Tuesday, May 9, 2017

For Now, Maybe It's Not for Me

What do you want to be?

The answer changes over time. When I was a kid, I remember I wanted to be an architect. At some point on high school, I have wanted to be a script writer, and there's also a time when I want to be a person who do voice over for advertisement.

I went to architecture school after finishing high school. Still likes to write and still love the sound of people who does voice over. But maybe that's not for me.

As I graduate from the school, and being a junior architect for a year, I often wonder, if this is what I want. Drawing on computer, overworked, arrived home in the morning just to be at the office again more or less at 9, whining every time I met my friend... I guess I am not. So I quit.

I guess I wasn't cut out for being in the office. Maybe that's not for me.

I love doing DIY, so I started trying things like doodling and book binding, but 8 months later, I was going nowhere near any stationery business I thought I want to have. Also not inch closer to any graduate school application I thought I had wanted. I told everyone, I don't know what I want to study, I don't want to messed up (or maybe just afraid).

Maybe continuing the school is not for me.

So I'm back being in the office again even though I thought it wasn't for me just the year before. This time as a junior landscape architect. Thankfully the working situation is much better than the first one though I can't say that it was the best. Maybe specializing in landscape is for me, maybe I just got to know about it right now.

After 1.5 years, I quit again, this time, I got offered another architect job in which I can work from home. I thought I want that; at that time, I realize that no matter how hard it was doing my work, how I was actually overworked and no matter how much I whine, there's part of me that likes doing it.

Maybe this is for me.

And not working full time was the ultimate on my wishlist. Imagine working from home, setting up a home office, actually doing what I like, making stationery products in between, traveling without having to worry about filling the leave form. I was excited of the opportunity.

Maybe this is for me.

But after spending couple of weeks doing nothing, working with speed of snail (like, I finish presentation slides for a week while I can do the whole thing in a day when I was still in the office), and the temptation of watching anything as fast as the episode is out, makes me realize that maybe this is not for me. I'm doing trips to the office again just 1.5 months after.

I can be the girl who prefer to be home all weekend, reading in my room to going out and watch movies, settle with whatever food in the house because I'm too lazy to go out and looking for more choice of food outside, but apparently, working from home is not for me.

On a conversation with a friend of mine, we agree that we actually need to wear good clothes and being outside of the house to work. That doesn't mean I don't prefer being at home, or I wanted to work in an office forever, it just means that maybe the thing is not for me.

In the future, there'll be more things that maybe not for me now, but later. Or vice versa. I'm pretty sure of that. Bottom line is, these last couple years, I've been trying all the things I thought both for me and not for me. I went here and there, doing this and that, coming out from the comfort zone and find the other. I guess there's still so much I can try, there's still so much things out there waiting for me to embrace and maybe to left once I know it is apparently not for me.

I guess, impossible is only impossible when it's proven that it is impossible :)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Singapore Trip : Walking Around the Neighborhood

From the bus station accross the street of my hostel
Since my last Singapore Trip was kind of unplanned (like, tooootally unplanned, even more than my last Seoul-Busan trip), I search for my destination when I'm already arrived. And because I mostly travel alone, I can walk around the neighborhood of my destination and spend as much time as I want in the said destination.

1. Tiong Bahru

I've wanted to visit this neighborhood since 2014 because it is a neighborhood where Books Actually and Books in the Woods are located, and there are several articles said that mention this neighborhood on their walking trip post. I didn't go to the Tiong Bahru Plaza or its new food place though since my destination was the bookstores, and the day was so hot and since I didn't had proper breakfast I was literally shaking with hunger (cue to run to the nearest McD). But even with that, I still have a rather satisfying walking trip around the neighborhood.

