29 December 2010

2010 - Keep Traveling

One good thing of updating blog/journal regularly, at least once a month, is I can read and look back on what I've been up to in the past year. This year I was wandering like crazy. Not necessary traveling to oversea, but also to places in Singapore where I haven't been yet (quite difficult tho to find new place in this teeny weeny country).

When nobody wanted to go, I kept going, solo-backpacking it was. When I didn't like my traveling partners, I kept going. When no other girls in the group, I kept going (the Boy was quite angry about this). When the works in the office were hectic, sorry Boss, I kept going. When my Dad didn't approve my next trip plan, what the heck, I kept going.

My family do not like going out that much. Holiday means staying at home lazily, watching tv and sleeping whole day. Sounds 'fun', huh? I could not do much other than obeying this rule since I did not have enough money to go around by myself. The young-me also did not have many friends to go out, so I was left at home. Now I have my own money, I do not live with my parents anymore, I am free, and I have a bunch of friends. Sometimes I did not tell my Dad that I was going somewhere, I was afraid he would be angry and try to stop me, so I always told him after I finished traveling. I think somehow this made him change. He does not forbid me traveling anymore, in that way I won't be afraid to tell him about my upcoming trip.

But I just realized what he was trying to say to me was quite true. He wants me to not travel too much, in order to save money. He wants me to see traveling as learning new things in other countries, not only for having fun nor collecting stamps. Instead of traveling to near countries in 2-3 days every month, he suggested to go to a faraway big country once a year.

Now I start thinking about it.

One of my resolutions this year was traveling around South East Asia. I am really keen about that, and I am quite satisfied with my journeys. I haven't finished them all, like Laos and Philippines (psst I cannot write "Philippines" without checking it to dictionary first), but I feel enough. I set too many small resolutions for this year, but only 5 out of 14 are achieved. So for next year I just want to set one goal, but SUPER BIG. I hope it will determine my future and passion, because I'm tired of feeling "what am I doing in my life?"

Meanwhile, I will be still wandering around. It is not about completing the checklist anymore, it will be more about the journey.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

28 December 2010

Dealing with Visa

Since I only have traveled to neighbor countries, I rarely needed to apply for visa. Except twice, when I went to Australia and Cambodia (I thought we're friends, Cambodia!). But after this agreement with our handsome foreign minister, Indonesia will be exempted from Cambodia Visa, hooray! You may need to check to the embassy for more details.

Cambodia has a system called e-Visa to apply the visa online. I applied it via this website which cost US$25 (US$20 + US$5 processing charge) per person. Not long time after submitting the application, I found this website saying that the site where I applied for visa was a scam. But this one only charges US$10 per person, quite strange because the normal price should be US$20. I didn't know which one was right.

On the next day my visa arrived, less than 12 hours! They sent it via email as JPG file. I had to print 2 copies and bring them for entering and departing Cambodia. No further issue when I arrived there and showed this print-out, so we can conclude that this website is not a scam, right?

E-Visa is only valid at 5 ports of Cambodia entry:
  • Phnom Penh International Airport
  • Siem Reap International Airport
  • Cham Yeam (Koh Kong) - Thailand Border
  • Poi Pet (Banteay Meanchey) - Thailand Border
  • Bavet (Svay Rieng) - Vietnam Border
So when I booked the bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, I made sure that it passed through Bavet border.

If you don't want to pay extra US$5, you can get the visa by visiting the embassy directly in your country or by visa on arrival. Visa on arrival is a good choice for those who are entering Cambodia via international airports with no limited time (possibly long queue lines). While for land traveling, there are many scam reports upon the borders where the staff asked you for more money (up to US$30), so better to have the visa already before traveling.

Now, my visa to Australia. On my first visit to Australian High Commission in Singapore, I had all the documents but I still got rejected, because my Singapore Employment Pass (EP) would be expired very near to my traveling dates. I traveled on 19-28 November 2010, while my EP expired on 2 December 2010. I said that my company would extent my pass for sure, but the lady who served me did not accept that statement, she wanted me to have my new EP first before applying Australian visa.

