Happy birthday, my long distance lover!

Having known my boyfriend for 3 years (including 3 birthdays!) now, this year is actually the first year (his birthday was last week – July 16th!) we celebrated as a couple. So what did I do? I sent him a care package! 🙂

Back in 2012 (his first birthday since I know him) I managed to send him a birthday cupcake. Thanks to Google I found a bakery near his work area which lets me pay online and delivered the cupcake to his office. Though we were not together at that point, I felt like I needed to give him something on his special day, just to show that I care… A birthday cupcake seemed appropriate that time. Fast forward to 2013, just before we finally got together.. I contacted the same bakery and ordered a whole cake for him. It was successfully delivered to his office (again!). Oh btw, I finally visited the bakery – Susie Cakes in Newport beach – when I visited California. Trust me they have the best cakes!!

Now, a month before his birthday this year I started to get confused on what to give him. I did not want to send him another cake despite how good Susie Cakes’ cakes are. I wanted to make it more special simply because it’s the first birthday we celebrated as a couple. I googled for some ideas, until I finally found out about care packages! and thanks to Etsy I found some sellers who are able to take my order despite not being in the US at the moment. I contacted one and ask the seller to made me a custom care package with Game of Thrones theme with snacks inside 😉 Of course, it has to come with a card. I found another seller who makes really nice custom handmade cards.. and ordered a “happy name day” card (you’d get me if you are into the series!). In addition, I sent him a birthday video greetings from me, my family, my friends, his family and his friends. I think that should be special enough for a long distance birthday, right? 🙂

Btw..  for you couples in a long distance relationship like me, here are some ideas for a birthday present that is quite simple to do. I’m aware that there are many who have written similar ideas… but I think they are more suitable to younger couples. So this is my list, which I think should suit couples in their late 20s/ early 30s like we are 🙂

– Send a Cake / Cupcake 

Try to find a local bakery near your lover’s house.. this should be the easiest thing to do thanks to the internet!

– Create a Birthday greeting video 

Although you need to possess a video editing skill to do this.. this idea should be the most fun as it involves a lot of creativity. Don’t worry there are also a lot of video editing tools online if you can’t do it on your own. Me? I asked my design major baby brother to help me 🙂

– Sing a song

Actually my boyfriend did this to me on my birthday last year. He got the talent and knows that I like to be serenaded so as cheesy as it may sound.. he sang me a song for my birthday!

– Send a care package

If you are in a long distance relationship but still in a same country, it should be easy for you to make your own. You can add your own personalised gifts and can put your lover’s favorite stuffs inside. But.. if you’re like me, whose boyfriend lives in other part of the world.. this might be hard to do. BUT, thanks to the internet I managed to find help so it is still doable 🙂

– Send a card / letter 

Not just an e-card or e-mail, but actual hand written one. I did this once (not for birthday though), and it succeeded to make him smile.

So that’s 5 simple ideas from me! Any of you in a long distance relationship as well? What are your birthday gift ideas?

(Sepertinya) Nggak Jodoh?

Jadi begini. Saya kan menghabiskan 5 tahun belajar marketing and communications. 4 tahun pertama dihabiskan untuk belajar seputaran bisnis dan marketing, lalu 1 tahun terakhir difokuskan ke advertising dan juga marketing communications. Pendidikan saya selama 4 tahun pertama sih bisa dibilang hasil kecebur ya.. saya tidak seberuntung anak – anak lain yang langsung di terima di jurusan pilihan pertama. Saya memang pilih jurusan Administrasi Niaga waktu ikut SPMB tahun 2004 yang lalu  (10 tahun yang lalu!), tetapi sebenarnya itu pilihan kedua. Pilihan pertama saya adalah komunikasi – nggak diterima. Tetapi saya merasa beruntung karena saya sudah mantap dan yakin atas pilihan karir saya sejak di bangku kuliah. Saya mau kerja di industri fast moving consumer goods (FMCG). Saya mau membangun merek. Yap, kerja di FMCG. Tidak seperti kebanyakan teman saya yang ingin kerja di bank, perusahaan minyak, atau BUMN – saya sudah yakin mau bekerja di industri FMCG sejak kuliah S1.