2. Arab Street and Haji Lane

I actually missed this very popular Singapore destination on my first visit that I made this my first destination on my recent trip. I went here late in the afternoon, after checking in on my hostel just to spend the rest of the day. My first impression was that this is not as big as I expected, and since I'm alone (and a cheapskate and kind of confused since my internet connection wasn't working (at first. It works after a while)) I didn't really got into any restaurant or shops there. But since I was waiting for Maghrib time to pray in Masjid Sultan, I got to spend and explore the neighborhood a little bit longer than I would if I didn't; and it was pretty :)

One of my destination on my last day in Singapore was Singapore City Gallery. I went here last time, but I like the atmosphere of the neighborhood and also love the city scale-model that I want to visit the place again. 

While the area around Maxwell Street was under construction (that I hardly recognize it), I finally able to visit the Red Dot Design Museum (which apparently cost me 8SGD and, well... not really my favorite place :p). Since it was around midday, I search for mosque and found out that Al Abrar Mosque is located within walking distance from the museum, so I decided to go there first and found out that it was actually a nice walking trail with shaded and not so busy street and pretty shop houses along the street.

4. Emerald Hill

I literally found this neighborhood by accident since I was insisting on walking from Masjid Al Falah (located near Paragon Shopping Center to Plaza Singapura (which is actually 1.1 km and the I-should-have-ride-the-bus thought I found out afterwards). The street was uphill (that is how I got tired from walking the rest of the route to Plaza Singapura lol) but the houses were beautiful. It is said that the architecture has the Chinese-Baroque style, and it's actually very quiet and peaceful oasis within the busy and crowded Orchard street (aside from fully air conditioned Library @ Orchard I visit earlier :D).

5. Victoria Street and Middle Road

I didn't actually walk the whole street in a day like the other neighborhood I visit, but here's some places you can visit at once while you are in the area.

I started early on my second day and went to Chijmes, a beautiful historic building complex which is now reused as a restaurant and event place. I went there before the restaurants are open, so it was empty. You can explore the whole place and read the history of the building that was displayed in some spots inside the building.

I went to Tiong Bahru afterwards but back to the street again afterwards to go to Bras Basah Complex. On the way, I found a signage directing to Bencoolen Mosque so I decided to went there first. But then, at the junction of Victoria Street and Middle Street (where I supposed to cross the road to Bras Basah Complex) I found the National Design Museum, and decided to visit there after Bencoolen Mosque. 

On the way to Bencoolen Mosque
Wisdom found on the way
Inside the National Design Museum
So when you are around the area, you can start with National Design Museum, National Library of Singapore (which is on the other side of the junction), Bras Basah Complex, and Chijmes at the end.


The best thing about walking around the neighborhood is finding the unexpected destination on the way. Of course it might not applied everywhere, but since my last walking trip in Seoul (in which I found the city scale-model without being aware of it, best finding ever!), I realize that these unplanned destination brought more joy as you just don't expect it on the first place. And the more joy, the more memorable the travel experience is.

Also, the more I appreciate the unplanned things, the less stress I got from not planning anything in the first place.

Cheers for more fun in future walking trips!

Friday, April 28, 2017

Singapore Trip : A List for Book-Place Hopping

(I legit want to have it titled A List for Nerdy-Spot Hopping but I'm not sure if that's a correct use of words xp)

Years back, I often stumble into quizzes in which you need to answer several questions about a topic and write them on your blog/facebook notes just to tell things about yourself. One of the topic was about reading and there's always this one question that makes me wonder : what is the title of the book you last checked out from the library?

My answer would always be academic reference book because that is what a library is about almost my whole life and the closest library to me is the university library. When I was a kid though, when I went to my grandparents' house, my grandmother sometimes took me to the public library and l read a lot of Baby Sitter's Club books but that's the only non-academic experience about library and its been a looooong time ago.

The last time I was in Singapore, I had this chance to totally channeling my reading-self (since I mostly exploring the city alone) by visiting a lot of books-related places. Here are the list and maybe it could be the next place on your list too.

1. Bras Basah Complex

Search Bras Basah Complex in google and you'll find that the place is often associated with books. I was interested to visit the complex after reading this post about second-hand books there. When I visit this place on my second day, I think there's some kind of second-hand book fair right in the center of the building. It was huge and the deal was soooo good (like, 10 SGD for 3 books in fair condition!).

still regret for not buying :(

I didn't end up buying for myself though (the cheapskate cell taking over) because I pack light and there's seriously no room for anything if I decided to buy anything (that was my reasoning, but I definitely regret it now -,-) so I only bought two for a friend of mine.

