Jakarta mourns for Soeharto's passing away with the half-masts

As Jakarta mourns for Soeharto's loss –both perfunctorily and wholeheartedly—one couldn’t help but feeling that the ambience of sorrow is everywhere with all the half-mast flags being displayed. Here are a couple of pictures I’ve taken during my ride from home to pick up my primaryschooler sister in the Blok M district of South Jakarta…

First of all, my own next-door neighbour….

Another two neighbours..

Police station 15 minutes away from my home.

This is my sister’s school campus, which was located 500 m away from the Pertamina hospital where the late president was admitted..

A church close to the campus..

And a foundation building nearby (nice one here!)

The Barito bird market, a mere 100 m away from the Pertamina hospital..

This last picture I took shows how the heavens join the mood with the drizzle in the background (taken in front of EF Pamulang)…


Soeharto's twin

Quick question, who is this person below?

First clue: he leads an ASEAN country.

Second clue: he is still alive and well today.

Third clue: he does not speak a word of Indonesian language.

Confused? If you're a Cambodian, chances are you have answered the question correctly. The picture above is Norodom Sihanouk, the king of Cambodia.

Compare with the picture of the late Indonesian president below:

Separated at birth? Who do you think is more attractive?


Former Indonesian president Megawati unable to attend Soeharto’s funeral

Original Indonesian text:

…sejak hari Sabtu malam 26 Januari 2008, Mega berada di Singapura untuk melakukan pemeriksaan kesehatan rutin. Sehingga dengan agenda yang sudah terjadwal, dipastikan Mega tidak bisa hadir melayat ke kediaman Soeharto di Jalan Cendana maupun ke pemakaman di Astana Giribangun.

"Bu Mega sangat bersedih dengan kepergian Pak Harto karena mengingatkan dengan suasana saat meninggalnya Bung Karno, ayahanda Ibu Megawati,” [kata Ari Djunaidi, staf khusus beliau]……

English translation by Toshihiko Atsuyama:

…Since Saturday night of 26 January 2008, Mega was in Singapore to have her routine medical checkup. With a scheduled agenda, it could be assured that Mega was unable to pay her last respect to the Soeharto residence in Cendana street as well as the Astana Giribangun cemetery.

Bu Mega was deeply saddened with the loss of Pak Harto because it reminds her of the atmosphere when Bung Karno, Ibu Megawati’s father, passed away,” [as explained by Ari Djunaidi, her special staff]……

It is somehow not so big a surprise that Bu Mega (Bu is a suffix for woman in Indonesian language) was so tightly scheduled with all her medical checkups that she refused was unable to attend Soeharto’s funeral.

Now that I think of it, there was also another event that Bu Mega was unable to attend: the incumbent Indonesian president SBY’s inauguration. She must be very busy, eh?

I was particularly intrigued by this emboldened quotation below:

Bu Mega was deeply saddened with the loss of Pak Harto because it reminds her of the atmosphere when Soekarno, Bu Mega’s father, passed away,”

I’m not so good in reading between the lines, hence I’d be grateful if any of you could enlighten me on what that quotation was supposed to mean. ^_^


Remembering Soeharto as he was

Indonesia has lost a great leader.

Regardless of how the Indonesian public perceives him, soybean and rice prices were low during Soeharto’s days and I think we should all remember him that way: the Father of Indonesia who realized that Indonesia’s true potential is in Agriculture. Few of his successors seem to realize that.

An uncle of mine (who used to work for religious NGOs) is a close acquaintance of the Soeharto's Cendana family; he even had Mbak Tutut’s (Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, Soeharto’s daughter) cellphone number. He elaborated just now on how he came to know Soeharto in person and how he knew his children’s personality. Soeharto was truly a nice, warm, humble, and down-to-earth kind of guy, and so were his children. Most of the Indonesian public seem to blame that Soeharto’s name was tainted by his children’s use of the public money and how bad a father he was for bringing up such children. Well, according to my uncle, that wasn’t true. His children were duped into that world of glamour as they were too naïve to realize what kind of world their friends were leading them to.

I just took a look at this link and realized how much resemblance does the Young Soeharto bears with Tommy (Hutomo Mandala Putera, his son)! They look almost like twins!

I sincerely hope with all my heart that Soeharto would rest in peace and may the Almighty God pardon his sins for he had done a great job in leading Indonesia.

Terima kasih banyak, Pak!

Soeharto memorial links:

Messages for Soeharto

Soeharto’s lifetime photo collection

Thank you notes for Soeharto

Soeharto Center

PS: In order to honour the National Mourning Week that the incumbent Indonesian President SBY had recently declared, most of my blog posts this entire week would have to be put on a waiting list, in exchange for Soeharto's memorial posts, until a more appropriate time.


Lowering of soybean import duty in Indonesia

Below is a translation by Toshihiko Atsuyama of this site.

The government is planning to lower the import duty of soybeans to 0% from the initial 5%-10%. This is a short-term step to reduce the burdens of small businesses in concordance with the increase of the commodity price in the world market. Again, a proof of a government that works without vision.


Human and their lives

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • The average adult falls asleep seven minutes after turning the light off.
  • The average human being will accidentally eat about .5 kg in weight of insects over the course of a lifetime.
  • Americans use more then 16,000 tonnes of aspirin a year.
  • The average American over 50 will have spent five years waiting in queues.
  • An average person uses the bathroom six times per day.
  • In a lifetime the average U.S. resident eats more than 50 tonnes of food.
  • A cough releases an explosive charge of air that moves at speeds up to 100 kph.
  • A sneeze can exceed the speed of 160 kph.
  • If you fart consistently for six years and nine months, enough gas is produced to create the energy of an atomic bomb.
  • If you yelled for eight years, seven months and six days, you will have produced enough sound energy to heat one cup of coffee.
  • There are 110 calories per hour consumed during an hour of typing—only 30 more than those used while sleeping.
  • Laughing lowers levels of stress hormones and strengthens the immune system. Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day.
  • By the time you are 70, you will have easily drunk 45,000 litres of water.
  • 85% of the population can easily curl their tongue into a tube.
  • The average person can live up to 11 days without water, assuming a mean temperature of 15 ºC.
  • The average person who stops smoking requires one hour less sleep a night.
  • The average American adult male brushes his teeth 1.9 times a day.
  • The average female between the ages of 20 and 44 is more likely to be overweight than are males in the same age category.
  • On average, people fear spiders more than they do death.
  • A person who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day will, on average, lose two teeth every 10 years.
  • Every day, the average person swallows about a litre of snot.
  • On average, men spend 60 hours a year shaving.
  • The average amount of time spent kissing for a person in a lifetime is 20,160 minutes.
  • The majority of American models are skinnier than 98 percent of American women.
  • Men can read smaller print better than women but women can hear better.
  • A kiss for one minute can burn 26 calories.
  • We filter out 99 percent of the sights, sounds, and other sensations around us if they don’t seem threatening or important. If we didn’t filter, the sensory overload would drive us insane.
  • The farthest you can see with the naked eye is 2.4 million light years away! That’s the distance of the giant Andromeda galaxy. You can see it easily as a dim, large gray “cloud” almost directly overhead in a clear night sky.
  • 55% of people yawn within five minutes of seeing someone else yawn. Reading about yawning makes most people yawn as well.
  • A yawn usually lasts for approximately six seconds.
  • After human death, post-mortem rigidity starts in the head and travels to the feet, and leaves the same way it came— head to toe.
  • The sound of snore (up to 69 decibels) can be almost as loud as the noise of a pneumatic drill.
  • About 25% of the population sneezes when they are exposed to light.
  • 41% of women apply body or hand moisturiser a minimum of three times a day.
  • Left-handed people are better at sports that require good spatial judgement and fast reaction (compared to right-handed individuals).
  • Only one out of every three people washes their hands when leaving a public bathroom.
  • In the average lifetime, a person will walk the equivalent of five times around the equator.
  • More than 2,500 left-handed people are killed every year from using right-handed products.
  • It has been estimated that 17% of human beings are left-handed, which is roughly the same figure as for gorillas and chimpanzees.
  • If you are right-handed, you tend to chew on the right-hand side of the mouth and vice versa.
  • There is evidence that many people gain and lose weight in accordance with the cycles of the moon.
  • There are three million stutterers in the United States and a similar proportion in every other part of the world.


