Friends & Hang Out, My Life, Uncategorized

Living in the UK

It’s been nearly 3 years since my last post, as the days had been pretty hectic with my previous work in AirAsia and I actually have been living in the United Kingdom for a year now. The main reason of my moving is in order to pursue my dream of obtaining Masters Degree in Air Transport Management.

I will not sharing my student life here, basically  living as student is same elsewhere. You have a very tight budget, sleeping in an accommodation, cooking for yourself, managing your own money. However, my living experience in the UK had been quiet memorable, and I have survived for a year getting away from home! This is the longest period I have gone away from home, and nobody had ever thought I would have left my career for a higher education somewhere very far away from Indonesia.

In fact, I never thought that I would move to the UK. Never. My previous trip to London in April last year was aimed at ensuring myself whether UK was the best place for me to continue my Masters, and it turned out that I liked it, hence I decided to move.

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Coventry is a city located 1 hour (train journey) and 2 hours (bus journey) from London. The city is one of the metropolitan borough in the West Midlands. The reputation of the city itself was not really prominent for the locals – the old saying often refer Coventry as a place where the elders will send their children if they are naughty or disobey –  in fact for Indonesians, the city has become very much popular due to the existence of affordable University. Yes, that is correct, living in UK sounded to be very overpriced to some people, but trust me when you live out of London, everything is 70% cheaper, even cheaper than Australia.

Coventry is a city that is closely related to automotive, yes this place is the birth place of latest invention in UK automotive industry, say Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and where the development of turbo jet engine began by Frank Whittle, this man was known as one of the British RAF Air Commodore. Coventry also has a famous cathedral, one of the famous relics left from the German invasion back in the World War II.

The city now is known to be a University student. Coventry University has contributed significant income for the city as many international (including myself) has chosen to study in the University. My first reason of choosing this University is that because the course I wished to take is a bit niche, means not every University in the UK or even in the world offered the course I am studying now. However, the price is quiet reasonable and not too far from London. Although most of my colleagues in London asking why did you choose Coventry, those three reasons always came up first to explanation. The closest big city is Birmingham which is known to be the second largest city in the UK after London, but strangely I found the city is much more boring than Coventry.

My ‘affair’ with London

Despite the fact I live in Coventry but I spend most of the time in London as the city is reachable for 2 hours by bus, and my house is close from Pool Meadow coach station. Very convenient journey that I can go for one day, or staying for couple nights. London is different than any other city in the UK, we can say it is a metropolitan city and for a boy who used to live in Jakarta, we must love the metropolitan city.

While other students prefer to spend their times in Birmingham or traveling around the United Kingdom, I decided to use my money wisely in London. Why? I think London is the future, I came to London not only to refresh my mind but also to widen my circle of networks, no matter where I work in the future. It’s one of the world’s financial capital of the world!

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There are four seasons in UK in one day

The diversity which is a combination between modernity and yet historical sites makes this city seems very vibrant and you cannot only explore this city only for one day! I partially lived here as I always come and go, and friends who have taught me a lot of things, including how to commute in London and walking through alleys and hidden gems that the city has to offer.

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Yes, this picture is possible on Sunday. I took my risk to cross the Westminster bridge just to get photo. Thankfully I wasn’t hit by the bus.

London is a capital city which serves as the central of politics, business, arts and trade. Just like Jakarta, my hometown which is the capital of Indonesia. The city gets very busy every peak hours which is between 8 – 10 am in the morning and 4 – 6 pm in the afternoon. There are so many interesting places to see and yet there are vast options of attractions you see. Museums, parks, gallery, and shops. London is also known as the capital of creative economy in the UK or probably in the Europe, where you can find many interesting stores selling interesting stuff. To me London, is just different, my favorite landmark, the Big Ben means a lot to me. As whenever I visit the city, I must walk pass the building and hoping to listen the chimes.

After 2 or 3 months of your visit you will find yourself familiar with the tube system which looks complicated on the map. The city map of London is actually not easy to explore. The city situates in a complex design which is not divided by blocks or grid square. And every corner of the area looks similar to each other, especially when you are in the West area. Nottinghill Gate, Paddington, Kensington, Earl’s Court are some of famous posh areas in the city that offer affordable accommodation for tourists compared to the ones in Central London. These areas connected by two busiest tube lines: Piccadilly Line (blue line) that connects London to Heathrow Airport, and Central – District Line (Green and Yellow line).

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Transport for London doesn’t only cover tube and bus but there is Boat services that starts at Pier along the Thames riverside.

 

Going out in London could mean overpriced splurge to some people, including myself. The tube is very much convenient to be used with Oyster Card issued by Transport of London (TFL) in which tourists or Londoners can use to to travel London by tube and bus. The card applies daily cap based on the Zones you travel. For example, the maximum daily cap of the Oyster Card is £6.30 for zone 1-2 and more expensive to cover more zones, as there are 6 zones in the greater London itself.

Bus is less reliable than the tube, due to traffic jam which sometimes are inevitable due to higher car volume during peak hours, or the road construction. As a foreigner who lived in the UK, I notice that many prominent cities have undergone massive road construction, causing traffic diversion. This can be overwhelming especially in the busy motorway that links into London city such as M25 or the M5. M25 is famous for its congestion in the morning.

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This is how it feels like to drive on Monday morning on M25 motorway

Nonetheless, the city’s atmosphere doesn’t stop people from visiting London. The city is a great place to eat and drink! The English pubs and local restaurants spread around London for example some of the famous ones that you might be interested to visit: The Albert’s in Westminster, Old Bells in Fleet Street, Wheatsheaf in Borough Market, Ten Bells in Barbican, Admiralty in Trafalgar Square and many others. To all of you who prefer a more fancy atmosphere you can go to Sketch Bar, Social Eating in Soho, The Manor in Clapham, Gong Bar (Shangrila’s The Shards) and any places that you can browse on the Trip Advisor. Some areas such as in Neal’s Yard, Carnaby, Piccadilly Circus also offers numerous interesting restaurants.

In regard to affordable restaurant and if you don’t mind takeaways or at the park, you can always go to Pret-A-Manger, Gregg’s or any takeaway food sold in Tesco Express or Sainsbury. Try their patisseries, affordably delicious.

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My favorite Patisserie in London. They serve dozens of tasty cakes and a very nice hot chocolate!

 

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Living in London has become dream for everyone, including for those Britons outside London who thinks the city is a land of dreams. London’s position as the capital city of United Kingdom conveys significant importance, while in contrast making it as a secluded city where the wealth seems to centralised only in the city.

To all visitors who firstly landed their feet into United Kingdom must think that London represents the country. In fact, it is not. London is a multicultural city which occupied by foreigners and immigrants. The best way to explore the UK is to go to their countryside as this country offers many tourism attractions in the countryside part such as Castle Coombe, Cotswolds, Winchester, or if you fancy to experience locals’ holiday destination you drive southwest to Devon or Cornwall where you can visit a few number of beautiful cities such as Torquay, Paignton, Plymouth, Land’s End.

