One Amazing Thing

It's a sudden earthquake. Nine people are trapped in an Indian visa office somewhere in an unnamed American city. It's been 12 hours but still no help yet. No electricity, flood is coming, the roof are falling down and the food is getting less. They can do nothing about it. Nothing but fear. One of them finally comes down with an idea to distract their fear. She suggests them to tell about one personal story that never been revealed to anyone.

Each of them tells about one big moment in their life. A story that moves their heart and builds a new spirit to survive. One amazing thing that at last changes their life forever.

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni never fails me. Her works are always amazing. She really is a gifted storyteller. She tells the characters in the book vividly and writes the flow of the story beautifully.

This amazing book has been translated by Penerbit Qanita (Mizan Group) on June 2011. Unfortunately I found that my book pages are not complete, some pages are missing, from page 56, it jumps to page 73. I can't return the book to the publisher and ask for a complete one since I didn't keep the purchase receipt. I had already sent an e-mail to the publisher and suggested them to be responsible for all misprinted books they produce with or without the purchase receipt. We talked about consumers' rights here but until now I still have not got any response yet. Very disappointing :(

Current Update (July 7, 2011):
I've just received an e-mail from the publisher this afternoon. They asked me to return my incomplete book and promise to send me a new complete book plus a complimentary book, wow...what a surprise, big thanks...:))

Bye...Bye..Piggy Bank

Time does fly. My eldest daughter, Najla, finally left her kindergarten and is ready to welcome her new elementary school. After having a fun graduation (yes, not a solemn graduation but a fun one!), received her school report, certificate and all, her teacher also gave me some money, she said it's Najla's saving at her school. Wow..such a surprise.

Since she's getting bigger now, I guess it's time for her to know about saving her money not in her piggy bank but in a real bank. Yesterday we walked along Cinere Mall in order to find a bank that suitable for her. After heading here and there, finally she fell in love with a bank that provides children saving. Her love suddenly came when she found out that the bank offered her a saving book and an ATM with princess pictures on it. Woohooo..what a reason :)

Therefore she finally opened the saving account there and experienced a new thing. She went to the teller by herself, deposited her money and put her signature in the receipt. It really was a big day for a 6-year-old little girl :)

Garis Batas

Ada bermacam-macam cara orang menikmati perjalanan. Ada yang mengejar target untuk mengunjungi semua negara yang ada di muka bumi. Setiap cap yang melekat di paspor adalah lambang kebanggaan.

Ada pula penikmat dunia yang melangkah perlahan-lahan. Menghabiskan waktu bertahun-tahun di setiap tempat yang dikunjungi, mempelajari saripati kehidupan dari berbagai lapisan masyarakat yang ditemui.

I guess I am addicted to Agustinus Wibowo's travel writing. After enjoying his first travelogue Selimut Debu, this time I can stop reading his story when he happened to visit Central Asian Countries.

After visiting Afghanistan, he found out that Afghanistan villagers were curious about life across the river. Everyday they stare at the cars there without knowing how it feels to ride a car (they are only familiar with horses and donkeys) and the luxurious houses while they live in a slum area. They have a fantasy about a great life in the countries across the river. The Stans countries.

This fantasy that finally brought the writer to head to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan (The Stans). This journey will reveal what has happened after these Stan countries dissolved from Soviet Union and declared themselves as independent countries. Is life getting better? Which one do they prefer the old countries or the new one? Every page of this book will give you new insights. New secret that you have never imagined before.

This is not only an ordinary travel book, this is a world-class-anthropologist- travel writing. Every fact is described in detail. It gives a rich insight. It also gives a lot of things to ponder. To contemplate. What is the meaning of borderline?

