well that was the initial plan, but apparently this become a scattered space of my inconsistent ramble and incoherent mumble. I write my heart out, I throw my anger and frustation, I jotted my hopes and dreams, I record my random thoughts here

March 28, 2007

Trial and Error

I am not good at photograph people. But i give it a try anyway!

March 26, 2007

Penang oh Penang

Sunset view from Harapan Lake, USM

Penang bridge from my window

Pantai Kerachut, Jan 2007

Botanical Garden, sept 2006

komtar, June 2003

sunrise from my apartment, January 2007

This post is quite personal. Its my story of 4 years living in Penang. I am currently extended student in USM main campus. And after long struggle i am finally reach my final semester. sigh. The first time i set foot in Penang was June 12, 2003. Just few days after my prom nite, just few days after saying goodbye to my high school mate. I was with my mother and her friend, i was soooo excited to start a new life as uni student, away from home, away from family, everything is brand new. I meet my first Indonesian friend at Canselori building, and from him i meet another, and to my suprise, there's a lot of Indonesian here! make me feel like home. haha. later i realized this was a mistake.

But there's few thing about Penang that i found odd, the food and the beach. I thought penang is one of the main tourist destination in Malaysia (as i wish i can have holiday while studying) with white sandy beach and blue water where you can dive, but its actually not true! My first dissapointment, the dream of going to the beach after class start to fade away, but i believe i can have other type of fun here.

On my first year, i did a lot of round trip in Penang with my Indonesian mate, and spend a little in class. And yes, you can expect what happen, my semester result drop below 2.00, and i start carry the Percubaan 1 status. I worked harder on the second semester, but the languange was a big obstacle. i did very badly in the exam, and one more time, my pointer dropped below 2.00, i almost drop out. I start to dislike study, giving up hope, but promise to my parents to give it one more shoot, they say; if you've work hard, work harder. And i was relief to see the result for that semester, at least i am on OK stage. I have to repeat few class that i failed to pass on my first year, i changed completely. I rarely missed class, i sit on the front row, i asked question, i pay extra attention, but the result wasnt so satisfiying, some lecturer start to see me as 'trouble maker', sigh.

Time goes on, before i realize its already 2007. June this year would be my forth year in USM. And i hope i wont be here by that time. I really do. Different changes happen in different aspect on my live in Penang, i am no longer hang out around other Indonesian student, i am no longer went for a movie every weekend, no more days spend sitting at pool centre or football field watching the boys play, no more hunting for indonesian food. I am done with all those, i dont even went back home that often. My perception about things has changed, i used to always missed home.. but now i think i am ready to go further.. I used to be afraid of other people judgement, but now i dont give any shit any longer. Being alone in a Malaysia has taught me lots of things, i learn to live on my own, do my own dishes, wash my own bed shit, managed my monthly allowance, learn different culture, and deal with different culture. I am happy i choosed the hard way, i am happy i've gone through lots of shit, and i am glad i have bigger capacity to restraint, to keep standing when things gone from bad to worse. I've moarn a lot about life in Penang, but at this point of my life, I love penang. Although i refuse to stay any longer.

March 23, 2007

Gay Pride

Some of you might recognize this rainbow flag, but some of you might not. This colourful flag is one of the symbol for gay pride.

The color of the flag have different meaning, accordind to wikipedia, the red color stands for courage, orange offers the vision of possibilities, yellow represent challange, green indicates understanding of aims and values of co-operation, blue represent the far horizon, to strive towards global unity, and violets represents warmth, beauty, and friendship.

The rainbow flag has been used as a symbol of gay and lesbian pride since 1970. The different color symbolize diversity in gay community, and the flag often used as a symbol on gay right marches. Originated from United States but now uses around the world.

I was introduced to this flag not so long a go, a friend of mine 'educate' me about gay people and their life, so i start hang out on gay bar, reading books about the 'world' of gay and lesbian people, watching queer as folks, getting to know them, and this make me realize that all the suspicion about gay people is very judgemental and unfair! because 90% of the prejudice come from ignorance, people who refuse to learn. Lack of knowlegde about gay and lesbian has lead to many other negative things, discrimination towards gay and lesbian is completely unfair, because gay and lesbian is basically normal, they able to do things straight people did, even more. I really admire out-of-the-closet gay, who dare to stand up straight and tell the world that he's gay and he's proud. Thats really something.

