27 November 2014

From Japan with Love




This is the story of my holiday traveling to Japan. It takes place somewhere on 2011. It is a bit too late to write it, but I write it anyway. I think the best way to keep the good memories is to write it, so the whole world know that I am happy. 

So let me express how I feel about visiting some of the corners in Japan.




MARROAD HOTEL. NARITA 

The hotel is chosen because it is near with the airport. It is located outside of the busy life in Japan.
Around the hotel, I can see many great trees.
What I like from the hotel is that they serve good breakfast with a lot of porks. Oh yeah! 




GINZA, TOKYO 

The place is just like New York. I can find many famous branded stores here.
The roads around the area are quiet, not so busy. And it has bicycle parking space. Great one! 




HACHIKO STATUE, SHIBUYA, TOKYO

Hachiko is the most faithful dog in the history of Japan. There is a movie about it and Richard Gere is acted as the owner of the dog.
The statue is created to honour the dog. The statue is situated in a public park. There is a train too in front of the statue that represents the transportation taken by the late owner of Hachiko.
This area is also used a meeting point.
One of the known transportation here is Shibuya Community Bus.
Not far from the statue, there is a large sport center or stadium.




SHINZUKU, TOKYO

I can find many malls and department stores here.
Some of the great transportation here is the underground trains that connect one area to another. Very affordable transportation in Japan.
In the area, I also experience their own red district where I can see night pubs, drinks, and erotic shows. Interesting ;-D




MOUNT FUJI

This is one of the famous tourist destinations in Japan. It is minus four degree Celsius when I come there, but the sun is kind enough to warm me.
The mountain is located around the jungle of trees. We need to drive on long roads to get there.
One of the stores there knows Indonesia very well. They can speak Indonesian language too. The owner of the store tells me that there are many Indonesian people visit the area. So glad to know it!




DISNEY SEA

This is the Kingdom of Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse! Yeay! I am so happy that I can see my favourite cartoon figures here!
Just like its name, this Disney is located in the middle of the sea. I do not know if the sea is man made or not, but it is beautiful! I can also see mountains and trains.
Some of the interesting adventures I visit are the Pirates of Caribbean, the Kingdom of Mermaids, the Journey at the Center of the Earth, and the Kingdom of Aladdin.
This place is so big that I get lost too many times! But I thank God that there are many people work in the Disney Sea that are willing to help me to find my way back to the tour bus ;-D




ODAIBA, TOKYO

This is the place where I can find Tokyo Tower. It looks like the miniature of Eiffel Tower in France. The tower is the brightest spot in the area.
Around the tower, there are real Japanese restaurants, Hanamasa and Yoshinoya. We have these two restaurants too in Jakarta, right?
Not far from the tower, I can see Decks, the restaurant that uses boats over the river as their eating place. Very nice!




ASAKUSA TEMPLE

The temple is located near a quiet road. The temple is big and red! Wow!
Inside the temple's complex, I can see some drinking fountains and future reading spot. The future reading spot is a place where I can take a paper randomly from a cupboard and read what my future will be written in the paper. And what I get is interesting ;-)
Near the temple, there are street market, housing complex and apartments. And surprisingly, the area is so clean! 




GOTEMBA PREMIUM SHOPPING OUTLET

Alright, this place is a heaven for the shoppers! This is the place where shoppers can buy branded stuffs with cheaper price. The place is huge! It is like a shopping town.
This place is also known as a place for the Japanese people to meet up, hang out and take their dogs out too.
As the place is so huge, I get lost here too. Oh well! But there is one security officer who helps me to find my tour bus by walking with me all the way from one point to the other point. Thank you, Sir! 

