Drinking çay in Istanbul

There is no word that can describe the feeling when I first drank my Çay (Traditional Turkish Tea), the taste, the way I held it with my fingertips on the rim of the tulip-shaped glass, and the amazing ambience of Istanbul. I didn’t stop drinking ever since; every hour if possible. I have to be honest, food (and drink) usually plays important role on how Bandi and I end up loving the place we travelled to or not; and Turkey scored well on that department. We were really looking forward to every meal.

We started everyday with scrumptious Turkey breakfast; which just like their tea, is a big deal for them. From this experience, I learned the best way to eat my toast: with butter, cream and honey. Mind blowing. Although most of the recommended dishes in Turkey are meat heavy, there were some pleasant surprise of vegetarian options. I turned into a vegetarian most of the days because I simply couldn’t eat meat everyday. I love love love their Lentil Soup, pairing with Turkish famous bread makes it perfect.

Before I continue rambling about food, let’s talk about the city itself.

I rarely fall in love with cities. Cities are not my most favourite place to travel to and only few cities left mark in my memories; London, Tokyo, Rome. So I was surprised when I grew fond of Istanbul organically. Istanbul is visually beautiful, no doubts, but it also has something unique that enticed me. Maybe it’s the culture, the people or the food, I didn’t really know when exactly I fell in love with it.

I knew it was love because there’s something I hate about it, yet I still love it. Turks smoke like they drink their çay, non-stop; and I hate coming home with my hair smelling disgusting.

Bandi and I visited the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, or famously known as the Blue Mosque. I had goosebumps all over me when I entered, it was the same feeling when I first entered Pantheon in Rome, the unforgettable feeling, the wow-this-is-out-of-this-world feeling. It was BEAUTIFUL. Please take note that you have to dress modestly if you plan to go in, you also need to take off your shoes. There is no entrance fee as this is a functioning mosque.

The exterior of Sultan Ahmet Mosque

The beautiful interior

 

Our second stop was Hagia Sophia, which has a very long history. It was a church during Byzantine period. Hagia Sophia has more interesting stories than the building itself. We stopped for a while before we entered, sat on the park bench, just to read the long history of Hagia Sophia, it’s really interesting how this building has witnessed so many revolutions happened. Google for the story, it could be 20 pages long! The main wodden door in Hagia Sophia has been standing since 6th century!

Super old door!

Bandi and I, in the park between Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmet Mosque

The third must-visit place in Istanbul is Topkapi Palace. This place is huuuge! Slot some time to really walk around and explore the place. Bandi and I really enjoyed this place, especially the kitchen museum, imagining how it feels to be the chief cook in that era, leading a team to cook for the whole palace (roughly 4,000 people), it was massive in that era. The museum has a lot of information written all over it, so we could really learn about the palace.

Sadly the 40 Lira entrance fee doesn’t include the Harem (the place where the Sultan spent his private life with his family). You need to pay additional 25 Lira to get to know the Harem.

If you’re a Moslem, or interested in one, there is some seriously important artefact stored in Topkapi Palace, such as footprint of Prophet Muhammad, Moses’ staff, and other impressive collections! You may googling more about the list and its authenticity, but it is definitely a must visit!

Our favorite place in Topkapi Palace is the balcony where you can see the sea. It was such a beautiful day in Istanbul, and seriously how can you not love this city?

My only regret is not to spend longer time in Istanbul. I was so mesmerized by the seabirds that followed us all the way when we boarded ferry from the European Istanbul to the Asian Istanbul. There were thousand of them, hovering above the ferry, while cruising from one continent to another. Everything about Istanbul is visually beautiful.

And the vibe in Galatasaray bridge in the evening, full of people fishing, chatting, hassling… A dad teaching his daughter how to fish, a group of friend hanging out while eating fish sandwich, a couple having fun under the bridge, where the restaurants are, and their pink sunset… This city is really special, their sunset is pink color! I love Istanbul, I really do. I will definitely come back because I’ve left a piece of my heart there. :)

Cheers,

May, with a hair as pink as Istanbul’s Sunset.

The Next Hotspot: Ipoh

Have you heard of Ipoh, a capital city of Perak, Malaysia? If you haven’t, you will soon. With the great theme park coming up, more budget airlines opening destinations there and easy access via bus, Ipoh is gonna booming soon!

Thankfully, I have a good friend who is an Ipoh Mali (a local from Ipoh). The six of us took overnight bus from Singapore around 10 pm and reached Ipoh 8 am in the morning. The bus was so comfortable and costed S$45. We flew back to Singapore with Tiger Air.

In Ipoh, try to rent a car and do self-drive. Public transport is not recommended, according to the local guy. Watch our blog in youtube below about all the food we ate and the places we visited. Kellie’s castle was the star! I also listed down the places below.

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Kellie’s Castle, a beautiful surprise in Ipoh.

The full blog of our adventure in Ipoh:

Food and places in Ipoh:

1. Kellie’s Castle

31000 Batu Gajah, Perak, Malaysia

2. Gua Tempurung

Pusat Pelancongan Gua Tempurung,, 31600 Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia

Come early (before 12 noon) if you want to do caving and get wet!

