tips and trick


Karena saya ingin sharing (dan sebagai log) pengalaman saya pergi ke Singapura bersama keluarga yang belum pernah sama sekali ke luar negeri, kali ini khusus saya pakai bahasa Indonesia. Let’s just get to the point:

SINGAPURA ITU WITA (GMT+8)

  1. DOKUMEN YANG PERLU DIBAWA:
    • PASPOR. bagaimanapun kalian tidak bisa ke luar negeri tanpa benda ini. Jangan hilang. Jangan dititipkan ke sanak keluarga. Masing-masing pribadi pegang paspor sendiri. Jangan ditaruh di bagasi. Selalu bawa kemanapun kalian pergi!
    • KTP. sebenarnya tidak terlalu penting, tapi sebagai tanda bahwa kalian adalah penduduk Indonesia sah dan apabila ada kejadian tidak menyenangkan (amit-amit), bawalah kartu identitas ini bersama kalian setiap saat. “tapi kan di singapur mana perlu ktp indo”. paspor lu ilang lu ga ada identitas lain terus piye?
    • Print-Out Booking Hotel receipt. atau simpan di handphone kalian. Kalau mau lebih berjaga-jaga apabila kejadian handphone lowbat, print.
    • Print-Out TIKET MASUK wahana. yang ini yang paling penting: apabila kalian book dari Trav*loka atau online-shop apapun, printlah tiket kalian dan kalau bisa jangan sampai barcode/QR-Codenya terlipat. Petugas tiketing untuk wahana (terutama Garden by the Bay) akan mencap tiket print-out tersebut sebagai tanda kalian sudah pernah masuk. Mau kalian print ukuran A6 atau A0, terserah.
  2. PERALATAN YANG PERLU DIBAWA:
    • COLOKAN INTERNASIONAL atau travel adaptor. Singapura menggunakan colokan kaki tiga seperti pada gambar. Sebenarnya colokan dua pun masih bisa masuk, tapi kalau Anda tidak terlalu mengerti kelistrikan, lebih baik bawa dari Indonesia. Jangan berani coba-coba, apalagi di negara orang :).
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    • EXTENSION. hotel mungkin cuma menyediakan 1~2 steker dan Anda cuma punya satu travel adaptor. Tidak usah bawa colokan extension bermeter-meter. Cukup colokan T 3 lubang (tempel) seperti gambar. Coloklah extension ini ke travel adaptormu, dan Anda bisa mencharge setidaknya 2 handphone dan 1 baterai kamera.
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    • Cek apakah hotel menyediakan pemasak air atau tidak! Kalau tidak, mungkin Anda harus mempertimbangkan untuk membawa mug listrik kecil (kalau tidak ingin terus-terusan beli botol air minum) untuk menghemat – walau harus diperhatikan juga berat bagasi Anda. Sebenarnya air keran di Singapura bisa diminum langsung, tapi tidak disarankan.
    • Bawa botol air kosong dari Indonesia, isilah air minum di bandara Changi (biasanya dekat WC) sebelum pergi meninggalkan Singapura atau setelah keluar imigrasi Singapura. Supaya hemat.
    • Tolak Angin. this is a given.
  3. DUIT aka money:
    • Kalau masih pengen hedon dan berfoya-foya, bawa 5 juta IDR untuk 2 orang – 4 hari 3 malam (minus tiket pesawat dan tiket wahana). Tapi karena masalah duit adalah masalah personal, let me just break it down for you:
    • makanan restoran: 6~8sgd untuk restoran di mall tidak terlalu besar (plaza singapura / vivo), 8~12sgd untuk restoran di mall besar prestige (shoppe Marina atau ION Mall).
    • mcd. pesan ala-carte (hamburger tanpa french fries/cocacola) sekitaran 3sgd paling murah. Kalau mau tambah minum dan fries sekitaran 6sgd.
    • minimarket cheers lebih murah dari seven-eleven.
    • kalau mau pelit banget, roti tawar di cheers sekitar 1~2sgd.
    • kalau mau kaya saya yang adalah orang males dan tidak mau makan roti tawar, mie instan sekitaran 2~4sgd. Jumbo jelas paling mahal. Yang brand seven-eleven paling murah. Minimarket menyediakan air panas. DAN tolong jangan kaya saya. AMBIL SENDIRI SENDOK/GARPUNYA DI COUNTER!! karena! di dalam mie instannya! tidak! ada! garpu!! *arrghhhhh
    • Bawa uang cash secukupnya. Berjaga-jagalah untuk menukar beberapa dolar untuk keadaan darurat. Kalau mau cashless, lebih baik jangan pakai kartu kredit tapi pakai alternatif lain seperti:
