Thursday, March 26, 2015


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Have I ever told you that life seems to be made perfectly for me, and my generation?

I was born in 90s and we claimed to have the best timing in the history of human existence. Well, we lived in the era where playing outside was still super relevant, the way of life our parents did their whole childhood and young adulthood. And, technology showed up later on our life, exactly just on time as we started to need it.

That's obvious.

What's not obvious is that, somehow, it's the 1992s, whose lives match perfectly with universe's growth. I came up with this idea, just when I realized that when I turned 22, a super booming song titled 22 came along with me.

Original pic's from here, copy "twenty two" is my personal touch up

The song was technically about someone who's actually older than 22, but feeling like 22 at some point of their lives. It was not about being, nor turning 22, no, but still, it felt like I, and some friends who turned 22 last year, were crazily welcomed by the universe.

And apparently, being 22 was that, crazy.

For literally one whole year, I didn't get a permanent job even once. I only had a 4 months freelance job during the political campaign period, and another 3 months as a substitute copywriter at one local agency. The other 5 months? Well, I was focusing on my book, traveled three times to Bangka, Bali and HK - Macao and, keeping myself busy to enhance my travel writing portfolio.

And oh wow, I drove my parents crazy because of what I did. Especially my father. He obviously freaked out the whole year. Said that I was wasting my time, letting myself several steps behind my friends who started working already, and seriously, many more things -that actually, he was so right about- he worried about.

But hey, I was happy. I got the chance to experience every single thing I doubted and was dying to try for my whole life. My campus slash advertising goal was to become a copywriter. Check. My selfish ego inside of me wanted to work from home. Check. My long-treasured childhood dream was to publish a book, and had my name printed in a magazine. Check, check, and check!!!

Plus, and this was the best thing that happened to me and me as a 22, I WAS COMPLETELY FREE! I didn't really have to start my post-graduate life right away after I finished university, forced myself to work 9 to 5, trapped in traffic and be all whiny about it, no! And it didn't necessarily mean that I had no money at all hoho, keep in mind, missy, that eventho I was staying at home most of the time, money is all available for me to withdraw.

However, everything came with negative sides. Got to admit that during my idle time, I was super confused of what I should do in life. Where to work after I get bored doing nothing like this, what to do to get my ass back to the employment line, la la la. And the worst thing was, the lonely feeling I couldn't deny. Being at home with no actual co-workers for 5 months in total, that was the only thing I didn't want to feel again from this 22 thingy. Oh please don't get me wrong, I was talking about making new friends for professional scope. About my real friends, abroad friends, traveling friends and friends who stayed at my house, that was the other story. I didn't lose my social life, no, pft, come on.

Well compared to the excitement I got, those tiny pains were totally nothing. The sensation of being a guy who didn't rush himself despite all the pushes to start preparing for his future, that was priceless. I may not get the result of that crazy thing I did any time soon, no, but I'm pretty sure that in the future, it'll come back to me. At least the good story will do.

Crazy, huh?

A friend of mine, who's a year older than me, once said that being 22 was the best thing ever happened to her. Moved to Indonesia, started working and had the craziest time of her life. I saw that before my very own eyes; her life and how dynamic it was. It looked super fun, but didn't affect anything to me because, it's her life. I didn't know how amazing it actually was, until I felt it myself.

And it happened.
One crazy hell of a year.

Here's for being eternally 22 :)

In one hour, I'll be 23. I don't know bout you,
But I feel like I'm still going to be 22 for 5 more years.
Oh well, I know 22 looked like bad news, for my parents.

But for me,

It was miserable
And magical

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tale From the Past

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If there's one thing Disney is loving to do lately,
It's creating the human version of their classics.

I was pretty cautious, because, hmm yea I have this OCD thingy and Disney is like my precious treasure from childhood. So if there's even one single detail missing from the classic animated movie I'll be like, screw you Disney. That's why up till now, I haven't watched Maleficent. But for their next human version project, my friend dragged my ass to the cinema already.

Got the poster from here

Frankly, I've prepared myself mentally before I stepped into the theatre. Movie started, welcomed by Frozen Fever -which was super entertaining, to be honest- and the tale began. The prologue was super long, compared to the animated version, telling too much about how Cinderella's parents died. And oh, her default name was Ella instead of Cinderella which was given by the stepsisters. Clever tho, it was still tolerable for me.

Overall movie was okay. But I really hate how they violate some details. Like outfit colors. Cinderella's light blue was constant. Good. But Lady Tremaine should've been dark purple, Drizella should've been green and Anastasia should've been lavender! The prince and the King should've worn broken white with maroon accent, not such complicated royal costume! Phew, I've warned you, I have a weird OCD obsession.

