Happy Halloween, folks!

While Lutherans are celebrating their Reformation Day and faithful Catholics their All Saints’ Eve mass, secular people around the world are celebrating their so-called Satanic tradition Halloween, a tradition which —unfortunately— goes virtually unnoticed here in Indonesia.

Speaking of which, Japan has their own unique tradition of celebrating Halloween with their own cosplay themes, such as seen here.

For an insightful view to other culturally infused Halloween traditions around the world, just visit this site.


Homograph word plays

This is a bunch of homograph word plays I found a few months ago. I found them very amusing, which is why I’m posting it here today. Just have a read.

(Author unknown)

We polish Polish furniture.

He could lead if he got the lead out.

A farm can produce produce.

The dump was so full, it had to refuse refuse.

The soldier decided to desert in the desert.

The present is a good time to present the present.

At the Army base, a bass was painted on a bass drum.

A dove dove into the bushes.

I didn’t object to the object.

The insurance for the invalid was invalid.

The bandage was wound around the wound.

There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.

The two were too close to the door to close it.

The buck does funny things when does are present.

They sent a sewer down to stitch a tear in the sewer line.

To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.

The wind was too strong to wind the sail.

After a number of Novocain injections, my lips got number.

I shed a tear over a tear in my shirt.

I had to subject the subject to a number of tests.

How can I intimate this to my most intimate friends?

I spent last evening evening out a pile of dirt.


Indo-Lesson 1: Let’s ride the busway [sic]

Hi everyone, it’s Toshihiko here and today I’m experimenting on giving lessons on the Indonesian language. Starting from today onwards, I’ll be giving Bahasa Indonesia lessons specifically written for foreigners, expats, and other Indonesian learners both inside and outside the country on a weekly basis every Monday.

Let's begin the lesson.

Firstly, let’s take a look at this little confabulation:

“Kita ke sana naik apa nih?”

(What transport are we gonna take there?)

“Naik busway lah! Masa’ mau naik bajay..”

(Of course we ride the Busway [sic]! How can we take bajaj..?)

Menaiki, according to my Indonesian-English dictionary, can be defined as:

  1. climb on to sth, e.g. Anak itu menaiki pohon (The child climbed trees)
  2. ride sth, e.g. Mobil yang dinaikinya (The car that he rode)

It is a common habit for Indonesians to strap off all the affixes to make a word colloquial.

Thus, the precise English counterpart for “I’m brushing my teeth” would be “Aku lagi gosok gigi”, notAku sedang menggosok gigi”.

I’ll discuss the interchangeability of the words sedang and lagi at some other time.

In the meanwhile, I’ll focus on the usage of the word “Busway”.

For some of us who frequent Jakarta or live in Jakarta, we are often amused when Indonesians say that they are going to “naik Busway”, which literally means “riding a Busway”.

What does the word “Busway” should specifically refer to?

The red lane, of course.

For those of you who don’t know which red lane I’m talking about, it is the special lane painted on the street which gives privilege only for the Transjakarta bus to ride through.

Sooner or later, we know that the “Busway” they’re talking about is the air-conditioned Transjakarta bus service whose interconnectivity resembles the metro system in our respective countries.

We all know that the proper phrase should be “naik Transjakarta”, notnaik Busway”.

But not a single Indonesian seems to be aware that they’re misusing the term.

Well, I’m an exception, lols.

Everytime I heard any of my relatives or friends say that they “naik Busway”, there is always this annoyed feeling in me. But after a while, I learned to accept the term as it is: an Indonesian slang that has gone unchecked.

So instead of asking Indonesians to fit in their English-derived Indonesian to meet our English standard, the more correct approach should be us who fit in our Indonesian to meet their standards.

That's all for today, folks.

I’ve traversed thru Blog-Indonesia and Technorati networks to find any blogs that focus on giving Indonesian lessons to no avail. However, there’s the possibility that I wasn’t careful enough in looking for it, so please give me the link if you find any, OK? I’d like to contact the blogger(s) so we can cross-refer our lessons and improvise our lessons together.

For some of you Malay speakers, I know very well how confusing it is to find the exact Indonesian equivalent for the Malay term that you have in mind due to the close affinity between the two languages. I also have some command in Malay language, so don’t hesitate in asking me any inquiries about Indonesian or Malay language that you may have.

One thing to be noted though, I no longer accept any e-mails from anyone I don’t know in my Gmail account due to the increasing number of spam mails I’ve been receiving lately. So unless you are an old school friend (such as BòóN) or a fellow blogger whom I’m acquainted by name (like Jakartass and Diny), don’t ever bother sending me e-mails because I’ve filtered all e-mails from people I don’t know as junk mails.

I have switched on the anonymous-commenting option so that you could send in questions you may have about Indonesian language. Any suggestions or feedbacks on how to improve the lessons in terms of format or the likes would gladly be taken into consideration.



