Tuesday, June 28, 2011

World Class University

Indonesian universities are aiming to be a 'world class university' these days. Some put more effort in achieving it than the others which of course translated into more successful in meeting the target.

I wonder how a university can achieve their goal if they didnt pick up their phone, their website is only in Bahasa Indonesia, the staff barely understand English, and most importantly the staff are nowhere to be found at a scheduled meeting with foreign counterpart which was agreed weeks before. Buildings and huge campus alone wont get you the title 'world class university'.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Welcome to The Club, Honey!

New York voted to legalize Gay marriage. It's nothing new in Lowland, but it's a big deal in USA. I support gay marriage because as it is legal to get married for them, they are now also under pressure to get married. After this they are also gonna get the "when are you going to have any kid" Hah! Enjoy...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Dear nephew

My 6-years-old half-American nephew was visiting yesterday with his grandparents. His dad passed away last month from cancer. We tried not to mentioned about it to him fearing he would break down. He was so happy and smiley yesterday.

At one point, he sat at his grandma's lap, and whispered: Do they know that my dad passed away?
Me & mom: yes, we do dear..
Him: How?
Me: internet..
He looked relieved that we knew.
his grandpa trying to divert the intention: they also know you are naughty
him: *sheepishly* they do?
I then teased him about being a sore loser, to which he replied: What is a sore loser?
There we went

Is Moratorium of Sending Migrant Workers The Way?

Once again our government is solving the wrong problem. So, we have problem with our migrant workers abroad. Some of them are barely able to communicate in Bahasa Indonesia, let alone in foreign language. This, of course, creates frustration between the employer and employee. Trust me, I've had my share of frustration with my maids and I speak their language! Coupled that, with the fact that some of them had never seen any modern equipments including a sitting closet before they get to their crash-course facility prior going abroad. In short, these people, who, lets face it, are not all geniuses, had to cramp a lot of new information and suffers culture shocks in a short time before stationed somewhere abroad. Not a good start.

Eventhough some came back successfully building a brick house or two in their village, sending their kids to school. Some had a miserable fate abroad: got raped, unpaid salaries, working long hours (22 hours for example), got beaten up. These negative experiences could lead to depression in both employee and employer, which could lead to murder in some extreme cases such as Ruyati.

Ruyati went back for the 3rd time to Saudi in 2008. The company that sent her put her in a different employer than the one stated in her contract. According to her kids, they heard from another servant in the same house Ruyati started getting abuse on her 3rd day in that house. By 2009, according to the newspapers, Ruyati begged her employer for a permission to go home, but she didnt get it. In December 2009, according to her kids, she called and told them that she was just hospitalized for a broken bone and crushed leg that needed surgery due to being pushed from a stairs by her employer. She wasnt paid for 3 months in 2009 according to the government. The ending of her story in that house was tragic as we've heard: it was in mid January 2010 Ruyati killed the very employer who pushed her by stabbing her head & neck.

In accordance to Saudi's law, Ruyati was sentenced to death by beheading. The official story was: Indonesian government knew nothing until after the execution. Everyone is angry in Indonesia and not a single twit in Saudi on this. There's something fishy about the whole thing. G_d knows what happened.

As a result, our dear president announced a moratorium of sending migrant workers to Saudi.

Now, I am not sure I agree with that policy. We cant deny that for some, going to places like Saudi means increase of welfare for their family. With moratorium being forced this year, there are at least tens of thousands people cant go abroad to work. This means tens of thousands families is losing their remittance prospect and not to mentioned still have to pay for the loan they took to pay for the preparation for going abroad.

I'd rather we tighten the permit of sending people abroad. Since most who got into trouble work as domestic workers, perhaps for the time being we give them more education, especially in foreign language and about their rights and how to deal with stress. We could also work together with the destination countries so that our workers could get random visits to check up on their well-being, that their employer was screened before hand, that they have dedicated lawyers & interpreters working on their side should it be needed. Meanwhile we also need to open up more jobs in Indonesia with a better condition & money, so that less and less people need to go abroad and subjected to abuse to earn money.

