"Cinta dan kebencian, hanyalah berjarak satu hantaman luka dan seribu lautan kenangan" — David Tandri

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Welcoming 2017...

Well, 2017 has just arrived, and guess what? Exactly on the first day of 2017, I woke up to a power outages in my house, and for Old-Fatty-Santa’s sake, it even occured twice in a day! 7-8 hours in the morning + 3-4 hours in the afternoon, when it was supposed to be a relaxing me-time. I was wondering, is this actually the Welcome-New-Year gift from the local government? I guess, it’s not likely Santa would do this, right?

Meanwhile the nature seems to be a little bit upset that day and even rubbing salt into the wound by sending heavy rain the whole day. The cool weather finally sent me crawling back to my bed since there’s nothing much I could do in the middle of half-prisoned holiday. Indeed not a very pleasant moment to start the New Year with.

Alright, let’s think of it as just a coincidence rather than a misfortune. After all, we are still living with a healthy condition. I think this is the most important thing that matters and we must be thankful for that. One year of time is very short, and I’m sure everyone has lots of resolution to strive for in the next 364 days, right? So, the first thing we need is definitely: HEALTH!

Speaking of resolutions, I have a dream, though. A simple dream, but does seem difficult to me. Since I took a hiatus from writing, I have been spending most of my free time watching movies, and that started to make me a movie buff. I have a collection of over 300 titles in my 8 TB external hard drives, and the list is still growing. In 2016 alone, I lost count but I think I have watched over 100 movies from various genres and countries. I’m racing with the time to finish watching as many movies as possible, so that my collection can be well-organized and to make sure there’s no junk movies “sneaked” into my memory since it would be a waste of space.

Sometimes, when I watched a very good movie, I really felt like to share it to public so that many more can watch it. A good movie should not be missed, right? How can we ever forget the record-breaking “Titanic” in 1997? Or the most tear-jerking classic from Taiwan, “My Beloved (妈妈再爱我一次)” in 1988, which famous for its heart-wrenching theme song “世上只有妈妈好 (Shi Shang Zhi You Ma Ma Hao)”? It would be such a waste if a good movie only known to some people, especially movies from Asian which are less famous comparing to Hollywood due to minimum coverage and less commercial value.

So, for this reason, I have always wanted to write a movie review of my own version for every movie I’d watched, be it a good one or bad one. But since I’m not very well-versed in English, this obstacle obviously made it a very difficult task to me. Moreover, writing a good movie review is not easy. It’s not as simple as writing a Friendster testimonial. You need to have a very profound knowledge about the movie itself, including the basic principles of filmmaking like acting, casting, directing, genre, box office, history, etc. It’s just too many aspects to mention. It requires years of experiences and comprehensive understanding regarding this industry to be able to produce a good review like those on Rotten Tomatoes or Roger Ebert. Honestly, reading reviews there, I’m not only envy of the utmost detail they wrote, but also of the richness in their English vocabularies.

Given my condition, it is certainly a mission impossible to get close to their level of analysis. I’m not a native, hence my English skill is still far below average to be able to write an in-depth movie review. Maybe I will try to write merely a summary based on my impression and interpretation. I won’t get too far, of course. At least, I’m sharing them. I’m recommending a good stuff to people. I do the hard part before anyone does: I sacrifice my time watching a bad movie, then I’ll share so less people will be fooled by the nice poster or casts.

Please be informed that sometimes a stur-studded casts doesn’t guarantee the quality of the movie itself, just like “The Expendables” series. They did well in box offices because they were selling the popularity of the casts. They even exploit Jet Li’s fame so that the movies could boost its selling point in Asian market, while Jet Li was given only minutes of screen time in The Expendables 2 & 3. Even worse in the third series, Jet Li (李连杰) didn’t even have any fighting scenes and show up during the ending only to deliver a lame joke. As a Chinese who lives in Asian region, I find this treatment very disappointing. No wonder Andy Lau (刘德华) always refuses to appear in Hollywood movies, as he deemed Hollywood never respects Asian actors. Like I said before, the only purpose of casting any Chinese actor/actress was all about ticket sales in Asian countries.

So, a movie is not only a matter of cast + plot + editing room if you really dig through the story behind the scene. This is also the reason that inspired me to do a movie review. 2017 has just started. As a beginner, hopefully I can do well and turn it as regular entries in my blog, and fellow readers can grasp a little essence out of it for your movie references.

Medan, January 5th, 2017

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflecting 2016...

Almost time for that “New Year, New Me” tradition, I guess? LOL. Everybody loves to say that every year, but nothing seems to really change. Well, I once said that too a few years ago, but then I stop doing that because the older I get, the more I realize that reality is far more complex than expectation. Reality is not a dreamland that you can simply design your own legos and make a castle out of it. The reality nowadays is very scary. Many people were helpless, disappointed and dejected because they finally witnessed in their life that the “rate of fulfillment” in the world called “REALITY” was way too low, while the list of expectation keep climbing every year as our age progresses.

