on balancing myself (with gym)

In contrary to what I had always said to people around me, I finally decided to start gym membership back in October last year, with the hope of getting bored after 6 months and signed myself off then. The thought of applying for gym came after: I got easily tired during my Komodo trip (the trip really demanded for physical fitness) and I hung out with Tata very much (she had started being this athletic since her last ex-boyfriend at that time).

30 day home workout plan 2

30 day home workout plan for those who don’t have time for gym

It wasn’t my first time signing up for gym – I was a gym member back in 2010, where the gym was located on the upper level of my office back then, but signed myself off after only 6 months of joining due to the irregularity of me working out (I worked as an engineer who had to visit customers now and then) – so I was a bit pessimistic that I would actually pass my first 6 months. A lot of friends would all be very sporty that they could exercise 4-5 times a week during their first month and stop exercising after a couple of months of subscription. Looking at the pattern, I decided not to be too sporty, keeping working out at my own pace and not forcing myself to the gym if I don’t feel like it. Here I am now, still a proud member of the gym who only exercises 2x a week (with additional 1x session on the weekend per month): 1x self exercising + 1x joining class (my favorite is body balance).

What Tata told me before we subscribed is proved, even though I was initially more stable physically and mentally than her: my mood swing is getting better, I’m less prone to sickness and tiredness, and less emotional than ever (well, I can’t figure out if the last point is because of me exercising regularly or simply getting older).

I came to the conclusion that maybe everyone really needs to find things to balance himself. Sitting on your desk at office, staring at your computer all day, arguing with colleagues, and driving furiously facing the worst traffic jam can really consume you off. Other than the normal movie/music/alcohol/nightclub-hitting, you can start getting healthy by working out. 🙂

Komodo Trip

The talk about going for another holiday has long been around my close friends and me. However, with the marriage of a friend and the marriage plan of another, not to mention earlier long overseas trip 3 of us had, the idea seems so far away from realization (time and money were really the issue). It was pretty shocking (and again impulsive) that we decided to go for this Komodo trip. Again, it started only with the 3 of us, then the group expanded to 8 people, enabling us to open a private trip. The holiday EO this time is Rani, and we went with Salamransel crew for a 4D3N Sailing Komodo Trip (visit their website here).

Our first day started on Saturday at 3 AM (I can’t recall the last time I woke up this early for a first flight, on a Saturday), when we met up at the airport to catch our flight. We flew Jakarta-Denpasar with Lion Air and Denpasar-Labuan Bajo with Wings Air. Thank God the flights were not delayed so we arrived in Labuan Bajo on time at 9.30 AM. We were picked up at the airport and headed straight to Kampung Ujung Port to start our Sailing Komodo trip.

Our first destination was Pulau Kanawa. We went trekking the small hill and snorkeling there. OK, we weren’t too much impressed by the island but it was a good start. Then, off we go to Sebayur for another snorkeling session. I like the underwater view better here, since the fish was more colorful and various here. Tired of snorkeling, we headed to Gili Lawa Island, where our ship was anchored for the night.


Day 1: Kanawa

Our second day started quite early, we woke up at 4 AM in order to trek up the mountain (I cannot say that it’s a hill – it took us 40 mins to get to the top) and catch the sunrise view in Gili Lawa. I started the trek with a lot of complaints, especially since I got really tired of climbing and it was really dark when we started, but what I saw when I reached the top made me forget all those complaints – the view was really breathtakingly beautiful. After a lot of pictures, we went back to our boat and headed to Manta Point, where I didn’t dare to swim (the flow was quite hard and it was a deep, free sea, so it’s a no). We waited there for 30ish minutes until we finally saw 2 mantas swimming around. Quite satisfied with what we saw, we headed to Taka Makassar. At first, we questioned what the place was, and apparently it’s a small vacant island consisting only of a few trees and sand (the sand is half white-half pink), just like Pulau Gusung in Derawan and Karimunjawa. When the sand is covering a wide area with pretty, clear water, take pictures. A lot of them. So that’s what we did.


