Sunday, December 31, 2006

Five things you don't know about me (..yet)

Started by Tita, it's my turn now to note these things down.

1. Similar to Venny, I'm the kind of person who won't say anything until am spoken to. In big social functions, I mostly nod and smile, while trying to look occupied by other things such as drawing or reading - as far as courtesy permits.

2. I only had one traffic accident in my life. I was about 10, cycling home from school. At an intersection, when I was crossing, a Toyota Kijang 'pick up' hit me. Not hard, but enough to make me fall off my bike. I didn't feel pain and didn't say anything. The Kijang people (two men) asked me questions and maybe offered to take me home. The scene started to attract onlookers, which only made me more confused. I suddenly pulled up my bike (which wasn't harmed) and sped home, leaving the ring of crowds.
I didn't say anything to anyone about the accident when I got home, but my mother soon noticed a big wound on my left knee. She had to fish out the story from me with difficulties, for I wanted to do was sleeping and forgetting the whole thing (didn't succeed here, did I?).

3. I was a grumpy teenager - well, maybe up to my early 20s, when people thought I was fierce. For instance, I used to be made into the head of girls' 'security section' for an 'orientation period' (for first year students), whose job is mainly to 'discipline' the newcomers.

4. The clubs I joined during my senior high school and university years? I wasn't good at any of them. In the basketball club, I have always been a spare part - not the 6th player but perhaps the 13th or 14th. In the Balinese culture club, I know I can't dance as graceful or as supple as my peers. But nevermind; I've always enjoyed the company and the teamwork.

5. I used to be afraid of my brother. Maybe I still am, on a different level. I still find it difficult to be opiniated, or to speak up my mind freely, partly due to this fact. I think.

It's about one hour approaching 2007 now - shall I continue with a resolution thing as asked by Peter? :)

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Counting my blessings in 2006:
  • I got to go to concerts: Sparks and Strips in Stereo. This kind of things has become a luxury for me since our first child was born, because it's not easy to find a day/night off with these kids around. Then, I got to watch Mirrormask at the opening of Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival (this one is not played in mainstream movie theatres) in one of those 'free' nights of mine.
  • Even more of a novelty: I got to travel by myself to Barcelona! I was invited to give a lecture at the Polytechnic University of Catalunya and stayed there for 2 nights. The lecture itself went for about two hours; the rest was for fun. Once in a while I could really use this kind of selfishness.
  • My family visited us! My father came and spent a couple of days during his trip to Germany and Qatar. My mother and my cousin Chica and her daughter Luna came in summer for a couple of weeks. Those were some memorable moments!
  • It's the final year of my doctoral study. I finally finished my dissertation. Aside from that, I managed to have some of my drawings published as a part of three different books.
  • Sybrand resigned from his two jobs due to our moving plan to Indonesia. His former colleagues held a farewell party especially for us. That was a touching moment, realizing that all those people came only to greet us and wish us a good life in the future.
  • Dhanu and Lindri are growing healthy and happy.

Resolution for 2007:
  • Settle down in Bandung - not only the staying permit of Sybrand and the kids, but also my employment status and such. Start working as much as possible; especially getting used to the university life in Bandung again (it is different from Delft).
  • Get Dhanu and Lindri their dual citizenship rights. Get Sybrand his proper staying permit (temporary stay visa), which is valid for one year.
  • Get Dhanu (and perhaps Lindri) into a decent and affordable (pre)school. I'm honestly still clueless about this, but hopefully can get to know more once we visit the possible options in Bandung.
  • Start building our house on 'the land', using the sustainable housing concept and guideline of my dissertation. Start developing a village- or household-scale waste management system to produce compost or fertilizer. Grow herb or fruit orchard on our land.
  • Keep drawing. Get a good Internet connection and keep blogging.
  • Keep cycling from home to work, like I used to when I was still a student.
  • Back to the habit of swimming everyday. If it's not possible, then at least 2-3 times a week, at Sabuga swimming pool.
This will surely be a busy year.

The Right to Not Read

"By making time to read, like making time to love,
we expand our time for living"

- Pennac

A nice thought to enter 2007. Not that we (I and most of you, my contacts whom I know in person) need encouragement to read, but here's a nice review in the Guardian for a book about the right to not read: Josh Lacey on Daniel Pennac's The Rights of the Reader. From that site, you can download this poster of Pennac's manifesto: the 10 rights that should be granted to all readers (it's full of Quentin Blake's drawings, people! Of course I couldn't resist :D)

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(click to enlarge)

Thanks to the blog of Eddie Campbell, which directed me to this site.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

dMarie Time Capsule

Do you want to know what happened in the world on the day you were born? Try dMarie Time Capsule!
Here's my result:

Thursday, December 28, 1972

News Headlines This Week:

Dec 28 - Kim Il-song, becomes President of North Korea  
Dec 28 - Martin Bormann's skeleton found in Berlin (Hitlers deputy)  
Dec 28 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakhstan/Semipalitinsk USSR  
Dec 29 - T M Smirnova discovers asteroid #4006 Sandler  
Dec 29 - Eastern Tristar Jumbo Jet crashes near Everglades killing 101  
Dec 29 - Life magazine ceases publication  

Songs for 1972

A Horse with No Name

by America

Alone Again (Naturally)

by Gilbert O'Sullivan

I Can See Clearly Now

by Johnny Nash

Me and Mrs. Jones

by BillyPaul

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

by Roberta Flack

The Candy Man

by Sammy Davis, Jr.

American Pie

by Don McLean

Without You

by Nilsson

Baby Don't Get Hooked On Me

by Mac Davis

Lean On Me

by Bill Withers

1972 Prices US
Bread:  $0.25/loaf Richard M. Nixon
Milk:  $1.33/gal US
Vice President
Eggs:  $1.20/doz Spiro T. Agnew
Car:  $3,879
Academy Award Winners

Gas:  $0.36/gal

Best Picture:The Godfather
Best Actor:Marlon Brando
 in The Godfather
Best Actress:Liza Minelli
 in Cabaret

House:  $30,500
Stamp:  $0.08/ea
Avg Income:  $12,625/yr
Min Wage:  $1.60/hr
DOW Avg:    1,020

People born on December 28

1905 - Cliff Arquette Toledo OH, comedian (Charlie Weaver)
1911 - Sam Levenson New York NY, humorist (Sam Levenson Show, Masquerade Party)
1856 - [Thomas] Woodrow Wilson Staunton VA, (28 President-D-1913-21, Nobel 1919)

On TV in 1972

The Mary Tyler Moore Show    All in the Family    Emergency   
The Bob Newhart Show    The Waltons    Columbo   
The Brady Bunch    M*A*S*H    Hawaii Five-0   
The Odd Couple   

Hot New Toys in 1972

Seance    Action Jackson    Odyssey (Odyssey 100)   
Evel Knievel Figures    Hacky Sack    Fashion Plates   
Radio Flyer "Fireball 2000"    World's Greatest Super Heroes    Pong   

Top Books in 1972

The Great Bridge

by David McCullough

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

by Robert C. O'Brien

copyright 1997-2006 dMarie Direct Inc

Friday, December 29, 2006

One, Two, Three Four.. Three Four..

Three Four, 34; my official age starting yesterday (28 Dec). In the morning, when I was still in bed, the kids came to me, each with a package in his and her hands. Dhanu said, "I know it's your birthday!", while Lindri just said, "Presents!". These are pre-presents, according to Syb, because more will come much later (he's still ordering them.. heehee).
Dhanu handed over the present from Syb: a live show DVD of Jonathan Richman. Yay! We went to his show in Amsterdam a couple of years ago and I enjoyed it very much; an honest, pleasant and funny performance. The rest are presents from my mother-in-law: complete DVDs of British comedy series: Fawlty Towers, Yes Minister and (the Best of) Dad's Army. All my favourites!

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There was no cake and no candles to blow, for I am usually the one who go out and prepare them. Sybrand is already so busy packing (and a bit ill as well) so he couldn't prepare those for me, but he did a lot already. In the mid-day I took Lindri to the station to meet Anin; we're going to have a girls' day out! It was exactly lunch time so we walked rightaway to Zeedijk, dropping by New King for some sui kiau (shrimp dumpling) soup, shrimp-sesame toast, kangkung with beef and stuffed aubergine in black bean sauce.

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New King
Zeedijk 115-117
Tel: +31 (20) 6252180

open Mon-Sun 11.30 to 24.00

Fed, warmed and happy, we moved on to the direction of Nieuwmarkt. We entered Henk comics shop; I wanted to see if they have the 10th (and the final!) volume of Samurai Executioner series, but they didn't. The shop was full of boxes to be unpacked, the contents registered and displayed, so we couldn't spend too much time in there (which was not easy, because everytime I'm there I always want to linger and devour all the action figures over there with my eyes!).
Passing De Waag, we walked straight down the street of Kloveniersburgwal; the canal on our left handside. It wasn't raining and, although cloudy, the temperature was not too cold. Lindri walked along happily and even laughed out loud whenever I and Anin, who held her hands, lifted her to 'fly' at every intersection.

Next stop: the Book Exchange, shop specializing in used English books. This place has been my favourite second-hand bookshop since I first set my foot in, nearly 8 years ago. Anin was looking for some light reading materials to pass the New Year's Eve, so I showed her the novels section. I and Lindri browsed the children's book and comics section (where Lindri found a Noddy book and I Mad's Dave Berg Looks at Modern Thinking and a 1982 edition of Totto-Chan) and the cookbook section (where I found a Bourdain book: A Cook's Tour). I couldn't spend too much time in the basement (sections of sociology, fantasy, biography, gender studies, etc.) because Lindri was getting impatient. Anin found 2 books for herself, and we paid on our way out. Those books I and Lindri picked? Less than 15 Euros for the whole lot! Not bad at all..

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the Book Exchange

Kloveniersburgwal 58

1012 CX Amsterdam

Tel: +31 (20) 6266266


Mon-Sat 10.00-18.00

Sun 11.30-16.00

In one of the facades of University of Amsterdam complex, a couple of book kiosks were also opened for business. "Cookbooks and Dutch-Indies", was written on a board, directing us to their spots. Interesting, old and new cookbooks were displayed on wooden tables. I can't help noticing a hardback Larousse Gastronomique, still in its plastic wrappers, priced at 70 Euro (so it's actually not much cheaper here compared to, for example, the New English Bookshop). Another big table displayed various books from the Dutch-Indies era: fictions, picture books, children's books, recipes, etc. Some were priced as antiques, reaching up to hundreds of Euros. I almost bought a picture book about plantations in the Dutch-Indies, with complete photos, priced at about 16 Euro, but I recalled my mother has one already (with incomplete photos, bought at De Slegte). This one was really a good copy, I was really tempted - but in the end I decided not to buy it. Well, it was a pleasant 'window-shopping'..

On to the direction of Muntplein, passing the De l'Europe hotel. We aimed to go to the American Book Center (ABC), which just moved to its new location at the Spui. Here Lindri started getting tired so I carried her along Kalverstraat. Before turning left to Spui, we stopped by the windows of Waterstones to feast our eyes on the new books that were sold on bargain prices. Too bad we were just from the 2nd-hand shop, so the prices are incomparable. On to the ABC!

The new shop of ABC used to be a showroom for piano (and maybe some other musical instruments); which never seemed to be inhabited. It is totally different now; the interior - dominated by wooden elements - gives a warm atmosphere, but not dull, because the design is quite dynamic. The ground floor (magazines, best sellers, etc.) was full of people, so we went to the first floor (travels, children's, comedy, comics, etc.) where we spent most of our time. I quickly looked for the Samurai Executioner #10 and I got it! *does Snoopy dance* I also looked for Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things, which was easy to find. There it was, a hardback with beautiful semi-transparant, thin cover, priced at about 26 Euro. Hmph.. I'd better wait for a paperback version. All sections were full of people and it wasn't pleasant anymore for Lindri who was already tired. I'll surely be back once more to explore the whole shop some other day, without any toddler. I took Lindri to the children's section, where we could browse many books. She liked that. After reading two books with Lindri, I paid my purchase and we left the shop. Lindri was 'alive' again upon hearing our next plan: get some ice-cream!

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American Book Center

Spui 12

Tel: +31 (20) 6252180

Mon-Sat: 10.00 - 20.00 (Thu until 21.00)

Sun: 11.00 - 18.30

Too bad the Tokyo Cafe at the Spui is closed until January, so we couldn't get our green tea or kidney beans ice cream. We walked to Kalvertoren Shopping Center, our minds set to the small Häagen-Dazs cafe that is located at the Singel part of the shopping center. As expected, the seats inside were all occupied. Fortunately, after ordering, we could sit on one of the two small tables outside the cafe, where we felt like sitting in the middle of the streams of shoppers and passers-by. I had a portion of chocolate and vanilla caramel brownie ice cream with warm brownie pieces, chocolate sauce and almond slices; Anin a seasonal fig ice cream with chocolate sauce, shortbread and crushed mixed nuts. I was about to share my brownies ice cream with Lindri but she refused upon the dark, hideous sight of the portion, so I ordered one scoop of strawberry cheesecake ice cream for her. She's quite content with it.

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Singel 457
1012WP Amsterdam

Once the ice cream was finished, we continued walking to the tram stop in front of V&D and took a number 16 to Heinekenplein. We reached home at about 15:45, where we could rest and chat, while Syb and Dhanu went to the doctor (their appointment was at 16:00). At about 17:00 Syb and Dhanu came back, bringing the doctor's recipes for their medications. I and Anin departed again, this time to our local pharmacy as the main direction.

It was already dark outside, but not colder. We walked through Albert Cuyp marketplace, which surprisingly was still open (perhaps because it's Thursday, koopavond, where stores are opened until around 20:00). We turned left at the intersection with Ferdinand Bolstraat, passing by a road that used to have tram rails (but not anymore since the construction of an extended subway tunnel) and now has become a pedestrian and cycling area. I was the last customer at the pharmacy; they were preparing to close down the shop when we were about to leave. We walked up the Ferdinand Bolstraat again to the direction of Heinekenplein, stopping by Sari Citra for some dinner (it's my birthday, I don't have to cook.. heehee). Just some chicken sate, fried Javanese noodles and some mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower and carrot) were enough for Syb and the kids, for I was still full from all the daytime eating. Anin chose an ote-ote for her trip back to Delft. We said bye near the tramstop of Heinekenplein (thanks for the fun day, Anin!), then I went home to feed my familiy. Later that night, when the kids were already in bed, we enjoyed one of my birthday presents: the Jonathan Richman liveshow! 19 songs, typical Richman, plus interviews. Very pleasant, and even funny.

I thank you all for the greetings I received through email, e-cards, Multiply and phone calls. Those really helped me get the 'birthday' feeling, which I was lack of due to the many celebrations that just happened (Sinterklaas, Dhanu's birthday and Christmas) and stuff that still should happen (packing and moving business, public defence preparations and such). It was one of my most modest but memorable birthdays! :D

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dhanu's 6th Birthday

Sunday, 17 December 2006: Dhanu had his 6th birthday. We celebrated first at home, as soon as he woke up. Then in the afternoon his friends came and they played until around five o'clock, when one by one was picked up by their parents.
The next day, Dhanu celebrated his birthday at school. I asked his teacher to take some photos. The last four photos are extras, capturing Lindri's switch from angry-stubborn to timid-sweet within only a couple of minutes. She just has to show her rebellious side sometimes.

Dinner at Chikako's

We were invited to dinner by Chikako as a farewell present. During the farewell party for us that was organized by Sybrand's former colleagues some weeks ago, when people kept giving us presents, she came to offer this kind of gift. "A present should be something you can cherish your whole life. It should be a pleasant memories you have here in Amsterdam, instead of disposable products". So here we are; having a great time of our lives at Chikako, Ivo and Mia's place. Thanks so much!

This is It!

After more than five years of work and play, travel and stay, agony and bliss, I can finally present this book! All I have to do now is defending my dissertation publicly; to be scientifically responsible for the contents of the book and relevant issues. But it is, of course, only a small beginning of my actual contribution for Indonesia.

So here they are; a sneak preview for you. Design and lay out of the main book, the booklet and the invitation are by Yvo Zijlstra) .

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The front and back cover of the dissertation.

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The front and back cover of the booklet, a supplement for the dissertation (it's an illustrated guideline).

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The invitation card, also a bookmark, both sides.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Early Birthday Treats (Comics Publications)

Here's some cheering up for myself towards the end of the year, when my nerves should be stressed by all the business of dissertation completion, packing and moving overseas and emigration documents: my drawings got published in three books!

40075km Comics
I got directed by Joost Pollmann's Blog to the 40075km-comics site, where everyone was invited to upload his/her graphic works (comics, illustration and all visuals) on the site - as long as it has the theme "travelling". Well, my (earlier) diary is mostly about travels, so I could upload some of my travelling episodes there. This site is managed by Employe Du Moi (in English: Do It Yourself), a group of young comics/visual artists in Belgium.
After one year of online publication (and a couple of exhibitions in Brussels), the 40075km Comics organizer decided to pulbish an anthology of selected works. Two of my entries were chosen: my Finland trip and my football comics (a nomination in Goethe Institute Jkt comics competition).

An excerpt from an email I received from the organizer of how to get the book:
40075km comics, 597 pages in color for 29,50 euros. It will be available in Belgium in December and in January in France and Switzerland.
1. Come to l'employé du Moi, 51 rue de l'Insstruction, 1070 Brussels, please ring before you come +32 3453076
2. Wait for the public event that we will organize in Brussels in December (we don't know where and when yet)
3. Come and see us in Angoulême (France) in January 2007, please place your order by sending an email so we know how many books we'll have to bring with us.

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The 40075km Comics anthology, taken from the website of l' employé do moi

24 Hour Comics Day at Lambiek
As some of you've already known, I participated in the 24 Hour Comics Day event last October, joining the others at Lambiek. Lambiek is going to publish all participants' works - except the ones made by Cutie guys (the works of the Cutie group will be published by Bries - a small publisher in Antwerp, Belgium).

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Cover of 24HCD of Cutie that is published by Bries

24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2006
This morning I received the news that my 24HCD story got selected for the Highlights 2006! What a surprise! This year they only chose 10 works (instead of the usual 24) out of hundreds of entries. I'm so flattered by the appreciation :D
"The book is listed in the new issue of Previews hitting comics shops this Wednesday (page 208), and will ship in March." - an email excerpt from Nat Gertler, founder/organizer of 24 Hour Comics Day and editor of 24 Hour Comics Day Highlights 2006

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Cover of the 24HCD Highlights 2006, taken from 24HCD Blog

These news are surely cool birthday presents for me! And thanks to you all family and friends who have been encouraging me!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bali: A Suspicious Paradise?

A couple of friends just came back from their one-week stay in Bali. The husband, who is a colleague at my research group, attended a conference in Nusa Dua. Never having been to Bali before, and upon recognizing the reputation of Bali as a Paradise on Earth, he took his wife along to spend some relaxing days in the Island of Gods. Naturally, they asked my recommendations to everything; where to eat, what to see, where to visit, things to do, etc. (to which I provide, thanks also to my cousin and friends' suggestions and blogs about their recent visits to Bali). All things set; Oguzhan and Emine brought a list of recommendations from me, departed to Bali and came back a couple of weeks ago.

I didn't get the chance to talk with Oguzhan about his adventures in Bali until a couple of days ago, when we had lunch at the school's cafetaria. Surely he expressed their pleasure of the island; the food and the culture, the scenery and the people. But there are also some unpleasant happenings..

The first evening
They spent two days in Hong Kong (also for fun) before entering Bali. As soon as they reached their hotel in Nusa Dua, they wanted to go out for dinner. They called a taxi and (without using my list) told the driver to take them to a decent eating place. That means nice place, good food and reasonable price - but what they get was the opposite. In the end, they had to spend around 60 Euro(!) for their lousy food, an even worse service, and an unpleasant eating place. Disappointed, but very wary from the trip, they didn't want to make this predictable scam a case and decided to use my list from then on.

I gave Oguzhan a telephone number of Putu (as recommended by a cousin), who offers his car and his service to drive visitors around Bali for a very reasonable price. Another phone number is of Putu's brother, Surya, just in case Putu is not available. So the next day Oguzhan dialed Putu's number and asked if his transportation service is available.
Putu said he's fully occupied, but he'll ask someone else. 'Is it your brother Surya?' Oguzhan asked. No, another person', Putu said, 'He'll call you immediately'. Oguzhan waited for five, ten minutes.. half an hour.. then a full hour passed. He dialed again, 'Where is the person who's supposed to call us?' At the other side of the line, Putu replied hastily, 'OK, now he's calling you'.

