Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The hardest job in the world

I would say.. being a parent is the hardest job in the world.

Becoming a parent does not come with an instruction manual for all the things you will face. It is one of the most important and difficult things you can do as well as one of the most rewarding. To raise a child is an enormous responsibility which is usually taken for granted and for which there is little training. Most parents learn as they go, influenced by the way they were brought up or by what they have read or watched others do.

Parenting styles may be different but we all share a common goal. We want our children to turn into healthy, happy, well adjusted, successful, honest, caring, responsible adults who will be respectful of others feelings and property, be able to get along with others and be able to cope with difficulties!! It is a lot to ask. Your children and your community rely on you to do this well.

The parenting challenge

Being a parent means creating a loving, safe environment for your children as they grow from baby to toddler, right through to the teenage years. You'll need different skills for each stage, but at all times your child will depend on you. You'll become the expert on your child and on what they need to grow into happy, healthy adults.

Loving your child, with no strings attached, is the most important thing you can do. But you'll also have to make a huge number of decisions about the best way to bring up your child. This responsibility brings joy and excitement, but it can also be overwhelming, frustrating or even boring at times.

Most people manage these emotional and practical challenges with a mixture of love, help from relatives and friends, good advice, common sense and luck.

When I was in Indonesia I wasn't exposed with this parenting knowledge because you are not alone there are a lot of helpers around the parent: the nanny, the maid, the grand parents, the aunties and uncles and etc. Look after children and observing full on parents without the helpers open my mind about the challenges. You can figure out the parenting style of the parents by looking at the children attitude, which children have boundaries at home and which children get everything they want and the parents let them do anything they want.

On the early days you are worry about nutrition intake, food, brain development, social capacity, etc. Beside that you also have to deal when they are teens, dealing with their behaviour problem and so on.

It's a never ending work, but what you give on the early days will be a lifetime investment.

Well, I am not a parent yet and I would love to be one, one day when I'm ready.

You may and may not agree with my opinion but this is my 2 cents :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

3 Things - Just humor me :)

Copy the note, delete my answers and type in your answers. Then tag a few good friends and family INCLUDING the person who sent it to you.

Three names I go by:
1. Ecky
2. Ecks
3. Ki

Three jobs I have had in my life:
1. Secretary
2. Account Executive
3. Account Manager

Three places I have lived:
1. Tangerang
2. Tasikmalaya
3. Jakarta

Three favorite drinks
1. Water
2. Wine
3. Cocktail

Three TV shows that I watch
1. The Wire
2. Criminal Minds
3. Castle, Bones, CSI.. and a lot more

Three places I have been
1. Singapore
2. Malaysia
3. Australia

Three people who e-mail me regularly:
1. Used to be my client, but not anymore :)
2. Sam
3. The girls.. that include: Anita, Mel, Dinar, Prila, Asti, Jen, Nonie, Yola

Three of my favorite foods
1. Sushi
2. Mexican Food
3. Any spicy food

Three friends I think will respond:
1. You
2. and you
3. yes you

Three things I am looking forward to:
1. Australia blogger land coffee with Anita, Santi & Ririn
2. Going back home next year
3. Move to Pohnpei in September 2010

Monday, November 02, 2009

My exercise plan

Today was stinking hot in Canberra, it's 33°C and humidity 53%. It's dry so no matter how hot it is we won't be sweaty, not like in Jakarta which very humid and you'll sweat a lot. I nick name winter as giant fridge and now I nick name spring as giant and never ending sauna lol.

But the warm weather inspires me to exercise again, yeah I have been lazy during Winter because I couldn't stand the cold when I run and also it's dark at 5pm which didn't give me enough time to run after work.

So here is my plan to welcome the summer:
- Running by the lake
- Alternate with ride a bike by the lake
- Eat healthy food: celery and carrots as snacks, no carbohydrate for dinner (well at least try to reduce it)

First thing first, I need to get the bike! We went for bike shopping last Sunday but no luck, I found the bike I like at Big W but they're out of stock in both Big W in Woden and Canberra Centre, a friend told us that we can find a bike at Salvos which is a better option because we don't have to assemble it! But then again the shop is closed when we get there, so we will try to go there again tomorrow since tomorrow is public holiday in Australia (Melbourne Cup). I don't need fancy bike though, what I need is a decent bike for exercise and I have bought the helmet not long after we arrived here :D.

When I was still living in Tangerang, I used to ride a bike a lot with my dad. We joined lots of competitions for long ride and once I won Rp 100.000 when I was 14 years old.

Does it sound to ambitious? Yeah maybe, but I plan to stick with it as some of friends said that I look chubby now and even my mum said that too arghh... Beside that, I want to look good in my summer dress!

Psst... I just bought lots of summer outfit last Saturday ;))

So wish me luck people, hopefully I can stick to my plan and emerge as a slim woman yaayyy!

