Exceptionally Need To Be Back To The Right Track

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Hello from Surabaya!

I have been back to Indonesia for hold on, it’s been two weeks? Ouch. Even though I realize I have used my time these past fourteen days wisely, if I may say (yes, have sort some of important things out already, still a bunch need to be done), I still feel time flies too fast every time I’m here.

This time around, my time would be a little longer. I have some plans and things to do and hopefully all could be done before I go back. I’m excited to be here early this year but somehow feeling a bit worry when come back to work and I have a longer time to spend over there without any vacations. But I think, it’s better for me to just live every single days and put those worries aside till the time to face it has come. Oh, I’m not totally off from work anyway. I’m still active working for office via online from wherever I am (If I may say, this is such a trial working remotely. Let’s see how it works).

Don’t be puzzled with that too-long foreword and the title which doesn’t have a connection. I ain’t gonna share my days in Indonesia this time but such a throwback to some breakfast scenes instead. There are two differences I have to admit between my breakfast in Lagos and in Surabaya. One: this might be counted as a good news: it is easier to find breakfast in Surabaya, I don’t need to cook by myself, it’s easy finding affordable yummy Indonesian food ofc, but bad news: I’ve been lulled by the easiness and somehow it makes me lazy, since most of Indonesian food (those yummy ones) aren’t that healthy (oily, fried, what else?) it drives me nonchalantly to forget about fruits, chia, flaxseed, and those fancy ones. The last one is bad. If in Lagos I work like crazy, nine to six plus over night most of the times, come back home very late, wake up early preparing breakfast, and always spending money for berries like “I don’t care how much” as a revenge from junk food eaten at venues, in Surabaya I really have to be back to the right track.

Perhaps, I have to open my eyes wider to balance my lifestyle: still enjoying those yummy Indonesian food (what else to do when you’re back to your own country and been waiting for a long time to enjoy your native food, hm?) and starting my day with healthy-fruity-breakfast. I exceptionally need to be back on the right track like yesterday.

Here are some breakfast scenes I documented months ago.

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Scene 1

Colorful salad with strawberry, mango, avocado, carrot, lettuce, sweet corn and boiled chicken breast; dressing made from fresh lemon + chili sauce + brown sugar and very little white vinegar, sprinkled with chia and flaxseed. Eaten with plain yogurt + blueberry + raspberry and almonds plus black coffee {Perhaps it doesn’t sound right eating salad with coffee isn’t it? but truly drinking coffee every morning is particular for me}


Scene 2

Slices of strawberries, mango, banana, frozen blackberry and raspberry, almonds, dried coconut on top of plain yogurt sprinkled with chia and flaxseed; sunny side-up with chili flakes and tortilla chips; cheese soft baguette. Eaten with Swiss roll (oh I bought it at bakery ofc) with some cheese crackers and coffee milk

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Scene 3

Blueberry and overnight strawberry soaked in palm sugar served on top of plain yogurt with dried coconut and chia seed; granola; three minutes boiled eggs with mustard green served with seasoned shredded chicken breast; grapefruits; fresh beetroot ~ ginger ~ apple  ~ carrot juice

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Funny enough by looking at those scenes above makes me miss my room there. From all scenes you could see one same thing; how I managed my very small working table for breakfast. Sometimes it’s still tidy with MacBook on the table when having breakfast and answering emails, surfing on Pinterest, and some blog-walking at the same time. Sometimes when I find bright morning light falls in, I pretend having a real breakfast on a real dining table by moving stuffs and spreading a cotton fabric on it like what you could see on scene 2. At the apartment there is a dining table when sometimes I sit and eat with housemates but mostly I prefer to enjoy my food in my room. It’s more comfortable and private and yes, nobody’s watching when I need to stand on my chair for some breakfast shots.

Coffee Scenes Through An iPhone

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I almost forgot two things when I finally got an iPhoneX five months ago; one, that feeling when you first unboxing an iPhone, time when you slide the top box, then find inside how handsome an iPhone is. Two, how clear the camera compare with the older versions. Every time I get a new iPhone the first app I always figure out is the camera, the rest are secondary. There was a time when one of my colleagues got an iPhone7+ (wasn’t it years ago?), I admired how clear the camera was! compared with my iPhone6. Then when he got an iPhone X and I was still with iPhone6, I felt “Damn, how could!” 

