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Wednesday, July 23, 2003


My dear wife was walking on her graduation day! Although the dude did not pronounce her name correctly, she managed to shake the older dude's hand and then raised her arms to show victory to her parents sitting among the crowd! As you know, no other students would even dare to do that. The would only bow to the guests and that's it! Yes, my wife is always full of life and joy. It was the day that marked another beginning of her life: a professional life as an Urban Designer! I recalled the day when she first came to NUS when we were living at the HDB flat. It was a bit hard for her to adjust to life in Singapore as compared to Hawaii, but after we managed to get a place for ourselves her energy skyrocketed. It's amazing how much she has improved in her professionalism. ConGRADUATION to you, dear MicroWife!

PS: The commencement ceremony at NUS did not seem sacred. In fact, it looked very mechanical and different from most ceremonies. Rani's dad was annoyed when he heard Majulah Singapura only played halfway! He said, "It was a big day for students, why not just play it until it finished, rather than sampling it?"


We took a bus trip to Melaka with Hasry Delima Express Bus from Lavender-Kallang intersection. It costs SGD11 one way per head, relatively cheap knowing that it will take us halfway between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. We arrived at 13:00 at the Melaka bus terminal and hired a taxi for RM10 to take us to Baba House on Tun Tan Cheng Lock Street. Baba House is a historical shop house with 60 rooms inside a 200-year old structure. We managed to get one deluxe room for Rani's parents and one standard room for us lovebirds. I really have so much to say about Melaka so why don't you just click here or here to get a gist of it!

There will always be festival market going on Jalan Hang Jebat on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. You could get putu, grilled dried sotong, sugar cane juice, at half the cost you would have to pay in Singapore (while the taste quality will be doubled on every food you eat here!).


We woke up around 0800 and ate breakfast at the Baba House hotel, free breakfast if you danced Macarena just before you checked-in. After we checked-out, we took a river boat tour (private boat tour, that is, at RM 50 for one hour!). Oh, you gotta see it to believe it! The government of Melaka has done an excellent job revitalizing the riverfront as well as the preservation of the key landmarks. After boat tour, we hired a taxi to eat at Bibik Neo, an original peranakan restaurant with an excellent array of "asam pedas". Make sure you come here and order the kangkong belacan as well as three orders to Kerapu Asam Pedas. It ended up only costing us less than RM9 per person for such a friendly service. Oh by the way, we asked the Indian taxi driver to eat with us but he was full already and sat down to watch us eat the delicacies while having a modest lime juice.

We then took Metrobus Ekspres bus to Kuala Lumpur, leaving at 1230 and arriving at Hentian Pudu around 1600 (the last 1/2 kilometer took us about 30 minutes to finish because the parking arrangement inside the basement was awkward, not allowing our 45 seater bus to zip in through quickly!). We then took a taxi for RM20 (what a rip off!) to get to KLCC where Danny and Sisca Tobing had been waiting for us the outdoor terrace of Dome cafe. For your information, Danny and Sisca just got married in May 2003 and now Sisca is 2 month pregnant. I have known Sisca for over 15 years - went to the same middle and high schools). Danny was a charter pilot who took over a business from his father dealing in marine and offshore drilling services. They both just moved to KL from Indonesia/Singapore and have loved every minute of it! Rani and I felt that they made an excellent choice of making a nice home in Ampang, on top a hill overlooking the Petronas tower from about 5 km away.

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Monday, July 14, 2003

I had lunch with Azlin in NUS Arts Canteen. As usual, I was having Japanese Salmon Teriyaki. I personally think that the Japanese Food Stall is the best in NUS! Azlin gave me a pack of Aroma Coffee that Henry brought from Bandung. This is a very unique coffee that is stored and aged for 8 years to eliminate the acidity and increase the robustness / body. Even now, Mr. Widya is still using firewood to roast the coffee for two hours to full perfection, without any additive or chemicals. We gave some sampler to our neighbours. Even Mike Willie who has espresso machine complimented this Coffee. I think Kopi Aroma is the best coffee in the world!

I also met with Prima after lunch and we ended up having some coffee with JW in Engineering Canteen.

Later in the evening, while Mas Indi was having dinner with Minister Jayakumar, Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the whole US-Asean guys in Shangri-La Hotel, I was struggling in CASA Lab in NUS trying to make ArcGIS Editing works without crashing. On the other corner Simon was playing WarCraft in his SGI Computer!

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Sunday, July 13, 2003

To answer Fay's question:

"And Rani, your sudden craving for nJ ice cream kebetulan ke or because you baru baca pasal BnJ on my website? Hehe. Hope to see you guys next week. :)"

No, Fay, I did not tell Mas Indi about my desire for Ice Cream. In fact, I was expecting Movenpick! Somehow miracle does happen. After we chatted about BnJ, Mas Indi later came home bringing a pint of Cherry Garcia without me asking for it. And by now one pint has already run thin.

This morning, while Mas Indi was doing putting and driving in Raffles Country Club with the big bosses, I was having breakfast with my former boss (my present foster dad), Mr. Jeremy Wagstaff in Borders Bistro Orchard Road. He was bragging about his new Palm Tungsten with bright screen nice resolution and all wi-fi capability (which he could not manage to make it work in Borders Bistro). I also introduce myself to Ms. Sari Sudarsono, a very kind petite young lady who works for LA Times Indonesia. I ended up buying books on learning chinese characters and chinese dictionary with hanyu pinyin.