What lurks in the web

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Sunday, 13 January 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Spiders have transparent blood.
  • Spiders never get caught in their own webs because they have self-oiling legs.
  • Most spiders have eight eyes. These are arranged on top and near the front of the head, usually in two rows of four each.
  • The social spider spins a sticky web where 50 plus spiders all live together.
  • Most spiders belong to the orb weaver spider family Aranidae. This is pronounced “A Rainy Day”.
  • According to some estimates, the bugs that spiders eat in one year weigh as much as all the people on earth.
  • The venom of the Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria nigriventer) or banana spider is so potent that just 0.006 mg can kill a mouse, making it the most neurotoxic venom of any known spider.
  • Some male spiders pluck their cobwebs like a guitar, to attract female spiders.
  • While all spiders can make silk, not all spiders make webs.
  • It would take 27,000 spiders, each spinning a single web, to produce half a kilo of web.
  • The golden orb-weaver spiders of Papua New Guinea spin the biggest, strongest webs. With supporting threads reaching up to six metres, their webs can reach 1.5 metres across. The webs are capable of snaring insects, small birds and bats.
  • It has been suggested that a pencil thick strand of web silk could stop a Boeing 747 in flight.
  • The longest-living spiders are the tarantulas, with some Mexican species (females) living up to 28 years.
  • The tarantula was named after the Italian seaport city of Taranto, where the hairy venomous wolf spider once abounded.
  • Australian scientists have identified some species of baby spiders that bite off the limbs of their mothers and slowly dine on them over a period of weeks. The researchers hypothesise the maternal sacrifice keeps the young from eating one another.
  • New Zealand has only one spider that is dangerous to humans. The rare katipo is believed to be related to the Australian redback or the North American black widow.
  • Spider silk may be stretched as much as a quarter of its length before breaking.
  • The silk of Nephilia spiders is the strongest natural fibre known, and South Sea Islanders use the silk to make bags and fish nets.
  • There is an average of 50,000 spiders per acre in green areas. Essential to the balance of nature, spiders annually consume 100 times their number in insects.
  • The largest spider in the world is the goliath birdeater at a length of 28 cm. At 26.5 cm is the salmon pink birdeater, then is the slate red ornamental at 23 cm, the king baboon and the Colombian giant-leg at 20 cm.
  • The smallest spider is the Comb-footed spider, which is smaller than the head of a pin.
  • Giant crab spiders have such a ferocious appearance they earned a spot as extras in the horror film Arachnophobia. The creatures, however, eat cockroaches, crickets and caterpillars, more compensating for their scary appearance. Giant crab spiders are about five centimetres long, are hairy and have noticeable black fangs and black feet. Their egg sac is the size of a golf ball.
  • Black widow spiders are not aggressive, and are actually shy.
  • Male black widow spiders are harmless. The wolf spider changes to resemble other spiders.
  • While many arachnids rely on webs or trap doors to catch prey, the bird-eating spider rushes straight at anything that moves. The hairy, venomous creature with a leg span reaching 25 cm can eat grounded birds or small rodents.
  • The average human eats eight spiders in their lifetime.
  • On average, people fear spiders more than they do death.
  • You are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by a poisonous spider.


Tips for the workplace and life in general

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Saturday, 29 December 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Failure is not an option. It’s bundled with your software.
  • Confession is good for the soul but bad for your career.
  • To err is human. To forgive is against company policy.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, redefine success.
  • Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?
  • If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidences that you tried.
  • Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.
  • For every action there is an equal and opposite criticism.
  • No one is listening until you make a mistake.
  • Success always occurs in private and failure in full view.
  • The sooner you fall behind the more time you’ll have to catch up.
  • A thing not worth doing isn’t worth doing well.
  • Hard work pays off in the future, but laziness pays off now.
  • To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; but to steal from many is research.
  • To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your principles.
  • Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.
  • Beat the 5 p.m. rush, leave work at noon.
  • If you try to fail, and succeed, which have you done?
  • Half the people in the world are below average.
  • Don’t be irreplaceable; if you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
  • Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
  • Time is a great healer, but a terrible beautician.
  • Capital punishment isn’t for making examples; it’s for making bad people dead.
  • The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
  • Support bacteria—they’re the only culture some people have.
  • A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
  • Two wrongs are only the beginning.
  • The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.
  • A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
  • Change is inevitable except from vending machines.
  • If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.
  • When someone asks you, “A penny for your thoughts,” and you put your two cents in, what happens to the other penny?
  • When cheese get its picture taken, what does it say?
  • “I am” is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that “I do” is the longest sentence?
  • Can vegetarians eat animal crackers?
  • We are born naked, wet and hungry. Then things get worse.
  • If someone with multiple personalities threatens suicide, is it considered a hostage situation?
  • Is there another word for synonym?
  • What should you do if you see an endangered animal eating an endangered plant?
  • Is it true that cannibals won’t eat clowns because they taste funny?
  • Heck is where people go when they don’t believe in Gosh.
  • Forgive and forget, but keep a list of names just in case.
  • If evolution is fact, why do mothers only have two hands?
  • Time is just nature’s way to keep everything from happening at once.
  • The meek shall inherit the earth—after we’re through with it.
  • Ham and Eggs—a day’s work for a chicken; a lifetime commitment for a pig.
  • Good health is merely the slowest possible rate at which one can die.
  • How much can one get away with and still go to heaven?
  • It’s hard to make a comeback when you haven’t been anywhere.


