Woe Is Me!

Woe to you, humans!

For you have so many different faces,

and wants

that urge the desire

to have so many different things at once.


And woe to you, morons!

For you judge people

based on their hair color,

and whether they are fair-skinned or dark-skinned.


For you value people

based on what car they drive to work,

or whether they own the latest gadget,

as well as their profession.

Since when

a Blackberry or an iPhone could define its owner?


Shakespeare once asked,

“What’s in a name?”

Now here’s my questions:

How can you tell that John is richer than Wagiman?


why did you say Michael is a much better name than Eko?


I thought

nothing defines a man better

than his mind

and his attitude

* * *

I told you already that I’m terrible with poems.

Sorry, it’s a terrible poem. I know it is.

And I guess I’m taking things too far here.

To write “man” is quite stereotyping and overgeneralizing.

Then perhaps I ought to address that to myself instead.


Woe is me!

For I told people

that we shouldn’t judge people

based on their appearance

but on what’s inside.

Yet I did the exact same thing myself.

* * * * *

P.S. A related random story will soon follow.

Random Story #6

This is a post about a dream I once had about me and my friends, hanging out together after not seeing each other for quite a long time. I felt like I was just back in the old times.


“You’re a very ignorant person.”

“You have such a huge ego that it scared most people.”

“You have the air of a proud person, you know.”

“You could be really arrogant sometimes, you know that?”

And so on and so on… or at least that’s what they say about me.

* * *

I packed my iBook G4, with its charger and rushed into the cafe as soon as I got a call to meet up and hang out with my friends.

I’m late. I’m definitely late.

And my phone’s been ringing over and over for 30 minutes. The last time I took the call, my old pal scolded me for being late as ever with sharp tone and cruel, witty words.

No worries. I know he meant no harm. That’s just his manner of speech.

But as I saw his name on my cell phone’s screen, I think it’d be wiser not to take his call while I rushed to meet him and the others.

Goddammit, hurry up, I thought while waiting for the angkota to depart. They barely moved a wheel because there were only 3 people inside.

Dammit, I’m fucking-late already! I screamed inside.

35 minutes passed already–I glanced at my watch. At the same time, for the hundredth time, my cell phone rings again.

Fickety fuck.

As I saw the caller’s name on the screen, I knew I couldn’t escape it anymore. I had to take the call.

Be strong, I told myself as I press the green button.

“Where were you!?” A scold, as expected, from a very familiar voice, was heard from the other line.

“Sorry! Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry! I’m really sorry! I’m late as hell, and I’m sorry!” I said right away, begging for forgiveness.

“Do you know what time it is!? Geez! You’re such a latecomer!”

“I know, I know, and I’m so–“

“You’re sorry, my ass. You’re unbelievable!”

Oh, don’t worry. He’ll forgive me, alright.

“I know, I know, I’m in angkota right now, and this bloody-car just won’t move an inch!”

“You’d better get your ass here as soon as possible,” he said, with a threatening tone.

No, no, don’t worry. He’s not going to kill me. But I’ll probably need to deal with him–his wrath, his anger, whatever you call it.

“I know, I know! I’ll be there soon! I promise!” I said, still in a begging tone.

And he hang up on me without even saying goodbye.

Dammit. Why can’t this bloddy-angkota move!?

And just when I can’t be more frustrated, 5 people entered the car.

Okay. 10 minutes, and I’ll take a cab instead, I told myself.

Within 5 minutes, the cursed vehicle finally moved.


I looked at my watch and cursed–again.

I was almost an hour late.

He’s gonna fucking kill me.

But I rushed anyway, going inside the diner, as I saw my friends sitting around the big table, eating their dinner merrily.

“Hi,” I said in a grim tone.

“Hey! You finally came!” A woman sitting next to where I was standing greet me warmly. She’s a grown-up, alright, but her posture makes her look like a little girl. Not that it’s a bad thing, really. I think it suits her just fine, and that’s what makes her… her.

And she drew a chair next to her, letting me sit.

There he was, sitting on a chair across me. I tried not to look at him.

“Hi! I’m sorry I’m terribly late. The bloody angkot took so long, waiting for passengers, as usual,” I conveyed my apology.

Another woman–rather buxom, with a pleasant, merry face, laughed.

“Oh, don’t worry! I was late as well!” And she laughed cheerfully, like it was no big deal.

God, I don’t think he’d think so.

“Geez, we almost left, you know!” Finally, I heard him speaking, in a sarcastic tone, although he sounded like he was joking, this time.

And I glanced at him, and saw him staring at me.

Then I knew he wasn’t mad anymore. He was acting mad.

“I know! I’m sorry! Geez! Has everybody finished eating, really?” I asked.

“Oh, no. Don’t worry. We’re kinda waiting for you, and since it took you so long to finally arrive, we ordered our food already, but as you can see, we’re still waiting for those food.” This time, the one speaking was another woman sitting next to that guy. Another buxom one with glasses, just like the petite one sitting next to me. With glasses, I mean.

I looked at the people sitting around me.

Those were the people I know. They were the faces of the people so familiar to me.

My friends. Who know by heart what a snob I could be.

Who know exactly how arrogant and spoiled I am.

They were the people who understand how big my ego could be.

Yet they stay. They remained my friends.

Oh, we’ve had turbulence in our friendship sometimes, alright. But there we were, sitting next to each other. Missing each other’s company.

Those familiar faces.

Those familiar smiles.

