Kim Jong-Il, Dasamuka dari Korea

‎”Bagus ya lukisannya. Sudah tahu maknanya kan?”

“Hmm… Iya, saya suka. Tahu saja saya suka lukisan. Membuat saya ingin menerka maksud si seniman yang membuatnya.”

“‎Oh begitu ya? Itu tadi lukisan Aing Dasamuka, mirip Rahwana dalam kisah Rama Shinta. Satu orang dengan sepuluh wajah.”

“Iya sudah diterangkan.”

“Lukisan itu dibuat karena pelukisnya benci dengan Suharto, penguasa yang sudah memenjarakannya selama bertahun-tahun karena alasan yang tak masuk akal.”


“Penguasa yang bermuka sepuluh. Begitu ia mengibaratkan Suharto.”


“Diktator. Seperti Kim Jong-Il.”

“Saya benci sekali Kim Jong-Il.”

“Oh ya? Kenapa?”

“Karena saya ‎pernah ‘terpenjara’ selama dua tahun karena dia.”


“Tahu kan kalau gara-gara dia kami harus wajib militer selama 2 tahun? Saya benci orang itu. Membuat kami semua sengsara saja.”

Two Things Foreign Entrepreneurs Complain Most About Indonesia

“To build business in Indonesia is actually really good,”said he. Steven Kim of claims the reason is because Indonesians are familiar with English. This is considered a plus. Language barrier is minimum. It’s also network-oriented. “When I worked for Zalora Singapore, it was very tough because there were additional problems I had to solve.”

Indonesia, however, needs to fix these two things: INTERNET and TRAFFIC. The Internet speed is miserable, I should say. No service provider can solve it by consistently doing great at every place. On and off Internet connection, there’s nothing more pissing avid Internet users off than that. Even wi-fi connection doesn’t really provide satisfactory speed you’ve always wanted. But if you’re used to super fast Internet such as one in Korea just like Mr. Kim, of course it’s understood you’d whine over the speed here.

Meanwhile, the traffic issue especially holds true in Jakarta. Painfully clogged and chaotically managed. Needless to say. And it takes more years to untangle the mess because it’s the accumulation of problems spanning for decades.

Steven Kim on Qraved and His Craving for Entrepreneurial Challenges

Korean Wave is now in the culinary industry as well. Steven Kim is the CEO and co-founder at Qraved, Managing Partner at Imaginato who happened to be on stage at Global Entrepreneurship Week Summit Indonesia yesterday (21/11). Here’s the excerpt of our conversation for you. It’s the uncut version of our brief interview after his performance on Talkathon at the end of the event. I’m AP (Akhlis Purnomo) and Steven Kim is SK.

AP: So what startup are you running now?

SK: Currently running,  it’s a restaurant discovery reservation platform. Both are mobile apps on Android and iOS and web as well. We just launched our new iOS app so we’re quite excited about the different design and different features we have now.

AP:How does it work?

SK: So recently why we use our Qraved is one, I wanna know where to go to have dinner.. various different occasions, right? So either you discover, you find it by occasions, or you find about different types of restaurants. So ramen restaurants, barbeque places, Chinese flavor, or let’s say, I just wanna get an offer. That scenario you can actually just find restaurants that have offers. The offers are just very similar to Agoda offers, so depending on the day or time, the offer inventory changes. It’s only limited number of people that can get discounts so …and you have to book. That’s why if you plan to  …more and more Indonesians now are using our platform..yes everyboody used to be last minute. Everybody like “Oh Friday dinner, where should we go?” and book it right away like 2 hours in advance. Because of more and more discounts coming in, people actually book a bit earlier to secure that discount.

AP: So it’s like Groupon but in culinary industry or…?

SK: It’s different to Groupon in a few different ways. So …One, to the restaurants, our merchants..Hmm we’re actually just filling the empty tables they have anyway so similiar to hotel industry, right? So hmm, Friday Saturday dinners, this is easy but Sunday to Thursday dinners, like you have 10 to 15 empty tables. So it’s gonna be empty unless there’s something to assist it. So actually we’re helping restaurants to make more money. Whereas Groupon is just a marketing platform. So the discount itself is almost like a marketing expense, our situation is actually more yield management where restaurants actually make more money.

