Friday, June 1, 2018

National Holidays: Indonesia vs Singapore

As an Indonesian living in Indonesia, I often forgot how privileged I have been when it comes to national holidays. I mean, have you ever counted how many national holidays Indonesians have in one year? At least 17 national holidays, including religious holidays and excluding the Mass Holiday declared by GoI for Idul Fitri holiday.

A few months back I got a freelance job from a Singapore-based company, meaning that I should work based on the neighboring state's work calendar. So I looked up the work calendar and found they only have 11 national holidays in one year. Here's a comparison list:

Indonesia National Holidays
Singapore National Holiday
January 1
New Year’s Day
New Year’s Day
February 16
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
February 17

Chinese New Year
March 17
Hindu’s Day of Silence

March 30
Good Friday
Good Friday
April 14
Isra Mi’raj

May 1
Labor Day
Labor Day
May 10
Ascencion Day of Jesus

May 29
Waisak Day
Waisak Day
June 1
Pancasila Day

June 11
Idul Fitri Holiday (public sector)

June 12
Idul Fitri Holiday (public sector)

June 13
Mass Holiday (declared by GoI)

June 14
Mass Holiday (declared by GoI)

June 15
Idul Fitri
Idul Fitri
June 16
Idul Fitri day 2

June 18
Mass Holiday (declared by GoI)

June 19
Mass Holiday (declared by GoI)

June 20
Idul Fitri Holiday (public sector)

August 9

Singapore’s National Day
August 17
Indonesia’s Independence Day

August 22
Idul Adha
Idul Adha
September 11
Islamic New Year

November 6

November 20
Maulid Nabi

December 24
Mass Holiday (declared by GoI)

December 25

So today is a holiday in Indonesia, but I am working on my laptop. At least I'm working from the comfort of my bed, the perks of working as a freelancer. Man, I can't wait for that holiday on August 9 and November 6.

Happy holiday, good people in Indonesia!

Monday, April 30, 2018


Hello, lovelies!

Did you went to INACRAFT 2018, Indonesia's largest exhibition on small medium enterprises' handicraft products? INACRAFT 2018 used Plennary Hall, Assembly Hall, Hall A and Hall B, and the lower ground area. Including the corridors. This year's participants reached 1,700, which occupied around 1,400 booths in the exhibition area. 

I went with former colleague and we had great time perusing the wonderful items of clothes, home decors, other miscellaneous stuffs showcased by top vendors across Indonesia. We spent around eight hours in Jakarta Convention Center, hahaha. 

Bank BNI is the main sponsor of the event, so it's no wonder that the ticket to the exhibition area uses BNI TapCash, its electronic money card. Visitors could use their own card and top up the credit (if they don't have enough credit for the ticket), or buy the cards offered at the ticket counter. I already have a card, but then I saw the lovely design that featured the Bataknese Gorga motif and decided to buy it just because. Argh, good design is my weak spot.

As I'm not exactly a fashion person, I didn't really pay attention to the clothes exhibitors. I think  I can find most clothes I like in Thamrin City. So what I really look for in the event was random things that I seldom find. Here are some photos of such stuffs in no particular order.   

We stumbled upon a booth that sold vintage stuffs, including this first day covers on the 4th Asian Games held in Jakarta in 1962. This year's Asian Games will take place in Jakarta and also Palembang, so these items made good memory on how much Jakarta and Asian Games had been in touch all these years.

This booth brought wicker products from Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, and I just fell in love with the stuffs. 

This ceramic tile is in the size of a doormat, and it has batik patterns. Be still my heart. And I forgot to ask for the namecard of this vendor, ouch.

Sometimes INACRAFT has random exhibitors, such as this booth that featured fossils and other geological-related items. 

Hello, Batgirl! Would you dare wearing this eyeglasses frame? Hahaha.

I did buy some stuffs from the event: two headscarves, a wooden spoon and fork (because I often bring lunchbox), a small leather-weaving pouch (the weaving is of Sumba pattern) and the first day covers I put above.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Big Bad Wolf 2018

I've been wanting to visit Big Bad Wolf book sale event for years, but there was never really a free time to do this. As I have just been released from the Sumba project and had yet to have any regular activities, I decided to go to the event.

