Monday, May 22, 2017

The City's Main Street View From The 25th Floor

Since 2013, I've been working in the Lands of the Clouds (OK, this is a hyperbole :D). Between 2013 and 2014, I worked on the 20th floor, which happened to be the highest floor on the building, in Kuningan area of Jakarta.

Then in early 2015, I landed a job at the 25th floor of a building on Jl. Jend. Sudirman, which is one of the city's main streets. The building was famous in its era. I mean, everytime I said I worked on that building, people would say,"Wow, that building used to be very famous. It still exists?"

Today is my last active day, as I will take the remaining days of leave starting tomorrow and I will leave the office by the end of the month. As a memento, I'm taking some time to take photographs from this summit. And here they are...

My cubicle is right behind this view

There are still empty lots on Jl. Jend. Sudirman, this is just one of them.

More greeneries, please

The skyscrapers are fading on the southern edge

These views still can't beat my cousin's former workplace, which was located on the 46th floor of a building near the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle. Whenever there is a demonstration, they can monitor from above.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Of Men And Flowers

Say it with flowers, an adage says. The saying stands true for Jakartans who are currently in the middle of the War of Flowers between Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahja Purnama's supporters and Anies Baswedan's supporters (for example, this news). 

But let's get away from the humdrum of Jakarta's politics to Kolkata, India. I have a soft spot for India, perhaps because D has the facial features of South Asians (ha!).

National Geographic photographer Ken Hermann was on assignment in India a few years ago, and he decided to go to a flower market on his day off. He was drawn to how the male flower vendors carried their goods. So he came back to make a portrait series.

Flowers are used for everything in India, from festivals and parties to religious rituals. The variety is enormous, from brightly hues hibiscuses and vivid crimson roses to jasmine bouquets, fragrant lotus and magnolia flowers. The photographer decided to photograph the species that he saw the vendors carrying.

The photographer originally thought about including both sexes in the series, but the women were reluctant to have their pictures taken. So he focused exclusively on the male vendors. To get these guys to take a break from their work and pose under the midday sun, he wound up paying for many of the bunches he photographed.

These stoic, masculine men put on a macho face when they get their picture taken. But you can see that they carry their flowers -- their livelihood -- in a very gentle way. You can see more here.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


The project I'm working with at the moment has the best chief of party (COP) and deputy chief of party (DCOP) because they let us to carry out our work in the most comfortable way. The COP is a 70-year-old Briton, who has spend half of his life in Indonesia and speaks fluent Indonesian, while the DCOP is an energetic, caring lady.

Sometimes I felt like they were my parents, because the way they treated all employees was like how you'd treat a little kid.

COP's Most Famous Sayings
Between Monday and Thursday: Good bye, everyone. Don't be naughty, okay?
On Fridays: Have a good weekend, everyone. If you can't be good, be careful
A day before any National Holiday that falls in the middle of the week: You can leave early today, to avoid the congestion
Background information: any national holiday that falls in the middle of the week would mean a heavy congestion one day before the said holiday. Most people would take a leave and ditched the city for a few happy days.

Sometimes the DCOP caught COP still lingered and chatted with us, and such conversation took place...
DCOP: You're still here? I thought you already left
COP: I am leaving, I am just talking with them.

Noise Means Food
Situation: As I've said before, the office seems to have foods everyday. And everytime there is food, there is noise
DCOP: I heard a noise. There must be food here.
SR: Oh, all the food has been eaten.
DCOP: Already? Wow so fast.

When DCOP Is Attending A Piranha Event
Situation: DCOP has a clean eating regime, meaning she doesn't eat fritters, red meat and other unhealthy/junk food.
SR: Tomorrow, we'll have a fullboard menu, with donuts for breakfast, nasi uduk for lunch and icecream for afternoon snack.
DCOP: How about if we change the donuts with boiled eggs? I'll supply the eggs.
FNA: But...but...the donuts are important too...

Museum for The Old Phones
DCOP: Does anyone have an iPhone charger?
Me: Which head does it use? The one with big head or small head?
DCOP: The one for iPhone 4?
Me: Oh the big one
COP: (happens to pass by) What is it? (looking at DCOP's mobilephone) What is that?
DCOP: It's my mobilephone
COP: It's still working? I think it should be in museum by now.
DCOP: (giving COP a stern look)