on ‘who I am’

I have been so much unconfident for the past 2 years – I feel like I’m stuck with my career that every time someone asks me about my job, I would be flustered and speechless. This is proof that I’ve let my job define who I am, which is not supposed to happen.

When I was younger, I would be so proud telling everyone who I was – I focused more on the personal traits rather than what my class ranking was or what I had created for school expos.

Now that I meet more people from professional relations than those of personal, our conversations will automatically be focused on careers and jobs. Where you work and what you do matter. Hence, when you’re not satisfied with them, you will feel embarrassed.

Some time ago (can’t exactly remember when), I joined a short course themed ‘personal leadership’, where we were told to lead ourselves before we lead others. The most important thing in leading ourselves is to know ourselves – that is, to be able to define ‘who I am’ as a person instead of as whatever role you have in your job.


After the course, I have just realized that who I am matters. Not everyone you meet cares about what you do for a living and how much you earn, but s/he cares a lot about what you do and how you make them feel. So, the next time I need to introduce myself, I will confidently reply:

I’m Inez, a unique woman who would normally feel insecure at times but always try to see the positive sides of things. … (Other things are not going to be shared here.)


daddy’s little princess (another post for girls)

Dear Ladies,

I’m writing to let you know that every woman will always be her daddy’s little princess, no matter how old she is.

I am now 30, still live with my parents (in Indonesia, a child would normally live with his/her parents until s/he’s married unless there are special conditions, e.g. working in different city or having bad relationship with parents), hence have curfew. It was a big problem at first (read: when I first moved back in to my parents’ house), having most of my colleagues coming from outside Jakarta (they don’t live with their parents), but as I’m getting older, I instead use it as an excuse to run away from office’s ‘social events’. It is almost always, by the time I’m first invited to those ‘social events’, people would look at me strangely, wondering my parents’ curfew. They would sometimes ask me how old I am that I still live by the curfew. (To which I would just smile and replied: their house, their rules.)

The frequently asked questions are then:

Q: Does the same rule (curfew) apply to your sister?

A: Yes, and even worse sometimes. There are times when my parents would have looked for my sister when she’s not home at 7 PM. (They would start looking for me when they don’t listen from me until 8 PM.)

Q: Aren’t you disturbed by the rule, given the fact that it disables you from joining events?

A: The fact that the rule exists will of course disturb me the most, but I always try to see things from my parents’ views. They just want to make sure their girls don’t fall into false ‘friendships’ (in their world, the word means: Jakarta’s night life).

Q: If you are that much disturbed, then why didn’t you do something?

A: I tried asking my parents if they would allow me to stay over at a friend’s house so they won’t need to be worried with me coming home late, but their answer was also big NO. Instead, they make the curfew flexible at times (with notes: I go out with friends they know, to certain events e.g. music concert/friend’s birthday celebration/company event, and will arrive home in the safe hands, i.e. either dropped by a friend or by a trustworthy taxi) to make sure I come home afterwards.

The turning point for me was when a friend’s daughter was just born. After a year or so, he told me that as his daughter grows older, he naturally becomes more possessive of her that he’s thinking of sending someone out to tail her by the time she asks his permission for dates. LOL. Of course, he hasn’t gone through what my father and I have, but for sure that’s what my dad would have thought when he just had me. And my sister, of course. I’d then realized that whatever my dad does, he’d always think of me as the little princess I once was, and I will always be one for him.

All in all, my dad’s sure become a role model for me – he’d successfully been the kind of guy I want to marry (with some improvements here and there), and I wish my future husband can also be the kind of guy my future daughter(s) would want to marry. He cares about me more than any guy in this world ever does, and will still be. Your father might not say his feelings out loud, but his actions scream it in the greatest way.

Love you, dad.



what I wish I knew when I was 20

True, I lived alone in a lodging when I was 20 years old. I was in my 3rd year of undergrad and felt like I knew a lot of things. Truth is, I knew nothing back then. Now I wish I knew these things:

  1. A relationship can either be toxic or healthy. Yes, I was never in a relationship when I was 20. And I’ve been in 3 in the past 10 years. And yes, I have been in both the toxic and healthy ones. To put it simply, healthy relationship will make you a better individual, while the healthy one the opposite.
  2. Your career is determined by your first job. Well, how could I have known it? I was just a 3rd year student, still more than one year away from having to think about working. I didn’t even think much about graduating. LOL. Thank God I have my mom who guided me well during the job offer selection. (Otherwise I might have been trapped into working a job I will regret later.)
  3. Your family will be the part of your life that you appreciate most. Everything in your life starts with your family. Now that there are many sad stories about broken home families I heard, I’m feeling even more grateful for the family I was born into. It is true that you cannot choose which family you’re born into, but in most cases, they are the persons who will love you unconditionally.
  4. Who your family is or where you went to school doesn’t matter in life – who you are does. During school years, most students are dependent to their parents. That’s why most children will feel that family and school are important. The opposite will happen after you’re becoming an adult – who you are matters.
  5. Getting a job that pays you decently is hard, but managing to collect money is even harder. I was a fresh graduate when I worked for my first job, with lower salary than most of my male college friends. I’d then continued to Master’s, where after graduating, my first job also paid me lower than most of my male friends. According to research, women tend to get lower pay due to lower self esteem and easier to be negotiated. This is because women have the duty of taking care of their families more than guys do, making them less productive and work less hours. I think I should just live with the fact and stop living a fancy lifestyle, no? ‘No’ would be my answer then, still tempted to eat at fancy restaurants, have coffee at fancy cafes and go on holidays now and then. 😀 Those, for me, are money well spent – an even better investment than bank deposits.
  6. Your friends are not gonna be with you forever – they get lost with time. Research proved that friendships that last more than 7 years are going to last forever. From my experience, only a few high school and college friends are still in contact with me. And even fewer that I still regularly meet. Sometimes I think my parents are right – no friendship lasts forever.

[review] the amazing Devdan Show

During my short visit to Bali last weekend, I only had one activity scheduled out (the rest is spontaneous): watching Devdan Show in Nusa Dua Theater. Tickets to the show can be booked 3 months prior the date through the official website or via BookMyShow (1 week in advance only, but with cheaper price). There are 4 seat categories according to the seat (VIP got Lazboy lounge) and position (straight eyesight in the center for VIP, more to the rear and sides for Category C): VIP and Categories A, B, and C. Booked hastily between tasks, I clumsily booked through the original website, where the cheapest ticket price for Category C is $40/person. After making the booking (you will be asked to enter your credit card information for ‘warranty’ – it will only be charged if you cancel the booking), I emailed the ticketing PIC confirming about ticket prices for local tourists. Apparently ticket prices for local tourists are much cheaper than those for international ones (sadly, the number of local audiences is significantly less than international ones).

Image result for devdan logo

Theme of the show is ‘treasure of Indonesian archipelago’. The show started with an opening scene of a group of tourists having a walk in the woods, led by a local tour guide, when 2 kids separated and found a treasure chest. In the treasure chest were Indonesian traditional crafts, and by the time the kids took the crafts out, dances from the province/island of where the crafts belong to were performed. It was really great seeing young people performing beautiful traditional dances in beautiful traditional clothes, in harmony. It was a 90 minute well spent. 🙂

We are not allowed to record videos or take pictures during the show, except for the closing scene.


Closing Scene with All Casts on Stage

(for girls) types of guys and how to deal with them

**Disclaimer: I’m not a real pro when it comes to dealing with guys; I’m just sharing my experience here.**

As I’ve told you in my previous post, I was single for 3 years before I finally decided to settle down with my boyfriend. During those 3 years, I had met some guys from different background and hence different ways of approach.

  1. The geek. Working in an engineering company, by default I meet this type the most. Say it the guys who are ‘trapped’ in engineering world that they will sporadically approach any girls around them, to the ones who are so consumed in their own worlds. Basically, the geeks are nice guys, regardless of whether they have weird sense of humor or simply weird habits. Most geek guys are shy, so it is highly likely that they will just be your secret admirers and help you in any way they could. Some girls might find geeks beneficial in the way and even ‘use’ their kindness.
  2. The nervous. I separate this category with no 1 because geeks are not necessarily nervous when facing girls. Sometimes the nervous are just them who are not used to be friends with girls. The most noticeable sign of the nervous is the stumbling they make when they speak or act.
  3. The stalker. You might not realize this type exists, but they might know everything about you. They know when and where you came to school/work everyday, where you have lunch, where you hang out after work, etc. etc. Sound creepy? It’s a yes for me. Most stalkers are nice guys, though. They will not hesitate to send you flowers if they find out you like them, or give you things you need most in time. Be careful with the aggressive ones, still.
  4. The initiator. Or the aggressive, I can say. This type initiates most of the things you’ve been through together. They will be the ones introducing themselves to the girls they like, asking us out on dates, and contacting us frequently to make sure they are within our radar. (P.S: I was mostly attracted to the initiator – only after then I realize that I need constant attention.)
  5. The humorist. They are the type of guys who will cast out jokes or do stupid things to make the girls laugh. Consequently, they will highly likely become the guys girls closest to and feel comfortable with. The downside of the humorist is they’re often trapped in the friend zone.

