30 November 2009

Suicidal

This morning (Holland time) I received a shocking tweet from a friend of mine in Jakarta. She tweeted saying that there was a woman comitted suicide at Grand Indonesia mall, Jakarta. Some tweetpics were spread. It was quite shocking.

Sigh,... why are there still people committing suicide these days?

Anyway, these short sentences are quoted from the Jakarta Globe:

A young woman died instantly after falling from the fifth floor at the luxury Grand Indonesia mall on Monday afternoon in what was believed to be a suicide. The woman’s body landed on an escalator railing on the ground floor.

Be safe, people. Don't do anything stupid you'd regret

26 November 2009

Universities and HBO

Are you planning to study abroad? Is Holland or the Netherlands one of your options? Then you should know the difference between Universities and HBO.


This is my 6th year living in Holland. I came here in 2002 to study Bachelor of Communication at the INHolland University in Diemen (a city near Amsterdam), which is a HBO. At that time, coming from Indonesia, I was not aware of the difference between HBO and the normal universities. I was only informed that HBO was an institution that would provide more practical knowledge to the students. If you study at HBO, you would know how to work in the real world. Instead, if you study at the universities, you would learn a lot more academic knowledge. Thus, if you study at the universities, you have the intention to pursue PhD or to be a professor in an university.

With that information, I (with some influence from my Mom) had decided to study at INHolland University. In the end of my first year, some rumours were spread among us saying that in the end of our study, we would receive the title Bachelor of Communication, instead of Bachelor of Arts. I was in my 18 when I heard that. I didn’t really care about any title. I said to myself “as long as I graduate with good grades, I would be more than happy!”

Yet, some people were furious. There were a few people that withdrew from INHolland and signed up to other proper universities.

This case has repeated itself. Recently, Saxion university of applied sciences (which is an HBO) students were upset because the university promised them Master of Arts title for the Master course in health care and social work. In the end, Saxion had to repay the whole tuition fee to the 16 students that joined that program. Read the articles here (it's in Dutch, sorry).

So, what’s the matter with title? What’s actually the difference between HBO and Universities?

Okay, let me explain to you. HBO is the short version of Hoger Beroepsonderwijs (or hogeschool). In English, you can translate it to ‘high school’, which is not exactly correct. The right translation is University of Applied Science.

HBO is at the same level as universities; however, HBO is providing applied sciences to the students. Universities teach a lot more academic knowledge to the students – thus more theoretical.

There are some titles that can only be announced by universities, such as Master of Arts, Bachelor of Arts, Master of Sciences, etc. The titles I received for my education are Bachelor of Communication and Master of International Communication Management.

Is HBO has lower quality than University?

In my humble opinion, not just because I graduated from HBO, I would say that HBO is NOT less credible than University. The first education I pursued was of course chosen because of some influence from my Mom. Yet, the second time I chose to study at the Hague University of Applied Sciences was my personal choice.

I experienced a lot of benefits during my study. I learned so many new thing, not only from the theories (books), but also through exchange of information with other students and the teachers. In the class, we were given so many case studies that we had to solve. We acted like the real consultants, PR managers, or journalists – just to learn how these positions really worked in the real world.

In result, I have never had any difficulties working in any companies or NGO. I can easily relate the theories to the reality. In HBO, you indeed learn less theories at school, but it would be your obligatory to self-study – like reading academic books at home or googling about interesting topics.

Do HBO graduates have good future? Will it be easy for us to look for a job or will we be discriminated?

I have never found any difficulties to find a job because of my HBO diploma – also not in Indonesia. In Holland, people see HBO diploma as valuable as University diploma. However, there are indeed a few companies that do not recruit HBO graduates. It is not because HBO graduates less valuable, but it is due to the standard set (related to accreditation) by the Headquarter in the US. The companies that do not recruit HBO are for instance Google and P&G. Yet, Unilever, Phillips, Adidas, and IBM do recruit HBO students. I have friends working in these companies.

Can I do master and/or PhD after I graduate from HBO?

Yes. In Holland (and some other European countries like Finland), there is Master of Applied Sciences. This is not academic master from the University, but it is from HBO. If you specifically want to study Master course in a university after finishing your bachelor degree in a HBO, you will be most likely asked to do a pre-master (like in Erasmus University). Yet, there could be some exceptions, especially if you have appropriate working experiences (3-5 years).

About PhD, I cannot speak for all PhD programmes, because it will be judged case by case. I heard there are some possibilities for HBO graduates to directly pursue doctorate/PhD. Yet, the interesting thing that I heard was there will be soon PhD/doctorate programmes for HBO graduates. If there is Master of Applied Sciences, why not PhD in Applied Sciences?!