Speaking about the King, what the hell Disney, why should he die!? Because you need some drama in it!? Didn't work for me! Instead of killing the King, you can consider adding Ella's misery, making Lucifer a bit more of an ass, or, this is what's more important, making a bigger scene of the evil ladies destroying Cinderella's dress. It was so ugh, anti-climax, she should've suffered more than that.

That's not all. My biggest pet peeve was, the Fairy Godmother. I mean, why, why would you change the dreamy fairy's personality to be Helena Bonham's? It wasn't nice okay, and her appearance was not even funny at all. You should've stick with the wise and a little bit clumsy old lady, and casted someone with charm like, Meryl Streep maybe? It's, ugh, all the scene with the Fairy Godmother in it, sucks!

Anyway, enough with the critics. I brought home positive thoughts too like, the ending. I didn't expect any changes for how Cinderella is found tho, but the twist they made was okay. Although honestly, that's not what I cherished the most about this movie.

It's how I kept recalling and mentally playing the original piece inside my mind, during the whole movie. How I had always been charmed, ten, fifteen years ago, when I saw the animated movie, with its delicate craft and beautiful story. Oh, I've always enjoyed Disney Princesses tales, I don't care if it's not meant for boys. Disney Classics had always been a thing for me.

But the best part is, when I looked around the theatre, and see sparks on today's children's eyes.

I felt like, damn proud. It's my cartoon they're now watching. Poor them, they didn't get the chance to enjoy the original movie. Of course they can always ask their dads to download them the classic Cinderella movie, but will they watch it from CD player? With wrecked subtitle and bad recordings? No.

And the portrait from here

I have the best childhood ever.

Better than my parents' and
Definitely will be better than my kids'.
90s are the luckiest

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Kitty Letter

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You might have forgotten, or have no idea at all, about my story when I gave up three of my lovely kittens. It was super hard, super heartbreaking and super... Oh Lord. Well that was supposed to be nothing because, at least, they are kept by someone else, other cat lovers, and they'd go on with their lives. Happily. It will be a different story when my cat,


It happened once. A sibling to those three I gave away. A kitten who was born super skinny, not really into eating, and after two weeks or so, passed away. I was devastated already, even though it was a really short meeting with him. This time, it's even harder.

His name is Iger.

This March he was, four months old. His first weeks living in this world were like a flash to me. He spent his time inside the cage, breastfed by his mother for about two months, and just when he began to start walking -which was pretty effort-ful because at first he couldn't walk at all he dragged his rear legs instead!- I had my trip to China.

Returning from Hong Kong, Iger, you turned to a loving brat already. And became my family's dear. Your energy, your super naughty-ness, running here and there, climbed the walls and stuff, we loved you so much. Despite your habit of destroying things and eating cooking oil from the pan.

By that time, the flood attacked Jakarta. Water came into our house it forced us to sleep at the upper story all together. Since you were so vulnerable, Iger, we had you slept with us inside the bedroom. On the same bed with me--no, on my pillow. It was really calming to hear you purred, sleeping peacefully next to me.

Since I was unemployed, I spent so much time with him. Bonding, doing stuff together. I know that meal time has always been his favorite. One second after I poured snacks over his small bowl, he would dump all his kitten face over the food and ate like a pig. Then he'd sleep in front of the front door, waiting for somebody to open it so he could swoosh out of the house. Doing nothing on the front yard just, observing the street.

I remembered when you fell into the ditch. All wet and stink. My brother bathed you and when I returned home to find out that incident, you were all cleaned already. Freshly sent to my room, tired because of what happened. I knew you felt so relaxed after the bath. You slowly fell asleep, smelling nice and tucked away. I was just there, sitting and enjoying how you nodded your tiny head to the floor.

And oh I remembered your first poop. It must've been shocking to you, eh? Having something out of your bottom, out of nowhere. You shouted in panic at the corner of the room oh my God, I giggled so hard remembering that moment. Since after that, you never even once did your 'thing' on the litter box. But we never scolded you, we never got mad at you, because we simply loved you.

But why Iger, you stopped eating several days ago. You kept throwing up, choking and gradually lost your energy. The on-fire Iger we knew, put out. It destroyed me, you know, inside out. It was just so not you. And I didn't like seeing that because somehow I knew, you'd be gone in no time.

And the day came.
Yesterday, you passed away.

It was a major turn down for my whole family. We never expected you to go that soon. Because it happened so fast, with no many cues.

