Trio: Street Photography in Delhi, India


Working class men riding bajaj to work in Delhi, India.


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Trio: Airplane in the Airport


Three airplanes on the Munich International Airport, Germany. The picture was taken on my first trip to Europe four years ago.


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Buffet Review: Art Cafe in Raffles Hotel Jakarta

“Expect a virtual tableau of art and cuisine, where the palette of sights, sounds, textures and aromas from open kitchens create a delightful sensory experience. Enjoy an elegant buffet, or Continental and Asian à la carte offerings, served in chic interiors and a backdrop of vibrant Hendra Gunawan artwork.” – Raffles Website


Last week I tried a new buffet restaurant in Jakarta located in Raffles Hotel Jakarta, Kuningan. I have tried (and some reviewed) several (5-10) hotel buffet restaurant in Jakarta in the last year and this is the ONLY one where foods are served to our table instead of us walking around the restaurant hunting for delicious foods. The restaurant name is “Art Cafe”, the entrance of the restaurant itself is from the Ciputra Mall instead of the hotel.

After entering the restaurant, the first thing I noticed is the size of it. It is rather small and have a cul-de-sac feeling compared to normal buffet restaurant, however the view is good if you have your table near window. The service was great, the servants are friendly, knowledgable and professional in the way of serving and communicating to customers.

Despite the size of the restaurant, I found the decoration and settings to be more luxurious than in other hotel, even Mulia Hotel in Senayan (which is the benchmark for buffet restaurant in Jakarta).


I usually never eat breads as appetiser when eating in buffet restaurant, but since trying “tomato bread” in SanaSini Restaurant at Pullman I make it a habit to try some of the breads. The taste were good and even better with butter, which is placed in a unique, bell-like plate. The table is  large enough for eating conveniently, without having to brush my elbow with the person sitting next to me. And by the way, drink is not included in the buffet price.


The choice of sushi and sashimi are limited, they serve it in a set of plate, as pictured above. Not the best place for Japanese food lovers. They only served Salmon and Tuna as far as I can remember, and it is not possible to take several plates at one trip, so I have to go back and forth to take several plates.


Pictured above is the assorted cheese and bread district. Not so many choices but up to the standard of international buffet restaurant.


The sushi, sashimi, and fusion roll district.  On the right side of image is salad and rujak (mango mix something).


The choice of desert is good and they proved to be delicious to me. Other than the desert they displayed here, the servant will also asked if we like to have ice cream after lunch. Now I will talk about the table-served foods, the specialty of Art Cafe. Once we were seated for 15 minutes or so and touring the restaurant to take some foods, we were served with 5 course of meal alongside to the buffet.


The first one is Singapore chilli crab bun, pictured above. It is a bread with crab meat inside it on the top of crab meat sauce, it taste excellent! This is one of their specialty dish and certainly a good start for the lunch.


Ten minutes after served the first meal, they will clean the table and serve the second set, a salmon with spinach, mushroom and what I think is a potato sauce. Taste great, but nothing special in particular.


The third meal is chicken with mashed potato and corn. It is a chicken breast , so the taste is a bit bitter but it mixed nicely with the sweet potato flavour.


Pictured above is panorama of the restaurant, the left side is appetiser and desert district (as pictured earlier), in the center is sushi and sashimi, and on the right side is abundant choice of main course (Western, Asian mostly). That’s all for the buffet, the rest of the restaurant are filled with table and sofa.


The fourth meal is mac and cheese mixed with seafood, it is very milky and make me feel full after all the foods I have eaten. By the time the fourth meal is served, I was already quite full.


The last part is beef, cooked medium-well and served with carrot in pumpkin sauce. The texture is very soft and tasty, I think this is the second best meal after the chilli crab bun.


Lastly, I eat few assorted desert of cakes and ice cream. Majority of the desert is chocolate based, which suits my tongue better than fruit-based.

