August 30, 2007

What's cooking?

Nearly everyone has favorite foods that remind them with their childhood. We develop favorites and eat them religiously. I've been getting into stir-fries recently because they are quick, easy, and healthy. But I also like noodles, fried rice, hot and spicy foods and other variety of Indonesian dishes. So, what's your favorite food?
kangkong stir fried and fried tempeh
bean sprout stir fried with tofu
mee goreng

August 29, 2007

Been tagged and been late

I've been tagged by my sweet friend, Fe, who has a wonderful blog over here about 5 things + 8 random facts about me. I know I was late as usual but here goes ... :

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Working in Jakarta, it was my third year in this big city (I moved from Bandung to Jakarta in 1994). Well, it doesn't seem that long ago, it was a very busy time for me but so enjoyable at the same time.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Still working in the same company ... hehehe

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Edamame
2. Fresh fruits (I always have enough supply of fruits in my fridge)
3. Anything hot and spicy
4. Indonesian various savoury snacks
5. Tiramisu

Five songs that you know all the lyrics to:
Absolutely none! I know a lot of songs but I have to admit I never try to remember the full lyrics of each song.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Invest the money to make more money ... LOL!
2. Buy my mom a nice house.
3. Set aside an emergency account for my family.
4. See a bit more of the world with my lovey.
5. Give to the poor and needy.

Five bad habits:
1. Procrastination
2. Impatience
3. Eating the wrong foods (I have many things to avoid because of my endo problem but it's really hard to keep up with the list).
4. Blogging during office hours
5. Cant save money

Five things you like doing:
1. Grocery shopping.
2. Watching soccer on TV.
3. Taking pictures of crafts, foods, pets.
4. Read and research about various things on the net.
5. Baking when the mood is there.

Five things you would never wear again:
1. Short skirts.
2. I love jeans but dont fancy too tight fitting jeans.
3. Bright red lipstick color, they do not look good on me.
4. A tiny bikini.
5. Anything with a drop waist.

Five favorite toys:
1. Cellphone
2. Camera
3. Computer
4. DVD Player
5. Cookbooks

My Eight Facts:

Fact #1: I am shortsighted - if I don’t have my glasses on, everything is a blur far away even people. Part of it is inherited but mostly it was my fault for reading too much comics in the dark when I lived in dorm school. Back then, the nuns were very strict with lights usage.

Fact #2: When I was young, I dreamed to be a flight attendant because I love the uniforms they get to wear and the possibility to travel to many different places, but alas I was not tall enough (am only 5 ft 4 inches) and short sighted too.

Fact #3: As a child, I was somewhat rebellious and a free spirit. I had an innate creativity and worked best when I was given a free hand.

Fact #4: I always sit near the exit door each time I watch the movie in the cinema. I dont know why but am afraid of getting trapped inside the building if there's a fire!

Fact #5: I have 7 moles on my left side of my face, and several more on the body and arm also on the left side.

Fact #6: I am a jeans and T-shirt person .

Fact #7: I've been attacked by dogs on two separate occasions but that does not make me scared of dogs, except certain breed such as dobberman, pittbull, and rottweiler. I'd prefer small dogs like my best buddy, Fatso.

Fact #8: I don't know how to drive and am afraid to drive especially in Jakarta where the drivers are famous for their ability to drive in a zigzagged manner down the street, swerving around all other traffic, ignoring all the lines or marking lanes on the street.

There you have it, I hope you learn something new about me.

August 28, 2007

Suneo newest pics

For Suneo fans, here are some recent pics of the mischevious kitty! Enjoy ...:cheer

For the love of soccer

I've been a terrible blogger lately hence the lack of posts here in recent days and I have no excuses...hehehe! Nonetheless, for those interested:

As a fan of The Red Devil:devil, I can no longer watch games on Free-to-Air local television because the price of EPL (English Premier League) broadcasting rights has been exorbitantly expensive and the local TV decided to call it quit airing them. Now the games can only be viewed on channels carried by Pay-TV and for that I have to pay $20 every month. That means I have to cut my shopping trip in exchange for soccer games ... hehehe!

