Monday, November 21, 2011

The Adventures Of Tintin - A Hollywood Animation Movie

Film poster promotion. From Tintin Facebook group.

Last week, I watched The Adventures of Tintin and wow, I was so blown away by the spectacular animation techniques. 

Directed by Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, the 100-minute long movie starts with Tintin buying a model of ship in a flea market. Tintin later learns that the model is a miniature of a lost ship called the Unicorn and that there is mystery behind it. 

A series of events leads Tintin to meet Captain Archibald Haddock, the last descendant of the Unicorn's commander. Tintin and Haddock team up to reveal the ship's mystery, but it is not easy as their enemies attack them from the sea, the air and on the desert. They get help from detective team Thomson and Thompson, but face another problem when the enemies take benefit of the beautiful yet ear-splitting, glass-breaking voice of Milanese Nightingale Bianca Castafiore.

Picture-wise, the movie offers the best computer generated imagery (CGI). You can marvel at how Tintin's flashlight pours light over a cloud of flying dust, or how the light from the flashlight creates glare effect on several scenes. You can see Tintin's facial expression, down to his freckles.

Story-wise, the movie merges three comic titles: The Golden Clawed Crab, The Secret of Unicorn and The Red Rackham's Treasure. In the comic version, Tintin's initial meeting with Haddock is in The Golden Clawed Crab, encounter Thomson&Thompson in The Cigar of The Pharaoh and stumbles upon Bianca Castafiore in King Ottokar's Sceptre. Of course, nothing beats the comic versions, but in my opinion, Spielberg and Jackson did quite well to introduce the characters.

I must warn all Tintin fans out there that the movie and the comics are two different types of art. Some may feel disappointed at the result, but it's Spielberg's interpretation. And one day, it's possible to see another interpretation of Tintin.

Have a magnificent Monday!

PS. Of the below picture, which is your favorite Tintin? I like him in kilt. :)

Herge/Moulinsart, 2011. Found here

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Jiffest This Year, No Cry

As the year is going to a close, there is an event I always look forward to: Jakarta International Film Festival (Jiffest). For me, it's like a treat as I can see films, not only from the US, but also other parts of the world. Unfortunately, this year will not see Jiffest, due to financial woes.

Why Jakarta? Why??? *insert dramatic background music here*

But sad no more, there are so many film-screening events in the city. For example, this weekend, you can watch Japanese movies in Japan Foundation. Another event will take place in Bentara Budaya Jakarta, where you can watch Alejandro Inarritu's films. Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Jakarta now also screens movies on Saturday (4 p.m.), besides the regular Wednesday's screening.

And, Erasmus Huis will announce the winner of the monthly movie screening competition on Saturday. 

Have a sweet weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fakir Bandwidth*

Picture this: a person enters a cafe or restaurant, orders only one menu (most likely the cheapest one!) and opens the laptop to work for hours in that premise. Now tell me, how many times have you seen such people? 

I must say a lot, especially since I'm one of said people:P.

Like I mentioned before, Jakarta is notorious for its traffic jams. It is so bad, you can spend half of your life on the street, literally. Thanks to technology, now many people can work from outside of office. As a result, most people ask wi-fi connection instead of the menu before entering an eatery. This can backfire because sometimes either the food or the connection is not that good.

Below are some of my favorite working place when I'm not typing away in my office.

1. L'Institute Francaise d'Indonesie (IFI) Salemba

The wi-fi connection is not only found in the library, but can also be enjoyed in the cafeteria. If you're not in the mood for eating, you can stay in the library. If I'm typing in the cafeteria, I usually order mie ayam jamur bakso (chicken noodles with mushroom and meatballs) and iced tea. Then I'll be a busy bee for the rest of the day. But the other menus are good too. I frequent this place not only for its wi-fi, but also to nurture my French.

2. fX mall

The whole building has wi-fi connection and there are chairs for the mall visitors. When I don't feel like eating, I simply sit on one of those chairs and start typing away. You can ask the password at the receptionist desk. 

3. Kopi Tiam Oey

I've mentioned this restaurant before. And the fact that it has wi-fi connection makes this as my favorite place:).

4. Dunkin Donut near my home

Honestly I'm not a fan of donuts, but this place opens for 24 hours. Yay! Happiness is a good internet connection found in the middle of the night!

5. McDonald's

Again, I'm not a fan of junk food. But these restaurants are everywhere, and with Rp 5,000 (less than US$1), you can eat some unhealthy food while typing for hours. 

Do you have any favorite place to hang out and enjoy the wi-fi connection?

*The poor who lacks of bandwidth

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Healthy Choice

Rather than cruising the congested streets of Jakarta, it would be nice to do my works at a cafe that serves good food and good wi-fi. Last week, I went to interview Indonesia's chief negotiator for climate change along with Mbak Brigitta from Kompas daily. Afterwards, she asked me to accompany her to type in Healthy Choice, one of the restaurants there that serves foods made from organic materials.

