Friday, November 30, 2012

Amour - An Austrian Movie In French Language

Photo from

Austria | 2012 | 127 minutes | Director: Michael Haneke | Palme d'Or Cannes 2012 |

Amour follows the life of retired octogenarian musician couple George and Anne Laurent (played beautifully by Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emanuelle Riva) after the wife suffers a stroke that paralyses half of her body.

This movie brings to mind the change in the European society. In the past, an ailing family member would be taken care by other family members, but with everyone is busy nowadays (in the film, the couple's daughter Eva, played by Isabelle Huppert, is living in England), it's either the hospitals, hospices or similar facilities.

Another plus point for Amour is that it dares to feature old people on screen amidst other movies showing young people in bikinis.

Watching this movie, I kept thinking about my parents. If anything happens, I'd be the only one to take care of them, I hope I'd be strong enough.

Michael Haneke is one of my favorite directors. Before Amour, I watched Michael Haneke's Cache (Hidden), which won him the best director in the 2005 Cannes. Cache is a gripping drama about a couple (whose names are also George and Anne Laurent) who receives surveillance tapes from an unknown sender. 

I remembered that when Cache's credit rolled on the screen, everyone was glued on their seats. Upon walking out of the cinema, people are talking to each other,"Did you get the movie? I don't understand! So who does what to whom? And why?" 

When I discovered that this year's European Film Festival would screen a film by Haneke (and that the movie got the Palme d'Or), I slithered to the venue. So what happened after the screening of Amour? Everyone has their own opinion. 

I couldn't help overhearing because I find it interesting to listen to other people's opinion. One praises how George manages to take care of his wife (despite the sad ending...wait a minute, I won't give the spoiler, of course), while another says that the movie is very depressing yet so real and humane. 

As I stood inside the elevator that brought a group of audience and I back to the first floor of Grand Indonesia (and also reality), an elderly Indian woman said to her younger relatives,"If the condition is really bad, I think one should send ailing family members to an institution. They can take care the persons much better." 

Have you watched Amour? What do you think?

I think the most beautiful part of Haneke's works is he allows and creates space for the audience to decide on the film. Just like Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami.

Have a wonderful weekend, sweeties!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

72 Days - A Croatian Movie

Taken from

Croatia | 2010 | 93 minutes | Director: Danilo Serbedzija | Festival and Awards: Audience Award in Liege International Crime Film Festival in Belgium, Alpe Adria Film Awards in Trieste, Italy, Festroia International Film Festival in Setubal, Portugal |

72 Days tells about the Paripovic family who depends on the pension of the late Grandpa Duradj, paid to his wife Grandma Nedja. When Nedja dies, the family, which consists of two brothers Mane and Joja as well as their sons Todor and Branko, decides to find a replacement so that the family can continue receiving the pension. 

The woman they kidnap turns out to be a brandy-drinking, cigarette-smoking woman who at first refuses to cooperate, but then agrees to work with them as long as she is allowed to drink brandy every day. But then Mane decides to run away with the money. What will the other family members do about it?
72 Days is a kind of family affairs. Rade Serbedzija plays as Mane, the tyrannical one-legged family leader, Serbedzija's son Danilo is the writer-director, while daughter Lucija plays as the romantic interest. 

The black comedy movie also tells about the current Croatia and the gap between the old generation who is burdened with the Balkan's bloody history and the young generation who is trying to see the world in a more civilized manner.

This movie is screened during the European Film Festival and the next screening is Dec. 1, 2012 at 5:30 at Istituto Italiano.

For more info on the film, click here

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

On A Sick Leave

Hi there, hope everything is well with you. 

I fell off the stairs last Sunday and hurt both ankles. I thought I already reached the ground floor, so I jumped, et voila! The ground floor was still two steps away. Ouch!

Parents reacted to the incident differently: M was panic and on the verge to call a masseuse to fix my ankles while D took it calmly and told us to do an X-ray before doing anything.

