Friday, October 28, 2016

Jakarta Fashion Week 2016

I haven't posted about fashion in a long time, and since Jakarta Fashion Week 2016 has just concluded, let's bring it on. Here are some of the runway photos with the kind of silhouettes/details I'm loving.

Dian Pelangi

Abineri Ang feat Canisseri

Rani Hatta


Ria Miranda


Najua Yanti

All photos are taken from here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Child-Friendly Office Environment

Back in the 1980s-1990s, day care was an alien idea to most Indonesians (even in the capital city) and I was still a kid, so there were times M&D took me to their office. D worked at a family-owned publishing company and M worked at a foreign bank.

Of course, I would prefer D's office to M's office everytime opportunity arised. I could sit next to D, talk or ask him any questions read books on the floor, and have a long intimate lunch date with him at the nearby food stall. Sometimes D would ask me to edit a draft of a book, that was how I developed the love of letters and all things bookish. Things would not be the same at M's office: I had to sit in the praying room or the kitchen and be as quiet as a mice. It was so boring and I kept glancing on the clock.

When I worked in the media, the colleagues who had babies and toddlers sometimes brought their little ones to the office. The parents would put the babies on a mattress, or gave coloring books the toddlers. While things would get quite tense approaching the deadline, the little ones could still enjoy moments with their parents.

Now that I work in a non-profit organization, the office environment is even more child-friendly and family-oriented. We have 20 days of annual leave, and we can use it one full day at a time or even take a half day. Most colleagues' kids are already in primary school, so the kids can be told to sit still. Nevertheless, kids are kids, they would eventually run around and make noise. Fortunately, the big boss in this office is a gentle elderly Briton and a family man.

Not all boss are like my boss, but at least the nature of a non-profit organization is more relaxed than that of private companies. The pay and benefits may be not as much as the latter does, but I prefer the child-friendly office environment. And I'm not even a mother (yet), hahaha. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

On Wearing The Eyeglasses

A few months ago, the guy from the HR division insisted that everyone at the office went to ophthalmologist to get our eyes checked. I've been hoping that I could be eyeglasses-free until the day I died, but then the test and result showed I needed cylindrical correction lenses for both eyes. 

It's only 0.5 (OD) and 0.25 (OS), and no nearsightedness/farsightedness. I can still see quite clearly, but after a few hours in front of the monitor, the letters would blur and the eyeglasses help a lot. Ahh, age doesn't lie, indeed. Eyeglasses prescription is covered by the office, so I bought a pair and started wearing them a few weeks after Idul Fitri this year. I only put them on when typing on the laptop (like right now), and when driving (which is like, once in a blue moon, hahaha). 

I brought along two brutally honest colleagues to comment on which eyeglasses frame fit my face shape at the optician. I've been wanting to buy a cat-eye shaped eyeglasses, but the optician had none that met the budget, so following my colleagues' suggestions, I settled for a wayfarer-modified design.

I'm wearing something similar to this design. From here

Not intending to brag, but after I started wearing the eyeglasses, several colleagues said I looked different. Good different, they said. One of them even said I looked like the elegant female boss from the headquarter office. Even if they mean to say I look old with the eyeglasses, I wouldn't mind to age gracefully like the said female boss.

DAP, who previously worked at an NGO that helps visually-impaired children, gave some tips on wearing eyeglasses: 

(1) don't wear them 24-hour straight, but start with short period of time and then add up the period daily. For example, wear them for two hours on the first day, then three hours on second day, and it goes on until you wear them regularly.

(2) when I first put them on, I'd feel dizzy because my eye-level view and feet-level view seemed detached. DAP told me to move my head instead of my eyes. He added that it was normal to feel that way on the first week because my eyes were still adapting. But if it continues, he suggests that I go back to the optician.

(3) clean them regularly.

The funny thing is DAP also has cylindrical eyes with higher prescription, but he refuses to wear eyeglasses, because it would make him less cool (oh boy, little did he know there are girls who thinks guys with eyeglasses are hot).

