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Friday, November 13, 2009

No Bread Needed...

You might find this funny, but many were not laughing when this happened. What seemed like an innocent meaning of words is actually a cross cultural dilema.

A few days ago while sipping coffee in a cafe, a friend told me a story about his friend who worked for an international company who was recently promoted. He invited his colleagues and boss to a home cooked dinner to celebrate. His wife was so thrilled and grateful, she tried her best to prepare everything, knowing that some of her husband's colleagues are expats, she tried to cater to everyone's desire. She was being 'very Indonesian', trying too hard to please everybody and being polite.

The dinner was a hit. Food was excellent. She prepared Indonesian spicy dishes and European dishes so that none of her husband's weak stomach colleagues woul d get ill. She even provided wines and beers which she her self never drank in her life.

After the dinner, while everyone was having deserts, one of his husband's colleagues stood up, raised his glass and said; "Everyone, I'd like to make a toast to our promoted friend!"

The wife suddenly was supprised and stood up. "No, no, I'll make the toast", she said. She then hurried off to the kitchen, leaving everyone's jaw dropped.

"My wife just misunderstood", the man said to his colleauge, the was a small laughter and the toast continued, that is until they heard something fell from the kitchen and a woman sobbing. The husband quickly excused himself and ran to the kitchen to find his wife on the floor crying with an empty breadbox.

"There's no bread" she said while crying.

Laugh all you want, but this is a sample how avoiding other people's culture can cause such awkward moments. Indonesian are not accustom to any tradition of toasting, and so it is best avoided or if you really need to make one, do tell everyone what its all about.

On the other hand, the wive tries so hard to understand her husband's colleague's culture and try to provide everyone with what they need that it over stressed her. Okay, she's really a prefectionist, but in this case you need a to make understanding other people's culture and your own on a level and equal ground.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Iran Through The Eyes of Diego Buñuel

Picture from NGCAfrica

One of my favorite shows on TV is "Don't tell my mother I'm in..." on National Geographic Channel, hosted by Diego Buñuel, grandson of legendary French surrealist cinema filmmaker, Luis Buñuel. Diego travels to countries with bad reputations as potrayed by western news and countries, such as North Korea, Afghanistan, Colombia, Congo, and Gaza. He gets a behind the scenes view of those countries. Some of those countries do have and stands up to their bad reputation (such as North korea for example), but most are nothing like their bad reputation.
Last night I watched his latest episode on Iran, and it is really nothing what you may have heard or seen in the news. Iran is a country full of colours, nice warm people, tolerant, and very very democratic.

Not only do we see the country from Diego's point of view or his Islamic Iran guides, but half of the series Diego was guided through Iran by a Jewish Iranian. This is something I never knew, a Jew in Iran??

In fact, the 2nd largest population of Jewish people in the Middle East is in Iran, and they also have seats in the parliament both as representative of 25.000.000 Jews in Iran, and also as party members. Yes, Iran is a democratic country where everyone has equal rights no matter of their religion. It is the biggest democratic country in the Middle East.

Iran is also home to many temples, synagogues and churches. People in its society are given freedom to pray according to their faith, freedom to do anything as long as it is under the Islamic Law. And get this, the synagogues have speakers outside, and their chanting can be heard by everyone. This is something we just never thought possible in a country like Iran.

What is Islamic Law? The Islamic law is a law like any other laws. It doesn't force the people who live under the law to be Muslims, but to just governs their daily life to be halal/kosher to live in.
A Jewish store keeper told Diego about living under Islamic Law. He likes it, low crime he says. He is able to do everything he likes to do as long as it doesn't break the law. He can drink Vodka and get drunk as long as it is in his home and he doesn't bother the neighbours.

Almost of the end of the series, Diego talked to a Jewish parliament speaker about the conflict between Iran and Israel. The parliament speaker answered: "It is not the Jews that Iran is fighting against, but the tyranny of Israel towards Palestine and how it is becomming a bully to everyone in the region."

To find out more about the series, watch "Don't Tell My Mother I'm In..." every Tuesday nights on National Geographic Channel.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

ToniJacks : As S#!tty As That Other One

ToniJacks : As S#!tty As That Other One

DR Bambang N Rahmadi, the then-owner of McDonald's biggest franchise in Indonesia was pissed by McDonald's decision to sell its majority franchise ownership of McDonalds Indonesia to the Rekso group (owner of Teh Botol Sosro).

One day after opening his 13th new McDonalds shop door, he converted all of his McDonalds restaurant into ToniJacks, a new fastfood restaurant under its name.

What do you expect, a conversion of an old McDonalds still taste like McDonalds. The burgers still has the same McDonalds bun and beef. Its a bit dry since it doesn't contain any pickles McD uses to keep their burgers a bit moist. The fried chicken (only available in Indonesia) still taste the same although Bambang N Rahmadi said he made changes. Well what did you expect, he was the one who made the recipe for McD's shitty fried chicken in the first place.

I'm not defending McDonalds here, coz I'm not a fan of the clown myself, but sadly the only menu I go to McDonalds for isn't there: The McNuggets. I mean if you dress your logo up as a pirate and still "pirate" most of the recipes, go for the ultimate: Chicken McNuggets.