AP: How did you get the idea?

SK: Well, uhmm, one of the things ..when I came to Indonesia about 3 years ago, I was looking for restaurants because I’m a foodie and searched for different things. Back then the only two platforms existed was Sendok Garpu and …. (I can’t hear it perfectly -AP). I searched for Italian, I got Pizza Hut. And I’d say for burger and I got Burger King. So basically I wasn’t able to find this kind of specialty restaurants or a certain topic. And the biggest reason is because of the incentive of people to write reviews. It’s the mess of 18..19 writing reviews because they’ll get something free. That’s why ..I meant fastfood becomes the most popular thing. But actually I mean ..if you’re a culinary person, which I think a lot of Indonesian are now especially more on Instagram and Path. Now food and dining out is almost like’s a lifestyle, it’s not only about dining. You take a picture, you are dressed up and post it up and that kind of stuff. So that good platform didn’t exist and that’s why …OK, how we make something that for people to look for something specific depending on the situation, depending on the dish, depending on the cuisine, they wanna try something new, or hmm.. yeah they just wanna find different places. What we’re trying to do is provide different experience, just better. Really making it easy to find different things and that’s why our value proposition is different things, so discovery of different types of offer, set menu and so on, super easy resevations, so like if you’re going out in big groups or you’re going out on a date, you want that window seat, because there’s only one or two window seat but you want your date to be at that good spot, you need to make resevations, but beforehand you have to make a phone call, so yeah OK we’ll see if we can get that window seat when we get there but now you don’t have to do that. Now you can just easily put it “window seat” in the reservation and it’s done. More and more people are using it. Specifically like this (Steven showed me his app on the phone) and you see the more you book and dine, you also get reward points, whch can be redeemed later on to get discounts as well. Ten times of you book and dine, it goes up to 1000 points which means 100K. If you get 2000 which uses 20 times, it becomes 500K. 30 times you’ll get 400K Rupiahs deduction. So let’s say nobody has to reserve, true, fine…if you just use it to track your dining behavior then you’re getting just more and more possible to get discounts in the future.

AP: Does the service also work in other cities aside from Jakarta?
SK: Right now we’re in Jakarta. We’re launching in Bali. next month. We plan to launch in Bandung, Surabaya and afterwards Yogyakarta, Medan, all in the next few months.

AP: You’re travelling around Indonesia?
SK: I am going quite a bit, my team is also …We currently have 30 people in Jakarta. Our office is in City Loft since November 2013. Before that we were in Menteng.

AP: How old is the startup (Qraved) now?
SK: One year now.

AP: Who’s the investor?
SK: We have 500 Startups, SIlicon Valley investor, Skype cofounder, a Japanese investor. We’re already in A Round.

AP: Any plan to expand to other countries?
SK: Sure, the reason why we choose Indonesia, apart from the market opportunity and everything else, is when I started Zalora in Singapore and then I went to Thailand to help build the business there, the operations there, there’re so many different problems. So what we can think is OK.. To develop in a location, you can’t expand easily. It’s very difficult, you have to change so many things. We have to start in Indonesia and go to Singapore even Bangkok and others, we’ve gone through a lot of different challenges that we’ve overcome, whether it be products or processes or whatever ..yeah I think it’s a good launchpad.

AP: That means Indonesia is a key market to your startup?
SK: I think it’s a great foundation because it’s challenging. At the end of the day, there’s a lot of challenges but that means there’s a lot of opportunity. I think when it comes to foreigners, like..this is my business, there’re more businesses coming into Indonesia. We started in here but some are concerned to start in amarket very early but for me, me being Korean and experiencing how Korea developed or seeing how Japan and China  developed, I think we’re in Indonesia right now because all the communication is now super super high. Social media penetration, Path, Instagram, going nuts, mobile…Internet penetration going crazy…Xiaomi coming in. The communication is being fixed. So now companies need to figure out what services we could put on that. And what we’re doing is putting F and B as a service on top of this communication platform that exists already.

