I'm a proud owner of a new house :)

Just like the title, I do have a new house and yes, this house belongs to me. Not that I have the money to buy a house (I can barely afford my car fuel), but my generous parents gave each of us, my sisters and I, a house.
It's not a big or fancy house. It's only a two-bedroom house with a garage fit for one car and one bike, a bathroom, a small kitchen and dining, as well as a small garden each in the front and in the back. There's also a small empty balcony on the upper floor used to dry the clothes and also to use as a place to barbecue (it's pretty spacious).

One thing that I truly love to decorate is my room. It's not as big as my room in my parents's house, but I love it! The sun will burst through the window in the morning and I can hear the birds chirping outside. It's so cool! I haven't finished arranging my bedroom yet, it's still a big mess. But here's a sneak peak of how my new bedroom looks like:


I'll post the full version of my new house in my next post! Wait for it!

Nita xxx

Graduated, English, Spanish, Weight Loss...and some more stuffs

Phew… it’s been quite some time since the last time I posted something in this blog.

I officially hold a Bachelor Degree in Economics! That’s a huge relieve in my part (and my whole family as well). It’s been a rocky journey with problems here and there but I went through it all anyway. It feels like a huge stone is finally out of the way. Though, I am very well aware that this is the end of something old and the beginning of something new. Job hunting! That’s a pretty daunting part. I mean, I have worked before and I also already have several interviews which some I nailed and the others, well… It is scary indeed. I have nailed several interviews and also failed at some, but it didn’t stop me from keep trying. I have a goal and I won’t let my fear to stand in my way.

Earlier this year (April), I achieved 583 for TOEFL score. I wanted a 600, but 583 ain’t bad. I’ll try again next year and study harder, of course.
My TOEFL Score Report :D

As for my Spanish, I have been listening to a podcast on iTunes and it helps me a lot in the matter of enriching my basic Spanish and how each words shift forms based on who we’re using it to. You guys can check it out on iTunes, it’s called “Spanish Pod 101” or you can directly visit the website: www.spanishpod101.com

Screenshot of SpanishPod101 Podcast on iTunes for iPhone
Since I moved to Makassar in 2010, I have gained tons of weight. Believe me, the South Sulawesi foods are all scrumptious and fatty (no wonder I gained so much weight). I was 55kg in 2010 and now I reached 78kg last month (the heaviest weight I ever reached). Some of my clothes aren’t fit anymore and it’s bothersome since those are my favorites. I wanted to change the way I eat, the way I live my everyday life; so I joined Gold’s Gym (yes, we have Gold’s Gym in Indonesia too, you know lol). I have lost 5kg so far and I have been eating extra healthy too. It feels good. I also use the service of a Personal Trainer for 3 solid months so that I can shape my body better and healthier hence the weight lost itself. It’s been pretty hard for the first few weeks. I feel like giving up sometimes, but then I thought of the struggle that I had to go through to reach where I am right now. And since I feel really good about myself for having such better and healthier life style, I think I’m gonna keep this up ineradicably.

Taking a selfie at the Gym
My oldest sister was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last month and I was bummed. I mean, it’s terrifying to know that your loved one is being diagnosed with such menace disease. We’re still looking out for second opinion though, and we hope that the first diagnose was inaccurate (one can only hope).

I bought a new camera! It’s a waterproof camera so I can use it the next time I go on a diving trip (I hope soon!). It's Nikon Coolpix 110, there's a built-in GPS and Wifi which can be synced with my iPhone! How awesome is this camera? I can’t wait to get into the ocean and explore what it has to offer.

Nikon Coolpix
That’s all for now. I tried to make it as short as possible and as informative as it can possibly be.

I’ll see you when I see you!