The restaurant's moto says "Better than that one" which will eventually brand them as sore losers, because if you keep looking back and find your old business partners as adversaries, you just won't grow. Why put your adversaries in such a high pedestal? As a startup, Tonijacks should focus more on improving the quality of their food, service, cutomer's satisfaction and their brand.

My current quote for them: "As Shitty As That Other One", says that they are exactly like McDonalds, so I hope they create their own unique style soon before the fad is over. Hopefully, Tonyjacks will Improve. Maybe I went into the restaurant with too much high hopes. I'll give it another try in 6 months from now.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ada Lowongan Gak??

This conversation happened a few days ago, pada sebuah acara berbuka puasa bersama dengan teman-teman sekolah dulu.

Girl : Hey Chandra, apa kabar??
Chandra (me) : Kabar baik. Dah lama nih gak ketemu, kemana aja nih?
Girl : Masih di Jakarta, kerja di accounting perusahaan mobil. Dah berkeluarga Chan?
Chandra : Alhamdulillah sudah, lo gimana?
Girl : Belum, cariin dong. By the way, lo kerja dimana Chan sekarang?? Masih di periklanan?
Chandra : Gue kerja jadi freelance sekarang.
Girl : Wah, sering denger tuh? Lagi populer sekarang perusahaan tuh. Ada lowongan gak??
Chandra : ..... (??!?!!?)

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Everything's Spinning

Indonesia earthquake. mag 7,3 SR - Sept 2, '09 at 02.55pm (GMT+7) 142km from Tasikmalaya.
Astagfirullah.... my prayer goes to those in Tasikmalaya. Can't imagine what they felt. We in Jakarta just felt a small tremmor, and I'm so dizzy right now.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thank You 4 The Votes!!

Just want to say thank you to all my peeps who voted for me at Kayakarya.com's photo manipulation contest, I won first prize guys, Yay!!

Yay, I Won!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Malaysian Government's Culture Confusion

This is a topic I've long avoided, but it just keeps coming up.
To my friends in Malaysia, please do understand that this is not me being angry at you, not me insulting or giving negative sentiments about you or other Malaysians.
This is directed to the stupid people in your government and tourism board.

Since 2004, before Malaysia launched "Malaysia, Truly Asia", the country intended to boost its tourism revenue. It couldn't compete with Singapore as a mega-polis, even with the world's tallest building in their backyard, so they invested in their diversity, taking advantage of its commonwealth status. Displaying all traditions from around Asia in their country, the country went with the slogan "Malaysia, Truly Asia" that a certain advertising agency came up with.

The campaign was a hit. People liked the idea and made their way to Malaysia for holiday. This success however brought a startling revelation: "What's Malaysia's own traditional culture?"
Yes, this was the question on every tourist's mind. In fact, on a business trip back in 2004, I asked my taxi driver to take me to an authentic Malaysian restaurant, and he took me to this restaurant which main course and specialty was white Tom Yam. If you know me and my epicurious sense, you'd know that I would always ask the servant or anyone working at the restaurant about the food, and they said it was Malay Tom Yam. "Its different!" they said. But it was the same to me.

Does Malaysia have a culture? Sure they do.
One of the negative side of any British occupation is that the British brought in their own culture to the table. Everybody would be speaking English and behave in a British like manner. Unlike India, Australia, & New Zealand, Malaysia was full of spice and controlled by Monarchs. Just like the Mangkunegaran kingdom in Solo, this made it easier for the colonist to infuse the country with the British ways and made sure there is minimum resistance. Many-many tradition which is not suitable to the colonist were made out to rot and disappear.

What makes it different from other British colonials? Well, name me a handful of Malay tribes, heroes or kings that defy the colonialist and is noted as a hero? I went to a lot of museum in KL and found none.

Cultures survived the British Imperialism because of resistance. Cultures exist as a way to unite the people. India have many small tribes and cults that resisted the Imperialism, The Samoans of New Zealand are amazing people who traveled to the Micronesians and Hawaiian islands by small boats, these made them strong to their cultural roots. The Aborigines lived in the most uncomfortable places in Australia which colonialist wouldn't touch, this made their culture survived. Canada and Australia even had to invest millions in research of their culture to get it back.

Malaysia's culture?
Believe me, they had plenty. But now most of it has gone. Only some survived, most came from Borneo which the colonials didn't touch because of the dense jungles and the fierce warriors (BBC Education's : Elizabeth's Kingdom). Yes, this was startling revelation indeed. If the Malaysians continued their Truly Asia campaign without showing that their culture was a majority of the cultures present in their country, they are afraid that people will leave and think less.

A Resolution!
Years back, Malaysia claimed and announced to the world that Satay was part of their culture. They even tried to make it legal by having it patented and claimed as sole owner and creator. Now, how could a food that belonged to many cultures and countries be made into a sole ownership claim??
The Japanese have Robatayaki, the Chinese and all the way up to Bali have a dish like it. All meat in a stick. That move made all of those meat on a stick Malaysian. Being a commonwealth, they had great access. The one who made it first official was the Encyclopedia Brittanica in the 90s.
The Malaysian government soon started with food, claiming one by one food that are present in Malaysia as their own.

