Shout Out for Change

I will start by concluding my post: Indonesia is getting worse day by day.

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Retrieved from Google 21 June 2017. All rights reserved.

It is not that I have any grudge against the country but this just too ridiculous and shameful. First of all, I think the world know pretty well about the Indonesian governor, Ahok, who was accused for blasphemy and got two years period of imprisonment. While I read everything from the news so I cannot be 100% sure but here is how I see it. I believe that as soon as his unfavorable comment was said, he was accused for blasphemy right away. The case went to the court and he was called for trial, a lot of march against him and Christian in general. The case was rather lengthy due to time clash with the capital governor’s election. Anyway, the funny thing was, right after he lost the election, he was announced guilty and sentenced for two years in jail. I don’t know him, I am not his supporter or whatsoever, so I kind of in a neutral position but even from this perspective, I can see rotten play in this case as described by the New York Times. I am no lawyer but since I am pretty familiar with money power in Indonesia, I am pretty confident to say there is something more than just blasphemy behind the conviction of this governor. This first issue, you might think, Indonesia is ok, this happened everywhere because this is just how politics role. I agree so lets proceed.

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Retrieved from Google 21 June 2017. All rights reserved.

Second highlighter point is; muslimisation of the country. As a country with the biggest muslim population, it has always been a goal for some interest group to make the country an islam country but after the blasphemy case, it just got worse. More than a few groups expressed their desire to change Indonesia to an Islam country, the most recent was this university group (the article is in Indonesian but Google translation pretty much capture the right meaning). Once again, since I am not living there nor do I want to stay there in the future (if possible) thus once again, I am trying to look at things from a neutral perspective. There was a viral response to the previous video of university oath which showed the reactions from the veteran who fought for the independence of Indonesia, their responses were heart-breaking to me, as you know, I am sensitive. But knowing their history and their current condition and their disappointed faces, it just a little too much…
Moving on, still about muslimisation, the biggest interest group to this rally in Indonesia is Front Pembela Islam (FPI). They are the people who claimed to represent the islam in the country, not that I ever believe in representation but anyway, I ain’t muslim so I don’t really understand their practice but the attitude of people in this group were terrible. The most recent issue including the head of FPI charged to pornography crime, and FPI asked children to accompany a march against Ahok while shouting ‘Kill him, kill him’, read through BBC. Is this how religious people should act like? Oh BTW, FPI head reported fled to Saudi Arabia and claimed to never come back…
Moreover, analyzing their actions through Google, nothing nice ever came up as far as I concern; actually more like criminal record, clashes with other group, a lot of political march, etc (source: Wikipedia, again it’s in Indonesian but since the sentences are short, Google translate is enough). Last point in this topic, as long as I could remember, the crime rate in Indonesia has always reported increase in the period near Ramadhan. Again, not sure about the practice but do you think you can do bad things and get forgiven after Ramadhan? I think that is too much to ask. I should highlight that I don’t despise islam, I believe that it is a good religion, not better or worse than other religions. It’s more of the people, they are persuasive but their way of doing is not correct to my standard, though looking at the trend, it’s leaning there. Indonesian, do you really want to be led there, that kind of Islam country? Doooomm…

Point three, about attitude. Earlier this week, the Indonesia Open 2017 was held in the capital. It is more like an international badminton match and has been a respectable event, well at least until couple days ago. Since badminton is one of the country’s best sport, it was no wonder that most of Indonesian teams reached top stage, including the male double. Last Saturday, they played Denmark’s pair Mathias Boe/Carsten Mogensen and lost fair and square. Nothing scandalous, except for the foul comments by the spectators which was disrespectful to the Denmark players, to be fair actually threatening remarks. When I saw it, I felt so shameful. Even though it was a home play but I felt sport world should be at least respectful. If you want all Indonesia’s opponent to just ‘GO HOME’, then just don’t bother to invite them at all, this is stupid.
While I am not saying Indonesian have bad attitude, but they are just too easily get provoked by their surroundings. Around the world of course there are people like this, but there are just too much in this country. You can prove it by following Indonesian social media, most often in Twitter, whenever something came up then it will soon be a trending hashtag. Seldom people care of the truthfulness of the news and share it anyway just to show that they are up-to-date. I once read a report that Indonesia is one of the country in which social media user was the most gullible in the net, not sure where and honestly, I cannot find the page now, but I personally agree so I mentioned it here; apparently, some people also agree.