Indeed, a person called and told Oguzhan that he would drop by soon. As soon as they met, Oguzhan explained to him (perhaps his name is Karna or Kurnia or something like that - let's just call him Karna) about places he wanted to go to. 'But Karna has an attitude', Oguzhan explained to me, 'Everytime I pointed out that I would like to go to Menega, for example, he rightaway argued: Nooo, no, I know a better place, don't go to Menega, it's no good, believe me!' 'But I want you to take us here and nowhere else!' Oguzhan exclaimed - and still Karna insisted that he would take them somewhere else. Oguzhan was taken aback by this attitude and started to despise Karna, but still asking the price of his service. It's twice the price of Putu's. 'That's it', Oguzhan continued telling me, 'Even if he asked for half of what Putu offered, I wouldn't use his service; he's such a jacka$$ and I wanted to rid him off my face immediately! Please say sorry to your cousin.'

The next day, Oguzhan just used his luck. He called a random taxi in front of his hotel and told the driver, 'Listen, we are going to need your service to take us around where we want to. If you do your job well and if we are happy, we are going to hire you again tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after, and the next, and the next.'
Oguzhan said, the more he mentioned 'the next day', the brighter the taxi driver's eyes seemed to sparkle. It turned out that Yoga, the driver, did his job well and Oguzhan and Emine were happy with his service. So happy that on the last day, before departing back to The Netherlands, they left him a huge sum of money, with a jokingly-serious message, 'Please take this and use it for your children. Promise, don't spend it on yourself but use it for your kids. If you use it for yourself, we're taking the money back!'

Menu vs Menu
Oguzhan was surprised that wherever they went to eat, they were always given the 'tourist menu' - as opposed to 'local menu'. He thought it's just the language that's different, but a little later he found that the prices are also different (one with IDR, another with USD). In their last few days in Bali, he always asked for the 'local menu'.
On one hand, I understand that there can be a diversion of prices for local and foreign tourists in the case of hotel rooms. But - never having had a similar experience in a restaurant anywhere I went - on the other hand I was also wondering if this is normal.

Besakih 'Priest'
One of the days, they went to Besakih Temple. There was hardly any other tourist around, and they were accompanied by a man wearing an outfit that gave an impression that he was a priest of the temple. After walking around for about 15 minutes, my friends were ready to leave. Naturally, the 'priest' asked for some money. At the moment, all they had was one bill of 100.000 IDR. Oguzhan told the man, 'This is all I have with me, so please don't take it all, because I still have to pay our driver'. The 'priest' started to haggle, whined, acted upset, then begged.. but was finally subdued and gave 50.000 IDR back to Oguzhan. That was still way too much for what he did! But, as said before, my friends didn't let these things ruin their holiday and disregard this unpleasant scene.

Perhaps Oguzhan could sense my embarrassment, which I couldn't help feeling, eventhough I know he's telling these stories not to discredit Balinese or Indonesian people. He said it himself, 'Please don't take this as a scorn to your fellow countrymen. These tourist rip-offs are everywhere. I mean, you can also find it in Turkey, even twice as bad. But really, I thought being a Turkish made me street-wise enough to deal with these things. Apparently not. I'm really an alien in Bali!'

Still, their experiences (which, most likely, were also experienced by thousands of foreigners) in Bali lead me to think about the lack of Indonesia's competitiveness in tourism business compared to our neighbouring countries. We are not capable yet to provide trust and safety, and the fact that the majority of our people are still hungry (and greedy) does not help improve the situation either. I don't know how else to close this journal entry except by asking, 'What can we do now?' to prevent further embarrassment..

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Who Wants Cards?

Yesterday (Saturday 8 Dec) I participated in a Kerstmarkt at AHC, selling these hand-drawn greeting cards. I have a lot of the 12 series left (square with colourful background, colour-copies); 4 of the snowman series and 15 of the riendeer series left (the snowman and reindeer series are hand-drawn on thick art paper - so no two are identical - and are actually postcards).

I put them up here in a festive mood and am willing to send you one of your choice at no charge (just pm me your postal address). The snowman and reindeer cards are unique, so I'll give them away on the first-come-first-served basis. Hope you like them :)

p.s. I'm taking requests this week only and will start sending them out Monday Dec 18th.
p.p.s. Drawings of the 12 series are sticked on papers/cards with different colours, so what comes to you might have different background colour from what you see in this album.

NOTE: The postcards series, snowman and reindeer, are no longer available. You can only choose from the first twelve cards with colourful background.


Thursday, December 7, 2006


I was really stuck with work until later today, when my manuscript finally went to the designer who will send it to the printer tomorrow morning. That's done, but there's many more to do before the big day. Anyway, now it's time to blog.

So, pakjesavond was just over. Sinterklaas' birthday was last Tuesday, Dec 5th; Lindri could go to Doenja (her daycare) for a short party (only until 11:30) but Dhanu's school was cut short - until 12:00 (instead of the usual 15:00). After picking up Lindri, Syb and Lindri joined me at Dhanu's school before going home together. We had to meet up someplace because the kids needed to make photographs for their visa applications (this time Dhanu was already familiar with the lights and cameras so he didnn't make any fuss, while Lindri was rightaway eager and happy to be photographed). That done, we went through the day as usual..

Approaching dinner time, Dhanu got more and more excited. He kept asking, "Shall we sing our songs now? So Sinterklaas and his Piets can come?". The same answer he received ("After dinner, Dhanu") didn't stop him from repeating his questions every ten minutes it almost drove us nuts.
Dinner started at 18:00 usual, but ended quicker than ever (we had meatballs, potato balls and haricotverts) - mainly due to the absence of the kids' fuss over their food. Everything went down quickly. After I was done with dishes, Dhanu started his broken-tape questions again, which didn't last long because it's near 19:00 already. We made space in the living room as if someone was going to visit; putting some toys aside: Lego and puzzles back in the box, cars and trucks parked neatly on the table, trains and their rails set aside so not to trip anyone who might pass in a hurry. Our big bed, which also functions as a play ground in the day time, was prepared to accommodate the four of us sitting and singing.

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Dhanu and Lindri waiting for Sinterklaas to pass by

The course of the evening actually went similar to last year's. Although, this time we were prepared with a CD of Sinterklaas songs to sing along. Silly me, I should have printed out the lyrics from the Internet or something - but since I didn't, I only sang parts of songs that I know (which is not much).
When we started, Dhanu all of a sudden became very sweet and patient. No more of those repeated inquiries. Neatly seating himself on a big pillow, he said, "I know all the songs, I've learned at school, let's start singing!" And he really did sing seriously. Lindri, on the other hand, was rolling and kept positioning herself upside down on the bed, doing acrobatic tricks while yelling, "Sinterklaas! Swarte Piet!". It's really never easy to contain her when she's in one of these moods.

