Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Shebang


09.00 Parents' meeting at Cendekia. News from the foundation: the kids' school will move to Dago Resort area, effective as of February 2008. Lindri's class theme for this semester is Friendship, where a.o. they should each buy gifts for less-fortunate children of their age with their allowance money (they gained the money in the previous semester for performing household works). Dhanu's class theme is Clothing, and as a final project he and his classmates will have to arrange a fashion show at the end of the term.

10.00 School meeting's out, I was on my way to SPACE59 to see PHB exhibition - and to meet Anin! Yaay!

10.30 The PHB exhibition is great! They arrange performances, too - see their schedule for details. Mas Wied said my name is at today's KOMPAS. Gotta buy one. (Later in the afternoon I did, and here's the article: Lihatlah Perempuan Perupa Bandung).
Finally, seeing Anin again! She went around the gallery then we went to the shop where she could buy a Curhat Tita package. We left the premise to go to.. WaLe!

11.00 Setting foot at WaLe again after.. let's see.. about 6 years? (Dhanu was barely 1 year old then). It has changed a lot! We took a table at the far end of the back terrace of the 'old' house (not the extension accross the house), looking at the valleys. Lunch was: baso goreng (fried meatballs), yamin manis spesial (meatballs, tofu-siomay and siomay with the soup), yamin asin spesial, pangsit goreng, cheese cake and srikaya-pandan pudding. Great taste, nice portion; just enough. Pity about the cheese cake for using a mini styrofoam bowl.

12.00 Homewards from WaLe. Thanks, Anin, especially for the hagelslag and AntaFlu! See you soon!

15.30 LiTa, Tine and Reggie (LiTa's son) dropped by home to pick me and Lindri up. We went to Selasar for 'coffee'. The Metissage exhibition was still there. We had a nice chat over glasses of Selasar Sparkle (lemon squash), soda tea, Japanese green tea, strawberry milkshake, bitterballen and cheese and fries with bacon bits and cheese.

17.30 Leaving Selasar to pick up Reggie's grandma at church. The rain started to fall heavily; we could hardly see more than 200m ahead from inside the car. We headed off to Rose Flower, an old Chinese restaurant at Ahmad Yani street for dinner. Lindri fell deep asleep in the car.

18.30 Lindri was forced to wake up when we were entering the restaurant in the midst of rain. Dinner was: kangkung - beef hot plate, udang goreng telur asin, frog's legs in butter sauce, crab in oyster sauce, fu yung hai (omelette in tomato sauce), ginger chicken and babi hong (pork in sweetish sauce). LiTa had to call her brother and her brother's wife, for them to come over and help finishing the food. 

20.00 Reggie left with his uncle and aunt, since he wanted to have a ride on a motorbike. Lucky him the rain has stopped so he got permission from his mother. The rest of us proceeded to Sudirman street, nearby Andir Marketplace intersection. Yup, you got it right: our aim was the highly-acclaimed martabak Nikmat - or, known to us as Martabak Andir.

21.30 A seemingly peak hour at Nikmat; the martabak brothers didn't stop mixing, pouring, lifting and cutting the orders. Lindri was awake, "Yummy pancakes", she said while pointing at the stoves full of bubbling martabak dough. To eat on spot: green thick martabak with cheese, banana, chocolate and peanut pieces. To bring home: crispy-thin martabak with parmesan cheese (mine), thick martabak with sweet corn and cheese and the same green thick variation (LiTa's).

22.00 Off we went, homewards. Thanks, LiTa and family! It's really nice to be a part of your nice bunch!


07.00 Lindri was a bit feverish and was therefore in no condition to go to church. I had to go nonetheless because I was to be introduced to the segregation as a new member of the church (so I was told yesterday). I took Dhanu while Syb stayed home to take care of Lindri.

08.30 I and Dhanu sat at the very front bench. It was a Family Week and the church was unusually decked: sunday school children attended the adult service, and a huge puppet show box was set on stage. The service was very children-friendly with lots of shows and plays.
So, no introducing me, at all (not that I mind).

10.00 Bought two portions of nasi hainam at the church yard after the service, then went to get fries for Lindri.

13.00 Took Dhanu to Sabuga, where I was appointed to be a judge for a couple of competitions among high schools in Bandung. The whole process was finally completed at around 16.00.

16.00 Dropped by McD for some ice cream, which is a sort of reward for Dhanu for walking quite far that day.

16.30 Home, to find Lindri fast asleep on the couch in front of TV (just had a bath, her father said). Dhanu got in bath as well not long afterwards, then had a rest in the living room.

18.00 Dinner time, and perhaps a movie session before bed time. We'll see.

So that was our weekend. How's yours?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

[klipping] Komik Kelar 24 Jam

An article at today's Pikiran Rakyat about the 24 Hour Comics Day in Bandung. My name is mentioned, but (as usual) is followed by inaccurate information.

Komik Kelar 24 Jam 

SABTU (20/10), pukul 10.00 WIB, tanpa bunyi lonceng, dentuman meriam atau tembakan pistol, sekitar 30-an orang mulai mengeluarkan pensil, laptop, cat air, sampai makanan kecil. Mereka siap-siap mengerjakan komik 24 halaman dalam waktu 24 jam yang berlokasi di Space 59 Bandung.

