Friday, December 30, 2016

Terima Kasih, Dua Ribu Enam Belas

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Each of 2013, 2014, and 2015,
Served different themes for me.

The combination of those three was all centered in traveling and my ambition to befriend the world, and my ultimate trip to Japan by the end of last year wrapped it up re~al good.

It was too big, and emotionally slash financially draining. So I promised myself that for the following year, 2016, I’d be staying still and just focusing on the other aspects of my life. The more realistic and essential aspects of my life.

And that’s why for 2016,
I assigned the 366 days as


“The Year of Settling Down”

This is the face of somebody who's ready to settle down. Taken in Bali, 00:02AM

The year of building my career. The year of figuring out what to really do with my life. The year of no big trips, no short-term jobs, no soon-resigning plans. No.

It's my year to start acting as most professionals do, daily.

All began by my first overseas-remote job with the company I did my internship with in Japan, as well as working on two more books I released this year, followed by a series of interviews I walked into –after all, work-from-home type of job won’t be enough right?– which led me to end up in Ogilvy. Yes, an advertising agency. I’m back in this industry HAHA. And this one is a big one not just locally, but worldwide. So no, I’m not planning to go out soon. I’m settling down.

Very "settling down" that even my traveling life revolved only around two of my favorite cities. However it was okay, because

It’s also my year to travel in a calmer sense as locals do, daily.

Opened the year in Bali (again), laying low in Nusa Lembongan and Ceningan, then returned to the island two months later for only relaxing at a good hotel and eating out here and there. Then when it came to my annual trip, I only flew to Singapore. Nothing big like the previous three, only Singapore, and all I did were just visiting an island, cycling with my earphones on, reading a book by the ocean, interacting with locals, eating out here and there. Then I went back to Bali again during Ramadan, which was, so not a trip regular tourists would want to do. But I committed to have a local-sensed type of journey so yea, there I was in Bali, fasting, and no swimming which was, kinda odd for a so-called Bali trip eh? Finally three months ago I was back in Singapore. For nothing but F1, and its awesome concert. A trip many of my friends and relatives responded with “Are you serious? Just F1 and then home?”. Well, “No”, I answered. “Because I also met some friends, even a highschool friend, and of course I went eating out here and there too,” so yea, I’m settling down with this habit.

So settling down that now, here I am, typing the last paragraphs of 2016's last post in Singapore (again), as I want this year to end in this dear city. Country. City—oh, whatever.

Anyways. Yea.

I want my career to be like exactly like what I'm doing. Regular ones where I need to commute like cool businessman, work on a desk like I’m a busy office worker. And writing ones too, where I bring my notepads everywhere I go, seen walking around public places carrying my laptop, or sitting on the corner of a hip coffee place somewhere. I wanted to settle down this way, and I did it this year.

And I want Bali and Singapore to be a part of my settling down plan too. Traveling back and forth to both cities for thrice each, waking up on the first day of 2016 in one, and counting down the last seconds of 2016 in another, well, it just showed how "I want them to be a part of my plan too" eh? I've always wanted to settle down with these cities, and it seems like I did.

But the best part of 2016 is
How these two, career and traveling,
Both went side by side so well all year long.

A type settling down I been dying to have.

And this, is the face of somebody whose "Settling Down" plan worked
the way he wanted it to be. Taken in Singapore, 00:25AM

And pretty soon, when I could add a little more of traveling, and less of work, I'll find every year me saying to myself—just like this year I'll say:

"Thank you, 2016.
Let's restart, shall we?"

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Appointment with P. Sherman

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This,
Is a glimpse of my favorite corner in my bedroom.

Along with many other stuff I didn't snap in this frame, I put these three -plus that cute photograph of my baby days- in random orders. No reasons, no considerations. All arranged just because the angle pleased my eyes.

The kangaroo doll came in first. My mom impulsively bought that from her trip in Melbourne last year, and being confused of what to do with the typical tourist trinket, she just gave it to me. The fish tank arrived after I watched "Finding Dory" just this year. June, or July this year, I guess. It's a build-your-own tank which took me hours to make -including the fishes because yes, those two beauties started from stupid little pieces- so yea, it's such a waste if I don't show it off and of course it's an honor to expose my mini dentist tank on my table tops. And the Red Bull cap, was bought in Singapore, during my F1 trip several months ago -you know the story. It belonged to Daniel Ricciardo, my favorite driver from Perth.

