SHANGHAI

pudongskyline-pjt
pic courtesy of wikipedia

Shanghai. The city that had never been on my dream destination list. Even though I am half chinese, the idea of having a vacation on the land of the mainlanders had never crossed my mind. I’d thought if they could behave in such obnoxious manner in foreign lands, how would their attitude be in their homeland? Turned out, I had been quite prejudice. I labelled all the 1.3 billion people of China by the attitude of hundreds or thousands, or maybe a few millions I had crossed path with. Blame me.

My husband had been travelling to SH since early this year. He did ask me in January if I wanted to go with him, but I said no thanks. Hahaha. First, have I mentioned I hate flying? I won’t do it if I don’t have to. There has to be a strong reason to make me board a plane. Second, it was winter and yes, it also needs an exciting point to make me deal with the harsh cold weather. Third, why wasted the money for something I was not too excited for? Better saved it for next time, I thought.

And aha!, that better next time did really happen! 🙂 While the city itself had never been on my bucket list, visiting all the Disney Parks was on the top of the list. So when Shanghai Disneyland was officially opened in June, I asked my husband to tag me along on his upcoming trip. So there was it, my first visit to China in September 2016. And SH was a good start since this time I had all the reasons to come, nebeng bistrip nemenin suami and SHDL. 

Since I had planned my trip, I had been avoiding all negative news about SHDL. I didn’t see that live video circulated on social media about a child defecating in an open area in SHDL. I had bought the air ticket and I thought “Oh well, it was a Disneyland after all, for better or worse I just had to go”. Honestly I did put my expectation to the lowest. My trip was totally based on my faith that Disney must have done something to fix this issue as they should’ve been aware about the video. I also browsed many pictures geo-tagged with SHDL location on Instagram, and asked some of the IGers their reviews. All of those I asked, gave me positive ones and that lifted my hope.

torika-at-shdl

And the reality was waaaayyyy beyond my hope and expectation. I still think I must have done something good before the trip that my husband and I were incredibly lucky that day in the park, it couldn’t get any better. I will write the story separately, all I can say here, I will definitely return to SHDL in the near future.

Three weeks I have been in Shanghai, I have enjoyed every single day I was there. Well, maybe I was just being there at the right time, crossing path with the right people, and sightseeing to the right places. Yeah, maybe I was that lucky. Whatever it was, I always believe that positive mind would get you to a better place than the negative would do. Not saying I am always positive, quite opposite, I used to worry too much on small stuff that it was tiring and led me to nothing. I guess the most important is to understand the place you’re heading for. Make an adequate plan, a necessary back up plan, and be vigilant wherever you go.

Before the trip, I had been prepared for the worst regarding mainlanders’ etiquette issue, like maybe I would get scolded by strangers or step on icky things on the street, or I might see stuff that shouldn’t be seen. But nothing that I had not experienced when I was in Jakarta had happened during my SH trip. Except that lingering smell all over the city that I didn’t fancy at all 🙂

I’m not saying Shanghai was incredibly lovely that I fell in love with it and loved to come back every year if money was not the problem though. Keep that honourable spot just for Japan, shall we? I just want to highlight that it was not that bad. As tourist, we just need to know the right places to go, the right toilet to go in to ( like seriously, THANK GOD, I always entered the right ones), and the right person to ask whatever it is you need to ask. I mean, isn’t it like that every time we travel to a new place?

I will blog a series of posts to cover all the three weeks I was in SH. I make a promise to myself I will complete all of them before end of 2016. Hopefully I can push myself harder and manage to write about the recent trip to Hong Kong with my family before new year. I don’t want to repeat the same stupid thing. I regret not writing about our two months stay in Basel two years ago. Sigh.

Cheers.

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Girls’ trip to Melaka.

UNESCO World Heritage City Melaka. Impressive shot by Dyan.
UNESCO World Heritage City Melaka.
Impressive shot by Dyan.

Mid April this year, we finally actualised our girls’ trip plan, to Melaka/Melacca. For years I’d wanted to visit this culture-rich city, but never been realised. Then suddenly I went there twice in less than two months. Toto and I had had a weekend trip 1.5 months earlier. And due to the lack of good pictures and similar itinerary with this girls’ trip, so let’s skip blogging that one 🙂

We had planned to go in April, on weekend before my birthday, because Toto had to go overseas for a three weeks business trip. I couldn’t love these girls more, they really made the three weeks not too hard to live on.

