Archive for May, 2015

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’till death do us part

May 29, 2015

this is love.

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My Top 10 Most Devastating Death(s) in Animanga

May 28, 2015

I was reading the newest chapter on One Piece. Chapter 788. The storyline is still about the Straw Hat Pirates and co. Trying to stop Doflamingo from oblitering Dressrosa. It is up to the point where Luffy is now sleeping, recovering his power after using Gear 4th. Then, the battle worn Trafalgar Law seems to try to keep Luffy save from Doflamingo. I have a feeling that Traffy might die in this arc. Since he’s saying “leave it to me” in a battle worn state, which is pretty pretty bad, I think. Then, I remember people who died in One Piece history. Going Merry, Ace, Usopp’s mother, Bellemere, the Resident of Ohara, and many more. Some of their deaths are so devastating up to the point that I cried while watching/reading the scene. So, it gives me inspiration to write this; the Top 10 Most Devastating Death(s) in animanga. I’m trying to write based on animanga that I’ve watched/read thoughtfully, so it will be very-very personal. And devastating means it is not only sad, but it also gives impact to the story line. Here’s the list ! (SPOILER ALERT THOUGH !)

  1. Vegeta (Dragon Ball Z)

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Cause of Death: Self Explosion

Story: Vegeta was one of Dragon Ball’s most notorious villain. Even after he becomes an allies, he sometimes still do things that isn’t bringing anything good to the Z Warrior. In the battle against Bhu, he sacrificed (by self exploding) himself –who was controlled by Evil Wizard Babidy, to destroy Bhu. What makes this devastating is his reason to protect the Earth: his wife Bulma, and his son, Trunks. That’s deep for someone who were once the most heartless character in the series.

  1. Lelouch Lamperouge (Code Geass)

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Cause of Death: Point Blank Stab

Story: Lelouch was the main protagonist of the series. His persona is Zero, the leader of the Black Knights who revolts against the Britannian Empire. In the end of the series, Lelouch took control of the Britannian Empire (as himself, the eligible throne successor) only to be killed by Zero (who is being played by Suzaku, his bestest friend). This is his plan to unite the world which being made to unanimously hating him altogether.

  1. Itachi Uchiha’s Mortal Death (Naruto)

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Cause of Death: Battle Exhaustion

Story: Itachi were once introduced as a super evil character who killed his own clan –including mother and father, torturing his only little brother, betraying his village for his own sake. Turned out, he is a double agent who is protecting his village and little brother all the time. In order to transfer all of his remaining power and skills to his brother, he fight him to death. Leaving the world, after a very sweet brotherly farewell.

  1. Maes Hughes (Fullmetal Alchemist)

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Cause of Death: Multiple Gunshots

Story: One of the most likeable character in the story. Hughes is a great family man who cares so much about his family. A high ranking government official, who smells something fishy with his co-worker who turned out to be Envy, one of the Hommunculus who have shapeshifting ability. Being spotted by Hughes, Envy change his shape into Hughes’ beloved wife, Gracia, to pretend Hughes from stabbing him. And then shoot him mercilessly. His colleague swears to take revenge for his death.

  1. Ramba Ral (Mobile Suit Gundam)

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Cause of Death: Self Inflicted Grenade

Story: Every true gundam fans knows Ramba Ral. He is one of the reason that Amuro become a true soldier. His death really change Amuro’s view for the battlefield. A true soldier who held the code of chivalry very highly. A noble warrior who never cheat during his mission. Ramba Ral is one of the antagonist that you can never hate. His tragic death was when he trapped in the white base, rather than kept hostage, he blow himself up with a grenade.