* * *

Eminem’s voice, shouting the rap of the first verse from his song “Love The Way You Lie” woke me up right away.

I glanced at the clock on my cell phone’s screen. It’s 7.15 AM.

I closed my eyes again for a minute, trying to get rid of the eyesore I had the moment I opened my eyes. And I don’t know why, despite my alarm was actually playing the song “Love The Way You Lie,” but it’s the song by The Ready Set called “Wishlist” that was playing over and over in my head.

Then I opened my eyes.

The eyesore was gone.

But so were the familiar faces I just saw.

There was only me, alone, lying on my bed.


It was one fine-ass dream.

Indonesian Children Games-What We Did For Fun Before The Computer (via The Biz of Pacelinebiz)

I found this post when I browse through the not-so-old Freshly Pressed this afternoon, and I’m thinking of games that I’m playing when I was a kid. It was fun, really. My friends and I are still playing those games even up to now, but you can count the frequency with only one hand.

I completely agree with this post, that ever since the computer and the internet was invented, now little kids from the computer and the internet generation prefer to be inside the house, play what’s available for them in the internet and the computer. Sakes, what else did they create educational games for?

But as I see how different the kids from younger generations, and kids from my generation (boy, I feel so old already!), I can’t help but feel at least a bit sorry for them.

During my childhood, I watched TV programs for children which were created by Indonesians, developed by Indonesians, and delivered in Bahasa Indonesia. My people, my language.

I used to watch this one TV program which involves a puppet show. I forgot the name of the program already, but the puppets represent Indonesian people, and if I had not mistaken, all of the characters are Javanese. And it tells a story of this guy named “Unyil” and and the neighborhood where he lived in. Everyday, there’s always a problem in the neighborhood–gossip, scandal, name it–and most of the time, they would seek for an advice from an elder in the neighborhood called “Pak Raden.” (FYI, ‘pak’ is an Indonesian word for Mr., and is usually used to address an older man.) Then with his wisdom, this pak Raden would solve the problem, or give his advice and let the society solve the problem by themselves.

Si Unyil (left) and Pak Raden (right)

Or this child TV news program, which I forget the name as well, where the anchor girl and boy are kids of about 7-12 year-old. That’s just my guess, though. I can’t really tell how old those kids were.

Anyway, what I actually meant to do is to the name of the games I used to play when I was a kid. The list might not be as long as the one in pacelinebiz’s blog, though, and the games could be a different one, but anyway, here’s the list:

(Do forgive me, though, for I actually need to google for the names of the games since I barely remember them, and that most of the explanations would be a translation from Indonesian Wikipedia and budayaindonesia.org)

  1. 'Semut' means 'ant.'

    Suten – or what most of my friends (as well as myself) know as ‘suwit.’ A friend of mine, as well as my former teacher in college, was very lucky to get the chance to explain about this game and teach it to a bunch of students (I don’t know whether she was in an elementary school, junior high, or senior high) during her stay in the United States for a Master Degree. To simplify, this game is similar to rock, paper and scissor which is most popular in Indonesia as ‘suwit Jepang’ (Japanese suwit). The differences between Suwit and Rock, Paper and Scissor is the the characters we made and represented by our fingers. In Suwit, we merely use our thumb, index finger, and little finger or pinky of  our right hand. In Javanese culture it is impolite to use your left hand when interacting with others. Now, I’m gonna rephrased my friend’s explanation here: so the thumb here, represents an elephant. The index finger represents man, and the little finger is an ant. When a man faced an elephant, of course the elephant won, because it could easily crushed us to pieces, right? Then when a man faced an ant, he could easily step on the ant. Hence the index finger won. Here’s the interesting part. When the elephant met an ant, who’d won, do you think? The elephant? Wrong! Here’s what we believe in suwit: a match between an elephant vs an ant would be won by the ant! Why? Because the ant is so tiny that it could crawl and went into one of the elephant’s ears. Hence, it could kill the elephant from the inside.
    We still do this game sometime, to determine who would do the presentation first, or who would pay for dinner (or something like that).

  2.  Hompimpah – This is similar to suwit, but hompimpah is an alternative when you have more than two people. Suwit is meant for two people only and hompimpah is what we do when we have a bigger party. What you have to do is shake your right palm and say “Hom-pim-pah!” or “Hom-pim-pah alaium gambreng” together with your friends. Whichever you say doesn’t really matter actually, but the moment you say the last syllable of each, you need to give out your right palm, and it has to be facing up or down. The only one with a different side of the palm won (for example, other’s palms are facing up, and only one’s facing down, then the latter is the winner). The game would continue in order to find the runner-ups until there’s only two people left. The loser then would be determined with a suwit, or a three-times suwit. The one who lost in the suwit is the loser. My friends and I are still playing it sometimes, when we want to determine who’s the one unlucky enough to do the ‘seek’ part in ‘hide and seek.’
  3. Petak umpet – Hide and seek! Yes, we play this too! We usually play this in a group of five to ten people, and the ‘seeker’ is determined after doing some hompimpahs and suwit. The seeker would then count to ten or even fifty, depends on the agreement with other friends and as you all know, would then seek his friends.
  4. Sunda manda – The origin of this game is unknown but from budayaindonesia.org, rumor has it that this game originated in Netherland and the actual name is zondag-maandag. Make sense, though, since we used to belong to the Dutch. My friend told me that in East Java, this game is called ‘Engklek.’ Anyway, before playing, we would usually draw these on a flat concrete:
    We called the squares as 'sawah.' It means 'rice fields.'