This is a copy-paste of a serial Friendster chain posted on its bulletin;

Author unknown

10th Grade

As I sat there in English class, I stared at the girl next to me.She was my so-called "best friend". I stared at her long, silky hair. I wished she were mine, but she didn't notice me like that.And I knew it. After class she walked up to me and asked me for the notes she had missed the day before, and I handed them to her.She said "thanks" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I wanted to tell her. I wanted her to know that I don't want to be just friends. I love her, but I'm just too shy. And I don't know why.

11th Grade

The phone rang. It was her on the other end. She was in tears, mumbling on and on about how her love had broke her heart. She asked me to come over because she didn't want to be alone, so I did. As I sat next to her on the sofa, I stared at her soft eyes, wishing she was mine. After 2 hours, a Drew Barrymore movie, and three bags of chips, she decided to go to sleep. She looked at me, said "thanks," and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her. I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends. I love her, but I'm just too shy. And I don't know why.

12th Grade

The day before prom she walked to my locker. "My date is sick," she said. He's not going to go. Well, I didn't have a date and in 7th grade we made a promise that if neither of us had dates we would go together just as "best friends," so we did. Prom night after everything was over I was standing at her front door step. I stared at her. She smiled at me and stared at me with her crystal eyes. I want her to be mine, but she doesn't think of me like that, and I know it. Then she said, "I had the best time, thanks!" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her. I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends. I love her, but I'm just too shy. And I don't know why...

Graduation Day

A day passed. A week passed. A month passed. Before I could blink, it was graduation day. I watched as her perfect body floated like an angel up on stage to get her diploma. I wanted her to be mine, but she didn't notice me like that, and I knew it. Before everyone went home, she came to me in her smock and hat, and she cried as I hugged her. Then, she lifted her head from my shoulder and said, "You're my best friend, thanks!" and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I want to tell her. I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends. I love her, but I'm just too shy. And I don't know why.

A Few Years Later...

Now, I sit in the pews of the church. She is getting married, now. I watched her say, "I do" and drive off to her new life, married to another man. I wanted her to be mine but she didn't see me like that, and I knew it. But before she drove away, she came to me and said, "You came!" She said, "thanks!" and kissed me on the cheek.I want to tell her. I want her to know that I don't want to be just friends. I love her, but I'm just too shy. And I still don't know why...


Years passed, and I looked down at the coffin of the girl who used to be my best friend." At the service they read a diary entry she had wrote in her high school years. This is what it read: I stare at him wishing he were mine. But he doesn't notice me like that, and I know it. I want to tell him. I want him to know that I don't want to be just friends. I love him, but I'm just too shy, and I don't know why. I wish he would tell me he loved me… I wish I did too,i thought to myself, and I started sobbing.


How to change the Background Music in Virtual Villagers 2 with your own song

I experimented this only out of curiosity but… hey,this thing really works! Just follow the steps I’ve given and there won’t be any problem

  1. In your Hard Disk Drive, open C: >> Program Files >> Virtual Villagers 2 >> Sounds
  2. Inside the folder Sounds, cut (Ctrl+X) the files named “song1”, “song2”, “song3”, “song4”, and “menu” out of the folder. You may delete those files if you don’t like them, but I don’t recommend you that.
  3. Then, still on the same page, open Tools >> Folder Options >> View.
  4. Uncheck the box “Hide extensions for known file types”

(Leave it as it is if it’s already unchecked)

  1. Open another folder where you keep your songs and choose 5 (FIVE) songs you want to put as the BG music in VV2. Copy the songs, and paste them in the folder Virtual Villagers 2 >> Sounds
  2. Change the songs’ name into “menu.ogg”, “song1.ogg”, “song2.ogg”, “song3.ogg”, and “song4.ogg” respectively. You may want to put your most favourite song as “song1.ogg”, because you’ll be listening to it the most often.
  3. And yes, when I tell you to change the song’s extension, change it! Otherwise the whole thing won’t work. For example, if the song’s name originally was “Overprotected.mp3”, you must change it into “menu.ogg”, “song1.ogg”, “song2.ogg”, “song3.ogg”, or “song4.ogg


Virtual Villagers 2

See that picture above? Seems I’m not quite smart in sustaining the village in the beginning, huh? With 25 people in population, I had 0 food supply which is not in the least sustainable because all my villagers could starve to death.

Here is a snapshot a day later:

Gee-hee, I’ve made myself a village elder! Lols. See the totems above? One of those totems is specifically made to venerate me.

And here is the latest snapshot:

Yep, despite having all its villagers famished in the beginning of the game, I’ve managed to help it survive in the end anyway.

Virtual Villagers 2, or Virtual Villagers: The Lost Children, is the sequel of Virtual Villagers, a new kind of sim game.

