Friday Can’t Wait

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Udah nyantei-nyantei, baru inget kalo besok pagi janjian ama PT buat di”siksa”. Akh!! 😖
Dari data timbangan terakhir, berat ideal perlu turun 2-3 kilo lg. Wheew. Glad though that most of my old dresses and pants are wearable again (without having a visible tummy, lol).

Having a flat stomach is not easy, but not as hard as well!). We just need to stop saying these three things: kenyang!”, “males”, “pesen delivery yok!” Lol.

1. “Kenyang

Never ever let your body experience this. You know that bloated feeling when you’re going with friends to an all-you-can-eat buffet back in college? Well, those days were gone. Stop eating before you feel full.

2. “Males”

Nothing good comes out of laziness. Lazy people are pathetic and deserve to be fat.
I’m just agreeing with comedian Bill Burr, who said he has nothing against fat people but can’t seem to understand why we can’t say someone is fat. “Why? It’s not a race or religion, and it’s totally curable!!” “Do you know what one’s gotta do to get a six-pack stomach? It’s freaking hard. Now, what does one has gotta do to get fat? Nothing!” Hehehe, brilliant.

3. “Pesen delivery, yok!”

A recipe for disaster if you are trying to maintain your figure yet living alone. Ordering food with Go-food, Grab food, etc, requires you to order a minimum portion of food (usually above Rp 50k) and it will force you to finish it. Catering is just as worst if you can’t pick the menu. As result, you lose more money AND gain weight. It’s a lose-lose situation! Cooking is way cheaper & healthier. Don’t have time? *Bullshit* There are so many Buzzfeed tutorial videos out there on how to cook in 5-10 mins 😄Don’t have a stove or refrigerator? Buy one or move to a new place. You can still have just either one, but can’t survive without both. At least if you have a refrigerator, you’ll be able to eat only half of portion and then keep it in the fridge, right?

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Mentorship in My Head

Pick a good, honorable mentor (or two or three). I can’t say enough of this. Even though you are not actually trying to copy that person, there will be some things you pick up along the way because of the frequency & intensity of your encounter with the person, e.g. how to talk, how to dress, how to express oneself, how to respond other people, etc…

If the person is good, you’d likely to want to become a better person. If the person is bad, then… 🙄

I’m not saying you need to look for perfection. There isn’t any in this world, including you and I. But you’ll learn to accept the person like he or she accepted you, and filter out the things you don’t like/ agree with. And most likely, that person also has something he or she admires about you (that’s how you got connected in the beginning).

Some things I learned from my mentor(s): how to generous to other people (offer a meal together, give the best food we have to be shared. It didn’t come naturally to me, but now I know that I’m getting there), how to put others’ need above oneself, how to buy things that are not cheap but more long-lasting, how to be a good sport, how to not take yourself too seriously… and many more.

Today I am humbled to remember these. I appreciated everyone who saw good in me & then pushed and encouraged me to become a better person. If you haven’t found a mentor, build your connection & be brave enough to ask for someone’s guide. Sometimes, it only takes a few phone calls or heartwarming emails and a willingness to make it happen!

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The Will to Exercise (Bicycle Story part 1)

There’s gotta be some connections between cerebral cortex and the will to exercise. Or else why do some people love doing it but some just never will?

I love #sports since I was very young. From badminton, ping pong, squash, swimming, surfing, wake boarding, kayaking, wushu, taichi, yoga, to cycling. They are all fun things that give me the #adrenaline rush and in the end, endorphin to stay happy. I like water, gymnastic activities, as well as steering/riding things (horse, bike, kayak, surfboard, motorbike, boat… you name it!)

The first time I rode a bicycle was probably when I was 5 or 6, and I didn’t need anyone to teach me how to do it. One day, my mom just watched me rode my tricycle with the two extended wheels already lifted. I lifted that thing up because they made it difficult for me to move around. My mom saw me and yelled at my dad, “Look, she got rid of the small wheels! She can ride a bicycle!” And then, at 14, I taught myself how to ride a motorbike and it was just oh, so much fun. I took one of the motorcycles at the house and just got out of the street. That’s the perks of not having so much parental control in the house, I suppose. Lol.

Research reveals, “those who were already active at the beginning and had high levels of psychological well-being tended to stay active even as they got older”, which is very true. There were times in my life where I wasn’t involved in any sports routines, but once I’m hooked, they’ll be like “drugs” and I’ll stay doing it for years, e.g. I started practicing #yoga regularly in 2011 and 6 years later, I’m still loving it. I got bored easily too, so I need to find a new sport to like. I also notice that I always come back to sports whenever I’m in a “soul-searching” or crisis mode. They don’t act like an answer or diversion, but they help me stay alerted, focused on finding my solutions. Most of the times, believe it or not, we already know the answers, but we just need time, clarity and confirmation.

Tomorrow is Another Day

I sat down and had a cup of coffee

I talked to you and you were there

This is how we always do it since I could ever remember

I stared at the cloudy sky and waited for the rain. I have always loved the rain.