Well, everything went well for a week after the installation. Come to the eight days the channels suddenly disappearing! I then made a phone call to the customer service but there's no one there except the recording machine asking you to call again later. After the umpteenth time calling to no avail, I sent them a fax complaining of their poor service. Still no response was given, so I went to their office and was promised they would send someone to look over the problem. However, until the next two days nobody showed up and I wanted to cancel the subscription but I will have to pay a penalty for that. I was so annoyed and decided to file a complaint about them at one of the media online here . Two hours after my email is being published, I got a call from the customer service and this time they would send someone right on out immediately. People may say, hey it's only soccer game ... but the feeling when your favorite team win or lose is the ultimate price for being a true fan! And I don't want to lose any of the game even if MU appearances has been under performed lately.

August 19, 2007

10 facts about my Mom

Lindsey, Mom, Van, Lindsey's mom and Alex

I had been tagged by Belle on "10 random facts about your mom". It took me 2 weeks to post this entry and I've felt this tug-of-war emotions as am not sure I know my mother well enough like others. It's very cool to learn about other people's moms, and interesting to see the list that comes to them, esp. on the closeness of mother and daughter things, but our family story is a bit unusual. Well, it's not that I think that we have been through more then most, but there is just so much to say that I could probably write a book about it. Where do I begin?

1. First, a little bit of history ... Shortly after getting married, my mom followed my dad over to the small village at the southern tip of Sumatra Island, leaving all her family behind in Bogor, West Java. In her bachelorette days, Mom used to help her eldest brother running a small shop selling basic necessities, such as rice, sugar, oil, flour etc. As for my late dad, he came from Tangerang which is located about 20km west of Jakarta. A bit out of topic, I need to highlight my late dad home town as described in wikipedia :

"Tangerang also has a significant community of Chinese Indonesians, many of whom are of Cina Benteng extraction. Benteng means 'fortress' in Indonesian. They were descended from laborers who were brought there by the Dutch colonials in the 18th and 19th centuries, and most of them are still laborers and farmers. They are culturally distinct from other Chinese communities in the area: while almost none speak any dialect of Chinese, they are culturally very strongly Daoist and maintain their own places of worship and community centers. They are ethnically mixed, yet identify themselves as Chinese."

My Dad believed he could change his wheel of fortune in the new province where coffee, pepper, and cloves are most important sources of income (that time). Dad opened a shop buying and selling coffee beans, pepper and cloves. When they had the third kid (my eldest bro), dad bought 3 houses in different place in the new province but was cheated by his business partner and had to give up one in the city area. He also lost the house that he bought in Jakarta and until the end of his life only 2 houses left but the big one is in a very small village and none of the children would like to live there.

2. My mom gave birth to 8 children ( 5 girls and 3 boys) , at the Catholic hospital run by a Dutch nun which located at the foot valley of Tanggamus mountain. Mom doesn't remember the birthdays of most of her children, but she remembers the day my eldest sister was born. After the first child, just as work had intensified, with my Dad's agreement ... my Mom came up with an idea that the next babies would be best to remain in the hospital until we were able to walk. Because the hospital didn't have many baby patients that time, the Dutch nun agreed to spare one bed for Mom's babies and took care of us. Mom paid a visit weekly or twice a month and paid the fees, of course. We all grew up on bottles and the faces we recognized were the Dutch nun and her nurse assistants. Sister Joseph even had nicknames for us and remembered each of our funny traits when we were babies. I was the fifth in the line up as well as the third daughter. Because I was so tiny, Sister Joseph nicknamed me "Mientje" ... which I so hate since my friends often mocked me that Mientje is a popular name of a village girl, Minah, who moved to the big city and was ashamed with her true identity. I really hated that name and yet that is the name my family use to address me.... arggghhh!!!!

Late Sister Joseph

3. My mom has worked harder than anyone else I know in her family ... she overstretched herself physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially.

4. My mom can count using Abacus faster than the calculator. I still remember vividly the sound of the abacus beads clicking every time she did her book keeping.