JAPAN - MY OVERALL OPINION

After I visit Japan, i guess I am falling in love with Japan.
Japan is a very clean country. Anywhere in the country, I do not see junks. The public toilets are also clean! The toilets can sing, dry and spray you as well. Oh so fun of them ;-))
The Japanese people are very discipline, polite and honest. They are always on time and always want to take what they deserve only, not more than that. If I buy some stuffs, they will give the change no matter how many cents it is. If I ask them to keep the change, they will refuse it. Such a great attitude! And do not forget the way they bow to each other. The greatness of their tradition!
The Japanese people love dogs. You can find many cute dogs walking around the streets with their owners. So cute!
The Japanese people are also healthy, because some of them choose to use bicycle as their transportation. And that is the reason why I can see many bike lanes and bicycle parking spaces.
I am also excited to see a lot of vending machines there. You can buy anything, including Kimono - their traditional costumes, from the vending machine. Well, Japan knows very well about the efficiency of shopping ;-D
And, Japan is one of the best place to eat porks. The Japanese people can cook porks very well that they taste so delicious! I guess this is what I call heaven ;-D 

Dear Japan and the Japanese people, I am so in love with you. I hope I can come back soon. See you soon! 

Enjoy your holiday, everybody! 

17 November 2014

Wagyu Dinner at Joe's Grill



Joe's Grill
Swiss-Belhotel
Jl. Kartini Raya No. 57
Mangga Besar
Jakarta 
Indonesia

Going to Swiss-BellHotel where Joe's Grill is located is very interesting. It is located in Mangga Besar, a part of China Town in the city. The presence of the hotel gives a different touch to the area. The taste of corporate style colors the area that has been known as a place for middle level business. Stunning and elegant! That is how I feel about the hotel.

Now, let me talk about Joe's Grill.

Joe's Grill is located at the right side of the lobby in the hotel. I can feel a modern atmosphere as I enter the restaurant. The bar is located at the left side from the front door. The restaurant also has the outdoor part that is perfect for the polite smoking people ;-)

Let me talk about the dinner. 

The Wagyu Dinner is opened with a fresh Thai Lychee Tea. A great ice breaker for the night as I start the conversation with the other guests. 

The option for salad is the Swiss Grill Style Caesar Salad or House Chef's Salad. I choose the first one. I enjoy the combination of its vegetables, beef bacon, fried chicken and parmesan cheese.

The option for the main course is Wagyu Tenderloin, Wagyu Rib-Eye Steak or Wagyu Sirloin Steak. Mine is Wagyu Tenderloin as it has less fat. Oh well, I am just trying to be healthy ;-D
The selection of the sauce is barbecue, mushroom or black pepper. My usual habit is to choose the mushroom one. But hey, do you know what? This time, I ask the waiter to serve me all of them. There is nothing wrong about exploring the taste, right?

Here comes the story of my exploration with the main course.

My Wagyu Tenderloin comes in medium rare with some vegetables, some drops of beetroot soup and all the three sauces. It is also accompanied by Casa Vella Cabernet Sauvignon 2007.
The tenderloin is cooked in a perfect way of medium rare. It is soft and not over-cooked that is easy for me to cut and chew. It still has its cheerful red color inside that looks so fresh. Perfect! Thank you, Chef! 
The taste of the tenderloin is strong with black pepper sauce, while it tastes a bit flat with mushroom sauce. With the barbecue sauce, the taste of the tenderloin comes between the first and the second sauce. Great!
When I combine the tenderloin with smashed potato, the ones with the barbecue sauce is so much better.
When I combine the tenderloin with smashed potato and red wine, the ones with the mushroom sauce is the better one.
Then I decided that my favorite sauce from the three choices is the barbecue sauce. It tastes so fresh, light, not too plain, not too strong and gives a happy feeling on my mouth.
Do you remember when I say that I usually choose mushroom sauce? Well, it is amazing that one fine dinner can change the way I choose the sauce :-)
While enjoying the tenderloin, I dip the vegetables in the drops of beetroot soup. The beetroot soup enhances the taste of the vegetables. Dang! Such a perfect combination! 
A note for myself is that maybe next time I need to alternate the mashed potato with the french fries one ;-) 

As for the red wine, the aroma of Casa Vella is like a collection of many flowers mixed inside the glass, while it brings a firm taste in my tongue. I feel like sitting in a colorful garden while drinking it ;-) 

For the dessert, there are Homemade Cheese Cake and Degustation Ice Cream Truffle. I share both of them with a friend of mine, so we still can fill our already full belly with another food. The goodness about sharing ;-D
The Cheese Cake is quite nice, as it does not taste too creamy or too fatty. On the side of it, there are small bites of brownies cakes. 
The Ice Cream Truffle is the best one! The ice cream comes with flavours of Vanilla, Strawberry, and Matcha Green Tea. There are also some bites of small fruits, brownies cakes and macaroon on the side of it. I am falling in love with the Matcha Green Tea one, as it feels so smooth in my mouth. Usually, other restaurants provide the bitter Matcha Green Tea ice cream, while Joe's Grill has the lighter version of it. Nice!

