Thursday, June 30, 2016

Books read for the first half of the year 2016

Sunrise 30 June 2016

Another half year passed by. It seemed just like yesterday when my brother told me about the job vacancy for me. I went back joining the workforce starting from the beginning of the year. It brought me to one of my difficult times of my life where I had to adapt to a new environment and new job scope, something I’d never worked on before. 

Despite being busy and stressful, it did not stop me to do things I loved doing, which included reading and writing. The number might have decreased, but the spirit would never die :) 

Below please find the list of books read for the first half of year 2016:

January 2016

January 2016:                
1. Landline - Rainbow Rowell
3. What I Know For Sure - Oprah Winfrey
February 2016

February 2016:             
1. Wind/Pinball - Haruki Murakami
2. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
3. Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee
March 2016

March 2016:  
1. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
2. The Old Man and The Sea - Ernest Hemingway
April 2016

April 2016:    
1. Games at Twilight - Anita Desai
2. Dance Dance Dance - Haruki Murakami
3. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
4. The Book of Hope - Cayden Chang
5. A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
May 2016

May 2016:      
3. Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami
June 2016

June 2016:      
1. Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
2. Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote

Reading quote (Picture source:

Wish everyone a wonderful time ahead!!! Live your life to the fullest as always!!! :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


I used to believe I was such a selfish people (think mostly about myself only and have a high level of ego) and even accepted myself for being one. I still remembered telling my potential husband about my weakness when we tried to describe of who we were, before getting into further relationship.

Love me the way I am. Take it or leave it (Pic source:

It's perhaps because I was born as the youngest in the family, where everyone else had grown up, I didn't and still lived in a comfortable and protected shell of my parent's love.

It's perhaps because I'd been staying at other people's countries for years especially during my adolescent period that compelled me to equip myself with a very high level of independent trait and defending measures against anything that came into my life (be it good or bad), high degree of freedom (where to go, what to do, with who), high level of adaptive traits (as I had to move out every six months, to pack and unpack, to stay at different places, flats, rooms, cities, villages), and so on.

So it was really no doubt that I even adapted some human traits and characteristics from where I lived during that period of time. And having a high level of ego and being selfish were simply inevitable.

Ego quote (Pic source:

But this ego of mine, changed over time. Perhaps with my return to Asia countries, with a settling down process being home again, the ego was slowly melted by the heat of the sun rays, although it wasn't completely gone. Sometimes, it stick with me, following me. Haizzzz.... 

Recently I was allured by my own ego, a very big business indeed, at least for me. To follow my ego, desire, to choose over something, above everyone else thought and plight. Because of it, it gave trouble to others. Their love, their protected nature, all was pointed to me. But I insisted otherwise at the first place.

No matter what, my heart couldn't accept it. My heart couldn't stand see them suffer. My heart couldn't accept happiness over other people's suffering. So what if I chose it? What if I won it over? It wouldn't give true happiness for everyone. Couldn't even call that happiness at the first place. It'd be just the proud ego laughed enormously from the above, over my stupidity, my selfishness, my betrayal towards what my heart was saying.

What we need to do is to skip the e and let it go (Pic source:

And again, I was glad that I overcame it. I chose middle way instead, something good for all of us, considering other's needs, capability, and most importantly, their joy and happiness. I was very sorry to try to win my ego eagerly, and created confuse feeling and trouble, at the very first place.

Hey ego, please stay far away from me. I still had a long way to go to live with them. You must have been tired too for working so much in most of my life's journey. You could take a good rest now and just sit there, enjoy your time alone, be free from me. Let me follow my heart with base of love towards others. Tub? ;)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Grateful - The Restful Mind

Restful mind by HE Gyalwa Dokhampa 

The morning journal plus breathing in and out session inside the both public and company buses had refreshed my mind this morning. Few reading pages of Restful Mind by HE Gyalwa Dokhampa had again given me a good reminder how to take in charge of our restless mind.

