Monday, December 29, 2008

Edinburgh (the photos)


Here comes the photos...
In Facebook, you can view it HERE.
In Multiply, you can view it HERE.

For those who have not read the story yet, please see the previous post. :)
Enjoy!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Edinburgh

We're back from our Christmas holiday, both are sick of FLU (all the blocked/snorty noses and sore throats). Well, apart from being sick, we had a great time in Edinburgh.
We took off by train on Tuesday (23.12.08) morning and arrived around 1 p.m. in Edinburgh. We were 'given' a very beautiful scenery along the way up there; green landscape with hills and mountains, sheeps feeding on the green grass, simply blissful! Arrived in Edinburgh Waverley station, the cold weather greeted us, praise The Lord it was dry all the way. By the time we were out of the station, there were so many people buzzing around... Oh my! This town is so busy!

To me, Edinburgh is a pretty historical city. It is unique with the ups and the downs (good for exercising!), also, it has many little boutique-like shops. Cute! I myself, love it! The architectures are simply astonishing... it's like a modern era with a touch of the magnificent past. So unique and breathtaking!
As tourists, we find Edinburgh city centre to be very friendly. It has a lot to offer; not hard to find food (except on the Christmas day!) and many places to go.

On the first day, we did not go around much. We got to the hotel, had some rest and, then, headed out for dinner. We did stop at the Edinburgh Christmas Festival to get a ride on one of the attractions (something like London's eye, what do you call those things?) to enjoy Edinburgh from up above a little bit before we had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe (after queuing for quite awhile). I remember we went back home with stomaches ready to explode, just because the portions were so huge!

Second day was spent mainly at Edinburgh castle and around there. Since it is a holiday, we don't really rush... we got up late and relax. We had to pay £10 per person to get in (a bit expensive, but, hey, it's once in a lifetime thingy that I would do!). We both loved the mini adventure around the castle, although, even if given the chance, would prefer not live there! I enjoyed the scenery of the city from up above the castle. It was simply beautiful... The castle speaks for itself; the gates, the walls, the rooms within, they told stories. It somewhat made me imagine those who really lived there....

Third day - Christmas day! We had problem finding place to eat! Hahaha! After a long walk through the famous princes street, we finally found a Chinese restaurant that was open. God, they are clever! It was sooooo expensive, but... we had no choice! Good thing that the food was nice and their service was superb, otherwise, I'd be crossed haha! After lunch, we wandered around the town centre, took some photos.

Fourth day is Boxing day is Shopping day! Hahaha... It's the day where all the shops gone mad with discounts and people gone mad with shopping! We got some bargains; Lan got a new pair of Clark shoes and a vest, I got some cardigans :) In the afternoon, we met up with my new friend, Mbak Yufrita, in front of Jenners (a huge shop) to go to her house for dinner.
Mbak Yufrita is a very nice person, so warm and lively! She has a beautiful family (two handsome sons, for sure! I am missing Fabian, her second son, now...) and a cozy house. Thank you so much for such a delicious dinner, Mbak! We had great time and would love to see you again soon.
By the time, we were back in the hotel, it was time to pack up. Oh how sad... We are leaving Edinburgh, first thing in the morning. :(

Overal, we LOVE LOVE Edinburgh! I hope one day, I can visit again...

Ps. Photos are coming... It's not uploaded yet hehe..

Monday, December 22, 2008

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dillemma...

With the winter being unusually cold this year, my eczema has become the worst than ever before. It is painful and disturbing. At night, I would be hardly sleeping due to the itch and the inflamed feelings I experience... This obviously affects my day-to-day life; I cannot concentrate on my study because I'd be too tired during the day. And so, for the last several weeks, I barely made any progress.
Last Friday, my supervisors and I had a meeting. They would like me to seriously consider about suspending my study for at least a few months until I get better. This is due to the PhD's deadline being so strict, hence if I suspend it takes away the pressure of not keeping up with my research plan. On top of that, Lan had been suggesting me to go home, have some sunshine (damn UK! We can barely see the sun!) and relaxation a little bit.

After the meeting, I discussed this issue with Lan and my parents. At first, my parents would not agree I go home leaving Lan by himself here. I know that... I want to be next to him all the time, too, but, Lan cannot come with me! He has his research to do. However, with the desperation and no other solution in hand, they finally told me to go home. Still, I don't feel right. Lan does not feel right about this.
During the chat with Lan's parents today, they blamed Lan for being selfish and self-centered. They said my health should be a priority, Lan should let me go home... BUT I know he is NOT being self-centered nor selfish! I know... if I have other choices, I would rather stay by his side...

Yet, still... even with what our parents told us, we are still in dillemma.
We have time until 5th January to think about it, on that day, I'd have to tell my supervisors our decision. Another issue is that I have not got my passports with me. They (yes, 3 passports!) are still in the home-office's hands. I applied for a visa extension since 17 October, and yet, there still is no news.

Oh my Lord, give us wisdom...

Friends, any advice?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Violence, no way!

Phew... just finished doing the laundry and our room looks like a clothes store going on sale hahaha...
There is this thing on my mind that I'd like to share with you. There have been several times where we heard a woman crying from the flat above us (we are on the ground floor). Lan even said that he heard the man beat that woman up, sometimes she screamed in horror... I just cannot understand why would a man beat his wife? I suppose you don't marry a girl to beat her up, right? Also you don't marry a guy just to be beaten up, am I right? We get married to love and to be loved.
Any man should know that he is supposed to protect his wife, not to beat her up! I thank God that Lan, no matter how angry he is to me, will never ever lay a hand on me.

Poor that woman upstairs... I hope the man will come to his senses!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Fun Sunday with hubby...


Despite of the fact that I was in pain of eczema all over my body, I had a great Sunday with my hubby. We got this fabulous 2for1 voucher from Pizza Express, which we normally will not go because of the price. We had a long walk from home to the restaurant, which is by the dock.
We ordered a Arrancini as an appetizer, which is risotto and ham covered and fried with bread crumbs. As our main, Lan had Diavolo classic pizza, devilishly hot with spicy beef, pepperoni, onions and tabasco, with hot green or jalapeno peppers, and I had Pollo Verdure salad, A warm feast of torn chicken breast and chargrilled Italian vegetables tossed with honey and mustard dressing, served on rocket and baby spinach and drizzled with balsamic syrup. They both were very yummy, especially my salad! Ugh... I'd love to have another one! Hehehe... Tiramisu was our dessert, wooo... so deliciously melting-in-mouth sensation!

After our super duper delicious late lunch, we went to the cinema and watched Madagascar 2. I loveeeee it! Hillariously funny! =)
Well, that's our Sunday. How was your Sunday, friends?

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

About Me 2

I once did the same thing the last time, which you can see HERE. Now, I will do it again for the second time as a request from such a warm lady, Sili. Let us start....

ANOTHER 10 THINGS ABOUT SHERLY:

  1. She is a very PERFECTIONIST person, who would stress herself out (and sometimes to the measure of depression) to do things as perfect as she wants.
  2. Be who she is, say exactly what her mind and heart say and won't even act nice if her heart is disliking something. Too STRAIGHTFORWARD? Maybe...
  3. She enjoys cross-stitching, knitting, scrapbooking and sometimes sketching random things. After sometime of not knitting, I will soon start knitting a pair of mitten for Lan. I hope it will work out well :)
  4. She dreams of having twins! Tee-hee...
  5. She has super sensitive nose that even Lan thinks that Sherly was a doggy in the previous life *bite Lan!*
  6. People's first impression of her: Quiet and JUDES (mungkin krn modelku garang kali ya =P). The impression after: talkactive and such a crazy gal!
  7. She is super quiet when she is angry and always puts such a face that Lan really hates. (I am working hard on reducing my temper)
  8. She loves SWIMMING, but hates other sport. That reminds me of old time when I always compete with BFF Yulia for fun. Tiara Dewata swimming pool, inget ga Yul? :)
  9. She is NOT a morning person.
  10. She has no regrets. Anything I do, I do it with pleasure, even there might be some not-so-good time in between. In my life, I have no regrets and will never have. I cherish everything that happens in my life, anyone that comes into my life and all that has been given into me. For I believe nothing good will come out of regret. :)

Sil, lunas ya utangku. Thanks once again for such a praise and the prayer. *hugs*

Ps. Anyone would like to this? You are most welcome to do so. :)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Oh My! It's December!

