Where should we go?

Me and a group of friends are planning to go on a vacation early next year. There are four of us – we’ve known each other since we all started working in the same company back in 2011. They are more than just colleagues though.. I’m glad I can call them best friends.

We actually started to become close after we went on a tour to Karimun Jawa islands back in 2012. Afterwards, we have been to Mt. Bromo, and Derawan islands.. and we also hang out very often. One of us has gotten married and one of us might be leaving the company soon.. so we think it’s a good idea to go on a “quality time” kind of trip.

The thing is, our past travels have always been adventurous, backpacking style. The place was all special and beautiful, but the itinerary was always packed, leaving us with very little time to chill. Thus, this time we want to go somewhere relaxing.. or at least not that adventurous.

Now here comes the “drama”. It’s soooo hard for us to agree on a destination. We’ve agreed on a budget and timeline. We want to spend maximum IDR 7.000.000 for a 4 days trip around February – March next year… ideally abroad because we’ve never been abroad together and we think it will be nice to have a different kind of experience. With that budget and time limitation, South East Asia seems the only feasible region to go to. The four of us each proposed a “to-go” and also “no-go” destination.

For me, the choice is Singapore for “to-go” and Vietnam for “no-go”. Singapore is basically an obvious choice. It’s so close to Indonesia and I think we would enjoy the city getaway plus chillin’ at the hip cafes… a different kind of vacation from the ones that we’ve always been. That 7 million budget would suits us nicely, I think we can even splurge a little while we’re there. Why no Vietnam? I’ve been on a solo trip to Ho Chi Minh City and I have to say that it’s not for me. My friends might enjoy it though, but I think it will be another backpacking/adventurous kind of holiday… so I’d prefer not to go there.

The problem is.. Singapore is on one of my friend’s “no-go” list! Hahaha. Though I love her dearly, I still don’t get why she doesn’t like to go to Singapore. I mean… it’s Singapore! (Okay just like her, I’m prolly being totally subjective hahaha). We discussed about Hongkong.. which quickly sent to no-go destination because we think it would not suit our budget. We also discussed Manila but my Filipino colleague told me it’s just like Jakarta. She recommended the beaches though.. Boracay, Palawan.. which we are very much interested to go but kind of unsure about the weather. Kuala Lumpur was quickly sent to no-go as well because two of us spent college years there and would very much prefer to go somewhere else. But, I recently read Noni’s post on Penang and it looks like a very nice town to visit.. Hmmm.

Seems like first world problem? hahaha kind of! :p

Of course there are tons of wonderful destinations in Indonesia that we can visit. An easy one, Bali. I’m pretty sure we can do a lot with that budget and time allocation. Exploring East Indonesia? for sure! We are always talking about going to Ora Beach. Reading Fe’s post on Maluku makes me want to pack my bags and leave ASAP! Of course we can’t forget about Komodo Islands and Nusa Tenggara. West Indonesia is a charm as well.. none of us has been to Medan and its surroundings (Again, Noni’s post kind of inspires me to go!).

So many destinations, so many inspirations, minimal budget and time allocation…. Hahahaha.

Can you help us? where do you think we should go? 😀

 

One for the bestfriends

In my late twenties now, almost all my best friends are either married or getting married soon.With all the festivities, my group of friends like to host bridal shower and/or hen do for the ones getting married… and baby shower for the ones pregnant. Though it’s not a typical Indonesian custom, but we somehow managed to host such parties in different schemes, and they’re all fun!

Last weekend I went to both – hosted a baby shower for three pregnant ladies on Friday night AND went to a hen do (bachelorette party) for a friend who’s getting married next Saturday. With almost all my friends married now, I’m going to recall the kind of hen dos that we have done..

