The Eleventh Day of Ramadhan

The one and only sugar-apple fruit
This Ramadhan flies. It seems we just started it but it turns out to be the eleventh day by now. The girls are getting better in doing the fasting, it's Najla's 5th time and Zea's 3rd time to have full fasting for the whole month. This Ramadhan is also special since the girls having a non-stop-seven-week of school holiday meaning that they can embrace this sacred month fully at home. I was kind of worried at first thinking the girls would get so bored just staying home hence so far they're doing okay. Happy faces, no complaints and enjoy every single thing of Ramadhan. Thank God.

While for me, I just feel that I enjoy more and more time with family. I only teach twice a week and make sure I'll be home before the breakfasting schedule comes. I don't go for any breakfasting with friends. I don't think I can handle Jakarta's crazy traffic jam and crowded malls and restaurants during breakfasting hours.'s definitely a sign of ...ehm's old age then, hahaha...

One more thing I am excited to see my sugar-apple (sarikaya) tree finally has one and only fruit after waiting for ages. I once thought to cut this tree since there is no little sign of any flower of fruit but out of the blue it's there. The tempting fruit is coming. I am waiting patiently for the right time to pick it while doing ngabuburit.

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Title: The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden
Author: Jonas Jonasson
Translator:Marcalais Fransisca
Publisher: Penerbit Bentang
March 2015
554 pages

After successfully entertaining his readers in his debut, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, this Swedish writer, Jonas Jonasson is back with his new awesome adventure involving an African girl, a bomb and a man frustrated ambition to overthrow the king of Sweden. What a festival of adventure.

As usual the writer delivers a bunch of eccentric characters with the main cast is Nombeko, a Soweto girl, three Chinese sisters practised in the arts of poisoning dogs, an alcoholic South African nuclear bomb engineer, twin sons who named Holger One, the idiot, while Holger Two is the smart one. Let's explore their unpredictable trip when they find themselves confined in a potato truck with the king and the Swedish Prime Minister in 2007.

Still with his way of absurdity, the writer tells the story in a playful way. Although several facts on political issues are correct yet just don't take it seriously. I am sure the writer background as a journalist for many years completed his research on the setting of his novels and the most enjoyable part for me is his Nordic humour, it's just crazy. Absolutely fun. Thoroughly enjoyable.  

#Book Review: Ayah

Title: Ayah
Author: Andrea Hirata
Editor: Imam Risdiyanto
Publisher: Penerbit Bentang, May 2015
415 pages

Back to 2005, I still remember how I was very much influenced by Andrea Hirata's masterpiece, Laskar Pelangi. This book has been inspiring lots of people. It's been translated in 34 languages and published in more than 120 countries. I even visited Belitong to find more about everything told in the book.

Now after 10 years, I started reading Andrea's latest book, Ayah, and tell you what I felt kind of deja vu here. Perhaps since the setting of the story is still in Belitong. Although the theme is different instead of talking about Ikal and his friends, this time Andrea tells about fathers with all the ups and downs in life. 

According to Andrea, Ayah tells about ordinary people with extraordinary experiences. I really enjoyed the story since Andrea's signature is strongly shown here. He delivers the story in his usual way with vivid characters, jokes here and there, Belitong people and culture. All is packed within a detailed  research and  experiment. Thus Andrea said, it took six years to finish the book.

I enjoy the book a lot. I just can't stop laughing and feel blue at several parts. All in all if you miss Andrea's usual writing, this is the one. Highly recommended. 

One Afternoon at Rancamaya

At Kuntum Nurseries
Our girls have finished their school exam. They still need to go to school for preparing the end of semester party, remedial test and class meeting. Soon they will have a veryyyy long holiday, seven weeks to be exact. Yes, the school administrators decide to give the school holiday combined with Idul Fitri holiday. The special thing will be welcoming the first time for the girls to do one-month fasting at home.
The girls favorite swimming pool

We don't have any special trip for this holiday since the schedule is a bit tight (and also the money) while Ramadhan month is already on the way. I browsed here and there to find a good spot in Bogor area unfortunately some of the awesome hotels were fully booked last weekend thus I finally decided to spend the holiday on Sunday and Monday. It turns out that it's a good choice to stay in a hotel on Monday, beside the low price, we could also enjoy the quite atmosphere and have the huge swimming pool on our own as most of other guests were leaving on Sunday noon.

The view from our hotel balcony
Our holiday started early in the morning. I took the girls to Kuntum Nurseries at Tajur area. It's a farm field where kids can deal with animals and plants. The girls were so happy to see the animals and their dream pets here since their mom says a big no for having pets at home. Kids will love this place. They can meet and feed the animal such as cows, sheeps, bunny, ducks, they can go fishing and even pony riding. Make sure to come early in the morning so it's not too hot for the kids to enjoy the surrounding. Find more on Kuntum Farmfield here

One of the girls happiest moment!!!
From the farm, we headed to R Hotel at Rancamaya. The hotel is truly awesome. It is definitely becoming the girls' favorite. We just love the simple design, the surrounding, the beautiful garden, the deer hunt and of course its long and huge swimming pool. Find more on the hotel info here

On our way home we dropped by at Lemongrass, one of the most happening restaurants in Bogor. The visitors are always packed here. The menue is actually similar as Kopitiam's menue. The special things are their interior designs. The owner prepared the place in quite a details. Beautiful place. Very instagramable!!! You can just take pics everywhere.

A simple holiday that makes everyone happy.      

Trilogi Soekram

Title: Trilogi Soekram
Author: Sapardi Djoko Damono
Editor: Mirna Yulistianti
Gramedia, 2015
273 pages

Who doesn't know Sapardi Djoko Damono? A very popular Indonesian poet.  His Hujan Bulan Juni is all time favorite poem. This time Sapardi published  his novel, Trilogi Soekram. As stated in the title this novel consists of three strories. But this is not just an ordinary story, check the first paragraph:
Saya Soekram, tokoh sebuah cerita yang ditulis oleh seorang yang meninggal seminggu yang lalu, meninggalkan saya belum selesai. Maksud saya, sebelum sempat ia menyelesaikan ceritanya ia meninggal dunia.
Interesting? Weird? It's a story about Soekram, the main character in the book that jumped out of the story plot, sued the author for leaving his unfinished story and decided to write his own story.

The story is divided into three parts with Soekram as the main character. The first part tells about Soekram, a lecturer who just returned from post graduate study in US. The setting was in 1998 during the reformation era when President Suharto was toppled down. Second part taking us back to old regime during President Soekarno's era. And the last part is a bit shocking since the author takes us to the era of Siti Nurbaya and Datuk Maringgih  with a lot of new modification twists that totaly different  from its original version.

The author said that he is interested to analyze the relation between the writers and the things that they write. Using the idea of 'the death of the author', the author develop a very unique story. Enjoyable.