I hate Indon blog.

I was fuming when I read the most recent post which summarized why the owner of this blog hated Indon -- a sarcastic addressing of Indonesian people (by Malaysian), more in the sense of Indonesians being the overseas workers (read: domestic maids) in Malaysia, which carries the low appreciation in the country's society.

I had to honestly agree with some of those points, but I was patriotically infuriated, nevertheless. Until I read the comments, most of which were posted by Indonesian people with piling rage (blushes to the language they used!).

Then it brought me to reality that... this is a circular thing. I mean... are the Malaysians really that brutal or was there anything else behind this insulting piece of writing? Indonesian did create this www.malingsia.com (Maling = thief) in response to the case of the "shared" history between both countries, each of which claims to own the heritage culture of say... batik, traditional songs (Rasa Sayange) or even language! So aren't we also brutal then?

And a few years back, similar things also happened, no?

It will never ever stop, will it? The jealousy both Indonesia and Malaysia have for each other. Now I kind of understand why most of the hostels in Kuala Lumpur kicked me off (post: Indonesian? Not Accepted) when I was trying to get a bed there just this year, solely because I am an Indonesian.

Indonesia Matters is the only blog that we (Carol and I) need to frequently (daily!) check for Fabio. Its content is mostly about serious but interesting matters that are happening in Indonesia (mostly of politics, religion and other big stuff about the country). For you who despise politics in general, it may not appear as a quite interesting blog whose RSS you want to subscribe, but if you like intelligent topics, this site is a good one to read. I'm most interested in reading its rather sarcastic contents and hilariously funny comments and/or arguments that were dropped by the visitors of the blog. So bottomline is I really recommend you to read this blog!

Today I just happened to do the newsbrief of Indonesia (and not the other countries) so I browsed Indonesia Matters. And there, it listed a huge number of Top 100 Indonesian blogs (or of expats who live in Indonesia). I continued surfing on the English-written blogs section, and there! My blog is listed there #58 (at the moment I checked it), with its page rank from Google, Yahoo and other search engines!!! I don't know about you, but I think it was soooo cool.

I realise that I don't post blogs too often (I'm terribly busy!), but this encourages me to keep this blog alive. So expect another post soon! Yay!

Image taken from here.

My ex-colleague, Ayu, at EF Tegal hardly ever writes an email; I mean really really write something that she means to say or communicate with her contacts. But she is so much into sending forwarded chain mails (read: junks!). This is one of the very very few of them that I happened to open and read. I normally trash them away without even bothering to open the email.

And why am I bringing it up now? Because my dear cousin just emailed me the same thing! Similar, at least. Below I took from my cousin's email.

Pay attention to the end of the post. Sometimes I'm wondering if people who do send stuff like this are actually really afraid of the "threat" or just have nothing better else to do.

As for me for posting it in my blog and commenting on it, that's definitely because.... I WANT TO UPDATE MY BLOG BUT I JUST DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO PUT MY MIND INTO MAKING A GOOD POST! *desperate*

VIRGOthat’s me.

The Perfectionisthmm… I’ve gone through this perfectionist stage. I don’t think I am anymore. Though I do still like to have the tendency to earn for the best, it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Dominant in relationships. – I don’t know. I think I’m very tolerating. I speak my mind indeed, but I don’t force my ideas.

Conservative. – Who me? But as in which perspective of life is this conservativeness? I’m definitely NOT in some ways. ;)

Always wants the last word. – Not true. I’m very much into discussions and solution-making that’s agreed by both sides.

Argumentative. – Ah ya, I seem to have an answer to almost everything you say. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m opposing you. Sometimes I just do it to keep a communication alive.

Worries. – Sometimes. Not too much now. Now only limited to crucial or feeling-related stuff.

Very smart. – Indeed, I am. *smug*

Dislikes noise and chaos. – Once in a while. But I’m indifferent.

Eager. – Yeah.

Hardworking. – Hell, yeah. What do you think I'm doing now in this island of Bali working at two places (demi sesuap nasi) instead of partying and getting a guy in sight!

Loyal. – Yes! But unfortunately some people don’t think so, basing on very few misunderstandings. L

Beautiful. – Ah, well, I know you don’t want me to confirm this, anymore often than I already have.

Easy to talk to. – It appears to be true, I guess? Considering how many friends would like to share thoughts with me.

Hard to please. – I think it’s right. *sigh* Sorry.

Harsh. – Honestly… I think I am. Only to certain people who deserve it. But I can be very sweet as well.

Practical and very fussy. – Practical, yes. Very fussy, no. A little bit maybe, but not very.

Often shy. – Mwah.. yeah. Not that bad now, but used to be quite shy.

Pessimistic. – NO WAY. I’m very optimistic.

7 years of bad luck if you do not forward.Go to hell. I’ve got this a lot and I have got no imbalanced luck of good and bad.

mood: slow
listening to: some laid back music
reading: Rebuilding Together - Multi Donor Fund for Aceh and Nias, Progress Report - December 2005

I got a ticket from a traffic police yesterday, for I didn't have a driver's license with me. I was like humm.. okay, just hand me the ticket. But the police officer "kindly" offered to have an "on-the-spot court" [read: bribe me, please oh pretty please]. I shrugged and told him I didn't have any cash with me. That was true. Just spent my last one for lunch a few hours before.
His other "kind" solution was for me to visit him at the police office to "settle the matter."

I was in a hurry for a teaching session at IALF, so I let him take the paper of the motorcycle I rented. I guess I do have to go to the police office tomorrow to get it finalised.

It was my fault, I have to admit. But I also couldn't quite appreciate this rather shameless attitude of openly asking to get bribed of these Balinese police officers. No wonder this country's progressing so slowly. Every single state-officer is crooked, no matter what their level is.

For this "kelas teri" traffic police officer, he'll be quite happy if he can get Rp 50,000 (or perhaps less?) from me and the other rule-breakers. But then again, multiply the number of us (which I believe is quite a lot) and sum up their total earning of this traffic papers bust. May be as well serve them more money than their monthly salary.

Consider that as a donation? Hmm...

A very Indonesian point of view, but at the same time so very true. Kebaya is a quick way to make Indonesian women look a million times more beautiful.

I just happened to find out that in Bali, Kuta especially, staffs of shops, restaurants and hotels are asked to wear kebaya (women) and a traditional clothing for men on Sundays. My neighbour of the same boarding house, Farida, told me that she was ought to wear the green kebaya she had customarily made when she went to the spa to work every Sunday. That's interesting. It's something I can't really get in where I work now (but please note that this is not a complaint). I mean, come on... my full time job with the journalist is cool. I could be wearing anything I like. Bikini is possible if I want (but why should I? haha). Just... I think it will be nice to have at least 1 kebaya in my collection (and I haven't really got clothing collection!). Let's see if I can buy or have it made one day.

The photo above, however, was taken on the 12th of October 2007 when I was interviewing people in relation with the Bali Bombing ceremony. Those girls work at the Guardian shop, in front of the Bali Blast monument in Kuta Bali. And they looked so pretty. Don't you agree?
Mood: So busy


I haven't written much here since I started working closely to my journalist employer. There have been just so many things to learn and I have been kept busy with all the news and interviews. However, I've quite enjoyed things so far. Monday to Friday I am usually busy with the news gathering which include the main countries in South East Asia. I find it quite OKAY since I still need to get used to some stuff like the names of the politicians in the Philippines and Thailand... but I suppose if I have to do this as my main job I'll be going crazy. Good thing, though, this is not going to be my main responsibility. What we need to do is to wait another assistant, Carol, to start working (possibly on the 29th this month), then I'll spend around 2 week-time training her to do what I'm doing now, and when she's fully able to work independently, I can start assisting Fabio (my employer) to write on the book project on post-tsunami issues in Aceh.

What I found most interesting part of the job so far is the interviews I have to make. Most of them are attempted on the phone. There will be series of frustration at first when I get stuck in contacting the people related to the news -- phone not connected, incorrect numbers, people not available to talk to etc), but when I eventually get connected to the person, I can expect a bunch of drama and excitement to follow.

