Shame on You, Indonesia

I have no grudge towards Indonesia so far, in fact, I never care about them before. But due to the recent occurrence, I am now bending to the hate side. Here is what happened:

So one day, my sister arrived in Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Everything was nice, until the baggage check point. As usual, all luggage must be scanned through the scanning machine, and she complied. However, after the scanning, the officer approached her and asked which one of her luggage is the heaviest (there was several bags). So this by itself does not make sense because they just scanned it and nothing abnormal was found. But anyway, she again complied and told him. The officer asked her to open the bag and so she did. Again, after messing the content, tossing things here and there, NOTHING was found; just clothes and some snacks. The officer pointed at one of the snack in the biggest package and asked what is it. “It is just a snack” (still untouched, sealed perfectly). Guess what, he asked my sister to give it to him because HE WANTS TO TRY IT. Though annoyed she decided to share the snack with him, but what did he do? HE TOSSED THE SNACK TO THE FLOOR (basically throwing it) and just went away. Ah ya, he mentioned no photograph, I guess because he doesn’t want his idiocy documented.
The story above was not the only incident, another relative who went to Indonesia through Soekarno-Hatta airport was asked to hand in money (RMB 100), else they will not let them pass the immigration.

Disclaimer: True story from my sister and relatives, I was not present hence the story might contain underestimation. (read some other cases)

Pretty on the outside, trashy service on the inside, uselessly pretty. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, retrieved from Google on 20 Feb 2018. All rights reserved.

Airport is the first door for foreigners when entering a country. First impression to the country’s infrastructure and services. In Soekarno-Hatta case, while the facilities had improved significantly in the recent decade, the service quality is still as trashy as ever. While I was trying to think about the reason, a thought suddenly dawned to me. I remember someone asked me why despite being a great nation in the past, Indonesia never really able to develop. I got a possible answer: It is because the PEOPLE.

One of the most influential entity towards shaping a person mindset arguably is the education he/she attained. In Indonesia, the education quality is rather poor, where teachers are not a respectable job and the presence of bribery is a public secret. In this kind of environment, it is not hard to imagine what kind of officers are those in the airport. Someone tole me before too that people who are working in government-related entities (so called the “real Indonesian”) are prone to be corrupted (and some are fanatic towards their religion and Indonesians are one of the easiest society to be provoked by fake news, but we will leave this to another post) . One VERY important thing to note, I am NOT saying that Indonesian are all bad and corrupt, I know a lot of smart and bright Indonesians, I am just saying things in general.

I don’t really want to say it but it seems like this crooked behavior had become part of the culture hence no matter how Indonesia wants to improve, if the fundamental is not strengthened, they are deem to fail. By this I mean if the mindset of people does not change, the behavior is not straightened, Indonesia will be like an apple with rotten core; good facilities but trashy people culture. It will not stay pretty for long.

PS: For Indonesians or whoever who read this, feel free to let me know if you disagree, be careful if you go plan to go to Soekarno-Hatta airport because they might want you to bribe (especially if you are Chinese).

Shame on you, Indonesia.


New Year’s Enlightenment

Life is more than the digits in your scale
Life is more than the number in your transcript
Life is more than the amount in your bank account

Life is about the smiles, the tears, the joy and pain
Life is about learning something new, failures and successes
Life is about caring for others, sharing and kindness

Original photo and design by randomwalk 🙂 All rights reserved.

They said “the grass is always greener in the neighbor’s garden”
Thus some people wished to the star to swap place with the other
Imagining the possible goods and best in the life of the other party
Little that they know that everyone has their own problemsBecause life itself is a chain of never ending problems
…or never ending opportunities

So once again, the value of life is not a math that could be calculated
The value of life is not like housing price that can be estimated
The value of life is also not something assigned by anyone but yourself

Thus only oneself can determine where and how their life will be, doing our best while embracing the unexpected ups and downs. Because nothing is constant, not even change if you don’t want it to 🙂

Sort of a Poem

Some people always look up
They failed to put their feet properly on the ground
Some people always look down
They failed to see the opportunity in the sky above
Some people forget to look back
They repeated the same mistake twice
Some people forget to look front
They are bounded by the past
Some people too focused on their right
They unable to see people who stand with them even when they were wrong
Some people too focused on their left
They unable to see the new things coming if only they willing to change