Tapi, tidak semua peserta saat bertemu kertas gambar bisa langsung menuangkan idenya. Masih ada yang perlu melamun mencari inspirasi; ada yang duduk sambil menundukkan kepala, jalan-jalan, membaca buku, membuat kopi, dan mengisap rokok dalam-dalam.

Alam Muanmar, alumni Fakultas Seni Rupa dan Desain Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) tahun 2002 lalu, perlu waktu 5 jam untuk mencari inspirasi cerita dalam komiknya. Padahal, ia menargetkan dalam 1 jam sudah bisa mengerjakan 3 halaman.

”Masih ada masalah dengan mood dan semangat, makanya molor dari target,” ujar kawan yang tahun lalu komiknya masuk dalam antologi 24 hours Comics Day dunia. Komiknya saat itu berjudul Ciuman Pangeran Bukan Untuk Permaisuri.

Tita Larasati, mampu mengerjakan tiga halaman dalam waktu satu jam. Kawan yang sudah bergelar doktor dalam bidang teknik sipil, arsitektur, dan desain interior ini sepertinya sudah bisa menyelaraskan antara ide kreatif, semangat, stamina dan mood.

Dia juga salah satu peserta yang komiknya masuk dalam antologi dunia tahun lalu . Saat itu, ia mengikuti acara ini di toko buku Lambiek, Belanda. Komiknya tahun lalu berjudul Transition.

Antologi 24 Hours Comics Days sebenarnya sebuah antitesa. Antitesa dari fenomena yang baku tentang waktu pembuatan sebuah komik. Adalah Scott McCloud (penulis buku Understanding Comics) dan Nat Gertler (penulis About Comics) menantang masyarakat komikus dunia untuk uji kemampuan dalam membuat komik komplit sebanyak 24 halaman dalam 24 jam.

Dalam kontes ini, penyelenggara tidak membatasi gaya yang digunakan. Ide cerita juga bebas, asalkan bisa mewakili suasana negeri masing-masing.

Pada 2004, tantangan ini pertama kali dimulai dengan peserta lebih dari 500 kartunis yang bekerja di 57 tempat, seperti, Amerika Serikat, Kanada, Korea Selatan, dan peserta individualis dari beberapa Negara lainnya.

Tahun ini, Indonesia untuk kedua kalinya ikut serta dalam kompetisi yang berlangsung di 93 lokasi dari 18 negara dan 31 negara bagian Amerika Serikat. Tahun lalu penyelengaraan acara berlangsung di Jakarta, Bandung, dan Surabaya. Tahun ini Surabaya diganti Semarang.

”Sudah saatnya Indonesia berpartisipasi dalam gerakan komik global, dan acara ini sangat tepat sebagai ajang unjuk diri Indonesia,” tulis panitia penyelenggara yang terdiri dari Pusat Studi Kajian Komik Desain Komunikasi Visual (DKV) ITB dan milis pengajian komik DKV (Bandung) yang tergabung dalam Masyarakat Komik Indonesia (MKI).

Kebiasaan dari acara ini sebenarnya pembuatan antologi komik dunia yang berasal dari karya-karya terbaik peserta di seluruh dunia. Tahun lalu, nama Alam masuk mewakili Indonesia dalam antologi tersebut. Namun, model seperti itu tidak dibuat pada tahun ini .

Menurut Alvanov Zpalanzani, dari Pusat Kajian Komik DKV-ITB, tahun ini ada rencana komik terbaik akan dibuat di dalam negeri sendiri. Ia yakin sudah ada penerbit yang tertarik dengan rencana ini.

Meski ada rencana dibuat dalam bentuk antologi lokal, 47 peserta dari Bandung tidak menampakkan wajah kecewa. Hal itu terbukti dari perjuangan mereka yang membela tidak tidur untuk menyelesaikan komik. Hanya ada 4 orang yang gagal menyelesaikan tepat waktu pada pukul 10.00 di hari Minggu (21/10). ***

agus rakasiwi

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Salute to Azisa!

Yesterday, a post at Komik Indonesia mailing list relayed the news about Azisa Noor's involvement in the 2nd Asia-Europe Comics Project (endorsed by Asia-Europe Foundation or ASEF), which is held in London, UK. Great news! Azisa's works mostly contain surrealistic ambience and dreamy creatures. I find her drawings, details and (especially) colors awesome - not to mention her work ethics, intelligence and personality. She certainly deserves this experience. Congratulations, Azisa, a.k.a Johnny for the DU21 crowd. Do share some stories of your current activities! 