Some other small details that I like about having this dinner is the crumbs of peanuts that come with the french bread and the crumbs of cookies that come with the ice cream. Small details that makes a difference. Special! 

The dinner is closed with a great networking, a nice reunion of those who ever lived and worked in Bali, and a great happiness in the belly. A perfect combination of dinner and friendship. 

Good night. Sweet dream. 





13 November 2014

A Great Representative of Catholic


One day, I read an article from: http://megapolitan.kompas.com/read/2014/10/28/14481401/Sebelum.Sidang.Hafitd.dan.Assyifa.Mendapatkan.Roti.dari.Ibu.Ade.Sara 

It is written in Indonesian language. Let me give you the translation of the article roughly from my understanding.

The situation is taken from a court. The case from the trial is the murder of a girl named Ade Sara Angelina Suroto. The murderers are her ex boyfriend, Ahmad Imam Al Hafitd, and his new girlfriend, Assyifa Ramadhani.

Recently, while waiting for the trial, the mother of the late Ade Sara, Elisabeth Diana, gave breads and drinking waters to the murderers through another person.

From the previous news, the parents of the late Ade Sara have forgiven the murderers, but still want the law to be applied on them.

The late Ade Sara comes from a devoted Catholic family. She was the only child in the family.

After reading the article, I am amazed of what Elisabeth has done. Such a compassion she shows the world. Not just forgiving the murderers, but she also gave food and drinks to them.

Elisabeth shows that no cruelty in the world can take off the loving kindness in her, even if the cruelty killed her only daughter. I can see Jesus in her. I guess Catholic does not need 1,000 influencers to tell the world about its loving kindness. Catholic only needs one person like Elisabeth to open the eyes of the world abouf the honest value of compassion in Catholic. Elisabeth is truly a great representative of Catholic. May Jesus bless Elisabeth! Amen. 

Dear Elisabeth, thank you for showing your true compassion to the world and sharing it with the bad people who killed your only daughter. A great lesson for me as a new member of the Catholic world and the rest of the Catholic people. Because of you, I am so proud of my new religion. I am proud to become a Catholic.

I am a proud Catholic.

May Jesus bless us! Amen.



(Note: Picture is taken from Tribun News) 

07 November 2014

Food Tasting at 3 Wise Monkeys



3 Wise Monkeys
Jl. Suryo No. 26
Kebayoran
South Jakarta
Indonesia

3 Wise Monkeys is a brand new Japanese restaurant in Jakarta.

One day, I am invited to attend its food tasting. Sounds great! 

The 3WM restaurant is located at one of the busiest roads in Jakarta where you can also find many other restaurants to visit to. So, it is a tough business, and the owners of 3WM are brave enough to be very confident in building this kind of business.

As I enter the 3WM building, I feel that it is built in a modern atmosphere. No, you will not find a full Japanese taste here. I can sense that 3WM wants to answer the need of people in Jakarta who want to eat and drink in a Japanese restaurant without leaving that metropolitan taste. So yes, you can hang out with your friends or date your lover here. 

Let me talk about its food now. At the food tasting, the 3WM presents its Kaiseki set. The kinds of food in the set are:

- Zensai (appetizer)
- Mukozuke (seasonal sashimi) 
- Chawan Mushi
- Agemono (fried dish) 
- Nimono (steam tofu)
- Yakimono (grilled seasonal meat)
- Tome-wan
- Mizumono (dessert)

All the food are delicious! My tongue says that the food have been adjusted into the Indonesian taste. This is good for Indonesian customers.