Yeehaa!!! It's the start of December now! It means Christmas holiday is drawing near heehee... We planned, from so long ago, to spend our Christmas this year in Edinburgh, Scotland.
FYI, although I have been here for 6 years, I rarely travel to the 'faraway' destination within the UK. The transport is so expensive, too expensive for a poor student like me. Well, we have been blessed this year, our work as tutors (semacem asisten dosen), earn us some savings to indulge ourselves a little bit (although we are saving mainly for flight tickets to go to Indo next year).

The thing is that it has been so freezing COLD lately... Much colder than the previous winters I had spent here. So, at the moment, my eczema is worse and I am also getting some flu symptoms =(

Anyhow, have a great week, everyone! God bless you always!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cheap flights? Not so cheap?

Yesterday, I got 2 e-mails; one from Rini (my friend) and another from Air Asia! Well, I was excited that starting next year they are going to have flights London-Kuala Lumpur. I had been waiting for it for sooooo long.
So I quickly checked on Air Asia website, planning to go home later next year, I found the cheapest ticket I could find was around £370 per person return, NOT including luggage (+£4 x 2 minimum), hot meal on board (£7 x 2), plus the ticket from Liverpool to London Euston Station to London Stanstead Airport (£20 x 2 minimum). On TOP of that we will have to buy tickets for Kuala Lumpur - Denpasar (which is around £100). In total, it's about at least £532 (I really calculate this!) per person with a lot of hassle and a very long journey...
Looking at Singapore Airlines for Easter, they have tickets around £600... So do you think Air Asia is really cheap?
Somehow I think it is not so cheap.... :( Or maybe I should start to pray harder that they might have flights Manchester Kuala Lumpur? Hmmm, maybe....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy birthday to me!

Yes, I am 24 now!
Thank you, Lord, for another blessed year!
Thank you, Lord, for all the wonderful family, friends and especially my husband around me.
Thank you, Lan, for making each of my days so colorful, happy and beautiful!
Thank you for the unending love.
And thank you, all of you my beloved friends, for the birthday wishes, the wonderful prayers and encouragements!

God bless you all!


Ps. The photos are in HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Post 450: Picture says a thousand words...


Featuring:

  1. Lan was caught by the camera eating martabak manis (terang bulan).
  2. 'Po', my cutey panda from Mama Papa all the way from Beijing.
  3. Erwin's sleeping and Erwin's talking with Lan.
  4. And me :D


Ps. Click for a larger view.

Monday, November 10, 2008

2 heads are better than 1!

Among my boredom, my 'fed up' feeling, and frustration lately, I had an interesting collaboration with Lan in the weekend. Well, there is this one particular program that I am supposed to code within this week, however, my frustration just ate everything and left me with the feeling of not wanting to do coding anymore!
Thank God, my hubby was so kind to help me to do it. So the two of us doing the program together and we had a lot of FUN! Correcting each other's mistakes and discussing different algorithms for the program! Just imagine, if I were to do it along it would take me at least 10 hours to finish up (plus the frustration of debugging, etc.). But, the two of us did it in total of 5 hours! Ugh... I am soooo glad to have Lan hihih... *thank you, honey!*

At the moment, we are having my brother staying with us for several weeks. He came from home (Bali) with some martabak manis (terang bulan), which Lan indulged in eating it, some Indonesian seasonings for me to cook and a brand new pair of shoes for my birthday! Yay! They are so cute...

Ah... this is just a lil chit chat from me... :)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Roll Stack Cake

On Sunday, Lan was so kind to buy me a silicone baking tray and a whisk (a mixer is a bit out of our pocket at this very moment!)... and so, at home, I immediately 'played' with my new toys to make a roll cake. Thinking that 15 yokes on the recipe is a bit too much for only two of us, I halved the recipe.
Voila! After a lot of whisking (that made my arms sore) and 15 minutes in the oven, my cake was done! It looked good, but a bit too thin... What to do? What to do? If I were to roll it, it would break to pieces, so, I decided to cut them to squares and stack them together and putting generous amount of 'meises' in between the layers.

Hence, it looked exactly like in the photo! Lan enjoyed it a lot and finished it not long after. I hope you enjoy the photo too! :)

Aside from my kitchen activities, I have been busy with my emotion going here and there...
  • With winter coming, my skin allergy (eczema) gets worse, resulting in lack of sleep and self-confidence issue :(
  • PhD work is eating me up as well, I am easily frustrated and upset for things that go far away from my expectation...
  • Been having swollen eyes lately... Did I stare on the PC screen too long?
  • Positively happy, the packet from Mama Papa arrived safely last week, I got a very cute panda doll from Mama, which looks so like a real panda, and we name him 'Po'! Hihihi... 多谢,妈爸!
    Along with Po, plenty of good food, seasoning, sunflower seeds (kuaci), some clothes I bought on Chinese E-bay.

So... forgive me for not updating regularly lately. My brother is arriving back from home this Friday, I am expecting some stuffs from my mum hehe...

Alrighty, back to work now. God bless you all!

Ps. As usual, please feel free to give feedback on the photo, Lan is very happy to accept any suggestions/advice on his photography skill. (Click on the photo to enlarge)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yummy yum!

After sometime ago, my beloved friend, Since, 'showed off' her beautiful fried chicken on her blog specially for me (plus sending me an exclusive offline message to visit her blog), I would like to proudly present the fried chicken I cooked last night.

After postponing for so long, because I could not find turmeric powder (bubuk kunyit) in the supermarket I usually shop, I finally found the powder sitting nicely on the shop shelf of an International food shop. Yay!

Thank you Since for the easy breezy recipe, it was a blast! Lan loves it and I... *hmmm* feel like sitting at my home's dining room eating delicious fried chicken with warm rice and sweet soy sauce... Superb! We also had fried tofu (tahu goreng) and sambal matah. (The sambal matah was a bit of disaster, I forgot to put balacan on it hahaha!)
Anyhow, we had a great dinner! Thanks again, Since! :) (Jangan kapok ngomongin makanan sama aku ya hihi...)

As you see on the picture: (Click the photo to enlarge)

  • I have been busy with my new hobby, scrapbooking! I saw how Susie does it with her family's pictures, and I started to like it. Well, it is fun! :)
  • The two photos are taken by Lan's new camera, his beloved toy! What do you think? Is it good? Give comments about it, especially those professional photographers, it will be highly appreciated (lirik-lirik Since).

It's time to find some more recipes, I hope I can experiment more in my little tiny kitchen...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Lagi sok sibuk!

Thank you to all of you for the condolences regarding Lan's grandmother. Things have gone better now, we are feeling much better now. I have been much calmer with the problem I was facing while posting the previous post...
Well, lately, I have been hating the weather, which uncontrollably wet and windy (feeling like walking in the middle of hurricane all the time!). Each morning, I always struggle to get out of my comfy and warm bed, simply because the grey sky just ruin my mood! The sun is hiding somewhere far somehow...
I have been occupied with my PhD work, done some implementation (programming) and now is time to do some comparison and observation on my BeTL (a.k.a the software I implemented, read it 'beetle' please...). It is some hard work, but I just have to strive forward, right? :)
My hubbie has been busy compiling a plan for my birthday; he has been asking me what would I like for my birthday dinner and so on... Oh my Lord, I am going to be 24 soon! Time flies, really...
Both of us (hubbie & me) are waiting so eagerly of a package that his Mama Papa sent a week ago, full of new clothes and good food, I believe! Yippee! (Yes I have been shopping my winter clothes on the Chinese e-bay lately! They are good and cheap compared to UK prices!). In addition, we are also waiting for my brother, Erwin, to return from Bali bringing a lot of good stuffs from my Mum and Dad *yay!*. Lan is particularly eager that Mum asks Erwin to bring kue terang bulan (martabak manis) fresh from home!

OK, that's the quick update from me. God bless you all!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

At this very moment...

Ada banyak hal yang sedang terjadi beberapa hari ini.
Aku lelah,
aku sedih,
aku marah,
aku kecewa,
aku menangis,
aku tidak percaya...

Namun semuanya memang nyata adanya. Maaf, tidak bisa berbagi tentang yang sedang berkecimpung di fikiranku, karena semuanya begitu pedih dan perih bagiku...
Hanya doakan kami ya; aku, orang tuaku, saudara-saudaraku. Mintakan Tuhan kekuatan bagi kami. Saat ini, kami seperti keluarga yang berkabung dan kehilangan. Mintakan Tuhan supaya kami tetap satu melewati semua ini. Terima kasih, teman-temanku.

