Friday, December 16, 2016

REVIEW: The Spy by Paulo Coelho

Title: The Spy

Author: Paulo Coelho

Publications: 2016

Pages: 208 pages

Published by Knopf

Language: English (translated from Portuguese)

Rate: 3.5

I remember I read the beginning prolog by Paulo Coelho in Eleven Minutes, where he met a guy who said to him that his books made him dream. Agree to that. Well...

It's been years since high school where I first read Paulo Coelho books. The first one was The Alchemist. Yes, the book gave more sort of hope in my despair and a motivation to find joy in reading (more of his) books. At the time, as a young bookworm, I felt gaining more peace and wisdom as I read Coelho's writings. Anyhow, with the current situation I'm having lately, those pledge in my heart fell off.

I'm back to be... another stressed out estranged dark person, trying to say hi to people with positive energy yet can't help with my own sadness.

No books have made me feel better for a long term. All has been short term.

When I heard that Paulo Coelho would publish another book, I was like... umm, okay. His latest works, The Aleph and Adultery were just ok. I loved them. But it's just ok. Maybe I wasn't just in the mood for such stories. It might another phase as a bookworm. Dark clouds have controlled all over me. Fine. Could be, no?

The situation changed when I knew the book is about Mata Hari. The alleged spy from the World War I. How cool, I thought.

So, when there was a pre-order from Periplus, I surely went for it! Again, every pre-order I make with Periplus, it makes me feel awesome. 

Then I felt the sparks of long-lost excitement just like when I had in high school years, my first years with Paulo Coelho's books. I really can't describe how it was like, but it becomes a good motivation for me to get things done fast and right so I can have special time with it.

After reading about Mata Hari on the internet, I was hoping to get something more on The Spy. Certainly, her life as an Erotic Dancer that became an international sensation for art and visual pleasure wasn't ordinary. Even more, she was executed... because she was considered a spy.

Margaretha Zelle was born a Dutch. She married after finding an ad about a Dutch soldier stationed in Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) looking for a wife which turned out made by her former husband's colleagues. According to the book, she was molested by her school principal just like many of her classmates. Due to this misfortune, her husband became violent towards her.

This is where I remember Jesse Eisenberg's line in Cafe Society, life is a comedy, written by a sadistic comedy writer. 

After giving giving birth to two children that one didn't survive, she witnessed a wife of another soldier who was captivated by her, committed suicide. She thought people might think if she killed that woman or whatsoever. The next day, she insisted to go back to Netherlands.

Once she got back with all the family drama, she decided to escape and create a new self. Named her self Mata Hari, without nothing, crossing the borders to France. Then, she did everything she could to survive---impress French elites with her made-up exotic and erotic Asian dance.

The fame didn't last long in glory as critics started to give negative reviews after piles of positives thrown to her once in the beginning of her debut. Imitators were following her steps and taking over her spotlight. Well, c'est la vie, huh? So, things were getting harder, although she survived by being a free woman... a mistress of high-rank government and army people.

It was almost all smooth for her, before the war burst out and the proposition came to her for being a spy for France and Germany. Yes, both.

What I learned from the book is that Mata Hari is so much different from the writings I found on the internet. Paulo Coelho wrote her as a victim turned a survivor, yet still naive and clueless. Well, she was indeed a charmer and had the capability to manipulate men. It's just she didn't learn her lesson.

Because all connections she made went nothing when she was caught in deep shit.

Her country, The Netherlands, preferred to stay neutral during the WW I. Ignoring their citizen's life who was at stake. Somehow, it was pretty unlucky, another unlucky fate she had, as she was actually trapped by her own spy game---a game where she never played her role as a spy!

I love how Paulo Coelho brought Margaretha Zelle's version of more humane, less cocky and simply unfortunate person who tried her best to fight for freedom (as a woman, as a human being). But some of the facts were different from the news you can find on the internet. However, I was expecting more deep research to be written here, which now after reading the book doesn't give me anything 'wow' moment, but confusions: which one is real?

Plus, I didn't find anything I've read before (from the internet) in the book, or maybe it's just rumour.

At the first pages, it opened by the day of her execution. The aging Mata Hari who refused to wear blindfold while facing her death given by the firing squads. It tricked me to think she was a Great kind of character.