Do you or your significant other wear eyeglasses? 

Thursday, October 13, 2016


Indonesian | 2016 | 81 minutes | Director: Riri Riza

I must admit that it was the movie's tagline "Inspired by the life of Jusuf Kalla's mother" that tugged my attention to see the movie. Jusuf Kalla, also known as JK, is a man of many facets: a successful entrepreneur, Minister of Trade and Industry (1999-2000), Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare (2001-2004), a politician, and has become Vice President of this country twice (for two different presidents)! He must have had one amazing mother, I thought. 

I also missed the beautiful scenery of South Sulawesi and I thought the movie could transport me there even for a brief period of time.

So on a lovely Wednesday night, I took myself to a date night and watched this movie. There was only six people watching the movie, including me. 

The movie starts with a Bone-style wedding procession of Athirah and Ajji Kalla, and then follows the Kalla family as they move to Makassar, the capital city of South Sulawesi province.

While the family begins to settle, with children going to school, Puang Ajji's business taking off and Athirah is pregnant with the fourth child, news on Puang Ajji's taking another wife is spreading. Puang Ajji is often absent in the family's house, and this affects Athirah and the children. 

As a proud Bone woman, Athirah keeps her emotion to herself and channels her energy to her family. She starts a business on South Sulawesi-style silk sarong, purchases gold jewelry for investment and dreams of opening a school in Makassar. She stays kind even though her husband ignores her efforts to keep the family intact.

One touching scene is when Ucu (JK's nickname) accompanies Athirah to a wedding reception, and then they see Puang Ajji also attending the event with his other wife. The rickshaw ride back to their home is tear-inducing as Ucu and Athirah stare blankly on the road.     

When the economy situation was going down in the 1960s, Athirah gives the golden jewelry box to her husband to save the company and Puang Ajji just breaks down in tears. I think of this particular scene as the best revenge :).

A beautiful quote in this movie that I remember most is: "You should keep carefully what you believe as the most important thing in your life." Athirah could keep the sadness and the heartbreak, but she chose to be happy and be the driving force to her family.

Although the movie has all the recipe for a good tear, I barely cry my heart out because the bridging between scenes is not smooth. I'm not sure whether it's due to the script or the editing process. Bu I guess there must be a lot of pressures to complete a movie that involve the second man in this country.

Athirah is also screened at Vancouver International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and Tokyo International Film Festival.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Conversation With DAP

Sometimes I forgot how childish adult men can be. Here's several conversation samples with one of the specimens.

On Weight Gain And The Intention Of Diet
DAP: Oh my God, I've gained weight ever since I came to this office
Me: I don't mind 
DAP: I do mind, all my jeans are getting tight on the waist area
Me: Go on a diet then
DAP: Yeah
(a few hours later, I saw him eating snacks)
Me: How's the diet plan going?
DAP: Tomorrow (grinning)

Situation: there's a distribution of T-shirts and everyone gave their size.
DAP: I'm XL size
Me: Sorry, Pak Jeffry took the last XL size, you may want to take the XXL size
DAP: It would be too big for me!
Me: You've gained weight since working in this office. Why don't you try it first?
DAP: (grumbling while putting on the T-shirt) It's too big.. see...
(the T-shirt fits him just fine)
DAP: Err...
Me: Too big, yeah right...(leaving him speechless)

That's Not Dinner Yet
Situation: During the meeting in Surabaya. It's 7 p.m. and everyone is going out for dinner.
DAP: I'm famished, let's have dinner
Me: But we just had dinner! Your supervisor took us to that eatery at 5 p.m.
DAP: That's not dinner yet, it's a pre-dinner meal
Me: Ok, you just go on your own then, I'm still full

Feeling So Young
Situation: we're discussing our age. He was 2 years younger
DAP: This year I'll be 34 years old
Me: We're only two years apart. You're already 34 years old now, you'll be 35 years old this year
DAP: No, I'm 33 years old.
Me: You're born in 1981, right? This year is 2016. You're being delusional
DAP: Oh yeah, right

