Friday, 29 January 2010

Family Session : Leo, Elaine & Cheryl

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Mosquto bite???
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Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Glorious food

Now I guess it's about time to blog about food.
While I was back home, I was fed with every kind of food (I guess that what people do when they returned to their hometown). This make me realise how different the food I have here and back there.

Now, Jakarta in particular... unlike London... is not a famous place for anything. There is no nice museum, park, palace (as Buckingham palace) or real cultural exhibition. That's sounded boring! So, what does the local people do on their spare time?

Well... they EAT!
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Eating is a big part of Indonesian culture. We chat and have building relationship while eating. I am not talking about fancy romantic dinner, but also lunch between business partner or family reunion dinner. You can see the evidence of this if you pass Kelapa Gading Boulevard, a 3-4 miles strech of restaurant, bakery, cafe, and food stall. Talking about business sense, how can each of them survive with such a tense competition? Well they did, because most of us eat out with friends and family on any occassion.
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On the picture above, me, my sister, my parents and my husband were trying exquisite sundanese food. I was born in Bandung, so that made the Sunda part of me. This is probably the first time in a decade I taste so much chilli amd fried "ikan gurame" (carp) again.
While below is the picture of strange food called a kind of "pepes ikan" which using bamboo shoot to cook it. As you see on the picture below, you even need hammer to open it! (That makes me think how difficult it is to put it in on the first place).
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It taste hot, coconuty, and full of fragrance. It's undescribe-able. Simply yummy. It's no wonder I gained 7 lbs in 4 weeks!

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Are in laws out laws?

Some of you my facebook friend might have notice.

That's right!



My mother in law is here to stay with us for the next 3 month.



Some of my friends react like my whole world will end, some nod their hand in symphaty, but some ask me "why just three month?"

I understood that in many culture, mother in law (and especially if you are her daugther in law) impose certain hard-to-explain relationship. She used to be the woman of the family her son respect and love to some extent cases even handle his salary. She probably worked extra hour for him, do his laundry, decide what he wore or what he should eat. Now that her son married, his responsibility and priority shifted toward his wife and children. On the other hand, as a daughter of someone else with certain value and upbringing, it's hard to just embrace a strange woman and call her "mom" and really meant it. Therefore, there is nothing strange is daugther in law normally does not get along very well with mother in law.

I must say I am very fortunate in this case.
Many people think they wed a great man, but very few think they had a great parent in law.
In the culture where I came from where family ties are strong, it's important to have a good relationship with parents and parent in law likewise.

My mother in law in particular, are quite easy going person. She is much better than many born again christian in law out there (sad to say).
She does not question the way me and my husband run the household, she just tries to do whatever she can to help with the cooking, taking care of my son or ironing the laundry. She doesn't fuss about what my son eats, how hard we punished him, or how much we spend on things. She is very frugal and considerate too - she is so concern about energy saving and try to be as efficient doing anything. So, in return I take her to shopping trips, bought her dress and such, take her to short holiday to places she had never seen before. After more than a week, I start to enjoy her company, filling ladies chat of family history every night, watching some indonesian sitcom in youtube, exchanging recipe, watching my son try to read books to her.


So why just 3 month?

Yes, it makes me think I wanted to confiscate her passport!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Dreamland - Part 2

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Location : Klapa, Pecatu, above Dreamland Bali (Uluwatu Area).
Offer : fantasic view over from the cliff towards Dreamland beach (which I think now full of stall and not as attractive as it used to), two infinity pool, sunbeds and posh restaurant to chill out.
Camera : Canon EOS 300D, ND8 filter, lens 50mm f/1.4 and 18-55mm

Friday, 22 January 2010

Dreamland - Bali

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First time in many years...

For the first time this is our new year without my grandfather around...
For the first time my son met his distant cousins from my dad side...
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For the first time my son met her only aunt...

On the 31st we celebrate my sister birthday,
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and crossing to new year we celebrate my uncle's birthday.
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For the first time in more that a decade, my dad side of family finally gather up and celebrate new year once again....
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Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Testing my 450D and 50mm f/1.4 lens

Thanks to my parents who bought me a new camera! Now that my Canon EOS 300D has already retire they got me a EOS 450D as my new toy. After browsing for reliable lens seller, we decide to match it with new 50mm f/1.4 lens bought in hongkong. (In case you are wondering, you can check this link to find a reliable and good priced photography supplies in hongkong :
http://rolandlim.wordpress.com/2009/03/20/camera-lens-street-price-list/)

Now, let see what it can do!