A highly recommended book. You will feel touched when reading how a very poor guy in Tajikistan tried his best to welcome his guests. They respect the travelers. They asked for nothing. It's just their pure hearts. One of the best travelogue EVER. Great stories with breathtaking pictures.

of Thee I Sing

I found this book at Gramedia PIM yesterday. A book written by US President Mr. Barack Obama but he wrote this book long before he became a president. It's a beautiful letter for his daughters with a wonderful message. I am really impressed with the book and also its amazing illustration. Actually this is a children book but it seems that my daughters, Najla and Zea have not got the book's message yet, in fact their mom is more excited:)

Check the excerpt of the book below:

Have I told you lately how wonderful you are?
How the sound of your feet running from afar brings dancing rhythms to my day?
How you laugh and sunshine spills into the room

Have I told you that you are creative?
Have I told you that you are smart?
Have I told you that you are brave?
Have I told you that you are healer?
Have I told you that you are strong?
Have I told you how important it is to honor others' sacrifices?
Have I told you that you are kind?
Have I told you that you don't give up?
Have I told you that you are en explorer?
Have I told you that you are inspiring?
Have I told you that you are part of the family?
Have I told you to be proud to be American?
Have I told you that America is made up of people of every kind?

Have I told you that they are all a part of you?
Have I told you that you are one of them,
and you are the future
And have I told you that I love you?

PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama has published the bilingual edition of this book (English-Indonesia) on June 2011.

The Travelogue

Currently we can find a lot of travel books invading the bookshops. Some books are very good, written in a very detail way and also very informative. But some others are sometimes a bit poor. Instead of getting new insight about some places, I usually finish the book and feel disappointed. Moral of the story: I need to be really careful before deciding to buy a travel book (or all books?).

I read several travelogues lately, here are the three of them:

Reading the synopsis of the book at the back cover is really tempting. It is said that this is a travel book written by two lovers, Liang Lu and Li Qi, who resigned from their jobs as a journalist in order to focus on their romantic journey. They visited 60 cities, 14 provinces and other areas in China.

Since it is said that they were formerly journalists, I was quite sure that I was going to love the book. But I don't know. I don't enjoy the book. I tried to finish it but at last I gave up. Put the book back to the bookshelf:(

I love the idea, 12 writers wrote about their journeys. So we will have 12 different stories written by Trinity, Raditya Dika, Adhitya Mulya, Valiant Budi, and many more. But 12 writers have their own style of writing and also their writing ability are different one another. Therefore I found that some stories are engaging while others are so-so. Perhaps it takes special writer to make an interesting travel story, who knows?

I guess Trinity is one of the best travel writer in Indonesia. She always delivers her travel story vividly. She succeeds in making people leave their comfortable zone, save some money, take their leaves and go around the globe. This is her 3rd book, still telling about her travel experience, some of the stories have been posted in her website, it seems that there are always places to go and places to tell. Worrying gets you nowhere that what she believes and I definitely agree on that.

Saga no Gabai Bachan

Kebahagiaan itu bukan sesuatu yang ditentukan oleh uang
Kebahagiaan itu adalah sesuatu yang ditentukan oleh diri kita sendiri, oleh hati kita

Are you afraid of being poor? Is being poor always a bad thing? This memoir of Yoshichi Shimada will give deep meaning of being poor. Poorness does not always mean negative. There are still plenty of good quality about being poor.

Telling in a simple way, this memoir will be in your heart for days. Although this is actually a very sad story but the author with his amazing grandma can change our point of view to be positive and always being grateful in life.

Akihiro (the author real name) lost his father after Hiroshima's bombing. Since his mother needed to work to support his family, he finally moved to Saga and stayed there with his grandma. He never thought that his grandma is the most unique grandma. They lived a hard life but his grandma never lost her love of life. She always enjoyed everything. She had tons of unique ideas. Take an example when the author wanted to join some sport like kendo and judo, at first her grandma supported him but as soon as he said it would cost some money for the registration and some equipment, her grandma suddenly changed her mind. Instead she asked her grandson to do running, the free sport, no charge. The author followed her grandma's suggestion and at last succeeded as as one of the best sprinter at his school and could follow some tournaments.

