Legitly Being TKI & TKW

Dear My Fellows… Let’s share our stories of being an immigrant. So in Indonesia, TKI (Tenaga Kerja Indonesia ) and TKW ( Tenaga Kerja Wanita ) are two terms which being used in to describe Indonesian workers who work overseas. The later term is specific to be used for those whose gender is female. So, yes i am was both since I worked in Malaysia for around 2 years ++.

Here is the situation, those two terms are used mainly to describe informal workers so be careful when you use it as it may nudge certain people. I am prone to being miss understood because of my physique so somehow i kind of accepting it. LOL.

Anyway, the administration process for me was quite good. Perhaps because my company took care of it for me. In general these are the process.

  • Get a JOB first before you apply. It is a hustle to get it by yourself so i would recommend to discuss it with your employer.
  • Understand that there are different types of employment pass based on certain job criteria.
  • Complete the documents required. For me it was : CV, Graduation Certificate, Passport, Photo, Employment Letter, Residential information.
  • I need to make a trip to Malaysia to complete the submission. They will take away your passport for a while. Mine took around a week.

It may be more for you, since some of the other documents and process was directly taken care of by my company. After the waiting time, there i have it.. One employment pass stamped on my passport. Honestly, now writing this made me wanting another one. Wooopsss.. 😛

But for now, i will let you have a look for my first stamp. Once you got it, you will become a tax payer so no more tax return will be given. You will need to renew it when you change your passport or when the expiration date has been reached. Please be careful with these as you will have problem with immigration if you miss it and might be banned to enter Malaysia.

Oh, and one more.. when i got this pass i also have a card named i-KAD. I love that card for it gave me the ease of entering / getting out from Malaysia Immigration. You will be considered somehow the same as Malaysian citizen. The immigration has dedicated line for you which queue usually short. Other thing about this pass, you can register yourself so that you could use the E-Gate. awesome right? so don’t forget to do it.

I wish you being inspired and motivated if you aspire to become a TKI just like me. Let’s shape and build a good reputation of Indonesian Worker!



Another New Year Story

Living in Kuala Lumpur and having Chinese friends made me realise how important Chinese New Year is. This is the time of the year where everyone tried to gather around with their family. Never really been in touch with the festivity beforehand, i couldn’t help myself to be awed by one of the culture which is to have a reunion dinner. It’s an event on CNY Eve where all the family members gather together and eat. Perhaps, it’s like a Thanksgiving or Eid in some sort of way. Imagine the movement especially in China. Billion of people moving together during the same time.

Other than all of that. It’s also a festive season with all of the attractions and shall i say, food? Now, I couldn’t help myself to think about all of the oranges and Yee Sang during this time of the year. And uh oh.. who can skip the lantern in the temples. 🙂

let me share with you some of the sneak peek..

Penang – Kek Lok Si Temple

It was some sort of an unplanned trip to Penang but My friends an i made it. We went on the CNY day itself and the road was okay. For me, the highlight of this trip was Kek Lok Si temple. The temple was lit by all of the lantern and was so beautiful. Perhaps, it will be even more meaningful if you go there to pray as well. If you would like to see other temple please see my writing here.

Yee Sang

So apparently this is something that has been practiced in Malaysia and Singapore. It’s basically a mix of veggies, protein, crackers, etc. You should mix it using your chopstick and toss it as high as you can while shouting your wish for the year. Some say the higher you toss it then the chance of your wish to come true will be higher. Don’t worry you will only need to use a big plate to accommodate the food when it falls back then you can enjoy the good mix with whoever you had the yee sang with.


Now, all of these nostalgia made me thinking that it’s gonna be another Chinese New Year soon. May you be able to meet your family and enjoy your time with your loved ones.

Let me also use this chance to wish all of you a Happy New Year of 2019. May this year be a good year for all of us with a lot of happiness coming to our life.

Wish you were here to spice up !