    • Kartu debit VISA / Jenius. Ini bukan sponsor yaa. Tapi memang kartu debit visa JENIUS itu ampuh untuk dipakai travelling. Sebenarnya kartu debit apapun yang berlogo visa bisa juga dipakai. Boleh buka rekening SGD dan beli beberapa dolar singapura ketika sgd turun – dan link ke m-card Jenius-mu. Atau kalau tidak mau hitung-hitungan valas ya uda tinggal masukkan uang rupiah ke rekening Jenius-mu dan gesrek ke mesin belanja di Singapura.
    • EZLINK. Ini adalah kartu sakti untuk naik MRT. Saya tidak membeli yang turis karena sepertinya saya tidak akan ada waktu untuk mengembalikan kartu tersebut ke stasiun terdekat, jadi saya beli yang normal. SATU ORANG PEGANG SATU EZLINK CARD. Harga beli di stasiun adalah 15SGD yang berisi 7sgd. Harga naik MRT/bus adalah dari 0.~2sgd; jadi sangat hemat. Tapi perlu diperhatikan bahwa minimum top-up adalah 10sgd. Untungnya walau uang di ezlinkmu terlalu banyak, ezlink juga bisa digunakan untuk membeli barang di minimarket (seven-eleven etc) karena mereka juga menerima pembayaran melalui kartu tersebut. Oya, Sentosa EXPRESS juga bisa menggunakan EZLINK.
    • SIMCard Singapura: STARHUB. Untunglah saya ada rekan di Singapura yang mau meminjamkan simcardnya, tapi kalau Anda tidak punya, jangan khawatir. DOWNLOAD APLIKASI STARHUB terlebih dahulu di Google Play sebelum berangkat ke Singapura. Masukkan SIMCARD Starhub yang Anda beli (bentuknya microSD biasa), dan register di aplikasi Starhub sesuai petunjuk. Di sana, Anda bisa membeli internet package. Sila beli sesuai dengan yang Anda butuhkan. Jangan pelit membeli kuota internet, karena Anda pasti akan menggunakannya – setidaknya untuk Google Map apabila nyasar.
  4. BUS?
    • Halte Bus tersebar di mana-mana di seluruh Singapura. Beroperasi sekitar jam 5 pagi ~ 12 malam (bukan night ride). Tapi, menggunakan bus di Singapura itu agak-agak mengesalkan karena tidak ada petunjuk halte yang dituju (tidak seperti Jepang).
    • Bus Singapura biasanya memiliki indikator LED yang menunjukkan NOMOR BUS di depan mobil busnya. Misalnya 145, 131, 27, dll. Di halte bus akan ada petunjuk bus nomor berapa saja yang akan tiba di halte tersebut. Beberapa halte juga memiliki petunjuk / board besar yang menunjukkan berapa lama lagi bus tersebut akan tiba.
    • Google Map is your friend.
    • Cari nama halte bus terdekat dan tekan direction ke tempat tujuanmu. Dari sana, pilih dan ikuti rekomendasi google map: harus naik bus nomor berapa, berapa kali pindah bus, berapa kali pindah halte. Google map akan memberi tahu berapa menit lagi Anda harus menunggu bus nomor sekian di halte yang Anda tunggu.
    • Ketika bus nomor sekian sudah berhenti, masuk LEWAT PINTU DEPAN.
    • TAP KARTU EZLINK satu kali.
    • Duduk. Atau berdiri. Jangan makan, jangan minum, jangan teriak-teriak, dan wajib memberi tempat duduk kepada orang tua atau yang memiliki disabilitas.
    • Karena tidak ada papan petunjuk sama sekali di dalam bus, dan karena Anda bukan orang lokal Singapura, jangan matikan GPS Google Map. Perhatikan terus pergerakan bus – jangan menghitung haltenya, karena bus tidak akan berhenti kalau tidak ada orang yang menekan tombol merah untuk berhenti.
    • Ketika bus di Google Map telah melewati tepat satu halte sebelum halte yang Anda tuju, tekan tombol merah di tiang bus. Papan LED di atas kondektur bus akan menunjukkan “BUS STOPPING” – artinya, bus akan berhenti di halte berikutnya – yang berarti halte yang Anda tuju.
    • Turun LEWAT PINTU TENGAH/BELAKANG. Tap kartu EZLINK Anda sebelum turun. Ini sangat penting.
    • Kalau bisa, hindari rush-hour (jam 7~9pagi atau 5~7sore) kalau tidak mau jadi pindang.
    • Halte bus untuk satu arah perjalanan. Untuk perjalanan kembali, sila jalan kaki ke halte lain atau menyeberang ke jalur berlawanan sesuai yang tertanda di Google Map.
    • Hati-hati ketika menyeberang jalan. Menyeberanglah KETIKA lampu hijau tanda menyebrang jalan menyala! Pelanggaran di Singapura itu dicatat seumur hidup dan dendanya diakumulasi!
  5. MRT?
