Movie night – The Visit (2015)

the-visit-movie-poster-2015

To start, I am a M.Night.Shyamalan fan. Since 6th Sense and through the lukewarm decade after that. Hehe. I might be a little bias. I love his brand of horror and mystery. But that would imply that all his movies are the same. It’s not. Especially with The Visit. I started watching with low expectations, as his fans would have get accustomed by now.

The experience watching The Visit is one with growing dread that something really bad is going to happen soon, it gets you early in the movie but you insist to sit there trying to uncover what it is before it happens. Of course Mr.Shyamalan left you some clues…you just didn’t think it through. That’s why I keep coming back to his movies. I love how the interest is sown as early as it can and kept you glued to the screen. You’d also given the time to sympathize the characters, understand their story while readying yourself for the ultimate twist at the end. Because The Visit could easily have been a simpler narrative if handed to another director but Mr.Shyamalan executed something more atmospheric and plays with your visceral fear. And let’s not forget it’s a found footage movie…you know how shitty lots of those can be 😝

(Honestly it’s hard to write this without giving away one spoiler word lol)

The movie is lightly introduced with all the main characters, a seemingly happy single mother with her 2 children, whom she will be sending off to her parents’ home for a chance of first reunion. She and her parents cut off their ties since she ran off to marry her lover 15  years ago. The dysfunctional family is thematically discussed and acts as the basis of the characters’ actions later in the movie. The emptiness and vulnerable facade the 2 children put on to survive their parents’ separation are expertly played by young virtually unknown actors Olivia DeJonge (Becca) and Ed Oxenbould (Tyler) (both actors are Australians). These 2 actors are truly the stars of the movie. Becca and Tyler are very charming and witty, with the warmth of their impulsive and childish actions, it makes them very believable characters to root for. The use of the internet slanga and some funny observations of the current teenage trends brought into their conversations also makes them enjoyable to watch. It reinforces the realistic feel of the footage Becca and Tyler took of the whole week over their grandparents, to look at the horrors unfolding though their own eyes.

One thing I felt at the scene in the car when the mother was driving them to the train station at the start of the movie was that it reminded me of a similar scene in The Shining. It’s the same irk from The Shining that the young children would be left at the mercy of mentally unstable adults. And the pale, white, unforgiving snowy setting in a secluded area where there are no immediate neighbours. However this movie is more of a thriller than horror. Ah you see? It’s really hard to not spoil it! If you’re already 30mins into the movie you’d know why. Hold on to that thought, and wait until the end where all your theories are SCREWED. At least half of mine did…lol! Thank you Mr.Shyamalan for another mind challenging thriller-horror. I enjoyed trying to investigate though I fall flat on my face everytime!!

4.5/5 recommended to fans and non fans alike. Critics also gave Mr.Shyamalan a thumbs up for this one (which is rare).

Rotten Tomatoes wrote:

The Visit provides horror fans with a satisfying blend of thrills and laughs — and also signals a welcome return to form for writer-director M. Night Shyamalan.

‘A return to form’ guys!! Come and watch the weirdest, perilous one week spent at the grandparents home. Fill your stomach to your heart’s content, run and play around the large yard but do not.ever.leave your room after 9.30pm *evil laugh*

Rated 18+ : Female nudity (back), suggestive scenes

The worst day of the year

(I wrote this in the first hour of hearing the news of my grandmother’s passing on 12 June 2016. It calms me to be able to write it out since at the time I wasn’t with anyone and have none to immediately talk to.)

12 June 2016 – 8.34am

I was coming out of the shower on a cold rainy morning at my house
Still have my towel on my shoulders, intent to pick up the clothes to wear to work for today
I have 15 mins to get ready, as usual
everything was normal
then my phone rings, an unknown number pops up
You know that’s like a bane to me
I never pick up a random phone call, especially in the mornings when I don’t wanna talk to any mortal beings
My cousin answered, crying and told me that she was gone
My initial reaction was huh
I managed to finish the call not screaming or crying although that’s what I feel inside
but it didn’t came out
the shock just enveloped me that I can’t feel a thing
So I tried to tell everybody in my family through whatsapp and in a minute everyone like woke up and call each other