D has a point, so off we went to do the X-ray at a local hospital. The result? Everything is ok, no broken/fractured bones, alhamdulillah. But I still refused to take the foot massage, either from the local masseuse or guru singa (a traditional healer who can cure broken bones/split nerves). 

So I asked the doctor to give me medicines and sick permit (she gave me three-day sick permit). Then asked M to wrap my ankles with binahong leaves. I'm slowly but surely recuperating, I feel like a baby (or perhaps an elderly woman?) learning to walk.

Moral of the story?
#1. Never jump around when you're on the stairs. 
#2. Always have medicinal herbs on your lawn

Soaking up my feet in a hot spring on the foot of Mt. Beuticanar
Dear my feet, thank you for taking me to beautiful places. Get well soon please and I'll take you to another beautiful place. Yours truly :)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Have A Creative Weekend

Hi darlings, it's Friday. Do you have any plans for the weekend? This weekend, there are several events that may interest you. And most of the events are about the creative industry. Here are the events:

-- Movie Screening: Bennie Stout. Nov. 24 at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Erasmus Huis.

-- Festival: European Film Festival. Nov. 25 - Dec. 1. Check out the schedules and venues at

-- Exhibition: Indonesian Creative Products Week. Until Nov. 25. Epiwalk, Kuningan, South Jakarta.

-- Music Event: Indonesian Composers Week. Nov. 25-28. Jakarta Playhouse.

-- Book Fair: Indonesian Book Fair. Until Nov 25. Istora Senayan.

On a serious note, I have these two images for you. The first one has a positive vibe, but the second has me questioning humanity.

Students listen to Wahidus Surari, a popular storyteller known as Kak Wees, during the Jakarta Children Reading Day festival in the Proclamation Monument Park in Central Jakarta on Thursday. The festival was hosted by the Jakarta Library and Archive Institute, Proclamation Monument community as well as several mobile library and reading park communities (JP/Ricky Yudhistira, photo found here)

A girl hugs her little sister in a bomb shelter in Gaza strip. Found here

Hope you have a great weekend:)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Between Jakarta And Venice...

Jakarta >> A family makes the best of the floods in KampungMelayu, East Jakarta, on Monday. The neighborhood was inundated by theoverflowing Ciliwung River after hours of heavy rain on Sunday. (JP/Ricky Yudhistira, source)

 Venice>> A man and woman swim in flooded Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square) in Venice, Italy, on November 11, 2012. High tides have flooded Venice, leading Venetians and tourists to don high boots and use wooden walkways to cross Piazza San Marco and other areas under water. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini)Source

...there are not many differences when everything is submerged :).

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Green And Red In Jakarta

Saw it in Harmoni, Central Jakarta. I hope we'll have more green walls in the future :)

Hundreds of angkot (public minivan) drivers in Koperasi Wahana Kalpika (KWK) protest and blockade Jl. Daan Mogot in Grogol, West Jakarta, on Tuesday. The drivers are opposed to Jakarta administration raising their fees. (Antara/M Agung Rajasa, from here)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hotel Pantone

I stumbled upon photos of this colorful hotel from Painfully Beautiful. As a fan of colors, I find it an interesting place to stay. What do you think?

Photos from Pantone Hotel

Here's to a colorful Tuesday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pieces Of My Weekend

Hi everyone, how was your weekend? As last Thursday was the Islamic New Year 1434 H and also a national holiday here, many offices set Friday as the communal holiday, making it a very long weekend. While my office was not one of those offices (I worked last Friday, hmph!), I had quite a fun weekend. 

So what did I do last weekend?  Well, after doing the weekly laundry on Saturday, I went to the Tulip Bazaar I mentioned in last Friday's post. I thought it was a place that sold tulips, boy how wrong I was. It's actually a bazaar that sells many Dutch knick-knacks.

Items that fall under the Dutch knick-knack definition are, among others, mini windmill-shaped ceramics and Dutch clog-shaped ceramics. There are many people selling out-of-topic items too, such as Manadonese porridge. Guess what I bought there?