The meals are good (and expensive, I must say! But since she paid the bill, I couldn't complain). The waiter's service was excellent. He knew from the beginning that we need wi-fi, so he tried to help with the connection and other stuffs ("Would you like to have your meal now? If you're still typing, we can serve it later," he said. Wow, that's what I call waiter of the year!).

Lavender tea, causes sleepiness. We can refill the pot for three times. 

Soup of the day: broccoli soup

Grilled dory, served with red rice and vegetable. This is Mbak Brigitta's meal. I got to taste a bite, and I really loved the lemon sauce!

Yakidon, fried udon with dory strips. This is mine. Yum!

Mbak Brigitta at work:).

Thanks for treating me dinner, Mbak Brigitta. Next time, it's on me!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Eight Things To Watch Out When You're Driving In Jakarta

The instructor shows me how to shift the gear stick for automatic car because it is the first time I drive an automatic car. My father's car uses manual gear. Photo taken by ARY during the Mercedes-Benz drive test in Sentul International Circuit in Bogor, West Java.

Dear friends, do you drive? I have had my license since I was 17, but I finally braved the roads of Jakarta when my friend Motzheey visited me in 2003. She coached me from the passenger's seat and guided me through the streets with a Jakarta map on her lap. Hahaha, I'm not good when it comes to navigating the Jakarta's streets.

While I don't drive everyday, I find that there are things you need to be careful about when you're driving in Jakarta. Below are just some of them:

1. The police

A friend says that a police always stops her on the last days of a month. The police, she adds, usually makes up stories about how she violates traffic regulation. In the end, the police will ask for money to keep him quiet about her 'case'. But she usually plays innocent and insists she does not know what the police is talking about. Her strategy has been working out quite good.

"If they insist, I plan to scream,'Harassment!' But thanks God, so far I don't have to do it," she says. 

I think all drivers in Jakarta, if not Indonesia, have their share of facing corrupt police during the last days of the month, or the days before the pay day. I also have a story about it, but perhaps I'll save it for next time.

2. The potholes

Jakarta's streets are not always beautiful. In some parts, the streets have potholes. If you are not familiar with the area, you should not drive too fast, because there may be potholes in the area and your vehicles may stuck on the hidden potholes or you get an accident because of them. Safe driving is a must. 

3. The criminals

When you're driving in Jakarta, you'd want to avoid being stopped by a red light. Because there will be people coming to you. Sometimes the people are just beggars and street musicians. But if you're not lucky, the people could be bad guys who snatch your stuffs and run. Or do other things that trick you into walking out of your car.

If you think you're safe inside your car, think again: the criminals can steal your rear mirrors.

4. Other vehicles

Last week, M&D and I were stuck on Jakarta's congested roads during our way to my cousin's wedding. After their retirement in 2001, they barely went to Jakarta, so they were surprised to see so many cars and motorcycles. I am already used to the traffic, so I play it cool:).

Just remember that although you are a safe driver, it does not mean other people do the same. There are many people doing reckless driving. Stay alert.

5. The broken traffic signs

Not all traffic signs work properly in Jakarta. Enough said.

6. The construction works

When there is a construction work on a road (and it happens quite often!), it will definitely cause traffic jams. And traffic jams in Jakarta are just nasty. I mean you can be trapped there for one-two hours.

7. The force majeur

During the rainy seasons, floods are a regular thing. You should remember the flood-prone areas and avoid them at all cost. Also, rain comes with strong winds, and there are cases where the big trees fall over cars and motorcycles.

8. The peak hours

People leave their homes at 6 a.m., have lunch at 12 p.m. and head for homes at 4 p.m. Add two hours to those hours and avoid the streets during the time.

Drive safe, people!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Hello, lovelies! How was your week? Hope you guys had fun. Mine actually went bad, with my bosses refusing me to go on my fellowship to attend COP17 in Durban, South Africa for a very weird reason. They said I was not productive. What the? I guess the real reason was more about office politic. 

Not quite remember how I got through the week, but I'm still alive, so keep out for my future breakthrough, you bitchy bosses! Hahaha. Naaah, I'm a peaceful person.

Anyway, today sees many weddings (one of my cousins got married today) and births (there were parents who'd like to have their babies born on this date). Today is also the start of SEA Games, a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from the 11 current members of Association of South East Asian Nation (Asean). 

Besides attending my cousin's wedding, I had a small reunion with my colleagues. Meeting with your friends does give you a refreshing moment. We ended up making plans for next year. I'm excited already!

This is not an iPhone advertisement. Hahaha. Taken by Dre.

