Tuesday, September 26, 2006

He says my English doesn’t flow well

…yes he’s damn right. Thanks a lot to Billy Mac for his time reviewing my blog.

Choppy Seas.

I have to say this blog's a tough one...It's written by a young lady originally from Indonesia and English is admitably her second language so the writing doesn't flow well in my opinion. Having said that it's amazing to me that people can learn another language and attempt to write in that language and succeed in it. The blog is OK otherwise...just not one of my favorites because of the flow factor.

Let me tell you a little secret. I registered this blog on February 2004 and it was written in Bahasa Indonesia, mixed with English a bit. However, due to some circumstances and my procrastination on blogging, I decided to remove all postings and been hiatus for quite long; some time in early 2005.

Later on May 2006, I started blogging again, until now on. The sole reason was merely to improve my English. No kidding or bluffing around. FYI, I’ve been learning English throughout formal education since primary 3 and it was last on my first year in university. It was terrible; I really need guidance and media to help my English out of stagnancy. Why, what’s so great about mastering English? Well I may not able to give you good answer for that question, but in my personal opinion; English is a universal language to communicate with others worldwide and to get more knowledge.

And yet I found blog is a good media to make a start. Guess what; one of my friends once used her liberty to correct my posting by e-mail that regarded to grammar, vocabularies, and chosen of words, pronoun inconsistency, and some other technical faults. It was like having line-keepers out there! LOL.

I hope my explanation above will answer my blog visitors’ questions about why I use English on (almost) all of my postings. Some of them claimed that they didn’t understand English thus they were too lazy to read my posting. I don’t mind at all and somehow it makes me realize that learning something new is really hard and tough.

Billy Mac’s comments have told me that I still have to make a lot of works to fix my English-story-flow. I’m far away from perfection. Nevertheless, learning by doing is what I’ve been working on. If I may quote from Marsha’s blog description; “learning still in progress.”

Last but not least, I’m really thankful to A. Fatih Syuhud for awarding me Blogger Indonesia of the Week (53) and Wimar Witoelar for his flash review on my posting “National Library: Revealed!”. I mean it.

Feedbacks from you are also very welcome ;)

Friday, September 22, 2006

National Library: revealed!

Those who have read everything are thought to understand everything too: but it is not always so. Reading furnished the mind only with materials of knowledge: it is thinking that makes what we read ours.

I went to a national library on Salemba Raya 28 this noon to satisfy my curiosity about public libraries available in Jakarta. How come? If you read completely my previous posting entitled “Traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia”, you must’ve figured it out. One of my blog viewers –who I’ve recognized as ‘pengamat’- rebated my statement saying that we don’t have any public libraries here. Yet (s)he gave me this URL.

Thus I decided to experience myself how a public library works here. The one on Salemba Raya 28 is pretty far from my residence, but whatever… my curiosity was driving me crazy! LOL.

My first impression when I found the building; okay, it has a wide parking area and esthetical fountain in the middle. Nice.

Today is my first time visiting this national library. No wonder when I put my first step into the building, my eyes were shortly attracted to a huge sculpture(?).

I was browsing around and found its new collections on the display. It has some interesting collections in vary languages (as I saw on the display); English, Dutch, French, etc. I wasn’t able to access their library to see their collections, since the access are given to member only.

Below are facts I’ve had during my visit;

  1. National library has a lot of collections from almost every category (books, manuscripts, papers, magazine, newspapers, audio-visual, etc) which are compiled and classified into 9 different floors.
  2. The library opens on weekdays from 9 AM to 4 PM.
  3. Visitors are divided into two categories; members and non-members. Both of them have to fill the guestbook.
  4. Members are opened to students and public. You will be charged IDR 10,000 per year and given a member card.
  5. Visitors are provided lockers to deposit their carriage since they are not allowed to bring along bags, backpack, jacket, food and drinks, and plastics. Visitors are required to wear appropriate clothes. Otherwise, you will be penalized for administration charge. However, you are allowed to bring notes and stationary.
  6. Visitors (both members and non-members) are prohibited to take library’s collection home. What a weird condition to be regarded as a public library.
  7. Members have privileges to read and make a copy of collections to read it at home.
  8. Non-members have access only to browse the catalogue on the 2nd floor. You can’t read there or make a copy.
  9. Most of the visitors coming from high schools and college students nearby.

Finally, I’ve made up my conclusion; it’s NOT a public library. It’s just a NATIONAL library. Public library lends its collection (for free! Except for the late charges), free access for everyone, provides cozy place to read on, and free membership for all (based on my research of public libraries overseas). No wonder, reading-as-a-habit is not very familiar among Indonesians in general. You know why; it’s hard to find a public library in the city. All you can see is bookstores transforming as public libraries. Nice try.

