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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Blue Christmas at Bistronomy

Happy February 25th! Lol. You must be wondering if there is anything significant on this date? Um, honestly, nope. haha. But it's two months after Christmas and it falls on Thursday, so it is quite appropriate to post a #ThrowbackThursday post I guess? haha. Lame excuse is still an excuse so yeah. Haha.

Since I was a kid, I have always always loved Christmas! It is always, always the most wonderful time of the year! Same goes for year 2015 too of course. I love how everything is merrier and brighter and warmer. Merry as everyone is significantly more happy and more generous. Brighter as everyone is obviously smiling for little things around them. And warmer as friends get together and family gather to celebrate.

This year I got to celebrate with a few of my closest friends at a beautiful restaurant called Bistronomy. The ambiance is really beautiful and cozy. It has a vintage style which sometimes can be a bit too much. But everything is just nice here, so I felt comfortable spending my Christmas time there. Technically, none of us celebrate Christmas. That also kind of explain why we can come and celebrate with friends because usually people will go to church and celebrate with family. But anyhow, we joyfully gather in this occasion to celebrate the Christmas spirit and start the tradition of gift-giving. We saw that everyone is doing this ((I did one too with my colleagues at my internship place)), so we thought it will be a fun idea for us as well. Unfortunately, Yelny could not join us because she has already flew back to her hometown by that time.

We began the celebration by having a lovely lunch here. I chose the ladies' lunch set which come with soup and tomato salad for appetizer, fettuccine and various bite-size dish for main course, dessert and drink. My other two friends, Joan and Sandi ordered another lunch set which name I forgot but has more dishes in it including steak and pasta too. Alvian who we joined us last minute ordered salad because he was on a diet program. Was. haha. Lovy ordered a separate prawn ceviche for appetizer, lamb chop for main course and lime sorbet dessert which is tad too sour.

I honestly can not really judge the taste of the food here. Everything is nice and the plating is pretty. It is just that I think the food did not really suit our palate so we did not really enjoy the food that much. But it is fun to try on new flavor and eat fancy lunch on special occasion like this. Oh wait, there is one that I really liked but sadly did not get pictured which is the chocolate mousse! It was really nice and I am craving for it right now. Aargh!

Anyhow, after we finished our lunch, we began the Secret Santa game. We have drawn the lot to determine who will give the gift to who on our previous meeting. The rule is that it has to be approximately one hundred thousand rupiah and includes a handwritten card! I am a sucker for handwritten card. It always feel special, don't you think so?

So, here's what I got! Look at my major happy face! haha. It was a coloring book plus a cutely drawn Christmas card from Joan. Coloring book has been really trending lately but I have not got a chance to buy it yet because I did not think it was necessary yet. But now that I have got this as a Christmas gift, I think it is a perfect gift and I can't wait to make some time to color it ((gloomily stare at my thesis project)).

And here is my gift for Lovy which is a small pouch with a girl illustration. I gave it to her because of a "small incident" when we traveled to Bandung. Her makeup stuffs kept on falling on the street back then because her clutch has quite a wide space for small makeup to slip off. So I gave this pouch to her hoping that she can store her makeup or other stuffs and it can become handy for her daily needs.

If you are curious what the others get, Joan ((the one on the back)) got a tumbler from Sandi and Sandi ((the one on the front left)) got a pair of shoes from Lovy. Sandi's gift was a bit unfair though because it exceeded our agreed number to spend on the gift. Lovy's excuse would be that the gift is combined with birthday gift. Again, lame excuse is still an excuse so, yeah. haha. Alvian, as said before joined us last minute, so he did not join us on this gift-giving process.

