Black But Braun

 

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This guy has finally arrived in my hand after I had back and forth follow-up with DHL UK cause it was at UK custom for almost a month (Amrick must be so patient listened to my complain on DHL UK twitter account :P but many thanks anyway).

I really had no plan before to add this on my wrist watch collection just because I had annoying moment few times when my debit VISA had been declined on my iTunes (I just received my new card then!). So on NYE, I did try to use it buying something online as suggested (how easy a lady on the customer service told me to try the card by buying something and I followed!) and chose this one as a NY gift for myself.

And it must be my mistake that I thought I chose black leather but brown arrived. Not bad tho I feel rose gold on brown is more appropriate to be worn for an evening occasion. Bottom line, sleek and clean design always has a place on me.

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Tokyo | 3

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I finally arrived at Akihabara Station after two hours of Shinkansen ride from Kyoto. It was almost midnight and the street was quite. I enjoyed my walk toward my hostel, crossing the same bridge, slowing down my steps just to feel a yellow dim light from the street lights. Though I walked with a big smile and gratitude, memories of a day well-spent at Kyoto, plus a new black goodie bag fulfilled with souvenirs but I did feel sad cause I realised, I only had two more days in Japan.

An hour before I slept on my bed, I checked maps on my iPhone and did many screenshots to ensure myself won’t take a wrong train and stopped at somewhere.

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Checking maps could be the reason why I woke up a bit late. I moved my suitcase when I found a place where travelers dropped their suitcases and backpacks (I kept my suitcase beside a locker for shoes before) and I did repack all the souvenirs there. I did separate my remain outfits too for the rest of my stay. Oh, I’m kind of person who’s very organise and hate last-minutes things, fyi.

I let myself to pack slower tho I knew I would have a very short time to explore Ginza before my main destination that day. I had a fortuitous moment with one Austrian traveler when I was almost done with my suitcase. A fortuitous moment that made us became a very good friends till today (read about him, here).

Around 11.30am I headed to Ginza, a district of Chūō, Japan’s biggest luxury shopping and entertainment district. Exploring Ginza under the sun wasn’t a bad idea especially if you are interested with fashion, modern architecture, merchandising, or window shopping. It’s such a paradise for creative people and shopper, indeed. I stood in front of designer stores and many interesting window displays to train my eyes and took pictures as many as I could (nothing more pleasant than taking picture at some cool spots!). Should I say here one of my dream I had in mind when I was there? (read: enter Fendi store and bring some Fendi monsters home without worry how many dollars I’ll spend). I was a bit in rush to take a look at more stores cause I had a plan to pamper myself with some desserts from Henri Charpentier. Desserts for breakfast because, why not?

I putted Henri Charpentier on my list after I read this page. And it is true, it’s kind of a little heaven for a dessert lover. After I entered the shop, I could feel how excited I was looking at those desserts and pastries that I heard are awards-worthy. Forget about my dream to be a pro pastry chef (I dreamt about it years ago) cause I was happy enough sitting down at one corner in Henri Charpentier in the afternoon without worry about my bill. I picked a slice of strawberry shortcake and one chocolate cake. The last one was OMG to the max! A kind of to-die-for chocolate cake. I spent only one and half hour at Henri and walked down to the main street of Ginza.


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My main destination that day was Fujiko Museum in Kawasaki. Indonesian kids on 90’s must know Fujiko is the creator of Doraemon, one of the most well-known cartoon in Indonesia. I grew up with Doraemon as one of the most imaginative manga character I could remember. His magic pocket, Nobita and his crush, Sizuka, oh Giant who sings so pitchy, Suneo the rich kid and sure, the famous bamboo-copter. I had one vivid memory about Doraemon when I was about 7 years old. I used to run from school when I had my rest time around 9 to 10am just to watch Doraemon at home on Sunday (I was off on Friday then cause my elementary school was the Islamic one). The distance of my house and the school wasn’t that far, so it was always joyful when I could run and watched my favourite manga on TV every Sunday. Fujiko Museum has four different hours to visit from morning till afternoon. You need to reserve before you go there by buying the ticket at Lawson or online. Early in the afternoon could be the best time I to visit. Mine was for 4pm, the only schedule that was available when I bought at Lawson somewhere near Tenryū-ji temple, Kyoto.

