We don’t define love

I find it amusing how some people have no idea about what love is. They came to me and said “I don’t know what love is” or asked “what is your definition of love?”. And I’m not talking about confused and inexperienced young teenagers here. These are people who I see have more years of being in relationship even marriage.


One fine afternoon in Belitung Island.

You know when you love someone. If you don’t know, then you don’t love them. It’s that simple. But I think people nowadays tend to complicate things. It used to be just “I love you, you love me, we are together”. Now it’s “I love you, you love me, but I can’t be with you, because I’m with someone else who I care about, so do you, and we end up feeling lonely”. Sad isn’t it?

Many philosophers (or normal people like me) have been trying to formulate the definition of love, but so far I can’t find one definition that represents perfectly what love is. Or what I think love is. It doesn’t mean those definitions are not right. What is right anyway?

Love could be so many things. There are symptoms, signs, indications you can cross-check if you’d like to know if you love someone. But that sounds so mechanical and theoretical, no? Why don’t you just take a deep breath and close your eyes and listen to your heart? You’ll know it when you love someone. If you don’t know, again, then you don’t love them.

We don’t need to define love. It’s a feeling that words can’t describe. You. feel. it.


Somewhere Beyond the Sea (Part 1)

I finally did it! After a long wait of around five years (and almost taking it two years ago), I eventually passed the Open Water Diver certification. I feel more complete as an Indonesian now, hehehe. I start to list the diving spots (and commit to save more money because apparently this sport is not cheap). I feel like I have the super power to explore the under-the-sea world. It feels wonderful.


Not our best pose, but you don’t actually think of posing when you’re too focused, hehe. Photo is taken by our instructor.

I have so many questions before taking it, obviously. Like… can I do it? I’m not the most athletic person and I’m physically not strong. I’m skinny and short, with -10 myopia on both eyes (so I dive with contact lens). I swim only one style and I don’t do gym. My biggest fear was: how to breath down there, I don’t even snorkel fluently :p.

Another burning question was: do I need it? Well, technically, you do need it. Diving license is like driving license. Yes, of course you can drive without one, but you should not. After learning all possible risks of underwater experience, I won’t risk it. Seriously, you could die if you don’t pay attention on the smallest details.

Imagine you will be under water for an hour or so for each dive, in the depth of up to 18 meters (speaking of open water dive). Imagine how your life depends so much on the air tank on your back, the regulators, the BCD, the SPG, and the weight you add to your body. You need to master all the use of them. You need to know what to do at certain time and certain situation. As simple as you need to know how deep you are, how to clear your mask and regulator, how to descend without damaging your ears, what to do when your regulator doesn’t work, and so on.

Not very surprisingly, I’m not good (yet) at all those. I’m terrible at hovering in my neutral buoyancy. I’m bad at controlling my direction and fin movement. And I’m scared of the unknown when it gets dark down there. The sea is really vast, you know. But it’s amazingly beautiful also. I believe I will get better along my diving log.

I’ll write more later.

After the Breakup

This is a short story about heartbreak. About losing so many aspects in my life. Losing my faith in love and relationship. Losing my trust in me. Losing my pride. Losing my joy. Losing some reasons of my happiness, my peace of mind, my dream. I’m losing a man I once loved dearly.

I’m ready now to write down this wistful story. I have passed all those stages I read everywhere on the Internet. Interestingly, those stages are not actually sequential. It’s not that once you crossed one stage, you can only move forward to the next stage. No, it doesn’t work that way, especially when the breakup is relatively fresh (I said “relatively” because everyone has their own timeline, and that’s totally fine). I’m approaching my fourth month now from the breakup. I feel stronger than ever. I can see things more clearly and I understand and accept that the breakup was necessary, the breakup was the right thing.

One important thing I learned this time is: not to be so hard on myself. “Don’t beat yourself up!” Seriously. If you’re going through a breakup, for whatever reason and whatever circumstances, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, take a good care of yourself. Acknowledge the pain (which may cause you doing things you won’t be proud of in a normal situation). Believe that you’re doing the best thing you could do at a given state of affairs. Always.