Camping Experience

I was watching an episode of Asia’s Next Top Model two nights ago about the models camping in a forest in Malaysian Borneo. Just FYI, Borneo is an enormous island which inhabited by 3 ASEAN (Association of South East Asian) countries i.e. Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, and the biggest part of Borneo belongs to Indonesia. Anyway, the girls were building the tent and doing the outdoorsy things then an old memory of mine surfaced. Throughout my whole life I’ve been camping twice.
The first camping I had when I was in the 6th grade of elementary school (I was about 11 years old, back then) for only 2 days. I attended a public elementary school in Ternate for 6 months, it was temporarily because my father was posted to work in Ambon (there was an ongoing conflict in Ambon and it wasn’t safe for me to move there with my parents, so they decided to put me in a school near my grandmother which is in Ternate).
Long story short, I joined the Girl Scout and we went camping with the boys too. The camping site wasn’t too far from the city centre; I’d say it was just like 8-10 kilometers away. One of the boys’ father was a respected military guy, so we got the chance to ride in a big military tank during the camping. That’s probably the most incredible ride I’ve ever had. The first day when we arrived, the tents were already built up so we were assigned to each of our tents and then settled in.
The girls and I were so thrilled because it was our first time camping and we didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t do many things on the first day because we arrived during noon so all the boys and girls were told to cook for dinner together. Half of the boys and girls cook and the other half do the dishes afterwards. We were also taught how to built fire for the bonfire at night. Some of the older Boy and Girl Scout as well as our teachers join us sitting side by side circling the bonfire. Earlier, we were split by groups and each group has to perform some kind of entertainment in front of everyone at the camp site. My group performed a local dance; some were doing a theatrical act or singing. It was totally fun. But then it was time for us to go to bed.
All of us went to our tent and that’s when the horror began. Actually, nothing frightening happened that night, but some of the girls from the other tent rushed into my tent saying that they saw something weird and refused to go back to their tent. Our tent, which only fits 4 people, gained 4 more intruders so we were scrambling inside the tent, unable to sleep. Then each of them started to tell horror story which was totally maddening considering that I’m not a big fan of horror. Some of the girls said that a teenage girl did a suicidal stunt by drowning herself near the river at the campsite which was only 35 meters away from our tent. How unremarkably agonizing was that! I was so terrified, I told them to shut up and sleep but none of them would listen to me. We end up being wide awake for the whole night while we actually had a tight schedule ahead of us. It was excruciating.
The second camping experience I had was when I was on the first year of Junior High School. We went camping for three days at the Prambanan Temple camp site. Prambanan is an old Hindu temple located in between Yogyakarta and Central Java. Unlike my first camping experience, we had to build our own tent this time with the help of our teachers, of course. Then we were involved in a lot of outdoor activities during the first and second day. Our view from the camp site was just amazing. At night, when the lights surrounding Prambanan Temple was lit, it looks like a tall and beautiful black diamond. One of the activity was we had to walk from one post to another and answer general knowledge questions at each posts. My team won the first place; we answered all the questions 98% correctly and shared the price of snacks and chocolate to the other teammates. Our last night at camping, we had the privilege to watch a drama play about Rama and Sinta in one of the Prambanan’s theatrical stage.
We were free to choose who we would like to share the tent with. So I shared my tent with two of my best friends, Mustika and Sinta. In the middle of the night, Sinta and Mustika woke me up. They wanted to pee so badly but they didn’t want to leave me alone in the tent, well, I’d be scared to death if I woke up and no one was inside the tent. So we walked to the toilet, which was 40 meters across our tent. While Mustika and Sinta went inside the toilet, I waited outside. It was really dark so I kept the flashlight on all the time. I was bored and sleepy standing outside all alone so I kept talking to both of my friends, trying to distract my attention from horror thoughts.
Then I accidentally pointed the flashlight towards one of the trees on my right side (approximately 10-15 meters away), and I saw a freaking Pocong! (In Indonesia, a Pocong is a ghost that is said to be the soul of a dead person trapped in its shroud. The shroud is a sort of white fabric used to wrap the body of the dead person in Muslim burials, then tied over the head, on the neck, and under the feet.) I immediately pointed the flashlight towards other place, but I was curious and couldn’t believe myself, so I pointed toward that tree and I saw that damn thing again. I tried to calm myself and take a few deep breaths; I stopped looking at the location of the Pocong and said a prayer out loud. Sinta came out and ask what happened. I told her to look to the right and she screamed at the top of her lungs. We both ran as fast as we could, forgetting that we left Mustika alone.
I still don’t know until now whether it was a real Pocong or it was just my hallucination. I’ve been trying to tell myself that it was just a hallucination and it wasn’t real but the fact that Sinta also saw the same thing, it kind of bothers me. Maybe it was just a crazy person who was trying to freak the campers out. I don’t know. All I know is, it was the first time I saw a ghost and I hope it will be the last one, because it’s a pretty traumatic experience in my life.