My oldest sister teared up in the call, and it induced me to cry too
I dont know why i can’t cry on my own
I guess I’m still walking down memory lane in my mind
of everything I’ve managed to remember from all the years with this amazing person in my life
My grandmother.
I was actually the one who told my mother that her mother is gone.
6 days previously she had called, as usual, she always call everyone at all times
trying to talk to us, just asking mundane things like have you eaten? What did you took for lunch? What’s for dinner tonight?
You know that sort of thing
I’m used to it and I get annoyed by it. I ignored her calls many times and I just pick up whenever I feel like it
but recently, in this recent weeks, I never missed one. That I’m glad I did. I dragged my hand to pick up the phone (she usually called on both cell phone and house phone)
I’d answer in ridiculously uninterested tone.
that I remembered ghastly now, I couldn’t figure out why couldn’t be nicer.
should’ve ask more than asnwer her..ask about her day…
I could’ve but I didn’t.
there are a million times and opportunities that I could’ve been better….but I didn’t.
and that’s the thought that has been plaguing me since I answered my cousin crying on the other side of the phone
I think i just lost it
I’m beating myself over it.
It was just 1 hour now.
I still can’t believe it.

To think about this year’s Raya celebration without her
it’s unreal
She’s the one who organized everything
and she’d give everyone everything she have to make us happy and insisted to not dine until everyone else is attended to.
I cant believe she’s gone..i can’t!!
on a Sunday morning when i loathed to go to work..I woke up from a dreamy sleep.

I dreamt about another person quiet dear to me.
that’s another story..but I wish I had dreams of her.

To have some connection to the last minutes in her life.
I was doing what i’d be doing every weekday in this god awful routine of work.
I almost wish it’s something special, that it’s not such a random day
to be the day of her passing from this world
because she’s so special. To me and to our family and to everyone who knew her.

I wish there was some of us with her at the time. My relatives who are neighbours with her brought her to the hospital in the early hours of morning
While the rest of us were in our Sunday mornings just getting by the usual…
I wish this day was more special for her…
she was such an amazingly big hearted person
I’m sorry for ignoring the phone calls
I know that you just wanna talk to me and hear my voice
I’m sorry that I was almost always uninterested, although in random moments later I regretted the way that I answered
And planned to call back, to drive to your house about 2.5 hours away..I don’t know why the distance seem too much for me most of the time
but today I hate myself for not being able to act on my thoughts
I just thought about coming there for iftar, this week
but I know I can’t so I’m planning for next week.
but she don’t have another week.
When God has decided for you, nothing can change it.

I need to learn and shove it into my head that don’t let time fool you.
you think that your life is stagnant with no changes, nothing excites you
But time moves. Time always moves.
and with it the age of the people that matters to you, and someday they’ll leave you.
To not wait to make that call, to be there with them…because when that time has come, nothing can bring it back.

Movie night – Hush (2016)

…………….SO I’M ON A ROLL and I’m gonna post 2 entries in one day 😂😂

<100% spoiler alert>

Hush_2016_poster

source

Without further ado,

Hush is a home invasion thriller set in a (typical) cute cottage that is practically see-through with lots of big windows, no electrical alarm or grills to protect the people inside from the creepy wilds outside. As in all home invasion flicks like When A Stranger Calls, I Spit on Your Grave, The Strangers and You’re Next, there are only two sides. The Owner and the Invader. The others didn’t matter. They’re just props 😎 That’s being said, the director tried different premise, the owner is a deaf and mute woman who is a published writer staying in the cottage in the middle of the woods, and the nearest neighbour is 5min walk distance. Of course, writers seemed to be the most suitable profession to alienate themselves and then gets chosen by the opportunist invader. The invaders can give them random silent phone calls, or cuts the power supply, or throw stuff at their windows and make weird creepy noises to scare them. However in this case, how do someone gets the attention of a deaf and mute person that they’re gonna be his next victim? It gets tense 10 minutes in and very interesting indeed. It’s terrifying to watch and to think if this stuff happens in real life. When you know that your’re actually being watched, and that person intentionally wants you to know what he had in mind for you.