To summarise my visit, I recommend Art Cafe for couple or family looking for slow-lunch experience and wanting new experience of eating. The beautifully decorated place combined with excellent hospitality make the lunch pleasurable, however the sushi and sashimi variety could be further improved although the rest of food choices are more than adequate and up to the level of international buffet. Price wise, lunch in Art Cafe is slightly more expensive than in other comparable restaurant, costing about Rp 700.000 net (after drink and service charge) per person. As the price of the restaurant vary between time, it is recommended to call them and ask about credit-card promotion (they have buy one-get one with BCA recently) and the price of the buffet.

Raffles Jakarta Hotel, Jl. Prof. Dr. Satrio No. 3 – 5, Kuningan, Jakarta

021 29880888

Breakfast: 6:00 AM to 10:30 AM
Lunch: 12:00 noon to 2:30 PM
Dinner: 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM
Sunday Brunch: 11:30 AM to 3:30 PM

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Why Existentialist Are More Prone to Depression

Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it. ~André Gide

Unexpected events happened everyday, be it good or bad. Sometimes there is no such thing as “good” or “bad”, it just depends on where we are standing and our subjective perspective of the events happening. If we scrutinise our daily activity in the last two weeks and wonder to ourselves, how many unexpected has happened so far? More importantly, how has the event(s) gave impact to our life right now or in the future? Most of the time we found that our daily activity as a routine was quite dull, involving work at the office, got home in tired condition then prepare for the next day. However, there are special days that excite us like a kid on Christmas and depressing day that lead us to think about the choices we have made as time goes by.

The idea of life without limit and pursuing teenage dream doesn’t excite us anymore because we have been let down so many times trying. There is one thing for sure though, if we stopped trying we will not get it, on the other hand if we keep trying there is no promise or guarantee that we will eventually got what we want. Before we dwelled with the possibility of living the life itself, there is one basic question that is crucial in attaining such life. Do we know what we want? I mean how do you imagine yourself living the “ideal” life? The rule of thumb is to be as specific as you can, what level of income would satisfy your lifestyle, what would you do daily, where would you live if you had the chance, with whom, and various questions we should have asked ourselves in the past.

Recently I have got mostly either ordinary or slightly depressing day instead of exciting one. It leads me to reflect more deeply into my wave of thoughts and found a way to improve the situation, but sometimes I was so tired going around the same thoughts and thinking path again and again that I finally fall asleep at night. In the morning I would drag myself to the routines I have to do and try to resolve yesterday’s thought, or last week thoughts, it doesn’t matter when the thoughts came to me but I need to resolve the thought I currently have in my mind. Until recently I came to the conclusion from most of the thoughts I had daily, it was coming from the difference of life I expected myself to live in and the life I actually live in today. It was a simple “gap” issue between expectation and reality. I think this is why people gone crazy (literally, like schizophrenia) or become narcissist (the wish that people would adore or pay attention to him/her) when they couldn’t bear their situation anymore.

I think I was in the edge of this cliff, I was tiptoeing on the edge of the cliff while looking at the depth of the cleft between the rocky landscape, thinking of what would happened if I just jump. The jump, I think would be quite easy, however the way back to the top if I ever want to get back to sanity would be pulling teeth, if not impossible at all. The fights in our mental life may be more cruel than the bodily needs, which could be satisfied by decent shelter, clothes and food.

Enduring such fierce fight isn’t easy for people who don’t know why or how they are constantly revisited by depression or volatility in moods, the answer lies in the mixture and concentration of neurotransmitter in our brain. Happiness is simply an elevated serotonin level in our blood that flows to the brain; fear and stress is an increase in adrenaline and oxytocin in the bloodstream; sadness caused by the problem in GABA re-uptake. That is the beauty of medicine, today we understand why and how to “fix” various mental condition using the neurotransmitter that could be stimulated by medical treatment. Had I not understand the complex process of thinking, I might succumb to depression already by thinking that something is wrong with myself instead of the mixture inside my bloodstream.

