Friday, November 26, 2004

Misty Morning

Yesterday morning, the air was white, everywhere you look. I left home at about 08.30 as usual, walking to the tram stop. Then took the tram to the central station, still couldn't see anything farther than 200 meters ahead. Same thing in the train, from the window, there's nothing to see but the white mist. It was very cold, too, about 4 C. At Delft station, I picked up my bike and started pedalling to TU.

Weird, very weird. I was on the bicycle lane; road on my leftside and a big river on my right. The water surface was barely visible! Totally wiped out by the white air.
After the Hambrug, the bicycle lane was between a river and a graveyard, fenced by a row of bald trees that reached their branches towards the sky. This, again, looked like a scene in horror movies - only there's no background sound that makes it creepy.

The air was heavy, I pedalled and breathed and tried to get as much lighter air as possible. Reaching the Civil Engineering building, I parked my bike and locked it with difficulties (the lock almost froze!). From the big window of my office, I could hardly see the Electronic Engineering building across. How weird, this mist. It really fits the syllable of mist-erious, since it brings up that exact feeling.

The next day (today), the most was no more. Hm, if it ever comes again, I hope I get the chance to be enveloped in it, just once more..

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Trip to Brugge, summer 2003

Roosendaal-Brugge by train, arriving at "Anselmus" guest house in a hot summer day.

A weekend in Brugge, summer 2003

Trip to Finland, 1998

The beginning of the trip, Amsterdam - Helsinki - Yvaskyla

Sketches during my trip to Finland, summer 1998

Amsterdam sketchbook

Things I noticed after living for a couple of years in Amsterdam

a few pages of my sketch-book diary

Train in Holland..

Here's a page of my sketchbook/diary. Hmm.. I wonder where can I upload more pages that can be displayed nicely (definitely NOT this Journal entry). I tried Photos but it didn't work properly.. well, I also think it won't present an appropriate format, either. Let's try something else, some other time.

Now here's a short story from today. This morning, a man came aboard my usual train to Delft (from Amsterdam central station). He was using a stick to find his way, to make one step after another. He is obviously not able to see with his own eyes (which appeared opened wide, revealing bright blue retinas).
He probed his way through the seats and tried to sense an empty spot. He found one and asked a person nearby if it was available, and it was, so he seated himself. Then the train departed from the station.
Usually, there are announcement of what the next station is, but not this time. I wonder how this man knows when to get off, since he can not read the name of the stations we're passing by. He must be fully informed about the trainstops, for he knew when the train entered Haarlem (the train was slowing down) and came to a halt, he stood up and sensed his way out with his walking stick.

I heard him utterred one word to a fellow passanger at the train door, "Haarlem?", and got a confirmation. So there he went, out of the train into the platform. No problem and no troubling other people. Again, a very independent specially-abled person I see in this country.

Is this the impact of free access to information and 'universal design' that makes it possible for everyone to (physically) use all public facilities? Is it the impact of an individual and independent society that conducts itself properly? Well, whatever the cause might be, I think the impacts give everyone his/her dignitiy and pride as a free, fully-functional human being.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Launched: Rampokan Celebes!

Last Friday was the launching of Rampokan Celebes at "Serieuze Zaken", Amsterdam. Rampokan Celebes is the continuation of Rampokan Java, a graphic novel by Peter van Dongen. The story takes Indonesia in the 1940s as the background, the drawing style is clean, detailed and clear ("Tintin-ish" - a really elaborate artwork, I'd say), and it comes in two colors. It took Peter seven years to finally finish this saga, about Yohan Knevel going back to Indonesia to look for his Indonesian nanny who took care of him when he was a toddler. More about Peter and his work at

