Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Closer, Closer

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So I missed the plan for the second half of 2017.

Damn I've been crazy busy lately you won't ever imagine how it's like to be me -lol who am I again?? But seriously. Juggling with three jobs, two personal projects, and one busy life as an adult at the same time is not quiet like a good idea. I feel like I barely breathe, and have much too limited time to do stuff including to update this blog, and the next thing I know, boom, it's October, and I missed the plan for the second half of 2017.

But no worries. On July, I still had no idea what I was going to do for the rest of the year anyway, so the post will only be full of bullshit. Oh but wait. I knew at least one plan. One, thing, that I did last year so randomly, and I kinda suspected that I'd do again this year. One thing that really matched my "Restart Project".

Formula 1 Race.

Yep. I did it again this year. Was talking to a co-worker about F1, and this little -yet awesome- spontaneous guy inside of me somehow urged me to "buy the ticket for a Grand Prix like right now!" and ta-dah, there I was, in front of my desktop, with my credit card raped.

No, it wasn't Singapore again -man, the price of the ticket was such a ripoff!- so I bought the other one that you might guess. Because as the second GP ever in my entire life, of course I would try the second closest one from home. Yea, it was

MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX

Pic's from here.

No considerations. But no regrets. Especially because the ticket consisted all three days of the Grand Prix -the freaking expensive tix I bought for Singapore, was only for the Race Day. But nothing made it better when they announced that it was going to be the last ever Grand Prix in Malaysia. The image of me being a part of the ending of what had been going on for the last 19 years, and how it matched my coming there, I couldn't be any more grateful of that.

The waiting was extra draining, but it was worth the excitement. As when I saw the drivers arrived one by one in Sepang, knowing that they were only 5000kms away and one hour ahead of me, I INSTANTLY FORGOT ABOUT ALL THE WAITINGS!

Then came the weekend. It was oh another spontaneous trip I haven't done for a fair long time. Only packed one bag, which I brought to the office -yes, I didn't want to lose any dayoff so I still went to the office before my flight, caught a late night flight to Malaysia, arrived early on  Saturday morning, took a quick power nap by the airport lounge before heading straight to the circuit which was only several kilometers away from the airport, and decided to stay at a capsule hotel at the airport, well, I must say, I never know anybody who can plan a trip more effective than myself! HA-HA.

Okay enough talking about the trip.
This is not a post about traveling, Vick.

Okay, day one! Day one, was quiet of a bummer at the beginning. Overall it was unbelievable, of course, to be able to wander around the F1 circuit one more time. Plus, this one was much better as I had more access. But I missed the first session of the drivers interview on the stage. And it was Red Bull, the team I'm supporting! Still I got to see Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa, even Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel but, I WAS FLYING THERE FOR DANIEL RICCIARDO OH GOD AND I WAS SO CLOSE IN SEEING HIM!

Alright! Chill.

So I missed the interview, not a big deal. It's not like Daniel talked to the fan one by one -if that's really what happened, I wouldn't forgive myself for missing the interview. I still got to enjoy the whole day by taking photos here and there, getting free 360 and free podium jump celebration photo ops, shopping trinkets, enjoying the Free Practice and hell yeah, the main course of the day, the Qualification. After all I returned to the airport fulfilled and hopeful, because on the following day, there was still the drivers signing thing I could take part of.

And so I woke up earlier on Sunday.

Checked out early from the hostel, had early breakfast, and took the earlier bus to the circuit. But of course, when you thought that you did good, somebody else did better. When I got there, the line was like that of a Justin Bieber concert. And that's only the line entering the circuit. When I reached the stage where the signing would take place, God I swear, I felt like I lost any faith in life. It was too long, the queue. And all the people around me were pretty sure that we didn't stand even a chance. But what the heck I tried anyway. Even if it was only Jolyon Palmer, I wouldn't mind -at least he could tell Daniel that I said "hi" to him.

But I think God still wanted me to try harder.
And so they announced that the signing was over.

I was so pissed. Two hours standing, less than halfway to go. If only I woke up even earlier, and ran  even faster, I could at least be close enough to the stage that I could shout to attract Daniel's attention. But well it was just a bonus. The main dish was still the main race, and so I kept my head held high and stepped to the grandstand I was assigned to.

Luckily, the race was damn good.

I was so worried that rain would ruin the whole race, but it only showered until a minute before the lights out! So all my worries about this race would end up so boring-ly like Singapore two weeks earlier, it all washed out along with the rainfall. And the race itself was, I may be biased because I was there and it might sound a bit defensive, but the race was to me one of the best in 2017.

The drama was real. The leader changed from the default Hamilton to Verstappen, who had been a bit underestimated because of all the engine problems he suffered. The slippery track made it even more exciting. But of course, the one I screamed so loud about, was Daniel's attempts to regain his place on Top 3 from the Force Indias and Bottas, and, to defend himself from Vettel ho surprisingly accelerated like devil from the bottom to P4.

I swear I was all squeaky like an old lady. It was so tight towards the end, between Daniel and Sebastian -I'm sure if there were one or two extra laps, he's done. Best part was, I was surrounded by Ferrari fans. So being all so loud and cringy while Vettel was trying so hard to reach Ricciardo's ass, I swear people were looking at me. But I don't care because I WAS FLYING THERE FOR DANIEL RICCIARDO OH GOD AND THOSE MANEUVERS WERE SO CLOSE!

Finally it ended, and Daniel finished third. Never once in my life I felt so manly -or not?- for supporting some sport stuff with all my heart. Well. What a race. If my day ought to end on that exact second, I wouldn't mind.

But I think God still wanted me to try harder.
And so they opened up the gate from the grandstand.

My adrenaline came rushing. This could be my only chance to get closer to Daniel, remembering that I missed both of the first two chances. Plus, he got podium. Along with Verstappen who finished first. There had to be something going on around the main grandstand.