AP: Is it difficult to set up a business in Indonesia?
SK: I think it is very difficult. Honestly…In every market it’s important to have a good local team and local partners and Indonesia makes that as well. It’s very important that you have local insights. I wouldn’t say it’s the hardest because I think Indonesians are amazing in the sense of English level, their acceptance of global services, curiosity on something new. These elements are already here. The biggest challenge of Indonesia in the way…and this is why this kind of event (GEW) is important…the younger people are not really leaping to embrace this opportunity. I think there’re lots people who go to corporate world. And I think that’s a bad decision because really when you’re younger, that’s when you can actually do a startup and experience it hardcore and try to build your individual division, or department or team and be like to grow it and work hard to make that happen. Let’s say you do it for a year and “OK, this is not for me”, still you can go back to corporate jobs. So I think young people in Indonesia have to really much more jump into entrepreneurship. They don’t necessarily start themselves, being a contributor to big visions of startup like Qraved.
I’m always looking for talents, looking for anybody who really is alligned with this type of vision, that Indonesia is a cool market and we’re building like one of the biggest in Indonesia. I’m always interested in people who share same visions.

AP: Is it that hard to recruit talents in Indonesia?
SK: IT think it’s more challenging than other locations, not because… there’s good talent but the supply and demand right now, there’s definitely more demand of talent than actually the supply. Also secondly, a lot of smart people currently in corporate jobs. They’re very good but they’re not looking for jobs so they’re comfortable. They’re not looking for more yet. When it comes to hiring, it’s easier in the market where people are genuinely thinking:”How do I improve my life?” But there’s still like..”Oh, I’m comfortable. I just wanna be here.” Kind of a bad attitude as well.

AP: Is it your first startup?
SK: It’s my fourth. I was with Rocket Internet before this, so I started a travel accomodation site like AirBnB,  Windu (2011), So I built up Asia Pacific and then I started Zalora Singapore. Up to 50 employees in six months and …then I came over to start in Indonesia at a B2B office supplies company and then I left about a year and a half year ago to start Qraved.

AP: Indonesia has recently a new government. Is there any expectation as a businessman or entrepreneur?
SK: Yeah, there’re some policies being announced that show positive trends in the business persepective. Obviously, the execution itself would be very important. Some are positive like the government’s plan to invest billions of dollars. The subsidy situation and it’s interesting that some don’t go nuts about this. There’re a lot of positive indicators. The momentum is what we believe in. And hopefully their execution of this policy is going to the right direction.

AP: Can Indonesia build a better entrepreneurship ecosystem just like Korea?

SK: To a certain extent, yes. It’s really depending on how you define an ecosystem like how you define entrepreneurship. Just because you’re trying to enhance entrepreneurship, it doesn’t mean “Oh, everybody! Start your own business!”. You can be entrepreneurial with an organization, being a part of companies especially if you’re early on in your career, it makes a lot of sense to do that so that you get the experience first and then when you’re actually ready, you can do it yourself. You have a lot of knowledge, network of people, have different pieces together. When it comes to ecosystem, Indonesia…hmm it’s getting there. This kind of platform and companies… A lot of bigger companies should be more supportive. We wanna hire more people as well. It’s always great to have people to build up that kind of profile.

The Dirtiest Riddle I Shouldn’t Share but Can’t Help Sharing (Hint: NSFW)

‎Caveat, readers. If you think dirty riddles are NOT for you, you’d better close the window NOW.

But of course, you won’t listen to me that easily. You’ll read more to find out to what extent the dirty riddles can harass, amuse or make you frown and puke afterwards.

It all began when we – a friend of mine and I – happened to meet up at a cafe located inside a heavily-Koreanized ‎ mega mall to discuss the transcription of interviews we’ve done before for a book project led by a Korean professor named Kim bla bla. Korea is everywhere.

“I gained two kilos, man,”he said it as we sat down.

First of all I didn’t know how to react to it. We both are stuck in corporate daily grind. But the impact of corporate work on us is like two different poles. On his side, the effect is weight gain. The weight gain happened as more workload as an intern for these recent several months is mounting.