Players must guide the villagers through island life, improving conditions and technology, developing sustainable farming techniques and increasing the villagers' population. The game progresses in real time, even when the game is not running, the completion of some tasks can take hours or days. The game calculates the result of the simulation during the intervening time since the last time the player played. Villagers can die due to lack of food or neglect. Once there are no more living villagers, the game is over.

I firstly thought that the changes made to distinguish this sequel from its predecessor must be little, but I found out that I was wrong.

There are a lot of positive alterations made in this VV2 version, here are to name a few:

  1. All the skills (Farming, Building, Parenting, etc.) are made to coexist with each other in VV2, unlike in VV where you can ignore “Parenting” and “Healing” skills most of the time.
  2. The puzzles are much more complicated and challenging in VV2.
  3. There no longer exists the Golden Child in VV2, which means a good thing because despite helping the villagers with farming and other stuff, the Golden Child only makes us lose the fun in playing the game.
  4. There is a new section called “Collections” that one has to fill completely in order to solve the very last puzzle.
  5. The VV2’s background music has more variations than VV.
  6. The female villagers’ cough no longer sound like the males’ ones… It really gives me the creep hearing the women cough like men in VV!
  7. The price gap between level 2 and level 3 is very large, causing a lengthened game timeplay
  8. We can change the villagers’ clothes in VV2, a feature previously nonexistent in VV. The cost for each clothe-changing to be 5000 TP may seem like a waste to some, but logically it also acts as a way to spend one’s money when there is nothing else in the “Tech” section to buy.

For me personally, the new change I like most is the designation of title “Elder” to a villager who has mastered three skills. Thus, the Elder villager’s heritage is preserved not only by his/her tombstone, but also by totem which can add an aesthetic value to the game visuals.

Another change that I like is the Stew puzzle, which enables us to experiment with different recipes to get medicines or poisons…

Now wait a minute. Why would anyone compound poisons?

Well, here’s the tricky part. For most of us who are familiar enough with the game, having a “Master Doctor” in your village is the hardest thing one could ever achieve.


It’s because the healers are needed only when people are sick, for goodness sake! Primarily for that purpose of training my doctor, I intentionally poison my villagers one by one and heal them with the doctors available almost immediately.

Kinda evil, huh? Yep, I am. If I were a God, I think those villagers would present me with abundance of offerings everyday to ask for forgiveness, hahaha…

Anyway, this is the most complete listing of recipes I found elsewhere in the net. Sorry for not giving the source here, I forgot which site did I copy-paste this from…

Ingredient sources:

  1. The green plant in the upper left hanging over the wall of stones.
  2. The blue flower at the top center just to the right of the cave.
  3. The lavender daisy at the far top-right above the sacred area.
  4. The black chain of flowers just above the waterfall on the east.
  5. The bright red flowers southeast of the dam.
  6. The large orange flower to the south of the village.

W - White Lily B - Blue Rose P - Purple Flower
V - Black Vine R - Red Herb O - Orange Blossom

Note that since B is already for Blue, then V is used for Black. V is picked because it is a black -V-ine.

Ingredient combinations:

WVV The stew made your villager very ill
BVV The stew made your villager very ill
PVV The stew made your villager very ill
R The stew made your villager very ill
O The stew made your villager very ill

VOO X Your villager feels no need to breathe! - PUZZLE13
PPO X Stew completely restored your villager - FILLS HEALTH BAR
ROO X Parenting skills? - Sparkly, Embracing

VVV It burns! This foul stew is very harmful.
WWV This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
WPV This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
WVR This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
WVO This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
BVR This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
BVO This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
PPV This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
PVR This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
PVO This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
RR This stew is nasty, it really isn't edible
WBP X The spicy stew clears villager's nose and throat - Rainbow
BPV X The spicy stew clears villager's nose and throat - Rainbow
WRR X The stew gave your villager a burst of energy - Dancing
WRO X The stew gave your villager a burst of energy - Dancing
RRR X The stew gave your villager a burst of energy - Exercising
RRO X The stew gave your villager a burst of energy - Exercising
WBR X Your villager has to go to the bathroom - Nature is calling!
BRR X The stew made your villager tired
WBV X Thirsty! So thirsty! Getting a drink
BBV X Thirsty! So thirsty! Getting a drink
PRO X This stew gives off a very sweet smell - Sparkly
OOO X This stew gives off a very sweet smell - Sparkly
WWR X This stew is very, very spicy
WPR X This stew is very, very spicy
BBB X Wow! Is your villager allergic to this stew? - Jumpy
BBO X Wow! Is your villager allergic to this stew? - Jumpy
WWW X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WWB X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WWP X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WWO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WBB X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WBO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WPP X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WPO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
WOO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
BBP X Your villager feels healthier after eating
BBR X Your villager feels healthier after eating
BPP X Your villager feels healthier after eating
BPR X Your villager feels healthier after eating
BPO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
BRO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
BOO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
PPP X Your villager feels healthier after eating - Rainbow
PPR X Your villager feels healthier after eating - Rainbow
PRR X Your villager feels healthier after eating
POO X Your villager feels healthier after eating
RO X Your villager feels healthier after eating - Sparkly



What does it mean exactly, to be inside eternity?

