31 December 2009

2009 - Freedom

Last year I wrote that I want to live happily. Yes it is so abstract, but if I compare how many times I was hiding away from the world and crying alone in my room, this year definitely I AM MUCH HAPPIER! Except of being myself, here are some highlights of my 2009.

1. Learning swimming
For 23 years I could not swim and now I can, at least the basic style lah! I've started to love swimming since I did diving last year in Sabang.
2. Traveling
This year I managed to go to Macau and Hong Kong, Malacca, Kota Kinabalu and Brunei, Bali and Lombok.
3. Learning cooking
My resolution about this was actually trying 1 new recipe every week. But it turned out that I only can do 1 new recipe every month. But it is still considering a highlight because I never be interesting in cooking before for the whole my life. Will make it more routine next year.
4. Watching some gigs: Oasis, Lady Gaga and Lenka. Love them all! And there will be more artists I like coming next year such as Backstreet Boys ("aaaaaaarghh!!") and Kings of Convenience.

I don't like to talk about the lowlights actually, so just a short one(*). Except about LDR thing, the lowlights are the feeling of not enough for everything: not enough reading, not enough learning, not enough working, not enough saving, not confident enough. Sometimes it's good being an ambitious person to catch all dreams, but sometimes it's so tiring. I need to learn how to be grateful in some points, and not envy others' life too much. (*so this one you called 'short'?)

What I want to do on next year are very clear. I want to wear bracket (think my teeth got a problem), do lasik, take diving lesson (without r), traveling South East Asia, read 50 books and some other privacy targets. What about yours?

Well the most important thing is being happy. I am happy! This is the best year ever in my life, and I hope I can say that in the end of every year onwards.

P.S. I am writing this on my waiting time of countdown in Marina Bay with the whole family. Happy new year everybody!

Sent via BlackBerry from SingTel!

20 December 2009

The Show

Lenka was here! I'd got the ticket to the shoooow...
I reached the venue on time but it had a long queue to come in. When I was in front of the club 30 minutes later, Lenka had already started singing her first song on that night: Trouble Is A Friend. (Btw apparently there is another cute video of this song in digital puppet show way.)

Lenka performed all songs in her album (with cute backscreen... owl is my favorite!). Plus 2 new songs she made about a boy *winks*, 1 song for her ex-boyfriend (it's kinda sad), her version of Friday I'm in Love (The Cure) and All My Bells Are Ringing for the Christmas festive mood (love the part: I'll wrap it with a ribbon and a bow).

14 December 2009

Can We Disqus It?

Testing new sophisticated application for blog commenting: DISQUS. With this app, you can allow your blog readers to leave comments by using their Facebook, Twitter, OpenID, Yahoo! and Disqus accounts. You can add some restricted words and blacklisted items for filtering comments. You can see all comments you've posted and the reply (if any) all over the web. This is just so integrated. And for me you who are too lazy to design your blog by looking into html/css code, the installation of Disqus only takes few minutes, not complicated at all. For Blogger user, just Download Full Template of your current template, then choose that .xml file to be integrated with Disqus code which will be generated automatically, you just need to copy paste the code back to your layout template. Easy peasy! Well I can't compare to other services because I've used only blogspot default comment system for my whole bloglife, so this Disqus is good.
Glad to have new toy. Thanks to Gia, and happy exploring! :)

12 December 2009

Get Your Sexy Back with JJ Lin

Singapore people have a campaign for young adults to drink alcohol moderately. Isn't it nice? This program is named Get Your Sexy Back (GYSB), has been run for 2 years now. It is sponsored by Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore (APBS) to hold some positive events and activities. Having a slogan: "It's not the drinking, it's how you're drinking", they want to spread the message to people (especially young adults) for drinking responsibly and knowing your own limit, you would not be sexy anymore if you got too drunk.

Last Wednesday they made an event: GYSB Boomz Concert '09 in Zouk's Velvet Underground. Zouk is one of the best clubs in Singapore and now supporting GYSB. The concert was nice, featuring some local musicians which are Jillian Marie Thomas, Da Feng Chui, Carrie Yeo and Chen Diya, En-x and the superstar JJ Lin.