After seven or eight songs, Syb slipped into the back room through the door that leads to the toilet. He sneaked into the kitchen that leads back to the living room, and - without revealing himself - started throwing pepernoten and strooigoed. That was so loud! All those hard candies hitting the floor, our glass table, the tv set, and everything! The look on Dhanu's face was priceless: excited and happy - but cautious. He kept singing (alhtough a bit softer) while keeping an eye on the kitchen entrance. Lindri was rightaway busy pointing at the strooigoed shower and yelling, "Look! There it goes! Another one! And again!".
Syb, who's done throwing the strooigoed, quickly returned to us through the door he went from and asked Dhanu, "What happened?! I heard noises, what was that?!". Dhanu stopped singing and started explaining that Swarte Piet just dropped by. "Let's catch him!" Syb said, then we went to the dark kitchen entrance. We acted surprised when we found our laundry basket (a big woven rattan basket) in the middle of the kitchen with its lid on. "The Piet left this basket here! Come on, he mustn't be far!". We continued our hunting to the back room, where we could feel a cold breeze from a half-opened balcony door. "He went through that door! Hurry, let's see if he's still around!". Lindri ran along with us and seriously looked for the Piet, but Dhanu was more cautious. He went along slowly while examining his surroundings, to make sure that he got no unpleasant surprises.
"Well, it seems like Swarte Piet has escaped really quick. Shall we just see what he brought for us?" We walked back to the living room, passing the kitchen to bring along the heavy laundry basket. The kids positioned themselves on the big bed, sitting pretty. As soon as I removed the lid from the basket, the kids craned their necks to take a peek inside. They could easily see the presents and were bouncing in their seats. This year, only Dhanu and Lindri got presents from Sint in this house, so I told Dhanu to find the letter D or L on each package, that showed which package belonged to whom. They sat patiently, yet eagerly, waiting for their turn to get the presents.

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The steamboat of Sinterklaas

Time flies (we were definitely having fun). Lindri happily hugged her 'dog' (actually a Duplo container shaped like a dachshund) and played with her sticker rolls and Looney Tunes sticker boxes (she's crazy about decorating rooms, furniture and things with stickers - it's evident from our apartment's interior). She also got a giant Little Mermaid pen, a Little Mermaid puzzle, a Mickey Mouse racing car that contains candy and a Pucca DVD. Others are a set of mini sea creatures - Dhanu got a similar set, but a dinosaurs one.
Other than that, Dhanu got a small box of Lego (a pirate, a shark and a treasure chest - he liked this a lot), Cars frisbee and sticker box set (which weren't very impressive) and Panic in the Prairie comic book. He also got a giant box of Lego (containing 800 pieces!), but the ultimate present was yet to come: an Exo-Force! He giggled endlessly while unwrapping the package and chanted "I have an Exo-Force! I like Exo-Force! I really wanted this and I've let Sinterklaas know and I've been good and he listened!" The innocence of a young child just might break your heart sometimes.

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A quick kiss while waiting for Sint to come by

Things quieted down after all presents were unwrapped. Dhanu and Lindri were busy playing with their new stuff. After started to get tired from sticking stickers on boxes of toys and my arms and face, Lindri wanted to watch Pucca. Dhanu absolutely started constructing his Exo-Force with the help of Syb. We were not too strict about their bedtime that night, but they apparently couldn't keep themselves awake longer than usual. Lindri fell asleep on the big bed before Pucca ended. Dhanu was half asleep while playing with his finished Exo-Force.
After putting both kids on their own beds and all torn wrappers in the laundry basket, we had the quiet night of our own again. There goes another Sinterklaas celebration, perhaps our last one in this house. It could actually turned soothing and relaxing, but we could forget about that because I was catching a deadline. So, back to work, people!

ps. Relevant photos will be uploaded as soon as they are ready

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

Photos from the day we chased Sinterklaas who 'just came from Spain with his steamboat'. A complete story can be found here (in Indonesian).

Taste of Culture [Kopdar Mini di Amsterdam - 2]

[sambungan dari bagian-1]

Dari Leidseplein, kami masuk ke sebuah jalan kecil (Korte Leidsedwarstraat) yang kanan-kirinya dipenuhi tempat makan. Mulai dari ujung (dari arah Leidseplein) terdapat Häagen-Dasz dan Burger King di sisi kiri, serta Bulldog Coffeeshop dan Sports Café di sisi kanan. Makin masuk ke dalam, kami serasa mengelilingi dunia: terdapat restoran2 Italia, Argentina, Yunani, Meksiko, Cina, Turki, dan sebagainya. Setelah mencapai perempatan, sedikit jalan lagi di sisi kiri akan ditemukan sebuah restoran bernama Taste of Culture.

Pintu masuknya sederhana, tidak seperti entrance restoran2 lain di jalan itu, sampai2 terlewat oleh saya (mungkin juga saya yg berjalan terlalu cepat karena sudah lapar). Dari luar pintu memang sudah bisa terlihat bagian dalam restoran yg berkesan ringkas tapi nyaman. Begitu masuk, memang benar suasananya terasa 'rumahan' - baik elemen interiornya maupun aroma yg tercium dari dapur, yg terletak dengan pintu terbuka di ruang sebelah. Meja penerima tamu di bagian depan dilengkapi dengan pengukus bambu berdiameter sebesar tampah, berisi nasi hangat. Dinding2 restoran dipenuhi lembaran2 karton bertuliskan aksara cina (yg saya duga sebagai daftar menu); selain itu hampir tidak ada dekorasi lain.

Kami dipersilakan duduk di meja utk 4 orang, di mana saya bisa melihat ke arah lemari dapur yg penuh berisi bumbu2 dan bahan makanan. Saat itu pengunjung restoran (termasuk kami) telah memenuhi sekitar 80% dari semua meja yg ada. Kita tentu ingat pedoman, "Jika sebuah restoran dipenuhi pengunjung yg aslinya berasal dari daerah khas restoran tsb, hampir bisa dipastikan bahwa tempat ini menghidangkan masakan otentik yang enak". Nah, demografi pengunjung Taste of Culture pada malam itu pun terlihat demikian, sehingga tentu saja kami memiliki harapan tinggi terhadap hidangan restoran ini.

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Vonny yang pernah dua kali ke sini berpesan supaya kami tidak memesan supnya. Kami langsung memesan hidangan utama berupa kombinasi panggang2an (pecking duck, crispy pork dan panggang merah), belut goreng saus madu, dan mixed dim sum sebagai pembukanya. Baru saja kami selesai memesan, Vonny melirik ke sebuah hidangan yg baru diantarkan ke meja sebelah: satu porsi sayuran hijau yg tampak segar. Kami panggil seorang pelayannya, seorang gadis muda yg ramah, utk menanyakan hidangan tersebut. Ternyata memang tidak tertera di menu, dan si pelayan bergegas masuk dapur utk kembali lagi membawa petikan mentah sayur tsb. Karena penasaran, kami memesan juga masakan ini - yang belakangan (thanks to Venny) baru saya tahu bahwa namanya dou miao (snow pea shoots).

