I always find it comforting, to be surrounded by greeneries, enveloped by silence, only to catch the faint sounds of birds, cicadas, and waterfalls. I ran away here one afternoon a few weeks ago with a friend, Martijn. A few slices of yellow watermelons, a pack of grapes, a carton of fruit juice, and Susan Wooldrigde’s Poemcrazy book were resting nicely inside my flowery canvas bag. My head was still spinning with the beautiful words from the book. I remembered one line where Wooldridge quoted Gary Snyde: poetry has an interesting function; it helps people be where they are. And suddenly, my world was bursting with pinecones, the smell of the leaves and the wet soil, the shape of the rocks, the changing colors of the sky…
I was sitting on a rock; dipping my toes into the flowing river, while Martijn went underneath the waterfalls. I was thinking about everything that had happened in my life lately: about hellos and farewells, and how curious was it that I kept stumbling upon random people who brought ‘messages’ for me and answered some questions I have pondered upon for a while through simple conversations.
I once wrote inside my black travel notebook: what if we think of everyone we meet on our journey as a messenger? What if we don’t bump into them coincidentally? What if they were sent to tell us something, to deliver a message, a lesson… what difference would it make if we stop, say hello, glance a smile, and make that connection? Don’t you think it would make you feel like you are never alone in this world? That every step you make is another chance to learn new life lessons? That everyone of us is, in one and another way, carry ‘The Prophet‘ inside, like that of Gibran’s?
Last evening, a girl on Twitter sent me a direct message, and asked, out of the blue, “What should I do when the person I care about decided to disappear?” and I found myself typing away: just pray for them to be alright, and to be happy. Maybe I was talking to myself or hearing myself asking the same question to my other self; this could be more complicated than understanding the flower petals and Fibonacci numbers–but such ‘creepy’ or amazingly coincidental things happened more often in my life lately (oh well, I never believed in coincidences anyway). When I came to think about it, I guess even our prayers (or wishes) define who we are and how we see the world. If you do believe that prayers have such a vast amount of energy that will resonate to the universe and being echoed back to you, you would want to recite beautiful prayers, wouldn’t you?
Bogor Botanical Garden is one of my favorite places in my hometown. It’s always nice to get lost in the lush canopy of green, daydreaming by the lotus pond, or reading some good books while sitting cross-legged on the grass. Built during the Dutch colonial period by Stamford Raffles, the garden houses more than 15,000 species of trees and plants, covering an area of 80 hectares. I always love to see my City of Rain as a fried egg: the yellow part is the Botanical Garden, and the white part is the town–all around it. I went to the Botanical Garden again with Patricia, Ewan, and Vidi. It was a spontaneous decision, actually.
A few days before, I had just decided to let go and move on from something that had tied me down and made me sad. It was difficult, but like my dear friend Ollie said, we’ll get better in overcoming heartbreaks. And she is right. Being in the outdoors was good for me: laughing, walking for hours, taking pictures, telling stories, making jokes, eating out. For the first time after such a bad few weeks, I felt whole again. I felt genuinely happy and free. Suddenly the world turned beautiful once again.
In two days, I’ll be off to India, visiting Mumbai, Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. Again, I am hitting the road, meeting people, enjoying life, reuniting with old friends, counting my blessings, and loving myself. And when people ask me how-are-you-doing, I can just give them a huge smile and say I-am-doing-great and it’ll feel so damn good because I know that this time, I am telling the truth.
Happy Valentine’s Day, lovelies!
Batik (/ˈbætɪk/ or /bəˈtiːk/; Javanese pronunciation: [ˈbateʔ]; Indonesian: [ˈbatɪk]) is a cloth that is traditionally made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique. UNESCO designated Indonesian batik as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity on October 2, 2009.
I had always wanted to learn how to make batik. The hot wax, the tracing of the lines, the coloring, the patience… I found the process both beautiful and calming; like a meditation practice. The opportunity to learn how to make batik came to me not in Yogyakarta or Solo, but in Ubud, Bali. Adit introduced me to Pak Nyoman and Ibu Rai, who own Nirvana—a small inn/gallery hidden in the midst of Ubud’s touristy Gautama Street.
Pak Nyoman is an Ubud-born painter who works with batik, oil paint, and water color. He had been an artist-in-residence at Bondi Pavilion, Sydney and Toorak College, Melbourne, lectured at John Kennedy Hall, Guam University, and exhibited extensively in Australia, Italy, Guam, Japan, Singapore and Switzerland. One morning, together with Adit and his cousin, Uma, I spent a day in Ubud to learn how to make batik.
The very first thing to do is to draw a pattern on the cloth with a pencil. Since it was my very first time, I decided to draw something simple and playful. I ended up drawing Susuwatari (wandering soot/ススワタリ)—that appears in Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away; who got curious due to a sudden appearance of a lotus.
Once the drawing is finished, we continue to the second step: tracing the lines with hot wax. Dip the “canting” pen into the hot wax and make sure the canting isn’t too full, or else the wax will spill out. Before tracing the lines, blow the tip of the canting pen to make the wax flows easier. We need to concentrate during the tracing process and keep the canting pen at the right angle to ensure that the wax will continue to flow without spilling over.
