I wish you had enough..

This writing is inspired by Adhika’s Blog, particularly this post. So, before you continue reading , I REALLY recommend you to read that post. After all, the story is very nice and worth checking.

The story is very touching to me for two reasons. Firstly because the story itself is nice, and secondly because I had experienced a similar thing to that which I would like to share to you, a last goodbye.

It began just before my first coming to NTU. Going to Singapore was not a big event for me, as I had been there several times and quite near (only 1.5 hour flight from Jakarta). In fact, that time I went alone by myself. My parents, along with my brothers, had gone to Singapore a few days earlier (I had separate flight, arranged by my scholarship sponsor). So the plan was to get a driver to send me to the airport in Jakarta, then meet my parents in Singapore.

My grandfather (from my mother) used to lived next door to our house since I was a kid. In fact, he was the one who taught me various things during early days of my school. He often send me to school, pick me up from school, and send me to my friends’ home for playing. I learned a lot from him. However, by the time I went to Singapore for study at NTU, he was already in a not very good shape. He went to hospital before several times due to his lungs problem (although some only because his overly-scared of his condition). Nevertheless, time I didn’t feel nor foresee anything bad about his health.

So then comes the time for me to go to Singapore. I had put all my things inside the car and was ready to go before, to my surprise, my grandfather came out of his house and rode the car with me. I was surprised because it was very sudden; he never told me before that he would want to send me to the airport. Once we arrived to the airport, I did what most people would do: take out all my bags, put them on the trolley, and said goodbye to my grandfather (and the driver). Once again, I have to admit that, although I felt a bit sad to leave him, I didn’t feel anything bad or wrong. That goodbye was nothing but like a normal goodbye for me; I didn’t realize that I is the final goodbye between me and my grandfather.

A few weeks later, he died in a hospital because of his lungs problem.

I really shocked when I received the news, because I could still remember the goodbye very clearly, as if it were yesterday. Indeed, it happened not long after that, less than 3 months for sure (I remember I had to do a make-up for my first lab because I went home for his funeral).

What is even more shocking to me is that when I learned from my mother that actually, believe it or not, my grandfather ‘knew’ that it would be the last goodbye. He told one of his daughter (my mom’s sister) that he actually feel very sad when goodbye-ing with me, afraid that he would never meet me again.

People said that you will never know when death will take you apart from people you love. It is true. Even further, you’d better do anything good that you would want to do for your beloved as soon as you get the chance. Never delay doing that, because you will never know what will happen tomorrow. By the time you realize that it is too late, it IS too late.

Saying is always easier than doing. I admit I did the mistake. I didn’t do whatever good things I would want to do for him, until I realized that it is already too late. Sad, but that’s the reality I have to face.

Grandpa, I wish you had enough…


Grand Finale

Yesterday was a big day for my lab group. As the last day of lab-shifting to the new building, what was left yesterday were bulky things. I really mean BIG and HEAVY things: optical tables.

Optical tables are tables that designed for doing optical experiments. They are extremely stable, designed to damp any vibrations and shakes that would take place otherwise if using normal tables. Now imagine if you have a light plastic table (children’s playing table), is it stable? Of course not, since you can easily shake and move it! So, one way to achieve the stability is by building the optical tables from solid and heavy materials. (Of course they also use some other measurements to prevent vibration, as by making it ‘float’ using high pressure; but this is not important for what I’m going to talk about). The important thing is that they are MASSIVE.

So here’s the challenge: to shift those tables. There are 3 of them to shift, one is smaller (about 6 or 8 feet long) while the other two are bigger (12 feet long). The smaller one is not interesting, since it can fit to the cargo-lift and transported normally. However, the big ones cannot fit to the elevator. So, guess how they managed to get them out of the building..

They used cranes to haul it from the windows~!!