On mine, it’s weight plateau. It’s been 4 solid years I’ve been toiling here and no significant fats deposit exists. To be truthful, some occasional slight weight decrease may occur, but as soon as I pick up a better eating habit and ample amount of rest, the ‘ideal’ weight is reached. ‎And I’m like…relieved. “Screw weight gain program, it’s all about health and longevity, “I console myself. A bit of self denial is added to the consolation mantras.

We started working on the interview, which actually only informal chats on how to get it done as fast as we can. We had tasks lined up, and as young men we definitely want to claim our own life besides this corporate life. Once the serious chat was‎ over, we shifted to a different topic.

‎He opened his Mac and in his special folder, out popped a collection of riddles. I can’t tell you all but what I remember most of course is the dirtiest.

As he touched the frame of his glasses‎, he read along,”What is dirty when it looks white, and clean when it’s black?”

Within a few seconds, I came up with an answer. “A blackboard!”


“Hah? So? What’s that?”


Songpyeon Warna Warni dan Indahnya Berbagi

Terakhir kali mengetuk pintu kamarku di malam hari, ia meminta pinjaman uang. Saat itu ia mau ke Bandung. Butuh uang Rp400.000, pintanya dalam bahasa Inggris yang lancar. Katanya ia belum terima transfer dari istrinya di Seoul. Semua gajinya ditransfer ke sana, dan ia akan mendapat uang dari istrinya. Kadang kiriman uang itu terlambat dan ia panik bukan kepalang. Pasalnya ia harus membiayai pengeluaran sehari-hati. Tapi aku cuma punya Rp200.000 di dompet. Kuserahkan ke dia. Ia pun pernah meminjam sekali dan uangku dikembalikan tepat waktu, sehingga rekam jejaknya cukup bagus. Katanya 3 hari lagi setelah kembali ke Jakarta, dan uang itu ada, ia akan lunasi segera.

Ia menepatinya. Tanpa aku menagih, ia sudah mengetuk pintu kamarku lagi. Di tangannya ada 2 lembaran uang 100 ribu Rupiah baru. Kamsahamnida, ucap mr Ahn dengan mata berbinar. Aku paham, berkat sebulan kursus bahasa ini di tahun 2009. Kedua matanya sipit tetapi bukan sipit khas Tiongkok. Entah lah bagaimana perbedaannya tetapi sipit keduanya sedikit berbeda.

Hidup terpisah dari sanak keluarga memang membutuhkan ketabahan tersendiri. Untung mr Ahn memiliki teman-teman setanah air di sini. Jika tidak, aku pastikan ia bisa gila seketika. Jakarta bukan tempat yang ramah bagi mereka yang berasal dari luar. Bandingkan saja dengan Seoul, maka Jakarta seperti itik buruk rupa. Sangat kusam, carut marut.

Namun, ia di sini bukan untuk menikmati hidup tetapi membangun hidup. Ia ingin anaknya lebih sejahtera darinya. Karenanya ia berhemat selalu. Pulang ke kampung pun cuma sekali dalam 4 tahun. Ia pulang akhir tahun lalu setelah dari 2009 berada di ibukota Indonesia.

Malam ini ia ketuk pintuku lagi. Kali ini bukan untuk meminjam uang atau melunasi pinjaman. Aku pikir ia ingin aku membantunya memperbaiki koneksi Internet yang macet. Pernah juga ia mengetuk pintuku tengah malam. Modemnya gagal bekerja. Padahal ada pekerjaan penting yang harus diselesaikan. Aku buka modemnya. Masih bagus. Lalu aku masukkan kartu modemnya ke smartphone Samsung Galaxy Young mungilnya. Tak ada kerusakan. Saat tethering dicoba, memang tidak bisa. Jadi bukan modem yang bersalah. Kuperiksa jumlah pulsa kartunya. Nol. Pantas saja.