So I pushed whatever was in front of me. I swifted like an antelope, snatched any empty spot like a cat squeezed itself inside a cardbox half its size. I ran like I've always trained myself days before the race, leaving those slow weaklings before me and joined they who had arrived there in front of the main grandstand. The Dutch national anthem finished playing, and the trophies were all distributed when I arrived in front of the podium. I was so close to him...

I took photos like it was my wedding: A LOT. And even after the drivers left, and people got fed up taking pics, I stayed. I didn't know why but I told myself that I needed to stay, just to fulfill my need to be around the atmosphere. After 30 mins I felt like I had enough, so I began to clear away from the podium front, and walked along the garage.

And I saw these people climbing up the fence in front of a garage. I was too tired to do the same, but like a spotlight from heaven, I saw this one empty spot among these people, ONLY ONE AND I'M NOT TRYING TO MAKE IT LIKE A SWEET SERENDIPITY, calling me with such grand bliss, waiting to be climbed.

You wouldn't believe what happened next. Or you would: I climbed, of course. But what you wouldn't believe is what I saw in front of the fence I climbed.

It was Red Bull's garage.

I don't know how else to say how lucky I was. To stand right in front of their garage. Exactly theirs like, theirs only! And the cars were being dragged inside, the mechanics and engineers were working on some parts with such joy, and us here lining up the fence looking at them with pure happiness. It was quiet for a long time, me standing there doing nothing but looking at the garage. But my guts once again told me to stay for at least 15 more minutes, without knowing why.

And he was right.

People from my right started shouting. That kind of shout in a concert where people realize that it's about to start. That kind of atmosphere in a gig where the main star shows a bit of his presence.

Yep, Daniel appeared.

With Max. And the old lady I unleashed earlier during the race, suddenly came back. As a crazy fanboy who seemed ready to jump in and crouch the idol. My brain was blank, and my mouth kept shouting Daniel's name. Only the name, nothing else. I was blinded by excitement I think I forgot other words but his name. No shame at all, because thanks to that restless shouting, he FUCKING WAVED AT ME, WHAT THE HELL WHY AM I SO EXCITING AND TYPING IN ALL CAPS AGAIN? OH YEAH BECAUSE IT WAS DANIEL RICCIARDO WAVING AT ME, AND HELL YEA IT WAS THE CLOSEST I COULD BE TO HIM!

Fuck, chill Vick, that's not even the best part.
No, I lied. Of course it was the best part.

Although what happened after that was also unforgettable to me. They were appearing in front of the garage to do the trophy shots, as they got double podium that race. My camera never once stopped working. Photos, videos, photos, videos, stupid selfies, photos, I didn't want to miss even one second.

Because I was too lucky, and I wanted to keep this forever.

It looks like a photo taken by journalist, eh? But no. IT'S ME!

No considerations.
But no regrets, at all.

Because all my random plans paid off. All my tight, not-staying-in-downtown-not-even-staying-away-from-the-airport schedule succeeded. And most importantly, my wish to get real close to my idol came true -lol it made me sound like a freaky psychopath BUT TO HELL WITH THAT!.

But I think God still wants me to try harder.
Because after all, I still don't have any photo with him.

Maybe next time, next time for real.
In Japan, China, or maybe his home Australia,
I'll be actually that close

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Seventy Two

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For the first time in my life,

I got a visitor from abroad -a friend I met on my Australia trip, during Indonesia’s Independence Holiday. Which effectively means that for the first time in my life too -since I had to guide this friend of mine around town, I explored Jakarta and its major tourist spots, during Indonesia’s Independence Holiday.



And let’s talk in Indonesian.

Jujur sebenernya gue gak sabar sih buat menyambut temen gue ini. Namanya Paul. Makanan favoritnya steak, kalo nginep pas liburan selalu di hotel berbintang, dan dia ke mana-mana naik mobil atau taksi. Dia baru pertama kali ke Indonesia jadi gue tambah excited! Karena gue pengen ngenalin makanan-makanan lokal gue yang enak-enak, karena gue pengen pamer kalo transport di Jakarta udah nyaman, karena ini pengalaman pertama gue ke Kota Tua pas 17an, dan karena gue mau nunjukin betapa meriahnya perayaan kemerdekaan di Indo which negara manapun di dunia gak ada yang bikin selebrasi seheboh ini.

Awalnya hari ini berjalan lancar. Mulai dari gue sama adek gue nganter bokap nyokap ke airport, trus pulangnya lewat rumah-rumah di area kampung jadi bisa ngeliat orang-orang lagi pada sibuk nyiapin lomba-lomba, trus ke tempat temen gue naik busway yang isinya orang-orang berbaju merah. Intinya, suasana 17an udah kerasa banget.

Namun, lama-lama semuanya mulai gak beres. Panasnya bener-bener gak karuan, trus museum-museum di Kota Tua, yang harusnya jadi atraksi utama dan alasan pertama kenapa gue ajak Paul ke sana, TUTUP SEMUA -sumpah ya gak abis pikir, ini kan 17an, kenapa malah tutup??? Kalo tanggal-tanggal merah lainnya ya gak masalah lah, tapi Hari Kemerdekaan!?!?, udah gitu jalan-jalan arah Pelabuhan Sunda Kelapa semuanya pake dialihin pula, fuck, kesel sih gue gak bohong.

Tapi itu semua gak ada apa-apanya dibandingin pas gue mau ke Istana Negara buat liat upacara penurunan bendera.

Ini kan main dish ya. Jadi gue berharap banget setelah semua ke-rese-an yang terjadi barusan, at least buat yang satu ini beneran kejadian. Tapi dunia berkata lain. Jalan yang ditutup makin menjadi-jadi, sehingga busway gue memutuskan untuk gak berhenti di Monas dan langsung ke Harmoni. Di halte itu ternyata udah penuh gak karuan. Dan bus arah balik ke Monas lamanya gak nahan. Antreannya panjang, panasnya bukan main, dan ketika bus tiba, kita mesti dempet-dempetan masuk dan desek-desekan di dalem bus. Terakhir, busnya ternyata muter sehingga kita gak lewat Monas dan ya, intinya, perjalanan gue barusan itu sia-sia dan cuma dapet apesnya aja.

