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.

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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.

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Submarine Museum

Patung Suro & Boyo

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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The Battle of Tea vs. Coffee

I must start with a note:

I know perfectly that the best liquid for our body is water.

But, I just cant helpt but craving for other tastier liquid.

Perhaps this so called addiction started when I was little. My dad said that in my early childhood I was left with my grandparents while he pursued his Ph.D study. Money was tight so my grandparents (bless them) mix my milk with tea 😑 well, perhaps it was a sign that later on I will study in a country where milk and tea is very normal 😄

Then during early primary school, I had milk and a stint of coffee as breakfast. Yes, coffee 😂 perhaps because I dont really like drinking milk. At this period I only drink tea when we eat out.

As I grew older though sign of problem start to show. I am prone to allergy. But, it was not as severe. Perhaps because I am still physically active. This went on until I finished my bachelor degree.

When I applied for master degree I have to take medical checkup..it was during this period that I started to notice that I am borderline anemic..My Haemoglobin count (Hb) is always slightly below the normal standard. The doctor said that it is a type of anemia that is not severe, that I can live a normal life as long as I keep a healthy lifestyle. He gave me a vitamin consist of B complex, folic acid and Iron.

It was during my study in England that I fell in love with Tea. Well, when I was little, I have read in Enid Blyton’s Famous Five that the Brits love their afternoon tea. But, during my study I truly succumbed into the British Tea drinking habbit. Of course I took it with milk and sugar. I especially LOVE The English Breakfast. Perhaps, because the tea helped warm my body or because it allowed me to take a break and chatted with my friends. But, I started drinking tea for breakfast, then another 1 – 2 cups depending on the number of tea breaks I take during the day 😄

During this period I felt so healthy because I cycled or walked to campus, I ate healthily and I took the vitamins every day 😊

Upon my return to Indonesia, I still continue my tea drinking habbit. But because English tea is quite pricy, I just drink the local Indonesian Tea.

Then after started working and becoming a mother my lifestyle changed. I exercised less, and perhaps did not have a proper diet. I started having health issues. I was diagnosed with Dengue fever a couple of times…and I often felt exhausted. Again every time I had a blood check the doctor noticed my anemia.

But not until last February that I checked myself to a hematologist. In addition to normal blood test he also asked about my diet. I explained that I drink tea quite a lot..and he said that could be a contributing factor. He said that drinking tea right before or after meal can block my body’s iron absorbtion so he suggest me to stop drinking tea.

It was really really hard going from 2 – 3 cups a day to none! I dont know if its real or not. But I felt various symptoms including fatigue, and of course mood swing 😂 but i managed to do it for 1 month straight.

After a month though I felt that my condition did not improve. I recalled the hematologist said that coffee is better than tea in terms of Iron Inhibition.

So I experiment with instant coffee..I did not take black pure coffee but I tried cappuccino instead. The effect that I felt is quite surprising. I understand now why people use coffee as stimulant. I felt less tired and sleepy. For a week or so, I traded Tea with coffee, cappuccino to be exact.

But another issue starts…I suddenly get lots of pimples. Is it because of the coffee or just hormones? I have no idea.

For now, the battle remains for me. I just take one cup of each in turn. And tried to drink more water, eat healthy food and exercise.

Just out of curiousity I made a poll in my instagram. It is a closed call. At one point team Tea is winning, but in the last minute before the poll is closed, team Coffee take over 👏

Blangsinga and Tegenungan Waterfalls

On our way home from Saba to Songan, Kintamani we wanted to visit a new place. My husband mentioned that there are a waterfall close by. He said its called Tegenungan Waterfall.

I searched for it and found that it was quite close to another waterfall called Blangsinga Waterfall. I did not really checked it on the map.

My husband decided to take us to Blangsinga Waterfall. We arrived to the entrance and immediately went to the ticket box. It was relatively cheap, only 30 thousands rupiah for two adults and two children (under 12 years old).

First we took quite a steep stairs so I would advise visitor to really watch over their children. Not long after we took the stairs down we arrived to a heart-shaped wooden frame clearly prepared for visitors to take instagram-worthy pictures 😁

We carried on after taking our pictures. My husband and the girls walked ahead of me as I stopped several times to take some pictures of the surrounding. The cool water splash and sound of the waterfall were really inviting.

After I reached the bottom of the stairs there was a lady who wanted to climb up. The guard stopped and asked for her ticket. She showed it and I heard him said “Sorry, if you want to climb here, you must pay for a ticket…if you dont wanna pay then you must take that route”. The guard signal for a stairs in another side of the river. It puzzled me…but I didnt ask for more information. I just assume that we must also take the route…although I can already see that there were so many more steps compared to the way we came down.

We then enjoyed the cool and fresh water of the river. Some visitors swim under the waterfall. Some prefer to take instagram-worthy pic by swinging in front of the waterfall.

We did not bring any clothes to swim so we just crossed the river. As we about to take the steps there were sign that says “good luck with the 165 steps”.

Wow…for a person who rarely exercise like myself…it is quite a put off..but my girls just went straight.

I took it bit by bit. I stopped several time. Finally, I arrived and immediately greeted by a sign that read Tegenungan Waterfall. It took me sometimes to realized that we have actually crossed to another territory.

I am still hoping that Blangsinga carpark is within walking distance. So we stopped in one of the shop by a drink and ask the lady the way to get back to Blangsinga. She said it was quite a walk. 4.1 kilometres to be exact. She said we better go back down and up to where we came 😮😵

So apparently, the two waterfalls, to be honest I completely missed the Tegenungan waterfall on my way up because I was so busy catching my breath, were separated only by a river. But, on land it was 4.1km.

