Categories
indonesia park places

OCBC NISP Park

Park Surroundings
Park Surroundings

There is a small park, at the end of Jalan Cipaganti and Jalan Dr. Setiabudi. Not sure what the park name is, but an OCBC-NISP logo was carved at one stone in the park, giving a hint that the park was funded by the bank. Hence the name of this post, to appreciate its contribution to city of Bandung. Note that I am not endorsed whatsoever by that bank.

It is a small park, but looks like well-maintained. The area has a shape of a triangle, as it is located in between of Jalan Cipaganti that splits into two directions of Jalan Dr. Setiabudi. The park consists of two levels and connected by a staircase, following the elevation contour of that area. Some stools were provided for visitors to sit and enjoy the surroundings.

I went there in the morning around 7 AM, and it was very refreshing, as there were not many vehicles passing by. However, I wouldn’t recommend to go there in the afternoon or evening, especially during weekend or holidays. Both Jalan Cipaganti and Jalan Dr. Setiabudi are usually super crowded during that time, serving tourists who want to go to Lembang on the northern side.

There were not many visitors in that morning, only me and a lady who went there only to cross the street. There were, however, some homeless people sleeping in the park. And that sparked a wild thought in my mind, that those people are actually closer to nature (and perhaps happier) than me, who sleeps in concrete walls.

The OCBC Carved Stone
The OCBC Carved Stone

There are some amenities around the park. McDonald’s and Morning Glory cafe should provide good meals, and there is also Supermarket Setiabudi that sells groceries. Does buying takeaways from that shops and consume them at the park sound like a good idea? I should try next time (not during Ramadan, for sure).

As usual, this park is accessible using local angkots, mostly those heading to Ledeng/Lembang or Ciumbuleuit.

Categories
indonesia places shopping

Bandung Electronic Center

The old and new BEC
The old building (top) and the new one (bottom)

While waiting for my wife doing her pilates at Limijati Hospital, I went to a well-known electronics shopping mall in Purnawarman road, Bandung, the Istana BEC (Bandung Electronic Center). It was on Saturday, so the traffic was awful. On one occasion before, it took 45 minutes to drive from hospital to BEC, while on that day I decided to walk and spent only 15 minutes.

While BEC had been there for a few years, it was recently renovated to extend the building with a newer one. From the outside, the difference was very contrast, as the new building were filled with more lavish lifestyle outlets. The old building still housed electronic shops selling smartphones and computer stuffs.

Not Samsung Shop
Those are not Samsung Offical Shops

On the inside, the abundant electronic shops in the old building attracted more people. The new building was less crowded, with many electronic shops yet to open. Instead, some famous outlets like Kiliney Kopitiam and Excelso were open for business. Especially in the old building, don’t get fooled if you see more than one shop of a certain brand, as they are actually a local shop, borrowing the brand logo to make it look nicer.

This extension I believe would attract new visitors and serves as a new tourist destination in Bandung. However, at the same time it risks making the already crowded Purnawarman road even more crowded. You can actually help, by taking public transport whenever possible.

Categories
australia brisbane places shopping

Singapore-Australia Trip (Part 1)

This Chinese New Year was different than before. I called most of my relatives by phone, instead of visiting them. This is because, me and my wife Yunnie had a flight to catch at 11.40 AM. Yes, we were in another journey. This time we were on a trip to visit my brother’s baptism ceremony in Brisbane, Australia, plus a short transit at Singapore.

Imagine any TV serial theme song playing in…

What I didn’t tell most of my friends was, I had 7+ hours of transit in Singapore. Well, to fly from Bandung to Brisbane we had two choices: through Singapore or Kuala Lumpur. KL didn’t sound very interesting, as the airport is super far from the city, and the budget terminal doesn’t have that much of perks. Aside from better airport, travelling to city is relatively easy: enough time to show Yunnie some of the interesting places in the country I lived before. I also selected one person to visit in the remaining time, and finally decided to visit my former landlord (Auntie) and her daughter (Christine).

When we landed at around 3 PM, the first thing we planned was lunch. With many food stalls, Lau Pa Sat seemed a good option. So we took a train to get there. Unfortunately, upon arrival we found that the place was under renovation, and there were only limited selection of satay stalls open. We then took a bus to go to Esplanade theatre, hoping to find another food there. We finally had our meal at Thai Express. As it was the Chinese New Year (CNY) day, only limited choices of menu were available, and we were charged a whopping price of $50 for two persons.

Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands

After lunch, we took some pictures at the iconic Marina Bay Sands and Merlion statue nearby, and continued our journey to Auntie’s house in Commonwealth. As our schedule was really tight, we took a cab to get there. Luckily the driver was also in a rush, so the trip only took a few minutes. The driver warned us that finding another cab on CNY will be troublesome, which proved right when we were looking for a cab from Auntie’s house.

We spent some time at Auntie’s house for some chat. It’s been a long time since last time I met her. When I was in Singapore for almost four years, I lived in her flat. Age had caught her, but she was still in good condition to accept guests. She could even served us soft drinks, despite her weak legs condition. After a few minutes, we moved again to Christine’s house.

Preparing for Yusheng
Preparing for Yusheng

It was actually difficult to find a cab from Auntie’s house, hence we were slightly late at Christine’s house. Everyone was waiting for us for the Yusheng ceremony. It is a Singaporeans’ gesture to welcome the new year. A dish, consisting mixed vegetable salad and raw seafood, are thrown up using chopsticks, symbolizing a never ending flow of prosperity. We then had dinner and another good chat, with topics ranging from a recent riot to COE prices. With our body fully reenergized, they drove us to the airport, to catch our next flight to Gold Coast.

It was an overnight flight, a 7+ hour overnight journey. I should have slept at the plane, but it was difficult since I was too excited to get to Australia. Yunnie seemed to enjoy her sleep peacefully, so I spent the night by walking around the aisle every now and then, or waiting the sunrise to come up.

We landed at Gold Coast airport just as scheduled, 8 AM local time. It was very crowded and time consuming at the immigration and custom, as the Australian government are pretty strict on importing food and plants to the country. There was one interesting type of check, where about every 10 persons were asked to stand in line, while the officer brought down a dog to sniff each of the person and the hand carries. It was interesting, especially in the modern age where most labours have been replaced with machines.

My brother Daniel and my parents were already waiting for us at the exit gate. Daniel drove us to see around Gold Coast for few minutes, then headed to Brisbane, where we were about to stay for few days. At Brisbane, Daniel brought us for lunch at a small Indonesian restaurant in Cooper Plains called Sendok Garpu. It could be that I was very hungry, but they served the best Bakwan I had ever had, even better than what I found in Indonesia.

We headed home afterwards, to an apartment where Daniel has stayed for months. We took a quick shower, before leaving again to the church for final practice of Daniel’s baptism the next day. On the way, I and Daniel search a good baptism name for him, as I would be his godfather (yes, you read it right). In the end, we picked Peter Damian, who was declared as Doctor of the Church. We reached the church, and (mostly Daniel) started the practice. It was very exhausting, blaming the long flight and the hot sunny weather in Brisbane.

The River at Brisbane
The River at Brisbane

After 1-2 hours of practice, Daniel and I was ready for baptism ceremony the next day, and we all went to New Farm Park, one of the parks in Brisbane. There was a small dock, and from there we took a public ferry that transported us to another part of the city, while enjoying the river surroundings along the river. Interestingly, this ferry is integrated with TransLink public transport ticketing system (similar to EZ-Link in Singapore), therefore some residents are also using this mode to transport them back home, as well as to relieve the stress from work.

The Wheel of Brisbane
The Wheel of Brisbane

We alighted at South Bank, where there was a market selling interesting stuffs. One of them was a real banana, stuffed with various fillings like chocolate, hazelnut, etc… The interesting part was, that the peel was still there, making it look just like a regular banana from outside. We also didn’t miss the iconic attraction of South Bank: the Wheel of Brisbane. It is a giant Ferris wheel that allowed us to see the entire city of Brisbane from up to almost 60 meters above the ground. Daniel took us just in time to see the sunset, from the top of the wheel. That summed up South Bank, and we went back with the same ferry, continued with Daniel driving us home.

As eating out in Australia is expensive, Daniel had got used to cooking at home. For that night, Daniel had just learnt a new recipe: Vietnamese Spring Roll. It was a mix of various fresh vegetables, chicken meat, scrambled eggs, wrapped with a special Vietnamese wrap. Yunnie normally doesn’t like non-mainstream food like this, but thanks to the exhausting flight we had the previous night, she easily grabbed few portions of it. As a person who likes any food, I had even more portions. Yummy!

