The Wandering Continues...

Monday, December 22, 2008

Free Fiscal starting 2009

A piece of good news for fellow travellers in Indonesia!
Happy Holidays and all the best for the new year 2009!!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Photos of the week

more on Shanghai streets

PS: 5 weeks to go for Chrismas holiday! Yay!!!

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Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Golden Week in Japan

I’ve been receiving complaints with the fact I haven’t posted this for so long. *sigh*

I must say that work has been really exhausting (but then again, when it is ever not exhausting??). Especially during this economic crisis where you’ll read everywhere in the newspaper how Detroit Big Three are in serious financial problem at this moment. And of course, being an automotive supplier, my company receives the immediate impact which obliged us to make a dozen (if not thousands!) emergency plan scenarios. The problem is, many people believe that China can help to survive this world economic crisis. Unfortunately, it is not the case! Automotive market here in China has been experiencing downward turn in the last quarter. I even spent a day browsing the internet for effect of economic crisis in China and found myself really speechless to read that there have been 67.000 factories closed in China and another 33.000 factories are expected to closed in the last quarter 2008. That is a big Problem! (with capital P!)

And not to mention that my supposed to be “retirement fund” is now down to the drain. What a life! Now I have to work twice the hard to buy that villa by the beach!! :-(

Anyway, back to the original story line, Japan.

We went to Japan to spend the October Golden Week. In the beginning, we were not too excited to go there as we thought Japan will be just one of the boring industrial countries. Also to be really honest, the only reason we decided to go there is only because the flight ticket to go back to Jakarta was really expensive. It would cost us around 25K RMB (around 2500 EUR) to go back to Jakarta for a week while, being a Finance person myself, I’ve calculated that with that money I will be able to travel to Japan for a week!

But then, to our surprise, Japan turned out to be a beautiful and relaxing trip!

There are many tips and tricks to travel smart in Japan, but the one I have to give the credit to Gutereise09, an active collaborator in Thorn Tree forum from Lonely Planet. The guy really helped us a lot to find good places to sleep, how to make the most use of our limited time and how to travel smart!

We decided to go to Japan for 8 days and we visited Hiroshima, Kyoto, Lake Kawaguchi and Tokyo. Most of the time we travelled with the Shinkansen bullet train using the Japan Rail Pass, allowing us to travel as much as possible and as fast as possible in one week.

I personally found Hiroshima is very important for me as it is one of the milestone for Indonesian Independence. If it is not for Hiroshima bombing, Indonesia will be probably under Japanese colonialism today.

Kyoto is more the old traditional Japan where you can see ladies dressed in Japanese traditional kimono on the street. In Kyoto you'll find yourself hopping from one temple to another. I found Japanese most popular temple, Kiyomizu temple is too overated! It is packed with tourists and you must pay 1000 Yen in each places you want to pray (not that I am praying but I don’t like to have to pay when I want to pray!). Our favourite was Ginkakuji Temple. It is too bad that we didn’t do the philosopher’s walk from Ginkakuji to Nyakuoji temple.

However, we were so LUCKY in Kyoto that we met the real Maiko in the back street of Gion. Again, thanks to Gutereise09!

On the way from Kyoto to Tokyo, we stayed overnight in a Japanese ryokan in Lake Kawaguchi. It was a quite funny experience for us to sleep on the floor and to sleep with Japanese Yukata which is really warm for a piece of material wrapped to your body! We were not lucky to take the sunrise photos of Mt. Fuji (we were already warned before) but we were happy when the clouds started to disappear around noon, allowing us to take as many photos as we want of the number one mountain in Japan!

The last stop for us before departing back to Shanghai was Tokyo.

The city is just a normal metropolitan city and Shanghai is much more beautiful than Tokyo. But a visit to Tsukuji Fish Market on early Saturday morning really paid off! We had sushi breakfast and ended up buying a half kilo maguro to bring back to the hotel. Jorge, who is known to be the tuna lover, was having an orgasm!!! (Ok, to be fair to Jorge, not only because of maguro but also because of the 100MB internet connection in Japan!) Jajaja…

So, stop with the story, here is the sets of pictures and of course, the famous Shibuya crossing as seen in The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift!