My first phone interview was to Yusman Roy, an Islamic leader who was accused of blasphemy for campaigning a bilingual sholat (praying) -- that is to use Bahasa Indonesia, in addition of Arabic, in communicating with Allah.
It was quite a challenge to contact him. Both of his phone numbers were not active, and his mobile didn't seem to work anymore, either. So I ended up getting an info about him from one of his lawyers, who sounded eager to be interviewed by an Italian correspondent (at that time, ME), but who didn't seem to really work on Roy's case in filing the law suit to MUI for giving him a bad name and getting him imprisoned for 2 years.
The phone interview was short and not really productive. Nevertheless, it was my first call and I felt quite excited. link

Yusman Roy, Image from Indonesian Matters

Two weeks after I finished my training, Fabio handed me more interview jobs. So, my second by-phone interview was to one of the lawyers of the three Bali bombers. It was not very easy, either at first. Sometimes you've got to press them really hard to get a name of an authorized person to declare the matters and when you do finally talk to that person, you've got to have the "sense" of what your next questions will be. Playing with their emotion will be useful, too. (Now I understand why those celebrities and politicians don't like press. Hehe..)

The interview with the lawyer went pretty well. Fabo was quite happy with it and he started writing as soon as summarized it in a transcript. The next morning he showed me the published article and told me that that was my first contribution. I was quite proud.

Coming up shortly after that was my first live interview. We came to this place called "Adopta Co-op." It's an organization of 5 widows of the victims of the Bali Blast. It's located not far from Kuta and so Fabio and I rode on a motorbike to get there.
Wayan Rastini (own picture)

We managed to speak only to one of the women whose husband, a taxi driver, was killed on October 12th five years ago, when one of the bombs exploded in front of Sari Club (SC). I asked Wayan Rastini questions, some of which got her very emotional that she started to cry. I stopped scribbling my notes when she began telling me that there were only 5 little pieces of her husband's body that could be found. I touched her hand lightly and wished I didn't ask those questions (but I had to, of course). I changed my inquiries with lighter ones afterwards, and tried to joke a little about other things. Before we left the place, Fabio purchased two of their goods (2 lady bags) -- one for me, one for Inga (his fiance).

It was quite an experience.

The next day, exactly on 12 Oct 2007, we went to the bombing site and Fabio interviewed the foreigners and I the locals. Unfortunately it was not really productive on my side. There were no Indonesians around who were directly linked to the bombing event (at the time we were there, at least). So Fabio suggested me to interview the staff of the nearby stores instead. I did to four of them, two of who claimed that they would protest to the Indonesian government if they did release the bombers from the capital punishment.

I had a few more calls/interviews after that... and honestly, I have to say that this is the most interesting part of my job so far. Interviewing, that is. Collecting news of South East Asia countries could get pretty boring sometimes (and frustrating when the sites are down or when there's a blackout, or problems with computer etc.)

Now I'm thinking to do a personal interview to some random people, OR the people I know already, and get them featured on my blog.

Anyone has an interesting idea of whom? :)



BLESS THE FAST INTERNET AND YOUTUBE!!!! Finally after 28 years, I can get to hear her music!!! And why my father loved her music so much that he gave me her name!

Who ever suspects that finding a room to rent can be such a heartpounding moment?

My boss is coming back from his vacation this weekend, so that was the reason why I felt that I needed to get my own place ASAP. I spent some time looking for rooms yesterday with Pam with a limited amount of luck. And just an hour ago I went looking by myself.
I visited some 15 houses that I thought to be kos-kosan. Most of them are full. Some of them are in a bad condition; or if it's good it's way too expensive for my pocket. There are two that I am interested in checking out again, so let's see my luck tomorrow.
ANYWAY, I've almost drawn a conclusion that the alleys in Bali seem to me like a farm. Every house seems to have a few cocks and hens, geese, dogs, cats, birds, ducks, etc. I'm not saying that we can't find them in Java. As a matter of fact, it's probably similar all over Indonesia. But do you also expect to see these in touristy places like Kuta or big cities like Surabaya, Denpasar or Jakarta?
So I walked down this small alley in the back of Panorama Cottages I, where my office is. A woman in one of the kos houses showed me another place with a kitchen and cooking possibility. The dirt-road to that place was actually blocked by a school of geese. I thought those cute little white animals couldn't be of any harm, but I still maintained my distance anyway.
Apparently the distance was not enough a distance for one of the geese. It might feel that I was threatening and disrespecting its group by walking past them without taking off and waving my hat. So it ran towards me while ducking its neck and beak and aiming at my legs. Its speed got me jerked off and I started to walk faster. There were 2 Balinese men sitting in the shade not so far away from where I was and I was trying to get their attention so that they could help me out with the angry goose. But they did nothing! They didn't even realise I was there!
So poor Carla had to run from the king goose and apologise for passing by its authoritive site without an official permission. And after some beggings and scared pleading, it let me go with a condition that I won't break the geese law again. I made my promise.
Now I think geese are not that cute anymore.
So I was tagged by Sheila. Sorry it took a while to finally write 8 random things about me, but I don't know if anyone will care enough to read it. :P

1. I dislike sweet things. Don't bother to offer me sweets, honey, apple pie and other sweet food.
2. My left little finger was injured when I was playing cricket when I was still in the 5th grade. It made a crack sound when I got the ball stuck between my fingers. And if you look at it more carefully, it's actually not as normal as it previously was.
3. I started swimming just in January this year. (Finally after years of deep water phobia)
4. For some unknown reason, I often get stalked. Perhaps there is this invisible tag on my forehead that says, "Follow me. Please!"
5. I'm bad at sports. Almost any kind of sports.
6. I'm the queen of Trumps card game! At least I'd like to claim I am!
7. I can sleep 15 hours straight without even at once waking up. Not even for water and food.
8. I've a good mathematics skill.

Now tagging:

Now in case you don't know, the people I tag here should write 8 random things about him/herself. I'll wait for the journal, guys.
So yesterday was my last jobless day. Oh wait a minute, that was not quite true. I was still supposed to be working for EF English First Tegal. But anyway, it was my last free day and I was inclined to have the maximum fun as much as possible. (Though I'll still feel like I'm on holiday anyway for the next two weeks. Since now I'm staying at Panorama Cottages -- where my office is -- for free while my Italian employer and his fiance are going away in Gili Trawangan for 2 weeks. And I am still on my training period for these two to four first weeks so I'll be working only until lunch time.)

Yes, you read it right. I'm on the training period. No matter how experienced I am in teaching or graphic-designing, I am a new-born baby in journalism.It is still 07:29 in the morning now, though. So I haven't figured out yet how exciting or how boring the new job will be. I'll know it in 2 hours. Fabio's ex-assistant will do the training.

Anyways, I spent my last weekend with Pam and Felix most of the time. It is a good thing to have to distract my mind from thinking about the guys who have passed my way these past few weeks. It still feels weird to adjust myself to a different state of mind and situation in almost every week. And right now, it feels weird not to see Mark around. I wouldn't say that everything always went smoothly when he was here. But I wouldn't say that it was bad at all, either.

Oh well, let's get to the point of this post. I had quite some fun this weekend. Friday I took Mark to the airport and byed him. I directly went back to Seminyak to Fabio's place with all my suitcase and other smaller bags. He and Inga (his fiance) had waited for me there. In overall, I quite like the small room in the attic that I am staying now. It's actually Fabio's personal gym, but Inga had turned it to be a more comfortable place with some well-designed lamps and a basic mattrass and pillow. They left for Gili the next morning.

Saturday, I met Felix and had a late lunch with him. He looked and sounded troubled, though. Apparently there were some problems with his girlfriend, which surprisingly had something to do with me! Strange. I don't feel I know the girlfriend that well to be one of the causes of the problems. I only met her twice and she seemed to be OKAY all the time. Anyway, that was his problem to solve. I was all ears, though.

Later on, Felix and I went to Mc. Donald's Kuta to wait for Mariza and her boyfriend to come. I needed to give her her flashdisk back. She didn't recognise Felix at first (long term memory loss?). Then Pam joined us, too. So yes, it was quite a crowd.