For those who believe in Heaven and Hell, the eternity can be defined easily as “a concept of living forever under a timelessness existence”.

But that’s where the mystery remains.

For us all who are living in this world as normal human, we know that our existence inside this mortal body is temporary.

Because life is ephemeral and we know that.

We only become a baby and get breastfeed for two years at most. We go to school for 12 years, study in college for four years, and work for around 40 years before we finally retire.

The word "eternity" really gives us all the creep.

In our life cycle, everything that we do is temporary, which means that they can all be counted in years. Everything we do, no matter how perfect or abominable, is all limited by yearly duration.

Even if we get a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, it’s still an ephemeral kind of suffering; let’s say 100 years at most..?

While in eternity, what do we get?

Heaven? Hell? Or endless expanse of white floor where there is nothing else in sight?

Let’s say we’re fortunate. Let’s say we escape the rung of hell and enter the paradise for eternity.

Then we pose ourselves the question: what do we see there? What is paradise like? Who do we meet there?

That’s why the idea of being within eternity—whatever form it may take; heaven, hell, or purgatory— is creepy.


If I were given US$ 1 Million tomorrow, what would I do with it?

One may say this is a kinda wishful thinking. Yeah, you may say so. Let’s imagine that tomorrow I win $ 1 million from a lottery. What would I do with it?

Well, let’s firstly convert it into the Rupiah currency:

Rp 9,400,000,000

And for the sake of clarity, I’ll round it up into Rp 10 billion. I’ll also round up other price figures as well.


Let’s start.

First of all, Rp 10 billion to spent.

The first thing that comes to my mind is… to invest it. I would invest (or just save) 30% of it in the bank, insurance, or may be even play in the stock market (as I may not understand the business world yet, I’d ask my businessman uncle to help me out in these).

Now there is Rp 7 billion left.

The second thing is… my own education. I would spend the first Rp 50 million for education in a Japanese language school. Together with my family, I would fulfil my lifelong dream to fly to Japan and enrol in a Japanese language school for at least 6 months.

And yeah, as there are a lot of expensive stuff there, so an approximate figure for living costs and educational cost, transport, etc should be around Rp 150 million for 6 months.

Rp 6,850,000 left.

Returning to Indonesia, I’d enrol myself in computer courses in accordance to my Dad’s suggestion until its highest completion.

Rp 6,800,000 left.

After finishing the Japanese and computer courses, I’d then set aside Rp 1.5 billion for bachelor’s degree in a prestigious university in USA.

Rp 5,300,000 left.

I would donate Rp 400 million to various orphanages in Indonesia.

Rp 4,900,000 left.

I would donate Rp 400 million to improve school facilities in several primary schools I selected across Java.

Rp 4,500,000 left.

I would spend Rp 500 million to purchase a car for my family’s use. I have no car brands in mind yet, but preferably it’s either Korean or Japanese manufactured.

Rp 4 billion.

My extended family comes to mind. There are a lot of my family members who have hefty debts that reach even hundreds of millions of Rupiah. And the others are simply in need of money. I would give them Rp 2 billion straightaway with no strings attached.

Rp 2 billion.

I would also offer all my cousins –who are all younger than me— to enrol in international schools in Jakarta so that they can get quality educations like the way I had.

Rp 1 billion.

I then set aside the remaining Rp 1 billion for my parents’ pension fund savings.

Rp 0 left.

So, is my money wisely spent and invested? Only God knows.


Dumbledore is a gay? No way!

Found this on Unspun’s blog. I don’t know what I should say of this, except that I’m totally dumbfounded with such an appalling statement. Never expected the Dumbledore I always admire to turn out to be such a person…

But I guess Rowling simply doesn’t care about us Harry Potter fans anymore –you know— having finished the entire series once and for all… I’m so disappointed in her. Rowling could’ve said that Dumbledore’s love for Grindelwald is brotherly but, she didn’t.

She’s has commited a publicity stunt which –unfortunately— does more harm than good.

Quote taken from www.washingtonpost.com:

NEW YORK (Reuters) - J.K. Rowling has outed one of the main characters of her best-selling Harry Potter series, telling fans in New York that the wizard Albus Dumbledore, head of Hogwarts school, is gay.

Speaking at Carnegie Hall on Friday night in her first U.S. tour in seven years, Rowling confirmed what some fans had always suspected — that she “always thought Dumbledore was gay,” reported entertainment Web site E! Online.

