Meet Candy, not your average girl.

Let me tell you about a girl named Candy. That’s not her real name though, but she does not want you to know that… so let’s keep this between us. Candy is in her early 20s. Maybe late. We don’t know her exact age, because she does not like birthdays. But one thing for sure, she looks young and vibrant.

Candy is preparing for her Hollywood round. Wait, what? Yep, you read it right. She just got a golden ticket from an American Idol audition in San Francisco and she is going to Hollywood! You see, Candy loves to sing, in private though. As an Asian-American, she has spent her life trying to make her parents proud. She maintained good grades since she was little, and she  even graduated from Stanford, with a degree in Computer Science. Her parents could not be more proud of her!

Image from: http://www.sweetwater.com
Image from: http://www.sweetwater.com

But, as they think Candy is away, building her career in Silicon Valley… she is not. In fact she’s been working as background singer from gig to gig in Los Angeles, and at the same time working on her own music. She’s been doing it for almost two years now, and finally she got the courage to audition for American Idol, in hope to make her dreams come true.

Now Candy is in a crossroad. She really, really wants this and is thrilled for the opportunities that may arise. But, she has yet to tell her parents about the whole thing and she thinks it’s not going to be smooth….

Candy’s story is, of course, fictional. She’s living a double life, having what is known to be called “Alter Ego”. I’m writing this as my entry for this week’s English Friday challenge by Blog English
Club. Read my other entries here, and I hope you enjoy them all! 🙂

P.S: Would you think that Candy, by any chance, might be my alter ego? :p

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Komunal 88 Cafe Market

Last week I received an invitation through this post to visit a newly opened Cafe in Kemang area called Komunal 88 Cafe Market – to try their Croissant. Since I am a self-proclaimed Croissant enthusiast, I decided to visit the Cafe last Saturday!

Komunal88
Komunal 88

When I arrived, I was greeted by a friendly waitress by the name of Agustina and she showed me around the cafe before I got seated.  As you can see, Komunal 88 is still on Soft Opening period, she said that they still don’t have a complete menu. But since I came there for the Croissant, I did not give too much of attention to the menu.

Komunal88
Interior
Komunal88
Interior
Komunal88
Open Kitchen

I loved what I saw. The cafe looks sleek and modern but at the same time comfortable. I can imagine spending time here to work or simply hanging out with my family or friends. Since I came there for brunch at around 10 AM, I also saw that most guests besides myself were expat families.

Okay, let’s talk about the Croissant now.

The Croissant (70 gr), is priced at IDR 12.000. I think the price is reasonable, judging by the size. I was intrigued to have a bite the moment I saw this lovely bunch! Soooo tempting, right?

Komunal88
Croissants!

The croissant (and all bakery items, for that matter), are baked fresh daily. No wonder it looks so tempting. As much as I like that they take quality really serious, but I could not help but wonder about the taste. Is it the kind of food that’s only pretty but not that delicious to be eaten?

Croissant Komunal88
Croissant

Of course not! I hope my pictures can do the justice, but the croissant is so good! It’s definitely one of the best croissants I’ve had in Jakarta. It has the prefect golden color, showing that it was perfectly baked. It’s crispy on the outside – that crispy, you know when you chew it, you can hear yourself crunching. BUT, it has a moist and fluffy filling inside, making it so chewy at the same time. OH-SO-GOOD! I give it 5 out of 5 stars for price, appearance, and of course – taste.

Komunal 88
Crispy on the outside, chewy inside

Moving on, I spent a good 2 hours in the cafe. While I was there I actually finished some blog post drafts, hehehe. Of course, I also got to try their other food and drinks in addition to the croissant. First, I had a portion of Parmigiano Puffs (IDR 15.000) and Flat White (IDR 40.000). While Flat White is self explanatory (it tasted good, for sure!), Parmigiano Puffs is a unique to me because that’s the first time I had one. Translated literally it is a cheese puff, a bit like choux, with apparent cheese taste. I think it’s the perfect nibbles.