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Brexit?

Well this is just an intermezzo before I end this post, but is it worthwhile to mention the Brexit issue since this became major concerns for Londoners questioning the future of the city’s position as one of the world’s financial capital in the world. I was there when the referendum occurred. The achieved referendum results, suprisingly had led the UK to separate out of the European Union and it does not seem to favor the stability of sterling due to lack of investors’ trust.

 

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Friends & Hang Out, My Life, Travel

Coming Back To Seoul

My first arrival to Incheon and Seoul was precisely five years ago, and here I am writing another post about Seoul after my first trip report back then – titled ‘Seoul: Shopping Spree Wonderland’. Five years ago, Seoul was not as popular as what it has become presently, where everybody now has talked about the city following the rising popularity of Korean TV drama, TV shows and actors or actresses.

The traffic of my ‘Seoul, Shopping Spree Wonderland’ post has contributed a lot for this blog’s stats activity. There used to be dozens of readers visiting this blog as they might have probably-and-randomly found that article on Google upon searching Korean tour, Seoul tour or something like that. And yes, most of those readers were dominated by young teenagers who just popped a comment saying I wish I could go there or Can you recommend me any place to stay in Seoul and what to visit as I plan to go there next month, and many other prospective comments.

I must say that I was thankful to be able to re-visit one of the most renowned Asia’s capital city, Seoul. Clearly, two weeks ago (it’s another winter time) I was assigned for a business travel to Seoul to meet the owner of my company who held an event with the most rising soccer player in Asia, Park Ji Sung. Without thinking twice I agreed to fly with a very last minute preparation.

On 9 December 2014, my plane touched down safely at Incheon International Airport. I wasn’t traveling alone, as I had several media participants that I invited to come along with me to Seoul. The cabin crew informed us the temperature dropped to negative five degrees celcius which wasn’t that different than my first arrival there back in 2009. I told my media friends to always be prepared with gloves and their coats as the temperature might have lowered every hour. Proven, the temperature dropped until negative eleven.

IMG_0322The picture above was myself upon arriving from a 6 hour 30 minutes flight from Kuala Lumpur. Got over shadowed but still happy with the picture. After we were done with immigration and custom clearance, we headed straight away to Myeong-Dong area to drop our luggage at SkyPark Hotel where we would stay for 2 nights. The journey took for about an hour and we checked in at around 11.00 am local time. My journalist colleagues had been asking what we would do then for the first free and easy morning. I said, their half day city tour had been planned and I would be their travel guide as I still remembered some areas and public transportation to get to those places.

IMG_0337Snow remnants still covered some areas in Incheon

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IMG_0355Namdaemun Gate. I didn’t get a chance to see this gate back in 2009 as it was under construction for massive renovation post fire incident

I managed to plan a short tour around Namsan area (Seoul Tower), Gyeongbokgung, Namdaemun market, Myeong-Dong market. The main reason I took them to Seoul Tower was to show them the famous love locks. Meanwhile, for Gyeongbokgung is a must-visit palace although we were a bit upset to know the palace was close for public on Tuesday.

IMG_0369Walking to Namsan Cable Car. The journey took for about 20 minutes on normal walk speed on inclining terrain.

IMG_0485My savior. Do not underestimate this thing. Bring your ultra rich moisturizers lip balm.

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IMG_0395Seoul’s city landmark. Namsan (N Seoul Tower)

IMG_0430My favorite place in Seoul. Here you cannot just enjoying breathtaking view, but you’ll get to visit numerous interesting places such as N Seoul Tower itself or Teddy Bear Museum.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetThe famous love locks on Namsan peak

IMG_0452The main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace from the North entrance

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Seoul always gets me on , why? I think this city has so many things to offer. The city is very vibrant and friendly. Seoul has the best nightlife ambiance in Asia. The lighting, the hype, the spirit of the locals are somewhat you will never find anywhere. If I may compare, Shibuya area in Tokyo is indeed busier and surrounded by more advanced technology than the rest of Seoul Central Business District area. However, one thing for sure, the energy of Myeong-Dong area in Seoul, especially at night is something you will never forget, as your eyes will be pampered with the presence of hundreds even thousands of beauty, ornaments, souvenirs, jewelery stores and foods stalls selling unique foods. When you are there, you will see how this area succeeds to steal every woman’s attention to give up what’s next to-do-on their tour list, as they will instantly change their minds only to shop or at least merely stopping for a thorough-observation (the paradox of window shopping) at those unimaginably cute things they might see over there.

IMG_0481If 5 years ago, my friend who heard I was going to Seoul they would just text me and say “Have a Nice Trip”, now the girls would rather text to ask for something to bring from South Korea. At least, I received more than 10 messages asking different things that precisely could not be accommodated. These nail paints were the only thing I could think of, Skin Food store located in front of my hotel, they had special sale of 1.500 Won (IDR 16.500,-) each. To save time I would just take every color on a bucket and brought them to the cashier desk.

IMG_0465My mom text just to remind me of her favorite type of strawberries. FYI, Korean strawberries are literally fat and juicy

IMG_0578Wishing you a Merry Christmas everyone! The Christmas decorations and installations here in Myeong-Dong are immaculate!

IMG_0357The giant Christmas ornaments in Seoul. I think everyone agrees with me, South Korea is always associated with love… and cosmetics *HA*

IMG_0362Just to elaborate the cosmetic craze is this exceptional corner at my hotel (SkyPark 1 Myeong Dong). The business corner which is equipped with free use of nail paint and dressing table that are perfect for ladies.

IMG_0545LINE Store at Lotte Mall Myeong Dong. This store is relatively new. Once you’re inside, I am definitely sure we won’t leave empty handed

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Processed with VSCOcam with a6 presetPerfect winter dress. I am never comfortable to wear jumper or oversize coat. Let’s make it simple, Merino wool sweater, Velvet jacket, leather gloves and thick scarf.

IMG_0570Teenie Weenie, so far is the cutest store in Myeong Dong

Foods?

Aside to shopping, you can also find plenty foods stalls that sell cheap foods (mostly skewers just like in other Asian cities). The average price of street foods in Myeong Dong or Namdaemun cost around KRW 1,000 – KRW 5,000 (IDR 13.000,- – IDR 60.000,-) per piece. Do not worry on the foods sizes, the serve is quiet fulfilling.

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IMG_0576It is my first time to see this Strawberry wrapped by chocolate and glutinous rice. When you visit Myeong-Dong try this one!

IMG_0557Teokbokki (Rice cake with Traditional Korean sauce). When I first saw this food 5 years ago, I thought this one was made of squid or fish, but after trying then I realise this one just a rice cake with sumptuous sweet-sour sauce.

