Monday, February 15, 2016

The Day of the Shabay

I cannot believe that it has been a year already since I marry my wife. In a moment like this is when I truly grasp the meaning of time flies. And how colorful life turned out to be for the both of us during our first year together.

After the joyful "Shabay" wedding (go check instagram for #shabay), we got busy planning for our honeymoon. How much have we been longing for a time out together in holiday, somewhere in the other parts of this world.. However, it was not meant to be as we found out that we have a baby on the way! This awesome news was then followed by us getting busy with the planning for the arrival of the baby. Not to mention all the cultural and religious ceremonies that we have to prepare for our first child. And when the bundle of joy called Mikael Aakarshan Maulada came into this world, our marriage has already come to its one year anniversary.

Despite the fast transition between wedding preparations to baby caring level of hecticness, not a moment during that one year have I not been grateful to have been blessed with your embrace.

My dear wife, Shahrina Tiara Wardhani, thank you for saying yes that day. I know you dont read my blog, but this time I hope you do. I love you luv. And here's to our everlasting moments being together.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Defining 2015

I did my new year's celebration inside of a clinic in South Jakarta last night. As I sat there half awake, my wife who had a bad case of a stomach bug last night, looked very apologetic at me as she said how sorry she was for making it the possibly the worst new year's celebration ever for the both of us. Amidst the noise that came from the neighborhood "dangdut" festival, which was really annoying to say the least, I sat there looking for an answer as I gaze back into 2015.

In 2015, I got married to my wife in Bali which became the most talked about wedding ceremony. This was all thanks to the freak typhoon that hit Bali just two hours before our wedding..! Thankfully we survived it and went on with our ceremony. And it was a beautiful wedding (super thanks to Mbak Erri and her whole team!) Not long after our wedding, my wife was pregnant and we were blessed with a baby Boy.

2015 was a year which defines me as a person. There were so many blessings which have made me be thankful and also a couple of misses which have made me more determined to make it happen when the next opportune comes (one of them is my honeymoon, which didn't happen because my wife got pregnant). Every now and then I hear my friends and families say to me that your life begins when you become a parent. It's funny how you are somewhat being reborn again when you have given a hand in creating a new life in this world. But now I am beginning to understand this saying of life that begins again; it is that newborn, that blank canvas which allows me to begin again with a new set of paint and brush, and creating a new art with a new definition and a renewed sense of purpose.

So my wife.. Its not a bad at all. After what you have given me in 2015, a couple of hours in the clinic with you will not give 2015 a bad after taste at all.

Cheers 2015! Now bring on 2016!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Namaste Sirs!

Looking out at the Humayun's tomb
"Good morning to you sirs, Namaste". Those were the words that came out of Mr. Ajay, a local guide that my hotel had arranged to take my business directors and myself for a day tour around New Delhi. "Welcome to India, gentlemen", He continued with a warmest of smiles. "And as they say it during the TV commercials: Incredible India". Honestly, what the guide said almost made me crack in laughters. However, after seeing Mr. Ajay's sincere face and his positive presence, I held back. Who knows, I thought to myself. Maybe it is incredible.

That was the start of my week in India with two of my business directors, Jay and Dennes, both of whom has never set foot in India before. We were there to attend an international coal conference that is held annually. Since the first day of the conference does not start until the evening, I thought it would be a great idea to treat my directors to some sightseeings. We left the hotel in a limousine that was arranged by the management to make our travel less of a hassle. The limousine, mind you, is a nice, compact Toyota Vios. Not much of a limousine. And, since my directors and myself are not exactly small men, definitely not much of a space either! "Nice and comfy, right sirs?" Asked Mr. Ajay from the front passenger seat. As I let out a sarcastic smile, Mr. Ajay told the hotel chauffeur to step on it and be on our way.

