Senin, 15 Desember 2008

Rows that Wow

I see sumpin fishy!

first we take Manhattan!

MANGO: original

Man, go mango

Ah, granny!

Bend it like Beckham


for 5c!


Senin, 01 Desember 2008

Garden Bliss

Sara's uncle has a very vast garden. Full of trees and ornamental plants. very green. I was glad to observe and Linda almost felt like home i guess. "You must take pics of me with the trees!" In that means she wanted to climb up the trees.

First she tried the kelengkeng tree (of lychee family) to no avail. She moved to the next. This nutmeg tree was in the state of producing the best ripe crops. I was glad to sniff some. it smells so good and reminds me of chicken soup or magical mung bean soup or the more magical cassava-cum-mung bean soup made at LBTC. Not to mention brenebon. my mouth salivates...

Linda also tried another kelengkeng tree. her act made people laughed like crazy. and she's good at it. i got inspired and tried to climbed the guava tree by the pond. i havent climbed like in ages, so i was very excited. but being 2 m above the ground was challenging. that being said, i prefer to be on terra firma :)

Later i made acquaintance with some bromeliads and orchids. I love that morning

Ant Weaving

Observing this orchid, i found this big fiery red ant we call rangrang.

Kamis, 27 November 2008

On the Line with The Conservationist

Mr Jatna was about to withdraw himself from the crowd. it was fun to see someone ushered him back to the stage. to a group of SMU students he talked of how males in animal kingdom "beautify" themselves to attract females.

i agree with him. males can be as bling as peacocks. (It reminds me of an old mag article, "Meraknya Boy George", back to the Hamid Rusdi days.)

I was glad to meet him in person two weeks ago at an event for honoring the achievements of Darwin's correspondent, Russell Wallace. Jatna Supriatna, PhD. of Conservation International Indonesia, an executive director r& egional VP for Indonesia is himself a recent Habibie Award 2008 laureate .

That he agreed to talk to me on the phone made me happy, even after I mumbled "for my blog".

He talked of his recent discovery at Danau Tempe (where a Loch Ness monster-like creature is rumored to reside): new "kind" of monkeys. "....once again, it's females that made journey to find males." The hybrid macacas have characteristic of small size (smaller than parents) and webbed feet. anomaly no? that's interesting. He talked of lesser or lost genes that reappeared.

Is this evolution?
"I haven't concluded yet. It can be a mere adaptation, a modification, or evolution."

Adaptation. Modification. Never heard of these before!

Hearing this, I felt like, I'm still thee hundreds credits away to get my degree in science. Many a time I just made ooh, ahh responses. (very unscientific ha? lol)

"That's the wonder of nature's lab," he concluded.

nature's lab. how cool is that!

to be honest, I din understand many of his descriptions but it was nice of him to share knowledge.

To my surprise, the primatologist's first book was on poisonous snakes of Indonesia (published in 1981). creepy!

He: "Ever heard of flying snakes?"
Me: uhm-uhm.
He: "I often find them whenever I go to the jungle. when i sleep on my hammock, they often take refuge inside my body."
Me: how could you escape alive? or not get bitten.
He: "well, they're gentle creatures. if we aint afraid of them, they wont bite."
Me: gentle? How do they know we're afraid of them?
He: "If we're afraid of them, we release 'hormone of fear'. They'll become defensive when they smell this particular hormone."

Later he told me of the relevance of studying animals and everyday life. And also about primates' "office politic" i din know it exists hahahaha

a cool scientist he is!

Rabu, 26 November 2008

Bay Dolphin

I was thrilled when reading the itinerary. We must do dolphin watching, i said to Cika and Anast and those people agreed. So we rose very early, despite the fact we barely arrived like 5 hours before.

Soon as the catamaran hit the calm water, i took the role as captain. or watchman? because i frequently sought direction in the boatman's face. if he raised his chin and turning left, it means south. like that.

Twenty minutes later, we spotted a school of dolphin. exciting! very cool. I leapt from the seat. So did the other boats. They leapt to the school's direction. Can you imagine? Scary no?

We four people asked the boatman to slow down the catamaran and go to calm water. Miraculously, the dolphins reappeared. This time to everyone's satisfaction. It leaped like twice and swam with fin above the water surface.

Very kewl! I guessed they've got used to people and boats that they chose to play around and "greet" them.

Koi Boy

metropolitan koi (Senopati area, 2007)

I hadn't seen him for about 6 years, so i was excited to see him. But before kak Sam greeted me on the gate, Roy, who i never knew, almost leapt on me. Surprisingly this German shepherd din bark. my hands were received warmly with eager grunts. He was a gift from a local police, so i say that Roy was a retired cop. Good boy.