    After that, we would pick a stone, or a marble, or a chunk or a small piece of a roof. This is called ‘gancuk.’ As this game is meant for at least 2 people, each person would have their own gancuk. The gancuk would then be thrown into each of the square in order (from no. 1 to no. 5), and the owner of the gancuk would have to hop one-footed through the squares, from no. 1 to no. 5 and then return back from no. 5 to no. 1. The only times player could use both feet is when they hop into no. 3 and 4, with each foot in each square. However, the players must not hop into the square where their own gancuk is on. On the way back later from no. 5, they could take their own gancuk when their foot is in the square before their gancuk’s square. If they succeed hopping through the squares without falling, or stepping on the line, as well as stepping or accidentally hitting other players’ gancuk, they could continue by throwing the gancuk to the next square (no. 2 and so on). If their gancuk fall outside the intended square, or fall on the line of the squares, they would have to skip their turn. The same thing applies when the players fall or stepping on the line or hitting others’ gancuk.
    When a player’s gancuk manage to finish all the squares, the next stage would be optional, if I had not mistaken. The player could redo all over again, but this time, they would have to throw their gancuk without facing the squares. After their gancuk, again, finish all the squares, this player would then have a privilege to have their own square, or house by throwing their rock into the squares. The square then would be marked with a star. This house could then be used by the owner to rest their feet and they have the privilege to step on their house with both feet. Other players, however, are not supposed to step on the house. The winner is the player who manage to own most of the squares.

  5. Galah asin – or what I know as Gobak Sodor. Frankly speaking, I  am not very familiar with this game, because I didn’t play this very often. But this game is usually played in groups of 3 to 5 people. One team would have to block the other team to reach their destination, by moving only vertically or horizontally to catch the people from the opponent’s group. When all team members manage to reach their destination, they would be declared winner. To make it easier, the game is usually played in a tennis court since the field has many lines drawn already, which would make it easier for the blocking team to determine their position and their movement range.
  6.  Ular Naga(Hydra–but with only one head) – Boy, don’t I love this game. It’s for at least 4 to 5 people, with 2 persons standing in front of each other and holding each others’ hand up high to serve as ‘the gate.’ The rest of the kids would then form a ‘snake’ by forming a long line (the longer the better, I guess), and walking around in circle, passing ‘the gate.’ As they walk around, though, they would need to sing this song:Ular naga panjangnya bukan kepalang
    Menjalar-jalar selalu kian kemari
    Umpan yang lezat, itulah yang dicari
    Ini dianya yang terbelakang!

    (A hydra so long in its shape
    Always creeping here and there
    Looking for its tasty prey
    Here it is, the one left behind!)With the last line, persons serving as the gate would then lower their hand, catching whoever is coincidentally passing right through them, as that person itself would rush passing the gate so he/she wouldn’t be caught. The explanation in budayaindonesia.org stated that the ‘prey’ would then have to choose to join the left part of the gate or the right part. The one with most followers would then win and the one losing would have to catch the winner’s followers at the back of the line. I rarely managed to finish the game most of the time, so I only have a very vague memory of this last part, but I miss this game, really.
  7. The Congklak Board. They came in various size and shape. And all are pretty!

    Congklak – or also known as Dakon in other parts in Indonesia. I myself first know this game as ‘Congklak’ instead of ‘Dakon’. This game is rather expensive compared to the other games, because this game would require a Dakon or Congklak board. On the board, there are 8 pairs of small holes and two big holes at each edge of the board. Each hole, other than the two big holes, would be filled with 7 marbles, or shells. As this game is meant for two

    The 'marbles', or 'shells.' We call this 'Biji Congklak.' 'Biji' means 'seed.'

    people only, each player would own one big hole on her left. The 2 players would play in turn, by taking out all marbles from one of the holes on her side (the marbles from the opposite side belong to the opponent), and then dropping the marbles one by one to the hole on the left side, and then move on to the next hole the left side, and so on. She should drop one marble when she passes her own big hole and skip the opponent’s big hole. When the last marble falls on any small hole with marbles, the player could still continue by taking the last marble along with the marbles on that hole and continue to the next hole until the last marble is finally dropped into an empty small hole. Then the opponent would then take turn and play exactly the same way. But when the last marble falls on an empty small hole on her side, and on the opposite hole there’s a marble, or even plenty of marbles, she would be able to take the opponent’s marbles and move them into her big hole. After all the marbles on the small holes are finally moved into the big holes, the one with most marbles won the game. Oh, did I tell you already that the players do a suwit first to determine who’d start first?

    Playing Congklak, or Dakon.

Phew! I hope you’re still reading.

I did not expect to write this long, and I did not expect to find so many games! And I was really excited writing all that as I realized how I miss those games!

BUT, as I used to be a little girl, so most of those games are actually meant for girls, especially Sunda Manda and Congklak, but most of the times I played them with guys, too!

There are still many others (believe me, there are PLENTY), but I’m not gonna bore you anymore with my babbles and rambles. Sorry, I hope you weren’t tortured reading these. Hahaha. I found an English article about Indonesian traditional games here, so you might wanna check for the complete information here. To end this, I’m going to present an Indonesian children rhyme that I still remember clearly (unless you wanna be tortured with another explanation, don’t ask me what or why of the lyrics):

 Donal Bebek, mau kemana? Mau ke pasar.
Membeli apa? Membeli baju.
Warnanya apa? Warnanya putih.
Putih, putih melati, Ali Baba
Merah, merah delima, Pinokio
Siapa yang baik hati? Cinderella.
Tentu disayang mama!

