From #tweetsfromthetop Event Tonight

‎This is my first post on this blog in April. I can’t tell you how busy I have gotten these past weeks. I lost my paternal grandmother fortnight ago. And I’m sure she is resting in utter and complete peace now. No pain, no strain.

Life goes on no matter what…

So tonight I intended to show her I’m living my life to the fullest, by following my passion: writing, social media and yoga. It’s the best life ever for me now and while it lasts, I want to enjoy it the best I could.

And this #tweetsfromthetop project is actually ‎about the celebration of life itself. The event was hosted by Punang at Ogilvy’s Kino Cafe. It’s about how to inspire more people out there with tweets that matter most. Because tweets that matter most are sometimes not the ones which get talked about most (meaningfulness versus virality). That’s why Twitter needs us, any Twitter users whether it be avid or occasional ones, to serve as crowdsourced curators. From oceans of tweets on the web, we are to collect and sort the best tweets of the Twitter accounts we think worth-following. Go to the official webpage of #tweetsfromthetop and fill out the nomination electronic form, said Mr. Singh of Twitter (@parrysingh). That easy.

Some prominent social media figures and bloggers were present, just like Enda Nasution (@enda) and @ndorokakung. These two are among few Indonesians who first started to blog years ago.

What I Experienced as a Voter in General Election 2014

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TPS: "Tempat pembuangan suara" or "tempat pembuangan sampah" or "tempat pemungutan sampah"?

It was advertised as a hassle free, time and power saving procedure. But the reality is just NOT. It is not enough just to show them my identity card or kartu tanda penduduk (KTP) or passport to be entitled to the right to vote in the legislative election today (9/4).

The KPPS Chairman of Karet Kuningan whom I met told us why passports or identity cards cannot be used to claim your right to vote. He argued that they needed more control over these non-residents so it would be easier to allocate them to any place where there are ballots left because they are second rate, additional voters as non-residents.

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Pak RT wrote the admission letter aka the license to vite for us.

So I vote here in Jakarta for the first time in General Election this year. I have not been registered as a resident in the capital but thank God any non-residents still may participate and cast their ballots even if their origin or area of origin is not Jakarta. It says somewhere in the rules that we can vote outside our area of registration only if we get ourselves registered as a voter at a nearby general election committee.

With a catch…

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Like each non-resident all over the country, I can only vote if there is a ballot left. If there is no ballots left in the box, I simply have to forget the idea that I will vote for the legislative candidates that I am in favor of, which I to a certain extent doubt to find out. But well, I still have to struggle as long as there’s any hope or chance open.

Last night (8/4), I failed to get ‘license to vote’ from the Karet Kuningan KPPS Chairman, South Jakarta. But this very morning, along with a friend, I at last managed to obtain the local neighborhood official letter stating I wanted and was allowed to vote at a nearby general election booth despite my non-resident status. It took me around 60 minutes to stand in line and got the license! What a day!

And here I saw young workers from various regions in Indonesia were standing in line to get the license to vote here without having to cast their ballots at home. They look young in their twenties and early thirties, just like me. And what made me cringe was they knew they had the chance to contribute positive things to the nation and country through general election. Some young generation don’t give this election a damn. They’d rather go out to enjoy one rare public holiday and ignore the opportunities to participate in the democracy festivity. This looks good and optmistic as it may seem, I know, even for me! I suddenly realize why Devi Asmarani (a journo cum yoga teacher) was trying to convince more people to vote, not to abandon their rights to vote. I thought it would take another decades for the failing country to be a superpower country just like China and the US. Now this is the time.

It might be nothing to be called substantial but this is what I can do and am willing to contribute as best as I could. Whatever happens next, only God knows.

If the general elections cannot make Indonesia a better country, I don’t know what can.

A Decade of Being a Cell Phone User

I think it has been a decade since the first time I got a cell phone. I knew someone at high school having it. It was, as far as my memory serves right, Motorola product. Bulky, pitch black, dull, rather cumbersome kind of thing with an antenae. It might be some day in 2004, when I was in my junior year at college. My younger sister got one, my father too. But I was not particularly interested in having and using this then-pricey technology product. There were not many people using it, so that was quite useless to have one. I thought I could survive without it, throughout my life. Plus, I knew from the very beginning some health risks the cell phone poses us to. I was, am and will always be cautious about how the use of cell phone changes my life and most importantly my own well being and health.

Still, I got myself one. It was my father who bought me a second-hand Nokia 3315. It was one of the most widely purchased handsets in the country. I can tell you how dull it was. The alphanumeric keypad, narrow monochrome display that was unbeatably boring, thickness that won’t make you impressed. But no one can deny its battery longevity. One of the longest, probably. The Nokia was Internet enabled but I was never thinking accessing the web on such a minute object would be a cool experience.

Then I had another second-hand phone, Siemens (model I forgot completely). The phone was considerably smaller and lighter and it featured polyphonic ringtones, which still had a great selling point in the market. I could access the web through wap. But it was so horrible and expensive, because downloading a few hundred kilobytes might cost me 10,000 rupiahs, which I considered a robbery! The operator charged us based on volume of data, which was said to be 1000/kb. And please don’t complain about the speed. It took me more than 15 minutes to download an audio file which then was sold as polyphonic ringtones. I should say 15 minutes for downloading a file smaller than 100 kb was a record. Crappy and hugely disappointing, I know.

Dari Asean Literary Festival

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