Sunday, December 31, 2017

‡ Memories of 2017 ‡

The curtain of 2017 is going to fall.

My 2017 has been such a ride of surprises; be it good or... not so good.
This year's review might not be as detail as the previous review but I'll write my best in this post for sure!

To start with, I'm very sorry (again) for not posting much in the past 12 months here.
My time management has been so rusty that I think I'm having trouble to get it back but, yes, I'm trying.
Trust me, I'm still trying until now.

So, here we go!
(Psst, I'd probably give more pictures than usual to cover up my lack of words in description this year. Bear with them!
But I'll update the pictures frequently as I haven't prepared them enough at the moment)

For  previous references: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015| 2016


My 2017 started with a Sunday Mass with Monica and accompanying her to watch a movie.

Then on 4th, I had my first 2017 flight to Semarang for work and then returned to Jakarta on 8th.
On 12th, I had dinner meetup with Agatha, Hilda, and Livia at The Cafe - Hotel Mulia. It's such a pleasant experience indeed!

On 14th, an event happened and I still remembered it all too well, just right before my flight to Singapore for holiday on the next day. Yep, I spent 4 days 3 nights in Singapore on 15-18 January 2017 with Jeanette and Valentcia! We also managed to meet with a good friend of mine there, Ila.

Nothing much happened in January except from some emotional debate within myself which lasted until the early February.

Why Him?, La La Land, xXx: Return of Xander Cage, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, Monster Trucks


The second month of 2017 kicked off with a sprinkle of emotional drama in heart. Let's just say I'm not as logical as I thought; should I say I'm quite naive?

On 12th, I enjoyed a karaoke night with Monica, Very, and Wien! Been a while and I don't really remember why we ended up together that day.

Anyhow, I also ended up celebrating my Valentine's Day with Monica at Little Ubud, having dinner together.
And, yes, I had more days to spend with here after February. You'll see.

A Dog's Purpose, Kungfu Yoga, Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back, Lion, Split


The first wedding party I attended in 2017 is Surya and Norita's on 5th. Also celebrated my youngest brother's 19th birthday on 12th.
And there's a belated birthday surprise for February girls in MPH, Fenny and Valentcia, on 18th at Flip Burger.

I spent the end of March in Cikarang for a new project with a German Company. It's such an interesting one as I should communicate with them in English and new acquaintances indeed! All of them are really friendly!

Museum (Japanese), Logan, Kong: Skull Island, Galih & Ratna, Hidden Figures, Beauty & The Beast, The Devil's Candy, Life, Danur


It's a very busy month for me as I needed to prepare for a Go Live. I spent most of my nights at coffee shop (Starbucks? No, I don't drink coffee though) to finish some tasks that I could have finished if I was better in time management.
Yep, I dragged myself to nowhere so early in the year.

Managed to meetup at some of my friend at PIK on 16th, since Jeanette had not been in Jakarta for a while.

Then on 28-29-30 April, my team spent the midnights together to prepare for the Go Live. There were a LOT of funny things happened at the moment that I really couldn't share here for the sake of our images. lol

Ghost in the Shell, Get Out, Miss Sloane, The Fate of the Furious, Stip & Pensil, The Boss Baby, The Guys, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2


I celebrated the first of May at my client's office, together with Hani, Frendy, and Ricky (I usually call him 'Ko Jreng' though). We returned from there at 6 in the morning and, no, I didn't catch my sleep afterwards! I dashed off to Sunter with Mom later before hitting the bed in the afternoon.
Apparently my skill to keep awake still exists -- no, I shouldn't be proud it, should I?

On 9th though I read a news that made me frown regarding a verdict that I found unfair. I am not into politic but, for the first time, I found the definition of justice should be questioned.

I had my very first musical stage experience on 14th, watching West Side Story at Taman Ismail Marzuki! It's magical, really. I would love to have another experience next time.

And May would definitely be my most memorable month of 2017 because...


Yep, my trip to Taiwan with Monica, from 20-27 May 2017, of which I haven't finished writing down the details yet (part 1 here, part 2 here).
Would I want to visit Taiwan again if I have a chance?
A big YES!

Oh, I also got my first birthday cake surprise from family on 27th, upon my return after the trip. Yes, you read it well, the first. I am usually the one who got the cakes for birthday persons at home.

I was sincerely surprised!

Seteru, The Circle, Critical Eleven, Unlocked, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword


On early days of June, there's not much happening around except my Mom's birthday on 4th, then an eMpTy's meetup on 10th of which Delbert and Fenny joined for a (successful) belated birthday surprise at The Bunker. Thanks again!

Success surprise, people!

Also celebrated my Dad's Chinese birthday on 11th, had a meetup with my reverse-random-family (don't ask what it means) on 12th at PHX Grogol -- our last meetup is 30 April 2015!

Faking laughter enough? lol

Then on 14th to 16th, it's office outing time!
We spent 3 days and 2 nights at Bandulu, from discussion to games, been a while since we actually spent time altogether.
Oh, my best memory is indeed having David being the "superstar" at night session. He's such a dork that I wanted to punch and befriend at the same time.

