Changing..

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Have you ever feel that you’re no longer fit into a group or some friends or even a close friend?

It’s not about them. Nothing wrong with them. Nothing wrong with you either. You just…. grew up and see things differently that you used to be. Or sometimes, to be a better person, you feel the need to cut out some of them from your life.

You’re changing. I’m changing.

Erwin.

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Breathtaking Addictive Laid-back Indescribable – part 1

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A brand new backpack and one messed up soul, are just the two things I need to go back to this island.

So there I was around 5 AM in the morning in front of the security check in Terminal 3, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, trying to catch the earliest flight to Bali. I was super sleepy ’cause I couldn’t sleep the night before. You know that feeling when you get super excited about something, you can’t sleep just because you’re keep thinking about it? Happens to me all the time the day before I go traveling. >.< This trip didn’t make any difference. Only slept for less than two hours. :)

Well, this trip was actually a self-buying-gift I took after done organizing our annual event from my company. Like, a getaway trip after all the hard work that you’ve put into it. You need it from time to time, right? RIGHT? :D Long story short, I finally landed in Ngurah Rai International Airport, which has been developed for quite some time now. The airport was looking much and much better now! If you’ve ever been to Bali before few years ago, you’ll remember how small and crazy the airport was. Now, it’s huge and very Singapore-HongKong like. Well, it’s not finished yet, so you might still find some construction here and there, but you can see it’s going to be a well respected international airport later. Hooray for Bali government!

Oh! It was a solo trip (again) this time! Okay, now you’re probably wondering what that hell were you thinking going to Bali alone. Well, I like to travel alone. It’s not that I don’t like companions, but being alone makes it easier for me to arrange everything and it gives me chances to meet with new people. Which is super fun. Not to mention, this is Bali and well.. you know how crazy this island can be at night. *smirky face*

Upon arriving, I immediately call the car rental company I’ve booked before to get the car. This company only rent out A/T car. This suited me perfectly since I always prefer to drive in Bali rather than hire a personal driver. Bali Matic Car Rental (+62 8988 995757), got this company from my friend’s suggestion, you can call them if you need a car and want to drive when you’re in Bali. And soo.. off I go! First stop, Ubud!

Why Ubud? Oh I was looking for a quiet time and place for two days. People said that Ubud is quiet and more laid-back than others, so I decided to try it. In so many trips I’ve been going to Bali, I’ve never once visited Ubud. :p.. and after one hour driving through the newly build toll-road, I finally there. I’ve put my foot in Ubud!! *literally standing in the road trying to bend my leg for driving too long* .. I went to my hotel first but couldn’t go to the room ’cause it’s not yet ready. I was two and a half hour too soon than the check-in time. Hahahaha.. So I left my backpack in the reception and went with my camera bag only, then go to the center area in Ubud. It’s like the main road with the restaurants and shops. Most of better hotels are resided outside that area. You know, it’s more crowded and noisy actually when you get into central area. It’s actually more crowded than I imagined before. Since it’s more like a village kind of town in Ubud, I thought it will be less people there and more peaceful surroundings around. Man, I was wrong. It’s quite lively! So if you’re looking for a quite and peaceful environment, choose hotels that are not near the central area. They usually have shuttle bus to visit the central area and they can pick you up again. So if you stay outside and quite far from the central, it won’t be a problem to visit it if you’re looking for more variety of food or want to shop a bit.

I then went to this restaurant called Kebun Bistro, located in Jl. Hanoman. I’ve heard about it before from my friends and was hooked with the interior (totally forgot to ask about the food). I was so hungry since I haven’t eat anything from morning and it was around 12 PM already. The place was strangely empty.. I was a bit skeptical at first because there’s nobody there! I always think, that to measure how good a restaurant is, is to see if it’s always packed of people or not. Hahaha.. Yet, I kept going and ask for a table. Well, the interior definitely didn’t fail me! It’s awesome! Like a garden in a country inn at some small village in Europe.  So rustic and different. Well the name say it itself with Kebun means Garden in english. It was actually a french cuisine restaurant, but since I was about to collapse ’cause of hunger, I didn’t read all the menu and went straight to LUNCH SPECIALS! I saw Pork Chop. Ha! Perfect. Haha.. and I added it with a glass of very cold water. FYI, it’s freakin hell out there. Seriously hot! Was sweating like a waterfall. .. The service was quite nice and fast (since no other customer ya.. :)) The food was really good! People said they have a good breakfast, but I’ll try that next time ya.. I was imagining how it feels like to eat there in the morning and afternoon with not so hot weather.. must be nice. Oh well.. off we go to find some desert and shopping!

