Friday, September 30, 2011

Have A Very Korean Weekend!

This is the master of tea ceremony who taught us to pour and enjoy tea in Jeju island

What's for this weekend? You can guess from the title and the above picture that Korea - Indonesia Week at Gandaria City is back. From Sept. 28 to Oct. 3, we can enjoy K-Pop concert, K-Pop contest, Korean food festival and last but not least (my favorite!) Korean Film Festival.

Music enthusiasts, there's The New Dutch Academy Chamber Soloist concert at Erasmus Huis Jakarta, today, at 7.30 PM. Or a jazz concert at Goethe Haus (at the same time as Erasmus! I'm torn at heart).

There's regular movie screening at l'Institute Francais d'Indonesia (formerly known as CCF). Screening starts 1 p.m.

I'm planning for a getaway next week, so posts will be thin. Don't worry, I've scheduled the Krakatau post to keep you company (finally!). See you next week!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cool Boss And His New Spectacles

When I say Clark Kent, I'm thinking about this guy. I've never noticed before that Christopher Reeve had  blue eyes. Geeky eye glasses is my kryptonite:) (Source: Caped Wonder)

Last month, Cool Boss came to the office wearing spectacles. When I asked him the reason, he said that the day before he experienced computer fatigue syndrome, a condition where his left eye (or was it right?) suddenly couldn't see anything but darkness. He went to the hospital, after his wife picked him up. His ophthalmologist then told him to wear the spectacles for work.

"That was the scariest moment in my life. I was really panic because only one eye lost sight ability. You should maintain your eye condition, don't stare too long to the monitor or TV," he said.

Hmm, for me that's enough excuse to leave my cubicle every once in a while:).

Today, he took the spectacles off while working and staring to the computer monitor. When I reminded him to wear those glasses, he asked if he looked good in the spectacles. Peeyutz (who was sitting in front of his cubicle) and I looked at him and said simultaneously, "You look good, just like Clark Kent."

And he blushed. Hahaha.

PS. I mentioned about Cool Boss here, and featured him here and here.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Adele - Someone Like You (Live in Her Home)

Thank you Adele, for the beautiful voice. Listening to this song transports me to my hullabaloo (Indonesians, read this as 'galau'. - Editor) moments.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Random Photos Taken In South Korea

Everything is touch screen. It's a digital map found in subway stations. Just ignore my silly expression:)

Seoulites like to scribble on the wall. This one I found in Samszi gil, Insa dong.

We're not trying to imitate Won Bin, but there are so many 3D TVs we have to observe in LG factory. So I guess Koreans are obsessed with 3D-related stuffs:) This photo is taken by Yong Jae (Kamsan hamnida!)

Seoul, as seen from the 30th floor of Hotel Coex

The other side of Seoul. This was taken in Itaewon, just across the grand mosque

The wooden frames the porters use to carry stuffs in Dongdaemun Market

Hanji, Korean traditional paper, photographed at a shop in Insa dong. 

The roof tiles bearing the donor's handwriting at Seokguram. Wow, look at so many alphabet systems and languages we found there.

Wishing stones at a temple in Gyeongju. It is said that the higher people put these stones, the greedier the person is:)

PS. This is my last post on South Korea-related photos. I still have heaps of photos, which I will post randomly. Hope you all like what you see here:).

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekend Blues

Any idea for the weekend? I only found info about Batak textile exhibition and the screening of Dark House, both in Erasmus Huis Jakarta.

As for me, I still haven't posted about the Krakatau trip, this week has been quite packed. So I'd probably spend the weekend to write it down, while staring longingly onto the photos.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

When In Krakatau...

Courtesy of Irw

...strike a weird pose with your friends. Hahaha. Have a nice day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Some Of My Early Memories...

...included Bandung, the capital city of West Java.

When I was little, probably 1-2 years old, M&D took me to Bandung to live with my paternal Grandma and my aunties.  The reason being both my parents were working and the babysitter had quit. 

I remembered waking up in the morning, going out of my grandmother's home and blowing out my breath into the air. And then I stood in awe...because it evaporated as if in winter. My aunties would boil water for my bath, because I could not stand cold, I would get influenza the next day.  Bandung was that cold in the early 1980s, I could not imagine how D, with his asthma, survived the weather in the 1970s.

Then I would play around the neighborhood with my cousins Luki and Astri. They would take me through the narrow alleys in Babakan Tarogong. When I got home, Grandma would buy me snacks, such as a very spicy kerupuk (cassava crackers), sate bakso (meatballs on skewers) and lotek (vegetable salad). She would tell me bedtime stories about Kabayan, or Kancil.

