Weekend, Rain and A Birthday Party

Last Saturday Zea was invited to a classmate birthday party. It's Miranti's 8th birthday. The party was held at a fancy restaurant Nanny's Pavillon. This is a beautiful place with a creative concept. The place is quite girly indeed. It is full of decoration and awesome knick-knacks. I think the girls will love it while the boys might.. break some delicate decoration. It's proven within a second. Not long after some boys arrived, a flower vas was broken. I saw that the resto manager turned a bit pale and directly instructed the waiter to keep all fragile decorations. That's even better. No wonder that most of kids birthday parties are celebrated at McDonalds or KFC.

Well…here they were, the happy-go-lucky Grade 2 students. The party's theme was Frozen. Everything was in blue, the birthday gown, the birthday cake, the cupcake, the milkshake..oopss..no it's chocolate or strawberry though.

It started to dark. 6 pm already. Rain still kept falling but it had no effect on these kids. They were busy running here and there. Screaming. Singing. All was mixed. Nothing could beat their happiness. And this happiness was infectious. I could feel it. Thanks kids.

**All pics are courtesy of Miranti's Mom.

One Fine Week in Thailand

Just returned from one week holiday in Bangkok. This is a real me-time since I don't bring the kids. I went there with my cousin's Australian wife, her auntie, her cousin and a friend. This is a super fun yet crazy holiday. Just exploring Bangkok for one week without any itinerary. Yes, as a well-prepared person, this was the first time for me to have holiday without any plans on what to do or where to go. 
The Grand Palace

We stayed at a two-bedroom apartment at Evergreen Place. A nice place since it's close to everything such as the train station (although we kept using tuktuk --a Thailand bajaj-- to go here and there and enjoyed arguing for a cheap price with tuktuk drivers) and of course shopping malls, Siam and MBK.
Our Favorite, tuktuk ride
One beautiful cafe at Kao San Road 
We started the day by visiting the Temple of the Emerald Budha and Grand Palace. It's so hot and crowded there. We didn't spend much time there and directly heading to Jim Thompson House (this one is my fav) and ended up at MBK shopping mall for a very late lunch.
One Colourful School Building at Kao San Road 
The next day was filled with a visit to Damnoen Saduak floating market, Tiger Temple (this is frightening for me as I am not into animals (sama anjing aja takut). You will enter a big cage and around 20 tigers are laying there, yep..the tigers are chained and there're many guards but it's still scared me to death), the enjoyable elephant ride, the lady boy cabaret, Kao San Road, Pratunam shopping malls, having Thai massage, eating Thai food and just enjoyed the ride with tuktuk all over Bangkok.
Can't get enough of Thai Foot Massage
Bangkok today does not really impress me a lot. Beside its hot weather. I also notice lots of poor-maintenance buildings. The city looks gloomy. Losing its shine. The traffic jam is also getting worse although Jakarta's traffic is still the worst. I just found that the city seems stop developing. Everything is old. They need repainted, renovation, refurnished and a total renew in everything in order to turn it into a bright lively city.
The Floating Market
At the end of the day my Australian mates conclude that they prefer to go to Bali than Bangkok. They have been to Bali many times and this was the first time for them visiting Bangkok. They just found that Bali seems more enjoyable, relaxing and more ready to welcome the foreign tourists. Yes..they're a bit frustrated since it's so hard to find english-speaking person in Bangkok. 
The Tiger Temple
Thailand knick-knacks
My fav parts of this trip --instead of visiting Jim Thompson's house-- were enjoying mango and coconut. It's easy to find those two fruits. I drank lots of coconut water. They're fresh --and cheap. All in all it's absolutely enjoyable although my girls cried at the beginning when they knew that mom would leave for a week --and it made me feel guilty-- but they finally smiled from ear to ear when they  see lots of Thai knick-knack as a souvenir. Well…it's just another one fine week.         

Cinderella (2015)

Have courage and be kind.

--Cinderella (2015).

Embracing this weekend by watching Cinderella the movie with the girls. A Disney classical movie, a story which we all grew-up with, a princess and a prince charming, beautiful soundtracks, well.. how can we not love this? 

