.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

bricolage \bree-koh-LAHZH; brih-\, noun: -a dump site for anything at hand, in mind-

Friday, May 13, 2005

the green bugs invasion!

Have you ever lied down, facing up the bedroom's ceiling at two o'clock in the morning and suddenly you feel like experiencing an eternal moment? The outside world radiates a perpetual serenity. It was only you and the bedroom's ceiling.

At two o'clock in the morning, suddenly a glitch in your brain built up such a strong chemistry reaction that forced your weary eyes to open wide to meet your matte colored ceiling. And like I said above, your horizon was perpetual serenity and your vertical was the dull-colored ceiling.

For a nanosecond, you were pretty sure that everything was going to be all right. Forget insomnia, forget nightmares, and forget fantasy. It was just you, your ceiling and that perpetual serenity. And you were in a dream-state condition. And it was fine. You were ready to embrace your true seven hours of serenity. Again. Before long, you realized that your window was wide open. And then it came to your senses that you are not alone in this room.

A buzzing sound from your three o'clock warped up towards you. It won't stop! And it's alive! But then again, remember, you were in a dream-state condition that does not allow you to be responsive to anything. Before it hits you, it hurled itself up. Faster than your eyes. Before it hits the ceiling. "Thwab!" You thought it was dead and you could seize your peace again. Until you realize that it was flying in circle around the round white lamp of your room. "Zzzinggg.. Thump!" Over and over and over again. If that small flying thingy is a human being, that human being must be having a very hard time to end his or her life. It came across you that that thing was small. Against the ceiling, that thing would sure be dead. You were wrong.

It went down straight to you in a full speed. It decided to confront you eye to eye. It was floating on your eye level. That nasty little stuff that just ruined your serene little moment was a huge green bugs you've never seen before. A huge green bugs that flies and buzzes. Was there any horn on the front? No, there wasn't any. But didn't it cross your mind that it might hit you in a full speed any nanosecond from now? The cover, quick, quick! The bedcover, the blanket, anything. Anything that will provide you an emergency full protection against crazy bugs invasion!

"Zzziinggg…" NO! You thought you were finished. That nasty little thing. You were wrong. "Thwabs! Thwabs!" You didn't fascinate the bugs; it was the lamp and the ceiling. Yet you were still peering from behind your helpless blanket. Swearing. Complaining. All the dirtiest words you could ever think of. And you lost, my man. Against the green bugs invasion.

Now you thought that you were the warm center of the universe, like Ed Norton in The Fight Club who was able to seize his serene moments at nights. "Zzziiinggg… chink! Zzziiinggg…" This one was damn close to your ears. "Chink!" YIKES! The green bugs just made an alliance with a lean, mean, little dragonfly-look-alike bugs! The latter seemed to be lethal, as you could spot the (sengat) at the end of its body. It was floating gracefully across your room. As if it was a strayed biplane. First it was flying in circle around the lamp, sizing up the green bugs sitting on the edge of the lamp. Wrong again. The dragonfly bugs started to expand its coverage. It drew itself closer and closer against you.

For a second or so, you just stared dumbfounded at those two bugs, which have just ruined your (again) serene little moment. Those two little creatures were roaming freely, showing off their knack for flying right in front of your very eyes. An F-16 wouldn't fly that gracefully, perhaps.

Then you begun to realize and asked questions to yourself, you started to wonder what those two crazy bugs were up to. A minute later or so, you realized that conquer of paradise has just begun.

More "zziingg" sounds enveloped you. More "'thwabs" sounds of the silly green bugs humping against the ceiling. More "chink" sounds of the other bugs. They might be small and harmless, but very intimidating. A wider flight coverage. A bolder maneuvers. A more threatening looks. No bugsticide anywhere within your reach. In that three by four meters by three meters room, you mind has finally made a decision. Bugs bites might not be dangerous or anywhere near lethal. But the trauma might last longer than you thought. And then, how you hate bugs.

The next maneuvers they made, you reached a decision.

To leave the room. That's it!

Precisely at 04:00 AM in the morning, those two little bugs have beaten you. It was the night of the green bugs invasion.

You were hanging out there to dry. All alone. In the pitch dark of the night. You started to review your sleeping disturbances in the past six months. You had to realize that you had a very nice and challenging job. With a pool of friends. And a nice room to stay. Enough money to fulfill your desire of any gadgets you wanted. Whatizzit then? You don't have a female boss so bitchy you couldn't stand her. No. You enjoyed both public transportation and private ones. You are the balance point of the world of comforts. Chicks? Hey, you've got yourself a series of occasional girlfriend to hang out with. All is well educated, well behaved, damn smart, and easy to get along with and most of them are in your wavelength. You could still hear those bugs initiating another attack in your room. Must be against the big huge white lamp. It was not the bugs, despite their invasion.

Must be the chick in pink, who swayed smoothly and beautifully in her refined, latest fashion and perfume. The pink lady, who happened to threw her deadly smile at those two guards in front of your office. The day after the green bugs invasion, you found yourself confronting the center of your universe. The pink lady. At any rate, she was probably the most gorgeous creature on earth. You settled your sleeping disturbances. Like Ed Norton said in The Fight Club. "Babies don't sleep this well." Do they? Do you? What about the mobile number you were clutching in your sleep?

Jakarta, September 26, 2000.