Dim sum datang pertama kali: sebuah piring berisi 2 prawn dumplings, 2 siomay, 1 lumpia mini dan 2 pangsit goreng yg ditata di atas suwiran lettuce. Rasanya cukup pantas, tapi tidak istimewa. Belut goreng segera menyusul. Ternyata ini adalah menu juara malam ini! Potongan2 belut besar tsb berlapis tepung yg sangat renyah dan tasty, digoreng kering hingga melengkung membentuk 'gelang'. Dihidangkan di atas piring panjang dengan siraman saus yang madunya terasa samar, sekaligus gurih-manis dengan aroma daun ketumbar dan stone leeks (semacam daun bawang) yg ditata di atasnya. Kombinasi dari belut goreng yg renyah dan saus yang wangi dan agak pedas (karena taburan irisan cabai merah) benar2 berpesta dalam mulut sejak suapan pertama hingga sapuan terakhir hidangan ini dari piringnya. Kami tak sungkan terus2an memuji sang juru masak, baik melalui si pelayan maupun langsung kepada si koki yang beberapa kali berjalan mondar-mandir antara dapur, storage dan ruang makan.

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Ternyata belut itu bukan kejutan terakhir. Saya yang belum pernah makan dou miao (tertulis tau miu pada bon) langsung jatuh cinta pada sayuran ini di kecapan pertama. Dedaunan yg hanya ditumis dengan bawang putih ini nampak hijau segar, dengan irisan kasar bawang putih bertebaran di sela2nya. Teksturnya yang pas - tidak selemas bayam, tidak sealot kangkung - benar2 memanjakan lidah. Seratnya terlihat menawarkan tantangan, namun segera menurut ketika digigit.
Kombinasi panggang2an dihidangkan dalam wadah semacam hot pot, sehingga tingkat kelembabannya melebihi hidangan serupa di restoran2 lain yg menyajikannya dalam piring ceper. Namun begitu irisan2 dagingnya masih berhasil mempertahankan bagian2 crispy mereka. Bumbu meresap dengan baik pada daging; sayuran (sawi hijau) dan kuah yg mengendap di dasar wadah ini rasanya lembut (delicate), namun cukup tasty.
Nasi putih pun dihidangkan dalam wadah hot pot serupa. Saya yang tadinya berniat tidak makan terlalu banyak nasi putih 'terpaksa' mengambil secukupnya untuk menyapu saus belut goreng - yang rasanya sayang betul bila disisakan. Namun tetap saja kami bertiga tidak sanggup menghabiskan semuanya. Saya kebagian membawa pulang sisa dou miao dan kombinasi panggang2an.

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Ketika kami meninggalkan restoran (lewat pk. 22:00), ruang makan sudah agak sepi. Staf restoran dan jurumasak terlihat mulai makan malam di salah satu meja, sehingga kami berkesempatan untuk berterima kasih sekali lagi pada mereka. "Kami akan kembali lagi lho!" kata Vonny, yg juga sudah kepincut dengan belut gorengnya. Makan bertiga, puas dan kenyang dengan 4 macam hidangan tsb, menghabiskan 52,75 Euro.

Kami berjalan2 sebentar sepanjang Leidsestraat - yang masih hingar bingar meskipun sudah mendekati pukul sebelas malam - untuk melancarkan jalannya pencernaan. Tapi sebelum benar2 beranjak pulang, kami menyempatkan mampir di Häagen-Dazs utk menikmati es krimnya sebagai pencuci mulut. Terima kasih sekali lagi utk Vonny dan Herry, yg telah menjadi teman2 yg menyenangkan dalam berburu makan enak malam itu!

Taste of Culture
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 139
1017 PZ Amsterdam
Tel +31 (20) 4271136
kitchen open 05.00pm-01.00am, Fri-Sat till 03.00am
reviews at

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Friday, December 1, 2006

Cemilan Berat [Kopdar Mini di Amsterdam - 1]

Selasa malam, 28 Nov 2006

Cuaca kali ini sedang sangat bersahabat: tidak ada angin dingin, tidak ada hujan. Hanya udara sejuk yg nyaman di tengah2 gelapnya malam musim dingin. Hawa yg sangat cocok utk berjalan2 di luar sambil menikmati berbagai makanan penghangat badan! Ini lah yang saya lakukan bersama Herry, JSer dari Surabaya yg baru tiba di Amsterdam, dan Vonny, yg sudah berpuluh2 tahun tinggal di Belanda (dan juga pernah kopdar dengan Peter dan saya tahun lalu).

Tadinya kami berencana ke New King (Zeedijk), tapi batal karena menurut Herry dia baru makan siang chinese food juga di Zeedijk. Jadi pertama2 kami ke Hard Rock Cafe dulu di Max Euweplein (utk menuntaskan titipan utk rekanan Herry yg kolektor merchandise HRC), lalu mulai menjelajah Leidseplein dan sekitarnya. Herry bilang dia mau mencicip makanan Belanda, padahal saya dan Vonny sudah terbayang2 menu2 di New King (dan bertekad utk tetap makan chinese food malam itu). Ya sudah, jadi Herry dipersilakan dulu utk menjajal jajanan2 saja.
Vonny langsung menarik Herry ke FEBO, kios pinggir jalan yg menyediakan berbagai cemilan berat di dindingnya. Cemilan berat? Iya, karena di balik pintu2 kecil yg berjajar di dinding itu, tersedia burger dan berbagai gorengan yg umumnya berbahan utama daging dan tepung2an. Dengan memasukkan koin sejumlah harga yg tertera pada sisi masing2 jenis makanan, kita bisa membuka salah satu pintu dan mengambil sendiri cemilan tsb. Atas usul Vonny, pertama2 Herry mencoba bami, yg adalah kumpulan mie, daging dan sayuran yg dipadatkan hingga berbentuk balok, dilapis tepung panir dan digoreng. Setelah itu Herry mencoba kaassoufflé, yg sebenarnya adalah 'bantal' dari bladerdeeg dan tepung panir yg berisi keju leleh, yg juga digoreng deep-fry.

Dari warung FEBO di Leidsestraat tsb, kami bawa Herry ke Leidseplein, di mana terpasang sebuah ice-skating ring temporer. Seperti biasa, di sekeliling ice-skating ring selalu terdapat kios2 jajanan panas-manis; demikian pula yg satu ini. Ada gerobak besar yg menjual oliebolen ('donat goreng' berbentuk bola, bertabur gula halus) dan kawan2nya (ini makanan musiman, hanya ada di akhir tahun utk menjelang tahun baru), stroopwaffel (kepingan wafer tipis yg menangkup karamel kental & hangat), dan poffertjes ('pancake' yg dicetak sebesar kue cubit, bertabur gula halus). Kami memesan seporsi poffertjes, versi yg paling basic (hanya dengan butter dan gula halus). Versi lain adalah dengan tambahan whipped cream dan/atau cherry.
Ketika poffertjes sudah matang, seporsi yg berisi sekitar 18 potong itu kami makan bertiga - dan adalah kewajiban Herry untuk menghabiskan sebagian besar porsi itu, karena saya dan Vonny masih berniat untuk makan 'serius' di restoran yg telah kami sasar sebelumnya: Taste of Culture di Korte Leidsedwarstraat.

[bersambung ke bagian-2]

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Leidseplein di waktu malam, dengan gerobak penjual jajanan hangat (sumber:

Gambar FEBO dari

Christmas Market - Kerstmarkt

Start:     Dec 9, '06 09:00a
End:     Dec 9, '06 6:00p
Location:     Amsterdam
A small chirstmas market where I will also participate (selling handmade greeting cards).

