Posted in Favorite things, Langit Senja, Places, Review

Glamping at Forest Garden Batulayang

I usually write in Bahasa Indonesia for a review, but not this time because no time to think harder.

Camping has been on little girl’s head for quite a while without no clear answer or plan.

Found this quite secluded glamping spot two weeks before, after intense two days researches, after having an official letter about piano school semester break, without knowing any other schedules at school.

Chose the date carefully on weekdays and half weekend. When the weekly schedule released last Sunday, the departure date turned out to be exactly right after the last test day at school, and for the first time, there was no zoom meeting for her favorite subject on Friday.

These little things that seemed like coincidences were things that amazed me how the invisible hand would help you in many ways beyond human calculation.

This glamping site is the closest, the safest, and the most reasonable choice for newbies like us (me and the little girl). It feels like camping like sleeping with some bugs, open air bathroom with pine tree view, night with bonfire, yet it has some adjustments like comfy bed and blanket and acceptably clean bathroom.

It is our first outing after nine months here and it is quite safe space for current situation. Open air, no physical distancing needed, big chance of mask free possible since meeting other group was quite rare. During our stay, there were only other two families.

Some yes points for the glamping site :

– Responsive staff

– Reasonable driving distance from home (2 hours)

– Got the camping feel for the little girl such as sleeping with some bugs inside the tent, campfire with roasted marshmallows, open air bathroom yet got the two most important things comfortably for mommy : bed and bathroom. Not ready to settle for less since this was my first time too.

– Price included 3 meals (BLD) and 3 snacks time.

– Quiet, fresh air, and far from crowded. At that time, we only had other two families with us. Those two checked out the next day, so there was period when we got all the camping site for ourselves.

– Kids friendly activities such ATV, fishing, guling-guling on the grass, walking and bathing in the river, monkey watching (there were few since it’s forest), acceptable tracking route for little girl with some help (tolerable means it depends on the one who got through it).

We took the nature walk to the next level. Conquered quite short yet rocky trail, crossed the river, climbed the rock with some help and managed to reach the finish line.

It was a great chance to entertain all the senses to the fullest.
Watched the beautiful view along the hike.
Listened to the nature sound and the silence of the forest.
Smelled the fresh air.
Felt all the things with the hand and feet.
Filled the heart with utmost gratitude.

This was also my first time doing such thing and felt so ecstatic to have my pink boots finally been in the place it should have been after a while.

It is quite hard to not to brag about this little traveler who survived all kind of weather, from the deep blue sea to the top of the forest, happily. After live on board in Komodo Island for 5 days two years ago, this was another nature adventure she did well.

Among 11 people who started the tracking, only 3 completed the journey.

Finish what we have started is not something that everyone can do.

It was two days well spent without daily schedule, youtube or Roblox since proper internet or wifi was not available. Yes, they got NO WIFI, although they said they did in the website.

But, it wasn’t really a big problem because we did many things such as playing card for learning bahasa Indonesia, snake and ladder, drawing, or just swinging and went around the site.

“Will we have another camping next year?” she asked.

Well girl, that is a question that only time could answer. For now, let’s say big fat Alhamdulillah for us to be granted this precious chance.

Posted in Favorite things, Places, Thoughts

Brake and Break

Currently writing from inside a glamping tent in the middle of little forest.

Planned this short break just few weeks ago. When piano school break schedule was released, I thought we had to use it for something a little bit more than ordinary. We received the piano report card last week with pretty much flying colors. Never imagined I would see a perfect 100 in my 13 years of piano report card. Even 80 was gained with so much efforts.

When I saw such number on little girl’s report paper, there were certain inexplicable feeling. While she was being totally indifferent, not really knowing what it meant, thinking that it was just meaningless numbers (it actually was just numbers), but it was totally different story for me.

On that report card, I couldn’t help thinking hard about my mother. About things that she had done to make me stay, in spite never having tangible satisfying result for 13 years . To have such leap of faith, keep telling me that no hardworks would be wasted.

On that report card I saw how far this piano journey takes me. I won’t repeat the story here since I had written about that in here.

She was, as usual, right. That 13 years started to keep giving return right after I completed the long journey. Gave me the first job when I was on my first year of college. Gave me that proud feeling on earning my own money way much earlier than my peers. Started fully supporting my self on my third year, paid all my expenses from school tuition to rent, food, entertainment, even managed to save some for Hajj registration.

It didn’t stop there and continued to return the result of enduring that 13 years diligently. More than I could think of, in many things of my life. Thanks to 13 years, I was able to accompany my mother till her last breath, to take care of her on her last days. Thanks to that 13 years, I escaped full time works when I was a bread winner during the first year marriage. Thanks to that, I had choices to be able to stay with the little girl during her most important years. Thanks to that, I ticked my three big dreams during my 20s. I could go on about its return for me, but I’d rather stop here.