I was quite apprehensive. My company HR said we could not renew employee's EP until we got the letter from Ministry of Manpower which usually arrived 1 month before EP expired. After that, there will be few weeks to process the application, how could I get new EP AND Australian visa before November 19th?!

Two days after my first visit, I came back again to Australian High Commission, bringing the same documents. This time I was served by another lady. She scanned through my documents (while I was silently praying hard in my heart), asked me to pay S$142 by credit card (so expensive! Well, everything in Australia is expensive), asked me to sit for a while... 5 minutes later, voila, my passport was stamped with the visa!! Imagine my hands were shaking when I received it. The lady was so generous, she did not question my EP at all. I even got 1 year period for multiple entries, haha I'm happy! So sometimes it can also depend on your luck. And you know what, my new EP was finally issued on November 16th. How troublesome it was if I needed to wait until my new EP came up.

Okay, that was my story in dealing with tourist visa.

16 December 2010

Tinkerbell Wannabe

My company's Dinner and Dance (DnD) this year was held last week in one of ballrooms in Resort World Sentosa. As committee, we chose that place because it was quite new in Singapore therefore could bring more enthusiasm for people to come. DnD is an annual event from companies to unite their employees together and celebrate what has been achieved during a year... in summary: free deluxe dining foods haha! I think it is only common in Singapore. My company's branches in other countries like China and France, do not have this event. Or maybe I just don't know it.

Including this year, I have been attending DnD party 3 times. First time was in December 2008 when I just joined the company. Theme of the party that time was MTV Night, everything about music. But I did not dress up anything since I was newbie and I still had no idea what it was all about. The girls all dressed up so pretty in a night gown, I felt not confident at all! But never mind, I just wanted to enjoy the foods and the show. I was new in town, everything still looked amazing to me.

But then something happened, MC called employees who just joined company less than 2 weeks to come upstage. My friends pushed me, so yeah, I went upstage not knowing what would happen to me (actually I hoped I could get some prize). There were about 5 people on stage, our eyes were closed by a cover. DJ was playing some kinds of songs, and we were supposed to dance according to the song: Indian, 80s, Rock, RnB, Dangdut (seriously they played Kopi Dangdut!), Pop, Arabian..... phewww finally the music stopped! MC released my eye-cover and ta da..... I was alone on the stage! Nobody's around anymore, all people were laughing and clapping their hands looking at me, even the VIP guests (directors) sitting in the fronts were giving me standing ovation. Apparently while we're dancing, MC released one by one until the best dancer staying alone! This is a picture of one of my rival dancers.

Last year DnD's theme was 80's and not too memorable. This year we had Movie Star theme! Since 2 months ago I had planned to come as, of courseHermione Granger.

Until 3 days before the day, I changed my mind. I realized the girls would come all pretty, glamorous and sexy, while my costume would be too boring, dark and plain. I doubt people would recognize it as Hermione Granger anyway, they would say: "are you dressed up?"

So 3 days before DnD, I went with some friends walking around Bugis looking for costume rental shop. We found one in Iluma: Otaku House. They have interesting stuff but only related to Japanese characters which are not my cup of tea. On the way home to MRT, I found a simple green dress in a woman clothing shop. The dress made me think of Tinkerbell, so I bought it (SALE anyway!). On the next day after work, I and a friend went to No 1 Costume Costume shop which was not in the middle of city, was located far from my office and home, but was selling fairy wings I needed for Tinkerbell. Blimey, I did not regret at all for going there, they had GREAT collections of costume to rent and buy! I could spend many hours trying the clothes and hats, but they're closed at 8 PM. Quite expensive tho, but it is the most complete costume shop in Singapore. I heard from a friend, there are other good costume shops also in Far East Plaza Orchard which are more convenient to go. Maybe next time.

The next night, I did some preparations for the dress, the wand (I used my Voldemort wand haha, sorry Voldie!) and the whole looks for the next day event. Tadaa... I am Tinkerbell!

There were a lot of people dressed up as well!

I was chosen as 5 best female dresses. Now I am a little bit famous at office. Yesterday when I passed by some guy I didn't know, he said: "hi Tinker!"

15 December 2010

Some Things are Better Unplanned

I really like this traveling article, especially in the part: Most of your best memories will come from unplanned things.