Rowling said Dumbledore fell in love with the charming wizard Gellert Grindelwald but when Grindelwald turned out to be more interested in the dark arts than good, Dumbledore was “terribly let down” and went on to destroy his rival.

That love, she said, was Dumbledore’s “great tragedy.”
“Falling in love can blind us to an extent,” she said.


JLPT Past Year papers

Usually the advertisements I found here and there give hogwash websites where you have to pay to register and blah2... blah2... but hey, this website really gives past year JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) papers for free!!

Here is the key to get specific past year papers for level 1-4, from year 1991 to 2007:


By replacing the year 2007 above with another specific year and the level 4 above with another specific level, you could obtain any papers you need.


Experience with spoilers: a fun way to play prank on people

As I started to pore thru the first pages of Harry Potter 6, I casually asked my roomate Nguyen Phi Long about something that just struck me.

“Long, I heard that someone died in this book…”

Long’s attention turned towards the book in my hands.

“Hm?”,he glanced from his computer monitor, “Oh, Harry Potter! Yeah, of course someone died. J.K. Rowling said so.”

Then I rhetorically asked myself, “Who died, huh?”

He replied curtly,“Dumbledore.”

My whole world seemed to collapse.

“WHAT THE…….!!!??”

If there was a bucket of water beside me, I would’ve splashed it onto him and his computer mercilessly.

My heart screamed,“Long, you just spoiled the whole fun I was just going to get!!! You shouldn’t have answered my question, it was rhetorical, dammit!!!”

But instead only these words came out of my mouth,”Are you sure?”

I still half-hoped that he lied to me.

“Yeah, of course. You still reading the book?”

“You mean you’ve finished reading it?”

“Ya lah… Why would I lie to you..”

He seemed unapologetic. Oh, great.

But hey, it was me who asked him in the first place, I should partially blame myself for that!

The green book “Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince” I purchased a few days before was laid bare in front of me. My own roommate just spoiled main key of the whole plot.

Over the next couple of days, I was reluctant to touch the book ever again, let alone picking it up.

I finally finished the book a month later, after I got over that spoiled-story-aftershock.

Two years later in Jakarta, I obtained the .pdf version of 7th book of the Harry Potter series.

Despite having promised myself to avoid discussing the book with anyone else this time, I incidentally talked about it.

It was a lovely morning in my Japanese class when my classmate Rizki asked me,”Toshi, what time did u go to bed last night? U seem kinda insomniac!”

“Hm?” I yawned, “2 o’clock. I simply couldn’t stop reading Harry Potter, man…”

“Yeah? You read Harry Potter too? Never imagined that Harry and Ginny Weasley would marry in the end, do you think?”

My languor disappeared at once and immediately my whole body stiffened.

I stared at him.

“Rizki…. ARE YOU SURE??! You mean, you’ve finished the book?”, I half-bellowed at him.

“Not yet, though. Just reached page 300 something”

“Then how do you know about Harry and Ginny getting married?”

“Well, in the middle of the book –you know— it gets kinda boring in the part where Harry and Hermione moved their tent here and there. Then, out of curiosity, I flipped thru the last chapter of Epilogue… And –you know— Ron and Hermione got married too!!”

Just like my ex-roommate Long, Rizki also seemed unapologetic.

He didn’t realise how grave the “sin” he had commited.

“WAAAA…… I wish I didn’t come to class today…..”

I ended up spending the rest of the class sulking towards everyone, not just Rizki, but everyone, my teachers included.

When they asked me what the matter is, I just answered that I was feeling kinda lethargic that day, but of course only Rizki himself knew what had happened to me.

I really wanted to avenge Rizki that time, but what story could I spoil to him in return?

There is no longer Harry Potter book 8th –you know— J.K. Rowling has told us that the story is finished once and for all.

Oddly enough, a tantalising temptation came to me:

“If I have gotten my Harry Potter reading spoiled, then I should spoil other people’s reading as well. That way, justice is served.”

I gave in.

Then I smsed my all of my friends who are fans of Harry Potter… about the ending of the book, like “Dobby and Hedwig died” or “Harry and Ginny got married”

Those who replied returned angry messages like “Go to hell” or “Just go and die”

Those who didn’t reply refused to speak to me for days.

I kinda regret that decision –you know— because those friends I just smsed were simply victims of spoiler abuse like me.

I even almost strained a friendship with the girl I liked because of that.

Fortunately, she forgave me and eventually everyone came out fine.



Rubik's Cube: I'm freaking myself out !!!

Damn, I think I'm gonna freak out!!! Rubik's Cube is so addictive yet depressing; I've spent two hours dabbling with this damned toy yet still unable to solve it yet...

Anyway, this site has a nice Java Applet demonstration that allows us to follow the steps to unscramble this Cube, very slowly...