IMG_0558Snail? Yes, Koreans eat snails. Snail is believed to provide great nutrition for them such as for skins and protein in-takes. No wonder that snail is mostly used as the basic essence for *again* most of skin and beauty products.

IMG_0590 The snacks that have it all. Flavors, tastes, crunchiness blend together

After strolling around Seoul for two days, one of my old friend who turned out to be a local, called me and knew I was in Seoul. After short conversation, we ended up agreed to meet up and he said wanted to take me to a famous Korean BBQ place in Myeong-Dong called ‘Wumioke’.

Upon my first day, we actually had a lunch at a local restaurant located on the ground floor of Namsan cable car embarkation, which to me is a bit expensive. However, my friend said that Korean BBQ restaurants in Seoul mostly has similar average price in which there is an unwritten rules of minimum order for some certain type of meats such as: Syamgupsal (pork belly), pork ribs, sirloin, tenderloin etc. And believe me the tastes are apparently the same or even at some point is better at Korean BBQ restaurants in Jakarta. The average price of a set of syamgupsal may cost KRW 15.000,- – KRW 22.000,- (depends on how many set you ordered), while the beef ones are more expensive around KRW 22.000,- – KRW 25.000,- per set. Clearly, the price is including various side dishes and free drinks for everyone except rice.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetEating like a Korean

IMG_0610I completely forget the name of this dish but is perfect for dinner in winter. So warm.

IMG_0612A little corner of the restaurant. Wumioke has been visited by so many people around the globe. As to keep the memory, the restaurant owner keep each of foreign visitor through photographs taken while eating at the restaurant and displayed them on the wall.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 presetAfter dinner, we were full and happy

To conclude this post, I would definitely encourage all of you to visit South Korea! For those first timer, spending more days in Seoul is highly recommended as this city is the center of main attraction of what South Korea has to offer. Here you can explore all that become your travel interests, you can get everything you want starts from shopping, getting closer with nature, experience the excitement of Seoul’s nightlife, until tasting the authentic delicacies. I have been here for two times and always willing to come back. So  I’ll see you guys next time in South Korea, or in Myeong Dong maybe? 🙂

Oh last but not least, the proven of Park Ji Sung is right here..

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Aviation, Friends & Hang Out, My Life, Travel

Heaven of The East: Ambon, Moluccas (Maluku) Part 1

‘Kota Ambon, Ibu Negeri Tanah Maluku, Di pinggir laut tempat kita berteduh..

Dari jauh.. terlihat gunung Salahutu, beta ingat dahulu beta disitu..’

-Intro lyrics of Kota Ambon song-

This post marks another memorable trip that I had planned. Why? Because despite short planning and zero knowledge about the city, we still could make the best journey ever! I am very grateful to get this opportunity, to witness another beauty of East Indonesia.

Ambon had been in my ‘must-visit-city-before-i-die’ list since long time ago, but whenever I wanted to go, I was always doubtful on going there alone due to safety concerns.

I had distinctively heard from many Ambonese whom I met in Jakarta, or even from a few foreigner friends who had been to Ambon, most of them said that this city had so many things to offer. Ambon doesn’t just offer its natural beauty but cultural diversity. Moreover, they said that Ambon and largely the greater Moluccas archipelago have numerous diving spots for experienced divers and snorkeling lovers around the world.

I am not a diver but from many pictures I saw, and based on the testimonies I heard, the group of Saparua island, especially Nusa Laut island is known for its underwater richness, they said Nusa Laut’s underwater contains richer marine biota than in Raja Ampat.

In fact, Moluccas is also popular as a region where high quality Indonesian singers come from. The Moluccans are blessed with colorful voices, let’s look at our brilliant singers such as Ruth Sahanaya, Utha Likumahua, and Glenn Fredly.

Having people singing is not a rare thing in Ambon. They like to sing and their voices are worth to be listened 🙂

Getting very excited for the first time..

I traveled with 2 companions who also had no idea what to see and what to do in Ambon. Both of them are my best friends where we shared a lot of things in common, especially having similar ways of traveling style. We sometimes picked random dates and getaway destinations, but this time I had succeeded to entice them to come with me to Ambon.

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Apparently, one of my travel mates knew someone from her parent’s relative, and they have been very helpful with our city tour arrangements starting lunch treats, transportation and visiting the best tourism sites in Ambon.

We departed without fixed itinerary, and we just wait until we arrived in Ambon. As for the flight, we took Garuda Indonesia’s first flight (departed at 00:30 hrs) with 20 minutes stopover in Makassar. Garuda Indonesia actually flies two times daily to Ambon, you can pick either the red-eye flight departing at 00:30 hrs (GA 640) with one stop over or 08:30 hrs (GA 646) direct. Since we preferred to spend more time in Ambon, so we chose the first flight.

IMG_0144SkyTeam Livery, PK-GMH

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IMG_0188Aglio Olio for my supper. I must admit this one is very delicious!

Regardless my concession tickets but my two other friends paid IDR 2.600.000,- (USD 240) each for economy class (promo fare) return flight. The fare is quiet reasonable compared to Jakarta – Lombok flights that have reached more than IDR 3.000.000,- (USD 260) return during that period.

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The flight was a red-eye flight, and our first leg was to Sultan Hassanudin International Airport in Makassar for 2 hours flight and we transited for only 30 minutes refueling. I met some of my dad’s colleagues who were in-charge as the captain and flight purser, during the crew change and they wondered to know what I would do in Ambon. I simply told them besides its natural beauty, I was inspired by those great singers and would love to hear how Ambonese sing live. Besides, I was also inspired by the beauty of the Moluccas that previously I only had seen them from pictures.

Once the crew change finished, we immediately took off at 0430 AM LT (GMT+8). The flight to Ambon from Makassar only took 1 hour and 45 minutes, just 40 minutes after take off, the sky was changing colors, indicating the breaking dawn.

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Watching sunrise from East Indonesia airspace is the most favorite moment to me! I remembered when I flew to Biak and Jayapura a few years ago, I was very excited to see that breathtaking view, especially when you look outside your window and seeing the sky’s orange-purplish reflection towards the islands beneath, it’s just so perfect!

IMG_0243My seat after 4 hours

Time flew fast when you’re flying, at 7 o’clock am we started our descent and the Captain made pre-landing notice for the cabin crew. The plane banked into runway 04 approach. The orange sky had turned into light blue while the sunlight had begun to appear despite a few thunderstorm clouds were seen in distance. The sea was seen in a calm current, from the distance I could also see Salahutu Mt., Nona Mt., Amahusu bay, and Latuhalat before we finally touched down at Pattimura Airport, Ambon at 07.30 AM LT (GMT+9).

