Hidden treasures

The last month or so, I read these books:
Dan Brown – Deception Point
Dan Brown – Digital Fortress
Robin Cook – Brain
Robin Cook – Outbreak
Robin Cook – Shock
Michael Crichton – Timeline
Mineko Iwasaki – Geisha of Gion

I’m currently reading Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons. After this one, I read all his 4 books, hehe. They’re all page-turners, I guess because the way he writes them.

I recently also saw the Timeline movie, based on Michael Crichton’s book. Well, the movie sucked really bad. They changed everything! A few characters were changed to male, the technique and everything about the “time traveling” was changed for the worse, including some stuff that could help the plot, the time, the pace, the story…

I never really read a biography, but Geisha of Gion was very interesting. Before, I expected biographies to be boring. But this one gripped me. The Japanese setting is so intruiging. The culture, clothing, customs, all so amazing. And the story, everytime there was happiness, you would just smile yourself when reading it. Or your eyes would just get watery if something sad would happen.

Bella: I haven’t read Memoir of a Geisha, so I don’t know if it’s similar. Aileen: I’m done reading it and I liked reading it :). jen jen: Just take pictures with what you have and capture your moments! Devin: Well, everyone has their own preferences, so maybe you won’t like it at all. Story and/or writing. Diana: Yeah, this particular movie shouldn’t even have been called Timeline.

Looking up

Here’s a small list of words of which you can see the influence of Dutch and Indonesian on each other. Indonesian mostly had an influence on Dutch words concerning food. These are not specialized words either — every Dutch person uses these words and know what they mean.

Dutch Indonesian English
Kamer Kamar Room
Kantoor Kantor Office
Film Film Movie
Benzine Bensin Gas, petrol
Oom Om, paman Uncle
Tante Tante, bibi Aunt
Nasi Nasi goreng Fried rice
Loempia Lumpia, lunpia Spring roll
Bami Ba(k)mi Noodles
Sambal Sambal Hot sauce
Saté Sate Satay
Kroepoek Kerupuk -
Ananas Nanas Pineapple
Aardbei Arbei Strawberry

I chose these words, because they are significantly different from the English translation. Easy words are: boek, buku, book; lamp, lampu, lamp; universiteit, universitas, university; kwaliteit, kwalitas, quality. There are also words like Toko, which means “Chinese or Indonesian (food) shop/store” in Dutch, but just means “shop/store” in Indonesian. Pretty interesting stuff, eh?

Keren: Ah, so at least I’ll be able to order some food if I go visit you :) jen jen: Indonesian has a lot in common with many languages, hehe. But yeah, those are interesting too. irene: Oh yeah, I forgot those words. Thanks :) Diana: Oh, I didn’t know that one yet. I guess I learned another word, hehe. Nana: Hmm, Sometimes I saw bakso and bakmi, and sometimes baso and bami. Same for loempia, loenpia, lumpia, lunpia. My dictionary said filem, but I corrected it with film now, I guess :)

The creatures of the East

This is one of the monkeys we spotted in one of the monkey places. Later, we also saw monkeys running around freely along the side of the road, in the mountains.

Other wild animals, or bugs, we saw were cicak (lizards). We didn’t see any tekok though. Lovely how kecoak (cockroaches) roam in the kamar mandi (bathroom). There are also way more nyamuk (mosquitos) in Indonesia. I used so much Autan, hehe.

More differences: We have no uniforms in elementary school (basisschool, SD) or high school (middelbare school, SMP/SMA). I don’t think any school here has uniforms here.

Store in the Netherlands generally close at 18:00, except on Thursday or Friday (depends on the city) at 21:00, Saturday at 17:00. Only the bigger stores in the big cities are open on Sundays. We don’t have as much street vendors (kaki lima :P).

But we do have sambal. Kerupuk. Indo mie. Lumpia (spring rolls, loempia).

digits: Inderdaad, voor mij is de beleving anders omdat ik in Nederland geboren ben… jen jen: What a tiny brother you have. Michelle: Well, I’m sure I did take many pictures of your brother while we were there. Keren: Thanks! Bella: Sure you can get rendang here. Kecap manis as well. We don’t have everything here, but we do have a lot.

