Category Archives: UrbanChat

Kiwi Winter Wonderland

A few years ago my parents were invited for a private event at the residence of then New Zealand’s ambassador to Indonesia. As it coincided with my birthday, my parents were kind enough to bring me along. The ambassador and … Continue reading

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The Business of Making Memories

I noticed something when a friend traveled with her daughter recently. She noted “making memories” as she posted their travel pictures on social media. I thought that was sweet, and smart. Any grown-up with even the most boring life has … Continue reading

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The Milestones of a Lawyer and a Designer

The word milestone is, by definition, a marker of distance—length of the road traveled. On literal roads milestones are measured the same way, yet on life journey the distances and how they are marked vary greatly. Although, sometimes, a couple … Continue reading

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Art: The Soulfood of Yogyakarta

Bandung, Ubud and Yogyakarta are some of the places in Indonesia where I never failed to feel at home. There is a welcoming sense, a grounding force, a rhythm that make things work in comforting pattern. At the risk of … Continue reading

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Drama, Panorama and Kaimana

Senja di Kaimana by Alfian is a classic oldie many Indonesians know. The melodious song tells of a girl’s smile and the breathtaking sunset over Kaimana, now part of West Papua province. As I wrote here a while back my … Continue reading

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Old Nusantara in New Singapore

One of the reasons many Indonesians love to come to Singapore is to enjoy newer, better, often more advanced things. Things like underground subway, fully-automated system of whatnots, or tropical gardens hanging up in the sky. I do, too, in … Continue reading

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IDR 350 Million Houses & FPI: A Ludicrous New Normal for Jakarta?

What a week it’s been for Jakartans. If you’re one of the people who are now worried whether the city would commit to make a progress for someone like you, you’re not alone. Most minorities or advanced-thinking Jakarta residents carry … Continue reading

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Deep, Blue, and Keeps Being Hip

“You hail from and live in the world’s largest archipelago, yet you don’t scuba-dive? How is that?” A Frenchman, already a licensed Dive Master then, asked me point-blank over a decade ago. My bellydancing pal Hanna, a diving enthusiast, asked … Continue reading

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Chicks Throwing Kicks on Flicks

Chick flicks. As a self-respecting, longtime moviegoer I despise that term, used loosely for romantic comedy, teen drama and musical genres. It alludes condescendingly to movies deemed lovey-dovey, fairy tale-y, or full of visual fluffs without much meat. Though I … Continue reading

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The Ugly F-Word of Forecasting

Oh, the ugly F-word of forecasting. I despise that one more than any other F-word around. I didn’t like it much throughout schools, and I loathed it on monthly basis when pursuing marketing career in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. … Continue reading

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