Goodbye Japan

Autumn wind is blowing.
It's cold,
though the sun is shining.
As if saying,
today is the time
when tears and laugh collide,
unsure of which should be present
in one's heart.
Tokyo Tower, Japan, September 2006

At-the-moment Feelings: Con Te Partiro

Con te partiro
paesi che non ho mai
veduto e vissuto con te
adesso si li vivro
Con te partiro
che io lo so
no no non esistono piu
con te io li rivivro
Con te partiro
su navi per mari
che io lo so
no no non esistono piu
con te io li rivivro
Con te partirolo con te

Washington Hotel, Shinjuku, Tokyo

song by: Andrea Bocelli
photo by: me-who-else-?

Bloggers in Shinjuku

THE Day finally arrived when Indonesian bloggers met in Shinjuku...

:D:D:D :D:D:D:D:D

Kalimat pembukanya rasanya terlalu bombastis, cing, ;)) walaupun secara fakta benar adanya, sih. Siang tadi, jam sebelas lewat (lewat banyak lah), akhirnya terkumpul 5 orang blogger. Saya (tunjuk tangan), Papap, Hikari (;) ), Sir Mbilung Lord Ndobos, dan Mbak Emil. Naaahh, yang terakhir ini benar-benar kejutan yang manis karena kami tidak tahu sebelumnya kalau Mbak Emil sedang ada di Tokyo dan mau bergabung kopi darat. Sayangnya Mia-the-Ridho sedang sakit dan urung dateng ke Shinjuku. Cepet baek, ya, Mi. Jeng Ratu Negeri-Neri yang kemarin pindah rumah itu ditangisi karena ternyata tak datang juga [-). Padahal New York - Jepang itu kan jaraknya hanya selemparan kolor...

Setelah ngumpul di hotel Washington Shinjuku, kita berjalan kaki ke resto Indonesia yang se-area dengan 'landmark' LOVE Shinjuku (liat foto di postingan word of wisdom saya sebelumnya).

Di depan resto Indonesia ituh. Bisa nebak which one is who?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sayangnya saya gak tahu kalau si Lord Ndobos itu tidak tahu tentang keberadaan si LOVE. Kalau tau kan sudah saya paksa bergaya di depan landmark itu dan saya potret untuk kemudian saya sebarkan ke seluruh penjuru dunia maya...
Sehabis makan siang itu, kopdaran kita pindah ke taman kota Shinjuku yang ada tempat bermain untuk anaknya. Maklum, salah satu blogger ini masih doyan main pasir dan perosotan. Soriiiii banget ya Lord Ndobos n Mbak Emil. Kopdaran kita hari ini bertema Anak-anak.... :.

Puas ngobrol ngalur ngidul sambil ngeliatin Hikari main pasir dan perosotan, kita pulang kembali ke jalannya masing-masing. Sampai di kamar hotel, kami bertiga (maksudnya, saya plus Papap plus Hikari) harus kerokan karena matahari siang ini ternyata palsu. Anginnya dingin banget je. Saltum abis, gue hari ini! b-(

Dua blogger dewasa sedang mengamati seorang blogger dibawah umur:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Ehhhh... pas di kamar, saya baru inget... Pak Dhe! Pilemnya kumaha atuh???

A Word of cheap Wisdom

location: Shinjuku
photo by: Papap
model: me-who-else?
word of wisdom: me-who-else?

Shinjuku! Shinjuku!

Para blogger yang tercintah. Untuk mempererat tali silaturahmi sekaligus saling mencocokkan muka dengan imajinasi, hadirilah, banjirilah, ramaikanlah, gila-gilailah, kopdar Shinjuku yang bertempat, ya, di Shinjuku, Tokyo, negara Jepang, hari Sabtu tanggal 23 September 2006, jam... setelah jam sebelas siang lah.
Berhubung saya juga bukan orang Tokyo asli, maka tempat per-ngobrol-an akan ditentukan kemudian setelah kita berurun rembuk memaksa Sir Mbilung Lord Ndobos untuk meng-guide kita ke tempat yang lebih asyik. Urun rembuk akan diadakan di lantai 1 Hotel Washington Shinjuku jam... setelah jam sebelas siang deh. Kalau belum tahu Hotel Washington Shinjuku itu dimana, saya beri foto jalanan di depan hotel deh. Kalau belum jelas juga, silahkan minta petunjuk Sir Mbilung sebagai dewan penasihat...

