on tv tonight : Land Diving (Naghol/ N'Gol)

where : Pentecost Island in Vanuatu
attraction : young men jumped off of some 30 meters height tower of
feebly wooden structure, as an initiation to adulthood.

So, I just saw this documentary on tv tonight, and it's so interesting I have to write and share this, to everyone of you out there. :P

So the image above must be already quite familiar (taken from http://www.pentecostisland.net/ and http://www.vanuatuatoz.com/). Well, it's a scene of a male adulthood initiation ceremony in Vanuatu, called Land Dive or Naghol, or N'Gol.

This feebly-looking tower has several different level of heights, starting at the lowest which is 20 feet (6 meters!!) to the highest of 30 meters, to initiate young men of different ages. Those who leap from this lowest point is mostly young boys in the age of 7 or 8. So each year these boys will continue leaping until he reaches the top level (30 meters), and thus considered as a respectable adult. Or die trying. Ha! :D

These brave divers jumped with nothing but 2 strings of lianas (wood vines) fastened on both of their ankles. And the kind of jump that was considered perfect is that the diver's hair or shoulder should touches the ground. Therefore the Dive Committee (or something like that) already ploughed the soil to "softened" it, to make sure of a "comfortable" landing. Very convenient, yes?

Anyway, the most interesting part about Land Diving, is of course, the history of it. Land Diving is a ritual that already went on since centuries ago, and surely for more to come. But did you know what started this ritual in the first place?

Well, apparently it's a woman! :D The first and the last female land diver.

So there's this tale about a woman who ran away from her husband, because he beats her. She ran and hid up on a tree, where her husband found her. Her husband (called Tamale), told her to come down, but she refused. Then Tamale climbed the tree and try to grab his wife, when his wife suddenly leap towards the ground. The angry Tamale jumped after his wife (what was he thinking?!) not realizing that his (smart) wife already tied liana vines to her ankles, thus she managed to land safely on the ground.

But Tamale did not.

So this Naghol/ N'Gol festival is celebrated with men diving from a tree top tower in a display of their strength, and to show the world that they would never ever be tricked by women again, as Tamale had been.


I found this highly amusing. LOL. But I wouldn't indulge myself on explanations.

Anyway ..

Of course there's another version of the festival's history which is to celebrate the annual yam harvest. And the daredevil's act of touching the ploughed soil with his hair/ shoulder would ensure another harvesting success for the next year.

But so boring, right? :D

Indonesian Poem : Aku , by Chairil Anwar (1948)

I've posted another poem by Chairil Anwar (1922-1949) here.

As you can read below, his poems are soulful, touching, and powerful. And it gives a tug in my heart. And I hope that it will gives a powerful tug in your hearts as well. :)

This great poet died in the youthful age of 27. Died of TBC and Syphilis. :-S Imagine what he will become when he manage to live until 90!

In this poem, I think he's talking about himself. About his undying spirit; and his adamant determination.

And his spirit is indeed lives on, in his creations. :)


Kalau sampai waktuku
'Ku mau tak seorang kan merayu
Tidak juga kau

Tak perlu sedu sedan itu

Aku ini binatang jalang
Dari kumpulannya terbuang

Biar peluru menembus kulitku
Aku tetap meradang menerjang

Luka dan bisa kubawa berlari
Hingga hilang pedih peri

Dan aku akan lebih tidak perduli

Aku mau hidup seribu tahun lagi

Maret 1943


When my time come
No one's going to cry for me,
And you won't, either

The hell with all those tears!

I'm a wild beast
Driven out of the herd

Bullets may pierce my skin
I shall still strike and march forth,

Wounds and poison shall I take aflee
'Til the pain and pang should disappear

And I won't give a damn

I want to live another thousand years

(mixed of translation by Burton Raffel & some other)

art scene investigation : Love Tank

Once again I saw another towering pink/ magenta structure at the NMS's Rotunda. Both by an Indonesian artists. Is this a coincidence? I surely hope so. I dont want to think of other kinky possibility. Or maybe I already did. :D

On the left, is called "Surrounding David", by Titarubi; exhibited on NMS at March 6th 2008 - August 11th 2008. On the right, is the object of our review, "the Love Tank (the Temple)", by S. Teddy Darmawan; will occupy the NMS's rotunda for 5 months, since May 1st 2009 up to October 4th 2009.

Now you see what I mean? ;)

Anyway ..