When I and some friends went to Bintan last month for one night, we really had it spontaneously. Accommodation and ferry bookings, even how many exact people coming, were finalized only two days before the trip. And activities to do in Bintan? We asked to the hotel staff once we arrived there! Nonetheless, that was one of the most fun trips I ever had, thanks to the awesome traveling partners!

In other occasions, especially for far and long trips such as Australia, I prefer to plan them carefully and details. So I can be a spontaneous traveler, and also an organized traveler, depends on the needs haha. I used this helpful web-tool to create my itinerary. But... of course, things do not always work as we planned.

We arrived at Melbourne in the afternoon, planning to go directly to Phillip Island to catch little fairy penguins on sunset. But the car we rented did not come along with GPS. The car rental staff said they ran out of GPS for that day, but we could come to the office the next day to get GPS for other 2 days (we rented car for 3 days). No one has been to Melbourne before, we were strangers in a strange place, we drove around based on a confusing map book... and we got lost. From airport to our hotel in St Kilda supposed to be only 30 minutes, but we reached there in 2 hours. Hell yeah! There was not enough time anymore to catch the penguins.

On the first day of our trip we already missed a plan in the itinerary. There was no plan B. Finally we decided to go to St Kilda beach nearby, that was not in our itinerary at all. Since we were not in a rush anymore, so I sat back and enjoyed the view. Oh my, there were no high apartment buildings like here in Singapore, the houses were beautiful and really homey, flowers and trees were blooming nicely, the environment was quiet, safe and friendly. That's when I started to fall in love with Melbourne (see previous post? The picture was taken in St Kilda beach). I do not regret at all for skipping Phillip Island (even though I will visit it if I go to Melbourne again someday) and seeing this beautiful part of Melbourne.

Other unplanned things happened in our last days in Sydney. We had gone to most of places and attractions, until we did not know where to go anymore. Itinerary was finished! But I really enjoyed our spontaneous activities below:
  • On Friday afternoon, Indi (a friend who lives there) told us about The Rock's Market. It's a bazaar of foods, clothes and some stuff. So we went there to catch the crowd. After few days of having unhealthy plain western foods (foods there are so expensive!!), this market with many delicious Japanese and Arabian foods was heaven! There were also some unique desserts
  • On Friday night, we met up and chit-chatted with Indi, who brought us to eat at Harry's, a famous Australian meat pie, and to go around the happening places in town
  • On Saturday night, we met up with new people, a friend's cousin and her friends, who brought us to eat Kangaroo and Emu meat! And then we walked around Sydney Harbour again, and realized we had not taken Opera House picture at night. Yay, and now our journey is complete haha!
  • On Sunday morning, we visited Hogwarts a.k.a Sydney University! This was not in our plan before, but I am sooooo happy we could make it.

So now I have learnt a lot. When things go out of plan, do not feel angry and disappointed, because maybe the journey is about to begin.

04 December 2010

I Left My Heart There

Some places make me want to come back.
Some places are enough to be visited once.
Some places are really not recommended.
But this is the first place I fall in love with.

07 November 2010

Dance Music Holic

When you like a song so much, you tend to repeat it in your music player many times, and even update your twitter status to the lyric. Like:
And when you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while. Because girl you're amazing, just the way you are
Nice, right?! But unfortunately my favorite songs mostly have no good lyrics.
Damn Girl!!! Damn, you's a sexy bitch, sexy bitch!
Or no lyric at all.

It is Warp by Steve Aoki, who was one of DJs performed in GO! Avalon At Large last September. He was AWESOME!! I think I like his performance more than Flo Rida on that night. Nevertheless, Flo Rida (I just know recently that it's read as Flow Rider) gave me a big Chupa Chups!!

Ha ha, he has a song called Sugar: my lips like sugar... When he sang that song, he threw this big Chupa Chups to the audience. It ended up in.... not my hands, but a girl in front of me and she just passed it to some people in the back which was me.

And this is my song of the week:

I can't wait for Zouk Out this year! There will be David Guetta (happy birthday! 7th Nov is his birthday) and Tiesto!! Ha, I am going to watch second show of Tiesto this year, hell yeah!

