I have been dying from a severe lack of inspiration this one year past. Or maybe it’s just because twitter is much easier to do than paragraphs of endless rambling in a WordPress page. Blimey, get a smartphone and a lavish 12-GB data plan and you’re bound to turn into an addict which world solely turns around your mobile. I think it is healthier spending time in front of a bigger screen, read everything from LGBT pride parades around the world to the beginning of Summer solstice in the northern hemisphere while listening to Dia Frampton covering Zac Brown Band on youtube. Healthier still, to shut down every electronics devices you own (except for the aircon perhaps) and just sit down, read a book which you have failed to finish since the day you bought it with so much pride (The Last Days of Old Beijing, Michael Meyer), sipping good tea in the afternoon. But heck, I have a life you know. On my mobile.
Okay, firstly I’d like to extend my late late congratulation to a bro halfway around the world who had just officially become a geek with an advanced degree in geekiness (by that, I mean Computer Engineering). He will will someday become a designer of something that will be the brain of whatever you are using to view this post. Yes, he will.
I’m proud of you. I want a Mac, by the way.
I am crazy about this band Belle & Sebastian. I know, for you who’ve been into indies it’ll be like, where have you been dude? But it’s like any great love affairs, what started as an unprecedented encounter has developed into a sweet surprise and gratitude. And it’s been turning my room into a cozy lounge every night.
Talking about unprecedented encounter that brings sweet surprise (or serendipitous-ness if you like): you know the feeling you get after accidentally watching Almost Famous? You got this hope that there’s probably more to life than what you know now. That maybe someday, I would get a piano lesson despite my terrible rhythmic sense and can still at least pull off an old Smokey Robinson. This is what a fortunate incident should have. It brings you hope, or false hope. Or the thought that your life could change.
Not so much different with the first time meeting a girl you know at an instant you would soon fancy. It’ll bring you nothing but trouble. But we all love trouble.
Color my life with the chaos of trouble.
Cause anything is better than posh isolation.
It’s not that I’m not good enough for you. It’s probably just that I’m never good enough for myself.
excerpted from some raunchy B-class comedy.
Geometri euclidean mengatakan, garis lurus adalah pemersatu terdekat dua titik yang berjauhan.
Antara diri kita yang sekarang dan diri kita yang kita cita-citakan, impikan, dan perjuangkan ada satu garis lurus khayal yang seturut pandangan kita. Garis lurus itu mungkin sepanjang lintasan horison yang senantiasa membelah lautan dan angkasa. Tapi ia lurus. Dan apa yang di ujungnya selalu tergapai oleh cahaya yang menelusup retina kita. Berbeda dengan jejak kaki kita, yang berjalan melangkah melalui simpangan, lengkungan, turunan, dan bukit. Yang jika dilihat dari bawah seperti jalan berliku yang tiada habisnya. Atau jika dilihat dari atas seperti pusaran tiada ujung yang membentuk spiral tak bertepi. Mungkin jikalau pun kita punya seribu tahun lagi, tak akan pernah kita sampai di ujung khayal itu. Kita akan mati di tengah perjalanan, seperti berjuta insan sebelum kita. Dan garis lurus itu tetaplah garis khayal yang menghubungkan antara diri kita yang kita kenal dan diri kita yang asing namun seturut hasrat jiwa.
Tapi hidup itu ada prioritas. Yang paling penting bukanlah apa yang ada di ujung garis itu, tapi apa yang kita bawa bersama kita sepanjang jalan. Karena mereka punya jiwa. Dan bukan hanya seturut mata kita. Bukan hanya seturut hasrat kita. Yang terus kita bawa. Sampai mati. Sampai setelah mati.
p.s. bukan mau gaya pake bahasa belanda, tapi frasa itu dilontarkan oleh Bung Karno ketika menjelaskan sesuatu yang sangat berbeda dengan yang tertulis di sini dan saya hanya tertegun oleh maknanya.
Een denkbeeldige rechte lijn. An imaginary straight line.
Sudah lewat sebulan sejak pindah ke daerah Hougang nun jauh dari NTU sana. Belum ada satu pun update di halaman ini. Maklum, sekarang lagi ngga punya komputer. Ini saja sedang minjam dari flatmate. Tapi biar lagi pengangguran, kere, laptop-less, hape-less (ga punya HP juga T_T), setidaknya saya tidak homeless. Sore kemarin ini, bermodal kamera pinjaman dengan lensa kit seadanya saya turun ke bawah dan jepret sana sini buat ngasih liat lingkungan baru yang asri ini.
