From a Peaceful Valley to an Exotic Banana Leaf

We enjoyed a short getaway to Bandung last weekend. We didn't have any special agenda actually, we just wanted to rest and relax in a peaceful atmosphere. Since Bandung recently known as one of the crowded city during weekend therefore we chose this beautiful hotel, Padma Hotel,  on the purpose that we could just stay in the hotel and enjoyed the surrounding. Furthermore during weekend, the hotel provides several activities for kids, beside swimming (my girls' most favorite activities), there is also drawing class, outbound, flying fox, etc. While for the adults, it provides yoga class with a good instructor.

To our surprise, Bandung's traffic was friendly enough last weekend. We still could go to Dago and had lunch at Kampung Daun, Lembang within proper hour. Unfortunately it's raining when we're at Kampung Daun therefore we couldn't take pictures.We just enjoyed the food, rested for a while and went back to our hotel.

On Sunday afternoon, before we left Bandung, we had a special lunch at Alas Daun. Actually it's just a restaurant with Sundanese food but what makes it special is instead of providing  plates for food, it serves the food on a fresh banana leaf. How exotic! Najla and Zea seemed so amazed to find out that the rice and the side dishes can be put on the banana leaf.  A new experience is always exciting. 

Kangen Indonesia

Title: Kangen Indonesia. 
        Indonesia di Mata Orang Jepang
Author: Hisanori Kato
Translator:Ucu Fadhilah
Publisher: Penerbit Buku Kompas
Publication Date: Second Printing, December 2012
Pages: 144

How does a Japanese expatriate see Indonesia as a whole? From hatred turned into deep love. That what happened to Prof. Sato, who have spent several years in Indonesia. As he graduated from Philosophy Department, Literature Faculty at Hosei University in 1988, he worked in Tokyo for two years then continued  one year in USA during 1990 when the Gulf War occurred. The pros and cons about the war, brought  a new insight for him and finally he decided  to return to Japan and worked peacefully there. 

Not long after his return, he read a vacancy about Jakarta International School (JIS) was looking for a Japanese teacher. Interested to work overseas, he decided to apply and accepted. He taught at JIS for three years (1991-1994). The adventure began. At the moment he arrived at Soekarno-Hatta airport, he felt that he was transformed into a strange place, totally different with the airport in Japan or in USA. Knowing nothing about Indonesian language, he was  confused about what would happen to him. He experienced lots of hard times, such as: several watches and wallet being robbed in public transportation, his domestic assistance stole some money, etc. He even thought to leave Indonesia soon. But his life changed when he saw someone sang in the  bus and got payment.  

He finally asked his friend, also a Japanese, to form a duo, named "The Selamat" and began to sing on  Blok M-Kota bus, to his surprise, the bus passengers seemed to enjoy their performance and gave them lots of money. The way the passengers welcome him as a stranger, had changed his point of view about Indonesia. 

In 2004, Prof. Kato returned to Indonesia and became a visiting lecturer at Universitas Nasional until 2009. He has been living abroad for twenty years, but Indonesia will always be in his heart. Prof. Kato  has many memories about Indonesia, about his friendship and his deep respect to the late Gus Dur, about Indonesia people who like to say 'tidak apa-apa' (no problem) for many major things, such as being late in a meeting, forget about something, and the like.

It's always interesting to know how people from other country see our country. In this light and fast reading, we will find lots of things either to be proud of or to ponder about. 

Quote of the Day

If you do things well, do them better.
Be daring, be first, be different, be just.

Founder of The Body Shop

The Color Therapy

In the old days, I used to wear anything with brown aspect. Almost all my blouses, handbags, shoes, etc were dominated by brown color. I didn't know the exact reason. I just loved it. Since my stuffs were in brown color therefore every time I wear some new things, people wouldn't notice:)

People change and so do I. It's all started when I saw Cirebon batik. With its bright color and beautiful pattern, the batik fabric successfully attracted my whole attention. Since then on I just realized, how pity I was to miss that beautiful bright color. Now the bright color is almost on every stuffs I have and also my girls' stuffs. Moreover when I decided to wear hijab, the urge to mix and match the color among the blouse, pants, outside hijab, inside hijab, bag and shoes were getting more and more (ouch...I started to react like a model). No...I am not an impulsive shopper *denial*, I just feel that these bright colors definitely can boost my mood. Look at those pictures above, the colors are just to beautiful to ignore. I once also posted about color here.