Well, that was our fun and intimate Christmas lunch! This was the dessert from the other set which is chocolate cake with ice cream that is good. But my chocolate mousse is still better! So sad I did not take any picture :( Also, one funny thing, none of us planned to wear blue outfit that day. But we somehow did. Before we all met, I did send a message to Sandi worrying that if I wore blue it would make me salah kostum ((wrong dresscode)) and became odd. Sandi said that he is also wearing blue. And it turned out that everyone was wearing blue! So it somehow turned into a Blue Christmas. In contrary, none of us was feeling blue ^^

All pictures are taken by Alvian who blogged about the day here. Thus explaining the square crop and dramatic tone. The last photo is taken from his blog, it features a DIY Christmas card I made that I love myself since it looks like a wrapped gift with the red ribbon hehe. Last but not least, cheers to the Blue Christmas this year and hopefully the years ahead ❄


Monday, February 22, 2016

Foods To Celebrate Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year! Today is Cap Go Meh (the 15th day of chinese new year) which is the last day to celebrate chinese new year. So, I think I'm not too late to say Happy Chinese New Year to you guys. Cap Go Meh is actually the closing of chinese new year celebration. So, there are Liong and Barongsai festival around the city. But, I will not talk about Cap Go Meh in this post as I didn't celebrate Cap Go Meh in hometown. 

I was super excited celebrating Chinese New Year this year because I WAS CELEBRATING IN HOMETOWN (sorry for the caps lock cause I was too excited HAHAHA). I was so happy to meet my uncles, aunties and cousins again that I meet only in chinese new year. For the last 3 years, I celebrated my chinese new year not in my hometown. I have really missed the ambiance and the people's enthusiasm. That's why I was super excited to celebrate my chinese new year in hometown.

Anyway, I grew up in a family that has very traditional chinese culture. And, my hometown has a majority population of Chinese-Indonesian ((that's why the name of hometown foods have the sense of chinese)) so chinese new year in my hometown is a little bit wow. Streets are decorated with red lantern, houses are decorated with chinese decorations, and everybody are wearing red. I saw many people ware posting about their chinese new year on social media, so I decided to share my chinese new year on my blog. 

Nian Gao (年糕)

People in my hometown called it as Basket Cake (Kue Keranjang) or Tiam Kue. It is a cake that is made from glutinous flour and sugar, also, it has elastic and sticky texture. This cake is a mandotary cake to celebrate chinese new year. My mom said that this cake was a symbol of the sweetness because Tiam in Teo Chew means sweet, so this cake would bring the sweet moments everyday in this year. I don't really believe about the facts or history about this cake and I'm not a fan of this cake, I just want to enjoy this cake, but I don't really like it. People usually keep this cake in refrigerator for few weeks to months after chinese new year, but the texture will be so hard, so they re-steam it or fried it with flour and egg. 

Sweet Barley Soup

I started my chinese new year by drinking sweet barley soup. This soup has been served in the morning on the first day of chinese new year. I don't really like this soup actually as it taste like drinking the rice water in the sweet way HAHAHA. This soup is also the symbol of sweetness for new year.  

Layer Cake

Layer cake is actually not so chinese-new-year-cake as it also found when I come to friends' house during Eid Al Fitri and Chistmas Day. I heard that layer cake is one of the hardest cake to be made, so that's why the price is expensive. This cake was made by full fats butter and 30++ eggs, it contains with so many calories and fats. I really love this cake but I would not eat big size at once cause of the fats and calories that contained.

Mandarin Orange

Mandarin Orange is my favorite fruit besides durian and mango. The best part of chinese new year is I could find mandarin orange everywhere. My dad always buy two big boxes of the mandarin orange every year. Mandarin orange should be the healthiest food during chinese new year. HAHAHA.

Cookies and Snacks

A lot of cookies and snacks were served to celebrate chinese new year. In the photos above, there are (left-right) pineapple cookies, cornflakes cookies, cat's tongue cookies ((lidah kucing)), silk worm snacks, beef floss snack and snow white cookies. It's actually another cookies and snacks except in the picture, but I was too busy during chinese new year and couldn't capture all the cookies and snacks in my house. 

