22. the (un)triumphant return

Well, well. Look who’s back here.

Yes, it has indeed been ages since I last wrote here. More than one year. And what a period it has been.

Some 1+year later, a few kilograms heavier, after a new job, some few more countries visited, some new people encountered, a new way of approaching life viewed, I guess now I can say, yours truly is back here to stay.

I guess the picture above sums up my life lately. Still somewhat blurry and out of place, but hey. If it feels good, then I feel good.

21 – the other plans

Japan was nice. Cold, but nice.

Truth be told, I wasn’t sure whether I was going until the weekend before. Not with all that was going on in my head. But then again, I had the tickets, reservations, visa, everything. I literally took off to the airport only thinking “Well, it would have been a bigger waste if I had ended up not going”.

In all fairness, it didn’t really take my mind 100% off of things. Especially not about you, in case you’re reading this (and I’m sure you know who you are).

However, it certainly was nice to get away from my own thoughts. God knows I haven’t been in the best mental state these days, and the trip really served as a good distraction. 7 days of only thinking about where to go and what new sights to see was definitely a much needed change.

And also, what better way than a 7-day trip topped off by a 7-hour flight to make me realize that I actually have other things to think about. It’s like the big blinking “JUST CHILL ALREADY” sign finally went on in my brain.

I’m not suddenly going to get all “I’m a world traveler” and the like, God knows when I’m going to even be able to secure another day of leave. But yes, this was a nice little sobering trip away from all the mess in my head.

Really hope there will be more chances alike, though I’m not sure when.

20 – the message you’ll never read anyway.

Dear you,

Hey. I know you’ll never see or read this, and that’s exactly why I posted here. Chicken shit, I know. But then again, straightforward communication has never been our strongest suit anyway.

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed what we had. I really did. ..Or at least what I thought we had anyways. For what it’s worth, you really know how to make someone feel special. I especially enjoyed the comfort of knowing that there is actually someone who seemed to understand me so well. I appreciate the fact that you always leaned in to hear me better instead of making me speak louder in a crowd. And of course, the sweet little nothing comments you give that always put me off guard. Every single time. I loved how you just successfully pull off the little things that matter. It’s like you managed to read through me so thoroughly, and not a lot of people have succeeded in doing so. And I especially love how you seem to pull that off effortlessly.

But here’s the thing : I’m letting you go, and I’m sure you know what I mean this time.

Continue reading “20 – the message you’ll never read anyway.”

19 – “just like an open book, a couple of words, that’s all it took”



So I went to Neonlights 2016.

It has been a while since I last went to a gig (last time was.. Rolling Stones? oh Jesus, that was friggin’ 2014!), plus I nearly ditched the idea due to last-minute travel plan changes, plus the amazing rainstorm that welcomed me back in SG Friday afternoon. But you know what? I’m glad I decided to still go anyway.

Continue reading “19 – “just like an open book, a couple of words, that’s all it took””

18 – the worry that lingers on

Disclaimer: I’m not trying to make a commentary post about the political situation, or whatever kerfuffle is going on in Indonesia right now. God knows I don’t have the capacity to do so.

I’m just desperately trying to see a good reason of why, or rather how, I should stay here.

These past few months, I’ve been getting asked one question more than usually: why the hell did I come back to Indonesia? Right. First of all, I did leave for the sake of leaving.

Studying had a nice ring into it, but to be quite honest, it was a vessel, a reason for me to leave. At that time, I just needed to leave the country for whatever purpose. Did it feel good? Yes, for the most part. Not blaming them for any of it, but in the end family always comes first. As soon as I learned how slim my chances were of settling down in SG and taking them with me, getting back home became a priority. I thought to myself that well, it’s not like I’m going to move to a whole different place, I was simply going to be back home, to my loved ones, to go back to how life was, just slightly improved.

I’m beginning to see and feel like that might not be the case at all.

Sure, everyone was raving about “the new era of the new government”. A New Hope, some even said. But the thing that might have skipped everyone’s minds is that even in Star Wars, there were battles and wars to be won. It took Luke Skywalker 3 whole episodes to restore order wth The Force, mind you, and we can see that President Jokowi is no Jedi knight.

Of course, through a strange turn of events, I ended up the way I am now, working in a position that involves being in close relations with all sorts of government institutions. When the new administration took over, it really felt like things were finally getting better. But was it, really?

In true Indonesian fashion, when you take little steps forward, something always grabs you by the ankle and fling you backwards. Just when the government is taking baby steps battling their inner demons (if you catch my drift), the people seemed to be losing humanity. And by how things are going, I fear that we are plunging down rapidly down the evil rabbit hole.

