Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Talk the Vote

Recently, I've been working on my graduate school (re)application. (I deferred and now have to reapply, with the assurance that I will be accepted again.) If I want a certain scholarship--and I do--I have to study a foreign language. I can't decide what I want to study next (7 down, several thousand to go), so I figured, hey, why not let the internet decide? So, here we are, a poll: what language should I study in graduate school?

Afrikaans (to quote a certain mountain climber, because it's there)
Arabic (I miss hacking up parts of my throat)
Dutch (super useful for Indonesian linguistics)
Farsi (to be the NSA's wet dream--Arabic, Indonesian and Farsi)
Indonesian (they have some lit classes that look fun)
Irish Gaelic (Welsh was fun, so why not Irish?)
Sanskrit (it's dead, so I would never have to speak)
Turkish (vowel harmony, plus see "Farsi" above)
Vietnamese (tones, topic-comment structure, reduplication, classifiers. Whee!)


From First Date to Eternal Mate

So, the local bookstores here sell all kinds of English phrase books--businessman English, student English, construction worker English (I kid you not). When I pick up these books and rifle through them, as I frequently do, looking for mistakes, I like to imagine the given phrases in sequence as an actual dialogue instead of isolated phrases; it's much funnier that way. If you read it the right way, one I picked up recently, about dating, tells a quite engrossing story of a relationship, start to finish. Without further ado, then, and without changing anything about these phrases, including their printed order in the book, I give you scenes from "Dating in English 2: The Return of the Killer Pickup Line."

(All right, I made up the title. But the book is real!)

Scene 1: Meet and Greet, the Honest Way
You're cute.
I want to know more about you.
Come on, tell me more.
Don't be shy.
Ask me some questions.
Ask me anything you want.
Except what color underwear I'm wearing.

Scene 2: How to Impress the Ladies
What do you study at college?
I went to a special business/trade school.
How do you do at school?
Very bad.
I must work harder.
I'm a bad student.
I don't like studying.
Studying is the last thing I wanna do.
I didn't get any credits last semester.
I'm taking a semester off.
I failed in all the subjects I took.
I have to repeat the courses.
I never attended the lectures.
I'm too lazy.

Scene 3: With Enough Alcohol, She Likes You Anyway
Let's sit close to the bar.
Free drinks are over there.
Can we buy beer here?
The drinks here taste terrible!
This is not very strong.
They serve weak drinks here.
Ask for stronger drinks.
Stronger drinks, please.
Please make this drink stronger.
If I get drunk, that's okay.

Scene 4:Not a Back Seat Type of Girl
We've known each other for three months.
We can make it work.
I want to know what you're feeling.
I can't think of anything but you.
Say you'll be mine.
I'll make you happy.
I never felt this way before.
Look into my eyes.
Stay just a little bit longer.
Let's find a good place.
How do you know about this kind of place?
People can see us here!
That'll make it more exciting.
Let's get in the back seat.
Let's recline the front seats.
Take your shoes off.
Enjoy yourself.
I'm cold.
Make me warm.

Scene 5: In America, Girls Spend the Night in the Front Seat
Stay with me tonight.
I can't, my dad is expecting me at home.
I have to be home by midnight.
Are you kidding? This isn't America!
In Indonesia, girls have got to be home by this time.

Scene 6: The Easy Way Out
Are you telling me you don't love me anymore?
You lied to me.
Stop lying to me.
Everything you've ever said is a lie.
You messed up my life.
You're so selfish!
Don't tell me what to do.
Don't try to change me.
Leave me alone.
Stop checking up on me.
Don't pretend nothing happened!
Think about the way you treated me!
Don't act like my wife!
Yes, I'm already married.
I tried to tell you many times, but I couldn't.
Let's change the subject.

Scene 7: She Says With a Gleam in Her Eye...
I know I hurt your feelings.
I didn't mean to.
Let's get back together.
I'll do anything to make you forgive me.

Scene 8: That's Right, Minimize the Wedding Laundry
When do you want to get married?
Are you trying to propose to me?
What's the question?
What's the answer?
Will you use my last name?
Are you a Christian or a Buddhist?
I'm a Muslim.
Should we have a Javanese or an American style wedding?
What's the difference?
Which one is cheaper?
Which one do you prefer?
Whichever doesn't require me to keep changing clothes.

