Category Archives: general

Some lessons I took from people who are financially secured:
– Spend less even if you earn more
– Relationship is so much more important than money
– Be generous to others
– Give a portion to God first
– Don’t let money or title define you
– Don’t let other people define you by what you own or wear.

My own personal take: Money is just a number. Increase that number, but don’t hold on to it. You will not die and carry any of it with you. #reminder

View on Path

At the workplace:
I waived my ten fingers to my colleague who sat in front of me in excitement, as a way to call his attention and let him know that we can settle for 55 of something (a better deal than the previous one).
The co-founder of that space happened to pass by and that kind & sweet guy just thought I was waiving at him.
He waived his ten fingers back and said, “Hi Shirley!” #coworking #jakarta #april

View on Path

The art of negotiating

I was sleepy and tired of dragging my heavy bags throughout the compact city, jumping from one subway to another. Ten friggin hours.

Almost midnight. The friendly Malaysian lady at the transit desk had warned me this morning to check in earlier but between 10pm and 1am. I made a mistake by going to Terminal 1 to reach my transit hotel first without realizing that I must produce a boarding pass to get through immigration. So I went back to T2… 

The check in counter was quiet, but I was ready to enter the departure gate, a tall guy came forward & asked for my boarding pass.

“Are you traveling alone, miss?” he asked friendly.

“Yes,” I said. We chatted a while until he asked me to put my luggage in the scale. Over many years traveling with this airline, I have always passed! 8+5 kgs. I saw it, he saw it.

“You have 3 kilos of excess baggage,” he showed me the picture of maximum 10 kilos. 

I did left Jakarta with 8+ kilos, but they didn’t scale me. Plus, I went shopping all day in the city. But he didn’t know it.

“Oh no. How much do I need to pay? Will it take a long time? I really need to check in to my hotel & get some sleep,” I said.

“Well, you need to pay an extra fee…,” he looked at my boarding pass, and called his supervisor. The third person came and told both of us the same thing we’ve already known. 

“Miss, you carry 3 kilos extra,” he said. 

In my mind I said I could drop it right there and say OK, but I hate to checking my bag & just want to lay down.

“There are shoes there. I will wear my shoes in the morning, cuz now I’m only wearing sandals now!” I said with a big grin on my face. 

The supervisor smiled.

“Ok, can,” he said and walked away. The first guy just stared at my pass.

“Well?” I asked.

“Can lah,” he said. I replied with ‘thank you’ and walking away with a victory feeling.

Note to self: Not to be sexist, but these only works with male officials, it doesn’t work when I was dealing with female airline staff in Spain and France. Lol. 

📸 the pilot on my last flight

After Revisiting Java Jazz Festival Indonesia for 13 Consecutive Years

Here are few short clips from last night’s #javajazz2017 shows. From Paulinho Garcia, Emma Larsson, Mezzoforte, Incognito, Sérgio Mendes to Bebel Gilberto… 

The best experience was watching the Latin Grammy winner, Sérgio Mendes with his talented team. Definitely enjoy some memorable tunes like “Agua de Beber”, “Mas Que Nada”, “Magalenha”, etc.

Somehow this year is less memorable for me compared to the previous years (considering the fact that I’ve attended Java Jazz Festival since it started in Jakarta 13 years ago). Part of the reasons is the elimination of special show tickets and lack of time management at several stages out of 14 in total.

Some shows made people wait in line for more than 40 minutes, which can actually be used to watch other performers. If last year I got to watch 7-9 stages in a day, this time I had only managed to catch 5-6 stages — with had the longest waiting time mixed with a bad memory of watching an unpleasing sight of a drunk unattractive Portuguese hackler fan dancing and screaming his way while other people were trying to enjoy Bebel Gilberto show. Mucho peor. I feel bad for the Brazilian singer as well, because her show had some glitches in preparation, sound system, etc. 

In overall, Java Jazz Festival started in 2005 as an experimental jazz event that tried to educate Indonesians on jazz music and attract more international jazz performers and tourists, by mixing some jazz musicians with pop artists that have little to none connection to jazz music whatsoever, including Slank, Padi, Kla Project, Kahitna, Raisa, Afgan, Jessy J, Christina Perri, Craig David, Lionel Richie, and this year, Ne-yo (??!!)

However, thanks to the festival, as a jazz fan I have had the pleasure to see world-class performers like Jonathan Butler, Dave Koz, Jamie Cullum, Joss Stone, Stevie Wonder, James Brown, India Arie, Santana, Corrine Bailey Rae, Babyface, Sting, Chris Botti, Chaka Khan, Peter White, Kirk Whalum, Kurt Elling, Sergio Mendes, David Foster, Jason Mraz, Rene Olstead, Bebel Gilberto, etc. 

Not to mention world-class bands like Incognito, Fourplay, Mezzoforte, Ron King Big Band, Earth, Wind and Fire, the Manhattan Transfer, Spyro Gyra, and more. 

The biggest benefit of going to this festival every year is to find old and new jazz artists from around the world that I have never heard before, especially those who have developed their brand among a niche market in their respective countries. Will Java Jazz Festival invite a great superstar performer like Laura Pausini, for example?

I will still look forward of visiting the annual music festival so long as it is held in Jakarta. JIE Expo Kemayoran is not the best venue for this kind of event, but it is still a better option which doesn’t require a staycation compared to other venues in BSD, Ancol or Sentul, for example. I have to admit that the “snobbish” jazz lover in me still pick Jakarta Convention Center at Senayan area, because the venue is so much more smaller, accessible, convenient and located more privately indoor. I still remember blending with the volunteers, attending some pre-events, master classes or small sponsored meet and greet events on the lower floor, catching taxis from Sultan hotel, finding “secret” public toilets and eating spots that were less crowded, and so on. I couldn’t get that sense of belonging in JIE Expo because that place is huge and tricky. 
What’s your most memorable Java Jazz experience so far?

#jazz #festival #jakarta #jazzmusic #weekendreview #jjf2017 #indonesia

My Ordinary Saturday

Got out of the house just to put this big buddy & get my daily coins at the nearest gym 😁

Finally able to get rid of dizziness with Actifast, avocado food and plenty rest. Decided to have a few kilometers bicycle ride 🚴‍♀️around the complex to get rid of the cramps. It works! After a quick grocery shopping & hot shower, felt much much better.

I wanna recharge my stamina to 100% for tomorrow’s Java Jazz Festival!!! 🎼🎹🎺🎻🎷
#weekends #bicyclestory

View on Path

Friday Can’t Wait


Udah nyanteinyantei, 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 to 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 we can’t pick the menu. As results, we lose more money AND gain weight. It’s a lose-lose situation! Cooking is way cheaper and 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?

View on Path

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!

View on Path

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.