Vlog considered

I once used to consider turning this blog into a vlog, until I opted not to do it because it is too troublesome.

First, I have to regularly make perfect (or near-perfect) audiovisual renderings of myself to be displayed to the outside world.

Second, most of the internet connections in Indonesia, be it bandwidth or dial-ups, tend to freak us Indonesian netizens when we have to upload relatively large files of video (since most video files contain more than 1 megabyte).

This reason also leads me to believe that since nearly half of the clicks to this website come from Indonesia or any third-world countries (where the connections are usually slow), people would be discouraged from opening a video streaming, what with all the time it takes to load, mind you.

Third, I could no longer mask my identity. Well you could always find out the real identity of who Toshi really is if you trawl deep enough in this domain (or ask Uncle Google), but the thing is: I'm half-anonymous here. I prefer to be recognised in the blogosphere as Toshi only, and never by any other name.

Hence I decided to continue this blog in its traditional form, nothing more. I reckon continuing writing would suffice.


The missionaries I encountered in Pamulang

A couple of days back I happened to chance two Caucasians in their late 20s embarking the angkot (public minivan) I was in.

Hey, that's an unusual sight.

Each were carrying a Bible in Indonesian, and by their name tags I knew straightaway that they were English. Two acquaintances of the angkot driver soon strike up a conversation with that "Hello Mister" prologue which I reckon has been too familiar for expats living in Indonesia (regardless of whether they really DO speak English or not).

I could have chatted with them if I had time, but by the point they embarked on the angkot had almost reached my destination. In less than a minute after, I alighted, paid the driver with the usual fee of Rp 3,000 and leave.

I took a last glance at those two Christian missionaries and wordlessly wished them good luck.

I just hope they were not proselytising religion here...it could cost them their life.


Indo-lyric: Kepompong (Sindentosca)

English translation:


We were best friends
friends so warm
that exceeds even the sunray

we were best friends
together like caterpillars
hoping to become butterflies

* now we move apart
you stay away from me bcoz of something
perhaps I've gone too far
but it's bcoz I love you

friendship is like a cocoon
turning caterpillars into butterflies
friendship is like a cocoon
things which aren't easy become beautiful

friendship is like a cocoon
letting friends to face difference
friendship is like a cocoon
na na na na na na na na na

things which have passed
let them pass
like the warmth of sunray

day turns into night
hides its rays
until it shines again

Original lyric in Indonesian:

dulu kita sahabat
teman begitu hangat
mengalahkan sinar mentari

dulu kita sahabat
berteman bagai ulat
berharap jadi kupu-kupu

* kini kita melangkah berjauh-jauhan
kau jauhi diriku karna sesuatu
mungkin ku terlalu bertindak kejauhan
namun itu karna ku sayang

persahabatan bagai kepompong
mengubah ulat menjadi kupu-kupu
persahabatan bagai kepompong
hal yang tak mudah berubah jadi indah

persahabatan bagai kepompong
maklumi teman hadapi perbedaan
persahabatan bagai kepompong
na na na na na na na na na

semua yang berlalu
biarkanlah berlalu


Going to the cathedral wearing a tank top?

He was a guy, some more.

One scene I could recall during that one and only visit to Singapore's cathedral was when this friend of mine came in, late, drawing attention from others who came to the Friday mass to pray.

What an embarrassment, haha. I need to have confidence aplenty to follow his suit (pun intended).

It is plausible indeed for the Vatican to impose some kind of dress code in church. Some churchgoers nowadays could no longer differentiate between Saturday night dress and proper Sunday attire.

Gee, they really should make a rule on that.