    • MRT di Singapura untungnya tidak sengjelimet Jepang. Biasanya, lokasi MRT Singapura itu berada di bawah tanah mall, bukan kaya Jepang yang tiba-tiba nongol di tengah trotoar.
    • Google Map is your friend but this System Map is your Savior. Kalaupun Anda nyasar di stasiun MRT, Anda masih bisa nyebrang dan pindah MRT ke arah berlawanan, tidak seperti halte bus. Kalau Anda tidak yakin dengan menggunakan bus yang tidak ada tulisan halte tujuan, gunakan MRT.
    • Berikut gambar dengan link menuju sistem map MRT Singapura:
      mrt_sys_map_3
    • INGAT warna line MRT (misalnya merah untuk north-south-line) dan terutama STASIUN AKHIR MRT tersebut.
    • Kalau mau pindah line (misalnya north-south-line ke circle-line di Dhoby Ghaut), turunlah di stasiun tersebut. Naik eskalator atau ikuti petunjuk (Downtown Line biasanya punya jalur sendiri). Masuk lagi ke MRT sesuai dengan arah tujuan.
    • Lebih baik hindari stasiun Newton kalau mau pindah line. Downtown Line di Stasiun Newton ada di gedung terpisah, jadi harus tap kartu keluar terlebih dahulu…
    • CONTOH: Hotel saya ada di jalan Pegu (Novena) dan saya mau ke Sentosa dan Garden by The Bay lalu pulang ke Hotel lagi. Jalur apa yang harus saya tempuh? Saya tidak ingin menuruti google map yang merekomendasikan saya untuk menggunakan bus. Saya tidak ingin nyasar keliling Singapura hanya gara-gara saya salah turun halte. Maka dari itu, saya pergi ke stasiun MRT terdekat, yaitu Novena MRT Station yang terletak di Mall Novena. Saya harus turun di Harborfront, naik Sentosa Express untuk ke Sentosa, kembali ke Harborfront dan pergi ke Bayfront sebagai stasiun MRT terdekat Garden by The Bay. Inilah rinciannya:
      • Saya jalan kaki ke halte bus terdekat ke arah Novena Station (mau tak mau harus google map).
      • Saya turun tepat di Mall Novena yang di bawahnya ada Novena MRT Station. Di sana, saya ambil JALUR MERAH (novena ada di jalur merah north-south-line) menuju MARINA SOUTH PIER. Tapi saya tidak turun di marina south pier. Saya turun di DHOBY GHAUT, stasiun yang berada di bawah tanah plaza singapura.
      • Di Dhoby Ghaut, saya pindah line MRT ke JALUR UNGU (north-east-line) dan turun di HARBORFRONT yang berada di underground level mall vivocity.
      • SENTOSA EXPRESS (entry 4sgd) yang akan mengantarkan saya ke sentosa / universal studio berada di LANTAI 3 MALL VIVOCITY. Tinggal naik lift saja ke lt3, letak stasiunnya ada di ujung. Sampailah saya di Sentosa!
      • Setelah puas hedon di sentosa, saya pulang kembali lewat Sentosa Express (tidak perlu bayar lagi lho!), masuk kembali ke Harborfront di level B2 Vivocity Mall, dan turun di stasiun CHINATOWN. Kalau Anda mau jadi orang malas ganti kereta dan mau keliling Singapura dulu, bisa juga Anda ambil Circle Line Harborfront menuju Marina Bay dan berhenti di Bayfront. Keliling Singapura.
      • Kembali lagi, di CHINATOWN, saya turun, pindah jalur ke DOWNTOWN LINE JALUR BIRU ke arah BUKIT PANJANG. Saya berhenti di Bayfront, MRT station yang berada di bawah tanah Shoppe Marina Bay.
      • Setelah menikmati spectra jam 8 malam di Marina Bay, saya pulang kembali ke hotel di Novena… lewat jalur Dhoby Ghaut (lagi. bosen ey.), pindah ke jalur merah Jurong East. Turun di Novena.
  6. Nyasar? GRAB-keun weh.
    • This is by all means not grab sponsor. Ya. Singapura punya GRAB. Dan Grab Indo mu bisa dipakai di Singapura. Tidak perlu register nomor SIMCARD Singapuramu ke Grab karena – toh – ketika Anda memesan GRAB, Anda sudah tidak akan bertanya-tanya lagi. Paling banter, drivernya akan menghubungimu lewat message system.
    • TIDAK BISA PAKAI OVO 😦
    • Lalu bagaimana bayarnya? Bayarlah dengan memakai uang cash sgd yang PAS tanpa kembalian. Kalau tidak punya dan uang cashmu terlalu besar, masukkan kartu JENIUS-mu ke aplikasi GRAB (nanti bisa didelete) pada pilihan pembayaran. Bisa? Bisa! Kalau m-cardmu terhubung pada rekening SGD Jenius, Grab akan memotong uang di rekening sgd terlebih dahulu.

