Saturday, March 26, 2016

Hippy Holiday

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March is way past my annual trip schedule.

By this time three years ago, it was two months after my first solo trip ever—to Malaysia and Thailand. Two years ago, I had my trip to Vietnam and Cambodia already finished for about six weeks. And today last year, I had even finished my book script after I visited Hong Kong and Macau. For the last three years, my annual trip has always been done somewhere around end of January to the beginning of February, as for this year, well, all I did was just working and escaping for a while to Bali.

I don't want to break my habit.
So I planned a simple trip to

It wasn't big, like what I usually did for my annual trip -I'm kind of financially overwhelmed too anyway, after Japan. And unlike any other annual trip of mine, Singapore is not someplace I've never been to. I've been there several times. With family, with friends. But yeah you might know why I finally ended up choosing Singapore.

Because I want it to be done solo.

Booked everything myself, flew alone, slept at the airport -I've finally crossed Changi off of my list!- and stayed at the dorm, talked with random people, made new friends, got lost, did all the things I wanted, man, it doesn't really have to be Singapore, honestly. Whenever I travel, if I just do it my way, and no one is there to interfere, I'll have the best time of my life.

Plus this was my visit to Singapore for the umpteenth time -lol no I'm just making that big, it was only like my sixth time- so I've roughly seen most of the tourist spots. And thanks to that, I had all the four days and three nights of my visit last week, in a complete serenity and non-rush sense. And I got to visit more of the 'hipster' places.

Staying around Chinatown instead of Orchard or Bugis,
Crossing the water to some other island instead of Sentosa.

I really enjoyed every second of it. People on my feed would probably think "okay Vick, it's only Singapore. Don't make a big deal out of it." but I don't care. I cycled through the real jungle of Singapore, while all you can do is just walk around in the fake-jungle-you-call-concrete-jungle-it's-not-even-a-real-jungle and shop.

I really enjoyed every bit of it, and guess what, the timing is just right. It was a long weekend, and I was there far before Friday, and I returned on Saturday just before everybody returned on Sunday -which I'm pretty sure would create a messy scene of Indonesians everywhere in the airport. I dodged all the bullets!

Although actually, it's not the right timing I was talking about.

It's more because at the end of the trip,
Just in one hour, after my arrival in Jakarta,

Is my big day

So yeah, I planned it really well.
Because returning from the Hippy Holiday,
I got a "Happy Birthday"

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Foolish Ones

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It's been pretty confusing to be Indonesians lately.
Between pride and disappointment, it all mixed up.

Like tourism. I'm pretty much head over heels with my country right now as Indonesia keeps attracting the world with its natural charm. Yet on the same time, our internal harmony is on jeopardy. The race and religion issue is getting too much and I'm this close to... You know, stuff you religion freaks don't want to hear.

This makes me realize how low-educated my fellow citizens are. And how trash their talk is. No I'm not going to discuss the topic of "race and religion" no, oh God, I've had enough. I want to talk about something else. That also shows how poor Indonesians' mindset is.

I want to talk about Rio Haryanto.

Pic's from here.

The first ever Indonesian in Formula One.

Okay I need to set things straight here: I ain't some bandwagon fan -or what you call in Bahasa as "karbitan"- who starts to track Rio's journey ever since he made it into F1. No. I've been exposed to him long ago, as he is on the same age with me, and I've always had this jealousy—I mean, I've always had this MAJOR SUPPORT for people my age -I once brought up Neymar and Sam Smith to this blog, you can look it up. I've known him far before 2016, unlike most Indonesians do, so no, I'm not that kind of spontaneous groupie.

Back to topic.

Today was the Race Day for Australia Grand Prix. Yesterday was the qualification and as you might knew, Rio had some incident that forced him to start from the last position today. And as you might as well knew, many Indonesians whom are mostly clueless about the racing world and stuff, started their trash-talk galore.

Saying that it's an unnecessary thing done by Rio, cursing about how reckless that poor guy was, self-observing that this was a super bad start for Indonesia and could not be good for the future, this shit, that shit, oh man! Shut the fuck up already!

You guys wanted somebody to lift the dignity of Indonesia? Rio stepped up. You guys wanted something fresh to clear up your minds from the negative vibes that has been all around the nation lately? Rio delivered a very good news. You guys made this really nice support so he could finally get the money and made it through the event, and now you think that it can give you the courtesy to mock him? You guys are such a disgrace, really.

"Seriously, people, you need to keep your uneducated mind and mouth shut. All you can do is just talk, and talk, and talk more nonsense crap, yet you know barely nothing about the race!" -- Vicky Amin, 23, furious on some level.

Last night I watched an interview on local TV station, featuring one of Indonesia's racers. She described a comprehensive rules and regulations about Formula One, and stated that such incident is common and more racers will do the same thing throughout the tournament, even worse things could possibly happen. So really, it's not that big a deal.

Remember, he's the only Indonesian in F1 now.
Plus, he's like, the only Southeast Asian.
Oh better yet, the only ASIAN.

And you, you got nothing.
Nothing but your trash mouth.

I'm not here to defend Rio -well, okay, I'm here for that too, a bit. I'm writing this more likely to emphasize on how upset I am with Indonesian citizens today. Especially the ones roaming about the internet.

They're just too fool, too lazy to dig up the complete facts that they get too carried away already with just unnecessary details. It's like, sometimes I think we're really not ready for such freedom in information exchange...

Well well, that's too much to think.
Let's just now forget about them assholes.

