Coffee Scenes Through An iPhone

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I almost forgot two things when I finally got an iPhone X 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 iPhone 7 plus (wasn’t it years ago?), I admired how clear the camera was! compared with my iPhone 6. Then when he got an iPhone X and I was still with iPhone 6, I felt “Damn, how could!” 

Till the time when an iPhone X 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 iPhone X 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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“On my way to my apartment this evening, I scrolled pictures and played some videos in my iPhone from trips to Turkey and Japan”


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It’s such a thing I always do every time I miss those vacation moments. I smiled few times watching cheesy videos I recorded at Haneda Airport with Luís, a video recorded when I had lunch with my best friends, or the one Saf sent me when we were in Istanbul. It’s a good thing technology helps us rewind those moments in the past even only on the screen. I should record more in the future cause it feels much more alive than a picture :)

When I kept scrolling on the gallery, my fingers stopped at these pictures, and it was raining a bit in my mouth. Look at that ramen! Imagine had a super power taking it from my screen and had it for dinner :(

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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A Lesson From Peony

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“Everytime I see her blooming, it reminds me how beautiful this life is.

The fact that peony is not a strong flower also reminds me how to enjoy her beauty whole-heartedly, admiring her deeply as long as she alives. That’s what we need to do while we are alive: enjoy life, make it beautiful, not only for ourselves, for somebody else too because nothing lasts forever”

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I couldn’t resist to not to attach When We Were Young lyric in the end.

To (Kem) Bali

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…then, let the memory of it sticks forever…

Raise your hand if you’re on the same page with me; we all need sharp camera to make memories. I mean, we are living in an era where capturing a moment is as easy as eating cheese cake. Please stand in the same line with me if you are having a crush with a little handsome guy called an iPhone7. Okay let me make this clearer, who doesn’t want the new iPhone and it’s JET BLACK?

I was almost, yes ALMOST, made a decision to spend my saving money for next year trip last Sunday. When I went to a store after I had a Chinese food for lunch that I believed it cooked with MSG, I saw the new iPhone was displayed and for minutes my mind was wondering how the camera would capture the beauty of Hallstatt. If you don’t have a clue what kind of dessert it is, it’s not dessert buddy, Hallstatt is a very charming village in the heart of Europe. Imagine you’re standing, ensuring you are not dreaming, because you lost words and can’t help yourself capturing the beauty of The Salzkammergut with a very-very clear camera from the new iPhone. I bet you will compete with me standing there and I’ll get 10K more pictures than you.

Ok let me continue the story. One minute later, I patted my chest as a reward cause I SAID TO MYSELF: HELL YEAH I’m still walking on the right track till today. I mean, I don’t mind buying a thousand dollars plus for an iPhone IF I’m kind of person who has no clue what should I spend my stacks of gold bars for. Then, I could easily decide to buy two, one for me and one for you. It could be three, another one for your friend, buddy. I said I won’t take a bigger iPhone here but I won’t mind for 7+ this day. I apologize if my preamble for this post is too-long and about the new iPhone. Okay I’ll be serious right now, on this post what I want to share is the memories from my family trip to Bali. And what I love from the memories here is the fact that I spent four days with my mother and my siblings, -minus my dad- and we really had such a good time together. We spent five days in Bali, two nights in Seminyak (sure I picked boutique hotel!) and two nights in Ubud.

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Kyoto | 2

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“In Kyoto, I was strolling so casually”


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The sun was high when I gazed out to the window. I could feel it though I was inside, trying to wake myself up completely by 6.30am. I was a bit tired yet I had to experience Bamboo Groove as my first destination on my second day in Kyoto. I had a conversation on the phone a night before with Aria, my friend that lived in Kyoto then (he’s back for good to Indonesia at the moment). He suggested to come as early as I could if I wanted to get beautiful photographs at Bamboo Groove. He said it won’t be too many tourists if I came in the morning before 9. As I remember, it was our first conversation since we graduated from the university seven years ago (7? damn I’m old!).

I finally arrived at Bamboo Groove few minutes after 8. The morning sun wasn’t friendly enough to me. It was worse cause I wore black jeans and D&G-ish Zara (had no option but I rushed and just found they were the clean ones). When the sun kissed my skin I swore I won’t do the same mistake if I travel on summer again.