I still cry now and then. I’m torn. I feel my heart breaks again every time I realize that he fell out of love with me. Although I also don’t feel the way I used to feel about him. You know that feelings. How you don’t see the personality you were falling in love with. Getting to know each other more made us realized how different we are. We want very different things. He wants to always be surrounded by girls. At first, nothing about infidelity, it’s just the way he is. He loves being with girls. He loves being adored and admired for his physical features, his charisma, and his obsession about foreign culture. On the other hand, I don’t like men who flirts around. I found it tacky and unattractive. I might forget the fact that in the beginning he was flirting with me too, and I took the bait voluntarily :).

You know that phrase “one thing leads to another”? So yes, one thing lead to another. The flirting became more severe. I became so irritated thus the nagging followed relentlessly. Till at some point he got tired and took it beyond. He cheated on me. The first time was forgiven. But then there was the second, and third, and I lost count. And the day came. The day when we agreed to break our tie. We cried like we never did before. We loved each other that much.

Now, at this point I finally have everything sorted out clearly. That fog hanging on my head is lifted up. The reason of the breakup was so simple. We are not the right person for each other. We tried. We tried real hard to make it work, for the love reason. But he fell out of love too and I can’t work on this relationship alone.

It’s not easy to accept those facts. It’s actually really painful. Because it’s not just merely about losing the love, but about all those dreams and hopes that have been built are now shattered, drifted to the gutter.

But there is an up side. I’m not only losing in this game. I’m gaining too. Life lesson is the obvious and direct reward from the hardship. Strength, patience, new perspective, time to explore who I am and what I really want in a relationship and in life, and most  of all: detached happiness (the kind of happiness that starts inside me, not others).

That is the beauty of breakup. We actually become a better person. The Failed Relationship is like one subject in the University of Life and the real breakup is like the test we should go through and pass. By now I have taken this class several times and I know for sure at least I get a B+ this time. I don’t intend to attend this class again to get an A, though.

Lastly, when you’re going through a breakup, take your time to heal. Seek for support from your closest friends, perhaps family too (if you are close to them). Browse the Internet to get a wealth of tips and advice to help you; pick the ones suit you. Fortunately for us, it’s not a close book test :).

Contradictory Wisdom

“Life is what we make it”, they say. But hey, they also say “what will be, will be”.

Isn’t it rather annoying how the wise men always have something to say for certain circumstances in life? When something happens, a wisdom shared, people accept and use it to help them getting through difficult time. Let’s see this one as an example:

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

That wisdom has been helping couples in going through (temporary) separation. Some might find a way back, some are lost, some have to deal with the fact that absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder. Because you know… there is another wisdom:

Out of sight, out of mind.

Isn’t it amusing?

When things get rough in our relationship, we’d like to believe that this is the thing worth fighting for. Every couple goes through difficult times and many come out alive and stronger, holding on to the following wisdom:

You can’t just give up on someone just because the situation is not ideal. Great relationships aren’t great because they have no problems. They’re great because both people care enough about the other person to find a way to make it work.

On the other hand, there is this poet who fabricates a metaphor, helping our insensitive senses and mechanical brain to comprehend life and figure out its puzzling course. She created “the bridge”. It’s simple. It’s spot-on. It’s crystal clear.

Someone can be madly in love with you and still not be ready. They can love you in a way you have never been loved and still not join you on the bridge. And whatever their reasons you must leave. Because you never ever have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. You never ever have to convince someone to do the work to be ready. There is more extraordinary love, more love that you have never seen, out here in this wide and wild universe. And there is the love that will be ready.
Nayyirah Waheed

Another contradiction between one wisdom to another is the ones related to confidence or optimism. You must have heard this famous advice to:

Fake it till you make it.

Many actually follow and apply this in life–mostly working life–to boost their confidence fueled with great optimism. The underlined idea of “faking it until making it” is about developing some habits to eventually becoming part of who we are. We’re talking about good habits of course. You fake doing the habits of successful people. If you’re persistent enough, without you realize it you become one of those successful people.

How? Well, George Costanza has some practical tips for that :D.

On the other hand, some experts say “fake it til you make it” is a bad advice. Confidence should not be about pretending or acting. Because no matter how good you’re faking it, people can tell. There are some uncontrollable traits that will show the ultimate truth of who you are and how you really feel. What about letting your confidence emerge from your real accomplishment? No matter how small and simple accomplishment that is.

It’s dilemmatic in a way: which wisdom should we trust?


Click here for more contradictory proverbs.

