In Memoriam of ACS (Independent)

(The title actually implies how much I missed my life in ACS; although under other circumstances, it would’ve been normally used in an obituary, such as used in the Chapter 2 title of the 7th Harry Potter book)

Ugh… For goodness sake!

Does anybody know how annoying it is for me to read blogs of those in Singapore?!! Huuhhh…..

Let me be openly honest here.

These days I’ve been looking around to have a look at what my friends are doing. Instead of getting lightened up, I felt this heavy weight inside my heart when I read their blogs.

I dunno why, nor am I wishing to continue my scholarship in Singapore (even if I could), but there is always this heavy weight inside me that slumps deeper and deeper as I read their blog along.

One former ACS teacher of mine (I ain’t gonna name anyone here, so let’s just call him by his initial KSK. If u hav a keen eye and a witty brain, u’ll be able to recognise instantly who he is) even posted pictures! The pictures were not that dismaying, really, anyone who has no connection to ACS whatsoever would’ve dismissed it as a totally innocuous school journal.

But for me, the pictures were downright “appalling”, as I choose to describe it. One picture shows four or five students in their respective House shirts in a Hawkers’ Fare. A Hawkers’ Fare!!! Didn’t he even care how he would hurt any of his former students out here in Indonesia (as if Toshi’s that important!)??? And the other pics showed sumkind of a multinational ACS where ACSians of different nationalities were shown with their respective traditional clothes. I saw some ppl of my batch who are in IB now: VA, SA, and my former classmate the Indian-Malaysian DR, as well as my Indon juniors. Huh….

Nope, I ain’t gonna ponder over my loss of not going into IB here. From various recounts and stories told by those in JC abt how agonising life in IB really is, I’m glad that I didn’t qualify for IB. I’m glad I didn’t go there.

With my L1R5 of 18, I qualified for JC actually, and I could’ve gone to Innova JC had I not (deliberately) been late for the scholarship application thingy. God knows where I am heading now...

I miss ACS, I miss the boarding school, I miss Monday chapels, and I miss all those caustic remarks by DK in Sec 4… If only I could go thru it all once again (no matter how bittersweet it was). Or, maybe I could pour in my memories to a Pensieve (like Dumbledore usually did) so that I can have a look into ACS every now n then. Fancy, eh? Unfortunately, those ain’t gonna happen now…

It’s just all those semisweet yearnings bubbling inside me that wish to go back to ACS once more…

Not JC, not IB, but ACS (I), a school I’ll always remember, a school I’ll always love, my favourite school ever...


My Polyglot Ambition

Last night, I watched the breaking news on TV that the Korean hostages in Afghanistan had just been released by the Taliban.

Finally!!! ^^

Thank God. Nope, I no longer have any kind of affection or penchant towards South Korea or its ppl whatsoever but still, I’m happy and relieved for them. Their family’s prayers are finally answered. What makes me even happier is this sub-headline of today’s The Jakarta Post: “RI plays key role in hostage release”

Great! My (current) homeland has made a gesture of kindness that would indeed, become a debt that the Koreans would feel subjected to repay someday. Indonesia’s role in promoting peace with its power as ‘The Most Populous Muslim Nation in The World’ has finally been materialised. Viva Indonesia!

Today, Ranma ½ is starting to air again on Animax channel. Gosh, I wonder how many times they have aired it. I’ve put it on my booking list, though. It’s quite a funny anime. Another anime I’m watching is Kamichu! (a.k.a. Teenage Goddess).

Anyway, let’s change the topic now. I think I’m on the mood to type abt languages today.