“The three essence of the teaching that we can apply to our daily lives and thinking:
1. Our happiness or suffering comes from within
2. We can’t control the things or people that are external to us; that happen to us, but we can control our own reactions or way of looking at things, so we need never be completely helpless.
3. Nothing is set in stone, especially our minds.”
– The Restful Mind by HE Gyalwa Dokhampa

Breakfast with love ^^

As I reached office, my colleague, KH, had bought a special breakfast for me from McDonalds. “It’s once in a while’s treat,” she told me. She concerned about my gastric pain that I had lately, so she fed me with this big portion so that it could last ‘til afternoon time. Thank you KH for all your love and concern! :)

In less than 6 weeks, I would leave this establishment. She had already projected the image when I wasn’t around. “Next time, even I bought this delicious meal, you won’t be there sitting next to me,” said her sadly. I tried cajoling her, “Don’t feel sad. Someone else would sit here next to you and accompany you.” But she didn’t buy my words.

“Happiness is something for which we can sow the seed ourselves, and that we can nurture, grow and share with others through our love, kindness and generosity. It’s easy with the busyness and pressures of life to fall out of the habit of happiness – to begin to feel out of sorts or to let negative thoughts and emotions take hold – but with just a little understanding and practice we can get back into the happiness habit, whatever situations life may bring us.”
– The Restful Mind by Gyalwa Dokhampa

Celebrating KH Birthday :)

That’s because, we both had shared many happy and sad things together, in this short course of time. Our struggle and fights – ‘never-give-up’ spirit – in the first few days, weeks, and months of working; our stupidity (mostly mine though) since the first days until now (still strongly going on :P); our happiness and woes encounter that came from family members at home; our traveling and many plans in life; and so on.

We both were famous for our laughter, again, since first few days after we first joined in. It could be heard from everyone’s seat. Sometimes they scold us for being too noisy :P Many were wondering on why we both laughed and shook until our stomach paining and tears coming out. One encounter and another, it created good memories in our brain.

“Laughter lightens your load and lighten your step, bringing you right back into the moment. And it’s the same with a smile. It’s good to see the funny side of things, and not take yourself too seriously. After all, we’re all just human beings, doing our best.”
– The Restful Mind by Gyalwa Dokhampa

Thank you for your friendship KH and everyone in the office! Without your presence, life would be dull for these past six months. To my partner-in-crime in office, thank you! :)

Monday, June 20, 2016

Please protect my heart...

"Hey dude, it's been a while! It's nice to see you back! So you finally graduated huh?" said Edward upon meeting his junior, Kenneth, at the Ang Mo Kio hawker centre. They were hugging each other before they both settled in the yellow plastic chairs.

"Wow wow, is this celebration or what?" said Edward upon looking at the ice bucket filled with five big bottles of Heineken, where one had been opened and almost empty.

"Serve yourself dude," replied Kenneth while passing a froze empty glass to Edward.

While Edward filled his glass, Kenneth finished the almost full glass at one shot.

"Hey hey, easy dude! What's been going on? Anything going wrong?" asked Kenneth.

"She is absurd!!! How could she get jealous over nothing just because I told her I'd meet up with her friend." He banged his empty glass onto the table and refilled it fully.

"Who? Your girlfriend? Not bad ah, you even have a girlfriend now. Where is she from?" asked Edward.

"It's her own friend you know! How could she get jealous over it???" continued Kenneth while ignoring his friend's question.

"Well, maybe something happened to her before, before you knew her. Just like what happened to my sister," explained Edward.

"What happened to your sister?" asked Kenneth curiously.

Edward gulped his cold beer before continuing his story.

"Well, it was happened after she and her boyfriend graduated. Instead of settling down here, she went overseas trying her luck to find a job, which meant she had to have long distance relation with her boyfriend. 

When she returned, just two months later, she found out that her boyfriend ended up having another relationship. What made it worse, the girl was her own friend. 

My heart is fragile. Handle with care (Picture source:

It started with a meeting, you know, borrow books, as they both shared the same passion, reading and writing. Then more meetings discussing the books they both read. You know, when two single and lonely people got together, anything would happen." Edward stopped for a while and drank from his glass.

"But we are just friend. It's her friend some more!!! I will never do anything cross the line!" Kenneth replied him, still feeling agitated.

"It never crossed in her boyfriend's mind too before. Of course, as it would be ridiculous to fall in love with his girlfriend's friend. But, you know, thing happened." Edward explained.

"What kind of thing happened?" 

"They ended up falling in love with each other. Well, when they both realized, it's been too late. The worst thing was, my sister found out about their relationship with her own eyes." Edward stopped and drank.