At the first sight, without reading the piece's description, I thought it's some kind of peace offering symbol, or maybe a symbolization of freedom.

And reading the description, turns out that I'm a bit far off. This piece has nothing to do with peace or freedom. But it surely have something to do with love, if that's any consolation .. :P

In short, this installation is a symbolization of East meet West; and how the "physical strength" (depicted by tanks, an obviously powerful killing machine) of the Western culture, when combined with Eastern culture's "Inner Strength" (love, of course); can be a super powerful tool to .. mm.. break the walls? :D

And here's my favourite part :

See that?! Even the tank's canon is in heart shape! LOL! :D The only thing that can be shoot out of that thing is love and love only. ;)

For those of you who wants to read the actual description (instead of my distorted ones :D). Just zoom into this image below.


Vlinder Furniture

Vlinder is an Indonesia-based unique furniture company, besides everything else. Based in Bandung, in the heart of education, youth and creativity of Indonesia (besides Yogyakarta, of course), makes it a perfect place for such a brand to flourish.

Their premiere creations are using the Playful theme. Some of the products are hilarious and sometimes ridiculous, but definitely a great conversation starter.

Below is the Laptop Pingpong, their best selling item. It's actually a Laptop table with storage and obviously also functioned as an exercise tool for those who couldn't be away from their laptop (and the table) and in need of a little fun to brightened up the stuffed minds. :)

This next piece is a Tetris inspired shelving system. A modular shelves which can be bought per piece or the whole set that can also functioned as a room divider.

Another highlight from their Playful line is the Rak Pohon (Tree Shelf). This shelf has also incorporate light and carpet in the design. Which makes it a very convenient creation for all the bookworms out there. :)

The last (but not least!) design for Vlinder's Playful line is the Meja Setrika Neraka or Hell's Ironing Board. When I first saw this design I can't stop laughing. :D The design was obviously affected by general depiction of hell, a scary place with lots of horrible fire and tormenting tools for people who has wasted their life on Earth by doing more evil than good. In the promotional image you can see this dark-robed guy with horn (presumably the Devil himself), is ironing this board. Which shaped like a person with anguished (if not excited) expression. :D

All of this products (and more!) you can see in their official website http://vlinderism.multiply.com/ .

art scene investigation : Verner Panton, a feast for the eye!

Name of venue : National Museum of Singapore
Address : 93 Stamford Road Singapore 178897
How to go here: Walk for 5 mins from Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station Interchange (NS24/NE6/CC1)
Attraction : The works of Verner Panton
Entry Fee : S$ 6

I've been wanting to see this exhibition since the first time I saw this image on the National Museum's event guide.

It's calling me. :D

One glance at the color, the shape, and the resulted space is enough for me to make my first paid entry to NMS.

But subliminally (which wouldn't be subliminal anymore since I already flaunt and analyze it here), I think one of the first thing that intrigue me about this particular exhibition is that I feel like I'm in the same direction with Verner Panton. As a designer, I LOVE bold colors. And I love unusual shapes. But most of the times I've to suppressed my interest in colors and shapes because I was afraid to be told "unsophisticated" or "not trendy" or "childish", or even "ridiculous".

But here I can see, one successful example. That bold colors ARE cool. :)

So, let the journey begin ..

The most popular and widely recognizable design of Verner Panton is this one :

It is called the Panton Chair. First time I saw this chair is on a juice bar in Paris Van Java Mall, Bandung, Indonesia. They were using the yellow ones, on a all white interior with a tinge of green. I think it's about 5 years ago. And the chair was designed in 1967 ...

Ha! :D

I probably am not so knowledgeable, but at least I'm learning, right? :D *self-justification*

Anyway, those of you who knows me must be familiar with my very bad memory. I prefer to say that I've a very selective memory. *another self-justification* :D So why do I remember this specific piece? Simply because it's just so amazing! At the first glance, I'm instantly attracted by the color. And the shape is so intriguing. Makes me wonder how does it feel to sit on it. And on my next visit to Bandung, I tried. And the chair doesn't ceased to amaze me. It is "springy". And it's not what I'm expected. I thought the chair must be stiff, just like any other plastic chairs. But no. The chair bounces off, back and forth so sexily and comfortably. My goodness ...

So that's why, I really can relate to this "instruction" on the wall. :D And wishing that my hubby will buy me one Panton chair so I can put the instruction into practice .. ;)

Anyway, another popular piece by Panton is probably this one :

It is called the Heart Chair. Designed in 1957. Geez !!!