Now anybody who visits my blog here would know that one of my several ambitions is to become a polyglot. What languages to acquire do I have in mind? Here’s the list:

1. Indonesian-Malay (native)

2. English (high command)

3. Japanese (I’m learning it!)

4. Esperanto (I’m learning this one too!)

5. French

6. Spanish

7. Italian

8. Portuguese

9. German

10. Dutch

Yup, you see it right, 12 languages. There were some other methods that I considered in deciding the languages. Those languages listed as No. 1 to 4 are either the ones I’m studying now or the ones I have mastered, whilst no.5 to 10 are those I wanna learn – one by one – commencing next year. So don’t take it as if I’m learning all of them at once, I perfectly know that language-learning doesn’t work that way!

First, how widely used the language is. I want to emphasise the “how widely used” here, bcoz it’s totally a different meaning than just “how much used” the language is. Now anyone knows that Hindi has a total speaker just a bit less than Mandarin. But why did I, for instance, choose to have Portuguese instead of Hindi?

The reason is clearly bcoz Portuguese language is much used all over the world, from Macau in Asia to Portugal in Europe to Brazil in South America. What abt Hindi? Without any mean to treat Hindi as an inferior language here, Hindi speakers are “contained” only around India and its surroundings. If I wanted to meet a Hindi immigrant in Mexico, for example, how big is the chance that I meet that person outside of the Indian embassy? The chance is of course higher for me to meet a Portuguese speaker by accident outside of the Brazillian embassy there.

The same reason goes for languages like Dutch, German, French, and Italian.

Secondly, I choose a language due to its language family. I choose to put Dutch on my list bcoz it’s German’s “sibling”, you know, and it would be easier for me to learn Dutch than Russian after acquiring German. And any Spanish speaker would certainly agree with me that Portuguese is much easier to learn than English. Learning a language among the Romance family trio Spanish-Italian-Portuguese would certainly ease the acquiring of the other two.

Thirdly, I choose a language bcoz the language is easy to learn. That’s the only reason I choose Esperanto. Esperanto today only has approximately 2 million speakers around the world, which is indeed far less than the total number of, for example, Vietnamese which has 90 million speakers in Vietnam, Europe and USA alone. Yet why did I choose to learn Esperanto instead of Vietnamese? To be fluent in Esperanto, even a totally asinine language-learner would need at least a mere 3 (three) months. On the other hand, to be fluent in Vietnamese one would need at least 3 (three) years.

Oh, and don’t forget that I highlighted the “at least” up there.

Last, I choose a language bcoz I like the language. This method applies only to Japanese and French. I like French bcoz of its mellifluous sound to the ears, you know, French language has this smooooth flow of with its soft intonation…

I like Japanese bcoz of… what else? It’s kinda obvious, isn’t it?

Now let me see how I’ve been going so far in my language-learning. I’m a native speaker of Indonesian, which means it was automatically acquired. I’ve been learning English since I was 6, which means my billingualism is almost automatic too.

Now speaking of Esperanto and Japanese… I study both bcoz they’re easier to acquire than the rest in my list. Japanese has always been my priority since two years ago, and Esperanto has become my second priority since last May.

Now one may ask, why didn’t I wanna study Mandarin despite the fact Chinatown exist everywhere from Africa to Alaska?

Well, Mandarin is……. hard. It’s one of the hardest languages to learn.

For instance, one needs to learn at least 4000 kanji (Chinese characters) to be able to read a Chinese newspaper well. In comparison, one needs only ¼ of that to read a Japanese newspaper.

Another thing that turns me off is its 4-intonation system, with one word can have like, hundreds of unrelated definitions.

The only language harder to learn than Mandarin is Cantonese, I think (bcoz it has a 5-intonation system).

Anyway, I would like anybody to know that I ain’t starting a debate of “Which Language is Better” or “My Language is Better than Yours” here. My arguments above are my own opinions, so if you think that Mandarin is easy or Vietnamese is better than Esperanto, I prefer that you keep it to yourself or just write a blog of your own to rebut mine.


To be noted here, I personally believe that all languages in the world have an equal status however much or less their speakers are. The list I had just typed above or the argument I elaborated upon were just an explanation abt the things I feel good for myself, not the things I feel is good for everyone.


