19 March 2013

Our lifestyle is (not) defined by other people's opinion

I follow and read this particular personal blog, owned by Leony. I don't know her in person, and I don't even remember how I came to this blog.

But I really like her writing: honest and light.

A couple of days ago, I stumbled upon one of her posts that talked about Asian lifestyle. She shared this:

An average middle-class CAUCASIAN will purchase:
  • $20 basic white dinner plate from Crate & Barrel
  • $39.90 bedroom slippers from Marks & Spencer
  • $20 whisk from Franc Franc
  • $40 cushion cover from Tangs
  • $39 garlic press from WMF
  • $29 chef's knife from Ikea
  • $25 weekday work lunch at Din Tai Fung
  • $170 shoes from Steve Madden
  • $150 handbag from Zara (on sale from $199.90)

An average middle-class ASIAN will purchase:
  • $2 basic white dinner plate from Daiso
  • $2 bedroom slippers from Daiso
  • $2 whisk from Daiso
  • $2 cushion cover from Daiso
  • $0 garlic press (no need for a garlic press, using a knife would suffice)
  • $2 chef's knife from Daiso
  • $4.50 weekday work lunch (yong tau foo)
  • $29 shoes from Charles & Keith (on sale from $39.90)
  • $2,970 handbag from Chanel
Go figure.

It made me realize how different western and Asian lifestyles are. In Asia, we are controlled by what other people think about us, about our lives, our jobs, our family, our way of thinking.

She shared in her blog post that parents would buy a very expensive stroller for their baby, who won't even notice the difference, just to show off - although the stroller is huge and heavy to carry around. Why is that?

And until this very day, I just cannot help but wonder why on earth one owns a 1 million dollar handbag called Hermes. What do you put in that bag? Once, when I was still living in the Netherlands, I accompanied a friend, who bought a 4500 Euro Hermes bag for her friend in Indonesia. We were so afraid to carry that bag out of the shop, that my friend used an old, wrinkle plastic shopping bag to cover up and carry the Hermes shopping bag with the 4500 Euro bag in it.

It was in the Netherlands, where safety is higher than in Indonesia. Are those Indonesian socialites not afraid carrying those Hermes bags? I would be if I were them.

I also still know some people who worked in a certain company just for a pride. Does he like working there? Maybe not, but well, that's what his parents asked him to, because of the pride and status he would carry with the job title and the company name on his business card.

I am not saying "hell, what other people are thinking about me or my life!", because sometimes, their opnion could be beneficial. When I came back from the Netherlands, I found Surabaya very warm! So I dressed like how I normally would dress during summer time in the Netherlands: with as less clothes, and as thin materials as possible. Well, my parents complained, my boyfriend then mentioned that I shouldn't wear something like that to the public area, and when I once did a window shopping in a mall, people looked at me with strange eyes.

In the end, I realized that I should try to dress more appropriately. Well, the result is I wear a lot of dress and loose t-shirt. Surabaya is still very warm, and I still try to adapt.

So, what's wise? Ignore people's opinion? or listen and embrace to what people are thinking and saying about us? Well, use your heart and healthy mind to differentiate and filter their opinions. If your friends carry 4500 Euro bags and say that you should buy the very same bag, you need to question: do I have the money? is it beneficial? does it add anything to my life?  If the answer is no, well, you can spend your money somewhere else - maybe for holiday or save up to buy a house?

As for me, I save up so that I can go on backpacking holiday more often in the future. Yay! :)

14 March 2013

Being married, being nosy and being pregnant


After more than 3 months of being a wife, I would say there are ups and downs. I would say, I enjoy it most of the time, but there are times when I really feel like strangling someone – this has to do with the second and third parts of the titles (I will come to that later).

Well, being married means spending the rest of your life just with one person – and that starts at home. Living in home just with the two of us – thank God for this! – we spend most of our time watching DVD or cooking at home. I don’t know whether this is a post honey moon period, or is this something that we enjoy. But the point is we love spending time at home.

Mr. S (well, let’s call him that from now on, as calling him Bang Tepy wouldn’t do him any justice anymore) is working more than 8 hours a day. And he is mostly mobile. So, when it is time to come home, he savors every minute of it – watch TV (especially football highlights or any random football programs, which I hate so much – well I come to that in my next post), nibble, read his comics, and snuggle with me J As for me, I don’t mind staying at home, but I like going out too. In the past, Stefy had been exhausted with my schedule, by now he is used to it.

We love all the things that we do together, BUT, we, or personally I, do not enjoy the household activity. It is tiring! After working the whole day, and we still need to wash dishes (we love the cooking part, but not the cleaning up part), hover the house, water the garden, fix broken things, and the list goes on.

A fight or two has happened, but well, despite some downs, we enjoy being married.

This brings us to the second and the third topics I’d like to whine. If you haven’t heard, Indonesians are very nosy citizens. Oh my goodness! How often have I met people, some of them are random people, like my mom’s colleague or my mom’s old friend, or my classmates from high school – and the first thing they would ask after they know I just got married: ARE YOU PREGNANT? Or if they already know that I am not pregnant, the question will be more interesting: WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET PREGNANT?

Give me a break, people! Do you also want to do how we did it? How often? Where?

Well, in fact, Mr.S’s friends are THAT nosy. They shared with each other the ‘process’ of how the husband knocked down the wife. YES, that scary! I made Mr. S swear he would never ever do that!

So, despite being happily married, I dislike people’s nosiness to investigate my fertility. But I was told, that's how people around here is. 

So, if you must know whether I am pregnant, No, I am not. Do I want to? Yes, one day. Not in the near future :)