Showing posts from January, 2015

Pom Bensin dan Jiwa Melayani

Banyak kali, ketika saya mengisi ulang bensin motor di berbagai SPBU, sang petugas SPBU menumpahkan beberapa tetes bensin saat mencabut selang dari tangki motor. Menurut saya, seharusnya selang dibiarkan beberapa detik dulu sampai semua minyak masuk ke tangki, sehingga tidak ada yang tercecer percuma. Selain itu, tidak jarang petugas SPBU memasang wajah cemberut dan berinteraksi secara tidak ramah dengan pelanggan. Bagi saya, mereka kurang memahami tentang bagaimana seharusnya melayani pelanggan. Ketika saya di Thailand, petugas SPBUnya sangat ramah. Saat pelanggan datang, mereka bertanya dengan ramah berapa pelanggan mau isi tangkinya. Bahkan ketika beberapa kali saya kesulitan membuka tangki motor sewaan yang kebetulan berbeda dengan motor yang saya pakai di Indonesia, mereka dengan sigap membantu membukakannya. Mereka tidak pernah mencecerkan bensin ketika mencabut selang. Bahkan, seringkali mereka dengan cepat membantu memasang tutup tangki motor ketika bensin selesai diisika

Useful Websites for Learning New Language

There are some useful websites you can check for learning new language, especially English: DuoLingo . You can learn many kind of languages, from Spanish to Swedish, English to French, through game-like method, which cover vocabulary, grammar, listening, and speaking skills. Zenius English BBC Learn English Radio Australia Language Pod 101 . Like DuoLingo, also offers many kind of languages, but use different learning method, which is mainly uses YouTube video tutorial. Learn English with Mr Duncan Hope you good luck on learning new languages!

Learning New Language

I have learned English since I was in junior high school, yet my English skills are not very good. I even just started to speak English regularly when I come to Thailand for exchange program. Before that, I was so afraid to speak, afraid of making mistakes. From living abroad experience, I just realized that language skills are just a matter of practice. If we use the language frequently, then we'll be better and better on that language. So, the greatest difficulty on learning new language in my opinion is the hesitation of practice. It will be my advice for someone who want to learn new language (and for myself too): practice more, use more! There are some ways to practice language, the simplest and most effective one for me is through pair learning. Find a friend, would be better if we can find a native speaker friend or at least a friend who is better at the language than us. Speak with her, chat with her, write her message. Use the language very often and ask our friend to

Make Writing Easy

Approximately one year ago, I attended a writing workshop with a famous writer, Darwis Tere Liye , as the main speaker. There is no so many things I can remember from the workshop, but one thing I really like and will always try to remember, is what Tere Liye said (as I remember): "Writing is easy. Becoming a writer, especially fiction writer, is a very easy job. You can write anything you want. If you stuck, just stop, finish the story. All is up to you." For sure, writer's job is not easy, and what Tere Liye said is more an attitude than reality, for me. But, as I think about it, I realize that attitude can define the reality. As I do regular writing lately, I try to think that writing is easy. And that's what I get. As we think something is easy, it could turn out to be real easy. So, why not make everything easier today?

Pritil Brambang

Pritil brambang is the daily job that some of my neighbors (in Banyuwangi) do everyday. Mostly by women, but sometimes their men help. Brambang is red onion, and pritil brambang means removing the red onions from its thicket, manually with hand and cutter. The women can work all day and night, literally, from early morning around 8 am until 8 pm. Even now, the clock shows 8:34 pm, while I'm writing this blog, they're still doing their job. Although their job seems very hard to me, but they never looked stressed. Instead, they looked relaxed, cutting the red onion with hand moving in high speed while talking each other about anything. They usually be paid weekly, the rate is 300 Rupiah per kilogram red onion. So, if they can clean 30 kg onions per day (which is the average, according to them), they will earn 9000 Rupiah a day, 63.000 Rupiah a week (around US$5 with today's rate). Indeed, that's not a big money. But, I rarely notice they complain. Instead, they alw


Today is a big day for Muslims, because we are celebrating Maulid Nabi Muhammad (Prophet's birthday). In Indonesia, particularly in my city Banyuwangi, we have a special event called Endog-endogan . Endog is local language means egg. In this day, Muslims households give foods and (boiled) eggs (decorated in many ways, like egg tree from banana tree) to local mosque. In the morning, people come to mosque, pray firsts, and then the foods distributed to them to eat together in the mosque. After everyone finish eating, the decorated eggs are paraded around the village, usually along with orphans riding becak (a tricycle, traditional Indonesian vehicle) and some people playing (Islamic) music. We pray to Allah for prophet Muhammad and for ourselves along the way of parade. On the street, people could give alms to the orphans if they want, as in this day the Prophet suggests us to give special care to orphans. After the parade reach the mosque again, the mosque officials will distribut

Time Flies Fast

Tonight, I visited my friend's home, as we usually do in each semester break, to visit each other when we come back home from university. He is a good old friend, we have been friends since primary school, first met in a competition event in our regency. That time we only knew each other because we were in different subject of competition, he was in drawing, I was in natural science. But since we got to the same junior and senior high school, then we became closer. So, our friendship has last for more than 10 years by now. I still remember 4-5 years ago in high school he helped so many times in my art homework. And then 3 years ago we were in the same preparation course to get into university. We studied really hard together which was really fun. And now, he's preparing his thesis for graduating next semester and will continue study one more year for graduate degree. Few days ago, I also met my primary school friend and we talked about our school life 10+ years ago. We also

New Year

2014 has ended. It has been a great year, with its ups and downs, with its gains and losses. One lesson I really like from this year is, " if you want it, you'll find the way, if you don't, you'll find excuses. " I learn the lesson from my own experience and also my friend's. Last year, I got an opportunity to study abroad for one semester with full scholarship. One thing that in the past I thought was difficult to achieve, for many reasons. But then, I decided to really work for it, and succeeded. I thank God and everyone who had helped me to achieve that. My friend's experience was also very inspiring. After one year full of struggle (I suppose), he finally managed to achieve his dream to visit Paris. Why his experience is inspiring for me? Because one year earlier, we share the same dream. Back to 2013, each of us got an invitation letter to participate in a conference. We were very happy, although we didn't have money to go to Paris, we we