Ayoooo........ banjirilah, banjirilah, banjirilaahhh....!!!

Me Look Like

I don't have a clue why it happens to me. Aside from having dark skin, I cannot possibly be mistakenly accused as Indian.
For one thing, my nose is pug and my eyes aren't almond shaped, nor cashew-nut shaped. They never resemble the shapes of any peanuts at all. Then, my eyebrows aren't thick and my cheek bones are barely shown. Also, I never (trust me!) move or swing my head when I talk. I don't sing (God forbid!) and it's been a hundred years since the last time I danced. Next, my hair is always cut short and I absolutely never-ever wear the you-can-see-my-belly-kinda clothes. Except when I wear Bikini, which is even not in this life. The thought of it is enough to give me butterflies. So, in short, I cannot -in any way- look like an Indian.

But it seems that the native Indians don't think so. Besides the white people, Indians can also be seen often in Tokyo. It is like everyday I bump into them. Shinjuku, Akihabara, Shibuya, Roppongi, etc etc etc. Whenever we bump into each other, the women will stare at me from my head to toe. They probably think I'm so ultra modern that I wear jeans and T-shirt instead of their traditional Sari. The men, on the other hand, always give me warm smiles, which -forgive me- without realizing it I always reply the smiles with blank faces read 'do I know you?'.

For some time, I regarded their attention (and a bit of curiosity) simply as foreigner-to-foreigner greetings. You know, when you are a legal alien in a country, you always tend to observe whether there are other aliens around -legal or illegal. BUT, one day, I suddenly had an enlightenment. I was in Akihabara, the wellknown electronic city, pretending to be interested in Papap's speech about the differences between one electronic device and the others (DO NOT ask me to name them for I could hardly understand what electronic devices stand for). Suddenly, a few Indian men approached me and spoke to me in -logically- their language. When I -again- gave them my blankly stupid look, they said, "Indian? No?"
So I knew. All this time these people think I am one of them because of my skin. I guess it is time to reconsider the try-to-be-exotic program.

If I had known I looked quite like an Indian, I would have joined Miss World and became a movie-star-plus-dancer-plus-singer. Instead, I think, I'm more fit as a Sinbad genie in the picture above.

.... and Papap thinks this whole thing is quite amusing.

Tokyo Blues (after Part 1)

Out of the room, into the rain
Today we were again ushered out of our room, but this afternoon we already had a plan. We'd like to visit some wellknown districts in Tokyo: Roppongi, Shibuya, Harajuku, you name it. If you want to know why they are considered famous, click here. Outside, the rain was falling. Not too heavy but enough to make us wet. It wasn't comfortable to travel around but we set our heart to it while wishing the rain would stop. Of course it didn't stop. Just like what the weatherman predicted the night before. Don't you hate these weather guys for being so obnoxiously correct all the time? I do.

Although I often feel enough-is-enough with these trains (having to ride them one too many), I know I'd surely miss them when I'm back home. Comfortably convenient, when it is not rush hour. Not for long we arrived in Roppongi, the city of pleasures where you can find Tokyo Hard Rock Cafe -not that it is so important. When I got there, I had the same impression as the first time I visited Ginza two years ago: what's the difference? This place is just the same as the others. What makes it so popular? I guess my imagination is too weird. I kinda imagined that these places are colored differently. Yellow for Shinjuku, Green for Roppongi, Red for Akihabara... It would be like a Disneyland.

Keanu Reeves
Finished with Roppongi and Harajuku (please keep in mind that I didn't meet Agnes Monica in Harajuku), we headed to Shibuya while cancelling our trip to Tokyo Tower. It was still raining and there was no point of going to Tokyo Tower. Honestly, I see no point of going there at all, but Papap insisted that the tower is taller than Monas. Okay. Got that.
In Shibuya station I bumped into a big billboard. Literally-honestly, I really BUMPED into it! I was walking tailing Papap who were trying to locate where we were when suddenly he turned right and left me walked into a wall. I stopped just in time to avoid the collision between my big forehead and the wall. But may be it was meant that way so that I could see before my eyes the wall presented... "Ladies and Gentlemen, the most handsome, the most wanted, the most talented... Keaanuuuu Reeeeeves...."