07 December 2009

Mystical Taste of Borneo

Song of the night: I Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas

Today work is good and slow, starting new projects for the end of Q1 next year. But the Monday blues came at night, being mellow and sentimental about life, passion and relationship... woohoo I guess quarter-life crisis beat me again. So anyway, I successfully got off this mellow feeling by taking shower, slurping hot tea and listen to above spirit song repeatedly. What will you do to rip off empty feeling?

The 'angel' tea that helped me through this night is this Sabah tea I brought back from... Sabah! Let's quote what they wrote here on the package. "Sabah Tea is cultivated in the pristine foothills of Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia's first ever World Heritage Site, where nature offers the most conducive natural environment for tea growing..."
"Brew yourself a cup of Sabah Tea and enjoy the mystical taste of Borneo Rainforest."

So here I am, willing to write a synopsis of my solo traveling to Borneo.

05 December 2009

Cabin Baggage Dilemma

As you know, budget airlines give cheaper tickets for flying without checked in baggage. Some of my last trips were using this type of flight, and sometimes made me confusing about how big items and how much liquid I could bring in.

When I traveled alone to Borneo, I brought one big bag and one backpack. I did not have scales, both are not heavy so I guess they would not exceed than 7 kg. But the lady in AirAsia check-in counter in Changi Airport Singapore (SIN) seems hesitant seeing my big bag, she said I had to check-in it because maybe it would not fix inside cabin. It would cost S$8 one way (up to 15kg), 4 times than checked in baggage price via website, S$2 (now they raise it up to S$4, so in airport would be S$16 I guess). Because I looked disappointed and reluctant to pay for the baggage, the lady kindly weighed my bag (and it was indeed only 5 kg, but still she's not sure if it fixed the cabin or not) and let me go with my bag and boarding pass. She said if it did not fix, the air crews would put my bag inside baggage airplane for free. Yay! And well, actually it fixed. The lady just exaggerated.

In Brunei Airport (BWN) I was not that lucky. Somehow my bag's weight was increasing, more than 7 kg so I had to pay 8 dollars (Brunei and Singapore dollars are in the same rate). Hiks, if only I added S$2 for checked in baggage online in each flight SIN-BKI (Kota Kinabalu), BKI-BWN, BWN-BKI and BKI-SIN! Different than BWN and SIN, AirAsia counter in BKI is not so annoying to check our carry on bags.

I did not have any difficulties in bringing liquid in my Borneo traveling, because I've prepared all travel-pack things such as toothpaste, perfume, contact solution, soap, shampoo etc, all accumulated were less than 100 ml. But when I went to Jakarta last week, I needed to bring some 100 ml perfumes and one face-wash tube 125 ml not from duty-free shops airport, excluding my own liquid things. I had to give up the 125 ml tube, but I brought other liquids and put them inside plastic zipped bags (and praying). I thought one person is only allowed to carry up to 100 ml in TOTAL. But apparently more than 100 ml is OK as long as each item less than 100 ml.

In my last trip with Jetstar airlines, in Changi counter they did not check my carry on bags, but in Soekarno-Hatta Airport Jakarta (CGK) they asked. Or it depends on the counter staff? I did a "Hiding" method, which is approaching check-in without bringing bag, so they wouldn't check the weight (but for liquid they will check inside boarding gate, should not play any tricks for this one). In CGK, apparently they asked for carry on bag to weigh it and patch-up with 'Jetstar' sticker. Then in boarding gate I got nervous, how if they realized that my bag had no 'Jetstar' sticker?

I was lucky, they didn't care. Buuuuut I'd just known that carry on bags in Jetstar is up to 10 kg (not 7 kg like AirAsia)! I shouldn't need to hide my luggage at that time, seriously it did not exceed than 10 kg. I think I will not do this hiding method again. Better to check my luggage's weight first at home. Or just purchase checked in baggage ticket for safe.

24 November 2009

Travel Sick

Before the Internet, if someone disappeared, it meant you should go looking for them. Now it means they got a life.
Please consider me as getting a life for not having any chance to update this blog :P

In this last one month I had fun and thrilling experience
s in Kota Kinabalu (Malaysia), Bandar Seri Begawan (Brunei Darussalam), Bali and Lombok (Indonesia), not included my small trip back to Jakarta for visiting boyfriend family. Three weekends in a row I was not in Singapore. When you've traveled a lot (as a newbie, these are a lot :P), you'd find that you miss your time just for lazying around in your apartment. I even almost slapped my friend last week who asked "what will you do on weekend?" and when I answered "just staying at home" he was kind of seeing me with a pathetic look. Dude, seriously!

