A Visit to Singapore

I’m going to be in Singapore next week for work purpose (and play, of course!!), so I’m in a mood to talk about it.

Singapore is probably the most popular destination for Indonesian tourists. It is like a blend of West meets East type of city/country where you can find a hip hangout place for expatriates coming from all over the globe next to a traditional chinese shop; or a shopping heaven full with most prestigious brand within few hundreds meters to Malay-Indian community area. It is Asia in soul but American/European in looks.

Lack of natural charms, Singapore creates its own charm by constructing many kind of remarkable building and developing great manmade attractions. With a little help from mouth watering local cuisine, support of good infrastructures system and reliable facility of medication has made Singapore an irresistable place for many people to visit.
By having the busiest port in the world, Singapore has been recognized as business centre of Asia. This lead to many foreign companies to invest and own an office or factory in Singapore which consequently build the competitiveness culture within the country (local people vs expat).

Personally, I would love to stay in Singapore for one or two weeks, I love the food, I love the convinience to be independent and I love the liveliness. But then again, I am having a difficult time imagining myself to stay there for longer period of time. Why? I am not so sure, perhaps I am too scaredy cat to be in such competitive culture (you can see everybody is walking rushing, briskly, busy checking their iphone and even the oldest grandma you met was working as a cleaning lady in random places!!).

Anyway, what do I do when I am in Singapore? Well, beside working (of course!), I would usually visit these places:
1. Orchard Rd — no, not to shop, dear…But only to walk around, chill and see the beauty of the shops  during the evening; you can grab a bite at Killiney kopitiam nearby too, yum!
loc_kil
2. Clarke Quay — to enjoy the nightlife, chill with friends with live music and cooling drinks.
3. Bugis Junction — to satisfy my hunger for rather cheap yet fashionable accesories (you can find cute snapbacks, dangles or pair of flats with good bargain!). Accross the street, you can find rows of local food shops (the durian ice is all-kill!)
image2
4. Daiso (all $2 shop) (you can find them in many places, but I usually go to Plaza Singapura) — to buy unique (and cheap..hehehe) souvenirs for family and friends.
daiso

Where would you go?

 

Ps: Pictures are not my property.

 

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The Netherlands – Part 2

Indonesian culture have been influenced alot by the Dutch, as a result of more than 350 years of colonialization. Not the best memory, one would said.

However, we have to admit that not all bad things we got from them. The Dutch left us not only the old infrastructures that we remain use them until today, the law system that we remain engaged to or ancestors that we respect and remembered by, but also languages.
Interestingly, many of young people do not recognized this now… Especially in Java Island, a lot of words we used are actually deriving from the Dutch. Examples: Kulkas (koelkast), wastafel (wastafel), kantor (kantoor), om (oom), tante (tante), aanval (aanval), persis (precies), gratis (gratis), korting (korting), atret (uitrit), klop (klopt), and soooooo many more.

The love between Indonesia and the Dutch even resulted a song called “Surabaya” that is quite popular among the Dutch, here is the lyric and Indonesian translation, in case you are interested 🙂

Singer: Anneke G
Surabaya, Surabaya
mijn gedachten zijn altijd bij jou
Pikiran saya selalu dengan Anda
Waarom moest ik jou verlaten
Mengapa saya harus meninggalkan Anda
eenzaam sta ik voor mijn raam
kesepian saya berdiri di hadapan jendela
grauw is de lucht
abu-abu, udara
en als ik zucht
dan jika aku mendesah
vormen mijn lippen jouw naam lippen you nam
bibirku membentuk nama mu

Surabaya, Surabaya
Met je zee en je hemel zo blauw met ye see
Dengan laut dan langit begitu biru Anda
Surabaya, Surabaya
mijn gedachten zijn altijd bij jou mein hedahten
Pikiran saya selalu kepada mu

Ik zal jou nooit meer vergeten
Aku tidak akan pernah melupakan Anda
ik droom van jou elke nacht
Aku bermimpi tentang mu
dan hoor ik weer
Aku mendengar lagi
net als weleer
seperti tadi

Gamelang klanken heel zacht
Gamelan terdengar sangat lembut

Surabaya, Surabaya
met je zee en je hemel zo blauw
Surabaya, Surabaya
mijn gedachten zijn altijd bij jou

Handmade creation ep. 1

Hello all!

Aheem..first of all, I know that it has been few weeks behind my schedule to post a new thing here…real life was extremely demanding that I have to resist myself to touch my laptop, don’t you dare give me that look, laptop! To redeem myself I’d like to slave myself with couple of writings today, so BE prepare!

