Thursday, 30 July 2009

Kids are more than meets the eye...

Hey guys!
My foster family from NZ, The Napiantos, is currently here. They're actually Indonesian. At first it was just the husband and wife who migrated to Auckland as newlyweds in 1999 or 2000. The couple went to have two kids born there (Haikal and Hafsyah), have permanent residence, and move to Australia in early 2008.
Yesterday we spent the entire day with them. Aunt Dina and Hafsyah and my mum, who'd been hanging out since 1 PM, picked me up from I Can Read at 6 PM, then we went to Emporium to have dinner. Meanwhile, Uncle Hendar, Haikal, my dad and my bro were jamming at our practice studio. The family Napianto didn't leave the Arslan pad until around 11 PM, and they might come again this Sunday, just four days before they fly back to Koalaland.
While my dad, Uncle Hendar, and my bro were jamming (they played mostly Beatles songs), the Napianto kids and I had a chitchat in the small soundproof room in front of the studio (which is also soundproof.) Hafsyah, who had been quiet unlike the little girl I knew back in Auckland, for the first time really talked to me. She asked, "Kakak Nana, why aren't you in New Zealand?" I was surprised when the question escaped her cute little mouth. I thought she completely forgot me since she refused to look at me when I saw her for the first time in 1,5 years. I explained that I had finished university, and had a hard time finding a full-time job thanks to the recession. That NZ, being a small country, was one of the worst-hit countries. I didn't even bother to explain the word 'recession' to the kids (aged 5 and 7 respectively)...and to my surprise they understood what I was talking about. Haikal and Hafsyah asked, "What about your fellow foreign friends from university? They left as well?" I told them a story about a Vietnamese friend who worked for L'Oreal NZ for seven (or nine?) months after graduating from my university, but had to leave due to the cost cutting policy of the company. I didn't even use the words 'get fired' but again the kids knew what I was implying. Little Hafsyah asked, "And what did your friend do after he got fired?" while Haikal asked, "Did L'Oreal keep the big, old bosses?"
These kids have such big brains!

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Oh no they didn't...

I used to read Cleo magazines while chilling at the Gloria Jean's opposite Imax back in Auckland. Among the Cleo's was the issue whose sealed section contained pictures of naked couples telling about their, um, sexual activities. Lynne and Antonios (their surname undisclosed in the section) interested me the most because they had the biggest age gap (when that issue came out (in April 2008 if I remember correctly), Lynne was 24 and Antonios 45.)
Fast forward a year, several days ago while having nothing to do, I punched in 'Antonios and Lynne' on Google, hoping to find out the Cleo May-December couple's last name. And gosh did they cause ripples. And did I find out more than just their surname. The parents of one of Lynne Tziolas' students at Narraweena School, where she taught grades 1 and 2, reported The Tziolas' raunchy pose to the school's executive board. That resulted in Lynne getting discharged from Narraweena, and she fought back, taking legal actions to be reinstated.
I myself have mixed opinions about this case. First of all yes teachers do have sex life, private life, and it's up to them what to do about it. In Lynne's case, she must have thought posing naked for Cleo wouldn't be a problem, since she taught 7-year-olds and 7-year-olds don't read Cleo, right? Plus, the pose was in a sealed sex special section. You have to buy the magazine first to be able to tear the section open. Mrs. Tziolas even stated that she wouldn't have done it had she been a high school teacher. On the other hand, when I try to put myself in the shoes of the concerned parents, I can see what this might cause in the long run. Who knows, ten years down the road that magazine still exists in thrift stores and Lynne's students - now ex students and about 17 years old - might find it and think posing naked with your spouse on a magazine is cool. It's absolutely not. You don't make money by selling your private parts to the public eye. You make money by using your brain to make the world a better place.
Anyway, the Tziolas brouhaha also made news here in Indonesia, just not in the headlines.