Locked inside, Maddie (Kate Siegel) have to rely on her impeccable wits to survive for as long as she can. This cat and mouse game started early and you wonder what’s more in the 1 hour plus runtime to the ending where fans of thriller like this would know, it could be as merry as she survives miraculously or she could just chopped to death, with the outro refuse to shed an ounce of sympathy to the victims. It’d end in senseless killings and you’d hate it. In Hush we were anxiously watching and wishing that Maddie would succeed, even in the condition she was in – completely hopeless against a psychopathic invade. The action although minimal was done in a realistic way. It wasn’t too great nor bad, it was just standard. What the movie excels in this genre that a few could have achieved, is to get the viewers feels for Maddie in her battle to survive. You know there are those female protagonists that you half heartedly wish for her survival despite being explicitly lucky in all dumb decisions she made and you’d yell at the screen how the fuck she didn’t die. Or the other one whom you have no sympathy at all, since she’s too well equipped and does things too correct, and you hates it when in a horror-thriller somebody being too right, cause where’s the fun in it? And they usually end up killed first lol

Maddie is a very likeable character, with an even dose of incapacity to protect herself and strength to survive. It was played well without the use of dialogue. All the scenes used to further show us how desperate a situation she was in were enough and necessary. Nothing felt overdone in this movie unlike lots of in this genre (runtime too long, comical urban legends, unnecessary hottie characters, violence ;but of course we have another dedicated genre for that…slasher-horror )

Don’t watch it for another dumb heroine making it out alive, No it’s not hanging type of plot and No stupid jumpscares. It’s just you, Maddie and the Invader. It’s a movie made to give us something enjoyable to watch, not too dark that you spent days after contemplating it nor just another horror-thriller flick. It deserved to be watched and be put in a higher place than all the other generics that comes so often to be unworthy of mentions.

Rate : 4/5

Movie night – Regression (2015)

Hi dear 8 years old blog.  Originally I planned to post something so overdue but I changed my mind like I always do. So I’m going to post reviews on movies that I watch cause recently I started watching movies again. I haven’t done so in months. I just watch a few and fail to write anything about it although I feel so strongly about one of them – Mad Max! That movie is a-w-e-s-o-m-e. I wanna write a fic on it so bad but my mental block is worse lol.

<100% spoiler alert>

regression

source

Anyway this movie Regression is a crime thriller – horror movie starring Ethan Hawke and Emma Watson. The synopsis is interesting enough (yes I’m those people that has to read synopsis before deciding to watch something) about a small town rape case that leads the investigation into the satanic cult world. The movie is very well done in pace and suspense. It kept me at the edge of my seat, just trying to prepare myself for the revelation, and the dread eats at me. Who’s really the victim here? How come the accused didn’t have a shred of memory having done all those horrible things? It’s confusing but then you’re treated to constant crying and fragility of Angela, the character played by Emma Watson – the supposed sexual abuse victim by her own father. It’s disgusting and you quickly sympathised with her situation. The movie lets you be your own investigator, this kind of feeling I missed from lots of crime thriller nowadays. Like in 1995 crime thriller Seven (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman), God that movie was so amazing. You’re trying to collect the clues yourself. But in this movie I failed big time. I was also deceived by the expert victim playing. Only that I’m female that I don’t get to snog Angela like Det. Bruce (Ethan Hawke) did at the cemetery but I sure fall for her lol. The entire story was fabricated, by Angela and contributed by the regression method in psychoanalysis.

If you read about Regression method, it was real, at least back in Freud’s times. It was re-presented in numerous later books and research papers, it was defined as :

…A defense mechanism leading to the temporary or long-term reversion of the ego to an earlier stage of development rather than handling unacceptable impulses in a more adult way.

