2017

It is natural that it should be this way—i.e., that our lives are not satisfied by obtaining our goals, but rather by striving for them—because of the law of diminishing returns.

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Ray Dalio couldn’t have explained it any better when it comes to my ultimate personal goal (or should I say what I believe is everyone’s inherent goal, whether they realize it or not).
If there’s one thing that I’m feeling right into my bones at this very moment, it’s this: determination.

Happy new year, everyone.

Hey, Patricia

I always have the same answer for everyone, another autoplay on repeat: “I think they are things that you just have to face. A consequence for your action. They all come in a package. They’re small if you know where you’re going and why you’re doing what you do”.

The low hum from a vibrating machinery nearby emitted a low F tone. Another two steps forward and there came a C tone from another resonance. I couldn’t resist a smile on my face. ‘Huh, who knows that a construction site can create such a beautiful harmony’, I thought to myself, continuing my pace as I was already late to a morning appointment.

Strolling around the city again after being away for almost ten months, a pang of nostalgia hit me. This used to be home. Or, at least, I was very determined to call it home once upon a time. A lot of people asked me if I missed this city. My answer sounded like a records on repeat in my head, ‘Didn’t occur to me until now that I am here’. Just like a lot asked me if I was sure about my big move when I just arrived in Indonesia, and why the move after such a long nine years in Australia. The commentaries never stray too far away from this: “It’s very different here, you know, you won’t be able to stand the traffic. And the people. And the bureaucracy”.

I always have the same answer for everyone, another autoplay on repeat: “I think they are things that you just have to face. A consequence for your action. They all come in a package. But, they’re small if you know where you’re going and why you’re doing what you do”.

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Patricia

Noticing the road got busier as the morning went by, I made my last crossing up Little Bourke Street and finally found the tiny gem hidden behind tall skyscrapers next to a public parking space. I was not late for my appointment at all, after all.

Patricia Coffee Brewers is what the mini coffee oasis is called. When I got there, a long queue already formed outside of the cafe. ‘Looks promising‘, I thought. I have to say that I’m a shame to the Melbourne coffee snobs society (if there was any!); nine long years in Melbourne and never, not even once, have I been to this coffee shop. Tucked behind office spaces and positioned on hidden laneways – just what Melbourne darlings do best – Patricia Coffee Brewer is a spot that coffee lovers should not miss. Adopting the Italian-style coffee shop experience, where drinkers would have their coffee standing up at a counter or bar, the shop is swarmed with office goers hanging out to catch up on the latest news (I love their news stand concept!) and/or taking a little time down before their day started.

Despite their busyness, their customer service level was not even close to being jeopardized. All the baristas were very attentive and friendly. If anything, I got not only one, but two free cups of their single origins (OK, I may be biased, but hey, I got two free tastings!). Those, plus a strong cappuccino that I ordered myself, cue a very chirpy, caffeinated (dehydrated) woman walking around your town.

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The smart news stand
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Speedy & friendly baristas
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Aussie sunshine
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Colombia

I would’ve stayed all day in the shop if I didn’t have another item listed on my schedule. Unwillingly I dragged myself out of the establishment to the cool breeze of a Melbourne summer day, of course not without a warm farewell from the baristas.

Did I miss this city? Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes.

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Yes, I’m the type of person who’s concerned about unnecessary noise pollution. But I was (yet again) proven wrong.

Katamama.

If the word is to be broken into two – kata mama – that would literally mean Mom said in Indonesian. I wonder if this was what the owners have in mind when they were deciding on a name for this establishment.


Situated next to the famous Potato Head beach club in Seminyak, this hotel is the newest and first hotel chain addition into the PTT family’s portfolio. During my last Bali trip, my friend and I was lucky enough to get a tour of what the hotel has to offer. In all honesty, I was quite skeptical at first because of its vicinity of the club*. Yes, I’m the type of person who’s concerned about unnecessary noise pollution. But I was (yet again) proven wrong.

