I love Indonesia

My country and its people are far from perfect. I have been complaining a lot about numerous unbelievably annoying situations from politics, corruption, red tape, economic problems, poverty, environmental degradation to people’s behavior. And I don’t intend to stop anytime in the future.

But I love my country, even with all its negativities and absurdity. Every Indonesian will think the same way, too.

We have so much problems but guess what, research proved that we are among the happiest country in the world! This is hilarious. I even got into serious discussion with my family to talk about this. And we came into conclusion that this is happened because of our general mindset to take everything easy and stay positive everytime we face problems, hahaha… You want proofs? Check this out: http://www.wowshack.com/dont-let-the-floods-get-you-down/

No wonder a lot of foreigners also fall in love with Indonesian culture, aside from its natural landscape. Another proof? Check this video out: a play by ANU’s students, performed in Javanese language, the most spoken local language in Indonesia. They even do better than most of us. Thumbs up! 😀


Playlist: Indonesian Music

Though I listen K-Pop so much, I still love Indonesian music more 🙂

Here I share some of my favorites Indonesian songs. Each artists have more great songs to listen to, so please browsing for more if you find the music interesting (just like what I strongly feel).

I will keep it updated so you can listen to more great music from Indonesia.


Tulus – Jangan Cintai Aku Apa Adanya (Don’t Love Me Like Who I Am)

Indra Lesmana feat. Eva Celia & Monita – Cerita Kita (Our Story)

RAN – Dekat di Hati (Close at Heart) 

Tulus – Sepatu (Shoes)

Java Jive – Cantik Tapi Menyakitkan (Pretty But Irritating)

Adera – Terlambat (Too Late)

Susi Series

In the middle of the big hustle for the appointment of Susi Pudjiastuti as the new Indonesian Minister of Marine and Fisheries 2014-2019, a college senior introduced me to an interesting television series “Worst Place to be A Pilot”.

This series cover the stories of young foreign pilots (mostly British) working in an Indonesian airline ‘Susi Air’, owned by Susi Pudjiastuti, a local entrepreneur-turned-minister from Pangandaran, serving many pioneer routes to remote area in several Indonesian islands. These young pilots apply for this job to fulfill their minimum flight hours before they can land another job in a commercial airline. However, the challenges they face during the work could be really intimidating and daunting. Starting from challenging terrains in mountainous area, the always-changing weather condition, terrible runway’s quality, dealing with indigenous people with their traditional custom and belief, to the big possibility of encountering people or animal during take-off or landing. This job is definitely not for the pilot with small guts.

I watch this series in shock and awe. I am well-aware of my country’s landscape and the fact that pioneer airlines are mostly serving difficult routes. However, honestly, I have never experienced flying in this kind of aircraft to some remote areas of Indonesia. During my whole life, I enjoy the luxury of living in the urban areas in the most developed island of Indonesia, Java Island, and only travel to other islands for work trip, to another big cities.

Watching this series is like a wake-up call for me, especially during the scene where local people celebrated the safe-landing of a Susi Air plane, delivering food and medicine supplies for them. I was reminded that most of my Indonesian brothers and sisters are still living quite isolated from the modern civilization where the supplies and facilities are mostly located.

Despite some accidents which makes Susi Air got listed in category 2 by Indonesian Civil Aviation Authority for airline safety quality (Wikipedia), I sincerely still feel so grateful for Miss Pudjiastuti on her effort initiating this pioneer airline and help reach out to our Indonesian brothers and sisters living in the most secluded part of Indonesia. I hope they can improve more in safety and quality, help connecting more hubs as well as employ more local people.

And despite many doubts addressed to Miss Pudjiastuti regarding her new position as a minister due to the fact that she is not even graduated from high-school, her eccentric-being, outspoken trait, tattoo and smoking habit, she has an adequate and professional experience in fisheries industries due to her other effort developing an export-oriented fisheries company from zero. I really wish her the best for the next 5 years as Minister of Marine and Fisheries. Don’t lose to criticism, Bu Susi, take the useful feedback and prove their doubts wrong.

Seriously, after watching many highly-educated public officials disappointing the nation with the corruption case, what more can Indonesians ask than sincere leaders working their best for the country regardless of their background? Of course, our leaders are not perfect, they are merely human, just like us, and possess numerous weaknesses. However, it is our duty to support their works, remind them, give feedback and bring them back to the right path in case they turn aside so they can correct their attitude and deliver significant decision for society.

