Our Little Playground

As we grow older we forget how to play. We are occupied with other grown up stuff, like build a career, fix troubled romances, emotional love storms, kids, relocation, etc. What is playing? Playing is for kids only..adults don’t play, we work. We must earn our degrees and money, pay mortgages, pay off our debts and study loans. We become really serious, and forget to have fun in a normal way. They say having some drinks with friends and going to the clubs are the normality for adults to have fun. But, really? Do you really feel at ease afterwards and happy. Sometimes you just feel even more knackered than before. And you hate it when your wallets become thinner after you have some fun at the posh clubs with a bunch of friends you don’t even know that well. If you get tired of it then you should probably switch the game.

Playing for adults it’s not the same like it was when we were kids. It is more about competition sometimes and becomes less innocent. The first time you meet a new person, first questions will be:

Where do you work? or what is your job? why did you end up here (mostly expats’ questions)? how old are you?

Do you remember, when we were kids when we met new potential playmates, we did not question them those questions. We just asked them, hey do you want to play with me? And that was it.

Why can’t we just put those template questions aside, and just play with friends? I’ve noticed that from lack of playing for adults can lead to stress, isolated feeling, shortage in creativity .

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Here is my story… I am lucky to be surrounded by creative creatures around me and there’s always something interesting peeking at the door. One of my best friends, Lu, came up with a brilliant idea early this year when she opened a playground for adults. Her profession as an actress is obviously a “license” to become a qualified facilitator of an adult playground. I am so proud of her that she manages to create her own start-up from scratch out of a thing she is passionate about. Originally from Buenos Aires, she moved to Amsterdam for love and at first she was like me. Clueless. Struggling to fit in. Fast forward 4 years later, she has found her place, and has created her own  beautiful family.

I came to one of her sessions, and found myself playing and connecting with other people whom I never met before in an inspiring, non-competitive and non-judgmental environment. We danced, we did crazy acts, we sang, we screamed, we joked with each other. I came home with a big smile from ear to ear. It was definitely a really good time and perfect way to break from routines. This was not my first time playing, I have been to many other “playgrounds” since I live in Holland. It does not matter what kind of playground you choose, as long as you feel happy, stimulated and welcomed.

We went to her theater play on Sunday evening. She is taking part in Argentinian theater festival at this moment and has got herself a gig in the festival, and although the play that night was in Spanish (well.. Argentine Spanish which has slightly different accents and they use sometimes different words than the Peninsular Spanish) I understood a tiny tiny bit of what she was saying (also with a help of another Argentinian friend to translate the dialogues)! The theater play was performed and broadcasted live through Skype, and it was double performed by her in Amsterdam and by her best friend – also an actress – in Buenos Aires, it was all synchronized with Skype. It was a very cool and authentic performance,  I was and still am immensely proud of her! and it’s always nice to witness your best friend’s success 🙂

me, the actress, another dear friend who came to support her

 

Enough about my story…that is kinda longer than I thought. Tell me, what games do you fancy to play? What makes you excited and happy? Would you like to share your story with me?

Thanks for reading!

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Nostalgia #1

Our brain stores so many memories.

I treasure memories from when I was still living in Indonesia especially the times when I was in high school because that was the happiest moment of my teenager life.

I had the best group of friends, experienced a horrific education system at high school and survived, had the best theater club ever, and I was really glad that I did not have any boyfriend when I was at high school! Although I had a massive crush on a junior.. he was the most beautiful nerd I had ever seen lol (and yes he had a red old school vespa. I. DIE.)

I think I was really at my most careless moment that time..

Sneaked out and went to schools’ art events (pensi=pentas seni), stayed late at theater rehearsals in a middle of nowhere, had an escapade to Bandung with my girl friend’s new car, totally lost it when our band performed at a rock festival ( Otong* aku padamuuu !!! ), ….. Precious. And then got grounded of course hahaha!

Once I finished high school I went to an all-girl Catholic college and that was the beginning of my depressing era, lasted for 2 years. Mainly because I did not have friends and had totally different interests and hated the girls’ politics.

I luckily then met the best classmates (German class rocks!) and we still are best friends until now. My ladies, if you read this yes this post is for you 🙂

This band has the ambience of my high school era, and I love it to bits it is nostalgic because I left my friends for life there. My young adolescence existence will be forever sweet because these people were there and shared the moments with me.

The band itself is a relatively new, but it is an indie pop band and it has the sound from the 90’s and I cannot recommend them enough for their amazing sounds.

