From cow paths to meadows and broken valleys

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Tuesday, 11 March 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • The city of Boston was laid out by cow paths.
  • Fires can break out in Kruger National Park from the sun rays being magnified when shining on dew-heavy spiderwebs.
  • Sand is put on tarred roads in Kruger National Park so that the summer temperature of above 40°C does not melt them.
  • Bird droppings are the chief export of Nauru, an island nation in the western Pacific.
  • Ireland has no snakes.
  • Residents of Tromoso, Norway, go without seeing a sunset for three months every year.
  • St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called Pigs Eye after a man who ran a saloon there.
  • In Hershey, Pennsylvania, the streetlights along "Chocolate Avenue" are in the shape of Hershey Kisses.
  • There are more mobile phones in UK than there are people.
  • The native tribe of Tierra del Fuego has a language so guttural it cannot have an alphabet.
  • Impotence is legal grounds for divorce in 24 American states.
  • The oldest exposed surface on earth is New Zealand's south island.
  • Las Vegas means "The Meadows" in Spanish.
  • More readheds are born in Scotland than in any other part of the world.
  • There are no public toilets in Peru.
  • Toilets in the southern hemisphere flush counter clockwise whereas toilets in the northern hemisphere flush clockwise. The water in the toilets on the equator goes straight down.
  • Hong Kong has the world's largest double-decker bus fleet in the world.
  • In 1935, the police in Atlantic City, New Jersey, arrested 42 men on the beach. They were cracking down on topless bathing suits worn by men.
  • During lunch breaks in Carlsbad, New Mexico, no couple should engage in a sexual act while parked in their vehicle, unless their car has curtains.
  • Some of the most popular lipstick shades in Renaissance England were named: Rat, Horseflesh, Turkey, Blood and Puke.
  • A Viking tribe once raided England because they had run out of beer.
  • In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.
  • Seoul, the South Korean capital, just means "the capital" in the Korean language.
  • Martha's Vineyard once had its own dialect of sign language. One deaf person arrived in 1692 and after that there was a relatively large genetically deaf population that had their own particular dialect of sign language. From 1692-1910. nearly all hearing people on the island were billingual in sign language and English.
  • Kitsap County, Washington, was originally called Slaughter County, and the first hotel there was called Slaughter House.
  • Panama hats come from Ecuador, not Panama.
  • Vietnamese currency consists only of paper money, no coins.
  • The Hudson River along the island of Manhattan flows in either direction depending upon the tide.
  • New Zealand is the only country in the world that contains every type of climate in the world.
  • Until 1965, driving was done on the left-hand side on Swedish roads. The conversion to right-hand was done on a weekday at 5 p.m. All traffic stopped as people switched sides. The time and day were chosen to prevent accidents where drivers would have gotten up in the morning and been too sleepy to realise "this" was the day of the changeover.
  • Brooklyn is the Dutch name for "broken valley".


on the USA Democrat Convention in Jakarta

As a member of the US Democrat Party in Indonesia, I was cordially invited to a gathering for the Indonesian affiliation of Democrats Abroad (said to be the largest organisation of US citizens in Indonesia) but alas, I was not able to attend as a heavy rain ensued at the time of the event.

Here is a clip of the e-mail that Ardie (the chairperson) had cc-ed to all US Democrats in Jabotabek:

Jakarta Democratic Convention Watching Party

Date: Friday, August 29, 2008

Place: Jl. Kemang Dalam No.VI, H.2

Time: 7pm- 10 pm

Join Democrats Abroad to watch Sen. Barack Obama accept the Democratic nomination for President and give his historic speech in front of 75,000 people at Invesco Field in Denver , Colorado . The live speech will be at 9 am next Friday morning in Jakarta (10 pm EST in the U.S. ) and Democrats Abroad will rebroadcast it for our Jakarta Democratic Convention Watching Party on Friday night.

Please come to share in the excitement and catch some of the momentum as Democrats Abroad and the Obama campaign gear up for the final push for voter registration and absentee ballot request. There will be an opportunity to use the *************.org website and a chance to answer questions about voter registration, absentee ballot request and receipt, and return of absentee ballots. There will also be a chance to sign up to volunteer for Democrats Abroad and the Obama campaign in the next six weeks which are crucial toward securing a Democratic victory in November.

Limited amounts of food and drink will be provided. Please feel free to bring some to share. This is an open invitation. Please forward it through your networks and invite your friends and family.

Let us know if you are coming to join us at ********* so that we can plan for numbers. Donations always welcome!

It was regretful indeed that I was unable to come because -as I later learned- this Jakarta Democrat event was open, gratis, and held at a private Kemang residence! Moreover, as an American citizen I have the full privilege to bring any of my relatives or friends of any nationalities...

Just let me know if any of you my blog readers are interested in coming to any Obama-related events in Indonesia, because I would certainly extend such similar invitation to you folks in the future.


But it does not matter, I have watched the main part of the Convention anyway (which was Obama's speech). The speech was broadcast in CNN and had several bits of it here and there repeated on other news channels of BBC, Al-Jazeera and Channel News Asia.

It was not the first time I listened to his speech, but it certainly was the most mesmerising to me. My favourite quotes from that speech were:

"This election is never about me... It's about You!"


"John McCain has said that he will follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell. But he won't even follow him to the cave where he lives!"

I would love to see how an administration by Obama, which is certainly going to be dissimilar to Bush, would relocate the American taxes from the wasteful spending in Iraq war into better use in tackling the forces of Al-Qaeda and its radical enclaves in Afghanistan.


Does salvation exist in every religion?

In my opinion, YES!

I always hate to read commentaries by fanatics who say "My religion is the best and your religion is doomed to hell!".

Such fanatics have no basis on living on earth.

I have family members who remained Catholics till their deaths, as well as those who remained Protestants and Muslims.

And now that I remember it, I also have far Balinese relatives, which mean that they die as Hindus as well.

Such a diversity of faiths make the very idea that "salvation (meaning: the ticket to Heaven) is only exclusively limited to certain religions" scare me.

I certainly dislike the idea of seeing my atheist friends, as well as those who embrace different faiths as I do, are going to hell. I know that they are born as good people and I trust that they deserve to go to heaven as much as I do. Otherwise, they wouldn't become my friends in the first place, would they?

Really, it does not matter whether you embrace Religion A and not Religion B. I don't think that it matters too whether you embrace any religion at all.

Because what matters most is how we could make the world a better place for you and I to live in by living our days to the fullest according to what we are tailor-made to be by the Higher Power.


on Surreal pics

The Persistence of Memory, one of the most famous works by Dali

Surrealism is generally defined as:

n. a combination of fantastic images and incongruous juxtapositions which represent unconscious thoughts and dreams

Such works mingle elements of untruths with realities, making its display to be thoughtfully provoking.