We will be surprised when the to-do-list we made last year remains intact with no checklist at all. Maybe laziness got in our way, or we just simply created that list to please ourselves in order not to look hopeless. The list we made was to celebrate the New Year’s Eve only. But unfortunately, as the fireworks show ends, we plunge back to our original mode, wondering and wondering… “What should I do to make myself a better person?”

To me, every year is just the same. Like I said, I won’t pretend to change myself just because the date is about to change. Que sera-sera. Let the nature takes its course. But I do afraid of time. Time is something underrated by young person, but highly treasured by the old ones, or the sick ones. When we still have a lot, we never imagine what will happen at the moment we have less, and that’s what makes us human a natural spender rather than a saver.

I admit, time is the most precious thing in the world. Ask any patient you see in the hospital, especially the critical one. Time flies, and human can only walk. The day we were born, we spent most of our time crying. The same thing happens when we are about to leave, we will spend most of our time crying, maybe even more. As for newborn baby, it is said that crying is good for their lungs, so we can assume it a natural biology response. But why do most people cry at their last moment on earth? The answer is simple. Because of REGRET. This is the hardest consequence we will bear on our last meal if we choose to become a spender than a saver.

The problem is, regret is not something you can easily avoid, because it’s something you never expected from the beginning. We always hope for the best, don’t we? Again, reality vs. expectation, and the winner is always the former.

To me, 2016 is one of the toughest year I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. It doesn’t seem as beautiful as the sparks of the fireworks back then. It’s tough, because (again) I lose one my dearest family member in this year. Yeah, I lose my grandma. Her demise left a very deep sorrow in me. This is the second time I have to lose those who closest to me after my Mom in 2012. The feeling is terrible, it haunts me for the next few upcoming months. The home doesn’t feel the same anymore. There is a space that left unoccupied every time you walk pass through it, and you start imagining things.

Facing this trial, I recalled something relevant. During a Chinese talkshow called “The Voice” (开讲啦), Andy Lau (刘德华) was given a very good question by an audience. “You have been very successful in your life. Do you by chance still have any fear? For example, fear of losing your popularity one day?” Long story short, he said, “If there is anything I should be afraid of, it would be fear of losing those who dear to me (family).” This kind of fear is really terrifying, because everyone has to face it one day. It’s just a matter of TIME. It’s inevitable because there is no immortality pill has been invented so far. I have one friend that still can’t get over his father’s death even after one year. Why? The explanation is simple.

Because we haven’t done enough what we’re supposed to do for them, and it generates regret. We human were created as a natural spender, and as a result we often take things for granted. We don’t treasure them because we don’t feel the need to save them until it’s too late. Why we treat our parents nicely only during Father’s/Mother’s day? Why we treat our partner nicely only during Valentine’s day? What differentiate those days with normal days? All of them have 24-hours window/day and the same weather (let’s say so) for us to make something different. Yet, we don’t make it happen, because they are not on our priority list during normal days. That’s why!

My teacher in high school once said this during class, “Even if you just being idle and do nothing, there would still be some people who hate you.” My teacher was right. What he said is the real face of our modern society.

2016 has been a year that refreshed my social circle to a cleaner state. It makes me more aware of my surrounding, which are friends and foes, which are real and fake. Some people have both of them (real & fake) possessed in one body, which often we called as two-faced people. These are the most poisonous people to be around with, since there will be no symptoms until you’re being poisoned yourself.

For example, you know, Facebook has invented such a cool feature called “Post History”. If I may guess, the original purpose of this feature is to give people chance to correct any grammatical mistake or typo in their post, so they don’t need to write a whole new one. Unfortunately, some people would abuse this feature to accommodate their two-faced character. So if you are sharp enough, you can always dig out their post history (especially when that post is specifically talking about you) and you will be surprised of what you might see there.

They say, words that said at the very first time are the purest, be it good or evil. So if you happen to find an edited version of post, maybe there was something really going on there, which encouraged the poster to correct the text, and left only the good part visible. Fortunately, this “post history” feature will record everything they wrote from the very first time. You just need to click it and voilà! Congratulations, you may have just discovered a two-faced person on your screen.

Ever met someone like this before? Hopefully you won’t. Well, this is just a simple case of how they run their two-faced strategies in order to attack you secretly. Always beware of your surrounding, because this kind of poison is sometimes hard to be identified with “naked eyes”.

Meddling in modern society, we should always remember a quote from “The Italian Job” movie. “I trust everyone. It's the devil inside them I don't trust.” Too much trust will make you an easy prey. Some people walk in your life to use you for various purposes. They might use you as a shield, a party buddy or a shopping buddy, or simply use you as a back-up. Once you fall apart, try searching them anywhere they used to be when they need you. You will then realize, you have wasted your precious time just to feed the devil inside them.

Some people try to befriend as many people as they can, collecting names in their contact list or messenger, gathering followers on Instagram, settling into a community just to act busy or something, or simply being a regular suck-up to gain attention. So much effort just to avoid being labeled as lonely. This is also one unique kind of two-faced person. Only, this kind doesn’t mentally hurt others, they only hurt their own pride in exchange for the fake friendships.

