Thursday, 29 October 2009


Introducing Parahyangan Catholic University's Faculty of Social Sciences, class of 2004.

Taken within the first few days of being "grown ups" when we had no idea what that title really meant.

I spent around 5 years with them. I ended up living with several of these lovely people, spent 24 hours a day 7 days a week giggling and escaping class, fell in love (and broke it quite dramatically), had my car broken into, went on several awesome roadtrips, routine midnight outings and other silly things "young people" got up to.

I miss living in Ciumbuleuit dearly.

ARGH! Feeling suddenly nostalgic. It's all Dork-boy's fault. (btw.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DORKMEISTER!!)

A couple of us gathered last night to throw my friend a surprise party. In the old days this would mean hordes of people sneaking out of their houses in their varied sleep-attire, and meeting up in front of the birthday person's place. It's much harder now we've all split up an are scattered all over the place.

But we managed. Sort of.

Laughing with them makes me miss the old days quite badly. The quips and running commentary on anything and everything.. The bad puns and hilarious jokes. I miss them so much, I wonder why we don't hang out more often.


The distance between places, the traffic jams, the jobs.. Grraaghh.

And I miss living in close proximity with you guys.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Hey, Zacky!

I'm naturally messy. Like.. really messy. Everything around me always turns topsy turvy and everything I wear end up looking scrunched up within 5 seconds of me putting it on. I'm semi-proud of this talent, but I realize I need to scrub up for certain occasions.

Also : I'm practically blind to something called 'fashion'. I just literally throw on whatever it is I have laying next to my bed. I've been known to wear long skirts as dresses and short skirts as tube-tops.

This is important information to know, to understand how out of character my latest purchase is, and why it's a special occasion when I fall in love with clothes.

The picture really doesn't do this top any justice as the colour is so much richer and just breathtaking in person.

In an attempt to look more presentable at more formal occasions, I recruited my cousin to help me shop for tops I can wear with trousers or batik sarongs. She took me to a designer called Zacky. He's still unknown, and works from a tiny kostan (rented rooms) somewhere near Pondok Indah.

GAH. Seriously. People need to keep an eye out for this guy. Gorgeous clothes, with stunning colours and they feel so lovely once you put them on. Like seriously. And because of the way he uses his materials, it's a one-size-fits-most kinda deal. This top looked great on my cousin (who is about.. half my size) and it still looks great on me.

So yes. Zacky.

He'll be at Jakarta Fashion Week, showing his work. Keep an eye out for him. Talented upcoming designer. Zacky. Remember that name. (And he's so nice!!)

(I can't wait for Jakarta Fashion Week to end, since there's a black top I want, but it's for his upcoming show. Not yet for sale. Damn.)

Monday, 26 October 2009

Oh be still my beating heart..!

In terms of shopping weaknesses I only have 2 - leather bags (vintage and new!), and silver trinkets.

And today, is a good day for vintage leather bags. A few weeks back, I purchased two bags from Bags Babylon, who was lovely and helpful and patient and just amazing, and today they arrived! YAY!

On display :

On my bed :

I can't wait to parade them around..!

Seriously. You can never have too many leather bags. *drool*

Saturday, 24 October 2009

Russell Howard's Good News

Russell Howard's first episode of his new show recently aired. And by recently I mean 'I'm not sure if it was this week or last week'. And I managed to watch on teh interwebs, and.. Well, I love Russell, I do. I genuinely do. I think he's uplifting and watching the DVD of his 'Adventures' tour never fails to cheer me up.. But the new show.. Well.

Russell Howard's Good News is basically Russell making fun of the news. Newspapers, internet stories, clips from news on TV - literally every media of news is covered. He picks them all apart - the genuinely funny ones, the somewhat ridiculous ones and ones that are just plain stupid. And yes, Russell is funny. And yes, the show had some really good laugh-out-loud moments and moments where you can't help but giggle.. But I don't know.. It would probably do well as part of a stand-up routine which you see once and maybe never again (or maybe a couple of times more on DVD), but I'm not sure the format of the show could hold up to week after week of viewing. I get the feeling things will get old, fast.

But like I said - I'm a fan of Russell's, so I'm going to give this show another shot.