Finally I come to a conclusion that color is magic. It might easily influence us, either inside and outside. Our appearance and our mood will automatically influence our surrounding. When we are happy, the positive feeling will come out, it shows in our face and heart and eventually will affect the people around us. That's the power of color. The color therapy.          

The Little House Books

The Little House Books are one of my all-time-favorite serial. I still remember I read them all during my elementary years (in the 1980s) along with the movie serial that were broadcasted on the one and only TV station, TVRI. Everybody will easily loves Laura Ingalls Wilder. She's such a spirited and courageous girl. Following her life stories are quite an enjoyment.

Actually I plan to give the books to my girls, but I consider the books might be too thick and the content are too hard to understand for them. Fortunately, last weekend when we visited Gramedia bookstore, we found other version of the Little House books published by BPK Gunung Mulia. These ones are designed for children. Therefore they are simply adapted from the original Little House Books. The books are bilingual and completed with  beautiful illustrations. There are 14 books in whole. We just bought two of them. Zea has started to read it. Hope she enjoys it as much as her mom does. 

To Rome with Love

Director/Writer: Woody Allen
Casts: Woody Allen, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Roberto Benigni

A 2012 romantic comedy film written by, directed by and starring Woody Allen. The film is set in Rome, Italy. It tells about four visitors and residents of Rome with their romances, adventures and all the up-and-down that they experience.

There are four separate stories that are told by a (real) policeman in Rome, they are a clerk who wakes up to find himself a celebrity,  an architect who takes a trip back to the street he lived as a student, a young couple on their honeymoon and a funeral director who has a talent for singing in the shower.

This film is not Woody's best. I love Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris more. But I greatly enjoyed the movie especially Woody's perfomance, he made me laugh a lot. A light and fast movie. It would be nice to accompany your weekend. A pleasure to watch.

101 Creative Notes

Author: Yoris Sebastian
Publisher: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama
Publication Date: January 2013
Pages: 207

Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you anywhere.

--Guy Laliberte, Founder, Cirque du Soleil
Remember The Creative Junkies book that I reviewed here? Here comes another book from the same author,  Yoris Sebastian, a guy with tons of creative ideas, he returns with more creative things for us. In his latest book, Yoris will share his 101 interesting personal notes about things that might motivate the readers creativity. 

This handy book will challenge you to be a creative person. How? There are 101 tips on how to become the creative person. No worry. All tips are simple. All of us can do it. What we need is  a strong will to start. Yoris starts his book by sharing some great quotes, visual such as pictures and illustrations and the tips. Almost all tips are everyday activities that everyone can do it. He starts his book by writing point 1 with I'm Born Creative and closed it with point 101 Pray. While in the middle of it you will find many awesome tips such as:  point 5 Break Your Routine, point 9 Work in Different Areas, point 15 Grateful Towards Any Condition, point 26 Reading Book, point 33 Watch Inspiring Movies, point 43 Meets Strangers Regularly, and many more.

If you think that now you live a hard life, you are desperate with your work and everything, perhaps this book might help you. This is not kind of magic but the tips here might  not only motivate but also inspire you to do something. And most importantly, it will make you realize your strong points. You are good.You just need to believe yourself. Do the best and let God do the rest. Therefore Yoris ends his book by putting  point 101 Pray

A good book will leave us with some thoughts to ponder. This small and simple book is more special because it will make the readers realize that everybody can be a creative person. No matter what.

I will end my review with one of the inspiring quotes I found in the book in point 79 True Intention:

Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself: What is my truest intention? Give yourself time to let a yes resound within you. When it's right, I guarantee that your entire body will feel it.

--Oprah Winfrey