Now Wikipedia has the link between such grotesque stuff with the person I consider the scariest man on earth:

[Sigmund] Freud's work with free association, dream analysis and the hidden unconscious was of the utmost importance to the Surrealists in developing methods to liberate imagination.

Ah, no wonder.

I have never called myself an artistic person but it doesn't mean that I could not appreciate art. Because I enjoy diverse kinds of music and works of the Greek architecture.

But surrealism?

a neosurrealistic picture by Patrick Desmet

Nah, the artists got their inspiration from Freud... So, no thanks!

I don't know what most of the humanity thinks of surrealistic works, but I personally find them frightening.

Think of it, what kind of beauty could you find in these kind of works?


Could complaints be faked?

Sometimes when I read complaints on the readers' section in the morning paper, I wonder if any of them are faked.

Really, don't you think it is possible that if there is a complaint of a bad service in supermarket X, then it might have been sent by its evil rival from supermarket Y?

Or if there is a complaint on an electronic gadget made by the company A, then isn't it possible that it was sent by a competitor from company B?

This is the reason why we should always remain observantly sceptical towards anything we read in the mass media.

Most advertisements are filled with lies, political campaign promises are bunch of bullshit, and there is also a possibility that those complaints you read in the readers' section are fabricated by a jealous competitor.

What a frigging venal world.

It sure is getting harder to find honest materials in mass publications these days... The earth we are living in is increasingly filled with prevarications and hopeless dreams which is unfortunately nowhere near the reality that we could see everyday.


Indo-lyric: Semua tak sama (Padi)

English translation:

Everything's not the same

It's been on my mind
millions of your reflections
The gloomy light felt in this heart
Remembering all you've given me

Time goes by slowly together
with the scribes of my life destiny
I have resisted enough
in the crossroads of my past

I tried to oppose the bitterness I've tasted
which permeates into the corners of my sorrow
I tried to get off your body scent and your breath
which flows along my blood

Everything's not the same .. never the same
What I have touched and tasted
As warm as your embrace .. as soft as your caress
Nobody could ever become like you

What does life mean if it carries me in void
Everything is weak without a focus
I could only rely on you
I couldn't, really couldn't
replace you with her

I tried to oppose the bitterness I've tasted
which permeates into the corners of my sorrow
I tried to get off your body scent and your breath
which flows along my blood


Till when are you gonna stand
Till when are you keep sinking
Till when must you be released

Open your eyes and your heart let them all go ..


Original lyric in Indonesian:

Dalam benakku lama tertanam
sejuta bayangan dirimu
Redup terasa cahaya hati
Mengingat apa yang telah engkau berikan

Waktu berjalan lambat mengiring
dalam titian takdir hidupku
Cukup sudah aku tertahan
dalam persimpangan masa silamku

Coba tuk melawan getir yang terus kukecap
Meresap ke dalam relung sukmaku
Coba tuk singkirkan aroma nafas tubuhmu
Mengalir mengisi laju darahku

Semua tak sama .. tak pernah sama
Apa yang kusentuh apa yang kukecup
Sehangat pelukmu .. selembut belaimu
Tak ada satupun yang mampu menjadi sepertimu

Apalah arti hidupku ini memapahku dalam ketiadaan
Segalanya luruh lemah tak bertumpu
Hanya bersandar pada dirimu
Ku tak bisa, sungguh tak bisa
mengganti dirimu dengan dirinya

Coba tuk melawan getir yang terus kukecap
Meresap ke dalam relung sukmaku
Coba tuk singkirkan aroma nafas tubuhmu
Mengalir mengisi laju darahku


Sampai kapan kau terus bertahan
Sampai kapan kau tetap tenggelam
Sampai kapan kau mesti terlepas

Buka mata dan hatimu relakan semua ..


(for Dini)


on Data recovery

Last Thursday my Windows crashed due to unknown reason and when I reinstalled the operating system, I unknowingly chose to partition my C disk which contained most of my precious data.

For those of you who are unaware, I have been offline since last Friday as I handed my CPU to a technician to have its data recovered. This blog seems to be updated daily since I have deliberately put it on to an autopilot mode (thanks to Blogger for this feature!)

I was deeply shocked as the C contained a lot of my data. Moreover, I did not know which data were lost.

I was a bit relieved to find out that all my snapshots (yes, especially those narcissistic ones) are kept in D which was left intact. Most of my MP3 collection were kept in that same disk, thank goodness.

Most of my ".exe" softwares are kept in E disk which also turned out to be 100% OK.

So on the next day I went to a computer technician and asked the guy to have the data recovered. I did not expect full recovery as I knew it was impossible. To have 25% of my data recovered would be a grateful thing enough to me.

I paid Rp50,000 after having around 60% of my data recovered.

Then, I find out that the data I had in C are:

* Downloaded pictures from online = 10% recovered.
* Downloaded videos from online = 10% recovered.
* Downloaded songs from online = 80% recovered.
* Poem collection = 0% recovered.
* Yahoo and MSN chat logs = 0% recovered
* Novel and short stories collection = 100% recovered.

I lost most of my downloaded pictures and videos but never mind, I could always download them again anyway!

Seeing that none of my poem collection could be recovered, you must have thought that I was in an utter despair.

But nah, You're wrong!


I just thank God that I was born a narcissistic person that I had printed my ENTIRE poem collection as soon as I wrote them.

In the end, my only disappointment was to lose all my Yahoo and MSN chat logs which could never be recovered again...


Some of the odd laws in Asia

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Tuesday, 14 August 2007.

~Compiled from various sources~

In China...

  • You must be intelligent to go to college.
  • Drivers of power-driven vehicles who stop at pedestrian crossings are liable to a fine of five yuan, or a warning.
  • There is a law against rudeness. Shopkeepers and wait staff who glare angrily at customers, make sarcastic comments or simply do not smile are at risk of breaking the law.
  • In recent decades, China has indoctrinated its citizens to ignore their sexual interests. Transgressors are severely chastised. Is prostitution punished? Yes! And with heavy penalties. Nonetheless, officially speaking, there are no laws against prostitution anywhere in China. Why? Because, according to a member of the Communist Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing, "There is no prostitution in China. However, we do have some women who make love for money."

In Singapore...

  • Bungee jumping is illegal.
  • Homosexuals are not allowed to live in the country.
  • Oral sex is illegal unless it is used as a form of foreplay.
  • As it is considered pornographic, you may not walk around your home nude.
  • Failure to flush a public toilet after use may result in hefty fine.
  • It is considered an offence to enter the country with cigarettes.
  • If you are convicted of littering three times, you will have to clean the streets on Sundays with a bib on saying, "I am a litterer"

In South Korea...

  • Traffic police are required to report all bribes they receive from motorists.

