Saturday, October 10, 2015

5 things that every students who will study abroad in Japan need to know

First thing first, I arrived in Osaka on early April just as planned. To think of it, I can't believe I've been living in Japan for more than half a year! Gosh it feels like in a dream, time passes surprisingly fast and oh how my skin has adapted to Japan's weather just fine *lol*.

There's just SO MUCH I wanna write about my experiences here, finger cross I'd still be writing posts after this one. ((Oh, I just saw my visitors chart and surprised how people still read my blog recently eventhough I haven't write anything))

Really, I wanted to write everything, but you know how it goes when real life is more exciting than you expected, you just dont wanna sit in front of your laptop and write. That's pretty much exactly what I've been doing in Japan besides sleeping and watching lame Japanese variety shows on TV.

Well, these are 5 things that every students who will study abroad in Japan need to know:

1. Prepare your ass for riding bicycle

*If you're coming from a country where everybody commute with bicycle, just skip this part*

In Indonesia, we dont commute with bicycle. Considering the distance and the pollution, there's just no way, let me repeat with echo, NNOO WWAAYY you can go to work or school everyday with bicycle. Thus, my ass is not prepared for long distance bicycle ride. So yes, on my first 2-3 weeks living here, my ass was crying everynight (as if they can cry). The pain continues every morning when I get on my bicycle again. But then it gets better, of course. Now my ass is so tough, even after miles and miles rides. Okay, enough about my ass. It starts to get awkward.

2. You can buy basically EVERYTHING in 100 yen shop

I knew about 100 yen shop in Japan since I was in junior high when my brother in law had tons of times of business trips to Japan, but I just realized how convenience it is until I had to fill an empty apartment with limited budget. You dont need to worry about spending a lot of money because you can find ANYTHING there. And I mean it when I say 'anything', because they really sell anything. From potato peeler to neck pillow, you can buy all at one place with a very reasonable price.

But I had to be really careful not to buy any unnecessary thing just because they look cute and only 100 yen.

3. Japanese houses have thin walls

I'm not even sure if you can call them walls. It's very light and doesn't keep the heat nor cold from outside. So, in summer, your room will be so hot and humid, and in cold, it will freeze your blood.

When I arrived, it was roughly 5 celcius degrees. As a girl who came from a tropical country, it felt like I was pushed in to a refrigerator and locked in it. I didn't took a shower the next day *lol*, I wore 3 layers of clothes and 2 socks to sleep. It was nightmare. I blame the thin walls.

4. It's not easy to buy a cell phone

Buying cell phones in Japan is something that I never thought would be so complicated. I couldn't buy a cell phone until 2 weeks after I arrived here. I was looking for a 0 yen smart phone, but there are sooo many terms that I had to fulfill. First the bank book and then the cash card and then there are tons of datas that they need to collect before they hand me the phone. It's really different from Indonesia where people can buy a cell phone in 10 minutes.

5. Vending machines are everywhere

They're literally everywhere. In a parking lot, inside a hotel, under the stairs of a crooked mansion, inside and outside the stations, in a shopping mall, every floor of a tall building you can find in big cities in Japan.

And not only soft drinks, they also sell beers, liquors, potato chips, banana, even condoms (i never actually find a condom vending machine but I heard they exist).

Yep, I guess that's it for now. It 10.30 PM here now and I'm getting sleepy. Promise I'll write again *still, finger crossed*

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Lot Happened in a Couple of Months

Been a while.

I thought this time I could really update my blog frequently, but life happens. Several things that I think I should write down, because A LOT happened in the last couple of months.

1. I resigned from the company where I’ve worked for 1,5 years.

When I start working there, I thought I’d work there for at least 2-3 years. But apparently a girl just has to do what a girl has to do (I don’t know if it’s the right phrase, lol). I found some things that excite me more. I just knew that some bigger things are waiting for me outside and I just couldn’t miss them. I’m willing to take the risk, because I know I’ll regret it if I just let it pass me by.

We had 2 farewell parties; I received so many farewell gifts. I was really happy and sad at the same time, a common mixed feeling people usually have, I guess. It’s been an honor to work with them and I learned a lot. I met some amazing persons (and some not-so-amazing-person, to be honest).