Auntie Knows Best
Situation: DAP is quite popular among the girls. I suspect this is because he's quite tall compared to other guys in the vicinity. So one of the girls (let's call her Rose) has shown genuine interest towards him, but the feeling is not mutual...
Me: Rose sent us email to ask our help for a backdrop of an event
DAP: But the information is not clear
Me: Ask her via email then, but don't forget to cc me
DAP: Can you do that? And cc me
Me: You're a big man, and yet you're afraid of her? This is ridiculous
DAP: I'm not afraid. It's just...I'm sure you handle the situation better than me
Me: *rolling my eyes*

Cute Girls On The Horizon!
Sometimes I caught him glancing at cute girls passing by, and then he blushed when he knew that I knew.
DAP: What?
Me: (smiling)
Female Colleague #1: It's good that he's glancing at girls. If he's checking out men, then we have a stiff competition here
Me: Good point
DAP: Hey!

Other times, I pointed out the cute girls for him
Me: Hey, the girl over there is pretty
DAP: I know (smiling sheepishly)
Me: Hmmhh

When Cute Guys Are Around
Sometimes the situation is reversed, in which there is a cute guy around and the girls will gawk at said guy
Female Colleague #1: Check out 11 hours, cute guy alert (whispers)
Female Colleague #2: Ohhhh
Me: Yesss
(Our eyes were following said guy, and then DAP walked in front of us and obscured our view)
The Girls: Hey!

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Whole Office-Bazaar Hubbub

There was a bazaar organized by a Japanese-themed mall in the office building this week. The items being sold on discount were various, from mattresses, to clothes, to toys, to food. To sum it up, there was something for everyone. Here is several conversation that took place in the office during the bazaar...

How It All Began
Female Boss (FB): Did you see the announcement  downstairs? There's a bazaar. What kind of items will be on sale?
Finance Manager (FM): (produced a brochure) Here it is. I took it at the reception desk
FB: Hmm, thank you (reading the brochure seriously)
(a few minutes before the lunch time)
FB: FM, let's go now before it's too crowded.
FM: Go where?
FB: To the bazaar!

Checking Things Out
(At 12.30 p.m.)
Me: Oh my God, it's so crowded
Colleague #1: Of course, it's lunch time. Everyone comes here to have a look
Me: How about if we come back at 02.30 p.m? The crowd may have dispersed by then
Colleague #1: Ok

At 02.30 p.m.
Me: Oh my God, how come it's still crowded?
Colleague #1: Hmm, perhaps we should come again? At 07.00 p.m.?
Me: Ok

At 07.00 p.m.
Me: Why are these people still come here? Didn't they have homes to go to?
Colleague #1: Hmm, let's just finish it quickly then
Colleague #2: Oh hey, you guys are here again? I thought I saw you a few hours ago

Lipstick Jungle
Situation: one of the items on sale was Purbasari's matte lipstick, which had been getting rave reviews on its durability, lovely colors and other good qualities. Most women bought at least one color of the lipstick series, so we tried each other lipstick to see which suit us best. I had to ask for other people's opinion, and DAP was there...
Day 1
Me: What do you think of this color? (showing my lip to DAP)
DAP: It's good

Day 2
Me: How about this one?
DAP: It's good, it's good

Day 3
Me: Hey, this is actually really good (pointing to cellphone charger cable)
DAP: Ok, which lipstick you're wearing now?
Me: Why does it have to be lipstick? I'm talking about this charger cable
DAP: Because lipstick is the trending topic of this week 

The Power Of Moms
FNA: It's so crowded downstairs, I couldn't buy the Number 90 lipstick
Me: Oh really? I just got myself two lipsticks a few minutes ago (showing the purchased items)
FNA: Oh, but you're a mom. Moms have power girls don't have
Me: You're asking for a spank. I'm not a mom yet, I'm an auntie.

