Letter to Papa

11 May 2019

Pa, it has been almost 4 weeks since you’ve been gone. I’m now back to the daily grind in Singapore, the city where I’ve been living in for the past 14 years. 14 years, that’s how long I’ve been away from you. I didn’t ask you how you felt about me leaving our country to pursue better opportunity overseas. I hope you felt proud. (more…)

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Year 2018 in Review: A Year of Challenges and Opportunities

I’m always a latecomer to the party, aren’t I? Other people have started their reflections in December, but I still couldn’t make up my mind whether I should write a review post of my life in 2018.

Year 2018 is a real rollercoaster for me. My life went from great, to not so great, to nice, to bad, to amazing, to hell, to fabulous, to nightmare, to great again. I guess that’s how life goes, isn’t it? I almost didn’t want to write this post because I’m afraid if I write about all the hardships that I faced, this blog would turn into a complaint outlet.

At the same time, I want to show that my life is definitely not as picture-perfect as how my blog might portray. I want to paint an honest picture that everybody can relate to. Without further ado, let’s start. (more…)

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I Saw That Look

I saw that look on his face
That empty stare in the midst of the bustling workplace
That raised voice when confronted by his clients

He is the leader of a hardworking team. His main task is to be the person who motivates, pushes, supports, leads the team to complete the job on time with minimum mistakes. He’s the person held responsible for the quality of the job. Yet, all he does every day is staring emptily into space, not giving a f*** about what the team is working on. All he does every day is counting down the days until he receives the paycheck, and the days until he can finally retire. (more…)

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The Day I Decided to Stop Buying Souvenirs

“Take only memories and pictures. Leave only footprints.”

“Don’t forget my souvenirs,” said my friends and families to me everytime I told them that I’m travelling to certain countries. This sentence is so common among Indonesians that everyone says it regardless whether they mean it or not.

The act of buying souvenirs for friends and families has influenced the way I travelled in my teens and twenties. On the last day of my trip, I always visit a souvenir market and spend half or a whole day looking for souvenirs.

It doesn’t matter whether the souvenirs are useful or not. What matters is that the name of the city or country is boldly emblazoned. It doesn’t matter how much the souvenirs cost, what matter is each of my closest family members and best friends receive something when I come back because that’s the proof of how much they meant to me. (more…)

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Turning 30, These Are 30 Things I Wish to Tell my 21-Year-Old Self

Hey there! Happy birthday!

Congrats for finally turning 21! You’re in your fourth and final year in university now, getting ready to gear up for your final semester before entering the workforce. Isn’t it such a big milestone to turn 21? You finally get to call yourself an adult! You’ll be able to drink legally anywhere in the world.

Anyway, you surely danced yourself into 21 with grace, didn’t you? You just came back from Bali a few days ago with your best pals. There, you climbed the first mountain in your life, the Mount Batur. And today, your best friends celebrated your birthday in the university dorm. It was a perfect birthday.

I bet you’re excited about turning 21, yet scared of the future at the same time. I know, I’ve been there. That is why I’m writing a letter to you, to tell you 30 things that I learned over the past 9 years. (more…)

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How We Planned 3 Weddings on a Budget

You must be thinking, “If you want a budget wedding, why not have 1 wedding instead of 3?” I know, our decision to have 3 weddings might sound ridiculously unwise to some. But we didn’t regret it even for a moment.

For we both love our family and friends back at our hometowns and home countries dearly, we want to share our happiness with all of them. I’m from Indonesia, he’s from Malaysia, so we’d have a wedding in Indonesia and Malaysia. In addition, we want to do the formal registration of marriage in Singapore, the country we are living in. That makes it 3 weddings in 3 countries!

The challenge in planning for 3 weddings lies in, obviously, the cost. Being a frugal couple, we wanted to cut as much unnecessary cost as possible. (more…)

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Post-Holiday Blues

Have you ever experienced coming back from a vacation feeling depressed? I have. Since 2005. And it’s still happening in 2017.

I have just returned from my hometown three days ago. My energy has been very low since my return to Singapore. I didn’t have much appetite nor enthusiasm. My mind kept on playing flashbacks of events that occurred during my time in my hometown. I felt tired most of the time. And I felt lonely in my rented apartment room when I was unpacking, doing housekeeping and clearing my emails. (more…)

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We’re Getting Married!

It has been quiet around here lately. Well, it’s because we’re getting married!

The past few months has been busy for us. Remember how I prefer to DIY my travel and avoid group tour packages? We’re using the same principle to plan our wedding. We decided to DIY everything and not signing up for any bridal packages. (more…)

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How I Lost 7 Kg in 4 Months with Slow Carb Diet, and 6 More Kg Without Diet

Travel makes you either gain weight or lose weight rapidly. I have experienced both cases. In 2008 I went to Mexico for my university’s summer exchange program for a month, I ate food at regular times every day at school, I ate so much fast food, and I stuffed myself with tequilas and coronas. But I lost weight at the end of the trip. Part of me wanted to believe that the stress of living abroad and eating food that was not Asian’s staple have caused me to lose weight.

In 2011, I went to India for, a very challenging country, for a month. I fell sick due to food poisoning. As a result, I had limited choices of food that I can consume safely. In the end, I came home slimmer than I was before the trip.

Other than those 2 extreme cases above, my other trips have seen me bringing home extra kilogrammes in the form of body fat, after the trip. (more…)

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