Back to Work

All good holiday must come to an end.

After twelve days in Bali, finally we are back to work.

But this holiday I managed to accomplish two things that I set out to do.

First is to catch up with my crocheting. I managed to create two hats. Well they were too small so I will use them as baskets.

Secondly, I managed to blog more. First only several sentences. But as soon as I started rolling, all the posts come naturally. I wrote about Bali countryside and our experience at Blangsinga and Tegenungan Waterfall.

Then I realized that I have lots of unfinished posts. When I started writing again about a week a go, I have over 30 drafts!! Some are nearly completed just need some finishing touches i.e. adding pictures such as this post about Surabaya. So, in no time I add some pictures and post it 😁

Some ideas in the draft also overlap. This means that I really want to write about them but it was a tough subject so I could not finish it the first time. I left it but instead of finish it I ended up writing another draft. For example, I have two drafts about lecturing. I deleted one draft and tried to put all the ideas that I can to post this one. Its not perfect, but I think I better get it posted rather than leaving it as a draft.

I think that is one of the reason I have so many unfinished stuffs. I wanna make it perfect but I dont have enough perseverence and time to get it to my own standard.

Some drafts are as far back as 2011. Sometimes I started writing a post when I experience something important that I wanna share it. But, since it was so long a go it is really difficult to recall what I think or feel back then. Take this post about my struggle to feed medicine to a toddler. It was such a traumatic experience for me. I dont know why I did not finish the post at that time, most probably because I got tied up with something else. This time I really really forced myself just to post it. Maybe not as detailed as it would have been if I posted it right at that time, but the main message still the same.

Then, I also have many posts related with work that I wrote during my time as administrator. Again, these are tough topic to write in comparison with travelling experiences. But, I managed to finish these posts too. I think it is better to get it posted, rather than writing a great post. The first post about my experience of being an event organizer. There were so many little details that I left out because I just cant recall them.

There were also experiences that I really really wish I had written. That is my experience during IVLP trip to US. I managed to write about Washington during the trip. But then I left it out for too long. Then I posted about Chicago followed by Boston.

So all in all, I came out with these tips to write a blog post:

  • If you want to write about your experience write it as soon as you experience it. If you dont have time to write a full length post at the time just write the key points then save it in a draft.
  • As soon as you have time finish the draft.
  • Set a specific amount of time for you to write say about 30 minutes. Force yourself to finish it within the set time.
  • Aim to finish rather than the quality

Happy blogging!!!


ARISAN – Indonesian Social Gathering

Another weekend, another non work related days…today

Long before the emergence of social media, Indonesian people has a traditional form of social gathering called Arisan. It is usually done by a group of people who shares the same background or interest, most commonly people who lives in the same neighborhood, work mates, class mates, etc.

When I was a little girl, my mum would take to go to Arisan with her colleagues (She is a lecturer). I remembered being really confused about the concept. You and the member of Arisan, will put a certain amount of money that you agreed. The coordinator will take the money, draw a lot to determine which member will take home the money. For more articulate explanation of Arisan please check this article:

I have several Arisan Group. One at work, one at home and one with a Hindu community. So almost every month there is Arisan to attend to. I am not that diligent though, I often miss the meeting. Sometimes, the Arisan is also filled with talks about health, parenting, cooking etc.

Nowadays, many of the Arisan are supported and to some extent replaced by Social Media. My Arisan group has a WhatsApp Group and Facebook group too 😊

But, there are some things that Social Media can’t replaced…that is the food served and the warmth of the embraced 🤗

The Expectation of Being a Balinese

Being Balinese has many advantages including beautiful nature and the rich culture around you.

But it also comes with a catch.

As Balinese people expect certain things from you. I often heard my friend and colleague comment:

You are a Balinese so you must be a good dancer or a great artist.

Well, unfortunately, ­I am NOT both 😑

When I was little, I was given the basic dancing lesson so I know the basic moves. But, Balinese dance involves quite complicated choreography where you must balanced your legs, arms, and facial expressions according to the music (Gamelan). Plus, most Balinese dance involve more than one dancer. So, you must also coordinate with your fellow performer. Somehow, I just did not feel confident and not that interested to master in any of the traditional Balinese dance.

Its something that I later on regret as I often disappointed my college friends every time they expect me to perform during certain event.