Standar Gaji 2015 Terpilih

Topik standar gaji telah menjadi primadona di blog saya sejak tahun 2011 dengan total ribuan views dan ratusan komentar. Sayangnya, tidak mudah menarik garis rata-rata untuk dijadikan acuan, apalagi jika harus mengeneralisasi judul artikel ini sebagai “standar di Indonesia”. Perlu dicatat bahwa kebanyakan angka yang tertera di sini adalah angka yang berlaku di Jakarta (dan mungkin beberapa kota besar). Berbeda dengan sebelumnya, kali ini saya akan menyajikannya dengan merangkum lebih spesifik standar di perusahaan atau organisasi populer. Saya menggunakan referensi dari komentar yang ditulis pembaca blog, pengumuman lowongan kerja, situs qerja.com, situs jobplanet.com, serta sumber informal dari obrolan dengan teman dan kenalan.


Departemen Keuangan
Kepala Seksi: 8.5-12.7 juta (take homepay)
D3 STAN, masa kerja 7 tahun: 12 juta (take homepay)
Direktur, Kepala Pusat (eselon 2): 18-24 juta (take homepay)
Ditjen Non-Pajak/Bea Cukai, posisi staf golongan III/b pengalaman kerja 8 tahun: gaji pokok 2.7 juta, tunjangan 3.5 juta, uang makan 500 ribu, tunjangan kinerja/tukin sekitar 1-2 juta per bulan. Plus kesempatan perjalanan dinas ke seluruh nusantara, training di dalam dan luar negeri, beasiswa dalam dan luar negeri

Pemprov DKI Jakarta
Staf Pelaksana: 2.6-13.5 juta
Kepala Seksi: 3.2-10 juta
Dokter: 4-8 juta

Catatan: Gaji pokok PNS di seluruh Indonesia memiliki standar yang sama, tergantung golongan dan pangkat. Yang membedakan antar kementerian/instansi adalah tunjangan-tunjangan.


World Bank
Research Assistant: 10-14 juta
Administration Staff: 13-15 juta
Manager: 15-18 juta

Office Manager: 25.5 juta

Unit Head Team: 42.5 juta

Konsultan di badan PBB (UN)
Pendidikan S2, pengalaman 7-10 tahun: 22-30 juta

Receptionist: 7 juta
Secretary: 12 juta

Junior Technical Advisor/Professional: 7-15 juta
Technical Advisor/Professional: 9-35 juta
Senior Advisor/Professional: 15-65 juta
PR Professional: 15-18 juta
HR Professional: 11-13 juta
Office Manager: 9-11 juta
Finance and Accounting Officer: 7-9 juta

ASEAN Secretariat
Technical Assistant: 3.5-5 juta
Technical/Program Officer: 5-20 juta
Pengalaman >5 tahun dan S2 bisa >10 juta (asuransi kesehatan untuk keluarga dengan rate kamar 700 ribu/malam, total biaya pengobatan sampai 150 juta/tahun/anggota keluarga yg diasuransikan
Senior Officer: USD 29,000-40,000 (dengan insentif lebih banyak lagi)(semua belum termasuk sisa perdiem pada saat tugas ke luar negeri dan kesempatan training)

Manager: 42.5 juta
Technical Assistant: 7-9 juta
Technical Officer: 7-16 juta
Administration Staff: 7-9 juta
Research Assistant: 5-7 juta
Secretary: 4 juta


Markplus Inc.
Analyst: 5.8-20 juta
Business Analyst: 7-8 juta
Senior Research Executive: 9-11 juta
Senior Business Analyst: 11-13 juta
Research Executive: 5-7 juta

Ernst & Young
Consultant: 5.8-18 juta
Associate: 4-8.5 juta
Project Assistant: 5-7 juta
Senior Associate: 10-18 juta
Manager: 18-38 juta

Research Executive: 4.4 juta
Senior Research Executive: 7 juta
Researcher: 6 juta
Research Manager: 19.5 juta

PricewaterhouseCoopers Indonesia
Associate: 2-10 juta
Senior Associate: 8-20 juta
Assistant Manager: 5-40 juta
Manager: 6-40 juta
Auditor: 2.5-19 juta
Admin staff: 5-7 juta


Bank Mandiri
Manager: 11.3 juta
Assistant Manager: 6.7 juta
Micro Credit Analyst 3.1 juta