Signing off with a video of Russell's stand up from a couple of years ago.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Jakarta, Indonesia : A Guide

I've been reading travel-logs of random backpackers who found themselves stranded and confused in Jakarta. Aaaaand I can't help but think they were idiots. I'm trying not to generalize and label every one of them as 'idiots who didn't do proper research', but the truth is.. they are. And it's making my beloved city look bad.

Top things they complain about:
1. Sanitation
2. Price of things
3. "Friendliness" of the people
4. Public transport
5. Places to visit/see (or lack of)

Here's a little info about Jakarta which should explain things a bit.

1. Sanitation
Yes, rats and cockroaches roam freely and rather brutally. The rats are so huge, sometimes they're bigger than the cats. And roaches have a tendency to fly *towards* you rather than the other way around.

This is why it's better to spend a bit more rather than a little less. $5 can make a difference between you shivering in disgust as you step into a bathroom with no running hot water, and you showering peacefully without bugs around you. And the area which you pick is also important. Try to get in touch with people who have either visited Jakarta for a long period of time, or have actually lived there. They're not exactly hard to find.

Food poisoning also is a big issue with foreigners.. You guys have really weak stomachs. (You don't eat half the trash I shovel down my mouth. Seriously.) Wash your hands before and after you eat, bring wet wipes - they're your best friend. If you run out - buy more. This might not help much when you're faces with questionable cubes of ice served to you as you order a cold drink, but they at least give you control over something.

If it's not at a big restaurant - wipe the spoons and forks you've been provided with, with a tissue. Wipe thoroughly. It's not rude - we do it too. If you still find yourself bent over a toilet puking your insides, or scrunching up your face tightly, howling rude words as you're sitting on the toilet - well this thing called Norit really works. If it gets worse -just go see a doctor.

2. Price of things
Again, you need to do your research.

Housing - Certain areas of Jakarta have a reputation of being "cheap" which is not necessarily good. If you want cheap places to stay and (relatively) cheap places to eat with (relatively) clean sanitation - flock towards the areas where universities are located in. Students = reasonably priced housing and food. In fact that probably applies to more places rather than just Jakarta.

Shopping for clothes - If you shop in malls, you will have to pay the expected price. ITCs are different, they're like a second grade mall, where you can still bargain with certain shop keepers. I forgot what they stand for, but the big blue letters usually stand out and can be easily seen. But again - you get what you pay for, unless you have an eye for a bargain.

Food prices between supermarkets usually only differ slightly.

3. "Friendliness" of the people
Look around with a dumb expression on you face and you will get taken advantage of. It's common sense. Be confident even while you're asking questions but be careful not to get confrontational.

But Indonesians are friendly by nature, and if you look like a foreigner, most will be fascinated and will ask questions. And chances are, you will receive the help you need in finding your way around the city. But for God's sake, use your common sense - if they look like thugs, it's safer to avoid them rather than keeping your fingers crossed that they're nice on the inside.

Ladies, if you walk alone at night and you obviously look like a tourist - people *will* harass you. Keep your exploring hours reasonable. If you find yourself out late and you're uncomfortable at the stares you're attracting, grab a taxi. If you can't find one - call for one. The numbers are easy to google, write it down and keep it in a convenient place.

4. Public transport
Buses are horrendous creations that should be abolished. Seriously. Avoid the orange death traps like the plague. If you're a tourist and you're not sure how these work here's a little explanation : Jump in when you need to, jump out when it's time. Yes. Jump.

Fine, maybe I'm exaggerating a little because I hate those ugly and hateful contraptions with a passion. But seriously - I don't recommend them. Ojeks are motorcycles - you ride shotgun. You can bargain the price with the drivers. I hate them too. (motorcycles in general - they weave in and out of the traffics like rodents.)

Busways are what the civilized buses are called. These will get you to lots of places, and they're cheap.

If in doubt - a taxi is always a safe bet. Bluebird is supposed to be the trusted brand which will deliver you safely to your destination. Gamya I know is pretty good. But there's a lot of alternatives. "Tarif bawah" means "cheap", but I've been told not to take the risk.