But, in October last year, I got an opportunity to perform a ritual dance called Rejang Renteng for a ceremony in the local Pura. As always, at first I resisted to join. But, as it was part of a ritual, I felt obligated to do it. In the end, with a lot of hesitant I joined. The dance itself was quite simple compared to other Balinese dance. The movement were slow and repetitive…and it only takes around 7 minutes. We perform in a big group of 27 dancers, so I felt less intimated.

After a grueling 4 weeks of practice, we finally performed at the ceremony. It takes a lot of effort to prepare for the make up and hair-do. But, in the end I was really happy. Not only because I can be part of the ritual, but mostly because I can prove to myself that we can do anything if we put our mind to it.


The Music of My Life

I have brought up in a family that loves music. My father was a singer who even won local competition.

So from my early childhood I listened to a lot of my dad’s favorite songs, both Indonesian (Simphoni yg Indah and Widuri) or international such as: Oh Carroll and Mr. Postman. My dad also introduced me to Frank Sinatra, Elvis and The Beatles.

As I entered school I started to have my own favorite songs, pretty much influenced by my friends. I listened to local artists such as Chrisye, Vina Panduwinata, Jayanti Mandasari, Gomloh, Iwan Fals and even Billbrod. At the same time I got to know Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Madonna, Bon Jovi and many other. At that time, Indonesian TV are very much managed by the government. We dont get to see a lot of Music Video. So, Radio is my main source of musical influence.

At the time, if you like an artist so much, you buy their cassette. But, for an elementary school girl it is way too expensive. I remembered the first cassette that I have was bought by my mom. It was a mixed records with songs from Sonia, Tina Turner, Garth Brooks and many more. The year was 1989.

Then I started savings my pocket money. The first cassette that I bought was Repeat Offender from Richard Marx. I also bought A shoulder to cry on from Tommy Page.

During middle school I contracted the boyband fever. Yes, New Kids on The Block was the ultimate boyband to me. In addition to the NKOTB I also listened to Roxxette, Michael Learns To Rock, White Lion and Guns N Roses. In terms of Indonesian music I love to listen to Kla Project.

In high school I got influenced by my older brother taste of slow rocks. He even created a compilation that he called Rocks that Slipped Away period. This include among others Nelson, Warrant, Bad English, Damn Yankees, Europe and many more.

In the mid of 90s I moved to Surabaya to pursue my bachelor degree. During this period I listened to Kenny G and Stevie B. Then the second wave of Boyband came. I love Backstreet Boys songs that I refused anything related to ‘Nsync 🤣. Like many others I also got hit by Britney Spears. During this time I fell in love with Savage Garden and Lighthouse Family. It was a really difficult period for me juggling with adulthood and study. So, Oasis album Whats the Story Morning Glory was a real saviour of those times.

Towards the end of my study I bought two more cassettes from two divas: Shania Twain and Celine Dion.

Another era in my music began when I came to England to pursue my master degree. I got into the rythm of Britpop and listened to Blue, Westlife, Five, S Club 7 and Kylie Minogue. I also got to know Coldplay with their first song Yellow. To be honest I did not know that they will last until now 👏 another music for me at that time was Travis.

During my PhD study I listened to a lot of pop alternative such as Maroon 5, Train and Five for Fighting. I also got to know Three Doors Down. Then Justin Timberlake produced his solo album. I love the songs Like I Love You that I made it into polyphonic ringtone for my first Panasonic handphone. Then I started to acknowledge that ‘Nsync also has a lot of good songs 😄

I came back to Indonesia and started to live in Surabaya in 2005. At that time, an Indonesian Band called Peterpan conquered the musical scene in Indonesia. As I started working I listened to Katy Perry, Beyonce, Rihanna, Ne-Yo. But during my visit to Japan I fell in love with Daniel Powter. Also came into my radar is The Script. One of the difficult period in my life is when I lost my father in 2010. At that time I listened a lot to Owl City’s Vanilla Twilight.

Nowadays the music industry has shifted. In the old days its very easy to recognise the artist who sings the song. Nowadays, a single track is a collaboration of many musicians. So there are alot of feat in the singer of the songs. The type of music is also changing with the introduction of EDM. I was not into it at first. Until I heard Coldplay collaboration with The Chainsmoker in Something Just like this.

It is now also very easy to get the music that you love.

I totally embrace the era of Spotify where I can create the playlists from each era of my life.

Some theories I can Never Do in Practice

Yes, I am a lecturer and I happen to teach Supply Chain Management Course. Some of the theories in SCM is actually quite applicable to real life. But there are a lot of things that I teach but I can never apply in real life.