Information about Asia-Europe Comics Project can be accessed at
Alfi, who posted the news about Azisa, was the first Indonesian delegation for last year's project. Here is his profile at ASEF site:

Azisa's profile and drawing samples can be viewed at
Her current drawings are uploaded together with the rest of the ASEF team's at LINGUA COMICA blog: (I recommend you to go there for more than a visual treat: their comics arts are quite stimulating)

Image: Bond by Azisa, taken from her deviantart site

[24HCD] Yang Tercecer dan Yang Berikutnya

Acara global 24 Hour Comics Day baru berlalu, sebagian besar karya sudah dapat dinikmati melalui Internet, baik pada situs tempat berlangsungnya acara maupun situs masing2 peserta. Beberapa komentar menyatakan kurangnya publikasi dari acara ini. Ada benarnya, bila mereka memang tidak memantau berita2 baru dari milis-milis komik yang ada, misalkan milis Komik Indonesia atau Komik Alternatif - atau langsung dari situs 24HCD pusat - yang sudah berbulan2 sebelumnya mengumumkan tanggal berlangsungnya acara ini. 

Bagaimana pelaksanaannya tahun depan? Menurut Nat Gertler (dari About Comics, headquarter-nya 24HCD, pemrakarsa dan editor 24HCD Highlights), ia berharap untuk tidak lagi mengorganisir 24HCD global seperti yg dilakukannya dalam 4 tahun belakangan ini, sebab dia sebenernya kepingin ikutan juga.. hehe.. Penyelenggaraan 24HCD akan ia oper ke orang lain, tapi tidak ke sembarang orang. Ia akan menyeleksi orang2 yg bersedia dan dapat menjamin keaslian ide dan semangat 24HCD ini.
Tanggal 24HCD utk tahun 2008 belum ditentukan, tapi diusahakan agar tidak bentrok dengan acara2 komik akbar lain, hari2 besar, liburan sekolah, dll. Selengkapnya, bisa dibaca di post Nat ttg ini, berjudul Next Year's 24 Hour Comics Day.

Di blog yang sama, disebutkan juga tentang pelaksanaan tahun 2006 lalu yang kebetulan jatuh pada bulan Ramadan, tapi tidak menghalangi para peserta di Indonesia - yang sedang berpuasa - untuk menghasilkan karya2 cemerlang! Cuplikannya: I had indeed scheduled it during Ramadan — which did not prevent the first 24HCD involvement of a predominantly Muslim nation, and some very lovely comics came out of Indonesia on that day. Posting ini adalah untuk meluruskan informasi yang melenceng di situs Selengkapnya bisa dibaca di posting Nat yang berjudul Correcting Misinformation.

Satu lagi dari blog 24HCD. Ketika kami sedang seru2nya mulai menggambar dan meng-upload hasilnya pada tgl 20 Oktober kemaren, ternyata Nat sempat mampir ke situs SPACE59, begini catatnya pada posting-nya yang berjudul The US is trickling on board:
It’s good to see pages from various sites coming online. I was just looking at the Space59 (Indonesia) pages, some lovely stuff, and was happy to find a batch of pages from Tita Larasati in there (she had a great story in the 2006 Highlights book.)
He he.

Oke, selamat bersiap-siap untuk tahun depan!

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Dhanu came to the 24HCD venue in Bandung, at SPACE59 and spent some minutes drawing along with everybody who aimed to finish 24 pages within 24 hours (the finish line was the next day, at 10am). He gave his drawings to Pidi, who indeed requested the drawings.
Pidi came back to the location at around 08.30 in the morning, picked up Dhanu's drawings while saying that he, too, would answer the challenge with Dhanu's drawings - for he still had time, a couple of hours until the deadline. He said he had been thinking about the script the whole night before and he knew what to do for the comics. He cut up the drawings into pieces and stuck them to new pages, making a story.. about an unwanted superhero. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Another 24 pages within 24 hours

Saturday, 20 October 2007

06:00 Waking up after an uncomfortable sleep (Lindri moved into our bed at about 04:00am, followed by Dhanu not long afterwards; leaving me balancing myself at a small edge of the bed until I really woke up)

07:00 Had breakfast

08:00 Preparing to go: checking books, papers, pens, cables and MacBook - all in my black Nomad backpack

08:15 Leaving for SPACE59. Thoriq called on the way, saying he's participating, too. Great! I won't be the oldest one in the room :)

08:45 Arrived at SPACE59, preparing some stuff. The place was fully prepared: desks and seats, carpets, a couple of computers - each with a scanner, Wi Fi facility, water dispenser, plastic cups and tea and coffee.

09:30 People started to trickle in.

10:00 Start the 24 Hour Comics challenge! I knew I worked slower compared to last year, for now I have lots of peers to chat with. Not that I mind, hehe..

11:00 Iput came and was tempted to join, too - and she did. That made 38 people in total from all of us. She sat on the same carpet with me and Thoriq. Snacks were already available. Extra tables and folding chairs were arranged outside for smokers.

12:30 I was at page 6, drawing food all over out of hunger. I scavenged for heavier snacks (thanks to Thoriq for the bacang!). Drawing and chatting proceeded simultaneously.

17:00 Iput prepared to go home and continued working at home until morning. Sybrand, Dhanu and Lindri came to visit and to pick me up. Dhanu ended up drawing insects for Pidi; Lindri drew while sitting on my back (I was laying on my tummy), Sybrand went around to take pictures.