This exhibition is a truly a feast for the eye. Even for a child, or someone who doesn't have any interest whatsoever in art & design world.

The base color for the whole exhibition is black. But then they create boxes for each theme (Early Works, System Furniture, The Panton Chair, Experimental Furniture, Lighting, etc), painted it in the boldest color possible and with a color strengthening lighting, it creates an amazing space and a very memorable performance.

And then, I went to the highlight of the show. I deliberately save this one, presumably the best, for last. The very thing that caught my eye and makes me want to come and see the exhibition. The Phantasy Landscape. Yes, it's Phantasy with Ph- and not F-. Don't ask me why. :)

Before entering this Phantasy Land, there's 1 person regulating at the entrance, requiring us to take off our shoes and wear this blue plastic bag to cover our feet. And they will give one squirt of hand sanitizer just to make sure that we're all good and sterile. :)

And then I'd like to end this post with a very precious words of wisdom from the Master himself :

Journey to the Crocs Mega Sale 2009

Name of venue : EXPO Singapore, Hall 4
Address : 1 Expo Drive, #01-01 Singapore 486150
How to go here: Take MRT to Expo MRT Station (CG1), Green Line. Veeery easy ;)
Attraction : usually, ANY kind of sale, but for now, of course, the Crocs Mega Sale

PS : I just know that EXPO MRT Station was designed by Sir Norman Foster. Ha! :D How cool is that?!?

Reminiscing my first encounter w/ Crocs, is when I'm on a quest- in search of the perfect footwear -since I walked practically everywhere. I definitely wanted a plastic shoe, so I would no longer worry about how my expensive leather shoe got heart-wrenching scratches from over-walked or falling apart due to soaking by rain water. Now 500m distant is nothing on me. ;)

And today is the big day. I went to the sale. Its the HUGE annual Crocs Sale (yaayyy!!) here in Singapore, happening on 22-24 May 09 and I hope it wouldn't be as crazy and disorganized as the one in Jakarta.

On the bus I met this old lady with purple cotton-candy like hair, purple blouse in flower pattern and I swear she smells like candy!

So ...

13.20, I joined the queu line at already 154m length (1.5 row of the length hall + a few more metres in front of the hall *yes, I am that bored*)

13.52, I finally went into the sale hall, did a few rounds of waiting digging trying and browsing ..

15.31, no queu at all at cash payment. Even on my way out, already there's no queu to enter. But then for sure all the nice models and the common sizes are already wiped out. But who knows, maybe tomorrow they will open new sets of boxes filled with nice models, reasonable color and normal human adult sizes.

But all in all, I think this sale is quite okay. The queue was bearable, the discount was significant, I got a nice shoe, hubby got what he wants although in another color, plus an extra sandal. :)

A tip for me and anybody else who wants to come to such sale next year (if Crocs still exist, that is), do come at the earliest, 1st day of sale, right at the starting hour if possible. It will took quite an effort (e.g. take a day off from work), but it will definitely worth it. :P

Adventure of The GoodLorax : Marina Barrage

Name of venue : Marina Barrage
Address : 260 Marina Way, Singapore 018976
How to go here : From Marina Bay MRT (NS27, Red Line)
take free shuttle bus to Marina Barrage
(Mon. to Fri.: 8.30am-7.15pm ; Sat., Sun.& Public Holidays: 9 am-9 pm)
Attraction : Architecture & Design
: The stunning skyline, perfect spot to get a good Singapore skyline pics.
: Interesting water park/ fountains.
: The Dam, an engineering awe, and a good place to be alone. Bring paper and pencil and start sketching or write your blog there! :D
: The Roof Garden, also a good place to be alone and contemplate. Very inspiring.
: The Sustainable Singapore Gallery, an interesting gallery with lots of photo worthy spots :D And very educative, for sure. :)

I've to admit, me and my husband went there, supposedly to watch the opening show for Singapore Art Festival 2009. It's a performance called Helios Ii by By La Compagnie Malabar. I've been planning to watch this opening show, because I'm very impressed by last year's Singapore Art Festival opening show, called Water Fools by performed by acclaimed French street theatre company Ilotopie (see the pictures here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/muzikbug/2518055113/in/photostream/ It was AMAZIIING!!).