Starting the tour at the bar slash restaurant, you could already tell that the design team intended to emulate that chic yet fun Caribbean mood at the property. I guess it only makes sense, given that the beach is only a stone’s throw away. Oh did I tell you that the said restaurant is an extension of none other than the celebrated, Melbourne-borne, Spanish tapas joint, MoVida? Cue an animated squeal from yours truly here. Once we went past the communal bar area and into the rooms compound, everything fell silent all of a sudden. The floor manager, who was our guide for the night, sensed my surprise and might have said that this was due to the noise cancelling property of the building material being used, or maybe it was due to the strategically placed walls and angles of the hotel building that have prevented the noise from coming through to the hotel area. I’m not quite sure anymore; I was too engrossed in the fact that you can’t hear any noise from the club next door.

The hotel adopts a warm and earthy mood in their design approach. Red bricks and wood elements can be found everywhere. Apart from the fact that they use Ayu Larasati ceramics, my favorite part of the hotel would be this hallway, which leads our way from the rooms to the gym and pool area. Please pardon the blurry and unclear photo. It was hard for an amateur to take a night time photo while continuously being told to hurry myself up and keep up with the tour.


Anyway. I was definitely in love with the place and would love to stay there for a night or two on my next visit to Bali. Saving for my next holiday starts now.



P.S. Looking at the stats and my previous hotel review, you can safely tell that I have a tendency to judge a book by its cover. Bad move, Edina, bad move.

 

 

Katamama

Jl. Petitenget No. 51

Kerobokan Kelod, Kuta Utara, Kabupaten Badung, Bali

 

CLOCKING IN

top: ZARA / pants: Wayne Cooper / belt: thrifted / heels: Nine West

Call me weird, but I can’t wait to be wearing corporate outfits again. Not just for the sake of wearing it, but because you ought to. After a brief hiatus, I’m finally back to the corporate world. Yeap. After all that huge leap of faith. This time around, however, as a part of my actual journey; the master plan, the grand design. Cue evil laugh here. OK, I’ve given away too much already.

Whatever it takes from now on.

Until later, lovely people!
Lensed by: C. Tandjung

A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND

I think that was the first time I fell in love with vivid, purple skies. Chasing sunsets have been a never ending pursuit ever since.

I was re-visiting my old New York photo album on my hard drive and stumbled upon this photo that I took of the city’s skyline. I was reminded of the time when I deliberately wander without any set plans or directions in the Big Apple. It was a cold December day, only a few days shy of new year’s eve. I traversed from the Upper East Side down to Chelsea, in hopes of finding something different from the sophisticated facade of the city. I guess I don’t deal well with too much prim and properness, even if I thought I could. After a while, I noted that I’m intrigued by something more organic and raw yet balanced.

I was all excitement when the cab driver dropped me off in front of an art gallery, which name has, unfortunately, left me yonks ago. I was a gallery virgin at that time, so it took me a few head tilts and awkward smiles before I finally was at ease with my surroundings. Thank God the gallery staff were not at all judgemental*.

A few galleries later, I finally arrived at the Chelsea Market. I was instantly in love with the place. From homemade aprons to purposeful art installations, mocha nougats to freshly caught seafood sandwiches, trinkets and gizmos; the place spells warmth all over it. I waited and waited, trying to store everything that I saw into my brain and just immerse in the ambiance. A guy came and set up what looked like a small set of cymbals, followed by a snare drum and a mini bass drum. Dressed in a pair blue jeans, a camel-coloured suit, and a fedora hat, he didn’t look at all like a musician, let alone a drummer. I was skeptical. Or maybe I was THAT clueless. But then he started to croon some jazz tunes while hitting the drums. ‘That makes more sense‘, I thought to myself. He asked me if I had any song requests. I shook my head, saying, “Just not any more Christmas songs**”. He laughed. I moved on.

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I decided to go back to the hotel since I was due for dinner soon after. When I got out of the market, I was gobsmacked by this view of the sunset. It was by far the most memorable sunset that I have ever had instilled in my mind. My camera died literally just after I took a picture of it. The photo that I took really didn’t do the scene any justice. I stopped walking, wishing that I could somewhat freeze time, and just enjoy the beautiful view in front of me. I think that was the first time I fell in love with vivid, purple skies. Chasing sunsets have been a never ending pursuit ever since.