When I was still strolling around Ginza, I was a bit worry if I didn’t have enough time to take a train to Noborito Station. I checked my wrist watch and realised I still had 1,5 hours to 4pm. And you know Japan train, it is always on time. So I said to myself not to worry too much and “let me enter two shops to grab some shirts for myself” and I actually did (*crying* :P). Believe me when I walked around Ginza I made a promise not to change my US Dollar again cause hello, there is always a life after vacation right? :P But after five seconds I thought,

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Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t enter Fendi store as I wished.

When I realised it was the time to leave Ginza for Fujiko Museum, I was running like a fat turkey. I have checked the nearest station from where I stood and it was Mizonokuchi Station instead of Noborito. I had to take a train from Ginza Station to Shibuya Station but something happened when I arrived at Mizonokuchi Station.


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My decision to take a train to Mizonokuchi Station was wrong when I found that I was blind at all with Japanese kanji. When I went down to take a bus I realized that I would not make it to Fujiko Museum but I didn’t give up yet.

I stood at the bus stop and tried to cross check the bus stops on the signage with the one on my iPhone. I just saw one queue and stood there for minutes before the bus came. But my heart wasn’t so sure with the bus even the time of arrival was the same with the one showed on my Gmaps. Asking a question to an old Japanese couple wasn’t successful too because they didn’t understand English (I used my translator to Japanese but it didn’t help them too :(). Better to try than nothing at all, right?

I entered the bus with a fickle heart. First, second, till the fourth bus stop I said,

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So, I sat by the window. I was free, confused and happy in the same time, trying to pick all the scenes that day and kept in my memory.


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You know in this life something happens for a reason. When you have prepared something and it didn’t happen like what you were expected, at least you could still pick the essence of the moment. That was the lesson I learned when I finally went down from the bus in Yokohama-Kozukuecho and found my way back to the train station. Alas, traveling has taught me to be stronger and wiser.

I headed back to Shinjuku station when I accidentally found one of my follower on my Instagram mentioned one halal ramen restaurant somewhere at Shinjuku. She was kind enough offering me a plan B sort of after I shared a picture why I couldn’t pay a visit to Fujiko Museum. Tho they way to the restaurant was a bit tricky, but I felt so fortunate could finally sit down with a bowl of spicy halal ramen again in Japan. Writing it on this post somehow, makes me think how cool if I had a friend like Doraemon, who could bring me back to Japan through his magic door right now.

I ended my day strolling around at Akihabara electric town with this song from my iPhone before headed back to the hostel. It was such a simply beautiful way to close a lovely day in Tokyo.

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When You Believe

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I know how cheesy this post is titled, le pardon.

There is one quote I love from C.S. Lewis: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”. And you may know that I always love to surround myself with this magical word: dream.

People say you have two choices every morning, continue sleep with your dreams or wake up to chase them. So on Friday last week, I finally climbed and stood on another step to chase my long time dream. I want to challenge myself to be more fearless tho I have no idea how I will face some steps later, if you know what I mean. But hey, “it’s now or never, cause I ain’t gonna live forever”.

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“So, do you really want to do it this year?”

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I wanted to keep this for myself before but decided to share it on this blog as part of my journey. And in case you’re having a dream too, at least this post could push you gently to do the same: make progress, not just dreaming.

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Did I say I have booked my ticket to Europe? :)

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P.S. “it’s now or never, cause I ain’t gonna live forever” taken from It’s My Life by Bon Jovi.

Wish Everyday Was Like This


Imagine this.

When you are having a bad day and crying for something hurts, someone comes and hugs you, and says: “I know it’s hard. You’re going to be okay. Here’s a coffee. And 5 million dollars”.


If I had that moment, I would stop crying and looked at the person. And I would continue crying louder and slapped him just to ensure I wasn’t dreaming. Then, I would be so glad to arrange a trip for me and you guys to Switzerland for 2 months, then we would take a train to Vienna before we flew to LA. How I love throwing cheese dream like this.

