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Showing posts from 2006

Boxing Day

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Aussie celebrates Boxing Day every December, 26th. But it has nothing to do with what Mike Tyson does for living. Boxing here means put something in a box, as a gift. Traditionally, they give charity in boxes to the poor, one day after Christmas. Similar as giving zakat in Islam, perhaps.
Nowadays, they celebrate Boxing Day with... SHOPPING!!! No wonder because there were biggest sale of the year. Almost every shop made clearance sale and offered 50% discount. People rushed in to city. Even, they stayed in line from 6 am before the shop was opened.
The situation was similar to one day before lebaran in Indonesia, when everybody gets crazy. Like there will be no other day.
Nino, Nindi and I also joined the crowd. We headed into Myer, the famous departement store in the city. But, then, it was too crowded to shop around. Maybe, I should leave my child - and my husband - at home next boxing day.
A.K.

Tuesdays with Morrie

Rating:★★★★Category:BooksGenre: Biographies & MemoirsAuthor:Mitch AlbomA beautifully written book about the class that met every Tuesday. The subject was the meaning of life.

Monica Bloom

Rating:★★Category:BooksGenre: TeensAuthor:Nick EarlNick Earl is an Aussie author. He's already published several books, inc. the award winning one. Monica Bloom is his latest book. I dont think I can enjoy this book. Maybe because I'm not familiar with his writing style. He wrote about a teenage boy that crushs on his misterious neighbour's cousin, which is Monica Bloom. Perhaps I should start reading his previous book, the award winning one.

Surprise

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Who is not happy with a surprise? A good one, I mean. Of course not me.
I always dream that somebody will give me a (nice) surprise, especially at my birthday.
Nino is different. I mean, he doesn't care about his birthday(that he often forget), he doesn't care when nobody sms him a birthday message. And he doesn't expect a single birthday present.
But I, duh, I couldn't pass my birthday without a gift. Two weeks before the day, I reminded him to think about my birthday present. And please, no more book as my birthday gift (fyi, I always get a book from him, on my B'day). Not that I don't like a book. I, I mean we, love it so much that we consider a book as our daily meal. Beside, it's so predictable. I will get (another) book at my B'day. Helo? Where is the surprise?
Unfortunately, a week before my day, he asked me, "What do you want for your B'day gift?"
Oh, no! Couldn't he just guest what I want? Didn't he get the clue from our conve…

27

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Happy birthday to you...
You were born at the zoo...
You look like a monkey...
And smell like one too...
Hehehe... I love this song, from Madagascar Cartoon.
Huah, 27 now.
get ready to:
1. publish my fourth book
2. get a job here
3. have my second child (not a second husband, hehehe)
insyaallah, this year.
A.K.

Roxy

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I have never heard the word ROXY until my witty and lovely sister asked me to buy a roxy something for her aussie souvenir. Not a koala nor kangaroo. Not even a boomerang or aboriginal art.
I thought, what the h**l Roxy is? Is it an aussie thing? How come I've never heard it before?
"Whua, kamu tuh gak gaul banget," my sister said. Maybe I am. I'm not in to fashion. I know nothing about style.
It turned out that Roxy is the second brand for Quicksilver, especially designed for ladies. It's not about the surf gear actually, it's more about fashion. 
I went to Roxy store at city last week. I was almost mistaken entering a fabulous hotel with a doorman because it's in the same building in my address. I was really scared entering that glam place since I was only in my jeans and sneaker. Then I walked down to the other side of the building, and Voila! I could see the Roxy sign. Huff!
The store was realy warm and cozy, full of cute and nice things, made me want to g…

The Devil Wears Prada

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Rating:★★Category:BooksGenre: Literature & FictionAuthor:Lauren WeisbergerDon't judge the book by its movie! and vice versa. I'm interested reading this book because of Meryl Streep's acting in the movie as the boss from hell. It turned out that the book is not as good as I thought. Not the one that I can read straight to the end. The surprise and the tense is not well mixed. Something it's so boring that I put it down and read another book. But, yes, the theme and the whole idea is interesting.

Husband for Share (another story)

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The latest news about our beloved Indonesian Da’i shocked me. You-know-who got married again, practicing polygamy.
“What’s wrong with that, Dear? Which part does bother you?” a friend of mine asked me.
Well, it is a sensitive matter. I believe that polygamy is halal in Islam and maybe suits for some cases, and a way out (the best from the worst). But I don’t think every capable man MUST do that. I strongly disagree if someone said it is a ‘sunnah’, better to do it. If it is advised, why did Mohammed (peace upon him) said ‘over my dead body’ (not literally like that, but similar) when Ali asked him to marry another girl than Fatimeh?