Last few years, I have been fascinated by all things related to scrapbook. Scrapbook is an art to keep your memories, whether they are in pictures or souvenirs related to the experience. As we all know, conventional printed photography had lost its charm way long time ago. Now, people prefer to keep their pictures digitally in their hard drive or CD, for simplicity sake. For me personally, eventhough the digital version is indeed more space efficient, but I felt that I could not grasp the memory without holding something to remind me (not only looking at it on screen).

I started to try to create a scrapbook or card for my colleagues and friends back in 2012. I use alot of simple embelishment that I can create by myself and keep at low cost to buy fancier stuff from shops.

I am not creating them in regular basis, but love to browse around to get inspiration and know new techniques. I will post some of my creation and talk about it abit and please share your thoughts!

— Project Eve —
I called my very first project, Eve, because it’s not officially my first creation. I did make some other stuffs before, but never really finished and give it to someone.
Property: 
Carton paper (thickness: 2-3mm) as cover.
Coloured paper (weight 180-200gsm) — I chose dark pink with glitter to wrap the main cover and dusty pink as content.
White paper (weight 70-80gsm) — you can basically print different images on this papers and paste them as embellishment. Or you can make paper quiling or simple origami out of them.

Concept:
The scrapbook was for one of my ex colleague who resigned after 1 year service because she needed to move to Bali.
She is very feminine and she loves cat. One day she wears this bright pink shirt to office and all men at work cant stop looking at her! Which is why I chose the main colour as pink 🙂

Snapshot:

detail front page paper quiling

Front page

page 1

The Netherlands – part 1

I had quite a relation with this windmill country, it was like my second home — so I had some sort of obligation to speak about this country (and I will have separate postings on this, bear with me :)). Not just because my motherland was colonialized by them for more than 350 years nor because my grandfather spoke the language and even read dutch bible during his lifetime.

I spent at least 4 years pursuing my bachelor degree in this country. It sounded very fancy and extravagant, but let me assure you, it was not.

I lived in a small city called Deventer, who was famous for its beautiful Ijssel river. First time to know the existence of Deventer? No worry, you were with everybody in my families and friends. I must admitted that if I had the chance to go back to past, I would be 99% tempted to change my choices of city (although my gut said I would still stick to the other 1%). While Deventer was not exactly famous among most part of the world, the city was quite a darling for Dutch people. The city hold some historical story during world war 2 and many buildings were historically preserved until today.
Just like every city in the Netherlands, Deventer had a train station which from there you can just walk straight to the city center they called it centrum. Centrum of Deventer was small but you would find everything that you need there (esp when you were just a student). There were theatre, small eateries, cafes, asian restaurants, even a club. I wouldn’t consider them as the best, but they would perfectly cater what you need.

Every year, Deventer also hosted two major events: Europe’s largest book fair somewhere in August and Dickenfestijn in December. Both lovable events attracted thousands to million of visitors every year. I would never missed these two.

As a student with tight budget, my daily routine was quite predictable and I worked as a hourly cleaner during the weekend.

The funny thing about studying abroad was that I would always imagined myself working multiple parttime in McDonald, flower shop and an ice cream cafe but that, my dear, never happened. International students had limitation in part time employment, some were: languages, working permit and physical appearance (once I got fired after two days working part time at a pottery because of my height was not sufficient!!!). I considered myself very lucky as I could get a stable part time job during my first year in this small city.

I just visited the city back in October 2013 and I would missed Deventer every now and then. I think Deventer missed me too as it would always be part of my introduction with many Dutch colleagues and somehow I was more please to explain about Deventer if not annoyed when they throw the all-the-time question: “Why Deventer?”.

 

Episode 0

I am not a blog-virgin. I might have written couple of postings and abandoned dozens of blogs — okay, four blogs precisely. To be honest, I do not know how committed I am on this new blog.

Since high school, I knew that I was always drawn to write and even dreamt to became a real writer, launched my own fiction book, became famous, earned millions of dollar, made movie out of the book and got hell other glittery stuffs that J.K Rowling or Stephanie Meyer or Suzanne Collins enjoyed now. Howeverrrrr…everytime I started to begin my journey, somewhere in the corner, a monstrous resistance and excuses lurking around and they (always) successfully made me gave up after two or three decent postings then I chin up and continue my usual, boring routine of life.

Okay, enough of that…let’s look into the present and probably a bit in the past and the future.

I have been reading alot these two months, consumed one book every week and even had a midnight reading marathon which end me up with panda eyes and sore mood the following morning. Despite the gruesome start, I am now feeling even more challenged and decided to add my 2014 resolution another optimistic goal — to finish one book every week AND to post one story in a new blog. *hurrah*

I promised myself to still be realistic, so one post can mean one long interesting story or one simple review or one merely “hi” — this what I called: baby steps!!!

I will keep my fingers crossed, my laptop nearby, my books opened and I request for prayer from fellow blog owners and blog readers.

Amen.