When I thought it couldn’t give better result, then it still refused to stop. Knowing the little girl condition with her speech delay and everything, I was totally reluctant to teach her this piano since I couldn’t understand how could she manage with such restriction.

But, there’s always something bigger than my small minded mind. Only need one coincidence of canceled school day and an anniversary gift.

I started teaching her out of leisure time on one winter day in December 2019 because her school suddenly sent notication they were dealing with small fire so they had to close the school that day. A simple Do-Re-Mi song from The Sound of Music.

We never stop since that day.

It becomes daily habit done 7 days a week with close to zero day, unless we are away from home. Two years later, this was what we got.

The first thing that came to my mind seeing this was : Nenek Salma must be happy

But, more than the numbers, I was happier to see the naration. How hardworking she has been, her enthusiasm, her willingness to learn, I was glad it was well-appreciated.

Wow, such a long prolog for a post.

It’s also been busy and packed for the last few weeks at school. Been doing tests on all subjects for few weeks and last Wednesday was the last one.

We planned this trip without knowing the last test schedule but, glad it turned out to fit everything. Last test on Wednesday and for the first time, there is no zoom meeting for the her favorite subject today. So, I could ask for permission with lighter heart.

She had been asking for camping for few times. Had so many ideas on her head about real camping. But, as a first timer, I wasn’t ready. So, thorough glamping researches done and finally met this place. Thinking about having a separate review post once we’re done.

The situation out there alhamdullilah is getting better and better, but still, we take every precaution needed till we decide to keep going with this. The doctor also managed to empty his schedule and everything.

So, here we are. Pressing the brake to enjoy some break with nature for a while before resuming of pressing accelerator pedal with clutch in daily life.

Posted in Favorite things, Langit Senja, Places

The Joy of Childhood

As always, a sudden plan striked again last Tuesday. Realized that she had only one morning meeting, house cleaned, many hours to go to a simple exam this afternoon, dinner’s secured, then immediate preparations fixed to go to some place that she would love.

Since pandemic began, in London, and especially here, guess I am getting better at making sudden trip happen. Last minutes field trip becomes banal. The tricky thing is, before I could tell her that we would go somewhere, I had to carefully planned everything. Not all the plan successfully executed, but most of the time, it did.

The perks of having all things done at home as early as possible, having plan A and B for weekly meal prep inside the brain, when sudden idea came, we could grab it fast. I could only go outside peacefully knowing everything inside is taken care properly.

Glad also that her current school and homeschool schedules still allow us to have this chance. Packed Monday balanced with easy Tuesday. Some days I look like an ambitious chinese tiger parent that filled her kid with lots of extra activities, some days I could look like a laid back Dutch or Scandinavian parent that let her child play freely all day. That Tuesday, it was the latter.

Left the car and ordered the taxi because of the restriction and again turned out to be the best option. Although his car also one with even number license, the driver knew the routes to beat the restriction which I and goggle maps didn’t. New knowledge is always welcomed.

It was rained right when we arrived, yet it knew how precious the chance for a proper outdoor session. Not long, the sun said hello within few minutes.

Little bunny finally reunited with things that she had been missing for months. Proper playground and (lightly) soaked on the water. This time, I wouldn’t go with the tone saying how pity to live in the city where we had to pay for this kind of basic thing for children.

(But you said it!)

I know.

But, such a nice break from Roblox, isn’t it girl?

Posted in Favorite things, Places, Thoughts, Travel

The Colors of Life

… that I miss a lot. Among tons of excitement life in London has to offer, its parks and gardens are things that I treasure so dearly (it is one of two best things in London). Especially when the leaves change colors during the most beautiful season of the year.

It was a period of life when I captured the same views for ten times in every corner. Sat on the bench while watching people, lay down on the grass while looking at the beautiful sky. Walked slowly around the quiet garden admiring my shoes, counting my steps, and taking some shadow selfies. Listened to my loud mind asking random things that I didn’t bother to answer. The period when I felt such enormous gratitude inside.

The period that I remembered telling myself often,“when life is on the low, remember that it was once this high and glow”.

It was one of the periods when life was the most beautiful and the heart was indeed beyond full.

Kew Gardens
Kyoto Garden
Southwark Park
Brockwell Park
Hyde Park
Posted in Favorite things, Places, Thoughts

Small Wins of The Day

For me, the day always starts right after the house on the right order.