Image from Google.com
Image from Google.com

The embarrassing early twenties hen do 

Looking back, I don’t know who first started this kind of tradition. In my early twenties, our kind of hen do was like this: we “kidnapped” the bride to be, put her on a crazy costume, gave her the ugliest make up and took her to shopping malls/ restaurants where she had to do some crazy stunts.. (took a photo with a stranger! pose in front of the security guard! dance in front of the mall’s lobby! things like that..hahaha). Please don’t let me do the same when it’s time for me to get married. Pretty pleaseee! :p

The all night long mid twenties hen do 

During my mid twenties, we somehow got tired of the crazy costumes and pranks and moved on to a more upbeat hen do, which involved a lot of dancing. The scheme was quite simple, we gathered the bride to be’s friends, chose a simple dress code for the guests (mostly black), gave the bride to be a tiara or sash or something that says she’s getting married, made her drunk and took her dancing all night to our favorite club.

The lovely late twenties hen do 

Nowadays when another best friend is getting married, we’d arrange a nice dinner in replacement of the crazy stunts and dancing. Though we’re no Preston Bailey, we’d prepared nice decoration with specific theme and find some cute games to be played before dinner time. We’d be bringing the bride to be some presents.. cute ones, kinky ones, all kinds. We’re basically showering her with tons of good luck before her big day.

Depending on the bride to be’s request and/or the number of bridesmaids, sometimes we even have both, we’d host the nice dinner AND go the club afterwards.. which is my favorite scheme! 😉

Have you been on a hen do yourself? or have you had a hen do for yourself? What was it like? 🙂

Last weekend, I did something for the first time… (and other stories!)

So, like others before me, I created a #30before30 list not too long time ago. The list can be found on my old blog – but I’d rather not re-publish it here now because there are some things in the list that I want to change (hahaha can I actually do that though? I think I can! After all it’s my list :D).

Anyway, one of the things in the original list was to visit Pekan Raya Jakarta or Jakarta Fair. It’s Jakarta’s biggest annual fair which first started back in 1968. Why did I put it on my list? Simple, I have been living for almost 25 years in the city but I never actually been. And since there might be a possibility for me not to live in this city anymore in the future.. I want to visit the fair before I’m 30 (Or, if leaving the city come sooner – before I leave this city for good). So I went there last Saturday with my mum and little brother.

Before I actually went there, I imagine the fair would have a lot of stalls and booths – food and snack stalls, game booths, even some mini rides like the ones in American boardwalks. I was really excited to go. But then when I got there.. turns out that there are more sponsorship and trade booths rather than the ones I mentioned before. It is indeed an exhibition fair, with many big brands’ booths selling everything from potato chips to mop, even car!

There is also a retail section where you can find discounted items of your favorite brands.. and when I say discounted, I mean BIG discount! I even scored a pretty Marks & Spencer top for only Rp.150.000 which is almost impossible to be found in their stores. Yay! While food stalls are not a problem (you can find many of them), only few I found selling traditional snacks.. and I couldn’t find rides for adults (SAD!). I found some rides like merry-go-round and boom boom car, but both in small version so it’s only suitable for kids.

Well.. although the reality is not really like what I imagined, I pretty much enjoyed my first time going to Jakarta Fair. That’s another off my #30before30 list! Yay!

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proof that I’ve been to Jakarta Fair! :p

On Sunday, me and my friends went to Thamrin City – a big shopping mall full of wholesale kiosks selling everything – mostly clothes.. cheap good ones. The three of us came there with a mission – that is to find kaftan to be worn on Hari Raya day! Hehehe. It did not take long for me to find a nice coral kaftan priced only Rp.85.000 (Oh! Have I told you that my favorite color is coral?), and neither did my friends – we managed to spend only 2 hours shopping there.

I consider that as an achievement, because Thamrin City was so packed that day! People (mostly mums) were shopping like crazy; almost everyone was seen carrying (minimum) a big shopping bag full of clothes. Just look at this picture!

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it was a shopping madness!

So next time I want to find cheap kaftans or similar clothes, I think I would avoid going to Thamrin City during Ramadan month. Too crowded!

Moving on.. after going to Thamrin City, I went home for a quick shower then went to my friend’s house for buka puasa . There were 9 of us, my college friends. Food was awesome – my friend’s husband cooked it for us. He made roast chicken and some sort of Rösti, veryyy yummy. We spent the night eating, chatting and laughing.. and that concludes my awesome weekend.

I hope you had a good weekend too, enjoy your Monday and the rest of the week! 🙂