Whenever her grandson felt down, this amazing grandma never failed to cheer him up. This book is very popular in Japan. This story has been adapted into movie, game and manga. This amazing grandma will always be in everybody's heart.

This book has been translated from Japanese into Bahasa Indonesia by Kansha Books on April 2011.

Selimut Debu

Not many travel books can make the readers glue to it until the last page. This book Selimut Debu is an exception. Why is it special? There are many reasons, among others: Look at the destination, it's Afghanistan, not many people (even very rare) choose this place as their travel destination, then read the book carefully and you will feel that you are taken into the magic land, Afghanistan.

When we heard the word Afghanistan, what will come to our mind? A country with a blanket of dust (stated as the title of the book) , never lasting war, rocky mountain, bomb threat, women in burqa and all stuff like that. That also what the author Agustinus Wibowo thought at the beginning. But his curiosity was so big, he needed to know more about this country. Therefore finally he decided to start his journey from a railway station in Beijing (where he studied) and began his journey to Central Asia.

The author started his life study of Afghanistan by becoming an Afghan himself. He wore shalwar qamiz just like other Afghans, he stayed in their homes, drank tea in the samovar (tea shop) and did his best to mingle with them. No wonder that he can convey his stories vividly in a very amazing way. We will get a big picture of Afghanistan. There are many things about it. Not only war. The author also completed his story with a detail history and its cultural description of Afghanistan. I feel a mix of feeling when I finished the book. I feel sorry for their long suffering but at the same time I also admire their survival.

I definitely agree that the author is not only a traveler but he is an explorer. Some parts of the stories had been published in A very rich book. One of this year best travelogue. Very recommended.

The Award & 7 Things about Me

Thank you for mbak Yana who already gave me this Stylish Blogger Award. I am really honoured. As I agree to receive the award means I need to follow 4 instructions which are: (1) saying thanks to the award giver, (2) telling 7 things about the award recipient, (3) forwarding the award to other bloggers and (4) lastly informing the award recipients about this Stylish Blogger Award.

Okay now, let's start with 7 things about me:

1. I am actually a well planned person.
But this characteristic was suddenly disappear when 10 years a go I met a guy (my hubby now) who was soooo brave and asked me to marry him when we only knew each other for 2 weeks. The craziest part was when I said 'yes, I do' and thank God we've been married for 9 years now. Well...I guess it's simply love.

2. Kids Change Everything
I used to think that becoming a career woman was my everything. I couldn't imagine myself without my office job. But I at the moment I was given birth to Najla then Zea, I changed my mind easily. Nothing more important than being around them day and night.

3. I Adore Friendship
I might be not have too many friends but I have several super best friends. I even have a 31-year-old friendship. Yes, they are my friends since we were at elementary school. We still keep in touch until now. It's always nice to talk with them since we have been known each other since we were kids :)

4. I am A Book Freak
I felt in love with books even when I still couldn't read. Up until now my love for books is getting more and more. Along with my age, the books genre also changes. No more detective or romance stories, I prefer a story with something to learn. Stories that linger for days.

5. I am Crazy about Yoga
I am definitely not a sport person but since I join yoga 2,5 years a go, I feel that it is the most suitable sport for me. I love all about it particularly after I did yoga practice in Ubud last week, my love for yoga is going deeper.

6. I Love Eating but I Don't Cook
Honestly I am not good in the kitchen unless for gobbling up all the food there. Although I have been married for 9 years, my cooking ability is still very limited. Shame on me. The urge to have cooking course is there but the realization is still postponed until ...ehm...I don't know yet :(

7. I Have A Big Dream
I dream of having a very wide land where I can build a cozy library that opens for public, a bookshop, a yoga studio, a salon for hair and beauty treatment and completed with a comfortable coffee shop. A quite big dream. Just wish me luck!

Now it's time to forward this award to below bloggers:
1. Icha (
2. Ferina (
3. Kiky (www.
4. Perez (
5. Ratih (

Hope all of you enjoy the award as much as I do :))