February on Review (2/12)

The second chapter of this 2015 has just passed. As an effort to improve the quality of my life I made a resolution to start documenting what has gone right and what goes wrong every month, also how it could have been improved. There are several goals to be achieved at the end of the year and tracking their completion month by month is one effective way to fulfilled these goals.

– February 6th. Gone RIGHT: I took an oath as doctor on training after graduating pre-clinical phase of medical school. 121 out of 196 students pass all the exam and graduate on the first batch. Gone WRONG: I wish I studied better in pre-clinical phase so that my incompetence later doesn’t hurt my patients.

– February 9-12th. Gone RIGHT: I joined the trip. It was fun and monumental because it might be the last time all of us united together as a group of students. Now that we are on our own path, we hardly have a matching free time to meet. Gone WRONG: We are too hurried in the airport, one of my friend’s fibula and tibia fractured because of falling when we were in Bali.

– February 16th: Gone RIGHT: I did my first day in clinic smoothly, despite the exhaustive activities and waiting. Gone WRONG: I felt unproductive in waiting the senior doctor doing nothing significant.

– February 20th. Gone RIGHT: My first exam in clinic including physical and neurological examination, got 75 which is quite nice. Gone WRONG: I’m too exhausted worrying and can’t concentrate well on studying, perhaps I’m still adapting.

I read one non-fiction book about meditation this month, I think I need to take control of my life in the middle of busy schedule. Stock market gone very well reaching all time high, profit of 8.3% in 2 months. I assessed the market daily and follow the news. Blogging gone right as well, over 8 posts in this month alone with daily view of 40-50 on average. I hardly had any time to meditate, every time I tried to I fell asleep.

Here’s some improvement to do in March:
– Keep on blogging a least 2 posts a week
– Continue monitoring stock market movement and do some day-trading
– Read 1 non-fiction book
– Meditate for at least 2 hours in total
– Contribute on Getty Image at least 30 images

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Proud of You

Would you like you, if you meet you?

I read this sentence today while browsing for some reference. Perhaps answering this question is the best way to see ourselves from the eye of people around us. Our behaviour and attitude matters in living as a part of larger community, people are watching, observing, and remember what we did in the past. People around us, whether it’s our friends, family, teacher, colleague, even our regular supermarket’s cashier. We live in the world full of opinion, and whether we care about what others think or not, it has some effect to our life.

Let’s say one day your colleague in the office bring his son to wait with him, because his wife can’t pick their son on time from school. You see your colleague as a wise and loving man, always trying to be friendly with everyone at the office. But that day on the office, you saw him hitting his son twice because he is playing with his computer. Two things come to your mind, it could be just a discipline act to a child, or he is short-tempered when dealing with children. From that experience only, your opinion about your colleague might change. You might now see him as a short-tempered man or unable to discipline children correctly.

Now back to the question, “would you like you, if you meet you?”. Generally speaking most extroverts would say yes, while introverts would say no. Because extroverts nature of being loud, friendly and a better communicator than introverts, most people are more comfortable being with extroverts. But some introverts will feel more comfortable with other introvert as well. That’s just one broad point of view in answering the question, and an arguable one. Another point of view is to assess our own self worth, as it correlates with whether we like ourself. The more people feel worthy of himself, the more he is comfortable and happy with who he is. On the downside, he may care less of people’s opinion as long as he feel doing something right.

I ask the main question myself and I tend to say no, I won’t like me if I meet me. I’m a goal-oriented person, doesn’t like small talks, and trying to do tasks as effective and efficient as possible. On the good side, I rarely reject people request for my help, I keep my promises, and because of my time-efficient method I always finish the job given to me on time. Simply put, I love working and I’m not so close to people. People like me just don’t get close to each other, it’s a wonder if we met. Do I care if people like me or not? Not really. But do I want certain people to like me? yes.