First days after your death, Iger, it was really hard for me. I kept sniffing your smell. Your stinky smell of your dried fur sunbathed. I kept sensing a flash of you in every corner of the house. I kept reminiscing your presence in everything you used to do, you used to play, you used to sleep on.

I hate you, Iger.
For being too precious.
And left just when I love you.

I'm finishing this up now. It sucks to tell stories about your death and my misery that came after. It's better to leave it with the sweetness of having you.

I'm tired of crying

Monday, March 16, 2015

Enjoy Jakarta?

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Last weekend I got a guest from Germany.

He was cool, dead curious about Jakarta culturally, metropolitan-y, everything. He stayed with two other locals before me, and it made me kinda worried if those people had shown him all of Jakarta already and I got nothing left to show. But when he mentioned that he hadn't gone to Kota Tua and Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa, my faith was restored.

So we went there. By TransJakarta -of course, I didn't want to risk my ass driving down to the old town by my own car and got stuck in our infamous tourist traps. It was a nice ride, because surprisingly, there was no crucial traffic jam. And we made to Kota Tua just in time.

It was super crowded. But, okay. It's always been the beauty of Kota Tua. And he's got the chance to see how locals spend their weekend visiting a public fair right?

The square was fine. Human statues, vintage bikes, nice as usual although he was not that interested in those. But when it comes to culinary, he was super eager to try everything. I didn't want to take the risk of giving random street shit for his European tummy so I played safe and introduced him to sop buah instead. And it was a crazy hot day anyway, so the ice dish was a splendid decision.

That's the square. About the museums, well, gotta say, what the hell Government!? I decided to enter the most popular one, Fatahillah Museum, and it turned out to be a ten minutes walk of shame with him because, WHAT THE HELL!?

The building was a delight, indeed, it has always been so adorable for me since my first visit eight years ago. But I just never thought that the inside of it, oh wow, indescribable. I just got home from Hong Kong and Macau, with all those stunning museums they have which never made me stop mesmerizing the stories they told in each building. But when I came inside my very own museum, WITH AN INTERNATIONAL GUEST, shit man, it broke my heart.

Overall museum route was scrambled. The collections were disorganized. There are plenty of corners with nothing to display, it was a major waste of space! The stories were in both Bahasa and English tho, but they made it really unappealing with long words and boring approach, I'm 1000% sure no one has actually ever finished reading even one description.

We got out, wrapped our visit in Kota Tua and hushed to Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa, on foot. Well this was pretty challenging for me, as I never been there before. From what I saw in online forum and my friend's photo showcases, the port seemed beautiful.

The way from Kota Tua to the port, however, was not beautiful at all. Dusty, full of trucks, I had plans to take a bike from the old town there, and I thanked God beyond compare for me cancelling that stupid plan. After the entrance -which I didn't expect to pay- and strolling down local residences, we finally reached the seaside port.

To sum things up, it was quiet nice. Not as beautiful as the pictures showed me tho, but yaa, not disappointing. But of course there was something not nice happened in there that made me brought this story up for posting, right? Yes, it was the local scam.

I really hated it. Right before we entered the port gate, somebody came to us, nicely, claiming himself as a tour guide for Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa. He started all this preach and nonsense bullshit about how he could show us around, take us to the far end of the port by his motorbike, get us inside one of the small boats and finally, to the bigger boats so we could feel how it is like, sailing on Batavia water. All of those, with ONLY USD20.

The guy then began talking to me in Bahasa, saying that the price covered both of us so I didn't need to pay. And what I was super pissed off about was, when he said that 20 bucks was nothing for my bule friend. "He's got money", that asshole supposed, "so this is a super great deal". Well, great deal for you, not for my friend. And definitely not for me either, because if I said yes to pay the price, I would surely let my German guest down.

Of course I made my friend sure that the price was not worth it. Then we rejected the offer, strolled down the port on our own and still could enjoy it anyway. Well, although, apparently, annoying offers were also shouted by literally every boat crew inside the area. The port has been a source of scam, for I don't know how long.

Crazy huh?

I mean, even for locals, Jakarta's tourism suck! Big time! Thank God my friend was with me that day. How if he was not? And how about any other tourists that have no local friends to accompany them visiting those places?

What a shame, really. This is simply why I never recommend my worldwide friends to visit Jakarta for its culture or history. It sucks. Would be better if they're visiting for the clubs, hangout cafes and eating places, because hell yeah Jakarta's even better than Kuala Lumpur and Manila for that.

Mich und mein Deutsch Freund, Robert

But then,

If visitors couldn't see our old stories
Just because the places are pure scam lairs,
Would it still be called 'Enjoy Jakarta'?