18:00 We went home to have dinner. Dhanu likes his fish very much, but Lindri shook her head after a few bites and left to the living room. She fell asleep not long afterwards, in front of the television. Dhanu resumed playing with his LEGO helicopter until bed time.

19:00 I've got time to draw and upload one page before leaving for SPACE59 again.

20:30 Out of the house, this time also bringing a sleeping bag and two 'pillows' (they look more like dolls)

21:00 Arrived at SPACE59 again. Continued drawing and chatting and being sleepy.

23:00 Seemed like Pidi has gone home (he said he was just going out for food).

Sunday, 21 October 2007

00:30 The spot lights at the ceiling blew off - they couldn't stand their own heat.

04:22 Finished the last page. Sent a message for the blog. Waited for a free scanner, then tried to scan and upload (succeeded, after some trials).

05:00 Tried blogging this minutiae while teasing Thoriq who still had 500 more pages to ink.

The sun has come out again. I'm glad I could finish 24 pages within 24 hours but I'm not to confident with the result - perhaps the wrapping of the story is a bit weak, or I've lost my spontanity at some points. I was distracted a lot too, not only by chatting and snacking, but also by the Internet (this is not a complaint). 

All in all, it was quite pleasant. Especially because I had the chance to see how it went in Bandung (as opposed to in Amsterdam), how these young people behaved (rather sweet, actually) and what came out (mostly brilliant drawings!).

I wonder how our colleagues in Jakarta and Semarang are doing (there was only one update from Jakarta at the 24HCD blog). Look here for the drawings and photos of participants at SPACE59, here for my drawings and some photos, and please click the tag 24hcd (underneath this post) if you'd like to see the result from last year as well.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Another 24HCD for Tita

Here's where I'll upload my drawings in the next 24 hours, for another 24 Hour Comics Day. This time, in Bandung :D Here are my drawings from last year, done at Lambiek, Amsterdam:

Here's where I'll upload my drawings in the next 24 hours, for another 24 Hour Comics Day. This time, in Bandung :D Here are my drawings from last year, done at Lambiek, Amsterdam:

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Lindri was born on October 19th, 2003, at about 22:00. Her birth went well; three pushes within 15 minutes and she's out. A couple of fragments from the day that I'll remember for the rest of my life are:
1) Dhanu, who almost turned three, tried to feed me apple pieces to ease my contraction pains during labor.
2) When I asked the midwife who handed me a bundle of baby right after its birth, "Is it a boy or a girl?", she replied, "Go ahead and see for yourself".
And here's 'the baby' now, all bold and grown, celebrating her birthday in Indonesia for the first time.

This morning we did the family birthday ritual: singing happy birthday, having four candles on a cake, blowing candles, and opening presents. Afterwards, she right away played with her new set of blocks and sticker books. Her adventure will continue this afternoon, when we go out for a treat. Thanks for all the birthday wishes we received through email and SMS and see you later, with more updates!

So, we've just returned from Istana Plaza, a place we've never been to before but recommended by a friend as might be fun for kids (thanks for the tip!). We left at lunch time, so everybody was quite hungry by the time we got there and we went straight to the food court. Dhanu and Lindri both opted for hot dog and fries from Beef Eaters Burger, Syb had kangkung and beef from Mie Hot Plate Singapore and I Singaporean hotplate from the same place, plus some drinks from Mm Juice. After lunch, we explored all toy shops at all floors. They indeed have so many variations that we ended up going up and down the floors at least thrice. After purchasing toys on behalf of Lindri's oma, and a small one for Dhanu, we stopped by for ice cream at Baskins & Robbins before going home.

That was quite a full day; Lindri fell asleep in angkot but was lively again as soon as we got home, finding a birthday package from Jakarta. She occupied herself with all her presents: singing to the mic and playing the musical instruments (from Jakarta), arranging the interior of a mini wooden house (from oma) and composing colorful plastic pieces to match the available patterns (also from oma). Dhanu, of course, 'helped' once in a while, resulting in screaming, laughing and crying (they fight and collaborate, interchangeably).

Many thanks again to you all for the wishes!

Photos of today can be viewed here

24 Hour Comics Day 2007

Start:     Oct 20, '07 10:00a
End:     Oct 21, '07 10:00a
Location:     SPACE59 Bandung
I'm going to participate again in the 24 Hour Comics Day, at SPACE59 Bandung. Those who are interested to join are welcome. Please visit and contact for more info. See you there!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I wish I could draw like..

..this Israeli artist whose work I recently came across again after all these years: Rutu Modan. I have met her in 2002 during Stripdagen Haarlem, one of the biggest comics events in The Netherlands, where her comics group Actus Tragicus participated as well. I and my friends, organizers of Madjoe! Indonesian Comics Exhibition, met them at the opening night of their exhibition at the Fietsznfabriek. The next day we all gathered for drinks at a café somewhere in the center of Haarlem, but I bet she wouldn't remember how I look - nor do I remember how she looked back then (I can't identify her in the photo).

