The Blind Maiden

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So, here is the thing: any kind of horror story can easily scared me. However, those kind of stories always caught my attention. Part of me doesn’t want to know about it, but the other part is craving for more and more horror stories. Urban Legend is one of the most frightening stories for me, because you don’t really know whether the story is true or not. The fact that most people do believe in urban legends somehow made me believe that those legends do (or at least did) exist.

There are countless urban legends I’ve ever read and heard. Both local and international stories. Some stories are so scary it stuck in my head no matter how hard I try to forgot or ignore. One of the creepiest stories I’ve been read about urban legend is about the blind maiden, an urban legend from Spain. While this story is not very popular outside Spain, with this technology called internet and my curiosity about urban legend combined, I managed to find this story when I was trying to sleep in the middle of the night alone.

It is said that students in schools all over Spain are talking in whispers and rumors about a strange website called “The Blind Maiden”. They say that the website is offline for most of the time and inaccessible. However, according to the legend, there are three rules that you have to obey in order to be able to access the website.

1. You must be all alone

2. You must turn off all the lights in your house

3. You must go to the website at exactly midnight on a moonless night

Once you are in, your eyes will immediately be assailed by a never-ending screaming faces with no eyes. After those scenes, the website will present you with a line that says:

“This website will take you to a whole new level of horror. A horror that will use all of your five senses. You must be very careful not to click anything by accident. You will be faced with a real experience of absolute horror. Click the accept button to be actively engaged in the experience.”

People says that when the website offers you a choice to click either “Accept” or “Decline” button, then don’t bother clicking accept. Just stay save by clicking decline and get out of the website. The legend says that if you click accept, then you will be see a live video of a sinister silhouette walking towards your place, trying to find you and kill you by ripping up your eyes while recording its action towards you in order for you to be in the website’s collection.

Despite the story is true or not, I don’t have any courage to try to open the website and prove it myself whether it is true, or simply a website that have a collection of frightening pictures only. I will just past the challenge on to you guys. Do you dare to check? Are you willing to take the risk? If yes, well then just click here. The choice is yours to take… (Nadia / Various Sources)

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Urban Legends: More than just ‘STORIES’

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This week’s blog topic is about Urban Legends. I personally cannot remember any urban legend at the top of my head, so I had to do a mini research on it first before I started my writing. When I surfed on the internet about Urban Legends, most of the stories that came up are horrifying. It is as if horror stories are the epitome of ‘urban legends’ –which is not actually the case. However, I do think that to some extent, scary tales are more captivating to hear than the funny ones, thus making them spread faster.

If you search on the internet about what Urban Legends actually mean, most sites would say that they are popular stories which are assumed to be true. They are usually passed from one person to another orally, or using written communication such as chain letters. The stories vary greatly as they can either be terrifying, outlandish, and even humorous! Sometimes they are told purely just for entertainment but some has a moral to it.

After going through a couple of narratives, there is one record that stands out the most to me:

A woman, walking to her car in a parking lot, noticed a man following her. She quickly jumped into the car and raced away. But the man got into his car and followed her. She drove through the downtown, past businesses, bars, and houses. He persisted in following her. Finally she drove to the home of her brother-in-law, a policeman. Honking her horn, she quickly explained to her brother-in-law that a man was stalking her. “And there he is!” she yelled as the man drove up. The policeman quickly approached the man. “Take it easy” said the chaser. “All I wanted to do was to tell her about the guy in the back seat.” And indeed there was a man huddled in the back seat of the woman’s car, a knife in hand and ready to attack..” (Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/around-the-watercooler/201110/urban-legends-strange-funny-horrible-moral)

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ImageIt is said that the moral of this story is simply: “always check the backseat!” but, for me there is a deeper significance to it than just checking your backseat. To me, this story is saying that there is more than meets the eye. The women is clearly behaving that way based on her initial judgement of the situation. She did not even bother to check twice on her surrounding which causes her to assume and act hastily. Hence, I believe that the moral of the story is to always analyze every situation thoroughly before taking any decisions as there could be more than just the surface.

 

