Saturday, October 29, 2011

Not that important (for you)

"If you're good at something, then be the best at it.
Make it your craft and perfect it."

These past few days, I have been struggling to keep my mind still and chill. Why is that?
I have a frigging lot of plans. here. in my mind. darn it.

These plans related to my future life, about what things I will probably do and run. And, no kidding, I definitely want to make it happen. I do.

I do not take my dreams for granted or easy. I let them grow inside. I search for knowledge on how to make my first step and so on.True, that up to this moment I have not made these alive, people can't figure out this outside of me. I do hide it. I want to make sure I have sufficient knowledge and everything packed for it.

Whatever it is, I am going to nurture and develop what I have for now. I will always pursue for perfection and chance to prove myself that, step by step, it is possible for me to keep stepping up and raise my life up.

Thanks God for my beautiful life, with bittersweet essences within. 

bisous xx

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nothing to lose

Encountered a well-known drama queen, particularly, has given me some lessons to really learn. The pivotal moral would be as a human, or let's say part of society, I shall not be squaring people into boxes.

What are they, a specific endangered species?

Yes, I have a choice to choose my own friends: Whom I will befriend with, whom I will pick as only acquaintances or not-so-close friends, camaraderie and friends for fun only. That's good, really. To pick whom to be closed with means we know what kind of people we'd like to learn life from and behave positively influential for us. At least that is my eye.

Another thing not least important is be real. I really mean it. I have seen some particular "friends of mine" turned into someone else I hardly recognized just because they have involved in another circle of friends. And this circle tended to have a so-called leader that have changed them into a different person. I don't know whether it's they who are really grow up OR who have let other people take control of whatever within them.


My last point, and it would be my another point to learn from, is keep behaving friendly and smiley to everrrrybody. This will help me develop my inner personality and shape my trait as I really want to be flexible and loosen-up in any kind of "circles". 

Treat everyone good, and let God do the rest. Nothing to lose, but definitely many things to gain.

photo by me

Have a shiny day!

Friday, October 14, 2011

In the end, I am (still) a woman

You do not need to be shy and passive all the time,
Stand up and let them hear your minds.

You do not need to sound soft and "polite" just to make people notice you're not "impolite",
Speak straightforwardly and hold on your grip.

You do not need to show some skin nor cover some all the time,
It is fine to let people see what yo' mama gave yo'.

You do not need to hide behind the curtain,
The world has to recognize you to give you the spotlight you deserved.

You do not need to diet hard and count calories,
What's the point of living the life to the fullest, and life is once and cannot be repeated?

You do not need to seduce anyone to give you anything,
Bring up your brain, manner and big heart to own the world.

You do not need to beg for love,
Give your unconditional and pure love for everyone and everything, to receive even more than one love.

You do not need to be scared of becoming darker or nerdier when glasses and outdoor are your things,
People don't care of personal things, however those would be your signature.

You do not need to overprotect your lover,
As your lover will clearly see your kind- and whole-hearted love of the freedom you "give".

You do not need to follow others' lifestyle just to be one,
Determining your own lifestyle may make yourself a smoking hot role model to be imitated!

You do not need no sport and movement to tone your body,
Being sporty and healthy are sexy.

You do not need thousands of friends or people to bring you happiness,
Instead, happiness emerges from within you; let people know they don't affect your own happiness.
source: Stockholm Streetstyle


Monday, October 10, 2011

Literary fest a success

Visiting Bali, for me, is good. Just good. No more, or less. I love the beaches, the sands, its ethnic music and, ahem, its "terrific" social life. I often heard people talk about other renowned tourist area/cities in Bali that are great to visit like Kuta, Legian, Jimbaran, Denpasar, Ubud, Nusa Dua and more.

Particularly Ubud, I had never been there for my whole life. I heard it was one of nice place for people finding peacefulness and tranquility. Known for culture and arts area, I used to think foreigners and visitors might find Ubud captivating; but not me.

Well, at least until last week when I landed my foot there, volunteering for one of world's biggest literature festivals. I could not decline the temptation of Ubud atmosphere...

Anyway, why did I decide to participate and manage the fest? My first answer would be: Hey, it's "writers" and "readers" thingy. I love reading good books. I end up writing something (don't care whether they're a good one or not for people) if my mood swings, my brain twists and an inspiration knocks. 

