Monday, January 14, 2019

Interjections in Bahasa Indonesia

I'm not exactly a Bahasa expert, but I've been wanting to make a post on interjection since the first time I started blogging here. Not really sure if this will be useful to learn Bahasa, I just think interjection has some interesting words to know. And if you can use it correctly in a sentence, you're officially a Bahasa speaker hehehe. Seriously, interjection is very tricky, because if you use the wrong interjection, the sentence would have different nuance/meaning.

A friend of mine married a Dutch guy, who has been trying so hard to master the proper way of using interjection. But each time he combines an interjection into the sentence, I have hard times to keep my face straight. I forgot some of the funniest ones he said, would update this post when I remembered.

For a start, let's try with these interjection words. I think I will combine English and Bahasa to show how they are used in the sentence. Here they go...

Nah
- An interjection to show deduction.
For example: Nah, that's why I took the major | Nah, this is my work of art

Nah+kan
- Nah can also be combined with kan (another interjection to emphasize on something) or stand alone to emphasize on deduction, with the closest meaning to:"See, I told you."
For example:
A: You can't use the toilet, it's under renovation
B: Let me see (after trying to open the toilet door with no avail) Yeah, you're right
A: Nah kan
Note from the editor, who is me : Nah only go together with kan, you can't use Nah deh/Nah sih/Nah dong. I mean you can use those, but language-wise, they are just not meant to be.

Deh
- Deh is an interjection to express agreement/submission, usually when one party exercises forces on the other party. When you say Deh, you don't really agree/submit, you just say it to stop argument
For example:
A: Let's go to the park! Let's go there now!
B: Okay, deh.

- Deh could also express suggestion
For example: Come here, deh | Don't make pouty lips, deh, you look awful

Sih
- Sih can express agreement to another party's statement, in a resigned way. Sih is a bit similar to Deh, but Sih has a sense of agreement to the other party's opinion
For example:
A: You need to set goals for your self improvement
B: Yes, sih
Now if you say "Yes, deh" on that context, the sentence is still correct. However, it will imply that you make the goals to make the other person happy, while in a "Yes, sih" reply you realize that you're doing it for your own good.

Dong
- Dong can mean 'of course'
For example:
A: Wow, you're good at this subject
B: Yes, dong
- Or just to emphasize on something
A: Do you want ice cream or chocolate?
B: Chocolate, dong

Lah
- In Indonesia, Lah can be used in the same context of Dong
Yes, lah.
Chocolate, lah.
Lah is also found in Singapore, Malaysia and (most likely) Brunei because it is a Melayu word and the four countries share the same root, but since I'm not a native of those countries, let me just stop right here.

I hope this post can shed some light on how to properly use the Indonesian interjection. I would love to read your opinion on interjection usage. Feel free to drop comment below if you find something that need correction/alteration or if you want me to write on other topic on Bahasa. 

Friday, January 11, 2019

On Eyes, Onde-Onde, Shopping, And Being A Germ With M&D

Hello, lovelies! I hope you and loved ones are in good health. Here are some updates on M&D because I know some people find them adorable.

#1. Look Into My Eyes
Situation: after D went to have his eyes checked by the ophthalmologist
Me: D, what did the doctor say?
D: Well, she said,"good afternoon, sir, please sit down."
Me: And then?
D: She also told me to look into her eyes. So I look at her and we locked our eyes...
Me: D? What was the result of the check up?
D: Oh, not much. I have to come again on Jan. 12.

#2. The Case of Missing Onde-Onde, part 1
Situation: I bought three onde-onde (original, cheese and black sticky rice)
M: Why did you buy it?
Me: You don't want them? It's ok, I'll eat them tomorrow.
The next morning...
Me: Where are those onde-onde?
M: Errr...they are rolling?
D: Yup, rolling outside of this house
Me: -_-

#3. The Case of Missing Onde-Onde, part 2
Me: So what was it like?
D: Well, I tried the white one, I think it was cheese? And another one, maybe mung bean?
Me: Only two? I bought three
D: I only ate two
Me & D: (looking at M)
M: Errr...the third one already rolled before the other two did?