Flying to East Indonesia could be tricky, the flying hours for some indirect routes (or with 1 stop over in Makassar) could disrupt your sleeping pattern. When I flew to Jayapura with 2 stopovers via Makassar and Biak, I had a very bad jetlag upon arrival due to short sleep for 2 landings within 1.5 hours. This time, I flew with only one stop over, and I slept during Jakarta – Makassar flight not between Makassar – Ambon had made me pretty exhausted post flight.

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IMG_0253IMG_0258Selamat Pagi Ambon! Touched down at Pattimura Airport, Ambon (AMQ)

After taking our checked-in luggage, we met our private guide Pak Parjan and Pak Ismet who had been waiting for us at the arrival hall, and we headed directly to our hotel, Natsepa Resort and Conference.

Selamat Pagi, Selamat Datang di Natsepa Resort, Bapak Danang,” said one of Natsepa Resort and Conference’s concierge staffs who greeted us at the lobby upon our arrival after 40 minute drive from the airport.

Selamat Pagi! Thank you,” I cheered a smile. Natsepa Resort and Conference used to be managed by Aston with a previous name of Aston Natsepa. Natsepa Resort and Conference is known as one of the best accommodation in Ambon situated in Natsepa beach area. I booked this hotel directly from Booking.com for a deluxe twin bed that can be occupied by 3 persons maximum. The price per room and per night is quiet reasonable which is around Rp. 830.000,-  nett (USD 73) including breakfast for 2 persons.

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IMG_0268My room’s balcony with a gorgeous view!

IMG_0275Left: public swimming pool, Right: Lagoon’s room private pool

The hotel ambiance was indeed relaxing, clean and provides generous room space. The hotel also has swimming pool where hotel guests can practice diving or if you have more budget you can pay Lagoon room that has its own pool. The hotel area is also far from the traffic and public crowd, besides each room of this hotel is indulged with breathtaking views, Natsepa beach and Salahutu Mountain.

IMG_0749The back view: Mt. Salahutu

Once check-in done, we were directly guided to our room which was located on the third floor overlooking to Natsepa bay and the swimming pool. I must say that that was one of the best view hotels that I’d ever had.

Liang Beach

The weather suddenly changed where clouds were seen above the horizon, giving signal to rain anytime soon, we decided to go out after 40 minutes rest, and we were heading to our first destination: Liang Beach. Liang Beach is located about 20 kms from Natsepa. And the best way to reach this preserved and pristine beach by car. You can ask the hotel to arrange a taxi for you that cost approximatley IDR 150,000,- one way or alternatively you can rent private car (Toyota Avanza) for IDR 600,000,- (USD 53)  for one day (excluding gasoline and driver tips). You should not worry about who would take you around because the car must be ready with a driver who could also be your guide.

After prepared my duffel bag with sufficient sunbathing and swimming amenities, we were set to go! However it was a bit unfortunate that the weather seemed wasn’t friendly enough, because the moment we left the hotel, the rain began to falling and even became worse. Apparently, early April is a transformation season in the Mollucas from dry to wet season.

The rain unfortunately getting worse when we arrived at the Liang Beach, we decided to wait until the rain went over with a few refreshments such as coffee, rujak and Indomie. Despite the thuderstorm clouds, what amazed me was the still capability of seeing the blue gradation of the sea water – indicated how clean the water is. Finally after almost nearly one hour waiting, the rain finally over. We immediately ran to the famous Liang Beach wooden pier which firmly stands near the shoreline.

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This view made me think of Maldives, or Seychelles, or wherever I could think of. I was just standing there being thankful for everything I could see.

IMG_0281Rujak Ambon

Liang Beach is one of the most favorit spots for  local fellows to hang out, followed by Natsepa shoreline where you can enjoy the famous Rujak ‘traditional fruit salad’ and the sweet sagu bakar (roast sago). However, you can still enjoy those foods at Liang Beach. The locals love the beach so much, especially the kids, where they expressed their freedom by jumping off from the pier to the water. If you’re lucky, you could see a group of dolphins swimming near you, like I did last time – or else a ship passing nearby.

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Liang Beach is not wavy unlike most of beaches in Bali. The water is very calm with less waves but the current could be a bit strong.

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After one hour, the sun lastly appeared from the breaking overcast clouds and we were excited to feel the heat. As a man who is a bit paranoid of swimming in the sea, better to stay nearby the shore, because I rather not to think of seeing a shark down there.

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After swimming, I went for fast rinse at the public bathroom (thank god for this). I’m a type of person who could not leave my body with dried salt water for too long thus I took a bath with fresh water jugs I bought earlier.

For all of you who cannot bare with salt water then you should bring your toiletteries, because you can use the public bathroom where they also sell fresh water (IDR 3.000,- per jug (USD 0.30). The bathroom is rather clean and thank god not stinky, so you should not worry about it.

 

Ambon’s Francis Xavier Cathedral

We only spent 2 hours in Liang Beach. Once we’re done we headed straight to Ambon city for our first day city tour. It is quiet exciting though, because we were pretty curious about what this city looked like and what life were like in the capital of Moluccas archipelago. Ambon city is located 36 kms from Pattimura International Airport, and situated near Ambon bay.

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It took for almost an hour for us to reach the city. Since it was nearly lunch time, Pak Parjan invited us to have lunch at his home as his wife had cooked us traditional dish. We were so delighted to accept his invitation.

Ambon’s city is quiet colorful, from the distance you can see the city center from the hilly road. The city looks vibrant and lively.

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In the middle of our journey, Pak Ismet stopped us in front of Ambon city’s Francis Xavier Cathedral (Roman catholic church) which is dubbed as one of the most remarkable historical sites in Ambon. The cathedral was built to commemorate St. Francis Xavier, a spanish roman catholic missionary who arrived in Ambon in 1546.

The cathedral was unfortunately locked hence we were not able to see the interior. After taking a few pictures of the church, we headed directly to Pak Parjan’s house for lunch. The house is located not far from the city center, situated on a hilly road. We were welcomed with genuine hospitality from the whole family. It was definitely pleasant to catch up with the locals and learning new things from them.

IMG_0429The food he had prepared for us. FEAST!

IMG_0433Fish and chicken are homemade! DELICIOUS.

IMG_0435Sharing is caring 🙂

IMG_0438Never seen a corn as big as this

Apparently, Pak Parjan and family had prepared a totally delicious home made lunch for three of us that suit our tastebuds. Chicken, fish, vegetables and fruits were taken from their own poultry and farm.

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The home is newly renovated, this house offers a great view on the top floor. Bayview and seaside home is very common here in Ambon, something that we rarely find in Jakarta.

 

Latuhalat & Lelisa Beach

After spending nearly an hour for lunch, Pak Parjan guided us to get ready as we were going to continue our trip to Latuhalat. I actually had no idea where he would’ve taken us, what he said was only “We’re going up to the hill, to see one of the best scenic view in town.” Then, we would’ve imagined a place similar to Bali’s Karma Kandara or Bali Cliff – only maybe there won’t be any alcohol beverage sold.