Friday, August 19, 2016

A Trip To Mt. Ijen's Blue Fire And Baluran National Park

After the business trip in Surabaya concluded, I went on a trip to Mt. Ijen and Baluran National Park with a group of colleagues. We took Mutiara Timur Siang, a morning train, that depart from Surabaya at 9 a.m. to Banyuwangi.

We were traveling as a group of 11 people, consisting of 3 men (Marto, Bar-bar and Arfan), 5 women (Me, Pristy, Friz, Deb, and Dwi)  and a family of three (Pak Mahar, wife and daughter).

A small minivan picked us up at the station and we went straight to our hotels to have a short break before dinner. I wrote hotels, because the boys stayed in Berlian Abadi Hotel (the same hotel with Pak Mahar & family), while the girls stay in Mahkota Plengkung Hotel, which is in front of Berlian Abadi Hotel.

We booked the hotel via, and there was a promo from Bank Mega credit card. The only person I know as a Bank Mega CC holder is DAP, so I ask if he could lend us the card, or else (hahaha, I'm exercising my Bibi power here). Being a gentleman, he lent us the card, and being gentlewomen, we gave him the money.

We had dinner at a local restaurant named Manizku (ha!). After dinner, we went to Boom Beach to see a kite festival, which happened to take place that day, but unfortunately there was no wind that night, so the festival was postponed.

We got back to the hotels and had another short break before we started the hike to Mt. Ijen. If you're wondering why we picked this particular little mountain (Google says it's 2,799 meters above the sea level, but local websites say it's around 2,443 meters above the sea level), we did it just to see the world-famous blue fire.

Ijen's blue fire has been documented by National Geographic photographer Olivier Grunewald.

This is a pre-hike photo

There is a small canteen at 2,214 meters above the sea level. 

The hike to the blue fire usually started at 1 a.m., the blue fire is usually showing up between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. and then vanishing at 5 a.m. as the sun drops its morning ray along the ridges of the crater. 

If you choose to start the trek after midnight like I did, bring a flashlight or any kind of lighting device, for the trek to the crater is nature-constructed and you may bump into big rocks or fallen trees. It was really dark, and without the flashlight the only light would be the whole star constellation above our heads.

I am a slow hiker, and soon I was left behind. I guess I have written it somewhere in this blog, and yet I would write it over and over again: know your limit and hike in your pace. Bar-bar kindly adjusted his pace to mine and helped me along the way. Hiking really shows who's the real caring person in the group.

We reached the ridge of crater at around 3.15 a.m. We could see the blue flame down below and started to descent. The trek down below is not for the faint-hearted, for sure. Sometimes we had to wait for our turn to pass because the sulfur miners were making their way up/down. The miners are carrying heavy loads, and it's an act of kindness to let them pass first. I've posted before about the sulfur miners (here and here)

After what seemed like hours (but in fact it was probably around 45 minutes), I finally touched down the bottom of crater and got a better look at the blue fire. The blue fire and the rugged rocky surrounding gave a feeling of out-of-this-world experience. Unfortunately, none of us had good photographic skills, so the pictures were blurry. We sat there in awe, admiring the blue fire flickering above and thanking the Almighty Lord for giving us the strength to reach the spot.

Photo by PB

Soon, the wind was blowing around, and the sulfuric gas cloud enveloped us. We quickly left the spot and climbed up again. The gas is not good on the eyes and lungs, so prepare yourself with proper gear (face mask, for example). I was not really well-prepared, though, I only bring a red wool scarf to cover my nose and mouth, and I even wore mountain sandals to do the hike.

The sun rose not long after we reached the ridge, and it was a eye-opening moment when we realized the trail we passed just a few hours before.

Mt. Ijen Crater Lake

The ridge

A group photo with a majestic view

The view from above

On our way back to the entrance gate

From Mt. Ijen, we went back to hotel, had breakfast, had another quick nap and headed to Baluran National Park, which is often called as the little Africa in East Java. We saw deer and stag, peacock and peahen, long-tailed macaque, and buffaloes.

At Savana Bekol



And that's a wrap. Have a lovely weekend, my lovelies.