August 24, 2010

Koalas Are Huggers, So Am I

Before this summer, I've never been to Australia before. Well, I was raised in New Zealand and moved around a lot throughout it's two islands. But even though Australia and NZ are like sisters, I have never ever been to Oz. But then, this summer came and I was thrilled when family decided to go under for our holiday break from school and work.

Sydney was awesome. Like, sorry Sydney residents, but I totally underestimated the city before I came. Thought it would be ordinary. But wow, I was really pleased there. The city was so tidy it looked so artsy. We arrived early morning and on the way to the Opera House, people were running and walking their dogs. Some were holding coffee cups and rushing somewhere. And oh! There were cute little vintage houses all across the streets, it was so nice to see in the middle of a big city like Sydney! Too bad I was too busy being amazed I didn't get any photographs of the cute houses, I really should've! Sorry.

The Opera House

We were only in Sydney for a day and next day we traveled by bus to Brisbane then to Gold Coast. On the trip, we met so many interesting people. And wow, there are so many Indonesians in that country! Hahaha. It was odd walking down a street of another country and hear someone behind you say "Ah! Bete banget gue, masa dia nggak punya kesadaran sama sekali sih?!"*. I was like, am I at Pondok Indah Mall** or something? Hahahaha. Weird but funny experience. In Gold Coast, me and cousins went out a lot. We stayed for four nights and there weren't much to do if we stayed laying in the hotel. Every night, there'd be a different funny story. And it was during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, so I definitely had to watch the matches! (I rooted for Spain and was sooooo happy when they won the championship!). So those funny stories I mentioned, includes a drunk man throwing water bottles at my cousin and aunt, then another drunk dude sort of hitting on my sister but in an odd way, then another drunken night in my hotel room where my cousins, uncles and aunts gathered in my hotel room and took advantage of the only smoking-allowed floor. Now after I wrote this, I just realized that every funny story I mentioned had something to do with alcohol. But anyhow, let's move on.

Beautiful beach of Gold Coast

Drinking in my room - Before

Drinking in my room - After! LOL

In Gold Coast, we went whale watching, which was aaaamaazing! Hand downs, one of the most beautiful scenes I've ever seen. Watching the whales migrate from Aussie's cold winter weather to somewhere warmer. They were lovely. Then we went to two theme parks. Dreamworld and Movie World. I wasn't really enjoying Dreamworld that much until the end of the day when I met the cutest kangaroos out of cages and wandering around the animal park. Allowing us to interact directly with them. We could pat them too! Some were even kangaroo mothers with babies in their pouch. Then I met Jake. Jake is a three year old koala. As I've learned, koalas love to hug. And Jake was a big hugger. And I'm also a big hugger. So after taking some photos, it was hard to let go of each other. Hee hee, I'm such an animal person. Meeting all the animals totally made my day.

Jake the hugging lover koala

The Superman Escape

Me, enjoying the best snack in the world, Churros!

But then Movie World was definitely the highlight of my Aussie trip. The climax of my holiday. Me and my sister, Sky, are roller coaster junkies. As matter of fact, we are "adrenaline booster" junkies. When it comes to theme parks, we would ride anything that looks scary. You name it. We've been traveling a lot growing up and every time we encounter a roller coaster or anything that looks death challenging, we'd take a chance to put the experience into our long resume of freaky rides. So at Movie World, we went nuts and went on every scary ride. The Superman Escape roller coaster was definitely scary, it was so fast I could feel my cheeks shudder crazily. But, that day, I rode the scariest roller coaster I've ever came across. Lethal Weapon roller coaster. It was more petrifying than Space Mountain and Tower of Terror which were at on top of my list. Me and Sky spent 2 hours of standing in line to ride Lethal Weapon, but only 1 minute on the roller coaster and then when we got off, we literally couldn't talk because the rush just wasn't out of our system yet. And me? Other than almost peeing in pants, I walked wobbly towards the exit. I couldn't keep my legs straight! It was hilarious!

P.S: Next post, stories about when I went to Melbourne and more photos to come with it. Stay tuned. Hugs.

* A sentence in Indonesian, casual language used by most Indonesians. Translation: "Ah! I'm so annoyed, how could he not have any consciousness?!"

** Pondok Indah Mall is one of the hippest malls in Jakarta, Indonesia.

August 18, 2010


Hello everyone. It's been a wild holiday for me. And I have a huge confession to make to you all, my loyal readers. I hope you read this, and read this well, because this is a VERY important post.

I am a normal human being. I make mistakes, some are small like forgetting to pay the bills or lying about my height. Some are huge, like getting drunk and sleeping around or stealing what is not mine. Please, be alarmed, but don't be shocked and naive, because yes, I am a normal human being. I'm like you, I also have people I look up to and people I wish I could be. As if being myself isn't enough.

I have been taunted and called names. I've also been cursed and accused with adjectives I truly despise. Why and by whom you may ask. Well here it is. My confession.