Scene 9: Now That We're Married, I thought I'd Ask
How many times a day do you take a shower?
It depends, but usually just once.
I spend all day in an air-conditioned room, so I don't need to shower twice.
Westerners don't really like bathing anyway.
The thing is, Indonesians are obsessed by bathing.
Bathing is very important for us, because we live in a tropical country.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Follow the Prophet, Qur'anic Edition

Ibrahim1 the prophet had descendants as the sand,
Christians, Jews, and Muslims now share his Promised Land.
They say it was left to his treasured old-age son;
The problem is the sources disagree which one2.

Follow the nabi3, follow the nabi, follow the nabi
Don't go astray
Follow the nabi, follow the nabi, follow the nabi
He knows the way.

'Isa4 was a prophet, born of virgin womb5,
He was God's beloved who never saw the tomb6.
At the crucifiction, the whole earth did shake,
'Isa watched from heav'n as the Jews just killed a fake7.


Mohammed was a prophet, the last one Muslims know
In the barren desert, he helped Islam grow.
While Mohammed prayed, Allah told him to READ8:
1.3 billion9 now follow where he leads.


2According to the Qur'an, Ismail (Ishmael) was the beloved son whom Abraham tried to sacrifice.
3Arabic for "prophet"
5Maryam, his mother, wasn't even engaged
6According to the Qur'an, Jesus was taken up to heaven without dying
7It wasn't Jesus who was crucified, but a lookalike.
8The literal meaning of "Qur'an" is "the reading" or "the recitation"
9CIA World Factbook, 2006

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Day Late and Rp. 9,157 Short

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for, in no particular order:

Maya, who solves all my problems
the Internet
my family
Mark Kozelek
your mom jokes
the Church
McDonald's soft-serve ice cream cones
toilet paper
the new James Bond
Graham Greene, Shusako Endo, and J.M. Coetzee
my sense of humor
the $10 all-you-can-eat buffet at the Novotel, an excellent Thanksgiving dinner

and, finally,
my health, strength, and daily rice.

Too Bad It's Not Halloween...

So, because my acne has been absolutely terrible since I got to Indonesia, and because I'm generally worried that looking so much like my fifteen year old self will cause me to start acting like my fifteen year old self--given that this was the only year of my life that I thought "Catcher in the Rye" was a good book, that idea worries me--I decided to go see a dermatologist. I asked around at school to find the most famous dermatologist in Semarang, convinced an Indonesian friend to call and make an appointment for me, and today, finally showed up in the office to wait as, with traditional Indonesian sense of time so often called "rubber time," the nurses finally remembered to call my name, two hours after my actual appointment time.

I know that the medical profession isn't particularly distinguished in this country--and when I consider that medical school is basically a 4 year undergradate degree, I understand this a little better--but I figured, hey, what's the worst that could happen? I waste some money on a cream that isn't useful, and I stop using it. I'm $20 in the hole, sure, but that's a small price to pay for self-esteem.

"What's the worst that could happen?" as it turns out, is a dangerous question to ask. Given that I started my day at 5 AM by attempting to kill a giant cockroach that had crawled into my toilet paper--after failing to smash it with my sneaker or slam it in the door, washing it down the drain proved to be effective--and then continued it by having to substitute in the twelfth grade class and being forced to lecture to 17 year olds about direct and indirect report speech for upwards of two hours, I should't have pushed my luck with the dermatologist. Apparently the standard procedure for acne is to look at my face for roughly 25 seconds, prescribe me some cream and pills, goodness knows what, and then make me lie on a table for a nurse to repeatedly press a sharp metal object into my face. I think she was clearing out blackheads, but I couldn't really tell, seeing as how I was completely blinded by the bright light she was shining in my eyes. I kept trying to ask whether that process would cause scarring--I feel like popping pimples is the wrong way to actually treat them--but it's hard to talk through tears, much less in a foreign language. And then, of course, the fact that I couldn't keep myself from crying at how freaking painful that metal stick was when jammed into the side of my nose just made me cry more. I haven't cried in public since at least the last time I went to a doctor's office, and it's never an experience I enjoy. (If I were a pretty crier, the type whose tears make her look sweet and innocent and feminine, just begging to be comforted or protected, perhaps I wouldn't care. Instead, I'm the type whose face gets red and blotchy and swollen and who generally looks like the ugly stepsister of the Creature From the Black Lagoon.)

So now I've blown $20 on probably pointless medicines and been forced to walk around in public with the sort of face that frightens small children. Luckily, my next activity this evening is teaching piano lessons to small children. I'm not sure my self-esteem, normally through the roof, can handle screams of "Mommy, make it go away!". That, my friends, is the worst that could happen.

(Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Real Blog Post

Because I promised one, and because I keep my appointments...

(Name that allusion, please.)

I've been taking Javanese lessons for the past five weeks. I only meet with my teacher once a week, and I'm really lazy about studying vocabulary, so it hardly does any good, but at least now I can recognize what "monggo" means when people say it, oh, about every other word. (It means "please" or "after you" or, more generally, "I'm being polite to you right now.")

My lessons are, in general, a real kick: my Javanese teacher speaks no English, so I get long lists of Javanese vocabulary translated into Indonesian, and at least part of our lesson every week is devoted to fumbling around with an Indonesian dictionary trying to figure out what the heck "terjungkel" means. ("To fall over backwards from a squatting position"; a semantic space apparently highly necessary in a land of squat toilets.)

Last week's lesson was particularly confusing to me. The first four lessons followed what I viewed as a logical progression of vocabulary: greetings, politeness phrases, body parts, numbers, basic verbs, prepositions, and basic adjectives. Just the sort of words I need to start forming simple sentences, or, alternatively, to tell people that I don't speak any Javanese.

The fifth lesson, though, was a little different. Instead of moving from body parts to, say, days of the week, we went to "ways to move or position the aforementioned body parts." My vocabulary list at the end of last week's lesson looked something like this:

selonur: to sit with the legs stretched out
ndodok: to squat
sila: to sit cross-legged
ngeplak: to hit the head with the hand
ngeplok: to clap
njawil: to stroke the arm with the hand
merem: to close the eyes
melek: to open the eyes
mentheleng: eyes wide or bugging out
kera: cross-eyed
sipit: squinty-eyed like the Chinese (her words, not mine)
bangir: high-bridged nose
pesek: flat Asian nose
nyeprok: wide nose
ndomble: sagging lower lip
gugut: jutting chin
nyathis: receding chin
mecep: sticking the lips out
merot: sticking the lips to the side
melet: sticking the tongue out

Why, you may ask, would I need those words as the next basic step in learning Javanese? I asked myself the same thing. The lesson as a whole made no sense, not least because I don't know most of those words in Indonesian. And, please, let's be honest: what good will it really do if I describe someone as "squinty-eyed, with a flat Asian nose"? Number one, seeing as how I work and live with ethnic Chinese, it will do no good whatsoever. Number two, I just look racist. None of these words, I thought, could possibly be useful.

I was wrong. In the week that has elapsed since my lesson, I have heard the words ngeplak, ndodok, and gugut, and have used the word njawil. What's more, I have actually heard, from one of the teachers at my school, a description of her students as "squinty-eyed, with a flat Asian nose." Who's racist now?

*Nota Bene: not me. Actually, no one in this story. This blog entry might be better if followed by another one about how Indonesians are perfectly honest, and, to an American perspective, perfectly tactless in their physical descriptions. Teachers at my school are commonly described as "the fat one," "the short one," and "the black one." I goggle every time I hear this in Indonesian and now, thanks to my Javanese teacher, I can goggle every time I hear them in Javanese.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Break From Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

...to shamelessly promote my 16 year old cousin, Thomas Barrett, who was selected as one of 20 finalists (out of 1100 entries!) for the BBC's "Next Big Thing" competition, a search for the best young band or solo performer from around the world. In case you can't tell, I'm exceedingly proud--just imagine, I'm related to someone cool enough to possibly be the "Next Big Thing"! (It doesn't seem possible, does it?)

In any case, the next stage of selections is done by internet vote: the top 6 most popular will then proceed to a final round of judging. This means that Thomas needs your vote (and your friend's, and your friend's friend's, and, of course, your mom's). Please, if you have a minute, visit this site to listen to his song, "Forever and Ever Again," and then visit this site to vote for it. (If, of course, you like it. I did.)

I promise a real blog entry later. If, that is, you all vote for my cousin.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right

This shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone who has seen me try to dance, distinguish left from right, or, say, walk without tripping over my own two feet...oh, heck, I give up: this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has ever met me. In the interest of full disclosure on the internet, however, I feel I should say this: as I learned from tonight's church activity, I am, if possible, even more clumsy and awkward at aerobics when the instructions are in a foreign language. Yeah. That was embarrassing.

Oh, And In Case You Were Wondering...

There apparently is no common phrase in Indonesian for "virgin birth." The closest that the English teachers at my school could get was "born from a virgin girl." I feel cheated.

