April leftovers and a long weekend in Medistra

[Jakarta, May 2012]

Some say it's summer breezy. Some on the other side of the world say it's winter crazy. I, over here, am still stuck with the never ending dusty air and the everlasting traffic everyday. Being in Jakarta is tiring sometimes.

April went speedy as I filled my days preparing everything for Uni and getting documents and application over with. I can't stop thinking of how life would be like in two months time. My excitement needs to learn how to not fly too high sometimes, without wings. I went to Bandung to visit my grannies one weekend. Grandma's younger brother was in Bandung for several days to attend a wedding and so was I. Everyone I met kept telling me how grown up and how me and Mom are very much alike now. Something about meeting long lost family and asking granddaughters about marriage though, I hate it.

Most of the time I was mostly struggling with the stormy weather outside, although my new babies on the big terrarium never failed to keep me companied. And whenever the weather got cold and we're out we'd have nice warm noodle dinner. And before I knew it, we're half way through May. Morrissey concert I went to on the 10th was no doubt one of May's highlights. Tennis Indoor Senayan was packed that night, the whole crowd was crazy, I ignored the rest of VIP's boring people and stood up the whole show and screamed lyrics endlessly.

Something's not right with my tummy when I woke up that morning on the 16th, I was dolling up myself for an anniversary dinner in the afternoon and I thought it's probably just gastric acid, I realized I've been drinking too much coffee since the other day. It got worse as the night grew older. Dinner was a fail and I had to be taken to a clinic a little further from my house. The pain was extraordinary. On the way home from the clinic I had to pull over to hurl more, I heard some kids passing by saying 'Dude look, she's drunk'. But I couldn't care less in fact it was kind of funny, I couldn't laugh so my middle finger covered up for me. I ended up in bed after hurling over and over. No food nor medicines could go through my system. It's getting late and my boyfriend went home after taking me up to my room, it was nearly 3 AM. I kept mumbling sorry to him, I felt bad his dinner date had to turn to a vegetable.

I woke up the next morning and my tummy still didn't make any progress. Dad took me to the nearest doctor right away and I went straight to the Emergency room. I think the doctor did enzyme replacement through infusion, and to put vitamins on my body since I haven't gotten any food in. I passed out for hours and after several blood test and antibiotics, I finally woke up to the doctor who was telling my Dad that it's a positive appendicitis. Dad drove me to the hospital that very evening, I think we all just afraid the appendix would burst. I remembered passing a beautiful sunset on the way but I couldn't enjoy anything at all, I couldn't even say a word at that time. I was holding the great pain for hours I thought I'd pass out again anytime soon.

The next thing I knew was another infusion was being processed on me in the ICU room and we're waiting until 9:30 PM for a surgery. Everything happened so fast I thought the surgery wouldn't be until next week. Dad tried to remain calm though I knew he panicked just as much. When I got to the hospital I didn't panic at all, all I cared about was just to get the appendix out real quick because the pain was hell. My boyfriend was even more nervous about the surgery than I was. He and Dad waited until 2 AM, until I came out of the surgery room. Mom was out of town so I could only imagine how even more crazily panicked she got through a phone call with Dad. Many well wishes was sent to me afterwards, they made me feel better. But still, a long weekend is a rare treasure and being at the hospital wasn't a pleasant way to spend it by.

• When there's a blackout, set up a candlelite dinner •
• The front yard of my cousin's house in Bandung •
apr06 copy
 Where I spent hours collecting fresh wounds from playing with the boys, riding roller blades and mini go-karting in my early 90s •
• Raw treasures outside, what I'm guessing are construction leftovers •
• The green back garden •
• Old family portrait and a ripped open wallpaper •
• Comfortable couch and pandan syrups which I finished more than two glasses •
•Favorite bits of the house •
Good-luck soft baked cookies for boyfriend •
• My pavlova dough •
• Welcoming Gonzo and Angel to the family, our baby Crocodile Skinks •
• Dinner at Crystal Jade, my system was craving for chinese chilly oil and broth •
• The legendary Moz. I was in absolute awe. (Photo courtesy of Yahoo.com) •
• The moon several nights before Supermoon •
• Hershey's HUGS kisses my boyfriend gave me •
• Nights alone at the hospital, eating crappy food while Junior Masterchef was on was pretty ironic. I wanted out so badly and eat Mexican •
• X-ray before the 3 hours surgery •
• Boyfriend's Mom came to visit on my third day, she bought me a baby pillow with a letter 'C' knitted on it, made my (painful) day •
• My morning view, before checking out on the last day •
• Home at last, still unseparable with my (now) favorite cuddle •
• Recovering at home for days •

Mayday, May days, (good) mad days

[Singapore, May 2012]

I'm pretty glad that my visit to Singapore this time had resulted me more clarity and decisions on what to do next (academically). I'm back in Jakarta at the moment, and very much ready for a whole new adventure that is soon.

I flew to Singapore on Monday the 7th of May with Dad on a stormy morning, arriving at Changi airport at the perfect time for brunch. We rushed to the nearest laksa place near our stay, which was the same place we stayed at the last time we were there. I was feeling rather tired due to only 3 hours of sleep the night before, and I couldn't sleep on the plane either. I was actually nervous about the Uni interview I've got on the next day's schedule. Whenever I felt like dozing off something in my head just constantly forced me back awake to think of what to say to the faculty tomorrow. And because Dad made an appointment for a check-up at the hospital at 3 in the afternoon, I had no time to sleep after we checked in.

First day was filled with mostly preparing for my Uni application. Preparing passport photos, portfolio folder and all that while Dad was on several meetings himself. Wondering around the city myself meanwhile, I observed so many things, nothing too new either since I've been there several times over the year. Singapore is a very structured city, a little neater than Melbourne even. Everything moves fast and alert. I'd like it there, the only thing I'd be struggling with is perhaps the people and their accent. Dad arranged a dinner with his ex colleague later that day. I was stuck in the middle of a business talk for about three hours, made me want to finish another bottle of wine alone.

The next morning I went to TVT office with Dad to meet his other colleague and to check out his entire office in Fusionopolis, got a sneak peek of its professional working space while Dad had a meeting there for a while. We made a quick stop at McD for lunch before going to Lasalle campus at 4 in the afternoon. There were Indian girls smiling prettily at me. I always think smiles of strangers are the sincerest. There were plenty of pretty children wherever I walked but I didn't get to photograph much because my camera was mostly buried deep down in my bag, and I was mostly rushing from a place to another. Arriving on campus, I didn't think much about the interview anymore. I finished at 5:30 and got my letter of recommendation right away, I was relieved.

We went back to the hotel to put our laptops and my portfolio because we're going to have dinner someplace nice and didn't want to carry heavies. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at a mini bar for a little celebration. It was my first time drinking beer with Dad, he was the one who actually offered me drinks. I think it's occasional. But with him it's always red wine and cheap steak anyways. I realized how much I enjoy hanging out with him.

I woke up the next morning to a little note from Dad beside my bed, saying that he had checked us out of the hotel and telling me to meet him later at 1 in the afternoon to go with him to a student hostel we planned to inspect before going to the airport. Also to a text message from my boyfriend, saying that he just landed in Singapore. It's a bummer that he didn't end up getting the exact dates as I did for his Singapore trip, so he just arrived on the day I was leaving. And if you're wondering whether he's on a Uni visit trip too, you are correct. Luckily, though only for a bit, I still got to see him. We had Gogo breakfast and wandered around, mostly stopping for sweet nibbles, and going to a music store where we bought band shirts. We didn't spent that many hours together, but the times we spent imagining if everything goes smoothly and we get to be together in Singapore this July was more than enough for me. At lease until the weekend. He'll be back tomorrow, and I just can't wait to attack him with hugs.

• Left: Quick brekkie at Soekarno Hatta. The weather was very depressing and totally despised morning flights.
Right: A photograph taken on the plane. Spot the smiling girl •
• Dad doing a yearly check-up at Mount Elizabeth Hospital •
• Dinner with Uncle Derk at Angus. Unfortunately one of the longest served steaks I've ever eaten •
• Beer and bruschetta in the afternoon, after my Uni interview •
• Clarke Quay view alongside the river. Everything about this place reminded me of Yarra River in Melbourne, there were lovers everywhere, all I thought of was my boyfriend and how much I missed him already •
• Riverside Point, very colourful and alive at night •
• Dinner at Clarke Quay •
• I kept taking pictures of pretty lights •
• The Turkish Ice Cream seller with a smile I remembered taking a picture of last year, serving me Pistachio ice cream •
• Admiring the full moon •
• Riverside Point view over the bridge •
• Gogo breakfast •
• Cupcakes at Pique Nique •
• My favourite pavlova on the left, and fish in the aquarium at the hostel I went to on the right •