Is China going to poison the entire world population? I hope not.

With the most recent cases hitting the news in Japan, I couldn’t help but wondering if PRC (People’s Republic of China) is really that intent on poisoning the entire world over. Those Chinese-made dumplings in Japan are found containing traces of insecticide, as Mainichi reported.

I hope there wouldn’t be any point in time of my life when I have to visit China for any reason whatsoever, because in that case I would have to eat their food and then risk some choking, hospitalisation, or worse: DEATH. In a really urgent case however—if I have to visit that country due to business trips or medical reasons— I’d make sure that I have plenty amount of food from outside China in my suitcases. Doesn’t matter if my luggage is overweight (I’ll just pay the excess), my life is more expensive, isn’t it? May God forbid me to enter China forever, eh…

And next time I buy furniture or any electronic goods, I’ll make sure that it isn’t "MADE IN CHINA", to avoid being poisoned by its scent or whatsoever. Not that I’m suggesting anyone to do the same thing though..


Japanese language necessary for a visa? Hmmm……

Some people may see this as a barrier, but I tend to see it more as a challenge. If that is what it takes to come to Japan, let the show begin then!

This blog explained that the main reference used by the Japanese govt to examine a foreigner’s proficiency is the JLPT, with all its weaknesses being elaborated upon by using a direct comparison between Japanese JLPT and English TOEIC. Well, I tend to see it that way too, especially since JLPT never tests one’s speaking or writing ability. There are only Grammar, Vocabulary, Kanji, and Listening comprehension for one to study, and they furthermore still provide 4 choices of answers for you, giving each of your guess shots a 25% possibility of being correct.

Another blog also tells me about the possibility of having a JLPT level “pre-1” being considered. It’s not a bad idea, but if they wanna put it as such, they should also consider having a level “pre-2”, since the gap between pre-3 and pre-2 is simply waaaaaay too wide.

If only the Japanese government allows me to take Japanese citizenship as my second, and not requiring me to let go off my first one, I’d be happy to take it straight away. Too bad the news is limited to the visa only.


An insight to Barack Obama’s strong emotional affinity to Indonesia

Who doesn’t know Barack Obama these days? He was born in Honolulu on 4 August 1961, son of a black Kenyan Daddy Barack Husein Obama and pure white American Mommy Stanley Ann Dunham. His father and mother first met in a university in Honolulu and got married. The marriage ended when Obama was one.

After her separation with Barack Husein Obama, Ann Dunham had her second marriage with an Indonesian postgraduate student named Lolo Soetoro Mangundikardjo from Indonesia who was taking his doctorate in Geology. After finishing his studies, Lolo Soetoro brought his family back to Indonesia.

In Indonesia, the small Barack Obama enrolled in Fransisco of Assisi Primary School (SD Fransiskus Asisi) and was registered with the name Barry Soetoro. Barry Jr lived with his mother and stepfather in the Menteng area. Just like other kids, Barry loved to play with his friends although sometimes he also fought with them. Barry was known to be quite eloquent in Indonesian language, whereas he spoke Indonesian in school and English at home. He only had trouble in communicating with his second language during his first six months in Indonesia.

Barry has a stepsister from his Mom’s marriage with Stepdad L. Soetoro, who was named Maya Kassandra Soetoro. Today Maya is teaches in a state university in America. Maya has already had a daughter from her marriage to a Vietnamese man.

Barry Soetoro Jr. now takes his father’s surname – Barack Obama. Before becoming a senator, Barack Obama was a lecturer in a university in Illinois. He was married to an American woman who then gave birth to two daughters. Barack Obama was then endorsed by the Democrat Party faction.

Now America has two charismatic senators on their way to the White House. Other than Obama, the other candidate is Hillary Clinton (59). It would be interesting to see how American public would give their vote.

If Barack Obama wins the upcoming election, then be prepared to have Indonesian leaders lobbying to the White House, because the No.1 man there not only can speak Indonesian, but he also has an emotional affinity with Indonesia. Barack Obama is not the kind of person who forgets his roots easily, as proven when he was elected senator, he invited his paternal Kenyan family. When Indonesia was struck with the Bird Flu which was a hot issue back then, Barack Obama came to Indonesia with all his old memories.


Above is the English translation by Toshihiko Atsuyama of this Indonesian site, hence courtesy is fully held by Kabar Indonesia.


Update on the Indonesian kid’s Naruto suicide

Picture courtesy of Dark Diamond

My previous post, which was paraphrased by ANN, had apparently incited a thread discussion. A related news in The Jakarta Post (which is now expired) had created a somehow false and misguided assumption about the Indonesian government, which I’ve commented upon.

Another interesting thing to note is that the Indonesian channel that airs Naruto, Global TV, has recently changed the Naruto rating from PG to T, presumably because of that particular incident. It still airs Naruto at the same time slot though, which is 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm, an ironically prime-time hour in Indonesia.

Seeming want to catch up with the incident's latest news too, another TV station in Indonesia, Indosiar, has recently decided to air exactly the same Naruto on Sunday mornings. (Remember that Indonesia isn't a Christian country, thus every shows that air on Sundays indeed have high ratings amongst children).

This Indonesian anime forum, which is also hotly discussing the Naruto kiddie's death, has one person nicknamed fadillah46 who wrote:

"The kid is well known to amongst his neighbours to love acting as Naruto"

Anyway, in the forum discussion there are several interesting titbits by people in that thread which are worth reading:

Mr Vince wrote: These articles [referring to this blog and the JakPost link] are written poorly, and as a result most of the people here seem to think the kid was intentionally stangling [sic] himself.

What I think about it: I don’t recall having said that the kid was intentionally strangling himself. It was unintentional. This guy should’ve read properly before making comment like that.

Shadowrun20XX wrote: As for anyone in Naruto,causing harm to themselves would be spoiler[Hidan of the Akatsuki,and his,self sacrifice style jutsu.] He is the only one that came to mind.But that's still far from being animated.

What I think about it: Good point. I only watched around the first 40 episodes of Naruto at most, thus I’m not knowledgeable enough to pinpoint exactly which scene had encouraged that suicide. It might have not been Uzumaki Naruto whom he was imitating after all, it could also be other characters in that anime.

Ojamajo LimePie wrote: What it sounds like to me is that the poor kid commited suicide and the adults are looking for an easy scapegoat. Rather than investigate what was going on in the kid's life, perhaps family trouble or schoolyard bullying, they say "Hey, he watched that Naruto show. Let's blame it on the cartoon!" Of course, the kid isn't around anymore to tell them Naruto isn't the cause of his suicide.

What I think about it: The suicide took place in a poor community of Semarang. The case wouldn’t have had hit the news if it was purely a scapegoat.


