Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Do You Do On Sunday?

The good thing about living in Indonesia is that the country has five official religions: Islam, Catholic, Christian, Hindu and Buddha. Therefore, we have many holidays, such as Idul Fitri and Idul Adha, Christmas and Easter, Day of Silence and Waisak. 

Tomorrow will see the birth of Prophet Muhammad, so we'll be having a long weekend. Wait, it's only partly true, most of us will be having a long weekend, while some unlucky ones may still be working.

While we're still on the subject of holiday, it reminds me of a conversation I had with Imo, one of the editors, about pre and post weekend/holiday conversations. The Australian woman said that she and her friends usually told each other about their weekend/holiday activities on Monday. Then on Friday, they would tell each other about their weekend plans. It seems weekends and holidays are the big thing. 

After all, they have 20 days of leave per year. In Indonesia, we only have 12 days of leave. What can we do for a twelve-day holiday? The rich and the well to do can go abroad. But the rest of us  do not have the money and the opportunity for a decent holiday.

And no, we don't have that kind of conversation here in Indonesia. Not that I know of. Well, I seldom hear about that holiday talk. Why? Because holiday activities are so obvious here. Either we visit our parents back home in the villages or waking up late or do household chores that we neglect during the weekday or hanging out in the shopping malls.

My newspaper recently make a new column on how famous people spend their Sunday or holiday. Whenever I talk to a celebrity or a politician, the answer is the same: they are working on the weekend. and they barely take holiday. I think this nation needs a break from all kind of work activities. Sunday (or any day off) is the time to unwind your mind so that you can have a fresh start on Monday. 

So what do you do this coming Sunday?

A university friend suggested meet-up at Hotel Indonesia traffic circle on Feb. 28. I think I'll go. And after that, I'll meet with the violinist community, who regularly hold performance during the Car Free Day. LOL, see what I mean? I can not think of a perfect day off without planning to get a work done.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Couple Talk #1

Perhaps this is the kind of conversation people have after being married for more than 30 years.

(source: here)

Situation: A couple was sitting in the living room, the man watched TV, the woman read a book. Suddenly, the phone rang.

Wife : Hey, it's probably (insert name here). He phoned earlier today, said wanted to talk to you.
Husband : (pretended not to hear, switched TV channels)
The phone rang again and again. Husband showed no sign of getting up his chair.
Wife : (grumbled and picked up the phone) Hello. What? Oh, sorry, we have yet to need any internet service here. We have received so many offers, but no, thank you. (put down the receiver)
Husband : See, it's not for me.
Wife : You could at least pick up the phone first.
Husband : Most phonecalls coming into this house are for you, darling.
Wife : But what's wrong about picking up the phone? This is your house too.
Husband : (silent, switched channels again)
Few minutes of silence and peace.
Wife : Are you going to have dinner or not?
Husband : No
Wife : Why?
Husband : I don't want to eat now. By the way, the way you pose the question is similar to a security guard.

Me? I was reading a magazine and tried my best to suppress my laughter upon hearing the conversation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rains, Lightnings and Thunders


It is a common belief that the day of Chinese New Year should have abundant rain or the year will not have much prosperity. Well, I witnessed the rain and the thunderstorm at my home on Sunday and Monday. So it should be one hell of a prosperous year.

Thunderstorm never fails to amaze me. The combination of light crossing the sky and raucous sound a few seconds later is like orchestra music to me. It's just so beautiful. 

I used to be afraid of the thunderstorms. But when I was five years old, I moved to Bekasi, some 35 km away from the capital city of Jakarta. Then I am grown to be used to it. I mean, almost every rain that falls at my home brings lightning and thunder around. 

M and I used to have theories on this sky phenomenon. She has lived in Jakarta and Kebumen before moving to the suburban area of Bekasi, so she knows that this lightning thing does not always happen during the rain. 

Recently I read National Geographic magazine and found an interesting information that there is a place in Venezuela (or is it another country in South America? Bless my short term memory) that has regular thunderstorms thanks to the low pressure and is rich in methane.

