Friday, March 30, 2012

Deep, Smooth And I'm Not Scared

Sorry for the radio silence. I returned from my peaceful long weekend holiday only to face demonstrations against the government's plan to increase fuel price and a ton of works waiting in the office computer on Tuesday. Ahh there goes my peace of mind.

It has been a short week for me, only four days. And next week will also be a four-day week, with Good Friday. Wow, this year has so many national holidays falling on Fridays. Long live long weekends!

What is your plan this week? Have anything exciting in your agenda? Below are some events you can attend this weekend.

DEEP Indonesia. Until April 1. Showcasing diving, water sports and adventure travels in Indonesia. Jakarta Convention Center.

INABIKE. Until March 31. Bikes, parts and accessories. JIE Expo Kemayoran.

Elektro-Pop: Smooth. March 30 at 8.30 p.m. Rooftop Teater Salihara, Pasar Minggu, South Jakarta. Free. Find the ticketsat IFI Salemba and Wijaya.


Films of 150 years Civil War of America. March 30-31, 1 p.m. - 8 p.m. Bentara Budaya Jakarta. Jl. Palmerah Selatan 17.

Io non ho paura (I'm not scared). March 31 at 4 p.m. Istituto Italiano di Cultura. Jl HOS Cokroaminoto 117 Menteng.

Have a fun weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dealing With A Parental Tantrum Outburst

The conversations I have with M&D are not always funny. Sometimes M&D have the tantrum period that unleashes their drama king and queen personalities (or more likely the two-year-old!). Below is a sample of such situation.  

Saturday, March 17
M  : What's your plan today?
Me: Oh, I'll probably go to the Jatinegara station and order a ticket for the next long weekend (which will start on March 23. - Ed). I want to visit Grandma in Kebumen.
M  : Oh, OK.
(But that day I had to do my laundry and afterwards, I was too tired to go out. So I thought,"I'll go on Sunday" and went to sleep. Yep, I'm such a procrastinator. I'm not proud.)

Sunday, March 18
M  : Have you gone to the station?
Me: No, I'll go tomorrow *went back to sleep* (If you think I sleep a lot, you should replace me for one week and see how my work schedule messes up a 9-to-5 employee's sleeping schedule. Weekend is the time to recharge.)

Monday, March 19
I bought the tickets, and forgot to tell M about it because when I got home she told me about...hmm, somehow I forgot what she told me. But since I already told her on Saturday I figure that she knew that I'd be leaving the city on the weekend.

Tuesday, March 20
I arrived at home and saw M packing her traveling bag.
Me: Hi M, what's up?
M  : Grandma is ill. I want to go to Kebumen tomorrow.
Me: You don't have to go. I'll go on Friday. I already bought the tickets.
M  : Why didn't you tell me that you're going?
Me: I already did. On Saturday.
M  : But you didn't tell me you're going this Friday!
Me: I already told you last Saturday. Anyway, you won't be able to get any tickets because all tickets until March 22 are already sold out three weeks ago.
M  : You are always like that, hiding things from your parents. You should tell us at least a week before your departure. *grumbling ensues*
Me: *giving her a bear hug*

Wednesday, March 21
Entering the kitchen only to saw M's pouting face. Not a good sign to start the day.
M  : Why didn't you tell us you've bought the tickets three weeks ago? Why did you hide things from us? *grumbling ensues*
Me: Who said I bought the tickets three weeks ago? I bought them last Monday.
M  : You said that last night.
Me: No, M. I said the tickets until March 22 are already sold out three weeks ago. I bought tickets for March 23 last Monday. See, you were not listening. *giving her three rounds of a bear hug*

Sometimes it feels as if I'm the parent...

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hello, Long Weekend!

Since Friday is a national holiday here (Hindu's Day of Silence), today is the week's last work day. Yay! I'll be visiting my grandmother in Kebumen with cousine Dina. I already bought the train ticket for tomorrow. But yesterday M told me Grandma was ill. Oh dear. I hope our visiting her will make her get well soon.

Have a silent weekend! 