But hey, let me talk about the food that capture my heart. I really love Yakimono. The meat taste so yummy. The slices of meat come with its sauce, but I prefer to eat them alone without the sauce. The meat itself has tasted so deicious, and adding the sauce will kill its taste. Just my two cents.
Its Chawan Mushi is rich with surprise contents inside it. It is not just an ordinary Chawan Mushi. It is perfect for people who want to eat something above the snack.

My special appreciation goes to its Garlic Rice. The garlic, the salt, the rice and other ingridients have made it perfect! So delicious! My Indonesian tongue can not lie about it. No, it is not in the list of Kaiseki set. The Garlic Rice is presented as a bonus food, but turns out to be my favourite one. Surprise! From here, I can learn that we can plan anything in life, but sometimes unplanned stuffs can be extraordinary too. Life is full with surprises.

You can see the picture of my favorite food from 3WM, Yakimono and Garlic Rice, on the top of this article.

Now, let me talk about the drinks here in 3WM. You can forget about Ocha or Green Tea or any other tea. 3WM has great selections of drinks and cocktails. One of them is the Sangria. Fresh, sweet, sour and bitter are inside the Sangria. I can imagine that I am sitting in a beautiful beach looking at the blue sea while drinking it. Oh well, the Sangria successfully brings the beach imagination into my mind ;-D

Overall, 3WM is a good place for eating, drinking and hanging out. You can feel the sense of Japan through the food in 3WM, while grounding your feet in Jakarta - the metropolitan city - through the collections of cocktails in 3WM.

Enjoy your celebration of life!




06 November 2014

Find Alumni from Line - the digital reunion


Line - the free messaging, voice and video call platform from Korea, just launched "Find Alumni" feature at its application. It is said that the feature can turn the reunion from traditional way to digital way.

I have that Line app in my iPhone. So let me try to use this feature. 

From my Line app, I just click the "more" button and click "Find Alumni". In the feature, I need to choose Primary School, Middle School, High School or University. So I click University. After finding the name of my university and adding the year of my study, I just click "Add My School". 

Well, I find my university! But the number of people in that category is still six people including me ;-))
Okay, I hope the number will be increased soon.

Line has listed all the schools and universities registered at the Department of Education and Culture. The app also opens the chance for people to add their school if they are not listed yet. 

I am just wondering why there is no specific category by year and faculty at the university field. This could be a good homework for Line.

And I am also wondering how Line can position itself face to face with Facebook that never say it is a reunion app, but it reunites people in reality from the bigger classification, not just school, but also family, business, and many more.

Overall, the Find Alumni feature is quite easy for the users. 
The schools and universities can find it very useful for their database. Instead of making a new column for alumni at their website, they can just link the feature at their website. Simple, easy, fun and free.

On the other side, from all Line features, the one I love the most is Line Camera. You can find my short review about it here: http://astridamalia.blogspot.com/2014/07/photo-applications-on-my-iphone.html

I also like pick, the app from Naver Corporation - a part of the companies that create Line, for sharing fun pictures.

Anyway, enjoy your digital reunion! 

25 October 2014

An Evening with the Joy of White


An outdoor lounge.

Quite a hot temperature night.

Some wines.

Some good old and new friends.

What is the best about them? A great time!

 

I am invited to An Evening with Penfolds Wine event at the Jimbaran Outdoor Lounge of Intercontinental Hotel in Jakarta. I am so glad to receive the invitation as Penfolds is one of the first high end wine that I know when I try to learn about wine sometimes ago. The Australian made Penfolds never fail my taste. At the right time and at the right condition, Penfolds has won a part of my thirst.

 

In this event, they serve Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay, Penfolds Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling, Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet and Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet.  

 

When I smell the Penfolds Koonunga Hill Chardonnay, the white wine is like a lime. Somehow I wonder if the white wine is mixed with a lime juice. The color of the wine is so clear. So clear that I want to jump into the glass and swim there. When I drink it, the white wine tastes so fresh, not too sweet and not too sour. So easy to drink it, just a perfect taste for the night. As it is served chilled, it is like showering my dry throat.

