2014: Kissing Fireworks in Alor

I don’t normally spend New Year’s Eve traveling or partying with friends. Most of the times, I’ll be reading some good books in my bed until the clock strikes 12. This year, 10 days before New Year’s Eve, a friend of a friend invited me to come with her to Alor–a small island in Eastern…

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The Pinecone Trip to Mount Salak, Bogor

The foot of Mount Salak is only an hour drive away from home, and it provides a wonderful escape from town–or from the now-too-packed Puncak Pass area. 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…

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Bogor Botanical Garden

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…

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Making Batik in Ubud: Susuwatari Spotted A Lotus.

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…

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Hiding in Bali: Here and There.

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…

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Old Town of Jakarta (Batavia)

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…

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Bali, Bursting in Ubud

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…

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Fragrance of Love: Catatan dari Kedai Teh Lare Solo.

Semuanya nampak seperti serangkaian “kebetulan”. Seorang sahabat dari luar kota mengajak saya ‘sowan’ ke sebuah kedai teh mungil di kota tempat saya tinggal. Kedai teh yang belum pernah saya dengar namanya, dan belum pernah saya kunjungi sebelumnya. Di kedai teh ini, kami berbincang tentang banyak hal, seperti biasa. Dan selagi kami berbincang tentang kamu, pemilik…

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