Ghost Ambulance

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Back then in the first grade of high school, me with three other friends of mine travel to Bandung at a holiday trip. So here we are three young boys traveling from Surabaya to Bandung via bus. When we arrived at there, it’s already past afternoon, so we decide to go to our hotel and set up first. After that we do a little trip near our hotel just by walk. Luckily our hotel is at the center of the city, which mean near to every popular place. Its night already and we’ve been to some cool places. Then we decided to go back to the hotel. But on the way back one of my friend suggest us to go by the street named Bahureksa. I ask to him “What’s so special in there bro?” “Just come with me” he said. All of us agreed with him. Everything is fine until the moment when we about to enter the street. I sense something wrong. At the right corner of the street is full with big trees and from what I can see until the end of the street I only saw a few faint lamps. It turns out the street is very creepy. Is the street haunted? I don’t know, I don’t ask and just keep walking with my friends. Very dark situation and we just keep walking with silence. After a few-hundred-meters walking, suddenly my friend who suggesting to walk by this street stop in front of a house. “What, what is it? Why do we stop?” said my other friend. Me myself also wondering, what so strange about the house? Just ordinary house with a car parked in front of it covered in car lid. Not until my friend explain “Guys you know what? That car parked in front of the house is the famous ghost ambulance! It said there is still blood covering the wind shield, you want to check it?” I said “What????? Are you out of your mind!?!?!” without talking further about it, me and my other friend walk-semi-run back to the hotel while two other friends of mine checking closely to the ghost ambulance. Yes checking it like some tough boys!! When we meet back together at the hotel we discuss about it. “What’s that all about? What happened to the ambulance?” I ask. “The story is, back then there is a Dutch family living in that house. And then the entire family member got killed by an accident. Following the regular procedure their bodies were rescued by an ambulance. After that accident the house become empty for a while. But mysteriously, the ambulance that brings the family bodies, parked in front of the house without someone driving it. It confuses everybody, because every time they tried to move the ambulance it goes back to the house again. And sometimes the engine turns on by itself and disturbs the neighborhood. So they remove the engine, but still for some time the sound of the engine from the car turn up. This is not the end of it”. “What? There are more stories about this ambulance?” “Yes, it said that this ambulance often shows up driving in the middle of the night around the city, some people already prove this event. Not just that, people who play around the ambulance will get followed into their home. Or even possessed by evil spirit and can see the whole family mad of being disturbed! Scary isn’t it?” My friend who checked the ambulance becomes feared of what he’s done and that night he hardly sleep because he keep imagining the ambulance following him to the hotel. Not just him but that night all of us keep thinking about the ambulance. Do you believe this story or not, it’s up to you. But you can check the ambulance by yourself; it’s still there until today at Bahureksa street Bandung.Image

Different Toys in Different Era

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Do you remember what toys that you used to play in your childhood?

If you are one of the 90s kids, you should still remember that you play Tamiya, remote control car, Barbie, Lego,and many more. Boys usually collect a lot of toys car, and keep trying to buy the new one even though you do not have enough space to keep it. Not only the boys, but the girls also collecting Barbie or other dolls as much as they are allowed to buy by their parents. Both girls and boys always keep buying small things just to complete their collection, such as buying the Barbie costumes. Sometimes, we also play congklak, gundu, or gangsing, the traditional toys from Indonesia. 90s kids love to gather with their friends for playing or competing their toys together.

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And how about the toys in this 21s era?Are they still playing the same toys that we play in 90s era?

We might say yes, the girls are still playing Barbie, and the boys also still playing remote control car. But, are there any differences? We may look to the kids around us. We will see that 21s kids are very high-tech or even we could say as gadget-freak. Even 7 years old kids they might be busy playing with their ipad, PSP, gameboy, or even their own smartphone.

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It’s very rare to find boys play toys car or girls hold their dolls in public places. And even, we might not find kids are still playing traditional toys. 21s kids have been digitized by many gadget games and prefer to play through those gadgets rather than playing previous toys. With this new toys such as iPad, PSP, or Gameboy, the parents might save more money instead of spending some money on toys, because in those gadgets, kids can play a lot of games and even could download free games.

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But it decreases the socialization process because they do not communicate directly even though they could communicate online through several games. In 90s era there was also gadget toys like Gameboy, but most of them prefer to play with their tangible toys so that they could play together with friends.We can see clearly the differences that affected by the development of technology. So, if you could return to the be a kids again, what era and toys you prefer?    

Young at Heart

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“Aren’t you a little too old for that?”

“Are you sure you are 30 years old?

“Didn’t know you are that childish.”

These are the most common things my friends would say to me once they knew that I like to collect toys. Most of the toys that I collected are action figures, either characters from cartoon series and/or comic books. I have been collecting action figures ever since I was in high school, ever since I lived away from my parents because it was easier then to buy toys without their disapproval.

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It all started with the action figures from Marvel comics, such as the Spiderman, the X-men, the Fantastic Four, and the whole lot. Then we have one of my all time favorite cartoon series is a Japanese anime called “Saint Seiya” and when the toys hit the stores, I just went berserk. Up to date, I had collected 20 Saint Seiya toys out of hundreds of characters, which I am still searching for them.

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Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 9.57.07 pmAnd who don’t love the Transformers? To some, they only know Transformers because of the movies that were released a couple of years ago. But I’ve known Transformers all my life and the toys they produced would make any toy collector gasped in awe. One of my prized possessions is the headquarters of both the Autobots, Fortress Maximus, and the Decepticons, Scorponok.

GundamNow, one of my latest craze is the model kits from Japanese anime “Gundam”. With model kits, you don’t just build robots from the parts inside the box, but for the advanced, we would paint them and create the diorama (environment or the settings you want your robots to be) for them.

 

Collecting toys may not be the cheapest hobby that I have, but it sure is the most fun of all and apparently I would be able to make some quick buck if I ever decided to sell them away. “IF” being the operative word here.

