Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Sometimes I deserve a red card for so many things I did, but Allah always let me go with a yellow. Subhanallah!
posted by Izham Ismail at 12:49 am | Permalink |
Monday, February 27, 2012
The wait is over. Thanks lads.
posted by Izham Ismail at 7:50 pm | Permalink |
Sunday, February 26, 2012

Oh you beautiful people. Please paint Wembley red, bring back the cup and make me smile again!

It has been six years. Tonight it will all change.

Come on you Red men!

You'll Never Walk Alone.

P.S. 10 hours to Liverpool v Cardiff City, Carling Cup Final 2012.
posted by Izham Ismail at 2:05 pm | Permalink |
Monday, February 20, 2012
Jakarta: An Anecdote

I hate this kind of Sunday.

It's on the final Sunday of a very interesting adventure that a strange feeling afforded me to take a walk alone around the place I've lived at for the last 25 days. I had a flight to catch in few hours and the bags were half way packed. I usually pack the lower body stuff first - the likes of shoes, socks, pants and underwears customarily get the first taste of the luggage traveling fragrance.

So what's left were some shirts and toiletries. So I thought I had some time to spare.

I stayed at a quite decent place, but it took me just few steps to enjoy the view before my mind strayed to the land of deep thought, so I decided to stop and sit on the nearest bench, cross-legged, and had my last view of this place which now getting much blurrier with images of the memories intertwining with the sight of the place's appropriate landscape.

Honestly, I did not really want to go back.

Not now, at least.


I have no one to blame but myself. I bloody asked for all this thing some time last year when I agreed to slave myself to this student exchange program, which supposedly designed to tie the knot between law faculties of some countries with the one I'm studying at.

I was looking for something different and it did not occur to me that it will get that big that it could actually get some place in my heart.

I haven't been to this place before although the mental image has always been yearning my pocket to spend for the ticket and my feet to walk on the mysterious new earth in the island of Java.

It was a week after my 3rd semester exam that I flew with 19 others to Jakarta in our quest to celebrate the differences and spot the similarities in the contrasting legal system and culture. For the most of us, it was the time to forget about dreary routines and bad memories.

But for me, I was there to find something else.

This was not my first time in Indonesia, and my first experience in this country 3 years ago gave me the hint on what to expect in this part of the country. Capital city of any country has suffered from serious amount of pre-judgment. No one would expect the capital to be unlivable and if there is any place where distribution of wealth is centralized and economic trade is at its peak, it should be the capital city.
But looking at the economic side to understand the story of this city is sure a stodgy affair. So I went around the city with eyes on the lookout for the other side of the story.

Jakarta reminded me so much of Kuala Lumpur in so many odd ways. Both cities are in dilemma as to find the balance, carefully trying to equip every corner of the city with sophisticated facility while forgetting the fine line between developing itself while preserving the ethos of the people. Both cities are not sure whether the people are ready for such development but we took the blind leap of faith anyway, hoping development will make us a better society.

I was not sure whether the timing was right but the weather shared the same peculiarity with the one I've accustomed to. It's either rainy or sunny - so I guess the timing couldn't be right or wrong. I've used to it either way.

On sunny days, the street of Jakarta will be filled with hawker selling various Indonesian food. They used intelligently-modified manpowered cart to ply their trades and they would usually join Jakarta's signature heavy traffic to commute and move their stalls. The cart is small enough to be manned by a person and it's usually equipped with enough benches for passerby to sit and eat.

Some of the hawkers did not have anything on their feet and they would push their carts barefoot, but looking at how well dressed their customers are, sitting on the humble benches having a bowl of bakso, it is perplexing to see how they value life in such simple, little ways.

I spent most of my rainy days on the bus, sighting the view Jakarta had for me. I will not forget the sight of barefoot homeless kids with big umbrella in their hands, walking through huge puddles and mud to provide shelter for city dwellers in return for some grace of few pennies. Kids this age in Malaysia would spend their time watching Astro Ceria.

I was standing in my expensive shoes as I sighted the little deeds good people of this city usually do to their unfortunate, homeless kids.

I for one was blaming my upbringing for being too stern and shy in giving away what I have for something too strange and unfamiliar, and that left the eyes of the poor kids lashing in the most crestfallen way, akin to a passionate lover upon finding out the harsh reality of being stood up in the rain with a hopeful bouquet of red roses wrapped around the hands, waiting for the other half to show up.

These poor living things owe their existence in the land of living to the grace of the city's good people. A penny from their hands feed lives to the unfortunates.

I guess I didn't show up to put smile on the poor kid face, which I regret now.

Indonesians are a friendly lot, and I was greeted with amazing hospitality during the days. Relationships were built and friendships were made, as so it occurred to the other 19 who went together with me. We all came from the same faculty and most of them are strangers to me. I barely talk to most of them in person, but 26 days were both short and long enough for strangers to become someone you know and for acquaintances to become friends. I have to admit that I suck at giving a good first impression. People will either like or hate me at first instance. I don't blame any of them for that's who I am. But it's good to know that first impression dies at the second, and to be able to be in the same room, doing the same thing and laughing over the same matter is something I will never forget.

I spent quite a great deal of time with my camera, trying to capture as much great times and moments as possible but I know myself well - I don't need a camera to capture beautiful moments, because beautiful moments are best remembered, not captured.


I left something in Jakarta. I left good times with people I've no idea I could hang out with and talk to. Like I did in Makassar, I made quite a number of new friends, new favorite people and most importantly, new 'teachers'. For those who made it in my book, you know who you are. Thank you very much.

I left some fucking beautiful memories.

I miss you Jakarta.


That kind of Sunday. I'm glad it's Monday already,

which means it's business as usual.

posted by Izham Ismail at 10:23 pm | Permalink |