Other than that, I also visit Cat Socrates, a cute souvenir shops in the second floor of the building. If you don't have much time, you can always search the internet for shops in Bras Basah Complex, write down their number and visit them accordingly. But I believe there must be hidden gems in this complex I haven't found (and so, another reason for me to go there again).

cutest postcards and things you never know you needed :)

If you do visit here, be careful with the escalator (ha!), and took your time to explore the rows of the shops. You might get some interesting vintage shots, book related.

2. National Library

I visit this place on a whim since I need to cross the street to go to Bras Basah Complex and this building positioned right in the junction next to it, and so I decided to visit this first. National Library Singapore was a huuuuge and tall building like most office building in Jakarta. I don't even believe myself when I read that there's an exhibition on level 10 (like, what library is more than 10 stories? I surely am visiting a whole new world).
Bugis area from National Library
Anyway, since there's a security in every level in the entrance to the collection, I wasn't exploring the inside of the library because I'm not sure if I was allowed to be inside. I was just taking the escalators to see whether the library really has 10 stories or more or not (me and my messed up priorities). When I about to exit the building though, I found out this place has a fiction collection in its lower ground. So I went there for a bit and, sighed, how to have that kind of library in my own city?
fiction collection

3. Bishan Public Library
Bishan Public Library
On my first trip I was actually planning to visit this library for one sole reason of seeing a building that was featured in Archdaily. I couldn't make it back then so I did plan to visit this library on my third day.

Bishan was about 12 km from the Downtown Core (MBS, Merlion Park, etc) and I was going there by MRT and planning to went back to Orchard by bus. The library is nicely located right next to the MRT and bus station so it wasn't hard for me to find it.

book-related quotes on the ramp's wall
The building is a bit smaller than the National Library and there is no security. The first level is for magazine and a coffee shop and also a space for children. At the left side of the entrance, there's a ramp to the second floor which is the place for fiction collection and at the end of the room, there's a separate place for study with desk and tables.

I picked up a book randomly and read there, just because xp.

the book I picked up! almost staying for the rest of the day
The next two level was pretty much the same except there are some hanging study room with colorful glasses. You can see these rooms from the outside and even gets into one if there's an empty one (I was afraid though :p).

4. Library @ Orchard

My friend visited this on her trip once and I can't believe I missed that (turns out it wasn't even there on May 2014, so...). The library was located in the third floor of Orchard Gateway. Yup, in the middle of a bustling shopping mall in a shopping street. A total oasis.

What I love about this library is that it's just soooo pretty. Once you stepped inside, there's a different feeling from the hectic Orchard Road you've just been. It has this elegantly designed shelves and reading nook in the second floor (or fourth floor). The fiction collection? Wow it was mad. I mean, I even went mad for seeing books in a book fair in which I can't obtain without paying. What is the reason for me not to be mad when all the books are there for free.

Anyway, I spend a longer time here since I was waiting for my brother for lunch. I told you, it was a wonderful place to read. I even went there again to read in the afternoon before meeting my brother again in MBS.

Reading space with city view
If you went to Orchard Road with some friends and you prefer to read rather than to shop, just spend your time here. A. Total. Sanctuary.

5. Books Actually and Woods in the Books

This is also a destination I missed on my first trip; a hip bookstore and a children bookstore in Tiong Bahru area. I didn't spend too much time there since there's only so much time you can spend on a running store without intention to buy anything. But visiting both book store was actually enjoyable for me. Especially because both are an aesthetically pleasing store.

no taking pictures inside
vending machine for books!
Other than that, the neighborhood was kind of pretty and there are some hip eating place around too.