Ps. Kemarin kami (Lan dan aku) mendapat berita duka, telah berpulang ke rumah Bapa, nenek tercinta Lan (Mama dari Papa mertuaku) dikarenakan gagal ginjal.
Walau aku hanya bertemu satu kali, tanpa banyak kata, namun jauh di lubuk hatiku, aku menangis karena sirna sudah kesempatan untuk mengenalnya lebih dekat dan untuk dia mengenalku istri cucunya...
My Lord,
I will cry NO more!
I will not let the evil laugh at my tears!

14.10.2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pengampunan Tuhan

Pengampunan Tuhan seperti dedaunan pohon di musim gugur yang jatuh ringan bagi kita,
Ketegar-tengkukan kita membawa musim dingin penghajaran yang menumbuhkan...
Sampai musim semi tiba dengan kuncup-kuncup daun pengampunan yang segar...
Di mana kita lebih menghayati dan mensyukuri indah makna pengampunanNya.

nie - 13.10.2008 on the way to office @ 11.30

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

About Me

Got a homework from my beloved friend, Caroline and my big sister, the infamous Tuteh (yg ngarepin spy aku cepet ndut kayak dia *beuh deh sist :P*). Here we go...

TEN HABITS AND FACTS ABOUT SHERLY:

  1. She loves and believes in JESUS CHRIST
  2. She is the wife of Mr. Zhang since 02 July 2007, and loves to make him smile. She is always grateful that God gives her such a great hubbie.
  3. She studies her BSc, MSc and *now* PhD all in University of Liverpool, UK. (some kind of scholarship hunter, here...)
  4. She loves SOP BUNTUT, SOP MERAH & AYAM BUMBU RUJAK bikinan her beloved Mami.
  5. She been away from family since she was 15 years old.
  6. She, may seems strong and mature outside, but is a CRYBABY.
  7. She makes crazy insane jokes, her hubbie thinks she is absolutely insane *hihi*
  8. She loves her friends, misses her crazy BFF, Yulia.
  9. She IS homesick right now, missing her family (parents and her 3 siblings) at home. She hopes to go home next year; saving money and praying to God that the flight tickets will go down next year.
  10. She would love to speak Mandarin fluently so that she can communicate with her parents-in-law, whom love her so much and vice versa.

OK, that's 10. :)

Still got no news about my interview result. Right now I am busy preparing my visa extension application and, lately, been feeling extremely tired :( *kangen pijetan mbok pijet*

God bless you all!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dag Dig Dug

This is the day of 'their' decision. Huff... I am so nervous for my interview at 13.10 (it's 10.11 a.m. now).
The slides were just ready yesterday, because suddenly my supervisors asked me to change 'almost' the entire structure.

Jesus, I cling to you.
Be my answers to the questions they ask,
Be the words in my mouth during the presentation.

Be my strength, my hope and my everything...
Just like all those times, help me through this battle.

Huff... It's all DONE! All the extremely fast heartbeats, those difficult questions and my shaking hands. Thanks to my dear hubbie for his support and prayers, it means a lot to me!
Thanks friends for the encouragement :)

What now? Waiting for the result...

Have a great weekend, friends! GBU!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Making him smile!

It's been a while since I planned to buy him this camera for his birthday next year. I have been surveying on prices of different stores.
Voila! Yesterday, we found a great bargain in one of the stores in city centre. Got a 10% discount of the normal price plus a £50.00 cashback from Canon. Thus, the cheapest price I found!

And I made him smile so wide and brightly! God... I love to make him smile :)

Ps. so now he has a new toy and been busy with it!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Weekend in London

We had great time in London, despite the traffic jams that slowed us down every time we are heading somewhere. Meeting with my godfather was really worth it! We were so happy to meet him, after a year not seeing each other.
In the middle of it, we had a couple of hours sightseeing around Westminster area, unfortunately the photos aren't really good, because the sun makes it either really dark or both of our eyes are closed hehehe... We did not get into the Parliament house nor the London Eye. Oh my... the queue was ridiculous, mind you it was a Saturday.
Still, I had great time going around with my hubby.

Now, we are back to the routine and business!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Deadline oh deadline

Been ages since my last post, never knew I'd be so busy!
I have been chased by deadline and I have been chasing time hahaha! I have this end-of-year report, which is very important. It decides whether I get to continue to the second year or not. On top of the report, an interview will be held early October, where I will be questioned about my works by the professors of the Computer Science department. That's the reason I've been burying myself under papers and works...

Monday to Wednesday, I went to a 'Reachability Problem' Workshop for free (got a great dinner in a posh restaurant, too!), other than that, nothing really excites my life!

Going to London Saturday and Sunday to meet a man, who is like a second DAD to me. I hope it is going to be a great time, been missing him a lot, the last time I met him was on my wedding day...

Righty, friends, gotta go now. Have a blessed weekend!!

Friday, September 05, 2008

All is well!

Been to the doctor this morning in the heavy rain and strong wind. Turned out to be it is NOT an eye-infection. I was speechless that the previous doctor made the wrong judgment about my eyes' condition. Thank God there was no huge and dangerous side effect, otherwise, who knows what would happen.

Anyway, I am glad it's approaching weekend! Woo hoo! Been so tired this week with this and that...

God bless and have a great weekend, friends! :)

Ps. Komentar-komentar di postingku sebelumnya bener-bener bikin ketawa deh... Banyak yang salah baca 'MENGOROK' jadi 'meROKOK'. Huehehehe... FYI, I don't smoke and will never will, neither does Lan. In fact, we both hate cigarettes and the smell.
So, kalo ada yang punya tips tokcer untuk menghentikan kebiasaan NGOROK, kasih tau ya :) Trims.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Praise God!

I's a happy day today! I just received a letter of my scholarship renewal, which means I did good enough last year for the scholarship to be extended. Praise The Lord for that!
About my illness after returning from Hamburg, I had acute flu, headache, fever and some muscles and bone pain. It made me feel so mushy! Thank God, Lan took a really good care of me; cooked for me, reminded me to eat medicine, and helped me a lot. However... I transformed to a giant bacteria! I passed the illness to him! Argh... so two sick people taking care of each other!
Anyway, we are OK now, in terms of those illness... Yet, I suddenly got an eye-infection! Itchy and red, it frustrates me. My eyes become easily red when I face the computer screen for too long (whereas, I am supposed to face the screen all the long to work!) I had been using an antibiotic ointment for 5 days now, as instructed by the doctor, but not much has changed. So, I am going back to see the doctor on Friday, hope it can heal soon.

Hmmm... I'll make it short this time. Feeling a bit dizzy. God bless you all!

Ps. Ada yang tahu gimana caranya menghentikan kebiasaan mengorok?! Kasih advice yah!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Terorist?

It's time to finish off our story about Hamburg. In the second week, there were not much going on, some of the lectures did not fit the field that we do, so sometimes, we sneaked out to enjoy Hamburg's city center a little bit more before we left. We bought some souvenirs for our family and friends, took more photos of us for memories in years to come... God, I still could not believe we went to Hamburg and not have to pay for it :)

So... our Hamburg trip came to an end on Saturday, 16 August 2008. 5.30 a.m. we were looking for a taxi, in front of our accommodation. The night before we were quite sure to get a taxi, because there is a taxi rank opposite where we lived, but in the morning, it was empty! I prayed and prayed in my heart, 'send us a taxi, Lord!' Well, we cannot really order a taxi by phone (I will say 'no way!' to the international roaming hahaha) Finally, we got a taxi, it was a Mercedes Benz! FYI, in Germany, the taxis are usually Volkswagen, BMW or Mercedes Benz! Cuman, ya itu... meteran taxinya cepet banget naiknya! Bikin sport jantung!!!

Arriving at Hamburg airport, we checked in and took some photographs and proceeded to the gate to wait for our flight. However, there is this one incident that was quite nerve-racking for us... I was called by the security, 15 minutes before the boarding. Lan was already scared and panicked, while I was taken by the police because of my luggage!
Luckily, I packed all the luggage by myself AND it was put under my name during the checking-in (otherwise, if it was put under Lan's name, he would not have a clue!). It turned out to be that they could not see what is inside the suitcase when they scanned it! One compliment that I got from the police is "you packed your suitcase so good and dense, that we cannot even look through it!" Hahahaha....

So, we flew back to Manchester, safe and sound... but somehow, the landing was not good. I got sick for a week afterwards huhuhu...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

H8 & H9 - Two weddings and a Euro!

Our second Saturday started with Lan's lead to have a walking tour around the harbour and around the newly developing area Hafencity. We took the U-bahn to Landungsbrücken. We headed, first, to the old part of the harbour, where the old port buildings are still standing strong and firm. Millions of red bricks, one after another, holding those buildings together, which are changing from the used-to-be ports to cafes, restaurants, storage houses and, even, carpet shops! The wind was a little chill that day, but we kept walking...

