Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Holding Hands

Staff at the Bukit Merah Orangutan Island Foundation in Perak, Malaysia, draw blood from an orangutan named Hang Lipo, on Oct. 20, 2013. The island’s primate population has increased to 24, with most animals coming from Kalimantan and Sumatra. (Reuters Photo/Samsul Said, link)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Islamic Fashion Designs At Jakarta Fashion Week 2013

Indonesian designers have different opinions on Islamic fashion, and the Jakarta Fashion Week is the right place to appreciate the differences.

Dian Pelangi

Itang Yunasz


Ronald V. Gaghana

Nur Zahra

Norma Moi

Fitri Aulia

Monday, October 28, 2013

From The Runway Of The 2013 Jakarta Fashion Week

Edward Hutabarat

Ardistia New York

 Priyo Oktaviano


Jeffry Tan


Toton Januar

Albert Yanuar

All photos are from here

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Indonesian Men Appreciation Post

Just for fun, I compiled several delicious good-looking Indonesian men for you to devour gawk at in this cloudy day. This is what good-looking means in my dictionary, so they may not be to your liking :).

Joe Taslim

Photo found here

He may be known as a former judo athlete, a commercial star or an antagonist in Fast and Furious 6, but for me, he will always be the Sgt. Jaka of The Raid. Those eyes are killing me!

Donny Alamsyah

Donny Alamsyah also plays in The Raid. I met Donny in an event and then pretended that I had a list of questions for him so that I could interview him while trying to calm down my heart beat (hahaha!). He's about my height but he pays for what he lacks in height with his charm. He likes traveling the less-beaten paths and sometimes tweets about his experience (that photo above is from his Twitter account). During the interview, the DJ turned up the volume of the music and we had to yell to each other. He leaned over and... whispered the answer to my ear. My heart almost jumped out of the rib cage, I thought he was going to kiss me (I wish!).

Ario Bayu

From here

He's an actor, a musician and...oh well, just google him up, will you? I love looking at his facial features, which can be intriguing at times. He could pass as a Javanese, a Sumatran of Arab descent or a Moluccan. Just marry me, lovely boy :).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Could Use Some Fun Time By The Beach

Fun time: Children search for starfish at Teluk Nibung beach in Lubeg, Padang, West Sumatra, on Wednesday. At the beach, which is located opposite Teluk Bayur port, visitors can enjoy the reefs exposed during low tide.(Antara, link)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Views Of Rasuna Said and The Surrounding Areas From The 20th Floor

My office moved to the 20th floor yesterday. I felt grateful that I had just worked there for two months, so I had yet to accumulate too many documents and stuffs. The other employees really hauled heaps of works worth of years of hard work.

This morning, I took a few minutes to walk around the office and snap some photos. Here they are...

Things are not always all about high rise buildings in Jakarta. The houses, many are turned into rented rooms for the out-of-towners, and small open spaces are hidden behind the glitzy skyscrapers.

I wonder what will become of that empty space. Hotel? Office? Or perhaps (May God forbid) shopping center? Please, be anything but a shopping center.


I sit next to the window with this view. This photo was taken at around 9 a.m. It would look totally different at 4-5 p.m. with the jams.

I think I should buy a wide lens. I kinda hope that I can go up to the rooftop one day:)

Monday, October 21, 2013

So I Finally Bought Myself A Smartphone

Hello dear friends, how are things going? Despite the blog silence last week, I've been doing good. I got one day off for governmental joint leave on Oct. 14 because Oct. 15 was Idul Adha, so I decided to take things slowly. Afterall, my office is in the process of moving to the 20th floor.

After joining the new office for about two months and having been nagged by all colleagues (especially my boss NPM) to buy a smartphone that can Whatsapp (is that even a word?), I finally gave up and bought one. It was a hard decision to take, considering that I'm not a smartphone enthusiast (We'll see in the next 1-2 years :D). And no, it's not an iPhone as I wished, but a local brand. I'm all about function, but I have to say that the design is actually not bad.

While I was doing a survey on smartphone, I fell in love with this (because actor Joe Taslim is the brand ambassador *swoon*) and this (how can you not fall in love with this phone? Watching the ads makes my heart beating faster and me going, 'oooh, watch out for the water!'), but due to budget constraint I bought this

The urge to buy a smartphone was because of the following conversation:
Me: Anyone knows where Boss CO is?
TWA: His brother died, so he went to Solo for the funeral.
Me: Oh, I didn't know. Deepest condolences.
PAC: This is why you should buy a smartphone. We share this information on Whatsapp.
Me: Ouch.

