Death of someone I loved. Somehow world can be cruel to me that happened again. Cory Monteith, famously known for his role as Finn Hudson, on Glee, my favorite TV show of all time, was found dead in a hotel in Vancouver last July 13. I could not understand. He had so much going on--good things, in his life so why would he be taken away so fast? He was supposed to marry Lea in a few weeks time. The inspiration coming out from him must go on forever. It is deeply devastating me to know that after four years, he is gone. He is a huge loss to our generation-- in which I believe that we gradually learn to accept ourselves and others more than the past generations. 

I knew him from Glee, on the very first episode. Both Cory and his character, Finn, have touched me so deeply. Those who have seen the pilot episode as well need no more explanation why he simply was meant to be the individual that we loved. Words are not just enough to tell. 
Having experience to be bullied as a kid for quite a while, I wish there were more men like them when I was in the darkest shades in my life. 
What was mostly seen on the surface was the character Finn Hudson being the center of the group of misfits on Glee. However there were more than just it. I was so lucky that I got to discover Cory's past. Multiple school dropouts, started smoking and drinking at such young age. It was all dark. He was set to be a failure. It all changed after he moved to his mother's friend house in Vancouver who were in recovery from addiction. What highlighted the biggest turning point in his life was when he was exposed to the arts; acting, by his teacher at age of 19. Failed auditions over and over. Jobs after jobs. Small roles after small roles. He eventually landed himself to Glee and to wherever he had been. Against all odds, Cory made it through. 
The lesson we all could learn beneath the tall, awkward, Canadian and actor who plays drum, is that it is all about perseverance; we can always get back up. He went to hell back and forth-- he always succeeded. 
With him taking the midnight train going anywhere now, I am grateful that I met him. I am inspired by him, to say that it's okay to not knowing where to go. We all made mistakes but still, it does not hurt to say we were wrong. Perseverance is what matters. Get back up, always. Our lives can head to a better side like Cory's or Finn's. We can. 

"Don't Stop Believing" was one of his very first songs to be sung for Glee, and his last song as well. We start with what we have to, and end with remembering how we started. There you go, don't stop.

I will never forget how much he always put himself to the arts. I, as a person who loves arts since I was small, have often imagined myself still pursuing the arts somehow things happened along the way and I took the wrong path. His portrayal of a story of a teenager in a quandary regarding out future, gave strength to every cell in my body. 

Going to miss you, Cory. Do not forget to smile back at us.

To all Gleeks out there, let us be cherished about the presence of this very wonderful human being. Tears aside, let's celebrate what he has been through and accomplished. We will see him again. He'll say, "sorry if I hadn't been around, there's a good explanation to that."

To all those who care about Cory, especially in Canada, please donate whatever amount you can to Project Limelight, a project which Cory had times to work with to help kids in Vancouver pursuing the arts. Cory wanted to help kids who love the arts. 

Thank you, Cory. Rest in Peace, big guy.


棉兰, 我到了!

I have only been in Medan once-- around seven or eight years ago for a one day transit before I went to Penang for ear issues. It was different Medan back then. I never encountered a traffic congestion and too many private vehicles on the street. 

The purpose of going here is actually to attend my relative's wedding. As a family reunion as well. Here is what I discovered in Medan:

The food here are relatively the similar food you find in Chinese areas in Jakarta; pork, noodles and fish soup. All Indonesian-Chinese (Peranakan) is likely to exist here. It won't be too alien for your tongue. Everything just tastes better here. Not to mention the price. One bowl of beehoon with duck meat (bihun bebek) is around 50,000 --twas a huge portion, though. Gile!
My favorite was; Babi Panggang Karo (Karonese Roasted Pork)
Some culinary travel tips: have someone who is familiar in getting around the city guided you; there are so many eating spots that offer food at its best, at reasonable price (they are often not seen from the main roads. You are more likely to get the standard price, so you'll be able to save up)

Nih, my favorite: Babi Panggang Karo

(Above) Bihun Ikan, (Below) Chiong Fan 


We are one big freaking family. It was too bad that we were separated by seas. Ada yang di Jakarta, di Australia, Pekan Baru dan tak terkecuali di Medan, which is where my grandparents (alias the first generation) grew up. My relatives that I visited in Medan were of my late grandmother's only brother descendants (I am supposed to call him, kukong)-- yang semuanya pada bisa bahasa Hokkien sedangkan saya tidak huhu. 
As I mentioned before, one of the reasons we went to Medan was to attend a relative's wedding. It was the wedding of the eldest grandchild of kukong-- the son of my father's closest cousin, and my ... um, let's just refer him as my relative. Anyway it was the first wedding of the third generation (us, the grandchildren) from kukong's side so it was definitely awaited and celebrated hugely. 
Speaking about family reunion, obviously everyone got to have conversation with each other, in which I did not have any conversation or whatsoever (boo me, alright) since most of them speak in Hokkien T_T and I barely understood any of them except when they talked about family history and family tree. That, I understood, because I learned them in advance wayyyy before I went to Medan. You know, curiosity drove me to those questions. It was a long history and big family tree though. But it was fun spending the time with them. And we definitely took SO many photos together. By "many", I mean, many. There was once a time when my kima (grandmother's sister) posed Gangnam Style and Cherrybelle for the photo. Ha. That was, Awesome! 

Duren Medan

Ko Wilson is a married man! Congrats!

The Places
We visited Berastagi and Tjong A Fie mansion. Did not get to go to Toba Lake, unfortunately.

Kosakata & Arti Baru
Atret = Mundur
Doorsmir / Doorsmeer = Cuci Mobil
Paja = Pasar
Pare = Ikan Pari
Tempel (Ban) = Tambal (Ban)

Teh Pahit Dingin = Es Teh Tawar
Teh Tong = Teh Manis

Speaking of traveling to Medan, here are more tips or warning from me, yang masih amatir (ha):
1. Medan is not a tourist city so; hotel bagus bisa dihitung dengan jari, tidak banyak tempat wisata yang 'wah' dan otomatis harga yah harga lokal bukan harga turis.
2. For those who thought that Toba is not so far enough from Medan, ha ha me too.
4. Smoking in public is a very public thing to do even in air-con room.
5. No need for addressing any complains about the Polonia airport, since the newly-built one will be opened soon: Kualanamu. In Soekarno-Hatta and Polonia airport, I got to see the ads about the Kualanamu airport-- so excited to see the design, the layout, and obviously new system in the airport that (I hope) will be more, idk, 'welcoming'