And also Akon, who's singing Sexy Bitch (or Sexy Chick?) featuring David Guetta, will be coming here in the beginning of January 2011!!! Ah I'm such a concert-holic. But don't ask me to come to jazz music concert, I'm gonna be veeeery sleepy during the show.

25 October 2010

Nature Walks

Living in a metropolitan city sometimes make you sick of high buildings, malls, buses and trains packed of people. All you want to do is getting away to a jungle, beach or secluded island. Too bad there's no decent beach here in Singapore. Beach in East Coast Park is full of ships, while Siloso Beach in Sentosa is fake (it's nice for party tho :P). But Singapore has many parks and gardens with good care and maintenance. You can see the list of parks in Singapore here, from tiny garden to huge forest!

One random morning, my friends and I went to MacRitchie Reservoir for trekking. The air was fresh, many people did sport activities (jogging, canoeing, etc), monkeys were around, but at some points there are still sights of HDB or apartments haha. Confidently, thinking that we are young we are free (you can run away with me..), we decided to take the longest trail until Tree Top Walk. We walked about 10 km with some climbings! On the way back I was thinking to look for shortcut, but one of us (which is my boss in the office by the way :P) said something like "don't give up, let's finish what we've started." Ups!

It was really exhausting, but worth it. Below is the collection of our pictures in a beautiful video made by my boss Kiky.

In other day, my friend invited me to join her trip to Pulau Ubin (Ubin Island). It is a small separated island, located not far from the east of Singapore. Going there we should take bumboat from Changi Point Ferry Terminal in Changi Village. Ticket price is $2 (additional $2 if you bring your own bicycle), and the journey will take 10-15 minutes only. Pulau Ubin is well-known as a place for cycling, with challenging trails. There are many places to rent a bicycle, usually it costs $3-$8 for whole day, depends on its type. At that time I spent $7 for my bike. Beach, lake, forest... the view are nice.

One unique thing is Durian trees. If you're walking or cycling along the street and then suddenly you hear a durian fell to the ground, then it's yours! We were not lucky enough to find any fallen durian, so we just bought it from an uncle who waited there whole day to get some durians then sold it to visitors.

I felt instantly skinny after few hours cycling, but then we had a HUGE lunch. Seafoods there are heaven! We spent about $16 each. So I was still fat after all haha. Below are some pictures from the trip (courtesy to Andi and Sylvia).

in the bumboat

just arrived

one of the beaches, not so good tho

cycling together

stopped a while at a lake

Durian trees

15 October 2010

Getting Old Happily

Llast Friday I was kind of having birthday. Yes, I'm getting old, thank you, but I was REALLY happy that day!

Usually, I spent hours before 12 AM with daydreaming and contemplating my life in the past and future, but that night I was not interested to think too much. I guess I've started taking this life not so serious anymore, that's good.

I didn't know what to do and I was not sleepy yet, so I phoned The Guy to demand a birthday greeting. Usually the birthday-person is being called, right? But this one vice-versa.

Around 7 AM, my parents woke me up by their call to say happy birthday and all the prayings. Thank you so much, Mom, Dad! :) Then, as always, they told me to wake up early, and I said yes, but of course after the phone's closed, I slept again.

I waited until 9.30 AM to go to the office because at that time taxi here won't charge 30% more. I took taxi because I brought a baggage to office, planning to go directly to airport in the afternoon for flying to my home in Jakarta.

Arrived at the office, I found a gift on my chair.

Tadaaa! It's Quidditch Lego!!!

I really love it, but I didn't know from whom was that, no letter nor card. Maybe it's from some wizards. I guessed Hagrid finally came to bring me to Hogwarts, like when he picked up Harry on Harry's 11th birthday, but me on my 25th. Well, better late than never. (Thank you my wizard friends, for this fabulous gift :D)

Then some other friends came to my cubicle bringing flower saying it was from a handsome guy haha! During lunch they surprised me more with the cake.

