Indo-lyric: Teruskanlah (Agnes Monica)

English translation:

Go on

Have you ever spoken
yet not listened to
not deemed
at all

Have you ever been unguilty
yet are blamed
not given
any chance

Whom am I living with
you don't know whom
you're my lover but
you're a stranger to me

only occupied with yourself
just living with your world
go on.. go on..
be like that

You don't know me
I'm a statue to you
love is not
your need

back to Reff

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Pernahkah kau bicara
Tapi tak didengar
Tak dianggap
Sama sekali

Pernahkan kau tak salah
Tapi disalahkan
Tak diberi

Reff :
Kuhidup dengan siapa
Ku tak tau kau siapa
Kau kekasihku tapi
Orang lain bagiku

Kau dengan dirimu saja
Kau dengan duniamu saja
Teruskan lah.. Teruskan lah
Kau begitu

Kau tak butuh diriku
Aku patung bagimu
Cinta bukan

kembali ke Reff


Indonesian norm of watching porn together between guys

Indonesian males consider it normal to watch porn together with their fellow guys. I personally find it disturbing.

Now let’s not be a hypocrite like those conservative clerics by saying that pornography would cause this and that and other what-nots, but it is indeed a disturbing thing to watch such movies together with other people of the same sex.

Face it…weird, ain’t it?

Pornography is supposedly for private consumption: it’s not supposed to be watched with anyone else (unless you’re about to practice the movie itself with your partner). And in the West, they don’t watch it with people of their own gender unless they’re having a gay orgy.

Gee, what a wonder.


My Mind

by Nadine Kamarwan

You enter a maze and you're instantly lost
A puzzle that can never be solved
Where fantasy and reality mix
Call it "something not broken, that still can be fixed"

With screws, coils and all the gears
A being that grows bigger with years
Something filled to the brim, yet still so vast
With plans for the future and dreams of the past

The worries of the present, wild and untamed
Carefree happiness with rage inflamed
Total chaos with a sense of order
Freakishly insane from border to border

From softened stories to cold, hard truths
Like the filled-up shelves of an empty booth
Like the most common thing you could ever see
To the weirdest things that something could be

Sarcasm, irony, wit and charm
Dangerous but they do no harm
The most peculiar thing you could ever find
That is how I describe my mind


Girls holding hands: why is it acceptable?

I personally find it amusing that the society considers it normal for two girls to hold hands while walking down the pavement…while the same thing would cause straightforward scorn and raises suspicions of homosexuality when applied to guys.

Hey, that’s unfair.


Stance on premarital sex repositioned

It may seem kinda blatant for me, a 19-year-old who had lived most of his life in a largely conservative country called Indonesia, to be frank about my views on sex.

But what the hell.

I used to put a big No-no for premarital sex, but as Rob had once told me that I’d change, I think I have to reposition myself on this stance.

No, I no longer think of premarital sex as a taboo. But I only think that it’s only appropriate when done between two consenting adults when they are mentally and financially ready.

C’est tout.


How to smuggle food pass the airport check without having to pay duties

A family member of mine (I couldn’t tell here who it was, and for the sake of anonymity, let’s call him H) once smuggled a lot of food when he entered USA without having to pay a single pence for duties.

How did it pass the X-ray?

He told me how.

It may be a classic trick to some, but to me it seems kinda smart so I’ve decided to share it here anyway.

“What do you bring? Could you open your suitcase, Sir?” asked the immigration officer.

“Sure. No problem” H answered, unzipping the suitcase for the officer.

A stench smell reeked.

“Ugh..Yuck! What the hell is that?”

H answered nonchalantly, “Dirty laundry…I haven’t got the chance to wash them for a week”

“Now that’s disgusting. Go, close that suitcase back!” he seemed annoyed with all that smell.

In the X-ray, the food and clothes lumped together without any clear distinction between each, so it was indeed credulous enough for H with his ingenious trick.

On the bottom of the suitcase, he packed all those food stuff into one, and on the top of them, he stuffed a lot of dirty clothes.


Neighbour drink spilling accident

I was reminded of one accident that made me forever careful when borrowing a friend's stuff. It was 1996 in Richmond, Virginia (yes, 13 years ago).

That time a friend lent me his storybook about dinosaur. I couldn't recall whether it was a storybook or an educational one, but one thing for sure was that an interest in reading had largely been cultivated by Mom since I was small.

This neighbour of mine was initially reluctant to lend me the item, but in the end he gave it anyway (much to the coaxing of her Mom).

Then it happened.

I accidentally bumped into a jar and spilled orange juice into that book, which instantly soaked it wet. Mom and I who witnessed that incident quickly paid more attention into the book than the spilled jar.

