14 December 2011

Lee Seung Gi Hope Concert 2011


Looking back at my blog post in January 2011 about how I started to like Lee Seung Gi, who would have thought that I could watch him live this soon!!

Lee Seung Gi is an actor, ads model, reality show host, MC, and singer. Really multi-talented, right?

Seung Gi's current reality show is 1 Night 2 Days (1N2D). The show is about going on a 1 night 2 days trip traveling around Korea, introduce many places and cultural things in a funny way. Lee Seung Gi + Traveling + Funny = the most favorite Korean reality show for me. In this show I can see the real character of Seung Gi. He is a truly charming person, smart, handsome.... okay stop, this list will never end. I also like the other 1N2D members and ex-members. Too bad the show will end on February 2012.

Seung Gi is also hosting a talk show Strong Heart. This one is kinda boring.

Seung Gi's famous dramas are Brilliant Legacy in 2009 and My Girlfriend is Gumiho in 2010 (his drama from where I start to like him). He's probably going to drama again next year.

Seung Gi has been the most favorite model for goods commercials and advertisements. There are too many until I cannot list them. I can find his ads easily in the subways and supermarkets. He's everywhere.

Seung Gi just released his fifth album Tonight in the end of October this year. Hook Entertainment promoted it really well. I am impressed with their 4 episodes of 5 Minutes Broadcasts for this new album. My favorite is Episode 3, showing Tonight song itself.


His annual concerts were held last weekend, Saturday and Sunday (10 and 11 December 2011), in Olympic Park, Seoul, South Korea. I came to the Saturday concert. I arrived 1 hour before the show, didn't care too much with the official merchandise. At that time there was also CNBlue concert going on in the neighbor hall, I almost went to the wrong ticket booth. Not like K-Pop concerts with full of teenagers, Lee Seung Gi concert audience was varied from kids to ahjumma/ahjussi.

Outside the hall

08 December 2011

Uniquely Singapore

Recently I have been involved in Toastmaster. It is an international organization that helps us improve our English, public speaking, communication and leadership skills. There are about 13.000 clubs in the world, including 33 clubs in Korea. If you want to join and to know more about Sinchon Toastmaster Club, you can contact me.

OK, that's not the point of my posting now (but yeah, you can contact me!). Last week in Toastmaster meeting, I did my second speech project about how to Organize Your Speech. I wanted to present something I know and experience very well. I gave a speech about 3 unique things of Singapore.

FINES


As you know, Singapore is famous for being one of the cleanest countries in the world, thanks to its government's strict regulations. In the buildings, parks and public transportations, you can find many signs telling people what they shouldn't do and how much they would be fined if they broke the rules. Some rules are common and can be found too in other countries, but some... are silly. For example:

04 December 2011

Beast at Yongpyong Korean Wave Concert

I went to Korean Wave Concert last night at Yongpyong Pyeongchang, sponsored by KTO. Full story can be read here in my daily blog. Here some Beast pictures and videos for the fangirls ;)



12 November 2011

Pepero Day

Eleventh of November (11.11) is the Pepero (빼빼로) Day. I am not sure how it started, but many Koreans, especially teenagers, celebrate it by giving out Pepero snacks to their loved ones. It's almost similar to Valentines Day (when girls giving chocolate to boys) and White Day (when boys giving chocolate to girls). The difference with Pepero Day is that everyone can give Pepero snacks to anyone: girls, boys, family, friends, teachers, etc.

   

Pepero is a biscuit stick coated with chocolate produced by Lotte, one of the biggest South Korean foods and shopping companies. It is a rival to Pocky, the same biscuit from Japan. Pepero also comes in many flavours such as almond and strawberry.

 

On the backside of Pepero box, there is a field to write down message. The stick represents number 1, that's why they celebrate it in 11 November (the day of the year that has the most number 1). Doesn't really make sense, right? Perhaps it was just a marketing strategy. A really successful marketing campaign, because many people are really into it now. In this past week, I saw mini marts and supermarkets were selling Pepero package gifts. Yesterday on the street and subways, I saw many people carrying it too.


