Thursday, June 28, 2012

small world

Entrance of The Sultan's Palace
i am reading Stephen Clarke's 1000 years of annoying the French. Hilarious. Bila ni ada buku 100 years of annoying the Indon. it'd be super hilarious, i guess. looking at what's been going on between our countries.

Pasar Burung
i was in Jakarta and Jogjakarta last week, to see the temples (Borobudur and Prambanan). Indonesia is very rich in cultures and specialties. i still hate Jakarta (phobia for a metropolis) but, we had a wonderful stay in Jogja.we visited the new Pasar Burung, Kraton, Water Castle, Parangtritis Beach (which reminded us of Bondi Beach minus the naked people, of course) and the temples.

one of these days, i'll put the details of our short tour in the form of a travelogue and i promise to link it to this post. but, until then...

it'll be a sin to compare Borobudur/Prambanan with temples in Siem Reap. if you've seen the intricate carving at Angkor Wat/Thom and the grandeur of their structure and expect to see the same in here. you're in for a huge disappointment. Borobudur/Prambanan are for commercial tourism use, no active monk or devotees can be seen performing any prayer ritual anywhere in the compound. there's not even a place to stick burnt incense, the place is not functioning as a temple but merely a museum.

Parangtritis Beach, sunset

Second level of Borobudur, west gate, with Dawn
the food as always, were good. but, because i'd developed a taste for Indochina's (Vietnamese + Thai hybrid) cuisines, the food somehow lacked the depth and the surprising factor. so, its a bit flat with one major exception of Bakpia. The sweet kuih like biskut tambun/piang. i highly recommend to try Bakpia, preferably, filled with mung beans and cheese.
one thing i came to a conclusion after the short vacation is that, culture is a very dynamic thing. our surrounding shaped the way we are. our faith, upbringing, values instilled and it influenced our way of thinking, our action. the more we open up and experience others cultures, hopefully a better enlightenment, more openness for a greater understanding dawned on us. and if that cant make us a better person, i wondered what was the point of braving out to a foreign land.

and in line with this thinking, i am wondering what was all that fuss about claiming one culture as a sole nation's heritage. culture evolves, its dynamic. what used to be yours exclusively might be not in the future. thats what we call globalisation. ooo ya, not to end with a sour note, but, really, Indonesia should improve on their wi-fi service. maybe then, the idea of this evolving, culture sharing become mass spread.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome To Rosie Hopkins' Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

i thought i was safely passed the Kinsella period in my reading preference. and i usually cant stomach much of those lovey dovey cute stories (not when you're on the wrong side of early 30's and still very much a single lass). that would just be too much and terrifyingly, horribly accusing. 

when i first saw Jenny's paper back on the shelf of Boulevard's Popular bookstore, i just gave  it a passing glance, especially when i saw sophie kinsella's comment on the front cover (a real downer, since the shopaholic series not exactly suited my taste). but because a very large man was blocking my way on that tiny aisle, i nonchalantly picked the book up and read the back cover. something in the mentioning of Lipton (a village in Derby where the story based) stirred in me to open up the book and read on. (Lipton is my favourite tea brand)

the Roald Dahl quotation sealed it for me and also the recipe on page 441. my all time favourite peanut brittle recipe. right away, i bought the book and i am hopelessly waiting for her next book: Come and Celebrate Christmas at the Cupcake Cafe, coming by the end of this year. i love this Colgan lady!. she incorporated love story with genuine recipes, i'm drooling to try.

Rosemary was raised in London and now settled with her boyfriend of 8 years. her job as an auxiliary nurse on call and life with Gerard, the boyfriend made her tired and plunged on a request from her mom to take care of her great grand aunt, Lilian who was bed ridden at a far away village in Derby. Lilian own a sweetshop. the plan was to settle Lilian at a good nursing home and sell the cottage and shop to cover her expanses, the whole plan should take less than 6 weeks to sort out. 

but, complication arise when Jake, a handsome farm helper, Moray, the village doctor and Stephen a mysterious wounded stranger, one by one appear in Rosie's life. where will fate leads her?

then, come a story of her great grand aunt bittersweet love story, of missing chance and regrets. 

this book reminded me of time, so precious little to sulk on other unimportant things in life and to cherish love more, cherishing people we have around us better and to tell them often that we love them, to be warm and loving, even to the coldest neighbour/ colleagues. and those lucky people who found residing place in the heart of their loved ones, to know and experience love. treasure it. 

and to never underestimate the power of instinct and chance. trust your gut for a good catch (yeah, this cover for a good book selection and other matter too)

Being never been to England, its a bit hard to imagine that quaint village in Derby, the closest image i can think of is that quaint little village of Berrena? (what was the name?) we accidentally encountered on our road trip from Melbourne to Sydney last year.  i am grateful, there's a night off in the Euro match. so, i finally got time to read this off. and i am super happy for Germany next match. sexy Gomez, bring it on!

Monday, June 18, 2012

june's update

It's done. i pasted my blog's address on my Facebook account (ya, come on, roll your eyes.. FB?). oh.. ya, it really helps to locate my stray, all over Sabah, Sarawak kids, especially since they changed their phone numbers repeatedly, i lost track of most of them. at least, once each semester, i am a FB full time user, PMing my kids their results pointer. and i, actually love doing it (more than i'll ever admitted). i think i'm already a facebook junkie, it's the last thing i checked on my hand phone (apart from the i-hope-u-texted-me wistful thinking) before i go to sleep and the first to be seen in the morning after i hit the snooze button. (i know, i know, should change this new habit to a more manageable bites). macam telampau pula beberapa minggu ni.

i am way behind my reading progress. barely 19% of my intended annual target and it's almost half of the year gone. i dont wholly blamed FB addiction to my diminishing amount of time to read. internet is more enticing than TV. can i count online magazine read as a book read?

will go away for a short (much needed) vacation by the end of this week. i need to find a good footwear (my BUM sneaker is in shoddy condition). was thinking of posting this on my FB wall, but, then, it'll make me a double junkies, right? 

have a good week ahead kaibigan!