Photo by a journalist who documented the encounter
between Indonesian and Israeli comics artists
during the opening of Actus Tragicus exhibition in Haarlem  

She apparently has moved on much further since that day. Her book Exit Wounds was just published (May 2007) by Drawn & Quarterly, and her column at The New York Times has just come to its last edition. It's the latter work that put me into an awe. The stories are personal yet almost anyone can relate to them; they flow smoothly and are riddled with humor, without compromising their deeper meanings. The drawings contain single lines, human gestures are depicted naturally and objects appear not less lively. The timing between text and graphics is perfect. The soft, warm colors grace the whole compositions, adding charms to the ambience. The entire stories expose a simplicity that indicates intelligence. I sure hope to see much more of her works and be immersed in them again!

An extract from one of her NYT columns   

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A little bit..

During one of my random browsing sessions, I came across an interesting article by Desmond Morris. I've long ago read his books Naked Ape, Human Zoo and The Naked Eye, all of which discuss a zoologist's viewpoints upon human animal (= us!). The first two books explain, among others, why women wear make up, why men are commonly the bread-winner of the family, how hooligans resemble tribe warriors, and so on. The latest discuss more deeply about comparison of cultures, difference in gestures and such. In short, still a captivating study about human animal.

I've become very fond of his writings and therefore was amusingly surprised when I bumped into the article I mentioned about, since it contains the following factors: a) It's written by Desmond Morris, b) It's about food and eating habit (= among my favorite subjects). The article, A little bit of what you fancy, in short points out that "the human species evolved as an omnivore. Eating the widest possible variety of foodstuffs was what gave us our special advantage over our animal rivals. And this is about the only rule that one need apply when sitting down to a meal."
The discussion goes on around the concept and causes of diet, obesity, food taboo and other relevant issues, starting and ending pleasantly with the memory of the arbitrary eating habit of his late mother, who died at the age of 99. Moral of the story? Enjoy life by not being a finicky eater! :)   

Another excerpt: "I expected (purely on statistical grounds) to die ten years ago ... Something has gone wrong with my prediction because I am still here, and I have a feeling that part of the reason could be that I have managed to maintain a deep disrespect for all the health police, the faddist gurus and diet fascists who plague our bookstalls, radio stations and newsagents."

Image source:  

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Lebaran Gatherings

After about five years of absence for Lebaran Day in Indonesia, we finally made it this year to join our big family for the celebration! (Here is a short post from last year about our family tradition, in Indonesian). On Saturday, Oct 13th, my mother and an aunt left early in the morning (right after sunrise) to my other aunt's house - where the event took place - to help preparing food, room, etc. The rest of us started to come at about 09.30; kids went playing rightaway, women got busy in the kitchen and dining room, men talked among each other and/or listened to my grandma, who seemed to be in a jolly mood despite her decreasing ability to identify her own children, grand children and great grand children.

The dishes we had were clearly predictable but nonetheless are very much anticipated each year the moment comes. Ketupat, or 'squared rice', is a classic, accompanied by sambel goreng ati (spicy liver), opor ayam (chicken in coconut milk) and rendang (spicy beef). This year, my cousin Chica cooked sambel goreng udang (spicy prawn), repeating last year's success. It was a superb dish! Even I took more and more of it, despite my common reluctance to eat sambal or anything hot.
There was also sayur godog (soupy boiled veggies) and all sorts of condiments, not to mention desserts (mixed fruit salad, cakes, fresh fruits and more) and refreshments (the classic family fruit punch is always available!). Accompanied by the best of laugh with family and friends, Lebaran food can never taste better!

That day was also a milestone for our kids: it's their first time to do sungkem, or kneeling before the elderlies to ask for forgiveness and to receive prayers. Dhanu was hesitant, but his turn came much later (my mother was the second youngest of her siblings) so he could first watch and learn from the others who did their turns. I had to nail him down to his seat to watch the procession (which was fun, since almost everyone in the room were shouting advices as if coming from my grandma during one's turn) and went with him to face my grandma for his turn. Lindri was more easy for this; she was taken to my grandma by her father without needing too much encouragement, for she has seen everyone did the same. After the sungkem ritual was over, the kids' most-awaited moment came: 'envelope' distribution! I remember the days when it was our turn to receive them, the excitement and delight - and now it's our turn (those who are already parents) to give them away to nieces and nephews.            

Not long afterwards, we had to leave the house to go to my father's brother who also celebrates Idul Fitri, where my father's siblings and their families usually gather on Lebaran Day. Our program here usually includes more eating (for those with rubber stomach), more chatting and more laughing. Dhanu and Lindri got to meet and play with more aunts and uncles and distant cousins. All in all, it was a busy and tiring day, but we all had our fun.       

Happy Idul Fitri to all of you dear friends
May the new days bring us peace and happiness

Photos taken from Chica's Lebaran 2007 album (for her network only) - thanks, sepupu!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I 'ate the dog!

..said Groundskeeper Willie, "I 'ate his guts! I 'ate everything about him!" when Bart asked him if he's seen Santa's Little Helper in The Canine Mutiny episode. That line is among The Simpsons' quotations that has become one of our household's catchphrases, which we always use in appropriate situations. Or whenever we hear something that might associate with the line. Such was what I automatically thought of, when four Multiply contacts of mine nudged me to list 8 random things about me. See? 8, eight, ate! Ha!

