Saturday, October 31, 2009

My Personal Oasis

I am more than lucky to have a life the way I have right now.

I have a family who will always be there,
I have friends in good and bad,
I have a roof above my head,
I'm financially secure,
my brain doesn't fail me most of the times,
and I'm just grateful.

People around me are also almost always nice to me. I don't know whether it's because I'm nice to them, or they're just that kind of people who don't show their dislike.
I live in my personal oasis where it's inhabited by those I love and love me back.
I used to think there's nothing wrong with this, but as I'm getting older, I start to think about it.

I have just graduated, and the real world is waiting out there to be conquered,
and I'm scared.

The world is starting to show their fangs and suddenly I have to come out from my oasis and face the storm to pursue my dreams.
As much as I want to continue my studies abroad, the thought of living all alone in a place completely new and with people whose first language is different than mine makes me scared.
I was scared when I got a job interview in an international NGO and found out that the interviewers are expats. I'm scared that I won't fulfill their expectations because I don't have much to offer, being a 21 year old fresh-graduate with lack of experience.
Seeing people die, also made me scared if I have to lose someone I truly love in my life.

Then I started to realize,
it's okay to lose someone,
it's okay to fail,
it's okay to live alone,
it's okay to experience storm in your life,

because it makes you stronger, and less things will scare you.

I guess it is important for your personal growth to come out from your oasis once in a while, and experience how brutal the desert can be. Once you get past the storm, there will be another bigger and better oasis out there waiting to be inhabited.

Tomorrow is my first day of work. My first real job.
I must admit that I'm scared.
Good bye oasis.
I'll be seeing you soon, yes?

Taken from

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Concert With a Cause

I have been a concert enthusiast since I was still in Senior High School. My first concert was Craig David in 2003. After watching him live, I became obsessed with concerts and festivals. My heart beats faster and I can be caught smiling to myself everytime I find out an International musician I like will come to Indonesia. I can say that Adrie Subono and Peter Gontha are my heroes in music. Kidding.

In 2005, I heard about the Live 8 concerts. There were ten concerts held in industrial countries with performances from more than 1000 top-notch musicians, including Mariah Carey and Madonna. I was really excited to see the show on TV since it was impossible for me to see it live.

I looked for more information on the internet about the artist line-up when I stumbled upon the official Live 8 website. The concert was organized in the intention to support UK's Make Poverty History campaign and watched by approximately 3 billion people worldwide. It succeeded in raising awareness about poverty issues in Africa. Not only that, the concert also accomplished it's goal to make G8 leaders give more money to poor countries.

Growing up in a country where many of it's people live under US$2 a day makes me extremely concerned with poverty issues. I sometimes feel helpless because I couldn't do much when I see people eating from trash cans or children selling newspapers on a school hour. The concept of organizing a huge concert in different parts of the earth for a noble cause amazes me. Live 8 would certainly not exist if the British didn't establish the Make Poverty History campaign. This event is an inspiration for me to apply to UK universities for my master's degree and experience firsthand how it's education can create people who are concerned with humanity issues, and are actually doing something about it. I believe we need more people with qualities like that.

Check out this video of Live 8 concert in London

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Government of Indonesia

If you see the news, Indonesia seems like a fucked up country. With all the bombings, corruption, and poverty, no wonder Indonesia receives so much publicity. Bad ones.
And then, people start to blame the government. The government of Indonesia has a very bad image. But are they actually that bad? Do they actually take care of this country? Let me tell you this:

My father is part of the government.

Objectively speaking, I think this country is in good hands.
My father graduated from the best engineering school in Indonesia. A couple of years after he graduated, he decided to be a government official. He received a scholarship from his office and pursued a master's degree and PhD in one of the best universities in the mid west, U.S.A, and graduated cum laude.
There are many Indonesians who received scholarships from the government of Indonesia to study abroad but decided not to go back to Indonesia. I can understand them, since living abroad offers more chances to have a better living and optimize their knowledge.
But this is not the case with my father. He came back to build this country.

