.:DhalangCitra|thoughts & essays:.

Returning Home

I know that I had somewhat promised to update the blog as soon as I arrived from Colombia; a first-hand reporting of all my experiences. The truth is, there are many things to share in this trip, and after 2 weeks of contemplation I decided to keep those feelings to myself. The trip was personal and too special; it is something that is best kept to oneself.

Other than my emotional encounters, I find myself obligated to showcase the beauty of its people, cuisine, culture, and Colombia’s vast and magical landscapes. The word ‘obligated’ sounds a bit too forced, but a necessary description as to return the services of everything that Colombia has given me. Colombia has full potential to be the the greatest explorable country in the world. The remarkable diversity in climate and vegetation did not stop to impress me. I felt like as if I was hopping from one continent to another in a matter of days.

I have posted many of my Colombian photos. My photo collection of Colombia was more or less around 3000 shots, but unfortunately I cannot post all of my best frames simultaneously, as Flickr caps the amount of posts allowed per month. I shall complete my greatest photos gradually, though.

I loved Colombia. I loved everything about South America. There is no doubt that I have found a deep connection with the continent. It was more than the whole craziness that South America is usually associated with, but it was rather the surprise of knowing that there exist similarities that I can associate with when I was growing up. I had always admired landscapes. I stared and enjoyed the very green, gigantic and mountainous of my hometown, Kuningan, every summer. And the views of Colombia’s Andes reminded me of that nostalgia in a much grandeur scale. The landscape was breathtaking. I had never felt so small, when being shouldered by mountains and surrounded by the bleakness of smogs. You need that sometimes, as it brings you back to earth in a much humbler human being …

I have come to realize that when it comes to people, we are all alike. The social crisis that has hampered Colombia are every day problems of the world. Their daily problems and even to its current political instabilities were something that I have been accustomed to.

This is a bit of a digression, but one thing I learned about Colombian people is how appreciative they are. Colombians are open, honest (with their feelings), and accept everything with an open mind. I find this to be a very special trait of Colombians. They enjoy everything around them (even if you may think its insignificant) and accept whatever that is, positively. Its as if they are able to convert anything into joy. Perhaps, the “magic realism” of Gabriel Garcia Marquez are direct echoes of his people.

Additionally, people have stamped Colombia negatively and I personally think that this needs to be changed. The media has portrayed Colombia to be a land-kill and various governments have red-marked Colombia to be a dangerous state. This is all untrue. I have never felt so safe in my life as I had in Colombia. At every check points (when driving out of the city), at every station, and at every corner of crowded centers, you are always accompanied by the safety authorities (military, state police, and tourism police). It is also true that the kidnapping and that guerrillas still exist in some parts of Colombia but their operations have been diminished tremendously. Foreign tourist are now safe to travel around the country. This should not deter others to visit.

I am certain that my exploration of South America has just began. There are many places that needs to be seen. South America connected my definition of reality. And I look forward to explore that feeling all over again.

Thanks Colombia!

b dj.


June 22, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Colombia … Here I Come!

There is still a week to go before my departure but I cannot help and imagine what South America will actually look like. When I think of South America … I hear the words of Gabriel Garcia Marquez … so vivid, surreal and magical! I can already feel the magic now … and hopefully I can bring it back with me later.

Like most people on a trip, I want to make the most out of my time. I want to find something that I can’t probably find anywhere else. It’s got to be distinct and special. I need to be as remote as I can possibly be.

Not that I consistently update my blog, but it’s going to be a while until I have a substantial ‘reporting’ materials to share about my trip. I would love to drop a note or update some photos, but that is not a promise, as internet access may be highly restricted.

I kind of have an idea of what I will be doing there, although not entirely. I am quiet a flexible person anyway, as long as I have a certain things to carry with me, I should be totally fine. Without further ado … here is the to do lists:

Travel Necessities:

  • Journal
  • Spanish language phrase book
  • Travel Guide: Colombia
  • Crime and Punishment
  • 35mm camera
  • iPod
  • Cruiser board
  • An open mind …


  • Pereira
  • Medellin
  • Bogota
  • San Andres
  • Providencia
  • Cartagena

Total time: 23 Days

b. Dj

May 10, 2008 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indonesia 2007



I finally decided to write a journal about my trip to Indonesia. Although Its quite unusual on my part to share my personal stories to others, it should serve as an experience to see how people would react. Anyway, the fact that I have been away from the motherland for quite sometime, I realized that many aspects had incrementally changed my stand on things, especially my perspective on Indonesia. I do not question the scope of my alternation but I would rather feel it grow naturally within me.

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January 29, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Once upon a time in Philly …



Brewed the coffee that morning, threw myself in the shower and dressed up for the daily routine. My day begins …

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January 29, 2008 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment