maybe tonight

i was spacing out and listening to some bands at the lse quad tonight (and people here do like the strokes don't they?)... and enjoying the music, and i thought...

i haven't thought for a really long time. no i mean, we always are, but...

i know i'm going to get my heart broken, especially here, here in london. i really do. i think i know i doubt myself too much to doubt that somethings going to piss on my parade some day, even when everythings happy and hazy and sounds noisy.

maybe it's the chilly weather, or the rain falling as i'm fucking walking back at midnight. but i loved that, it was a drizzle! no i think it's because i know acutely what and who i am at certain points, and sometimes i just believe that i'll only ever fall in love with people who'll break my heart, or that i over-inflate academic expectations of myself, or refuse to accept that yes, at times i am happiest when i am alone. no, but these are all just random and paradoxical musings induced by the cold and street lighting.

so hit me. i'm ready. but for gods sakes make it a nice landing.


watched les mis�rables at west end today! i love it! it's so.... socialist!

one more reason i should take economic history.
orientation at lse is a rather mature affair. i was expecting everyone to sit in a circle and beat each other with newspaper sticks trying to remember names, or some other "management claptrap" (as the sun described a funny orientation ritual at harvard). you choose which activities to go for, and many of them are dead serious talks on what to do and expect at the school, and the social activities organised mostly involve going to the bar, getting a drink, and just introducing yourself, or buying tickets to any one of the many parties/comedy/karoake nights the student's union has organised. which is good.

as soon as i thought that though, i think the rugby team at the table started breaking out into chants and quaffing their pints, and pretending to do cpr on the table. aaah what atmosphere. i must go to a match soon.


as a corollary, just in case you think london is this sweet and dandy place with girls dressed in robes playing the tiny piano by the thames (which happens, by the way, alongside the jamaicans playing reggae music), some parts of london are old, crummy and messed up.

the tube for one is a remarkable achievement, but it's really old. and some parts of town you don't want to go if you're not one of the people over there, the rougher parts of town. haven't really been to those, but i've been to elephant and castle, and you can see everything's visibly older, groceries are cheaper, and couple of homeless people on the streets.

so not everything's fine and dandy yeah.

but i like it here.
What I did on Saturday :
drink at pub and watch football
at night: drink at bankside bar, meeting people from all over the world

What I did on Sunday:
some laundry, some cooking
at night: drink at bankside bar, meeting people from all over the world.

well i'm exaggerating i did some reading too. i like the conversations here though they wander from random topic to another=).


finally went to a traditional english pub today. well sort of. a few of us went down to walkabout at covent gardens to grab a drink or two, and there is something about the weather which makes me want to drink more somehow. it ended up playing more american music anyway.

earlier today was spent exploring westminster, and finally got stuff like bank account and all that rubbish settled.

and in the end we all hung around the room, just talking our way away, hoping for a good 3 years and many more friends.


met up with quite a few singaporeans, zhirong, lubna and michelle on the way to school today. was a rather uneventful day today, just got some preliminary reading from the used bookstore to take home and spend some time productively. but of course jack welch from ge came down to lse, and everyone wanted to see him. and there was a good-sized queue at the old theatre

"you're gonna get a degree from lse and be ready to swing, so why be cautious!"

well i would be, mainly because of some in-built humility and that tad fear of embarassment, but all in all it was a rather ra-ra talk and i'm really surprised someone like him would sit in a small theatre seating maybe 200 at the most, and give a nice intimate public dialogue, and of course the questions keep coming, there doesn't seem to be an awe of great public figures here. and of course, the banter between the chair, mr welch and the audience did keep us all entertained, as one of the symbols of corporate america answered questions on corporate ethics and responsibility, free-market economics and the education of inner city kids. the indians seemed to enjoy themselves the most because ge is a huge thing in india, employing maybe 35,000 people in high value jobs like r&d.

had good bee hoon for dinner, and after that the lazy hours basically just floated away.


today's song in the head=)

"talking bout a revolution..." tracy chapman
after the insane day of walking yesterday, slept in a bit later. had cereal with sliced fruit for breakfast, it certainly is cheaper than the mush they sell for breakfast in the cafeteria (it's half decent yes, but it's 2 pounds 50)

headed to school, where the graduate students were all registering, so there was a bit of a buzz. met the whole "indian mafia" that anu and co. introduced us to, and taught everyone a bit of chinese.

