44664512667-cakaplah_xf7xs_22448Ritech EXPO was 2018’s biggest innovation and technology exhibition in Indonesia organized by Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education. Held in Riau Province, it was also part of Hakteknas celebration day (Hari Kebangkitan Teknologi Nasional or National Technology and Innovation Day). The exhibition was opened to public from 9th August to 12th August 2018 in Government Office, from 2PM to 8PM.

…Long story short, my research center was invited to open a booth in Ritech Expo and hey, my friend said, why wouldn’t we take this opportunity to relax and chill in Riau? Personally, I haven’t ever gone to any Indonesian province outside Java island, so this will be my first time leaving for Sumatra. We planned we would only be sightseeing in Pekanbaru and Siak city.

Bandar Udara Internasional Sultan Syarif Kasim II

Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport

There was only one Bandung-Pekanbaru direct flight per day and it was 11AM Citilink. We arrived at Sultan Syarif Kasim II International Airport approximately 1PM. I was quite surprised, the airport was modern and neat and tidy and super clean. After lunch at Melayu restaurant, we went straight to Dafam Hotel to drop our 53kg baggage.

Riau Province is divided by two areas: Riau Island and in Sumatra. Its people spoke Melayu (Malaysian language) and are Orang Melayu – perhaps – don’t really like being compared to Padang people. They may have similar traditional motives and architecture, but they don’t like spicy food, rather, their dish is similar to Sundanese in taste (a bit salty, sweet, and sour… they also have Kobokan!!). Riau is also famous for its Ikan Patin dish. The English name is… uh – heck, I don’t know. Google translator said it was catfish and wikipedia referred it as an endangered shark but I’m 9000% sure it is not.

Back to topic, in the first day, we wanted to experience dinner in the riverside of Siak River so off we went to Rumah Makan Tanah Longsor recommended by Hotel Manager. I was too excited about this first travel with everyone. Google map told us that we only had to walk for 21 minutes to that restaurant – it wasn’t that far so I suggested to go there on foot. Oh how I was so wrong.

It took us 1 hours walking there on foot, approximately 11,000 steps, and almost in complete darkness because there wasn’t any single streetlight there. The pretty and neat sidewalks were gone after we left Government Office area. The street food stalls took over the sidewalks and with regret I had to say it wasn’t different than Bandung’s messy streets. Even the motorbike drivers had no eyes.

pekanbaru-at-night

Pekanbaru at night

The disaster wasn’t only because of that. When we arrived at RM Tanah Longsor, it had been closed. The restaurant was closed at 4PM, that meant, the very hour the Hotel Manager told us about RM Tanah Longsor — Fff. Let me just write  about food instead.

RM HM Yunus is famous for its Ikan Patin Asam Manis and I can argue it is the best Ikan Patin dish I’ve ever eaten! The meat is fluff and its fat tastes great. It melts in your mouth, truly fabulous. Dendeng Lambok is my next favorite dish. “Lambok” meant “Lembek”, or simply “Soft and Wet”. Dendeng is usually cooked until it is hard and dry. But in Riau, the jerky is doused with coconut oil. The green chilli peppers aren’t spicy at all, it is sweet! By the way, the recipe is here. The Udang galah one? Yea, it’s super duper delicious. The size is comparable to lobster but the meat is as soft as shrimp.

bolu kemojo

Bolu Kemojo from Riau

Traditional cookies are all about duren. This king of fruit is everywhere in Sumatra: dodol duren (durian rice cake), bolu kukus duren (durian steamed sponge cake), durian pancake, lengko duren… If you hate durian like me, you may want to search for another cookie. There are kue bangkit (sago cookie), kue satu, keripik nanas, kue kemojo, and various crackers made with odd ingredients (like dragon fruit cracker?, coffee cracker?, grape cracker?). Also, there are boxed rendang and sale (smoked catfish). Bolu kemojo original (not cheese or whatever) will remind you of traditional 80s pandan sponge cake. I highly recommend it, especially if you want to give it to your parents.

Below read more are photo and story in Siak.

