Friday, July 29, 2011

Have A Pre-Ramadan Weekend:)

Hello, sweeties! How is your week? As you read this, I'm in Bandung and its greater areas, collecting crumbs for the Citarum piece. Anyway, here are some ideas on things to do this weekend...

Enjoy a bike ride for charity this Friday evening. Hurry up and register yourself here.

At Erasmus Huis, a movie screening this Saturday and a dance performance on Sunday.

There's an exhibition at Galeri Nasional on Islamic contemporary art.

Also, let's hope that the final Harry Potter movie will reach Indonesia this weekend:)

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Ramadan!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Old Notes

I still held some of the notes issued in the 1990s. They are already expired as a currency note. So I went to Bank Indonesia to change them with the latest ones. You can have them changed at Gedung C Bank Indonesia, the counter is open from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. 

On the left, from top to bottom: Acehnese national hero Cut Nyak Dien, education pioneer Ki Hajar Dewantara, national anthem composer WR Supratman and second president Soeharto.

I managed to have the top three changed. But Bank Indonesia no longer accepted the ones with President Soeharto pictures. I was pretty bummed to hear that. Especially with the fact that I still had two of them (Rp 100,000! I can buy a pair of shoes with it. Or pay for five-day transportation fees).

Anyway, the man behind the counter said that I could keep it and that 30 years from now people would pay a lot to have it as a collection item. Thirty years? I'm not sure if I want to keep those money for such a long period of time. Anyone looking for a Rp 50,000 note? Contact me. I have two.

Below are the other notes that Bank Indonesia no longer accepted. If you still have some of them in your possession, let's do a group hug and cry together.

Trivia: How much do you spend in one day? I read in this article (find the one written by Aubrey Belford) that the number of Indonesian people spending US$6 per day jumped from 1.7 percent in 2003 to 6.5 percent in 2010, according to the World Bank. And only 0.2 percent of the population spend $20 per day. Hmm, that is definitely not me, but my evil shopaholic alter ego:P. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jalan Surabaya

Want to hold a piece of Jakarta's past? Come to Jalan Surabaya (Surabaya Street). Located in Menteng, the street offers various stuffs, such as artifacts, vinyl records, old cameras and bags. The street consists of several long rows of stalls, separated by a dirty canal.

I've been going to the street several times. But it was during last week's staycation that I got the chance to take photographs of the street. There are so many stuffs you can find on the street. Below are just some of my favorites... 

Welcome to Jalan Surabaya. These are loro blonyo (inseparable couple), Javanese traditional statue symbolizing fertility and harmony

Wayang (puppet)

Batak calendar (left) and Sarung (right)

Hair fascinators

Old coins

All aboard!

Old school diving gear:P

OMG! It's a Hasselblad! *drooling*

Rollei 35

Leicaflex and Exakta

Mamiya, Pentaka and Magazine

A gramophone and a man playing a traditional flute

Dear fans of vinyls and cassettes, if you're lucky, you can find some treasures here

You can also find various bags here, from backpacks to suitcases

A vendor gives some blings to the wooden statue

Even a wooden statue needs a makeover from time to time:)

Last but not least, your beloved blogger:P

Have an energizing Monday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Things That Brighten My Day

Animal-printed headscarf. Anyone knows where to get one with Indonesian endangered animals?

A cup of tea to kick start the day

Taking photos of wildlife animals:P

Seeing people wear checkered shirts. Ahh, that's what I call bromance:)

Spotting horses on the streets of Jakarta

What about you?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bakoel Koffie Cafe in Cikini

While I don't drink coffee regularly, I always like its fragrant eye-opening smell. A recent visit to Bakoel Koffie cafe in Cikini makes me falling in love again, if not with the caffeine then the cafe's design. I'd suggest you to go to the second floor, less crowd there.

A mural about the coffee history

Does the picture look familiar? Why, of course, you've seen it before here.

The coffee prices are reasonable (ahh I forgot how much they cost, but it's somewhere between Rp 25,000/US$2.5 and Rp 30,000). At first I tried Iced Chocolate, but then I tried the Coffee Float. As a caffeine-sensitive person, I feel quite comfortable with the coffee, for it doesn't give me that nauseous feeling like the Starbucks coffees do.

I don't recommend the food. But the beverage is ok. Another plus point: there is wi-fi here.

Coffee Float

Iced chocolate

Cassava and cheese

Spaghetti (on the background) and Nasi Bakar (on the foreground)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Piece Of Italy At Caffe Italia

When I want to go to a place, but can not go due to various reasons (financial, health, weather, or no days of leave), I usually go to a restaurant serving foods of that place. Well, there's no Russian restaurant here in Jakarta, so I'll just make do with what is available.