"How?" asked Kenneth curiously.

"She came back earlier as to surprise his boyfriend. It was on their three year Anniversary. She went to his house, only to find him and her own friend sleeping naked below the blanket."

"Oh Gosh!!! That's horrible!!!"

"Yeah, it was! She was utterly devastated with the whole thing. She cried endlessly and almost fell into depression," continued Edward.

"I.. I'm sorry to hear that. Which sister that you have? Sorry, you have four sisters in the family right?" asked Kenneth.

"Oh, it's not one of my sisters. She is my god sister. You might know her too! She is our senior, from the same Uni that we attended. Leyla. You know her?" 

"Leyla? I heard she got married not long after she graduated. I thought with the same guy she dated during college days" replied Kenneth.

"No no. It wasn't. Not only that," Edward continued. "Just for your own record, please keep this only to yourself. She told me she married with her husband not because she loved him."

"What??? Why???" 

"She had lost trust with any man. She said, she would never be able to love someone as much as she was before, anymore. And it was due to that incident. It had created deep scar into her heart."

"So, you mean, she settled with her husband without love?"

"To be exact, it's her husband that loved her so much. After knowing what happened to her, he loved her even more. He wanted to protect her, defend her - her fragile heart - from being hurt again. And for her, being loved is much much much better than loving someone." 

Loving and being loved quote (Picture source:

"Oh.... my... I didn't know this thing happened to her," claimed Kenneth.

"Ya, poor Leyla. But she wasn't poor anymore. At least she had someone who loved her deeply. It's even better that her husband would never betray her," said Edward.

"Ya, but marrying someone she didn't love, wasn't it like putting herself to life sentence jail?" Kenneth asked

"Well, who knows his love might change her heart. It might make her capable to love again," replied Edward. "Anyway, cheers man! Just treasure what you have now! Don't waste the love that you both have for each other. As life is short. We will never know what will happen tomorrow. A day more fill with happiness is better than sorrow, isn't it?"

They both clinked their glasses. "Cheers!!!"

"Hey, btw, let me call my girlfriend. I miss her. I'll tell her I won't meet up with her friend. You are right Edward, I should protect her heart, instead of hurting it. I think, you can finish the rest of the bottles by yourself dude! I've had enough. I gotta go. See you again dude and thanks for the conversation!" Kenneth left the table hastily with its remaining bottles still in the bucket.

Be your own hero quote (Picture source:

Slowly from a far, the melodious song became clearer...

"Baby, you should know that
I've been afraid to try
I'm healing from some things and
My tears are pale and dry

I said, "I'm through with love"
You made it all a lie
You turned my never ever
Into one more time

If I happen to fall
(I feel it coming on)
In love
(Think I could fall in love)
Please protect my heart

Happen to fall
(Been through so many things)
In love
(I'm turnin' fragile, baby)
Please protect my heart

Deep in my heart I believe
That you really care for me
I pray that this time
Love lasts eternally..."

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It's just a glass...

Screwdriver (Photo source:

"It's just a glass." Tini took few ice cubes from her freezer and dropped it into a tall glass. She opened one of the drawers where she put her spare vodka collections, poured a half glass full (made it almost two pegs), opened the fridge taking out an opened bottle of orange juice, and filled the glass full. Finally she took a transparent straw out, and voila! A glass of so called Screwdriver or Vodka orange was ready to go!!!

She brought the glass into her room and put it on top of her light table beside her bed. She opened the book, read it quietly, and sipped the drink occasionally and finished it in less than 15 minutes.

"Hmmm... another glass. Last one! This time, I swear it would be the last... for tonight."

She put her opened book upside down on her bed, went to the kitchen, and repeated the whole same process thing once again, except that she used the same straw as the first one she took.

Happiness is drinking a cocktail in my pyjamas (Picture source:

She was back sitting on her bed. The music was heard softly from the stereo set inside her bedroom. The chill air blown from her air conditioner wasn't affecting her as she felt warm from the inside. She even removed the blanket to the other side of the bed.

She took the book up and continued reading.  Occasionally she would sip the drink, but this time was slower. Half an hour later, she felt heavy on her head. But funnily, she enjoyed it. The feeling she had was unexplainable. At times she was smiling herself. Her mind started to think out from the book's content. She was remembering the good times she had with her ex-boyfriend.

