Monday, January 30, 2012

Un-Bucket List

1. Run a marathon.
I dont get why people put running a marathon on their Bucket list. Running 42km is nuts in my book. I look at those runners and ask: Why? 

2. Bungee Jumping
Sadly, since I get dislocated easily I had to crossed bungee jumping from my to do list. That being said, I still want to parachute jumping one day.

3.  Facelift
Or any unnecessary-non-life-and-death surgery. I've been warned about it by my doctor. Apparently my chance of having connective tissue damage due to surgery is rather big. Thank gawd I'm Asian, most of the time so far people thought I'm younger than I really am. Hopefully it stays like that for ever. 

4. Bucket list 
I choose not to worry about Bucket list. Just be happy with what I have and stop being hang-up about things that I want. 

5. Twilight Saga
I lost two hours of my life watching the first Twilight movie on telly. Two hours that I'll never get back. Never again. I watched it because I want to see what was this hoopla about. I dont get the fuss of a story about a girl whose sole problem is choosing a boyfriend. 

6. Swimming with sharks
Seriously? Havent you heard of Jaws? Plus, I'm not fan of open water. I'd rather fly up in the sky than doing anything in the sea. 

7. Have a cat
Not a cat person, thank you very much. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

On Terrorism

In the last month I've been in for a shock of a chance meeting a fundamentalist taxi driver and watching Die Welle movie on two separate occasions.

The taxi driver was graduated from the famous Gontor Islamic school. I'm not saying all Gontor alumnus are fundamentalists, it's just this one is. In fact, he said he wasnt very happy for the fact that at Gontor he missed learning certain things, which after some prodding he mentioned his admiration for someone such as Ba'ashir, who he deemed brave enough to teach the 'right kind' of Islam.

He talked how those suicide bombers were following the right teaching and really understood about the teaching and they will be granted a piece of heaven. He talked how Karzai's blood is halal for people like him due to Karzai's dealing with the USA. He asked if I thought of him as a mean person because he believed that Mother Theresa wont be granted heaven but hell by Allah. I told him that's his opinion but I believe God (I intentionally not using the word 'Allah' in front of him) is better than that, to which he retorted that I have to read Quran before citing some verses in Arabic and its translation. He talked about his wife wearing a face covering while I was wearing a deep V-neck at that time. He didnt say what I was wearing was wrong, though. It was my first ever confrontation with a suicide bomber supporter. It was scary yet intriguing.

I told this expert on terrorism that I met the other day about that taxi driver and how worried I was after seeing Die Welle, thinking if someone charismatic could change people in 4 or 5 days such as  in the real 'The Third Wave' experiment, how powerful it is people such as Ba'ashir who teaches in an Islamic school for years, especially a lot of the students are not very critical and typically are following blindly. The guy agreed that Ba'ashir has the capacity to change people and it is why he's tried to 'work' with Ba'ashir in stead of fighting him frontally, hoping that Ba'ashir would finally say "let's stop all the violence" just like what happened in Northern Ireland and its IRA.

All these time, I think who ever put the idea in the mind of suicide bombers that they act is in accordance to God's will is a great brainwasher. I have to agree with the expert that only such person could end acts of terrorism. However, I'm not sure if someone like Ba'ashir will do that any time soon as Densus captured him in such way.

I just hope that we have less and less terrorism problems in this world.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Years ago John tried to convince me to use Linux, the closest he got to my converting to Linux was I downloaded Ubuntu and burned it on a CD. Later on, I convinced him to get a Mac and an Iphone.

Tonight, I was talking to T about his plan to trade in his camera tomorrow. He is thinking of converting to Nikon. This was a big deal for us. He had been trying to convert me to Canon. Yet, it was him who talked about converting now. He is still on the fence at the time being because he said Nikon pictures are flat unlike Canon. However, he likes Nikon sharpness and a bit freak about it. Even though he said he's sleeping on it tonight, I think I know what his decision will be :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Do you fancy to be part of MI5? Now you can find out if you are intelligent enough to apply to be an agent by visiting this website.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Die Welle toll.

It was one of the most interesting movies I've seen lately. As part of German Film Festival, they screened Die Welle (The Wave) which won several nominations and awards abroad. The story is about social experiment in a high school somewhere in Germany based on a novel, "The Wave", by Todd Strasser.