#4. The Mom Principle In Spending
Situation: during a fierce haggling in Thamrin City
Vendor: If you buy five, one will be priced at Rp 45,000
M: I'll just take two, I can always come here anytime.
Me: But M, taking Go-Car to ThamCit is expensive
M: Hmm, you've got a point there, child (talking to me). Now, could you show me the other color? (turning to vendor)
Me: (ouch, I must have said something wrong)

#5. The Germ That Is Always Be Missed
Situation: I was knocking on my parents' bedroom door before leaving the house
M: Come in
D: Oh dear, why do you always interrupt us, just like a germ
Me: Ok, I'm about to go out anyway (without skipping a beat)
D: What? Where are you going? Don't come home late
Me: But you said I was like a germ

Monday, January 7, 2019

On The Struggles To Build Confidence

Last year, a colleague suddenly gave me a call to discuss about her desire to find another job. She wanted to find another career path but she was unsure what she could do outside of her current job. Being the organized person when it comes to strategies and life hacks, I told her that I made a SWOT table before deciding to deviate from my previous career path. 

"I can't even figure out my Strengths. I can only see my Weaknesses. I'm not as confident as you," she said.

Want to hear a secret? Ever since I was a child, I have this low confidence level. I am the only child, so I don't get compared to my sibling. Instead, I get compared with my cousins. Most (if not all) of my cousins are on the extrovert spectrum and considered a success in my parents' standards. They look prettier, they have more friends, they have permanent jobs, and they married young.

I am still developing my confidence muscle, it's a daily workout. But I am definitely more confident nowadays then in my younger years. Looking back, I could say that confidence requires a lot of hardwork. Here, let me break down the stages and hopefully I don't bore you with the details.

I was so quiet and hated public attention in my elementary school years, that M suggested I took Balinese dancing course. The dancing club performed in Taman Mini once a year. I was not an outstanding dancer, but I learned that I could dance in public, after months of practice that is. It has planted a seed of confidence.

When I was 12 years old, I got bad scores and did not the national test for elementary students. As a result, I had to enroll in a private junior high school, not the state school. In Jakarta during the 1990s, if you enrolled in private schools, there were two possibilities: (1) you're rich, or (2) you're stupid and couldn't pass the national test.

It was during my first year in junior high school that I learned English for the first time. I had a bad result in my first English exam. Then my parents found an English course opening near my home and enrolled me there. I learned so hard that my test scores leveled up, my teacher noticed my improvement and gave me enough encouragement. Thanks to this, I braved myself to participate in an English competition held by the English course. It was a small competition, I won second prize. What I congratulated myself at that time was my decision to take part in the competition in the first place. I learned that a little encouragement could go a long way, so I've been trying to give lots of encouragement, instead of harsh critics.

In high school, I learned more about English grammars and had been dreaming to take English (or any other foreign language) as a major in university. But my parents insisted that I took Engineering. I was devastated. I consulted several teachers on this issue, and some suggested I took Architecture, whose syllabus has elements of art and history (which I liked and was good at in high school). Once I set up the target, I also set up strategies to achieve it. I studied day and night, took several tryout tests to see the possible test results (those had been ugly), and dived back to the textbooks again. Alhamdulillah, I passed the test with enough score to enroll as an Architecture student.

During the university years, I taught myself to do freehand sketching because it is a requirement as an Architecture student. I looked at how my friends did it, pored over the sketches in textbooks, even tried copying them. I would never be as good as my gifted friends, but at least it was enough to gain the degree. Now I knew my hands could sketch, with years of practice.

After I graduated, I applied to various offices, either architect bureaus or other sectors. But I didn't land any job for one year. It was really a low point of confidence, when you saw all friends and cousins getting a job. A silver lining from this year was that I came to so many work interviews and learned to be presentable. I would wore the suit that made me comfortable and confident, prepared the answers (I even practiced in front of a mirror) and came to the place earlier. I landed a job as a journalist, and that opened a whole new chapter in my confidence building journey.

The first person I interviewed was the Foreign Affairs Ministry's spokesperson at that time, Marty Natalegawa, who later became the Indonesian Ambassador for UK and Ireland and then the Foreign Affairs Minister. He was leaving the conference room quickly and I had to sprint a bit to approach him, politely introduced myself, gave him my name card and asked for an in-depth interview. His face beamed up when he read my card. He asked his secretary to set up interview time in the next few days.

It was during the interview that Pak Marty told me that he used to work as a proofreader at my workplace. I was so lucky that I got him as my first assignment, because his kindness helped building my confidence. But seriously, if I didn't run after him, I wouldn't know that he (and many other news sources) could be approached as long as we clearly and politely stated our questions.

Since then, I met many political leaders, decision makers and celebrities, people whom I could only see on the TV screen. But the most important was I met so many people that I started to forget about my clumsiness, focus on them and the task at hand. Confidence building in this phase was more about how I got the job done and then doing it all again on repeat the next day. It's more like survival tips.