Begitulah hal yang bisa saya sampaikan. Sebenarnya hal-hal yang di atas masih tidak cukup. Anda harus banyak mempelajari peraturan Singapura terlebih dahulu supaya Anda tidak nyasar atau kena tilang..

After all, Singapore is a Fine City.

safety sign

Silakan klik gambar untuk mengunduh file aslinya (A4). Boleh pakai secara bebas, asalkan tidak mengkomersilkan gambar poster tersebut.

***

(more…)

  • Telepon Customer Service : 121 atau 021-121; ikuti petunjuk CSnya, atau
  • e-mail ke cs@kai.id dengan menjelaskan permasalahan dan meminta kode booking, jangan lupa menulis nomor identitas (KTP/SIM yang digunakan untuk melakukan transaksi), nama lengkap, tujuan keberangkatan, jadwal keberangkatan, dan scan KTP (buat validasi karena kasian CSnya kalau ntar dia kena masalah). CS akan membalas surat elektronik Anda dengan memberi detail transaksi beserta kode booking dan langkah-langkah apa saja yang perlu kita lakukan ketika akan boarding. Pihak PT-KAI akan merespon dengan sangat cepat, saya tinggal mandi 10 menit sudah mendapat jawaban! Jadi jangan ragu untuk mengontak mereka via e-mail.

