Upgrading

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Later on December last year when I wanted to update this blog (read: editing session which took a way too long) after work, I found my MacBook had a problem. The battery showed red even when it was still charging. Zero percent, damn. I just upgraded the storage which was typical Apple spare part (read: costly, the good news: somebody paid for me). The day after, I found that the trackpad didn’t work well. Okay, I had no plan to break my vow again after an iPhone X.

But I had one excuse: seven years plus with me wasn’t a bad thing. My first laptop was a MacBook Pro. My second one is a thinner MacBook Pro. Comes in my fav color, space grey.

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I need to sort few things out for this MacBook to support my needs. Design softwares, USB connector, oh money is just flying around. I’m completely aware to be an Apple person, first rule: lifestyle isn’t cheap. But let’s put it this way, I’m upgrading my tool to upgrade my future. Having some plans to step to a higher stage on 2019. Bismillah.

P.S. These photographs were edited with an iPhone X through VSCO plus Phonto for layouts, taken with Sony A6300 + 35mm f/1.8 OSS premium.  Site shown on the first photograph is a beautiful web by Chris Ozer

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An Ode To Miss Swift’s Song Craft

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Talking about music, it has been a part of my morning rituals listening to some favorites. I listen to any genres as long as its easy listening (mostly pop of course, heavy metal I don’t even understand period). According to my true self, I’m more into Ed Sheeran’s music. I just love how he creates songs that could touch any souls (Divide is my fav album of him, so far). I’m not going to write about Sheeran on this post but praising Miss Swift.

If you read the reason behind my online account Ayiswift here, Swift isn’t for Taylor Swift. Perhaps this time around, I won’t bother if it does just to show how much I adore her writing talent. I don’t read celebrity news anymore (I did, ages ago) but from Twitter I do read some flash news about popular human beings sometimes. Miss Swift, from the snake drama till giant snakes everywhere on her Reputation tour, shows us how to build a castle from the bricks they threw at you.

Although my favorite album of hers till date is 1989, but I have chosen thirteen songs which are inside “Taylor Masterpieces” on my iPhone (why thirteen? isn’t her lucky number is 13? That’s what I know from Instagram. This list is inspired by an article by Rob Sheffield on Rolling Stone) 

13 Let’s Praise I Swear I don’t Love the Drama, It Loves Me. When Reputation came out and there is a song featuring Ed Sheeran, I knew I’d play it hundred times. Even though I prefer the simplicity on Everything Has Changed than End Game, but I’ll keep this collaboration among 13 favorite songs from Miss Swift. The clip is big yes, but Ed Sheeran also wrote and sang on the song is more YES and BTS is more and more YESS

12 I’m a Nightmare Dressed Like a Daydream. Count that lyric as a triumph of a song writing. Nothing beats Miss Swift for her creativity on this song even though Thinking Out Loud took the trophy as SOTY at Grammy, the same night when she became the first woman won AOTY twice

11 Someday When You Leave Me, I Bet These Memories Follow You Around. Perhaps it’s true what she said. Some memories of someone won’t last forever but they would follow you even in your Wildest Dream. I’ll make it clear, if the song is perfect and the clip represents more about the whole meaning, it’s A plus. This is a song I always listen on my window seat pretending I saw those wild scenes as beautiful as what was in the clip, on sunset, what else? I won’t mind even if it’s just pretend

10 We Never Go Out of Style. Without mentioning how artistic the clip is, Style is kind of song I’d play in an open car on California endless road. Well, it’s kind a dream to ride Maybach in California passing the coast on summer with a style. If Rob Sheffield has his own favorite lyric on each of Swift’s songs, so do I

9 No, There is Nothing Good Starts in a Getaway Car. Most of her fans have been asking for video clip on this particular song and I think I’d like too. She built a cheating love story in a very smart and classy way along with Jack Antonoff. As I admire how both of them came out with the damn-I-love bridge on a creative writing session, I also admire how dark Getaway Car sounds from the intro

8 Remember When We Couldn’t Take The Heat?. Out of The Woods is the best song from 1989 of course. It’s weird but genius. I also love the idea behind the clip. Trust Joseph Khan for that

7 Everyday is Like A Battle, but Every Night with Us is Like A Dream. This one is on my Morning Booster list, too. One of the best from 1989. The clip shows how magical being live in her stadium tour. You’d agree with me after looking at the endless ocean of crowds with those light sticks glittering. It must be an experience for everyone who has attended the tour