I didn't celebrate it, but I was glad I didn't spend the day alone ^^

04 September 2011

Taking Seoul Metro

Like other big cities, traveling around Seoul is very easy with public transportation, especially with its massive Metro/Subway system. There are about 15 lines of train operated in Seoul and its urban area (more complicated than Singapore), including Airport Railroad from/to Incheon and Gimpo Airports. I always check the map, price, timetable and direction from one station to another station from this site.


Getting to downtown Seoul from Incheon Airport by train is the cheapest mode, depends on the destination but usually will not be above 5,000 Won. However I haven't taken Airport Railroad from/to Incheon before. When I first time arrived here, I was being picked up by a taxi to my home. Taxi from Incheon Airport to downtown Seoul would take about 60,000-75,000 Won. Other alternative is using airport bus about 8,000 Won, and (I heard) it's also convenient.

17 August 2011

Can't Believe I am in Seoul Now

Annyeong Haseyo.. long time not updating this blog. I was so busy with the crossroad of my life. I just made a big move to quit my job in Singapore and take a new one in Seoul, South Korea. I just arrived in Seoul this morning, and now still can't believe it! I will post my daily stories in Korea here, while this blog will be used for more general posts.

19 June 2011

Golden Mile - Thaitown in Singapore

Golden Mile Complex is one of the places where Thai immigrants in Singapore gather and look for Thai products. Yesterday I went there for the first time, with my Thai friend. Usually when we met up, I brought her to my favorite Indonesian eateries. Now it's time for her to bring me to try authentic Thai foods.

We stopped by Lavender MRT, because the complex was located within 10 minutes walking distance. It is full of Thai shops, restaurants, bars, salons and supermarkets. The environment is totally different, you will feel as you are not in Singapore. All signs are in Thai, everybody spoke Thai. In front of the building, I saw a tiny praying spot with Buddha statue inside, and 2 elephant statues on the gate.

We went to a recommended food place named Nong Khai, which was located on the first floor. She did all the orders for me based on her favorite foods (and the fact that I did not eat pork). So we ate Papaya Salad, Seafood Salad and Beef Soup. It's called Beef Soup but is filled with so many veggies. Moreover, three of the dishes are full of chilies. Thai people really like eating vegetables and spicy foods. This kind of foods cannot be found in localized Thai restaurants like Thai Express (I doubt that its owner is from Thailand). Plus sticky rice (my friend said this foods were better eaten with sticky rice rather than with normal rice) and ice tea, we spent about $30 for 2 people.


Done having dinner, we browsed the supermarket. As usual, my friend stocked herself with Thai foods for 1-2 weeks. She asked me to try some too. So I bought home an Instant Tom Yam Noodle, Koh Kae Peanuts and Strawberry Cakes. I tried Koh-Kae before, but never the coffee flavor, so I bought that one. It's good!


That's the end of my visit to Golden Mile Complex. I'm surprised there are so many Thai people in Singapore.

30 May 2011

Wah! Korea Party


As I wrote in this post, I was coming to Wah! Korea Party, and it was yesterday! The schedule was 2-11 PM, but me and my friends arrived there at 4 PM and finished at 10 PM. The party was located in warehouse hall at Scape, near Cineleisure Orchard. That was the first time I went inside Scape, a shopping mall that newly opened last year as part of youth park where young people gather and hang out. Flea market is held there very often. I did feel young again being around that area.

Inside the hall, there were few stalls inside the hall: Traditional Games where we could try a Korean traditional boardgame, Spa Scene where we could have makeover free from Spa Scene, Cyber Online Game where we could play and battle with wii, Photozone and Calligraphy Zone where we could take polaroid picture with a couple dressed in hanbok and have our names written in hangul, Koryo where we could have some drinks (they had soju after 9!) from a-cafela, Buffet Korean foods, and Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) where we could get tourism information about Korea (I directly gathered the brochures for my upcoming trip to Seoul February next year, yeah I know still long time to go!). We could collect stamps in the dedicated passport book from each stall to join the lucky draw (I never been lucky to this kind of thing). There were also some beautiful photos about Korea decorated the hall. With all the foods, drinks, goody bag, and meeting new friends, $20 ticket was totally worth it.