headed to the blpes (british library of political and economic science) on campus to explore it in greater detail today. it was fun using the spiral staircases for a while but soon the novelty wore off and we appreciated the speedy lifts (zoom!)

well, shelves upon shelves of dusty periodicals from various countries, and some of the books were really rather old. got what i needed from the course collection and headed to the top floor, where it was a bit dark and quiet to set out on some of my preliminary reading for economics, and some for demographics while insa read some anthropology thing. what is anthropology? there's ethnography, with the investigations of people from madagascar and all that, and maybe it's the study of culture? don't really understand it, it is the study of humans, but it seems to adopt a different approach from sociology.

of course i just ate on campus, some lamb rubbish. headed off to tottenham court road to get some speakers, and managed to find some after much browsing. then got a payg sim from t-mobile, and my number is +4407908334761 (very long)!

had some well-deserved sleep, when i got up it was 5 and about time to prepare for dinner. popped over to tesco's, which is larger and cheaper than sainsbury's but it involves having to cross southwark bridge and walking east to eastchapel road, along the way we passed the monument to the great fire of 1666 as well as london bridge. picked up pasta, tomato and mushroom sauce, some seasoning, vegetables for the salad and dressing.

did the cooking, luckily pasta is easy (and had to beg for pots and pans from fellow students, and i asked xiaoxia cause she's chinese=p). have to head down and buy some soon. cooked up some pasta while insa did the salad. all had a hot meal and enjoyed ourselves. and now i'm bumming around the net. lovely.


"michelle, ma belle, sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, tres bien ensemble..."

"what do you call, in english, the word for having a song stuck in your head"
"the germans have a word for having a song stuck in your head?"
"yep, not in english?"
"the germans have a word for everything, don't they."

well, do you have a word for everything that happened today? think not.

day started with a cheerful good morning. sleep was good, but i seem to have a habit of waking early here (as do most people). went down for breakfast and made more friends, anu from delhi and jin mai from mumbai. both postgraduates, seem to be chucked on a postgraduate floor. so we have a confident crowd now.

walked to school, which was lovely, didn't really take pics though. on the way, weather was lovely (and changeable, we feared a slight drizzle but it ended up with lovely sun). it was rather unassuming when set next to the royal courts of justice, i didn't notice it was lse, but once you walk in down houghton street, the old-world atmosphere is just brilliant. the school's a bit small too. and waterstone's economics bookstore good too, but expensive. bought a calculus book from alpha (used books), which i will dig into later. nice book written by a professor in the school. british library of political & economic science was also very very labyrinth-like, and impressive. i was really impressed by the city of london, the way st paul's rose up majestically, the streets, the quaint shops on both sides. and passing the royal courts of justice, with all those spires, really makes you feel like you're waltzing down the corridors of power, and the monuments for dead people made you think (a lot of people must have died to make this city.) and weird stuff like a drgaon statue saying (temple bar was here). also visited the school of oriental and african studies, the other good social science institute in london.

insa changed the song in her head from "michelle" to "streets of london". oh my god, was just thinking of that song yesterday. she would proceed to change songs numerous times during the day, demonstrating her eclectic listening tastes. and i talked to anu about cricket and the fine points of panjabi mc. oh yes, and they did ask what the white lines on the street meant, and explaining the concept of a pedestrian crossing, they said, well in india, you just cross anywhere.

we went through leicester square, tottenham court road, looked at pigeons at trafalgar square and climbed the base of nelson's column, to roll tobacco to smoke, and to meet alex. it was wonderful just staring out into the blue sky, watching the people mill around the national gallery.

finding food in london is a chore, so maybe mr chirac was right. we finally found something good and cheap, thanks to alex, at old marsh road market, where we ran into a friendly indian shopowner and our 2 indian friends did the sweettalking. next to it was iceland (the grocery store), where insa and i did our breakfast shopping.

after that, headed back to bankside, still felt like exploring so i walked with alex to oxford street and soho, we saw red carpets being rolled out for people near leicester square. all the time i loved the bustle, when we walked into one of the train stations like (waterloo), the sound of boats on the thames, the skateboarders, and the performance artists. at chinatown, also saw mr hu's shop=), which i have a photo of.

