About My Happy Bowl – 2 – Happy Ending!

*This is my update from the 1st part, please click here to read.

I tend to think that since I am jobless I can do whatever I want and be lazy all day wearing PJs. Partly is correct, but not entirely true though hehehe. The PJs part is true. After I drop off T at the daycare (wearing PJs) I can do the heck I want in my PJ. ALL DAY LONG!!!

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A lot of articles I read, there all corroborate that becoming a mother has its down side, i.e. being isolated. I totally can relate to that. First year was gruesome…I only could talk about diapers and shite. Like what to do when a poo is white, or red or green and when I must pump. Numbing. But then, a year has passed, I want to get my groove back. I want to be able to use my brain again! I feel that I must change something in my life. I have this urge to get out of my cocoon, and do something with my life.

Since September last year I have been attending a professional massage school. I love massage, and have done some workshops in the past. I’d saved up money to be able to get a certification as a pro massage therapist and wished I could open my own practice in the Netherlands in the future. Time has always been the only main problem, but now since I am jobless I have times to do it.  It is a one year program, a part-time study so it is easy to combine with family commitments. The massage school helps me a lot. It may not be a quantum physics study..so it is not that complicated. I learn about anatomy, physiology, reanimation, meridian system and classic massage techniques in the classroom. But still, it helps me in terms of using my half dead brain. It forces me to de-frost that part of the brain that I think never exist. In fact, I just did my theory exams over the weekend. I am not sure I will pass all of them though. I am OK if I had to re-do them, no biggy. My main struggle is definitely the language (the study, thus inclusive the theories are taught in Dutch). Especially for Anatomy I have difficulties in grasping all the medical terms that are written both in Dutch and Latin. I pass my Reanimation test today, and I am glad at least I have one certificate in the pocket LOL!

Continue reading

My Interview Stories

Jobs, how can we live without it? 🙂

Whenever I meet fellow Indonesians here we use to talk about our job quest. Either they are now jobless and searching for one , or, they want to quit and now want to search for a new one. I hate it when people say, you are so lucky to have a nice job at a nice company blablabla. Believe me, in my case, it was not like a job went onto my lap out of nowhere. I really did my best to get one. I wrote over 50 applications in 3 month time. And I went to many job interviews.

I came to live in the Netherlands in 2007, although I had stayed a year before to becoming Au Pair. I went back home briefly after. I have had many job interviews since then. Like, MANY! Of course I felt really uneasy and did not  feel confident because I didn’t speak Dutch, but soon I understood a little bit of Dutch it was unstoppable. My first ones were when I was a student at the VU, I needed a part-time job. Sometimes two jobs to make ends meet. I gained it through a student job agent, sometimes the jobs were really odd, like the time I had to work at a chocolate factory. Or the time I worked at the zoo behind the till machine. Sometimes I worked at a cafeteria prepping food, or at De Bijenkorf as sales assistant. Outside the jobs I got from the agency, I also worked as a babysitter occasionally and I liked it because I earned good money and it was an easy job. I pretty much accepted all offers from the job agency except waiting tables, I sucked at it. From all those odd jobs the only one that I hated was when I worked at the zoo. Had a male supervisor who was a control freak and he corrected me all the time. After I passed my exams I was finally brave enough to apply for office jobs.

That when the nightmare began… Continue reading

About Getting Back to Work

I did not imagine or who would have thought that getting back to work would be such a hard thing to do. Especially after being off from work more than 7 months. People forget about you, and new habits are created, your boss changed, and someone replaced your function.

To establish myself after such a long leave was really tough. I wonder if other working moms also feel the same. I do not browse or read forums, I just want to try my best first to really be honest and to understand my position from my own perspective. Honestly, I feel sometimes lonely because I don’t have good friends (working moms) whom I can share this topic with over a cup of coffee. I finally talked about this with some colleagues who became mothers at the same time I did and with partners of my husband’s friends. They were all so nice and super supportive. Sometimes I just need to vent, and then I would feel much much better afterwards.