Sambal Ikan Roa (Roa fish chili paste)! It's very spicy as declared by that piece of paper, but also so delicious. Let's hope I don't have a mild diarrhea this week.

While I was in Erasmus Huis, I went to the exhibition hall. There was an exhibition on public housing in the Netherlands (which was supposed to end on Nov. 7, but it's still there, I don't know until when). I had planned to see it but somehow couldn't make it until Nov. 7, how lucky I was!

Public housing in Indonesia usually has the unflattering box-shaped design in order to optimize space and budget. The photos show that it is possible to apply good design on public housing.

As a fan of bicycle, the last photo appeals to me the most:)

Afterwards, I picked up my ticket for Namaste Festival next week and have a free facial treatment (I got vouchers for both). 

On Sunday, we had a visit from a relative and her family. But a few hours before their arrival, we had an unexpected guest from the wildlife: a one-meter long creature that sneaked into our kitchen.

I was the first person to see it, well actually I only saw its tail when I was going to the kitchen to wash the dishes. Then M saw it eating the poisonous trap for the rats. At first we thought it was a civet (because its skin has a similar pattern like a civet). When our guests arrived (a couple with three sons), the boys were excited to hear that we had 'a civet' in the kitchen. We're not that happy, really. So when they offered to catch it, we gladly welcome the offer.

What we thought as a civet turned out to be a very big lizard! In the midst of the ruckus I forgot to take the pictures of the lizard. Long story short, we caught it. Since the boys wanted to keep the lizard as a pet, we gave them a box to carry the animal.

Then we had a fishing party. We had two fish ponds, but the one on the backyard was being dried for cleaning. So all the fishes occupied the front porch pond.

The fishing party begins

We kept the mujair (cichlid fishes, Tilapia mossambicus)

But took out two gurame (fresh-water carps, Osphronemus goramy)

And three patin (large catfishes, Pangasius nasutus)

Our activity attracted a stray cat. Look at how the cat pretended to be cool and calm, hahaha.

Laying out my weekend in pictures made it more interesting than it really was. Hmm. Now, it's your turn. What did you do last weekend? :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Two Images To Think Over This Weekend

Kindergarten children wearing batik apparel participate in a parade to celebrate the Islamic New Year in Pamekasan, East Java on Thursday. Thousands of elementary and junior high school students in Pamekasan also joined the parade. (Antara/Saiful Bahri, found here

Parents and students wade across the Surantih River to reach a school in Jorong Lambung Bukik, Sutera district, West Sumatra, on Wednesday. The children of at least 35 families are forced to wade across the river every day due to the lack of a bridge. (Antara/Arif Pribadi, as seen here)

Oh hello there,  how was your week? Sorry for being MIA. I've been swamped with excessive workload that came over to my desk after my colleague Fith going for three-week holiday. A lot of work means a very demanding week but somehow I like having a lot of things in my hands.

Any plans for this weekend? There will be a Tulip Bazaar on Saturday from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. at Erasmus Huis and Europe On Screen will start next week, you'd better pick your movie from now. 

Have a lovely weekend!

P.S. There are many students across Indonesia who face the problem depicted in picture #2. You can help change the condition in Jorong village by signing this petition. I just did.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Four More Years

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Jill Biden acknowledge the crowd at his election night party on Wednesday in Chicago. President Obama defeated Republican challenger former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP/Carolyn Kaster, found here)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Long Eyelashes And White Skin

I find it interesting how the children upbringing affecting how boys and girls view things differently. Boys are raised with the thought that they should be tough and strong, while girls should be calm and stay indoor. At some points, the society requires each gender to have certain physical features.

Can't we just treat others equally so we don't have to hear the following conversations?

#1. Long eyelashes 
Boy: What are those?
Girl: These are eyelash extensions
Boy: What are they doing on your desk? You're going to wear those?
Girl: I got them for free. So what if I'm wearing these?
Boy: Why would you want those?
Girl: To look a bit feminine, I guess. 