upon return, joined up with the rest and walked for dinner. decided it was pointless to spend on lousy food, so at the sainsbury's local picked up some ready to cooks, and combined with genuine naan and chickpea curry from india, had a good dinner of lasagna, spring rolls and indian food. during cooking, kitchen very crowded, ran into many other students (mostly postgrad! it's very international, but lots of europeans, many chinese, who are fantastic at cooking, indians, couple of people from the states.) so we adjourned to a room, sat and ate on the floor, while the beatles, jimi hendrix, john lennon played in the background from insa's cd collection. what i've always dreamed of.

"when i'm 64", "jealous guy", "imagine", "hey jude" (where it's customary to break into the chorus), "a little help from my friends", "waterfall..."

i have just died and gone to heaven.

where plates have to be cleaned and students still have to study calculus. and tomorrow's only a night away=).

The Swiss Light at the Tate Modern and the Turbine Hall. I had pictures of St Paul's and my wardrobe but they screwed up. urgh.

Pictures : Top left (Room with a view). I'm facing east, and overlooking some Corporation of London Housing (You don't want to know how well-endowed the Corporation of London is), but basically it's a low cost housing area.

Top right is my desk. Messy already?

There's also Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, they're showing the Tempest now, �5 for standing seats.

Middle right, Millenium bridge in the foreground, Blackfriars bridge in the background. The Millenium bridge looks nice, but it's basically some steel girders done up very nicely. If you like walking the long and narrow, it's a good bridge for you, but I'd rather cross Blackfriars bridge because it's wider and closer to my school. It's also the bridge where the double decker bus went mad in the movie version of harry potter.

bottom left is my room. the sheets are a tribute to john lennon
"limitless undying love which shines around me like a million suns..."
i'll always be wrapped in love=)

visiting the school today, will post more pictures too! did miss out quite a bit, when we went out for dinner we would come across st paul's, tower bridge, etc but i was just going out to grab a bite and forgot my camera. london is so unbelievably romantic, you grab a sandwich from anywhere, the streets empty out at night to give way to amber street lighting with aureoles of light on the floor, everything's brick and the streets are worn and narrow. there are benches everywhere to sit down and take it all in with someone by your side. spent a lot of time trying to decipher which nation people were from as they passed, and insa told me a lot about germany, ska music and her hot twin sister studying medicine.

If you have time do listen to this song, I'm listening to the Sinead O Connor version, the bald girl who said something about the pope before. but it's a popular folk song so you can find many versions.

"Have you seen the old man, in the closed-down market
kicking up the papers, with his worn-out shoes?
In his eyes you'd see no pride, hand held loosely by his side
yesterday's papers, telling yesterday's news

So how can you tell me, you're lonely
and say for you the sun won't shine?
Let me take you by the hand,
and lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something, to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old girl, who walks the streets of London
dirt in her hair, and her clothes in rags?
She's no time for talking, she just keeps right on walking
Carrying her home, in two carrier bags

So how can you tell me, you're lonely
and say for you the sun won't shine?
Let me take you by the hand,
and lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something, to make you change your mind

In the all-night cafe, at a quarter past eleven
same old man sitting there, on his own
Looking at the world, over the rim of his tea-cup
Each tea lasts an hour, then he wanders home alone

So how can you tell me, you're lonely
and say for you the sun won't shine?
Let me take you by the hand,
and lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something, to make you change your mind

Have you seen the old man outside the Seamens mission
memory fathing, with the medalreabbons that he weares
In our winter city, the rain cryes little pitty,
For one more forgoten hero, and a world that doesn�t care

So how can you tell me, you're lonely
and say for you that the sun doesn't shine?
Let me take you by the hand,
and lead you through the streets of London
I'll show you something, to make you change your mind "


it's a bit quiet, just met a couple of s'poreans who've arrived already, who offered me bread (thanks, but i need meat) and they looked rather jet-lagged, and my flatmate/neighbour (we share the toilet, a small common area and the main door, but we have each our own rooms), insa, bubbly german-korean from rhineland (westphalia), turns out she's been a good 2 days before me and spent her time today wandering around lse, so only bumped into her in the afternoon. of course, first things first, so we have to settle a mutually binding contract to assassinate each other in our sleep if we take too long in the toilet. and yes you can leave your stuff inside. majoring in anthropology. as you can see, we have so much in common. but it's good, all so cosmopolitan! now i know what shampoo instructions are in german and have a partner for exploring london.

