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9 years

Nine years since he’s gone, I think about Dad less and less every year, I guess it’s just the way it is.
He still appears on my dreams once in a while, in them, he is still alive and around.

I remember our road trips during school holidays – usually to Bali.
Driving from Surabaya to Bali back in those days was around 8 hours I think. I remember the long ferry queue between Ketapang – Gilimanuk.
Mom told me that he did like driving, although as he got older (and plane tickets cheaper), those long drives eventually ceased.

Our longest road trip, was from Surabaya to Jakarta. It was just me and him, and pretty sure that’s the only road trip with just the two of us.
From memory, mum and sister had gone first by plane.
I was pretty young back then, probably 10 years old.
I remember bringing a lot of Donal Bebek and Bobo magazines – just in case I won’t have anything to do (ah, those good old days before gadgets) – didn’t end up doing much reading though.

I remember food is sweeter in Central Java – I think we had Soto in Kudus, which was sweet tasting unlike the in East Java where food tend to be salty.
We stopped and stayed overnight in Solo or Jogjakarta (which is midway between Surabaya and Jakarta).
The only memory I had about this stay is something that involved toilet – so I better stop it there.

Weird thing is, I don’t remember the trip back. Ah, all of these memories, they won’t be whole again. They will remain as fragments and sometimes I don’t even remember which fragments belong together.

What would my boys remember of our time together I wonder, what would be their treasured moments – what would be the fragments that they hold into long after I am gone.

Coffee Thoughts

Thanks to my coffee snob colleague – I have been introduced the wonderful world of coffee making. So here is some of my thoughts about coffee.

I might be stating the obvious – but the most important piece of good coffee is the beans. I enjoy tasting different single origin beans. Brazillian Bourbon is my favourite – it has light citrusy flavour – perfect for Aeropress coffee (which my preferred coffee making method). I didn’t find grind or water temperature made any difference – for Aeropress anyway.

I have been roasting my own beans for the last few weeks. I found the process is really interesting – different beans requires different roasting handling. What’s so cool about roasting is you can tailor your beans to your coffee making method – for instance: I think lighter roast is better for Aeropress. I also enjoy waiting for that first crack and second crack.

I think if I have the money, I’d rather get a roaster rather than an espresso machine.

A tale from kerusuhan Ambon

I am holidaying in Ambon at the moment and I thought of sharing a story (a tale?) from kerusuhan Ambon year ago. I cannot say whether this is a true story or just a hearsay – probably something in between?

During this time of kerusuhan – the local army requested reinforcement to help with the situation. A reinforcement battalion was then sent from Bali. This is a good move since the soldiers wouldn’t take side with conflicting parties, the Moslems and the Christians (most Balinese are Hindus).

And so when this Bali battalion came in – they did well, they upheld the justice by punishing the wrongdoers regardless of the sides – not showing favour to either sides. A lot of Jihadists got killed during this time. Unfortunately this didn’t last long, the leader of this Bali battalion was then assassinated (allegedly by the Moslems or the Jihadists – another point of distinction which probably warrants another story). The Balinese troops were outraged and they joined arms with the Christians and dealt a considerable damage to the Moslems. They were no longer able to maintain their neutrality.

Hearing this, rightly the central command withdrew this leaderless Balinese battalion from Ambon. And sent a battalion from Java to replace them. However this reinforcement from Java were not neutral (majority of Javanese people are moslems) and sided with the Moslems in Ambon – they carried out retaliation to the Christians for what they’ve done previously. And so the cycle of hatred lived on.

Again can’t vouch for the truthfulness of the story. And I heard more stories – most of them seems to point to the fact that there were forces outside Ambon that prolonged the conflict in Ambon. Such a sad history on otherwise a beautiful place and very nice people irrespective of their beliefs.

7 Years

Today seven years ago my dad went with the Lord.

We talked about it today (me, Lina and the kids). Jet and Matt told me that they were a bit sad that they don’t get to know their grandpa, yeah indeed it is a sad thing. I am actually don’t feel that sad anymore, I used to regret about those words/conversations that I didn’t have to have with him – but nowadays my main regret is, that he doesn’t get to see Jet and Matt growing.

I took Jet to my office last Friday as he was on his school holiday. He was very enthusiastic when I told him about the idea. Lina wasn’t keen as she thought he’d be bored there. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case. He stayed with me from the morning until 3pm – he busied himself with his readings, homeworks and of course playing iPhone games. It was a good time for us, he got to see how I work, got to relate to Chuck, had a good lunch together.

I remember this one day dad took me to his work, this when his office was very close to our house. I was very excited because he had a computer at the office – computer was a rarity back in the days. And he had games on the computer – can’t remember what though, could be digger or some space shooting game. But nonetheless exciting time for me. I don’t remember what he did on the office, I only remember playing computer.

I look forward taking Jet and Matt to work again one day, I am hoping that they will know a bit more about me and hopefully will have more memory about me than me and my dad.

Sunday Afternoon Reflection

Today I had a pleasant time playing soccer with the boys. It was a short kick around for about 15-20 minutes. But we loved it and I am so glad that we did it (I almost cancelled it).

Thing is the boys had been spending a considerable amount of time this weekend playing Wii and mobile phones. And when they do – I tend to leave them playing by themselves and then allowing myself to do my own things. There are countless things to do, from cleaning up and tidy things up to useless activities like checking Facebook.

Going outdoor is fantastic bonding time – I must not forget that, I must not let my laziness and my boys love for electronic gadgets and games to overtake the joy of simply being out there – being active and enjoying God’s creation.