6 I Love The Riddles that You Speak. Ours is a kind of romantic song that is so simple but cleverly done. The strength is on the lyrics, only an acoustic guitar is enough to let it resonance beautifully on the air. Ours teaches you that people throw rocks on the thing that shines which makes love looks hard

5 They Took The Crown but It’s Alright. I’ve read what the co-writer behind Call It What You Want, Jack Antonoff, wrote when the song was just released. Use your earpieces on midnight walk when listening to this song. I tried once when I was walking back to my hostel in Hong Kong at 2am. He was damn right, the song turned to be more magical

4 I Don’t Wanna Miss You Like This. If you never know this song, it’s also written by Dan Wilson, the same magic hand behind Someone Like You. I also found this song is vulnerable but in a very artsy way. It catches my attention first time the rhythm and the lines “taxi cabs and busy streets, that never bring you back to me”, and “but you’re in London, and I break down, cause it is not fair that you are not around”. Although it’s never been released as a single from Red, it’s one of the best from the album imho

3 Isn’t It? Isn’t It? Isn’t It?. Delicate’s one of my favs from Reputation. Also, the idea behind even there was a rumor it’s kinda similar with Kenzo ads the clip is gorgeously executed. She’s well known for Easter eggs in every clips but the message behind Delicate is just stunning even without those eggs you need to find. My favorite part is “sometimes I wonder when you sleep, are you ever dreaming of me” oh wait, this one too “sometimes when I look into your eyes, I pretend you’re mine all the damn time” I have one more: a whole song

2 But On a Wednesday, in a Cafe I Watched it Begin Again. Okay, I admit it’s quite hard selecting her songs by how beautiful the lyrics are but my number two would always be Begin Again. I mean, let me make it clearer. Paris, cafe, Leica, subtle morning sun, and coffee in the video, how could I won’t love the whole scenes?

1 Cause I Remember it All, All, All. Only one word could describe All Too Well: Masterpiece. Everything about it is so damn perfect. The song craft is something else, the details on the lyrics are brilliant. I didn’t know before that refrigerator light in the dark could be so romantic until I heard the line of “we’re dancing around the kitchen in a refrigerator light.” Only a genius could create that out-of-the-box lyric kind of. Every lines shows the fragility of brokenhearted of losing someone in a very, I don’t have a word to describe it anymore

13 in number isn’t enough apart of other underrated songs among the well known ones. But if you ask me what else, Wonderland!!!!, I would say All You Had To Do Was Stay, Best Day, Dancing With Our Hands Tied, This Love, You Are in Love, and etc etc.

After watching some of her world tour videos and interviews on YouTube, I came to realize that Miss Swift is such a hard working artist, out of the box, always craves for something best, and she’s (this is just an honest opinion, you can’t trust what media said right?) such a super kind. I adore how she controls her creative license on music, her ideas on how people said bad things about her and turned to be something could slap them back with Grammys. Isn’t that cool?

 

P.S. Swift’s photograph is taken from Pinterest. Edited by me.

November 27

I’m writing this to kill my five hours transit among millions people who are heading to different places on earth. I just had one chocolate croissant with damn I answered vanilla and it’s such a mistake too-sweet cappuccino at Paul before heading back to a real life in the next three hours. When I’m set, I will try to share some stories which I really want writing them with heart.

I used to make a vow to keeping posts in sequence, but that doesn’t belong to this blog anymore. No regret, as life sometimes will teach you how to slow down for a good reason. I took my time slowly on the last few days thinking about all that had happened: deep emotions, guilt, pain, laughter, jokes, everything in a very fast one month. 

Dubai Airport, 7:45AM. 27/Nov/18. 

It Feels Like An Autumn


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“I’m ready for everything, in case it happens very soon.”

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Someone asked me ~with all her worries~ this question: how would I feel if one of my very, I mean it, very very best friends steps back out of a zone we both called a friendship after he married?

With a little smile, I could only show my feeling. Even though I knew it’s going to be hard.

