Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tuesdays with Benny (29 April) - Ask and You Shall Receive!

Since I am the Chief Writer of http://www.gratiworld.com/, and I have my own column there (Tuesdays with Benny), I am gonna post my article here as well. Please do support http://www.gratiworld.com/, that's indeed a very nice forum for people who want to learn how to be grateful with their life (not to mention, very cute bunny as its logo :D)

I found it amusing that people, especially Asians quite often don't ask for what they want. And they are wondering why people are not so supportive.

I receive countless of things as the result of simply asking. Last time when I needed some pocket money, I didn’t wait for the money to drop from the sky (although I really wish that will happen.). What I did was... I called a language centre, and I asked them whether they need someone to be their bahasa Indonesia tutor. They didn’t even advertise the position; I was the one who asked for it. Two weeks after that, I started teaching.

I bought a ticket for an event, but unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the event, so I must sell it to someone. I put it on ebay, but no one was interested. Instead of just giving up, I sent some sms-es to my friends who might be interested. As the result, I managed to sell the ticket to my friend. I never knew that he really wanted to go to the event until I asked about that. It was perfectly done by simply... yeah right, asking!

If you read life story of great salespersons, I am sure they will directly or indirectly tell you that their key to success is asking the right questions to the right people. If you noticed great politicians, you will realize that they aren’t afraid to look dumb or humiliated by asking questions. I have never remembered any doctor except this lady. She isn’t the smartest doctor; in fact she is still quite young. However, what impressed me the most is the fact that she asked lots of questions before she decided what medicine I should take.

What is holding you back? Are you the kind of person who never goes on a date because you are too shy to ask a girl out? Are you the kind of students who always have a bad time in library because people beside you make too much noise and you don’t dare to say “Sorry, could you please lower down your voice?” Are you a mediocre salesperson who is loved by your customers but seems to never produce outstanding sales figure just because you are too afraid to ask your customers to buy more from you? Are you a miserable wife who curses your husband everyday instead of just telling him “Honey, we need to talk. We need to save this marriage.”?

If you don’t lose too much by asking, by any means, ask for it. You will never know if your girlfriend of 8 years has been waiting for you to tell her “Please marry me.” You will never know if your boss has some budget to raise your salary. You will never know if your customers want to buy more, but they are simply confused what to buy. You will never know!!

Will you be always successful in getting something you ask? If that’s the case, I would ask Paris Hilton to marry me. NO, sometimes you get what you ask for, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you get some of what you ask for. However, you stand a chance to get it, unlike when you never ask for it at all.

Yes, you will never know, until YOU ASK.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


While lots of NTU students have finished their exam or only have 1 more exam to go, I still have THREE killer modules to go. I started my exam very late, so yeah. Doesn't matter.

I know, studying for 3 super-difficult modules which maybe will never be used anymore for the rest of my life is a bit stupid (coz there's only very little chance I will be working in Engineering field after graduation). ANYWAYS.. I will kill those modules!!!! Yeah!!! (pump my fist to the air while holding Red Bull... Red Bull, you're the best!)

This month has been amazing for my lovely blog. 23 posts in a month, and counting. The best part is... this month is probably, the busiest month in my life so far. Amazing huh? It proves one point... we, human need some kind of platform to release all our stress, our frustration, and our madness.. like this ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Great, feeling happy now. Go back to my study.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

My first experience teaching in a classroom!

I have just come back from teaching bahasa Indonesia - totally tired but completely satisfied.

Yes, this is the first time I teach in a classroom (before this, I gave private tuition). The class is not so big, there are only 9 students in the class... but still that is really a new experience for me, especially when the youngest person in the classroom is the teacher.

How much do I love teaching? It's at least as much as I love chocolate. In my college days, I used to have a whiteboard inside my room, and sometimes, I learned my modules by pretending to teach an imaginary student there :) Then quite often, some of my friends asked me to teach Maths or Physics in my room. I simply LOVE the feeling to be able to share my knowledge. I simply fell in LOVE with teaching at the first sight!