Farewell gifts I received from my co-workers
Custom key-chain version me. Look how detail it is. I cried when I received it, haha (T,T)

The best thing is, I have a lot of friends from all over the world, literally. If I ever to visit China, Philippine, Dubai, Nigeria, Kenya, Mauritius, and some other countries, I can safely say ‘I have some colleagues there and I have their Skype contact’. It’s amazing how a professional relation can be personal. I’ve always thought of work life as people just talk business without making anything personal for the sake of business. Turns out I’m wrong. My Japanese colleagues are excited when I told them I was going to Japan to continue my study. This is when I know that I’ve made a right decision.

I have to say that all my colleagues have helped me to realize that I’ve always enjoyed being in an international community. I don’t care if people say I’m not a nationalist (seriously, there are STILL people who thinks that if you act like you love other country more than you love your own country, you’re not a nationalist and that’s a bad thing, apparently).

2. I lost my phone

I lost my phone right 1 day after the last day I worked. It was a shocking and unfortunate experience. My bag was torn by a knife in a train station and that bastard got my phone. I received some comments from my dear friends, like ‘meh, how long have you been in Jakarta?’ or ‘oh, just phone? You’re lucky’. Nope. Nooope. That’s not where decent people should live. This is JUST the right time to leave Jakarta.

I couldn’t stop thinking that this kind of thing would not ever happen in Japan. In fact, when I told my Japanese friends that I lost my phone, their first impression is that I lost it by accidently left it somewhere and forgot, or that my phone slipped off my pocket or my bag. This is where cultural differences theory applies. And to be honest, I don’t mind living in a country with a low crime rates where people don’t think that phone pickpocket is a thing. F*ck nationalism.

3. I received my Certificate of Eligibility

The document that I’ve been waiting for 3-4 months is finally in my hand. Actually the school send it by email at the last day I’m working (phew, what a timing!), and 2 weeks later the school’s rijichou came to Jakarta to see us and hand the documents by herself. I get to meet my classmates and I’m really excited!

After working for more than 2 years, I realize that it’s a lot more fun to study than to work. It’s like when you’re a little kid you always hate it when your parents tell you to go to sleep, but when you’re all grown up you just seem to never get enough sleep.

4. Came home before I’m off to Osaka

Just like any other lovely Minangnese girl, I came home to meet my Mom, to visit my Dad’s grave and of course, to stuff my belly with delicious lip-smacking traditional cuisine before my long journey to the land where people eat raw fish. I also went to my Dad’s sibling’s home which is in a different province and met my cousins there. Fun stuff.

I already bought my ticket to Osaka and just yesterday I received a text message from Air Asia that my flight will depart 3 hours faster than the schedule. I think that’s just how a budget airlines works. I don’t mind it, though, as long as it takes me and my friends to Osaka safely. Can’t wait to see the cherry blossom! Oh I also will attend the Osaka Youtube Hanami Party by Unrested. So excited!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Things I Learned from Interviewing People

Since I’m the only local person in my department who speaks Japanese, I helped HR department when they’re interviewing a Japanese speaker staff. Well, besides looking for my successor, apparently my department decides to have a manager who speaks Japanese. Wicked!

I became a little bit used to interviewing people. It’s basically just questioning them in Japanese, which is I’m not that excel too (haha). But yeah it always makes them feel like “Oh God this girl can speak fluent Japanese!” or “Oh look this girl is so calm throwing questions! She must have lived in Japan for several years!” or at least that’s what I assumed seeing them all nervous and sweaty (yes, almost all the guys I interviewed were sweating).

Last Friday was pretty interesting. So there are 3 guys that we interviewed, let’s call them Mr. A, Mr. B, and Mr. C. Please note that most of the person I interviewed was older than me. I feel like a little princess who’s looking for a guy to amuse me because I’m super bored and don’t own a wifi router.

Here are things that I learned after interviewing them.