Temen gue, namanya Paul.
Dia ke mana-mana naik mobil atau taksi, tapi hari ini dia mesti kebawa arus orang-orang busway yang, well, tau sendiri kan betapa liarnya mereka kalo mau naik bus yang udah ditunggu-tunggu 45 menit? Paul baru pertama kali ke Indonesia, dan di hari pertamanya ini dia harus ngeliat betapa bobroknya negara gue, harus gagal ngerasain meriahnya 17an, harus ngerasain sisi-sisi kelam Jakarta yang sebenernya sehari-hari udah mulai gak kerasa.

Gue bisa liat si Paul udah mpet banget. Tapi muka paling mpet ya muka gue. Karena gue pikir bawa dia keliling pas lagi 17an itu adalah ide yang bagus, tapi ternyata nggak. Karena gue pikir ajak dia naik transportasi umum itu adalah pengalaman seru, tapi ternyata bau.

Dia bilang seru sih -yang gue sangat yakin dia bohong, dan makan malem yang gue kenalin ke dia, which were tongseng, pisang goreng, otak-otak dan es jeruk kelapa, katanya enak banget -kalo yang ini gue sangat yakin dia jujur, karena keliatan lah dari mungkenye.

Tapi tetep aja, gue kecewa…

Karena ternyata, meski udah berusia 72 tahun, Indonesia (dan Jakarta) masih buruk banget pengaturannya. Oke buat hari-hari biasa, emang udah kerasa bagus dan rapihnya. Tapi giliran ada hari besar kayak gini, dor, langsung deh keder. Kaget. Shock. Jelas banget kalo persiapannya kurang. Acara-acara kenegaraan yang ditayangin di TV, keliatannya emang mewah. Tapi gak ada yang tahu kan kalo ternyata biar orang-orang bisa sampe di Istana, buat ngeliat “kemewahan” itu, susahnya bukan main?

Tapi bicara soal “orang-orang”…

Selesai main sama Paul, gue pulang naik ojek. Ojeknya agak dodol karena muter-muter dan ngelewatin daerah-daerah terpencil yang -gue pikir gue bakalan diculik sumpah, karena- gue gak tau itu di mana. Tapi justru di atas ojek inilah gue termenung soal, “orang-orang”.

Orang-orang Indonesia tulen yang baru aja selesai ngerayain pesta kemerdekaan. Yang lagi beres-beres gawang bola, yang lagi gotong tiang-tiang buat panjat pinang, yang lagi bagi-bagi hadiah lomba. Semuanya gembira ria dan ketawa-tawa.

Lalu gue teringat seharian ini gue berinteraksi terus sama mereka. Yang ada di bandara, dengan muka cengengesan karena baru tiba di Jakarta, yang dilewatin sama gue dan adek setelah nganter bonyok, yang ada di bus yang bajunya serba merah, yang memenuhi tiap sudut alun-alun Kota Tua dan Sunda Kelapa, yang dempet-dempetan sama gue dan Paul karena semua berebutan pengen liat upacara di Istana...

Mungkin si Paul nggak ngerasa itu menarik.
Tapi buat gue, itu sangat menyentuh.

Karena gue liat langsung dengan mata gue bahwa gimanapun juga, apapun situasinya, mau itu di bawah panas terik matahari ibukota, di antara kerumunan liar, atau di tengah ketidakadilan pemerintah yang bisa nikmatin perayaan 17an sedangkan orang-orang harus berjuang di luar Istana—

Masyarakat Indonesia masih semangat keluar rumah,
Gabung dengan warga lain buat ikut ngerayain serunya 17an,
Dan ngebebasin diri dari kesibukan sehari-hari yang kayak berak.

It’s still a mess, okay,
But honestly, at least
It’s feisty, too

Friday, July 7, 2017

The Dream, The Calling, and The Plan

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In traveling world, there are always these three categories.

The ones that made into the bucket list. Those destinations too far of your reach: distance-wise, financial-wise, situation-wise. Those places you could only imagine to visit someday, one day you have no idea when. Those promised lands and scenarios you could only dream of.

Then there are the ones which you’re sure you’ll see shortly. Those destinations reasonable enough to visit. Those places you know you’d be there anytime soon—just need a glimpse of luck and a twist of time and poof! You’ll be close enough you can actually hear them calling.

And finally, the ones that are actually coming up next on your playlist. Those destinations only time that separates you from. Those places you’ve dreamt long enough you hear them calling way too much, and it’s about time to realize the plan.

In traveling world, there are always these three categories.
And in Vicky Amin’s world, these are the drive.

To dream more,
Be aware for more calls,
And plan the impossible

Sunday, July 2, 2017

It's Never Been This Hard

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I won't take much time talking about this.
I won't drag myself too deep in this "misery"
Because this has to be the time of joy, ideally...

So,

Ramadan has officially gone.

I don't know but it felt so hard for me this year. It's just been so gracious from the very first day. Each meal I took, each suhoor religious show I watched, that ONLY tarawih prayer I had at the mosque -I'm so glad that I at least did once, that last tajil I bought at nearby traditional market with mom, that takbiran night dinner hosted at my house where all my relatives came, that visit to my grandparents' house -which is supposed to be normal, but seemed extra grand this year, that extended vacation I had with my family and all the things that we did in between, oh God, it felt so great!

Yet now it's all over.

And I don't know why I'm feeling so down about this, because we expected this to happen every year, and to end a month after. I don't know, maybe because I've grown up? That now I see the true essence of Ramadan, not only as the month of not eating and drinking like the thought I used to have 10 years back? Maybe.



Well whatever happens, I love it.