In the evening, after Mariza and her boyfriend left, Pam, Felix and I went for another meal (it was really killing me to eat so much in a day. Cause oh! I ordered another late lunch at Mc D too!). We went to this cool place on Oberoy street (not sure if it's the right spelling but it sounds like that) to a Morrocan restaurant that was featured on TV the other day. The prices were high, but they matched the taste of the food and the surrounding, I think. There were also belly dancers, with whom Pam was practising the dance! Pretty fun..

Sunday morning Pam and I were looking at some places that rented motorbikes. To our surprise, most of them had no available motorbikes. While it's actually the beginning of the low season! We found one finally for Rp 35,000 (is it a bit overpriced for a low season?) and headed to Nusa Dua. I was going to teach Pam to ride this motorbike.

I refused to sit in the back of the motorcycle and instead watched and instructed Pam to do this and that for her first lesson. She was very nervous at first, but she felt more comfortable later. I could see her excitement every time she made a progress. I have to say it was a pretty good first attempt of her, considering she can't even ride a bicycle very well!

We went to Ubud in the afternoon/evening. I met Felix' other friends -- Yuki and Ina from Jakarta, who just happened to have a vacation in Bali now, and Yuki's Australian friend, Mark. YES, another Mark! I can't believe how uncreative these parents are when it comes to giving a baby a name! I definitely won't call my son Mark later.

This Mark, however, speaks Indonesian so very well. He's funny, too. Everyone enjoyed everyone's presence and though at the beginning of the dance show I felt so sleepy and tired (there were speeches for the whole first 2 hours! and I did indeed sleep on Pam's shoulder!), the dances were pretty nice. They had to be. All this performance was conducted by Guruh Soekarno Putra, the son of former first Indonesian president. That explained why the ticket was so expensive. Gotta thank Felix for the treat, though. :) Dank je wel, Meneer!
Guruh Soekarno Putra

Balinese dancer

A bit about the other people... Yuki laughs all the time. A sweet personality she has. The laughs were in a good proportion, as in they more like contagious than annoying. So that was good. She works at ABN AMRO Bank Jakarta. While Ina is amazing.. Being 37 she is now, single, free, very well-educated and friendly, I could understand why Felix had a huge crush on her a few years back! That also explained why Indah, Felix's girlfriend wouldn't want to come with us to the dance.

It was a good evening. But they dropped me back to Panorama pretty late, too. I was tired but it was a good tired. What a way to end a vacation. :)
reading: The Runaway Jury - John Grisham

OK, after vacationing in Lombok and Bali for 2 weeks, I went back to Surabaya on the sixth of September, to be there for Veve's wedding and take the pictures. I was in a rather bad mood to leave Bali, but promise is a promise. I had to go home.

It was fun to meet old acquaintances, friends and ex-workmates again after a while. A reunion, indeed. My ex-boss (Vera) and ex-colleagues at Excellogix were there. Vera even pulled my hair to make sure that it was real. She and the others always knew me as a short-haired person so they were pretty amazed that I grew my hair this long. Not surprising, I am still amazed myself everytime I see my own hair in the mirror every morning. They also made a useless comment about how weird it was for a photographer to wear sexy skirt while holding a huge heavy camera (I was using Nyo's -- oops, Lusida's -- camera). Shut up, guys. This is to prove that lady photographers can also look nice at the same time they try to make great photographs.

Then there was Lilik, a senior at Uni. I haven't seen her for ages, not that I cared that much. But it was cool to catch up with someone you almost forgot that you knew her. (haha.. Nyo, don't tell her that I said that!) Anyway, she is the Director of Studies at EFN Jember. So, in that precious supposed-to-be joyful time, we were comparing EFN Tegal and Jember, the books each school used, how many teachers and admin staff were hired, etc. Weird.

Anyway, back to the focus of this post. This wedding somewhat touched me. I followed the bride, Veve, from early morning to the late night. She looked so happy and comfortable (at least in the morning and early afternoon), and Hendry did, too! I have never seen him so smiley and excited. His unexpressive face suddenly changed to a brighter childlike one. It's amazing how such an event could change someone, huh? And still a lot of people in this fragile world think that marriage is only about a signed piece of paper.

Alright, I'm saying this not to make Hendry embarrassed, but this is the most important part of this post's issue. The wedding at the church was beautiful. Especially when the bride and the bridegroom had to declare their vows. Hendry went first. And to everyone's amazement, he was crying while he was struggling to say each word clearly. Veve was busy wiping off his tears with tissue. And after a rather long while, he managed to finish it. I eventually looked around and saw a lot of people in the church, women especially, cry with Hendry. I also realised that I was holding back a heavy amount of tears in my eyes. I swear they almost fell down my cheeks when the melancholy feeling was suddenly forced to change to a bewilderment. How was it not? It was Veve's turn to declare her vow and guess what she was doing... She was laughing out loud all the way when saying the pledge. She obviously had the same difficulty with Hendry to finish the vow, but with a completely different reaction. Again, I observed the other people in the church, and though they looked confused at first, they changed their frowns upside down and smiled with Veve in happiness.

It was just so beautiful. Made me think as well. Will I ever get the rare chance to experience such an ideal lovely wedding? Honestly, I am doubting it. Being twenty eight now, more experienced and bitter, I've lost a huge percentage of faith in true love and relationship. It needs two people to work on a lovelife. Will I be lucky enough to find one who will love me and be committed as much as I do?
Are you superstitious?

I want to claim I am not, but the fact is I am sometimes. And as long as I can accept weird things that happen in everyday's life, that'll just go fine with me.

But there's something disturbing lately.

I always woke up at the same time.. 05:05. Three days in a row now. Could there be any meaning of it?
I happened to talk to Mark recently and he said it was nothing to worry about. He said it was just our biorythm and subconscous. Is it?
It could also be, he continued, a sign of our lucky number. Well... five is never my lucky number. Should it change now?

Why do I have a feeling it has something to do with a natural disaster?

Second of all, I celebrated the independence day a little bit differently today. Last year I went to the town square to take pictures of the drum bands and the flag ceremony and all the competitions held in Tegal. This year.. I mean this morning, I retreated myself and enjoyed more time taking it easy.

I did still take pictures. I had this vision to make pictures in whities. So I asked Ayu to wear her white clothing and while she was doing that, I decided to add a little complication on my look. I wanted to curl my hair, again, as proven from the last time I did it, I looked quite splendid!

Well, I came to Ayu's room after washing my hair and borrowed her Phillips Hairdryer. I put some gel on my hair and started hair drying when suddenly its fan pulled my hair and it got stuck in it!!!

I turned it off and asked Ayu to get my hair off the hairdryer but she failed to free me from the stupid thing. She said I should cut my hair but I said, "Hell, no I won't!"

I struggled with it for about another 10 minutes until I gave it up. I took her scissors and (weeping) cut my precious precious hair.

Now I have to go to the hairdresser on Sunday to have it redone. Huks.

When can I stop being clumsy?
Listening to: India Arie

So.. weekends after Stephen left Tegal seemed a bit dull. But I tried to make it as fun as possible.

The first weekend was at the end of the month of July. I couldn't really think of fun moments since that was supposed to be an emotional one. Ernie was leaving, for good maybe, to Malaysia. She was very busy packing and when she was not, she'd come by my room and we'd have the reminiscence of all the cool, stupid and crazy things we did in Tegal in the past 16 months (for Tegal standard, of course). We had a few lunches and dinners together and had fun teasing each other. So as said, it should have been a quite emotional moment for I might not be seeing her for some time now. But there was absolutely no room for sadness and being all melancholy about it. When you saw Ern's happy face, you couldn't help but feeling happy for her cause she finally was going for a better life and future.

Right, now the second weekend. TransTV was showing Harry Potter's sequence movies during the school holidays last month. I watched the first two (or three?) with Ayu and I found out that she also enjoyed the movie. The other day we also knew that Ebi, a new teacher here, loves Harry Potter, too. So we decided to go to Semarang to watch the newest HP movie (another point why living in Tegal shucks! We have to spend so much time, energy and money just to watch a movie)!