Till the time when an iPhoneX arrived on my hand and I got that ‘feeling’ back, a feeling of excitement capturing objects only with an iPhone. Here are some coffee scenes I captured with an iPhoneX three months ago when I was on vacation and had some coffee times in Indonesia. All was edited with VSCO on an iPhone (yes, still no editing apps on this new MacBook Pro :|)

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Upgrading

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Later on December last year when I wanted to update this blog (read: editing session which took way too long) after work, I found my MacBook had a problem. The battery showed red even when it was still charging. Zero percent, damn. I just upgraded the storage which was typical Apple spare part (read: costly, the good news: somebody paid for me). The day after, I found that the trackpad didn’t work well. Okay, I had no plan to break my vow again after an iPhone X.

But I had one excuse: seven years plus with me wasn’t a bad thing. My first laptop was a MacBook Pro. My second one is a thinner MacBook Pro. Comes in my fav color, space grey.

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I need to sort few things out for this MacBook to support my needs. Design softwares, USB connector, oh money is just flying around. I’m completely aware to be an Apple person, first rule: lifestyle isn’t cheap. But let’s put it this way, I’m upgrading my tool to upgrade my future. Having some plans to step to a higher stage on 2019. Bismillah.

P.S. These photographs were edited with an iPhone X through VSCO plus Phonto for layouts, taken with Sony A6300 + 35mm f/1.8 OSS premium.  Site shown on the first photograph is a beautiful web by Chris Ozer

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November 27

I’m writing this to kill my five hours transit among millions people who are heading to different places on earth. I just had one chocolate croissant with damn I answered vanilla and it’s such a mistake too-sweet cappuccino at Paul before heading back to a real life in the next three hours. When I’m set, I will try to share some stories which I really want writing them with heart.

I used to make a vow to keeping posts in sequence, but that doesn’t belong to this blog anymore. No regret, as life sometimes will teach you how to slow down for a good reason. I took my time slowly on the last few days thinking about all that had happened: deep emotions, guilt, pain, laughter, jokes, everything in a very fast one month. 

Dubai Airport, 7:45AM. 27/Nov/18. 

It Feels Like An Autumn


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“I’m ready for everything, in case it happens very soon.”

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Someone asked me ~with all her worries~ this question: how would I feel if one of my very, I mean it, very very best friends steps back out of a zone we both called a friendship after he married?

With a little smile, I could only show my feeling. Even though I knew it’s going to be hard.

I do realize when we grow old our circle becomes smaller. And with that, we all know that our heart could clearly find those we could called as best friends. It might not be a bunch, but they are enough to be counted with our fingers. Her question was such a bullet in a daydream. I knew what I always wanted to say, “I’m ready for everything, in case it happens very soon.” Perhaps it’s really easy just to say in words but not in heart. Perhaps it’s easy to accept a nonsense reason such as, distance becomes a big deal. Sometimes I pretend myself.

She was quite very emotional if she lost him for the sake of that long time friendship, too. The way we think might be different but we both know it isn’t that easy looking at someone we know for years has changed a little, become someone else. A stranger per se. But someone has chosen his path, with all dreams he wanted to share with someone we don’t know. Marriage life might change him as a person but what I know, even when I feel my own shiver in autumn, I would never forget his kindness. I would never erase our moments we spent together those days. Midnight. Drizzles. Sunset. Final year. Stupids. Hard times. Everything that has scored in my heart.

This is why its called a life, isn’t it?

Table Mountain

 


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“A visit to Table Mountain could be counted as the only “must-do” I did, literally”

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As mentioned on several posts, my trip was a relax one. I didn’t really go places but spent my time as slow as I could. It was pretty much like, “Oh, how many days I have remain here?” 

I’m serious, when in Cape Town I was, “Really? I still have 3 days? I thought it was only 2”. I think because I was so relax and did nothing most of my stay then time was running slowly.

I had a fickle heart on May third, to visit Table Mountain cause you know: “Don’t wake me up, still have an affair with my blanket cause hey morning in spring is cold, very cold”. But again, I had to gather my will to visit one of the famous sites Cape Town has to offer. Basically there are two ways to get a ticket to Table Mountain, buying it on the spot or online. I chose the second option a day before I paid a visit. Either you buy it at the ticket counter or online, you still need to join the queue before entering the site.