Errr…ok in layman’s term – people revert back their emotional self to a childlike stage in reaction to bad things in life. Rather than being an adult and deal with it, they clammed inside their child self shell. If you don’t know about regression the movie can be a little unexplained, especially in Roy’s (Devon Bostick) regression test. The whole concept is really interesting and the fact that this movie was based on real events, it just struck me. And the other important concept that was discussed in this movie was The Devil. Of course in religious terms the devil is the devil, scary looking monster; hairy with pointy tails. The point of the movie is The Devil itself can manifest as a person so evil no matter how angelic they look on the outside. The Devil is in each of us if we chose to do evil. The whole runtime had this air of supernatural creepiness. It was done well, really creeped me out without actually too much jumpscares. It wasn’t surprising considering that this is the same director from The Others (2001). But the real dread comes from the truth – The Devil comes in angelic package of a pretty damsel in distress. Who would have thought? The only thing that doesn’t quite fit in the storyline was the book of satanic cult that was referred by Angela to make up all the terrifying stories and used it to accuse her family members. It isn’t necessary and feels a little out of place, like something last minute thrown into the plot. But then she was 17 and it was set in 1990, we don’t have Reddits and Creepypasta and 4chan and urbex and deep web shit andddddd so I give it a pass.

Watch it for the impending shocking truth and not for the horror cause there aren’t really any. The director is an expert at using silence and dreary washout setting to make you feel the fear lurking inside. Or…if you’ve never seen Aaron Ashmore play as a villain 😄😄😄

Rate : 3.8/5

Missing Them

I’m hit with the fact that I’ve been far from the people that has been the longest with me. My family, my old friends (whom I’m still remain in contact through social medias). I miss my parents so much =( I always have this thought that if I ever get hitched one day, I’d have the sleaziest, most embarrassing solemnization ever. Because I swear to God I’m gonna cry a fucking ocean. I actually have kind of an extreme attachment to my family. I just don’t show it and in this way no one I care about know I care about them LOL but nah we’re still cool. I’m always in control for no reason. I don’t keep photos in my phone or hanging around in my house/room, don’t call or messaging as much as some people would do. I’m like this since forever, and my closest friends knew all too much about it. My family isn’t perfect especially over my adult years…I have deep seated sadness about the whole thing that sometime I think it’ll never go away unless something put it to test, God forbid. I know that I’m not a strong person to face a loss of a family member, not now, not ever. But it’s the plight everyone who loves another human being will have to face. And people like me make it worse by thinking about the end all the time. Following all these travel itches that I have, to simply jet off somewhere and really widen my horizon, I know that I’ll not lose my family over the distance. I don’t have this same confidence with a relationship partner though. It’s what scares me; the end that haunts me, that I’ll never succeed in a healthy relationship with someone that actually going somewhere. I guess I just gotta admit that I’m a commitment phobe. Family is the people that will always take my shit and still is there for me. I’m gonna get a holiday (finally!!) to go back to my hometown. I wish I can just snuggle with my mom or dad and not get weird stares from my other siblings loool

Last Rant. I promise.

Part IV : Yes I do miss it

The driver who will take us back to Surabaya asked us to quote him a fee, which normally would cost 500000rp/per van irrespective of the number of passengers.
I’m not good in this. I don’t know how much a task is worth, a labor of energy, and other corresponding aspects in using a service from other people (I’ll make a terribly softie boss lol) I ran around in sentences but yea maybe cut it by half pretty pleaseeee?? They LOLed but accepted it.
We get in the jeep, just the two of us, and it climbed up to a massive open ended flat piece of land on a high altitude. It looks like a savannah in the middle of the mountains. Since we arrive at around 4pm, there were literally no other tourists around. I had to gave excuses to everyone who tried to offer us horse rides, and souvenirs and whatnots. They were hogging the freaking jeep door…I said I won’t come out of the jeep cause I need to change to my sweater. That held them off for a while.
The rain just stopped, and rainbow appeared at the horizon. The whole place is just for us. The desolation is a beautiful feeling, it makes you want to bare it all and just move to your rythm. Then it dawns on me that we only have 1 hour of the sun to reach the top (the trail and the stairs). I still haven’t finish revelling to the fact that there are no one around. But we sped our pace, occasionally had to refuse rides offers…although my still sore legs are asking for a rest.
We only have little money, enough for the ride back down to Probolinggo. We were officially broke😄
So halfway up, it is getting dark, just enough for us to walk 2km back to where our jeep is. We got tons of photos and one with the horse riders. It was fun to haggle for prices mindessly😄