  1. Lockon Stratos/Neil Dylandy (Gundam 00)

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Cause of Death: Gundam Explosion

Story: The sniper of the Celestial Being. He is one of the calmest character in the whole series. The only thing that can get his nerve is Ali Al Saachez who destroyed in a terrorist bombing of his hometown, Ireland. In a heated battle against the UN, Lockon took a hit for his friend, Tieria Erde, injuring his main eye (right eye). Not fully recovered, the Gundam Meisters have to face Ali Al Saachez, in which Lockon lost his cool, and trying to fight Saachez with only one eye. Considering he is a sniper, his eyes are as important as his other limbs. He lost the battle, but still cooly damaged Saachez’s Gundam Throne Zwei quite badly. Neil’s death impacted the story as it made Setsuna and Tierie into a more capable soldier, as well as vacating his position as Gundam Meister, leaving the spot for his little brother, Lyle Dylandy.

  1. Sieghart (Rave)

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Cause of Death: Aging

Story: Another bad guy turned good and died kind of character. Sieghart were once a demoncard warrior who were hunting Elie to destroy her dangerous Aetherion power. Turned out, Haru can control Elie’s Aetherion through Rave. Sieghart have a change of heart, and vows to help Haru in his journey, attributing it to a concept he called Sword and Magic. After battling the most powerful wizard in the world, Haja, Sieg have chance to go back to the past, along with Haru and Elie. In the past, he found out the truth about Elie, and sworn to protect Resha Valentine’s Grave until his death. He stayed in the past and guarding Resha’s grave until he become a skeleton which turn into somekind of gate to the past.

  1. Kubo Yoshiharu (SHOOT!)

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Cause of Death: Leukimia

Story: The Kakegawa Nishi football genius. Comparable to Tsubasa Oozora in Captain Tsubasa series. Kubo is the founder of the Kakenishi Highschool Football Club. Along with Kamiya, he built the club from zero. He was asked to join a reputable schools like Kakekita and Fujita Higashi, but he declined the offers, saying that it’d be fun to start from scratch. Born with unlimited footballing gift, Kubo led his school into the quarterfinal. In the quarterfinal they faced a very strong team, Kakekita with Makoto Saeki the all rounder midfielder, and their super forward, Hirose Kiyotaka. Kubo scored an important goal in the second half, dribbling the ball from his own half, ran through 11 Kakekita players with various technique, and get the goal alone. He then collapsed, and died after the match. Turned out, he has been hiding his leukimia to let himself to keep playing football. Bringing tragedy and sadness for the football team that makes everyone high spirited to continue the tournament up to the national level.

  1. Portgas D. Ace (One Piece)

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Cause of Death: Hole in the Back

Story: Simply one of the most lovable and coolest character in One Piece. Ace is Luffy’s adopted brother. He is the son of the legendary pirate, Gol D. Roger. He is also a member of one of the strongest pirate crew in One Piece, the Whitebeard Pirates. Throughout the story, Ace’s appearance always companied by absurds behaviour like sleeping while eating, or his Tattoo that spelled wrongly so it has an S crossed, etc. Ace got involved in a conflict with Blackbeard, who stole a devil fruit from his own mate. Overconfidenced with his Mera-Mera no Mi’s power, he challenged Blackbeard into a duel, in which he lost, and he is being prosecuted by the Marine. When Luffy tried to save him from the execution, Ace got killed when protecting Luffy from Akainu’s magma fist after he lost his temper to Akainu. The moment when Ace hugged luffy and thanking everyone for loving him is simply heartbreaking, and devastating. Ace’s death changed Luffy a lot, making him a stronger fighter.

  1. Going Merry (One Piece)

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Cause of Death: Viking Funeral