Karena saya memang seorang super mega planner (hahaha), saya juga sudah merencanakan dengan (sekiranya) matang strategi saya supaya bisa membangun karir di industri FMCG. Saya paham ada berbagai aspek dari marketing yang bisa saya tekuni, dan saya kemudian memutuskan untuk fokus di marketing and communications, maka dari itu saya pilih S2 di bidang tersebut. Nah.. di Indonesia, ada beberapa (banyak) perusahaan FMCG yang cukup terkenal dan produknya banyak dipakai orang – orang sehari – hari. Mulai dari perusahaan lokal sampai global. Singkat cerita setelah pulang S2 saya berhasil diterima di salah satu perusahaan FMCG global dan kini sudah hampir 4 tahun membangun karir disitu. TETAPI… tidak di bagian marketing and communications! Hahaha lucu ya. Saya pusing – pusing bikin strategi.. eh sekarang malah kerjanya di bagian marketing research.

Tapi ngga apa – apa, yang penting saya masih enjoy dan yang penting halal kalau kata orang tua, hehehe. Nanti kapan – kapan saya ceritain deh soal kerjaan saya yang rada kurang sesuai jurusan. Kalau sekarang ini saya sebenearnya mau cerita soal perjalanan saya mencari pekerjaan sebelum akhirnya kerja di perusahaan yang sekarang.

Balik lagi soal perusahaan FMCG di Indonesia – ada sebuah perusahaan global yang seakan akan menjadi bintang di kalangan mahasiswa marketing di kampus S1 saya waktu itu. Kita sebut saja X. Katanya perusahaan ini sering mengirimkan karyawan nya keluar negeri, benefit nya bagus, dan juga namanya terkenal. Ya iya, perusahaan ini salah satu top advertising spenders kok – orang awam juga pasti sadar dengan berbagai campaign yang mereka lakukan – selalu besar – besaran dan nggak pernah tanggung. Waktu saya masih kuliah S1, saya kepingin banget kerja di perusahaan ini. Dimulai dari magang. Saya jauh – jauh kirim CV dengan harapan besar bisa magang disana. 2 bulan berlalu tanpa panggilan dan akhirnya saya memutuskan  untuk magang di sebuah konsultan PR. Tiba – tiba, baru seminggu mulai magang disana, saya ditelpon oleh orang HRD perusahaan X ini dan ditawari magang disana! Too late. Belum jodoh, saya sudah berkomitmen di perusahaan lain.

Lalu, saya juga ingat, di tahun terakhir saya kuliah mereka bikin campus recruitment untuk sebuah program management trainee di kampus saya. Guess what – walaupun IPK saya cuma 3,1 tapi saya berhasil menjadi satu – satunya orang yang dipanggil mengikuti seleksi dari kelas saya. Tapi saya nggak lolos ke programnya. Lagi – lagi belum jodoh. Hahaha.

Saya kemudian memutuskan untuk melanjutkan hidup dan berangkat S2. Ketika saya sedang menyelesaikan S2, beberapa teman saya ada yang sudah memulai karir nya dan bekerja di perusahaan X ini. Kemudian, ketika saya sudah selesai S2, salah satu dari mereka menawarkan pekerjaan di perusahaan X ini! Wah, saya merasa seperti pucuk dicinta ulam tiba hahaha. Saya pikir saya kini punya bekal yang cukup, jadi cukup pede ketika datang wawancara. Ketika wawancara, sepertinya semua berjalan lancar dan saya semakin menaruh harapan besar untuk bisa diterima kali ini (tentunya saya juga mengikuti proses rekrutmen di berbagai perusahaan FMCG lainnya ya). Saya sampai menolak 2 tawaran pekerjaan demi menunggu keputusan dari perusahaan X ini. Sampai akhirnya ketika saya dapat kabar di perusahaan tempat saya kerja sekarang dan perusahaan X belum juga kasih kabar.. saya memutuskan untuk meninggalkan mimpi kerja di perusahaan X dan memulai karir di perusahaan saya sekarang ini. Masih juga belum jodoh ya sepertinya.

