Sangat Pedas

What’s The Difference Between Holland And The Netherlands? [VIDEO]

December 23, 2012 by Remco | 0 comments

A long needed explanation on the difference between Holland and The Netherlands, which both aren’t cities in Amsterdam. Anyway, check the vid CGPGrey made which clarifies it all. Though I guess I still refer to my country of birth as “Holland”, the name which thanks to soccer is probably more famous than The Netherlands.

Apes Photography

May 7, 2012 by Remco | 0 comments

Meet James, one of the “talents” in a James Mollison project called “James & Other Apes“. I’ve never heard of James Mollison nor this project which he published already 8 years ago but I’m so loving this. This is what James (the photographer) says about his project:

While watching a nature program on primates I was struck by their facial similarity to our own. Humans are clearly different to animals, but the great apes inhabit that grey area between man and animal. I thought it would be interesting to try to photograph gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans using the aesthetic of the passport photograph- its ubiquitous style inferring the idea of identity.

I decided against photographing in zoos or using ‘animal actors’ but traveled to Cameroon, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia to meet orphans of the bush meat trade and live pet trade.

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Amsterdam - Dakar The Video

March 10, 2012 by Remco | 0 comments

November last year I reported about two good friends of mine going on the journey of a lifetime. Participating in the Amsterdam - Dakar Rally with a € 500 car, a minimum of tools an money and all for charity. Great stuff in my opinion and an excellent opportunity to brand Tokobagus from Amsterdam all the way to Dakar, just because we can. Check the video and eat your heart out! Great job guys!!!

Amsterdam - Dakar: A Boyhood Dream And Charity

November 19, 2011 by Remco | 0 comments

As a boy you dream of far away places, living adventures Indiana Jones style and change the world. But once we grow up and become adults reality kicks in. You get your first job, buy a house and before you know it your caught in a live dictated by the responsibility for your family and making money. I myself at times escaped by working in 4 different countries so far, learning about other cultures and getting to know new amazing people.

My good friends Sjoerd and Bas had their own approach to escaping reality and live a dream. Driving in an old beaten up car from Amsterdam to Dakar for charity. Which is not only a personal challenge but will definitely put their life long friendship to the test.

The rules are simple, buy a car for maximum € 500 and spend maximum another € 250 on repairs and bring it from Amsterdam to Dakar. Under the team name “Gaserop” (“PeddleToTheMedal”) Sjoerd and Bas bought a 20 year old Mitsubishi Pajero, did some serious repairs and drove off into a 7,500 kilometers adventure. Crazy shit, just as we like it. Taking the bull by the balls and defying the odds.

Nice touch is that this rally is in support of the foundation HandToHand, dedicated to help kids in Gambia. So when Sjoerd asked me if Tokobagus could pitch in a bit it was pretty much a no brainer. Even though this sponsoring doesn’t help Tokobagus, sometimes you’ve gotta look beyond just your own interests.

The Mad Max look is totally back and ubercool! Kite surfing in the desert. A different approach to car repairs. The beauty of the dessert. Racing against camels, a cactus in a stunning dessert sunset while doing an occasional laundry. Oldskool navigation, towing a less fortunate team and the confirmation that really only the Dutch like drop. This while having to see the Tokobagus logo 12 hours a day.

While writing this post team Gaserop seems to have crossed the border between Morocco  and Mauritania and are struggling through the dessert at a somewhat sluggish speed of 27 km/h. But, they’re getting close and it seems the two 38+ friends together with their 20+ Pajero are gonna make it.

Sangat Pedas takes a deep deep bow of respect and wish Sjoerd and Bas the best of luck in the last stints.

Indonesian Culture: Family, Money, Responsibility and Sacrifices

October 23, 2011 by Remco | 1 Comment

I didn’t post for a while simple because I got tired of writing about startups, for now I guess enough has been said and I hate repeating myself. So today I decided to share some of my experiences in Indonesia hoping it will benefit other foreigners understanding the culture better. For me it’s sharing my thoughts and maybe it will help others coming to Indonesia.

