The Cosmic Wise and Crappy Words

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jakarta - The Journey Continues: Day Two

[Note: for more pictures, please dig it up in my Facebook or Flickr, Makasih]

Saturday - 08 March 2007
(a non-voting day for me!)

Woke up early at 7.30am, dressed and looked through half of the pictures that Emi took yesterday. Breakfast was good, 2 cups of coffee, cigarettes and now writing all these. Plan to hit the museum and walk around town before D'Sound's show at 8pm later. CAN'T WAIT! Let me indulge in my caffeine and ciggies first.

Listening to Quincy Jones's STUFF LIKE THAT.

"What makes you feel like, doing stuff like that? DO IT DO IT"

After Oya and Emi left for their shopping at Mangga 2, me and Muid decided to go to the National Museum. After a few minutes getting our requests right, the TAKSI driver ended up sensing us to MONAS, the National Monument instead. It is still a wrong spontaneous stop but we went ahead with it. MONAS is one of Jakarta's attraction, a marble obelisk standing at 137-meter in the middle of the Jakarta's Merdeka Square with a 35 kgs gold-coated flame at the peak. An elevator took us up the tower cup and we had the nicest view of Jakarta city. Underneath the obelisk, a simple museum with the most direct display of historical events that brought Indonesia to this very day. It was quite different from the museums back home and I love how the information is being disseminated. Noting that I worked with a library for past leadership before, presentation of information is somewhat essential alongside with perservation and archiving it.

Walking out of MONAS, we stepped on the field where a lot of historical demonstrations and congregations were being held in Indonesian independence process. We walked to the train station where the lower-income earner transits as train is one of their main transportation there. I believe the rich lords does not take the train that often. We stopped at a handphone booth and bought the TELKOMSEL prepaid. Had a chat with the lady who is known as Ibu Safiyah and when we mentioned to her that we came from Malaysia, the first word that popped out of her mouth was "Siti Nurhaliza!". I swear I was so close to "kencing" her that I am Siti's cousin but I didn't. Before I left, she asked me what my name was and I said "Abby". "Owh, Abby kalau bahasa indonesia nya berarti 'udang kering' ya". Me and Muid broke into laughter and being me, I simply said, "Waduh, serupa udang kering ya saya ini". Ibu Safiyah suddenly felt guilty, hold my hand and apologised, "Jangan marah ya, just joking". Another outburst of laughter from me because her indonesian 'just joking' was simply funny.

We left the train station and crossed the road to the National Gallery where Muid tried to look out for his friend who worked there to ask for direction. As the search end to no avail, we decided to ask the security guard instead. We conclude that the place we wanted to go was Plaza Semanggi until the TAKSI driver passed by Plaza Sarinah and Muid suddenly shouted that that was the plaza he was refering to. The TAKSI driver dropped us there and we were on a quest for the CD Store. After going to Plaza Sarinah and Java Department Store, we strolled along Jalan Thamrin until we ended up in a small crowded street. Crowded with the real life of Jakarta squatters, small tokos, 'bajais', and we even spotted an American Grill restaurant. I got some thumbs up and a flying kiss from snapping pictures of an ongoing chess game by a few locals. That both terrified and flattered me at the same time. We walked through the busy street and ended up back to Jalan Thamrin, in front of Plaza Sarinah and walked futher ahead until we reached Plaza EX. Plaza EX is an exclusive mall with security going through your stuff and body (which I believe should be categorised as "stuff" as well). How lucky for these (ala Japanese) tourists when there at the centre court of the mall, held an event with Kris Dayanti as their guest artist. Although we only managed to take pictures with Anang but to have the opportunity of taking close-up pictures of Kris Dayanti was beyond our expectation. With two cameras dangling on both of my hands, I took my chances of snapping like a paparazzi. Who cares about gadgets, techniques and precisions, I was there and it was a moment well-captured. Luck filled the air like charm to my being there.

We explored Plaza EX and shopped for my younger siblings before we head to Atilia's room at Hotel Ambhara in Blok M. Hung out with the guys before going to JICC together, We met Atilia's Indonesian friend who are both sweet and expecting their first born. We left with the group to JJF2008 and caught Maysa Leak's performance (she is the former lead vocalist for Incognito), then separate our ways as me, Muid, Oya and Emi stayed for D'Sound while Atilia and the rest went to watch George Clinton in action.