(Donald Duck, where are you going? To the traditional market.
To buy what? To buy clothes.
What color? White.
White jasmine, white jasmine, Ali Baba.
Red pomegranate, red pomegranate, Pinocchio.
Who’s the one with a kind heart? Cinderella.
Must have been loved by mother*!)

P.S. Sometimes, ‘mama’ (mother) is replaced with ‘pacar’ (boyfriend).

What We Did For Fun Before The Computer When I grew up, the video game was not invented yet.  The home video game Pong did not come along until I was nearly in my teens.  Al Gore had not invented the internet either.  So, what did we do back then for fun?  Besides dodging dinosaurs we had a lot of fun games that were played outside with other human beings.  For those under thirty years old – outside is the place where that annoying sun glare on your computer screen comes from.  I tried … Read More

via The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Finally A Prologue


Hai. Selamat datang di The Hope Center. Apakah ini merupakan kunjungan pertamamu? Kalau begitu biar kujelaskan terlebih dahulu mengenai tempat ini.

The Hope Center merupakan tempat rehabilitasi para penderita penyakit otak Alzheimer, serta pusat penelitian penyakit itu sendiri.

Continue reading “Finally A Prologue”

Writer Questions: Fill It Out!

So I stumbled across this post and inspired to do the same thing. Questions are taken from the same blog (which was also taken from other site as you could read yourself), so the only different things here is only my answers. It’s indeed fun, and you could also try this out to kill some time ;) Reblog this!

The Questions

  1. What is your favorite word in the English language?
    ‘Really’ and ‘indeed,’ I suppose, for I’ve been using those two words quite frequently. Don’t know why but those two words keep appearing every time I try to write a conversation.
  2. Do you prefer writing poems or stories?
    Stories. Definitely stories. I enjoy poem but I definitely enjoy stories better.
  3. Where do you get your inspiration?
    Erm, well… games, movies, other novels I read, and definitely reality.
  4. What is you least favorite word?
    Hmmm, can’t think of any right now, but I don’t think there’s any at all. I will update this later if I could think of any, though.
  5. When and where do you like to write?
    Ideally, I’d picture myself writing in a coffee shop (while drinking cups of coffees), but I think I shouldn’t wait to be in that place to be able to write something. When I got the idea for a story (mostly short–really short–stories these days), I would look for anything: cell phone, pencil, pen, papers, notes that would allow me to write the ideas before I lost them.
  6. What do you think makes a good writer?
    The great concept they have. I don’t know whether this is the appropriate answer, but I always adore those writers who have these concept of the world of their story, the characters as well as the traits of each characters and such–their concept as a whole. I always miss this and got chunks of concepts instead of a whole complete nice concept. (Did I make myself clear?)
  7. Do you, according to the criteria you just described, think of yourself as a good writer?
    Nah. Not yet, but I wish I would be someday.
  8. What is one thing you hate about writing?
    To have the incomplete concept. To fill in the gaps and such. Most of the time I have these ideas how I should start and how I should end the story, as well as how the conflicts, climax and anticlimax would be, but I’m always confused what to write to fill in the gaps. Damn. Any suggestion, writer fellas?
  9. Why do you write?
    Because I love writing. I love putting and arranging words nicely, and to be able to express myself in a way that I’m unable to do in reality. Some people are better with words, you know. (Or is it just me?)
  10. Who do you write for?
    Myself. And perhaps some other close friends out there, who share the same passion and interests.
  11.  What is the best book you have ever read?
    Wow, this is tough. I would have to choose between Jostein Gaarder’s The Castle In The Pyrenees and Michel Faber’s The Crimson Petal and the White, but in terms of concept, I think I have to say that I’m in awe with the latter.

  12. Who do you look up to?
    In terms of authors, I would definitely say Jostein Gaarder. I love all his novels. (All that I’ve read, of course.)

    Jostein Gaarder

  13. What do you think makes you able to write?
    These ideas and conversations and scenes that won’t stop playing in my head; and I know that I just have to write them down before I lose them.
  14. Do you ever get writer’s block?
    Whoa. Often. Especially when I’m running out of ideas of what to write to fill in the gaps. Or when I reread my writings and think it’s not good enough. I had scrapped plenty of my writings already :( And perhaps when I’m afraid to write. Damn.
  15. What is the next thing you are going to write?
    Hmmm, I got this story already, I’m thinking a story of a mother and a daughter, who got something like a… broken relationships, and I plan to make it an open-ending, perhaps. And the story, sadly, would be most likely written in Indonesian, but like I said, I’m still figuring out how to fill in the gaps between the climax, anti-climax, and ending. Urrghh, I feel like I’m a bad writer already.

via Writer Questions: Fill It Out!.

The Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger

SO, this the famous masterpiece by the Salinger. Who doesn’t know this book?

Well, me.

Me and most others Indonesian, to be precise. (Okay, me and most other Indonesian that I know, to be even more precise.)

Especially since we’ve never been assigned to this kind of reading.

And since, despite most of friends in my circle are devoted readers and diligent students, most people Indonesians I know are not very fond of reading, even to read for pleasure.