Now then, if they could do it with food, why not culture?? Who better to take it from? Why their friendly neighborhood cousin across the strait of course. Indonesia has millions of traditions, lets go get some.

At first, I didn't give much thought. Malaysians and the Melayu do share many traits and culture. Still, claiming it as the sole owner of that tradition does bug me a lot. But then they gotgreedy, and absurd.

The Malaysian Government claimed that Angklung is a Malaysian culture. What?!?? That doesn't even make sense. Bamboo instruments that are in the Melayu/Sumatra area resembles nothing like the angklung. After that, batik. Not the motives of Melayu, but the motives of Java. Those motives have historical relevance and how it became that way, but the Malay government still put a claim on it. After that Reog, Kuda lumping, Jali-jali and the song "rasa sayange" which from a Pangea point of view made it impossible to be connected what-so-ever to the Asian continent, because Maluku was connected to the Papua and Australian plate.

Reog and Kuda Lumping?? Yeah sure, the Malaysian ancestors belived in self whipping, sacrifice, homosexuality and black magic (ingridients in a Reog dance). And then Jali-jali, a song that is closely tied with the Dutch occupation. It gets even absurd...

Pendet. A welcoming dance from Bali. There is no dance like this in Java or Sumatra, no way that it would influence upwards (if you study history, cultures spread through Pangaea downwards and evolved individually after the ice age ended and the sea level risen). If any of these tradition are claimed by Malay, it should be present in an almost similar form in either Sumatra or Borneo.
To completely insult us, the Pendet was claimed on Indonesia's Independence day through yet another one of Malaysia's tourism program "Enigmatic Malaysia" on the Discovery channel.

A Malay artist who is a friend of mine, on his blog posted about Kuda Kepang (Malay's version of Kuda Lumping), about how the tradition was brought by Javanese workers who migrated from Java...

Well lets see here, I don't think the Dutch ever traded slaves with the British. An Indonesian would move out of Indonesia was during the PKI era in the 60s. I don't really see it becoming a tradition unless its out and recognized as a culture. So is Tom Yam a Malay food? I mean, the Thai immigrants brought it in longer before kuda lumping came to Malaysia?

What ever the outcome, over the years this has been a big cause of the degradation of Indonesia-Malaysia relations. Most people here have negative sentiments about Malaysia, and its growing. Malaysians living in Canada with their Anti-Indonesia websites are helping fuel the fire. I just hope the Malaysian people are aware of their governments actions and take a stand to stop it. I really hope the relations between our countries will get better soon.

Once again I apologize to Malaysians everywhere. I didn't mean to offend you, but your government actions on my favorite day of the year, Independence day, offended me. If you have never heard of these tradition, dance, etc, please make it known. Write it in your blog, protest your government. Malaysia has many lost traditions, instead of taking, why not digg those cultures up from the past.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Hari Gini Masih Ada Aja Nigerian Scam, di Facebook Pula

Pernah dengar istilah "Nigerian Scam"?
Ini adalah istilah yang digunakan untuk metode penipuan yang dilakukan via internet oleh kriminal asal Nigeria. Metode ini sudah ada sejak lama, khususnya sejak terjadinya kudeta di Nigeria. Modusnya sama; mengirim email kepada anda, mengaku orang penting (wakil dari eks pemerintahan lama, bankir, istri presiden lama atau lainnya) yang memiliki uang banyak namun butuh orang luar untuk membantu mengeluarkannya dari negara itu dengan cara ditransfer ke rekening anda, dan nanti anda akan diberikan 30% sebagai ongkos. Akhirnya saat transfer anda akan diminta uang jaminan oleh orang yang mengaku dari Bank Swiss dan akhirnya anda akan mengeluarkan duit banyak hingga akhirnya no more contact. You've been scammed (ditipu).
Hal ini bukan fenomena baru, sudah usang malah. Jeremy Wagstaff dalam buku paperback out-of-date keluaran 2007-nya berjudul Loose Wire[1] yang saya dapat secara gratis (hehehe) menuliskannya di bab 4 bagaimana ia meledek mereka dengan cara melayani email mereka yang mengaku sebagai Maryam Abacha. Jeremy memberikan data dari perusahaan anti penipuan Ultrascan Advanced Global Investigations yang berlokasi di Belanda, bagaimana dalam tahun 2005 saja, sebanyak USD$ 3,2 trilyun didapatkan oleh para Nigerian Scam.

Now our story begins...
Salah seorang kolega di kantor gue tiba-tiba kesengsem setengah mampus. Sudah beberapa hari account facebooknya berisi kata-kata manis dan penuh kebahagian[2]. Yup, she's in love.
Menurut laporan sekretaris gue, sejak lama banget dia pengeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen banget punya pacar orang bule, dan sepertinya do'anya terjawab. Dapet orang Inggris bow, tajir bin ganteng pula. Lebih okenya, dia siap pindah ke Jakarta, menjadi mualaf dan meminangnya ke pelaminan. Ya kita cuma bisa bilang Alhamdulillah dan turut senang.
"Ganteng loh pak, kayak foto model", kata seorang karyawan. Saya belum lihat sih, dan males juga cari tau urusan orang.