Wookie, now I want to share what's inside my tiny backpack!

12 October 2009

History Walk

As part of Southeast Asia, Indonesia always teach their children at school with historical of big kingdoms existed before colonizers came, such as Sriwijaya, Majapahit, Pasai, Aceh and Melaka (or Malacca). Pasai Kingdom was located very near my hometown Lhokseumawe, but nothing much left from it. Aceh Kingdom was located in Banda Aceh now, I saw some of its heritages last year in my trip to Banda Aceh. And last weekend I just visited Malacca, which is already announced by UNESCO as world heritage site. It is very nice that Malaysia can keep their historical sites well. Indonesia should learn from them, really, we Indonesia also have, even better and more unique cultural heritages. Be proud!

So about my trip, me and friends took bus from Kovan bus terminal, Singapore. It takes 3-4 hours to get Malacca depends on how hectic there in CIQ (Customs, Immigration and Quarantine) of Singapore and Malaysia checkpoints. The bus ended in bus terminal Melaka Sentral. Our inn is located in Jalan Portugis, so we asked some people in terminal which bus to take to get there, and they all gave the same answers, by Bus 17 or Panorama. After we got there, we apparently did not arrive at the hostel area, but at one of tourist spots: Portuguese Settlement (Perkampungan Portugis). We got lost... but it's OK, at least we had already come to one famous spot :P We tried to stop bus like in Indonesia, you know... in random place of the road, not in a particular bus stop (cause we couldn't find any bus stop nearby!!). Luckily it stopped nyahaha! Yes, Malacca is a small city without too many restrictions, you can alight, board bus and cross the street anywhere.

We put our belongings in the guest house, Ringo's Foyer. I don't know how my friend found this place (booking fee is only $1.5), it doesn't look fantastic (yea it's a backpacker hostel, very cheap, what da ya expect) but the owner (Howard) is very friendly. The place is just a walking distance to the city. We then went looking for foods in Jonker Walk, it's an antique street full of souvenirs, unique shops and local dishes (reminds me of Braga Bandung and streets in Macau). The street ends with the bridge of Malacca river. From this part, the city of Malacca in past times begins. Malacca Kingdom fell when Portuguese colony under Afonso de Albuquerque sailed and conquered the city on 15th century. On 16th century they were defeated by Dutch. This place is really attractive since many people did commercial trade around Straits of Malacca. Dutch built forts and administrative area which is called Stadhuys means town hall, also named Red Square because of the color. We can find ruins of forts, museums, churches and many historical buildings around this area.

Interesting places: Jonker Walk, Stadhuys, Maritime Museum (inside a ship), Ruins of Fort A Famosa, Ruins of St Paul, Taming Sari , Eye on Malaysia (it's like Singapore Flyer), River Cruise, Cheng Hoon Temple. More pictures can be seen in my facebook (courtesy to Fajar for some pictures shown here).
Traditional foods: All Baba Nyonya foods, Chicken Rice Ball, Satay Celup, Baba Laksa, Es Cendol (I drank it 3 times a day, so damn hot there). Nyonya means Chinese women who get married with local people, and their descents are called Baba.

So, will Sriwijaya and Majapahit be my next destinations?!

05 October 2009

Where There is Water, There are Chinese

Last weekend many parts of Singapore made an event to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival. First I found it strange since here in Singapore we don't have such that season. But apparently it's Chinese tradition to celebrate harvesting time in the 15th day of the 8th moon of Chinese lunar month, around the time of the autumn equinox. In the Western calendar, the day of the festival usually occurred sometime between the second week of September and the second week of October. This year it falls on 3rd October.

This is a day to worship the moon god. This festival signs that the year's hard work in the fields had been finished, with fruits, vegetables and grain had been harvested by this time and food was abundant. Chinese people use this opportunity to express their gratitude to heaven for the blessings they have enjoyed over the past year. One of special foods for this festival is moon cakes.

Thanks to omy for inviting me (again) to explore more about this festival and Chinese culture in general in Hua Song Museum, inside Haw Par Villa. I think it is the best place to celebrate this festival. The event includes mooncake tasting, calligraphy, free dinner and goodie bags, walking by the light of lantern, and a tour of the Museum.