We took a coach from Concorde Hotel Orchard on saturday morning. Arriving at Melaka, drop off point was Casa Del Rio Hotel, at lunch hour. Our hotel, located in Jonker Street neighbourhood, was like 5-10 minutes walking distance from Casa, depending on how long your legs are. 🙂 I think we took 15-20 minutes to reach the hotel. Not that our legs were shorts ( that was an unnecessary-and-unworthy-to-mention fact), but because two of us dragging a luggage **rolling my eyes** and we stopped every a few meter to take pictures and selfies.

pic taken by Diah.

The hotel, Courtyard at Heeren Boutique Hotel, had a quite impressive interior. It’s a mix of old peranakan house and minimalist design. What we found out later when we checked out, the site was huge! It had typical peranakan house that was rather narrow but long. And this house was extra extra long. The room though, was decent and just nice. It accommodated four of us well, but not much room to move around. If you are vacationing with some friends and you will go out all day, try this hotel!

The hotel lobby. pic taken by Dyan.
The hotel lobby.
pic taken by Dyan.
The room for four. pic taken by Diah.
The room for four.
pic taken by Diah.

 

What We Did in Melaka?

EAT.

We ate the famous Hoe Kee chicken rice balls. We had durian chendol twice ( my score from previous trip with the husband was unbeatable as we had devoured 3 bowls of durian chendol in 24 hours). We dined at Jonker hawker place. And of course, some peranakan dishes at Kocik Kitchen.

Konsen banget! pic taken by Dyan.
Konsen banget!
pic taken by Dyan.

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Hoe Kee chicken rice balls. pic was a document from previous trip.
Hoe Kee chicken rice balls.
pic was a document from previous trip.
peranakan dishes at Kocik Kitchen.
peranakan dishes at Kocik Kitchen.

Tourist site visits.

DAY ONE. Saturday Afternon – Evening.

Because we are a bunch of “mager(-ers)”, we didn’t explore the town farther than 3 kilometres from our hotel / Jonker Street. However, there’s more than enough places to see for a one day trip.

Red house, ruins of St. Paul church, and Jonker Street area for day 1.

pic taken by our talented photographer-friend, Dyan.
pic taken by our talented photographer-friend, Dyan.
pic taken by me.
pic taken by me.
pic lensed by Dyan.
ruins od St. Paul church, Melaka. pic lensed by Dyan.
pic lensed by Dyan.
pic lensed by Dyan.
pic taken by Diah.
ruins of St. Paul church, Melaka. pic taken by Diah.
Street food at Jonker Street, Pic was a doc from previous trip.
Street food at Jonker Street,
Pic was a doc from previous trip.

DAY TWO. Sunday Morning – Afternoon.

I’d scored a nonya kebaya and a bowl of durian chendol before we took a rickshaw ride ( I shared doraemon one with Enjela ^^) to Afamosa site.

the photographer.
the photographer.
the sisters.
the sisters.
lensed by Dyan.
lensed by Dyan.
pic lensed by mas mas blue random :)
afamosa. pic lensed by mas mas blue random 🙂

Last itinerary was Baba and Nyonya Heritage Museum http://babanyonyamuseum.com .

We weren’t allowed to take picture once we passed the foyer area. I don’t know why, but I did manage to take one picture of the room after the foyer with my phone ( I know … I shouldn’t have.). Later, after finishing our house tour, Diah told us she got goosebumps upstair around the master bedroom belonged to the family patriarch and indeed rumour has it that some old houses along Jonker neighbourhood was haunted. Scary as hell, I deleted the picture from my phone right away. LOL.

Aside from that rumour, as a matter of fact I was really fascinated by the house and the history of the family. Everything about late of 19th century and early of 20th century always piques my interest. I could spend a long hours just to browse about women in Edwardian and Victorian era.

foyer of Baba & Nyonya heritage museum. lensed by Dyan.
foyer of Baba & Nyonya heritage museum.
lensed by Dyan.

Have Fun and Do What Girls Gotta Do.

the reason why we needed a long time having breakfast.
the reason why we needed a long time for breakfast.
breakfast situation.
breakfast situation.
gerah. peliket. mau masuk cafe/resto lagi tapi perut penuh.
gerah. peliket. mau masuk cafe/resto lagi tapi perut penuh.
what we did to kill time until coach departure time.
what we did to kill time until coach departure time.
what we did to kill time until coach departure time.
what we did to kill time until coach departure time (2).
made the most of free wifi. ;) pic taken by Enjela.
made the most of free wifi. 😉
candidly taken by Dyan.