Anyway, we wanted to be adventurous by taking the third class train instead of the first or second ones, or buses. It cost us only Rp 16,000 for the three or four-hour ride and we arrived in Semarang in time for the movie. Ayu and I were lucky to get seats (we actually diplomatically "stole" others' seats but since the owner was a guy, he gave away his seats in order that the girls (we) wouldn't have to suffer sitting on the floor of the train like him and Ebi.
The priviledge of being a girl. Hihi..

In short, we had fun. The movie was cool, though not as dramatic as the previous one when Cedric Diggory was killed by Voldermort (Could you believe that I eventually cried when it happened?). And Daniel Radcliffe is not as cute as when he was younger. :P
Ebi was such a great fun, too! He's still 25, but he acts like a fifteen and a villager from somewhere.

There was this one time when we took a taxi and he sat beside the driver. He wanted to push his chair back and lean it a little so he could relax. But he didn't know how to do it! When the driver gave him the instruction, he got his chair pushed back all the way to the very far back and shocked me to death when it hit me in the back seat and trapped me there. Everyone was laughing, including him... until I told him to fix the chair so I could move again. He showed an embarrassed look and said, "How can I get it back?"
Oh. My. God.

I couldn't believe that this was the very same guy who dated a beautiful 10-year-older American woman!

Third weekend (last weekend) was a rather long holiday for EF Tegal standard. Saturday was a national holiday and though I didn't plan to go anywhere at first to save some cash for a better use in my real long vacation 2 weeks later, Ayu declared that she was going to spend her weekend in Cikampek and Jakarta.

Now I was not going to spend the whole 2 days off alone in Tegal. Ernie's gone and also Mba' Minda (forcefully asked, I suppose), that made Ayu my only housemate now. So I made an instant decision to go home.

I finished my classes at 20:40 (thank you very much to EF for giving me a regular 3-hour private conversation class) and I quickly packed a few things that I'd like to bring to Surabaya. Ayu rushed me off, afraid that I would miss the train. I told her to relax. It's always late anyway. So it was... an hour late. Hehehe... Not very surprising.

Anyway, I survived the 9-hour journey after being hollered by a 30-something-year-old guy who was sitting next to me and who kept asking for my number and somewhat "preaching" me about religion and ideas of life, love and marriage.. and how Javanese wives should obey and follow the husbands. Geezhhh...

I could have made the conversation big with my own eccentric ideas about all those stuff, but seriously... I needed my beauty sleep. I was overly tired that day at work and I didn't need another disturbance from a guy who tried to impress me with his "seemingly" educated Indonesian points of view! So at 2 o'clock in the morning when the train took a break in Semarang, I told him I was tired and sleepy and if he wouldn't mind, I'd like to rest for a while.


Gathering with a family when you don't actually live with them is always such a lovely thing to do. Michelle's grown up so fast. I bought her three pairs of cute clothing and I thought these clothings wouldn't last too long. The child's no longer a baby! Doh!

But she's made a big progress in her speeches. Long sentences now. She likes watching TV, as always, and her favourite phrase is of course, "Apa itu?" (What's that?) while pointing at the animals shown on NG on TV. She's soooo cute. And pretty. And clever. And adorable!

She asked me not to go back to Tegal, or if I did have to go back, I should take her with me. I said I couldn't, but I'd be back in 2 weeks. She was mad at me and didn't let me touch her until I really left. Huks.

There was no change in my sister and brother. Ita is still crazy and Michael is always nice when I'm there. He'd do anything to make me happy. Mum, too. Though making a daughter happy in my mum's perspective means to feed her with so much food as often as possible!

So yeah.. I ended up eating a lot (like 5 times a day.. man I was a freak!), sleeping a lot, talking a lot...

It was sooo nice to be home.

It's been a while since I wrote something about myself here (but wait a sec... have I ever written about anything else but myself? Ha!). Anyway... a lot of things have been happening... so many it feels weird to try to get back to writing (or typing in this case) here. But I'll try my best.

Alright, the last update you probably read about me was about the contract, right? I decided to stay working for EF for another year, with conditions. If you haven't read it, scroll down and read it so I don't waste a space here. :P

BUT... I seem to be changing my mind again due to the recent incident.

I got someone visiting me last weekend. Oh wait, to avoid confusion, let's start with a prehistoric story that happened 2 months ago when I was still off traveling in May.

So I met Stephen on a minibus that took us to the airport in Bangkok. I was going to Chiang Mai and he to Myanmar. During the 45-minute journey on that vehicle, I found him such a great person to talk to. Great sense of humour, great intelligence, great look (ha! yes, I didn't escape this fact, though I should hate it if he reads this post and gets all big-headed about it). Anyway, at that time, I wished I had met him earlier for I found Bangkok such a depressing place to stay for the whole 7 days I was there. But 45 minutes was still something to be grateful of, coz we exchanged email addresses and never stopped updating each other (with a lack of speed on his side, but that was not a problem at all).

Well a couple of weeks ago, he sent me an email telling me that he'd like to spend his birthday here in Tegal with me. I wanted to bang his head on the wall and slap his face (all tenderly, of course) to get him to realise that Tegal was not a place to celebrate birthdays (I never even spent my birthday here --> always escaped somewhere else, as well as next month, hehe) with its lack on beers, pubs and other entertainments. But since I couldn't do that via email, I had to be happy to provide him with just a brief explanation of Tegal negativities, hoping that he still wouldn't change his mind to come here (all selfish from my side, yes).

My wish came true. ;)

So Friday evening (last week) he came. I picked him up at the train station and brought him to my place. We didn't sleep that night, busy catching up with all the cool stories he and I had. I introduced him to Ernie and Ayu (Ernie stole his first birthday wish! grrr!) and we partied with 4 bottles of beer he brought from Jakarta. Beer in Tegal! Finally! Yay!

To make it short (which never is), we had such a great time. We played pool (he won, 3-2, he used 1 arm), Daytona car race (I won, twice!), card games (mostly he won), swimming race (he won, of course), did I miss something? A lot, I guess. But I really don’t want to give you the satisfaction of laughing at my losses.

Anyway… I like him (very much after having him stay here for almost a week). I think he likes me, too (who doesn’t? haha!) and we’re going to see each other again in Bali in August. Hooray!

BUT, let’s get back to the point of the discussion. We had a problem when he stayed at my place. I was called by the Centre Manager, Mba Minda, that he couldn’t stay another night, and he had to leave that very evening. It confused me at first for there used to be some people (guests of the residents here) who stayed over at our place, and there was never a problem. Well, if she said that it couldn’t be accepted culturally because Stephen is a man and me a woman, I might be able to accept it more easily. But the thing is… she mentioned that no other guests that had no blood relationship could be accepted to stay or even visit our rooms; be it a man or a woman… which again, a very inconsistent statement coming from her, unless you consider her maid who stays over a couple times a week has a kinship with her!
She said that we couldn’t trust any outsider to stay over for EF had so many valuable stuffs and important documents and we didn’t want our place to be spied (makes sense). But then… Is her maid exceptional or what? Don’t get me wrong, I am OK with her maid, it’s just so unfair for her to say those things while she gets to get whatever she wants to do!

So what about Rina? She planned to come to visit me on August 11th after A big persuasion from me. Does she have to stay in a hotel, too?!?!
Give us a break….
Now, it’s not that cheap to travel to Tegal from Surabaya (likewise for Stephen to travel all the way from Jakarta) and she has to stay in a hotel?! That’s ridiculous!

Minda said that this was a message from Ibu a long time ago, and she just “forgot” to tell everyone else about it. Well, if it were indeed the rule here, I wouldn’t even want to live here in the very first place! Does she think it is FUN to live at the same building as your office is? I mean come on… all the feelings you’ve got from thinking that your office is just 2 floors away! And does she think it is GREAT to handle the classes whose teacher is suddenly sick or needs to be somewhere else more important? Who else can they ask for a help to cover an abandoned class but the teachers who live in the same building???

I found it very irritating to know about this very late like this. I never liked living at EF, despite all the facilities. They may be able to buy me to live in Tegal a little bit longer with a nice salary raise. But when it concerns my precious social life, no amount of money could make me stay when I know that it only makes me depressed!