I love how I now see Ramadan differently. See my month in a better perspective. That when it's gone, I fall in a deep grief. And that when it's about to come next year, I won't no longer think

"Oh no... Here comes again that
Hard month of the year"

Sunday, June 25, 2017

So Much Win

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On the last race,

I told you that "I'd not write each and every single race because well it'll be boring no?" Yea, it will be, indeed. But sorry I have to break that thought. Because this one is grand. No, I won't treat this one like the last one. I still think Canadian GP served a hell lot more exciting drama.

So yea no I won't talk about how Azerbaijan GP started really boring at the beginning, and how the three safety cars almost sent me to sleep, also the red flag that made me call this GP "A Debris Race", and Max's unfortunate luck went on, and both Force India guys blast to top and dropped low in just seconds and the drama between Vettel and Hamilton got much spicier and how they lost their P1-P2 thrones and Massa made it to P3 but had to retire eventually and Alonso and McLaren finally scored points and Bottas stole the second podium in the fvcking last second before the checkered flag, and no, I'm not even going to brag how Stroll surprisingly made it into podium and became the youngest driver ever to get up there.

No.

Instead, I want to talk about how this came to be an awesome GP in my own sense. Yes, I want this one to be a bit biased, not fact-based. Because I'm going to talk more about one driver I've been a fanboy of. He's

Daniel Ricciardo
Come to think of it, I never actually dedicate a post for him.


Pic's from here.

So yea, introducing my favorite driver. The protagonist to my Super F1 Drama. The Player One to my Racing Game. The main character to my--okay, enough, Vicky.

I actually kinda lost track in how I decided to idolize him. Maybe it was after Monaco last year. When he was fighting for first -or second?- with Hamilton -or Rosberg?- and for the first time ever I screamed so manly for an outstanding F1 head-to-head battle. Then Singapore happened. Malaysia happened. 2016 was so amazing that the next thing I knew, I was all into him.

But nothing came closer to what he did in Baku just now.

Started 10th, went into pit way too early, then slowly crawling his ass all the way up front, cutting three cars and stayed 3rd until the top 2 decided to pit while he proceeded to the top and managed to secure his spot until the finish line.

Best performance of his so far for me,
And I feel like I chose the right driver.

Because that's always been my nature in supporting something in sport. I always pick the second best or maybe third best team, so I won't get bored too quick and I'm used to being lost. Yet once I'm winning, it's like I get a surprising mega bonus in a quiz game or something. And it's exactly what Daniel is all about. He's not always on top 3, but he's always around the top so my hopes and emotions are rollercoaster-ing throughout the whole season!

And, here comes the weird irrational yet personal reason: Daniel's wittiness is entertaining. And sometimes I can relate to that because I'm also like that! It's like, if we're friends, we'll be like Beavis and Butthead. Mortdecai and Rigby. SPONGEBOB AND PATRICK--and I swear, I've been dreaming of the scene a lot HAHA wth why am I writing this and letting the world know that I'm a freak?

This is exactly a pose I'd strike when I'm overwhelmed with blessings.
My all-time fave Daniel Ricciardo pic, and I got it here.

Ah well who cares, maybe it's the after-Baku-euphoria talking. I'm just too overjoyed seeing Daniel on podium today, not only being the third like what he's done for the last three races, but FIRST PLACE for God's sake.

And you know what's better?

That it all happened on exactly one happy day. Yes, the race that Daniel is winning, happened on the same day with Eid, a closing celebration I've always been so fond of.

I started good, started fresh, not expecting anything nicer because family and religious atmosphere did shower me with blessing, and when this happened, I feel like today is created just for me.

God,

Eid Mubarak all the way,
Vicky Amin!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

한국의 계획

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Back in college days,

When I still had difficulties in saving money and managing my own agenda, yet I, being reckless and impulsive as a college student in general, had a big trip planned -and fixed- without knowing much about my financial status nor availabilityI used to make a deal with myself.

Like just before I went to Bali in 2011 and Malaysia - Thailand in 2013, also Vietnam - Cambodia in 2014 which all happened during my university period. I was so blinded by how cheap the flight fares were, that I didn't realize that I had to work extra hard to save money, and secure my calendar so I could actually go. Growing up as a better traveler, I could manage to overcome all those matters so, as you might see in this blog, I never made any more oath ever since.
But then.
The long lost me strikes back. Another airline promo came, and me, being reckless and impulsive as a college student I used to be, booked another ticket for a big 10-days-long trip abroad to

South Korea

Pic's from here.

So? What makes me act like this is something big?
Considering I said I've grown up as a "better" traveler?

Because this time, it's neither just about money which I need to work on, nor it is about the schedule I have to settle with.

It's freaking both.

Remember that I just finished my Australian trip? Yea? It was a big one, financially included. This Korean trip will actually happen exactly one year after that, and of course I can save money in such long period of time, but hey, it's not as simple as it sounds. I have five other planned trips coming my way from this second to December -and I-don't-know-how-many-other from January to May, two of which are fixed. Now yea, you do the math.

Now about schedule, oh schedule... As a full-time employee, in an advertising agency, my schedule is kind of, unexpected. I could be having this campaign or that campaign, with plannings and preparations stretched way back to months before. Not to mention about the limited number of annual leave I still have yet to use. I've dodged all the similar bullets for Australia, but, remembering all the plans I've made so far, I'm pretty sure it's going to be a tough one to get a go for Korea.

So yea, here I am, kneeling with passion and perseverance, about to make an oath I haven't done in almost FOUR YEARS.

"I, Rifky Ramadhan Amin, will officially announce that on this THIRD YEAR after college, I will rarely spend my MONEY and TIME for flash-term pleasure things such as watching movies, eating out and buying things prodigally, by working EXTRA harder to IMPRESS MY BOSSES, get BONUSES, and earn PERMISSIONS." 
-South Korea Trip Oath-

So, what makes me act like this is something big again?
I didn't make any oath for my Hong Kong - Macau trip,
Not even my big six-freaking-week journey to Japan!

