Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Indonesia-Penang Trip VI

31 May 2014
After the stroll in the mall, we came out of the building to be greeted by the grandeuse night scene of Jakarta. I have to say I do like the buildings, except the air quality. The buildings were giants, at least for the offices, malls and high buildings. Though with some hazy condition, the lights from the buildings did made it through...

After that, we headed towards an eating place at Pik - supposed short for Pantai Indah Kapuk. It was a hawker centre like place so that means we get to sink our teeth in a variety of local food, awesome! Even the outdoor of the place was filled with families eating tze-char style.

Among the food we ate, we started with a little local appetizer. This is Tahu Gejrot. Tahu, means beancurd. Hence it is beancurd mixed with chilli and some herbs and vinegar. It was overally sour-ish but not all of us could appreciate the taste. Beware of the cili padi though. (Cili padi is the green small chillis - legendary spicy ones)

This is one of my favourite from Jakarta, Nasi Bakar. I like how they bakar the whole thing, rice with vegetable and the fish. It was some salted fish. I was not a big fan of petai (the smelly beans) but I find the combination here incredible. The vegetable was not as nice but they fit it somehow, at most I could pick out some of the leaves.

Just in case I forgot how the stall looks like, it was like that. There were different types of nasi bakar, mainly due to the differences in meat, however the content or side dish could be different too. They have a cute little pig on the stall too, sniffing flowers...

We ordered satay too. What was different in this satay was the sauces. Note the curry-like liquid topping the dish? Unlike those in Malaysia and Singapore, they did not provide a sambal or satay sauce separately. However, the taste of this soup, was nothing like our satay sauce. I can't reapply describe them aptly here, but the touch was nice!

This is me enjoying every bit of the dinner plus the satay.

Along our journey, we were introduced to this legendary siomay. Unfortunately, the only siomay sold in this centre was pork-based. Even though the rest do enjoy it, I find the taste normal and not especially enticing. Perhaps I was not too fond of pork in all shapes and taste, but it was of a peculiar taste. *hint: I will be meeting my favourite siomay later in the trip!

This is the view from behind the stall. They could have one whole row selling drinks, all kind of drinks. I bought a blueberry tea and was surprised to find out they do really make real tea for that instead of some formulas. To some extent, I'm very chuffed with their drink standard.

Of all dessert, we were introduced to these cute little flour dough. They were made using some liquid same as how apom was made but these were made into a thicker shape and topped with sweet cocoa rice. They were called Kue Cubit. It was funny because 'cubit' means 'pinch' in Malay. They make really nice dessert, though could be quite filling at times.

After our dinner, we headed back to our staying area. On the way, we did stop by to be intrigued by the Tzu Chi Centre in Jakarta. It was a very big place and supposed to look like this:

Photo taken from here.

It was dark that time, but we could feel the grotesqueness of the building. It sure looks grand, but I do wonder the same question as to many other religious places, do we really need such big structure? It would be great if this place were to be put into good use. Many thought we could serve whatever we believe by building big places, giving huge money - when we forget, there are those nearer to us, whome we could give immediate help. No matter what, I do believe that Tzu Chi do provide quite few useful platforms to serve the community.

After that, we headed back.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


Late night of 17th of July 2014, I was back in my room after the newly found karate session and a skype session with my mother. It was when I scrolled down my Facebook page that the feed reeled in news on MH17 being shot down. I thought I had misread the whole thing or someone was just posting a terrible joke. After checking from several sites on the Internet (which probably was not the most trusted methodology), it was confirmed that one of the Malaysia Airline passenger plane MH17 was indeed shot down from the airspace near the Ukraine-Russian border.

It was a truly sad news since it meant no survivors and many more problems to come. I was deeply saddened by the usual fact that in the event of conflict, the innocents were most of the time dragged into the whole whirlpool. It also highlighted to the public the importance of common people like us, to understand what is going on in the world. We were usually living within our own comfort zone, our safety place, and we should be grateful for that. But that doesn't mean everywhere else, everyone else is having the luxury of sleeping in peace, having a full stomach to sleep with, a roof above them. 

This event also brought me ultimate frustration. Why? This is not a post trying to put a blame on which side or party, but in the end, the whole thing stems down to our very nature of human. Us, warmonger. We fought our way through history, competing each other out of the space, often with a price - sometimes using some things that did not belong to us. Ukraine-Russia is not the only border having tension in the world. We could make a documentary programme out of each every of them. And it is ridiculous. We are living in an era where we could call across the globe within a press of a button, flying across nations as how viruses could spread, sending spacecrafts into space - and we would thought why we need barriers when we have the technology not to. 

At the same time, I know I should not feel angry or a feel of retribution. As much as such tragedy create an uprise of yelling people around the world, I personally do not think revenge or retribution would be a great idea. There was almost no perfect way to solve a problem with punishment. That would lead to more casualty and victims, and again, mostly including those who are innocent. Important lesson, however, lies in us, being more aware and mindful over these things that are happening all over the world. 

Here I would like to share a quote from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling. Even though it was an excerpt out of a fiction book, it did say a lot about our world.

On top of that, just yesterday morning, I received news about my ex-roomate lost two sisters and a nephew on that same plane. On a personal point of view, this might be a great impact on her and her family. My deepest thought and prayers to her. I do hope they stay strong throughout this trying time. It was also disheartening to see so many talented and wonderful people perished in this event, especially those amazingly devoted AIDS researchers. This is truly a loss to the world.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Something Worth Meditating On

As you can see, I don't usually share Internet-posted things on my blog. But there are exceptions. This time, I would like to share a short excerpt of an interview with J. K. Rowling.

In case of those who have no idea who she is, she is the author of Harry Potter series.

Most of the fans would know how J. K. Rowling wrote one of the phenomenal series during the last decade, most of the time inside a café called The Elephant House. What was presented to the public was that she was on welfare during the time, difficult time... And this is her view after she's gotten her bestseller, which is something we should bear in mind often.

In my opinion, this is a great kind of mindset. No matter we are on welfare, food coupon, parents' financial support or so forth, it should be our short term solution. We could view it as the kindness and compassion of others who invest on us, so that we could work our way out of current situation. All the time, grateful. Always be grateful and appreciate these, as blessings and opportunity. We shouldn't look at these as entitlement. And in future when we are able, we would return these goodwill, to the party/person who helped us, or transfer the kindness to others who are in need. We should work to make someone's investment on us a successful one, and continue to invest on another, and hopefully the line continues.

I fear my descriptive here might not be very clear, but yea, something to think about...

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