Four days of holiday turned into four days of labor. To be exact, it was a labor of love. hahaha

To see hundreds of fish in large cement tanks was awesome. colorful and active. Very cool. Kois, goldfish, and 'invisible' gouramis. More surprising, i arrived at tank-cleaning-week.

Oom couldn't be happier with my staying there. Thus i was employed by oom Alex. For him i was like a Godsend because he had like 10 large tanks. He spared only the baptism tank for the namesake's purpose. The lichen scrubbing was exhausting but it seemed kak Sam had got used to the rhythm there. Working was his daily exercise. He got muscled in the tanks and gardens--not in a gym room haha

Equipped with plastic brush, wire brush, and syringe, I dipped into the biggest tank to catch the big kois. "Careful, careful! They're easily distressed!" said oom. More distressed was i who knew not the hows. That day i also learnt how to spot the gold: kois with unique "spots" sold better.

Tante Hwa seemed to see a fatigue face and a low spirit, so she served the best food of her gardens--and tanks. (in the afternoon, i learnt that exhausted kois could die easily of rough or wrong handling. They went straight to the frying pan). In my wildest dream I never know kois were edible. Tante deep fried them and served with steamed vegetables and fiery sambal. The slimy carps (kois) however can't beat the taste of fellow common carps aka mujahir.

What made my staying there 'worthwhile' was something in a container. I was indulging myself with homemade wine. they made wine out of fruity parts of cashew nuts! Oom was a genius.

Last July or eight years later, i remembered the tanks and asked kak Sam. "Ah, they're for gouramis," he said. Eight years before, I asked kak sam: Why din your pa allow me to scrub the gourami tanks?

"Ah they love lichens," kak Sam said. "The greener the water, the better."

I love gouramis

High Tea

They're never as high as their cousin Camelia is. But both produce sweet smelling flowers. Kak Sam can drain a two-litre-stainless-steel glass full of oolong tea in just minutes. Ani makes it regularly, perhaps twice a day. And Becki falls in love with a tasteless popular tea. Anyway, I love teas

Rabu, 12 November 2008


whence the color term cometh

I was happy to find this plant in the morning when i did the sunrise seeing on Tengger
beautiful, no?

Renate said that she discovered the plant on Dieng Plateau--much like what she had back home.
"Fuchsie, you know." Ah, yes.

These brighly colored blooms made my day
love 'em

Senin, 22 September 2008

Monkey Love

Rama decided to stop at Monkey Forest Sanctuary, the prime gate of Ubud. I was not excited at first, thinking about the beasts. But the thought of Jane Goodall crossed my mind and some posing at the entrance gave me a jolt.

So i went inside (did i hear the young ladies say, "official bananas, Sir?"). I am all eyes, i thought.

the small forest itself is thick and dense and humid that the decision to wear my cotton cardigan was a mistake.

Rama and Fajar were enjoying themselves with the cams but somehow i was not that into taking pics. so i chose the clear open of the site on the upper hill which is usually used for ngaben or the Hindu cremation. there were scattered palm leaves roofs and bamboos. I then saw two girls, they apparently were taking notes. i approached one of them.

Riris was observing a colony of monkeys. In the heat of the day, she was wearing long sleeves, trousers, shoes and fishing hat. Later I knew the reason.

"They show a behavior found none in other monkey colonies," she answered my question, detailing on a particular behavior.

Ah, really? I thought chimps do it. (yeah, that David Graybeard who gave his hand to meet Goodall's)

"perhaps. this is for my final papers. i am helping a Japanese professor.

wow, that's cool! what monkeys are they, anyway?


and the species?

Riris then pronounced a word i couldn't remember. But i remembered M. sylvana from the World Book days.

in the mid of this, suddenly i felt something landed on my head!



the nasty beast sat comfortably on my head and reached his hairy hands to my neck... i managed not to freak out.

Riris laughed, so did Fajar. Hey you guys help me!

"Just walk fast, and he'll jump on the ground!" said Riris. it just din help! i now felt that the claws were sinking into my neck. ouch!

then i approached the nearby gardu. miraculously, it jumped down gently...phew!

everybody laughed. You double my mysey, guys....

while brushing my head with hands to remove any "monkey residue", i din know what Fajar did but suddenly a monkey jumped into his butts, grasping his jeans pockets. Fajar was on panic. Go monkey, go, get him! Hahahaha

"I've been here a week," said Riris. "Been bitten once."

oh that's why you're wearing all cover ups.

i din have thought to continue the conversation since all i saw was monkeys chasing around.

when i went across the bridge and saw the holy spring, i heard them approaching the banyan trees. noisy were they! perhaps they must take night sleep earlier. so i guess i will have no more encounters, i thought. so i asked the guys to get out of here soon.

and surprisingly, there were some monkeys watching the visitors in hope of some banana rewards.