The answer is simple.

It's because I've grown as a better traveler.
Whose plans, whose future and what not,
Are somewhat planned, but better be

Unpredictable

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Appel Français

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Lately,

The appearance of France's new President Emmanuel Macron occurred literally everywhere. I got exposed to his climate change speech, his ultimate bromance with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his this video, his that video, la la la from this to that until I ended up watching him saying this.


Oh well.

Call no more, Mr. President.
I'm coming!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Türk Rüyalar

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I feel really bad.

Because it's been two weeks after the holy month started, after the Hijr birth-month of mine came, but I hadn't brought it up here. So...

Ramadan Kareem, people!

Enough about Australia, I swear. I need to move on, and talk about something else as a way to distract myself. But, yeah, Vicky Amin's "something else" is not far from traveling. Especially because a new girl friend I met during my trip to the land of kangaroo said,

"Looking forward to something tends to cause more happiness than remembering something."

So yeah, as you might guess,
This post will be about my next grand plan.
And guess where the grand destination is?
The home of then grand Muslim empire,

Türkiye

Picture of Instanbul Grand Bazaar, from here.

This went straight up to my primary bucket list.

So during Ramadan this year, there's this awesome short-documentary show broadcasted by one of the local stations. It tells about how the holy month is celebrated in major cities and even small towns throughout, well, now you can guess, Turkey.

Then all those mid-eastern wonders filled my eyes. How they share foods during iftar. How they go to the intricate-designed mosques. How they prepare their awesome meals. How they go to bazaars to grab their needs, how they fill every spots in nearby squares after tarawih, how they find local entertainments in night fairs until finally suhoor time comes and certain people with drums go around the small alleys to wake everybody up—praise Allah! I'm dying to experience such grand Muslim air! Oh I've been long exposed to Turkey in recent years, but never I felt so much in the urge to visit the country like this.

You know how I really love Disney Classics, right? Including Aladdin, of course. I've always wanted to visit Agrabah. Try its crispy apples, get lost in such marketplace where Aladdin lived, admire the simple buildings. But then I know in real life, I can't even see myself going to Arab. The heat, the dried atmosphere, the idea of wandering around and yellow is the only tone I'd see with my eyes—no, I'm not yet ready for that.

But then Turkey came to my preference,
With its strong yet casual Islamic atmosphere,
With its international touch within the royal appeal,
With its undeniably amazing Ramadan culture and habit,
Convincing me that this is the Agrabah I've been looking for.

Pic's from here.

See, as I said earlier, Vicky Amin's "something else" is obviously not far from traveling. Especially because a new guy friend I met during my trip to the land down under once said,

"Well you need to book another holiday so you have something to count down to."

So, about my trip to Australia.
It's somewhat enough, for now.
But as for traveling in general,
It's somewhat an endless dream.

A dream that will always
Be a something

Monday, June 12, 2017

Rhythm of the Track

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So.

It's been a while since the last time I talk F1. NO! It's nothing like I'm losing interest in the sport -like what I'm currently feeling towards Liverpool, God, wish I really have time to get back to them and relive what I used to have :(- no.

It's because each and every single Grand Prix held so far in 2017 were crazy awesome I think it'll be such a waste of time -and of course it'll be boring too- to have a review of each race.

Although this time, it's exceptional.
I cannot NOT talk about this one.
Best race yet this season,

Grand Prix du Canada

Pic's from here.

I didn't expect this to be so big. Well, I did, actually, because Canada was the race where my fave driver won his first ever GP. It was also the place where phenomenal "Jenson Button's Crazy Comeback in 4-hour-long Crashful Race" took place. But aside of that, including the fact that Lewis took his 65th pole capping legend Ayrton Senna's record 25 years after his Canadian Grand Prix pole -ugh I'm tired of Lewis taking all the attention, I didn't see why I should expect much from this GP.

But then I was obviously wrong.
The awesome 70-lap race served one hell of a drama.

Max's Divine Overtake (and Sad Halt)
I never got my jaw dropped this low since the first F1 race I saw in 2016. Best thing is, it happened at Turn One. After lights out. Only 2-3 seconds after the race started, then I saw this kid cutting from P6 to P2. It was so smooth and skillful, but then, what could he do, engine cutout happened on Lap 11. He couldve given us more awesome stuff, I believe...

Sainz and Massa: The Early Crash
Brought to you by Romain Grosjean
Got to say, this became a nice opening! But kinda awful for them both too, as they've been doing really well so far. And what makes it more awful is that all these happened because of neither of them. It was Grosjean, that hit Sainz first, which bounced, and finally hit Massa. One "fool", two victims. And the "fool" went on the race safely.

Stroll's Sudden Spirit
Haha this kid. He's been a joke ever since he made his first appearance, because HE CAN'T STOP CRASHING! But then, I think he had just enough. As a Canadian doing his first home Grand Prix, no wonder that he did what he did. Flying from P18 all the way to the front, challenging Hulk and K-Mag -best drama happened in the mid-back grid!- and finished 9th! First point, in his home race!

Alonso's Streak!
Oh here's another joke. Not the racer, but the engine. Honda's been a mess this year I felt really sorry for Alonso. Until Canada. Because the car moved well the whole race. And Alonso being Alonso, drove like typical awesome F1 driver and even reached P5 for some moment! But Honda's curse eventually carried on, forcing the Spaniard to stop at Lap 66. Lap 66, of 70. That sucks big time.

Driver of the Day, Vettel
I don't know what has happened to Vettel. Or Ferrari. Or both! They've been performing really outstanding this season, much MUCH better compared to last year. And once again in this race, he proved he was good. By starting on the front, P3? P2? Then dropped to P18 after some serious pitting only to fly back up and have a fierce battle of 3rd with three other drivers during the last laps.

Well, wow.