Hua Song means 'In Praise of Chinese', it is a museum about Chinese community. It shows statues, posters, and descriptions about their jobs in the past, their women, their education, their festivals, their kitchen and foods.

It shows also how they went around the world to seek a better life. There were 2 big migrations in the past, first was on 14th-16th century where China people went to Nanyang, or now we call it as Southeast Asia. In this museum we can find also the history of Lee Kuan Yew's ancestors emigrated from Dapu. The second one was on 19th century when they migrated to America, working on railway track project or mining.

I like this phrase:

Don't you agree?

23 September 2009

Quick Swimming

Hey-ho! Now I am here. For a week. For holly-day.

Aceh is located on the west of Indonesia and surroundings by Sea. It wouldn't be perfect if we go there without visiting the beaches. Beaches in Lhokseumawe are not as good as the ones in Sabang and Banda Aceh, but still it's fun to go. Along the beach side, there are stalls provide foods specialty in Rujak: fruits mix peanuts sauce.

Yesterday I promised my little cousin (9 years old) that we'd go swimming today. But I was taking nap, forgotten already, and woke up almost 6 pm, about 40 minutes before sunset. I found my brother and sister also too lazy, no one wanted to go. Then my little cousin frown. She sat down in the corner, covered her face down (so cute :P). So I gave up, my Dad took me and my little cousin with motorcycle to the beach spot named Soraya, where she and her family likes to go. Some beach spots in Lhokseumawe are already covered with high stones, one of ways to block high waves like Tsunami.

We said to her, if no people swim then we don't swim and will come back again tomorrow morning. Me and my Dad believed that no people left swimming on that hour, 15 minutes to sunset. But apparently there are still a lot of people, so yeah I must jump to the water, accompanying her. But not too long, because suddenly everyone went out and the beach started quiet. in Aceh, activities in the beach have to stop after sunset (or we call it Maghrib). After that 10 minutes swimming, I was ordering Rujak for taking home, and the seller pushed me to order hurry because it would be Maghrib in a minute.

Apparently not only activity on the beach stop when sunset, but also in the city center. All shops are closed on Maghrib, only food stalls are opened again after it. Like my sister said, life here begins at 4pm until Maghrib, then starts again on 8pm. Don't try to go outside without car on the day, it's so f*ckin hot!! Morning is also a good time for sea bathing and food hunting but it's so hard to wake up early on holiday :P

Also there are too many rules in this land. Girls should not be a pilgrimage to the grave, should not wear pants, especially tight pants or leggings, should not hang out in coffee stall (I break all the rules, of course)... Booo how can people live here??!
Well the foods are awesome! I know, people will always love their origin foods and each person has their own favorite taste, but for you who wanna try Acehnese foods in Lhokseumawe that worth it: bakso rahayu, pangsit bejo, mie goreng aceh (fried noodle) in everywhere, rujak ujongblang, nasi gurih (crispy rice) in everywhere, mie caluek, roti bakar bandung (I know it's from Bandung, but it is really good and mushrooming now in Lhok), martabak telor (like omelet), sate matang (beef satay, Matang is a name of area in Aceh), kerang rebus (boiled cockles), kupi aceh (coffee). People here are freak of coffee. While I am here, I drink 2 cups of coffee everyday (even 3-4 cups when visiting many houses families on Hari Raya): Kopi Gayo, Kopi Samalanga, Kopi Ulee Kareng... each coffee name is based on the place where it comes from.

The best my version Acehnese foods in Banda Aceh are listed here.

10 September 2009

How to Make Computer Slower

It is not a joke. I was looking for adjustable tools to make computer slower. Yes I know, we can have it just by installing windows vista, software games or some heavy applications, but I need something general for my validation application that will run in many PCs. I entered keyword 'How to Make Computer Slower' in search engine that answers every problem in your life Google, all articles told me the other way. Don't they understand that this problem also important so I can finish my code and work and the boss will let me go home for Hari Raya holiday next week?! Well actually it is my fault to procrastinate everything :P

So after spent few times searching needles among the straws, I found this website that lists all PC Slow Down tools (now obviously that I didn't key in the exact keyword). I decided to use CPU Grabber because this software is from DirectX Microsoft so I believe it won't do much harm. Another good app is CPU Killer, but not a freeware.