The start of this experiment is a question: Can we start a dictatorship in Germany? Within a week, the students are experiencing some profound changed. Some of the students refused to be part of a movement which they perceive as fascism while most students see only the good things from the movement.

It reminds me how easy we could get caught in a cult or an autocracy. The end of the movies shows how the bad aspect of autocracy out weight its good aspect. This message is very relevant in Indonesia where there are more and more people behaving like fascists.

Be careful who you follow, because you never know where they will lead you...
Mark Hancock - the Third Wave student

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pharma Wedding

Today one of my dad's friends' daughter got married. I heard it would be spectacular. Rumor has it that her Wedding Kebaya is made by Anne Avantie, which costs at least IDR 30 million for the plainest one to made or more than IDR 10 million to rent. There were 800 invitations sent out for the reception.

Good on her, I guess. I wish her & her husband well.

It's just the fact that pharma industry is paying for parts of her wedding seems odd to me. They are not poor. They just feel they are entitled of such treatment from the industry. I know if my dad was around, he wouldnt have thought about asking the pharma industry to pay for any of his children's wedding.

I can understand it when doctors asking for pharma to pay for their conferences. But for their kid's wedding or birthdays? These kind of things arent allowed in the West. To my knowledge, Western pharmas are not allowed to do this in Indonesia by their HQ abroad, so it's the indigenous pharmas who are into such treatments. Sure, Pharma gains so much profit from these doctors, but in the end it's the patients who have to pay since most people dont have any insurance in Indonesia.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hom Pim Pah

Zaini Alif studies children traditional games from Indonesia and the world. From Zondag-Maandag to Dakon. I'm glad that I did most of the games he presented here due to the fact I grew up in a small town, with a house located near to rice field.

I supposed children these days learn differently from their technological games, but I do feel they miss out a lot by only playing with gadget. I learned how to entertain myself using things we found on our backyard. I remember insisted on creating a toy from the outer skin of our Jeruk Bali, our kind of big grapefruit and also from banana tree trunk. Of course the maid wasnt very happy as my clothes were covered with sap.

It seems like visiting his community is a way to introduce our kids to the traditional games.

PS: do turn on the Close caption for English subtitle

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Scared of Hijabers

I'm scared of hijabers, women who wear hijab, in a group. Especially when they are at TransJakarta bus stop/terminal.

I almost fell into the gap between the terminal and the TransJakarta bus yesterday because some hijabers pushed me around to get to their bus. They were like wildebeest in migration. They didnt care about others, as long as they got what they wanted. It wasnt like there were no more bus, they were just mad.

That wasnt the first time I had trouble with them. I once fell on my bottom in the bus because someone pushed me to get to a seat. Then there was time someone dragged my bag to the left, when I wanted to go to the right. Why? Because she wanted to get to the left, and I happened to be in front of her. The other day, one of the fat ones sat on my lap to get to my seat. The other tried to push me off from my seat using her big bottom.

I dont know why they act like that. They just do. It makes me worried when standing in line and there are a group of hijabers behind me.

It gives me an idea why Mina tragedy happened, where pilgrims got trampled by fellow pilgrims. They just care of number one, and not any one else.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Granny-sitting: DUFAN & Laskar Pelangi Musical Highlights

It had been years since I went to DUFAN until yesterday. The mission was to see Laskar Pelangi Musical Highlights. I wanted to see the musical since 2010, but had never had the chance. When I found out they were staging it at DUFAN during the school holiday, I just have to drag myself all the way to DUFAN come rain come sunshine.

In the morning the cloud hung so dark, mom said that I'd better cancelled my plan if it were raining. By 9 o'clock, it was mom who called and asked why I was still home! I said my little prayer: please dont let it rain before 6PM. 

By 11AM, I met up with W at a Busway station and went all the way to the North. My mom and auntie I were already at Ancol waiting for us. From the busway stop, it's only 10 minutes walk to the gate of DUFAN. Very convenient. 

First we bought tickets for W & me, then we went to the booth next to Starbuck to get free entrance for mom & auntie I. Apparently those who has 'lifetime ID card', which means they are older than 60, gets free entrance. I think it's the first time I saw such policy in Indonesia. 

We were all quite surprised that DUFAN is now pretty lush. The fact that it was cloudy also helped. First, my auntie wanted to go on the carousel. Since we dubbed this trip as granny-sitting trip, we all went on the carousel. 

