Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Market Behind Home.

Have always wanted to check the market behind home out, but never really did somehow. So last Sunday morning knowing a local friend was around and free, I took the opportunity to ask him to accompany me to, and show me around the market. So these were what I discovered: -

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jakarta - Some Piccies

Been a fortnight since I moved. Jakarta has been good to me thus far. I've travelled a lot outside home by now, but have yet to master the art of crossing the road here still. The local people are nice, friendly and kind but men here can get quite cheeky sometimes (cheeky in a good way I meant to say) and then there were a few I find really odd. But in general, however, the Jakartans I met are lovely people - my kids and I are very well taken care of, I am pleased and pleasantly surprised by their warm hospitality. Food here is yummy but can get a bit too sweet or spicy sometimes (or both at the same time, which is rather interesting). So far I have no regrets moving here. yet. Life in the past 14 days have been good, really. Anyways, here are some recent pictures I took in my stay in this Indonesian capital. You might want to check them out.

Moving to a new country in particular with very young children can be quite challenging I know. There are plenty of things for the children to adjust to such as new language, new environment, new friends, 'new' food, and new home just to name a few. Isa, however, seems to be adapting and coping pretty alright here in Indonesia. But I don't know, really, cos we've been here for only about 2 weeks. Let's hope he'll be alright all through, I am so keeping my fingers crossed on this.

During my stay at Rasuna, I got awaken by the call of prayer broadcasted by the mosques in that town every morning. After having done my prayer on one of the mornings that I was there, I looked out of my bedroom window and saw this scenery, a very pretty sight or so I thought. So I decided to get my camera and take a picture of it. And so here it is posted on my blog for everyone to see. Pretty, no?

Slow moving traffic happening right outside the apartment I am currently staying at! Based on my experience, however, a person travelling in the traffic adjacent to my apartment can take almost half an hour just to get to the end of this road (which is actually way less than 400 metres in distance).

This is Mie Goreng Ayam Baso (fried chicken noodle with soup). I remember ordering this food the first time and asked for "Mie Goreng Ayam" as stated on the Menu. They replied, "Yang baso atau yang pangsit? (Baso or pangsit?)". I looked at them cluesslessly, and then asked, "Baso tu apa? Pangsit tu apa? (What's baso? What's pangsit?)" And then a guy came over and explained to me. In English! For the first time ever in Jakarta, I felt like a fool. But anyway, Mie Goreng Ayam Baso is yummy. You should give it a try when you're here someday.

Went to check out a unit in Thamrin Residence on one of those days that I was there viewing properties. The unit was on the 31st storey of the apartment, and this was the view I saw from the unit's balcony. Having lived in high rise apartments in Singapore for over 20 years of my life, I consider this view 'awesome' and 'expensive' (since it is pretty rare to get a skyline view like this even if one is living in an apartment unit as high as the 31st storey in that garden city). High rise buildings and skyscrapers are just so abundant everywhere in Singapore, most balconies are left with having to view other balconies instead! Hence, I'd say for this apartment unit, the balcony view (even if it faces a shanty town and a terribly jam packed road) is a plus point for me!

This is a townhouse. It is located right smack in the middle of the city. What's interesting about this townhouse is that it is actually built on the 10th storey and is on top of a shopping mall. It didn't look like it, did it? I don't know how much it costs to buy each house tho but I know rental price ranges from about USD2,000 to USD4,000 per month. Not bad, isn't it?

This is Pisang Goreng Suir Keju (banana fritters with cheese. It's got some condensed milk added to it too apparently!!). I had it for tea today. It tastes pretty alright I thought. Just a bit sweet though!

Not really a recent picture of the both of us, this was actually taken about 3 months back when Echa (Hazuki) and I were in Ascott on our first ever recce trip to Jakarta!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Airplane flying low really made me nervous!

It was this morning that I was at the pool with my children when I heard the sound of an airplane flying really low overhead, it made me nervous.

VERY nervous, indeed. I didn't know last week's plane crash (that wasn't so significant actually) had affected me 'this' much.

Knowing that the plane that had crashed was a military plane and that the housing complex that was crashed into was an air base housing, I knew I was pretty much outside the 'accident radius'.