Retracing Barack Obama’s footsteps in Indonesia: Stories by his Indonesian schoolteachers

Apart from excelling in Maths, Barry Soetoro aka. Barack Obama has always had the talent to lead since his childhood. This left-handed pupil often became the mediator whenever he saw his friends fought.


Ceacilia Sugini’s eyes stared wide open as she saw Barack Obama’s photo in Jawa Pos (the head company of this daily) on last Friday’s edition. This grandmother of two kids is certain that that is the picture of Barry Soetoro, her former student in Francis of Assisi Primary School (SD Fransiskus Asisi), H. Ramli Street, Menteng Dalam, Southern Jakarta, around 39 years ago. “He turned different in his adulthood, hm? I remember his chubby cheeks, which was very cute,” she added.

The retired teacher who now resides in the West Pancoran Street, Southern Jakarta used to teach Maths to the small Barry (Barack Obama’s nickname during his stay with his Indonesian stepfather). “He liked that subject very much. He was quick and adept in calculations,” she said of the man who is now contending against Hillary Clinton as the main Democrat Party presidential candidate.

In year 1968-1969 when Barry went to school in Francis of Assisi Primary, she used to teach in three classes, namely grade 1, 2 and 3. “Of course, there weren’t so many primary schoolteachers back then,” she said.

The woman who was born in Kalasan, Jogjakarta also noted that the Harvard graduate Illinois state senator was also a left-handed. However, his handwriting was comparably neater than other pupils. “he never looked for troubles in class. In other words, the boy was a calm and compassioned kid,” she explained.

What about the religious education? According to the woman who is also called Mrs Hananto, the small Barry used to attend Catholic classes in school. “The name of the school (Fransiskus Asisi) was still under Asisia Strada Primary which is under the umbrella group of Strada Foundation. It is a Catholic foundation. Every students who enrol there must attend the religious lessons,” she said.

So then, how could there be rumours that Barack Obama studied in madrassa (Islamic religious school)? The mother of three sons could only guess that the foreign reporters had gotten the wrong perceptions. “Due to the name of Asisia, it might have been thought of as an Islamic religious faction,” she stated.

The woman who has retired from the teaching industry since 1980 admitted that she is proud having taught Barry who was born in Honolulu, 4 August 1961. After Barry nominated himself as an American presidential candidate, she had been asked about Barack Obama by her friends. “In a parish board meeting three days ago, I was asked what I’d do if Barry wins. I only answered that I’d be very happy to have a pupil who could become a president,” she added with a smile.

Like Ceacilia, other Assisi Primary teacher, Israela Parera, 63 also had the impression that her pupil, Barry, who had curly hair and curved eyelashes, would one day become a great person.

He has had a strong leadership knack since he was a kid. He used to be a mediator whenever he sees his friends fought. Coincidentally, his body was also bigger than the other pupils,” said Israela, who hails from Manado.

The grandmother of three kids also explained about one day, when she tasked the pupils to write a short essay in Indonesian language. The theme was about their future ambitions. “That time Barry wrote that he wants to become a president. The essay was not long, only half a folio page,” she explained.

According to the woman who is also familiar being called Mrs Is, when the school was entirely renovated 15 years ago, a lot of the teachers’ documents were lost, including Barry Soetoro’s student identity which had also disappeared. “That time we haven’t had an admin yet, everything was very modest. We even had woods behind the school. The children used to call it the Assisi forest,” she elaborated.

Mrs Is remembered vividly how the small Barry was used to be brought to school and fetched home by his mother, Ann Dunham, who is a white American (and had an Indonesian husband Lolo Soetoro, Barry’s stepfather. “Her mother was very friendly. Every time she brought Barry, she always took him to the class door. And she fetched him at the school gates after school,” she said.

Another thing Mrs Is could recall is Barry’s lunchbox at school. “He always brought bread to school. It was rare enough to have bread those days,” she said.

Just like Ceacilia, Mrs Is also admitted that Barry attended Catholic lessons at school. “It was compulsory for every student. However, he also often went to a musalla (Islamic room set aside for prayers) near his house as Barry’s (step)father was a Muslim,” she added (Barry’s house was also located in Hj Ramli Street, where Assisi Primary was).

Barry Soetoro enrolled in that school for only two years. Then, he was transferred by both his parents, Ann Dunham and Lolo Soetoro, to Trial Primary (SD Percobaan), Besuki Street, Menteng (now 1st Menteng Public Primary School, or SDN 1 Menteng). In the public school (1970-1971 until his middle of 5th grade), Barry was registered as a pupil of Muslim religion.

Regarding the religion that Barry adheres to, Anis bin Hajj Asmari, 48, the man who had been mandated by Erna, the wife of Lolo Soetoro after his divorce with Ann Dunham, to sell the house they had occupied in the Inner Menteng vicinity, admitted how well acquainted he is with the Soetoro family.

“Barry always went to the neighbourhood musalla every afternoon. Yep, around 4 to 5 pm. Then he always hurried home after that,” he said.

According to Anis, the Lolo Soetoro’s family discipline is very strict. Apart from the tall gate, the house was surrounded by a 2.5 metre high wall. “However, Mr Lolo was a very down-to-earth kind of guy. As an oil expert, he often went out of town. But whenever he’s home, he often went out with us and join the neighbourhood night patrol,” he said.

According to Anis, the house that was occupied by the Soetoros was sold for Rp 400 million (1980 currency). The price had included the land and garden with an area of 268 m². She also added that Maya Kassandra Soetoro, Barack Obama’s stepsister who now resides in USA also obtained portion from that amount of money. “When we managed the selling, I faxed her several times,” she said.

Barack Obama also had several friends who are now eminent persons in Indonesia. One of them is Emirsyah Sattar, the Chief Director of Garuda Indonesia, the main Indonesian airline. Emir was a student in Trial Primary, Besuki Street, in 1968-1972. “I still remember (Barry) that time, although vaguely,” he said when contacted by this daily.

Apart from Emir, there is also Junino Yahya. The man who is now the Deputy of Internal Supervisory and Public Complaint of Corruption Watch Commission was his senior. “Barry loved to attend the boy scouts activities,” he said.(*)


Above is a translation by Toshihiko Atsuyama of this site, hence the courtesy is fully held by Manado Post Online.



Several news excerpts of uncomfortable verities of the Climate Change and what we’ve done to help deteriorating it

All of these excerpts below are taken from various “The Jakarta Post” articles.

Indonesia could lose 2000 of its islands by 2030 if sea levels continue to rise [at the current rate]”, said Indonesian environment minister Rachmat Witoelar.

By 2035, The Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport will be flooded by water and rendered useless, by 2050, about 24% of Jakarta will disappear, and by 2080, the tide will be lapping at Istana Negara (the Indonesian presidential palace), which sits 10 km inland.

At present, the world tropical forest estate covers some 13 billion hectares, and this is being reduced by 11 million hectares – almost 0.1% – each year. The loss in Indonesia alone amounts to almost 2 million hectares.

Malaria was recently found in highlands across Indonesia, which is unusual because cool weather can not harbour malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

One 5000 km of non-stop flight makes each passenger account for one ton of carbon dioxide.


Questions that tickle your fancy

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Friday, 30 November 2007.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • If quizzes are quizzical then what are tests?
  • What’s the opposite of opposite?
  • Is a man full of wonder a wonderful man?
  • How can you chop down a tree and then chop it up?
  • Do sore thumbs really stick out?
  • Is the fear of flying groundless?
  • Do mimes watch silent movies?
  • Can you sentence a homeless man to house arrest?
  • Isn’t it scary that the word “therapist” is the same as the words “the” and “rapist” put together?
  • When the letters in mother-in-law are rearranged, they spell Woman Hitler.
  • Why do drugstores make the sick all the way to the back to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front?
  • Why do they put “for indoor or outdoor use only” on Christmas lights?
  • Why in baseball is it called the World Series if it is only played in the U.S. and Canada?
  • Why do people pay to go up tall buildings and then put money to look at things on the ground?
  • If marriage means you fell in love, does divorce mean you climbed out?
  • How come the sun makes your skin darker but your hair lighter?
  • Why are there pictures of the sun wearing sunglasses when the purpose of sunglasses is to protect your eyes from the sun?
  • How is it that we put man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage?
  • Once you’re in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?
  • If the day before a holiday is called Christmas Eve, is the day after Christmas Adam?
  • Why do most people put more effort into their wedding than their actual marriage?
  • When a boy is named after his dad, he is called “Junior”, but what do you call a girl who is named after her mother?
  • If Mars had seism would they be called Marsquakes?
  • Why don’t the hairs on your arms get split ends?
  • Can you get cornered in a round room?
  • Why do the numbers on phones go down while the numbers on calculators go up?
  • Do coffins have lifetime guarantees?
  • If nobody buys a ticket to a movie do they still show it?
  • If someone owns a piece of land, do they own it all the way to the centre of the earth?
  • If feathers tickle people, do they tickle birds?
  • After eating, do amphibians have to wait an hour before getting out of the water?
  • Since we see little birdies when we just get knocked out, what do little birdies see when they just get knocked out?
  • Does anyone actually kill two birds with one stone?
  • Do pigs pull hamstrings?
  • What did cured ham actually have?
  • What do vegetarians feed their dogs?
  • How come you can kill a deer and put it on your wall but it’s illegal to keep them as pet?
  • Why are people so scared of mice, yet we all love Mickey Mouse?


My comment on “I am Legend” movie

It could’ve become a marvellous movie if not for its ending. Will Smith playing as Robert Neville perhaps wasn’t quite right after all; Smith always plays on great movies and this “I am Legend” movie could damage his reputation as an actor.

I’m not gonna start with the summary of the whole movie, as you could look them up yourself. The opening was great, it greets us with all the wild animals and the “New York Jungle”. It was 50% sci-fi and 50% horror then. But unfortunately, as it reached the climax of the movie (which was the death of Neville’s allegedly only companion left, the dog Sam), the whole movie took a whole new direction into a 100% horror.

The pair of immune survivors who could manage to save Neville from the zombie made us moviegoers pose a question: if Neville, the strong guy there, couldn’t even manage to escape the wrath of the zombies, how could Anna and Ethan manage to do so?

As there were only a pair of human couple that were left (Anna and Neville), and the possibility of a survivors’ camp isn’t proven yet, one could wonder why they hadn’t chosen to had sex yet. You know, even if there were a survivors’ camp, their number wouldn’t suffice to fill in enough of the world’s important positions (namely, governmental positions, hospitals, police stations, etc). Hence reproducing (i.e. having sex) for the sake of preventing Homo sapiens’ extinction would be the most sound logic.

The ending was drafted poor enough, with Neville (the main protagonist) dead and Anna and Ethan finally finding the alleged survivors’ camp, one could be disappointed as to see the ending not as fantastic as the opening.

My verdict: **** (4) out of ********** (10)


Why the Japanese are blog-wild

The content of this blog post is originally taken from this site, hence the copyright is fully a courtesy held by The Straits Times.

They write the most blogs in the world, not to stand out but to fit in, to a largely conformist culture

TOKYO - Compared to the English-speaking world, the Japanese have gone blog-wild. They write web logs at per capita rates that are off the global charts.

Although English speakers outnumber Japanese speakers by more than five to one, slightly more blog postings are written in Japanese than in English, according to Technorati, the Internet search engine that monitors the blogosphere.

By some estimates, as much as 40 per cent of Japanese blogging is done on mobile phones, often by commuters staring cross-eyed at tiny screens for hours as they ride the world's most extensive network of subways and commuter trains.

Blogging in Japan, though, is a far tamer beast than in the United States and the rest of the English-speaking world.

Japan's conformist culture has embraced a technology that Americans often use for abrasive self-promotion and refashioned it as a soothingly non-confrontational medium for getting along.

Bloggers here shy away from politics and barbed language. They rarely trumpet their expertise. While Americans blog to stand out, the Japanese do it to fit in, blogging about small stuff: cats and flowers, bicycles and breakfast, gadgets and TV stars. Compared with Americans, they write at less length, they write anonymously and they write a whole lot more often.

'Behaviour is more important than technology,' said Joichi Ito, a board member at Technorati and an expert on how people around the world use the Internet. 'In Japan, it is not socially acceptable to pursue fame.'

Technorati found that of all recorded blog postings in the fourth quarter of last year, 37 per cent were written in Japanese, 36 per cent in English and 8 per cent in Chinese.

This was not an aberration. In the past three years, Japanese has been running ahead of, or about even with English, as the dominant language of blogging, according to Technorati. About 130 million people understand Japanese, while about 1.1 billion understand English.

Those numbers startle no one more than the Japanese. For even as they use personal computers, Internet-enabled mobile telephones and a ubiquitous high-speed Internet network to blog anytime and anywhere, they keep awfully quiet about it.

Consider, for example, the remarkably harmonious blog that Ms Junko Kenetsuna has been writing five times a week for the past three years about her mid-day meal.

With understated precision, she calls her blog 'I had my lunch'. In a recent dispatch from a Vietnamese restaurant in Tokyo, she wrote: 'The soup has a distinctive chicken flavour and the bitterness of pear, which gives you much sensation in your mouth.'

In all the blog entries she has composed at home and in cybercafes over the years, she has never written a discouraging word - not a single critical reference to bad food, lousy service or rip-off prices, she said. Such harshness, in her view, would be improper and offensive.