Bookshop has delivered a bright idea of adding three into our five items that we submitted previously; an idea that I apply here as well. My five random things can be viewed here (that entry apparently contains other stuff, too - so there's an extra for you guys :P), and here are three more: 

6. Same as my distant cousin Yikk, I hardly ever had any make up on my face. Occasional events were only during traditional (Balinese) dance performance (when I was veerrrry young) and traditional wedding ceremonies.

7. I got a notion to be a 'comic books snob'. Meaning, I do buy comic books only based on reviews from people I trust, or on my personal taste (which proves to be, um, expensive). I buy comic books which I can appreciate highly both the graphics and the stories. And I don't buy comics due to mere patriotic or solidarity reasons, for I am not that kind of collector. Wanna check my comics library? Please do.

8. I always have the questions of, "Why would you be my contact? What do you expect of me? Who are you and how did you get this address?" everytime random people post their requests to be my contact. Then I reject them without thinking twice, especially those with empty profiles. Multiply's offer to maintain a "meaningful relationship" really fits my principle in this social networking activity.

Let's see.. any free soul who isn't tagged yet? Very few, I suppose. Let's try Ave (a good distraction between works, toch? :D), Anin (open up, Bud, I know where you are!), Cindih (can't wait for your expressive writing!), LiTa (can't believe nobody's tagged you!) and Tiyas (find a warnet, quick!). Ack! There should be eight! Alright, three more people: Peter (you're not shy are you), Nunu (surprise us), Ayie (what more can I say.. you're it!)

Here's the obligatory part:

Tagging rules:

1. each blogger must post these rules.

2. each blogger starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.

3. bloggers that are tagged need to write in their own blogs about their 8 things and post this rule. At the end of your blog you need to choose 8 people to get tagged and list their names.

4. do not forget to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged to read your blog.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

[2004] Stripmuseum Groningen, 70 yr Donald in Amstelveen, StripdagenHaarlem

A collection of three comics-related events in 2004:

A visit to the (then) newly-opened Stripmuseum (Comics Museum) in Groningen, with my brother. It was a really quick visit, we went from and to Amsterdam in one day (I had to go back in time to pick up the kids from their daycare).

A visit to a temporary exhibition at Cobra Museum of Modern Art in Amstelveen: Donald Duck, 70 years young. Each visitor received a lucky coin!

A visit to Stripdagen Haarlem (Comics Days in Haarlem), one of the biggest comics festivals in The Netherlands that is held once every two years.

Monday, October 8, 2007

GRANDPAPIER (webcomics|dessins|bande dessinée)
Last year I participated in 40075km Comics and got two of my stories published in the anthology. Now the same organization, l'employé du Moi, makes another one called GRANDPAPIER, where I also submit my works. Everyone is welcome to join and contribute!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Makhluk Prajab Itu

Menjadi dosen penuh di ITB berarti menjadi Pegawai Negri Sipil (PNS).
Menjadi PNS berarti harus lulus ujian Calon PNS (CPNS), dan bila lulus statusnya jadi CPNS.
Bila CPNS ingin jadi PNS, berarti harus melewati masa Pra Jabatan (Prajab), dalam waktu 2 tahun setelah diangkat jadi CPNS.

Saya diangkat jadi CPNS ketika sudah mendarat di Belanda, 1998. Setiap kali mendapat panggilan untuk Prajab, waktunya selalu tidak cocok dengan jadual kuliah dan (tentu saja) budget. Rasanya nggak worth untuk pulang mendadak di tengah2 waktu kuliah dan riset hanya demi Prajab. Harus bayar sendiri, pula.. mana cukup dari uang beasiswa. Jadi saya sudah menunda Prajab beberapa kali dan jadi "(C)PNS bermasalah" karena sudah melewati masa yang ditentukan utk Prajab.

I'm not too crazy about Prajab itself. Meskipun belum mengalami sendiri, tapi saya rasa pelaksanaannya membuang2 waktu dan energi para pesertanya. Dikarantina sekian minggu di suatu tempat, diberi materi yg nggak jauh2 dari P4 dan mungkin ke-PNS-an. Kalau hidup masih single, mungkin akan lebih mudah mempertimbangkan Prajab. Beda masalah kalau sudah  berkeluarga. Ada teman yang baru melahirkan bayinya, dipanggil untuk ikut Prajab. Ia terpaksa meninggalkan dan menyapih bayinya yg baru berusia beberapa belas minggu! Si anak selanjutnya terpaksa memperoleh asupan susu formula ketimbang ASI, hanya gara2 aturan kaku ini. Tidak manusiawi.