Quiet a few weeks after this scene was arranged,
I realized that there was something on with these three.

But I took it for granted until two months ago, when I finally once again jumped into an AirAsia Big Sale, and successfully booked another big trip. Guess where it will be.

Yep,
A U S T R A L I A

Pic's from here.

The land down under has always been something I'm dying to visit. So by the second I spotted these super cheap flights covering the east coast's top cities, well, I don't care much about anything else. So there I was, laughing in front of my laptop on the low table, teeth colliding as I laughed too much in excitement, head tilted up in pride and satisfaction and a bit of pain, and I caught these three staring at me.

Mom's kangaroo minion,
EAC's famous inhabitants,
And my Aussie guy's hat.
So it was a sign.

Well I don't believe that much in superstitions.
But this one's just too real, and too coincidental.
Maybe, MAYBE, because I had my teeth hurting,
It turned out to be the dentist's way to invite me,

The 42 Wallaby Way

Sunday, December 11, 2016

First One

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It’s been two weeks since the last F1 Grand Prix.
If the tournament is still on, there should be another race today.

But it’s over.
My first season ever of F1,

Yea it’s over.

Pic's from here.

It never occurred to me that the sport would be so awesome. All year long. One cool event led to another, making me just sit perfectly still every week in front of my TV, waiting for amazing drama to come. And I should say, I’m glad I picked this season as my first.

You know how it all began.

Rio Haryanto. The first Indonesian to ever entered an F1 championship, which euphoria introduced me to the world of F1. All local eyes were on the 2016 Australian Grand Prix, Haryanto's, and OUR, first Grand Prix. Only different is, those eyes only lasted for two-three races after that, and kept vanishing from race to race, all because they didn’t see how Haryanto could survive. I, on the other hand, resumed watching—including that time when he stopped racing halfway the tournament, yea, I kept on continuing the series.

Despite the Indonesian racer, I enjoyed the sport as a whole though. You know how it all worked out—of course deep inside I’d pray for Rio’s win but, whatever happened, I’d still adore the tournament at a wider point of view. The top racers were unpredictable, making me smiling to whoever won the race, making me screaming to whoever succeeded in overtaking. From Monaco, Hungary, Japan, Brazil ‘til Abu Dhabi, every single races, which I used to think that, well, what’s so different with a race in Spain and the one in Silverstone? apparently served its own unique drama.

My first year got better when the championship entered the Singapore stage. You know how it all took place—I flew there, made my very first race-watching and abroad-concert debut, found international friends who were also fans of F1. It wasn’t just the experience that sent me to the moon—the race itself, of course, became my main dish. Seeing Rosberg won right in the front of my eyes, cheering just several yards away from my idol Ricciardo, catching each and every single cars I could only see from TV screen before. It was all so random, spontaneous, yet obviously the best decision I ever made.

The thrill went on to its next round, Malaysia Grand Prix. You know what happened—Daniel Ricciardo won the race. After two years of vacuum. He’s my favorite in F1 because, he’s good yet not the best. I don’t pick Mercedes boys as my idols because, they’re just too good. Seeing them winning all the time will kill my mood. So I picked him instead, and when he did it in Malaysia, I was beyond happy for this. Wearing-his-hat-which-I-bought-in-Singapore-all-day-long-the-next-day-after-the-race kind of happy. And knowing that he broke the curse of "No Victories at All Since 2014" right on my first year of F1, what else to request?

However, I wouldn’t say I’m glad I picked 2016 as my first year, if it wasn’t for Felipe Massa and Jenson Button. Because you know the reason—they’re two of F1’s legends. Retired just as I started my F1-watching career. I felt really lucky that I had to see them both on track, despite their poor last performances. And even though I had just known them for 21 races, I could see the quality in them. I could imagine how cool they were during their old days, and I felt the same heartbreak their original fans felt when they finished their last races.