By 6pm we were in the van again. I started to feel the pain of not giving myself a proper rest, trying to catch both mountains at the very same day, plus all the dizzying rides….it really drains me. But I had laid eyes on so many beautiful sights, crossed paths with good people, and doing things I have never done. Mission accomplished.
The drive was an hour of trying to sleep off the pain all over my body. Luckily we always carry some meds with us.
We also get exchanged money with the drivers, like, on the spot. With a competitive exchange rates😎 As I said, don’t worry. They’ll work something out.
Apparently there is a 24hr bus going to and from Probolinggo and Surabaya. Tix priced at 3000rp/person. It is a really comfortable standard bus, with a/c. Finally I get to really close my eyes.
In Surabaya at around 10pm, it was raining again, albeit heavier, and flooded some roads.
We grabbed a taxi heading to the pre booked hotel, only to be denied at the reception counter😕
I wasn’t shocked, nor expected it, I think I just don’t have the energy to react anymore. I just went out the door and find something to eat with our little money that’s left. I exchanged the money previously just to cover the taxi ride and food. Not another accommodation…if they’d let me swipe a card then it should be ok…but since it’s raining heavily and to pay for the next taxi looking around just doesn’t sound good to me.
We just stopped talking for a while and let ourselves to be absorbed to the surroundings, being out stranded late at night. Our flight back is at 6.25am.
It’s pretty obvious that we’re gonna have to stay at the airport till check in time. We ate Ayam Bakar for dinner and paid 25000rp, and left with some money for one taxi ride.

Upon arrival at the airport, I dashed in to find the shower room and surau area to sleep at. To my frustration there were only toilets and I forgot that in Indonesia a lot of its surau and mosques have combined male-female area. God…I slumped into the seat and just can’t think of a good way to end this exhilarating trip. I just watched people come and go for a good 10mins or so just cooling myself down. OK then, just deal with it. We found an isolated baby’s changing room and stayed there for about 6 hours until dawn. Of course, some staff found us and told us to leave but nah the whole body pain and lethargy granted me a rather good sleep on the floor. I have better sleep on travels than at my own home.

At around 6am we were checking in to the departure lounge. Nothing’s better than filling the time you suddenly have by rewinding the last 3 days of your life not being at work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job (OMG) but the thought of just leaving everything behind has never stop bugging me.

I will deal with that thought later…right before I sleep, every night.

END

Still ranting…

Part III : I think I’m gonna miss this

My mood is getting lighter as we were getting back to the inn…until I reminded myself about the real situation…our train tickets to Probolinggo are due to depart at 9am.
There is no way on Earth we are getting back AND have the time to at least have a shower or eat something after the trek. If you ask me my body isn’t ready at all
the train ride will take 4hours.
In mere minutes I get to wash my face with my cleanser- I missed 2 days of cleansing it. you have no idea how bad it feels.
Just brushing my teeth and cleansing my face is the new minimum of staying clean on a trip like this
I’m nearly finished packing when the hotel staff calls me for breakfast, to which I refused because I simply don’t have the time.
She insists that it’s okay and we will be able to catch the train. It’s about 9am already…and it should depart from another train station that is situated around 20mins by car from the hotel. I feel pretty freaking hopeless and increasingly annoyed at how calm the staff are about it
The guys coincidentally heard us and asked me about it since they are also planning to go to the same destination
The staff will drive us to the nearest train station so they decided to join in
but the other guy is still having his breakfast and the both of us haven’t eat anything yet
The next moment we were all struggling to finish some food while standing around and the scene made the staff so amused
They were like dont worry the train can wait, we’re like noooooooooo asdfghjkl
I also can’t find where our room’s keys ugh
I only managed to push one spoonful of rice down my throat, one of the staff decided to pack the food for me…I was so thankful for her
We paid everything in a hurry and bid goodbye to these wonderful people
When we arrived at Karangasem train station it was 10mins past 9am.
I realized what we’re so afraid of really doesn’t happened.
You can board the train from a different station than the one stated on the ticket, and it never arrived on time too.
Pak Gandar, the owner, get the 2 guys their tickets instantly, like cutting qeues and stuff. He’s very reliable and resourceful😀
I fumbled with the room keys in my hands and gave it to him and didn’t get to properly say thank you for everything…
We only waited for like 3mins inside and the train came. Perfect timing.