Peter Damian and his Godfather
Peter Damian and his Godfather

The next day, I had the chance to wake up later, as we didn’t have any plans before the baptism ceremony at 10. When I woke up, Daniel already prepared us regular American breakfast set: toast and bacons. We went to church afterwards, and attended the baptism ceremony. The committee held a social lunch afterwards, where people brought their own food to share with others. Daniel himself brought the same bakwans we ordered from Sendok Garpu. Sadly, this also served as a farewell party for Daniel, as he would leave Australia, at the end of this trip.

Also on this occasion, I met Arnold, a long time friend. While we both joined Canicomp (Canisius Computer Club) at high school, we separated afterwards as he continued his study in Jakarta and Brisbane. I myself moved to Bandung and Singapore. It was nice to exchange stories of ourselves after a very long time. It was interesting to note that we didn’t really talk about computers anymore. We talked more about our life, as well as interesting spots in Brisbane. He also recommended several interesting places, one of which Mt. Cootha, where we could see the entire city of Brisbane.

Brothers
Brothers

After the religious stuffs, we continued the day by visiting the downtown of Brisbane. It was nice to see people spend their time enjoying the scenery and other people passing by. We walked to Southbank -where we took the Brisbane wheel the day earlier-, and back to the downtown. In downtown, we grab some Churros at Daniel’s recommended San Churro cafe. Though expensive, it was very delicious. We closed our downtown trip by visiting a local supermarket, to get another ingredients for our homemade dinner. Yunnie also brought several Indomies, for our supply of homesick relievers. It was a simple dinner, followed by a good night sleep.

To welcome the morning, Daniel brought us to Mt. Cootha even before sunrise. We planned to see a beautiful sunrise from the mountain. It was just a 15 minutes drive from our house, but unfortunately it was cloudy at that time. We didn’t manage to see the sunrise, but at least we could see the entire city, just as Arnold promised. We then went back, had some breakfast, and headed to Sunshine Coast, where Daniel we had barbecue for lunch. We picked a very good spot where we could see the ocean clearly, but it was very very windy. After a few trials of keeping things in place, we gave up and moved to another place where there were less wind. The view was not as good, but at least we could cook. After lunch, we moved to the former place to grab some pictures.

In the evening, we were mostly at home. Most of us took a rest that evening, preparing ourselves for Sydney trip the next day. Meanwhile, Daniel was very busy collecting all his stuffs, as he would leave the house he has lived – for good. There was this bike that he had owned for months, too good to trash it, but too big to carry back home to Indonesia. Being a new man for others, he finally decided to just give it to his friend (Canisians: pun intended).

To be continued…

Categories
indonesia museum places

Asia-Afrika and the Museum Konperensi

This trip was unexpected. It was when I serviced my car at Auto 2000 Asia Afrika, the customer service told me that I had to wait few minutes for the car to get a free wash. There were two cars in front of mine in the line, and after 15 minutes they didn’t move. So I decided to walk around Jalan Asia Afrika to see if there is interesting place to visit. My Nokia phone told me that Museum Konperensi is not too far away. Museum Konperensi is a museum inside a building named Gedung Merdeka. However, once inside, it’s difficult to distinguish which one is Konperensi, and which one is Merdeka part.

Walking towards the museum, there were interesting places around the street. One is Bandung KM 0, which denotes the “exact coordinate” of Bandung city. This point is useful for standardizing distance between Bandung and another cities, especially in intercity roads. The other is a local newspaper “Pikiran Rakyat” office, which features some boards showing today’s newspaper for free. In case you don’t have Rp 2,900 for a copy, you may just go there to read one.

I reached the museum few minutes before 1 PM. Unfortunately it was closed for lunch from 12 noon to 1 PM. However, after waiting for few minutes, it finally reopened. The entrance is free, but visitors have to fill in the guest book. Without looking at my entry, the receptionist asked me where I came from, thinking that I am a tourist. I innocently answered “Jalan (street) Mohammad Toha”. “Ah, Bandung!”, she confirmed.

There were pictures of Indonesia’s founding fathers like Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta, and some dioramas from the independence era. There were also other exhibits from the konferensi theme. One of which was a classic telephone that, of you pick it up will play a translated version of a phone call by a Eastern European lady with Soekarno. The conversation sounded suggestive at first, but turned political then boring along the time.

