Monthly Archives: February 2013

14 Moments in Jakarta 14 Years After My First Visit

I Was 10. Please understand. We OUTGROW that phase!

I Was 10. Please understand. We OUTGROW that phase!

Fourteen years ago, I traveled to Jakarta with my parents and brother. I have some memories of the place (which also involves “Kiss Me” looping on MTV Asia) such as going around Pondok Indah Mall, tasting my very first (and last, apparently) satay kambing and ayam goreng, and visiting Taman Safari in Bogor where I got to hold a snake and a white baby tiger. Even at a young age, I already enjoyed traveling.

But now that I am older and wiser (I hope), I became more interested in reflecting about life in different settings and context instead of just popping in and out of territories. There was never a time during my three-day visit that I was not on the look-out for something different to write about. So in celebration of my exploration, I have listed my Top 14 Moments in Jakarta and I hope y’all will enjoy this entry as much as I did writing it.

14 Transit in Singapore

Long hours of transit and early morning flights became my thing. Not that I enjoy them, I actually wonder why the universe is turning me against my own terms of travel comfort but I learned how to deal with them–I have to. I devised some coping techniques during these excruciating hours. Like get through Immigration and visit Singapore. After all, this is also my home.

(Top - L) Korres at Raffles City Shopping Centre (B2-16), Banana Split Sundae at Hog's Breath - Raffles, my sibs with Garrett popcorn (City Link), Gelato mania (City Link).

(Top – L) Korres at Raffles City Shopping Centre (B2-16), Banana Split Sundae at Hog’s Breath, my sibs with Garrett (City Link), Il Bruno Gelato (City Link).

13 The pungent odor of kretek–the smell of my childhood

Whenever my parents come home from Indonesia, the whole house smells like kretek. Like burnt wood but with a hint of incense or something. When you arrive in Jakarta, the smell of the airport? That’s it.

12 Losing luggage key

Seriously, on our first night. We had to navigate the whole Grand Indonesia Mall the following morning to find a new lock.

The Saw

The Saw

11 Hitting the hotel gym

It has been a while since I last went all out on the treadmill.

1o Parents speaking Bahasa

My parents lived in Indonesia during the first years of their marriage. My Dad was a UN Volunteer, my Mom was a fresh graduate exploring the world. I knew that they spoke Bahasa Indonesia well but listening to them having conversations with cab drivers, sales and hotel personnel, and everyone else at that, really made me proud! And regret the fact that having lived almost four years in Vientiane and I can’t even speak a decent sentence in Lao without stuttering.

9 Visiting Grand Indonesia

The mall that never ends. The mall that makes me feel woozy when I look down from the 5th floor. I am not even afraid of heights!

(L) Dancing fountain on the left, one of the mall’s attractions; (R) What you see isn’t the top floor!

8 Walking in the Rain to Rotiboy

It rained pretty hard during the day but my Mom wanted me to try Rotiboy so bad. We just got out of the gym anyway–it is not like the rain is going to ruin our hair or something. But when we were finally devouring the fluffy chunk of carbs, I thought ‘Okay, the treadmill was a waste of time.’ Rotiboy is some good bread.

Walking in the rain to Rotiboy

Walking in the rain to Rotiboy

7 Momma vs Food at Nonya Suharti Restaurant

My parents believe this is just the place to be. Everywhere else is below it.

Mom vs Food - Ayam Goreng at Nonya Suharti Restaurant

Eat! Eat! Eat!

6 The Nice People

I could not get over the nice demeanor of Indonesians. My Dad said that they are known for their refined manners and politeness amid adverse situations. That, in itself, is inspiring.

Mie Goreng Vegetarian at Chopstix - Grand Indonesia (Very nice service)

Mie Goreng Vegetarian at Chopstix – Grand Indonesia (Very nice service)

5 Traffic Jam

City traffic is always insane. On the bright side, I get to ponder when I am in the middle of one.

4 Batik Finds

Fabrics, I am all about the fabrics–I want to customize these babies. My parents also approved of my choices so I am quite confident that the patterns are pretty.

Chameleon Mode - fabrics from Thamrin City

Chameleon Mode – fabrics from Thamrin City

3 Luna Negra* (Plaza Bapindo, Citibank Tower)

Did I tell you how much I love this place? Nice ambiance and good food and EFFICIENT SERVICE, what more could you ask for?

Fiesta feeling at Luna Negra

Fiesta feeling at Luna Negra

2 The Digital Natives Reunion with Dear Maesy*

The best thing of being part of ‘Project Digital Natives With A Cause?’ is being able to meet amazing people from all parts of the world. You are either intimidated or inspired with with they do, with their ideas and perspective on multitudes of topics that a whole week of conversations and discussions can never compensate. Maesy is my big sis in the group; and while she may appear to be ruthless in public speaking and intelligent undertakings, she’s a real hipster at heart HAHA (I’m kidding, Maesy). I am HONORED to have walked the streets of Jakarta with her and talked to a soulmate yet again.

Italian - Japanese food. The combination is DIVINE.

Italian – Japanese food at Ocha and Bella. The combination is DIVINE.

1 Taking Matters Into My Own Hands

Lazy hour at the mall is all that took me to promote my website in the only way I know how. I probably would wear this every time I travel and make use of the long hours walking aimlessly in airport terminals. You’ll never know.