Yes she was, but not that 'Great'. But I agree, she's really iconic, I can tell.

Even so, I know that Paulo Coelho dig more into her feminism power of becoming her own true self, by gaining control of her life after a messed up marriage.

But still, reading The Spy has very much different take out, unlike when I read The Alchemist or Veronica Decides to Die long time ago. This is just... plain. Maybe I have read so much about Mata Hari before I skipped these pages of The Spy. Maybe I was over-exposed of how media portrayed this woman as a failed and arrogant spy.

I can't lie that I was actually expecting her story when she was in Indonesia. Turned out, it was a crazy brief part of her life, but not much to tell despite she actually learned a lot of things I never thought foreigners might learn from Indonesians.

Well, if you haven't heard about Mata Hari, you might be a little surprised and wow-ed by her fight for life. It's a bit drama twisted plot, but still enjoyable, page-turner, and easy-reading.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 2017 Wishlist - Marituka Secret Santa BBI

Here comes the end of the year...

...where it's time for us to be nice (and naughty, too, it's okay) and make a wishlist for Secret Santa with BBI fellows.

It's sort of addictive to create the list, even though I'm piling up some goodies *peeking at my overloaded shelf* I remember this was quite tricky at my first Marituka (a kind of Secret Santa but not Christmas-y). Well anyway, as we would only get one book from the list, I'm thinking to re-create the wishlist, with the rest of book options from the previous Marituka.

Here you go! (with the new additions, of course)


Ok, dear my giver, How To Read A Person Like A Book can be found at Periplus. It might be available online, too. *wink*

The rest of the buddies are easily found at local bookstores, I guess. Ahh soo excited.

Good luck!


Monday, December 12, 2016

Love, Equal, Dystopia - Equals the Movie Review

It is hard to tell you how much I love 1984 by George Orwell. It has been one of my top list recommended books I will share to fellow bookworms. I'm not solely into dystopian even though I'm feeling like living in one.

On the other hand, I love Kristen Stewart's movies (Twilight series are my least favorable, though). I heard about her upcoming film, 'Equals' would be something like 1984. Of course, I wouldn't miss it!

A friend came up with sudden notice, luckily, work was... oookay, I can tell. So a few days ago, the film started occupying my head, with the song of 'The Feeling' by Justin Bieber and Halsey also stuck in my head for days and I kept singing and singing in heart.

So, what about it?
Aside that I found Nicholas Hoult was so damn cute, I found something that has been missing for so long---the feeling, itself.

[Spoiler alert, guys]

Silas (Nicholas Hoult) is an illustrator at Atmos, set in an unknown country affected by war in previous years. At first, we will be dragged into his boring life for quite long moment. Flat yet I think the director is trying to adjust our mind into the feel of dystopian life, when everything is controlled (by The Collective) and the citizen has nothing to do but work, eat and solve same old high tech puzzles every night before bed.

This romance science fiction movie brings room models in Ikea catalogue into life. Space effective and everyone dresses in one tone with same models every day. Yeah, life can be easy this way, though.

Here.... emotion, touches, love are forbidden. The citizen work and live their lives like a machine. They call those things are symptoms of an epidemic called 'Switched On Syndrome' or simply, SOS. The Collective, the leaders, are informing about the disease quite well enough, like on train and big screen in public. It is progressing from Stage 1 to Stage 4, where the person contracted with last stage of SOS will be taken to Defective Emotion Neuropathy facility, or the DEN.

As every character has empty mind and heart, we hear and feel silence from scene to scene. When Silas finally realizes that he is attracted to Nia (Kristen Stewart), you'll start to hear a melody---a plain yet stronger music score which plays a meaningful role in flat depiction... and sparks of colors between them.

After battling for what he has for Nia, he knows that Nia is giving him a clue to follow her into the bathroom where they start to explore each other, introducing themselves with feelings that caused by touches and energy from their emotional encounter. There, both of them develop deeper and complicated feelings for each other---getting into a phase called 'love' turning into the same black shadow inside the bathroom cubicle, two same equal human beings fight for their passion. To obtain this small freedom, they make effort every afterwork time to meet and talk, accepting that the two are SOS positive and embracing it.

One night, they are caught by the manager and decide to go separate ways to avoid death in DEN. Silas moves away from Atmos and gets another job. But Nia cannot take it lightly as she's drown lost and has difficulty to do her job. Then, she just appeared in Silas' apartment where they finally back together again.