Do not just criticizing and acting like we live the most rightful life in the world while in fact we have done nothing for the country.


Yeah, Indonesians need mental revolution.

Back to the TV series topic, you can watch it here, in ‘Worst Place to be a Pilot’ YouTube channel. Here is the first episode to give you sneak peek of what the series is all about.

Welcoming Indonesian New Leader

July 2014 has come.

It’s time for Indonesian people to choose the new leader for the next 5 years.

5th July for voter abroad and 9th July in Indonesia.

For this past few months, my Facebook timeline has been flooded by various posts about both presidential candidates from their supporters and non-supporters. The post trend is started from ‘good’ campaign by each candidate supporter, followed by different sort of promotion such as a default profile picture frame supporting one candidate and circulation of noble stories of how one candidate wanted to improve nation’s dignity. Then the tension heaten up, each supporter started to speak ill of each other and ended up arguing with one another. Facebook had been filled by negative vibe ever since. Some then stated their sickness of how their timeline had turned quite unenjoyable because everyone hating each other for supporting different candidates and their fight had became more and more personal. However, a week before election, all supporters had reflected their attitude and (also because of Ramadhan) they became wiser. For final status, they once again stated their support to one candidate and wishing all happy election.




Personally, i really hate argument. Therefore, I skipped many hateful political campaign posts from my Facebook friends and just scrolled down quickly to find some happier personal post. But, numerous political argument in this case is actually a good sign for my country. Previously, politic is a hateful thing to talk about. People hate the authority because they don’t care about the people. Consequently, people become apathetic when election come. Many even chose not to use their vote because they don’t see how our country will improve with the candidate offered. But this year, people become so enthusiastic to welcome the election because they see promising candidates with great track records. That’s why they promote their candidate non-stop to encourage people choosing wisely.

In the midst of all commotion happened in Facebook, i just watch and assess both candidates silently as I feel that I have no right to join the argument and show my support to certain candidate. The sad fact is, I won’t be participating in the election and I regret it a lot. I came to Dortmund without any contact, help or information from Indonesian people living here before me. All administrative matters was assisted by student assistant and done together with the whole class. I just found out that I have to register myself in the Embassy 6 months later (while I would only stay here for 1 year). Actually, I didn’t need to come directly to the Embassy in Berlin or Frankfurt, the registration could be done by post and would take around 2 weeks. But at that time I was too busy spending my time traveling outside Germany and need to bring my passport all the time. By the time I realized again that I need to register asap so I can participate in the election, my cousin informed me that the embassy had already closed the registration for voter abroad. So, here I am now, can only watch and monitor the news with hopeful feel.

After 1 year studying in international environment, I realized that my fellow friends from so called ‘developing countries’ (fyi, after 1 year, too, we, the ‘developing countries’ citizens, turned up to really hate this term) also face the same problem in their country. Most of the people in their country also turned apathetic to the authority because of the same reason. During class, we shared our frustration to our country’s condition but can do nothing except studying (since we are currently student) and wishing that the authority or probably us later can change our nation to a better condition. Thankfully, for my country, as I mentioned before, this year’s presidential candidates are quite promising, but I don’t know about theirs.

In relation to country’s problem, earlier today, we had a colloquium on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Agriculture. It was a very interesting lecture! Strange, because I don’t usually enjoy colloquium that much, haha.. The speaker was from Welthunger Hilfe, a German NGO engaged in food security issue. In the lecture, he explained how FDI can become a blessing or curse for the country. Positively, FDI will boost technology and capital transfer, resulting in higher value of natural resources, job creation for local labor force and spin offs for other local businesses. As the impacts, economic growth will start, state revenue and general welfare will also improve. However, If we take a closer and careful look, the benefit and value added from FDI in agriculture sector is created outside the country. The same goes for mining sector. Government gives land lease to mining companies for tens of years just to get what they thought a big compensation but turned out to be so small and damaged environment which can not be repaired. This is what currently happened in Indonesia, as well as many other ‘developing countries’.