Still far-fetched from Erik Akkersdijk of The Netherlands though, who set the best time record of 9.77 seconds to solve it...


An explanation

Sorry for the meaningless blog posts over the last few days… I copied stuff from elsewhere like Wikipedia and a couple of .pdf collections of mine in order to keep my blog alive, and without the intention of ignoring your e-mails, Jakartass, I went thru some sort of a very bitterly emotional experience just a day before Idul Fitri that I couldn’t have anything in mind that inspired me anything environmental for the Blog Action Day last Monday.

I’ve just recovered from some sort of nervous breakdown which unfortunately is so confidential and personal in nature that I can’t blog about it here…

For a couple of you smart aleck guessers out there who thinks that my so-called “emotional experience” has anything to do whatsoever with love, broken-heart, boyfriend-girlfriend relationship and so on, let me tell you guys that you are utterly wrong.

Should I ever go emotional because of love relationship, I always prefer to compose a poem instead to calm myself down, and this method always succeeds.


Because I’m not your typical next-door-teenager to naively be affected by such stupid love problems… No. The problem I went thru is a hell lot larger than that.

For the next couple of months, I don’t think I’d be ready to go thru all the emotions yet, let alone writing any poems about it. Even if I ever blog about it, I’d only keep it in my blog draft, and it’s very unlikely that I’d ever make this problem known to the public. So let me just put that behind and let go what has gone…



by Julian Futanto

I stared out the window. The sun radiating its light solemnly through the wooden bars and I can feel the warming sensation covered my still body. Out there were the aged oak tree and bushes of raspberry, covering the lone hill on the top of Westerschelde. I sighed, though the sights of this very village of Vlissingen was the same as usual, I was not. Jubilant, elated and nervous was my heart, all mixed in one. That was when I heard the familiar creaking sound of the church’s door. He was there. My groom was there.

Finally, he had come—Vincent, my beloved. Both my eyes were now fixed at the slowly swinging door. As he opened the massive decorated door with one recognizable hand, I could not help but to observe him scrupulously right from hair to foot, as he was too much a gorgeous creation of The Father. At that moment, time had stopped.

He was in a set of black handsome tuxedo. Even through the three-layered suit, an inexplicable attractiveness emanated from those perfectly shaped body. I knew it; I saw it all—just the night before, to be exact. I could even imagine his rectangular chests and his well-trained, six-pack abdomen. His was the ideal body every men and women on this world would crave for.

Then I looked up a bit so that his face was the only thing in my vision. The visage was picturesque, the features flawless. However his eyes were the most distinct beauty of the façade. They were turquoise, deep as the seas yet free as the skies. Every now and then, those two orbs would emit mystifying charisma and charm of a gentleman. Again, I thanked God for creating this radiant being.

On top of all, despite his brawny, bulky appearance, one would be able to tell from his manner and his confident yet gentle way of walking that he was actually a man of intellect. He had not only brawn but brain as well, people often said. One thing they did not know was the sensitive side of him. From those two years I spent with him, I had known him inside-out. Only to me he would show his sensitive, romantic side behind all those physical masks of him.

Vincent was so pure and innocent, and finally today he would be mine. Feeling utterly contented, I realized then time had started flowing again. As he walked towards me, he glanced at me and his lips formed a captivating smiled. I smiled back at him.

“You’re so beautiful today,” he said, standing in front of me.

“Thank you,” I replied, “You look magnificent, too,” I grinned. Then he held my hand.

“Stanford, finally,” he whispered, “the day has come.”

“Yes, finally,” I replied, gripping his palms tightly. Tears burst out from my eyes and then Vincent hugged me.

“Don’t take what people say, Stanford. Believe in yourself. Believe in love,” he said. And I gave him a tender kiss on his lips. I had accepted myself as a homosexual since Vincent came to my life. He had taught me love. He had taught me the meaning of life. He was the one who had given me strength so I could decide to marry him.

Outside, the turtledove was singing and today, the two finally became one.


Ending of Doraemon

There are three current and often quoted urban legends that started spreading in late 1980s of an ending to the Doraemon series.

1. The first and the more optimistic ending was made public by Nobuo Sato several years ago. Doraemon's battery power ran out, and Nobita was given a choice between replacing the battery inside a frozen Doraemon, which would cause it to reset and lose all memory, or await a competent robotics technician who would be able to resurrect the cat-robot one day. Nobita swore that very day to work hard in school, graduate with honours, and become that robotics technician. He successfully resurrected Doraemon in the future as a robotics professor, became successful as an AI developer, and thus lived happily ever after, thus relieving his progeny of the financial burdens that caused Doraemon to be sent to his space-time in the first place. A dōjin manga for this ending exists.