3. Cave Temple

Sam Poh Tong Temple [三寶佛洞] – Cavern of Triple Gems

Gunung Rapat,  31350 Ipoh

— List of eateries we visited (including the GPS coordinates)—

1. Dimsum Place:

Restoran Yoke Fook Moon San Bhd

No. 65-69 Jalan Leong Sin Nam, 30300 Ipoh

GPS Coordinates: 4.596819, 101.086496

2. Ice Cendol:

Ice Cendol Kacang near Padang Kelab Kilat

Jalan Bunga Raya, Taman Pasir Pinji, 31650 Ipoh

GPS Coordinates: 4.571068, 101.084247

3. Mochi & Peanut Dessert

Hong Kee Mah Chee 芳记(麻芝与花生糊)

572-580, Jalan Queen, Pasir Penjih, 31650 Ipoh

GPS Coordinates: 4.573137, 101.086918

4. The Big Tree (where we eat Sagot):

Chung Kee Famous Yong Tau Foo 忠記兵如港大樹頭炸料粉

652, Jalan King, Taman Hoover, 31650 Ipoh

GPS Coordinates: 4.582214, 101.085834

we ate:

– Sagot, some other yong tau foo

– dry curry bee hoon noodles

– assam laksa

5. Snow Beer/ Snowflake Beer:

Kafe Sun Yoon Wah 新元华美食阁

(Some stalls in Concubine Lane

7, Jalan Bijeh Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

GPS Coordinates: 4.596117, 101.078861

6. Ipoh Bean Sprout Chicken (Nga Choi Kai):

Restoran Cowan Street Ayam Tauge & Koitiau 高温街芽菜鸡沙河粉

44, Jalan Raja Ekram, Kampung Jawa, 31350 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

GPS Coordinates: 4.597580, 101.085842

Opening Hours: 6.30-11PM (Thu-Sun)

–> I swear by Jon Snow King of the North, this is a must place to visit, their food is crazy delicious!!!

7. Ipoh Hor Fun + Cheong Fun (Morning):

Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng 怡保光興茶室

(Beside Thean Chun 天津茶室)

75, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

GPS Coordinates: 4.596385, 101.077912

We ate:

– Custard Pudding

– Satay

– 3 kinds of Cheong Fun

– Ipoh Slice Chicken Hor Fun

– White Coffee (so good I drank Rickie’s coffee and they all complained!)

8. Ipoh White Coffee:

Kedai Makanan Nam Heong 南香茶餐室

(Original Old Town White Coffee Store)

2, Jalan Bandar Timah, 30000 Ipoh

GPS Coordinates: 4.593212, 101.077006

The following is other best coffee that May missed out. lol~~~ (Rickie typed this)

Kedai Kopi Sun Yuan Loong 新源隆茶餐室

(Branch of Kedai Kopi Sin Yoon Loong)

Medan Bendahara 2, Taman Taiping, 31650 Ipoh

GPS Coordinates: 4.585366, 101.080190

9. The Salted Chicken:

Ayam Garam Aun Kheng Lim 宴琼林盐焗鸡

24, Jalan Theatre, Taman Jubilee, 30300 Ipoh

GPS Coordinates: 4.594757, 101.083371


I hope this post will inspire you to go to Ipoh and I hope you’ll enjoy Ipoh as much as we did! :)

Cheers,

May, loving Horfun

You don’t

You don’t always get what you want in life. The moment you accept it is the moment you become an adult.

You don’t always get the answer from your questions.
You don’t always see the reason behind every actions.
You don’t always venture from your risks.

You don’t always get the people you love to stay.
Oh honey, I hope you do, but in life, you don’t.
Life is so fragile, so short, so priceless.
All the unknowns and the unsure are the ones that give life meaning, letting you try without insurance.
Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail.
Sometimes you try again, sometimes you let go.
You don’t always know, dear and you don’t need to always agree with your heart. But follow your heart as it will never be wrong.

It hurts sometimes, I know. But as long as you’re still alive, the pain is still bearable. You’ll be alright, deary.

You’ll be fine before you know it.

You don’t always get to feel the way you wanted to.

You don’t always understand what’s going on in your heart or your head.

You don’t always agree with what you feel or what’s been filling your mind.

The thing is, most of the times you’re trying to fight what’s uncomfortable, when you should’ve just embraced it. Let it sink in, and if it hurts you, then let it hurt you and it will make you stronger.

Nothing in this life, NOTHING should make you feel less. You are you, just stronger, wiser, better, tougher.

And don’t forget to have fun. That’s the only way life should be. Fun.

2016.12.09

I will be happy again.

“Death is what gives life meaning, to know your days are numbered and your time is short.” I heard this sentence in Dr. Strange movie, a week after my Dad passed away and 10 months after my brother passed away.

I’m not good with grieving. I guess nobody is. Death is certain, but timing is relative. I was still healing my broken heart of losing a brother so early in my life, when I received a news that my Dad passed away so suddenly one night, because of heart attack. I broke down and cry. I was shaky and I didn’t know what to do. The first thing I did was opening my whatsapp chat window with my Dad. He just sent me a video two days before and I did not reply him… because I was such an asshole for not having the time to watch the 3 minutes video. And then that moment, I opened the video. It was an advertisement about a Dad and his daughter. The Dad fetched the daughter to school when she was young, just like my Dad and I. The Dad went to hospital and thankfully, the Dad survived. The Dad then walked the daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. At the end of the advertisement, there was a message saying to tell your father that you love them.

I did not.

It hurt me so so so much because I did not have second chance. I wish I did. Oh how I fuckin wish I did.

I flew back home as soon as the sun rose, and went straight to the funeral home. I met my Dad, he was lifeless. I couldn’t believe how painful it was to see him lifeless. I know he knows that I love him. I’m very very sure he does. I always have loved him and I will always love him. Death doesn’t end relationship. I believe both of us know it.

I don’t want to live my life with regrets, I want to forgive myself for not texting him back. I want to be happy again, because I know that’s what he wants too.

That day, when we sent him away and spread his ashes to the sea, I felt a little piece of my heart dissolved. A part of me just left. I will never be the same, life will never be the same again. You know when you miss someone and you can just call or text or fly home? Now I cannot do that anymore. I can’t just call or text when I miss him, because he’s no longer exist in this world.

And oh god, how difficult it is to understand this concept, that my Dad no longer exist, that nothing… NOTHING could reverse this fact. He is dead. He is no longer there. His room is empty now, there were only his things, his photos, his journals, but not him.

It takes some time (3 weeks) for me to finally write this, to finally let the reality sinks in. I have lost a father, whom I dearly loved so so so SO MUCH, whom sacrificed a lot of things in his life for me, for the daughter who didn’t text him back.