So, I hope this brief sharing is useful for you.

I wish you all the best. If confused, do not hesitate to contact me.

25 November 2009

Slap Bet

Who doesn't like How I Met Your Mother?

I guess most people like this TV series. If you don't, please do not decide anything until you pass the second season. The first few episodes in the first season is indeed not very appealing, rather boring, I would say.

So, if you like How I Met Your Mother? (HIMYM), you must know 'Slap Bet'. Have you watched Slapgiving 2? Hahahahha, LOL. Last night, I really laughed a lot watching this episode with Stefy and Herdian, our housemate.

And, look what I found!
Slap Bet COUNTDOWN!!!



You can embed this in your web or Facebook. Too bad none for Blogspot.

Speaking of blogspot, did you hear that some ISP in Indonesia banned Blogspot? Blogspot was not accessible for a few days in Indonesia. It was caused by a comic about particular religion that was rather offensive. Thus, the ministry of communication and information gave a decree to ban that particular blog. Yet, it happened that all .blogspot sites were banned.

Hopefully, it is over now.

So, When will the final Slap Bet happend? :)

18 November 2009

Rambling about nothing (or maybe about something)

Today I felt so ill that I called the office and asked to have a day off. Gosh, my head was spinning. My body is aching. I don't know what to blame: the weather, my low antibody, or poor intake of food.

Instead of moaning, I guess I will write some aimless post that maybe can cheer both of us up: you happy to know my stories and me happy to can write something. Deal?

Okay, where to start?

Let's start with my current situation. No, not the ill, weak condition I am in now; but the current job hunting situation. Like Dita, I am too now searching for a job. I am currently doing an internship at Nuffic, but I will soon be gone. The project will be finished and so will my contract.

Job opening websites like LinkedIn, Undutchable, Monsterboards, and also Twitter have been my regular destination when I am online (especially to Twitter :P). I also visited the (so-called) biggest Job Fair in Holland, which turned out to be smaller that it'd always been, with much less exhibitors (definitely less than what they advertised. Sigh,...)

Althooough, it was such a miracle for me that I happened to meet the right people at the right time. I had some nice conversations with the exhibitors, we exchanged business cards with my CV :) and, now fingers crossed!

Yet, I will soon have little holiday in December. I guess (hopefully), I deserve it. After 1.5 years working very hard - to survive the sleepless nights, the tons of books I have to read, and very less social activities that I could attend to - I graduated! Thus, if you don't see me around at social media between December - January, you know I am not being kidnapped by fake secret agent (oops, the effect after watching Shooter last night) :P

Hm,.. what else do you wanna know? Marriage? hahahahha,.. no no no no, it's still faaaar from being prepared. Don't trust any other third parties that pretend to know something about our plan to get married. No, no, no, it's still very raw. However, I have been doing some research about when to get married, where, the cost, and of course, the most crucial aspects for me: photography, songs (band), gown, and make-up.

I really don't know what to share anymore, so I will end my ramble with my story and little snapshot of watching Rihanna live on Nokia.com last Monday. I have to say, it ain't that good. It was faaaaaaaaaaar from being personal. We had to wait quite some time before the show started (it was planned at 9 PM CET, but it started aroun 9.10, without any warning or earlier notification).

Jamie Cullum had done similar thing some weeks ago. And I have to applaude mr Jamie Cullum for that. It was intimate, he talked to the 'audiences', and even chatted with the 'audiences'. He played the songs that were requested by the 'audiences'. Ah, in short, it was cool!

Anyway, in the end of the day, social media is about intimacy, a personalised conversation with your customer. Hahaha, now the social media expert is talking!!

Here is a snapshot of Rihanna live on Nokia.

16 November 2009

When I'm 64

When I get older losing my hair,
Many years from now.
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine.


All of Beatles fans must know this song by heart. Not as much as I love this song, I hesitate to think of what I would be when I'm 64. Never have I ever felt afraid growing old, yet don't you ever ask yourself how you would be when you are 60+?

Would I be very dependant? Would I be a whinning, old grandma that your grandkids hate? Would I be useless or paralyzed? Would I be a fat, weak old lady? In fact, would I still be loved?

Would I still know and feel love?

This improper thought had been creeping to the surface due to the facts that my boyfriends' family (mostly the female ones) are getting old but still look fabulous: slim figure, shinny appearances, and fit! You must have seend Sex and the City right? You can see some similarities in my relative-in-laws. The pressure definitely exists!

Some years ago, when I met my boyfriend's relative for the first time, the first question she asked me NOT what kind of work I do, or what are my hobbies; she asked this exact following question: how much do you weigh? I was speechless for some split seconds. When I got my courage back, the question I asked was this: which weight? body weight?