So, I just........ kissed him.

Tokyo Blues (Part 1?)

I am counting the days; 5 days already. Tokyo, one of the most advanced cities in the world and now I am living in it. People say each city has its different atmosphere, its own unique characters. I have 20 days to inhale them.

Living in a hotel for 20 days for me is quite an achievement. Extraordinary one. I mean, come on, 20 days in this tiny winy room that doesn’t resemble a house in any way! I’m sure even if I stayed in a suite, the feeling would still be the same. Now, I understand how those superstars feel whenever they say ‘living from one hotel room to another’. I have prepared myself then, in case I turn out into some kind of superstar in the future...

This kind of living has successfully planted 3 words in my mind: loneliness, boredom, and traveling. The only good thing I have from this kind of living is I do NOT have to COOK! Everyday I’m free from the obligation to cook. Everyday we eat different kinds of food. Outside, of course. No cooking, no washing dishes, no cleaning room. For a human being that enjoys no-cooking-days and eating-out-days, this is heaven. Please note that I haven’t missed my kitchen yet... But, there are times when I don’t want to go out. I just want to lie down in my bed. And I especially want to go out of the room after lunch hour so then I can wake up a little later. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury. These cleaning ladies are so persistent and insistent that they knock on our door when it is time for them to clean the room despite the Do-Not-Disturb sign hanging on our door. So, there we are, every afternoon, ushered outside from our own room…

Now that I am outside the hotel, all I can do is going around the city, and perhaps going shopping a little?! Sound nice, eh? You bet! For a couple of days, but it gets really tiring and costly afterward. I miss my bike, already. In Honjo, we went around the (small) city by bike. No need for bus, taxi, or train. Here in Tokyo, we need the train and our feet. No ojek. Getting on and off the train are tiring, especially when we have to change the platform. And walkiiiinnnggg… somebody, please please please invent an ojek business here… I’m wondering when I can start using high heels again (not that I enjoy it). And, I still am amazed (and still feel disbelief) by the trends of carrying tote bag and wearing high heels. I guess I am so fashion dinosaur -whatever that means. One day when we were exhausted from walking around Asakusa where a great temple is located, I could not help feeling… sore all over my bones from seeing women in their high heels. Forgive me.

Have I told you how busy and crowded Tokyo is? (or at least, that’s how I feel about this city and about Shinjuku, especially) Everywhere I turn my head around, I see people. I cannot even do my triangle-shaped-arms pose (you know, when you put both arms on your waist) without people stumbling into them. And, if I stop my walk for a second, someone behind me will bump into me, and another one behind him will bump into him, and the next person will bump into that third one, and the bumping goes on. I must ask tetangga sebelah for a trick to avoid this bumping incident or else I’m gonna be arrested for public disturbance.

Today, something outrageous happened. We were in Tokyo train station trying to reach the stairs to our platform. The distance between us and the stairs was only 1 meter or less, but we couldn't move forward! Between us and the stairs hundred and hundred of people were walking from all sides covering the landing of the stairs. It was just impossible to cut the stream! Wanna know what I did? I just laughed. Stupid, eh, but what else could I do? Papap, on the other hand, began to whistle low. He imitated a sound that sounded something between an ambulance sirene and a local bug (called Semi-chan, which produces we-we-we sound). He pushed the baby car (with Hikari inside) forward toward the stream of people while whistling low. Miraculously, people began to notice and stopped walking (while the other people behind them again bumping into each other). The way to the stairs was clear and we could get there safely. If I had known this trick earlier...

Tokyo, like any big cities in the world, is full of foreigners. Look who’s talking. Speaking (or trying to exercise) Japanese needs extra effort because almost everyone speaks English, or an English-sound-like language. The only Japanese language I hear is from the salesmen/women who promote their products out loud (another characteristic in Japan). Unlike many other foreigners, you –Indonesians- don’t need to be amazed by this; you can hear the screaming of salesmen/women in any markets. The only difference is the language. One thing that is the same between Tokyo and Honjo is the way people in both areas eat in a restaurant. For us, or for me especially, eating in the restaurant is a way to relax. By eating in a restaurant I want to convey a message that I can spend as much time as I want. In Japan, it is a different philosophy. You eat quickly and get outta there quickly too. No chatting, no slow eating, no non-sense. If I take longer time in that restaurant, I am being selfish because many people would need my seat but can't. This depresses me, especially when my only reason to be in a restaurant is to take a break from a loooonnnggg walk...
Come to think of it... I just realize that I still have an upcoming Shinjuku kopdar. Which restaurant is willing to take us in for more than an hour? Sir?
What? We don't care?

picture: that person in the picture is supposed to be pointing at a sign with the station's name on it.