CPU Grabber has small GUI with trackbar to set the percentage of CPU usage, and buttons to start/stop and close. So, if you need it either for playing old games, showing the slow PC to your parents so they will get you a new one, or running software validation in stressed environment like what I'm doing, just run number of copies of this program (number of your CPUs/cores) and set for each 70% or more.

So sorry this is being a geek posting, I hope it will boost up searching index of 'How to Make Computer Slower' in Google leads to the correct articles.

06 September 2009

Love My New Place

After exhausting day, last night I went swimming... below my home! Yep, since last week I have moved to a new place that has swimming pool, fitness club, BBQ pit, tennis and basketball court. After swimming, I just laid down on pool chair reading books. Ahh this is heaven, with so many trees and waterfall sounds.

My room is also amazing, with wooden floor, queen size bed, big wardrobe, full sunlight and windy! I like to decorate it, and will buy some furnitures like bookcase, standing lamp and cute chair. I am so excited! It's located on 14th floor. Now I feel like not wanna go outside. I won't feel dead-style (a.k.a mati gaya), if I don't have appointment or activity outside I am still happy just being at home (or around the pool :D).


Yesterday company event was playing Crossfire Paintball 2.0, in Singapore Discovery Center. The participants who joined mostly never played this before, and were not Singaporeans... of course leh, they already experienced this in National Service what! This place is located far far away from the city, the most west green line MRT station: Joo Koon. Ha, I wouldn't take a visit until this far if not because this event (that's what my friend Kevin said).

We played 3 modes: shoot the balloon, save the flag, and elimination. The first session is to shoot the balloon of the opponent that is located in opponent's home base. The second one is to get our own flag that is located in the middle of field, then bring it to home base. Elimination is to shoot as many as possible of the other team, after being shot they can not go into the field again. My team only win the second session, (what I believe is) because we only got the good side at that time. FYI, the sides are really unfair: 23 of 25 winning was from the team that played in that specified 'lucky' side, the one that its maze is not too difficult to get to the closest place to other team's home base to shoot them. Well yeah, it's just a game (but the winner team got S$500! *gagal dapat THR T_T*).

This is absolutely not my kind of joy (fortunately it's free). Each time my turn to play, I was afraid like hell blabbering: "I'm dead, I'm fucking dead, shit shit." They said it's gonna be painful... this is PAINball! Hopefully I only got shot on my left foot and the mask. I was so scared hearing the pellets flying around my body, geez I wanted to finish all the game quickly and go home lol. It was in the hot afternoon and I was fasting. Perfect! Next time, please get me into shopping war or something, then I can rule the game, ha!

Other attractions that can be found in Singapore Discovery Center are: iWERKS (2D-3D cinema), XD Theatre (4D simulation ride), SAFTI tour, shooting gallery, and Army Museum.

13 August 2009

Blonde Bitch with a Bunch of Bubble

What's going on on the floor?
I love this record baby, but I can't see straight anymore
Keep it cool what's the name of this club?
I can't remember but it's alright, alright
Just dance. Gonna be okay

Went to Lady Gaga live in concert last night! At 7.30 PM I went inside, DJ Inquisitive was playing some fitness disco songs, such as Get Low (Flo Rida), Insomnia (Craig David), Boom Boom Pow (BEP), I Know You Want Me (Pitbull)... all remixed. She's very late actually, the show started on 9 PM, not 8 PM huh. But when the gig started... even though I couldn't see straight anymore, just dance!

She started with Paparazzi. Then Lovegame, Money Honey (Lady Gaga: "You know what I hate most in the world? It's MONEY!"), Just Dance, Fame, Boysboysboys, Beautiful Dirty Rich, Eh Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say). What annoyed me most was people not dancing crazily! They cared more to get pictures of the stage, not enjoying the show. They didn't jump up, didn't sing out loud, only moved their body from left to right. It's really different when I watched Oasis concert last April where all people in standing festival jumped and pushed around, really hectic and crazy, and I like it! Maybe it's because most of audiences here were girls, and many kids/teens. Well I didn't care, I kept jumping around by myself. I loved and I knew all of her songs.

She changed costume 3 times, all with "you-can-see-her-butt" clothes. She's really gorgeous and sexy (that's why I had full spirit to go to gym today, I want her body)! After those songs, she changed cloth for the last time (I knew it because most songs in her Fame album had already been out, only left Poker Face). Then I moved back to get more space, air and viewing to the stage, because she didn't only sing but also showed cool performances and dances. You know what, I should do it since the beginning, because no point standing in the middle of crowd if people not moving. And I could dance freely with more space.

