29 May 2009


Below is the police Report Certificate I received last week from the agent who handles all matters pertaining to my work permit, KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara), Foreigner's Registration book (Buku Biru) and SKLD (Surat Keterangan Lapor Diri).

Notice my nationality?

In the eyes of Polres Metropolitan Jakarta Selatan, I'm a citizen of KORSEL.

Bukan KORSET ya. Itu yang dipakai Dewi Persik waktu manggung. For non-Indonesian readers, KORSEL is short for Korea Selatan.

I just don't understand how they could make such a mistake. Dah sah-sah nama aku doesn't even come close to sounding like a Korean name. It's not as if my name was spelled Aa Jung-Wan.

I told about the mistake to the agent. He asked me to check my SKLD card. He said as long as the details on that card are correct, then it's fine. Fortunately the SKLD card states the correct citizenship.

On an un-related note, do you have marital problems and don't mind washing your dirty linen in public?

While skipping through the terrestrial channels (again, the cheapskate in me decided not to instal pay TV), one particular program caught my attention.

It showed a lady in heated argument with her husband. Which later ensued with pushing and shoving between the two. Soon after, a young lady joined the fracas by pushing the wife. Then, came a second young lady to defend the wife by pulling the hair of the first young lady.

Apparently, the wife is accusing her husband of having an affair with the first young lady who happens to be her niece. The one who claimed to have witnessed the affair? The second young lady who is also the wife's niece.

A plot fit for a sinetron, huh? In the hands of Ram Soraya, the plot could be expanded into thousands of sinetron episodes (which insult our intelligence).

The program is called Curhat Dengan Anjasamara. I think the most suitable title is Slug Fest Mania.

I do not know if the whole act was staged or not. If it is, then, good news for sinetron producers. There won't be the issue of a dearth in sinetron actors.

And last night I caught a program on a different channel, but still along the same line of washing-your-dirty-linen-in-public. It's called Masihkah Kau Mencintaiku?

The program is more civilised. No pushing or shovings. There is also a panel of two women advisors who looked like the've tasted a lot of salt (translated : dah banyak makan garam).

The funny thing is, all participants were wearing miniscule masquerade mask. If the purpose was to protect the participant's identity, then it failed miserably. I think a mask equivalent to the size of Julia Perez's bra cup would hide their identity well.

Owh.. the co-host of this program is Helmi Yahya. Ehmmm.... shouldn't he consider being a participant too?

Did the programs facilitate in finding a solution for the feuding couples? Well, the one hosted by Anjasmara, finding a solution surely wasn't the main objective. It's more of a cheap attempt at getting viewers to enjoy the physical attacks and verbal abuses.

Would I want to watch these programs again?

Not in this lifetime.

18 May 2009

Typhoon and Dawn

No. I'm not talking about the weather condition or the time of day. It's about two personal trainers at Celebrity Fitness Fx.

You see, I've been frequenting the gym since 2000. At first, my goal was to achieve the so called ideal weight. With proper diet and a lot of cardio exercise (and I mean A LOT!!), I managed to achieve my goal within 6 months. Since then, going to the gym has been more of a routine in my schedule.

However, after almost 9 years, I felt that my motivation had, to some degree, decreased. I needed that extra push to keep my interest in fitness going.

Enter Taufan.

Taufan has a degree in law. But his passion is in fitness. That's why he decided to pursue a career as a personal trainer.

One interesting fact - back in 2007, Taufan won the L-Men competition.

I started engaging Taufan as my trainer early January 2009. Initially, I took up 24 training sessions with him. I jokingly told him that if at the end of the 24th session I do not have a six pack abs similar to his, I would demand for a refund.

Taufan is a very good and more importantly a patient trainer. Apalagi kalo dapat member macam aku. Bila datang mood malas, I would bargain the number of repetitions that I'm required to do.

Me : Berape?

Taufan: 15

Me : 12 tak boleh?

Taufan : 15

Me : Berat Fan. 12 aje la.

Taufan : Ya udah. 12. Kalo masih kuat, ampe 15.

Me : *dalam hati* Memang le aku buat sampai 12 je.

Sometimes he would lie. What was supposed to be 12 reps, sensing I still have the energy, he would increase at the last moment to 15. To which I would yell... Ko tipuu!!!!

Btw, Taufan is the only person with whom I speak in Bahasa Malaysia the most. Sebabnya, bila badan dah letih kena "siksa", aku malas nak translate my flow of thoughts to Bahasa Indonesia.

With him as my trainer, I managed to increase the weight in my lifts. He'd squeeze out every little ounce of energy left in my body. He'd make me lift weights which I thought was impossible before.

