Fallen On Chocolate


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Two things, I hate white chocolate. I prefer the dark one that has a minimum of 65 per cent cocoa. In case you want to send me a gift, you have a clue now :).

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No, I’m not going to tell you what kind of chocolate I enjoy the most.

I once looked at one of my close friends on how she enjoys spending her weekend on movies at the cinema. You know what it means by watching movies at the cinema: stress-releasing, spending some cash (it’s more if you grab cinema’s pop-corn which has nothing more than cheap packed pop-corn outside), and making free time to actually watch a movie that leaves some memorable memories or even lessons. I did think she lives in a balanced life.

I read one of someone’s tweets on Twitter when she shared a comparison of the cinema in Indonesia with the one in Australia. She made some clear points which in this case, Indonesia wins. It has an excellent sound system, comfortable seats, friendly service, and the most important thing’s affordable. That’s not a lie even it’s more relevant to the big cinema in the main city. Comparing with where I could find since I moved to a city I’ve been living in for years, those four points are missing. And that could be the reason why I could count how many times I went to the cinema here. It’s two and a half times more expensive and less quality. So, how about Netflix? I mean, these days there are variations on how you want to spend leisure time with online platforms.

Here’s the thing: I once made a promise not to include Netflix in my monthly bill. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to spend but mostly about insecurity to waste my time by watching movies. Don’t get me wrong cause I do love watching movies (romance and drama are my genres, please note not an only beautiful-touchy story but when I see interesting sets, I’ll love it!). But I finally swallowed my own vow and I didn’t regret anything. One, it has various interesting movies and series to watch. Two, I don’t need to spend extra money on transport to the cinema cause chilling in my room under the blanket watching Sex Education or Eat Pray Love is much more pleasing. Since I found an offer of cheaper internet subscription (ofc, not all day I can watch in HD! but I feel enough), my decision to join Netflix was just right.

Now, straight to what I want to share. I once did a random pick on what series to watch on the weekend. I never interested in Korean drama before but it suddenly changed my opinion when I found Chocolate. I just picked after I read the short description of the series. The first thing that caught my attention was “These series are mostly about food? It must be interesting as I first watched Chef, will it?”. Second, I heard Korean drama is such a heart-warming one with a happy ending story. Ok, done. Two things were enough to finally fallen to Chocolate.

I didn’t only fall on the love story between Cha Young and Lee-Kang (not to mention how many times I gasped when I watched tear-jerking moments), but more than that is an ocean of life-lesson about love, health, forgiveness, self-love was what made me stay till season 15. I even took a week gap when I knew I was about to end it with the last episode. I mean, I didn’t want to end it just like what I did when I stepped on some pages of Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman (I never read the book again till today cause it’s too beautiful to end). After most of the whole story could be summed up in episode 15, my mind was trying to guess how the end would be. And I did plan how I wanted to end Chocolate because it had to be at the perfect time and in a proper way.

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Sunday morning. Popcorn. Scented candle. Chocolate in two forms, a cake and chocolate bar.

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The mouth-watering food scenes, some picturesque Greece sceneries, artistic cinematography (this one, I mean it!), overload natural cuteness between Ha Ji Won and Yoon Kye Sang (I mean, look at those screen captures I took from the last episode, I just can’t. One of my fav scenes from the entire is on episode 12 when Lee Kang is waiting patiently on his knees at the beach for Cha Young to wake up), and cheesy humor, could be strong reasons for me to influence you to stay at home on the weekend with Chocolate.

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Truth And The Academics

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“Oh, you didn’t go to Disneyland when in Hong Kong?”, someone asked me last week.

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The happiest place on earth, people say, wasn’t on my list then. I honestly thought about it cause I’m still curious (yes, till today) how Disneyland is. Also, I used to be a big fan of Mickey Mouse. Next time if I have an opportunity to travel to countries where Disneyland’s located, I should try to pay a visit at least once in my life.

My answer for such a question above was the same and will always be. I’d stick on my travel style which is fifty percent of my time I’ll use it for “must-visit” places while another fifty percent is free. On the recent vacation, my free time was increased to seventy percent and I loved it somehow. I have a standard time when I visit a country for leisure: it must be minimum seven days stay. It would be great if I could visit at least two different cities but I came to realize that I much prefer to explore one city for a week cause that would give me enough time to find some ideas of my luxury (read: do nothing, coffee-hopping, taking a lot of photographs, late night ice cream? I’m listing). I was lucky enough I had two different cappuccinos at two different excellent coffee shops in two different countries last month.