Aria was true. It was well worth to wake up earlier and finally explored Bamboo Groove when it was quite. Like I couldn’t imagine how I would enjoy Bamboo Groove if I found many selfie sticks surround me (cause it could be happened in the afternoon). Though I still felt the sun and the humid, it didn’t stop me to breathe easy, felt the gentle breeze and the wind rustling in the bamboo leaves. And it was a serene morning indeed.

At Bamboo Groove I met with Judith, a solo female traveler from Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain, who spent three weeks exploring Japan. We met for the first time at the entrance and at the bamboo path later on when we faced the same problem a solo traveler always has, looking for somebody who can take a picture of you through your own camera (you guys too?). Speaking and sharing few things with Judith was truly made my morning. And lucky me, she dropped a post card and wished if someday we can meet again either in Spain or in Indonesia.

It was a simply joy I’ll always remember, Judith.

 


“iPhone pictures below do not do justice unless I captured with A7R then!. Arashiyama Bamboo Groove is a must if you have a chance to visit Kyoto”


 

 

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After spending two hours at Bamboo Groove, I moved to the most important temple in Kyoto’s Arashiyama district, Tenryū-ji Temple. Located just right after Bamboo Groove, it is mandatory to pay a visit to Tenryū-ji which registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. I have to tell you this, I know I should put more attention reading the history of Tenryū-Ji while I was there yet my eyes were more tented by all those beautiful straight lines I could find everywhere surround the temple. I wasn’t wowed by the temple itself and struggled to ensure I took symmetric pictures of the lines but stood and wondered how beautiful the zen garden would be either in spring or in autumn.

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You know sometimes I’d say, “Oh buddy, money is not everything” to people but sure you could SLAP MY FACE if you were with me in Kyoto on summer then. You would find me easily gave up being, “Oh I don’t mind to be a backpacker, huh?” and lied “This is an exception because true, summer is crazy hot!” and decided to spend my Japanese ¥ for a big bowl of shaved matcha ice along with two mochies beautifully wrapped with cherry blossom leaves.

I entered a matcha cafe right in front of Tenryū-Ji’s gate and spent an hour with cute green-guys as captured below. I remember when I went to the cafe upstairs, the first time I had in mind was I must have a seat by the window, guess what? yep, for picture purpose. Since I had a nightmare when I found my mirrorless didn’t work in Tokyo, seated by the window where I had bright natural light was significant cause I only had my iPhone 6 in hand (hello 7! sigh!). Oh come on guys, should I just sat and enjoyed my matchas without taking picture of them for this blog ? How possible?

I admit I was so shy when I was rearranging those trays to get the right composition for my picture when two Japanese women were enjoying their shaved ices beside me. You may say I shouldn’t do that cause it might be rude (MAYBE??) yet I’m such how garish this might sound a typical Instagramer nowadays when it is so IMPORTANT to snap our food before we eat them, huh? No I’m kidding. What I was thinking just to have them for my own file so that I’ll remember it as one of the memory when I was in Japan.

Don’t worry, two women beside me were typical Japanese, they were so polite and even smiled at me when I was asking to the younger woman (the older one seemed like her mother, I guessed) this question: “Konichiwa haik, do you speak English? may I ask you, are these leaves can be eaten, too?” (sure I was smiling like oh GOD, WHAT A SUCH A STUPID Q?). But when she did answer in English, I was so pleased at least I didn’t just eat the cherry blossom leaves without knowing and I would look like a fool if they could be eaten or not.

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After an hour spent in the cafe I putted on my headsets, played Rather Be, and continued my sightseeing to the central landmark of Arashiyama, Togetsukyo Bridge. Many restaurants, small shops, and attractions can be found nearby. Though the weather in the afternoon was super-duper hot, I was enjoyed every step I took. A little trick I did when I felt too-hot was stopped by the shops and enjoyed the AC. It helped for my body indeed but not for my eyes.

Stopped by two shops with a will to chill but left with some souvenirs in my hand. Japan was dangerous, tho.