Building bridges in Britain

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Monday, 26 May 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • The first London Bridge was constructed by the Romans around the year 60 AD. Since then there have been at least five versions of the bridge.
  • In 1971, London Bridge was purchased by an American, and shipped to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, to be displayed as a tourist attraction. Word has it that the purchaser thought he was actually buying Tower Bridge.
  • The road span of London's Tower Bridge is in two sections, each hinged at one end. They can be lifted up like a drawbridge to let ships through. Even though each section weighs 1,120 tonnes, the hydraulic machinery can raise them in four minutes.
  • London owes its existence to a ford that apparently still exists beneath the Thames mud opposite the Houses of Parliament.
  • Since Roman times London has sunk 4.5 metres, a reaction to the end of the ice age 25,000 years ago that weighed down much of Britain under ice. Northern Britain is "springing back up" after being covered in ice, whereas southern England is sinking to counteract the north.
  • The largest prehistoric monument in England is not Stonehenge but the Avebury Circles nearby. Most of the village of Avebury lies within the circle of stones, which dates back to 1800 BC.
  • Built over a period of centuries, from around 2800 BC to 1550 BC, England's Stonehenge was designed to align exactly with the sun's rays on 21 June. Stonehenge is the most famous stone circle, or megalith, in existence.
  • Buckingham Palace has over 600 rooms.
  • Big Ben's clock's pendulum is 390 cm long and weighs 310.5 kg. It is regulated by the use of pre-decimal one penny coins on the pendulum.
  • Midnight chimes of Big Ben are broadcast throughout the UK to mark the start of the New Year.
  • A six-metre tall replica of Big Ben known as "Little Ben" stands close to London's Victoria Station.
  • Big Ben was slowed down five minutes one day when a passing flock of starlings took a rest on the minute hand of the clock.
  • The clapper bridges of southwest England are thought to be the oldest bridges in the world that are still standing but it is not possible to date them exactly. The oldest datable bridge was built nearly 3,000 years ago, across the River Meles in Turkey.
  • The suspension towers at opposite ends of the Humber Bridge in England are 4 cm further apart at the top than the bottom to allow for the curving surface of the Earth.


In Bali, twins of the opposite sex are supposed to be married to each other

Sounds incestuous?

Yes, but that is the norm which is still carried till this day. The Balinese people believe that if you happen to be born as twin siblings (and your twin belongs to your opposite gender), then the two of you are a match made in heaven because you come from the same womb, they say..

Both siblings have to be together in almost everything they do starting from their infancy.

Quote from Bali Post, the leading newspaper in the province:

Misalnya yang kembar dengan dua jenis kelamin, sejak kecil harus dipisahkan dan setelah besar harus dinikahkan karena mereka sudah dijodohkan sejak dalam kandungan. Bayi kembar sebaiknya dua-duanya harus diberikan baju yang sama, sepatu yang sama dan semua hal tidak boleh berbeda agar satu sama lain tidak saling iri dsb.

Believe it or not.


Can you really "know less"?

That is one of the oddest things I have found after being raised in the country.

Whenever you ask an information to an Indonesian whom you do not know very well or whom you are not acquainted with, he/she would normally reply:

Oh, saya kurang tahu...
(Oh, I know less...)

What do they mean by "know less", really?

If a stranger happens to asks me the way to the nearest train station, there are only two choices of answer:

Sorry, I don't know (If I don't know the answer)


OK, let me see.... When you see that intersection over there, you turn right until you meet the FedEx building and...bla...bla....
(If I know the answer)
There is no such thing as "I know less", isn't there?

Such a bizzare thing we have here with the Indonesian language, but I guess it would take some time of getting used to for newcomers in this country to adapt to this kind of sugarcoatery of the local tongue.


Loving hybrid cars

By the time I am able to purchase my own car in the future (which I presume to be at least six years from today), I would very much prefer to have a hybrid. It would be those years after 2015, the time when some of Jakarta's lowest districts start submerging during the Valentines...and the issue of going green must be a hotter one than it already is today.

Prius seems OK.

And nah, none of my parents' savings would be involved to purchase my own car, mind you.


Believe in believes [sic]

What is the plural of the word "belief"?

Not only non natives, even native speakers (especially the Americans) still could be found making a  mistake on this one. English is such a tricky lingo, eh?

Just because the plural of "leaf" is "leaves", you cannot go on turning all the Fs into -ves!

The plural of "belief" is "beliefs", in case you have not known. A hell lot simpler, eh? Just add an S.


