Friday, April 30, 2010

Have A Cool Weekend

This week has become one of the hottest week. Thank God it's Friday, we can soon dip in the swimming pool or read a book under a tree while licking an ice cream cone. Ahh, I'm really looking forward to the cool weekend. However, I got an early weekend treat last night as I watched the concert of Pundaquit Virtuosi at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta (Jakarta Playhouse). The kids are so amazing!

(Source: here)

There will be an open air cinema night tonight at Hotel Ritz Carlton Pacific Place. The movie is Saturday Night Fever and audience can get complimentary popcorn. The screening is free, but you need to call for reservation because seats are limited. Hmm, I might be heading there if I could finish my work on time:)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mrs. Forgetful

(Taken from here)

Talking to M&D recently has reminded me that they were not young anymore...

Don't Turn Off The Lamp
(Situation: It was 10 in the morning and I found M sleeping on the long bench while the lamp on)
Me: M, go sleep in the bedroom.
M: Nah, I like it here. Don't turn off the lamp.
(Ten minutes later, she woke up and went to the dining room. I was there)
M: Hey, why did you leave the lamp on?
Me: ?!@#$

Who Pressed The Rice Cooker's Button?
Situation: This one is a continued scene from the above scene. I was in the dining room, and M entered. There was a rice cooker on the table, and she pressed the button to keep the rice warm.
M: You already have breakfast?
Me: Yes.
(We had small talk and after a few minutes, the button popped up with a "ping")
M: Who pressed the button? Was it you?
Me: ?!@#$

Monday, April 26, 2010

Le Petit Nicolas and Le Concert

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? I had a dose of good laugh with the French movies and my friends. I watched five movies: L’Heure d’été, Micmacs à Tire- Larigot, De l’autre Coté du Lit, Le Petit Nicolas and Le Concert.

My favorites are Le Petit Nicolas and Le Concert.

(Found here)

Little Nicolas is a happy boy. He has good parents and good friends. But one day, he overhears his parents talking and concludes that his mother is expecting a baby boy. Afraid that his parents will stop loving him, Nicolas sets out on a plan to get rid of his baby brother. And such funny plans the children have! I highly recommend this movie for everyone.


I fall in love with Le Concert since the opening reveals a composition of Tchaikovsky (I'm not sure which, but it sounds like Serenade for strings?). It tells about the struggle of Andrei Filipov, former Bolshoi orchestra conductor, who wants to make a comeback after being fired 30 years ago for hiring Jewish musicians. It has all the drama and comedy, with director Radu Mihaileanu withholding just a couple of info to be revealed at the end of the movie. I can't recommend this for everyone, but if you love classical music, (specifically Tchaikovsky) and understand the cynical humor of French, then it's yours to enjoy.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tiramisu, Anyone?

Darlings, what are your plans this weekend? Mine will include a dose of French films (again!). If you are bored with the French films, there's the screening of Tiramisu, a Dutch film at Erasmus Huis on April 24 at 1.30 p.m. and 4 p.m. What's even better, it's free! (I'm still going to see the French film, though)
(Taken from here)

This year, Erasmus Huis Jakarta is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and that's why there are many events throughout the year. To learn more about the events, go check it out here.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kebaya + Surf Board = Cool

(Source: here)

To commemorate the birth of national hero RA Kartini, women surfers wear national attire kebaya during a competition in Bali.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Finally Made It To Lombok!

I like Lombok than Bali because Lombok has less tourists. We went to Bali in early April, which is basically not a high-peak time, but the island was still flooded with tourists! That was not the case in Lombok, which still has unexplored beaches in its southern coastline.

Our university friend Ana is working as an architect for Sempiak Villa in Selong Belanak, about two-hour car ride from Selaparang airport, Ampenan. She kindly invited us to stay at her workplace, and the best thing was she happened to be on the same flight to Lombok as us. So we could have a ride with her too. It was a long and bumpy ride, but the view is worth the ride...

You can not see it clearly but the small spots on the sea are fishermen's boats. Everything is so beautiful here and I love the infinity pool. The cloud on the background of the last photo somehow reminds me of the Firefox logo:)

The next day, we went to Sade traditional village.

Sade has 150 houses and 700 residents. They mostly marry their cousins because there is a fine when one decides to marry people from another village. The fine is two or three buffaloes, which are given to the women. Buffaloes must have been very expensive then!

It is interesting to see that although they preserve their traditional way of life, some modern appliances has  found a way in.

A woman put the rice under the sun. Our guide said that only women are allowed to go into the lumbung (rice barn) because local beliefs said that men would get sick if they went into the barn.

They plant their own cotton and make their own clothes. How cool are these people! 

The guide said that the floor of this house was made from rice husk and clay. They clean it with buffalo dung (yikes!) to repel mosquito. The houses teach guests manners because low roofs require people to bow upon entering:). Each house usually has two floors. The first is occupied by parents (on the right side) and the boys (on the left side, here is hidden by the cupboard), while the second is inhabited by the daughters (on the right side) and the kitchen.

And that is the kitchen. I did not take photos of the daughter's bedroom because it was very dark up there and my camera batteries died.
Then we went to Kuta beach of Lombok. And what a wonderful beach it is! The only downside is the persevere souvenir vendors. We avoided them by pretending to take photos seriously while walking away and saying 'no, thank you' in a polite way.

The next stop was Mawun beach. We reached it by noon, when the sun is at the top of its force. We managed to find a shade, though.

Before we left Selong Belanak, Ana took us for a morning stroll.

We saw a sting ray (or is it a manta ray?) on a boat and Ana showed us an octopus (or is it a giant squid?). 

