Sunday, September 13, 2015

An irony of Kota: Kampung Pulo

Today i went to Desa Susukan, Bogor to do a declamation ofJoko Pinurbo's "Harga Duit Turun Lagi" for Kampung Sahabat Budaya FIB UI. When i said "The dollar keeps on rising though.", people laughed. Irony seems to be misery's constant bestfriend.

At a time today, I was thinking. Antony Sihombing was right on his book: Conflicting Images of Kampung and Kota in Jakarta. If you visit Jakarta for the first time, Jakarta could be perceived as modern, global and metropolitan, but after spending time for a week here you'd be aware that behind the skyscrapers there are hidden kampungs. Government had collaborated with conglomerates to build huge buildings that destroyed old kampungs. Therefore, here stands a city of irony. Of clashes and paradoxes. Hiding behind the majestic word "Kota", ignoring the facts that there are illegal houses everywhere, even homeless people, people who's living in a cemetery area, even more, have you ever heard about "manusia gerobak"?

Kampung Pulo is one of those kampungs. Whose people--according to Pangdam Jaya Letnan Agus Sutomo, as cited by Kompas (Sept, 9 2015)--were just being humanized--rather than evicted. Why is that so?

Menurut Agus, rusun ini bukanlah rusun biasa, melainkan sudah sekelas apartemen. "Lokasinya strategis dan ini di tengah kota, bukan di pelosok kampung,"

It's such an irony that even in its capital city, our country has a place which quality is equal to rural areas, to be called pelosok (remote spot).

So, according to him people of Kampung Pulo were being humanized because they were relocated from an illegal place to a rusun (apartment but here in Indonesia the word apartment are meant only for luxurious apartment, those which are cheap are called this way) in the city. But do the people really believe that they were living in an illegal place? No. That's why they demanded their right to the government. The people of Kampung Pulo claimed they have verponding.

In a nutshell, Eigendom Verponding was the SPPT PBB (tax letter) in the occupation era. It was given by Dutch government so that they could collect taxes. But after the independence, in 1960, Indonesian government made UUPA which made the land's ownership had to be converted 20 years later after the constitution was formalized. So those who had the eigendom verponding letter were to re-registered themselves in that period. But it seemed that some people of Kampung Pulo were unaware about this and thus they were surprised to know that the land that they thought had been theirs all along were actually state's property. And some of them apparently were aware about this but according to their attorney, Vera, they didn't go through the conversion process because the mechanism of the conversion was expensive and difficult hence the land was converted to state's property.

Knowing these facts, to me it seems like both current government and the people who lived in Kampung Pulo were both victims of the past. Legally, yes, the land is state's property right now but it could actually be theirs if the former government in the 20 years period after the formalization of UUPA disseminated the information well and didn't make the conversion process difficult. Of course the current government couldn't just give them their ownership cause there are so many land dispute issues in this country and it's difficult to make sure whether the people could actually claim ownership since verponding was only tax letter, it's not the same as ownership letter. To find who are at fault and who really has the right of the land is not a way to solve this problem. Because ownership issue can differ if we look at it in many aspects and basis (constitution).

I think the relocation is a win-win solution but it's difficult to suddenly have to move and change your pattern of life, i know. There are some who complained that they lose job, there are some who complained about lift, etc. I can't blame them. They were people of kampung right? a remote area. It's hard to suddenly have to deal with the big city.

I hope in the future, when government is about to make a regulation, they are aware that it will affect many people thus it has to be well thought, the information needs to be disseminated, and they are open to critics.




Sunday, September 06, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Silver Dream

The anxiety lulled her to sleep so that she could forget about the world
Her dreams were silver cobweb jangling, O Slumber is such a sweet escape
Making her way to nowhere she didn't know when she fell
But through discordant sounds and dissonant chords she did
and she did well

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

Gymnopédie No. 1

Gymnopédies are three piano compositions written by Erik Satie. According to Mark Prendergast (2000), these three pieces of atmospheric tunes are important precursor to modern ambient music.