Story: Going Merry is always the symbolic ship of the Straw Hat Crews. It is different from other pirate’s ship that looks menacing. Going Merry is a friendly looking sheep. Luffy and the Straw Hat pirates sailed half of the East Blue up the half of the Grand Line with this cute looking ship. They even use Merry in their Journey in the Sky Island of Skypiea. After went through out amazing journeys, Merry finally meets its near end when the crew enter Waterseven, a special island known for its shipcrafters. In Water Seven, Luffy decided to dump Merry and find another ship, a decision that enraged Usopp, so that he left the crew (along with Merry) temporary. In one ocassion, Usopp tried to fix Merry, but Franky, a skilled carpenter which also the head of a bad gang in Waterseven, said it is impossible to fix Merry, and decided to throw it to the sea –which succeeded. Turned out, after the battle of Enies Lobby, Merry comes once again to save the Straw Hat Pirates, thanking them, before the Straw Hat Pirates gave Merry his proper burial: the Viking Funeral. It is when the deceased member of the crew is being burned in a sailing ship. But, because Merry is a ship, they just burned it in the middle of the ocean. In tears, Merry’s spirit, also known as Klaubauterrmann, thanks the crew in a teary goodbye.

Honorable Mention:

Rikiishi from Ashita no Joe. I didn’t read Ashita no Joe, so I can’t tell you so much about it, but, it is said that in event of Rikiishi’s death, Kodansha made a funeral service for him in real life. His cause of death is boxing injury after a battle against Joe, his rival.

Anew Returner from Gundam 00. She is killed by his own boyfriend by a point blank shoot while she is under control of the innovator. Such a tragic death.

Jiraiya from Naruto. One of Naruto’s best mentor. He died while battling his old pupil, Nagato.

Nuriko, Mitsukake, Chiriko, Hotohori from Fuushigi Yuugi. All died during the event while battling the Seiryu warriors.

Yosen-sensei from Kung fu Boy. Chinmi’s master who taught him Bone Breaking Kungfu. Died from old age after seeing his last pupil mastered his trademark technique.

Ryuta Saki from Detective Kindaichi. I wanted to write about Ryuta the first time I want to write this. But then I forgot. After awhile, my fffffrrriiiiieeenddd reminded me of Ryuta Saki’s murder. and I was like, “OKAAAYYYYY I FORGOTTTTT.” Okay then, so he’s in the honorable mention. It’s kinda weird seeing his death, as it doesn’t really give an impact to Kindaichi himself. He was one of Kindaichi’s best friend, but when he died, they only talked about him in one arc (the Red Bearded Santa Claus, which is the arc when Ryuta died), then poof, he never mentioned anymore. Only when his little brother, Ryuji Saki come in to replace him as Kindaichi’s assistant. But still, the horrifying murder is leaving a really grotesque image on my mind. Imagine, Ryuta is only a highschooler. But he have to meet such fate in the hand of a murder….

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Things I Learned From Parks and Recreation

May 26, 2015

Lately, I’ve watched the whole Parks and Recreation series in just merely two weeks. It was awesome, I’ve got to admit that this is one of the best American TV Series I’ve ever watched. The story is about a Parks and Recreation Department in a small town named Pawnee in Indiana. The story revolves around the main characters; Leslie Knope, Ron Swanson, Ben Wyatt, Chris Traeger, Ann Perkins, Tom Haverford, April Ludgate, Andy Dwyer, Jerry Gergich, and Donna Meagle; and their involvement in the department, and also the department’s involvement in their private lifes. And from them, I learned so many things. Politics, friendship, love and happiness, and of course the most important of all; Ronald Ulysses Swanson.

1. Politics
First thing I learned from Parks and Recreation is Politics. It is shown how politics works in even the smallest part of a state. The Sweetums vs Leslie Knope, Leslie Knope’s city council journey, up until how Leslie being revoked by her voters. And in this series, we can see how democracy works. No, not democracy, ‘democracy’. In season 7, we can see how Ben is being treated unfairly by both feminists, and masculinists. They are both leaning to the extreme side, so whatever Ben did was wrong. It shows the black and white thinking of current society. If you’re different from us, then you’re our (exact opposite) enemy. That sucks. One of my favorite moment related to politics in this series was when Leslie decided to let the Eagleton vote (for her opponent) because she thinks that the right to vote is more important than winning the vote itself. Just like what Votaire said “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That is pretty awesome. Oh, and another thing is, Ron Swanson’s critics to current liberal system in the US. He always says that he loves free market, and saying that the government is pointless. Well, when everything goes free market, government shouldn’t really get into the market, let the invisible hands works alone. Oh, and Ron hate taxation.