K, I’m currently having 10 days off after peak season last year when I worked more than 30 hours for weekends (I mean, 30 hours non-stop!), ate few rubbish just to survive (read: what worse than a pizza for breakfast and cheap instant noodles for dinner? tho, it was only few times, promise), and slept anywhere I could fall at. It could be at one corner of the hall (yes, on the floor!), dropped my head on the banquet table, or at the back seat of my car where I had to bend my knees (this sounds better with AC on, and a 18 by 18 inch pillow). Whatever you can imagine how hard it may sound, it’s part of my job. And as usual, I will give myself a reward every time I have a day off. Well, mostly you guys know what is my guilty pleasure: spending money for fruitful pricey food.


I wish I woke up with no deadlines but a full breakfast on bed everyday …


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When I have few days off, it should be an opportunity to pack my things and fly to Marrakech for instance, just for a week, nah? But unfortunately, I had to attend few preliminary meetings for a big project days ago when EVERYONE WAS RESTING! Akkk, YES!! Could you feel me? Let me not sounding exaggerated here :| but in case if you guys do not know how to put fake smiles on your face after you were waiting for two hours doing nothing because it ruined your off day like what I had today, I can teach you how to do it.

Sure, I won’t wish that kind of meeting happens everyday, sigh. Oh, I’m happy right now I have some new books to read cause I’m trying to off my internet access after an office hour. Except on the weekend at home, or having something to share on this blog :).

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P.S. “I know it’s hard. You’re going to be okay. Here’s a coffee. And 5 million dollars” – found this joke one time on 9gag’s twitter.

Three and Four

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Once again, HNY everyone!

Who’s with me that was so excited yesterday when found that Ed Sheeran had announced he’ll drop his new music this Friday?! Can’t wait righhht? 

I’m hoping we all have a good start and 2017 brings a lot of wonderful surprises! Beside that I’m hoping too I can improve the content of this blog this year with more deliberate and thoughtful posts, yummy food!, and one of the particular thing I’d like to push is clearer pictures. A new camera is on his way! *closinge-Bay* . The reason why I really want to get a new camera + quality lenses is come on, it’s 2017!, nope, that’s not the reason. I feel like really, I need to upgrade the quality of my pictures here to be more and more sharper and more visually interesting. Don’t want to say that I’m so obsessed wishing a blog like Alice Gao (holy shit her lenses are sick!) but as a visual person, I’ll easily fall in love with a blog that has appealing photos on it. I believe that I’ll make my time more for this blog this year when I get a new gear :P promise!

You guys can count my preamble as one of my NY resolution, too.

K right here, on this post, I specifically wanted to express what I feel about two favourite humans a.k.a my very very good and best friend that having birthdays on third and fourth of January. Though I grew up without one single birthday celebration in my family’s culture but this day, I feel I should celebrate and express more about my feeling to people I love. And I think remembering somebody’s birthday is as sweet as a ripe red cherry!

The idea of this post born after I read a message on my iPhone when my very best friend, Ruli, stated how grateful he was on his birthday September last year. Me and two other bestfriends, Winda and Maya agreed to send him a green tea cheese cake then. When I saw his face on the picture Winda sent to our group, I said to myself that’s true what people say: “They may forget a thing you give them but they’ll never forget how you make them feel”.

Let me not lie to you that two gifts on this post are just props :P one of them is a Chanel perfume box *coughing*. I’m gonna pick some gifts for Andreas Knogler and Yuriko Liao for their birthdays while you guys can read what my wishes are below (gonna pick real b’day gifts, promise!. I’ll ask another best friend of mine, Rifda, to accompany me sending something for Yuriko :)).

I’ll end this post with nothing to say but grateful for my friendships with both of them <— is this touched enough? :P

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2017!

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The fact that I always hate to be older when a new year comes, there are few things left in my heart last year. Despite that I’m just a human like you, I did have ups and downs that right now I did realise they made 2016 was even more colorful.