I went to the gallery with Awan, Tanti and Bulan, after leaving the kids with Syb (who regrets that he couldn't come along). Getting there, it was already full. I went looking for Peter rightaway to congratulate him, and I could only do that since he was surrounded by people (no time to chat).
Then I looked around the gallery, where Peter's original works and/or prints are being exhibited and sold. I spotted his mother and his brothers. Arnold his older brother apparently didn't recognize me, and he left before I had the chance to talk to him.
I came to his mother and re-introduced myself, reminding her that I and my Madjoe! friends were invited to have dinner at her place, two years ago. She remembered. Marijn remembered. Eddie didn't eventhough I insisted.. haha.. Oh, and I was also introduced to Peter's twin brother Robbie. He, of course, was easy to spot among the audiences. I also greeted Ellen who must also be very relieved that Rampokan Celebes is actually finished. Wel, not so.. since this is just the beginning of Peter's busy life as a "comic celeb"..

The other guests I know were guys from Lambiek, Mr. Kees Kousemaker, Klaas and the new owner (Bart?) and his girlfriend. There were also Oom Lucas and his wife. And somebody who I thought is the 'Hang Tuah guy' and I was sure only after we lrft the gallery (his name is Fred Dijs, by the way).

Peter's Rampokan Celebes was also for sale that night, of course. I bought two packs of Peter's postcard and one Rampokan Celebes. The Rampokan costs 17 Eur! While I thought it would be less than 16 Eur (according to the publisher's website). I decide to get Peter's signature (and drawing) later, since that night he only signed his name in the book (no sketches).

Oh, there were food & drink, too, at the opening. The wine and juice bottles were quickly emptied - leaving only bottles of mineral water. There's a plate full of spekoek and pandan cake, which was also quickly emptied. Warm snacks emerged from the kitchen (mini lumpia, mini risoles and mini lemper), but they didn't get around too long.

So that's a short overview of the event. I'm happy to know Peter and I'm proud of his works, too. More on Peter, some other time..

Sunday, November 14, 2004

"Homesick" at De Schone Kunsten gallery, Haarlem

Yesterday evening was the opening of an exhibition at De Schone Kunsten gallery, Haarlem, titled "Should I stay or should I go?". The invitation said 21.00, so Sybrand and I left home at about eight in the evening. Leaving the kids with Oma Toos. We got on the tram, bought tickets to Haarlem, got on the train, all quite smoothly.
We walked from Haarlem train station to the gallery, not through the marketplace, but taking a short cut through houses and a small canal. There we were, exactly at 21.05, and the gallery was already full.

Now I haven't been there again since I submitted my work which was one week earlier. So the first thing I looked for was my work, where it is and how it is framed. Well, nice enough. Then I was trying to look at the rest when I suddenly was met up by lots of familiar faces.

There was Eddie Hara, carrying his youngest son Nestor (11 months old). Then there was Mimi Fadmi, and of course Mirjam herself. Not long afterwards I saw Oom Lucas Abedy and Peter van Dongen. What a nice reunion. Peter gave me an invitation to the launching of his Rampokan Celebes (since I haven't received any at home, but it came later that day). After a while, Awan, Budi Lee and more people from Arnhem came (all 9 of them). I got absorbed in chatting and talking here and there.

Then there was an introduction (opening?) of the exhibition by Ben Kruijswijk (Mirjam's husband). He mentioned the artists' name one by one, and whoever was present was to come forward and receive a sticker (of his/her name) to stick on his/her chest. All was called forward except me (thank goodness).

There were food and drink but each cost 1 Euro per serving. I watched a bit of Mimi's video ("Lunch") and tried to see other artpieces that were exhibited. Not easy, because the room was small and full. I found Tanto's drawings on the big table in the middle (nice).

We didn't stay long for our thoughts keep roaming to home, to where our kids might (not) be sleeping. After saying goodbye to everyone I know, we left and walked back to the station.