20 May 2011

Audi Fashion Festival 2011: Francis Cheong Couture

Last week, 13-19 May, there was a big Fashion Festival here in Singapore, presenting international and Asian top designers, like Missoni and Antonio Berardi. This annual event actually has been held three times, sponsored by Audi which this year has the theme "Driving Imagination". Some shows are opened to public and we could buy the tickets via Sistic.

Luckily, together with some other bloggers, I was invited by omy to attend one of the shows: Francis Cheong Couture featuring Christy Chung (thanks, omy!). It was held on last Tuesday 9PM in Tent @ Orchard, in front of Ngee Ann City.



15 May 2011

Join Korea Club in Singapore

Last week my friend who's obsessed with Korea (after watching some KDrama) like me, found ads about this upcoming Korea party and asked me to come together.

What is it?
I also don't know haha everything about Korea just makes me excited. Well, actually you can see the list of activities on the above link.

How much is it?
Ticket price is $30 for public, $25 for Wah! Korea Club member, $20 for member who buys in early bird period until May 16th.

How to be a member?
We can fill up the application form via online, or directly visit Korea Tourism Organization office in Singapore. The card will be printed immediately on the office. It's free!

Where is the office?
It's called Korea Plaza, located in Samsung Hub, Raffles Place (walking distance from Raffles Place MRT). It's opened only weekdays (Mon-Fri) 10 am - 7 pm, so we went there as fast as we could after finished work on Thursday. When we arrived, there was K-Pop dance course going on. The place is very exciting and colorful with phototaking booth, hanbok (Korean traditional clothes), some small statues and accessories, and many more.







08 May 2011

Visiting Biennale 2011

As I don't understand and not interested too much in art, I rarely visit an art exhibition. But this Biennale 2011 is held in a unique venue that I haven't been before: Old Kallang Airport. It is the first civil airport of Singapore. I would never visit this abandoned building if not for this exhibition. And it is free admission. This event has been held three times so far, but for me it is the first time.

Exhibition in Old Kallang Airport

About 1.5 hours later, we took free shuttle bus at 12.15 PM to another free venue of Biennale 2011: Merlion Park. Two weeks ago I also came to this place but did not go inside because the queue was very long. This time the queue was quite long too, but we just tried it. And apparently it did not take too much time for waiting. When entering the hotel room, we should take off our footwear. Here some pictures inside.

Inside Merlion Hotel

No water pouring from Merlion's mouth, but we can be so much close to this famous icon of Singapore.

Traveling Soundtracks

About 4 days ago, I listened up to Musicovery again, after feeling sick with playlist in my iPod. Its interface was changed a lot in a better way. I tuned in What's new? for the new songs (up to 1 year ago) while continuing my work in the office. Suddenly it played one familiar song that reminds me of France. At first I thought it was one of Amélie movie songs, but the lyric/melody was not too French. I opened the tab to check the title and singer: Riverside by Agnes Obel..... "hemm never heard about that".

And finally I realized, it was a song that accompanied me in flight to/from Paris last time. It is a slow and relaxing song so people can sleep conveniently during the flight. I like that song, but did not know what song it was (thank you Musicovery for discovering it for me). Oh what a nostalgic song, now I keep listening to it when I sleep, to remember those days in Europe. I really miss it.


Here are some my traveling soundtracks other than Riverside above.

Pure Shores by All Saints - Aceh, Indonesia
It is the main soundtrack for all beach destination, isn't it? I kept listening to this song when I visited beautiful beaches in Banda Aceh and Weh Island. It was my first visit to Weh Island (the most western part of Indonesia) and I fell in love so much. I spent 2 nights and 3 days there with my friend from Banda Aceh. In the ferry back to the main land Banda Aceh, I sit by myself near the window, trying to see the last sight of Weh Island while the ferry was leaving. I listened to this song and cried. I am sure I will be back there one day. It's funny that this song reminds me more about my traveling to Aceh instead of my trip to Phi Phi Island and Phuket.