Fajar was in the mood of being comical. he was mimicking them only to be playing tug-o-war with one of them later--apparently senior member of the clan. it was trying to grab his camera bag. hahahaha

uhm, by the way i am still curious about them. I think now i need Rama's help here.

(photos by Rama n Fajar)

Senin, 15 September 2008


Salute to the duo. These inhabitants of Turtle Island are smart birds. Curious and alert, they examined Fajar's cam and mine. (other visitors seemed to ignore them. their cage was the least visited. perhaps people still think they are bad omens). I was sorry i bring nothing to offer them.

they looked like bored. I remember, back home, crows were common especially in the afternoon when they cawed overhead. Mami said, they were about to return home.

Whenever I went back from school i loved to take the river route. There, a family kept a crow as pet, banding his right foot the way people did parrots. (according to Susan, it's illegal to keep them as pets in Colorado) it was black, big, and noisy. but somehow it looked attractive. his head would move here and there, as if examining me. of course i kept a good distance. One bite from Yacob was enough :) I thought, he must be lonely. what if he heard his friends cawing in the sky? did it respond?

I've never seen a single crow in Jakarta but i saw many of them, a flock (or "murder" said Susan) of about ten, inhabited Pulau Pramuka, some 40 miles away from mainland Java. Do they fish or scavenge? I don't know. But I remember they're numerous as sparrows in coastal Malacca. I wonder if they do fish like gulls do.

anyway the duo din caw us. somehow I felt welcomed :)

Selasa, 09 September 2008

Beachy Mimicry

it was no secret that sand on Kuta Beach was regularly maintained to outsmart abrasion. so i didnt expect to see any sign of living and moving marine creatures. all left are dead barnacles and broken reef. so, when Fajar and I walked along the beach in the third morning, we were stunt to see this mimicry and it was alive! whoaaaaaa

this small crab looked extremely interesting. it is almost transparent and i din have any idea how it mimicked the surrounding sand. okay, i'd seen one on the beach of Pulau semak Daun.
Fajar tried his macro at best and here's the lovely and sharp result.

Perfect illusion: a thumb sized crab. For him, it's the way of survival.

"Nice try" mimicry: a dog of sand color relaxing :)

Senin, 08 September 2008

Puppies' Day Out

cute as they may seem

sibling rivalry

ear catching

turn the other cheek

The masters

These siblings have the biggest hearts in this world. i thanked them for warming my heart in the morning.

that Friday morning, when I strolled around Kuta beach, i met them and they let this stranger of mine play with their big hearted dogs. cute and playful.

As I lay me Down

Cat Siesta

Swimming with the dinosaurs

K Es ever told me of this. But i was way more excited when i met them myself. sooo enormous! and i swam with them--uhm, my feet did. it was turtle sanctuary off the coast of Benoa. near Nusa Dua.

i'd seen many more of them at Pulau Pramuka, but this time, I walked with them. Kewl!

i was afraid they would bite me, but the guide said no. they're peaceful. but hey think the hawksbills bite. but since they were not seen, i thought it was safe for me to plunge into their bordered residence.

the feeling was high and the fear was present (they have poor eyesight, the guard told. but they can smell food--me!) but the excitement was overwhelming. All the 20 of them!

they're cute, i should say. they swam and ignored me. one of them went ashore ( i bet the biggest) and let us touch him. it was an olive ridley. the shell is hard as rock but surprisingly the neck is very soft. amazing creature.

most of them stay there for three months and after that must be released to the ocean. "and we don't allow them to return because they should be there [in the ocean] and breed," said the guide. She put a criss cross mark on their shell with sharp knife.

i thought they were kept in order to breed, but "the water was not deep enough for them to perform courtship."
how could?
"hey, i've been here for ten years and never sees any attempts succeed."

Ah, well

There i saw green turtles, hawksbills, and some more species. also present were an owl, two super curious ravens, a boa, an iguana, a dog faced bat, a monitor, and a big family of black seahorses. lovely.

Rabu, 27 Agustus 2008

Garden Impostor

быть неблагодарным -- страшных, с этого момента, я должен сосредоточиться на том, что я имею а не то, что другие.

Мне необходимо перейти на вашем саду чаще.


Selasa, 26 Agustus 2008

Wake Up and Smell the Roselle

'why are my roselle bushes dwarves?' typed Debbie

how do i know, you gave me the seeds.