Christmas Market - Kerstmarkt
A cosy day with gluhwein and fun shopping.

Art, Handicraft and Homemade Goodies

December 9th, 2006
9.00 till 18.00

Bring lots of friends and spread the word! See you then.

Lots of love,


Active Health Center
Jacob van Lennepkade 372
1053 NL Amsterdam

Telephone: 020 6123724

Thursday, November 30, 2006

No-bake Lemon Cheesecake

Here's a recipe for people who are clumsy at baking (and are lack of access to a decent oven), like me. I forgot where I got this recipe from and the cake seems to be different everytime I make it, but it never fails to entertain anyone who tastes it :D

Suggestions for improvements are welcome!

For the base:
1 pack digestive cookies (I like the volkoren variation)
1 pack butter (250 gr?)
1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar, if wished

For the cake:
grated peel from 1 lemon
juice from 3 lemons
2 tablespoons (vanilla) sugar
6 sheets gelatine (I usually use Dr. Oetker's), immersed for a few minutes in warm water until tender

4 x 100 gr-pack cream cheese (I usually use Mon Chou), at room temperature
Filling and/or topping, if you wish. I usually add canned mandarine pieces inside the cake and peach pieces for the topping. But if it's the right season, I like using berries as well.

1. Make the base
- Melt the butter and crush the cookies, while adding the sugar
- Mix the melted butter into the cookie crumbs evenly
- Press the mix at the bottom (and sides) of a dish
- Leave in the fridge to cool for (at least) two hours

2. Make the cake
- Heat the lemon juice and grated peel, adding the sugar and the 'weakened' gelatine sheets, mix thoroughly
- Whip the cream cheese in a big bowl
- Add the warm gelatine-juice into the bowl bit by bit, enough only until it forms a thick mass
- Add any filling if you wish. I usually add the mandarine pieces to add texture and taste

3. Complete the whole thing
- Take the cooled base out of the fridge
- Pour the cream cheese mix into the dish
- Arrange any topping, if any, and pour over the leftover gelatine-juice, if there's some left
- Put the dish back into the fridge and wait until the gelatine is set (I usually leave it overnight)
- Done!

Photo: no-bake cheesecake from - mine is usually messy and doesn't look this neat, but the texture seems similar.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Penerbitan Kembali Seri Arman & Ilva

Lambiek, Kamis 16 Nov 2006

Kamis sore itu, setiba dari Delft, saya tidak langsung pulang seperti biasanya, tapi naik tram menuju Lambiek, utk memenuhi undangan peluncuran ulang album seri Arman & Ilva. Album ini terkenal di awal 70an, sejak berupa komik strip untuk surat kabar (1 baris berisi 3 panel) hingga diterbitkan dalam bentuk album. Penulis seri ini adalah Lo Hartog van Banda, dan digambar oleh Thé Tjong-Khing. Saya tiba terlalu awal di Lambiek (setengah jam sebelum acara dimulai), jadi ada waktu untuk bercakap2 dengan Pak Khing (kami terakhir kali bertemu bulan Juni lalu, saat Stripdagen Haarlem) - sambil membantunya memasuk2kan paket album baru + signed artprints (edisi terbatas) ke dalam kantung2 plastik transparan. Di usianya yg ke-74, Pak Khing masih terlihat sangat sehat, bugar dan gembira. Sambil menanda-tangani lembaran2 artworks tsb, ia dengan riang menyapa dan bersenda-gurau dengan teman2 dan kenalan2nya yg berdatangan satu demi satu.

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Dengan Dhanu dan Pak Khing, Haarlem, 3 Juni 2006

Dinding galeri Lambiek masih dipenuhi dengan bingkai2 dari pameran2 sebelumnya. Satu dinding disisihkan utk memajang original artworks Pak Khing utk komik Arman & Ilva. Pada dinding ini pula terbentang sebuah spanduk vertikal, bergambar berbagai ekspresi Ilva, dalam rangka menyambut peluncuran kembali album ini. Dua meja rendah (yg adalah juga 'lemari' tempat penyimpan lembaran2 gambar) di tengah ruang galeri juga jadi tempat memajang original artworks yg disusun di permukaan meja, yg dilindungi oleh lapisan kaca di atasnya.

Galeri terlihat makin penuh saat jam menunjukkan pukul tujuh. Sebagian besar tamu adalah para tokoh cergam di Belanda, baik penggambar, penulis maupun penerbit, dan teman2 lama yg tertarik di bidang ini. Nama Thé Tjong-Khing dan Lo Hartog van Banda memang cukup terkenal sebagai tokoh2 klasik di dunia perkomikan Belanda. Khing yg dulunya pemagang di Studio Toonder membuat Arman & Ilva sebagai seri komiknya yg terakhir. Setelah itu ia beralih menjadi ilustrator utk buku anak2 dan berhasil mendapat berbagai penghargaan tertinggi di Belanda untuk bidang tsb. Sementara Lo Hartog van Banda, yg juga pernah bekerja di Studio Toonder, adalah penulis naskah komik handal; karya2nya yg dikenal di Indonesia antara lain adalah seri Arad & Maya (yg digambar oleh Jan Steeman, yg juga menggarap seri Roel Dijkstra) dan tiga episode Lucky Luke (sepeninggalan Goscinny, yg digambar oleh Morris). Namun pada usia 89 th, Februari 2006 Lo Hartog meninggal dunia sehingga tidak dapat menyaksikan peluncuran kembali album Arman & Ilva ini. Malam ini seorang menantu perempuannya datang utk mewakili dirinya.

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Khing muda

Arman & Ilva sendiri adalah cergam bertema science fiction, digarap dalam format hitam-putih utk keperluan penerbitan di surat kabar. Meskipun naskahnya dituliskan oleh Lo Hartog, Khing berhasil memasukkan gaya dan keunikannya sendiri melalui kontribusinya dalam seri ini. Dengan pengaruh kuat dari sudut pandang film2 layar lebar lawas, Khing banyak menggunakan close up - namun ini juga adalah kelebihannya: ia mampu dengan lihai membuat berbagai macam ekspresi wajah (terutama wajah Ilva, si gadis muda tokoh utama seri ini). Khing pun sering mengambil aktris/aktor ternama sebagai model dalam gambarnya; misalkan Angela Lansbury dalam episode Het spoor dat verdween (= Jejak yang menghilang). Proporsi wajah dan berbagai model karakter pada seri ini, yg digambar dengan garis2 halus-bersih dan diimbangi blocking bayangan tegas, mengingatkan pada gaya komik jenis roman dari Amerika yg juga populer di th 60-an. Namun di luar itu, tema dan setting ceritanya sama sekali berbeda. Khing terlihat sangat menikmati eksplorasinya membuat setting fiksi-ilmiah, melalui bentuk2 bangunan dan peralatan yg melatar-belakangi cerita. Di salah satu episode, Khing bahkan berhasil menciptakan adegan mencekam dengan menggambarkan transformasi seorang gadis kecil menjadi monster. Perubahan dari sosok imut menjadi mengerikan semacam ini adalah sebuah konsep yang belum umum pada masa itu.