6 years after that, I got the chance to teach in a classroom, and am being paid well. What else could I probably ask?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Asian Dramas are NOT ridiculous!!!!!

Please stop saying that Korean or Taiwanese dramas are ridiculous! THEY ARE NOT!!!

Starting from the ever-famous Meteor Garden (Taiwan), Full House (Korea), My Girl (Korea)... all the way to Romantic Princess (Taiwan) and now It Started With a Kiss (Taiwan).

All the stories can be summarized into:

Love story between a guy and a girl. The man has everything. He is rich, unbelievably handsome, athletic, cool, smart, and successful. The girl is very ordinary. Although there is a much better girl who loves him, the man somehow falling in love with that ordinary girl. They live together happily ever after.


Not at all.

We, men have pride and at least for me, I won't fall for someone who is better than me (be it smarter, more popular, or more successful). That's why, I would definitely prefer a very ordinary girl who always supports me no matter how much success or failure I achieve.

Men need trust, not judgement. We need adoration, not skepticism. We don't want to be part of your life, we want to be YOUR life. Call me insecure, but if that's the case, MOST men are insecure.

I know I am random, but yeah, this is exam period and I should be forgiven.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A closer look of The Best Hotel in the World

There is only one thing that could steal my attention from an interesting book or Maria Sharapova without fail, beautiful architecture.

I LOVE beautiful buildings, be it a house, a hotel, or a museum. I can enjoy a beautiful house for a really long time, from corner to corner. I feel sense of peace and amazement whenever I admire a wonderfully-made building.

It's difficult to talk about beautiful buildings without mentioning Burj Al Arab Hotel (Dubai), which was chosen as The Best Hotel in the world in World Travel Awards 2007. Before you show skepticism "How good can it be???", why not you just enjoy some pictures below.

If you are like me, the ultimate question you will ask is "How Much?"
Well, Spending one night in this 7-star hotel will make you poorer by AED 9250 (equals SGD 3400). As comparison, the best hotel in Singapore, The Ritz-Carlton will "only" charge you SGD 1050 for the same kind of room.

Nothing luxurious comes cheap, indeed.

Imagine a conversation like this in the future.

Guy : "Hey, money can't buy everything. It can buy a house, but not a home"
Girl : "Well, if we have money, at least we can stay at Burj Al Arab Hotel!"
Guy : "....."

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Six Lessons from Sukanto Tanoto, the richest Indonesian

Sukanto Tanoto is the richest Indonesian according to Forbes Magazine, with total net-worth of US$ 3.8 billion. His current business vehicle is Raja Garuda Mas International with its activities ranging from paper, palm oil, construction, and energy business sectors.

What can we learn from him?

1. Ability to spot business opportunity

Mr. Tanoto realized that Indonesia was exporting logs to be converted to plywood in Japan and Taiwan, and then imported back at higher costs. Mr. Tanoto believed that he could process the logs locally. In 1973, he set up RGM to enter the plywood business.

Air Asia, Now Everyone Can Fly...

2. Always under promise and over deliver, not the other way around

He convinced the Minister for Industries to give him a special permit required to build a plywood factory. The factory was completed with 10 months - more than four months ahead of schedule. The minister was impressed, to the point of alerting Indonesia's then-President.

3. The importance of education

Sukanto Tanoto regretted his interrupted formal education. He was aware that English skills and global exposure would be important if he wanted to expand globally. This determination motivated him to learn English word-by-word, using a Chinese-English dictionary against 3 American magazines - Life, Readers' Digest and Newsweek.

With a voracious appetite for more education, he left for Jakarta for business studies in the mid-1970s, when his enterprise had stabilized. Mr. Tanoto went as far as pursuing management courses abroad, from prestigious schools which included INSEAD, Harvard, Wharton, and Carnegie Mellon.

4. Time management is critical to success, know how to utilize spare time

He is also known for maximizing his time in the plane when traveling on business trips reading up on history and economics.