95% not gonna sign the contract! I’m glad I haven’t signed it yet!
My joint blog with the crazy Grimm Brothers: Johann and Francois:

Nut and Tie

If you want to learn French or Indonesia, you should check it out. Might be useful for you. :)
Change of plan. Some things happened yesterday when my boss was here and I had to make an instant decision of my contract.

These were my reasons that I gave her to quit the job:

A. I want to spend my birthday for a week in Bali in August and I do not want to take it from my paid leave + on 9 Sept I have to go to Surabaya for my friend's wedding (I'll be the photographer, so it's a job) + Mark is coming for two or three weeks in September and we'll be spending some time in Bali, so I told her it was impossible to sign another contract to break it in the middle like that for another month and a half vacation (and I JUST took my vacation);
B. I don't want to spend another boring year in this small town;
C. I was not satisfied with my salary.

Well, she made me say yes, cause:

A. She gives me the permission to take the vacation days again in Aug till Oct (that's crazy, but cool! Which company would really give its employee so many vacation days like that?),
B. She'll get me to work in her other branch in Jakarta starting from January,
C. She gives me a big salary raise.

I thought at that time I'd be completely dumb if I turned that down. So, I took it. I wasn't sure if I was taking the right decision, but things happen for a reason, right? And after talking to Rina, Felix and Mark (and mom)they all told me it was the best decision I could make at that time (flexible vacation time and the salary raise that is).
So now I'm taking it easy... More vacations to come and I'll still have a job to hold on to. I think that's quite amazing.

Though... I've also got this wicked idea to still keep looking when I'm in Bali later on. Who knows? :D

What do you think?
watching: bridget jones's diary


I've got a big attack of white hair on my head!!!!!

The other evening Ern came to my room and saw a lot of it spreaded among my other long black hair! I freaked out and asked her to weed it away. But since she: A. is impatient; B. has long fingernails; and C. is impatient; and D. is impatient, she gave up after pulling out around 5 to 7 strings of hair. She also kindly informed me that there's still so much of it.

I'm devastated.

I hate to admit the facts that:
A. I'm getting older.
B. I may be stressed out right now unconsciously (though I feel quite happy, or have I just been lying to myself?) that it grows the white hair to contrast my black one.
C. My biological clock is ticking.

Gotta do something, gotta do something. Suggest me some ideas. Maybe dying it to purple? I could be the funkiest teacher at EF! ;-)
mood: busybody

Capek deeeh!!!!!

Sometimes I just get too annoyed with the way it works here. I have a private student, Gaby, and she has a class everyday from Monday to Saturday at 11 in the morning. She's going to Singapore to study in July so she wants to improve her speaking skill by having a private conversation class as often as possible. The class is due to finish this week on Saturday, but she happens to be not available on the last day cause she's going to Bali for vacation. I thought it would be postponed sometime later, but she chose to have the replacement on Thursday, which makes me have to teach her for the whole 2 hours and 40 minutes. Well, having 3 hours classes in Tegal is not an odd thing, but 3 hours teaching conversation to one single student? What topic(s) should I give her???

Anyways... it seems like Miss Aya is interested to buy my Canon camera. I do love the camera, but I desperately need some more cash right now to prevent Citibank calling me all the time (read my post about the stolen credit card). So.. I guess I'm going to have a hard time letting it go, but I'll be relieved for a while. Ah shit.
reading: blink - malcolm gladwell


So it's been a week since I was back from my travel. It felt good to be home and see family once again before going to Tegal to fulfill my promise to my boss that I would work here for another month or two after my travel. The last update about it, however, was that Ibu seemed to misunderstand my coming back here. She thought I would sign another year of contract, while I will NOT.
I love Tegal for a lot of reasons, but I just can't live here another year. No way. It's like wasting my precious youth here. I could have gone off partying somewhere in another part of Indonesia after working hard in the day time.. while in Tegal, I don't pretty much have that luxurious option. It's OKAY, of course, if I could compensate it with some short-distance traveling in the weekend. But that's not possible, either, cause Saturday is a working day!

SO the boss is coming next week, and I'll most probably have to negotiate the whole thing again. But for now, I just know that there's 85% chance of me moving to another place, Bali most likely, to get another job and a new life. So Pam and Mariza, prepare yourselves. I'm gonna bug you both for a short while until I get a job there. Hahaha!

I realise that I haven't written too much since I was back. It was just so easy to write when you're on vacation. But now back in real life, though I'm still very reachable via internet, my actions are mostly limited to opening emails and answering them, that's if I have more time before the next classes. :P I haven't been active, either, on DeviantArt or Usefilm or FN. There are just so many things to catch up, so many people to contact and so many things to do.

I'm starting to get my normal life back. I wake up every morning (at 6 normally). Early, I know. But the window in my room faces the east and the sun just shines too brightly it hurts my closed eyes. I need to get some curtains on, but I just don't wanna bother. I am not staying here too long. If it wasn't the sun -- when it gets cloudy and rainy it's just so nice to curl up in bed inside my blanket and enjoy longer sleep -- it would be Excel, Mba' Minda's 2 year-old son, who would cry so loudly in the morning. I haven't got another new cellphone since I soaked my brand new one in the pool last month, so I practically don't have an alarm clock. I have an alarm in my electronic organizer but the loudest sound it can produce is just a squeak -- which is not a very big help to wake me up. But Excel could be my alarm. Though he chooses the time when he should scream and cry to wake me up. Can't say it's too nice.

Anyway, I really like being back in Tegal and meet Ernie and the other friends. We seem to have not enough time to share our stories (Ernie just had her travel, too, for a month; and she's got "deeper" but happy stuff on her vacation). Everything is going so well for her and I'm happy for her. Sometimes I feel a little (just a little) envious, too, cause her boyfriend lives (though not too near) pretty close to her. She's definitely feeling head over toes and it's just good to see her like that.
We were talking last night and we agreed that things really happened for a reason. I was meant to move to Tegal last year (though I felt reluctant to) and she and Pam were meant it, too. The three of us WERE MEANT to meet one another, cause though not even one of us shares hardly any similarity, we fill one another perfectly well. Religious, nice, but tough Ernie; Wicked, Japanese-crazed, unique Pam; and Cool, sweet lovely me!

It's good to be friends with them, and I hope (and know) that we will always be good friends, no matter how far we live from one another in the future.

UPDATE! (after being forced to mention his name here. haha):

My dearest unmet brother, Johann Grimm, sent me a really nice book of "The Best Places to Kiss in Paris."
It was such a lovely surprise, especially when I was so worn out after traveling thinking that I might not want to travel to Thailand again. But the book encouraged me in the way that Europe was still my main travel aim. I'm working on it, darling brother. If all goes well, it should be next year. Get ready to show me those places!
I hate racism!

You know, when something bad happened, the other bad things could follow just as rapidly.

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur this morning at 5. I went to Pudu Hostel, my favourite place compared to the other places in the area, and the Indian caretaker said that it was full. No beds, no rooms. Great!

Then I went to the next hostel, and the guy said, dorm was full, they only had rooms for RM 40. Come on, I'm only staying for a night, I don't need the whole room for that!

I checked the next hostel, and the guy said the same. They only had rooms, not dorms. Dorms were full. I asked if I could wait until 12 o'clock and see if someone checked out (I was soooo tired, guys and it was only 5:30 in the morning!). He said yes.
After a while he came to me and told me that he was not sure if he could accept me here, cause I'm an Indonesian.


I asked why he made that statement. He said cause they never had an Indonesian guest before. Normally they would only accept European people.


I'm done with all this shit.

It reminds me that a similar thing also happened in Thailand a week ago when I wanted to book a bus ticket from Bangkok to Krabi.
The girl at the travel agency said that she needed to check if I could be admitted on to the bus cause I was an Indonesian. I asked her why. Last year I could get on to any bus without any bugs. She said, "Well yes, that was last year. This year is different. We have so many riots in the southern part of Thailand, and we don't want our bus get busted."

"Well, the riots are between Malaysia and Thailand, no? What does Indonesia have to do with it??"