Next, a more relaxing process: coloring! Don’t mix the paint with too much water if you’d like to have a vibrant color. Uma worked on a Balinese drawing with Balinese color that day—the kind you’d be seeing in cloths sold at some small shops along Kuta or Legian street stretch; while Adit worked on something more Japanese with the drawings of a fish in a pond.
Once the coloring is done and the paint is dry, we need to go back to the hot wax. The next step is to glaze the paint (colored areas) with hot wax. We don’t use canting pen for this. We use a brush instead. Dip the brush into the hot wax, and glaze, dip and glaze, dip and glaze. You need to ensure that the colored surface has been glazed perfectly. You can check this by turning the cloth over; the spots you miss will be visible. Pandjul—the son of Pak Nyoman and Ibu Rai helped me in checking the missed spots and glazing them; while Bocil, the family dog, was waiting for us to finish with sleepy eyes.
After the glazing, the next step is to color the whole cloth. You can pick the color that you like. The cloth will then be dipped into a color solution of your selection.
And then, it’s time to get rid of all the wax in your cloth. How? By dipping the cloth into a pan of boiling water, of course!
After that, you need to put your cloth to dry… and then you can see the results. Adit and Uma’s cloths turned out seriously stunning and beautiful! They are so talented!
And this one is mine. My batik cloth: Susuwatari Spotted A Lotus :D
Would you like to learn how to make batik, too? If you’re in Ubud one day, come early in the morning to:
Jalan Gautama 10, Padangtegal Kaja, Ubud,
Gianyar, Bali, Indonesia. (80571)
Phone : +62.361.975415
E-mail : email@example.com
Website : http://www.nirvanaku.com
and please pet Bocil the dog for me!
I spent another week in Bali this October. The actual plan was to meet up with Adit and Ney for our #PecahdiUbud routine at Ubud International Writers & Readers Festival; but I intentionally came a few days earlier, wanting to savor Bali by myself. No wild parties, no shopping spree. I spent those days to walk around aimlessly in shorts, sleeveless top and flip-flops: eating out, having cocktails or coffee, writing, reading, and daydreaming.
And these are some of the places where I had been hiding, alone:
Cocoon Beach Club, Jl. Double Six no. 66, Blue Ocean Boulevard, Legian.
Just come early in the morning (while it’s still empty) for breakfast, plunge into the swimming pool every once and a while, and then spend the rest of your time sunbathing while reading some good books.
Gusto Gelato & Caffè, 67 B Jalan Umalas 2, Kerobokan, Seminyak
A tiny gem in Kerobokan! Located inside a small road, these gelato shop is offering the most delicious gelato I’ve ever tasted so far. And it’s cheap, too! For USD$2 or around IDR 20,000, you could have one luscious cup of gelato; and the portion is generous! Don’t forget to try the chocolate chili. Amazingly hot and spicy!
Kunyit Bali, Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta.
Craving for some Balinese food? Stop by at Kunyit Bali. Lovely place, good food (the crispy duck is amazingly delicious), friendly staff, cozy ambience.
Nammos Beach Club, Jalan Villa Kandara, Banjar Wijaya Kusuma, Ungasan.
Located inside the luxurious Karma Kandara resort, you need to pay USD$35 to ride an elevator down to Nammos Beach Club (the elevator ride is free for the resorts’ guests). From that particular amount, the USD$25 can be spent later on, at the beach bar, to order some food and drinks. Though it’s quite expensive, I just love the beach club. I love the service. I love the fact that you can just leave all your belongings if you’d like to go for a swim—because the staff will look after it (very important when you’re traveling alone). I love it that they have a drink called Hemingway Daiquiri.
JuMaNa Bar, Banyan Tree Ungasan, Jl. Melasti, Banjar Kelod, Ungasan.
They said you need to have a reservation first for dinner. I came at around 4:30, saying that I just wanted to chill at the bar, and then a golf cart came to take me down from the lobby of Banyan Tree hotel to JuMaNa Bar. I sat outside, sipping their signature cocktail JuMaNa Royal (champagne flavoured with yuzu essence and Moroccan rose petal water) that tastes as ‘royal’ as its price, waiting for the sun to set.
Corner Store, Jln. Laksmana 10A, Seminyak
Lovely place serving healthy meals; perfect for brunch or coffee-time in the afternoon. I fall in love with the smoked salmon bagel.
Blue Point, Uluwatu.
When some friends from abroad came to Bali, I always take them to Blue Point, Uluwatu. Nothing much to do but to chill while drinking soft drinks or beers, looking at the surfers riding the waves, and telling stories while enjoying the sea breeze. Alone at Blue Point? I’ll just sit there and write for hours.
There are only a few places I like in Jakarta: my office (seriously), the giant bookstores, coffee shops with bookshelves, the stretch of street stalls selling everything vintage in Jalan Surabaya, Seaworld and Planetarium (again, seriously), and… the Old Town area.
I love the Old Town not only because this 1.3 square kilometers area is very picturesque; but also because it reminded me of the pictures I saw in my history books. It gave me those “colonial romanticism” feeling (you know how I love to imagine myself living in a different era; the 1920s fascinates me the most).
