Monday, January 28, 2008

Good Bye, Pak Harto...

Sunday, 27 January 2008, Former Indonesian President Suharto Dead at 86, died in a Jakarta hospital Sunday after more than three weeks in critical condition.
Mr. Suharto's eldest daughter, Siti Hardiyanti [aka mbak Tutut], was emotionally spoken to the news media, said that the family asks for forgiveness for any of Mr. Suharto's faults, and appealed for all of his mistakes to be absolved.
For the past decade, Mr. Suharto and his family have been embroiled in legal investigations over charges of human rights abuses and corruption during his 32-year rule.
The former leader had lived in seclusion in central Jakarta for nearly ten years after stepping down during widespread unrest.
Regardless of what he done during his time as a President, many Indonesians remember him as a leader who developed the nation, built its economy, and ensured stability and life was easier during his reign. Some says when Mr. Suharto was president, the people were well off. He adds that the poor people, such as bicycle taxi drivers, were all happy.

The former general's rule was marked by rapid economic growth and political stability, but marred by massacres, human rights abuses and endemic corruption.
Suharto came to power after an abortive coup on September 30, 1965, that was officially blamed on the communist party. Up to 500,000 people were killed in an anti-communist purge in the months that followed.
He was forced to step down in 1998 as the Asian financial crisis sparked economic and social chaos, leading to calls for greater democracy.
But some Indonesians look back with nostalgia to the Suharto era, when Indonesia was one of Asia's tiger economies, and refer to him fondly as the "father of development''.
Selamat Jalan, pak Harto... Bapak pembangunan Indonesia.
*pictures and news was taken from many sources*

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chinese New Year is coming.....

Chinese new year is arriving soon........ the spring is here........
According to Chinese Calendar, the year 2008 is the Year of the Rat, which is fall on 7 February 2008.
Like the years before...... its means that Bagio will often go home late, as his company dealt with plants, many people, especially those who celebrate Chinese New Year, will like to buy to decorate their house to welcome the Spring.
Some people believe that certain plants will bring good luck to those who have it..... believe it or not...?
Flowers hold a special significance at Chinese New Year. They are believed to be symbols of wealth and high positions in one's career.
And the price is either start or end with "8" which sound like 'fa' means "Luck".
I just want to write about certain plants that you will easily find during Chinese New Year, and why people like to buy it:

1. "Assorted orange or Kumquat"...... small - medium - big - very big fruits. The bigger the plants the more expensive the price. Oranges in Canton is "KAM". The sound of 'Kam' and the colour of orange is similar like 'gold'. So.. with the orange tree at home.. the gold will come too........

2. "Lucky bamboo".. actually is dracaena plants... with many type of model and arrangements. I believe, in the beginning, some creative people braid the stems something like pineapple.. and people associated it like pineapple, which is 'wang li', meaning good luck will come.....

3. "Pussy Willow” or “Yin Liu” in Mandarin. Is it because the pronounciation is something like 'the silver flow"..? Olden days, people is using silver as money, right?

4. "Chinese Jade Plant/Money Tree (Crassula sp.)". The leaves is resembles coin, money. Everything that associated with money or luck is saleable during Chinese New Year.

5. "Cockscomb/Plumos (Celosia argentea)", especially the red and yellow colour. For Chinese, the colour red is a auspicious colour and it is used for decoration during Chinese new year. Yellow is symbol of Gold...

Also all types of plants with beautiful flowers, such as Chrysanthemum, Zinnia, Orchids and others will also be brought back to the home for decorations and celebrations.

Want to know more about Chinese New Year with all its meaning, history and so on.. please click All about Chinese New Year

新年快乐 Xīn nián kuài lè,
"Happy new year"
恭喜发财 Gōng xi fā cái ,
"Congratulations and be prosperous".

January's Happiness

January...... the birthday month for my beloved husband, my sisters, my friends....

1 January............ Shirley - my sister
6 January ........... May Leong, ex colleague
9 January............ Anna - my cousin
18 January ........ Bagio - my husband
20 January ........ Richard, ex colleague
23 January ........ Sam, ex colleague

Happy birthday to you all......... Many happy return of your days.

On 4 January 2008, May Leong and I went in JB for lunch (a treat from May's boss for Amy), so Richard and I happy go lucky to tag along...... We went to TGIF (Thank God It's Friday) in JB.

