Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pick Up Lines From Movies

During the bedroom cleaning process, I stumbled upon Youthspeak, the TJaP's monthly tabloid focusing on students. The March edition is about poems, rhymes and even pick up lines found in movies. Then, I did some googling and found more. Since I love pick up lines, I just want to share them here. Enjoy!

"You know the sort of girl who doesn't sleep with a man on a first date?  Well, I'm not one of those." - Emma Thompson to Jeff Goldblum in The Tall Guy, 1990.

"Let's get married and if that doesn't work out we'll live together and if that doesn't work out we'll date." - Randy Quaid in Lightning, 1996.

"Well, I'll tell you the truth now.  l ain't a real cowboy, but I'm one helluva stud." - Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, 1969.

"How about coming up to my place for a spot of heavy breathing?" - Walter Mathau to Carol Burnett in Pete 'n' Tillie, 1972.

"Why don't you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini?" - Robert Benchley to Ginger Rogers in The Major and the Minor, 1942.

"I used to live like Robinson Crusoe, shipwrecked among eight million people.  Then one day,  I saw a footprint in the sand, and there you were." - Jack Lemmon to Shirley MacClaine in the Apartment, 1960.

"I gotta warn ya, every man I've ever gone out with has been ruined."
"Well, that's what they get for messing with my girl."
(Annette Benning and Warren Beatty, Bugsy, 1991)

"You came back to this bar to see me tonight, didn't you."
"What if it wasn't you I came here to see tonight?"
"Well, ya’ got lucky."
(Paul Newman and Charlotte Rampling, The Verdict, 1982).

“Oh man…do you have change for a dollar? All I’ve got are these stupid Nepalese coins.”
“You've been to Nepal?”
“Not in months. I don't know why I bought the damn place.”
(Matt Dillon and Cameron Diaz, There’s Something About Mary, 1998)

"You know, when you blow out the match, it's an invitation to kiss you."
(John Gilbert to Greta Garbo, Flesh and the Devil, 1926)
“Rhett, don't. I shall faint.”
“I want you to faint. This is what you were meant for. None of the fools you've ever known have kissed you like this, have they?”
(Clarke Gable to Vivian Leigh, Gone With The Wind, 1939)

“When I think of why I make pictures, the reason that I can come up with just seems that I've been making my way here. It seems right now that all I've ever done in my life is making my way here to you.”
(Clint Eastwood to Meryl Streep, The Bridges of Madison County, 1995)

“God. You're a real live outlaw!”
“I may be the outlaw, but you're the one stealin' my heart.”
(Gina Davis and Brad Pitt, Thelma and Louise, 1991)

"I love that you get cold when it's seventy one degrees out; I love that it takes you an hour and a half to order a sandwich; I love that you get a little crinkle above your nose when you're looking at me like I'm nuts; I love that after I spend a day with you I can still smell your perfume on my clothes, and I love that you are the last person I want to talk to before I go to sleep at night. And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."
(Billy Crystal to Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally, 1989)

"I have crossed oceans of time to find you."
Gary Oldman to Winona Ryder, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, 1992)

"Swoon. I'll catch you."
(Ralph Fiennes to Kristin Scott Thomas, The English Patient, 1996)

“Your eyes are amazing do you know that? You should never shut them, not even at night.”
(Oliver Martinez to Dianne Lane, Unfaithful, 2002)
Source: here and here      

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jakarta, Before And During Earth Hour

Check The Big Picture to see the other cities during the 2011 Earth Hour. The cool thing is we simply click on the image to see it fading to darkness.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zamrud Khatulistiwa*

There is no better way to know Indonesia, with its dozens of thousands of islands, than to explore it. What is the best way to do it? Two journalists decided to spend one year traveling the archipelago using motorcycles. One is Farid Gaban, a noted journalist with around 25 years of experience covering international events. The other, 20 years younger than Farid, goes by the name of Ahmad Yunus. 

Read more about their adventure here. Or here to read the article my colleague wrote.