A lazy stroll along this area is always a pleasant one. All those old buildings with beautiful architectures, street artists drawing your sketch or silhouette, tattoo stand, fortune-teller… It was unfortunate that several historical sites had been destroyed by the provincial government during the development of Jakarta, including Fortress Batavia, Gate of Amsterdam, and tram lane of Batavia (we had tram lane, once!).
I went to the Old Town again last weekend with my friend, Chris—me with my DSLR camera, running around taking pictures, and Chris with… nothing. “Who is the tourist, actually?” Chris laughed. “Yes, I am playing tourist!” I answered to that and mindlessly snapping some pictures again. Anyway, if you’re around this area, pay a visit to Warung Kota Tua. They have the best chicken noodles.
I woke up to rain. To the faint smell of pandan leaves and frangipani. The sky was dark gray. The garden were glistening under the downpour. I watched the mist floating silently in the air, astounded by its ghostly appearance. A dark and wet morning in Ubud for a bunch of depressed writers. A perfect gift. When the rain subsided to drizzles, we tip-toed to the breakfast area, to avoid stepping over the offerings (banten).
Breakfast was served in a small hut next to the paddy field. The sound of Balinese gamelan, the hush of the wind, the rhythm of the raindrops, the spores of Actinomycetes. There were three of us at the table, but we did not talk much. I sipped my coffee without hurrying.
Leaving the cottage at around 10, we decided to take our separate ways. The guys went uphill, while I sat on the edge of the bridge, looking down to the mesmerizing beauty of Tjampuhan (Campuhan) river. I could spend hours just looking at the flowing water, orchestrated by the faint sounds of the birds and monkeys from the nearby forest. It was so calming, like a therapy to ignite a sense of melancholy.
Joe Forgas, a social psychologist at the University of New South Wales in Australia, has spent the last decade investigating the link between negative moods and creativity. He has repeatedly demonstrated that a little melancholy sharpens the spotlight of attention, allowing us to become more observant and persistent. Forgas has found that states of sadness also correlate with better writing samples; subjects compose sentences that are clearer and more compelling. Because they were more attentive to what they were writing, they produced more refined prose, the words polished by their misery*.
That was probably the exact reason why the three of us decided to hide in Ubud for a few days.
True, it was that time of the year when they held this annual International Ubud Writers & Readers Festival—where writers from all over the world came to this little dot on the map for a series of talks, readings, or workshops. But the festival was merely an added topping. The core ingredient of our #PecahdiUbud (“Bursting in Ubud“) journey was actually the one that Forgas mentioned.
We were looking for a place where we could savor the melancholy of being silently depressed and miserable.
Ubud was just the perfect place to do this. A small village hidden beneath the lush canopy of green, with its forests, rivers, hills, temples, and October rain, far from the beach-side’s sunny celebrations. A bunch of traveling companions who could understand these shared state-of-sadness. Those who wouldn’t mind to sit together in silence—each one got lost in one’s own thoughts: racking our brains, scribbling some notes, typing stories, reading books, or gazing out into the emptiness.
In the afternoon, after a long lunch, we would wander around listlessly—only to find ourselves took our separate ways, again. Adit went to a batik workshop, Ney went to a book discussion, and I decided to sit in a class of 15 people; clutching my Vernon God Little novel while the author, DBC Pierre, was sharing his writing experience right in front of me.
When the sadness and depression overwhelmed us, we left Ubud for Seminyak and walked under the sun until our feet got tired and our skin were burning hot. That day, we waited for the sun to set in Cafe Bali, Oberoi Street. Sat lazily on a huge couch overlooking the tiny pool and the Ganesha statue, we sipped our coffee and devoured six types of desserts to wash away the bitterness.
As night fell, we climbed back up to Ubud: the wind was chilly, the air was damp, the sky was dark. A small sliver of the moon was hanging there, looking lonely. We walked past the darkness of the museum not far from our cottage, the sound of the night enveloped us. It was the museum of Antonio Blanco—a painter of Spanish and American decent who came to the island in 1952 and fell in love with Ni Ronji, a Balinese dancer, and got married to her a year later.
My mind was instantly filled with mythical creatures, kisses and fireworks, invisible inhabitants of the past and the future, the traces of unrequited love, explosion of tears. It was that time of the year. To celebrate sadness and misery, to welcome tears and despair, to get high just by looking at the words pouring from my computer screen. “Bursting in Ubud” was about embracing all these, to wake up again in a different morning one day and walk out with my golden slippers, sunglasses, shirts, and shorts—heading to the beach with a burst of laughter.
*) p. 77, The Unconcealing, a chapter from the book “Imagine” by Jonah Lehrer.
Indeed, the eastern part of Indonesia is breathtakingly beautiful! I have always wanted to visit the faraway Molucca Archipelago—well-known for its wonderful beaches and magical underwater views; one of the best site for diving in the world, according to my diver friends.
And I was lucky for being able to set foot there!
From the city center of Ambon or from the Pattimura Airport, it took only 30-45 minutes by car to reach this magical Natsepa Beach.
