So, Are You Bored?

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“I’m bored”
Hearing that line used to annoy me. I used to think “wow, this person must be very dynamic. He/she just can’t stand the dullness of this situation” or “Wow, what kind of creative peoples is this person usually hang out with? It seems that to him/her we just look so mediocre and boring”

And it used to make me uncomfortable with myself…
I mean if he/she is bored and yet we’re not — does it mean I can just “accept” the dullness around us — does it mean that I indeed am dull to “just be okay” with the dullness?
Well…have you ever get that feeling too?

That’s until I see things from different perspective.
Maybe the one that is really boring is not me but the person who declared that he/she is bored. Why? Look at things this way : the fact that I’m not bored is maybe because I can actually find something I can do or I can turn my thought towards to cope with the situation, no matter how monotonous or how dull things are. And yet, all that the “bored person” can do is declaring that he/she is bored — So not creative. It turned out that it’s the “bored person” oneself who is boring – having not enough creativity to amuse oneself out of the dullness.

So with all that said, I suggest you guys when encountering a person who turn to you and say lazily “I’m bored” look back and say :
“Really? Is that the best you got? Well, maybe it’s because YOU are boring.”
At least maybe they will find that ‘trying to figure out what on earth could you mean with that remarks’ is not quite so boring.

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Empathy : How It Can Negates Annoyance

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Berhubung ‘cerita’ kali ini (menurut  saya) lebih relevan dengan kondisi lingkungan di Indonesia, khusunya daerah Jabodetabek, maka entry kali ini ditulis dalam bahasa Indonesia.

Suatu kali Chris dan Duchess of Clutter (quite obvious, ini adalah nama yg disamarkan. Untuk kedepannya akan disingkat sebagai DoC) sedang menikmati makan malam di sebuah restoran yang lokasinya cuku ‘ terbuka’. Saat lagi seru-serunya makan, datanglah seorang pengamen menyanyikan suatu lagu yang sepertinya hasil karangan sendiri dengan lirik yang cukup menarik namun sayangnya tidak diiringi dengan susunan nada yang catchy. Suara si pengamen yang menyanyikannya pun sayangnya tidak banyak membatu untuk mebuatnya terdengar lebih baik.

DoC : “Nah paling sebel nih kalo makan di tempat kaya’ gini. Banyak yang ngamen lah, minta-minta lah…”

Chris : “Hahaha, bagus donk. Di restoran besar aja belom tentu ada live music. Kalo ada pun biasanya cuma weekend, nah ini malem Rabu gini ada live music.”

DoC : “Hahaha, dasar. Tapi beneran deh ini tuh ganggu banget orang lagi makan. Jadi ga nyaman.”

Chris : “Yaudah kalo gitu kasih aja recehan berapa lah gitu, biasanya kalo abis dikasih dia ga akan lama-lama koq. Kecuali emang demen nyanyi berharap ada produser rekaman yang mau ngorbit hahaha.”

DoC : “Yah ribet, lagi makan, tangan kotor susah nyari-nyari recehan lagi di dompet.”

Chris : “Ya udah kalo gitu diemin aja, lanjutn makan aja.”

DoC : “Iya. Yah gini nih ga enaknya makan di tempat begini. Banyak pengamen, mereka tuh bikin ga nyaman yang makan aja. Dikasih satu ntar dateng lag ynag laen. Huh!”

Chris : “Hahaha, don’t be so rude. Gini deh mikirnya. Kalo kamu yang cuma duduk disini sambil makan aja sambil denger dia ngamen merasa ga nyaman…, bayangin deh gimana ga nyaman-nya da yang harus ngamen.”

DoC : “Nah kalo gitu ga usah ngamen aja dia harusnya.”

Chris : *slip up a little smile* “Mungkin dia juga kalo bisa sebenernya ga mau ngamen begini. Tapi bairpun begitu dia tetap ngamen. jadi artinya apa tuh?”

DoC : “Apa?”

Chris : “Artinya whether dia ngamen atau ga, buat kita dan dia sama-sama soal MAKAN. Bedanya adalah kalo buat kita whether dia ngamen atau ga adalah soal kita bakal akan sedikit terganggu waktu MAKAN atau ga. Sedangkan buat dia, whether dia ngamen atau ga, adalah soal dia bakal punya uang buat MAKAN atau ga.”

