journal


my workplace

It was empty white room, just some strange machines, two PCs and two monitors, two air conditioners, and several chairs. A rather empty shelf on the side and two other desks: one for two more strange machines and the other is empty but made of aluminium. The room smells like operation room. It reeks of alcohol. It’s also cold, with the air conditioner temperature is set about 20-22 degree Celcius.

This Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope is my new toy. This building is where I had dreamed working in before. And I am proud being one of (even though our finance isn’t good) employees in the biggest nanocenter in this country. That’s the only pride I can take.

This is where I choose to be. This is where I belong.

I’m blessed, I’m here because my college friend got a job in other company so she had to leave the lab. Also, there is no one wanting to be an operator, so I can take the job even though my knowledge of it is below zero. I didn’t get any training beforehand. I didn’t even know what kind of “good” is ‘good’. I just spoke my mind and analysis their samples without having to be afraid of being wrong (because those ain’t my job but I just like it) – it is fun.

I quickly enjoy it. I will always be alone until my client comes. I can do anything I want if I’m not working for a client. I don’t have shitty boss. I know what I work on and I know what the result is. I have my own office where I can be alone and sleep on the table like a hobo (partly because the lab should be free from everything so I have nowhere to stay. They gave me a room). I put some novels on the rack there. In the morning while I’m waiting for clients, I can play games and draw to my heart content.

Sometimes, the clients don’t have brains, but I can still manage them and give them helpful suggestion. I’m not their supervisor. I don’t know 99% of their researches. Their research isn’t mine anyway, so I just do my job based on their request alone. A professor came to me yelling one day, but it’s not my fucking fault. Even though the next week, his students come to me with now humane samples, he doesn’t apologize to me for saying this 1.2b microscope is a trash. The next shitty prof also didn’t trust me and did the observation on his own, proud of the pictures he took. I can only laugh at his arrogance. I operated them, the pictures I took are much clearer. I am still behind all the masters of this field, but I know I’m gradually improving. I’m just here for 4 months anyway. To master this field, I at least need 20 years. It’s okay.

Profs came to me asking why I’m not getting my doctoral degree. I understand – I am really tempted to do it. But I need a stable job and money more than anything else now, and I don’t want to see my own (bleak) future, not until I’m fully recovered from the depression I got last year working for shitty boss. Until I feel that I’m worthy to go back studying, I’ll just become a trash operator in this beautiful building, and be helpful to everyone who accepts me. I’m a servant to my ‘second-father’ who gives me this kind opportunity.

Lunar New Year pictures have been sitting in my phone since forever. Although it’s been really late, I think there’s no harm sharing all of them for readers. This year’s been rough year for Chinese descents in Indonesia. Pilkada (governor election) in Indonesian capital city Jakarta whose candidate is from double minority (Christian Chinese) had shook the nation like it never had before. To compare “Christian Chinese” in Indonesia to “Black Muslim” in US is a bit exaggeration since we were never been driven to the corner socially. But you might have understood the similarities between us. Discrimination is inevitable. Short-minded people bash everyone they meet in the street just because they are “different”. They often selfishly proclaim that “majority has power, we kindly allow you to do as your wish among us but you have to submit to us” – more so in social media. The strain has become so strong that I had ever experienced being yelled “Chinese bastard!” by a random woman in the street when I was walking down the sidewalk.

There are so many articles and news everywhere in the world covering about Indonesian intolerance about minority group these days, especially about how radicalism grew wide and bore fruit – even – among moderates. From the eye of majority, CNY is often viewed as Chinese-exclusive ritual. Only few people know that it is definitely not. As you can browse in the next pictures I will show you, there are so many native people from any religion flock around the lion/dragon dance stage to watch and enjoy the performance. Many performers and wushu trainees are native too. It’s not “exclusive” at all.

One of many reasons this huge discrimination exists is because people don’t want to befriend people who has different religious view/ ethnic group. They don’t want to learn and enjoy culture other than their own. Most of radicals make excuse that it is “prohibited to do so”. It also includes “choosing minority whose religion different from them” just because they are told in their book that it is haramm. They say, in country whose majority is X, one shall choose X and is prohibited to choose any other. It is literally translated as “we’d rather choose unjust and corrupt person whose religion the same as us than choosing clean and just person from other religion”. These minorities are criminalized just because they speak their mind about this inhuman concept of “justice”, promoting radicalism and eventually tearing apart a nation. But there also emerges few people from moderates who are fed up. They begin to speak their mind to help powering minority’s struggle… but alas, it only creates endless pointless arguments. And sadly, they never stop.