Another reason would be: I want to try living in Ubud. But please, I wasn't trying to live the Elizabeth Gilbert's way (of the very famous "Eat Pray Love"). I was just so curious of Ubud.

So last week, I involved in the 8th Ubud Writers & Readers Festival (UWRF) 2011 which was held in Ubud, Bali, on Oct. 5-9. Sponsored by PT ANZ Panin Bank, this year's theme was "Nandurin Karang Awak: Cultivate The Land Within". 

The annual festival not only took place all way around Ubud, but also put in Denpasar as some of its agenda were to conduct workshop and seminar for students and youth at some high schools and universities in Bali.

Beforehand, I registered to be a volunteer in two days before the committee announced their decision for volunteers. As they accepted me and I officially got in, I was chosen to participate and manage the Book launch program. 

Emails kept coming to my inbox, informing everything crucial for us to acknowledge. Facebook closed-group page was created and everyone in charge for the UWRF 2011 discussed everything like accommodation, hotel sharing and more for the upcoming fest.

Lucky me, I had two friends from Facebook (haa!) -- who apparently were very nice, sweet, kind and crazy ladies -- to live together in Ubud and share room with. Mba Jainar Berliana, Bandung-based novelist, radio announcer; and Riska Wandira, half Balinese-Javanese, an ex fashion reporter, were seriously awesome. They had their own uniqueness and characteristics that made me (the people observer..teehee) felt inspired of life.

Back to the UWRF 2011, there were 130 invited speakers from 27 countries, participating in 168 events that were held at 57 venues. This festival conducted not only to facilitate and gather global writers brainstorming and digging ideas and experiences regarding multicultural life. 

The event also planned writing workshops, fiction/non-fiction, travel writing, publishing and marketing books, even designing our own cover books, and more and more for those literary enthusiasts. Priceless, huh?

This year's event featured Indonesian writers/authors, journalists and/or artists like Andrea Hirata, Putu Widjaja, Djenar Maesa Ayu, Ahmad Fuadi; along with international's Nury Vittachi, John O'Sullivan, Alex Miller, Ann Lee, Peta Mathias and more. There were Grand Opening; which was hell crowded; music and dancing to folks music night, cultural workshops, exhibitions, book launches, art programs and other thrilling programs to follow. 

I witnessed probably more than 80 percent participants (including volunteers, committee, guests and attendees) are foreigners. Here I was not surprised, though. It's pretty much understandable if less Indonesians (not generally) are not really into literature; even only reading or writing. But above all, this Harper's Bazaar recognition festival kicked everyone off. 

I didn't manage to take photographs as often as some other occasions, as I needed to move back and forth. Besides, the committee stated no official UWRF photographers could take shoots in the programs; not the whole event. 

Lastly, this world-class literature festival needs to improve every year. In my opinion, this festival is excellent in everything; be it the new people, learn to go over my self-boundary and put out on "reality life" of my skill of service (since I worked in the Book Launch program). As Closing UWRF 2011 Party was at Antonio Blanco Museum, it is supposedly a great mark to start the next year's. 

Literature geeks are going to party hard, again, soon!

Xoxo - AW

Beyond ‘manise’ beaches

For some, Ambon Islands may have been renowned from the name of its Ambon banana, spices commerce in the colonial history and, not to forget, the conflicts. Meanwhile, some others may know Ambon as one of the hottest spots for water leisure activities.

As the capital city of Maluku Islands province, Ambon is a mountainous, small town where white sand beaches spread out. The picturesque “Spice Island” is situated in the Ambon Bay area that my eyes are pleased with thriving mountains and crystal-clear water surrounding.

Undeniably beautiful for its scenery, calling the town “Ambon Manise”— which literally means “beautiful Ambon” – then is not overstated. For that reason, decided to arrange a trip to Ambon was just right.

Ambon beaches were my prime thing as I often heard that I might have regretted my life if I didn’t visit any of it. After sorting them out, there were three main, must-visit beach destinations to go.

Pintu Kota Beach in Airlouw village, Nusaniwe, was the first. A local Ambonese said to me that Pintu Kota was highly recommended spot for tourists.

“If one doesn’t step his feet on this beach, one does not ‘really’ visit Ambon,” said a frizzy Ambonese lady who owned a warung (small vendor) near the beach.

Pintu Kota, or “the City Door”, is a white-sand, coral beach. Pintu Kota name came from the seascape of one huge coral with a big hole at its bottom that looks like a door. This large door allows us to see the faraway Ambon and ships passing by in the Banda Sea.