Some days ago, this question was again thrown to my face; this time by my mother-in-law to be.

Sigh,...

I wouldn't worry too much if my boyfriend was different. My boyfriend is also very concern with his weight, body, and physical beauty. Not that he is a metrosexual (I would have left him a looong time ago if he was a metrosexual kinda man :p), yet, he lives healthily and dress properly. While some women might be crying to have this kinda man, I would say that I feel quite worried.

I am worried that one day I would not be pretty enough that I could make him proud of me. I am worried that one day I gain some kilos that would make him quite embarassed to stand next to me. I am afraid that one day I have some disabilities that could make him feel frustrated (if you live in the Netherlands, you should watch the trailer of "komt een vrouw bij de Dokter". This might give you some ideas about what I feel). The bottomline, I am afraid that one day he wouldn't love me enough that I would feel unloved.

I hope you would tell me that my thought are so very unreasonable that I should stop thinking about them; and start thinking about something else - like job hunting :P

10 November 2009

Magic Mascara

Ooops, almost forgot to share the "magic" that Dita has shared with me.

So I asked her the other day about the best mascara, cos I have used several brands, yet I had never been satisfied with one brand. My eyelashes are so soft and short thus I needed a mascara that can lengthen them and make them look pretty.

Dita - now I announce her as my fashion advisor - adviced me to use mascara from Maybelline. Thank God it was on special price at Kruidvat! Thus, I, with Stefy's help to choose whether I had to buy the 3x, 5x or 7x type, bought the 5x mascara from Maybelline.

And, it works verryyy well! I love it! My eyelashes are soo pretty now :)

Thanks dita!

In case you are also searching for a mascara, here is my mascara now:


Friendship forever

Friendship [frend-ship]: the state of being a friend [dictionary]

This word might seem meaningless for us 5 – 10 years ago. It was merely nice word that we put in the end of our e-mail or in our classmate’s memory book: Friendship forever. Yet, what does this word mean to us right now? How much time do we invest in building our friendship? Or how much time do we have to even think of friendship?

Last week at church, we were taught about having healthy relationship with friends. And I realised that I haven’t done anything to my friendships with any of my friends.

Based on the sermon, there are four sorts of friends: acquaintances, casual friends, close friends, and intimate friends.

And I notice that most of my friendship (levels) I have been downgraded: from intimate to close, from intimate to casual, and even worse, from intimate to acquaintances. These happened because first, distance (because I have moved from one place to another), and of course, quarrels or problems.

I feel embarrassed about this, also sad at the same time. The prior reason is quite acceptable (although with the technology that we nowadays have, it is no longer a good excuse), yet if the latter reason downgrades the level of my friendship, I guess there is something wrong about it.

And it is most likely my mistake.

I often runaway from problems. Also, if I have any quarrels with my friends, I will most likely put the biggest smile on my face, and “let it go” (which, in my dictionary, means bottle it up). These actions have big impact in my relationship: I lost my intimate friends because of this.

The sermon last week has made me realise that I should make peace with myself and try to settle this friendship issue, which includes: make peace with friends I have had problems with, reconnect with old classmates or friends (chatting, sending e-mail, or calling), and let go (as the real letting go action) tiny issues that had come between me and my friends and befriend with them again.

This resolution will be taken into my New Year resolution. Speaking of New Year, it is like 7-8 weeks before the new year begins. WOW!

6 November 2009

Berlayar bersama Perahu Kertas


Berkat pertolongan seorang teman yang sedang berlibur ke Indonesia, Oma berhasil mendapatkan sebuah buku Perahu Kertas-nya Dewi Lestari yang kalau tidak salah, diluncurkan versi cetaknya pada tanggal 29 Agustus 2009.

Setelah beberapa saat menanti untuk dibaca – setelah lembaran skripsi yang harus dituntaskan, berjam-jam waktu yang dihabiskan untuk mempersiapkan defence, dan langsung dilanjutkan dengan berminggu-minggu persiapan sebuah acara education fair di Bangkok, Thailand - akhrinya Perahu Kertas berhasil dituntaskan dalam one shot, di dalam pesawat KLM Bangkok – Amsterdam, 2 November 2009.

Walaupun berbagai media sudah memberi bocoran bahwa buku Perahu Kertas ini tidak ‘seberat’ buku-buku Dee yang sebelumnya, Oma masih saja memiliki rasa ‘takut’ pada saat membaca halaman pertama. Namun, perasaan itu segera sirna seketika Oma mengenal sosok Kugy. Apalagi setelah membaca bahwa sosok Keenan lebih tampan daripada Therrius di komik Candy-Candy. Langsung Oma hanyut dalam fantasi-fantasi yang tercipta.