After paying an entrance fee of IDR 2,000 (or around US$ 0.2), you can enjoy the stretch of white sand and the seductive view of the faraway hills. The sea is calm and the water is clean, very ideal for bathing and swimming. Trees are growing along the beach, perfect for a shelter from the sun!
Ambon had suffered from ethno-religious clashes—the worst took place in 1999 (until recently, some countries are still issuing travel warnings for their citizens who’d like to travel to this part of Indonesia). Since then, several parties have been trying to shake the city’s peacefulness. However, the youths in Ambon won’t let it happen. Consisting of youths from different social classes, religions and backgrounds, they are trying to promote tolerance and respect through a peaceful movement, Badati Ambon.
When you’re visiting Natsepa Beach in Ambon, you have to try the famous Rujak Natsepa. There are tents along the front of the beach, with local women behind a stack of fresh fruits, selling traditional fruit salad called ‘rujak’–a suitable treat after a sunny day at the beach.
Rujak Natsepa is made of a mixture of tropical fruits: pineapple, mango, starfruit, papaya, rose apple (water guava), bangkuang (jicama/mexican turnip), and cucumber. These sliced fruits are then mixed with a paste of peanuts and brown sugar; you can choose whether you’d like to add some chili into it or not. For a plate of fresh and fruity Rujak Natsepa, you need to pay around IDR 10,000 or US$ 1.
And sipping fresh coconut afterwards? :)
Early in the morning, you can also walk around the traditional street-market and find fresh vegetables/spices, as well as fresh/salted fish! Ambon is a heaven for seafood lovers! :)
Let’s go exploring more beautiful places in the eastern part of the country! (As for the travel warning, the only warning I’d like to give you is: you wouldn’t want to go home after this).
*) special thanks to Almascatie and friends from Badati Ambon for the hospitality :)
It takes you 1.5 – 2 hours by car from Lombok International Airport to reach Bangsal port—where wooden boats are lining up, ready to transport you to Gili Trawangan. For the car-ride, you can choose between two routes: either passing the monkey forest or Senggigi beach. If you’re in a hurry to catch a boat to Gili Islands, you better choose the monkey forest route as it will save you more time (and you can take pictures of the monkeys along the way!).
Every half an hour, there will be a boat leaving from Bangsal port to Gili Trawangan. You can buy a ticket for IDR 10,000 (or around US$ 1.2). The boat will carry tourists, locals, as well as bicycles and vegetables. In around 20 – 30 minutes, you’ll reach Gili Trawangan.
Gili Trawangan is one of three islands in Gili, the two others are Gili Air and Gili Meno. If you prefer to have a more secluded atmosphere during your stay, Gili Air and Gili Meno will be a better option. Gili Trawangan is relatively more lively, with rows of cafes, restaurants and bars, that open for 24/7.
Gili Trawangan is a small island. You can go around the island for 2-3 hours by bike. Cidomo is how the locals call their most ‘lavish’ mode of transportation: horse cart/wagon. Usually it will cost you IDR 50,000,- per trip (US$ 5). Apart from horse cart, you can either rent a bike for a day, or simply walk around. There’s no car or motorcycle in Gili Trawangan. The air is definitely not being polluted by motor vehicles’ exhausts, but you just need to get yourself used to the smell of horse’s feces :D
If you don’t mind to get your feet soaked in mud, walking around the village early in the morning can be a bliss. Just watch your step and be mindful to the sound of cidomo approaching from in front/behind you, then step aside. The people in the village are very polite and friendly; you won’t get a stare/impolite comments though you’re a girl strolling around by yourself. If you smile, they’ll nod and smile back.
Here are some of the gorgeous views I captured during my morning walk:
There are no police officers in Gili Trawangan. According to the Cidomo driver, having police officers around make people think that the island is not safe. Usually, the locals will catch the robbers/pickpockets by themselves, beat them up to teach them a lesson, and then they will be humiliated by being ‘paraded’ all around the island. Does this kind of law-enforcement work? Probably so. My friend lost her wallet in the afternoon, and later in the evening, a Cidomo driver actually returned the wallet back to the hotel where we stayed.
Along the beach, you can find stretch of restaurants, cafes, and bars.
If you’re into organic and healthy food, you can stop by at Egoiste; and if you’d like to enjoy the best grilled seafood in Gili Trawangan, drop by at Scallywags after 6 pm, and pick your own lobsters/fishes (the restaurant is open since early morning, but the grilled menu will only be served after 6)!
Don’t forget to enjoy the famous Gili Gelato for dessert afterwards; you can find their ice-cream counter along this stretch.
If you’re into psychedelic experience (unfortunately, I got high only by looking at the ocean!), magic mushroom (Psilocybin) is sold free in small shops/marts. A bottle of ‘mushroom juice’ (the size of small mineral water bottle) is sold for IDR 200,000 (US$ 23). In bars and restaurants, they are also offering marijuana quite freely, especially to foreign tourists.
The Internet connection
Should you need to connect the Internet, there are lots of cafes/restaurants with free wi-fi access. But I should remind you: it won’t really work. If you really need a relatively reliable connection, go to the Internet cafes. You rent a computer and the Internet connection for around IDR 24,000 per hour (US$ 2.8).