Grandma Ummi was very good at sewing. She made me a white dress. I wore it only once, because I was afraid to put stain on it and I was more comfortable in shirts and shorts.

One day my aunties took me to a zoo. Someone fed the elephant with peanuts, but when the peanuts run out he gave plastic to the mighty beast. The elephant was angry and blew water to all of us. My aunties screamed for fear, but I was excited.

When I visited the city thirty years later...

In the morning, the weather is cool, but not that cold that your breath will hang in the air. The water is still cold, though. Some things change indeed, but other things remain just the way they are:).

What's your earliest memories?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Teddy Bear Everywhere

When I landed in South Korea, I was picked up by a male university student that had teddy bear key chain. I found it a bit odd to see a guy carrying such cute thing because from where I come from, teddy bears (and cute stuffs) are usually girl stuffs.

Notice the golden teddy bear?

Then I went to Namsan Tower, and saw a Teddy Bear Museum, a shop selling teddy bear stuff. I thought, ok, this must be a coincidence, this could not mean anything.

Teddy Bear Museum at Namsan Tower

I also found teddy bears in Coffee Prince cafe.

I can't hug Gong Yoo, but I'll hug you, dear teddy bear:)

A South Korean friend, Seul-Ki (Julia) sang a children song about three bears during the bus trip in Jeju Island. I still had no idea.

But when I also found Teddy Bear Museum near the hotel in Jeju Island, I made a (non scientific) conclusion: Koreans are obsessed with teddy bears!

Being a tourist with healthy level of curiosity, I visited the museum with Qin, the Chinese fellow. The ticket fare was 7,000 won.

So what was inside the museum? Teddy bears everywhere:). For example, there are replicas showing world's major events, such Normandy War, the Titanic tragedy and the German Reunion. Instead of humans, all actors in the events are teddy bears. The teddy bears were also depicted as famous people or works of art.

Elvis bear

The wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. I wonder if the wedding of Kate and Will is already available there:)

Auguste Rodin would be proud:P

The following photos can only be understood by Korean drama fans:). The museum also houses teddy bears featured in Princess Hours. The TV channel (Was it MBC? Ahh, bless my poor memory) gave the teddy bears to the museum after the shooting was over.

The invasion of cuteness. I want one. Help!

The museum has an area explaining about South Korea's efforts on bear preservation. Hmm, so that is probably the reason behind this bear craze.

On a side note, Jeju Island has many museums. One of the most absurd museum signs I spotted was "Sex Museum". I went like whoa, wait, what. I asked the other fellows whether they were interested to visit the museum with me (like I said, I'm a tourist with a healthy level of curiosity). But all of them said no.

Qin said that perhaps I would bump into the boys if I continued going there on my own (the girls were not interested).

"They said no in front of you because they are shy. Perhaps you'll meet them there," she said, laughing.

So did I went to that museum? Of course...not.

I still want to go to the museum, though. I think it will be a great place for honeymooners. I mean, married people can definitely find whatever the museum offers as informative and entertaining. So future husband (whoever you are), let's go to the museum for our honeymoon! Muahahaha *evil laugh*.

I feel like I'm in the story of The Headscarf-ed Girl And The Three Bears:) This is  taken at the museum's park

Do you like visiting museums when traveling? What is the most interesting/absurd museum you ever visited?

PS. I just arrived in Jakarta this morning. The post on Krakatau trip will have to wait. I need more sleep today. Zzzz...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Matsuri And Music

Hello sweeties, what are you up to this weekend? Below are some ideas to do this weekend.

The third Jak-Japan Matsuri will be held between Sept. 18 and 25. Expect to see taiko drums, bon odori dance performance and a mikoshi procession. Read more about the event here.

Enjoy the mix of traditional Chinese and western music in Huang He Cantata (The Legendary Story of the Yellow River), which will be presented in Indonesia for the first time at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta on Sept. 16 at 7.30 p.m. Contact Megan 081287817780 (ticketing), or Roelly 021 – 3441892, 96693433 (Gedung Kesenian Jakarta).

For a free piano concert, head to Erasmus Huis to enjoy Wibi Soerjadi's performance on Sept. 17. He will also perform at Gedung Kesenian Jakarta on Sept. 18.

You can also find other events in Jakarta in What's New Jakarta.

I'll be backpacking to Anak Krakatau Island and three other islands with my friends this weekend, insya Allah. If things go smooth, I'll be back on Monday and post about the trip.

Have a cool weekend!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

To People Who Keep Asking For My BlackBerry PIN,

Please stop doing it, because I don't have one and don't plan to buy one either. Some people may find it weird because I work in the media that requires us to keep in touch with the current news. Hence the ubiquitous smartphone. But I don't feel the need to own one. For me, a first generation of mobile phone is good enough.