During the campaign, one or both presidential candidates probably had said one or two things about evaluating the mining contract so the benefit for the people is more visible and environment becomes less-damaged. But, don’t say that the mining companies help them campaigning in this election. Then it’s a meaningless promise, as numerous unfulfilled promises from numerous politician we all know before.

You can say that this is a selfish wish from ignorant citizen, but I hope all Indonesian people will choose the good leader in behalf of me. Whoever our president later, I hope he can solve the problems I mentioned before and many other problems remain in the country. I don’t say that being a president is an easy job, but I hope at least he can provide a better foundation of many countless efforts later. I hope he will work hard and sincerely for the people and the country. I wish him health and protection if he does so.

While it’s Ramadhan, let’s pray together for the better future of Indonesia!

And last but not least, I wish my Indonesian people happy election!




Update 10 July 2014: The election was done and the quick count results are already available. Both candidates claim the win since different survey agencies said so. Ridiculous! And now my timeline is filled again with negative vibe coming from both supporters. The official result will be announced in 22 July 2014. 

Padang Cuisine at its root and its finest

For all this time, my travel posts mostly talked about my experience visiting other countries, such as Thailand and South Korea. Then it hits me, why am I not interested in writing about my own country, Indonesia? Compared to all other countries, Indonesia is truly one of a kind. It is an archipelago country, located between two oceans and surpassed by ring of fire. Those facts above cause Indonesia blessed with fertile soil, various landscape from snowy mountains, active volcanoes, beautiful beaches, and superb sight under the sea. Don’t forget its diverse culture and biodiversity which made Indonesia super exotic.


Indonesia is considerably vast. It is more extensive than the size of one country in Europe. And I don’t think there’s anyone who’ll be able to explore all of it thoroughly, yet. But I have to underline this: Indonesia is not just Bali. Indeed, Bali is a complete package for what tourists are supposed to search for refreshment. But there are still a lot more places that offer you some memorable experiences that will last for your whole life. I have been to various cities in Indonesia, starting from the westernmost part in Sumatera (Banda Aceh, Medan, Padang), to Java (half all cities here), Bali, Kalimantan (Banjarmasin, Palangkaraya), Sulawesi (Makassar, Manado, Gorontalo) and Papua (Sorong) in the easternmost part of my country and they’re all so different which is great and memorable. Cause my trips were mostly for work purpose, i hardly had enough time to write about it. But this time, thanks to my tab, I was able to capture many pictures and it guided me to remember every sequence of my experience exploring a little bit of Padang and Bukittinggi in West Sumatera.

Padang is famous for its exceptionally delicious cuisine. And by cuisine I mean all of it. There is a saying: ‘from mouth to the heart’, that’s pretty much depict all Indonesian devotion to Padang cuisine. There is no Indonesian who doesn’t fond of Padang food. And its existence has embedded in each of our mind that there’s no lunch without Padang food as one of our main choice and there’s no city in Indonesia which doesn’t have Padang restaurant in it.  Therefore Padang is also the top 3 cities where every food taste delicious for me after Garut (because my parents originally come from this city) and Bandung (where I grew up mostly).

My first culinary experience in Padang was when my group had dinner in a simple restaurant at the seaside. We ordered grill fish and any other seafood cuisine. We’re starving but it took so long til the foods were served, so while waiting, we eat Padang signature dish: red chili sambal with everything served in the table at that time, like kerupuk and cucumber. Anyway, the grill fish was worth waiting.

The next culinary was initiated by my supervisor’s sudden hunger on head-fish curry. We headed out to Pauh Piaman restaurant in Khatib Sulaiman street and order full course of fish curry (head to tail) which was complemented by green chili sambal. This is the most delicious fish curry i’ve ever taste in my life!! All thumbs up!! I had an enthusiastic time finish it off off my plate!


After I bought keripik balado and rendang telor for my sister and my family, we continued our culinary trip. Visiting Padang was not complete without strolling around the city at night, so for dinner we went to culinary area in Padang and tried the food one by one. We were told that the famous sate padang goes by the name of Danguang-Danguang so once we saw a food outlet with that name, we came in and ordered 4 portion of sate padang. The unusual thing was the outlet is not quite busy even with the famous name in their signboard. And the owner was Indian! I thought logically he would be a Padang native at least. He also took a lot of time to cook but by the time it served in our table, it felt cold. Weird.