Parmigiano Puffs
Parmigiano Puffs

Then as I was thirsty, I asked for another drink. My waiter recommended me to try their Black Lemon Coffee (IDR 35.000). It was described to have a strong lemon taste, making it fresh, but with a taste of coffee at the same time. Sounds interesting, right? When I tried it, the description I was told was true! It is a unique drink, giving you a fresh feeling plus a delicious taste of coffee. Perfect for a hot afternoon.

Black Lemon Coffee Komunal88
Black Lemon Coffee

So far I’ve told you about the food and drinks that I had – all delicious and beyond my expectation. What I also love about Komunal 88 is that they are very serious in everything that they do. Like how they sell merchandise – but not ordinary ones. All are nicely designed, plus with a good cause. Like the tumblers, for example. It’s meant to reduce plastics, and every time you buy a drink with the tumbler for takeaway, the drink will be half-price.

Oh, another interesting fact – Komunal 88 also adapts an old Italian custom – Suspended Coffee. Whenever you feel like doing something good for others, buy a cup of suspended coffee (or water/bread) here and it will be given to an anonymous after you left.

Komunal88
Merchandise

Did I enjoy my visit? Will I come back? Of course 🙂
When you are in Kemang area, don’t forget to pay a visit! Have a great week and stay safe, fellow Jakartans!

Komunal 88 Cafe Market
Jalan Ampera Raya 5-6
Pejaten Barat
Tel: +62 21 7197000

Around Dorset

This is the sixth post in the “Christa in the UK” series – stories from the year 2009 and 2010 during my time living, studying, working and traveling in a small beach town called Bournemouth in South West England.

How many of you know, or at least have heard about Dorset? Well I never heard about it until I set foot in England and learned that it’s a county where Bournemouth is at. To the world, Dorset may not be as famous as other places in England but while I lived there, I could not help but fall in love with the area, as turns out it has wonderful nature + tourist spots. Now, come and have a little tour around Dorset with me! 🙂

New Forest

To be honest I was not much of a nature person prior to living in England. Lucky me when I lived in Bournemouth there was not much to do (refer to this post to know why), except exploring the nature.

New Forest is a national park in South West England – a place widely known for its parkland and wildlife activities. There you can do all sorts of activities in the wild. For example, I took a walk with my friend and her host parents. You can also do horse riding, biking, camping, and there’s also a variety of attractions to see within the area.

New Forest is not far from Bournemouth at all, it’s only around 30 minutes drive from the town centre. So it’s easily accessible. Unfortunately since I went with my friends, I am not too aware of the public transportation to get there. But have a look at this page if you are interested to go!

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New Forest

 Swanage Beach

Swanage – a coastal town, is around 50 minutes drive from Bournemouth. It’s known for a weekend/holiday destination of people living in South of England (other than Bournemouth, of course hehe). It is home to Jurassic Coast which  I am going to explain just after this, and also a lovely beach.

Personally, Bournemouth beach is still better than Swanage. Hahaha. I might be biased… :p. Anyway the beach is still not bad at all! Plus there’s a variety of cute local shops next to the beach, something that Bournemouth Beach does not have.

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Swanage Beach
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Beach Shop at Swanage

Jurassic Coast

Now this is definitely one of the best places I’ve been in this world! Just look at the images first and I’ll tell you why…

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Durdle Door
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Jurassic Coast

 Jurrasic Coast is located very close to Swanage beach. In fact,  tours from Bournemouth usually involves going to bost places, plus Lulworth Cove and Corfe Castle (explained next) because they are located close to each other, all within an hour-ish drive from Bournemouth.

To get to the coast and see the amazing view (note that the pictures were taken with my pocket camera and using no filter – really pretty, right?!), you have to do a little bit of hiking. But, trust me, it’ll be worth it.