I said I was tired. I knew you understood.

I said this is all I am and I have nothing more to give

I cannot breath sometimes

It is too hard to speak, yet too easy to sleep on it

You listened, even though I sometime don’t

This is how I pray. I don’t need other people to tell me about what is the right thing to do when communicating with God. It is such a personal experience that I doubt everyone would understand.

That’s okay. Today I might have cried or failed, but tomorrow I’ll come back stronger than ever. As long as I know he is there with me 🙂

How Airports Extort Money from Us #1

Everything sold at an airport is bloody expensive. If you’d ever wondered how much they mark prices up, well, it could be 200% or more. No kidding. 

See some examples of prices at Juanda international airport in Surabaya:

Bogasari milkfish is priced based on weight: Rp 70,000-Rp 100,000

Coconut flakes (srundeng): Rp 30,000

Regular crackers (krupuk) Rp 30,000-Rp 85,000

This sh*tty overlysweet coffee is Rp 24,000, taken straight from that icky cheap Nescafe #coffee machine often found at 7-Eleven or Circle K 🙄 

… but I’d still prefer this place over Starbucks (coffee priced Rp 60,000 and up) because they are less crowded & has plenty of power outlets! 

Tip: If you want to spend more than an hour of waiting for eating & drinking, just head to the nearest lounge. They only charge Rp 150,000 per person (but of course it’s free for some Indonesia’s bank credit card holders). #juanda #surabaya #TGIF #airport #travel

Have You Asked Questions on Quora?

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It’s been years since I registered on Quora, yet I just had the right time and mood to finally contribute answers in it.

The first question I answered was related to copywriting. It felt kinda nice to get some upvotes, doesn’t it? So, I tried to answer the second question when someone requested it. It’s kinda fun! Now I think I’m gonna do it more often, just like blogging…

Here are some of my first answers in Quora. Let me know your experience with the site, too 🙂

What does a good copywriter do?

A copywriter is a creative job best found in advertising agencies. In order to become a good copywriter, a person needs to develop few years of experience in writing for different outputs/ platforms.

For example, when I started my career as a copywriter, I have already had a writing portfolio because I regularly published short stories in local newspapers. As the years go by, my experience evolved from doing proofreads, writing product descriptions, creating taglines for print ads and TVCs, develop VO scripts for radio ads, to creating a concept for an entire campaign together with an art director partner under the supervision of a creative director. You will move up and become a creative director typically within 5–8 years.

It is better to build your career once you are graduated because there will be many competitions seeking for young talented creative copywriters. If within 1–3 years you did not win any competitions or advertising awards or get approached by big agencies, maybe you need to step up your game. Build your presentation and foreign language skills, especially if English is not your native language. Once you win a local award, try submitting your work to an international award. It is hard to measure if someone is really good at copywriting unless at some point he or she wins an award or recognition for it.

Where can I find a funny copywriter for chatbots?

Finding a funny copywriter is a tough job, most probably you wouldn’t find one in big agencies. Try hiring a scriptwriter whose previous gigs include a variety show or comedy series. Another option is to spot a fresh YouTuber talent/ video blogger on the internet. This person may not have a writing skill, but you can easily send the raw material to a copy editor for minor grammatical tweaks.

What are some things on which most people unnecessarily spend a lot of money?

  • Apple (iOS) products (worse specifications, much higher prices)
  • Bottled water (one can just use a permanent filter or put ice in tap water for drinking)
  • Lululemon/ branded yoga attire (we just buy at Target or Aeropostale – much cheaper)
  • Business class or first class flight (you can use miles to upgrade your flight. Miles are accumulated from flights on the same alliance partners, hotel partners, and travel credit cards).
  • Owning a car (you can use Uber and save up on gas, parking, maintenance, insurance, and your time!).

How do I deal with a girl that wants to be my girlfriend but I’m not interested?

I’m a girl and I know how it sucks not to hearing the truth but keep expecting things that would never happen. If the girl has verbally expressed her feelings to you, then you gotta tell her the truth: you consider her as a friend and you want to stay that way. However, if you think this girl has potentials in the future and you still want to open your way to having a relationship with her, ask her out on a date and see how it goes. Sometimes our minds play tricks on us. The moment we want to see the best in someone, we will be able to see it!

However, if you think this girl has potentials in the future and you still want to open your way to having a relationship with her, ask her out on a date and see how it goes. Sometimes our minds play tricks on us. The moment we want to see the best in someone, we will be able to see it!

If the girl hasn’t said anything to you… well, I think you’re just too full of yourself. She probably doesn’t fancy you that much. Girls are manipulative, sometimes we make guys think that we like them just so we could get what we want (e.g. getting a car ride home, helping with projects, buying lunch, etc.). Lol. Don’t fall into it 😉

How do I convince my Indonesian parents that girls can solo travel?

My big sister and I are both solo travelers and we came from a rather close-minded family. Although we are ten years apart, both of us become very independent and have lived away from our family for many years.