Cheers! 😉


Becoming a Dreamcatcher


A small hoop containing a horsehair mesh, or a similar construction of string or yarn, decorated with feathers and beads, believed to give its owner good dreams. Dreamcatchers were originally made by North American Indians. – Oxford dictionary

I was intrigued by this little thing called dreamcatcher after reading a novel. There was no google at that time  ( *gulp* now i feel old ) so i could only imagine how it looks like by reading or seeing some illustration from books..one after another.  Dreamcatcher was uncommon in a place where i come from. Hence, i could just seeing it from afar wanting to own it one day. LOL. Now, i sound too dramatic.

I finally  met my first dreamcatcher last year. It is a dreamcatcher necklace. I found it in a dream catcher shop in Thailand. a lil’ story for you, I had a chance to talk with the owner. He’s Japanese who is living in Thailand.  He told me a story that he couldn’t weave a dream catcher. All of the items in the shop was weaved by local. He just gave them the design. Aha! he’s the designer. Some of the following dream catcher in my pic are his. 😉

Cutting the long story short, ever since, it becomes a habit to bring one dream catcher along when i am travelling. I like the magical feeling when i have it in my hand. When i have it, it really feels as if i am catching and harnessing the dreams. At the very least, one of my dream to travel the worlds. As childish as it might sound, every time i look into the necklace i feel like i catch the dreams which made me feel like becoming a “Dream Catcher”.

For me, a dream catcher is not only a thing. It could be a person who is passionate in achieving their dream. i want to be one of them. It’s a symbolisation of how i think a life should be live in. Dare to dream and dare to make it comes true…and here i am wishing you were here and be part of my dream(s). Who knows when our way will criss cross  each other?

Cheers..! 😉

Comin’ up –  wait for the travel experiences!





Planning How to Live a Life

Happy New Year! 😉  Here comes the time of the year where people usually start the “RESOLUTION” or a “LIFE PLAN” to become the better version of themselves. Here i am wanting to share with you the journey that i have with mine.

The Uptight Me

Have you every heard about plan your life goal for the next 20, 10, 5, 3, and 1 year? years back, I used to be a follower of this type of planning. I set up my Ultimate Life Goal and i cascaded them into two categories :

  1. Personal : Family, Friends, and Travelling
  2.  Professional : Skills and Career.

Then, believe it or not i took the plan and madee a financial planning too. That was how determined i was about all of these. *gulp* So, yep. if you have ever been in a job interview, questions like how do i see myself in the next 5 or 10 years didn’t freak me out. I used to feel i had the world on my hand. Oh dear.. young naive me.

The Little Less Uptight Version of me today..

Life doesn’t always give us lemon. I had to drank my bitter pills too and that has changed my life and me as a person. I threw the plan out of the window with only one goal : Self Recollection. I let life flows and hey, i found it’s not as bad as i thought it would be.  Afterwards, the goal transform into  Being Happy.  I become more carefree. I take a break, enjoy the moment, eat good food, getting a better sleep and exercise, do what i want to do instead just planning / wanting to do it.

Yet after, I realised that my  old 5 years plan still come true though i threw it halfway. It scares the hell out of me. It makes me think “do i still walk in the path unconsciously?”  – Maybe. I am grateful yet anxious but let’s make a truce with life. It was another moment of realisation for me that by  not having a plan i actually made myself unbalance. I concentrated too much on some items and losing grip for the rest.

So, for this year, this is what i would like to do :

  1. Starting my life plan and set up goals ( again ) for the next 5 – 10 years but not as tedious as i did years ago. Looking back, The amount of detail was scary. I will also put more personal goals related with my hobbies or whatever it is that i found makes me happy
  2. Adjust the GODDAMN PLAN! breathe and enjoy the moment. the world not going to end because of it. It’s fine not to achieve as much as being happy and healthy is equally important. Well, when you cross a wish list / achieve something but feeling unhappy you know that you need to change. be brave.
  3. Making a wishlist with bigger time frame e.g. before 50 or 70. Tight time frame made me stressed out.