Not really a poem but hope you like it…

Language Just for Fun

Hi everyone, today I was rather bored and I made something that I think pretty fun. I did it without help of google translate, I made the first paragraph with my basic Japanese, translated it Chinese (second worse) then translated to English and finally to my mother tongue. First thing first, I will like to apologize for all the mistakes in any language. I found that I am really not born a writer. But I think this exercise was very fun, thrilling, left me to think hard and cost me around an hour. Feel free to let me know if you spotted grammar mistake, wording mistakes, spelling mistakes, translation mistakes or whatever. Then try! Enjoy~





他家晚上好!很久不見。 這幾短文我用中文寫下。最近我開始學了日語,但是現在還很懶。我從六月開到現在從MEMRISE而且YOUTUBE一直學所以我會說一點了。現在啦,我正在找日本朋友,想要練習我的說話能力。上個星期我找到了一個APP,這個APP很棒而且多方便。從這個APP裡面,我可以和謀生聊天,再說,很多日本人。我的朋友都說這個APP會一點危險,我可不覺得。我認為多小心就不會有什麼問題,你覺得?啊,這個APP是叫TANDEM。如果你有下載,請找我聊天哦~


Good evening everyone! Long time no see. This time I will write in English. Recently I started to learn Japanese, but currently is it still bad. From June up to now, I have been learning from Memrise and Youtube so I can speak a little. Actually I am looking for Japanese friends such that I could practice my Japanese. Last week, I found one application. This application is very powerful! It is also very convenient. This app let me to have a chat with strangers, there are a lot of Japanese there. My friends think that it is a bit dangerous, but I do not mind. I believe I just need to be careful and nothing wrong will happen, right? BTW, this app called Tandem. If you have it, let’s chat sometime.


Selamat malam semua! Lama tak jumpa. Kali ini saya akan menulis dengan Bahasa. Baru baru ini saya mulai menekuni bahasa Jepang, saat ini kemampuan saya masih sangat terbatas.Sejak Juni sampai hari ini, saya belajar melalui Memrise dan Youtube, sehingga saya sedikit sedikit bisa berbicara bahasa Jepang. Saat ini sebenarnya saya sedang mencari teman berbangsa Jepang, untuk melatih bahasa Jepang saya. Minggu lalu, saya menemukan satu aplikasi. Aplikasi ini sangat hebat! Ditambah lagi mudah digunakan. Melalui aplikasi ini, saya bisa berbincang dengan orang lain yang tidak saya kenal. Teman-teman saya merasa aplikasi ini sedikit berbahaya, tapi saya pikir tidak. Asal saya berhati-hati, seharusnya tidak ada masalah, setuju? Oh ya, aplikasi ini bernama Tandem. Jika anda juga terdaftar, mari berbincang!


Define “Dream”!


“Dream – The first thing people abandon when they understand how this world works.”

Retrieved 5 August 2107 from 9Gag. All rights reserved.

When I saw this, it was terrible how strongly related I felt toward this definition of ‘dream’. I spent some time to think about myself. I realized that I don’t have a dream, I have lots of dreams. Looking deeper to each of these dreams, I realized that I no where near any of them. While my dreams are not fairy tales or fictions, I feel that it is so far from my current reach. So far, I had made several attempts on pursuing these dreams, but most, if not all of them failed and I did not move even one step closer. This realization made me frustrated and somehow helpless. But then I try to forget it and move on.

Just couple days ago however, I talked to a friend about my employment progress. I told him that my luck has not improved and subsequently he asked me about the kind of job I applied to. So I told him that I applied to companies that triggered my interests, above and beyond my field of study. Because I firmly believe that if I have to work there then I need to like it first and I am pretty confident with my adaptability and learning ability so getting used to the work could could second. He called this “impossible job”. This caught me off guard. I thought that I am doing what all people are doing, applying to business that interest me, but he told me that most people just apply to job with high probability to get into or so called the “definite-yes” choice, not the impossible one. It left me thinking, maybe I dreamed too much and no wonder I never got a chance because they are in the impossible job category for me. This brought me back to the quote, I think I should grow up, forget fairy tales and get a life.

Retrieved 7 August 2017 from Google. All rights reserved.

