Things I Learned From Living in Jakarta For the Last 5 Years – Terminal Mojok

Things I Learned From Living in Jakarta For the Last 5 Years



1. In Jakarta, If you’re a guy, find a barber you can trust. Bonus point if it only costs you 25k and your barber speaks in thick Sundanese accent.

2. For eating out, you better have a good reason to eat at a mall. What are you gonna do, go to Yoshinoya or KFC for the umpteenth time? You are blessed with #darihaltekehalte, use it.

3. You can live without gym membership. If exercising regularly is the goal, go to GBK/Taman Menteng/GOR Soemantri. It’s going to save you 500k-1mio per month.

4. There are 3 kinds of platonic relationship: acquintance, colleague, and friend. Let’s face it, you’re not gonna make lots of ‘friends’ friends. The best that you can have is ‘colleagues that you regularly hang out with’. The faster you accept this reality, the better.

5. On job-seeking, trust your guts. If the user interview gave you second thought, then probably you are right to doubt it. A boss will be with you during your employment, but a mentor will be there for you for your whole career. Heck, I am still in touch with my prev managers.

6. Go-food can eat (pun intended) into your budget tremendously if you’re not be careful with it. Overtime at the office? Craving something savory? Order Sec Bowl/Eatlah, boom that’s 70k-ish gone in a blink of an eye, while a ketoprak might only cost you at 20k the most.

7. Your colleagues are just that; colleagues. Don’t rely on them for emotional support, nor expect them to have your back during difficult times. They already have enough things to worry about, like family and mortgage. Them being indifferent is not them being evil to you.

8. Starbucks is a place for casual meeting/waiting, not a place to get your coffee.

9. On dating…… Oh yeah I have zero experience in Jakarta dating scene, sorry.

10. Friday is the new Saturday. Treat your Friday like a Saturday, then you have Saturday to go out and do things, and Sunday to do groceries and whatnots (instead of being non-functional due to hangover from the night before).

11. Jakarta is a buffet. You will never run out of things to do. Tired of malls? There are museums and exhibitions. Bored of gym? There are crossfit places and even (free) workout communities. Want to learn languages? Go to embassies. New things to do are only a Gojek ride away.

12. I know making friends at the office is hard, but if you’re new to the job, finding lunchmates is ESSENTIAL to your workplace survival. At least for the first 2-3 years of your work from graduation and 6 months into a new office, never eat lunch alone.

13. Small talk is also ESSENTIAL to workplace survival. I don’t care how introverted you are, learn to make small talk in workplace setting. You might not be good at it, but it’s a learned skill, so you’ll get better at it. It’s useful to dig information and gain new allies.

14. Your clients are (most probably) not stupid. They just see things differently from you and have different interest than you are. The faster you can try to put yourself in their shoes, the easier your life will be.

15. Trick I learned from my previous boss: result of a meeting often has been decided before the meeting itself. Talk to everybody involved, get their perspective, persuade them to join your camp, and your meeting will only talk about smoothing out the details.

16. The modern application of “trust, but verify” is to do face-to-face conversation/persuasion, but always follow it up with email so there is paper trail. It’s the workplace equivalent of keeping screencaps of your dates. (Hell what do I know about dating lol).

17. On a serious note, I’m starting to get why people do drugs/substance/go to panti pijat. Work is stressful, and you need to let off the steam in one way or another. People will never ever give a damn about your emotional state, they only care about your work results.

18. If you work in finance, the small talk will be about woman, golf, or liquor. Sometimes it’s about cars. If your office is more religious (hijraher type), the small talk is 100% about getting bini muda. Oh yeah.

19. Eating Indomie is nothing to be proud of. You’re not in college anymore. Go eat that ayam penyet with questionable hygiene like a real man.

20. Old friendships drifting apart is natural. All good things come to an end.(*)

BACA JUGA  Here’s Bumi Manusia for Millenials Jakarta Selatan atau tulisan Ryan lainnya. Follow Twitter Ryan.

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