"Cause it is a religious matter. Indonesia is a muslim country. So I need to check just to make sure everything will be alright."

"Guess what, I'm not taking your bus. Bye bye."

So Indonesia is a muslim country? Alright, it probably has 85% of its huge population muslims, but what about the other 15%?
Is MUSLIM written on my forehead or what? Or is it the automatic assumption once you open my passport? And why do all muslims get to get the bad names just because a very small percentage of the community mess around? Why do Indonesians (whether muslims or not) get all these troubles just because we are INDONESIANS?

Can't I be proud of being an Indonesian any longer?

Mood: Fucked up but grateful

I don't understand it.

Usually if you started a vacation with good things happening, it'd tend to be good till the end, right?

Well, I had a seriously AWESOME time in the beginning of my travel until I got in Krabi.Krabi is a wonderful place, heavily touristy and way too expensive for Thailand standard, but it's got the most amazing huge rocks I've ever seen.

But then again, I had a really hard time when I was there.

Let's start it with losing my flip-flops at the beach. Yeah, FLIP-FLOPS. Broken ones. Yet, somebody stole them, along with a travel mate's shoes.
Marvin got really upset when he found it out. We had to ride the motorcycle with bare feet to our bungalow. And guess what I found out once we reached it.


It got me down and FURIOUS and fucked up the whole evening. I had all these craps to do:

  • Emptied (I mean literally emptied!) my bank account and booked a bus ticket to Kuala Lumpur in the morning (or otherwise worse thing would come up --> Missing my flight back home, that was!)
  • Went to the Tourist Police and reported it. And asked him for a solution how I should cancel my credit card cause I hardly had any money! I couldn't even afford to buy an international phone card (I only had 140 baht). So.. well, this may have been a rare thing to hear from a Thai Tourist Police, but Mr. Nui (the police officer) gave me 200 baht to buy the international calling card! Thank you sooo much, Mr. Nui! He also offered me to have my dinner at the police station (cause I clearly couldn't afford to buy myself a dinner). I had to reject that for I badly needed to call Citibank to block my credit card. ASAP!
  • I bought the calling card and called Citibank. As usual, it took so long to get to the officer, but when it did, I asked him to block my card permanently, and I checked, too, if any transaction had been made between 12 May till 27 May. And as expected, YEZ! A transaction had been made. 770 Baht. I didn't exactly know if I should be grateful or sad about it. Yes, I lost 770 Baht, but I actually thought I would lose 15,000 Baht or something. But hey, losing is losing. And cause I didn't have my card with me, I practically was the poorest tourist in Krabi.

Marvin insisted to buy me a dinner, but I refused it nicely. I lost my appetite. All of it. I sold my phone card to him, though (it still got 180 Baht credit in it), and he gave me 300 Baht. Thanks soooo much, Marv. That way, I could survive on my journey back to KL.

Good thing above all that was this morning, I could get to the Western Union and claimed for some amount of money Mark Mulder sent me to help me survive until I'm safe and sound back in Indonesia.

So in short, I was so pissed off in the end of my holiday in Thailand cause this had to happen. But in another sense, I was grateful I found such nice people around me who were willing to help when I needed it the most.

Now to survive for a month in Indonesia until I get my next salary............... :-S


Lend your shoulders when I'm home, mates. I'll need to wet them up with my tears.

Me and Heather.

I don't know what's wrong, but I can't post the other pictures.

In the mean time, I uploaded some of them on flickr.

Check this.

Be good, peeps.
mood: relieved a bit

I've been having a great time in Chiang Mai. This city is absolutely lovely. I went with Ana, the Spanish girl who stayed next to my room, to Doi Suthep temple on the hill. We rented a motorcycle and rode it up there to take some pictures (she has a great camera). She can't drive a motorcycle, though, I had to take control of it all the time. It was fine, as long as I still can cut cost and have fun at the same time.

The temple was okay. But I've never been too interested in historical thing anyway. We met some cute little girls in Thai hill-tribe traditional costumes, though, and I think I quite like the pictures I made. Maybe I shouldn't go to those villages after all.

We had a really nice evening. With the other girls from the guesthouse (Heather and Mira) we went to the Sunday Market, which is held every Sunday by closing most of the main streets in the central Chiang Mai area and people erect stands of souvenirs, food, clothes, even massage services! They had some relaxing chairs in the corner of the roads and people who would like to have a massage can sit there and relieve some stress.

It was amazing and I was so much drawn into it. I was tempted to buy those cute little stuff there for a million times, but every time the want kicked I had to remind myself that my vacation hadn't ended yet and I still needed to be careful with my money flow. (bummer)

Anyway... my previous plan was to go to Pai, another neighbouring old village about 4 hours from Chiang Mai, for 2 days. But now it's already Monday morning, and I have to leave for Bangkok on Thursday morning, I don't think it's that wise to go. I was thinking that actually if I went to Pai, I would get the feeling of a great farm life with only 50 Baht a night (which saves quite a lot) and a completely different view to see. But then again, I'm too lazy to have 2 moving days (Monday and Wednesday), and only 1 real day in Pai. So.. last night I already decided to just stay here until I have to fly back to Bangkok. But this guest house problem needed to be solved.

I asked the weird owner of the Kent's Guest House if I could get a discount for staying there for a week till Thursday and he said no. So I told him I'd check out. I mean 150 Baht is pretty cheap, but I'm sure I can get less with more or less the same facilities somewhere. Then I can get 50 Baht more each day that I can relocate for some other useful things.
I did and when I walked out to the place where I rented the motorcycle to return it, I just had this idea to just ask away to the staff there if they knew some place that cost 100 Baht.
Of course they knew it. They're local. I got to check the room and it was even bigger than the room I had at Kent's guest house, though probably not that appealing. But it's basic and clean and that's just all I need. I don't stay too much at the guest house anyway.

So there... I'm kinda relieved now.

Gonna have breakfast now then go to Chiang Mai zoo, take loads of pics, and read my book at the Fitness Park.


I just rent a bicycle! For only 35 Baht. Gonna stroll around the city of Chiang Mai today and visit some art museums and crafts markets. Tomorrow gonna change that with a motorcycle and I'll go around the temples up in the hill (or is it a mountain?). Probably gonna visit one of the hill tribes near by and make cool pics.

So far Chiang Mai has been great.

I'm staying at Kent Guest House, whose owner is fucking weird, but hey, it's cheap and I've got my own bathroom! Clean, too. So nevermind. I actually went around for some other places to stay and found one for 100 Baht with 3 beds (crazy!). If only I went here with someone and shared the costs, it would be freaking cheap in here. Though it already is.

I'm really dying to do the trekking and water rafting up there, but it's sort of expensive for my budget cash at the moment. Really a BUGGER!

But hey, it's cool here. I hang out with the girls in the same guesthouse last night: Heather from England (I swear she looks so much like Hermione in Harry Potter movie) and Marene from France (she's hot and crazy). And we had a great time having dinner at a Japanese restaurant and later at a Reggae club somewhere (also visited a club that had a live hip hop music, Marene loved it, but another fellow whose name I forget, didn't. So Marene decided to stay there and he and I went to the Reggae club and met the other fellow travelers: a Dutchy boy, a Brittish girl and an American girl Hillary).

Awesome. I went back to the guesthouse at two and this morning had a hard time waking up. Got a little hangover, but it was gradually better when I had a cold shower.

"No, I'm not Thai."

I always knew that I would have to say that perhaps a hundred thousand times later when I was already in Thailand. But never had I expected that I had to get to hear that BEFORE I reached Thailand.

I got to go to gate 46 to board on to the plane at Changi Airport. And there were these two girls in front of me in the line. At first they talked to themselves (I suspected it was in Thai), then one of them looked at me and said something in Thai.

"Sorry?" I said.
Then she looked at her friend and said something in their language that seemed to mean "She is not Thai."
"You no Thai people?" asked her.
"No, I'm not." I smiled.
"You Filipino then?" asked her.
"No. Indonesian."
"Ooh. Indonesian."