Mr. A

He went to a not-very-reputable university and took English Literature major. He studied for 3 years, did NOT finish it but instead went to Japan for some 3 years factory internship program. That’s where he got his Japanese language skill (d’uh!) but he doesn’t own a legitimate TOEFL certificate. What a lousy English Literature major student. And to be honest, his English was really not that good. He even requested to answer the question in Bahasa Indonesia! Dude, not cool.

After he’s back to Indonesia, he went to a different college, start from zero in computer major. The weirdest thing of this guy is when he described his job. He basically only did administrating job and a little translating in between, BUT he receives a much higher salary than I did! What the heck?!? I’m highly doubt that and believe he exaggerated his current salary, like, probably almost twice than the real salary he got.

Lesson learned:

-          - Do NOT ever request to change the language when you’re interviewed in a language other than your mother language. Just, don’t.
-          - Do NOT exaggerate your salary TOO MUCH. It’s OK to do it from time to time, but don’t over-do it.

Mr. B

He went to universities in Japan for both of his bachelor and master degree, graduate with summa cum laude GPA (perfect 4.00 GPA for his master degree), received the Monbukagakusho Scholarship, his TOEIC score was 825, have a JLPT N1 certificate. Bottom line, he’s not human. He’s a mutant with a super intelligent brain. Yet he’s very humble, calm and he even referred himself as “not very good in Japanese language”. I was ready to throw off my pencil at his face.

When my manager tells him about our business, he listened to it and asked some very good questions. I could see that this guy is really, really smart with eagle eyes that sees what human generally don’t see. He’s that good. And cool. And good looking. And married.

Anyway, beside my broken heart of seeing his wedding ring, this guy is top-notch but probably over qualified for the position. He expected high salary, which is OK considering his background.

Lesson learned:

-          - Be bold when questioning about the company and the job. You can see immediately what you’re gonna get through if you take the job.
-         -  Be humble. Even though it makes some people want to throw things at your face, it’s still a lot better than be a smug.

Mr. C

Firstable, this guy doesn’t speak good English and never took any TOEFL test. He’s currently working in an Indonesian company. When we asked him why he wanted to leave his job, he said that he wants to work in a international company. I think he meant was bi-national company since he only speaks Bahasa Indonesia and Japanese Language. International, you say? We wouldn't hire this guy, but for the sake of humanity, we still interviewed him. I don’t know why HR department sent him to us.

He has a really loud voice despite the fact the he also went to Japan for a 3 years factory internship. I guess he went to a part of Japan where people speaks loudly to each other. I don’t know what part of Japan is that, but oh well.

Lesson learned:

-          - Try your best to adjust your voice volume to match your surroundings.
-          - When you apply for an international company, for the love of God, SPEAK ENGLISH. Seriously.

Soo.. I’m not the one who’s going to choose them since I’m only helping. Not sure the management already picks the winner either. But it’s a good experience since I’ll be having some interview for my self too in the future *wink*.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The difference between being alone and being lonely

"Being alone is a fact, while being lonely is a state of mind."

-read somewhere in twitter

I’m a shitty introvert who actually like being alone but also needs to be in a crowded place sometimes. So, you’ll see me in a crowded place but looks … lonely (?). It gets me in a kind of ‘nowhere’ state when I was’ here’ but wishes to be’ there’, but when I actually get ‘there’ then I wish to be back to ‘here’. Haha, confusing, huh?

So it got me thinking, what’s the difference between being alone and being lonely? What kind of relation do these two words have?

You will know if someone is being alone when you see them sitting in a park without anyone sitting beside them and talk to them. That’s alone. You can actually SEE them being alone.

You see a person sitting in a bunch of people in a party, talking to each other, laughing, but secretly one of those people doesn’t feel quite the same happiness as others. Can you SEE it? No.