Breathtaking views

This is one of the breathtaking views that I captured with my camera on my vacation in Indonesia. It was taken at Uluwatu on Bali. There were monkeys too there, but you’ll see those later, hehe.

Breathtaking

Before my trip, my dad told me I could bring back a few things from Indonesia. So here I am, I have new glasses, they’re way cheaper than if I’d buy them here. I have a new cell phone, my Nokia 8210 was getting old. I didn’t have time to get a new suit, but that’s not too important. I wanted a black one, but I guess I’ll have to stick with my dark blue and grey one.

My dad also told me I could bring back a girl.

During vacation, you always have more time to look around. You know, watching people. And I have to say, Indonesia has lots of cute breathtaking girls walking around. I happened to hear that it’s a bad thing snatching girls off the street, so I had to disappoint my dad when I didn’t bring anyone back home. Crap.

Michelle: I wasn’t planning on forcing anyone to go with me, honestly! jen jen: Next time I’ll make sure my T-shirt says “Wanted: Cute girl. Reward: Holland.” Diana: Hmm, next year eh. I might need a little more time to recover from the pollution. But who knows. No plans for next year, yet. Gideon: Sometimes, it helps to read before asking questions :P As I wrote in the second line of this entry, the picture was taken at Uluwatu on Bali.

Power of differences

One of the differences between Indonesia and the Netherlands is these electricity lines. Here, in the Netherlands, everything is underground. Power lines, phone lines, tv cable. The sky in the streets isn’t cluttered with cables and transformers. When traveling, you’ll encounter things that are completely normal there, but of which you might think it’s strange, odd, or just different.

Normal. The Netherlands and Indonesia

* When I returned home, it was almost as hot as Indonesia. But unlike Indonesia, most houses don’t have any AC (Airco, Air conditioners), although all homes have central heating. I don’t understand why the AC is often set so excessively cold.

* Maybe not completely normal, but generally accepted are the security, or bomb checks when you enter a parking lot in a building in Indonesia. With metal detectors, they often open up the trunk, and sometimes even open passenger doors.

* In the Netherlands we drive on the right side, in Indonesia they mostly drive on the left side. We have (new) bike taxis in Rotterdam, but they’re not becaks. Bajaj are a Jakarta exclusive. In some cities we have the horse & carriage, but their purpose is purely for tourism.

* The church usually only has one service on Sunday, in Indonesia they have multiple (like 5-6 or so). Mosques in the Indonesia have prayers heard with loud speakers so the whole city can hear them. That’s not allowed here. It simply disturbs more people than it helps people. The Netherlands is a Christian country, Indonesia is muslim.

* I’m not sure, but I think Indonesia is the only country where there are parking helpers. In the Netherlands, when you park your car, you’re on your own.

* The amount of advertisements on television in Indonesia is insane. We already get annoyed by the commercials on Dutch television, but it’s really insane in Indonesia. Oh, I watched Indonesian Idol, but it looked really amaturistic, especially technically, because the audio was really bad (AFI was better, hehe).

* Indonesia is even more Americanized than the Netherlands. There’s more McDonald’s restaurants, Pizza Huts, Malls, Factory Outlets than there are here in the Netherlands. I mean, we don’t even have Starbucks (I don’t drink coffee, so I don’t really care). I also didn’t expect so many of the childeren there to be obese.

* Indonesia: Sunrise at around 5am, and it’s already dark at 6pm. The Netherlands: In July, sunrise at 5:30am, sunset at 10pm. Around new year: sunrise at almost 9am, sunset at 4:30pm. We do have daylight saving time (summer or winter time).

This is all I can think of right now. What do you think about your own country, what’s normal to you and what do you think about other countries?