I always believe that our house, our space represent many other things in our life. I am obviously not a clean freak or marie kondoish tidy, but I need a clean and clear house to make me function well.

Made-bed, cleared-sink, crumbless floor, hung clothes are few signs that the day is ready to roll. First thing first in the morning should always be about cleaning the house.

Second win of the day currently is when all the google classroom assignments notifications are all disappeared. All school works that don’t need any recordings should be submitted right away. Right after they’re handed in, you can forget about that. Almost all the school works done along these 2 months are with the tag ‘done early’.

It might also happen because the level is still quite easy for her. So, what I need to do is to make her sit and do the work before lunch time. I am also quite lucky having a little buddy who loves learning too. It indeed helps a lot.

Manage, deal with, and plan quite well for this homeschool thing and school from home period are the biggest return my degrees give me so far. Although whinning here and there are unavoidable, but everything is quite on the track.

The last and the biggest win of the day when I manage to pull myself out to have outdoor time with the little girl. I’ve been whinning endlessly about how hard to have simple outdoor time here. More, all the parks are still closed until now, children are banned from mall or even apartment swimming pool. So, the choices to have a simple, free outdoor time is quite limited.

This outdoor plan usually happens from a sudden idea strike. Like two days ago, I needed to stop by Snapy to print out the new piano book, then something came to my mind right before we went. Asked her how about having outdoor lunch before Snapy? I offered her rice box or sandwich and she chose the latter. We had a bottle of freshly squeezed orange juice too on the fridge. I also told her to bring her old scooter that finally arrived after 9 months.

Parking is also another tricky thing to have outdoor time here. Why didn’t go by public transport then? Because we need to move places and guess what? Children is also currently not allowed to ride on public transport like MRT, only angkot allowed. Being children is underratedly hard here.

I found a legal parking spot one kilometer from the place. I walked and she rode on a scooter from there. It was not too hot that day and obviously quiet, so we could enjoy the space mostly for ourselves. It was nice to be able to take off our mask without worry and breathe properly. Enjoyed lunch while listened to singing birds and watched butterflies and some other insects along the way.

But , what about the afternoon? Afternoon is space for more relaxed activities. If she has afternoon classes, then she is doing it. In between, it is our free time. Some days are laundry days where we should fold our own clothes, some days are grocery days, some afternoon spent by lazing around amd having nap, if we want to. Also afternoon is the time when I do my exercise. I need quite proper time and space to do it. So, having those small wins of the day done before noon is important.

Some days with high level of winnings like this, where all three winnings done before 12pm, could give encouragement for many days to come. Even higher because before that, we already accomplished all these daily melodies too. Kind of day that is constantly needed to keep going well and sane to deal with pandemic life when you’re living in the country like mine.

I am not complaining. Just stating the obvious.

Posted in Books, Favorite things, Places

Le Petit Pique-Nique

Weeks being trapped with tens of online meet and greet,
It made me want to vomit.

Not kind of things I would like to commit, yet, nor the things I would like to cheat.

The tension is on the peak
Donc, peut-on avoir
un petit pique-nique
at the end of the week?
Doing little things the girls seek

Going barefeet
Calming the heartbeat
Having proper space to breathe
Reading on orange seat
Enjoying few plates of little treats

Tasting some sweet under the heat!

Posted in Places, Thoughts

Monthly Field Trip and Staying Sane

Arranging proper outdoor time the little girl deserved took quite amount of researches. It’s not only about the places but more about how to get there, whether we should go by car or better with public transport, when to go there, what schedule we had after and another important thing, what else we could visit other than the main destination.

Although everything has been arranged thoroughly, yet the execution often happened on the total opposite of the plan. Just like yesterday’s field trip.

Weeks of slow careful planning executed quickly on a quiet Friday morning, cutting the duration of other morning routines after a morning ice cream shop nearby a park that was not even on the list we had planned to visit suddenly detected.

The park is only 15 minutes drive, safe parking, we even brought the bike. The little girl had all the wide space to ride for herself while I enjoyed reading in a tranquil bench while listening to the bird singing.

After an hour, we were heading to the nearby ice cream shop by bike. The Blueberry Choco Chip Peanut Butter was a perfect dessert to end the field trip. Sadly, few last bite were thrown into trash since the little girl dropped it while walking on a bumpy pavements. Such a thrilling experience to ride a bike in Jakarta’s unfriendly pavements. But, hey, at least now we know, it wasn’t a good idea. I love testing a new idea.

From Pamela Druckerman

One of the pages I read described well what happened yesterday. The Chinese General wisdom was right. Life is so often goes according to what we don’t plan and that made having a plan becomes important. When we have a plan, it means we have already certain possibilities in our head, so if one doesn’t work, we could try another one. But, without any plans, the choice is only between yes or not at all. While in life, things fall between the wide gradation of yes and no.

