On moving.

Quick update : My family is moving to a new house!!!

This is major to us, since we are moving from the first house that my parents bought during their marriage. We wanted to stay, but the house seems to get bigger and bigger as the family become smaller and smaller… so we made a brave decision – move out to a smaller house!

Though the discussion to move has been around since 2 years ago, we never really market the house seriously. We did not put ads – only casually mentions it to several friends and relatives. But then early this year we were approached by a serious buyer, had some negotiations… and then sealed the deal.

Then came the house-searching part. Boy it was sooo hard to find the “it” house! Location, price, neighborhood, design… all those things to consider really got me (almost) insane! hahaha. Being the first born, mum sort of handed over the nitty gritty stuff to me. But, finally we found “the one” and will move there early next month. Will tell stories on the new house later after we have settled in 🙂

It is sad to leave the house that I grew up in. At the moment I’m still covered with excitement of the new place.. but I know that deep down I’m going to miss my old house so much, considering that’s the only house I know when growing up. I still can’t imagine how I would feel on moving out day…. wish me luck!!

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On arguments.

I’ve been having arguments with my boyfriend. We normally resolve our arguments within 24 hours, but this time it has been more than a day… and I still feel uneasy.

Couples argue all the time, don’t they? Sometimes it’s caused by something mundane, sometimes it’s extraordinary. It’s part of being in a relationship, and I accept that.

But being in a long distance relationship AND having arguments really got me tired. It’s not that I’m tired of him but I’m just tired of having arguments over the same thing over and over. Really.

Anyway.. any of you reading this currently in a LDR too? how do you resolve arguments?

It would be nice if we can resolve it over a nice discussion face to face, right? But since we can’t see each other.. normally I just sleep it off, or listen to cheesy songs.. like this one. :)))))

Berkunjung ke kantor Google Indonesia

Minggu lalu, saya berkesempatan untuk mengunjungi kantor Google Indonesia. Kebetulan, salah satu teman se-tim saya di Indonesia Mengglobal bekerja disana. Jadi, dia ngajak kita untuk numpang meeting di kantor Google, sekalian office tour. Katanya, Google mendukung karyawannya untuk mengajak teman /  keluarga / kenalan untuk main ke kantor Google dan juga dengan baik hati meminjamkan area kantornya (yang kebetulan memang meeting – friendly) untuk kegiatan after hours karyawannya.

Terletak di Gedung Sentral Senayan 2, kantor Google dari luar seperti kantor pada umumnya. Lobby nya tidak terlalu besar, dengan logo Google dan latar belakang batik di bagian resepsionis nya. Di bagian ini, karyawan Google yang membawa tamu harus melakukan registrasi untuk para tamunya. Setelah registrasi, barulah tamu bebas berkeliling kantor Google. Yak, bahkan bebas masuk area kerja – asalkan masih ditemani karyawan Google yang mengajak. Sebagai tamu, kita bebas foto – foto, asalkan tidak di area kerja para Googlers. Tapi terus terang saya tidak begitu tertarik melihat area kerjanya kok.. bentuknya kurang lebih sama seperti kantor – kantor agency yang saya pernah datangi – tidak bersekat.

Tapiii.. yang  bikin menarik dari area kerja di kantor Google ini adalah ruangan meeting nya. Kantor saya menggunakan nama – nama produk kami sebagai ruangan meeting. Misalnya, Fanta Lemon. A&W.  Coke Zero. Jadi kalau janjian meeting biasanya gini: “Nanti dimana? Fanta Lemon atau A&W?” Tadinya menurut saya, nama – nama itu sudah lumayan unik. Nah, kantor Google Indonesia mempunyai banyak ruangan meeting, mulai dari yang kapasitas 2 orang hingga yang besar. Namanya? Gelora Asmara, Pangkalan Ojek, Potong Bebek Angsa, Capcus, dan banyak macamnya! Seru banget kan? Ngga kebayang kalau ada ekspat yang musti nyebut “Capcus”, atau “Potong Bebek Angsa”… hahaha.. lucu kali ya 😀

Anyway, diluar ruangan meeting yang namanya lucu – lucu itu, kantor Google – seperti banyak artikel yang beredar, atau film The Internship, penuh hal menarik. Apalagi di common area nya. Kantor Google punya banyak common area  yang bisa digunakan untuk berbagai hal, mulai dari duduk – duduk santai, istirahat, mencari inspirasi, diskusi, dan juga, meeting!.

