Jalan Jalan Singkat ke Ikea Alam Sutera

Kabar tentang Ikea di Indonesia sudah ramai dibicarakan di media sosial belakangan ini. Dimulai dari berdirinya gedung biru yang ikonik di pinggir tol Alam Sutera, lalu katalog nya yang dibagikan di rumah2 se-Jakarta dan sekitar, sampai undangan untuk Family and Friends Day minggu lalu.

Saya sendiri lumayan nggak sabar menanti tokonya buka, karena kan kebetulan saya baru pindah rumah beberapa bulan yang lalu dan masih belum selesai menghias rumah. Tapi saya lebih penasaran lagi buat makan Swedish Meatballs nya yang (katanya) sangat enak itu! Maklum, dulu waktu di Inggris, Swedish Meatballsnya mengandung daging babi jadi saya nggak bisa makan.

Tiba – tiba kemarin saya baca di media sosial kalau ternyata Ikea-nya udah buka! Saya lihat foto – foto orang mengantri, rame banget.. pakai ada barikade segala supaya antrian nya rapih. Biasalah, orang Indonesia kan sukanya ngantri yang baru – baru(Hehehehe saya juga termasuk nggak ya?). Saya tadinya nggak berniat untuk kesana kemarin itu. Pas weekend besok pun ngga, karena udah kebayang, pasti rame banget di masa – masa awal pembukaan nya. Tapiiii tiba – tiba saya kebayang bayang si Swedish Meatballsnya! Perkiraan saya kemaren itu, orang – orang bakal sibuk sama sofa, lemari, dan barang printilan lainnya.. jadi saya bisa menikmati Swedish Meatballs dengan tenang, hehehe.

Kebetulan saya pulang kantornya pun rada cepat, jam 5 tepat. Saya telpon Ibu saya, ngajak pulang bareng dan makan malam di restoran nya Ikea. Doi sepakat dan ikutan tertarik (emang keluarga kami suka iseng dan spontan.. hehehe), kebetulan letaknya Ikea Indonesia ini kan di Alam Sutera – yang walaupun di peta keliatannya jauh banget, tapi ada jalan pintas dari rumah saya yang di daerah Ciputat – jadi hanya 40 menit kesana lewat tol BSD yang kosong dan lancar. Sehabis jemput Ibu saya, kami berangkat menuju Alam Sutera! dari daerah Sudirman sekitar 1 jam sampainya, kami sampai sekitar jam 7 kurang.

Ikea Alam Sutera
Welcome! 😀
Ikea Alam Sutera
Inside the store

Parkirannya penuh mobil, tapi nggak susah cari parkir. Parkir nya gratis pula. Dari waktu di parkiran aja saya udah berasa familiar, layout nya persis banget Ikea lain yang saya pernah datangi (di Southampton dan di Singapore). Tidak seperti gambar gambar yang beredar di media sosial, tidak ada antrian untuk masuk ke tokonya. Kami langsung mencari restoran, tujuan utama kami. Taunya… rame sekali! Antri!

Ikea Alam Sutera
Antriii…

Antriannya nggak lama sih.. kira kira 15 menit. Tetapiiii pas sampai di depan counter dan siap pesan Swedish Meatballs nya, ternyata mereka kehabisan mashed potato. Diganti dengan french fries. lingonberry jam nya juga habis..Hiiiks. Kurang lengkap rasanya Swedish Meatballs tanpa kedua hal tersebut. Diluar itu, rasa meatballs dan saus nya enak, sesuai harapan. Ibu saya pesan Salmon yang tidak kalah enak.. dan harganya relatif murah, kami menghabiskan kurang dari Rp.150.000 untuk berdua (termasuk minuman dan kue – kue sebagai makanan penutup). Yang juga menarik, di restoran nya kami harus membereskan piring dan gelas bekas makan sendiri, seperti di luar negeri 🙂

Ikea Alam Sutera
Disini kita harus beresin piring2 bekas makan sendiri

Setelah makan, kami memutuskan untuk jalan – jalan memutari toko sambil mencari jalan keluar. Kemarin itu tidak terlalu ramai, mungkin karena sudah malam kali ya.. Jadi masih enak untuk melihat lihat. Barang – barang nya ya bagus.. tipikal Ikea, bikin kalap kalau memang lagi dalam proses “mengisi” rumah. Saya sih sudah menemukan lemari baju impian yang kayaknya bakal saya beli setelah tabungan nya cukup, tapi malam itu sukses nggak beli apa – apa. Ibu saya sukses membawa pulang 2 buah bantal empuk, 1 nya seharga Rp.49.000. Cukup murah sih menurut saya 🙂

Ikea Alam Sutera
Inside the store
Ikea Alam Sutera
Anak anak bebas main…

Setelah selesai berputar putar, kami menuju kasir. Tidak seperti di restoran.. di kasir kami tidak perlu mengantri terlalu panjang. Mungkin karena udah malam juga kali ya, sekitar pukul 9 ketika kami sampai di kasir. Tetapi… yang antri adalah… Bistro nya! Hahahaha. Letak bistro ini di depan kasir, sebelum pintu keluar. Jualan nya makanan ringan seperti hotdog dan ice cream cone. Eskrim nya enak bangeeeet lho. Murah meriah pula, Rp.4.000 saja. Sayangnya, lagi lagi harus antri waktu mau beli :p (nggak lama sih.. hehe).