4 injections later.....

After 90 minutes and 4 injections later they finally send me home.....

That was what happened 2 weeks ago, on the way back from coast to Canberra I got allergic reaction from prawn oh nooo... I know that I'm allergic to crab but I usually eat prawns and there is no problem, well maybe they didn't grill it properly or I don't know maybe my body was in its low level because of my flu and cold weather. I started to feel it 1 hour after lunch and mind you Australia is not like Indonesia where every city/town is close to each other. The closest city from Kioloa is Braidwood and it takes about 2 hours driving and how the hell I can stand with the allergic. At first I feel the itchy and then comes the rashes and after that the burning sensation and redness all over my body. We were aiming to go to pharmacy just to get something to reduce the symptom, but again this is Australia not Indonesia where some stores are close on Sunday arghhh....

Good thing we found a hospital in Braidwood, and when the nurse sees me she was in panic mode and call the GP to treat me right away. One of the benefit to have Medicare is that we don't have to worry about the hospital cost.
This year in total I had three allergic reactions, 2 was happened when I was still in Jakarta and I went to MMC and St Marie in Wijaya. The treatment was different to one another. In Jakarta they just give me injection and send me home, but in Australia after they gave me 1 injection they still monitoring the effectiveness of the injection whether it reduce the symptom or not. And when the GP didn't satisfy with the reaction he gave me another injection and another and another, in total he gave me 4 injections and 1 steroid tablet. The GP wants to make sure that all the redness, rashes and the burning sensation has gone and the reaction will not appear again before he send me home. So we have to stay at the hospital for 90 minutes... and the GP checks me every 5 minutes...

The GP prescribed Epipen for my allergic because he said next reaction will be worst than this, right now I'm officially anaphylaxis :((. In Australia anaphylaxis/ acute allergic is a serious condition and they take it seriously.

And since I moved to Australia GP has diagnosed me with Rheumatoid arthritis and Anaphylaxis.

Why here and why now?

Is it because the health system is so much better than in Indonesia or is it just my poor health condition?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


· If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other Laura, Kate and Sarah.
· If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla and Four-eyes.


· When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $32.50. None of them will have anything smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
· When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators..

· A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
· A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't need but it's on sale.

· A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel .
· The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

· A woman has the last word in any argument.
· Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

· A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
· A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

· A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend..
· A successful woman is one who can find such a man.

· A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
· A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, but she does.

· A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
· A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

· Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed..
· Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

· Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods, secret fears and hopes and dreams.
· A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Let's talk about Canberra

Since I moved to Canberra, I haven't talked about this city although I know some people have already underestimate this city as quite one, yeah being public servants city is not as cool as Melbourne or Sydney.

Here is what wikipedia says about Canberra:
Canberra (pronounced /ˈkænbrə, ˈkænbərə/[3]) is the capital city of Australia. With a population of over 345,000, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth largest Australian city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. The site of Canberra was selected for the location of the nation's capital in 1908 as a compromise between rivals Sydney and Melbourne, Australia's two largest cities. It is unusual among Australian cities, being an entirely purpose-built, planned city. Following an international contest for the city's design, a design by the Chicago architects Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahony Griffin was selected and construction commenced in 1913. The city's design was heavily influenced by the garden city movement and incorporates significant areas of natural vegetation that have earned Canberra the title "bush capital". Although the growth and development of Canberra were hindered by the World Wars and the Great Depression, it emerged as a thriving city after World War II.

As the seat of the government of Australia, Canberra is the site of Parliament House, the High Court of Australia and numerous government departments and agencies. It is also the location of many social and cultural institutions of national significance, such as the Australian War Memorial, National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the National Library of Australia. The federal government contributes the largest percentage of Gross State Product and is the largest single employer in Canberra.

Canberra experiences hot, quite dry summers, and cold winters with heavy fog and frequent frosts, with a rare spot of snow in the CBD but the surrounding areas get annual snowfall through winter and often the snow capped mountains can be seen from the CBD. The highest recorded maximum temperature was 42.2 °C (108 °F) on 1 February 1968. The lowest recorded minimum temperature was −10.0 °C (14 °F) on 11 July 1971. Light snow falls in the city in one out of approximately three winters but is usually not widespread and quickly dissipates. Thunderstorms can occur between September and March, with rainfall maximums in spring and summer.