so it's not too bad, been a little quiet, difficult to find good rate food, have nice bright orange bedsheets and can't really sleep. when i've more energy i'll bounce around more, though i already gave the tate modern/millenium bridge area a look over in my quest for food. and yes photos soon.
Hi everyone! Am safe and sound in London, and if everything goes well I should have enough free time at the end of the week to regale you with my tales and photographs.

My address is as follows, for those who want to send me things! (like my zippo lighter!)
Do underline my last name.

Jesse Satria Oeni (Room 622)
LSE Bankside House
24 Sumner Street
London SE1 9JA

6th floor, got a good view! Pretty big too. More later! Need to unpack.


tonight is a saturday night, like many others. well, it's a little bit special. it's a night when the moon is especially big and yellow, and kids are out playing with their lanterns although it's a day early for mooncake festival. went out with clarence for a movie, it could just be your typical saturday night.

everything is normal. they are a little coloured by the lens, that this would be the last night in singapore for maybe 9 months or so. no biggie. quite a few people have left, and almost everyone who wanted to has returned. so maybe these lenses are a bit reflective, a bit self-absorbed, and apart from thinking about everything outside of you, other people's problems (not mine!) you do let yourself wander from time to time, and think how it will be, and maybe more importantly, how it was. �so, how do you feel about your last night in Singapore for a bit?� �well, I guess I ought to be thinking more about how I�m feeling. It doesn�t feel like the last night�. but I guess you do feel that way, you just don�t think it. and nerves are just like those cracks in paint, when a bit of water gets in and you don�t hold �em well it just flakes off, bit by bit.

Perhaps people don�t need all this emotion in their lives. I, we, get by most of the time, heads down, working for whatever we have to do, heads up, enjoying ourselves. we fight and we argue, but you know I hate confrontation, so I see people fighting and arguing, wonder why people keep tripping themselves up. but it�s because they do the things they have to.

but as I walked out the car back home, I felt a moment. everybody feels moments. sometimes it makes them a little more poetic or to stop to think and resolve to act more decently the next time. get on with it. get a cup of water, get in the shower.

the shower�s on, and it just makes you cry. now if you could pin it down you could just stop crying. but no, you�re sad now, and you�re just crying because you don�t know why! �there you go. you�ve done it now. you let it get to you, this nothing thing, and everything�s coming at you now.�

I should have said thanks. I love you, I�m sorry. you still can. oh I can say them still! to whom, to who? there are so many!

�they say everythin� can be replaced
yet every distance is not near
so I remember every face
of evry� man who put me here�

I am crying because I don�t know how to tell each of you how much I appreciate it. I�m crying maybe because some of you care less for me than you used to. I am crying because this night, I remind myself that every day takes me further from a day when I was 12. I�m crying because I wish all of you could see me, this is what you mean to me! Because my mother feels old, and she�s missing me already, and oh what a life she�s had! how she�s loved me and kept me safe. Because people couldn�t get jobs in the Great Depression. Because I still have a sense of outrage and decency and this feeling. Because I am lonely now, like it was sometimes in Brunei, and maybe because I haven�t had reason nor time enough to cry for some time. And a man can live like that, but he should not. next to you you�ll always find new friends, new colleagues, associates, whatever. you can replace anything you need. but it�s not always easy, and it was a long hard road. I am crying because I will always have half my brain muddying around in the past with sentimentalism. and at 17 I wanted to write grand letters to everyone, but not now, it all seems so different, I�m close to 21, and everyone knows, maybe, unwordingly (if there�s such a word).

oh god. all this melodrama. if you�ve watched kill bill 2 (and maybe I�m crying because I watched kill bill 2), I am the bride rolling around on the floor clutching myself saying �thank you, thank you�, while the 2 magpies are on Disney channel spreading joy to kids, and the little girl�s watching, amused. and she wipes off her tears when she�s done, because we all have needs, from time to time. and once we�ve done with them, we wipe �em off, walk again into people�s lives with all the optimism and joy in the world and once again, we function.