2. Friendship
So many friendships were built in the series. Leslie and Ann, Ben and Chris, Ron and Leslie, Tom and Donna, Andy and Ron, well, pretty much everyone and everyone. But my most favorite one is Andy and Ron. They’re showing the “dude” friendship between a goofy buffoon with a strange old man. They do pranks, they eat unhealthy food which are pretty awesome, they made music, pretty much everything awesome. It shows that in a “dude” friendship, man will never grow up. Which is fun.

3. Love and Happiness
April and Andy, Leslie and Ben, Donna and Joe, Ron and Diane/Tammy One/Tammy Two, Chris and Ann, Tom and Lucy, Gerry and Gayle, all are portraying various kind of relationship. April and Andy who builds their lifes together from scratch, Leslie and Ben whose love aren’t meddling with their profesional life, Donna and Joe which is pretty sweet, Ron and Diane which is true love, Ron and Tammy One/Tammy Two which is destructive, Chris and Ann whose relationship works out slowly, Tom and Lucy whose love created through hardship, and Garry’s perfect family. All of them are teaching me how love can varies and in the end, to be happy is all that matter. and Happiness, can be as simple as Li’l Sebastian ❤

4. Ron Swanson

The most majestic man in the history of TV Series. True meat eater, true liberalist, true man. This picture says it all.

Ron

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Happiness

May 26, 2015

Happiness are cookies in a jar
Said the little kid from a far
Happiness is an expensive supercar
Said the movie star

Happiness is a myth
Said the sad wordsmith
Happiness is buried in filth
Said the treasure hunter named Keith

Happiness is buying mom presents
Said the kid who just paid his rents
Happiness are those countless cents
Said the beggar sitting in a tent

Happiness is the client’s smile
Said the salesman who just walked for miles
Happiness is healthy life style
Said the runner who just ran for miles

Happiness is in a question
Said the writer in this session
Do you want to be happy ?

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Happy Birthday, Fatia Nurizky

May 22, 2015

25 years ago, a baby was born from a womb of a wonderful woman. The dad was a proud one. Of course, she was his first child. They named her Fatia. Fatia Nurizky. Fatia herself doesn’t know what is the meaning of her name, neither that her parents give her what’s the meaning behind the name. But one can assume that Fatia derived from Al-Fathihah, the opener, the very first surah in Al-Qur’an. And Nurizky also derived from Arabic Qur’an means the light of fortune. So, one can summed it up into The Opener to the Light of Fortune. Fatia Nurizky.

Today, that baby has grown up into a wonderful woman. She’s beautiful, smart, kind, all of that with uniqueness in her. She loves her family, her family is her precious jewel. Her mother, sister, and brother. There’s no day passed without all of them come into her consideration. She is also very caring towards her friends. Once, she accompanied a lonely friend of her to go out and have lunch with her. One time thing that leaves a deep mark on that friend. She got him charmed pretty well.

And now, he’s making her this poem.

May 23rd
The bird chirping signs the end of the night
It is a start of a new day
Some are still lying on their bed, sleeping tight
Some are on their way

It’s May 23rd, the 143rd day of the year
Maybe for you, it’s just another day,
Just another meaningless set of fear
You shouldn’t worry though, just pray

For me, this year’s May 23rd is something
It is her birthday, the day she was born
I want her to be happy, more than anything
Especially for today, the day she was born

She knocked the door of my loneliness
A door I don’t even want to knock
It’s a room full of emptiness
I was shocked than someone did knocked
And the next thing I know….
Just like sunlight, she gives me her warm presence
And like the dark of the night, she gives me her calm radiance
It fills my days and nights
It was hollows, but then, now fillings starts to follow

My life stops from being so monotonic
And it is all, thanks to you wonderful woman.