To me they can find their way to give colors to many kinds of moments. I have imagined some scenes while listening to  Gymnopédie No. 1, from modern-lover-kind-of-romantic to war scenes, or banal scenes on the streets, and yes it sounds so much like lounge-music.

While listening to this, i made some pieces of thoughts. To me they are like crumbles of bread, or maybe crumbles of biscuit that will be used for the base of baked cheesecake. Whatever.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tonight's Companion: Camel and Desert

Tonight, i am woman in dunes. With camel and desert. With cart loaded with dusts. With the sky laid low. With the holes called stars. Because i just found this beautiful piece of a friend of mine. And i just read this poetry with the title "Desert" by Adonis. And for the first time in my life, i lose my voice. My throat hurts really bad. It feels like i've been walking down the desert for some times and i couldn't find any oase.

There's no oase down here, only mirage.


By Adonis
Translated By Khaled Mattawa
The cities dissolve, and the earth is a cart loaded with dust
Only poetry knows how to pair itself to this space.
No road to this house, a siege,
and his house is graveyard.
               From a distance, above his house
               a perplexed moon dangles
               from threads of dust.
I said: this is the way home, he said: No
               you can’t pass, and aimed his bullet at me.
Very well then, friends and their homes
                in all of Beirut’s are my companions.
Road for blood now—
               Blood about which a boy talked
               whispered to his friends:
                              nothing remains in the sky now
                              except holes called “stars.”
The city’s voice was too tender, even the winds
would not tune its strings—
The city’s face beamed
like a child arranging his dreams for nightfall
bidding the morning to sit beside him on his chair.
They found people in bags:
              a person                                                 without a head 
              a person                                                 without hands, or tongue
              a person                                                 choked to death
              and the rest had no shapes and no names.
                             —Are you mad? Please
                                                             don’t write about these things.
A page in a book
              bombs mirror themselves inside of it
              prophecies and dust-proverbs mirror themselves inside of it 
              cloisters mirror themselves inside of it, a carpet made of the alphabet
                             disentangles thread by thread
falls on the face of the city, slipping out of the needles of memory.
A murderer in the city’s air, swimming through its wound—
its wound is a fall
that trembled to its name—to the hemorrhage of its name
and all that surrounds us—
houses left their walls behind
                                               and I am no longer I.
Maybe there will come a time in which you’ll accept     
to live deaf and mute, maybe
they’ll allow you to mumble: death
                                                and life
                                                and peace unto you.
From the wine of the palms to the quiet of the desert . . . et cetera
from a morning that smuggles its own intestines
               and sleeps on the corpses of the rebels . . . et cetera
from streets, to trucks
               from soldiers, armies . . . et cetera
from the shadows of men and women . . . et cetera
from bombs hidden in the prayers of monotheists and infidels . . . et cetera
from iron that oozes iron and bleeds flesh . . . et cetera
from fields that long for wheat, and grass and working hands . . . et cetera
from forts that wall our bodies
               and heap darkness upon us . . . et cetera
from legends of the dead who pronounce life, who steer our life . . . et cetera
from talk that is slaughter           and slaughter         and slitters of throats . . . et cetera
from darkness to darkness to darkness
I breathe, touch my body, search for myself
               and for you, and for him, and for the others
and I hang my death
between my face and this hemorrhage of talk . . . et cetera
You will see—
                say his name
                say you drew his face
                reach out your hand toward him
                or smile
                or say I was happy once
                or say I was sad once
                you will see:
                                 there is no country there.
Murder has changed the city’s shape—this stone
                                                                 is a child’s head—
and this smoke is exhaled from human lungs.
Each thing recites its exile . . .                a sea
                                              of blood—and what
do you expect on these mornings except their arteries set to sail
into the darkness, into the tidal wave of slaughter?
Stay up with her, don’t let up—
she sits death in her embrace
and turns over her days
                                              tattered sheets of paper.
Guard the last pictures
of her topography—
she is tossing and turning in the sand
in an ocean of sparks—
on her bodies
are the spots of human moans.
Seed after seed are cast into our earth—
fields feeding on our legends,
guard the secret of these bloods.
                               I am talking about a flavor to the seasons
                               and a flash of lightning in the sky.
Tower Square—(an engraving whispers its secrets
                                                               to bombed-out bridges . . . )
Tower Square—(a memory seeks its shape
                                                               among dust and fire . . . )
Tower Square—(an open desert
                                                               chosen by winds and vomited  . . . by them . . . )
Tower Square—(It’s magical
                                              to see corpses move/their limbs    
                                              in one alleyway, and their ghosts    
                                              in another/and to hear their sighs . . . )
Tower Square—(West and East
                                and gallows are set up—
                                martyrs, commands . . . )
Tower Square—(a throng
                of caravans: myrrh
                                               and gum Arabica and musk
                                                              and spices that launch the festival . . . )
Tower Square—(let go of time . . .
                                              in the name of place)
—Corpses or destruction,
                  is this the face of Beirut?
—and this
                a bell, or a scream?
—A friend?
—You? Welcome.
               Did you travel? Have you returned? What’s new with you?
—A neighbor got killed . . . /
 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
A game /
—Your dice are on a streak.
—Oh, just a coincidence /
                                   . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
                                              Layers of darkness
                                              and talk dragging more talk.