Because of him, I hate the word tempel. He'd yell (politely, of course),

Tempel!! Biar ampe nempel di udel!!


Bawah lagi, ampe nempel di dada!!!

Tempel sana sini situ sinun. Semua kena tempel.

Apart from the rigorous training sessions, he'd also give advice on proper diet. Pokoknya, he's the best trainer one could ask for.

Within 3 months under Taufan's guidance, I've succeeded in losing the excess fat on the sides of my waist. Believe me, I've tried so many years to get rid of those flabby sides but with little success.

Taufan is so good that I have increased my number of session to 60.

Above is a pic of Taufan with another Celebrity Fitness Fx trainer. Fajar. He too, is an excellent trainer judging from the number of members under his care.

I strongly recommend taking up personal training as this would make you feel motivated in your quest to achieving your goals.

Ohh... to the ladies out there, I have a little good news.

Both trainers are still single and available.

New Glasses

Lately, I find driving at night to be quite a challenge.

My night vision has deteriorated. I need to squint my eyes to clearly see the objects ahead of me. Then, to make matter worse, the habit of a lot of drivers here who like to give out high beam headlights for no apparent reason constantly glares my vision.

"Makanya, harus rajin makan wortel. Jangan jus-nya aja di minum" said Taufan, my trainer.

"Emangnya kalo gue makan satu ladang wortel lho yakin mata gue bisa baik? Ini faktor usia-lah Fan".

Yupp. I'm attempting to embrace the process of aging.

You see, the last time I had my eyes tested was almost four years ago. I'm wholly dependent on contact lenses. I've been using them for almost 15 years.

So, last weekend, I went to Optik Melawai at Ambassador Mall.

When I relayed my intention on getting my eyes checked to the lady at the shop, she told me to take out my contacts and come back an hour later. This, according to the lady, was to allow my eyes to rest and to get a more accurate result from the test.

As instructed, I remove my contact lens. To kill the time, I wandered around ITC Kuningan and Ambasador Mall. Without wearing any aid, it surely caused a lot of discomfort.

Slightly over an hour later I went back to Optik Melawai.

Shortly afterwards, I received a text message from a fellow Malaysian who works here in Jakarta. It read,

"Aku lambai ko buat tak tau je. Kalo ada cewek cantik sebelah ko aku paham le. Ni jalan sendiri pun udah sombong macam artis Bollywood!!"

I immediately called him to explain.

Back to the eye test.

The test revealed that my vision remained the same which is -1.25 for both eyes. However, I decided to get a pair of new glasses anyway. I've been wearing contact lens for too long. I reckon, it would be better to alternate between contact and glasses.

Contacts for day use and glasses at night.

You see, I'm the type of person who don't even like wearing a wrist watch. So, a pair of glasses definitely needs some getting use to.

Lasik surgery has become cheaper compared to when it was newly introduced. But, it is still not cheap enough for me to call it affordable. So, until that day comes, I guess I will have to deal with the discomfort of having to wear glasses.

Mmmm.. I wonder why my night vision has been so bad lately. My current stock of contact lenses was given by a friend recently.

Maybe sebab aku belum bayar kot???

13 May 2009

Gambor Dolu-Dolu

I laughed out loud when I saw some old pics posted by my friend Syarliz on her blog. Those pics with moi in them were taken in 1995.

Syarliz had arranged for a mini-reunion at Port Dickson during our (Kamarul and myself) summer holiday trip back to Malaysia.

You see, during my student days, chicken was the second cheapest meat in the UK. The cheapest?


Naturally, chicken meat was my staple diet. Plus a large portion of rice each meal. And there's also doner kebab. And Ben & Jerry's ice cream. And pizza. And fish and chips. And jacket potato with sinful fillings.

I had grown sideways so much that I once weigh 82kg. Now you know why nowadays gym is my second home.

12 May 2009

Minding Your Choice of Words

A couple of days ago at the gym, a friend came to me and excitedly said that he'd be flying to KL for the first time for a short holiday.

Being a good Malaysian citizen, I spent some time telling him places in KL that must be included in his itinerary, on how to get about around town and the local cuisine which is a must try.

Apparently, his wife had done some info-finding herself - location of Vincci stores.

To save him from experiencing public embarrasment, I told him that he should be careful using two words in Malaysia. I explained that these words which are completely harmless in Indonesia, might not be the case in Malaysia.

Situation 1

You ask for direction on how to get to Bukit Bintang from a local and you might get the answer below,

"Encik naik monorail dan berhenti di stesyen Bukit Bintang".