Nobody But You by Wonder Girls - Phuket, Thailand
I don't like this song, but it kept sounding in my head after watching Simon Cabaret in Phuket, a lady-boy (beautiful transgender from Thailand) show. In the show, they danced to this song very similarly, even more flirty than the real Wonder Girls, which can make you shocked and amused. So sorry Wonder Girls, now your song reminds me of Thai's lady-boys.

I Am Strong by Tiësto - Kuching, Malaysia
Actually the song is about being strong for being alone after breaking up in a relationship. But somehow I perceived it as being strong for being alone in a foreign country. I have no problem traveling alone, but at that time I was not in the mood of solo-traveling and wanting to have friends besides me. So I kept listening to this song to make me strong and enjoy the trip.

Insomnia by Craig David - Lombok/Bali, Indonesia
It was one of songs we sang/karaoke during the long ferry ride from Bali to Lombok.


And many more. Do you have soundtrack(s) to memorize your previous trips?

26 April 2011

Smash by Martin Solveig

Martin Solveig is a DJ who, despite his weak tennis level and early Woody Allen style, is irresistibly ascending the contemporary music chart, knowing however that he will never become the Mick Jagger of the DJ world, but more a sort of hairless King Kong who wants to feel free to buy a baguette in a boulangerie, driven by his naive quest of the one true love that would bring him out of his shell, instead of simply enjoying the multiple sexual opportunities of a successful show business career.

You have to watch these great videos, especially the second one which shows Marina Bay Sands, Mambo Jambo and the night view of Singapore! This SMASH album would be released this June.


Hello


Big in Japan


Ready to Go

[Update: April 12th, 2012]

Martin Solveig just released the 4th episode of SMASH! The story is still about SHE, the girl he loved. He and his managuuuh tried to set up a romantic show "The Night Out" to be watched only by Martin and SHE, but his managuh ruined it haha. In the end, Martin and SHE spent the night out by going around Paris with his motorcycle, going to Montmarte, and taking cruise in Seine River.


The Night Out

Among these 4 episodes, my favorite is still the second one showing Initials S.H.E on Marina Bay Sands Singapore, but the second favorite is this new episode. All dialogues in this video are absurd, and Lafaille the managuh is still wicked. I personally like the old lady in cinema who mistaken Martin with David Guetta. Through this video, we can also see the beautiful Paris with its Eiffel and Sacre Cour. I am not really into France, but seeing this video really brought back memories of going there last year.

25 April 2011

Weekend Tour Guide

During last weekend, a friend of mine who's never been to Singapore before, was staying at my place. I accompanied her walking around this tiny country to the standard tourist places. usually visitors/tourists from Indonesia do not need to be guided anymore, since they must have visited Singapore at least once. Ya, Singapore for Indonesians is like Bandung for Jakartans where you can go there for only short weekend gateaways, especially do shopping. Also, there are too many Indonesians living here in Singapore. If I was not available for guiding some tourists, I am sure they have other relatives here to meet and help them. Moreover, Singapore is the safest, most convenient and most tourist-friendly I've ever known.

I always ask first, "have you been here before?", "where/what did you go/eat in the last visits?" before I babble out about what's good in Singapore, because they might have already known so much about Singapore, might even known better than me. Traveling to Singapore is not so special anymore. That's why having a Singapore-virgin tourist like this friend of mine, brought me a simple joy.

Saturday morning I went to Harbourfront terminal to pick up my friend who crossed the sea from Batam. It supposed to be 45 minutes ferry-ride only, but this time took about 1.5 hour plus 1 hour queuing in immigration, due to heavy traffic tourists in the long weekend. First hour waiting in the arrival hall was not bad since there was a good-looking foreigner guy waiting there also, but when he's gone I got bored easily watching people passing by.

After I met my friend, we had lunch directly in Banquet (halal food court) nearby. I introduced her to Hainanese Chicken Rice. And then we went to Sentosa, walking from Siloso Beach, Merlion to Resort World. We did not enter any attractions, only sightseeing and taking a lot of pictures. Too bad the iconic Universal globe was hidden under maintenance.

In the afternoon I brought her to Raffles Place. The Singapore icon Merlion, which used to have fountain from its mouth, now is hidden inside a red box. It is actually a luxury hotel room with Merlion in it, during Biennale art event. It opens to public until next month. The room is fully booked at $150/night, but free admission during daytime.