The chinese new year of this year was super great. I met a lot of family and friends who I have missed for a long time. We gathered and shared the story of our life while enjoying the chinese new year food. For me this chinese new year was the best moment as I have longed for 3 years. And, I hope I could share another story of chinese new year from my hometown next year. 

恭喜发财! 新年快乐! 万事如意! May this year bring prosperity, good luck and good fortune to you, guys! 


Monday, February 15, 2016

Confessions of An Orphaned Young Adult

“You attend the funeral, you bid the dead farewell. You grieve. Then you continue with your life. And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.”― Neil Gaiman

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Visit to Korean Navy Combat Cruise

I would like to begin this post with a confession. This post has comfortably sit in the draft for the longest time ever. HAHA. This event is dated back in November 2014! Yes, this is one story that I told you I still haven't shared since 2015 and 2016. But finally, finally, it's here! Yay. 

So, this visit happened just a day after I watch the Korean Navy Combat Cruise performance and also the entertaining show performed by The Painters: Hero. The visit, I believe is part of the Korean Navy program, probably to introduce their Navy and also as the channel of education and information for ordinary citizen who is curious about how the Korean Navy Cruise look like.

Anyway, I went there with a friend of mine who also went with me to the event from the previous day. We almost gave up going there because (1) we woke up late and (2) the taxi that we booked did not show up even after thirty minutes! Back then there was no Grab or Uber like how it is now. So we thought that we could not make it anymore. The day before we were texted that the gathering spot will be in Mega Kuningan but what we did not know is that they were referring to Lobby Mega Kuningan in Lotte Shopping Avenue. We almost lose our hope and thought that we could not go but it turned out that the bus has not yet gone! I think we were both very lucky because after that, the bus went and off we go! Woohoo. Oh, in case you are curious how we can take part on the tour. All we had to do was just registering our full name and phone number and they gave us the confirmation message. 

Luckily there was no traffic jam so we arrived smoothly at Tanjung Priok Harbor where the cruise was. Oh, also, besides my friend and I, most of the visitors are school kids with their parents and teachers. I think one of the main reason is because it was held on weekday, even my friend and I are skipping class. lol. But maybe it was only in our group because when I saw the other group, there are couple of girls around our age too.

Upon arrival, we were divided into three groups of about fifteen to twenty people so we can simultaneously do the tour. I was in group A where we started the tour from the first cruise. If I am not mistaken there were two cruises that we can take a look on that day, or is it actually one cruise with two floors, I did not really remember ^^;

As we stepped inside into the first floor there was this Korean guy who explained things to us in his good English and on top of that, he is good-looking too. HAHA omg. Also, the guy on the left is from Lotte Shopping Avenue who helped translate the English to Indonesian for the children.

I honestly did not really remember what was explained on that time, since, well it was already more than a year ago. hAHA. But I think it was something related to the cruises that Korean owned and the country that the Navy has been to. We also went to the outdoor area with no cover and it was so so hot to the point that your shoes might stick to the floor if you stand too long. 

There was also this boat and while people were busy taking selfies, I was busy bombarding question to the navy guy. Lol. Like how he is actually serving his duty in army right now and actually in the middle of his university study. I was not familiar back then that Korean guy tend to start the first year of uni and then take leave to serve for the army and go back to uni after that. Also, when I asked why he chose Navy he said that there were more opportunities to travel overseas and visit countries like what he did at that moment. But the downside is that Navy obviously spend more time on the sea rather than the land. But he said he is enjoying it and he will end his army service by December that year, meaning that he must have gone back to university by now haha.

After that, our group went to the second floor ((or another cruise I am still confused if they are actually one cruise or two? haha)). While in there, we were being escorted by another Navy. In this floor we got to learn more about Korean history and also the weapon that Korean Navy had.