This matter really annoyed me and brought me into a loooooong discussion with Nino.
“I just wondered what his reason is? Just give me one good reason that satisfied me.”
“There is no good reason,” Nino said. “For nowadays practice, there is no other reason than sex.”
We both read Karen Amstrong’s Mohammad Biography and knew that his marriages after Khadija w…

I Don't Know How She Does It

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Rating:★★★Category:BooksGenre: Literature & FictionAuthor:Allison PearsonI knew this book when I was in Indo, already translated. I intend to buy this book but the budget never allow me to, hiks. Finally, here, I found it in the local library. I found that the language is not easy to understand, still too complicated to me (but, that's the challenge, right?). Maybe I can't follow the pace of the plot, always in a hurry, just like the story.
It's about a perfectionist working Mom that struggle to make her best. well, being (only) a mom is already tiring, not to mention being the perfect one. don't you think?

Who says a married couple doesn't need a date?

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Thursday is a perfect day for a date. It's our payday and-the most important- we can drop Nindi in ChildCare, hehehe.
I booked Nino around one (or two?) month ago to take me sightseeing in city and take pictures at every important spot. It's not that I am a narciss girl or something, I just want to keep it for memories. Okey, admit it, I AM narciss.
We took a bus and stop at Queen Victoria Building. I don't know what building it was, but now, it's a big shopping mall (does it matter what it was, then? hehehe). I need to buy The Body Shop moisture cream (do you really need a reason to go to the mall?). There were many glossy and sparkling stores at QVB. Those luxurious things (and the price tags) scared us. Off we go to the town hall.
Town hall, and so other buildings were decorated with Christmas ornaments. Sydney has so many old british architecture buildings, just like what you saw in Harry Potter movie.
Next stop: Dymocks bookstore. This is a big chain bookstore in Syd…

What's in Sitta Karina's Choice of The Month?

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Ha-di-ha-ha!
Dengerin Dong Troy! becomes Sitta's choice of the month.
Check it out here.
thanks a lot, Arie ...
A.K.

Day Off

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What will you do in your day off? When you are able to take off your 'mother-hat' and your 'wife-hat' and simply become you.
I have two days off every Thursday and Friday, when Didi goes to ChildCare. I always look forward to these days, imagining what I can do to indulge myself. However, as the day comes, I simply don't know what to do.
Last week, I planned to have a luxurious bath with my Body Shop champagne-scent bubble bath, but then I realized that my bathtub was a bit leak. I wanted to go shopping, but I thought that shopping was included in a housewife's task (wasn't it?), so better not to do it in my day off. 
So, I enjoyed myself reading for hours (at that time: Burnt Toast - Teri Hatcher's Autobiography), then I put some more sentences to my forever-unfinished novel. After that I returned some books to the library and called my sister on the way home. Unfortunately, she's busy with her new band (or maybe a new boyfriend). Then I thought maybe…

Happy Eid

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Wishing you all a very happy
Eid-ul-Fitr.
May ALLAH accepts all your fasting, prays and duas. InsyaAllah.
from Sydney with love,
A.K.

Get ready for Eid Pray


Happy family at Happy Eid 


After Eid Pray at Community Center, Addison Road, with Indonesian neighbours and friends

Melancholy

Closer to lebaran, I realize that I miss Lebaran atmosphere in Indonesia so much. This surprises me as I've never felt homesick before. To be honest, I enjoy living here. I can read as many books as I want. I breathe the fresher air. I eat better food, and I learn so many new things, inc. cooking, not only aussie's but also international meals.
However, I really miss the hectic atmosphere of Lebaran, when people rush to get to the hometown, when people do unreasonable lebaran shopping. 
Here, I just can't feel the atmosphere. I didn't know where to go for Eid Pray, until this afternoon. I hear no takbir. Plain.
I did my best to make this lebaran a real lebaran. I did shopping spree for lebaran clothes (ehem, it's an excuse to buy new clothes actually, hehehe, but it worked). I cooked ketupat (not in coconut leaves, but in polyethylene plastics), gulai and cucumber pickles. Nino asked me, "Why bother?"  Well, I just wanted to. I just wanted this to be special…

My New Hat

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It matches my distro purple t-shirt and it's only $ 0.50. (Argh, now you know that it's not 'really new'. Hehehe).
A.K.

Score!

