7 Attitudes to Survive in Jakarta

Let’s face it. Living in Jakarta is getting more and more ridiculously challenging (“challenging” is a word the optimists use which is actually synonymous to: hard, difficult, complicated, and tricky :D).

It will be a boring repetition, but I have to mention again why Jakarta is so (damn) not easy. The air is heavily polluted, the traffic is frustratingly congested, the rivers and canals sickeningly stink, and the living cost is relatively high. Above all, we still have to face various people who many of them are cynical, opportunist, individualistic, hypocritical, and depressed

 Having lived here for a few years gives me the idea to share some of my observations, conclusions, and (perhaps) tips to survive in this “lovely” city.

First, patience. You need it a LOT. You have to be patient. Most of the frustration you face in Jakarta is out of your control and there is nothing you can do but to be patient. Trust me in this. If you try too hard to make things under control (people are naturally control freaks), you will find yourself beaten up because you are helpless. If Fauzi Bowo can’t fix all those problems faced by the Jakartan, most likely, neither can you. So, why don’t you stop complaining and start establishing some smart tricks to get along well with the city?

Second, patience. Yes, after supplying so much patience to get along with everything, you still need to spare another form of patience in order to rejuvenate your spirit and energy. This second layer of patience will keep you willing to continue living the unhealthy metropolitan life.

Third, indifference. You don’t have to care about everything around you, including people’s opinion regarding you and what you’re doing. And since I am purely admirer of Paulo Coelho, I will happily quote his words: “what other people think about you is none of your business.”

Fourth, ignorance. Ignorance is bliss, you know. Although for the whole life you have been preached to always dig all knowledge in the world, sometimes being ignorant is harmless. What you don’t know will not hurt you.

Fifth, arrogance (or probably I should call it: confidence). Trust in yourself and believe that you’re a meaningful creature having some important missions to do. You are significant and you play an important role. Otherwise, you will feel miserable and useless and you will want to die.

Sixth, optimism. Nothing is eternal in this world, so is in Jakarta, so is the depression. Live your day lightly and calmly. Don’t take too hard on too many things. When you are drowned in so much trouble then take a deep breath and have your golden slumber. You deserve it. Afterwards, you may start planning some strategy to face all challenges. Everything will flow.

Seventh, respect. Other people are frustrated too. They also have to deal with their nagging wives, lazy husbands, naughty kids, stupid partners, annoying colleagues, never-ending tasks, corrupt government officers, or fraudulent real estate agent (hehehe). So, try to understand when sometimes they act unrealistically. We are all human anyway.



A Good Thing Comes When You Least Expect It

Envy alert! 😀
Ya, I remind you. You might envy me for my luck.


These days were interesting for me. I got three things that I really didn’t expect to happen.

First, I finally have a credit card. Credit card? Are you kidding? That is so two-thousand-and-late! Ya… ya… believe it or not, this is my very first credit card. I have been applying for a credit card since years ago and always been rejected by several banks. Rejection hurts :). But I do understand. Those banks must know at that time I was not a huge fan of shopping. And I didn’t have much money either. Now, I shop a lot (especially dresses and accesories). But although my account balance is (still) not abundant, this bank gives me quite high limit. Strangely, I am happy.

Second, it is about my master thesis. I finally got my mark. Nggak tanggung-tanggung, it is not a seven, or an eight. It is a nine. Crazy, huh? It “causes” me to graduate with distinction or you might know it as cum laude :-). I feel blessed. I feel uplifted. Last week I was at the bottom of my confidence. Now I am up again. I feel good.

She is not me. I am just trying to give you some idea of what I do on my back 🙂

Ah! One more interesting thing: I can do backstroke style now (not really the style with the right technique sih…). After three times practicing (in three days, several minutes each), I am finally able to float on my back. One comment: it is so easy! I have all the theories in advance. Be brave, lift your waist, move your legs, bla bla bla. I practiced. I failed several times. But at the third attempt, a friend gave me one useful tips: let your ears underwater. And voila! I did it!

God is such a Joker

Back to the title: a good thing comes when you least expect it. I do believe it now. Those three things I mentioned above are definitely off my expectation. I mean… of course I expect to graduate soon. But a “nine” for my thesis project is beyond expectation. And credit card? I just have a job for two months! I don’t expect to be approved now. And floating on my back? This soon? I am thrilled! :-).

He is the King of Twist. What I mean by He is God. Just so you know, I’ve been praying for totally different things like:

“God, please let me graduate soon. I am sick of this thesis.” or
“God, I don’t really care about the mark. Seven is enough. Eight is blessing.” or
“God, I don’t care about credit card. As long as I have friends who can lend me theirs.” or
“God, saya pingin bisa gaya punggung dalam satu atau dua bulan ini.”
“God, dekatkan saya dengan jodoh saya. Saya mohon dengan sangat, mudahkan jalan kami…” (hehehe)

He is indeed a Joker. The last prayer I have is the most habitual prayer of mine. Guess what? He has not granted me that. He keeps twisting my prayers. I ask this, He gives me that. And so on and so forth. Should I start not expecting it?



I love packing. I don’t know how to put in words to explain how big my passion is in packing. I LOVE it. With capital L to E :D. And since I love it, I am getting better and better in it. Give me a suitcase and some piles of clothes and all; I will arrange it neatly and systematically. Or give me boxes. I like packing into boxes even more.

Cute toys 🙂

When I was in Holland, they have plenty cute equipments and tools to pack. And we can easily get them in stores like Action or Xenos.

Maybe it is because I am Asian, then I have the genes. Have you heard about that? About Asians are expert in light packing? No? Well, look at me! I don’t mean to be racist, but I think Africans are the worst. At least Africans I know, they can’t pack. They seem to not knowing the art of packing. It should be packed! :D. Um, perhaps I should stop stereotyping in this “sensitive” issue, hehe. Because maybe it does not have anything to do with the race, or gender, or age, or else. Maybe it is simply talent. Yes, I might say I am talented in packing.

The problem with loving packing is I am not really into unpacking. Yeah, it is like a betrayal. You’ve done an excellent job in putting your stuff into a suitcase or a box, and then at some point you have to open it and start taking all those stuff out. What a disrespectful act that is!

Several times I consider to packing for a living. Yeah, I really mean establishing kind of business related to packing, simply like… help people to pack. The best job in the world is when you do your hobby and get paid, right?

Packing Tips

I originally want to give you some tips to pack your stuff. But then… I think it is kind of useless to teach a talent :). So, I will give you one basic clue: the hardest part of packing is to start it. Once you start it, you will then face the next hardest part: finishing. Helpful, huh? 😀

Okay, okay, my apology. You may click that picture on the left. You will find some reliable tips to pack. Not mine, but it’s quite good (my excuse: I am just so lazy too write and I want to post this now).

Happy packing!


PS. A friend of mine is struggling now. She has to pack (again!) and she hates it. And every time she is grunting about it, I just wish I was there to help which basically doing my hobby. I miss packing. Life is indeed unfair 🙂