Notes: Working in Isolated Place

ORG__DSC5072Sometimes I wonder why some people working in isolated places such as conflict zone and mining site tend to be cold and alcoholic. When they fall in love, they hardly know to express their feelings even by a simple touch, hug and a nice word like “I am here for you” or “I got your back“.

As they make a lot of money, they love their lover or partner with money, plenty of money. Interestingly enough, when they get mad or jealous, they would tell you how much money they have spent on you. And, when you refuse their money, they go nuts. Why? I think it is because they feel that their love has been rejected and somehow have no power to control them. I somehow believe that some of them fail to understand that not everyone wants to be loved with money. Right?

As some of you might be aware that those who work in an isolated area would have R&R time so they can either spend time by themselves, family or the loved one. Unfortunately, sometimes their focus will not be 100 per cent on the loved one because they tend to be tired from travelling and work.

As they recovery from all the tiredness and R&R days only a few days left before heading back to the working place and somehow their mind is already in the working place. I wonder whether it happens to men only or also women?!

Ride the bus

Notes: Women’s Voices

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015:EO]

Bali Undercover by Malcolm Scott [2015:EO]

When I published “Bule Hunter: Money, Sex and Love”  in September 2014, I received a stream of criticism in the net from many people. I would have understood that they criticized my book after they read it but they have not. They criticized it based on some media coverages. Those are including many Indonesian  women, who are in relationship with Western Men and feel offended with my writing as well as other people are who simply narrow minded.

Some of them said that it was just a bunch of gossip, some of them said that it’s not a journalism work because it’s very subjective yadda yadda yadda (Well honey, it’s hard to find an objective journalism work these days. Media is controlled by companies who are linked to govt). Anyway, there were big wave of nasty comments coming toward me. It was terrifying! 

Frankly, I was shocked reading those comments. I refused to read further for few weeks. But I must say that I am grateful because  those haters actually  inspired me  to write my next book.

So when I went to  Times Bookstore in Plaza Singapura, I saw this book and purchased one. I read nearly half of the book within few hours over few glasses of Chardonnay. Since I read the title, I already assumed that it would have similar content to my book Bule Hunter. And YES IT IS!

It talks about Indonesian women, Western men, Indonesian men, western women,money, sex and  relationship. However, it seems nobody attacking the Australian author Malcolm Scott. At least, I didn’t hear about it.

Is it because the author is a man? Is it because the author is a Westerner? Or is it because he choose a soft title instead of Bule Hunter?! Or is it because it’s written in English and doesn’t get a lot of media exposure in Indonesia (if I understand correctly)?

Oh well, we are still living in an era and place where women can hardly say their voices loudly and bluntly! 


Notes: Social Media’s Perfect Life

ORG__DSC2332Almost everybody has social media accounts these days, be it Facebook, Instagram, Path or Twitter. Social media helps us to be in touch with our long lost friends, family members, schoolmates, coworkers as well as connects us with new people. They also give us a space to have a discussion about certain issues that matter to us. At the same time, social media also gives us the opportunity to see other people’s life. But one thing about social media is that it often makes an individual feel bad about themselves.

Since the presence of social media, many people often compare themselves or their life circumstances to other people whenever they scroll down the screen. Sometimes social media users forget that everyone has their own unique journey. I somehow feel that it is actually not healthy to be able to see other people lives through social media. Why? It’s because we start to unfairly compare ourselves to them.

Remember that everyone has their own life struggle and it just comes in different forms for each person. Not just that, some people actually find their life difficult. Unfortunately, we just do not really see the difficulty that people have. Social media users often try to post their perfect life, try to show off their life’s achievements. But who really knows the story behind all those posts?

Other than that, social media can also stop us from having real interaction with our friends because it creates a lazy form of friendship, without real-life human interaction. Even if they do hang out together, they would just be busy with their smartphone and post stuff on social media.

That is why I deleted my Path account, I deactivated my Facebook account a few weeks ago temporarily. I just find it not useful. Yet, I keep my twitter account active to keep up with the latest news and I might activate my Facebook again sometime. Gregg technology…


Jakarta: Are Human Beings Less Valuable than Money?

