Too Cute to be True

One of my bestest friends, Karin,  gave me this awesome book as a birthday present. I was speechless. Books will always be my favorite things to receive moreover if it is a travel book. The happiness is double since this book is a kind of legitimation for me to travel more.  Huge thanks, babe. Let's go...UK or Russia or New York next year??? #evilgrin.

Other best friend who works at LINE, Rina,  gave me this cute tea, she said that LINE is very famous in Korea with its cafe and souvenir shop. Since I don't know much about Korea, never watch any Korean drama or listen to K-Pop music so basically I learn about Korea from my friend's souvenirs such as these cute stuffs from LINE cafe or some cosmetics products, yes...the face mask, the hand lotion, etc. seems nice. I guess I need to see it myself. Haha....another travel plan option.  

Thanks a bunch for these two awesome ladies. Such a blessing to know you both. 

Book Review: Mata Hari (2016)

Title: The Spy
Author: Paulo Coelho
Translator: Lulu Wijaya
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
2016/192 pages

Bunga mengajarkan kepada kita bahwa tidak ada yang abadi: keindahan mereka, bahkan juga fakta bahwa mereka pasti akan layu, karena mereka masih akan memberikan benih baru. Ingatlah ini kalau kau merasa sukacita, kepedihan, atau kesedihan. Segala sesuatu berlalu, menjadi tua, mati dan terlahir kembali.

Mata Hari, --Paulo Coelho

Margaretha Geertruida Zelle was a middle class Dutch Family. Feeling bored with her mundane life, she planned to escape from it.  The opportunity came when she decided to marry a soldier and moved to Indonesia. They once lived in Malang. No wonder that the author, Paulo Coelho expressed his greeting in the first page of the book to all Indonesian readers, where parts of this story took place.

However life didn't turn out as expected. Margaretha's husband was an alcoholic-abusive man. Indonesia that sounded  quite exotic in the beginning began to lose its charm and Margaretha thought to start her new life as a new person. Margaretha went to Paris, penniless, but tried to struggle until she came out with a new identity as Mata Hari, a performer of exotic Asian-inspired dances. She shocked and delighted audiences during the World War I.

She soon began touring all over Europe and became a famous performer and with the outbreak of World War I, her catalog of lovers began to include high-ranking military officers of various nationalities.

It was 15 October 1917, taken from her hotel room at Champs Elysees, Mata Hari was charged guilty and executed by a French firing squad because of her crime as espionage. Up until now no one really knows about Mata Hari's espionage activities. Some said that Mata Hari acted as a German spy, and others exclaimed that she's  a double agent for the French as well. Lots of different version stories told and Mata Hari remains as one of history's most enigmatic women. 

Not Coelho at his best but it is still fascinating. Telling a history by combining it with certain fictitious elements. Good points. If you're looking for a light-fast read book, this one is just perfect. 

Cinta adalah perbuatan yang berlandaskan iman dan wajahnya harus selalu diselubungi misteri. Setiap momen harus dijalani dengan perasaan dan emosi, karena kalau kita mencoba menganalisis dan memahaminya, sirnalah keajaibannya.     

La La Land (2016)

Title: La La Land (2016)
Written and Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Casts: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt 

La-la Land means: Los Angeles, or to think that things that are completely impossible might happen.

I lost words to describe this movie. La La Land makes me fall in love and at the same time break it and cheer me up and put me down over and over again.  Love love love all things about this movie. The setting, the casts, the plot, the music, the dance and many more.

Let's follow Mia and Sebastian in chasing their dreams. Mia, a barista at a coffee shop on the Warner Bros lot in LA, and her obsession to become an actress while Sebastian, a jazz pianist,  is dying to have his own club. And when finally the dreams are already on their ways, why do suddenly some things seem not quite right? 

The movie just won seven awards at the 74th Golden Glob Awards for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Original Song (City of Stars).

An all time favorite movie. Yes, a lifetime one. Definitely a must watch.

Check this website to know more about the movie.

