Monday, September 30, 2013

Back From Borneo

Hello, everybody!

I've just returned from a field trip to Central Kalimantan. Going on a trip has become a common thing, but it's the first time I'm responsible to take care of the whole group, instead of just becoming a traveler. To make things more dramatic, I had the worst vertigo several days before the departure day.

Alhamdulillah, all colleagues teamed up to help me got through the trip.

Am taking a break today. Will post more photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Signs Of A Good Man

Found here

Take out the "bad teeth" and I'll approve :).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

When People Bug Me For My Single Status, I Reiterate This Quote

It's either I have to make myself a good woman to have a good man or there aren't any good men around me yet.

I've mentioned it, and I'll still be posting it anyway: weddings and family gatherings are the hardest events a single 30-something woman should attend. If you're not attending, people will wonder if you have a personal hatred with the bride/groom, but if you do come, relatives will sidle up next to you while you're chowing down that macaroni schotel just to find out if you have a boyfriend/girlfriend or the lack there of. And the why, oh the why.

Never mind that you have that killer job other people are vying, or that you are financially independent, or that you dress modestly. When you are single, it means you don't respect your parents and are not a complete person.


Just because one is still single, it doesn't mean that the person wants to be single for the rest of their lives. Perhaps they just haven't found their significant other who clicks in that certain frequency. If one should live with another person for the rest of their lives, they should know what kind of person they marry. 

I have had my share being called as "picky" and "snob". Rather than "picky", I prefer the word:"selective". Why can't I be selective? Even my mother chooses the vegetables carefully before she buys them. And here we are talking a lifetime commitment, instead of a package of green leaves.

I'm not going to lower my standards just because I'm now 30-something. My future husband must have a job (read:be responsible for his future wife and kids), should be a looker (or at least take a good care of his body, smokers please use the exit door) and knows how to make me laugh.

Sorry for venting, I just need to get this out of my chest. Especially with another cousin wedding in the upcoming weeks. So help me God.

Oh, and one more lovely quote for all the single women out there:

PS. I forgot the photos sources. If you know, just send me the links and I'll fix it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Diah and Chrisna's Wedding

I just got the time to resize all photos I took during my cousin Diah and her beau Chrisna's wedding that took place on Sept. 7. Beware, it's one of those photo bomb posts:).

My outfit that day: green floral kebaya, paired with the Makassan-pattern skirt and nude pumps
The venue of the akad nikah. From left to right: Uncle Hari, cousin Amin, Auntie Rifa, N, Auntie Siti and Uncle Suryono

The view from this side reminds me of Masjid Nabawi Madinah

Here comes the bride and bride's mother

We stole moments with the bride before the ceremony began:P

The bride's parents were ready to welcome the groom's family

D and my uncles have the similar blank stare :D

Time to get committed

It's official!

The newly weds with the bride's family

The bride's mother chatted with the sisters-in-law before the party began. It's one of my favorite photos that day.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Two Photos, One Idea

Legacy of love: A nun of Missionaries of Charity welcomes visitors at the tomb of the founder of the order, Mother Teresa, photograph on left, on her death anniversary in Kolkata, India, Thursday. The Nobel Peace Prize winning Catholic nun who spent 45-years serving for the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, died in Kolkata on Sept. 5, 1997 at the age of 87. (AP/Bikas Das, link)

Prepare for the worst: Syrian refugees arrive at the Turkish Cilvegozu gate border, Thursday. U.S. President Barack Obama is heading into the lion's den of Russia, confronting Syria's key patron as well as foreign leaders skeptical of his call for an international military strike against Bashar Assad's government.(AP/Gregorio Borgia, link)

I found these two pictures several weeks ago. Although the pictures from different places on earth, there's not much differences, they are women and they cover their head and body. So be it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Membership Cards

What is it with Indonesians and customer loyalty cards? It seems that every shop offers this kind of cards. Seriously, if you're living in the capital of Indonesia, chances are at least you have five of them. You may have membership cards for department stores, cosmetic brands and... pharmacies.

Last Sunday I went out with my high school friend L for a major hijab shopping. We went to a hijab store in Rawamangun. And then the girl behind the cashier said those magic words:"Do you have a membership card?"

We didn't have any. But we still bought the hijabs anyway.

From there, we took a bus to Rawamangun bus terminal to a shop for outdoor gear. L wanted to buy a pair of mountain sandals while I was looking for a pair of dry-fit trousers. Yeah, I am that kind of women who mix feminine attires with masculine stuffs.