First, a simple inventory management that says you really need to have the right amount of inventory. Too much means you are actually spending too much resources that you can actually spend on something else. When you have limited capacity, it means we have to prioritize what to keep…

I know this by heart, but I could never practice it. I know that keeping so many things mean that I would run out of place to keep them. I also need to spend a lot of energy keeping it in a good condition and organizing it.

I am such a keeper that I kept so many things ranging from old bills to souvenirs.

Discount and discount. I know that when an item is discounted it means that there is something wrong in their supply chain..But hey, I cant help it. Its like I didnt think of why it get discounted, I just see it as a good buy…

Feeding medicine to a toddler

If other mothers can do it, why can’t you?

A question that remains haunting me the past week. It really really got me thinking. Am I the only mother who can’t do it?

My second baby Hita has been ill and as all toddler refused strongly to drink her medicine. I have tried many ways. But still cant manage to get the medicine inside her. If I forced her she cried and in the end vomit. So, out of desperation I call her pediatrician who has been really helpful. First he said that I can use any means so long as I can get the medicine in. Put it in her food, mix it with her drinks, but all of this has downside and I read many articles that strongly disapprove to these.


Those are the draft of my post dated as far as 2011. I decided to post it now since I want to share what happened next.

Out of my confusion I then brought her back to the pediatrician. I can feel that he was irritated to see me back. It was then that he dropped the comment that haunted me.

I was so shocked and was in tears. He maybe rite, but his comments was the last thing that I need at that time.

Thankfully, at that time with the help of Hita’s nanny we managed to persuade her to finish drinking the tea that we have mixed with the medicine.

But I then decided to change Pediatrician. I want to have someone that can emphatize with my situation. I found a female pediatrician that happened to be a mother of two. She was more patience. From her I learned that there were types of medicine that is very bitter. So she would use less bitter one. She also suggest I put glucose syrup so my daughter would not feel the bitter meds.
It was such a great relieve for mw and my family.

So for all the moms out there who share the same problem, I am with you. Hang in there. Make sure you have the best support system be it a doctor, family or friends to talk to when you are confused.



Surabaya: City of Heroes

DSCF3104.JPGIsn’t ironic that I talk a lot about Bali and other places, but I have never wrote anything about the place that I currently live, Surabaya.

I tell you why. From the first time I came to Surabaya in 1994, I came to think of it as quite boring. Well, how can you blame me, I come from Bali where you can always find natural things for amusement. Surabaya, is a busy trade city. So, if you want to go to malls or shopping center then it is a good place. But other than that, its quite dull.

But as I started to live permanently in Surabaya in 2005, a lot has changed. Surabaya is now green and clean thanks to our mayor. But still, I have not really explore Surabaya.

Until when my then 8 years old niece who lives in Bali come to visit us. Then I got really excited to think how I can entertain her. I did not have the time to take her out of town…So, I ended taking her to the places around Surabaya.

Tugu Pahlawan

Surabaya is known as the City of Hero due to its courageous fight on 10th November 1945. In Indonesia it is commemorated as the National Hero Day. A monument is dedicated in remembrance of this fight.

Surabaya Heroes Museum

Monumen Kapal Selam

It is located in the center of the City of Surabaya. Its actually a submarine turned into a museum. Very popular place for teachers to take their students for field trip.

Submarine Museum

Patung Suro & Boyo

Located next to Monumen Kapal Selam is the iconic symbol of Surabaya: the Sura (Shark) and Baya (Crocodile).

Iconic Shark & Crocodile

Taman Remaja

The title can be translated into Youth Park. That is why this place is commonly used to showcase child and youth talent. Ever since my two girls enter kindergarten I have been a regular visitor of this park since they usually joined various competition here. The park has several stages to host dancing, singing and other performance. But it also has many children ride.


Wonorejo Mangrove Ecotourism

Here you can see one of the last mangrove forest in Surabaya. It basically provides means to increase awareness to preserve the ecosystems.


Surabaya Carnival

If you wanna take your kids for a fun trip but do not want to brave the traffic to Batu, Malang then you can take them to Surabaya Carnival. There are a lot of rides and interesting exhibits that will keep them busy!

Taman Bungkul

Recently, Surabaya also has a lot of new park. One of the most famous park is Taman Bungkul. Situated in the center of the city, the park is very lively particularly on Sunday Morning. A lot of people and communities just gather in the park. There is children playground, skating place, etc. Another attraction is the culinary stalls around the park.