Aaaanywayy, we’re starving enough to not think about that, but the taste was so-so, unlike what the driver told us earlier. It still felt very strange for me cause there’s no Padang food which is not memorably delicious. While eating, I observe the surroundings and saw another outlet with the name of Danguang-Danguang at the other side of the street, with a lot of customer. Then I realized, we came to the wrong place! Oow, such a waste.

For dessert, we had es campur and es durian at Ganti Nan Lamo outlet, which located right beside the original Danguang-Danguang. My colleague then ordered a portion of sate padang too just to kill his curiousity. The taste of the original Danguang-Danguang satay was indeed different. It is served hot and the spice flavor was delightful! For you whose purpose is to have padang cuisine at its finest, beware of the fake one! I usually don’t take the brand name that seriously. i don’t mind having a fake-brand clothes, bags, shoes, etc as long as it feels comfortable. But for the fake food? Don’t you dare play with me. I take food seriously 🙂

On the last day, we planned to visit Bukittinggi, 2 hours from Padang. Unlike Padang which is located at the west seaside, Bukittinggi is located at the mountain side so the air is much more fresh here. We didn’t have much time left before going back to Jakarta so we only visited Lembah Anai Waterfall; Pandai Sikek village, which was pictured in Rp 5000 Indonesian money; and Ngarai Sianok, an amazing canyon. That itself was already a great experience.


The view outside my room balcony in Padang


Lembah Anai Waterfall, so refreshing


Ngarai Sianok, so exotic

12 am already. We headed to the belowside of Ngarai Sianok to have lunch. Our driver and our guide this time was very experienced. He had guided Metro TV and Bukan Empat Mata team exploring exotic places in West Sumatera which hadn’t been in spotlight. And he recommended a perfect dish to end our trip here in Bukittinggi, Itiak Lado Mudo or Green Chili Duck.


Yummy duck!

It tasted superb! Having a spicy lunch at noon accompanied with es jeruk. Yummy!! Moreover, we have  this scenery as our view.


such a view for a nice lunch!

Padang Cuisine is always all-out in terms of spices, mainly with coconut milk. That is why here in Bukittinggi, there’s one and only stroke hospital in Indonesia because coconut milk is the biggest contributor to your increasing cholesterol. You should enjoy eating Padang cuisine at its fullest but don’t forget to take care your own health, okay?

Whew, I had a great time visiting Padang and Bukittinggi. Indonesia is the best!! Really, you will never run out of new places to explore, foods to eat and people for your new friend in Indonesia.

I look forward to visit other cities in Indonesia before i head out to study for 2 years. Oh boy, i’m gonna miss my country so much.

Sistem Pendidikan Indonesia

Dari dulu saya pengen nulis tentang sistem pendidikan di Indonesia, baru sekarang bener-bener ketulis. Bukan karena saya sudah punya analisis matang (didukung data-data terkini yang akurat) mengenai apa kelebihan dan kekurangan sekolah disini dan gimana perbandingannya sama sistem pendidikan di negara lain, tapi karena sebagai salah satu lulusan dari didikan Indonesia saya ngerasa berbagai kurikulum dan metode yang menjadi koridor dalam penerapan sistem pendidikan di Indonesia kurang tepat menyasar potensi masing-masing individu.

Yang saya amati dari awal sederhana aja, bahwa anak-anak SD jaman sekarang tasnya udah koper. Saya kasian liat adik-adik saya sekolah dulu, tasnya besar-besar, sebentar-sebentar rusak karena menahan beban yang tidak selayaknya. Dan semakin lama pelajarannya makin susah, yang saya aja udah ga kebayang cara jawabnya. Saya kagum sama anak-anak yang jago matematika, sains dan lainnya, dan saya yakin peluang mereka sukses di masa depan  cukup besar tapi apa memang kemampuan yang kita perlukan dari generasi penerus kita adalah hal-hal kognitif semata? Bagaimana dengan attitude dan moral? Pendidikan dasar terutama SD jadi pendidikan yang fundamental dalam menentukan arah perkembangan anak. Seharusnya yang diutamakan adalah pendidikan moral dan pendidikan kreativitas, tidak melulu education based on textbook. Saya yakin kalau dari SD anak sudah menemukan apa yang dia suka kerjakan, akan lebih mudah bagi dia ke depannya dalam mencari sekolah.