The urban areas of Canberra are organised into a hierarchy of districts, town centres, group centres, local suburbs as well as other industrial areas and villages. There are seven districts, each of which is divided into smaller suburbs, and most of which have a town centre which is the focus of commercial and social activities. The districts were settled in the following chronological order:

  • North Canberra, mostly settled in the 1920s and '30s, with expansion up to the 1960s, now 14 suburbs
  • South Canberra, settled from the 1920s to '60s, 13 suburbs --> where we live in.
  • Woden Valley, first settled in 1963, 12 suburbs
  • Belconnen, first settled in 1967, 25 suburbs
  • Weston Creek, settled in 1969, 8 suburbs
  • Tuggeranong, settled in 1974, 19 suburbs
  • Gungahlin, settled in the early 1990s, 18 suburbs although only 12 are developed or under development
  • Molonglo, development to begin in 2009, 12 suburbs planned.
I like living here because this city is easy to live in and pretty relax compare to other big cities like Jakarta, Melbourne or Sydney. It is easy to go around, and since the city is not too big I feel connected to other Indonesian who live here, I probably won't feel the same way if we live in Melbourne or Sydney.

We live in inner south of Canberra, basically we live in government offices area, we are at the same street with the Attorney General's office, in front of us is the Pharmacy agency, Dept. Foreign Affairs & Trade just 2 minutes walk from our place, we can see the Australian flag on top of The Parliament House from the back street of our basement garage. The neighbourhood is alive on the weekdays where I can see public servants walk to work but on the weekend is mostly like dead area, but I love it as it is a trendy part of the city and only 10 minutes from CBD, 5 minutes to Manuka Circle, and 5 minutes to Kingston shop.

Next must see event is Floriade, Saturday 12 September - 11 October 2009, Commonwealth Park, Canberra.

And if you want to see yourself in the Nation's Capital Canberra, check this site out: Home of the Australian story.

Well, hopefully all of those information about my new home will attract my friends to come and visit me here, I want them to know and experience my new home. I guess if they love me enough they will come and visit me here ;)

The beauty of Canberra, courtesy of Vinita Strudwick:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Aussie sense of humour

The questions below about Australia are from potential visitors. They were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have an excellent sense of humour.

Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).
A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.

Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? ( USA )
A: Depends how much you've been drinking.

Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney - can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )
A: Sure, it's only three thousand miles, take lots of water.

Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ?( USA )
A: A-fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe . Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not... oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.

Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? ( USA )
A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we'll send the rest of the directions.

Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys' Choir schedule? ( USA )
A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y,which is...oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )
A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers. Milk is illegal.

Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )
A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from. All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.

Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It's a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )
A: It's called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them. You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go outwalking.

Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male population? ( Italy )
A: Yes, gay nightclubs.

Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France )
A: Only at Christmas.

Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? ( USA )
A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour.

Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )
A: Yes, but you'll have to learn it first

Friday, July 31, 2009

Marriage is......

A commitment.
Its success doesn't depend on feelings,
circumstances, or moods ~
but on two people who are
loyal to each other and
the vows they took on their
wedding day.

A partnership of two unique
people who bring out
the very best in each other and
who know that even though
they are wonderful as individuals....
they are even better together.

*Barbara Cage*

Friday, July 24, 2009

Be healthy don't be sick

Since I arrived in Australia I have been visited the doctor in a regular basis contradiction when I was still in Jakarta I rarely see the doctor, well dentist is an exception though :)

My first visit to doctor because I got flu, horrible one because of the cold weather makes it even worse and I also need doctor certificate for work. Called up all GP (general practitioner a.k.a doctor) around neighbourhood but they won't take me because I am not register as a patient on that clinic arghhh, checked out GP list on the Yellow Pages but none of them will take me either, the fastest they can take me as a new patient was mid of July, bear in mind I called them early June.
I almost in tears that day and I miss Jakarta so much, I won't have any problem if I were in Jakarta I can just pop in any doctor/clinic/hospital without any problem.
I knew from the news that there is shortage of GP in Canberra but I never thought it will be this difficult :(.
In Australia you have to register to a specific doctor or medical clinic, you can't just show up at any medical clinic like in Indonesia and you have to make an appointment first if you want to see a doctor.

I finally got information about walk in medical centre about 10 minutes drive from where I live so I went there and boom the waiting room was full of people and there are 75 people in front of me! So I have to wait for 3 hours until they call my name and the doctor just take 5 minutes to see me, what a process!

I found out why this particular medical centre is full of patients because they do bulk billing so what you need to do is showing your medicare care at the receptionist and you don't have to pay for the doctor you just need to pay for the medicine (if any), what a convenient condition.

The second visit to doctor when I hurt my toes, I fell of at the fresh market twisted my feet and slammed my toes to the floor. The result is swollen foot. But I tried to put ice pack everyday to reduce the swelling, but after 2 weeks with no progress then I give up and go to see a doctor. Good thing the xray result shows that there is no fracture on my bone, otherwise the recovery times will take such a long times.

We have registered to medical clinic not very far from where we live but they haven't get back to us with the result, so until then we have to queue for hours just to see the doctor.

My third visit to a doctor was on Thursday night last week when I feel sick, has massive headache and my throat hurts every time I swallow. Again, we have to wait for hours until my turn.