Create Your Own

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Friday, November 07, 2008

Photos of the week - One day in the market

Jorge had to make an aperture test with his new camera so we were off to visit a local traditional market for a change.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama's former house in Jakarta up for sale

In the spirit of celebrating Obama's victory in the US, here is what I have found in local Indonesian Newspaper, The Jakarta Post.

Obama's former house in Jakarta up for sale

Robin McDowell , The Associated Press , Jakarta | Tue, 10/28/2008 9:32 PM | Jakarta

The small colonial-style house Barack Obama lived in as a child has received a steady stream of visitors ahead of the U.S. presidential election, from potential buyers and journalists, to a businessman who wants to turn it into the "Sweet Home Obama Bar."

Tata Aboe Bakar, the 78-year-old owner, is in little mood to sell, noting that the property, sequestered between a large mosque and park in an upscale neighborhood of the Indonesian capital, has been in the family since 1939.

Much, he said, would depend on the price.

The two-bedroom pavilion Obama lived in - initially built as a guesthouse - would be sold with the main, sprawling residence next door and the 12,900 sq. foot (1,200 sq. meter) plot of land. Together, they have an estimated market value of $3 million dollars. And that does not take into account the potential Obama-factor if the Democratic presidential candidate wins on Nov. 4.

Aboe Bakar says one broker claimed a U.S. Embassy official was ready to pay five times its worth if that happened, though Tristram Perry, the embassy's public diplomacy officer, said he was not aware of any such offer.

Obama moved to Jakarta with his American mother and Indonesian stepfather in 1967, spending the first two years in another humble home, where chickens and ducks used to cackle in the backyard and two baby crocodiles slithered around in a fenced-off pond.

They relocated to the small red-tile roofed pavilion with art deco windows on Taman Amir Hamzah Street in 1970 when Obama was 9 years old and stayed there for the next two years.

Aboe Bakar has few stories to tell about Obama as a child, except the time his poodle ran away, never to be seen again.

"Oh, he cried for two days," the former Navy admiral said, wearily taking a drag from his third cigarette as he showed off a long list of visitors who have knocked on his door in recent weeks.

He also flashed a photograph of the young family sitting on a wooden bench in the front yard that, like much else, remains in place nearly four decades later.

Among those who have expressed interest in the house have been Bart Bartele, a Dutchman who owns several popular pubs in Jakarta.

He says he offered to rent the smaller pavilion to open the "Sweet Home Obama Bar" - a cafe that would feature an "Obama-blend coffee," a mix of beans from Kenya and Java. He would also serve "stroopwafels," a caramel-type treat brought to Indonesia during the centuries-long occupation of the Dutch.

"The idea is to have snacks, simple food and maybe some merchandise," Bartele said, adding that he was not certain, with all the recent interest, if Aboe Bakar would go for it. "We'll see. It's mostly just for fun anyway."

The article and pictures of the house can be seen here

What can I say, I guess some people are very rich and some are not so lucky. The owner of the house passed away one day after Obama is confirmed to be US President.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

December Travel Plan - Status Confirmed!

These confirmed our travel plan in December!

U.N. resolution urges U.S. to lift Cuba embargo

How Cuba's Oil Find Could Change the US Embargo

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Photos of the week

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kuala Lumpur - a weekend gateway

This is a retroactive post.

We stopped by in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on our way to Maldives in August.

We have a friend who is currently working in Kuala Lumpur, so she took us around to see as much as possible of the city and also Batu Cave. But I must say, for us, Kuala Lumpur is not so much different to Jakarta, Indonesia except that they have more better infrastructure than Jakarta. Nevertheless, it was ok for just a 3-days-visit.

Create Your Own

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Photos of the week - Moving Objects

Jorge started his photography class 2 weeks ago and he received 1 assignment for each week. Last week assignment was to capture moving objects. So here are some of the results.


Lujiazui at Night

Rush Hour

Next assignment is called "different perspective". We'll see the result.

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Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dance anyone?

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