*Otong = lead vocal + guitarist of a rock band from Bandung called KOIL

 

 

Cooking For Fun

Hanging out with my best friends has become a rare moment nowadays. One friend is doing her last year of master’s in Nijmegen and the other one is always busy and has irregular working hours because she works as a caregiver. When I had my day off on Friday 2 weeks ago, I texted them when I was running errands to see if they had time to come over my place to cook together.

Miraculously, all of them could come and we cooked together our favorite dish!!

I loved our cooking moments, because we could exchange news and jokes, chat, and just be there it felt really nice to see them again. We cooked in my small kitchen for two hours, the whole house filled with petis aroma (petis=black thick shrimp paste) and I was sure that my husband would complain about it :((

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{mbak – mbak dr yayasan jaman sekarang ganjen bener ya?}

 

We made rujak cingur (Cingur Salad). For you who do not know what that is, it is a traditional dish from East Java and it contains pretty disgusting ingredients.

I mean it.

See below for the ingredients!

  • water spinach (indonesian: kangkung), rinse it well
  • bean sprouts
  • unripe mangoes
  • tempe
  • tofu
  • cingur (cow noses cartilage) kikil (thick cowhide), boiled (we used cow legs!)

cingur paste:

  • 4 pieces chillies more or less, depends how spicy you want it to be
  • roast 3 tbs peanuts, until it turns brown, set aside
  • 200 – 250 grams of petis udang (black thick shrimp paste)
  • 1 teaspoon trasi (dried shrimp paste) roasted
  • 1 pisang kluthuk (unripe banana), grated
  • 1 tsp tamarind
  • 50 cc of boiled water

Mix these ingredients with a food processor except the petis udang (if you don’t have a food processor, you can also grind it in with pestle and mortar) until it becomes a paste. Leave the petis udang out!

how to cook Cingur Salad

  • Boil the cow noses cartilage, kikil (thick cowhide), we used cow legs! Boil them in a big pan until it is tender. When it is done, take it out of the pan cut them into pieces, set aside
  • Boil the water spinach, sprouts briefly and then remove from the cooker.
  • Slice young mangoes to pieces
  • Sautée tempe and tofu, set aside

how to serve:

mix salad seasoning paste with ingredients and cingur or kikil. This time blends it well with the black shrimp paste (petis)

It looked so revolting, but it tasted really delightful. There you go, one of my favorite dishes ever!

{ “kok punya loe lebih item sih drpd punya gue?!”}

Thirty Autumns

I always describe myself as an autumn girl. Because I was born in November and I adore the pretty colors of trees in autumn, I like how we dress up, it is fluffy and not bulky like in the winter, I like its wetness because it rains a lot and the color of the autumn sun. I celebrated my 30th birthday a couple of weeks ago and I really had a blast. I love my new age, I love how it sounds and I am thankful that I am still alive in my 30th year of existence in this world. My heart is filled with joy and overloaded with love from my new family.

bday 30

In the weekend we invited some of closest friends and my husband cooked his signature spicy tuna pie and chicken pie. I made some pecel (Indonesian vegetable salad with tasty peanut sauce) and tumpeng. My best friend D cooked yellow rice for us, then I cooked tempe dishes, tofu, Indonesian chicken dish…a lot of food and condiments 🙂 . There was laughter, love, and warmth in our apartment…balloons, buntings, (hand-made) presents and ice creams. I love them to bits. Thank you dear Lord Almighty for giving me this wonderful life. I cannot describe my gratitude in words.

Thank you.

With love,

Oppie

Are You Mr Bean or Are You Plato?

There are bunch of things I learn from a relationship, especially a relationship with a western partner (bule). Even though we have been together for 7 years, we still surprise each other from time to time. And these differences actually make our relationship stronger.

Honestly, some things that I used to consider “very Indonesian” do not always have positive outcomes. One example; everytime I meet my Indonesian girlfriends  we talk, talk, and talk the whole time. Yapping away. We always have good times together! Either we cook, shop, or just hang out in a cafe or at one of the girls’ house, we always have good times  🙂 Sadly, we do not do this as often as we want since we are very busy with our jobs or study. And after we meet up, I will go home and my husband will ask how it was and I will answer it was great and fun. And he later will ask again about some details about this girlfriend and that girlfriend. And there will be a pause there, shit..I have no idea. We do not talk about this and that! and my husband will say, ” how come? you girls had been gone for 6 hours long and did not even ask about important stuff? ” . No. Well..kind of..but not literally…ah, crap.

Photo on 2013-02-02 at 23.36

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