A café staff in Senayan, Jakarta

Before joining Automattic, I was a lecturer + staff in my university (my alumni) on our R&D department, specifically, on Case Studies Development.

One time, my manager asked me to have out-of-office meeting/1:1 meeting. It was end of the academic year, and we ramped up our case studies process (contacting the writers, coordinating with the Research Assistants, editing and proof-reading, etc) and the tensions were all-time high. I mentioned “out-of-office” because my manager looked at the chaos on the room and she went “nope” in a heartbeat.

“I need coffee, I need food, and I need to get the hell out of here. You in?”

“Say no more; Imma pack my laptop.”

So we went to this café in a mall next to our university building, and the service staff greeted us outside.

You won’t believe what happened next

The staff looked at us, looked at my manager, looked at me, and suddenly quipped, “mbak gede banget.”

In English, it means, “you are big.”

Okay. Okay. I know what some of you all going to think.

I never seen someone shut their mouth that fast with life force drained out of him.

Now. I wasn’t mad. At all. Even as I remembering it right now, it makes me laughing. It’s just so comical, you know? The quip and the instant regret following it.

At that time, I replied with, “wah, mas seringnya liat yang kurus-kurus ya?” then I walked inside.

In English, “whoa. It seems like you always see the skinny ones?”

I legit had no other intentions when I replied that. I wasn’t mad at all. It was a reflex.

I can’t blame the staff, though. I mean, maybe that’s what happened! The café is on an upscale shopping mall in a lifestyle and business district (it’s in Senayan, South Jakarta,) so the view of good-looking skinny folks are really common.

Then, ta-da, an outlier popping in.

I’m big-bodied, yep. And it got even more so after I got pregnant and birthed Wira. My shoulder is wide, thanks to swimming lessons when I was in the elementary years, and I always been the tallest one in school.

Before you asked; no, I’m terrible at basketball and volleyball. I always opt for individual sport such as athletic (and even that, I’m not super good at it.)

I’m wondering how he is doing today. I hope he’s doing alright.



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