Things would be probably better if I were not such a perfectionist. I want to be good in all aspects.. So when things do not go as I want it to be, I would feel really annoyed and down. People at work seem to forget about me, it is because when I left, they stayed. Their life did not change, mine did. They kept going to work, their tasks needed to be done, etc. So when I was back to work, I expected that they would scream hey you’re back! I miss you and so glad you are back now. Well, they did in a way. They were happy to see me and asked for baby pictures and such. But then my replacement seemed to already know her way around and people who I worked with are used to have her and I was there just watching. She taught me how things were done after I had left. It was really nice of her. I knew it would come like this but still, it was still pretty hard for myself to get my groove back on in my job.

Now a month later, I kinda sorted it already. I am still searching the best way though and trying to change my mindset but at least now I know now what to do. And as for my private life, I am still finding my way in juggling between being a new mom and a partner. I told my mother in-law, how I am now learning to juggle like Dutch women. Growing up, my mom chose to be a career woman and she had many helps at home, she never did things all by herself. We had nannies and helpers. While my mom was away we were at home with our nannies and my grandma cooked meals, helpers cleaned the house and did chores. So I did not have any role model. I honestly did not know what to do if I had a baby here in the Netherlands. Then little T came along, and things turn out just fine. I underestimate myself. My body seems to know what to do, and my mother instinct works out well. At this stage, I am so happy that I am healthy. That is why I work out and eat well, because my family needs me!

I really want to hear women out there, and their stories about getting back to work again. How do you do that? What are your struggles? How do you cope with it??

I have so much admiration for mothers, and this post is not about how hard it is to be a working mom. Moms are moms. I respect your personal choice whether you stay at home or not. I think it’s just petty when women argue about that topic. Mothers out there must support each other 🙂

REAL LIFE

Semua cerita pasti ada endingnya…begitu juga cerita cuti gue. Yak, mulai senin gue bakal balik kerja lagi. Dua minggu lalu udah coba cek cek ombak, setengah hari kerja. Dedek di rumah sama papa nya yg kebetulan masuk siang, dan sebelum dia kerja nganter dedek buat di titip ke opa oma nya.

ENG ING ENG. Apa lah di kantor, otak gue korslet!! Tidur cuma 4 jam aja ga menolong, bangun udah dari jam 5 pagi dan harus kerja siangnya. Gak bisa ngomong satu kalimat utuh, bahasa Inggris dan Belanda super rusty, karena kebiasaan ngomong Bahasa Indonesia di rumah, karena gue kalo capek udah males aja ngomong Belanda sama J (ga bagus jangan dicontoh). Persoalan di kantor dimulai dari account gue yg kena clean up karena ga dipake selama 90 hari. Gue gak bisa MARAH karena, gue sendiri yang nerapin policy itu huahaha! (bersama pak bos tentunya). Senjata makan tuan. Trus keyboard gue raib, screen gue tiba2 kok beda, jadilah kemaren itu kerja setengah hari cuma diisi dengan nyari screen dan keyboard! BETE. Untungnya kolega cowok pada sigap, mereka takut disemprot kali ye sama ibu ibu hormonal kayak gue huahaha. Jadilah gue punya keyboard dan screen baru. Asek. Abis itu gue clean up emails yg jumlahnya beribu ribu…pffh. Itu padahal udah di filter, karena semua inquiries yg masuk langsung diterima sama replacement gue.

Setelah pulang kerja, melepas kangen, berderai aer mata sambil uyel uyel si kecil. Drama abis emaknya. Padahal sih bayi nya cuek aja…kesian deh gue. Seneng banget pulang kerja, liat anak ketawa tawa…seger banget. Setelah temu kangen, langsung nyusuin. Udah gitu bobok deh…Ga lama gue sibuk masak, sembari ngerapiin rumah…ngelipetin baju. Aslik, multitasking bo! 🙂 Jam 12 papa nya pulang dan gue akhirnya bisa tidur. Lagi lagi hanya 4 jam saja.

