Kopi Nalar: It’s Been A While.

Does anyone agree with me that no matter where we are right now in life, there’s this tiny curiosity that keeps on popping out (whether from within, or from our surroundings) and asks us about “What’s Next?” It seems like people are so expectant with the progress you make that by the time you stop or seem to show no progress in life, you’ll be considered a misfit.

Is it true that life is only about moving forward and transitioning from one “what’s next” to another? Is it true that people tend to applaud those people who jump into one opportunity to another simply because they look courageous, while at the same time they are actually careless and unprepared?

The over–glorified concept of having something “new”, being a “new” person, or anything that has the word “NEW” can actually be something dangerous for us if we are not wise enough to discern. Once we are attracted to whatever “new” that comes our way, we tend to move with the highest speed without maximum protection and preparation simply because we are a sucker for excitement.

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Speaking of new, meet one of the newest coffee in town.

What about hitting the brakes? What about moving just a little bit slower? What about saying no for a better “new” that we ultimately want instead of what we temporarily want?

Sorry for the long intro. I guess it’s just been a while since I poured out my (sometimes) too complex thoughts into one of my posts. Just like the fact that it’s been a while for both of us to spend one weekend only to go explore and try out new places in this city.

Just last weekend, we stumbled upon this new coffee shop in South Jakarta, along with some of friends. The name is Kopi Nalar (reasoning), and it was having a soft opening. The place was a 25 percent alfresco area, 25 percent smoking room with glass rooftops and large window panes, and 50 percent of a indoor seating with white walls and modern interior.

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Kopi Nalar, Jalan Prof Joko Sutono SH No. 7, Kebayoran Baru, Jakarta

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One of their plus points: Plugs. Everywhere.

When we got there, the smoking room was empty (none of us smokes though haha), so we invaded it like its a lounge reserved exclusively just for us. The room was filled with two cozy couches and plenty of bean bags!

After ordering our choices of drinks and desserts, we settled in comfortably and spent about 3-4 hours there talking. It felt like crashing into one of your friends’ house during holidays where you got nothing to do for the whole day, accompanied by bowls of chips and boxes of pizza. It was priceless! As someone who has Quality Time for his love language, this kind of hangout day with friends is a total heart-filling moment.

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Almond and Honey

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DR got a bit too comfy.

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Pardon my too obvious tan line. Got it from my Belitung trip, which I will share soon!

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Some of my favorite Sunday crew.

What’s interesting about their coffee menu is that they have this so-called “healthy choice” of coffee. The “A Cup of Sense” menu is a mixture of coffee latte with healthy ingredients like granola, walnuts, almond, and honey. Surely I went for the new one and picked the almond and honey to complete my coffee o’clock.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

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A Heart-Warming Lesson From Going Solo to Ijen Crater

Just like the famous and phenomenal Star Wars franchise, which has a prequel to its first original 3 episodes, this post would be the prequel to my last post. Before the 12 hours I spent in Surabaya, I got to spend two days in Banyuwangi. It’s a small city located in East Java (about 6 hours of train ride from Surabaya) for a hike to Ijen Crater and a motor ride to Baluran National Park (will share about this in other post).

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Back in February I was having two weeks off as I was in between job. Being a real millennial that I am, of course staying in Jakarta and doing nothing would be my last option. With limited budget yet limitless curiosity to explore new places, after a little bit of web-hopping and trackpad-clicking, I was already sitting in a train to Banyuwangi.

I arrived in Banyuwangi at 3pm in the afternoon, and directly headed to a homestay, which was located right in front of the train station. After settling in and cleaning up, I rented a motorcycle and went out to explore the city. But, right now I’m not gonna go into details about Banyuwangi. Let’s save it for another post.

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The Sulphur Mining.

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Don’t I look like a ninja? Pardon the bad quality photo.

To catch sunrise at the summit of Ijen Mountain, I had to wake up at midnight, and leave before 12am because the homestay’s front door will be locked afterwards. However, because I was probably too tired, I overslept and didn’t hear my alarm when it went off. I jumped out of bed at almost 1AM thinking I’ve missed my only chance to hike Ijen Mountain. Thank God, I haven’t.

The front door was already locked, thank God the owner was kind enough to wake up and open it for me. Next thing I knew, I was already on the road using a motorcycle, feeling very much alive. The cold wind kept on slapping my face. The streets were mostly dark and deserted. The locals were already dreaming their way to La la Land. Google Maps told me that it would take me about 1 hour of motor ride. So I put my earphone and sang along to any song that Spotify shuffled for me.