Being alone does not always mean that you’re sad because you don’t have a companion at the time. You CAN be happy even if you’re alone. Everybody needs a ‘me time’. So you have no right to judge a person when they go shopping alone or watch a movie alone. Especially when they look happy doing it. Even if they don’t show the happiness, I can still sense if someone’s enjoy shopping alone. Wow, introverts do stand with each other. #IntrovertsUnited

The other thing about being alone, for me, it’s more like an accomplishment after the ‘extrovert’ things I’ve been through all the weekdays. After 5 days in touch with the people in my office; from fun person who cheers me up to fucktards who makes my life turns to a sudden hell, I always need at least a day in 1-2 weeks of being alone. It’s like I’m charging my energy to mingle with people again. Trust me; dealing with people can be an energy-sucker

Being packed in a crowded laughing people does not always mean that you’re completely happy, either. Probably it is, for some of you. But for me, the shitty introvert, it’s not like that all the time. I like to be in the middle of a crowd; hell I even need it, sometimes. But when I run out of my extrovert energy, that’s when I feel I have to crawl back to my cave, just sit still in my short pants sipping ice tea while reading some books or watching sitcoms. And just laugh like Beavis and Butthead.

I can tell when loneliness attacks me. It’s when being alone doesn’t help anymore. It’s when being with another people, also, doesn’t help. 

So yes, I agree with the statement I saw when scrolling down my twitter timeline: “being lonely is a state of mind”. It doesn’t matter where you are, who you’re with, or what you do. When you FEEL lonely, you can’t help it.

Fortunately since loneliness is just a state of mind, you can turn around this situation by yourself. When you reach certain maturity, you WILL find something to prevent you to feel lonely. Most of the time people would just hit a party or meeting people, but in other case, being alone might help you. 

Funny how you can cure loneliness by being alone. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Book Review: Grace Mineta’s “My Japanese Husband Thinks I’m Crazy”

I used to own a blog through high school to early college and my blog address was “crazyvinny”, so when I know about this book I don’t feel that it’s weird at all. Somehow I feel so much related to the author. It’s good to admit you have a little craziness inside you, isn’t it?

This book is about an American girl named Grace being married to a Japanese guy named Ryosuke. This is not a romantic novel of interracial marriage. It’s a comic book about their daily life in Japan, which I think mostly contains each other’s misunderstood because of the cultural differences that somehow comes up really cute. Even though it’s racial; something that people usually avoid or just don’t talk about, Grace can put it up in a funny way in her comics. If I were Japanese, I guess I wouldn’t feel offended at all.

Not just comic, Grace also writes about how she sees Japan culture from American point of view; which apparently represent how people from other country mostly see Japan too.  I found these writings pretty deep, especially when Grace talks about onsen (public bath) in Japan and how it can boost a girl’s self-esteem about their body. I’ve never been to an onsen, but to think that you have to be completely naked already shivers me. However, after reading it, I think I’m scared because I’ve never been to one. If I give it a try, I probably can see her point in her writing (maybe, let’s see).

What I like the most of this book is that Grace makes interracial marriage sounds very fun, despite of all the stereotypes. Getting married with someone who doesn’t have the same mother language is already hard, let alone moving across the country where most of the people don’t speak her first language. Her ability to see a problem not as a problem is somewhat amazed me. She just doesn’t seem to make it as a big deal, although sometimes I can sense the anxiety in her writings. Ryosuke manages to calm her down and it makes me wish that in the future I could marry my own Ryosuke too.

If you’re about to go to Japan, studying Japanese culture, having a relationship with a Japanese guy, or just love something to do with Japan, I suggest to read this book. Grace is on her way to publish the second book “My Japanese Husband Still Thinks I’m Crazy” *gasp*. Cool, right? You can check out her website (not sure if I’m doing her any favor because this blog is new and don’t have a lot of visitor). 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How Education Went Wrong in Indonesia

I just saw the movie Whiplash. For you who already watched it, it was intense, right? But I’m not going to write a review about the movie.

It’s just, this movie somehow reminds me of my elementary school’s math teacher. She was able to make this fear atmosphere every time she walked into the classroom. The class would be in a total silence, pupils are nervously prepared their books on the table, and yes, we were afraid of her. Or was it just me who got very, very scared of her?

Why the hell did I get so scared of her?

I’m not very excellent in math. You wouldn't believe how much time I spent standing in front of the class being punished, desperately trying to solve the math problems she gave just to get my ass back to my seat, and almost crying thinking how stupid I was because I couldn't give her the right answer. And she, in all of her arrogance, successfully made me think that I’m not an excellent student and that I’d probably end up not having a good education in a higher level and would not have a bright future. She was totally brainwashed all the students, probably the parents too, to think that math is the basis of all kind of education.