Unfortunately, what had happened had happened.

So there I was, back at my neighbour's house, with Mom on my side giving me full encouragement so that I myself could make the formal apology. They didn't show any sign of anger, but this friend of mine surely did show a sign of remorse...why had he chosen to lend an untrustworthy friend an important item anyway?

It didn't shatter our friendship though.

Several weeks later, he bought a handheld gaming device (I couldn't recall what it was called, since those are the days before the Gameboy-era).

To my surprise, he didn't show any reluctance when he offered to lend me his device.

But unfortunately, it was her Mom who had lost trust in me.

She came over to my apartment, and politely demanded back the device to me and my Mom. It was all done in good manners of course, since my Mom and his had a quite cordial relation.

I was disappointed. A lot.

But truth be told, it was a lesson to be learned. If someone had lost trust in you because of your own fault, you only have yourself to be blamed.


Indo-lyric: Status palsu (Vidi Aldiano)

English translation:

Fake status

Half of my heart is with you
and I continue with this love
trying to be your lover
I tricked you
I told you I love you
but that's the best I've given
you're not a choice
bcoz there isn't any passion for you

I feel forced to love you
just for a fake status
half-heartedly I get involved with this love
bcoz I don't like you
I give you my love
though not as pure as my heart

I hope you'll never know
my love for you
is merely on the lips
the heart has not in the least spoken
I hope all this time
you don't know that actually
I'm not in love

back to Reff

if only I could be the kind of man
you've always wanted

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Separuh hati denganmu
Kujalani cintaku
Berusaha tuk jadi kekasih
Aku menipu dirimu
Ku bilang cinta padamu
Tapi dariku itu yang terbaik
Kau bukan pilihan
Karena ku tak sedikitpun Hasratku padamu

Reff :
Terpaksa aku mencintai dirimu
Hanya untuk status palsu
Setengah hati kujalani cinta
Karena aku tak suka denganmu
Kuberikan cintaku
Meski tak stulus hatiku

Kuharapkan engkau tak pernah tau
Rasa cintaku padamu
Hanya dibibir saja
Tak sedikitpun hati bicara
Semoga selama ini
Kau tak tau bahwa sesungguhnya
Aku tak mencinta

kembali ke Reff

Jika aku bisa menjadi lelaki pujaan
Yang selalu engkau impikan


Do you know that positive thinking can actually make you feel worse?

Good news for pessimists. You haven’t been living the wrong thing all along.

Repeating positive statements to yourself doesn’t appear to help people with low self-esteem, according to a new study. Researchers asked students to repeat statements like “I am a lovable person” to themselves, then measured their mood. Those with low self-esteem typically wound up feeling worse, the Washington Post reports.

The results fly in the face of self-help orthodoxy. “From at least as far back as Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking, the media have advocated saying favorable things to oneself,” the researchers wrote. “At this moment thousands of people across North America are probably silently repeating positive statements to themselves.”

Apparently true, at least in my own case.

Keep repeating the phrase “I am having a good fortune!” over and over again while the fact remains that you have just been fired, now broke, and having three children to send to school does not necessarily heighten your self-esteem… On the contrary, you worsen it.

(because such paradoxical phrases makes you realise how UNLUCKY you actually are).

If you still don’t get it, try watching the paradox of positive-thinking in Yes-Man movie.

Ah, and the above “fired and broke” thingy doesn’t have anything to do with my own life… I was just citing an example.

Albeit a very similar one.


New World

by Winnie Aisha Y.

SMP Labschool Kebayoran

This is the gate to the new world
The sky is crimson red,
It is burning with forty degrees of humanity
This is the scene when
A servant separates from its master.

There, white tents are built.
Famine, plague and wars have become our today
This is the new world you insist it to be.

And there were days when you?
The leaders, the nobleman, the educated and the rich
Had gathered and dressed
With masks and multicoloured eyes
Laughing and dancing around a starving boy
Who awaited his death at a vulture's beak.

Is this the new world you had described?
I only see refugees in their homeland
Falling skyscrapers and starless sky behind a midnight curtain
Where could you be?
Did you fall into the space between the earth and its death?

While, on this wounded earth, from far away
I can hear the rattle of guns and rifles.

We are all brothers
Waging war on humanity.

This is the broken gate of the new world.


How late

I have been very occupied (with Twitter and Facebook and my own mind) lately, much to the extent that I have not been able to devote even 10 little minutes everyday for this blog of mine.

Now several things might have seemed to run out of control lately, what with my decision of not taking this particular last chance when I had been offered to do so (I won’t elaborate further here, for fear that it may offend some of my readers).