How can i not?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Habitus and Point of View

"What's that? the opposite of 'make my day'?"

It ruined his day, he said. When he accidentally killed a bug just because he didn't notice that there's a bug on the sink when he turned on the tap. He said that he's never killed any mosquito. This conversation began with a topic about pig. He said that he's sorry for pigs. For they were farmed by humans to be eaten but there are some people who don't wanna eat them because pigs are considered dirty by certain group.

Friday, June 19, 2015


A lesson of Ted-Ed says that we are susceptible to earworms. Earworm is that catchy piece of music that continually repeats through a person's mind after it is no longer playing. [x] Many literature works have recorded the ideas about earworms. For example, the work of Edgar Allan Poe, The Imp of The Perverse (1845):

It is quite a common thing to be thus annoyed with the ringing in our ears, or rather in our memories, of the burthen of some ordinary song, or some unimpressive snatches from an opera. Nor will we be the less tormented if the song in itself be good, or the opera air meritorious.

Yes. Sometimes it's a jingle of an advertisement or the songs that keep on being played on the radio or even the song you really hate. The tunes are there in your head. Stuck.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Menthol Cigarettes

Listen to Pandai Besi - Di Udara while reading this post.
You can watch it here, minute 21:55.

I have a weird habit. Nah, i actually have tons but i want to talk about one particular habit this time. I like to sniff the smell of menthol cigarettes. I like to sniff the pack. I like menthol cigarettes.

That's not counted as smoking because i don't even light it. I'm not saying this to clarify that i don't commit any juvenile delinquency. No. I don't care about that. I'm not a child anymore and smoking or not smoking, whatever the gender is, it doesn't speak about morality.

Personality traits like extroversion, rebelliousness, antisocial tendencies, risk taking and social deviance are directly related to the occurrence of smoking behaviour and are more frequent among males than females (Grunberg, Winders & Wewers 1991; Waldron 1991a). I'm fine with someone smoking for the sake of image branding, social status, etc. Cigarette can be a symbol you use to translate the message you want to convey to people. But yeah, i think it's not worth it to smoke for image branding sakes since it's not good for your health. Why would you kill yourself to impress people?

I ever heard that most women who smoke, smoke menthol cigarette. I'm curious about that but i didn't find any statistic of it. Is menthol cigarette smoking behavior correlated with gender? Why? Is the market of menthol cigarette segmented? No. I don't see any cigarette advertisement that seems like targeting on women. Now that i mention it, the main character of most cigarette advertisements are men. I guess the prevalence of smoking behavior is really patterned by gender.

