2013 Throwback


December this year is not as gloomy as it was a year ago literally. The rain has yet poured down in torrent and the flood is yet happening. Everyone is still strolling around without umbrella, I am still able to do laundry under the pure sunshine. You could even courageously bet yourself to walk down on Jakarta's downtown without worry about getting wet due to raising water level, until today.

But the accomplishment seemingly is not in line with the glorious day, discontentedly less desiring. I try to look back and still count on the day from as early as 2013 to today. I find myself have wasted the most part of these unrepeated times. The ones I formulated, the 2013 to-do-list, from top-notch frantic plan to trivial  simple plan, all look miserable. I don't blame a rainy day of December 2012 when I was over excited to enlist next whole one-year action plan but me myself who failed to work out during the potentially lucrative 365s of 2013.

At the moment I think of better not to make any self-plan with detailed high expectation. Let life flows as it is supposed to be. Only please let me still get connected to anyone who drops by on this blog. Perhaps it is the best reason of mine to keep pushing myself vying for some coins, packing my bag for another miles of journey, and turning my old-fashioned camera on, so I would still be able to share some stories and photos about newfound. That's all.

The fireworks of new year are around the corner. I please myself to keep settled down in contemplation of the leaving days while chinning up to stare the murky sky with decorated glimpse of dancing light, in the meantime whispering the modest wish ever "a hope for little bit better tomorrow", not much.

Before everything land on 2014, let me wish you a little merry Christmas to all my christian fellows wherever you are and happy New Year for every single humankind on this 7-billion planet. Let me deliver my sincere pray to elate those who are now at refugee camp, please keep stronger and maintain the good faith of new peaceful life. My sincere hope is with you to wish the year 2014 is yours, mine and ours, and of anyone in a better place :-)




Bullying, A (Still) Preserved Tradition



The media few days ago was covered by headline of reportedly a death of a sophomore at one private university in Malang, East Java. Though the news is actually not the first time emerged to punch off the country's educational image. Few years ago an even bitter unexpected death suddenly shook off the country's most renowned special governmental education institution designed to deliver future leadear. But geez, intead of creating a piooneer, bullying has burried both dream and the talent itself.

How many death actually does the figure represent? No one knows since "ospek" (a sort of orientation for new students at educational institution) has altered from self-discipline training to escalating bullying. Some victims perhaps are still living with retained trauma, the rest may have forgiven or yet are still inheriting violent revenge to their junior. Who knows. Unfortunately it takes quite so long by regarding institution stakeholder to end the dumbass plight.

The taste of physical bullying inserted in ospek by some is believed a compulsory tradition, similar to bigotry in dangerous religion extremism. What to expect? Creating stonger person with iron heart and discipline character or fallen down boys into dark burial? When it appears pathetically in educational institution, seed of revenge is about being spread extensively. No wonder if the graduates would come out becoming obnoxious person in society with fragile character.

The practice of bullying in ospek is not limited to physical abuse but also verbal attack. This second type is like killing mechine that slowly gnaws from inside. Deliberately bad words or mocking aimed to certain group or student by senior has jeopardized self-confidence and may cause vengeance. The impact is absolutely worst.

Now, all we need is to stand for effort against any bullying practice particularly in educational institution. We don't need to wait until death counter automatically stops itself from flicking, but us who should turn it off from counting.

Image credit: Haryadhi from rautan.com


#StopBullying
It's not cool and never always be.




I Wiretap You, Indonesia



Snowden was a mundane bloke. Not yet until he reveals anything, he later is a big hit and even more sought and sounded. His revelation is le fin du fin story of decade, or even perhaps of century. With relatively youthful blood, he is hulk with scrumptious arms. He has made himself headline du jour.

Since the Sydney Morning Herald released a news about the Oz intelligence activity on spying its northern neighbor, the reaction is vigorously escalating, mostly within Indonesia. The president, his beloved wife and other figures are on the eye. The media recently more frequent discusses the issue, such a hot topic. The attention on such most admired Jokowi has slightly converted to wiretapping issue. Pak Joko now may take a break for awhile from media crowd, he could be more relaxed to focus on his effort to fix up Jakarta, which means I need to stroll him more on YouTube. I just too wonder his upcoming surprises. 

Though, this converted issue has given a personal advantage to break-news enthusiast like me, at least now I watch less issues dealing with graft and common stuffs like creepy talks, internal political drama, crime, and forth. They may take a hell rest now. At least people are now diverted to think about another important case, to open the horizon on how diplomatic relation is properly to be conducted.

Unfortunately not that much until today protest at Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Rotten eggs and white wave of FPI are on the big screen. Me personally is flabbergasted at rotten age and the irritating yelling crowd. Their combination sounds even loutish. Throwing rotten eggs at dwarf oversea territory (embassy) of certain country is hissy fit game. I hope the folk could play a cool attraction. I understand some people are too wrathful with wiretapping on high level leader that is deemed as nation integrity offense. Even Australian public based on survey many of them also urge their govt to apologize as it may worsen the good relationship between the two neighbors, more importantly to settle things up like before.

Who wants to have a bad relationship? No one nor even those who are carving for peace, particularly toward one of the closest neighbors by geography. Indonesia represented by the President has been poised during APEC meeting to seek for many more friends with zero enemy. 

But, how to overcome a country who doesn't commit to trust? I wander and wonder for answer.

Well, let see the case. Since the spying issue revealed, the tension gets hotter. The Indonesian govt is about wanting the explanation from Australian leader the purpose of wiretapping, not to wait any longer. The Indonesian ambassador to Australia has been called home from Canberra. There is yet any clearer response from Canberra. Meanwhile the reaction from the public keeps arise from both sides which varies in terms of level. The people are arguing.