We cant just send them off and not bother about them once they got to their destination like it's been all these time. We need to take care and protect our own people. Especially the very people who help us getting money from abroad to educate our kids, to better our future.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chill To The Bone

Reading this report on migrant workers in Saudi made me speechless. It's beyond words.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Robbing $1 To Get Health Care

I thought Obama's health care means everyone gets some sort of health insurance. But reading this article, I guess I was wrong.

The guy robbed a bank for $1 so that he is sentenced to jail. It was his logical way to get health care he couldnt afford outside jail. The world's gone mad. A prisoner gets a roof above his/her head, 3 meals a day and a decent health care, while a free man cant afford any of them.

Perhaps it is much better if he gets jailed in Norwegia rather than in the USA: better facilities.

Monday, June 20, 2011


We've heard that China can copy a lot of things: ipad, crocs, camera, village. Yes, you heard me: a village. An Austrian village called Hallstatt, which is part of UNESCO world heritage.

The Chinese did it by acting as tourists visiting the place, taking tons of pictures and measurements before starting the construction in Guandong province back in April. Some of the drawings are mirrored, probably to avoid copyright issues. I suppose you cant stop people taking pictures and copying your village, but a more upfront approach would be nice.

There are plenty of people felt Big Brother is watching because of what the Chinese did, something that is probably rather normal in China but not in Hallstatt.

Now I am curious what else would the Chinese copy


iLOL is Indonesian President ILO's speech followed by a beheaded of Indonesian migrant worker in Saudi 4 days later. Of course afterward there were plenty of President's condolences and the government blaming Saudis. In short: pass-the-bucket

Interestingly, each time something like this happened we almost hear nothing about the company who sent the person to that employer. Their hands are also covered in blood by not helping the very people they put in such situation.

note to self: reincarnate as Australian cattle is 'better' protected by its government than as Indonesian migrant worker.

Math Is Confusing

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Magic of Washing Machine

Hans Rosling's environmentalist students remind me of some of my Western friends talked about 3rd world countries need to curb their pollution while they didnt say anything about US'. There was this guy who couldnt understand why in Maldives according to the survey some family has all day electricity, some has several hours, others has none. He said it's either you have it or you dont. The guy used to live somewhere in Africa while his diplomat father was stationed there.. imagine how westerners who never once set their foot in 3rd world country think and give us advice on how we lead our live: out of touch.

Space Weather

Nowadays, if I have difficulty with my cellphone or modem, I check :http://www.swpc.noaa.gov/today.html for information of solar & geophysical activities. More often than not, when there's such activities, I have problem in my electronic communication devices.

After reading an article (which I cant relocate) I think I will check that website before flying. Apparently, solar activity influences airplane. I'm not saying that we are doom if we fly on the day of solar storm, but we need to be cautious, as it means more radiation up in the sky. As our polar area affected more by the solar storm, airplane flying in the area might experience radio trouble, navigation errors.

On the bright side, the more solar storm, the more Aurora's, or so they say... more info in here

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I Have The Key To Eternal Life!

Yupe, I can lick my elbow if I want to...

Please leave a comment if you tried licking your elbow :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011


One day some time last year Tante O told me about her maid's son's health problem. He worked as an admin at a hospital somewhere. He's seen a lot of doctors, some of them are specialist but nobody knew what's wrong with him. His fingers are numb.
I remember what my dad told me & what I've read about leprosy. I told aunty O to tell him to look for a doctor specializing in leprosy, or go to leprosy hospital in Tangerang. So, she did.

Months later, Tante O told me that it was good that I told her about leprosy because the guy went to see a doctor about it, just as I suggested, and the good doctor confirmed he has leprosy. He is now under treatment, so hopefully he wont have to miss any part of his body.

