Monthly Archives: February 2011

Notes: A Conversation with Myself

Lately, I have been thinking that I might have been untruthful to myself about who I am and what I want to do. When I look myself into the mirror, I saw that  I did not act just like how the way I used to act or  I did not act or think like the other girls or boys in my age. Somehow,  I feel that I actually act like a 27 years old woman or even older,  I do not do crazy stuff like the other 23 kids do such as getting into trouble or just do a simple stuff or have fun like my little sister (Oh… how I envy her). I am too rushing with my life! That is why I feel that I might have been untruthful to myself.

For minutes, I am standing in front of the mirror and  saying hello to my shadow in the mirror. I am asking her why I feel that I might have been untruthful to myself?

“You are the one who knows why. But let me tell you something!” she answered.

“You are an Oktofani, you come from a small town and you were not a popular type girl. That is why, you want to show people around you that instead of showing your outer beauty, you are trying to show them an inner beauty. You want to be seen by many people that you are good on something. Other than that, you want to be part of the group.”

“You are not confident with your appearance, you are afraid to be rejected but you want to be different. You are sick and tired with the people who neglected you especially when one saw you not as a good girl but bule whore just because you are dark and you hang out with them alots! Just let them go! Those people are just narrow minded”

“That’s why you want to show them you are more than bule whore. You are woman with a brain, who has found a love life that you were looking for. You want to show them that you can achieve something in a positive way. But how happy are you being that woman? Are you proud about what you are doing? Many of your friends are jealous with what you are doing. But, what about you? Are you sure that you are happy? If so, why do you feel that you might have untruthful to herself? You are not a little daddy girl with an issue, are you?”

“Or you might need to ask yourself what do you want.”

I am smiling to her and I think that she is right. But, does it mean that I am pathetic person because I don’t be myself just to be part of the group? That’s horrible! That is not me!

“The key issue is that you are not popular type girl, you are new in the town, you feel lonely and you do not want to be neglected.” she said.

As I am staring through out the city view from my apartment with a glass of french wine, I am thinking that my shadow was right. Recently, I am thinking is how I can enjoy myself and be happy with what I am doing and with my current condition. I mean, it does not mean that I am not happy with what I am doing because I love my job and I want to do better. I have an inner beauty that can make me accepted by other people.

“Other than that, to be accepted by people, You do not have to wear a Chanel dress, Jimmy Choo handbag or Christian Louboutin shoes. That’s them! Do you remember how casual you used to be? Do you remember how hippies you used to be? Do you remember why some people called you ethnicgirl? It is because you were not the victim of the fashion! You were not the victim of all the advertising! You do not care with what people say about you! You were yourself! That’s the key!”

“Keep in mind, it is fine that you want to upgrade your lifestyle. It is fine that you want to wear any designer product. But, are you happy with that? Is that what you really want? Or, you want to be seen without being yourself?”

“There is something strong inside you that sometimes leads you into wrong direction and you have to control it! Although, the wrong direction does not always bring you to a wrong place!”

Blah! I don’t know, I feel I need to talk someone to tell me what is happening with me because I don’t think that I cannot even tell myself what has been happening with me. Other than that, a conversation with myself will not give me the exact answer that I really want, although it gives me a little peace of mind.

“Hey, everyone has a desire to be accepted by the group. But, how? Have you found a way to be accepted without being untruthful to yourself?”

I hope someone out there can tell me what happened or I just try to find it by myself.

“Go somewhere and be there by yourself! Meet a totally stranger on your age! That will be a good lesson of life that might teach you a useful key of yourself to live your life! Just believe that you are awesome in your own way”

I am smiling and I know that there is one thing that I need to note to myself that life is not a sweet story in the novel or perfect drama movie with happy ending and life is not as sweet as candy. Although, some say that you cannot have all what you want in this life even you try to get it but I believe that we can have all what we want in this life. Bet me!

Anyway, have you talked to yourself recently?

*playing: Carry You Home by James Blunt and You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me by Cher


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Notes: This is Jakarta for Me

The National Museum or better known as Monas is located in the centre of Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta

Moving to Jakarta is actually not such a horrible yet great idea as Jakarta offers so many things for most of Indonesian citizen. This is the second time since the first time I moved to Jakarta to start my career in an English newspaper in Indonesia. At first, I moved to Jakarta for three months on January 2010 and came back here on October 2010.