Despite of the heating case, there is one thing making me gigles, some people are wondering to hear the content of wiretapped conversation. Some areas perhaps are very private, from bedroom chat to speech rehearsal, from joke to nerve-wrecking talk, from A to Z, just guessing. But no more wonder until Sasha Stevenson reported her investigation HERE
Or watching here:





Well, now I can sit relax, breathe the air gently, and stare the sky on the rooftop. I don't want to turn on my mobile phone at this moment. Nor do wonder more about the wiretapped conversation. It's clear :p 
I just lay my body down at its best position on the rooftop. Because there is Google Street View is watching me live. Let the world sees my gesture from the top of my palace. I'm barely naked. And let the windblow eases down. 

Let friend still be friend, folks :-)



Paradox of Language



Few days ago a friend of mine sent two multi-receiver emails respectively, the first email dropped by in inbox titled As English Spreads, Indonesians Fear for Their Language published on New York Times on July 25, 2010. The last ones came up as an article that appears on The Jakarta Globe selected entry that of Tiza Mafira's Confession of a Lingo-Mixaholic published on October, 31 2013. Those two are worth reading though the first article is 3-year-old distant.

The matter of language is a hot talk that develops recently. As a couple week ago Indonesian celebrated "Hari Sumpah Muda" that takes occasion every October, 28. One of three foundations conceived over 85 years ago by eager young Indonesian is about pride and committed act in upholding Bahasa as national language, symbol of identity.

Language is an identity. Language could define ones' pride. Language could refer to prestige identifying ones' social class. But, one tiny thing sometimes we ignore that fundamentally language is tool of communication to meet understanding. Language is attitude.

Lingo-mixaholic, I have to admit it is rampant. It clearly can be heard and seen here on TV that many programs hosted by public figures showing many inconsistencies in using  mono-language for at least one sentence. It has turned into habit. The using of Bahasa is transforming.

The first article is an upbeat. My friend cited a note above his attachment "We don't want to lose Bahasa as it is now Dutch is about losing, do we?". Well, I have no idea whether Dutch language is experiencing declining number of speaker or not.  The only fact I know that another friend of mine who is working in multinational company once told me that his co-worker from the Netherlands is unable to speak his mother language. He was living in Amsterdam and using English everyday.

Parenting has become crucial and more challenging like never before. In Indonesia, perception of social status and prestige reflected by choice of language, however is bothering. As it seems we don't be honest to our identity. But it may be not as simple as leaning against the wall with sigh for those whose problem.

I admit those parents who successfully made their newborn growing with language of their ancestry are amazing. They don't give up with the situation of being certain minority language speaker instead they are working on it, mentioning Santi D, Anggun, and other great moms/dads. I know it is not an easy task. I join them believe this practice will help their children reaping the advantage sooner or later because language is an investment, and an identity as well.

The issue has endorsed me to share a little bit my own experience dealing with language.

Dating back few years ago when I was a toddler, the time when normally everyone tries to learn word by word from scratch then speak it in their own language. I'm one of those who grew up in society where local language still exists. I should have thanked to this fact. In my surrounding everyone speaks Sumbawanese (Basa Samawa), one of more than 700 local languages in this country. Sumbawanese is only spoken by no more than 100,000 that makes it a minority among other languages. Even at my university, based on my raw calculation, there are no more than 20 students mastering this language. To me, being minority in terms of what you are speaking in is a unique fact. Though I don't use it frequently recently since my move to Bogor.

I still remember, the time when I tried to speak Bahasa when entering school, was surprisingly challenging. I was not confident with my ability in Bahasa in oral way. Even though I got used with many books in Bahasa before I started my day as a student. For I was schooling in a small village of our own, Bahasa is not language that is spoken on daily basis though everyone understands it, except in written way at school. The teachers taught the pupils by mixing local language and Bahasa. And even  my family didn't speak in Bahasa to any members on our daily basis. We are very accustomed and more than comfortable using our local language.

I became to be fully bilingual, I guess, when I moved to another school (better school) in a town when I was 6th grader and started new life living with my uncle and his family. Since then I have been away from home, until now. At the new school, I felt like I was pushed to improve my Bahasa in oral, I had no problem in writing. Every student chatted in Bahasa with Sumbawa accent. Yeah, everyone there doesn't have that kind of accent as that of people I regularly talk with here in Bogor or other big cities. Unfortunately many students had no sufficient knowledge of their local language at that time. There were only very few students at my school who spoke Sumbawanese perfectly. It benefited me however so that I became more accustomed to speak fully Bahasa at school. Meanwhile at the new home I still retained the local language.  Everyday I always switched my tongue to adapt the language. The first time I found it was difficult and of course confusing. The latter it is so lucrative.

Time went by very fast in a year. The new day at junior high school came up with new challenge. I had to adapt with one more language, called "English". I was totally having no idea and indeed it sounded strange to me. And I had to admit I was so down for having no proficiency in this international language, some of classmates at least had started learning English even younger. Well, I felt like I was bullied in this subject. The teacher didn't much help me to improve my proficiency. I started to have my own practice at home with a lousy dictionary. I tried to understand its grammar. Later I had found my own method helping me a lot, at least in writing.

Though English was subject I struggled the most, mastering local language had boosted my confident in other subject otherwise, "Language, Literature and History of Sumbawa". It's my crème de la crème. I put respect on it for language is one of greatest human's inventions.

Few years later I became interested in Japanese, so I learnt it.. Now I'm on the way to learn French and still considering to put some languages on my list, mentioning Mandarin, Spanish, and Italian.

What does language really mean?

After long process in understanding few languages, it gave me chance to reap advantage for at least being trilingual, though the proficiency in each language is not at the same stage. But above all those things, I have accomplished a mission of being myself as Sumbawanese with my Basa Samawa, being Indonesian with my Bahasa, and being global citizen with my English. 