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here's Hoping For You To Get Well Soon, Boss

With the changing season, people get sick. I've heard people sneezing and coughing behind the cubicles, some even had a change of voice. And then today the inevitable happened: Blue-Eyed Editor took a day off due to cold. While everyone wish for his recovery, I'd like to jot down several conversations we had that make me smile everytime I remember it.   

#1. Email
Situation: We are waiting for photo files from our sources
BE: If you want to forward me the photos, use my hotmail email address (then spells out said email address). Don't use the office email, because it will bounce.
Me: (write down carefully) Ok.
BE: Or my gmail, it's brucealmighty at gmail dot com
Me: (looks up and raises my eyebrows) You really have email with that name?
BE: (grins) No, I was joking
Me: -_-

#2. Put Her Back To Prison
Situation: BE was typing on his desk, Fith approached him.
Fith: Hi Boss, I'm free (read this as,"Give me more jobs." Yep, Fith is that dedicated, so unlike me)
BE: Ok, we're going to call police and put you back behind bars
Me: (overhearing from the adjacent cubicle) *suppress laughters*

Monday, March 19, 2012

Mini Jakarta In Ceramic

A miniature of Monas. Taken at Ceramic exhibition in Bentara Budaya Jakarta.

Hello sweeties, how was your weekend? Hope you had a great time. I had a cold so I spent my weekend staying at home, trying to get better by eating, drinking a lot of water and sleeping. 

This morning, I woke up a few hours before dawn feeling chilly as the wind blowing the curtain really hard. It was also raining cats and dogs. I put on the blanket and went back to sleep. This afternoon there was torrential rain at my office. Thanks God I was working indoor in this changing weather. How's the weather at your place?

Talking about indoor, I went to an art exhibition about Jakarta by ceramic artist Marhadi Widjaja a few days ago. The venue was at Bentara Budaya Jakarta, just several hundreds meters away from my office.The artist captures the dynamics of the city and features it through his miniature works. 

My colleague Fem observes 'an accident' taking place on the motorist lane

Some of his works feature the city's landmarks, such as Monas, Hotel Indonesia traffic circle and Pancoran area. But he also depicts the daily life in urban and rural areas through the works featuring TransJakarta busway and the paddy fields under the high-voltage aerial transmission cable (SUTET).

Pancoran area in ceramic miniature

Building a house

Placing the tiles

A corner at a traditional market

The exhibition was over last Saturday, sorry for the late posting. Do you like going to art exhibition? What kind of art exhibition attracts your attention?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wingardium Leviosa!

In case you don't read Harry Potter, that title is a spell to make something/someone levitate (Really? You don't read Harry Potter? Go read it!). But without the spell and the wizardry ability, we the Muggles can also fly, at least in a photograph:).

An article in Kompas daily introduced me to Tokyo resident Natsumi Hayashi's blog Yowa Yowa Camera, which is mostly about her levitating pictures. Her blogs shows that levitating is fun and easy. And I love her outfits!

A photography community in Indonesia called Levitasi Hore takes inspiration from Hayashi's photos and publishes photos of members doing levitation. They are pretty much serious about producing quality levitating photos.

As for myself, I'm not a member of that community, but I'd love to take one or two levitation photos every now and then.

A photo of me and my Pinay fellow Tita levitating at Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam

Have a levitating Tuesday!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Remembering The 2011 East Japan Earthquake

Remember this photo? Taken by Asahi Shimbun daily's photojournalist Tsunenari Toshiyuki, it won the 2012 Holland World Press Photo. That photo and some 60 other photos about the impact of East Japan earthquake and tsunami that hit the region on March 11, 2011 are currently being displayed in Plaza Senayan's Atrium until March 18.

A collaboration of Asahi Shimbun daily, Mitsubishi Corporation, Japanese embassy in Indonesia, Jakarta Shimbun daily and The Jakarta Japan Club, the exhibition not only shows the extent of the disasters but also the spirit of the people to get back on their feet. Gambatte. 

Below are the photographs I took during the event.