After sometime, her expression changed. She started to cry. This time, she remembered when her ex-boyfriend started ignoring her call and messages, saying that he was busy preparing for his important exam as he wanted to apply for a Master degree scholarship abroad, which later on, she found out from her friends that he was actually starting a new relationship with his childhood friend.

Happiness is drinking cocktails (Picture source:

And this drinking habit, repeated almost everyday, since the break-up day. Alone in her room, she closed both her book and herself with blanket. The music was still played and the bedside lamp was still turned on.

"I'm giving you up
I've forgiven it all
You set me free-ee

Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We've gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain't kids no more
Send my love to your new lover
Treat her better
We gotta let go of all of our ghosts
We both know we ain't kids no more..."

Another night passed by and she just let the darkness swallowed upon her, let her forget all her temporary pain in her heart, until the new day restarted again. Would it turn into a better day??? Only she knew the best what the answer would be...

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Happy Dragon Boat Festival!!!

This festival was originally coming from China. It fell on the fifth month and fifth day of lunar calendar date each year, which was sometimes also called as Double Fifth Festival. It's called Dragon Boat Festival as usually the day was celebrated with dragon boats racing. You could find more the history of it here.

Let's eat Bakcang! ^^

There was also another name called Dumpling Festival. Why? Because we usually ate the steamed triangle dumpling (called Bakcang or zong zi), filled with meat (usually pork meat), glutinous rice, with other variety of fillings depending on the regions, liking and preference.


Nowadays people seldom made it themselves and resorted to buy (fast, easy, and convenient way), but of course, with such a high price, especially approaching the day itself. The normal bakcang cost SGD $3 per piece, sold at usual hawker center. And those sold in famous Chinese restaurant could charge the same thing at SGD $14.80 per piece, not yet those that offered a unique filings variety. E.g Chili crab dumpling from Golden Peony sold at SGD $28 per piece; Duck, fish maw, abalone dumpling from Xin Cuisine sold at SGD $38 per piece, and so on.

Dad was busy trying to make the eggs standing up this afternoon ^^

My mom told me to try to make the egg stand in vertical position at 12pm this afternoon (btw, today - 9th June- is the day for year 2016). So those who read this before 12pm, please try it at home and see if it works!) ^^

Duan Wu Jie Kuai Le!

And this year I'm very lucky as my Mom and aunts gave me the dumplings all the way from my hometown (as hubby finally came back home). I had tasted few different varieties as it was made by different people :) Thank you Ma for preparing it for us. Love you! Happy Dumpling Festival everyone!!! ^^

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Lonely 14th Wedding Anniversary

"Dear, take leave come here then we go back together lah :)" My hubby sent me this message on second day he reached my hometown together with both my parents. "You plan lah. Come few days then we go back together. I pay for your flight. I walk up and down the house alone. Very lonely. That's how your papa feel when mama not around," continued his message.

"Sorry, I cannot go. Month end closing. Very busy. Need to handover my job. Next time ok?" replied me and sent him my office schedule calendar. "See June calendar? Closing at first week," continued my message.

"Icic... nvm then," replied him sadly.

That was more than three weeks ago. And when my mom asked him when he would fly back home, he was asking me whether to go back on 3rd or 6th June, but at the end, he chose another later date than both his dates offered above. Ckckck... 

I think he didn't remember on our Anniversary date. Haiz... And I would be very busy anyway... After working late last night, this morning I had to reach office before 8.30am (our usual working hour). And today was Saturday!!!

Sunrise from Jakarta on our Anniversary day :)

On my way to office, I received his message on my phone, "Morning my dear. Happy 14th wedding anniversary! I love u too! For you my dear :) Waiting for boat. At the jetty now." 

Clear bluish water perfect with coffee and cigarette!!!

He, my mom, and relatives were heading for a 2-day 1-night trip at one of thousands islands not far from my hometown. A small island with a beautiful view, good for diving and snorkeling.

My 'spy' mom took his photo while sunbathing :P

While he enjoyed sunbathing, nice lunch and tea break in the evening, my son too was enjoying great lunch and dinner with my brother and his families. And left me struggling in my office with reports and training new staff who would replace me when I'm gone.