Kini saya sudah hampir 4 tahun bekerja di perusahaan saya sekarang ini. Bosan? ngga juga. Mau pindah kerjaan? Boleh aja, kalau ada tawaran yang lebih baik. Saya sih memang tidak pernah serius mencari pekerjaan lain selama saya bekerja di perusahaan ini. Saya masih cukup menikmati pekerjaan saya disini. Sampai tiba – tiba sahabat saya yang kebetulan bekerja di perusahaan X ini bulan lalu bilang bahwa divisi nya sedang mencari orang. Levelnya sama seperti saya. Tetapi haloo.. ini di perusahaan X! saya musti mencoba dong ya, atas dasar penasaran. hehehehe. Saya kirim CV. Saya tunggu, sambil tetap bekerja dengan giat. 2 minggu kemudian, di suatu hari jumat, ada missed call di hp saya ketika saya sedang di kantor, sehabis rapat. Nomor tak dikenal. Kemudian saya cek Gmail saya – ada email dari orang HRD perusahaan X! HORE! Emailnya singkat –  bertanya kapan waktu yang pas untuk menghubungi saya. Saya langsung balas – menjelaskan saya habis rapat jadi tidak angkat telpon yang tadi, dan bilang bahwa saya bisa dihubungi setengah jam kemudian. Orang HRD nya langsung balas lagi  -bilang OK dan bilang bakal telpon saya di jam yang sudah saya sebutkan. Hanya saja dia tidak pernah menelpon balik. Sampai sekarang.

Hahaha.. ini sebenarnya ada apa sih antara saya dan perusahaan X? nggak jodoh? kok selalu mepet – mepet gitu ya “ceritanya”. Ya sudah deh, saya sih tenang – tenang saja. Rejeki sudah ada yang atur dan jodoh ngga kemana kan katanya yaa.. hehehe. Sebagai penutup, ini ada gambar menarik soal industri FMCG dan merek – merek yang kemungkinan besar kamu gunakan sehari – harinya. Perusahaan saya (dan juga perusahaan X) termasuk di gambar ini lho! 😉

FMCG giants. Image from Google.com
FMCG giants.
Image from Google.com

 

Last weekend, I did something for the first time… (and other stories!)

So, like others before me, I created a #30before30 list not too long time ago. The list can be found on my old blog – but I’d rather not re-publish it here now because there are some things in the list that I want to change (hahaha can I actually do that though? I think I can! After all it’s my list :D).

Anyway, one of the things in the original list was to visit Pekan Raya Jakarta or Jakarta Fair. It’s Jakarta’s biggest annual fair which first started back in 1968. Why did I put it on my list? Simple, I have been living for almost 25 years in the city but I never actually been. And since there might be a possibility for me not to live in this city anymore in the future.. I want to visit the fair before I’m 30 (Or, if leaving the city come sooner – before I leave this city for good). So I went there last Saturday with my mum and little brother.

Before I actually went there, I imagine the fair would have a lot of stalls and booths – food and snack stalls, game booths, even some mini rides like the ones in American boardwalks. I was really excited to go. But then when I got there.. turns out that there are more sponsorship and trade booths rather than the ones I mentioned before. It is indeed an exhibition fair, with many big brands’ booths selling everything from potato chips to mop, even car!

There is also a retail section where you can find discounted items of your favorite brands.. and when I say discounted, I mean BIG discount! I even scored a pretty Marks & Spencer top for only Rp.150.000 which is almost impossible to be found in their stores. Yay! While food stalls are not a problem (you can find many of them), only few I found selling traditional snacks.. and I couldn’t find rides for adults (SAD!). I found some rides like merry-go-round and boom boom car, but both in small version so it’s only suitable for kids.

Well.. although the reality is not really like what I imagined, I pretty much enjoyed my first time going to Jakarta Fair. That’s another off my #30before30 list! Yay!