Outside looks from inside area

Outside looks from inside area

Love this spot somehow :D

Love this spot somehow :D

Open kitchen

Open kitchen

Pork Chop!

Pork Chop!

Outside looks

Outside looks

Nice eh?

Nice eh?

I was told by my friend who live in Bali that there is this one small shop that sell a really good T-shirt, called Tn. Parrot. So I went to search for it with some help from the one and only… Google Map! Literally saved my ass lots of time when I travel. Kudos to whoever invented it. Only need 10 minutes to find the shop. The location was quite near but since the road is quite small and busy, it takes time to drive. If you’re comfortable for a little walking, then I suggest you do it. Just beware of the super hot guy above you that keep pouring down super hot wind. The shop was really small with a small sign attached. The location is in Jl. Dewi Sita, just opposite of the famous Tutmak. They sell T-shirts with a good fabric and unique design. I ended up buying two pcs. :D Done looking for T-shirt, I walked around that area to do some window shopping. Ubud is quite famous for it’s local product in craft, home decor and furniture products. There are lots of shop that sell those kind of products. I somehow found my way to this one local shop, named Eclectik. They sell some kind of recycled woods that have been made into a craft that you can hang in your wall, such as clocks, quotes, etc. The price range from IDR 100,000. It was cool! Totally love it. I was thinking to buy some but since they can’t ship it to Jakarta, I ended up only bought one piece of craft since I was backpacking this time. Definitely will go back and prepare a space in my luggage next time.

from outside

from outside

inside look

inside look

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I BOUGHT THIS! :)))

I BOUGHT THIS! :)))

Enough shopping. I have this way-too-big-interest with craft and home decor, walking around too much in Ubud wouldn’t be good for my bank account.

Time for dessert! Oh hey, I thought a gelato would save the day.. well.. save me from the weather. I walked around a bit and found this greeny looking cafe not far from Tn. Parrot, Juice-Ja Cafe. As you can guess, they sell super fresh juice and (luckily) gelato! The juice was fresh and superb! I forgot what I ordered, but it was one of their signature juice. Just ask the waiter when you’re there. Also, one cup of Strawberry Gelato. Gosh, it’s like heavenly grateful with such a crazy hot weather outside!

THANK GOD FOR THIS!

THANK GOD FOR THIS!

without ice and a bit sour, so it's actually light up your face a bit. hahaha..

without ice and a bit sour, so it’s actually light up your face a bit. hahaha..

inside look..

inside look..

from outside..

from outside..

Tummy was full, money has gone (for a better life), drenched in sweat…. the only thing came up in my mind was SWIMMING POOL!! I visualized myself swimming in a very cold water in the middle of this hot hot hot weather.. Gosh. *drooling* .. I checked the time, it was almost 2 PM anyway, so I decided to go back to the hotel. As promised, my room was ready when I arrived back in the hotel. Oh, I was staying in Sapu Lidi Spa & Resort Ubud. I first looked it up using Booking.com. They have a special deal for this hotel and after weeks of deliberating, I finally chose this one over a dozen other hotels. Let me tell you why… First, it’s not really close to the center. So you can tell it’s quite peaceful in the resort. Second, the room was facing the rice fields. Literally has a private terrace to the rice fields. Totally what I was looking for!! And so after waiting around 10 minutes (this is quite annoying if you’re a punctual kind of guy), the staff that would take me to the room finally showed up. As usual, he’s quite friendly and welcome just like a typical Balinese way of welcoming you to their hotels. And then we went inside and greeted by this pathway and bridge that looks a bit dramatic, which is nice!

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The room is quite far from the lobby. Tho, the area that we have to pass through to reach the room was quite awesome. They have this super big pond in the middle and also a lounge next to it. You can read or hang out in there, or just feed the fish. They provide the fish food for free. Grab some and throw away!

