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… to make me governor :). Just kidding, I know it’s nearly impossible to fix this situation without probably blowing up the whole city and doing proper urban planning. But here’s some ideas I think would reduce traffic congestion by a huge amount (just don’t know why nobody’s doing these since they’re pretty common sense if you think about it).

So here goes my Jakarta Traffic Solution Guide:

  • The Busway is a good idea, but the implementation in Jakarta is as bad as you can get. It’s supposed to have its own lane created from scratch, not taking an existing lane and converting it. If you really want to do this, then accordingly, take out all the other public transportation on the regular roads to reduce congestion. Without doing this, it’s basically, “oh, let’s cramp these already packed 3 lanes into 2 and see how people like being squished together in cars”.
  • Everyone in Jakarta knows that most of the old public transportation like the “MetroMini”, “Kopaja”, “Kopami”, “Mikrolet”, “KWK” and the rest of them drive like maniacs and have no regard for everybody else on the road, plus they stop wherever they want whenever they want, thus causing havoc on the roads. Get rid of these and leave maybe 1/4 of the ones that drive properly.
  • As an added bonus of doing the previous step, we’d probably cut Jakarta’s pollution by a huge amount.
  • Double or even triple the amount of current Busway armada. Right now, there are roads all across Jakarta for the buses, but hardly enough buses as evidenced by the sardine-like packed terminals at Harmoni during peak hours. With enough buses to ensure comfortability, more people will be enticed to use it.
  • Make the Busway stations and buses comfortable for people to use. Right now people are sweating it out in the stations because there’re no air conditioners. Now imagine this at 5 PM with Jakarta’s striking heat and a whole place full of irate, annoyed people who just want to go home.
  • Provide parking lots near end points of the Busway routes. There are stations right now, but where do you expect people who drive cars to park them? In the middle of the road?

Ending thoughts: As I said at the beginning, the Busway is a fine concept with bad implementation. The government says they’re trying to get people out of their cars on to the buses; but who in their right mind would do such a thing if it meant suffering through heat, long wait times and crowded transportation? Without improving the conditions of the terminals and buses, I hardly see anybody in their cars wanting to leap for joy and join the Busway crowd.

So, anybody care to make me governor someday? :)

 

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Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 274 user reviews.

Wow, it’s been almost 7 months since my last post. Quite a few things have happened since then. Here’s a minor update on that:

  • The kids seem to have adjusted fine to Indonesia, except that sometimes they get sick from the pollution and food. Although recently, their immune system seems to have kicked in and so don’t get sick as often.
  • I’m helping out a friend of mine with his IT projects. A couple of them are on the go with a few more on the horizon, so got some income right now. We’ll see what happens next year. I’m not really interested in finding a job in Indonesia because I wanted to do something on my own and due to this next reason:
  • Traffic jams !!!. Everybody already knows how bad Jakarta’s traffic is, but you really have to experience it yourself to appreciate the madness of it all. Imagine traffic at 9 PM on a Sunday; and that’s just the mild case. Try going out anywhere between working hours until 9 PM on a work day, and you’re pretty much guaranteed a 2 hour trip to and 2 hour back from anywhere.
  • I actually lost weight here :). Been working out and running the treadmill every other day for the last few months and dropped like 8 kg’s. The last 2 weeks have been no workout week because of the projects that I’m working on. But I’m trying to continue this pattern for the near future.

Will try posting more regularly from now on. Don’t know if anybody’s still reading, but oh well, just a place to pour my thoughts.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 232 user reviews.

I’m sick and tired of these guys bugging me all the time, and even sending an email through a newbie lawyer trying to intimidate me with a SLAPP. Even though they claim Barrick vs Lopehandia applies to this situation, I don’t think they have any ground. And even if they somehow win, a company like Barrick only got $75, 000 in damages, so [tag]Impress International[/tag] / [tag]Impressive Getaways[/tag] should probably only win a small fraction of that.

If any of you legally trained readers care to give me differing advice, then I’m open to suggestion, but since I’m overseas, and they’re in Canada, and if they sue and I’m not present then they can win by default, I think I’m just gonna let this rest right here.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 209 user reviews.

