Tuesday, May 30, 2017

3 Fun Things to Do at Yogyakarta

Yogyakarta, is a city in central Java, well-known for the famous heritage temples (such as Borobudur and Prambanan temple), education center, batik, and it's the only province in Indonesia with the monarchy system.

Here are unusual 3 fun things you can do at Yogyakarta:

1. Sandboarding at Gumuk Pasir
It's located around 1 hour driving from the Yogyakarta City. There's no entrance fee but there's around Rp15,000 parking fee. You can rent the sandboard for Rp 100,000/pc. You don't need to rent so many boards since you can take turn with your friends. Take a slide down at the sand hill and scream as loud as you want. It's such a fun activity to do. There's no time limitation for this activity.

2. Water Rafting at Sungai Elo
If you're beginner, go for the Sungai Elo water rafting (equivalent grade II AWA scale). You'll raft for 12.5KM in around 3 hours. Most of the operators will have 1 rest area where you can drink fresh coconut water. We spent around Rp 600,000 for 1 boat (5 pax including guide). If you want something more challenging, you can opt for another route Progo Atas or Progo Hulu. During weekend it can be very crowded so it's best if you can go during weekdays.

3. Cave Tubing at Goa Pindul
Goa Pindul is around 2 hours driving from the city. It's a relaxing water activity without swimming skill required. You just need to sit on the tube provided and a guide will pull you and group through the cave. The cave tubing only lasts for 30 minutes (it's 350m length) on normal day (when there's no many crowd). So if you want, you can get another activity river rafting. The name can be misleading. In fact, there's no rafting at all. It's the same as cave tubing but you'll do it on the river instead. This activity lasts for 1 hour. The total cost for 2 activities are Rp 70,000 - 90,000/pax.

Monday, March 20, 2017

My 6-months Adult Beginner Ballet Journey

I can't believe it that I've been doing my ballet classes for 6 months already. I'm happy to say that I still enjoy it so far and will keep continuing.

So, in this post I would like to share with you what have I done for the last 6 months of adult beginner ballet class. I hope this can be a motivation for you who wish to embark the same journey as me.

In the beginning, I signed up myself for an adult beginner ballet class in one of ballet school recommended by my friend who does ballet. I researched the schedule, the fee, the attire required, etc from their website. I went down to school to take a look how it was like and the staff was kind enough to show me around, explained everything and encouraged me not to give up. The next week I paid for my 1 term fee (for 8 beginner 1 classes on Sunday afternoon) and got my ballet shoe/slipper ready.

I remembered I was so nervous on my first class. I knew that my coordination was bad and my body was very stiff. But, I thought why not I just gave it a try since I paid already. Apparently, the class was fun though I kept getting muscle sore from the evening after the class. The teacher was kind and funny. For that 8 weeks I had been looking forward for my Sunday ballet class.

I made friends in the class and shared some thoughts of taking additional classes outside. So, I went to some trial classes at different schools. It was good to have additional classes but for some reasons the programs didn't suit me.

After finishing the 8-week classes, unfortunately I needed to find another full-package class as my favorite teacher doesn't teach the next level. I tried with 2 other teachers for the beginner 2 classes but I felt it's was too fast and there's a gap between what I learnt in beginner 1 and the beginner 2. Another friend recommended few other schools. I researched more on them and found there's one school that has more structured syllabus, in good location and has reasonable price.

I signed up for the second school with foundation level of 10-week classes. However, I decided to make use my open class card to retake my beginner 1 class (with my favorite teacher again) in first school as I still have 6 more slots to use (the card has 8 slots quota). So for the 6 weeks, I had 2 ballet classes in a week. I'm quite happy with this arrangement as one of them is very technical and slow pace, while the other one is faster and fun.

Now that I've been doing 6 months of ballet, I realize that:
1. I know more about basic ballet techniques: plie (demi & grand), tendus, frappe, pirouettes, etc.
2. I build strength especially on my leg and core muscles
3. My coordination is getting better and better
4. My posture is improved as in classes I need to always keep my back straight

If you're also doing the adult beginner ballet as me, don't give up. Though it's keep getting harder and harder, eventually you'll get the hang of it.

I motivated myself in the journey by buying myself another pair of ballet shoe which is made of canvas (my previous one was leather). By the time I wrote this post I haven't tried it yet. I'll give it a try on my next classes and see how it differ with my leather shoe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cool Thing in Singapore: Leftover Coin Deposit Machine Traveler's Box

I found this cool machine in Changi Airport one day once I landed from weekend trip. It was located near the toilet entrance which I went to. While waiting for my sister I was curious reading the banner on the machine's body and checked out a bit what was the new machine for.

