Project 365

Welcome! This is my own 365 project of creating at least one post per day about the stuff that I learnt, achieved, and found, the stuff that made me happy, or the new thing I did every single day.

The project was started on 21 February 2010. It has stopped for few times but I am determined to continue!

This project is dedicated to myself. I want to feel grateful for every single thing I have. I want to be thankful for my own life. I just want to feel that I have enough.

Tag: work

First Day at HQ

Today was my first day at the headquarter of SWIFT, the company where I work at. The HQ is huge, with a big park inside the complex and small streams. There are different buildings scattered across the complex. They are really beautifully designed. The interior has different themes and design: contemporary, nature, zen, and vintage. I wish I can post the pictures here but I’m not able to due to security reasons.

I love the company’s cafetaria! The foods are awesome and healthy. Since it’s not halal, I would opt for vegetarian and seafood. There are salad bar too so we can take as many as salad we want. I love it! Most importantly, the price is very cheap! The drinks and coffee are free all day long. Here is what I ate today (6 euros):

You won’t be able to get the same price outside. This sort of meal should cost me more than 10 euros outside.

Alhamdulillah for everything.

Back in Europe

It feels so good to be back. It really is. Despite the cold weather and the gloomy sky, Brussels brings back the good memories of living in Europe for 3 years. The leafless trees occupying the stretch of streets, old buildings that are well maintained, cycling, wearing boots,… ah, I can’t deny that I miss it very much. I still can’t believe that I’m back here!

Well, temporarily. The new company I work at (yes, I have resigned) requires me to go to Brussels for training. The headquarter is located in a small town just south of Brussels; this is the reason why I’m here in the first place.

I am very lucky to be able to go here for free. Although I’m only going to be here for two weeks, I’m planning to cross the border to the Netherlands and visit my good friends in Eindhoven during the weekend. I can’t wait to see them again!

What They Think of Me


These words are written by my colleagues during our 2-days team building event in Kampar, Perak. Each person had a paper sticked on his/her back, which can be written by others. It was a fun event full of craziness & adventure. I wish it could be much more adventurous though 🙂 I enjoyed it so much. For the first time of my life, I didn’t feel lonely.

But unfortunately, loneliness struck so easily as soon as I reached KL. Oh I wish I could be surrounded by loving people all the time…

My First Free T-Shirt!



I got my first free t-shirt today at the office. I liked it 🙂 I especially loved the cup. It’s really cool!!!

Although I’ve only been working for a week, I really enjoy working here. I’m still in a training phase, but I love what I have learnt so far. The web applications that they develop are one of the best in the market! (or even the best!) I’m not trying to be bias. It’s the fact. LOL.

I also get along with my colleagues really well, especially the team that I am in and the people whom I often have lunch with. The environment around the office is very casual. Very multicultural. Everything is transparent. I feel like I am in my comfort zone. That’s a great thing.

I hope I will feel the same way once I finish my training and do my “real job” 🙂

The One I’ve Been Waiting For

About 5 weeks ago, I was invited for an interview in an IT company in KL. A friend of mine who had been working there (and *loved* it) told me to apply. I was quite nervous about the interview, because I really wanted this consultancy job that I applied. The interview itself was surprisingly relaxing and it’s so different than other companies. It was not a one-to-one nervous racking question and answer sessions. It was more about group-based activity and how well you work as a team — which is definitely one of my strengths as I really love working in teams. During lunch, the candidates got to meet the “bosses” — again it was very relaxing and they were very friendly. As I love meeting new people, I took this opportunity as a way to engage conversation with them and to show them how BADLY I wanted to work at this company.

Alhamdulillah, few days later, I got a news that they wanted to hire me. I couldn’t imagine how happy and grateful I was. I couldn’t believe it!!! But I didn’t want to tell a lot of people about it as I still had to apply for the employment visa. What if my visa application was rejected?! I kept on praying that this wouldn’t happen.

Finally, my visa was accepted within two weeks of applying! This was soooo fast! I was told that normally it would take more than a month to complete. I was lucky indeed. Alhamdulillah.

So officially, today was my second day. It has been great so far. My boss and colleagues have been very nice and friendly. They always help me out whenever I have some problems. They are very casual (including my boss) — which is great! They would also make sure I wouldn’t go alone for lunch. The team that I have joined in is also a crazy, outgoing, and friendly team. Although there are only two girls (including me), I really enjoy talking to my team buddies. This is the reason why I try to have dinner with them after work so I can get to know them a little bit better.

InsyaAllah everything will run smoothly for the next few months and I hope I can learn, contribute, and grow in this company 🙂 Looking forward to it!

Annoying Memories

I was reading my old post about my experience working in Saudi Arabia and suddenly I remember the conversations that I had with my Saudi clients:

Client: Where are you from?
Me: Indonesia
Client: Really?! I thought you’re a Filipino!
Me: No, Sir. I’m 100% Indonesian.
Client: Wow! How come your English is so good? Where did you learn that from?

(I was asked with this question for so many times. They just couldn’t believe that I was an Indonesian. Damn I was offended!)

Client (on the phone, talking to his boss in Arabic): Yes, I am standing with a young woman now… Filipino, Malaysian, or whatever…  She is handling everything.

Me: zzzzzzzz….

(He really thought I couldn’t understand Arabic! And what’s with the assumptions?!)

Client: Wow, you’re definitely the first Indonesian woman that I encounter working in an office.

Me: (smiling, but wanting to give him a slap to the reality, seriously)

Client: You have done a really great job! I’m satisfied with your work and all your help. We should have a coffee or tea later.