About one hour later, I finally arrived at the entrance of Patulding (the basecamp of Ijen Mountain). I had to pay IDR 5K (if I’m not mistaken) to go in, and also bought a pair of gloves, since the guard was warning me that it might be very cold up there due to the rainy season.

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Waiting for the sunrise

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The road to Patulding was narrow and COMPLETELY DARK. There were neither houses nor streetlights. My only source of light came from the headlight of my motorcycle, and there were also no other vehicles. I was completely alone in the middle of what seemed to be a concrete jungle. After gathering every little bit of courage I could find within me, off into the wood I went! Secretly wishing that I would encounter a car, or other fellow motor rider, or at least a human being walking. There was none.

“No turning back, Bro,” I said to myself. I just gotta continue the ride until I find the Patulding basecamp, which was about 20 minutes later. Traveling alone in the dark at midnight, in the middle of a forest was scary enough. At least, for me. But it didn’t stop there. It started to rain. Not a drizzle. Heavy rain.

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The cartwheel that miners use to carry the sulphur.

The road became slippery and I remember feeling utterly worried that the machine would just give up on me and I had to continue the rest of the trip walking to Patulding. Thank God the motorcycle was tough enough. To make myself feel better, I sang some worship songs out loud (LOL). It was dramatic.

Long story short, after a wonderful (not) trip, I arrived at Patulding Basecamp. Parked my motorcycle, while still shivering, because it was super cold. Gratefully, my camera and iPhone were okay, even though my hip pack was drenched.

Feeling a bit traumatized, my guts level decreased immediately from 100 to almost minus. I was intently planning to hike alone, but after what I had to go through, I buried that plan, and hired a local guide, Mas Yono, instead to accompany me. At first, I thought hiking to Ijen would be a smooth sailing. The pride in me, kept on telling me that since I’ve conquered Rinjani, which is 3726 meters above sea level, going to Ijen (2799 meters above sea level) would be nothing.

I was wrong. You really can’t act cocky towards Mother Nature.

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My signature yellow jacket.

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These cartwheels are used to carry people. Yeap, that explains the pillow haha.

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Breakfast with the locals.

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See? I told you.

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The guides.

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Sulphur as souvenirs.

The hiking itself was easy, but since it was drizzling and foggy, the crater has the potential to release toxic gas that could be dangerous to you, and would make your breathing difficult. Unlike Rinjani that made me walk about 6 hours to reach its summit, Ijen was kind enough to let me walk for about 40-ish minutes.

Sadly, the wind was very strong, and the fog was thick, I couldn’t see the blue fire with my own eyes. I had to be content to see the sulphur miner who were busy extracting one of nature’s precious gems to be sold as souvenir or soaps that could make your skin smooth and clean.

Around 6PM, the sky gets brighter. Sadly, there was no hint of a sunrise at all. It was all clouds and fogs instead. There was a bit of discontentment within me, because I felt like I deserved to witness a clear, mesmerizing view, after such scary trip. So, I waited for another hour. But instead of giving me the glorified sunrays, the sky decided to unleash raindrops.

I sighed. And told myself to be grateful. Because even without the sunrise, the whole trip to Ijen Crater has left quite a memorable story.

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Act like a tourist.

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Meet, Mas Yono.

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The sun started to appear when I was already on my way back.

At 7.30-ish I’m already back at the Patulding basecampe and decided to stay for a while to have a bowl of noodles and hot milk as breakfast. The kind-hearted guide, Mas Yono, waved his goodbye. Before he left, I asked him, whether he’s going to accompany another guest. He shook his head, and replied, “One guest per day is enough. I shall let the other guides to have more guests than me, because unlike the others I have a rice field at home that can be my other source of income.”

I was so inspired by his answer and literally felt something within me got warmer. Probably it’s a gentle knock to my conscience, a reminder not to get greedy with what I have in my hands. There’s better fulfillment in sharing. Sometimes we forget that, especially if we’ve been living in a big city, which has a strong ME-FIRST culture.

There might not be a sunrise for me to watch that morning. But there was something more beautiful to witness. A sincere heart.

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Imagine going through this narrow road at midnight, in total darkness and heavy rain.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Romantic Italian Style Dinner at Ristorante de Valentino.