And this one (which took place, like, everyday in the past seven weeks):
NPM: Have you bought any smartphone?
Me: Not yet
NPM: Why? What took you so long?
Me: I want to enjoy the blissful moments before you start Whatsapping me everyday
NPM: -_- I won't do that. Anyway, you only need a simple smartphone, like S*ms*ng Ch*t
Me: No way, I'm anti-mainstream
NPM: -_-

So, anyway, I came to office on Wednesday morning to show off my new phone to Boss NPM. Here's what happen:

Me: Boss, I got myself a smartphone.
NPM: (Typing on his laptop) Hmm, that's good. (Glance and stop typing) Wait a minute, you're wearing a skirt today! You look great. (Note from the editor: I usually wear pants)
Me: Euh, okay, thanks.
NPM: I have an idea, every female employee should wear a skirt on Monday.
Me: Boss, today is Wednesday, not Monday.
NPM: Oh yeah, you're right (Resume typing)
Me: -_-

Moral of the story: Instead of buying a smartphone, perhaps I should just buy more skirts?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Malala Yousafzai at the opening of a library in Birmingham on Sept. 3, 2013. The Pakistani education activist moved to England after she was shot by the Taliban in 2012. (EPA Photo/Facundo Arrizabalaga, link)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My 10-Minute Morning Walk

"Next station: Manggarai."

Upon hearing the announcement, I stand up and inch toward the car door amidst the crowd as other commuters going to Sudirman also move closer to the door. The iron steps are ready at the doors and I step down carefully onto Platform 3.

Another train come in on Platform 1, it's the feeder train that shuttles between Manggarai and Sudirman, and many commuters rush to the catch the train. I keep walking along the platform until I reach the entrance/exit area, where even more commuters flood the area. I tap the single trip ticket on the machine, the three-arm steel machine swing forward and I start my 10-minute morning walk.

On the first day of work at my new workplace I didn't know how to reach Jl. HR Rasuna Said from Manggarai station. I simply followed the people and my instinct. The people turned to the left and so I followed suit.

Even without commuters coming out of the station, Manggarai station is already a busy area with bustling activities of food vendors and vehicles. The ojek drivers are ready at your service, but I keep walking with earphones plugging both ears and The Temper Trap's Sweet Disposition playing loud. 

Several people stop along the way to buy breakfast, some eat on the spot and some take the food away for later. Some food options are nasi uduk (rice cooked with coconut milk, served with side dishes such as spicy boiled eggs), lontong aka arem-arem (half-cooked rice filled with diced potatoes, carrots or meat, wrapped in banana leaves and is later steamed to cook), siomay and molen bakar (banana-filled bread with sprinkles of chocolate on top). (Damn, I'm famished just writing these.) Sometimes I stop too, but most times I keep walking.

My morning walk will not be complete without the charming beasts: birds in cages chirping happily as their master provide their water and meal, goats on leash staring at me as I walk along, chicken and hens running about and cats sleeping on benches. I stroke the cat's head and continue walking.

I walk through an elevated railway track and so do all vehicles. The tunnel below the track is dark, smoky and noisy from the echoes of car honks. From there, it is a bit of a hike and one may have to catch the breath. Just keep walking until you reach Pasaraya Manggarai.

The morning sun glare graciously on the eastern sky as I wait the 66 Kopaja in front of Pasaraya. The bus is known for the pickpockets and petty crimes. Hold on to your belongings like a mother would never let go her babies. The bus is approaching and I hop on, sitting right next to the broken glass window and feeling the wind breezing through. That's the end of my morning walk and the start of my work day.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Teguh And Wulan's Wedding

That photo summed up last Sunday: the wedding of Cousin Teguh and cousin-in-law Wulan went well. I got an assignment to take care of the mahar (dowry), so I couldn't take many photos. However, Cousin Dina and I managed to steal the newlyweds for a few seconds and snapped that photo:D.

Below are some funny moments during the day.

#1. The Pre-Wed Tension 
Situation: the pre-wedding tension is not something that only attacks the bride, but also the groom
CIL Dondi: Father, I need to borrow your car keys to get the pillows
Uncle Dayat (Teguh's father): (handing out the car keys) Here
Cousin Teguh: We have pillows in our car?
CIL Dondi: Relax, just memorize your wedding oath and let us do the rest. Here's the walkie-talkie to calm you down.

#2. Evil Elevator
Situation: The mosque, where the akad nikah took place, was situated on the second floor and with all the long fabric we're wearing we took the elevator. We were waiting for the bride in front of the mosque when the videocameraman suddenly had the inspiration to shoot the groom and parents walking out of the elevator and moved towards the mosque. 
Videocameraman: Ok, ready and start!
Cousin Teguh: (as he walked out of the elevator, the elevator doors were closing and hitting him on the shoulders) 
Everyone: (laughs)
Cousin Riska (Teguh's big sister): Oh my God, this reminds me of a scene in Srimulat (comedy group). I think we'll remember this shoot for the rest of our lives (wipes tears from laughing)

#3. The Other Bride
Situation: And after we're done with the shooting, the bride came out of the elevator.
Someone: Guh, you're not supposed to look at her before the ceremony. Divert your gaze.
Cousin BowWow (Teguh's big brother): Wait a minute, bro, that's not Wulan (the bride), but another woman.
Cousin Teguh: (panic) What?! Really? Let me look.