DoC : “………..”

Chris : “Don’t give me that weird stare, carry on with your dinner.”

Funny Thing About Adult Is… (In A Child’s View)

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…They think they know what’s best for you and others in everything. How to talk, how to dress, how to behave, etc.
But once in a while, you should see them when they’re going to meet their future in laws — suddenly they have no clue about what to say, what to wear, or even how to behave — for themselves.

Now how can you believe someone that don’t even know what to say, what to wear, and how to behave to tell you how you should talk, dress, and behave?

See? No wonder a lot of children won’t listen to adult’s advice nowadays

A Guide To Driving In Jakarta

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So you are the new face in town, or maybe you just got your driver’s license, or you want to start driving again after a long time…, worry not, i will tell you some crucial points you need to know when you are driving in Jakarta.

Traffic Lights

The way the traffic lights in Jakarta works in the same as anywhere else. But the INTERPRETATION is slightly different.

The Red Light means stop. Just the same as anywhere else.

The Green Light means Go or keep going. This also the same with anywhere else.

The Yellow Light is a bit more trickier. While in most places the yellow light means caution, here in Jakarta it has several interpretations :

  • The yellow light as a transition from green light to red light means : Throttle like crazy you fool! Hurry before the light turn red! Go go go!!!!!!
  • The yellow light as a transition from red light to green light :
    • If you are in the front line : Hurry MOVE!! Don’t waste even a millisecond. And don’t even think to wait till the light turn to green before pedaling the gas.
    • If you are not in the front line : If the car in front of you waste just a millisecond before pedaling to the floor, HONK! Yes, HONK like crazy!!!

If you are used to a more civilized conduct on the street, you may need a little getting used to. But don’t worry I think you’ll wrap your head around this whole “yellow light rule” in no time.

Highway

This you may already knew :

The highway is usually consist of three lanes plus one emergency lane. The common sense (for the country where the driver seat is at the front right part of the car) is out of the three lanes (excluding the emergency lane)the right-most lane is “the fastest lane” and the left-most lane is “the slowest lane”.

So if one day you feel unsure about driving because you are sleepy at the time, or you think maybe there’s something wrong with your tires, it’s just seems sensible to go to real slow and therefore go all the way left to the emergency lane.”After all, these kind of conditions are what the emergency lane is intended for, right?” you thought. You can’t be more WRONG!!! It seems that for the people driving in Jakarta getting 15 minutes or 30 minutes sooner to their destination is considered THE ULTIMATE EMERGENCY — reflected in how they utilize the emergency lane just like the right-most lane. The Emergency lane is the fast lane…that is UNLESS there’s a patrolling police around, those drivers tend to dramatically change their actions at the sight of a patrolling officer, I’m not sure why.

Another thing you should pay attention to while driving in Jakarta’s highway is the speed limit. Your GPS may tell you that in most the maximum speed limit is 100 kmph, but you will see that most drivers ignore this and yet no highway patrol on their tails. As a matter of fact, try driving on the fast lane and drive at 100 kmph when you can go faster, I guarantee the driver behind you will be pissed off. In short, drivers in Jakarta expect you to drive as if you are constantly in a hurry. And what about the speed limit signs? Just ignore them,I suspect they are expired a long time ago and kept there for nostalgic and (un)decorative purpose.

Turn Signal

My suggestion to you is : Learn mind reading quick!

There are three types of drivers in Jakarta regarding their usage of turn signals :

  • The Sensible Drivers. These are the drivers who use turn signals as they supposed too. Good news : this gesture has a high correlation with ethical and safe driving. Bad News : the population of these type of drivers are growing smaller each passing days.
  • The To0-cool-for-turn-signals Drivers. These drivers are the main reason for you to follow my suggestion to learn mind reading. The too-cool-for-turn-signals drivers expect you to know exactly when they will change lanes or make a turn, therefore they never bother using the turn signals. Traffic accidents caused by this type of drivers is quite common, and yet unfortunately the population of this type of drivers is slowly but surely increasing.
  • The “At-least-they-tried” Drivers. This type of drivers is the other reason for you to learn mind reading. This type of drivers is more considerate, they actually use the turn signals — it’s a good thing right? For one little kink : they’re giving the wrong signals (i.e : lighting the left turn signals when they are actually want to make a right turn). Some of the drivers of the population are the too-cool-for-turn-lights driver who already repent, it’s just that they haven’t used the turn signals for so long they apparently forgotten how to operate it — thus the wrong signals. The rest of the population of this type of drivers consist of nervous amateurs and drivers who just can’t get the signals right for the reason only the heaven can explain. But well…at least they tried.