Japanese people usually keep their emotion to themselves, but the exhibition brings out some of their most private feeling. In the photo above, the man lets go his emotion after he buried his grandmother. "Now, you are safe from earthquake and tsunami, grandmother," the man says. (Sorry for the crappy lighting, this one was taken by the pocket camera)

A photo of family was found underwater. The newspaper's journalist returned the photo and captured the happy expression of a family member. The tsunami had taken all photos she had.

The little girl was so happy to find her favorite book amidst the debris of what used to be her home.

Visitors can write supporting words on a piece of paper and hang it on an artificial cherry blossom tree

Friday, March 9, 2012

Talking With The Boys...

...proves to be entertaining, because:

#1. They love their cars so much, it's so fun to irritate them with the thought of soiling the car
(Situation: it was during Idul Fitri holiday at my grandma's house in Kebumen, Central Java. Several cousins wanted to go to beach and we'd like to borrow Cousin BowWow's car. Well, it's his father's car actually, but he had been taking good care of the car, his father sometimes felt afraid to borrow it from him)
Cousine RYH (BowWow's older sister): Let's go to the beach!
Cousin BowWow: No thanks, I want to stay at home.
Cousine RYH: Then can we borrow the car?
Cousin BowWow: To the beach, with my car? No way! I just wash the car this morning.
(We all stood in a bee line and made sad faces)
Cousin BowWow: Argh. Ok. But remember to never put even a bit of sand into the car.

Did we have fun at the beach? Yes. Did we bring sands into the car? Yes, but it was inevitable. We cleaned the car afterwards, otherwise Cousin BowWow would disown us :D.

#2. They see fashion as a problem
(Situation: several colleagues had dinner time at the office, and the subject of our conversation was one of the colleagues' shirt, which was buttoned on the back. There was only one man among three women. Names are covered to protect the innocent.)
Woman 1: Your shirt is so cute, and it is buttoned on the back! Isn't difficult to wear it?
Woman 2: Yes, sometimes I ask help from the girl next door (she lives in a rented room- Ind. kost).
Man : I can never understand why women have outfits that are difficult to wear. Not only that the outfits are sometimes difficult to wear, they also difficult to take off.
Woman 3: Such as?
Man : The skinny jeans. For your information, it's so difficult to take off. Women should just wear skirt, they look lovely in it. Skirts are easy to wear, and easy to take off (smiled).
Woman 3: Thanks for the info. I'll bear that in mind the next time I go out with my boyfriend.

#3. They don't want to be seen holding hands
(Situation: two male colleagues were heading home on a motorcycle. Three women colleagues saw them)
Woman 1 : Safe driving. Hold tight.
Man 1      : What? There's no way I'm going to let him hold me tight.
Woman 2 : Why?
Man 1      : It's ok for women to hold hands, but men don't do that. It's just odd.
Woman 3 : Man 2, hold Man 1 tight!

Ah well, boys will always be boys:).

Girls, what's the funniest conversation you ever had with boys? Or if you're a boy, have you ever had funny conversation with girls? I'm dying to hear:).

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fondant Chocolate Cake

Fondant Chocolate Cake

Last month, I met a cute and friendly French chef in town. His name is Florian Lamelot, and he's from southern France. Hmm, why does anything/anyone coming from the South seem to be more friendly? 

Anyway, he served fondant au chocolat and I was in love (both with him and the cake, because the best way to win a woman's heart is through her stomach, hahaha). Getting such decadent dessert from a man ignites my competitive spirit. I mean, if a man can do it, so can I. (Yes, at some points I can be a bit of feminist :P)

So I looked up the Internet to find the recipe. Lo and behold, I found Chef Gordon Ramsay's Fondant Chocolate recipe. It's very easy to follow. Thanks Chef Gordon!

The ingredients (I only use a quarter of the original recipe, click the link above to see the original one):
50 grams of flour
50 grams of butter
50 grams of dark chocolate
50 grams of caster sugar
one egg
one egg yolk

How to make:

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl on a pan of boiling water. Mix well. Let it cool in room temperature.