Tidak turut campur saya ini berakhir kemarin siang, jam 2 tepatnya saat karyawan yang kesengsem jatuh cinta ini mengetuk pintu kantor saya.
"Mas, boleh gak pinjem komputer bapak sebentar buat cek online banking? Di blackberry saya gak kebuka"
"Boleh, silahkan"

Ia lalu mengetik alamat bank Natwest, cuman kok akhiran dari url-nya bikin curiga (http://natwestonline-uk.es.tl), dah gitu untuk sebuah institusi bank, itu website jelek amat yak. Reminds me of websites made with Microsoft Frontpage back in the late 90s. Lalu gue tanya: "Rekening kamu? Baru tau Natwest Bank buka cabang di Indonesia".
"Bukan mas, ini punya pacar saya", katanya sembari memasukkan username dan pin yang tertera di blackberrynya. "Dia minta saya ngecek apakah uang pembayaran proyek dari pemerintahan Nigeria sudah masuk belum?"

Wajahnya tiba-tiba berubah jadi berbinar.
Angka fantastis 16.980.000 poundsterling tertera di layar.

Serius, gue gatel. Bukan karena liat angka di layar, tapi itu website jelek amat, sumpah. Sebagai designer yang sudah hampir 8 tahun mengerjakan GUI untuk beberapa web dan aplikasi bagi dunia perbankan, no way ada bank yang bikin website sejelek itu. Apalagi online acount report yang tidak ada previous balance atau option untuk services yang lain, gue amat sangat yakin ini palsu.

"Sorry nih, boleh gak gue cek bentar?". Setelah dipersilahkan, gue cukup click view source dan jreng-jreng, dugaan gue bener, ini fake website. Semuanya hardcode HTML sampai ke angka, made with Microsoft Frontpage 97 pulak.

Shit man, gue rada gak tega bilangin. Tapi bagaimana, evidencenya di depan mata gue dan gue tau fraud/scam macam ini. Hard decision, tapi akhirnya gue angkat bicara.

"Bukannya aku mau turut campur nih, tapi website ini palsu. Data yang kamu lihat palsu." aku katakan pada rekan kantorku.
"Maksudnya mas?"
"Ini website gadungan, lihat aja. Log out pindah halaman gue pencet back bisa, gak secure, ini data palsu, apalagi ada embel-embel Nigerianya."
"Yang bener mas??"
"Beneran loh, aku gak ada maksud apa-apa, cuman ini semacam alat untuk nipu. Kalau boleh tau, kok bisa sampai begini ceritanya gimana? Kalo kamu gak mau cerita gak apa-apa, gue gak maksa. Secret safe sama gue.", kata gue.
"Sebentar mas...", katanya sembari keluar ruangan.

Sekitar sejam kemudian dia kembali, membawa beberapa lembar fax yang kemudian diberikan padaku, matanya rada berkaca-kaca. Dia bercerita bahwa sudah sebulan lebih ini dia kenal seseorang di facebook dan mulai chatting terus. Needless to say, mereka pacaran online lah akhirnya. Dia orang Inggris bernama Raymond Cole, janji mau ke Indonesia dan meminang akhir tahun ini, bersedia jadi mualaf. Kabarnya sebulan lalu ia mengerjakan proyek ke Nigeria. Dari Nigeria mereka terus keep contact, hingga melalui telepon.
One day, si Raymond telpon, bilang kalo dia dapet duit banyak di Nigeria, dia mau langsung ke Indonesia aja bulan depan. Dia minta kakaknya kirim semua barangnya ke Indonesia melalui jasa perusahaan bernama Globalink Express. Pagi tadi dia katanya dapat kabar dari perusahaan itu bahwa barang-barang si Raymond stuck di Malaysia, gak bisa masuk karena kurang biaya pajak masuk dan uang pelicin untuk petugas bea cukai Indonesia. Dia diminta membayar fee sebesar USD$1200 agar bisa masuk.
Dia telpon lah pacarnya, melapor. Pacarnya minta dia bayarin dulu karena susah dia transfer uang dari Nigeria, katanya susah internet connection disana... (lho, kok bisa chatting dan facebook hampir tiap hari?!??).
Pacarnya bilang untuk tidak khawatir, pasti nanti diganti (plus rayuan gombal lainnya). Dia memberikan alamat e-bankingnya di Natwest supaya percaya.

Well, it was a fake like I said before. Semuanya fake sampai ke perusahaan jasa pengiriman palsu Globalink. For a company that has a tracking service, the quality of the web design is shit. Yang global link ini agak pinter karena dibuat seakan bukan hard coded html saat dibuka source codenya, tapi teteup lah kebaca ama gue, apalagi di fumble, semuanya masib berextension .html semua.

Mulailah pengecekan, dari nomor telpon yang lumayan palsu: +44 7234 xxxxx. Nomor +44 memang kode internasional Inggris (Indonesia +62), tapi nomor 7 setelah nomor internasional adalah nomor divert, dan divert itu tujuannya adalah Nigeria (234).

Lalu dimulailah google search dengan keyword: Raymond Cole Scam Nigerian
The result was............ banyak banget.

Gue merasa kasihan banget sama rekan sekantor gue, dia heart broken banget dan kesel (ya iya lah). In a way, I feel guilty, tapi masa' gue tega membuiarkan dia terus ditipu dan sampai kehilangan uang. I didn't feel good at the end of the day, but I didn't feel bad either.