In Thailand...

  • It is illegal to leave your house if you are not wearing underwear.
  • You must wear a shirt while driving a car.
  • It is illegal to throw chewed bubble gum on the sidewalk, to do so incurs a hefty fine.
  • No one may step on any of the nation's currency because all Thai bills and coins have a picture of the king printed on them. As the king is highly revered, stepping on his likeness not only lands you in gaol, but can also lead to a serious beating.
  • There are no bestiality laws in Bangkok. Any man who "forcibly subdues and has a sexual intercourse" with a female dog is merely charged with cruelty to animals. The culprit is fined a small amount of money. If the female dog happens to be in heat, the fine is slightly higher.

In Japan...

  • In 17th century Japan, no citizen was allowed to leave the country on penalty of death. Anyone caught coming or going without permission was executed on the spot.
  • There is no age of consent.


Why are the Singapore polytechnics so well-admired in Indonesia?

For you JC students in Singapore, perhaps this entry below could provoke some laughter. Feel free to laugh yourself out! Big Grin

I'm always amused to see how well reputable Singapore polytechnics are in the eyes of Indonesian students.

Last year, a highschooler friend of mine talked how cool it is to enter a polytechnic in Singapore.

"Cool? What on earth is so cool about poly?" I asked him.

"Well, people have talked about the reputation of those polytechnics in Singapore... I've heard about how cool those places are. Don't you agree, T?"

"Not in the least. Only those who aren't qualified enough to enter colleges go to such places. I would much prefer to enrol in an obscure Indonesian college myself than enterring a polytechnic, ever"

"Oh really? Gee, the standard of education in Singapore must be very high!"

I grinned, "It sure is."


Mandela's letters

Take a look at this excerpt, taken from Wikipedia:

Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island where he remained for the next eighteen of his twenty-seven years in prison.... Mandela describes how, as a D-group prisoner (the lowest classification) he was allowed one visitor and one letter every six months. Letters, when they came, were often delayed for long periods and made unreadable by the prison censors.

Wow, what a tough guy. Eighteen years and only two (obscured) letters allowed each year? Gee, that only means that he got 36 letters during those long stay in the prison!

The longest period of time I had spent without internet connection in the last five years was during my Sangihe stay last March, where internet connection was so rare that one had to look for them in governmental buildings.

An English teacher of mine in Singapore once told me how hard it was during those times before internet was invented. She studied in Oxford University while her boyfriend (who later became her future husband) stayed in Singapore. Each of them had to send all the letters to the other and wait for a month before a reply finally came (it took two weeks for a letter to travel continents, you see).

As a member of Gen Y (people born from 1981 to 1994), I am greatly thankful that I did not have to go thru all those waits that the previous generation (Gen X) had to go thru. Well, I used to send letters to my Dad in Jakarta when I lived in Richmond, but it did not last long as the internet era had finally reached most of the world's population in the 2000s.

Gen Z (people born from 1995 onwards) had it luckier, I think. They have no recollection of what it feels like to send letters (and stamp them). Which is why I would not be surprised if only a few of them are able to estimate how much stamp to stick to the envelope or operate cassette-players.


on drug-abusers

Remember Linda?

Last week both of us were enjoying our drink in a restaurant when the TV showed a high-profile drug case of a teenage Indonesian actress (we shall name that actress by her initial SMJ).

"Hey T, take a look at that", while pointing on the TV news, "Haha SMJ.. I've known her to be a drug abuser since three years ago"

"Three years ago? Hmm.. when was it?"

"When I was in second grade of high school"

"But how do you know about that?" I asked Linda.

"Yea, I sort of went together to her hotel room that time [in 2005] together with her folks where they enjoyed the night doing the drug orgies and all that.." she explained.

"But you didn't take drugs yourself, did you?" I questioned sternly.

"Haha nggak lah, of course I didn't. I was 'asked' by them to be their photographer, since I was the one who wasn't drugged.. Drugs is one thing that I would always avoid in my entire life, and you can keep my word on that, T!" she assured me.

I must admit that SMJ is freaking hot (I got glued to the computer screen for quite a while when I first encountered her photomodelling pictures in Kaskus), but with all those what-nots in her orgy-loving personality, I don't think she's that hot anymore.

Thank goodness Linda still has a strong grip to her Christian values. Otherwise, I would've stayed away from her, LOLZ.


What are the kids fed with these days?

I'm wondering how on earth could kids nowadays be soooo humongous.

A fortnight ago I went to my sister's secondary school and encountered masses of schoolchildren aged 11 to 14 who mostly stand taller and BIGGER than an 18-year-old like me.

Mind you, I stand at a height of 173 cm (5'8'' feet) and weight of 59 kg (130 pounds).

Standing shorter (and smaller) than those schoolkids were just freaking intimidating.

"But you're quite tall in our age group, T," Dini told me.


But I still wonder what on earth are those kids fed with these days... Too much calories, perhaps?


Indo-lyric: Matahariku (Agnes Monica)

English translation:

My Sunshine

The door has been closed, the door of my heart
The door once opened solely for you
Now you're out of my life
I have to let you go even when I'm unwilling to do so

(Chorus 1)
Millions of rainbow colours in this heart
Was crushed in a flash as it shied away
There is no longer the light of holiness
Every tones had left me as I'm left here alone

(Chorus 2)
Listen to me my sunshine, the shrill of my cries
I am deeply saddened because the arrows of love have struck me
Please my sunshine, recite the poem of my life
The one of me who's unable to conquer the time

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Tertutup sudah pintu, pintu hatiku
Yang pernah dibuka waktu hanya untukmu
Kini kau pergi dari hidupku
Ku harus relakanmu walau aku tak mau

(Chorus 1)
Berjuta warna pelangi di dalam hati
Sejenak luluh bergeming menjauh pergi
Tak ada lagi cahaya suci
Semua nada beranjak aku terdiam sepi

(Chorus 2)
Dengarlah matahariku, suara tangisanku
Ku bersedih karna panah cinta menusuk jantungku
Ucapkan matahariku puisi tentang hidupku
Tentangku yang tak mampu menaklukkan waktu


Getting over it for good

A Balinese friend of mine who currently lives in Melbourne -let's call him Agung- has taught me a lesson that the life I've been leading may not be that painful after all.

Recently I saw a poem excerpt on his MSN status and it seemed sad enough... It tells about how the coldness of winter is paining him, especially with the emptiness in his heart (FYI, it's winter in Australia now).

And so I asked him, "Agung, is that MSN excerpt taken from a song?"

"Nah, it's from a poem I composed two weeks ago.."

"A poem? Is it about that Singaporean girl again, dude?"

"Yep, sure is..."

Agung had been head over heals over Regina (not her real name) for the last two years. Too bad for him, she has chosen another guy over him, despite the fact that she hasn't known the new guy that long (this story is overtly familliar, eh?).