Advanced Technique

So you get a hold of the basics and you want more? You want to Jakarta’s next bad-ass drivers? Here’s some tips :

For reasons that escape me, most drivers in Jakarta considered driving like you are in such a hurry and recklessly along with a few rules breaking  as a display of driving expertise. So up to that standard you may want to :

  • Maximize the usage of your car horn. Just honk like there’s no tomorrow.
  • Minimize the usage of brake. Anytime you need to slow down don’t do it unless it’s the only option, instead just change lanes — do a zigzag driving. and yes you’ll be so focused at maintaining and increasing your velocity you may as well just ignore the usage of turn signals.

Well a friendly words of advice : If you really want to apply those two techniques I suggest you to do these things beforehand :

  • Make sure you have a car insurance and heck why not a life insurance as well, just in case.
  • Write a will, just in case.
  • Make peace with everyone dear to you, just in case.
  • Make sure you’re driving alone or with people with the same  insani…*cough*I mean guts as yours.

Okay, I think that’s about it. Happy Driving!!

Superheroes Among Us

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Well, do you recognize them? The superheroes around us? There are actually quite a lot of them.

No, I’m not lying. It’s true that there are superheroes among us that you probably get to see on a daily basis.

Okay, I know you still don’t believe me. So let’s start the explanation…

  • What is the basic requirement of a superhero?

Well, one of the basic requirement is to have some kind of power or ability.

  • Will animal’s power/ability do the trick?

Of course, just see Spider-man with his spider ability, Aqua man with his fish ability, etc.

  • Well I guess that makes someone a super-being, but superhero require more than that….

True. A superhero is the super-being who use their power/ability to do some good for others, to make the world of better place.

Okay, now with that concept let’s take a little more observant look at our daily life. When you were in a queue, did you ever see someone try to cut the line? And got irritated by that selfish gesture? Well that sucks right? But unfortunately more and more people are being that ignorant nowadays. Such a shame, because as Ms. Clarentia Prameta said in her blog post “Bebek Aja Bisa Ngantri”Even Ducks Know How To Queue.

Even ducks can queue

Hey wait…now if that be the case…doesn’t it mean that the other peoples in the queuing line, the ones who are not being selfish and try to cut the line a super-being? (remember the concept of the super being stated above?)

How so? Because they possess the power/ability of the DUCKS — they know how to queue and they can do it well.

And even more, by using the ability of the DUCKS, those super-beings has make the world a better place. They help preventing chaos from happening (try picturing a queuing line where NO ONE want to queue and instead tackling each other to be in front of the line — now that’s chaos), they preserve peace. Should there be no people that want to queue, maybe none of the people that can whatever service given in the front of the line, so even though they too are in a rush, they sacrifice their precious time for greater benefit of others. Just like what SUPERHEROES in my childhood comic books, they make the world a better place.

So there you have it…the Superheroes among us. I hope now we all have a greater respect towards those people patiently queuing in line, they are superheroes after all

Do You Belive in Saint Nick? Or At Least Did you?

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Hey guess what? Christmas is drawing near!! It’s Christmas Eve already! (Whew, it took me long enough to finish this entry)Yay!! And when I say “Christmas”, what passes your mind? Mistletoe, Hanged stocking, fireplace, Christmas tree with fancy lights, and many others right? But I’m sure among that long list of things, there’s one very significant figure : The dear old Santa! Saint Nicholas or Saint Nick or Santa Claus or here in Indonesia (due to the Dutch influence) called Sinterklaas is one of the most if not THE MOST anticipated character when Christmas come, especially for the children all over the world. A nice old grandfatherly type ultra-philanthropist that wear read suit and pointy hat and ride a reindeer sleigh — Epic, ultimate EPIC!