#4. Where's My Husband?
Situation: after all the parents put on their wedding uniforms and make up.
Aunt Tini: Do you happen to see my husband?
Me: He's right over there.
Aunt Tini: (narrowing her eyes to see better) But he looks...different. Or perhaps it's the blangkon.

Wishing you a blessed marriage with lots of happiness, laughter and children, Cousin Teguh&Wulan:).

Friday, October 4, 2013

Batik And Teh Tarik

Hello, sweeties!

This morning I arrived early at the office. So I made myself a cup of teh tarik, took a photo of myself in a batik skirt and enjoyed the blissful quiet moments. Then the boss asked me to draft the minister's speech. And all the bliss was gone. Zzz.

Anyway, here are several events this weekend that you may be interested in:

-- Talk: Mengenal Sejarah melalui Kartu Pos (Learn more about history through postcards). Oct. 4. 7-9 p.m. @america. Pacific Place 3rd floor. Open for public. Free.
-- Music Festival: Java Soulnation. Oct. 4-6. Sports Hall Istora Senayan.
-- Art Market: Flea Market #5 Kemang. Oct. 4-6. 12 p.m. Vintage clothing, art, fashion and many more. La Codefin Central Lobby. South Jakarta

I'll be on duty for another cousin's wedding this Sunday. Wish me luck with the uncles, aunties and other people who may annoy me with 'the question'. Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Go, Tigers!

Bali zoo: A tiger cub sits at a Bali zoo in Gianyar, Bali, Wednesday. The tiger was born on Aug. 22. (AP/Firdia Lisnawati, link)

Underfed tiger: A medical officer from Cisarua-based Taman Safari Indonesia records the health progress of a 15-year-old female Sumatran tiger named Melani from Surabaya Zoo on Sept. 3. Due to poor management at the zoo, the tiger weighs only 50 kilograms, far below her ideal weight of 70 to 80 kilograms. The tiger's weight has increased by 8 kilograms lately since the zoo's management was taken over by the Ministry of Forestry. (JP/Indra Harsaputra, link)

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Peatland Projects

I haven't worked for one full month in my new office and suddenly my boss told me to take care of this field visit to Kalimantan. I was beyond excited because I've never been to Kalimantan, but I've never done such thing before *insert horror music here*.

My boss told me to go a day earlier to arrange everything before the whole group arrived. A few days before my departure, there were glitches and my boss had to hand me Rp 8 million in cash. I felt like I was in those Italian movies where the godfather showed a suitcase of money and said,"Kid, here's the money, just do the job." 

All praises to the Almighty, everything went quite smooth. The team in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan was very helpful with the hotel arrangement, the consumption and the transportation. All I needed to do was distributing the cash, muahaha *waving the fan-shaped money*.

Anyway, what were we doing in the heart of Borneo? We visited a demonstration plot of a peatland project my office is overseeing. I'll insert more wordings tomorrow, now you can enjoy the photos:).

Updated: I'd like to keep the name of my office a secret in this blog, but to give you a bit of description, my office is a national trust fund mechanism that facilitate and coordinate financial support for climate change-related activities. This sustainable peatland management project in Jabiren, Central Kalimantan is one of those projects. 

FYI, peatland, which is made from layers of decayed vegetation, is the major producer of green house gases and is also the cause of forest fires. Peat is basically a double-edged sword. If we let it be, it continues to produce green house gases. To let the peatland unused is a huge waste, because Indonesia has millions of hectares of peatland. But if we manage it carelessly, for e.g. burn it, it will even pose great dangers to humans and environment.

So, the researchers of MoA teamed up with farmers of Jabiren to make the peat useful for the farmers, while also help reduce the emission. To manage the peat, we need to keep the water level as shallow as possible/keep the peat well-irrigated. 

The researchers also suggested the farmers to use a mix of ameliorants on the peatland before they started planting. Each area of peatland may need different kinds of ameliorants, and this was where the researchers stepped in.

I hope I don't bore you out with those explanations :D.

After taking a two-hour flight and a 1.5-hour car ride, we still had to take this small boat to reach Jabiren village. It was an exhausting journey, but Carlos (a reporter from Berita Satu TV, sits in the back) had been faithfully checking in on his tablet at every spots we're going through :P.
Farmers check the water gate at the replication site in Panenga

A mix of ameliorants to be used on the field

Ready for the big world

A field inspector checks on a water pump at Kalampangan village

 Whoa, check out these chilies!

Again, I caught the guys busy with the gadget :D.

 I managed to persuade my friend Wda to join me in this trip. But although we spent the whole day together on the field and even stayed in the same hotel, we couldn't really talk to each other. I had been busy catering to everybody's needs/questions, while Wda was busy interviewing sources. This was the only photo we had.