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!

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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!

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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! 🙂

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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! 🙂

Selamat datang di Jakarta, Uber!

Pernah dengar tentang Uber? kemungkinan besar kamu yang tinggalnya di Amerika atau Inggris pernah ya. Saya sendiri tadinya cuma sering baca artikel atau review tentang Uber di blog – blog, sampai akhirnya minggu lalu saya baca bahwa Uber kini sudah ada di Jakarta!

Apa sih Uber? kalau yang saya baca di website nya, dan juga di artikelartikel yang mengulasnya, Uber itu semacam sistem rideshare atau kalau di terjemahkan, berbagi kendaraan. Sama siapa? Kalau di Amerika yang saya baca, siapa saja bisa jadi pengemudi Uber selama memenuhi syarat yang ditentukan. Untuk menggunakan jasa Uber, gampang sekali – semuanya dilakukan lewat aplikasi smartphone dan sistem pembayaran pun dilakukan lewat kartu kredit. Praktis ya? Beberapa teman saya yang tinggal di LA dan SF pernah cerita betapa serunya ketika mereka request Uber dan tiba – tiba kedatangan supir Uber yang sangat ganteng, atau naik mobil Mercedes Benz! hahahaha.

Jadi, ketika tau Uber sudah ada di Jakarta, saya langsung download aplikasi nya dan daftar. Saat daftar, karena masih dalam masa promo, saya diberikan voucher sebesar 100 ribu rupiah yang bisa digunakan kapan saja. Hari Kamis yang lalu, pulang kantor, saya berencana untuk memakai jasa Uber dari kantor saya di Sudirman menuju Plaza Senayan. Sayangnya saya lupa screenshot tampilan app nya ketika saya request Uber, tapi semuanya benar – benar gampang dilakukan. Intinya, si aplikasi akan melacak lokasi kamu ketika kamu membuka aplikasi nya, lalu ketika kamu memutuskan untuk request Uber, dia akan mengidentifikasi lokasi mobil Uber terdekat, memberi tahu kamu nama supir, foto, jenis mobil dan plat nya, lalu  memberitahukan estimasi waktu kedatangan mobil Uber kamu. Kamu juga bisa menghitung estimasi biaya menuju tempat tujuan yang dihitung dari gabungan base fare, jarak dan waktu tempuh.

Oke kembali lagi ke pengalaman saya dengan Uber ya. Awalnya ketika saya request Uber dari kantor, dibilang bahwa mobil saya akan datang dalam waktu 9 menit. Akan tetapi tidak sampai 5 menit dari waktu saya melakukan request, saya ditelpon oleh supir Ubernya yang bilang bahwa Ia terjebak macet, jadi estimasi kedatangan bisa lebih dari 30 menit dan dengan fair nya menawarkan untuk pembatalan jika saya keberatan menunggu selama itu. Lalu saya batalkan, dan saya pergi ke Plaza Senayan naik ojek. Pada saat saya sedang di Plaza Senayan, ternyata saya harus pindah lagi ke Gandaria City setelahnya, kemudian saya berpikir untuk mencoba request Uber lagi. Setelah dapat supir, ada tulisan “Driver Confirmed and En Route”, yang juga dilengkapi dengan estimasi kedatangan yang di-update secara real time seiring dengan bergeraknya mobil menuju lokasi penjemputan. Kali ini estimasi kedatangan totalnya 15 menit. Supir nya pun menelpon saya tak lama setelah ada tulisan “Driver Confirmed and En Route”, dan bilang bahwa Ia akan tiba kurang lebih 25 menit, lalu setelah saya setuju untuk menunggu, kita janjian bertemu di lobby utama Plaza Senayan. Fair Enough. Lalu saya menunggu.  Selama menunggu, saya bisa memantau secara langsung posisi mobil Uber nya.