Updated on Oct 1, 2006: this posting has been reviewed by Jakartass on Sept 29, 2006. Thanks for the grammar correction as well.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Moment of Reflection

Today is the day that endorses my 20 years of age in mother earth. In my humble opinion, birthday is not always about the party or any expensive celebration. I have had that kind of party on my 17th birthday and I think I already had enough.

I suggest this is the time when I have to reflect my life all these years. What have I achieved so far? I think I don’t have any to be proud of. Why? Because most of the time, I always fail to conquer myself;

  • I easily get cranky when things are not like what I expected. High-tempered; you may put it that way.
  • I often run from my problem instead of face it and get a solution of mistakes I’ve done.
  • I’m lack of patience.
  • I’m afraid to lose yet I often get jealous with others.
  • I’m (quite) vindictive. *sigh*

I’m far away from perfection.

Fortunately, I’m not alone. I have family and friends who always give me the great supports I have ever had, find and guide me when I walk on a wrong way, raise me up when I was fall, cheer me when I was sad; they always there for me. They are all God’s gifts to me. And I’m really grateful for that.

This is a tribute to my magical beans…

  • My Family.

My mom (I don’t have any idea what would I do with my life without you), my brothers (meskipun maksudnya baik biar jadi ‘bodyguard’ buat kakak cewek satu-satunya ini, tapi tetep aja rese deh lo berdua buntutin orang pacaran! Hahahaha), Opa (yang di usianya yang sudah 70 tahun lebih, masih bersedia anterin saya ke sekolah di saat mama tidak bisa mengantar dan memberikan mesin tik tuanya untuk mendukung hobi menulis saya sebelum saya mempunyai komputer), Oma (inget banget deh pas masih kecil sering dijagain trus dikuncirin rambutnya sebelum berangkat ke sekolah), and Engkong (who never stops to give me advices again and again). Not to forget about my late father and grandparents; Nini & Opung, you are always in my prayer.

  • My Friends.

Winda (my closest friend since primary school), Karina (yang selalu tahan dengan celaan saya), Sabine (yang rumahnya selalu jadi tempat menginap ketika ujian), Novi (yang sering bertukar bekal dengan saya di kampus dan juga temen chit-chat pas kelasnya membosankan, hahaha), Abas (yang selalu bisa membuat saya tertawa), Venty (si super sabar yang hobi belajar), Ferda (si pelit yang sudah mulai boros buat belanja), Shelly (si jangkung yang punya potensi jadi model), Adeline (she’s all that, I envy her!), Icha (yang mengenalkan saya dengan mirc), Bim (yang selalu saya repotin jika sesuatu terjadi pada komputer saya), and many more. I’m very sorry if I forget to mention your name here. So many good friends around me and I really appreciate it. I’ve learnt many things giving meanings of my life.

  • My Gurus and Inspiring People.

…are people influencing me in formal and informal education, technology, yet convincing me that life itself is a learning process. In junior high: Mr. Dwi Sapta Nugroho, Mr. Antonius Tumidjo. In senior high: Ms. Alma, Ms. Dewi, Ms. Yuli, Sr. Francesco. Private teachers: Hengky Harmita (mastering Math, Physics, Chemistry, Technology, English, and French), Eric (who always makes my English essays full of red marks), Mr. Jon, and Mrs. Henny W. Salindeho. Thanks a lot for your patience and supports to help me filling my empty brain and raising my insatiable desire of knowledge.

Along with my growing numbers of ages, I surely have a wish. A lot of wishes, to be honest. But the most important thing of all; I really wish to change. To be a better person; a better me. And I need your help and support for sure. May God fulfill my wish.

P.S: Surprise! My hunny was the first person to wish me a happy birthday on 12.03 AM. Who’s next? :p

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday Shopping

My mom and I went to Carrefour hypermarket in Duta Merlin this evening. It’s been a long time since the last time I visited hypermarket. I knew that crowd always happens due to weekend, but I truly hate this one. We intended to shop daily needs for a month at least, so we had to get a trolley for sure. Guess what, one of employees said it was running out of numbers. Gosh, how many trolleys do they have for a hypermarket that I can’t get one?

Later on, two women employees carried 3 trolleys toward us. My mom asked for one but they gave her not! One of them said that the trolleys were used to carry water gallons. What the heck?! They should’ve used appropriate trolleys instead of using customers’! (see image 4; appropriate one)

As for the result of having no trolley at all, I carried our stuffs in a basket. *sob* It was really heavy, seriously. We ended up carrying 2 baskets, since we didn’t able to take the third one.

What I feel pity upon this case is that most of employees use customer trolleys which I think its damn wrong! (see image 1,2,3)

Customers need to be prioritized, right?

P.S: Pictures are coincidently taken since I was bringing along my camera. ;)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Traveling to Jakarta, Indonesia

I have received some interesting e-mails from my blog readers few weeks ago. Thanks for writing me, I really appreciate it.