Waktu tak pernah menunggu

Teman-teman, tunggu saya di Jakarta. Tanggal 26 nanti, pagi-pagi sekali, saya akan menaiki pesawat itu, menghabiskan waktu 8 jam di udara, dan mendarat ketika beduk buka puasa berbunyi. Insya Allah. Tapi sekarang ini saya sedang menghitung hari menunggu kepulangan kami ke tanah air. Duapuluh hari lamanya kamar hotel di Shinjuku, Tokyo, akan menjadi rumah sementara kami. Wah kok sempit ya? Untung ada internet gratis...

Ada teman yang jahil mengganggu, "elu beneran mau pulang? Ngapain pulang? Bukannya lebih enak disana?"
Jawaban saya selalu sama.

Siapa ya tidak ingin pulang? Kemana pun itu, kata pulang selalu identik dengan kata rumah dan segala perasaan sentimentil di dalamnya. Home, catat. Bukan sekedar House. A house is made of bricks, but home is made of heart and soul.
Dan, ya, saya ingin pulang.
Tidak ada keraguan sedikitpun tentang itu. Kami ingin pulang dan tidak ada kesedihan (mudah-mudahan) dengan keputusan itu.

Lalu mengapa saya (dan kami) mengharu biru? Wah, saya memang batu, saya memang ndablek, saya memang cold-hearted, tapi saya juga manusiaaaa... yang punya perasaan. Tak mungkin saya tak sedih meninggalkan kota yang sudah menjadi my second home itu? Mana mungkin saya tak sedih meninggalkan teman-teman yang sudah menjadi keluarga itu? Tak mungkin saya tak sedih mengingat betapa anak semata wayang saya si Hikari bisa sembuh total tinggal di Honjo itu? Mana mungkiiinnn... *background soundtrack harus lagunya Nia Daniati*
Bukan 'pulang' yang menimbulkan kesedihan (dan entah kenapa, kadang ada kepedihan juga), tapi 'leaving' yang menyebabkan.

Karena itu, kalau saya sudah kembali ke tanah air nanti.... kopdar yuk!!!

ps: maaf, untuk teman-teman semua. Saya belum sempat blogwalking dan membalas email. Buat sepotongroti, oleh-olehnya bisa diambil di Shinjuku tanggal 23 nanti...

Tokyo yang bising

"Tokyo? Bising."
Dan teman baik saya pun menjerit, "ealaaaahhh... bising? Kurang bising apa Jakarta-mu, bo?!"

Praktis baru 3 hari dan 2 tiga perempat malam saya secara resmi tinggal di Tokyo. Kebisingan, keramaian, kesibukan ini hampir tak tertahankan. Ya, selama 2 tahun tinggal di Honjo membuat saya lupa seperti apa rasanya tinggal di kota.

Ah. Mungkin begini lebih baik.

picture: menghabiskan waktu di Akihabara.


People who often hang out with me usually think of me (and sometimes refer to me) as cold-hearted. I don't blame them because I realize that I seldom show any warm feelings toward people or things or animals or (even) babies. It's not that I hide them. I just... don't feel like exaggerating them. You'll see, when you meet me. Besides, I find things more amusing in laughing and being a cynic. I didn't even cry or be sad when I left my parents two years ago because -being a cynic- I knew that I would be hearing their voices again exactly 1 minute after my arrival in Japan. God knows how right I am...

But this time... this time is different. All the packing and shopping and partying and saying goodbyes made my returning-hometown seems unreal for me. But, when my time was up and I was left with the one-last minute of my time, I couldn't help... crying.