With all sincerity, Happy Birthday, Fatia Nurizky !

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The One Mind in the Middle of a Stream

May 12, 2015

Sometimes, I love wandering alone in the crowd. It helps me find some inspiration. Here’s a story I’d like to share. A unique one.

Few days ago, I went to a Japanese Cultural Festival called Ennichisai in Blok M, Jakarta. Went there with a frrrrriiiiiieeend, who have a voluntary job at her former musical group. Of course I cannot meddle with her job, so, I take my leave and wandering around in the crowd, before one of my friend came along later on.

It was fun. So many unique booths there. Selling toys, foods, and games you’ll find at summer festival in Japan. But, other than that, the most interesting thing for me is, when I wander alone in the crowd, my mind also wandering somewhere else, somewhere far, yet unseen, but it can be heard. It can be heard straight from my mouth, or through writings, like this. Yes. The world of idea. The world where the worldly concept meet up, clashing with each other, creating the world I’m seeing at the time. Okay.

So, in the crowd, I’m seeing so many interesting contacts between people. The Japanese who speaks Indonesian, and vice versa, Indonesian who speaks Japanese. Funny huh ? Well, I think that’s the point of respecting each other. While the Indonesian are respecting the Japanese as the main committee, the Japanese are respecting the Indonesian as the ‘owner’ of the land. Other than that, it’s about selling the products. LOL. The latter one is more convincing though. While the Japanese are attracting Indonesian –most of the visitors, it’ll be a problem if they don’t speak Indonesian, since Japanese isn’t really spoken by Indonesian. The Indonesian themselves are screaming like “Irrasshaimassseeeeee !!” –a Japanese service welcome, or “Takoyaakiiiiii” and everything else, screaming the name of the product they sell. Of course it is done to attract the costumer. So that the costumer knew they’re selling something.

Later on, there is this omikoshi parade in the crowd. Omikoshi is a portable Shinto shrine that used to be lifted by youngsters, and then being dragged around the festival ground. Another interesting thing, the omikoshi wielders are Japanese and Indonesian. They’re just mixing with each other. While the main commander who commands the omikoshi parade is Japanese. They’re screaming in Japanese heave-ho. There are girls and boys who are lifting the omikoshi on their shoulder. Some of the girls are wearing veil, which generally considered as an islamic attribute, and omikoshi a Shinto attribute on their shoulders. This is yet another interesting thing. In the middle of religious intolerances in Indonesia (for example, one of my friend is being expelled from her rent-house just because she’s having dogs as pets, somewhat against the islamic law), there are still Indonesian youngsters who cares (or don’t care ? So they’re just enjoying it ?) with the issue.

Later on that night, there’s this Miss Hiromi Kano, a Japanese woman who can sing as a sinden –traditional Indonesian singer, pretty well. I almost cried when she sang “Bintang Kecil”, it was beautiful. If only the sky were not cloudy, and I can see those “Bintang Kecil” I will ended up crying. Seriously. After that, there’s this weird –typical Japanese slapstick comedian. I don’t really buy them though. They’re funny, but, not my kind of humor. After that, the performance of my ffffrrrrieeeenddd’s group, the U-Maku Eisa. It’s a traditional Okinawan Dance. Another unique treat to the eyes. It mixes martial arts and dance, like Capoeira in Brazil or Wu-Shu in China. 2 of the performers are Japanese, Yuki and Mizuki. Both are extremely talented. The other are local Indonesian who are also great. Here, we can see another interesting thing. How a Japanese is learning Indonesian traditional singing, while the Indonesian are learning Japanese traditional dance. Funny thing is, when Miss Hiromi Kano is on television, many Indonesian will say something like this: “even Japanese wanted to learn Indonesian art, why don’t Indonesian want to learn Indonesian art ?” Lately, I always laugh at something like that. I bet that most of the Japanese that come to the venue knows nyinden waaayyy better than they know the Eisa dance. Why ? Because, I think, it is quite normal nowadays for people to forget their original culture, and being attracted with other’s culture.