The website is in Bahasa. I hope there will be the English version soon, so that more audience get the message. Anyway, the photos are amazing. Indonesia's nickname is the emerald of the equator, I guess it's because everything is blue and green here:). Enjoy!

Underwater beauties in Raja Ampat, Papua

Seeing the photos makes me longing for holiday *sigh*.

* means The Emerald of The Equator

Monday, March 28, 2011

Father-Daughter Moments

M&D leave each other's side when they're visiting my grandmother. I guess it's the adult way to have me-time. It is during the absence of my mother that I realize how funny my father is.
Below are excerpts of conversations I had with D when M was away.

#1. Eating
Me: What do you want for breakfast?
D : Nothing. I'll buy it at a nearby food stall. Or I make it myself.
Me: Noodles? Omelette? Fried rice?
D : No, I don't feel like eating anything now. Maybe later. (He's a picky eater)
Me: Okay.
(Then I cooked something for myself. A few minutes later I sat and ate.)
D : Hey, what's that?
Me: Oh, this is the chicken M left for us in the fridge.
D : That looks good. How about if you make another one like that?
Me: Sure (Aha, now I know how to make him eat!)

#2. Watch (or being watched by) the TV
Situation: D watched a boxing match. I was doing something, so I walked between the kitchen and the living room.
Me: Are you watching this?
D : Yes.
A few minutes later, I found D sleeping on the bench. I switched to another channel.
D : Hey, why do you change it? I'm watching. (suddenly wake up)
Me: Okay (switched back to boxing match)
--This conversation would take place again every 10 minutes

#3. Sleeping
Me: What are you planning to do today?
D : I don't know. There's a keroncong practice this afternoon. But I don't feel like going.
Me: Why? Just go. I'm sure you'll have fun with your friends.
D : I want to sleep at home.
Me: If M is here, you can sleep at home. But if she's not home, why don't you meet your friends?
D : If she's here, she'll be complaining when she sees me sleeping. I can sleep better when she's not around.

#4. Texting
Situation: I saw D holding the cell phone, it seemed he just send a text message to M.
Me: What did you say in the text?
D : I said that "it is safe and spacious here". Hahaha (the devilish kind of laugh)
Me: Well, I guess she feels the same too about being away from us.
D : Hmm, you're probably right. (staring at the cellphone)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Concert For Japan

Hello, sweeties! What are your plans this weekend?

I'll be working on Saturday, alas. But if you are free, you can come to a charity concert for Japan on Saturday night. Click on the picture above for details.

Another event on Saturday is the monthly movie screening in Erasmus Huis. This month, the movie is Eep, about a couple raising a winged child. Hmm, I think I can leave office for a few hours to see this movie:).

I'm also curious about Magnum Cafe in Grand Indonesia shopping mall. If I've completed all household chores on Sunday, perhaps I'd go to this cafe. Ice cream never fails to cheer me up:)

Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Playing With Photos Around Petak Sembilan*

Warning: post may contain shameless self promotion photos.

I may be born and grew up in Jakarta, but I always find interesting things from the city that make me goes,"Oh wow, I didn't know this part of the city." There are parts of the city that are changing and evolving, while other parts are keeping its tradition.

Anyway, two weeks ago I went to Glodok area with Peeyutz to find Lautan Mas, a store that sells diving gears. The store is located on Jl. Toko Tiga. So we took a busway ride and got off at Glodok shelter. 

From the busway shelter, we were supposed to find Jl. Pancoran before heading to Jl. Toko Tiga. So we asked a guard on the busway shelter how to get to the street. His response? "But Pancoran is on Jl. Gatot Subroto." Hmm, that's Pancoran subdistrict, not Jl. Pancoran. In Pancoran district, the names of the streets are Jl. Pancoran Barat, not Jl. Pancoran.

If you're a Jakartan, be honest with me, do you know that there is a street named Jl. Pancoran? Don't be embarrassed to say you don't know, because I also learned about the existence of Jl. Pancoran that day.