This is where education went wrong.

A teacher should see what their student really best at, and not push them to be good at something they don’t have any interest at, or simply just not born with that particular ability. I’m not saying that if I’m not good in math then I shouldn't study math at all. D’uh.

What if someone was excellent in other subject but they already got this ‘not having a bright future if you don’t excel in math’ stereotype planted in their brain and lose their interest to education? Teachers SHOULD NOT turn this against their students and make the students feel embarrassed by not excelling in a particular subject.

Well, here I am, being not good in math, reached a high level of literature education in a reputable university, graduated cum laude, got a full time job 1 week after my graduation ceremony, and make enough wage to pay my own study abroad in Japan.

If she thinks that I can have more than that if I was excelled in math, then why did she become an elementary school math teacher in a small town herself anyway? Shouldn't she be riding her limousine eating caviar after having a holiday in Hawaii with her private jet plane?

Wow it turns out to be an emotional post, sorry.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Why Indonesian Kids Looks like They’re Obsessed with Doraemon

I’m telling you why. Because we grew up with Doraemon.

During my childhood in the 90s, TV channels in Indonesia have this “marathon” of cartoon shows (mostly Japanese cartoon) on Sunday morning from around 6 to 11 AM almost in every channel. To be fair we don’t have that much of TV channels at that time. There were only like 5 or 6 channels if I’m not mistaken.

The highlight of these cartoons is of course, Doraemon, which is aired in RCTI at 8 AM. Even until now, it’s still aired at precisely the same time. I think it’s started since I was born (?) and never change until I’m already 25 years old now. How cool is that?

As a little kid, we can relate to Nobita who’s always asking Doraemon to give him the magic tools that come from the future so he can do the impossible things like flying, go anywhere we want in a blink of an eye, or tools that makes you smart without having to study. 

It makes innocent kids like us thinks, “Hey, I want my own Doraemon!”

Sadly we won’t have our own Doraemon until like, 200 years from now, probably. So we keep Doraemon in a special place in our heart.

Hence the obsession.

Last month the movie Doraemon Stand By Me is on theaters in Indonesia. I know that in Japan, Doraemon regularly have a movie that comes in theaters, but not in Indonesia. This is the first time that we can watch Doraemon in theaters, so everybody who grew up in the 90s is so excited. Plus, the plot of the movie is that Doraemon is going back to the future and leave Nobita behind. It feels like the end of Doraemon and it kills a little bit of our child soul deep down inside.

The tickets sold like crazy! Even I had to buy online about a week before the premiere day. And when me and my friends went to the theater to see the movie, MY DEAR LORD I’ve never seen such crowded theater in my life. After I done watching the movie at 9 PM, people were still in line to buy the tickets!

Funny thing is, when I talk about how excited people in Indonesia about this upcoming movie of Doraemon to my Japanese colleague, they don’t seem slightly interested at all. They’re like, “yeah lately I saw a lot of Doraemon commercials on TV in Japan but I’m not really sure why” or “you DO know that this is NOT the ending of Doraemon, right?”.

Now I see why we seem a little bit obsessed about Doraemon. Even my boyfriend calls me a “Doraemon Otaku” when we visited Fujiko F Fujio museum in Japan. If I’m being called obsessed over Doraemon, I’m taking all the 90s children in Indonesia down with me to the Doraemon Otaku land. LOL.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Guangzhou Eats: Halal Food in Canton Fair 2014

If you happen to be a Moslem and will go to Canton Fair in Guangzhou, China, I will tell you one of the “safe food” I found in Canton Fair’s food court last year.

Canton Fair is where the businessman and traders from all over the world gathered and I met A LOT of Middle Eastern businessman there. So you don’t have to worry about being in a Moslem in China and couldn’t find any food that doesn’t contain pork meat.

How do I know that they’re Moslems? 