It seems that Indonesia has been making headlines for a bit.. For all the wrong reasons. First the forest burning, the religious intolerance, the so-called uprising of the kelas menengah ngehe, the traffic that still gets worse when you think it just can’t go any worse, the obscene Halal law, the growing number of ex-ministers getting indicted for corruption, the death sentences, you name it. As much as I would have loved to stay optimistic, this country seems to running fully on knee-jerk reactions. I would only assume that from the outside looking in, anyone in the other side of the world would see us as a country flushing ourselves down into a deep shithole.

Funnily enough, the fact that I’m this worried has gotten me mixed reactions. Friends and colleagues have told me different opinions that range from “Well then that’s a good thing that you’re here, the country needs you to be here, so you can prove to the world that there is some good still left in this country” to “Well, you are easily part of the majority here and you have actually left once, if you are that insecure why don’t you just get on the next plane out?”, that I even question myself whether I am actually entitled to be worried in the first place.

I know I’ve been through a lot of things growing up in this country, I just hope I’ll be patient enough to be able to see the good part that will eventually happen. It’s just a matter of riding the waves knowing that the raging storm will pass, even though you don’t know when.


16 – the breakdown

I didn’t even make it 10 days straight, that Goddamned challenge.

No, I didn’t fall sick or something. And work hasn’t been unusually busy or something, save for some meetings and appointments. Nothing quite out of the ordinary, really.

So why did I fall off the wagon? I simply got too tired. Not in the sense that I was so worn out that I couldn’t sit down to write, oh no. It’s just that I learned the hard way, scheduled blogging is not my thing. Either that, or mental fatigue is taking its toll.

But in all fairness though, how does one get to conclude that they have been hit by mental fatigue? How burned out do you have to be to earn the “Spare me a break, I’m mentally exhausted” card?

For once though, I’m not going to let this self-diagnosed pity party get to me. I’m making small changes lately, let’s see if it works..

15 – Day 9 – the message to hold on to

Day 9 : Post some words of wisdom that speak to you

“I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too.”

Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret

I’ll leave the sentence to speak for itself. No explanation needed.

14 – Day 8 – the fight to stay alive

Day 8 : Share something you struggle with

I guess I shouldn’t be going around the issue, now that it has been around for some time.


Not only my weight is a big problem, the face that my whole body is a catch-22 just gets too stressful at times.

I started law school not even weighing 40 kgs, having absolutely nothing on me and looking like an emaciated boy. No lie. As school started rolling in, biological hours started going awry and so did eating habits and resting habits. Hence, massive weight gain. If you think I’m being too much, try gaining nearly 20 kgs. That’s already half the size I was. So yes, that was quite a big change.

Things started going even further south when I started working, and all physical activity just completely went out the window. 2011-2012 were quite literally the worst times my body ever had to endure, peaking at getting obscenely near to liver failure. Slowly, I decided to change for the better and developed a jogging habit. Things started going for the better, slightly. However, I didn’t push myself enough. Pushing myself that hard just seemed a bit pointless when you only have a couple of hours on the weekends, you see?

Enter grad school. The big move to Singapore, walk walk walk everywhere. What’s a little sunburn, but what mattered is that I could pull more runs. Living right across the Botanic Gardens just seemed the perfect fit. 2 KMs slowly became 5, which then became 7, and 10 and then 12. I braved getting involved in runs, despite lacking techniques and sucking so bad in my timing. But hey, as long as it gets me moving, right? Wrong. Law grad school = bye bye rest. To be honest, I’m still not sure how I managed to stay alive with such little sleep and nutrition (Mind you, I moved abroad not knowing how to cook. Bloody hell, I didn’t even have the guts to turn on the gas stove), I still think it’s a miracle that I’m still alive now.

However, it seems that one can only do so much damage to their own body. Arrythmia is no joke, apparently. And what sucks is that I’ve had it all along. Gone were my days of long runs, and I still tried to maintain a steady gym schedule. But to be honest, it’s gets mentally tiring working out to get healthy and ending up collapsing in the process, a few times over. Having to take medicines prior to a workout just so I could survive, it just feels absolutely ridiculous. Sure, I try to regulate my intakes and my resting hours. But in all honesty, that can only help so much.


Hence, the big struggle: maintaining my body when all it has been doing throughout my whole existence is staging a coup against me.

13 – Day 7 – the melodies that speak

Day 7 : List 10 songs that you’re loving right now

(as always, in no particular order)

1. Luke Sital-Singh – You Always Hurt The One You Love

2. Allen Stone – Where You’re At

3. AURORA – Half The World Away

4. George Ezra – Drawing Board

5. Nitin Sawhney feat. Paul McCartney – My Soul

6. Alt-J – Warm Foothills

7. Jamie Lidell – Green Light

8. Mansun – Electric Man

9. Richard Hawley – Serenade Of Blue

10. James Blake – A Case Of You