5. My mom makes the best bakchang --a pyramids shape of sticky rice stuffed with seasoned ground pork/chicken, mushroom and water chestnut then wrapped in bamboo leaves--, sweet and spicy pork satay, and lapis legit --multi-layered butter cake.

6. My mom had problems communicating to her own children. I didn’t grow up in the kind of family where we talked about our feelings. There have been times when we were younger that my eldest brother bullied and abused me and my two younger sisters (banging our head to the wall, scratching faces with his sharp nails that still left scars until now, if he didn't get what he asked for ... for example), all this didn't go un-notice but she didn't do anything to stop it. It was more like "let’s-sweep- everything-under-the-rug” kind of family. After 6th grade, the kids were sent to dormitory school because there's no good schools near our house. When I was 15, I studied in a convent girls school in Yogyakarta, same with my other siblings ... we left home when we were young. I started working at the age of 18, two weeks after graduated from high school, because my dad was having a severe diabetes and needed a lot of money to pay for his meds as well as my younger siblings school fees. Since then, I've been working in various places, and ends up in Jakarta until now.

7. My mom is so negative, most of the time esp. to the person she considers bad, and it just drain everybody out as she is often biased with her petty judgement. She isn't a bad person she is very protective to her family, she is kind, generous and thoughtful but can be so dammed negative, insensitive and difficult.

8. My mom made the children feel obligated to do whatever she wants, because of what she has done in the past. At times it is like a puppet on strings, and she has the strings ... After Dad passed away in 1988, the family business was going down and mom was in huge debts because she often undertook risks beyond her capabilities. Mom start borrowing money from the bank without our knowledge and when the bank chased her, she made my eldest sister and me paying her debts. She insisted to continue the losing business until we could not tolerate it anymore and made her stay in my eldest sis house until now. She is unhappy at the beginning and told people that we have kidnapped her against her will...LOL!

9. My mom has the green thumb of green thumbs. She has that gift that any plant or tree or flower she touches blooms like never before. To beat her lottery buying addiction, my eldest sis now assigns my mom to take care of the plantations in her small front yard.

10. My mom is superstitious and believe with the people who can talk to spirits. She has many taboos that we must not do but we do not always take her advice seriously...LOL!

Well, good parents or bad parents make mistakes that stick with kids for their entire lives. My mom was no exception. We expect the moon, then feel bad when the picture doesn't end up as we envisioned. Sometimes our mothers hurt us tremendously, and we cant seem to shake off the bad feelings. But there is no changing the past and all things happen for a reason. Even though its a hard path, I've become a very strong person. She is not responsible for my happiness. I am. It is up to me to either stay bitter or make my life better. And I choose to make my life better. Even though we are not best friends, but she is still the best mom I could ever have.

August 15, 2007

Lontong Kari Ayam

I am a huge fan of the Indonesian version chicken curry or Lontong Kari Ayam, a favorite food of my childhood years. The one that I like is chicken curry with a soupy but not too thick coconuty richness and a hint of salty, spicy and sweet taste. When I am not too lazy, I often added a bit of veggies like green bean, diced carrots or tofu. I also like to add red eye bird chillis ten minutes before the curry is done and I love to crush one or two chillis inside my bowl with the back of the spoon as I like them real hot!

Lontong are pressed rice cake wrapped in banana leaves cooked in simmering water for an hour or 2. Quite a bit of preparation goes into the making of this dish and there is no short cut method to do it. For me, the secret of cooking good chicken curry lies in the fresh ingredients (in Indonesian we do not use curry powder like Indian curry) and I'd prefer to use mortar and pestle to grind the spices so the paste won't turn too watery and have more fragrant. I also prefer fresh squeeze coconut milk which is easily available here. Well, the combo of curry and lontong may keep any Atkins follower at bay but I love them so much. I can finish every last drop of the soup, and had to restrain myself from licking the bowl clean...LOL!:p

August 8, 2007


The very generous Eden from ThisGardenofEden including me on the Rockin' Girl Blogger list. It's so kind of her and Fe to mention me with some of the best girl-bloggers out there. Consider most of my posts are light reading and am a clumsy lazy blogger, I would never have thought I’d deserve an award in Blog-land. Eden is one wonderful working mom and has a great blog of her own where you can read about health matters in a clear, literate, and easy to understand way. She is thoughtful and humorous and her observations are dead on. She is also writing about her garden, complete with gorgeous photos that will make you want to go plant some seeds yourself, even if you have a black thumb. Thank you again, though, for this amiga! You're too kind!I hope I can keep the ideas flowing...:blah

Now I would like to present this Rockin' Blogger Award to ever dearest Belle, her blog was one of the early ones that inspired me to want to blog. A blog site with great story and photography from the first post to the last – enjoyable feast for eyes and senses. Congrats, Belle, I love your work!