Now, my father is in his 50's, and he's pretty much in the peak of his career. He's also a workaholic. That should be the reason why he's not around much.
Most of the days, he leaves around 08.00 and comes home around 22.30. He sometimes work in the weekends. He manages one ninth of his office, so his staff works as hard as he does.
Thanks to his needy boss, it's very difficult for him to have a day off. If I go for a family vacation, he's only around in the last few days or in the weekend. Our last family vacation was in 2007. It was a pilgrimage journey, and we had to reschedule three times to get a slot at his hectic schedule.

My father and I once had this conversation,

Me : Dad, why do you have to come home so late at night? Is there so much work to be done?
Dad: Yes, there is. I'm constantly tired now. I'm even too tired to take a shower when I get home.
Me : ...
Dad: Do you remember our road trip when you were little?
Me : Yes.
Dad : That road trip is a reminder for me. At least when I had the time and energy, I was with my family a lot. That should be a reminder for you too.
Me: ...
Dad: I feel guilty you know, for being away from you, your sisters, and your mother a lot.
Me: ...(Starting to get teary eyed)..

Maybe some of the government officials are busy making themselves rich, but some of them are actually doing an excellent job. My father is sacrificing his family to take care of this country, but this will never be enough for those Indonesians who keep criticizing the government.
Go ask yourself, what have you done for the good of this country?

It's 23.00 right now, and my father is still not home.

The road trip when I was little.
The time when my father had the time and energy.
I love you, Ayah.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Obligation as an Undergrad: Done

So here is what happened afterward:

1. Went to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur with Cheela, Danar, and Arum.
There were cheap tickets, so we decided to execute our plan to travel together. We made it happen, though some of my closest friends didn't join us.

Singapore was fun, and KL was OK. The best thing I like about this trip is the late night talks. It's kind of funny how close you are with your friends, yet know so little about them. Too bad, I had to reschedule my flight home and leave earlier to...

2. Celebrate my one year anniversary with M.S.
When I planned my vacation, I completely forgot about my anniversary. My flight home was the day after my anniversary, so I had to buy another ticket so I can celebrate. It's very ignorant of me, I know.
The day after my anniversary, I had to catch a 05.00 A.M. flight to...

3. Tokyo
This was my first time to Japan. My sister was going to Japan for her summer holiday and I decided to meet her and tag along, the way I always did since I was little. At first, I wasn't very excited because I was too tired to travel. This never happened before, since I love traveling and Japan is on my top list of new travel destinations. But my holiday ended really fun. My sister is THE best traveling partner.

There were my sister's friends living in Japan, Bintang, Figi, and Sasti who accompanied us around Japan. My sister and I ended up traveling like a local. I didn't even go to Disneyland, but I did go to Summer Sonic festival and watched Lady Gaga, The Ting-Tings, the Klaxons, and this really cool 4 DJ performance called Birdie Numnum.
Everything in Japan is extremely expensive, I bought almost nothing for myself. Thank God we rescheduled our flight (again) and went home earlier.

4. Graduation day
After 4 years of hardwork, my journey in University of Indonesia has come to an end. It was both happy and sad.

I'm already missing my campus days...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Two Months of Tears and Joy

I experienced lots of things in the past two months, both happy and sad:

- Got back from Den Haag
- Did my thesis defense
- Crowned None Jakarta Selatan 2009
- Almost cried listening the governor's speech about Abang None
- Crowned two None's at Abang None DKI Jakarta
- Went to Singapore for my last None duty

- Jakarta bombings..

I will write about the last one in this post, since I really need to get it out of my system.
I had just finished checking in at the airport to go to Singapore when I first heard about the news. It said that there was an explosion at Ritz-Carlton. There were still limited information so I was not sure how bad it was. I even hoped that it was only a gas explosion from the restaurant and no one was killed.

I was wrong.