So here’s how they did that. Firstly, they take down two window panels along with the ‘roof’. Then, using lifting machine, they bring the (wrapped) table to the window, where the cranes had waited standby. The smaller crane is used to pull the table out of the windows, while the bigger one is used to support the table. (To attached the crane hook to the table, one of the worker even needed to sit on top of the almost-floating-in-the-air table! See picture above). Finally, the table was lifted by the big crane, and was put on the truck for transportation.

Of course all of that were done by the professional workers. What we did was only watch (and take pictures =P ) of this amazing grand finale.

Yay! Yesterday (Monday), Steve Jobs just announce the iPhone 3G. Check this out:

With the same sexy-looking and brilliant touchscreen as its predecessor, Wi-Fi, 3G, GPS, 8 or 16 GB, and street price of US$ 199 or US$ 299 (!!! Hope it won’t change much once it has arrived to Singapore), what else do you expect? Oh, and one more, it will OFFICIALLY come to Singapore (so we don’t need to buy the cracked one).

So, let’s start saving money.. =P

Where will I stay?

This is actually not a new issue. Everyone in NTU knows that the crazy-15-points of hall cut-off points has made a lot of us homeless (at least for the beginning of the next semester), including myself. With only 14 points in hand, I will definitely be kicked from my room with effective from 15th July. Now the question is, where will I stay afterwards? Well, I have several alternatives in my mind for that, which I would like to share:

  1. Temporary Sharing
    Also known as legal squatting, it means that you share room with your friend who is able to stay in the hall. Notice that you share only the room; you will not get bed nor tables nor cupboard! Said in other words, you have to sleep in a sleeping bag. For me, this is my best TEMPORARY solution (as far as I can think of) while waiting for 2nd round or 3rd round (or maybe 4th round or so >.<” ). A friend of mine, Sonny, has agreed to accommodate me in his room temporarily, but as he will get a new Singaporean roommate, I will have to ask for permission from his roommate as well. So, I have to think for a ‘Plan B’ then.

  2. Stay in the “Lab”
    Since SPMS has moved to the new building, the professor whom I am working for got some space for labs. Apparently, one of the “Lab” was still empty, so he decided to put cubicle-tables there and letting us to use it. I must stress that it is an EMPTY “Lab”. There is NO experimental apparatus there; only cubicles for us to study (so it is more like study room or office). Yesterday, knowing that all of his student didn’t manage to get hall, he said to us: “What? You didn’t get a room? Hm,, that’s bad! Well,, you can stay together in the “Lab” actually. You can move some of your stuffs there, get some mattress, and stay there until you get a room! Oh one more thing, the toilets there have showers.. =) “
    My personal view: He is the kindest professor that I’ve ever met! It is certainly not a bad idea, considering his willingness to help us, the homeless. However, I don’t want to stay in the “Lab”/school for too long; it will soon be boring. I still prefer the temporary sharing above. But I have to admit, spending the night in the “Lab” together with friends sounds FUN! I might want to try the idea for one or two nights. =P

9. Rent a flat outside NTU

“What the..? After 2 should be 3!” Well, I know. I just really don’t like this option that I want to make sure I have some room before this to place any new alternative, and make sure that this option is still the last option! =P
Put short, staying outside NTU is much costly, much more troublesome, and much less fun. This is my last option. Period.

Okay, so those are the solutions that I have in mind. Any other suggestion? =P

Iyah, post kali ini tentang ayam penyet.. =P

Kemarin (hari Minggu) aku makan ‘Ayam Penyet Ria’ di Lucky Plaza, Orchard. Restoran ini memang cukup terkenal di kalangan orang Indo di sini, namun aku baru pertama kali nyobain kemarin (maklum, Orchard jauh dari NTU =P ). Biasanya aku makan makanan Indo di restoran ‘Tambuah Mas’ (Suntec City, lumayan enak si, tapi mahal) ato di Canteen A NTU (murah, tapi ga gitu enak). Nah, kemarin berhubung lagi di Orchard bersama Tanto dan sama-sama belum pernah nyobain ayam penyet Lucky Plaza, jadilah kita mampir kesana.