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I spent a week reading "Buku Memasak Untuk Orang Bodoh", practically to improve my knowledge of cooking. But you can't improve your cooking skill unless you go to the kitchen and doing some 'dirty job'. That book can only improve my reading skill, in English.
Two days ago, Nino and I tried a recipe: Chicken Wings with Oyster Sauce. It's a simple recipe (that's why we dared to try). We, however, still had an argument on one of the spice. We didn't know what 'spring onion' was. First, I tought it was bawang bombay. Nino thought it was bawang merah. But in the recipe picture, it looks like prey/daun bawang. I looked it up in my "Buku Bodoh", but it didn't help. Desperately, Nino said, "Oh, for someone didn't know what spring onion was, he did'nt have a hope in cooking." Finally, we put bawang merah and prey to our chicken. And it was not bad.
Yesterday, I tried to make spring rolls, snacks for breakfasting. I put ver…

Azan, Kolak dan Keju Goreng

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Hari pertama puasa berjalan dengan mulus, nyaris tanpa gangguan (kecuali angin yang bertiup sangat kencang). Menjelang buka puasa, Nino dan aku bingung, mau memutuskan buka jam berapa. Ikut jam di hape Nino (yg lebih lambat) atau ikut jam di hapeku yang lebih cepat. Kami juga punya 3 jadwal buka puasa yang berbeda, poster dan leaflet yang didapat dari Nino Jumatan di kampus. Yah, cuman selisih 4 menitan sih, cuman kurang mantap aja.
Nunggu bedug magrib? Bedug magrib dari Hongkong kale? Masjid terdekat dari sini jaraknya 30 menit pake mobil (nggak deket lagi dong...). Akhirnya aku nyetel radio muslim di Sydney... lewat internet (soalnya kami juga nggak punya pesawat radio, hiks). Argh, akhirnya denger suara azan juga...
Buka puasa kali ini, aku bikin kolak. Nino nggak suka kolak, tapi tetep aja aku bikin, sudah tradisi! Pengennya sih pakai pisang, nangka dan ubi. Tapi, apa daya, pisang di sini harganya $13 sekilo. Gilak kan? Nangka, kira2 segitu juga. Ada sih yang kalengan, sekitar $3, …

Does My Head Look Big in This?

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Rating:★★★★Category:BooksGenre: TeensAuthor:Abdel-Fattah, RandaThe slide opened and I heard a gentle, kind voice: What is your confession, my child?
I was stuffed. The Priest would declare me a heretic; my parents would call me a traitor…
The Priest asked me again: What is your confession, my child?
I'm Muslim. I whispered.

Apa salahnya jadi seorang muslim? Apa salahnya memutuskan memakai hijab di sekolah? Emang enggak begitu bermasalah kalau kamu bukan Amal, remaja yang lahir di Australia keturunan Palestina, muslim, dan sekolah di sekolah elit kristen.

Satu lagi novel remaja yang bercerita tentang rasisme di Australia setelah Looking For Alibrandi (Melina Marchetta). Does My Head Look Big In This? adalah versi Arab dari Looking for Alibrandi, di mana generasi kedua warga negara yang lahir di Aussie mengalami gagap budaya. Di satu sisi, mereka sudah tidak terlalu terhubung dengan akar budaya negara kelahiran orang tuanya, di sisi lain, orang-orang Aussie 'asli' merasa merek…

Getting Hotter

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Do you believe that chocolate can boost your sex drive?
I do.
"Aha, that's why you feed me hot chocolate, Mamapong?" Nino asked me one day.
"Ehm... don't you love the result, Darling?" Hehehe...
A.K.
(welcoming spring!)

Cheap Books, Anyone?

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The word "Book-Fair" for me and Nino might be sounds like "Mango-Sale" for a shopaholic.
Nino and I are not a big spender on anything but books.
In the Sydney Uni Book Fair last week, we bought books like crazy, as those were very-very-very-very cheap (even if you convert it into Rupiah).
So, Didi got several good books including Where's Wally? (soon become our family's favourite book), Where Did I Come From Book, Pop Up Book, several early reading materials (for 5 cent each, crazy!), and many more...
Nino got some heavy-and-serious textbooks you-dont-want-to-know-what. Lucky him! Also Covey's Leadership book for $2, Rich Dad Guide for Investing for 50cent (we've already read it in Indonesian, actually), and many more...
I also got my favorite: Sophie Kinsella's for only $1, The Last Time I saw Mother for $1, Bryce Courtenays, Adrian Mole's Diary (two books), Oxford English Dictionary for $2, Chicken Soup for The Teenage Soul (hahah, but who know…

"How to make a baby, Mommy?"