Crazy People

Around 5.30 PM I went to Changi airport. While waiting for boarding, I replied the greetings on my Facebook one by one. Imagine without Facebook, no one will remember my birthday haha. Isn't it nice, even though they didn't remember it by heart and only said default words like 'wish you all the best', but I still feel like having full attention from the universe. Every human-being wants to be noticed.

Arrived in Soekarno Hatta International Airport, The Guy had been waiting there for me :)

And at home, my younger sister had prepared cakes!

The Day was just perfect. Thanks for making this birthday girl happy. I love my life :)

21 September 2010

Lost in Life

Happy Ied! I just got back from long holiday in my hometown.

It started on September 8th. I still went to work on that day since my flight was at 7.10 PM. I had brought all my baggages to the office, I planned to go directly from office to airport by taxi at 5 PM at the latest. Around 4.45 PM, I approached my boss to report my task (and ask permission to go) but suddenly we had a long discussion and I could not dare to stop it (well, he's the boss!). I was so panic "I'm gonna be late!" but fortunately around 5.15 PM, my boss remembered to ask "what time is your flight?" Me: "Errr.. 7.10 PM". Boss: "Huh? Why are you still here, go go!" Phewww.. thanks a lot, Boss! :D

I ordered taxi via phone and waited at the front gate. Still waiting, I called the customer service to ask why my taxi hadn't come yet. She then tried to call the driver with no avail "the line is busy, Ma'am. But the GPS showing he's already around that street". Apparently the driver was trying to call me (to tell me that he had arrived, but at the other gate), but my phone was busy calling customer service who's calling the driver who's calling me....

I arrived in Polonia Airport Medan around 7.30 PM local time. Dad had been waiting for me there. It was so nice of him to pick me up to Medan. My hometown is about 8 hours drive from Medan. So he went to Medan by bus at day for 8 hours, then (together with me) took bus again at night, on the same day, for 6 hours! Thanks and sorry Dad, you must had been very tired.

Trip at night was faster than the day due to less traffic. The bus I took, named Kurnia, was quite nice. For such a long trip, they provide pillow and blanket for each seat. I think that bus was even better than Mekong Express bus I took between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap.

Arrived in Lhokseumawe Aceh around 4.30 AM, the town (or should I say village? :P) was still quiet. We took Becak Motor (motor-tricycle) from bus station to our house. It was so nice to feel the fresh air of early morning on my face!

There, as usual, the agenda was visiting grandma and many families, sleeping a lot, eating everything and playing with siblings. Practically no substantial things to do in that small town. We once went to a secluded river in the middle of nowhere where no signal of mobile phone. We had a picnic there and, of course, jumped into the river happily.

Ten refreshing days have gone by, now it's time to be back to reality.

13 August 2010

To The Far Far Away

Finally I stepped my feet inside Universal Studios Singapore (USS). It was on weekend, so I booked the tickets online since 2 weeks before. Last time I wanted to go there on weekend also, I checked the tickets 10 days before but it was already sold out. After I purchased online, tickets and confirmation was sent to my email, and I just needed to print and bring them along on the day. Presented the printed tickets to the staff in the gate, they scanned the barcode, then voilaa.. I came into another world.

First we went to the Guest Service to redeem our vouchers. Each ticket comes with $5 voucher of Souvenir, and $5 voucher of Food. Our bags were not inspected like when I went to Hong Kong Disneyland. It is okay to bring drinks/bottle from outside. There were many water tap spots around the studio for us get water refilled, that way we would save much money, because it was so damn hot and we would need so much water! Don't forget to bring your sunglasses, umbrella, hats, sunblocks and raincoat.

So I started my journey around 11 AM and finished around 7.45 PM or something. Basically there are 7 main areas: Hollywood, Madagascar, Far Far Away, The Lost World, Ancient Egypt, Sci-Fi City, and New York. It was on Sunday, very hectic, but we managed to try all attractions, from the most scary ride Revenge of the Mummy until the lousiest ones like King Julien's Beach Party-Go-Round (carousel) and Accelerator. But if you really-really do not have so much time, here are few recommended attractions from me:

Shrek 4-D Adventure (Far Far Away)
An amazing adventure of Shrek and Fiona, not really the story, but the 4D experience. My seat was moving when Shrek rides a horse, water spout to my face when they jumped into the water, and sometimes wind blew my face, neck and legs.