Normally in this blog structure, I only want to keep things organized by highlighting 3 to 5 pointers. 2's not enough, 6's too many. But this is 2017 Canadian Grand Prix we're talking about, so screw you OCD senses here's the grand highlight:

Force India's Double Trouble
I really love this pair. When Perez was still with Hulk, they weren't this deadly. Ocon in, pink took over, and they seemed to gain this awesome Flower Power! They've been racing head to head from the first GP, and never fail to earn points. But, I've never seen them this intense.

As they were not only hand in hand coming up front to ruin the big cars -Ocon even made it to P2 and challenged Bottas!- and fighting with Ricciardo for 3rd, nor defending their P3-4 throne from Vettel, no, not only those. They were also being deadly to each other. From the outside they may look like a cheerful pinky butterflies. But deep inside, they're stinging each other like bees. Double trouble indeed.

Crazy huh?

Lewis may win the race, but he was boring. The real deal happened on the back, not necessarily far back but exactly on Lewis' back! And to top it off, Daniel Ricciardo finished 3rd!!! 3rd 3rd, 3 times in a row, for driver number 3!

Pic's from here.

This is what I like about this sport. You have one idol racer you really love. But in a race, any driver can entertain you.

It's like going to a summer music festival, where the stages are filled with your favorite musicians, and their schedule are back to back, not overlapping each other so you'll get to check out each and every single performance.

So eventually,

You'll dance to anything

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Fantasy

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I may have told you this before but, the East Coast Australian trip I just did two weeks ago, had actually always been on my list since forever.

Well, not forever.
At least since 2014.

It was the year after I started solo backpacking. Ever since I got in touch with that method, I just couldn't get enough, and kept planning more and more trip. One of destinations that had always been on the low-fare lines was Gold Coast. And then began all the wishful plan to do this Australia journey.

I started doing research of other cities in the continent worth visiting. Sydney, in which of course I've long known, apparently were also on the same coastal line just below the theme park city. Canberra too, but I didn't really put a lot of interest in it. Unlike Melbourne, which sat gracefully at the tip of southeast Australia. And that's how I wrapped up the plan.

Plan that I had always taken for granted.
Plan that I thought I'd never accomplish so quick.

Because it's no longer just Southeast Asia, where I can just hop on and off the plane to enter each country freely. Nor it is the rest of Asia, which despite some differences, I could still spot some familiar faces and relatable culture.

It's somewhere else. Somewhere new to me.
It's not just another country. It's another continent.

I know I've been to the US, but this time I was on my own. So imagining that I'd be the only Asian among the Australians, being a perfect stranger doing uncommon stuff that could drive me crazy, it has always been only in my dream.

But then I did it.
And it seemed surreal.

I almost couldn't believe it when I stepped out of the plane and breathed Gold Coast's air. I almost couldn't believe it when I finally met a friend from Sydney I had only been contacting through chats, and when I met an ex-coworker I thought I would never see again after she moved to Melbourne. I almost couldn't believe it when I saw the Opera House with my very own eyes, and when I entered the Albert Park where my favorite driver was racing two months earlier—it all, seemed surreal.

But then, I did it.
I broke out of my bubble,
And swam away to the ocean.
Just like what this fellow of mine did.

And yea, I almost couldn't believe it when I found P.Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney,
bring this buddy to the harbor and set him free to his homewater.

Well.

As I always said every time I finished a journey: crazy trip. Crazy, crazy trip. Not only because it was my first solo trip outside of Asia, nor because it was my first big trip after Japan. Not only because I managed to do all the preparation smoothly in the midst of my crazy intolerable work life. Not even only because I could eventually put my feet upon the land down under, and met everybody all these times I could only promise to meet to.

But more because I could make it come true.

Now I believe that,
If you really work it out,
Anything can no longer be just

A fantasy

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Drive You Crazy

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I may sound cliche.

Because every time, every single time, EVERY SINGLE FVCKING TIME I just finished a trip, I'd always be like "Oh my God, that was the best trip yet".

You know what? I don't care.
Call me cliche, call me typical or what not
But this last trip I just did was so spectacular that,

It became the best.

The best, In driving me crazy.

It ended exactly one week ago, and I just couldn't stop thinking about literally everything. My flight down south, Gold Coast's beaches and theme parks, Sydney's city elegance and natural beauty, Melbourne's chill atmosphere, all the people I met, all the songs I sang, it all kept playing the very seconds I flew back north up till like, this minute.

I don't want to compare it to Japan, because these two trips are different. But one thing that I can tell you is, that returning from Japan, I was like okay, that was undoubtedly the best trip so far for Vicky Amin and I'd really LOVE to come back. But after Australia,

Okay, that was undoubtedly the best trip so far for Vicky Amin and I HAVE to come back.

Nah, I don't know what that means, although no, I know what that means. I'm just trying to be fair to Japan, but I can't tell no lie,

I love it.
I really love it.

And now it all makes sense why my mom, people I know who once traveled to or lived in the land of kangaroo, and my friends who are still there now refusing to go home, really love it. It all makes sense why they keep bragging about it, because I feel like I'll be doing the same.

I may be saying this because I just finished the trip. It's still fresh, the euphoria, the excitement. And being as cliche as I am, I may be forgetting what I just said here about Australia, and considering the next trip to Korea, India, Europe, or Latin America, as the best one yet.

But. At least,
It's only Australia, that I promised I'd go back to.

Because that's the typical thing you say,
To the special someone or something that
Drives you crazy. No?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Perfect Stranger

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Imagine that you meet a very interesting individual.

Somewhere at a bar, afar from the place you've always known. Your conversation starts from that song you both love. And it leads to more things to talk about.

It's exciting, yet on the same time, confusing.