Untuk gaya penulisan, alur cerita, dan tokoh, Oma tidak perlu memberikan komentar lagi. Dee sangat berhasil menghidupkan tiap-tiap tokohnya. Setiap tokohnya memiliki karakter yang begitu kuat, yang membuat mereka benar-benar ‘hidup’. Alur cerita, sangat smooth, walau awalnya Oma ragu dengan penggunaan 4 lokasi yang berbeda, namun perbedaan lokasi itu tidak terasa menganggu sama sekali!

Dan untuk hal tulis menulis, 99,99% sempurna. Yang 0,01% adalah beberapa spelling mistake dalam penulisan kata-kata dalam bahasa belanda. Kaas broodje, bruine bonensoep (pemenggalan kata-nya), dan “kan niet vergeten” (semuanya di halaman 3). Lalu, penggunaan ‘vent’ untuk panggilan anak laki-laki, nampakanya tidak umum digunakan. Setau Oma, kata-kata ‘liefje’ atau ‘schatje’ lebih banyak digunakan.

Despite the obvious, buat Oma, Perahu Kertas adalah cerita tentang sebuah khayalan yang hidup dalam tubuh seorang yang dewasa. Khayalan, in this case, terbagi menjadi 2: yang sudah pasti fiktif –doesn’t exist dan yang doesn’t exist yet, but it could happen.

Oma rasa itulah hidup. Kita sering berhenti mengejar impian kita karena bagi kita impian = khayalan = doesn’t exist. Kita berpikir impian itu tidak mungkin menjadi nyata – entah karena kita berpikiran demikian, atau karena orang lain yang membuat kita berpikiran demikian. Namun, seperti sosok Kugy dan Keenan, mereka berusaha menghidupkan khayalan itu. Mungkin kita tidak harus berperan sebagai Agen Neptunus, namun kita seharusnya mengejar moment itu, mengejar impian itu. Seperti yang dulu pernah kita tuliskan di album teman-teman kita saat masih duduk di bangku SD: kejarlah cita-citamu setinggi langit!

Finally, buku ini memberikan sebuah jawaban atas sebuah tanda tanya besar yang selama ini mengikuti. Cinta itu tidak memilih: cinta itu tahu. This quote is taken from page 430 – my favorite part (I even highlighted it):)

“saya belajar dari kisah hidup seseorang. Hati tidak pernah memilih. Hati dipilih. Jadi, kalu Keenan bilang, Keenan telah memilih saya, selamanya Keenan tidak akan pernah tulus mencintai saya. Karena hati tidak perlu memilih. Ia selalu tahu ke mana harus berlabuh.”

Thank Dee, you has made me realise that my heart had casted its anchor a long time ago. I no longer need to choose, because my heart knows.

5 November 2009

Mendua

Some of you might still recall this song. I was jumping off of my chair when this song was played at Radio Kosmonita (online radio). This song reminds me of a lot of things, especially my time in Meulaboh, Aceh.

Audy's songs were usually played in the morning, to accompany us getting ready for work or having breakfast. Kak Rina, my housemate, loved Audy so much.

For you who are in need of nostalgic moment or melancholic company for this rainy weather in Holland, please enjoy this song.

Sekat hati, tak menahan jua
Lelah aku pada setiaku
Mengapa kau datang, memberiku cinta
Oh inikah indah mendua
Haruskah, kuhempas

Jangan kau tanya, kan cinta untukmu,
disini yang ada dirimu
Adakah benarnya, janji diatas ingkar,
disana yang ada ragu

Oh inikah indah mendua
Pergi saja pergi, bawa jauh cintamu
Kutahu ini tak adil untukmu
Sesalkan, adanya

Bukankah kita mengerti,
dan kita sadari janji, ‘kan hindari cinta


4 November 2009

I'm back

Back from Bangkok
this is the first day at work, with heavy migraine and sleepy-head.

I guess these can be categorised under JETLAG - my first jetlag.

Okay, if I manage, I will upload some pictures on my Facebook and of course, some here.

1 November 2009

Last few days in Bangkok

I should have mentioned earlier that I would go to Bangkok, Thailand for European Higher Education Fair Bangkok 2009 in Royal Paragon Hall. But, the combination of work and life has made me forget to update you all.

So, here I am now, spending my last day at the fair. Not as busy as yesterday, but I feel good today.

Tomorrow, I will fly back to Holland (to continue my mundane yet exciting life) and will look forward to December: Sinterklaas, my birthday, stefy's birthday and Christmas.

So, how's your life? Update me :)