The old's are soon outnumbered by the new modern and fascinating buildings, which are promised to be all finished by 2010 as the new face of Hamburg; new flats and office spaces, which looks so futuristic! I have to say, Germans are very hard and diligent people! They are up early and finished later than any other western worlds. I have seen those public workers already in the middle of their jobs renovating the road before 09.00 a.m. and not even showing signs of going home at 06.00 p.m. They really do their job quick and precise! Unlike the people in UK; rain comes they stop, before 05.00 p.m. they have gone home! I remember it took more than a year just to pave a small pathway! Oh dear...

one weddingAfter seeing enough of Hafencity, we went to Katherine Church, where we spotted a wedding ceremony just finished! They looked as the happiest ones in the world! From there, we spotted a dark tall roof, which we guessed as a very old church. As we came closer, it was surrounded by a garden of roses, but somehow gave us spooky feeling. It is a building, which was built to commemorate people, who died during a war, but then was firebombed, leaving it ruined.
We could have gone up by the lift built inside to see Hamburg from above.... Oh my, nothing comes free these days! So, we gave it a miss! Instead, we just took several photos of it. Still... spooky!

Enough of the city center, we took U-bahn to Sankt Pauli this time! Sankt Pauli is famous as the red-light-district of Hamburg. Mmmm... Interesting? Hehehe...
Time hit the middle of the day, so before we continued our journey, it was time to fill in our hungry stomachs! A small kebab take away was our choice, except, we did not really eat kebab! I somehow managed to find that 'currywurst' is German's traditional food; One long sausage, served with fries and some curry ketchup! It turned out quite tasty, we must say!
Then, continuing our journey, we tried going in and out some of the 'shops' around the streets of St. Pauli and I ended feeling sick and disgusted! Really... not my cup of tea!

However, that was not the only interest we were in St. Pauli. There is St. Michel, the famous beautiful Catholic church of Hamburg that we wanted to visit. Following Lan's guide, after nearly 1 KM (spotting a pizza hut, a burger king and a KFC all in the same main road of St. Pauli!), we found out we were in the WRONG direction! We went, simply, the opposite...
After turning back and walking quite far, we saw the tip of the building! Blackish tower with a golden clock on it, standing so magnificently! And guess what?! There was another wedding ceremony! Oh my... It reminded me of our wedding, made me want to do it all over again; the happiness, the nerves, the walking-down-the aisles!
Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pictures inside the building... Although, I must say, really, beautiful! The classical curves painted white and gold, really breath-taking!

After so much awe inside the church (and, somehow, waiting for the wedding ceremony to finish), we walked our way back to the U-bahn, intending to go home, only to find another interesting event: Hamburg DOM! It is like... a temporary theme park, with a lot of wild rides, scary games, shooting games, plenty of food stalls, drink stalls (non and alcoholic drinks!) and many-many-many people in a big piece of land!Hamburg DOM All in all, I think we spent at least two hours going around all places.
We did not go on any rides (thinking mostly about our budgets, here!), but we did try some of the snacks they sold there; Schmalzkuchen, €2.00 per 100 gram, it is like donuts cut into squares and clothed with sugar. Really nice and smooth! With the day being hot and bright, people are really taking their time enjoying the rides, food and drinks there!

our photo!There is this ONE stall that caught our attention, though... A stall where we did not even mind waiting for 30 minutes for the stall owner to come back with his tools! It was for him to make a picture of both of us... Not with a camera, but with a black paper, a pair of scissors and a white A4 paper! We were so pleased with the result, that we thought €20.00 was really worth it for the 2 pictures he made. What a talent he had, it did not take him long, either, only about 20 minutes and it was done! Look at the picture on the right! Do you think, it really looks like us?

Sunday: We had rest the whole day before heading out to Colonnade street to have some dinner. We must say, there are SO many Italian restaurants there!! What's with the German's restaurant?
Anyway, we decided to eat in an Italian restaurant named Tiffany's. And we got a small incident happened when we paid the bill! It came down to €21.00. And I gave €22.00, when Lan said there is a Euro coin in my wallet. But I said "It's OK" (meaning... it's OK giving them 2 Euros coin, they will give me the change anyway!) The waitress took the money and never came back with the receipt nor the change! We waited a good 10 minutes at least!
So Lan went and asked for it from the waitress (We were not being stingy, it is our University policy that we cannot give any tips! Unless we pay the tips from our own pocket off course!). The waitress said, "The lady said 22 Euros is OK!" WHAT?! I have to say she was RUDE!
First, to butt-in and listened to our conversation. Second, for making assumption from her eaves-dropping! Although I have never been a waitress before, usually we assume it is a tips if, after given back the change, the guest leave the money on the table! At the end, we did get our one Euro back. Phew...
What is it with the Italian restaurants? We had 2 unexpected experiences BOTH in Italian restaurant! (Read this one, if you don't get me!) So, after that, we agreed not to enter any Italian restaurants in Hamburg until we go home hahahaha...

Ps. All photos can be seen in HERE.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

H3..H7 - Sommerkurs (Week 1)

As the new week begun, our summer school begun. The first class starts at 9.15am and the last class ends at 18.45 a.m. You can imagine how exhausted we become each weekday after the class. Still we had pretty interesting experience...
Mensa cafe: Our last meal there...Universität Hamburg: Beautiful architecture, Strong wireless connection through out the campus, and, one most important thing is the student canteen!!! They give special subsidised price for students, the menu changes everyday; they provide several different foods, including vegetarian menu, salads (€1 per bowl), and yummy desserts (85¢ each bowl). They had Salmon (big portion) for €4.00 and yummy beef steak for about the same price as well... I have to say the students here are really spoiled!
Lan and I really wish we have such a canteen in Liverpool. Mansa canteen (that's the name) is always crowded each day with students, lecturers and even some family with little kids! Two thumbs up for Universität Hamburg!

Inside RathausRathaus townhall: Monday afternoon, after the last class, we, the whole group of ESSLLI participants, walked to the townhall for a special reception. The Senate of Hamburg had invited us to the reception to welcome us. Remember that on the first day we went to the townhall? Well, this time is even better, we get to see the private halls that the normal tourists cannot enter. Inside, it is really beautiful and magnificent! The classic decorations painted golden yellow with hanging chandeliers made us feel royal. Simply astonishing!

Sick: Started with a little ulcer, which then grew so huge that I felt my face was swolen, I was feeling exhausted and ill on Monday. Lan dragged me home early that day, without going to all the lectures we supposed to go... Then Tuesday, I stayed in while Lan went to the lectures by himself. Sleeping almost for the whole day made me felt much better afterwards.

What beautiful experiences we are having! I thank God for this wonderful journey in Hamburg; we gain knowledge, we get some holiday as well, and yet, we are very close to not spending a penny nor a cent (except for our own souvenirs of course!) for this beautiful trip! Truly one rare chance in a life time! Praise God!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

H2 - Crap pizza & free ice cream

University of HamburgSunday, 03 August 2008, we allowed ourselves to sleep in a little longer before we hit the road around lunch time. This time was a journey to the ESSLLI (summer school) site, that is the Universität of Hamburg. Taking train from Borgweg to Hoheluftbrück, we then got on the bus number 5, as instructed in ESSLLI website. Got off at Staatbibliothek, we guessed our direction to the main university building. Voila! We got it right!
We got there about 01.00 pm, hoping that we can register early so that we can continue our adventure. However, I have to put my thumbs up for the Germans, they are really strict and on-time! Hence, Lan suggested we have some lunch first. Not really knowing anywhere, we dragged ourselves to Dammtor train station, which is opposite the university.Dammtor Station This train station (S-bahn) serves journeys between regions and province, whereas, the train we took earlier (U-bahn) is an intracity train. Inside the station, there are some souvenir shops, bakeries, cafe and a McDonald! I have to say that here in Hamburg, we have only seen 2 McDonalds, no KFC, and no Pizza Hut! And yet, we never find it difficult to find places to eat, Hamburg has a lot of restaurants and cafes, which, although little, they all look cozy, unique and so inviting! What's more surprising is that most of them are quite affordable!

We decided to eat at Burgmann cafe, a nice little cafe and cozy seatings. I ordered chicken Schnitzel and Lan had chicken wings, which both came with some delicious salad. €5.70 for those food! Afterward, I had a rumkugel (bola-bola coklat) at a bakery there, huge and I can truly taste the rum! Very nice! 02.00 pm, time to return to the university to register.