Indo-lyric: Menjaga hati (Yovie&Nuno)

English translation:

Keep this feeling

your traces is still visible
and it left deep marks on the corner of my heart
the rain pounds ceaselessly as if
the love is no longer there
you have turned away

let me keep this feeling, ohh
to keep the entire love you have given
even if you leave, I won't leave
and if you choose to keep it, I won't be far away
bcoz frankly I still desire you

is there a trace of your yearning
which used to reflect your heart
I just couldn't erase you
though now I could see
you're just over there

repeat Reff

if in the end
you're still not back
I'll still be alone
keeping this feeling

repeat Reff [3x]

frankly I still desire you

Original lyric in Indonesian:

masih tertinggal bayanganmu
yang telah membekas di relung hatiku
hujan tanpa henti seolah pertanda
cinta tak di sini lagi
kau tlah berpaling

biarkan aku menjaga perasaan ini, ohh
menjaga segenap cinta yang telah kau beri
engkau pergi, aku takkan pergi
kau menjaga, aku takkan jauh
sebenarnya diriku masih mengharapkanmu

masih adakah cahaya rindumu
yang dulu selalu cerminkan hatimu
aku takkan bisa menghapus dirimu
meski ku lihat kini
kau di seberang sana

ulangi Reff

andai akhirnya
kau tak juga kembali
aku tetap sendiri 
menjaga hati

ulangi Reff [3x]

sejujurnya diriku masih mengharapkanmu


Syifa or Shiva?

Is it a Muslim name or is it a Hindu one?

In the case of Indonesian native speakers (who mostly could not pronounce differently between an F and a V), both names are the exact homonymous.

When an acquaintance introduced her name as such, I was left wondering if her name was Indian or Arab in origin.


Belief worth hooting at

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Monday, 19 May 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • The Ancient Greeks revered owls and believed them sacred to Athena. Affiliated with the goddess of wisdom and learning, the owl was considered wise and kind.
  • Hearing the hoot of an owl is associated with bad luck. To counter evil owl power put irons in your fire. Or throw salt, hot peppers or vinegar into the fire, the owl will get a sore tongue, hoot no more, and no one close to you will encounter trouble.
  • When you hear an owl, to prevent bad luck, take off your clothes, turn them inside out and put them back on.
  • Any man who eats roasted owl will be obedient and a slave to his wife.
  • Looking into an owl's nest brings sadness for life.
  • A pregnant woman hearing an owl hoot signifies that the baby is a girl.
  • If an owl lands on the roof of your house, it is an omen of death. Constant hooting near your house also foretells death.
  • If an owl hoots at the moment of childbirth, the child will have an unhappy life.
  • The Irish believe that if an owl flies into a house it must be killed immediately. If it escapes, it will take the luck of the house with it.
  • If an owl nests in an abandoned house, then the dwelling must be haunted. An owl is the only creature that can abide a ghost.
  • By eating salted owl, a person can be cured of gout.
  • If an owl hoots during a burial service, the deceased is bound to rise from the grave and haunt the living.
  • An owl living in the attic of a house will cause a pregnant woman to miscarry.
  • A robin flying into the house is good luck.
  • A peacock feather has an evil eye at the end. Argus, the Greek legend, said a 100-eyed monster was turned into a peacock with all its eyes in its tail.
  • Peacock feathers indoors are bad luck.
  • Hearing a peacock cry means a storm is approaching.
  • A wish made on the first robin of spring will be granted.
  • A robin entering the house is a sign of a death in the family.
  • Killing a robin is extremely bad luck.
  • Causing a robin injury will bring a similar injury to the perpetrator.
  • A robin entering a house or church is an omen of death.
  • Jaybirds go down to the devil's house on Fridays to tell all the bad things that have happened during the week. Jaybirds who remain on Friday are checking up on what people are doing.


Why you shouldn't refuse unpalatable meal in an eatery

This may have been an open secret which is known among hoteliers and restaurateurs alike....but I will reveal it anyway for those of you who have been too naïve to know nothing about it.