Luckily, not everyone in the world is so prone to this mental issue. Existentialist is the most vulnerable population to fall in depression, for thousand of years human have been wondering about life itself, a group of cell trying to understand itself (or not). Why do we live, where does our soul reside, what’s happening after death, those are questions with vague answer and could hardly resolved with technological advancement. Human have not produced satisfying answer regarding such questions and therefore, existentialist feel as if life itself is not worth living. What is the point in reproducing a next generation whose main purpose is to reproduce the next generation until we don’t know when. Even if we have explore beyond Earth and to other galaxy, what is the point other than knowing that there is such place?

Why should I wake up in the morning? Why should I work? Why should I earn money to make a good living? On a single person it leads to the basic question of why do I (want to) live? Would the world stopped if  I hadn’t live? I doubt so, I don’t even think that he world could be defined as “better” or “worse” without me. It is simply what it is. There are no universal agreement on the answer, so far I found that it depends on own’s religious, party, and other beliefs (hedonist, stoicism, etc.).

Instead of wasting my time trying to find common beliefs on why we live or why we want to live, I’m trying to circumvent the issue by thinking that now I am alive, how should I live to make it meaningful? Meaningful to myself and the next generation, in the small hope that eventually there will be a generation that could answer the basic question. Remember about the gap between expectation and reality I talked about earlier? I think that is one way to make living more reasonable for existentialist and possibly hedonist, while doing things that will benefit next generation. It might have been confusing to you already, but hold with me on the last rhetorical question I will propose. Why would you want to live as your expectation?

Without any offence or arrogance to anyone, I truly think it is better for people to do their routine everyday and enjoying the time they have with people they care about rather than thinking about philosophical question that leads nowhere, like what an existentialist does almost everyday.


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Victory: RTW Trip


When my family started to travel overseas several years ago, never I’ve imagined that I would travel to 5 continents and 30 countries before I was 21. It was a resolution for me to breakthrough for a while, until we went to South Africa in July 2014. That completed the resolution, however the desire to travel to more places have a fix spot in my mind that I made a resolution to travel to the countries in Latin America, Russia, Southern and Northern Europe, New Zealand among other countries.


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Careful: African Safari


A deer looking at the lens of my camera as the jeep I was on strolling across the savannah in South Africa. Perhaps the deer was careful of upcoming danger, as in the wild, predators could come at any time. Better be safe than sorry.


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Sana Sini Restaurant Pullman Hotel Jakarta Review

“Drawing inspiration from the Indonesian phrase ‘Sana –Sini’, which means ‘here and there’, Pullman Jakarta Indonesia offers you an unrivaled culinary excursion into the different corners of Europe and Asia through 4 individually designed spacious counters. Casually eat your way through different continents and hop across live cooking stations, as we serve up both breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet as well as A la Carte, surrounded by contemporary décor. Complement your dining experience with an extensive wine list from Vinoteca – a global Pullman concept and a seductive selection of sweets from the bakery.”

That is how Pullman Hotel describe their buffet restaurant, I’d say one of the best restaurant in hotels across Jakarta. The class and service is on par with Mulia “The Cafe” and certainly superior than Ritz Carlton’s “Asia” and Marriot’s “Syailendra”.

KVN03165Bar inside Sana Sini Restaurant.

Let me start with the beverages, the rule for beverage is different for Saturday and Sunday. I ate at Sunday and the beverages are included in the price below this review, you got free flow of water, apple juice, ice tea, and other juice and cold drink. I start with the apple juice before eating and it taste good, during my brunch I drink water only. The restaurant is decorated with wine cellar and they seems to be proud of their collection, however I didn’t order their wine.

KVN03160View from my table

We were seated near the window facing Thamrin street, from our table we could see Plaza Indonesia clearly. My first impression after few minutes looking around the food stand is it is a huge place, no wonder they called it Sana Sini ( which mean going here and there in Indonesian). The restaurant has seven section, breads, Japanese, Western, Italian, Indonesian, Chinese and dessert. The variety is very good across different section.

KVN03185Bread Section in Sana Sini Restaurant

As usual, I didn’t take any assortment of bread for appetiser because I want to save the space in my stomach for the main course. None of my family does actually, but the servant gave us a bowl of tomato bread enough for four person to our table and said that we should try it. The bread was soft and easily crunched inside the mouth, it is so tasty that I actually eat most of it, leaving a small part for my mother and sister to try.