And finally, Nico Rosberg completed the list. You know why—the current reigning-champion, the most constant racer with skills so entertaining, the hope for the next excitement in 2017, that came with his retirement announcement by the end of this season. I couldn’t say much about it. I swear I’m so blessed that I got the chance to see him blasting from race to race, until he finally earned his first ever championship, and decided to end his career as a victor. He’s a true champion. 

I couldn’t ask for a better first season.
It seemed like they conspired to make it great for me.

But now it’s all gone.
And I felt a bit blue because,
Well, it’s my very first F1 binge-watch!

No more seeing the legendary rivals in Mercedes fighting for the best on the front row, no more seeing Rosberg pissing Hamilton, no more seeing Massa and Button struggling, the grid will be a whole lot changed as the drivers are distributed here and there cross-teams, the fights will be much much different. I’m sure.

Ah well, that’s the beauty of sport. People move on. So of course my 22 first racers in 11 first teams wouldn’t be on that exact order next year. But whatever happens, those set of grid I had always seen in 2016, those combinations of initials and colors that had always been associated accordingly in 2016, will always be in me.

Upper pics are from herehere and here respectively.
Lower pic belongs to F1 Twitter account.

Well it’s my First One, yes.
There will be more to come.
But I’ve a feeling that this one,
Will forever be the most fucking

Fantastic One

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Time's Up

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So I've watched Moana.
And I really loved it.

I adored how she's so tough and independent, how she's not a crybaby about being forbidden to follow her dream -well Disney Princesses won't easily get what they want, eh?- and how she finally break the rules anyway -yes, it's not a Disney Princess if they're not being a rebel. And her adventure is a badass one. Wandering the ocean all by herself when she doesn't even know how to sail? That's sick! In short:

"Moana is flawless. But remember, the ocean's got its dark side too."

Hm. Sounds like a contrast summary to something I clearly said I was so in love with, don't you think? Well, no, it's not about the film. The film's good, too good, if I may say.

It's about something else.

Vicky Amin presents



I used to take Disney Princesses for granted. I mean, I adored each and every single of them, but that's all, nothing special. It's not until my high school years when I realized that this franchise is more than just featuring ladies with their beauty and moral of story—there's also history in it, sense of timeline, science facts, legends, and -here's what I like the most- nationality. And ever since I realized about this, I've always hoped that there'll be at least one coming from Indonesia.

I know, I know, we got China with Mulan, and Arabic with Jasmine—Asia's pretty much represented already. Plus, Japan and India haven't got their spots and I think they are more likely to be featured if there'll ever be more Princesses from Asia. So, if Indonesia can make it, I think it will happen like, in 20 years?

Then Moana came.

With her ocean spirit and maritime way of living, with her voyager ancestors and sea myths and mother nature—oh Lord, I swear, it was an indigenous Indonesian woman and culture that I saw.

Of course, Polynesia shares culture with us. We're just separated with the ocean, and our old men used to sail a lot so, it's no wonder that they look just like our people from eastern Indonesia.

But it's just too similar. Their physical appearance, their outfit, their houses, their boats, their value about coconut which all elements can be benefited—OMG IT'S WHAT I'VE ALWAYS LEARNED IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL. Along the film all I did was gasping and whispering to myself, oh my God it is obviously Indonesia! or oh my God, it is what my people do! and in the end, I was just sitting there in silent, stressed, because that was it for my country to step up.

They will never create something so similar just to feature some new Princess from Indonesia. They will never use the ocean's approach again for their next Princesses, and guess what, ocean is Indonesia's best asset...

Well actually, if I should see things from the positive side, there's not even once in the film that they clearly stated where this Moana universe took place. So we Indonesians can actually claim that this one will be ours.

But let's not be shallow here. We all know that this lady is more like Hawaiian than Moluccan. And we know that the combination of ocean and lava is identically related to Hawaii.

So no matter how persistent and stubborn I want to be,
I know that I won't win it. Time's up for Indonesia.

However.

We also know that Indonesia possesses more culture than any other nations in this world. We know that ocean is the best asset, yes, but there are others we can highlight.

I think I'm just being too much here.
We can still make it into the Princess lineup.