My Cup of Tee at Grand Indonesia (only an hour to wait for the shirt)

My Cup of Tee at Grand Indonesia (only an hour to wait for the shirt)

*Many thanks to Tito Mike Tesoro and company, and Maesy for being awesome hosts 🙂

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Filed under Country Hop, Food and Dining

The Longest 10 Days of My Life | Part 1

The Night Before

Okay, maybe this is not a good idea. I have seen Life of Pi, which really made my heart sink, and I don’t think I can handle not eating. I may come up with metaphorical creatures in my quest as a result. I just had a platter of bad sushi and right now, I am craving for something to save me.

Lemony water and the Food Journal

Lemony water and the Food Journal

Day 1

I fast–no anything, just water–for a whole day. It is part of my yogini lifestyle, along with being a vegetarian and doing yoga asanas. I have been fasting for a while but it only lasts for a day. Sometimes, I even forget to eat when I am stressed out. But 10 days without solid food? Oh dear. Did I mention I have a research proposal to write??

Breakfast: banana + strawberry + basil –> Yum. Maybe I can do this!

Lunch: Spinach + carrot + celery + pineapple + lemon –> this made me want to throw up. Bad combo. Bad combo.

apple + carrot –> to rid off the taste

Dinner: Pineapple + cucumber + basil –> Not bad. Not bad at all.

Dessert: Pineapple + orange –> even my Dad asked me to share!

Mean Green

Mean Green

Day 2

These are the days when I thank my screwed up body clock because I sleep in really late (1.30am) and then get up at 10.30am. That way, I don’t have to endure juicing every meal time–when my parents are enjoying a hearty breakfast. My Dad was not particularly ecstatic about my decision to get into juice fasting but I guess the Little Girl won this time. Or did she?

Lunch: cucumber + celery + ginger + lemon –> this one is actually good.

Dinner: bok choy + celery + green apple + ginger + lemon –> Thank God this tastes alright!

Day 3

They say the first three days of the fast are the hardest. Well, I am on my third day. My nostrils flare upon a hint of sauteed garlic and onions. Even when our help is only frying tofu. And to top off my agony, the series finale of Emily Owens, MD airs today. That one show that I can totally relate to is gone. This is crazy. I started doing stretching exercises on Wii. And some weights for the arms.

–repeated some of my favorites–

Banana + orange | Snacking

Banana + orange | Snacking

Day 4

I am very frustrated. I am not hungry but I miss chewing, biting, slurping. Anything! And…okay, I am not losing weight. I want to cut this thing short and eat lunch. I am hating everything already.

–repeated some of my favorites–

Day 5

I woke up feeling dizzy. I know I said I will end this thing right now but then I thought–I’m halfway there. This is tougher than I thought. I really miss food. Oh dear, I have to do weights and stretches again. I didn’t juice vegetables today, I am getting tired of the taste.

–added lychee and peaches to the fruit menu–

Peach + Mango | My tumbler has twinkly lights!

Peach + Mango | My tumbler has twinkly lights!

Day 6

I stepped on the scale today, and guess what–I lost some weight–6 lbs! I feel so happy. Scratch that, I feel elated! It is like all my hardwork is paying off. I am so excited! I still can’t get over the fact that I haven’t eaten anything solid for 6 days!

Mindy Kaling’s  Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? also kept me company during these hard times. I admire her wit, confidence and strength. I wish I could be more like her. 

Breakfast: peach+ mango –> my version of Jollibee’s famous pie

Lunch: My Mean Green recipe

Dinner: Mango + melon –> refreshing!

Day 7

Sorry I had to! | Tomato + fresh basil. I am really proud I did this while fasting!

Sorry I had to! | Tomato + fresh basil. I am really proud I did this while fasting!

Happy Chinese New Year, you guys! While everyone else is celebrating, I am lying face down. This moodswing is getting really old. My brother and sister visited us today and brought donuts. I spent the morning sniffing donuts. Like a crack addict. On the bright side, I feel lighter, my  skin is glowing.

I also made dinner for the family without tasting it. And as it turns out, it is my best recipe yet–according to the Dad. My Dad is very meticulous with food, even if I am his daughter. Maybe he just said that to make me feel better cos I was staring at them like a hungry psycho while sipping my dinner. I appreciate the kind words, nonetheless.

–repeated my favorites–

Day 8

Almost there, Cole. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And that green dress you tried on awhile ago? Pretty! You can finally breathe while wearing it. Without spanx!

My Dad also inspired me to engage myself in more cooking, I guess my heightened sense of smell is working to my advantage, so I started watching TLC. And boy, was I wrong. I felt weaker with every slice, simmer, bake and bite I see.

–repeated my favorites–

The Carrot

The Carrot

Day 9

Okay, so the aerobics workout did not exactly go the way I wanted it. I am weaker than I already am right now, so I really have to go easy on the exercises. It is fine. Everything will be fine. One more day.

–repeated my favorites–

Dinner: celery + carrot –> it was okay.

Day 10

Get ready for tomorrow 🙂

–repeated my favorites–

The Morning After

Banana never tasted this good. The real one. The real one.

Just a few reminders:

1) It is a must to consult your doctor prior to doing this, especially when you are on meds;

2) If you would like to try the juice fast, perhaps try it for a day (if you have never done fasting ever in your life), or 3 days (Friday, Sat & Sun, when you are all relaxed). Fasting can make you cranky and weak, so it is best to not let it interfere with your daily routine. The first three days are the hardest, so if you can get through it, you will be fine;

3) Choose your favorite fruits and vegetables. Do not force yourself into juicing fruits and veggies that you hate just cos the ‘recipe’ says so; and

4) Know your limits. Don’t let yourself get sick in the process.

Good luck!

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Filed under 10 Things, Health