Whichever type of guys you’re facing, the most important thing to remember is to instantly make a distance and tell them when you’re not interested as to not give them false hope. Never take their kindness for granted.

What a Boss Wants by Christian Simamora

*First of all, I need to say sorry for not being able to write a review about Christian Simamora’s previously released book. Here’s the review of his newest novel titled ‘What a Boss Wants’ which was released early August 2017.

Jiro Amadeus Vimana inherited Toybox, a local toy producer, from his father, Danno Vimana, who has recently become ill. Danno is a Vimana who doesn’t want to use his family’s name and wealth to start a business – instead, he started Toybox with his own blood and sweat. After 1 year of retreat around Asia, Jiro still could not fight the fear he’s had when dealing with the dictator Danno, who wouldn’t listen to whatever Jiro said.

Becoming a toy designer has always been Soleram Anand (Sol)’s dream ever since she was a child. Being a huge fan of Carousel Pony, she practically lived in a fairy tale she’s created for herself. Never had she imagined that she would be working with a very charming and handsome Jiro in Toybox, which honestly had attracted her since her first day of work. Jiro had always been, on the other hand, out of reach for Sol that she didn’t dare dreaming about him.

Shanghai Toy Expo had somehow brought the two people traveling together: the love-skeptical Jiro and the imaginative Sol. Spending one week away from home, the ice between Jiro and Sol melted away..

As expected, Christian Simamora has become more mature in his diction and story plot. The novel is very much enjoyable, making every reader want to keep flipping the pages on and on. Keep up the good work, Bang! 😀

[food review] (porky) ramen in Jakarta

In the past 2 years, there are a lot of ramen (Japanese noodle) restaurants opening in Jakarta. While many people in Jakarta are moslem, these restaurants serve pork ramen openly – some also provide separate cooking pots and serving bowls too (between halal/non-pork and non-halal/pork menu).

Here are the ranked list of my favorites (opinions may vary):

  • Ippudo. What I like the most about Ippudo is the authenticity of the way they serve their customers – to the point that the waitresses would kneel when taking orders. What’s more is the soup they use (pork and seafood broth that is just right – not too thick, not too thin), the mildness of the noodle, and the toppings. My favorites are shiromaru motoaji, pork bun, and lasagna gyoza (Japanese-style dumpling). (Reference: Ippudo Ramen Indonesia)

Shiromaru Motoaji

  • Ikkudo Ichi. Out of all ramen restaurants in my list, I think this is the most popular one with the most branches. The typical interior of the restaurants is false pink sakura (cherry blossom) and paper lanterns on the ceiling, with yellowish lighting. Compared to Ippudo, the soup is thicker. What’s more is that we can choose from 2 noodle options: curly and straight/mild, and 3 mildness options: hard, medium and soft. My favorite is Ikkudo Buta Kara (topped with boiled egg, pork loins and spicy sauce). (Reference: Zomato)

Ikkudo Buta Kara

  • Hakata Ikkousha. I tried this ramen because many friends are recommending it. I don’t really like it, though. The soup is not so thick, which is nice, but it is also a bit bland for my taste. The favorite menu there is ramen babi spesial/special pork ramen. (Reference: Ikkousha Ramen Indonesia)
ramen babi spesial

Ramen Babi Spesial

  • Ramen 38 (Sanpachi). This might be the oldest ramen restaurant available in Jakarta, and in fact, it’s not so famous as it was, say, 8 years ago. I guess to play it safe, the management of this restaurant only opens the pork-contained menu in a restaurant separated from shopping malls, which is not so necessary nowadays, given that many other restaurants would carelessly (well, they always inform upfront that they serve pork and people will be OK with that) open about serving pork, regardless of whether it is located in a shopping mall or not. My favorite menu in Ramen 38 is Chashu Ramen, which is topped only with pork loin chops and spinach. (Reference: Zomato)
chashu ramen

Chashu Ramen

  • Menya Sakura. The special thing about this restaurant is they only use high quality pork bone for the soup base – hence creating ‘umami’ taste. However, I don’t really like this ramen so much. The best menu available is the kangkung. The tsukemen is also quite special, with thick seafood soup. (Reference: Menya Sakura Indonesia)
  • Bariuma Ramen. This one is, in my opinion, the worst of all ramen restaurant listed here. The soup somehow tastes a lot like Indomie soup with additional salt. The noodle is also not so special. It’s still edible, though, but not recommended if you have other choices. For non-pork eaters, this restaurant is quite recommended, though, since they separate all pork and non pork dishes and cutleries: red for pork menu and black for non pork. (Reference: Zomato)
ajitama uma

Pork Ramen in Red Bowl