On Barbecues and Gifts

DSCF0080

Left to right: Afu, Adi, Sirly, Andika, Me, Iman, Natasha, Pigar, Angga.

The Second Parchment is going to have its first anniversary soon, and to commemorate it, I’ve decided that it needs a bit of a personal touch. After all, that’s why it’s called a personal blog. I will occasionally post writings unrelated to economics, finance, politics, or music.

Last weekend, Natasha and I organized a barbecue party at her apartment. It was a blast. We grilled raw meat and vegetables next to a pool facing the Jakarta skyline, strummed the guitar and sang, threw Iman into the pool (I’m sorry dude), and played this cool game called ‘Heads Up.’ Check it out here. My team lost unfortunately–I guess we just need to read more Wikipedia articles. Anyways, the night didn’t end that quick. Inspired from a ‘Secret Santa’ tradition I first experienced at NYU Abu Dhabi, I told each of the people on the photo to bring a wrapped gift (by ‘wrapped’ I mean wrapped with used newspapers or plastic bags). The price of the gift brought should be at least Rp 20,000 (approximately $2), to make sure that these people wouldn’t bring anything too random.

I did bring something random though. Andika, unfortunately, got my present. You can see that he’s quite disappointed receiving his abnormally-shaped gift from his insincere smile and awkward handshake below:

DSCF0078His gift is a can full of (edible) chocolate wafers. Probably the cheapest among us all. But hey, food always makes you happy, right?

Irrelevant side notes: 

i. The inaugural SabangMerauke program has officially ended, and it has received positive media attention. I’m happy. The latest one is a 2-minute coverage from Al Jazeera. Stream the clip¬†here. Ayu Kartika Dewi, one of its co-founder who was also my supervisor at the Presidential Unit, will be leaving her post to pursue an MBA degree at Duke University. She’s one of the most inspirational leaders I’ve met out there, and I’m happy that she will be in the States when I’m there as well.

ii. My sister bought this book as an early gift for my birthday. Thanks?