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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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.


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.


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