Watchout guys, there are a lot of bad guys in the world, and the internet is one of its tool to get their prey.


[1] out of date karena isinya tentang teknologi, dan lompatan teknologi begitu tinggi, hingga buku 2007 itu sudah obsolete.
[2] She's not your typical jolly person.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Bomb Strike

After being bomb free for the last 2 years, it seems one snucked itself back into this city. Its target was the Ritz Carlton hotel in Mega Kuningan, just a few meters from the JW.Marriot, where a bomb went off just minutes before.
I am so happy that friends and family who worked nearby was neither hurt nor injured by the blast. A friend of mine who worked at the Ritz also was uninjured thank God.
I'm just appalled that in this day and age, some whacko terrorist think its OK to play with explosives, what the f*** was that asshole thinking. Its never OK for any reason what so ever to injure another living being. I hope they get the bastard terrorists who did this.
Another bomb was reported to have exploded at Muara Angke, that makes 3.
Of all day, why Friday?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Please Vote For Me!

Hey guys, barusan ikutan "Jakarta Photo Manipulation Competition" at kayakarya.com, direktori jasa kreatif Indonesia. Help me out, please vote for me by giving a rating provided by the site. Give me a rate 3 star at least (or 5 stars if you love me *wink-wink*) for the picture I submitted below at kayakarya.com. No registration necessary, just follow the link by clicking here or the photo below. Do'ain menang ya :-D

Jakarta - A fast paced city

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hidup di Jakarta Itu Mahal Ternyata... [2]

Setelah posting soal living cost gue di Jakarta pada bulan Desember 2008, kok semua orang merasa takjub, gak percaya. Ada yang bilang diirit-iritin lah, ada yang bilang gue nipu lah. Yah gue sih terserah pembaca sih, kalian berhak atas pendapat masing-masing.
Terus terang ada peningkatan pengeluaran sejak 6 bulan yang lalu, tertama sejak Vira mulai sekolah. Dan penambahan biaya agar lebih rinci pengeluaran gue akan dijabarkan kembali dibawah, lengkap dengan tanggalnya.

Mungkin kudu kenal lebih dalam dulu mengenai gue supaya lebih memudahkan untuk make sense. Gue ini adalah entepreneur yang lahir dari seorang entepreneur juga dan seorang akuntan. Dari kecil ya gue diajarin supaya pengeluaran minim dan penghasilan maksimum (makanya gue dibilang pelit pas kecil, hehehe).

Selain itu gue seorang strategist. Hidup gue dilandasi oleh design agar hidup gue lebih hemat dan maksimum. Itulah kenapa gue kerja sendiri dan memilih lokasi kerja yang deket rumah, pilih mobil yang hemat walau culun, dan lain sebagainya.

Istri gue? Wah dia lebih ketat lagi. Orang terdekat gue tau kalo panggilan sayang buat istri gue adalah "Menteri Keuangan", karena 90% gaji gue ya dia yang megang, dan dia yang ngontrol pengeluaran gue.

So, Here is the updated version of our expenses circa June 2009:

Living Cost

  • Belanja bulanan*1 per struk Carrefour 28 Juni 2009 : Rp.972.000
  • Belanja pasar*2 @ Rp.25.000 perhari : Rp.750.000
  • Tagihan listrik (19 Juni 2009) : Rp.352.000
  • Tagihan PAM (19 Juni 2009) : Rp.15.000 (abonemen only, gak pernah dipake)
  • Tagihan AQUA gallon (6 Juli 2009) : 120.000
  • Tagihan gas masak sebulan*3 : Rp.25.000
  • Tagihan kebersihan & keamanan (30 Juni 2009) : Rp.50.000
  • Tagihan telepon rumah (19 Juni 2009) : Rp.72.000
  • Tagihan seluler prepaid*4 (30 Juni 2009) : Rp.100.000
  • Tagihan cable TV (15 Juni 2009) : Rp 150.000
  • Tagihan internet FirstMedia : Rp.135.000
  • Gaji nanny Vira : Rp.450.000
  • Jajan Vira sebulan : Rp.25.000
  • SPP playgroup Vira : Rp.150.000
  • Langganan majalah : Rp.120.000
  • Asuransi kesehatan : Rp.250.000
Total living cost only : Rp.3.736.000

Transportasi & Asuransi
  • Bensin sebulan*5 : Rp.400.000
  • Ongkos bengkel*6 : Rp.250.000
  • Cicilan mobil*7 : Rp.750.000
  • Asuransi mobil*8 : Rp.141.700
Total transportasi & asuransi : Rp.1.641.700