My Dad… was the one who taught me how to write journal, cause he wrote one too. It was the beginning of my love affair with books as well and with writings. My Dad… taught me how to draw, before he had a stroke that paralyzed right part of his body. My Dad… was my hero. My Dad could do anything. ANYTHING.

He cheated death so many times, I thought he would live forever. I took it for granted. I thought I had time.

That’s our problem nowadays. We thought we had time.

We didn’t.

We spent so much time and money buying stuffs, which will not mean anything once we’re dead. I spent the whole day cleaning up my Dad’s room, I threw 90% of stuffs from his room. I only kept his journal, his sketch books, his letters, his birthday cards, and his photo albums. Those are memories. The rests are trash.

My Dad… had taught me a lot of things and passed me values all of his life, even after he was gone.

I will be a better person for you Papa. And I will be happy again. Not now, not today… but I will be.

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After he’s gone

*) Disclaimer: This is very personal, please be considerate before posting comments.

I’ve stared the screen for a while, thinking how honest I would write, and wondering if truth is really what I need now… maybe I should sugar-coat to make me feel better, or if that is actually what I’m feeling for real?

1 year from now, 5 years from now or 20 years from now, when I re-read this post, what I will want to know then? What will I want to remember?

I don’t wanna be bitter. That’s for sure.

I like my life, I got to be the cheerful optimist sanguine who goes wherever she wants to.

I don’t plan to change it.

But…

Of course things changed after the tragedy.

Sometimes I woke up in the morning to a weird feeling, like……. some part of my heart died. A small bite in the flesh, sharp pain for a second. That second when I remembered my brother has died, I could literally hear the sound of my heart cracked.

Nothing could ever prepare me for that. Nothing.

Nothing.

Sometimes a scene flashed in my mind, when he hit me or when I slapped his face and it hurt me even more now because it turns out I don’t have any more time with him, no more chance for redemption. And what a painful thing it is for not having a chance.

Our goodbye was never said.

But of course not everything is dark and blue when I think of him, lately I’ve remembered all the fun things we used to do, long long way before our innocences were taken away from us. When it was just us and toys and imaginations. We used to share imaginations, about having our own version of Kentucky Fried Chicken, our version of Dragon Balls, about playing in the clouds, about creating castles. He was my very first best friend…

… Until drugs have taken him away from me.

And I didn’t save him. I chose to runaway, I saved myself only.

Sometimes I wonder if I could’ve saved him… but I’m sane enough to know I should not feel guilty of anything that is beyond my control. I should not be resentful, should not be bitter and angry with the world being unfair. I may be very far from making peace with my past, but I’m on my way there.

Trust me, reading this, you’ll think it’s that simple. It’s not. I’ve gone through any kind of emotions, what-if-moments, resentment, denials, anger, disappointments and even some suicidal thoughts, but then I’ll remember that it’s all temporary. All the pain are temporary. Nothing is permanent in this life.

Whenever I passed by the alley where I talked to him for the last time, I let the feeling sink in. Maybe if I let it in, it will hurt less. I remember every word he said to me.

And he said… he wanted to come to see me.

He never did. But sometimes I feel he watched over me. I just knew when he was watching over me.

When I went back to Jakarta to check up on my mom, She was devastated and broken hearted in so unimaginable way. I came to Jakarta on a mission, to make her happy. The moment I met her, I knew it was an impossible thing to do. And I will never make her happy. Only she could lift herself up again and be happy, and I will wait. I can only wait.

Nobody can tell her to move on. She’s entitled to her feelings and she can mourn and she’s allowed to willow as long as she wants to. I will just be there.

I want to remember and not to feel hurt. I’m wondering if it’s too much to ask. But Universe always gives me what I need. And I believe this time, I will be able to remember and not to feel hurt anymore.

After he’s gone, that’s a new timeline in my life. There was a time in my life where he was still in the picture, alive; and there is a time now when he’s not in anymore. My life is now divided into 2 time, when he was still there and after he’s gone.

My brother is the only family that reads my blog. He would comment on our personal Facebook chat about what he felt after he read my blog, all of them were happy thoughts. He once said he was happy to know that I’m happy. Some time, he would post it on his Facebook wall, a post about our president, Jokowi and a post about my dream-came-true trip to Parma. So I know he will read this post too. :)

Our relationship doesn’t end just because he’s dead. We’re tied with blood and love, it’s unbreakable. He has a kind soul and his soul will live on for eternity.

That’s all that matters.

Nothing matters in this life but kindness you’ve done and joy that you’ve brought to someone’s life.

I choose to love my brother, no matter what.

And after he’s gone… I will still continue to love. Life is too short to hate, to resent, to be bitter and angry. Our heart will never be full by loving too much or too hard, our heart will expand with no limits, it can’t never be full and rejecting the love it gives and receives.

Love will heal regrets.

May. <3

Til we meet again in the Paradise of free souls

Dear Koko,  
I promise I will not be bitter, because love is stronger than regrets.

I bid you the most loving farewell with what I’m best at, writing.

You’re embarking a beautiful journey to the paradise of free souls.

Where pain no longer exists and sadness is long gone.

There is only love, eternal and pure love.

Where you can play guitar and sing as many Richie Ren’s songs as you want.

And you can dance with our late dogs, Dodol, Coka, Cassey, and the others in the rainbow bridge.

Send my best kisses for them too, I will join you all in my time.

Where you can build a fort made up of pillows and pretended you were a king who made so many non-sense rules, just like when we were kids.

You used to boss me around and I frowned but little did I know, that’s what brothers do.

We have a very unique relationship, that only we understand. The kind that’s truly ours. And it will be continuing, our relationship is eternal, just like my memory of you.

There is no longer grudge, we’ve forgiven each other and we’ve passed all the fights and the sad words said. I will still be tearing up remembering you… You know, all the phrase… Delusion, reminiscent, devastation, resentment.

I’m still on earth afterall, embedded with emotions.

But deep down I know for sure, someday I’ll see you again in the paradise of free souls.

You, with your cheeky grin, will be handing me a playstation controller, “ready for another FF game?”