Hello everyone, I’ve arrived safely in Jakarta last Thursday. Didn’t manage to get internet until a few days later. The journey from Toronto to Jakarta was quite interesting to say the least, here’s some of the highlights:

- Trying to check in 7 luggages was quite a pain. Air Canada only allows 23 kg per baggage, no matter that we were connecting on their Star Alliance Partner, Singapore Airlines which allows 32 kgs per baggage. Hence, a rush at the airport, stuffing 2 bags until the limit and paying an extra CAD $70 for it.
- Plane was delayed from Toronto – Newark by 1/2 hour or so, and yet we arrived ahead of schedule, go figure.
- Couldn’t get the seating arrangement we wanted because there were only 2 bassinets on the plane, and there was another family with baby. We ended up sitting in a row for 3 and founda another space somewhere at the back (not a full flight).
- Plane was delayed by 1 1/2 hours from Newark – Singapore. With 2 kids due for their sleep, that was quite tiring. So the 18.5 hours supposed total travel time was increased to about 20 hours in plane.
- Luckily the seats in SQ21′s Executive Economy class can recline quite far and has footrests that can come up horizontal to the seat. My 1 year old could be put to bed there, and was quite ok with it.
- The flight was quite nice, lots of snacks in the counter at the small lounge area at the back of the plane. Only 2 meals though, after take off and just before landing, in between there was lots of snacking and cup noodles :).
- Arrived in Singapore late, missed our original plane, had to run to catch our next connecting flight and nearly missed it (last passengers in, gates closing).
- Arrived in Jakarta, told that our luggages were delayed by 1 flight since they couldn’t make it to our flight.
- Found out that 1 of the 7 luggages was lost in limboland. Got it back delivered the next day.

I really expected much worse with 2 kids (the small one also had a cough and cold throughout the trip), but they were great in the plane, slept for the majority of the trip and weren’t too cranky considering the trip we undertook. My older one has adjusted quite well, with lots of toys and playing space in my in-laws place, while the little one was scared silly hearing dogs barking and roosters crowing. He still hasn’t adjusted yet, cries everytime he wakes up (normally he just sleeps and when he wakes up calls out to us) due to the different environment and they both sweat profusely due to the humidity.

Right now we’re trying to find a house and school for my older son, as well as internet connection for me. The speed and prices here are quite ridiculous, most of the cable/ADSL that are “high-speed” here are a max of 384 Kbps down and 64 Kb up for about $80 USD.

Still not sure what I’ll be doing here, but it does seem opportunities abound. Just have to find the right ones.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 270 user reviews.

It’s time to say goodbye to everyone in Toronto, Canada. Tomorrow, myself along with my wife and kids will be flying over to Indonesia where we’ll be starting our new life. I’m feeling a whole bunch of feelings right now, sad for leaving my parents, brothers and Church family here where we grew, scared about not knowing what to do in Indo, as well as excited about what opportunities lie ahead there. Indo is a big unknown for me right now, having to start a new life in a new country (albeit one I grew up in) and not knowing when I can see my family here again has really put tons of stress on me.

But now that the time has come to finally go and move on, I believe deep in my heart that God has sent me there for a purpose and that no matter how big the challenges ahead, He’ll still be there for me and give me strength to carry on. Leaving Canada, my comfort zone, might be very hard, but I’m sure I’ll manage to adapt to my new surroundings and build on the family and career there.

With that said, I’ll be leaving tomorrow with tears of sorrow; and until that joyful time when a reunion is possible, farewell Toronto and everybody we know here, and hello Jakarta :)

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 196 user reviews.

It’s 2007 already, time flies as they say. We’re moving back to Indonesia on the 23rd of January, so still in the middle of packing up everything and selling/throwing out unused goods. It’s going to be a new chapter in our lives, and with it comes new challenges to overcome.

I still haven’t coped with the sad fact that I’ll be leaving my parents and brothers (again), as I’m not sure when I’ll see them again, and venturing into a new and unknown situation in Indo will be tough, especially since I’m not sure what I’ll be doing yet to get income. Those are the two main burdens I have right now leading to the departure from Toronto.

