Où je vis en ce moment…

Je vis dans ‘une jungle’ maintenant! 🙂

Quite a few people have been curious as to where I go after the emotional breakdown of losing my cotton candy dream of working in The Netherlands. I mean, come on, it’s not that I earn it in a night with no blood sweat and tears!

But let’s save the rant for now…

Here I am, in the vast jungle of Sumatera Island! Back to the roots, although my Palembangnese is almost always eclipsed by my Sundanese tongue. People have mixed comments on this path I am walking in, from “Ooo it’s a great downturn…” to “Oh that’s super cool!”, but I say, F that! Nobody knows how HARD it is to be on your own, picking up shattered pieces while moving along, clinging only to Divine Intervention, being totally helpless WHEN EVEN YOUR PLAN F did not work. To realize that God gives me the exit way in the field I am still interested in, through a job in which I can support my family financially, be close to some of my best girls, is something I am really, really grateful for.

To be precise, I’m now living in Duri. Never heard of it? I know. It’s a town in Riau province, rather center part of Sumatera Island. It’s home to oilfield workers who mostly support Uncle Chev’s operations, where I work.

I live in a camp. And when I say ‘camp’, that does not mean hammocks and fire cracks, mind you.

It’s like a satellite city, in my opinion! 😀

Thank God my room is comfortable with easy access to bus stop and inside bathroom. I always, always, always believe in the strength of my mom’s prayers. God knows that no one can beat the time it takes for me to shower!!

Pardon my unmatched pillow/bolster case :p
Pardon my unmatched pillow/bolster case :p
View from my room
View from my room

Although it’s not really accessible (the nearest major city with airport, Pekanbaru, is around 3 hours drive from here), it decently provides all the basic needs, notably Hypermart! The camp also has Commissary which sells imported products (think Hershey’s, Kölln, Ortega…), and the ultimate Warung Masjid Agung Ushuluddin or WMAU, which sells everything from tennis racket to olive oil to swimsuit. It also has this small market that sells vegetables, meat, and spices in the mornings.

(Yes, I was once a supply chain girl, I do store checks :p)

So far this remote town is livable, the only thing missing is the HORRIBLE transportation: no taxi in camp (I’m pointing at you, Lean Sigma) and very limited bus schedule, be it from housing complex to dining hall or offices. I’m thinking of bringing a car from home once I have enough driving skills…

Some people are asking, “What do you do on weekends?”. Well, I admit that a small town does not exactly boast pretentious lifestyle, given the limited option of go-to places. But there are a lot of activities: jogging, swimming, sh’bam (zumba-style movements), being committee for local events…

Morning walk in shades of trees!
Morning walk in a REAL jungle!

In the last two weekends, I’ve been cooking with some of my friends here. I was SUPER SCARED of cooking when I was still in high school / university, but it changed when I had to live alone working in Jakarta last year. I wasn’t even sure of my cooking ability but I managed to cook tasty Chinese food, fruit punch, chocolate muffin, etc. Now the skill’s revived again! 😀

The Drilling & Completion girls with their proudly made dishes. We made Nasi Liwet, Indonesian-style fried chicken, tempe, tahu, red spinach, and sambal! 😀


On the work itself?

More than a dozen people have expressed their disagreement on me working in the field or even in an oil company. They say that I’d better go to consulting. I know, I know, but…

I don’t have >3.5 cGPA, end of story.

I’ll keep the reasons (of choosing oil & gas career) personal, won’t spill the details here. I won’t say that I really enjoy working in the field, in fact, it takes a lot of guts and strengthened motivation and constant reminder of “I’m working for the things, the plans, the people bigger and greater than myself”. Being educated as a chemical/process engineer, petroleum engineering is surprisingly not that complicated. IMHO, it’s very practical, the hardest thing is to imagine the operations that happen thousands of feet underground. And to memorize all these new terms and tools, which is a lot!

My first visit. To.... Bangko and Balam. Hundreds of kilometres away from Duri.
My first field visit. To…. Bangko and Balam. Hundreds of kilometres away from Duri.

Another challenging thing is human interaction. I’ve taken the E-Color test resulting in Green/Blue, a systematically sensitive person who loves planning, paying attention to details, and rather dislikes sudden changes/surprises. Not exactly in line with the dynamics of field operation and managing significantly older, more experienced blue collar workers… as I’m not that “tough” when dealing with people. I think I need to adjust that. Being a woman itself has been a challenge — seen as weaker and not as capable as men, especially here — now I have to also increase my pace and be this unbeatable manager on the field. I know it’s not easy so please do pray for me!!


Hello from the rig!


What’s next?

Everybody knows that I’m a die-hard planner. I want everything to be managed smoothly and predictably, but at this point of time, it’s so hard to know exactly what will happen next. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the drama of 2014, it’s accepting the fact that change is the only constant. I did surrender to total uncertainty back then when I chose NL, and it turned out to be negative. So what I do now is keep on making more and more back up plans. It’s crazy, but I don’t know what else I can do with so many things sprawling and sprouting.

And don’t ask me anything about marriage, please. I’m this single girl who has just broken up 3 months ago because of illogical, primordial reason that I still don’t understand. Urgh. 

So, for now, au revoir! 🙂

p.s. I’m keen on improving my French, any recommended books to learn?