When they become 'hiders' for hiding their love life, it was gotten into me, something that we've been lost or taken for granted---energy, connection and chemistry which were brought nicely in the scene. Those things make Silas and Nia much different than the other empty (read: dead soul) citizens (and me). At this point, I was reminded of what makes us human... the feeling inside us that we spark to people around us... the most basic element that makes us (feel) alive.

And yes, we are reminded that we are human, no matter what, created as a social creature where we'd always be in need of someone else. But far more than that, it is how far those feelings can take you and change you, bring you forward.

In this dystopian film, the love sparks between the two are marked by the colorful spectrum and loud pop rock sounds that vibrate the whole unspoken aspects that are considered forbidden in that sort of world. As if saying, those humane elements are actually simple yet very meaningful.

One day, The Collective announced that the cure which was said 'just around the corner' has finally been found. Of course, Nia and Silas don't want to recover. It is not death they are scared the most... but living without each other and the feeling are becoming the most fearful. The love that fills one's soul can fight against the misery of emptiness.

Equals the Movie takes me back to think of what makes a human human. Cracking down all the elements and put a question, "when we lost our capability to feel, would memory help us to remember and to regain what has been missing?"

The ending is predictable though, with a touch of Romeo-and-Juliet-alike with a twist of hope. Both suffer and try their best to maintain their future. Dragging me into a deeper thought that love MIGHT deserve a second try if it's equal.

I went home, energized and super happy... touched by the film. As it's been a while I'm turning into someone different, and that evening I was reminded of what I need to retrieve in me in order to feel alive in a better way.

Equals makes more futuristic 1984 world more real. Something that we all need to be worry about. As things are seemed to be obvious that we're heading there. Horribly, we're turning worse than we are now. Working everyday without knowing what it is for... no purpose, no soul. Our rights to be simply human is lost and taken from us. It's just complicated.

Well, if you haven't watched the film, here's the trailer. Get the DVD if you wish =) Coz I want to get one for myself.

Anyway, just like I told you... this film has let me drowning in another manic episode where I kept being mellow. And this song tears me apart even more... That's my drama, folks!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Blissful Sunday - On Trump, On Hillary, And What's Happening to Us?

I know the election is driving us crazy. We have passed the US Presidential Election, despite people are intrigued by the results. 

Yet, what is happening to us now? Changes we expect might (not) come. Some bad news will keep coming, too. It's predictably unpredicted. Post-Trump Speech, the stock is rising again after giving us a surprise shock. The rally goes on. As for me, my family is 'apart'.

But I'm telling you, like people always said about politics, 'poly and ticks'. You'll never win no matter who's winning. This is what most people are failed to see and to accept. Now, in Jakarta, only a few months to go for the governor election. While US have to deal with white or non-white differences, in this city, we deal not only with race, but also religion, as political game target.

Again, we are all apart. We're divided into different streams, standing up for people we believe are standing for us.

In Jakarta, now... even highly educated people lose their mind. Bashing their less favorable candidates with hatred and not-so educated approach and reactions---which, to me, is magnifying the truth that educated people in Indonesia doesn't show whether people have manner and dignity, and most importantly, conscience and logic. If I can be greedy, I shall add 'wisdom' to the previous sentence.

As I always believe, religions makes us lose logics. But, let's learn from the two candidates who have more world spotlight for the election. 

What went wrong with Hillary?
I always think she's more capable in 'making America great again'. She has the experience and vision. And, I'm a democrat. I believe in gender equality and pro choice in Abortion Rights. I learned a lot from her, from her books.

Yet, on the other side, I do agree with Trump---which makes me accepting bitter reactions from the people who don't really get what is the real deal the world is enduring. First, I agree US should be more strict on immigrants. Why? ILLEGAL immigrants aren't welcome anywhere, why would Americans welcome them in US? 

I know that many of those illegal immigrants might have harsh trouble in their home countries, but I'm sure there must be somewhere else for them to stay.... and manage their papers legally. US is facing weaker economy state. They have lost jobs, manufacturing jobs are gone... What kind of better life they can give to those asylum seekers? It's just going to make things worse for everyone. 