But I guess because it happened only about 5 kilometres away from my home (and that it actually happened at all), becoming a plane crash victim at anytime seems real in Jakarta, hence the nervousness I was feeling when the sound of an airplane flew low overhead was heard this morning.

Anyways, in case you missed the news of the recent plane crash in Jakarta, here's a link to The Jakarta Post's Sky Falls on Air Base Housing Complex.
In Jakarta, Indonesia. Arrow pointing to the spot where a plane crashed into a housing complex the other day killing about 11 people altogether. Photo was taken from the balcony of my home about 12 minutes after plane crashes.

Monday, June 11, 2012


For everyone in (and out of) Singapore, I thank you (online and in advance) for the 6 wonderful years I have had since my return from Tassie. Thank you for all the good times spent. Thank you for the wedding invitations. Thank you for the breakfast/lunch/coffee/dinner/movie outings. Thank you for dropping by my home and spending time with me. Thank you for the continued friendship, and of course, thank you for being my friend! Certainly I will take with me all the memories I have and think of you all from time to time. Take care of yourself as I take care of mine. Hope to see YOU ALL again someday. Keep in touch. xoxo


For the third time in three months last week, I made another trip to Jakarta, possibly the shortest of time ever I've flown in and out of a city repeatedly with the purpose of visit being 'holiday'. Well, truth is, I wasn't really on holiday in Jakarta. 'holiday' was just THE word I ticked on my Arrival Card to officially declare my activities in the country. I was there to check out some properties. Similar to my previous visits in the Indonesian capital, which were about a month and two back, I also did an 'inspection' of the place and some other stuff that could help me prepare for the move.

So I am moving to Jakarta (if all is good, that is) but I don't know when exactly it is going to be. However, work is definitely being done and I can say I am about 80% ready for the move! Despite Jakarta being only about 899km or 1.5 hours of flight away from Singapore (which means some things in Singapore and Jakarta have got to be similar given the distance and geographic location, AND THEREFORE familiar to me), moving to Jakarta means a whole new world, a whole new adventure, and a whole new life to me (and of course, it brings with it a whole new set of complications too)! I've got mixed feelings about leaving my homeland, Singapore, but at the same time, I am excited for Jakarta, I CAN'T WAIT!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Back to uni!

Am back to uni - yeay! If you know me and know what I have been wishing for all these while, you'd know I would be over the moon to be back studying. Thanks to Kenji for sponsoring my uni fees (he even promised he'd give me time off the kids when I study later) and the uni for accepting my application. In case you wanna know here's a little bit more about my going back to uni, so read on. I am basically enrolled at a non-local university. I applied for and am offered a Criminology degree course about a month or two back. The course will start at the end of November, and I am already feeling excited as hell, I can't wait! As though taking care of a toddler and a baby hasn't kept me occupied enough, I can see myself having a very busy time in the next 5 years (yeah that's how long the course is going to be) and so am needing all the luck I can get in this world to carry out all the tasks I am ever needed to as a uni student! It sounds crazy I know, but I have a feeling it will all turn out to be good!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Korea - Lost In Translation.

Don't know why but I have always thought I would never be lost in translation in Korea, at least not as much as I probably would when I travel elsewhere. But the opposite happened. Apparently I thought wrong! Below are a few illustrations of my encounters ‘speaking different languages’ with some of the local people I met in my short stay in Korea. Read on.

1. Given: A Pair of Korean Wedding Dolls

It was on one of those days in my stay in Seoul that I met up with Kenji’s Korean business partners over lunch. At the meet up, among other things, I was presented with a pair of large-sized Korean traditional wedding dolls. *Check out link, the picture and details of the wedding dolls set is similar to the one I got on that day from Kenji’s business partners.*

The gift was really pretty I thought. But I must admit (to my readers, that is) that I have a certain dislike for display dolls like that, I’m not sure why. Even so, I accepted the gift (not because it was pretty but because it was simply natural to accept gifts when given).

In the elevator after lunch however, the CEO of the company, who was Korean, asked me this question:

“So when did you get married?”