However it's never been enough,  there are still many ways of people speak in outside there. Mastering all of them is not necessary (and seems impossible) though, conquering few is enough lucrative. We're never late, folks :-)




Pop Culture Goes Viral



It is such serendipitous internet meets talent, then it splendidly goes viral. Some art prodigies are now inexpensively discovered only with two tickets, "creative & fortunate". All you need is only to make something different, insane, or indeed formidably captivating, then post it on internet. In addition you may conduct certain ritual to wish your luck comes closer and sooner. Let it be how it works then.

Some notably figures mentioning Justin Bieber for instance, is one of prominent publicity after his talent was discovered through his YouTube channel. See now he is then one of the most sought singer mostly by coming of age die-hard fan, despite of his corroding act most recent as media reveals. Though he is still the breakthrough. Later Korean Gangnam Style had made a tremendous headline 'almost' worldwide as long as you browse the internet. Followed by Harlem Shake of NYC origin appeared no longer afterward was also once successfully big hit. Here in Indonesia the most recent "Goyang Caesar" has emphasized its existence with local taste as a surging art pop product. However it is now more likely to face challenge such rejection with emblem "Stop Making Stupid People Famous".

Those successes are ample, so are their resemblances. Just go to YouTube then you'll find it is so rampant. Some talents are amazing but they are still in waiting-list for call onto glamorous fame, if they are lucky. Meanwhile the badluck guys, their talent may be subject to overly mocking with harsh comment, or simply call it "failed version". It is not merely ordinary grassroots who attempt to attract netizen worldwide, but also hugely success titled personalities utilizing the virtual world as tool to maintain their fame in real jungle life and indeed even more gaining broader fame by paving the way to reach isolated village, newly fresh typical tribal fan. If fortune comes by, luck is theirs.

It is always striking to me everyday I check YouTube up in the morning only to stroll around finding something new, more insane and funnier. If I'm lucky, I can easily get inspired by some channels. The rests are just for fun.

But today, it is staggering. My ex-students in a school where I used to do voluntary teaching did really made 'selfie' video of their Harlem Shake. Taken in the class using mobile phone camera, they (all boys) created their own crowd. The 1:03 long vid was posted few months ago and only gaining less than hundred views.




The phenomenon is now clearly happening. Internet for same parts has really shifted the way of people' life and thinking. Pop culture is now more mixed and existing like never before. For the good and the bad, it depends on how we overcome it, personally.



Sacrifice Day: Shower of Blood


Sacrifice Day: Mere Festivity or the Sake of Humanity ?


It was so kinda staggering when I unlocked the door and found no one at home (of student dorm) this noon. It is Sunday and still no shadow of human but two cute little cats strolling around. I texted one of housemates and then the reply got me realized everyone is about taking trip to go home for tomorrow feast day. Well, they seem having good time right now with family, thanks good internet connection has killed my boredom for me here alone but with my own shadow.

For my last two days taking voluntary job as judge of two competitions, I don't much scrutiny the upcoming events, though one of those is a holy feast day of most people here, moreover the calender is tinged red making it a national holiday. Everyday is holiday to me lately for having no classes but research project only. And time goes by so much fast. I hate to say it but it happens to me, getting much older with grayish memory.

The Sacrifice Day of muslim in this country shall be celebrated within hours, which means the moan of cow and goat is going to play in the air. The most striking yet mournful ones is the fresh blood flooding out, most of it is openly shown off to public. The practice of slaughtering on the sacrifice day is ubiquitous. This practice might be subject to offense of animal rights regarding to animal rights activist. But according to muslim cleric, the law in Koran said that the slaughtering must be not brutal and abusive, instead it should be followed by the name of God. Meanwhile for vegan, the slaughtering might be unnecessary.

(Correct me if I'm mistaken). The practice of sacrifice (by slaughtering) as many said in context of muslim belief origins from Abraham, as He was asked by the God to butcher his beloved son Ismael, the God wants to examine his faithfulness. In Exodus of Bible also teaches the similar practice, sacrifice by slaughtering (of lambs) to express forgiveness practiced by Israel after the exodus from Egypt. In Torah of Jewish the practice of slaughtering must meet the qualification of kosher law. Even in most practical believes in Goddess in the past also conducting slaughtering as symbol of robust faith. For the sake of belief commands, slaughtering is acceptable method in sacrifice ritual, symbol of thankfulness, forgiveness and faithfulness.

But the nowadays more critical mind surges off question over practice of slaughtering as sacrifice symbol is whether still relevant or not. Or perhaps it is just an eloquent ritual from ancient ancestors descended to its bigot follower, particularly to the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Christian, and Jewish)

I have no guaranteed answer to adjust or to disagree and indeed I'm not a perfect judge/priest. To me, I see this more from the view of on-purpose rather than of religious tension. Sacrifice I think is so much personal. I may act something that I am fully convinced that it is an absolute sacrifice, but people may take different side which means it tends to pragmatism, or vice verse.

In talking about slaughtering as practice of sacrifice, I deliberate my stance based on agreement toward meeting following requirements, to say it is likely acceptable.

  • Slaughtering in some occasions is recommended, i.e: taking assumption 'hunting' is slaughtering akin, the over population of certain species that causes imbalance in ecosystem (food chain), in order to stabilize, hunting/slaughtering/exterminating in tolerant percentage through appropriate way is allowed. (But, the case of over population of Homo sapiens sp. is sort of exception? Considering capital murder, innocent civil killing, genocide, and other human rights offense that causes death are serious crime)
  • The slaughtering is purposed to be sliced into meat then it is distributed to the poor. In some places, in my hometown for instance, not all people can eat meat as their regular meal. It may only take very few times a year particularly on occasion of certain holy feast days or on traditional wedding party, the meat can be found on the plate along with rice. The protein demand for metabolism may most likely not be able to be met in sufficient dosage every time. But the festivity could boost certain people's diet. The mission is more into humanity.
  • Slaughtering must be free from abusive treatment (Remember: slaughtering is not the same with killing). If those people believe in God or holding on certain belief that convincedly makes them to do slaughtering with sincere for the sake of good purpose, then do it. Perhaps that's why this practice has been always existing until present since over thousand years.ago.

