Crazy Rich Asians

Title: Crazy Rich Asian
Author: Kevin Kwan
Anchor Books, New York, Feb 2014
529 pages

Just like other readers, I am also curious about this book. A funny debut novel about super rich Chinese families written down by Kevin Kwan. If usually we can only imagine how these crazy people live their lives now we might get the details in this novel. Although this is fiction but most of the stories are based on facts since the author said he was raised in Singapore among those wealthy families. 

It's a light book that will entertain readers from the start until the last page. Even some of us perhaps don't want this to end. The sequel has also been released, China Rich Girlfriend. Current news said that the book soon also will be adapted into a movie by the producers behind the Hunger Games. Let's wait then. Hope it's going to be as witty as the book.

Silk Worm & Super Camp

My girls, Najla and Zea, together with their classmates had a field trip last week.  Najla joined a super camp at Tanah Tingal, Ciputat and stayed there one night while Zea visited Wisata Ilmu Sutera, in Bandung for one day trip.
One tent for four students
This is the second time for Najla having Super Camp.  Last year she camped and stayed over night at school. Since that was perhaps the first time for Najla and mostly her friends to stay in a tent therefore it seemed that they wanted to bring all stuff from their homes. Even some of them brought big luggages. Yep…lots of parents usually get so paranoid when it comes to kids' stuff particularly when it's related to camping. 

I remembered last year, I kept thinking about Najla all night long worrying whether she could sleep well at school. My hubby said perhaps lots of parents wanted to sleep at school parking lot tonight. If only he knew his wife actually had the same thought. Lol. While the next day when we met the kids, all of them looked so very much happy. They didn't seem to miss the parents at all. Ironic. No?
No more big luggage now
The current camping at Tanah Tingal was a bit different. I thought it would be more adventurous since they would stay and sleep in the tents surrounded by big trees. Unfortunately when I picked her up the next day, what I found around were tired faces.  I asked them what happened? They said they couldn't sleep. It's too hot and too many mosquitoes in the tents.

Well…perhaps if you want to stay in the tent you have to go to a higher and colder places such as Puncak or Lembang. Najla and friends said that they love camping but they prefer to camp at school just like last year. 

Pics Courtesy of Tr Reza
While Zea and friends had a bit far field trip this time. Yes they left at 6am to Bandung and arrived back in Jakarta at 8pm. They visited silk worm farm in Bandung. I just knew about this place when the teacher gave the link to the place and it looks interesting. You can see all things related to silk worm.

But when I asked Zea whether she enjoyed the trip and we should go there again taking Najla all along, she responded in a flat tone, "I don't think so, Ma. I still prefer Kuntum Farm at Tajur than this place." What? But why? She said again, "because I can see many different kinds of animals at Kuntum not only the silk worm."

Although when I checked the website, beside silk worm actually there are also other animals such as bunny and fish. Perhaps the location is too far so they're already tired before enjoying the program. All in all kids these days have their own thoughts. We can't force them. We just need to be there. Ready to facilitate them.
Pics Courtesy of Tr Reza
Find more on Tanah Tingal, Ciputat, here.

Find more on Wisata Ilmu Sutera, Bandung, Padepokan Dayang Sumbihere.

The Year I Met You

Title: The Year I Met You
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Paperback Edition 2015
432 pages

Jakarta lately seems getting hotter, dustier, crowded and more stressful. In this condition I guess I need a simple and enjoyable book to read. Tell you what, this Cecelia Ahern's story is just the right one. It turns out that a great author can develop a simple story (without too many tragedies and twisted) into an awesome one.  Readers just go with the flow, enjoy every ordinary thing and feel happy at the ending. 

The main character here, Jasmine, is a young and successful businesswoman. She only cares about her work. When she's suddenly fired and forced to take a one-year gardening leave --meaning she's still on the payroll but not allowed to work elsewhere-- she's at a lost. The gardening leave is a term used in a company, no it's definitely not dealing with gardening issue but it's about the company effort to stop their employees working in the rival company. 

Having a one-year off is a total disaster for Jasmine. She starts to question everything in her life including her neighborhood. Out of the blue she notices the people around her and the lives they live.  

This life changing is actually a self discovery for Jasmine. She is used to be a cold, lonely and stubborn woman but now she declares herself as a new Jasmine that is more human. Particularly when she really deal with the gardening things. The update of her garden story is engaging. She starts to see the world around her and admires the beauty of everything. 

This is the 2nd book of Cecelia Ahern after One Hundred Names that I finished. I just love her writing. She has a unique writing style with the warm characters, the perfect plot and simplicity of her stories. Perfect companion for your weekend. Read it with some cookies and hot tea, You will find  peace.

Pop Art

Don't think  about making art, just get it done. Let everyone  else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

--Andy Warhol
According to Wikipedia, Pop Art is an art movement that emerged in the mid-1950s in Britain and in the late 1950s in the United States. Pop Art presented a challenge to tradition of fine art by including imagery from popular culture such as advertising and news. 

When people talk about pop art, usually they will associate it with the work of New York artist of the early 1960s such as Andy Warhol
Najla said, this is totally me
Why do I suddenly become so serious about art (padahal ga ngerti-ngerti banget)? It's because on my way to work, my eyes were always laid on one street gallery. Actually there are several galleries around my neighborhood yet what special about this street gallery is it has several colorful painting that kind of pop art works.'s awesome to find such thing in my area since it's not a big city or something #sindrom tinggal dipelosok.

While Zea comment was, it's 90% of me, my cheeks are not that chubby #denial
One day I dropped by and talked to Cak Sur, the painter or I will represent him as an Art Director as stated in his name card. We had a chat and I found out lots of interesting stuff about him such as how he ended up as a street painter in this area after exploring many places, in fact I saw his pics when he was in Australia. He said that he used to have gallery at Pasar Seni Ancol but now the place is quite left behind thus he chose to open this street gallery nearby his home. All in all he said with a poetic question, what  do we actually need in life? We just want more and more. Can't stop. Never satisfied. I know this is deep.

On my second visit, I decided to have pop art pictures for my family members. Cak Sur agreed and asked for two weeks to finish it. I sent all the family pics to his e-mail (yep, it's high-tech era now, you don't have to sit all day long in front of the painter to get painted like in the old days and finally get stiff muscle or encok or something) and waited impatiently for the results.

Last weekend, Cak Sur dropped by at my place and delivered those four paintings and I got nothing to say instead of a big WOW to see his awesome works. Way to go, Cak Sur. Thank you for the paintings and hope the painting orders get more and more.    

The Museum of Extraordinary Things

Title: The Museum of Extraordinary Things
Author: Alice Hoffman
Paperback edition published by Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, 2015
372 pages

The first Alice Hoffman's book that I read and I guess I simply fall in love with her works. The author delivers a wonderful mix of magic v. science, history and tragedy and of course a love and romance. A kind of a fairy tale combined with history. My things definitely.

Let's explore New York City in 1911. There is a museum of extraordinary things which is managed by Professor Sardie, a mad scientist and part magician. You will find various kinds of living wonders or some people will call it freak show here,  the Wolf Man,  the Butterfly Girl, the Siamese Twins, and Coralie, Sardie's daughter, who has from the age of 10, spent hours suspended in a tank of water playing the Human Mermaid. 

The protagonists, Coralie and a photographer named Eddy Cohen who likes to take nocturnal walks with his dog in the woods of Northern Manhattan, will take turn narrating the story from old days and back again to 1911. We'll get a rich narration on rights of children, women, workers in a historic tone and ambience and also the  melancholic love story of Coralie and Eddy. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is an extraordinary thing itself. A must read.