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"How to make a baby, Mommy?"
Finally, my dear Nindi (4.5 year-old) asked me that question. A question that made me red in face.
She asked me because she desperately wanted to have a little sister/brother.
I knew she would ask this, but I wasn't ready yet. And my abrupt answer was: "Why don't you ask your Daddy, Dear?" Hehehe, menghindar dari tanggung jawab.
But her Daddy wasn't ready either. He said, "Well, that's a hard question, Darling. Let Daddy thinks first. I'll let you know if Daddy gets the answer."
The next day, she asked me the same question. And I kept telling her that Daddy knew the answer. Then she said, "Tapi kan adek bayi itu ada di perutnya Mama. Kenapa kok harus tanya Ayah? Kan kalau mau bikin adek bayi nggak perlu sama Ayah?"
*gubrag*
Finally, Nino found a good book about that in his campus book fair. A "Where Did I Come From?" book by Peter Mayle for one buck. It's really a-biology-lesson-book for a…

This Is Heaven

What is your 'heaven'?
Mine, is a life with a fast internet connection and an access to a good library.
I have a wireless broadband at home, and access for thirty loans in Marrickville library and unlimited loans in Fisher library. What can I expect for more?
A.K.
(more heaven: Nino asks me for a coffee at starbucks and a walk to Kinokuniya next Tuesday. Argh, can't wait. Lalala...)

Who Admires Who?

I read the latest interview in www.pembelajar.com and couldn't believe my eyes.
How could he mentioned me as his favourite writer?
Argh, he must be joking...
[yang bener aja, Pak? Nggak kebalik?]
A.K.

The Coolest Job on Earth

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Last Tuesday, Nino and I had our private time (huray, Nindi's at school  ). We sat down at 'lazy chairs' in level four, Fisher library. Soon, Nino was busy with his pile of journals (readings w/ small fonts and half of the pages are references lists, hiks). While I enjoyed the city view from the full glass window.
Ten minutes passed, and he asked me, "What are you doing, Mamapong?" Uhm, he had no idea I was doing something.
"Me? I'm working with my imagination. You know, catching some scenes for my next novel..."
"Oh, sorry. I see you're working now," Nino smiled.
Hehehe. Isn't it the coolest job on earth? getting paid for daydreaming?
A.K.

Eight Things I Miss in Indonesia

1. Water in the toilet. Using paper towel is terrible.
2. My whole family and the semanggi's
3. My motorcycle
4. Everyday Sunshine
5. Tempe goreng, Mie ayam pinggir jalan and HotCuiMie Malang
6. Reading Kompas in the morning
7. Silly Infotaintment
8. My Friends... ehm... let me think. well, I remember that I dont have any 'real' friends there. I dont have a social life. Even my brother told me that I'm not really exist in the real world. Hihihi... [I can chat w/ my online friends from here, so it doesn't matter to me much].
A.K.

The Man I-want-to-spend-the-rest-of-my-life-with-'s Birthday

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As a birthday gift, I gave him a virtual card that I set as a background in our laptop. Well, I wanted to surprise him in the morning, w/ a birthday wake up call, but since I couldn't manage to wake up earlier than him, I just set the virtual card. As soon as he woke up and did his morning works, he would realize it.
But then I just couldn't pass his birthday w/o any present. I manage to give him a starbucks card. It's a bit tricky, actually. When I bought him that card, meaned that I want him to invite me to that coffee shop. But, argh, sometime man just need a push, right? Hehehe...
We celebrated Nino's birthday by having a picnic in a sydney-bridge and harbour view park, which was awesome. It's Irene's idea that we (om dion, irine, adiel, nino, nindi and I) had lunch at that day. We had roasted chicken sandwiches, philadelphia cheese in chilli, salads, strawberries, potato chips, orange and passionfruit juices and cokes.
Irene gave him a coffee plunger (a modes…

Do You Speak Chinese?

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"Do you speak Chinese?"
That's the top question somebody asks me (fyi, only the Chinese or Vietnamese that happens to say hi to me).
Oh, yeah, I wish I could speak Chinese.
[take a look at my pic a bit closer. do I look like a chinese girl? or maybe it's true that my grand grand grand grand grand father was from China.]
A.K.

Kolektor Sambal

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Nino is a sambal-maniac. Unfortunately, I'm not the one that patient enough to ngulek sambal, as I don't like sambal at all.
Here, chilli is ridiculuously expensive, up to $38 a kilo (Rp 266.000 ?). But we still manage to buy an ounce to make fresh-nino's favourite-sambal.
That's before we find genuine-extra-hot-sambal-in-a-bottle. Our searching of Sambal Beneran (not instant ABC's sambal) began when we ran out our Chilliez (instant sambal that we brought from Indo). First, Nino got Sambal cap Ibu Jempol at White Lotus, an Asian Shop. It's not so nice, but as we bought it anyway, we should be responsible to eat it, hiks. Then we found Sambal Ayam, made in Malaysia. It's not nice either. I thought it's too sour (too much tomato I suppose). A week ago, I found Sambal ABC extra pedas at an Asian Shop in Marrickville Road.
But Nino is never satisfied w/ instant-not-too-hot-sambal.
Yesterday, we went to Haymarket at Chinatown, near Central Station. I could se…

Apple Juice

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Apple-juice is Nindi's first word after five days silence at school. She answered when the teacher asked her: what would you like to drink?
She finally dares to speak up.
I'm proud of her.
A.K.