What about immigrants who are illegal and being criminal? I think it is obvious why Trump needs to 'delete' those kind of trash for the sake of the country. 

Sadly, I have to admit that I really dislike him for being misogynistic (maybe) due to some scandals emerged during the campaign. I hate that he can't control his language while speaking to woman or when speaking about woman. Such disrespectful.

I do understand, that this is a very difficult situation for Americans to choose whom to vote.
If, there isn't any media propaganda, which I am disappointed about from Hillary's side.

You see the media is being pro-Hillary. That's ok, though. But, not giving enough facts on Trump's vision? That's not ok.

Somehow, I can't imagine how the life in US is like, right now. Is it true that they're going back? Holding conservative christian's belief? Pro Life and anti-gender equality and anti-LGBTIQ? Why does it sound like life people have in Jakarta---like living in a cave?

Such attitude is so irrelevant, selfish, and disrespecting towards women and LGBTIQ.

Making America to be Pro Life again...well, if you hold on to religions too much, you'll forget how actually God wants you to. To use your brain and be wise. 

We cannot let the government to rule over your body. Let say, if you see two pregnant women without husbands, it doesn't mean their lives and miseries are completely the same so you can apply one solution 'Pro Life' to be the answer for all.

By being Pro Choice, you'r communicating that society should respect women as equal individuals like men who can be independent and responsible for their life choices. That's what I call as respect. Society needs to be supportive in everyone's distinguished and particular conditions for them to make wise choices which might impact the society in bigger picture itself.

Once again, I learned from Hillary.
"This is one of the worst possible choices that any woman and her family has to make. And I do not believe the government should be making it. You know, I've had the great honor of traveling across the world on behalf of our country. I've been to countries where governments either forced women to have abortions like they used to do in China or forced women to bear children like they used to do in Romania. And I can tell you the government has no business in the decisions that women make with their families in accordance with their faith, with medical advice, and I will stand up for that right." - Hillary Clinton on Abortion Rights, at Presidential Debate.

Those three things are every important for me, a feminist, to fight for. I read Living History by Hillary Clinton years ago (when I was in college). From the book, I learned, "Too many women in too many countries speak the same language, of silence..."

There, it's tough to choose. US Presidential Battle in 2016 has shown us really well... we're hardly winning in politics. Even though we can still expect good things coming up in US (I always hope 'we'll always have America' still possible), there are things we need to fight for. Again, over and over. 

I think, we're in the point where everything is still so biased. In Jakarta, religions close people's eyes and mind. Religions and races are the effective political vehicle in Indonesia. And that's what happening to us now. What's happening? It's just that we don't learn.

Rally against Trump is on. Minority victim numbers are adding up. What happens therr affect how scared Indonesian majority are...and turning it back to minorities here, in a way, making it easy for politics to drive them.

So who's gonna win? The game itself.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Money Broke for Books? Time to Deal with It!

I know it's almost getting to pay day, but it's still a few days away.
Let's face it, you're struggling towards the end. 

No matter what reasons behind the fact that you're broke every end of the month, it could be you ran out of money due to many unexpected urgent needs, shop too much, or bad money management... nevermind. 

Get over it. 
Do better next month. 
Start today! least, start by reading this post.

Most of us need food everyday, some of us also need (new) books. *peeking at those book piles every corner in the room* *bless me God*

I'm going to share some tricks (1) to make you survive to the pay day, and (2) to help you do better next month and ahead so you can finance your book desires, including other needs.

The Power of Plastic Cards
No, I'm not suggesting you to buy one (or some) with credit cards. No more debts to the next following month for you, girl!

I'm talking about giftcards you can hunt from many blogs or websites to win. Too much hassle?

Ok, you can check your bookstore membership cards! Members usually have, well at least, 10% discount. Not much, but helpful. Make sure you ask for 'special offers for members', who knows... Just because.

I myself have Periplus and Books and Beyond membership. I'm collecting more stamps for my Aksara Bookstore membership. 

Gramedia also has membership cards, a tie-in with Flazz Card BCA one, however, I'm not that interested yet. They have 10% off for Gramedia publishers books. Previously, you can have 10% using any Flazz BCA cards. Now, not anymore =(

Library Visit
Oh, what about it? Go out and hunt for free reads in a most quiet (maybe peaceful) and anti-mainstream place on earth today.