This is kinda interesting. I hope i will find the data later and i'll try to develop this post.


Saturday, June 06, 2015

Shozaburo Takitani

A senpai gave me a question on She asked people to try this quiz. I was too males to answer her question properly and i had no obligation to do so anyway.

But i have taken this quiz three times without remembering my previous answers and i still got the same one. I wonder if that answer kinda suits me.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Sunday, May 31, 2015


I just finished my final assignment for Japanese Thoughts lecture which is actually due on next Friday. Now i only have two more left to do this weekend: write shitty essay about shit (read: garbage problem) in 日本語 and study for the final exam of History of Indonesian Diplomacy lecture. I'm looking forward to this holiday because i have rather long list of things to read and things to do and also i just accidentally erased the pictures i saved on my Google Account and it affected the pictures displayed on this blog. They are gone.

This post is a transition. I need to rest my brain for awhile and enjoy thinking freely because while writing i need to keep focus on one thing which still kind of tortures me.

Friday, May 22, 2015


These weeks i've been visiting Business Insider and Forbes and i can't really explain why. The only explanation i've got--not to mention it is also the dumbest i could come up with--is i guess finally the chinese blood has awaken in me. But of course it's not it. Then what?

Whatever. I really enjoy killing time reading the articles one after another. Especially the "Strategy" section on Business Insider. It contains many fun information that seem likely to be used in soft skill training for サラリーマン. 

And then today i went to Plan International Indonesia's Country Office to do my first Youth Engagement as Youth Advisory Panel. I was assigned for Youth Economic Empowerment. What i did was getting to know what the project does, the target, and what have been reached by it this far. It is a brand new experience for me because back in 2011 when i first engaged with Plan, i was involved in Learn Without Fear and Because I Am A Girl. Those programs deal with different issues. I didn't know nothing whatsoever about this YEE program except what i could try to fathom from its program name. It deals with youth to empower their economic capacity.

 So we were given the observation tool and we started to talk with the staffs who work specifically for certain program. There are:
Child Protection 
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Disaster and Risk Management
Youth Economic Empowerment, and
Early Childhood Care and Development

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Rather Be: How Banalities Turn Into Picturesque Scene

This morning my sister played a song through her iTunes. I recognized that song, Rather Be, but i couldn't recall the band so i decided to search it on YouTube and watched the music video. I've watched this video before, but i felt something new this time. This music video depicts how music can turn our everyday domestic activities into more enjoyable scenes.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Instant Crush

I got an instant crush on this song (and also on the music video). The oldish groovy music and the voice of Julian Casablancas (frontman of The Strokes) dance together, it got me feeling like dancing in an old bar with a jukebox. Though here his vocal doesn't sound really The Stroke-esque i'm good with it. It's Daft Punk afterall. This piece is included in Random Access Memories.

About the video, looking at the wax doll that looks like Julian made me think about Night At The Museum but no, some moments passed and i saw that it's more like The Steadfast Tin Soldier, a tragic love story between a one legged tin soldier and a paper doll ballerina. The story ends with them burning in fire and a heart shaped tin found on the morrow. In this video, the wax Julian and the cute wax dutch lady with full kissable lips melt together in fire just like the tin and the paper doll.  "A little time with you is all that I get. That’s all we need because it's all we can take." indeed.

I'm glad my infatuation with some heavy metal musics don't deprive me from enjoying this kind of piece. I always love this kind of song which has some specks of sentimentality yet can still manage the listener to dance it away. Both a mild sweet torture and a considerate companion for sentimental moment. That, or we can just listen to it to pretend that we are in the 80s, dancing in the bar with our fancy clothes as if we are a jukebox sweetheart.