Grand Total montly cost = Rp.5.378.700

*1 : Termasuk susu anak, diapers, indomie, buah, saus & rempah, toiletries (sabun, pasta gigi, dll), sabun cuci, sirop, teh, sabun cuci, softener, cairan pel, dll.
*2 : Daging sapi/ayam seharga Rp.12.000, sisanya rempah, sayur dan telur.
*3 : 1 tabung habis dalam 3 bulan, jadi Rp.75.000 dibagi 3.
*4 : Demi Allah gue dan istri Cuma habis masing-masing Rp.50.000 per orang. Kita kerjanya cuman SMS dan jarang telpon ke orang lain. Kalo telpon ke sesame karena satu layanan jadi murah.
*5 : Sesuai 4 struk bensin selama bulan Juni 2009 masing-masing Rp.100.000 (22.2 liter). Mobil gue Xenia 1000cc, sengaja gue beli karena hemat cui.
*6 : Ongkos diluar reparasi. Servis 2 bulan sekali, jadi dibagi 2 harganya.
*7 : Hutang mobil Cuma 40jt, jangkan waktu 5 tahun dengan bunga flat 3% (pinjaman karyawan), silahkan hitung sendiri.
*8 : Sesuai kontrak yaitu 8,5jt/5thn = 8,5 dibagi 5, lalu dibagi 12 = Rp.141.700.

Ini semua tentunya belum termasuk tabungan. Kenapa tidak termasuk tabungan??
Bagi gue tabungan itu adalah uang yang tidak kemana-mana atau uang terencana. Expense seperti biaya pendaftaran dan uang pangkal sekolah Vira gak termasuk dalam expenses gue, karena sudah direncanakan.
Ini juga termasuk uang jajan, uang makan-makan ke restoran, uang vacation, dll. Itu semua masuk tabungan agar terkontrol. Gue dan keluarga habis sekitar 200 - 250.000 (ya, cuma segitu, ada penjelasannya nanti) sebulan untuk makan-makan bareng, dan itu keluar dari tabungan dan kita tau berhentinya kapan. Kalau mau ada acara bulan depan, ya bulan ini kita makan di rumah aja.

Berapakah yang gue tabungin sebulan?
Tabungan pendidikan (untuk biaya masuk sekolah, non-spp) : Rp.300.000
Tabungan liburan : Rp.250.000
Tabungan pribadi : Rp.300.000
Tabungan jalan-jalan/makan-makan: 300.000
Tabungan dana darurat : Sudah keisi 12x gaji, jadi gak perlu diisi lagi.

Kalau ditambahkan memang lebih dari 6jt sebulan, tapi duit tabungan kan di tetep milik gue dan bukan expenses bulanan. Lagian yang protes kan lebih dari 6jt belum termasuk tabungan kan??

Here's a good question:
"Loe kan sering makan-makan sushi, masa' sih pengeluaran makan lo cuman segitu?"

My friends, that is why its good to be the boss. Kalo lo liat di blog foto atau facebook gue, kan semua itu makan siang, dan pasti selalu bersama client (walau client kagak gue foto kali). Kalo gue lunch dengan client dan rapat, itu kan expenses kantor, bukan gue dong yang bayar. Please deh, kalo gak sama client gue juga makannya pecel ayam di perempatan Pemuda-Pulomas. Paling mahal kwetiau siram yang 12.000 per porsi.

The point here, kalo kantor lo gak ngasih benefit lunch atau entertain client, bikin usaha diri gih dan berikan benefit itu pada dirimu. I have no credit card debt and is happy as a bird.
Oh ya, plus one more thing. Gaji Rika 100% dipake sama dirinya, jadi gue minim ngasih duit dia buat belanja :-D

So yeah, thats my expenses. How's yours?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Your Fenjer Is Yor Preeeeen...

Ada seorang sales dari perusahaan security datang minggu lalu meminta waktu untuk presentasi, dan hari ini dia datang kembali untuk memberikan presentasi produknya kepada kami.
Sales bernama Agus (nama samaran) ini lumayan dandy dan super supel. Percaya diri tinggi lah, dengan luwes dia berkenalan dan membagikan kartu nama sesampai di ruang meeting. Terlihat sangat sophisticated.
Setelah memasang laptopnya dia memulai presentasi:

"Bapak-bapak dan ibu-ibu, saya dari PT.ABCDE (nama perusahaan saya samarkan) ingin memberikan demonstrasi teknologi fenjer pren kami", sales security itu memulai.

"Teknologi apa mas?", tanya karyawan bagian purchasing yang ikut.
"Fenjer pren bu, fenjer pren".

"Fenjer pren??"

"Ya, fenjer pren atau sidik jari. Masa ibu kerja di lembaga bahasa Inggris gak tau fenjer pren"

Kontan banyak dari peserta yang ikut hadir tersenyum dan tertawa kecil, namu sang sales yang super pede itu meneruskan seakan perfikir semua orang menertawakan ibu Nur yang dibilang gak ngerti bahasa Inggris.

Presentasi berjalan selama kurang lebih 30 menit, dan selama itu pula sang sales terus menyebut "Finger Print" dengan "Fenjer Pren", serta salah satu kata yang cukup membuat kita geli saat ia menyebut bagaimana perangkat lunak yang ia miliki sangat "puser prenli" dan bisa digunakan untuk 250 puser.
Tak lupa, kata Fenjer Pren dan Puser juga ada dalam presentasi power pointnya.

Saya cukup bangga karena karyawan kantor saya cukup memiliki sopan-santun untuk tidak mentertawakan tamu, namun bendungan itu jebol ketika sang sales menutup presentasinya dengan bergaya dan berkata:

"Jangan lupa produk Fenjer Pren kami ya pak, karena Your Fenjer is your prend!"