That however, I did not do. The idea just did not match my fundamental believe and I know that I cannot do it. I think if I get a normal job and work through it without any interest in it I will actually be stuck, stuck in a world of deception and I dont want to live there. Anyway, I started to see this meme from another perspective. Dream – the first thing people abandon when they understand how this world works, Why would they abandon dreams when they understand the world? How actually the world works? The answer, might not be the right one, but it dawned to me that, when we understand the world is not an easy place to live. It works unfairly and to get something you might have to put abundant efforts and even sacrifice other important things. to put it simple: dream does not come true by dreaming. So we should leave the dreams for the night and instead convert them into real goals with action plans. In the end hopefully we could say “Yes, dreams come true”.


PS: if you are interested, please check out my instagram account @random.walk_ for original art 🙂

Understanding China: Data Analytics Approach

Warning: VERY LONG POST and it is a REVIEW on the mentioned course (more info).

Hi readers, this post might be associated with a kind of advertisement but here is my full review on this course called Understanding China 1700-2000: Data Analytics Approach by Prof. James Z. Lee of HKUST that was offered as part of HKUST Summer Global Seminar (code: SHSS 3001) as well as in coursera. I took the on-site course in HKUST this summer. In fact today marked the last day of class so enjoy the pizza while fresh 🙂

They called it flipped classroom; Intensive three weeks course with total 9 face to face classes, 8 team assignments and several lecture videos accompanied with long supplement reading list; some English and a couple in Chinese. It was not a crowded class with around 30 students, Prof. Lee as lead professor and couple shadow teachers; could be a bit too large for thorough discussion but acceptable. The dynamic of the students is also one thing to mention, maybe 1/4 HKUST students, 5/12 students from Mainland universities and the rest 1/3 are Hong Kong high school students, so the age ranged from maybe 15-22. This is important because the team members were picked by the instructor such that there is a good mix of each categories, or in other words we were obliged to work with people from different background. This work includes five 15 minutes presentations and three 1000 words essay and we have to submit each every other days, i.e. Monday’s assignment shall be submitted on Tuesday, Wednesday’s assignment’s deadline is Thursday, Friday assignments due on Saturday. Each presenting/writing group worked on different but correlated topics thus allowed wide range of discussion. But since in a way we have less than 48 hours to work on the assignments (but you will see that this was not necessarily true), sometimes the scope is arguably narrow.

Screenshot of my notes during the last two weeks.

My Approach
To give you a better understanding before judging, these are some things that were available to me before/right after the intensive weeks started.
1. Syllabus — consisted of detailed lecture topics, assignments’ topics for each class
2. Lecture videos — all of them are available simultaneously
3. Assigned/suggested readings
And later on the team members. Lastly, I am also working in the later half of the day every weekdays thus time is scarce.
My approach was to do weekend lecture marathon or (if you prefer) weekend binge watching, just substitute the C-drama with lecture videos…. I have better listening memory than reading memory, so I just need to listen to the lecture videos (rewind when needed) while I need to take notes/highlight the reading material. Confession time, skimming academic work was time costly, so I normally just google the keywords fist and copy pasted interesting information to my google drive with the link thus I can refer back to it whenever; academic works come second. This is one way to stretch that assignment time constraint, since we knew the questions beforehand, it is possible to pile up materials and even make the whole assignments in one weekend, of course it is also subject to team mates. But anyway, I found this is an ideal learning style for me because I can freely pursue things that I find interesting, using the assigned question as a stepping zone. I did everything in the weekend, organized it so that I could retrieved these information in an instant through the weekdays.

Overall Impressions
As might have been implied, in general I really fancy this class. I love the classroom model and I learnt new knowledge about China and general social science issues, and undeniably trained my soft skills. To be fair, my initial reasons of taking this course was partly because the only other option was this course called China in Film: Modern Chinese Culture and Identities, no judging but I had a feeling that I’m not lovin’ it and partly because the class time aligned beautifully above my work shifts; a little part is because of the word ‘data’ in the title — I just love data. Anyway, since I never have been fond of anything related to humanities and with that mountain of reading materials, I was ready to have to worst and harshest three weeks in my summer. Harsh yes (not harshest) but worst? Nah, it was a very fruitful three weeks where I deepened my understanding towards the future outlook of social science research in China. Though I am still unconvinced with some proposed theories which therefor make me confused but I will safe this to the later part of this post.