On 18th, another event that caused another emotional struggle happened again.
You see, I learned things in hard way sometimes but, at that day, all I wanted to say is only four-words.

"For everything, thank you."

I had two more first-time-experiences on June: Museum Benteng Heritage on 24th and a staycation at Aviary Bintaro on 30th. I recommended both of them!

The Lost City of Z, The Mummy, Detective Conan: Crimson Love Letter, Wonder Woman, The Whole Truth, Transformers: The Last Knight, Sweet 20, Insyaalah Sah


I really had nothing much to tell on July except that 16th is one of the biggest turning points in 2017 for me.
You see, I always thought that I know myself very well but, turned out, I was wrong.

Anyway, there's also a heartbreaking news on 20th, of which Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, had gone from the world. As I said on my Instagram, I might not be a big fan of him but I grew up listening to his voice. Such a good soul to be remembered.

On 22nd, I met up with some of my colleagues for Sate and then had fun at The Bunker (I'm currently enjoying board game with friends, actually).
On 23rd, I spend a day to watch Mobile Legend tournament at Gandaria City -- I don't look like one of good players, do I?
On 30th, I attended BEKRAF Game Prime 2017 at Balai Kartini Jakarta. It's an unique experience actually and, by unique, I mean I enjoyed it.

Spider-Man: Homecoming, Baywatch, Dunkirk, War for the Planet of the Apes


My brother, Erric, was graduated on 1st!

I attended the second day of The 4th ASEAN Literary Festival at Kota Tua on 4th,
accompanied both my brothers upon their participation for Rubik's Cube Indonesian Championship on 6th,
received my belated birthday presents from MPH on 15th (I like the bag and dress very much!),
gave a super belated birthday pancake to Monica on 20th at The Bailey's and Chloe,
and had my another first-time-experience on 24th: Gin Tonic.

I am not into alcohol, nope, and I don't like beer, but on one Thursday evening with Hani, accompanying the clients from German, I managed to have five (I guess) glasses of Gin Tonic and I actually like it...? lol

Oh, and I actually had the early visit to AEON Mall Jakarta Garden City on 17th... for work, of course. So, yes, I've seen the ferris wheel, but never got into it yet.

Annabelle: Creation, The Battleship Island, Bad Genius, American Made


Back to Cirebon. Yep, I was back to Cirebon with new team members for a new project.
It became my first-time-experience to book Airy Room there and, trust me, there are a LOT of stupid things we did back there.
Including missing our morning train. Such an epic one, indeed. lol

Attended Mew and Raisa's wedding party on 2nd and Yohanes and Susi's wedding party on 9th; both the grooms are my colleagues at work.

I became a bridesmaid for the third time on 17th for Alvin and Liani's wedding. The night before is such a full-of-laughter night; perhaps due to the fact that the bridal party (groom, bride, bestmen, bridesmaids) knew each other already!

My September closed with another wedding party of which, for my surprise, one of the bestmen is my best friend and also my colleague, one of the bridesmaids is also my good friend and my ex-colleague. What a small world!

Warkop DKI Part 2, Baby Driver, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, It, Gerbang Neraka, Pengabdi Setan


Now, October is definitely the most... what word should I use to describe it?
Every feeling is mixed up in this tenth month of 2017 and I can't really find a word in my dictionary to define the experiences.

I attended Marlon and Felicia's holy matrimony -- the bride is my friend from junior high school and there is a very lovely quote I heard at that day.

"Remember, love stays if only you let it be."

However things went out from my expectations on the evening. I couldn't really break the details here but, well, things were supposed to be wrapped up on 7th.

Because on 9th to 13th, I spent a week at Cikarang with Hani for the Go Live -- remember Gin Tonic? lol.
I tried a shot of (local) Tequilla on 12th and, thank God, Hani is my partner for the project. She's my first partner for my first project at my current office so, somehow, we managed to be good friends?
For the professional and personal help during the week, thank you so much, Hani!

14th is officially the very twisted day of my 2017.
Within hours, a lot of things happened, from the most expected to the least unexpected.
Luckily I have some good friends to help me. Literally help.

Then again a happy day on 15th is a must to celebrate: wedding party of Antony and Rufina, one of my "daughters" -- again, do not ask. lol

On 18th, our project schedule in Cirebon had ended.
On 19th, I started the weekly Thursday badminton schedule with my colleagues! It's actually fun that I tried my best not to miss the Badminton-Thursday -- or whatever I should call it.

David is my most favorite-unfortunate-partner though. We never win if we play together yet we like to play at least a game together on Thursday. Strange? Trust me, he's stranger than you could think of. In a good way of being a friend, of course. lol

On 20th I had my new first-time-experience: Escapade to Bandung on train by myself! I visited Trans Studio Bandung and Chinatown Bandung also. Such a good day to escape, indeed.

Bedrock crews!
And I kept telling myself during this month: "Forgive yourself".

I made a lot of people worried about me. Like, a lot.
And I feel so sorry even until now.