Hamburg cruise daysAfter registration, we went back home and had some rest before we then went to Hamburg's harbour, the famous Hafen city, to watch the Hamburg's cruise days, that is 7 big and famous cruise ships parade and some fireworks later on. Those ships are trully giant, when the horns were blew, I can't help myself from covering my ears, so LOUD! The parade finished around 09.30 pm, we were starving then... so we went to grab some dinner before the fireworks, which ought to start at 10.30 pm.
We chose Luigi's Italian restaurant, which seemed to be very crowded and popular, only to get disappointment. Lan ordered pizza Luigi and I ordered Fettucini Carbonara, which we only got it about 45 minutes later!!! And the food was not so tasty! Lan's pizza was very hard, as if it was overcooked, and my Carbonara was nothing more than ordinary. Plus, because of that, we missed the fireworks! *sob*
Well, I guessed... sometimes in travelling, we get to get unpleasant experience to remember too...
A glimpse of Hamburg at night
Still, a thumb up for the restaurant... When I asked for the bill, our server came not with the bill, but with a bowl of ice cream. He said, "This is for you. For the late coming, ya?!" They are quite responsible for their mistake, indeed! The ice cream was delicious. We did not take any photos of our dinner this time, because we were so hungry, angry and disappointed. We even missed taking photo of the ice cream huhu...
Well, after that, we went back home. Tired and sleepy... The wind was chilly...

Sunday, August 03, 2008

H1 - Hamburg City Centre

Halo! That is how Hamburger (Hamburg people) say 'hi' to each other. Hehehe...
We are in Hamburg now, very happy and excited! Hamburg is a city of water, they say. The buildings are artisticly beautiful and historical! Here is the story...
05.18 a.m. we got on the first train from Liverpool to Manchester Airport with heavy eyes but full of excitement. I kept asking myself "Could this be true? We are going to Hamburg!". We had a small incident, arriving at the airport... I almost believed that I forgot the keys for the suitcases locks at home, in fact, it was hidden under Lan's wallet in our backpack.

After checking in in Terminal 1, we looked around the terminal, it was our first time to be in T1, where all flights to Europe are located in. Usually we go to T2 for all the other International destinations.
09.10 a.m. we are ready to go, seating at 12A and 12C, it is the smallest plane I have ever been! It looks like a mini jet and the stewardesses' heads almost touch the ceiling of the plane! The passengers were only have full, there were only 13 rows of seats with 4 seats in each row... Well, our Lufthansa flight flied high taking us to Hamburg.

One hour and 15 minutes later, we arrived safely at Hamburg Airport, the bus picked us up when we stepped down the plane, we can even see our luggages were being unloaded from the tail of the plane. By the time we got into the terminal, there were our luggages, ready to go! The immigration was not very long, either! The officer looked a bit scary though and really checked our passports before stamping them and saying "Welcome".

We got on bus (H-bahn) number 110, to get to the University of Hamburg first to sort out our accommodation. We almost got lost, because we had to change from bus to train (U-bahn/underground), and apparently there is a construction work going on... Thank the Lord, someone helped us to get into the right track. Hamburger, although they don't speak perfect English, they are very friendly to us.
After the accommodation is sorted out, we started our journey!

We did not want to waste our 1-day ticket, so we went to city centre and walked around. But, before that, we had our late dinner, kebab at Denniz grill, very very delicious and reasonable price.

First stop, city hall. Beautiful old but clean and tidy building! We were lucky to see some kind of food and wine festival right in front of it. After taking some photos, we walked again. Hamburgers drink and smoke a LOT! We don't really enjoy breathing their smoke :(
Second stop, gay and lesbian parade. Loud music, stalls that sell alcohol, chaos and huge crowd! Some people they dance as if they are in night club! They dressed up too... I asked Lan to leave, because it was so crowded that I started to get dizzy...
After that, we just walked around spotting some famous brand shops; Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Escada and many more... We guessed it was the High class shopping district...

Time went fast, it was already 07.00 pm. Time for dinner! We gave a try at Chai room, an Indian restaurant on a bridge on top of a river where a swan was swimming around. I ordered Chicken Thali, Lan had Tikka Masala. Again, the food were very delicious, rich with spices and tastes plus reasonable price! Ahh... Heaven!

After that, we went back home, had shower and slept! So tired...

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No, it is NOT a holiday...

Lots of you guessed that we are going to Hamburg for a holiday. Yes, we would like to HOPE so, but it is NOT *sob*. We are sent by University of Liverpool's Computer Science department to do a 2-weeks summer school there (we study computer science). Eventhough it is not a holiday, we still thank God for the chance to go to Hamburg (This is our FIRST time to go to Hamburg, in fact it's a FIRST time to go to Europe after our attempt to go to Paris failed earlier this year.)

Today, after meeting friends here and there, I am resting at home for the whole day. I am exhausted and not feeling quite good. I just hope I won't get sick huhuhu... It has been fun meeting my friends and have chit chat with them.

Tomorrow is another busy day... huhuhu... Pray for Lan and I please, my friends. :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The beginning of busy week.

Today is officially the beginning of the busy week before we leave for Hamburg on Saturday, 2nd August.
The whole day was very bright and HOT! Oh my... I can say today is the perfect ONE day of the year! Clear blue sky and some cool wind! At last we can wear our summer clothes! Hehe... Thank God for such a beautiful day!
So, we went to church this morning, only to find that it was moved *again* temporarily, so we had to walk a bit further to get there. Thinking of it in a positive way, we had some time to exercise in a nice bright morning haha... At church, we got to know some Korean people, who are quite nice. We are becoming more comfortable in the new church now...
After that we went home to have some lunch and a bit of nap before we picked up Bebek & her hubby at the coach station. They are really nice couple! Bebek even brought me some gifts from Singapore *thank you so much!* We had dinner together at Tokyou noodle bar (Lan's & my favourite restaurant). Glad they liked the food there.

Tomorrow, I plan to bring them to LFC aka Anfield, because Santo is a big fan of Liverpool. Then I am hoping to show them around Liverpool.
Tuesday, planning to see Yuni, who comes all the way from Kuala Lumpur.
Wednesday, packing up for Hamburg.
Thursday, my brother arrives in the morning to stay for 2 weeks (before he leaves for home until November), also, Lan's friend is arriving in the after from Beijing.
So, most likely on Friday, we will be tour guides to show them around.
Then... 5 a.m. on Saturday, off our train goes to Manchester for us to catch Lufthansa flight to Hamburg.

Hufff.... We gonna need extra extra extra energy!!!!
Well, to you all: Have a great week! God bless you always! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

God is FOREVER the same!

Yesterday, while Lan and I were cooking prawn crackers my Mum has sent us, together, we came to the point where we talk about Chair Mao, the famous ruler of China.
Lan said Chair Mao used to be a very good person... UNTIL he got the whole country under him. Somehow he changed... He used to not care about money and power, but after he tasted how it is to be a leader of such a massive country, he was never the same anymore. Chair Mao became greedy of power and wealth. He did all he could to get rid of those who opposed him and to keep the power for himself.
When Lan said that, Holy Spirit opened my eyes and my heart... And suddenly it becomes clear why it is so important that yesterday, today and forever, The LORD is never changing! Thank you, Lord, for speaking to me through Lan. Just imagining if God changes like human does, what would become of us? Say, after the crucifixion, Jesus changes His mind and blames all of us for His sufferings, how doomed we will be? Praise God that our God is faithful!

What a powerful God we have!
Thank you, Jesus, for being faithful 'til the end.
Teach us to have the unchanging heart towards You.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nice day today :)

Hari ini adikku dah balik ke Brighton (untuk kembali lagi ke Liverpool dua minggu lagi), karena harus ketemu sama dosennya sekali lagi untuk membicarakan final projectnya. Yang tersisa sekarang adalah capek! Huff huff huff... taking care of 2 boys is not easy. Especially when we live in a bedsit-type-of-flat. Our place becomes so stuffy that sometimes I felt like throwing out a chair out of the window *hihihi...*.
Anyhow, we had quite fun together. I took my brother around city center and we went in and out to those shops with the SALE tags! Lan is lucky I did not spend a penny in those shops.

Today, after saying 'see you in 2 weeks' to Erwin at the coach station, we went to town, hunting some lambbananas photos for my collection. Lambbanana is the icon for the Liverpool as the European City of Culture 2008. Lots of people were in town, it was like a sea of fish!!!


Dapet award dary sis Jane! Thanks ya!!! Ini nih ketentuannya:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs (u can nominate more than 7)
4. Add links to those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

Aduh... aku ga tau mo nominate sapa neh hehe... Saking sibuknya kepala ga ada di blog hehehe...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Taking care of two boys!