Thanks to the internet, countries around the world are promoting their local culture as a culture of their own country. While the local people, still think that the local culture aren’t part of their culture, because it is not originated from their local region. For example, I don’t admit Wayang Kulit as my culture, since I am a Sundanese. I admit Wayang Golek as my culture. I know Wayang Golek, I love watching it –CEPOT IS LOVELY, OKAY ? and I know how to play it. But with Wayang Kulit, I don’t know. And yet, I’m still calling it Javanese culture. While for people from other country, will see both Wayang Kulit and Wayang Golek as part of INDONESIAN culture. See the differences ? People from other country will see the Eisa dance as a part of JAPANESE culture, while the Japanese see the Eisa dance as a part of OKINAWAN culture. Again, see the differences ? Yeah, the local spirit is still alive, and well.

Another interesting thing from the Ennichisai is of course the location. It is located in the Little Tokyo District in Blok M Jakarta. It is being called little Tokyo because it really represents Tokyo. Especially the shady part of it. Walking around the Little Tokyo make me remember the Ryuu Ga Gotoku (better known as the Yakuza) series, which always presenting a digital representation of Japan. One of them is the Kamurocho region, which represents the Kabukicho region in Tokyo. It’s a source of Japanese night life. You can google it later, but, the little Tokyo in Blok M is representing this Kabukicho region. I’ve been there once, and there are these executive clubs all around, karaoke box with private room and escort, fancy restaurant, and Sino-Japanese restaurant that will serves you pig offal, or cow’s liver. Kind of things that goes well with Sake. As far as I know the little is a sign of a diaspora that has been nicely done. It shown that the migrant –in Little Tokyo’s case, Japanese, are being settled in Indonesia, so they made a representation of their homeland. Borrowing Brubaker’s idea, the diaspora have to be done in 3 stages: 1. Dispersion (how the people move from original country to host country), 2. Homeland Orientation (how these people are still believe that the original country is their country), 3. Boundary Maintenance (how these people are segregating themselves from the society). The number 3 can be seen in the Little Tokyo. You can see how many of the cardboard paper to make announcement are written in kanji, and everything is in Japanese style. Feels like home for the Japanese.

And of course, the last one, the interesting thing I’ve found in the crowd is, that I can find myself in the crowd. You see, when you’re walking in the crowd, other people is just “another one in the crowd.” You don’t know them. They might be a criminal wanted by the state, or even FBI. They might be your ex girlfriend who get a sex change into a muscular man (and vice versa). They might be alien from another planet. We will never know. And me, myself is just another part of crowd. Another walking chunk of meat dressed in an Everton home kit. But then again, the chunk of meat can see, can hear, can think, his mind wanders around, and in the end, producing this senseless writing. In the end, I’m happy that I’m finding myself as a social observer in the crowd.

And that’s how far my mind has wander around as my physical body wandering around in the Ennichisai. It’s quite small, you can go around for like 5-10 minutes.

P. S.: on another note, I coined an idea to my friend to create a “Japanese cultural festival BINGO”, it’ll look like this I guess.

bingobingo

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An Old City Story

May 11, 2015

An Old City Story

There are so many things I can tell you about this city. The history, how this city were built. The interesting places, place to eat, place to have fun, place to learn about the city, place where I’ve grown up, the shady places, the place that will make you cringe. Anything. Just ask me, and I’ll tell you where. It’s easy. I grown up here. A city located in the center of a land called the Pasundan. The land that were made when God were smiling, said M. A. W. Brouwer. Of course I can’t object to that. It’s 2015, but the air is still as magnificent as ever. I’m not saying fresh, because it is not, but still, it is lovely. One of its greatest writer once said: “Bagiku, Bandung bukan hanya masalah geografis, lebih dari itu, ia melibatkan perasaan.” (For me, Bandung is more than a geographical matter, more than that, it includes feelings). True that. Bandung is beautiful because I was grown up here. Forged memories with beautiful people that resides here, or those who are just on a temporary visit.

