soon, the sun will smile

I wish I could just say it's only water. The flood has caused so much loss, so much pain and definitely leaves a big scar. I'm truly glad that it's over for now and I'm truly grateful for people who have been working so hard to help, to look after us and to pray for us.

Many blessings.

[au ciné] les misérables

Director: Tom Hooper
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Russel Crowe
Year released: 2012/2013

"I had a dream my life would be 
so different from this hell I'm living
so different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream I dreamed"

It's undeniable that Les Misérables might be one of the most famous and successful musicals. That's why I assume many of the songs in this musical have become so popular. Although it's irritating, but I somehow understand if the people sit next to me cannot help themselves but to sing along "I Dreamed a Dream" or even "A Heart Full of Love".

Even so, musical is not for everyone. According to a friend who hates this movie and all movies that involve singing as the dialogues, unlike the spoken-dialogue movies (you know what I mean!), musicals lack of emotions and I guess that made Tom Hooper decide to record all the singing live. Pardon my musical knowledge, but when I watched this movie and listened to how Jackman (and some others) sang most of the songs in a very staccato-esque style (Alright, no sure this term does exist). It's like his (their) voice is stamping and it makes it more emotional than actually just talking. HAHAHA. I hope I didn't talk nonsense.

Anyway, if you ask me whether I like the movie? I must say I'm caught in between. In my opinion, Tom Hooper's take on the musical works partially on smaller scenes, like when Fantine sang about her dying dream, Eponine sang her one-way love or even Valjean's repentance. They're all very emotional, the scenes were greatly shot. Somehow when it comes to big grandeur scene, like the battles, the beginning of the riot, they all kind of fell short, maybe except the opening scene.

So yeah, I don't think it's a snub that Hooper didn't any directing nomination, but I'm truly glad that Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman did. The truest snub here would be Samantha Banks. She should be nominated, people!

Would I recommend the movie? Let's put it this way, if you like it, you're probably going to watch it over and over again. If you like it, you know the songs by heart and you cannot help yourself not to sing it while it's one, people probably are going to hate for it. If you're not into musicals, like this friend of mine I quote, it's probably a very torturing 150 minutes.

the flood, day 1: the north side of the city

Photo from - Friday, 18 January 2013

So I live in the north side of Jakarta, which had not been flooded since as long as I could remember. But unfortunately this year, we could not avoid the tragedy. Half of the city has been flooded when I was about to leave to work that morning. I was warned not to. Too risky, the said. But I decided that it was an important day at work and I thought it couldn't be that bad.

I did arrive at work a bit late. I tried to get things done, but somehow I didn't feel like wanting to be there. I felt that my mind is wandering off somewhere else. I remember a breakfast where I made this joke about Jakarta being flooded and a birthday lunch among friends where I'm not sure whether I did something or even nothing.

So I'm sure you understand when one of the heads decided to leave and asked whether I wanted to go with her or not. Without any hesitation, I said yes.

I was dropped at Cawang, where I decided to continue to Muara Karang taking a cab. And instead taking the usual route, I went with the driver's suggestion taking the highway through Ancol. He was absolutely right, no flood. But I was trapped in the traffic jam for almost two hours. Half of Pluit was drowned. My cab fare nearly doubled the normal fare I paid, due to traffic and circling around Pantai Indah Kapuk just to figure a way home.

But then I was home. Never I be so happy to be home, although I was pretty sure it was the end of it.

But still, I'm home!

Continue to day 2.

the flood, day 2: no way out

Photos from many sources - a big thanks to my sister.

I'm sure if you are (were) a Blackberry Messenger user, you must have received at least one or two broadcast messages. I must say they can be terribly annoying. So on the night before, I received a BM saying that a bigger flood headed to Pluit due to the inability of the Pluit barrier to hold the water and as usual, I deleted them immediately with a big smirk. Friday morning, I thought maybe everything's getting better by now and maybe I could peacefully go to work. Oh boy, didn't I just get it all wrong?!