Another busway officer told us to walk through the market and the soft bridge and then turn left. As we walked along the shophouses, we noticed that an alley was adorned with lanterns. The alley was teeming with activities, vendors carrying their products, people going shopping and motorcycles passing through.

"Excuse me, what is the name of this alley? Is this Jl. Toko Tiga?" we asked a vendor nearby.
"Oh no, this is Petak Sembilan," the vendor replied.

We decided to take a quick look on the alley and took some photos. Glodok area is the Chinatown of Jakarta, so the decoration of the alley is dominated by the color of red.

You can feel how fast the people are moving there by noticing the guy in the brown shirt in my background. In the first photo he was looking to the left, then in the second photo he already picks up some boxes and poof, he is out from the third photo.

Petak Sembilan is actually famous for the various eateries. But we had to find to shop, remember, so we got back to the rows of shophouses again.

I really like walking along the shophouses again. There were so many vendors selling unique, cheap and (usually) not useful stuffs but I often found myself glancing to their goods.  

Back to our purpose of visit to the area. Did we find the shop? Let's take a look at the next photo.

Yes, we did! Did we buy the wetsuit? Well, Peeyutz did. She bought a very nice Mares wetsuit, worth Rp 1.2 million, thanks to 40 percent discount. The real price was Rp 2 million! Argh. I need to save money first.

Anyway, if you need wetsuit and other diving gears, Lautan Mas will hold the sale until March 31. The shop will close down at 5 p.m. Or if you want to have more option, there will be an exhibition on diving equipment in Jakarta Convention Center between March 31 - April 2.

*Petak Sembilan means Nine Square. It is also called Jl. Kemenangan (Victory Street). 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fly Me To The Moon

My darlings, what are your plan this weekend?

CCF Jakarta is holding the spring of the poets this week, with poem writing workshops on March 17 and releasing balloons with poems attached on March 19.

We can enjoy the exhibition of works of visual artist Ton Aartsen in Erasmus Huis Jakarta until March 23.

Or we can cast our gaze to the night sky this Saturday and enjoy the lunar perigee, while listening the Moonlight Sonata and eat mooncakes. Read more about the perigee here, if you like:). 

Jakarta has been very hot in the last few days. I wonder whether it is caused by the perigee or the equinox that will fall on March 20. Perhaps both are the cause. 

Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Importance Of Disaster Mitigation

A woman sits amidst wreckage caused by Friday's massive earthquake and the ensuing tsunami in Natori, northern Japan on Sunday. (Source: AP Photos/Asahi Shimbun,Toshiyuki Tsunenari). Click here if you want to see more photos, and don't forget to bring tissues.

When you're not living in a disaster-struck area, hearing news about earthquake and tsunami in Japan may sound like something far away, something that can not happen to you. But the truth is disasters can happen to you.

Now the question is: Are you prepared for the disaster?

Two of my college friends, Dindin and Rizqa, live in Japan, to be precise in Meguro area in Tokyo.  They were planning to go to Osaka that Friday. When the earthquake happened, Rizqa brought her daughter Raissa and baby son Rui, to the living room where there were no furniture or stuffs that could fall upon them. After the quake lightened up, she grabbed the bag for Osaka and the bag filled with documents, papers and other important letters. 

Tips#1: always put important papers in one place and within reach. 
Tips#2: always prepare one bag of clothing for emergency cases.

Those tips sounds simple, eh? But how many of us do that? I didn't, but I'll do it. Those tips are actually taught in Japan's schools. Hats off to the Japan government who has prepared its citizens for the disaster. I think this is a good idea to apply here because we have many natural disasters from earthquake to floods. Disasters are inevitable, but if we know what we're having, we can reduce the number of casualties.

During the journey to Ende, Flores Island, I learned that the locals had their own disaster mitigation team in the village. The team could help the people during floods. I think that's important, because some areas are too remote and if they wait for the authorities to act, it would be too late.