My fourth visit to a doctor was yesterday when I found out that I have swollen in some part of my joints, and every time I take a deep breath or cough I feel pain in my left chest. oh no.... What now? :(
We tried to be at the doctor as early as possible so we don't have to wait for hours, but apparently we were not early enough. There were 17 people in front of me and 4 doctors, not too bad.
This time doctor diagnosed me with allergic reaction towards the antibiotic medicine he gave me and I might hurt my chest wall during my bad cough. The allergic reaction is a rare condition as the antibiotic is a common medicine that doctor gave to patients. The doctor is pretty good, he asked me to do some tests: blood, urine and chest xray just to be sure. And I will see him tomorrow to discuss about the result, hopefully nothing serious.

My conclusion about the whole medical experience is that maybe my body still adjusting with the whole Australian things, the weather, the fresh air and no pollution and the medicine at the same time :)

I am sick of being sick, I want to be healthy as I used to be, and I will be!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Cisayong Girl on The Jakarta Globe

It was exciting news and I would like to thank Michelle Udem and The Jakarta Globe for the recognition :)

22 June 2009

Michelle UdemIndonesia has around a million bloggers, according to one leading internet publisher. (Photo: Prasetyo Utomo, Antara)

Blogging In English

Michael Jubel Hutagalung, a Web designer based in Bandung, West Java, started Jubel and the Unessential, an English-language blog, primarily to improve his written English. The blog offers Hutagalung’s random musings on Indonesia’s politics and culture.

Within a year of Hutagalung starting the blog in October 2007, the traffic to the site was so high that it was exceeding the bandwidth limit on the platform he was using, and he had to move his blog to another host. The traffic explosion, mostly from Indonesians living abroad, gave him an incentive to do more than just improve his English skills.

“I want to tell the world what Indonesia’s really like — how the people really live,” Hutagalung said. But readers may not always get much on how Indonesians are living on an up-to-the-minute basis, or even about the day-to-day concerns of his countrymen.

Hutagalung last posted on Monday, after a two-month hiatus, filling readers in on his university plans and his personal debate in choosing between studying in London or the Netherlands.

The total number of Indonesian bloggers is difficult to quantify due to the constant deletion and activation of blog accounts. A top Indonesian-language blogger and internet publisher, Enda Nasution, says that Indonesia has about one million bloggers, based on information, Wordpress information and blogs hosted personally — there are about 20 blogging communities in Indonesia, one in ever major city.

For Indonesians blogging in English, many are simply interested in trying to reach an audience beyond their own country and to give a perspective not available in the foreign media. Out of the 10 bloggers listed here, seven do not have a degree in English, nor have they studied abroad.

Budi Putra, a freelance writer and full-time, self-employed blogger living in Bintaro, South Jakarta, writes in English about new gadgets from an Indonesian perspective. Though many of his topics involve global technology news, he feels he provides a unique perspective as an Indonesian.

“My main demographic is both Indonesians and foreigners, especially those who love technology and digital life issues … Blogging is about conversation, so I want to talk to them through my blog. That’s why my blog’s tagline is ‘Talk With Me.’ ”

Hutagalung and Putra’s blogs focus on specific topics, but the majority of the Indonesians bloggers writing in English are diarists, who post as the mood strikes.

Devi Girsang, a 22-year-old medical student born, raised and living in Jakarta, operates the site “It’s My Life,” last updated May 5. With a tagline, “Love & Tears. Laugh & Cry. Achievements & Regrets. Welcome To My Life!” Girsang’s blog ranges from discussions on everyday topics such as poor customer service to inquiries on why people do bad things.

Such topics written from an Indonesian perspective and in English help readers realize that people worldwide run into the same problems and share the same emotional inquiries.

In another blog, “Republikbabi,” 23-year-old Calvin Sidjaja from Bandung posts updates about growing up with a mixed heritage in Indonesia. On his blog, Sidjaja discusses the role of mixed heritage Indonesians, such as Dutch-Indonesians and Chinese-Indonesians. He delves into the history of mixed heritages in Indonesia and how society views these people today.

“Many international students were helped because of the personal essays [on my blog],” he said.

But the Internet is not always the safest place to express personal and sometimes controversial opinions.

Girsang has “been accused of being an ‘American-wannabe’ from an anonymous commenter,” and Sidjaja notices how any type of neutral post he writes on religion always causes controversy.

Regardless of the hate mail and negative feedback, the bloggers find that voicing their thoughts and opinions in English is beneficial. “Though difficult to write in English, I like challenges. I love the rhythm of English words. It’s more personal and subjective,” Budi Putra explains.

To these bloggers, writing in English is their key to communicating to the outside world as they find freedom in abandoning their own tongue for just a few moments a week or month.