Methane? Well, in that case, there is Bantar Gebang dumpsite in Bekasi where we can find abundant methane supply to create lightning. Problem is solved, I guess.

But Bekasi is not the most thunderous place in Indonesia. Here's another information I found in the internet: "The sites with greatest occurrence of electrical storms in the world are El Bagre, in Antioquia, Colombia (270 days per year); Tororo, Uganda (251 days), and Bogor, in Java, Indonesia (223 days)."

If only there is a way to harvest those lightnings, I believe we won't be having further electrical blackoutsin the future. I hope it won't be flooding this time.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Have A Weekend Full of Love

Hello darlings,
What are you going to do this weekend? As for me, hmm...I have to attend an event on Saturday. But the good thing is it's the launching of 2010 make up trend. I hope the colors are good. 

Do you celebrate Chinese New Year, which falls on Feb. 14 this year? If you do, you may want to try these koi-shaped nian gao cakes. Made from coconut milk and carrot, they are less sweet than the traditional ones (made from sticky rice flour). You can find them available at Hotel JW Marriott Jakarta throughout this month. They really look cute, don't they?  

No Longer The Sixty Million Rupiah Girl

(Found at

I find it hard to commit to something (or someone, which is probably the reason I am still single until the age of 30). I had switched jobs every 1.5 years since 2004. So when the HRD person of the company I applied in 2007 said that I would have to stick with the company two years after I was confirmed permanent or I had to pay Rp 60 million of fines (it was approximately US$6,000 in 2007), I went a bit freaked out. I tried to hide it, but my hand was shivering as I signed the contract. I don't know about you but Rp 60 million is a huge amount of money for me.
My probation period was one year before I was confirmed a permanent. So it was a total of three years of commitment. *shivers*

Fortunately, I was not the only person who had to undergo this 3-year contract. as there were six other cubreporters: Adt, Amr/Nisamoto, Wda, Dic, Lln and Ndr/Peeyutz.

We used to call ourselves as the Seven Samurai. Hahaha. Nisamoto, Wda, Lln and I used to have lunch together because we brought lunchboxes from home, and thus the four of us had this Lunchbox Club. We all support each other. But last year, Nisamoto decided to end the contract as she wants to do something she likes: teaching.

Well, the signing took place on Feb. 12, 2007, exactly three years ago. I made it! We made it!

Adt suggested hanging out to celebrate our so-called freedom. Perhaps we will hit a 24-hour coffee shop later. But having the coffee or not, I'm officially free!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ten Things Why You Should ( Or Should Not) Be A Journalist

Source: here

Feb. 9 is National Press Day here. After working in the media for six years (gasp, it's been six years, really?), I can say that being a journalist is not easy, especially here in Indonesia. So here is 10 things on why you should or should not be a journalist.

10 Reasons Why You Don't Want To Become A Journalist
10 Reasons Why You Do Want To Become A Journalist
You work long hours
You get a front seat to historical events
You work for pittance
You get front row seat, literally, to many shows and sporting events
It's a very stressful work
You get to meet a lot of interesting people
Society doesn't appreciate your profession. You're as bad as lawyers and politicians but at least they are well-paid. They think you're just as corrupt
You get to travel to many interesting places

Your girlfriend/boyfriend or wife/husband thinks you're weird
You know things before most other people do, and you get to tell the stories to these people
Your parents/in-laws (or would be in-laws) are ashamed of you, to the point of wanting to disown you
Increasingly (but slowly) it's becoming a respectable profession, thanks to Reformasi and commercial TV
Your neighbors think of you more as a gossip monger
You get to use every knowledge you learned and posses
Your friends feel sorry for you at first, and then forget about you
You get invited a lot
You have no social life

Many people want to befriend you because they think you're powerful (although you're not really)
You have no life
It's fun, adventurous and, sometimes, even dangerous. It's a challenging job.
Courtesy of Endy M. Bayuni, chief editor at The Jakarta Post

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pick-Up Lines

Girls are (usually) audio persons. The right pick-up line can work wonders. It doesn't have to be romantic bullshit, but it surely has to resonate with the girl's personality, either witty, humorous or sarcastic. (Please note that wolf whistles certainly don't work). I recently found these funny pick-up lines taken from True Blood series. Enjoy!