What can I say? This is one of the reasons why people come to visit Gili Trawangan at the first place :) Should you like to dive, go visit Trawangan Dive (find Graham if he’s around)—and they’ll help you with everything: from planning your diving trip to preparing all the equipments needed.
OK, seriously, I want to go back! :)
Stretched along Bengawan Solo—one of the longest river in Java, and guarded by some volcanoes: Mt. Merapi, Mt. Merbabu and Mt. Lawu, Solo is a tranquil city of Javanese culture and tradition. There’s a certain ‘ancient’ atmosphere that will captivate you instantly: a certain feeling of going back in time; especially as you get closer to the palaces or keraton—the sound of gamelan music wafting faintly from somewhere, batik cloths hanging from the drying rope.
If you love strolling around antique markets, just like me (pretending you’re living in a different century, spotting all those beautiful objects back from the day your mother or grandmother hasn’t been born and making up stories about the imaginary people who used to own those vintage-whatchamacallit as you go along), Solo would definitely charmed you with its Triwindu Antique Market.
Here are some pictures to please your eyes:
Click here for more:
Happy holiday! Wish you all a blessed and wonderful New Year!
Ceritanya adalah menjemput Didut–kawan blogger asal Semarang di stasiun pada suatu akhir pekan yang panjang.
Setelah beberapa hari sebelumnya Didut mengirimi saya lumpia Semarang yang di-vacuum ke kantor, saya gantian menculik Didut untuk berwisata kuliner di Bogor.
Dan inilah perjalanan kuliner kami, dilengkapi dengan sesi foto-foto, tentunya :D
1. RM Sahabat (YunSin): Rumah Makan yang sudah ada sejak jaman dahulu kala. Waktu ada larangan penggunaan bahasa asing untuk nama-nama tempat usaha, YunSin pun berubah menjadi RM Sahabat. Yang dijual di sini adalah bermacam-macam chinese food. Tapi yang paling terkenal adalah mie yamin (mie ayam). Bisa pilih, mau yang asin atau yang manis. Jangan lupa coba juga sambel andalan yang mereka sediakan. Sambelnya warna coklat, mirip sambel kacang.
2. De Koffie Pot: Tempat ngopi-ngopi yang asyik karena luas dan cantik, nggak terlalu ramai seperti Starbucks. Harganya sih nggak jauh beda dari Starbucks. Penuh dengan sofa-sofa merah yang lebar dan cozy, terus sekarang di bagian luar juga ada semacam lesehan al fresco. Jadi kita bisa tidur-tiduran sambil memandangi langit dan pepohonan. Selain kopi, coba juga smoothies-nya. Enak! :)
3. PIA Apple Pie: Mungkin karena Bogor kota hujan. Ketika hujan, dingin-dingin, enaknya makan yang hangat-hangat. Salah satunya pie apel yang biasanya disajikan panas-panas ini. Selain pie apel, sekarang restoran ini juga sudah menjual beragam jenis pie, salah satunya adalah Black Russian Pie, yang terbuat dari campuran cokelat, kahlua dan krim vanila. Di samping itu, ada pula penganan kecil manis dan hangat macam tape atau pisang bakar.
Mau wisata kuliner di Bogor juga? Yuk! Masih ada lagi begitu banyak makanan yang harus dicoba! :D
It took a 1.5-hour boat ride to reach Sugi Island from Sekupang Harbor in Batam. The weather was nice, sunny and breezy. I climbed down into the boat with my bestfriend, Nena, and off we went! Our destination: Telunas Beach Resort, an eco-friendly resort built by 3 Americans (Mike, Brad, Eric) who fell in love with the beauty of Sugi Island.
The boat was loaded with groceries. There they were: our food for the next few days! There’s no village in Sugi Island, and really, there’s nothing apart from the Beach Resort. Those who ‘stay’ in the island are those working for the resort; mostly locals from islands nearby. So, it was pretty much us, the resort, and the whole island for yourself!
Apart from myself and Nena, plus Robby and Elsa (Telunas Beach Resort’s hosts), there were 2 other families with us: Australians and Dutch. Robby told us that the island and the resort are more popular to international tourists. Students from Singapore, Korea, and Japan also pay a visit every year for their summer camp.
“International tourists are mostly looking for an escape like this,” said Robby. “So close to the nature, no electricity, no air-conditioner, no jet-ski… maybe domestic tourists are looking for a more lavish holiday.”
Upon arrival, you need to climb out from the boat, and then climb a wooden ladder to the front deck. And just take a look at the gorgeous view! During high-tide, you can run and jump from the deck into the water, and swim with the fish!
The ‘common room’ includes a dining room and a living room; you share this room with everybody else who are staying in the resort. In an hour or two, you’ll find yourselves exchanging smiles, laughter, and then starting a friendly conversation with everyone.
Since we arrived at noon, we’re greeted by lunch-time! And it was a delicious parade of honey-roasted chicken, baby-corn and mushroom, and fresh watermelon! The taste was just… amazing!
The ‘ibu’ who cooked our meal is a local from an island nearby. For 2 weeks, she stayed in Batam, in the house of Telunas Resort owner. The owner’s wife taught her how to cook Western food! And the food we attacked that day was SUPER-YUMMY! Really! The ‘ibu’ should be opening a restaurant here in Jakarta—and I’ll be her regular.