After more than a year dealing with this pandemic, We could stop asking, arguing, hoping or whatever it is about having old life back and start converting to play (live) a long game. Prepare even longer, because in this country, more than the virus, it’s the absence of leadership in crisis, people in power who have no clear plan since the beginning, that killed the most.

Make it in Bold : > 10 YEARS.

After more than a year dealing with the chaos, staying sane becomes a more important advice than staying at home.

It’s tiring to see the doc tired of doing such inhumane schedule for months without proper break and rest day.

Worrying about what might happen being exposed to the risk daily.

Heart-breaking listening to many stories and sudden loss(es).

Staying sane becomes non-negotiable.

So, what we can do is :

Keep living.

Keep doing what needs to be done and should be done.

Keep measuring carefully every single risk from every action.

Staying sane took a lot of consideration, a little bit of courage, and a huge amount of faith.

Managing and controlling the mind between fear and hope. Saving the energy to (hopefully) ‘reach the finish line’ safely and sanely.


Posted in Favorite things, Places

Ramadan Sunrises and This Eid

Twelfth Ramadan
Thirteenth Ramadan

Fifteenth Ramadan
Nineteenth Ramadan
Twenty-sixth Ramadan
The Thin Crescent, end of Ramadan🥺
Slowly Rising in Twenty-seventh Ramadan
Goes into hiding
Then, comeback bold and strong
Twenty eighth Ramadan
Twenty ninth Ramadan
Ramadan Finale
Beautiful Colors Palette

I found comfort standing in front of the window watching the beautiful sky before starting the day. This Ramadan skies have been so breath-takingly beautiful.

This year Eid is also another year of pandemic Eid. But, unlike last year in London, we got proper vibe this year. Always love this time of the year when the house are all clean and the smell of sedap malam are around.

It’s been few years since ketupat is absent. Our little family is not really a big fan of ketupat and its companions. So, we didn’t really miss it. When we moved out, we could decide and fit the dish to our own taste. Last year we went with Lamb Shank. This year it’s Hungarian Beef Goulash. This dish was one of my mom’s finest dishes. The doctor tried to recreate it for this year Eid.

This Ramadan so far is one of the best Ramadan done in few years. Full ifthar at home, except one day at in-laws house. This year, the little girl finally had a chance to experience the real Ramadan vibe. She has already passed her target for this Ramadan.

She was fasting half day on the first ten days, three-quarter day on the second ten days, and finally the last ten, she did it until maghrib. Surprisingly, she enjoyed fasting a lot. She kept doing her usual schedule like gym class, art class, playing in the playground. Surprisingly again, she did sahur effortlessly. No drama, easily wake up and eat without any complaints. She kept saying several times that she was sad that Ramadan and the rituals were gone. She did full 30 days of tarawih. That was again, beyond the plan. If this Ramadan is an OWL test in Harry Potter, then her mark would be Exceed Expectation.

I pray nothing but may Allah keep such spirit inside her heart and hope that our fasting and prayer are all accepted. Another pray spelled whole-heartedly for us being granted a chance to meet the next Ramadan.

Amin. Amin. Amin.

So long, the best time of the year.

Eid Mubarak!

Jakarta, 30 Ramadan 1422H.

Posted in Books, Favorite things, Places

Bookhive and The Small Park

An idea popped up yesterday. As always, the impulsive plan often works better than the detailed one.

A newly open mini library drawed my attention to visit it. It is located near one of the parks, so we could have two spots in one visit.

It was only 20 minutes drive from home. The mini library is actually a mini cupboard with books. People can donate or borrow, or just have a quick reading on the bench next to the it.

We came around 9 am and it was quite empty. We spent around 20 minutes there and read a children book together. The collections are not that varied, I didn’t find something that interest me to be brought home. But, it is indeed a good idea.

The Little Reader

Done with the library, we went to the park. We were required to fill in the book and we had the whole park for ourselves. The little girl was quite fascinated with the geese. I reminded her that the geese here were unlike those in London. So, I told her to keep distance from them. She kept going near and at certain distance, the geese started approaching her. Yesterday’s checked experience : chased by the geese.

We walked around the park, stopped in some bench, took off our shoes in therapeutic stones, the playground was still sealed, sat down and watched the small pond while having some talks. Since not many things we could do, after 30 minutes, we decided to return.

Although it was short and small, it felt nice to enjoy the outdoor park properly once again. We should have brought the skateboard and book for next visit.

Cheers for more easily accessible libraries and good park and playground around the town!