SONY DSCSince I moved to Jakarta for the very first time, I always become very sensitive with the money issue. It is because I feel that we, as a human being, as a social being, are often being appreciated and valued according to the money that we have by others. It is very different comparing the time when I lived in Yogyakarta, my hometown.

Here in Jakarta, we tend to be appreciated and valued according to the money that we have, the money that we wear, the money that we live, the money that we drive, the money that we eat and the money that we earn. It makes us, as a human being and social being is less valuable than others unless they have money.

No wonder… there is much corruption in every institution, be it government institution or private company. It has become a social disease because people value others according to the money that we have, the money that we wear. No wonder… there are many women look for a rich man to keep up with the ‘social requirement’ so they can be accepted. There are many men look for a rich vulnerable woman to get money from them so they can keep up with their lifestyle even they cannot afford it. I don’t mean to judge but people try to do anything to generate a lot of money without using a ‘normal process’.

I used to be terrified with it. Honestly, I was… I used to think what about if I don’t have a friend here because I don’t have money? What about if this…? What about that…? But as time passed by… I realised that I should not have cared about how people value me, how people judge me, how people think about me. It is because others will never be satisfied with who you are, with what you have. They will ask for more and more and more.

For this… I blamed it to the media and business corporation, which try to brainwash people’s mindset with material stuff on a daily basis through news, song, film, advertising, magazine and books. They try to decide the definition of beauty for its audience so the audience, which is us, are buying their shit to meet up with the social requirement. Good job!

If we cannot afford it, we will force ourselves to get it by using credit card that we cannot pay every month; by committing  into a corruption be it small or big; by marrying or dating a rich man or woman; by exploiting other to work hard and earning money; or even by stealing. There are just many methods that people do to make money simply because they want to meet up with the ‘social requirement’, which has been shaped by the media.

In the end, we value ourself less, we don’t appreciate our own hard work. Yet, it is not done everyone and I cannot generalise it. I really feel sick with it. I know it does not only happen in Jakarta but in the majority of a big city and metropolitan city. Yet, as I am living here… I just want to share my thought about this issue in Jakarta.

Oh Jakarta…. would you be less arrogant? I love living here because I love my job but ‘those social requirement’ and ‘those definitions of beauty’, which have been implemented by many business sectors, have forced its citizen to be fake individual. I feel like living in a fake world.

PS: This is my personal reflection, you can agree or disagree 🙂


Music: Gone Going


Johnny wanna be a big star
Get on stage and play the guitar
Make a little money, buy a fancy car
Big old house and an alligator
Just to match with them alligator shoes
He’s a rich man so he’s no longer singing the blues
He’s singing songs about material things
And platinum rings and watches that go bling
But, diamonds don’t bling in the dark
He a star now, but he ain’t singing from the heart
Sooner or later he’s just gonna fall apart
Cause his fans can’t relate to his new found art
He ain’t doing what he did from the start
And that’s putting in some feeling and thought
He decided to live his life shallow
Cash in his love for material

And its gone… gone… going…
Gone… everything gone… give a damn…
Gone be the birds when they don’t want to sing…
Gone people… all awkward with their things… gone.

You see yourself in the mirror
And you feel safe cause it looks familiar
But you afraid to open up your soul
Cause you don’t really know, don’t really know
Who he is, the person that’s deep within
Cause you are content with just being the name-brand man
And you fail to see that its trivial
Insignificant, you addicted to material
I’ve seen your kind before
You’re the type that thinks souls is sold in a store
Packaged up with incense sticks
With them vegetarian meals
To you that’s righteous
You’re fiction like books
You need to go out to life and look
Cause… what happens when they take your material
You already sold your soul and its…


You say that time is money and money is time
So you got mind in your money and your money on your mind
But what about… that crime that you did to get paid
And what about… that bid, you can’t take it to your brain
What about those shoes you’ll wear today
They’ll do no good on the bridges you burnt along the way