Blade Runner 2049, The Promise, Jomblo, Happy Death Day, Thor: Ragnarok


You see, my trouble from 14th of October still continued to November.
And, oh my, I wondered why on the 14th this month I also experienced something so unusual and strange that I couldn't help but keep wondering about it until this very moment.

Okay, back to my trouble.
How bad was it? You could say it's severe enough, I guess.
I lost my appetite, my sleeping time only ranged for 4-5 hours and I usually woke up all of a sudden, and it led to GERD on 10th. However I was reminded that I was so blessed with all the care.

I attended Fery and Cindy's wedding on 11th,
unfortunately failed to attend Josef and Stheresia's wedding on 12th but I met up with some old friends from HIMSISFO for 5-hour karaoke,
spent time at KUUP Board Game Cafe on 18th which continued to karaoke with my colleagues.

Play as much as we can!

Due to several unknown reasons, I fell sick on 25th -- from migraine to fever to cough to sprue to bleeding gums.
By I mean bleeding, it happened constantly and it's so uncomfortable.
I could wake up with blood in my mouth -- yep, so not pretty to look or listen.

Posesif, Justice League, Chasing The Dragon, Coco, Daddy's Home 2


Again, December has always been a complicated month to close the year.

My first day this month opened up with a good moment but closed with a complex matter.

A lot of things happened, talked, discussed;
not only my emotional struggle but also applied for family, work, and friendship matters.
I seriously need to remind myself to cope up with everything calmly -- which is really difficult for me.

I honestly hope I'm not complaining too much here.
Pardon me if you feel that way though.

Anyway, in December a very great event was also celebrated!
On 2nd, the bridal shower.
On 3rd, the Sangjit ceremony.
On 17th, the wedding mass.
On 23rd, the wedding party.

Two of my seniors at office got married! I was so glad I could help them at some occasions. ;)
Live happily ever after, Ko Ivin and Ci Fanie!

A best friend of mine since junior high school also got married on 3rd: Denny and Silvia.

On 18th, my office had an annual meeting of which we got ourselves prepared for the new year.
Also on the evening, a heartbreaking news hit me.

SHINee's Kim Jonghyun left the world and it's due to depression.
I couldn't talk much about it but I do know that depression is real and painful and dark.
Please rest in peace, Jonghyun.

MPH had a (incomplete) Christmas dinner on 23rd afternoon!

Pretty neat, aren't we?
As for the Christmas Day itself, I met up with Monica and Wien for dinner and movie time.
On both  22nd and 29th, I spent my Friday nights with colleagues at KUUP Board Game Cafe again! So much of board games for the year!

And, now, at the moment, on 31st, I'm currently at the office, completing this blog post, accompanied with Enceil and Matthew. It's the first time I actually spent my New Year's eve for work and, hey, with good team it doesn't feel that bad!


Murder on Orient Express, Satu Hari Nanti, Wonder, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Susah Sinyal, Ayat-Ayat Cinta 2, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Greatest Showman


Well, that's a wrap for my 2017!
I'm going to look forward for what 2018 has in store for me.

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve, everyone!

Friday, December 01, 2017

‡ Almost ‡


One word that can actually haunt us longer than we want it to be. 
One word that can make you remember hidden emotions.
One word that can bring you smile and tears at the same time.

Have you ever been in an almost relationship?

We Didn’t Date So Why Did It Hurt So God Damn Badly


We didn’t date. I didn’t need that spelled out for me.

I felt it every time I the words ‘just friends’ came out of my mouth. The words tasted bad but I couldn’t lie about what we were and I couldn’t pretend to be something we weren’t.

The problem with feelings and matters of the heart though is your heart does not give a fuck whether or not there is some label there. Your heart decides and that’s it. Suddenly you’re at the whim of making irrational choices that can only be justified because you love this person.

People argued it wasn’t real love. They say love is that which is reciprocated. Love is that which leaves you whole and not empty. That real love doesn’t hurt.

I don’t think love can be so simply defined. I don’t think it’s black and white. I think there are a lot of grey areas that gets lost and not talked about just because it isn’t the typical standard of what love is supposed to be in the eyes of everyone watching.

We didn’t date but I still looked at you like you were the best thing that happened in my life. Because at the time you were.

Every conversation. Every laugh. Every moment spent together where I envied anyone that took up your time that wasn’t me.

I missed you before you even said goodbye and wished I could freeze moments.

We didn’t date but I still compared you to everyone I met. And they always fell short of these expectations I suddenly had in someone.

Because it wasn’t just opening my door and paying for some tab or making sure I walked on the inside of the sidewalk, it was the respect you had for me.

In everyone I met it was you I was looking for only to realize someone like you couldn’t be replicated.

We didn’t date but my heart still raced every time we were in the same room and every time your name appeared across my phone. There wasn’t a smile bigger than the one you brought to my face.

We didn’t date but I still talked about you like you put the stars in the sky. Because you really did change my life so much for the better.

We didn’t date but you were everything I wanted so badly at one point. If people were interested in me I didn’t even notice because you had every bit of my attention.