KVN03184Japanese section in Sana Sini Restaurant

Nearly every time I ate in buffet restaurant, I always eat sushi and sashimi first because I think it’s a good way to assess the freshness and quality of their ingredients. Sometimes sashimi served in buffet restaurant is watery and too soft, which means it has been displayed for quite some time. But the sushi and sashimi here are very good, the only drawback is they slice the salmon and tuna too thin.

KVN03161Assorted sashimi from Japanese section

KVN03162Assorted sushi from Japanese section

KVN03164Fresh seafood from the western section

After finishing my first round, I go to the western section which is the long table behind the bar. At the time I ate there in October they are having a specialty of German dishes, so there are goulash, sausages, sauerkraut, ham, etc. Apart from the cooked dishes, at the end of the table they have crayfish, muzzle and variety of clam. I mixed two variety only, crayfish and clam. The taste were good and the only thing to note for me is that I didn’t have any problem with my digestion afterward.

KVN03169The Western section in Sana Sini Restaurant

KVN03170Part of Chinese section in Sana Sini Restaurant

In the Chinese section, I try variety of dim sum and dishes. The dim sum is good, nothing really extraordinary. The dishes are good as well, they are lavish in serving seafood (fish, squid, prawn) cooked with chinese style. Overall the chinese section are good, on par with the smaller chinese section in “The Cafe” Mulia Hotel Senayan.

KVN03173Indonesian section in Sana Sini Restaurant

KVN03179Choices of Indonesian sweets

KVN03181Dessert section in Sana Sini Restaurant

I did a few rounds during the brunch, I visited the Japanese section several times because I think this is the only restaurant serving shishamo in Jakarta, I also eat few rounds of dim sum. To end the afternoon I stroll around the dessert section and found myself quite disappointed with the variety of dessert they have. I only eat two slice of chocolate cake for the closing, the other cake doesn’t interest me but may be suitable to fruits lover.

Overall, I would recommend Sana Sini Restaurant for food enthusiast in Jakarta, the variety is excellent, the taste is great, but it comes with pretty high tag price.

Open Daily 

Breakfast 5:30 am – 10:30 am

IDR 266,200 net/Person

Lunch 11:30 am – 3:00 pm

IDR 350,000 net/Adult

IDR 175,000 net/Child

Dinner 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm

IDR 390,000 net/Adult

IDR 195,000 net/Child

Sunday Brunch 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

IDR 459,800 net/Person

With wine IDR 798,600 net/Person

*This restaurant is non smoking

For more information and reservation, please call: (+62) 21 390 6444

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Similarities and Difference of Undergraduate and Graduate School

Earlier this year (2015) I graduated from medical school as Bachelor of Medicine and decided to pursue further education, namely my master degree. But instead of pursuing a master degree in medical or science fields, I decided to take an MBA because of my growing interest in the economic world. Having recently graduated with my Bachelor degree and just entering my Master education program, I found resemblance between those two educational system. At first, I was concerned that I might not be able to follow the course due to my lack of experience in real work settings but now that I have been in the program for few weeks, I think I might even do better than I did previously in undergraduate school. There are several differences as well, the atmosphere, relation between students, etc.

First I want to highlight about the people. Most of my class participants are working for more than two years, a third of them are married, and few have children already. I am the youngest in class, and the second youngest is a girl one year older than me. Students in undergraduate degree are simply boys and girls looking for higher education after high school, they usually have vague thoughts about where they are going in life and prioritise their time badly. When I was in undergraduate study (medicine), I observed that we don’t always pay attention to the lecture and play quite a lot in class, chatting with friends.

The class in undergraduate consist of hundreds of students, but in graduate degree the class is smaller, consisting less than 50 students. We also listen more carefully to what the lecturer said and try to implement the theory given to the current context. I would say that most of the students in graduate study have a plan in life and working toward it, one of them being having a graduate degree, which hopefully contribute to future development in their career. All of the students are busy, unlike in undergraduate where students like to hangout and go to parties, students in graduate degree have more responsibility in their life, family and work takes most of the time, the third priority is the education itself.