Nah, sengaja saya pasang di atas karena saya tau itulah inti dari semua TL;DR (penting maupun ga penting) yang akan Anda temui di artikel ini. Dan …Iya. Gw panik. Siapa yang ngga panik (kecuali yang udah pengalaman ilang) kalau struk pemesanan tiket kereta api yang dibeli dari minimarket tiba-tiba lenyap ditelan naga. Tapi ternyata solusinya sangat mudah, dan tepat berada di hidung Anda!

Sebelum Anda scroll ke bawah, biarlah saya menceriterakan dulu apa yang sebenarnya harus diingat ketika memesan tiket kereta api:

  1. Nomor booking
  2. Tujuan keberangkatan
  3. Jadwal keberangkatan

Ketika Anda memesan tiket kereta api dari pihak ketiga (minimarket dll.), maka yang Anda perlu ingat adalah ketiga hal ini. Jelaslah tujuan dan jadwal keberangkatan harus diingat karena kalau kita tidak tahu tujuan dan jadwal… mungkin Anda harus cek dokter apakah Anda amnesia atau ngga. Tetapi kedua hal tersebut bukanlah yang paling utama. Yang paling penting dan harus diingat adalah nomor booking. Walaupun Anda amnesia, struk Anda hilang atau ditelan naga, kalau Anda pernah mencatat nomor booking tersebut Anda dapat melakukan pelacakan mandiri dengan mengunjungi situs PT KAI. Sistem komputer akan menampilkan seluruh informasi yang diperlukan berdasarkan masukan nomor tersebut. Tapi kenyataannya, nomor inilah yang paling sering terlupakan atau hilang. Jadi, kalau Anda lupa nomor penting ini, segeralah kontak Customer Service PT KAI. Anda bisa melupakan struk yang dimakan naga tersebut karena sesungguhnya itu ga penting. Yang penting adalah nomor bookingnya. Kesimpulannya?

  1. LUPA KODE BOOKING
    • Telepon CS di 121 atau 021-121, jangan lupa siapkan KTP… ATAU,
    • e-mail  cs@kai.id dengan menyertakan data diri:
      1. Nomor Identitas (KTP/SIM sesuai yang dipakai waktu transaksi),
      2. Nama lengkap sesuai KTP,
      3. Tujuan Keberangkatan (Gambir-Bandung, misalnya),
      4. Jadwal Keberangkatan (Pukul 12.40, misalnya),
      5. Tipe Kereta (Eksekutif, Bisnis, etc.),
      6. Scan KTP kalau ada.
    • Setelah mendapatkan kode booking dari CS, verifikasi booking dengan mengunjungi TAUTAN INI dan klik tombol “Cek Kode Booking”. Masukkan kode booking Anda di form, klik submit dan cek apakah detil yang ditampilkan benar.
  2. INGAT KODE BOOKING, LUPA TUJUAN/JADWAL KEBERANGKATAN
    • …gw ga tau apa ada tipe orang kaya gini.
    • kunjungi TAUTAN INI  dan klik tombol “Cek Kode Booking”. Masukkan kode booking Anda di form, klik submit dan cek apakah detil yang ditampilkan benar.
  3. VERIFIKASI/ MELIHAT DETIL BOOKING
    • sama saja caranya. Kunjungi TAUTAN INI dan klik tombol “Cek Kode Booking”. Masukkan kode booking Anda di form, klik submit dan cek apakah detil yang ditampilkan benar.

Ketika Anda sudah merasa lega, jangan lupa memberi CS terima kasih (walau via email mungkin cuma dianggap lalu) untuk pelayanan yang sangat baik dan cepat. Semoga sejahtera selalu, PT KAI!