Yesterday, my brother arrived for the first time in Liverpool. So, at the moment, our home is very crowded. Well, it is meant to be a bedsit, so adding another person in the flat makes it feels so full haha!
We went to a Chinese buffet restaurant for dinner last night and Lan gave him an 'early' graduation gift, which took quite an effort to find it. It is a very nice pen with his very own name engraved on it! We really hope he likes it.
At the moment, we are in the University, Erwin brought his own laptop and is using the University's Internet right now hehehe... How boring, eh? To come to Liverpool just to spend time in his sister's office hahaha... Well, tomorrow, I am going to take him around.
I guess this is the start of the busy time. This week is my brother's visit, next week catching up with work, the following week a couple of friends is coming from Singapore and then on 2nd August, we are flying to Hamburg for summer school. I hope I can cope!

Well, for you all, God bless you!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Our lovely afternoon

Yesterday, we really had a lovely afternoon! And it is all thanks to Jesus Christ and my beloved husband for making it so wonderful!
Five p.m., as we agreed, we left office, feeling a bit disappointed that it started to rain. We got home and changed clothes, fetched our camera and mini tripod and off we walked to the restaurant. We were heading to Ego restaurant, which happens to be only 5 minutes walk from where we live. Every time we went pass there, somehow it was always full of people and has delicious smell coming out from the kitchen! And so we decided to try...
  • Lan had marinated moroccan chicken salad with a chickpea, apricot and raisin salsa served with a yoghurt, honey and mint dressing for starter and ‘pappardelle portofino’ chargrilled chicken, manzanilla green olives, mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes in a cream, red wine and tomato sauce for his main course.

  • And I had grilled goats cheese served on toasted brioche with caramelised red onions and a fig and blueberry jam as starter and for main course, I chose chargrilled rump steak served with a brandy and grain mustard sauce

We were very satisfied and impressed with the food there! Great choice it was! :) We were double happy, because the rain had stopped and the sun was out! Thank you, Jesus!
After filling our stomach, we started our little exercise: a walk to city centre to buy some dessert to eat at home. So we had a relaxing walk to town and bought a lemon cheesecake and went home to enjoy it together with Cava that we bought several days ago.
With extremely happy feeling, Lan challenged me twice to do 'bottom up' (that is to drink all the Cava in my glass at once). Arghhh... we should not have done that! Because, not long after that, we were feeling tipsy and seeing stars hahahaha... Yep yep... we were feeling DRUNK! Lan was all red on his face (and even up to his shoulders!). So we had no choice but to lay down!
After some time, we started exchanging gift. I gave him some-kind-of scrapbook that I made, it took me quite awhile, because I had to do it in secret and after work and I even almost cut my hands because of that. However, I am extremelly happy that he likes it :)
What Lan gave me was really impressive! He gave me a mixed tape, i.e., something that he recorded by himself. There is this song, titled 'Yue Liang Tai Piao Wo De Xin', that I like and can sing some parts, and guess what?! He played that song with his harmonica!!!! Oh my Jesus, I was sooooo happy! And at the end of the songs, he said things that are actually my reactions, somehow he just knew how I would react to his sweet and special present!

Overall, it was a wonderful evening we had! After the gift exchange, we went to sleep, we could not handle seeing stars hahahahaha.... Lan said, "Next time, get away from alcohol!" Hehehe.. too late for this time, dear ;)

Ps. for more photos, go to my multiply album

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Hunny...

His soft whisper woke me up this morning. Ughhh... Cannot believe it has been one year already! Time flies, but through it all, I am so grateful... for my beloved husband, who would do anything for me. I am grateful to my Jesus, for my soulmate, for His providence and hands upon our little family. On this same beautiful day, is my best friend's birthday. One that I have known for so many years and I keep loving her more each day. And, I am so happy that since 2007, we celebrate this special date together until forever! So...

Happy Birthday, my sister in Christ, Yulie! We both love you!


This one whole year has been beautiful to me. Not because we never fought each other, believe me, we fought quite many times! It is beautiful that through all of those ups and downs, we willing to improve for each other and we really improve. Along the way, we compromise, we forgive and we think alike.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful one year!
Thank you friends, for remembering, for the beautiful prayers and the great wishes!
With LOVE as our foundation,
we shall not fear anything and will keep going...
together, hand in hand.
For in LOVE, there is no fear.
And GOD is LOVE!

With GOD as our foundation, His hands will be upon us and our future!
Happy anniversary, Hubby! I love you, too!


Ps. Tonight we will have dinner together and exchange our hand-made presents! *I am so excited!*

Monday, June 30, 2008

Our weekend

Can't believe weekend went so fast, it's Monday again. *arghhh work again!* It was quite an up and down for us. Friday we got a news that lead to a huge disappointment. Something that we were happy about, before, suddenly turned upside down! Lan was so shock when he heard it, well, I could understand why he is so... since he sacrificed a lot and spent a lot on this matter.
Anyway, I would not say what it is here. It breaks my heart to remember it again :(

On Saturday, we were like robots with numb feelings, recovering from disappointment is so not easy! We gave the grocery shopping a miss, because we bought quite a pile of food already in the previous weekend. We heard some bad news as well from Papa Mama (Lan's parents). It's like a weekend full of bad news...
I cooked some soto ayam just to cheer myself up (using the bamboo instant ingredients :p). Thank God, Lan actually enjoyed it.
We slept in the afternoon, planning for 30 minutes nap and then go out to the cinema. In fact, we overslept for several hours! Hahaha... I guess we were very exhausted from all those bad news.

Sunday morning, around 9, we woke up to get ready for church. Just on our way out of our flat, there was a Polish lady standing outside the gate, seemed lost.
It turned out to be she reserved a room in our accommodation for a week starting Sunday for a 5-days course in our University, but somehow the accommodation's manager did NOT tell her that our reception is alwys closed on Sunday *what a lazy reception system!* So, she did not know what to do and where to get the key from...
She flew from Poland at 5 am in the morning and there she was not knowing where she is going to stay... Poor lady. Anyway, Lan called the duty student (those students, whom are said to be contacted if the reception is closed) and found that the duty time is now over! *WHAT?!* The duty system is only working during the Undergraduate student's academic time (which is late September to early June). God, they are so lazy! Luckily enough, after some arguments, one of them agreed to meet the lady.

After we sorted things out, telling her that man (the duty student) will come and meet her, she insisted for us to go for to church and not wait for her. Well... we were late already hahaha... Still we went there... only to find that the service was NOT held in the usual place for this Sunday! Oh my Lord! Hahaha...
It is our first time to go to that church and it was moved for this time hahahaha... Lan said, maybe The Lord gave us a sign by letting us to help that Polish lady. Hehe... maybe! Well, never mind, there is still next week :)

So, instead of going to church, we went to the cinema to watch KUNGFU PANDA! We absolutely love it!!! It was so so funny and refreshing! We had Chinese buffet for lunch and then went window shopping.
Oh! And we booked a table in a restaurant for our Wednesday's celebration! ;)

Well... after all those bad news, The Lord gave us such a fabolous Sunday! Thank you, Lord!

By the way, thanks for the advice about my neck. I am OK now, only a bit painful now and then, but feeling a lot better! :)
All of my life...
In every season...
YOU ARE STILL GOD!
I have the reason to sing!
I have the reason to worship!