The event was held in BSD's International Convention Center (ICE), so I took the Commuter Line train, hopped off at Rawabuntu train station and ordered Go-Jek to reach ICE.

I did recite prayers before entering this entryway.

A complete package of books by Beatrix Potter and Dr. Seuss, very tempting. But the price was a turn off...

Comic books galore

And another temptation, a complete package of books by Roald Dahl

Definitely for those in need of challenges in life.

I totally don't get the idea. I would never fold the pages of my books. Why would anyone even suggest this crime?

Conclusion: the books in BBW are mostly children books in English language, which in my opinion is a bit missed target. I mean, how many Indonesian children in Indonesia that actually read English books? As an Indonesian child, I read books in my mother tongue. And I intend to instill Indonesian to my future children before teaching them a foreign language. 

I didn't exactly find the books I liked. But it felt a waste of time to not buy something. So I really looked hard and... were the books I got from BBW 2018:)

Monday, March 26, 2018

Third Visit to Sumba, And Hopefully Not The Last

Hello everyone, hope everything is good with you.

Last month, I fell on the Manggarai station train platform as I tried to catch the train to Bekasi. It was quite a hard fall, my trousers were broken apart on the knee area and my right knee was scraped. I had to work from home for the remaining week. 

Then the next week after the fall I got an assignment had to leave for Sumba island. I could barely walk, but it was an assignment. I phoned the team in East Sumba, discussed the schedule and told them about my condition. Kris, the field assistant, gave the most reassuring sentence ever,"Bibi (Auntie), no need to worry, just come to Sumba, everything will be okay."

And everything was indeed okay.

So here's a quick recap on my activities there:

There was a meeting of five villages on a Saturday morning. I was in charge for the report, as usual.

Then I visited each village to discuss the progress of the trainings with the beneficiaries. Fortunately, my visit coincided with the visit of the marketing team, which rented a 4x4 double cabin pick up truck (they have bigger budget). So I asked if I could come with them, and set up a schedule that would not clash with theirs. They had been very kind and helped me to get around. This had been a great help because my knee was still hurting.

The schedule for the FGD was to invite representatives of each group that had received trainings from my organization, asked their responses and expectation on future training, if there would be any on the pipeline. The people had been very accommodating.

FGD in Tawui

FGD in Lailunggi

FGD in Tandula Jangga

The FGD in Praimadita was not documented, because it was only held for less than 30 minutes. It had been very challenging to work with that particular village.

During the visit, I made quick jaunts to the beach, just to unwind. I bought a big fish in Kakaha beach, caught a lovely sunset in Lailunggi beach and chill at Londa Lima beach.

Big fish!

Lailunggi beach, again

Londa Lima beach

I also went to the market to shop for weaving. I have visited Sumba island for the third time, and I just wanted to have a souvenir from the island in East Nusa Tenggara that I had visited for more than two times. Other islands in the province that I had visited were Flores island (two visits) and Timor island (one visit).

Oh Sumba weaving, why are you so expensive? Left pic (around one million, including the scarf on my shoulder) and right pic (2 million)

I haven't really explored the whole island, because every time I came to Sumba I always had a tight schedule. I tried to give my best during the time I spent there, instead of hunting beautiful pictures to be posted in Instagram. Ok, stop right here before I become even more sarcastic, hahaha.

Here are some videos I took while I was on the road:

Sumba island is predominantly Christian Protestant, and there are Catholic parochial churches too, while  Islam is a minority. But there are mosques along the coast line, as the Muslims from East Java and Madura, Sumbawa island, Lombok island, the Bugis people, and the Muslim Moluccans came years ago and made Sumba their home. To hear this call before adzan where Islam is a minority feels like going home.

See you again one day, Sumba! Insya Allah.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Which Position Suits You Best According To MBTI Personality Types?

You can read details on each personality type here. Which one is yours?

P.S. I posted a similar post a few years ago.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Tattooed Indonesian Men Appreciation Post

There is a significantly rising number of tattooed Indonesian men on screen, either on TV or the big screen. So I thought I'd do a compilation of them, just for fun. 

