Saturday, August 25, 2007

Serie A Is Back (With A Bang)

At last the most awaited football league (at least for me) is ready to kick off. After the English Premier League started two weeks ago now welcome Italy's Serie A. This season promises to be a new beginning for Italian football. A year ago football scandal in Italy cost Juventus their position in the top flight, they had to go down to Serie B. But the Italian proved that they were still the best league in the world by winning the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Inter then won the scudetto, but not without many critics saying that they had been helped by the missing Juventus and Milan's point deduction. Juventus are back and Milan will start the season level on points with Inter and that promised us a really interesting season. Juventus have bought many new players such as Vincenzo Iaquinta, Tiago, Sergio Almiron, Jorge Andrade and Grygera while still holding on to their best players like Trezeguet, Del Piero and Nedved. Inter also made a few good signings with the likes of Cristian Chivu and David Suazo. If Juventus and Inter are very active in the transfer market, the same does not apply to Milan. They have only made one investment in the young Alexandre Pato. Latest news said that Milan have transferred midfielder Emerson from Real Madrid. This would make Milan like "little" Brazilian international team. Last but not least there is Roma. Many people said that they have done the best transfer in serie A. They have bought Ludovic Giuly, Brighi, Esposito and Juan. They hope to be able to compete with the usual championship contenders. After the lost of the Premier League - the local television in Indonesia has lost the rights to a cable tv - we can now be relief that at least we can still see the league from where the world champions is. Benvenutto Serie A! Forza Milan!

Thursday, August 16, 2007


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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Independence Day

In a few days (four to be exact), Indonesia will celebrate its 62nd independence day. First, I would like to congratulate my nation happy birthday. Second, I wish that our nation will be prosperous and united. Third, I would like to review some major problems that are still waiting to be resolved although we have been an independent nation for a while now. For some of you who doesn't have a well understanding about Indonesia, let me give you a brief lesson about our country. Indonesia is an archipelaga with around 17,500 islands. About 60% of those islands are uninhibited. With many natural resources such as oil, gold, silver, gas etc. found all over Indonesia, it is supposed to be a wealthy and prosperous country. But the fact is contradicted with the prediction. The development in Indonesia is well behind its neighboring country like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand. You can see it from the currency exchange, Singapore dollar, Malaysian Ringgit, Thai's Baht is more expensive than Indonesian Rupiah. Singapore got their independence long after Indonesia (in 1967 I think), the size of its country is probably the same like Bali, yet it has achieved so many. How can this happened? Well, I can not answer that and I will leave it to our government to review our problem and act based on it. I just hope that the government and the people's representatives will leave their political interests behind then cooperate and make this country their number one and most important issue. A lot of improvements have to be done. Here is a list of problem which I think needs attention:
  • Politics: We need to resolved a few issues relating to separatism. A few weeks back there was an incident in Maluku when president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono attended the 14th National Family Day at Merdeka field, Ambon. Twenty five men were performing Cakalele dance which is a war dance in front of the president. They also hoisted the RMS (Republik Maluku Selatan) flag. This incident really upset the president.
  • Economics: There are still many people who lived in poverty. Recent incident reported from Papua. At least 55 villagers from Yahokimo, Papua were dead because of starvation. Papua is a province that has many resources such as gold and silver, thus it should make them a wealthy province, yet it doesn't. In this case I remember an advertisement: "Tanya ken apa?".
  • Public Transport: There are many recent incidents including air, land and sea transport. An aircraft has been reported missing when it was flying from Surabaya to Manado. 96 passengers were reported missing and it has not been found since it disappeared on 1st of January, 2007. Because of that and many other incidents, Europe has put a ban for any aircraft that fly from Indonesia. As for sea transport, it is all the same. I have lost count of how many ships that have been missing or drowned in Indonesian sea. And at last land transport: the latest incident involving KA Gumarang which was derailed 4 kilometers from Gubug station, Grobogan, Central Java.

    This was not the case of human error or anything, but it was a case of criminal. Someone has removed part of the track, can you believe it?
  • Environmental: You must have heard that there is a mud flow in Sidoarjo, East Java. It was started almost a year ago as a result of gas exploration conducted by PT. Lapindo Brantas. It is still flowing muds up until now and there is nothing that anyone can do including the government.

    There are also cases of forest fires. Most of the cases happened because of the dry weather, but a lot of them caused by land exploration. People just set fires in the forest so they can use it for housing or agriculture.

Well, those are probably the biggest challenges that our government is facing right now, at least according to me. But who knows maybe the government has other ideas. Anyone want to add another possible issue to my list?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Bali: Your Favourite Getaway?

Hurray, it's Friday. Friday means you have almost completed a week. It means weekend holiday, you can do anything you want after Friday such as sleeping (one of my favorite), shopping, go to the beach or just staying at home to play with your kids. But if you like traveling, you will surely use the weekend to go out and see new places. If you've gone to places you must have a favorite. What is your most favorite getaway place? For some people, especially Indonesian, Bali is probably their first choice of destination for holiday. Bali with its many beautiful beaches: Kuta, Nusa Dua to name a few, its warm people and their unique culture and beliefs, has been the number one destination for tourists who come to Indonesia. In fact, a lot of people only knew Bali, they often ask: is Indonesia near Bali? or is Indonesia a part of Bali? It is really funny if you ask that questions to Indonesian, but the truth is Bali more famous than Indonesia.
Many celebrities have come to Bali and admire the beauty of Bali. The most recent famous person who came to Bali is Zidane (the former French Football National Team captain, World Cup Winner in 1998 and Euro Cup Winner in 2000). He came to Indonesia to visit and meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and after that he came to Bali. His visit was not known from the media, but my friend, Benny, was lucky enough to come across him in Sunset road. You can read the full story here. What about Indonesian celebrities? Recently one of my friend, Rina, met with one of our brightest athlete, Chris John. Chris is currently Indonesia's most known boxer. He is the current WBA and IBF featherweight champions. Do you know where Rina met him? He was window shopping at Centro Mall when Rina called him and asked him to take a picture with here. Speaking of celebrities, I did meet a celebrities when I was having lunch in Warung Nikmat with my friend, Wiwin. She was a television actress, but I never watch television so I didn't her name. Later Wiwin told me that her name is Ayu Cintya.
Now, what is the morale of this posting? The answer is Bali is still most people's perfect hideaway if you're on holiday. Despite the bombing which have happened here the beauty of Bali still attracts tourist. I hope that this will continue on as many Balinese depends their life on it.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Mississippi Disaster

Probably you have heard what happened in Mississippi because it was all over the news. A really tragic accident occurred on Wednesday, 2 August 2007 at 6 pm local time. The bridge collapsed when there were many cars and trucks passing on the bridge. It has been confirmed that there are 50 cars drowned into the river and 6 deaths. This toll will increase as there are many people still trapped under the bridge. A bus full of student was also passing at the time the accident happened. Fortunately the bus didn't go into river. Passengers only had minor injuries. The Mississippi bridge was being repaired when it collapsed. It was an old bridge as it was built 40 years ago with the height of 20 meters above the river. Witnesses said that the workers used big hammer to repair the damaged. Was that the cause why the bridge fell? Only god knows. Here are a few images right before and after the bridge collapsed.