"You go to Thailand one people?"
"You go to Thailand one people?"
I tried to think fast and guess what she meant. Oh!
"You mean if I go to Thailand alone? Yes, I'm alone."
She didn't seem to understand, so I said again,
"I am alone. NO friends. Only me."

"You go study or work or holiday?" asked the other girl.
"I'm on vacation."

Having arrived in Thailand, similar conversations occured.

Until now.

How can I assure them I'm not a Thai? Plastic surgery?
mood: happy

Yesterday and today have been fantastic!

My boring 1st day in Singapore abruptly changed yesterday when I got into a cool chat with some other backpackers in the same hostel.

We started off talking bout some cool places in northern Thailand and we seemed to click in talking about everything else. So in the end, I hang out with these guys: Pete from England, Fabian from France, Chris from Canada, and met at the bar later on the young couple Tom and Lisa from England. We had a GREAT time. Either that only sitting on one of the couches in the hostel's lounge talking about nothing to everything, or dancing at the bar near our place, called Baa Bar Black Shit (hehe funny name). I limited myself drinking only 2 glasses of beer that night since my cough had not fully disappeared. But seriously it was a wonderful time. I'm glad I met those people.

Chris left in the morning for Canada, though (he was AWESOME!), and Fabian left earlier for Australia. So in the next day (this morning) it was only Pete and me left. We spent the day visiting the Fort Canning Park, but then we split up cause he wanted to see all the historical Brittish stuff at the Battle Box inside the park, and I wanted to write my travel book.

And soon I'll be leaving for Bangkok, too. About an hour from now I gotta get my rucksack and take the MRT to the airport.

So in the end, Singapore is not that bad afterall. You just gotta need to find the right companions.
mood: tired
reading: the bags of bones
Day 1. Jakarta.

My flight was delayed. I gotta wait in the new Juanda airport Surabaya for hours... but hey... since it's new and oh so luxurious, I had quite a good time browsing around.

Arriving in Jakarta, I called Cynthia, my sister. She suggested me to meet her from the airport at Grand Indonesia and asked me to take a bus to Blok M.
Well it was the rush hour and I spent 2 hours on the bus! And it appeared that it didn't stop at Bundaran HI, so I thought I'd just go on to Blok M.
So in the end, I didn't meet Cynthia at all, but I found a garage sale on the sports station. Bought a really cool 2-piece swimwear for Rp 83,600. There were some others of Rp 50,000 (freakin cheap for Speedo!) but I liked the colours on this 2 pieces best!

After that I called Sam and we met up. We had a reasonably nice dinner in a restaurant called YaUdah on Jalan Jaksa, then Tony, one of the other EF teachers joined us. We then went to Absoluut bar and there we met the other teachers! Alah. It was a great fun, though. I just had a big bottle of Heineken and no more. My throat was (is) still fucked up.

Day 2. Jakarta-Singapore

Woke up early this morning and took a Damri bus from Gambir to the airport.

On the plane, I sat next to a preacher and his wife, and we were having a good talk (not about religion, just about traveling in general). They gave me good advices when taking the ferry to Singapore and even how to haggle a taxi. So in the end, I was so much helped with Mr. Pardede's help in getting me the taxi.

4:00 pm, in Singapore. I took the MRT to Little India, and stayed at the CrowdsInn where Brian, a fellow traveler, used to stay.
It's kinda expensive for a hostel standard, but hey, it's Singapore. And with these free 30 min internet facility, hot shower and aircon-ed room... I got nothing to complain. :)

Till later,
Mood: BT

My hand phone, Nokia 6030, which I bought JUST last month, is broken. It got soaked when I was posing for Pyor back in Yogya last weekend in Taman Sari Palace. Since it was still on warranty, I brought it to the Nokia Care Centre Surabaya today, hoping I could take it to Thailand with me next week.

Fact #1: The warranty doesn't include when they find dampness, extreme heat reason, virus, etc (most of the reasons why a cellphone broke). That means I should pay for the service, which is Rp 200,000 + spare part (if any) of at least Rp 100,000. (What's the use of warranty then?) I remember my ex-boss at CDU, Hanny Westrik once soaked her cellphone (her fault) and she got everything covered by the phone company. But hey yeah... I'm a kinda loyal person, so rather than finding another phone, I'll just stick to this one.

Fact #2: They'll finish examining it in 5 days. Which means I'll be already in Singapore by then. So no cell when I'm on vacation. Not that I mind it that much.

Fact #3: There's a possibility that when examining it, the phone can break down completely (no more usage) and Nokia will not be responsible of it. They'll free me from any charges, but they will not get the phone to the state when it was first brought there, which still works a little bit. The faults are in the charger connector and the inability of the phone to detect the SIM card (sometimes).

Fact #4: Nokia sucks a lot!
mood: mixture of happy, pissed and impatient

I'm in Yogya!

Arrived here last night and was terribly hungry. I was supposed to meet my friend, Pyor, and she had not arrived yet. After taking a shower, I went out and got myself a very late supper at midnight... and gotta take a longer way back to the hotel cause the road was blocked with a wayang performance.

She was already there when I arrived back at the hotel. We shared some stories etc. before going to sleep. But guess what.. like a deja vu... everytime I travel with Pyor, she always forgets to bring her toothbrush! I mean... how come you forget such an important thing when traveling? :P

Anyway, we had a good sleep. Though we woke up too early for a vacation time. 07:00!!!

But Bladok Hotel (my favourite hotel in Yogya) has a swimming pool, so we started our day today swimming. It was good!

We left the hotel after breakfast at around 10 o'clock and went by pedicab to nearby stores and Taman Sari (a bathing palace for the princesses and mistresses of the Sultanate in the former days). I bought some bakpia for family and a cute batik skirt for myself.

A bit different from my normal routines of being a photographer when traveling, this time I was the model. You have to admit that I got a look, eh! Hehehe... Anyway, the results were pretty good. Though in some pictures I prefered to have different angles but it was ok lah.

Stupid thing happened, though. At the bathing pool, I got half my body in with my new batik skirt (I wore white shorts inside) and I completely forgot that I had my cell in my pocket!
When I realised it, it was already too late. The cell was definitely soaked and dead! Huuuuu.... *sob* I was so stupid stupid stupid.

Now I'm cellphone-less again. It's still on warranty, though. But I'm not very sure if it covers this for it was caused by my own carelessness. Dammit!

Plus... when we got out of the palace, our pedicab driver had left us. Son of a *****. It was a good thing I had not paid him yet!

Ah well... Ciao for now.
Watching: Finding Neverland

Yes yes, I know. It's a little too late to watch this movie starred by Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. But I finally watch Finding Neverland and was trully amazed with it. I liked the messages and actually in real, I am all to believe that anything, ANYTHING, exists when you believe it exists.

Since I've been drown in my own worries about the (possible) change of jobs the end of this month, the movie helps me realise that the right answer may never come when you block your clear minds with worries. It hasn't worked that well so far for me to decide what I should do in the next chapter of my career life.. but it's tickled the back of my mind that I should be calmer (I do appear calm, I believe, but not really when I'm alone) when thinking about this.

Hope I'll find the best decision for me and for all. But any moral support? Should I stay or should I move?

Anyway... I've resized some pictures I made with Ernie. We experimented with some hair rolls we just bought. Though it was quite an effort, I think I looked good with curly hair. Hehe...
Our last session in Tegal.
Here you go.
mood: sleepy
reading: how to draw manga
watching: the simpsons


An ad I read in Jakarta Post today:

MODEL BULE HANDSOME, 35, live in Bali w/ a job. Looking for pretty and rich woman. Please contact 081******** or email e******@hotmail.com

What the...

Some people do get desperate sometimes, I guess. I mean I already get used to personal ads.. or some MASSAGE companies that claim to serve for health, but in reality they're all just a sex business. But this one sounds a bit different, don't you think?

I understand that people want companions. Some can't really get them cause of their own lackness, say appearance. But reading the ad, don't you think he sounds perfect? A male model, with a job in Bali. What makes him hard to get the woman he wants? In a place like Bali where everything is so much freer than any other parts in Indonesia, with flocks of various women all over the world, and with a (should be) handsome appearance he's got, why placing the ad in a newspaper?