#2. White skin
Boy: Wow, you look very tanned. Did you sunbath everyday during your vacation?
Girl: No. I just have this gift of catching up tan quickly. I was born tan anyway.
Boy: You're lucky. I really want to have darker complexion.
Girl: Why would you want to be tanned?
Boy: Because it would make me look macho.
Girl: Why do you want to look macho?
Boy: Because boys just have to look macho.

To boys with white skin and long eyelashes, the girls still see you as macho men if you treat them nicely. 
To girls with dark complexion and short eyelashes, your femininity are not defined by the physical appearance.

Have a thoughtful Tuesday! :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Batik Danar Hadi

Batik Danar Hadi celebrates its 45th anniversary by holding fashion shows at its outlets. Established by Santosa Doellah and wife Danarsih Santosa in 1967, Batik Danar Hadi has challenged Indonesian creative designers to translate their fine fabric into premium and limited designs.

I happened to be at the fashion shows held at the outlet on Jl. Raden Saleh. The fashion show featured many outfits, but the following are my favorite ones :).

Danar Hadi Sport for a casual look

Bat-winged shirt

Batik coat

Batik jacket

Friday, November 2, 2012

Something Sweet To Close This Week

Yoshimi, 10-year-old female giraffe, looks after her male calf Pemuda at Taman Safari II zoo in Pasuruan, East Java, on Monday. Pemuda, born one day after the commemoration of Youth Pledge Day, is the fourth offspring of Yoshimi and 9-year-old male Dhavi. (JP/Indra Harsaputra, Source)

If you've been reading this blogs for a while, you can probably tell by now that an animal giving birth in the zoo would make it here. But seriously, isn't the baby giraffe so adorable?

I haven't found any interesting events for this weekend, so it's all up to you. I'm going to a wedding party with M and then spend the weekend at home. Have a sweet weekend, y'all!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Does Your Mother Do This?

#1. Scolds You When You Buy Something Expensive
M: Hey, I haven't seen that shirt before. Is it new?
Me: Err...yes.
M: How much is it?
Me: (mentions the price, which is a wrong thing to do)
M: What? That is so expensive!You should save money.

#2. And Then Scolds You Again If You Dress In Cheap Outfits
Me: (coming out with faded jeans and shirt in a very weird color/shape)
M: Are you coming to office like that? Change into something more appropriate! You work for a respectable organization. You should buy quality clothes.
Me: What happens to the "save your money"? -_-

#3. Picks Up Their Local Dialects When Speaking To Their Siblings/People From Their Hometown
M was born in Jakarta but grew up in Kebumen, a part of Banyumas regency in Central Java that has this colloquially dialect called ngapak. When she talks to me and other people, she will speak without any dialect. But once she meets her siblings or people from Kebumen, the dialect comes out. This also happens to D.

#4. Insists That You Should Bring A Lunch Box And Then Wails If You Tell Her You Have Other Plans (Which Basically Means You Can't Bring The Said Lunch Box)
This happens so many times. Enough said.

#5. Request For Weird Souvenirs When You Go Traveling
The following conversation took place when I went holidaying to Belitung
M: Since you're holidaying to Belitung, can you buy me terasi (chili peppers with fermented shrimp taste, has very strong aroma)?
Me: But M, I'm taking an airplane. I don't think it'll be allowed into the cabin. The aroma will annoy other passengers
M: You can wrapped in in air-tight package.
Me: -_-
Note: I did buy her that terasi and had to wrap it very tight. It's worth the effort because she made the best sambal (chili paste) with terasi from Belitung. She has been asking me if I'm planning to visit Belitung again in the near future.

At least, M doesn't ask me to buy mangoes...
Aneen's mom: I heard on TV that Probolinggo's mangoes are getting very sweet due to the prolonged dry season. You're going to Probolinggo, right?
Aneen: Err..yes
Aneen's mom: Could you buy me mangoes from Probolinggo as souvenirs?
Aneen: T_T 

P.S. M, I love you with all your quirks and antics:)