Latuhalat is located in the outskirt area of Ambon city where the road track was quiet hilly though the place was worth seeing. It was nearly sunset around 17.00 PM local time when we alighted from our car. We could feel the fresh air, and we hear the sound of the waves which triggered our curiousity to look beneath, we were apparently about 20 meters above the sea level.

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Pak Parjan later invited us to walk down to see the Ambon’s front door. We were actually curious about what door he’d been talking about. He told us just walk down the steps and see, and yet to enjoy every step down we made. We were stunned to see more than 50 steep steps leading us to the rocky shore. I frequently reminded my friends to watch their steps. Once we got down, we saw the Ambon’s entrance door, and I can say this place is quiet magnificent. How could I not be amazed to see a giant natural rock with half round hole that made it look like as if an entrance to the beach. The overlooking sea is Banda Sea, and the locals said this place was one of highly recommended places to enjoy the sunrise.

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We climbed up back to where our car was parked, stepping up approximately 50 stairs that caused severe exhaustion. “We shouldn’t have done this place today, I think I got to exhausted” I babbled to one of my mates, and she could not reply anything as she was gasping while we’re climbing the stairs. When we reached the top, we decided to sit down at a small open-air café to enjoy fresh coconut water and chatting with the café owners who apparently was a mixed Ambonese – Sundanese couple. They had figured out whereabout we were from, and there the man started conversation by revealing that he used to live in Jakarta for 20 years and still flying back and forth to Jakarta a lot these days. He was sharing his life experience and Jakarta and how he met the wife there until they decided to start a family business there in Latuhalat. The man told us that Ambon and specifically Latuhalat should’ve been potential for domestic or even foreign visitors, however, he could see that not so many local tourist comes to Ambon as many of them were brainwashed about visiting the islands known for conflict.

IMG_0457Collin Beach Resort

IMG_0456Lelisa Beach

Not far from Latuhalat, there is Lelisa Beach, situated in southern part of Ambon and managed by Collin Beach Resort. The beach itself is mostly surrounded by corals and rocks therefore is not comfortable for beach swimmers, but we spotted many foreigners stay in this resort. The resort may not look as fancy as Natsepa Resort and Conference however, this place has a perfect beach ambiance with many coconut trees, hammock, and lazy chairs.

Once we’re done with the sight seeing around Ambon, we wrapped our itinerary for that day as we all fell asleep directly when we reached the hotel and hit the bed.

 

Fort Amsterdam (Blokhuis Amsterdam), Immanuel Church, Wapauwe Mosque

On the second day in our itinerary, we woke up early at 07.00 AM, awakened by a beautiful sunrise in Ambon. I spent a little time sitting at my balcony to enjoy the morning sun’s heat, sipping Nescafe decaf and starring at the magnificent view of Natsepa bay.

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We immediately packed up our amenities, each of us took a quick bath and ran for a short breakfast. Pak Parjan unfortunately unable to accompany us that day, he asked his son, Mas Hafni to guide us instead. Mas Hafni and Pak Ismet had been waiting for us at the lobby, they told us to be ready before 07.30 AM as we would travel a bit far to Hila Village in Leihitu to visit the famous Dutch fort in Ambon, Blokhuis Amsterdam and the surrounding sites.

IMG_0509Hila Village

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In Dutch, Blokhuis means Fort or a block house. It is built in a three floor structure, functioned as gunpowder warehouse and prisons. The 4.57 m x 5.3 m building has 2 windows on each side where you can spot scenic views from each side, beach and mountains. The Fort was abandoned by the Dutch colony in the early of the 20th century and restored by Indonesian Government in 1991.

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We felt very lucky to have the best weather of the season. The sky was completely clear decorated with thin layered clouds stretching above. I was completely ready with my iPhone 5S to capture the beautiful sight seeings that I would never forget.

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Not far from Fort Amsterdam, there is another historic site of Immanuel Kerk (Immanuel Church). The church was built in 1780 and it was known as one of the oldest protestant church in Ambon. The church was nearly burnt down during Ambon’s 1999 civil war, but now they had recovered the church and rebuilt it almost in the exact copy of the original church.

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After a short stop at the church, Pak Parjan and Pak Ismet drove us to Wapauwe mosque which is known as the oldest mosque in Ambon. The mosque was built in 1414 and still firmly standing until now. The exterior look is somewhat attractive and rustic, combined with the sophisticated interior that is filled with teakwood, which is still used these days.

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The mosque is located near a green yard where the cow shepherds feed their cows. The view getting even more interesting to me as I rarely see any green yard with a clear blue sky in Jakarta.

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IMG_0569Captured on our way to Pasir Panjang beach

Pasir Panjang Beach

To all of you who followed my Instagram or Path, you might’ve seen my post which mentioned about a private beach that I wouldn’t tell you, and you might wonder where that white sand beach was located. It’s called Pasir Panjang Beach!

After visiting historical places, we decided to chill out for a bit on the beach. We asked Hafni and Pak Ismet to find a good beach for us to hang out, if possible the quiet one. They were discussing to which suitable place for us, and we ended up at Pasir Panjang Beach. Firstly we were not sure to where they brought us since the direction was nearly the same that brought us to Liang beach the previous day. “The beach has the same shoreline of Liang Beach, only this beach is much farther,” Ismet said. The car stopped at the curb of a small road, and Ismet told us just to follow Hafni who guided us to the beach. The beach location is similar to Padang – Padang beach in Bali whereby the visitors had to walk down a few steps to reach the sandy area.

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According to what Hafni and Pak Ismet told us, the beach was unoccupied and we were just too excited for this. Despite 11 am, but the sun was high and glaring bright, we got ready with our sunscreen, towels and sun glasses. Pasir Panjang is situated in Tial village where many fishermen live. Here you can spot their vessels, nets and if you’re lucky – their catches. You may smell fresh Tuna fish from here, and you can buy the fish with a very good deal directly from them!

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We enjoyed this beach so much until we’re not knowing that we’re competely tanned but we didn’t care because swimming here felt so good!

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Where else could we enjoy the calm waves, quiet environment, soft sands, and great breeze, this is such a sanctuary for us.

Pasir Panjang doesn’t have public bathroom neither there has any change room, therefore whenever you come here – make sure you bring your towels, wet shirt bags, spare shirts and shorts unless you want to stay longer drying your swim suit under the sun.

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Before we left the beach, I asked Hafni to walk with me to visit the fishermen village. I wanted to see their homes and hoping to see one of the Tuna’s heads. We walked slowly passing each home and greeted each home owner that I met. They smiled and said “Hello!” I felt welcomed here. Some of the home owner offered me her outdoor bathroom to rinse my feet and sandals which were covered by sands.