Gratitude treat from Ms Millioneoil ^^

Luckily my dear colleague, Ms Millioneoil, treated me a big packet of delicious local dish, Nasi Lemak, together with a bowl of dessert (3-in-1 bean curd rice balls), bought from Mr Bean. She didn't know how much it meant for me and she felt shy as I kept thanking her for the simple yet meaningful treats for me.

Sunset from Pulau Seribu - Indonesia

I finally finished my work at 5.30pm. And on my way back home, I received another photo from hubby. This time, he sent me the sunset photo from the island ^^" And while I was having a bowl of instant noodle with egg alone at home, my brother sent me their photos (including my son's) having delicious Thai food at the restaurant near their house. 

Here I'm alone tonight, lying on my bed, enjoying a cool breeze seeping from my window panes, trying to jot down this special day with an extraordinary feelings that I have ^^ 

Be it alone or together, I just want to convey my gratitude for the chance, time and fate we all have since a very first time of our meeting in this life. Fourteen years have passed but our feelings remain the same, as loving as before. Here, let me put my feeling that I expressed before here on my blog, towards my other half. Dear, wherever you are, let me wish you Happy 14th Anniversary to you too... Hope many more years to come, to be spent and to grow old with you!!!

Love, me :)

Friday, June 03, 2016

Our favorite place and food - Indian vegetarian Bhatura

"Hey Vina, later I'll take your bus today, Ok?" I greeted her as we entered the office building this morning.

"My bus? It's not my bus lah!" replied her.

"Hahaha... For me, that's YOUR bus!" I assured her with a big smile ;)

"Going to eat the Indian food again?" guessed her, as the company bus that she usually took was heading to Little India area.

"Yup!!!" and we separated to our own tables.

There were bus or small vans heading to different directions from the office where I worked. And this "Vina's bus" that I'd take, were heading to city area, connecting to the purple line MRT (metro) line. And usually, I could request Uncle (the driver) to stop me just opposite of my favourite Indian vegetarian restaurant, the connecting place between me and few of my best friends.

Our abundant happiness from the giant Bhatura ^^

Bhatura (or I often referred as 'Big Balloon') was our favorite dishes as it's hard to find such a delicious dish around the town with better hygienic standard. The restaurant was equipped with air-conditioner and they served a tasty Masala tea, another favourite thing I usually ordered.

Once we were seated with Bhatura and tea in front of us, we would both look into each other, smiled, and the conversation would start without any command :)

Hot steamed air came into sight as we tore the Bhatura with our bare hands and this gesture would flatten the 'Big Balloon' into tissue-paper-like form almost immediately. We dipped it into a cup of delicious curry Chana or chick peas with a dollop of lime juice. I bit the tip of the small green chilli and raw onion that were spread together into the plate.

Our favorite dish :)

"Do you eat your chili?" I asked Tien, my Myanmar friend after seeing her green chilli abandoned for quite some time.

"No no. You want? Take it!" replied her.

That additional chilli made my heart glowing of happiness as I'd been eating raw chilli since young back in Indonesia. Be it with fried tahu isi (tofu filled with vegetables), fried tempeh (fermented soybeans), it always something missing when the raw green chilli wasn't there. As a rule of thumb, one small chilli for one tofu or tempeh. Sometimes we took more though ^^

Bhutanese loved this place too!! :D

Anyway, the chat would usually continue even after our plates were cleaned. The staff would come and cleared the trays and it left us with the styrofoam or sometimes paper tea cups.

With these two simple order for each of us, we would sit down and chit chat heartily for hours. Usually we talked about what's going on in our lives, the recently past experience, the future plans, and so on. We chatted as if the world was ours. We didn't even realize how the restaurant had suddenly become very crowded occupied mostly by Indians.

Obviously - Uden and my favorite place to eat!!! ^^

When there was enough to talk, it was time for us to bid goodbye. I hope this place would stay for a long time. It's been my favourite hangout place to eat, drink, and chit chatting. And to find someone who had similar taste or craving, wasn't easy either, as not everyone here in Singapore could appreciate the Indian delicacy.

"Hey Rima, where are you? Are you taking the bus?" I saw Vina's message on my What's App. "I'm coming! In toilet now! Please wait for me!!!" replied me and I faster kept my phone inside my pocket and run to the bus.
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