Coz love doesn't always mean you have to own it. Your love for books will last. Everyone knows!

It's time to brace yourself into an adventure of finding a random book or cross-genre reading challenge. As I'm a believer of live life limitless therefore I read without limits.

You can visit local library nearby. As for me, I'm in Jakarta and we got Reading Room in Kemang. My favourite =) There's one far away in Lebak Bulus called Rimba Baca, a place I've never been.

Now I miss how it is in the States where there's library in your area, instead of religious praying area like in Indonesia.

What About Digital Library?
In case you're really that broke that you cannot go anywhere but just to stay home, you can count on your gadgets and free wi fi at home. There are many sources where you can read books online for free and legally. 

Even better, if you have library membership in the States, you can download OverDrive and put your library in the app and access with your usual digital login. You can try others apps developed by Moco and maybe BookMate.

When I say 'many', I mean it. Expand the list with Google =)

End of Bookhoarding
Don't you wanna check your bookpile before you crave for another new reads?
This might end your heavy burden to slip every one book between another in the bookshelf. Your shelf is so going to explore.

Prevent it from happening by scan them one by one and try to remember how each one book ends. This might help you to decide if you have really read it or not. Coz many times we think we did read it, but we haven't. Like me, I have ADD and short term memory loss. It happens a lot.

Done reading them all? ANOTHER TIPS: Try to fix your shelf by re-arranging those books in place again could help you thinking from buying more. Well, it will stretch your bookshopping mood until the next pay day.

Free Books on Google Play Store, Everyone!
Yeah guys! Freebies!
What more can I say? And remember, don't judge a book by its cover =)

Tap the 'Entertainment' tab, besides 'App & Games' and voila! Do you see where it is said 'books' to click? Enjoy!

It Doesn't Have to Be New
Time to Bookswap? Waving your friends or post a tweet or status on Goodreads who wants to swap.
Thankfully, I have bookblogger groups on What'sApp, forums, and book club buddies I can always scream to whenever I want to do this. I'm sure you're surrounded by cool people whose books you want to have. On the other hand, time to get rid of your least fave book collection, right?

Some say, secondhand books are as worth as what those people say secondhand Balenciaga. Even though, I don't think it's the same, but you can have a new book finally somewhere in or Half Price Books. Unfortunately I don't know where to find this kind of places in Jakarta, but I recently got followed and likes by online bookshops on Instagram. 

The Power of Plastic Cards (2)

I have to repeat this point. I know they're amazing somehow!
Manage your book funds with another kind of plastic cards.
These cute Flazz Cards, E-Money---all those money that you topped up in a plastic cards---are not only handy for fast payment process. It can help you budget and limit your funds in certain amount, dedicated for books. 

That's how I do it. So, I can always have money to buy books when I need it. 

I'm using Flazz Cards BCA since years ago. You know I must have been grabbed by the cute designs. Yes! But the design determines what the money in the card is for. 

I put the Batgirl Flazz Card for toys and Hello Kitty & Dear Daniel under Cherry Blossoms for books. 

Save More for Books!
Yes, coz you know you'll need some bucks for this thing every month!
You can use your Flazz Cards, but I also have my Jenius account. It's an app where I can save and have another saving for certain needs. With interest, too!

The app comes with a Debit Card. Visa one. And a virtual card if you want to buy online books. You can buy books online with this... without worry. Why? You can set a limit of how much you want the money spent from the app to buy books (or any other things). Everything is under you control.

There's my favourite feature from this app, called DreamSaver. It's another saving section for your wishlist. I'm having Julia Child's cookbook as my wishlist. The new one is very expensive but I want the new one so bad. So, I'm going to save with this DreamSaver. 

DreamSaver allows you to reach your wishlist/dream by auto-debiting your money in the app into this section everyday. Depending on how much and how fast you want to achieve the dream. Sometimes, you don't realize if you don't go take away coffee everyday, you can afford what you want. This is how the app helps you. It will send notifications every time it will deduct your money to be saved in DreamSaver section.

Good luck, girls!

Monday, October 10, 2016

4 Books to Movies in October 2016

Hey all! I just got home from cinema, watching Snowden the Movie.

I was so impulsive. Calling out a friend to meet up for dinner and... bought the tickets when I landed. Crazy. Just can't wait to watch it. Searched all the closest XXI with perfect schedule.