Assistant Vice President: 21.1 juta
Manager: 8-20 juta
Supervisor/Team Leader: 3-8 juta
Staff: 1-7 juta

Assistant Manager: 8-15 juta
Senior Supervisor: 8-10 juta
Supervisor/Team Leader: 2.5-4.5 juta
Staff: 1-9 juta

Bank Permata
Senior Vice President: 85 juta
Vice President: 31-45 juta
Assistant Vice President: 10-27 juta
Manager: 6-28 juta
Investment specialist: 16.5 juta
Frontliner: 3-4.5 juta
Customer service: 4 juta
Management trainee: 3.9-9 juta


Kasir: 1.2-2.2 juta
Manager: 10-30 juta
Division Head: 18-21 juta
Customer Service Manager: 7-9 juta
Warehouse Supervisor: 5-7 juta

Kasir: 2-3.5 juta
Kepala Toko: 1.7-3.5 juta
IT Support: 3-5 juta
Junior Staff: 5-7 juta
Branch Manager: 24-27 juta
Management Development Program: 4.8-5 juta

ACE Hardware
Purchasing Manager: 24-27 juta
Deputy Store Manager: 6.5-7.5 juta
Store Supervisor: 2.5-5 juta
Administration staff: 4-7 juta
Sales Advisor: 2-3 juta
Kasir: 3-5 juta


Kasir: 2-2.7 juta
Crew: 1.7-2.7 juta
Restaurant Manager: 7-7.4 juta

Crew: 1-3 juta
Assistant Manager: 4-5 juta
Manager: 4-10 juta


Graduate trainee: 10.4 juta

Assistant Manager: 8-10 juta
Assistant Area Sales: 5-15 juta
HRD Manager: 10-15 juta
Accounting Manager: 35-40 juta
Production Manager: 7-9 juta
Brand Manager: 21-24 juta
Assistant Brand Manager: 11-13 juta
Manufacturing Manager: 13-15 juta
HR staff: 5-7 juta

Chevron Indonesia
Junior Engineer: 7-9 juta
Engineer (Drilling, Facility, Petroleum, Mechanical): 7-38 juta
Senior Engineer: 50-60 juta
Geologist: 10-50 juta
IT: 7-15 juta
Analyst: 12-15 juta
Operator: 10-11 juta
Administration, Accounting: 9-20 juta
Senior Accountant: 21-24 juta
Team Leader: 65 juta
Direktur: 100-125 juta

Manager: 18.6 juta
Sales Manager: 10 juta
Senior Manager: 25.5. juta
Analyst: 10.5 juta
Assistant Marketing and Sales Manager: 6 juta
Division Head: 39 juta
Director: 55 juta
Senior Project Manager: 32.5 juta
Human Resources: 12 juta
Business Analyst: 7 juta
IT Analyst: 10 juta
Driver: 1.6 juta

Agung Sedayu
Manager: 10-30 juta
Field Coordinator: 7-13 juta
HR Manager: 15-18 juta
Marketing Communication Manager: 15-18 juta
Accounting Staff: 3-5 juta

Tiki JNE
IT Support: 2.5-2.7 juta
Staff: 2-3 juta
Supervisor: 8-11.5 juta

SWASTA LAINNYA (tidak spesifik)

Engineering Consultant (S2, pengalaman 7 tahun): 18 juta
Administrasi proyek (teknik): 4-6 juta
Coordinator (export): 5-6 juta
Supervisor (invoice): 6-8 juta
Assistant Manager (engineering): 13 juta
Assistant Marketing Manager (textile manufacturer di Jawa Tengah) pengalaman kurang lebih 14 tahun, pendidikan S1: 13 juta (plus tunjangan transportasi 1.7 juta)


Reservoir Engineer Pertamina Hulu: 19.2 juta
Warehouse & Logistic Supervisor: 37.5 juta
Assistant Manager Pertamina EP: 30.2 juta
Analyst: 10-11 juta
Junior Engineer Pertamina EP: 8.8-11.5 juta
Project Engineer Pertamina Hulu: 19-20 juta
Manager Pertamina Persero: 5-10 juta
Vice President Pertamina Gas: 75 juta
Deputy Branch Manager Pertamina Persero: 10 juta

SKK Migas
Supervisor: 9-13 juta
Staf: 6-13 juta
Staf Geologi dan Geofisika: 19.5 juta
Staf Proyek: 24-27 juta