Pesta Kampoeng, Serasa di Negeri Sendiri

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Hari ini kami ikutan Pesta Kampoeng 2006 yang diadakan di Quadrangle, Sydney University.Acara ini diadain untuk memperingati hari kemerdekaan. 17-an ala warga Sydney gitu deh ceritanya. Ada banyak stand makanan Indo di sana. Menunya komplet, semuanya ada. Mulai dari sate padang, sate ayam, sate kambing. Mulai dari gudeg jogja sampai empek-eempek palembang.Kami cuman nyobain sate padang doang. Soalnya belum terlalu kangen ama masakan Indo sih, baru sebulan ini. Lagian, di rumah, kami juga masak masakan Indo melulu (pakai bumbu jadi dong, hehehe). Asyik juga piknik di Quadrangle. Kami makan di halaman tengah, main-main ama Nindi (sampai guling2 di rumput segala), dan menyapa teman2 yg datang ke sana juga.Mendengar orang berbahasa Indonesia di kanan kiri, rasanya kayak di kampung sendiri.A.K.

A 4-year-old survivor

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It must be uneasy for my 4-year-old daughter to adapt in Sydney.
The weather is different, the people is different, the language is different.No friends yet, just w/ me and Nino.
Nindi started her school in a Childcare near Sydney University last week. She looked forward to attending school since she's bored w/ me and nino(perhaps). First day at school, she survived. We dropped her at 10 am and picked her up at 3 pm. Yeah, my girl had that guts. It was Nino that seemed so worried. (FYI, Nino is more a worrier than a warrior, hehehe). Nindi started to make friend w/ a Chinese girl.
Nindi had a lot of stories to share from her frist day at school. She told me: "Mama, tadi itu teachernya bilang 'lemon tea, lemon tea!' Terus murid2nya disuruh duduk. Tapi kok kita dikasih susu, padahal bilangnya lemon tea?"
Well, it was Morning Tea actually, instead of Lemon Tea. But I tried hard not to laugh on her. 
The second day was worse. Nindi said she's crying because it seemed …

Laundry

Last week I felt quilty cause I broke my promise to help Nino handling the laundry - twice.
I still found it hard to wake up early in the morning, specially in winter.
But then I found doing the laundry is easy. Not as hard as I imagine doing it at my home (w/ the 2 tub washing machine). Just pour the detergent, load the clothes, insert coins, and let the machine doing the rest.
Aha, now I feel less quilty.
A.K.

Master of Instant Cooking

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The best things we have in our first month here, suprisingly, is the food.
It's great to master my own kicthen, as in Malang, its the authority of our maid. hehehe.
We start cooking the simple things such as any ingredients w instant spices. no wonder if our cooking is always special. sate, soto, empal, rendang, nasgor, opor, ayam goreng, anything w instant spices. thanks for bamboe, and indofood and kokita, for making me not such an idiot cook.
then we dare to try another recipe w/o the instant help. and we're still success. my Mum would not believe me if 'this lazy girl' can cook Sapi Lada Hitam w/ Paprika. Hem, yummy!
A.K.
ps: in the pics, Nino's cooking in our kitchen

Living in Suburb

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Rumah-tepatnya apartemen-kami, ada di suburb, sekitar 5 km sebelah barat kampus Nino (Sydney Uni) dan 30 menit dari kota(pakai mobil, bukan jalan kaki). Daerah ini, Dulwich Hill, banyak dihuni orang-orang Yunani. Selain itu, banyak juga orang-orang Vietnam, China (yep, they are everywhere), Libanon, Turki, Portugis. Pertama jalan-jalan di daerah ini, kami sama sekali nggak lihat ada bule. Nino bilang, "Tinggal di sini kayak tinggal di Denpasar aja. Orang-orangnya mirip orang Asia juga, kalau beruntung, baru bisa ketemu bule, hehehe." Untuk pergi ke kampus, kami naik bus. Dari rumah, jalan sekitar 7 menit (udah dengan Didi) ke bus stop. Bis di Sydney cukup nyaman, tapi emang mahal. Untuk ke kampus, aku harus bayar $2.8 sekali jalan. Biar lebih hemat, aku bisa beli travel ten, tiket bis untuk 10 kali pakai. Biar lebih hemat lagi, ya nggak usah pergi2, hehehe. Sementara Nino dapat consession(diskon) karena dia student, separuh harga. Didi masih gratis naik bisnya (thanks God). …