My choice to wake up early (tho it was hard cause hell ya, it was very cold) brought me to a place that made me throwing smiles to the air. Many times. On my way to Table Mountain was perfect. I had sunshine thru the car window, passing some gorgeous houses along the way (they are so gorgeous, one of the reasons why I said you won’t feel “Africa” in CPT), the sky was clear and blue and too pretty, but two things missed: I had no proper breakfast and I didn’t even care with what I read on the website on how wearing proper shoes is recommended. When I was close to Table Mountain, I could already see how beautiful up there from the car: the peak was covered with thick white clouds.

These photographs below do not do justice how clear, how blue the sky was. Believe me, apart of layouts and some B&W photographs, no Photoshop’s needed to convince you how gorgeous this place was.

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I took a little deep breath and slowed my steps down when I was up there.

It was magical staring at those layers of clouds, standing with a magical view, fresh air and shades of blue.

I, remember”

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“It was typical spring weather, the sky was blue and the sun was bright,

but the air was as cool as my feeling.

I sat for an hour, with gratitude, staring at Cape Town from above. She’s even prettier.

Sometimes the breeze made me shiver a bit, but I had to say it didn’t stop me thinking that this earth is,

exquisite”

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“I know I still have a lot of places I’d like to see with my naked eyes on this earth, there are a lot in number.

Sometimes, even just dreaming about each one of them, it gives me spirit to stand there someday.

Standing on Table Mountain was such a fantasy which came to real”

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Notes:

  • Take photograph of yourself with Cape Town as a background, don’t miss it even though you are such a BTS person like me. In my case, it was a bit tricky finding someone who familiar with camera so I had you know “why-this?” kind photograph (yes, it wasn’t pleasant when I got a dark one cause someone took mine against sun light) ~ lesson learned, time to get a tripod every time I travel alone
  • I suggest to check the weather in advance to ensure it is a good day, no rain, no cloudy sky so you won’t miss how fun the cable car is (or if you love hiking then try to hike till up, it must be fun)
  • Standing by the side in the car when you could see the scenery from the glass is a plus. It was a bit terrifying for me first time I entered, but it was fun in the end
  • Check the official website to know more about your preferred time to visit, I did wish I was there for sunset. I could imagine how beautiful it would be yet in my opinion anytime is good
  • There are souvenir shop, cafe and Wi-Fi lounge up. Even if it’s not much, spend some rand for some souvenirs so you have something to remember from the trip
  • I went to the cafe for late breakfast, though you know typical tourist site the price is higher but I had nice sautéed mushroom, so I won’t complain (having breakfast with stunning view was pleasant of course)
  • Don’t spend too much of your time to take photographs, I mean it. It is difficult not to do so especially if you love photography cause every angle would be delighting. Take your time to sit, breath the fresh air while your eyes are pampered with picturesque scenes. It is worth every second

Schön Dich Wieder Zu Sehen!

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“It was a lovely morning. You could even see from an iPhone picture above”.


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Cape Town, May 5th 2018 

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Some movies on Netflix last night slacken my system. I woke up early on Saturday morning but my spirit was still hiding under a thick duvet and seemed so hard to leave. I could see the sky was still dark from the glass windows even though I nearly blind when I don’t have my spectacles on. That thick white duvet wasn’t the only thing I could blame. The air was very cold, no AC was on, I can’t sleep with AC on fyi. My system was really slow yet fortunately, I had packed all stuffs back to my small suitcase. It was so typical of me packing things night before I travelled. Thirty minutes gone and I was still trying so hard to leave. On the bed, I was cross checking my flight to Asia to ensure I had enough time before leaving this AirBnB.

I finally had my clothes on and prepared light breakfast from the food that was left in the fridge. I cancelled my plan to visit Truth for the last cup of cappuccino even though if I did, I still had enough time for Uber and an hour coffee time since the distance from the city centre to the airport is 30 minutes only.

My Uber was outside. That time, I realized the sky was way brighter than the day I arrived in Cape Town. The sky was very blue, the air was still cold, and the breeze was cool. The sun made the day clearer and it was a good thing. As I was listening to some songs with earpieces on my way to the airport, I was smiling all the way. I sat inside the car with a thought those days I had in Cape Town were amazing.

My flight was for 1pm. Before I stood among those people who would travel to different parts of the globe, I slowed my steps down to record every single scenes in my brain. I was pleased by the fact that I’d seen a tiny part of South Africa but as far as I remember,

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“Till I stood in front of a huge clear glass window staring at two airplanes outside.