I answered him, “In 2006.”

He looked surprised, and then continued, “Oh! So you have been married for about 4 years already?”

Surprised, I wondered immediately about the wedding doll gift and if anyone had told him tales that Kenji and I had just gotten married.

Later, the CEO stated, “So you have been married for about 4 years.” After that he queried, “But your child is only 6 months old??”

His question surprised me a second time - I wondered if years of marriage have anything at all to do with a baby's age, really. Decided not to dwell on it, I shoved aside my surprise and confirmed to the CEO that he had calculated the years correctly and that my child was only about 6 months old at that time.

Out of the elevator however the CEO continued to look surprised. And I wondered what was it that he had expected it to be – a 15 month old or so marriage, or a purely unorthodox baby before marriage/wedding style?

I’m not sure really. But what I do know for sure is that the 'conversation' that I’ve just had with the Korean man was one very odd 'conversation' ever.

2. I don’t know of any K-Pop artists to be honest.

I met a Korean lady whilst on my way to the accommodation in Seoul one day. Her name is Miss Y. She was a middle aged person whose English, I remember very well, was quite fluent. Miss Y and I spoke for a bit, mainly on things Korea, before she proudly asked me, “So which Korean actors/actresses/singers do you know?”

I was stunned by the question for three reasons. One: because we weren’t talking about a Korean celebrity I had personally liked or knew of. Two: Miss Y seemed very sure of the surge in popularity of the contemporary South Korean culture in the country I come from. And three: I don’t know any K-Pop artists or Korean musical groups to start with though I have heard of their names through the news or some other forms of media a couple of times before.

So feeling a bit nervous, I laughed right there and then, my mind simultaneously and desperately searched for an answer. I had wanted to reply Miss Y with a KIM-something (if I wasn’t mistaken the names of some K-Pop artists sounded not too far off from the other Koreans in general) but I ended up saying, “Well...”, and then stopped.

I knew for sure I could admit that there was no one in the industry that I truly recognized. But then again I wasn’t too sure if it’s acceptable to do so over there because if this had happened in Japan (or elsewhere in Asia actually) and Miss Y was Japanese (or some other Asians) I probably would have had to pretend that I knew some artists in order to keep the ‘harmony’ between us – ‘harmony’: the politeness and respect for other persons, which may sometimes require a person to not tell the truth in order to keep it, as according to my understanding of the word.

And so because I was doubtful, I just went, “Um...” Shortly after that however, Kenji interrupted our conversation and said to Miss Y, “we know some (K-Pop artists), but their names have just slipped out of our minds”. Ah, right there and then the ‘harmony’ of the Japanese have saved me. Thank heavens, and good job Kenji! It was certainly a good response from him ever! :-)

3. The next destination.

On the second day of our stay in Seoul, Kenji and I decided to join a city tour. On the bus half way through the tour, Kenji asked the guide who was an English-speaking Korean lady, how long for that we still have before we arrive at the next destination. She answered, “about 15 to 20 minutes”.

A minute later, the bus that we were on pulled over and the bus door opened. The guide left the bus, then she turned around and waved at everyone in the bus to get off it. We hurriedly got off the bus and I approached her right away asking her where we were going.

She told me we were going to check out the amethyst at a nearby shop. Apparently, amethyst, a mineral stone violet in colour often used in jewellery and somehow very popularly included in tours in Seoul, was our next stop. Kenji heard her and immediately looked at me. I looked back at him and we just smiled. We knew right there and then that we were lost in translation!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Korea - some piccies!

Here are some pictures taken during my trip to Korea. You might want to check them out - they are a bit different from those I have uploaded on my Facebook account. So enjoy!

Some traditional Korean women's costume put on display at the National Folk Museum.

That's me at the National Folk Museum.

That’s Kenji and Echa (Hazuki) in the lounge of 'our room'.

View from 'our' room at 3-ish p.m. on 21st Jan 2010 - nothing special actually.

Gyeongbokgung was super foggy when we got there!

Scenery outside National Folk Museum.

At the Korean Folk Village.

The apartment we were staying at.

Kenji at a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf outlet located at the lobby of 'our' apartment.

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