Let me make this clear first, though: I’m not a diligent student, and I hate reading textbook, especially the thick one, and most especially, if I need to memorize all that I read later for the test. Oh, I hate test too.

But to read for pleasure, without any demand and obligation to memorize everything on the book, is definitely a pleasure to me.

My friend once asked me what books that I prefer to read, and after thinking for some time (and after he asked me whether I like to read fantasy while offering a sci-fi novel to me), I said, “Well, I mostly read everything that is being offered to me, really.”

OK, I lied.

If you offered me a newspaper or books in foreign language that I don’t understand I definitely wouldn’t read it.

And if you’re offering me a Semantics handout (or Psycholinguistics handout), I prefer not to touch those, really, despite my undergraduate thesis revolves around linguistics.

But you get what I mean, don’t you?

I do read most novels that are recommended to me, or given to me, although the duration for the reading to finish may vary, depends on how much I like the book and how much spare time I have.

Anyway, my friend recommended this book once to me, and I found out that this book is quite famous in the States, so I became curious. I found out as well that most schools in the States mostly use this reading as one of the school assignment.


But I tried so hard to control myself not to read any synopsis, or plot summary.

I wanted a surprise. No spoiler.

And I was. Surprised, I mean.

But not in a way that I’d expected.

First of all, I was expecting a much more mature reading, in a way that I’d expected a much more mature language, not the teenage slang like the one I read in the whole book.

Strike one.

Then I tried to be patient reading from one page to another, hoping to read some big surprises, something that would really shocked me or something.

And I got shocked, indeed.

In a disappointed way, though.

Frankly speaking, I was kind of surprised with the ending.

You know, when I was reading about all those headaches and stomach pain Holden was suffering, I kept telling myself, “He’ll die. He’ll die. He’ll die. He’ll definitely die by the end of the book. He’ll die.”

I don’t know what to expect.

I guess I was so sure that Holden would die at the end of the book because… I don’t know, because the book was so… bitter from beginning to end (Holden definitely hates everything), and if he died in the end, indeed, then it would add the sense of bitterness, I think. But maybe I was just being too sarcastic.

Way too sarcastic, maybe, since when I reached the last chapter of the book, I was like, “What? That’s it? That’s all?”

And he didn’t even call his crush, old Jane, until the end of the book!

Strike two.

Really, I don’t know what to expect.

Maybe I was expecting an explanation. An explanation to… Holden.

Gregory House
Dr. Temperance Brennan

I had this belief that there’s always a reason behind everything (yes, EVERY THING). When your someone is acting mad, something must have triggered it. When your relatives become extremely snob, there must be a reason behind that change. When your parents become extremely cruel, there must be something on their mind. Even someone as bitter as Gregory House and someone so skeptic like Temperance Brennan had a past that made them become who they are just like we know it now. Even they have reasons. So, yeah, I was actually expecting Salinger to give me an explanation about Holden. He’s bitter, alright, but something must have triggered it. I was kind of expecting Salinger to tell at least a little about his parents, and how he grew up and that. Well, I expect him to explain more than just Allie and Phoebe. There must be a reason why Holden seemed like a failure amongst his siblings while Phoebe and Allie were never so bitter. Perhaps his parents never cared for him as much as they cared for his siblings. Perhaps he was spoiled too much instead.

But no, there’s no such explanation.

Strike three.

All I see is this teenage boy called Holden who’s trying to be mature by acting cool and ignorant about everything, and he definitely gave me the impression that he’s trying to prove that he’s unlike his other ‘childish’ friends, if I could put it that way.

Yet all those stuffs, the language he use, his trains of thoughts and action, only prove that he’s indeed, immature.

At some points, I can see why many teenagers love this book, I guess. But I’ve been wondering what the hell the teachers are talking about when they’re discussing this book in-class. I didn’t even got the chance to discuss this book in my Literature Class in college.

Really, I’m curious.

So I gave in to my curiosity, and finally read some reviews about this book.

Wow. I did not expect that.

That apparently Holden is a symbolism of innocence, who’s trying to protect the innocence, as he said to Phoebe that he wanted to be “The Catcher In The Rye,” yet at the same time he also showed some maturity traits.

And that the part where he gave his hat to Phoebe is a symbol of him being the catcher, and when Phoebe gave back the hat to him, apparently the position reversed.

God, now I understand why my friends hate literature.

Maybe I’m being stupid and ridiculous by not understanding this book at all.

Or perhaps, despite admitting that I do enjoy reading the book, I had put my expectation way too high, and perhaps that’s how I got disappointed.

Oh well, perhaps I should just enjoy the book, shouldn’t I?

Anyone wanna throw tomatoes at me? Or rotten eggs, for I had written a bad review or opinion about this book?

Frame Coffeehouse

Every time (yes, EVERY TIME) I’m writing (or talking) about a coffee shop, I always refer back, if not comparing, to my favorite coffee shop in Salatiga called Frame Coffeehouse. And at the same time, I keep reminding myself to write a tribute to that coffee shop someday soon, if I’m so fond of them.

I know it’s not fair, and I know that each coffee shop has their own unique concept, and I do adore each one of them, but I regret to admit that, so far, Frame is still my favorite coffee shop.

It is the place where I used to go to find solitude.

It is where I used to spend hours and hours writing my undergraduate thesis–undisturbed. (I think I put them in my ‘Acknowledgement’…)

It is where I could feel eager to come and know for sure that I’d be welcomed there with hospitality.