While I'm at it, I also want to address people who keep sending me MMS or pictures to my mobile phones, sorry dude, I can't see the file, whatever that is. Also, to people who keep demanding me to promptly answer their text messages, phone calls, messages left in my social media accounts, sorry guys, I have a very demanding job and am always on the run, so I can only reply when I really have the time.

I know there are people who can answer text messages and do other things at the same time. I guess I'm not that kind of person. I like to type my text messages during the calm moments, while adding some funny jokes or emoticons into it.

Many people have mocked me about me not having a smartphone. It's ok, I never like being in the mainstream anyway. Actually I know some people who hope that they can leave their BB groups because the messages distract them and having a BB means you're always on the job.

Several friends will kill me to say this but if it weren't for my work, I would not buy a mobile phone. I like things old school, such as desk telephone, hand-written letters or postcards and some peaceful me-time without having my parents check me on my mobile. Hahaha. Don't get me wrong, I still love my parents, I just need some space from time to time.

To people who keep asking for my BB PIN, I'd like to say that it'll very unlikely for me to buy that gadget. No, definitely not a BB, but an iPhone is possible since I'm an Apple addict:). Just not in the near future.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Citarum River

Since I've kicked off the week by posting photos of a stream in South Korea, let's take a peek into one of the longest rivers in Indonesia. 

Last Saturday, my editor finally approved the last Citarum River piece I wrote. Yay!  As usual, after my office published one article, I'd share the behind-the-scene photos and story. While I'm more than ready to bid farewell to the series of articles, it's actually a bit sad to part with it because the Citarum River assignment was the longest I've ever done.

My colleague Bbs now call me with a new nickname: Tifarum (coined from Tifa and Citarum) Sembiring, a twist from Tifatul Sembiring, Information and Communication Minister :P.

Why is Citarum River important?

Spans at 269 kilometer long, Citarum River runs through 13 cities in West Java. Not only does the river cater to the agriculture and industry sectors, it also supplies the raw water for Jakartans, which is flowed through West Tarum Canal, or Kalimalang. There are three dams (Saguling, Cirata and Jatiluhur) along Citarum River, and they generate the electricity for Java and Bali Island.

Here are some interesting photos about Citarum River. The photos that have no credit are mine, some are gifts from T. Bachtiar, a geography expert, and some others are taken from

Let's start with a happy picture. This is awug, traditional snack made from rice flour, love this!

Unfortunately the condition of Citarum River is not as rosy as awug. Environment degradation starts in the upstream area (Mount Wayang), with people cutting down trees to make way for vegetable patches (source:

The deforestation causes floods in Bandung basin. One of the affected areas is Cieunteung. (Source:

Many people use water from Citarum River, including the textile factory and the farmers.

Poor residents living near the textile factories in Majalaya have no option but to use the dirty water of Citarum River for their daily needs, such as bathing, washing the dish, clothes and vegetables and rice. For cooking, they buy bottled water, or water taken from other areas. In Ciwalengke village, the residents suffer from skin disease.

Citarum River not only gives water for the people, but also sand.

Actually Citarum River has a chance to be tourism sites. Just like the Nile River in Egypt, civilizations bloomed along Citarum River. The most famous kingdom ever existed along its riverbank was Tarumanagara kingdom. In the past the river had a political role by becoming the borderline for two kingdom: Galuh and Sunda.

Ciaruteun stone (source:

A set of elephant teeth found nearby the riverbanks (source:

 The dry riverbed of Citarum River, photographed in April 2011, Courtesy of T. Bachtiar

Sanghyang Tikoro, used to be an underwater cave, Courtesy of T. Bachtiar

Monday, September 12, 2011

Walking Along Cheong Gye Cheon Stream

I came across Cheong Gye Cheon stream during my way to Dongdaemun market. I googled information on the stream and found that it was covered with concrete, but later was removed in 2003. Read more in Wikipedia (sorry, too lazy to copy the info here).

Below is the first glimpse I had on the stream, and I went "Wow!"

I wish all rivers in Jakarta can be like this

A bridge 

Should I walk there?

Definitely! It's a nice place to have morning/evening walk

Stepping stones

People flock at the stream. Oh, wow, look at the clear water.

Information on the stream

The stream stretches at 8.4 long. I didn't walk the whole length due to limited time. There was something that looked familiar about it though. Is it ever featured in a Korean drama? Which drama is it?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How Do You Call Your Parents?

In Indonesia, there are many ways to call parents. The most common is Bapak (Father) and Ibu (Mother), which I also use for my parents. Families living in rural area may use traditional names, like Abah (Father) and Ambu (Mother), that's Sundanese style. Those living in the urban areas usually use Papa and Mama.