Well, first is their face, if they happen to be a Middle Eastern blooded guy (d’uh). But, surprisingly there’s another way on how I found it out. My middle name is Athina, taken from Arabic language; it’s common in Indonesia to name your kid with Arabic words even though you have absolutely no Arabian blood running in your family. So every time I handed my name card to them, they would go all “Aah, you’re a Moslem!” or “Assalamualaikum!”, something like that.

Now I know why it feels so good to find other “Moslem Brother” in a nowhere land where they eat pork and everything. It warms your heart.

So yes, like other Moslem who has a tough time finding halal food, I too had a hard time finding what to have for lunch. But, fear not, Moslem Brothers and Sisters! I present to you: Guangzhou Salam Catering Development Co.,Ltd  (totally exaggerating it, hahaha. It’s actually only one of the kiosks in the huge food court).

Let's zoom in...

See that "Halal" sign among the menus
Basically they have chickens and beefs on their menu, served with rice and potatoes and vegetables. The price is reasonable I guess, it was about 25-35 yuan (USD 5.00 – 6.00). I bought the chicken dish. The portion was ridiculously large; I couldn't finish it although I was pretty hungry at that time. It tastes pretty delicious and you won’t tell the strange smell they usually have on foods in Chinese dish (Indonesian will know).

You can eat this food on the “Halal Food Table” in the food court. It’s nice that Canton Fair set these separate aisles for them who eat Halal Food. You can eat your meal without being afraid you’ll get your plate splattered by pork oil from other people’s plate (?). Too bad I didn't take a picture of the “Halal Food Table” sign, but they have it in every food court, so don’t worry.

Anyway, there are always other options to find something to eat. It’s to bring your colleague who speaks Chinese to make sure you order the no-pork-dish. But, since they cook and serve it in the same equipment with the pork dish, well, you could tell a little bit of porky taste. If you’re too paranoia about this, you can choose one of these halal food in the food court. I’m sure they have lots in every food court in Canton Fair. Yay!

Monday, January 5, 2015

My Old Blogspot Blog Disappeared

I was an active blogger since high school to early years of college. Probably around 2005 to 2008 if I’m not mistaken. This was huge at that time, for me, since not many people in my age really aware what blogging is. Note that at that time, we didn’t have facebook syndrome like now, so I could really focus in blogging.

Oh, I didn't have a full access to internet in my home PC (my Mom was very strict on the limitation of my internet usage), so I would go to an internet café to post my blog. Good times.

I used blogspot, just like now.

And then I got busy with college life. Moving out from home and live alone in a different city did take my time. I stopped writing in my blog. But, I never delete it. For the last 4 years I still visit my page sometimes. I didn’t sign in, though. It’s good to see my writings are still there. Embarrassing moments too, but that’s OK. I can live with it.

And just when I thought to start writing again, I tried to visit my old blog, and then…

It’s gone.

All my post.
All my pictures.
Blogspot deleted my old blog, just like that.
*lay down*
*cry like a baby*


I guess it’s a blogspot’s way to tell me to move on to the next blog. Really, I never want to post anything in that unstable-high-school-girl blog anymore. But is there any way I can get my post back?
Just out of curiosity. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Guangzhou Travels: Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruise

One of my Chinese work colleagues took me and my other Indonesian friend to Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruise while we were there for a business trip. This boat cruise is supposed to take you around the river, back and forth, to see Guangzhou Tower a little bit closer.

Guangzhou Tower is also known as Canton Tower, I don’t know which one is the popular name. When I was there, I thought it’s famous as Guangzhou Tower instead of Canton Tower. But I’m not really sure because everybody was speaking Chinese, LOL. 

Guangzhou Tower looks like Tokyo Sky Tree, in my opinion. Both of them also functioned as Television Tower. Guangzhou Tower’s height was beaten by Tokyo Sky Tree in 2011. I visited Guangzhou tower during night time so I get to see it color changes. The color changes in like, every 5 seconds, I guess. It came out colorful, or one color like gold, blue, purple, red, etc. See the left picture, it's soo colorful. Meanwhile, Tokyo Sky Tree doesn't change the color periodically in one night, and I visited it in day light, so I only got this picture in the right.

From my hotel in Tian He district, it took about 20 minutes taxi ride to reach the boat port. It’s a small port for tour purpose only. I’m sorry I don’t know the port name, or the location name. I just went where my colleagues took me. Haha.