Aroma Coffe Festival, 23rd July 2006

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Pertama aku baca pengumuman ttg acara ini di brosur, aku udah 'ngecim' untuk datang ke sana, mumpung gratis. Aku pernah baca juga ttg festival kopi ini tahun lalu di Kompas. Ah, nggak nyangka bisa bener2 ada di sana. Ternyata festival ini emang agenda rutin tiap tahun. Tempatnya di The Rock, seberangnya Opera House. Di sana ada beberapa stand kopi dari seluruh penjuru dunia. Di samping itu juga ada beberapa panggung untuk menampilkan musik dan tarian. Aku nggak tahu banyak tentang kopi dan nggak begitu suka kopi, tapi aku suka nyicip2 dan mencoba segala hal yg baru. Aku juga suka keramaian (gak seperti Nino).Irene (Nino's cousin) pecinta kopi, tahu banyak tentang kopi dan bisa bikin bermacam2 kopi. Dia ngajarin kami cara2 bikin kopi. Sementara Didi dan aku nonton tarian Africa di panggung utama, mereka berdua nyariin kopi. Irene ngasih kami kopi dari stan Voodo yg paling dekat dg panggung utama. Mereka pakai kopi arabica yg diperoleh dari berbagai negara, termasuk dari sum…

Slightly Sydney

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Kita belum 'resmi' berada di Sydney kalau belum ada foto di depan opera house atau Sydney Bridge. Minggu kemarin, 23 Juli, Nino, Didi, Irene (Nino's cousin) n I jalan2 lihat kota. Sejak kedatanganku hari Jumat minggu sebelumnya, aku dan Didi emang belum jalan-jalan ke kota. Kami baru jalan2 ke sekitar rumah dan ke Sydney Uni. Kebetulan Irene, sepupu Nino yang memang tinggal di Aussie ngajak kami jalan2. Pucuk dicinta ulam tiba. Irene jemput kami dengan mobil di Dulwich Hill, 30 menit dari kota. Kami meluncur ke kota. Didi dan aku terheran2 lihat gedung2 tinggi (hehehe, ndeso-nya keluar). Kami juga lewat jembatan yg terkenal itu loh. Didi was very excited. Kami ke apartemen Irine di North Sydney dulu untuk markir mobil. Whua, apartemen nya di pinggir laut, view dari atas keren bgt.
Dari apartemen Irene kami jalan ke Mc Mahon Point untuk catch ferry ke Circular Quay. CQ ini dock yg ada opera house nya itu loh. Maksudnya ya cuma nyebrang bentar lewat bawah jembatan. Di Circul…

Border Security

Tiap hari Selasa malam di chanel 7 ada acara reality show "Border Security". It claimed to be the number one reality show in aussie. Isinya tentang orang-orang yang ketangkap di custom bandara, either di bandara Sydney atau bandara internasional lain di aussie. fyi, aussie emang ketat sekali untuk urusan 'barang-barang' yg boleh di bawa masuk ke sini. Liat aja brosur Quarantine mereka: Declare or Beware! wah, nadanya mengancam. Intinya, kalau masuk aussie kita gak boleh bawa makanan mentah atau raw material, apalagi tanaman yg masih bisa hidup dan juga biji2an dan dairy. Makanan yg boleh dibawa adalah yg udah dipak, instant atau dalam kemasan. Jangan sampai bawa terasi atau petis dalam bungkus daun pisang deh, bisa kenak denda $200 ntar, berabe kan?
Setiap akan melewati Custom (bea cukai) kita disuruh mengisi passenger card, u declare barang2 yg kita bawa. Untuk lebih amannya, mending thick yes semua di 11 pertanyaan itu, karena kalau ternyata kita bawa barang yg mere…

Flying Without Wings

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I'll depart to Sydney this afternoon. I intend to stay there for 2 years, accompanying Nino to take his master degree at Sydney University.
I feel excited and worried. Excited to meet my husband soon (desperately missing him), to visit new place (sst, I've never gone abroad before, hiks). But worried, can I do that? Crossing continent, bringing a 4-year-old girl and 3 giant suitcase? 
Doain selamat sampai tujuan yah...
Please notice: This is an official 'pamitan' letteruntuk temen2 yg belom kukirimin sms or email. sorry banget, pulsanya limited edition.
Keep in touch yaa!
Jauh di mata, dekat di blog, hehehe...
A.K.