A Simple Continuation

So what exactly have I studied over the last few months?

A little. Little here, little there… Most of the time I study Japanese and browse downloaded pages of Wikipedia…

An odd hobby, eh? Yeah, you bet.

For me, Wikipedia-browsing is one of the numerous things I do in order to keep myself literate, especially regarding my English proficiency. As Wikipedia is well-known as an encyclopedia that anyone can edit, I daresay its neutrality is much more guaranteed than any other sources of infos..

Sometimes I also continue my Esperanto mail correspondence and listen to BBC podcasts.

What stuff have I read since last January?

A lot. Early this year, I read (studied, actually) “Remembering The Kanji Vol.1” by Heisig

Then, Da Vinci Code (finally!).

7th Harry Potter book (of course!).

Sometimes Reader’s Digest, sometimes TIME

And last, I’m reading Eragon.

Now, I’d like to give a comment about Eragon. I dunno why, but I may say this is the most unique fantasy I’ve ever read. I don’t say it’s my most fave though (bcoz Harry Potter’s still the top spot!). Reading Eragon, I always feel like kinda transported into the world, you know, Alagaesia...

I’ve been reading Eragon for a month now. In comparison, on average I finish a HP book in three days and a Narnia book in two. I don’t read LOTR in case anyone’s wondering, the book is simply too thick for me to read.

Eragon’s story is not as unputdownable like Harry Potter or as full-of-fantasy as Narnia, but its slow-paced plot enables me as a reader to savour it slowly… It’s just wonderful. I just love it.



Nowadays, since there is the Indovision subscription at home (for the sake of space-saving, I decided to abandon yesterday’s “Home or House” argument), I’ve been watching TV most of the time now. My visits to net café have stopped, as now I’ve got better things to do at home ^^

Just today, I got freaked out just over looking for a college in USA. I was unable to find a Community College in America that offers a major that I’m looking for (Linguistics), and after a long discussion w/ Mom in the afternoon, I finally decided to take Business Management in Henderson CC, Kentucky. I just hope my application later turns out well…

Speaking of application, I was reminded by a note in my handphone that the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) application deadline is coming in less than two weeks. What the hell?!! I had made a mental note that the deadline is on 11 September, and even on 11 August I was still lax in applying for it. But now the deadline is nearing, I panicked! Huh, now I’ll just have to promise myself to make sure to get myself registered latest by this Saturday…

Let’s talk about movies.

Movies? It’s gonna be a long, long blog then. I’ve developed a penchant for various kinds of movie, especially East Asian ones. To cut a long story short, let me just discuss abt those I just watched recently.

Hotel Rwanda:

Five stars for this one! Exceptionally thrilling true-story movie. Its historical background is a very educational one indeed, it’s like watching a Holocaust documentary, you know...

Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix:

No, I haven’t watched it. Lolz.

I’m serious, for goodness sake! I only like the books, not the movies. The movies are all poor audio-visual representations for Rowling’s stories… (Though I must admit thet Alfonso Cuaron had done a fabulous job doing the 3rd!)

CSI Miami:

Well, this ain’t exactly a movie, but a series… It was my my second fave after Desperate Housewives, but from Season 5 onwards I simply got bored with its repetitive plot: Locate a murder - Trace the clues back in lab - Interrogate ppl - and Catch the bad guy at the end... It’s now my 3rd fave.


Hmm… This is my 2nd fave series now. Last night I watched the 18th episode in StarWorld, and the plot is always unpredictable that makes me enjoy watching it very much.

Oh, it’s 9:30 p.m. now, which is an hour before Heroes starts on TV. I wanna study now before turning on the TV. ^^


July-August Reflection

Hey there… Back again. I think this blog now is the umpteenth time I sort of “revive” my Blog after long months of hiatus.