For now… this is the end of your earthly adventure.

You will always be my brother, for death ends only your life, not our relationship.

When I let go off your ashes in the sea, I knew that wherever beach I will go, I will see you. Our relationship will continue, it didn’t end becuause you died, it carries on. You are in my heart for always.

Til we meet again, Koko. I will always remember you.

 
Your strong and independent sister that you’re proud of,

May.

Cirque du Soleil, Essena Onneil and the good news!

There are no catch from the title, they are exactly 3 things I want to talk about in this post. Circus, social media, and good news!

Circus

Bandi and I went to watch Totem by Cirque du Soleil last Friday and it was amazing!!! I seriously couldn’t express how amazing it was in words! They took insanity to another level! Just as I thought it was crazy enough, BOOM! They did another unthinkable show. Just watch it if you have a chance or if they ever come to your city!

Bandi and I, super excited!

Bandi and I, super excited!

The cast!

The cast!

Social Media

You’ve probably heard about Essena O’Neill, a girl (model?) who quits instagram because she lost the meaning of real life. Oooh… sounds pretty serious huh?

By the way I wrote the sentence you would understand my side of this quitting instagram crap. Yeah, I found her move to be a bit hypocrite. She quit instagram, blamed social media for making her doing what she didn’t want to do.

Geez, to cut my preach shot. Let me give you the same situation of her excuses:

  1. A teenager blames sex (without protection) for getting pregnant.
  2. A person blames the candle for burning her house.
  3. A police office blames his gun for shooting the wrong person.

It’s NOT THE TOOL, people!!! It’s ALWAYS THE PERSON.

Hey Essena, It’s not instagram, IT’S YOU.

It’s not instagram who lies, it’s you who are the LIAR.

It’s not nuclear or gunfire who created war, it’s the fucking politicians.

I know it’s easier to blame the tool instead of sitting down, thinking what went wrong with me and admit it to the world that you did something wrong and you will fix it.

You know why people say facebook is bad? Because people can’t stop comparing themselves with other people when they read the newsfeed.

Oh… my high school friend just got her new BMW car. Why couldn’t I get BMW?

Oh… even the ugliest person I know is having a boyfriend. Why am I single?

Oh… This guy went on another holiday again? I didn’t even go anywhere this year. I don’t have anything to post, nothing to show off!

And there you go, BAM! You become depressed when you were actually perfectly fine, single and happy.

It’s not the facebook, not the instagram, not the tool that you should blame! It’s YOURSELVES, people! Yes, you can blame instagram if that will make you feel better (temporarily) but we know it won’t solve your problem.

In this very very vague yet transparent life, I know it’s not easy to be true to yourself, to be authentic, but try your best to be honest. Honesty is like a jewel now and be that jewel. :)

You will never be happy being somebody that you’re not. Be the real you, even though the real you is narcissistic and vain, just admit it… at least you’re being honest.

We all love to see ourselves in the mirror and adore ourselves, what’s wrong with that? It gives us happiness, confidence. As long as we’re not trashing people down, who cares about being vain?

You can be whoever you want, as long as it’s not fake.

Now you know I’m pro social media. Of course I’m pro! What’s not to like? You gotta be kay-poh on other people’s life leeeh! Xp You can stalk Cristiano Ronaldo’s instragram or your ex-boyfriend’s facebook. LOL.

Good News

I have a good news I couldn’t wait to tell you guys!!! I’ve held it for so many months now I will officially announce that…

Bandi and I are…

finally official resident of Singapore!

Woot!

We’ve been waiting for the verdict for a year and last September it was finally approved. :)

It’s been five years since I moved to Singapore for good. It’s been one hell of amazing ride, looking forward for many more of amazing things happen in this life. =)

Now, I’m sharing one of my favorite quote that always gets me excited about life:

Cheers,

May, always excited.

The Legendary Pacific Coast road trip

Bandi and I went to Australia! Woot! It’s our first time in Australia and Bandi’s fifth continent! He technically has traveled around the world. :)

I can’t wait to visit my forth and fifth continent too.

Anyway, where did we go in Australia? It’s quite difficult to answer this question in a short sentence because we didn’t just go to 1 or 2 cities, we went to tens of them. How? Because we did a road trip.

So, here’s our map:

Pacific Roadtrip

If you’re interested in building an itinerary, I recommend you to visit this website.

Well, every adventure has its own charm, so does this one. I personally love road trip, but I can’t drive. I feel so blessed that Bandi would do it for me because he knows how much I love road trip. :)

Road trip is more fun, more relaxing, you can see more things and stop by wherever you want. It has more freedom and I lovvvvvvvvvveeeeee freedom. :p

I will not tell the technicality of the stories like when did I go to this place, how long is the distance etc etc, I will list our stops below and tell you my story. Every stops are unique, but you will find out which on is my favorite. This will help you if you want to build a road trip itinerary of your own.

Anyway, this post will not be helpful if you want to visit Australia with public transportation, because we hired a car, so I don’t know a thing about Australia’s public transportation. So all the places we went to, we drove there,

STOP #1: GOLDCOAST

Gold coast is overrated. We decided we won’t stay long in Gold Coast because it was full of tourists. Sure it was warm and the beach was nice, but everything there is more expensive and more touristy. Anyway, we went to Surfer’s Paradise and had our lunch there, waled around for a while and had to pay $8 parking for 1 freaking hour. Talking about expensive…

STOP #2: BYRON BAY

Byron bay was also full of tourists… but we love it! haha! Double standard! I’ve been livin in a city my whole life, so I always prefer small town for holiday destination. I love small town’s charm and Byron Bay has it. Our host at Byron Bay was sooo friendly and warm, contrary to Byron Bay’s weather that was super cold!

If you put in Byron Bay in your road trip destination list, remember this: VISIT THE LIGHTHOUSE. Seriously pretty view from the lighthouse, and have some walk! You will reach to a most east point of Australia. And have I said, the view is spectacular!!! If you’re lucky, you can see whales or Dolphins!