liat pada riang gembira gini mau sekolah :)

liat pada riang gembira gini mau sekolah 🙂

Anak atasan saya kebetulan sempat beberapa tahun sekolah di Australia dan beliau sempat bercerita tentang bagaimana pendidikan dasar di Australia berlangsung. Orangtua harus terlibat secara aktif saat anaknya sekolah. Di beberapa kesempatan harus ikut kerja bakti, berbicara di depan kelas anaknya mengenai pekerjaan mereka, dan masih banyak tanggung jawab lainnya. Dari baca komik Jepang dan nonton anime, saya juga jadi tahu kalau di Jepang, selain bertanggung jawab atas kebersihan kelasnya, anak juga bertanggung jawab membersihkan kamar mandi dan membagikan makan siang teman-temannya. Disinilah peran orangtua menjadi sangat penting karena mereka harus memastikan hal-hal yang dijalankan di sekolah juga dijalankan di rumah.

Belum lagi soal menjaga teman. Atasan saya bercerita bahwa di kelas anaknya dulu ada anak yang memiliki kekurangan secara fisik. Reflek beliau bertanya pada anaknya bagaimana dia mengikuti kegiatan-kegiatan kelas karena pasti sulit. Anaknya menjawab dengan nada cukup tersinggung, “Ibu ko gitu sih nanyanya? Kata Ibu Guru dia tanggung jawab bersama teman-teman sekelas dan kita semua harus ngejaga dan bantuin dia.” Atasan saya kaget dan merasa bersalah karena secara tidak sadar pandangan biasa orang Indonesia-nya muncul.

Iya sih, kalau dipikir-pikir di Indonesia mana ada orangtua yang tega memasukkan anaknya yang ‘kekurangan’ ke sekolah yang sama dengan anak-anak normal (walaupun dari segi kecerdasan dia mampu). Wah bisa habis jadi bahan olokan. Si anak jadi rendah diri dan potensinya sulit menonjol karena dia merasa berbeda dan kurang mampu bersaing dengan anak-anak lainnya.

Perlakuan kebanyakan dari kita terhadap orang yang ‘kekurangan’ memang masih keliru padahal mereka punya hak yang sama untuk belajar, bekerja dan beraktivitas tapi tidak tersedia sarana yang memadai. Yang membuat sadar secara nurani menurut saya karena akhir-akhir ini banyak diangkat cerita tentang orang-orang yang fisiknya kurang sempurna tapi tekadnya besar untuk berkarya dan bermanfaat bagi orang lain, sehingga tidak lagi dipandang sebelah mata.

Kalau seperti ini, sekolah dasar yang mungkin memenuhi ekspektasi saya (buat anak saya nanti, hehe..) selain sekolah dasar di luar negeri mungkin hanya sekolah alam yah, tapi jika ingin meneruskan ke jenjang pendidikan yang lebih tinggi lulusan sekolah alam kadang masih suka diragukan kemampuannya dalam menghasilkan siswa-siswi yang capable padahal able-able aja tuh. Dianggapnya karena tidak tiap hari berkutat dengan buku pelajaran makanya kurang biasa sama ujian-ujian yang jadi standar seleksi pendidikan formal.

Di SMA siswa kemudian dikotak-kotakkan dalam kelompok yang sebenarnya kurang merepresentasikan kemampuan masing-masing seperti IPA, IPS dan Bahasa. Apa memang kemampuan individu hanya di 3 kategori tersebut? Belum lagi standar semu yang jadi acuan baku semua orang, contohnya:

  • IPA dianggap lebih bagus daripada IPS,
  • Anak yang masuk IPS adalah anak ‘buangan’ karena tidak diterima di IPA,
  • Belum lagi anak Bahasa yang notabene adalah kaum minoritas dan kebetulan orang-orangnya juga rada ngga kaya kebanyakan.

Pengkotak-kotakkan ini secara tidak sadar menimbulkan pandangan-pandangan salah seperti yang saya rasakan waktu ada teman yang secara sadar memilih jurusan Bahasa waktu penjurusan kelas II SMA. Ngga salah nih milih jurusan bahasa? Ntar jadi apa emang?