It was great. It was.

It was a small game center, not far from my highschool. 5 minutes walking, and you’ll be there. A small door, with big windows surrounding it. With a small vendor that will sell you instant noodle whenever you’re hungry. From inside the game center, you can listen to people screaming, their heroes are dying, or other players took their loots, or a simple victory cry “ANJING ! AING MEUNANG EUY !” (YES !  WON ! EAT THAT YOU FUCKIN WANKERS). Sounds harsh, but cursing is quite normal here. As long as it is not in front of your teacher or parents, it’ll be fine. In this small game center, I forged one of the most wonderful memories.

There were these guys, my closest friends at the time. The small statured guy whose drawing and designing skill is beyond good, and his unique mind is always amazed me. For once he talked about how Moses split the Red Sea via an Earthquake. It is a popular theory nowadays, but he talked about this 11 years ago. Not so popular back tehre. Then the tall one, with thick eyebrows and sharp eyes. The first time you meet this guy, you’ll never guess that this guy can never be serious. He’s almost on par with Jim Carey, I assure you. Later on, this guy is my mate in my Japanese language course. And then, there’s another tall guy with thick eyebrows, his eyeballs are huge, he somewhat looks like Rowan Atkinson. Nice guy who can never say no to his sister. So yeah, whenever his sister need him, he’ll be gone from the game center.  His gaming skill is above average, so it’s kinda bugging us –the guild if he left for his sister. And then there is another tall guy. Very tall. Another great gamer. He’s the bullied one in the gang, but he never care, because he enjoys it. We suspected that he’s an M, but we’ll never know. And the last one, another small statured kid, with mushroom shaped head. The smartest among us –school wise, the most religious of us, but still, a little bit of mischief can guide him out of the way. Easy peasy.

Never once my day went boring with these guys. Playing games, cursing, ended up being best of friends. Wished that those time will never over. But I can’t, huh ? Time is always moving on, and there they go. One of them go to a design school, the other to an economic school, the other one into a movie school, the other ended up working in a hotel, and the last one become an expert health lab technician. And me ? I went to a graduate school of International Relations, another place to forge another set of great memories.

Years have passed after the game center, I found myself in a small village near Bandung called Jatinangor. If you hear the story about it, how ‘remoted’ it is –compared to a city like Jakarta, of course it is somewhat so remoted, you don’t want to live here. I didn’t to. I didn’t want to live there. I used to go there with my mom when I was a little kid. It’s dusty, nothing’s fancy. If I ever enrolled in the university there, I don’t want to live there, I’d just live in my home, and make a quite long journey over there everyday. I don’t mind.

In Jatinangor, I met another bunch of wonderful people. There’s this guy who’s always talk big, the “dude-ish” kind of guy. Buzzed cut, with a thick Jakartan accent, once enrolled in a Jr. High in Washington, US. First impression is of course “what a cocky bastard”, but later on, you’ll know he’s the best kind of friend you can ever have. And there’s another guy, kinda girly, easily got scared, but always fond of something new. Also academically gifted. Ah, also he’s very critical of his surrounding, you’ll always want to discuss about anything with this guy. And then, another smartass. Always have his hair messy. If he’s enrolled in a natural science program, he’s undoubtly a mad professor. Academically genius, with deep voice, and a piece of cigarrette on his hand. You can talk about anything –related to social science with him. Another one, a very charming guy (I guess), very smart, a genius writer, won so many awards as a Batik and language ambassador, but never get once so arrogant with those awards. Pretty amazing guy. He’s smart, logical, but he’s into mysticism. Amazing. And there’s this guy, a tall, skinny guy, a good friend from Jr. High. Football head, love to collect vintage football jersey. I’m his loyal customer, ALL of my football jersey, I got it from him through internet buying. Pretty awesome and nice guy and always give you bonuses when you shop with him.