Although they didn't perform my favourite song "Slow Dancing French Kissing", but as the lead singer took the stage with her little bit of spoken Indonesian, the hall partied like madness. She even rolled the mic cables and hung it on her shoulders and continued jumping and singing for us! How cool was that??!! Its amazing to see the exposure they have in Jakarta and the amount of fans. People in their 20s were singing to every single song by heart. To top it all, D'Sound's new single featuring Tony Monrell from Incognito was superb! And it was an honour for D'Sound as it was a surprise for the fans to be the first seeing the collaboration performed live on stage. After partying with D'Sound, we went to the foodcourt for supper and met up with Atilia and the rest there. Also met Arshad who was the former bassist for Pretty Ugly.

We had our political conversation of the updates we've been receiving from families and friends back home. Since everyone was eligible to vote and none of us were actually registered voters, we concluded that it was the absence of 7 votes that led to the defeat of the ruling party for Selangor. Haha, lame one but it was our collective defense excuse.

The night ended perfectly and we head back to the hotel for some shut-eyes. Tomorrow is another adven-tour for us .... I washed my feet this time.

to be continued ....

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Jakarta - The Journey Begins: Day One

Thanks to Fozzy for the notebook and a high determination, I managed to write a travel log (a log of my travels?) to be shared. Photos will be included later upon editing. These are writings from my notebook, retyped for the blog. To scan 25 pages and show you proof that I used paper and ink would be too tedious.

This is no attempt to do a detailed travel journal but, just some simple writings. This is the most uninteresting travel journal with least informative detailed information, but if you end up reading until the end, I do rest my case.

Friday - 07 March 2008

We left home at 4.05am. As we arrived at the LCCT bus area at KL Sentral around 4.30am, the bus people there stopped us like a bunch of cops stopping cars on a road block. They were already making last calls for the 4.30am shuttle. Mama got panic and practically jumped out to quickly kiss us goodbye. Slept in the bus with the music blasting through my ears. Finally, a power nap and some shut eyes.

We arrived at the LCCT around 5.30am. Practically running and was so not in the bagpacking mode because abah insisted on me to take the big luggage since it was a 4 days 3 nights stay. Checked in and waited by the Gate. The toilet was horrible. Someone pasted a used panty-liner right next to the tab. WTF!

On the airplane, it was so fascinating to see the sky, clouds and sunrise from a different angle. God's creation has never fail to amaze the simple human mind. I was leaning towards the window, gawking at every single clouds. Suddenly, a blood rush, a silver screen and I was back in 1987. I was four years old and the same feeling of mesmerised run through my veins. It was amazing. I felt so humbled as we rose above the sky. Such a wonderful feeling. My heart beats faster and faster. The moment was surreal. But I didn't the feeling will ever fade away.

Panas terik
Mata silau
Cuba lihat
Tapi gagal
Tunggu sekejap
Sedikit mendung
Baru jelas
Ruang pandang

Around 8.40am, the plane approached Java island. I figured I was still on Malaysia time. Its beautiful to see the coastline and I can't stop being truly fascinated by the view from that high of an angle. We often look up and stare at the sky. Today, I looked down and smiled.

It was indeed a very tiring and great journey. To note that I didn't sleep the entire night, I was surprisingly energised by the whole traveling mood amidst walking around carrying the heavy luggage. The TAKSI fare was IDR 179,000 and paying that sum of money, was quite funny for me. Our 2 star hotel, Hotel Atlantic in Salembar Raya was up to its standard for MYR 500 charge of 4 days 3 nights. A small comfy room with 3 beds (which we combined to fit 4 gorgeous people) with decent toilet and a water heater is good enough for me.