And it didn’t matter what we were or rather weren’t, I was just happy to have you in my life. I was happy to have your time and attention even if it came few and far between sometimes.

Then suddenly everything changed with one conversation.

It’s the conversation that defines what you are and what you’ll never be. The conversation that depletes any hope of anything every happening in a future that will never be. The conversation that suddenly makes every encounter after that awkward.

Once every card is laid out and everything is talked about there is no hiding how you feel. There’s no secrecy or wondering. There is no hope. And you’re overcome with guilt for falling so hard like it was all your fault.

Then you have to get over it.

But how do you even heal and get over someone who wasn’t yours to begin with?



I sat in airport with a ticket like flying 10,000 miles away thinking that would make me forget him and how I felt. If anything it made it worse. I realized no matter where I went or how many airports I’d find myself in, during those few months, he was everywhere. Haunting my in a way. Found in street corners and gift shops.

When you love someone, they don’t leave just because you did. You take them with you.

I realized eventually I was going to have to face this head on. I was going to have to get over it. And there wasn’t going to be anyone comforting me because they all saw it coming and they were entitled to say I told you so.

When you fall for someone you aren’t dating you are blinded with rose colored lenses while everyone else wants to warn you that you shouldn’t do this, as if it was a choice you got to make.

You don’t pick who you love and you sure as hell don’t have a say in when it stops.

Real relationships have this start and end period. Concrete dates to look back at of how long it’s been. Concrete feeling that were mutual at one point. But almost relationships just have a bunch of grey areas and nothing defined and lines that drawn and rewritten. It’s games played and mixed signals and confusion.

Whether the other person wants to admit it or not I think feelings are present a least a little bit. Even almost relationships can’t be maintained if it’s just one sided and one person’s interest. For any relationship to last even if it’s just an emotional connection it requires the effort of both parties.

When those relationships end we put it all on ourselves thinking we were stupid and it was our fault we felt that way. But nothing is ever all yours to own entirely.

You look back at moments and you can’t believe you said the things you did or acted the way you did. But that’s love for you. If you aren’t being a complete fool and going to absurd lengths, I question if you really love the person.

We didn’t date but there were still nights I was crying myself to sleep at night.

We didn’t date but there were still moments where I’d do anything to numb the pain I was feeling.

We didn’t date but everything about him hurt like any other relationship I had actually been in.

Pain does not discriminate. And it doesn’t hurt any less just because you never dated. Sometimes that factor alone makes it hurt more.

I didn’t realize it was love every time those words drunkly slipped out of my mouth with goodbye.

I realized I loved him when all that pain hit me at once realizing what we’d never be.

Love is to happiness as heartbreak is to depression.

And I watched myself turn into this version I didn’t even know nor could I recognize. It hurt like hell because even if there wasn’t some label to it I couldn’t deny that everything I felt was so real.

We didn’t date but I don’t think I’ve ever experienced pain so badly in my life.

We didn’t date but I was barely eating sleeping or functioning because it hurt so badly.

And I had to present it to the world like I wasn’t feeling these things so heavily. I had to face everyone like I wasn’t falling apart inside. I had to carry on like getting through 24 hours was easy. But the reality was I dismissed myself often to breakdown and cry alone. And I couldn’t talk about it because what do you even say?

The hardest part of getting your heart broken by someone you didn’t date is when they want things to go back to what they were and you want to be strong but everything about their presence makes you weak. Part of you wants to say, ‘I need time to get over you. I need time to heal.’ But then you think that’s selfish.

You don’t want to lose them in your life but it hurts like hell standing in front of someone who isn’t yours when you are so in love with them.

It hurts like hell watching them love someone else and you have to just put on a brave face and stand there.

It hurts like hell playing the role they need you to but you love them enough to hurt yourself and do just that.

Because the truth is what they taught you most about love is how selfless it is sometimes.

You love someone and you want them to be happy even if it doesn’t include you.


Original article: here

Credit for the image(s) goes to the original owner(s)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

‡ Thread of Love ‡

Love has been compared to everything.
Jewel, glass, firework, paper, light switch.

However I'm not going to talk about those analogies in this post.
I will think of a relationship as a thread.
This is one of the most favorite analogies to be used, of course.

When two persons are in a relationship, each of them is holding on the different side to keep the thread on balance.

When you pull the thread more to your side, it will cause a change in the balance that you have kept together.
But, no, it's not a problem if both of you agree to move along.

Remember, they keyword is both.

Therefore the thread will never stays the same.
It will move, it will change, and it will be tangled from time to time.

When two sides argue, the thread will be messed up by words, tears, and emotion.
Words will tangle the thread, making it not comfortable to hold on.
Tears will make the thread heavier to carry on. 
Emotion will cause the thread to be painful to keep.

You can cut the thread so both sides are relieved by the thread;
a thread so different from the first time when you promise to keep in your hand carefully.
It's messy, heavy, and painful.
Some even said that sometimes holding on does more damage than letting go.