SUPER FUN!!

Special thanks to Dyan for supplying us plenty of professionally taken photos.

Cheers.

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LEBARAN 2016

Our sixth Ied in Singapore. Six times we did not celebrate the day with our family back home in Jakarta. Well, I get used to it now.

Since we moved into this house we call home in 2013, we somewhat always had open house on the day of Ied-Fitr. Mostly it was an impromptu idea. I am pretty scared though, because it has a tendency to grow bigger each year :D.

This year, we had successfully hosted 20+ people! So much for a quite Ied we had initially planned when Ramadan had just started. Half month before Ied, husband said “I think we need to have open house again this year. Banyak yang gak pulang Indo dan udah lama pada gak ngumpul.” :D:D Oh well, I suspected it was him throwing the idea first. I imagine if we lived in Jakarta, we would have regular get-together party at home.

Gone was my hope to have peaceful last days of Ramadan this year. But of course, at the end of the day, it’s always been a real pleasure to occasionally have some friends visit and hang around our home.

Here’s some pics of the day.

IMG_5137

IMG_5180

IMG_5175

pic courtesy of dyan
pic courtesy of dyan

IMG_5142

IMG_5148

Thanks, everyone, for coming!

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Still …

Still here … still generally happy, and still with my insistent mood swing.

And i found this old time favourite never fails to soothe my occasionally-bad temper.

Oh, and i love this version sung by X-Factor’s Matt Cardle as well.

cheers!

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a thought from my restless mind

Warn you that this post is a bit unusual. Just like me recently who somehow have been slightly out of characters. So you’d better ignore it. Or read it and then forget it as it’s just a random thought from my restless mind.

If there’s one thing i could be proud of myself, it would be my ability to control myself. To have emotional stability. To keep impulsiveness at bay. To have awareness that there is a purpose why my head and brain are placed above the rest. That is why my husband is lucky enough to never deal with PMS-possessed wife.

But lately, i think i’m losing it. I feel like something inside me trying to break free. Despite of having a wonderful life with no mishaps and whatsoever, i sometimes found myself feel sad and disappointed. To nothing. Yeah i know i am lying to myself when i said nothing, because although i don’t know what it is, i know there’s something.

A certain thought told me what caused all the anguish i am feeling. A part of me wanted to deny it because it made me look shallow. Good God, i beg your mercy!

This kind of life i am living now, is so far exceeding what i thought it would be. Life is good. I get what i want. I get what i need and what i thought i didn’t need. Of course not in 10 of 10. But all in all, it seems almost perfect.

But,

A few things, a very few things that i never thought i wouldn’t get, apparently become things that are near to impossible for me to get. A very basic things. I’ve always thought i could deal with it. Man, was i wrong! I suspected that i am being punished for my sin in my past life. Geeez!

It’s funny that sometimes i got frustrated with certain good means that i possess. I dislike myself for being so obedient, so accepting. I’ve always been proud that i am far from being a drama queen, but i realise that sometime you need to be one. A crazy one that dares to confront others. I hate it when i really yearn to something but i couldn’t achieve it by my ownself. I hate it when i helplessly need someone but the certain someone has not even tried to make effort.

My life is good. But now i feel wanting it to be more than good. I need it to be better, if not best. Is it wrong if once in a while i am being greedy?

Sigh.

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Categories AA

yeah i know i’ve been neglecting this blog for quite some time. I have at least 3 unfinished drafts. God knows when i will finally post them.

 

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[The Home] Housewarming Lunch

Ya, i decided to skip the renovation process pictures. At least for the time being.

So …

After moving in for 5 months, i finally invited some of our good friends to come and have lunch together on 30 nov. Here’s pictures from that day :

We read somewhere that when you invite family and/or friends for housewarming party, do not drain your energy to cook the whole food. Just prepare some finger foods, or just simply buy them. People come for gathering and seeing your house, not for you to showcase your cooking talent. HA! Of course i couldn’t agree more with the writer. That’s why i ordered the indonesian yellow rice set for our lunch :).

The living room before guests coming.