Here are 16 personal thoughts of mine that worth to be remembered and to be grateful for on 2016:

1. Still healthy and that’s the most important I think

2. Got my very own house before 30 on January, though I still have a lot of homework to make it as close as I imagined what a real ‘home’ is

3. I couldn’t ask more than a complete family, though I did shock (and almost cried) with the fact that one of my sister was diagnosed with cancer just two days before I flew back to Africa, it didn’t stop me to be grateful for this life cause God is in control. There is a reason why I wrote the first statement the way it is because health is the real wealth

4. I did make a simply family vacation with my mom and my siblings came true. Had no regret though I thought about it since four years ago

5. Traveled to Japan alone and fell in love with the country (and I’m gonna back this year too! hopefully!)

6. Met with some travelers from different countries and became really good friends till right now. This makes me believe that there are still a lot of kind humans in this world

7. This may sound so cheesy (sorry) but bought a simple gold ring for my Mom as a gift was one the most simply beautiful thing I did this year. It wasn’t expensive (as I did wish I could buy a diamond, someday!) yet hopefully she knew how much I love her

8. There were few of my Mom’s siblings had passed away on 2016 and it made me realised that having a complete parents is the real gift I should thank more

9. Still had opportunities catching up and keeping the friendships with cool peeps but sad in the same time for the one I couldn’t meet (hello Giri, Atre, Yuriko!, we must meet this year mbak Ika!)

10. I found out the name of a place that the picture has been on my mind since I was kid called Hallstatt in Austria. A dream place where I want to spend the day by staring at the lake with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand (let’s see if this dream comes true this year!)

 11. The time when I was so restless whether I had to come back to Africa or not because I felt insecure to lead my department with less supports. I thought it was so scary but my decision to try made me believe more than ever that I’m strong enough to still stand in this country, working professionally

12. Had a courage to sing in front of people at Indonesian Embassy here, finally (:P)

13. I did Qur’ban after I was off on 2015, last year was the first I did outside Indonesia. I felt grateful for that

14. Made a little surprise with Winda and Maya for one our very best friend, Ruli, on his birthday by sending him a green tea cheese cake (oh fatty! :P). When I saw his face on the picture they shared on our chat-group, it made me think to do more often for more of my best friend (my new very good friend, too!)

15. Should I mentioned that 2 pictures liked by Alice Gao on IG was worth to be remembered cause she’s like a real star now? nah?

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16. Still sharing pieces of my life on this blog with you guys :* (thanks for whosoever who pay a visit!)

17. Falling love with a stranger


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Before I forget, I wish you a better New Year guys! Let’s see what 2017 has for us!

Cheers!

Greeting For December

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“The last time I was on Skype with my buddy, Andreas, it was a month ago. I mean, how time flies?”

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I believe it wasn’t only me when we woke up four days ago and surprised that December is finally here. Excuse me, the end of this year? isn’t this too fast?

December is the peakest season for a person who works in the event industry like me. Like you have to be ready working for 30 hours plus (2 days 2 nights that what I had for last two weeks!), ensuring so many things from A to Z before the events, moving for one place to another, and standing until the event started. Sleepless nights on December is such a normal thing (oh, hello Christmas and New Year decorations!).

Sounds tough, huh? It does guys. So don’t blame me if today I decided to pamper myself with some cool guys on my table. This was such a revenge from two days ago when what I had for dinner was only cheap instant noodles, yikes.

 

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I know by tomorrow I’m going to work hard again till the upper week for continuous events and some will be out of town. Realized that I will be dreaming like “oh, I’m at nowhere, where can I get kale leaves for breakfast”, don’t mind me that is nonsensical non sense :P when I work out of town with hectic schedule. To be honest I have no idea how should I divide myself for that, tho. But I trust everything will be fine.

I tried to enjoy my afternoon by stood on my dining table with a slice of strawberry mousse and chocolate cheese cake with a lemon tea (sugar-less of course!). I brought them home along with berries and frozen croissants after I and my colleague had a Chinese food for lunch yesterday when we both had a day off (it was like a miracle we had Saturday off on December!).

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Well, right now, I want to prepare myself to sleep earlier so I can wake up fresh tomorrow. Sure, after I finish picking some early Christmas gifts for myself on eBay (no, I’m lying, I don’t celebrate Christmas). Should I say it’s for an early New Year gifts instead? Oops :).

 

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