Living within society means we have to adapt with their wants. We have to be friendly, even if it’s not our nature to chit-chat meaningless talk with others. We have to sacrifice something (time usually, but money and effort too) to smoothen our path in daily life. We have to attend a party once a while, even if we prefer reading books at home. Perhaps we have to shape our life according to what society think is right and nice, but deep down in our mind, we are aware of who we are.

So, would you like you if you meet you?


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Reward: United Arab Emirates, Turkey, South Africa

Watching the sunset over Arabian gulf in Dubai after 2 hours ride from the city and crossing the desert with 4×4 jeep. We literally drift on the sands, going up and down the terrain, but at the end the view is amazing.

Another sunset over Cappadocia, a beautiful small city in Turkey. To get to this spot took 1 hour through rocky terrain with Toyota land cruiser.

Rainbow spotted after the rain in Ephesus, Turkey.

Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in the evening. The journey to the most South-West point in the continent is very enjoyable with amazing landscapes through the road. Certainly one of the best place I had visited.

The view of Cape Town at night from Signal Hill. The lights creates mesmerising view from above the hill.


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Rule of Thirds: South Africa to Dubai


A railroad near the shore at Knysna, South Africa


Patterns of Canola Fields in South Africa



Boats at the bay of Knysna at dusk in South Africa



Burj Al Arab, the most expensive hotel in Dubai. Notice Burj Khalifa on the right side of the image.


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Memories and Music and Photos

I woke up after sensing a heavy turbulence happened seconds ago, it happened again, I could feel the blood inside my arteries streaming faster. My heart pounds faster and I took a deep breath. I was listening to Andrea Bocceli’s heavy voice singing “Vivere”, a music album I found earlier in the airplane TV. It seems that I was listening to his album with my Bose headphones before I fell asleep. Inside the cabin was dark, most people are sleeping and covered by a blanket but I could see lights from several seats in front of me. It was a dark outside, I saw stars shining brightly and a small light blipping at the end of the airplane’s wing. On the horizon I could saw a city with all its lights, I don’t know what city it is or where I was but I know where I’m heading. I was on my way to New York.

As I wrote this, I am listening to the same album I listened to twenty five months ago. “Vivere” by Andrea Bocceli has been my daily music for commuting every morning and before night’s sleep since I got back home from America. On my way back to Indonesia from New York, I have a transit in Turkey’s Attaturk Airport for eight hours. Attaturk Airport is not very large, at the end of the terminal there’s Starbucks Coffee and a bookstores in front of it, which also sell music albums and electronics. I went to the bookstores when I see Andrea Bocceli’s head cropped in front of an album titled “Vivere”, I bought it in a heartbeat.

Today, every time I listened to Vivere’s album I remember the time I was listening to it in on my way to and back from New York. It snapped in my mind like a reflex. There are many other songs that triggers me to remember events in the past, like listening to Alicia Key “Empire States of Mind” when I was passing the Empire States Building itself in a bus, Katherine Jenkins “I Believe” when I was passing snowcapped mountains in Middle East, and Mayumi Itsuwa “Kokoro No Tomo” when I was in Mount Fuji.

are perhaps the most valuable assets I have in my life. I wouldn’t trade any of my travel memories with money, but I’m sure gonna trade my money for more adventures. For many people travel is a luxury, it is to me as well, but it is an affordable and worthy luxury. Beautiful memories are the enjoyment I had and cherish when I’m sad and burdened, the hope of going to the next unvisited place keeps me going. Traveling is one from many options to create beautiful memories, traveling with family and friends makes the memories even better.

Do you remember the last time you are enjoying yourself? What are you doing and with whom? Would you like to do it again? Do you feel the elevated mood when you are cherishing the memory? That is the power of a good memories, an experience we could access to in our minds whenever we want to and need to.

Another important thing is having an anchor to remember the memories itself, so it become accessible in the future. There are two media commonly used to create this anchor, visual and auditorial, photos and music. Both of these media are effective, but one of them is usually more effective than the other depending on a person learning style. Some people prefer photos over music, the reverse is also true, and both of them are equal. I use both photos and musics, when I have time to watch a slideshow of my journey I usually listen to the music as well. I don’t know if other people are enjoying these activities, but I do!