- Baby, you make my blood rush to my stomach
- Who needs a mirror when you're looking at me like that?
- You're so hot. I can only sip you slowly.
- I like your friend too, but you just taste better
- You must be my type 'cos I usually suck at this
- Lady, if looks can kill, you can look at me forever
- If I say you're sexy, will you say 'bite me'?
- Forget sunrise, let's make love all night long
- You're so full of life, I want to drink it all up
- If I turn into a bat, will you fly into the moonlight with me?
- Can I buy you a drink? Then drink it out of you?
- I can tell you like older men. Is 1,000 years old enough?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Have A Sleepful Weekend

Friday already? Wow, time sure flies when you have loads of works to do. I definitely need to take a rest (read: sleep).

I plan to continue reading Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. I borrowed the book two years ago from my office's library and I still struggled to finish the 1456-page book. Right now, I'm on page 234. Still a long way to go. Chances are I will probably doze off while trying to read the book.

For next week, I'm thinking to have a Tiger-shaped or heart-shaped donuts at Krispy Kreme. To get the Tiger-shaped donuts, you have to place a minimum order of two dozens at least 2 days before Feb. 14.  (Two dozens? Those donuts look cute, but who's going to eat them? Not me, that's for sure) Covered with orange chocolate, the Tiger ones have dark chocolate filling. Meanwhile the heart-shaped ones will be adorned by chunks of Ritter Sport chocolate. Yum!

Have a sleepful weekend! 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February, I'm In Love!

It's February and almost every part of the town is gearing up for the Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day, both to fall on Feb. 14 this year. Flowers, chocolates, candle lit dinners, ahh, love is in the air! And also on the media as well.

I have to write an article about Indonesia's love tradition and treatments, and let me tell you something: it's really an education, an eye-opener and a colleague said,"It's like hearing the Pope preaching about having children." Ouch. Yes, I have absolutely no idea what Valentine or love celebration means. I guess I'm just a girl without a slight hint of romance.

However, while I don't celebrate that V-Day, I do have a sweet memory on Feb. 14, 2008. On that day, I was assigned to a comic exhibition held by teen delinquents imprisoned at Tangerang Penitentiary. (Yes, it is a sad fact that children who make mistakes are imprisoned here). There were former teen delinquents coming to event as well. Aged between 10 and 17 years old, most of them work as buskers. 

Comic auction. An inmate holds a comic, drawn by one of Tangerang penitentiary's juvenile inmates, during an auction Thursday at Taman Ismail Marzuki, Central Jakarta. (Source: 

After the exhibition, I tried to catch the bus but to no avail. It was almost 10 p.m. Standing at Jl. Cikini, the buskers, their mentor and I wondered what to do. We could not afford to take a taxi. (Well, I could just take a taxi, but I didn't have the heart to leave them there.)

"Hey, how about if we walk to Megaria theatre and catch the 213 bus (route: Kampung Melayu-Grogol, it usually runs until 10 p.m.) there?" I said.

The others accepted my idea and so off we walked. While we were walking along the road, the buskers noticed that the roadside eateries were filled with late-night customers. 

"Hey guys, let's try our luck here, shall we?" one of the buskers said.

And they belted a song or two. Oh dear, it was a bit touching but funny at the same time. I mean, the time they did in prison should have made them more cruel (and I should be afraid of them), but it actually did not. They were just lost souls who needed a chance to get back on track.

I let them did their job as I continued walking to the designated place. We met again after they were done.When we got on the bus, the buskers started to sang again. It was really the most memorable V-Day ever.