You have to pay AUD$7 for a car if you drive here, but hey you get a free parking!

The Byron Bay Lighthouse

The Byron Bay Lighthouse

Bandi, trying to do some yoga shits with sunset as background. LOL

Bandi, trying to do some yoga shits with sunset as background. LOL

We walked around the most east trail of Australia

We walked around the most east trail of Australia

Spoiled by this view.

Spoiled by this view.

STOP #3: NIMBIN

Nimbin is just so…… unique! First of all, it is a drug town, marijuana to be exact. So if you’re extremely against marijuana, don’t come here at the first place. Nimbin is also a hippie town. It is a very small town where the community believe in everything organic, non-corporation-related, free-trade and also believe in healing stones, tarot reading and using weeds as medicine.

It was so interesting to see the town itself and see the people, I visited some of the stores are all of them were so unique and fun! It is a definitely must-see if you’re around Byron Bay area. it’s about 1 hour driving (or 2 hours driving if you decided to choose the longer route-but more scenic- like we did).

Cute little town!

Cute little town!

Some Psychic doing her thing.

Some Psychic doing her thing.

Even the apothecary sign was cute!

Even the apothecary sign was cute!

STOP #3: BALLINA

Ballina was very…. quiet! I think we only met total of 20 people there. Haha. Yes, it was so quiet and big, but the beach was beautiful. I didn’t get to learn a lot about this town as we didn’t really spend a lot of time here. We just went to watch waves crashing the coast, and took some lovey-dovey pictures of course. :)

Mwack!

Mwack!

:)

:)

Wooo!

Wooo!

STOP #4: LENNOX HEAD

Lennox head is a charming little beach town. I had one of the best salad in my life here! Groovers Cafe is the name (if you ever visit Lennox head, give it a try) which also served awesome sweet potato chips.

The beach was as fantastic as the other beaches we saw in Autralia’s pacific coast line. Can I just make a statement now that there are no best beaches in Australia, all beach has its own charm and atmosphere. Basically all you have to do is just drive from Brisbane to Sydney and stop wherever you want and visit the beach. The whole coastline is beautiful.

A walk along the lake.

A walk along the lake.

STOP #5: HAT HEAD NATIONAL PARK

Bandi and I went bushwalking to korogoro track, the loop one. I think there are three or four different walking tracks. It was drizzling at first but we didn’t hesitate. The track was easy at first, however it became more advance later on. The view when we reached on the top of the hill where the gap was, was REALLY AMAZING. It was raining and nobody was there so it was a bit spooky, so we hurried up back to our base, if it was sunny, I would spend hours there just to watch the sea. :)
We saw kangaroos too, living wild. Ahh…. it’s a privilege to see wild animals as a city girl. :) We didn’t really take many pictures because it was drizzling the whole time. Look at our wet hair!

Raining and hiking!

Raining and hiking!

:)

:)

STOP #7: COFFS HARBOUR

A short stopover at Coffs Harbour before we reach South West Rock. We bought a fresh caught fish turned to Fish and Chips here. OMG! Australia has the best Fish and Chips! Nothing can beat fresh seafood! We also had fresh prawns and squids! Yum!

STOP #6: SOUTH WEST ROCK

I had the best airbnb experience in South West Rock! Our host, Shirley and Mick were soooo friendly and super nice people. They brought us around their beautiful tiny little town. The town was so small, it doesn’t have any traffic lights! It has 5,000 population and has only 1 primary school. So when their kid grew up and entered high school, the kid had to go to high school in the neighbor town.

South West Rock is famous among local Australians and divers. We saw the Fish Rock, a famous diving site and went up to the lighthouse but it was to windy to actually go up to the lighthouse. So we detour to watch cute kangaroos around the lighthouse instead. :)

Wild Kangaroos

Wild Kangaroos

Our sweet sweet host, Mick and Shirley.

Our sweet sweet host, Mick and Shirley.

Found a baby kangaroo that was sticking out! Super cuteeee!

Found a baby kangaroo that was sticking out! Super cuteeee!

South West Rock has so many lookout points that have spectacular views! Here are the photos to give you ideas!

What a view

What a view. Universe is awesome, isn’t it?

And old jail with breathtaking view around.

And old jail with breathtaking view around.

The beach!

The beach!

I really really enjoyed South West Rock. In the evening, Bandi and I had the best dinner we’ve had in Australia in a Restaurant called Seabreeze, which is also a hotel. Go ahead an try it if you’re there!

STOP #7: PORT MACQUARIE

A short stopover at Port macquarie, a small city 2 hours from South West Rock. I fell in love with this small town and promised myself to come back again someday. :)

First stop was a Koala Hospital. There was no injured Koala on the operating table, so thanks goodness everyone is in good condition. So we just visited them in their ward, most of them were sleeping. Do you know that Koala needs to sleep at least 20 hours a day to digest the eucalyptus leaves? :)

Look at this cutieeee!

Look at this cutieeee!

And then we visited Roto’s House, which is a heritage house from the world war era. We went there accidentally actually but I enjoyed it! :)

The entrance of Roto House

The entrance of Roto House

Hanging out at Roto's Balcony

Hanging out at Roto’s Balcony

We walked around the park and sat to discuss where to go next.

We walked around the park and sat to discuss where to go next.

Then we went to the most beautiful small cafe in the outskirt of Port Macquarie, that is also a vineyard. Sooooo beautiful. Ah… I just loved Australia so much!

Isn't it beautiful?

Isn’t it beautiful?

You + Me. We're invincible.

You + Me. We’re invincible, together.

STOP #8: PORT STEPHENS

We reached Port Stephens quite late and went out for Dinner at Nelson Bay. There was only 1 town centre which has the boat docks, some restaurants and some shops. We had the Hog’s Breath, a steak chain in Australia that we’ve been eye-ing on. The steak was not so bad though, but not that fantastic either.