2. The second, more pessimistic ending suggests that Nobita Nobi is suffering from autism and that all the characters (including Doraemon) are simply his delusion. The idea that Nobita was a sick and dying little boy who imagined the entire series on his sickbed to help him ease his pain and depression no doubt angered quite a lot of fans. Many Japanese fans staged a protest outside the headquarters of the publisher of the series after learning about this suggestion. The publisher had to issue a public statement that this is not true.

3. The third ending suggests that Nobita fell and hit his head on a rock. He fell into a deep coma, and eventually into a semi-vegetative state. To raise money for an operation to save Nobita, Doraemon sold all the tools and devices in his four-dimensional pocket. However, the operation failed. Doraemon sold all his tools except for one used as a last resort. He used it to enable Nobita to go wherever he wanted, whichever time era he wished to go. In the end, the very place Nobita wanted to go was heaven.

The plausibility of these issues was discussed here and it was concluded that there is no ending to Doraemon.

There are three official endings to Doraemon that were made. Doraemon was discontinued in two media because readers were advancing in grades and an ending was believed to be needed. These two are not reprinted.

1. In the March 1971 issue of the magazine Shogaku 4-nensei: Due to the fact that visitors from the future were causing too much trouble, the government in the 22nd Century passed a bill to ban time-travelling altogether, meaning Doraemon would have to return to his time era. He leaves Nobita.

2. In the March 1972 issue of the magazine Shogaku 4-nensei: Doraemon, for some reason, had to go back to the future but fakes a mechanical problem so that Nobita would let him go. Nobita believes him and promises to wait until Doraemon gets well. Realizing that Nobita can handle his departure, Doraemon tells the truth and Nobita accepts. Doraemon returns to the future.

The third ending was actually meant to be the official ending due to low TV ratings and the Fujiko Fujio duo was busy with other works. But Doraemon did not leave their minds and restarted from next month's issue. In 1981, this episode was made into anime (called "Doraemon Comes Back"), and in 1998, this was released as an anime movie.


Hari Raya Puasa (A Malay term confusion)

Why hasn't anyone addressed this issue of lingo confusion: In Malaysia and Singapore, the Malay people call the day that begins the month of Syawal in the Islamic Hijrah Calendar as "Hari Raya Puasa" instead of "Idul Fitri" or related pronunciations...

As "Hari Raya Puasa" literally means "Fasting Celebration Day", it would be a blatant oddity as Muslims are forbidden to fast on the date of 1 Syawal! And while their Indonesian counterparts say "Selamat Lebaran" to each other, the Malays a say "Selamat Hari Raya", which is damn weird considering that the term "Selamat Hari Raya" means "Happy Celebration Day". Thus, the greeting "Selamat Hari Raya" should also be applicable to other Celebration Days as well, such as Christmas, Chinese New Year, Vesak, Deepavali, etc.

Can any Malay give a decent answer to this confusion?


List of failed states

This article caught my eye while researching North Korea.

For those who dunno, a failed state is generally defined a state whose central government is so weak or ineffective that it has little practical control over much of its territory.

While the UN usually makes a list of country according to their GDP, HDI, Population, Area, Poverty Rate, or even Global Peace Index (GPI) by their dynamic spot changes, the American think-tank “Fund for Peace” publishes its own list of countries according to its FSI (Failed States Index).

List of FSI may sound like the opposite of GPI, but it really isn’t. The only indicator in GPI is by how peaceful the country is, while the FSI list tells us a list of failed states, with the ranks being chosen by the 12 indicators of state vulnerability to collapse or stricken with conflict.

This year, North Korea is on No. 12, whereas Indonesia’s beloved neighbour Timor Leste gains spot No. 20. Poor countries…

Here’s the 2007 worst 20 failed states list:

1. Sudan (0)
2. Iraq (+2)
3. Somalia (+4)
4. Zimbabwe (+1)
5. Chad (+1)
6. Côte d'Ivoire (-3)
7. Democratic Republic of the Congo (-5)

8. Afghanistan (+2)
9. Guinea (+2)
10. Central African Republic (+3)
11. Haiti (-3)
12. Pakistan (-3)
13. North Korea (+1)
14. Burma/Myanmar (+4)

15. Uganda (+6)
16. Bangladesh (+3)
17. Nigeria (+5)
18. Ethiopia (+8)
19. Burundi (-4)
20. Timor-Leste (N/A)

Sudan –unsurprisingly— has been on the top spot since 2006 which is of course attributed to its Darfur civil war.

Iraq gains the No.2 due to the Bush Administration failure.

Somalia… no need to question it.

Zimbabwe has Robert Mugabe and its plunging Zimbabwean dollar (heard in the news that the govt there is planning to change the currency!), while Afghanistan has the Taliban rebels.

In the next 2008 FSI list, I dare wager that Burma would jump up to the Top 5 spot due to its recent revolt, while North Korea – with the trade deal and nuclear abolishing agreement it recently made with South Korea – would either move to position between No.15 to No.20, if not erased from the list at all.