 

First guests coming at around 1 pm were shinta, wisnu, and their son aidan. Minutes after, nana and lia & husband. Well if i remember correctly, around 10-15 minutes later osseu and jin & arif came. Then we started to eat. Then, enjel & diah & dyan, budiman & wina, and ramon joined the crowd. Around 3.30 pm, the long awaited guests came … hehehehe, they’re fisty & lani from jakarta & lucy from KL.

Thanks a lot for coming, guys!

~ shinta & wisnu, toto & me, and osseu ~

osseu, fisty, lani, and enjel ~

~ lani, aidan, enjel, nana, and diah ~

~ dyan, enjel, lucy, fisty, shinta, lani, osseu, nana, diah, wisnu, toto & me ~

~ ramon, lucy, enjel, shinta, lani, osseu, nana, fisty, diah, wisnu, toto & me ~

🙂 no caption needed

And around 5 pm, the party was officially over.

Once again, thanks all for coming!

 Usual position ( taken after the guests leaving).

 

Cheers!

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HELLO

Uwooooo …

WHoaa … It’s been 6 months since my last update. Keeping my renovation journey updated was in fact seriously not an easy job. Man, was it exhausted!! Mentally, emotionally, and financially. I lost almost 2 kilos of my weight during the one month renovation & house moving.  Oh no worries btw I’ve gained it back. Fat and me, we’re really best friends :).

So, what we’ve been doing for the last six month?

A LOT. Mostly positive and happy things. Alhamdulilah ya.

We’ve been through quite a lot good times after moving to the new house. First, days after moving we welcomed the holy month ramadhan and then celebrating hari raya. We had my cousins and nieces and nephew come to the house on that day. Fun!

September and october were also being very nice to us. One or two things did happen out of our expectation, but we’re okay with that. Life is still great anyway 🙂

You knew that i was looking forward to november, didn’t ya? Yay for our japan trip! Well, after a little drama ( two days before the trip toto got a fever, and there was a slight thought that we had to postpone the trip), eventually we flew to narita on 8 November. Back to the shore on 17 November night time, when reached home i still had to do unpacking and re-packing for jakarta trip the day after. We’re having good times with family and friends in jakarta for a week, and we’re back to singapore on 25th. Tired. And of course experiencing holiday blues.

Thank you, baby.

I may not have a romantic husband. And you may not like to shower me with the 3 magic words **yeee curcol**. But i know you do love me :).

I love you mooooooreeeee! Happy 8th Anniversary! May Allah bless us with health, wealth, and happiness. Sakinah, mawaddah, & warrahmah. Amin.

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[The Home] A Week Before Renovation

Hewooooo … Selamat datang Juni! 🙂

Hiyaaa … tinggal beberapa hari lagi nih kita mau serah terima kunci sama si seller. Akhirnya ya! Flash back ke bulan desember pas kita tanda tangan Option To Purchase dan submit ke HDB, rasanya membayangkan harus nunggu sampai bulan juni tuh lamaaaaaa banget! Ya emang lama sih hahahha … waktu mulai terasa cepat itu sejak bulan april.

Bisa dibilang, kita udah finalized urusan reno 90%. Tetek bengek dan detail untuk beberapa hal ditentuin nanti pas briefing sama M dan kontraktor, dan setelah hacking & dismantling some stuff. Kayak ukuran vanity mirror, bentuk pipa basin-wash (siapa sangka urusan pipa basin aja jadi topik, kan?), ukuran niche di shower area, lighting di study room. Semua itu tuh saat ini soalnya kita cuma bisa ngeraba-raba aja karena belum tau persis kondisi lapangannya gimana. Kayak pas ditanya, “lo mau drainasenya yang stainless steel atau plastik biasa? mau ketutupan tile engga biar bagus?” … Yaaa walahualam gimana itu bentuk lobang air yang ketutupan ubin, kagak bisa ngebayangin deh. Gue bilang aja, “suka-suka lo dah yang penting bagus, tahan lama, dan engga mahal”. LOL.