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At the next door of the house, I heard there was a Tuna transaction – which I believed from the morning’s catch. I stopped by and asked how big the Tuna was, and to me it was really big. Around 9-10 kgs or so.

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“Oh this fish is considered small compared to what we usually get on the sea,” an Ambonese lady said.

I approached my head near the bucket, attempted to look the Tuna closer. Fishy smell.

“How much is the whole fish?” I asked, pinching the Tuna’s belly – it was indeed chubby.

“This one is Rp. 100.000,” she said.

The moment I thought I had misheard the price, and I reassured “Really? That can’t be true?”

The lady thought I attempted to bargain. “It’s fixed price Pak

“No, what I meant was Rp. 100.000,- is pretty cheap for this size,”

The lady smiled, “Do you want to bring this with you to Jakarta?”

I told her that I would have another two nights in Ambon, yet we would’ve gone out of the island the following day. The wise way is to buy one night before my leaving or on the same day of my departure back to Jakarta as I’d prefer to have fresh fish.

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I asked her permission to hold and lift the whole Tuna, as I would love to take picture with the fish. My mind had flown to Jakarta where I could buy a plate of Tuna sashimi from Sushi-tei.

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Hafni had instructed me to walk a bit faster to the car as we still had so many things to see and visit. I started to feel uncomfortable with the wet swim shorts that I still wore behind my short pants so did my friends, so we decided to return to the hotel for a while to take short bath (another short baths – so much a real adventurer isn’t it? haha) I noticed that Hafni and Pak Ismet were totally amazed with how we kept our hygiene.

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The clock had shown 13.00 PM, means we were one hour late for lunch. We definitely got ready again to Ambon city to have lunch. “It’s Sunday and hopefully there are some places open,” Hafni said.

“I think we should go and try the fish place that my cousin mentioned earlier,” one of my travel mates said. We all agreed to wherever we should eat, as it was too late and our tummies couldn’t compromise. We initially wanted to eat at that famous grilled seafood restaurants suggested, however the place was closed and Pak Ismet took us to another restaurant called Dede’s. The place looks decent, and fully air-conditioned. Before we sat down at our table they asked us to choose the fish from the cool box at the kitchen. We picked three kind of fish: Silver Pomfret (Bawal), Spotted Rabbitfish (Baronang), and Groper fish (Kerapu), Prawns, and Squids, all items were grilled and cooked spicy.

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‘No Kangkung, No Sayur Asem’

When we’re choosing what vegetables to go along with the main course, one of a friend mine were craving about Kangkung. As we all know that Kangkung was supposed to be best companion for any seafood dishes, and it was available on the menu. However, with full regret, the waitress had to apologise that Kangkung was not available at that time, neither was Sayur Asem.

We were completely confused how could both side dishes not available. Hafni told us, “No, you better not expect Sayur Asem here because it’s a rare dish.” That another learning point for us. I asked the waiter, to keep it short, “Can you just bring us whatever vegetables is available?”

“Capcay, Mas

“Okay, one serve please.” I said without hesitation.

The foods arrived not long after we order. A quiet fast service I must admit, and the taste was also pretty good for a seafood resto. We enjoyed every bite, and yet the fish tasted very nice, soft meats and crunchy skin. The bill was not as suprising as I’d thought, we paid IDR 275.000 for the whole meal and beverages for 5 pax. Quiet cheap I must say.

After having happy tummy, we headed straight to Petak 10 souvenir shop. This shop is the best souvenir shop in town that sells not only sago crackers or cookies, but next door is a souvenir shop that sells Pearl accessories (salt water and fresh water), print tshirts, caps, bracelets, and local tenun fabrics.

Tips when shopping in Ambon: Here (not just at this shop) you cannot bargain any price, as most of the sellers will claim it as a fixed price. It is hard to bargain with the local people, yet many Ambonese are well educated and they understand every tourist especially from Jakarta.

IMG_0673I bought a sea water pearl pendant for my mother with silver-coated stainless.

 

Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery (Australian War Cemetery)

Once we’re done with shopping, Pak Ismet drove us back to the hotel as we need to get early for dinner. However, I told him would it be possible for us to stop at the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery on our way back home. Hafni said it was possible and we needed to get permission from the cemetery keeper.

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I browsed little information about this cemetery before my departure to Ambon, and I thought this cemetery is a worth seeing place. The cemetery is located 5 kms northeast Ambon on the main road to Galala district, the cemetery was designed by Ralph Hobday.

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There are around 2.000 died soldiers (whereby nearly half were Australians, while the remaining numbers consisted of British soldiers, American Air Man, Dutch soldiers laid down in this cemetery, many of those buried here died in the defense of Ambonia in the early months of the war against Japan and others were killed in the Allied assault on Japanese air bases established on Ambonia and Sulawesi.

IMG_0697Green grass. Green, green grass

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“The cemetery contains Australian soldiers who died during the Japanese invasion of Ambon and Timor, plus those who died in captivity in one of the many camps constructed by the Japanese on the Moluccas Islands, including many British prisoners who were transferred from Java to the islands in April 1943. Soon after the war, the remains of prisoners of war from Haruku island and other camps on the island were removed to Ambon and in 1961, at the request of the Indonesian Government, the remains of 503 graves in Makassar War Cemetery on the island of Celebes were added to the cemetery.”  ( Source: CWGC.org)

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IMG_0701Their Name Liveth For Ever More

The afternoon sun was still delighting when we arrived at the cemetery. We’re still able to spot the sunlight broke between the trees, creating beautiful shadows. This cemetery’s atmosphere brought us to Melbourne or Perth. It’s very beautiful indeed, the scenic view also reminded me to the famous American serial in 2000s “Six Feet Under”. You can also sit anywhere under the trees and search for inspirations.

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We kept taking pictures, and wandered around the cemetery until sunset. We could see the names of the dead soldiers who were buried here, as well as reading the history plaque about this cemetery at the commemoration hall.  After satisfied with hundred beautiful pictures, the time shown nearly 17.00 hrs and we had to end our visit. We returned to the hotel before dark to get enough rest as we had to wake up early to catch morning boat to Saparua the following day.

Please stay tune for Part 2: Only 19 hours in Saparua Island.

To be continued.. 

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Aviation, Friends & Hang Out, My Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Flight Experience: Jakarta – Denpasar GA 438

Hi all! I think it’s been a while since my last post, and by this opportunity I am so pleased to share you on my last air trip to Bali from 11 August to 14 August 2012.

It’s my another trip after June 2010 where I last visited the island to visit my brother who used to study in Buleleng, and I felt that this trip was special as I went with my own friends, so, no parent guidance! (HA!) and it had been too long since the last time I flew with plane.