Besokannya gue tepar. SETEPAR TEPAR NYA. Ajegile, ini gimana kalo gue kerja beneran ya…hiks. Gue salut banget sama ibu ibu londo yang anaknya bererot trus kerja fulltime pulak, kok bisa sih GAK GILA? Pfhh, suami gue sih mencoba menenangkan gue yg udah kena anxiety attack belon belon beneran mulai ye, dasar nya aja gue tukang dramatisir. Kalo doi bakal atur jadwal kerja nya supaya sebisa mungkin klop sama jadwal kerja gue…Bersyukur banget gue punya mertua yg bisa gue titipin 2 hari seminggu, bersyukur kerja di perusahaan yang mementingkan keluarga sehingga gue bs dengan gampangnya nyusun jadwal kerja sesuai dengan jadwal libur suami. J kerjanya sekarang lumayan ada jadwalnya dan bukan cowo panggilan lagi. Kemaren2 doi kerja ada kali 50 jam seminggu dan semuanya emergency…emergency kok hobi sih?! Kalo gak teamwork kaya gini, mungkin gue udah jiper abis dan ambil cuti lagi deh hihihi.

Yak, my wishes adalah semoga senin depan lancar. Gue gak gagap banget sama suasana ngantor. Semuanya pasti beda, bos gue aja dah ganti, kerjaan gue juga ganti, apa itu ya gue juga belom tauk. Everything’s new. Setelah 8 bulan off from work, pastinya semua aneh ya kan? Nyelon aja lah.. Kalo ibu-ibu itu bisa, kenapa gue enggak? Ya kan. These past 8 months at home are the BEST time of my life, also the HAPPIEST time of my life. Bisa di rumah sama si kecil, jadi saksi milestones dia, bisa jalan2 sore diikuti dengan nontonin angsa di sungai dan mama beli caffe latte sebelum pulang …. Heel gezellig! I am glad I did it! Untungnya gue udah nerapin rutinitas jadi si kecil udah ada ritme nya (kecuali tidur malam nya masih aja suka bangun bangun nyari dummy nya…TOLONG!)

Semoga aja keinginan gue terkabul di masa depan, jadi Stay-at-home-mum lagi selama setahun. AMIN!!! 🙂

City Hall Weddings in the Netherlands

According to our local newspaper, there are too few weddings held in our municipality. How many are there exactly a year? they announced that the year before we got married (2011) there were only 78 weddings and 21 registered partnerships recorded. Can you imagine how small this number is if you compare it to the number of weddings in Indonesia, let say in one area of Great Jakarta, for example West Jakarta? I bet they have more than one thousand in one year time! OK, our little town only has 26.000 inhabitants..and West Jakarta has more or less 2 millions. But still..

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 wedding hall in our municipality building

There are many reasons why people hesitate to wed. One of them are because it’s costly and because they think it is unpractical. When a married couple decide to end their relationship (divorce) they have to share their wealth and property accordingly. That means more money for lawyers, and times to gather all of the correct documents. Cohabitant or living together is very popular in the Netherlands. I think in modern society this seems the most practical way to commit a serious relationship.

I happen to marry a Dutchman, and we had our wedding ceremony in our municipality’s wedding hall. The wedding hall is grand and modern, has a high ceiling with pretty chairs for the bride and the groom, enough seats for the guests and has pretty wall ornaments.

If you happen to live in the Netherlands and are planning a wedding soon, getting married in the city/town hall is a good option. Sometimes they have beautiful and romantic wedding halls which are perfect for a wedding. I think it is better than renting a place in a hotel or fancy restaurant, if it is only for a ceremony. You can save up a lot of money! City hall of Haarlem has a beautiful and rustic atmosphere, so have Abcoude municipality hall, and Bilthoven’s in Utrecht province. You just have to do some survey a bit about the places 😉

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Hubungan Rumah Kinclong Sama Masuk Angin

Yang namanya pasangan suami istri pasti ada aja deh tingkah laku dan kejadian – kejadian yang bikin ngikik. Yang sebangsa aja pasti ceritanya segudang, apalagi yang lain bangsa. Kalo dibikin cerbung lumayan kayaknya ya, apa gak dibikin sinetron juga kali lucuk. Hehehe. Komersil bener ya gue?