So it's time, Indonesia.
To show the world what else we got
As for slacking off and goofing around,

Time's up

Monday, November 28, 2016

Adeus, Lenda

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You probably know my F1 story this year.
From knowing nothing to a somewhat paddock protege.

Well, not purely "knowing nothing" though, as some names of the sport's legends had always been exposed to my ears since forever.

Michael Schumacher.
Juan Pablo Montoya.
Giancarlo Fisichella.

Then when I began following the tournament, apparently, there were names I was familiar with, that were still competing.

Sebastian Vettel.
Kimi Räikkönen.
Fernando Alonso.
Lewis Hamilton.

And of course,

Felipe Massa.

Pic's from here.

Long before, when F1 was just still something I gave no credits to, name Felipe Massa on the other hand, always came to my recognition. I wasn't really sure how he had been doing in the sport and even which team he drove for but, what I knew was, that he was among the notable drivers.

Then I started binge-watching the sport. I was so excited by the time I caught his name on the grid in the 2016 Australia GP, because it made me realized that wow, I didn't notice that F1 is blessed with so many famous names! So I began to expect much on him. To give fights, and make the podium less Mercedes-ish.

However as the year went by, he didn't impress much. I was disappointed, and if it were any other kind of sport, and fans like me were of that typical kind of a bandwagon who's just looking for the best performer to be cheered upon, he might had long been dumped already.

But that's just not how F1 works.
It's not just numbers of races you won, or championships you bore.
It's about progress, and consistency. And all the races and tournaments you entered, before you finally tasted the luxury of an F1 seat.

And I knew that Massa had been through it all.
Otherwise how would I keep knowing his name during my F1 clueless era?

It's just, I missed it. I missed it when Massa was on his glorious days, and I caught him in his last acts which turned to be his not-so-nice time of career. It's normal though, really, in the world of sport, to lose your grip after dedicating your life for so long. That's why, there's always the option to retire.

Which Felipe Massa eventually took.
Which I really wasn't pretty amused about.

Because I honestly wished to see more of him.

But all and all yea, that's okay.
At least I got to see it: A Legend's Last Races.
And how the world bid him a farewell he really deserved.

He deserves all the claps from all over the world.

That last home race was heartbreaking, yes.
The tears shed in Brazil were touching, really.

But then it shows just how dear this Felipe Massa is.

So, Senhor Massa.

You've received your sweet goodbyes from your old, loyal fans.
It's time for you to hear it from somebody so new, but really adores you.

"Obrigado, Felipe.
E adeus, Lenda"

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Bully

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Okay so no F1 Grand Prix this weekend.
I know, sucks, but I have a good idea.

Let's talk about one topic that has been really much talked about lately.

Yea, it's

"VERSTAPPEN vs FERRARI"

(I like how it all starts with the sound of "VER"s)

So happy I could find such beautiful photo of them three. It's from here though.

Collision between the teenager and the two F1 legends happened all the way back before the summer break, if I'm not mistaken. But of course, the most recognized occurrence, the one where it all began, took place in Belgium.

Pic's from here.

Spa is one of my favorite Grand Prixes. Hamilton's blast from P20 something to podium, Magnussen's big crash, clashes all around the places and then, there were Max vs Kimi.

The two was going on a fierce battle all laps long. And this was actually the time where the trend of Max's underbraking started. Oh yeah the kid played dirty many times in front of the Finn. And boy he was was totally pissed.

And he started to be all in rage and kept on swearing on the radio. I even reached the point where I thought after the race was finished, Kimi would come to Max and beat the crap out of that kid. Because dude, it's Kimi Räikkönen. You don't want to mess with him.

It's like a school drama. Where the big guy felt intimidated by spineless guy who apparently is brighter than him. And he begins to be filled with rage. While the smaller one could just defend himself, in an obvious fear.

And when I thought this was hilarious enough, Mexico served some other comedy.

Pic's from here.

Even better.

Because this happened exactly on the last lap. The whole race was so so but THIS happened, exactly on the last lap, thanks to the drama of Max vs Sebastian.