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Yesterday night Mas Indi brought me one pint of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Cherry Garcia! He just knows what and when to give pleasant surprise for me. I think Ben and Jerry’s have a bolder taste, a funkier type of ice cream, whereas Movenpick ice cream (my favorite is Maple Walnut) has a smoother taste, a classier type.

Indonesia is mentioned in Ben and Jerry's website. Is this an example of fair trade? Do the vanilla farmers in Indonesia receive appropriate reward?

This morning I accompanied Mas Indi practicing golf in Temasek Club driving range. Too bad he just realized now how comfortable it is to practice near our house. Now it is too late because the driving range is going to be demolished pretty soon to build a new road connecting Queensway to AYE, right in front of our estate.

After breakfast we went to Shangri-La hotel and met up with Fanny Bahar and David Hutagalung.

Askar and I continued to walk to Plaza Singapore to get Pizza for brunch. I have been longing for pizza for quite a long time. The Pizza at Pasta Mania has great cheese and seafood topping but I don’t like the crust. I think the crust is too crispy like crackers. I don’t like Pizza Hut crust either, because it is too bread like. I prefer the pizza crust in Papa John’s, California Pizza Kitchen, or Domino’s which has rubbery crust and tasty.

We continued to walk to Sonata Dance Supplies where I inquired about the price of ballet equipment. I would need to spend at least $80 to buy those equipments. Then we went to Times bookshop where I bought “Stupid White Men” by Michael Moore and “Why Do People Hate America” by Sardar and Davies.

Then I went to Specialist Shopping Center to find out the cost for Adult Ballet class, which turned out to be cheaper then YMCA. I think I will enroll to this class in August. Having class once a week will be enough.

I went home after that and Askar followed to Hang Jebat to seek shelter from the rain. I ended up cooking chicken porridge for him.

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Friday, July 11, 2003

As mentioned right below, we want to accompany Karyn to fulfill her desire of Thai Food at Lotus Thai Restaurant which we consider the best Thai restaurant in Singapore. It is located in Tanjong Pagar Murray Terrace and has the authentic Thai taste and great spiciness. The Sea Food Tom Yam is to die for. We also recommend the Lemongrass Salad and Mango Salad. Chicken With Basil and Pad Thai are also our favorites. Don't forget to order Sweet Tapioca for dessert!

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Yesterday Uman showed me the website of his son, Aidan Prasojo, who was born June 10th, 2003.

The name Aidan originated from Celtic word which means the little fire that gives warmth to the family. Such a beautiful name! Indi and I will consider that name for our future son.

We have several other choices for names. For girls: Lalita (to be natural), Lani (Hawaiian - the sky or heaven), Aina (Hawaiian - the earth or motherland), Moana (Hawaiian). For boys: Kamma (as in Kamma Sutra), Neruda (from the Poet in the movie Il Postino), Keoni (Hawaiian), Vidhya (Indian of Widya). Any suggestion for other names, please do not hesitate to post us some advice by writing in our guestbook.

It is nice to know that we have such a great neighbour! I bumped into Karyn this morning (and Sacha the dog!) and she complimented my mutton tongseng curry! We will arrange a cookout sometime this week to cook mutton tongseng, spinach masala, and chapatti in my place. Karyn as a pregnant lady desires to go to Lotus Thai restaurant next week. I think Indi and I should take care of it.

I had lunch in NUS Engineering Canteen with Simon Zhuang, Freddy, and Antonio Ismael who happened to be in Singapore all the way from Bali. Too bad JW couldn't join us. We had a great discussion on Architecture for the Poor. We hope we all can develop some kind of cooperation in the future for the sake of Indonesian urban poors. Now, I am going to cook Spinach Masala with Brown Rice for dinner. Mas Indi is working overtime tonight for US-ASEAN Busines Council Board Meeting and I want to surprise him with masala.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Rani has been feeling very guilty for the past several days after watching Japan Hour on ChannelNews Asia: re: SUSHI. Last night in the quiet moment just before we fell asleep she suddenly woke up and said, "Doggone it! I should have dipped the fish topping first into the soy souce! Head first!". I was surprised by her attention to details especially in dealing with delicacies. PS: For those of you who'd seen her eat Sushi would know that she'll chow down on the fish first!

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Monday, July 07, 2003

We all received an email from Yodhi, marking the beginning of his adventure in the youngest country in the world, Timor Leste. Here's what he wrote:

Halo semua,
Saya sudah tiba di Dili, Timor Leste, jam 12 WIT dg selamat. Trus langsung kerja setengah hari. Sementara (2-3 hari) menginap di kamar no. XX di Hotel Turismo (hotel antik & "rustic" gaya Portugal) yg menghadap laut biru bersih di pantai pesisir utara dekat rumah Uskup Belo (Av dos Direitos Humanos, Lecidere, Dili).
Yg paling asik, sempat mampir Taman Makam Santa Cruz.
Hotel Turismo
Telpon: +670 390 323 180

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masindi tes..

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