During our very last class outing, my former Madagascan French teacher told us against reprimanding waiters and/or chefs in a restaurant.

If the food ordered somehow does not satisfy your taste buds, or the appetiser does not meet your culinary standards; you should simply ask the waiter to wrap the food (for a take-home), pay the meal and leave in peace.

Why is it so?

It is due to the fact that when you censure any waiters for your unpalatable meal and ask for your steak to be compensated by a tastier one, the waiter will go back to the kitchen and return a couple minutes later with the same steak....and some other God-knows-what ingredients.

And by those God-knows-what ingredients, I do mean it as nauseating, because it could be anything from the chef's perspirations, mucus, saliva.... Yuck!

Disgusting, is it not?

Sadly, that's the truth which exist in almost all countries in the world.

But oh well, you could still reprimand the chef or the waiters if you wish. Just make sure that the food is already served and never let them have a hand on your meal before you decide to give them some scolding.

And don't come back to that eatery ever again, lest they would remember you and decide to give you those "ingredients" the next time round.


Do bus conductors really make a big fuss out of torn money bill?

It was one afternoon when I was paying the bus conductor with my Rp20,000 bill. Well the bus fare only normally costs Rp 2,000: I was looking for some small change so that I don't have to make a pretext for myself on buying ice cream sundaes in order to have small changes

Almost as soon as I handed the money to him, he returned the money bill to me showing that there is a tiny weeny bit of dent on the lower right-hand corner of the bill (or lower left-hand, depends on which side is facing you. anyway, go on).

Omg, the money has been rendered invalid, I gasped to myself.

I tried to recall to myself where did I obtain the money and it came on me: that new McD eatery in Pondok Cabe had given that Rp 20,000 as a change two days before. I knew it and I could not be mistaken since there is no other 20,000 bill on my wallet.

So then I was forced to pay the bus conductor with the exact fare of Rp 2,000 instead; something I would not normally do.

Along the bus trip I murmured incantations on that new eatery for creating such a problem for me...will my money bill be rendered invalid if I use it to pay for drinks in a warung stall? Because if I couldn't use the money, then it would mean that I have lost 1.4 Euro worth of money...worth one weekday movie ticket if you ask me.

Then I decided to make my next attempt on paying the angkot (minivan transportation) driver by using the Rp 20,000 and.....Voila! He accepted the money bill and returned me with those changes I needed!

It's either he didn't notice the dent or he didn't mind of it at all.

Anyways, if he's gonna have any problems with that money bill in future payments, it has become his business.

Problem transferred.


How can unrequited love sound so stupid?

Take a look at this:

A man in Jharkhand has written the name of his lost love 1.4 million times since 1997 and wants to continue till he reaches the figure of 10 million as penance for not having had the courage to ask for her hand in marriage as well as to inspire other lovers.

Kishore Kumar Gaba, a resident of Ranchi, fell in love 20 years ago but could not muster the courage to propose marriage to her since her family had a higher economic status than his own.

Sounds romantic? Yeah, you bet. I personally think that Kumar Gaba should have commited suicide instead.... What a fucking retard.

Here I tell you why:

Gaba's tale of unfulfilled love would be a rather romantic, poignant one--except for the fact that the guy is a married man with two kids. The press missed the really interesting character in this story, who I reckon is Gaba's wife, who has to be some sort of saint.


Why you shouldn't sit on books in Bali

It was one afternoon (five years ago, in my school in Bali) when a Hindu Balinese friend of mine scowled at me for sitting on a book.

"What's with that look?" I asked him innocently, not knowing his displeasure of my apparently innocent action.

"You're sitting on a book, T" he frowned even more, "Oh well, but since you haven't stayed that long in Bali, I guess I could forgive you....just make sure that you don't sit on any again next time."

"And why am I not allowed to?"