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On our way to see THE Jurassic Coast

Best time to visit will be in May-June because based on my experience that’s when you will get to have sunshine and can even jump into the water like myself! Not so much in late August/Early September because it can get very windy and foggy, like this picture, taken during my second visit in Early September (!!!)

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Very Foggy!

But then even during that kind of weather, my friends successfully dragged me to go on a hike all the way until the peak! That is, one of my greatest achievements so far hahaha. I was so scared because it was showering and the wind was very strong, but I managed to hiked up to the top. Yay me!

I hiked all the way to the top!

Lulworth Village and Lulworth Cove

Within the area of Jurassic Coat is Lulworth Village. It’s a small village with a cove that has a very clear water. I did not remember doing much there but it’s still very interesting to do a little bit of sightseeing and enjoy the atmosphere of British coastal village.

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Pretty building at Lulworth Village
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Lulworth Cove

 Corfe Castle

How often do you get to see a Castle? (remains, in this case). To me – I have never seen, yet been to one prior to living in England and that’s why I was so excited to go to Corfe Castle!

The castle is a survivor of the historic English Civil War and I wish I can tell you more about it but I’m lacking the historical knowledge. However, for ordinary tourist like me, the castle is still very magical and interesting to see.

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Corfe Castle

And Corfe Castle wraps up my tour around Dorset. Now you know why I love Bournemouth so much. Not only that I got to study, but also have the chance to go on day trips to amazing places during my holidays! 🙂

BEC: What “Blog English Club” Means to Me

This week’s English Friday theme for Blog English Club is “What is BEC to you?“. As always, previous posts under this category can be read here.

When I read the topic in their blog, I was confused. It’s not that I don’t know the answer, but I just don’t know what to elaborate into a nice blog post. Hehehe. So here’s my answer:

Blog English Club to me is a supportive group. I’m probably not as active as the other members – in fact, I am only active in the blog challenge, not the whatsapp group. I’m also not very active in leaving my traces on the members’ blogs… but I try to read as much as possible each week. However, from what I’ve seen so far, I can tell that the members are very supportive of each other in learning English. Plus, the group also have support from the mentors 🙂

Image from: https://englishfriday.wordpress.com/
Image from: https://englishfriday.wordpress.com/

I hope for the club to grow, and to aspire more Indonesians to learn English. In the end, practice makes perfect, so let’s practice as often as we can!

Not Beyond Us – World Cancer Day 2015

Did you know, that today, February 4 is World Cancer Day?

This year’s campaign will be focused on four key areas, all in the objective to fight cancer. In this post I will try to elaborate the areas of focus using my own words based on my experience/knowledge. To me personally, cancer is an issue close to my family. I lost my dear papa in 2007 after his fight against lung cancer (which then spread to his bones and brain) for two years. To this day we still miss him dearly and I hope you can benefit from our story 🙂

If you wish to read more about this, please do visit the campaign’s official website here. The website will give you elaborate explanation.

1.Choosing healthy lives

One of the targets to be achieved by 2025 in this area is to reduce global tobacco consumption, overweight and obesity, unhealthy diet, alcohol intake, and other things that might increase the risk of cancer. Although to some people this might be hard to do, it is actually the simplest thing because each person is responsible for their own healthy lives. You have every resource in your mind to stop any unhealthy habit and start living a healthier life. Start small, and it shall improve over time. Personally, I started to develop an exercise habit after my father passed away. I know I am still very far from having the ideal healthy lifestyle, but he was an active person during his youth so it’s the least I can do to honor him, while living a healthier life myself.

2. Delivering early detection

When my father was first diagnosed with lung cancer, it started with common cold symptoms. He had cough for a long time and ignored it at first. When he finally went to the doctor, the doctor first diagnosed him with bronchitis. Then there’s this event where the hospital somehow lost his lung’s x-ray scan. When the treatment for bronchitis did not help at all (obviously…), and the hospital finally could give us the x-ray scan… it was discovered that he had stage 3B lung cancer. Until this day, sometimes I still like to play what-if scenarios. I know I can’t do that but I just can’t help it. What if he did not ignore his cough? what if the cancer was detected in earlier stage? would that make a difference?