- Hillsong, Desert Song

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Neck problem & Häagen-Dazs

Sudah dua hari leher dan pundakku rasanya pegel. Ntah ada apa dengan otot leherku ini, apa iya aku salah posisi tidur? Sampe serasa tengeng begini! Dipake noleh ke kiri rasanya aduhai sakitnya! Ugh...
Jadinya dua hari ini aku seperti robot, tidurpun rasanya ga nyenyak. Mau jemur bantal, mataharinya malu-malu kucing! Ya sudah, akhirnya pake lampu meja aja deh manasin bantal hahahah!
Kemarin si Lan bela-belain ikutan ga ngantor, mijitin pundak istrinya plus dengan sabarnya nyuapin Häagen-Dazs rasa Bailey wekekeke... Serasa Surga deh, suami tercinta plus es krim favorit! Sweet!
Gara-gara si leher juga, meeting dengan supervisor besok harus ditunda seminggu, kan ga lucu tuh hadir di meeting dengan tangan kosong, blum ngerjain apa-apa. *hiks*
Tapi sekalipun lagi menderita begini, I am getting excited lho!!! One week to our first anniversary. Cihuy! Sudah ada plan yang dinanti-nanti untuk terjadi :)

Oh ya, kemarin dapet SMS dari my BFF, Yulie, dia jadi saksi mata kerusuhan di depan Atma Jaya! *ya iya... dia mahasiswi di Atma* Dia bilang dia kejebak di kampus, ga bisa pulang, terus lihat mobil plat merah dibakar dan juga ledakannya. Duh... aku jadi khawatir and ketakutan banget deh kalo-kalo terjadi apa-apa ke dia...
Waktu baca beritanya di Kompas, pelakunya ada yang umur belasan tahun!! Weleh, ngerti apa toh soal BBM tuh anak-anak?! Dipikir bikin demo sampe bakar-bakar dan ngerusak kayak gitu bisa tambah bikin baik apa? Adanya juga bikin buruk!
Bikin masyarakat sendiri takut, bikin citra Indonesia di seluruh dunia tambah buruk, yang ada negara malah terpuruk! Bego ah! Lagian, kan udah kenal Internet, mbok ya baca berita, yang naek harga BBM BUKAN cuma di Indonesia! Kasian deh pemerintah, serba salah... utang menumpuk gara-gara subsidi, rakyat nuding-nuding. Sekarang subsidi dilepas utk ngurangin utang, rakyat mencak-mencak. Ruwet!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

爱是

Finally! After forcing myself out of my laziness, I managed to make a new design for my blog hihihi... This one is specially to celebrate our upcoming first anniversary.

I played a bit with coding, trying the blogger XML template, but I found myself to be too restricted by it, so... I changed it back to HTML template. And voila... this is it.

Maybe a bit over-simplified. Well, I will blame myself for that! *can't be bothered lately!* Overall, I like it so much :D

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Life o life...

I'm here again hehehe... still bored and fed up somehow, but anyway... I want to complain about UK's weather... Oh my... it is not really summer here. One day it is very hot, one day it is pouring rain, one day it is 'undecidable'! Today, it was gloomy one hour ago, now it is sunny, I just wonder how do I decide on what to wear? Something not too hot and yet not too cold, maybe I should just bring my whole wardrobe to the office hahaha...

Approaching the later part of this month (June), I am getting excited! Our anniversary is approaching (together with my BFF's birthday!). It is our FIRST anniversary, very soon *yay!*... I cannot believe one year has gone pass since the day we got married :)

To make it more exciting, we are preparing secret present for each other hehehe... I really cannot wait :)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fed Up

Been so fed up lately... with our PhD works and routines!
Holidayyyyyyyy... we want holiday!!!
Wait wait... where to? Whose money?
Argh... too much to think of! We are just hoping to 'escape' a little bit to somewhere to freshen our mind!
We just wish... wishful thinking... but also... too many things to think of!

We are just... EXHAUSTED!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Crazy but true?

Lan heard this on the radio when he was queuing at the barber shop today for a haircut:
A woman wants MANY things from ONE man...
A man wants ONE thing from MANY women.


What do you think?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Not only in Indonesia!

This morning, via Kopete, Lan sent me an interesting news link, which made both of us giggle for a bit. You may read it here. It made me go "ah... so this does not only happen in Indonesia..."

Right, it is about the price of oil *petrol* that goes up, bringing up a lot of complaints and protest in Indonesia. Some people blamed the government, some blamed SBY.
Well, for your information, it happens all over the world. And UK is also one of them! Here, the price of the petrol is £1.20 per liter (which is more than Rp. 20,000). On top of that, there is so-called "road tax", which increases along with the petrol's price increase. Should we be saying "lucky you, who live in Indonesia..."? At least, you do not need to pay road tax (unless you go to highway), right?
If you read in the link above, some UK citizens actually protest about the price rise, too. And, if you study more about the system of this country, here you pay hell a lot of money just for the tax. Basically, as the money you earn increases, the tax also increases. Some of my already-working friends even pay 40% of their earnings just for tax!

Lan and I have been thinking of getting a second-hand car, which eventually goes down to getting a Vespa!!! Still, we are thinking millions time! Can we afford the petrol?
Moreover, with Vespa, we can't really go far in this country... unless we are ready to be either all wet or frozen by the so-not-friendly weather.

Still think, Rp. 6000 is expensive?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Lazy me...

Somehow, I've been having no inspiration to write anything here... I just wonder where has my writing hobby gone to?!
Maybe it is because lately I feel as if life is just a routine, go to office from 09.00 to 6.30, then home, have dinner, sometimes clean our flat and then sleep. I want a more interesting life than this! This is so just NOT me...
Maybe it is because I am not alone anymore? These days, if I have something in mind, I'd just talk to Lan, share things with him.
Maybe I am just lazy?! Ah... I don't know.

Whatever the reason is, let it be. Hopefully the desire to write will return soon...
Despite the boredom and depression facing hundreds lines of codes (programming) in office, I always look forward to the afternoon to come for us to go home. Lately, it has been the little kids, Lan and Sherly, at home hehehe... Tickles, teases, jokes.
While you sleep so peacefully,
Sometimes I ask myself the questions of "why"...
And that many times, I can't answer myself.

It is just YOU.
The way YOU are.
The soul in YOU.

My life is full of beautiful surprises from you,
I believe.
My gratefulness is never ending,
I am blessed.

- nie @ 22 May 2008, 10.12 am

Friday, May 09, 2008

The recent colours of my life

Doh! Been so long since last I posted here... Partly because I am busy, partly because I've been so caught up into one of the facebook's applications hehehe...

I've been swimming in programming mode for the last couple of weeks! Supervisors' pressure really does the job on me, last night I had this dream of sitting in front of my PC, programming, however I seemed to not do the right job, i.e. getting error all the time! Arrghh, what a nightmare! I woke up with my body feeling like a punch-bag!
At the same time, Lan is head over heel writing a paper. He is trying to submit a paper for a conference and the deadline is 02nd June 2008, so he is stressed up and almost every night he spends the time in the office... *surely my time will come...*
Well, I have faith in him, I am sure he can do it, with plenty of prayers and determination, Jesus will open the way.

As of our marriage... ah... time flies! It's approaching the first anniversary, yet, each day, we fall in love with each other ever more. We do fight, too, sometimes, but each time we handle it better and learn to keep it cool. I can never stop Jesus for the man, He has given me to.
As for the future, we have so many plans that we will do together... that way we will need our whole life to fulfill them one by one. :)

Ah... I am excited today, we are having a date after work... *who says we can't date after we got married?! :p*
Never gone. Never far.
In my heart is where you are.

- Never Gone by Backstreet Boys.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Finale: BCIA Terminal 3

It's always sad to tell story about how you parted with your loved ones... I still remember clearly that day we took the airport express coach service to the airport, shortly after we had dinner at home. It was Papa's cooking.

Those last three days, I had diarrhea so badly. Mama was worried sick... maybe my body knew I was not happy to leave the home I just came into. So, for those last three days, I had to eat vegetables and rice only, no meat to ease my digestion system. Still, Papa's cooking was more than enough... I loved it and I am missing it now.

The airport express coach took around one hour to get to the airport. I wished it would take longer, that way I could spend more time with my beloved Papa and Mama. The first stop of the coach was Terminal 3, the newest terminal of BCIA (Beijing City International Airport). We were all amazed... it is a beautiful airport, huge and magnificent. *I'll have to ask Lan to send me the photos so that I can show it to you guys...* But, still, I was sad inside.

We were the second to get served at the check-in desk. Everything went smoothly. After that, Mama Papa sent us off to go to the immigration. We hugged, waved good-bye for so long that I wished it would never end. As we stepped away from them, I lost parts of my heart, I left it with my new parents. I love them, from the bottom of my heart, dearly and preciously.
One day, I'd hope to meet them and spend more time with them.

Beijing, my second home, I will be back.

Ps. A couple of our 2nd prawedding photos has arrived. The very first one is us with the traditional Chinese wedding gown. Hehehe... I love it. Click to see the big version.
More photos on: My Multiply

Friday, April 25, 2008

Beijing Part 3: Home where I belong

Thank God, it's Friday now... I am very tired this week, been sinking in programming mode, because my supervisors have been pushing me to finish it off...
Anyway, here is the continuation about Beijing trip. One thing that I enjoyed the most was not the shopping, was not the great delicious food, but was the family I came in to. I can proudly and comfortably say, now, that Lan's home is my home and his family is my family.
Even though I cannot really speak Mandarin, but they were very patient with me, never tired to repeat and try to speak as simply as possible so I can understand what they were telling me. They don't laugh at me, but they laugh with me... Papa called me "My little girl!" in front of all his family when we were having dinner. Mama cares and loves me as much as she cares for Lan. She always made sure I wear enough clothes, so that I won't catch a cold (I'm a warm blood type, which, even if it's winter, I don't wear much clothes!). And when I really caught a cold, she treated me like my own mother would treat me and complained to me "Why didn't I wear enough clothes?"
Ah... I missed everyone. I miss Lao Ye and Lao Lao (grandpa and grandma), they cooked specially for me, very delicious dumplings (Lan told me, they don't cook those dishes that often). They really loved me the way they love their own grandchildren.