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Edisi terbitan ulang Arman & Ilva yang diluncurkan pada malam itu merupakan dua episode yg berjudul De perfecte kringloop (= Jalur lingkaran sempurna) dan Het spoor dat verdween, masing2 disertai kata pengantar dari Hanco Kolk dan Joost Swarte, dua cergamis dan grafikus kenamaan yg masa remajanya dilewatkan dengan membaca Arman & Ilva, beserta halaman2 ekstra yg memuat sketsa dan berbagai catatan dari proses pembuatan seri tsb.

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Khing, kini

Acara malam itu dimulai dengan sambutan dari pihak penerbit, dilanjutkan dengan ucapan ringkas dari Pak Khing, yang secara simbolik menyerahkan satu set kopi Arman & Ilva kepada menantu Lo Hartog. Suasana peluncuran ini sangat informal, seperti halnya acara2 sejenis yg diadakan di Lambiek. Para hadirin yg sebagian besar telah mengenal satu sama lain segera berbaur, sambil menikmati minuman ringan dan kudapan yang disediakan.
Saya sendiri berkenalan dan mengobrol dengan satu dari dua putra Pak Khing yang bersama istri dan kedua anaknya hadir malam itu, juga dengan Peter van Dongen yang baru pindah rumah dan dengan Maaike Hartjes yang beberapa bulan lalu berpartisipasi dalam program ASEF di Singapura (Alfi, dapat salam!). Sayang tak banyak teman2 dan komikus muda lain yg hadir, karena malam itu bertepatan dengan malam perdana pertunjukan teater Gutsman, yg diangkat dari seri komik bisu berjudul serupa karya Erik Kriek. Erik sendiri akan naik panggung dan berpentas memerankan dirinya sendiri (seperti halnya kemunculannya di seri Gutsman), sehingga dengan sendirinya teman2nya sesama komikus hendak menyaksikan aksi panggungnya.

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Dari De perfecte kringloop

Rencana penerbitan ulang seri ini memang telah diajukan bertahun2 sebelumnya, tapi orang yg mengenal Pak Khing pasti mengerti banyaknya pertimbangan yg harus dipikirkannya, sebab ia memang terkenal sangat cermat dalam menjaga kualitas karya2nya. Tentu saja ia banyak mengritisi karyanya sendiri, terutama yg dibuatnya sekitar 30 tahun lalu. Namun kini Pak Khing terlihat puas melihat penampilan edisi baru seri Arman & Ilva ini. Pada peluncuran malam ini baru dua episode yg selesai diterbitkan. Akan ada beberapa episode lagi yg direncanakan utk terbit dalam bulan2 mendatang dan sudah bisa dipesan sejak sekarang.
Makin larut malam, hujan makin deras merata dan anak2 di rumah pasti sudah menunggu, sehingga saya harus berpamitan. Sebelum pulang, Pak Khing sempat menuliskan pesan di dua terbitan Arman & Ilva terbaru untuk saya, masing2 untuk Dhanu ("voor Dhanu, verleer je het Nederlands niet?") dan Lindri ("voor Lindri, dimmen!"), ditanda-tangani atas nama "Opa Lamp" (panggilan Dhanu untuknya). Terima kasih, Pak Khing, dan sekali lagi selamat atas penerbitan ulang seri ini!

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Mengenai Thé Tjong-Khing
Situs pribadi
Visiting Pak Khing - 1
Visiting Pak Khing - 2
Peran Gambar dalam Buku Dongeng Anak

Mengenai Lambiek
Luapan Semangat dan Enerji dari Kerkstraat, Amsterdam

This creeps me out, a bit..

You are the World

Completion, Good Reward.

The World is the final card of the Major Arcana, and as such represents saturnian energies, time, and completion.

The World card pictures a dancer in a Yoni (sometimes made of laurel leaves). The Yoni symbolizes the great Mother, the cervix through which everything is born, and also the doorway to the next life after death. It is indicative of a complete circle. Everything is finally coming together, successfully and at last. You will get that Ph.D. you've been working for years to complete, graduate at long last, marry after a long engagement, or finish that huge project. This card is not for little ends, but for big ones, important ones, ones that come with well earned cheers and acknowledgements. Your hard work, knowledge, wisdom, patience, etc, will absolutely pay-off; you've done everything right.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

p.s. this journal was brought to you by ganes' post

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fettucine with Courgette Cream Sauce

Another recipe without exact measurements (you're free to modify), because I've been cooking this by heart since the first time I found the recipe in my mother-in-law's kitchen pantry.

fettucine or tagliattele (other forms of pasta are applicable as well, but these are my favourites for this dish)
1 clove garlic, minced
4 small shallots, finely chopped
2 average sized courgettes (or zucchinis), sliced into blocks
1 pack MonChou Pan & Oven (cream cheese for warm dishes) - perhaps cooking cream is also applicable
1 block chicken stock, dilluted in 150 ml water
dash of dried Italian herbs
salt and freshly milled pepper to taste

You will also need a kitchen processor, or - even more practical - a hand processor (staafmixer).

1. Prepare pasta according to the directions at the package

2. Heat oil or butter and glaze the chopped shallots and garlic in a deep pan, then put in the courgette blocks. Stir evenly, put the lid on the pan and leave for about 5 minutes.

3. Pour in the dilluted chicken stock and herbs, cook until the courgette becomes tender.

4. Lift the pan from the heat, purée the cooked courgette mix in the pan with a staafmixer until it becomes an even mass.

5. Put the pan back to the heat, then mix in the MonChou and stir until it dissolves evenly into the courgette mass. The sauce should be rather thick. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Serve immediately with the warm pasta. For a more filling meal, serve with grilled chicken fillet.

(Image: from

Friday, November 24, 2006

Krabby Patty

Here's an 'official' Krabby Patty recipe from
(Thanks, Mand!)

2 tbsp. finely chopped onion
2 tbsp. finely chopped celery
4-6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. thyme
1 lb. frozen imitation crabmeat, (defrosted and finely chopped in a food processor)
3/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. mayonnaise (plus 1 cup for dipping sauce)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper (to taste)
3 tbsp. ketchup (for dipping sauce)

Step 1 - Sauté the onions and celery in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the thyme, lower the heat, and cook until the onions are translucent.

Step 2 - In a large bowl combine the crabmeat, sautéed onions and celery, bread crumbs, Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, egg, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

Step 3 - Shape into rounds by using a small ice cream scoop, then gently pat flat.

Step 4 - Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet. Working in batches (2 to 3 crab cakes at a time) place the crab cakes in a skillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. You may need to add more oil for the second and third batches.

Step 5 - Preheat the oven to 400°F. Transfer the crab cakes to the baking pan and bake for 10 minutes. The crab cakes can be kept in a warm oven for approximately 30 minutes, or they may be reheated at serving time. Serve with a kid-friendly dipping sauce. Mix 1 cup of mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons of ketchup.