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Picture of my son playing at the front porch of my late grand-dad. Sitting outside at 28 degree temperature, he was sweating buckets!
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And below is the daugther of my old friend, Benjamin, my kindergarden (or nursery) friend. She is 12 days old in this picture.
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Now let see more of its f/1.4 power in extreme low light and no tripod.

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I've given up my 50mm f/1.8 to my sister so you'll see more of my f/1.4 in my next entries :-)
And lastly, I want to thank Teresa from "http://somanywords-teresa.blogspot.com/" for this award!


Hereby I would like to nominate another 3 blogs that has been my inspiration in many aspect.

1. thesavvyphotographer.blogspot.com - children and family photographer, it is the excellent site to look for editting ideas, get inspired by professional photographer, and get loads of promotion/freebies!

2. Tired of portrait? why not bookmarked Lucile's work at http://www.luciedebelkova.com/. She is a finance manager who works round the world and currently based in Iran. She took amazing dreamy scenery around her with her Canon EOS Mark II.

3. How about food? well, if you want to find out where is nice and cheap to eat in southeast asia you can try http://ieatishootipost.sg/ or if you feel more challenged to try it yourself, try http://ellenaguan.blogspot.com/ for yummy asian western fusion recipe.

Wish everyone a happy Wednesday!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Victoria Peak

People said "Hongkong is a great place for shopping". No doubt that is really true. However, fortunate enough that shopping till you drop blood does not exactly run on my vein. On my 4 days visit in hongkong three of us only spend less than 4 hour to do a real shopping (in which one of them were to buy lens).
So what is it to see in Hong Kong when you hate shopping like me?
First of course there is Disneyland, but if you are alone it's kind of not as fun. So what else?

I say "Go and visit Victoria Peak!"


thepeak4With some seven million visitors every year, the Peak is a major tourist attraction of Hong Kong. But here is a useful tips. Don't visit the Peak right during daylight. Hong Kong is hardly have a clear air, somewhat it looks misty therefore looking towards a distance is kind of unclear. However, visibility does improve at night.
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It offers spectacular views of the city and its harbours. The number of visitors led to the construction of two major leisure and shopping centres, the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria, situated adjacent to each other.thepeak
The Peak Tower incorporates the upper station of the Peak Tram, the funicular railway that brings passengers up from Hong Kong's Central district, whilst the Peak Galleria incorporates the bus station used by the Hong Kong public buses and green minibuses on the Peak. The Peak is also accessible by taxi and private car via the circuitous Peak Road, or by walking up the steep Old Peak Road from near the Zoological Botanical Gardens.
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Victoria Peak Garden is located on the site of Mountain Lodge, the Governor's old summer residence, and is the closest publicly accessible point to the summit. It can be reached from Victoria Gap by walking up Mount Austin Road, a climb of about 150 metres (490 ft). Another popular walk is the level loop along Lugard Road, giving good views of Hong Kong's Central district and Kowloon, and then returning via Harlech Road, encircling the summit at the level of the Peak Tower.

Tired of all day sight seeing? why not eat while enjoying the view from the Peak?
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There are several restaurants on Victoria Peak, most of which are located in the two shopping centres. However, the Peak Lookout Restaurant, is housed in an older and more traditional building which was originally a spacious house for engineers working on the Peak Tramway. It was rebuilt in 1901 as a stop area for sedan chairs, but was re-opened as a restaurant in 1947.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Enjoying Hongkong

Hello everyone! Finally I am back to England safely. I have loads of things to catch up, unpacking, and also sleeping. Therefore, I can't write much here, so for a bit of spoiler here is some of my picture from Hongkong Disneyland.banner2
We were there at about 12 noon (for the fact that hongkong disneyland is not as big as its sister site in Anaheim or Florida), spend some time eating our lunch (because no outside food allowed inside) and then embark to the adventure.
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Though we came rather late (and even when we didn't suffer from jetlag) We managed to see quite a lot of things.
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This is the first ride we took : "It's the small world after all".
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The park was rather busy considering that we actually went on the 25th december. But the queue still can't beat the one in Anaheim by far.
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The best of all is the decoration of the disney mainstreet during the night. They have a huge christmas tree standing on the corner of the road.
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Strange enough that I've noticed more couples treat this theme park as a dating venue more than parents bringing their children to amusement park. It's no wonder that Disney try to make the ambience as "romantic" as possible.... so what else by adding fake-snow-foam on the air!
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Did you notice the picture much sharper this time? These were taken with my new 50mm 1.4 lens at f/1.6
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We had a great Christmas, praise the Lord.

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