She sang Brown Eyes before finally Poker Face... I mean DOUBLE Poker Face! First she played it with piano acoustically (sambil nungging-nungging), then the real version. TOTALLY AWESOME! She's so unique, eccentric, different and confident! I like her spoiled voice. She's good at jokes. She said many times that she couldn't wait to eat chili crab in Singapore. She also crazily loved her own creation rhythm: "Sing sing along Singapore... I gotta be honest that I've been waiting whole day to say that to you."

I went home with tiredness and happiness :)

11 August 2009

The Genius

"There shall be wings! If the accomplishment be not for me, 'tis for some other."
Da Vinci, Father of Flight

In this exhibition, it shows theories, replica of tools and paintings that had been created by Leonardo Da Vinci in 15th century. He was inventor, artist, mathematician, scientist, engineer, sculptor, anatomist, biologist, musician, architect, philosopher, writer... He even designed a humanoid robot and diving equipments! Seriously, I am amazed. I feel like I know nothing.

44th Singapore

"I don't like Singapore, it is a rotten place as is indeed every other town. I am simply crazy to get away again."
1903, William Louis Abbott.

Two days ago I went to the city to feel the euphoria of Singapore National Day. I've been here only for 8 months (still considered as tourist?), so I need to see how people celebrate it. First I made a stop in Suntec City to have lunch on one of the restaurants there around Fountain of Wealth. It is the world largest fountain, with colorful lights at night (see pictures below I took a month ago).

When the big fountain is off, we can come in to the small fountain, go around of it and touch the water while making wishes. They said our dreams will come true (still not sure of it, because friends have already did it and not proven until now :P). Actually I have visited and seen this fountain many times, but never have the chance to do this ritual. So I did it! Not like there's something I wish for, but only for spending my time waiting for friends come. After finish, you could buy photo of you're turning around the fountain for S$10.

If I'm not mistaken, the theme of National Day this year is to show how Singapore ready for any terrorist attacks. When me and friends ready to go to see National Day Parade or F16 or fireworks or whatever they offer on that day, it's almost evening and the enter ways to Esplanade area and Marina Floating Point (where the ceremony held) were already closed, but on the way there I still got the chance to see President helicopters group carrying the Singapore flag, and some F16 aircrafts.

Many ways were blocked there, and fucking damn hectic fulled of people (berdesakan sama India/Bangla yang keringetan dan bauuuu *pingsan*). We decided to just go home. But on the way to Raffles Place MRT, we passed Asian Civilization Museum, I came inside by myself while my friends went home. I actually planned to go there (and some other museums) on this long weekend when the entrance fee is free. I found it was a good idea to went inside to enjoy the quietness and spookiness of night at museum, exploring Singapore history on its National Day. Some interesting things I found:
1. Bencoolen (one of street name in Singapore) is actually derived from Bengkulu, one of province in Sumatra, Indonesia.
2. Long time ago along Singapore river, the boats have two eyes on the front part (picture below), it is their believes that the boat can see so is not going to strike.

3. I just like this miniature of the old times coolies place (sorry for the lack light of my blackberry camera)

At 8.22 PM, big exploding sound heard from outside, I peeked to the window, ah the fireworks starts. It's just stunning (as usual, Singapore fireworks)! And they recited their National Pledge:
We, the citizens of Singapore
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society,
based on justice and equality,
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and
progress for our nation.

On the silent museum window where I stand, there was a museum guide girl that (I claim she is Singaporean because she) also recited it with soft voice and clenching her right fist to the left side of her chest (as a gesture to symbolize loyalty to the nation). I am touched :)

After the fireworks, I started to look around the museum again, still got so many things to see while waiting for the crowd outside vanished. The museum would be closed on 10 PM, I planned to go home at that time. Apparently many people thought the same thing as me, to hide inside the museum first until the crowd finished, because suddenly the museum filled up with many people (and kids were so annoying and noisy grrrrr!!). I came to the main galleries that show history and culture of Asia especially in Southeast. So it's not only about Singapore, it's about Java, Minangkabau, Malay Peninsular, Bugis, Dayak, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Islam.... ahh there are so many articles I wanted to read! I just realized that I love museum.