Because you just clicked. But you know it won't last forever. You're surprised by how you could bump into such like-minded creature. But you know that the night would change nothing. You enjoyed the companion. But you know you won't stay together. You laughed all along, talking about the same damn taste of music you shared. But you know somebody will have to walk away. Your gin and cola never felt this nice. But the after-taste once you part ways, *chuckles*, try ordering another glass and you realize you don't want to have another sip.

Meeting great strangers only feels sweet when you're living the moment.
Afterwards, life unreasonably returns normal. And you're back on your own.


Just like this trip of mine to Australia.

It's perfect, but after all
It's still called "stranger"

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Finding Myself

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This is it.

The first big trip after Japan.
The first solo traveling outside of Asia.
The first journey I'll be having, while I am still employed.
The first adventure where I know I won't be doing nothing once I'm back home.


Well at least I'm not clueless.
I'm just trying to find myself again.
Making myself used to what I used to do.
Unlike that clown fish which had no idea at all.

Although yea,
We share one exact similarity.
We're both all alone

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NP: Riding the Myth

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Shall we begin?

Oh first of all, GUE MAU PAKE BAHASA ENDONESAAAHHH ANJEEERRR UDAH BERAPA WINDU GATAU DAH GUE SOK-SOKAN PAKE INGLISH MULU tapi ya jan salahin gua juga si, kan reader gue banyak yang internasional kan ya, makanya gue Inggrisan mulu mayan jir visitor kedua terbanyak dari US bukan Malay yaudahlah English it has been. Tapi untuk kali ini, karena ini cuma anak anak 90an Indonesia aja yang bisa relate, makanya ya mending pake bahasa Ibu Pertiwi aja gasih!?!?

OMG so excited wuwuwuwu.

Oke jadi bagi yang taun 2014 belum baca blog gue *azegg*, Neverland Playlist itu isinya lagu-lagu opening sama closing dari kartun-kartun -kebanyakan sih- Jepang -tapi bisa aja sih nanti tiba-tiba ada kartun apa gitu yang bukan Jepang- yang ngena banget di hati ini. Lantas apa kartun yang akan gue angkat sekarang, setelah hampir 3 tahun madol? Ini dia.


video

Category:
Younger Elementary

Well, sebenernya banyak sih kartun lain yang lebih membawa dampak dalam hidup dan lebih gue suka dari pada yang ini, tapi berubung kartun ini yang bikin gue jadi inget sama yang namanya Neverland Playlist, kayaknya gak sopan kalo bukan dia yang gue mainin duluan. Dan ternyata kartun ini gak seminor itu juga dalam hidup gue, karena pas gue play lagunya, merinding coy. Plus gue masih inget beberapa nada sama liriknya.

Dan gue inget banget dulu punya tiga mainannya. Pajangan X, robot kuda putih kece tunggangan si main character, sama Je T'aime dan Raidou, si phoenix merah dan naga biru yang alamak sumpah ya gue suka banget bentukannya huhu. Trus di ceritanya itu mereka berlima, tambah satu kuda item dan satu kura-kura ijo, adalah spirit animal yang mewakili arah-arah mata angin gituuuu ya gimana gue gak jatuh cinta sih gue paling doyan cerita-cerita yang agak adaptasi mitos-mitos kayak begini.

Tapi jujur buat gue ini kartun lumayan gore. Ya emang bukan manusianya sih yang dicabik-cabik, melainkan robot-robotnya. Tapi kan tetep aja, dari awal kan itu robot-robot emang hidup dan berteman sama manusia-manusianya ya, jadi gue yang kala itu masih polos dan belum ngerti apa-apa kan langsung nganggep mereka semua makhluk hidup ciptaan Allah SWT yang gak seharusnya gue lihat dalam bentuk kepala pecah, dada bolong, dan sejenisnya :(

But anyhow, gue suka banget ini kartun. Sampe muncul opening versi berikutnya pun, gue masih nonton dan 10 tahun kemudian gue masih apal nadanya. Nih bonus:


video


Paraaaaaaaaahhh ya Tuhan Ilahi gimana nih gue jadi mellow sendu durjana. Di satu sisi gue nikmatin banget nostalgia-nostalgia ee' kayak gini, hunting lagu-lagu jadul buat diposting di playlist beraque ini, tapi di sisi lain rasanya bikin hidup jadi berat sebelah gitu gimana dong :(

I'm desperately in need to go back to the past.
And once again enjoy all those things happened.

But what can I do,
It's now just a myth

The Playlist Continues

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So lately,

I've been pretty much in the mood of a nostalgia, I don't know why -well you know why: it's what you always do. Visiting Disneyland, binge-watching Naruto, watching Power Rangers, TWICE -one was at the cinema, you know, the recent remake film, and the other one was the classic MMPR The Movie with my same-interest coworkers!- the whole universe seemed to conspire on this.

And speaking of coworkers, actually, they bear this big role of making me trapped in this back-to-childhood dimension.

One girl watched all the shows and films I watched, including Disney classics—and when the songs play, especially Mulan's "I'll Make A Man Out of You", we'll be a couple of fools. One boy is a big fan of Spongebob Squarepants. And he could make a quiet fair similar imitation of the voiceovers which sometimes dragged me into doing the same.

One other girl is a Power Ranger -I'm not saying 'fan', because for me, a fan of Power Rangers should be called a Power Ranger itself- and she was the one who organized this screening of the classic movie at the office. And there's this other guy, who is basically me, because apparently, we watched so many similar TV cartoons back in 90s. We work overtime a lot—most of the days we even stayed until there were only the two of us. And then began all the chit-chats and story-sharings about cartoon life back then.

One day he was talking about this robot anime I had no idea about, and it reminded me of one cartoon I used to watch, which I was pretty sure he also watched back then. So I asked him and what are the odds, it was one of his fave. We then browsed YouTube for the videos, Googled the images and the toys we had, and suddenly, all those reminded me of something.

My Neverland Playlist.

You remember some time ago, I have this plan to make my blog a bit more youthful, by posting the opening or ending credits of all cartoons I loved when I was a kid?

