Whatever happens to Vila Sawo Kecik?

Vila Sawo Kecik’s signature backyard view

We ceased operation since the beginning of 2020 (wew, that was last year). We didn’t want to partake in the spread of the virus and wouldn’t want to incentivize people to go on a vacation just yet.

I didn’t think it would be that long, though. I guess I overestimated this country’s skill to overcome a pandemic and people’s willingness to together end it.

Everyday, there are people asking, sometimes forcefully, to open the villa. Well, we cannot do that.

So, what’s happened in the meantime it was not operational?

We use it for ourselves. You know, with the pandemic, travel restriction, and our workload, we can only be in 2 places only: our house in Malang, and the villa in Batu. Also, we’re preparing for two more units for when the pandemic is a little bit under control, so we use the villa as our basecamp.

Here are pictures of the development progress so far:

We build two more units in a location not far from the current ones.
This is the view from the front unit.
The sky was overcast, but in clear day, you can still have the Panderman view.

We don’t know when the units will be ready. Hopefully, by then the pandemic will already be over. However, though, we are planning to only rent out these two and not the old ones.

On Empathy

I have this simple principle in life: not to post anything gifted to me by a friend and, likewise, I’d ask them not to post anything that I give them. Of course, if it is a product they are selling and me posting that could benefit all parties: the seller and prospective buyers, I’d gladly post it on social media.

The reason is simple: I don’t know who else is/is not receiving the same gift. If there is anyone within the circle of the giver not receiving any, wouldn’t s/he feel excluded? How many people have I hurt unknowingly thus?

“But, posting it is a show of gratitude to the sender.”

I’m sure there are many other ways to show that.

“You’re reading too much into it. Why is everything forbidden with you?”

By all mean, if it is right up your alley, no one is forbidding anything.

You see, empathy is a word that we throw around quite easily. But to really have it, sometimes you have to experience the adversity yourself. That is what makes empathy a cheap word to say but expensive lesson to take.

Mempertahankan benih etiolasi

Saya baru belajar berkebun dan menyemai benih. Iseng kapan hari saya posting foto semaian kale saya di facebook, dan seorang teman yang pegiat tanaman memberitahu kalau benih saya etiolasi, simptomnya kutilang. Banyak sumber di internet menulis benih yang seperti ini sebaiknya dimakan sebagai salad (microgreen) saja.

Merasa sayang, saya tidak menurutinya. Yang saya lakukan adalah saya taruh ia di daerah yg terkena panas matahari konstan sepanjang hari sambil disirami kalau kering. Saking terobsesinya saya, ketika akan bepergian beberapa hari, pot semaian saya bawa serta juga. Hahaha. Takut kalau ditinggal ia akan kering atau tidak terkena sinar.

Semaian kale di kresek kuning, semaian cabe (normal) di pot hitam

Setelah beberapa hari, begini penampakannya. Sudah tambah beberapa daun walaupun batang masih lemah.

Saya akan mencoba konsisten merawatnya dan melihat apakah benar benih kutilang ini bisa survive dengan perawatan yang konstan. Kalau gagal ya tidak apa-apa juga, tapi saya menikmati sekali prosesnya.

Merawat Kemangi di Vila Sawo Kecik

Jadi sudah sejak awal pandemi Vila Sawo Kecik berhenti beroperasi. Kali ini suami mewacanakan untuk seterusnya dipakai sendiri saja. Wacana ini mungkin nanti terlaksana atau berubah, kita lihat saja.

Oh iya, selama ini vila ada yang jaga beserta tukang kebunnya. Mulai bulan Oktober, orangnya mengundurkan diri. Sebenarnya tidak ada hubungannya dengan itu sih, tapi saya mulai berpikir dan berinisiatif untuk merawat kebun dan tanaman-tanaman yang ada di depan dan belakang.

Dimulai dari ini, tanaman kemangi yang bunganya mengering, daunnya jarang, dan rantingnya kecil tidak segar.

Mumpung masih mulai musim hujan. Akhirnya saya bersihkan. Saya posting disini untuk menandai. Nanti kita lihat hasilnya seminggu atau dua minggu lagi ya.

Don’t shit where you eat

This principle is something that I adhere to. Recently, there have been two examples where I’ve been given this lesson, through the experience of others.

The first example is work-related and the second one is study-related. Either one, you do not bad mouth, you do not trash-talk the institution that feeds your stomach and your mind.

Here is a list of the Why-nots:

  • even dogs wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them
  • it won’t necessarily show how bad the institution is, but surely it will reflect bad on your character
  • if you are leaving the place as you do it, think very carefully whether you really want to burn all the bridges. Especially if you are staying in the industry, chances are people in each field are inter(well)connected. It will come back to you full circle eventually.
  • it’s not the least, but surely it is the basic of all: it is just not right.

“But I have been so unfairly mistreated there.”

You deal with household problems in-house. You talk it out, voice out your constructive criticism through the available channels. Only if it fails do you have a liiiiittle excuse to bring it out in the open, if you think that the benefit outweighs the risk.

If nothing works, just get out. But shitting where you eat is not the way to go.

What I learn from solo bicycling

I like bicycling alone.

Along the way, I would meet people, either solo or in group bicycling. Some are faster, some are slower, some speed up, some stop to take a break. Mentally, you take note of all of them and most times you subconsciously want to compare yourself to them.

“How can they bike uphill without breaking a sweat?”
“If that person can do it in smaller wheels, there’s no reason I cannot do it in these wheels as well.”
“I should not stop, that person is older and he could keep the pace up.”
“I won’t let her race me”

But then as you pedal on, you realize that you cannot do that. Some people are faster than you perhaps because they are younger, used to do it, do it more regularly than you do. Some people take a break and you cannot look down on them, you don’t know their starting point. Perhaps they go earlier than you and ride miles farther than you.

The point being is, you don’t know their story. So, even in silence, you should not compare yourself to others. The only comparison you need to make is your own miles, from yesterday’s ride to today’s ride.

And smile.

You are sharing the road and all you riders are fellow travelers with your own story to bear.

Beberapa kesalahan dasar pengiriman surat lamaran kerja secara online

Selama 4 bulan ini, Algostudio membuka lowongan pekerjaan untuk beberapa posisi. Ada 100++ lamaran yang masuk dan 88 pelamar kami panggil untuk test serta wawancara dalam 10 gelombang, kurang dari 8 orang yang lolos dan kini bergabung bersama tim.

Dari 100++ lamaran yang masuk itu, ada beberapa pola kesalahan dasar umum yang dibuat oleh para pelamar. Beberapa di antaranya sebagai berikut:

1. Penggunaan alamat e-mail

Penggunaan alamat email yang baik dan benar terlihat seperti hal yang sepela tapi bisa memberi kesan pertama yang sangat menentukan. Model-model alamat email alay seperti pelamar-jagoan-gaming@gmail.com c4antiqacuteeegemesh@yahoo.com (<–email-email ini fiktif) ternyata masih ada. Memang itu hak pemilik email, tapi sebaiknya dihindari karena tidak mencerminkan kematangan dan profesionalitas pelamar.

Selain itu, untuk melamar pekerjaan, sebaiknya gunakan penyedia email yang standar dan populer (Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, atau Yahoo). Sebisa mungkin jangan menggunakan email sekolah, kampus, apalagi email tempat kerja lama. Selain tidak etis, termonitor oleh institusi, juga kemungkinan balasan lamaran bouncing back juga lebih besar.

2. Subject

Gunakan subject yang baik dan benar, singkat dan lugas. Misal: Lamaran .Net programmer. Alasannya adalah hal ini akan memudahkan penerima lamaran untuk memilah dan mengelompokkan email yang masuk. Ketika ada seleksi berkas, lamaran tidak terselip.

Berlaku untuk situasi apapun, JANGAN pernah mengirim email tanpa menyertakan subject.

3. Cover letter

Cover letter ini adalah surat singkat yang menjelaskan siapa pengirim, tujuan mengirim surat itu apa, dan apa saja yang terlampir bersama email. Jangan pernah ujug-ujug ngirim email tanpa subject, tanpa isi/cover letter, dan tiba-tiba menyematkan attachment gitu saja.

4. Bedakan format email dan surat pos

Mulai dari jaman kita (saya) sekolah, memang kita diajari penulisan surat lamaran pekerjaan yang mediumnya kertas dan dikirim melalui pos, ya. Yang menjadi masalah adalah seringkali pelamar menggunakan format yang sama untuk email, terutama dalam 4 hal yaitu tanggal, perihal, sapaan, dan tanda tangan/signature. Berikut adalah salah satu dari sekian banyak email serupa yang saya terima:

Untuk email, tidak perlu menuliskan tempat dan tanggal surat ditulis/dikirim. Kenapa? Karena secara otomatis sistem akan mengindeks waktu pengiriman. Perihal adalah subject, isi singkat keperuntukan surat, jadi tidak perlu ditulis ulang. Untuk sapaan, yang ini tidak masalah tapi mungkin akan lebih luwes jika tidak menggunakan format tersebut dengan ditambahi ‘di tempat’. Sila lihat contoh di bawah untuk format yang lebih cocok untuk email.