6. Library @ Esplanade

I visit Library @ Esplanade on my last day just before I had to go to the airport. It was an art library where you can see a room for dance practice and rows of, instead of book, audio and visual collection related to dance, music, and movie. The interior of this library is pretty but the collection itself was segmented. But it was still a good place to visit as an addition to the Esplanade.

artworks outside the library

Visiting all these book-related places makes me feel totally elated. Some people might related to this and some people might not, but in a way, it's like finding my own hiding place. Especially those library, how if I have one here in my own country, I would definitely spend most of my time there :). Cheers for better library near your area in the future!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Singapore Trip : Series of Unfortunate Event

It was my second day. I was visiting Bras Basah Complex that afternoon for the used book fair and this cute shop called Cat Socrates. Someone also suggested for me to visit some art supplies store in the complex. I didn't spend a long time there but still managed to visit everything on my list. At that time I decided that I was going to Cat Socrates again, buy some souvenirs and then off to my next destination; Boat Quay.
Cat Socrates! 
I was texting my friend while I took the escalator. And then... my skirt was stuck.

... (insert 'what' sfx from Weighlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo drama)

I stand there at the end of the escalator, pulling my skirt with no luck. Meanwhile, people started to crowd (in the top of the escalator and around me) and then a man kindly stop the escalator. A woman asked me if I was okay and the whole situation suddenly become so funny. So I smile (I'm pretty sure I was triggered to laugh) and told her I'm totally okay.

The man who stopped the escalator actually helped me pulled my skirt but since it won't budge I asked him if he had something to cut. The woman, though, dashed to the art store right in front of the escalator and borrowing a scissor for me. Meanwhile, more and more people come. Another woman asked me if I'm okay and offered to find scissor for me (I told her someone else already did) and an older man, make a comment that my skirt fabric is good because it wasn't being pulled down (lol). After a while, the first woman back with a scissor and I cut my skirt with help from the first man.

I didn't stay after that. The man finish the cut for me and unknowingly, I walked out after that. Pretty sure it was my nervous system took over, I even forget to say thank you or to return the scissor.

At that time it was mixed feelings. I was ashamed even though it was also funny and borderline dangerous. To think that I wasn't really panic at that time was kind of blessing since I'm panic in mostly everything that didn't go my way. I'm pretty sure my mindset was I'm leaving the country in 2 and a half days and no one would remember me anyway. A girl who had her skirt stuck on an escalator and keep on wearing the skirt the next day was a pretty good anecdote though. (Don't judge me, I packed light and I have planned my outfit so I have no choice :p)

On the way from Boat Quay to Marina Bay
lucu yah :) kemudian nanjak -,-!
how I get my best walking record on SHealth
Except for that whole major skirt accident, my trip was totally satisfying. Well, I did wrongly assumed a walking distance from Boat Quay to Marina Bay Sands and Library @ Orchard to Plaza Singapura. I also took a bus to opposite direction when I was planning to go back from Tiong Bahru and got scammed by a man (and being told off by a middle aged woman afterwards).

But then again, I set another record of walking on my SHealth app ('this is your most active days') and found Jalan Rumah Tinggi on my way from Tiong Bahru thanks to both unfortunate events.

jalan rumah tinggi :)
After all, what is traveling without the kind of experience you could look back to and laugh at. I've been there, done that and gratefully regret nothing about that :)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Singapore Trip : (a not so) Sibling Trip

When my brother told me that he won a voucher from a travel agent on his office's event, I literally begged him to take me to go with him. Anywhere is fine, I told him. I just wanted to go somewhere on a plane.
jauh-jauh ke Singapur nemunya fotoinnya tulisan minang
And so it was decided; he spent half of his voucher for a flight ticket to Singapore and I would go with him. The trip was scheduled at the end of February and he would attend a concert there. That's the Plan A. I was excited, really. It's been too long since my last trip and this time, I won't go alone. I already thought about where to go with my brother and how he can helped me took some picture of myself since I have very little to none photo of myself on a trip (not a fan of selfie and it's awkward for me to ask people to take it for me most of the time, even those I know).

It sounds like a fun plan! I'm excited already. Except that it wasn't what happened.