After leaving Selong Belanak, we headed to Mataram and spent two nights at Hotel Giri Putri, that only charges Rp 100,000 per day. We went snorkeling at Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. We took an offer at Perama Tours, that only charges Rp 250,000 per person, but it should have at least two persons. I managed to beg Aneen to do it, hehehe...Snorkeling is fun!

Unfortunately, we did not have underwater camera with us, but the fishes we saw were more or less like these...
(Source: here)

Don't forget to bring breadcrumbs if you go snorkeling at the Gilis. The fishes are so tame they will eat from your hands.

Bali, The Island Of Gods

The next stop was Solo, to pick up my friend Aneen. I did not take many photos there because I only spent a few hours in Solo before we took Prambanan Express train to Yogyakarta, stopped at Maguwo station and made a cross to Adi Sutjipto airport. 

So I will fast forward to Bali and then Lombok:)

Is it ridiculous if I say that it was my first trip to Bali? Yeah, I've been to many places, but never been to Bali, my country's top holiday destination? (It's a long story and needs to be elaborated on a post.)

It is likely that you'll see those in every corner of Bali. It is called canang, offering of colorful flowers put in tiny basket of coconut leaves. Be careful, don't step on them. Legend has it that bad luck will befall you should you step on it. I'm not much of a superstitious person, but canang is part of their religious ritual and I'm respecting it. 

I happened to be in Bali during kliwonan, one of the days considered sacred there. As Aneen and I explored the streets, we spotted preparations of traditional ceremonies held in temples. I snapped the following photos during our motorcycle ride there.

I really like the last photo, a combination of Balinese boys and the street signage and the serious look on the Balinese man.

I've been wondering if pecalang (community security personnel) wear trousers underneath their sarung.

Later on that day, Aneen and I met with several friends and then had dinner at Made's Warung. We took a table on the second floor by the window. It was a lucky choice because just as we sat, a ceremony began on the banjar (traditional neighborhood council) next door.

Here are some photos of the performance there.

While Indonesia is predominantly Muslim, Bali is predominantly Hindu. But look at this photo...

Next post : Lombok!

Glimpses Of My Campus

The first destination is Semarang, where I went to college.

I took Senja Utama train from Jakarta at 7.30 p.m. and arrived at Tawang station, Semarang at 3 a.m, just as the ticket said. I was actually hoping that the train would reach Semarang a bit later. I mean 3 o'clock in the morning??? So I sat there waiting until the sun came out.

I didn't get around the city too much because I was keeping my stamina for the final two islands (Bali and Lombok). Since I was spending the days in my former kost (rented room) and it was near my university, I decided to go and see how far it has changed.

The gate to the Diponegoro University (Undip) at Ngesrep, Tembalang is now seeing more cars and motorcycles.  Semarang has this thing with Prince Diponegoro statue. There are at least three statues of Diponegoro: one in the Pleburan campus, one in Tembalang campus and another in the Army basecamp.

The sign says: The auditorium of Diponegoro University will be built here. I've seen the sign since I went to college in 1997, and I have yet to see any auditorium. The building on the background is Gedung Serba Guna (Multi Purpose Hall).

Undip has two campuses, the Pleburan campus (for the social studies) and the Tembalang campus (for science studies). It currently builds buildings for the social departments. Rumor has it that by 2011, the whole departments of Undip will sit at Tembalang. 

Masjid Diponegoro is under renovation.

This is my department. You can see the Vitruvius statue made from unused steels. Previously, there was a man-shaped Vitruvius, made from gyps and nude, but the locals hated it (When I went to college in 1997, some of the campus areas was still inhabited by local farmers). They thought it was inappropriate and covered it with fabric. I guess Tembalang was not ready for the nude Vitruvius:D. 

A closer look to the statue, my friend Motzheey and I.

I used to sit on the corridor, waiting for the lecturer to come. The columns used to be painted in red and blue colors.

Whoa! Now the campus has an amphitheater! Look at the students working with laptops and such greenery! I miss studying (sigh).

Although, the campus has undergone many changes, some stays the same. For example...

...the final works on the library's shelves:)...and... eccentric lecturer Pak Totok still refuses to use computer to make announcement:)

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Have A Penchant For French Films

Happy Friday!

Don't you just love Sophie Marceau? And what's even better...the film will be screened at the 2010 French Film Festival! Yay! I've been following the festival since 2004, and I think you should too. This year the festival will screen some 20 movies from April 15-25 at Platinum fX and Blitz Megaplex Grand Indonesia. Then the festival will travel to Balikpapan, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Denpasar. 

See you at the festival!

For more information:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Food

Since my editor is leaving us again this week, serious blogging is almost impossible. To keep you in peace, here are photos of the food I ate during the holiday. Hmm, what can I say, I love food.

Top: Es Degan (Coconut with ice and syrup).
Bottom: Nasi Goreng Ayam (Chicken fried rice).
Location: Warung Nasi Goreng Pak Hadi, Ngesrep, Semarang

#1: Galantine soup
#2: Stoop macaroni
#3: Ayam Goreng A la Kusuma Sari
Location: Kusuma Sari restaurant, Solo

Top: Sop Buntut (Oxtail soup)
Bottom: Sop daging (Beef soup)
Location: a roadside eatery, Denpasar

Nasi Campur (Mixed rice)
Location: Made's Warung, Kuta

#1: Lalapan ikan (Fish with vegetable)
#2: Bebalung (Rib soup)
#3: Lapapan ayam (Chicken with vegetable)
Location: an eatery near Selaparang airport gate, Ampenan

Top: Ayam Bakar Plecing (Roast chicken with plecing spice)
Bottom: Nasi Campur (Mixed rice)
Location: a roadside eatery, Praya