Rizqa sent a link about disaster survival manual during earth quake, click here, and you can check on all the links there. Stay alert, stay safe.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Photos of People In Hanoi

Fruit vendors

Chicken slaughterer doing her work, with a small bowl to keep the blood and two more chicken in the woven bags waiting for their death.

Motorcycle-taxi drivers (in Indonesia it's called 'ojek')

People carrying offering for a temple in an alley

The street vendor has French bread for breakfast. The bread is 3,000 Dong.

A fruit vendor and a buyer. This photo is like an everyday scene that I can find in Indonesia:)

People having a bowl of noodles on a roadside eatery

Schoolchildren preparing for the siesta (that's why they sit on the table)

The guards in front of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Photo taken during the changing of the guards, which take place 10 minutes before 9 a.m.

A group of women wearing Vietnam traditional dress ao dai under their coats. Photo taken near the mausoleum.

An artist and his two admirers. Well, make it three with me:) Photo taken near Hoan Kiem Lake.

A man with sunflowers. This photo is courtesy of the Pinay journo Tita. Thanks, Tita:)

Bike riders and the posters

Journalists taking the training, the trainers and people from UNDP and VEEPL posing in front of an elementary school

Look what happens when they wear hijab:D

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Vietnamese Food

I love food and you know that. So when I arrived in Hanoi, the first thing that I asked to the hotel receptionist was,"When is breakfast time?" He said it started at seven. 

Unfortunately, the breakfast was not that good and I had to resort to instant noodle or snacks for the next five breakfasts. But lunch was always wonderful because we had it at the training center and the chef was asked to not cooking pork-based food for all of us, so I felt safe eating there. 

I tried to be adventurous once, and had a bowl of noodle on a roadside eateries. I didn't have any meat with the noodle, fearing that those red meat slices laying around are pork. Anyway, the noodles was great! It was cheap too, only 10,000 Dong (or 50 cents).

Now, dinner could be quite a challenge because we had to do it ourselves. I went out with the Pinay journo Tita to Quan An Ngon restaurant at 18 Phan Boi Chau. The food was great, the price was affordable (I only spent 40,000 Dong or US$2) and the ambiance was wonderful. Here are photos of the food, and me.

This is my version of how to eat Vietnam salad:).

Step 1. Put all the ingredients, the vegetable and the shrimp meat, into the rice paper sheet

Step 2. Roll the paper

Step 3. Dip it into the chili sauce

Step 4. Yum!

A little scary story on Vietnamese street food: I went to a nearby roadside eatery on the second night with Tita and the Myanmar journo Mya. I had seafood, so I figured it would be safe. But as I finished my dinner and walked back to the hotel, I saw several men skinned a dog just outside the food stall and on the sidewalk! Argh. 

That was the most brutal scene I've ever seen. I had my camera, but I didn't have the heart to snap the photos. The process was quick. They slit the dog's neck, put the blood into a small bowl and dipped the poor animal into hot water before skinning it. I felt my stomach churning and I quickly went to my room. Oh well, I didn't know about it in the first place anyway.

In the morning, the view was a bit bearable: it was chicken being slaughtered on the same roadside as the dog. I wonder what other animals face their death on that roadside. And why didn't they do it in the kitchen?

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Millionaire In Hanoi

Being a citizen of a developing country can be depressing when you have to travel to a developed country because the high currency rate will definitely burn a hole in your wallet.

One US Dollar is worth around Rp 10,000. The number may sound a lot, but actually it can only pay the fares of five bus rides (one bus ride is Rp 2,000), or five medium bottles of mineral water, or a plate of fried rice near my office. I normally spend between Rp 30,000 and Rp 50,000 a day, for transportation and lunch (for night meal, I bring a dinner box).

In South Korea, a meal is worth between 6,000 Won and 25,000 Won. One Won is around Rp 7, so a meal worth 6,000 Won is actually Rp 42,000! Yikes!

One Euro is around Rp 12,000, with one meal in Rome is around 10 Euro. One Yuan (Chinese currency) is around Rp 1,500, with one meal is around 30 - 50 Yuan. More yikes!