Bayangkan kalau sekarang saya tiba2 dipanggil utk ikut Prajab. Bapaknya anak2 tentu saja bisa mengurus dan menyiapkan keperluan anak2 sehari2 (bekal sekolah, baju ganti, antar-jemput, dsb. - termasuk menjaga persediaan grain bread, cereal dan susu di rumah). Tapi dia kan juga bekerja, meskipun free lance. Lagipula dia belum tentu mengerti pengumuman dan pesan2 berbahasa Indonesia yg disampaikan guru2 pada buku penghubung anak2 :D
Bisa nggak ya, materi Prajab ini diberikan secara lebih fleksibel. Tidak perlu jauh2, tidak perlu karantina, hanya semacam seminar dan workshop beberapa hari. Ini tentunya kan lebih praktis dan meminimkan pemborosan. Boleh lah diuji, materi saya pelajari di rumah saja :)

Kenapa tau2 saya nulis ini? Sekitar dua minggu lalu, ketika saya sedang tugas ke luar kota, ada SMS masuk dari pegawai fakultas. Beritanya, ada Prajab yg dimulai tgl 27 Sept, dan jika ingin ikut, ada biayanya, 3 juta. Besoknya, begitu tiba di kampus, saya tanya2, SMS ini maksudnya apa. Ternyata, ada Prajab yg diadakan oleh 'luar' (bukan DikNas), jadi peserta di luar instansi yg mengadakan dikenakan biaya sebesar 3 juta. Lha, gaji aja belum penuh kok malah disuruh bayar sekian juta?
Saya segera memberitahu Ketua Program Studi dan Ketua Kelompok Keahlian, yang lalu mengajukan pembiayaan Prajab saya itu ke fakultas. Hingga saat ini tidak ada jawaban, jadi berarti nggak dikabulkan oleh fakultas, sementara Prajab tsb. tentunya sudah berlangsung.

Ketika mengobrolkan hal ini dengan teman2 sesama dosen, mereka bilang, ya kita2 aja yang nggak biasa dengan 'prosedur' begini. Lanjut mereka, orang itu banyak yang - saking inginnya jadi PNS - sampai rela menunggu di gerbang lokasi Prajab dengan membawa belasan, puluhan juta. Sehingga bila ada peserta yang batal, mereka langsung mengajukan diri utk masuk menjadi peserta dengan membayarkan juta2an itu. Gila ya. Kalau proses menjadi PNS-nya saja musti modal segitu, tentunya setelah jadi PNS beneran bukan tidak mungkin ybs. akan berusaha 'balik modal' sebisanya!

Memang kabarnya Prajab dibuat jadi lebih ringkas, tapi kita lihat saja nanti sampai sepraktis apa. Kita tunggu saja panggilan berikutnya. Gimana teman2 yg sudah pernah mengalami, ada cerita tentang enak/enggaknya ikutan Prajab? :D

Foto2: Suasana tes CPNS di Bangka dari dan penutupan Prajab di Klaten dari

Friday, October 5, 2007

Here we go again.. [2]

Continued from Part 1

B: Here, your documents are ready. You just have to pay now, IDR 500,000 for each child, at the cashier over there (pointing at a table at the far end of the room)
I knew that’s the official price, so I nodded.
B: Then please come here with the receipt and I’ll give you another receipt as a proof of payment when you picked up your children’s nationality letters.
This was expected, too, of course. I had no objection.
B: Oh, one more thing..
Here we go, I thought.
B: There’s also a charge for legalization process.
T (Oh right, those copied documents): How much for the legalization?
B: That’s up to you, how much you want to give us.
T (acting naïve): Oh, I thought it’s according to the amount of documents I legalize.
This, I remember, is how legalization is done in The Netherlands. No haggling, nothing – just plain, clear tariff per document.
B (happy to get an excuse for stating a price): That’s possible, too. How many do you have?
T (I’ve counted before): About 24 documents for two children. How much is it per document? In the Foreign Affair Ministry office of The Netherlands, it used to cost EUR 20 per piece(!)
B: Say, I’ll give you IDR 200,000 for all those documents.
T (comparing to the Netherlands' price): Fine, just make me a receipt.
B (lowering voice, acting restless): We don’t have such thing, here.
T (I thought so!): Can’t you make a kind of statement like your colleague here?
I pointed at a small piece of paper with his colleague’s handwriting and signature, stating the amount of money he received for the application folders that I purchased.

B (lazily searching his desk and shirt): Paper, I need paper. I don’t have paper. Do you?
T (producing my sketchbook-diary, the only thing I had at that moment): I can take a piece from here.
I folded the last page of my book, ran a knife along the rim, and produced a small piece of thick, creamy-white paper.
B (holding my precious torn page): Mmm.. (thinking for another minute) ..Right, I’ll just type you the receipt.
He got up his seat, walked to a computer at the nearby corner of the room and started typing. He came back to his desk with a typed receipt. Meanwhile the cashier woman has prepared my proof of payment and we dealt with all the necessities. My business is done here. Proceed to the ‘extra’ matters..

B (signing his self-typed receipt): What do you need this for, actually? For your office or something?
T: Well, it’s exceeding a hundred thousand, so I’d better have a report for my own responsibility.
B (while handing the receipt to me): There another thing..
What now?!
B: So you've paid the application, IDR 500,000 for each child, then another hundreds for this legalization. The last one is for a ‘service charge’ when you pick up your documents. The amount is up to you.
I sort of ‘know’ what this ‘service charge’ is about and tend to ignore it. So I just nodded, threw a crooked smile, and left. Now all we have to do is wait until these letters are ready. I was told it takes about 3 months, and B himself said that the letters might already be issued in December 2007.