20.45, it was. So be it!

Then, I simply realized that there are some movies made from great books you might have read already.

Well, I'm very bad in judging whether a film do justice to the book or not.
But if you're thinking for a movie day or day out. Maybe you can spend with one or two of these movies on the list.

It's after Me Before You movie, and now you got these!


---> THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (Watched | 3.5 stars of 5)

For Gillian Flynn fans, you might like the book. It's thrilling and a real page-turner. I mean, it's narrating women's drama life but with a taste of danger.

You like it? Yeah, we got the movie. I've always loved Emily Blunt since I saw her in Devil Wears Prada and Salmon Fishing in Yemen. In The Huntsman: Winter's War, she's okay but this one you'll see more convincing acting than that one. *grin*

---> SNOWDEN (Watched | 4 stars of 5)

Despite the reviews saying that the director Oliver Stone 'is playing safe', this movie makes me leave home on a lazy Saturday. I usually won't ever think to leave my bedroom in raining 4pm.

But, I did!

I'm a big fan of 1984 from George Orwell. That book always makes me into international security thing, which I took online course on Terrorism Studies right now (still trying to pass the class), and anything in between. Well, I just can't understand, how could he be so visionary about all this stuff that is happening today.

*You might want to check this link from the Guardian, too.

News coverage on Snowden intrigued me years ago. Then, books about them start to be published: The Snowden Files written by Luke Harding and Anatoly Kucherena's Time of the Octopus. This year, we're about to see the combination of the two, interpreted into a movie, Snowden.

I have seen the film and I think... it's not disappointing. Joseph Gordon Levitt still brings out my sympathy as he delivers Snowden's sincerity in the whole film. The good thing is.. the plot is easy to follow for a better understanding of what the complicated sh*t is happening.


Calling out fantasy lovers!

I remember seeing the book cover for the first time. I was in the middle of photoshoot when the model I was working with reading this book. She strongly recommended me this. Funny, I rarely found a model who's reading in my fashion magazine experience. Don't get me wrong, it's just not my luck to meet fellow bookworms so often in my job.

Well, with the original cover... no matter how the story is intriguing, I never thought that this one would be made into movie. Even Tim Burton as the director. Alice in Wonderland mix-match with 'Tim Burton's gloomy and darkness' style.

You can see these children in the book (and movie) as mutants as in X-Men but in peculiar way. Yeah, X-Men with Sucker Punch fantasies (only it's teen friendly).

...and it reminds me of Lemony Snicket's Series of an Unfortunate Events, as well.

---> INFERNO (Will watch next Saturday and update)

Yeap, I guess people who are going to see this movie are whether they're Dan Brown fans, and the ones who have watched the previous movies and still hoping.

The story is still engaging like the other books of Dan Brown. Yet, can't tell you how the movie interpretation will turn out. As the second one was disappointing, in my humble opinion.

Anyway, the author has his big fanbase and I'm going to join the special screening with the fan group before public can even watch in regular screening (if nothing ever is on my way this Saturday).

UPDATE: Yes, it's a kewl movie. Very attention grabbing yet many details missing (or that I missed 'em). Take it easy, don't keep your expectations high.

Enjoy October!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Le Livre Festin: Are You Coming to Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Jakarta?

For me, yes! I did come yesterday, It was preview day where everyone with tickets can enter.

YES, I'm lucky!

But don't worry, it opens for public without any entrance fee starting today, 30th April 2016 in ICE, BSD. It might be a little more crowded than yesterday...

I joined with a group of cool bookish people from Jakarta Book Club and got a rare chance to see the whole-full storage while Andrew Yap, the founder of Big Bad Wolf Book Sale says, there are another five containers of books will be coming shortly. These books will be placed in display island every two days. Awesome! A reason to go back.

They bring 1,5 millions of titles. I'm sure you'll find you're looking for. BBW is a famous book event in Malaysia, now they're trying to make us also happy here. 1,5 millions is almost half of titles they had in Malaysia. Well, this is their first time in Indo. Hopefully they could come with more titles next year!
Ignore my sleepy eyes! I'm surrounded by 1.5 titles. So happy!

I didn't find that many of the preview day, so yeah... definitely, revisit is a must. What are the interesting part?