Ini nih, flat kita. Total kayanya ada 14 lantai, tapi karena masing2 unit terdiri dari 2 lantai jadi sebenarnya bole dianggap 7 lantai. Kita tinggal di corner unit di lantai 2, jadinya ga pernah deh pake lift gedung yang sebelah rusak sebelah lagi agak seram. Tapi kayanya uda selesai dibenerin deh.
Tadinya saya sebenarnya malas mau jalan-jalan sore apalagi motret-motret lingkungan kompleks. Tapi pas lagi di kamar nyobain kamera…
Ngeliat sore yang cerah begini, perasaan jadi enak. Jadi deh saya jalan-jalan sore.
Jalan-jalan sore di sekitar kompleks ternyata asik juga. Sambil menghirup udara segar, meliat langit biru dan dedaunan hijau, diiringi suara senda gurau anak-anak kompleks. Gak banyak sebenarnya yang bisa dilihat dalam kompleks. Cuma ada gedung-gedung tetangga, taman sebelah rumah, lapangan bola sebelah taman, sampai tempat parkir. Tapi ke-homey-an suasananya itu loh. Tiap menarik napas rasanya beban hidup berkurang sedikit demi sedikit.
Makin sore, cahaya matahari makin redup. Bulan sabit udah nongol aja awal-awal begini. Langit yang bersih membuat kita bisa ngeliat dengan jelas bulannya, meskipun kecil di langit sana.
Pas iseng-iseng nge-zoom lensanya, baru deh keliatan sabitnya lebih jelas. Ga taunya di sebelahnya ad bintang kecil nan terang. Si Bintang Kejora alias Planet Venus. Tapi kalau di poto yg ud dikecilin ini mungkin ga keliatan sih…
Begitulah suansana satu sore di Hougang ave 7. Bulan sabit kecil di langit yang bersih ditemani bintang kejora yang nyaris tidak kelihatan. Tidak terlalu istimewa. Mau dipotret malah keliatan jemuran celana jeans orang lain di apartemen sebelah. hehehe… Tapi ya seperti itulah kehidupan di sini. Dilihat dari jauh kecil saja, tidak istimewa. Yang ada cuma peristiwa keseharian biasa seperti menjemur pakaian. Kalau emang anda seperti saya yang suka sok melodramatis, mungkin di sanalah letak keindahan dari kehidupan.
Dan begitulah waktu berlalu di lingkungan baru. Dari sore yang terang hingga petang yang menjelang.
Semoga lain kali bisa menangkap lebih banyak lagi gambar kehidupan dengan lebih ciamik.
Ernest Hemingway would get up in the morning and wrote about four to six hundred words and that would be it. And he would start drinking gin.
That was quoted from David Letterman when he interviewed Lost’s Evangeline Lilly about her aptitude to write fiction. The point is that the process of writing is hard, and even the ones good at it often find it to be ‘the demon’. So that’s why it sometimes took me long to update this page.
Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.
I was thinking about this line while listening to Me and Bobby McGee the other day. Let me tell you why it is so true. I just finished last exam as an undergraduate student, finished the final project report and after I got out of final presentation room that day, I thought, ‘this is it’. Assuming nothing will go wrong in the next week, I am thus officially free. I won’t lose the joy and hardship of undergrad life anymore. I already lost it.
Life is waiting.
I had nothing to do at our new apartment in Hougang district that day so I watched The Terminal for like, the third time. Not that it’s very good but I felt good watching it. The story is about a man getting stuck in a New York airport with no country, no money, no nothing. He’s simply unacceptable. This surely reflects ans an allegory to our lives at one point or another. I’d say, for my peeps waiting for something to turn out in their lives as I am doing right now, may it be a job, exam results, graduate studies admission or whatever, be patient.
For you, a thousand times over.
Right before I re-watched The Terminal, I watched Kite Runner (I so got nothing to do, huh?). That reminds me of the novel I finished reading 2 years ago. Since then, how many books have I read? Not much I guess. I got a pile of books bought and waiting to be read, but tonnes of excuses of time spending for other purposes. So as we should listen more than we speak, I think we should really read more than we write. So I would continue on finishing Obama’s Dreams from my Father and write some four to six hundred words again tomorrow. And that would be it.