Okay, this seems like a pretty long post but with one conclusion: Indonesia is getting worse day by day. Though informally, everyone have to change, but this change needed a push, hard push. Let people understand what is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika and what is Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia should be. With all respect, do you think that this push could be initiate from the top, @Jokowi?
Thank you.

What About Now?

Image result for one love manchester
Retrieved from Google.com on 5 June 2017. All rights reserved.

This morning when I swiped through my Instagram account, one of my friend posted a video on One Love Manchester concert. As has been announced, not only Ariana Grande but several other big names also performed as a tribute to the terror victims. I am not a kind of person who is interested with music concert or any of the artist’s fan, but I don’t know why I got the urge to watch it so I YouTube “tribute concert Manchester 2017” and just click on the first video with Ariana on the profile. It is actually the tribute speech by Ariana and I got this bitter feeling while listening to her, in which my tears actually fell. Then I try to find “Where is the Love” – Black Eyed Peas just because I know the lyrics pretty well, but hands up for them, they adjusted some fractions in the rap part to fit in the current world condition: terrorism. Moving on, “Don’t Look Back in Anger” and “Fix You” – Coldplay were also moved me to tears. I don’t know if I was just being too sentimental about everything but I am just feeling extremely sad. The concert I think lasted pretty long, at least from noon to night, and even though I have no relative of friends who are directly related to the incident, I really appreciate the tribute concert. There has been three attacks happened in the United Kingdom in the past three months, two in London, one in Manchester, so it must be hard for them to have calm and stable emotion, but STAY STRONG !

Then maybe because of the melancholic feeling, I decided to play one of my favorite song by Daughtry – “What About Now”. The song is 11 years old (I think) but this is the first time when I really want to pay attention to the video. Well, I found myself crying again because of this (It is a video of world’s condition with What About Now in the background music).

Image result for what about now daughtry before its too late
Retrieved from Google.com on 5 June 2017. All rights reserved.

Anyway peeps, I am not good with sad things neither with my words. But I just want to share the burden of this heavy feeling with whoever I reading (or maybe just with

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Retrieved from Google.com on 5 June 2017. All rights reserved.

the internet world). Here is a random word scribbles about how I feel this morning:

“Sometimes, even when nothing happened,
without any cause,
I just feel sad.
No explanation thus no remedy,
I want to cry, but I don’t know why.
Might be the sadness accumulated inside,
might be just a spur moment of agony,
But the heavy feeling inside is exhausting”

Huh?! Chinese Drama~

Recently I have been indulging myself into Chinese drama. Now I know some of you have this impression like

“HUH?”

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Retrieved from Google on 24 May 2017. All rights reserved.

I never watch any Korean or Japanese or other dramas, so I cannot make any comparison but I honestly enjoying these series. The genre I watch is comedy romance Chinese drama and in the end of this post I will give some recommendations.

WARNING: Before watching a random Chinese drama, make sure to check it’s rating and warning on explicit content and age restriction.

If you are not convinced, I would give some good reasons to give a try on these titles;
– Practice listening and reading (automatic Chinese subtitle) Chinese;
– Learn the culture in China.
Of course, the stories are exaggerated but to some degree there is enough truth that I can extract from them. I know it is a standard because most of the titles I watched have the same implicit behavior. Ok, so here are what I realized:

Heavy inequality problem, large living standard gap in the society. It is amazing to see the high class restaurants and hotels choice available in the region, it is very luxurious and might be even better than any settings in the Hollywood movies. Not only that, the rich could also do whatever they want, little thing but the most apparent is to receive or to make a call during working hours, normal workers have to whisper all the time (though apparently they still able to pick them up which mostly unlikely). But anyway, that is what I called privilege of the rich.

Next, harassment issue. Again, nearly every movies I found (in the genre) contained harassment, for it light such as verbal harassment to heavy one. To me this indicates that in Chinese culture, harassment issue have a quite deep root. But since it is never easy to spot harassment, I am not the one to judge.

Lastly on this post, business culture. Before this I have heard a phrase called “guan xi” which in English have similar meaning to “connection”. A lot of stories incorporate usual usage of connection and also black money. Of course in general business is related heavily to connection but through watching these movies, I just got a feeling that it might play more important role in China than how I thought before.

Note that while typing this post, my half soul is focusing on another drama, so my opinion might be biased. But anyway, if you have too much time on hands, you might want to check this list out;

  1. [currently watching] Ode to Joy (歡樂頌)
    Retrieved from Google on 24 May 2017. All rights reserved.

    Talking about life of five working girls of different background. Family, love and work issues are included.
    Could be quite heavy for people who have the same experiences but I like it because there are no too much explicit sexuality. For viewer without much knowledge on Chinese culture, through this series you could see more Chinese older culture such as parents arranged dates, age to marry, work success, stereotypes, etc. Quite long series I should say: 42 episodes in season 1 and 22 more in season 2.  While I skipped some episodes due to predictability but this serial is good since they speak pretty slowly.

  2. My Sunshine (何以笙簫默)
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    Retrieved from Google on 24 May 2017. All rights reserved.

    Mainly about a couple that met in college but separated afterwards due to misunderstanding. They met again couple years after with their own circumstances.
    This is my number one, I really love this series due to it’s sweet romance and so many unrevealed stories in the beginning that started to make sense after. Honestly, for some people it might be boring due to it being predictable and repetitive flashbacks but the best thing about this c-drama is you can taste the drama by watching the director’s cut version (4 episodes vs original 36 episodes). Oh explicit content.

  3. Love 020 ~ A Smile is Beautiful (微微一笑很傾城)
    Retrieved from Google on 24 May 2017. All rights reserved.

    Story of a couple that get connected to each other through online game.
    While the story only focused heavily on a couple but there was no real male or female perspective. They are equally proportioned so it felt like watching from third person’s perspective. I like it due to its simplicity and seemingly pretty real, so smooth and pretty good laugh for 30 episodes.

  4. Far Away Love (遠得要命的愛情)

    Retrieved from Google on 24 May 2017. All rights reserved.

    Friendship between three women and one man sharing their life and love worries and laughter. One main couple that forced upon each other while another looking for their other half apple.
    I will attach tragedy tag to this title as I cried pretty much while I watched this and I like it for it. It is one of the funniest and stupidest but if I remember correctly, I did not skip any of its 36 episodes~

  5. One and a Half Summer (一又二分之一的夏天)
    Retrieved from Google on 24 May 2017. All rights reserved.

    A group of college students’ hardship to make a good band. One of them came just to try to find his love but romance is never simple. Conflicts started to happen between them and things just got more complicated until the end, there was no end.
    That is the most annoying thing of this series, no clear ending. But the music is nice and the main characters are so energetic and it has only 27 episodes.

There are some other titles I found such as Best Time (最美的時光, 40 episodes), My Amazing Boyfriend (我的奇妙男友, 28 episodes) and Diamond Lover (克拉戀人, 68 episodes with director’s cut version). I found these because I like the acting skill of some actors or the director. Chinese drama in general have more than one perspective and boring beginning, so sometimes I skip some scenes (haha). Knowing this, one thing you need to prepare before watching Chinese drama is patience, if you have it then you are good to go~ Have fun watching!