 

As I try the Penfolds Koonunga Hill Autumn Riesling, all of the smell, the taste and the appearance are even better than the Chardonnay one. The Riesling is great! It is fresh like a lime (again) and is a bit sweet, between fruity and flowery. This is my favorite one! It is served chilled, so it is another refreshment to my throat at that hot night.

 

I try to pair both of the white wines with chicken and fish. I find that the chicken is a great companion for the white wines. Chewing the chicken with a sip of the white wines, I can feel that the taste of the chicken is upgraded to a new level. How can the white wines do all this magic? I can only look at the wine glass and smile.

 

On the other side, the red wines that night could not cooperate with the heat around my body. The Penfolds Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet and the Penfolds Koonunga Hill Seventy Six Shiraz Cabernet taste so bold in my mouth, which is quite good, but I feel that they are too hot for the hot temperature night. Maybe because the red wines are not served chilled. From this, I can learn that eventhough red wine should be served at room temperature, but maybe I can chill it first if I want to drink it in a dry season. Sometimes, breaking the rules can give more joy, right?

 

At the event, I meet old friends and new friends. We come from different backgrounds, but we agree about one thing that the white wines are the winners at the event. It is a surprise for me, as I always take myself as an ordinary new person in the wine tasting. I do not know much about wine and how to taste it in a correct way. To know that my opinion about the wine is accepted by some wine experts in the event is totally an achievement for me. This encourages me to learn more about the beauty of wine.  

 

I also learn that, for myself, wine is good to be consumed when I eat some food. As soon as I finish eating my food, I do not find the joy to drink the wine alone. Could this be a sign that wine is the spices for the food I eat? Well, maybe yes.

 

I am happy to know that I learn about so many things from the great people I meet and from the joy of white I taste. Such a great night!




 

23 October 2014

Welcoming Our Beloved President Joko Widodo & Vice President Jusuf Kalla

20 October 2014.

The day when the Indonesian people celebrate the victory of democracy. The time when the new faces of democracy starts their works on our beloved country.

Congratulation, Joko Widodo and Jusuf Kalla. Good luck on your new journeys!

Congratulation, Indonesia!











20 October 2014

The New Faces of Democracy in Indonesia



Congratulations to the new President of Indonesia Joko Widodo and the new Vice President of Indonesia Jusuf Kalla! May God always bless you from today and forever. You are the new hope for a better Indonesia. Amen!


And I guess, this is the first time in the Indonesian history tthat Indonesian people are really happy to celebrate the new leaders of democracy in Indonesia! 


On the other side, Jokowi, Ahok, and Risma are some of the new reasons for me to love Indonesia more. They are really sincere hard workers who share their true loves to Indonesia by working hard to make sure that humanity, prosperity and equality are restored. Just like what Ahok said, one of the simple ways to love Indonesia and to fight for Indonesia is not to conduct corruption.


By the way, congratulation to the new Governor of Jakarta Basuki Tjahaya Purnama aka Ahok! You are the new hope for a better Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. We also hope that someday you become the next Indonesian president. Amen! 


Whoever you are and whatever you do, let's love and support these new democracy faces in Indonesia. They need our trusts, supports, loves and also our contributions to make a better Indonesia! 


Once again, congratulation, Indonesia! God truly bless our beloved Indonesia! 


Namaste.




(Photo: Courtesy of Google.com) 

25 September 2014

Pinterest and Instagram for My Yoga

Sharing photographs or pictures is fun. I have been using the picture sharing media, like Instagram, Flickr & Tumblr, for quite sometimes. And I enjoy it! 

Recently, I thought about separating my yoga pictures into two categories, the yoga pictures from my private yoga class and the yoga pictures from my self yoga practice.

When I read many references from the social media and technology experts, their references go to Instagram and Pinterest.
Well, I have both Instagram and Pinterest, but I only use Instagram in regular basis, while I abandoned my Pinterest account.

So, I re-activated my Pinterest account and tried to dig what it can do more. Besides making pin from the pictures we want to share, Pinterest can share the link of the pin, and can share the pin to Twitter and Instagram.

Sadly, Pinterest can not edit the pictures. So, I still need to edit the pictures from the Line Camera tool and Photo application from my iPhone. Pinterest is not as simple as Instagram. But hey, let me give Pinterest a try! 