Mix egg and egg yolk with caster sugar. I used block-shaped caster sugar (Ind. gula jawa balok). Big mistake. I had to crush the sugar block with mortar and pestle, then things started to look easy. 

Sift flour into the batter. Mix well.

Put the melted chocolate in thirds. Mix well between addition.

Don't forget to brush the moulds with melted butter (or in my case, I use margarine. It's just for the tin moulds anyway), freeze them for a few minutes, brush another layer of melted butter and dust them with cocoa powder before you pour in the batter. Then they are ready to be baked! But first, let's get them chilled. Put them in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. I froze them for two days (the batter can last until one month).

The chocolate magma. YUM!

Dear chef, thank you for introducing me to the most delicious dessert. Now I can make them myself. With love, a chocolate high girl.

P.S. M loved the cake so much she said I should open a cake shop. Hahaha. Hmm, but actually it's a good idea:).

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cute Guy-Spotting

The police officer in question. Oh yes, give me a ticket for drooling, officer. Photo source: here

What can you deduce from Monday and Tuesday's posts? Both feature cute guys on vicinity, hahaha. It all started from a twit about a good-looking police officer (photo above). Even singer @sherinamunaf commented that she'd like to have tickets from him.

In my opinion, the picture on the right is his best angle. I mean, if I meet him posing like the photo on the left, the meeting would have left me with no impression. 

Anyway, the photo makes me realize that (1) we have many good-looking police officer there are many good-looking guys out there, (2) you just have to see them in a different angle. Actually, I'm referring to seeing a person as a whole package, not just the outer appearance. (Ah yes, this is the single me giving relationship advice :P) 

I've done my cute guy-spotting in the previous posts. Now it's all your turn! Take a look around and let me know if you find any good-looking guys in your neighborhood. Happy hunting! :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Getting Your Photo Taken At Midnight For ID Card? Only In Indonesia...

Last week, M told me that we (as in the whole family) should take our photos at the district office for e-KTP. When D and I went to the district office, we got 783 for our calling number, and the officer said that we should get back at 12 a.m. for the photo session. 

I did a double take and asked, "Did you say 12 a.m. as in midnight???"
And the officer said, "Yes."

So we got back home, I went to work and we all came to the district office thirty minutes before midnight, expecting to see a vacant district office. The only thing was we were wrong about it being empty. No sire, the office was still full of people, waiting for their turn to be photographed.

 Sorry for the blur, it makes the picture a bit surreal eh? That's M on the right.

As you can see, Bekasi Barat district has five subdistricts and I'm currently a resident of ...wait, I won't tell you where I live, of course:).

 People sit on chairs, waiting to be photographed. The blurred man on the right is D.

After getting photographed, you get your fingerprint recorded. Hmm, now that I look closely at these pictures, the man holding my father's hand is actually kinda cute. And he has beautiful fingers. #ignorethiscaption.

Then you get your iris (or is it pupil?) photographed too

You also have to sign on an electronic pad. Hmm, what a high technology for just an ID card.

Have you completed the e-KTP process? What do you think of the process? Did you meet anyone cute there? (ahem!)

Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 5, 2012

It's Where Jazz Finds A Home

I've heard the buzz about Java Jazz Festival in the past 8 years, but this year was the first time I ever set foot inside the jazz ground. Perhaps I would not go had I not get the free tickets from the marketing manager (thanks Ibu Yulia!).

Last Friday, I was typing (as usual!) on my desk, when she walked by and said,"Why are you guys still here? Go and watch Java Jazz Festival! Here, I have the tickets for you." It was around 3 p.m., the festival would start at 4 p.m., and I still had to work until 6 p.m.

I completed my work as fast as I could, asked another ticket for Ira_dany and left the office at 6.30 p.m. We met at Benhil, got on a taxi, arrived at JIExpo at around 8 p.m. and saw a lot of people queueing for entry. It was such a long queue that we only made it inside around 9.35 p.m. Ack!

People with invitation (or free) tickets should pass the K gate. The letter K probably stands for 'Kebahagiaan' (Happiness) Hahaha.