Sometimes I wonder, though, whether I’m getting biased in this, for I’ve known the owner and one of the former barista before I knew the coffee shop itself.

Wait, I don’t wanna give you the idea that they and I are close or BFF or something like that. The owner is my senior in college, while the former barista and I studied in the same faculty, and to call them my BFF or something like that is not right, I guess. But I can say that we’re on a good term.

I know for sure that whenever I go to Frame, mas Widhi, the owner, would greet me nicely. (FYI, “mas” is the formal way in Indonesia to address an older guy–whether they’re relatives or strangers.)

I think that would be one point for the hospitality. The last time I went there, most of the waiters and baristas have been replaced, but they’re really nice, either to me or other customers.

When we entered the coffee shop, you would see plenty of seats and coffee tables. My favorite spot is at the corner near the bar, where they put red comfy sofas (and somehow I like to imagine the sofa similar to the ones I used to see in the TV series Friends).

And just like the name, “Frame”, they have a small table near the pond (yes, they have a pond, too! Nice decoration, isn’t it?) full of frames with photos in it–photos of their customers, of friends and even their own waiters and baristas–as well as plenty of frames on the wall. Oh, and one digital frame in the room where the baristas brew the coffee.

The seats arrangement. At the bottom left corner is the pond.

If you wanna order your drinks, you should go into this small room where the baristas usually brew our drinks, and they always greet you enthusiastically before they asked for your order. On the wall, they put this blackboard where they wrote the menus down beautifully, but eligible as well to be read. Now, this is probably one of the best part.

If there’s one thing that I cannot find yet in any other coffee shops I’ve been to, including Starbucks, Coffee Toffee, Excelso, and other local coffee shops I’ve reviewed here, is the wide choice of coffee that you could have in your coffee. Most of other coffee shops offers blended coffee, hot coffee, black coffee, or frappuccino, but most of the time, they use Robusta or Arabica coffee to brew this. And when you want to have something unique like Javanese coffee, or Balinese coffee, you could only have your coffee black. Not fun.

One thing that makes Frame unique and special to me is that, I could still have a Jamaican coffee, or coffee latte made from Sidikalang coffee beans, coffee beans from the Northern part of Aceh, Indonesia (read about Sumatran coffee here). One thing that they would always ask you after your decide your choice of coffee is, “Which coffee bean do you wanna have for your coffee?” They have varieties of Indonesian coffee beans, like Balinese coffee bean, Mandailing coffee bean, Javanese coffee bean, Blue Lintong, and some many other. And they still have Arabica and Robusta coffee, imagine that.

Oh, they grind their coffee, btw, unlike most other coffee shops which rely heavily on coffee machines to brew their coffees. Cool, isn’t it?

One of the hospitality they provide is when a non coffee-addict comes to the place and confused of which coffee beans he/she’d want for his/her coffee, they always offer you with plenty of suggestions. “Do you want it strong?” And they always ready to explain to you how each coffee bean would make your coffee different.

Really, I love that place.

They also have teas and chocolates, though. They use Dilmah tea, and most of the times I visit there, I never forget to order a cup of Hazelnut tea–probably one of my favorite tea, other than black tea. They have a variety of menu for the teas and coffees as well, and again, they are always glad to explain what is a Milkconut, or Breakchox (these two are categorized in the Chocolate menu), as well as offer you plenty of suggestions for your drinks. I sometimes come to them and simply say, “I want a cup of hot chocolate. But I want it sweet and not too thick.”

And–I hope they don’t mind me writing this–sometimes, I would choose which glass or cup that I want to use for my drinks, as long as the place is not too crowded yet, or they are not too busy.

One last, but not the least, thing that I love from this coffee shop is that it’s a great place to hang out with your friends. They provide magazines for you to read, although the choices may not vary too much–don’t forget that it’s not a library–and they have some games for you to play, such as card games (they have Uno cards!) and monopoly. All you need to do is ask. But when it’s crowded, you might have to wait for the cards. My friends and I usually prefer to bring our own cards. We once played Othello there.

Oh, have I told you that they have a wi-fi connection and an LCD TV as well?

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P.S. The last time I visit Frame Coffee Shop, which is about a week ago, I asked mas Widhi for photos of Frame, and he gave the photos to me right away. I told him already that I plan to write about Frame in my blog, but it took me so long to actually–and finally write it. I guess I was just confused about how I’m going to write about it. And I kinda scared that what I write would not precisely express how much I favor this place. I hope this suffice, though ;)

Waiting For Forever (2010)

I told you I’m pretty outdated.

Actually, I wasn’t meaning to write anything about this movie at all. But I met a friend one day, and as we hang out with other friends and exchanged some movies, she told us all that one movie that she didn’t like despite everybody around her (including me) claimed to like it is this one movie: Waiting For Forever.

And I was like, “What?”

I hate myself when I getting biased like this.

But I feel the urge to discuss, if not argue, this with her.

So I thought I’d write a little something-something about the movie–well, about what I think of the movie, to be precise.

Just in case, I’m writing down a summary of the plot below:

Waiting For Forever tells a story of Will Donner who harbor unrequited love for his childhood best friend, Emma Twist. He’d been in love with her for as long as he could remember. To be precise, he’d been in love with her ever since they were kids. Somehow, this unrequited love reached a phase where Will would “go where Emma’d go.” Put it in a simpler way: he was stalking her.