Then, we crossed the bridge to Esplanade and Singapore Flyer. I let her take the Flyer alone, since I have tried it twice (day and night). $29 for the 3rd ride in 20 minutes Flyer-ride is definitely not worth it. So I waited her downstairs where Sakura Festival was held.

many interesting cosplays

Walking back to Esplanade to have dinner in my favorite place Makan Sutra (see this post). It was Saturday night in a long weekend, but fortunately we could still get some seats (by sharing table with a couple). We had Cereal Prawn and Sambal Kangkong (my favorite) and Roti Prata since my friend wanted to try Indian food.

The next day was shopping time. After walking around Chinese Garden (see this post) for a while, we went to Orchard to have my favorite Ayam Penyet Ria (haha I always make tourists come to this place! See this post) and do some shoppings. Around 3.30 PM we decided to walk outside the malls. There were so many people, waiting to watch F1 cars passing by Orchard road from Mandarin Gallery to Ion (which was closed for any other vehicles). This was not happening often, so we decided to join the crowd and waited until 4 PM when finally David Coulthard drove his car.

couldn't capture the car, just the crowd

After that, we moved to Bugis, Arab Street and Kampong Glam (see this post). Some replicas in the yard of Malay Heritage Center were gone, they're soon closed for renovation. Then, in the night we went to Chinatown. When we passed by a foot and body massage place, my friend directly asked me to take 15 mins foot massage together for our tiring feet after these 2 days non-stopped walking. It's very relaxing, and making my feet light again.

Around 8 PM, we went to Harbourfront terminal where my friend took the latest ferry back to Batam. I went home and ended my week by watching the latest episode of 1N2D (Korean TV show haha). Argh Monday comes again! I can't wait for next weekend which I will be going to Jakarta to meet the sweetheart(s).

24 March 2011

Lost in Translation in Paris

This is a story about my very first day in Paris. After flying 13 hours by Air France from Singapore, I arrived in Paris - Charles de Gaulle airport around 6 AM, together with 2 colleagues. I had one day to walk around Paris before flying to Marseille on the next day. No problemo in immigration, they just asked me to show working assignment letter from my company. There was free 15 minutes wi-fi in the airport, and suddenly everybody's busy with their phone for a while.

As my friend Audi, with whom I was gonna stay in Paris, told me, I needed to take RER B train from airport to La Croix de Berny metro station to go to her place. Later she would pick me up in that station. Okay, sounds easy, there were many signs of Paris by Train in airport terminals, we just needed to follow that. Three of us took the same train but we alighted in different station, I was the last. During that one hour commuting by train, I already informed Audi via SMS twice with "delivered" status, but I didn't get any reply. I started to worry when I reached the destination station. It was a small and desolate metro station, where no one speaks English. I did not find Audi, did not have any credits left in my Singapore number to call her, and I could not speak French at all. I was doomed. What did I do?


1. Look for Convenience Stores
My first mission since arrived in Paris was buying France simcard. That was really the most important thing to do. Do you think it's easy? No, I did not find any place to buy it since in the airport until La Croix de Berny metro station. I was thinking I could buy it in convenience stores like 7-11 (later I knew from Audi that we cannot buy a France simcard in usual convenience store like other countries). So, with big luggage and backpack, I walked a bit from the station to explore the surroundings. Hopeless. It was all residencies. I went  back inside train station to ask the lady in ticket counter (who could not speak English, of course). "Supermarket?" with my arms rotating above my heads, means "is there any supermarket around this area?". She said "Nay!" with arms crossing and head shaking. Okay, that's clear, no supermarket around here. I sat back on my luggage in front of station, thinking what to do next.

2. Ask Friends in Singapore to Top Up My Singtel Credits
Actually I did not think about it, until suddenly I got SMS from Singtel telling me that I could ask friends or family at home to fill up our Singtel credits. What a coincidence! Hopelessly I used that feature to send message to some friends of mine in Singapore. But later I realized they would not believe or buy credits for me just like that. So what next?