I remember when I talked to our host, an artist who was born in Easter Europe and had lived in Australia for so long, “you’re very funny!”, because she kept making jokes with us. her reply was something that I will remember, “Ain’t it the only way to live?”

Yes, we should not take life so seriously. Life is funny, so should we. =)

Her house was beautiful and we stayed in the floral themed bedroom, sadly we stayed there only for a night, a short night, because the next morning, around 5 am, we had already checked out for our Dolphins adventure. WILD Dolphins! WOOHOO!!! So excited!

As written in some of my blog post, I’m passionately against dolphins in captivity. If you understand about this issue and you still go to those sad dolphins show, we have trust issue, my friend. If you know nothing about it, please read my post here, and learn something new today and educate yourself. =)

We went on a boat trip and it was a bumpy ride. Bandi has zero tolerance on sea motion, so he swallowed some pills and knocked out in the boat. Not fun, huh? Haha.

I was cheering and singing with the other crews and swimmers on the front deck, calling for Dolphins. After some ride away from the bay, we met them! Oh…. I couldn’t stop smiling when I saw them… Swimming freely in the ocean, making happy noises, jumping up and over in the sea. Such beautiful and smart creature. I learned another fact about dolphins, when you sing louder, they will jump higher and show off to us even more! They’re such happy creature! Some of the participants went into the sea and swam along with the dolphins. Don’t worry we didn’t do anything or change anything about them. They were free and happy!

Sadly, I don’t have so much pictures of the excursion trip because I kept my phone safe in my pocket and didn’t want to risk dropping it into the sea. :p

So here’s the only picture I captured from my Dolphins video.

Happy dolphins.

Happy dolphins.

STOP #9: NEWCASTLE

Before we hit Sydney, we made a quick stop to have a late lunch in Newcastle, like usual Fish and Chips and coffee. Newcastle is a satellite city of Sydney which has a number of car dealerships, factories and big buildings. I felt it’s more like Karawang or Bekasi.

Nothing special here and I barely took photos. Next!

STOP #10: SYDNEY

Sydney… Sydney… Sydney… the most expensive city we’ve ever been in our life! $8 for 30 minutes carpark? $17 for one-way trip (so freaking near) from Airport to town? Zoo was $56? Geez…. It surely costs a lot to live here.

Thankfully we got free parking in our airbnb, I couldn’t imagine how much we pay for overnight parking.

Our first stop in Sydney was to meet CALEB, the cutest baby in Instagram! LOLOLOL

Dian, Caleb and me! This photo took thousands of takes! LOL

Dian, Caleb and me! This photo took thousands of takes! LOL

Caleb was super cutttttttttttttteeeeeeeeeeeeee! Now I want a baby! :p

Anyway, finally I got to meet Dian (I don’t even hyperlink your blog anymore cause it’s dead), we’ve been missing each other very long. She’se been providing me with airport tax money, bus card and sending me cute postcards, she’s like my sugar mama. XD Thanks for all the fun time Dian! I will be back to Australia!

Sydney is surely a beautiful city with the pretty bay full of boats and birds contrasted with some old buildings. I enjoyed Sydney a lot and it has awesome Thai food (one of the perks of big city – good international food).

A city by the bay is always good idea.

A city by the bay is always good idea.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

Yellow wildflowers!

Yellow wildflowers!

Awesome stuff!

Awesome stuff!

This is like the BEST IDEA ever, riiiiight?

This is like the BEST IDEA ever, riiiiight?

And before I left Sydney and went back to Singapore, guess what happened? My flight was delayed for about 6 hours and it was a blessing in disguise because I got to meet my gurl, Tannia! We thought we would miss each other because she will land when I fly out but now we could meet!

The foxy global trotter

The foxy global trotter

And during September, we got to meet at Surabaya (Bromo trip), Kuala Lumpur (for Bon Jovi concert) and now here in Sydney! If it wasn’t meant to be when I don’t know what is. :D

SPIN OFF: BLUE MOUNTAINS AND LEURA

We took one day off from Sydney to visit Blue Mountain and it was gorgeousssss! I loveeee it! My only regret was not to pay parking tickets for longer hour so I could hike longer and explored more.

If you intend to visit Blue mountans without hiking/bushwalking, you may spare only 1 hour here just to visit three sisters, but if you want to hike, spare minimum 5 hours because the trail was a bit tough.

We paid our parking ticket for only 4 hours and ended up panicking because we had to come back ASAP. Bandi left me with our friend (who joined us on the ride) and he ran to the car just to make sure we didn’t get fine tickets. hahahaha

The stairs were horrible!

The stairs were horrible!

Three Sisters from far far away

Three Sisters from far far away

Beauty

Beauty

The tiny waterfall.

The tiny waterfall.

After the super-tiring hike, we thought we wanted to chill a little bit before we drove back to Sydney, so we read some local newspaper and found a garden in nearby town called Leura. It was an impromptu trip, so we went there and it was a pretty little town! :)

A friend asked us to take this photo. so cute!

A friend asked us to take this photo. so cute!

I wanna have a garden this pretty! :D

I wanna have a garden this pretty! :D

So yeah… the journey was fun, amazing and full of coffee. LOL. WE LOVE AUSTRALIAAAA! And I want to come back so so so badly! I even thought about having a gap month to explore Australia. Watch out Europe, you have a competition! Haha!

But of course Europe is full of beautiful history, ruins, museums and old building, while Australia is full of unique wildlife, beautiful beaches and amazing national parks. There are totally 2 different adventures.

I found something new: I LOVE BUSHWALKING! (But only when the weather is cold, so I don’t get all sweaty) Australia is full of unique animals so when we bushwalked, we would meet porcupine, kangaroos, rare birds and other interesting animals that I didn’t even know their names. And Australians are friendly and happy people so we enjoyed everything there actually!

I can’t wait to plan my next Australia Trip! :D

And to sum up our Great Pacific Roadtrip, here’s the video that I made! (I have a new hobby to make 1 summary video per trip so in the future when I feel like remembering the trip, I will just play the video; instead of scrolling to thousands of photos. :p)

Enjoy!