First, it started with my Japanese class. The last session I joined was merrier. We laughed a lot and I didn't feel like I was about to leave. Then the 75-year-old Hasegawa Sensei -out of the blue, out of his habit- made us listen to one Japanese folktale about a girl who doesn't talk much. May be my Sensei was trying to send me a message? Anyway, when the session ended, my Sensei said his short farewell speech. So short that I didn't get a chance to feel anything. But, when everyone was away, the one-last minute, he shook my hand and told me his last words: Goodbye. You are one of my best students (Okay, at this kind of situation you are not allowed to reveal the whole truth!). I will miss you... pause...I don't think we will meet each other again... pause... but I will always remember you for the rest of my life.
He blinked. I cried.

And then came another farewell. This time we had a lunch invitation from my other Sensei: Shoda Sensei. He was my Japanese teacher for a couple of times but he was more like my mentor. He and his wife are also like the substitutes of our parents and Hikari's grandparents. When Hikari was sick, the Shoda couples were the ones who took us to the hospital and they were there to wait for Hikari to recover. Before going to their house, I knew this would be tough. I just didn't know how tough. We had a really nice lunch and we exchanged cheerful farewell messages. Then, we were left with the one-last minute... Gosh, I wish...

It was the same with our other friends. When we still had time, we laughed a lot and exchanged jokes. But, time never stands still. And then we were left with the one-last minute. And I feel like my heart was exploding for trying to grasp everything just so I won't... forget.

Guys... thank you. Honjo... thank you.
I won't forget.

Washington Hotel, Shinjuku, Tokyo. September 9, 2:48 AM, while looking out of the window from the 16th floor.

Goodbye Honjo...

Bahasa Menunjukkan Bangsa. Kata Mereka.

Bahasa menunjukkan bangsa. -kata siapa sih?-

Dulu, ketika saya membaca slogan begini, saya tak begitu perduli. Malah saya mengangguk akur. Eh, belakangan, setelah setua ini, saya baru sadar kalau saya salah mengerti arti slogan itu. Dasar lieur. Dulu itu arti dari slogan tadi saya artikan seperti ini: Berbahasa lah yang baik dan benar, yang sesuai tempat, yang sesuai manfaat. Dengan berbahasa yang benar, anda akan terlihat (atau tertunjuk) sebagai bangsa manusia (yang berbudaya, bermartabat, berpendidikan).

Ternyata saya salah ya?!
Saya baru sadar kalau saya salah ketika mampir ke dua blog ini beberapa waktu lalu: Pak JS dan Mbak AS. Ketika mampir di blognya Mbak AS itu, saya terhenyak dengan komentar yang bunyinya begini...

yang komentar pake bahasa inggris itu nggak bisa bahasa indonesia ya? atau biar keliatan pinternya..? mimpi pengen jadi bule kali ya? hahahahahaa........bule coklat!!! -Feb. 8, 2006-

Apakah itu berarti kalau kita menggunakan bahasa Indonesia lalu tidak bisa terlihat pintar? Kok saya tidak bisa memahami ini ya?

Tapi kemudian, walau komentar itu selalu terngiang-ngiang di kepala saya, saya tak begitu ambil pusing. Sampai... saya berkunjung ke tempat Pak JS.

Jeduueeerrr! Kepala saya tiba-tiba terasa dihantam sesuatu membaca komentar ini...

Gunakan Bahasa Indonesia sebagai bahasa blog Bapak. untuk apa jadi mentri yang mewakili indonesia tapi pake bahasa Inggris ?!. Dimana Semboyan "Berbahasa satu, Bahasa Indonesia" ?? -June 19, 2006

... tiba-tiba saya mengerti arti sebenarnya dari Bahasa Menunjukkan Bangsa. Benarkah asumsi yang saya tarik kalau slogan itu diartikan menjadi "Kalau saya tidak memakai bahasa Indonesia, maka saya bukan orang Indonesia?" Walau saya merasa kalau asumsi saya itu benar, saya masih bergeming. Ah, pikir saya, mungkin karena kedua pemilik blog itu para public figure, maka mereka mendapat komentar seperti itu.

Tapi... ketika saya membuka blog ini tadi pagi, walau saya bukan public figure, saya mendapatkan komentar yang berbunyi kira-kira 'Kalau orang Indonesia, pakai dong bahasa Indonesia'...