After we checked in and settled down, being typical Malaysia, we get hold of our Malaysian counterparts. Oya called Fizar who invited us to hang out with them at the room in The Sultan. A cab ride away, we met Fid, Jerry and Fizar who were later joined by Teejay and Atilia. We went down as the entourage needed to take their lunch and who did we see sitting across the table but JAMES INGRAM in flesh! After moments of star struck and jokes about having to mistakenly take him for Luther Vandross, we approached the music legend as he stood up to take his dessert. A nice gentleman he is, he obliged to our fan demands of photograph session. The show haven't started and we've already taken pictures with Stars! Lady luck followed us like a charmed LV bracelet.

us with James Ingram

As everyone made their way to the convention centre, we realised that the Jazzmaster booth will only be opened at 3.30pm so all four of us took a long walk from the Convention Centre to Plaza Senayan. Its quite a great introduction to Jakarta when we walked with the walkers of real life. We saw the locals in their normal manner, passing by an Agriculture Fair selling all sorts of plants, vegetables and whatnot.

Plaza Senayan is a local shopping mall like the ones in Malaysia but housing a large parking building unlike those you find here in Kuala Lumpur. We directed our tired feets to Warong Poedjok on the top floor for some local dishes. I had Nasi Ramon, which is rice with salted duck eggs, beansprout, sambal and the main dish was beef chunks in some salty soup. Lunch was good.

We took a TAKSI back to the convention centre and the place was filling up with jazzy atmosphere. Jazz music filled up the air that we breathed in and it was like great indulgence for those who lives and breathes good music. The first pitstop was Atilia's performance on Stage 2 in the lobby at 5.00pm.

Atilia's performance was superb. I'm not saying this because I'm a friend and I should say nice things about my friend, but it was so good for an international event and as a Malaysian (who was not voting the pride of her nation), I was totally proud of her. The audience was so amazed by her performance and at that time, as a friend, I couldn't more proud of her achievement. Java Jazz Festival is one of the biggest music festival in the more (some say bigger than Montreux) and Atilia has placed herself on the world music map. After Atilia's performance, fans from Indonesia pushed their way to see the petite singer up close, tried to buy her Sangkar CD for her signature like a swarm of bees crowding a sweet bee hive. How amazing was that? Even the copies she brought for fans in Indonesia was sold out and highly in demand.

After Atilia's performance, me and Muid went to queue up for Parkdrive's performance across the hall, later joined by Oya and Emi. PARKDRIVE WAS AWESOME! I recorded their performance with a sore back, worn out body and tired hips while stretching my biceps to its full capabilities but it was all damn worth it! We got to catch the bassist for pictures and he was so yummylicious! We also managed to take pictures with Olive, Parkdrive's vocalist and she's as sweet as a person as she is on stage. We were quite excited to know that they're coming to Malaysia soon this year. Words can't describe my feelings but for all the tough time we've been through to get our sweet fine asses down in Jakarta, the very first day has made everything worthwhile.

After an hour of getting lost from our friends and even from my brother, me and Teejay made our way to Renee Olstead's performance which Teejay later excused herself because she was already too tired. The hall was so damn packed but Renee was a gem! Her jazz was beyond her age by a century mile (if there's even such indicator). The foundation of jazz was serenaded smoothly by a very young lady. Although I only managed to catch her last 4 songs but it was still an amazing performance.

After a night of 3 GREAT performances, my tired body shut down right as we stepped into the TAKSI heading back to the hotel. I slept so sound I couldn't even remember my dreams. Especially when I slept in my traveling clothes I had on the whole day, without even washing my feet!

Muid: Abby, kamu dah basuh kaki? Jangan lupa, kita jalan merata-rata.

Abby: Dahhh (growling from beneath the comforter)

Abby dalam hati: Kalau hantu nak ikut aku tidur ke, apa ke, lantak la, aku penat!

to be continued ....

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

finding my inner strengh

I just wasted RM100 and a whole deal of time dealing and venting out about the stupid girl whom I banged her dad's UNSER earlier. Although we settled at RM100, when she first demanded RM200 for 5 scratches the size of 1 inch each in the middle of her scratches-all-over-the-place bumper, I was left feeling so drained out with my Kembara's signal light broken. It didn't help with the emotional turmoil and instable health I've been having (5 times vomiting within 12 hours). I had some comforting voices but I lack hugs.

Now I needed a moment to feel good about myself. This two testimonial from some friends make me smile.