Yea it wasn't really that some time ago.
The last post of that kind was, August, 2014.

Ha ha. Fuck me, right?

But that night anime-talking with my coworker was a wake-up call. I told him that I had this nostalgic session in my blog, and he said that he'd really love to see it. And the next thing I know, bam, I had this sudden urge to resume what I had started.

So yea here it is,
We begin once again,
The tunes of the past

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Silver

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Late.

I know, it's almost been three weeks past the momentum. But similar to the previous posts, I cannot NOT talk about this one. No, it's not about childhood anymore. Instead, it's about me drifting even further from childhood. Yes,

It's about me turning 25.

Nice saying I got from a friend

I don't know how else to say it.
Time won't compromise.

I remember how five years ago I freaked out like a pig before entering the world of twenty, not being ready for this and that, and the next thing I know, dang, I turned 22. Then came that phase where I really enjoyed being an early 20s guy so I just had the time of my life and before I knew it, dang, I'm 25.

But you know what's good? Reaching the day, I didn't feel any fear or whatnot. Because I knew I had done fair good stuff so far. Everything turned out just well. REALLY, really well.

My first ever solo trips, happened when I was 20. My official internship and university graduation, which marked the very beginning of my adulthood, happened when I was 21. My freelance jobs and first book release, happened when I was 22. My very first permanent position and abroad job happened when I was 23, and my settling down career happened when I was 24. See, I always achieved something these recent years.

I didn't feel any fear or whatnot.
In welcoming this new life stage.
Instead, I feel more like... intrigued.

Exactly one day before my 25th birthday, I went jogging near my place. As usual, I put my earphones on, switched my iPod to shuffle mode, and let my body flew with the rhythm. Then Taylor Swift's "22" played. LOL. I liked the sarcasm. My asshole gadget knew that I was turning 25, so he reminded me how it was like to be 22. I couldn't ask for a better song to welcome my birthday. Until the next one came, and turned me upside down.

It was John Mayer's "Stop This Train"
Damn these two. It's not enough for them to create a drama in their own lives, now they created one inside my mind???

I've been listening to this song since the beginning of my college years. By that time I related to this song literal-wise. As I always went to my boarding room outside of the town, by train. So every Monday morning I'd always be like stop this train I wanna get off and go home again. That early stage of being an adult seemed so heavy to me back then, who still had known nothing about real life.

Meanwhile now, back to the jogging track where Taylor just finished singing and James started his tunes, when that set of lyrics came rushing into my earlobes, saying that turning 68, you'll renegotiate and you can't for a minute change the place you're in no matter how you try your hand—surprisingly,  I didn't feel terrified like I did 7 years ago. Instead,

I broke out of my immaturity.

And gave in to the fate, that I'm now 25.
And soon I'll be 26, 50, 68.
And I can't stop it.

In fact, I want to keep on going. I see a new milestone before me. More opportunities, more doors to see the world, more people to help me climb the ladder to my goals. I've done my first stage of life, perfectly, it's time to kick the next's ass.

I won't stop acting like a kid, I won't all of a sudden become a real mature individual with formal pants and suits, no. Deep inside I'll still be a 10 year old fool, adoring Power Rangers and Naruto, wearing the shortest pants a 25 year old would wear, hunt for the rest of my Toy Story collections, and buy unnecessary trinkets. That's how I cope with maturity, I don't care what people say. Let the age just be age. Let the clock do its own business.

Because time won't compromise.
And honestly, we'll never stop this train.

If you're questioning, the quote on my shirt says, "Space is the Place". It has nothing to do with the story though.

So yea.

Welcome, adulthood


P.S.: I wonder if in 25 years I'd still be writing here and make a post titled, "Gold"

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Tale as Old as Time

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Late.

Well ripple effects do work. I was late to start writing about the first topic, so I'm gon' be even later to talk about this. And the next one after this, and the next one after that. But ya I don't care, because still, it's about childhood. And there's no such thing as too late when it comes to childhood.

This time it's the other part of my childhood: Disney.
And what did Disney do lately that I'm bringing this up? You know

Poster's from here.

I've always watched the live action version that Disney had released so far. No, not that I'm into them and been expecting for them eww no—I'm a die hard fan of Disney classic, hand-written version -oh yeah, Moana, Big Hero Six, and all those 3D animated thingy were good, but still I prefer something like The Princess and the Frog- and all these live action shits, I only watch them to see if they're good enough for me to adore. And to see how far they ruined their own creation.

So there are already four? Five Disney live action movies so far? Yea around that number and to begin with, I hated Alice in Wonderland because it was all too trippy and color-shocking. I hated Maleficent because the Aurora isn't cute as I expected, and I hated The Jungle Book because it was too dark and having too much animation -plus I hate kids who act like adults. I liked Cinderella because it was pretty nice. They made a little twist to the storyline, but it was fine. And for Beauty and the Beast, well,

It's the best so far.

I adore how they stick to the original plot. It's like watching the classic version, only now it's alive—and that's how a live action works, right?! You shouldn't have made changes here and there to make it different from the original one, no, you should stay to what's been made in the past, because that's how you stole the fans' heart!

Beauty and the Beast did just what I expected. The storyline, the characters and their names, the SONGS, ahh the songs, they really know how to please old fans—sing the same damn songs from the original one! Still I'm not a big fan of its much-too-overwhelming-3D-DI-things, plus the furniture are pretty creepy and not lovely like the original ones but, it's all still tolerable, really.

Portrait's from here.

Well they said that there are 19 more on the line. 19 what? 19 live action films, of course! And Mulan is one of them! Crazy, huh? Well not really, if what they are doing is similar to what they did for Beauty and the Beast.

Because Lord, I don't want to see Snow White fighting,
I don't want to see Mufasa die of drowning in a river,
I don't want to see Tinkerbell saying even a word,

All I want to see is a childhood Disney tale,
That is true as it can be