Najla and Zea were thrilled when they saw a short sequel of Frozen played before Cinderella the movie started. It's entitled Frozen Fever (2015). It's still Anna and Elsa and a new original soundtrack that I am sure will be loved by all girls all over the world very soon.

Well…nothing new for Cinderella the movie but she is definitely our all-time favourite character. We just simply love her, just like other Disney princesses characters.  

Gabriela, Cengkih, dan Kayu Manis

Title: Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon
Author: Jorge Amado
Translator: Ingrid Nimpoeno
Publisher: Serambi, Dec 2014
659 pages

Gabriela, Cengkih dan Kayu Manis is a Brazilian novel written down by Jorge Amado in 1958. This is an old romantic tale in a small Brazilian town during the 1920s. The town is famous for its cacao crops, old tradition, violent political takeovers, revenge against unfaithful women and the like.

Let's get into the town and enjoy the romance between Najib, a respectable bar owner of Syirian origin and his new cook, Gabriela, an innocent and beautiful migrant worker. This is not a simple love story since they will deal with the status gap, culture and people's gossip. It's interesting to peek into everyday's life in this small town. They have lots of different topics to discuss from cacao plantation, love affairs, even political matters. 

It's a celebration of political, social and local cultures. Entertaining panorama of small town Brazilian life with wonderful stories and vivid characters. You will feel that you're a part of them. 

The author, Jorge Amado --novelist, journalist, lawyer-- was born in 1912, the son of a cacao planter in Ilheus, south of Salvador, the provincial capital of Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon. Amado's works have been translated into more than 35 languages. Some of his books also have been adapted into movies. He died in 2001.

This book made me laugh and feel great all throughout the story. I am thinking to find Amado's other works. Highly recommended.

2014-- Siapa Di Atas Presiden?

Directed by: Hanung Bramantyo, Rahabi Mandra
Produced by: Celerina Judisari, Hanung Bramantyo
Written by: Ben Sihombing, Rahabi Mandra
Casts: Ray Sahetapy, Atiqah Hasiholan, Deddy Sutomo, Donny Damara, Maudy Ayunda, Rio Dewanto

Looking for some new genre of Indonesian movies? Getting sick already of those comedy and horror movies? So..go watch 2014 the movie. You will be thrilled and realise that politic has never been easy. Don't worry, it's not a serious movie that will make you have a  spinning headache.  In fact this is a political thriller movie that simply delivers a very good education for all of us. 

If you think politic is complicated, complex and even boring, I am sure you will get a new insight after you watch this movie. Moreover it will open your heart and mind that politic is never black or white. There's a grey area there. The conspiracy, the manipulation, the murder, the trap, the integrity, parents-children relationship and also a love story are parts of the movie that will make your eyes wide open to realise what exactly happens on the current political condition in Indonesia.  A must watch. 

Yes, I am 10

Exclaimed Najla this morning. Yes, our girl is celebrating her 10th birthday today. Before the D-day, we had a mother-daughter conversation as follows: 

Excited-Mama: "Kak, what do you want for your birthday, is it a birthday party? Special birthday cake or goody bag for your classmates?"

Najla said in a serious tone, "Ma, perhaps you forget, I am ten now. I don't want any birthday parties or goody bag for my classmates." 

Mama: "Ouch...sorry big girl, so is there anything Mama can do for your birthday?"

Najla: "Yes Ma, just buy me two birthday cakes, one for us at home and another one for my classmates."

Mama: "Well...is there any special image or theme for your birthday cake?"

Najla: "Ma, I am ten now, just buy a plain cake with my favorite flavor which is the avocado choco."

Never-give-up-Mama: "For your birthday cake at school, do you want to blow the candle (again) before you share the cake with your teachers and classmates?"

Firm-Girl-Najla: "No... Ma, blowing the candle is only done once at home." 

Desperate-Mama: "Okay, ten-year-old girl, such a loud  and clear request, well noted."

Therefore this morning  Najla had her birthday cake, blew the candle, munched her favorite avocado-choco cake and invited her grandpa and all cousins for a lunch gathering at RM Bumi Aki, Bogor.

Anyhow happy 10th birthday, big girl. We love you as always...to the moon and back.