And what's the point of the "rich" woman part? Men looking rich women sound like a gigolo to me. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the profession. It's just so weird. Or I'm just being too Indonesian. Hehehe..

mood: annoyed
listening to: chris brown - run it


I've lost my voice since yesterday! I actually already got the signs earlier this week or even last week when I had the severe flu. But I never thought I would eventually lost my voice because of the non-stop cough I've had.

The cough itself has always attacked me like once a year since I was still a little kid. I could cough on and on and hurt my throat and tears would run down my cheeks. The only medication that will sort of help is just drink a lot of water. ASAP.

Well the influenza I had 2 weeks ago seemed to worsen things. This is probably my first time worst cough ever that leads to destroying my voice.

I hate it cause:
  1. I can't sing!
  2. I have to write the instructions to my students, instead of speaking to them, which I am supposed to do!
  3. Everyone mocks me.
  4. I can't receive any phone call (my aunt Joyce from Holland called me yesterday and I had to ask her to call me back again when my voice was better. And I had to say that with so much struggle!)
  5. I had to do this ridiculous chat with Ernie last night with her speaking (so easily) and me typing over the things I wanted to say on my computer!

I've never really realised that we are blessed to speak... until now. Gosh.

Nevertheless, this condition opens my eyes when knowing that there are indeed some good people here.
I went to the market in the morning before I lost my voice completely.. and even then I didn't really want to bargain anything I was buying.

Me: How much are these tomatoes?
Seller: Rp 4000 a kilo.
Me: (choosing tomatoes) half a kilo then.
Seller: (looking at me with an amazement) Errr... you can have it for Rp 1,500 then. Me: Oh thanks..

The same thing happened with the other 4 sellers. They changed the price to a lower one when I didn't try to bargain it. It is not considered normal that customers just accept the price right away as much as the sellers offered. But to me it is not normal either that the sellers at the market lower their price to a normal one.

It's good to know that there are some honest people here. :)

Duh. But I want my voice BACK!!!
mood: weak
listening to: thievery corporation
reading: jakarta post
watching: scary movie 4

There have been some things that are quite bothering my mind lately. One of them is Indonesian people's low awareness on the importance of CONDOM!

First of all, let's get one thing straight: we are NOT going to debate over the old it's-not-right-to-do-a-premarital-sex issue, ok! Cause it's not the main point of this post.
I am stating it beforehand then that I do not mind that people choose or not choose to do the act, for we're all grown-ups and every decision we take is wholly ours and only ours to make.

One thing to regret, however, is our habit to underestimate the after effect of the sex.

One case of one of my close girl friends is having right now is an unwanted pregnancy. So she did it, with a guy she doesn't love, and now she has to face this fact that she's having a child, probably not bigger than a pea now, and marriage is not really an option cause that guy has obviously stated that he will not marry her for the child, and she doesn't think she wants to give birth to the child without a marriage (old school, but we do live in an old school country :P), but in the other hand she's afraid of God and of the after effect of the abortion.

When I asked her why she didn't use a protection, she reasoned that it was not comfortable to use one, especially for that guy.

Now peeps (girls, especially), listen. Seriously... using a condom is the BEST alternative for the time being to PROTECT yourself from things like this. What's the point of having a short satisfaction and pleasure with a HUGE problem waiting afterwards? Of course, nothing is guaranteed to be 100% safe, but at least you can worry less? We still live in a hypocrite country where we have to obey a lot of social rules. Even if you have this modern conception of free sex, you studied biology at school! And there are tons of sexology talks and fusses on the paper to read. I'm sure you also know all the consequences of having a non-safe sex!

I may as well trust that you DO indeed realise that condoms can protect you from diseases. Getting pregnant is one thing, but this one is another thing. Some of the STDs cases can be cured easily, some need a while to cure, and some canNOT be cured at all. You know that condoms can help prevent that, don't you?

So please.. please.. when you see a cute guy walking on the street and you're intrigued to "try" him, ALWAYS have a condom ready somewhere in your bag or purse. If none's available, just make time to buy it. It's sold everywhere. If he refuses to use that, just kick him out of the room and tell him you don't need him to please you. There are still thousands of other guys who would want to do it safely, really.

Just remember this: LOVE YOURSELF. Condoms can be a great solution for one-night-stands and other contraceptions are the alternate solutions to a nicer sexual experience if (IF) you have found this permanent partner/boyfriend and you trust him for not carrying any disease with him.

Do I sound reasonable enough?
Listening to: Ratu.


I found another fault from my new room. After weeks being unsatisfied with its small size and PURPLE wall colour (not my choice, seriously!), last night I got soo annoyed to find out that the roof above my bed was leaking!

I spent the evening with Ernie watching a DVD in her room. It was raining hard and I wasn't

really aware how my room was. I was there for a couple of hours. Pam called and shared her cool experience in Bali (she's got the job at IALF, that lucky bitch). When we were finally done socializing, I went back to my room, sleepily, and got ready for my sweet beddy time. I was laying for 5 minutes probably when I felt some sprays of water on my face. I jerked surprisedly and wondered how it could happen. The air conditioner is right above my bed so I stood up and had my hands face the AC. I felt the water coming out with some cool air it produced and I was like... OK, maybe the wind blew to my room's direction. I turned the AC off then, for it was not too hot anyway. Then I went back laying.

I was disappointed to find that the water still showered my face and upper body. This time I pissed and stood up to check again. I saw that it came through the relatively wide AC hole AND from roof of my room, just above my bed, and just above where my pillow was! I had my Thai sunset picture hung below the AC and when I saw that the water was coming down to it, I took it from the wall and put it on the floor to save it. I almost wanted to go to Ernie's room and sleep there, but I was too tired to even make the effort, so I just slept on the opposite direction (feet side) and covered my feet (on head's side) with my blanket.

It was reported already to the head of the staff and the head of the teachers already... I think I'll just wait for their quick response to have it fixed, then. Who ever wants to sleep in a leaking room in this heavy rainy season? :PIf there's no action taken, then I'll make up my mind to move to Bali in June. Though actually without it, I won't stay anyway. Hoho..

Listening to: Sade.
Watching: Requiem.


Meet Grubbie, my fish. I've been taking care of him for a month now. I bought him with three other fish last month, but apparently only he survived. The first black fish didn't even live more than 24 hours since I bought it. That was because at that time I hadn't bought the fish tank for them. I put two of them in a tall glass and the other two in a bucket. The accident happened when I left my room for cooking for an hour or so. This fish seemed to get stressed out in the small tall glass so it jumped out of it. I found it too late, and there it was, laying on the floor dead.

Three left. I finally bought a fish bowl. I put those three there and for some reasons they survived for three weeks. Everyone had told me that I should buy the air pump for goldfish can't live long without it. But I insisted that they could survive without, as long as I changed the water often.
Until one day, I left my (new) room for work.. Aris, one of the staff, had been complaining that our boss questioned about the raise of the electricity bill at EF (again, with more members, more bills, right? Business people couldn't seem to comprehend that!). Well I often leave my room with aircon on, not intended, but I just forgot. Well that day, I did NOT forget to turn off the AC. This new room I've got is on the top floor with Mba Minda's and Ernie's room. It receives the most sunlight so it was completely hot without aircon. Plus, the smell of the paint was so strong I couldn't even sleep for the first two days I moved there. Anyway, my dear fish were left without aircon in that new room. So guess what I'd found in the evening after working. Two of them died!

I was quite stressed out. Two, not one, fish were dead! This was the first time for me to take care of fish. I always know how to have petdogs, but never fish! I guess I had that feeling that they'd eventually die one day, for back then I didn't bother to name them. I only callled them A, B and C. Now that one left, I rushed to the fish market and bought the smallest air pump (cause the fish tank is small, too) for this orange fish to survive. He does, until now. And I named him Grubbie, taken from the flash game I played on computer called Insaniquarium.

I have now somewhat an emotional bound with Grubbie for:

1. He's the only one left.
2. He sees me do everything everyday, including changing clothes (that's very intimate, huh?).
3. He seems to try to communicate with me, especially when he is hungry.
4. I'm bored.