20140707-073329-27209614.jpg
proof that I’ve been to Jakarta Fair! :p

On Sunday, me and my friends went to Thamrin City – a big shopping mall full of wholesale kiosks selling everything – mostly clothes.. cheap good ones. The three of us came there with a mission – that is to find kaftan to be worn on Hari Raya day! Hehehe. It did not take long for me to find a nice coral kaftan priced only Rp.85.000 (Oh! Have I told you that my favorite color is coral?), and neither did my friends – we managed to spend only 2 hours shopping there.

I consider that as an achievement, because Thamrin City was so packed that day! People (mostly mums) were shopping like crazy; almost everyone was seen carrying (minimum) a big shopping bag full of clothes. Just look at this picture!

20140707-073330-27210094.jpg
it was a shopping madness!

So next time I want to find cheap kaftans or similar clothes, I think I would avoid going to Thamrin City during Ramadan month. Too crowded!

Moving on.. after going to Thamrin City, I went home for a quick shower then went to my friend’s house for buka puasa . There were 9 of us, my college friends. Food was awesome – my friend’s husband cooked it for us. He made roast chicken and some sort of Rösti, veryyy yummy. We spent the night eating, chatting and laughing.. and that concludes my awesome weekend.

I hope you had a good weekend too, enjoy your Monday and the rest of the week! 🙂

My thoughts on 2014 Indonesian Presidential Election

Disclaimer : This post is surely based on my thoughts only and does not reflect my support towards a particular candidate. 🙂

This coming presidential election will be my 3rd election. I remember my first election, I was so excited to finally be able to vote, though I was not sure why I had to vote and who to vote.. voting at that time seemed cool, sort like some coming-of-age moment. I voted, but now I can’t remember who did I give my vote to. My second election was more or less the same. But this time I remember clearly that I did not vote. I was not satisfied with the current president at that time and since he’s running for his second period.. I did not want to vote for him. Nor did I want to vote for his opponent. So I came to the booth on election day, and deliberately gave my vote to all candidates – so my vote would be considered not valid. Not really proud, but that has happened.

This year, we will vote for our president in less than a week. As I’m not so much (if not at all) into politics, I had to admit that I haven’t been really paying attention to either candidates.. but I’ve been exposed to a lot of news about them. The thing is, in every social media I have, I see people posting about either candidate. BUT.. instead of posting the good things about their president of choice, most of them seem to frequently post negatively about the opponent. This makes me confused because I don’t know what to believe anymore. Should I believe that candidate number 1 is behind the 1998 tragedy? or should I believe that candidate number 2 is a “puppet”, steered by old political figure? I really can’t tell which to believe. 

So I posted a status in my facebook and ask if any of my friends have made their choice and would willing to share the reason to me, with hope that none of them would expose me to some kind of negative campaign. They did not! I was so happy to see a lot of comments coming in, and some even sent me direct messages with their solid reason to vote for their president of choice. NONE told me any negative news about the opponent. It looks like I’m friends with the right people 🙂 

Oh, one other thing that makes me so impressed – despite the mushrooming negative campaign, I also see bits and pieces of passionate posts from my generation! Good to see that so many young people are willing to give their time and effort to show their support towards a candidate. 

Just look at this music video from Jokowi’s supporters : 

or this video from Prabowo’s supporters : 

And then there’s also these people on Twitter who often tweets about their support for their president of choice. Though I see more (in my following list) declared their support towards Jokowi like @mrshananto, @jokoanwar, or @jflowrightthere (and also the creative hashtags which follows their tweets such as #akhirnyapilihjokowi or #salam2jari), I also came across these two young people (both younger than me) who passionately expressed their support towards Prabowo – @RizkiAljupri and @Dirgayuza…. and I salute all of them. It’s good to see diversity and freedom of expression, yes? 🙂

As for me? I still have not decided. I am what they call a swing voter, and I’ll take that. I’ll give myself a time to think carefully this weekend and will surely vote on July 9th. I just wish that whatever’s the result, things will be better for Indonesia. Happy voting, Indonesians! 🙂

Dua bahasa

Saya, seperti kebanyakan orang Jakarta yang saya temui lainnya, sudah kehilangan kemampuan berbahasa Indonesia yang baik.