As we walked to the outdoor gear shop, we found another hijab shop and decided to venture inside. After all, we were already there. Now, the said shop was having a sale and all hijabs were discounted at 30 percent. Then the girl behind the cashier said the tempting words:"If you have the membership card, you can have extra discount."

We said we were not interested. Or just say that the discount was enough to make us happy:).

We left the shop and found the outdoor gear shop nearby. After doing some fitting, we got the stuffs we wanted and were ready to pay. Guess what? The cashier offered us the membership cards because with the card, "you'd get 5 percent discount for every item purchased".


If you're living in Jakarta, tell me how many membership cards do you have? I currently have five and keep adding more!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Snippets From My New Office

I've only been in this new office for less than a month and I'm already posting something, it's either the new colleagues are very interesting  or I have too much free time to observe my new colleagues. It's a bit of both, I guess:).

Days Of Leave

The first thing I asked during the job interview was about leave days. My new office gives each employee two days of leave per month and those can be taken on the first month of work, so I'll have eight days of leave until the end of this year and 24 days by the end of 2014. Isn't it great or what? 

Another exciting thing was to learn that my new office gives 16 weeks of maternity leave and four weeks of paternity leave. Wow, not many office offers this kind of leave here in Jakarta. Must. Get. Future Husband. Working. Here.

But I digress.

I just want to say that despite having more leave days, people will always yearn to have more leave days. So here are conversations on days of leave.

NPM: I need to have a leave. Can I take paternity leave?
AA: It's four weeks, including Saturdays and Sundays.
NPM: Whaat? Why are you so cruel to me? Please give me more days.
YS: Hey AA, I thought you said you hate NPM. If you do hate him, give him leave for the whole year so we don't have to see his face until 2014.
NPM: -_-

AA: Mr. CO, you called sick on Aug. 2. Do you have a letter from your doctor for that day?
CO: Umm, unfortunately I don't have any letter.
AA: Then I must take one day from your annual leave.
CO: Umm, okay.
ITA: That 'okay' sounded very repressed. Ahem.
AA: Oh, and Mr. ITA, you also called sick last week. Do you have a letter from your doctor?
ITA: Err, no, I don't have any letter. Well, okay, just take one day from my annual leave.
CO: That 'okay' did not sound very sincere. Ahem.

The Elevator Called Trouble

The new office is currently situated on the sixth floor, but we will soon move to the 20th floor (the highest floor in the building, yikes!). I seriously hope that I don't have to take the fire drill.

CO: There was something wrong with elevator no. 4. It was stuck at the 2nd floor and we couldn't use the communication button. Be careful when you take the elevator, make sure there are other people so you don't get stuck on your own.
AA: Oh dear, it's so scary. And we're about to move to the 20th floor. 
ITA: Actually, it makes a good excuse to come late to office, just say that we have troubles getting the elevator.
AA: -_-

It's A Nursery Ward

My new office is pretty much a female-dominated estrogen-fueled workplace. Of 10 people, six are women and two of them are in the breastfeeding period. Every morning, the mothers use the breast pump while typing on their desk.

When I first heard the buzzing sound, I thought they were doing their hair with a blower. But then I saw the pashmina slung over their breast and the milk in the fridge, and so I concluded. Kudos to all working moms out there!

One morning, they were using the pumps at the same time. The buzzing sounds reverberated throughout the small room.
Me: It sounds like a stiff competition.
CO: It sounds like cars racing down the circuit 
ITA: Yeah, like a Tamiya car competition
HRA (one of the mothers): Jack, don't use the phone here, go over there will you?!
Jack: Oops, sorry ma'am.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Red Nose, Puppet And Serious Music Awaits This Weekend

Am planning to buy quality earphones, you know the ones that we would use for years. Then stumbled upon this picture. Whoa! From here, found here

Hello darlings, what are your plans this weekend? I'll be doing the laundry and other household chores and perhaps just chilling in the house. Currently am working on a business trip plan that involves donors and journalists, so I'll take things slow whenever possible.

Some events that may interest you:
-- Charity: Hidung Merah Festival of Laugh and Charity Auction gala benefit. Sept. 14. Le Meridien Hotel. Information and ticket:
-- Orchestra: Simfoni Untuk Bangsa. Sept. 14. 7:30 p.m. Aulia Simfonia Kemayoran Jakarta.
--Dutch Puppet Show: The Little Magic Theatre "Panta Rhei II" by Charlotte Puyk-Joolen. Sept. 14. 7:30 p.m. Erasmus Huis Jakarta. Free.