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I cannot take this anymore
I’m saying everything I’ve said before
All these words they make no sense
I find bliss in ignorance
Less I hear the less you’ll say
But you’ll find that out anyway
Just like before
Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
I need a little room to breathe
‘Cause I’m one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
I find the answers aren’t so clear
Wish I could find a way to disappear
All these thoughts they make no sense
I find bliss in ignorance
Nothing seems to go away
Over and over again
Just like before
Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
I need a little room to breathe
‘Cause I’m one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
I need a little room to breathe
‘Cause I’m one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to, break
Shut up when I’m talking to you
Shut up, shut up, shut up
Shut up when I’m talking to you
Shut up, shut up, shut up
Shut up, I’m about to break!
Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
I need a little room to breathe
‘Cause I’m one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to break
I need a little room to breathe
‘Cause I’m one step closer to the edge
And I’m about to, break
– Linkin Park

Happy New Year 2018!
Goodbye Mahira! Welcome Vajra!

granblues_noteverything

I’ve written this post in early December since I’m in the mood. Even though it’s still far from new year, I don’t feel there will be something grand in early 2018. Probably some students will flocking in and works piling up like crazy that secretary’s gone. Monotone life and usual anxiety, some usual drama and politics that my hometown will have new government body. Everything’s according to keikaku* – the rest of them, I don’t know – I hope my workplace doesn’t suddenly close when I’m still there. I don’t recall that many events happening this year, so – well, first let’s see what I’ve written last January. Looks like my life is summed up in the comments.

*note: keikaku means plan.

  • Repair relationship with God. Oh my Lord Lucifer, hahahaha. The candle light that is faith has long dead. Not because I deny existence of He who oversees everything, it is because I simply don’t care anymore. Eternal torture doesn’t sound so bad since living on earth is pretty much like hell already. Don’t worry, though, I still believe there is a god. Probably.
  • Continue making Tree of Savior Comic once per week. I was no longer able to log in to the game after big patch, not to mention I’ve quit MMORPG altogether after my drama with my former partner.
  • Finish the Death Corps comic. Did I mention I’ve had a drama with my former partner? I despise everything related to her now, including MMO, drawing, roleplay, and my original characters. I didn’t realize it’d made a traumatic blow until later. Now I had to struggle to patch myself up.
  • Continuing QUE? comic once per week. My ex-boss messaged a good luck in one of the post. I immediately ditch this project, delete his comment, and block him. Gotta be in-character, the grudge has to live on.
  • Starting Webtoon about something. This one, I swear, is the worst wish I’d ever written. I’d prefer starting some but not to gain any attention.
  • Have a job. Thank Bahamut I got a job this year. It’s not free from conflicts and drama, but I like it because 1) money, 2) have a private office, 3) no shitty boss, 4) I don’t give shit about bonding with people, 5) smaller depression. I no longer care about my future as long as I got all these things.
  • Watching Star Wars Episode VIII. We don’t talk about Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It’s abomination and a disgrace to original LucasArt Film. 5/10.
  • Becoming pun master and the lord of shitposting. I’m surpassed by “Rajin Pangkal Pun-dai”s admin.

As you can see, my 2017 is bland but still shitty af. Depression came punching right after that incident with my roleplaying partner, the one I considered good friend. It lasted a whole year. I feel a bit better now, though. Why should I be the only one who feel miserable when she went on with her happy life and her new nakama after I left. She never cared about me in the first place after all. It’s a good riddance.

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God is dead.
God remains dead.
And we have killed him.

How shall we comfort ourselves,
the murderers of all murderers?

What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned
has bled to death under our knives:
who will wipe this blood off us?
what water is there for us to clean ourselves?
what festivals of atonement.
what sacred games shall we have to invent?

Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us?

Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?

– Friedrich Nietzsche

my workplace

It was empty white room, strange machines lying still. Two PCs and two monitors, two air conditioners, several chairs. An empty shelf on the side and two other desks – a door led to storage. The room smells like operation room. It reeks of alcohol. It’s also rather cold to keep these machines function without the risk of overheating.

This thing is my new toy. This building is where I had dreamed working since it was first established. Even though our financial problem is still running high, I am proud being one of employees in the biggest nanocenter in this nation. That’s the only pride I can take.

This is where I choose to be.

I was blessed. I am here because my college friend got a job in other company so she had to leave the lab – also there was no one wanting to be an operator, let alone taking a job that gives you uncertain future. I took the job even though my knowledge of it was below zero. I didn’t get any training beforehand – I didn’t even know what kind of “good” is ‘good’. I just spoke my mind and commented anything about clients’ samples without having to be afraid what I spoke was wrong – it is indeed fun.