  • The staffs are super friendly and book lovers.
Yes! They understand what you're looking for and they are super happy to help you out looking for what you search. They even gave me tips, the books are piled based on surname alphabetically. My experience, I asked someone to help me to find another Moyes' book. She helped me to search and even asked another friend of hers to find it. 

I saw another visitor even asked for recommendation. These staffs went along with him, giving suggestions.

  • Trust me, they have trolley...
So, if you're being doubtful whether you want to buy the book  you just found. Just put it first. No worries. I was thinking whether to buy Poached. I didn't put inside my trolley. When I finally decided to buy it, it was gone!

If you came with heavy bag, the trolley might help you, too!

  • And they have storage, too!
One trolley might not be enough. Bringing two trolleys with you might be trouble. Ok, they have storage for you to keep it for awhile. They will put your picks back in display islands within 24 hours if you don't go back to get them back. Happy?

  • Bringing wheeled suitcases.
Just in case you came where all the book you're looking for are there to be found by you... you're lucky. But buying more than 20 books in a plastic bag? D'oh. Don't worry, don't be shy bringing suitcases. I have friends there who did that. Easier! All you need it to push those books with you.

Make sure you put the books in horizontal when the suitcase is standing. Won't hurt the books at the bottom. Here's the detail from How to Pack a Suitcase Full of Books.

  • They have many genres!
I'm serious. Including these...
From this...

to....yeah... cookbooks!

So, you'll find classics, comics, graphic novels, harlequins, politics, auto/biography, etc. Just be happy there! I'm guaranteeing you... a heavenly visit!

  • They are in partnership with Mandiri bank.
Which means... you can only do debit payment with Mandiri cards. Or, you can pay with any of Visa-Mastercard Credit Cards.

And yes, you can pay by cash.

What did I get on preview day?

Didn't get a chance to find what's in my wishlist. It was their preview day, anyway. So, I'm soooo going back again for more classics, business books, cookbooks, and award winning ones!

Ok, now it's time to talk about HOW I get there...

For those who live in BSD, you might be lucky this time. For me, it's an adventure! 

I got a half a day off from my work...but it was also one of my lovely bosses' last day. *sad* I shouldn't miss our last lunchie as colleagues. So, I left at around 1.30pm. My colleagues told me it would take hours to get there by car. They suggested train!

Trust me, it was my first time to go by train in Jakarta. From every train in the world, I only tried MRT in Spore. I didn't know why I agreed just to leave by train, while we all knew the public transports in Jakarta aren't really reliable. It cost me IDR 12k only as I'm a first timer and I have to buy the refundable access card. The tix itself is only IDR 2.500. 

Adventure it is.... I left alone. My office building is in Thamrin, so I was told to go to Tanah Abang train station. Believe me, it looked awful but I was lucky it wasn't rush hour. Some officers were helpful, some weren't. I got to ask many people there because the signage isn't helping. I even asked an officer...well, I got to wait for an officer to finish fighting with a guy before I could ask.

Officer to a stranger: @#$%^&*@#$%

Stranger: $%^&@$%^

Officer: Go away!!!

Me: Hmm, sorry Sir.. I need to ask. Which way I shud go to? I am going to Serpong.

Yes, that awkward.

I knew that I still had my journo instinct somewhere inside. When I was about to jump in the train, I wasn't sure. Then I saw a guy with journo ID tag. "Hey, from K*****TV? Is this train heading to BSD?"

He said yes. So, I jumped in. There wasn't any officer to ask. 

Long story short. I jumped out into a weird train station called Jurang Mangu. Then, you could summon an Uber car. It costs me around IDR 40k. But...

The driver asked, "Did you jump out to the wrong station?"

I said, "No, I was told to jump out to that station."

He said again, "You shouldn't. You should jump out to another two stations after Jurang Mangu."

There! Lesson learned.

Jurang Mangu station was... weird. They got many paths that made me confused, which way to take. Someone helped me out. I was lucky, the Uber driver miraculously could find me before it was raining, as I got to wait by the street, 100 meters from the station.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Overheard Corner: Feminism, Gender Equality (In A Book Club)

Last week, it was my birthday. I was born on March 9th, in the morning of Jakarta time while the other part of the world still 'celebrates' International Women's Day. And so last week, part of the world is dominated in pink to celebrate women and... equality.