After almost a decade in journalism, I decided to change my career. I was confused on what I could do outside of journalism. As I said in the beginning of this post, I made a SWOT table to see where my strengths and weaknesses were, and this is something anyone can do by updating the curriculum vitae (CV). Just put in everything you have done in the CV: education background, work experience, community organization/volunteer works, and you would see a pattern repeating.  For example, you have been in charge for a certain role or topic. That should be your strengths. Own them up, and show them with a style.

For people who have worked in one workplace for years, building the confidence to jump ship may look as a daunting prospect. Start with small steps, such as send one application a month, then two applications in the next month, and so on. Once you receive invitations to work interview, the confidence level would rise up.

Another factor that can improve confidence is dressing up for the occasion. I don't have many outfits, but I have the basic ones for job interview, to meet important officials/clients, and to attend events/parties. Besides wearing the right outfit, a perfect lipstick could help boost confidence.

I am also blessed with friends who always encourage me to take the opportunities and support me with all information on any job opening. Sometimes you need other people to show what you're good at.

To sum this post up, confidence is not something we are always born with. We have to develop the confidence muscle within us by practice, by lots of time spent on studying, by trying and failing, by taking the small steps and the quantum leaps, and by praying to the Almighty.

To everyone who is building their confidence, my tips would be to remember the target you want to achieve and start from there. May God grant us the confidence we need. Good luck to us all.

Friday, January 4, 2019

I Am Finally Using Home Internet

After having been working at home or at cafes last year, I decided to gift myself with home Internet at the end of 2018. Another reason was Bolt, which has become my Internet provider, was closed down on Dec. 28 because it had yet to pay the radio frequency fee. Seriousy, why didn't Bolt pay it? 

When I read the news on the morning of Dec. 28, I just knew I had to find replacement that could go on before the end of the year because I still had to work on Dec. 31 *cry on corner. I decided to subscribe to Indihome.

Priced at Rp 363,000 per month for 10 Mbps Internet, basic TV cable service and 100 free local+intercity phone call, it's definitely not the cheapest Internet package at the moment. I chose it for the following reasons:
1. Indihome's fiber optic network is available in my neighborhood
2. Indihome is a subsidiary of state telecommunication company Telkom

Unlike other people who set home Internet for entertainment, I use home Internet for serious work. I would need a reliable service provider so I can work at peace. I think that if something happens to Indihome, the government would do maximum efforts to maintain its operation.

So far the service has been outstanding. I registered for service on Dec. 28, received phonecall for survey request on Dec. 29 and had it installed at home on Dec. 30. I was able to work at home at peace since Dec. 31. With home Internet, M&D can also enjoy the WiFi for WhatsApp. I don't have to buy data package for them anymore. I hope I can be a better blogger with the new home Internet.

However, since my neighborhood area sometimes experience blackout, I still need a backup. I plan to switch my Bolt modem to Smartfren, so M&D can use it if they leave home. All these sound like a battlefield strategy, but hey, if you live in Indonesia, you must always have plan B, C, D up to Z.

Are you using home Internet in Indonesia? What do you use and why do you choose that?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Here's To A Year Of Clear Communication And Fun Activities

As far as I remember, in the first week of a year I usually post a comic from Rose is Rose or Peanuts on resolution of the year. While I seldom looked back on those resolutions, the year seemed to run just as I wished. For example, in early 2018 I posted a comic with the title of "Better Person, Less Drama". Indeed, the 2018 had been a drama-less year, although I could not say anything on becoming a better person.

For 2019, I think I will use this one for the year's resolution. Except for the kissing part (unless done with the halal ones hehehe), I think these resolutions are good to try :).

From the IG account of @bymariandrew

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Is The Year Of Freelancing


This was shot at Istora Senayan Stadium, but it looked as if it was taken in either Korea or Japan (Amin yra) :)

Hello, 39-year-old me, let's hope the last year of my 30s will be awesome. But before we bade farewell to 2018, here are some recaps on the year of the freelance works.

First of all, I admit that the older I become, the less post I have on this blog. It could be either I was too lazy to write the small things that matter in my life, or I've just gotten too busy. I think it was the latter. When I was a journo, I only had one responsibility: to report for my workplace. Now that I am a freelancer, I have to build networks, meet people (future clients!) and, of course, finish the works in a timely and perfectly manner. It's all challenging and giddying.

I kicked off the year by falling down at Manggarai station and injured my knee badly. Then I was sent to Sumba on that bad knee condition. It was the last field assignment to Sumba before the project concluded in March. I was a bit sad to leave the project because I felt like I haven't learned much. Then I helped the workplace to write down a project proposal (my first stint as a proposal writer!). However, there was no follow-up from the job.