Have you ever resist the temptation to eat in extreme hunger just because you were about to have a delightful luncheon? That was me few weeks ago. I woke up feeling very hungry, yet I decided to skip breakfast and saved up extra space in my tummy to experience authentic Italian cuisines in Ristorante de Valentino.

Big thanks to Astrid Suryatenggara, who had warmly invited us for a casual lunch to this fine dining restaurant, which is only in a walking distance from where I live. Sadly, DR couldn’t join us as he was feeling unwell at home.

A little warning before you scroll through this post, some of the photos below might cause you a sudden craving of delightful Italian meals. Although, I gotta be honest, once I’ve tried Valentino’s dishes, I find it kinda hard for me to enjoy pastas in other restaurants. What they served was beyond remarkable. The experience did not only spoiled my tastebud as it was definitely another level of indulgence.

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Ristorante de Valentino, MD Place, 11th Floor, Jl Setiabudi Selatan No. 7, Jakarta.

The first dish that they served was the complimentary home made bread sticks with their signature green dipping sauce, made of Valentino’s secret ingredients. Normally, this munching machine would finish everything that is in front of him. But this time, I had to resist finishing the whole basket because Astrid warned me that we still have more food to taste.

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Valentino’s Home Made Bread Sticks with Green Dipping Sauce

Following the bread basket was their “Misto di Antipasti” (a tasting plater of fried calamari, chicken liver pâté, bruschetta). I’m not really a fan of any meal that is made of chicken liver as I can’t find it as something that is pleasingly tasteful. But this time, I ended up finishing the whole pâté!

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Fried Calamari

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Chicken Liver Pâté. Sorry for the blurry photo, I was probably rushing to get a good photo before finishing the whole plate.

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Bruschetta

Next up was the “Affettati Misti” (cold cut platter of salami, pancetta and mortadella ham). A cold cut platter is one of the most Italian iconic ways to start a luncheon. It’s an assortment of cured meats, thinly sliced and arranged artistically on a serving platter. It’s definitely a delicious way to start a meal. In Valentino, they served the meat with a finger-lickin’ good bread sticks. The shape reminded me of Cakwe (Chinese fried dough), yet it’s a lot thinner and tastier.

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Cold Cut Platter

Three different dishes only for a starter. If my tummy could speak, it would have screamed excitingly the moment a waiter came into our dining room with three big plates of pasta in his hands.

The first one, which is my favorite, was “Fettucine Al Granchio” (Valentinos’ signature squid ink fettuccini with crabmeat in a creamy tomato sauce). I would have finished the whole plate in a few minute, if I didn’t remember that there were still two other plates. The second one was “Linguine Aglio Olio Fruti Di Mare” (Seafood Aglio Olio) and “Linguine Carbonara”. The carbonara was to die for as it was served with super crunchy slices of pork bacon as toppings!

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Valentino’s signature squid ink fettuccini with crabmeat.

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Seafood Aglio Olio

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Carbonara with Pork Bacon

All the pastas were “al dente“, if I may say. In Italian, it means “to the tooth”, used to describe the point of cooking when pasta becomes softer, yet not too soft, leaving still a bite to it. A perfect pasta is always cooked al dente, making it easier to be digested.

Food comma was not the right term I would use to describe how I felt after those three appetizers and another three plates of main courses. I was drunk with foods.

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Our table situation

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Red chairs poppin out elegantly from behind each table.

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The next thing that would attack you after a super satisfying meals is a sleepiness. I literally had to stand up and walk around to avoid falling asleep only a few minutes I had my last spoon of pasta. Being the explorer that I always am, I started to wander around the restaurant which is dominated by grey table cloths and numerous red chairs, popping out from behind the table. This fine dining restaurant is interiorized with bricked walls, plenty of private dining rooms, a bar and a private room that can be rented for private parties.

After a little while, I decided to go back to my table, only to find a galore of sweet tooth treats (Chantilly cake and Tiramisu) waiting for me. I know that I said I was so filled up to the point I was a sleepyhead a paragraph ago. But, who could resist plates of mouthwatering desserts, right?

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Chantilly cake.

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Tiramisu.

As I thought I couldn’t fill any more foods into my tummy, another meal was served on the table. Astrid was able to read my face expression, she comforted me saying, “Don’t worry it’s for takeaway.” And I laughed awkwardly with so much relieve.