So that's how an opening feels like. It wasn't too impressive, I must say. But I'll be back to that gallery one day, with different friends, to show off my work (ha ha) and to go to that delicious eating place nearby the station (hahahahaha)

Farewell, Professor

Yesterday, about four in the afternoon, I picked up the ringing phone and said, "Tita" (the common way to start a phone conversation here is not "Hello", but a mention of the receiver's name). I rightaway recognized Simone's voice on the other line. Simone is a secretary at our research group at The Civil Engineering Faculty of TU Delft. She brought a very sad news: Prof. Charles Hendriks, my promotor, my dirrect supporter and tutor, passed away at about six o'clock in the morning, in Barcelona. No further news was exchanged, except that he actually had been ill for a while.
I put down the receiver, still in disbelief. Not only that I couldn't rightaway get the idea into my head that I won't ever see him again at school. Not only that I would miss his friendly words everytime he happenned to see me in the hallway, or around his office. But also because I wonder if I would have a substitute promotor who is as nice, as fair, as competence as he was for my research. Prof. Hendriks was one of very few people I would say, "Please don't die on me!" to, for real.
Tomorrow will be a gathering at school, and I will surely come and see what's going to happen. After all, it's directly connected to my future, too. Farewell, Professor, I remember each of our meetings, your suggestions and wishes, and I will fulfil them in my dissertation. Dedicated to you.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Arguing in Silence

The other day, in a tram, there were three teenage girls sitting next to me. They dressed like common teenagers here, not too flashy, but not out-of-date either. They must be friends, looking at the way they treated each other. I noticed that they moved their arms and hands a lot, while producing unclear noises from their throat. It didn't take long until I noticed that they are audibly-challenged. I can't read hand-language, but from their expressions, I could assume that they were disagreeing over something. And kept arguing, until they got off at one of the tram stops (which, apparently, was also one of their arguments since they had doubt wheter to get off now or later).
Once they were out of sight, I was pondering to myself. It's nice that these teenagers, in spite of their deafness, can get along with their lifes like other, 'normal', teenagers. They possess confidence. They feel equal. They are fully aware of themselves and their surroundings, without embarrassment of their lack of oral or audio capability.
I like that. And I would love to see more physically-challenged people who have the same independence.

'Play Artist'

There's sooo much I can write about but there's sooo little time to do it. It always happens like that, doesn't it. Let's see what I haven't done writing: our trip to The Ardens, where we (the whole 20-ish people) stayed in an old small castle. A summary of a lecture by Donald Norman, which I attendded last Monday (I'm getting on it, though). A short text for the BEOS T-shirt (Adep and Motulz are waaaiiiting). Oh, and I still have to scan many pictures, at least from the last 3 rolls of films.

What I have done was: submitting my work to Mirjam at De Schone Kunsten gallery in Haarlem. I went there after attending the lecture in Delft, so I arrived around two o'clock at the gallery, where Mirjam was already waiting. I showed her what I did, as follows: I selected some drawings from my whole comic diary which represent my home-sickness. Then I went to buy a pile of (recycled, greenish) papers and to a copy shop to make copies of the selected drawings, on the recycled, greenish papers.

I had to wait until the day that our kids were away to their day care, to be able to work on the next step. Which was: cutting the pieces of drawings out of the copied papers and sticking them on another (bigger) piece of (recycled, greenish) papers. Yes, right, I was making a 'colage' (spelling?).

The result is three pieces of A3-sized (recycled, greenish) papers with my colage and drawings and text on it, to accompany the fragments from my old diary. Homesick-ness of food, family & friends, dates, and so on. This work will be presented in that gallery, starting 13 November up to 19 December 2004. Along with the work of real artists (in the form of drawings, paintings, animation, etc.). So, see, I am going to 'play artist' for a while!

The thing is, I can't call myself a professional artist, of course. But now all of a sudden I'll have my work exhibited in a real gallery along with real artists. We even put a price on my 'artwork' just in case someone is interested to buy it. As an art piece. Wow.

So, if you'd excuse me, I'm going to have my stage-fever right now...

Wednesday, November 10, 2004


Me - a Multiply-challenged person - has done something WRONG! Instead of posting a New Journal, it seems like I posted a New Post for EVERYONE!
What a mistake. An embarrasing mistake. Sorry, everyone, it won't happen again. *SIGH*

ps. would anyone be so kind to send me back my text? i'll put it on my journal, for real. thanks.