Before, I moved to Jakarta, some people told me that Jakarta is such a great city because it offers you a good future if only you would like to fight for it but some people also told me that Jakarta is such a hell because its traffic or its pollution, hence Jakarta is known as the Big Durian after the notoriously stinky Southeast Asian thorny fruit.

However, I would say that this is Jakarta for you, every where we go or live, there is a hate and love relationship between you and the city. So, let me make 2 list about what I LOVE  and what I HATE from Jakarta.

WhatI LOVEabout Jakarta:


My Newsroom

I would say that Jakarta offers better opportunities for Indonesian citizen who are looking for a challenging jobs with a better salary than it is in a small province because Jakarta (first)  is the home for all the big [multinational] companies, the government offices, the international organizations, embassies, etc; (second) has bags of money that people looking for to live their lives as the living cost is very high; and (third) the working movement is faster than it is in the smaller city such as Yogya or Bali which is more relaxing.

Therefore, as I know that I can take a better career opportunity in Jakarta, why would I just stay in my hometown to chase an ordinary dream than an extra ordinary dream if I have already known that I have the ability to reach it? Sounds bit ambitious hu? Well, everyone has their opportunity as well as the ability to set up their dream up high and reach it, but then again it’s back to ourselves whether we have the WILLING or not.


In my previous blog, Let’s Chase Our Career, I was saying that networks is very important for our career as we cannot stand alone to build our career. We need a hand from people that we know in our network. Therefore, as I mentioned before that  Jakarta (first)  is the home for all the big [multinational] companies, the government offices, the international organizations, embassies, etc;  and (second) has bags of money that people looking for to live their lives as the living cost is very high; Jakarta gives you a chance to meet a very potential people who are in the field that you want to work in or at least, they are able to give you any information about those potential people that you are looking for.

The keys are (first) find out where they go out and meet them there and (second) attend interesting event such as a seminar or lunch meeting where all those people gather to have a discussion. I assure you that this is a great opportunity to build your networks.

Shopping Malls

Jakarta offers you a choice of shopping malls from the most crappy one to the most fancy one. But then again, it depends on the customers on what they want and they need from the shopping malls. Do they want to buy a Hermes ‘Birkin’ handbag in Pasific Place or a fake Louis Vuitton handbag in Mangga Dua? They can just choose based on how much money do they have and what do they need.

I will say that I love yet hate shopping hence I love shopping malls. When I am stressed out with all the routine that I have and I feel like to take a break, it would be very fun if I just go to the shopping malls and wonder about in the shopping malls, check out what’s new from my favorite store or just go to the coffee shop to have a piece of cake or a cup of good coffee.

However, sometimes I am just annoyed with myself because I cannot help myself to stop shopping and buy a little nicknack. Other than that, after I purchased for some stuff, I would regret it because I knew that I have bought a useless stuff  or I do not need to buy them. Should I say ‘such a woman’ or is it just me? Well, I guess both of them but it really works to put a smile on my face once I got an unnecessary stuff from those shopping malls.

Night Life

Even though, I am not such a good dancer in the club but I love dancing so much as it can help to shake my stress away. Jakarta offers you a long list of a club or bar from the dougie one to the fanciest one. Honestly, I have not tried them all as I prefer to stick in the one club that I love the most, although I wouldn’t mind to check another club if it is necessary. However, it is a BIG NO to check out a dougie club such as stadium because of the reputation of this club which does not interest me at all.

There is one club  that I love so much, it’s called Equinox, an RnB Club.  It is located on the second floor of X2 in Plaza Senayan. Almost every Friday night, I go there whether by myself or with a friend just to dance.  However, there is one thing that makes me annoyed is the bartender often cheated on the booze price especially the one on the main front bar near to the entrance, therefore follow some of my advice (first) YOU MUST ALWAYS ASK FOR THE BILL BEFORE YOU HAND THE MONEY, (second) Take care your belongings as last November, I lost my credit card. Anyway, but as much as I hate this place for the low security, I love this place for its music.