But beyond that, do you realize that Santa is a proof of how powerful a belief is?

So, as the title say : Do you believe in Santa Claus? Or at least did you? If you do or at least you did when you’re a child then CONGRATULATION! You’ve taken part in an amazing phenomenon where a mere legend made real because of beliefs (I’m talking about THE Santa). What do I mean by that? Well…, keep on reading!

Do you remember when you were still a little child? It was Christmas eve and you are having this kind of conversation with your parents :

Little Chris  (LC) : Daddy! It’s Christmas eve! I’m so excited! Tonight Santa Claus will come here and give me presents.

Dad (D) : Well don’t be so sure young one, have you been nice this year?

LC : Of course dad! I’ve counted, I only got kicked out of the class 3 times this year while last year I got kicked out 7 times. I have been a much nicer kid!

D : Errr…, well that’s an improvement. But next time, maybe Santa won’t give you any present unless you NEVER got kicked out of the class.

LC : *look at at dad strangely* No dad! Jeez, don’t you know anything at all about Santa? He’s a very nice guy, he won’t be that mean to me.

D : What the..? *ahem* well anyway, how about round here? Have you been helping your mom out?

LC : OF COURSE! I helped her making a cake one day and I guess I helped her out SO MUCH so that she said “I appreciate you trying to help out today, but I guess I WON’T BE NEEDING YOU TO HELP OUT WITH ANY DISHES EVER AGAIN”

D : I honestly not sure if it’s a good think son but…well okay I guess Santa will come around this year after all *stare lovingly at little Chris and curl up a smile*

LC : Yeah! No doubt! I always know he will, I don’t understand why you are being so skeptical about it.

Mom (M) : I know you are excited dear, but now it’s time for you to go to bed.

LC : But, but…Mom! I don’t fell like sleeping right now, I wanna wait up for Santa Claus to come bring me my present.

M : But you can’t, Santa only come once you are fast asleep, now be a good boy and change in to your pajamas okay?

LC : But mom! It doesn’t make sense, how can he even know whether I’m asleep or not?

M : Now now dear, no arguing on Christmas eve…remember? We’ve agreed to that. Now come here and drink your warm milk before going to bed.

LC : *sigh* Okay mom…

D : Attaboy *pat Little Chris on the head*

and so little Chris go to his bed, BUT with no intention of sleeping, he’s planning to just fake sleeping and wait until Mr. Claus show up to thank him in person for the presents. But it seems that jumping around all day due to anxiousness toward Christmas eve combined with the warm milk he had earlier is not very helping with his cunning plan — he eventually fell asleep and just like the previous years, failed to meet the Santa in person.

The next day, on Dec 25th very early in the morning, little Chris is already up. He usually doesn’t wake up this early, but today is an exception, it’s “present opening day” (a.k.a The Christmas day, duh!). Little Chris is all fired up.

LC : Morning mom, dad! So, HE came didn’t HE?

M : Why don’t you just check it yourself, dear? Are there any presents beneath our Christmas tree.

LC : Yeah, it’s here! a big present box addressed for me! Yay! I’m gonna open it right away.

Mom and Dad just smile and watch Little Chris impatiently trying to open his box of presents.

LC : But dad and mom, have you ever wondered why Santa never want to meet the children he’s giving presents to in person? I mean, he only come when we’re asleep right? So we can’t meet him and say thanks?

D: Didn’t you leave a thank you note for Santa underneath the Christmas tree?

LC : Yeah I did, but that’s not the point. I WANT to meet him in person… I wonder is it because Santa is really a shy type? He doesn’t seem like one, but who knows?

M : *laughing* Maybe son, maybe.

LC : He doesn’t have to be shy with me. Well his fashion sense maybe a bit off compared to today’s standard I mean that red suit and pointy hat? I can see how he can be uncomfortable meeting people who always criticize him on that. But me, I won’t judge him on that. Ah…, I guess I’ll let him know that I don’t care about  his fashion sense next year when i write him the letter and my Christmas list.

Mom and Dad looked at each other and start laughing. Mom is about to give response to Little Chris’ remark, but Dad stopped her and make a gesture sign saying “just let it be” and they continue laughing.