5. Business is not about making money, it's way beyond that.

Mr. Tanoto's pulp & paper company, Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings Limited (APRIL), has a well-planned CSR program and operates based on a simple motto - people, planet and profits.
It is a member of the United Nations Global Compact, which promotes responsible corporate citizenship, the corporate partner of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Champions of the Earth Awards, and is also the only Indonesian company that is a member of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), which is dedicated to sustainable development through economic growth, ecological balance and social progress.

6. Finally, Don't forget to give back to society

Mr. Tanoto and his family have also formed the Tanoto Foundation in 2001, with the aim of helping reduce poverty and advancing human achievement. Working primarily in the areas of education, healthcare and disaster relief, the Foundation makes available scholarships to students, provides honorariums to teachers and upgrades their skills, builds schools and supplies equipment and books as well as providing healthcare in remote areas and rapid response assistance in earthquakes and other natural calamities.

Source: http://www.sukantotanoto.net/

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Friend series: Christian Shandy


- falling in love with DotA to the extreme
- having a triangle relationship with Henry and Ronald. However, after deep thinking and investigation, he decided to be with Henry for the rest of his life (poor Ronald…)
- being my only competitor in weight-loss programme
- love to laugh suddenly without any clear reason


Hang-out place: his room, for playing DotA. Nothing better.

Hobby: You mean beside DotA? He is a pretty good cook.

Makan Place: KFC! And of course, the foods he cooks himself

Foods which he mentioned to be "My Masterpiece"

Song: Some Mandarin songs which he has played for 100 times, one of which has lyrics “I love you…. Yes I do...”


Status: Domestic partnership (oops…)

Henry - Ronald - Shandy, can you sense something? =P

College: Canisius College, an all-boy school (Can you start to connect the dots?)


- Everytime I receive the holy communion, I feel very happy…………. (pause) … because I know the mass is ending very soon (after we come back from a Catholic mass)

- OH MY GOD. The food is excellent, I got talent (everytime he eats the food he cooks himself)

My Friend series: Inge Setianti Wibowo

Inge - Yulia, together forever


- always have lots of food in her room, from crackers to chocolate
- her “relationship” with Ronald Haryanto, which I shall explain in the later part
- always be together with Yulia everywhere they go


Hang-out place: Hong Kong, some cool malls and cafes (yes, same with Yulia, bcoz they are always together)

Hobby: lion-dancing, watch badminton and football matches via online streaming

Football team: Manchester United

Sport: basketball, swimming (she beat all the guys in her training center when she was a kid)


Status: single, available, eligible

Hometown: Mojokerto (which is famous for having so many “good” singers like Indonesian Idol’s Si Macan Dari Mojokerto)


Any sentence that negates everything Ronald Haryanto said. Period.

My Friend series: Yulia Tudy (a.k.a Mbak Yul)


- “jayus”ness (an Indonesian word to call someone who like to tell lame jokes)
- powerful eating capacity, which sometimes can beat men.
- her MSN status which is always “busy”


Hang-out place: Hong Kong, some cool malls and cafes

Makan place: Waraku, or any buffet restaurant to satisfy her eating habit (scary eh?)

Music: Jay Chou forever

Sport: badminton, jogging, basketball, swimming (she is good at all of those, not bad huh..)


Status: single, available, eligible, high demand - low supply (??)

Hometown: Jakarta


- I don’t care whether the movie is good or not. What I do care is… it’s Jay Chou’s. (after we watched Kungfu Dunk)
- (hundreds of lame jokes which are not searchable using Google)

My Friend series: Ronald Haryanto (a.k.a Mami or Mommy)

In my previous posts, I very seldom mentioned the name of my friends, and only refer them as "my friends". In this post and some other in the future, why not I introduce to you some of my closest friends (so you can guess why I always feel that I am the luckiest guy alive!)

Starting with this one,

7 years ago



- his pennywise nature
- his organizational skill even to smallest details (he will make a TERRIFIC travel agent)
- taking so many subjects every single semester, and still do well.