Next stop was the ferris wheel for mom and auntie I, while my buddy and I dashed to the roller coaster. It was my first time back in a roller coaster after my surgery ages ago. There were moments where I had to hold certain position so the impact wouldnt hurting my face & sent my glasses flying, and as the result, I pulled my right shoulder a little. But, it was fun! I would've done it again with out the sprain. 

After meeting up with my mom and auntie I, we went to see a 3D Journey to the  Center of the Earth, a simulator theater based on a book/film with the same name. Basically we sat there on this special seat with a seatbelt, and the seat moves in-sync with the movie on the screen. The ride is similar to riding a bajaj. Seriously.

At 2PM, we sat in the Rama Shinta Hall, waiting for Laskar Pelangi to start. I love their stage setting, especially the silhouette parts. The backdrop animation gives a sense of movement and atmosphere. The songs, lyrics and vocals are great. Those kids have abundant energy, they sang their hearts out. It's amazing. Since it's a highlights show, they have to re-blocking and re-choreograph the show to fit the format. The 55 strong cast did it superbly. Even though it's only a 60 minutes highlight show, they managed to fit in all the important plots of the book that you dont feel like there's something missing. I have to say that the way they depicted Ikal falls in and out of love is superb. Too cute. Of course, the emotion runs not as high as a full production where they have plenty time to build up the climax. That being said, it doesnt mean that it falls flat emotionally. It's enough to make some people took out their hanky and laughed out loud with the scenes. 

Before leaving W & I went to play this laser shooting games, which W won and made our hands sore from pulling the trigger.

I guess there is someone out there granting my wishes, I had to see Laskar Pelangi and it didnt rain until after 6PM. Life's good.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Becoming Ms. Dolittle?

For some reason, Gunung Geulis trying to turn me into some kind of Ms. Dolittle. I'm not into animal at the first place. We have fishes and cacatua at home not because I want it, but they were already here before I moved back.  I do, however, want to have a dog again, just like when I was little.

On the first day, as soon as I got to my room half way down the hill, I started cleaning it up. I scrubbed  the bathroom floor and the closet, swept and mopped the room floor, put on fresh linen on the bed that will be mine for the next 11 nights and cleaned the windows. Afterward, I did number one. As I flushed I saw a huge grey-beige hairy  leg coming out of the under sitter of the closet, that I just sat on! My heart stopped. If it were a skinny kind of spider I wasnt that shock, but this was a humongous hairy one. Counted my blessing that I didnt see it before or during doing my deed, then I ran up to my friend's room. Someone asked what's the commotion was. I told her about the huge hairy spider. She said I should just pick it up. Yeah right, I'd like to see her reaction if she were in my shoes, I bet she's screaming like a banshee.

The place has always been full of ants big and small, but I've never seen it as much as this time. They are everywhere. The teacher said that sometimes we have sensation of ants crawling on our skin. It's just some ants were really crawling on my skin and bit me! So, I had something to do in between meditations which was sweeping after those ants around my room & taking a shower three times a day.

At some point a beetle decided to hang around my drying rack. I let it there in peace, until he held on to my towel. I pushed him aside gently. The next time I checked my drying rack, he was gone. Or, so I thought. As I was picking up my bra, he almost bit my finger. I had a tug-o-war with him, trying to get my bra back! Since then I've never seen him again.

One day after one of those stormy rain, I found something like a leech attached to the wall facing to my bed. The next day I found a millipede.

Thus, this year there were more animals visiting me than ever. But was not as scary as a while back when there was a snake in the bathroom, nor as unpredictable as jumping frog (also) in the bathroom.

What is it with me, animal & bathroom?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Curious Incidents At Gunung Geulis

In the middle of a discourse on Misery the light went out. We all had taken the vow of noble silence. In pitch darkness:
Alia: misery
muffled laughters
*after sounds of someone bumped to somebody/something*: sorry!
more muffled laughters
Me: Where exactly in NL do you live?
Thomas: I live in the East of NL, near the German border.
Me (after looking at him for a minute): Twente.
Thomas (surprised): Woah.. how do you know that?
Me: I just sat for 10 days, ok.
Dominique:  I feel like I've known you before.
Fab (speaking about Alia & I): I'm sure I'll remember the both of you after today, for a long time.