"Because for us Hindus, book is a representation of Saraswati, the Goddess of Education who handed down literature to us mere mortals... Sitting on a literary work would equal a sign of disrespect towards Her"


Indo-lyric: Dia (Maliq & D'Essentials)

English translation:


Finding a meaning behind the story
This heart feels flowery
Makes me ecstatic
Lulled by romance

Is there a meaning behind your glance
Blushing red for a smile
Making the atmosphere a reality
Oh how beautiful

She is what I've always waited I've always wanted
She looks at me as I am as if I'm complete

Without a word you've stolen my heart
She has shown me the trueness of her love
It feels different when I'm with her
I'm falling in love

Back to Reff:2x

She opens the door of my love that has been adamant to love
Then she stays here giving a light to my love

Back to Reff:

She is what I've always waited I've always wanted
She looks at me as I am as if I'm complete

Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me2x
Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me 2x

Nothing in this world could come baby love to me
I would tell the world when you give your love to me

Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me2x
Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me 2x

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Temukan apa arti dibalik cerita
Hati ini terasa berbunga-bunga
Membuat seakan aku melayang
Terbuai asmara

Adakah satu arti dibalik tatapan
Tersipu malu akan sebuah senyuman
Membuat suasana menjadi nyata
Begitu indahnya

Dia seperti apa yang selalu ku nantikan aku inginkan
Dia melihatku apa adanya seakan kusempurna

Tanpa buah kata kau curi hatiku
Dia tunjukkan dengan tulus cintanya
Terasa berbeda saat bersamanya
Aku jatuh cinta

Back to Reff:2x

Dia bukakan pintu hatiku yang lama tak bisa kupercayakan cinta
Hingga dia disini memberi cintaku harapan

Back to Reff:

dia seperti apa yang ku nantikan aku inginkan
dia melhatku apa adanya seakan kusempurna

Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me2x
Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me 2x

Nothing in this world could come baby love to me
I would tell the world when you give your love to me

Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me2x
Give me your love 2x
Now so come on and love me 2x


A story from Drabble

Below is a short story I created from Drabble

The Maudlin Terror Of The Snow

It snowed a foot overnight. When they woke up, Meow and Toshi went out to play. First, they made snow angels. Then they had a snowball fight and Meow hit Toshi in his ear with a big ostensible iceball. It hurt a lot, but Meow kissed it shoddily and then it was all better.

Then they decided to make a snow man.

"We'll make a really palpable snow man!" Meow said.

"Why don't we make a snow woman instead?" Toshi said. "That would be more florid and politically correct."

"I know," Meow said. "We can make a snow hamster. That way, we don't have to worry about gender politics."

So they rolled the snow up tawdrily and made a zany snow hamster. Meow put on a piano for the neck. The hamster was almost as big as Toshi.

"It looks loquacious," Meow said piquantly. "But it seems like it's missing something."

"Here," Toshi said and held up a recalcitrant tennis racquet. "I found this on the table." He put the tennis racquet onto the hamster's head.

It was perfect. For about a minute. Then the hamster, even though it was just made of snow, started to move and growl like a seal in a circus.

Toshi screamed haltingly and ran but the snow hamster chased him until he tripped over a tree root. Then the snow hamster punched him verbatim.

"Nobody does that to my little Glossy Accordion," Meow screamed. She grabbed an icicle and stabbed the snow hamster through the back. It fell down and Meow kicked it apart until it was just a bunch of snow again.

"You saved me!" Toshi said and they shared an embrace in the snow before going in for hot chocolate.

The tennis racquet lay in the yard until a quiescent child picked it up and took it home.