3. Use People's Phone to Call Audi
I approached a not-so-old guy next to me: "Phone?" while my right hand was put on my right ear like I use phone, what else?! He replied me with some French words while pointing to streets downstairs. Okay, maybe he wanted to say that there was public telephone down there. I pulled myself and my luggage downstairs. There was just a bus stop, no telephone! I asked again to a lady near bus stop: "Phone?" I didn't have any clue at all of what she said, so I just went back to the station.

4. Go to More Hectic Place Where I Can Buy Simcard, Use Public Telephone or Meet Someone Who Can Speak English
On the train from airport, I saw many tourists exit in Notre Dame station. That might be one of the central places in Paris (by the way, this business trip was so sudden that I could not have proper time to browse about Paris. In fact, I did not know which tourist places to visit, except Eiffel, I just depended on Audi's guide). So I bought a ticket to Notre Dame station in the ticket counter. The train should be in the other platform of my previous train, but I did not know how to go to the other line. I asked a lady next to me: "Notre Dame?" while showing my ticket. She spoke in French while pointing to the other side (yeah I knew, but how to go there ma'am?!)... and then she moved her arms again, somehow I understood that I should cross the bridge upstairs. Owkaaayy.. merci, ma'am! With the heavy luggage I took up the stairs and went to the other platform. Suddenly a familiar voice calling: "Rika!"

And there was an angel, I mean Audi, standing across the platform (imagine like a movie haha). She actually had been there waiting for me quite long. She got all my messages and replied 4 times, but somehow my phone did not receive them. Anyway, that was such a relief to finally meet Audi after one hour lost in translation. What an experience!

I went to Audi's place to put my bags, take shower and eat some foods, before we went around Paris. We visited Musée du Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower. It was really beautiful, of course. It would be more beautiful if I was not suffering from jet lag.


More pictures here.

Merci beaucoup Audi for your hospitality :)

18 March 2011

Bonjour


I can't believe it has been 6 days I am in this other part of the world, time flies so fast when you enjoy it ya. There are a lot to tell even I don't know where to start. From getting lost in translation (because everybody speaks language I don't know at all), seeing many beautiful places almost everyday, until the feeling of working in a new environment and culture with awesome French colleagues.

This is my first business trip ever in about 3 years working experience, because my job doesn't need me to be mobile. That's why I am glad to have the opportunity to learn a new project in the branch office in Gémenos, in the Southern France, for about 2 weeks.

Also, this is my first time traveling to Europe. Not exactly to countries I always dream (England, Italy and Greece), but I am happy enough. In this very short time, with my tasks and jobs, I took the opportunity to travel to surrounding cities during the weekends. Last weekend in Paris, this weekend will be in Barcelona, next weekend hope to visit Amsterdam and Brussels (not fixed yet). Not to mention the cool places around Provence where the colleagues took us during lunch or after work.

Two weeks is not a long time, so I want to enjoy every moment of it. Will update again soon, au revoir!

01 March 2011

Learning Hip Hop Moves

In a posting last year, I said that I was interested in joining regular Hip Hop dance class. Been looking for course with reasonable price, I finally joined the one in Sports & Recreation Centre near my flat (just across the street, very nice right?!). It's $80 for 12 sessions, quite cheap compare to usual dance schools that charge around $10-$15 per session! There are about 20 people joining this term with me, from young teenagers until late 20s, which slowly disappearing one by one :P (tonight only 10 people coming). Classroom is very nice, better than in any dance schools I have seen. It is very big, all covered with mirror and woody floor. The teacher is not bad. Even though he still cannot blend much with participants and cannot make the class more alive, but his Hip Hop skill is unquestionable. The duration is 1 hour, once a week every Tuesday night. For me, it's good for exercise and getting away from problems in real life for a while. Cause every time I dance, I so feel young and free again. Or like Usher said: feel like a zombie gone back to life :D

Except learning a little bit popping, sliding, freestyle, body wave and other basic Hip Hop things, in the first 5 classes we danced into a Korean Hip Hop song with strong beats. Then since last week we've started a new song that's quite slow: Mad by Ne-Yo. It's getting more difficult and it made me frustrating in the beginning, but I will practice more often! Here a short video of the dance.