WhatI HATEabout Jakarta


Traffic, traffic, traffic. I bet every Jakartan hates Jakarts’ traffic especially in the rush hours, but what can you do? That is not much I want to say about the traffic as we all need a transportation to move around from one place to another place or from home to the office. Apparently, there are more people own private cars or motorbike. So, what can we do about this? Complaining? I will say  that the government really need to work harder to solve the traffic problem because if early last year it took me an hour to get home from the office (Semanggi to Taman Rasuna, Kuningan), it takes me about two hours to get home even it is already 8 PM. Geez, I don’t wanna get old in the cab!


Air pollution and water pollution often gives me hard time. Even though I live in the apartment, I cannot really cook from the tab water because sometimes the water smells weird and couples time I had a diarrhea because I was cooking with the tab water.  Other than that, the air pollution often makes me fever hence I cannot take a bus or ojek if I do not want to waste my time to rest in the bed because of the stupid air pollution. Therefore, to maintain my health, I have only to avoid the air pollution and water pollution by not taking public transportation  or cooking from the tab water in my apartment.

Street Food

Actually, I do really love eating street food but apparently Jakarta’s street foods have never been a good friend with me because during my stay in Jakarta in these last four months, it has been three times when I had a food poisoning. It really kills me. Therefore, even how much I love street food in Yogya, I do not want to eat street food in Jakarta because I do not want to be hospitalized anymore from the unhygienic food that I consume. Therefore, I prefer to pay lil more expensive than I have to give plenty of money to the doctor to take care of me because of food poisoning. Blah!


Oh God! I hate Jakarta’s flood! It is very dirty and stinky, it also ruins my shoes and makes my skin itchy. Other than that, once the raining season is coming (apparently that it has been a raining season for more than one year now), the flood says hello to you and welcome you to the hell, where you will waste your time in the traffic for ages (my worst experience it took me three hours to go to Taman Rasuna from Imam Bonjol, while it usually took me 20 minutes on top!) I really hate it! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Hate! Especially knowing the flood has ruined couple of my favorite shoes.


Anyway, from all the list that I made about why I LOVE and HATE Jakarta, there is one thing that I always remember what my fiance often said to me ‘You cannot have all what you want’ and he is right. If there is the bright side of Jakarta that makes me fall in love with this city, there is also the dark side of Jakarta that breaks my heart into pieces. Therefore, all I have to do is just trying to enjoy my life as much as possible because life is about challenging and this is Jakarta for me, a big durian, smelly yet delicious!

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Notes: Let’s Chase Our Career

Last weekend, I was going out with old buddy, Ojan and his friend, Vera, who become my new friend and apparently  working as a reporter at  one of lifestyle magazine in Jakarta at Anomali Coffee in Senopati. We had such an interesting conversation about what kind of job do we want, how we got those job and when we got it, what’s next? But, before we had a further conversation, there was a money issue come up during our conversation

“I really love my job because it gave me a chance to meet many interesting people and gave me an ability to travel. However, it does  not pay me that much as sometimes I have to live on debt on my credit card.”  Ojan said.

Vera said the similar comment.

“I used to want to work in lifestyle magazine so badly. Then, I got it. But, it does not really pay that much. Other than that, now I got what I want, so what’s next?” Vera wondered.

I actually kinda agree with the money issue that they are talking because sometimes we have to sacrifice to do something that we like and it makes us happy, even though it does not pay us that much. However, those thing cannot stay forever as we have million rupiah bills that we have to pay, utility bills, health insurance, etc.

I actually have written about money issue in my previous blog, What do you want? Money or Happiness? Therefore, I need to move on to another topic that we had about how to build our career in the field that we want.


What is my priority?

When you are young, there are so many things that you want to experience with. You want to jump from one job to another job to figure what kind of job that you enjoy actually. There are many jobs that wait you out there from the most crappy one to the most interesting one, sometimes it is so easy to get it and sometimes it is so hard to get it but if you really want to get the job that you want, you will never mind to chase it because you want it. There is a willing inside yourself that force you to get it.