This year, things happened out of my expectation, but actually it was what I had envisioned. For example, I started to work as a freelancer. It was not something I expected to happen this year, but I did consider to try freelancing some times later in my 40s. Lo and behold, I got the opportunity to work as freelancer last April!

What started as one half-day daily freelance report has evolved to a weekly report, and then a bi-weekly report. There was another weekly report job from another workplace. Then I also got other one-off jobs. Some of the one-off jobs were as simultaneous translator, book editor, and report editor. They were all exciting jobs, and yet, I missed writing, which is one of the reasons I still keep this space.

Anyway, the freelance works have given me enough time to rest (I have been taking a nap in the past 10 months), meet up with friends or visiting members of my extended family after office hour and explore other hobbies (I have been trying my hands on gardening and baking).

Also happening this year was, after years of bugging and begging to my parents, I finally got my own space right above the garage. The space has been a work in progress and still far from perfect, but so far I enjoy it and can spend hours inside my room.

This year, my wish to enjoy Ramadhan at home came true. Although it was still far from what I envisioned to be (still had to work to complete those reports), I loved that I could stay inside during the hot days.

In August, Jakarta and Palembang became hosts to Asia's biggest sport competition, the Asian Games 2018. I had tried to find freelance works on Asian Games, but in the end I got no freelance works and I had to enjoy the event as a spectator, which was quite interesting too.

The surprise came in October when I got the offer to support the official tabloid of Asian Para Games 2018. It was the first time I ever wrote sports news and I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity.

D underwent the cataract operation in late October (right eye) and then in early December (left eye). The road to recovery was still ongoing. He could not read book (low close range vision), but he could drive as his long range vision was quite alright (well, to some extent, that is). I knew M&D would not admit it, but they were relieved to have me around the house at almost anytime. And if I'm not at home, they would know that they could find me working in a nearby cafe.

This year, I managed to squeeze some times to escape Jakarta. The first trip was going to Solo to visit my travel buddy Aneen, who is now mom of a cute toddler. Since they could not travel too far, I just hang out with them in the city and did a culinary tour.

Also, in between D's cataract operations, a friend asked me to accompany her to her hometown in Kudus, Central Java. Encompassing Semarang-Kudus-Jogjakarta, the trip was done in impromptu and I couldn't take any leave, so I decided to take the laptop with me. I made sure that the accommodation had WiFi so that I could do my morning work. It was a fun road trip, and made me wonder if I could spend one month working outside of Jakarta to keep me sane.

The year was not always painted in a beautiful color. I had bad days, people played trick on me, and the anxiety on whether I had done the right thing by becoming a freelancer. Sometimes, when I looked at the social media timeline and saw how much my friends have progressed in their life and career, I would feel a bit discouraged. But then, one or two posts on gratitude slid into my timeline, and I became embarrassed that I ever questioned His decision.

I think I have said this in almost every Yearender post, but I would always repeat it: I am grateful to Allah for whatever happened in the year and I look forward to the year to come. 

Friday, December 21, 2018

Waiting For Better Accessibility In Public Transportation Infrastructure


With Jakarta is building the double-double track railway that connects the capital with the railway network in Java island, the stations have been in construction work too. Some of Jakarta's inner city stations now have underpass, such pas Tebet and Manggarai, while others, if not all, are undergoing major renovation as the double-double track project requires the stations to be rebuilt on different locations.

Let's start with the underpass in Tebet station. As I was working in Tebet area last year and had to use train to reach office, I noticed something about the station. In the past, cars and people could cross the Tebet railways. But in the past few years, commuter train company PT KCJ had closed road access on Tebet station. Cars should drive on the overpass, while passengers could use the underpass in the station. 

But how about pedestrians who just want to go to the other side of the railway? An option is to pay Rp 3,000 just to use the underpass. The other option is to cross the railway through the gap made by the people. It is dangerous, but I have seen many people use it. 

Should we wait for an accident in that area to think about accessibility? I pray that we should never have to face such thing. But we should at least prepare some measures to prevent it from happening. I'm looking at you, PT KCJ and Jakarta administration!

Then let's talk about the stairs on new station design. I am in my late 30s and consider myself fit enough for the stairs. But after I fell on Manggarai station last January, which made me unable to walk fast for one month, I have tried to ease the burden on my knees. I can't imagine the struggle people with disability have to face with the station's new design.

The station's new design forces passengers to climb up the stairs in order to reach the entrance gate, then go down another stairs to reach the platform. I understand that accessibility-friendly design may need more budget to build the walkway. But if it means more people can use it, then why not? After all, it is built from the tax that we, both the able-bodied and the disabled, had paid to the government.