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Begin Your Day With A Smile

Too much work?

Having a bad week?

Desperate of something?

Here’s a video to cheer you up!

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Symmetry From Africa to Bali

Weekly Photo Challenge

Winery at Stellenbosch, South Africa

Brigdge of Time, Sun City, South Africa

Couch at Swimming Pool in Mulia Resort Bali, Indonesia

Wedding Hall at Mulia Resort Bali, Indonesia

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Lies and Deceit

Have you ever notice how easy it is for people to lie? A good friend of yours is absent at class and ask you to sign his attendance for three lectures on that day. You don’t want to feel guilty by signing his attendance but you also don’t want to reject him. You think about the punishment both of you will get if your teacher knows what you are doing, both of you will have to extend your studies by one month. But how much is the chance of your teacher knows what you are doing? One in ten? One in twenty? Still, there is some risk involved.

Because you’ve asked your friend to do the same thing before, you decided to sign his attendance. Easy as it seems, your teacher call your friend’s name during the lecture session. She check the attendance list and found a signature next to your friend’s name. Everybody in class knows what you did (because they do it themselves), as a good friend you lied to the teacher telling your friend is having a diarrhoea and went home. Your teacher nod and give you a suspicious look, then the classes continue and you tell your friends what just happened.

You and your friend makes a plan and rehearse a conversation in case one of you are summoned by the teacher later. Luckily you pass this time and everything back to normal. Because you don’t get caught, you do it several more times until both of you graduate.

It’s a simple story, but it happens in university all over the world. Most university has 90% attendance rule, so if you only attend 8 from 10 classes, you might have to redo your study for another one or two months. Some of my friends get caught by the teacher and receive penalty, but most of them pass on undetected.

A lie leads to another lie, bigger one usually. It might be better not to lie in the first place, but it’s a quick way out at the time. It solves problem, as simple as that.  Everybody tells lie to you at least once (I’m sure about it), even the people you’d least expect did it. Reflecting back to past experiences, people lies for many reason, some of them below:

– Easy way out. A kid playing games in his tablet but said to her mother that she is reading. Denying a true accusation. Lying about an affair. Etc. Etc.

– He is too lazy to explain the whole story. Sometimes we don’t want to tell people the complete and whole story about an occurrence, so we tell the short story with some “adaptation” instead.

– Hiding a mistake he made. This is probably the most reason people lies, instead of acknowledging mistakes we made, we tell lie to cover it and hope it work. Actually people could know whether we lie or not from the way we tell lies, non-verbal cues, and match between stories.

– To gain other’s respect. Let’s say I know someone who loves to brag about something he completely doesn’t understand. Perhaps he hope that people will think he is a smart student and in turn respect him, but most of my friends think the other way about him.

– To attain something he want. People lies if they think the benefit of lying (and nobody knows it) exceed the risk of getting caught, and most of the population did just that. Few extremist and psychopath will do anything to get what they want, including lying.

You might be wondering what the hell I’m trying to pass on this post, do I support people to lie or not? Actually I’m just bringing awareness about our daily environment, the people around us and communicate with us everyday. We could learn a lot of other’s personality by observing the lies he tell to us. Most lies could be prevented by not doing the wrong action in the first place, but what is the chance people will trade their happiness with honesty?

Not so much, I guess. Lies will be told today and tomorrow, perhaps till the end of humanity itself, but we have to be aware of our lies and realise the impact to our life. There are good lies, not because lying is good, but due to the effect it resulted. Some lies are better than the other. What we need to do is to think deeper before telling a lie and assess the impact to ourself and people around us.

daily prompt

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January on Review (1/12)

The first chapter of this 2015 has just passed. As an effort to improve the quality of my life I made a resolution to start documenting what has gone right and what goes wrong every month, also how it could have been improved. There are several goals to be achieved at the end of the year and tracking their completion month by month is one effective way to fulfilled these goals.