Beijing is a home where I belong now...
Two days ago, Lan told me that Mama sent an email. She said she cried in one of the shopping malls in Xidan. More precisely, she was crying in the toilet. She said when she went there, she remembered me... Yes we were there together, in fact, I was waiting for her there, although she told me to go. Ah... Mama. You touch my heart.
I love and miss you too. Looking forward to be with you again very soon... one day.

Happy weekend, my friends.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Beijing Part 2: Shopping Malls & Photo Shoots

Xidan, my favourite place!Hello friends! I think before it is out of date, I better continue with the stories of my first trip to Beijing... Well, this time I will tell you about the shopping malls.

Beijing is FULL of shopping malls and shops. Almost every corner of the city has 'at least' one shopping mall. When we think of shopping in China, we immediately 'say' the word 'cheap' in our minds, but, beware! Nowadays, they have some really posh and expensive shopping malls, too, in Beijing. The city grows so fast that a lot of international brands (e.g. D&G, Morgan, etc) open their branches in China, especially Beijing. Lan says that even if I take one whole year to intentionally visit all the shopping malls in Beijing, it will never be enough, because they keep building new shopping malls around the city. So, maybe I should take my whole life time to visit all those shopping malls hehehe
I am very blessed that I have Lan as my husband, he is my greatest guide to go around Beijing to find cheap stuffs hahahaha... So, while I was there, I bought some summer clothes, new pairs of shoes (my old shoes had holes in it that water got in, every time it rains >.<), in addition, bought some gifts for my parents and family. Wang Fu JingIt was sad that my family cannot come to Beijing at the same time as us... Papi (my dad) is having a financial difficulty right now and, at the same time, he has to pay Erwin's tuition fee (my brother who is studying his last year of Architecture in Brighton). Thank God, Papa and Mama understood the reason why...
Well, there would be still plenty of chances for them to visit Beijing. We are right now saving in hope that one day we can take Papi, Mami and my brothers sister to visit Beijing.

Another important thing, apart from meeting Lan's family, to do in Beijing was wedding photo shoots (27 March 2008). Yep, another one. Lan wanted to have photos of us wearing the traditional Chinese wedding dress. So, Mama booked for a Wedding photo package in one of the best photo studios in Beijing. Thumbs up for Mama's choice, the photo studio's service is great, the photos are very good and the photographers (and the staffs) are very very friendly. We were very pleased with the photos.
It was one whole day full of photo shoots, some indoors, some outdoors. Lan and I were very very tired that I felt sick (I caught a cold)! But, it was fully worth it, although we agree that once is enough, never again we want to do that kind of photo shoots!! Too tiring >.<
We are very excited to get the final photos, which will be picked up by Mama on 28 April 2008 (next Monday). Hopefully we will be able to share the photos with you all :)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beijing Part 1: Food Food Food! (esp. QJD)

Let's continue with the stories of my first trip to Beijing... OK, this time it is about FOOD! Something that you imagine and drool of when you think about going to China.

Beijing, in particular, they have all sorts of food. You name it, it will be there; from the old traditional Chinese food, American, Italian, Korean, Japanese, even Russian!
Three or four years ago, while I was studying Mandarin for fun, my teacher told me that, if one day I go to Beijing, I have to try 'kao ya rou' (a.k.a Peking Duck). Well, never did I plan it, but The Lord takes me to Beijing somehow, after meeting my beloved husband :)
When I came to Beijing, Mama Papa had a list of places I must go to, one of them is the Peking Duck (the famous Quan Ju De/QJD). So, one of our days there, Mama Papa really took me there, Lao Ye (grandpa) and Lao Lao (grandma) were also there. They said they came for me *they are so sweet and lovely...*

We took subway from home to QJD. The entrance door was the spinning door with a big yellow duck statue next to it. When I went in, it was a square room; two lifts at my right hand side and another door at my left. In that particular room, they have several seats for people, who have to queue. At that time, Lao Ye was seating there waiting for us, while Lao Lao was inside waiting at our dining table.
Lan whispered to me, "The restaurant can be booked for up-to-1500-people dinner!" Wow!
He said, presidents and high ranking officers from around the world, when they come to Beijing, always never miss the Restaurant and they have special dining rooms for those particular people in the higher floors.

It was around 11 o'clock, but, as soon as I enter the dining room from the door at my left hand side of the previous room, the noise of people is overwhelming! It was full of people! They sure are really popular! Food comes in no time, as if they cook it only in 5 seconds.
Believe their fame, they are really good! No ducks can compare their ducks.

By the time we finished eating, it was lunch time (of course, we were full already!). At that lobby of the restaurant, a lot of people queue! The lobby was full of people... so, you can imagine, how popular it is!

Enough about QJD, in case I make you drool uncontrollably and you will blame me for that.
While home, we did not always go out to eat. We had plenty of times eating Mama and Papa's cooking. It was like... coming back to my own home. I love their cookings! Turnip soup, noodle soup (Mian Dang), and some stir-fries. Ah... this posting makes me want to go back to Beijing...
I ate plenty of Mantau *yum!*, drank plenty of soya milk and got my stomach really full with good food! Hehehe...

And... by the time we were going home, Mama said to me "You become fatterrounder compared to when you first arrived!" Oh noooooooooooo....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Happy birthdayyyy, honey!!



The day that you did not really wish for has come uncontrolably...
The digits had to change...
Still, I am happy that The Lord blesses me with you in my life.
For you to be with me, walking beside me, laughing with me...
Happy 30th Birthday, darling!
I love you, always.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Introduction: Arrival.

Moments before landing to Beijing Capital International Airport (BCIA), my heartbeats were faster than ever. The feeling of fear and teary eyes overwhelmed me. "What if... they don't like me? They hate me?" I asked so many 'what-if's, and for each one of them, Lan calmed me that everything will be great, they will love me. By the time, we landed, I just had to trust Jesus and Lan that I will enjoy this trip more than I expected it to be.

The queue for the immigration check for me was longer than we expected, we had to be in different lines, Lan with his Chinese passport and I with my own passport. It made me more nervous.
The moment of truth arrived, holding our luggages, we passed the door of the airport's arrival... So many people there waiting for their loved ones, but Lan?! He cannot recognize any familiar faces! God, what is with Lan?
"Lannnnnn!!!!" That's someone... running and waving at us. It was Mama. She gave us hugs and held my hand. Papa is sleeping at one of the chair, she said. When she held my hands, all my nerves and fear were gone. I felt I am welcomed at my home. My new home, but feel so warm.

From the airport, we got on the shuttle coach to the city center, to Mama Papa's home. Through the coach's window, I swallowed as much as I could the pictures of Beijing; high buildings everywhere, more cars than I ever saw, streets so wide (widest I ever have seen, 8 lines++), bicycles and people like colonies of ants! The city is celebrating the upcoming Olympic with many posters of the Fuwa Olympic Mascots almost everywhere.
Through all those business, I feel small like a little girl coming from a village. I thought I am going to dislike Beijing just as I dislike Jakarta, but, I fell in love with Beijing. A city, though with some disorders, I still can find somewhat rules and disciplines that drive the city.

Coming home, we have some dinner, which Papa cooked, and unpacked. The content of our suitcases are gifts anyway, so it did not take long. I am glad that Papa Mama love the gift I gave them. They also gave me gifts that touch me deeply; the gifts of being their daughter, their family member, their beloved. For that, I am forever grateful. Thank you, Jesus, for the chosen one and his family.

Ps. I just knew that MP is blocked in Indo now... Well, I will try to upload the photos in flickr *probably* later.
Witnessing d The Lord's choice in my life,
I am forever thankful for what He had done and is doing in my life.
For He makes everything perfect in His time with plenty of sweet surprises along the way.

- nie, 10 April 2008.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Prolouge: My first trip to Beijing

Ni hao, friends!
I am not really glad to say that we are back... Because we did not really one to return here. I fell in love with Beijing and still loving it! I love Lan's family, I feel that they are my own family.

Well, for now, I will just direct you to our photos together, which are all stored in my multiply album. The stories will follow when the tiredness in me has passed.

God bless!