'my auntie did!'

actually, mine is dwarf too. it doesn't exceed a foot!


i did exactly what you said: sow it on the rice husks

'perhaps we should transfer them to the ground.'

or mix the husks with earth?

'hahahahaha, that's what my mom told me to'


perhaps the variant is dwarf one but i'm glad i planted it. Seed is of no use unless it falls into the ground and dies. it will ressurect.

Mother of two

Kamis, 14 Agustus 2008

The Autumn Song

that's eight years ago that i had this in mind and certainly
was so sure to collect sum. I was so sure and when one is
'oppressed' he/she can only do one thing.
and i wasn't too proud to beg hahaha

even oom Dan showed concerns and added a 110 dm bonus.
Adis recalled it vividly as she rang me just two days before
i left for the place where the previous currency i see no more.

even when Paragita didn't make it to Linz, we din lose hope for we
managed to stage a concert,
one that i could have been more in to it.
the concert was called Seasons and Flowers.

So it started kicking with the joyful Ritter Fruhling
and how Benjamin Britten's Five Flower songs
made their way to the repertoire is still unthinkable for me
hahaha. indeed they sound nice, it was just me who
was not into his five particular songs.
they still sound weird to my ears.
my faves: Ritter Fruhling and Herbstlied.
I stupidly lost the partita (perhaps I gave it to Ray)

besides Ritter Fruhling, this song i
sang all day there (Herbstlied by Felix Mendelssohn)

Holder Lenz, du bist dahin!
Nirgends, nirgends darfst du bleiben!
Wo ich sah dein frohes Blühn,
Braust des Herbstes banges Treiben.
Wie der Wind so traurig fuhr
Durch [den Strauch], als ob er weine;
Sterbeseufzer der Natur
Schauern durch die welken Haine.
Wieder ist, wie bald! wie bald!
Mir ein Jahr dahingeschwunden.
Fragend rauscht es aus dem Wald:
"Hat dein Herz sein Glück gefunden?"
Waldesrauschen, wunderbar
Hast du mir das Herz getroffen!
Treulich bringt ein jedes Jahr
[Welkes Laub und welkes] Hoffen.
neues Laub wie neues Hoffen

I asked a friend to translate it, and back then James gave
the best pronunciation in the world.
I love the last verse:

Forest noise, wonderful
How you have taken my heart!
new leaves like new hope

my heart bows to melancholic tunes with
hopeful lines hahahaa

это то, что я благодарен за

это то, что я благодарен за:
два черных птиц, летевший
лиса ходить в середине трав
два кролики вблизи взлетно-посадочной полосы
и золотой восход
первая посадка во Франкфурте

and I only remember it this morning!

Kamis, 07 Agustus 2008

Into the Blue: The Story of Sasha, Donita & Chris

Taking chances

in the beginning


Choosing: what life is all about

13: the lucky number

Chris, Sasha, Donita: beachwise

Sasha, beachward . . .

Sasha, Chris

Lose direction

In surity


Need courage: Donita






the real world: Java Sea

From our trip to Pulau Pramuka, August 2, 2008
all photos by Fi.

Minggu, 20 Juli 2008

Tea Rose

Mon oeillet fixé à votre iris
Comme narcisse je contemple

Dans ces miroirs entre vos tempes

Le reflet sombre de mes vices

Allongée à même le saule

Tout mon hêtre vous peuplier

Moi peu à peu je me pliais

Devant vos charmes et vos paroles

Madame rose hybride de thé

Belle des nuits au crépuscule
Loin des regrets et des scrupules

Quelques pétales au thym parfait

Madame rose hybride de thé

Ne m'en voulez pas de chercher

Il ne me reste de nous deux

Qu'un souvenir bien vaporeux

Comment voulez-vous que je me menthe

Vos songes rongent mes pensées

Vos ronces me sont destinées

Vous étiez pourtant si charmante

Ne prenez pas cet air genêt

C'est un hasard si mes mains tremble

Dès l'instant où nous sommes ensembles

Sous un conifère enlacés

Madame rose hybride de thé ...

One particular flower i remember from Oma Adeltje's (may God bless her) many flowering plants at Jalan Mayor Abdullah is her tea rose.

When I sniffed her white and rosy roses, i was surprised. it smelled like tea! how come?

years later and yesterday i found out through this song by Emilie Simon.

tea rose is my favorite of all roses.

Xem (photo Wikipedia)

Selasa, 08 Juli 2008

Giant Lotus

Victoria amazonica, the gigantic beauty on the pond of Bogor Botanical Garden, Eid 2006.