Ikea Alam Sutera
Antri setiap kali mau beli makanan…
Ikea Alam Sutera
Es krim nya juara! 😀

Dan sekian pengalaman saya jalan – jalan singkat ke Ikea di hari pembukaannya kemarin. Kalau kamu tinggalnya seputaran Jakarta Selatan atau Tangerang Selatan dan pengen jalan – jalan ke Ikea juga, mungkin bisa dicoba hari kerja, sepulang kantor. Kayaknya sih kalau akhir pekan bakal rame banget yaa.. hehehe.

22 hours in Padang!

Last weekend I went to Padang – West Sumatra for a friend’s wedding with some friends. It was my first time and albeit the short time (only 22 hours!), I really enjoyed it.

I was supposed to stay longer though (not that long, but at least passed the 24 hours mark), but I missed my flight at Saturday morning and then got transferred to a later flight on the afternoon. That flight then got delayed, so I arrived in Padang at 4PM on Saturday.

My friends and I went straight to Lamun Ombak – a local restaurant serving none other than the super delicious Padang Food!

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Padang food fiesta!

It’s a common destination for those just arrived in Padang as the location is nearby the airport. Such a perfect welcome after our delayed flight! The food was delicious but it was a bit disappointing that they don’t serve Soto Padang – my favorite kind of Padang Food.

After getting our stomach full, we had a bit of time to kill before we were scheduled to meet our friend the groom. Our driver took us to Air Manis Beach – a nearby beach, famous as a surfing spot and also the legend of Malin Kundang. There’s a rock formation on the beach which is told to be the him and the remains of his ship.

Malin Kundang
Malin Kundang Rocks

The beach is supposedly pretty – to get there you would have to drive pass a hill first, which also gives you a nice experience. It’s around 30 minutes from Padang’s city centre. BUT, it is VERY dirty. I was heartbroken to see the dirty beach. There were trash all over the place, and no facilities at all. The Malin Kundang rocks is also poorly maintained, which is such a shame. I really really really wish that the government would take action to restore Indonesia’s nature spots.

20140906_175016
Air Manis Beach, pretty but so dirty 😦

From there, we went to our hotel, checked in and had dinner with the groom and our friends. We had Martabak in Malabar Bofet & Restoran. It was one of the best Martabak I’ve had! Really satisfying. Then we went back to the hotel because the groom (obviously) needs to rest 🙂 The rest of us decided to hang out at a nearby cafe and ended up staying until 1AM, then had Soto Padang (finally!) at a nearby food stall before finally getting some rest…

The next day was the wedding day – we started the day early despite the lack of sleep, and had breakfast with the groom and his family, and his other friends in the hotel’s restaurant. Then we went to the convention centre where the ceremony was held to witness the wedding ceremony. The ceremony was finished at around 10 AM and there was an hour break before the wedding reception started at 11 AM. I stayed there until 12 PM and rushed to the airport to catch my 14.20 PM flight.

Minang Wedding
Minang Wedding!

So that’s how I spent 22 hours in Padang. Short but surely eventful 🙂 I’m happy that I was able to witness a traditional Minang wedding and had (a glimpse) of delicious Padang Food! Perhaps I’ll be back and stay longer some time.

My thoughts on 2014 Indonesian Presidential Election

Disclaimer : This post is surely based on my thoughts only and does not reflect my support towards a particular candidate. 🙂

This coming presidential election will be my 3rd election. I remember my first election, I was so excited to finally be able to vote, though I was not sure why I had to vote and who to vote.. voting at that time seemed cool, sort like some coming-of-age moment. I voted, but now I can’t remember who did I give my vote to. My second election was more or less the same. But this time I remember clearly that I did not vote. I was not satisfied with the current president at that time and since he’s running for his second period.. I did not want to vote for him. Nor did I want to vote for his opponent. So I came to the booth on election day, and deliberately gave my vote to all candidates – so my vote would be considered not valid. Not really proud, but that has happened.

This year, we will vote for our president in less than a week. As I’m not so much (if not at all) into politics, I had to admit that I haven’t been really paying attention to either candidates.. but I’ve been exposed to a lot of news about them. The thing is, in every social media I have, I see people posting about either candidate. BUT.. instead of posting the good things about their president of choice, most of them seem to frequently post negatively about the opponent. This makes me confused because I don’t know what to believe anymore. Should I believe that candidate number 1 is behind the 1998 tragedy? or should I believe that candidate number 2 is a “puppet”, steered by old political figure? I really can’t tell which to believe. 