Aside of these guys, there’re also wonderful girls who went to the same campus with me. There are these two thoughest girls I’ve ever known. Both of them went to a same highscool. Both of them have passion in teaching, and both of them are superiorly smart, and kind, and funny, and insane. You’ll never get bored when you talk to them. About anything. About class, friendship, love, everything. And then there’s this Medanese girl who doesn’t talk like a Medanese AT ALL. Because she grew up in Java. One of the best singer I’ve ever know, also one of the nicest friend you can talk about ANYTHING. She’s the friendliest of the friendlies. And then, there’s this a tomboy who were a baseball athlete in her highschool years. Looks like a guy. Sometimes, when she is filling her motorcycle in the gas station, people used to call her Sir. She looks strong outside, but crumbling inside, still, one of the people who can say “MAN UP DUDE ! COME ON !” to me, without any hesistation. And her best friend, is another girl, a small girl, who always talk softly. Always laughing and smiling like a little kid. She’s everyone’s little sister.

And then, in that campus, I have this group of friends whose bonds are tightly forged. The first one is this clumsy guy who I knew since Jr. High. A gifted all rounder. He can do anything, playing football (in a very limited way), playing bass (he’s the bass player of my band), but his most praised talent is in computer and electric. If you need to build a good PC, just ask him, he’ll give you the best advice for the best PC in the cheapest price. The second one, another clumsy guy. Love to read, have an oldman feature (face, hair), weird sense of humor, vast knowledge of… well, pretty much anything. A very nice person. One of the person that ever saw me in my worst state –almost passed out when driving, LOL. Then the third one, a small statured guy with a babyface… with beard and moustache. You don’t judge a book by its cover is a definition for this guy. Although he looks like that, he’s one of the best singer I’ve ever known, also one of the best guitar player, aaanddddd pretty talented in pool. Awesome.

Then, the fourth one, a girl. The little metal head. She loves heavy metal music more than anyone that I know. Modern heavy metal though. She’s one of the nicest girl I’ve ever know, and you can talk pretty much about anything with her, and seeing her surprised face when she hear something insane is something I enjoy pretty much. Then the fifth one, one of the most beautiful girl that I’ve ever know. We call her “capital city.” It’s because she’s somewhat “cruel”, not cruel in a bad way though, in a good way, as she’s always stating the reality. No more sugar for your cake kind of person. Still, a very reliable friend. You can trust any of your secret to her. No leak. The sixth one, the coolest girl I’ve ever known. Talk in a smooth Javanese accent. She’s pretty nice and bold. Her motto is “When you’re with your bestest of friends, hold no bars, be brutally honest.” I like it. Kind of person that will accept you for being yourself. And the seventh one is me. Of course. We call ourselves the “Geng Sepedah.” Very long story on how we “formed”, but well, for the head ups, we are “Geng Sepedah.”

Back there, everyday I wish that I can never talk about them in a past tense. But today, here it is. It was. All the memories were there, in the distance past. It’s not that I can’t move on or something, but something that was being too good will hardly ever forgotten.

Today, everytime I go back to Bandung, it’s the same city –physically. The very same Bandung I left every week. The very same Bandung I’ve grown up in, with some good improvements of course. But… Without these people, Bandung can never be “Bandung” that I once knew. It’s somewhat different. Of course, it’s because the people are changing. It is related to feeling, so when the people changed, it changes. Maybe this is what Pidi Baiq is trying to say, that it is more than a geographical reason, it’s about feeling. In the end, I hate change. This kind of change we need in order to grow up even more. I don’t know.

More than anything, I miss you all: Ojun, Archyd, Nyomen, Bosky, Daud, Khairul, Aros, Nuge, Pradip, Fahmi, Anggi, Gope, Dewa, Ipeh, Nabil, Geza, Reza, Cakky, Meok, Nata, and Aya. I miss you all. Bandung never feel the same without (some of) you guys.