Have a relaxing weekend:).

Thursday, September 12, 2013

WTF Should I Do With My Life?

If you ever ask yourself that question, here is the website that has all the answers:).

Well, what a great idea! Perhaps I should:D.

Have a terrific Thursday, guys!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Eyes On The Target

A Dutch participant in an archery competition in Yogyakarta, on Sep. 1, 2013. A traditional archery style known as Mataraman, will be among the events featured on National Sports Day on Sep. 9. Athletes from all provinces of Indonesia participates in the multi-sport event. (JG Photo/Boy T. Harjanto, source)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Surviving The CL Train Trips

Chaotic first day: Train passengers line up to pass through the turnstiles at Bogor Station on July 1. PT KAI introduced a new train fare of Rp 2,000 first five stations and Rp 500 for each additional three stations. The first day was chaotic at several train stations in Greater Jakarta. Antara/Firmansyah, link

With the regular office hours comes the responsibility to arrive at the office in the morning. Now, how do I do that? It will be very exhausting to reach my new office with the TransJakarta because Kalimalang is terribly congested. Being a tried and true trainbrain, I've been taking the Commuter Line,  the electric train service provided by PT KAI Commuter Jabodetabek, heretofore will be called as CL.

The first CL train departs at 6:14 a.m. but I usually leave my home at around 6:30 a.m. in order to catch the 6:40 a.m. train to Jakarta from Klender Baru station. However, sometimes (well, most of the time, actually) the traffic to the station is awful and the 6:40 train zooming right before my eyes. The 7:07 a.m. train is already packed with commuters, and so will the 7:24 a.m. train and the 7:42 a.m. train. Anyway, just like every services in Indonesia, the train does not come on time. Be there on time to secure the perfect waiting spot and expect some tardiness.

When I say it's packed with commuters, it means that the soybeans in a tempeh have more space than commuters in the CL train. Trust me, you'll become well-acquainted with fellow passengers because you can hear their conversation (it's not that I intend on eavesdropping, but it's hard to not listen when they chat right next to your ears), smell their B.O and develop skinship with other passengers (is 'skinship' even a word? Blame it on the K-dramas). When it's very packed, you don't even have to hold on something, because you won't fall with so many body support around you anyway. The CL train is so intimate that a single guy friend says he's taking the train to look for a girlfriend. Good luck, single guy friend. Until this post was written, said friend was still single.

Commuter heaven: Passengers stand aboard an electric train at Juanda railway station in Central Jakarta on Tuesday. The State-Owned Enterprises Ministry has proposed that state railway operator, PT Kereta Api Indonesia, slash its fares for electric trains by 50 percent, to Rp 3,000 per ticket from the current Rp 6,000, to help people cushion the impact of the fuel and electricity rate hikes that are scheduled for April 1. (Antara/Andika Wahyu, link)

So what do I do?

Taking tips from my high school friend L, I take a detour to Bekasi then I stay on the train as it depart to Jakarta. It takes some time to finally reach Manggarai station, but at least I can get a seat, I don't have to struggle to squeeze myself into the train and I'll still be arriving on time at the office.

With my new office is located on Jl. HR Rasuna Said, I don't have to transfer to Tanah Abang like L, whose office is on Jl. Jend. Sudirman. From Manggarai station, I walk to Manggarai bus terminal, which is situated next to Pasaraya, and then hop on the Kopaja 66.

I usually reach office at 8:30 a.m. I'm the first to be there, but I have the key so I can enter and do the non-office stuffs (like blogging :P) before other employees come.

An ordinary Joe: US Ambassador to Indonesia Scot Marciel get off from the commuter line train in his way to An-Nur Islamic boarding school (pesantren) in Bekasi, West Java on April 12, 2013. There was no "special treatment" given to the ambassador as Marciel bought the Rp 6,000 train ticket by himself and mingled with other passengers inside the carriage. (JP/Putera Satria, link)

The train home is available at 4:55 p.m., 5:17 p.m., 5:40 p.m. and 6:05 p.m. There are much later train schedules, but I don't write them down. If I have to go home after 7 p.m., I prefer taking TransJakarta.