We went inside this air conditioned room where there are videos that showcase the miniature of the weapon and things like that. There was this middle-aged man whose name is Mr. Park who helped explain us the stuffs there though honestly I did not really understand about those things. Actually the other people from my group have already left but since Mr. Park has very nicely started a conversation with my friend and I, we can not leave just like that. He handed a wireless headphone where we can listen to the audio of the video showed there. 

He then tried to explain the Navy stuffs in English while looking at his notes. It was quite hard while trying to capture what he was saying. But then we talked about ordinary stuffs like if I was interested in Korean culture, I can easily hear what he says. I guess it was because he picked difficult words explaining the Navy terms haha. Anyhow, we talked about how I would like to visit Korea someday and how he said I already nail the Korean style ((because of my red hair)) and how he has just flown to Indonesia that day and join the Korean Navy for this visitation. After a brief conversation, my friend and I bid him goodbye and we catch up with the rest of the group.

Not long after that, we just stroll around the second floor and head back down since it was so hot. This other Korean Navy helped escort us and he kindly reminded us to be careful when going down. I had a brief chat with him where he asked if I like K-pop and I said yes and that my favorite group is SHINee. He said he knew SHINee and agreed that they are a good group. He said that Indonesia's weather is very hot and I said yes, that's why I wanted to visit Korea and see snow! In the end, he offered to help carry my bag while I go down because my bag was very big since I brought my laptop and camera that day. But if I remembered correctly I politely decline his order.

In the end, we went back to this spot which is like an open dining room and watch a documentary video while waiting for the other group to finish their tour. And being a chitty chatty person, also in my effort to get to know more about Korean people and culture, my friend and I decided to talk with some of the Navy and take pictures with them, including the first Navy guy who by far spoke the best English out of everyone. haha.

It was a very pleasant visit and everything is coordinated very very well. Even though we almost could not make it, I am glad we made it and got to see the inside of Korean Navy Cruise and talked with them, The people there are very kind, polite and friendly. Also, they all made an effort to talk to you even though their English are not very good. If there are more events like this in the future, I am more than happy to take part on it and share the experience with you guys. Though hopefully it won't take that long for me to post. haha.

Also, one more selfie won't hurt anyone, right? ^^


Thursday, February 04, 2016

HAPPY 2016!

"Is it too late now to say sorry?"

That lyric just somehow popped up into my mind now that I am writing again, finally. Before I go on any further, I hope you guys accept our apology for being such an inconsistent blogger all this time. It seems like we keep on asking for an apology every beginning of the year. I looked back into the old post of 2015 and things were indeed crazy busy that time. We are in the middle of doing our thesis right now and things, actually is not that crazy hectic. It is just that we focus so much on our thesis and whatnot that we ended up not being able to update our blog. Huhuhu.

Anyhow, isn't it crazy how quickly the time flies? Like, I thought I have just celebrated New Year and now we are on the second month of 2016 already! Oh my God. Quoting from last year, "How is it 2016 already when we have not even finished writing the draft from our 2014's posts?" Lol, yes. I still have one story from 2014 that I have been wanting to post since 2015 but never seem to get posted. It was back when my hair was still long and fiery red. That red hair has long gone but me and my procrastination stay the same ((T__T))

Anyhow, talking about new year, still, I think we have to say it properly to you guys, HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016! The previous year has been a very lucky year for me I must say and I am utterly grateful for that. If I have the time ((and motivation lol)), I will need to blog about what happened last year for the sake of memento though it might confuse or bore some of you haha. 

Our biggest goal for this year is obviously to graduate from university and take selfie on graduation day! haha. After that, maybe we will figure out what we will do in the future. Working, starting business, continuing study, or getting married maybe? lol, if only we have the potential partner. As for the blog, I think we say this all the time but yes, I hope that we can be more consistent with the posts in terms of quantity and the quality of the content too. As for me, I was thinking to add something more up close and personal about myself so we can share stories with each other and discuss the matters together. I really want to engage more with you guys and hopefully I do not fall behind the schedule this time.

Once again, have a wonderful year ahead, fellas!