A New Year, Birthdays, and Such

Yes, She is 10 Now!
I know it's already 15 January but I just got the opportunity to flashback a bit into the first day of new year. As usual 1 January means celebrating our new year baby, Zea, who turned 10 this year. The special thing about this year birthday was I had to go to Mecca on that day. This Umroh issue was a kind of sudden idea. Never thought that I could visit this holy land in this January. However just like people say when it's time for you to visit Mecca and Medina, suddenly everything seems so simple and there you are, at the purest place on earth. Masya Allah.

Other important occasion was 14 January as I celebrated my 44th birthday. Such an age. A twin numbers. How do I feel being 44? Honestly, I feel good. I just pray to God to bestow me with a good health. Health becomes a very crucial issue when you reach the age of 40. You discuss about this issue almost every time, anywhere with every one. Just check the whatsapp groups, this health issue is one of the favorite topics besides the politics. Gosh, I guess health is much sexier topic than politic, at least now.

The 44 birthday was highlighted by having lunch with my hubby and the girls at Marco restaurant. I heart this Padang Peranakan Restaurant. Always love the food, snack, drink and everything served there. The taste is just super yummy. A perfect way to embrace the special day.

Road to Mecca & Medina 2017

Terdapat lebih banyak lanskap yang indah di dunia, tetapi tak satupun aku kira yang dapat membentuk spirit manusia yang begitu kuat seperti jalan ke Mekah....;

padang pasir adalah sesuatu yang telanjang, bersih dan tak mengenal kompromi. Ia menghapus hati manusia dari berbagai fantasi yang menghadirkan angan-angan palsu sehingga membuatnya bebas menyerahkan dirinya terhadap sesuatu yang absolut, yang tak bercitra;

yang terjauh di antara yang jauh tetapi yang terdekat di antara yang dekat.

--Muhammad Asad, The Road to Mecca

Holiday Recap

As usual the girls are already on their school holiday while their parents are still busy fulfilling all works before end of year. Since our domestic helper is also taking leaves and went back to her hometown so the girls are with me here and there, to the workplace, the meeting, the teaching, the dating with friends and closed by malls to calm them down.

Hubby's cousin had an engagement a couple weeks ago in Bandung. I know Bandung in school recess  would be unbearable with the traffic and the crowd thus finally I decided to stay in Mason Pine Hotel at Kota Baru Parahyangan and stayed away from Dago and Lembang hustle bustle. 

I guessed I made a right decision since the hotel turned out to be awesome. The girls love the atmosphere and their favorite part is the olympic size swimming pool.  Zea is really into swimming now finally ...after she successfully took swimming lesson.

And other activity that we did yesterday was visiting Amped Trampoline Park in Kelapa Gading. I've been heard about this place quite sometime and finally had a chance to visit it. The girls were also super excited. I bought the one-hour ticket and promised the girls that they could extend the hour if they're still strong enough. However after one hour, the girls said it's ENOUGH. Jumping on trampoline for one hour non-stop turns out to be EXHAUSTING. 

Still...the girls said that they love the trampoline and would love to go back there soon. Hear...hear...let's do it again the future. Now, mom just wants to lay down and read good books:)

Winter in Tokyo 2016

Tokyo in winter. A well-maintained city. Friendly people everywhere even the language barrier is not an issue anymore. The warm feeling in the cold weather. Feeling safe to be all alone, wandering around at night and getting ready to get lost in translation. Nothing to worry about since there's always someone who easily helped you wholeheartedly.

ANELLO Backpacks are EVERYWHERE (with affordable price)
Just realized that  it's really nice to explore a country with very low criminal rate. I remembered my trip to Europe last March, I got lots of warning about the pickpockets (especially in the city which are full of tourists such as Paris and Rome), and this criminal issue really made me tired. Tired of always staying alert. Tired of worries and all.

Souvenir Shop at Asakusa Temple area
The Beloved Hachiko
But Tokyo is totally different. It does steal my heart. No wonder if it's considered as one of the safest cities for solo female traveler.

Hakone, View  from the Cable Car
I left this city with a promise that...I shall return.