And you reply,

"Ohhh!! Gampang!! Terima kasih."

A big mistake.

You see, although the word gampang in Bahasa Malaysia has the same meaning as in Bahasa Indonesia, it is however more commonly used as a cursory word to describe anak haram.

So, don't be surprised if in the situation above you get negative remarks from the person who had just helped you find your way to Bukit Bintang. Afterall, you had just thanked that person and called him/her a anak haram.

Please use the words senang or mudah instead of gampang.

Situation 2

In your attempt to be friendly with the hotel's pretty receptionist, you enthusiastically tell her about your journey from Ikea in Mutiara Damansara to KL city centre in a taxi and got caught in the middle of the maddening rush hour traffic.

" Capek saya mbak. Macetnya parah banget. Kelamaan duduk di dalam taksi. Pegel pantat saya."

Even bigger mistake.

Now, if you're a cowok, the pretty receptionist, who earlier might have been attracted to you, would immediately strike you off as a pervert.

In peninsula Malaysia, the word pantat is widely used to refer to Miss V or anus.

Instead of pantat, it is advisable to use the word punggung.

A mental note to my Indonesian friends - while in Malaysia, your punggung is not where you think it is.

So, when you stop by for a massage in one of the reflexology centres along Jalan Bukit Bintang, if you ask the therapist to pijat your punggung, you are actually asking the therapist to pijat your pantat. Instead, ask them to pijat your belakang.

This reminds me of a story told by my former boss about a Malaysian male tourist in Jakarta who was trying the creambath for the first time.

The poor guy was dumbfounded (and I suspect he was excited too) when he was asked by the salon lady,

"Pak, mau di pijat punggungnya gak?"

Luckily the lady quickly cleared the confusion. Otherwise, it would be weird to find a Malaysian man on all fours in a salon chair.

04 May 2009

Tamu Dari KL

I was busy doing my part time job of playing host (no Roid, bukan job yang di Taman Lawang, itu full time) for three consecutive weekends.

First, it was my former boss and his wife. Since he'd lived in Jakarta for seven years and knows Jakarta like the back of his hand, I didn't have to accompany him.

The weekend after, I received a group of six people, with Ijal as the head honcho. A day later, another good 'ol friend, Shahromi with Melia and their two adorable children came for a two-night stay.

Ijal and Shahromi are friends from university days. I regard them as my waaayyyyyy older brothers. One is always jovial while the other is always... errr... cari duit.

So, that particular weekend, there were 10 guests in my house. Penuh. Udah kayak hotel jam2-an.

Ijal doing a Colonel Sanders at RM Padang

Also in Ijal's group were two others whom I knew. Zai and Susi. For Ijal, it was his third trip to Jakarta while for Zai and Susi, it was their second time.

So, I let them be tourist guides to the other three who were first timers to Jakarta. A blessing really, because they had Pasar Tanah Abang Blok A and Bandung in their itinerary. And also Pasar Jatinegara. I've been to the first two places countless of times (so many that my knees would all be wobbly upon hearing their names).

The third week, Redmummy and her husband cum manager cum personal assistant cum banker, Sirman, came for a visit.

They first came to Jakarta in January with their two children. As this was their second trip, I let them explore Jakarta and Bandung by themselves. Redmummy is so good at haggling. Aku rasa tuan kedai rasa macam dah taknak meniaga dah kalo si Redmummy ni tawar harga.. hehehe.

Since Redmummy is a hardcore blogger, and my house is stuck in the 80s (read - no internet connection because of the cheapskate in me) I took them to Kemang where they were plenty of cafes with free wifi. The second night at Kemang (which was a Saturday night), we went to Oh La La Cafe at La Codefin.

They were "entertained" by sights of beautiful cewek-cewek Jakarta outdoing each other wearing the skimpiest of skirts. There were scores of others who were more decently dressed but nevertheless, equally pretty.

Thanks Melia for the teh tarik. Makasih Redmummy for the neck-tie, the delicious chicken and the shirt.

I will be leaving Jakarta for good in July. I have been playing host eversince I came here in February 2006. As far as I could recall, except for Ramadhan, there was not a single month where I did not receive any guests.

I truly enjoyed the company from all my Malaysian friends. Their visit lessened the feeling of homesickness.

The little time I have left here, I put aside for family members (this includes you PB) who have already planned for a long holiday in Jakarta.

Also, I need time for my self. To see places I never had the time to go to.

Roid, I am now free. Kalo mau ke pantai kek, ke hutan kek, ke gunung kek, ajakin aku ya!! *muka tak malu banget gue*.