It was a bombing, at the most secured hotel in Jakarta. Also the hotel where MU was going to stay. Thanks to being a none, I have become emotionally attached to this city. I was sad, angry, worried, and confused at the same time.
I was sad because people died for nothing. I was also sad because something like this can happen again in Jakarta.
I was angry to whoever people who did it.
I was worried about the impact to Jakarta. Jakarta's tourism, image, and investment will certainly be wounded.
I was confused because I don't know what to explain to potential tourists at Singapore. For the time being, I think it's pointless to promote Jakarta.

This incident really breaks my heart..
May the victims rest in peace, and may the people who are responsible for it rot in hell.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Back from Den Haag

I just got back from Den Haag on the 26th of May.
It was super fun. Details and pictures: soon.

I'm currently busy finishing my thesis and organizing Abang None Jakarta Selatan 2009.
The finalists are already chosen. Hope they're the best. *Fingers crossed*

My thesis defense is on 11th of June, so I have to finish it by 4th.
And here I am, having the time to revise my thesis, which is rare, but writing on my blog instead.

This girl needs to learn about prioritize.

*Special thanks to Abimantra for the lovely pictures

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Abang None = Priceless...

I had doubts when I decided to apply for Abang None.
I was shorter than the minimum height for the none, I don't have a model-esque figure, my hair was short, I walk like a guy, I have almost zero knowledge about grooming and the likes, and my face is tres Indonesian.
Conclusion: I don't qualify for a typical beautiful woman (fair skinned, tall, slender, long hair, etc, etc)...

...yet I applied, and am having one of the best year of my life.
Abang None opens so many doors, some of them are:
1. I became the MC for Gado-Gado Jakarta. It was performed at the gala dinner of JakJazz 2008 at Istora Senayan. I did it in English, watched by DKI Jakarta's high government officials and international musicians from around the world.
2. I became the MC of WWF's Earth Hour main event at Balai Kota. Again, there were DKI Jakarta's high government officials, including the governer, national and international media, ambassadors, and representatives of the national and multinational companies that supported the event.

3. I get to be the tour guide for US Marine corps. Spending the whole Sunday with 40-ish Americans and explaining what Jakarta has to offer.

4. I get to travel to places I've never been before.
5. I was offered jobs, plenty of times. Some of the job offers were from the biggest government-owned bank in this country, TV's (plural), and government department.

Other advantages:
1. I get to be on a super cool stage, and perform, at Jakarta Convention Center. The stage is even better than Putri Indonesia's stage, no offense.

2. I won cash money (lots of it), a laptop, tickets to Hong Kong and Yogyakarta, vouchers, and products from the sponsors.
3. I get to save an 8 digit amount of Rupiahs from prize money and from duties as a None.
4. I have a new family, Abang None family, which is amazing.

5. I get to know many government officials, which is great for my network.

6. I made Bunda and Ayah proud.
7. I personally think I became a better person. I now know about grooming, I became more hard-working, It became easier for me when I meet new people, and the list goes on and on...
8. I got a boyfriend. A great one. = )

One more thing, I'm going to Den Haag on the 19th of May to promote Jakarta, and get paid for it.
How 'bout that??

Those are only some of the advantages of being a None, and I only won 4th place at the province level. Of course there are some downsides of being a None. But really, it doesn't matter when you have more reasons to be happy.
Never in a million years I thought I would experience all of the above. It's priceless.
With all my flaws, I managed to go this far.
Stop assuming, we never know what kind of girl, or guy, the judges are looking for to be an Abang and a none.

So, what are you waiting for?
Don't hesitate to apply. So many doors are waiting to be opened.
You can e-mail me at for more info.
Or check out
Or add our facebook at

Just give it a try, there's nothing to lose..
Looking forward to seeing you, future Abang's and None's..


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Perfect Birthday Part Quatre

Birthday lunch with the kidnappers, plus M.S.
We had a buffet lunch. Most of us had 4 plates of meal.
One of my kidnappers had to loosen her belt.


We also went to the karaoke..

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Perfect Birthady Part Trois

My Birthday Dinner with the people who love me most...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Perfect Birthday Part Deux

I celebrated my 21st birthday on April 7th.
I thought it was going to be an ordinary birthday, considering my friends already gave me a surprise last year. I was damn wrong..