Let me recall on what I’ve been doing (and having) since last July. Sorry for my incongruent English here, I think it’s due to the fact that I haven’t written a single complete essay for a long, long time, and I know I have to punish myself heavily for that. I can never forgive myself if my English proficiency ever demean, you know, because it would mean that all my hard work and arduous study in Singapore was like nothing. And I hate to even have the slightest thought of that.

July was... Earlier in the month, I attended the Photography Workshop for one full day. It did help me brush up my photography technique a lot (thanks to Mr Santoso, the teacher), as now I know how to focus things. Then, around the midnite of 10 July, came saddening news upon my family. Nin, my maternal grandma, passed away, and at that time it came like a shock upon those of us who had been expecting her to; at least, go for Hajj before her death. I felt very sad for the fact that Nin’s last wish to go for Hajj had not been fulfilled yet. Nonetheless, I know this is a much heavier burden for her own children than for me as a grandson. The only thing I could feel glad about was the fact that I had asked forgiveness to Nin for all the wrongs I have done to her about a month before her death, and I felt very relieved about that. I understand how heavy the burden would be if I hadn’t done so, as there is at least two persons in my family who should be feeling guilty about that. Anyway, I’m not gonna name them here, but anybody in my family would indeed know who am I talking about.

On 13 July, my family moved from our rented, cramped two-storey-house in the much urbanised Tanah Kusir district of South Jakarta to the suburbs of Pamulang. The new house now is more or less like twice bigger than the former, and its spaciousness is the main thing that has made me content with this new (yet still rented) house.

One thing worth noted here, I call both buildings – the one in Tanah Kusir and the other in Pamulang – as “House”, not “Home”, simply due to the fact that both are not permanent buildings which I can reside in. Anyway, I ain’t gonna ponder further into this question about “A Place I Call Home” as it is a matter of an unforeseeable future.

On 21 July, Dad went to Pakistan for his new job as a General Manager in the coastal city of Karachi. The hotel where he works now belongs to a globally-operated hotel chain, giving him the possibility to have a transfer elsewhere should he do things well in this Karachi hotel.

On early August, I bought a new computer with specifications as such:

1. 1 GB RAM

2. Intel Core 2 Duo

3. Win XP

This computer is of course, to replace my old “Win 98 + Pentium 2” computer which was produced before the invention of USB slot (thus preventing me from keeping data. Its floppy disk HD was even spoilt!)

The new computer was manually built, with all the specifications I have asked even to the smallest details. It costed a relatively inexpensive Rp 5.5 M (US$ 600)

Now, anyone who is a tech-maniac would certainly freak out noticing “Win XP” was among the specs and question me, “If you wanted the latest cutting-edge processor like Core 2 Duo, why don’t you just ask for Win Vista? It would’ve no problem at all, you know!”

Yeah, I know that perfectly well.

But I’m kinda traumatised with the experience I had with Vista.

One day, I went to a net café and was delighted to see that the computers had been equipped with the newest OS. This delight soon turned into an utter disappointment: its eye-candy UI was damnedly supplemented with a high-security system, resulting in difficulty in downloading, long-winded process of installing my flash disk, etc. It made me think, “What the hell is Bill Gates thinking?!!”

From that day onwards, I decided that I would never ever have a Win Vista in my comp/laptop should I buy one. Vista’s advantage from its predecessors is only its UI (which I admit I like very much), and this display alone can be obtained by installing a “Vista Transformation Pack” software I found by accident in Now I’ve been enjoying this ‘Vista experience’ all along with my new XP-comp…

Precisely 3 weeks after buying that comp, Mom finally agreed having Indovision, the main TV cable provider in Indonesia, to be installed at our home. The installation took almost no time, and now I could enjoy the numerous channels I’m flicking thru as I’m typing this blog.