It all started when my brother, who didn't had his passport yet, postponed everything until the last 2 weeks before his flight date. I already told him that I wouldn't buy ticket until he got his passport, so I have nothing to worry, except that I might not be able to go on a holiday. He was totally laid back as if the only thing he needed was his flight ticket (not a chance). And I didn't want to do anything for him since WHY DO I HAD TO? lol. nope. I just wanted to see how this would ended up to.

When he finally applied for his passport, it turned out that he can't confirmed his payment. It took us three days to called the immigration office and got an explanation that we had to confirm the payment manually by email since the site is glitching. Long story short, I confirmed my brother's payment and he got the interview scheduled on Monday, the same week of our supposedly departure day.

The drama continues with him forgetting his original birth certificate on Monday and on Tuesday, it was raining in the morning that he can't go to the office. He went on Wednesday and of course the passport won't be ready on Friday. He then proceed to change his flight to the third week of March.

And though I was still excited to go, I wasn't preparing for anything either. I bought my ticket only 4 days before departure, pack my stuff and book my hostel just the night before, I didn't even exchange my money. At that time, I was half nervous of leaving (even though I was excited at first, my mood swing like that), half annoyed because my brother refuse to go to the money changer for me (but he eventually did, I threw a fit), and... I don't know... I just suddenly ready to cancel everything.

The start of this (not so) sibling trip isn't so smooth already. The next morning, I woke up very early to catch the airport bus and my brother woke up too and told me that he can't go, he caught a flu.


He was joking, of course, but it wasn't appropriate! Looking back, I might over-reacting though. But still it wasn't funny.


What makes it even more not so much a sibling trip is because, even if we were in Singapore for the same 4 days, our flight was different. My brother would fly after his office hour while I'd be arrive at midday. That first night, after successfully arriving, bought my Tourist Pass, checking in at the hostel, obtain a SIMCard, and exploring Kampong Glam, I waited until it was time for my brother's plane to land, which is around 9. I sent him directions for the hostel but he didn't had his internet connection and it was his first time alone in another country and I can only wait and pray that he won't get lost or stuck in the middle of nowhere because the MRT service stopped.

So, when he finally arrived, like an hour before midnight, I was totally relieved.

The next day, we didn't get to explore the city together because I started very early and he went back to sleep after getting a breakfast. We were actually planning to visit Marina Bay Sands for the iLight exhibition but he cancelled it because he was tired of walking (at least I got to be on Boat Quay again).

Boat Quay
On the third day, we met at noon and had our lunch at (guess what) KFC. After that we went to Toys'R'Us and met again after 7 to finally visit the iLight. I got to explore the whole thing, though, thanks to me misreading the route from Boat Quay to Marina Bay Sands that it took me more than 15 minutes to arrive. We got to the final part of Marina Bay Sands' Light show and he told me that he actually walk the (more or less) same distance as mine yesterday, for the same reason xp.

iLight 2017 at Marina Bay
I had my dinner at KFC again and on our way home, when I asked him where he had been, he told me that he would randomly took a bus and got off somewhere he found interesting (that was Henderson Waves at Mt. Faber Park and Chinatown). Wow, pro tip. That explains how he survive the city on his internet connection and his tourist card. Also, how we have totally different way on traveling :D.

The third day, he went with me to Singapore City Gallery and part ways after that. Met again at the hostel to collect our bags at the hostel, went to the airport and have dinner at 4Fingers (it's worth the price (and it wasn't even that pricey, I guess). Taste so goooood~).

Singapore City Gallery
I wait for him after my arrival because my mother insist that we had to go home together. After all the sole reason why I got to go is because I technically went with my brother. Though it wasn't such a long trip and the time we spend together is more or less the same amount we would spend together at the house, I actually loving the trip. Going with a sibling is actually fun and... well, no matter how annoying, how short-tempered we both were, how sassy, how clashing our interest were, we would just go back together again.
Selca proof shot (cuma buat dikirim ke grup rumah biar percaya ada pergi barengnya :D)
Friends might come and go but siblings stuck together, in a good way.