Maybe in US or EU, being gay is not a really big problem. But Asia have different story, being gay (or becoming gay) in this part of the world would mean things will be lot more difficult, although its true that there will always be gay people anyway you go in the world, doesnt mean they always be accepted. Especially in the country where moslem is majority, because being gay is a really big sin, as if its a choice someone can make for themself. In Middle East, if you gay and the goverment find out, you can be punished by death penalty. Even in wealth-growing-nation China. Why gay people get into so much shit? maybe its religion, but i believe its ignorance. Something we dont know, something we dont understand might scare us, and our reaction is to diminish the subject, by creating such rules and dogma.

Some people look down on gay people, but the fact, lot of succesful people that marked their name in history is gay. But most people will ignore the fact that they're gay, for their own insecurities. Its sad, but thats what happen. Conclusion of this blog: Hands up for gay right.

bio-diesel; solution or big joke?

If we heard the word biodiesel, what comes to our mind is environmentally-friendly fuel, clear burning, domestically produced, renewable sources. In other word; briliant invention.

Do we know how they made biodiesel? biodiesel made from plant, such as soybeans and palm oil. These oil gone through chemical process called transesterification whereby the glycerin is separated from fat or vegetable oil, the process create two different product, methyl-esther (which become biodiesel) and glycerin. Biodiesel company claim that biodiesel is environmentally-friendly because it have lower emission compared to petroleum fuel, plus its less toxic and biodegradable. Sounds too good to be true? now is the bitter fact.

The source for soybeans and oil palm that being processed for biodiesel production comes from developing country. poor country, who ready to exploit their natural resources for money. Blame the corrupt goverment or the weak enforcement, but i am not talking about politic here.

Brazil, as we know brazil hold the biggest part of one of the world greatest jungle; The amazon, And the consequences of soybean farm, heavy deforestation taken place in Amazon, forest become patches of forest, clear cutting and burning become popular way to clear the land. Why this become important issues? i guess in today's world we start to have awareness about the importance of the forest and the reason why we have to keep them. They stabilize the system; from hidrology circulation, soil protection, biodiversity richness, carbon sink, etc. Forest regulate water through evaporespiration process, they cover the soil and protect its nutrient cycle, roots of the trees holding the soil to prevent erosion, the leaves prevent direct exposure of rainfall and sunlight that can caused infertile soil, forest is home to so many organism, and Amazon is one of the richess tropical forest filled with endemic species that only exist on that very place, nowhere else. Forest also act as carbon sink, and cutting down (or burning) the trees mean we release carbon into the atmosphere. Carbon is one of the most active greenhouse gases, the popular gasses that causing global warming.

Who is to blame? The highest demand for brazil soy products come from European Union, and the biggest brazil timber importer is United States followed by European Union. What is the bullshit about sustainable agriculture that these people trying to force? In fact, the reason why brazilian keep turning a piece of forest into farm is because there's high demand for the farming product. I cant blame the brazilian, but i cant blame the consumer either.

Malaysia is the world biggest palm oil exporter, followed by Indonesia at second place. Both Malaysia and Indonesia own world oldest jungle, forest that survived thousands year, and both goverment cut it down for the timber product and promised to turn them into palm plantation, for the sake of local cummunity. Its just sad, because it doesnt happen as it promised. Newly-opened palm oil plantation area in borneo encounter a lot of problem, and the soil actually does not suitable for palm oil plantation. Why they keep on going?

You might have in mind, what is the difference if we keep the forest or turn them into plantation? its still green anyway. Well, diversity increase stability, and agriculture plantation is actually very poor in diversity, all the trees share the same genetic code and if one tree get attacked by certain kind of virus or bacteria, the whole population will get affected.

And now, do you still think biodiesel is environmentally-friendly product? sometimes its more that just the output, the process have to be taken into account too.