Rupanya ia kembali mengetuk pintuku hanya untuk mengantarkan songpyeon, makanan bulat berwarna-warni asli negerinya. “Halal,”ia memberikan setengah kotak songpyeon penuhnya padaku. Ia selalu mengatakan itu sebelum memberikan makanan apapun padaku. Dulu ia juga yang memberiku kimchi asli buatan rumah dari temannya. Bagaimana kudapan ini tidak halal? Songpyeon hanya terbuat dari tepung ketan dan isi kacang tanah yang manis. Warnanya bervariasi dan cerah bukan main. Cerahnya sama dengan suasana hati kami para semut pekerja di akhir pekan ini. Semut-semut pekerja kecil yang bekerja sepanjang waktu melayani ibunda ratu yang cuma bisa duduk di singgasana dan makan lalu bertelur sebanyak-banyaknya.

Kamsahamnida, mr Ahn…

Ia pun masuk lagi ke peraduannya yang ada selangkah dari pintu kamarku. Mungkin untuk kembali bekerja. Begitulah orang Korea. Hidup untuk berkarya. Sementara orang Indonesia lebih terlena dengan alamnya yang berlimpah tiada tara.

Korea dalam Realita

(Image credit: Wikimedia)

Seperti gading, tiada bos yang tak retak…

Begitu peribahasa modifikasinya. Pokok bahasan yang satu itu tidak pernah kering sampai akhir zaman nanti, saya yakin. Selalu saja ada yang bisa diperbincangkan, dikritisi, dicela, dicaci, dan jika ada, dipuji, dari seorang bos.

“Halo, gimana kabarnya?”sapanya ramah di suatu pagi yang bersuasana biasa saja di sebuah ruang bawah tanah yang sedikit pengap tetapi hangat.

Saya terkejut seorang wanita menyapa saya dengan ceria. Beberapa nano detik dibutuhkan otak ini untuk menemukan informasi identitas si nona dalam otak saya. Ah, namanya X, panggil saja Xena. Kibasan rambutnya yang panjang tergerai itu mengingatkan saya pada Xena sang wanita perkasa.

Tetapi lain dari Xena, tubuhnya tidak kekar. Bahkan jika dibandingkan dengan tubuhnya beberapa bulan lalu sebelum pindah kerja ke perusahaan lain, ia tampak jauh lebih menggembung. Entah pilihan kata ini benar atau terlalu kasar, tetapi memang tidak ada yang benar kalau sudah menyoal bentuk dan berat badan. Kata-kata sifat apapun bisa diartikan sebagai pelecehan karya Tuhan. Mulut saya katupkan agar tidak keluar kata-kata semacam:”Hai, makin gemuk saja kamu?! Tambah makmur ya?” Meskipun lebih berisi, ia tampak lelah. Senyumnya agak sedikit dipaksakan.

Kami bercerita panjang lebar dari pengalaman menghadapi bos-bos terdahulu hingga yang sekarang. Tawa sesekali pecah saat kisah-kisah lucu dan absurd mengalir dari mulut. Bos-bos eksentrik dengan kebiasaan dan cara kerja dan perilaku yang tidak lazim.

Hingga di suatu titik, ia menceritakan bos lelakinya yang masih berusia 32 tahun di depan saya. Sambil sesekali menyedot jus jeruk segar dari wadahnya, ia berceloteh,”Bosku ini orang Korea…” Jeda, karena ia tengah merangkai kata.

Pria Korea. Kupikir ia akan bercerita dengan mengharu biru, bangga dengan si bos baru. Raut mukanya biasa saja. Malah cenderung datar. Tetapi saya ingat ia sedang membicarakan seorang manajer, bukan selebriti K-pop atau K-drama. Mimik muka dan bahasa tubuhnya, saya lalu menduga, menunjukkan bahwa si manajer bukan orang yang menyenangkan, apalagi rupawan. Kalau pun tampan, minusnya kelakuan menjadi sandungan memberi sanjungan.

Benar saja. Lanjutnya,”Bosku itu udah punya istri ama anak tapi orangnya ambisius gitu, jadi suka menjilat. Ngintilin presidennya ke mana-mana.” Oh, saya memberi simpati singkat sembari membatin,”Lanjutkan…” Otak saya mencatat dengan huruf besar:”KOREA PENJILAT…”

Teman saya resah, menengok jam tangan. Sementara saya masih tenang dan tekun mendengar. Selesaikan dulu ceritamu, batin saya memohon. Padahal percuma saja. Memangnya dia bisa membaca pikiran saya?