Hang-out place: A paradise called Johor Bahru, especially Jusco mall

Food: anything made of tofu, nasi lemak

Makan place: Boon Lay nasi lemak, Teck Sing at Johor Bahru, soya bean stall near Raffles, Japanese food sometimes

Music: country (especially by Tantowi Yahya), oldies

Sport: Swimming (he is pretty good at it.)

TV programme: sinetron (Indonesia's soap opera)

Birthday present: anything usable and functional (yes, all men like that!)

Status: single, available, and eligible

Hometown: Purwokerto (somewhere at Central Java, Indonesia, famous for its maids =P)


- I swear that I won’t eat at canteen 13 forever! (after the Chinese food stall charged him 20 cents more than usual)
- It’s a pity that I only managed to complete 199 AUs, 1 less to reach 200 (By the way, 199 is a few tens more than the requirements)
- My room IS NOT a printing station! (He complained after many people including myself print our stuffs using his printer)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My blog was quoted in The Sunday Times!

Yup, it was in The Sunday Times (Sunday edition of The Straits Times) today (April 13, 2008) page 28 ("Think" section). Click the picture to enlarge it.

"I don’t know whether the newspaper is objective while judging the matter. Assuming it’s objective, I must say, Ronald Susilo is a good man. He is talented, ambitious, smart, rich, romantic, gentle, good-looking, sincere, and honest. Maybe his biggest flaw is... he dated the wrong girl."

which is taken from this post.

If you happen to be Ronald Susilo, you don't need to thank me for saying good things about you (which I believe to be true). However, I would be extremely glad if you could teach me how to improve my badminton skill.. haha... Don't worry, there is no way I could overtake you as Singapore #1 badminton player (I don't have the body, the stamina, nor the patience for that... or put it simply, no talent lah :D)

Ronald, I wish you good luck for the upcoming Beijing Olympics. May you win a medal for Singapore! :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins in Writing a Resume!

1. Using too much secretive language

I was elected as one of the most important people in one of, if I am not wrong, the biggest organizations in my school, which is one of the best schools in this country.

(What's so difficult with mentioning the name of your title, organization and school?)

2. Writing a lot of competencies which are not important

I can dance salsa, cook nasi lemak, spell the alphabets backward, brush my teeth with either hand, and play badminton with one eye closed.

(SO WHAT????)

3. Using informal language

I raised $29,999.99 (minus tax lah of coz...) for my school (pretty impressive huh?)

4. Too dramatic

And you know what! At the end of my speech, everybody was bursting in tears and told me "You save my life!" I was SOOOOOOOOO touched! MY GOSHH!!

5. Think too highly of ourselves

I believe you don't want to make a mistake by not hiring the best employee you will EVER get. I repeat, the BEST employee you will EVER get.

6. Too many words

In this fast-changing, highly globalized, and revolutionary world, you will definitely need somebody who is able to stand up fast and straight with courage and determination, and I, hereby, with proud and dignity, admit, I am that person.

(I don't know what I am talking about)

and the best of all....

7. Inappropriate Photo

NO, don't put a photo like this

even if you are as handsome as David Beckham

or even if you are more handsome than David Beckham

The last one is not bad! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

I am gonna wear Glasses very soon! *sad sad*

OH NO. I can't imagine myself wearing glasses, no matter how cool it is.

Meaning to say, I would be the first one out of my parents' children (a cool way to say siblings) who wear glasses.

*) Please forgive my limited computer skill

Still very handsome. I don't care! =P

Man Utd will Win the Champions League!

No, I am not Man Utd fan. I only love Juventus for my whole life. However, I think Man Utd has got what it takes (and more) to grab Champions League trophy this year.

They have the best coach in the world (as long as Mourinho is still unemployed), the best player in this planet (Yes, that Christiano Ronaldo, who else?), and they have very good momentum at the moment.

Barcelona is definitely a very strong team, but it is not as strong as 2 years ago. No doubt this match is gonna be very interesting. However, Man Utd is more consistent and I bet it will trash the spaniards comfortably.