I understand that sometimes we feel lazy or just have no idea on how we should chase those jobs. But then again, the key issue is a willing inside yourself.

For instance, when I was still in university, I was thinking what kind of internship do I want which can help me to get into the next step in the future. Therefore, I made a list of priority, which i divided into two column. First column is AN ENGLISH SPEAKING PRINTING MEDIA and the second column is AN INDONESIAN PRINTING MEDIA.

The first column is my first priority, so if I have 20 list of English speaking printing media in Indonesia, my plan was to send them my internship application to those media, whether those media have a big name or not but my priority was my learning experience in english speaking media.

So, in 2009, from six internship application that I sent to those media, I got four replied, two were BIG NO and another two BIG YES. The two BIG YES answers just opened my door to my future career in the field that I want because all I wanted was a learning experience that you cannot get in the university.

I was so glad and please with my two experiences because all my editors gave me a chance to write in those media and put my by line in all the article that I wrote. I felt that I am one of the luckiest person in this world because as I listened to my friends internship experiences, some of them have no chance to publish their stories or they were just asked to do a photocopy or make a coffee just because they were university’s student, which is frankly that is unfair.

However, my internship experiences were awesome.


Network! Network!

Building a networks is not an easy or cheap thing to do and I will say that is true. Now, one question that you should ask in yourself is WHAT KIND OF NETWORK DO I WANT TO BUILD? To get a good job, good name and a good salary, you need to build a good network with people who has a good reputation in their job and you have to maintain it. However, it does not mean that you have to be too picky to get to know people, i.e: instead of making friend with an english teacher, you just want to meet a people from the international NGO or embassy. That is not right because you will never know what you need in the future.

So, the key is you need to go to a place where you can find those people and introduce yourself. Even you are new in the field that you want but you do not need to be shy. Say hello to them, tell them about who you are and ASK THEM MORE QUESTION about WHO THEY ARE because people love to talk about themselves and being listened.



Decide Your Pathway

What’s next? There is a question in ourselves after we got our dream job. However, don’t be too early to question yourself what’s next because to build a good career, we have to really experience ourselves in those career. One, two or three months experiences are nothing to build your career. You need more than two years to say that you are good on that and you can decide what you want next, even frankly two years experiences are still so new.

One of my good friend is a senior reporter in my office, she often told me that although she has been in the journalism field for ten years, she is still learning many things in her career for her career. Nobody stops learning something and don’t get satisfied too soon about what you have achieved especially when yo are new as your career has a long way to go. I totally agree with her.

She also mentioned that when your boss assigned you to do something hard or is angry to do because of your mistake, it is because they want you to learn about something so you will be better in the future as your boss want to help you to be a person that you want to be. For sure, they will not hate you personally.

One thing that I always note to myself: Don’t be afraid to set your target high because if you know you can reach it, you will reach it even you have to fall down many times.


Smell fishy

You will never know how the future will bring you, therefore there is one of very good advice from my friend, she said to me that once we work DON’T SHIT WHERE YOU EAT. Don’t talk bad about your office in public especially nowadays there is a social media network which gave you a chance to do so, i.e via twitter.

If you are not wise enough to use your twitter, you will never know how your boss, your office or your future boss will treat you as we are now living in 21 century, where everything can be found through google.

A friend of mine told me an interesting experience about one of her friend who was recently fired without being reminded before because she tweet something bad about her office and her boss print what she was talking about in twitter. How bad your office is, it is not necessary to talk about it in public if you still earn money in the company that you are working in.


I would say as a new comer in the journalism field, I have not had much experiences yet as I just started. However, I would like to share my way of thinking how we can build our career in the field that we want to be. In the end of the day, all I want is being happy with what I am doing.

Anyway, few days ago, I chatted with my friend from Vietnam, I met her in the journalism training in Bangkok last December. She was asking me what I was doing that time and I said that I was working on my article.

“Well, Fani. I am also a journalist but you know that being a journalist does not make you rich.” she said.

“Well, Hang. As long as I am happy to do my job, it does not matter how much it pays me as I love my job.” I said.

So, in order to build the career that you want, you need to make a priority as it ease your way to be in the position that you want.

Journalism Field

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