Or you can spend your times to untangle the thread,
to learn how to carry the heavier thread,
to understand why it's so painful,
and to find a way for both sides to keep the thread balance again.

If one side holds the thread too low because the person is already tired of holding it,
can the thread be kept for two?

If one side wants to untangle the thread slowly but the other side is impatient to wait,
should they keep holding on it?

If one side decides to cut the thread while the other one still clings onto it,
who actually lost a treasure?

Of course, people can say that there is a better, more beautiful thread waiting for you to hold on.
However when you feel that a love is worth to fight for, there is no such thing as a better thread.

There is only a precious thread to hold, to keep, to love by two sides.

Again, the keyword is two.

So if one side decides to let go of the thread and lock it in their shelf,
the thread is nowhere to be found. 

This applies not only for a romantic relationship;
I think a thread of love between two best friends who care a lot about each other also exists.

Do you think the same?


For every happiness, I thank you.
For every mistake, I apologize.
For everything, I forgive you.

I wish you a happy journey of life.
Things will never be the same anymore but, for whatever reason, let's be happy.


I'm back for the details of my Taiwan trip!
(Although it's been a month since my return from there)

Hello to the continuation of this post (Prologue, VISA, Itinerary, Details of Day 1).

Let's continue to Day 2! 

Day 2. Sunday, 21 May 2017.


It's a sunny Sunday in Kaohsiung!
We started the day by looking up for a place to grab a breakfast. We tried our best to locate it based on the map which David gave to us but we failed. Due to the hour rushing (we woke up a little bit too late, ha!), our first breakfast in Kaohsiung was at a local nearby food stall: Paddy Aurae Taiwan Lunchroom (稻香台灣小吃) for NTD 45.
It's a breakfast portion. Trust me.

I also bought a bottle of chocolate milk at the nearby 7-11 for NTD 30 (if you like Green Tea or Apple, they're also available to choose).

Mine is left, Monica's is right. She bought it because of the cute packaging of Baby Boss.

Somehow we noticed that most of the stores around have different operation hours compared to Indonesia. For example, the mall starts at 11 AM and closes at 9 PM. We even found a store which opens at 12 PM and closes at 10 PM. I wonder if it's just some stores though.

Oh, in case you wonder about how we communicate there, here are some key points.

If you expect fluent English speakers, lower your expectation.
If you want the food menu in English, prepare to be confused.
If you think we're fluent in Chinese, I'll laugh at myself.

Monica can speak Chinese, yes, but she herself admits that she is not an expert. I am far from better; I do understand basic conversation but can't really bring myself into a long, complex conversation. However when it comes to read the Chinese characters, we're bad at it. Monica does very well in reading characters related to food though (oops!).

So, yes, we rely on luck and images and all of the other stuffs to choose our menu.

Holy Rosary Cathedral, Kaohsiung Film Archive

Our next destination is a church. A cathedral, to be exact.
The Holy Rosary Cathedral (officially called Chinese: 玫瑰聖母聖殿主教座堂) is the oldest Catholic church in Taiwan.

To reach the cathedral, take the MRT to Central Park MRT Station and walk out from Exit 1.
You'll walk pass the park and busy streets.
If you can take the bus, it saves you from the farther walking distance but, since we couldn't, we lived with walking as far as we could. Ha!

As we arrived a little bit too early, we walked around to find Kaohsiung Film Archive (高雄市電影館), located across the bridge from the cathedral.
However, as I mentioned above, some places here opened later than we thought they would be. KFA's opening hours is 01:30 PM to 09:30 PM.

We dropped by at KFA in the afternoon to find out that we actually could borrow the films collection and watched them there (terms and conditions applied). However if you just want to check what's inside, you're free to go!

A corner of KFA: not novels.

We finally attended the English Mass on 11 AM (there were several Indonesian students who sat behind us) after walking around, under the sun as it's a very, very sunny day. Bring an umbrella or a cap if you need something to help you from the heat (not as bad as Jakarta).

Beautiful, isn't it?

It's my second time attending an English Mass but it's definitely a new experience to attend one in another country! During the song of "Our Father" (Bapa Kami), everyone immediately offered and took the hand of the person next to them, connecting all people hand by hand.

Gang Yuan Beef Noodle

After the mass, I had my best lunch in Taiwan!
It's the famous Gang Yuan Beef Noodle (港園牛肉麵). Just for NTD 110, I got a big bowl of delicious, tasty Beef Noodle. I'm kind of picky when it comes to food so when I say it's the best lunch, then it means this food is really, really recommended!

Not a fancy restaurant but they're very crowded. We just walked from the cathedral, across the bridge, as it's not too far (we followed Google Maps, yes).
Queued in the line, ordered the food, mentioned name, and then we waited for our name to be called. Fortunately it didn't take long for us until we could enjoy the bowl of (great taste) noodle.
(You can see how much I love the beef noodle, no?)

I want to have this again!

Short funny story.
Since it's so crowded, we shared a table with a young couple. We're so concentrated to open our drink in box packaging that we failed to notice there were available straws near the clerk. The young woman grabbed two for us when they're going to leave.
We did laugh at ourselves afterwards, lol.