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Cozy meeting area

Oke sofa di gambar saya tampak menarik, tapi menurut saya masih kalah menarik dari area berikut ini…

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Yoga / nap place 😀

Kata teman saya, dia dan teman – teman nya pernah beberapa kali mengadakan workshop yoga disitu. Kalau sedang tidak dipakai yoga? Hmmm.. dipakai tidur siang juga bisa! :p

Selain tempat yoga / tidur siang diatas, kantor Google juga punya area bermain dan berolahraga. Ada meja ping-pong, alat TRX, fitness balls, dan juga excercise mats. Lumayan lengkap kan buat menjaga kebugaran selagi bekerja. Bagi gamers, ada juga sebuah TV layar lebar yang dilengkapi dengan X-Box. Seru yaaa 🙂

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The common room
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Mural in the common room
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Keeping you fit 😉

Nah, bagian terakhir dari kantor Google yang ingin saya ceritakan disini menurut saya bagian paling menarik, yaitu ruang makan! Hahahahaha. Dinamakan Warung Mbah Google, ruangan ini self-explanatory, tempat makannya para Googlers. Udah pada tahu kan kalau karyawan Google dapat makan gratis dikantornya? Menurut teman saya, tak hanya makan siang, tapi juga dari sarapan (roti dan berbagai macam selai tersedia sepanjang hari), hingga cemilan sore! Bahkan, ketika saya datang kesana sekitar jam 7, cemilan sore nya masih tersedia banyak, yaitu mini pizza, brownies, dan lumpia. Bagi saya sih cukup sekali yaa.. hehehe.

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Warung Mbah Google
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Warung Mbah Google

Yang lucu, tersedia sebuah rak kecil yang penuh dengan cemilan khas Indonesia. Mulai dari kripik – kripik tradisional, chiki, hingga coklat superman!

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All you can munch –  Indonesian snacks!

Oh iya, saya juga suka sekali dengan desain lantai dari Warung Mbah Google ini.. lihat deh 🙂

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#fromwhereistand – cute tiles!

Overall, senang sekali bisa berkesempatan mengunjungi kantor Google Indonesia. Kantornya seru, dan orang – orang yang saya temui juga ramah – ramah. Kata pepatah, rumput tetangga cenderung terlihat lebih hijau. Tetapi untuk kasus ini, menurut saya memang lebih hijau beneran! hehehe, habisnya, jarang kan ada kantor yang de-desain khusus untuk menjamin work and life balance para karyawan nya… 🙂

The good in everyone

Yesterday was a long day for me… but it was also an extraordinary day.

It started when I had to go to the immigration office to renew my passport. I was prepared to face long queue because I’ve heard stories that people started to queue as early as 5 AM – even when the office itself opened at 8. Unfortunately I woke up a little bit late and arrived there minutes before 8. Guess what registration number I got? 78. Really, people?!

Since I had nothing to choose, I waited patiently. At around 9 AM, it was already number 50ish’s turn. It’s not that bad, I thought. 20ish people to go. Then suddenly a man came and sat next to me. He asked what number I got, then after knowing that I got number 78, he offered his number, 60. He said his friend suddenly had to leave, so that number was unused. After accepting his number, I offered mine to a woman in front of me, who hold number 94. And she offered hers to another woman, who hold number 100ish. So, thanks to that man and his friend who didn’t show up, I got to save a little bit of time, and so did the two ladies 🙂

In the afternoon, when I was about to left from work, I found out that my car’s battery died and it did not want to start. Lucky I was still in the office, so I could call my friends for help. In the end, Pak Wawam, Taufiq, Kaka, and Disty helped me to get it fixed. Disty even accompanied me to my friend’s house!