I quickly enjoy it. I will always be alone until my client comes. I can do anything I want if I’m not working for a client. I don’t have shitty boss. I know what I work on and I know what the result is. I have my own office where I can be alone and sleep on the table like a hobo (partly because the lab should be free from everything so I have nowhere to stay. They gave me a room). I put some novels on the rack there. In the morning while I’m waiting for clients, I can play games and draw to my heart content. Sometimes, the clients don’t have brains, but I can still manage – unlike back then in that company.

Profs came to me asking why I’m not getting my doctoral degree. I understand – I am really tempted to do it. But I need a stable job and money more than anything else now, and I don’t want to see my own (bleak) future, not until I’m fully recovered from the depression I got last year working for shitty boss. Until I feel that I’m worthy to go back studying, I’ll just become a trash operator in this beautiful building, and be helpful to everyone who accepts me.

Lunar New Year pictures have been sitting in my phone since forever. Although it’s been really late, I think there’s no harm sharing all of them for readers. This year’s been rough year for Chinese descents in Indonesia. Pilkada (governor election) in Indonesian capital city Jakarta whose candidate is from double minority (Christian Chinese) had shook the nation like it never had before. To compare “Christian Chinese” in Indonesia to “Black Muslim” in US is a bit exaggeration since we were never been driven to the corner socially. But you might have understood the similarities between us. Discrimination is inevitable. Short-minded people bash everyone they meet in the street just because they are “different”. They often selfishly proclaim that “majority has power, we kindly allow you to do as your wish among us but you have to submit to us” – more so in social media. The strain has become so strong that I had ever experienced being yelled “Chinese bastard!” by a random woman in the street when I was walking down the sidewalk.

There are so many articles and news everywhere in the world covering about Indonesian intolerance about minority group these days, especially about how radicalism grew wide and bore fruit – even – among moderates. From the eye of majority, CNY is often viewed as Chinese-exclusive ritual. Only few people know that it is definitely not. As you can browse in the next pictures I will show you, there are so many native people from any religion flock around the lion/dragon dance stage to watch and enjoy the performance. Many performers and wushu trainees are native too. It’s not “exclusive” at all.

One of many reasons this huge discrimination exists is because people don’t want to befriend people who has different religious view/ ethnic group. They don’t want to learn and enjoy culture other than their own. Most of radicals make excuse that it is “prohibited to do so”. It also includes “choosing minority whose religion different from them” just because they are told in their book that it is haramm. They say, in country whose majority is X, one shall choose X and is prohibited to choose any other. It is literally translated as “we’d rather choose unjust and corrupt person whose religion the same as us than choosing clean and just person from other religion”. These minorities are criminalized just because they speak their mind about this inhuman concept of “justice”, promoting radicalism and eventually tearing apart a nation. But there also emerges few people from moderates who are fed up. They begin to speak their mind to help powering minority’s struggle… but alas, it only creates endless pointless arguments. And sadly, they never stop.

This year’s Lunar New Year didn’t seem to give off intolerance vibe from outside. However, there are, I believe, people who still think that we live in the same world and together we will be brothers and sisters. Let us hope the second round of governor election will end in peace for both sides.

Wijayakusuma flower (Epiphyllum Anguliger), which is Sanskrit word for “flower of victory” bloomed beautifully in my house’s frontyard this year. Perhaps there seems nothing special about it, but for me, Flower of Victory’s full bloom is something that I admire a lot.

I’ve written something about Wijayakusuma flower – dated back in February 2012 – I mentioned that this flower rarely blooms, only once a year during midnight before this year. Because of it’s awfully short, I often miss seeing it in full bloom like this. As for the reason why it blooms rarely, it may be due to the weather. But this year, when I thought the weather would be really bad for flowers (it got this weird warm yet humid air) it bloomed one by one – always every day! It stopped blooming after every single flowers had sprouted from the leaves. The flowers only stayed for less than 6 hours, from midnight to about 6-7AM in the morning the next day.

Wijayakusuma was brought from China to this land during Majapahit era, long before Portugal or Dutch invade Indonesia. Javanese people believe that “people who see this flower blooms, will get blessing”. It may be due to the flowers’ short lives. As why it’s named “victory” – I haven’t had any idea…

As usual, taken without edit from my Nokia N8 phone (gosh, my phone’s really ancient). There is not enough background light since it was taken in about 5AM in the morning and Nokia’s flashlight wasn’t good. I wish I had better phone or pocket camera I can bring everywhere, but I have to be content with what I have for now.

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