In the end it’s a bout having a life balance for me. Once, i was a sprinter in life i forgot to take a look at my surroundings and it cost me a lot. Now, let’s pace it better with combination of walk, jog, run, sprint, and rest. I am getting older anyhow. xD

Wish you were here to help me getting through all of this. Cheers! 😉

My One Two Cents – Using Credit Card As A Beginner

Moving to another country exposes me to a lot of new thing. One of it is the magical item named Credit Card. Well, it’s a common item but really i have never had one, not until i had to move.  It was because i was raised in an environment where we have been taught to pay everything in cash. in a sense that : we shouldn’t owe money to someone else and to live according to our income.  However, things change  and i will need one anyhow thanks to all On-Line transactions.

When i got here, this is where i realise things are different. On the early days,  I have my credit card but i still use my debit card. Then, i discover there is a PayWave method where you will only need to ‘wave’ your card on the reader and that’s it. It’s convenient but i am insecure. 😛 Hence, i started to use my credit card cause at least with that you can report fraud, etc.  Note that PayWave has its limit and it’s actually not much especially when you use it in Europe. Conversion to Euro makes the PayWave limit looks like…a grain of sand on the beach. Long story short, my credit card bill starts to pile up and here comes some learnings.

Paying minimum amount

Never ever done this. For a short period i was like black out and forgetting that paying minimum amount will result on penalties. In the end you will pay more. Geez! i regret it so much. You could get whole lot other things instead of paying the penalties.  My advise is that pay your transactions within 1 – 2 Days when it’s charged to the card. If it’s not possible choose 2 dates where you should pay the bills. The penalty will be imposed for transactions which is more than 30 Days. Thus, dividing the payment into 2 period will be a saver way in my opinion.

Using Installment

This one probably still on 50:50 basis either to do or not to do. For me, i will avoid this as much as possible. I did it once and only by then i realised it consume the credit limit. It was troublesome for the subsequent purchase. In the end i ask the bank to charge in lump. LOL. I was a novice user.  Now, what i do is pay everything then if i need to make it on installment basis i manage it manually on my end when i seperate the expenses on my own note.

Credit Card Points and Other Special Offer

This is a plus side of having a credit card. You collect points along the way which you could redeem for other items. Other than that credit card has its own merit when come to special offer in participating merchants. check it when you make your payment.

All in all, i think using credit card is not bad as long as you pay your bill on time and you don’t overspend. It’s convenient and when you travel a lot it will ease lots of things although sometimes i want to cry a river when i pay the bills –> isn’t it a part of growing up that we detest?

Wish you have a better experience than i am. Cheers! 😉

The Science Behind Ordering Tea in Malaysia

Sipping my cuppa in these past few days has flown me back to my early days living in Malaysia. For those who wonder : Indonesia and Malaysia are located very near to each other.  somehow,  seeing the physical appearance and knowing the culture, you will think that these two countries are very similar with each other. But hey, how it was wrong! One of the example is about the “tea” we call it “teh” in the local language.

In Indonesia, when you order a tea, you will be served with a black tea + sugar and that’s what i expect when i got here. I ordered tea then… TADA…! What i had was Milk Tea that was super sweet. >_<  Day after, i asked my colleagues and these are what they have told me :

  1. Teh = Tea + Milk ( condensed Milk )
  2. Teh C = Tea + Milk ( evaporated Milk )
  3. Teh O = Tea + Sugar
  4. Teh O Kosong = black tea with neither sugar nor milk
  5. Teh tarik = Pull tea? haha.. they will pull the tea in between of two cups to mix and cool it down. personally, the taste of Teh and Teh Tarik are very different for my palate. I like Teh tarik better than Teh. It’ll be slightly foamy and i love foamy texture! :9
  6. Ais = Cold
  7. Suam = Lukewarm
  8. Kurang Manis = Less Sugar.