Here are some Arashiyama scenes via iPhone while I was strolling casually before headed to Nara.

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Nara was my side trip with no expectation cause what I wanted just to spend the rest of that day at Nara-Koen Park. There was one thing I learnt from my trip to Nara. If I have places to see it is important to fuel myself with good food so I’ll have energy to move around.

When I was inside the train heading to Nara station, I was looking for halal restaurant nearby and my iPhone told me to stop to the next station which was JR Kyobate station. Without thinking that I would spend time an hour or two, I decided to look for a place to have a proper lunch before I went to Nara Park. I found two, one was Indian restaurant (oh, I didn’t mind for basmati rice and chicken curry) and another one was halal Japanese ramen restaurant. I picked Japanese one for a distance wise, and thought a bowl of ramen in the afternoon wasn’t a bad idea.

Stepped at Kyobate station I found myself as if I was in the corner of the country. It was very quite place. I could barely imagine how I would spend my lazy afternoon at one of those Japanese houses with a cold matcha and some dark chocolates if I had a couchsurfing host.

Even though it was past 3 and the sun was still high, it didn’t stop me looking for a halal restaurant called Naramachi Jinniyah. I enjoyed my walk to the restaurant located at Minamijodocho though I almost gave up cause hell ya the summer sun was suffocated me. Ten minutes walked and guess what? I stood in front of the restaurant with CLOSE sign on the door, plus my flat face, plus my screaming tummy, plus my salty sweat, plus a little feeling “what the hell I was looking for” and just look at the selfie I took below was my cheesy reward cause I failed looking for halal food.

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After I stopped by at Lawson in Kawaradocho for two slices fried chicken (yikes I ate part of the chicken I hate the most (read: skin) like a real hunger!) with a bottle of cold matcha drink and a vanilla cream puff, I decided to take a train back to Nara station.

When I arrived at the station my tummy was screaming for a real food for the second time. I felt like I was OK cause I took enough light food from Lawson but I forgot that moved around burned calories and made me hungry more often. I had to ask my iPhone again where I could find a restaurant with halal food on the menu but first, I stopped at Nara City Tourist Information Centre right away after I saw prayer room sign (as I wished I could find prayer room easily like that in Japan).

After I prayed I decided to walk straight to Nara Park since the day was still bright. Strolling in the afternoon in Nara could be one of my best time in Japan. Just I wished I had enough time and sure, a happy tummy then. I was a little worried if I couldn’t visit Nara Park cause the sky was cloudy and gray yet I smiled for second to admire the orange-ish afternoon light as captured below. My worry was true cause in the end of my side trip, I finally flunked to visit a home to hundreds of freely deers. I had to admit that I couldn’t manage my time precisely when in Nara but hey, it shouldn’t be regretted cause I finally found an Indonesian fried rice at one restaurant at Konishico for my dinner.

I knew it was like incomplete journey that I couldn’t see how cute those deers at Nara Park but at least, I could bring two deers home for my beloved best friend. And it was enough to end my very short visit to Nara.

I didn’t take only deers but ah, I shouldn’t say it here how I spent my Japanese ¥ in the evening at some souvenir shops at Nara before I came back to my hostel in Kyoto.

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P.S. FYI, I’m kind of person who always try to avoid eating my own food when I travel to another country cause it’s definitely an opportunity to experience local food. But that day, it was an exception for my dinner since my tummy screamed since afternoon like crazy. And, I had more and more picture I took at Arashiyama and Nara but I didn’t want to boom you with too many pictures here. So more to come!

 

In The Mood Of Flatlays

 

 

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It was started on Saturday night when I wanted to just drew something with watercolor because it’s been long since I attended basic design class years back. Been trying few times and found that it wasn’t as easy as I thought. Even just for a simple object like a leaf (sounds like I need serious practice). So it ended with abstract lines using red color. Why red? Cause it felt like I missed somebody outside there then (everyone was wondered who is E that I always mention on my Instagram page?).

From an abstract drawing to few flatlays-play, I thought I shouldn’t share these only on my IG page but here too.


 

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As I wish my day-off today could be more and more longer. Unfortunately it’s 10:03PM already.

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