Friday, May 27, 2011

Jeans And Kilt Meet This Weekend

Have no plan this weekend?

On Saturday, there's the monthly movie screening at Erasmus Huis Jakarta. This month the movie is Back To History In Jeans.

A piano concert on the works of Liszt by pianist Nicholas Stavy is ready to entertain the classical music lovers. The concert is free, but you need to take the ticket first at CCF Jakarta.

There will be Jakarta Highland Gathering, an annual charity event that takes after the traditional Highland Games in Scotland, for two days, starting May 28. Get ready to see tough men in kilt:)

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The First Bicycle Lane In Jakarta. Finally!

Cyclists use the new bike lane at the Ayodya Park in Jalan Mahakam, Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta. The one-part lane that opened on Sunday and stretches to Melawai is meant to encourage Jakartans to cycle more to reduce pollution and traffic congestion. JP/NURHAYATI. Source: The Jakarta Post

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Trip To Mirit Beach

It has become the norm that whenever cousine Dina and I went to Kebumen to visit Grandma, we always explore the potential tourist sites, either the cave or the beach. Talking about beach, Kebumen, which lies on Java's southern coast of Java, has many of them.

We have seen Petanahan beach, Ayah beach and Bocor beach. So this time, we decided to go to Mirit beach. We took the public transport (it was a minibus) to Kutowinangun then hopped off at Gentan (just ask the driver that you want to go to Mirit). From Gentan, we took a public minivan that dropped us at a T-intersection. We walked to the Balai Desa and then made a left turn. If you're not sure, try to find locals and ask them:).

Below are the photos during the walk to the beach.

 We saw many cows

 The attack of the lambs

The sky was so blue

The horizon looks like a mirage

The beach has no tourist. It's like a private beach.

Wearing red shirt, pink hijab, red umbrella, and the photo is taken by my red camera:)

Oh, crab! *pronounce it in Spongebob Squarepants-style*

After such a long walk under the scorching sun, es dawet ireng is a nice treat. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Letters For Grandma

In this e-mail century, do you still write letters?

I write letters only for Grandma as she has lost her hearing ability since her forties and has problems with gadgets. She's in her 80s, going on to 90s and despite her hearing problem, her mind is as clear as a sky after the rain. She cooks her own food and still haggles for stuffs she intends to buy. She's amazing.

Last weekend, I visited her and found her recovering from a skin allergy. One of her first questions was,"Your mother told me you went to Vietnam. Why didn't you write to me? By the way, I got the postcard you sent me from South Korea." 

Ouch. I'm guilty as charged. I didn't write to her when I went to Rome either. Those trips had such busy schedules I didn't have time to even send a postcard. Since I brought my laptop, I played the slideshow for her. She was very excited to see the photos.

Anyway, below are some conversations cousine Dina and I had, or we tried to have, with her. 

Grandma (G): Where are you going?
Me: I'm going to the beach.
G: You're going to market?
Me: No, Grandma. I'm-going-to-the-beach.
G: What are you going to buy?
Me: (speechless)

Cousine Dina (CD): Grandma, I want to borrow a blanket. It was so cold last night.
Grandma (G): Oh yes, go to sleep then.
CD: No, Grandma. Blanket. 
G: (staring at CD in confusion)

Letters prove to be more effective.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Let's Get Physical This Weekend

Source: CCF Jakarta

Sweeties, what are you going to do this weekend?

Printemps Francais this year has Käfig, a French hip hop dance company, who will demonstrate their moves at eX Plaza on May 22 and perform at GBB Taman Ismail Marzuki on May 23. Check the schedule here.

While we're talking about French Spring, ever heard parkour? It's a daring sport that involves moving, running, jumping and climbing quickly from one place to another. There's a parkour club here in Jakarta and it holds activity on Sunday. Click here to learn about parkour. If you never see parkour, I recommend you to watch Yamakasi!