But during the visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, I felt like a millionaire because US$ 1 is 20,000 Vietnam Dong. Never have I felt intimidated on seeing many zeros. The most jaw-dropping experience was when I saw a poster outside a lingerie shop, with the number 999,000 on it. Whoa! That must be the most expensive bras in Hanoi!

Dong is definitely more friendly to Indonesians than Euro or Dollar. But since I'm not a shopper, I didn't spend much either in Hanoi. I did take many photos, which I will share as soon as the workload is lighter.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

When You're Away And Disaster Happens Nearby

Have you heard about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? As I wrote this, the breaking news in Bloomberg TV reported about tsunami waves reaching California, the U.S.

Meanwhile, Japan national TV station NHK has been updating news on the disaster, with bird eye's view footage on the tsunami. It was horrible, houses were swept away and fire razed cities like volcano eruption. Scary. 

The news also predicted the tsunami will reach Indonesia and Philippines too. I really hope that everybody manage to get to a safe place. Hearing news like this when I am not home really worries me.

Anyway, I was in the middle of packing my stuffs as Friday was the last day of the training. I'll have my flight back to Indonesia at 11 a.m today. I hope everything goes as schedule, no delay or other problem. 

Hope you have a safe weekend. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Similarities Of Hanoi And Jakarta

If you see yesterday's post you probably can deduce that it's taken in Vietnam. Well, I'm in Hanoi, Vietnam this week to participate in another Thomson Reuters Foundation's course. Cooperating with Vietnam TV Training Center, this time the foundation set climate change as the course's topic. 

I feel so fortunate that they picked me as a participant and that my office allowed me to go less than a month from the course in Italy. Dear kind editors (if you're reading this), I will write an article (or two) from this course.

It's my first time visiting Vietnam, but I feel like I'm still in Indonesia. There are so many similarities between Hanoi and Jakarta that I feel like I'm just going to the neighbor's house. The problem is the neighbor speaks a different language. But let's focus on the similarities first.

Here are some similarities I notice:
1. We share the same facial look and body figure
I've met at least three women who looks like my colleagues and friends. We're South East Asians anyway, so it's not a surprise. But I still stop in the middle of the road to get a clearer view of a particular person, to make sure that person is not someone I know. 

2. We have the same Asian courtesy
It's a common thing in Jakarta (or Indonesia) to bow a little while you're passing someone who is talking, or older than you. It's a way of respect. Well, I spotted that gesture too here. I'm a bit tempted to say,"Permisi (Bahasa word for 'Excuse me')", while doing that gesture in Hanoi:). 

They are also very polite to the foreigners. When I stepped out of the airport, the man from the hotel said we would wait for another guest. So I told him that I would sit on the chair nearby. After a few minutes, he approached and asked me to follow him, although the guest had yet to arrive. I guess he felt guilty to let me waiting there. Another proof was during the ride to the hotel. The driver lit a cigarette, so I opened the window because I couldn't stand the smoke. He put it off immediately. 

Also, no matter how busy/poor they look, people are still smiling here. Just like in Jakarta or other place in Indonesia. My lovelies, a smile may be a free thing you can give to a person, but it can be the most valuable thing you'll ever give in your life. So remember to smile, ok?

3. Street foods rule!
There are a lot of street food vendors in Hanoi. On the first day, I passed people having breakfast along the street. They sat on the short stools, holding a bowl of hot noodle and eating with their chopsticks. The food smelled really nice. 

I should try one of those foods before leaving, but I have to find one without pork. Now, this calls for some Vietnamese vocabulary. So yes, I must learn some local words.

4. Difficult to cross the street
The golden rule in Jakarta is you are not yet a true Jakartan when you haven't braved the streets. It's the same thing in Hanoi. Being a true Jakartan, I cross the streets of Hanoi like a pro:). I also see many motorbikes here, just like home:). Tips: always be cautious, look to the left/right, then cross the street while waving your hand.

