Kamis, Februari 18, 2010

Monday Morning Blues

Monday morning 6:00 A.M. Eka wakes up feeling lazy. She is really not looking forward to this day. It is one of those Mondays when she has a lot of things to do.
She has attended classes from eight to two as usual. Then she must go to her weekly choir practice, which starts at four. She can't miss it, because she was absent on the last two sessions. As her father is out of town, Eka has to accompany her mother to a wedding reception at seven tonight. She still has to finish her term paper which is due tomorrow. It is going to be a long day for Eka.
Glancing at the clock, Eka realizes it is getting late. She still has to tidy up her room and feed the cat. These are some responsibilities she has. She also has to take a shower and get dressed quickly if she wants to catch the 7:30 train to the campus. It is too bad her boyfriend can not pick her up today. There is hardly time anymore for breakfast but she must at least have a cup of coffee. It seems that everything will be rush, rush, rush ! She heaves a big sigh and says : I HATE MONDAYS !!!

Baby Shower

A ceremony held before a childbirth is also common in some parts of Indonesia. In Java, when a woman is seven months pregnant, her family holds a simple ceremony, wishing her an easy delivery and a healthy baby. During the ceremony, she changes clothes seven times. If she lokks good every time, then the baby will be a girl. If she doesn't look good, for sure she will have a baby boy.
Thirty five days after the birth of the child, another ceremony takes place. The cutting of the baby's hair is the most important event at this special ceremony. Although many people in big cities don't perform these ceremony, those with strong traditional ties still look forward to these events.
Foreign visitors are usually enthusiastic about these occasions. Several days ago i took my cousin, Noval, to a circumcision ritual. Noval was very excited about it and asked a lot of questions. I was sorry i couldn't answer all his questions.
Next week i will take him to a friend's wedding. Since the bride is from a Batak family, the ceremony will be a complex one. I am sure Noval will ask a lot of questions again !

he loves them

Zein has an unusual hobby. It all started some 20 years ago, when Zein was a bricklayer at a construction site on the outskirts of town. He was mixing cement when he suddenly heard a scream : One of his co-workers had found two snakes coiled in the bushes. Zein ran in the direction of where he had heard the scream. Almost all the workers gathered near the place, but at a safe distance from the snakes. Everyone was scared, because someone had said the reptiles were poisonous.
Although scared, too, Zein was the only one who dared to approach the snakes. Using natural instinct rather than skill, he managed to remove the dangerous animals from the site. When people shouted at him to kill them, he said "No." Zein wanted to keep them. When asked why, he couldn't say. From then on, Zein became known as the snake-catcher. Whenever a snake was seen, people would call on Zein to get it.
Zein took care of all the snakes he had caught. He built cages of different sizes to house his snake collection. He fed his pets, and gradually got to know their behavior. Soon he started to breed snakes. The number and the variety of his snakes grew, and news about Zein's unusual hobby spread. On Sunday's, people came to see the snakes. Many of them left some money for the care of the animals.
Then, someone tipped off the local Tourism Bureau about Zein and his snakes. Some officials came to see the collection for themselves, and later invited Zein to the tourism office.
Now Zein is 40 years old and happy with his hobby, which earns him a living. On the day his place was officially opened as a tourist attraction, Zein permanently quit his job as a bricklayer.
Stacks of boxes and cages fill his small house and yard. Inside them are a wide variety of snakes-small, bis snakes, long snakes, fat snakes. Zein know exactly what species each belongs to and he has a pet name for each of them. He enjoys watching the visitors admire his collection and like a professional guide, he tells them everything they want to know about his unusual hobby. Zein is proud that he can, in his own way, help preserve Indonesian fauna.

a friend in need is a friend indeed

Two friends went out bear hunting. Soon they came upon a huge bear. Before the men had time to use their rifles, the bear knocked both of them down with its powerful paws. One of the men managed to scramble back to his feet and fled into the woods. From a safe distance he saw how the bear sniffed at his friends a face for a while. Then it turned around and left.
As soon as the bear was gone, the first man ran towards his friend, shouting, "Are you all right ? Did he hurt you ?"
"He didn't hurt me at all," his friend answered. "But he told me something."
"Oh really ? And what did he tell you ?"
"He told me to be more careful in choosing my friends !"