Sunday Morning With The Brother

I spent this morning with my brother. He was here for a short getaway with his friends. I think he's already in Changi now, on his way back. I asked a few things from mom but a few things let to many things including a jar of pineapple tarts :P I don't speak much or often to my brother so today is like really catching up on life. I always think that my brother's job is really glamourous but of course there's a lot of hardwork being put into it. I may not see it but I see the time he arrives home after a day work, which is very late. I don't know how he does it day after day. I do not know how we get our work ethics. I do not believe it is something that we get from our parents. Somehow though I think we have this something that I call the "moral shit kinda thing" (I used this term during the dinner talk with Starfish and the gank some weeks ago) that kinda forces us to do certain things just because it's the right thing. Anyway I think he's very very cool in his achievement recently. I understand how what he got could make some people feel unhappy or disappointed but I couldn't quite understand the unhappiness some of his colleagues have voiced out openly. I attributed it to the Indonesian mentality. In which he said that when I come back to Indonesia for good, I will die or feel crazy about it :P Somehow he feels my anti-social tendency is the achilles heel for me to work in an Indonesian environment. He said chemistry is the most important thing there and it's being put first before making profit :P I do not know if chemistry is the right english word because the Indonesian word I will use for it is "semangat kekeluargaan" and I know how deep this is in an Indonesian culture. It's not about my work, your work, everyone do their job and all will be well. It's about my work, your work should make everyone happy doing it and that harmony is very important. One may argue it makes Indonesians to be less professional but it's just really a cultural thing and I do not know if it's really a wrong thing to be keeping that much importance in harmony. However even in the example he gave me, I found that I'll screw harmony for what I think is right. If I do good and some people do not think I deserve certain things yet, I wouldn't care what they think and this kind of mentality of mine is what my brother thinks is bad in the Indonesian working environment :P

Harmony aside, it turns out my brother is also the type who voices his opinion. Listening to him, I was thinking, damn there's gotta be something in the genes. The only cousin I talk quite frequently to is cousin Marlisa and the way she, my brother, and me have the courage to say what we think really make me think that perhaps it's something in the genes. I wonder how visible this trait is in other cousins. I have to say though that I feel my brother and my cousin can be snappier and harsher than me :D However, I feel that they are more forgiving afterwards than me. Again perhaps it's the Indonesian thing, that being in Indonesia, you can't just not greet or not talk to people you dislike. I wonder if I am in Indonesia, will I be forced to shed my iceberg mode. I am happy though that my cousin and my brother are like that. That means I am not crazy and also I think it takes guts for people to say what they think or feel because with saying something, we are ready for the consequences of what we say. I think instead of being less straightforward like how my mother would have liked me to be, we should train the way we think and perceive things. Even listening to my brother's story, I was telling him, well you could see it in a different way or I don't see it the way you see it. Of course who's to say it's me or my brother who has formed the right understanding of the situation. Everyone is different so everyone will undoubtedly has different opinion on things. We can only hope that we just can be wiser.

On other news, I finished reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Well, there's an essay on Fables that William Golding wrote but I don't feel like reading it. Lord of the Flies tells the story of a bunch of 12-year old boys and younger who got stranded on an island after a plane crash. With no adult around, they were left to survive on their own and it involved some kids getting killed because of their stupidity and games. My favorite character, Piggy, was killed and I was quite sad about it. I think I always like the underdog. As I was reading it, I was thinking of how kids really don't know what they are doing. It got me thinking of the time when I was in a place of authority over kids like these, it brought back memory of the times I have to get them in line :P So that's me as an adult reading it. I wonder how I would have felt if I had been reading it as a 12-year old. Would I have felt terribly disturbed with how the story progresses? Would I even had the courage to continue on with the pages. Anyway, yesterday I decided to get a new book and I settled on Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I went from a book about a bunch of castaways that I didn't really enjoy to another book about a castaway. It was an odd choice. I've been seeing this book for many years now and I finally decided to get it because this week I happened to see the trailer for the movie by Ang Lee. The trailer was beautiful, I will even watch it in 3D well because it's Ang Lee's first attempt in 3D. There was no dialog in the trailer though so I wondered if it's gonna be like Tom Hanks' Castaway. Well I think at least it's gonna be more beautiful. It turns out though that my dear cousin, Marlisa, sent me Pramoedya Ananta Toer's Bumi Manusia through my brother. Surprise! I really didn't expect it because I already told her not to take the trouble and I will get it when I get back but she did and I'm pretty happy. I've seen his books before in the beloved Borders (whose death is a tragedy indeed) but they were in english. Though the cover arts were great, I just feel it's super wrong if I read his books not in Indonesian. So I'm kinda glad that I have this to get me going. I will only read it after Life of Pi though, which is my 5th book this year, which will complete my goal of 5 books this year. If I can finish Bumi Manusia this year too, I think it'll be better because I would have started and ended this challenge to myself with an Indonesian book. I love this reading habit that I have sadly forgotten for many years but then when I see how the books are competing with my clothes for space, I feel sad that the space issue will be a major issue for me :( Oh well. It's been a nice Sunday meeting my brother. This coming week is a 4-day week for me. Then it's off to a new beginning. I don't want to think about it because I am already not sleeping on most nights so I shouldn't add more things that will prevent me from actually sleeping. Hope everything goes well in your universe peeps. Ciao!

:) eKa @ 8:32:00 PM •

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