Analyst: 9-11 juta
Supervisor: 7-9 juta
Engineer: 5-9 juta

Manager: 7-50 juta
IT Support: 1.8-3.1 juta
Call Center: 2.7-3.5 juta
Account Manager: 15-20 juta

Staf: 1-7 juta
Kasir: 4 juta
Engineering Operator: 4 juta

Gaji karyawan TV nasional

Gaji TV

Sharing bebas seorang insinyur EPC/EPCI migas

Lulusan jurusan teknik ITB awal tahun 2006, mulai kerja di Jakarta di sebuah perusahaan EPCI asing bidang construction offshore migas sebagai Junior Engineer. Posisi 2013 sebagai Senior Engineer, di EPC asing, tapi bukan kontraktor melainkan konsultan engineering.

Kenaikan gaji (gross):
2006-2007: 4.5-6.5 juta
2007-2008: 6.5-9 juta
2008-2009: 9-12 juta
2009-2010: 12-17.5 juta
2010-2011: 17.5-22 juta
2011-2012: 22-25 juta
2012-2013: 25-30 juta
2013-2014: 30-35 juta

Plus tunjangan kesehatan full termasuk istri dan anak-anak. Tunjangan rawat inap ditanggung sampai 800 ribu/malam untuk Junior Engineer dan 1.1 juta/malam untuk Senior. Bonus per tahun sekitar 1-2 kali gaji. Allowance ke lapangan adalah 250 ribu/hari nett.

EPCI = Engineering Procurement Construction (Commissioning) & Installation.
EPC = Engineering Procurement & Construction.

Perusahaan EPC/EPCI migas asing: Saipem, McDermott, Technip, NISCONI, KBR, Wood Group, JGC, Hyundai Heavy Industries, Petrosea, Hafar Marine, dll.

Perusahaan EPC/EPCI migas lokal: Tripatra, IKPT, Singgar Mulia, KRS, DMB, Rekin, PT BiRu, Meindo, RPE, IKL, dll.


Silakan memanfaatkan informasi ini untuk mendapatkan gambaran gaji yang layak untuk pekerjaan kita. Intip postingan saya sebelumnya mengenai standar gaji ini di:

Standar Gaji Indonesia 2011
Standar Gaji: Update!
Standar Gaji Indonesia 2013 

Semoga sukses di 2016!

The Happiness Formula

Happiness is 50% genetics, 10% circumstances, and 40% intention, some studies say. Bummer! No wonder people have different temperament and contentment. We were born with certain portion of “talent” to be happy. That means we cannot control this 50% of our happiness level.

So let’s say, hypothetically, I’m genetically not a happy person. If I’m married to a person with bad “happiness genes” and we make babies, these babies will be genetically doomed. Won’t they?

The good thing is, we can actually control the rest 50% to be happy. Or happier. That 10% accounts to life circumstances like personal experiences, occupation, health, income, religious beliefs, status, age, gender, geographic factors like where we live. We can “work” on some of those. However, we shouldn’t put efforts solely to achieve these factors because the other big portion is actually what’s happening in our head, what’s in our recent past, and the intentional activities we choose to do. The bad news is, it’s not easy to control. It requires effort.

Happiness Proportion

But take my advice. Every time you feel upset or sad or unhappy, don’t bother too much. Maybe it’s just your genes. Hehehe 😀 😀 :D.

Travel tips: momondo

Being acknowledged by CNN as the best search engine with the greatest coverage and speed, momondo is truly the best “travel search and compare” tool. I firstly knew this site about two years ago, and it became my favorite since then.

The beauty of momondo is its vast coverage. It compares many famous travel search engines like eDreams and skyscanner. It gives you rich selection with various parameters like price, time and duration of travel, with a nice time series graphic showing the fares fluctuation. It offers good fares, even compared to the famous KAYAK.

Different from other similar search engines, momondo doesn’t directly sell tickets. Instead, it will direct you to the booking site like eDreams, Bravofly, airtickets24, skyscanner or refer you to the airlines.

As a one-stop travel site, momondo also has feature to search for hotels, car rentals, even some holiday inspiration. You can save time from comparing which one is better between Agoda or booking.com, for instance. Momondo will do the work in finding the best price, you then choose from the booking site.

Searching for flights and hotels never been this fun!

The preview of hotel booking selection

The preview of hotel booking selection