So I posted a status in my facebook and ask if any of my friends have made their choice and would willing to share the reason to me, with hope that none of them would expose me to some kind of negative campaign. They did not! I was so happy to see a lot of comments coming in, and some even sent me direct messages with their solid reason to vote for their president of choice. NONE told me any negative news about the opponent. It looks like I’m friends with the right people 🙂 

Oh, one other thing that makes me so impressed – despite the mushrooming negative campaign, I also see bits and pieces of passionate posts from my generation! Good to see that so many young people are willing to give their time and effort to show their support towards a candidate. 

Just look at this music video from Jokowi’s supporters : 

or this video from Prabowo’s supporters : 

And then there’s also these people on Twitter who often tweets about their support for their president of choice. Though I see more (in my following list) declared their support towards Jokowi like @mrshananto, @jokoanwar, or @jflowrightthere (and also the creative hashtags which follows their tweets such as #akhirnyapilihjokowi or #salam2jari), I also came across these two young people (both younger than me) who passionately expressed their support towards Prabowo – @RizkiAljupri and @Dirgayuza…. and I salute all of them. It’s good to see diversity and freedom of expression, yes? 🙂

As for me? I still have not decided. I am what they call a swing voter, and I’ll take that. I’ll give myself a time to think carefully this weekend and will surely vote on July 9th. I just wish that whatever’s the result, things will be better for Indonesia. Happy voting, Indonesians! 🙂

Those Island Days

I’ve heard about Derawan Islands quite a lot before I finally paid a visit. The islands – located in North Kalimantan – has been frequently reviewed on magazines and travel blogs, but I kind of hesitated to go because I read that it’s still quite hard to reach – you’d have to change several methods of transportation to get to the islands. So the trip stayed in my plans almost forever, I kept talking about wanting to go, but never actually went… until last month.  Spoke to a couple of friends and gathered a group of 8 and then we registered ourselves to a travel group, called Kakaban Trip.

With Kakaban Trip, we had to pay IDR 5,600,000 for a 4 day trip, which I think is a pretty good deal considering that all expenses were covered – only exclude airport tax (IDR 40,000) and snorkeling gear rental (IDR 50,000 a day). Plus, they accept installment if you book in advance! (do check again though, price might differ since my visit..)

So we went on a Thursday morning, took the earliest flight from Jakarta to Tarakan. From Tarakan, we then had to take a speedboat for 3 hours (!!!) to finally reach Maratua Island, where our villa was located. Though it was realllly tiring but when we reached Maratua on the afternoon, I suddenly forgot that I was tired because of this view!

Maratua Paradise Resort
Maratua Paradise Resort
Maratua
Maratua Island
Maratua Paradise Resort
View from our beach cottage

Because it’s almost sunset when we arrived, there was not many things to do except settling in to our lovely beach cottages, catching sunset, had some dinner and went to the bed early… because a lot of things were waiting for us the next day.

One of the best sunsets that I've seen!
One of the best sunsets that I’ve seen!

The next day, we woke up at 4, went to catch sunrise on the other side of the island, went back to the villa for breakfast and then left for island hopping! You see, Derawan Islands has a lot of islands, some big ones including Maratua. The smaller ones don’t have villas/resorts, but have beautiful snorkeling/diving spots.

First stop was Derawan Island. As predicted, this is the main island – where there are more resorts (there’s only one resort in Maratua), a lot of homestays, small restaurants, bike rentals, etc. Basically, there’s life in Derawan island. BUT… when there’s life, there’s also… trash. Junk. So disappointing, because the snorkeling spots are not that clean anymore. I spotted a big turtle AND a manta ray while I was snorkeling, so that made me very happy though. Then we went to other smaller islands and did snorkeling again. The experience was waaay better than snorkeling in Derawan Islands, the sea was way more clearer, coral reef were a lot prettier, and the beach, AAAK i lost words. Here are some pictures for your eyes to see 🙂

Derawan Islands
Bluest blue!
Derawan Islands
My personal favorite – Gusung Island!
White sands, clear sea, blue sky!
White sands, clear sea, blue sky!

On our third day, we went island hopping to the smaller islands. I don’t remember all the names, but one that really caught my attention was Kakaban Island. I visited two parts of the island –  where there’s a big lake full of sting-less jelly fish (you can swim with them!), and another one to see a pretty lagoon. We swam with the jelly fish, and spent some time in the lagoon. Interesting fact, we had to do some caving to get out of the lagoon. Definitely once in a lifetime experience!

Kakaban Lake
On our way to Kakaban Lake
Jellyfish
I swam with the jellyfish!
Kakaban Lagoon
Kakaban Lagoon

After island hopping, snorkeling, and all the fun times in the islands, it was time to go home. We left the island the Sunday afternoon, went on another 3 hours speedboat ride (!!!), spent some time in Tarakan before finally going back to Jakarta. I really really looooove Derawan Islands, definitely worth the long journey and even the sunburn! :p oh, btw.. Do browse #thisisderawan on instagram to see more pics from me and my friends!

P.S: I would gladly recommend Kakaban Trip if you want to save the hassle in planning, because they will arrange everything for you. It may be a little bit more expensive, but saves you a lot of trouble. But, if you prefer to plan your own trip, i would say to take out Derawan Island from your itinerary and focus on the smaller islands like Maratua or Kakaban instead. Enjoy! 🙂