Despite of unending debate over allowance of slaughtering as symbol of sacrifice practice in religion, at the end of the day, I think it is more into personal sensitivity and should be well considered before to do so. So the acting can be profoundly responsible.








Bridging the Islands


Trans-Nusantara


[I hope this post is neither overdue nor outdated]

I almost have no option when my sister calls me for home as she is going to promise on a sacred bond called “marriage”. I was on duty for consecutive two weeks to handle the documents of new student who passed entrance selection to my university. My Professor asked me to give my helping hand. And it was going on until the day of my departure to home.

I immediately book for flight from Jakarta to Lombok as well as subsequent flight to Sumbawa. I am fortunate for the flight is well synchronized. And it’s started when I depart from Terminal 1 A, the self-controlled for domestic Lion Air flights only. But today it delays for almost an hour. I’m kinda worried since my subsequent flight will take off merely an hour and 45 minutes later upon arrival of Lion Air based on the schedule. And now I have only remaining 45 minutes.



I attempt to chill out. The Boeing 737-900ER is now on the runway. It’s more likely to accelerate even faster than it used to. Turbulent shakes us in the first ten-minute and gone for awhile. It merely takes an hour and half for this CGK-LOP route, comparing to the time it used to take for several times I ever flew which is constantly two hours.

The sky looks grayish as the plane touches down the runway at Lombok International Airport. When it ends up at the skybridge, I immediately stroll into baggage claim. But the second bad luck happens. My carriage rolls at the bottom turn and consuming half hour only to wait. Geez! For this late handle I run toward check-in desk of Merpati Nusantara asking favor for extended check-in time. She is nicer than I imagined. I am allowed. Thanks my carriage is dropped down in time bound for Sumbawa. But, another thing happens.

The China-made Xian MA60 supposed to fly us to neighboring island would arrive an hour later. It’s ‘delay’ time, again! I become more accustomed to this circumstance.

It has been an hour and the announcement sounded all through the airport. Passengers for Sumbawa are asked to queue at the final boarding pass check spot near to the gate of skybridge. For the small size of aircraft, it doesn’t fit to go through air pier. We go downstairs to approach the propeller airplane which is parking over the yellow line. People are now onboard. The pilot calls for preparation to take off and it is now leaving the runway.

The sky is so murky when the aircraft gets closer to the runway beneath, at Brang Biji Airport of Sumbawa. Yet it lands off smoothly. I then approach the baggage claim which turns out a very decent small room with less people. The family members are ready outside there to pick up me, my sister, her husband and my 10-month baby niece. They help me to carry on backpack onto the car. I reach home just no more then half hour later.

People are so busy to prepare the wedding. Two days later would be a sacred moment for my oldest sister. She’s going to be a woman within hours.

At home

Me myself is in the meantime working with this pile of CDs. I just got a transfer freelance job from BKKBN (National Family Planning Board) as my friend offers this to me because he is really busy with his full time job in Jakarta . My duty is to type the script of dialogue held by BKKBN on prominent TV stations. The videos are stored on these CDs. And now it is one of my priorities during this short visit.

June 20th 2013




It’s wedding day. People are coming to mingle in the euphoria of sacred bond. The promise, the ring, and stuffs are around these hours. Most of them actually those I don’t recognize. This is my first time during my lifetime I attend the marriage ceremony from the beginning to the end.

No more than two days after the sacred ceremony of my sister, I, her, her husband, and my cousin have already planned for a trip easternward. Perhaps my sister calls it a ‘honey moon’, for me it’s the journey of my extended miles. We decided to go to Makassar through different way, by ship.

All of us today are gathering up at “Sumir Payung” bus station of town of Sumbawa. A small bus bond for Kota Bima -the easternmost capital in Sumbawa island- is parking at line 1. At 9 sharp we depart for next 8-hour long trip. The bus is so so. Neither AC nor even working fan is available. It’s so sultry. I secrete sweat even more than ever. It is like I really need a shower.





Thing has just changed when the bus is about passing on the paved way. I should have agreed the highway is so very well maintained. Even though the width is not as wide as of Jakarta, but for sure it’s even better than Pantura (north-way of Java island which stretches miles long). The scenery is changing over times. Sometimes the road is surrounded by lush green another occasion brings my sight on arid mountain. For this route is northern way, traditional typical coastal settlement covers up all through the seashore for few miles, then changing at another miles. Of all through the pavements, I can say it’s up to more than 90% the road is meander. The cliff at right side and the shore at left is another nerve-wrecking move as the bus passes over. Overall it has passed 3 regencies from the starting one in Sumbawa.
 
At 5 pm we arrive at bus station in Kota Bima. It’s smaller than ones of Sumbawa yet looks more crowded. From small traveling vendor to settled eatery, from bus driver to the agent, not to missing notorious thief whose eyes are on you. Who knows, it is as what my fellow always warns me to keep my stuffs tightly.

A man with red car over there comes over to offer help picking up our bags. He is the one who as well offers us helping hand to let us staying overnight at his parent’s home. Here I don’t see even middle aged man but an old couple. They look so less-complaining yet really enjoy their life at their very grayish age. I’m not pretty sure how old they are, but my guess has convinced me theirs is over 80s. I don’t do much more thing but taking rest as we all have arrived at this decent home.

Tomorrow morning.

At 8 sharp we all depart to harbor 8 km north by ‘ojek’. The ship has not arrived yet. But crowd is just so overwhelming. They speak in very different dialect and the people look different (compared to most I meet). At this moment I realize I’m in another part of this country. To travel easterner the more I understand I am as far as I have never been before.