** K A Z Z I E ** (my Huggable KLickr friend from South Africa) says:

"refreshing , expressing and daring
One of a kind !"

MagnusCaleb (my poetic fellow Rumi fan) says:

"Like a butterfly who love to linger upon a scented river of citrus blooms, she can click a camera…can seed happiness, know how to enjoy her life and a sweet friend


and my Fozzy's final words before she went offline and drove home today. "Luv u babe. Take care".

Abby should smile ..... soon.

Monday, March 03, 2008

another lovely weekend

I think its lovely becos FINALLY, I've managed to finish my book, A Mighty Heart by Mariane Pearl. Its quite funny that I was reading all night and was tempted to google everyone mentioned in the book and you find it a bit scary to see terrorists' prison picture with their orange uniform and their beards and rough faces at 3am. I slept at 4am after finding the right moment when all the images fade out from my mind.

Anyways, Friday was a fun day because not only I engaged in quite an interesting discussion with my fellow colleagues about the corporate scenario of Malaysia and Asia, I invited one of my best rock that I've been holding on to these past few years, Fozzy, to come over for dinner. Fozzy was supposed to pick me up before we head to No Black Tie for Atilia's performance. Fozzy who needed to de-stress, accepted my invitation, at 8pm, just a couple of hours before the show. After a quick (I don't think it was quite becos the petite lady needed to ratah all the lauk pauk) dinner, we head of to No Black Tie, which is literally, in a bloody deserted area. Fozzy said I have grown thinner. Even though we practically meet each other every other week (we are each other's chenta hati, just can't get away from each other too long), she still notice my weight loss recently. Maybe depression does that to you. Maybe longing. Maybe the missing of someone. I guess losing weight is good. As my wrist shrinks and my grey hair grows, I embrace weight loss and those cellulite I have at the back of my thighs.

May My Fozz be with Me always

We bumped into our former lecturer (one I once had the .... errr..... lets just say, he's cute), Jasper Diego, who happened to be Atilia's classmate in LUCT. We had a quick photo moment by Jasper's friend, Nina Mustaffa. It was funny that Jasper was saying how much we've grown up since the last 4 years he met us. I think I'm getting more sulky and childish, haha. I also got to meet Salamiah Hassan, Atilia's mother as I was walking back and forth the place. Mama (as we all call her) apparently dig my new hairstyle and it makes me smile from ear to ear.

After kissing everyone goodbyes, Me, Muid, Oya and Emi head down to a mamak for supper before heading home. I guess the bonding session that we frequently had lately is a good practice since all four of us are going to bunk in a room together in Jakarta and spend 4 days and 3 nights together.

Saturday was a family day. As night time arrived, me and Muid had a little grocery shopping and got home for my mom to prepare her delish spaghetti, union soup, mushroom soup and muid top it all with his famous salad.

Come sunday, Muid had his Get Moovable Moving Art exhibition at Palate Palatte. Its great that the flickr gang was there, Shaf, Johan, Mizie, Michelle, Prakash, Lyanna, Ena, and Ripi but it was special for me to meet up with a friend whom, I've been trying to hook up with for the past year. I met Khairina during the Perdana Global Peace Forum where she volunteered as a Liaison Officer taking care of the international delegates that we had, and we were only acquainted after we got connected through Friendster. After a series of emails and smses, it was only just now that we managed to have our bonding session. As we clicked right in, I felt comfortable becos she can take my stupid sarcastic jokes. Haha. Anyone who can take my sarcasm always get plus plus plus point for me. Donna and her boyfriend Harmy managed to dropby for Muid's second dancing session and after the event finished, we all head to the nearest mamak along with Adi and his fiance Inaz before me and Muid send Shafina home.

It's 2am and I'm not sleepy yet. Might just start my new book, Arenawati's Sandera at least a couple of pages before I sleep.

Pictures will be posted later upon approval of owner. For the time being, I might go photo-less for awhile. Even though I just had a play with Johan's Nikon D3 and his super telefoto lens. I was happily playing with Muid's camcorder so I didn't snap as much, but being among photogs, I guess all you gotta do is to be ready with a big smile and a quirky pose.

Guess I'm not such a sappy sad loner as I often portrayed in my blog writings, am I?