Going home is a bit easier because if all is clear, it takes only 20 minutes from Manggarai to Klender Baru. Sometimes I can reach home before Maghrib. Now that I have such a regular work hour, I realize how nice it is to sip a cup of tea while listening to the adzan, have dinner at 7 p.m. and sneak into pajamas before 9 p.m.

How do you reach your office? How long is your commute?

P.S. When my uni friend Aneen came to Jakarta after doing weekend trip to Lampung, I took her to try CL to my office before she went to the Pasar Senen station. She's from Solo, where the pace of life is much slower than the capital. I warned her that the ride would be rough. At first she didn't believe me, but when we got to Bekasi, she got the whole picture. Her jaws dropped when she saw how people struggled to get on board. "I should have taken photos!" she said.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Candle Lit

The dark side of marriage: The bridegroom holds a candle next to his bride during a wedding ceremony due to blackouts in Padang, West Sumatra, last Sunday. State power company PT PLN said the blackouts, which were also felt in the neighboring provinces of Riau and Jambi, were inevitable because several turbines at its power plants were damaged. (Antara/Muhammad Arif Pribadi, link)

Hello my darlings, what are you up to this weekend? I'm attending my cousin's wedding tomorrow, hence the wedding picture above, although she's not going to use the Padang tradition for the wedding reception. Let's hope that I can snap some photos instead of getting distracted with the foods.

If you're looking for some ideas, here are several events that may interest you:
-- Exhibition: Indonesian Kitchen Throughout The Ages. Until Sept. 7. Erasmus Huis. Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. S-3
-- Anime Festival Asia Indonesia: Sept. 6-9. Plennary Hall, Jakarta Convention Center. Ticket:
-- Music Festival: Reform - Good Times Festival. Sept. 7. 3 p.m.. Taman Kridaloka Senayan. Information:,
-- Performance: Padnecwara, Alap-alapan Sukesi by Retno Maruti. Sept. 7-8. Gedung Kesenian Jakarta. Information: 021 87796055, 0819 341801
-- Festival: World Puppet Carnival. Until Sept. 8. Usmar Ismail Theater, National Museum and National Monument. Information:

Have an enlightened weekend:).

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Land Of Salt

Salt in the sun: Workers collect salt in Pamekasan, East Java. Each worker is paid a sack of salt and Rp 30,000 for half-a-days work. (Antara/Saiful Bahri, link)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Walking Shark And Big Bird

Walking shark: Hemiscyllium, the walking shark, is seen here in waters near Halmahera. Courtesy of CI/Mark V. Erdmann, link and article here

Big bird: A man unloads a cassowary, a very large flightless bird, from his motorcycle at a traditional market in Boven Digoel regency, Papua, on Thursday. The cassowary, trapped in the wild in a nearby forest, could sell for as much as Rp 1.5 million. (JP/Hyginus Hardoyo, link)

This week starts with several news and pictures on animals. Hope it's a sign of a wonderful week ahead.

Monday, September 2, 2013

An Hour At Suropati Park

I had one hour to kill before the event at Bappenas, so I walked to Suropati park, which is right across the ministry. My watch read 8:20 a.m. The park visitors were mostly joggers and photography hobbyists snapping photos with their expensive DSLR cameras.

The sun had risen in full force. But the water from the water sprinklers circling around like a ballet dancer on stage lowered the temperature. Some of the benches were wet. I took a close look at the benches before sitting down. Yellow leaves fell from the big trees. I leaned back and sighed.

When is the last time you really sit down amidst the greenery and let things be? For me, the last moment took place last year in the Mariyinsky Park, Kiev. A lot of things have happened between then and now. I've never really given myself enough time to reflect on things that matter, I sort of let myself be engulfed and be carried away. Is that a bad thing to do to yourself?

The park is a haven amidst the traffic jams that encircle the area. Not only does the park provide a rest area for humans, it is also home for the pigeons.  As I sat there, typing this on my iPod, the pigeons were suddenly flying towards Jl. Teuku Umar.

An old man approached slowly, with a red plastic bag in his hands. The pigeons gathered around and the man threw bird foods to the ground. After all foods were thrown, the man walked away and the bird continued their breakfast.

The park cleaners swept the leaves. One of them carried a long bamboo pole and shook the tree branches with it to make the yellow leaves fell to the ground. It's raining leaves! I wish I were a little kid so I could run under the falling leaves without making other people raised their eyebrows.

The falling leaves disturbed some of the photography hobbyists. They walked away, while complaining in whispers. I glanced at my watch. It's time to attend the meeting. I got up and crossed the road.