Saturday, March 8, 2014

What I miss the Most about Indonesia

As most of you might know, I was born in Australia.
But my parents are from Indonesia.

Okay, I think that's about as much Japanese I can type lol. After all, this is a post about Indonesia right?!

Maybe I should practise some of my Indonesian as well? Okay, from this post onwards, I will try! I should really stop embarrassing myself whenever I go back to my mother country. My Indonesian just won't come out! My embarrassment will definitely not be one of the things I miss about being there.

Tapi, saya cinta Indonesia~
I love Indonesia!

Waktu saya di Indonesia, saya pergi ke banyak tempat-tempat yang paling indah.
When I was in Indonesia, I went to many beautiful places.

Saya pergi ke taman kupu-kupu di Makassar dan juga lihat air terjun. Tempat itu bikin saya rasa segar karena cuaca di Indonesia selalu panas dan saya tidak bisa tahan panas. Saya jadi keringatan!
I went to a butterfly park in Makassar and also saw a waterfall (see pic below). That place made me feel fresh as Indonesia is always hot and I can't tolerate the heat very well. I sweat really easily!

And there you have it. Some English, Indonesian and Japanese. I guess I cringe a bit more when I'm typing in Indonesian than when in Japanese because with Indonesian, I KNOW I sound weird. But with Japanese, I don't know whether or not I'm writing it right so I have more of a "whatever" attitude.

Ahhh.. I really love languages. I hope to travel the world one day and no doubt, languages will get you to places most tourists can't get to. By the way, Insha Allah I might be going to Umrah at the end of next year. And hopefully to Dubai as well. So I gotta brush up on my Arabic! I wish my university offered an Arabic language course. :(

So.. on to that actual list eh?

1. The green that was everywhere. The green forests.

I love this picture. So much. 2hours drive from our hotel to see this tiny waterfall..
I was expecting to see a waterfall as large as the ones I've seen in the pictures of Niagra Falls. But this is okay too. I've never seen this much water rushing down before. SubhanAllah!
Waterfall - Makassar

Just a house here in the forest - Makassar
Forest Trek in Makassar leading to caves

2. Giant bodies of water everywhere!

One of the things Australia and Indonesia have in common is that they're islands. Water pratically surrounds us. And I love swimming! But I dislike getting wet though. Being a hijaabi, it's a big hassle when you're trying to remove layers and layers of wet clothes.

By giant bodies of water, I don't mean floods. I visited Jakarta during it's monsoon season and towards the last few days of our trips, it was raining non-stop. And we left just in time before the Jakarta city was flooded some 2 or 3 days later. Alhamdulillah!

Makassar has one of the bluest waters I have ever seen. It was such a clean city! In contrast to Jakarta and Pontianak lol.
Makassar Waters

Bangunan di atas air - Makassar
LOL. Didn't know what else to call it.
Casually sipping some a coconut while overlooking the waters in Singkawang, Pontianak
If green tea is the flavour of the Japanese, then coconut is most definitely the flavour of Indonesia. It probably isn't but I was crazy about coconuts when in Indo! It's cool.. and refreshing! Tastes a little weird the first time, but it is strangely addictive. It must be the Indonesian in me.

Sailing down a canal in Puncak

As I am going through my holiday pictures, I've realised that I don't have that many pictures. So much for being a blogger eh?

3. Cats everywhere!

I love cats! And dare I say this, but I think I'm a bit of a cat whisperer. Every time I meow at a cat, they stare at me and run away. It's as if they're confused about how a human can speak their language!
Yep. Definitely why they run off.

I saw so many cats. Meow meow mew!
Try and understand what I just said there hah!

An island of cats - on an island off the coast of Makassar

I actually found A LOT of cats at my aunt's house! Her nephew is actually a cat breeder. So he breeds those expensive cats. They're all pedigreed and such. And expensive!
Fluffy Persian Cat!

Kitten at my uncle's house - Pontianak
(She looks like my uncle - LOL)

4. Food!! But most importantly, it was all HALAL.
I regret not eating more in Indonesia. The food was delicious but the heat really decreased my appetite. And mostly because I was stressed lol. I was just worrying about all the stuff that would be going on when I'd have to get back to Australia that I almost didn't enjoy my holiday!
But I still took SOME pictures.. not many though.

One of things I noticed when I went to Indonesia is how much it's changed. There are now new malls, and there has definitely been an increase in the amount of Japanese and Korean restaurants! The last time I went to Indonesia, which was around 5 years ago, I have NEVER seen these restaurants before. But I definitely appreciate Indonesia importing these Japanese and Korean restaurants.
It is so difficult to find that type of food here in Australia that is HALAL. So I got to eat as much as I could!