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and finally we arrive in my room. Room 101. It has it’s own entrance path since it’s a villa type of room. And when I saw the inside, I was quite amazed! It’s much much better than I expected. The interior was quite traditional style, Bali style, and the size of the room was huge! My eyes was looking straight to the terrace. AWESOMENESS OVERLOAD. I mean, for the price that they gave me, it was really worth it! They have two small chairs and one coffee table outside. My mind was full of “having coffee in the super early morning while sitting there looking at the rice fields with some chill music on..” UH-AW-E-SOME!! Hahahaha.. mind me. :D And then the staff showed me the bathroom.. again, in awe. HUGE-semi-outdoor-bathroom. That’s it. This is perfect. Well, spending it with someone special might be more perfect hahaha but this was good enough for me…. for now. ;))

the room!

the room!

photo 1

from terrace looking inside

from terrace looking inside

shower

shower

bath-tub

bath-tub

360 view from the terrace

360 view from the terrace

the duck family!

the duck family!

view from the terrace

view from the terrace

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my villa from outside

my villa from outside

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with timer hahahhaa

with timer hahahhaa

What a breath taking view huh? Well, not my picture of course! That’s a breath killing view. Hahaha. Anywayy… after settling down a bit, I went to the swimming pool ready with my swimming stuff (ok I’m too lazy to mention them and I don’t think you guys wanna know as well :p). Andddd… the pool was dirty.  :( meh. I guess because it’s in the middle of the rice fields and hills. If you see the picture of me, the pool was right behind me in the area with some bungalow next to it. I was so sad, I went back to my room. There goes my cold water…. just then I saw the shower. HAA! Next thing I know, I was standing showered with cold water. SO DAMN GOOD! Hehe..

Aside of everything that has been above my expectations, there were always something that bothered me. Since it’s next to the rice fields, you might find ants in the terrace and a few might go into your room. If you hate ants, well… maybe it’s not the best place for you. I was ok with that tho, but still it would be better if they can do something about it? Other than that, I was super satisfied with everything. The breakfast was also good.

After taking a rest for few hours, I went out again to have dinner. I’ve been craving to eat in Bebek Tepi Sawah Restaurant for months! So I went there straight. It was the original first outlet of their branches.. In english it means “Duck By The Rice Fields”. It was a really nice restaurant with tables scattered in some bungalows and main area. All of them located next to the rice fields. I chose to sit in lesehan way, it means you sit in the floor with just one pillow as cover with table in front you, instead of a chair. My table was facing to the rice fields. I ordered Grilled Duck as it’s one of their specialities other then Crispy Duck. They serve it usually with rice and some vegetables, plus 3 kind of sambals (spicy sauce and chili). The best is Sambal Matah. It’s a traditional sambal from Bali. The other two was sambal merah (red chili mix) and sambal kecap (sweet soy sauce mix). Oh, I also ordered some fried tofu as side dish. It was awesomeeee….. My cravings has been satisfied! If only there weren’t groups of asian tourist that so so so noisy behind me, my dinner would be perfect. -_____-’

Entrance door

Entrance door

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The rice fields in the restaurant

The rice fields in the restaurant

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another view of the rice fields

another view of the rice fields

Grilled Duck! Uyea!

Grilled Duck! Uyea!

The sambals! Woohhoo!

The sambals! Woohhoo!

Done with main course, I rushed to find some dessert before going back to hotel. I was a bit tired that day, so was not looking for a really crowd and noisy place.. I ended up in Tutmak. The restaurant just opposite of the T-shirt store. I ordered simple apple crumble pie and one beer. Can not not drink a beer in Bali, somehow. Hahaha.. Is it just me? ;) .. Quite a nice place, anyway. Big table, friendly waiters, and good food!

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After that, went back to hotel for a good night sleep. Need to wake up early since I was planning to check out a bit early. Yes, I stayed there only for one night. Got stuff to do in Kuta (other part of Bali and more crowded and more noisy for sure haha) and I did plan to stay in Kuta for the rest of my trips. One night in Ubud was just to fulfill my curiosity and just to look for one ‘me time’ in a peaceful area. After all, I’m more a beach person, rather than hills and mountains.

Overall, my trip to Ubud was great. A bit more noisy than I expected but thankfully the hotel was not close with the central area, so I could still get those quite moments I was looking for. Great food! Great stores! Great hotels! Blessed. :)

Back in the car, prepared to drive to Kuta! Let’s continue this in part 2 since it’s a super long post already. Hahaha.. Stay with me! Don’t go anywhere! :D

Otw to Ubud..

Otw to Ubud..

Otw to Ubud..

Otw to Ubud..

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Morning view..

Morning view..

I did have coffee in the morning while sitting in the terrace!! :))

I did have coffee in the morning while sitting in the terrace!! :))

Breakfast with a view, accompanied by the bright sun..

Breakfast with a view, accompanied by the bright sun..

Drops in the morning..

Drops in the morning..

TO BE CONTINUED TO PART 2..

 

Cheers,

Erwin

True love… well, it will always find it’s way.