The Evil Pink-White with Strawberry Smell

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“Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear gives you lots o’ hugs, and lots o’ love, and lots o’ fun, no matter where you are.” –Narrator, faux 1983 commercial for Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear

Everybody knows the cute, pink, and huggable Lots O Huggin Bear from Toy Story 3, or what most people commonly call it for simple, Lotso. Despite his all-friendly appearance, Lotso is evil on the inside, which fits his part as the super villain in the movie. He is toys worst nightmare, yet child’s best dreams, for who could resist such lovable looking teddy bear? Knowing he gets all the love, from children, even adults, Pixar released a real life Lotso bear for anyone to cuddle with, and was a big hit during the time it was out.

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What makes Lotso so wanted? If you watched Toy Story 3, you’ll realize that there are so many exciting parts on the film, so Lotso is not the only thing that makes the movie, but he is probably the most attractive character to look at. There’s a thing about a teddy bear owned by a perfect owner that loved and was loved by everyone. Nonetheless, he felt discarded due to an accident where his owner forgot she left him and other 2 toys during a walk with her parents. And now, Lotso is filled with nothing but rage. He may be evil and up until the end, he doesn’t really have moment of redemption, regardless, you do feel for him.

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This jumbo and aged bear that smells of strawberries and seems welcoming price is varies from $10 to 70$+, depending on the features that he has. While the ten dollar, cheapest Lotso, is small and has no feature at all, more expensive ones, on the contrary, actually smells like strawberries and has a size that is really huggable.

EAT what you WATCH!

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Hallyu, or the Korean Wave is the worldwide spread of Korean culture through their dramas, songs, and cuisines. In Indonesia alone, the impact of Hallyu can be seen from the exceeding amount of K-Pop fans throughout the nation and also the fact that there are many Korean dramas which are aired in national television channels. However, the most notable influence is the increase in the number of Korean restaurants, specifically in Jakarta. One of the main reasons for that phenomenon is that through Korean dramas, fans are successfully intrigued by Korean food. Fans want to try to have a taste of those goodness that their favorite actors and actresses are devouring in their TV screens!

The food that appears the most in Korean dramas is probably tteokbokki, which is a spicy braised rice cake dish. Sometimes, additional ingredients such as fish cakes, eggs, and vegetables are added to get a richer taste to the dish. Tteokbokki is a popular Korean street food which can be found everywhere in every corner in Korea. This dish is commonly shown in dramas as an evening snack eaten in street tents, and is usually complemented by a couple of shots of soju which is a type of Korean alcohol. Tteokbokki can be found in almost all Korean restaurants in Jakarta as it is a must have, must try menu.
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Another food that gets a lot of screen time in Korean dramas is the Korean style fried chicken. In dramas, this dish is usually consumed with family and friends as a meal, or as a snack during family quality time. What makes Korean fried chicken so tasty and irresistible is that they have a very crunchy texture and is less greasy as they are fried twice. Many branches of Korean styled fried chicken are available worldwide. In Jakarta alone, Korean styled fried chicken fast food chain like Bonchon, Lotteria, 4Fingers, and etc. can be found in almost every mall!
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There are a lot more mouth watering Korean dishes that are featured in many Korean dramas which are not mentioned above. However, these two are presumably the most demanded Korean street food that any Korean drama fans across the world have savored.

What’s for Breakfast?

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When I travel, I like to take advantage of room service. I’m really into Eggs Benedict in the morning.

-Jenny McCarthy

If I had to choose one dish as my favorite breakfast, I’d choose Eggs Benedict. I like my breakfast savory rather than sweet, and I prefer runny eggs. The components of this American breakfast dish are also perfect to boost your energy in the morning. The ingredients needed to make this dish are relatively few and easy to be found, does not take much preparation, and quite easy to make.

A dish of Eggs Benedict consists of two english muffins. Each muffin topped with ham or bacon, one poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. When perfectly done, each bite of crunchy english muffin that sopped the mix of egg yolks and tangy hollandaise sauce makes you feel like you are having a piece of heavenly food in your mouth, while the salty ham dances around your tongue. And when you are ready for more, all that left on the plate are just a few golden yolk streaks punctuated by a scattering of crumbs.

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However, although I did say that Egg Benedict is an easy simple dish, it requires precisions, attention to detail, and a deft hand to pull off one perfect dish. The most daunting part of Eggs Benedict is probably making the Hollandaise sauce. It requires the most skill to prepare as you are basically combining oil and water. This sauce is also one of the five “mother sauces” in French cuisine defined by Auguste Escoffier.

Poaching the eggs is also a challenge. Although opinions on doneness may vary, but for most of people who enjoyed eating this dish, a perfect poached egg is the one that have a white that is fully set, with a yolk that has just started to thicken yet still flow all over the plate when placed. And while seemingly easy, toasting the muffins and ham requires a very precise timing. However, just like other things in life, the key of making a perfect dish of Eggs Benedict is practice. The more you practice, the more perfect Eggs Benedict you will make. (Nadia / Various Sources)

Best Eggs Benedict