Day 2: Pink Beach – doesn’t look too pink in pictures

Tired of taking pictures (well, it’s a lie. We don’t get tired of taking pictures. Never did), we headed to Pink Beach for (tired sigh here) another trekking and snorkeling. (I like snorkeling but I don’t really like trekking, especially with the extreme heat in Komodo.) You cannot really see the pink sand from the picture, but if you’re there, then you’ll be able to see that the sand is really pretty pink. So sad with the fact that Pink Beach was our last snorkeling (the underwater experience was very beautiful, by the way), we headed to Pulau Komodo afterwards. I guess it’s a must visit place for tourists, since it’s where the Taman Nasional Komodo (Komodo National Park) is located. Going there, you have to be accompanied by 2 rangers per group, 1 in front and another 1 in the back, since komodo (komodo dragon is the more popular English name) is a carnivore predator that can attack people unexpectedly. Luckily during our visit, we got to meet one by the beach (seems like it needs some dose of the sun also! LOL) and took pictures with it. Our last destination for the night was Pulau Kalong, where we were supposed to see a group of bats flying above our ship during sunset. Unfortunately, the bats didn’t come out that night, probably because there were too many ships anchored there.


Day 2: komodo by the beach in Pulau Komodo

So we’d been warned: trekking on our third day would have been really tiring. It was proven. We started our first day at 5 AM (well, the ship crews started it that early, we only woke up at 7 AM when we’d arrived at our destination) to head to Pulau Padar. It was the highest track we climbed; the track was really slippery with sand and very few rocks to hold on to. We trekked for 45 minutes, but then what we saw was really pretty – we saw 3 gulfs surrounding the island, all 3 with different colors: black, pink and white. It was really pretty that we even recorded a music video there (for private use only LOL). Next, we went to Pulau Rinca, another island with big population of komodo. We also trekked the hill there, but it was not so sloppy so I survived. The komodos were smaller than the ones we saw in Pulau Komodo, so they are said to move faster. Our (certainly) last destination was Pulau Kelor, for another trekking. Due to my shoes condition (the soles didn’t survive Pulau Padar they fell off) and the tour guide’s story that the track there is the hardest one, I decided not to climb the hill. It was not so high, but my friends told me that the slope is 45 degrees and the rocks are located far apart from each other that they had to duck on their way down. After Pulau Kelor, we went back to Labuan Bajo to (finally, yeay!!) stay in the hotel there.


Highlight of the trip (top-bottom): sunset (day 1) and sunrise (day 2) at Gili Lawa, and 3 gulfs at Pulau Padar (day 3)

We spent our last day in Labuan Bajo getting to know around our hotel, trying to find souvenirs (failed) and eating good seafood before we went back to Jakarta. The most interesting thing we tried was Jungle Juice (thanks to Reni for introducing the drink to us) in Treetop Restaurant, a combination of aren (traditional alcoholic drink), Kratingdaeng (red bull), and soda. After a good lunch, we thanked our tour guide and were taken to the airport. The flight home was delayed for 1.5 hours, by the way, which we spent playing cards to kill time (because there’s no reception there for carriers other than Telkomsel). We flew with NAM Airline for Labuan Bajo-Denpasar and Sriwijaya Air for Denpasar-Jakarta.


The peaceful sea view from inside the ship

Arriving home safely, I just realized that I got sun-burnt really badly (my sister would stare at me from head to toe when I arrived, then said: how come you are so tanned), but I am happy. The trip was worth all the sunburn (and I didn’t shower for 3 days during my time at the ship); Komodo is a very beautiful place that I would recommend everyone to visit. However, if you got time, you might want to exercise a bit before going there – one thing I regretted was I didn’t exercise enough that I wasn’t physically fit when I was there. Please, please, please do not let it get dirty. Tourists, please be responsible with nature. Take only pictures, leave only footprints.



[in Bahasa Indonesia] Jangan Masuk ITB

Sudah lama sejak saya post sesuatu di blog ini dalam Bahasa Indonesia, dan jujur saja pemilihan kata saya akan terasa sedikit kaku jadinya, karena sudah tidak biasa menulis dalam bahasa Indonesia (sombong :P).