M.S. came to my house in the middle of the night. He didn't stay for long because he had exams in the morning.
I went to sleep after that, though I was still expecting my friends to come.

Then, around 3.30 A.M., when I was already asleep, I was kidnapped from my bedroom.
I was sure it was my friends, though they pretended to be professional kidnappers by wearing sarong's used as masks and didn't spoke at all so I can't guess from their voices.
They tied my hands and feet, blindfolded my eyes, and carried me to the trunk of my friends car. I screamed my loudest scream that night. That was the only thing I could do at that time.
Thank god his car was Honda Jazz so I didn't die of suffocation.
My friend drove like a madman, I even bumped my head several times.

The car finally stopped and I was carried out from the trunk. I was so afraid they were going to plunge me to a lake or something and started to scream even louder. (My friends told me later that the people who heard me screaming thought I was possessed).
They finally laid me down on a cold and hard surface and left me there.
Thankfully they didn't tie me hard enough so I could free myself and open my blindfold.

It took me a while to realize that I was taken to Taman Ayodya, Barito.
After chasing my friends around that garden (they ran sporadically when I managed to free myself), laughing, hugging, and eating the birthday cake, they did one more thing to me.

They tied me to a Stop sign, poured cold water all over my head and body (it was freezing cold), and made my hair and face dirty with the birthday cake. As if that's not enough, my friends and their car left me there all alone.
I managed to free myself for the second time and chased their cars around Taman Ayodya in 04.00 A.M.

My birthday was crazy. And I Love it.
You guys do know how to be really great friends.
(Again, in no specific order)
Amy Tyas
Citra Kartika
Danar Tri
Andika Pradipta
Aditya Mahendra
Dhira Narayana
Titis Arba defita
Shaskia Yasmin
Hario 'Pio'

I would never trade them with anyone else in this world.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Perfect Birthday



(Dhira Narayana took the Picture)


Details of my Birthday on the next post..

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Something I Can't Afford

I'm expecting to graduate this semester, and I already have plans for my future.
One of my plans, which I have stated in my earlier post, is pursuing an M.B.A. degree.

I dream to be a successful businesswoman one day, so I can make jobs for people in Indonesia. With my own money, or my company's money, I can also give to the people who are in need. It breaks my heart every time I read the newspaper or watch the news that so many people are starving to death and children died while studying because their school's rooftop collapsed.
I also must admit that having a successful business equals to comfortable life and loads of money, something I dream to have as well.

After browsing obsessively on the internet, I found out that the tuition cost of the universities I'm planning to apply is extremely expensive. My father told me that I should forget about expensive schools and gave me a budget for my 2-year master's program. The budget is less than half the estimated total cost for tuition and living in the expensive universities I wish to apply.

At first, I was kind of frustrated because I can't apply to any university I want. I was even in denial and assured myself that my father will still pay for my tuition even though it's way beyond my budget. Then I started to be realistic and look for other cheaper universities. M.S. helped me realize that most people can't afford to go to university, let alone study abroad.

Now I'm working really hard to juggle between finishing my thesis, increasing my GMAT score, and saving money. I've even started to control my spending and credit card usage. I saved all the money I got from my parents and None work. I know my savings won't make me afford the expensive universities, but at least I'm helping my parents.
I want this so bad. The last time I was this determined was when I applied for University of Indonesia, and that's 4 years ago.

So now I know how it feels like to not afford education.
Reality hits hard.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

We CAN help, without money

So I watched Kick Andy a couple of weeks ago. The host was interviewing this very unconvincing man who said that he's a teacher. He was only an elementary school graduate, but he is determined to educate children in his village so they won't be poor like him. He said something like this:

"Back then, I dreamed to be rich so I would be able to build a school where children can learn for free. I am far from rich, but I have pursued my dream."

That sentence, which was said by an elementary school graduate, made me think.
Do I have to be rich?
If I had all the money I want, would I still be thinking about helping?
It seems that life with no money, in his case, seems so peaceful.

