Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lost in Technology

I know for a fact that tonight a friend sent me a picture via email. Three times. I got none.
I keep missing sms sent to me for unknown reason in both my cellphones. I use two cellphones because of the missing sms.

Sometimes I held both of cellphones while waiting for an important call and none of them rang. And I was told that I didnt pick up my phone.
Sometimes I see my friend online on skype, I send them message and they dont get it. Or, they answered angrily my question because I didnt their answer the first time around and I kept asking the same stupid question.

The other day my boss was angry because it looked like I didnt prepare our presentation. I did. However each time I re-open the file it looked as if I did nothing to it. He calmed down after it happened to him twice.
The other day there was a complain about our website. We corrected it two months ago, but somehow the same mistake came up again.

Technology lost me.


There are certain things in life that I want but I know it's against my parents/family wishes. It tears me apart. On one hand there is this loyalty toward family, on the other it's my life. If I choose my way, would I be happy knowing it breaks their hearts?

My inability to decide was commented that I have no plan. The truth is, I feel like my feet are stuck in certain position while inside there are so much movements moving to all directions.

Someone said to me recently that I need to do what I feel comfortable with. Perhaps I dont need to decide right away and just go with the flow. When it's time to decide, all things will come to its places. However, I'm afraid by not deciding myself, it'll be decided for me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

His Name is Khan

“I wanted to optimize my life for happiness and satisfaction.” With that Sal Khan of Khan Academy gave up millions as a financial trader and becoming a creator of educational institution. It doesnt hurt that Bill Gates and Google Foundation are his fans and supporters. Khan uses youtube to disseminate his lectures on maths.

It's a great idea.

Anyone can use his lectures in their own pace. You can skip the part you already understand and repeat the part that you dont. Even Bill Gates is using it with his own kids.

It would be fantastic if we had his lectures in Bahasa Indonesia and perhaps disseminate the lectures in DVD instead of online because our internet is v.e.r.y-v.e.r.y-s.l.o.w. Mind you, he actually put the lectures on Bittorrent too. I know some guys are in contact with the academy for translating the lectures already.

Mr Khan, I salute you!

One Indian Family

Now I know why India is so overpopulated. It's a record.

Our Neighborhood's Library

Since January our neighborhood has twice-weekly-free-library in cooperation with all neighborhood's chiefs and Pustaka Kelana. Every Tuesdays and Fridays a car comes to our RW's office bringing 3 boxes of books for the children to peruse. The two volunteers are there teaching them reading, arts and crafts and even simple science and maths. I thought the whole thing is superb.

Most days we see about 80 to 100 kids.

Typically, we start with reading a book, then we do things such as how to inflate ballon with out any pump. After that, they are doing math puzzle (and coloring) according to their education level. Each kids has to collect their works because at the end of the school year, the one who has the most work done gets a present.

Our Pak RT also promised to give present to those who excel at school.

In order to attract kids to come, we sort of bribe them by giving out snack and water at the end of the day. The most active RTs are my own RT (06) and RT 02. The mothers also show up each time, to read and help out the volunteers.

One funny thing: Since it's a communal hall, it is also function as neighborhood crèche and health clinic on certain day of the month. Kids are reading under posters of condom campaign and the volunteers didnt even notice until I pointed that out.

Any way, I heard AIA was very impressed by our neighborhood interest in this project and are coming to visit early next month. I was told we have the most kids and the most involvement of the neighborhood.

We had our down to0, actually. A week and a half ago, we caught one of the kids stole one of the volunteers' handphones. We also found out that the same kid is abused by her mom. At the moment we choose not to get the police involved but will monitor the kid because we have no evidence of child abuse at this moment. If the police is involve, we are afraid that hell will break loose in her house. It's a very sad story. I do hope the kid turns out alright in the end. For the time being, she's afraid to show up again at the library.

Friday, February 18, 2011

I Have This Tune in My Mind for Days


I was going to post a translation of what our esteemed head of the national police said about FPI, but I'm going to tell you a story about what happened to my nephew this morning which made me angry and even more frustrated.

My nephew drove from Pluit area toward the airport. At one point, he needed to turn right so he gave sign and starting to turn right. This being in Indonesia, there was this cart coming on his right from the opposite direction, so he stepped on the break to avoid it. While this happening, this kid on, what else, a motorcycle tried to cut him from behind and hit my nephew's car.

If this happening in the West, the motorcycle was at fault. That kid called up his father who happened to be a preman (some sort of gangster) in the area and friends with the police.

The next thing what happened was, my nephew was getting hit from 4 guys and a policeman before being detained by the police. He then called up my cousin but before relaying information on his whereabout the phone was disconnected because my cousin's mobile's battery ran out. We tried to call him back but was unable to reach him for a while.