Kurang lebih 25 menit kemudian, mobil saya datang. Mobilnya bagus, masih tampak baru – Hyundai Sonata berwarna hitam. Pak Supirnya menyapa saya dengan ramah dan menyetir dengan profesional walaupun sedang macet. Di dalam mobil tersedia air putih botol yang bisa diminum, bebas biaya tambahan! Menurut saya itu adalah little extra  yang menarik. Total biaya perjalanan saya dari Plaza Senayan ke Gandaria City sekitar 30 ribu rupiah, yang saya rasa walau sedikit lebih mahal dari taksi biasa, tapi masih masuk akal. Itupun karena saat ini Uber masih dalam masa promo, jadi saya bisa menggunakan kredit voucher yang saya punya, jadi tidak usah bayar, hahaha. Satu hal yang saya masih kurang paham – kalau di Amerika, siapa saja yang lolos syarat kan katanya bisa daftar jadi supir Uber. Tapi kalau di Jakarta, apa bisa begitu juga? Supir saya kemarin sih seperti supir profesional – menyetirnya enak, sopan dan baik. Saya nggak  kebayang deh kalau nanti orang biasa bisa jadi supir Uber juga… kira – kira bagaimana ya sistemnya?

Anyway, saya puas sekali menggunakan Uber. Saat ini mobilnya baru ada 20 di sekitaran Jakarta pusat – tetapi siap mengantarkan kemana saja. Benar – benar seperti punya supir pribadi ya 🙂

P.S kalau mau coba Uber dan dapat 1 kali free ride, silakan pakai kode saya ya “christinaj21” 😉

Those Island Days

I’ve heard about Derawan Islands quite a lot before I finally paid a visit. The islands – located in North Kalimantan – has been frequently reviewed on magazines and travel blogs, but I kind of hesitated to go because I read that it’s still quite hard to reach – you’d have to change several methods of transportation to get to the islands. So the trip stayed in my plans almost forever, I kept talking about wanting to go, but never actually went… until last month.  Spoke to a couple of friends and gathered a group of 8 and then we registered ourselves to a travel group, called Kakaban Trip.

With Kakaban Trip, we had to pay IDR 5,600,000 for a 4 day trip, which I think is a pretty good deal considering that all expenses were covered – only exclude airport tax (IDR 40,000) and snorkeling gear rental (IDR 50,000 a day). Plus, they accept installment if you book in advance! (do check again though, price might differ since my visit..)

So we went on a Thursday morning, took the earliest flight from Jakarta to Tarakan. From Tarakan, we then had to take a speedboat for 3 hours (!!!) to finally reach Maratua Island, where our villa was located. Though it was realllly tiring but when we reached Maratua on the afternoon, I suddenly forgot that I was tired because of this view!

Maratua Paradise Resort
Maratua Paradise Resort
Maratua
Maratua Island
Maratua Paradise Resort
View from our beach cottage

Because it’s almost sunset when we arrived, there was not many things to do except settling in to our lovely beach cottages, catching sunset, had some dinner and went to the bed early… because a lot of things were waiting for us the next day.

One of the best sunsets that I've seen!
One of the best sunsets that I’ve seen!

The next day, we woke up at 4, went to catch sunrise on the other side of the island, went back to the villa for breakfast and then left for island hopping! You see, Derawan Islands has a lot of islands, some big ones including Maratua. The smaller ones don’t have villas/resorts, but have beautiful snorkeling/diving spots.

First stop was Derawan Island. As predicted, this is the main island – where there are more resorts (there’s only one resort in Maratua), a lot of homestays, small restaurants, bike rentals, etc. Basically, there’s life in Derawan island. BUT… when there’s life, there’s also… trash. Junk. So disappointing, because the snorkeling spots are not that clean anymore. I spotted a big turtle AND a manta ray while I was snorkeling, so that made me very happy though. Then we went to other smaller islands and did snorkeling again. The experience was waaay better than snorkeling in Derawan Islands, the sea was way more clearer, coral reef were a lot prettier, and the beach, AAAK i lost words. Here are some pictures for your eyes to see 🙂

Derawan Islands
Bluest blue!
Derawan Islands
My personal favorite – Gusung Island!
White sands, clear sea, blue sky!
White sands, clear sea, blue sky!