 

  • minor edit 14feb2017: perbaharui link tautan pencarian dynamic link kode booking.major edit 8Juni2018: update kontak email cs PT KAI dari kontakpelanggan@keretaapi.co.id menjadi cs@kai.id
  • edit 25Jan2020: ya gusti nu agung, kenapa PT KAI gonta-ganti domain mulu sih kerjanya. domain website resmi PT KAI sekarang adalah https://kai.id/

Sometimes, a person is good in one thing and bad in another. My friends told me that I have sharp eye and often call me as ‘provocateur’. I greeted it as joke since I received all peanuts (Indonesian slang “urang dikacangin euy”) – I am not good with words at all; but now I know that I am really a ‘provocateur’.

Do you ever stumble upon something like “forced to zip your mouth”? It usually happens when you try to reason but you know you will only ruin the atmosphere and you only have to choose one remaining option: shut your mouth up; trash your thoughts deep in your heart and just “bear with the situation and move your ass to work”. Sometimes, once you open your mouth and try your reasoning, there will be cold-war between you two which affect other people and eventually cause bigger havoc which leads to everyone’s disadvantage. Let me give you example:

You’re a worker and is given a creative job without proper procedure (you’re free to do it with your own method). There are mountains of works need to be done and you’re only provided with a very limited time. You know your work is the core of the project; slipping the deadline given will affect the whole project and the company. You can do crappy ones, but once it is finished and isn’t worthy, people begin to point finger on you. If you complain to the high rank officer and beg for more time, the project will be delayed, meaning loss profit and chance. For the sake of both project and everyone, you need to shut up and get working or more time will be lost in meaningless argument. The only option for you is just one: do it perfectly without exceeding due date. The question is: How?

Your work need to be perfect, you need time, but the time can’t wait. Keep working? Giving up? Normal and sane people perhaps choose to discuss this matter and choose the optimal choice. Often, you need to do the optimization yourself. For me, I often do these kind of… optimization. Kind of “cheating for dummies” but, meh, I found these obvious tips helpful:

  1. I don’t do what I don’t have to do. Saving energy and time. The principle of laziness, but as well as the most effective way of working. You’re told to pick the lemon tea from the fridge. Pick it up. Don’t drink it first then refill it and then pick it up. Don’t place a slice of lemon on it and decor it with whipping cream. You’re not told to decorate it or drink it. You’re told to pick the lemon tea.
  2. Two brains are better than one. Simple, seeking for help. As long as your partner has same ability as you and won’t argue.
  3. Learn from others (google it). The fastest way to learn something is to see how the other work on it, copy by the mean of “learn only the essential”, and modify little bit of it. Perfect example is in programming. How do you know to create Christmas Tree pattern in fortran? Go google it. Can’t find any? How about ‘create tree pattern in fortran’? Modify it a bit and ta-da (I know it’s not as simple as that). Pretty much different than in class, at work, they only concern on the result. Whatever you do, as long as it’s legal and effective, you’re free to do it. Including searching information on google, dragging friends to finish your work, et cetera.
  4. Instinct and the power of kepepet aka “giri-giri safe” or “deadliner spirit”. Students’ favorite weapon. Seems that I don’t need to explain this one. A person’s hidden power can be released when they are at pinch. Well, in this case, you’re in a pinch. Sometimes, that hidden power is lit; you can do anything that seems to be impossible in normal situation.
  5. Lazy people (like me) tends to do things in fastest way possible. Bill Gates’s favorite. By relying on instinct, if you have good instinct, check, and logical reasoning, you can do things faster. Like, “it is 12,500 Rupiah”, normal people will provide 10,000 and 2,000 and 500 if they have all those. Me? I’m a lazyass who just give whatever I pick from my wallet which is 12,500 or higher. Sometimes you don’t have to think. Let your motoric systems do whatever they are taught to do. That way, you saves energy and time :p
  6. If you fed up, just stop for a while. Have you ever heard about a tale of two woodcutters? They were told to cut trees non-stop. One had a rest, but the other still did the job without rest. Who cut trees the most? The one who took a rest, because he sharpened his axe while resting. Stop for a while and “gaze to the sky, clearing mind by doing nothing, doing whatever they like or just playing their favorite games” is not useless.. Principle of industrial engineering (CMIIW). Note that once you feel refreshed, you need to work again 😉 My hypothesis, you’ll do it more efficiently this way.