Parents are having influenza (poor them). They're getting better, but I'll probably be parentsitting for the weekend. If I can leave for a few hours, then I'll slither to eX Plaza :).

Have a physical weekend!

A Kind Reminder For The Dark Days

Human asks: Why am I being tested?
Quran says: Do men imagine that they will be left (at ease) because they say, We believe, and will not be tested with affliction? Lo! We tested those who were before them. Thus Allah knoweth those who are sincere, and knoweth those who feign. (
Al Ankabuut: 2-3)

Human asks: Why don’t I get tested with good things?
Quran says: …though it is hateful unto you; but it may happen that ye hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that ye love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knoweth, ye know not. (Al Baqarah: 216)

Human asks: Why do I get such a difficult test?
Quran says: Allah tasketh not a soul beyond its scope…(Al Baqarah:286)

Human asks: Am I allowed to be frustrated?
Quran says: Faint not nor grieve, for ye will overcome them if ye are (indeed) believers (Ali Imran: 139)

Human asks: Am I allowed to be in despair?
Quran says: …and despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! None despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk. (Yusuf: 87)

Human asks: How should I cope with the test of life?
Quran says: Seek help in patience and prayer; and truly it is hard save for the humble-minded (Al Baqarah: 45) O ye who believe! Endure, outdo all others in endurance, be ready, and observe your duty to Allah, in order that ye may succeed. (Ali Imran: 200)

Human asks: How do I strengthen my heart?
Quran says: ...Allah sufficeth me. There is no God save Him. In Him have I put my trust... (At Taubah: 129)

Human asks: What do I get from the tests?
Quran says: Allah hath bought from the believers their lives and their wealth because the Garden will be theirs... (At Taubah: 111)

P.S. You can read and also hear the recitation here. There are many versions of Quran translation, but I like the Pickthall version for its Shakespearean feel :P

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Questions On Islam And Hijab

The one comfortable thing about living in Indonesia is I can wear hijab without getting the stares or harassment from people, since Islam is the majority here. But during my work and my assignment/fellowship abroad, I would come across foreign people asking me about Islam or my hijab. Below are some of the questions:

#1. "Hey, Tifa. Why is that guy named Adam? He's a Muslim. Adam is a Christian name."

I had to laugh out loud when I heard this question popped by an expat friend. I explained to him that beside believing in Prophet Muhammad, Muslims also believe in 24 other prophets, including Adam, Ibrahim (in Christian, the name is Abraham), Nuh (Noah), Musa (Moses), Daud (David), Yusuf (Joseph), and Isa (Jesus). 

When I told him that there are verses in Holy Quran on Prophet Isa, and a chapter on Maryam (Virgin Mother Mary), he was shocked.

#2. "Why did the Muslims attack the World Trade Center?"

I was really sad to hear this question and had to stay silent for a few seconds. I told them that Muslims were just like Jews and Christians, there were fundamentalist/hardliner, moderate and even non-practicing. Those terrorists came from a hardliner group (but I am not, so don't be afraid of me:)). I also told them that terrorism knew not religion, ethnicity or skin colors. Everyone can be a terrorist.

#3. "I have Muslim girlfriends who don't wear headscarves. So it is not compulsory?"

This question was asked by a Singaporean. I also have Muslim friends who have yet to wear headscarves. Actually wearing hijab is compulsory, as it is mentioned in Holy Quran. But Singapore and Indonesia are not Islamic countries that force its residents to wear, or not to wear, some kind of dress. In fact, I still hear cases of employers forbidding its employees to wear hijab at work (and we're the world's biggest Muslim community, ironic eh?). I'm so grateful that my office allows me to have my own style.

#4. "Do you wear headscarf all the time?"

They must be thinking that I also wear my hijab to sleep. Hahaha. I told them that I took it off whenever I was alone, or with my muhrim (people related to me by blood, in this case my parents), or in a girl-only gathering. Basically I wear hijab when I step out of my house, or when there is a man who is not a family member coming to my house. I also told them that when I got married one day, my husband could see me without hijab.