and I think I�m crying because I�ve to do each one of you justice. now that I�ve sorted it out. I�m sorry if I haven�t found the circumstances to say it in your face, or if I�ve ignored you. know that I do, alone.

and I�m crying because tomorrow, I will be on a plane to London. I will be wearing a smile at the airport, and I�ll be damned if you ever see me cry. And I will wear the smile and bring it to London. I will smile at people. Maybe someone I smile to will smile back and we will frolick like jackrabbits in the grass. Maybe my smiles will go unreturned, maybe from time to time it�ll be difficult to smile. but fuck tomorrow, because I�ve had today, and thanks for helping me make it this far, and making me think, that I�m a decent person, I haven�t fared too bad after all, and I�ve decency and lots of love left. sorry for suddenly sounding like a gospel singer, it�s too much nina simone. thank you, thank you, thank you.

p/s look forward to my pictures. will continue to write!


there's always some solace waiting if you'd only look

"Ma, you scared of goin? You scared a goin' to a new place?"

"A little," she said, "Only it ain't like scared so much. I'm jus' a settin' here waitin'. When somepin happens like that I got to do somepin - I'll do it."

"Ain't you thinkin' what it's gonna be like when we get there? Ain't you scared it won't be nice like we thought?"

"No," she said quickly, "No I ain't. You can't do that. I can't do that. Its too much - livin' too many lives. Up ahead there's a thousan' lives we might live, but when it comes, it'll on'y be one. If I go ahead on all of 'em, it's all too much. You got to live ahead cause you're so young, but - it's jus the road goin' by for me." Her face tightened. "That's all I can do. I can't do no more."

Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck

it always seems to fit doesn't it? =) the right words for the right time.

whatever gets you through the night (whatever floats your boat)

those 2 phrases came up in conversation today, from opposite ends of the dialogue. whichever one you prefer=)

some people take out a cigarette and light it. some people take double shot espressos, or play some game somewhere. some people find it in a soft toy, or a loved one bundled up next to them.

of course, it all changes from day to day. having finally gotten close to 90% packed, i realize i finally had some free time and i didn't know what to do with free time. usually i'd be with a couple of friends and there'd be something to do but for once in a very long time i didn't really know what to do. i did something i haven't done in ages, pick up a nice thick novel which everyone thinks is good. which would exclude some of the more introspective pieces we have nowadays which frankly is really a matter of taste.

i was recommended the grapes of wrath. it is a good counterpoint to being overexposed to classical economics (grr.), but ideology aside, i guess it's good that i finally picked up a work of fiction which i'm reading for pure pleasure (must be a month or 2 now). ok, it's not the most gripping of novels, but after i was taught (thanks!) that novels can be read aloud, that novels which too much dialogue are better of as plays (i don't know which teacher ever taught me that) i just love the drawling accent which the hard-as-ass characters use throughout the book. it's a novel in the old style, ignorant of human sexuality (or prefering not to talk about it so much), full of tough manly characters doing enough just to betray their sentimentalism (i like such kinds of characters nowadays). very good introduction to life and times of depression economics for me. very typical steinbeck, (of mice and men!)it is easier to read than 'east of eden', because i guess there's so much more anger and emotion through this one, and it's stylistically simpler.

and there's a lot which reminds me of how i like to see the world. the tribulations of the turtle being driven over by the truck, flipping, and being picked up by tom joad, and imagining the swirling clouds of red dust and living on a farm where you can see corn until it meets the sky. and here i am, being brought up in a city, alienated from so much that is natural (except for brief moments in the army/on vacations) where you're forced to survive in it, that it all becomes so romantic and i want to own a farm.

i guess most importantly it reminds me that there is a moral compass to life and i shouldn't become a monster. it's not the law, or interest rates, but it's who you are to people. i don't fear becoming one, but these things have an annoying habit of creeping up on you when you're too caught up. i think, that way, all of us will find it much easier to sleep through the night.


i realise that i should be writing farewells and probably reminiscing on times spent in singapore and all the places which are flashing by me as i prepare to leave for a few years.