Persons of the Book in Harry Potter series

Here is a complete list of those whom I think deserve to be called “The Persons of the Book” in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. It is worth noted that this list is based mainly and solely upon my own opinions and subjectivities, and not from any copy-paste or survey/poll whatsoever… Anyway, please have a look… ^^

Book 1 = HAGRID

*reason = Hmm… He’s the one who introduced the first chunk of Wizarding World to Harry and eventually, us Muggle readers, right? Having brought baby Harry to Dursleys’ house, the unintentional blurting of “Nicolas Flamel” thingy… I think he deserves the top spot better than Prof. Quirell, who served merely as Voldemort’s dummy.


*reason = I firstly doubt whom should I choose as the Top Spot. Moaning Myrtle? Possibly, due to the fact that she was the one who threw the Diary to Ginny… Anyway, after my deep consideration, I decided that Ginny deserves the position better, since her having kidnapped was the only thing that made Harry strived till his end.


*reason = I believe no one would ever disagree that Sirius deserves this position. His appellation, after all, has been chosen as the book title: “Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”. The whole book also focussed mainly upon him. His alleged escape, the fear of having him coming to Hogwarts, his discreet friendship with Remus Lupin… Kinda obvious, ain’t it?

Book 4 = BARTY CROUCH JR a.k.a. (fake) Alastor Moody

*reason = Well, who else? He inserted Harry’s name into the cup and “helped” Harry throughout the Triwizard Tournament. Had he not appeared, the 4th book would’ve been quite boring.


*reason = Hmm… Our “favourite” Hogwarts teacher!!! This *itch (replace the apostrophe with the letter “W” or letter “B” as you like) is the one who caused us readers painstaking read as we visualise Harry’s emotions during the Detentions, the agonies of the students and school staff alike as they went thru the agony when she took over the school… She’s simply the greatest villain ever existed.


*reason = Why do I think that Umbridge is the greatest villain? It is because nobody could ever sympathise with her for whatsoever reason. On the contrary, in the 6th book we somehow learned to sympathise with Voldemort (whom we know is 1,000,000 times more evil than Umbridge!) as we went through his unpleasant childhood in Dumbledore’s Pensieve. His malevolent, loveless character was, after all, derived from his bad upbringing.


*reason = It was kinda hard for me to decide whom is better amongst the two, so I decided to choose both. Though Dumbledore’s name having been mentioned from the very beginning to the end of the book, I think Snape deserves the merit better. He is after all, the one who has helped Harry until his very last breath. Having murdered Dumbledore, who would’ve known that his true allegiance is to Dumbledore? Even the Dark Lord himself did not realise this! His bravery, his loyalty, his love, have all turned him into a much better hero than even Harry Potter. About Hermione, I don’t think that Harry and Ron would ever survive without her guidance, don’t you think? Her brain was, after all, the main thing that enabled the trio to fulfil their mission…


A Quick Wealth

By Toshihiko Atsuyama

To be a rich man in Jakarta is hard and tough...
Yet there is an easy way to be one.

When you’re 11, your Mother asks you for good grades at primary school. You do well in the final exams as not to disappoint her, yet you still have to struggle to get to a good secondary school

When you’re 18, you’ve had your own conscience to study hard for the final exams
You succeed, yet you still have to struggle to get to a reputable university

When you’re 22, you graduated with a Bachelor degree from that reputable university
Trying to find a job, yet you end up with one that offers monthly salary of Rp 4 million
(which is hardly enough for you to get married)

When you’re 24, you get promoted and have an increase of salary to Rp 10 million
Then you start to think you would like to save money for your marriage

When you’re 27, you’re married and you realize that Rp 10 million monthly is not enough. You only own a (rented) house, a motorbike for your daily commuting, and a saving which you know wouldn’t be enough for your child’s education in the next 5 years. Then you start to think how to earn quick money.

When you’re 29, you earn Rp 400 million monthly; own private villas in Bali & Sydney, and you already insured your child for a seat in an Ivy League university. You know there will be nothing, absolutely nothing, in this world that will make your life miserable. Even if a tsunami strikes Jakarta, you can still flee to your condominium in Singapore.

Feel familiar with this life story?
If not, ask your local politicians how they did it.


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