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TRUTH COFFEE

– Cape Town –


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I had no idea that Truth Coffee was listed as the best coffee shop in the world by The Telegraph on 2016 when I was in Cape Town. You know, I woke up and thought “Oh a cup of hot cappuccino would be good” then Google was kind enough to let me know Truth Coffee wasn’t that far from where I stayed.

Only 6 minutes Uber ride to finally pay a visit for a cup of excellent cappuccino and eggs benedict served with Norwegian salmon for breakfast. I’m not a coffee connoisseur, I just love to enjoy a cup of good one and examine as much as I could which coffee tastes good. And I must confess the one I had at Truth was excellent.

Few things: You could have your coffee as early as 6am on weekdays and 8am on weekend // Don’t ever expect sugar (nothing!) cause that’s the best way to enjoy coffee // I suggest to come when it’s not packed with people (so you could enjoy yours by the window, no rush) // Take some photographs of the interior, it steampunk-vibe is so distinct (I didn’t take that many :)).

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THE COFFEE ACADEMICS

– Hong Kong –


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I admit one of the reasons why I decided to visit Hong Kong this year was the coffee. I heard there are quite many good coffees. I repeat this, I visited some coffee shops when I was there not because I’m a coffee connoisseur nor for Instagram purpose. Although after I read a post on The Telegraph about Truth Coffee was listed as the first best coffee shop in the world and The Coffee Academics in Hong Kong was the second I made a promise, “Ok, I’ll pay a visit”.

It was an accidental visit if I might say. It was just a day before I flew back to a real life, I was lingered around Central for Friday prayer. Well, I didn’t pray on time cause I woke up a bit late, took a wrong bus from hostel and also, finding the mosque was tricky (Google map didn’t help me much). When I was a bit close to where the mosque’s located, I passed The Coffee Academics and believed it was a sign to pay my promise, huh?

After I came back from the mosque and oh, I took a wrong way (and some uphill alleys made myself weak, think I should start accompanying Andreas for hiking, sometimes in the future *fingercrossed*) and ended with a cup of cappuccino and a slice of carrot cake. It’s written on my bio on this blog that I could die for a yummy buttery croissant, I’ll add this: a luscious carrot cake is on the second place.

Few things I remember: I never took any food for breakfast till late noon that day, so the carrot cake was the first meal (that wasn’t a good thing cause I walked a lot) // The Coffee Academics has several locations, if you are in Hong Kong you could browse the nearest location in case you want to pay a visit, their coffee is very good // Although coffee in Hong Kong isn’t that cheap but it’s worth to try. I asked for Shaken Viennese after cappuccino and I was blithesome after. When I stood and found, “Oh, Vienna”, I sent a message to Andreas with those silly wishes (well I know he used to it :)). I just took it as a sign that someday I’ll visit Vienna, so why not to try when I was there, right? // If you look at one photograph below where you could see a guy standing with his phone, that was where I sat. I also love to do this when I travel: sitting with a coffee and enjoying the vibe surrounds me. It’s a busy street, and you know Hong Kong life is hectic, so looking at people walking by when I was having my coffee was an experience // When I wanted to bring my cup in, a lady who works there came and took it from my hand. She smiled and we started a conversation about the coffee, it was a short one but lovely. I know I also love to do that when I could talk with a stranger with some smiles in between.

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My Me – Time

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It is true what people say that we should enjoy our “me-time” after we have a long rough day…


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It is true by giving “me-time” shows that we love ourselves. For me, “me-time” could be watching a movie on the bed (I don’t care if I’ve watched it few times, such as Louisa Clark and Will Traynor’s love story) in a chilled room, with few soft throw pillows, a cup of hot tea I don’t mind for a wine honestly and a bowl of rosemary potato chips. Or, strolling around Omotesando with camera in hand in spring where cherry blossom is blooming, stop by some stores to pick some fashion items after having a cup of cappuccino (perhaps writing this sentence will bring me to Japan in spring, I’ll take it as a wish). A sentence before this’s such a real wish.

Having some pastries or cakes or just a cup of hot chocolate and a good book on the bed while the rain is pouring outside is such “me-time” for me too.

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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Birthday Gifts

I was so sad when I realised I lost my stainless watch two weeks ago.