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Somehow, it will.

My mind was just blown away watching the final episode of How I Met Your Mother. The very last piece of the whole thing. After all those episodes and we came down to this final episode in Season 9. Can you imagine it? 9 seasons! They need 9 seasons to tell us that somehow… true love will survive.

You know, the main character, Ted Mosby? He had to go through all kind of love stories. The weird one, the freak one, the sad one, the happy-go-lucky-but-not-worked-one, and of course the happy one. All that… to come to the moment when he finally got to have his true love, the happiest love story he ever had. It came true.

And here I was thinking that maybe.. just maybe, it will never happen. There is a saying that sometimes we can’t have our true love with us but we need to keep moving forward and live with it. Well, HIMYM just broke that saying. I guess that is what the producer wanted us to believe all these times, that Ted is also thinking like that even until the very last moment. And here in the very last minute of the final episode, I was convinced that somehow it will find it’s way. No matter how long it would take. No matter how hard it would be.

And this is one of my fav quotes from the final episode. I want to believe that this dialogue has something to do, even if it’s just a little, with the ending of this show.

- The Mother, HIMYM

– The Mother, HIMYM

For those who already find one, congratulation. For those who haven’t, keep that hope high up, ’cause I will. :)

 

Cheers,

Erwin.

Change and New Beginning.

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I once saw this quote saying, “Don’t be afraid of change, cause it is leading you to a new beginning.” I was stunned for a moment.

That time, I was having this big dilemma about my future. One that includes my source of money. I was scared and confused as hell! It’s such a big deal for me and I just don’t want to mess it up, ya know?

Long story short, there were two options for me. One that includes good money with no future and boring life, or one that includes happy life and a bit brighter future with.. well not so sure about the money thingy. Then I stumbled to that particular phrase, and I just thought that maybe.. just maybe, a new beginning is not that bad after all. I mean, you’ve been stuck for years in this place and you know that you’re kinda wasting your time in some way but you ignore it just because you feel WAY TOO COMFORTABLE with it. Don’t you feel like it’s the time? Don’t you feel like maybe being comfortable is not that fun anymore? Don’t you just wanna go and challenge the world?

‘Cause I do. I decided to choose the later. Money? Money will come. I do believe when you’re really good at what you do and when you do it with your heart, people notice and will appreciate you more than you can ever imagine. And for me.. to do that, to gain that, I need a change. I need a new beginning.

So, here I am.. Ready for a change. Don’t get me wrong, the horror doesn’t disappear just because you’ve decided. The horror is just about to surf into another new level. All of “what if” questions will appear and haunt you every single day. But hey.. people say that life is all about taking risks. You will never know if you never try. Gamble? Yeah, it is. You either win big or lose big. The way I see it, when you lose, you just get another change to restart. You get to find another new beginning. And most importantly, when you win, you actually win more than just a new beginning. You get to conquer your fear, you get to be brave for once (hopefully for the rest of your life), you get to enjoy your life in a new exciting way.

I have not yet won. I will win. One way or another. I will get my new beginning. I will grow (again). I will discover new things. And maybe.. maybe I will find the answer I’ve been looking for.

Don’t be afraid of change.

Erwin.

Video

Alicia Keys’ If I Ain’t Got You cover by Sara Niemietz and W.G. Snuffy Walden

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Found her youtube channel around late 2011 or early 2012 and has been a fan of her ever since. She goes with the name, Sara Niemietz. She has a really cool and unique tone, IMO.

And this time she’s doing If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys which is one of my fav songs and she did it great! Well, check her youtube channel if you’re interested!

Erwin.

The year before and a year after..

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If someone ask you, “Are you the same person that I met a year ago?”, what would you say? 

It’s shocking how fast a year has passed and how, in the blink of an eye, a new year – a new blank book has arrived, waiting to be written. I still remember when I spent my NYE just before we entered 2013. I was at my good friend’s house, enjoying lobsters and steaks. After that, I randomly drove a really long distance to my other friend’s house just to say “Happy New Year” and catching up. All of those were a year ago. Here I am now in 2014, in the middle of the night, trying to remember what 2013 felt like, trying to put all that into this empty white box. 

One word that came to my mind when you mention 2013 would be…. AN EYE OPENING. Well, ok that was three words, but you get what I meant. Right? 

An eye opening… It has opened my eye in so many different ways. It showed me how to be a person. It thought me how to let go. It showed me true friends. It left me a gift of life. It thought me to enjoy life. It told me to have no regrets. Yes. I finally learned to enjoy life as you seen and have no regrets.