Another time, folks.

Perhaps, when I have time in the future. But not now, because it’s not the right time, yet.


~post’script. take a look at my linkbar, I have converted most of them into shortened URLs! Haha.


List of links to shorten your URL

I have recently joined Twitter and noticed that the common etiquette there is by converting those long links into a shortened one.

(Some regular readers may note that I'm being self-contradictory with my previous opinion...but hey, people change!)

Some of these links even give you the luxury of picking your own shortened URL such as this post

into a name of your choice:

You could take a random pick from any of these URL shorteners below.

No registration necessary~


A teenager’s insight to the 2009 Indonesian Presidential Election

In this insight, I try to be as objective as possible.

1. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Boediono

Indeed, these couple sells what they have done during the last five years (though SBY should have credited JK more for this, instead of embracing Boediono who had not done much).

Their main selling point is to continue the current hard work in order to achieve more with SBY. Some may be disappointed for SBY’s choice of Boediono though, being a nonparty member and not having much in his resume to begin with.

This couple would have the largest supporter base from Indonesians of all walks of life who deem the incumbent administration’s works as satisfactory.

2. Megawati Soekarnoputri and Prabowo Soebianto

Minorities such as the Chinese and Balinese Hindus are well-known for their unfailing support for Megawati’s PDI-P party. Now since Bali (which originally has the biggest fan base for PDI-P) has recently ‘converted’ some of their regions into a Gerindra (Prabowo’s party) supporter base, it would be a safe bet that this couple would win most of the hearts in Bali and Lombok.

Most of those who are discontent with the current SBY administration and has little awe for JK’s running mate Wiranto would have no other choice but Megawati. Though some may still view Prabowo suspiciously, what with all the allegations of him having been involved in the tortures and kidnappings during the New Order; some people may be able to see him as an effectively populist politician.

Together with Mega, Prabowo indeed sells toward the rural communities and minority groups.

3. Jusuf Kalla and Wiranto

These two have the largest penchant towards an Islamic-based politics… Gains the largest support from the Islamic parties, allegedly due to their wives who wear headscarves.

Some may still view the vice presidential candidate Wiranto with suspicion though, particularly due to his shady past as a General (a similar case with Prabowo).

With Jusuf Kalla a top guy in the Golkar party (the richest party in Indonesia) and Wiranto a former Golkar himself, they are sure to have faithful support among Golkar loyalists, who long to have their old glory during Soeharto’s New Order back on the politics (minus the kidnappings and tortures though).


Indo-lyric: Tuhan tolong (Derby Romero)

English translation:

God help

I feel the love vibration
in every single glance of her eyes
if I try to go away
will I ever be able to face this fact

oh God help me
don't let me
fall for her

bcoz if that should happen
someone would get hurt
God help me

though it feels beautiful
if only I could be with her
but I still have to hang on
guarding the love that I've kept previously

Original lyric in Indonesian:

ku rasa getaran cinta
di setiap tatapan matanya
andai ku coba tuk berpaling
akankah sanggup ku hadapi kenyataan ini

oh Tuhan tolonglah aku
jangan lah kau biarkan diriku
jatuh cinta kepadanya

sebab andai itu terjadi
akan ada hati yang terluka
tuhan tolong diriku

walaupun terasa indah
andaikan ku dapat juga dirinya
namun ku harus tetap bertahan
menjaga cinta yang tlah lebih dulu ku jalani


Why Afgan is so popular among Indonesian ladies

Afgan is not the typical basketball player-type of guy.

And he’s not a rocker.

Despite all his simplicity in glasses and chequered shirt and black trousers (which makes him look like the nerd next door), Indonesian ladies love him.

Or perhaps, that is why they love him. Behold people, simplicity is the new black.


Silk and the creatures that create it

The following text is originally lifted from the trivia section of The Jakarta Post dated Saturday, 15 November 2008.