My good feeling was sinking to an excitement as if I couldn’t wait any longer jumping in the plane to memorize how beautiful a sunset that day would be. And also, to the fact that my vacation wasn’t over yet”

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On the way to Dubai, May 5th 2018 

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You know that feeling when you do not realize you’ve created some memories at some corners of this earth and started feeling blue cause it’s time to leave them there? When the plane was up small by small it gave me such an instant nostalgic feeling, but at the same time I tried not to be too maudlin. I could call it as a peculiar feeling number two on this journey.

Cape Town seemed as pretty and neat as the first time I stared out of the window. The blue sky I talked about was closer to me, throwing a perfect afternoon light on my seat. I started to let all those memories stayed in Cape Town when I tucked myself for nine more hours to Dubai. I knew I had to make this journey as comfortable as possible with blanket, earphones, The Shape of Water and low cholesterol meal I accidentally ordered online which was tasteless yet helped so much from starving (bad one, I had no chocolate mousse but fruits as dessert – no, you don’t eat fruit as a dessert, do you? – this is a honest statement, I was secretly drooling when I looked at a lady’s dessert beside me). Tasteless meal didn’t stop me to feel good cause a sunset I suspected that day would be pretty, came to be gorgeous.

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Landed in Dubai for two hours only gave me something I could count as a peculiar feeling number three. Well, not to mention how I was still bemused by the lady who sat on the same row on the plane that played Candy Crush for almost seven hours non-stop (believe me, she did. No movies, no sleep, like seriously). My peculiar feeling number three was how I, Azis – who’s picky for good food – was craving a crispy fried chicken. It was really strange how I thought about fried chicken and ended with a regret at McDonalds. What I got instead were one chocolate donut, one croissant and a cup of coffee cause I had no interest on McD’s burgers – I could tell you, I only eat burger once or max twice a whole year, not a fan. It wasn’t only fried chicken I counted as a peculiar feeling number three. I asked for a coke when I had my on board meal – I mean, that was something since I barely drink anything like coke and friends – and it tasted so damn good with ice cubes.

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Hong Kong, May 6th 2018 

Unlike the flight from Cape Town, I spent most of my time by watching some movies pretended I wasn’t bored. I should have slept more since I felt so tired but these eyes didn’t even want to close. The time I witnessed a gentle sunrise from above, I knew all those peculiar feelings were part of an upcoming exciting journey.

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I kept smiling after few photographs of sunrise were taken. It was pretty, it was tranquil. I smiled because I felt lucky still having an opportunity to travel, flying from one corner to another where life experiences awaited. I tried closing my eyes for an hour but I was awoke immediately when a harsh light fell thru my window. Morning light was brighter as the sun came up, it told me gently that Hong Kong was closer.

Those skyscrapers were seen among fluffy white clouds. It was a similar view I saw last year when I had a connecting flight from Tokyo to Jakarta. That was just few hours flying from the airport but this journey won’t be the same. I was on top of Hong Kong, a country I used to put at those last ones to visit cause I wasn’t interested, what else.

I was on the queue to enter a train to the immigration. I had one peculiar feeling of “Back to Asia” added when I stood and learned where the train would stop (how many times I said ‘peculiar’ here? You count?). It was a busy afternoon when my mind was even just, meager. I was feeling meager actually, blame my eyes. A message dropped from a friend of mine right after my iPhone connected to airport’s WiFi.

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He asked, “You’ve taken a train to the city?”

I replied with a picture of a route showed outside the train, “Not yet, heading to immigration first”


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I experienced the same thing in front of the immigration officer. Damn, it took longer to check my passport. I had no clue why perhaps my name? But it didn’t shake me at all. I mean, I had no clue what surprises I’d have so let’s face it. Immigration done and time to learn those signages on the spot. I admit I didn’t delve anything about Hong Kong, well somebody I could ask everything was there, lazy me. I walked with a little migraine, oily straight face, and stiff shoulders but my eyes and brain had to connect learning those signages where I should get a train ticket to the central. All I wanted that afternoon was taking bath, standing under the shower, clean towel and spray of perfume before lied down on the bed.

My steps stopped at one corner of a foreign exchange counter. Two o’clock, I came out to the arrival point and followed those signages till I stopped with worse migraine. Believe me, I’d be so glad if I had a magic door like Doraemon has. Although a magic door seemed like a mindless dream, I was standing with a dream when a 5,5 feet somebody surprisingly came from the right side. As my mind was still meager, I clearly remembered I didn’t expect any travel agents. But, there was Andreas Knogler with a little Mr. written thinner than Azis Abdul in capital on a piece of paper.