Overtaken by Grammar

Let's all pause in our pursuit of absolute foreign-culture hilarity for a moment here to remember that, yes, I was a linguistics major in college, and yes, I plan on pursuing that field further, and yes, I am a complete and utter nerd, and not just because I have programmed my cell phone to play "The Spirit of God" every time someone calls me.

With that in mind, you may continue reading. One of my favorite aspects of Indonesian grammar--and may I just take this opportunity to insist that it does have grammar, contrary to the beliefs of its native speakers--is the circumfix ke-...-an. For the most part, it's a rather innocuous little nominalizing affix, taking an adjective to an abstract noun: friendly to friendliness, beautiful to beauty, happy to happiness. For a certain small class of roots--and it is to the everlasting detriment of the language that this is not a productive function--this circumfix creates a word that roughly means "overtaken by X" or "caught by/in X." Hence, ketinggalan, "left behind," or "overtaken by staying"; kesiangan, "overslept," or "overtaken by late morning/early afternoon"; and, a word that has become increasingly important over the last week or so as Semarang enters the rainy season, kehujanan, or "caught in the rain."

I have been kehujanan several times already, none of them pleasant. The rain comes on quickly here, and, trust me, it never rains but it pours. One minute the sky looks normal, and the next minute the streets are flooded up to the ankles in water. (Semarang apparently has water-drainage issues, making it famous across Indonesia as a city of floods. My school principal, after seeing the worried look on my face as he told me this, reassured me that the floods "almost never" get above the knee.) Since I don't own an umbrella, and since I rely on my own two feet as my primary method of transportation, being kehujanan poses a problem for me; normally, in an American rain, I would dash from shelter to shelter, risking a few drops on my head, shoulders, knees, or toes, but here, the rain comes in buckets, not drops, and the air afterwards is much too humid to dry me off naturally. Hence, I am usually forced to change my plan and stay put--to flip through a magazine, browse a pirated DVD stand, or maybe write a blog entry--and simply wait it out.

Luckily for me, the rain usually stops as suddenly as it starts. Barely 20 minutes ago, it was hard to see out the window for the rain, and now the sun is shining again and I am free to put the finishing touches on inconsequential blog entries and leave the shelter of the internet cafe for home. So there's your free lesson on Indonesian grammar for the day; stay tuned for next week's installment of "Affixes I Have Loved": the suffix -an attached to a reduplicated base. It's a doozy.

Monday, November 13, 2006

La Nausée

5 PM: Struck by a sudden wave of nausea. I try lying down to counteract it, and spend the next hour staring at the mildew pattern on my ceiling.

6 PM: Realizing I hadn't really eaten anything all day, and connecting the dots between nausea and an empty stomach, I head out to the dining room and forced myself to eat some chicken soup.

6.30 PM: With the nausea increasing, I decide to take a nap.

7 PM: One of the maids interrupts my sleep to tell me to eat something. I told her I had already eaten, so we had the perpetual argument--"You didn't eat enough!" "Yes, I did; I think at 22 years old I know how much I want to eat."--which ended only when I, still groggy from my thirty minutes of sleep, told her I was sick and would eat more when I woke up from a nap.

9 PM: I wake up abruptly from my "nap," only to realize that I don't really have the energy to change into pajamas or brush my teeth. I roll over to try to go back to sleep.

9.30 PM: Not successful at sleeping, I finally drag myself out of bed to put on pajamas and brush my teeth. After turning on a quiet CD, I fell asleep again.

10.30 PM: Still nauseated, this time I wake up to realize that I have to throw up. Now. Dash to the bathroom to clear my body of everything I have eaten in the last 24 hours.

11.00 PM: Wake up next to the toilet, not wearing any pants. Stumble back to my bed, still without pants.

11.30 PM: Trash around my bed trying to find a cool spot in the sheets. Wonder what is making me so sick.

12.00 AM: Throw up again. Still nauseated, the thought strikes me: this must be what morning sickness feels like.

12.30 AM: Throw up again. Begin pondering ways I could possibly be pregnant.

12.31 AM: What if there was a little drop of semen on the motorcycle I rode yesterday and it leaked through my underwear and made me pregnant?

12.32 AM: That's ridiculous. I wouldn't be feeling morning sickness nearly that quickly.

12.33 AM: Bathtubs! Isn't there some urban legend about a bathtub?

12.34 AM: Or toilet seats!

12.35 AM: Realize I don't even have a bathtub. Or, for that matter, a toilet seat. Fall back asleep.

12.47 AM: Rape! Rohypnol! I could have drunk something at a party...

12.48 AM: I don't drink. Or go to parties. And wouldn't I remember waking up in some strange place? Fall back asleep.

1.01 AM: Virgin birth!

1.03 AM: My school's not going to be happy about this. They'll never believe it's a virgin birth. Try to think of how to say "virgin birth" in Indonesian, in case my principal asks.