When i head them i was like.. What? On the other hand they ask me, “You don’t have it?”. I shooked my head. Tea tradition in Indonesia is quite simple or is it me who doesn’t know? most probably the 2nd. 😛

in general, Indonesian don’t really drink tea + milk which then bring me to the other side of the story when my friend visited Indonesia for the first time last year. They didn’t understand why :

  1. Most of the tea that they ordered came in Jasmine Flavour
  2. When they ask for tea they have been given “Teh O”
  3. When they ask for Milk Tea which is equal to ( teh susu)  they have been given 1 glass of Tea ( teh ) and  1 glass of Milk (susu). This story like smack me on my forehead!LOL.  =)))) Don’t get us wrong. My friend ordered it at the small stall. in a middle or high end restaurant/caffee they will know.

Seeing these two sides was interesting for me. Over the time when my Indonesian friend visited Malaysia they will shared with me in surprise. “You know what i ordered TEA and they served me a MILK TEA?!” I can’t help myself but chuckling. Been there done that.

Isn’t it amazing? how similar and how different we are? I am kind of enjoying any difference that i found over the time in any country that i visit.  Keep your mind open and hopefully you are able to get your desired type of tea!

Wish you were here so that we could talk over a cuppa. Cheers! 😉

My First 5 KM – KL Music Run 2016


Once upon a time story, there was a couch potato girl who wanted to change for a better. She started to work out regularly and gaining some confidence in physical activities. Here she was…finding herself in a Fun Run Event!

This is another overdue story, that i was suppose to write a year ago. haha.. 😀

Okay, first of all. i had some injuries years ago so my knee and ankle are not as good as they are suppose to be. Nearing end of 2015, I started to train myself and somehow ended up joining this RUN! It was a fun run with 5KM range. at that time, I thought to myself, “hey! i could do it” so i signed up for it.

It was pretty basic process to join : sign up and pay the fee. You will get a receipt for a kit collection. The basic kit comes in a small cloth bag. It consists of a tshirt, head scarf / Bandana, and rubber wrist band. this is all to be used on the DAY!

KL Music Run 2016 was held at Sepang Circuit. The run itself divided into several parts where in each part they will play music based on theme. I think the length for each parts was around 1 KM each. We had : Rock, Pop, Old School, Hip Hop, and Dance. You could vote for the songs to be played in each part through their website. In which “hit” me a bit when i saw Avril Lavigne – sk8r boi was in OLD SCHOOL LIST. OH NO!!!!! it was one of the biggest hit during my teen years yet now it’s old school. hiks. Anyhow, i kept on running while keeping my tears inside when i heard the song in the Old School section. *wipe*

During the run time, i realised why people call such run as a fun run. It was not a competition so you could setup your own pace. It was crowded so anyhow you can’t really run in fast pace. The other thing was the attire. we had the same t-shirt but basically you could accessorize and wear other stuffs too.  Other than that, Within the section, there were some point of interests where you could see some performances, taking pics, and other group activities. I was caught by a bubble pool and forget my run for sometimes. haha.

However, After all of the obstacles and countless time of stopping by, i could finally see the Light! here comes the finish line! I remembered how I passed the line and being given a medal to finish it. It was great but the thing that matters for me more was the fact how my knee was not screaming after running. it was an achievement and a hard work paid off. all of those sleepy head training times paid off! yeay! please note that 5 KM might not look that much but it was a lot when you have your handicap.

Hold on… Running wasn’t all this event about. There was an aftermath event. They set a stage and had DJ played the music. I like it! i love the songs and the crowd. It was an interesting way to end the activities within the day.

Oh dear.. now, here i am reminiscing the past..wish you were there so we could run together and forget the havoc in our life for a little while! cheers! 😉




Being (Partly) Multilingual For Me…

I’ve grown up in a multilingual environment. When i was able to remember and had an awareness of my surrounding, i have been able to talk mainly in Bahasa Indonesia, partly in Javanese, and very little of English.  At later stage of my life, i picked up other  languages which then help me with my travelling though i am not very good with them.

There are some events regarding ‘foreign’ languages that still very clear for me. For example, I was around 4 years old when i panicked over the phone not knowing how to answer in English properly. I was around 8 years old when people talk in Javanese about how i am not able to communicate in Javanese in front of me. I still remember how uneasy i was since i played dumb at that time. Give me a break, will you? i was still a kid anyway. 😛


However, it doesn’t stop there. The usual case for me now was when i called online taxi. It has happened many times till i give up somehow. The usual conversation would be :

Me (M) : Where are you?