“Bahasa can be so difficult because of the formality of the language. I can express myself more casually in English” Girsang said.
These ten English-language blogs appear in the top 50 Indonesian blogs tracked by Web site

Three Popular Blogs Written by Expats Living in Indonesia:

These three blogs written by expatriates living in Indonesia are ranked in the top six on

1. Brandon Hoover
Consisting of high-resolution photographs, Brandon Hoover’s blog takes a look at Indonesia’s natural beauty and his life here as an American. Aesthetically pleasing, Hoover’s blog illustrates how Indonesia has influenced his thoughts and photography. A fan of Indonesia, Hoover’s blog provides an American’s perspective on the joys of living in the country.

2. Jakartass
Jakartass, written by a Westerner living in Jakarta, consists of witty posts chronicling the life of an expatriate in Jakarta. Posts on the blog discuss local news as well as personal experiences illustrating quirks in Indonesian culture. Most recent posts discuss power cuts in Jakarta and a list of books by bloggers. Information on Indonesian acronyms and slang words are found on the sidebar of the blog.

3. Treespotter
Treespotter is a personal blog containing posts mostly on daily life in Indonesia and current, local events. Posts include idiosyncrasies in Jakarta culture, such as how there is always a place to smoke. The personal posts are both entertaining and in depth, while the posts pertaining to politics are written from an outsider’s point of view.

Ten Blogs by Indonesians Who Are Writing in English:

These ten English-language blogs appear in the top 50 Indonesian blogs tracked by Web site

1. Michael Hutagalung
Web designer Michael Hutagalung maintains a blog that consists of his personal perspectives, his design portfolio and discussions on Wordpress themes and Indonesian social issues. His blog offers readers the opportunity to learn about the Wordpress program as well as read an Indonesian perspective on the upcoming election.

2. Budi Putra
Blogger Budi Putra of this self-titled blog provides commentary on local news and technology gadgets. Mixing local technological news, such as Indonesia’s launch of digital TV, Putra also updates readers on more esoteric news such as the discovery of Indonesian sea horses. Technologically-savvy Putra comments on how information from the upcoming election will be broadcast via SMS.

3. Devi Girsang
Attracting both Jakartans and foreigners, Devi Girsang’s personal blog gives insight into the life of a young, Indonesian medical student. Girsang blogs on topics ranging from laptop malfunctions to bus-riding etiquette. Girsang’s blog gives expatriates the opportunity to observe a young Indonesian’s experiences, while peers can relate or rebut Girsang’s critiques of Jakarta culture and society.

4. Merlyna Lim
Blogging from her home in Arizona, Merlyna Lim’s blog focuses on her craft as an artist and her thoughts on both Indonesian and American issues. In between posts of her personal drawings and collages, Lim touches on local topics such as the construction of urban space in Bandung and internationally relatable topics such as inequalities within society.

5. Martin Manurung
Martin Manurung’s self-titled blog covers topical news issues in Jakarta. Providing his own commentary and critique of social, economic and political topics, Manurung tries to counterbalance foreign media reports that he feels are often “misleading.” Straying away from gossip, Manurung’s blog gives foreigners an inside look from a local’s perspective.

6. Calvin Michel Sidjaja
Touching on sensitive topics such as his search for his family tree and being of mixed heritage, Calvin Sidjaja’s blog consists of posts on his personal life and experiences. Sidjaja’s Indonesian heritage is a main theme of his blog, a topic that many young adults can relate to.

7. Ecky
Known on her blog as Ecky, the blogger writes from Australia. Though she mostly posts on personal subjects such as shower rituals and the perks of being a woman, Ecky also writes about the difficulties that come with change and leaving the comfort of her home country, Indonesia. Ecky also posts topical news from Jakarta, such as the upcoming election and President Obama’s effect on Indonesians.

8. Carla Ardrian
Blogging on various topics from gardening to photography, Carla Ardrian provides an Indonesian perspective on everyday things. Accommodating her Indonesian readers, Carla posts innovative recipes and political commentary, while foreigners may be more attracted to her travel and cultural tips. One of Carla’s posts comments on her experience of receiving incorrect directions as a tourist in Bali.

9. Nana Podungge
Nana Podungge’s most recent post on her blog, “A Feminist Blog,” discusses the topic of religion. Podungge considers herself a secular Muslim. Her religious views are mixed with the other main focus of her blog, a woman’s role in society. A unique combination, Podungge’s blog provides insight into controversial topics.