The most effective & fastest way of losing friends

The year of 2014 is probably one of the most crucial times for Indonesia. It is the year where all Indonesian nationalities are voting in the upcoming Legislative Election and Presidential Election. The legislative election is going to be held on April 9, 2014 which is basically where all the Indonesian citizens vote for their desired parliament member from certain political party. The presidential election is going to be held on July 9, 2014.
I honestly don’t know whether I have already been registered as a voter or not since I haven’t received any voting invitation yet which I previously had during the City Mayor and Governor election last year. Up until February, I wasn’t aware that there’ll be a Legislative and Presidential Election this year, honestly! There was a lot of constant flow of comments regarding potential president candidate and views of political party on my Facebook and Twitter timeline, which was pretty unusual. So, I turned on my TV in order to figure out what was going on, and it came clear to me that the general election is this year. No wonder people, not only on Facebook and Twitter but also on IMs, have been aggressively rooting for their favorite party or candidate.
As for me, I am clueless. In my family, we don’t have any particular favorite party or candidate. Since I was a kid, my family has always been divided into several different political views and it constantly changing over the years. We’re not the kind of family that is rooting for the same candidate or party who inherited their views from the family’s previous generation, instead we have the freedom to choose whichever party we liked or whoever candidate that we favor. We talk about politics now and then, in my family, but we rarely dive into the serious depth of conversation, we even talk about how lame our choices are or how we choose a candidate because there’s no one left to choose and we laugh about it all the time.
Do you wanna effectively lose friends? Express your political views aggressively and talk bad about other candidates. A number of my friends (especially on Facebook) are fanatically and aggressively post pictures or comments regarding their favorite party/ candidate and then talk negative against the other parties/ candidates. Then there’ll be debate which end up in fight from each supporter. Sometimes I just want to tell them to slow down and take it easy, but I know it will make them attack me instead.
Everyone has the right to express their opinion, but to aggressively defend it or being stubborn and hot-headed about other people’s opinion does not bring any advantages. Learn to respect other people’s opinion doesn’t matter how absurd you think the opinion is. Respect. Respect. Respect. Open our mind. Try to listen what other people has to say. Embrace the differences. We’re all intelligent and well-mannered people so let’s act like one, shall we?

Writing Skill of Mine

A show in National Geographic channel called Brain Games revealed that an adult’s imagination isn't as good as his/her imagination when he/she was a kid. It somewhat relates to me. When I was a teenager, I had all kind of imagination and creativity which resulted in plenty of writings, fiction writings mostly. In Junior High School, I wrote 3 (uncompleted) fiction novels, and I wrote a number of short stories during the Senior High School years. All of them, of course, were written in Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian language). One of my literature teachers was very impressed with my short fiction story and she recommended me to join a writing competition held by my school. I did, and I won the 1st place. Winning that competition gave me a boost of confidence. In the senior year of high school, I along with four of my classmates did a research about public health in the riverside neighborhood and we won the 3rd place in a research writing competition held by a local university with Chevron.
Then, slowly but sure, I started to lose my niche, my muse, my inspiration. As time goes by, I’m growing from a teenager into a young adult. Growing up is hard. Responsibilities and expectations are filling rapidly in my mind that I can no longer think of anything else. College is a place where I got caught up with constantly working on assignments, projects, etc. Then comes the family affairs, my love affairs, school affairs, friend affairs, and before I know it, I have no more space in my life for the imagination and creativity which I used to abundantly had. This blog as an example. I used to write fascinating things and I used to have a theme for every post with pictures and everything. Now I just write my daily activity which contains nothing extraordinary, really.
Last year, after watching Suits (it’s a serial movie about lawyers in Pearson Hardman/Darby law firm in New York), I came up with some fiction story ideas. Not completely related to the law world, but they have a wee bit of it. I got stuck after writing 7 pages. Then it hits me. I’m not that good at writing novel or short story anymore. My imagination fits better with screen writing. From that moment on, I turned my writing skill into a new direction. The results? I came up with 6 new screenwriting ideas. Well, of course, they’re still unfinished yet but plenty of ideas are flowing each and every day. Even when I’m writing this post. Of course, as my English ability is getting better, I write all the screenwriting in English and mostly involve the way Americans live their life.