Obviously, F1 is not for
The Foolish Ones

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Homey Holiday

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I've been talking much about Bali.

How I adore the island, the atmosphere, the people, and of course, the scenery. I never get bored of this place, and I've always had the urge to write everything about it—from the very first time I landed my feet there, started blogging about it after the second visit, then back and forth, back and forth, with different stories and companions, until finally I reached the time that I don't feel like writing about it anymore. I'm still in love with Bali, I just gradually lose my interest to keep reporting about my journey every time I finish a trip.

Like after I returned from Lembongan during 2016 New Year holiday. It was sick and crazy nice, but I didn't even have the interest to write about that because I knew, I'd be back really soon. And I did. Just last weekend. Initially I'd want to not write anything about it.

But somehow, I can't.

Because this one was different.

All these years, I've always traveled to Bali with tons of objective. Exploring this side of Bali, that side of Bali, this beach, that beach, Gili, Menjangan, Lembongan, blah blah blah. All was fun, oh really. Never once in my lifetime I visited Bali, and had a bad time in there.

And now, as it seemed like I've been to almost all Bali's top destinations, I felt like it's time to enjoy the island in a new way. Not to spot a new place, but to celebrate the whole place, in a new way. A more relaxed way.

Yes, a way to live Bali,
With not much of an agenda.

I call it Bali staycation.
Enjoying the island, by doing nothing.

Hotel, swimming pool, hip eating places, hotel, swag cafes, laptop by the rice paddies, hotel, clubs, nice drinks, good meals, hotel, slow bike ride, book by the beach, hotel, bright sun, hotel, rain, hotel, cotton candy sunset, hotel, hotel, hotel.


I stayed in Batu Belig area, and not even once going much too far away from my hotel. For some people it may be considered a waste of time, but, honestly, it was really worth the waste. Beyond valuable, precisely.

Because apparently,
Bali is a good place to apply

The art of procrastination.

I've unlocked another way to enjoy the island.
And I've always found more reasons to return.

Well Bali,

You just can't ever fail me

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Total(ly) Solar Eclipse

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At first I didn’t really feel like joining the euphoria.
I was just too busy to bother thinking about that.

But moments prior to the big day, I started to sense the splendor of the phenomenon. It’s like, a very great and important day was coming to town. The similar sensation to expecting Eid or Christmas. Only bigger, because it had been all around the media for the last one year.

And the people, I never felt such enthusiasm before. Maybe because it’s a once-in-300-years opportunity? I mean, in 30 years we still can see a partial solar eclipse, but as for TOTAL solar eclipse, on the same track that’s going on this year, well, it won’t happen again until year 2316 something.

It reminds me a bit to the part of Naruto I’m currently watching. There’s this project initiated by the villain to create an illusion moon (“Tsuki-no-me”) that can send anybody to the realm of imagination, where people can live inside their best dream forever, leaving the chaotic real life behind. I mean, well, it’s pretty different to what‘s happening now, as this Tsuki-no-me is obviously objected by people, while our solar eclipse phenomenon is positively expected. But the uproar of the anticipation feels the same.

The terrifying Tsuki-no-me. Pic's from here.
Well that’s what I was thinking.
Until today, exactly just now,
I saw the real eclipse.

No, I was at home. And Jakarta was only served with around 80% of the eclipse. Island of Belitung in the west, and city of Palu in the east, are the ones who were exposed to 100% of the eclipse. And both cities were aired by the national televisions.

It was pretty odd here at home. The morning sun feels like dusk, bright but sunset-like bright. And praises can be heard from nearby mosques. A situation I never felt before. I mean, it’s normal to catch Islamic praises in the morning, but when the situation feels like it’s about to get dark, it doesn’t happen everyday. Well but that’s all, no significant thing happened.

Knowing that I might not get the full experience of this solar eclipse, I switched to my TV because I knew I could get something more with it. And of course I was right.

The footage in Belitung and Palu, clearly showed how a total solar eclipse is supposed to be. From its partial form one hour before the full version, to the seconds when the moon fully covers the sun. It was pretty intense, and breathtaking. Especially when the my screen switched from a normal sunset moment screen –well, a ‘sunset’ at 7:30 am was not supposed to be normal but, yea– to a complete dark in one second. Literally in one second, as if there was a giant was suddenly standing in the way. Then the eclipse ring appeared on the TV. And people started to shout Lord’s name. And the news reporter cried.

I was just watching from home, but all those things that came out of my TV really touched me deep inside. A phenomenon once in our lifetime, was revealed before my eyes. I couldn’t imagine if I was actually there in either Belitung or Palu, standing upon an open air space, seeing the best dark of my life. I might shed a tear.

Well, I didn’t really have to be there to shed a tear.
I cried already, seeing all those on my screen.
Because you see, it was that beautiful.

The majestic total solar eclipse. Pic's from here.

Then you see, I was just stating the obvious throughout this post. You may be able to get these facts from news portal or something, mine is just explaining what I know –which is soo little– and not much about the scientific reasons of the phenomenon.

Still, I’d like to get in the mood of this total solar eclipse thingy.

It’s bad enough that I didn’t even bother thinking about traveling to Belitung or anywhere around Sumatra, just because I was busy with something I can always do again later. While this exact phenomenon, will never appear again in my life.

Thank God I still get to see it at least on TV.
Sensing how crowds crumbled in tears of gratitude.
Completely realizing the fact that they—I mean, WE,

We are TOTALLY nothing
Compared to Him