Wanna try? ;)

27 February 2011

Support Indonesian Literature

Lately I found myself having a list-of-books-to-buy everytime I went home to Indonesia. Many people come to Singapore to buy books heavenly in Bras Basah, Borders and Kinokuniya, while I am going home to stock myself with some Indonesian books. I must admit that Indonesian literature is going more interesting with a lot of newcomer writers. They're also good in publication by being active in social media. They really got me in Twitter.
Pictures from kutukutubuku.com

(1) Two authors above are a blogger, I've loved their stories and collected their first books since the beginning, before I moved to Singapore. That's why each time they published new books or comics, even though the comics are so lame (Goat Guy, you should stop producing the comics, just focus on the books/blog), I need to get them asap. Sometimes I pre-ordered online and asked my sister to buy books I want, so the books were already there when I went home.

(2) One of the books above, the author is very famous and was once a singer (or maybe still). Many people talked good about this book, so I bought it one year ago but until now I haven't even opened up the plastic cover yet. It was just because everyone in social media praised this book, but actually I do not like the author.

(3) Another book, the author was my senior in university and is very funny in Twitter. So I tried to read his new novel about tragic comedy of a marriage life. For me, it is not disappointing but not so special either.

(4) Another one is the first novel of a trilogy about education. It is very inspiring, and there will be a movie soon filming the story from this novel. I really like quotes in front page (in Indonesian):
Orang berlimu dan beradab tidak akan diam di kampung halaman
Tinggalkan negerimu dan merantaulah ke negeri orang

Merantaulah, kau akan dapatkan pengganti dari kerabat dan kawan
Berlelah-lelahlah, manisnya hidup terasa setelah lelah berjuang

Aku melihat air menjadi rusak karena diam tertahan
Jika mengalir menjadi jernih, jika tidak, kan keruh menggenang

Singa jika tak tinggalkan sarang tak akan dapat mangsa
Anak panah jika tidak tinggalkan busur tak akan kena sasaran

Jika matahari di orbitnya tidak bergerak dan terus diam
Tentu manusia bosan padanya dan enggan memandang

Bijih emas bagaikan tanah biasa sebelum digali dari tambang
Kayu gaharu tak ubahnya seperti kayu biasa
Jika di dalam hutan.

By. Imam Syafii’
Second book of the trilogy has come out, and it has been put in my list-book-to-buy next month in Jakarta.

(5) The last book is really interesting especially for Indonesian people who lives in Singapore. It tells a story of her life when studying in NTU Singapore and living here for 4 years: A land of opportunity but also a land of desperation. I like her writings, so I might buy her other books soon.

Can you guess which book(s) I refer to in each paragraph? :P

15 February 2011

Foods in Singapore

I am not a healthy person nor strong enough nor having a really good shape of body, but I rarely get sick. In 2009, I took only half day sick leave from work. In 2010, only 1 day. So, last month when I had sore throat, cough and fever more than 3 days, I got panic and asked the doctor to do x-rays immediately. The doctor laughed and said I was too exaggerating: "no need lah". He gave me stronger medicines, then fortunately the fever's gone, but the cough was still there until about 2 weeks later. Most of my favorite foods in Singapore were not edible (because of oily, etc). I did not have appetite. I was really homesick. I had never felt like that before because I always went home every month. Maybe I should start to learn my mother's cooking. Not some recipes from the internet, but really my mom's recipes.

Talking about foods, I would like to share my favorite foods here in Singapore, which are not too many because I am not a foodaholic. I am the kind of person who eats for living, not lives for eating. I eat something just so I can live, work and do other things without starving. I do not care too much about the taste, art of making, contained ingredients, etc, as long as I'm full. But this view of mine was changed after I watched 1 Night 2 Days, a Korean TV show (with our lovely Lee Seung Gi in it). They play games and fight for foods, so they value foods so much. They are familiar with many local delicacies and seasonings. Start from now, I will try to praise the foods I eat. But for now, let me share my favorite foods in Singapore so far. This is really subjective.