(Did you notice how they cut the watermelon? So thoughtful; that they actually gave a ‘handle’ to the watermelon! :D)
And what’s better than enjoying a cup of coffee after lunch, accompanied by this stunning view :) All day long, tea, coffee, milk, and hot water are available for free in the common room. Heaven!
Telunas ‘wooden’ Beach Resort was built in 2004, and 90% of the compound stood above sea water. There’s no electricity in Sugi Island, so the Beach Resort functioned with generators. No air-conditioner, but really, I don’t see any reason on why you’ll need one. The sea breeze is too refreshing! :) What I admired the most from the resort is its cleanliness. The room smells fresh and airy, bed-sheet is spotless, the wooden floor is amazingly clean, the bathroom works well and odor-free. Lovely.
But what’s best than having the beach for your own? When there were only you and 2 other families in the island, you’d feel as if you’re in a private beach. And again, it was one of the best beach I’ve ever seen. The sand was so clean, so white, so soft! No trace of plastic bottles or other trashes as far as the eye can see. It was just wonderful!
And what about this private-view of the sunset? :)
Apart from enjoying the white sand, reading a book or magazine while lying down in the hammock, and pampering yourself with a bath in the sea, you can also spend your time in Telunas playing volley ball, going on a kayak ride, or lighting up the campfire and baking pizza. In the morning, you can have your ‘jungle walk’ and for the more adventurous, you can also camp in the jungle! There’s also a black-hole drop inside the jungle, where you can jump from the height and dive into the pool of cold water. And don’t worry, there’s no mosquitoes in Telunas!
And you hear me, Telunas? I’ll be back—I promise, and this time: for a week getaway! :) Thanks, Maverick, for the free trip! Am looking forward to my next all-expense-paid holiday!^^
Kali ini diawali pesta kejutan tengah malam buat si pacar yang berulang tahun. Lantas karena saya dan kawan-kawan pemberi kejutan tiba-tiba saja lapar :D, maka pesta dilanjutkan dengan traktiran dimsum di Hotel Quality, Yogyakarta. Nggak jauh dari Bandara Adisucipto. Di sini ternyata restoran dimsum-nya buka 24 jam *amazed*.
Pesanan kami datengnya lama-ajah-to-the-max. Entah karena memang kami yang kalap mesen dimsum sampai nyaris 30 kukusan :D atau karena chef-nya yang lagi tidur pulas harus dibangunin dulu. Yang jelas, kami makan dimsum di situ selama 4 jam. Heh? Iya, 4 jam. Dari jam 1 sampai jam 5 pagi. Berasa sahur -____-
Terus sambil ngantuk-ngantuk saya balik lagi ke penginapan d’Omah di Jl. Parangtritis di Desa Tembi (dasar geek, pas pertama kali ngeliat website-nya yang paling bikin excited malah: wow, webnya W3C compliant!!! LOL). Penginapan ini letaknya beneran di tengah-tengah desa, lho, jadi kalo jalan sedikit ke belakang… blar! Sawah semuanya :D Penginapan berkonsep resort ini juga menyatu banget sama rumah-rumah penduduk sekitar karena modelnya memang model rumah-rumah Jawa. Joglo. Jadi nggak merusak pemandangan desa sekitar yang asri, tapi malah seperti jadi bagian di dalamnya.
Orang-orang desa sekitar nggak tau kalo tempat saya nginep itu namanya d’Omah. Mereka taunya, “Rumah Pak Worwik…” dan yang dimaksud adalah Warwick Purser–eksportir dan desainer kerajinan Indonesia yang punya butik furnitur di Kemang situ. ‘Rumah Pak Worwik’ sendiri ada di tengah-tengah komplek d’Omah, dan Warwick Purser–yang tadinya warga negara Australia tapi sudah pindah jadi WNI, sehari-harinya tinggal di situ.
Kamar di d’Omah gede banget, buat ukuran kamar seharga 500ribu. Kamar mandinya beratap terbuka *ehem*. Terus dari kamar mandi ada pintu kecil yang kalau dibuka… ta-da… langsung kolam renang :D Begitu keluar dari teras ada kolam teratai dan tempat fitness, terus jalan ke belakang dikit ada spa dengan sauna dan jacuzzi, menghadap ke rerumputan dan pepohonan. Mau sauna plus jacuzzi selama satu jam? Ih, cukup bayar 50ribu saja :D
Ada tiga ‘rumah’ di komplek penginapan d’Omah. Satu rumah rata-rata cuma terdiri dari 4 kamar tamu, jadi cukup private. Nginep di sini berasa kayak nginep di rumah nenek, soalnya suasananya kayak di rumah sendiri, dengan mas-mas dan mbak-mbak yang ramah-ramah, nanya-nanya butuh apa; banyak nyamuk nggak, tidurnya enak nggak, butuh mobil buat jalan-jalan nggak :D
Dari d’Omah ke kota Yogyakarta makan waktu sekitar 30 menit. Ya, ngapain lagi ke kota kalau bukan… cari makanan :D
Di hari ulang tahun pacar, setelah makan siang di kantin UGM, terus nonton Despicable Me, akhirnya kami ber-Meditteranean dinner di restoran Italia yang namanya Nanamia Pizzeria, deket Jogja Plaza Hotel. Restorannya kecil mungil, paling muat 20-25 orang, dan meja satu dan meja lain deket-deket, jadi kalo pelayan atau tamu lewat suka agak senggol-senggolan. Kelihatannya restoran ini penuh terus, dan orang-orang rela ngantri sambil duduk-duduk di luaran. Interiornya Mediterania banget, sih, dengan kayu-kayu kasar dan warna oranye, merah dan kuning di dinding.