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Tuna Panini

Gentlemen, let me help you save a little time this Valentine’s Day from the yearly hustle of booking a perfect place for dinner. This is it! Treat your lady with a romantic Italian style dinner at Ristorante de Valentino. Well, in this modern era, Valentine’s Day is no longer exclusively belongs to the couples only. If you are still single, Valentino is also the best place for you to celebrate Valentine’s with a fun casual luncheon with your friends!

Write you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

So, Life Is Tough. Srsly? Think Again.

This is not one of our regular “coffee-shop-review” post, just in case the title is bugging you. Here’s a post that is inspired by the current train of thoughts I’ve been having these past few weeks.

As I sat down, waiting for my friends to come, in SRSLY Coffee, I can’t help but having a little discussion with my own thoughts about the particular statement I used in the title. “Life is tough,” we secretly uttered this sentence, almost automatically, when life doesn’t happen the way we expect it to be. There are times when I’m still guilty of subconsciously letting this thought popped up on the surface. Even when facing mere temporary problems as simple as being stuck in the traffic.

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Jl. Cipete Raya No. 7C, Cilandak

In a world that (not only offers, but also) praises instant and immediate results, it’s very easy for us to forget and undermine the value of process. We forget to learn the art of cultivating patience. The society is no longer able to see the importance of waiting. We see waiting as a loss, a damage or a waste of our “oh-so-valuable” time.

When we want something, we want it right away, we want it our way. If things don’t happen according to our timeline and expectation, we easily conclude that life happens. Reality bites. And then, we post it on our social media, expecting attention and empathy from others to help us feel good about ourselves again.

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I have a thing for white decoration.

If only we can stop for a while before we let our emotions take control of everything and lead us into a conclusion that life is tough, probably we’ll be able to see that life is not really that tough. Especially when you still have a fine working smartphone to read this post.

That was when I looked up and chuckled. Because, it seemed like the big signage before me was laughing at the conversation that happened in my mind. SRSLY? One fine coffee shop to sit and unwind. One person with one busy thought. One question, seriously?

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SRSLY?

People use speed as a benchmark of achievement. No wonder we love those singing contest reality show. No wonder some people love to have instant followers and likes. And so we are trapped in an endless competition of being the fastest.

The fastest to be in a relationship, even after one suffered a painful break up. The fastest to have a date, thanks to Tinder. The fastest to purchase the newest gadget. The fastest to watch the newest movie. The fastest to quit a job and hop on to a new job in the name of pursuing passion. The fastest to get married, even when we still carry unresolved issues from the past.

People love to be on the fast lane as it comes with an adrenaline rush. But we often forget, that moving in a high speed can cause us a serious damage. That is why the art of pausing, or even stopping and taking a break need to be mastered.

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Have you ever tried putting yourself in other people’s shoes?

When you are moving too fast, you have the potential to end up in a huge crash, right? What if those unanswered prayers, or unmet wants and needs are actually a form of divine protection that have been actually saving you, preventing you from a major crash? Try see it from a different angle. Have you tried to see “not getting what you want” as a blessing in disguise?

A blessing that prevent you from stepping into a mess.
A blessing that prevent you from marrying the wrong person.
A blessing that prevent you from taking the wrong career path.

A blessing that prevent you from another heart break.

One sad news that literally tore my heart apart and made me cry arrived during the drafting of this post. The pretty little warrior, Daphne (the baby girl that we visited during our last visit to Singapore), passed away (on Wednesday morning). His dad replied my text still being all-inspiring, believing that Daphne is now in a better condition, playing happily in heaven. Even when I visited them at the funeral, they both welcomed me still with the warm smiles I saw when we came visited them in the hospital.

Through Daphne’s life, and the uncommon great faith of her parents, I’m being reminded again about all this. From them, I learn the true meaning of giving my best in dealing with problems that come into my life. From them, I learn the true meaning of being strong. From them, I learn to have a bigger faith, the kind of faith that refuse to give up.

When you think that your life is tough, stop, pause, and ask this to yourself: “Is it really? Have I tried my best? How long have I been praying and fighting for miracles to come? Have I failed to see other options? Have I tried putting myself in other people’s shoes?”

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Busy. Busy. Busy. Hail to the fast lane society!

Before we get too fast in concluding that life is tough, why don’t we stop and start to look at the blessing that we have? Why don’t we start being grateful instead?