I am the type who always abuse the number (4) and (6). I don’t often call for help from other people, since they also have their own job and (is not paid). Sometimes, I need to consider the job as “a trolling material” so in the end I can “be refreshed of their annoyed faces”. Thinking your officer (or teacher) as beast to be defeated in their strength also help, like, my wrong motivation to finish my thesis “I will learn these things so the teacher will be the one who is confused instead of me!” which in the end I smiled and think “Hey… I finished it alright! I can see their confused faces and I win the game mwahahaa” (fiction. In the end I am still beaten up badly).

I guess this is for Indonesian high schooler only, since I don’t know about non-Indonesian people whether they have psychological check first to determine their strong points or just take whatever they want (or parents told them to). Usually in these months I happen to read some articles or journals in tumblr or blogs or twitter… or anywhere everywhere in real life or not, where they ask audience or readers about this kind of topic regardless them (the readers) know their ability or not. What makes them so hyped about this? Of course, “college will determine what you will be in the future”.

Unfortunately no. College, especially undergraduate degree, will only provide you the basic foundation of a certain field you choose to attend to. If you say “engineering” is specific major, my answer is yes and no. Yes, it is based on science and you will meet mathematics everywhere – engineering is said to be a home for people-with-no-live and students-who-never-sleep (Trust Me! I’m an Engineer!). But not that specific. What kind of engineering will you do? Biology? Physics? Chemistry? Electrical? Machinery? Avionics? Moreover, when you choose, say, Chemical Engineering, what speciality would you want to polish? There are chemical engineering for process, polymers, material engineering, and so on.

Today’s high school students are divided by three types: 1) students who know what they want and is getting vast supports from everyone, 2) students who know what they want but external factor such as parents forbide them to attend to major they want to pick, 3) students who don’t know what they want so they do what their parents or society would choose, such as a silly reason “because my friend attend the same major too!” or money matter, 4) students who don’t know what they want and get blank idea. Of course, first option is the most desired by everyone. But sadly, “to know what they want” is quite problematic especially for high school students. Here are some tips based on my experience:

Someone said, having a BIG DREAM is one BIG STEP to success.

In my childhood, I want to become a doctor (TYPICAL!) because doctor looks cool and get much money. Then in junior high, I want to become a writer or an artist or a mangaka (TYPICAL! at least for a people who love drawing and storytelling) because I want to tell people my story. Then in senior high, I’m not sure I will draw for the rest of my life, first because of my parents and second because of job (well, artists gain little money), so I think I will try chemical engineering.

I have a dream. First dream is a bit insane and impossible (most of you are. Kindly tell me if your first childhood dream is to walk on the moon or to be a Superman) then through time, it loses its insanity and getting real. Now you know your dream, then let’s go to the next step.

To know one’s ability and strong points are important.

Sun Tzu (Art of War) once said that to win a battle, we have to know ourselves and our enemies. Everyone have at least one strong point or ability… it is called talent. Holy Scripture says something about talent, right? Three servants are given (unit money) by their master before the master went overseas. One is given 5 (unit money), another is 2 (unit money), and the last is 1 (unit money). The first two servants give the money to be (used as initial modal) and they present their works to their master – and the master praises them. What about the last servant? He digs the dirt and bury his (unit money), and the master gets really angry at him. What’s the point of this parable?

I believe each of us is given this (unit money) called talent according to our capability. Each of us. Even the last (idiot servant) is given one. We all have talents that is given from The Lord from the very start, with no exception. And this is what you all should take note on. All we have to do is to make use of this ability so in the end it will multiply. The one becomes two or hundred, the five becomes twenty five or sixty hundred and twenty five, and so on. So, the next job you have to do is to know your talent.