Ini untungnya punya ID sesama orang indo, komunikasi jadi jauh lebih lancar. Walaupun sempat juga ada kejadian konyol sih. Di quotation kemarin ada charge beberapa ratus dollar buat “hollow niche for 2 bathrooms”. Asli gue tuh mikirnya ini berhubungan dengan urusan instalasi WC dan pipa pembuangan. Gue pun diam aja. Sampai beberapa minggu lalu, gue tanya, “mar, kita tuh jadi pakai lobang di tembok yang buat taruh perabotan mandi engga sih?”. Dan M bilang, “lah jadikan, itu yang $xxx kan buat hollow niche”. Gue yang … “oooooo hollow niche itu tuh gituan …” **B-O-D-O-H**. Bagusnya (atau justru tidak bagus?) gue tuh sadar tentang si niche itu pas udah finalize harga dan bayar 20% down payment. Karena gue pikir kan untuk urusan pasang WC, jadi bukan sesuatu yang bisa gue consider untuk dihilangkan di quotation. Kalo dari awal gue tau bikin lobangan begitu doang ampe $xxx, rasanya sih gue mendingan beli rak stainless steel terus dipasang di tembok dah. Hahahaha … sungguh mental pengiritan!

Rencananya reno mulai hari selasa 12 juni. Mundur 2 hari dari rencana awal, karena sampai sekarang si seller masih AA UU engga tau kapan pastinya dia keluar. Hrrrrr. Jadi kita ambil tanggal deadline aja, 10 juni baru serah terima kunci, lalu 11 juni malam kita briefing. Kalau hitung-hitungan di atas kertas harusnya bisa lah ya gue pindahan besar di weekend sebelum puasa ramadhan. Kelihatannya emang engga banyak sih reno-nya, tapi M bilang biasanya adaaaa aja yang mau ditambah/harus dibenerin di minggu terakhir. Tapi dia bilang sih, harusnya masuk minggu kedua july itu, kalaupun masih ada kerjaan, paling cuma touch up atau poles ini itu yang sifatnya minor dan engga mengganggu kalaupun kita udah nempatin rumah itu. Bagus! 🙂

Oya, ini gue upload proposed design dari M untuk kamar mandi dan kamar kerja toto. Disclaimer ya, hasil akhirnya nanti tentu tak seindah gambar 3D-nya. Hihihi. Yaaa 90% mendekati juga cukup kok. **sok ikhlas, padahal entar pasti bawel banget**

Common Bathroom

Master Bathroom – 1 ( kita engga mau pakai lampu gantung, diganti lampu tempel di atas cermin)

**btw, lipatan handuk itu kok kayak tempeh ya**

Master Bathroom – 2 ( ini juga, kita engga mau pakai rainshower yang ditanam)

Study Room

 

Di proposed design awal, harusnya common bathroom itu ada cabinet juga dibawah basin. Demi supaya kita ntar masih bisa beli baju lebaran :), jadi gue minta dihilangin aja. Pikiran gue mah, lah itu tamu aja setahun cuma beberapa hari nginep, bakal apaan gue bayar segitu buat cakep-cakepan doang tapi isinya kosong. Sempat mikir buat taruh pembersih kamar mandi, sih. Tapi nehiii deh pas lihat quotationnya. Entar aja, kalo emang butuh, bisa ditambahin suatu saat. Untuk master bathroom, selain lower cabinet, awalnya mau dibikin semi open cabinet juga di atas basin. Jadi cerminnya cuma 1/2 lebar tembok dan bisa digeser-geser, terus di bawah cabinetnya itu bakal ada lighting. Cakep sih. Tapi mahalnyoo! Over budget abis-abisan jadinya si master bath kalau pakai design awal. Dengan memakai alasan yang sama bahwasanya itu kabinet yang atas bakalan sedikit kegunaannya ( gue bukan orang yang mau menyimpan skincare di kamar mandi ), jadi kita cancel dah. Templokin cermin geday aja dan pakai lampu tempel. Re-bes.

Dan juga, tadinya untuk study room kita sempat kepikir, selain cove light (yang diatas meja), pengen nambah tracking light yang nyorot ke bookshelf. Tapi, menurut M, bakal keliatan crowded entar ceilingnya. Kalau mau tracking light, di-cancel aja false ceiling + cove light di atas meja, terus pasang 2 tracking light. Ya tapi karena si false ceiling ini juga mempunya fungsi lain, yaitu untuk menyamarkan wall beam yang gengges, jadi kita tentuin tetap pakai false ceiling (rempong ye situ). Nanti kita lihat hasilnya, kalau emang masih pantas buat dikasih tracking light, ya kita tambahin di akhir reno.

Tracking light-nya kayak gini nih :

 

Lucu juga kan kalau pakai lampu sorot gitu? 🙂

Cheers!

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