(I knew his intention and this was something that could not be done in Saudi Arabia! I could be arrested by the religious police and accused of khalwa!)

Me: Sorry, sir. I’ve got no time for that.

Client: Are you married?

Me: (extremely annoyed) Sir, I believe in professionalism. Can we put all the private questions to a side, please?!

(I felt like saying: it’s NONE of your business! Hehehe)

Before Going to Bed

Today’s reflection before going to bed…

If you want to go back to Indonesia for good, make sure you don’t find a job. You create a job.

— Mas Oki

This quote by a friend has stick to my mind ever since. And I’m still figuring it out how I’m going to do it. Too many things I want to do. Too little resources.

Meeting in Delft

Oude Kerk (The Old Church) in Delft

My boss invited me to see his presentation about the NGO he founded. The event was held in Delft and it was presented for the TU Delft students. It was very interesting, I must say. I had been working on developing the website of this organization for few months now, but I hadn’t really understood how they did it until today! The organization currently focuses on getting African people out of darkness and at the same time creating jobs for them. The concept is to have a docking station so that lamps and batteries can be recharged at affordable prices. This docking station uses a solar energy to supply the electricity for recharging. It can be set up in different villages (through franchising) and will be run by the local people. I like how you can get profits, help people through creative innovation, and create jobs at the same! It’s great! The organization itself is going to expand to other countries and continents in the near future once the first implementation is successful.

Delft  Delft

After the presentation, I had a meeting with him and few other people to talk about the improvement of the website that we could make. Then there was lunch, of course! Damn, I envied TU Delft students to be honest! They got sandwiches for their lunch! (TU Eindhoven only gave snacks and snacks) The sandwich looked so delicious with many different types of CHEESE. Damn! I couldn’t eat because of Ramadhan of course!!! I was thinking, hmm… could I take some of them home?? Hahaha. Oh I wish I could. LOL. But the good news was: my boss would pay for my transport cost to Delft! Yay! 🙂

I went around Delft for half an hour before heading back. I always loved Delft. It’s a typical Dutch city. Very medieval. Very “Vermeer”. Too bad I didn’t bring my camera. I took the pictures with my mobile phone, hence the poor quality.

Before reaching home, I went to Den Bosch to pick up my residence permit! 🙂 My old permit is supposed to expired today. I was almost illegal! Hehehe. Going to Den Bosch without buying a bossche bol was definitely not a cool thing. So I decided to buy some :). Bossche bol is an EXTREMELY DELICIOUS dessert ever made! It’s a famous one, only available in Den Bosch. As I’m writing this post, I’ve been waiting the time when I can eat. Seriously, I can’t wait. Haha.


Working with a Dutch

In this semester, I got the opportunity to do group assignment with my Dutch classmate. This is the second time that I work with a Dutch. Most of the time, I always paired up with my “usual” friends who are international students, mainly from Romania, China, Korea, and Columbia. It’s convenient to work with somebody you know, because you know what to expect. You know how they work. You know how to handle problems with them if it ever occurs. It’s more to do with convenience and familiarity.

For this course that I take, the lecturer assigned us into groups of two people, mixing the Dutch with the non-Dutch speaking students. There’s one thing that concerns me the most about doing assignments with somebody you don’t know: what if my group partner doesn’t produce a satisfactory work that leads to the failure of the assignment (or leads to unfair amounts of work to be done between us). I’m quite flexible to work with anyone. I don’t mind working with somebody who has less knowledge about the course than me. But I’d expect that he/she to work harder in completing the work. And I normally become more open (especially to criticize and to be criticized) when it comes to group assignments. Even if my groupmate is my close friend, I’ll never hesitate to tell him/her if he/she does something wrong (for example, not coming to the meeting; or not replying emails; etc). I even almost kicked someone out of my group (even though she’s my close friend) because of her behavior that was quite unacceptable to the rest of the group members.

But anyway, I am lucky again that I team up with someone that matches my expectation. He even leads and manages the whole assignment and decides on how to proceed. I’m not trying to be arrogant or something; but I’m usually the one who leads (“voluntarily”) because no one is eager enough to step up; especially when it comes to taking the first step (which is actually just as simple as sending emails to make appointments for the first meeting!) and getting the project started. But this time my teammate leads everything and I’m the one who give ideas, etc. I enjoy it 🙂 I’m kinda tired to be the project leader all the time.

One thing about working with Dutch people (whether at the university or at work) is that they’ll NEVER want to work during weekends or public holidays. Weekdays are the only time when they do assignments/work and many of them don’t even bring those assignments to be completed at home! I admire them for that because eventually they can still get the work done on time although they have to “waste” two days that can be spent on working on assignments. They work very effectively and they fully respect the need of having the time off. Life is not only about work, they say 🙂

Working in Belgium

I worked for the whole day today in Belgium (I don’t even know the name of the city! Hahaha). I was asked to help at the Indonesian food stall there. It wasn’t so busy coz there weren’t many people. Unlike Dutch people, Belgians were not really open to new things. They didn’t really want to try new foods and were definitely not familiar with Indonesian foods. Most of the people who actually bought our foods were Dutch who lived in Belgium. Many of them were even Indo (people who have some portions of Indonesian blood :P). Yes, we did talk to them and they were extremely friendly. The friendly behavior that they got from their Indonesian blood would never disappear 😀 hehehe. It was a tiring yet fun day! I got an extra pocket money too and had delicious lunch so I couldn’t be more thankful!