The junior was on P3, the latter was on P4. It was a virgin-tight close head-to-head catch-up until suddenly, on Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez's infamous turn one, Max slipped and rode off track to get a 'privileged' shortcut, leading him to a podium.

But everyone knows that he'd be given penalty so Seb, being an annoying jackass of his own, interrupted Max's celebration by giving him a super "no, no, don't be happy yet, kiddo" gesture while driving along the then-3rd winner.

It was an intense podium switchings.

Verstappen was there already, chilling with the top 2 -which is of course, the Mercedes guys- while suddenly his face changed. That face. Fuck, so funny. A face of somebody being rejected. And to make it even better, it was a kid's face for God's sake. Yes, he was given 5 seconds penalty, causing the German to be the 3rd in Mexico.

Back on track, Seb was being paraded by his fellow Ferrari crews. Oh my God this was so colossal. The young Dutch was out already, and the podium was all for Vettel.

Shit, man.
Verstappen's face.
And Vettel's parade.

It was worth my slept-early-and-woke-up-late-at-night-because-Mexico-is-like-12-hours-later-than-Indonesia sacrifice.

Just look at Max's face when Vettel's moving towards the podium. SO PRECIOUS.

Lol. This bully.

I actually imagined that scene where Verstappen parted ways with his friends (his team), and his brother (Ricciardo) goes away from some other business. He's riding a bike through a slum dark alley, and the Ferrari gang, co-led by Kimi and Seb, is there already, waiting to beat him.

Ha-ha.

Well. I'm not here to judge who's right or wrong, because obviously Verstappen was being unethical but it was just natural to defend himself. And no I'm not on Max's side because my fave is Daniel it has nothing to do with his partner. I'm bringing this up because I never thought F1 would be this much entertaining.

It's just so funny to see how the Red Bull rookie acts.
And it's even funnier to see how the reds react.

But beware, Ferrari.
You can be the bully off-track.
But it's pretty clear so far that on track,
The kid is your fiery, red bully


P.S.: You do know that the plot twist of who gets the 3rd podium didn't end there, don't you? Yes, Vettel was given 10s penalty for underbraking Ricciardo while fighting with Verstappen so eventually, the 3rd place was for the Australian. Fuck MexicanGP. Best one yet.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

How Mind Works

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"On one fine morning, there was a lean guy riding a cab to work. He was on his way to his client's office for an early meeting, when suddenly he wondered about, how fun it could be, if what he does for life, is covered on the media. What a weird fantasy, he then told to himself, while tossing a dumb smile out of the car window."
That lean guy, was me.

It was actually a silly thing, that thought. It randomly just popped out of my head. Well, not so random because by that time my cab was passing in front of one of my friend's building where he works for a notable local radio station. He's a pretty successful friend of mine, an announcer, also a rapper. I remembered just earlier this year, he was invited to a hip TV station to perform, and yes, it all made me having this weird fantasy of appearing on a media.

Well, there's no harm in dreaming yes?

And so I went on with life, acting as if that was just another typical morning thought of mine—some leftover from last night's dream.

Only this time,
The dream is much more powerful than mere night's dream.

Walking out of the client's reach, thank Gooodness, I could finally reach out to my phone. Lots of texts were there already, and I was kind of expecting those were from work. But not really.

Two of those texts are unusual—they came from non-regular texters of mine. One was even unknown. The other one being from my publisher, which always gave me a mini heart attack -of joy- seeing her name on my messenger. So I opened her messages, and was startled like a spineless little boy encountering an aligator by the swamp.

It was an invitation.
To a local radio station owned by the publishing house that published my books. Oh yes, it was about my book really. They wanted to interview me for my newest book, in their "Book of the Week" section on the following day—that day's next day. So I didn't think twice. And turned to the unknown texter whom apparently the one I had to confirm my availability to.

All set, and I was just standing there. Still at my client's office. Just standing there, doing nothing, smiling, trembling, with some tears clogged around the corner of my eyes.

It was shocking to me figuring out that I was actually embarking on the life I had been dreaming about. That what I had been working for this past two years was starting to open more paths in my writing career. That I'd be like my friend had been doing.

But that's not just it.

There's something else beyond just "dreams come true"
That made me stunned and speechless to the core of my soul.