In July, Agung told me that he should be able to get over it quickly since she has recently returned to Singapore after all (and not coming back). He refrained from logging in to his Messenger at certain times as not to chat with her at all, and hence getting over her quicker.

But apparently, it was easier said than done. The poem he just composed was an obvious example. He copy-pasted the entire poem and showed it to me.

I consoled him, "Dude, I understand you.. It sure was hard for me to forget my pains too.."

"Was it about that girl you told me, T?"

"Yep. But I'm totally over her now.. I feel neither anger nor happiness anymore whenever I meet her now. But geez dude, it took me quite a time to let her go! Four months, could you imagine that?"

"Glad to hear that, hehe. But at least you're still able to amend your feelings quite quickly... It took me a year to forget the girl before Regina"

Oh. My. God.

Months is painful enough, but a year??

Geez, Agung really is one tough guy.

I just thank God that I don't have to go thru the same pains as he had...

Because just as my Medanese friend Stanford told me,

"I'm not gonna waste my time thinking about dating girls anymore... They're just hindrance to my future success"

I got surprised when it came out of his mouth, since he was quite popular with girls and all that. But I do think that he has got a point there.

I may not agree to Ford to a large extent, but that quotation of his has certainly helped me to overcome my own pains.


The four-seasonal theory

Have you ever considered why developed countries are more concentrated on the further side from the equator?

In fact, there is almost no such thing called a "developed country" that is located in the tropical zone (with Singapore and United Arab Emirates as two rare exceptions).

I would like to put forward my own answer as follows.

People who live in the tropical territories are historically born to be lazy, because they only have two seasons to accustom with. Namely, the Rainy season and the Dry season.

Equatorial peoples -from Brazil to Middle East to India to Southeast Asia- have only two worries to think about: how to store the food to prepare for the Dry season, and how to make the best use of the Rainy season for agricultural irrigation purposes.

Which is why the colonisation was heavily concentrated around the tropical zone. The Europeans (who are by comparison, live further away from the equator) are not very good in producing their own food, hence they conquer all those tropical nations to supply the basic food needs.

On the other hand, the non-tropical peoples -from the Caucasus and Vikings in Europe to the Mongols in Asia- are historically born to be harsh. They were constantly woken up to the fact that they have four seasons to worry about every year; namely, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.

In direct contrast to the equatorial people who by and large only have one kind of fashion style (i.e. the thin fabric worn in hot places), those who live in the four-seasonal regions need two kinds of clothings: Thin ones during Summer, and Thick ones during Winter.

More than that, they also have the unproductive seasons of Autumn and Winter which had never been very suitable for either planting or harvesting.

Winter was widely regarded as a season of famine and morbidity, because a lot of poor and homeless people had much more restricted access to drinking water and food supplies. Those who survived winter in the ancient times were those who had worked hard enough to store their food provisions or those who were affluent enough to purchase them.

While in the tropical countries, the poor generally could still have an access to drinking water at whatever time during the Dry season (because the rivers were never frozen, you see).

All the above elaboration are the reasons why -till this day- most of the developed countries are located further away from the equator than the developing ones.

The non-tropical people (Americans, Europeans, Australians, Japanese, etc) till this day always relate the image of tropical countries with sandy beach holidays, and this supports my purported theory that "tropical cultures are naturally lazy, relaxing and slow-paced in comparison with their harsh non-tropical counterparts"


Don't trust people from online, please!

I met this girl online a couple of years back. I was still in Bali then while she lived in West Jakarta.

I never met her (even till this day), but soon we became quite close and we shared a lot of stuff thru text messages.

Then one day, she asked me to open her Friendster account.

(The conversation below is in SMSes, but I've decided to rewrite it as a narrative as to make it more reader-friendly)

"Toshi, is there any internet access near you right now?"

"Hmm yeah, I'm home. Why?"

"I need you to check my Friendster message please... There is something I need to know"

"But how can I check the inside of your Friendster?"

To my surprise, she told me her Friendster password straightaway without any hesitance.

Instead of being happy to be entrusted such a confidential information, I scolded her, "Why on earth do you give your password for?! How do you know that I can be trusted??"

"Hahaha... doesn't matter T, I know you're a good guy! I trust you!"

I still had to tell her the truth.

"But you haven't met me in person... Oh please, for God sakes, don't you ever trust anyone else with your online passwords anymore, okay?"

"Well, okay"

She was just lucky that she had trusted the right person. I logged in to her Friendster account, did her the favour she asked for, and logged out.

But the thing is, things could just go wrong if I was a bad guy.

The same thing goes with all of you out there.

Do not -under any circumstances- entrust anyone from online with confidential informations, such as passwords or bank accounts... There are a lot of bad guys out here.

If you think that you have known the person for quite long enough (but never met him/her), think again. How do you know if the person's identity is not a bogus?

For you my blog readers, how can you tell if I really live in Jakarta and not Semarang?

How do you know if I really am an 18-year-old guy and not some wimp 50-year-old Grandpa looking for some naive preys to lure out?

The moral of the story today is, be careful with what you see online, what you could see in the pictures or stories may be fabricated in the first place. Scam artists are getting better everyday with their tricks, some even take their lengths as to steal someone else's identity (believe it or not, such cases exist aplenty in North America).

I can assure you, none of my personal stories in this blog have been fabricated. But again, I'm someone from online (and I know that 90% of you people have not met me in person).

If there is any personal recounts of mine that you think might have been too good to be true, it is totally up to you to take it as truth or crap.

Because even Jakartass (one of the most popular bloggers in Indonesia) called me a "putative student", gee-hee.


Thoughts on drinking and smoking

I drink but I don't smoke.

I enjoy all those tipsy feelings that I get after a sip of beer/wine, but in the case of smoking (whether passively or actively), I decide to pass. Because I'm asthmatic.

And for you smokers out there, do you realise that 90% of lung cancer sufferers in Asia are smokers? You may argue whatever you like regarding this possibly fallacious reasoning, but I do think that those Singaporean health officials have a point when they disclosed that information on lung cancer.

Which is why I am turned off by girls who smoke.

I don't normally judge a girl's inner beauty by their manners or habits. I don't mind knowing her having tattoos or clubbing or drinking or even necking, but if I ever find her smoking, then..... Yeah, you can say that it pretty much changes the way I see her.

Girls who smoke are a definite no-no.

(Mind you, the number of smokers in my own extended family is quite low and I'm not usually close to people who smoke, so you may expect me to regard that cigar-inhaling hobby as a quite foreign attitude)


Do you know that Singapore was once dirtier than Jakarta?