August 7, 2007


To Sue, here are a couple of snapshots of Suneo. A hyper-active, hyper-intelligent and hyper-load of mischief kitten! When he is awake, he would growl, run around the house like mad, get on top of the computer desk, jump to the bicycle basket, he loves to chase the string or anything that rolls and has a sound, he loves to hear the sound of the running water, he follows you and claws your foot as you name it! He ain't afraid of anything and he often drives me crazy. But aside from all that negativity, am grateful all the rats are away from my home and I insist am still a dog person in heart...hehehe!

August 5, 2007

Sew what?

courtesy of Stella Duce website

When I was in high school, my teacher, Miss Siti Kireni, was very adamant about all of us, girls (I attended convent school girl) ought to learn to sew because you never know when the skill may be needed. But I was never interested in it. I know how to replace buttons when they fall off, but that is about it. I always had a hard time with patterns, I didn't understand the basics, I just had no clue how to go about it ... :hityou! I think I just I don't have the patience for trying to figure out the instructions. However, although and it is contradictory I can cross-stitch and enjoy doing that.

male seamstress in Rawamangun market

Nowadays in Indonesia people don't make their own clothes. They usually buy them in a shop. One reason is that it is cheaper, however, more often than not, you might have to alter them to fit you perfectly. And that can be quite a hassle. Whenever I buy a pair of jeans, I always need to cut it into size because they are always longer than my legs! Fortunately, there are lots of competent tailors in every corner of Jakarta. They are master of clothing alterations and the cost is fairly cheap too. Today I altered a sleepwear, 1 jeans, 1 pant, 1 skirt and 1 shirt ... and total up I only pay about USD 5 !!! I call that a great bargain :)

August 2, 2007

I love grocery shopping

Grocery shopping is one of my favorite things. I know some people think of it as a chore, but I enjoy it so much and take my time doing it! I love scouring the aisles, browsing in produce markets, or simply looking for something tempting or interesting. And I particularly like price comparing in one market to another since I often buy quite the same thing regularly. I know which place to go for better prices, or one that have a particularly best fresh produce. For me, produce is incredibly beautiful to look at and to touch. My favorite are local fruits and veggies. I think am truly blessed living in a tropical country with lots of exotic fruits, spices and veggies to choose. I've been thinking about how much I am addicted to all of this and how would I live without them?

The following pictures were taken by my phone camera on a trip to the super market last weekend. There's a sign on the entrance that taking pictures is not allowed but I pretend sending text messages when I snap the pics. As a chilli monster, I'd like to show you some of Indonesian hot chillis variety and some exotic fruits that you may not familiar with. Enjoy!

cabe merah ... not so hot

cabe hijau ... they taste quite mild for my tongue

cabe keriting ... slimmer but hotter

rawit besar or big "bird chilli" ... hot, hot, hot

rawit merah or small bird chilli ... the hottest of all


jambu biji


salak or the snake skin fruit

jambu air

August 1, 2007

Return of the lazy blogger

Hey there friends, I stop blogging for a couple of days and suddenly it's nearly a month since I last posted my entry. I would have ideas what to write on a certain day but alas I am just sooo L-A-Z-Y to go on and start writing them. I know I’m definitely not one of the world’s most prolific bloggers. Partially because I’ve been busy, partially because I’ve been lazy, well ... call it a writer's block...hehehe! For some reason I just haven't been able to motivate myself to do much of anything but watch TV and surf the web. I always seem to have less energy when the heat is unbearable--I think it's the super hot and humid weather that tires me out.