10. Martha
“Frank and Martha’s Blog,” written by Martha, captures the life of a young family in Jakarta. Martha’s updates illustrate the charms shared by all families worldwide, such as receiving her first written letter from her elementary school-aged son. Chronicling the life of a mother, Martha shares her thoughts on baking experiences, the workplace and raising a young child.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Refreshing Changes

I have been living in my new home Canberra for almost 3 months and I like it so far, although some people said that this city is a shit hole *pardon my language* and I have to pursue my husband to immediately move out and get another overseas posting so I don't have to be rotten here. I don't have any specific complaints so far other than this cold Winter and chill mornings, I love the blue sky, I love the fresh air, I love the no traffic jam road and I kinda get used to the quietness compare to Jakarta. It's a refreshing change for me because I fed up with Jakarta's traffic jam especially during wet season, ah it was just hell. The not so refreshing changes are the do it (domestic stuff) by yourself attitude; since I am not a good cook, my speciality is fried noodle with Indomie goreng as the main ingredients and add lots of veggies and chicken/egg, you can't get wrong with Indomie goreng and the last time I did iron was gazillion years ago, but my husband and I are a good team so I don't complaint (so far) :))

I was a bit depressed when I just arrived here because our stuff haven't arrived from Indonesia and we don't have TV, no computer, no internet, limited utensils and very limited clothes, no friends yet. Simple matters became a big deal for me, I remember one night I can't find my camera charger and I cry like someone hurt me so bad, that was the point when I decided I need to get to work otherwise I will be crazy. I am fortunate that Angela has a good connection so she signed me in to her old job in after school care. I started just 3 weeks after I arrived in this country, not bad, not bad at all.

After school care program was a perfect practice for me because it starts at 3pm till 6pm so I can do my English classes from AMEP Program in the morning. The job desk was to supervised and get involve while the children do crafting, play indoor/outdoor, helped the centre manager preparing the afternoon tea until their parents come to pick them up. I even introduced the children with Indonesian words and show them my wedding album so they get the idea about Indonesia.

One day there was this girl Niamh who comes only Tuesday and Friday and when she saw me on Wednesday at the school yard she runs and hug me tight. It was such a nice feeling, and that was the point when I think I can handle the "pressure" working with children. So I decided I will get full time work in childcare industry. When I left the after school care programs, the children gave me big farewell card with sweet notes like "I will miss you", "please come and see us sometimes", "I love you", "thank you for being so awesome", cardboard koala, some of them even draw my picture had melted my heart and I was cried in front of them :).

This week is my third week working full time in early childhood centre, the shifts are varied from 8am-5pm, 8.30am-5.30pm, 9am-6pm and they put me in toddlers room 1-3 years old children. My day usually begins with company the toddlers play, sit with them during group time (listen to story and singing), preparing them for morning tea, company them play outdoor or inside (depends on the weather), preparing them for lunch, preparing them for nap, changing nappies (3 times a day among 3 carers/teachers), preparing them for afternoon tea, company and supervise them play and sit with them during afternoon snacks. Working in childcare is not as easy as I thought, because I need to be firm with them when they are being cheeky and sometimes I have to chase them and lift them to the bathroom during nappies time. But I consider that as my exercise, lift up and put down 15 children during the busiest day to the nappy bench is surely burn some calories :).

I was amazed with the children's discipline, the youngest is 19 months old and the oldest is almost 3 years old but they can wash and dry hand by themselves, sit on the chair during morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, take off their own shoes and help to pack up the toys when we ask to. The youngest Caragh can sit on the toilet by herself and she doesn't have to wear nappy, isn't that good? I try not to compare with Indonesian children but I know some Indonesian children who can't do all of those things even though they are already 5 years old.

It can be a stressful day if the children are being cheeky and didn't listen to me but it all washed away when they cuddle me. It such a wonderful feeling eventhough they are not mine, but still.. It's nice and wonderful. I am not pursue the money because the money is not that good compare to other jobs but I got emotional satisfaction and for the time being that is enough for me. It surely is a refreshing change from a hectic life, tight deadlines and long hours in an advertising company, and I am going to enjoy this until the day I couldn't enjoy it again.

I guess not everything all about the money..

Friday, May 29, 2009

Me awesome? Nah, you gotta be wrong....

Yoyen and Katadia tagged me with this wonderful award of awesomeness, not sure if I deserve that award though because I never think that I am awesome. Tried to think about my awesomeness for couple of days and I asked mr. husband this morning if he can list 7 reasons of my awesomeness, and of course being a good husband he said things that uplifted my self esteem like: I am awesome because I am funny, pretty and beautiful ,fun, cute, and other stuff that he loves about me. Is that count?

Ah well, I will try to list down about my awesomeness (if I have any) :)

1) I am awesome because my best Indonesian food is mouth watering fried noddle with lots of veggies and eggs. I know how good it is because mr. husband and mum in law loved it, talking about being nice eh?

2. I know I am awesome because I have a loving mother who text me every single day to ask what am I doing and how am I coping in the new country, yup every single day. It shows how much she loved me and how much she missed my awesomeness, you reckon?

3. Some friends think I am awesome and brave because I travel with bus everywhere even though I am new to this city. Yeah, being lost while driving is so much worse than taking bus though, on the bus at least you can ask the driver where to go and ask them to let you know on your drop off, it's easy isn't it?

4. I am awesome because now I can do ironing and I make sure mr. husband has 5 business shirts for the week. So I don't have to iron every 2 days or so, talking about being organised.