What is the event happening today in your life?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Every Day Carry

The pictures of socialites who only bring small purses never fail to amaze me. I mean, how do they do it? For me, this picture of me is how you will probably see me on a daily basis. Big bulky backpack with a very unfashionable outfit (jeans and sneakers). Comfort is the best, indeed.

It is a very heavy bag, I assure you. Shot in Hanoi, Vietnam by my Burmese fellow Mya

Most of the times, here are what I bring with me in the bag. 

Laptop and charger (inside the green Frog Suit pouch).
Pocket digital camera.
A small purse for coins.
Foldable bag for shopping.
A make-up purse
USB pens
Notebooks and pens.
Lunchbox (not pictured here).

Looks like a very dedicated journalist, eh? Imagine my surprise when Cool Boss (CB) came to the office without anything, well he's in his clothes of course.

Me: Where's your bag?
CB: Oh, I don't bring that. I only bring my wallet, a notebook, pens and iPod with me, and those stuffs can be put in my pockets.

Another conversation I had with my ex-boss ISA several years ago also assured me to cut down my every day carry. One day I saw him coming to the office wearing a kind of corset.

Me : Why are you wearing that thing?
ISA: I often put my wallet in my back pocket. It propped my butt when I sat down, but I ignored it. As a result, my backbone is now a bit tilting. My doctor told me to wear this corset is to keep my backbone in shape.
Me : Gee, that's scary. What else your doctor told you?
ISA: Another thing that can disrupt your backbone is carrying too much in your bag.
Me : Arghh.

Since then, I've been trying to reduce the load. But it's just too difficult. What are the stuffs you carry to your office? Do you have any tips to cut the amount of stuffs to bring?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Eid Mubarak!

Haj pilgrims at Arafah field. Taken from here

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Old And Young Europe

A still from Le Pere de Mes Enfants, a French movie that will be screened in the 2011 Europe On Screen.

Hello, sweeties! What is your plan this weekend? There's Europe On Screen, a European film festival, which kicks off Nov. 4 and will last until Nov. 11 in Jakarta. And it's free! This year's theme is The Old and Young Europe. Click here to see the movie programs and venues. I'm so excited!

Schönes Wochenende! (That's a German way to say 'have a nice weekend'.)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Diving Stars

Since I started diving last year, I've been discovering that many Indonesian actors and public figures are actually doing it too. It's wonderful to read that the aquatic sport has sparked their love and concern toward the ocean. Below are just several diving celebrities that I know.
Nadine Chandrawinata
Found here. If I'm not mistaken the photographer is Andy Chandrawinata

After she was elected as the 2005 Miss Indonesia, Nadine Chandrawinata has been diving her way across Indonesia. When I interviewed her in 2009, she already pocketed the Rescue license (the third star diver license). Wow. Never mind that she made a mistake during the Miss Universe interview, she has other forte and it's diving.

That photo of her above is really taken underwater, instead of being Photoshop-ed.

Marcel Chandrawinata
Source: top photo, bottom photo (Nadine and Marcel do the reef clean up)

Being the brother of Nadine, Marcel caught the diving bug quickly from his diving sister. He even expands this diving hobby into a business by opening a resort in Raja Ampat islands. Wow!

Nicholas Saputra
Found here

Just four words: Dive with me, Nico! *nosebleeding*

Ringo Agus Rahman

I read about actor Ringo's new hobby during the flight from Belitung to Jakarta as he was featured in an in-flight magazine. Ever since he caught the diving bug, he had been saving the money he made from acting for diving. He said that he wanted to explore the depth of seas while he could. He also promised that when he was married, he would take his wife to dive together. Aww, isn't that sweet?

Denada Tambunan
 Denada at a dive spot in Tulamben, Bali. Photographer Kaufik Anril. Found here.

Singer Denada has started diving since 1997. But then she stopped diving for a brief moment. Now she returns to explore the Indonesian underwater world, with her boyfriend photographer Jerry Aurum, who also loves to dive.

If you know other Indonesian stars who love to dive, please let me know.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Night And Day

Found here

Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of Night and Day,― there are indeed Signs for men of understanding. (Q.S. Ali Imran: 190)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Crediting Your Photo And Post

Found via Frolic

Last week, I happened to stumble upon two posts (here and here) about plagiarism on internet. The former took down the said post, as explained in this post, the latter belongs to my friend. It's not the first time I heard about such thing. 

As a wordsmith and a photography fan I feel concerned about the issue of crediting the photo and post. To tell you the truth, sometimes I still forget the source of the photos I use. But I do try to credit all images and writings in this blogs. As you can see on the picture above, it is an easy-to-follow guide on how to credit the photo that I found at Frolic. You can also apply it for posts and other written words.

Stay true to yourself, stay original. Hm, it can be the new Youth Pledge.

Have a terrific Tuesday, mes chers amis!