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Some people find it hard to give thanks to God for whatever happen in their days, or just fail to notice. I see myself like that too sometimes. Today evening I think of an idea (which, like usual, comes out from nowhere) of what I should give thanks for. It’s not new, I think I’ve heard / read it somewhere, perhaps from Chicken Soup series I’ve read ten years ago or so but I think it’s worth for sharing.

Here’s the rules. List alphabets A – Z below and write anything that across your mind without you thinking next to it that begins in that letter. Remember, don’t think. And after you finished, begin to write what are you thankful for, for those ‘things’.  Let’s try it out; click “read more” for my example.

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I have met amateur artists asking themselves for their ‘original drawing style’ (artist-confession in tumblr or journals ih deviantArt). Perhaps I’m not suitable to discuss and suggest about this topic since I am not an artist, don’t take any art courses, and don’t even have any art degree – but I am sharing these because it’s… bugging me for a while.

By definition, what is an “original drawing style”? What is a ‘drawing style’?

For me, it is a drawing technique which is used by artists. It can be realism, semi-realism, abstract, chibi, super-deformed, long legged girls, big eyed boys. and so on. As a technique, it is well defined and follows some ‘rules’: composition, perspective, color blending and such – which is taught by art major. The more to realism, the more rules you have to follow. Manga / anime does follow realism; majority of ‘manga-styled-human’ has head-torso-legs, two ears two eyes a nose and a mouth (unless you want them to have two mouths or three ears) so we can say anime/ manga follow the majority of those rules like realism does.

Now, we know that ‘drawing style’ is a subset of ‘art technique’. Then, what is ‘original’? Original means it can be distinguishable; an UNIQUENESS – none in the world have something similar. The original drawing style is an UNIQUE drawing, that when people come to see it, they will quickly recognized it as YOUR drawing. As simple as that.

Then, we come into the big question of HOW. I don’t believe popularity brand someone’s drawing style as if that ‘style’ is copyrighted. But, I cannot escape to the fact that popularity helped. It is because the fact that we, in our early days in childhood, have imitated orthers. We see and we imitate, then, we see something suitable–loving in our eyes and we replace the previous imitation. Admit it, everyone does. The culprit perhaps Ancient Greek or Egypt’s hieroglyphs – no, I’m not joking. Just kidding. Even though we don’t imitate, we draw based on what we see things are like. East Asian are slit-like eyes and petite, Russians are tall-albino looking, a cat is like living furball. We imitate nature itself (if you don’t want to admit you imitate other artist’s style).

So, the most important question, how can I have that uniqueness in my drawing? Unfortunately I can’t answer that question. You and your friends can. A drawing of yours has been unique (if you don’t copy. Note that it’s a very different term between to copy and to imitate), it is the result of long process of hardwork. Your friends will give opinion: try this trick. Make your best drawing and show it to your friend, tell them you found it in the internet and ask them to guess the artist. Their answers will be the answer you seek. They perhaps say a well-known artist without doubt, then you are in a dire situation. I suggest you to quickly make a difference, like tone color or eyes or whatever. If they doubt or just say ‘isn’t it your drawing’, congratulation. That is your drawing style.

Your drawing style is the result of your drawing process starting from when you lift the pencil for the first time. It is distinguishable; and it is your identity. Whether it is dull or melancholic or bright and cute — it shows your inner self.

On side note: why manga / anime has BIG EYES, it is because western’s influence. What? No, you don’t see anything wrong. East Asian’s eyes are small and slit-like, so Western often MOCK them because of their eyes. Because of they not wanting to be called SLIT-EYED-HUMAN, they draw figures with big eyes. I am an East-Asian so I feel like that too sometimes, thus I know their feeling.

Skip ‘read more’ if you don’t wish to read about how I get my current drawing style.

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