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Five years have now passed since then. I miss that feeling, that sense of wonder and excitement that you get when you trail onto the unknown field. All the jitters when you could not find an empty cab to get to your next destination, the happiness when you were served a warm delicious Middle Eastern grub from a street stall on a very very cold winter night, that connection with people that you chat with at random.

I think a solo travel is way overdue.

 

*P.S. Or maybe they were, but they were just that polite.

**P.P.S. I have no hatred towards Christmas songs. In fact, I love it. But at that time, I felt that listening to any more Christmas songs was too overwhelming since that was literally everyone’s play list, everywhere. Like, literally.

 

MARIGOLDS

Imagine having a yoga session on the open air terrace pictured above with fresh mountain air. Deep sigh. Namaste.

Back in bali for the third time in six months. I’m starting to like this island, and thinking that maaaaybe in the near future I’ll relocate to this peaceful place. I might be biased, though. All these times I’ve been going there, it’s always been for leisure. This time around, however, I purposefully went for work, with leisure slipped in between meetings. Or should I say during the majority of the trip. OK fine it was a workcation. Why would you do it any other way when the supposed workplace is calling you with the delicious smell of babi guling or bebek bengil and sounds of the sea breezes? The holiday mood is too hard to resist.

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I got lucky this time around. A friend and I got to spend a few nights at one of the boutique hotels in Ubud called Bisma Eight. We’ve been eyeing for this area because: for me, I love greeneries and Ubud has it everywhere, as far as your eyes could see; for him, he wanted to try something new since all these times he’s always stayed by the beach whenever he visited Bali. It was a mutual agreement. The narrow street leading to the establishment didn’t look too convincing, to be honest. I was expecting something closer to a quiet, long and winding road, with views of the surrounding rice paddies. Rather, our rented car had to drive through a local housing area, complete with a school, a laundromat, and a massage parlour. So much for a secluded retreat-like accommodation, I thought.

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For a tiny fraction of a second, I doubted my decision to stay there. But, all doubts and negative thoughts were washed away once we arrived at the establishment. The moment we got to the reception, we were greeted with a polite welcome from the hotel staff and delicious thirst-quenching mocktails. It was herby and fresh; just what we needed on a scorching hot afternoon. Once done with the check in, we were guided to our hotel room, a canopy suite. It was not too shabby at all*. I love the mood and choices of details that they put around the hotel. The colour palette spelled calmness, relaxation, and simplicity.

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The hotel offers a lot of services including in-room massage, free yoga classes, cooking classes and many more. Imagine having a yoga session on the open air terrace pictured above with fresh mountain air. Deep sigh. Namaste.

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I’m not going to elaborate too much further. The pictures (hopefully) will tell all about the ambiance of this hotel. I’d highly recommend you to stay here if you’re looking for tranquility. Plus, as counterintuitive as it may sound, the town centre is only a stone’s throw away, so you can easily go for a stroll when your inner Carrie Bradshaw is calling. One winning point for them: the infinity pool with the jungle and surrounding mountains as the view. I wish I didn’t have to go back home!

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Bisma Eight

Jalan Bisma no. 68, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali

 

P.S. Some interesting things happened during my trip. That would be a story for another time ;)

*P.P.S. Not too shabby is obviously an understatement.

THERE’S NO LOOKING BACK

Remember that things have to happen in order for something else to occur.

Warning: this entry contains sensitive issue that may or may not be of interest to you, may or may not be in line with your values or beliefs. All views are accepted, judgements are welcome.

What goes around comes around. It’s a part of learning about saying “meh” and shrugging it off, about acceptance, about moving on. There’s always a reason behind everything that happens to you. All the adversities or fortunate encounters, they’re the many ways God presents Himself upon you. Now it’s up to you how you’d act or react. Remember that things have to happen in order for something else to occur. Keep your ears and eyes open. Your mind. Your heart. And one thing for sure, have faith. “For He knows how we are formed, He remembers that we are dust.”

I particularly love this one from prophet Jeremiah:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

My time is in His hands. That one I believe for sure. He knows what is best. He knows when is best. I can only do my best, and my best I shall do.

Cheers.