Sunday, May 27, 2012

Indie Guide Jakarta Arts: Salihara Theater

Finding the Art Scene in Jakarta with this Hip, Cozy Theater 

Hey everyone, this post is a celebration to having discovered something mildly cool in Jakarta called Salihara Theater. This is a neat little joint that screens silent movies and gets bands to play a live soundtrack over it. Tonight I watched my first silent called Nosferatu, the story of Count Dracula getting bored of his boring Eastern European crib and looking to get himself some city ass. Unfortunately, the neighbours weren't really down with his neighbourhood integration, mainly because he travels with packs of rats and coffins of dirt, also he eats people. Not terribly terrifying but still a cool film and interesting use of music played live by French Band, Zone Libre. I'm into the concept, but personally thought they could have used their crescendos in a mega more evocative way. And besides, Edward Cullen will always be my numba one vampire stunna (joking, hello).

Bref, if you are starving for some alternative culture in the city of nouveau riche/mind blowingly mainstream entertainment scene, despair not! I'm not saying I'm above Blockbuster films and shaking my ace to Moves Like Jager, but sometimes you need to change it up to avoid lunacy.

Salihara Theater also does awesome arty cool things like poetry readings, book launches, adapted plays and more. The crowd is a mix of international people and rockin' Indonesians too. Boom.

Tickets generally go for Rp.50,000 general/ Rp. 25,000 student

In south Jakarta next to Pasar Mingu, on Jalan Salihara.
16 Jl. Salihara

Friday, May 25, 2012

Indie Guide to Berlin Nightlife

Berlinsanity: 3 Badass Clubs to Check Out or How my French University Rocked the Lederhosen off Germany

 To be honest, I wouldn't want to visit Berlin at all. This is one of the few cities along with Melbourne, London and Chicago that I could see myself living in and verdammt loving it.  From my brief student weekend there with SciencesPo, my Frenchie university, I fell in love with the affordable, edgy and badass debauchery that pervaded its nightlife. I know in my last post about German stereotypes I mocked the people to no end, but despite their quirks, Berlin seems exceptionally ow-some.

Seriously, it holds something irresistible that I haven't seen elsewhere. If Paris' nightlife is a classy lady holding many secrets, Berlin is more your carefree hot art house girl, the kind of girl this blog would be besties with (high-pitched girl squeal eeeh!*). London vibes similarly, but because everything is so frackin' expensive it's rather stressful to truly let loose there. Berlin and Jakarta would essentially hate each other-- Jakarta nightlife being that nouveau riche girl with fancy designer bags that her daddy bought her and no clue how to ride a subway. Ugh. While we're playing this city-as-chicks game, Toronto is the younger teen sister  trying to figure out who she is. She has so much going on, it's hard to define her yet.

Cool apartment turned club in East Berlin. Thanks to Paris music man, Hugo for showing us

If you are sensing awkward girl-crushing-on-non-human vibes then you're correct. It's mainly because when in Berlin I was blown away by some of the best museums I have ever seen. I'm not a museum junkie or anything, but the Modern Art Museum and the Holocaust Museums blitzkrieged my brain with whoah bombs. They were interactive and bled of history that touched my herz. For partying we headed out to some apartment club thing with graffiti on the walls in East Berlin to see Boys Noize and French electro label Institubes. From only a mere few days there, Berlin showed me parts of herself that even after wining and dining this Jakarta biatch, I am yet to find here.

Anyways, here's a mini Indie Guide to Berlin Nightlife. These are the clubs I'm going to check out when I go back, recommended by the ex amour and other trusted friends. If you've been, tell me what you think! And please, help with cool recommendations!

Panorama/ Berghain: While this place may look like a holocaust memorial site, it really is the entrance to one of the best nightclubs in Berlin thanks to amazing resident DJ's, techno and house music and parties that don't end till Saturday afternoon. If you are too naive (don't blame you) to know what long ass parties like that means then it may not be your scene, mainly because of this . Also, apparently they turn away lots of people at the door. Big ups to exclusivity factor? *Fart noise.

Watergate: Located in the Kreuzbeurg neighbourhood, this is meant to have insane house and techno music, a panoramic view of the city and LED lights to twinkle up your mind. Don't know much more than that but if recommended by people I love to party with then I seriously can't wait to ch-check it out.

Kater Holzig

Reason 1 Million to Study in France

This is our weekend trip to Berlin, on our way to the club racing to make the metro.

More Berlin music..

Jeez, I didn't think my hyperactive soul could ever be satiated by minimal music but I think the Berlin scene is wiggling its way into my heart and happily hanging out there. Thanks Sascha for sending me the recommendation!

Monday, May 21, 2012

5 German Stereotypes Confirmed

Handsome, Wimpy, Hardworking and Not Funny? German Stereotypes Broken Down

The recent blitzkrieg of German people in my life has prompted this photo throwback to my days living in Europe. It's weird though, despite inhabiting neighbouring France and dating a Blonde German Blooded Yeti for three years, I had very little interaction with the Deutsch people or their country, until I moved to.. Indonesia?