About Flipped Classroom (try to Google it if you are not sure of this teaching model)
It was my second flipped classroom experience and I had always liked it. No more dozing off in 9am lecture, instead an efficient weekend lecture marathon when I am most alert. I can also fast forward and rewind the video as necessary but most importantly, I can refer back to first class lecture even now when I had finished the course. Frankly, I didn’t watch ALL videos thoroughly, some really did not trigger any of my interest while others I might go back and forth couple times just make sure I saved the right information or to check the new understanding/idea that dawned to me after watching the later part of the videos. Overall, positive feeling about this model, efficient and applicable to independent students.

About the Intensiveness
People often say: Time is money; and I am one of the firm believer of this saying. Having tight deadline and being chased by time energized me with thrill. This might sound a bit exaggerated but I am not. Hard to explain, generally it was like when we started to run, the first tens of seconds was rather painful but once the adrenaline pumps in you became so excited. This course was so short; it started off a bit messy due to team arrangement problem but after things settled down the excitement crashed in. Before I knew it, it was over. So maybe if this is a semester long course it will not be as stimulating but the fact that everything is packed in just three weeks really change the whole picture. Another positive feeling here.

About the Assigned Team
My group was consisted of me (final year business student), two female Mainland’s students, a person from HKUST and one high school girl. From the previous sentence only, can be seen that I am not familiar with them at all, even after working together for eight assignments. OK, so I believe that the core of teamwork is discussion. Disagreements are bound to happen thus it is critical to state one’s opinion and convinced others to agree on the presented arguments; no wrong, no right, just who are more persuasive. So my team mates, not sure if it is due to the unfamiliarity or just nature, they did not talk much and easily convinced. When the idea they brought up was challenged, they waver too soon. To them I might not be a good team mate either because I demand a lot and challenged almost everything that did not align to my understanding (sorry team mates, I am just sincerely curious and I don’t want to explain what I don’t believe). We did not really do topic division because the greedy me wants to know everything but they did not have the initiatives either. Additionally, our working pace are very different, my “time is money” is not theirs, so frankly it was VERY FRUSTRATING.
However, later on with adaptability and stress management, we managed to survive. I told them why I am such a pushover and finally everyone opened up (after the second assignments or so). Then we started to organized ourselves better, normally I do the structure, outline and everything that considered as first step then they do the content, then I questioned everything that I don’t understand and when our understanding coincide we move on to writing/presentation. So, here is the downside of having team working in a super intensive course, while it is possible to adapt very quickly but due to the time tension, some people might just ended-up left out (happened to my group). We also did not get to know each other well enough to further take the discussions outside the assigned questions. So short timing could do a good favor in terms of excitement while on the other hand might kill the essence of having teamwork (because we just do our part and no discussion encouraged in process). Overall, negative experience.

About the Topics
The topic list could be seen from coursera (link above) but to summarize, the course mainly talked about the history of China, gender, marriage, culture, new findings from the recent quantitative data sets, rich and poor, inequality, so on and so forth. Since I am majoring in economics, I am most interested in the wealth inequality part. Here is where we talked about Piketty’s book (2014) that took a new approach toward wealth inequality. Reach out to me please if we share the same interest. My least favorite is the analysis of data from one province in China, Shuangcheng. It is certainly a breakthrough since it utilized data to tell the story of the past and I can tell the scholar really did a great job on it. The thing I doubt is the data itself how representative is the data and how true is it? I read a lot about data manipulation in China, especially in the communist era thus it just make me skeptical about mostly everything. Addressing this concern in class was not much help because I know the answer is we hold on to the data we have at the moment and let the future scholar proved/disproved things when additional data is retrieved. So, while I am not convinced with some of the topics but what certain is I learnt a lot of Chinese history, even beyond the assigned questions because everything just seems to be correlated one another, and it is. Besides, with the presence of shadow teachers, the class discussion on the topic rose one level higher and generate interesting perspective and new knowledge. Overall, positive again~

That was way beyond 1000 words and I know I should stop now. Just want to recite that this is really a good class, and I sincerely recommend it. One thing that I don’t know yet is the grading, which I know is important, but I just hope for the best.

Happy graduation to me!

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