Cheers,

May, adventure-ing

Photo 24-9-15, 3 02 23 PM

Snakes, Nanoblock, Rainbow Hair and Chir Chir

Surprised! I’m blogging!

That’s supposed to be sarcastic coz I’ve been so lazy to blog, but I pushed myself today to open the laptop and just write whatever I feel like writing.

This post may not be in good quality, I warn you, but at least I write something.

I even had one dream about my blog when somebody screaming to my face “you’re a bad writer! your blog is rubbish!” and I woke up feeling really really sad. Yeah I mean I know I’m not a published writer or anything, but I always thought I’m a decent writer laaahh. This is the only thing I love constantly throughout my life. No matter which boyband I was obsessed with, which Final Fantasy game I was playing, which hobby I was into, I’ve always loved writing.

So when I had that dream, it was like a wake up call. Going back to writing, May! You don’t have to write a comprehensive feminist article (which is my favorite kind of writings of all btw), at least just post something!

So anywaaaay….. here I am.

Talking about dreams… Last night I dreamt I was bitten by snakes (yes plural) and it was really scary and painful. I woke up feeling so scared and insecure. I looked up in google and it turned out if you dream about snakes, there are 2 possibilities:

One: You’re scared about something. Your subconscious is afraid of some commitment.

Two: You’re healing from a fear.

Well… Guess what happened last night? Bandi and I argued about kids. He didn’t want kids right here right now but at least he wanted to know if I ever wanted to go somewhere. Sigh… I don’t want to talk more about this on my blog, it could go on and on and on for 10 pages of my excuses of why I’m not ready and trust me it’s annoying.

And just after that argument, I had nightmare about snake. Bummer! Bandi went to Jakarta for 2 weeks for business trip and thankfully we made out this morning. He promised not to be pushy about kids and wait till I’m ready and I promised not to give him mixed signal (talking about little Cahayas and stuff – yeah yeah yeah my bad.)

Anyhow… let’s switch topic to…. nano block!

Current Hobby

I’m currently loving nano blocks! I first bought one Tokyo Tower nano block from Japan for my friend as a gift. He asked me to build it for him and I became addicted!

They have other designs beside buildings.

They have other designs beside buildings.

Then I told Bandi I wanted build more and the next thing I knew, he found a toy store that carried nano blocks, and so the craziness continued…

I built them on the top of Cristiano Ronaldo fan book to cheer me up. LOL

I built them on the top of Cristiano Ronaldo fan book to cheer me up. LOL

Neuschweinstain Castle!

Neuschweinstain Castle!

Eiffel Tower!

Eiffel Tower!

I will build more this weekend! :)

If anyone of you knows where to get this in Jakarta for cheap price, let me know. I got it for $25 per box in Singapore. Please leave a comment if you know I can get cheaper in Jakarta. I know it’s much cheaper in Japan but I didn’t buy more. Hiks. :(

Current Hair Color

Since Singapore had a very long SG50 weekend I had free time to do my hair! I think I accidentally dyed the pink color permanently to my hair. I don’t know why but the pink color never fades even just a little bit! So I had an idea to add purple and blue to make it as a simple rainbow blue>>purple>>pink.

Not bad, huh?

Not bad, huh?

I even did this instagram-material-shot. LOLOL

Bought the flower headband in Japan for $3!!! a steal!

Bought the flower headband in Japan for $3!!! a steal!

For this look, I use Special effects semi-permanent dye.

The colors are Virgin Rose, Purple Smoke and Fish Bowl. See below:

You can buy them online! I did!

You can buy them online! I did!

Just take one very important note: The color won’t appear if you don’t bleach your hair.

So take the risk. :) It’s worth it.

Current Favorite Food Place

Korean fried chicken!!! Not an ordinary korean Fried Chicken, this one called Chir-Chir!

It’s located at B3 somerset 313. I heard they open at East side too but never been there.

So Bandi and I were accidentally passed this place on Friday and was surprised because there was no queue at all. Bandi told me that he read online people queued for 2 hours for this place. (Bandi uses an app called Burple, that informs him everything about food in Singapore – It’s like Bandi’s best friend now, whenever we wanted to go eating he said, “Let me ask my best friend where we should go” LOL)

Maybe because it was SG50 holiday so a lot of people were out of Singapore so Singapore was pretty empty in some places, so we went in and….

OH MY GOODNESS, Best fried chicken ever!!!! It made Chicken-Up takes like a joke, seriously!

And you know what, Bandi and I went back again on Monday to close our SG50 holiday with more fried chicken! Ahhhh! Guilty!

And that's how it's done! LOL

And that’s how it’s done! LOL

So yeah, if you happen to pass by this place, give it a try! It’s super yummy! :)

What about clean eat, you say? Well…….

*turn off laptop*

Cheers,

May, guilty. :p

The night I dyed my hair purple

It’s been so looonnng since the last time I blogged and I come back with a purple hair!

I'm Evil Minioooon!

I’m Evil Minioooon!

It’s a BIG DEAL for me!

I know for some people dyeing hair is not a big deal, but for me it is. I just had my 29th birthday last week and you know how many times I dyed my hair? ONCE! Yes! Even though I’m pretty vain, I didn’t play with hair a lot, which is soooo confusing for me now why because playing with hair turned out to be FUN!

3 days before my birthday, I went to salon and permed my hair. The next day it went almost flat and I was pissed. That was the second time I permed my hair and I know my hair is not the friendliest but I thought this time it would work cause the hairdresser promised that digital perm will work, and the blah and the blah.

I assumed the perm didn’t last long because they permed it to the inside while I asked them to perm it to the outside. I told them I wanted the messy sexy look, not the cute korean look, but then the hairdresser was being stubborn and sotoy.

Long story short, I felt blue because my hair didn’t work. Perming my hair was the step one of my dream hair.

Dreaming for this kind of hair.... (taken illegally from pinterest)

Dreaming for this kind of hair…. (taken illegally from pinterest)

Yes. I always wanted to have a long curly colorful hair.