Traveler's Box leftover coins deposit machine
Traveler's Box, leftover coin deposit machine
Traveler's Box leftover coins deposit machine

The machine, Traveler's Box appeared to be deposit machine for foreign currency leftover coins (it does accept Singapore dollars). This machine will actually exchange based on its exchange rate (I have no idea whether the rate is good) and deposit your coins to your chosen partner's account. The partner's choice are from Amazon, PayPal, Apple iTunes, Skype, Starbucks, Facebook, Grab, etc.

Traveler's Box leftover coins deposit machine

Traveler's Box leftover coins deposit machine

Traveler's Box leftover coins deposit machine

Traveler's Box leftover coins deposit machine

This is such a great idea and helpful for frequent travelers to get rid the coins from their travelling. When you don't have much leftover it's difficult to exchange back to your local currency as banks or money changer don't accept small amount.

Based on the information I got, Traveler's Box is developed by three US based founders and have been installed at some other airports around the world. Currently Traveler's Box charging 3-10 percent processing fee but aiming to push the fee to partners in the future.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

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Monday, November 28, 2016

Top Boring Unwanted Christmas Gifts You Should Avoid

Everybody had made this mistake at least once in lifetime, I guess. When you have long name list for the Christmas gift exchange ritual and you don't have any single idea what you should get for them, you will tend to get these boring and unwanted Christmas gifts because it's everywhere and it's on sale nearing the holiday seasons.

Here are the top unwanted Christmas gift you should avoid as much as possible. I have this list based on the opinion of people around me, so it may not be true for your friends and family.

1. Mug
I know you will think of getting it from Ikea. Just don't buy it for Christmas present.

2. Toiletries or hand cream
Especially the set that comes with shower gel and loofah or shower gel and body lotion. Or hand cream for ladies. I do use hand cream occasionally in office. But I haven't even finished one tube of 40ml for the past 2 years. With this kind of speed, I will be only happy to receive hand cream once every 3-4 years.

3. Photo Frame

4. Christmas Ornament

5. Soft toys
Not a good idea for adult.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Top Christmas Movies I Like to Rewatch

Have you feel the Christmas spirit already?
Have your neighborhood changed to light show at night already?
Christmas is coming. And the best activity I like to do during the holiday is rewatching some good movies or animation on pajama with a cup of warm chocolate (or any warm drinks).

During Christmas holiday I like to watch something magical, more into animation, or something adventurous. Here are my top Christmas movies that I like to rewatch:

1. Polar Express (2004)
This magical 3D animation is about a boy named Billy, who one day picked up by a train The Polar Express to North Pole.

2. Anastasia (1997)
Anastasia is one of my favorite animations so far. I like the pictures, I like the storyline, I like the guy (ehem ^_^) and I like the soundtracks. Follow Anya's adventure to find her family and her own identity.

3. Jack Frost Rise of the Guardian (2012)
This animation tells story about the children heroes Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Sandman together with Jack Frost trying to save the world from the Pitch Black.


4. Home Alone (1990)
I think for most people, Christmas always reminds them with Home Alone movie. This classic movie is still entertaining and family friendly to watch during Christmas holiday.

5. Harry Potter Series
I'm a big fan of Harry Potter. Which movie is more magical than the Harry Potter series?

6. Sister Act Series
In the mood of some musical & laugh? Maybe Sister Act is good choice to watch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Seribu Rasa, Cozy and Elegant Indonesian Food Restaurant

If you happen to visit Jakarta (Menteng especially) you should come to this restaurant, Seribu Rasa. In English, Seribu Rasa means "thousand flavors" which I feel it really represents the restaurant itself. It has impressive choices of food, which not only cooked in Indonesian style but also other Asian countries' style.

The restaurant is cozy and elegant at the same time. It's good for little gathering with family or coworkers. But I need to warn you, make reservation in advance to avoid disappointment.

Everytime I come back to Indonesia, I need to get avocado juice. The texture is like smoothie with combination of avocado, ice, and condensed milk. It tastes different with Singapore's one because they put gula melaka inside. 

Avocado Juice

Black Pepper Squid Malioboro
Dessert: Klappertaart
This is the only dessert I always ordered every time I go to Seribu Rasa. Klappertaart, is a vanilla custard dessert with a mix of coconut inside. It's light and not so sweet. It's served chilled. Seribu Rasa has 2 flavors: Vanilla and Raisin.

Klappertaart Vanilla

Jl. Haji Agus Salim, No. 128, Menteng, Jakarta