I didn’t remember whether the movie stated precisely when he started to stalk her (I think it was stated), but it’s been going on for quite a while. Will’s profession as a clown (or entertainer?) allowed him to travel to different places often, which at the same time allowed him to “stalk” Emma.

Everybody but Emma, seemed to know about Will’s unrequited love. Everybody in the town where they grew up. Will’s childhood friend, Joe, and his wife supported Will to express his love for Emma, as well as his brother’s wife. Unfortunately, his own older brother, Jim, didn’t really show the same support and love. In fact, he considered his little brother to be mentally disturbed and kind of a loser, since Will indeed, never earn much and he’s practically homeless due to stalking Emma to various places. He considered Will’s love stupid and well as Will himself.

Makes sense, I thought, since apparently, not only homeless and worry for nothing in the world, Will indeed looked like pretty much mentally disturbed to me, from the way he talked to empty spaces, and stalking Emma. It turns out, later in the move, after Emma asked him why he kept talking to empty spaces around him, Will said that Emma made him believe that his dead parents were always be with him wherever he goes, and he really took the words literally. Will’s parents died when he was a little kid, and he was pretty damn sad about it. The way Emma comforted him and stayed by his side during the saddest time of his life was perhaps the source of his obsession for Emma.

Anyway, I won’t give the complete summary since if you hadn’t watched the movie you probably wouldn’t wanna read any spoiler, and if you had watched it, you’d probably knew the ending already.

I knew that despite I know many people who like this movie a lot, the movie itself had received negative reviews. And I admit that the storyline is indeed, very cheesy.

It’s this silly, unrealistic love story of a madman.

Seriously, if I ever met a guy like Will, stalking me like that, I’d call the police and make sure to bring a pepper spray and an army knife with me everywhere I go to make sure he wouldn’t get any closer to me.

But what interest me is the… eeerrrr…, disposition of each character–the main character, to be precise.

Tom Sturridge as Will Donner

First of all, Will is this gentle, if not soft and weak guy, who believed that he’s born to love Emma for eternity. A guy who seems so naive that he believes in true love and that there could be no other one for him but Emma. And that he lives for Emma alone, which is why, being rich and successful hardly jumped to his mind. He chose to be a clown (or entertainer??) so that he could follow Emma wherever she goes, and to show off his skill in juggling and such. Ever since they were kids, Will always shows off in front of Emma, and Emma was always impressed. Then the fact that he believes Emma that his deceased parents would be by his side forever, just prove how naive (if not stupid) he really was. God, that creeps the hell out of me.


And Will has this brother, Jim, a.k.a. Jimbo, who’s the complete opposite of him. He’s bitter and sarcastic at first, and a bit rude, if not cruel, towards his own brother. You’d think he’s a complete jerk for neglecting his brother, but in fact, as the story goes, it’s shown that Jim was only trying to protect his brother by trying to be the mature one. And with someone like Will as a brother, really, someone has to choose to grow up, and if Will’s not the one, Jim’s gotta be. Then when you’ve had too much of Will (he might have had to deal with Will’s foolishness for years and years), it’s no wonder if you’d feel fed up one day. I guess Jim got tired of looking after his brother, and thought it’s time to teach his younger brother some responsibility.

You could already assume that the two brothers were not in a good term.

What really got me was actually this one scene of revelation were Jim bailed Will out of the jail (Will was suspected of a murder, which was not true at all), and on their way to the airport in order to get home, they reconciled inside the taxi. Wow. I wouldn’t wanna be the taxi driver.

But they reconciled, and that’s probably my favorite scene ever.

Apparently, their parents were not this perfect, loving parents that Will used to describe. From Jim we learned that their mother was actually a drunk, and that every Tuesday, their dad would take their mom to some kind of rehab, and telling their kids instead that they were going to see the matinee. Will was holding onto that belief that his parents were really going to the matinee while Jim insisted on holding onto the truth, and believed that his brother never knew the truth–which leads to his action of hiding the truth from Will. This action, I think, came from an elder brother who got the urge of protecting his younger brother from further sorrow and pain, if I could call it so. Surprisingly, Will revealed then in the taxi that he actually knew the truth, as he told Jim, “There aren’t any matinee on Tuesday, Jim,” and that’s where they finally cried and reconciled as Jim kissed his brother’s forehead with teary eyes.

Will always hold on to a belief that the world is peachy, that the world is beautiful and everything in it is wonderful. The way he told Jim inside the taxi that he knew their mother was drunk and that they never went to any matinee, and when he said later that “The world isn’t always peachy” while he sobbed heavily, was really heart-breaking to me. Then it struck me how the two brothers were such a contrast. They knew the bitter truth about their parents, but one chose to deny it and hide within a naive belief that the world is a nice place. The other one, though, chose to face the truth and dealt with it as he become bitter and bitter about reality and the world.

This makes Jim looks more like the normal person who we used to see in everyday life. He deals with bitterness, and he moves on. Meanwhile, Will… well, he’s running away from it, and decided to built a world of his own, made from naiveness and false reality. At some points, I wanna believe that this partially affects Will’s choice of profession. He didn’t seem to care a bit about tomorrow. If he did, I didn’t really got the impression in the movie. All he cared about is following Emma, and that he earned enough to buy some food for the day. Tomorrow’s another day. Which is why he cared little about where he’d live permanently. And this is why Jim considered him homeless and loser (or something similar to that).