First-time visitors to Singapore are oftentimes faced with the seemingly irrational rules that look more or less like this:

1. Urinating in the elevator = FINE $2000

2. Littering = FINE $1000

3. Spitting = FINE $500

4. Chewing rubber gum = FINE $1000

But fret not, those rules largely no longer applies today.

Now some may argue like this: "But I don't see any rubbish on the streets during my stay in the country..."

Well that's simply because you're too confined to Orchard or Marina Bay, for Gods sakes!

I personally think that foreign tourists should be banned from enterring Orchard when they visit Singapore: there is much more to Singapore than just Orchard!

If you wanna see the real face of Singapore, you should go for a walk out (not by taking any buses or MRT) and visit your nearest Hawker's centre.

There you will find plenty of unpleasant odours for you to inhale. Some unsightly rubbish could also be seen on some places surrounding the hawkers' centre.

But don't get me wrong. Singapore police officers are not being lax in this aspect.

In direct contradiction to their Indonesian counterparts, Singaporean policemen don't accept bribes whatsoever if they happen to chance upon a rules offender.

If you wanna know how Singapore had those "Fine" rules applied in the first hand, we need to get down to the basic history.

Back in the 1960s when it had just got "divorced" from Malaysia, Singapore was one of the filthiest cities in Asia (believe it or not, it was even filthier than Jakarta and Hong Kong that time).

Singaporeans were very notorious for littering and dirtying their own streets.

If you think that the prohibiton for "urinating in elevator" is absurd, then think again. Those rules would not be created if there was no offender in the first place.... Singaporeans on those decades were largely different from the Singaporeans today: they needed to be taught the hard way in order to discipline themselves.

Realising that all those unsightly features would create large disadvantage to their Tourism industry, the Singapore government decided to apply a strict rule to its citizens with all their hefty fines.

Thank God those rules worked.

Now if similar rules were to be applied in Manila or Jakarta or Bangkok, would they become cleaner cities than they are today?

I doubt it.

The only Asian country better than Singapore in terms of public discipline is Japan.

If you think that South Korea is a better place than Singapore, then I suggest you to visit Seoul or Busan and see for yourself how "polite" the Korean people are (Yes, sarcasm intended).

Regarding the ban for "chewing rubber gum", I am reminded of a story that my Oxford-graduate English teacher once told me in my Singapore school.

The idea for the ban started after a secondary student in the 1980s made a harmless prank by sticking a rubber gum to a part of the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) that he rode. Don't ask me which part of engine was it, because I myself have zero knowledge on mechanical engineering that I'm unable to recall such details.

Suffice it to say, that rubber gum prank paralysed the entire Singapore MRT system for a quite considerable time.

Though it may seemed an impossible to believe, the Singapore police was able to locate that puckish pupil and punished him to several weeks of public work. Fining him would not make any good for anyone, because it would mean that the ones punished are his parents instead of the boy himself.

Now quite a number of my friends and acquaintances in Indonesia have asked me this question:

Toshi, is it true that you are not allowed to chew or bring rubber gums into Singapore?

Yes and no.

That whole incident above resulted in an entire ban of chewing gum.

But as of today, the rules have been slightly loosened.

Chewing gum is not forbidden in Singapore but bringing gum into the country in large amount is illegal and the gum seller can be sent to jail.

Don't ask me, I also don't get it myself why.


Dirty jokes

Last year I read an article in a youth magazine that provided an analysis on girls' inner psychology. It said that by and large, girls are unable to appreciate dirty jokes the way guys do.

Well, up to that point I still often made fun on girls' -uhm- you know, inner parts even to the point of saying such sexually-explicit stories/jokes directly in front of them.

After I read that article, I totally changed the way I treated girls in general.

Frankly, I still exchange dirty jokes with my guy friends (because they are quite keen on such things too, LOLZ), but nah, I don't exchange them with female friends anymore.

In front of female friends, I substitute the terms "boobs" for a more medical-related "breast" and exchange the sentences like:

"Hey, that babe is smoking HOT!"


"Hey, that girl looks quite pretty!"

Well if you are a guy too, I advice you to follow my lead. Exchanging dirty jokes with girls would only bring more harm than good to your reputation anyway.


Indo-lyric: Kisah yang Salah (Glenn Fredly)

English translation:

Wrong story

finally we are
in a painful end
I realise we've stepped inside
too far...

don't you realise that we
have conquered the forbidden
it's impossible to maintain this feeling
that we had started wrongly

I just couldn't keep this
secret of our story...
don't you know that my conscience is tortured
when I always have to... lie
within this wrong story

keep this story well hidden
I'm sorry that it has to end here

I just couldn't keep this
secret of our story...
don't you know that my conscience is tortured
when I always have to... lie
within this wrong story

Original lyric in Indonesian:

akhirnya kita ada
di akhir yang menyakitkan
kusadar kita telah melangkah
terlalu dalam...

sadari bahwa kita
sudah taklukkan terlarang
tak mungkin ku perjuangkan cinta
yang kita mulai dengan salah

aku tak mampu untuk menyimpan
rahasia kisah kita...
tahukah kamu batinku tersiksa
saat harus selalu... berdusta
di dalam sebuah kisah yang salah

simpanlah kisah tersembunyi ini
maafkan kisah kita harus berakhir disini

aku tak mampu untuk menyimpan
rahasia kisah kita...
tahukah kamu batinku tersiksa
saat harus selalu... berdusta
di dalam sebuah kisah yang salah


The need for university degree: USA and Indonesia compared

Is a university degree really necessary?

Yes and no.

Yes, because they provide the necessary theories for one in a particular knowledge discipline.

No, because it doesn't guarantee that you could find a job in real-life... and apply them for real.

Today's society -both Western and Eastern alike- have put too much value on university degrees that they consider them tantamount to apply for a decent white-collar job.

Now the lingering question remains:

Does graduating from a so-called top university guarantee someone to have a steady job with good salary?

Not always.

Perhaps a lot of Indonesians are already aware that a couple of weeks back, we had a news showing a large number of UI (University of Indonesia) graduates coming to a recent job fair in Jakarta... and it was a quite dismal news indeed.

What does it mean to enrol in a top university if you're not guaranteed a job after you've graduated?

Apparently, this is not a uniquely Indonesian case.

Although it was dubbed one of the best MBA institutions in the world, Harvard Business School does not guarantee you a job either. Take a look at this:

After many job applications, dozens of interviews and a series of rejections (McKinsey & Co.) from employers he didn't reject first (Google), Delves Broughton comes up empty-handed. (``You went to Harvard Business School and couldn't find a job?'' he imagines people thinking when they meet him.)

As is obvious to all of us, we were born to be humans, not robots. We were born to do things instead of receiving all those theory inputs.

Indonesian schools, in my opinion, only consist of 90% theory and 10% practice. To my observation, most Indonesian public schools only conduct their science laboratorium experiments (at most) once a month.