In front of the port building
The ticket was about 80 yuan/person if I’m not mistaken (about USD 16.00). This is for probably around 1 to 1,5 hours ride (vaguely remember).

I went there at around 8 PM so it was a bit windy, but I visited in April so the weather was still pretty nice. The boat was decorated with colorful little lamps around it. I think it’s a little bit tacky, but oh well who cares. 
The boat decorated with lamps all over it
Inside the boat, we were served with Chinese Tea (refill) and peanuts. There were tables covered in white sheets just like in a restaurant, with a wide window right beside these tables.

After sitting for 10 minutes, we decided to go to the top of the boat. There were also tables here, but the atmosphere is more romantic with all the candles and the flowers and the starry sky. Just the right place to propose your girlfriend (yeah right).

The scenery from the top of the boat
All of a sudden there was this Chinese guy shouting with loud voice and was pointing to a certain area on the boat. I was shocked and thought if there’s an accident or someone was jumping out to the water. But people were so calm and they started to make a line. Apparently it was for taking pictures, and people have to move very fast to take turn to get a good picture angle when the boat was passing right below the Guangzhou Tower. 

It was so fast that I didn’t have time to gather up my cute face and suddenly the cameraman told me to move my ass because it was the next person’s turn. The picture was printed immediately while we’re on the boat and we have to pay 20 yuan (USD 2.00) to take it. You don’t have to pay if you don’t want the pictures, though. But it was already printed, and it looks like this business strategy is paying them off really well.

Also they print your picture in a small size to put it into a keychain. It was a D.I.Y. All you have to do is take one key chain and put your picture in it. Voila!

Tada.. Awkwardly posing while holding my camera
About 6 months after I visited Guangzhou Tower, I went to Japan and visited Tokyo Sky Tree. I sent my Mom the pictures of these 2 towers, and I proudly tell her everything about them and how happy I am to have the opportunity to visit them. But she’s all like: “Why are you so obsessed with towers? Last time it was tower in China, and now it’s tower in Japan. What is so special about towers?”. Apparently I suddenly became a tower-freak to her.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Resolutions: 3 Things I Need to Stop in 2015

Happy New Year guys!

Talk about resolution, I’m not the kind of person who would list all the things I want to be happen in the whole year. 1 year is a pretty much long time, I think, and unpredictable things happen all the time. So I’m not really into listing all the details.

However, generally, I believe we can be a better person each day. Let it be New Year’s Eves, birthdays, or any special occasions. This is more like introspective resolutions, not “Stop eating and lost 10 kg this year” or “Visit 10 new countries” kind of thing.

So, here are the 3 things I should stop in 2015 and on.

1. Stop Doing Things Only For Social Media Sake

You have asthma and can’t breathe with cigarettes smoke around you, but you still go to the club just to post the pictures in the social media. Trust me; this phenomenal really happens in Jakarta. You shouldn't be miserable just to be able to show people that you’re so hip, or something like that.
Just, stop it. It’s not healthy. You may have an “attention-whore-disorder” or “thirsty-of-people’s-approval syndrome”. Go see a psychiatric.

2. Stop Trying To Please Everybody

I can’t stress this enough, but THERE’S NO WAY TO PLEASE EVERYBODY IN YOUR LIFE. You don’t live for people’s happiness; you live for YOUR happiness.
I’ll be quitting my job and go to Japan this year. My family might not approve this 100% (though my Mom is acting very supportive, thank God). The managers in my office might not be happy. But if I have to please everybody, I’ll never make any decision for my life, ever. Something’s gotta give.

3. Stop Expecting People To Do Something You Think They Should Do

It’s the other side of the coin of the 2 first points. Just because a person is living in a metropolitan city, they don’t have to wear branded stuff all the time (and miserably eating instant noodles at the end of the month). Just because a person has a technical degree doesn’t mean he/she can’t open up a café and be a cook.
Stop pushing your opinion and be judgmental all the time. It’s none of your business. You do people a favor by stop shoving what you think ideal to their brains.

That’s my so-called-revolutions this year. Ganbare!