Superman Kembali

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Kemarin, aku nonton jangan-lewatkan-film-ini bareng Nindipong (4) dan adikku, Dila. Kami nonton di 21 Amplas (Ambarukmo Plasa). Thank God, sekarang Jogja punya 21, hehehe… Tadinya kami terganggu sama suara Dolby yang kenceng banget, sampai Nindi harus menutup kedua telinganya. Tapi, secara umum, kami menikmati film ini.

Film dibuka dengan usaha Lex Luthor(diperankan dg baik oleh Kevin Spacey), musuh abadi Superman, untuk mendapatkan kristal dari planet Krypton. Aku nggak begitu suka pembukaan film ini yg terasa suram banget, apalagi sound effect nya, annoying dan sering mengagetkan. Nindi nanya-nanya terus, “Mana, Ma, superman-nya?”

Ah, untungnya si superhero segera nongol. Dila sama aku sampai teriak, “Ganteng banget!!!” Hehehe, norak ya. Tapi emang, nggak ada yang menyangkal, Superman di film ini, mukanya kayak dipahat dari lilin, halus dan licin, kayak patung di Madame Tussaud aja. Bodynya? Uhm, sexy (not mention his red “underware”, hehehe). Yang nggak nguatin tuh S ponytail-nya. Ar…

Perkalian Tujuh

Nino and I became expert in perkalian tujuh since we decided to move to aussie. The fact that AUD 1 = Rp 7000 made us timing every price tag to 7000. start from simple calculation to the sophisticated one. our brain got trained and it is easy to calculate 326 to 7. no more than 15 seconds, hehehe...
but the calculation made us so stressed. imagine, living cost in sydney is sooo high. start from the air fare, it is AUD 414 by Qantas. child care: $57 per day. nasi rendang: $8. house rent: 230 per week. 230 x 7000 = 1,6 million headaches per week, hehehe.
now, we give up doing perkalian tujuh. we made the budget first, and everything that fits the budget is cheap.
A.K.

Love at Every Byte

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June 8th was our wedding anniversary. Normally, we forgot about this date. It has been three years we were not celebrating this anniversary (fyi, Nino and I have been married for five years, hehehe).

But this year, I'll never forget June 8th . This was the day when Nino left us, departed to Aussie. The farewell in Juanda airport was not that dramatic. I kissed him goodbye with smile and said, “See you soon at Sydney.” I hoped that the LO in Sydney Uni gave Didi and I permission to join Nino there, as soon as possible.

But, the day became worse when we got home. I missed him already. Didi become more spoiled to me and tended not let me go. She asked me gendong jarik more often. Well, this is very normal, I think, for someone separated from her beloved Dad.

Mine was not worse than Nino’s.
He fought to survive in the cold of Sydney. Only ate instant noodle and instant rice in the first two days (fyi, he couldn’t cook – yet). In the third day, his first cooking was… fried egg and scrambl…

JOGJA Yang Mengguncang Hati Kita

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Sabtu pagi, pukul 6 kurang sepuluh menit, aku ada dalam perjalanan dari rumah tante di perum ITS menuju Juanda. Nino, Om Hita dan aku yang ada di mobil tidak merasakan apa-apa ketika itu.
Sekitar pukul delapan, ketika aku sudah sampai di Malang, Nino menelpon, katanya ada gempa yang mengguncang Jogja. "Lihat Metro TV dan segera hubungi keluarga di Jogja!" 
My God, breaking news di Metro menyebutkan gempa mencapai 5.8 skala richter dan Kawasan Bantul Rata dengan Tanah.
Aku nyoba nelpon Dila, adikku. Susah banget nyambung. Ketika nyambung, Dila ngomong buru-buru, panik, dengan suara bergetar. "Mbak, kami sekeluarga ngungsi ke Muntilan. Rumah salam nggak papa. Tapi jalannya ramai banget, semua orang panik. Katanya ada tsunami.. Doain ya, Mbak."
Terputus lagi. Aku baru bisa menghubungi Dila lagi sore harinya. Ternyata waktu gempa, Dila masih ada di kosnya, deket UGM. Dia dengar gosip ada tsunami dan langsung "melarikan motornya" pulang ke Salam (20 km utara Jogja…

Can Your Camera Call?

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Ternyata asyik juga punya hape berkamera. Emm, maksudku, kamera yang bisa nelpon dan sms.

Bulan lalu aku dapet gratisan Hp Pantech 6100. Camera looking handphone. Hape ini, udah handsome, pinter lagi (just all that women want). Bisa nelpon, sms, ems, mms, kamera (sampai 2 mp), video recording (tapi cuman 30 detik, hiks), voice recording, mp3 player, radio, games, calculator, alarm, usb storage, gprs, irda, bluetooth, etc. Pokoknya, semua ada di sini deh, cuman kulkas ama mesin cuci aja yang belum kepasang di hape ini, hehehe.