1 I wish people could access complete and detailed information on requirements – on the Internet or otherwise - including the direction to not cut documents that are smaller than A4 (i.e. ID card, passport) according to their sizes, and the amount of copies they need.
2 I wish procedures and fee for each step are stated clearly, as well. All about what to do next, where, what to submit, how much and when we can receive the results. Is this too challenging for the government institutions?
3 I wish all government offices possess copying services. I am lucky to be fairly young and fit that I had no trouble walking out a bit and back repeatedly. But I’ve seen less fortunate people forced to do the same thing but could not quite cope with this simple task. If it’s so hard to maintain and operate your own machine, at least allow small copy shops to conduct their business ‘in-house’. 
4 I wish we are not so corrupt and greedy.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Here we go again.. [1]

I finally gathered all necessary documents required for our children's double-nationality application. The other day I picked up our Kartu Keluarga (family card - the last long-awaited document) myself, instead of relying on the neighbourhood chief (Ketua RT), who will only ask (an embarrassingly huge amount of) money for his 'service'. But that's another story.

Mondays are actually my teaching days, but I have asked permission from my fellow lecturer to skip the morning class on Oct 1st, 2007. I arrived at Kanwil HukHAM (The Law and Human Rights Regional Office) somewhere before 09.00 and was asked to wait, because the main person who should handle nationality application wasn't there yet. I sat on a bench, checking my documents. I had exactly everything that was listed on the application folder - except, none was yet 'legalized' (fussy legalization of documents seems to exist only in Indonesia). I glued a seal (meterai) on each application letter and signed on them. Ready.

Approaching 10.00, there was no sign of anyone attending the application counter. A sign at the counter window faced the waiting bench:

OPEN 09.00 – 15.00
LUNCH BREAK 12.00 – 13.00

Yea right. What if the sign is turned around so it’s glaring at the employees? Perhaps it’s more useful that way. Several minutes later, a personnel from behind the counter asked me what I was there for, then waved, letting me into his office. He’s the next person in charge when the main person is not available.

He checked my documents and said everything was fine. Except.. none of them were legalized. These documents came from various (government) offices and it was virtually impossible for me to go back to each of them to get their stamps and signatures from their authorities, without spending an enormous amount of energy and time. So I agreed to his offer to just have them legalized at the Kanwil office, which was possible since I’ve brought along all originals. This means I needed to provide double copies of every document. He showed me where the nearest copy shop was located: outside the Kanwil building, to the right after a security post.

I went out to make copies: twice of the kids’ documents and four times of Syb’s and mine. The copy shop was a small one; consisting one functional copy machine and two broken ones, a public telephone and a fax/print service. The queue was not too long, but the waiting was agonizing because both the operator and the only machine that worked
were really slow.

I returned to Kanwil office only to find out that I should actually also make copies of the Kartu Keluarga (which, by the way, mentioned that our children already have Indonesian nationality!). Anyway, I went out again to make copies. The waiting. The agony. The heat. The irritation.
Afterwards, returning to the Kanwil office, I was told that there were two more documents
to be copied, too! What choice did I have but enter that damp, narrow copy shop again to carry out my task.

Right. I finally got everything I needed. The staff examined my documents and made notes. He made small talks during the process, including: a complain that he was being ‘overworked’ because the first person was unavailable since Friday, a joke that that person was preparing hard for his pilgrimage to Mecca and a conversation around my undergoing to gather all these documents.
B (his name): You came here before, didn’t you. What took you quite a while was the process at the State Court, wasn’t it?
T: Yes.
B (tilting his face a bit forward, lowering his voice): How much did you spend?
T (not budging from my posture, nor lowering my voice): Just the court fee, according to what’s stated at the invoice, 265 thousand Rupiah.
B (back to his position): How long did it take you?
T: Three months until the judge hit the hammer, plus two months until I acquire my documents.
B (gesturing at a colleague next to him, with a trivial expression): Hey, she went to the court herself! It took her more than three months!
C (the colleague, coming over): You did, huh? How come it took so long? The judge?
T: The judge, who was out of town or ill. The panitera, who suddenly was out on a long leave before his retirement. It was an excruciating process.
C went about his own business again. Back to B.
B (taking a glimpse at one of my documents): So you have a doctoral degree, eh?
T: Yes.
B: In what field? Is it in administration?
T (what the..?! Do I look like a pencil pusher?!): No, it’s industrial design, architecture and civil engineering. (I mentioned all three faculties I worked at during my doctoral research)
B: Oh. And you’re teaching where? UNPAD? Parahyangan?
B: Oh. (Then, after a while) We also had an application from an ITB lecturer whose wife would like to apply for an Indonesian nationality. But she’s from Latin America, who doesn’t have any representative in Indonesia. … (went on talking until all my documents were ready)

Continued to Part 2

The upper name card was from the first person in charge, who was unavailable on the day I came. The lower one was from the second person in charge, who took care of my documents and whom I had conversations with.