Setelah dipersilahkan duduk sama pegawainya (yang ternyata juga orang Indo), lalu kita pesen ayam penyet set, pecel lele set, tahu-tempe goreng, dan es campur. Setelah dicoba, ternyata ayam penyetnya enak!! Jauh berbeda dari ayam penyet Canteen A (yang cuma kaya ayam goreng biasa), ayam penyet yang ini benar-benar berasa ‘masakan Indonesia’. Tahu tempe gorenya pun berasa ‘Indo banget’. Entahlah, mungkin karena bumbunya. Dan yang ga kalah penting, sambal terasi dan lalapnya nampol! Sambal terasinya pedas layaknya sambal terasi di Indo, ga kaya sambal Singapur yang manis-manis-geje. =p Es campurnya pun lumayan enak, ga kaya ‘Es Champor’ singapur (yang menurutku juga geje).

Entah karena kita lagi laper ato karena udah kangen masakan Indo, tapi kemarin kita benar-benar enak banget makannya. Walaupun seorang habis sekitar $10 (sampai kenyang tentunya), kita benar-benar puas banget dan ga nyesel. Layak dicoba bagi yang belum pernah makan disana!

Lapar?? Makan gih… =P

It is now a long holiday in NTU. I repeat, it is a LONG holiday. In fact, now it is only halfway through it; the holiday started at early of May and won’t be end until early of August. That’s a full 3 months!! Isn’t that long? =P

Well, despite the holiday, I am still staying in NTU. As with some of my friend, I am currently taking so-called “Special Term” (“Semester Pendek”, in Indonesian). Basically, it means that you spend part of the holiday period taking one extra subject of your choice (provided the subject is offered during that period). I think it is a good way to spend part of this holiday, as 3 months is a bit too long for me.

So, what subject am I taking? I am taking a subject called “PAP929: Undergraduate Research Experience in Physics 1”. Yes, it is not a typo, there is a word’ ‘research’ there. Some of you might say: “Wow! It sounds cool!” (or geek to some others =P ). Well, I say don’t take it seriously. Really. The first time I read that subject title, I was also mesmerized like you (although it sounded rather cool to me, as I like physics). Here it is: it is NOT a research like what you have in mind. It is more like I am being a lab assistant, helping other senior/post-graduate students with their project rather than doing my own project. (Well, of course you don’t expect to be given a REAL research project during your 1st year, do you? =P ).

Nevertheless, after doing it for slightly over than 1 month, I found it to be fun. It is REALLY fun. I have access to a real research lab (not like the usual lab used for teaching), which only a few people can go in. I have access to a more-than-S$100.000 Femtosecond Laser set (see figures above), and have the chance to ‘play around’ with it . I have the chance to see and do experiments in a very low temperature, at 77 Kelvin (that is, about MINUS 200 degree Celcius), using Liquid Nitrogen. I have the chance to……

Okay. The list will never end. Although it is not really like what I’ve imagined in the beginning, it turns out to be so exciting that I can really afford to go to the lab everyday. I really enjoy it.

So, the bottom line is: Don’t be afraid to take whatever you feel like to take, and don’t go away because of a start that is not exactly as what you have hoped; you’ll never know what is waiting to surprise you. =)

HORAAY!! Finally I have a blog! It took me quite some time from the moment I want to create a blog until I really create one now, as I was busy doing a project (more on that later).

Basically, the idea of this blog is as a mean for me to write and express ANYTHING. Anything that is important enough in my life that I like to share with you people. Hopefully, this can be entertaining – if not inspiring – to read, and maybe time-killing for some of you as well (I know some of you are either so ‘free’ or so enthusiastic that you like to browse and read many people’s blogs =P ).

Anyway, time permitting, I’ll try to post as often as I have something new to share. So, just keep in touch, and happy reading!

(Since this is my first time to write a blog, any suggestions/comments ARE welcome. Anything you want to say, including pointing for mistakes/typos, just put it in the ‘Comments’ box below. Thanks!)