Another place to see is the conference hall, most likely the room where the Konferensi Asia Afrika meeting was held. At the stage there were flags of the members. There were also a big gong of world peace showing flags of different countries, though I am not sure what it means in this Asia-Afrika context.

After about half an hour visiting the museum, it was time for me to go back to the service center. It was an interesting experience, since I don’t have too many chances to visit this type of places.

Museum Konperensi / Gedung Merdeka is located at Jalan Asia Afrika. Come here by public transport with help of KIRI angkot navigation.

Categories
culture indonesia places

Saung Angklung Udjo

Saung Angklung UdjoTranslated to “Mr. Udjo’s angklung haven”, this place hosts daily cultural performances and sell traditional souvenirs. Though I visited the place twice during my undergrad study, I only went to the shop to get my overseas friends a gift. More than 5 years after I knew about the place, my uncle brought me here to see the performances. And it was spectacular, just as he had advertised earlier.

The show is held once daily in the afternoon at 3.30 PM, but it’s better to call in advance to confirm and book the place, as the seats are usually fully occupied. It is ironic yet interesting that half of the capacity is occupied by people from other countries. At that time, there were people from Netherlands, France, and even Sudan. There were also people from other provinces like eastern Java and Medan.

Anyway, about the show. It started with a wayang performance which I admit was quite boring, though the skill of the puppet master is exceptional.

Afterwards, we were surprised by children running around the stage. There could be around 100 children over there. Some of them were playing musical instruments, some just yelling, and others were playing traditional games. But they were all looked happy for sure. Whatever they did seemed like a game for them (note their facebook page has a cover photo that describes exactly what I meant). There was this chubby girl named Diva, who shout the loudest and instantly became sensation throughout the performance. All in all, it was meant to show an illustration of circumcision ceremony for a boy. Yes, we do have a ceremony for circumcision.

The next performance was a traditional mask dance. Again, though not so exciting, this performance showed a carefully trained skill that the performer has. It was then followed by a performance called Arumba, a marriage of traditional angklungs and modern musical instruments, creating a nice music experience. It was played by several teenagers, some of which are the descendants of late Mr. Udjo, the founder of this haven.

Then came out Mr. another Udjo, also the descendant of the late Mr. Udjo. But this guy was so special, he was one of the leaders and grandmasters in this haven. He showcased some of the haven’s achievements, one of which breaking the world record by having thousands of people playing angklung at the same time. In this performance, he also lead his team to perform some pop songs, like Michael Jackson’s “We Are The World” and the more difficult one Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

There were also an interactive performance, where the guests were lent different type of angklungs, identified by Indonesia’s island names. There were total of 8 types, denoting musical notes from do (c), re (d), mi (e), … for one octave. Each type is also represented with a gesture, played by a young boy, who is the son of the aforementioned grandmaster. Then, looking by the boy’s gesture, guests are invited to shake their angklung, and together creating a musical performance.

The event was closed when the children were wandering around the guests seat, and asking them to come down and dance with them. Traditional games like ular naga and others were played together. All in all, it was a very nice experience, to learn something about the cultural richness of the place I live.

Saung Angklung Udjo is located at Jalan Padasuka. There are many ways to get there once you’re in Bandung, however be responsible to the nature, take public transport (http://kiri.travel?finish=saung+angklung)

Categories
malaysia outside singapore places

Malacca Trip

It will take sometime until I can post a nice article, if any. The quality of mobile internet connection is Indonesia is not as good as in Singapore, and I am practically a nomad for a few moment now. I really want to tell some interesting stories about my adaptation to the new life, but let’s see. For the moment, I have a story about my trip to Malacca, just days before I left Singapore for good. Here it is.

My landlord gave me a very nice suggestion to spend sometime around Singapore before I left it for good. Therefore, Malacca it was. Malacca is a 4-hour journey from Singapore, depending on the traffic and immigration. As it is a small town and I didn’t have too much time to spend, I only spent a night there along with my friend Handy.

We departed from a bus terminal in Bugis, about 8 AM in the morning; thanks to my Malaccan colleague Jia Hwang who bought the ticket for me. The bus was quite nice, and we were lucky to sit in the back. About 1 hour before we reached our destination, the bus’ air conditioner system seemed had overheated, spilling fresh water every now and then in the middle seat area. On the bright side, it made people laugh of the silliness.