Rio Dewanto. Source: DAMAN

Rio Dewanto
Actor Rio Dewanto had been working in television films for years and gained public recognition after he starred in Joko Anwar's The Forbidden Door in 2009. He worked again with Joko Anwar in Modus Anomali in 2011. He dated actress Atiqah Hasiholan, who is five years his senior, before tying the knot in 2013. I think, any man who dates and marries older woman deserves an honorable mention because the common norm that applies here is men usually marry younger women.

Chef Juna Rorimpandey. Source.

Juna Rorimpandey
The heavily tattooed chef rose to prominence after becoming one of the panel for cooking competition TV show MasterChef (2011-2012) and Hell's Kitchen Indonesia (2015-2016).

Marshall Sastra. Source: DAMAN (left) and Instarix (right)

Marshall Sastra
Marshall Sastra studied interior design in college and worked as a model, but he sort of caught public eye after becoming TV host for travel show My Trip My Adventure. He married model Dominique A. Diyose in 2014, but they separated one year later.

P.S. My previous appreciation post on Indonesian men is here, if you'd like to see.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A Hidden Message In One Of Work Interview Questions

Applying for a job nowadays is a world's apart compared to 15 years ago, or the year I graduated university and started job hunting. Yes, I'm old. Moving on.

In the past, we typed the application letters, put them and the required documents into an envelope and mailed them through the post offices. Nowadays, we simply log on to our emails, type in a courtesy email, attach related documents and send them off. I can do this during lunch time.

One thing that remains the same in the recruitment process is the work interview part. No matter how good our CV looks, the HR will need to see us in person and decide if we can fit the bill. And it's the other way around. There are many ways we can tell about a workplace from the work interview, the panel and the questions asked during the interview.

A few years ago, I went to a work interview, with the panel consisting of the HR manager, the supervisor and the person whose position was to be filled. There was a question from the HR manager that sounded a bit innocent, but in reality it carried a hidden message: what would you do to solve conflict at the work place?

When that question was dropped, I noticed that the other two panelists dropped their eyes onto the desk. I had forgotten the exact answer, I just said something that crossed my mind at that time about conflict resolution. Long story short, I got the job. And the first thing my new colleagues told me was to be careful and stay out of trouble because my supervisor and the previous person in my position had a conflict. Me being me, I managed to survive the regime, alhamdulillah.

I heard the same question a few weeks ago on a work interview. With my current project to conclude in March 2018, I've been sending job applications since the end of November 2017. I figured that the HR departments would start sorting the applications after New Year. My calculation proved to be quite correct. This January, I got five invitations to job interviews, with one was done over Skype, which was a first time for me. There was also one job interview that I did on Monday afternoon after I sent the application letter on Saturday afternoon. And I went to the interview wearing knee-length hooded dress and white sneakers!

But I digress. Where was I? Oh yes, the conflict resolution question.

Needless to say, my ears perked up while my heart sank. The position was a new role that I'd never done before, so I was certain I would need lots of time to catch up and I was not ready yet to face possible conflicts at the new workplace. I was still excited about the position, though.

After the interview, I checked the fact with an HR colleague, whether that office had a conflict and who was the culprit. The good thing about HR people is they have good network and lots of information on vacancies and people. The HR colleague confirmed my intuition, but she told me not to worry much as she had seen me handling my former supervisor.

Anyway, back to the work interviews. I am still waiting for the results with baited breath. All positions were in the  communications field. The job vacancies on communications are not as much as the operation positions (admin/finance/procurement), so I was a bit worried that I might not secure any job until April.

If everything runs well and with Allah's blessings, I would have a new job before March. But even if it did not happen (me not landing any job until April), then I could always take the time to have a break and explore my interests in other fields. Wish me luck, people.

In the mean time, if you're in a recruitment process and hear that question, brace yourself. I'm not saying that you should turn down the job if it's offered to you. But you need to be more careful.

Which question in a work interview that makes you learn something about the workplace? I'd love to hear.

Just for fun, this was the outfit I wore to one of the work interviews this month. I read the invitation email at 9 a.m., while the interview was scheduled at 3.30 p.m. on the same day. This is the kind of outfit I would wear to office if I work on reports and not scheduled for meetings outside of office.