I got home at around 10.30 PM, feeling so knackered. But as I lay down in my bed, resting before I sleep.. I can’t help but feeling so thankful. Big or small, I saw the good in everyone. From strangers to my best friends, they made my day and made it so extraordinary! So, thank you! I’m sure it will all come back to you one day 🙂

This year’s Valentine’s day

I like to call myself a hopeless romantic. Romantic, because I believe in happily ever after – knight in shining armor – eternal love and those sorts of thing. Hopeless, because as much as I’ve grown up watching hollywood romcom movies and reading Japanese romantic mangas, I always had to face the reality that none of my previous relationships involved that sort of romance – thus leaving me hopeless :p

Though deep down I still wish to – one day – have my own fairy tale romance, the bitter 27 years old me is forced to bury down that wish and face the reality that nowadays, relationship is good enough as long as you two don’t cheat to each other.. right?

But then I met R. This guy never fails to surprise me. He brought the old me back, the one who believes in lovey dovey romance. On my first day back to the office after my block leave last year, he sent me bouquet of flowers to my office (!!!), because I’ve once told him (way before we started dating!) that I was a bit jealous when seeing a colleague of mine got sent a bouquet of flowers on Valentine’s day. For my birthday he sang me a song, because he knows that it has been in my dream to be serenaded by my significant other.

I know we have our ups and downs, we do have our struggles and obstacles, but he understands that those lovey dovey things are important to me… and he’s willing to do that without me asking for it!

Then came this year’s Valentine’s day. It’s our first Valentine’s day together and to be honest I did not plan anything – obviously we can’t go out, and I sort of think that it’s just any other day. But then he surprised me again! Yesterday, a package from him arrived with Trader Joe’s Speculoos Cookie & Cocoa Swirl ….

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Something sweet..

… and a hand made artwork inside.

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Something handmade – he calls it “Coraline Heart”

Artwork! Handmade! Words can’t even describe how happy I was when I opened the package. It really, really mean a lot to me that he’s willing to do the extra miles to make me happy, to make our relationship filled with sweets and joy, despite the obstacles and distance that we have to face.

So, Happy Valentine’s day, love. Although it seemed like any other day to me, but you made it so special, like you always make our every day special (even during our fights! …. errr not, but i still love you :p).  I wish for many more happy and special days together, you and me.

Thank you FaceTime!

If you know me personally or have been reading my previous posts, you should know by now that I’m currently in a long distance relationship. HA. Distance.  Between California to Jakarta, this time. Waiiit.. this time? Yep, this is not my first time being in a relationship that involves distance. My previous relationship also involved distance, I was in the UK and he was in Jakarta. Then I went back home to Jakarta and he went to Sumatra. It lasted around one year. Did it end because of distance? I don’t know. But it was not meant to be.

Anyway.. I’m not going to compare the two relationships here.. but I just want to tell you, it is very easy to be in a long distance relationship nowadays! Yep, you read it right – easy. Now let me tell you my story..

Back in 2010, I had to rely on Blackberry Messenger to communicate. Skype was almost a luxury – given the fact that I only had a Blackberry phone which did not support video calls, and time difference made us hard to find convenient time for both of us to be able to be in front of the computer (not to mention Indonesia’s rather slow internet speed!). Once every week would be a blessing, a ‘quality’ call which lasted more than 30 minutes would be a jackpot!
Of course of course, I have to be fair. Good ol’ Blackberry phone allowed me to send and receive pictures, voice notes, and emails. That’s something.

Now, I’ve been talking to R for almost three years now. We both used Blackberry phone during the first 1,5 years and during that time we also had a couple of times of Skype calls, but after we both changed our phones to iPhone.. boy communicating was easy breezy! Like Blackberry, iPhone has an instant messaging feature, iMessage, which allows you to send text, voice notes, and pictures. But then there’s FaceTime. Our life saviour! Even before officially being in a relationship, we would spend at least an hour every day talking through FaceTime. The 14-15 hours time difference did not seem to be a problem, nor that it is a problem now. His morning is my night, so normally we talk before I go to bed/he goes to work and while my morning is his afternoon, we talk on my way to the office/on his way home from work.