I drop down my backpack and queuing for ticket checking. Here I really experience the new world, the new way of people and the new culture. Actually I want to shoot more pictures but security is still my first priority. I hold on for a moment until I am at considered safe spot. Amongst of this crowd, a middle aged Italian guy is the only one foreigner I met, the rests are seemingly from somewhere else from the corner of this country. 



At 10 a big vessel has attracted us already as it approaches the pier. It’s KM Tilongkabila of PELNI from Benoa (Bali) and Lembar (Lombok) to sail easterward. The capacity is 1000 but today it picks up reaching 3000. I just wonder how it will go then. My curious yet worrisome will soon has been satisfied by later circumstance. I can say the queue onto on board is so troublesome. I might be too worrisome for this is my first time. Yet at the moment I claim it is super chaotic. To reach the deck, I need to struggle only for every inch of spacious step. The connecting stair from the pier to the deck looks fragile, I guess. Much more the rush is just frightening me.

It takes almost an hour to pass through this inconvenient euphoria until I have successfully upgraded my ticket to first cabin. Don’t ask me to imagine how couch treats you with this super overloading passenger, almost no space to walk through even in alley. I should have thanked to the crews who ease me. One of them suggests me to reach my room once the crowd eases down. I understand how they work hard to handle this.



I am finally at this comfortable room. I share with a guy from Timor Leste with Indonesian passport. He works in Bali and has been onboard since the flight is full. At least I can still work with this pile of CDs. More exciting the TV set is now about broadcasting live match Singapore Super Series where Indonesia teams successfully bring the medals home.

It takes 7 hours to approach Labuhanbajo to anchor. I don’t go stroll out the room as proven no any alley is spacious. It’s all fully loaded by couch class passengers who weigh the deck at every single corner. Twilight has just passed away already in west. The flashing lights turn on the night with triggering crowd beneath. People are lining up for onboard. I can’t be the one who clearly put sight down there. From circular glass used to be voyage window I for several times lurk out the people outside. Men with muscular look arm the big stuff on queue. It takes an hour long to reach the nearest deck-lock. As it opened up, new passengers are now searching even a bit space.

A crew knocks my door and come in to clean up the room. He says I should wait at the dining room for initial room booker would have arrived soon. I can’t complain for my status is class-upgraded passenger. There I sit down for awhile until a girl comes inside. Later a young couple drops by. They obviously have no idea as I was there when they are asked to wait here instead of going to their room. I then explain the procedure I took place few hours ago and we start to involve into conversation. The girl came first is London-based with Spain origin. The couple is from Switzerland. We still are in talks until one by one of us called for new room. The Spanish girl later turns out to be my neighbor, for the Swiss couple I’m not sure where they strand.

I guess my room is even better. Actually it is supposed the crew’s but he kindly pleases me to stay for the overloaded passenger during this trip. There I easily can spot hot water for shower, a big screen TV, a single bed with a sofa, a fridge, fan, unfortunate AC, a gallon of mineral water and forth. All first and second class passengers can enjoy free meals three times a day.
In the night, I didn’t do much thing but sleeping. I guess I need to take rest after tiring queue upon first aboard.

The sun rises up from east with shimmering look. I wake up for shower then having breakfast. There I meet my new fellow from Spain. “My shower doesn’t work, seems I need fresh air this morning”. We decide to go to front deck for better view and better air. The challenge appears as we have to pass these long overlays of live body. From children to old people lies down even on the alley. It seriously looks like refuge camp. I can’t complain nor can I make thing settled on appropriate way of this weird sightseeing. It may look messed up but the reason of overcapacity seems outperforming the circumstance. 







The ship cruises northward. Thanks to very good weather today I have been enjoying all the way the voyage with no nauseous sickness. At 4 pm I can barely see Port of Makassar, a historical harbor for over centuries been being witness of cross generation mobility. I expect nothing but safe unload. Seems it gets getter for the security comes up with helpful conduct. I immediately leave the exit deck to touch down my step on this harbor.

Few meters ahead there is the gate where escorts flock around. People come in and out with armed luggage. A mid-aged man comes to us offering ride. He is a taxi driver who is experienced with new comer. We immediately agree as we certainly know where to head, “Losmen Semeru” in Chinatown. Actually the choice fell to this guest house based on recommendation on backpacking forum on internet. Unfortunately there is no phone number to be contacted prior our arrival. Thing goes unfortunate once we drop by there, only one room left instead of two. We can’t stay a night there. I ask the keeper to keep my booking for tomorrow and forth in case there would be two empty rooms. He agrees.



We stroll around the city to look for the lowest fare and the most strategic location. Nothing happen. Losmen Semeru is still our top choice. The last thing happens once we strand at a hostel near to Semeru for the higher cost. The reason is that so I can be more easily moving in to Semeru for tomorrow whenever it is possible. This idea seems working well.

Tomorrow we pick up all our stuffs by walking. I just have fallen in love with this budget hostel. Though it is very decent, the cleanliness and the facility are very bearable. We have a satellite TV, a working table, good working toilet, a big size bed, and an air conditioner. On the third floor we are placed, a good placement for the laundry located just right next to our room. Good news, a woman who I become more accustomed to meet is the guest house staff hired by the owner to do laundry of all guest’s cloth. We don’t need to pay extra money for this free treatment. What a life!







I stay for only 4 days in Makassar. For this short visit, I start by visiting most renowned Losari Beach, the city’s natural landmark. It just looks so lovely. The tropical breeze, the traffic over the sea-sight, rides crossing through the road next to the shoreline, eateries, the growing buildings and the flock of city’s settlement and visitors are the depiction of Makassar. For its very fast development, the city has become hub for eastern Indonesia. I feel like it is Indonesia version of California coastal cities.