Another thing that really struck me is how the actress and actors interpret their characters and expressed them in the acts. I really like it when Tom Sturridge played a nervous Will, who seemed to struggle so hard only to express his love to Emma. He was shown to be struggling to breathe, and he was trembling like he was going to collapse. And then the teary taxi ride scene, how he cried in the taxi–I was kinda wowed with the act. Of course, seeing a handsome guy like Sturridge cried in tears with fungus coming out of his nose was kinda disgusting, and definitely unpleasant to watch. But the fact that he could sob that bad showed that he’s not just some handsome actor without acting skills. And Scott Mechlowicz’s act as a hostile brother at first to a loving one, was also not bad. Well, I think the teary ride scene really got me.

The teary ride scene
Rachel Bilson as Emma Twist

Frankly speaking, Rachel Bilson’s character somehow didn’t really appeal to me. I mean, she’s okay, and she played her part very well. It’s just her character in the movie didn’t really attract me as much as Sturridge’s Will and Mechlowicz’s Jimbo. It was nice at first, when she seemed to be distressed and troubled, first with her dying father, and then with her meddling mother, and finally with her arrogant boyfriend as well as her childhood friend, Willie. Really, it was good. Yet towards the end, it’s getting… lame. I love the ending, really. It was a nice simple not-so-closed-ending. To me it’s an open-ending, but hey, I’m not the expert anyway. I’m simply someone who loves watching movies. So as an amateur, I love the ending. The thing is, I didn’t really see Emma’s growing affection towards Will. I definitely refused to believe that Emma finally return Will’s unrequited love. I just didn’t see it happen. It’s more like Emma trying to accept Will as he is, and that she (perhaps) is willing to try to, if not to love, understand Will better. To me, Emma’s more like someone who harbor a sisterly affection towards Will, while Will’s definitely love Emma as a woman.

Well, you might protest to that, and it’s really up to you to interpret the movie yourself. In fact, I kinda think maybe I’m taking this interpretation of mine a little too far. You know, perhaps even the director and the script-writer didn’t have the slightest idea of my interpretation and might laughed if they ever read this, thinking how silly my interpretation could be. Anyway, it is cheesy (the silly love story and all), but it doesn’t stop me from getting fond of this movie. I do hope you who watched it enjoy it as much as I do.

Salatiga’s Street Arts

I was inspired by the increasing number of blog posts about street arts in WordPress’ Freshly Pressed lately, so I decided to make a post about street art as well. I’ve been noticing street arts, or graffiti, to be precise, when I was pursuing my bachelor of education in English, in a small but homely city called Salatiga. I obviously still have a thing for that city, because I talked my mother into letting me spend some of my holidays in Salatiga instead of spending it in my hometown the whole time.

Ironically, having left my hometown for more than four years, I can barely remember where I could find street arts, or graffiti anymore. I knew there are some, if not plenty, but I don’t know where to find them anymore. Guess I’d need to spend some more time in my hometown, really. But I do notice that Salatiga has plenty, plenty of graffitis. I definitely remember one on the wall behind the campus, Satya Wacana Christian University, and then another one on this street called Sukowati, if I had not mistaken. Too bad I wasn’t able to take pictures of the latter one.

The graffitis on the wall behind the campus. That small, narrow door leads to Satya Wacana Christian University.

Anyway, I managed to spend three days in Salatiga, and so I told Ikka about this blog post I meant to write, and she was willing to help me. Finally, on my last day in Salatiga, she picked me up at the hotel and took me around the city to get pictures of the graffitis (which all were taken with my 2 MP camera phone, sorry for that). So, thanks a lot, Ikka! And I hope you guys think these graffitis are nice as I do too. Enjoy the pictures!

Random Story #5

I think I shall have a mental breakdown very soon. I don’t know what the hell keeps me sane all these time, but I can barely contain myself any longer. I’ll probably explode anytime soon.

“I’m gonna have another bath,” she said, as she raced towards the bathroom, not wanting to hear further arguments or protests from her partner.

Then she poured the hot water into the bathtub while she let her mind wander.

“Perhaps I should have just drowned myself while I bathe later.”

Then after the tub was filled, she took off her clothes and jumped in.

She felt the warmth of the water and she felt surprisingly comfortable. So she closed her eyes for a while.

Then she opened her eyes.

She stared blankly at her legs as she sat on the tub. She wrapped her hands around her legs in the water as she lay her chin on her knees.

Then suddenly all the emotions she’d been keeping inside flowed uncontrollably as tears ran down her cheeks.

She made sure she didn’t let out a single sound while she let her tears out.

She washed her face, hoping that the tears would be mixed up with water, and as she felt the water dripping from her face, the tears were still pouring out, still distinguishable from the water.

So she splashed some water on her face again.

She sat there for a while, trying to calm herself down, as well as making sure that there were no tears left when she left the bathroom later.

After the tears finally stopped, she drowned herself for 5 seconds in the water before she finally stepped out of the tub and drained it.

She looked at her reflection in the mirror as she dried herself with the towel.

No tears left. And her eyes–as well as her facial expression–looked normal. As normal as anyone who had just bathed without crying.

She let out a sigh and stared intently at her reflection. Would she cry again when she left the bathroom? Could she contain herself if she heard something painful after this?

After she made sure that she wouldn’t cry anymore she opened the door.

Although the pain didn’t leave, she could ignore it now.

Painful, yes, but she could live with it. She’d borne it all this time, after all, and she did it on her own.

Yes, on her own.

   “Like God never exists. If He did, He never seem to care anyway.”