These past two years, you, my readers, my family and my friends, know me as who I portray on a daily basis. A young photographer and writer, who happens to be a wee bit well known on the internet, who is a lucky lady that gets to travel and share stories, who is a philosophy student at one of the most prestigious universities in southeast Asia. That is 100% true. However, as I said before, I am a human being. I have flaws and imperfections.

Just a month or perhaps two (I've lost track of time) before this date, my mother, who is a single parent, received a letter from my university informing her that I have failed almost all my classes and am threatened to be dropped out from the academy. As if she isn't horrified enough by that news, there's something that made it worse, which is the fact that she had absolutely no clue that this was happening, because for 3 semesters that I've been studying there, I lied to her face and sent fake transcripts so she'll never find out. The truth is, I didn't go to my classes most of the time just because of my selfishness. Just because I felt uncomfortable of doing something I didn't want. So she ended up shocked and furiously angry.

I didn't mean to lie. Really. I felt so bad, so I tried to cover it up. But as most of us know, lying brings us no where, because no matter how much we try to cover it, the truth always come out eventually. And as for another confession, I've done this before, I've already failed my classes back in high school. And was forced to move to another high school to complete my studies. So, there I was, guilty. And there she was, feeling that I have yet again betrayed her trust.

Why? I was acting up, I guess. I have dreamt of going overseas to continue my education since I was 9. And not being able to fulfill that dream now has created a lazy monster in me that feels like I'm wasting my time. I'm wrong of course.

Disgusted and terrified by my behavior and my ongoing mistakes, I was called a liar, a manipulative person and a hypocrite. Because of who I am, because of who YOU know I am. I was said that all I care about is popularity and my image of this perfect little girl who seems to have everything and can do anything and can move on from any mistake. BUT I'M NOT. And I am very confident to say that I don't give a shit about popularity and whatever image. I am here today to write this and prove that I really don't care and that I am not a hypocrite.

Honestly, I am utterly embarrassed of my failure. My failure as a child, as a student, and as a role model to most young ladies who've been reading my blog for these past years. But I am not ashamed to admit my mistake and admit that I'm human. This is who I am. Hello, maybe we should start over.

As to my success since early this year becoming a best selling book author, I have been receiving comments, emails, messages and even tweets from readers all over Indonesia and some from other countries, notifying me that I have inspired, that I have touched, that I have motivated and have moved some hearts. I apologize, I apologize to everyone for not being able to fill your expectations of me. And if now you read this, if you find yourself disappointed and repulsed by my honesty, I also apologize deeply. I apologize if apparently I am not inspiring, I can not touch or motivate, or maybe move you.

Because, I am hurt too. I am hurt to know everyone knows me as someone else.

So, don't call me a hypocrite. Because I am not ashamed to tell the world my ugliness. Don't call me manipulative, because even though I have portrayed a different persona all this time, at least I've inspired people. Or, that was what they said. I am also mortified to know what a little liar I am. Pretending everything is fine so you can be entertained by my life and my stories. But the fact is, my life sucks. It sucks too, just like yours and anyone else's. We're all the same. And I have NEVER thought that I am slightly better than anyone.

So there it is. My confession. I'm sorry for being a disappointment. But this one is for my mother, who thinks I can't stand up for myself. Well, that might be true, because she's always been there to help me out of my troubles. And Mom, I am grateful for that. Thank you for still being forgiving. I know I have humiliated my mother and that makes me feel completely miserable, even though she thinks that's not true. But, I'm not hiding anymore. And for once, I will prove the accusations wrong. Because I am brave to confess to everyone who I am. I am a failure. I am a failure. I am indeed a failure.

Maybe I'm not good enough to be anyone's inspiration. But I didn't asked to be anyway. I never signed up for that role. I write my life on my blog. And that's it. Now, you can judge me and say whatever you want about me. I don't care and am not shamed a bit.

But no worries, I will not leave you with only this horrible news. Because even though I've failed getting my philosophy degree, thanks to the support from my mom, my boyfriend and my sister, I have fortunately been accepted into Institut Seni Indonesia (Indonesia's Art Institute) to study under the photography major. And will start to continue my education there this September with a promise that I will do better and will no longer disappoint.

I do hope for you to wish me the best of luck. And of course, I also hope for your forgiveness and understanding. Today, I have announced my defeat. But I am proud to let everyone know who I really am. Whoever you think I am is completely your decision, but I am definitely not a hypocrite and am not a perfect "popularity minded" brat.

And just so you know, before I wrote this post, nobody knew about this. Only my mom, my sister and my boyfriend. Oh, yeah, and those damn people who sent the fucking letter to my mom. So, this is a HUGE confession. Goodbye for now, talk to you again in a week or two.

P.S: More good news? As now I am officially a photography student, that means more photos for you will come. I wish you all well :')