Saya pancing,”Memang pria Korea brengsek ya?” Saya sedikit bergeser menjadi seorang devil’s advocate agar pembicaraan lebih seru. Devil’s advocate adalah orang yang mendukung sisi buruk argumentasi agar perbincangan lebih membara. Begitulah kira-kira.

Pancingan itu sukses. Tak dinyana ia mengeluarkan ekspresi persetujuan spontan. “Iyaaa!! PK banget!!” PK, kependekan dari istilah prokem masa kini Penjahat Kelamin, mengacu pada pria yang suka berselingkuh. Otak saya seolah mengambil pensil dan kertas kemudian menulis dengan huruf tebal font kapital:”KOREA PK”.

Bagaimana ia tahu? Ia pernah menangani reimbursement bertanda terima dari klub malam ternama ibukota, Alexis. Sebetulnya kalau orang berkata Alexis yang teringat dalam benak saya adalah gadis baik- baik, manis dan cerdas seperti Alexis Bledel, pemeran utama Gilmore Girl. Tetapi klub malam ini membuat reputasi nama Alexis tercemar parah. Andai Bledel pernah ke sini dan mengetahuinya, bisa jadi ia akan minta rehabilitasi nama, atau menuntut klub itu di muka hukum. Saya berkomentar,”Wah, kenapa tidak ditegur? Kan kalau ketahuan bisa mencemarkan nama baik perusahaan itu.” Sebelum menjawab ia tersenyum simpul,”Itu dia sama-sama Presidennya, buat entertain tamu rekanan sih… Susah kalau urusan moral di sini.”

Manajer yang menurutnya kurang kompeten itu bekerja tidak becus. Ia bertekad dipromosikan menjadi general manager tetapi prestasinya dapat dikatakan tidak istimewa. B, begitu kalau ia dapat nilai di kuliah. Tidak bodoh tetapi juga tidak mencengangkan.

Tidak jarang ia dan teman-teman kerjanya mengaku dilimpahi pekerjaan yang seharusnya menjadi tanggung jawab si manajer Korea tadi. Supervisor disuruh mengisi lembar penilaian kinerja rekan supervisornya, padahal hidup matinya karir yang bersangkutan akan ditentukan dari penilaian tersebut. Mana tega kalau memberi penilaian buruk pada teman sendiri? Kalau memberi penilaian terlalu bagus nanti bisa menjadi bumerang buat diri sendiri. Dilematis.

Orang Korea yang bekerja di Indonesia, tutur dia, banyak yang bertingkah seperti OKB, Orang Kaya Baru. Di negerinya sana mereka cuma orang dengan gaya hidup biasa saja tetapi begitu bekerja di Indonesia, dengan kurs kita yang lebih rendah, mereka menjadi lebih leluasa meningkatkan level gaya hidup.

Tetapi tidak semua pria Korea juga seperti itu. Sebagai penyeimbang informasi saja, mr. Ahn yang tinggal di sebelah kamar saya terlihat lebih sederhana dalam hal gaya hidup. Kemejanya beberapa. Laptopnya Acer yang biasa dipakai mahasiswa. Ia juga tidak punya mobil. Ke mana-mana berjalan kaki. Saya menduga karena tingkat pendidikannya. Ia tak seberuntung pria Korea lainnya, termasuk si manajer muda teman saya. Mungkin mr. Ahn bukan manajer. Tetapi yang aneh, ia tidak ingin diketahui bermukim di tempat kami oleh teman-teman kerjanya apalagi atasannya di kantor. Ia tidak sebutkan alasannya secara jelas. Mungkin saja ia mau berhemat hingga titik darah penghabisan tetapi malu. Mengencangkan ikat pinggang sampai maksimal dan menjadikan gengsi sebagai tumbalnya.

MBC Akan Putar Sekuel ‘Jewel in the Palace” Oktober 2015

Stasiun televisi Korsel MBC tengah mengerjakan sekuel dari serial drama sejarah korea yang menjadi tersohor di seluruh dunia “Jewel in the Palace”. Kemungkinan bintang utamanya adalah Lee Young-ae lagi. Sebagaimana diketahui, Lee adalah pemeran Dae Jang Geum, karakter perempuan yang menjadi protagonis dalam serial yang banyak digemari juga di Indonesia itu.

