Posts Tagged ‘postaweek2011’

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

This was taken from the walkway on the skytrain in Bangkok. I guess this is the advertising world equivalent of “location, location, location.”

I wish my car would this. A sure, nice way to beat the traffic 🙂

ps: note the infamous Bangkok traffic on the bottom right-hand corner.

Onwards and Upwards!


How I Met My Fears

Scared child

Image via Wikipedia

Writing these thoughts down, on an electronic piece of paper, knowing it will be released world-wide (web) with the click of a button.. scares the hell out of me. And I don’t deal well with fear. I will tell you my likes and dislikes, my hobbies, my families and friends, my strengths and weaknesses, what I had to eat and drink today, and everything else under the sun (simply put, things you probably couldn’t care less about).. and yet I will never admit to you, my dear readers and listeners, what my fears are, my vulnerabilities (though these arguably are also things you probably couldn’t care less about).

I know – as I’m sure you all do as well — that we all have to face our fears on way or another. My mantra of “mind over matter” combined with my happy-go-lucky/what-will-be-will-be philosophy means that I do not face my fears in the real life. I suppress them, as a defense mechanism and survival skill. Is it any wonder then that they come out at night? My guards are down, and my mind is free to roam its darkest corners.

I dream.

They’re not so much nightmares as they are “fear” dreams; the sensation is more of unease and discomfort, rather than goosebumps. No eeriness, but just lost and unsure.

I will admit this: the most recurring “fear dream” involves me roaming around a huge, vast city with major avenues and labyrinth-like alleyways. It’s usually black and white, and the city is dotted with landmarks from various places: Central Park with Monas at the center, then turn a corner only to see London Eye by the Gold Coast. And yet, for all its glitz and glamour, I run through the place without finding anyone. I run, walk, stumble and fumble, praying and hoping I’ll bump into someone. Anyone.

There were no deaths in the dream, no zombies or monsters or ghosts. I know this, and yet I have never felt so afraid in my life. My simple self-diagnosis will say this is my fear of loneliness acting out. I am an extrovert, which means I get my energy from other people and so without them I am nothing.

On the flip-side, I am an extrovert precisely because I fear loneliness… not the other way around. Some people may think it’s very easy for me to strike up a conversation with a random stranger, to walk into a group of people and introduce myself, and even to call someone I have never met because I am new to the place and a friend of a friend gave her number to me as my “starting point” to the city. Let me confess this: I am terrified every single time I do this. And yet, the alternative — the big vast empty city that I know so well from my dreams — scares me even more. And so I take a deep breath, and begin with “Hi!”

So while having and waking up from these fear dreams are no fun, they do introduce me to those fears I try to hide from at daylight. Better to meet – and conquer – them in your dreams rather than in real life, methinks. And as they say, sometimes imagined fears are worse than the real deal.

What are your fears? How do you meet – and handle – them?

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)