Denger-denger sih yang punya restoran ini dulunya pacaran sama chef Italia yang jago bikin pasta dan pizza, terus diajarin, deh, dan akhirnya buka restoran sendiri. Rasanya? Ih, enak banget! Pizza-nya pizza Italia yang tipis gitu. Terus saladnya juga segar dan gurih!
Dulu itu taunya restoran ‘bagus’ yang sering didatengin cuma Bale Raos dan Gadjah Wong, ternyata di deket keraton ada yang namanya Royal Garden. Awalnya ke sini karena katanya kepiting soka telur asinnya enak. Nggak taunya, pas udah mesen macem-macem, ternyata semua makanannya enak!!! :D Sampai kailannya aja gurih dan berbumbu walau dimakan tanpa nasi!
Habis makan di sini langsung pindah lagi dong ke Coklat Cafe di Jalan Cik Di Tiro Yogyakarta, janjian ketemu sama temen-temen, juga sama fashion blogger favorit saya Clara Devi :D Baru pertama kali ketemuan! Coklat Cafe menyenangkan. Saya suka suasananya yang terang dan tenang, dengan sofa-sofa empuk, free wi-fi, dan AC-nya dingin (daripada nongkrong di Ohlala Saphir Square mending mendamparkan diri di sini)! Banyak mahasiswa-mahasiswa asing yang nongkrong di sini sambil mengetik di laptopnya. Minumannya juga enak, yang saya coba coffee caramel. Rasa kopinya cukup kental di lidah, dan rasa manis dari karamelnya juga pas. Jadi masih terasa pahit, tapi ada sentuhan manisnya sedikit. Nice!
Eh tapi sempat ada insiden kecil di sini antara si pacar dan pelayan:
Pacar: Mas saya pesan iced lemon tea.
Pelayan: Iced lemon tea-nya dingin atau hangat…
Pacar, saya dan semua orang: … (zziiiing)
Habis itu malamnya masih makan lagi di ayam bakar SukaSuka–yang ayam bakarnya enak banget karena bumbunya meresap sampai ke daging. Tapi nggak sempat motret karena gelap dan lapar sekali, jadi langsung santap :D
Pagi-paginya, setelah ngopi-ngopi dan brunch di pinggir kolam renang d’Omah (bareng teman saya dari TK yang sekarang tinggal di Yogya), jadwal berikutnya adalah menyambangi toko roti Hani’s Bakery (yang namanya sama dengan nama saya, hihihi). Di sini jual roti buatan sendiri, buatan rumah gitu, dan rasanya enak banget. Yang punya toko roti ini mengambil ‘resep’ bikin rotinya dari Belgia, jadi ala Eropa gitu. Yang sempat saya beli roti gandum biji bunga matahari sama rempah. Enaknya! Dan rotinya tahan tiga hari. Teman saya dari TK itu bilang, teman-teman ekspatnya langganan beli roti di sini (foto roti di bawah pinjam dari Flickr! pacar).
Udah gitu makan siang di Mix’n'Match di Karang Gayam (sebelah salon Kimi), yang biasa jadi tempat makan si pacar dan kawan-kawannya. Makanannya enak dan banyak dan murah! Astaga -___- pengen nangis rasanya karena nggak bisa pesan semua! Hihihi. Akhirnya yang dipesan adalah nasi goreng hijau cumi asin (pakai irisan cabe rawit!) dan nasi goreng rendang :D
Dari situ berlanjut nongkrong di wine lounge-nya Sheraton yang menghadap ke Merapi :D Soalnya dari Sheraton ini sudah dekat ke bandara, jadi enak nunggu penerbangan sambil ngadem di sini. Pesanan termasuk capucinno dan screwdriver (campuran jus jeruk dan vodka). Screwdriver di sini rasa vodka-nya tipis banget, nyaris nggak terlacak di lidah, jadi kalo nggak inget bahwa ada vodka-nya, rasanya pingin nenggak habis minumannya langsung karena berasa kayak lagi minum jus jeruk :D
Yak, dan begitulah! Lalu pulang dengan pesawat tapi nggak bisa tidur nyenyak karena turbulence gila-gilaan dan kilat menyambar-nyambar di luar :D Habis ini foto-foto makanan dari jalan-jalan ke mana lagi yaaa ;)
*)makasih buat kawan-kawan CahAndong yang sudah mengasuhku selama di Yogya :D *pelukpeluk*
Berhubung ini akhir minggu, dan siapa tahu ada yang mau jalan-jalan; kalau kamu akan bertandang ke Yogyakarta akhir minggu ini, saya akan menyarankan kamu untuk mencoba dua makanan berikut ini: gudeg mercon, dan nasi langgi Bu Chandra. Memang butuh agak perjuangan mendapatkan keduanya. Untuk gudeg mercon kamu mesti rela begadang hingga pukul 2 pagi, untuk nasi langgi kamu harus sampai di sana pukul 8 pagi supaya tidak kehabisan.