Second is about the education program. My undergraduate degree took 4 years to complete, and I complete it on time. The MBA program I’m doing took 1.5 years to complete, about half the time of my undergraduate study. The materials has a difficulty of its own, there are many textbook to read, just like in undergraduate but this time we have shorter time to read it due to other tasks at hand. The MBA program covers marketing, finance, business research, accounting, leadership, thesis, and few other courses. It took shorter time to finish graduate study than undergraduate, however it also took more effort and energy to finish the program.

Third, I want to talk about the way the classes are conducted. When I was in medical school, my class usually started at 7 am at ended at 3 pm, the daily average is about 8 hours study everyday from Monday to Friday. In my MBA program there’s only night classes, from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm, 3 hours class everyday from Monday to Friday. The difference is huge, right? 8 hours vs 3 hours class everyday is a different for me as well, in the morning to afternoon I could finish tasks I have, do my project, trade stock and currency, etc. The study hours are flipped from morning to evening, in turn, I could be more productive in doing tasks but feel more tired in class at night.

Since I’m working for myself, the working hour is more flexible and sometimes I’m able to take an hour nap after lunch. If you are thinking about taking a regular (morning to afternoon) class in graduate study, then this should not be a concern for you. The curriculum of the program in general is the same for all MBA program, with specialisation we could choose, finance, marketing, or business management. There might be several variance in the curriculum but the point is giving us the necessary skills to be a manager in corporation.

Fourth is about the lecturer. Most of the lecturer have PhD degree, many have two master degree title. They are mostly working in marketing or finance department, some are consultants, and one thing for sure they know what they are talking about. The lecturers come from different background, some of them have statistic undergraduate degree, engineering, computer science, and various other degree. For most of them, they continue their graduate study taking MBA, just like I do now, then continue on taking their PhD. Their age also varies, from late 30’s to over 60 year old which could give a lot of perspective in learning and sharing experience in their own career.

Fifth about the purpose of education. Insight and first hand experience are told by the lecturers and practitioner in their own fields, for the purpose of improving decision making process in our own job. Graduate degree program intend to enhance our knowledge and skill in work situation, not merely studying definition, classification, and theories. We learn cases, real cases happened in the past, options available for decision making, the situation at the time, and think as the decision maker (CEO) of the company. The challenges encountered are often met in our daily problem, so what we learn is relevant with what we observe daily.

Sixth is about the learning method. Other than using textbook and hearing lectures, we also discuss using case study, as I’ve talked about above. There are homework, but the purpose is not for grading purpose, rather to stimulate our thinking process in approaching a problem. The exam is not a theoretical exam that we have in undergraduate study, but case study and our task is to analyse and provide a solution to the problem. We still have to study for the test, but the study itself took less time than studying in undergraduate. We learn about the concept and applying the concept to reality, unlike undergraduate study that has focus more on the theories.

That is my observation after several months studying in graduate program after graduating from undergraduate program earlier this year. What you might find may differ from countries to countries, not to mention the cultural difference between West and Eastern method of the study. But I hope I can help giving some perspective to those seeking to enter graduate study and have no idea how the program will be conducted.


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(Extra)Ordinary: Drunk + Guys + Prague


Have you ever gone to Prague? I did last July, on my birthday I walked at midnight near Charles Bridge to the old town area. While setting up my tripod and waiting for long exposure photographs of Prague Castle, this surprisingly polite guys drunkenly ask me to take their friends picture who is lying on the ground, passed out. He gave me a note of his email address and I sent this to him the next day. Certainly an (extra)ordinary day to me.


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(Extra)Ordinary: Sachertorte


What I’m posting today is not just a cake, it’s a very famous chocolate cake from Vienna called Sachertorte. Sacher is the name of the hotel it was first produced, the recipe of the cake is kept secret until today. Combined with Viennese ice coffee and you got one of the best tea time ever.


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