Previously in ‘7 Days’… The first day was a great trip around Kunming: from the airport to the pigeon lake, from the tea center to the steamboat restaurant. This is the second day, finally. (I’ve been busy peeps, pardon me)
12 January 2010
07.00AM We have early breakfast at the hotel. A combination of american breakfast menu mixed with the local taste. There’s a group of basketball athletes, seemingly college students, whom are ridiculously tall. Imagine a team of Yao Mings. :-O
you see the tall kids queueing for buffet?
08.00AM Today we’re going to Yiliang region on a trip that takes roughly two hours. Along the way we see knolls with various trees scarcely grown. Fun trivia: the Yunnan province has red soil, hence the poor growing of vegetation.
On the highway, see the geography of Yunnan
The Underground Caverns.
10.00AM We arrive at Jiuxiang Karst Cave. For those who want to know, Karst is a topography characterized by subterranean limestone caverns. It is carved by groundwater and the key to its formation is dissolution of earth rocks which resulted in dolines or sinkholes. In english, we're going to see underground cave!!! woo hooo!!!
Before entering the gate we find a public toilet with a signboard written “FEE TOILET” (Toilet Berbayar?) It’s not expensive, apparently, only 1 CNY per person with a pack of free tissue. And more importantly it is cleaner than most other public toilets in this country.
Me and the Fee Toilet Signboard
Then we enter the Jiuxiang Karst Cave. We are brought to see a wonderful cavern of natural earth rocks of various sizes and shapes. The cave is showered with spotlights of many colors, giving it a nice feeling and texture to the rocks. I bet a night club themed underground cave would be a nice idea.
these are the sinkholes I’m talking about
layered underground rocks showered with spotlights
the stalactites and stalagmites of limestone
Crossing the cavern, we come to hundreds of staircase to climb up and down. Along the way is a scenery of waterfall and more rocks, layered rocks. We get to see the “Magic Field”, a huge pile of layered rocks forming a giant staircase like the one we called terasering back in Indonesia.
it does look so ancient, the cavern, the waterfall, the rocks
Spending almost an hour inside the cave, we get out and take the cable car to a restaurant where we’re gonna have lunch of special Yiliang Roasted Duck.
a view from the cable car, who’s afraid of height shall not try
The Peacock Garden.
1.15PM The journey is continued to the Colorful Yunnan Complex to see the Peacock Garden. Another one and half hour on the road, getting on the highway now with stomach full.
Fun trivia: in China, cars drive on the right side of the road
02.30PM We arrive at the Peacock Garden. There, we can see… garden? And a few peacocks despite the name.
here’s the garden, can’t get my hand to some nice peacock photos though
We then continue to grab some merchandise from the Colorful Yunnan Complex. They have several separate buildings that sell food, jewelery, chinese medicine, tea, and so on.
paintings, anyone? originality guaranteed.
they have lots of dried food as snacks
To close the day, we’re going to Jixinyuan Restaurant for a dinner accompanied with traditional Yunnan dances.
05.30PM We arrive at the restaurat. The ballroom catches my attention instantly. It is beautifully decorated with classic ornaments.
the great ballroom and the royal-like dining table
The food provided is arranged very nicely, matching the great ambience and heighten my appetite. They serve in total 8 kinds of foods tonight, good enough for starving people after a day of journey.
happy faces, good food, great place
Finally, the dances are performed with the dancers in beautiful costumes and amazing choreography. Too bad we are sitting not exactly in the middle of the ballroom so it’s a bit difficult for me to get beautiful pictures. There are four sets of the dances. The record the acts and sell it in a DVD at 28 yuan a piece.
The four sets of dances!!!
and finally, the grandeur closing to the night!
and don’t forget to take pics with the pretty dancer
8.30PM So it’s the end of the day. I had great time, ate good food, saw great places, watched fascinating shows, and took some nice photos. Let’s see what we’re going to have tomorrow!
p.s. All photos in this post is the courtesy of Frederikus Elvinto Putra. Any act of copying without the party’s written or oral agreement is considered a copyright infringement.