Turns out I misinterpret what happened earlier. Each waterfall sold separate ticket. You can enjoy the same sceneries as long as you come and go from the same place, which make more sense rather than my assumption 😂

So moral of the story is

Dont assume, just ask whenever you are in doubt

But, I have no regret. I quite enjoyed having conquer the 165 steps!

Plus, I got this perfect shot of the waterfall from Tegenungan steps.

The Things That I Can Do after I Changed my Smartphone

This is gonna be the fith post as part of my “blogging more” target over the long holiday.

I have always gotta period of blog hiatus especially during my work days. Another alibi, on top of the usual I dont have time, is the fact that it took a lot of time for me to transfer the photos that I wanna put to accompany the post, from my old smartphone or camera to my laptop.

I could have written my post from the phone…but it was so old that it took a long time…before crashing 😦 in fact its often happened that I wanted to take a picture of a moving person, but my phone took a long time to take it and the object has disappeared 😂

Then last December during the end of year break, I asked my younger brother about some of the latest smartphones..being the tech savvy guy that he is, he didnt just stop with providing info. He then took me to the nearest shop. I didnt know why, I am just so convinced that I immediately bought a new smartphone which I thought quite reasonably priced with acceptable functionalities. Afterwards, my brother also took me to upgrade my simcard to 4G network.

We did that in less than 2 hours. It was a really quick process for a very indecisive person like me 😁

And…I was really impressed with my new phone..It was so so fast and smart 👏👏👍

First thing that I did was to put more memory and add additional SD Card so I dont need to worry a lot about taking lots of picture.

Then I downloaded WordPress app so I can easily work on my post anytime anywhere.

Then, I finally installed Instagram. I have always been a tech laggard. Always left behind in terms of the new stuff. I only installed FB in 2008. Then, Twitter. But after a while I rendered myself to be a passive user. I only checked my facebook to get some update on my friends, but I rarely posted. I used twitter mainly to get update on Badminton 🤣

But I am always facinated with my friends Instagram feed. The photos look like postcards. I want to have the same experience…and so far I enjoyed it a lot.

It also help because my smartphone camera can capture reasonably good picture like this one.

Original picture i took outside my home

I love how you can turn a regular picture into something really eye-catching with Instagram.

After some touch-ups in Instagram, this is how it looks

I am not an expert, but I just love experimenting with it 😊 and then I can use the pictures for my blog posts.

So, thank you my new phone. You have been a wonderful companion so far 🤗

My father’s legacy

Every visit to my hometown in Bali always bring bittersweet memories.

In many ways, I am happy to catch up with all my family especially my mother. But, some hint of sadness also creep in. Even after 8 years since my father passed away, I still missed him so badly…

Seeing a chair where my father used to seat for hours watching the news until he felt asleep. Now it is just an empty chair.

One of my father’s legacy is definitely his collection of books, papers and reports. He has big bookcases in the first and second floor of our home especially made to accommodate his ever growing collection.

Even at the time when he passed away, he has incoming books that he has ordered online.

He was such an avid book reader. Everywhere he went he always made a trip to a bookstore…

He would buy books for his teaching and research in Economics, Development economics and tourism.

Unfortunately, three of his kids studied engineering..only my youngest sister majored in Economy..but she live abroad.

So, until now my father’s personal library are kept neatly in our home.

Hopefully one day we can find a better use of those collections.

Kuningan day in Bali

Balinese Hindu has a lot of holy ceremonies.

One of the biggest ceremonies is Galungan and Kuningan. Galungan is the day when Goodness, Dharma, prevail against Evil, Adharma. It is celebrated on Wednesday and Kuningan takes place on Saturday in the following weeks. It represents the day when the Balinese Hindu made a promise to ourself or God almighty that we will always try to ensure that goodness will prevail against evil.

There were various offerings and decoration made for the Galungan and Kuningan. But one notable decoration is a tall pole made from Bamboo decorated with young coconut leaves called Penjor (what is a Penjor). In other part of Indonesia, notably in Javanese culture, similar ornament called umbul-umbul was placed when there is important ceremony such as wedding ceremony.

In Bali, Penjor was placed in front of the house during Galungan and Kuningan. So, you’ll feel like royalty when you visit Bali at this period because the streets look so festive.

Because I worked and lived in Surabaya, we didnt normally experience all the Galungan and Kuningan atmosphere. But this year, Kuningan day happened during the period of public holiday.

We wasted no chance and immediately flew home.

It was all worth it since we got to show the girls what the atmosphere of Galungan and Kuningan in Bali.

From a Beannie to a Basket

Last year I started crocheting. I enjoyed it so much because its very different than my regular job that involves teaching, talking, and working with my laptop.

Crocheting involves a lot of hand movement and quite repetitive. I dont need to talk, just concentrating on thw hook and yarns. Its quite calming really…

But to produce something took a lot of time. I wanted to crochet a hipo for my girls. I managed to finish the body and head…but since then all the works start pouring down on me and i never finished it.

So this long holiday I am determined to get it done. I packed some yarns and the hook.

I picked it up again two days a go. I have to give myself some time to get accustomed with the rythem again. But not long before i finished the four legs.

Then I wanted to try a beannie hat..first i use the same yarn as the hipo. I wanted to make it for my 8 years old girl. The instruction were very clear…but it turned out to be too small and stiff..

So i tried with thicker yarn. Again i followed the instruction carefully. Halfway through the project i stopped because i dont think it will fit my girl’s head 😦

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I think i used the wrong yarn.

But hey, I can still use them as baskets 🙂

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