The next day I decide to visit Fort Rotterdam, a historical building over centuries. The long history of Dutch occupation in this city can be traced here. Furthermore few rooms have been transformed as museum particularly for cultural purposes. One of them is room where visitor can get closer with I La Galigo script, a historical script renowned for its high difficulty.

Out of my plan, I strand at a room where people are about discussing a thing. One of the organizers pleases me to come in and join. Three whites from Darwin and an Indonesian guy lead the panel, I wonder what thing is going on. With no idea before, I am now getting involved in a topic that I have been looking for since an enchanting article fascinated me to read but not clear yet. Now I have the answer. It is about the history of Buginese (Bugis people origins from South Sulawesi) who discovered Northern Territory earlier before the Whites from Europe. They had been interacting with Indigenous Australians, The Aborigines through trade. The Bugis voyager exchanged sea cucumber with local product. They also taught the Aborigines to make vessel. Their long relationship can be found through carved depiction in cave in Northern Territory. The mission of their program is to disseminate this precious yet less exposed history to public through discussion and art performance which was held last night at the Fort Hall. I have got a new thing today. 

June 28th
 
Have you ever experienced visiting a new place without getting sufficient information before walking through? I start as today comes up in the early morning with some showers. Getting by “pete-pete”, a public transformation similar to angkot, it takes an hour and bit more to the next stop. Unfortunately it gets worsening as traffic jam paralyzes the marching burn. Instead the chance comes to me amidst shimmering day I can look up and prove the development of the city that really triggers my curiosity. Concrete building towers up, some are being developed. Makassar is really experiencing its booming development. But today weather doesn’t ease me down yet rambling mind of thinking about city life crosses over like lining up motorcycles ahead. It takes three hours and bit more to approach settlement I’m aiming. I have never imagined how it looks like or it lets me feeling, sincerely I’m amazed with the nature. Scenery consisting of tea plantation hills, the mist, curving paved way, the people, has paid my tiredness off. I can say (or perhaps shout) “Geez, it’s a life!”




Locals call it “Malino”, google it for further information. It’s the third I’ve ever been during my whole 22-year-old where nature creates its resemblance over times, first in Puncak, West Java, secondly in Tawangmangu, Central Java.

Time spins around and sun hides behind limitless west horizon in Makassar Strait brings me back down to the city. I could be sighing or mumbling, but thanks my return is not as bad as my initial visit. Makassar looks hectic at night. The lamps enlighten city life, so triggering. All of it, the most craving thing is taking rest at hostel. And it will have taken place within couple minutes. I drop by right in front of crusted sidewalk, few steps to the gate. Refilling drink bottle then go upstairs in a minute. It’s bedroom.

June 29th

I believe ending is not really ending when it comes home with a basket of memory with fruitful story. It could be interpreted like dashing line where the latter would come in the mysterious upcoming time. You know flight time is near. Taking DAMRI bus at stop point a hundred meter away to east by walking, I decide to arrive half hour before the due departure. In a tiny glassed room as small as doubled payphone size a ticketing man stays alone with lurking eye. The bus arrives on time. There are only 5 persons aboard including me. I immediately take myself seat at front row, the best view to capture city highway. Today looks more crowded than yesterday did perhaps it is because of weekend. When the bus passes by the highway gate, it is so obvious that industrialization is about entering its growing phase, the moment comes. Fogging cylindrical metals emit bulky blackish gas. For it comes to me first time, I’m much convinced Makassar is a melting pot of revolutionary traits. Perhaps its natives genetically are descended of its character, just my opinion.
Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport is right there. It reminds me of Juanda International Airport of Surabaya. Green parks surrounds the road way and taxing aircrafts are lining up after arrival or for departure. The most captivating me of Makassar’s growing hub is its design, traditional meets modern. By my own measure, it ranks 8 out 10 to exceed Suarabaya’s Juanda with 6.5 out of 10 (the time of measurement is present on June 29th).

My flight today Lion Air en route Jakarta leaves the “K”-look island half hour late from the schedule. It’s drizzling outside. Though the pilot and team do their great work, flying on B737-900ER is way better comparing to the old series like -300s or -500s of Seattle based aviation manufacture in such weather. Since there is neither AVOD nor food serviced on board, most passengers decide to take a nap, me either for merely ten minutes out of two-hour long in the sky.

The co-pilot announces that the aircraft is ready to descend within a couple minute, but wait. Can I complain for this announcement? Or perhaps not now I guess. The reason comes more rational when you take account of 22-million airport is congested by 57 million airliners whole year. My question is “Where to place them (passengers and aircrafts)?”. You know we have to rotate thrice while queuing that forces us flying up and down. If you never go to Paris Air Show, just come to Jakarta by plane in the evening then you see aircraft parading around you. To be honest I feel vomiting. A man next to me grabs airbag sick and pukes. Nothing that bad than stranded in the sky meanwhile you need to fly around without stop. I’m not at this moment complaining about the much avtur it burns but the pressure stressing the blood.




Eventually it comes to end and I feel my head is not at its fittest. But camera is full of videos and photos. Worth it enough at least. 

And today it's my birthday. Happy belated 22 years old dear myself :-)






Francophoned Tongue


"Bonjour...!"


What thing was attracting most TV observant for almost two-hour breath-taking yesterday? The football match. I do agree. The crowd yelled out loud once the last minute penalty execution ended up the game 7-6 for Indonesia over Viet Nam in U-19 AFF Cup. It was kinda bit more longer than normal duration yet it was the beat. But myself later turned back into my small bedroom leaving frantic fellows in gathering room. I flipped few of some pages of French textbook.

