the 500 pound gorilla just entered Indonesia’s corn chips market: Welcome, Doritos!

Snacking is Indonesians’ past time favourites. We affectionately call the savoury snacks as “MSG” (because we know they are not healthy, but delicious and addictive).

At my office, one of our team member usually buys a bag of corn chips to be eaten shamelessly together at 3 PM. And I am one of the most frequent buyer, I usually shout-out “hey, wanna some MSG?”

In Indonesia, we have a variety of locally known savoury snacks to choose from. The most well known brand is Chitato from indofood. It is generally sold in 70 gram package for about rp. 11,000 (about $0.9)

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however lately it seems the local producers have shifted their attention to the underdeveloped tortilla corn-chips market. This market has been for longtime, dominated by one brand: happy-tos produced by PT Sinar Kencana Brand. Is the taste bad? NO I don’t think so, it a quality products. The crunchiness is just right and the flavour is not bad too. However there is a problem: there are not enough flavours in the market. So yeah, I still remember this product when I first tasted it like decades ago, and it has not changed its package and flavour at all, the boring cheese flavour from your childhood. Gah!

I believe the reason they haven’t been out of the market is because the price is cheap. For the same price, you can buy a package weighted twice from the similar products from potato chips line. I do admit, I bought them occasionally because I could indulge myself more for cheaper price

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Good grief, we only have this brand for tortilla corn chips for 20 years maybe

 

in 2016 however, Acefood entered the tortilla corn chips market with their products, Maitos. They provide two flavours: sweet corn and sambal balado. It seems the products receive good reception from the market, I can see them everywhere on minimarkets’ shelf. Their flavour taste good too, and they have bigger size compared to happytos’ tortillas size

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When I first looked at those crunchy guys, I screamed like “Finally! an alternative!”

 

However, it seems the local corn chips is getting hotter than ever since Indofood fritolay just released the most famous brand of tortilla corn chips in the world: DORITOS. YEAH IT’S HERE EVERYONE.

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DOES ANYONE SAY “DORITOS”?

I remember the first time I ate doritos was during my study in New Zealand like three years (2013). They are among the best corn chips you can find in the market (NZ has better potato chips though…).

From information I got, it seems Indofood launched two flavours: Nacho Cheese and BBQ.

I brought a package for my co-workers on the sunday, and the reaction was hilarious. Their face just told me it was the best news they received this week, and already everyone is looking to buy one at their nearest minimarket, and boo, unfortunately it’s not available yet at the minimarket near our office!

Anyway, it will be interesting how the corn chips market will change after Indofood entered this market. It will probably good for consumers since we finally have more flavour too choose. This is also a prompt for PT Sinar Kencana to diversify the flavour of their products before they lose the chunk of their market.

Like I said, happy-tos is not a bad product, it’s just that it has been there for decades and the producer has been too comfortable in their market share. Would be a shame if they are out of business though, but hope they can revitalize their products after the 500 pound gorilla shakes the indonesian corn chips market.

I am back to stock market

After my epic fail on Indonesia’s stock market few years ago, I finally have enough cash and enough rationality to get back to the stock market. The decision is because my insecurity toward money: I spent my lifesaving to pay a mortgage and my bank doesn’t provide me enough mutual fund products.

Anyway, I split my saving into this:

  • 10 percent (half of your overall savings) into Bucket 1 (retirement).
  • 4 percent (20 percent of your overall savings) into Bucket 2 (specific expenses).
  • 3 percent (15 percent of overall savings) into Bucket 3 (unexpected expenses).
  • 3 percent into Bucket 4 (cyclical expenses).

for beginning I bought this stock:

  • Sucorinvest equity fund
  • UNVR (unilever)

UNVR is already matured and expensive, however it looks stable and definitely is good for a long term growth. A premium stock from a company that is older than Indonesia itself and one of the market leader on FMCG. I don’t see their position is declining soon.

Sucorinvest equity fund got a lot of increase last year because they invested in mining (coal) companies. Honestly I see mining as a sunset industry because the boom of renewable energy. I just hope they can do a good job.

 

 

Will I always be confused about my sexual orientation since I am a bisexual?

My resolution 2017: no more hookup, isolation for self-growth: failed, miserably. Already in this January, I already had a hookup encounters with two guys. One is a politician, and one is an education consultant. Well, both of them didn’t include anal, so I feel like it’s like two horny guys wanted to have a mutual masturbation (note: this is my first encounters after May 2016)

I also meet a very interesting guy. An indian guy who has a position as a fashion director at a local retail fashion chain. At first I prejudiced him as ‘effeminate’ since he’s working in fashion. But no, not really. I think all his gestures are ‘acceptably masculine’. He’s a bit artistic, but I have seen heterosexual musicians exhibited even more flair body language.

But again. and again. After I had those sexual encounters, I keep questioning myself. Is this really what I wanted?

I haven’t watched any homosexual porn for almost month – and hopefully forever. And I also haven’t watched heterosexual porns since, well, almost forever.

