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It’s been a consecutive long weekend here in Indonesia and my social media is filled with vacation photos. I am currently in time and financial restraint so I spent the holidays just hanging out in Jakarta and that still did some damage financially. LOL.

That brings me to the thing I am currently asking myself. If I have money to spare, when all of my responsibility has been paid, emergency cash fund available, what will I do with it?

Am I the kind of person who will do traveling? Am I going to spend my money for designers’ goods? Or am I going to spend it on gadgets? The last one is least likely.

Books. Maybe I’ll spend it on books. That doesn’t sound so luxurious…

Come to think about it, I need some vacation. All work and no play makes Jane a dull girl. But, where should I go? Kinda in the mood for solo traveling cause I can’t help reminiscing how much fun I had traveling by myself to small towns in Japan. Getting lost, walking through rice fields while rain was pouring. I don’t have the confidence to do that in Indonesia. Maybe Ubud in Bali, but I will be so insensitive to my family to do that.

International travel. The easiest will be UK but too expensive. Will need more time to collect the fund. SEA, cheap and interesting although I’m worried about language barrier and the weather. Where do I want to go?

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Love letter

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Dear future husband,

I ate lunch today at the school cafeteria. I ate kitsune udon. I usually prefer soba because the noodles feels lighter so I don’t get bloated, but I am eating a lot lately so I went with udon. Blame it on the cold winter weather.

I sat in the far side of the cafeteria hall, putting a good distance with my friend who was also eating alone. I have to mention that I sat on the couch seat instead of individual seat so that I can put my back on her. Seriously, it’s not her, it’s the introvert in me as you will know well. I couldn’t risk our eyes met in the occasion where we both raised our gaze from our food which would be followed by an awkward smile and maybe a wave of a hand. I was saving us both by doing what I did.

Anyway, coincidentally I was sitting next to this elderly couple. They were talking about these mundane things like how the miso soup tasted good, how cheap the food in the cafeteria was, and that there was a lounge with tables and vending machine next to the elevator near the convenience store. They were sitting opposite of each other. Somehow I could see that they enjoyed each other company, they were smiling and looking at each other, taking their time even when they have finished their meals.

I thought about you.

I wonder when we reached their age, will we be like them? I saw the love in their eyes even as they talked about something remotely from romantic. They lost their good looks from their youth yet they haven’t lost their attraction. I envy them. I thought about the years they have been spending together and the years to come. God bless their healths.

Thinking about us, I suddenly regret the years we are losing since we haven’t met. How many memories we could have made together. But, we are now making stories of our own and I can’t wait till the day I will be telling my stories and listening to yours. Then we will make our stories together.

I was absorbed in my own thought when suddenly the husband was coughing and he couldn’t stop. The wife was laughing. It seems like he started coughing at the perfect moment of a story. It wasn’t a violent cough so it was a cute moment looking at them. They were really enjoying each other.

I miss you. I wish that you are having a good time wherever you are and please take care yourself.

Until the day we finally meet.

Love,

Your future sweetheart.

This is a story between a girl and carrot cake

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I’ve been wanting to eat it for a long time. The kind of craving that just won’t go away. But, when I went to my favorite bakery, they ran out of carrot cake. Broken hearted was not an exaggeration. 

Last week, the daily TV drama I’m following was featuring carrot cake. I’ve become more determine than ever, when I went to supermarket, it was my lucky day since they sold three medium-large sized carrots for only ¥98. Yeah, it’s that cheap and it even came from Hokkaido. 

I grated, grated, and grated the carrots. Losing my sleep for staying up to watch them baked, three times. 

  
It wasn’t my intention to bake this many. One large, one medium, and six cupcakes. I am not going to eat them all by myself though. I keep the largest for myself, the rest will be shared. 

Unfortunately, beside the cupcakes, others didn’t taste really good. The cake rose and fell back after taken out from the oven. They become so dense and oily. I want my spongy, dry, carrot cake! There are many possibilities for this failure, I still don’t know whether I like this recipe. 

Anyway, here’s the recipe

Making carrot cake and the cream cheese icing made me realize a few of my wanted list.

  1. Cake dome
  2. Palette knife
  3. Rotating table

Maybe, cake decorating is fun afterall…

Friday, July 3rd

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Tokyo is raining almost every morning, it’s rainy season afterall. This morning it was also raining when I got out dor school.

I was still a few meters outside of my apartment building when a Japanese  woman, dressed in formal suit and pants, hesitantly asked for direction. She was looking for the JR train station. 

I explained to her that in this vicinity, instead of JR, we have subway station. I offered her to walk together with me as I was also heading there and it’s much easier than to explain. 

But, I also told her that the nearest JR station will be around 20 minutes by walk. With that, she decided to go over there instead. We parted ways. But somehow, small encounter like this, leaves me feeling good. 

Another morning

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Today started as any other working day morning. I fold the book I’m reading as I’m stepping off the train and walk towards the exit gate. That’s where something special happened. 

As I started to climb the stairs leading out to school from train station, an old woman behind me was saying thank you. I took a look. She was saying it to the station cleaning lady, who was crouching on the gutter, scraping out wet dirt out of the gutter, making sure it will be clean and allows water to flow without any obstruction. 

The cleaning lady lift her gaze to the old woman and said, “You’re welcome, I’m just doing my job.” Or sort of like that. 

In english, it’s quite a common sentence, but actually the words the cleaning lady used was “Yaku wo tatsu”, means “Fulfilling my duty.” I feel an immense power from that phrase. 

Indeed, she is doing an important job which maintains the convenience of a public facility, the kind of job most of us would be reluctant to do, yet we often pass without noticing anything.  We are so ignorant. 

But today, I glanced to the old woman as we climbed the stairs side by side, thinking what an exceptional woman she is for making that remark. The remark which I’m sure made the cleaning lady day, and of course, my day. 

2015.03.17

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I really love my Kindle. Without really realizing it, I have been reading more books in less than one year since I’ve purchased it than the year before. It’s lightweight, thin, and the best part, long lasting battery. I even joked that Kindle’s pros and cons is in the battery. It’s so energy efficient that sometimes I forgot I still have to charge it.

That’s about the Kindle itself. But actually, I love that this one-time investment motivates me to read books since e-books cost less than their physical counterpart. For example, the great classic book by George Orwell “1984” only priced 50 yen! Or another legendary classic, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is only 500 yen while the actual book costs around 1000 yen. Thus, I can buy more books and I don’t have to be overly selective on what I am willing to spend my money on. Another thing, purchasing is very easy and quick, just a few clicks, that I am continuously fueled to read.

So, in the era of smartphone, why can’t I just download an e-book to open in one of the app? It’s because for me, smartphone is still a means of communication. I would like to conserve the battery and deter myself from excessive use of it. By having separate device, my life becomes perfect.

Plot twist

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In restrospect, it is my own laziness that caused me scrambling on my feet right now. But, in my defense, in vitro study was thought to be less urgent to do and since I have other experiment to finish, we keep on postponing it until it become inevitable.

So here I am. Wish me luck, lots of it.

I really hope I can still go to Boston.