Saya lupa kapan terakhir kali saya berbicara dengan bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar. Di keseharian saya, saya hampir selalu berbicara dengan apa yang saya sebut dengan bahasa Jakarta. Bukan, bukan bahasa Betawi, tapi bahasa Jakarta. Bahasa ini saya sebut demikian, yang merupakan campuran bahasa Indonesia, bahasa Betawi, bahasa tidak baku (slang) dan juga bahasa Inggris.. Bahkan terkadang dicampur juga dengan beberapa istilah dari daerah lain (tergantung kepada siapa saya berbicara). Bingung kan? Iya, saya juga. Tetapi siapa sih yang masih menggunakan bahasa Indonesia yang 100% baik dan benar?

Ketika menulis, apalagi. Karena gaya menulis saya cenderung seperti sedang bercerita (apa sih istilahnya, naratif bukan?), dulu hampir selalu tulisan saya di blog mengalir begitu saja dengan bahasa yang campur aduk.. Alias bahasa Jakarta! Ketika saya baca ulang, pusing bukan main!

Ketika saya memutuskan untuk menulis blog dengan lebih serius di akhir tahun lalu, saya berpikir.. Bagusnya menulis dengan bahasa apa ya? Kalau saya tetap menulis dengan bahasa Jakarta, rasanya nyaman, karena itulah bahasa yang saya gunakan sehari-hari.. Tapi rasanya kok tidak adil bagi yang baca, karena pasti bentuknya bakal amburadul. Menulis dengan bahasa Inggris jadi pilihan yang rasanya tepat karena walaupun bukan native speaker dan kemampuan grammar yang masih perlu diasah, saya cukup merasa nyaman menulis dengan bahasa Inggris.

Tetapi.. Pada akhirnya saya kini memutuskan untuk juga menulis dalam bahasa Indonesia, agar saya bisa lebih belajar menggunakan bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar. Iya sih masih rada sulit untuk menulis dengan 100% bahasa Indonesia tanpa menggunakan istilah bahasa Inggris atau bahasa tidak baku (slang)… Tapi saya akan terus mencoba 🙂

N.B: kalimat terakhir saya, di otak saya maksudnya “i’ll keep trying though”.. ketika saya terjemahkan jadinya baku sekali yaaa hehehe.. :p

Music Lately

Last month I bought myself a new iPod nano, 16 gb (YAY!). The last time I had an iPod was back in 2009 before my good ol’ iPod classic (80 gb) decided to die on me. Ever since I only listened to music from my phone and online radio… while saving up to buy a new iPod.

I wanted to buy iPod classic due to its capacity but when I think of it again… the size makes it not easy to bring anywhere. I think I’m gonna buy one when I have my own place, and will just put it in an iPod dock and let it play good music all day long 🙂

Anyway, I decided to buy iPod nano instead (enough capacity, perfect size – easy to bring anywhere), and now that I’ve bought it.. I’ve been spending a lot of my free time browsing and listening to music.. and then choosing the songs that I’m going to put into this iPod.

And now.. Here are some songs and albums that I’m currently listening to :

Ed Sheeran – One (From the album “X”)
Ed Sheeran is back! this is indeed a sad but beautiful song..

Sam Smith – Lay Me Down (From the album “In the Lonely Hour”)
Many have said that he’s male Adele as he’s also British. I kinda agree.. his songs are somewhat similar to Adele’s but.. I still can’t help to fall for his voice. Very enjoyable song, and album!

Gabrielle Aplin – Home (from the album “English Rain”)
Another British singer I currently love..

Okay.. now it’s time for more upbeat songs :

RAC – Cheap Sunglasses  feat Matthew Koma (from the album “Strangers”)
They are coming to Jakarta! wooot! Sunday, August 24. Cant wait!

MO – Don’t Wanna Dance (from the album “No Mythologies To Follow”)
With its catchy beat, this song has been my current mood booster!

What do you think of these songs? Do check them out and hope you’ll love it as much as I am! 🙂