Contoh ini jauuuh lebih baik.

Perbedaan format email dan surat pos yang terakhir adalah pembubuhan tanda tangan atau signature. Di surat pos, antara salam akhir dan nama penulis diberi jeda untuk pembubuhan tanda tangan basah. Untuk email, hal ini tidak perlu. Cukup ‘Best regards’, ‘Salam hormat’, diikuti nama terang, serta alamat korespondensi (no.tlp/website).

format tanda tangan basah

Signature ini penting dan sebisa mungkin disematkan tiap korespondensi melalui email. Bisa disetting secara otomatis untuk tiap email keluar.

5. Bahasa Indonesia atau Bahasa Inggris?

Gunakan bahasa sesuai dengan yang diminta di lowongan pekerjaan. Jika tidak disebutkan bahasa sebagai persyaratan, gunakan bahasa yang Teman-teman nyaman. Bahasa Inggris yang baik dan benar akan memberi nilai tambah yang luar biasa. Namun jika grammar dan registernya berantakan, malah akan mengurangi poin pelamar.

Yang lebih penting dari pilihan bahasa adalah kaidah penulisan yang baik dan benar. Perhatikan susunan kalimat, tanda baca, dan pilihan kata. Bedakan mana di yang dipisah dan yang digabung.

Sebagai penutup, masing-masing perusahaan dan HRD-nya memiliki kebijakan yang berbeda-beda. Ada yang memberikan toleransi lebih, namun ada pula yang sangat ketat bahkan dari tahap ini. Di Algostudio bagaimana? Untuk posisi teknis kami masih memberi toleransi, namun untuk posisi PR atau CS, kami memperketat kriteria mulai dari tahap seleksi ini.

A new hobby: biking

You read that right, biking. Not baking (I gave up on that endeavor a long time ago.)

My husband has been biking casually, I had never taken a liking to this activity until recently. So, when he decided to upgrade his bike from Helios F3 to Strattos S5, I thought to myself: I think it might be fun to try.

So, this was my first bike: Polygon Nevada, a low end city bike in fancy color. The reason why I chose it was: it is comparably cheaper than other types. So I thought if after trying it I’d feel like I no longer like biking, I would not have much regret buying it.

I thought wrong.

Polygon Nevada

I love biking! So I decided to upgrade my ride.

However, it was not that easy. Many people are taking to bicycling now it’s crazy, almost all bicycle stores in Malang run out of units already. So I tried to purchase a second-hand bike online, and I found this:

Polygon Path 2

It was still in mint condition, the mileage was low. However, this hybrid bike, though in size S, was too tall for the 155cm me. So I sold it back again and thought that if I really like biking, I should take a leap of faith and buy a serious road-bike altogether. So off I went online to rodalink official website and bought this:

Polygon Divine R5

The first thing I noticed about this bike was: for an entry level it is pricey (at least for me), hahaha. The second one is, the drop bar is kind of intimidating. But it comes in size 43 which helps a lot since I would still have control of the unit (something I dread without), and the geometry is sexy. It is built for women! and the color scheme is not bad.

It takes some moments of getting used to, but after some practice and series of Youtube videos on road-biking, and the relentlessness of husband’s assistance, I am now hooked on this.

Love,
Uswah

Hello again

Welcome to my new old blog.

This domain has been around since, I don’t know, 8 to 10 years ago? I reset it, erase all the contents and puff, gone all the writings with no backup. I am okay doing that. It is not like I erase any trace of my life from the past since I scarcely wrote anything important here before. If any, the way I remember it, my writings were all cringey. Hahaha.

I hope that could change, but I can’t promise or make any commitment here.

So, the order of business is I need to introduce myself first, right?

I am Uswah, thirty-something woman living in Indonesia. I speak Javanese in daily basis, Bahasa Indonesia here and there, and English in EFL context. If you had a chance to look into my Instagram bio, I write some affiliations there. Academically, I am associated with State University of Malang and State Polytechnic of Malang. This might change sometimes soon. Professionally, I am affiliated with Algostudio and Vila Sawo Kecik. This has not changed for a while and I am proud of that. From this alone, you can easily take me as ‘Jane of all trades master of none’ and you probably are right. I juggle with things here and there and I do what makes me happy, responsibly.

I hope that is all the introduction that I need. I can say much more in this seemingly unlimited space, but I think you can know me better by judging me from my writing. If you set to do so, please be kind to me and lower your bar or expectation first.

Love,
Uswah.