Since May and Richard born in the month of January, we asked the restauran the birthday cake to celebrate their birthday........

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mudik Surabaya/Salatiga, 20-31 Dec 2007

20 December 2007, we took Silk Air flew back to Surabaya. At about 09.00AM we reached Surabaya and Shirley's family already there waited for us (*20 Dec is a public holiday both in Singapore & Indonesia, that is why they could come & picked us up*). From airport, we direct went to Claket for a break. Evening we went back to Surabaya.

21 - 22 December, just went to visit our grandma (seen here in the photo, she already 98 years old, but still very healthy & alert), aunt/uncle, and also went out with Hernanto/Melani. They brough us to try RUJAK SOTO, specialities from Banyuwangi.. It is really rujak petis mixed with Soto Babat.. can't imagine it, just try it. If you want to know where u can get it in Surabaya, just let me know.. I have their namecard (but I am not their marketing people ...)
Other than rujak soto, they also sell other dishes, but I still prefer this Rujak Soto.

23-25 December 2007
After Hadi finished work, at about 2 pm we departed to Semarang/Salatiga to visit Bagio's family. We went via North Road, but due to the many rain recently, the roads not so smooth, and we drove slowly.. We reached Semarang about 8pm, direct looking for NASI AYAM somewhere in Jalan MT Haryono. If you want to try Nasi Ayam, dont come after 8pm, most of them already finished and ready to pack... They start business at 6pm..!
Since, too tired, we just stay overnight at Hadi's brother at Tanah Mas.
The next morning, we proceeded to Salatiga, to visit Bagio's family.
We went to Kopeng and Coffee farm. Night time, we met Amin & family after so many years never met. We chatted until late.

Sen-sen & Ling-Ling brought us for 'lesehan' dinner at Mina Restaurang. The food is nice... Tks Sen/Ling.

Monday, 24 December 2007, Hermawan's family arrived from Jakarta after long hours drove.
Tuesday, 25 December 2007 we drove to Bandungan and then Semarang to have our lunch there. We ate at Koh Liem, traditional chinese food. Also bought pecel kangkung..

And.. of course we went to our house at Dliko Indah to harvest the mango that planted by my mother...
Every year, when we back to Salatiga, the mango is always there waiting for us....

26 December 2007
After breakfast, we proceed direct to Surabaya via Solo/Sragen.
On the half way to Sragen, we could not go on because of the flood. In the end, we had to make many turn back to avoid the flood until about 4 hours.

Is really thank God that we did not delay our trip back to Surabaya. Otherwise we could not back that day, because only about 2 or 3 hours later, many roads were block and impossible to pass it by vehicle, unless by boat.. :)
We reached Claket (Pacet) almost 10.30 pm after taken dinner on the way.

27-29 December 2007
Today we prepared simple feast to celebrate Theo's 7th years birthday (actual date is on 26th December, but since he wanted to celebrate it in Claket, then we celebrated on this day).

Everybody was busy, except the guys... haha... Since the kitchen is small, we prepared the food while sitting in the garden outside the kitchen. Very fun.. Our menu is: Sate, Corn Soup, Tahu, Mie Goreng, and of course birthday cake (the cake was bought lah, not bake ourselves).

Happy Birthday, our dear Theo..
God bless and leading you always in your future.. Amen.

Our photo in Claket and the foods that we ate there... hmmmmmm...........

30-31 December 2007

After church, we went to visit my god-sister, who is also my cousin, Vonny. She just give birth twin girls, Jennifer and Jessica, last 1st May 2007. Very cute nieces...

After that we went to some last minute shopping and lastly visit my 3rd uncle/aunt.

31 December afternoon we flew back to Singapore.
We reached our home at 10.00pm..

Happy New Year 2008............
After cleanse ourselves, we went to the dreamland with sweet memory from Indonesia.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ipoh, 14-19 Dec. 2007

About 16 adults and 7 children by 5 cars we drove to Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
We departed at 8.00am and stopped by at 2 resting place along the way (Ayer Keroh and Sungei Buloh Jejantas Restaurant) for lunch and restroom. We reached Ipoh about 5 pm.
Ipoh is known as "Mountain city", because its city is surrounding by the mountains. And, a lot of caves, but most of them already taken and use for religious purpose (both Chinese or Indian).