Maybe it’s true what Brain Games said about adult’s ability in imagination and hence affecting the creativity. I also find that maybe all we (as adults) need to do is pause. Reflects on what we used to good at when we were younger, and on the reason why we no longer do it anymore. Then maybe, we will find something new that we’re good at. Maybe it’s similar with the old thing we used to do, or maybe it’s a brand new thing that we never thought we had. Who knows? Life is full of unexpected things.

Quick Catch Up

I barely write on this blog lately, so I figured I’ll just write a few things that have been happening. Here we go...
Long story short, I am now in my final year at college. Most universities in Indonesia required the final year students to do a research, like undergraduate thesis. So, as any other normal senior year students, I am now working on my undergraduate thesis. Yesterday I had my proposal seminar, there were two professors asking me things about my proposal in front of a bunch of audience, which I think I nailed it. Though, there were a few revisions regarding the research background which according to both of the professors who questioned me was not really to the point. I get it, I might’ve exaggerating the first few pages with all the insights and pre-research observation, so I’m revising it now as I’m writing this blog and I’m planning on having it all done by tomorrow morning. I need to finish this in two weeks so that I can graduate right on time. I have had enough with college; I just want to get out of here as fast as I can.
I also have been taking TOEFL preparation class and Spanish class. Besides working on my thesis, I don’t really have anything else to do, so I signed up for those two classes. I hope by the time I graduate, I’ll also have my TOEFL certificate and at least can speak a little bit of Spanish.
Speaking of which, I remember the first time I took my TOEFL, I was 16 years old and I got a total score of 476, which wasn't too bad for a high school student. The second time was two years after and I got 530, which was way above average and I was a bit surprise as I thought I wasn't that good. The third time I took TOEFL was in 2011, I got 570. And then again, I took the last one about a month ago, and I got 593! I startled. And beyond happy, of course.
Since 2009, I haven’t been listening to any kind of Indonesian songs; I limit myself to only listen to English-speaking songs. I don’t watch local channels, I only watch English-speaking channels preferably American TV shows and with no subtitles on. I even train my brain to think in English language, not Indonesian. I read news only from the website of Huffington Post, Bloomberg, LA Times, LinkedIn, Financial Times, etc. I can name you all the 50 states in the USA, but I don’t even have a clue of who the Parliament Head of Indonesia is. I can talk to you about Obamacare, Twitter’s IPO, Nelson Mandela’s passing, Virgin’s CEO Richard Branson loses a bet to Air Asia’s GCEO Tony Fernandes, Obama’s SOTU speech, Stan Wawrinka beat world’s number 1 and 2 on his way to became the champion of Australian Open, or even for the fact that KIA’s Executive Thomas Oh has been repeating the same speech over the years of Australian Open (Yes, Mr. Oh, despite the cute accent you have, I can hear every words you say loud and clear every year). But if you’re trying to talk to me about what’s been happening in Indonesia lately, my honest answer will be “I have no idea”.
So, for all the hard work I've been doing for 5 years, I think I deserve to achieve the high scores that TOEFL can possibly offer. Why do I have to take another TOEFL preparation class despite the 593 score I got? Well, back to basic human nature of in-satisfaction, and as a human, I’m not easily satisfied with 593. If I can make it 650, why not?

Alright, Taylor Swift! We Get It!

Dear beloved Taylor Swift,
We get it, you’re the coolest and most “fun” girl on earth, not to mention amazingly talented and beautiful. You love to dance and enjoy every performance in music awards. So, please for the love of God, sit back and relax! It would be nice if you behave yourself and act like a lady. Those music awards aren't some LA night clubs where you can do your so called unladylike dance. Besides, don’t you have enough attention already? Let the one(s) performing on stage to be the center of attention. STOP STEALING OTHER PEOPLE’S SPOTLIGHT! Didn't your mom ever teach you about manners?
To the future any music awards committee, please do us a favor and just tie Ms. Swift to her seat or put super glue all over the seat so she can sit still without making any unnecessary moves?
And to Taylor’s publicist, please teach her how to behave when she’s wearing a dress worth hundred of thousand of dollars designed by Versace, Marchesa, or any other top notch designers. Aren't her personal stylist supposed to tell her to respect those dresses? Taylor needs to get whipped real hard by Rachel Zoe.


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