I used the 4hours of sitting in the train getting as much needed rest
The seat is surprisingly very comfortable and I get to drink my fave Jasmine tea in a bottle (if this is even a criteria to complete the situation haha)
Drifting in and out of sleep until i couldnt fight the urge to eat anymore
so we arrived at Probolinggo train station around the time stated on the ticket. That must be some kind of wizardry lol
When we got off we thought we should wait for the 2 guys. it’s better to travel with them than just the two of us because they’ll do all the hailing and talking and we’re just chillin’. lol
I could’ve find my own way through the extensive reading and researching I’ve done…but heck if someone is willing to take that place I’ll be gladly handing them the reins
There is a couple who is looking for the transport to the bus station too so they make 6 of us, and we get 5000rp/person. Nice.
It’s really hot by then…feeling sticky and dripping with sweat. Being dehydrated/in a dry environment would annoy me too but I just despise being drenched
My clothes are all inapproriate for how the day went…I used all lighter tops already. Well we thought we’d be in Cemoro Lawang by this day.
Halfway there we were stopped at the side of the road with locals who claimed he have good offers for Mt Bromo tour. I’ve read about these locals who wanna leech on your money. And to my relief our new friends refused quite harshly, that the guy quit trying us.
We were told to wait for the green vans that’ll not travel until it’s full. yep. It’s exactly like how I’ve read before on various travellers’ blogs/guides.
Luckily there are clean shower room, toilets and surau at the strip of shops where we sat. 2000rp per use.
I find myself painfully restraining from taking a shower, when the water is so cool and the bathroom looks so inviting lol
We are so pressed for time that we are constantly discussing what is the plan to get to Mt Bromo AND back to Surabaya at the very same day?
I don’t wanna entertain negative thoughts at this time. I reaaally wanna go no matter what.
We chat with the a local guy who runs a homestay at Cemoro Lawang and he said he can help us out in getting us a ride up to Mt Bromo, a van to get back to Surabaya, and cheaper entrance tickets to the National Park, provided we carry ourselves as locals from Jakarta. since we all looked similar anyway and with a fake imitation Indonesian accent…I think we can nail this. haha if we all look the same I’ll totally get the others in.

Idk how to explain but i have a different way of looking to the Indonesian people here at their native place than at my country.
I wish we’d all value our shared roots, being respectful of our differences and being the good neighbour.
I’ve met good people in all of my travels in Indonesia and they never fail to be so hospitable, helpful and extremely resourceful.
That’s why I have less worry travelling in this country cause even if things don’t go my way and plans all fucked up, we can always strike a deal with someone random and it’ll be in good faith. Money is traded in a way where in each direction someone will get the benefit. So, if it can solve your current hurdle why wont you do it right? I love how you can untangle yourself from a web of problems on a backpacking trip with the power of being open to trust complete strangers and find yourself somehow depending on each other. And we have the advantage of understanding and able to converse in their language.
In this new group, the couple whom the girl is pretty and I guessed she’s a Filipino, but this time I guessed it wrong. She’s also a Malaysian
We had a hyped conversation in the ride, like we’re catching up with old friends or something, but really the topics with Malaysian strangers you met on your travels would be – food, travel stories, food, and again food. because why not???!
She randomly gave us a packet of Old Town black coffee each. a perfect gift for me that i doubt she heard me say my thanks. Or did she? Oh well
The drive up to Cemoro Lawang took an hour or more, winding turns and hard climbs the damaged roads…i couldnt catch a nap.

It’s cold and wet with drizzling rain. It rains every day I was in Surabaya.