Saya masih inget banget betapa excited-nya ortu dan keluarga dekat lainnya pas kelas 3 SMA saya memutuskan untuk daftar SPMB (istilah ini berubah-ubah terus dari waktu ke waktu, skarang namanya SNMPTN kalo belum berubah lagi) buat masuk ITB. Saat itu, karna belum ada pendahulu yang bener-bener deket masuk sana, saya juga ikutan excited, dengan bayangan-bayangan indah hasil ‘diracunin’ om saya yang juga lulusan sana (angkatan jebot tapinya). Baru daftar aja udah pada excited, apalagi pas hari pengumuman SPMB dan ternyata saya diterima, girang dan bangganya ortu melebihi saya sendiri.

Masih inget banget hari pertama dateng ke kampus dalam rangka OSKM (Orientasi Siswa Keluarga Mahasiswa), di gerbang kampus ada spanduk dengan tulisan gede-gede: SELAMAT DATANG PUTRA-PUTRI TERBAIK BANGSA. Wow. Baru hari pertama aja udah dibikin gede kepala dengan tulisan begitu. Lalu ada lagi lambang ITB yang kayak begini (harusnya udah familiar ya..):

Kalo kata temen saya: ini menggambarkan kehidupan anak ITB. Titik di atas huruf i dibuat lingkaran gede, melambangkan mahasiswa baru di ITB besar kepala semua karna berhasil masuk kampus yang konon katanya seleksinya susah (well, terbukti juga dengan nyebut kami ini ‘putra-putri terbaik bangsa’, padahal ga semuanya jadi yang terbaik kan). Setelah di dalem, terjadilah si huruf t yang kurus kering. Karna kuliahnya susah dan susah lulus juga, mahasiswa jadi krisis pede dan kurus kering karna stress. Begitu ‘lolos’ (ini becandaan wajar anak ITB), beberapa tahun kemudian kami jadi b, alias bapak-bapak (karna 75%-nya mahasiswa) berperut buncit yang pada jadi bos.

Sepanjang 4 tahun atau lebih, sejak masuk kuliah sampe akhirnya lulus (yang, by the way, bener-bener susah – perkataan orang bahwa di ITB itu “susah masuk susah lulus” itu bukan isapan jempol belaka), dosen-dosen dengan semangat selalu bilang ke mahasiswa bahwa “kalian ini anak-anak terpilih yang berhasil masuk ITB, kalian sudah jadi anak-anak terbaik di Indonesia”. Tujuannya ya biar kami pede, meski sebenernya di dalem kami “berdarah-darah” karena kuliahnya susah dapet nilai bagus, berakibat IP rendah, dan ujung-ujungnya jadi ga pede sama diri sendiri, apalagi pas ketemu sama temen-temen dari universitas lain.

Setelah lulus S1, biasanya kami pun terbagi jadi 3 golongan: golongan idealis-seriusis yang dengan semangat langsung daftar-daftar S2, golongan sok idealis-sok serius (seperti saya) yang langsung daftar S2 tapi dengan kesadaran tinggi bahwa IPK jelek sehingga dengan rendah hati diri cari-cari kerja juga, dan golongan realis-pesimisis yang udah ga kepikir lagi buat lanjut S2 dan langsung mo cari duit aja. Entah kebetulan entah tidak, saya perhatikan, antara teman-teman yang lulusan ITB juga dengan lulusan universitas lain (tidak terbatas pada universitas swasta saja), kami-kami dari ITB sulit sekali dapat kerja. Entah kebetulan entah tidak juga, karena jurusan saya lumayan langka perempuan (perbandingan mahasiswa:mahasiswi per angkatan = 11:1) dan kalau kerja di bidang itu pun sulit untuk perempuan, kesulitan ini lebih tinggi untuk yang perempuan. Beberapa teman perempuan yang tadinya mau jadi golongan 3 terpaksa jadi golongan 1 atau 2, dan sukses dapet beasiswa ke luar negeri (dan sukses juga kerja di negara sana, yang lebih terbuka nerima perempuan untuk kerja di bidang ini).


Untuk adik-adik yang masih atau baru lulus SMA dan punya mimpi masuk ITB, saya sarankan:

  • Siap belajar mandiri semasa kuliah. Mandiri ga berarti belajar sendiri-sendiri, karena kadang materi kuliahnya padat, jadi akhirnya kita belajar bareng. Mandiri ini dalam artian, dosen itu ga selalu “nyuapin” mahasiswanya, kita harus kreatif nyari bahan belajar sendiri. Kenalan sama senior juga berguna, tuh, untuk dapet bocoran mengenai karakter dosen-dosen. Karena joke ini bener-bener terjadi.