Even so, I’m excited to go and see what’s going to happen. Here’s hoping that 2007 will be a great year and blessed for everyone.

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 231 user reviews.

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Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 184 user reviews.

For the last mont or so, I’ve been getting tons of [tag]comment spam[/tag] each day (not in the hundreds, but at least the fifties or so). Not really mind boggling compared to some large blogs out there, but still quite damn annoying to see and delete from the comments pool.

So, I got the [tag]Akismet[/tag] plugin for WordPress, a server based comment spam filter, and I have to say it’s been working great. Haven’t had any that got through the filter yet, and I don’t have to keep on marking and deleting comment spam. If you’re having problems with comment spam, give Akismet a try.

[tags]Wordpress plugin[/tags]

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 179 user reviews.

About a year ago, I wrote this post about a particular incident of great customer service from [tag]Starbucks[/tag]. A few months after that, I was contacted by Dr. [tag]Joseph Michelli[/tag], who was at that moment writing a book about the company. He wanted to use my experience in a particular chapter of his book.

To make the story short, my entry was used in Dr. Michelli’s book, and he sent me an advanced copy of his book called [tag]The Starbucks Experience[/tag] along with a Starbucks gift certificate. Just wanted to convey my gratitude to both Dr. Michelli and Starbucks through this post.

[eminimall products="coffee, starbucks"]

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 282 user reviews.

Every year, about 10 – 12 of us play [tag]NBA Fantasy League[/tag] in [tag]Yahoo Sports[/tag], and this year is no different. We’re playing weekly head to head games with 9 cats (PTS, REB, AST, FG%, FT%, 3PT, STL, BLK, TO). This year, just like last year, I got near the end of the draft at 11th pick out of 12 people (last year I was 12th out of 12th … it’s a conspiracy I tell you :) ). So without further ado, here’s my starting 15 players (10 starters, 2 utilities, 3 bench):

[tag]Allen Iverson[/tag] – What can you say about this guy, plays through pain, and still shows no sign of slowing down even though he’s hit 30.

[tag]Yao Ming[/tag] – Foot injuries a concern, but as he showed second half of last season, he’s ready to be the next dominant center of the league when healthy.

[tag]Gerald Wallace[/tag] – Injuries also a concern throughout his young career, but the only player last year to average at least 2 STL and 2 BLK per game, also improved his shooting this year.

[tag]Rashard Lewis[/tag] – Had him last year, absolutely loved his numbers.

[tag]Chris Webber[/tag] – First healthy season in quite awhile last year, not sure if he can stay that way, but a pretty good gamble at 5th pick.

[tag]Caron Butler[/tag] – Ditto with Rashard, had him last year, good numbers and STL from a F position.

[tag]Ben Gordon[/tag] – Mostly for scoring needs, and boy can he score.

[tag]Deron Williams[/tag] – Showed flashes of brilliance second half last year, hope he can maintain that consistency the whole year.

[tag]Maurice Williams[/tag] – Starting PG at Milwaukee now that TJ Ford is gone. Gonna be monitoring him to see how well he does, if not then Steve Blake might be taking over.

[tag]Antonio McDyess[/tag] – Now that Big Ben has moved on to Chicago, many are predicting big things and a more involved role for Dice.

[tag]Delonte West[/tag] – Yes, I know there’s Telfair, and Rondo has been doing great in the preseason, but last year he was a great all around player for the C’s, and he can play the 2 also. Don’t see his value dropping too far. Only concern is his back problems during preseason.

[tag]Chris Wilcox[/tag] – When he was traded to Seattle last year, he was an absolute beast. He’s been outplayed by Nick Collison in preseason, so we’ll see how it goes.

[tag]Nene[/tag] – A gamble really, I’m betting on Camby and KMart not really being able to play 82 games either this season.

[tag]Sean May[/tag] – Looks like he’s gonna be getting good minutes in Charlotte these days.

[tag]Adam Morrison[/tag] – The only rook I could get (was aiming for Brandon Roy, but he was taken already). Looks like he’ll struggle in other cats besides scoring.

Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 based on 224 user reviews.

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