Three Days and Two Nights in Taipei

It started because I need to go to Taipei to take a test but I have problem financially. I addressed my concern to friends in the hostel so they told me why not try hitchhike? I questioned the safety of it but I did my research anyway. I found a Facebook group of hitchhikers in Taiwan and thus I posted this on the wall and waited for response.

Two days before designated day, just when I was about to give up hoping, someone dropped me a message and offered to go hitchhike together. But on the day the day decided to cry hard and she decide to not go to Taipei anymore. I thought I got no choice but to go by bus but then she told me she could accompany me until I got a ride, even under the rain. I am so touched and so I decided to give it a try. Luckily, when we arrived on the spot, the rain has settled down and so we stood in front of the highway entrance. Holding this sign:

I know I know this is incorrect, should put the chinese upper and larger but anyway it is already better than my first try:

Anyway, we talked quite a lot about her travel experience and mine, half an hour passed and no car stopped, we were quite tired and thinking to change spot but then a car honked at us. Sadly he was not heading to taipei but halfway to miaoli, since I am stupid and has no money, I decided to not take the offer cause I might get lost in miaoli and ended up using more money. But this car gave me energy to keep waiting. Around minute 60, yes an hour, a car with couple inside honked on us and told us they can drop mw off in outskirt taipei since they are going to Taoyuan for Coldplay concert. YEAH finally!

The ride lasted for nearly two hours and we talked a lot about travel experience and a little bit of personal life, work and study also of course Coldplay songs. Well long story short I arrived in Yong Ning and I need to go to Sun Yat Shen memorial station = 45 TWD. I thought since I arrived early let me just walk station to station for sightseeing and maybe could reduce the cost. So I walked from there to Far Eastern Hospital. Though it was a long walk, I did not regret because I got to see these cherry trees and cherry blossoms, so pretty!

Then I took the MRT to Shandao temple and walk to my Couchsurfing host home. It was also my first Couchsurfing experience so I kind of nervous. My host turned out to be super nice and friendly. Her house also very cozy and spacious. I just realized how tired I was (oh yes I went to class in the morning before hitchhiking) so not long after I just collapsed. The next day she brought me to university and couple tourist spots while telling me some cultural and historical information with scooter! That was my first time riding one and I am lovin’ it~ The weather was not clear thus we cannot hike the mountain to see all Taipei but it is OK, maybe next time. After dinner in the night market we just go back and talk till midnight. Since I have to go back for class I can only stay those short period so the third day morning my host drop me off in front of the highway to let me find my hitchhike ride. This time I was alone so it is quite boring but since it is near a market some people come by and asked me stuff, gave me advice and even scolded me. First person – grandpa : “Miss, if you stand here with this sign, will anyone really stop by?”

Me: “Well I don’t know but I am trying.”

Second person – another grandpa : “Miss, if you just hold the sign like that the people who drive can’t see, you have to wave your hand like this” he waved his hand energetically

LOL, my response: “Oh yea? Should I do it like this” I waved too and laughed hard “quite embarrassing”

Then more serious one, taxi driver: “You crazy girl, it’s so dangerous to hitchhike, the bus ticket from Taipei to Taichung cost just around 100 (actually it is 290 to be precise), if you hitchhike, bad thing might happened to you and that will be the end for you, you might die!” a bit harshly and then he started to tell the people around me that I am out of my mind in Taiwanese. Well I decided to let it go and due to his shouting another person told me to change to another spot, maybe easier to get a good host. I took the advise and started walking. Then a car honked at me, a couple popped out from the car windows and ask if I am going to Taichung or not and ask if I need money, why don’t I take the bus or train, so on and so forth. I answered them honestly and then they offered to buy me a bus ticket and drive me to the bus station. Of course I didn’t take the offer initially because that would be like I am asking them money and I don’t think it is a good thing so I told them maybe I will just wait a little bit more. But they insisted that it is too dangerous for me to hitchhike and since they have reached out to me so they going to make sure I go to Taichung in the safest way. Long story short again, they bought me ticket and gave me pocket money for lunch and I arrived safely in Taichung.