Tante O was surprised that all of these time, the other doctors couldnt figure it out what was wrong, and I, who is not a doctor came up with leprosy. I think I was lucky and the previous doctors didnt think they came across leprosy when they see him. I'm just happy to give my 2 cents.

Monday, June 13, 2011


Being honest (jujur) is not easy in Indonesia, especially in Kampung Gadel, Surabaya. Mrs Siami, the mother of Al, student of an elementary school in that Kampung, filed a complain at the police that there was a systematic cheating at her son's school. Al was asked to give answers to other students by his teacher(s).

Indonesia was surprised by the reaction of her neighbors, who not only condemned her but also managed to get Mrs Siami and her family moved from the area to Gresik.

Solidarity in that neighborhood means the cleverest student must give the answers to other students so that all of the students can graduated and that act is also seen as a form of paying his due to the teacher who asked him to do that. Solidarity also means that the headmaster who approved the systematic cheating shouldnt get any sanction for his act. Why? Because practically everyone in the neighborhood was taught at some point by the headmaster.

Mrs Siami was a new comer in the neighborhood. She holds a different set of values. Therefore she and her family are now an outcast in the area.

It's outrageous that we are now condemning honesty and supporting dishonesty. It's outrageous that we are now teaching our kids to cheat. It's outrageous that we let our kids down by not believing & supporting them to be the best that they can be.

Hugh Jackman duels Neil Patrick Harris

Wolverine vs Doogie Howser, MD
I love it, I wished I could see the whole part

Sunday, June 12, 2011

On Travel

Travel only with thy equals or thy betters; if there are none, travel alone." -The Dhammapada

I think it applies to every kind of travel: inside and outside.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Do You Want to Be My Friend?

Yes, I joined social media website to keep in touch with my family because I dont use Blackberry. When I looked at Indonesian's profile and saw they have thousands of friends, I wonder if they really have connection prior to the social media connection, you know, in real life, or at least some some kind of communication.

There are plenty of Indonesians who just add someone from somebody's profile to get huge number of friends. Some of my friends do this, therefore I made my profile unsearchable. So I have more control on social media as who my friends are as I only want to add those I have a 'real' connection. I sometimes do super logout by deactivating my account when I logout.

There are a lot of weird thing going in social media, you poke, you follow, you write at someone's wall, you like, you comment and other things that you dont normally do in real life. Why do we do that in online?

A couple guys did a short movie on the oddity of social media and it visualizes my thought on social media. Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yeah Right..

Quote of the Day
Be pleasant until ten o'clock in the morning and the rest of the day will take care of itself.
Elbert Hubbard

That's today's quote. I was pleasant until 10 in the morning... the rest of the day, I wasnt a happy camper. Oh well.. bring on the weekend!

Prettige weekend allemaal! Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, June 09, 2011


Interesting documentary on Indonesian usage of social media with English subtitle.

Chapter 1 of 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43xXDNQV_QY
Chapter 2 of 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oT-KXq4lqTI
Chapter 3 of 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxv18ZUJo5s
Chapter 4 of 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r55dUydoLyU

Producer: @donnybu | Director: @dandhy_laksono

Sunday, June 05, 2011


The price of chilli was Rp 100,000 a kilogram back in January. These days it's Rp 1000 a kilogram. It's not easy being a farmer. We need a better policy to sustain our farming industry and protect our consumers.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Irish Shariah Finance

This is an interesting move by the Irish. Let's see if Indonesia is also taking the advantage of it.

Becoming Normal

I called up W this morning on the way to see my doc because all of the sudden I was scared. Logically it's silly to be scared because it's only a consultation. Earlier she texted me that she cant be with me due to her unfinished paper, to which I replied "it's ok". I didnt even asked her to accompany me, I only told her that I had an appointment. I'm used to go by myself. In fact, most of the time I prefer it that way.

Her phone hung in the middle of conversation.