Oh Mr. heart-of-gold, I'm sorry I said you were unconvincing and underestimated you just because you're an elementary school graduate. I'm no better than you are.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

O Ambassadors

Today, I nearly cried while watching two inspirational TV shows. The first one is Oprah and the second one is Kick Andy. I'll speak about the latter on my next post.

This episode highlights the journey of O Ambassadors.
Ten years ago, Oprah invited a 16 year old boy named Craig Kielburger to her show. In such a young age, he has volunteered to teach children who are living in poverty. Now, with Oprah's Angel Network, he has built around 60 schools in third world countries.

Based on this, Oprah decided to make a program called O Ambassadors. They have so many creative ways to raise money for the needy, like making kissing booths and festivals.
For the first project, Oprah chose 12 ambassadors who are students from across North America to build a school in Africa.
What amazes me is that these 12 teenagers, helped by a couple of African students, actually built the school from scratch. Literally. They dug dirt, mixed concrete, made windows, and everything you need to do to construct a building. With only a 2-hour course in construction work given by their mentor in Africa, they managed to build a 1-classroom school in 3 weeks.

Other than that, they also had an entire evening playing with local kids, visiting their houses, and visiting the river which is the only water source for that village. They bathe, take their cattle, wash their clothes, and drink on that same river. The ambassadors also saw how the local kids only have cereal for breakfast, corn and water porridge for lunch, and tea for dinner.
After seeing how they live, one of the ambassador said something like this:

"It made me more grateful with what I have right now. People here are still smiling even though they are living like this; they are fortunate they can live until this present day."

One thing Oprah and Craig Kielburger kept saying over and over again is that we are not too young to make a change.
It really touches my heart, and make me feel ashamed of myself at the same time, how someone voluntarily traveled halfway across the world to do social work for other people.

It makes me realize how my presence in this world hasn't make any significant difference for people who are in need.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Elementary School Reunion

Last Friday was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

I spent some quality time with M.S.

It was the first day of my GMAT prep class. I really like math and considering I'm a Psychology major, it's been a while since the last time I used my brain to count. I miss dealing with numbers and variables.
I sound like a math geek.

Other than that, what made my day superb was it was the day of my elementary school reunion. Thanks to facebook, Ilma, and Dela, after 10 years I finally get to meet my long lost friends at Thai Kitchen, Panglima Polim. I've been looking forward for this event, and when I finally arrived at the venue I was smiling from ear to ear and jumping and down. Literally (the jumping part, not the smiling part, hehe..).
There were about 80 people there. I can't remember all of them though, so I had to ask their names and introduced myself again.

Other than eating and taking pictures, we also reminisced those good old days in elementary school. The funny part was when we remembered the love stories and the humiliation we did back then. Here are the excerpts from the reunion:

Girl: Oh my god, I had a crush on you? Remember?
Boy: Oh yeah? Me too..!! That's why I always chose a seat next to you.
Girl: Then why weren't we together?
Boy: hahahah...

Boy: You were my ex right?
Girl1: Oh my goodness, yes, how humiliating.
Girl2: We had a fight, remember? Because I had a crush on him too.
Boy: Hahaha....

(Spoken with a non-flirting manner)
Girl: You're hot now, you used to be a total geek. No offense.
Boy: Haha... None taken.

A: Hey, you used to shit your pants right?
B: Hahaha.. How come you remember?
C: You're famous on our batch as the boy who likes to shit his pants.
A: Yeah, and you walked with your ass facing the wall so no one will see the stain on your shorts, but your shit was dripping.
C: Oh yeah? I don't remember that. Eeewww... I just lost my appetite.

After a lot of talking, laughing, and taking pictures, some of us went to one of the night clubs near Thai Kitchen. One of my elementary school friend is the marketing of that club so he gave us guestlists.

What makes this extraordinary is because we knew each other since we were still children. And at that day, we went to a club together and did what people at clubs usually do. Even the geeks.

People DO change.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Greetings from the Land of Gods