On our third day, we went island hopping to the smaller islands. I don’t remember all the names, but one that really caught my attention was Kakaban Island. I visited two parts of the island –  where there’s a big lake full of sting-less jelly fish (you can swim with them!), and another one to see a pretty lagoon. We swam with the jelly fish, and spent some time in the lagoon. Interesting fact, we had to do some caving to get out of the lagoon. Definitely once in a lifetime experience!

Kakaban Lake
On our way to Kakaban Lake
Jellyfish
I swam with the jellyfish!
Kakaban Lagoon
Kakaban Lagoon

After island hopping, snorkeling, and all the fun times in the islands, it was time to go home. We left the island the Sunday afternoon, went on another 3 hours speedboat ride (!!!), spent some time in Tarakan before finally going back to Jakarta. I really really looooove Derawan Islands, definitely worth the long journey and even the sunburn! :p oh, btw.. Do browse #thisisderawan on instagram to see more pics from me and my friends!

P.S: I would gladly recommend Kakaban Trip if you want to save the hassle in planning, because they will arrange everything for you. It may be a little bit more expensive, but saves you a lot of trouble. But, if you prefer to plan your own trip, i would say to take out Derawan Island from your itinerary and focus on the smaller islands like Maratua or Kakaban instead. Enjoy! 🙂

Kawinan di Indonesia

Post ini ditulis saat saya lagi nunggu boarding di bandara Sultan Hassanudin Makassar, ceritanya mau pulang ke Jakarta setelah business trip selama 1 hari (bentar banget ya!).

Dilihat dari judulnya, saya bukan akan nulis soal Makassar atau kerjaan saya disini, tapi soal kawinan!

Berawal dari iseng-iseng liat foto waktu malam minggu kemarin datang ke resepsi pernikahan (singkatnya kita sebut kawinan) teman di handphone, saya jadi kepikiran diskusi saya sama pacar.

Waktu itu saya lagi telponan sama pacar pas dijalan menuju ke sebuah kawinan. Dia bilang, “wah asik dong kamu bakal makan makan enak!” Saya bilang, “yah belum tentu sih.. Kalau masih ada.” Masalahnya saya kalau datang kawinan hobinya mepet, undangan jam 7-9 malam saya biasanya datang jam 8an.. Jadi salah saya sendiri sih kalau ngga kebagian makanan hehehe. Kalaupun datang cepat dan makanan masih melimpah, saya memang jarang bernafsu makan di kawinan, karena biasanya lebih sibuk haha-hihi atau foto-foto.

Ketika saya bilang gitu, pacar saya yang sudah lebih dari 10 tahun meninggalkan Indonesia itu jadi bingung kalau saya cerita ngga makan di kawinan, apalagi kalau saya ke kawinan numpang salaman sama pengantin nya doang lalu lanjut ke kawinan lainnya karena dapet 2 undangan sekaligus dalam sehari (rekor saya 4 kawinan dalam sehari! Hahaha).

Maklum, kalau di luar negeri tuh kawinan biasanya berupa sitting dinner ya, kayak di film-film gitu kan? Pokoknya pacar saya itu selalu cerita betapa melimpah dan enaknya masakan di kawinan. Hehehe.

Nah, kebetulan banget nih di kawinan yang malam minggu kemarin itu saya makan banyak! Hahaha, padahal lagi-lagi undangan jam 7 saya datangnya jam 8 lewat hampir setengah 9, tapi surprisingly makanan masih banyak, bahkan saya bisa makan main course sampai 2x hahahaha.

Saya jadi seru sendiri keasikan makan dan minta teman fotoin saya dengan makanan-makanannya untuk dikirim ke pacar 🙂 ini dia hasilnya…

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Kalo kamu yang di Indonesia, datang ke kawinan biasanya makan banyak atau ngga?