Sunday, August 21, 2011

Quick chat with Christine Hakim

I had a pretty rare experience last week. When I attended an Ifthar gathering (Buka Puasa Bersama) at the MetroTV, I met Christine Hakim, one of the senior and remarkable Indonesian movie stars. We had a quick encounter and short chat during the ifthar dinner.

Christine was invited by the management of MetroTV, one of the leading tv stations in Indonesia. The MetroTV hosted a social event called “Buka Bersama 1500 Anak Yatim” at its main studio in the MetroTV building located in Kebun Jeruk, West Jakarta. Sheraton Media Hotel & Towers, the hotel where I work, sponsored the event by arranging a VIP Ifthar dinner for the VIP guests during the event. Among the distinguished guests, was the Australian Ambassador for Indonesia.

She came alone, but I guess she already knew that the Australian Ambassador was also attending the dinner. I actually came late and found her already enjoying Ta’jil menu with the Ambassador and other VIP guests. After having some chats with 2 guests from the Australian Embassy, I decided to pray Maghrib first and continue enjoying Ta’jil menu later. By the way, I prayed in the middle of orphaned children guarded by a giant Jimmy Jeep in a large TV studio.

After praying I went back to the Ta’jil menu station and continue having chats with the Australian Ambassador and his second secretary, the Head of Communications of MetroTV, the PR Manager of MetroTV and of course Christine Hakim. This is the first time I met her. From close, she looks younger than on the tv. She was wearing a traditional dress, kinda batik style long dress, complete with a long blue scarf with batik style.

In the end of conversation, she was wondering if she could have some Cabe Rawit (spicy Indonesia  chili, small but strong taste). She said, “Having Springroll and Martable won’t perfect without cabe rawit.” Unfortunately the banquette team did not prepare the chili and that’s why I offered her some Indofood chili sauce and she took some. Well, she enjoyed it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sheraton Media Hotel & Towers Hosted Welcoming Gathering for Ramadhan

To welcome the holy month of Ramadhan, the Sheraton Media Hotel & Tower recently hosted “Welcoming Gathering for Ramadhan” for its associates at the premises. Hotel associates from both moslem and non-moslem communities attended the gathering.

The afternoon gathering was featured with speeches from representatives of management and owning company, followed with coffee break and chats among associates to welcome the Ramadhan. At the end of the event, Human Resource Manager Cahyo Kristiyanto said, the event hosted to respect associates celebrating Ramadhan as well as a medium to strengthen brotherhood and hence to maintain tolerance among all religions.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Why Transjakarta doesn’t work

I still remember when I rode TransJakarta (people call it as busway) for the first time 4 yours ago. I was impressed with it. It was clean, nice, quick, on-time, and almost the same with the public bus in Singapore. At that time, I thought this kind of transportation will be a solution to the Jakarta’s massive road traffic jam.

But that was four years ago. Early this year, I was shock knowing the TransJakarta buses are no longer clean, quick and on-time. It seems like the company does not really take care of facilities of the TransJakarta. You can find damaged equipments or worn-out and poor facilities in almost all of its terminals. For example, if you go to the TransJakarta terminal in Slipi, you will find it so dirty. You must be very careful to step the bridge, because I myself found a big hole at one of the entrances to the bridge. It’s damn scary. Another story I read in newspaper that a woman was sexually abused inside of the bus. She can’t even see the guy who pinched her back and breast, because it’s so packed. 

Another thing that worsens the TransJakarta is that they don’t have enough busses to operate. That’s why people are queuing too long to ride it. It once happened to me. I had to wait for more than 45 minute before I had to go inside of an extremely packed bus. It’s simply like sardines in a can. I couldn’t even see my toe. The AC was not cooling and that produced bad-odors all over the bus.

During busy times, like at 7 to 8am, lunch time and 5 to 7pm, road users are using the TransJakarta’s bus lane. People no longer care whether they bend the rule or not. During these hectic-traffic times, they take any parts of the road, any spaces as long as they can move their cars or motorbikes, including taking over the busway. Otherwise they will stuck on the road too long. As a result, the TransJakarta busses are stuck as well, because its lanes are packed with private vehicles.  

Four years ago, I thought people will gradually leave their private vehicles and move to using TransJakarta. But I think today it won’t happen since the condition of the public transportation remain like what we are experiencing nowadays.

To me, I don’t want to waste my time boarding with Transjakarta. The public transportation must be convenient if not comfortable, quick, easy to access, efficient, no traffic, cheap and no need to line up too long to get it. As long as the government and operator of the Transjakarta cannot make these happen, people will always ride their private cars and you will find traffic jams everywhere, forever!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

First Posting with First Media

After waiting for more than a year and struggling with poor Internet connection, today I successfully subscribed to First Media, one of the leading Internet and cable tv providers in Indonesia. Now I am kinda man who can hold the world with his palm.

It started when last week I saw some guys were busy installing cables along the street in front of my house. I thought they were from the PT. PLN (the national electrical company), but when one of the guys said they worked for the First Media. I told myself this is a great news.

The following day I visited the First Media's website and phoned the sales office. I spoke with Nepi who later assisted me in the subscription. The First Media is now offering a promotion. Only paying Rp.275.000,-net per month, we can have unlimited Internet connection with speed 1Mbps and 75 channels. Since it is promotion, they gave me free connections to Box Office channels for 6 months, which includes all HBO channels, MGM, Star Movies, Fox, etc.

I am supposed to get 50% discount on the installation fee, but since I prefer Sunday to install the cable, I had to pay full. Well, it’s only additional Rp.110.000,- net. However they already lend me the receiver and the cable. I don’t need to pay for the equipments. And, if I want to connect another tv, I have to pay only additional Rp.30.000,- net per month, but I didn’t take this option.

The 75 channels include news channels like BBC World, CNN , Aljazeera, etc, Discovery Channels, all NAT GEO channels, Animal Planet, some kids channels and of course all local channels.

The offer is pretty good because I can enjoy both Internet and Tv connections. My wife is more into the tv cables while I am more into the Internet. Well, honestly, If I have time I normally watch CNN, BBC World, Nat Geo Wild and HBO comedy. The rest, I don’t really care.

I hope subscribing to the First Media is a correct and right decision. I have been searching other providers like Indovision, Ok Tv, etc. and I think the First Media is the most suitable channels to my needs.

One thing that I like from the First Media is, if one day I move to a new address, they won’t charge me penalty fees.

Well, as I told you earlier. I am writing with full speed now, while I am also listening to the Aljazeera channel. Really enjoying it..!