It’s my birthday!

It is my birthday today and this post will celebrate all the wonderful people and things that have happened over the past years.

2011 was a total blitz. I graduated from college, went on an unforgettable grad trip, did a painful u-turn in my decision, shifted home and landed myself an amazing job.

Thank you everyone who have celebrated my birthday with me in the past few years. Even if you are not here with me to celebrate it today, you are definitely MISSED!

2009: It was perhaps fashionable to carry strange buns in our hands. Birthday spent in the dorm's pantry!

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Suharto, by the Book

David Jenkins
This is one of the stories I did during my internship at The Jakarta Globe. I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Jenkins, the Australian journalist, who was very inspirational and made me really wanna jump up, hit the streets and dig up a good, juicy story.

NOT MANY PEOPLE CAN CLAIM that they were literally part of history. But retired Australian journalist David Jenkins, who was banned by President Suharto from Indonesia for eight years, may be one of those who can actually truthfully make this claim.

Over his four-decade journalism career, Jenkins has had a keen interest in Southeast Asia. He worked as a correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review from 1976-84, when he covered Indonesia as part of his assignment, and as an editor of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Times on Sunday from 1985-2004.

Jenkins has also written a lot on Indonesia, including a controversial book and story that had far-reaching diplomatic consequences.

Jenkins was in Jakarta on June 30 for the relaunch of his book, “Suharto and His Generals: Indonesia Military Politics 1975-1983.”

The English edition of the book was republished by Equinox Publishing and the Indonesian edition published by Komunitas Bambu. The book was originally published in English by the Cornell Southeast Asia Program Publications in 1984.

“Suharto and His Generals” was banned in Indonesia in 1984 due to its in-depth and critical analysis of the political situation at the time.

It tackles the complex military and the parallel government political structure of the country, as well as opposition against the state, which was mainly led by retired generals.

Jenkins described Suharto, who was in power for 32 years, as someone who kept his subordinates guessing.

“The story of Suharto is of someone who made good despite a very troubled early life,” Jenkins said.

“He was of very modest educational background, a troubled family background, but extremely intelligent, capable, thorough in his preparations and a difficult man to read.”
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Sights and sounds of Kota Tua

My personal tribute to this historic area of Jakarta.

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more about "Sights and sounds of Kota Tua", posted with vodpod

For original project which you can view on full screen, click here.

Kota Tua is known as the old Batavia town of Jakarta, Indonesia. Despite civil unrests, modernization and various changes throughout the years, this place retains its Dutch colonial buildings and legacy. Every weekend, there will be people buying, selling and visiting the museums in this area. A must-go and fascinating place if you ever visit Jakarta.

Give me some comments about what do you think of this form of presentation. I’m still trying out various formats!

Internship: So far, so good

Oh yes, that's me in the puppet museum. Surreal experience to be with the puppets that look so creepy
So currently, I’m going into my 4th week at Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, interning at a daily newspaper called The Jakarta Globe.

Given that
1. I do not speak Bahasa Indonesia, the first language of this country
2. I am not an Indonesia, therefore, understanding local politics is as hard as trying to sprout some latin words out of my mouth, since this country does have a very corrupted and complicated bureaucratic network.

As such, I’m currently working on the features desk, and for the first time, attempting to write 600-1000 word long articles.

Honestly, I’ve been enjoying myself very much, keeping myself busy with the daily dosage of churning out articles and learning about this place. I have to admit that Indonesia’s a country that is so near to where I was born and bred but had never traveled here before.

Alright, a couple of links to the stories that I’ve done so far and hope you’ll all enjoy reading it!

1. Jakarta Fair: Story that made it to the cover page of the Life & Times section on Monday, June 14

2. Exhibition of an Indonesian artist who salvaged his soul through drawing: Story published on Saturday, June 11

3. Art exhibition titled ‘Cheese’: Story published on Saturday, June 4

Wayang or shadow puppet as it's known in English. An invaluable cultural treasure of Indonesia that can be quite freaky at times!

Studying abroad: Some best times of my life

[Updates about me: I’m currently having a blast in Jakarta, Indonesia, interning at a newspaper over here. New place, new experiences and hopefully I’ll be able to post more stuff on this blog about life here!]

I’ve wrote this piece a long time ago but could never find the time and effort to post it up to wordpress. I’m finally going to be doing this!

Studying abroad could have been my best experience in my three-years in college.

My first snow ever in Missouri.

I’m a journalism student, therefore, to be able to experience American free-wheeling media up close and up front is definitely a mind-blowing experience for me.

I was enrolled in the Missouri School of Journalism, the first journalism school established in USA and also one of the top three journalism school there. I had the most rigorous and hands-on journalism education for the past five months working in a fully functioning local radio station and website.

That\’s me at Jeff city, Missouri\’s state capitol, and trying to look as professional as possible.

Never had I ever thought that I would be required to produce radio and video stories every week. Never would I imagine that I could solicit articles from local citizens about what they thought of a school bond proposal. Never had I expected that I could get into the groove of local town politics in less than a month. But I did it all.

I have to admit that I was always a city girl. I grew up, eat, lived and breathe city life. Missouri is what I would call the heartland of America and to live in a little university town of Missouri came as a total shock to me when I first went there. There were vast acres of cornfields and farmlands beside the school. Driving became a must. Life all of a sudden became… slower.

But to have the chance to experience the rural life was just awesome, partially because I know I would not have another legitimate excuse to do it. I visited my friend’s farm, saw some of his horses, went fishing by the lake, sat on his tractor, played soccer and basically, got in touch with nature.

Jian Yue (in red) and Simin (in orange) pretending to be the tall weeds when we\’re on William, our American friend\’s family farm!

I’ve met new friends over there: Sometimes, we would go to farmers market together; Sometimes, we would work hard on our assignments together; Sometimes, we would just hang out to drink.

Did I forget to mention study abroad is also a good opportunity to travel around the country? Besides going to popular tourist destinations in the East and West coast, I’ve also got the chance to visit places less travelled to in the mid-west such as Chicago, St. Louis and Madison.

If you’ve got the desire to live on another continent and experience a different kind of lifestyle and culture, going for an exchange program is a fantastic chance for you to do so. And the good news for your parents would be that they do not need to burn their pockets to send for an overseas education but still allow you to live on a foreign land for a short while.

And I learned something new about one of America\’s greatest contemporary architect Frank Lloyd Wright in his hometown in Oaktown, Illinois


And I also get to imagine President Obama in U of Chicago


The week before all the exchange students left Columbia, we went out for pizza – the good old American way!