Michelle: I forgot about that. The tanned/not tanned thing is really interesting, hehe. Bella: Do you mean the Angkutan? Karen: The weather in the Netherlands is actually pretty similar to the wather in BC. Same type of climate. jen jen: Food… When I was watching MTV Asia there, they interviewed someone and asked them what they wanted to say to their fans in Asia. They said “eat more food,” haha. Michelle: I think that finishing plate thing is slowly changing though. Can’t let it go to waste, all that precious food :) Diana: But sometimes it is interesting. Or interesting enough to take a picture of it, hehe.

Simply a loss for words

Although Indonesia has lots of beautiful scenery, sometimes a view as simple as this one is enough. Enough to be more than breathtaking. Bright colors against the clear blue sky. Sometimes unnoticable, but on discovering, it’s worth every look.

While I was in Indonesia, I learned words that I didn’t know before (betul, setengah, juta, ribu, asyik). I also found a few words that aren’t in my small dictionary, although I know what they mean now (banget, warnet). I still don’t know how the verb base words and prefixes work or when to use them.

I could understand about 75% of simple conversations and maybe 50% of other daily conversations (including cartoons on television). It’s amusing that when some Indonesians talk English, they talk really slow, but when they use Indonesian again, they talk insanely fast (in some areas).

I can make myself understood when using Indonesian. But when the people know I’m from Holland, and that I don’t really speak the Indonesian language, and when I use a few words, they always laugh. Why? I don’t know. Although, it’s not very encouraging when they laugh each time you try to speak.

Kok aneh ya, ketawa terus.

jen jen: Thanks! Michelle: I stutter even when I talk slow :P But usually because I don’t have the words I want to say at that moment (I guess I get that from being a thinker). Hikari: Sometimes I would think of what to say in Indonesian, and all these Mandarin and Japanese words start popping up in my mind. Daynah: Thanks! Bella: This trip’s been 20 years after I’ve last visited Indonesia. So it’s been ages for me too, hehe. maureen: Yep, at least we’re trying. Ohh, and I kinda forgot or didn’t realize you’re Indonesian too. Emily: But I know I wasn’t making any mistakes. Or maybe it’s my accent. dee: Ya, saya memang lucu ;)

The flow of water, the flow of life

This is one of the beautiful, famous sights in Indonesia. The sawah: Terrace rice fields. Carefully crafted terraces to keep the water where it is and to make most of the available land. I think if you visit Indonesia, then you should at least have seen these sawah. Some are more beautiful than others.

The age and its loves

Summarizing last past: I’m 24, but people say they think I’m around 18. I know, I know, looking young has a positive side. People are looking for that magic potion to look young and stay that way, so why should I complain? And I usually don’t really care either. Except for one thing. When people discover I’m 6 years older than they thought I was, they usually yelp in surprise. Now, this in itself is not really a problem. But let’s make this issue more specific. I’ll start with an introduction.

About love.

I often am very dreamy about love, and still believe it’s something magical and all that, for most part. Like how love crosses all boundaries and stuff. Like age. I have asked people what they thought about love and age, and they will always say that age doesn’t matter. And when you’re reading this, I’m sure you agree with this. Age doesn’t matter when it comes to love.

But when I ask if it’s okay to have 5, 6 or more years age difference, they answer “no way!” Okay, so not everyone answers this, but on average, most people say they’re against it. So that’s just weird. First they say age doesn’t matter, then they are against it.

So now back.

I’m 24. So it would be normal (whatever that is) if I had a girlfriend who would be maybe 2-3 years younger than me. But if I were a girl, I’m not sure if I would want a boyfriend that looked that kiddy. But here I am, looking like an 18 year old. In physique, would it be normal to have a girlfriend that’s like 16 years old? Does this still make sense? In this case, I/we’d be really looked upon, assuming she wouldn’t yelp eep too, knowing my age (if I were a girl, would I want an “oldie?”).

So I guess these reasons could make me very picky. I keep having flashes of thoughts in my mind, telling me to look for a girl who’s a few years younger than me, but also looks very young herself. Although I know I shouldn’t be limiting myself like this.

Anyway, when I was hanging out with Nana in Indonesia, she told me that it’s only natural that there are one or two girls out there with a crush on me. It kind felt like she told it like it was a fact, and not solely to comfort me. And even if I can’t really imagine someone having a crush on me, I like the idea :) And it was comforting indeed :).