  • Tau mau kerja dimana setelah lulus S1. Saya bahkan bilang ke adik saya sebelum dia ikut SNMPTN beberapa tahun lalu, kalau mau kerjanya di perusahaan swasta, sebaiknya kuliah di universitas lain saja, karena bisa dapet jurusan yang lebih bagus dengan nilai yang bisa lebih bagus juga. Kecuali memang punya cita-cita kerja di BUMN.
  • Atau memang sudah punya cita-cita untuk lanjut kuliah S2. Ada 1-2 orang dosen yang semasa kuliah selalu bilang bahwa kalo S2 itu HARUS ke luar negeri, karena di sana kita belajar lebih banyak daripada kalau kita cuma di dalam negeri. Setelah merasakan sendiri S2 di luar negeri, saya harus setuju dengan mereka. Saya sangat bersyukur kuliah S1 di ITB, karena pas akhirnya kuliah di luar, saya sudah terbiasa baca textbook bahasa Inggris dan belajar mandiri, sehingga ga kesulitan mengejar materi kuliah.

Akhir kata, saya mau bilang: jangan masuk ITB kalau kalian tipe yang mudah nyerah dan bukan tipe high achiever. Memang susah masuk dan susah lulus, tapi saat akhirnya berhasil masuk dan berhasil lulus, berapa tahun pun kuliahnya, bangganya luar biasa. Ortu pun pasti bangga sekali punya anak yang bisa kuliah di sana. 😀

another Transjakarta experience

For those who know me in real life, you would have known that I prefer traveling on public transport on weekdays, regardless how bad the service is. The reasons are including, but not limited to: I don’t want to add even more traffic to the existing horrible one we have in Jakarta now, it’s too tiring to drive after I’ve finished working in the evening, and it would discourage me from going out on the weekend (which might cause me more harm, remembering the fact that I don’t like staying at home all day during the weekend). Every weekday morning and evening, I would ride on Transjakarta bus (the so-called Jakarta area government giant public transport project) to and from office.

A lot of stories happen everyday, and after last year’s “speak up” experience, yesterday I had another experience. I call it the bus driver’s experience. LOL.

Just like I normally do, yesterday evening I rode on a bus. What’s unusual was that the bus driver joked a lot with his colleagues along the way. At around 6 PM, it was Maghrib time. So he played the ‘adzan’ out loud on the bus speaker. As a non-Muslim I thought: OK, he’s a good guy. Then things turned out unexpectedly. After the ‘adzan’ ended, he drove more recklessly – he horned practically every other drivers around the street and sped up the huge bus along the way; he even scolded some of them using the speaker. Well.. as you might have guessed, my good thought vanished all over and I’d expected so much that I’d get off soon.

I didn’t take note of the bus number, but I wish that he drives more carefully next time.

my firsts in the first 10 weeks of 2014

1. Jan. 2014: BBQ by the beach. During my uni time, BBQ is like normal thing to do at least once a year. We normally did that in a friend’s house which has large open area so the smoke won’t disturb the neighborhood. At the beginning of this year, on new year to be exact, my family and I, who were on a tour, had BBQ by Lovina beach at Bali. It was special because firecrackers and fireworks were everywhere around that beach.

2. Jan. 2014: Charity work. An offer to join the small charity group with no religious mission had caught my attention (also) at the beginning of this year. Joining my first ever charity work with other boys and girls my age (at their 20s), I got a lot of experience. We went to Ragunan Zoo with the kids from the orphanage. The experience was tiring but relieving.

3. Feb. 2014: BBQ with cousins till we dropped (literally). On Valentine’s day this year (which happened to also be the 15th day of the 1st month in Chinese calendar, so the full moon was there), my cousins and I had our first BBQ experience. At the house of one of my cousin’s grandma, we set up our BBQ, light the fire and fan it out so it would burn more. We finished eating after the 4th round of BBQ, but we continued chit-chatting until past midnight (by which time the grandma had slept). It was Friday too so most of us went there straight after work. By midnight, most of us could hardly open our eyes fully so we decided to clean things up and go home.