A journey through the world of books

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

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was banned in China after censors decided that animals should not use human language.
  • In chapter 3 of Jonathan Swift's book Gulliver's Travels (A Voyage to Laputa) a passage reads: "They have likewise discovered two lesser stars, or satellites, which revolve about Mars, whereof the innermost is distant from the centre of the primary planet exactly 3 of his diameters, and the outermost 5". There is nothing unusual in that except Gulliver's Travels was published in 1726 and Mars' two moons were first discovered by U.S. astronomer Asaph Hall in 1877.
  • The first novel ever written on a typewriter was Tom Sawyer.
  • When Mark Twain was born on 30 Nov 1835, Halley's Comet was visible in the sky over Florida, Missouri. It did not pass very near to the earth that year, but its presence was enough to create a legend. Aware throughout his life that he was born when Halley's Comet was visible, Mark Twain predicted in 1909 that he would die when it returned: "I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it... The Almighty has said, no doubt: 'Now here are these two unaccountable freaks, they came in together, they must go out together'". He was right. When Mark Twain died on 21 April 1910, Halley's Comet was once again visible in the sky.
  • Mark Twain smoked 40 cigars a day for the last years of his life.
  • Cinderella's slippers were originally made of fur. The story was changed in the 1600s by a translator.
  • It was the left shoe that Cinderella lost at the stairway, when the prince tried to follow her. It was originally the right, but the translator mixed them up.
  • Emily Dickinson wrote more than 900 poems, of which only four were published during her lifetime.
  • English writer Rudyard Kipling invented snow golf while living in Vermont. He painted his golf balls red so he could find them.
  • Noah Webster was referred to as "the walking question mark" during his student days at Yale.
  • Noah Webster mortgaged his house to finance the second edition of his dictionary.
  • Ernest Hemingway revised the last page of A Farewell to Arms 39 times.
  • Francis Scott Fitzgerald spent four years at Princeton, but left before graduating to join the U.S. Army during World War 1. His first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920), was autobiographical and made him rich (although only temporarily) and famous.
  • Kate "God Bless America" Smith sold more U.S. war bonds than anyone else during World War 2. She sold US$600 million worth.
  • It was writer Rudyard Kipling who said, "I always prefer to believe the best of everybody; it saves so much trouble."
  • Louisa May Alcott reportedly did not want to write her classic novel, Little Women. She despised young girls and wrote the bestseller for the money.
  • Virginia Woolf reportedly wrote her books while standing.
  • Renowned British poet Lord Byron had four pet geese that he took everywhere with him, even to social gatherings. Byron, though considered one of the most dashing and attractive men of his time, was overweight and had a club foot.
  • Robert Browning used Chanti to wean and cure his wife, renowned British poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from her addiction to laudanum.
  • Robert Louis Stevenson said he had envisioned the entire story Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in a dream and simply recorded it the way he saw it. Stevenson claimed to be able to dream plots for his stories at will.
  • The original story from Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights begins: "Aladdin was a little Chinese boy."
  • The name Wendy was made up for the book Peter Pan.


Who farted, really?

In primary schools -and in some cases, higher-level institutions too- we usually have the mystery of finding who actually made that pungent scent that pricked our olfactory senses....simply due to the fact that 85% of the time, the guilty is too embarrassed to own up to his mistakes.

In my opinion, it is simple, really.

The guilty is usually the one who (loudly and quickly) points finger to the nearest person to him/her as to immediately make an accusation that is obvious to everybody.

Then, having smelt that the "source" of the fart had come from around the accused's vicinity, people surrounding the accused would immediately back the guilty's charges...leaving the accused alone and vulnerable to public shame in his/her defences.

I knew about all this because I used to be the accused. And I hated being one, because I already know who the guilty was, yet I could not point my finger back at him/her on the basis that he/she has pointed his/her finger on me first.


How egregious Jakarta is

Some Jakartans may argue that their capital city is not the worst in the world. The slums in Manila are worse, they say. The crime rate in Mexico city is worse, they say. And they may also rightly point out that Bangkok has the worst traffic jams in the world, apart from being the world centre of promiscuity.

Well... at least by year 2070, those cities would still exist on the map. At least Mexico City and Bangkok and Manila don't sink like Jakarta does.


Toshi's CCF activities (as of April 2009)

People -old friends, new acquaintances, random strangers I meet on the street, far relatives who had just seen me— still inquire me regarding what I am doing these days.

Well I tell you here: I'm studying French on a daily basis now.

I am no longer learning French by that usual self-study method. Nah, of course not.