Kebiasaan gue kalo tau ada tamu mau dateng pastilah sehari sebelum atau gak beberapa jam sebelum tamu datang pasti bebersih dan bikin atau beli cemilan. Di vacuum bentar lantai nya, atau gak dirapihin ruang tamu nya itu udah wajib. Kebiasaan dari rumah soalnya, nyokap selalu kayak gitu. Kalo ada saudara yang datang dari jauh malah dibela-belain ke rawa belong naek ojek buat beli bunga sedap malam. Lumrah lah ceritanya beres-beres buat tamu intinya sih menghormati tamu udah dateng jauh tapi kok yang disinggahin rumahnya bikin sakit mata. Kalau suami orangnya seadanya banget. Mau ada tamu, gak ada tamu ya rumah gue kayak gini ga usah dicakep-cakepin. Take it or leave it. Saklek. Trus ada satu kebiasaan gue juga kalau body nya gak delicious pasti uring-uringan dan maunya rumah tuh spotless. Kalo berantakan tuh kayaknya bikin tambah puyeng dan gak sembuh-sembuh. Rika pernah cerita di blog nya kalo doi punya masalah yang sama. Ternyata akika ga sendiriaaann!!! Suami dari dulu gak ngerti apa coba hubungannya antara masuk angin sama rumah berantakan mengakibatkan selain masuk angin ra wisuwis dan darting…

Terakhir gue stress dewa banget karena salah satu project di kantor ga kunjung selesai. Pengen nge-launch tool buat reporting eh kayaknya ga nyambung aja otak nya gue sama konsultan brengsek itu. Sebelumnya juga sibuk belajar buat ujian Prince2 Foundation, yang alhamdulillah lulus maak!! Weekend yang ada badan meriang karena kerja kuli plus belajar sampe begadang segala. Ambruk. Akhirnya seharian pas Sabtu nya ya di tempat tidur aja bangun jam 9 trus jam 2 tepar lagi. Suami tercinta kucluk-kucluk bikinin espresso sama beliin tiramisu dari bakery di bawah apartemen. Ih manis buanget…kecup kecup..trus bobok lagi. Entah ya suami gue manis banget kalo bini nya sakit hehe.

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Pas bangun udah jam 5 sore aja kebangun gara gara teriakan heboh suami lagi nonton bola di komputer. Gue nyusul ke ruang kerja nya dan omaigat…rumah keadaannya kinclooongg!!Bersih nya ampun-ampunan sampe dapur pun isi oven yang biasanya kumuh karena ceceran keju pun bersih ga ada noda nya. Ih, ada apa ini?! Cubit pipi, ih sakit..berarti ini bukan mimpi #lebay. Ternyata pas gue ngorok, suami gue gedubrakan beresin rumah, ngelap debu sampe pojok-pojok, ganti litter kucing dan kasih makan mereka, nyikat dapur dan oven, recycle, nyuci baju dan ngelipetin baju gue…semua dilakuin dengan diem-diem takut gue kebangun…ih jadi terharu 😦 Doi bilang supaya gue cepet sembuhnya. Huuu langsung mewek dong. Ternyata sugesti gue tentang rumah bersih bikin cepet sembuh tertanam di otaknya walaupun gue gak minta, suami gue pengertian banget ternyata…Dan iya dong, alhamdulillah udah seger lagi hari ini. Tuh kaaann ngaruh rumah bersih sama cepet sembuh hihihi 😀 Nah, kalo rumah dekil banget ntar di kemudian hari apa gue pura pura sakit aja ya? Huahahaha*kesempatan* !

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?!”}