That’s why I think it is very important, for the society to be aware of cancer warning signs.

3. Achieving treatment for all

Our family was fortunate enough to receive generous support from everyone so that we could give my father the best medical treatment and assistance. What I am going to say next does not mean to discredit anyone in Indonesia’s healthcare system but it’s just very unfortunate to have happened to our family. So, after my father was diagnosed, when the doctor here explained his condition, he was told that he had around 6 months to live. He was shocked. Moving forward to when he was getting a medical treatment in Singapore, his first question when he met his doctor there was “how much time do I have left?”. And I still remember clearly the doctor’s answer: “I’m no God and I can’t tell you how much time do you have left. But just be thankful that I’ve met other patients with your medical conditions but had worse physical conditions. Let’s just focus to keep you healthy“.

You see, one of the targets to be achieved by 2025 in this area is to improve access to accurate cancer diagnosis, quality multimodal treatment, rehabilitation, supportive and palliative care service. I put emphasis on the latter because I truly believe that it is very important to give a supportive and palliative care to cancer patients, as a way to improve their health conditions.

4. Maximising quality of life

My father fought his battle very bravely. I never saw him lose hope until the very last moments of his life. During his battle, he also managed to maintain a good spirit and keeping a fit (for his condition) figure. True, he lost his hair and his skin got irritated. There were also other medication side effects that barely damaged his body. But at least he maintained a positive fighting spirit and, copying the term, maintained a maximum quality of life until the very end.

Although his battle did not last that long, I can proudly say that he had fought very bravely and I wish for every cancer patients to do the same. I give them all my support.

Now, years after my father’s gone – I know some people in my life that have battled cancer. I am very proud that they are still living a healthy and happy life until now and I wish more and more cancer patients can do the same. The key is to have a positive attitude and spirit towards life. Because once it’s lost – the cancer pain will bring you down 😦

I am going to close this post with a happy picture of me and my papa. There is never a single day that I don’t miss him and I hope he rests in peace.

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In loving memory of my papa

 

All you can eat Korean BBQ at KogiKogi

Being an avid Korean BBQ lover, I am often disappointed by the fact that there are not many Korean BBQ restaurants in Jakarta that offer all you can eat. I know there are some good ones, in fact, Senopati area in South Jakarta is widely known for its Korean restaurants scene. But, I’ve never heard of one which serves all you can eat.

That’s why I’m very much excited when my Google quest lead me to this restaurant which opened mid 2014 – KogiKogi. It is conveniently located in Senopati area, so I quickly made the decision to take my family there for year end lunch last year.

Kogi - Kogi
KogiKogi

Because I was too focused on the all you can eat menu, I did not really pay attention to the other menu. Their all you can eat offerings is simple – Weekdays Lunch is IDR 99.000 (++) while Dinner & Weekend is IDR 199.000 (++) per person. The weekend price also includes a plate of Wagyu meat. I did not really check the Wagyu grade but they were delicious enough for me! Yummm!

As an all you can eat restaurant, I have to admit that they don’t offer much variety from the bar. But I think that’s a plus since the guests can focus on one thing – THE MEAT. Hahaha. Yeap, if you are a meat eater and aiming for quantity, I can assure you that you will be very satisfied when coming here.

All You Can Eat Bar
All You Can Eat Bar
All You Can Eat Bar
All You Can Eat Bar
All You Can Eat Bar
All You Can Eat Bar
All You Can Eat Bar
All You Can Eat Bar

Now what about the quality? I find it good to my standards. I mean I’ve had better tasted meat, but this one is really not bad at all 🙂

Meat Fiesta!
Meat Fiesta!

So yeah, if you’re craving for meat and would like to have a meat party, this restaurant is truly for you! do come with your fellow meat eaters and you’ll have a happy tummy, for sure.