In ACM from 25 July to 21 Sept 2009, there is Southeast Asian collections in Hunters and Collectors gallery. It's collection from some world hunters such as William L. Abbott and many others (just knew about them, I think they're famous). One of them is maniac of magic, had owned the Museum of Magic and Witchcraft at Castletown, Isle of Man. Superb!

Well, happy birthday Singapore! Although like Mr. Abbott said, I plan and might get away again someday (to explore the world), but it is nice living here :)

10 August 2009


Two days ago I visited the central National Library of Singapore in Bras Basah, near Bugis and City Hall MRT. At first I didn't have any intention to subscribe the membership, because I just wanted to look around and honestly I didn't read book much lately (despite of my yearly target to read at least 50 books). Even if I wanted to read, I still can read the books on the spot without being a member. Yet when I looked around the books and everything, I fell in love in reading again. I straightaway registered myself as a member. It costs S$53.3 per year for foreigner, S$10.5 for Permanent Residents and free for Singaporeans.

Borrowing and returning the books are made automatically. When I tried to borrow 2 books (let's start with Chick Lit :D), I inserted my membership card and scanned the books one by one on the machine. As for returning books, there are few 24-hr Bookdrop booths outside the library for members to scan the books and drop them. Members can borrow books from one library and return them in another libraries; more than 20 regional public libraries scattered around Singapore. Each book can be returned in 2-3 weeks.

In Indonesia, public libraries are so boring. Well.. I'd only ever visited one library 10 years ago when I was still in high school. It was big and dirty containing old books. To get interesting books, I usually registered to book rentals by paying based on how many books I wanted to borrow with a very limited time.

Anyway, back to Singapore National Library, after I borrowed some books, I went out the library and got myself in hunger, I tried Hanis Library Cafe, a bakery and western cafe just outside the library. Eating there with people around are sipping coffee, reading, working on school tasks, doing something on their laptop... made me feel really nerd smart. Not just the environment, the burger I ordered was also nice.

Let's hope my reading habit will boost up and I will become a bookworm again after joining this library membership.

02 August 2009

Piñata e Bailar

Last night I had so much fun in surprise party of my friend's birthday. The host works in the same company as mine, he is from Colombia. We also celebrated his wife's birthday, so the theme is Latin America. This is the first time I know about Piñata. It is a colorful container filled with sweet, candies and toys, hanged with ropes on the wall, ceiling or tree branches. Someone will hit it with stick and blinded eyes until it is smashed, then all people snatch and collect the candies.

This tradition comes from Mexico, usually for special occasions such as birthday, Christmas or Halloween. It is made from materials that are easily breakable like balloon or clay. Piñata also can be formed in any shapes. I would be glad to punch Harry Potter piñata, lol!

Last night the rules are each person must take at least one Chupa Chupa (lollipop), otherwise he/she will get penalty. If everybody has it, then who has the Chupa Chupa with X signed on it would get penalty. One of the host's friend from Venezuela got it, she must dance with one of the guys there, chose between Tango or Salsa dance. Lol it was very fun, while we're waiting for them practice and dress up, we're also being taught by the couple host how to dance Salsa. Whole night we spent there with Spanish songs (includes the birthday song). I saw their habit is very spirit and energetic with dance and music, they couldn't stop shaking their body even when talking and eating foods.

Vamos a bailar, la gente!

01 August 2009

Because That's Not Me

Will write it mostly in Bahasa Indonesia.

If there is someone not cover her hair again in public, the first question that should be asked (if you dare and care to ask) is not "Kenapa dilepas?" but "Awalnya dulu kenapa dipakai?" If there's nothing wrong in the beginning, so the problem should be along the way. In my case, it's already in the beginning, so I kinda difficult to answer "Kenapa dilepas?"

Kalau kenapa awalnya dulu pakai, jawabannya gampang: Syariat Islam di Aceh. I come from Aceh, where every girl there MUST wear veil, if they don't want their hair being cut or to get other punishment from Polisi Syariah. In my opinion, kerudung disana dianggap sebagai budaya, dimana cewe-cewe ga boleh keluar rumah dengan pakaian seronok (kalau pakai baju minim 2 kali jadi 2 ronok *halah*). Kalo cuma ke warung deket rumah atau bertandang ke rumah tetangga atau ada saudara berkunjung ke rumah (meskipun bukan muhrim) ya preman aja ga pake kerudung. Kalo jalan-jalan ke Aceh coba liat deh cewe-cewenya pake baju agak nanggung.. pake kerudung iya tapi lengan baju pendek, atau poninya dikeluarin, atau rambut panjangnya muncul di belakang.. ajaib emang! Tapi ada juga yang pakai pakaian tertutup karena kesadaran sungguh-sungguh :)