This year’s Lunar New Year didn’t seem to give off intolerance vibe from outside. However, there are, I believe, people who still think that we live in the same world and together we will be brothers and sisters. Let us hope the second round of governor election will end in peace for both sides.

Wijayakusuma flower (Epiphyllum Anguliger), which is Sanskrit word for “flower of victory” bloomed beautifully in my house’s frontyard this year. Perhaps there seems nothing special about it, but for me, Flower of Victory’s full bloom is something that I admire a lot.

I’ve written something about Wijayakusuma flower – dated back in February 2012 – I mentioned that this flower rarely blooms, only once a year during midnight before this year. Because of it’s awfully short, I often miss seeing it in full bloom like this. As for the reason why it blooms rarely, it may be due to the weather. But this year, when I thought the weather would be really bad for flowers (it got this weird warm yet humid air) it bloomed one by one – always every day! It stopped blooming after every single flowers had sprouted from the leaves. The flowers only stayed for less than 6 hours, from midnight to about 6-7AM in the morning the next day.

Wijayakusuma was brought from China to this land during Majapahit era, long before Portugal or Dutch invade Indonesia. Javanese people believe that “people who see this flower blooms, will get blessing”. It may be due to the flowers’ short lives. As why it’s named “victory” – I haven’t had any idea…

As usual, taken without edit from my Nokia N8 phone (gosh, my phone’s really ancient). There is not enough background light since it was taken in about 5AM in the morning and Nokia’s flashlight wasn’t good. I wish I had better phone or pocket camera I can bring everywhere, but I have to be content with what I have for now.

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Happy New Year 2017!
Let this year comes with many good blessings, new wishes, and hope! Pray it will be better than 2016 – we have all known there are rocky path in the following months so let us prepare well and survive together!

It felt the 2017 New Year celebration wasn’t as grand as 2016’s, perhaps because what had happened one year before. 2016 sucks; and we all know it. Starting from January to December, it seemed that there wasn’t any single happiness in it (although I believe there is, but didn’t give any viral impact since people prefer bringing up bad news rather than good one). As for me – you might have known that I also experienced the worst year in my life. Starting from working for passive aggressive narcissistic boss for half a year and spent all day either cursing, crying, or thinking about suicide… to half a year full of procrastination and depression being an unemployment which couldn’t stand seeking for a new job in fear of having to work under a boss with same characteristics. I honestly didn’t even remember if there was something good happening in previous year. It was all a mess – plus about the discrimination and religion drama happened in quarter end of 2016.

Let me throw back what I had written in 1 Jan 2016.
So… I was talking about going to hell for money and I have to laugh ironically that it was what exactly happened to me in the following days. The tone in my previous post last year was really apathetic and sounded like a bitch – the old me didn’t know that 2016 was much more worse than 2015. Perhaps 2017 won’t be any better, but let’s just see what God has in mind. Below was the list I made last year. Sadly there wasn’t any single wish granted to me.

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Warning: profanities turned on. I can’t stand being calm or pretending there’s nothing happened anymore. I need a place to write rants since it’s not only pissing me off, this has been gone on three days straight and I think I’m going crazy. Nobody in this country understands how it feels since they’re the ones who pressurizing me to do this thing called marriage.

For short background story, have you been an almost 30-years old who never experience dating, doesn’t want to date or have sex, being in strict old Chinese/Asian culture who worships parents and marriage – e.g. having spouse and giving birth are children duty while in the same time they condemn young generation being the worst human being on earth? That’s me. And you know what, I’m tired of this.

Read on your own risk.

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Okay, I think I have to write something about what has happened to me so far since January. This shit started when I approved my (former?) boss working in a baby company owned by Indonesian most successful start-up travel group. They register their company name in Singapore for the sake of paying lesser taxes where in fact the activities were all performed in Indonesia. It was a baby back then and none of my business (who am I to talk) – so I just pretended I didn’t see the mess in their internal or external affairs. But this time it has been going out of hand.

I joked in my facebook account about this, but because English erased all the puns I wrote, let’s just write ’em in serious manner. I fucked up all the company names mentioned below and color them red for obvious reason:

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Anxiety.
Depression.
No one understands what I feel.
Not even myself.

Betrayal.
Distrust.
Who is my friend?
The one you once adore?

Many times I question about myself.
Why am I born in the world
if people don’t want me to be here.
Isn’t it better to be no more?

But no, I can’t die yet.
My future cat needs to be fed.
If not me, who will?

So Here I am.

– Bandung, 24 September 2016

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