We stayed at Mee Ying's parents' house at Kuala Kuang Village, Chepor, Ipoh. Nearby there is a small river that the water flow from the spring on the mountain. The water is cold and clear. We really had a good time there... The place still original and nature. Only available one small eating place, simple toilet and changing place. This place is known as Ulu Chepor, Tambun.
Each one of us (except Bagio, who is the photographer) deep into the water and play happily.

We plan to come back here again, if there is any chance.
The cost to play in this place, if you drive is only RM 1.00 per car per entry, otherwise just walk in and dip into the water.
We celebrated Patrick birthday on 15 Dec with candle stick on durians... (as we forgotton to buy cake for him).

15 Dec 2007
After breakfast Yam Cha, we proceed to Gua Tempurung (means "Coconut Shell Cave"), located at Gopeng, Ipoh, near Kampar, about 30 minutes drive from Ipoh city.

Gua Tempurung is quite a large cave with beautiful stalagmites and stalactites.It is located inside Gunung Tempurung (Tempurung Mountain), which it is named after. The marble and limestone mountain is crossed completely by the 1.6-2 kilometer main passage with its cave river.

The cave was once used by the communist as a hideout between 1950 and 1960. They offer 4 different types of tours, both dry or wet adventures. All tour will be accompanied with tour guide, who will explain and shows us different type of formation, such as elephant, boar, car, long hair lady, Osama bin Laden, etc.

We joint the second tour, Top of the World, which is the highest point of the main passage. Here at platform five the developed part of the cave ends. The tour guide told me, why they called this part "TOP OF THE WORLD" is because in this place we can reach the ceiling of the cave (for those with enough height and at certain point only). We are at the highest point of the cave, before we turned back. The journey will take about 1.5 hours go and return, depend on how fast we walk and how many times we stopped for rest, as we need to climb the stair case that quite high.

Is worth to visit this place.
For those who understand Malay/Bahasa Indonesia, can get more story from this blog...
More information in English with the tour/ticket price can be seen from

17 December 2007
Morning we went to try Ipoh White coffee... is really nice! Also tried the curry cing jong fun (sometimes like horfun), very unique and nice. After that we proceed to Sitiawan/Manjung to visit the saints there..
In Sitiawan we had seafood lunch and try the famous es chendol. Look at the way the seller dressed...
The chendol very nice, only RM 1.00 per bowl... The location is near Indian's temple in Manjung.

The Ipoh food that you have to try, at least:

1. Chicken Bread at Restaurant Yau Kee ("Roti Ayam") at Kampar.

Available in 2 sizes and 2 flavour: curry and herbs. Both very nice. The price Small RM 25.00, Big RM43.00.
They also sell other dishes and chicken biscuits which are very famous snacks from Ipoh.

2. Ipoh horfun/kweetiau with taoge chicken at Restauran Ong Kee (Tauge ayam), Jl. Dato Tahwil Azar, Ipoh

The atmosphere is nice, dine on the road side with open sky (as long as no raining). At walking distance from this place you can find 'pasar malam' (night market), but you have to come after 8pm, as the night market is starts late.

3. Yam Cha at Ming Court Hongkong Tim Sum Sdn. Bhd.
They are serving small size of assorted Dim Sum. If we come with few people, we can try more varieties of dim sum. Remember to come early, otherwise has to wait very long and nothing left... as people of Ipoh like to come here to have breakfast and brunch.. especially on Weekend and public holiday.
The price per serving is about RM 2.00-RM6.00

4. White coffee at Old Town White Coffee, Jalan Persiaran Bijeh Timah

In this area, Old Town Ipoh, you can find many "kedai kopi" (coffee shop). They not only selling the famous white coffee, but also other snacks and dishes. We tried the Yong To Fu, Curry horfun, toast bread.

I like to the coffee taste from Sin Yuan Foong... very nice .. If you want to buy the coffee powder, buy the black one, not the three in one coffee. 600 gr will cost you RM 16.00, more expensive than the 3-in-1 package.
But somehow, when you do yourself at home, the taste will not be the same with if you drink it there...... any secret recipe????

5. Different types of Chinese Food
We tried: East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, Tuck Kee, Anika Selera (Dong Gu Ting), and some kopitiam and traditional market.