Our trip was scheduled on 11 August 2012 at 0930 hrs along with my 2 traveling mates and one of them also bringing her mom and grandparents as well. We arrived at 0700 hrs at Terminal 2F and it looked like that people had started to fly out town to prepare for Idul Fitri holidays. The long queue line annoyed us a little bit, moreover, my traveling mood suddenly gone when I was about to check in myself at the counter, saying that I had to report at the waiting list counter. My friend was confused why I was directed to the counter – despite my concession ticket was confirmed. The officer told me that I could get on my actual flight, however, he asked for my understanding that the flight was overbooked and he offered me a seat on the early flight which had begun boarding that time.

“Are you okay if we get you on a flight to Bali immediately? Don’t worry we’ll put you on C class” he said.
I just nodded and he printed my boarding pass immediately. “Your flight will depart at 0745, and the boarding had begun. Would you run to gate F4 , they’ll drive you to the parking stand,” he said.

I was a bit overwhelmed about they finally found a solution to depart me earlier, though on the other hand I was a bit worried if I could make it on-time to the plane or not. Thank god that my friend and her family later arrived at the airport and I greeted them instantly “Great you come already! It’s nice to see you all, I am sorry I won’t be on the same flight with you, they asked me to fly on this hour’s flight,” I sounded like I made a single conversation and they were looking confused.

My friend looked a bit impressed with my dress behavior. “You wear suede loafers , Long shirt and khakis to Bali?” I only nodded and i think it did not need any explanation. I always dress up before flying. 😀

Airplane is always becoming a good object to be captured by anyone

I ran so quickly to gate F4. I was not complaining about this situation FYI, as this happened for so many times but what troubled me was that this sudden notification knowing that my ticket used to be confirmed. Oh well I shan’t sweat this stuff. Anyway, once I arrived at the Gate, they were waiting for me, and they put me on a bus, I was with 5 other standby passengers. I thought the plane was the one parked at gate F4 but they said, the plane was on the remote stand.

Boarding ran smooth. (Oh well, we were like the last 5 passengers!) the 4 other passengers were Japanese who were supposed to continue their flights to Haneda via Denpasar. I could see how relieved they were once we reached the plane. “Selamat pagi,” as usual the purser greeted me in a smile. “Hi, morning purser!” I said cheering up, and also smiling to the second flight attendant who assisted me with my seat, Oops, looks like the only 1 aisle seat left was dedicated for me. “Silakhan, Mas,” she smiled. “Thank you very much,” I replied. After saying Thank you very much, the young lady began to chat with me in English. I got another confusion, why she had to.  I was going to put my luggage on the overhead bin, but I knew that the flight attendants were busy preparing welcoming drinks, so I was looking for extra space alone, I opened the overhead bin, checked and closed, checked again and closed. No space for my cabin sized luggage. Damn. It’s not like that they would put my luggage down and last minute check-in baggage right?

The young lady returned and asking “How can I help you?”, I said “Oh I was looking some spaces for this luggage,” she sighed, it seemed like she’s giving me the oh-why-must-you-carry-luggage-on-board look. I read her face and saying “I know, I am sorry about this, can you help me?” She was smiling, Okay, don’t worry, she pulled the bin leveler above row No.3, and she took out some bundles of in-flight newspapers and blanket. She tried to put my luggage in, but didn’t fit in as there were another luggage. She grabbed the paper back in the bin, and she tried the bin above my seat. “No i tried,” she looked more confused, then she tried to take out some newspapers out again and, after some efforts, my luggage could be stored. The next few minutes, the door closed.

I looked tired, and yet I was totally wrong to wear my sweater on that sunny day, and jeans, and a pair of loafers. I hate to board the plane in a rushing mood. But thank god the flight attendants were very helpful and calming my mood. I was sitting next to an American man who just made his first visit to Indonesia. I noticed he’s on a business trip, and he was flying to Bali for his connecting flight to Perth later that day. When you fly with Garuda to Bali, don’t assume that they’re all coming to Bali, but some tourists could be on their connecting flight to Australia, Korea or Japan.

We chatted, my hobby when traveling alone is meeting new people, especially when I fly on a business class. Sometimes the benefit you’ll get is not just a more pleasant service and experience, but you’ll get to widen your network with your seating mates. But this time it wasn’t like my last flight from Timika to Denpasar  when I accidentally drop my seating mate’s apple juice glass, but we lasted introduced ourselves each other. On this flight, I helped the man fixing his table during meal service. This man whom I finally knew working for a big oil company, found difficulties to fix his table that made him a bit comfortable. The flight stewardess was also trying to help, but her hand couldn’t reach the table as the man was sitting in the window seat. I assisted the man when I noticed he needed a help, apparently the tray was lack of one screw on the tip, and I told him not to pull the tray and held the tip by the armrest.  The flight stewardess later was looking at me, she smiled and wonder how I knew it.

My seating mate was busy capturing photos of Mountains on our flight route with his iPad, I started the conversation by telling him the Mountain names of what, and he sounded excited. When our meal came, we picked the same choice, it was Nasi uduk with Rendang and anchovies. They gave us two options, fried rice or uduk rice with rendang and anchovies. The taste was delicious. I always prefer Indonesian foods to any Western foods, even I can give up steak for Nasi Liwet or Gado – Gado.

The plane landed safely and smooth after an one hour – forty minutes flight. My first impression of Bali airport now is wow! the Airport is currently under massive expansion. I just wonder where the domestic travel had gone, the plane that I came on then was scheduled to fly to Kupang via Denpasar. I was stopped at the domestic terminal, and I was amazed with how small the arrival hall due to the development, hopefully the new airport will soon complete. The domestic terminal was relatively small but not too crowded that time, and I was waiting for my friend at the baggage claim, hoping that to meet them there, apparently I remembered that the other domestic terminal near the international terminal. I walked out immediately and shocked with the crowd that I never expected before.

Two of my friends who just arrived in Bali one hour later.. Mba Mela and Sitha

With Sitha, and Joshua at Warung Made

Some of my two friends arrived finally at the regular domestic terminal and we headed to Kuta, Seminyak, and we stopped by at our private villas before heading to my favorite beach in Bali – Nusa Dua! 😀

I have no conclusion for my flight experience, but all I can say that Garuda Indonesia service is always remarkable each flight. I always get some new experiences which is different from any other flights!! 🙂

Next trip:

Jakarta – Dubai – Amsterdam – Paris – Rome ( December 2012)

Jakarta – Shanghai – Beijing – Jakarta ( March 2013)

Jakarta – Seoul – Jakarta (June 2013)

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Friends & Hang Out, My Life

Sophie Ellis Bextor Live in Jakarta (Java Soulnation 2011)

It’s murder on the dance floor. but you better not kill the groove!

We had a blast last night!

In fact, I would be speechless to describe my excitement when a friend of mine told me that she would’ve given two daily free passes for Java Soulnation 2011, but the spirit I took from attending this event was magnificent.