All that money that you got gonna be gone
That gear that you rock gonna be gone
The house up on the hill gonna be gone
The gold purse on your grill gonna be gone
The ice on your wrist gonna be gone
That nice little Miss gonna be gone
That whip that you roll gonna be gone
And what’s worst is your soul’s already gone


Ride the bus

Catatan: Uang Instan

Petugas Badan Narkotika Nasional (BNN) saat menggelar barang bukti dan tersangka di gedung BNN, Cawang, Jakarta, Selasa (13/11/2012). Selain berhasil mengamankan narkotika jenis shabu seberat 2,5 kg, BNN juga berhasil mengamankan dua box uang palsu dalam pecahan 100 USD dan 100 Euro bernilai milliaran rupiah dari oknum wartawan. Foto: VIVAnews/Anhar Rizki Affandi

Dua hari yang lalu, saya terkejut membaca sebuah press release yang diterbitkan oleh Mabes POLRI dengan judul ‘Wartawati Terlibat Jaringan Pengedaran Narkoba’ pada hari Rabu, 14 November 2012.

Saya bukan terkejut dengan keterlibatan oknum wartawan dengan jaringan narkoba internasional, namun saya lebih terkejut pada temuan polisi atas dua box besar yang berisi uang palsu dengan pecahan 100 USD and 100 euro dengan kualitas menyerupai uang asli.

Pasalnya, saya pernah berkenalan dengan seseorang yang kemudian menawari saya untuk melakukan ‘bisnis’ uang palsu tersebut. Sebut saja dia Carl. Saya lupa namanya. Kami udah lama enggak berkomunikasi lagi. Dia menghilang bagaikan ditelan bumi.

Di awal tahun 2011, saya mengenal Carl di salah satu tempat hiburan malam di Jakarta Selatan. Kami berdansa dan kemudian bertukar nomor handphone. Carl adalah seorang warga negara asing, dia sopan dan menarik. Katanya, dia adalah lulusan fakultas hukum di salah satu universitas di Amerika Serikat. Benar atau enggak, saya juga enggak tahu. Tetapi dia terdengar pintar.

Setelah dua minggu kami saling mengenal, Carl mengirim pesan singkat melalui BBM bahwa ia ingin menemui saya untuk menawarkan sebuah bisnis.

“Hum… bisnis? Bisnis apa?” pikir saya.

Singkat cerita, kami pun bertemu di suatu tempat. Carl membawa selembar kertas putih dan beberapa botol cairan. Sim sala bim ….. kertas putih tersebut berubah menjadi satu lembar uang 100 USD.

Saya terkejut. Saya belum pernah melihat hal tersebut. Dan… saya pun penasaran apakah uang tersebut asli atau enggak. Carl menjelaskan bahwa uang tersebut asli, jika saya tertarik… maka saya harus membayar sekitar Rp 300 juta untuk membeli cairan tersebut.

Wow! Saya terdiam! Saya enggak bisa ngomong apa-apa! Saya hanya mengatakan padanya “Let’s see!” dan sejak itu kami enggak lagi berteman.

Anyway, banyak orang mengatakan ‘Jakarta ini kejam bung!’

Ya… enggak heran kalau banyak orang maling, nipu, korupsi, ngebunuh, dan lain-lain hanya demi uang. Manusia lupa nilai-nilai kemanusiaan karena mahalnya biaya hidup di ibu kota ini. Belum lagi dengan gaya hidup hedonis dan kosumtif yang sangat sulit dihindari membuat manusia ingin mendapatkan uang sebanyak mungkin dengan cara yang instan. Tetapi, mana ada uang instan yang enggak berisiko?!

Sampai detik ini, saya hanya bisa tersenyum mengingat keterlibatan sang wartawati dengan jaringan narkotika internasional sekaligus jaringan pengedar uang palsu.

Untung saja, saya enggak tergiur dengan tawaran ‘bisnis’ yang ditawarkan oleh Carl. Kalau YA, waduh! Bisa-bisa saya kehilangan uang ratusan juta yang bisa saya pakai buat beli rumah atau mobil.