5. I am awesome because one day I walked from Canberra Institute Technology in Reid Campus to home in Barton about 4.3km and it took about 1 hours walk. Not bad eh?

6. I am awesome because it's already 10am and I haven't done any cleaning and tidying up the house instead I am still in front of the computer trying to figure out how awesome I am. Isn't that awesome?

7. I am awesome because I have great family and friends who I love and love me so much. Yes, you.. You are one of them. Who ever read this silly post consider as my friend :)

The hard part is over, here come the tough part... choosing 7 of my awesome blogger friends to list down their awesomeness, all of my blogger friends and any blogger out there are awesome in their own way, but I have to choose then the awesome award goes to:

1) Farika, Kukka's mum and a funky gal
2) Neng Keke, comedian who happen to be a good copywriter
3) Neng Wentjes, ex client and become good friend of mine
4) Parvita and her busy brain, independent, strong and awesome woman
5) Therry, creative chick and a beautiful teacher
6) Elyani, ah what can I say about her, she is awesome!
7) Yoyen and Katadia, awesome bloggers that tagged me :)

Now get back to your blog and do the homework, let me know when you finished, ok?

Indonesia English

Monday, May 25, 2009

Adjusting and settling down

I have been in Canberra, Australia for 7 weeks and I am still adjusting with the whole Australian way of life.

We actually had smooth transition because my mum in law was kindly enough to provide us place to stay until we ready to move to our own place. We are now settling down in our own place, nice apartment near to Sam's office yeah just 2 minutes walk lucky him, nice courtyard view, near Lake Burley Griffin, 10 minutes walk to Manuka Circle and Kingston shops.

View from our balcony to central courtyard.

I also glad that I met this wonderful lady through cyber world, Katadia was soo kind to pick me up on our first land coffee (kopi darat) during the election day and we went to Indonesian Embassy so I can meet other Indonesians. At the Indonesian embassy I ate this pempek without knowing that it hasn't been fried yet, it shown how clueless I am about that kind of thing ha ha. After that we went to Katadia's house and meet Mr. Husband, how cool was that, first land coffee we come to each other's house, top that other bloggers! :p.

Last Friday Katadia took me to this Indonesian's take away shop to eat proper pempek, this time I eat the fried one hahaha. Thanks for that Katz.

I am sure my mum will be very proud of me because now I can cook and do domestic stuff like ironing, washing the dishes (when our stuff is not enough to use the dish washer), cleaning and tidying up the house ;).

I find this city more relax compare to Jakarta, people usually finish work at 4.30pm to 5 pm and after that they are at home preparing dinner. The no traffic jam roads make it possible to do that, things that you can't do in Jakarta as usually take hours to reach home from work. I love the blue sky, fresh air, beautiful green yellow and red leaves and empty road, I kinda like the quiet environment it's soothing and people are less stressful.

What I miss from Jakarta is the people friends and family, food and the cheap things (salon treatment, massage and spa, clothes, taxi). We are still comparing price to Jakarta and it still shock us how cheap living cost in Jakarta. I know, we should stop compare it and start to live with the local price, we're getting to that point slowly.

I promise I will write again soon and posting something about my new home. Just wait and see ;)

Dream Job?

You think your job sucks? Think again....

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Bear with me

Bear with me...

I will write again soon....

When I have settled down, right now I feel like I'm in the middle of the road waiting for the right time to move and act..

Yes, I will be leaving my home for 30 years to a new home in just days away, 3 days away to be exact. Changes is not easy, especially leaving my comfort zone for 30 years, but I'm fully ready for this new journey, the journey to find a new home and build new family with the love of my life.

Bear with me...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tagged by Farika

