Saturday, October 1, 2016

Classic Jealousy

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Before you go on I must warn you that this is about F1 again. Well, I did tell you the likeliness of me "won't be over it any time soon" yes?

Although honestly, this time's not specifically about the race nor the tournament as a whole. It's more about, you know, ripple effect caused by the championship.

Well duh, I'm blabbering way too much now. Before you turn confused and run away, let's just get down straight to business.

It's about Malaysia.

Pic's from here.

After the best night race in Singapore two weeks ago -still can't move on, by the way, the next set of Grand Prix will be held in its neighbor—MY "neighbor" too: Malaysia. It'll be fun, I'm sure, yet at the same time, well, I don't know, it feels a little bit like, umm, to me, it's more like a...

A torture.

I've always had this rough relationship with that country. With all its one-sided claims, its fiery soccer encounters with us, its attempts to look international, its "oh we're so Asia we're rich in culture in which we're actually not but we're just smart enough to look like one" lalala well okay I'm biased. And okay I visited that country once, but I don't know, I can't seem to be able to sincerely like that country.

And now F1 is entering their region. A thing I'm starting to show my love to, is entering the country I don't really love. And if I may say, it bugs me. A lot.

Starting with how the social media rants about the drivers having fun in Malaysia—it hurts me somehow. Then how Malaysia's culture being adored by the F1 universe—it really fvcking irritates me. And every single time I see name Malaysia mentioned by either the account of F1, or Red Bull, or worse yet, Ricciardo, I really just, ugh, want to shut down the digital world and live in the peace of olden-days.

I don't mind about Singapore being loved because, for me, that country is on a whole different level. They're goblin. I don't know how they could do it, but I got to admit that they're not supposed to be a Southeast Asian country. They're on the same level with Europeans. Indonesia on the other hand, without a doubt, is far far left behind. So admitting that Singapore held a Grand Prix so spectacular that it awed people from all corners of the globe, wouldn't be hard to me. I'll submit wholeheartedly to that.

But Malaysia? What's so special about them? Culture? Indonesia's got it all -except the mental. Nature? Indonesia's much more beautiful -except the fact that we have no idea how to make the most of it. Indonesia's not that different from that nation, that it's so unnecessary to have a Grand Prix there and skip it here!

But then again,
Despite this stupid jealousy,
It's their prize to enjoy the Grand Prix.

Because no matter how hard I try to deny it, it's obvious that Malaysia's much developed on so many levels.

But still I just can't take it.
Because this is not just about F1.
This is MUCH bigger than just races.

It is pride,
In which Indonesia
Doesn't have yet

Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Time

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Some people still asked me about, why, on earth, out of the blue, I suddenly flew to Singapore to watch F1 live. Then when I answered "I seriously am now a fan of F1! Why would I spend so much to watch something I half like??", they'd give me a hint like, they didn't buy it.

Well here's the deal.

Several months ago, I was on the beginning stage of liking this sport. As a spectator, because no, I have no intention of being a racer -I mostly don't even have intention to drive my own car. When I knew that there'd be a Grand Prix in Singapore, I impulsively bought a flight because, well, it's just Singapore.

At first I didn't really have plan to buy the actual F1 ticket because as what I saw on TV, on those European circuits, people can actually watch the race on top of hills or by peeping through the circuit fences. So I said to myself, well, I should also be able to do this in Singapore, no? So I guess not buying the ticket seems fine. The plan was firm, until finally someone told me that there’s no way I could do that in Marina Bay STREET Circuit. Street. So no hills, no free peepholes, and again, it’s Singapore. So no free riders allowed.

Damn, no? And I knew the cheapest tickets were so off my budget. So, damn, yes? Is it my time to back out? I supposed to myself several days before my departure. Or should I go anyway, and only hear the voice of the engines from afar?

Well, God has other plans for me.
And that plan is called


Pic's from here.