I had no idea where I left it either somewhere at my office or fell on taxi seat on my way home. Even it was one of my oldest wrist watch but it had a journey with me. You may think this sounds exaggerated but I always appreciate memories behind a thing. But then, I can’t cry a night long for my watch cause I believe so that something may come and go.

Hope you will not judge this is an excuse to get something new. Oops.

Gifts1After I finished tighten my belt for my own house early this year, I should enjoy a bit by grabbing some new favourite things. And yep, it’s been a while I didn’t pamper myself with a wrist watch from my favourite brand, Fossil. So, I decided to pick one design that just fit on my wrist, a simple silver watch with black leather bans. Since my wrist is so thin, I feel this just a perfect one.

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Oh yes, I opened Zara apps on my iPhone just to eye some pieces that took my attention. Such a ritual every time I realise I’ll travel soon to Indonesia. Oh, May, please rush :)

 

And I had no clue why on a lazy afternoon I thought about a pair of Adidas Superstar.

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Cereal Guide Book

I’m writing this post with zombie eyes and exhausted system on my body. Went for a challengingandcrazy set-up for an International event from Saturday night and came home 1 am on Monday morning. Four hours sleep doesn’t sound right cause I had to go for another project then. Fiuh.

Let me rush so I can have a sleep tonight. Lately, I’ve been enjoying doing an online shopping and couldn’t resist for some catchy songs from iTunes and these two handsome guys.

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It was on a lazy afternoon in the office I opened Cereal site without no reason. Just wanted to see some gorgeous photographs from those amazing photographers and ended by added stylish guys in my cart (I know I should add London as well :/). After two weeks (Easter holiday in UK made my order came a bit late) I finally had them in my hand. I was so excited but worry in the same time. Really, really beautiful guide book, clean and trendy lay-outs, beautiful photos of course, but the cover is so fragile. My hand must be clean before I surf the content :). Ah, I adore what Rich Stapleton and Rosalia Park do for Cereal, their attention to detail is on point (not to mention that both of them know Alice Gao in person :|).

Overall, I’m so happy could pamper myself by buying something that can train my eyes for beauties. I’m currently looking forward for another online shopping for some design and cook books, let me tell you, NOMA book is calling me.

Oh, you can check other city guides here.

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How dreamy those cities are.

These Buddies

There was an evening when I wanted to bring garlic and white onions home cause I didn’t have any. I passed an Indian market (from the name, you’ll easily predict that many Indians and Indian product available at this market) on my way home from the office. When I got those onions, I entered a small supermarket where I always stand for seconds just right after the entrance. There is a corner where they sell plates, cups, and many kitchen stuffs in affordable prices. I pretty remember that day I had to manage my monthly allowance but sadly, I couldn’t resist to bring home these buddies. Now, I should think how will I manage them in my suitcase when I’m going home for my annual leave. Gah.

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Chillin’

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I always try to make my life balanced from this hectic life. Spending today with cooking simple food from left-over ingredients, arranging my outfits (and now they’re tidier arranged), napping like a cat (and took bath after nap made me feel I’m a normal human if only I could do that everyday), having hot chocolate time in the afternoon with sweet strawberries (well, couldn’t resist to document the scene with an iPhone), and now, trying to keep this blog on.

I know tomorrow I’ll have so many deadlines plus obstacles plus stresses. There is no choices but I have to be ready. I’ll try to do best and hoping I can pass this week with a smile in the end. Hopefully. Now, let me chill myself inside this chill room. WIll grab frozen chocolates and maybe, watching ‘Frozen’ on my bed.

Grateful

Yuriko's Bday

I always believe that sometimes, we don’t need to do something big to make somebody happy. Remembering a birthday is such a simply and sweet way to say that “I’m a grateful you are born in this life”. And I always believe that God is always, and always choose kind humans to spend this life with.

I have two lovely humans who had their birthday this (early) January. First is Madam Uche who was born on the 3rd. I thanked God for the journey I have with her as a boss, a mom, a teacher, whilst I live here in Africa. I feel blessed that I know her as a wonderful woman who inspired me to work hard in life, for my own future. Second is Yuriko, a ‘stupid-hilarious-yet smart’ best friend of mine who was born on the 4th. I thanked God in fact that he is a kind human that always make me want to laugh in a good and bad mood through a simply thing such a stupid conversation on the phone. I’m grateful that we can keep our friendship until today, even we live in two different continents.

And third, I thanked God for a chance to say Happy Birthday precious ones :)

 

P.S. Oops pardon for your RF cap that I used for my props on this pic Yuriko :P.