So what to do if we actually discover this kind of people in our circle? Well, let me heal this question with another question. What’s the point of keeping things that useless to you, that you can even live without? A regular contact sweeping would be the only solution to this. Keep one that matters to your life, and remove those who don’t. The shocking fact is, you will find out that the list is growing every year. Yeah, this is the ugly truth we have to accept in order to be a person we really are.

Losing things is a common outcome when we live in a temporary world. Nothing is permanent. We lose job, we lose friends, we lose partners, we lose money on investment, we lose direction to the future. But don’t worry, as every time we lose something, we definitely learn something in return. The lesson we learned is much more precious than the most expensive fireworks that fired into the sky. The change of year means nothing if we don’t learn any lessons in the past 365 days. The to-do-list means nothing if we don’t make it out of the lessons we learned.

Don’t treat your to-do-list like a chewing gum, the sweetness is only temporary, and in the end, it would only become a piece of junk in the rubbish bin. Be careful of what you repeat every year, as it would possibly become your habit one day.

Finally, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year’s Eve. Let’s welcome 2017 and say goodbye to 2016.

And… always be yourself.

Medan, December 31st, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

Final Update on Seoul Garden Issue

As I have stated before, I have reached Seoul Garden's owner to talk about this matter, and I have suggested to publish an official clarification on media. The clarification statement can be accessed on Analisa.

PS: This clarification statement is to clarify the issue following my complaint letter on Analisa.

In order to ensure the balance of the clarification, I have first sent the draft to Chris prior to publication, and he had verified the content without any change made.

This clarification statement will also served as a closure to this case. Thank you.

Medan, 25 Juli 2016

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Clarification Regarding Seoul Garden Issue

I have read the latest clarification from Seoul Garden's owner, Christopher Angkasa, on Facebook, and thus I'm currently in process of reaching the owner to have a final conclusion about this issue and eventually close this case.

In this post, I won't release any more argument or opinion since I deem it unnecessary for the sake of clearing this matter. Thus, I have taken down the previous posts to prevent any more chaos, as well as a follow-up action regarding the owner's latest official statement. It's hard to explain to all people one by one regarding this matter, regardless of what's right and wrong. I had my right point which admitted as a service and personality failure by Chris, and vice versa. However, Chris has officially written a feedback to address this issue and I have got all the point very clearly. I have to admit, some words spoken between us have led to massive dispute that went viral on the internet. The logic is, what his friends think will be different from what my friends think. So if we keep fighting about this, it will just prolong the debate over this matter, while my purpose of releasing this statement is to end this debate, and to clear the thick dark cloud hanging between the owner and I.

Some people have shown up with a very good point in their comments. Some people were just adding oil in the flame. Some people were looking closely at the source of fire with another oil tank ready to pour it in. I can't prevent this, as everyone has their right to speak what they want. But overall, I thank you for all your feedback and it has served as a very good reminder.

So, I hereby apologize if any part of my doing apparently has set a bad example for the public. I never had the intention of gaining public attention/increasing my blog traffic, or being an attention-seeker type writer as everyone has mentioned.

If there is any further update on this issue, I will surely post it again on my blog.

Thank you!

Medan, 20 Juli 2016

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Employees vs Customers

This is a very wise business mindset that has lost its practice today.

Most companies are unaware of the fact that they might have (for so long) abandoned/forgot about the importance of employee satisfaction, and yet expected their employees to "voluntarily" help with the service excellence program, all for the sake of company's image and marketing purpose.

The question is: how could a company expect their employees to serve the customers right, while the company didn't even serve their own employees right in the first place? Isn't this such a total bullshit and brutal selfish act? A company doesn't issue the paycheck and then think it's settled. That's so traditional and old-fashioned. This is why, to some companies, the so-called service excellence program is forever a mission impossible, no matter how much effort, time and budget they had spent on it to socialize, organizing events, merchandising, etc.

This kind of company was just capable of commanding their employees instead of listening. Even worse is, the company was just commanding their employee to give something better when in (critical) need. Otherwise, the employees were just daily machines to them. As long as it still happens that way, no matter how hard a company tried to convince their employees, the great value of service excellence program would just end on the very presentation board or forum, and did not melt into employees' working spirit.

Because the fact is, it takes only a fresh graduate or common people to understand the value of service excellence and how to treat customers right. So there's no reason that a senior employee with years of accumulated working experience doesn't know about this. It was just their choice to do it or not and what company did was just telling and explaining what they already knew.

In order for them to do that, a company must first ensure their satisfaction, invest more in them, and build their trust towards management. This will create strong sense of belonging inside the employees' community. The positive vibes will spread around them initiatively without need to be commanded, forced, or even threatened by warning letter or any punishment method. This way, even with less budget and effort any company could make this service excellence program happen, automatically and permanently. Even the best result is, a company could finally build a fun family, instead of just boring organization with forced routines.

Medan, November 12th, 2015