Dan saya pun tak tahan untuk diam saja. Maka saya pun berpikir sekarang lah waktunya untuk memproklamasikan ketidak setujuan saya atas subyek diatas: Bahasa menunjukkan Bangsa dan kalau saya tak berbahasa Indonesia maka saya bukan orang Indonesia???

1) Saya SUNGGUH SANGAT TAK SEIDE dengan pendapat demikian. Siapa kah anda yang bisa menentukan saya orang Indonesia atau bukan?! Apakah para generasi tua yang tak bisa berbahasa Indonesia namun hidup dan mati di negara bernama Indonesia itu bukan orang Indonesia? Jangan salah! Mereka bukan hanya sekedar berbahasa daerah, mereka juga berbahasa Belanda dan Jepang!

2) Rasa cinta dan bangga saya sebagai orang Indonesia tidak, sama sekali TIDAK, bisa diukur dengan bahasa apa yang saya gunakan, baik di blog ini atau di media lain. Apa anda punya alat pengukurnya?

3) Kalau urusannya hanya karena anda tak bisa mengerti apa yang saya tulis disini, dengan segala hormat, tulisan saya tak perlu anda baca. Silahkan pindah ke blog lain. Saya mengusir anda? Bukan! Saya hanya memberlakukan kepada anda apa yang saya lakukan pada diri sendiri: Ketika saya terdampar pada blog-blog milik orang Indonesia yang berbahasa Jawa/Batak/Sunda/Prancis/Jepang/dsb, saya tak pernah menggugat mereka untuk mengubah bahasa mereka. Itu bukan blog saya! Saya hanya tamu! Kalau saya tak suka/tak mengerti, ya tidak usah balik lagi. Beres kan?

4) Pembaca blog saya ini bukan hanya orang Indonesia. Ketika saya menulis suatu peristiwa yang di dalamnya bercerita tentang kawan-kawan saya yang non-Indonesia, apakah tak sewajarnya saya menggunakan bahasa yang mereka juga mengerti? Maaf. Saya menulis dalam bahasa Inggris bukan karena saya ingin kelihatan pintar atau malah tak ingin terlihat Indonesia. Saya menggunakan bahasa asing karena saya butuh menggunakan bahasa itu. Sesederhana itu.

5) Blog bukan media yang mengharuskan atau membutuhkan saya menggunakan bahasa Indonesia atau sebaliknya mengharamkan saya menggunakan bahasa asing. Kalau misalnya saya menggunakan bahasa asing ketika berbicara dalam pidato kenegaraan, pidato 17-an, ngantri tiket di bioskop, belanja cabe di pasar inpres, tawar-menawar baju di pasar Tanah Abang... silahkan, caci maki lah saya! Sebaliknya, kalau saya memberi presentasi tentang Indonesia dihadapan publik asing lalu saya menggunakan bahasa Indonesia (tanpa penerjemah), akan terlihat seberapa dungu kah saya?

6) Saya penganut paham: Berbahasa yang baik (di tempat dan kondisi yang tepat) akan menunjukkan seberapa berpendidikannya seseorang. Apapun bahasa yang digunakan, gunakan dengan baik.

7) Sebelum meributkan soal bahasa apa yang digunakan seorang Indonesia, tulisan ini mungkin bisa dijadikan bahan pemikiran. Mungkin anda akan menemukan kalimat ini "In 1972, the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia collaborated on a project to reform and simplify spelling for both versions of the language; this consisted largely of eliminating Dutch spellings in favor of more phonetic Malaysian spellings. Malay and Indonesian have about an 80% overlap in vocabulary and are mutually intelligible; the variations in vocabulary, pronunciation, and usage have been compared to the difference between American English and British English. Where Indonesian retains many Dutch loan words, Malay typically replaces these with words based on English."

Little House of Laura Ingalls

Hasegawa-sensei, my 75 y.o. Japanese teacher, has this habit. Everyweek he would lend me a novel (English) and when I returned that novel, he would give me another. This habit of his has been going on for about one and a half year. The same amount of year I have been in his class. He lent me Sydney Sheldon's, Agatha Christie's, some others, and the last one is the Laura Ingalls' books. All the 7 of them plus 3 others! And guess what?! My Sensei bought the books in 1950 and he still kept the receipt! It costed him 687 Yen at that time!