After seeing my doc and visiting my uncle at the hospital I called W again, laughing about my morning call. She commented that perhaps now I'm becoming 'normal', to be scared about seeing a doc. Apparently all these time my going by myself is not 'normal'.

Anyway, the prof seemed to agree with my KL docs' concerned, but he needs more tests. Here we go again.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Dying Regrets

According to this nurse, there are 5 common regrets of the dying:
1. Not having the courage to live a life true to oneself.
2. Working too hard
3. Not having the courage to express their feeling
4. Not stay in touch with friends
5. Not letting themselves be happier

I'm working on #1, it's not easy doing it in this place where social pressure is high. However, so far I've managed by trying not to be confrontational about things I believe in which is not always common in this place.

As I'm lazy & kind of moody when it comes to work, I dont think #2 will be my regret. I dont believe in working hard, I do believe in working smart (whatever that means) and having fun along the way.

Ever since my dad died, I tend to express my feeling verbally. Because I figured if I dont say what I feel, and the person died, I'd regret for not letting my feeling known. Whatever that person does with that piece of information that I shared is their choice.
I still have trouble expressing anger, though. At least I refrain myself from cursing so I'm not creating bad karma.

I dont always see my friends face to face, but we keep each other in the loop and touch base every now and then. Sometimes I feel like we are more brutally honest to each other when we are not seeing face to face anyway. So, I dont think I would have the same regret as #4 because if I severe a tie it means that person hurt me badly and I feel better off without that person.

How do you define 'not letting yourself be happier'? Happiness is a choice. If you chose A instead of B and later on you are not happy about it because of circumstances, does it mean you are not letting yourself to be happy? Would I be happier being a doctor? I dont know. I do know that I can choose to be happy with what's given to me at the present time. If I stay in the "would've, should've, could've"-world, I wont be happy with what I have.

I dont know about you, but I'm working on dying with a smile.


I feel like a Catholic priest lately. Seems like everyone is in the mood of confessing to me about huge things in their life.
I wonder how long this period will go on. Dont get me wrong, I'm flattered that they trusted me. It's just sometimes what ever they told me is too devastating that I had no idea how to respond to that news. I dont want to mess up their hope, yet I cant give them hope. Does it make sense? One thing, each of them are brave.

PS: Is this how the universe prepare me for the next challenge?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

On Hijab 2

I heard many times over that the reason of women wearing hijab is to avoid being harassed or being seen as a sex object. I always wonder about it.

Looking at the situation in France where you can be harassed due to wearing a burka, I would think that wearing a burka is counter productive of you not wanting being harassed. In both Western world and in Indonesia I heard from my male friends how some women in hijab are more sexy. Again, it is not what those women want, right?

If you are both being harassed and being seen as a sex object while wearing a hijab, why would you still want to wear it? Wouldnt your life be easier just by wearing a modest, non-revealing, decent clothing? Just saying..

Australia vs. Indonesia

When they found out about the treatment their cows received in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, they banned export of live cows.

When they found out their foreign workers in the Middle East (especially in Saudi Arabia), Malaysia and Singapore are being abused/raped, they still 'export' foreign workers to those countries.

Seems like Australian cows have a better protection than Indonesian foreign workers. And they said Bule has no moral. Sigh.

Bali Kernel

A buddy of mine is working on Bali Kernel for Samsung Galaxy S that can be downloaded here. It can increase the performance and battery life.

Funny thing was, it works better on other people's phone than his own!

We laughed about it because it's so him.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I Thought I Was Being Played

I received an phone call from an unknown number this afternoon from a girl with this funny voice. Very high, very child-like, very girly. In short, I thought one of my pals was playing me and disguised her voice. So I 'played' along speaking in her manner.

Her: Is this Ms T?
Me: speaking..who's calling, please?
Her: It's X from the Y Bank. Do you have Y Bank's credit card?
Me: I do
Her: Ok, thanks.

Then she disconnected. What just happening? If she's marketing a credit card, she didnt put up any fight. How come she didnt know if I had one?