~Compiled from various sources~

  • Male silkworm moths have such a keen sense of smell they can detect a sexy female moth 10.5 km away.
  • Members of the silkworm moth family have been raised in China since 2697 BC, where the methods are silk production had been a closely guarded secret. Anyone caught removing these insects from China was executed. However, in 55 AD two monks hid some silkworm moths in their canes and smuggled them to Constantinople.
  • The careful attention to the rearing of silkworms determines the quantity and quality of the silk. So concerned were the ancient Chinese that any worm out of synchronisation with the rhythm and transformation of the majority of worms would be buried or fed to fish to avoid any variation in the silk produced.
  • One silkworm can spin a thread almost a kilometre long.
  • It takes about 110 domestic silkworm cocoons to make a man’s tie and 630 cocoons to make one silk blouse.
  • More than 25,000 cocoons are needed to make a pound of silk.
  • It takes about 4.5 kilograms of mulberry leaves for silkworms to be able to manufacture 0.45 kilograms of cocoons, which can be spun into a silk thread over 160 kilometres long.
  • Bombyx mori, a silkworm moth, has been cultivated for so long that it can no longer exist without human care. Because it has been domesticated, it has lost the ability to fly and needs to be handfed.
  • Louis Pasteur saved French’s silkworm industry. When the industry in southern France was dealt a staggering blow by a disease that was killing the silkworms, the call for help went out for Pasteur – no one but Pasteur. Pasteur’s solution on locating a tiny parasite infecting silkworms and the mulberry leaves that were fed to them was drastic, but rational: destroy all infested worms and infected food. It was done. It worked. The silk industry was saved.
  • It takes about ten pounds of mulberry leaves to enable silkworm caterpillars to manufacture one pound of cocoons – which can be spun into a silk thread more than 100 miles long.


Should the incumbents be quoted as the nominees?

The election is drawing near, and one thing we could notice in the Indonesian papers is this:

Both Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) and Jusuf Kalla (JK) are addressed as presidential nominees.

While the fact remains obvious that both of them are still holding office with the far more respectable positions as president and vice president, respectively.

If I’m not mistaken, last year the American press quoted Obama and McCain as Senator Obama and Senator McCain respectively, instead of “Presidential nominee Obama/McCain”.

If the press choose to speak in terms of elections, that I could understand.

What I could not understand is when the incumbents are somehow degraded to a lower position as nominees… Should they not actually be quoted by the media with their current office?


If not for Napoleon, America would be speaking French today (and so does the rest of the world)

If there is one person whom the French people should admire and hate most, it would be Napoleon.

Sure, he was credited for the French revolution. And he is probably the most famous French person ever lived (ask any random Pakistanis or Russians or Mexicans down the street for any French names they know, and it would be more likely for them to mention Napoleon instead of Sarkozy or Victor Hugo).

Despite all the fame and glory he had had in his life, Napoleon should also take the blame for the current linguistic ranks of the world, which places the importance of English, Spanish, Mandarin and Hindi at the top four, while French should be content with gaining the No.5 spot.

Napoleon was the main culprit who caused a large drain in the French coffers while he ruled, hence the Louisiana Purchase, a negotiation between the French and the English government to exchange a large chunk of what is now USA....with an equally enticing large sum of cash.

Really, USA should have been a largely French colonial (with the original French colonies extending from the current state of Louisiana to the Midwestern states such as Montana and Utah)....if not for Napoleon who sold it to the English.

The result as we can see today, Americans speak English because they inherit it from the Britons.

As simple as that.

The Article of Confederation might have been written in English, but if history had been different, it is more likely that the No.1 language in America today would be French, while English nestles as the main language in the Eastern states such as Virginia or Boston (which have never been parts of French territories anyways).


Indo-lyric: Andai Selamanya (Ello)

English translation:

If only it lasts forever

If only we're still together
you'd surely get hurt even more
now I really regret
bcoz you're no longer here

Give me one more chance
to love you again
how I'd love to turn back time
and repeat our love story

Ooo... huuu... how void...
Ooo... my life is without yours

Forgive me scold me
hurl everything on me
as long as you're happy
This is the promise of my loyalty
my love for you... is forever...

Yeaa yeaa yeaa...
This is me forgive me
Don't you scorn at my mistakes hu... hu... hu...

My love for you...
is forever

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Andai kita masih bersama
Pasti kau kan terus terluka
Sungguh sungguh aku sesali
Karna kini kau tlah pergi

Kasih beri aku kesempatan
Untuk tuk mencintaimu lagi
Ingin ingin ku bisa memutar waktu
Dan mengulang kisah kita

Ooo... huuu... hampanya...
Ooo... hidupku tanpa hidupmu

Maafkanlah aku caci diriku
Luapkan saja semua
Asalkan engkau bahagia
Ini janjiku janji setiaku
Cintaku untukmu... selamanya...

Yeaa yeaa yeaa...
Inilah aku ampuni aku
Jangan kau melihat kesalahanku hu... hu... hu...

Cintaku untukmu...


The extremely offensive connotation of the word "bitchy" in Indonesia

One of the marked differences you get when you happen to be an Indonesian living abroad is that you learn new connotations of an English word you thought you have known all along.

Here I'll discuss the word "bitchy".