Talking about women, nowadays, cannot be separated with equality issue. When IWD came to 2016, my friend's Book Club is taking the issue with a popular book.

It was cool. Lots of men and women attended the club and shared the POV and situations. Yet, men's old ego and conventional thoughts were in, as well. Interesting.

The first pages of Lean In is about girl being bossy at work. Oh shits like that happen. Men can be bossy, but women can't. Men deserves better salary and privilege. If women wants more, they have to face sayings like "ambitious, selfish, and forgetting birthright" thrown to their face along the way.

So, people from book club... why is it interesting?
It's book club.
Where I think, people who read books are supposed to be smarter than those who don't. More open-minded and have knowledge more than anyone else.

Don't get me wrong. I naively think people who don't read aren't just plain stupid, they're just good at something else. (((MAYBE))).

Turns out. It's a blurry thing...of being open-minded. Once again, we found ourselves back in grey area.

A male programmer came up with statements and question. Long story short, he doesn't believe that women can do programming, because it's a man thing. Well, I was a VB programmer and web programmer starting when I was 12. I created my first website when I was 13. I received the best grade in school, winning from those men. It's just a matter you're interested to do it or not.

After the club was finished, I got introduced to a boy. I don't know his age and education background... or what books he has read. But this is our conversation:

This Guy: "As this is about women, not many of men coming. Usually there are many men, too."

Me: "Oh, really? So they're not coming because the women theme?"

This Guy: "Kinda"

Me: "Ha! So this is equality, huh?"

This Guy: "Yeah, I don't believe and agree with gender equality."


---this stupidity surprised me.

Me: "What? Why?"

This Guy: "People aren't born the same..."

Me: "Yeah, everyone is always different."

This Guy: "There's rich and poor... we all can't be the same."

Me: (this guy is definitely @#$%) "Of course, but you're not born to be men or women, or rich or poor. This equality isn't just about a piece of shit. This is about more than anything you can imagine. See if you're poor, somebody says you can't receive better education. That's not fair. If you want it, you should be given a chance or people should let you try. and not stopping you. No matter what you're born to be, you should be allowed to chase what you want to do."

This Guy: "yeah, correct. Just like LPDP, the people who receive the scholarship is mostly upper middle class."

Then I started to get confused. Did he get the point? Or did he just try to runaway because he couldn't answer me back? Dragging the topic to LPDP receiver?

So yeah. Books are great stuff. But again, books are media. You have to choose what you read and believe. Or you shall be misled.

These men can say such thing like this because the so-called lame patriarchal culture. Why? On TEDx stage, Michael Kimmel ever said, 'privilege is invisible to those who have it'.

In mass media, we were given an analogy: does fish know that they live inside water?

People with power won't realize until what they have is taken away from them. Just like the fish. they won't ever thank for water they have until they live inside water. Once they are taken out from water, they will struggle to breathe and finally understand that it's actually the water that allows them to live.

Talking about equality won't be solved in a day. The change the world has for gender equality is actually like a fight with an iceberg. Too much power rooted down, so strong and unseen.

The challenge isn't just coming from the men who stands up with patriarchal. But also from lazy and brainwashed women who just gave up, who just bitch up towards other women, and who doesn't think far ahead.

What I think gender equality is.... that we shouldn't be classified of what we are. The same chances, the same respect.

I know some woman who still don't want to bring heavy stuff and saying that it's men thing. You know, even man has his own limit. It doesn't mean that you're a woman that you can't hold up heavy stuff. We all have certain limits. Every human does, not classified whether you're man or women.

I remember someone used to said, male pride only burdens and trouble man himself. He has to keep strong, not showing emotional feelings while he actually needs to. Some men are just faking up their strength to hold on their manly image. And it's exhausting.

Gender equality isn't arriving as it is the time for 'coming of age'. It's a matter of when we realize we should.

I Am Malala tells us that there are some men who oppose women for education; learn from Jane Eyre to make decisions for yourself; Living History opens up the journey to make it between love life, family, career and politics with betrayal in the middle; Entrok shows that feminism and modernity changes in each generation and yet spirit to fight conquer anything; Aku Jalak, Bukan Jablay reminds us that people see widow differently and unfairly; and, it is much more harsh for women who committed affairs? Madame Bovary shows love does should be passionate, as well.

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