Kami pada ketawa semua, namun cukup terlatih untuk melakukan itu sambil applause. Sang salesman yang dandy itu pun bangga dan pulang dengan wajah berbinar.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Koprol : Social Network, Indonesian Style

For the past year most of us has our secret projects on the works, and one of a good friend I know from fickr has been busy with his colleagues in starting their own social network site. Their plan of combining status updates and location is not something new, but it is something no one ever exploited.

Head on over to Koprol.com, they recently started their public beta today after rigorious testing process for the past 6 months. Their concept is actually based on how people in Jakarta socialize, where kopdar (getting together in one spot just for fun with online friends) is an everyday thing. Koprol helps people to find out where their friends are, and let them message friends closest to their location for a meet. Not that I've done this yet, but the technology is here.

So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and give it a shot.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Istri Yang Bijaksana

Seorang rekan dosen merintis sebuah usah bersama dengan orang terdekatnya. Setelah 3 bulan berusaha, ternyata dirinya ditipu. Temannya tersebut mengambil habis seluruh uang dan menjual semua modal usaha mereka dan kabur. Ia sakit hati dan gundah. Akhirnya ia memberanikan diri untuk memberitahukan istrinya.

"Mama, papa minta maaf, tapi Papa baru saja ditipu. Uang yang kita tanamkan di usah tersebut habis ludes dibawa kabur".

Istrinya terdiam, tak berbicara sepatah katapun hingga waktu yang cukup lama. Ia lalu memandang suaminya dan berkata: "Alhamdulillah".

Sang suami terkejut, mencoba memahami maksud istrinya.

"Alhamdulillah Pa, untung kamu yang ketipu, dan buka kamu yang nipu".

Kata-kata itu pendek, namun sarat dengan makna. Kita bersyukur bahwa kita ini bukan orang yang jahat dan penipu. Kita bersyukur bahwa kita diberikan cobaan dari Tuhan, dan secara bersamaan memberikan dukungan dan support bahwa hal itu bukan persoalan besar dan sang istri yakin suaminya dapat bangkit dan berusaha lagi.

Ya Allah, aku berharap bisa mendapatkan dukungan yang sama disaat diriku jatuh. Semoga diriku diingatkan selalu bahwa hidup ini penuh warna-warni cobaan dan kita ini harus terus berjalan dan berjuang dalam keadaan apapun.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Freelancing Done Right Seminar

Freelancing Done Right Seminar

Behind The Scenes
Setelah 1 bulan berembuk dengan Aria Rajasa, akhirnya kita dapat merealisasikan rencana kita untuk membuat sebuah seminar mengenai freelancing dan evolusinya menjadi sebuah usaha yang mandiri. Seminar yang kita namakan "Freelancing Done Right" merupakan pengembangan dari materi presentasi yang pernah saya bawakan pada acara FreSh! (Freedom of Sharing) bulan November lalu. Lebih dari 300 email yang masuk ke inbox saya berisikan pertanyaan mengenai freelancing membuat saya ingin membuat seminar untuk merespon terhadap pertanyaan-pertanyaan tersebut.
Bulan Januari lalu saya mulai merencanakan seminar ini, mencari partner atau bendera dimana saya bisa memulai ini. Alhamdulillah saya bertemu dengan manusia-manusia dari ruangfreelance.com yang menyambut baik ide saya ini, yang diikuti dengan banyak sarapan pagi di McDonald Duren Sawit.
Kita sepakat untuk mencoba dulu dengan limited crowd. Tadinya cuma 20 orang, meningkat jadi 25 dan akhirnya 30. Menggandeng OBC (Oxford Business College) untuk sertifikasi, Alhamdulillah kita mendapat response baik, tiket habis dalam kurun 1 minggu, bahkan antusias mereka yang mau hadir banyak sekali hingga tak tertampung. Next time kita bikin yag besar deh guys. Amin.

The Show
Diadakan pada 21 Maret 2009 di cafe Au Lait Cikini (disitu melulu) pada jam 10.00 pagi teng, acara dimulai dengan presentasi "Freelancing Done Right" dari saya sendiri. Rencananya ngomong 1 jam, kok molor sampai hampir 2 jam karena terlalu asik. Saya mencoba approach dari sisi management daripada freelancing business, dari mengatur waktu, dokumentasi, keuangan, marketing, dst. Juga dari sisi passion, drive, dan bagaimana menempatkan diri menjadi profesional. Intinya, untuk survive sebagai freelancer lah. Semoga memberi jawaban atas banyak pertanyaan dari kawan-kawan freelancer selama ini. Hope it helps.

Freelancing Done Right Seminar

Freelancing Done Right Seminar Acara dilanjutkan dengan makan siang dan coffee break sebelum dilanjutkan kepada topik kedua yaitu best practices of freelancing yang dibawakan oleh dedengkot Digital Grafis Studio; Harry & Ardy. Mereka membawakan proses-proses yang harus dilewati seorang freelancer menuju kemandirian secara individual, personal problems dan attitude dalam presentasi mereka berjudul "Freelance is not a RockStar". Mereka juga membahas bagaimana merubah cara mengerjakan pekerjaan menuju online, cara menjual dan mengantisipasi hal-hal yang buruk, terutama delays.