KogiKogi Korean BBQ
Jl.Wolter Monginsidi 85 Jakarta
(021) 726-4999

Bye / Halo!

Saya mengawali tahun 2015 ini dengan sebuah perubahan. Dibilang krusial, nggak juga, walaupun perubahan ini menyangkut salah satu status yang saya pegang.

Oke sebelum pada mikir macem – macem, saya belum dilamar dan belum akan berubah status marital hahahaha. Ini maksudnya perubahan titel di pekerjaan karena saya akan meninggalkan titel saya yang lama, dan memegang titel baru di divisi yang baru… Mulai besok.

Walau masih di perusahaan yang sama, perubahan ini bagi saya agak signifikan karena selama ini karir saya di perusahaan ada di bagian strategic planning, tapi kini akan pindah ke bagian sales. Masih di Head Office sih, jadi akan masih banyak planningnya juga… Tapi tetap berbeda.

Mengikuti kepindahan divisi, saya juga akan pindah tempat duduk, beda lantai dengan yang dulu.

Jenis pekerjaan tentu akan beda, tempat duduk beda, rekan kerja beda, bos pun beda. Saya agak deg-deg an sih, apalagi ini kepindahan pertama saya dalam 3 tahun terakhir.

Tadi, sebelum saya pulang, setelah beres – beres laptop dan meja, saya menghampiri kubikel bos saya. Niatnya mau pamit dan sekalian bilang terima kasih. Kita ngobrolin kerjaan bentar, trus akhirnya saya bilang (dalam bahasa Inggris, tapi disini saya terjemahkan lagi ke dalam bahasa Indonesia supaya tulisan saya konsisten, hehe) “Terima kasih sudah menjadi bos saya selama 3 tahun terakhir”. Trus dia membalas “Sama sama, terima kasih sudah tahan dengan saya selama ini” sambil ketawa ringan. Oh, bayangkan suasana nya tuh jauh dari drama ya, santai banget deh. Kemudian saya pamit pulang, udah sih gitu aja.

Pas saya balik ke meja, tiba – tiba saya berasa “deggg” gitu. Kayak sedih mendadak sampai berasa ingin nangis. Saya emang rada lumayan melankolis sih untuk hal – hal tertentu, tapi saya ngga nyangka kalau bisa merasa sedih pas hari terakhir saya di divisi strategic planning ini. Drama nya makin membara ketika pas saya lagi di lift mau turun, saya meneteskan air mata!

Hahahaha, nulisnya sekarang rada bikin ketawa sih, tapi tadi itu saya sedih beneran rasanya. Nggak sampai nangis sesenggukan sih, tapi ada lah beberapa tetes air mata udah keluar. Yang bikin makin konyol, tiba – tiba lift terbuka dan saya ketemu teman baik saya di kantor. Dia lihatlah saya lagi nangis gitu. Akhirnya saya bilang deh, sambil ketawa tapinya.

Saya bilang ke temen saya itu, sedih juga akan keluar dari tim yang sudah membuat saya mengalami peningkatan dalam karir, membuat saya tambah pintar, tempat belajar banyak. Sedih juga akan meninggalkan bos saya yang super mega baik. Baiknya ini bukan baik yang berlebihan lho, tapi juga fair banget. Saya merasa cocok dengan ritme kerjanya dan sedikit banyak gaya kepemimpinan saya juga jadi terinspirasi bos saya itu. Lebih lagi, saya sedih meninggalkan teman kerja yang menyenangkan dan tanpa drama. Hiksss.

Kata teman saya, kalau kita sedih meninggalkan sesuatu, itu berarti waktu yang dihabiskan ketika menjalani nya itu menyenangkan ya. Bener banget ya! 🙂

Udah sih, saya nggak lama – lama sedihnya. Malu juga depan umum hehehehe. Sekarang saya semangat menghadapi tantangan baru di pekerjaan baru yang akan dimulai… besok! Yay! Doakan saya ya teman teman 🙂