Archive for September, 2011

Weekly Photo Challenge: Flowers

I took this picture during a random walk in Koto Gadang, West Sumatra, a place known for its silverworks and Dutch-inspired houses. While Koto Gadang means “big city”, it was actually more of a quiet and small village. But coming from hectic Jakarta, I enjoyed the quiet moment to just amble around and take in the beautiful scenery. I was pleasantly surprised with this photo, and something about the colours and the texture of the wooden house/flowers, just takes me back to that quaint village.

Koto Gadang, West Sumatra


Weekly Photo Challenge: Entrance

This is the imposing entrance to the equally majestic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus), the train station in Mumbai, India. This is where the 2008 terrorist attacks took place, and it is also the shooting location for the movie Slumdog Millionaire. I did my own version of Jai Ho there too 🙂

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai, India

Revenge is Best Served by A Policeman: My Biggest Frustration about Driving

Like all cool things, this post is double-titled. Triple or quadruple would have been even better. Ask Puff Diddy/P. Diddy/Diddy/Sean Combs.

So the WP PostADay team asked me (yes, just me) what my biggest frustration is about driving. I don’t know if they have ever been to where I currently live — Jakarta — but I doubt it. Why? Well, the suggestions include things like “people who don’t know how to merge”, or  “the ones who leave their turn signals on for decades.” Oh, I wish these were my biggest frustrations! You hard-core fellow Jakartans can laugh along with me here.

To the rest of the world, here’s the Jakarta version of things-that-make-driving-fun:

1. Buses that stop anytime, anywhere. The world is their bus stop, apparently. Yes, even in the middle of a 4-lane road with 10 seconds left on the green light.

2. Same bus crossing the red light, while you (of course) dutifully stop.

3. Motorcycles going counterflow, on possibly every single road in Jakarta.

4. Motorcyles cutting across the lane without the slightest acknowledgment of my car.

5. Same motorcyle, with his wife and kids riding without helmets, who looked back in anger when I honked him.

6. Vehicles taking up the bus lanes dedicated to TransJakarta. There are portals blocking the lanes (they only open when the buses come) and lane barriers, but those with the  SUVs (i.e. rich people who are supposedly well-educated) just drive across the barriers after they’ve passed those portals. These include cars with the government/police/military license plates. Yes, even our Minister of Social Affairs did it!

7. Cars that go on the right lane, but you just know that they will cut in front and turn left. Vice versa for those turning right.

8. Cars that go sloooooooooowwww on the right lane in a 4-lane highway. And they are blind/deaf to all the honking and light-flashing that you give ’em. Seriously, dude. This is what they mean by “all talk, no action.”

9. Even worse, cars that hog two lanes. You can’t even pass these b*stards!

10. This is actually more heartbreaking than frustrating, but… cars that take advantage of someone’s emergency: those that tailgate an ambulance.

On a brighter note, on Friday I got my revenge on offender #7. See, usually you just have grin-and-bear-it when you see any of these Top 10 offenders… short of chasing after and ramming them in the back for the joy of it. But, lo and behold, the police was in action and actually stopped a guy who cut right in front of me to turn left! I honked, and tried to defend my lane as he inched closer, but I was already pressed against the side pavement and so I had to let him go first. As he turned left, the policeman came in front and stopped him! Yay! Eat that! Mampus lo! Rasain! Oooooooh, the joy of watching him trying to defend himself!!! *grin* You just made my day, Mr. Policeman.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains

The power of mountains! This is the child of that infamous volcano Krakatoa… and while the mom is quietly sleeping away, the child is still busy being active and creating havoc, like all normal kids. I actually spent a night on the foot of this mountain and climbed half-way up while hearing it rumbling. Glad I survived!

Anak Krakatoa, Sunda Strait

Weekly Photo Challenge: Broken

This is another picture taken during my trip to Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan. The first settlements were along the rivers, where they built wooden houses on stilts. I guess with the recent developments, some of these river houses were abandoned as people preferred the concrete houses built more inland. Here goes my interpretation of a “broken home” 😀

River Houses (Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan)

The -Bers Are Here?


Image by eschipul via Flickr

For real? Already? It only felt like yesterday that I welcomed June, and now I am welcoming the first member of the Ber family: September! And how funny (and slightly unsettling, in that Groundhog-Day way) that my to-do list today is exactly the same as that from 3 months ago: housework, office work, and car-work (gym-work happened yesterday already).

Talk about how time flies — and I did say that I’d like more time, please! I guess this should be another prod on my back that I should really start moving and doing something… something apart from the usual routines of housework, office work, and car-work. Yes, they need to be done now and will always need to be done again sometime in the future. But there should be something more, right? I mean, it seems like people are always up to doing great great stuff and I’m just, well, blah. Like I’m not going anywhere. Is this what people mean when they say they’ve “fallen in a rut”? Well, whatever they call it, it sucks.

And how do one get out of this so-called rut? I have to admit, I am not a big fan of those self-help books.. what I call the “duh” books. As in, “Duh, of course!” I am, by far and beyond, a leftie on the brain: where logic rules and where it is truly mind over matter. So I don’t do emotions much and I don’t do cheesy moments. So no, this “falling in a rut” – where my brain is left idle – is so not my cup of tea. Snap out if it, damnit! Yeah, will do, on the next ad break…