Ronaldinho is an evidence that.. In life, talent is not everything. You need good luck also :)

As for Chelsea versus Liverpool (for the third time in the last 4 years.. boring!), I would bet on Chelsea. The reason? NO team... I repeat... NO TEAM would be willing to be trashed by the same team 3 times in a row. Although Frank Lampard mentioned that this match is not gonna be a revenge, I doubt he meant what he said. What's wrong with revenge? In sport, that is one of the best motivators a team could ever have.

So, Man Utd versus Chelsea in the final, and Man Utd is gonna win.


However, I think Chelsea won't end this season with nothing. They are going to grab EPL title instead. Although I wrote in this post that Chelsea is not going to win anything after Mourinho left, I think I made a mistake. No wonder people say that Israeli are the smartest people in the world. Avram Grant has done excellent work.

My calculation? Arsenal will at least get 1 point when they travel to Old Trafford, and Man Utd will lose to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. So, Chelsea is the EPL winner. Arsenal can try again next year, or next next, or next next next. :)

Italian League

For Serie A, there is no doubt... Inter Milan will win. They are fantastic this year. Roma will be the runner-up and Juventus will be in the third position (not bad for a team which just come back from serie B). I think AC Milan will still qualify for Champions League next session despite their poor performance this season... although I would LOVE to see them playing at UEFA cup. HAHAHAHAHAHA. *evil laugh*

Gigi Buffon.. World Cup, Champions League trophy next.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Number of Readers in my Blog skyrockets because of My 22nd Birthday!

Yes, from the average of 20 plus readers daily to about 70 per day, which makes my rating to be a cool 4 stars.

Well, the ultimate question is.. SO WHAT?

Yup, it's not important. It's never occured in my mind to be popular by writing a blog. No, as I mentioned in some posts ago, I am not interested to be popular, I am only interested to be right.

Two years plus blogging, I really hope I influence my readers in a positive way, no matter how few they are. That's not the most important purpose, that's the only one.

Green Tea and its Benefits

I love green tea and any product associated with it like green tea ice cream, green tea soya milk, and green tea cake (that's why, my friends presented me with that cake for my birthday).

I know green tea is good for health, it contains antioxidants which can help prevent cancer and ageing. It's also good for weight-loss.

However, I don't know that green tea is actually not only good - IT IS AMAZING (according to this source)

- It is good for heart. It will lessen the chance of getting heart attack and heart disease

- It can prevent cardiovascular disease

- Lowers the chance of getting atherosclerosis (don't ask me what's this, ask Mr Google will ya?)

- Prevents blood clots

- Minimizes brain damage after stroke

- Helps prevent hypertension

- Protects against cancer (ovarian cancer, breast cancer, etc)

- Reduces cholesterol level

Green Tea is one of the drinks which can be consumed both hot or cold, or even lukewarm. It contains only 1/3 in caffeine compared to coffee, so drinking a few cups of it won't make you wake up the whole night. However, if you have a bit of insomnia problem, try to limit your consumption by maximum 3 cups a day.

And.. good news for those budget-conscious people is... green tea is very inexpensive. Buying a box which contains 50 bags of green tea will only make you $6 to $10 poorer.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tuesdays with Benny (8 April 2008) - Are You a Simon Cowell or an Ellen DeGeneres?

Since I am the Chief Writer of http://www.gratiworld.com/, and I have my own column there (Tuesdays with Benny), I am gonna post my article here as well. Please do support http://www.gratiworld.com/, that's indeed a very nice forum for people who want to learn how to be grateful with their life (not to mention, very cute bunny as its logo :D)

I love to watch both American Idol and Ellen DeGeneres Show, but for different reason. I watch American Idol because I love to watch so many talented people sing one after another in one stage.

Although many people said American Idol is not going to be that interesting without Simon Cowell there, I beg to differ. We all know how mean he is when giving comment. I still remember one time when he said to one participant “I think you are the worst singer in the universe.” or when he told William Hung “You can’t sing. You can’t dance. So what do you want me to say?” – Ouch.