Pier-2 Art Center

Our next destination is called Pier-2 Art Center (駁二藝術特區).
You see, getting here is not very difficult but let's just agree that sometimes we want to mingle around (or just get lost, go figure). It took us a while to wonder if we had reached the right place even after we walked out from Exit 1 of Yanchengpu MRT Station.

Cited from Wikipedia, the arts center was originally an abandoned warehouse site due to Kaohsiung's shift from industrial city to service city. Due to the persistence of local artists, the area was finally released and remade to be an arts center.
There are several warehouses (or buildings) served as cafe, bookstore, art exhibitions, theater, and stores. We gave quick visit to the indoor sites but spent most of our times under the sun.

Their bookstores are so neat and lovely!

This area is seriously Instagrammable (not sure if it's even a word).
From the exhibition, railway, 3D art, and the view itself are beautiful! (And free!)

One of my favorites! Thanks to Monica for the shot!

I wanted to take a picture at the swing but lost due to the energetic children in queue.
We also tried to look for the upside down house that we saw on Instagram months ago but failed to find it even after walking back and forth. I wonder if they changed the arts from time to time.

One of the arts there. Uploaded them on my Instagram : @erlia91

It's still 3 PM once we're satisfied taking pictures there. On our way to the next place, I stopped for another Milk Tea (NTD 29). It's the moment when I realized the packaging prepared a spot for you to put a straw. Convenient much?

We didn't take the MRT and dragged ourselves on feet for 1 or 2 kilometers.
I wish I could walk around in Jakarta, from one place to another, but you just can't. Walking should make you healthier but breathing in the air pollution wouldn't help that, would it?

Kaohsiung Museum of History, Love River

Next in our list is Kaohsiung Museum of History (高雄市立歷史博物館).
It's usually closed on 5 PM and we arrived at the museum around 30 minutes before the closing. It's free for visit!
If you're interested with the history but unable to read or converse in English, unfortunately this museum is not the perfect place for you. 99% of the descriptions are in Chinese and the nice staffs are not fluent in English.

Our first decent picture together in Taiwan

Monica and I finally managed to have a short conversation in Chinese with two polite staffs there! They asked if we're sisters (lol), praised us for visiting Taiwan by ourselves, and helped us to take a picture. They wished us to have an enjoyable holiday and we did!

We walked to KFA because we still had a lot of time before night, enjoying scenery of the Love River (愛河) where there were people who trained for the Dragon Boat Festival.
They said Love River would look very beautiful at night (we did consider to take a boat but cancelled it anyway).

My photography skill just doesn't do justice for this view of river

If you visit Kaohsiung with your significant other, you're very much recommended to spend your time at Love River!

85 Sky Tower, Kaohsiung Main Public Library

After KFA, we returned to Central Park MRT Station (of which Monica really loved to mention it in Chinese for no reason, lol) and headed to our night destination.

Taking the MRT to Sanduo Shopping District MRT Station, we stepped out from Exit 2 and tried to find our way to the tallest building in the city. It's easy to spot it as it has an unique shape but we're pretty much confused to find the entrance door. Turned out you just need to find the hotel lobby and the staff would be delighted to show the way.

85 Sky Tower (高雄85大樓), also called Tuntex Sky Tower is the tallest skyscraper in Kaohsiung. It was the tallest in Taiwan until the completion of Taipei 101 though.
We could get to the observatory deck on the 74-75th floor by paying the entrance fee (NTD 150). Experience the high speed elevators, bringing you to the observatory deck in less than a minute.

You will get a postcard of Kaohsiung also!

You'll find a souvenir kiosk plus cafe on 75th floor. Insert NTD 10 and you can use the coin operated binoculars for 10-15 seconds. Walk around the floor to see Kaohsiung city from different point of views.

Truth to be told, I was excited because I like height and night view but, minutes after I reached the observatory deck, I just felt that my excitement faded away. However it's still a good experience that you can't compare with view from Monas (not comparing, but you do notice the height is very different, right?).

Kaohsiung City view from 75th floor; again bad photography skill doesn't do justice for this view

We made a quick stop at Kaohsiung Main Public Library (高雄市立圖書館總館) which is located across the street from the 85 Sky Tower.
It's the definition of perfect library and how I wish Jakarta has one as amazing as this library!

The library at night. Doesn't look like one?

Not only the architecture, but what I found inside made my jaw almost dropped. Feast for your eyes, people.
Comfortable reading space, book collections, cafe. This green library is such an utopia for a book lover! You can even visit the roof garden.
Consisted of 8 floors, they said this library was built from the top to bottom. Dominated by white color, they also provide eBook and hand-made Braille books to borrow.

XinJueJiang Shopping District, Ruifeng Night Market

Our last stop for second day is, of course, the night market.
Before that, we stopped at XinJueJiang Shopping District (新崛江商场) (stop at Central Park MRT Station, Exit 1). They said it's like the Ximending of Kaohsiung (you'll find about what Ximending is on the next post).