In Bali, I partied my ace off with some wildling Germans and had one of the most fun trips of my life. In Jakarta my work was invaded by people who sounded like Arnold Schwarzenegger on crack (yea yea, Austrian, German whatever). So in the last two months I've come to quite enjoy their company. However, being in such close quarters with them, I couldn't help but notice several stereotypes I had heard about actually pop up continuously. And while anecdotal evidence undoubtedly supporting confirmatory bias does in no way equate to truth, it does offer enough laugh material to make fun of your boss beyond merely their ridiculous accents. I've been compelled to share. "Do it now, YAH?"

1) They are disciplined work freaks of nature. TRUE. 

In Paris, we would order a bottle of wine, sit for an hour and a half and chill out of work lunch break. Life was there to enjoy it. Work hard, play hard sort of thing. Working for this German company, there were no long lunch breaks, people planned more than they banged and they got things done FAST.

They even commence their efficiency indoctrination young. Rather than the jovial, Ring around the Rosie and cutsie disease songs we learn in the west, the German kinder are taught songs of a different nature :

"Morgen morgen nur nicht heute sagen alle faule leute." 

Translating to "Tomorrow, tomorrow, not today is what all the lazy people say."

At the Museum of Modern Art in Berlin.

2) The Men Are "Hunky Handsome, Wimpy, Weak."

 I couldn't believe that a land full of strapping, beastly tall men could yield such itty bitty passive dating behaviour. Yet after my extensive research, mainly a plethora of stories from female comrades and confirmed by this article in the Spiegel  I've come to accept the verity in this German stereotype.

Apparently, in the dating world, there is a lack of 'go getter' spirit that men in the rest of the Western world display. On one hand, this rocks the kasbah. The men keep their composure and don't come off as famished dogs scrabbling after a piece of wiener schnitzel while in your company. On the other hand, seriously just grow a pair. If it's clear a girl likes you, don't pull a Jon Snow, go for it! Apparently women in Germany make the first move? I dunno, I've written about it here in the Hooking Up Guide to the World.  Personally, I've seen the aggressive and passive. What do you think?

Upon mild scrutiny of other German peculiarities, it's not even that surprising. Beyond Angela Merkel being the badass babe leader of their country, did you know that affluent German men are expected to take a piss SITTING DOWN? Whoah sauce. It appears that while the men are wimpy and emasculate they are reacting to strong ass female behaviour. Even Simone de Beauvoir in the Second Sex wrote about how peeing standing up and freely for a man is one of his most empowering qualities. Pop a squat. Lose your balls.

While ex amour's blood was German, his spirit was wimpy dude here.

3) They are the Least Funny People in ze World
True and False

South Park fuelled  what so many people thought already. The kids had an award ceremony and voted Germans as the least funny people, over the Japanese and even some Inuit tribe. The country of Germany in response blew their lid at their ranking and created a robot, called FunnyBot to calculate the pure humour. In the end the robot thought the funniest joke of all would be to exterminate the human race. Awkward..

Parody aside, the stereotype is not completely true if only because it's not specific to this one country.  Europeans in general are not that funny. Their humour, like the French and Italians, are more of a cynical nature -- snickering at other people's chagrin rather than generating their own hilarious content (like us North Americans and even the Brits)! On the other hand, I suppose relative to their continent mates they are a bit stiff, lacking the easy going flow that anglophones or Latin bloods have. Whatever, I've shared many a laugh with these folks.. even if it just about the efficiency of work flows in Asia. What a knee-slapper!

4) They're Colder than Canadian Winter

Having the ex amour's family come from some cold tiny island of Forh, they definitely did not seem to be as loving, warm and touchy as their Swedish counterparts. As a bubbly, talkative and curious Canadian I had a very hard time winning over his massive 6'6'' father who looked like he could eat me for a midnight snack.

Their affection is a treasured secret, displayed privately and in small quantities. This is completely in contrast to the loud, overflowing personality of Latins, Caribbean people and to some extent North Americans, where you are lavished in enough warmth to out live the sun.

Even Germans believe it about themselves! Allow me to share a joke about the Northerners/Friesians told to me by an old German boss I had.

A guy walks into a bar in Forh. He is cold and tired. The only thing he utters to the Friesian drinkers around him was 'tach'  (the equivalent of a nod).

They all looked at each other incredulously and asked, "Who the hell's the foreigner? He's too bloody talkative!"

Ho ho ho!

Holocaust Memorial. The art in Berlin is some of my favourite in the world. 

5) Amazing Music Comes from Germany

If you've been feeling sore from all the German bashing know this: the music and art from Germany is some indeed some of the best. If you don't believe in heaven you will after you hear this (they're German right?). 

 Don't pull a German and take this too seriously. Some people experience serious internet rage. If you disagree or (more hilariously) have something to add to the list, enlighten the world/us! Danke! Next coming up is a mini guide to Berlin Nightlife!

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