'If I think the food stinks, I don't write about it,' said Ms Kenetsuna, 43, who makes a living writing advertising copy for a weekly newspaper for female office workers in Tokyo. 'There is a part of me that feels sorry for the restaurant, if it were to lose business because of what I write,' she said. 'I don't want to influence the diners.' About 300 people occasionally read her blog, most of them friends.

She gets almost no online comments or feedback from any of them, although she had hoped she might.

Still, she does not want to over-excite her readers or provoke comments that would hurt her feelings. 'Because my blog may be read by people I don't know, I am cautious about revealing my inner thoughts,' she said. 'I don't want to be criticised for what I write.' To keep her profile low, she blogs anonymously.

None of this surprises Mr Robert Pickard, North Asia president of the Edelman public relations firm, which has collaborated with Technorati to survey Japanese blogging behaviour and compare it with that of English speakers. 'There is no question that in this culture the nail that sticks out gets hammered in,' he said.



My Special 2008 New Year Resolution: Build My Body

Last Monday, I read an article in The Jakarta Post (in a health exercise column by the famous Indonesian bodybuilder Ade Rai) that if you exercise for at most an hour thrice a week, which means 3 hours out of the allotted 168 hours that you have in a week, it would total less than 2% of your week.

Furthermore, if that 2% time can improve the quality of the remaining 98%, why the delay? Especially in the case of myself, who has nothing else better to do than to slack around and improve my couch-potatoing skills everyday. That one article really struck me, especially since this month is still afresh—you know—being January and all, which means I could still add more things to my existing resolution.

I then added to my general New Year Resolution (which I’m going to post in this blog tomorrow) this whole drafted plan below:

1. Do 20 PU (push-ups) and 20 SU (sit-ups) everyday in January

2. Do 30 PU and 30 SU everyday in February

3. Do 40 PU and 40 SU everyday in March

4. and so on...

I tried to implement it for one whole day until I realised that the plan wasn’t quite realistic after all. It had been a while since I last exercised for real (which was swimming once every 2 months and running twice a year in the entire 2007). I then looked on the internet for a more realistic “Training Regime” that suits my body better until I could catch up with the drafted plan above.

I looked up in google and found out about APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), which is designed to test the muscular strength/endurance and cardiovascular respiratory fitness of soldiers in the United States Army. Soldiers are given a score based on performance consisting of three events, SU, PU, and 2-mile run.

Well 2-mile run is a bit too much for me, so I looked for a less strenuous exercise plan I could look up to. To score fully on the PU section, I also have to be able to do 77 PUs non-stop and 82 SUs, which is also kinda tough.

I hurt my own stomach muscles due to my 30 non-stop SUs last Monday.

Then I found out about “Wall PU”, which is to be performed by standing close to a wall and pushing away from the wall with the arms; and to increase the difficulty, one must move the feet further from the wall.

You people out there must be thinking that this is really a piece of cake. Well, so did I, until I tried it for myself. I wanted to do 100 Wall Push-Ups at once (non-stop) before I realised that the force I have to exert to do for the WPU is half the force of normal PU.

But hey, for the meantime, this can suit my wimpy body better! (I don’t mind calling myself a wimp, as I had never exercised my body for real last year anyway) So here it is, I come with a substitute for the drafted plan, which I’ve “ratified” myself:

1. Do 5 separate sets of 20 WPUs daily (which totals 100 WPUs everyday)

2. Do 4 separate sets of 25 jumps daily (which totals 100 jumps everyday)

3. Do 10 SU everyday

4. Swim twice a month

5. Cycle for at least 2 km everyday

6. Run 1 km once a week

Does the list above seem too easy for most people? Don’t worry, the list isn’t fixed yet. I’ll add more strains to my “training regime” as my body strength builds up.

I’ve also made up my mind to register in the nearest gym, latest by tomorrow.

Hopefully I could keep up to this whole Special Resolution for the entire year, eh…


Charles Darwin revoked his own Evolutionism theory? Don’t believe it, it’s a myth!

Yes, it’s a myth. Despite being a Catholic myself, I always personally find it easier for me to believe in Evolutionism instead of Creationism. But hell no, this isn’t about my own views but rather, ones that I heard from a friend (plus background reading from Wikipedia).

Here is how the distorted story come about.

Do you know of the “Lady Hope Story”? It’s an urban legend of how Charles Darwin, in his deathbed, reverted back to Christianity (he was originally baptised as an Anglican before he became an Agnostic later on). However, such claims were refuted by Darwin’s children and have been dismissed as false by historians. His daughter, Henrietta, who was at his deathbed, said that he did not convert to Christianity. His last words were, in fact, directed at Emma, his wife: "Remember what a good wife you have been.”

If you follow the hyperlink above and read the whole story for yourself, you could find how the story is indeed too good to be true. The language is so romantically flowery that made me teary-eyed (yes, sarcasm intended).

The Lady Hope Story was accepted as verity by some and rejected by most. The ones who accepted it as truth were, of course, THOSE groups (I better not name which groups they are as not to invoke criticism).

Then, some blinded fanatics from THOSE groups went as far to distort the story further by saying, “Darwin also revoked his own Evolutionism theory, you know. He regretted having made such claims at all, which was very sinful at its core.”

Most people of THOSE groups now have omitted away the Lady Hope Story altogether as to make the story more credible.

Bah! THOSE groups should consider do some background readings from Wikipedia first before making such claims.

Don’t make my foot laugh, for goodness sake. I’m not being the 2nd Dan Brown here, by making controversial claims for myself. Nor do I intend to reduce your faith.

Rather, I’m opening your eyes to the REAL truth. If you believe in Him as your saviour, then you could always continue believing in him, regardless of whether you believe humans are derived from apes or not.

Now that you think of it, how does believing in Evolutionism affect our Christian faith? Even the Apostles’ Creed (the core declaration prayer for both Protestantism and Catholicism) does not mention “God created Human as their form now”. Don’t take the 6-days creationism in Genesis too literally, people.


How to pretend reading Kanji

Yes, here is my method in feigning an ability to read Kanji (out loud). By calling it Kanji, of course I mean Chinese characters in JAPAN, not in PRC (where they are called Hanzi), or in Korea (where they are called Hanja).

I’ve applied this method numerous times, but I must remind you that before you start applying this trick, you have to realize that this method isn’t completely foolproof.

Here are the steps:

· You must have completed mastery of Kana (Hiragana and Katakana), no exception allowed.

· Make sure that the whole text of Kanji, whether it is from a children’s magazine, children’s book, or Japanese beginner’s text has Ruby Characters (Furigana) on them, including the repetitions of the characters. Hence, if you see the character in the beginning of the text has transliteration of やま, make sure that when you find the same character in latter part of the text, thewould still have its furigana of やま

· It would be better off if you can speed-read Kana.