Kim Young-hyun, yang menulis naskahnya, mengatakan Kamis bahwa serial baru itu dijadwalkan akan mengudara Oktober 2015. Tahun lalu, Presiden MBC Kim Jog-guk mengatakan dalam sebuah konferensi bahwa pihak penyiar serial ini akan mengejar agar target penayangan sekuel tersebut bisa dipenuhi di paruh pertama tahun 2015.

Agensi Lee Young-ae menyatakan bahwa mereka belum menandatangani kontrak formal tetapi mereka mengaku menerima sebuah sinopsis di bulan Januari dan tengah mempertimbangkannya. “Lee mungkin akan menjadi bagian dari proyek besar ini,”ungkap mereka.

Agensi itu menambahkan bahwa tanggapan di antara penggemar di China sangat besar dan sejumlah perusahaan menawarkan berinvestasi dalam sekuel ini dan menanyakan mengenai hak penjualannya.

Jika benar serial ini akan tayang kembali dan menghadirkan Lee, saya sebagai penggemar serial ini juga akan sangat gembira dan tidak sabar untuk kembali menikmati intrik-intrik dalam istana kerajaan Korea di abad pertengahan itu. Semoga tahun depan, kita bisa menyaksikannya!

Indonesia U-19 Team Won over South Korea. Sounds Awesome… until PSSI Takes over!

The same old story. Prodigies now, losers later. That’s partly why I loathe football. The drama off the field is too much. But I want to post something different tonight even my thumbs don’t really want to.
Leave the pessimism for now because Indonesia national U-19 (under 19 years old) team just won 3-2 over the Taeguk Warriors tonight at Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta. That said, the team is officially allowed to compete in the final match of Asia Cup 2014 in Burma.
The team is coached by Indra Syafri, so make sure you don’t mistakenly credit this victory to any of House of Representatives or shitty bureaucrats or legislators like the shameless Marzuki Alie.
And tonight, after a huge downpour, Ravi Murdianto et al can take a warm bath immediately and grab some hot drinks and whole foods to curb the seeds of flu because seriously, flu is running rampant in this city these days! The weather has been extreme and harsh. One can sweat profusely during the day and get cold in an instant after being caught in the rain like today’s.
But hats of for Lee Tae-hui et al for the fair game. Some haters say they can come back and put on their makeup again but I also see some women asking if someone knows who wore number 6, admiring the cuteness of the brondongs (slang for ‘cute young men’ in Indonesian). Obviously they’re heartthrobs and we Indonesian men are already sick with this Korean Wave phenomenon, because these Korean men fill up our women’s imagination with the so-called perfection blatantly doled out by Korean screenwriters and songwriters and all of their artists through the Korean dramas and movies and songs and korea-graphers.
Evan Dimas got a hat-trick. The three goals were scored by Dimas, who served as the captain.
As promising as the U-19 team looks like, how long until the sweet victory turns sour in the next few years? PSSI must be proud of their knack for killing these young auspicious talents.

Korean Culture Fair at Lotte Shopping Avenue (a Photoblog)


Just at the entrance, the dashing Hyun Bin and one of the SNSD members are welcoming you. You can see the banner prepared for the president’s visit.


Enjoy the enchanting stairs just after the entrance.


And this one too is for Park Geun-hye ssi.


We have to pay to take pictures here, I guess. I don’t know how much to strike a pose with traditional costumes of Koreans but maybe not much.




The paintings of Korean artists are displayed on flat plasma Samsung TV screens. Slightly classic.



Another work of art from a Korean artist with more contemporary flavor.




And some Indonesian artists’ works with the modern, urban, contemporary art taste.

South Korea President Park Geun-Hye to Come to Jakarta

Yesterday afternoon, South Korean President Park Geun-hye visited Indonesia in her presidential capacity for the very first time since she was appointed in February this year. Mari Elka Pangestu, minister tourism and creative economy, was seen accompanying Park at the mall.

