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.


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.


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


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Appel Français

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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,


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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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


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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.


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