While we were panicking, I called up my lawyer friend asking his advise while my cousin called her friend at other police station. After we were able to contact my nephew again and I told him to take pictures of the bruises, my cousin's friend called that station where they held my nephew and told the guy over there that my nephew is the nephew of some high-rank police officer and should my nephew had any scar from the beating some heads will roll. In the end the police who did the beating confess and said about the beating,"I didnt know who he was at that time."

Meanwhile some guys from my nephew's office came to the station and demanded explanation of the beating and detaining. Since all the evidence pointing out that my nephew is innocent, they are demanding compensation for my nephew's suffering. At the moment, to my understanding the other party is willing to give compensation. We'll see if they are really doing it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Motorcyclists are Nuts

I refuse to drive because Jakartan motorcyclists are nuts. You are driving, eyeing the motorcyclist on the right when suddenly the one on your left cut you off. I get this feeling that as soon as their asses touch the motorcycle's sit, their common sense and brain are out of their body.

Yesterday morning it rained hard. So I went to work later than normal after it turned into drizzle. The road was not that crowded. My busway was not speeding when suddenly this motorcyclist getting in front of the bus out of nowhere. The bus driver blew the horn and slowed down and tried not to hit the motorcycle. We all swayed in the rather crowded bus.

The motorcyclist immediately went off the busway lane. Just in time for not getting hit by the bus. The guy looked at us smiling from ear to ear, and he almost hit another car while doing that! Stupid, stupid, did I say stupid guy. I didnt drive the bus, but my heart was still beating hard until I got to my office. I could only imagine how the bus driver feel. In Indonesia, had he hit the motorcycle, it's his fault, eventho he was on his lane and not speeding.

A stupid egotistical person who didnt bother about the law and crosses/uses the busway lane could get hit by the bus. I'm sorry but I think it's their fault for not taking the crossing bridge/path and not the bus driver's fault.

The reason why motorcyclists are like the way they are, is because the police did nothing against them. One time a motorcyclist hit my dad's car while my dad stopped for the red light. The police asked my dad to sign a paper saying it's my dad's fault, because according to the police it's a pity that the motorcyclist had no money. Was he nuts? Of course my dad didnt sign it.

Once I stood on the pavement waiting for taxi during a traffic jam. About 5 meters away there was this policeman. He did nothing at all when these swarm of motorcycles rode on the pavement just inches from both of my sides and acting as if I disturbed their riding the pavement!

Unless the police really enforce the law on motorcyclists, it's a jungle out there.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I Dont Mind Waking Up To This

I went to an acupuncturist for my cough the other day and as always, I got knocked out as soon as I got home. Since I slept way too long the other day, last night I couldnt sleep without any meds. I only slept for four hours and woke up to this email starting with subject: Visit to blabla...

It said that they had superb feedback on me, so they are inviting me for a visit a long with a small group of tech entrepreneurs and a journo.

And yes, it's a good weekend indeed.

Are You an Under or an Over?

Before I moved to lowland, I never paid any attention on a trivial matter such as how you hang the toilet paper. Most of the time it doesnt bother me how it hangs, over the top or under the roll. But there were some occasions when I was in a hurry and someone hung it under and it irritated me because it slowed me down. That's when I realized that eventho it is such a trivial matter, I have my preference and it bothers me from time to time when things are not the way I like it to be.

I dont like having to touch the wall in order to get my toilet paper and I dont like that most of the time I get not the quantity of paper that I need. I dont care if it looks neater when it hangs under. Think about it, if it looks neater hanging under, why in all fancy hotels that I've been in 3 continents all their toilet papers are hang over the top?

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Haute Couture

Last Saturday while I was watching the Young Boys performed for the Harry Darsono's Special Needs Children Charity event, Farhan, the presenter, sat next to me and asked how it felt to wear an Haute Couture. "Well", I said, "in my case, the one I am wearing was like made for me, it fits perfectly while a few other women's clothing today needed some altering. It feels better than my own clothing that was made to measure." He then talked how he never had the opportunity of wear one (is there haute couture for guys? I wonder), that the most expensive thing he had to wear cost less than Rp 10 million. To tell you the truth, I dont even know how much the one I was wearing costs, all I know it was part of his private museum pieces and it was made for the wife of Finnish Ambassador. I didnt dare asking the price of it.

I was honored that Oom Harry let me wore his beautiful clothes even for just a few hours. I'd never dreamt of wearing such a thing, as it was hand painted on pure silk, it was one of a kind. I was also happy that I met the dressmaker who sewed the said dress and she told me a bit about the process of making it. It's not just some piece of clothing that you take off the rack in some high street shop some where. It has history and full of artistic details.