I cannot believed that all these new experiences happened in just three days.

And yeah, my journey these days hasn’t been easy so internet access also limited. I would love it if I can write some more but these experience is not bad, not bad at all~

Now playing: Kiss the Rain – Yiruma, just because it is raining outside and it feels melancholic~

Making Viral Video More Viral

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Minute 2:50, captured March 15. All rights reserved.

“When we stop putting people in boxes … suddenly, there’s us”.
(Credit: TV 2 Thanks Denmark! and Jay Shetty)

I was so touched and literally cried, twice. I feel that this is one kind of a wake up call for the society, for me. Reminding us that no matter how different we look like, no matter what label given to us by the society is, actually we are never that different from one another. Now of all time, when hate crimes are arising, fanatics are out of control, etc. I think it is very important for us to revisit this fact. Of course, as individuals we are all unique so that we are different but the stress is not us as the whole individual but part of us. For example, I am a student while at the very same moment I am a daughter, also a traveler, a mathematician, a good friend, a dreamer,… so on and so forth. You and me might share one or more of these roles, that make us understand one another because we are facing similar life experience. If we does not share any at all, I might be sharing the feeling of the one you love, people around you, which produced different link between us. Realizing this make discriminating/hating others due to outer appearance, or society label should be out of question. Get to know the other party to understand the other roles they are playing, to get to know their personality and interest, not their outer layer; ethnicity or even religion.

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Captured March 15 from Google. All rights reserved.

Then there is these videos (search:”DNA Journey” in Youtube); kind of have a similar topic with the first one, talking about DNA test result revealed one’s ethnicity origin. Shockingly, you might not came from the place you thought you were from; so say if someone hated another person due to his/her origin but actually they might be related, does it not mean this person should hate him/herself as well as his/her whole family? Then even if there is no family connection, the Small World project proposed that we can always find human link through five to seven steps (on average) of acquaintances also known as six degrees of separation theory.  To be honest, it is too complicated for me but all I need to know is that we are all related, linked through DNA or mutual acquaintances.

 

So to wrap up, hating, discriminating or hurting others just based on outer appearance is too unreasonable for they might share your pain and worries or your joy. Furthermore, DNA knows that you might actually be far far far (or not so far) relative to one another. In general hating someone is not advisable but if you really need to, think about it thoroughly, don’t just basing your hate due to their society/your own label.

Featuring not so related song: Six degrees of separation – The Script.

About Pumpkin Soup and Some Love

“Kitchen is the most dangerous place in the house,”  said my mom always when I was younger. I never hold a knife, use rice cooker or anything. Until high school, the fanciest thing I have ever cook is simple fried rice (rice+egg+sausage+soy sauce+salt+pepper+oil), or if you consider instant noodle is fancy then I can do that too. As mentioned, I went abroad to pursue my university study, during the time, I became the master of microwave cooking, I can cook a lot of different food with microwave but normally without needing knife skill and seasoning.

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Original picture: Pumpkin soup with pumpkin seeds. All rights reserved.

Sometime last week, I was asked to be a translator in a discussion about fine dining plan for 13 people. My friend was asked to cook some French/Italian cuisines for the event and I gladly offered her my assistance in anyway she would find me helpful. Since I thought she knew my extra limited cooking skill, I was expecting to be asked to help in serving, table preparation, translation and washing dishes. But amazingly, she actually trusted me to help her in cooking (of course with her guidance but this does not mean supervision). I kinda cooked the risotto (including one strike of salt and another strike of pepper to the plate!), tasted the pork belly (I think it is belly) and pumpkin soup for flavoring, and I half made meringue… Even though I failed to give the best comments on the flavoring, I was quite proud of the meringue and risotto, (again, actually the meringue kinda failed too). Anyway, it was my first try ever, to actually doing things and made something edible (HAHA). She also taught me about meringue, I made the French type, with raw (powdered) sugar and egg white, the others are Italian (with boiled sugar but not caramel and raw egg white) and Swiss meringue (with sugar and egg white cook to around 50 degrees) 🙂 *she told me yesterday so please feel free to correct me in case my memory decided to play a trick on me*