What a disheartening figure.

Does this mean that educational system in western countries are any better than their Indonesian counterparts?

Well, a bit.

One Western feature notedly absent in Indonesian academic institutions is the fact that the Indonesian students rarely (or in some cases, never) get their hands on the ability to think critically.

Nevertheless, it does not mean that American school values is flawless.

American institutions, IMHO, consist of 50% theory and 50% practice; and this figure is not so much different from the Indonesian ones.

The fact remains that to gain the real-life skills, we should constantly expose ourselves to education that consist of 10% theory and 90% practice.

If you want to see the major flaw of American education, you should read the book by Robert Kiyosaki titled Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Kiyosaki asserted there that real-life education is more about earning your money and manage it wisely by investment and savings, instead of studying in the classrooms.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking against academic education here.I just don't think that university degree should be truly irreplaceable to land oneself a good job.

In complete deference to the societal needs notwithstanding, I would still pursue my own bachelor's degree. It's not me who requires that degree though, but my future employers. Because I know they just won't budge into hiring anyone without a degree.

In the end, it's just a matter of no choice here, gee-hee.

As a closing note, John Mayer has got it attuned to today's blog entry of mine with his song "No Such Thing":

So the good boys and girls take the so called right track
Faded white hats
Grabbing credits and
Maybe transfers
They read all the books but they can't find the answers
And all of our parents
They're getting older
I wonder if they've wished for anything better
While in their memories
Tiny tragedies

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side....


No Action Talk Only

Ever since the start of this year -You know, with me turning 18 and all the new year resolutions I've promised myself- I have been doing a lot of goal-outlinings but little implementation.

In fact, there could be perhaps as low as 10% of my programmes that have been implemented.


How could I aspire to my goals if I always think about those plans all the time but don't implement them?

I think I should focus less planning, and more on implementing.

On the Northen Hemisphere, Michael Phelps -an American swimmer who is now competing in the Beijing Olympics- have got a similar view on NATO. Regarding people's talks of his goal to reach seven gold records, he says:

"You guys talk about it... I don't talk about it. I just get in the water and compete"

Apparently, Phelps and I are running on the same wavelengths!

(if only I could emulate his successes in swimming! LOL)


Indonesia: a traditionally forkless society

A typically Indonesian cultural feature that I find hard to adapt to, despite having spent 14 years of my life in the country, is the very fact that sometimes Indonesians choose to eat with their steel spoon (but no fork).

It's not a matter of getting used to, because no matter how hard I try to adapt to such a tradition, I still find eating without fork a hell lot harder than eating with hands (lesehan). If I am given a host to a fellow Indonesian's home and offered a serving of lunch with spoon but no fork, I usually prefer to set the spoon aside and eat by hands instead.

Because no matter what, I would very much prefer to eat rice with chopsticks (which is considered hard by most people, but easy by the Chinese/Japanese/Koreans) than to eat them with spoon only.

But that's just me though.

What about you? Can you eat without using fork?

PS: Sendok bebek (termed soup spoon in English) is one exception though.


Do you believe in extraterrestrial beings?

Yes, I do.

You may not realise it but, nowhere does it say in your scripture that Earth is the only livable planet in this cosmos (regardless of whatever religion you adhere to).

But you may have other arguments if you are an atheist in the first place, because by then you have positioned yourself in a certain denial of God (and hence, His non-earthling creatures too).

In the case of agnostics, I do think that you have the fullest privilege to doubt the existence of aliens. After all, you have chosen to be a sceptic towards God in the first place... and I suppose it does not hurt to doubt the existence of ET beings too.


The next Japanese PM and Starbucks' secret

Yesterday (6/8), The Jakarta Post ran a People story on Taro Aso, the incumbent Secretary General of LDP. Apparently, there are calls for him to run for office to replace Yasuo Fukuda.

This does not come as a surprise to me because last year, I have written a blog post on Japanese leaders that says:

Nicolas Cage-ish PM [Shinzo Abe] now replaced by a salaryman-ish PM Yasuo Fukuda? I had actually expected to have Taro Aso to take the job instead.

(sorry for quoting myself here, gee-hee)

As you see, I always can spot a good politician when I see one, from the Americans Al Gore and Barack Obama, to the Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati or the former Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi.

And trust me, the Japanese will not waste their vote if they choose to elect the Jiyuu Minshuuto to their parliament the next election round (and thereby retain Aso's chance of becoming the next PM).

But I digress.

Perhaps this should come as a surprise to you Starbuckers in Indonesia and Australia, that the cups of coffee you drink in the cafe mostly originate from the new poor nation of East Timor.

Coffee is Backbone of
Devastated East Timor's Economy

.....East Timor's coffee factories and crops weren't destroyed in the violence. Starbucks Corp., the U.S.-based coffee giant, already is one of East Timor's best clients, and there is hope the territory's beans will end up in many of the world's cappuccinos, lattes and espressos.

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List of my favourite TV series

Below is a list of my fave series, ranked from my most favourite title in No.1.


  1. School Rumble. The funniest anime, ever.
  2. Full Metal Panic Fumoffu! This spin-off of the first season is simply better than its original.
  3. Kamichu! A relaxing watch.
  4. Ginban Kaleidoscope. Quite inspirational series about ice-skating.
  5. Yakitate! Japan. Makes me wanna cook, I love it! (the mangaka seems to have some kind of bread fetish...)
  6. Midori no Hibi. With its light-hearted theme, it has the best OST of all the anime series I have watched.
  7. Jigoku Shoujo. It's best to watch this in the evening.
  8. Tsubasa Chronicles. Reminds me of Singapore, when I watched this series till late in the morning with Boon's Acer.
  9. Shaman King. I never finished watching this series, simply because those dumbs at ANTV/Global TV always repeat the same episodes over and over again.
  10. Hamtaro. A very light-hearted anime.
  11. Air TV. The anime's story plot actually gets a bit confusing in the middle, with all its flashbacks. But it has great graphic details, you shouldn't miss watching this series.
  12. Kimi ga Nozomu Eien. The saddest anime I had watched... Don't watch this if you hate mellow-themed series.
  13. Green Green. Quite sickening in its heavy H-theme, funny notwithstanding.
  14. Blood+. Best to watch this in the evening.


  1. Goong (aka. Princess Hours). Best Korean drama ever... I have deliberately chosen to skip the ending.
  2. Sassy Girl Chunhyang. Great OST, good storyline.
  3. Royal Prince's First Love. Brings us Indonesians to Bali! A bit mellow, though.
  4. Full House. With its light-hearted theme, this is simply the funniest Korean series.
  5. My name is Kim Sam Soon. Quite light-hearted too. Though the main actress turned chubby for this series, you'd love watching it notwithstanding.
  6. Jewel in the Palace (aka. Jang Geum). Of course, who doesn't like this series?
  7. Sad Love Story. Be prepared to cry from the beginning till the end. The saddest ever.