I do realize when we grow old our circle becomes smaller. And with that, we all know that our heart could clearly find those we could called as best friends. It might not be a bunch, but they are enough to be counted with our fingers. Her question was such a bullet in a daydream. I knew what I always wanted to say, “I’m ready for everything, in case it happens very soon.” Perhaps it’s really easy just to say in words but not in heart. Perhaps it’s easy to accept a nonsense reason such as, distance becomes a big deal. Sometimes I pretend myself.

She was quite very emotional if she lost him for the sake of that long time friendship, too. The way we think might be different but we both know it isn’t that easy looking at someone we know for years has changed a little, become someone else. A stranger per se. But someone has chosen his path, with all dreams he wanted to share with someone we don’t know. Marriage life might change him as a person but what I know, even when I feel my own shiver in autumn, I would never forget his kindness. I would never erase our moments we spent together those days. Midnight. Drizzles. Sunset. Final year. Stupids. Hard times. Everything that has scored in my heart.

This is why its called a life, isn’t it?

Table Mountain

 


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“A visit to Table Mountain could be counted as the only “must-do” I did, literally”

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As mentioned on several posts, my trip was a relax one. I didn’t really go places but spent my time as slow as I could. It was pretty much like, “Oh, how many days I have remain here?” 

I’m serious, when in Cape Town I was, “Really? I still have 3 days? I thought it was only 2”. I think because I was so relax and did nothing most of my stay then time was running slowly.

I had a fickle heart on May third, to visit Table Mountain cause you know: “Don’t wake me up, still have an affair with my blanket cause hey morning in spring is cold, very cold”. But again, I had to gather my will to visit one of the famous sites Cape Town has to offer. Basically there are two ways to get a ticket to Table Mountain, buying it on the spot or online. I chose the second option a day before I paid a visit. Either you buy it at the ticket counter or online, you still need to join the queue before entering the site.

My choice to wake up early (tho it was hard cause hell ya, it was very cold) brought me to a place that made me throwing smiles to the air. Many times. On my way to Table Mountain was perfect. I had sunshine thru the car window, passing some gorgeous houses along the way (they are so gorgeous, one of the reasons why I said you won’t feel “Africa” in CPT), the sky was clear and blue and too pretty, but two things missed: I had no proper breakfast and I didn’t even care with what I read on the website on how wearing proper shoes is recommended. When I was close to Table Mountain, I could already see how beautiful up there from the car: the peak was covered with thick white clouds.

These photographs below do not do justice how clear, how blue the sky was. Believe me, apart of layouts and some B&W photographs, no Photoshop’s needed to convince you how gorgeous this place was.

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I took a little deep breath and slowed my steps down when I was up there.

It was magical staring at those layers of clouds, standing with a magical view, fresh air and shades of blue.

I, remember”

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“It was typical spring weather, the sky was blue and the sun was bright,

but the air was as cool as my feeling.

I sat for an hour, with gratitude, staring at Cape Town from above. She’s even prettier.

Sometimes the breeze made me shiver a bit, but I had to say it didn’t stop me thinking that this earth is,

exquisite”

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“I know I still have a lot of places I’d like to see with my naked eyes on this earth, there are a lot in number.

Sometimes, even just dreaming about each one of them, it gives me spirit to stand there someday.

Standing on Table Mountain was such a fantasy which came to real”

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Notes:

  • Take photograph of yourself with Cape Town as a background, don’t miss it even though you are such a BTS person like me. In my case, it was a bit tricky finding someone who familiar with camera so I had you know “why-this?” kind photograph (yes, it wasn’t pleasant when I got a dark one cause someone took mine against sun light) ~ lesson learned, time to get a tripod every time I travel alone
  • I suggest to check the weather in advance to ensure it is a good day, no rain, no cloudy sky so you won’t miss how fun the cable car is (or if you love hiking then try to hike till up, it must be fun)
  • Standing by the side in the car when you could see the scenery from the glass is a plus. It was a bit terrifying for me first time I entered, but it was fun in the end
  • Check the official website to know more about your preferred time to visit, I did wish I was there for sunset. I could imagine how beautiful it would be yet in my opinion anytime is good
  • There are souvenir shop, cafe and Wi-Fi lounge up. Even if it’s not much, spend some rand for some souvenirs so you have something to remember from the trip
  • I went to the cafe for late breakfast, though you know typical tourist site the price is higher but I had nice sautéed mushroom, so I won’t complain (having breakfast with stunning view was pleasant of course)
  • Don’t spend too much of your time to take photographs, I mean it. It is difficult not to do so especially if you love photography cause every angle would be delighting. Take your time to sit, breath the fresh air while your eyes are pampered with picturesque scenes. It is worth every second

Schön Dich Wieder Zu Sehen!