001. Real name → Ecky Puspasari Baelly

002. Like it? → Not really. Ecky usually name for male, so I often got a call say "can I speak to Mr. Ecky?" D'oh!

003. Nickname(s)→ Ecky, Ecks...

004. Status → Engaged, about to get married at the end of this month :)

005. Zodiac sign → Lion arrrggghh...

006. Male or female → a little bit of both :D

007. Elementary → SDN Karawaci Baru 2 Tangerang

008. Middle School → SMPN 6 Tangerang

009. High School → SMAN 2 Tangerang, SMAN 2 Tasikmalaya. I moved to Tasik on my second year.

010. Hair color → Currently dark brown with highlight

011. Long or short → Medium bob

012. Eye color → Looks like dark brown

013. Weight → 56 - 57, want to loose 3 to 4 kg but seems impossible *sigh*

014. Height → 160 cm.

015. Righty or lefty → Righty

017. Sweats or Jeans → Short :))

018. Phone or Camera → Both!

019. Health freak → used to be, not anymore :)

020. Piercings?→ just ear

021. Do you have a crush on someone? → Uhm... If I tell you, can you keep it as a secret? lol. It's... SU

022. Eat or Drink → Both

023. Purse or Backpack → Purse, I'm a woman

024. Tattoos → afraid of needle and don't think can handle the pain :)

025. Do You Like Yourself? → what's not to like :). But I wish I have small upper arm hehehe

026. Current worry? → the embassy takes long time to grant my visa :((


027. Orange or Apple Juice? → Both lol.. I'm a fruit lover

028. Night or Day? → flexible can be adjusted as per request

029. Sun or Moon? → definitely sun!

030. TV or Internet? → both!!!! can't imagine life without them

031. PlayStation or XBox? → no thanks, don't like any of them

032. Kiss or Hug? → Both, kiss without hug won't be completed, vice versa

033. Iguana or Turtle? → uhm.. turtle looks less scary

034. Spider or Bee? → no thanks

035. Fall or Spring? → summer

036. Limewire or iTunes? → iTunes

037. Soccer or Baseball? → if i have to choose... soccer!


038. First surgery → zero

039. First piercing → just ear

040. First best friend → uhm... Vera from middle school, she has fair skin and I have dark skin so every time we walk together people will call us kopi susu (coffee and milk)

041. First Sport? → volley ball, I used to be in my school team.

042. First award → none, poor me

043. First crush → bony from kindergarten, and my friends will mock me up with sing "my bony is over the rainbow..."

044. First pet → don't like any

045. First big vacation → Australia! Meet the whole family there, phew.. scary but excited, good thing they like me ;)

046. First big birthday → I forgot


047. Eating → just had 2 corn fritters and 2 fried tofus

048. Drinking → water

049. I'm about to → text my baby

050. Listening to → iTunes: track 06a from album a

051. Singing? → nah, just do a bit of dance following the music

052. Typing? → this long questionnaire from Farika

053. Waiting for → my baby to go home from his Boss's house


054. Want kids? → of course

055. When? → no detail plan yet

056. Want to get married? → hell yeah

057. When? → on 28 February 2009

058. Where Do You Want To Live? → any where as long as I'm with my baby.. ok that sound so cheesy lol

059. Careers in mind → not at the moment, lost my passion in advertising

060. What Did You Want To Be When You Were Little? → Police woman, marine, reporter

061. Mellow Future Or Wild? → wild but still in control :))

062. Something You Would Never Try? → sky dive


063. Lips or eyes → both is good

064. Shorter or taller? → prefer tall but not too tall though

065. Romantic or spontaneous → spontaneous romantic ;)

066. Nice stomach or nice arms → how about nice smell

067. Sensitive or loud → sensitive

068. Hook-up or relationship → hook up first and then relationship

069. Trouble maker or hesitant → in between

070. Hugging or Kissing? → both

071. Tan Skinned or Light? → light, cos I have tan skin ;)

072. Dark or Light Hair? → anything

073. Muscular or Normal? → I accept both


074. Lost glasses/contacts → doesn't wear glasses/contacts

075. Ran away from home → never

076. Held a gun/knife for self defense? → never, that sounds scary

077. Killed somebody → what do you think?!!!!!!! hell no

078. Broken someone's heart → uhm.. I don't know, hey you.. yeah you.. did I break your heart?

079. Been arrested → hopefully never!

080. Cried when someone died → all the time

081. Kissed A Stranger? → no comment

082. Climbed Up A Tree? → rambutan tree, there was this big rambutan tree in front of my childhood house in Tangerang, and every time rambutan season coming I always be the first who tried it lol

083. Liked A Friend As More Than A Friend? → yeah, when I was in high school


084. Yourself → yes

085. Miracles → sometimes

086. Love at first sight → not really, everything should be in process

087. Heaven → sure!

088. Santa Claus → sorry, but no :)

089. Kiss on the first date → why not :p


090. Is there one person you want to be with right now → my fiancée

091. Do You Like Someone? → of course

092. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life → can't complain much :)


094. Received/Sent Text Message → Sam/Sam

095. Received Call → ex client

096. Call Made? → mom

097. Comment On MySpace? → nah, it's been a long time since I check it

098. Missed Call? → my baby

099. Person You Hang out With? → my girls.. and every body who are fun to be with

DONE!! It's my time to tag you!

1. Anita

2. Therry

3. Rima

4. Devi

5. Tere

6. The Writter

7. Parvita

8. Elyani

9. Katadia

10. Ivy

11. Wenni

12. Lorraine

13. Diny

14. Santi

Notify me after you done it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Canberra Photo

I am delighted to let you know that our photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released sixth edition of Schmap Canberra Guide:

Mount Ainslie

At first we plan to do hiking from down the hill up to the top, but out of laziness oops I mean not enough time and the barrier from the cold winter weather, we decided to just enjoy the view from the top, like the one on the photo here :)

Yup, that is my back and Sam took this photo but with my camera so it's our photo!