· Under any circumstances, NEVER attempt this whole method in front of a real Japanese speaker, otherwise you would be laughed off straightaway. A real Japanese speaker would recognise your “kanji-reading” as a fake one directly, because beginners in Japanese language tend to emphasise their “speaking” in the accents, not in the intonation as a real Japanese speaker would do.

· Practise the reading-out-loud of the text concerned in private before you try demonstrating it in front of your relatives/colleagues/friends/acquaintances, in order to minimise the possibility of stumbling in several Hiragana/Katakana characters.

· The people whom you demonstrated the “Kanji-reading” method to would certainly applaud your ability to be able to read such complex characters. Sometimes, they would ask you to give them the summary of the whole text. In order to ready yourself for such a case, open your Japanese dictionary and look for the vocabularies and get a grip on what the whole text is about.

If you follow the whole method above without missing a single step, you’ll surely get the acclamation you wanted. I often tried this method in the past, during the days when I was able to read only less than 20 kanji. However, today that I am able to read around 300 kanji, I actually come to realise that it is a hell lot easier to speed-read a text that consists of 80% kanji 20% kana (like most general Japanese newspapers have) than 100% kana (like Japanese kindergarten schoolbooks). I’ll tell you my analysis on that next time.


How my dislike towards Indonesian education started (in Bali)

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an outsider who is trying to underestimate Indonesian education. In fact, I’ve spent 7 years of my life enrolling in Indonesian private schools, namely Don Bosco Primary in Pondok Indah district of Southern Jakarta (for grade 3-6), Don Bosco Secondary (grade 7), Santo Yosef (1st semester of grade 8) and Cipta Dharma Secondary in Denpasar, Bali (2nd semester of grade 8 till grade 9). I’ve never enrolled in any international schools in my entire life, and have no intention to matriculate in one anytime soon.

Hence, as you can see now, I’m commenting as an insider here, not as an outside observer who talks like smartass. Anyway, let me begin.

Wanna know why I don’t have that high a regard for Indonesian education?

Its mainly due to the discriminatorily obliging educational system. While in SMU(Sekolah Menengah Umum, or High School) the students are allowed to major between 2 or 3 fields of study, namely IPA (Natural Sciences), IPS (Social Sciences), and sometimes Bahasa (Languages), its system for SD (Sekolah Dasar or Primary School) and SLTP (Sekolah Lanjutan Tingkat Pertama or Secondary School) compels the students to take ALL the subjects offered by the school, regardless of their religious or linguistic background. Hence, a largely discriminatory system is enforced.

Such a system had freaked me out more than once when I firstly moved from Jakarta to Bali 6 years ago.

Let me explain further.

In regions (i.e. provinces outside of Jakarta), students are compelled to take whatever native language the province concerned endorse. In comparison, it’s as if American students in the Northwestern USA are compelled to study Cheyenne Indian language, or Chinese PRC students in Shanghai compelled to take Shanghainese Wu, or Japanese in Hokkaido obliged to learn Ainu.

How asinine of them. I –as a transfer student from Jakarta who didn’t even know how to say “Thank You” in Balinese Language— was obligated to take that subject notwithstanding. I asked my school in Bali to give compensation for me as to drop the 8th grade Balinese, yet they did not even consider giving me some compensation. It’s the ministry regulation, they said.

Try to talk regulation, it’s as if the ministry is filled with holy saints, bah!

Indeed, several teachers showed some mercy toward me as I was the only transfer student for my level that time. Nonetheless, they were still powerless to oppose the regulation.

Hence, I had to learn the language from naught to novice with an intensive course. Eventually, I passed the subject most of the time by relying on the help of cheat notes and “examination camaraderie” teamworks (or Kerja Sama Ulangan, as we said it).

There are 3 other subjects which are uniquely Balinese yet I was forced to take, namely Tembang Bali (Balinese traditional vocal art), Organisasi Sosial dan Adat-Istiadat (The Study of Traditional and Social Balinese Organisation), and Painting. I don’t mind taking Tembang and OSA, as no contextual Balinese cultural knowledge was needed to study the subjects at an equal par with other pupils. However, it was the Painting subject that I dreaded most.

If you readers out there don’t know what Balinese paintings look like, then I’d suggest you to google them or try visiting museums and see such paintings for yourself. They were horribly fiendish!

No, I don’t mean “terrifyingly fiendish” in a negative sense. Instead, it is a positive sense of being tooooooo artistic that makes Balinese people –and the Island of Bali as a whole— famous at an equal par with Maldives, Pattaya, and Hawaii.

I failed the subject numerous times, and barely passed my final examinations. My Balinese art teacher had a standard for art so high that I ranked among the bottom lowest-score in class. How fortunate for me that I ranked among the highest for my level in subjects like English, Biology, and Maths that I managed to help my Balinese friends in those subjects, and asked them to help me in painting on canvass in return.

Gee, it’s kinda painfully silly for me to be reminiscing those days.

Nevertheless, till this day I don’t feel that I’ve gained any benefits in learning the Balinese language. Almost nobody really speak Balinese these days, even those of my friends who are of the highest caste in Hinduism (those named Ida Bagus, etc) are largely reluctant to speak the language.

Some people may argue for cultural keepsake preservation by compelling pupils to learn Balinese, but such arguments are irrelevant if even the Balinese themselves don’t normally speak the language at home!!!

Really, when are the education officials gonna accept this dire truth, huh? Instead of putting uniquely cultural languages like Sundanese, Javanese, Madurese, etc as compulsory school subjects, they should’ve made it an elective instead.


Is politics the kind of life I want?

I don’t think so.

As you all know from my profile on the right-hand side of this blog page, I’m 18 now, which is exactly at the core of my life’s turning point. It’s during this 18th year of my life that I should make up my mind on what kind of person I would like to become.

As the New-Year Resolution for 2008 had been drafted, I finally found that the easiest way to pick the kind of life I wanna have is by crossing out those I don’t fancy.

So I started by one life I love yet loathe at the same time: POLITICS.

Then I asked myself these questions:

Do I really want to get involved in politics? Do I really want to get into the middle of scandals, the temptation of grafts, helping rich bastards campaigning their money “for the greater good (of themselves)”? Do I really want to lead any city/state/country? And yes, sometimes with being a leader comes the possibility of people –whether from opposition groups, militants, or separatists— assassinating you. Is that the kind of life I fancy?

Definitely ……….. NOT.

I don’t want to enter such a f***ing sinful world like that!

The prospect of being an ambassador/foreign diplomat indeed sounds likeable enough to me, as being sent to Europe has attracted me for a long time.

But hell, no.

First of all, I have no leadership skills. It’s not my own conclusion but a blatant fact, as I always avoided being nominated for being Student Council member or any similar leadership skills

Secondly, getting involved in such a sinful life would make my life full of threats. The threats could come from all sides: threats of people slandering you, threats of people killing you, threats of you yourself getting involved in an unintentional scandals (such as the sex video scandal which has been widely publicized in a nearby country lately).