Driver (D) :I am at the pick up point

M: I am at the pick up point. Where are you?

…couple of times later after repetitive and a never ending loop of where are you questions.. we Finally find each other…

D : … ( awkward silence then starting to giggle / laugh )

M : ( thinking to myself what’s wrong)

D: Sorry, but i thought you are a foreigner. I have passed by the place but i was looking for a Causcasian or an American. 

M : Well, i am not local.

D : …. ( another awkward silence ) You are not Malay? 

M : No, i am not. 

And then the conversation will continue on how curious they are on me and my accent. Somehow, they need to be reassured that i spent most of my years in Indonesia and not abroad. 😐

There are couple of others stories but let me stop here for now as actually i just want to write this thing without any proper outline yet. LOL.

Wish you were there so that we could be awkward together!



5 Steps to find My New HOME

First of all Congratulations!! you have made your move! Good Job! now, let’s get it started. Continuing my post here i would like to share with you about what i’ve done in searching for a “nest” and some stories that i had.


#1 – Googling and Making a List

Prior to my departure i did some research online for the place to live in. I asked the people in the new place, asking for some recommendation, and of course googling it. I made a list of :

  • Type : i like to keep my option open so i am pretty up to anything decent. 😀 apartment, condo, landed house, name it.
  • Address
  • PIC Name & how to contact
  • Web link –> where i saw it. Hey, it’s good to have a reference. isn’t it?


#2 – Making appointment

This one is basically just need you to pick up the phone or writing emails. Be ready with many types of response. I learned from my experience that people prefer to rent their place to specific type of person e.g. : Where do you come from, your religion, your type of work, etc. In short, the owners are not always welcome you in a way that you expect them to. What i wanted to highlight is that Keep Your Mind Open and don’t let it bothers you.


#3 – Visiting the Place

Now that you have your appointment, let’s visit the place. For me, i was so grateful with how accomodating my upperlings are. In fact, they made it as my utmost priority so i have an ample time to search my dear lovely home.

Some tips from me that you might want to do as well :

  • Don’t go by yourself.  You need accompany to decide and it’s also for a safety reason.
  • Make list of things that you want to check : Internet, Gas, Electricity, Cleaning, Security, Furnitures, Contract, others stuffs.
  • Explore the surroundings. how is the public transport, the access, neighbours, medical facilities ( in case of emergency )


#4 – Deliberating

Next, here comes the deliberating part. It could diverse from Very Easy to Very Hard. My suggestion is that set your boundaries. You came from afar and you might not be that familiar with the place. Thus, what i could recommend is for you to choose the one which near to your workplace, within your budget, and decent.

Living near to the office is awesome. You cut the travelling time, cost, and stress. It might be slightly more expensive but comparing the price with those 3 benefits i would rather opt for this place. I could do more things and i could sleep longer. Time is a resource that we can’t recuperate so use it wisely.

Within your budget and decent. Keep it as minimal as you could. Hence, as long as it covers  basic necessities then it’s fine. You could coupe with your wishes along the way. One of my limit is : the place has to be easy to be reached by an ambulance. Well, actually this is my mother’s limit that i kinda absorb along the way. You might find it pretty weird but you will get it at some point of your life.


#5 – Sign Off A contract and Closing The Deals with the Others

The Closure. After you set up your mind contact the PIC then come by and sign off the contract. Another thing that i did was contacting those whom i visited but i didn’t choose. The idea was to tell them that i already made a choice but it wasn’t theirs. Anyway, this is not compulsory.


Now, You are Done! Hope you have a great home!



7 Things to Consider Before Moving Abroad

One of my goal in life is to go out of my home country. No, it’s not because i am not proud of becoming the citizen. it’s just an act of finding self and challenging myself to become a better version of me. The “scary” part is that wish came true at the end of 2015. I had the opportunity to continue my career in other country.