They were there as a part of the show. As Singapore Grand Prix's guest star of this year, along with this new artist Halsey. I couldn't believe my eyes at that time. And just when I recalled my feeling, I'm pretty sure once I read their names, on the table of artists that will be performing on the RACE DAY -please note it, Race Day, not practice or quali, I subconsciously told myself that okay, Vick, you're so going to buy it.

And so I bought it.
And it became one of those memorable random shit I'm proud I did.

Because Imagine Dragons had always been a gig I was dying to go to. Along with Bastille, which apparently became the guest star of the qualification the day before -I swear my eyes almost popped out when I saw both names on the webpage, until I finally realized that they performed on different days. But guess what, on the night before the race, when I innocently visited Marina Bay Sands and decided to chill by the river for a moment, apparently Bastille was playing and the sound could clearly be heard from afar! And I bumped into "Flaws" which is my favorite song! I SWEAR I WAS THE LUCKIEST GUY IN THE WORLD OF MUSIC FANBOYING! AND I SWEAR THIS IS THE LONGEST SIDE SENTENCE I'VE EVER WRITTEN IN THIS BLOG. And attending a concert -well technically, TWO concerts- abroad had always been a cool stuff I was dying to brag about. Plus to be able to have it altogether with an F1 race in which I started to have this weird obsession within, damn, this was a major jackpot to me!

And Halsey turned out to be a thing. I heard some of her songs before, and browsed some more of her hits before my flight, and all of them were performed! DAMN! She instantly became a dear to me.

But of course the highlight was the main reason behind the ticket purchase. Imagine Dragons was epic. Their performances, their songs, their crowd –my first foreign crowd! – their energy, their STAGE ACT, the unique voices and screams Dan Reynolds made, the drum beats that almost blew my eardrums, the fire, the lighting, I swear every time they finished a song, I threw my usual curses and bad words in Indonesian, which made me a bit worried at first because some words were just too harsh for people to hear –plus I was there alone, with no friends so is it not weird to be excited and all swearing by yourself!? – but then, I remembered that it’s not home so people won’t know what I was saying so, I kept on swearing like an idiot.

Still can't believe this view. Never thought watching a concert in the
middle of a business district would serve this spectacular scene.
Obviously the fire thing were the Singaporean's doing, but it really matched the performance!
For that kind of performance, I'm willing to tribute more than just a round of applause.
Some appreciative cartwheels would do.
And this one's Halsey with Singapore's city sunset. Best scenery I ever seen in this country.

Fuck. Fuck. FUCK!
Pardon the language but to hell with that—I WAS AND STILL AM FUCKING EXCITED!!!

I swear I never had such great great deal in my life before. First double concert. First gig out of Jakarta. First expensive ticket I don't mind wasting because it was all worth every rupiah I spent—UNIVERSE WAS WITH ME ALL ALONG!

Well for this time, to hell with spending.
I've worked hard for the past six-or-so months.
I've been waiting for this particular band to come.

It's time

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Race I Can't Get Enough

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It's been a while since the last time I posted about F1.
It's even been a while since the last time I posted anything here.

Am I losing interest in the series?

Hell. No.

I've just been toning it down a little so I don't spill my blog way too much -I do it on my Twitter account already so I guess that'd be enough. If you ask whether I am still watching the tournament or not, the answer is totally yes.

I was there by Spa during the Belgian Grand Prix. Of course I wouldn't want to miss that one: the race after one month of summer break which obviously, was anticipated. The race turned out to be a major comeback show with lots of twists including uncommon lineup -Vettel and Raikkonen almost on the front, Hamilton on the far back, Sainz's tyre blast, Ferrari clash, and on top of all, of course, the RED FLAG by Magnussen's huge crash, topped with Hamilton's podium despite his start from P21.

I was also there by Monza which race was, fine. A little bit boring though, compared to the preceding GP which served hell of a drama. But I saw Vettel again on podium so it was something refreshing especially because, of course, one of the Ferrari boys had to win in Italy.

Not to mention last week tooI was there in Singapore. Only this time, I'm saying it literally. As I actually flew there to my neighbor, wore my amateur F1-fan spirit on, hailed down to Marina Bay to get the ticket I bought online for


Pic's from here.