It was my mind.
I really don't know how it works. To have the scheme came to reality just several hours after the wondering, it scared me more than amazed me. And I'm not telling you any lie here. I literally had that weird thought of me being covered, just before I received the invitation. I literally envisioned myself being on that TV show, instead of my rapper friend, and got asked this and that about how I did whatever I did.

But let's just be grateful and clear-headed here.
At least it was something good, that became true.

And the interview on the next day, it went really well. I had to leave my work for a while, as it was held after lunch. But I didn't care, this was a stepping stone to me. And everybody was there to see me stepping that stone. My family tuned in from home, my friends raided me with supports, and, this is the best part for me: my co-workers recorded the show and forced me to hear my super annoying voice back in the office! Haha!

All and all, it was an experience I'll always cherish.

With the radio announcer!

---
"On one fine morning, there was a lean guy riding a cab to work. He was wondering about how fun it could be, if what he does for life, is covered on the media—yet apparently the exact next day, his so called fantasy turned literally real."

Well.

Sometimes I just can't stop thinking
About how my mindno. It's beyond that.
Sometimes I just can't stop admiring, about

How God works

四代目 — Fourth

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In the world of Naruto, there were four respected forefathers.
Heroes of the ninja village, honored even before the anime started.

The first one was the pioneer. Powerful, admired, someone everybody look up to. The second one was dependable. Quiet yet impactful, supporting what was lacking from its predecessor. The third one, was full of potentials. Determined, and timeless. And the fourth one, was the most dynamic, and the star of the village.

Ahh, the fourth one. My favorite.

Everybody deared the fourth one, for his high quality.
And that's exactly what I wish to have, in my fourth baby.

"Cheating Central Japan"

Don't ask me how I did it, because I barely believe myself. To have a fourth book while my third one was still fresh from the oven, it was beyond expectation.

And this one is about my best trip so far. The trip I had always been dying to have. To a country I had always been dying to visit. Doing lots of things I had always been dying to experience. All those stuff I did, now is in a form of a book.

Well I'm not going to tell how I did the book, and how I showed them to my family in our favorite surprise-I-am-having-another-book-now corner -it all happened just the same with previous ones. I'm actually here to state how I wish this baby can bring me to a new level of, being an author.

Because it's Japan.
Everybody loves Japan.

And having this one can provide me to a wider range of readers. They who are seeking to have the same experience I had, they who are longing to enjoy the wonder I felt—and I'm sure there are literally millions of them. No wonder why my publisher didn't think twice accepting my script.

And having more readers can allow me to unlock more doors in me. With their encouragement, their criticisms and suggestions, their supports, and of course, their money. Until eventually, all will lead me to more and more places on the globe I can visit, and more and more babies I can give birth to.

So, am I done?
Of course not.

I'll be having the fifth, the sixth,
And it'll be going on and on even after
Naruto loses its counts

Three's A Party

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The last two months have been a skyrocketing time of life.
Between works, friends and family, passion and interest,
All juggled in balance, and I'm starting to get a hang of it.

Sounds like something to celebrate eh?
Yeah, and for that, enter my third book.

Cheating Philippines in a form of "Let's Go to Philippines"

This one underwent a crazy long journey.

Finished right after I gave birth to my first book, only a couple of months after I arrived from Philippines. Sounds easy? No, because although I have the script done so quick, the search of the publisher wasn't of that easy. But yea, all the struggle was worth celebrating.

And the process wasn't so bad, though. The writing part relived my journey. Then after my first rejection, I found another publisher in which bringing me new air, new hope, and... New task, too! Why, they wanted me to make the script their way so, I had to revamp it all the way. But who cares, because this meant that I had to get in my Filipino Party once again! It eventually led to a second rejection, though, but hey, it was all fine. Until finally, after my second book was released, I found the one that I've been looking for: THE, publisher for this book.

Two total major revisions.
Two years of editing and waiting.
But again, all the struggle was worth celebrating.

Because all my sacrifices finally paid off. And rereading, retouching, also reworking my script made me not only once, twice, but four times doing my Philippines pistas over and over again.

