Quote of the Day

Do you think all this beauty and grandeur can fit in a little square of film?
Record things in your heart.
It's more important than trying to show people what you're experiencing. 
--Page 242 of Adultery by Paulo Coelho

A Weekend Getaway: Waduk Jatiluhur

Actually it was my hubby who got an office outing at Waduk Jatiluhur, Purwakarta, West Java couple months ago however we decided to take our girls, Najla and Zea, along since  they have never visited any dam yet. I thought it's going to be fun for them to see the lake and how the dam works.  Moreover I searched in the internet that Jatiluhur dam has several tourist spots and a nice swimming pool. 

The reality turned out to be a bit disappointing. The area was not well maintained. We found lots of garbages everywhere, the restaurants seemed not too hygienic, the swimming pool was so crowded, the weather is so hot and a bad odour smelled almost everywhere (perhaps it's from the waste of the dam).  

Since our plan was not run too well thus to cheer the girls up a little bit (due to cancellation of our swimming plan and not many activities they could do there), we finally hired a boat and rowed it along the lake. Boating in a big lake is definitely an awesome experience for the girls.

I am sure this place was used to be a beautiful place in the old days. It has many beautiful stuffs such as  the lake, the view and the surrounding. But it seems the management neglect the maintenance. If only they pay more attention to develop the place professionally, I think this place could be chosen as one of the weekend getaway for Jakarta people (instead of Bandung and Puncak) since the location is not too far.  

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Author: Haruki Murakami
Translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel
Publisher: Alfred A. Knoft
2014/ 391 pages 

Some things in life are too complicated to explain in any language.
I have finished reading this latest book from my all time favorite author, Haruki Murakami, couple days ago but to date I still feel so much drowning with the plot and the main character found in Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage and kind of sad to say farewell to them. It means I have to wait for another 1-2 years before Murakami releases his new work.

This Murakami's latest work is definitely much simpler comparing to his previous book, 1Q84. Simpler in pages (1Q84 has 1000 pages while Tsukuru only 300 something pages), plot, characters, illusion, etc. But still Murakami always fascinates his readers in creating an interesting flow of the story and characters. Not to forget his references to music, pop culture and literature. No wonder readers claim his books are a strong read. A food for mind. 

This book reminds me of Murakami's other work, Norwegian Wood, since the plot is about teenagers life including everything about it such as love, jealousy, dissapointmen, music, competition,etc. The lead character is a 36-year-old man, Tsukuru Tazaki, who is addicted to anything related to train and railways station thus he works as a railway builder now. Tsukuru's life seems great although deep down inside it doesn't. 16 years ago, during his high school time, he got four best friends, two boys and two girls. They're so close to each other and considered this friendship as their life. All his four friends having  a family name that cointaned colour, i.e. Akamatsu means red pine, Oumi means blue sea, Shirane is white root, Kurono is black field but unfortunately the name Tazaki has no colour in it. 

One day after finishing their school holiday, suddenly all his four friends said that they didn't want to have any contact with Tsukuru anymore without explaining the true reason. Tsukuru was shocked. His world turned upside down. He couldn't think clearly and just wanted to die.

Life goes on. After 16 years Tsukuru's latest girl friend, Sara, said that it's time for Tsukuru to find the real reason behind the termination of their friendship. Tsukuru follows Sara's advice and starts to track down all his four former best friends. His trip even takes him to a very far location, Finland, where one of his friends stays there now. The description on Tsukuru's trip to Finland is very touching makes me want to visit the place myself :)

Not Murakami at his very best but still worth to read. Even for a new Murakami's reader, I think this one is easy to absorb.       

Rampokan Jawa & Selebes

Title: Rampokan Compleet : Java & Celebes
Author: Peter van Dongen
Gramedia Pustaka Utama, 2014
168 pages

I am not into comic since I like to have unlimited imagination about things I read. But knowing that there is a comic written and drawn by Peter van Dongen telling about Indonesian history during Dutch colonization is really something. Of course I will not miss it.

The comic consists of two stories that happened in Java and Celebes (Sulawesi) back then in 1946 at the time Dutch intended to return to Indonesia after Japan left. The central character here is a Dutch man, John Knevel. He was a volunteer who accidentally killed his friend on the ship to Java. This murder haunted him for the rest of his life.   

This comic is quite interesting. The author had a very detailed sketch for every scene in the book that showing a deep research over the work. No wonder it took six years for the author to finish this book. Some parts of the comic remind me of  Tintin comic and the author also admitted that he's inspired by Herge.

Excellent in drawing but a bit complicated in delivering the story. The story was complex with lots of plots and new characters to remember. We must concentrate fully if we want to understand the story otherwise we will be lost and at last realize that we only enjoy the drawing.

All in all it's an awesome work. I salute the author for the research and the introduction of Indonesian struggle to be an independent country. 

A Short Getaway: Bandung

A pre-wedding scene at Summer Hills Hotel & Villa
Our cousin and his family from Australia visited us for a week. They asked us to accompany them spending holiday in Bandung on weekdays since they will return to Brisbane on weekend. Actually it's such a tempting request however it's not school holiday yet, what should I do with the girls' school? After discussing it with my hubby finally we decided to let the girls skipped their school (since they don't see their cousin too often) and we both will rearrange our work deadline as well. I contacted the girls' teachers for a three-day-permission and to my surprise they let them go. Thanks a lot, teachers!!!!
Feeding the ducks at Lembang Floating Market
We left Jakarta in the morning. Bandung on weekdays were so very friendly. We could visit many beautiful places and enjoy many stuffs everywhere in a nice atmosphere, no crowd at all. 
Colorful toys at Lembang Floating Market
We stayed in a three-bedroom-villa at Summer Hills. It's a nice place. The girls enjoyed the swimming pool, the playground, the pets (bunny and birds) and just run along the grass field. On the next day, there was a pre-wedding photo session at our villa thus we could use the scene to take some pics on our own :)
A cozy ambience at Maja House, Lembang
A quote at Maja House, Lembang

Exploring science at Trans Studio Bandung
According to Najla and Zea, three favorite places on this trip were: Lembang Floating Market, Maja House ( a cozy resto at Lembang area) and Trans Studio. Okay girls, noted. Having a holiday on weekdays are really something. 

Review #BukuSelfie on Kompas (7)

Always excited to read any review for Buku Selfie and it could be double excited when finding the review on a newspaper as huge as Kompas. Yep, just read the review this morning on Kompas Sunday edition, September 7, 2014, it really made my day. Happy Sunday :)

Two Girls in a Tea Party

My girls, Najla and Zea, are still being obsessed with a princess life, a castle, a fancy gown and of course a tea party. Currently they're busy doing role play as the princess and the prince. Zea is the scriptwriter while Najla preparing all necessary property. Once in a while they have a tea party at our back yard. They prepare the tea, some cookies and ready for an afternoon tea.

When we abruptly saw Lady Alice Tearoom at Gandaria City Mall, my girls are over the moon. It's just a dream came true. Finally they could have a 'real' tea party. They amazed to see all the high tea property and paid less attention to the taste of the tea, the cookies and the cakes (I guess they know that their mom was focusing more on all those cute cookies and waiting for the right moment to gobble them up). While they were just too excited to start the ritual, to feel the ambience and to ignore other things. Enjoy girls, I know those kinds of feeling.

Lady Alice Tearoom not only serves afternoon tea but also several different foods and yummy bread. Worth to try. Check their website here.