Reportedly, she was scheduled to talk with SBY but managed to pay a very brief visit to Lotte Shopping Avenue where Korean Culture Fair is being held. The fair is planned to last for several weeks. Visitors may sightsee around the mall to enjoy the art works of the select contemporary artists from both countries.

The Lotte premium shopping arena is located at Ciputra World Jakarta, just the opposite of where I work. Park’s visit caused a huge traffic jam around the already packed street of prof. Dr. Satrio (Casablanca, Mega Kuningan, South Jakarta). As we all know, Friday traffic in the capital is the last thing we hope to be stranded in while the weekend mood is already in the air.

(Image credit: @lotte_love_jkt)

Tertarik Budaya Korea, Istri PM Jepang Dikritik Netizen Jepang

Akie Abe, istri Perdana Menteri Jepang Shinzo Abe, menjadi bulan-bulanan warga Jepang di dunia maya setelah ia menyatakan ketertarikannya pada budaya Korea. Akie mengatakannya pada seorang pejabat legislatif. Akie menghadiri sebuah festival Jepang-Korea di Hibiya Park, Tokyo, bulan lalu dan mengatakan pada Kim Tae-hwan dari Partai Saenuri bahwa ia sangat kesal dengan komentar online yang mencecarnya saat ia menghadiri event tersebut.

Kim mengutip perkataan Akie bahwa warga Jepang tidak memahami “niatnya yang sebenarnya”. Mata Akie tampak basah dengan air mata saat berbicara.
Media melaporkan bahwa mereka mengetahui kegundahan Akie tetapi tidak menjelaskan apa yang menjadi sumber masalah bagi Akie.
Akie Abe dikenal akan minatnya pada budaya Korea, tetapi ini menjadi kali pertama ia menghadiri acara yang bernuansa Korea dalam kapasitas resminya sebagai istri PM sejak suaminya Shinzo Abe menjadi PM Desember lalu.
Ia aktif di Facebook, mengunggah sekitar 70 komentar tahun ini dan memiliki kurang lebih 42 ribu pengikut.
Di bulan Mei 2013, ia mengunggah foto dirinya di pertunjukan musik Korea di Tokyo yang mengundang komentar negatif dari pihak sayap kanan. First lady Jepang ini mengatakan ia hanya ingin agar Jepang bisa akur dengan negara tetangganya.
Dalam sebuah wawancara dengan Jiji Press di bulan Juni 2013, ia berjanji untuk “terlibat” dalam berbagai upaya meningkatkan hubungan Seoul-Tokyo.
Awal pekan ini di KTT APEC di Indonesia, Akie mendekati Presiden Park Geun-hyee dan menyapanya dalam bahasa Korea, menurut Cheong Wa Dae.

Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister...
Mrs. Akie Abe, wife of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, following a tour of the Mount Vernon Estate of George Washington Thursday, April 26, 2007, in Mount Vernon, Va. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Can Fiction Writing Make You a Good Journalist?

So this girl called Choi Seung-yon is a graduate of a local university. The frustrated reporter works for an online newspaper called “True Story” in Seoul, Korea.
Getting bored for the unclear future of the business and being always at work without breaking some good pieces of news, she pleads to her employer,”I want to reveal true stories and let the world know about them. That’s how we can be reborn as a true newspaper company! And we’ll hire some more reporters and move to a bigger and nicer building downtown!” That’s her plan.
But the boss has another plan in his mind. “You want to do that? Then you have to write an
article revealing the truth,” says he flatly, showing lack of enthusiasm in his facial expression.
The naive Choi answered his boss,”Though I want to break such news, I don’t know how to write it properly. I need to learn how to do it.” Her boss sighs and is about to enter his own room. He knows Choi would once again preach with incredible length of time about how the small newsroom needs more improvement and advancement.
The young gorgeous employer whispered near her left ear,”Choi Seung-yon, why don’t you write a novel? That may become an article.” “A novel..,” he echoes his words.

Really, a novel? A long form of  fictional work? I’m not quite sure whether or not it is a plausible practical advice for an aspiring journalist. But I guess any writing practice would be good for any type of writing-related work.

How about you? Do you think the advice makes sense?