I still remember how hard i deliberate at that time. There are a lot of things to consider.I talked with lot of people and i was swayed between going and not going couple of times. For my fellows out there here are my list of 7 Things to consider before you are living abroad. with notes : you like the job & feels comfortable with your new management team.

#1 Family, Your Beloved Ones, and Your Friends

What i would suggest is to talk with your direct family. They are the one who will help you. Your first tier. Try to get their support on your movement.

As for your beloved ones, this is where things could get messy. Now, i realise that this kind of life event is the real test. It’s not about sacrificing one need/dream it’s about working it out together. Please consider it carefully and my best wishes for you. 🙂

Your friends will be there and you will be able to discover a new network. This is where i love how IT contribute on this item. Get yourself a device and get connected. By this point, i believe you could guess that i am a millenial generation.

#2 Your new income vs your current income.

The hard part of this is the currency conversion. What i did was trying to compare in one Currency. Afterwards, please see how big is the increase that you will receive. In this part, really calculate every tiny bits that you have. I might share this in another post ( please wait for it ). in summary, the main part would be :

  • Basic Income : be carefull about the gross / nett.
  • Taxation : Check how is the tax arrangement between your destination and home country. This part is quite a headache
  • Benefit : Pension, health, transportation, and on leave days. it’s so important because you will want to go travel out and go back home at certain times.

Have you seen the increase? keep it in mind first and let’s go to the next point.

#3 Living expenses in the destination country

If you are like me in regards coming from a country that everything is relatively cheap. This will be another moment of realisation of how nice our home is. I usually calculate my necessities in breakdown of :

  • Basic living : housing, food, clothing, health, transportation, communication
  • Leisure : acquiring new skills, travelling, social activities
  • Going back home :  i can’t emphasize enough how important it is. you must put this as one component at least enough to cover once per year even if your company bear a home coming expenses. this is for your safety net.

After you make your calculation, now let’s see how much is your :

new saving : new income – new expenses

How’s the figure now? let’s go to next point.

#4 Incremental Saving

Well, this is where you have to think through. especially if you are still inexperience about moving like i was back then. It’s not about the incremental income, it’s more into the incremental saving. The destination country might come with higher price. Hence, even if you have quite a leap in terms of income, it might not be the same for your saving. If everythings looks good until this point, hey! it looks promising! congrats!

#5 Paperworks

Moving to another country will involve bunch of paperworks. Be sure that the employer or someone could help you on VISA and Working permit. Otherwise, it will be very handfull. If you dream to go, probably you could just prepare in advance these things, i notice some basics :

  • CV – always have it handy and please make it simple 2 pages is enough.
  • Transcript & Graduation Certificate – Get it in English
  • Passport – Scan all pages and update it from time to time.
  • Credit Card – Get one even if you are not thinking of using it. no one share me this.
  • Photos –> well this one is easy. you could just do it later.

#6 Food & Culture

Other thing that you have to think of is about food and culture. Googled it up so that it could minimise your culture shock. Human is amazing in terms of adaptability, but if by reading the stories it’s already demotivating, you might want to skip.

#7 Transportation ( inside & out of the destination country )

You might want to run away at one point of time so it’s very important to check how good the infrastructure is. Kidding. 😛

One of the thing that i would recommend you to avoid is to focus only to commute between home & office when you are living abroad ( or anywhere you live ). You should explore your living environment, get in the public transportation even if you have car. Mingle with the local and try the local way of living will give you a taste of how does it feel like to really living in the country and will help you to adjust yourself better. Chances are you will fall in love until you want to become the citizen or you will not want to come back for long time, so ensure that you have explored the country enough.

as about how to get out of the country, it’s back to point #1. For me, people comes first, be it your family, loved ones, and friends. You are living apart from some of them or even all of them. It will be very good to know how to reach them in case of emergency. I can’t think of how heartbroken i am if i can’t go when it’s needed.

These are my list and i should stop while i can otherwise it will be very long list.  Hope that this sharing could help you! 😉


Triana Mustika Rukmi