WaterWorld (The Lost World)
Witness death-defying stunt, awesome explosions and thrills at this sensational 'live' water show. It was from Water World movie, starring Kevin Costner (I never watched this movie). There were some people fighting, shooting, and throwing bomb. They were not really shooting at each other but it looked real.

Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure (The Lost World)
A thrilling river raft ride through primeval dinosaur habitats. This is the place where your raincoat is needed, you mostly get wet and possibly soaked. Too bad we did not bring any, so we bought it in the souvenir shops ($2 each). I guess this is the most favorite ride among visitors, because the queue was always long (60-90 minutes). We checked it several times, until finally around 6.30 PM the queue was already short enough and we took the ride.

Revenge of the Mummy (Ancient Egypt)
A thrill roller coaster with forwards and backwards movement. I could not bare to open my eyes because it was really dark and sometimes the mummies showed up in a sudden.

Lights, Camera, Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg (New York City)
Be blown away by the filmmakers incredible special effects as an empty stage becomes the setting for a major hurricane about to hit New York City, right before your very eyes! It was so stunning, looks real. Filmmaking is magic!

Pantages Hollywood Theater (Hollywood)
Come watch the Universal monsters in a rock-n-roll musical show: Dracula, Frankeinstein, The Mummy, The Bride, Were Wolf, and some other things I forgot. They sang popular songs like Nobody But You (Wonder girls), Low (Flo Rida), It's My Life (U2) and many other songs with beautiful dances and fireworks.

There were some small shows in the street in particular times: Madagascar Boogie! (I like to move it move it...), The Rockafellas (street dance!) and Kowabunga Kove (singing and dancing). Also along the way I met some characters: Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, Betty Boop, Dr. Frankeinstein (many children were crying when taking photos with him).

Most attractions were closed at 7 PM but merchandise shops and the studio itself were still opened. You better take pictures around studio (when there are not so many people anymore) and shop some merchandises at that time, so you could safe times for the whole day before 7 PM to catch rides and attractions. In that way you will be able to try all the rides. The ticket is not so cheap, so better use it effectively.

That world was very perfect: cute shops, beautiful views, happy people, friendly staffs, stunning shows, amazing costumes... me and my boyfriend were singing, laughing, jumping, being child again, forgetting problems on the real life.. can I live there forever? :P

(*) More photos here

12 August 2010

Sudden Tourist

For past 3 weekends, I was busy-busy bringing some people around this small dot country. Since I lived here, I have been to Sentosa million times, watched Songs of the Sea twice (okay, not much enough like my friend Ronny, 4 times! It's not like the show is THAT good, but we just need to come over to accompany some people watching, by the way it IS a recommended show), been around Marina Bay couple of times, gone to Orchard gazillion times... oh well, this one is indeed my favorite place here, so yeah..

My ex-housemate from Bandung came by. Then my Mom, Sister and Aunt visited me (sudden inspection, whoaa I cleaned my room keener than usual). Then a week after, The Boy came. And there will be a bunch of people are coming tomorrow (hey you, guuuys!). Singapore is really really easy-reachable by many people, even for those who do not have so much budget, because the flight tickets nowadays are very cheeeeeeeap! You even could get free accommodation by joining couchsurfing or something. Isn't that nice, traveling becomes more and more economics.

Okay, back to my guide stories. During my tour (I should open a tour agency), I also had times to visit some places here I never been to, except trying Extreme Log Ride and the new Circle Line MRT. Here they are.

Marina Bay Sands Skypark

This is newly opened (last month I guess), located on the top of the three towers of Marina Bay Sands which shaped like a ship. The cool Nashe has posted how fancy it is, I need to have a look! Up there, we can see the whole city, by paying $20 per person. There is swimming pool with a really nice view, but only for hotel guests. I am so envy!

Along the way to the hotel building, we walked pass the shopping mall and casino. I have written about it few months ago actually. Now, the sampan ride is already opened with a discount price $5 (I don't know until when). Also there is this big round glass with a tiny hole in the middle, people throw coins there and hope they will fall inside the hole. I don't know what's the point, but still I threw some and failed.

