Playlist for Rainy November in Surabaya

After a long spell of dry season, finally, rain fell in Surabaya.

It really cool the air that has become unbearably humid over the past couple of weeks.

Rain always bring certain memories to me. In the early 80s, I live in an area in Denpasar, Bali where rain always resulted in flood. I remembered clearly, in one particular day when I was in elementary school, it rained really hard and the water level was up to my knees. It was the last day of school and we were supposed to take our report card. Our grandpa, dad, uncles gave us a piggyback ride to flooded-free areas so we can get to school. I remembered that we kinda enjoy the whole process πŸ™‚ The flood ceased as the local government cleaned up and develop the river in our area.

From early on, whenever rains, I always feel lucky that I have a home..

Then, during my teenage year I began listening to a lot of music. Come to think about it, there were two songs that came to my mind. First, is Lady Rain from Indecent Obsession (such a weird name for a Band right). The second is November Rain from Guns ‘N Roses. Yeah, what can I say, that’s how old I am.

I got to experience a different type of Rain while I studied in England. Its usually drizzle, rather than heavy rain…and it can go on and on and on…Its not surprising that during this period I get to know two more songs about rain from Brit artist πŸ™‚ First is Why Does it Always Rain on Me from Travis. The second one is Its Raining Men, originally from the Weather Girl. But I knew Geri Halliwell’s version from the Bridget Jones’s Diary soundtrack πŸ™‚

Back in Surabaya,Β I added Please Dont Stop the Rain from James Morrison and Set Fire to the Rain from Adele…Both British…what a coincidence, right?

These days, I started listening to the radio again. It really reminded me of how the music has changed. Many of the songs are sung by artists I never heard of. Lots of musical collaboration, so artist A feat. Artist B…The genre has somewhat changed to EDM and dance…but thankfully there are some that I can relate to…and they are also well suited for the Rain theme…

The first song is from The Script called RAIN πŸ™‚ I loved the band since I heard their songs, The Man Who Cant Be Moved and Breakeven. Though, at that time I did not know whether they will continue producing great music or became one, err, two hit wonders. I was really happy that they will then follow up with more great songs such as Hall of Fame, and now Rain!!

My playlist also consists two songs from Linkin’ Park latest album: One More Light and Heavy. I came to know them, in the wake of Chester Bennington passing (R.I.P Chester).

Other songs on my playlist these days are Thunder (Imagine Dragon), lots of Ed Sheeran (Galway Girl, Perfect and Shape of You), Superhero (Coldplay feat. The Chainsmoker). SO, plenty of tunes to accompany my rainy season.


The Beauty of Autumn

One of my earliest dream as a little girl is going abroad. It all probably started when I was around 6 years old and my dad went to Australia for a couple of months. He sent me a postcard with a picture of Cook-type of house on it. I still remembered my excitement to read the postcard. I was so amazed to see the house was covered with some kind of a plant. Then when he came back, he showed us a lot of pictures, one with him feeding a kangaroo, the house that he lived in, his colleagues and many more. I thought to myself..

It must be really nice to go abroad

Then as I grow up, I remembered looking through pictures in the magazine or newspapers of different places such as mountains in Switzerland, the Great Walls of China, the Niagara Falls..What I also loved to do is going through the pictures in the calendar because it usually showed the best and interesting shots from various places. I usually skipped through to the October part to check what day will my birthday take place that year πŸ˜€ This is how I get hooked with Autumn because most of the time the October part of the calendar captures the beauty of this season.

Those picturesΒ really captivated me because they was so different than what I always see in my neighborhood. Since then, I have always wanted to go to a four season country..

So many many years later, I am really glad that I had the chance to spend 5 Autumn in England. As much as I love spring and summer, Autumn has the sense of solemnity that really stuck in my head. Every autumn, I took lots and lots of pictures…

Beautiful Autumn Leaves
Beautiful Autumn Leaves

Here is me, just walking a long a bright autumn day in 2004…The leaves started to pile up by the pathways..

me in Autumn 2004
Me by Hallward Library, University of Nottingham in Autumn 2004

I took another nice picture in the University Boulevard, Nottingham. I used to cycle through this road, and enjoy the autumn breeze or chills or rain (its England after all ^^) Just look at the changes in the color of the trees…Some are still green, but some started to turn golden brownish…Among the trees that changes in the Autumn, I really love Maple Tree…Not only because the color changes from green to yellow and brown/Reddish, also because of the shape of the leaves..unfortunately, I don’t have any picture of it…


Even the birds also seem to embrace this season πŸ˜€

Swans in Jubilee Campus
Birds in Jubilee Campus

Really interesting, don’t you think? It’s no wonder that one of my favorite movie of late goes to say…

500 days of summer, 1st day of Autumn

Beauty in the Drought

As Indonesian, we are taught in elementary school that our countries have two seasons: dry season that starts in April and end in October and rainy seasons that generally happen between October – April. Well, with global warming and climate change these periods have shifted gradually in the past years. The start of the rainy seasons comes off late and it also varies in different parts of Indonesia.

It’s almost the end of October…and while many areas in Indonesia have experienced quite heavy rain, we in Surabaya only had one very short rain so far. It becomes really hot and humid. Ponds started to dry up and even the land started to crack. The trees and even the grass becomes really really dry. It most certainly also affect the harvest. Usually during the rainy season we enjoy nice fruits. I am mostly keen on the Mangoes.

We had one big mango tree in our backyard. Last year, we harvested quite a lot and it was really sweet and delicious πŸ™‚ Unfortunately, this year, most of the fruits fell before they grew and ripe 😦 Hope these survive though πŸ™‚

Still, its not all bad. Some tropical plants could actually survive the drought and even looks their very best. These are some of those beauty in the drought plants πŸ™‚

Kemboja from the family of Plumeria
This flower does not seem to be affected with the drought. It actually grows more flowers during the dry season. You can see it mostly in Bali, where it is planted in the temple areas. Interestingly, in Java it is actually planted in cemetery. Talk about different culture πŸ™‚

Another tropical flowers that bloom colorfully in the dry season. This plant is very easy to maintain and thats why it is very popular. It just need enough sun πŸ™‚

Its a big tree with red flowers, in the dry season all the leave is gone and replaced by the flowers. It is quite a popular fact I remembered a well known old Indonesian Pop song from my childhood that talk about this tree.

Last but not least, recently we also seen a lot of this tree, with yellow flower. I dont know its name, but it looks refreshing πŸ™‚

The Color of Spring in Washington D.C.

As a person who comes from a tropical country like Indonesia, where there are only dry and rainy season, Spring is always very interesting. When I was studying in England, I always love Spring. The temperature is getting warmer, the bulb starts to grow and the flowers start to bloom.
I am fortunate enough to be able to experience Spring again here in Washington D.C. Hmmm, technically I also spent a day of Spring in Japan. Unfortunately, in both places I missed one of the mosty famous spring flower: the Cherry Blossom or Sakura. Yup, I was too early to see it in Japan – they say this year the Sakura is late to bloom. But, here in Washington D.C., I was late 😦 The Cherry Blossom festival, which I can only imagine the beauty have passed.
Any ways, there are still a few cherry blossom here and there…And there are still plenty of color.

Cherry Blossom in full bloom

In front of the White House Garden
Colorful Garden