Padahal waktu SPMB, penjurusan ini terbukti ga ada gunanya karena kebanyakan siswa belum yakin sebenernya dia mau jadi apa dan untuk mendukung itu dia perlu menekuni apa di bangku kuliah. Pada akhirnya kaya saya, milih jurusan hanya berdasarkan passing grade dan peluang saya untuk melampaui passing grade tersebut. Yang penting diterima di salah satu universitas bagus. Jaman dulu tes potensi bakat masih jarang sehingga ngga terlalu jadi pertimbangan penting dalam memilih universitas. Ujung-ujungnya karena bapak saya juga keukeuh saya harus nyobain yg jurusan IPS juga, jadilah saya ikut tes SPMB IPC walaupun udah 2 tahun ga belajar selain sains. Hasilnya bisa ditebak, pas tes yang pelajaran IPS saya ngarang total! Beres paling duluan dan ketawa-ketawa sendiri kaya orang gila. Di banyak kasus, malah ada sejumlah anak IPS keterima di IPA karena emang bisa.

Gara-gara ini juga cita-cita anak-anak dari dulu ngga kreatif.  Jadi dokter, insinyur, pilot, astronot. Ga ada yang mau jadi petani, seniman, dll yang dianggap ga menghasilkan uang. Padahal ga ada yang salah dengan jadi petani ataupun seniman. Petani itu jasanya luar biasa, ga ada petani ga makan kita. Bagusnya saya bisa agak kurus kali ya, haha.. kalau seniman, wah di jaman serba kreatif kaya sekarang mah seniman jadi profesi yang menjanjikan.

(dan sampai sekarang saya juga belum tahu mau jadi apa -__-)

Karena pekerjaan dianggap ada kelas-kelasnya juga, sikap kita sama orang-orang yang pekerjaannya lebih ‘rendah’ jadi cenderung kurang bisa menghargai padahal kita sebenarnya saling melengkapi, ga ada satu sama lain aktivitas kita terhambat. Saya kesel banget soal ini karena kemarin kebetulan denger iklan sinetron di tv yang bilang kaya gini “Jadi elo CUMA cleaning service?!!” Apa yang ditampilkan di televisi itu refleksi budaya dan pemikiran kebanyakan orang Indonesia makanya saya kaget banget. Ya ampun, selama ini separah itu ya? Apa salahnya jadi cleaning service? Apa dengan CUMA jadi cleaning service terus kedudukan dia di mata Allah jadi lebih rendah dan yang lain yang dinilai lebih tinggi jadi lebih superior? Ngga kan? Dari segi material, siapa tau starting point dia memang dimulainya dari situ, beberapa tahun mendatang kalau dia kerja mati-matian bisa lebih kaya daripada yang dulu memandang sebelah mata. Duh, bangsa kita ini bangsa komentator banget. Parah.

Anggaran pendidikan kita itu berapa sih? Beneran 20% dari APBN?

Kemarin saya dapat pencerahan dari atasan di kantor. Jadi waktu ada yang bilang kalau anggaran pendidikan kita itu 20% dari APBN, di kantor saya heboh (sampai ngumpulin para deputi hari minggu) mencari angka 20% itu apakah benar dan ada dimana saja uangnya. Setelah dicari-cari ternyata sumbernya bukan cuma dari Kemendiknas aja, karena anggaran mereka tiap tahun cuma sekitar 60T. Yang lainnya itu dari Pusbindiklat (Pusat Pembinaan, Pendidikan dan Pelatihan) di Kementerian/Lembaga. Dan setelah dihitung-hitung, yaah mendekati 20% lah.

miris banget liat ini,  menuntut ilmu taruhannya antara hidup dan mati :(

miris banget liat ini, menuntut ilmu taruhannya antara hidup dan mati 😦

Sebagai penutup, saya mengutip kata-kata Pak Armein lagi di blognya (hebat ya tulisannya selalu bisa menginspirasi tulisan lain). Menurut beliau pendidikan kita ini pendidikan placebo karena tidak mendukung siswa menjadi dirinya sendiri. Kosong. Ga berisi. Ga berkhasiat. Tapi dianggap berhasil membuat anak-anak jadi pintar padahal sugesti.

Jadi selama ini kita minum obat dan merasa sukses padahal obatnya kosong? Wew!