Jo, my friend 

I just talked to Jo for almost 1,5 hrs on whatsapp call, it felt like talking to an old friend. I don’t think I have ever talked to her on the phone, so it was amazing that the phone call lasted that long. The last time I met her was in 2014 when my family and I visited Singapore.

People are beautiful once you invested your time to get to know them better, to see things from their perspective and to let them know who you really are. 

I told Jo that during our study in Melbourne, our friendship was only on the surface. Yes we were classmates. We were in the same circle of friendship and that’s why sometimes we hung out together, but I never really open myself up to her. I didn’t really know her well at that time. 

When I look back, I remember the turning point of our friendship. It was when Jo and I spent an afternoon in the park near the campus. She was getting herself ready for a marathon while I was just trying to lose some weight. 

When we sat on the grass, I remember telling her random stuff and sharing my fear of returning back to Indonesia. We’re Asians so we pretty much share common ‘Asian’ values. She told me that she’s not keen on the idea of leaving Australia and going back to Singapore. She hated the idea of working in an office and doing same old routine. 

From that moment I know that we’d be good friends…

She’s an old soul. She’s weird. She uses sophisticated words on her blog and on her Facebook/Instagram (words I don’t understand because of my limited vocab lol). She’s hyper sensitive. She feels so deep about many things. She’s kind. She craves a deep connection and random conversation. I don’t think I have a friend like her and I love her for that. 

The other thing I love about her is that I can be honest about myself and she won’t pass any judgement to me. It feels good to be understood. 

In our conversation, I told her that I can sense that something is changing in her. I miss a little part of her old self (I didn’t  mention that though). But I did share my perspective on what’s going on with her. I am not a psychic, but I am a sensitive person myself, so I can’t help but feel the vibe she gives off. 

She told me that it was spot on! Honestly, I wasn’t surprised.

This is one of those time when being sensitive to my surrounding considered a blessing. 

I am so glad to have this rare opportunity of meeting someone like Jo. I really wish she’s going to find someone who can show her that the world isn’t cruel. I wishsomeone  or something is going to restore her faith to the world. 

Good night, Jo…

I had fun talking to you…

Sexist Comment @work

Today was just like a regular morning at work, at least until one of my female colleagues (F) mentioned about three of her female friends who were divorced.

The morning was just getting interesting. 

I honestly don’t know the situation out there. Things that are happening in our surroundings are often used as a ‘tool’ to get a picture of what’s happening in a larger scope. I was never interested in knowing people’s personal life and I rarely hear any gossips about my college or high school friends, so I have no idea that divorce rate are increasing in Indonesia. 

Things were getting more interesting when one of my male colleagues (M) commented about the divorce. 

F: “You know what? My friend is becoming more successful now that she was divorced from her husband. She works even harder to feed her children without the support of the husband. She’s now an assistant to a VP in a prestigious commercial bank, she was just a marketing staff when we worked together.”

M: “Really? It’s possible that your friend is sleeping around with people with power and is using her beauty and body to get a more stable and better job position.

I was stunned!

That was such an inconsiderate assumption. I know my colleague isn’s an asshole, but his way of thinking is probably something he can’t help but unconsciously internalised during his growing process.

Woman is seen as an object, her success is questioned unlike her male counterpart’s success. It is as if woman can only be successful in her field when she’s using her body and beauty instead of her brain. It’s frustrating to encounter people with this way of thinking.

I objected right away.

I told him that he’s being sexist. There are plenty of times that pretty girls are assumed to be stupid. That when a woman get a promotion at work and get anything else that she worked hard for, people assume that whoever gave it to her found her attractive. Why isn’t it assumed that woman worked hard and earned it?

Looks and intelligence are not related, but for some reasons people try to link the two when it comes to women. It’s not fair and we don’t really see that happening to men.

What’s sad is a lot of people don’t realize that it’s an act of sexism when they assume these kind of things.



My baby motor

My very first Baby Motor! My baby motor is a Suzuki Tornado 1996, dad bought it in 2001. We got this for 15 years now! It’s HALF OF MY LIFE! I never use it anymore, but we didn’t want to sell it, so dad just let my aunt ride it for work.

This motorbike always looks like a lady bike. At least that’s what my friend said. I started using this bike in my senior year in HS. However, during the first year of Uni, dad didn’t allow me to ride a bike in Purwokerto, so I was used to just walk to Uni. At that time, I was not too busy after all. Life was just Uni and boarding house lol I remember my pocket money was Rp500k at that time (2003), it was enough though. 

The second year of Uni, baby motor was delivered to Purwokerto. I joined Student English Forum and worked as an instructor (yay extra money!). Life was fun and busy. I remember there were times when I got no money left in my pocket so I had to carry my bike when it ran out of gas. Yeah, we’ve been though the ups and downs together lol 

Baby motor was always there to take me reach my full potential; when I joined debate selection, debate training, meetings @ SEF, when I needed to be an adjudicator for a debate competition in Barlingmascakeb, or work as a radio announcer and instructor, and eventually graduated from Uni with flying colors. 

I am feeling nostalgic. My years in Uni was the time I invested in myself, I studied in campus, dealt with different characters, studied English, learned skills such as public speaking, leadership, negotiation, etc 

Everything that I went through in the past has shaped me to be a better Annisa. There’s no shortcut or instant way to be successful as an individual. Yes, luck plays a role, but hardwork and sufficient emotional support are more important. Thanks for being the most loyal friend during those critical times, baby motor ❤️