I stood for super long hours, translated a lot of words and washed countless dishes as expected. Some unexpected such as the emotional tension. Not only in the kitchen, it was about the whole thing, most of the time. The stress is combination of continuous function within two days time interval (if this phrase make sense to you) and problem kept arising like crazy. The physical strength needed, the procedures, the cooking, the everything also beyond my expectation, remember that I never cook for anyone, including myself. All home chefs in the world, you have my respect! So as dish cleaners… it was a very tough job.

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Original picture: Mushroom risotto. All rights reserved.

From this experience, yes I learnt about the cooking, French style fine dining and the harsh time in the kitchen. One thing that I really want to share however, is the importance of INNER PEACE, SELF CONTROL, EMOTION CONTROL, the art of LETTING GO, and most importantly APPRECIATION and RESPECT. My friend was amazing, I screwed up badly on the tasting but she thanked me, I was scared of doing my first meringue but she told me “I teach you and you will be able to do it”, I have no idea about how to serve, how to do plating, and a lot of small and big things but she told me “thank you so much for your help and everything”. Honestly, I felt so touched, respected, supported and positive such that even though it was an extremely exhausting day but I had fun and was still smiling and kind of “happy-drunk” (not because of alcohol cause I did not drink any) that night.

To close the day should I quote myself…
Living a live halfhearted is like eating pumpkin soup cooked without love 

Now watching: Moana ~ nice original soundtracks!

Advice from a Friend

Every person was born as a complete being, one whole person, no more and no less. When we got into relationship, often people will give part of them away to our partner, expecting him/her to give us back part of them to make us feel complete. This kind of relationship is very fragile; when the other party decided to quit the game of love, we will be left with part of us missing and thus make us upset and unhappy a.k.a broken heart-ed. But how can we play it right? No one goes into a relationship expecting to be left behind right, so which is why we give part of us as a symbol of trust. While this was a common thought, I received a very nice saying from a dear friend; this is my interpretation on what she said:
When we are in a relationship, we should not give a part of us away to the other guy. We should keep ourselves whole hence we stay as independent person in relationship. Sound a little bit self-centered and contradicting the relationship idea, but here is my favorite part;
Exact wordings: when we are in relationship we should share part of us, not give it away and thus we stayed as a whole (translated from French)
My interpretation: when we are in relationship, we need to combine ourselves to make value, and share that value together, we  should make ourselves more than a whole such that when the relationship fall apart, we become no less than we were before, actually we should have more due to the value added from the relationship.

I have never been in a relationship before but when I heard my friend told me about this, I really think that this is worth sharing. Relationship failure is one of the major reason of depression (see Wikipedia) and often lead to psychological disease or even suicide cases. Of course one might say that just talk is easy, but to the action which count; how to do it? My friend answered it like this: take a step back, look at your relationship case from third person point of view, try to give yourself advice as a spectator because it is all about perspective. If you can draw yourself away from emotional attachment to your problem, you will know the wisest way to encounter the problem and solve it. I found this is useful not only in relationship context but in generally every problem. Hard but not impossible, practice makes perfect.

Last but not least, though she mentioned it at the very beginning. Your happiness should come from yourself internally, you should not expect external factor to help you to be happy.

Dear Mélyssaa, if you ever read this, I hope I get your meaning correctly. Nevertheless, as I told you, this is a very nice advice and I really hope that this will help someone out there. I would like to elaborate longer but I think that should wait until I experienced it first handed. Thank you so much tho!

Featuring: Mint na Bokura manga by Wataru Yoshizumi. Love and learn :3