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“It was a lovely morning. You could even see from an iPhone picture above”.


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Cape Town, May 5th 2018 

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Some movies on Netflix last night slacken my system. I woke up early on Saturday morning but my spirit was still hiding under a thick duvet and seemed so hard to leave. I could see the sky was still dark from the glass windows even though I nearly blind when I don’t have my spectacles on. That thick white duvet wasn’t the only thing I could blame. The air was very cold, no AC was on, I can’t sleep with AC on fyi. My system was really slow yet fortunately, I had packed all stuffs back to my small suitcase. It was so typical of me packing things night before I travelled. Thirty minutes gone and I was still trying so hard to leave. On the bed, I was cross checking my flight to Asia to ensure I had enough time before leaving this AirBnB.

I finally had my clothes on and prepared light breakfast from the food that was left in the fridge. I cancelled my plan to visit Truth for the last cup of cappuccino even though if I did, I still had enough time for Uber and an hour coffee time since the distance from the city centre to the airport is 30 minutes only.

My Uber was outside. That time, I realized the sky was way brighter than the day I arrived in Cape Town. The sky was very blue, the air was still cold, and the breeze was cool. The sun made the day clearer and it was a good thing. As I was listening to some songs with earpieces on my way to the airport, I was smiling all the way. I sat inside the car with a thought those days I had in Cape Town were amazing.

My flight was for 1pm. Before I stood among those people who would travel to different parts of the globe, I slowed my steps down to record every single scenes in my brain. I was pleased by the fact that I’d seen a tiny part of South Africa but as far as I remember,

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“Till I stood in front of a huge clear glass window staring at two airplanes outside.

My good feeling was sinking to an excitement as if I couldn’t wait any longer jumping in the plane to memorize how beautiful a sunset that day would be. And also, to the fact that my vacation wasn’t over yet”

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On the way to Dubai, May 5th 2018 

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You know that feeling when you do not realize you’ve created some memories at some corners of this earth and started feeling blue cause it’s time to leave them there? When the plane was up small by small it gave me such an instant nostalgic feeling, but in the same time I tried not to be too maudlin. I could call it as a peculiar feeling number two on this journey.

Cape Town seemed as pretty and neat as the first time I stared out of the window. The blue sky I talked about was closer to me, throwing a perfect afternoon light on my seat. I started to let all those memories stayed in Cape Town when I tucked myself for nine more hours to Dubai. I knew I had to make this journey as comfortable as possible with blanket, earphones, The Shape of Water and low cholesterol meal I accidentally ordered online which was tasteless yet helped so much from starving (bad one, I had no chocolate mousse but fruits as dessert – no, you don’t eat fruit as a dessert, do you? – this is an honest statement, I was secretly drooling when I looked at a lady’s dessert beside me). Tasteless meal didn’t stop me to feel good cause a sunset I suspected that day would be pretty, came to be gorgeous.

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Landed in Dubai for two hours only gave me something I could count as a peculiar feeling number three. Well, not to mention how I was still bemused by the lady who sat on the same row on the plane that played Candy Crush for almost seven hours non-stop (believe me, she did. No movies, no sleep, like seriously). My peculiar feeling number three was how I, Azis – who’s picky for good food – was craving a crispy fried chicken. It was really strange how I thought about fried chicken and ended with a regret at McDonalds. What I got instead were one chocolate donut, one croissant and a cup of coffee cause I had no interest on McD’s burgers – I could tell you, I only eat burger once or max twice a whole year, not a fan. It wasn’t only fried chicken I counted as a peculiar feeling number three. I asked for a coke when I had my on board meal – I mean, that was something since I barely drink anything like coke and friends – and it tasted so damn good with ice cubes.

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Hong Kong, May 6th 2018 

Unlike the flight from Cape Town, I spent most of my time by watching some movies pretended I wasn’t bored. I should have slept more since I felt so tired but these eyes didn’t even want to close. The time I witnessed a gentle sunrise from above, I knew all those peculiar feelings were part of an upcoming exciting journey.