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“I had a daze for seven seconds till I woke up that this somebody was actually Andreas Knogler. It was ridiculous, diverting per se”

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On the eighth second, I realized it wasn’t a dream when we both hugged and I said, “Wie geht’s Herr Knogler?!!!!” (No I didn’t ask him in German, in English of course. Herr means Mr. as I always call him Mr. Knogler, fyi). If you are attentive enough how many exclamation marks on the German question, you would know how bemused it was. Andreas didn’t even tell me he waited in the airport and the way he asked if I had already taken a train to the city wasn’t such a piece of puzzles. Honestly speaking, I didn’t surmise Andreas could create a surprise which imho, it was ridiculously-geniusly done.

If you just visited this blog, I wrote how Andreas and I met in Tokyo on 2016 here. For the past two years we have been communicating through Skype sharing and talking random things every time we both free (on no, sometimes I have to book his time ahead – no you’re not reading wrongly – in case he’s climbing somewhere in Southern Italy, or running marathon in Athens). I must say talking to Andreas over the screen on Skype is always pleasing but had an opportunity to see him again in person this year was remarkable. I don’t know, there is something special about seeing best friends halfway around the world.

Andreas was way too kind for becoming a travel companion while we were in Hong Kong. I’m gonna share days we spent on separate posts when we had so much fun. But before this post ends, I want to share a note which originally written by him through Messenger two years ago, August 8th – I copied his note for a picture purpose, you all know. Please read his last sentence, you’ll start believing that universe has a magical way to make a sincere wish, strongly, secretly, becomes real when all opportunities meet together without even telling you when. Till right now, I could even feel the magic of this note.

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P.S. A photograph of Andreas above was actually taken few minutes before he caught a flight to Seoul. I asked him to recreate the scene of him holding that – travel agent, oh Lord it was funny- paper before he left Hong Kong for a short vacation whilst I still had few days left. Let me remind you one thing, it is true that some moments in life are fine to keep in our memory. But trust me, if you could freeze that moment into a photograph, you’ll have double memories which easier to be remembered in the next let say, ten to twenty years :)  

A Gentle Reminder

Yesterday evening I was faraway from my own room for an upcoming project that will be held next week. I had a quite slow yet tight day to sort some of technical needs from noon till evening and ended with a small cheap hotel room to spend one night at. A hotel room with funny looking purple floral bed and I don’t know what shades of purple and orange on the wall. It was kinda “Let’s manage” room (fellas, kindly note that money speaks in any way) but the worst part of my stay: how hard the bed was (no no, not only that but I didn’t have coffee in the morning, so count this as the worst).

When I woke up the next day I was like “hell what, this feels like 50 years old back”. I landed yesterday evening back to this city and couldn’t be happier to sleep in my own room. I mean, no matter how far you’ve traveled, no matter how often, home is the best place to be back to, right?

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I’m still trying to tidy up my room here although still have some adjustments in progress. Thru the process of it, I realized that filling or decorating a room would give some random ideas how to place this and that, how to install this and that, how this should be, why I didn’t get that furniture instead and bla bla bla. That gives me a gentle reminder that the process for my own house would be more complicated. I know I’ve been mentioning this thing many times but truly, I can’t wait to start hopefully by February next year. Although I know doing that would take time and of course, budget (as I wish I had endless budget with me!) I’ll try to do it slowly but later will give me as close as the picture of what I call a ‘home’ I’ve imagined through my taste and personality.

Oh yes, I have Ed Sheeran’s picture on the wall. I didn’t photograph my bed since I never buy duvet and fabric for curtain :)

As Simple As This Asparagus


How easy but tasty. You just need a minute stir-frying with olive oil, that’s it…


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I pretty love to wake up on Sunday morning with a warm sunshine through my window, blue sky but not too bright. It makes me feel more relax than wake up with gloomy rainy morning like today. It was pouring last night and the grey sky is lasted till I’m writing this sentence. I don’t mind to be honest cause I woke up early with my latest morning ritual (read: playing fav songs loud with Harman Kardon mini speaker).

It’s 10.45am here and I’m literally having my second cup of black coffee with chocolate cookies. Still listening some favorite songs wishing my Sunday is moving slowly. I never make my breakfast, thinking something easy like the one I had few days ago, just some asparagus. One minute stir-fried served with omelette, sprinkled with chili flakes and pomegranate.

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