We didn't buy anything though. We're just not the type who love to shop (unless for food).
Found one of the most famous chicken cutlet there though; it's called Angel Fried Chicken (天使雞排). We bought it later at the night market. And, yes, do try it if you have the chance!
It's very different from the kind of crispy chicken in Indonesia and it's good!

Image of Angel Fried Chicken for reference. Credit goes to Burpple

Okay, to reach Ruifeng Night Market (瑞丰夜市), take the MRT to Kaohsiung Arena MRT Station. Take Exit 1 and just walk straight to find the location.
Lively and crowded, take a not that Ruifeng closes on Mondays and Wednesdays.

Food, beverages, games, you'll find a lot of things here.
However I found myself confused with the shops since the stalls are everywhere.
I tried one of the most famous snack called... Small Sausage in Large Sausage (大腸包小腸) for NTD 50. It's a pork sausage wrapped in bigger sticky rice sausage. Not my favorite but it tastes good!
We queued for the Angel Fried Chicken (NTD 60) before decided to return to the apartment.

I know, the name sounds unique, right?

And that's a wrap for Day 2!

Definitely not a pro of using a Selfie Stick

Day 3. Monday, 22 May 2017.


On our last day in Kaohsiung, we're so determined to find the breakfast spot which is recommended by David (again) and, of course, failed to do so (again). We had ours at this place which name that we couldn't read.
However it's very delicious (NTD 55)! I like the soup and maybe it's kind of similar to Cufungmoi, the local porridge at Bangka (?).

Mine is the one with soup. Both taste very good!

➣ Cijin Island

After the city tour and all, that day we visited Cijin Island (旗津島), a small island which can be reached by less than 10-minutes ferry ride from Gushan Ferry Pier (鼓山輪渡站).

To get there, head to Sizihwan MRT Station, Exit 1.
We were greeted by several staffs who offered us bicycle services. No need to take it there as you'll find them on the island as well!
Walked for 5-10 minutes and we finally found the pier (two Korean boys helped us to find the entrance door, before we got ourselves in vehicle queue, lol).

I think it's my first time getting on a ferry

NTD 40 and you can hop in the ferry. Just take some pictures and, within no time, you suddenly have arrived at the island! Yes, it's that close.
Again, there were staffs offering bicycle services. Not only bicycles! You can also pick 2 or 4-person cycling vehicle.

We walked pass a temple called Mazu Temple (媽祖廟).
Along the way, there are wide range of stalls selling souvenirs, seafood dishes, and snacks.

In front of Mazu Temple

We headed to the beach right away, ignoring the heat.
It's a beautiful beach indeed! Maybe because it's a weekday, but there was almost no visitors at the beach (or maybe it's just too hot).
Oh, you're not allowed to swim there though.

Like I said, beautiful beach!

Short long story, we finally decided to rent the two-seat electric bike!
NTD 200 for the first hour and NTD 100 for the next hour (we ended up with 3+ hours but they're so nice to us and just charged two of us NTD 400!).
You need to hand over your passport and you can take it back at their post nearby from the pier upon your departure.

Happy girls on electric vehicle, lol

Since Monica can't drive a bike, I sat on the driver seat and, trust me, the staff looked so worried when we tried to use the vehicle, lol.
This is one activity we never planned to have but ended up enjoying it a little bit too much. We drove around and that's exactly why my left hand had sunburn afterwards due to the heat (even until now, my arm has two color tones).

Taiwan is a left-driving country, contrary to Indonesia.
This became a reason why sometimes I forgot that the right side is for the slow lane instead of the opposite. We felt like the king of the streets until I almost forgot to pull the brake and honked by a truck.
I shouldn't laugh as it's a little bit dangerous but we laughed for a short moment.

➣ Cihou Lighthouse, Cihou Fort, Cijin Tunnel of Stars

That's not the only reason we laughed at Cijin that day.
We're (kind of) lost when we drove to Cihou Lighthouse (旗後燈塔) and Cihou Fort (旗後砲臺). Definitely not very good map readers (and maybe our expressions just told everyone that we're lost, lol), we stopped in a middle of a way until a man approached us.

"小姐 , 你們要去哪里?"
(Ladies, where do you want to go?)

He showed us the right way by driving in front of us. His look is kind of fierce but he's so nice!
We parked the vehicle, walked up, and admired the view from there. It's seriously hot that I finally took out my umbrella even before we reached the fort. Thankfully we bought a bottle of mineral water at 7-11 next to the pier beforehand.
(I think the cheapest mineral water is NTD 20 there; which is a little bit expensive compared to Indonesia)
Oh, we didn't go inside the lighthouse as we were defeated by the sun. *white flag*

This is taken on our way to the fort

Our next stop is Cijin Tunnel of Stars (旗津星空隧道).
It's not as 'starry' as  I thought. Maybe better view at night?
Anyway, upon walking through the tunnel, we found ourselves at the other side of the beach. It's amazingly beautiful!