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I kept smiling after few photographs of sunrise were taken. It was pretty, it was tranquil. I smiled because I felt lucky still having an opportunity to travel, flying from one corner to another where life experiences awaited. I tried closing my eyes for an hour but I was awoke immediately when a harsh light fell thru my window. Morning light was brighter as the sun came up, it told me gently that Hong Kong was closer.

Those skyscrapers were seen among fluffy white clouds. It was a similar view I saw last year when I had a connecting flight from Tokyo to Jakarta. That was just few hours flying from the airport but this journey won’t be the same. I was on top of Hong Kong, a country I used to put at those last ones to visit cause I didn’t feel interested, what else.

I was on the queue to enter a train to the immigration. I had one peculiar feeling of “Back to Asia” added when I stood and learned where the train would stop (how many times I said ‘peculiar’ here? You count?). It was a busy afternoon when my mind was even just, meager. I was feeling meager actually, blame my eyes. A message dropped from a friend of mine right after my iPhone connected to airport’s WiFi.

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He asked, “You’ve taken a train to the city?”

I replied with a picture of a route showed outside the train, “Not yet, heading to immigration first”


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I experienced the same thing in front of the immigration officer. Damn, it took longer to check my passport. I had no clue why perhaps my name? But it wasn’t shaken me at all. I mean, I had no clue what surprises I’d have so let’s face it. Immigration done and time to learn those signages on the spot. I admit I didn’t delve anything about Hong Kong, well somebody I could ask everything was there, lazy me. I walked with a little migraine, oily straight face, and stiff shoulders but my eyes and brain had to connect learning those signages where I should get a train ticket to the central. All I wanted that afternoon was taking bath, standing under the shower, clean towel and spray of perfume before lied down on the bed.

My steps stopped at one corner of a foreign exchange counter. Two o’clock, I came out to the arrival point and followed those signages till I stopped with worse migraine. Believe me, I’d be so glad if I had a magic door like Doraemon has. Although a magic door seemed like a mindless dream, I was standing with a dream when a 5,5 feet somebody surprisingly came from the right side. As my mind was still meager, I clearly remembered I didn’t expect any travel agents. But, there was Andreas Knogler with a little Mr. written thinner than Azis Abdul in capital on a piece of paper.

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“I had a daze for seven seconds till I woke up that this somebody was actually Andreas Knogler. It was ridiculous, diverting per se”

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On the eighth second, I realized it wasn’t a dream when we both hugged and I said, “Wie geht’s Herr Knogler?!!!!” (No I didn’t ask him in German, in English of course. Herr means Mr. as I always call him Mr. Knogler, fyi). If you are attentive enough how many exclamation marks on a German question, you would know how bemused it was. Andreas didn’t even tell me he waited in the airport and the way he asked if I had already taken a train to the city wasn’t such a piece of puzzles. Honestly speaking, I didn’t surmise Andreas could create a surprise which imho, it was ridiculously-geniously done.

If you just visited this blog, I wrote how Andreas and I met in Tokyo on 2016 here. For the past two years we have been communicating through Skype sharing and talking random things every time we both free (on no, sometimes I have to book his time ahead – no you’re not reading wrongly – in case he’s climbing somewhere in Southern Italy, or running marathon in Athens). I must say talking to Andreas over the screen on Skype is always pleasing but had an opportunity to see him again in person this year was remarkable. I don’t know, there is something special about seeing best friends halfway around the world.

Andreas was way too kind for becoming a travel companion while we were in Hong Kong. I’m gonna share days we spent on separate posts when we had so much fun. But before this post ends, I want to share a note which originally written by him through Messenger two years ago, August 8th – I copied his note for a picture purpose, you all know. Please read his last sentence, you’ll start believing that universe has a magical way to make a sincere wish, strongly, secretly, becomes real when all opportunities meet together without even telling you when. Till right now, I could even feel the magic of this note.

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P.S. A photograph of Andreas above was actually taken few minutes before he caught a flight to Seoul. I asked him to recreate the scene of him holding that – travel agent, oh Lord it was funny- paper before he left Hong Kong for a short vacation whilst I still had few days left. Let me remind you one thing, it is true that some moments in life are fine to keep in our memory. But trust me, if you could freeze that moment into a photograph, you’ll have double memories which easier to be remembered in the next let say, ten to twenty years :)  

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