Ellen is smart, funny, compassionate, and her ability to relate to her audience is just amazing. In one episode, when Ellen invited three students who “invent” a useful device, I must say, nothing special with those inventions. However, instead of telling them “You’ve got no talent, you better learn how to cook instead”, she told them “Those are interesting inventions, you’ve got talent”

What do we prefer? Not all of us can sing as fine as Christina Aguilera, and not all of us can play soccer like Christiano Ronaldo – so we don’t need someone telling us straight in our face “If your voice was a movie, it would be Scary Movie.” Why not encouraging us instead by telling “I know that you have put so much effort in that song, and your spirit just flows through”? Can’t we find something positive about someone or something? Can’t we?

Thomas Alva Edison is one of the greatest inventors of all time, with light-bulb as one of his inventions. However, do you know that his teacher once labelled him as “slow learner” and he dropped out from school? Fortunately, Edison’s mother just couldn’t buy into that thing. She refused to believe that Edison was stupid. Instead, she told Edison that she believed in him and she decided to home-teach Edison. The rest is history.

We all need some kind of encouragement, especially when we have put hours to our work. Countless number of workers in this planet quit their job every single year not because of the lack of money, nor because their job is too tiring. They quit because their boss never give them some kind of encouragement.

Have you given encouragement today? Do you want to be a Simon Cowell or an Ellen DeGeneres?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Music of my life

I can enjoy almost all kind of music from solitude, instrumental, pop, rock, jazz, country, blues, RnB, until heavy metal.

However, what kind of music I listen depends on my mood.

When I am happy, I would listen to medium-speed pop music, RnB, or Jazz.

When I am a bit melancholic, I would listen to blues, solitude, or slow instrumental. After I feel better, I would switch to Jazz (my favourite) or country.

When I am angry, rock and heavy metal are my choices. That can reduce my anger by a bit, and it's better than saying the F-word 100 times (and morally more correct also)

How to feel like high-class people without having to go to Maldive?

Listen to Jazz music in the evening while enjoying a nice cup of tea (preferably brewed, not instant tea). Try it!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

My 22nd Birthday!

This morning when I woke up, I still couldn't believe that the person I saw in the mirror is a twenty-two year old guy... I still remembered very clearly my sweet 17th birthday not so long ago, and now I am 5 years older than that time. Time flies really fast... really, really fast.

I celebrated this year's birthday with some of my closest friends at TCC (The Coffee Connoisseur) at Bugis Junction. Having done research yesterday for some hours, I was convinced that TCC is one of the best cafes in Singapore. And I testify that it is right.

Yes, here we are, six of us (from left: myself, Ronald, Henry, Shandy, Yulia, and Inge). Four single, available, and eligible bachelors. Two single, available, and eligible bachelorettes. How cool is that? :D

I thought we were going to take photo together again after the foods were being served, but I guess we were too hungry to remember that!

Yup, this is the birthday boy, a 22-year old me (the oldest among us)

Yes, ME again with a glass of Rose Juliet (not my drink, just pose with it.. bcoz it looks pretty :D)

The drinks: Rose Juliet, Mocha Villa, Mighty Joe Young (my choice, the best of all), Hazelnut Frappe


- Tofu Beef Panini

Very nice, the beef is extremely tasty. The sauce is just perfect.

- Bulgogi Beef Steak

The salad and the beef is very fresh and tasty.

- TCC Kahlua Salmon (my choice)
The salmon is fresh and tender, the mashed potato is quite creamy (not the best, but still nice).

- Seafood Aglio Olio

The best, if you like spicy stuff...

- Garlic Chicken Spaghetti

Simple, but fresh and nice. The chicken is very well-cooked.

- Salmon & Prawn Linguine

I must say, nothing special except that it's quite creamy and fresh.

Here I am, taking a pose with my birthday cake..

I didn't prepare the cake. That's a very nice surprise prepared by my friends... So sweet! I am SOOOO lucky to have the best friends in the world.

With so many friends (and definitely my family members) saying happy birthday, I feel that I am the luckiest guy alive.


- Graduate from NTU with good mark

- Finding a job I would be excited to go every morning

- Make more friends

- Find "that special someone"

PEOPLE, I am TWENTY-TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!