It was so spontaneous. I mean, most people would think, if I tell them that I watch the Grand Prix, that I had planned it way in advance, bought the ticket since like, last year, and prepared my ass off to come to Marina Bay. Turns out, no.

You knew how my interest towards F1 started. Rio Haryanto. Then I began to fell in love with the whole performance, despite the fact that Rio doesn't shine at all. But still, when I knew that they'd be racing in Singapore, I bought the flight despite all the works and bureaucracy I should be facing at the office, and despite the fact that Rio eventually stopped participating F1. And one more thing that was actually crazy was that I hadn't even bought the F1 ticket yet until a week prior the race, so yes, one word for all of this: fvcking spontaneous -well, two words?

Next thing I know, last week I was in front of Marina Bay Street Circuit already. Damn, the moment of truth. Even until that secondno. Even until this very exact second, I still can't believe that I actually did watch the race. But there I was, in front of Gate 3, stepping inside the edge of the road with Red Bull cap I just bought on my head, living the race air as if I'm one of those avid fans.

And speaking about the race, it went exactly as I imagined. Tough, tight, crazy stuff happened even just a second after the race started -that Hulkenberg crash was really something!- then the Kvyat v Verstappen duel oh, it made the mid-race much more alive the cameras couldn't even take their lenses off of those two. But of course the main drama happened on the leads, and guess what, it got more and more intense reaching the end of the race!

Oh yes, it was my idol Daniel Ricciardo, who was this close to win Singapore GP. He stayed at P2 the whole race, with Nico Rosberg ahead of him. Starting from lap 55 of 61, Rosberg, who hadn't switched tires, started to lose his pace and the 22 seconds gap between him and my brother -so Mr Ricciardo, if you ever EVER read this blog post, yes, I want me to be your brother- kept decreasing and decreasing. It was so fvcking intense, as it was only 2 seconds gap between them, but that damn Rosberg was really good that he could manage leading til the checkered flag waved. If only there was one more lap, Daniel could win. But hey, 2nd place's great! And the best stuff was, he gave a very very entertaining fight -you don't want to hear the story of me screaming and screeching in excitement during the last 10 laps of the game.

Photo belongs to Red Bull Racing's Twitter account.


And you know what made it crazier?
That this time I watched it all live.

Well it's not that I could get a clear vision of each cars and their maneuvers and what they did along the 61 laps, lol, of course not, I don't have that godly skill. I still got to see the whole race in one big screen, as if I was at home watching it with my TV.

But then again, I was there, just several yards away from those people I could only just see on screen this last 6 months. I was there among those people you could see from your TV during the GP. I was actually hearing the exact engine sound, witnessing the black-emerald colors of the Mercedes cars, blue-red-yellow sparks of the Red Bulls, raging vermilion figure of the FerrarisI heard, and saw them all! Flashing before my very own ears and eyes.

And it's not just about the actual race itself that I still can't stop replaying from that night. It's the atmosphere too. Seeing all those F1 enthusiasts, from the hardcores to amateur ones like me, to those little rascals who only came for the concerts, sitting by the field like a picnic court, gathering with all these people to cheer and watch the race together, walking myself to and fro throughout the circuit to find spots that could get me closer to the cars, and those wonderful fireworks lit when Rosberg hit the finish line... Damn. Nothing failed me!

Even far from the place, like on my way from my hostel in Bugis to the venue in City Hall, the F1 mood was everywhere in the air! With people walking down to the circuit already wearing their lanyards, with all the trinkets of F1 from flags, banners, posters, inside the MRT, by the mallseven when I returned home, I still got to relive the race stuff because apparently my English roommate was also there to catch the GP and we kept talking and talking and bragging about the race... DAMN!

Whatever I did, it was all about F1. 

I don't know about those guys who's been watching Formula One their whole life. But I, clearly, I can't get over it. I can't get over Singapore GP and all its fantastic obscurity just yet. And I'm sure I won't be over it any time soon.

Because well,

For an amateur fan, it was
A memorable one