At last, little Chris manage to completely unpack his box of present (the reason it takes so long is because as anxious as he is, little Chris don’t like ripping off the wrapper of his presents, he prefer to “keep things civilized” and ripping of things seems so “barbaric” for him)

LC : Look dad, it’s laser gun toy just like I wanted!

D : Good for you son!

LC : But wait, it’s a little different from what I wanted, yes, it’s definitely a different model. I asked for the one which can shoot 3 different laser colors and make 12 different sounds. This one only shoot one laser color and make 5 different sounds.

D : Son, you have to learn to be thankful even though it is…*little Chris cut him out*

LC : Well of course Dad, I know it’s different from what I asked for but I’m still very thankful for this. As a matter of fact I understand completely why he’s giving me this model instead of the one I asked for.

D : Really?You do?

LC : Yeah! Recently, people have been talking about the financial crisis and how things are getting more expensive right? I bet Santa and his elves have financial crisis too up there in North Pole, poor fellas…

D : Um…, well I don’t think…, err…whatever, you’re probably right, son.

Well, in some years to come little Chris has grown into not-so-little-anymore and learn that dear old Santa is a historical, legendary figure who in many Western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children during the late evening and overnight hours of Christmas Eve, December 24 (italicized red-colored text is excerpted from Wikipedia definition of Santa Claus). So Santa Claus is actually don’t exist in reality (at least that’s what Chris’ grown up friends and acquaintances believe and induce to him).

But let’s look at things this way : When you are a child you believe that Santa Claus exist, so strongly you believe that this is true so that it is made-so, in your childhood it is made so by your parents by providing you presents underneath the Christmas tree. Your parents may not have created the character, the figure  of Saint Nick but they create the action — the present giving action of Santa Claus, therefore live up the legend of SantaSanta made real to you by your parents (or at least made real action-wise).

But, hey! What do you know? Your belief in Saint Nick has appeal more than just your parents, they appeal this group of people called : “Marketing Force”. You see now, that when you go to a mall, you usually can find Mr. Claus IN PERSON, complete with his white beard, pointy hat, red suit and sometimes even with his companion Zwarte Piet and the elves. WELL, maybe this VERSION of Santa is not everything you expect. His beard is most likely fake, and he prefer handing out flyers or having photo ops with children rather than climbing your roof, down your chimney, and drop presents underneath your Christmas tree (but hey, who can’t blame him? Going up the roof and down the chimney is not an activity considered “safe” for a man his age plus with the constant growing population of the world, delivering presents to each and every children is getting tougher with every passing years. No wonder Santa take a better career opportunity of handing out flyers and having photo ops) and the worst of it all, this version of Santa usually can’t even remember the names of his reindeer other than the red nosed one. But Hey…, you can’t always have what you want the way you wanted it, right?

But look at the fact : You can enjoy the “action” of Santa — the presents underneath your Christmas tree  (this is mostly only works when you’re still a child) and you can see the actual “character” of Santa all because the children keep on believing in Santa. Wondrous, what a mere believe can do, right?

Good Point, Little Girl!

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Just downloaded WordPress for Blackberry App and I can’t wait to try it out. I figure, even though this entry is merely intended to try out the app, I still am obliged to write something interesting for you peeps. Well, one story comes to mind : a story about the beauty of the simplicity of the mind of the young ones (whew, that’s a lot of “of the”s used in one sentence ain’t it?)

So one day I was accompanying my mom and sis to a great huge mall in the heart of Jakarta (I know you can guess what mall it is), and as most females in malls they did the routine of spending hours looking around the shops. Getting bored, I decided to go people watching.
My attention caught by a little girl playing LEGO (there’s currently a free-to-use LEGO playing site inside the mall) accompanied by her mother. Those two are having arguments, it seems that the mother want them to get going while the little girl insist to finish building her LEGO construction before they leave. It seems they’re running late for something because the mother said “C’mon, let’s going already. As a matter of fact, we should have left ten minutes ago“. You know what the little girl’s answer? Her answer is very smart and right-on. She said “Mom, if you don’t constantly bothered me while I was building this construction, I would have finished it fifteem minutes ago“.
Boo Yah mam! Your daughter got a very good point there!

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