Now that the perm is gone, let’s just forget about the dream hair… And then I thought to myself, I’ve always wanted a colorful hair (purple/mint/pink hair) and now I’m wondering WHY THE HELL I HAVEN’T GOTTEN ONE?

What stopped me?

NA-DA!

If cannot have the beautiful curly purple hair, then at least have the purple hair only laaaahh. XD

So on last Friday, I chatted with my friend who is a crazy rainbow color hair lover (and did some serious colorful thingy on her hair) and talked about my plan to dye my own hair. I asked her if my plan was do-able and she said yes!

So I went to 4 different beauty supply stores to gather the things I need. Now… if you have the same plan with me, read this blog carefully.

What I want:

A purple ombre hair. The top part will be brown-ash like and the bottom part is purple with some purple highlight.

What I bought:

  1. Purple Dye (I bought the Manic panic: Electric Amethyst) – Cost $19.90
  2. Bleach: Bleach powder and the Developer (I bought the 40 vol instead of 30 vol – to make it stronger) – Cost $4.90
  3. Purple Shampoo (Optional) – Cost $25.00
  4. Gloves, mixing bowl and aluminium foil (Optional) – Cost $1.00, $1.50, $1.90 respectively)

Step by Step Guide:

First Step: Bleaching the bottom part of my hair

Because I wanted Ombre look, I only bleach half of my hair (the bottom part only). Please take note that 1 day before I just dyed my whole head with Lorea’l Nude Brown color so you can see that the top of my head is already brown, so now I only work for the purple ombre. To be honest, it was a mistake, it was just an impulse act because I felt like doing something to my hair. So now I can’t return back to the black color cause the pigment has been removed.

Anyway, moving on… this is how I bleach my hair. Bandi helped me too! Haha. If you never bleach your hair, this is how to do it: Mix the bleach powder and the solution. If you’re not sure how much just mix them all, usually the store will sell it in pair. Once mixed, never store it! Finish it or throw it.

Looks like Putri Huan Zhu, hah?

Looks like Putri Huan Zhu, hah?

I basically just divided my hair by small sections, dyed it and wrapped it with foil. Then I waited for about 45 minutes. I washed it with cold water (brrr.. I did it on around 10 pm!) and made sure all the excess bleach gone from my hair. Because I’m a bit over-paranoid with my hair, I bought the purple shampoo and washed my hair with purple shampoo. Please take note DO NOT WASH your hair if you don’t have purple shampoo cause it’s not worth it! After bleaching you hair will be dry and washing it will make it even dryer. I washed it cause I had purple shampoo. Purple shampoo helped to reduce the yellow tone of the hair so instead of yellow, it became more white. I didn’t really see it anyway. Hahaha

Then this is the MOST IMPORTANT PART OF BLEACHING: CONDITION YOUR HAIR!!! Never skip to put conditioned!

And this is how I looked like after the first bleaching (wait- first? Yes! there is a second one).

Photo 22-5-15 9 55 50 pm

As you can see there is still some brown part and the hair isn’t blonde enough to take in my purple color, so…. I decided to do the second bleaching, in the same day!!!

Second Step (Optional): Bleaching my hair again so it became even blonder

To be honest I was hoping for a platinum (white) blonde after the bleaching but I guess my natural hair is just too dark to have it on my first bleaching.

Not so blonde on the first bleach. the lighting was so dim also so you can't really see it.

Not so blonde on the first bleach. the lighting was so dim also so you can’t really see it.

Important note: Everyone’s hair has different mix of pigment so the bleaching outcome might be different. After I searched online, I knew that bleaching happened on this order:

My second bleaching ends up in yellow part. The step by step is the same like the first bleaching, only I bleach more in the tip part of my hair so it will bring an ombre feeling.

Going blonde!!! It was about 1:30 am, look at my eye bag!!!

Going blonde!!! It was about 1:30 am, look at my eye bag!!!

Yikes! The color is super ugly. Now it’s time to add some color! :D

Third Step: Dyeing the blonde part with purple color dye

Finally! The fun part!!! On the time of this step it was already 1 am, my energy was a bit drained so I think I missed some of my highlight. Manic Panic is a plant based dye. It’s technically a vegan, so you can leave it as long as you want in your head, even overnight!

So sleepppppyyy liaoooo

So sleepppppyyy liaoooo

But again, I was sooooo tired so I only left it for 1 hour. So I got a bit disappointed when I washed my hair.

Wake up the whole night, why only like this, huh?

Wake up the whole night, why only like this, huh?

The purple color was only subtle. I was too tired to dye it again so I slept…. Zzz…. It was 3 am!

Forth Step: Dyeing it purple AGAIN!

I slept at 3 am and how on earth I was fully awake at 7 am?! I usually need 12 hours of sleep on weekend! I woke up because I had an unfinished business with my hair! I even dreamt about my hair!

To defeat my disappointment, I gathered my optimism and dyed my hair purple with the rest of the manic panic tub. I finished til the last drop.

I left it for about 2.5 hours this time. I wanted to live it for longer but I had to go to my friend’s housewarming party (cum a birthday surprise for me and the other 2 may babies). So I washed it and…. TA-DAA!!!

Taa-daah! Love iiiitttt!!!

Taa-daah! Love iiiitttt!!!

It looked so much better now! The purple is more striking. Here’s from the behind:

Almost close to the dream hair lahhh

Almost close to the dream hair lahhh

So yeah…. That’s what happened on last weekend… That particular night when I dyed my hair purple. :)

I love the final result and even though the color is so messy and uneven, it gives a sexy yet fun feeling. I fell in love with my hair (sounds so vain already now, eh?!) That’s the May I know! Hahahaha!

Do you ever wonder what you look like with a non-traditional color hair? Do you want to try? If you do, what color you want to try? let me know in the comments!!! Kyaaa~ so exciting!

Cheers,

May

The Girl with the purple hair in the green boots!

Photo 24-5-15 4 34 35 pm