but i don't think i'd do it justice if i'm half distracted by packing so maybe when times are quieter...

but i broke my silence to talk about dhl. had to drive all the way to jurong to take advantage of the student fare. but as i lugged my jumbo box into the logistics centre i had a great kick when the guy told me i could just put it on the rollers and watch it roll to the other end of the warehouse. and i realize that maybe this it what men are made for. all the years of arranging railway tracks as a kid! i felt like a kid again. and the service people were quite friendly, helping me out with my bulky box and all, filling up all the weird forms.

and this real kick you have when every tiny box is labelled and the time's recorded in 24 hr clock format every time it leaves/arrives at a place. like oooh! my package has now left for central hub, s'pore. oooh, it's leaving on a plane to lambeth right now.

i must do something like that some day.


one by one they seem to come. the break ups from the people around me.

it is so heart rending to listen and talking to a sobbing, grown woman, especially when you hear the desperate na�vete of what they're saying, when they're clutching at straws.

people jump through hoops for love. oh, what a charade! when's my turn?=)

you crying people are really lucky and do wake up next morning feeling better.

I have a new email: J.S.Oeni@lse.ac.uk

If you're sending mails to my butzbe@gmail.com address, it's fine, that gets routed into my pop3 client. but i won't be checking butzbe@lycos.com half as often. so. there.


i rushed to the hospital tonight and i was thankful for everything that made the world tick. the mildly interested doctor. the nurses from the phillipines. the gas in the car.

i was envious that this person could make my grandmother feel better. (well, not really, actually, she isn't feeling any better). but i guess the assurance that something is being done, somewhere, and it'll all go away.

nowadays i like that side of me. "jesse is driving to the hospital." "jesse is doing something." "jesse is making the kids laugh". "jesse is doing mathematics and enjoying his work." "jesse is getting a couple of people together for a drink". in the future, maybe "jesse is sealing 10 billion dollar deals with his left arm and finger fucking someone with his right."

when you look at life, or throw yourself at it, they say, (you get what you give), everything is better, or whizzes by (even if you forgot to smell the roses). but don't you hate that side? "jesse is lying in bed thinking about roses." "jesse is a self pitying bastard." "jesse is mortally petrified of not being loved, and other abstract things." "jesse is wondering how to be creative with his left brain and fantasizing with his right".

i can only accept that i'm not clark kent. and growing up does mean accepting the fact that every day there are springs to be wound, faces to put on, smiles to keep. no, it's not that difficult, smiles are mostly sincere (depending on how you go through life), but what i'm saying is that what keeps you going is energy. energy that at the end of the day, most of us are left bereft of, but we still have to keep on going for meaning and whatever good that energy is to us.

and these breaks are just excuses for us to break down once in a while. that's why they're called breaks. see! in fact, i will be shameless and scream it from the mountaintop: "I NEED SOMEONE! WHERE ARE YOU?" and all those bemused people will turn their heads saying "you got call me?", if you happen to be on Orchard Road. On a rather more dark, empty deserted street, maybe there'll be nobody, but it'll be a whole lot less embarassing.

the bill is here. the room is still sanitized. the guest of honour is wheeled out, and the face is on. i am looking forward to going to school tomorrow, and the tailor, and the specialist, and preparing my goodbyes...
Looking at the pain and turmoil of some of those around me, I wanted to lie in bed the whole day and not move. Going to church would help, but I thought I would spite God a little for not being fair. It's the response of a selfish child.

Maybe writing a post about the unfairness of it all would help, but without any work left to occupy me during this period, I found myself having to drag out something useful to do then rail against some random dark cloud. I found it in my Calculus Refreshers. Despite the torrid weather of the past few days which induced some sort of a flu, plus a little maltreatment of my body (lousy hours, smoke, shots of espresso), the weather today was better, leaving me to open the window and just bask in the heat, (heat I could very well miss). Slowly, (and it is already 2.45 pm now), the lovelier moments return, and i am reminded how blessed it is just to lounge around your bed at home doing mathematics at your own pace, and occasionally resorting to the internet in less-disciplined spells.

i had almost forgotten what school holidays were like. to all who seek some kind of solace, i hope you found it at least for today, and yes, you're right.

there is always someone left behind.