This and That – The Pincers Story and other Things

Eyebrow Hairs

A few hours before I left for Bali, I made a mental note to put tweezers and some medicine inside my luggage but I was not able to do so. And this is where my story starts.

On our second day in Bali, I noticed some eyebrow hairs were at anagen phase, so I rummaged through my things to find my tweezers. Of course, I did not find them. I checked the newly-downloaded English-Bahasa dictionary on my phone to translate “tweezers” into Bahasa and it said “penjepit”. So I asked every store I went to if they had penjepit, I even asked some locals if they knew where I could find them. No one knew what I was talking about so I had to resort to charades a couple of times. I placed my thumb and index fingers on my eyebrows and air pulled some of the hair. Some locals looked at me with dumbstruck expression. Some of them nodded their heads to show their understanding, but would not know where to find penjepit.

We flew to Jogjakarta and as soon as we landed, I asked Erica where to find penjepit. She said Mirota Batik would have it. She was correct, but the penjepit came with six other things I did not need – nailclipper, nail file, buffer, cuticle nipper and two other things I could not identify. I knew I needed them but my need for Indonesian rupiah was far greater so I passed. As I was leaving the counter, the salesman laughed at me and imitated my plucking actions. I looked at him to let him know that I saw his mockery and gave him my sweetest smile. He stopped what he was doing and smiled abashedly.

So we visited Borobudur and Prambanan with my eyebrows looking more and more like Cookie Monster’s. We went to Kraton Palace and Taman Sari while I felt them growing one nanomillimeter every second and looking like black walis tambo in an upside down fashion.

As soon as we freshened up in Jakarta, I asked the girls working at the hotel where to buy the darned penjepit. They gave the same expression that the Bali locals did so I had to air pluck my eyebrow hairs. One of the girls said, “ahhh pincers!” So the darned penjepit was known by another name. I went inside Lotte Mart, located on the ground floor of Amaris Hotel, and immediately found them! I was too excited I almost hugged the saleslady who showed me where the grooming kits were. My eyebrows almost sighed with relief when I opened the packaging. They cheered when I plucked the wayward hairs one by one.

Tweezers or pincers on top of the cover of Haruki Murakami's 1Q84.

Tweezers or pincers strategically placed on top of the cover of Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84.


On Monday, Chelsea Football Club became the English Premier League champions for 2014-2015 after they defeated Crystal Palace, 1-0. This is their first Premier League title under the second coming of The Special One, Portuguese coach José Mourinho, to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea players after the win over Crystal Palace. Photo from by Getty Images

Chelsea players after their win over Crystal Palace. They were celebrating their first EPL title in 5 years. Photo from by Getty Images

I have been following Chelsea FC since I accidentally switched to Star Sports and saw André Villas-Boas, the coach of the Blues at that time. I thought he was an attractive man whose hair was worthy of shampoo commercials. Moreover, the players were wearing blue jerseys and since blue is my favorite color, I thought it must have been a sign that I had to support this team.

André Villas-Boas. Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC.

André Villas-Boas. Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images.

Just days later, Juan Mata came to Chelsea from Valencia. Watching Juan Mata move with the ball on the pitch was like watching Roger Federer on the court – graceful and fluid with intent. I fell in love with Juan Mata and he became the main reason why I watched Chelsea’s games at ungodly hours. Juan had scintillating performances for Chelsea, and he became their best player for almost two seasons under two different coaches.

Juan Mata. Photo by

Juan Mata. Photo from

Sadly, Juan did not fit Mourinho’s system so his playing minutes dwindled. It was a World Cup year and Juan wanted a spot in Spain’s National team which would not happen if he was riding the bench at Chelsea. In January 2014, he was sold to Manchester United with the hopes of performing well enough to be included in the star-studded La Furia Roja. 

As much as I love Juan, whatever loyalty I have remains with Chelsea. I continue to watch John Terry, Didier Drogba (after he returned), César Azpilicueta, Eden Hazard, and Diego Costa while I continue to watch Juan’s highlight videos and read his blog.


 I finished reading Laura Esquievel´s Malinche a few days ago, the first book I finished this year. It was not as interesting as Like Water for Chocolate. The characters of Malinalli and Hernán Cortés did not strike a chord with me, but I now have a teeny-weeny understanding of the story of the ancient Mexicas.

I am currently reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84. I started reading it in August last year, but life and procrastination came in the way of finishing it. I am on page 348 456 out of 1157. I like Tengo, maybe because Tengo means “I have” in Spanish. Tengo is a math teacher at a review school by profession, but his passion is writing. He has a married mistress who knows jazz music like an expert. The women characters seem out of this world, but they have traits that make them relatable. Aomame is a murderer with a handmade ice pick and thorough knowledge of human body and its deadly spots. She likes balding men and sleeps with them for the shape of their head, but she has been in love with a boy she met in grade school. Awww. Fuka-Eri sees “Little People”. She is very quiet and almost anti-social, but she narrates really graphic and imaginative stories. Then there is the Dowager, Aomame’s employer for her deadly exploits, who abhors men who abuse their spouses.

Juan Mata is the reason why I read Haruki Murakami’s books. He mentioned that he was reading one of Murakami’s works so I said, why not give it a try. This was years after a friend of mine encouraged me to read Murakami. Where he failed Juan Mata succeeded. The very first Murakami book I read is Dance Dance Dance.

2 thoughts on “This and That – The Pincers Story and other Things

  1. I like the both ha. 🙂 We have to copyright them right away. 🙂 Rose pose (rhyme) and penjepit pose (2/3 alliteration). 🙂

    Thank you for a nice afternoon of laughter and free-flowing conversation. 🙂 The food was forgettable, but the company of three women made it memorable.

  2. So, you have a new trademark pose… pincer pose or penjepit pose??? hahahaha.. 😉 I like the penjepit pose more… I am imagining it on how you demonstrate it to them.. world class pose..

    See you on Sat… =)

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