Recently I notice that many people use Ayah and Bunda. Kinda remind me of the parenting magazine using the same name.

When I told my Brazilian friend W about this, he broke into laughter.

"OMG, do the words have other meaning in Portuguese?" I asked.
"Well, Bunda means ass and Ayah means many. So when you say Ayah Bunda, it would mean many asses," he said.

Go ahead, check the meaning of Bunda in Portuguese. In the meantime, if you do call your parents with Ayah Bunda, please refrain from calling your parents with those offensive words when you're visiting Portuguese-speaking countries.

Anyway, my colleague Ika, who has just delivered a beautiful baby girl a month ago, chose a new nickname Keka for her daughter to call her as a mother. I think it sounds very fresh!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guilty Pleasure

Found here

Mine are, among so many, wearing men's outfit, eating ice cream and... observing people.What's yours? :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Is There Such Thing As A Friendly Shark?

There are many dangerous and poisonous creatures, such as stingray and jellyfish, in the sea, but the one most people dread is definitely: shark. Blame it on Jaws. Disney-Pixar's Finding Nemo helps improve the shark image by showing would be vegetarian sharks Bruce, Anchor and Chum. I love that part! Therefore, I'm very excited when I found a picture resembling the scene in Finding Nemo. Scroll down to see it below.

Source: here

Found here

Information on the last picture : A family were on holiday in Australia for a week and a half when husband, wife and their 15 year old son decided to go scuba diving. The husband is in the navy and has had some scuba experience. His son wanted a picture of his mum and dad in all their gear so he got the under water camera ready to go. When it came to taking the picture the dad realized that the son looked like he was panicking as he took it and gave the ‘OK’ hand sign to see if he was all right.

The son took the picture and swam to the surface and back to the boat as quick as he could so the mum and dad followed to see if he was OK.  When they got back to him he was scrambling onto the boat and absolutely panicking. When the parents asked why, he said ‘there was a shark behind you.’ The dad thought he was joking but the skipper of the boat said it was true but they wouldn’t believe him. As soon as they got back to the hotel they loaded the picture onto there laptop and that was what they saw.

P.S. These pictures are also my favorites:)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Bolting For Bukchon

  One of the many guest houses in Bukchon Hanok Village

Annyong haseyo! If you are a regular to this blogs, you know that I spent three weeks of Ramadan and celebrated Idul Fitri in South Korea last year. This year, I'm celebrating Idul Fitri... here in Jakarta:). So, to reminisce the good old days in the ginseng country, I want to make a post on my last days there.

"Oh no, it's another South Korean post! How many more are there?" That must be what's on your mind. Ahem, it seems I still have many photos on my South Korea trip. Rather than keeping them in the dust, I want to share them here. Bear with me, please:).

So, why Bukchon? When I traveled to Beijing, I walked through hutong (narrow street with traditional courtyard houses) and it was an interesting experience. I figured that Seoul would have similar thing, so I googled "traditional house Korea" and found out about Hanok villages, including the one in Bukchon.

Traditional houses vie for space with new buildings

There are several Hanok villages, but I decided to explore Bukchon because it is near shopping street Insa-Dong and I needed to do some shopping too. It's like hitting two birds with one stone or rowing past two islands with one paddle or...anyway, I digress.

The following information is taken from the official Korea Tourism site:

Bukchon Hanok Village was once a village of aristocrats long ago, and its luxury tile-roofed houses called giwas have been preserved since the Joseon dynasty. Located in the middle of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace and Jongmyo, Bukchon Hanok Village boasts 600 years of history in the region. The preserved village sits between two large palaces in the traditional hanok regions where the eggplant-shaped streets show the six-centuries-old beauty of the city.

 The traditional house with not-so-traditional cars (photo above). Information on the house (photo below)

Now, the village operates as a place where visitors come to experience the ambiance of the Joseon Dynasty, offering a cultural center and hanok-style restaurants.

 I entered one of the houses and snapped those photos.

Wonseo-dong, Jae-dong, Gahoe-dong and Insa-dong all lie to the north of Cheonggyecheon Stream (I'll make a post on this, since I went here too) and Jongno, thus being named Bukchon, meaning north village, an area popularly known at that time, as the residence of the royal family and high-ranking officials.

A potted plant-flower shop?

A shop selling hand-made stuffs

A book shop. Those looks like school text books. I wish I can read Han-geul.

I don't know what those are, but they are quite cheap!
Ok, this is totally irrelevant, but I love her hat:)

Bukchon is not exactly a tourist site methinks, but it shows that Seouls has more than just skyscrapers and well-dressed people toting gadgets in the subway. I kinda like this place for it suits the quirky side of me:P.