Since couple weeks ago I enrolled for 3-month French course at university language center, the reason comes in random. I have no certain aims in detail the reason takes me in this class. Among 9 students for beginner level, I'm at the least of reasonable account given to French-graduate lecturer (though she is not French language and literature titled) as she was too curious looking for our point. Some of them are foreign student candidates to study in French in various fields. Me, the only one who only could say "I have no exact reason at all, but I have been watching few of some French movies and listening to its songs, I'm just interested in." Actually I came at registration day for Mandarin Chinese course, later I decided to take French at first. However, the lecturer changed ever since the second meeting, another French educated product (still he is not based at French language and literature). Though I have no complain whether they have language and literature title or do not so.

Most of lecturers at university language center comes from different fields, the reason they are qualified to teach is because they are at least capable and graduated from taught language origin, mentioning English (UK or English speaking countries), Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, and Arabic (exception for Turkish and Korean, they are native speaker sponsored by their government).

Well, French is just one of thousand languages existing on spherical planet Earth, perhaps in caves as well. I thought at first, speaking French meant to give you extra miles seating on UN chair along with English ticket as what I red on textbook when I was in elementary school. I noticed some of faces that covered my Social Science book are from African countries who notably placed French as second or official language (Kofi Anan from Ghana and Boutros Boutros Gali from Egypt). Later it comes developed when I realize when you speak French could be meaning to knowing more people from francophone nations, some of it are beautiful countries such Canada, Morocco, New Caledonia, French Polynesia and so forth. Makes sense!

BUT, am I that too damn high having superb fancy delusion to think that so big about "traveling to those countries with no cost, seating at UN office, writing extraordinary French literature and receiving honor "Ordre des Art et des Lettres" like Indonesian-singer Anggun" ? Yes, it's too freaking high and I look so messed up in mind with all those glimpses of fiction. LOL.

The fiction still remains fanciful in mind while talking about Belgium-French The Adventures of Tintin, particularly the Flight 714 comic album. The reason makes sense for me personally, 1) The setting is in Indonesia 2) It deals with aviation 3) Tintin is adventurous figure 4) The comic is in French that helps me learning this language 5) High-Fiving my head that I'm running out ideas.


Flight 714 To Sydney (taken from: http://iipalbanjary.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/tintin-djakarta.jpg)

I try to browse the movie of above episode and found it in Canadian-English, I expected it's in French though.Some Spanenglish are also found thick in some conversations.



So, have I realized that I posted random words from Football Match to Tintin? Right, it ends up with Tintin adventure. Well, give me attempt to summarize:

- Indonesia halts VietNam in chasing dream to end the football match with champion title -
- Vietnam is a country who turns out former French colony and still maintaining French language though as minority - 
- French is language that I'm still learning about -
- One of French comics that captivates me is Tintin - 
- Tintin's "Flight 714 To Sydney" set in Indonesia - 
- I'm writing this random post in Indonesia -
- Mercy beaucoup -
- THE END -




LOLed Quote of the Day:
"I'm the Jesus of my channel, so I do everything I want" [One of bizarre YouTube Personalities]



No Title For No Post



"Wake Me Up When September Ends!"


I remember it was May, not "May Be". I wrote down my self-exclaim and sounds defensive. Thinking about life has given and things have changed, it feels like "Don't take it too serious".

It is the mid of September, three and half (more or less) months nothing change on this dully blog. Now I'm about cleaning up the spider web on the right and left corner, wiping out the dust and putting a flower on the center of the page with some sprays of Paris Good Odor throughout.

I have no idea to tell you (my beloved fellow bloggers) who pay off time even a glance for nothing (to read) that I was out of orbit for awhile though many things I'd love to share, to write, and to (whatever). I myself has betrayed the promise I owe to keep regularly posting any stuff twice every month. Well, you may shoot me down.

I was doing something and big nothing for part in the meantime. Later I realize my mind gets heavier. Statically I'm curving through negative trend just like exchange rate at most recent. I have turned into decent viewer of frenetic Olympics. I shout loud behind the line just like most the crowd in ambience.

"Summer is over" people say, though here summer is everyday literally.  But please wake me up when September ends with GreenDay ringtone. I still want to wake up anyway.





Backpacking To Krakatau


Take A Deep Breath




I might be so much inspired by NG's explorer, conquering the wilderness, creating new path, and definitely leading exploration just like never before. All of those are uncountable satisfactory even beyond as written on published magazine or documentary video. The majestic nature can be never merely explained by depicted figures but all of the thing is the sense of exploration. Or perhaps, in addition, Anggun's Je Partirai (in Frace) song is too much heart blowing as its lyrics seems so inspiring, to have a journey around the world and going back with contenting stories. I was fortunate, I guess, as my pal texted me two months ago informing me a trip organized by BackPacker Indonesia (BPI) to Krakatau. I told him before since I was just too much curious about this attention-cheating site. Two months later thing has happened with myriad of inspirations as I am telling you here.

I pull off stuffs inside my dully greenish backpack: rayban, goggles, swimming clothes, etc. and zip them off. Meeting my pal in front of the campus and then departing to bus station where we have to head off to BPI traveler meeting point at Pelabuhan Merak (harbor) at the horn of westernmost Java island. It is almost 3 hours from Bogor to Merak after passing crazy traffic jam at office break hours, it is 11 pm we arrive. Out of my prediction, total of traveler has reached 80 or perhaps more. I don't count them all at exact amount. Most of them are full time worker in capital greater Jakarta as we depart on Friday night, at mid night for sure. I just so understand how working life sometimes is so frustrating or perhaps backpacking is just too  much interesting. Do not ever judge by age, passion is an equivalent supporter. Your young blood could be not working at the moment as you do not move your lazy ass from the desk to have adventure, yet bloody old man could be as young as 17s teen. No wonder you are traveler when your passion to see the world is much bigger than your PC desktop appearing wonderful Google Images.