Monday, February 07, 2011

I'm Ashamed being Indonesian

Never in my life I feel so ashamed as Indonesian until I heard the news yesterday.
Never in my life I feel so detached about any religion until yesterday.

The longer I live in this country the more I loose faith in humanity.
The longer I live here the more I loose interest in any religion.

I couldnt, cant and will not comprehend the act of barbarism in the name of G_d that happened in Banten yesterday against the followers of Ahmadiyah.
I couldnt, cant and will not comprehend people who condone that act of evil.

It's time for the so-called moderate moslems in Indonesia to stand up and refuse the hijacking of Islam by the radicals.
It's time for Indonesians to stand up against any discriminatory treatments of the minority.
It's time to do something for the betterment of Indonesia.

Guiness Anyone?

This morning, as soon as my boss came through the door he said, "So, you'll go by yourself next month because our boss cant make it, I cant make it. You need to ask him for details." Then off he went to his next meeting.

With that my fate is sealed. Or, I hope it did.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Cough Meds

I've been having dry cough since I traveled with clients last month. I took cough meds since Thursday resulting I slept all day, and when I didnt take it, I couldnt sleep at all. Bad move.

One of my BFFs called this morning asking about yesterday's performance I was involved & my plan to visit a masseuse. Hearing that I'm still coughing she told me to get 'obat batuk ibu dan anak', mother and child cough medicine. I told her that I dont know what it was and I need to get some Nin Jiom chinese cough meds. She laughed, because we were talking about the same thing, and the fact that she's chinese & knows a bit of Mandarin calling it with its Indonesian name while I who dont speak any Mandarin calling it in its chinese name.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Technology + Art = I'm Happy

One of the things that I miss from NL/Europe is the museums. I used to own museum-card, and went to any museum as often as I could. I tried to visit at least one museum each time I traveled.

Now that I'm in big durian, I'm not that excited about going to museum. Most of Jakarta museum look 'unloved'. I cant really blame them, because their ticket is dirt cheap, how could they afford to put decent security/display with their income from tickets?

Google just unveiled their Google Art Project, which means we can 'visit' famous museum such as Hermitage, MOMA, Rijksmuseum via Internet! It's like Google Earth but for museums. The plus side of it, we could get up-close and personal to the objects. The downside of it, we need good internet connection (which I dont have. Hey Speedy, do something!).

Some critics said that it's not the same as seeing it with your own eyes. Well, going to Rijksmuseum to see the Nachtwacht by Rembrandt we cant get as close as using Google Art. Plus, it gives an opportunity for those unable to visit the real thing to experience it virtually.

Anyway, I'm happy now I can 'walk around' museum again, and can show my mom some of the things that I love. I wonder if I get the same emotion as I had while visiting certain museums.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Network: NL vs ID

Back in Lowland, I was one of the boys. More than 80% of my friends were guys. My office were full of gals except for our two bosses. My friends from one group mostly dont know my other friends from other groups.

Nowadays, there are only 2 gals in our office. My friends are 80% gals. Somehow 6-degrees-of-separation works amongst my friends from different groups.

How did that happen?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bus vs Busway

Since the last day of last year there's busway operating between Pinang Ranti and Pluit. There are only 35 long buses operating between Cililitan and Grogol, and 25 normal buses operating between Pinang Ranti and Pluit. During these time the 'regular' buses were still operating along (part of ) the same route as the Busway.

As of today, the Jakarta government rules that the regular buses are ceased to operate in that very route. Apparently there were about 126 regular buses.

Now, this is the sheer stupidity of our beloved government.

Last week Thursday I had to wait for 45 minutes in the morning from Cililitan for my busway and as soon as I got into one, it was jam-packed that I had to stand all the way to Semanggi, thank you very much. Yesterday I was pretty lucky I only needed to wait for 30 minutes and got a seat so I could finish my book. That was before all 126 regular buses were cancelled.

I cant tell you how it was this morning, the 1st day of the cancellation, since I stay at home due to upset stomach, but I dread going to work tomorrow. Going by taxi is not really something I want to do at the moment, because the traffic is getting worse due to the operational of Busway. See my dilemma?

Please who-ever-in-charge, get us more busway buses before canceling any regular bus routes. Waiting 45 minutes for a jam-packed bus is outrageous. If you are still canceling any of them, please I implore you, take the bloody busway during rush hour without any of your aides for a week so you stand there with us mere mortals waiting for ages for the bloody bus.

Please dont give the crap about you took the busway before. Taking it during some stupid opening route ceremony doesnt count. Dont tell us that your such-and-such takes busway and told you stories about it. Man up and get to it that we have a half decent transportation in this God forsaken place, that's one of the reasons we put you in your place!