Let’s make this as part of our lifestyle. Lifestyle is not only about spending what you have on what would make you look cool. It can be a way of living that would add value and give good influence to those around you. That’s what lifestyle is. At least, that’s how we see it.

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Lifestyle is more than just purchasing a cup of coffee.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Postcard From Jakarta: Capturing The Unseen

Hello, 2017! As exciting as it is, it feels a bit surreal that we are finally entering the second year of managing The Perks of Being 20.

How was your New Year celebration? As for us, we spent quite a fun “old and new”  with some of our friends: singing our hearts out at a karaoke place, bbq, snacking like there’s no tomorrow, playing with fireworks, and staying up all night until the first sunrise in 2017 appeared.

I used to get so excited about the New Year. I used to get so psyched up about staying up until midnight just to experience the euphoria of entering a new year, which brings a lot of new hope, a sense of new changes, better changes. Until I grew up, and life started to throw stuff at me. Until reality started to bite.  I remember feeling unexcited anymore about the new year, because I knew that even though the time on my clock changed, even the day, month and year on my calendar changed, I was still stuck with the same problem and the same character.

That was me, during my quarter life crisis.

This year, however, my perspective has been renewed. I realized that if I want to see change to happen in some areas of my life, I’m the one who is responsible to make that change. Yes, there are a lot of messy homework to be done, but as adults, we have no other choice but to deal with it.

Anyways, enough with the serious stuff. How was your holiday? Did you get to travel overseas and visit a lot of new places? Or, was it like ours? We didn’t get to travel anywhere this year. However, that didn’t stop us from getting the best experience out of our holidays. We wanted to enjoy it while it last. So what did we do?

This could be an inspiration for you to do, when you want to travel, but you’re stuck in this city. Grab your camera, and start exploring. Open your eyes to the things around you that you might have been taking for granted. As for us, we decided to see Jakarta, the city that we were born into, and have witnessed some of our ups and downs, from behind our camera lens. We didn’t even plan to make a blog post out of it, as we only intended to go with our camera accompanying us. But then we realized, we have created a lot of postcard series in this blog as we traveled to some beautiful places. Why don’t we create one out of our very own hometown?

So here is Jakarta,

From the eyes of HG:

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Hello.. it’s me.

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(Not so) proudly present.. the latest worldwide topic originated from Indonesia.

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Lunch break.

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Old heritage.

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Street gallery.

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A series of antics.

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Pink is the new black.

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(Almost) everybody’s question to God.

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Let me show you how I do it.

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Finding direction.

 

From the eyes of DR:

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Young love.

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When the future seems bright.

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Probably got some paint in his eye.

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Take democracy out of the square.

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Cool hat!

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In action.

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Peek a boo!

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Travel essentials.

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Waiting is so boring.

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Hello there!

We hope you are as excited as we are about 2017! Anyways, before I end this post, let me share with you the first good news we received at the beginning of 2017. This website has reached 10k viewers just a few weeks before its first anniversary! Thank you for every single one of you who has been so loyal in checking out the new posts every week, and  even sharing it to your friends. Cheers!

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

Iman Usman Is Definitely Not Your Typical Millennial

I knew this guy from 5 years ago when he was still a student in the University of Indonesia. We didn’t talk much back then, as he was mostly busy with tons of positive activities, while I was still busy partying and dealing with my quarter life crisis.

Fast forward now, he has become one of the most inspiring twenty something I’ve ever known. He is exactly where he wanted to be, driven by a noble passion and a box of curiosity. One day, DR forwarded me this video of him giving a speech at the United Nations Headquarter in New York. “I know this guy!” I said to him. We quickly agreed to feature him here, as we believe he must have a lot of insights and perspectives to be shared to us.

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Meet Iman Usman!

TPOB20: Who is Iman Usman in your own eyes?

Iman: Iman is someone who is ambitious, in a way that he basically knows what he wants and what he does not. Once he knows what he wants, he’ll try to achieve whatever it is. He will figure out how to get there. He is very persistent. Often he wants a lot of things, which can be quite a distraction for him. He’s also very easily excited about something. Once he’s excited he’ll put everything into it as if there are no other things or no other day. He can also be very predictable and unpredictable at the same time.

TPOB20: So what do you do now?