Chicken Rice BallWe reached the “Malaka Sentral” terminal about noon, but we had to take a cab to the main tourist area, about 15 minutes journey for MYR 20. We alighted near the end of Jonker Street and quickly queued up for the chicken rice ball restaurant there. It seemed quite famous among tourists, but after all it was just a chicken rice with the rice rolled into few balls.

We continued by walking along the Jonker Street (a.k.a. Jalan Hang Jebat, Chinatown), which was very interesting. Walking along that street felt like going back in time. All buildings were decorated in a Chinese 50’s era style. Being a tourist attraction street, it was quite amazing to see some unpopular buildings like a newspaper office or a mortuary over there.

We then checked in at our hotel, Baba House, located not far from the Jonker Street. Exactly as described in a Lonely Planet book, the lobby decoration was very interesting and classic, but the rooms were quite bland. However, it’s not bad at all for a MYR 145 per night rate.

Outside the Jonker Street, the town was influenced by Portuguese culture. There were classic buildings like churches and fort remains. The well-known Stadyhus is the central of the surrounding buildings: Christ Church, Windmill, etc… We climbed up the hill a bit to see the St. Paul Church. Plenty of tombstones were planted there, remembering the names of several Portuguese lived in the past. Just nearby, there were some Malay Sultanate museums and the Cheng Ho museum.

An uncle selling fried potato at Jonker Street
An uncle selling fried potato at Jonker Street

The sun was almost set when we went back to Jonker Street. Interestingly, that street was closed for vehicles and transformed into a night market, similar to those in Lau Pa Sat. We rested a while in our hotel, and out again, this time to the infamous satay celup restaurant, Capitol Satay, about 15 minutes walking from the Jonker Street. We were a bit late, so we had to queue for more than an hour for a seat. On the same street with the Capitol, there were 2 more satay celup restaurant with almost no visitors. They were selling alternative value propositions, like “Why pay 90 cents in Capitol, while our satay is 60 cents only” or “We have 40 years experience!”.

The queue was paid off when we started to dine there. The menu was simple: you pick several uncooked meats or vegetables in wooden sticks, then you cook it yourself in a bowl of peanut sauce. However, it was somehow very interesting and quite delicious, too. While we were eating, we heard all staffs were talking in Javanese. It turned out that the owner of the stall was from Java and had become a Malaysian resident.

After dinner, we headed to the Maritime Museum, not far from Jonker Street. Unfortunately it only opens during the day, so we only spent the time outside, taking pictures of the massive ship that acts as the museum.

Goodbye!
Goodbye!

On the next day, we spent morning time by walking to the Fort Santiago, which is well known for photo taking spot. It is the remains of a fort that was built also by the Portuguese. The place was nice but not exceptional, perhaps because we had seen St. Paul Church the day before.

Before going back to the hotel I stopped by a shop selling cendol. The interesting thing about this chendol is the cup. It was made of thick paper, and equipped with the handle; also made with paper. The patented paper handle was made strong enough to hold a full cup of the drink.

For lunch, my friend Handy had the infamous peranakan laksa, while I chose the safer side by ordering a normal noodle (I had bad experiences with spicy food).

It was then time to go home. We had to go back to Malaka Sentral to take the bus back to Singapore. We would like to try the public bus there, but it was too crowded hence too risky for my weak knee. We then decided to just take another cab anyway. Few minutes before 2 PM, we were already in the bus heading for Singapore; ending our short journey to Malaka.

Categories
medical places singapore

Alexandra Hospital / ACL Reconstruction

A statue at Alexandra Hospital
A statue at Alexandra Hospital

For the past few weeks I’ve been preparing several important changes in my life. One of them is my Anterior Cruciate Ligament reconstruction surgery, which occurred few days ago. Flashback to August, I twisted my own knee while playing futsal with friends. The next day I went to see a doctor who said “this is very clear, you need a surgery”. I was really surprised and literally said to the doctor “oh shit! really?”. Along the way, I understood that surgery may not be necessary if I live a sedentary lifestyle, but highly recommended if I want to continue doing sport. In the end, I decided to get a surgery, given the fact that I’m still in Singapore (with world-class medical facilities) and some (initially I thought “most”) of the expenses are covered by my employer’s insurance policy. So I started meeting a specialist Dr. Siow and the physiotherapist Vineet regularly at Alexandra Hospital. I had an MRI scan and several sessions of consultations and physios before securing the surgery day on 12th of October.