#5. "So you can wear colors? You don't have to wear black?"

Color preference depends on the country's culture and the person's preference. I happen to feel comfortable with colors, while some women may find comfort in black garb. 

#6. "What does your hair look like?" or "Do you have hair underneath the hijab?"

Hahaha. Oh dear, this is just too funny *wipe tears*. To this question, I usually say,"I have a long hair." :)

Dear readers, do you wear headscarves too? Have you ever gotten any funny question on your headscarves? 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

See You Next Week!

Well, hello blogs! *wiping the dust and cleaning up the spiderwebs* Sorry for the quiet week. I've been putting all my efforts to finish this week's assignments so I can have one day of leave next week because I'm going to visit my grandma. Although I only take one day, I'll have four days off, thanks to the Waisak day on May 17, oh yeah! 

Before leaving the city, let's look at what we can do here for this weekend:)

As I mentioned last week, there's World Book Day Indonesia 2011. This weekend, there are workshops, movie screening and so many more. So come and have fun:)

This weekend will also see the start of Jakarta Fashion and Food Festival. Now that I'm not in Sunday desk, I need a stronger motivation to go to Kelapa Gading. 

And I'll leave you with a slogan I read somewhere in the internet: "Behind the healthy weekend, there lies the powerful weekdays."

Have a healthy weekend!

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's Either Fashion Or Book

Karl Lagerfeld's library. Source: The Selby

While gathering data to write for this article, I stumbled upon this page about the world's languages, the number of speakers and the number of Wikipedia articles in those languages. Then I spotted something...

Banyumasan language is included in the list! Acehnese and Buginese also made it to the list. There are so many languages here. And now, most people use Bahasa (with a local accent:P).

Talking about language, I should do something to put my rusty French into practice. The Printemps Francaise festival can be the right event to do it. It starts this weekend! Check the schedule for your favorite event. This weekend will see the opening of Dysfashional, an exhibition on fashion.

Or you can go to the World Book Day events held in Museum Bank Mandiri in the Old Town. This weekend has no particular schedule for competition or workshop, but you can see the exhibition on book illustration. Check the schedule here.

I'll probably go to one of those events, or may be curling in bed and finish Tash Aw's The Harmony Silk Factory. It's the fifth book I read this year. So far I've completed Leo Tolstoy's War And Peace (finally!), Naguib Mahfouz's Palace of Desire, a book on Kartini's letters and Patrick Suskind's Perfume. Those are not newly-released books, but I plan to read as much books I can this year.

Have a fashionable or bookish weekend:)

Update: Since Jakarta will be the host for ASEAN Summit during May 7-8, traffic on Jl. Jendral Sudirman and Jl. Gatot Subroto will be closed (I read it in the Twitter account of @DiKotaKita). I believe the road closure will lead to heavy congestion across the city because they are two of the main roads. So I guess, curling in bed and reading the book will be a much better choice.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's In My Lunchbox?

Ever since I was a kid, M&D never gave me pocket money. They could just give me that, but they wanted me to appreciate money and home-cooked food. So I usually brought lunchbox to school. Some schoolmates didn't really get why I never ate at the school's cafetaria. They thought I was being stingy.

Now that I'm an adult and earn my own money, I still keep my habit of bringing the lunchbox. Since M always prepares the food, I don't have the heart to leave home without the lunchbox. She will be sad if that happens.

Then I entered TJaP. I found that besides me, there were three cubreporters bringing lunchboxes. So we formed The Lunchbox Club:). When we entered newsroom, The Lunchbox Club was officially disbanded due to our busy schedule. Four years later, two have resigned and one lives in a rented room near the office so she no longer brings lunchbox. And I still bring my lunchbox with me:).

A few weeks ago, I told M that I'd like to see some colors in my lunch menu. Here are some of her creations:). 

Yellow rice (made with turmeric)

Purple rice (made from purple sweet potato)

 Someday, I want to make my own lunchbox, and make them looking like these. So cute!