I'm revisiting Italy last week when I dropped by Caffe Italia. I went to Istituto Italiano di Cultura to see an art exhibition. But since it's quite a mini exhibition, it took me only five minutes. So I looked around to see if there was anything else I could do there and spotted this small eatery.

Located on the Istituto's second floor, the cafeteria serves Italia's signature dishes, such as pasta and pizza. While it mainly caters to the cultural center's staffers and students, it looks quite ambitious. For example, the pasta list consists from the commonly found spaghetti to gnocchi. And it has semifreddo in the dessert menu! I mean, the cafeteria in CCF Salemba, Erasmus Huis and Goethe Haus serve Indonesian dishes, not their traditional dishes. The food in CCF Salemba's cafeteria is also good, by the way, perhaps I'll make a post about it someday.

But I digress.

I ordered spaghetti bolognaise and ice lemon tea. I don't exactly know what authentic Italian dish should taste like, but that spaghetti is totally different from the one in...say, Pizza Hut. It tastes different from the one in Rome, too (Roman version is more delicious). But Roman and Bolognaise dish have their own characters. So I guess it must be the real thing. It's al dente, by the way:).

The food is quite pricey though (at least, for me). The pasta ranges from Rp 40,000 to Rp 65,000, and the same thing with pizza, which is sliced to eight parts. 

The ambiance is nice. There is a TV showing Italian channels. The patrons are Italians, or Indonesian students talking in Italian. It feels like being transported to Italy:). 

The service is also excellent. When I asked a waiter if I could sit near an electric plug (I needed to recharge my laptop), he kindly moved a chair and a table for me. He also explained that people with membership cards and Istituto's students could have 15 percent discount. Wow, how nice. I give him my phone number and email so he can register me as a member, or ask me out later. Hahaha, just kidding:).

And the free wi-fi doesn't disappoint either. 

Spaghetti bolognaise at Caffe Italia

Parmesan cheese (left) and chili oil, made from crushed chilis and olive oil (right). No chili sauce here:) 

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Have A Secret Crush For Frogs, And I Think The Feeling Is Mutual :P

There is something about frogs that I like. They are slimy, silly and faithfully sitting on the gate, waiting for me to come home.

Guys, meet my 'pet' treefrog Fofo. He loves to welcome me by the gate.

They are also breeding on my fish pond, filling it with their tadpoles and eggs.

I wish I can see the flying frog of Wallacea one day. But for now, I simply admire the photograph taken by Tim Laman.

Found here

P.S. My cellphone's ringtone is the sound of croaking frog.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Mount Lokon in Tomohon, North Sulawesi, erupts, spewing hot lava and sending a towering cloud of volcanic ash 1,500 meters into the sky on Friday morning. Authorities have evacuated more than 2,500 residents living within a 3.5-kilometer radius of the volcano.(Antara/Jemmy). Read the news here and here

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gearing Up For The Staycation

Um, yeah, I need to clean my cubicle. Photo by Peeyutz

Hello weekend, nice to have you here! I had quite a slow Monday. But Tuesday morning found me traversing three provinces (Bekasi, West Java - Jakarta - Serpong, Banten), phew. I also had a morning event on Wednesday. Then I went to Bandung on Thursday, spent a night there and returned today. And I still have to work on Saturday and Sunday. While this week has been a hectic one, it has given me some ideas on what to blog, hahaha.

I had filed two days of leave to my office, and I squeezed the two days of from this weekend and from the next weekend to sandwich those days of leave. So I can have six days off starting on Monday, yay! What else do you think  I'd do this weekend but sleep? 

Actually I planned a trip to Belitong island, but since D's health was still ailing, I decided to have a staycation. Since I had made a post on a trip across Jakarta, I'd try to revisit those places, then write and links the new posts to the mother post. Wish me luck.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tigress to have a matchmaking event

Even a tigress deserve a pre-wedding body treatment:). This is not the same tiger mentioned in the title, though. Found here

PADANGPARIAMAN: A Sumatran tigress (Panthera tigris sumatrae), caught by residents of Tarok village, Nagari Kepala Hilalang, Padangpariaman regency, West Sumatra, will undergo a matchmaking ceremony to pair her with a tiger in Bukittinggi.

Tiger keeper at Kinantan Zoo, Marno, said that the matchmaking was an effort to preserve the tiger population. He said that the tigress’ suitor was Bancah, a 21 year old tiger that was caught in a deer trap in Solok Selatan and had been a resident of the zoo in Bukittinggi for five years. Due to his injuries from the trap, Bancah’s right hind leg had had to be amputated.

“If this tigress can breed with Bancah, we can add to the population of Sumatran tigers,” he said, as quoted by Antara.

He said that there were two other tigers that had completed a period in quarantine in West Sumatra; both had been fitted with satellite collars with Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.