  1. Nodame Cantabile. Hmmm Musical, attractive casts, what else? It's just too bad that Uehara Misa (the most beautiful Japanese actress, IMHO) played a bit of antagonistic role in this series.
  2. Hanazakari no Kimitachi e. This drama used to hold the top spot until I watched Nodame.
  3. Attention Please!. Aya Ueto plays a naive role in this series, LOL. I first spotted Uehara Misa from this series.
  4. Great Teacher Onizuka. Very inspirational indeed... Teaches us a lot of Japanese familial and education values. Just take caution not to watch the anime version though... you'll simply waste your time and money
  5. One Litre of Tears. Quite touching, it was based on a real-life story.
  6. Hana Yori Dango. A much better version than the Taiwanese "Meteor Garden".
  7. Love Generation. The oldest Japanese drama I have watched. Brings us an insight into what a typical salaryman romance life looks like a decade ago in Tokyo.


  1. Desperate Housewives. I recalled getting very addicted with the series that I finished the entire Season One in just one night. Could you believe that? It was the longest streak of movie marathon I had been in, LOLZ.
  2. Heroes. Despite its title, we don't see the typical Marvel comicbooks-type of heroes... Which is why I love this series.
  3. Ugly Betty. I never watched the original in telenovela, but suffice to say that this NYC version has a better cut.
  4. Ghost Whisperer. Oh come on, who doesn't love this series with Jennifer Love Hewitt as the main cast (and apparently, producer too)?
  5. CSI: Miami. Season 1-3 is OK, but from season 4 afterwards it gets kinda repetitive in the story plot.


Indo-lyric: Kangen (Ardina Rasty)

English translation:

Missing You

I remember when you embraced me
Kissed both of my cheeks
you told me that you loved me
and told me that you're fond of me

Now you're gone
Left me alone
Now I've realised
You're the most important person for me

I miss you dear
Still miss you, my dear
Shall you come back
and become my lover again
once more... once more...

Na na na na na
Na na na na na
Na na na na na

Now you're gone
Left me alone
Now I've realised
You're the most important person for me

I miss you dear
Still miss you, my dear
Will you please come back
and become mine again
once more... once more...

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Ingat waktu kamu peluk aku
Cium kedua pipiku
Bilang kamu sayang aku
Bilang kamu cinta aku

Kini kamu telah pergi
Tinggalkan aku sendiri
Aku mulai menyadari
Kamu yang paling berarti

Aku kangen kamu sayang
Masih kangen kamu sayang
Maukah kamu kembali
Menjadi pacarku lagi
Skali lagi...skali lagi...

Na na na na na
Na na na na na
Na na na na na

Kini kamu telah pergi
Tinggalkan aku sendiri
Aku mulai menyadari
Kamu yang paling berarti

Aku kangen kamu sayang
Masih kangen kamu sayang
Maukah kamu kembali
Menjadi pacarku lagi
Skali lagi...skali lagi...


Do you believe in fortune-telling?

Do you believe in fortune-telling?

Do you believe in Chinese horoscope, Feng Shui, Greek astrology, fortune cookies, and the likes?

Well for some fanatic freaks out there who are apparently too obsessed with their own God (or Gods, as not to discriminate the polytheists), it is quite hard for them to believe in such paraphernalia.

They argue that such stuff contradict their own religion... but nah, it really is not.

A couple years ago, I read an article by a Feng Shui master that explained how Feng Shui is actually a branch of science and hence, it need not contradict the elements of religious doctrines.

He might have got a point there, but I think he had made a big mistake by declaring Feng Shui as a branch of science.


Because it is obvious that faith and science are not made to complement each other.

From the century-long debates about whether it is the Creationism theory (in the three Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) or Darwinism evolution theory that prevails, to the self-contradictory efforts by Vatican to oppose free sex (but banning birth prevention stuff at the same time); I think we had it obvious that the more you relate one kind of belief to science, the harder it is to get approval from the fanatics.

But ah, that is their own privilege to believe or not to believe, is it not?

As for me myself, I take a selective method of belief in fortune-telling and the ilks. I believe in astrology, but only when its explanations are aligned with my mood and necessities.

Because otherwise, I would simply thrash it away as a make-believe crap.


In the meantime, Simon got it to the point with his explanation of how the politicians should live their lives:

Politicians are not there to be respected; they are to be questioned, hard and should be able to justify their dealings. Perhaps a healthy mistrust of politicians is the essence of democracy. We should never forget that politicians work for us rather than vice versa. There's no need to feel bad for them, they get their 30 pieces of silver for their troubles.

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"Blaspheme" on Harry Potter

Back in my Bali days in late 2003, I told my Australian-educated old pal Koko, "Ko, Harry Potter is simply the best book ever authored... Don't you agree?"

I was expecting a yes when Koko replied, "Nah... I beg to differ"

His disagreement caught me by surprise.

"You mean.. There is another book better than Harry Potter? But I thought you've been enjoying Rowling's series all this time"

"Well as a matter of fact I do enjoy it, Toshi. But I honestly think that you should check another book called Narnia which is a hell lot better than Harry Potter"

"Narnia? What's that?"

(FYI, the first Narnia movie was released in Indonesia in 2006)

"A fantasy series. You should check it out, T.. It really is a good book, You'd love it"

I was quite disappointed hearing that there is actually another book better than Harry Potter.

When we went to the same school in Singapore a year later, Koko promoted that same Narnia series to other Indonesian students there. Apparently he was the only one who was well-read in our class: Most Indonesian-educated students were never used to reading novels, you see.

Most of them followed Koko's suit (Boon even went great lengths to buy the entire series altogether, LOLZ). While I, on the other hand, still refused to read the novels as to keep my stand that "Narnia is in no way better than Harry Potter".

Later on during the June 2005 hols when Boon was about to leave Singapore for Indonesia, he lent me his Narnia series and told me to have a scan.

I said yes, though deep down in heart I still resented Narnia due to my stubbornness.

As there were only three people left in the hall, my days were largely repleted with boredom and loneliness. Then on one of those days, I took a glance on the first book of Narnia.

Finishing the book that night, I told myself, "Hey, Narnia's not bad after all!"

Then I devoured the second book. And the third book.

During the next consecutive three days, my hours were filled with consuming all those books.

I finished the entire Narnian series that week, except the last one (Narnia and The Last Battle)*.

With all the Narnia books I had read that time, I think I pretty much regretted not heeding Koko's kindly advice back in Bali.


It never hurts to read a book suggested by a friend, does it not?