Sophie Ellis Bextor, a multi-talented English singer had made the most magnificent performance of the night! I felt very lucky to stand at the front line of the festival part in which I could see her closer and more clearly. Sophie performed several songs that reminded us to the past, namely:  Heartbreak, Take Me Home, Murder on the Dance Floor, Get Over You from her first debut album “Read my Lips”, and Starlight, Revolution are two songs that were brought too last night.

Well, I was one of those people who grew up with her songs during my junior high school when dance genre was still quiet popular. She provided an outstanding innovasion and performance throughout the music dance in the world that time. Moreover, Sophie received a very warm welcome from the crowd, apparently many Indonesians love her and I repeatedly heard people adored her legs and skins.

She is a life – like manequine.

Sophie sang in a modest fashion appearance. I believe that she would feel more comfortable instead of wearing lots of ornaments and dancers. Her light brown polka-dots cullotes dress made her even more shining. Besides, she could also interact very well with the crowd. Sophie mentioned about her name was mispelled to be Syophie.  She was like “My name is Sophie, not Syophie, but you could take me shopping,” and the crowd giggled.  Once singing “Take Me Home” Sophie told the crowd that she had had a little bit wardrobe malfunction. Her shoes string loose and she pardoned the crowd for two seconds to fix it. I captured her and she smiled 🙂

The performance began punctual and ended right at 8:00 pm. Once the stage was cleared and all the viewers came out from stadium, we decided to visit other stages outside to check other performances. But look, who we got to join us with the Wii games and spent couple minutes to take pictures with us? They are Sophie’s band players! 🙂

(To be continued.. I will upload the videos and some more pictures!)

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Friends & Hang Out, My Life

An Evening with David Foster & Friends: Live in Concert Jakarta

Finally the date was on! It’s been 4 years since my last time watching a concert, a real concert.

I had no doubt 3 months ago while purchasing ticket for David Foster and friends Concert which actually was pretty expensive but I knew it would be worth-it to watch the 5 world-class singers performance in the show.

The show has invited many attentions from many public, especially in Jakarta. The crowd was amazing, I wonder those people even purchase 7,5 million for Gold ticket which David called them “Rich” people  haha and we are who sitting far in the back was the “Real” People. Gold and Silver seats were all sold out, and even the cheapest one, the bronze seemed to be overloaded. Many people had to stand up during the show, and I thought that was even better to see a performance.

I mostly half stood during the show, I just couldn’t beg my eyes to keep seeing the screen as I always wanted to see the singer from my naked eyes.

I have expected several singers such as Peter Cetera, Natalie Cole, Ruben Studdard, Charice Pampeno, and Canadian Tenors. Peter Cetera was actually on my top list. The former vocalist of Chicago has driven me crazy with his voice, and of course so is Charice’s the new young Asian singer who could perform Whitney Houston and Celine Dion as no one in the world can’t do better like her.

I could see that David Foster was a fun guy, he’s putting some of his comedian sides during the show, entertaining and making the audience laughs. He invited 3 audiences to join him singing on stage. The first one was a 9 years old kid who sang with Peter Cetera (I’M SO JEALOUS) , named Rio, and the second was Mario Ginanjar (singer from Indonesian vocal group, Kahitna and the last one was a girl she’s not a commercial singer, but her voice was pretty something).

What makes us laughing was during Ruben Studdard part when David asked Ruben to do the things they’d done in Switzerland, so David came to the audience and picked one person to say one phrase, any phrase, and Ruben had to sing that phrase. It’s funny but Ruben could do it well! David arranged the tunes and he sang with his brilliant voice while making up the lyrics just in time. When David met the audience and handed its mic to one of the guy audience, he said “Who ate my fish?”.. and there you go, Ruben sang his own lyrics in Soul jazz arrangement of Who Ate My Fish hehehehe.

Peter Cetera, he’s the first on my list. When he appeared, I knew some songs he would sing. It’s hard to say I’m sorry, You’re the inspiration, If you leave me now, and Glory of Love. I was delighted to know that if mostly You’re the inspiration and If you leave me now mostly are mixed up, but this time he fully sang the four songs himself. I felt like killing my self with thousand knives when he sang It’s hard to say I’m sorry. Profoundly deeeeeppp!

Greatly apologise that my voice ruin Peter Cetera beautiful voice haha as I couldn’t help not to sing

Charice sang 4 songs, The power of love, I have nothing, I will always love you, and All by myself. Those four songs received four standing applause as we all know that this young girl is pretty something. Whatta-voice! I thought her main performance and could do best for Whitney Houston, apparently she could do Celine Dion’s as well!! If you thought I have nothing was her best performance then you’re false. All by myself was her best best best performance. Her voice made me shivered thousand times even until today, soooo astonishing!


Many friends have been asking me why do I like David Foster, and would be there mostly old songs played by old singers. My simple answer was like “They sing better than today’s generation, their songs are everlasting”

It’s true, and I’m lucky to be familiar with all the songs they sang last night.

By the end of the show, the all performing singers gathered and singing “Earth Song” of Michael Jackson to express the condolences to earthquake and volcano eruption victims which occurred in Mentawai and Jogjakarta the other day. I heard some percents of the income will be donated for the victims.

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Friends & Hang Out

Independence Day Celebration!

Hello people, it’s a big day to all of us Indonesian, right? Yes it is!! as we’re commemorating our independence day. Back in 1945 where Soekarno and Hatta, our first president and vice president announced independence day.

We put on dresscode. “Red and White”

The occasion is always celebrated across the nation, every region has its own style.  Speaking of which we’re known with our strong bonds of brotherhood and cooperativeness, there must be something to celebrate which has become a tradition since while ago. It’s 17-an (read: Tujuh Belas-an) competition! Well yeah, we are all so much anticipating about 17-an competition. The local folks usually arrange the local celebration with the others in their area where many games that may involve participants and encouragement. Unlike this year which seems to be very ‘quiet’ as we’re celebrating independence day during Ramadhan season (fasting month) hence the many people may skip the competition parade this year 😦

Not to mention at my office. The celebration was held a day prior, and we took time one hour before the break fast hour. Only one hour but the joy and excitement still there, as we’re so much excited to win. There were three games arranged by our colleagues, mas bayu such as: Rock, Scissors, Paper competition (preliminary session), Inserting pen into bottle (for women) and Buttons sewing competition (for men). Too bad I didn’t win any of them whereas I was nearly to second preliminary in rock,scissors, paper but later I was beaten by Tito. For the buttons sewing, I did it well but not as neat as Steven did. So ya, not my luck then hehe, however, it’s not the most important thing, we did enjoy the games, and we feel to gain our togetherness through this short game session.

Yeaaayy!! I made it, I made it!!! hehe Tasya shouted excitedly.

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