With FaceTime, me and R could talk and see each other without have to spend time in front of the computer. We can do it whenever, wherever. Even with the new iOs 7 launched late last year, FaceTime now has Audio version, which is like a regular phone call, without the video. Makes it even easier! If previously I had to (at least) find a quiet place and decent spot so we could FaceTime, nowadays I could just use Audio FaceTime when it’s not convenient for either of us to use video. YAY!

I know being in a long distance relationship is not the ideal situation.. but if you have no other choice, might as well work your best to make the relationship work, right? Let me tell you, with the help of FaceTime, I have less things to worry about. Now why don’t I use Skype? or other messaging platforms? Simply because we both happen to use iPhone and somehow FaceTime’s connection is more stable than Skype, or other platforms’.

To end my story, here’s a snapshot of my latest #thankyoufacetime moment. It was taken last Sunday night Jakarta time (Morning in California), and we were talking before R decided to play basketball. He then decided to “take” me with him because the park was empty and he missed me  we still wanted to talk –  at first he was just sitting in the bench and we were talking, when suddenly his phone went off and he had to charge it. Lucky the park has an electrical socket put conveniently, so he could place his phone, charge it, while let me watch him shoot some balls 🙂

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The one where I watched him play basketball!

Though it was only for a while, seeing him playing basketball made me so happy! I know there are a lot of moments that I had to miss because of distance, but I finally got the chance to see him doing one of the things that he loves. I guess that was one of the things that made our long distance relationship easier. Just like what’s written in Apple’s website, FaceTime really made me feel that I was there in person, even though I was not. So thank you, FaceTime! 😀

Ticket for one, please.

Have you ever been to the movies by yourself? I have, and I like it.

I still remember the first movie that I watched by myself- Babel, back in 2006 – did it because I had to kill time.  It became a routine for a while, but then I had a boyfriend, and I never went to the movies by myself anymore, because it was always part of our dating activities.

But when I was in the UK, I came back to my old routine. The first movie that I watched by myself in the UK was Michael Jackson’s This is it. While watching it, I immediately noticed the cultural difference between Indonesia and the UK in terms of going to the movies. In Indonesia, you barely see people going to the movies alone. In the UK, it’s a normal thing to do!

Now, being back home, as much as I enjoy going to the movies with company, I always try to spare some me – time and watch movies by myself. I found it relaxing, because I can totally focus on the movie, and enjoying the movie experience. Going to the movies by myself also give me the freedom to choose whatever movies I want to watch. You know how sometimes we’d have to argue with our friends/partner/family over choosing a movie to watch? Sometimes I don’t want to be bothered with that – sometimes I just want to watch a movie, any kind of movie, regardless if it involves a shiny vampire, crazy killer, or mean girls.

Of course, being back home, I have to face people’s shocked expression whenever I told them that I watched that brilliant Oscar nominee movie over the weekend, alone. When I was still single after my previous relationship, some would sympathetically offer their company – thought it’s because I didn’t have a boyfriend to go to the movies with! But still, I’m now in a relationship (a long distance one…), and some would (again) sympathetically offer their company, while jokingly telling me to tell R to come home soon so that I can have someone to go to the movies with!

Anyway… Yesterday I went to the movies alone again, but it was special. A milestone was made, that is, I watch thriller movie BY MYSELF! Yeaaayy me! Well this is something that I haven’t disclosed yet.. I am afraid to watch movies that involve blood, graves, death, and anything in between.

But yesterday, I went to see KILLERS movie, an Indonesian movie produced by the Mo Brothers. They produced “Rumah Dara” before, I watched it with friends and I remember closing my eyes most of the movie. That’s not the case yesterday. I watched Killers by myself (I chose the “safe” seat, not the one in the corner), and I successfully faced my fear! Wooohooo! You should go and see it! I won’t tell spoilers, all I got to say that it’s worth to watch. Now, will you watch it by yourself like I did? 🙂