Post-Jakarta Syndrome

Yes, I have stuffs to do. I have dosen pembimbing and mom peeking into my subconscious, telling me how I should just finish things up. I have meetings to attend but I cancelled because of bimbingan. You’re right, I have tons of legitimate reasons not to put this first and be productive instead. But I think about blogging like how you think about letting toxic gets out of your body, some sort of antibiotic to your menace. So…that’s a deal, eh.

Forgive the vibe of insecurities fleeting in the air. People do, sometimes. When they leave for college, when they’re about to start their first journey of adulthood, especially when they’re about to jump from one safe trapeze to another trapeze.

This year might as well be said the year when I visited Jakarta the most. I was born in Jakarta 21 years ago, but grew up in the creative city of Bandung. Been exposed to top educational institutions and perfect weather everyday. I can say that I’ve grown to be a ‘local’ girl instead of metropolis city girl with malls as their toys.

Every time I go to Jakarta I always feel like stepping into a harsh world. A big city where people are always in a rush, craving for money, social disparities are within close proximity. I can hardly even find warung in the places I went to these days: Jalan Sudirman, Sentral Senayan, TB Simatupang. All business districts, all shopping malls, all taxi cabs and busy streets.

The Big Durian and one of its finest business districts

For me, Jakarta resembles so much more than harshness. Going to Jakarta feels like opening myself up to new territories, makes me realize that I can no longer be guarded under the protective shed of home. There are at least 3 things in my mind every time I went to Jakarta in 2013: a) I’m growing up; b) I’ll soon be a corporate slave and leave the ever-exciting college life; c) I’ll miss Bandung like crazy.

And “Are you ready?” is just a question in which I currently have nothing to answer.

This past one week I had a 4-days event hosted by one of the best and biggest FMCG companies in the world. I’d describe the experience as “being an MBA in 4 days” because that’s just how it has shaped my brain. I was nothing compared to other students in business world. Like, what would I know about Porter. If you ask me who Turton, Walas, McCabe, or Geankoplis are, I can totally show you. But don’t ask me what VAT means. Interestingly, I found myself immersed quickly in the pool of Industrial Engineers-Marketing-Economics-Finance-people. I liked picturing myself working there. I could really relate to its values, people, principles. I was drilled by sales, marketing, CBD, HR, brand management, etc. but to my surprise, absorbed every information very quickly, in the speed that I didn’t expect before. Plus, enjoyed it at the same time. Rare thing.

This was what I had been exposed to. Turned off the ‘engineering mode’…


Oddly, going back to plant design and the oh-so-engineering world of Chemical Engineering, some parts of me feel like… I still want to be an engineer. Somehow, I still want to know how it feels to play with velocity, viscosity, and volatility in the real world. I strangely still hope that I can learn more about valves and vessels and compressors and all these alien things. At least, I want to have an objective comparison between these two worlds so I can make a rational judgment of where I want my feet to be put on.

To sum up, in my visits to Jakarta I have:

  1. Known how to use modern day elevator (call me two thousand and late) in a visit to South
  2. Been in the capital city at its worst (huge flood January 17, 2013)
  3. Spent my birthday being yelled at by preman
  4. Admitted that unmeritrocracy could actually happen even when I trusted that such practice wouldn’t exist in a reputable entity

Now Jakarta has brought another new thing for me: divergent path. Which is which for which side of the fence? Where would I wanna work? What kind of field/business unit can satisfy me?

It’s hard to know what’s good for me. But soon enough I’ll have to decide.

Till then, I’m never gonna stop chasing everything in front of me. Bad or good will reveal themselves later, but I’ll keep my great ability to predict and calculate even more closely.

I wish the best for every final year student who’s about to graduate. We’ll go in harmonia progressio.

Author: mfaradina

An Indonesian. A reliable realist outside yet a romantic dreamer at heart.

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