Anyway, as you can see here

The crowds are craaazy.. We couldn't secure a nice place to watch the whole show in peace (unlike last year's opening show :P) And at the first glimpse of the giant grasshopper, I felt like maybe it's better if we just amuse ourselves with the architecture of Marina Barrage and whatever this place has to offer. :)

Welcome to Marina Barrage !! :D

The roof top

It's such a perfect place for a picnic, and to smell the ocean, and to enjoy the wind .. :)

Now this is what I call romantic. :)

Up on the dam.

Us. :)

Us. Again. :D
Sorry, I just couldn't help it.

See you in the next post !! :)

Petualangan The GoodLorax : Jakarta - Bandung - Ciwidey

Seminggu kemarin kami habis berjalan2 ke Bandung dan Ciwidey. Beberapa posting sebelum posting ini ada research yg kami lakukan sebelum memulai perjalanan. :)

Rencana semula untuk naik motor lewat Puncak dibatalkan, karena suami merasa resiko kesehatan (pengendara dan motornya) lumayan besar (6 jam bo klo lewat Puncak :P). Jadi daripada daripada, lebih baik kami berangkot ria aja. Lagian setelah research ternyata jalur angkotnya jg tidak terlalu ribet.

Kami berangkat dari naik X-Trans Tomang menuju Bandung. Ternyata ongkos X-Trans buat non-member sudah naik jadi Rp. 70.000,-. Agak kaget juga sih, karena setaun kemaren cuma Rp. 60.000,-; lagian kan harga bensin sudah turun (mental ibu2nya mulai keluar..).

Anyway, setelah sampai di Bandung, kami turun di Pasteur (depan BTC), karena saya penasaran dengan penginapan Cherry Homes (http://www.cherry-homes.net/). Setelah telpon Cherry Homes buat tanya arah jalan, kami diarahkan untuk masuk ke kelokan Auto 2000, dan terus masuk sampe ketemu penginapannya.

Ternyata oh ternyata, penginapan ini memang bukan buat pengunjung tanpa kendaraan pribadi.. :P Karena masuknya lumayan jauh. Apalagi kami berdua membawa ransel berisi perlengkapan untuk seminggu. Dan lucunya, sepanjang jalan masuk menuju Cherry Homes kami melewati 2 penginapan lain, dengan harga yg sebenernya tidak jauh berbeda. Tapi saking penasarannya saya dengan Cherry Homes ini (saya baca review yg bagus dari internet, dan foto2 di websitenya lumayan menarik), maka kami putuskan buat tetap menginap di Cherry Homes. Waktu check in disini ternyata jam 2 siang, namun meskipun kami datang jam 12 tetap bisa dapat kamar yg lumayan (Deluxe, diskon 15% dengan kartu kredit Mandiri. Heheheh).

Kamar Deluxe ini tidak seindah bayangan saya. Jadi jujur saya agak kecewa. Tau gitu kan mending ngambil hotel yang agak deket jalan raya. :P

Setelah beres2 dan sholat, kami langsung menuju jalan Riau (RE Martadinata) untuk ngecek barang2 FO terbaru (hahaha :D). Makan kupat tahu petis yg enyaak (Rp. 6000,-/ porsi) dan es duren yg bener2 terasa durennya (Rp. 6000,-/cup). Setelah itu kami istirahat di warung susu dekat Dipati Ukur minum STMJ. Whuahh.. Benar2 nyaman. :D

Setelah beli bekal makan malam untuk dimakan di hotel (Sate Padang, 10 tusuk + lontong Rp. 9000,-/ porsi), kami pun pulang dengan puas (meskipun rada cape karena jalan masuk ke hotelnya jauuuuuh *keki berat*).

Besoknya kami check out dan langsung menuju Leuwi Panjang, cari kendaraan menuju Ciwidey. Bingung memutuskan naik Elf ato Damri, akhirnya saya putuskan naik Elf saja, karena kendaraannya lebih kecil, jadi klo menikmati pemandangan luar lebih nyaman. Lagian kita bisa duduk di depan. Ternyata mmg benar, karena klo naik Damri, kadang jadi lebih lama karena Damri ini suka ngetem dulu di Soreang.