Here are some tips for you to consider:

  1. Moving out of your parents’ house. Personally, I think this is the most important decision I’ve ever made in my life. I know from a very young age that I want to move out and live by myself (like most young adults in Western countries). By the time I was 19, I have got myself two part-time jobs which I secured without my parent’s permission in the beginning. After a few months, they started noticing that I came home late every day, so when they finally asked, I told them that I’ve already got paid for doing a website design and some teaching jobs. By the time I was 21, I secured a full-time job in a bigger city, left my hometown and lived by myself (but I wasn’t scared at all because I’ve already had some experience working with other people). It was hard at first, but you’ll get used to it.
  2. Once I live by myself, I don’t need to ask money or permission from my parents. However, solo travel takes more than money and guts, you have to do proper research prior to your departure. The first country I visited alone was India, so it wasn’t as organized as Singapore or Hong Kong — for example. This experience has given me more courage to go to other more developed countries. Most of the times, I don’t tell my parents where I am going, but I will leave some notes at my place and tell my siblings about it. They would be able to detect my journey through Facebook and my other social media.
  3. When you have traveled to 1–2 foreign countries by yourself, share those experiences with your parents by showing them the beautiful pictures you’ve captured from your journey. By doing that, they would be reminded that you’re a responsible adult who knows perfectly how to take care of yourself.
  4. So far I’ve had traveled alone to 10+ countries, including India, Australia, Turkey, Korea, France, Spain, U.S.A., and Ireland. Nothing bad had ever happened to me, and believe me when I say this: you will find many good people who will help you on your journey. By traveling like this, I get to meet more local friends and realize that the world is not as bad as the news often describe to us.

If you’ve never spent time browsing on the site or ask/ answer anything, well, I think it is a bit like an acquired taste. I guess I just recently found my joy contributing and reading this site after I actually listed down all categories that I’m interested in and subscribed to their newsletter. Interested? You can follow my Quora here.

 

 

Living Not to Impress

When you live like you don’t care about the expected lifestyle or what other people think, you’ll stand out. It’s lonely, and easily misunderstood by most people.

Thus, always remember them who are always with you through your easy and difficult times.

Do they take advantage of your easy life?
Do they stay away from you when you’re in a difficulty?
Do they treat you the same when you’re in a high position or stripped off from your privileges in life?

I think, one doesn’t need to know people very long to determine their characters, but after 2 years you’ll get through all seasons twice and know a person better. 

After 5 years, you’ll realize how they’re important to you or not.

After 8+ years, if you’re still keep in touch on a regular basis, you will miss them when they’re away and you know you’ve found a best friend. #weekendthoughts

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After Two Weeks of Cycling

I have recently started riding my bicycle within 5 km distance to save time, money and get fitter. Needless to say, I quickly found my childhood joy of cycling! (even though I often got trapped in the middle of heavy polluted and congested traffic or got teased by male passersby. GRR!)

Spent absolutely Rp 0 for 3 roundtrips to the gym and grocery stores a week (which usually spent on Uber/ Gojek + multiple tiring phone calls to the drivers). I could reach 2 km distance in 10-15 mins (after finding nice shortcuts), in comparison to 30 mins waiting + travel time if I use Uber/Gojek. The downsides are I have to shower as soon as I reach a destination (cuz this is NOT a 4-season country like Italy), and run my washing machine more often.

“I noticed that I was spending huge money on things I didn’t really need: trips to the bar, pretty clothes, takeout coffee, and so on. And all this with a mortgage and other big expenses to take care of,” said the girl in the article.

Yass, I agree. Apparently, I can live without (Doohh, of course, you can!) buying new clothes, fatty snacks, fancy meals or even cut my lifestyle spending by 90%.

Things I miss the most:

  • Salon treatment (seriously, biweekly pedicure, hair spa, massage routine is nice)
  • Traveling to a new country
  • Mingle with friends in fancy cafes (I limit social meetups only with small circle of friends at a time)

Things I don’t miss at all:

  • Buying new clothes, shoes & bags
  • Eating out after work (I like cooking for myself, cuz I can listen to music & think about other stuff while preparing the meals)
  • Hipster food & drinks (Rejuve, Kopipapi, Kokonut, Shilin, MisterPotato, etc)
  • Starbucks (bought a coffee maker instead. One cup brewed from good coffee beans only costs like Rp 1,500)

Things I still hold on to:

  • Investment & insurance
  • Platinum gym membership (it’s almost like breaking off a long relationship with your gym buddies, teachers, etc. Plus, I still need the yoga classes & hot showers in strategic malls around the city)
  • Netflix (reduced it to 1 screen viewing, but I still like to see their original shows & I have committed to eliminate piracy within the best of my ability)
  • Books & digital storage purchases (paperback, ebook, cloud server)

I will slowly get back to my old routines once I get the right full-time job, but I think I’ve learned a lot through this frugal living experience and will continue to ride my bicycle for fun & health reason. After all, I’ve lost like 3 kilos within 2 weeks. Not bad at all.

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Journey of an Asian solo female traveler