1. GUDEG MERCON
Perjuangan mendapatkan gudeg mercon yang katanya enak dan luar biasa pedas itu memang luar biasa. Warung gudeg ini baru buka sekitar pukul setengah dua pagi. Ya, benar. Pukul setengah dua pagi.
Dijajakan oleh seorang ibu dari balik meja penuh baskom-baskom, kita bisa memilih mau diisi dengan apa saja nasi gudeg kita: sate, suwiran ayam, telur… semua ada. Dan tentunya, mau dikasih mercon atau tidak, alias bumbu campuran tempe dan cabe dan kerecek yang PEDAS nian.
Bikin keringetan, pastinya, tapi pasti jadi pengalaman seru buat pecinta masakan pedas! (Mohon dimaklumi kalau fotonya jelek, kombinasi lapar dan ngantuk sangat memang nggak mendukung, hehehe)
2. NASI LANGGI BU CHANDRA
Kalau untuk yang satu ini, sambangilah toko kecil Bu Chandra pagi-pagi, sekitar pukul tujuh hingga setengah delapan. Kita juga bisa memilih isi nasi langgi: telur, empal, ayam… wah, macam-macam!
Nasi langginya enak banget, rasanya gurih, dan semua lauk-pauknya empuk. Sambelnya pas pedas, manis dan asin. Terus ada juga keripik cabe-nya yang bikin rasa nasi langgi ini makin sulit dilupakan :D
*nulisnya aja bikin pingin balik lagi dan pesan gudeg mercon dan nasi langgi, yang memperkenalkan saya pada kedua makanan ini tolong tanggung jawab!* T_T
Selamat jalan-jalan dan makan-makan! :D
Vietnamese sandwich ini di Vietnam sana, namanya Bánh mì. Roti baguette yang diisi macam-macam sayuran segar dan daging membuat hidangan ini jadi ‘rame’ rasanya.
Di Ho Chi Minh City, ada banyak sekali penjaja Bánh mì berjajar di sepanjang jalan dengan gerobak, mengingatkan kita pada tukang gorengan di Jakarta sini. Harga Bánh mì asli di Vietnam sana hampir 1/3 lebih murah dari yang di Cali Deli ini. Tapi rasa Bánh mì BBQ chicken di Cali Deli ini dekat sekali dengan rasa Bánh mì yang asli Vietnam :)
Cali Deli Vietnam Sandwich & Coffee.
Jl. Surabaya No. 22. Jakarta Pusat.
Medan memang gudangnya makanan enak!
Di Restoran Nelayan di lantai bawah Sun Plaza, misalnya, terdapat pancake durian yang lezat! Sebenarnya pancake durian ini seperti… durian yang luarnya dilapisi pancake, lalu dikukus, tapi disajikan dingin.
Rasanya? Rasa durian seratus persen, enak, lezat dan wangi.
Setelah menyantap pancake durian pada siang hari, di malam harinya ditemani Poetra dan kawan-kawan blogger Awak Medan, saya melahap sop sumsum Langsa (yang bukan berada di daerah Langsa).
Sumsum yang disajikan panas-panas dengan kuah yang gurih dan nasi putih memang memanjakan lidah! Jangan lupa minum es jeruk nipis untuk menghilangkan rasa gurih sumsum di mulut setelahnya. Nyam!
Nah, untuk hidangan penutup, silakan mencoba Java Ice yang merupakan paduan antara mocha dan rhum di Tip Top — restoran yang terkenal dengan es krimnya di Medan.
Tau macaroon, nggak? Ini sebenarnya mirip-mirip merengue yang terbuat dari putih telur yang dikocok sampai kaku. Biasanya dicampur gula, biar manis, terus dipanggang. Karena terbuat dari putih telur aja, dan nggak pakai tepung, adonannya ringan, dan begitu ditaruh di atas lidah… langsung meleleh, deh! Biasanya merengue nggak ada filling/isinya, jadi katakanlah macaroon itu semacam merengue yang pakai macam-macam filling :D
Karena di Le Codefin, Kemang, ada yang jualan macaroon, saya dan Nena nggak tahan untuk nggak beli. Lihat saja, bentuk dan warnanya imut-imut begitu!
Untuk merayakan hari Jumat, seisi divisi (The Diplomat, James Bond dan The Berserk) ditraktir Bos Besar makan iga panggang di Tekko, Le Codefin, Kemang! Hooraaah! Seperti biasa, dimulailah seri foto-foto kuliner dengan kamera si Bos yang kelihatan oldies, RICOH GRD II warna hitam; dan inilah hasilnya! (tarik-tarik lengan baju Bos Besar, “aku mau kamera itu, mau, mau, mau…!”)