5. The best thing is Hanoi and Jakarta are in the same time zone
It takes only five hours from Jakarta and Hanoi. And we have the same time. So I have no jet lag this time.

Anyway, I'm just curious: when you are traveling, do you find similarities or spot differences?

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sans Surnom

"Can you send me your first name/last name?"

That was the question I heard when I had to attend a fellowship abroad. I hate to disappoint people, but here is the truth: I don't have last name. I have two names, but both are mine, not my father's or mother's name. For an easy reply, I usually tell them to use the second name (although it's not a family name).

Most foreigners are shocked to know about this fact. But let me tell you another surprising fact: most Indonesians go with only one name. The proof? Our first and second presidents only have one name, Soekarno and Soeharto. Even D only has one name.

So how do we differentiate one Soekarno or Soeharto from another? Well, we just don't, that's why there are so many Indonesians having the same names. But having a last name doesn't guarantee that your name is unique. For example, there are so many Mr. Smiths out there (oops, a fan of Matrix movies just pops out:)).

As a Muslim, I know that I should use my father's name, by adding "binti my father's name" behind my name. Binti means daughter of, while bin means son of, so if I'm a man it should be "bin (my father's name). But all my certificates and official identification letters already use my name, and adding "binti ..." will be too much of a hassle.

There are ethnic groups in Indonesia that apply the family names, though. For example, Batak people, Manado people or Maluku people. And through their last names, we can tell which region they come from.

Some interesting facts I learn about last names:
- Europeans and Africans put their last name behind the first name. Quite easy.
- Chinese, Koreans and Japanese usually put their last name first. For example: Mao Tse Tung, means we should call him Mr. Mao, not Mr. Tung. But due to the Western influence, many people start to put their last names behind. It's a bit tricky. Makes sure you get the right last name. Trust me, you don't want to make mistake in calling their names.
- Latinos use both their parents' last names, usually their fathers' name first, then followed with their mothers' name. So their last names are usually in the middle. Remember the Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Don't call him Mr. Marquez, but call him Mr. Garcia, or perhaps Mr. Garcia Marquez. But again, it won't hurt to ask how we should call them. Who knows, perhaps they prefer to go on first name basis.
- Updated: I recently met a woman from Myanmar. She said that in Myanmar, people don't have last name either. On the case of Nobel Peace winner Aung San Suu Kyi, she said that the Western media created that name because Suu Kyi is the daughter of former general Aung San. In Myanmar, people call her Daw Suu. Daw is an honorific for women, similar to Miss, Sister or Aunt. Aww, so glad to know that Indonesians are not alone on this no-last-name policy:) 

In a world where last names are required, I'm proud with the naming system we have in Indonesia. It's just so unique and unlike the rest of the world. And if anyone wonder how to call me, well, my first name is Tifa. You can call me Tifa:).

Have a pleasant day!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Under The Indonesian Sun

Indonesia has two seasons: the dry season (April - October) and the rainy season (October-April). The time of the year may say it's time for the rainy season, but the sun is always out there. Jakarta, and perhaps most part of Indonesia, is mostly hot and humid, so hot it feels like I'm in a sauna and so humid I can actually sniff the water in the air (Seriously, when I go to a four-season country, I'll have a mild nosebleed because the air is too dry for my sensitive nose).

The temperature here is usually around 23 - 33 degree Celsius. On the mountain, the temperature may drop a few degree below 20 degree Celsius. So I've never experienced winter with all the glorious white snow. I have to say that I'm a bit curious to see, touch and taste the snow.

I've been to several countries with winter season. But I always went in the spring/summer season. It was July when I went to Vienna, April when I went to Shanghai, June when I went to Beijing, (also) June when I went to Mecca and Madina, and September when I went to Seoul.

So when I landed in Rome last February, it finally dawned on me how blessed I am for living in a country when I can have year-long sunshine. It was only between 10 and 15 degree Celsius, and there was no snow. But  for me, it was very cold. I no longer care that I have never seen snow. What matters most is to stay warm. I'm a tropical animal!