Today’s post I dedicate specially to Jenny in Queensland, Australia. She wrote me asking for my perspectives of Indonesia and especially Jakarta to get a feel for this wonderful country, since lots of websites are more concerned with negatives. Moreover, she told me that her husband will have been transferred to the Jakarta office for his work in January 2007 and apparently, he will take his family to go with him. I’m glad to hear her family good news.

As a mother of 3 young children, I really understand why she has such concern and excitement to get a feel and know more about Jakarta in particular. Frankly, I always do the same thing before traveling out of town or even overseas; getting information as much as possible about my destination! Most of time; I often seek for its shopping place and typical food of the city. *grin* Not to forget about common tourists destination as well.

Ok back to the topic…

Traveling to Jakarta is slightly a bit different than moving to stay for a period of time. It’s not just a matter of time, but it’s more about adaptation to make you enjoy your staying.

I’m not going to tell you about tourist destinations, since you can read them from books or websites. I’m going to tell you about the different things you will find here in Jakarta.

  1. Traffic Jam

…happens anytime, anywhere. “Car is a must-have item” may be the reason why Jakarta is full of private vehicles instead of public. You can’t find tram, subway, or monorail (coming soon though) here. In my opinion, most people are not comfortable using public transportation because of the lack of security using them, like pickpockets. In addition to that, most of public transports are dirty, full of graffiti, and nasty. Not to forget about the easiness to have a car or motorcycle with low-interest credits, no wonder you can always get trapped in a traffic jam for hours; anytime, anywhere. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Welcome to Jakarta! :-)

  1. Say Goodbye to (drinkable) Tap Water!

Why? Because there is no such tap water available in Jakarta. You ought to boil first the tap water here, and then you shall have –at least good water to be consumed. I realize it’s quite difficult to change a habit, but please keep it in mind; otherwise you may have a stomachache. In some areas in Jakarta, you may find yellowish tap water or even salty. I’m sure it’s all because there is sea nearby, or perhaps, the quality of its land. Tap water in Jakarta is commonly using air tanah. (Each house has a pump-well to get water from the soil.) However, in order to have better quality water, you can subscribe to PAM Jaya (a private institution) by paying bills every month. Yes, you have to spend more money on this, since water plays important role in our daily life.

  1. Food Hawkers

There are a lot of food hawkers you shall find here. Even in your neighborhood, you can always find some food hawkers. The common menu for breakfast is chicken porridge, complete with kerupuk. Along the day, you may see other food like gado-gado, ketoprak, mie ayam & bakso, gorengan, rujak, siomay, pempek-pempek Palembang, and many more. If you wish to have supper but no meals available in your fridge, no worries; there are also food hawkers in the evening! The choices may vary in other areas; sate ayam/kambing, nasi goreng tek-tek, etc. My advice; please take a TYPHUS VACCINE first (to prevent typhus) once you arrived here, since most of food hawkers don’t put much attention for their food hygiene.

  1. No shower, No tissue; No Cry!

Let’s have a look inside the bathroom. Err..bad news! No shower and no tissue there. If you spend nights at a hotel, you shall find those two. But not at home. Most Indonesians prefer to have bak mandi; a cube containing water, and gayung to take water from the bak mandi, instead of a shower. Bak mandi is not a bathtub, okay, so don’t put yourself into it. It’s smaller for a bathtub anyway. As for tissue stuff, well I have to admit most of bathrooms don’t provide it, except for those malls’, hotels’, or some houses’… I think you should try another way to clean it; the hints are hands, gayung, water, and soap bar.

  1. Public Places

What kind of public places we don’t have here (as far as I’m concern); playground, Dog Park, public library! *sigh* So if you wish to read some books for free, you have to go to malls and find a bookstore providing comfort just like home; e.g. QB World Books (you can find it at Jl. Sunda, Plaza Semanggi, Kemang, Arteri Pondok Indah, Plaza Senayan), Ak.sa.ra (Kemang, Cilandak Town Square, Plaza Indonesia), or Kinokuniya (SOGO-Plaza Senayan, Debenhams-Plaza Indonesia). FYI, when you want to cross a street, besides watching Green Light for pedestrian, you have to watch carefully for cars! Don’t get confused if the sign tells you to walk meanwhile the cars still running fast, just wait up or you’ll get hit. In Jakarta, some people believe that rules are made to be broken. *sigh*

  1. Internet Access

Another bad news, our internet access is extremely SLOW, especially for dial-up connection. We do have cable connection (approximately US$80/month –unlimited) and ADSL (US$200/month –unlimited) though. But still, both of them are limited to some areas. Don’t be shocked and get cranky just because of this, okay, I’ve told you in advance. LOL.

Photos taken from:
Traffic Jam: http://www.epa.gov/
Tap Water: http://www.rwcc.com.au/
Toilet: http://www.irtc.org/