Archive for October, 2007

life vest : please don’t remove me!

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On the flight to Penang last weekend, I flew with Lion Air. It is a budget airline for short distance routes – mainly domestic and nearby international destinations. This caught my attention.

Almost every instruction / information in the flight is in dual language. This particular phrase is only found in Indonesian. Interesting concept, I’d say. Maybe the airline operators are trying to make a point .. or to stress a point?

Removal of life vest will be fined Rp. 10,000,000 (a little more of USD 1,000,-) or serve jail time

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business ideas for christmas

It’s nearing that fun time of the year. Christmas with trees and pretty lights. For me, personally, Christmas time is time to make money ($$$). Since I am still a big admirer of the boring old economy, I have some seasonal money-making tips for girls alike who love shopping and crafty stuff with good-exploitable network.  It is easy and requires little effort, lots of creativity and heaps of fun!

  • christmas shopping service – not everybody likes shopping, I actually have met some people who hate Christmas shopping and I gladly offer my help. Of course they are close friends and families so I can’t charge them anything, but if I can do it properly, it would be extremely fun

  • gift basket service – this is old news, but if done properly, will be profitable source of extra income for the season. It can be floral arrangement, food, spa products, snacks, wine and cheese set, fruit. If don’t know how to make one, practice now – www.giftbasketbusiness.com. Owner of site, Shirley G. Frazier wrote really good book on starting business in this area. I bought the book two years ago and have put it in good use since

  • holiday food sales– this is for those who bake and actually good in it (or either have friends who bake real well/ access to producers of good quality holiday food such as Christmas’ cakes, fruit cake, cheese cakes, yule log, cookies). You can market their food products and get a little margin for yourself!

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More tips :

  • Packaging and design are important – this is where individual creativity makes a whole lot of difference!

  • Make lots of friends

  • Even those are done in normal ways, if combined with internet, would give much better result, I think

  • Start early – you have great advantage if you market your services before other businesses begin their Christmas programs

shoes, shoes and shoes

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I cleaned up my closet after coming back from the trip. Finally cleared up a couple of shelves for shoes and bags. I have been storing my shoes at a big cabinet at the garage. The humidity has ruined most of the leather shoes. And since most of the family members’ shoes are also stored in the same place, my shoes have got stained from the other shoes too. That’s not good.

Tips for storing future shoes :

  • Clean shoes worn on the same day (if there’s dirt or spots, it will be easier to be rid off)
  • Store in low humidity (this helps to avoid growth of fungus)
  • Organize in order (eg. most frequent worn up at the front rows)
  • Keep the shoes on closet / storeroom with good lighting ( if you can see all of them, most probably you will be able to decide which pair to wear easily)

weekend in penang

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Pic 1 : Neighbourhood around Komtar (yes, we walked and walked and walked)

Pic 2 : My first Penang bus ride (again, I rarely take bus)

Pic 3 : Gurney Drive when water is low .. trash everywhere

more on immigration feud

 I am giving American Consulate in Medan thumbs up. They acted very quickly in responding to our complaints of harrassment. The consulate officer phoned the head of immigration in 10 minutes time to report the incident and the head of immigration contacted us. He said he would clarify the matter asap.

The next day, the immigration officer sent text messages to us (by this time, both of us already in Penang – like a couple of fugitives) begging us to withdraw the report because he was “in deep trouble” and it is “not fair beause he hasn’t accepted any bribe money from us” and he only “intended to help”. He wanted us to call the head of immigration (his superior) and also the American Consulate to help him clear his name.

Yeah, right ..

weirdest immigration law

This post is about what happened between me, my husband and Indonesian Immigration Department at the Medan Polonia International Airport.

For those who live in the country of inequality full of corrupt government officials, I can safely say that we actually accept that as a fact of life.

When I was a little girl, I would ask my parents, why did we have to pay that guy? Why did we have to do this or that? That was not what we learned at school. My parents explained to me that was how they work, we as minorities had to go along with them.

Years have passed; things are still going that way. I am married to an American. He just can’t understand why we put up with that. From the time I lived in Adelaide for the whole four years, never once I encountered things that we deal with everyday here. So I guess in a way I can see why this upset him.

Because of the ridiculous immigration law here, he can’t be sponsored by me to stay here as my spouse. The law doesn’t recognize permanent residency status for foreigners. You either have to work here or you are a tourist. My husband is a freelance consultant who travels country to country, so he doesn’t have work permit in Indonesia. When he comes home, he will use 30-day entry tourist visa.

Things were going smoothly until last month, a certain immigration officer recognized him from leaving to Penang and back again on the same day to get his passport stamped and renew his entry visa. They told him that that was the last time they were letting him do that and suggesting him to get social cultural visa (which, by the way, only lasts two months and we have to spend at least 2 weeks working on it). Since this month is going to be his last month before starting his new contract, we decided not to pursue with that and just try out our luck one more time.

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Today, I got somebody to ask the immigration officer of the Medan Airport whether my husband could fly out and come back again on tourist visa just one last time. He suggested we talk to the head of immigration here in Medan and we might need to “contribute” a bit to him. Of course, my husband would not hear of it. He thinks if he pays them now, it will be a bad precedent for other foreigners who will come in the future! Which is true, and I agreed with him. So we decided not to pay and he had to leave the country in three hour notice.

He has the right to use the 30 day tourist visa to visit his wife. He does not abuse his visa by working here. He should not be denied entry to a country just because somebody needs some “coffee-money”. He reported this incident to American Consulate Office in Medan, and they told him that they will investigate this.

Mixed couples are faced with great legal difficulties here in Indonesia. I just don’t know why they haven’t got to sort it out. It definitely shows you how you treat foreigners and how you value citizens of other countries. Mixed couple with one spouse working in other country will definitely bring in foreign reserves, wont they? They work and send money and eventually spend the money here in the country which in return will benefit the country..

Somebody needs to wake up and address this issue.

This is a long post and I don’t normally do heavy topics. But this has been troubling my family for two years now. I hope something will change in the future.

Best Friends Forever?

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i am extremely bad in keeping in touch with friends. i guess that is the reason that now i am 30 year old, married and friendless.

keeping friends require continuous efforts. i have made a list of action to be done if i want to improve myself in this area.

  • send text messages (at least once a week), just to say hello and ask how she is doing. it would be nice to hear from me (i think)
  • remember her birthday (i have missed all of my friends’ birthdays) maybe by keeping online calender / reminder. now i am using facebook to keep track of the special days
  • keep opinion to myself – it would be awful to say something critical in nature to friends whom i haven’t met in months, like how much she has gained or older she looks, or bad haircut
  • be there through tough times and act supportive. something like break-ups, loss of job, difficult projects, family feud. throw a listening ear and go back to the previous point
  • speak less about myself (LOL – that would be a bit tough, but doable) when we actually meet

yup .. those are things that i should have done. i hope that would improve my odds

anybody else wants to be my friend? i am a terrible friend, but self inspecting. so give me a chance.