My favorites lines are the chorus:

And we will never be alone again
'Cause it doesn't happen every day
Kinda counted on you being a friend
Can I give it up or give it away
Now I thought about what I wanna say
But I never really know where to go
So I chained myself to a friend
'Cause I know it unlocks like a door

The reason for any line to be my favorite is  always something personal...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Friday, May 08, 2015

Saturday, May 02, 2015



My parents keep saying that as a kid i used to ask so many questions to people. I love to know about things. And then being enrolled at school i found that i even had to know things i didn't have interest on, like tenggang rasa, a value taught on PPKn (I never aced that subject, it's kind of disturbing for me). School provided a method to find things out in an organized way so that it can be systematically done. For example, on math we didn't go straight to algebra, matrix, function, but we learned about the basic equations first. The 1+1=2. We go from A to build B to build C. The basic information is the most essential, the basis, and therefore the hardest to be debated. You can't debate 1+1=2, the first thing you learned on Math. The basis. 1+1=2 is an absolute truth.

And then as i kept learning i stumbled upon theories. I was fascinated by them because i grew up with this mindset: "when something can be questioned, it can be explained". Then my interest shifted from outer space stuffs to human relation. Fun to know the reason why people act in some behaviors, the common things people do, so many whys to be answered.

But now i am over social theories. I can't believe them anymore. My attitude towards them will either be "that seems sound enough" or "that doesn't make any sense".

Last night i had a discussion with SGRC UI on our chatroom. It was started by a question about Antonio Gramsci's theory of Hegemony. And then the discussion went on to the next topic: theory and truth. Just like Gramsci's theory, to me it seems like social theories only provide reasoning about what happened in the past. Finding out the relation of the factors involved in one occasion. It's not as sound as scientific concept. And after reading some theories until now, i see that theory can only explain that one aspect makes something more probable to happen. For example, from functional structuralist perspective the end of slavery might happened for the sake of industrial development, in order to go on to the next level of technology and civilization. Not humanitarian at all. The theory does make sense yet it doesn't mean that the end of slavery really occurred because of that.

And then it's hard to see a social theory as a truth because in social event, even as the theory is in the process of being synthesized, things keep changing. It's so hard to make a perfect social theory because there are so many interrelated factors in it and in social event, even one person can make significant change. It's hard to find out the basic structure of human relations because it's rapidly changing and we are not fast enough to catch on.

Therefore, i think it's not a good choice to treat a social theory like a scientific concept. For example, using a theory to say someone's way of thinking or behaving is wrong. In that case the theory is just a tool to justify what you believe is right.

Recently, someone i know used a theory to judge people. This theory, even if sometimes sounds like prophecy because it seems like it speaks the truth, is methodologically weak and has poor statistical validity. Yes, MBTI. Only because based on the test i am dominant for N and T, that one forgot that i have emotions too. Judging that xNTx people are not sensitive.

But as an xNFx, you've failed to see that too. We are both not sensible enough to read the atmosphere. Because it's not about the type, dear. It's whether you want to or not. And in my case i actually want to but i have problems in expressing it, you know that.

And you chose not to care about that because you think you've been burdened enough by your own problems. As if it was my fault it happened to you.

"空気 can also be used to explain situation. Like, 「空気を読む」 or reading the situation.”




Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Garage Sale

Today i did my first garage sale with my friend. It's just that i have so many clothes i don't wanna wear anymore even though some of them have only been used once or twice. My mom usually gave them to... i don't know exactly but this time i decided to have them sold cause the idea of doing this was fun. So me and my friend Take sorta headed right away this morning to the place and we sold some pieces there, yeay!

But because we didn't arrive early enough we couldn't get a shady spot. So it was only awhile after it became too hot that we decided to go home.

Things i learned today:

1. Never forget to bring your folded umbrella.
2. To come earlier is better (most of the times).
3. "Uang Sampah" means "Uang Keamanan" means "Uang Preman".

Yeah the thing about point three...