At the end of the tunnel of stars

➣ Lunch

As for the lunch, we failed to try this restaurant as it's already closed at 3 PM.
If you can, feel free to try Cijin Sanlang Noodle House (旗津三郎麵館)!

One of the menus for reference only. Credit goes to DiGTaiwan!

Oh, before we visited the Cihou Fort, we stopped by for a bowl of shaved ice.
Sweet, cold, and perfect for the summer feeling there!
(No, I don't remember the name as I can't read it)

Ice + Milk + Watermelon + Mango = Perfect
As for the lunch, since we're already hungry, we picked a choose-your-own stall named 天元自助餐.
I picked seafood as the main menu because, well, it's Cijin. My lunch is for NTD 80.
After we're full, we returned to the pier and hopped on the ferry to return to Gushan Ferry Pier for another destination.

Guess which one is mine?

For your information, David recommended us to visit British Consulate at Takao (打狗英國領事館) but we skipped it as we stayed in Cijin a little bit too long already.
If you're going there, it's nearby from Sizihwan MRT Station!

➣ Confucius Temple, Lotus Pond, Dragon Tiger Pagodas

Our next destination is free of charge but consists of walking and walking and walking.
Yes, a lot of walking since we couldn't take the bus by EasyCard. *insert sad emoticon*

Leaving from Sizihwan, we headed to Zuoying (THSR) MRT Station.
As much as I know, people can take a bus from the station to Lotus Pond (蓮池潭) area, which is the place chosen by Monica.
Again, because our options of transportation were limited, we walked from the station to the destination. Yes, it's kind of far but, because the road and all are good, no complaint (okay, maybe a little because the walking distance is 3 kilometers).

Random fact: it's supposed to be our morning itinerary on Day 2 but we changed it due to the mass schedule at cathedral.

Arriving at 5 PM, The Confucius Temple of Kaohsiung (高雄孔子廟) was already closed for public visit so we could only take some pictures from the outside.
They said it's really beautiful inside so I think you will be delighted to visit this place!

Since it's already closed, I could take this picture easily

To put it simple, you'll enjoy the view from the temple to the Lotus Pond. There are several temples in the area but we only stopped by at two or three places because it's getting dark and Monica's final destination was in the end of the track.
Some said it's better to visit here in the morning so maybe you can consider it!

Lotus on the water, under the sky

Dragon and Tiger Pagodas (龍虎塔) can be seen from quite a distance.
The dragon's throat is the entrance and the lion's mouth is the exit. Entering a dragon's throat and coming out a lion's mouth symbolizes turning bad luck to good fortune.
We're going to enter the dragon but it's already closed (again). The Japanese tourists group were the last visitors before us. Well, at least Monica got to take some pictures of the tiger (she came for it, don't ask me why).
And that's a wrap for our Lotus Pond trip.

The main reason why Monica wanted to come here

➣ Liuhe Night Market

Now, how did we leave there to have our dinner?
Reading the Google Maps, we dragged ourselves to the nearest station and, after 10-15 minutes, we realized that we entered the wrong destination. It's not an MRT station but a TRA station.
There were three tourists who wanted to go to the same destination and, thankfully, we could use the EasyCard to take the train!
I really couldn't imagine if we needed to walk again for more kilometers. *tears*

So we moved on the train to Zuoying (THSR) MRT Station (it's a station for TRA, MRT, and THSR) and changed to MRT.
From there, we left to Formosa Boulevard MRT Station which is, yes, also our route to return to the apartment. Take Exit 11 to find one of the most famous night markets in Taiwan: LiuHe Night Market (六合夜市).

My favorite night market!

It became my favorite in a second with its layout.
It's a straight road where the stalls are set up neatly on the left and right side. You can find chairs and tables to enjoy your food, strolling around before deciding what to eat.
I was completely dilemma as there were many choices but I couldn't eat too many at night. We ended up trying some foods like Oyster Omelette (蚵仔煎) and Quail Egg Takoyaki (鳥蛋蝦燒). The quail egg is exceptionally good!

Some preferred Ruifeng Night Market because it has the perfect atmosphere of 'night market'. Liuhe, on the other hand, consists more of street foods only. Still, I like to visit Liuhe more (personal preference, of course).
I spent around NTD 85 at the night market.

All of them are delicious!

We returned to the apartment as David contacted us, telling us that he would give us something before our departure to Taipei in the next morning.
Other than all the things he had prepared for us on the first day, he also gave us face sheet masks because he noticed that it's a hot and sunny day! Thoughtful, right?

However, he also bought one of the most popular night snacks: Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐).
There are two types: deep-fried and ones in a Sichuan mala soup (feel free to Google the details).
People said you should try this if you visit Taiwan night markets but, once again, my personal preference... I would skip it just because I'm quite picky when it comes to food. If you like unique food, go for it!

As you can see: King of Stinky Tofu

We packed up immediately and hit the bed.
And that's the end of our last night in Kaohsiung!

Part 2 is done!
Wow, a lot of pictures, eh? *sorry, not sorry*
The third part will be the details of our activities in Taipei, including what happened on my birthday.

Until the next post!