Di Elf kami duduk bertiga di depan, berempat dengan sopir, dan 2 ransel besar.. :D 1.5 jam kemudian kami sampai di Terminal Ciwidey, kami bayar Rp. 6000,-/ orang. Belakangan kami baru tahu kalau perjalanan berangkat kami relatif nyaman, karena Elf yg kami tumpangi ngga ngetem di Soreang. Anyway, pengalaman berkendara dengan Elf yang lebih menyiksa ada di perjalanan pulang yg akan diceritakan kemudian. :D Makan dulu di warung depan Terminal (nasi timbelnya lumayan, gule kambingnya kemanisan.. Berdua Rp. 36.000,-)

Jalan naik sedikit (200 meter), ada Sindang Reret. Akhirnya kami putuskan nginep di Sindang Reret saja, karena info yang kami dapat tentang penginapan lainnya kurang lengkap, lagian sudah capek boo'.. :P

Karena kami datang pada hari kerja (Kamis), maka tarif yg berlaku untuk kamar Standard adalah 250 ribu/ hari. Harga ini berubah menjelang weekend menjadi 350/ hari.

Hari pertama kami habiskan dengan menjelajah Sindang Reret dan daerah alun2 Ciwidey. Pada hari kerja, keliatannya hanya ada kami dan 1 kamar lagi yg terisi tamu. Area Saung Sawah Sindang Reret pun tampak lengang, dan permainan flying fox yg ingin kami coba ternyata hanya ada pada hari Sabtu - Minggu atau pada hari Libur. Namun memang tempatnya sangat menyenangkan dan cocok untuk honeymoon ataupun liburan bersama keluarga.

Puas foto2 dan menjelajah Sindang Reret, kami berjalan kaki ke arah Alun2 Ciwidey, sekitar 400 meter dari penginapan. Sepanjang jalan ada beberapa perkebunan Strawbery yg tidak begitu besar, dan berderet2 penjual Kalua (manisan kulit jeruk bali) dan berbagai jajanan oleh2 khas Ciwidey.

Besoknya kami berangkat jam 8 dari Terminal Ciwidey menggunakan angkot kuning (tarif standard 6000 ke setiap tempat wisata, namun pada kenyataannya banyak penduduk lokal yg hanya membayar 1000 atau 2000 rupiah saja); dan kami memutuskan untuk berhenti di pemberhentian terakhir, yaitu di Situ Patengan.

Jadi urut- urutan tempat tujuan wisata di Ciwidey, dimulai dari yang paling bawah adalah : Kebun Strawberry - Kawah Putih - Pemandian Air Panas Cimanggu - Pemandian Air Panas Ciwalini - Situ Patengan

Situ Patengan, diluar dugaan saya, adalah danau alami yg SANGAT SANGAT INDAH .. :) Foto2 yang ada di website ini mungkin masih kurang untuk menggambarkan keindahannya. Ingat2 aja, foto yg ada di website ini, dan tambahkan kira2 30% lagi untuk keindahannya. Kira2 begitulah pesona pemandangan aslinya.

Jam 8 pagi di Situ Patengan, matahari bersinar cerah. Namun yang tidak saya sangka adalah angin dingin yang berhembus lumayan kencang :D Jadi berasa di Eropa hahaha :D Setelah puas foto2, berjalan2 di kebun teh, berkhayal bikin villa di tengah2 kebun teh dengan pemandangan eksklusif Situ Patengan, dan muter2 naik perahu, kami memutuskan untuk menuju tempat pemberhentian selanjutnya, yaitu pemandian air panas.

Karena ternyata pemandian air panas Ciwalini tutup (tutup setiap hari Rabu dan Jumat untuk dikuras), kami terpaksa menuju pemandian Cimanggu, yang menurut beberapa review yg kami baca di internet dirasa kurang bersih dan terawat. Namun karena ini adalah pengalaman pertama saya dengan pemandian air panas, saya pikir cukup lumayan lah. Air sulfur mengalir ke beberapa kolam yang tersedia, dibedakan berdasarkan kedalamannya. Saya dan suami memilih kolam yang paling sepi :P

Ada juga ditawarkan kolam2 "private", namun saya tidak tega melihat kondisinya. :P Ruangannya sangat gelap, kurang terawat dan bak rendamnya terkesan dibuat seadanya. Cenderung mesum malah :P Jika dibandingkan dengan spa yang belakangan ini sering saya desain, huah.. rasanya Cimanggu klo di renovasi dengan kualitas resort, pasti bisa menjadi tujuan wisata dengan penghasilan tinggi. :P *sigh*. Benar2 sayang sekali.

Ketika matahari mulai beranjak naik, kami keluar dari kolam dengan perasaan relaks dan lebih bugar. Tapi saya masih pengen datang ke Ciwalini suatu saat nanti.