Do you know the reason I started watching homosexual porns? It was a tactic to make me “bored” with homosexual sex. I instructed myself 10 years ago, ok, I was aroused with homosexual sex, since I possibly could only marry a woman, and I may end up having sex with one woman for the rest of my life, I should have a foolproof plan that I won’t be bored with heterosexual sex by watched gay porns (almost) exclusively.

So what happened? you can say in the past 10 years, I watched gay porns  almost exclusively, and only few times watched heterosexual porns. I also kinda forced myself to limit heterosexual porn to japanese hentai stuffs, just to make myself avoid heterosexual porn.

Does it work? Well maybe it does. I am now bored with gay porns, and sex with men in general. I swear I have had hookup encounters, but the partner number is probably very very small compared to most people there.

I re-evaluate myself, and here are probably my problems:

  • I could be attracted to guys sexually, because I think sex with guys is erotic. I mean, it’s taboo, so it’s sexy. However, as I encountered how realistic homosexual sex is, I am less and less interested with the gay porns because they are just unrealistic. And it’s no longer erotic because I finally see the truth
  • Now, asian women. Indonesian women actually. Based on this study, only 5% of Indonesian women are sexually active. For guys, it’s 16%. But looking at the number, I received an insight that it’s harder to have sexual encounters with indonesian women.

mix those two elements, and I got a cognitive dissonance. Am I sexually stuck with guys as long as I live in Indonesia?

TBH, at this rate I am starting to see myself as a heterosexual man who committed MSM only because I cannot find a heterosexual sex encounter. But at the same time I don’t want to label myself as a heterosexual guy as well, since I am clearly sexually attracted to guys.

One confusing day for a bisexual.

 

Sleeping with a politician? Uh…

You read it right. Last week I just returned from a week of vacation in Malaysia. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I couldn’t find any hookup. Well I met a 46 years old chinese man. But he only treated me a dinner, which was a shame because I was really hoping we could share a kiss. However, that experience was interesting because I realized that I wasn’t racist. I rarely dated asians because I think they are lacking the quality that I desire, but apparently the qualities I desire are rather complicated, but a mature personality is the most important. That’s why I was charmed by this guy.

Anyway, after I returned to Jakarta, I activated Tinder again, and I was matched with a young bisexual politician that matched with me two years ago. We even shared a BBM contact, but he didn’t remember me (but I do). Well we meet, we hooked up, and it left me wondering how that guy would follow up our contact.

He’s a politician from the political party that I was interested to join too. What a weird coincidence.

Physically speaking, he’s decent. Chubby, 173-cm ish, but he got a scruff which is hot enough for me, and he has an interesting personality. That’s part of the charm. He is a very discreet bisexual though, but since he doesn’t have a girlfriend or wife, people will just start wondering anyway. Dude, are you gay?

Anyway, while that guy is interesting, I am not sure how safe it is for both of us if we are unto something. Anwar Ibrahim had the worst scandal ever, and I will pity this guy if he’s political career over only because he’s a bisexual, and his enemies would probably use it to attack him.

 

2017: The year of my great isolation (maybe)

2016 will be over soon. A lot of things surely have happened this year. Some of them were bad, some of them were good, but in the end, I learned something from those experience in the last one year.

Here are some of the events that affected me personally in the past one year:

  1. I had a big fight with my father. Should have happened sooner or later. We were fighting because of simple things. I retreated to my aunt’s house for a week and reunited with my high school friends who live in that suburb. When I returned, we were cool and continued things as they are. However after that I realized that I no longer wanted to depend on my father (My sim expired, and I couldn’t drive manual car to pass the driving license test – and our family cars are all manual). Thanks to availability of uber, grabcar, I freed myself from dependency, at least partially.
  2. I found what I want from homosexual relationsip. Okay, I have to admit, I love daddy porns because they are incredibly erotic. Ironically, I met a guy who suited all my criteria except body height (he’s 17 cm shorter than me) and incredibly romantic to my irritation. I broke his heart after he visited me for 2 days. I feel guilty till today, but I am grateful that I met him, otherwise I would keep speculating. I think I learned how to distinguish between sexual fantasies and a real homosexual relationship.
  3. LinkedIn works. believe it or not, after 150+ job applications and seeing no prospect of getting employed, after 7 months, I was getting depressed. But somehow I got a job offer from the largest public relations firm in Indonesia, and the rest is history. I found the best environment I ever worked. Salary wise, might be low (at the company) since after all, my position has always been a researcher. Researcher is underpaid in Indonesia.  But my salary is probably higher than market’s price, especially since I am a specialized in qualitative research, not a financial analyst. Getting honorably discharged from my last job taught me not to take this job as granted.
  4. Don’t use steroid cream. Really, don’t. This is probably the most important lesson I learned from the past few months. My skin has been permanently changed since I returned from new zealand. Although I never used steroid cream excessively, but it did affect my skin – by having withdrawal symptoms. While my condition is not as bad as people out there, but the itchiness keep me awake at nights, and it’s torturing. But no matter what happened, I will never use steroid cream again ever.