I had the same shirt I wore since morning of not showering, and feeling like man….even showering in the rain will do…but because of the cold it doesnt bug me anymore.
So we paid our guy 200000rp for entrance fee to National Park, which everyone else in the group was charged at 317000rp. Our secret k?
And handed 150000rp/person for the jeep ride to Mt Bromo. Usual price is 300000rp/person in a group of 2. We get everything halveddddd
Further up, the other tourists in the group left pair by pair, leaving us, the Malaysian girl and her partner, and the 2 singaporean guys who were with us since Banyuwangi.
They reached their respective accomodations, and I still havent decided by then what is a proper time to say thank you for their accidental company that is convenient for us and warmed us that we found good people to tag along.
I didn’t get to express my thanks again.

Rants cont. Trip to Ijen Crater-Mt Bromo

Part II : OK fuck it and keep going

24/3
We settled in anyway, the inn is empty as we were the only customers. I feel great because we don’t have to share bathroom
but after I woke up on and off sleep, a group of Indonesian guys checked in. But they don’t really stay outside so I still walk around freely
After a great breakfast we went out to the falls (Air Terjun Kembar) near the village and had a really coooool morning shower
I can’t remember the last time I’ve ever went to a waterfall and actually swim in it
amazing feeling. I can’t believe just last night everything was so fucked and being washed in those shallow cool mountainous waters I feel unlike myself
I can forget about everything for as long as I’m in the waters.
After that we went to the beach, wanted to stroll around but that’s not what happened later lol we finished eating our stomach out for the whole 2 hours and a half
It was so gratifying!!
The whole day was spent doing nothing basically..just talking with the owners and sleeping whenever my head hits the sack
Tonight we will go to Ijen so I’m kinda nervous..we were trying to get some sleep before the trip at 12am but the room is so hot and feel closed off
I can’t sleep…what worries me more is that I’m having a diarrhea, at this ideal time lol!! It’s unsettling to say the least. I’m fucking scared like my life depended on it.
Iheard guy’s voices outside..I knew there are more travellers arrived, so we will have a larger group to go together, lesser priced (350000rp/person)
An Italian couple and 2 Singaporean guy friends.
I take too many toilet trips until I’m relieved for a while…taking a tab of Lomotil. I pray and pray lol
I’m really scared
Trekking, and diarrhea. No. Can’t be happening together.
I guessed that the 2 guys are Singaporeans, idk but I know that accent is the chinese people that I knew, but it’s not Malaysian for some reason, I’m a good guesser
The trip started, the drive up the entrance..the roads were narrow and narrower, so cold and pitch dark…it’s kind of like from a scary found footage movie
I made a random joke if our jeep were to stall…and it did. Like 5 mins later. fuuuuuuuuuuu
Starting that everything that happened to me in this entire trip whether is favorable or not it’s all funny to me. Too funny to be true🙄
We stood by while the guides gathered to check out what can be done to repair the jeep but it didn’t go well
I started to munch on my sugars, feeling cold but honestly I love the stillness of the forest, coupled with the clear starry sky, the moon shines like a blinding spotlight
You know how mysteriously bright the moon feels but in a muted kind of way, if you can touch it it’d feel like velvet
A different van has spaces enough for all 6 of us so they had us transported in this van, we are squeezed in really bad though
Locals would usually chat us up since we looked like we can perfectly understand them compared to the foreign looking tourists
Anyway we reached the entrypoint, it reminds me of the campers base in the Vertical Limit movie 8) I’m being dramatic here but really it felt professional enough
The diarrhea again. fuck. I praaaaaaaaay plz god plz help me
I don’t wanna struggle in pain while making my way up…
We stayed in our group, the Singaporean guys were really helpful in like always tryna make us stay in a group and not stray to different groups with their own guides
I can’t really believe that I trek the trail at the dark of night. I’ve never done itttt
We got separated shortly after starting the trek because obviously we are slower paced
the guide, Pak Sam stayed with us and a lone traveller from China
We found out that he used to be a Penambang too – the sulfur mine workers who arguably have the worst job in the world.
But people do what they had to for some money…and feeding their family. We are of course very familiar to this trait among Indonesian people because we had so many of them coming for a taste of a better life in our country
Although we’re not doing so well ourselves
After an hour (I think.. I lost track of time) my legs is still ok, I’m not straining anywhere along my body but we were left alone, Pak Sam stayed behind for the Chinese lady
We met lots of local trekkers taking a nap randomly beside the trail, or camping under a tree
After twists and turns you quickly lose everyone around you that just now buzzes with life, and suddenly just you and the pitch black darkness, feeling the most strained in your heart beating at an excess beats trying to preserve your life while the air becomes thinner and colder
But in a lot of my ‘endeavours’ doing things that I have never done, I underestimated myself. The diarrhea also is gone by now. hahaha see, it’s all in THE MIND.
I tell myself that I’ve lost one day wasted, and I paid for an extra night for this, to catch Blue Fire phenomenon.
To arrive at the only checkpoint before finishing the trail to the mouth of the crater, my legs are still ok. Although at each later steep turns I feel like crying why aren’t we arrive already
Again, when I say I feel like crying I never did cry. So yeah the top is breezy with sulfur and cold mountain air.
You trying to make sense of how majestic this place is, under the moonlight, the plateau give us a grand view of what lies below….it is otherworldly.
I truly feel like the scene in LOTR Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo unknowingly discovered the Nazgul’s lair. Seriously. It’s really pretty though…
We were reunited with our group again. and I honestly thought people watch the Blue Fire from here, but nah…we have to continue going down to the crater 700m below.
Into the mouths of hell, I thought in my head…
I freaked out inside when we make our way to the starting point of the journey down. When you see the rocky paths, fill with rubbles, and no clear trail.
This is getting real. oh mannn
I think I just throw myself into the moment and let’s go for itttt kind of way
We couldnt find our guide, and every travellers just went by in their own paces, so, the four of us find ourselves left trying to find the next correct path. The Singaporeans are really awesome that they stayed together
In there two is always better than one lol
I’m kinda dumbfounded when we didnt know where to go. I mean come on man this isnt your freaking backyard
Further down we met Pak Sam randomly sprouting from the stones or something cause he was there with the Chinese lady
Following him down we all sat at the ‘viewing point’ where it’s safe to watch the Blue Fire without having to wear the gas mask.
He told us about the phenomena in an educational way, I have fun in that little outdoor classroom
So we stayed until sunrise, just watching, struggling with the cold and taking lots of crappy photos with mobile phones wishing the next will turn out to be better
Anything to bring home from this nature’s wonder
The sounds…is like having your gas burner at home (the heavy cylinder like shaped tin containing gas that is portable) and have it burn at full, and watching it as a miniature human. haha
That silent gurgling sound
The sun light up the crater slowly that you see the expanse of it…how big it is if you have good vantage point to see the lake splayed beyond the sulphur mines.
I took photos but it does not produce images like how my eyes sees it. How the sulphuric yellow complements the shade of aquamarine lake, enclosed in the hard and careless rocky walls.