In Indonesia, when one describes another person with the English word "bitch" (or related adjectives thereof), most people would quickly translate it literally according to what they see in the English-Indonesian dictionary (i.e. "female dog" or "prostitute").

On the other hand, while it is still commonplace for native English speakers to translate that word literally, those Anglophones tend to take on a less offensive connotation of it.

As most of us know, most Anglophones rarely mean it condescendingly when we use the word "bitch". Some are even proud to call themselves "bitches", because today it is increasingly translated as "a sharp-tongued person"


20 things you might not know about Barack Obama

  1. He has two Grammy awards for recording his best-selling books, “Dreams from My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope”
  2. His mother and father met in a Russian language class at the University of Hawaii.
  3. His father, a goat herder as a child, was a member of the Luo tribe in Kenya.
  4. As a child in Indonesia he was introduced to snake meat and roasted grasshopper. His stepfather, Lolo Soetoro, presented him with a pet monkey, “Tata”.
  5. While living in Indonesia, his mother would wake him at 4 a.m. for three hours of English lessons before he went to school.
  6. At Harvard Law School he applied to appear in a black pride pin-up calendar. He was rejected by an all-female committee.
  7. He met his wife, Michelle, while she was his adviser one summer at a corporate law firm in Chicago. She also is a Harvard Law School graduate.
  8. On his first date with his wife, they had ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins in Chicago. (One of his jobs as a ateen was scooping ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins.)
  9. His favourite movies include Casablanca, The Godfather films, Lawrence of Arabia and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
  10. During his community organising days, some residents in Chicago dubbed him “baby face” because of his youthful looks.
  11. He considers his worst habit to be checking his Blackberry.
  12. His prized possession is a photograph of the cliffs of Oahu’s South Shore, where his mother’s ashes are scattered.
  13. He is a good – but cautious – poker player who joined other lawmakers in Springfield, Illinois, for weekly games. They dubbed their group “The Committee”
  14. His music favourites include Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Yo-Yo Ma, Bruce Springsteen and jazz legends Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker.
  15. He carries good luck charms, including a gambler’s lucky chit, a tiny Madonna and child, and a bracelet belonging to a soldier deployed in Iraq.
  16. He announced his campaign at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous “house divided” speech.
  17. His office wall has a framed original programme from the 1963 March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I have a dream” speech.
  18. He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali.
  19. He keeps on his desk a carving of a wooden hand holding an egg, a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life.
  20. He doesn’t like to shop.


Curry as a Japanese-Italian blend

Around a week back Dins and I discussed what we were going to have for lunch in Senayan City. She wanted Japanese, while I was in the mood for Italian.

So I teasingly offered a (literally) middle agreement: right between Italy and Japan is India, right? So off for Indian food we went.

(we ended up having Japanese though, since neither of our taste buds have that much predilection for Indian cuisine)


Golden rosary

Four years ago there was an ad on a Catholic Singaporean newspaper showing a Golden rosary.

Its caption made Stanford and me laugh. It more or less said:

“Have this golden rosary with you… it only makes you wanna pray more!”

We let out a big ZWT, wondering if the beads’ appearance really had anything to do with making us more devout Catholics.


A shameful parade

The other day in my French class (just a few days before he departed to Paris), Raynd was caught by one of my classmates with his zipper open.

Prita happened to be the one who noticed first. Then she notified some others who also kept a giggle of the class.

After the whole class had known the story, we broke laughter in unison.

Madam queried, “Why? What’s so funny?”

Prita then asked rhetorically, “Madam, Quest-ce que c’est ‘zipper’ en français?”

It would not be that embarrassing if our class was just a normal class, with a roughly equal divide between males and females. But it was a French class, where there were merely three of us the guys for every 10 girls.


Indo-lyric: Percayakan (Lyla)

English translation:


Do you believe in poets
ink you those beautiful words
fly you to the moon

Do you believe in suitors
shower you thousands of golden words
freshens your day

If you don't want a poem it's okay
If you don't believe in suitors it's okay too

But entrust your heart in me
if you'd like to, I'll guard it well
entrust me as a frame of your heart

Original lyric in Indonesian:

Percayakah kau akan pujangga
Menggoreskan tinta akan kata-kata indah
Terbangkanmu ke awan

Percayakah kau akan penyair
Memujamu dengan seribu kata-kata anggun
Menyejukkan harimu

Bila kau tak inginkan puisi oh tak apa
Bila kau tak percaya penyair pun tak apa

Tapi percayakan hatimu padaku
Bila kau inginkan aku akan slalu menjaganya
Percayakan aku untuk jadi bingkai hatimu


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