"I live at the 32nd floor of this apartment in downtown Jakarta. At night, those brown-hard shell-bugs would invade my room and start to hit anything in front of them." *shrugs*

-- confession of an expatriate coping with Jakarta's apartment.


i love this cat

Image hosted by Photobucket.com


Thursday, May 12, 2005

damai indah golf club at bumi serpong damai

"Bumi Serpong Damai" is a large real estate that dubbed itself as an independent city. It has its own water supply, telecommunication station, bus and small transport terminal, power supply station, large malls, several automobile showrooms, two large swimming pools, a golf field, asphalt streets, kindergarten, elementary up to high school facilities. It is lacking of a mayor and a city council. (I think)

Swimming in tropical country is always a treat. A few weeks ago I ventured out to "Bumi Serpong Damai" (BSD), about an hour drive from Jakarta. A careful research on the Internet and through a few phone calls informed me that there is a shuttle bus from "BSD" to Jakarta, it costs 6,000 IDR* but when I boarded into the bus, the fee was 8,000 IDR for one trip. It was a large air conditioned bus with a TV set. There are two routes that the shuttle bus served: BSD-Mangga Dua, which is in North Jakarta and BSD-Pondok Indah-Ratu Plaza-Senayan in South Jakarta. On Sundays and major holidays, the bus leaves BSD at 08:00, arrived in South Jakarta 45 minutes later and it goes every hour or so. The last bus from BSD to South Jakarta left at 16:30 PM.

The bus left BSD and entered the new toll road that connects Pondok Pinang and BSD, the Jakartans refer this toll road as "The Bintaro Toll" as it also connects another congested residential area in Bintaro Sub district. The toll road saves a lot of time as it only takes 30 minutes to go from Bintaro to BSD and vice versa. Beware, this "only 30 minutes" is only valid during major holidays, and only from Bintaro toll gate to BSD toll gate. Second beware, the BSD shuttle bus doesn’t stop by at Bintaro. Bintaro has its own shuttle bus and commuter train to Jakarta.

There are two Olympic size swimming pools in BSD. The first one is the old one next to the bus terminal and the modernized market. The second one is within the golf club and tennis complex, which is called "Damai Indah". The first one costs you 13,000 IDR during weekends and major holidays and 10,000 IDR during weekdays. It has two children swimming pools of 30cm deep and 50cm deep, if I’m not mistaken; then an Olympic pool of 1-2m deep. You don’t need an extra transportation cost to reach this pool as this is exactly beside the bus station.

The "Damai Indah" has two children pools of the same depth as the old one, two short curvy slides for children, an adolescent pool of around 80cm deep and an Olympic pool of 1-2.1m deep. The management put a pool divider in the Olympic pool along the 1m deep water. On the side of the 2.1m there is a jumping board and kick board. It costs you 21,000 IDR on weekends and public holiday and 16,000 on weekdays. The fee earns you a beach towel, swimming goggles, plastic for your wet swimming suit, clean shower, changing rooms and toilets with rubber mats plus locker facility. The pool has a cafeteria although I didn’t go into one. However, the "Damai Indah" pool is located a bit further off the big roundabout in front of the "Plaza", which is the modern mall and shopping area. If you do not have your own transportation, you can either swing your legs for a kilometer or so and this will cost you lots of eyes staring at you walking down the street to the pool’s location, since most of the people who go there have their own cars. Otherwise, take a motorbike taxi that costs you 3,000 IDR.

Here’s a breakdown of cost and facilities:
First pool
From Jakarta to BSD, shuttle bus: 16,000 IDR two ways.
Pool fee on weekend: 13,000.
Facilities: Cafeteria, shower and changing rooms, toilets, locker.
Extra transport: None.
Total: 29,000 IDR per person.

Damai Indah pool
Jakarta to BSD, shuttle bus: 16,000 IDR two ways.
Pool fee on weekend: 21,000.
Facilities: Cafeteria, shower and changing rooms, toilets, beach towel, swimming goggles, locker.
Extra transport: 1,500 from bus terminal to "The Plaza" roundabout; 3,000 for motorbike taxi from "The Plaza roundabout" to the pool.
Total: 41,500 IDR per person.

The reason for me to go to “Damai Indah” is simply because that was the pool that I spotted while I was learning to drive in “BSD”, I was not aware of the first pool. After checking out the first pool, I still wanted to look for the pool that I have spotted, which was the “Damai Indah” one. After walking for a kilometer downhill from “The Plaza” to the golf club area, I didn’t feel like hiking up the streets and went back to the first pool. So I decided to take a dip at the “Damai Indah” one for an hour an a half. Very bery refreshing indeed.

* IDR = Indonesian Rupiah. 1 US$ is about 9,500 IDR


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

serenity prayer pray yahoo

"..God grant me the serenity to
accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.."

- Alcoholic Anonymous Prayer


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

the whistling cow * yahoo cow

I was on my regular trip to Nias Island, the target of the recent 8.7 richter scale earthquake. The humanitarian organization where I am working for was going to open a sub office over there. Here I am, boarding a small airplane with five passengers including a pilot and her co pilot. Yes, the pilot is a she and the co pilot is her husband. They own this small plane. I'd rather call it flying tin.

I'm starving to death. My colleague said we should be able to find a decent lunch in Nias. After a full day of walking in and out of demolished neighborhood shattered to the debris my the yawning giant turtle, we ended up at this government house. It's the big house of the regent. The King of Nias, so to speak.

I do not eat pork. I just don't like it. Call me vegetarian. A lacto ovo
vegetarian. Give me eggs and I'll settle on them. We bumped into the eatery, which is not a cafe. D'oh! No cafe nor road eatery on Nias. They're all flattened to the earth by the quake, remember? So I was hoping for a fulfilling lunch of fried omelette, rich in grease and carbohydrate with used frying oil and added bleached flour.

"Grilled Pork and Spicy Minced Dog Meat"
That's the only thing the food hawker has!

Cows are whistling to their victory on Nias Island.
I saw bunch of them roaming the debris-filled streets of Nias.
They are the survivors of the quake.

yahoo cow yahoo cow yahoo cow

* This story is inspired by a friend who is working for Islamic Relief in Banda Aceh, NAD. I have never set my foot on Nias myself.