Indonesian people are family people. Now probably foreign readers will say “well, so are we”, but Indonesians take it much further. First of all, we Western people tend to see our parents at some point as a problem which we solve by putting them in retirement homes for all sorts of (mostly egoistic) reasons. Nicely put away not bothering their kids anymore. For me it’s sad to see how people that raised us, fed us, educated us and love us are now put in an environment where they collectively await the inevitable. Where they’re reminded of their fate soon to come  by the daily appearance of ambulances and hearses. Where they’re often waiting in vain for a visit of their kids or grand children. No longer part of society and even having lost their voice in society. Yes, I’m generalizing here but don’t tell me it’s not happening on a large scale in the “developed world”. One of the main reason for this happening is that many western cultures believe that the parents are responsible for their kids until the day they die, not the other way around.

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A Tribute to Freddie Mercury, Happy B’day HERO! [videos]

September 5, 2011 by Remco | 0 comments

Is this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide,
No escape from reality. 

Freddie Mercury

A good friend of mine alerted me that today would have been Freddie Mercury’s 65th birthday. This will be the moment many people click away from reading this post, similar like the faces I saw in the Tokobagus office when I talked about Queen thinking everyone still knows them. Yep, already 20 years ago that Freddie died from AIDS but still everyone should know him in my opinion. After all, he wrote one of the best pop songs ever, Bohemian Rhapsody which after 36 years (OMG! yes 36 years!) still leads the top 100 “best-singles-ever”.

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Jakarta Mudik from above by helicopter [VIDEO]

August 31, 2011 by Remco | 3 Comments

Me in a Jakarta police helicopterClearly I’ve had some exciting weeks bu looking in the mirror it becomes clear that these weeks also have been pretty exhausting. Before Tokobagus really took off I ran a website/software development company and hoped that one day I could focus all my energy on just one project. Besides that it would enable me to strive for perfection I also thought it would be pretty easy and not very time consuming. I remember my first days in our Bali office joking with Arno that it was time for putting our feet on the table and enjoy life. Well, the first part hasn’t really come true.

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Selamat Idul Fitri 1432 H.

August 26, 2011 by Remco | 0 comments

Hi friends, colleagues and business partners. Please be careful in traffic during mudik and enjoy the time with family and friends. No worries, we’ll watch out over Jakarta during Lebaran. Happy holidays! Check my Lebaran message made for Trijaya FM HERE.

Indonesia celebrates 66 years of independence

August 18, 2011 by Remco | 1 Comment

August 17th 1945 is a day that the people of Indonesia celebrate the end of a long period of oppression and foreign occupation. After the bankruptcy of the Dutch East-India Company (VOC) Indonesia became a Dutch colony under the name Dutch East-India.

I’m Dutch and I know that Dutch people knowing and talking about this period often tend to downplay the situation with arguments like “We developed Indonesia” or “We brought Indonesia many technologies and lots of knowledge especially in agriculture” and so on. Now that might be true but conveniently some ‘details’ are left out. First, any colonisation and oppression is wrong and an act of war. Second, the war fought in f.i. Aceh was brutal at the cost of many lives of Indonesian and the establishment of concentration camps in Papua New Guinea are a dark page in both the Indonesian and Dutch history. One thing that’s still inexcusable is that in later history books used at schools in Holland there’s hardly any mention of the suffering we put on the people of Indonesia. On top of that the Dutch occupation was followed by a Japanese oppression which cost the lives of between 2,500,000 and 4,000,000 Indonesians.

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Borobudur: The Indonesian Made Miracle

May 17, 2011 by Remco | 1 Comment

I’ve almost come to the end of a five day holiday on Bali and things we’re pretty much as usual: no hot water, the refrigerator was broke, the most crappy Internet, no TV and the mosquito’s sucked about a pint of blood out of me. But still, I love this place where you live outside, where even if you work everyday feels like a holiday. It’s now that I realize what a privileged person I am to have lived on this island fo two years and being able to come back here for some R&R.

Anyway, today it’s Waisak and since I owe this holiday to that it’s no more than appropriate to Wiki in what exactly Waisak is. Well, it seems it’s more commonly known under the name Vesak and it encompasses the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and passing away (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha. And while browsing some more on this topic I stumbled upon Borobudur, an 8th-century Mahayana Buddhist monument near Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia.

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