I decide to use Pinterest as the place for the pictures taken from my private yoga class, and to use Instagram as the place for the pictures taken from my self yoga practice. So Pinterest is for my yoga business, while Instagram is for the fun in my self yoga practice.

I do not know if this will work well or not, but I will give this idea a try! 

The link to my Pinterest is: http://www.pinterest.com/astridamalia/

The link to my Instagram is: http://instagram.com/astridamalia

For the explanation about what Instagram and other photo applications can do, you can go to my previous article at: http://astridamalia.blogspot.com/2014/07/photo-applications-on-my-iphone.html


Namaste. 

22 September 2014

Jenis dari Yoga dan Terapiku

Jika Anda bertanya padaku apa jenis yoga yang aku ajarkan, aku pasti akan bingung untuk menjawabnya. Hal ini karena aku mendapatkan begitu banyak pengaruh dari semua guru yogaku yang aku temui selama latihan pribadiku, dan mereka mengajarkan gaya Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara, Jivamukti, Forrest Yoga, Acro Yoga, Purna Yoga dan banyak lagi. Beberapa dari mereka mengajar Yoga dengan Pilates, Yoga dengan alat seperti tempat tidur gantung, Yoga dengan TRX, dan banyak lagi. Dan aku sendiri lulus dari aliran Yoga Energetics.
 
Setelah 2 tahun mengajar yoga dan memberikan terapi, aku menyadari bahwa tidak penting bagiku untuk menentukan apa jenis yoga yang aku ajarkan. Yang paling penting bagiku adalah untuk menentukan apa jenis Kelas Yoga yang aku ajarkan di Studio Yoga dan apa jenis klien dari Latihan Yoga dan Terapi CranioSacral yang aku tangani dalam sesi pribadiku.
 
Secara singkat, tipe Kelas Yoga yang aku ajarkan di Studio Yoga adalah:
 
• Yoga untuk Semua Tingkatan (Pemula, Mahir, Harian)
• Yoga Prenatal
• Yoga Postnatal
• Yoga untuk kondisi khusus: modifikasi bagi mereka yang sedang menstruasi, memiliki cedera dan gerakan terbatas
 
Jenis Klien Yoga yang aku tangani dalam Sesi Yoga Pribadiku adalah:
 
• Setelah kecelakaan (bahu patah, patah tulang belakang)
• Kanker (payudara, paru-paru)
• Scoliosis
• Asma
• Masalah tekanan darah
• Vertigo
• Obesitas
• Wanita hamil
• Kondisi setelah kelahiran
• Usia lanjut 
• Masalah keseimbangan
• Kesuburan
• Kondisi setelah operasi
 
Dan jenis Klien Terapi CranioSacral Terapi yang aku tangani secara pribadi adalah:
 
• Masalah telinga
• Stres
• Trauma
• Gangguan tidur
• Sumbatan dalam tubuh
• Masalah pada chakra
 
Tidak ada batasan untuk semua yang aku sebut di atas, dan selalu ada kemungkinan bagiku untuk menambahkan beberapa jenis kelas yoga baru, yoga klien baru dan klien terapi baru dalam bisnis yogaku. Aku percaya bahwa aku tumbuh setiap hari, dan aku selalu percaya pada kemungkinan baru yang datang didalam hidupku. Dunia ini cukup besar bagi petualanganku dan aku sangat siap untuk melakukan apa yang dunia berikan padaku kapan saja selama aku masih hidup.
 
Jadi jika Anda membutuhkan bantuanku untuk membantu Anda dengan masalah seperti yang aku sebutkan di atas, atau jika Anda ingin memberikan aku kesempatan untuk belajar tentang sesuatu yang baru dan mendapatkan pengalaman baru dari masalah Anda yang belum aku sebut di atas, tentu saja semuanya berdasarkan dari pengetahuan yoga dan terapi yang aku miliki, jangan ragu untuk menghubungi aku di:
 
• Email: astrid_amalia@yahoo.com
• Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/YogaWithAstrid
• Twitter: www.twitter.com/AstridYogini
 
Namaste.