Chili Crab


Chili Crab is a unique local food of Singapore. There are other taste of crabs, such as Black Pepper Crab, but the most famous one is chili. Even Lady Gaga sang for it when she performed a concert here. Singapore foods are never spicy, so is this Chili Crab, even though it's named chili. The sauce actually tastes sweet in my tongue. Usually people also eat fried bun by dipping it into chili crab sauce. I am not a master of Chili Crab, so I do not know which restaurant is the best for this dish. I usually go to Makan Sutra in Esplanade Marina Bay to eat this food, because the location is easy to reach, and very happening at night. Together with Chili Crab, I often order Cereal Prawn and Kangkung Belacan which are also Singaporean dishes.

Ayam Penyet Ria


No matter where you go, nothing beats your hometown's foods. Like I said before, it's hard to find spicy foods here, so Ayam Penyet Ria is a blessing. Even my Thai friend, who's craving for spicy foods, keeps going back to this restaurants. Actually the real Ayam Penyet comes with smashed chicken mixed together with chili sauce, sometimes we even cannot recognize the chicken's shape anymore. So, this one is actually just normal fried chicken with an incredible chili sauce.

Since many Indonesians living in Singapore, there are many Indonesian foods available. Other favorites of mine are Iga Bakar (Roasted Rib) in Bumbu Desa, Bakmie Pangsit (tasty noodles with MSG) in IMM Jurong East, Sop Buntut (Oxtail Soup) in Pondok Jawa Timur, and Nasi Tumpeng in Java Kitchen (Food Republic Vivo City). I also often visit Resto Surabaya, Ayam Penyet Presiden and Ayam Bakar Ojolali restaurants in Lucky Plaza Orchard, but only because my friends like to go and hang out there, nothing special dish for me.

Hokkien Prawn Mee


This is another not bad Singaporean dish. I usually eat this in Banquet Vivo City, Food Republic Wisma Atria and Pioneer hawker center near my flat.

Others:
- Butter Kaya Toast and hot milk tea, Ya Kun Kaya Toast
- Spring O, Old Chang Kee (fried snacks or gorengan in Indonesia are much better)
- Laksa, Toast Box
- Chicken sausage with black pepper sauce, Eighteen Chefs
- Garuda Padang, Seoul Garden, Thai Express, Mind Cafe, Just Acia

This is the list of my favorite foods and restaurants that I can remember for now. Looking at this list, hemmm, apparently there are many things to eat here. But when you're sick, your Mom's cooking is still the best.

18 January 2011

Lee Seung Gi, Nomu Nomu Nomu Chua!

This is so embarrassing, I will ignore my age for the moment. I am once again fascinated by a Korean star!

aaaarhh the Smile Boy *faint*

The last time I had a super-crush on Korean actor like this was more than 3 years ago, after watching Goong S series with Se7en as the main actor. After that, of course I still watched some Korean series, but was never being starstruck like this, until I watched My Girlfriend is a Nine-Tailed Fox (Gumiho) last weekend. I finished all 16 episodes in 2 nights, and directly 'fell in love' with this guy, oh God.

What I mean by super-crush is:
1. Checking his name and biography. Some guys in Korean series I watched, even when they are really cute and I like the stories, I do not too care to know their name.
2. Looking for his pictures. And create a special folder for this.
3. Setting his picture as desktop background. His photo just replaced a wonderful picture of 12 Apostles I took in Melbourne.
4. Checking his videos on Youtube, like movie snapshots, awards, TV shows or ads.
Always like him in suit. Who doesn't like a man in suit?
Surprisingly like Se7en, this guy is a singer-become-actor. So,
5. Downloading all songs from his albums completely. The songs (together with soundtracks of Gumiho series) are being my playlist of the week.
6. Looking for his other TV series, Shining Inheritance, which actually came out before Gumiho.
7. And his nice, cool and romantic character as Cha Dae Woong in Gumiho is still stuck in my head (or my heart?).

I hope he will perform a concert here in Singapore before I lost my obsession about him. Because you know what, I just found out that Se7en actually came here last November. But I do not crush on him anymore, so I do not care.

And now I want to learn Korean language. Any good course in Singapore?

(*) The title meaning: really really really like you