Though I said no need at the beginning, my parents insisted to come to Singapore to accompany me during the surgery (which I later regretted saying no at the first place). On the evening before the surgery, I went to pick them up at the airport. Then we stayed at a nice little hotel Pasir Panjang Inn. I could’ve gone back home, but since I had to report to the ward as early as 7.00 AM, I preferred to stay with them for convenience. Luckily, it was easy enough to get from the hotel to the hospital, with only one public bus trip.

I arrived at the hospital around 6.30 AM, but the ward I supposed to report at was still closed. It opened few minutes before 7 and I registered right away. The nurse asked me some questions like my name, IC number, and what kind of surgery I will be getting on (seriously, they asked this several times to ensure they did the right surgery to the right person). She also taught me how to communicate pain severity post operation, from level 1 to 10 (“at 10, you’ll cry already”). Afterwards, I changed to hospital robe and went right away to the pre-operation room.

Inside the pre-operation room, the anesthesia doctor explained me that I will get a general anesthesia, which means I would be going to sleep throughout the operation. So she injected a small tube to the vein at my wrist, to allow the anesthesia to flow into my blood vessel. She also explained that another drug would be injected to my groin (ouch) to make the right part of my legs go numb, helping to ease the pain post-surgery. Then, the operation team doctor approached, verified me for last time my particulars and the type of operation I will have. He then marked my right knee with a pen so that they won’t cut the wrong one, and told me that he would shave my hair on that area. I was then brought to the operation table, ready for surgery. A doctor injected some tranquilizer to help me calm down. But they saw me still uneasy, so they injected another one, and…

The next thing I remember was waking up by the doctor calling my name and asking if I was okay. I was feeling very drowsy at that time but managed to answer her. Then I asked her if they had done the surgery on me. She said “Yes Pascal, it’s over”. So I sighed a relief. On the next few hours I was still feeling drowsy and very nauseated. I vomited my lunch and dinner, and practically sleeping the whole day. The doctors kept asking me if I feel any pain on my leg, which I don’t have. In the next morning I persuaded one doctor to reduce the dosage of the painkillers with the hope of less nausea. But eventually it went away already, anyway.

Too bad I didn't take any pictures at the hospital.
Too bad I didn't take any pictures at the hospital.

I was ready to be discharged about 11 AM, but waited until my parents came about an hour later. We then had lunch and went back to the hotel to have short rest and pick up my clothes. Then, we went back to my house to clean up the room, preparing it for few weeks of disabled person staying there. After few minutes, we headed to Orchard for shopping and dinner (on second thought it sounds like a crazy idea, noting that I was just discharged at the very same day). Finally, my parents sent me back home, also to meet my landlord for a short chitchat.

Few minutes later, sadly, my parents had to go back to their hotel, to get some rest before leaving Singapore on the next day. And I started my journey of recovery and rehabilitation for up to 6 months…

Categories
places singapore sport

East Coast Park Cycle

Not exactly today's picture, but it was taken at East Coast, and coincidentally I wore the same shirt.
Not exactly today's picture, but it was taken at East Coast, and coincidentally I wore the same shirt.

As a human being, I need cardio exercises regularly to keep the blood flow in the highway. However, due to my knee injury, it’s not recommended for me to do jogging, except a very light one. One alternative is to cycle, for which I have tried to do it in gym. However, riding a static cycle proved to be super boring. “Hills” are simulated, but what I see were only a small room.

Therefore this weekend I decided to go to East Coast Park for a real cycling. It took at least an hour journey by public transport from my house, so there were temptations not to go too, especially without my friends joining. I started in the morning around 10 am, and was lucky to have a friendly weather. The rain poured heavily earlier, leaving only the cloud and cool temperature when I cycled.

After renting a $10 bike, I started cycling towards the eastern side, trying to get to the corner of the park. The east corner is not an end itself, since it’s connected with a park connector towards the Changi Beach Park. However, it was too long of a journey, so I decided to go back. Then I cycled towards the western corner, but before I reached it (the corner as shown in the map), I was blocked by a construction site, which I remember had been there at least last year. So I returned back to the place where I rented the bike.