When I was 15 years old, masih lucu-lucunya, I moved to Jakarta with family. Waktu itu sempet ada pembicaraan kecil (amat sangat kecil): "ntar ke sekolah tetep pakai kerudung ato engga". Gw kan masih anak bau kencur, ga ngerti dandan cantik dan sebagainya, nyokap bilang "udah lah tetep pake kerudung aja, ribet nyari baju lain dan sayang baju nya ga dipakai lagi ntar.." (semacam itu lah) *kan ceritanya waktu itu baru pindahan* Ya udah bo, keputusan gw pake kerudung di Jakarta (seinget gw) cuma karena itu.

Ternyata oh ternyata, aturan kerudung di kota besar justru lebih ketat: apapun urusannya kalau ketemu yang bukan muhrim, ga boleh buka kerudung (eh itu aturan agama ya bukan kota besar :P). Ihiks aku terkekang dan terjebak, because it's too taboo to open it after you wear it (I care too much of what people think, I know :|). Dulu waktu di Aceh I didn't care much about it cause every girl wearing it. Tapi pas pindah ke Jawa gw jadi sirik banget ngeliat cewe-cewe lain yang ga pake kerudung, cuih. Dan gw ga alim-alim amat orangnya, serius deh biasa aja! Gw hapal lagu-lagu Rihanna, bukan nasyid. *ga nyambung* Ya mungkin gw belum dapet aja hidayahnya. Kalau gw membayangkan keesokan hari gw mungkin akan mati, gw nangis ampe banjir bandang. Gw merasa belum menikmati hidup, doing what I want to do, being myself.

When I was in college, I promised myself will move to other place after graduation, to the place where nobody knows me, so I can start my life all over again, without tudung. Trus gw udah pindah nihhh ke Singapore, but still get many friends who know me before. Gw ga berani buka. Trus tiba-tiba di kantor ada yang buka kerudung juga doooong.. ampir gw bawa pisau kan ke cubicle dia (to peel apple together *halah*) "You took my place bitch! I've already planned it long long time ago before you were born!" *lebay! Jadi Iprit, maapkeun saya, I had felt so much anger to you at that time*.

So the point is Saya lepas kerudung bukan karena pengaruh lingkungan di luar negeri. Dan Saya tidak ikut-ikutan siapapun. I never change, I simply become more myself. I don't know why I should clarify this, in fact is I don't care! I don't care anymore with what people are gonna say about me. I never feel better than this. I feel free. I love myself and my life now :)

There, I write my confession. Have a nice life, everyone!

09 July 2009

Voted in Singapore

Yesterday is the Indonesian presidential election day. I registered myself to Indonesian embassy few months ago, then I got the invitation letter. We could come to embassy directly, or send the paper vote via post. It was not a public holiday, so me and friends went there on lunch time. I informed my boss so it's OK to come back quite late.

When I arrived, many people have queued in the yard of Indonesian embassy (voting time is from 8 am to 2 pm). There were 2 type of queue lining, people that have invitation letter from Indonesian embassy in their hand, and people who don't (they still can vote by showing their passport or employment pass). The first queue is longer than the second one, so one of my friend pretended she didn't have invitation letter and queued up in the shorter line, while the rest were still on the line, waiting for her report... yess the grass is always greener in other side :P

Few minutes later my friend came back. She saw that they have to fill some forms, it would take longer time at the end, so she went back to our line. It drizzled there with hot weather, committee prepared some umbrellas for needy people (like mother with her baby), and tiny cuts of cardboard to cover head or just use it as hand fan (if we need it).

There is a bar code in our invitation letter, committee only had to scan it. There were 2 places for voting (A and B), each of them has about 25 vote rooms, so no need to wait for nyontreng: tick one of 3 candidates. The committee also moved fast and efficiently, compare to vote place near my house in Indonesia when I voted for legislative people last April. I think the time when I was looking for taxi from office is quite longer than this whole election process.

After voting, I went to Lucky Plaza to grab Indonesian foods for lunch =D~

Well, good luck Indonesia for new president or vice president!