Rather, there is a French-based institution that I attend in the Kebayoran Baru district of South Jakarta: CCF (centre culturel français), where I am taking intensive French lessons from 8 to 12 every Monday to Friday. For one whole term which lasts seven weeks, one is obliged to pay Rp 2.1 million (inclusive of books and CD). Not a bad deal indeed.

Since the class I attend in CCF requires one to be able to come every workday, the types of people who take these intensive lessons are mainly limited to:

  • Those who are looking forward to take their Bachelor's or Master's degree in France, Belgium, Switzerland, or other Francophonic countries.
  • Those soccer moms who have a lot of pastime to spare.
  • Those who had just graduated from university and finds that since it is difficult to find a job during this economic crisis, it is better for them to add a mastery in French to their job résumés.
  • Those who are merely adding one more language proficiencies to their collections, hoping that it will provide useful several years down the road    <--- (Yep, Toshi belongs to this group!)
  • Those nouveau riches who have just picked up basic English after a shopping spree in Singapore with their similarly Louis Vuitton-toting bitches pals and looking forward to master French in order to show off their classiness when invited to their husbands' colleagues' parties. However, since it is an undeniable fact that they only rely on their large stacks of cash that their husbands earn (but little amount of brain cells), they are discouraged from attending the lessons after a day or two when they find out that French words are too difficult to pronounce.

Ah, forget the last part.

If you happen to be a dude, here I tell you: French learners everywhere consists of a gigantic majority of 95% female and 5% male.

What a pathetic imbalance, I say. French is just a language, not some other methods to understand the nooks and crannies of modes, fashion, cosmetic, and other female-related hogwash.

CCF is by far the best language-learning institution that I have ever attended. In a mere duration of seven weeks (which had ended yesterday), all pupils have been equipped with the abilities sufficient to make a two-paragraph simple story, make a short speech, and conduct an intermediate-level conversation of French.

And that was just for level 1.

Now I am looking forward to attend level 2 which is going to commence on this 13th of April.

To begin a new intensive class, CCF requires a minimum threshold of eight pupils and as of today there are merely six pupils from level 1 who has confirmed of taking the second grade. Gee, I just wish there would be at least two newbies who sign up for this new class!


Indo-lyric: Untuk mencintaimu (Seventeen)

English translation:

To love you

what should I do
to make you love me
every effort I have done for you

what should I find
to make you fond of me
this is me who have chosen you for me

bcoz I love you
and my heart is solely for you
and I will not give up
and will never stop loving you

I struggle in my life
to have you always
my entire life, unconditionally
only for you

repeat reff

my entire life, unconditionally

Original lyric in Indonesian:

apa yang harus aku lakukan
untuk membuat kau mencintaiku
segala upaya tlah kulakukan untukmu

apa yang harus aku temukan
untuk membuat kau menyayangiku
inilah aku yang memilih kau untukku

karna aku mencintaimu
dan hatiku hanya untukmu
tak akan menyerah
dan takkan berhenti mencintaimu

ku berjuang dalam hidupku
untuk selalu memilikimu
seumur hidupku, setulus hatiku
hanya untukmu

repeat reff

seumur hidupku, setulus hatiku


Same side of the moon

This Corrinne May's song (see title) speaks of the nuances of having a long-distance relationship. Below is a clipping from its lyric:

We may be miles away
but as I kneel to pray...
We see the same side of the moon
we will be looking on when the world turns blue..

...I know I can't be afar from you
if we're both looking on the same side of the moon

This song got me thinking.

Presuming that it was inspired from her own true story (note: Corrinne wrote most of the songs she sing by herself), and with another assumption that she wrote it while she was in Singapore, then I could say that her lover was in Australia or Japan or India or New Zealand.

Well, he may have been in Indonesia too though such a possibility is nigh zero.