Here, it’s practically impossible for people to play or even swim – sharp and slippery corals are everywhere. It takes around 20 minutes from Ambon and public transportations (angkot) are available accessing the route to the beach.

We need to step the meandering stairs down to reach Pintu Kota seashore. Walking down the stairs is probably not a big deal – but walking up leaving the beach will likely make you panting and sweaty. However, it is worthy as everything there is still novel – the stairs are an exception.

In a few minutes from Pintu Kota, meet Santai Beach – literally translated as “Relaxed Beach” – in Latulahat village, Nusaniwe. Perfect for swimming or sunbathing, Santai Beach has also been a departure point for diving and snorkeling in Banda Sea.

Passing through twisty, up and down roads will be somewhat challenging to get to Santai Beach. Since it is Ambon, bountiful banana trees along with coconut trees can be seen on the wayside to there.

The bright blue sky, sheer aquatic water and white sands apparently make it flawless to enjoy the landscape. In spite of this, don’t take the name “Santai” seriously. 

The beach, however, has corals in its shallow water area – only much smaller than Pintu Kota. Yet, there are some safe no-corals sides beneath the water.

Moreover, Santai Beach’s sea waves are rapid and it doesn’t make you really “enjoy” swimming or playing around the shoreline. An artificial concrete fort is spotted in the right side of the beach to prevent the waves smash into the seashore. There are gazebos provided for visitors to sit and enjoy at the picturesque milieu.

Move to another no-less-beautiful beach in Suli village, Salahutu sub-district: Natsepa Beach. This well-known beach is alike with aforesaid beaches – white sand lies while the clear water sparks. It is easy to reach Natsepa as angkot has route to the beach and it’s just 20-minute away from the heart of Ambon city.

The good thing in Natsepa is the water is rather calm and does not have craggy corals – as the Ambon Bay impedes waves touching the shore. So, the beach is much safer for swimming, playing ball or simply lying down.

In the afternoon, people usually rent boats to sail the coastline. The boat costs around Rp 20,000/hour and can be filled up to 15 people.

A local Ambonese man told me that Natsepa’s water might cure illnesses such as influenza, fever or skin diseases like ringworm, irritation and other skin fungus. “If you bathe for about an hour in Natsepa Beach, your illness will be carried away by waves of Natsepa.”

He even said that he was healed with the magical Natsepa Beach when he suffered from fever and bad cold some time ago. Well, you decide whether to believe it or not.

Furthermore, Natsepa is famous for its rujak (Indonesian fruit salad) with a distinctive peanut sauce. Enjoy a plate of rujak Natsepa in the roadside, outside the beach area. Do not forget to try fried snacks of sweet potato, banana and cassava, and have them with a glass of fresh iced young coconut juice.

A rujak seller said rujak Natsepa exceptional because “we use nutmeg to spice up the peanut sauce.” The Spice Islands, as Maluku is historically identified, indeed produce mainly cloves and nutmeg, and other spices like pepper, cinnamon and chili.

Then, it is time for underwater enthusiasts. Driving uphill to Liang village in Salahutu sub-district, Liang Beach is 40-kilometer away from Ambon. Green panorama is here and there all through the mountainous way getting there.

The underwater view of Liang has been admitted and even was compared to Bunaken National Marine Park in Manado, North Sulawesi. Divers are able to satisfy their hunger of Liang underwater world from 50 meters off the beach.

“Unfortunately, Liang Beach is less famous among tourists as well as Indonesian travelers,” explained a beach guard.

He added that some time ago, “there was land disputes among local society. It made investors changing their mind and then shifting investment to another scenic underwater beach. Apparently, our local people were not ready at that time.”

Nonetheless, now people are far more supportive in developing the beach for the growth of their own region.

Sadly, I must say, public facilities in the beach areas are somewhat poor. Restrooms, which considered as important for visitors to change clothes and have a shower, are neglected. Other aspects like parking area and playground are also ignored.

As a matter of fact, the condition is awful; how children can play in a ruined playground in the beach areas. Compare to the stunning beaches, facilities need to be truly taken care of so that tourists would feel pleasant to come back again and again.

The previous Sail Banda 2010 may be potential to tell the world how beautiful the Spice Island, especially Ambon, is. But in the end of the day, aside from the needs of having a trip to Ambon, these priceless and remarkable beaches are our treasures to look after for the next generation’s goodness.

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