Iman: I basically spend 90-95% of my time at Ruangguru. Most people used to know it as a private tutoring marketplace. However, what we do is actually a lot more complex than that. Ruangguru’s main product is actually a Learning Management System (LMS) for Primary & Secondary Schools which can be used for free by students and teachers in schools setting. The data that is generated through the LMS is linked to the school and government dashboard to help the government create data-driven policies. This LMS is currently being implemented throughout Indonesia through established public-private partnerships with 15 provincial governments and 80 cities/ regencies governments. We estimate that the platform is going to serve ~1 million students by January 2017. In addition to the LMS, we also provide monetized supplemental products and services (premiums):

(1) The largest private tutoring marketplace in Indonesia with +60,000 signed-up offline tutors

(2) The only mobile app in Indonesia for live on-demand problem based tutoring (through live chat and audio call).

(3) Learning videos subscription, to be launched in December 2016, with ~1500 videos already produced;

(4) Paid test-preparation/ online exams.

TPOB20: What is your role in Ruang Guru?

Iman: I’m the co-founder and also Chief of Product and Partnership. As a Chief of Product and Partnership, I lead the teams who are responsible for: the whole product design, development and iteration process (which includes leading and overseeing the whole design sprint and agile framework); all government relations efforts both in country level and district-level; all internal and external PR & communications and collaboration with third parties. In addition to that, I’m helping some education and youth related foundations as their board of advisors, including: YCAB (Yayasan Cinta Anak Bangsa) and IFL (Indonesia Future Leaders). In my spare time, I usually speak, run workshops, and write.

TPOB20: And how old are you now?

Iman: 25.

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TPOB20: What were your early 20 years old dream?

Iman: I started my twenties wanting to be a diplomat, that was why I took International Relations as my major. I thought that it was going to be a very cool job as you get to travel and represent your country at the same time. That was until I became an ASEAN Youth Ambassador and a Youth Advisor for the United Nations. Those two jobs allowed me to explore everything about diplomacy. I did a lot of travel. I did a lot of advocacies work. There was nothing wrong with that, but I just felt that it has the possibility to block my creativity. There were so many things that I would like to communicate, but then it was not my personal statement.

To cut a long story short, I began to lose interest in diplomacy and decided to do something that allows me to be more hands on. That was when Ruang Guru came into the picture. At that moment I was still not sure whether I want to do this in a long run, because I didn’t even know what a startup is. But I knew that I have spent half of my life in that particular sector as I had a lot of involvements in the educational field and youth movement since I was 10. Also, I had a Master in Educational Policy. I learned a lot through that journey, to the extend that got me thinking about doing something that is very transformative. Something that could actually change the situation.

TPOB20: So how did you first create Ruang Guru? How old were you?

Iman: I was 22 when I started Ruang Guru with my best friend. We started with only two staffs and this free space that we used for IFL. After a year, we raised investment and expanded our team to 12 people with our own office. Now, we are leading a team of 90 people and on the track to serve 1 million students.

TPOB20: What are your work values that brought you here?

Iman: You’ll never know until you try. I always try not to be assumptive in anything that I do. As the Chief of Product in Ruang Guru, I learned that the biggest crap for a product developer is when you think that you have known your users, your products and everything that you are working on. I always create a room to clarify my assumptions. I am never hundred percent sure about anything. I like to try things out and see which one actually works. I’m always curios and eager to learn, which affect so many things in my life.

TPOB20: What kind of thing disturbs or angers you the most?

Iman: When you know that there’s something wrong but you can’t do anything (in your power) to fix it. For example, in my job, when our web went down, I could only manage my resources to fix it, but I could not do anything significant to help them as I could not code. Or, maybe when I’m in a situation that I don’t have the control towards the output. Or, when you know that there’s something wrong, and you can’t do anything about it, and nobody realizes that it’s wrong.

TPOB20: What was the biggest struggle in your 20s? What made you kept going?

Iman: A lot of my struggles are internal, particularly when I’m doubting what I’m doing as I naturally always question everything. If it’s external, like for example, people undermine me or what I do, it fires me up because I want to prove that they’re wrong. But if it’s internal, it normally took quite a while for me to solve it.

What kept me going? Because I challenge myself to meet new people on a weekly basis, I get to have a lot of friends who actually believe in me, support me and will remind me why I do what I do. And I also have people who trust their money resources on me, so it motivates me not to let this people down.

In the past, I sometimes can be too hard on myself. When something went wrong I put all the blame on me. I put all the burden on me. But now, I’m more emotionally stable. For the past one year, I’ve learned that when things goes wrong I’m now easier to surrender. Knowing that I’ve done my best, and just let it go, believing in the best result. I know that what I’m looking for is not a perfection, but rather a progress. I can never be perfect. But at least, I know when I’ve done something better than before.