4. Feb. 2014: Fun walk on car free day. This was actually another cause, but this time it was powered by Yayasan Onkologi Anak Indonesia (YOAI, or translated to be: Indonesia’s children oncology foundation) and sponsored by many big companies. For the first time, I walked along Thamrin from Monas to Bunderan HI during car free day. By this, doing sport with cousins is checked and enjoying car free day is also checked.

5. Mar. 2014: Hiking/trekking at Gunung Pancar, then bathing at the (not-so) natural hot spring. I agreed to a friend’s offer half-heartedly, yet I went back home full-heartedly, even that I got bruises here and there and I can barely feel my limbs. I was always skeptical to any hiking and other mountain-related activities, because I realize that I’m not a strong person. Doing it with friends was different, though.. you would chat and joke all the time that when you saw your surroundings, you’ve finally reached the target point. I would say my first hiking experience was fun and I would definitely do it again if the field difficulty is easy to medium.

*Photos are coming up later.

about being discriminative

I was about to write this on Twitter but I guess the discussion might be long, so I decided to move it to this blog instead.

It’s about being discriminative. The numbers that matter.

After I got back home from Australia, I got a lot of job interviews – don’t get me wrong, the tradition in Indonesia is to call the applicants based on their GPA. If your GPA is high enough, then it is more likely that you’ll get to a lot of interviews. It’s not like in Australia – I have a friend there who’d been looking for a job for a long time but didn’t get any call (yet). Or maybe she got called once in a while. Her marks are more or less equal to mine. Only after interviews in 1-2 companies, then she landed a job there. The system is much better there. You wait longer time, but the calls afterwards are worth it because you have 50% chance of getting the job.

Funny Interview

Here in Indonesia, as long as your GPA is high enough, they will call you, regardless what educational and work experience background you have. They will invite you to a test – either a psychological test or simply IQ-EQ test the company’s formulating by themselves, and after you passed the test, they’ll then call you for the next step which is the interview. Then the drama begins.. in the interview, they will ask you deeper about your background and interest. Voila! There it is. I’m not writing this post under emotional swing or something, I’m just writing briefly about my experiences. I got to a lot of interviews where they’d ask me about the reason I applied to the company, whilst my educational and work experience background don’t fit in their business. I hate that kind of question – why don’t they select candidates more thoroughly before inviting them to their application process, which is really tiring?

The question then hit me in the head: what’s the difference between the me now and then [that time when I just graduated 3 years ago]? Why did I get more invitations now compared to then? [Even though it’s still hard for me to do interviews – I failed many times too. But at least I got called more so my opportunity of landing a job is bigger *I only need 1 job anyway, don’t I?] The answer’s obvious: GPA. The numbers that matter. Nothing’s different, only the GPA. I’m quite sure that even the me then could get the very same GPA if I’d studied at a different university *what a confident me :P; why can’t anyone see that?

Well, that’s the discriminative part is. So guys, if you’re planning on working in Indonesia, please please please study hard to get a high GPA.

at the right time

I’ve written this thing over and over again in the past 5 years since I started blogging: things will come to you when you least expect it. My mom told me that the first time and those words are still hanging around me up until now.

As a teenager, I joined a lot of quizzes from the magazines. I joined hundreds.. and won 10 times, probably? Out of all hundreds, whether it’s a coincidence or not, I won the ones I expected least. Why least? Because I answered those ones with half-heart so I didn’t keep them in mind. On the days of the announcement, my dad would buy me the newest edition of that magazine for me to see. 🙂 Well, I was lucky sometimes..

This also applied to education. After I graduated high school, I’d applied to the “best” public university in Indonesia, through a national entrance examination which was attended by thousands of high school graduates in the whole country. I remember coming home from the exam crying, begging my mom to allow me to study in a private university where I’d been accepted one month before. However, the unexpected happened.. I received the invitation to study in that very public university! 😀

From those experiences, I should’ve learned to forget what I’ve been through and expect less. However, I still can’t. 😀 I’m still human, who has hopes.. hopes to be admitted to the place I’m expecting….. I can just be sure that everything will come to me at the right time.

*Sorry for abandoning my blog for such a long time xP