Inside JIExpo

Taken from the 6th floor of JIExpo

The crowd

So did we have fun? You bet we did! While we couldn't get to watch The Manhattan Transfer (too crowded) and Depapepe (we're still stuck in the queue), we watched local jazz stars Indra Lesmana LLW and Andien and managed to have a seat to catch Ron King Big Band. They're amazing! :)

I like the music and the experience Java Jazz Festival offers, but I prefer going to one-artist performance held by the cultural centers. In fact tonight Erasmus Huis Jakarta will feature Triba, one of the Java Jazz Festival performers that hails from the Netherlands. I'd probably go because I didn't watch them the other day. 

P.S. By the way, the drummer performing with Indra Lesmana is quite a hottie (ahem!). Ladies, let me introduce you to the talented Sandy Winarta.

Photo source: here

Friday, March 2, 2012

We Have Food On Our Mind

Since I've spent this week talking about food, I'd like to give you a glimpse of my daily conversation during the work hours, which pretty much involves food, food We never mean to be hilarious, we just love food so much. Enjoy! :)

#1. Cookie Diplomation
Situation: we were typing our articles, when Fem realized she was not connected to a specific server folder. There was an IT guy around, so she asked him to connect her to the folder. He refused, and I felt the urge to interfere, with my own way of course.
IT guy : Sorry, I can't open it now.
Me      : Oh my God, I forgot I had this Oreo biscuit. Do you want one?
IT guy : Oh, thanks
Me      : You can take two if you want.
IT guy : Oh, ok if you insist.
Me      : So, can you open the folder for Fem or not?
IT guy : Sure!
Fem     : -_-

#2. Chocolate Confusion
Situation: after I interviewed a source, she gave me a box of chocolate for my boss. Since it's already late, I went straight home. The next day...
Me   : Boss, I forgot to bring you the chocolate today. I'll bring it tomorrow, ok?
Boss : You just keep it, I don't really need the chocolate. I'm on a diet.
Then the next day...
Me   : I bring you the chocolate
Boss : I've been waiting for them!
Me    : -_-

#3. The New PR
Situation: during an event introducing the new F&B director of a hotel, one of the hotel's PR people got a question about the hotel's food promotion. A journo fellow was a bit too excited to help out with the information.
PR Person     : So this Chinese restaurant offers Cantonese dishes, such as ummm...
Journo Fellow: (mention the dishes)
Other Journo : And what about the weekend promo?
PR Person     : On Saturday we have a brunch promo, which features special dishes, such as ummm...
Journo Fellow: (mention the dishes)
Other Journo : (turns her head to Journo fellow) How many times have you eat here? How come you remember all the dishes?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bowling For Bagel

A faithful reader to the New York Times website, I often come across the word "bagel" in the Metropolitan Diary column. It's a New Yorker's breakfast menu, and they can have it "nothing with everything" or "everything with nothing". Now, did I hear you say,"huh?" Don't worry. I have the same reaction when I first read about this bread product.

Last week, I went to Kemang, South Jakarta and found a bagel shop! The shop manager explained that they have 10 bagel flavors: plain, sesame seed, poppy seed, onion, cinnamon raisin, cheese, whole wheat, chocolate chip, cranberry and everything. You can enjoy a bagel simply as it is, or with cream cheese or with sandwich style. 

So "nothing with everything" should mean a plain bagel with various fillings, while "everything with nothing" should be an everything-flavored bagel without any filling. Hohoho.

The shop is located on Jl. Benda No. 10, Kemang

One bagel is priced at Rp 10,000, but a sandwich-style bagel is priced between Rp 40,000 and Rp 55,000. Ouch. A bagel looks just like a donut, since it also has a hole in the middle, but in terms of texture, a bagel is more chewy compared to the donut.

Guys, meet Banana Caramel Sauce, Lox and Philly Cheese Steak.

We had a photo session with the bagels.

I have yet to know when I can land my feet on New York, well at least now I can have a New York-style breakfast:).