Happy Idul Fitri to you all!

As a Catholic, I would like to say Happy Idul Fitri (or Eid ul-Fitr or Aidil Fitri) to all of you who celebrate!

Went to a couple of relatives' houses today, and I'm kinda exhausted.... just blog tomorrow lah..


What’s wrong with the Turks?

Turkish officials have expressed outrage over a United States congressional resolution labeling the Ottoman Empire's World War I era killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians as "genocide". The Turkish government has warned that the resolution threatens its strategic partnership with the U.S.

And um… what exactly are they outraged over? Mass killing that wasn’t even their fault???

Get over it, for goodness sake! The German government never minds labeling the ethnic cleansing of 6 million Jews as “Holocaust”, so why are those Turks acting like dorks?

The current German govt has nothing to do whatsoever with the old Nazi… They even acknowledge the holocaust and anually express their regret over the atrocities.

The same thing goes for the Turkish govt.

The current Turkish govt certainly has nothing to do whatsoever with the Ottoman Empire, a sultanate that lasted only until the end of WW1.


North Korea: a dumbed down nation

“Our country is sooo great, no wonder the American dogs tremble in fear seeing all our mightiness…”

“My ultimate dream is that one day I can kill an American dog to present it as an offering to The General…”

Such quotes do not come from Al-Qaeda top leaders, who prefer to impose their terrors to WTC than to talk hogwash. Nor do they come from Iraqis whose houses were bombarded by the American soldiers.

Rather, such quotes come from ppl in –where else— the very last remaining Marxist haven on earth.

North Korea.

Lately I’ve taken a keen interest after watching documentaries in Discovery Channel and NG channel abt North Korea with its unique nature, where for the first time I got an insight to this recluse nation.

I then traversed thru numerous Wikipedia articles to get a better perceptivity of how North Koreans eat, talk, think, do politics, get entertained, celebrate Christmas (which is of course bloody impossible), and above all, revere their so-called “Dear Leader” Kim Jong-il.

When I saw on TV how they venerated both their Dear Leader Kim Jong-il and his late father, the so-called “Eternal President” Kim il-Sung, I thought that all of them must have feigned such exaggerated devotion due to fear of persecution by the North Korean army.

But then a lightning struck my head.

The North Koreans CERTAINLY love their General very much, because the logic goes like this:

If there were anyone who hates their Dear Leader, why is there no rebellious group in North Korea until today?

The history had taught us all a lesson: if the people don’t like the current regime, there would be either a coup d’etat (like in Thailand), insurrection (such as in Burma), or strong oppositions (Indonesia included).

As an American myself, hearing those North Koreans cursing Americans, the feeling I have for them is more of a sympathy rather than vengeance.


It’s because of their lack of information.

Pose the questions “When did the Al-Qaeda crash the planes into WTC?” or “How did Lady Diana die?”, and I daresay that even the African tribal chiefs in Kenya can answer such trivial queries.

What abt the North Koreans? I bet none of them knows anything about the Statue of Liberty, let alone the “WTC crash”.

And yes, there a thousands of reasons why anyone, not even the miserable war-stricken Palestinians or Iraqis would ever want to switch places with the North Koreans.


It’s because how ironic it really is, despite having their Southern counterpart (read: South Korea) with the highest internet penetration in the world, there is no internet access in North Korea.

Thus, no North Koreans (apart from the defectors, of course) would ever read this blog post, which enables me to curse their Kim Jong-ill as much as I like.


Let’s imagine how a chit-chat between the incumbent South Korean president Roh Moo-Hyun and Kim Jong-il goes during their inter-summit breaks…

KJI: So Mr Roh, what do you think of Pyongyang?

RMH: Hm? Excellent weather, beautiful city… Unlike what I’d expected. My spokesman told me that he had googled Pyongyang and read that the city’s condition was appalling!

KJI: “Googled”? What is that?

RMH: Oh sorry. I forgot you have no internet here… My bad. “Googled” means that he searched information through Google, a search engine website.

KJI: Oh yeah, Goooooogle, is it? Yeah, I heard of it. Why, you said your spokesman found my city Pyongyang to be appalling in Goooooogle? That’s an outright lie!!! Who wrote such nonsense, huh? If I were you, I would’ve imprisoned that prevaricator straightaway!!

RMH: ( looking a bit troubled) Ah hahaha….. Yes, you’re right. But that’s not the way I run my country.

KJI: Yeah, I know. Now that I think of it, I’d personally recommend you to ban internet in your country, you know. I don’t know what other tripes people are writing their stuff there. Just take a look at my people; they’re basically pure without internet.

RMH: (now looking more troubled) Umm…. Yes, I’ll think about it. Now let’s continue our political discussion, shall we?


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