The two main exits from Pluit was flooded and literally I was (we were all) trapped. Hundreds of people waiting alongside big trucks, ambulance, fire department trucks exactly on the bridge separated Pluit from Muara Karang. Some of them were waiting for their family (in Pluit) to be rescued, some of them were just there sightseeing and I'm sure some of them were like me, thinking, "how am I going to get out of here?"

As I stood there looking a bit lost, not having any clue how to resolve the problem, random thoughts flashed by and they are: 
  1. My boss' face the last time I saw her - she was asking this rhetoric question of that I shall be at work this morning. Oh no!
  2. I might not be able to watch Les Miserables in the cinema. Oh double no!
  3. Why is nobody freaking out? The flood's going to take forever to dry out.
Then I snapped back to reality. I decided to go back home. Although it's very unfortunate, but the truest truth is I'm truly very blessed. There are some parts of Pluit that suffered thousands times worse than me and to think I just moved to Muara Karang (read: the dry land) like just 6 months ago gave me chills.

And these kind heart people who have been helping people to evacuate, I applaud you. I guess if we're looking for today's super heroes, you guys must be it.

It rains again as I'm about to publish this post. God helps us all.

deux mille treize

2012 just ended. Despite the fears of Armageddon, it's actually a great year. By the end of year, Facebook has this apps, which (I think) its purposed is to help you review what has actually happened for that one year period. Considered it as a scoring chart, I must admit that I didn't do well. HAHAHA. So here are a few highlights from my 2012 Year in Review according to our beloved Facebook:
  1. I added 41 new friends this year. For your information, in 2011, I added 106 new friends, so that's a sign how anti-social I was last year.
  2. I liked 39 new pages. Again, it shows how desperate I need to hang out and start drinking beer or something.
  3. The rest of the Year in Review page shows the peak of events that I recorded (with photos, or comments). Most of them are farewells. 2012, despite its greatness, is also the year of parting with so many great friends at work.
  4. I must not forget the insane trip I decided to take last June to Hong Kong - Malaysia and Singapore with Billy, my nephew. It was so rewarding. In a way, the trip has made me learn being a better person.
  5. And weddings, which I didn't attend. BUT .. I noted that so many of my friends' lives changed significantly (of course, without my presence, I'm a douchebag, I know).
  6. I know how to swim and drive!!! Isn't it great??
And for the new year, 2013, like Madonna's movie career, it's a mystery, but I have hope (for the year, not her career .. KIDDING!). I have not shared many personal things with others, but sometimes I wonder, what if I do. I mean, most of the time, I forgot what my resolutions are. Maybe it's best that I put it out there, so I can have this tiny reminder which will bite my ass any time soon. So here they are:
  1. This might be a bit vague, but my first resolution should be having more compassion towards life, mine and others and be more responsible with my actions and my words. 
  2. There is something about time that has troubled me for quite sometime and for a person who lives in Jakarta, time is always an issue. I mean, we spend like at least 3-4 hours a day being caught in traffic. Not pretty. So I learn, I should be more wise regarding time-spending. If I have to be caught in traffic for hours, I should have learned how to spend those hours wisely. In short, be wise with my time.
  3. Friends, I always say how much I appreciate good friendship, but I also notice that I haven't participated much in some of my friends' lives, so I decided to invest more time in my friends' lives.
  4. See the world, well, maybe a part of the world. I haven't had any trips planned yet for next year, but I have a few places that I really want to visit.
  5. Also self-actualization should be part of my resolutions, I have some interests to learn a few things, which I will share with you here.
  6. I was going for number 6, but then I heard this thunder sound outside my window. I assume it's a sign that 5 is enough.
So well, I'm super-excited like fireworks that we are in 2013. Do you know that it's also my 6th year blogging? I'm terribly touched knowing it has come so far. I can't thank you enough for a very wonderful friendship. Ready for another round? Buckle up, Toto! Here we go.