Unfortunately, not all Indonesians are aware that living under the sun is a blessing. Many Indonesians avoid the scorching sun at all cost, fearing that the sun will darken their skin tones (fair skin is considered as the ultimate beauty). I was, or probably still am, one of those people carrying umbrella in a bright midday, but now I put it down once in a while. I still put on my sunblock lotion, but never use whitening lotion like many Indonesians do (because white is might, an advertisement says).

This week, I'll be away from my hot and humid city. I'll go to a place a bit north and have the 10 degree Celsius experience again. C-c-c-could you pass me the sun please? Brrr. 

While I'm not in Indonesia, let me humor you with several photos of me and my cousins, taken years ago during our vacation to Central Java's Kebumen, our grandmother's hometown. 

(left to right) Me, Lukman, Teguh and Dina. I just noticed that we hid our hands behind our back. I forgot what we held in our hands, but it's very likely the shells:)

 Whose shadows are these?

I had a joke with Teguh when this photo was taken. The photo turns out very good. We look like a couple, hahaha. Hmm, this photo is actually quite good for a pre-wedding photo idea.

Best pose ever: hands on your back

Looking ahead

Sea, sun and sand

In Bahasa Indonesia, we call the sun as matahari, or mata hari (or literally means "the eye of the day"). That Dutch exotic dancer and accused spy was definitely taking her name from the Bahasa word. Ah, I miss the sun already!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ambition. Dream. Or Both.

My sweeties, how do you define 'ambition' and 'dream'?

A few weeks ago I had a conversation with a superior. He told me that I showed no ambition, no drive in my work. He wondered whether it was caused by my family background (I am the only child, with both parents worked, but they retired now and that makes me the sole breadwinner in the house). He further elaborated that he had been invited by big companies and government institutions to visit 60 countries (and six times going to France), thanks to his articles.

To be honest, I was a little bit taken aback with his comments on being ambitionless. No, not the part when he criticized my work. I admit that my writing skill is still far from perfect (it takes some time to express yourself when you're writing in a foreign language). But I do have ambition, I just don't flaunt it to public. 

As I sat in front of the superior, a question or two popped in the back of my head: do we have to have the same ambition? And even if we do have the same ambition, do we have to do the same approach to achieve it?

I do not think so.
Everyone does have an ambition, no matter how simple it may sound. I have a colleague who dream of running a chicken noodle stall, so he can wear white T-shirt, a Good Morning towel across his neck and shorts everyday. He often imagines himself standing behind the cashier, next to the beckoning cat figurine.

I have a college friend who works as a fishmonger in a market. If you're a regular reader to this blog, I'm sure you still remember her. While my friend Aneen is proud of what she does, she still has a dream of opening her own business one day.

Now, just because these friends don't fancy luxurious things as their dreams, it doesn't mean that they have no ambition and no drive. Every dream and ambition matters. As a colleague says, a dream is a wish that your heart makes (thanks for the lovely definition, ARY). The most beautiful thing about having an ambition or a dream is that you have this fire burning inside you. And no, I'm not talking about heartburn or menopause symptoms.

I do have the desire to travel around the world, meet many people and do some once-in-a-lifetime experiences. But does it mean that I have to do what the superior did?

I do not think so.

I prefer to save money and do my own traveling. Or if I have the opportunity, I will apply for a fellowship. And this is how I could go to South Korea and Italy. But no matter how far I go, I will always long for a place to call home. For me, traveling is simply a process, not a goal or an ambition.

If you want to know my dream, well, I want to grow my own food, or for easier meaning: I want to be a farmer. This dream may be the result of reading Laura Ingalls books when I was a kid. People may look down on farmer, but I think it is the most honest profession. The farmers take care of the earth and receive love from Mother Nature. Also, it is fun to play with dirt, soak under the sun and see the plants growing.

I don't know if I can ever fulfill the dream. So for now, I simply take great joy in everything that I do.

How about you? What is your dream?