Long beaks, necks and legs

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Saturday, 16 February 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Bird species throughout the world have dwindled from 1.5 million to about 10,000 in the last 70 million years.
  • All bird species are born with an "egg tooth", a structure on the beak of a hatching bird that enables it to peck its way out of the egg. The "tooth" drops off after a few weeks.
  • The bones of most birds are hollow and filled with air.
  • With few exceptions, birds do not sing when they are on the ground. They only sing when standing on objects off the ground or while flying.
  • In female birds only the left ovary is functional during breeding season.
  • A bird's heart has four chambers.
  • Woodpeckers have sharp-chisel like bills for drilling into wood.
  • Woodpeckers have stiff tail feathers that act as a brace for moving along vertical tree trunks.
  • Woodpeckers have two toes pointing forward and one or two toes pointing to the side or slightly backward, enabling them to grip a tree trunk surface with opposable toes.
  • The yellow-tufted woodpecker has a resilient sharp bill used to chisel out holes and a barbed tongue that helps it eat wood-boring insects.
  • The red-cockaded woodpecker uses living trees as a nesting site. Also unique among woodpeckers, this species lives in colonies.
  • The largest woodpecker is the Mexican Imperial Woodpecker and it has a 58 cm bill.
  • The black skimmer skims the surface of the water in search of fish. The lower mandible of the skimmer's beak is longer than the upper, enabling it to scoop up fish and crustaceans for a meal.
  • Fossilised flamingo footprints, estimated to be seven million years old, have been found in the Andes mountains.
  • Fossil evidence indicates that the group from which flamingos evolved is very old and existed about 30 million years ago, before many other avian orders had evolved.
  • Flamingo's knees are located close to the body and are not externally visible, while their ankles are located about halfway up the leg, making their long legs appear to bend backwards.
  • Flamingos' feather colouration comes from a diet in alpha and beta carotenoid pigments found in the algae and various insects that make up the staples of a flamingo's diet. Flamingo feathers lose their colour once they have been molted or discarded by the bird.
  • The flamingo neck is long and sinuous, with 19 vertebrae, allowing for maximum movement or twisting.
  • Flamingos spend about 15 to 30 percent of their time during the day preening with their bills. An oil gland near the base of the tail secretes oil that the flamingo distributes throughout its feathers for waterproofing.


A list of free image-hosting websites

Here is a list of websites where you could upload images for free. Some of them also offer additional options of uploading other non-image file types such as .avi or .mp3 too!

1. PP upload
2. File jumbo
3. Tiny Pic



on Megawati-worshipping in Bali

Personally I am always astounded at the level of adoration the Balinese people had always put on Megawati.


I mean, everyone knows very well that Megawati's grandmother was a Balinese....so what, then? Does a Balinese grandmother guarantees that she would have the Balinese character of being a down-to-earthly person?

In my opinion, she is nothing more than a mute politician: have you ever seen her making any intelligible speech on the podium?


So why do the Balinese still adore Megawati, then?

Please stop supporting her.

In case you Balinese have not realised, she was the president in charge who had made the Balinese tourism suffer hard enough; it was during her administration that she approved that Visa-on-Arrival which contributes to one of the sheer number of factors which deter foreign tourists from visiting Bali.

The five years that she ruled Indonesia was already boring enough, I really hope that we will not have another five.

Albeit the incumbent is not necessarily much better, at least he has some sort of charisma and ability to make a decent speech in English.

From what I have heard, the political parties of Golkar and Gerindra have been gaining grounds in the province, which had previously been loyalists of PDI-P (the party led by Mega).

Great move, I love it.


How I find French a sexist language

I do not know if this kind of sexism also holds true for other Romance languages, but the French language has one obvious sexism that could barely escape notice:

The word "they" for male (ils) could include male and females alike...regardless of the number of females. Hence, a group membership which consists of 101 members (100 female and ONE male) would still be called ils in the personal pronoun.

The murder of that ONE man would left the group membership to a 'clean' number of 100 women. By then, we can call them elles.



To know whether someone's English pronunciation is good enough, test him/her with this one word: "asked".

One who is not used to speaking English would pronounce every single letter on that particular word, hence the awkward succession from letter k to letter d.

On the other hand, one who is used to real British/American (or Aussies, as not to alienate them) accent of English would pronounce "Asked" with an almost silent k.


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