I have never read the books, but I watched the movie. I guess everyone back home at that time watched it since there was nothing better to watch in TVRI. Honestly, I found watching the movie before reading the books helpful because there are some descriptions that I wouldn't understand unless I have watched it.

Now, about the books. There are 7 of them telling a story about Laura's family (parents and sisters) and 3 others about her own family (husband and daughter). The books also depict the values that most Americans held at that time. Since the books were written based on Laura's real life, we can see a real glimpse of the early American history, the early life of the American farmers. For me, reading the books made me think about the life of a farmer who depends on earth and weather so much...

And then, there are others. Check these:
1. I learn that at that time Children should be Seen NOT Heard. Hmm... to tell you the truth it gives me ideas...
2. Some Americans at that time believed that 'A good Indian is a Dead Indian'.
3. Even Laura's educated mother was terribly afraid of Indians.
4. In one of the book telling the journey Laura took to the Indian country, her neighbor complained about the government rule that forced the white people to go out of the Indian country. She said that it was better for the white to take that vast land since 'God knows the Indians don't do anything with it'.
5. On the countrary, they are really proud of their Declaration of Independence that says '...that all men are created equal...'.
6. At that time, the way to punish children is to whip them. I heard it is now considered a crime.
7. Married women couldn't work outside the house.
8. Children went to school if they were not needed in the farm.
There are many others to tell but it is better to read them by yourself. I myself was very surprised (and foolish) when I read the 7th. book. I finally understood which man Laura married while it was actually written on all the seven covers: she used her husband's name on her novel.

Now, read what Laura's father in law said to his son (Almanzo Wilder, Laura's husband) when Almanzo was 9 years old:

This country goes three thousand miles west, now. It goes 'way out beyond Kansas, and beyond the Great American Desert, over mountains bigger than these mountains, and down to the Pacific Ocean. It's the biggest country in the world, and it was farmers who took all that country and made it America, son. Don't you ever forget that. -Farmer Boy, p. 124-

A little of this and that

I watch the 2004 'Forgotten' movie. It was okay, except for two things: 1) Julianne Moore is still too fresh and pretty as a depressed mother whose child is killed in an airplane crash, 2) I cannot accept the ending (where all this disaster is caused by A-L-I-E-N-S).
I have a favorite scene, though. Check these lines between a police officer and some NSA guys (NSA stands for National Security Agency, in case you need a clue).
Police Officer: Do you know about the children?
NSA: What children?
PO: How about a plane crash? Do you know about it?
NSA: We don't know any plane crash.
PO: You don't know nothin', do you? .... NSA, you said?... Better buy a better lock!

How Safe is Honjo?
Ever wondered? I was about to write 'how safe is Japan?' but I guessed I had no statistics to prove. May be I shoule write 'how safe is most Japan areas?'. The answers are these...
1) You can leave your key hanging on the outside door, nobody gets in to your apartment (we -no, Papap- accidently left our apartment key three times).

2) You can leave all your things in the bike, nobody takes them:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
3) You can abandon your bike for days, still nobody will take it:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
4) You can leave your baby car everywhere, still nobody wants it:
Gunma Safari Park. Somebody left the baby car outside the gate.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
5) You can sell animal food in a stall with no guard, and put a can for the money next to the food. Nobody cheats, nobody grabs the money (or the animal food): Gunma Safari Park
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
6) You can sell newspapers the same way as the above animal food. You can be sure you'll get the money or the newspapers back safely: Train station
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
How obedient are Japanese to rules?
Ha! I guess the answer is VERY, but I have one picture here that says the opposite:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
An empty sidewalk near a supermarket and a pachinko. The parking lot for bikes (bicycle and motorbike alike) is improved with security system (meaning the customers have to pay). Instead of parking in the parking lot, these people parked their bikes outside it. Right in front of the No Parking sign. Hmmm... this reminds me of something, though...
Made in... Made by...
Some relatives ask for a 'local' souvenir. We granted their wish. I just don't know how they would take the real truth...
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
But, perhaps, it is better than the ones that write 'made by YOUR OWN COUNTRYMEN in YOUR OWN COUNTRY '...

Siapa Tahu Waktu?

Inong, baru tanggal 22 Agustus 2006 kemarin kita sahut-sahutan soal rantangan. Sekarang Inong sudah tiada......


Selamat jalan...

Blogger Templates by Blog Forum