All in all, it took me about an hour to complete the 22km cycle covering the whole east coast park. It was surprising that the cycling was relatively effortless, most probably because I cycled in normal pace and of the scenery I can’t find daily in the concrete jungle of Singapore.

Categories
indonesia outside singapore personal places

Jakarta & Bandung Trip 2011

Me & Monas
Me & Monas

After finishing my last semester in NUS, it was time for a long break! This time, I visited Jakarta and Bandung for about 9 days. A luxury I couldn’t get during the semester term.

First stop was Jakarta. I took a flight in the morning from Singapore, and arrived around noon. After landed, I searched for my dad who picked me up at the airport. While I was looking for him, I saw many adolescent girls looking very excited waiting for something. Out of curiosity, I asked one of them what’s happening. She answered “Super Junior is coming!” with a look that says something like “Oh my God! You really don’t know what’s happening? Are you from outer space?”. I only saw the car they rode from distance amid the hysterical fans, but didn’t see the Super Junior members. I didn’t know them beforehand, anyway.

During the 4 days in Jakarta, I didn’t really go to interesting places. I spent most of them for quality time with family and by cleaning up my stuff that I left untouched while in Singapore. One of the task was to dispose a very old 486 desktop computer (from the year 1994). It turned out to be a difficult task, even my friend who works on a project that accept old computers for donation thinks that the specification was too low. I also tried to help my dad to remove a tree stump that lies at our front yard. The root has grown so deep it threatened to spoil the the water pipe under the soil. It was a task that looked easy but turned out to be very difficult. The root was thick and had forked into many smaller ones, making it difficult to pull out. In the end, we gave up and decided to try buying a kerosene to kill it slowly instead.

On Tuesday, I went to Bandung to meet my girlfriend, but it became some kind of breaking my diet plan in a culinary trip. Most of them involved having local meals that only found in warungs and home made cooking. On one occasion we had dinner at a modern cafe located next to a mosque, making the ambiance a bit awkward during prayer times. After almost four years (when I left Bandung), this city has been getting more cramped than before.

Almost every time I went to Bandung, I spent some time to watch movie in the cinema. During this time, there was some disagreement between the government and the movie distributor, making the blockbuster movies unavailable everywhere in Indonesia (well, except at the pirated DVD stores). It was quite a pity, but on the bright side it filtered out the mainstream movies that sell by their visual effects, and leaving the good movies that focuses on the story. In the end, Source Code and Scream 4 was quite satisfying to me.

I also spent some time to visit the university where I studied for my undergraduate. There were new buildings, making me and my girlfriend lost for a few moment before finding out the department we were looking for. It was very nice to see the professors that taught me and some former colleagues (I was working part time for 2 years in the university). Things haven’t changed much but I regret that I already forgot the names of some of them. The most nostalgic part is, well, the food. After having traditional fried chicken for dinner, we went for a second round at a nearby soup stall.

On the last day, I took a train back to Jakarta, to catch up the flight in the evening. I arrived around 10.30 but had to wait about one and a half hour for my parents and brother to come. They were taking another train from Pekalongan. While waiting, I went to the nearby tourist attraction: the national monument, a.k.a. Monas. It is interesting, because while I was born and raised in Jakarta, that was only the second time I went to Monas for at least 15 years. The first time was during the elementary school study tour. I was taking several pictures for this blog when a local seller came to me and tried to speak in English with me. I replied in English, too, until he asked me where I come from and I answered “Jakarta”. He looked a bit surprised, this crazy Jakartans still want to go to Monas?

About one hour later, my parent came. We then had a quick lunch, followed by rest at home. And in the evening, I flew back to Singapore. End of trip, was surely a pleasant break

Categories
museum places singapore

Red Dot Design Museum

Just after my visit to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum, I went to a nearby museum namely the Red Dot Design Museum. It exhibits various award-winning industrial designs, as well as sell them in the museum shop. There’s not much to tell here, just the fact that the museum was relatively small, but contain a lot of interesting stuffs inside. And when you see the ideas, most will make you think “why nobody thought of it before!”. I share some of the ideas here, so enjoy! (if the slideshow is too fast, you can pause it with the button)

My favorite is KeepIt. What’s yours?

Red Dot Museum is located at N° 28 Maxwell Road, Singapore 069120. It is reachable by Tanjong Pagar MRT.