5. Places to visit/see (or lack of)
Jakarta is *huge*. Seriously. I live in the east of Jakarta and if you tell me I should go over to.. say the west to visit something - I'll probably go "Meh. No thanks." and go back to sleep. The traffic is horrific at rush hour, and there are roads that are specifically designed to piss you off.

Having said that - there's a lot of things to see. You just need to do your research.

What are you into? Museums? Which ones? Write them down, write the addresses down and plot it out on google map to see how far away they are from each other. Visit in clusters.

Arts and crafts? This new place has just opened up called SMESCO. It basically showcases Indonesian arts and crafts. You can buy stuff as it's really a huge shop, but you can also just visit to ooh and aah at the huge selection of things in there. Batiks, wood carvings, jewellery, furniture, tenun, whatever- if it's handmade, it's probably in there somewhere. And since it's airconditioned - you don't have to worry about the heat.

I highly recommend you just going around Jakarta to just eat. There's a good food guide you can purchase at any local book store that's worth reading. Again - visit in clusters. If you find something worth visiting on the other side of town - leave it to tomorrow.

Driving around Jakarta at night is actually pretty pleasant, but yeah.. It gets confusing to people who aren't used to it. Hell I've lived here for a little over 10 years and I still grab my phone in panic as I loose my way.

Bottom line?
If you want to visit Indonesia - why the f*ck are you in Jakarta? It's a good place to live in and fantastic to visit when there are art festivals or music festivals - but really. Jakarta? As a holiday destination? There's hundreds of cities (and towns and villages..) to visit in Jawa, so why Jakarta?

But if you have to be here? Grab a local.

Or you know - do the sensible thing. Research. And don't be such a dumbass.. Use your common sense.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Jeremy Clarkson is a self entitled arse..

... but it can't be denied that he's so very good with words.

He has a acerbic wit and never fails to state his likes and dislikes in his book "For Crying Out Loud!", which is a compilation of columns he wrote for The Sunday Times between January 2006 to December 2007.

This isn't a review, you wont find a single thing useful in this post regarding what exactly is in his book.. Just that I laughed my arse off, and I kept going up to my brother to say "Hahaha, listen to what Clarkson has to say!", which is idiotic since it's him that lent me the book in the first place. I just wanted to say that the book is highly entertaining and it really made my day.

His rants range from his fascination with his wife's handbag which in his opinion could probably hide Osama Bin Laden pretty effectively, to McEton - what he thinks is a genius idea of franchising Eton since everyone seems enthusiastic about lapping up anything British.

People seem to either hate the guy or love him, and I have to say I'm afraid for now I'm in the camp of those who love him. He's not always politically correct but excessive political correctness does piss me off (we have something called 'common sense', use it.). The book is seriously fun and just.. Yes.

Okay so maybe this turned into a bit of a review.

You may say reading a book written by a person doesn’t mean you know them, but you get the general gist of what he’s like as a guy through his writings. Plus, I used to love watching Top Gear, and even though I didn’t understand much about cars, I’ve always enjoyed his comments and comparisons (The only reason I don’t still watch it now is because I haven’t watched TV in so long, I literally never get references to local TV shows and adverts).

These days when I drive, and a motorcycle pisses me off or an idiot on the road manages to make monkeys looks intelligent – I ask WWJD. What Would Jeremy Do? And the things my head come up with are enough to calm my nerves and make me laugh.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Great minds, and all..

The best overheard conversation EVER :

Man : ... you know. That one I was telling you about.
Woman : You keep quoting things at me! Be specific.
Man : The T.E. Lawrence one.. "All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."
Woman : Oh yes..
*They walk away*

I didn't actually catch the whole quote, but I manages to remember T.E. Lawrence and the 'All men dream, but not equally.' bit - And from then, google is my friend. Lovely quote isn't it? And while I was googling the T.E. Lawrence quote (which took all of 5 seconds..) I also found;

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.".. Which is from Edgar Allan Poe.

Not sure if other people interpret the quotes as I do, but I found them similar and found both beautiful in their own right. Lovely stuff. It's been a while since I've fallen in love with words, so this was a nice surprise.

I also finally have a copy of Kerouac's On The Road, so I look forward to recognizing the Dingledodies bit. Yay!