 

2017 is going to arrive soon. here are some of my goals:

  1. Back to stock market. I have been accumulating saving in the past one year. My plan in the next three year is to have a liquid cash that serve as a “buffer” of my mind (I am getting paranoid if I don’t have money at least NZ$3000), investing my money into stock market (fundamental investor), and if my liquid cash and fundamental investment is stable enough, I will start trading for short term gains in the third year. This time I will be more rational.
  2. Back to isolation. In the past one year, I have been experimenting on dating. I thought my soulmate is somewhere there. I thought I have to be with somebody else to be happy. Not really, I am happy when I meet my old friends and shared the good old times. When I am alone, it doesn’t mean I am lonely, it’s just boring, and I can cope that. Do I even need to seek a soulmate anyway? Maybe not. If I passed away someday without a child, I probably would let my sister or her child keeps my heritage, or maybe give it to my favourite niece in Netherlands. My source of happiness is knowledge and knowing, and do the right things.
  3. Stop looking for random hookups. I have been sexually inactive in the past 7 months ever since I met that man. I thought my experiment is now over. I am still a bisexual, but I won’t be recklessly chasing sexual experience. Aside from the standard danger (STD, HIV, etc), I want to focus on the recovery of my skin which has jeopardised my sleep quality. Everyone says I am now a panda. Which is weird because I love my job, I like my co-workers. It’s not a work-related stress or fatigue, but  it’s probably because of the Steroid Withdrawal Syndrome.

It’s almost 12 PM in Jakarta. good night folks!

Worst week ever? the lactose intolerance disaster

Last sunday, I accidentally met an old friend after watched Yu gi oh darkside dimension. We ate at Sushi-Tei, and went to for a coffee afterward. I ordered a peanut butter sandwich because I thought I still needed some protein.

When I saw how the bread was served, I thought, oh, they added a butter on the top of peanut butter. I told to myself, damn, it’s dangerous, should I eat or should I not eat it? but I haven’t eaten butter in a very long time! I would get a stomach upset in few hours or just in morning I bet. So I ate it.

Later on monday, my co-worker bought a milk ice-cream. Because it was new, I thought to myself, oh well I just ate once, would probably got a stomach upset in the next few hours…

WORST. DECISION. EVER

In the next few days, I have been visiting toilets, maybe for 40 times or more because of stomach upset. I ate some activated attapulgite, but the explosion kept coming. I am literally on my 6th day of diarrhea and decided to visit a physician tomorrow.  I cannot handle it anymore. While the attapulgite had given me a relief, I still feel there is a poison accumulating on my body that need to get rid of, but it still stays there. the worst part is the abdominal pain, the gases created by the diarrhea kept prompt me to go to the toilet, but there is nothing to dump. My shit looked like a shredded carrot, literally. I don’t know what is wrong. I am really glad when the  “real” shit (liquefied) actually popped out, because it means they finally left my body.

After this whole butter and milk incident, I swear to myself to not eating any single butter in my life (or is it the milk?). I was also browsing for lactaid, which sounds like the medicine I really need. But unfortunately I couldn’t find any shop that sells it in Indonesia, and amazon doesn’t ship it internationally either. It’s very depressing.

I wonder if there is any way to buy a lactose enzyme in Indonesia or any shop that sells it with an affordable and fair price?

 

4th November 2016, I could feel fear and hopelessness in Jakarta

Tonight is a very scary night in Jakarta. What happens you ask? A peaceful demo turns into a riot.

To cut the story short, the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama who is well known as “Ahok” created a political blunder when he said that politicians used the surat almaidah 51 to influence the voters to not elect him as  a governor because he’s a christian (and a Chinese).

His statement was recorded and edited out of the context and became viral in the media. The result was ugly. Today in Jakarta, thousand people went to rally to protest him. But really, it’s all part of Jakarta’s election. A lot of politicians don’t like Ahok  because he’s a double minority.

Unfortunately, the peaceful demonstration turned out into riots tonight. While I live in West Jakarta which is quite isolated from the Central Jakarta, the place is heavily populated by the Chinese Indonesian people. I kept reading news to ensure Jakarta is safe because this situation really reminds me to May 1998 riots. One of my friend was stuck for hours at baywalk mall and couldn’t get home, but thankfully as I am writing this, he arrived safely.

However, this situation makes me realize that “safety” as a chinese-indonesians could be only a matter of perception. My Chinese-Indonesian friends, they are all very scared about what’s happening tonight, because the riots turned into anti-chinese riots. You could hear those thugs inciting hatred to the Chinese-Indonesians.

This night is over, but honestly it feels longer than it supposed to be. Tonight I just felt fear and hopelessness, paranoid enough to think that rioters may knock on my doors and maybe attacking my family members mercilessly  just because we are Chinese. Ok, maybe I am over-dramatizing. But a historical trauma is not easy to overcome. Thanks to the social media, it’s really easy to get misinformation, when I read that the rally has turned into riots, I started to be afraid of my own safety. Almost cried actually.

This is probably the longest night in 2016. I just hope tomorrow will be safe for us.