Chinese Garden

This park is not located in the city, but really near my house and office, yet I had not been there until last week. There are pagoda, statue of some Chinese heroes (Mulan, Confucius, etc), dragon shaped grass, twin towers, bridges, traditional tea houses, Chinese astrological signs.. very beauty! There is Japanese Garden also just across the bridge, but me and my family were already tired and we went to Chinatown instead, shopping yay! Maybe next time I'll visit the Japanese one.

Memories at Old Ford Factory

Last Monday was Singapore National Day, when usually the entrance fee to national museums are free! So I took that chance to go to some museums I never been. This is one of them, which is located in Bukit Timah. In the old days this building was used for Ford motor factory. During World War II, this spot was marked as the place where the British colony surrendered to Japanese Commander. So now this building is used as museum to memorize the 44 months Singapore (they called it Syonan) under Japanese colony. The most interesting part was the giant Snake & Ladder board game on the yard with 44 squares. We can also play its game online from here.

There is another place, but I will write it in the next post ;)

11 August 2010

Ramadhan Mubarak

This is epic!

Yesterday in Chinese Lunar calendar, the Ghost Month (7th month) was started. They believe during this month, the gates of hell are opened, and evil souls visit the living.
Today in Islamic calendar, the Fasting Month (9th month, or we called it Ramadhan) was started. We believe during this month, the gates of heaven are opened while the gates of hell are closed tightly by Allah, so no evils come out.

During this month, the Chinese offer to the ghost in the form of prayers, food and paper money. They burn fake paper money, paper television, paper car and paper house to give to their dead relatives so they will live comfortably in their world.
During this month, the Moslem do not eat, drink, smoke and do any sexual activities, from dawn to sunset. It's believed to teach us about patience, humility and spirituality.

This month, the Chinese are visited by the hungry ghosts, while the Moslem make themselves hungry.

During this month, the Chinese prefer to not be outside too late at night because the ghosts are wandering in the streets. Sometimes they make stage performance at night to entertain the ghosts.
During this month, the Moslem prefer to not be outside too late at night because they want to have break-fasting with family at home and then continue a special praying, called Tarawih.

All bad things happen to the Chinese in this month, they consider those as Hungry Ghosts' curse. It is a taboo to move house or get married during this period.
All good things happen to the Moslem during this month, they consider those as Ramadhan's power/magic.

This month is a dangerous month for Chinese, but a holy one for Moslem.

Happy Ramadhan, Moslem fellas! This is a time when we slow down from worldly affairs and focus on self-reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment; this is to establish a link between themselves and God through prayer, supplication, charity, good deeds, kindness and helping others (from wiki). I hope I can be a better person, especially in terms of my relationship with Allah. Amen!

You're Going Places, Baby!

I just remember that I got this award couple weeks ago from the lovely Tiara (thank you, Dear!) but I haven't done it yet. It's called You're Going Places, Baby! The rules are "describe where you think you'll be in 10 years and then pass it along to other bloggers".

Ten years from now I will be in my thirties (and awesome), already back to my country, most likely staying in Jakarta. By that time I would have already visited/lived in the other side of the world before going back to Indonesia. I would have already found what my passion is, what the happiness means, and how to live life to the fullest. My life will be more exciting and meaningful. Like any other girls' dream, by that time I would have started my own family and lived in my own house.

Now it seems more like You're Growing Old, Baby! award.

I would like to pass this award to ElfiraChristin and anyone who just want to write about it in their blog.

06 August 2010

Angkor Rocks


Still from my previous trip to Vietnam and Cambodia, now I put some pictures of me (and my friend, Helen). (If you notice,) I did not put my pictures in previous posts, so here they are. Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples are heaven for taking narcissism pictures!

I really love that place. We watched sunrise in Angkor Wat, went to Angkor Thom (Bayon etc), Ta Phrom (Lara Croft Tomb Raider's scene), watched sunset in Phnom Bakheng, visited Banteuy Srei, had tracking to Kbal Spean and the 1000 Shiva Lingas, and went to other small temples which are SO MANY! I bet an archaeologist will spend few years to finish exploring all those old stuffs.