People are allowed to sell and promote stuffs there. There were various kinds of stands and booths and the place were crowded by people doing sunday morning workouts. When i was sitting there waiting for buyers to come while Take was buying some foods for breakfast, a man came to me and said "uang sampah" without looking at my face. I asked him what he was talking about because i didn't quite catch that and he repeated again and i got it.

"Uang sampah"

Anda memang sampah, pak.

That guy was scary and he looked like he was tough and was acting tough. I wouldn't stand a chance fighting with him or even arguing probably and actually i wasn't really bothered to pay some but i was just a bit annoyed to know that this kind of thing still happen and i experienced it myself.

But still, it was fun though. I guess i'm gonna do it again next week.

By the way, i just watched The Ark's stage debut because Kemal asked me and i found myself falling for them. I've followed their account on YouTube so i guess now i'm into other K-thingies besides honeyed tteokbokki. This group is really really good that i've been raping the repeat button watching their performance again and again.

I probably should wash the hype with Annot Rhül's pieces for lullaby.

No i'll watch it again just one more time.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Korean Culture Day 2015

When i got the ticket of KCD from Kemal i was like...

Mampus! gue kan gak ngerti ke-korea-an sama sekali.

It was Saturday morning. I headed straight from Kutek to Balairung by ojek (lemme mention it because i really love tukang ojek UI for the fee is so much cheaper compared to tukang ojek in Priok).

Then i walked towards the people queuing to enter the event area. When i was queuing i saw mas-mas with shocking bright neon colored niion sling bag and he smiled to me. Iya, it was Kemal. Thanks to that bag it was very easy for me to look for him during the event.

They use the identity bracelet system for the visitors so that it's easier for us if we have to leave the area for awhile and go back again which i find convenient for a forgetful person like me who forgets her stuffs back at home most of the time.

Entering the area i could see the backdrop they provided for photobooth but i went straight to the bazaar area. They divided it into two zones. First, located near the hall is the area for sponsors. There were only two stands which focused on selling food, a stand which sold packed tteokbokki (and they give testers!) and the other one sold japanese foods and drinks, there were also the stands of korean university, hanbok photobooth, and a stand of a cosmetic brand.

The other stands were located outside in the bazaar tenants area and the visitors had to take a tour around the building just to reach there and buy food which i found kind of inconvenient. But i asked about that and they said they knew but they didn't have other choice because there's a regulation from UI prohibiting them to use the more strategic area because it is feared that if it is used as a bazaar area it might make the place dirty. So, i'm fine with that.

Bazaar Area

Later my friends from SGRC UI came and i spent the rest of the day with them. I was surprised that i enjoy the event. There were cute kindergarten kids singing korean and indonesian songs, karaoke, dance cover, gugaksarang, arumba, cabaret, etc.

My friend Ahadi came onto the stage when the MCs challenged the audiences to do a dance battle and he won it easily. He really loves to dance and is very energetic. Me and the others literally screamed his name frantically when we saw him on stage.

The event was ended by the performance from the long awaited guest star, Eru. I didn't know him so while the others moved closer to the stage, i chose to move closer to the wall.

I like the stage lighting.

They are the winner of the dance cover competition. Sexy and powerful, they do deserve to win.

When i headed to the bazaar area one of the crews called out and said "Pohon harapannya! biar langgeng sama kemal!" but i just giggled cause i didn't find the idea of having our names hanging in an open area like that amusing. But it was a nice decoration, though!

I was surprised that i could enjoy the event from the opening until the end since i'm not even ke-korea-an.

Thank you for BKK UI for holding a korean event that a person who doesn't follow the pop culture like me can also enjoy. Music brings us here! And thank you, Kemal for the ticket. And thank you, Tyas, Ahadi, Arung, because of you guys i wasn't alone and thank you Kak Dudung and Faiz for accompanying me post-event. Instead of spending the saturday shutting myself in my room perusing or doing reviews, this was a lot better.

Photographs by @korcultureday