I traveled a lot last year. I went on a solo trip. I went with my friends. I went with my family. I visited Bali, Lombok, Bandung, Singapore, and Hong Kong. I even went to Bali 4 or 5 times. Somehow on each trip that I went to, all of them were memorable. I got to know my friends and family in the way I’ve never known before. In the end, it showed you who’s the best travel partner for you. Funny thing is I found that I’m the best travel partner for myself. Solo trip suits me best. Maybe it’s not as fun as going with your friends, but it gave me more experiences that I could ever ask from a trip.

The highlight was Hong Kong and Bali. I went solo last year to both places. Partly because I know I have friends who live there, partly because I don’t want to be annoyed with itinerary or any kind of drama. I wanted it to be just flowing.. Do as I pleased, whenever I wanted to, wherever I wanted to.

So, Hong Kong. Well it was an ordinary trip. Went there to visit my best friend that I care so much about. We had a lot of fun. Oh, I finally tried clubbing in another country! It was fun! I even like the security, hahaha! They were super helping and actually fun. Overall, the trip was refreshing. Next, Bali. I was referring to my two-weeks stay in Bali in May. I wrote about it before. It was the first time I spent so long alone on a trip. Which I found to be much more refreshing than any other trip I’ve ever done before. I decided to make it as an annual thing to do for myself. I’ll do it again this year after I finished my work contract in May. I’ll see you there? 

Other than traveling, I would say 2013 was full of friendship. Like I said, I found out who my true friends are. It’s not  about how long you know them, because at some point, people leave. I read it somewhere that it’s about who say that they will stay and actually stay, especially in times when you need them the most. Fortunately, I made right choices long ago when I first met my friends. They’ve stayed. They’ve been there with me. Every step of the way. Yet, some people that I thought less, did leave. 

Coming from that, I learned how to let go. This year was full of that. Oddly, even tho I’ve been in the same situation before, I happened to face the hardest one yet. Yes, of course I was talking about girls. It took a longggg time before I finally let her go. It was really hard, but then again, I have my friends with me. They’re always there. Didn’t matter how stupid I was and how stubborn I was, they’re always there with me. 

And so it came to this blog. I made this blog on 2012 but then I kinda left it and never updated it again. It was last year that I started to write again. Partly because I like to write and tell stories, but somehow I feel like I need to do this so I can keep myself sane. Some words, I would never be able to say it out loud. That is when this blog came through. It gave me space to say what I couldn’t say before. Just like my favorite quote from Haley James, “Sometimes people write the things that they can’t say“. And because of this, another new world opened up to me. I’ve met new people along the way through this blog, and I’m grateful for that. 

Then from all of those I mentioned above, I’ve learned to live my life and have no regrets. I gotta do what I gotta do. Do not hesitate. It’s better if you’ve done things, no matter how good or bad the result’s gonna be, than wondering and regretting the things you’ve never done just because you’re afraid or not sure. My whole life was like that. Wondering “what if”. No more. I’m done living like that. I don’t want to have any regrets when I’m old and looking back at my life. You should do the same thing. :) 

So, I would say that I’m not the same person as I used to be. I’ve changed. I think we all have. I believe, in every year that you have lived for, you’ve gained things that changed you, I hope, to be a better person. 

Well, that was my 2013. Let’s see what 2014 brings to my life. 

Oh,

Happy New Year! 

 

 

Erwin.

One random text message is all you need to get back to this world.

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It’s weird and funny how someone can, out of the blue, make your day a much more brighter in one single moment. 

I have this bad habit of thinking too much and go all the way to the end when there’s actually no such ending for every single thoughts. Like, in the middle of my work, I can let my mind wonders around gracefully to all aspect of my life, thinking about shit and stuff. Sometimes it makes me sad, sometimes it makes me happy, and sometimes it makes me lost. It feels like I’m sucked into this hole of blurred images and just trying so hard to figure out everything in one go. Which is stupid, I know.. 

And so a few minutes ago before I wrote this, I just did it again. Full of thoughts, too serious, too distracted.. and suddenly a good friend of mine just sent me a text saying that she looked so fat in the photo I share with her earlier this morning. I don’t know why (maybe because it’s so random), but I just snapped out of my thoughts and couldn’t stop laughing while reading that. Like, literally laughing for minutes. Hahaha.. Suddenly, I felt much better and more happy than how I was few minutes before. Weird.  

Oh well.. 

just some random thought. 

see? I just did it again. :| 

 

Erwin.

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