I would usually eat these fried bananas with cheese on top as a snack.
Fried Bananas with Cheese

Hot Pot - Singkawang

At Makassar, we ate at one of the best seafood restaurants ever! The atmosphere was really good! The lighting was good and the food was delicious. And I was also mistaken for a Malaysian there. LOL, I was wearing baju kurung so it was no wonder ahahah.
I believe the restaurant was called RM Bahari. And apparently, the Indonesian president SBY also ate at that restaurant. You can see a picture of him at the restaurant hanging on the wall.


I would seriously give RM Bahari 6MMMMmmms! out of 5 MMMMmmms!
The fish was fresh and I kept coming in for seconds and thirds! Now THAT's a good sign! Although I was starving that day so maybe that's why my appetite was so large? And it was also raining that day too...

At the Chocolate Museum - Makassar
 It's not every day that you get to eat this hot pot! Especially in Australia where it isn't halal in restaurants. To my surprise, it didn't really meet my expectations. I was expecting flavours from Japan.. lol. Maybe because I ate this the night after I arrived from Japan and had high standards. ROFL. I forgot the name of this restaurant.. but it was a restaurant in the Grand Indonesia Mall.

But OMG. I just LOVED what I had for dessert! Now THIS definitely reminded me of Japan. I think it was Green tea shaved ice. LOVED ITTT! I didn't have any of this when I was in Japan so you can imagine my delight when I dug into this!

The one dish that is high on my favourite Indonesian foods is: Sate Padang. My FAVOURITE.
And my favourite Indonesian drink? Teh Botol!!
So yummy.. omg I am remembering the taste of it all on my tongue. It makes me cry because now I want some so bad TT_TT

We stayed at Hotel Santika for new years. I forgot which hotel santika it was, but it was the one that was across that water park, and attached to the mall. I think it was Hotel Santika BSD?

Well, I really LOVED that hotel. It was fun to get away for new years and muck around. It was joined to this mall called Teras Kota and I had never felt so free in Jakarta till then. It's so convenient just going downstairs from your hotel room and then being in an entertainment district!

We had Korean BBQ there too! I thought we'd be cooking the meat ourselves like they did in those Korean dramas, but it was actually the dude that came in with his trolley and cooked next to our table. Nawww :(
But it was still tasty! I've never had a Korean BBQ before. And now I have! ^_^

At Teras Kota, there was also a stall that sold crepes! They had nothing on the Harajuku crepes, cos my standards for Japanese food are so high since I've been to Japan and all... (LOL jokes jokes). They were still good though!

Also at Teras Kota, I had an iced green tea shake? I think the name of that store was "The Coffee Bean". So good...

Hotel Santika BSD also had a new years party which guests of the hotel were invited to attend! We even won a ticket that would let us stay at Hotel Santika Lombok for a night! Unfortunately, it was going to expire this year, so we gave the ticket to my cousin's wife.
It was such an awkward moment when I went up to get the hotel ticket and the male host extended his hand to congratulate me. Of course I just pressed my palms together in front of me, in the usual Indonesian manner of greeting. Dude, I thought since Indonesia was a majority Muslim country they would know these Islamic customs?
Well, I'm not going to delve into the state of Islam in Indonesia in this post.. so, moving onwards!

And here's the food we ate at the New Year's party. The food was average I guess.. but I ate roast beef! What is it with my meat cravings? I was craving a juicy Aussie steak and Alhamdulillah they served Western food at that party.
By the way, it wasn't a dancing type of party. It was more.. a dinner party LOL. Food was good. I give it 3MMMmmms out of 5MMMmmms!

5. The low currency karena aku pelit
One of the best things about holidaying in a developing country is that you can buy things there that would usually cost a fortune in Australia, especially Sydney! Sydney's in the top 10 in the world for most expensive cities..
In Indonesia, I got a full body massage and scrub (green-tea flavoured! LOL what?), cheap hotel tickets, cheap everything. Even bought myself an Arsenal jersey. Whether or not the jersey is authentic or not.. err I don't really mind.

6. I guess I could go on and on.. but I really should sign off now. Indonesia is a beautiful place! Indonesia adalah negara yang sangat indah dan saya menyarankan anda libur di sana.

I still have much exploring to do. I feel like I hardly know Indonesia, despite being there a couple of times. One of the most important things I believe I should preserve is my heritage. Knowing who you are, and where you come from is one of the most important things you will take with you in life.

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