1.04 AM: Kelahiran perawanan? Kelahiran dari perawan?

1.36 AM: Throw up again, this time with diarrhea too.

2.04 AM: Toss about in bed shouting something that I now don't remember. Someone was misunderstanding me, I think, or maybe they just wanted me to lie quietly in place, but they were wrong, wrong, wrong! How could they think such a thing?

2.37 AM: Throw up again. Decide to call in sick for school the next day.

3.17 AM: More random shouting. More tossing. More throwing up. Consider finding a bowl to throw up in from bed, and realize that I don't know where the bowls are. Curse God, and hope to die.

6.01 AM: One of the maids pops her head in, wondering if I'm going to school. I stare at her blankly, trying to find the Indonesian words for "Are you kidding me? I just expelled my intestines through my mouth and you expect me to stand in front a bunch of 17 year olds all day and lecture about debate?" Settle for "No, because I'm sick."

6.18 AM: Call my school principal to tell him I'm not coming in today.

So now I've got the day off, which I'm mostly using to lie around in bed reading Virginia Woolf's "Orlando," with the exception of a brief excursion to the internet cafe, where the cigarette of the person sitting next to me is doing nothing to help my nausea. I think I'm going to use my afternoon by returning home, climbing back into bed, watching a movie, and maybe falling asleep. A night like last night justifies a little daylight decadence, don't you think?

Friday, November 10, 2006


Indonesians are a touchy people. Not in the easily-offended sense--there might be some of that, although given the generally non-confrontational nature of Javanese culture, I'd never know about it--but more in the sense of "keep your hands to yourself, lady, or I'll show you the meaning of easily offended!" Touch happens between same-sex friends--in a conservative Muslim culture, public displays of affection between the sexes are right out--and it's all very casual and natural. While conversing, Indonesian friends stand close and occasionally pat one another on the arm, or, if sitting, tap the knee for emphasis. In my classrooms, "go back to your seats" has taken on the meaning of "sit down in the same chair as your best friend," and I've even seen a group of three boys in one chair, arms casually slung across each other's shoulders or around each other's waist, nonchalantly chatting.

Having recently grown much more friendly with the other teachers, due to greatly improved Indonesian skills, I am not exempt from this behavior. The other teachers think nothing of greeting me every morning with hugs and hearty kisses on both cheeks, and when we're just sitting around talking, I usually have someone leaning on me or reaching across me or just holding on to my arm, as if for comfort. The school bus I ride across the city every morning and afternoon also does a lot to inure me to this feature of the culture: as the bus gets more and more crowded, I end my ride every morning with one of the chemistry teachers sitting, quite literally, on my lap.

Those of you who know me should know my feelings about this. I was a baby who leaned away from the person holding me, and a BYU student who absolutely never touched a boy's elbow in trying to flirt. I'm the sort of person who used to flinch when anyone tried to hug her; having since been broken of that habit by an irate mother, I am still the sort of person who tenses up at any unexpected physical contact. I've been trying my best to hide my consternation at all this touching, and have managed to control my flinching reflex, since, I must concede, it is rather rude, but today I was found out.

After school, I caught a ride to a school event on the back of the motorcycle of one of the other teachers. When we arrived, everyone instantly started teasing me for the strange way I ride a motorcycle: leaning back ever so slightly, holding on to the handles in back, instead of conforming to the proper Indonesian style by putting my arms around the waist of the driver and snuggling up.

I tried to explain to them that rules of touch are different in America: people stand further apart, and they touch less. Even very close friends tend not to sit with their legs crossed over each other. Oh, and that whole "hands on the hips of the motorcycle driver" thing? Or the way the sociology teacher held my hand during our conversation about the recent elections yesterday? That's boyfriend behavior, thank you very much, and so you'd better be ready to commit.

They all stared at me blankly. The teacher sitting next to me turned, and, placing her hand more than halfway up my thigh, said, "Really? That's very interesting! What other sorts of touch would you restrict to a boyfriend?"

That's when I gave up. Go ahead, touchy-feely people, bring it on. I can take it. Be warned, though, all my dear readers: if I come back next summer and automatically put my arm around your waist before talking to you, try not to flinch. It's rude.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Trick or Treat

As discovered in last week's lessons about Halloween,

Vocabulary Words My Students Knew Without Me Telling Them

eye patch
peg leg

This from kids who can't put together a complete and correct sentence about what they did over their holiday. I don't get it.