Seminggu pertama, aku excited banget make hape ini. Nyoba semua fitur, mindahin nama-nama di phonebook, dan motret segala macem (paling banyak sih motret diri sendiri, hiks, sampai Nindi protes: Mama, udah dong, foto-fotonya…).

Minggu kedua, gairahku pada si handsome ini udah mulai berkurang. Aku udah mulai nemuin ‘cacat2nya’. Untuk ngetik sms agak lama responnya, terutama untuk huruf2 kedua dan ketiga. Terus, fitur mp3 dan usb storage hanya bisa dipakai untuk ekste…

Busy or Lazy?

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fiuh, udah lamaaaa banget enggak nge-blog.
banyak perjalanan dan persinggahan. banyak hal baru, yang membuat excited tapi juga menakutkan.
my journey started from jogja, kota yang paling aku cintai. sering mengaku orang jogja, padahal lahirnya di pinggiran jogja alias Jogja coret. temen2, rumah ortuku persis di sebelah kali krasak, yang pasti dapat jatah aliran lahar dingin kalau merapi bergejolak. ada beberapa temen yang sms: ortumu gimana? baik-baik aja? Kujawab: ya, baik-baik aja.
seneng deh bisa berkunjung ke sma ku dulu, tempat aku belajar banyak hal. yang menyenangkan sekaligus yang mengerikan. dari pengalaman pribadi di sma patbhe juga yang bikin aku terinspirasi menulis DENGERIN DONG, TROY!. Lucu-lucu deh anak SMA. mereka seru dan semangat banget. ugh, aku jadi berasa masih muda. lihat deh foto2nya, jadi pengen berpose melulu, hehehe. Thanks to Zaki yang udah motretin. Fotomu jurnalistik banget, hehehe...
Thanks juga buat Bunda Siti Mulyani dan pak kepala sekolah yang udah menerim…

Cerpen IBU DEWI - bagian satu

Ini adalah cerpenku yang dimuat di In-Flight Magazine-nya LION AIR.

This story is dedicated to EH.
Enjoy reading!

Mendengar namanya saja saya sudah muak dan ingin muntah. Sebenarnya, Dewi adalah nama yang bagus. Artinya kira-kira bidadari, dewa perempuan, ratu, atau puteri. Yang pasti, Dewi adalah nama untuk ‘perempuan baik-baik’.
Saya membencinya bukan karena dia perempuan yang menyebalkan. Sama sekali bukan. Seperti namanya, Ibu Dewi adalah perempuan baik-baik, cantik, pintar dan sukses. Dia seorang pengacara terkenal. Saking terkenalnya, wajahnya kini mulai muncul di siaran infotaintment. Menyebut nama Ibu Dewi, orang akan segera ingat Ibu Dewi sang pengacara, seperti orang mengingat Ibu Dibyo si ratu tiket atau Ibu Gito si juragan PRT.
Ibu Dewi bukan tipe perempuan yang pantas untuk dibenci. Pembawaannya ramah, selalu tersenyum dan penuh perhatian kepada setiap orang. Tapi dia juga bisa galak kepada lawan-lawannya untuk urusan persidangan.
Baiklah, saya beritahu mengapa saya membencinya…

Cerpen IBU DEWI - bagian dua

Dulu, Arman dan saya bisa telponan berjam-jam tanpa gangguan. Namun akhir-akhir ini, nama Ibu Dewi selalu muncul di tengah perbincangan kami. “Tutup dulu ya, Sayang, telfonnya. Ibu Dewi nelpon nih,” begitu katanya. Saya cemberut. “Tutup ya Sayang, ntar kutelpon lagi deh,” bujuknya, seolah tahu kalau saya cemberut. Kejadian ini berulang terus, setiap kali saya menelponnya. Jangan-jangan Ibu Dewi tahu kalau suaminya sedang ditelpon saya?
Dulu, Arman dan saya bisa sms-an berjam-jam. Dulu, sms saya selalu dibalas dengan cepat. Namun akhir-akhir ini, nama Ibu Dewi selalu muncul di layar hape saya. “Psst, udah dulu ya, Sayang. Ada Ibu Dewi,” begitu balasan sms-nya tiba-tiba. Hah? Bukannya Ibu Dewi sedang sibuk mengurusi perceraian seorang seleb? Kok tiba-tiba dia jadi ada di rumah terus ya?
Ibu Dewi, Ibu Dewi. Kadang saya jadi memikirkannya, lebih sering daripada saya memikirkan Arman. Saya sering berkhayal, suatu saat kami akan berkenalan. Apa yang akan saya katakan nanti, kalau kami berjump…