Freelancing Done Right Seminar Terakhir adalah guest speaker kita, Ollie. Dia yang menurut saya adalah seorang freelancer saat menjadi penulis pada awal karirnya, telah berhasil merubah passionnya menjadi sebuah usaha toko buku online dan ekspansi untuk memenuhi passion lainnya. Very inspiring.

Acara ditutup dengan pembagian sertifikat, foto-foto bersama, dan memperkenalkan teman-teman kami dari Fresh! dan webPM serta kegiatannya. Hopefully dalam waktu dekat kita akan membuat acara seminar yang lebih besar di kota lain. See you there.

Reviews of the event
- Review @ ruangfreelance.com
- Review @ Yopdesign's blog
- Review @ Salsabeela's blog

Photos from the events

Freelancing Done Right Seminar

Freelancing Done Right Seminar

Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar
Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar
Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar Freelancing Done Right Seminar

Monday, February 16, 2009

Manajemen Finansial untuk Freelancer

Artikel ini merupakan re-posting dari Ruang Freelance

Tak sedikit freelancer yang mengalami masalah dalam bidang kuangan, baik dari yang pemula hingga mereka yang telah makan banyak asam garam di dunia freelancing. Itu disebabkan karena banyak dari kita tidak pernah mengalami proses disiplin keuangan sejak kecil, dan sebagian besar dari kita adalah desainer, programmer, illustrator, dan bukan akuntan keuangan.

Ketidakmampuan kita dalam mengatur keuangan juga membawa kita pada masalah pricing, dimana kita sering kali bingung berapa harga yang pantas untuk diajukan kepada klien. Tak luput juga adalah masalah modal usaha jika kita harus membayar dimuka sebuah pekerjaan seperti cetak misalnya, membeli foto, ataupun membeli/upgrade perangkat hardware maupun software guna mendukung spek pekerjaan.

Mindset kebanyakan freelancer masih tertumpu bahwa dia bekerja sendirian dan bukan pada dia bekerja untuk dirinya sendiri. Seorang freelancer harus cepat sadar bahwa saat dia memutuskan diri untuk bekerja menjadi seorang freelancer, dirinya telah berubah menjadi sebuah institusi penyedia jasa. Dirinya kini menjadi sebuah perusahaan, dan layaknya sebuah perusahaan, dia butuh kapital.

Ada dua sistem mengatur keuangan yang simple dan dapat diadopsi dengan mudah oleh freelancer, yang pertama adalah metode “bagi hasil” dan yang kedua adalah metode “gajian”.

Metode Bagi Hasil

Seringkali diadopsi oleh freelancer yang baru sadar akan pentingnya keuangan yang baik, metode ini memaksa kita untuk menyisihkan sebagian pendapatan kita untuk modal usaha kita. Sebagai contoh adalah pembagian sesuai persentase, yaitu 60-40, dimana dalam setiap pendapatan uang akan dibagi 60% kepada diri anda dan 40% kepada perusahaan. Rasio persentase yang ideal adalah 40-60, dimana 40% masuk ke kantong anda dan 60% masuk ke rekening usaha anda. Namun rasio ini dapat anda rubah sesuai dengan kebutuhan anda.

Metode Gajian

Metode ini lebih bersih dan sesuai dengan pembukuan keuangan pada umumnya, namun lebih kompleks jika anda pemula. Inti dari metode ini adalah memberi diri anda gaji yang sesuai pada tiap bulannya. Berbeda dengan metode bagi hasil dimana sebagian persentase masuk ke rekening usaha, pada metode ini 100% dari penghasilan masuk ke rekening usaha.

Tetapkan gaji anda perbulan, dan gajilah diri anda tiap bulannya. Ini bukan berarti disaat keuangan usaha anda menipis anda akan terus digaji, tapi gaji anda akan dibuat sebagai hutang perusahaan, dan dapat dibayarkan jika keuangan usaha cukup.

Keuangan usaha juga dibuat batas minimumnya, sebagai contoh adalah anda membatasi keuangan perusahaan pada level 15 juta rupiah minimum, artinya saat keuangan pada angka 15 juta atau kurang anda tidak akan mendapat gaji. Dari sini anda dapat belajar soal prioritas keuangan.

Kedua metode ini memiliki tujuan yang sama, yaitu membagi keuangan antara diri anda sendiri sebagai pekerja dengan usaha freelancer anda. Tujuannya agar anda mendapat uang anda sendiri, dan usaha anda juga dapat berkembang dengan modalnya sendiri.

Jadi saat pekerjaan menuntut anda mengeluarkan uang dahulu, usaha anda yang keluar uang, bukan anda. Saat komputer anda rusak atau perlu upgrade, usaha anda yang akan keluar uang, bukan anda.

Keduanya bukan metoda yang gampang untuk dimulai, perlu sedikit disiplin. Jika sudah memiliki NPWP, anda dapat membuka rekening giro atas nama anda untuk usaha anda, sistem dimana anda harus menulis cek untuk mengeluarkan uang anda dijamin akan males untuk mengambil uang tersebut kecuali untuk urusan pekerjaan. Jika ingin menuju finansial yang sehat, silahkan mencoba.