* You see, I have a habit of not finishing a series (be it book or film) if I find it to be exceptionally great (until this day I still refrain from watching the last episode of the Japanese drama Nodame Cantabile). You may find this habit of mine to be kinda weird (because I agree with you), but let me elaborate more of this habit on another blog post.


List of my most memorable songs

Rima gathered 20 of her most favourite songs a couple of weeks back.. Well, she inspired me to write this post today.

The list I have today is not exactly a list of my most favourite songs, but a list of songs which brings back my fondest memories...

(Forgive me for the haphazard arrangement below; they are not arranged in any particular order! Next to each songs' title and singer is the elaboration of which chapters of my life are they intricately linked to in my mind...)

1. I Never Really Loved You Anyway - The Corrs. Of all The Corrs songs that I played in my Singapore hostel's prep room, this was the one that I listened to most often. There was one catchy part "Valentino... I don't think so" which I croon often in the class (coincidentally, Valentino was also the name of one of my classmates) that led many other classmates to hum the song too.

2. The Reason - Hoobastank. This song reminded me of the first Singaporean girl whom I asked for a day out. It was during those Christian camps in late 2004. Don't ask me how it went, I laughed myself out remembering that! The Singapore Idol contestant who came to our school (Nah, not Hady Mirza nor Taufik Batisah) sang it on our school auditorium and for a couple of days afterwards the song stayed in my head over and over.

3. If I Ain't Got You - Alicia Keys. I don't really like Alicia Keys, but this particular song of hers still reminds me of that night when I stayed out with Zhou Chen in Nicholas Heng's house. My senior Erwet also sang this song during that Interact Club inauguration in our school's lecture room. Gee, remember those days?

4. In My Place - Coldplay. The song that I often listen to while Pak Yakobus drove me home to Sanur from my school in Padang Galak, Bali.

5. If You're Not The One - Daniel Bedingfield. I encountered this song for the first time when my cousins came to Bali in June 2004. Those days were the first time I could enjoy Bali as a tourist together with them, instead of a Balinese resident as I always was.

6. First Love - Utada Hikaru. Reminiscent of my Kuta and Nusa Dua walks. Perhaps largely attributed to the fact that I had this song played often during my family outings to the Japanese restaurants of Fukutaro (somewhere along the Sanur Bypass street) and the two Take outlets in Kuta and Seminyak.

7. Easy Breezy - Utada Hikaru. Reminds me of the second semester of 2005 in Singapore, when I studied like hell for the final year exams with this song in loyal company.

8. Exodus '04 - Utada Hikaru. Koko introduced me to this song in late 2004. I was not a big fan of Hikki back then, but I soon got hooked up with this song after listening to the song once during the entire first year of my stay in Singapore.

9. Quando Quando Quando - Michael Buble. Such a sweet song. Brings me back to the days when I first came back to stay in Jakarta (in early 2007).

10. Speed of Sound - Coldplay. Did they really had this song played often in City Hall? Strange, I always got reminded of City Hall, Suntec City and Esplanade everytime I listen to this song...

11. Always - Mai Kuraki. When most of my hallmates left me in June 2004 holidays back to their respective countries (I didn't return to Indonesia as I was low on budget), I had this song played often in my MP3 player.

12. Memoria - Kazuko Hamano. Same reason as for song no.11.

13. Buat Aku Tersenyum - Sheila on 7. Listened to this song oftly when I first enrolled in my school of SLTP Santo Yoseph (aka. Swastiastu) in Jl. Sudirman, Denpasar.

14. First Snow - Kwon BoA. From all of BoA's songs, this is my most favourite.

15. I Will Fly - Ten2Five. Don't get me wrong, I've never been a fan of Ten2Five! Nonetheless, I couldn't help but be reminded of my hostel room in Singapore whenever this song came across. Perhaps attributed to the fact that Boon played this song often.

16. Kulakukan Semua Untukmu - Nadila ft. Fatur. Reminds me of my 6th year in SD Don Bosco Pondok Indah, Jakarta. It was the soundtrack of a sinetron (soap opera) starred by Primus and Tia Ivanka... One of my most favourite sinetron that time.

17. Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls. I wonder who on earth had altered the lyrics into "Don't cha wish your boyfriend was hot like me?". Was it you, Boon? Well imho, PCD is slightly better than BEP, but no I've never been a fan of PCD too. It was Boon who played this song on his Acer laptop a bit too often that I had it imprinted in my brain like hell.

18. Guilty - Blue. I wonder which freak told me that Blue's songs are only catered for females? This is one particular song that reminds me of my Balinese nights together with my buddies (and her).

19. End Roll - Ayumi Hamasaki. Of all her songs in my playlist, this is my most favourite. I had this song repeated often in my early days in Bali.

20. Graduation - Vitamin C. I daresay that this song brings back fond memories not only to me, but also to other ACSians who sang the song on that last Christmas event we had after my batch's graduation from our hostel.

21. Seberapa Pantas - Sheila on 7. Of all So7's songs, this is my most favourite.

22. Daughters - John Mayer. Ah, this song... Evokes bittersweet memories of a Singaporean senior whom I was infatuated to. I developed a liking to this song after I chanced upon her singing it for her IB band practice. Of all the girls I've been infatuated with, she's the best. She had it all on her: her looks, her brains, her demeanour, her grace, and everything else that a guy could ever wished for. Too bad she had dated a hot hunk in her class, Lolz.

23. I Believe in You - Il Divo and Celine Dion. Reminds me of... what else? Watching the late night World Cup matches with in Hall 2 and Dover market just down the road from my school.

24. Five for Fighting - Superman. My class first sang this song during our social event to that Old folks' house somewhere near Bedok and Tanah Merah. Julz also had it played often in his MP3 playlist, and hence this song pretty much reminds me of my school.

25. Hotel California - The Eagles. Going to the Driving Range with my Dad (located adjacent to the Ngurah Rai airport in Kuta, Bali) would not be complete without this song played in the radio.


Raimentless star

A friend of mine, James (not his real name, but his blog can be found in my pals n' acquaintances list in case you're wondering) once asked me while browsing the internet with his Samsung laptop from our school library..

"Toshi, do you happen to have any pics of Aoi Sora wearing clothes?"

I got perplexed for a second, "Aoi Sora? You mean.... Blue Skies?"

(note: Aoi Sora is the Japanese phrase for Blue Skies)

"Don't tell me.. you don't know Aoi Sora?"

I was still thinking, "Hmm... I think I've heard that name somewhere before.."

"She's a [censored] star, for God sakes!"

"Oh yeah! Now I remember!"

James threw me a disbelief look "Duh.. Please deh"

"Hmm so what's with her, you asked? Why are you looking for her pics wearing clothes?"

"Well you see.. The problem is, I've googled for her name and searched online for her pictures in garments to no avail..."

"You mean, you could only find her pics with nothing on?"




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