortable with my body when I'm alone, looking at myself in the mirror after a good work out, then come a girl with fitter body and snap, it shattered my convidence all over the place.
And it really sucks because then I realized that it's me who really hates my body the most. Hello nice to meet you, I'm the biggest hater of my own physique. All this time I was just putting the blame on glossy magazines, well-edited instagram pictures and basically, Beyonce.
It's so easy to point finger and blame others than accepting that we are the problem.
It takes time to know that we are uncomfortable in our body, to actually hate it, to sob in a fitting room, to sob some more when you're watching Victoria's Secret fashion show, and even more tears when some boys tell you things about your body -  comparing you and other girls, it takes alot of tears and chest pain and chocolate bars, it takes time to finally accepting your body and loving it.

I eat healthier and join a gym now because I love my body and I want to be the best version of myself. It's like I'm a little Pokemon and I want to evolve to the more bad-ass version of myself.
People may say I do that because I hate myself and not accepting what I have.
Let's see if I was given a blob of clay and also the ability to turn it into a beautiful vase, of course I would take my time to carve the hell out of it to make it into a beautiful vase, because I would rather have a vase than a blob of clay and that's my personal choice. Some people may already be happy to have a blob of clay and that's really okay too. Because if they're already comfortable being in their own skin, isn't that all that matters? It's self-acceptance in the highest level.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

how to: super cute lipscrub

you need ONLY 3 ingredients that you most probably already have in your kitchen if you're a normal human being:

-4 tbs castor sugar
-2 tbs organic (lol) coconut oil
-a drop of food coloring (optional)

mix shit up, transfer&store into a cute teeny jar, voila! you got yourself a cute lipscrub that is comparable to lush product with fraction of the price! without even leaving the house! you can practically making these in your undies while watching seinfeld.

put about a pea sized of product into yr lips, scrub scrub for about 3 mins, while doing that go on and listen to ed sheeran to achieve the maximal soothing effect, when you're done scrubbin' wipe off the residue with a tissue OR just lick it off. I did and haven't died yet, plus it's tasty.

The scrubbin' get your lips smooth and the tiny bit swelling is great because your lips would feel fuller and looks hot like kylie jenner's --only, like way natural.

you can of course get creative and use brown sugar, olive oil, jojoba oil, sweet almond oil if you don't have coconut oil on hand. i bet adding peppermint extract would be great as well, or cinnamon (because it helps to make the lips plumper).

Monday, November 17, 2014

kapadokya // istanbul

1) shadow selfie 
2) church room in the monastery
3) rock living
4) looking out (running out of ideas to name the photo)
5) the chicken village
6) proportions
7) on the road
8) welcome earthlings!
9) wearing totoro neckpillow and asking for milk on the plane because i'm a baby
10) potsmoderism?
11) sleeping child (ok, a dog)
12) the basillica cistern
13) the blue mosque
14) distance
15) maghrib
16) love is an open door 
17) mezze and menemen (aka my true love in a form of tomato spiced rührei)
18) the calm after the rain
19) surveillance
20) communication
21) çay
22) hostel noir
23) a little hint
24) and a little hope

Friday, November 14, 2014

On Solo Traveling

This isn't my first time.
I can do this.
I'm doing this.

I kept repeating those lines on the bus ride to Berlin, on the plane, stranded in Kiev Airport, until I finally reached my final destination, Atatürk Airport in Istanbul.

Traveling, solo or with companion is exciting. You wake up early, beating the alarm clock, because that's how excited you are to go out there and see things you haven't seen before.
Sure airports, lay overs, plane ride, crowded train rides, or long overnight bus rides are depressing, but I always crave for that feeling, along with that exhale when you finally got there. The place you been eyeing on Lonely Planet guide, google image and tags on Instagram.
When I finally arrived in Göreme, Cappadocia I couldn't stop smiling. The whole place blew my mind, it was much prettier than those filtered insta pictures in real!

But sights and places are not the only things that makes the trip, often the people, companions matters.
Sometimes I feel like I could just replace familiar faces who I could've shared these experiences with with people I met along the way, and I did. Brisk meetings, deep conversations, laughs, good-byes.
It is so easy to meet people when you travel alone - and this comes from this rather unsocial girl.

This girl at the breakfast table striked up a conversation because I was wearing my Twin Peaks shirt. We talked and talked and found out she's a vegetarian too. And it t's such a great feeling to bond with people with similarities.

The two aussie girls I met at the dorm room are both 19 and traveling Europe to figure out what they want to do next (I'm secretly jealous I didn't have the chance to do the same when I was younger), the one girl, Molly and I also shared similar taste of music and I ended up introducing her to few of my favorite bands like Beirut and Foxygen.

I met Adam one morning also at the breakfast table. He was doing something with a alumunium cylinder tube thing, so I asked him what he's doing, and he answered with still a bed voice, "making my own coffee," - what a hipsterscum, I thought. Seriously this bearded dude would go to the lounge every morning, grinding his own coffee beans, put it in a filter tube and basically making his own coffee when there's obviously coffee served on the table. Ok, I was conflicting with myself to either think it's either cool or snotty kind of behaviour he was engaging.
But yeah, turned out Adam is a barista who spent a year in Denmark and now traveling en route home. And he actually offered me (!) a cup of his precious coffee. We also went hiking together and unravel our shared love on Sriracha sauce.
One woman, who also joined us hiking, Steph is a journalist and a writer. I had nice deep conversations about so many things with her, from the german language, feminism to hipsters in her hometown in Portland (it can't get more hipster than that). We were in the middle of a conversation when the shuttle picked me up to go to the airport. It was sort of sad. But people always come and go, you lose some you gain some more.

And there was also Gopal, an indian guy from Singapore. One evening, we hung out at the lounge also with the aussie girls and this other guy from London and he was sugar high. It was the most fun I've had in a long time. Such lovely crowds. We played backgammon together, and they basically discovered food delivery service in Göreme that later is praised by other fellow backpackers at the hostel, because the place is basically freezing once the sun goes down and ain't nobody got time to go out to get foods. We also laughed our asses off this immature joke on a turkish bus company named kamil koç, I contributed by making this terrible line that goes, "How do you get there?" "I'm riding kamil koç (read: something inappropriate)". Yep, we are immature.

It was just such lovely time at the hostel, good vibe and cool people. That was the case for Cappadocia. In Istanbul, I was mostly a lone wolf, maybe a lone kitty. It's easy to feel some type of einsamtkeit when you're all alone in a big city, think Scarlet Jo in Lost in Translation. Except that she's 10000x prettier, met Bill Murray and basically still having a fabulous arty time in Tokyo, while me, nodding softly when the waiter asked, "table for one?" and basically just going from one neighborhood to another petting probably half population of cats of Istanbul (and there's tons of cats in Istanbul!), yeah okay, that's actually not so bad.
But along with the high number of cats population, the amount of cat calls I got is also extremely high. Around my time of travel, the video of girl walking for 10 hours in NYC also went viral, which made my anger bubbling even more reading all the dumb, ignorant comments. But that's off-topic.

Summing everything up, like everthing in the world, there's always goods and bads. And in the end, the world is a book and those who don't travel only read a page traveling is cool (or at least it helps into tricking your friends to think you lead a cool life), you get to finally update your facebook and instagram account with cool pics, you probably meet cool people and get the chance to try cool things.

Most important is that when you travel alone, when often time you would get lost navigating between the small dim-lighted streets, you would eventually find your way back.
While traveling alone, lost, you may lost, but in the end you found yourself.
Because again, yourself is the coolest companion you could ask for.