TPOB20: What is your biggest dream that you haven’t achieved until today?

Iman: Well, my purpose in life. I want to make sure that a good quality education for everyone is actually a right, not a privilege. It’s still a long way to go, and I want to be in the frontline. I want to make this big.

TPOB20: Who is your inspiration?

Iman: Many people know I’m a huge fan of Harry Potter and the character has big influence in what I do. However, beyond that, I get more inspiration from the people that I met. This might sound a bit cliche, but it’s true, because everytime I met people, I got excited about new stuff, about their stories, how they live their life, and how they work so hard to achieve their dreams.

TPOB20: Last but not least, what is the perks of being 20 to you?

Iman: It is okay for you to do a lot of stuff, experience failure and then just be okay with it. When you’re at your twenties, people tend to be more forgiving and accepting towards your flaws, mistakes and failures. If you fail, your failures might not affect others much. But once you hit 30, people have higher expectation on you, and you also have higher responsibility. People have less room for forgiveness.

That is why I don’t get twenty somethings who are too afraid to try things out. When I started Ruang Guru, I knew definitely that there would be chances of failing. I don’t even know whether my company would still be running next year or not. But even if I failed, I know that I have tried my best. Being an entrepreneur in your twenties is actually comforting, because you don’t have a lot of responsibilities yet. For me, it’s actually a comfort zone, because I am what I am good at and what I am passionate about. That’s why I push myself every single year to do something new/ better.

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Our mind was totally blown by his answers. It’s actually very possible for you to pursue you dream and make it happen when you have a vision, take risks, and pay the price! Who agrees with us that this nation needs more people like him?

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Thank you, Iman! ps: You are too inspiring that even us looked a bit blurry being next to you.

Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)

The Heart-Eyes Emoji for Beau HQ Cikajang

Can I tell you a secret? Although I was born as a native Indonesian, I’ve been secretly wishing to have breads as our staple food. Most of my friends love to brag about the authenticity of their Indonesian blood simply because they love to eat rice above all else. A meal is not a meal without a plate of rice included, so they said.

As for me, if you know me well, you’ll know that I rarely finish my rice portion in almost every meal I have. But when it comes to bread, I won’t let even a single crumb falls. This is why I got so excited, and nervous at the same time, every time I enter a bread store because I often want to buy every thing.

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Do you know that feeling when you enter your favourite store where you planned to only buy one item, but then you got nervous during your way in, because you know you might spend more than you planned? That’s me, in almost every bread store: from Francis to Pan Ya, from Komugi to Beau.

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The moment I knew that Beau has finally open their own outlet, which is also gonna be their headquarter and biggest outlet so far, I couldn’t wait to pay a visit. And, we had the opportunity to give it a try during our interview with Uchita Pohan.

Are you familiar with the heart-eyes emoji? That was probably how I look when I saw the Beau HQ. Located in Cikajang, Senopati, Beau stands out elegantly with super convenient and eye-pleasing alfresco area. The building is painted in white and decorated with plenty of green plants, Scandinavian tables and big window panes. The ultimate place that offers every single spot for Instagram-worthy photos.

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If you’ve been reading our blog for quite a while now, you definitely could guess what drinks that we ordered. As always, an iced black coffee for DR, and a cup of flat white for me. I also ordered the Smorrebrod – Danish open-faced sandwich, served on dark rye bread or brioche (40k each, 100k for 3). I picked the Beef Pastrami, Pork Salami and Gravad Laks.

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Smorrebrod.

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Pork Salami (red onion, tomatoes, garden greens).

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Beef Pastrami (remoulade, cornichons, caramelized onion, poached egg, crispy shallots).

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Gravad Laks (smoked salmon, dill, yoghurt, beet, radish and microgreens).

Time passed by just like that when you get too comfortable enjoying a particular place. Or perhaps, the presence of a particular someone. Three hours and a half went by without us noticing. I, myself, got a bit too comfortable having the patisserie as my temporary working station. Their playlist and the gloomy sky came as an additional reasons of why I’d stay for another hour. Sadly, next appointment awaited us.

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I’m giving Beau a 9/10! It’s definitely the must visit place on weekend for you to unwind.

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Write to you later,

HG. (@gersonhenry)