I (Almost) Ate Bugs!

So, as I'm sure you're all dying to hear the details of the last few days of my vacation--my recent blogging silence has been due to out-of-town guests, not rabies or motorcycle accidents or floods--I'll share at least one funny story, mostly because it's too surreal to be kept secret.

After recovering from my mysterious illness with even more mysterious drugs--does anybody know what "Floksid" is? Google doesn't--I went out to some random village near Salatiga with a friend and her entire extended family. Seeing the traditional old Javanese house where her traditional old Javanese grandparents live was a good time, but the fact of the matter is that hanging out with other people's families is, for the most part, boring. They're wonderful people and they were very kind and friendly to me, for which I'm very grateful, but holidays consist mostly of sitting around chatting, which I don't understand, or reviving old family memories, which I don't share.

Anyway. This introduction is nice and all, but is it germane? I do have a story to tell, after all. After coming home from a Lebaran party, which consisted entirely of sitting in chairs and staring at the other guests, we found my friend's uncle entirely absorbed in what is, apparently, one of his favorite hobbies: collecting bugs for dinner.

I'll let you all absorb that for a minute. It certainly took me some time to believe that was really what he was doing. ("Am I understanding this correctly? Did he really just say he was going to fry them?") This was especially stunning because her uncle is no village hick; he's a surgeon who owns a very successful practice in Semarang, the fifth-largest city in Indonesia. A surgeon, for heaven's sake. In the medical profession. People trust this man with their health.

It blows my mind. He claims that these bugs are the reason he had the energy for med school: they're full of protein, he told me, and they will make me smart. Luckily for me, I didn't stick around long enough to find out; my ride back to Semarang left before dinner that night, so I didn't have to be subjected to pressure to eat insects. (I would have done it, too, if only to title this blog entry with a panicked, "I Ate Bugs!") I did, however, spend a good three hours squatting near the swarm, watching various members of the family using a toothpick and/or fingers to collect the biggest, juiciest specimens they could. Good times.

And as for what kind of bugs they are, I'm not exactly sure. At first I thought they were ants, but upon closer inspection, they were bigger and not quite shaped the same. They were certainly swarming out of a crack in the floor like ants, and the large winged ones, the kind the surgeon fries and eats, remind me of the large winged ants we used to get in Virginia. Perhaps someone with a gift for entomology can look at the photos and take a guess? Me, I'll just be quietly sitting in a corner somewhere, trying to figure out what path my life has taken to bring me to this point. That, and waiting for more of those supposedly delicious, protein-rich insects.

Land of the Free

Recent questions from the other teachers at my school, translated from the original Indonesian:

Why don't Americans believe in God?

What sort of child-rearing methods do Americans use to instill such a sense of independence in their children?

Can bison be domesticated?

It's no wonder that I'm constantly confused in the teacher's room.

Dear Abby (Indonesian 10th Grade Edition)

Dear Abby,

I have a problem. I am destroy my neighbour house. What should I do?



Dear Worried,

You should reborn the house. You shouldn't kill your neighbour, because you will get caught by the police.




Dear Abby,

I have a problem. I have friends. He angry with me. What to I do? Before he is my best friend. After we got quarreling, we close we other. What to I do?



Dear John,

You should kill your friend and your life will be beautiful. But another alternative is you should say sorry to your friend.




Dear Abby,

I have a problem. My dog always bites a peson who laughed near it, and screamed like a wolf after did that. What should I do?


Dog Lover

Dear Dog Lover,

You should teach your dog. If your patient runs out you can kill your pet!




Dear Abby,

I think I have a confusing problem. My friend follow the Antichrist. And he said that I must follow his religion or he an all of his friend will make me as a victim offering. What should I do?




You should pray to your friend. You shouldn't don't have a friend like that. You should ask to your friend to go to the church. If he is not agree you should kill him.



Sunday, November 05, 2006

Born to Be Wild

Things I Am Now Comfortable Enough to Do While Riding On the Back of a Motorcycle

  • Open my eyes

  • Breathe

  • Put my hand out to indicate turning direction, like a good passenger

  • Put my hand out to ward off oncoming buses

  • Talk with the driver

  • Let my legs dangle off the sides

  • Ride sidesaddle in a skirt

  • Not hold on

  • Send and read text messages

  • Send and read text messages from the driver's phone

  • Think of blog entries like this one