Reactions. jen jen: Yeah, it’s a typical Indonesia picture. irene: Oops, corrected. Nana: Thanks for bringing this fact to my attention. I wonder if it’s scientifically provable. Tiffany: May your wish come true… Hikari: Thanks for your comment and insight. An: “Wisdom comes only with age”… true, true. Michelle: You’re absolutely right. Sometimes I do feel like I’m limiting and restraining myself. And having a negative images of oneself is only negative for yourself. But hey, we’re only human, right? Diana: There’s a lot of cases in my family where “she” is older than “him,” so I’m not worried about that.

Inside / Out of this age

I found these plants in Indonesia interesting. We never hang plants or flowers on walls like this, but apparantly it’s pretty normal in Indonesia. I think it looks really pretty. I’m looking around right now, in this computer room here at home. And all I see are some paintings and pictures hanging on the walls. We should make one of the walls a plant wall too.

Out of this age

I touched this topic before, I’m sure. But I really look young for my age. I especially noticed this again, during my vacation in Indonesia. I was traveling with my Aunt, Uncle and cousin. Okay, my cousin looks a bit older for his age, but check this…

A few times people asked us if we were the same age.

Uhh, sure, the same age. There’s only 10 years between him (14) and me (24). I also let people guess my age. They usually think that I’m 18. Or when other new people, some of them students, complain that they feel they’re old. When I’m 2-3 years older than them. And here I thought that people in Asia would’ve been better in guessing my age.

Replies. Carolyn: Yeah, it has its positive points. Jen Jen: It’s most fun when you baffle someone who’s asking for ID, and when he’s apologizing. Aileen: Now that you mention it, yes they might be orchids. And it makes more sense to have flowers hanging around, hehe.

Blogs and the world

In everyday life, you’ll get to meet all sorts of people around you. But usually they’re close, all in one area. In one school, city, country… There’s a nice thing about blogs: the bloggers (owners) are all over the world. So you also get to read about stuff that happens all over the world. And sometimes you might even meet one of those blog friends, close or far.

During my trip in Indonesia, I had the honor of meeting these fellow blog friends:
Diana in Bandung and Nana, Angela Jessica and Irene in Jakarta.

It’s interesting meeting these people. I found it interesting that Diana is learning Dutch and that her boyfriend might want to come to the Netherlands for school. It does say on Nana’s site that she loves reading, but now I know how much she really loves it. It’s interesting that she’s interested in Indonesia’s history–which includes Holland. And that Irene has a boyfriend in this little country. I guess Angela was an exception: Japan all the way, hehe. And yeah, she’s prettier in real than the pictures you’ll see now and then on her site. And myself? I don’t know what impression I made on them. But it was fun meeting everyone.

And I hope to meet them and others in the future too.

So maybe I’ll meet you too.

Replies. Jen Jen: Maybe in the future, right? Never say never… Irene: Hehe. But we won’t be able to meet at a Starbucks ;) Nana: You have the picture. Photoshop the braces away ;). Dee: Too bad indeed. That day was the first day I used internet, too bad it wasn’t earlier. Diana: See ya later :)

Indonesia: An Impression

Indonesia is a country of opposites. A country of land and water. Traditional sawa rice fields and modern cities. Hot weather and cold air conditioners. Now, back at home, I’m trying to think what kind of image Indonesia left me most. What I associate most with Indonesia. And I come to these two things:

* Amazing lush green vegetation
* Pollution hell

That’s all for now. Thanks: Michelle Emily JKOO Liz irene Cezanne Carolyn Lisa T jenny jen jen caitlin. Replies. Nana: Pics are coming, baby :P Liz: Taiwan’s traffic is nothing. I found Taiwan to be peaceful and quiet. Maureen: Thanks :). Jen Jen: Umm, I don’t have any. Maybe they all failed because of all the smoke ;). Diana: It might be hot, but I do think it’s in direct relation with the pollution (all the traffic as well as air conditioners).

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