We see Penambangs doing their job like usual, carrying the heavy 90kg+ weight on their shoulders…it’s hard to watch
I gave them some extra money when buying their sulphur figurines. I hope he will have a good meal that day.
I started to travel out of the rocky gorge, took me like 35mins, losing my breath lots of times ughh it’s really straining. Imagine being those workers😦
When we reached the top I think I breathed so loud some of the locals looked at me worried
The top is wide enough to camp and walkable. The view from anywhere on that plateau is amazing.
You can see as far as the sea and islands near, like Bali.

I wish I can stay longer but we are pressed for time.
We reunited with the Singaporean guys. Idk if they specifically waited but it was a thoughtful action cause we couldnt find Pak Sam until later
So we went down following them from behind tryna match their pace, which is sad because I can’t. haha
Lots of them looks fine going up and down Ijen and im frustrated with myself
Halfway down my toes are in pain, and my knees started to really feeling the weight of my body
I just bite on chocs to get some energy and drink some water
I tried to remember how I finished 15km trek at Merapoh, Pahang last October, and manage to tell myself to continue even in pain and obvious cuts at my heels
The pain is fueling me to never stop
Me and my friend arrived at the base and look for the 2 guys. After a while the Italian friends joined us at the jeep
We had to sit at the back of the jeep. This is another thing too funny to be true =.=’
My head kept on banging the ceiling throughout
We laughed it off
and I love moments that I laughed everything off, it’s what I do normally, I’m already an expert
But to genuinely laugh it off, is nice.