Moreover, this book celebrates so many aspects in my life. About how productive I am—and my family couldn't be prouder to see me striking three books in three consecutive years -oh and yes, of course, I brought them to a surprise bookshelf visit thing, just what I did last year and two years ago. About how cool I am—and My friends applauded me for this superb achievement. And about how I am now more and more connected to the world of writing and publishing—the publisher, being so different and so supportive from the previous ones, kept in touch with me and my precious work through social media.

Can't say much about this.
I'm truly proud of myself. I so am.
Beyond grateful of what I've achieved, too.

Because I now have three (plus one) babies.
And I feel like there are more to come.

So yeah.

One's a company,
Two's a crowd and
Three's a hearty

Keeping Up with Vicky Amin

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I owe this blog lots of stories so...


Prepare for some
Internet Breakout

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Classic Jealousy

2 comments:

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


IMAGINE DRAGONS

Pic's from here.


Yes.

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.

Obviously,
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


Singapore Grand Prix 2016

Pic's from here.

Fuck.

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.

Crazy.

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Red White

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Independence Day?
Yes, that's the main dish.
But this year, it's beyond that.

It all started on last Sunday night.

Just when I thought the fun was over, giving the fact that weekend reached the end and Monday was coming, something amazing happened in England. Yes it was the first matchday of Premier League, and Liverpool was playing.

Against Arsenal.
At Emirates.

It was supposed to be uneasy for us. And I didn't expect much anyway. But since it was a big game, and it was the debut match for the whole season, I streamed to London anyway.

The drama was real. A real emotional roller-coaster. Penalty against Liverpool, but blocked. First goal by Arsenal, but the lads could catch up with more goals. Gunners leveled up their game with more goals, but eventually, Liverpool managed to survive 'til the end. And won.

Pic's from here.

I swear, it was a sweet night for me. And I swear I woke up with the biggest smile on the next day, despite it was Monday, and I had to go to work. But what made it "the biggest", was because on that Monday night, I was going to have another open trip which I hadn't done for so long.

Yes, just like last year to Krakatau.
It was a trip for Indonesia's day.
This time,
To Dieng

I know, it's a crazy view eh?

I was all excited. Plus this was my first time joining a non-sea trip. And, it was my very first time using an office day-off - I'M AN ADULT! And the 2-day-2-night trip itself, it turned out to be so incredible.

Rice paddies along the way, rolls of hills on top of the plateau, multi-hued lakes and awesome craters, ancient temples and insightful historical watchings, countryside people with their fresh routines, new friends sharing the same Indonesian-treasures interest, nice warm local specialties with mountainous weather, DAMN! I never felt a trip more Indonesian than this.

But the main show of course, was the one on the August 17th itself. When we trekked the 2600-meter-something mountain to have our annual patriotic ceremony, with flags waving everywhere and scenes of sick hillsides graced the background. And with the moment when "Indonesia Raya" was marched from all corners of the mountain, leaving back to reality was indeed a difficult thing to do.

They called it Puncak Sikunir

Well. Mesmerizing, huh?
But that was not it.

Just when I thought the fun was over, giving the fact that my wonderful trip reached the end and another working day was coming, something amazing happened again. This time, in Rio. Yes,


The Gold Medal
by
Tontowi Ahmad | Lilyana Natsir


It's a big thing for me. No, not because of the event. Not necessarily because it's Rio, and everybody is talking about that, and posting things about the athletes, that it became a big thing for me. No. I've been a supporter for Indonesian badminton since long ago. I even watched it when Hendra Setiawan and Markis Kido won their gold in Beijing 2008. I ain't any bandwagon fan who suddenly became interested in this sport just to swim along the stream.

So my love for them is real. And seeing them winning, seeing them getting back the gold tradition Indonesia didn't have in 2012 Olympics and on top of all, seeing them giving it all right on the day Indonesia was celebrating its Independence Day, it was too beautiful.

Pic's from here.
So intense, yet beautiful.
Full of all red and white things.
And you know what makes it more touching?
That all of these happened in just 4 packed days.

It overlapped, in the most delicate ways.

Thanks, Liverpool.
And I love you so much

Indonesia