  Found in NY Times.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Going Around Jakarta During May Day

Tips for tourists planning to visit Jakarta: Don't come on May Day. Come the day after.

As I said earlier, I took my friend Nhung and her friends around the city. We left her hotel at 10.15 a.m.  At first, they wanted to take a taxi, but I told them that during May Day, it would be best to stick to TransJakarta busway. And I was right. We were trapped amidst the May Day demonstrations before finally reached the Old Town at midday. The girls were very excited to see the May Day activities, though. They took pictures of the protesters and even waving their fists to support the labors.

Part of the 2011 May Day rally

"We don't have labor demonstration on May Day. There will be some demonstrations during our National Day, but it's not this big," Nhung said.

Perhaps the labor condition in the ex-communist country is better than here. Last week, I met a labor working for a factory producing German sport apparels. The apparels she makes can cost hundreds of thousands rupiah, but she can barely make ends meet. Together with her husband, she rents a three-by-three meter room, where they sleep and cook.

  The photo that didn't make it into the newspaper, because it's so blurry. But I like it for it kinda portrays the labors' blurry condition:) If you like to read the article, click here.

Anyway, back to our 'tour', I showed them the Sunda Kelapa harbor and Menara Syahbandar (the Lookout Tower). But they didn't want to either see the Maritime Museum or peek into the VOC ship dockyard (which is now a restaurant), so we returned to the Old Town, where we saw a huge crowd filling the Fatahillah square.

Sunda Kelapa harbor

Menara Syahbandar

Couples, friends and  groups of teenagers were strolling around. There were ondel-ondel effigies, fire blowers and traditional musical performance. It was a really nice Sunday. It didn't feel like a May Day.

Museum Fatahillah

I took them to Cafe Batavia, which is just across Museum Fatahillah. They also loved it. I soon saw them snapping pictures of the interior, the flower decoration and the food. Cafe Batavia patrons are mostly the blond hair-blue eyes type, and we, as the Asian girls, felt a bit out-of-place.

Inside Cafe Batavia

Nhung wanted to see the local market, but since there isn't any nearby, I took them back to the central area. It was 2 p.m., the demonstration was still on the move. At first, I wanted to take them into Istiqlal Mosque, but after seeing the demonstrations, I decided to take them to Sarinah instead. And again, they were happy to peruse and shop the items there.

After shopping, fatigue kicked in. So we grabbed a cup of coffee in a nearby Starbucks. They insisted to go to this coffee-chain. 

"We don't have any Starbucks cafes in Vietnam, so we want to drink in their cafes everytime we find them abroad," one of them said.

The Starbucks brand ambassadors

Then we walked to Grand Indonesia. They also liked it (Oh wow, either they are happy-go-lucky people or I'm such a wonderful tourist guide?). They said the weather was nice for walking (It was 5.30 p.m., the sun was setting. If we did it at noon, they would melt due to the scorching sun).

We spent around one hour there. More shopping and window shopping. Then we had a taxi ride back to the hotel, because the girls were very tired. We had dinner in a roadside eatery near their hotel, it was Ayam Bakar Ganthari. They ordered grilled chickens and rib soups, while I tried grilled duck. Yum!

Now, I'm thinking to make a complete guide to Jakarta. But I'll need several weekends to work on it. Wish me luck!

Funny Flowchart On Royal Wedding

Happy Monday, sweeties! How was your weekend? I took my Vietnam friend Nhung and her friends to the Old Town and other tourist sites. It's nice to walk around and show off my city to my friends. More photos to come:).

Anyway, I'm just curious if you watched the royal wedding last Friday? I had to interview labors for the May Day article, so I was on the field all day. But if I was at the office, I would be forced to see it, since almost every TV channels aired the wedding.

I found this funny flowchart as I went blogwalking the other day. How far do you go through the flowchart? I stop on the first question, hahaha.
Found here