PS. The news source.

Monkey Thief Steals Camera, Shoots Self-Portraits

Taken on an Indonesian national park! Source: here

More Indonesia's wildlife photos by photographer David Slater, click here, here and here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The 2011 Jakarta Kite Festival

A boy and his airplane-shaped kite

I went to the kite festival on Sunday, with who else but cousine Dina, hahaha. Since I had to do other stuffs in the morning, we left for Monas around 1.30 p.m. Thanks to the new commuter line, we arrived at 2.10 p.m. Sunday afternoon was sunny and windy, a perfect time for flying the kite.

Giant ondel-ondel (effigy) kite

Waiting for its turn to roam the sky

The octopus-shaped kite probably thinks,"Oh look, so many humans I can eat, muahahaha."

Reaching for the sky

Me and the 100 kites:)

The last photo is not kite-related. But I like the laid-back atmosphere, the barefoot guy and the pigeons in his backpack cage

The highlight of the day was most likely the MC who announced the next batch of kite participants and teased people doing activity around Monas.

On Announcing
MC: The next participants are ...(announcing the names)...
[A few minutes later]
MC: Pak Ahmad from Monday [he mispronounced Senen district of Jakarta as Senin as in Monday], could you please come forward? I beg you, come forward pleaaseeee. We are tired waiting for youuuu...

On Teasing
MC: Participants, please be careful with the traffic here. Traffic, please be careful with the kite's ropes. Traffic, again I warn you, be careful with the ropes.
[A mini truck was passing and upon hearing the announcement, suddenly the driver stopped]

MC: And next...we will have a lovely couple riding a tandem bike in front of us. Audience, would you please give a round of applause?
[All of us, including Mbak Dina and I clapped our hands, while the couple turned to red]
MC: Don't be shy, dear couple. Keep calm and carry on.

[Not long afterwards, a three-seater bicycle passed. The girl sitting in the middle did not pedal the bike.]
MC: Mbak (referring to the girl in the middle), you look so comfortable while your friends work hard. Come on, pedal the bike. Smile, please, you're being photographed.

I took this one earlier, so they were not the exact person the MC teased. But look, the girl on the back does not pedal the bike. Come on girl, move your feet!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hello Ghost - A Korean Movie

Found here

Cousine Dina and I were planning to watch a Thailand movie at Blitzmegaplex in Bekasi, but since that movie was already out of the cinema, we decided to watch Hello Ghost, a comedy drama Korean movie. That was the best decision because we really really love the movie.

The movie follows the life of Sang-man, a lonely and miserable man who has been trying to take his own life but to no avail. After the latest failed suicide attempt, Sang-man wakes up in a hospital and discovers that he can see ghost. Not just one, but four ghosts: a drunken perverted old man, a heavy smoker middle-aged man, a crying woman and a sweet-toothed little boy.

With the four ghosts occupying his body, Sang-man starts to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. He drinks alcohol, smokes cigarettes, eat sweets and cries all the time. The ghosts refuse to leave him alone before he grants their wishes. Therefore Sang-man gives his best shot so he can go back to his suicide attempt.

The drunken old man wants to return a Leica camera to his friend in a clinic. The little boy wants to watch an animation movie and buy a figurine toy. The smoking man wants to drive a taxi to the beach and swim. The weeping woman wants to cook dinner for people she loves, but since she can't bring herself to mention the people's names (she cries too much), she decides to cook for all of them (Sang-man and other ghosts).

There are several scenes I love in this movie. For example, when Sang-man and the smoking ghost talk on the beach. The conversation goes more or less like this (not exact quotations)...

Sang-man : What is married life like? Isn't it bothersome? More kids in the family makes you more tired, right?
The Ghost : No, it's the contrary. More kids, more energy to work.

Another touching scene is the monolog Sang-man says in a police station : ...during Christmas and New Year's Eve many single people try to commit suicide because they feel lonely upon seeing other people with family...

While Sang-man thinks that he is helping the ghosts, he realizes that he is helped by them. Being an orphan for as long as he knows, Sang-man finds family in the company of the ghosts. During his attempts to grant the ghosts' wishes, Sang-man meets Yeon-su, a pretty nurse working at the aforementioned clinic.

Just when I think that the movie is going to end happily, there's a twist of plot that makes Sang-man realizes what the ghosts actually mean for him. 

Verdict: Have tissues in the vicinity if you're a crier like I do for that twist of plot nearing the end of the movie will bring tears in your eyes. Totally recommend this movie for friends, family and single people (points to self). And head straight for the nearest Korean restaurant afterwards, because I've been craving for kimbap and jaja mian since then (there's no Korean restaurant in Bekasi yet *sobs*).

Have an amazing Monday!