Hell no, I’d rather be sinful by frequenting brothels rather than be sinful by getting involved in politics.

I must admit, I once fancied the idea of majoring in Political Science in the university. But such a prospect doesn’t sound very nice to me any longer, with my eyes more opened to the truth now that I’ve reached a more mature age of 18. Politics has always been sinful, and it will always be like that, no matter how long we’re gonna pray to the God (or gods) for a utopian world peace.

Hence I came to a conclusion to stay out of politics. I don’t know if one day I would be attracted to enter politics, but I hope I can keep up to the promise I’ve made today forever and ever.

One thing for sure though, I still have a keen interest in observing politics as an ordinary citizen. Thus I’ll continue my blogging activity for an indefinite period of time. A scuffle another fellow-blogger-whose-blog-has-been-deleted has served me a stern warning that I should be careful in choosing my topics for blogging. If I want to attack a political side, it’s much safer if I attack the whole organization/party altogether instead of attacking individuals. And another thing, I’ve promised myself not to blog negatively on religions, especially the major world religions whose total number of adherents are too overwhelming.

Those measures above aren’t taken as cowardly acts, but more as safety precautions.

Yes, I do support Free Speech to its fullest extent, as I’d love to attack some races/religions/political individuals if I were allowed to. Yes, the government of your country might have allowed free speech to its fullest extent, but some sides always don’t care about that. Rather than seeing their beliefs/ideologies offended, they’d rather break the law by killing you, no matter what risk do their actions entail.

But rather than taking tortuous steps like that —where I sometimes have to face blind fanatics who are out of the grips of law— I think it’s better off for me to stay out of it altogether. And YES, you may call me a cowardly blogger, but I’d rather be a Coward-Who-Can-Live-Safely-And-Normally than a Dauntless-Truth-Defender-Who-Carries-The-Risk-Of-Being-

All in all, it seems more like an entertainment to me to see the bloody political battles from outside—you know— to watch politicians fight each other, as it looks as if we ordinary citizens are “ancient Roman emperor” or “Roman senators” who watch the “gladiators” fighting the “lions” till one side is dead.

Lols. For you politicians out there, don’t take offence, please.


I'm back.....

Been quite occupied (offline) lately. Even now, my comp is still undergoing some maintenance, due to a frigging brontok (i.e. local Indonesian virus) that attacked my computer last week... phew..... then I had to reinstall the whole Windows all over again which endangered my precious data (which really was my main concern, and it was fortunate of me to backup 100% of them in time).

I'll start blogging again regularly, as usual, starting tomorrow.


Personal badges

Creative Commons License

Anglo-Chinese School (Independent)

Don Bosco Pondok Indah


100 things about me

  1. I am a male.
  2. I am right-handed.
  3. I am 173 cm tall (as of Sep 2008).
  4. My weight is 59 kg (as of Sep 2008).
  5. My blood type is B.
  6. I was born somewhere in the Western Hemisphere on Wednesday, 15th November 1989.
  7. My favorite color is aquamarine.
  8. I have a younger sister who is 6.5 years younger than me.
  9. I'm the oldest of all the cousins in my extended family.
  10. I have a penchant for Italian, Mexican, Indonesian, and Japanese food.
  11. I drink but I don't smoke.
  12. I detest girls who smoke.
  13. I look more like my Mom.
  14. I love swimming.
  15. I prefer vanilla to chocolate.
  16. I am straight, but I don't think that homosexuals should be punished/imprisoned.
  17. The two continents I have not visited are Africa and mainland Europe.
  18. I have lived in Miami (USA) for a year, Paramaribo (Suriname) for half a year, Richmond (Virginia, USA) for half a year, Denpasar (Bali, Indonesia) for two years, Singapore for two years, and Jakarta for 12 years.
  19. I have also been to the Bahamas, London, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), and West Malaysia.
  20. I have a penchant to the topics of travelling, Japan, books, music, sociopolitical issues, climate change, linguistics, and literature.
  21. My favourite bookshop is Borders.
  22. I speak Indonesian, English, and Malay fluently.
  23. All of my family members speak Indonesian as their first language.
  24. I have two (neutered) male cats named Brown and Dani.
  25. I have a female cat called Akira.
  26. I have an Angora bunny named Tamper who was bought for Rp 20,000 ($2.20)
  27. I can speak basic Japanese and comprehend mediocre Mandarin.
  28. My native tongue is Indonesian, not English.
  29. I am allergic to prawn and cannot stand the aroma of coffee, melon and durian.
  30. By the age of 26 (which is 15 November 2015), I have outlined a plan to be fluent in four other languages, namely Japanese, French, Spanish, and Mandarin.
  31. I have a mixed ethnicity of Portuguese, Persian, Sundanese, Sangirese, Acehnese, and Chinese.
  32. I wish I was more knowledgeable in life sciences.
  33. I was baptised a Catholic, but I have also read extensive literatures regarding other faiths, hence my freethought-leaning tendencies.
  34. I went to a single-sex school
  35. I love apple tea and lemon tea
  36. I prefer drinking tea without sugar
  37. I love Martabak and Roti Prata
  38. I prefer Facebook to Friendster
  39. I like Wordpress better than Blogger
  40. My fave e-mail host is Gmail
  41. I have been to eight states in USA
  42. I have been to nine provinces in Indonesia
  43. I have been to five Indonesian islands


Fave quotes

"I don't think I'm very good at some of the things that the modern political system requires, and I've found other ways to make a difference and to serve the public interests," Gore told Nashville Tennessean newspaper in 2007 regarding the calls to run for office again.

"Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces people into thinking they can't lose," Bill Gates.

"Genius is immediate but talent takes time," novelist Janet Flanner.

"The opposite of love isn't hate - it's indifference. If you hate me, that means you still care," Marcia Cross as Bree van de Kamp on Desperate Housewives.

"What Washington needs is adult supervision," Barack Obama.

"A simple way to take the measure of a country is to look at how many want in... and how many want out," Tony Blair.

"A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip," Caskie Stinett, American editor and writer.

"I sometimes wonder, if Life is really one big stage where everyone of us has a script of just what on earth are we supposed to do, exactly. If Life is really a big play with a purpose and a big bearded fat man somewhere keeps the full story." ~ Ace

"Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils" ~ Louis Hector Berlioz

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why we call it the present" ~ Oogway

"Songs as ringtones are like someone suddenly turning on a radio full-blast and then just as suddenly turning it off. At best you’re relieved your morning reverie is possible again, at worst you’re annoyed you can’t remember what song the snippet of music belonged to, and are stuck the whole day humming a snatch of a best forgotten ditty" ~ Jeremy Wagstaff

"If u don't get a sarcasm, try to work it out and see if it comes to a compliment" ~ Myself



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