– January 1st. Gone RIGHT: I was in Istanbul, riding a cruise across Bosphorus River before going to Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Travel has always been my passion and it helps me to be in touch with life itself, to pursue a meaningful life and enjoying this one chance to the fullest. Gone WRONG: My flight back from Abu Dhabi was delayed for two days, sleeping in the airport’s bench sucks and it waste my time (read below).

– January 9th. Gone RIGHT: I finally got home at 6th and studied for pre-clinical final exam in medical school at 14th. I trained together with my schoolmates and the result was satisfying. Gone WRONG: I got home tired and mentally burdened due to the short amount of time I had to study (due to the flight delay). I couldn’t process the images I took at holiday right away because of the exam’s preparation, it bothers me a lot.

– January 14th. Gone RIGHT: I did my OSCA exam. Gone WRONG: I got the hardest case and wasn’t satisfied with my capability.

– January 15th. I had dinner with my friends together for celebrating 3.5 years of medical school.

– January 16-17th. Gone RIGHT: I had a trip to beach with hundreds other medical students and have fun. At the evening our OSCA exam results was published. I passed. Gone WRONG: I was too lazy to get my clothes wet, so I missed some of the fun.

– January 19th. Gone RIGHT: I wore doctor’s white coat for the first time, it does feel good. Gone WRONG: I was too concerned about the busy schedule ahead and having to practice at other city.

Stock market gone up slightly, my portfolio outperformed it quite satisfactory. I should assess the financial environment and analyse stocks more diligently in the up coming months. At WordPress, I posted over 12 blog posts this month alone surpassing my target of 8 posts a month. But my stats are lagging with average of 30 views a day, below my target of 180. I meditate for one hour in total, way lower than my four hours target each month. Due to the amount of reading materials from medschool, I haven’t read any non-fiction books this month, I have target to read 2 non-fiction books each month. Haven’t start to write my book yet, and haven’t study for investment manager certification as well. There’s way too many things to catch up in this month.

Here’s some improvement to do in February:
– Assess stock market daily, analyse the financial report of companies
– Write and publish two articles in wordpress each week, also interact with more bloggers
– Meditate for 6 hours in total
– Read 1 non-fiction books
– I’m going to postponed my book writing and CPA certification for now.

What about you? What goes right and what could be improved in January?

daily prompt

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Day 10: Burj Khalifa, Abu Dhabi Citytour


Dubai City taken from Burj Khalifa at the morning


Burj Khalifa taken from Dubai Mall fountain area

Today we went to the famous Burj Khalifa again, at the morning this time. The view from Burj Khalifa is great and clear in the morning. I didn’t brought my tripod and shoot handheld instead because there is enough light. After touring around Burj Khalifa, the highest building on earth I went outside Dubai Mall and took a shot of the building itself.


Local walking at Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque


Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque Exterior View

Next we went to Abu Dhabi and visited Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque, a very beautiful mosque made from precious materials imported from all over the world. Swarovski crystal, German marmer, and famous architects build this grandous monument.


Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque Interior



Architecture of Sheik Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque

We also went to Ferrari World, it wasn’t as thrilling as going to Disneyland. It is certainly smaller than most theme park, there isn’t much variation of attraction as well. But there is one interesting attraction, a 240 Km/h roller coaster ride. Due to the boredom inside Ferrari World, me and my family went to the mall across instead and eat snacks.

We went to airport after dinner and found out all flight are cancelled due to heavy fog. We got accommodation at Crystal Hotel for one day and scheduled to depart the next day, but we don’t. After a day at the airport sleeping in a couch and arguing with the ground crew, we finally able to depart 2 days after our supposed departure. Etihad doesn’t handle problem well, in fact they are doing nothing to help us get back home. Poor rating for Etihad.

daily prompt

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