I prove some of them might be either inspiring traveler or worker in the mean time. But let my guessing disappear, let hold one each other together to have this 3 days adventure. At 2 am (it's already early Saturday) we all after brief introduction conducted by organizer are ready bound for ferry to cross Sunda Strait. With additional fee IDR 10,000 (approx. 1 USD) I and my pal book for an executive cabin, yet in my own measurement it is so average by quality and service. But it is not my concern, I prefer sleeping than judging as tomorrow and on the trip will be full time.

Arrival at 5.30 am at Pelabuhan Bekauhuni (harbor) the ferry drops by to unload both passengers and vehicles. We all gather up in front at parking lot then depart by angkot to breakfast venue, a local house thine. It is drizzle covering up lusty southern Lampung at the time of breakfast. Nothing much to do but immediately approaching Rajabasa, a typical small harbor merely used by local settlement and visitor. But thing begins with nerve-wrecking circumstance. The strait is too wavy today, a contrast to what happened yesterday, one of local says. At first we are not allowed by official person who is on duty to pass through, too dangerous he says. But show must go on. We play with risk but life vest works to endorse. At the final of decision, three vessels agree to board us.


Sebuku island

No question how these vessels break the wave, leaning right to left or jumping up and down. Sometimes when the sea force is too strong, the burst broken on the board and becoming wet. I my self attempt to calm down even though the wave does not chill out. An hour later we anchor in Sebuku island, amazing white sand all through the shoreline with clean turquoise shallow water bank at fringe. Taking photos and deep relieving breath for awhile. Next challenge is coming up.

Sebuku island

Sebuku island

As all of us onboard, we head off to Sabesi island, where our hosting place located an hour from here. Nothing more heart-triggering than the way of heading to Sabesi, the wave becomes more forceful. I and a new fellow group suddenly turns into silent when the vessel struggles passing challenging sea. Powerful wave by geographical condition origins from open Hindia Ocean in the southwestern bank, the wind triggers pace of sea becoming curly. At least I learnt little bit from Fundamental Oceanography class two years ago.

Sabesi island

It is so much relieved when we safely approach the pier of hosting island. We are encouraged to fast preparing for lunch before another optional trip to a small island nearby (I forget the name). I meet another group traveler from "Kakikukakukaku" and a group of seemingly Russian backpacker. I prefer to opt staying at sharing house than taking subsequent voyage due to tiredness fro sunset. My and some others choice is not bad, the sunset is not clear due to overcasting. However, at night we have barbecue party and sleep tight for few hours since tomorrow at 2 am we will have departed to another islands.

I managed to refresh my fitness as second day trip start just at very early morning or so late midnight. We have been onboard as engine works combusting fuel. Navigated scattering crystal stars above on clear sky, we all head to (Anak) Krakatau located. Almost two hours the vessels pass through wavy sea, fortunately some people are too tired so they decide to continue sleeping instead of playing with their nerve. I become more accustomed, frankly I get this trip is so worthwhile for the challenge.

Hiking (Anak) Krakatau

Once the vessels cease to haul, all of us unload the boat. Stepping on the island for first time is so overwhelmed for me as it looks like a forest instead of a deadly mountain as depicted on internet. Well, let me think awhile, there must be primary succession has just been occurring. My guess is right. Few meters ahead there is square billboard informing the biological change after eruption. A notice, for well renowned in 1883 Mount Krakatau had changed the geographical condition until present day. Some evidence and written source in Dutch have revealed how deadly it erupted which also caused tsunami.



As we climb upward, it looks totally different. Uprising mountain just at the corner and we hike onto highest yet safest point. The slope is 45 degree in average. Our spirit is too forceful as some of travelers here are also mountain hiker. Two of our members are children at 4-5 years old and another two are married grandpa and grandpa who turn out these kids ancestor. A family member is making reunion here. We take some photos here and trying the best for the best sunrise. It is such a wonderful view at height. The sulphurous fog blows from top of the mountain behind. For almost two hours we are at the top point.

Krakatau Kitjil island

We descend carefully to harbor right down there. I meet another group travelers including foreigners. We have breakfast before subsequently heading off to Rakata island, the origin of chained surrounding mountains in the past. It takes only 15 minutes to reach another beautiful snorkeling spot. All of us immediately prepare for snorkeling stuffs and submerging down there. I just do love doing this igniting my burning skin. I really enjoy the fascinating undersea. It is just too awesome. I and smaller group members play hide-and-seek amongst scattering traveler from these three vessels. 

The command to return onboard announced when the sun at its highest yet hottest horizon. We return to Sabesi island for lunch and preparing stuffs going back to Rajabasa. Fortunately our last day here the weather is nice even though the wave still works but not as harder as yesterday. At 3 pm we pack our stuffs and going back.

Then 2 hours later the vessels have arrived approaching log made pier. It's kinda tiring but lot of joy. Meeting new friends, experiencing new nerve, exploring new place. We subsequently depart to Bekauhuni harbor by angkot, an hour long. I am so much surprised when I know the ferry we are going to go by is the biggest I ever drop. I and my new fellows order for flat bed class as we plan to play UNO. Lot of laughs at the night of our return. I have found a new friendship here. Hope I would meet them again someday.




All those series of short (weekend) trip are even bigger in the meaning than the length of its time. It has given me accounts to me myself having another conclusion. I, as not having many experience as that of other travelers, have realized the growth of traveling within this country is remarkable. Willingness to travel, to look new places, to become more aware the potential of their own nation is just emerging. It is not initiated nor created by government or official institution but the own sense of most of us, the grassroots. Calculating these scattering islands alone seems never ending, official says it's around 17,000 but who knows the dynamics of geological condition might break the existing report everyday. Its dynamic is as easy as of most people I meet here to make new friends in the very short time. I notice something they are very welcome and always smile to new people, foreigners or local is just the same. I have to admit, I become more addicted to travel within this never ending nation where west to east is as long as Europe continent alone. Just too much curious another hidden beautiful spots tell me another story. Someday :)