"Mind you, sirs, the way we drive here can be quite the experience. On the road, we need to have three things only", explained Mr. Ajay. "First, we need good horns. Because they will only take notice of you when you honk at them". True, I thought, as I realized how in most cars out there on the road did not have any side view mirrors. "Second, you need good brakes. With it, you can definitely avoid accidents", continued Mr. Ajay. "And there are many accidents here in the roads".

"Lastly, and this is the most important", said Mr. Ajay, "You need good luck!". As he said that, suddenly a car next to us was hit from the back by a Bajaj, a three wheeled vehicles that they have in India. "Oh my God!" My director Jay let out a little scream. As we sat there in the car waiting for a fight between two drivers to ensue, we were surprised to see that nothing was happening. If that was in Indonesia, a fight would have definitely occurred between the two drivers. Then I began to wonder if it was really just bad luck that had caused that accident. And not bad brakes or bad driving even.

There were two places that I went to see that day. The Humayyun's Tomb and Qutb Minar. Both had a lot to offer to tourists such as ourselves. But what really struck me was Qutb Minar. Hopefully the guide was telling me factual story of this place. But according to the guide, this place was a mosque that was also a Hindu and Jain temple. And back then, they were practicing their respective religions and beliefs in harmony. If this story was true, it would be truly amazing to think that people in the past had put aside their differences and chose to live harmoniously.

At that time, it struck me that there is more to India. I became intrigued by the country and its history that can be considered very ancient. Humayyun's Tomb provided me with a number of stories where the structure was built for the Royal family of the Mughal emperor. To be honest, I kind of like the idea where you are being buried with the rest of your family in one place. Looking at how big my family is, perhaps it would be a good idea for us to consider building a tomb like this.

Yeah.. I wish. That would have been very awesome though...

The awesome Qutb Minar

Friday, March 2, 2012

To bike or not to bike

I have been seriously considering selling my car recently because of a number of reasons.

First of all, the traffic in Jakarta has been inexplicably intense and it's very draining to drive nowadays! This morning driving my way to the office took me around 2 hours approximately. I mean, what is up with that? I have been jokin to my friends and colleagues alike that I have an office set up in my car. But right now, I'm starting to to wish that I really do have one in my car.

And the next reason is.. Well, there isn't any other actually. I just think driving to the office nowadays is such a waste of time and going there with my bicycle is a lot quicker. Luckily for bicyclist, there are no regulations that binds you to a certain ways of behavior. Hence, it really does feel great when you can ride on the sidewalk, or in between cars stuck in traffic or even riding in the busway lanes. Believe me it's a lot safer riding in that lane than a normal road. But nevertheless, do take care of yourself. It's still not 100 percent safe!

Be cautious out there

But then again, I see this beloved country of ours being on a leash with the automotive industry. It's difficult right now to picture a road with less cars and, ahem, more bicycles.

But one can always dream of a better day. And I hope this is one dream where it does come true.

My partner in crime

Always smile when you ride!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

From the top of the world

"Don't forget your jacket", said my sister Rani who accompanied me that morning along with her fiance Garu. It was precisely 2 AM Bali time. I honestly thought maybe I was missing something there as I was sitting in the car that was speeding through the narrow roads of the Balinese village.

Wait. We are in Bali. Bali equals to beaches and nice warm weather. Why the heck did my sister reminded me to bring my jacket for? "There it is. This is where we start our trekking", said my sister. Right, I said. We had planned this before we landed in Bali. I totally forgot that we were about to hike up Mount Agung that morning.

What was I thinking? This is Mount Agung we are talking about. The highest point in Bali, which is also an active stratovolcano. This mountain represent a very sacred area for the Balinese people as local mythology foretold that it is said to be a replica of Mount Meru, or often called Mahameru which means the Great Meru, a sacred mountain in the Hindu or Buddhist cosmology and is considered to be the centre of all the physical, metaphysical and spiritual universe. And I am about to hike it! Yaaayyy...!

Inhale.. exhale.. and a large gulp of bravery later, I started my climb with my sister and her fiance and a number of other climbers that morning. This climb is definitely not for the weak minded and those who are unfit. Slippery surface, rocky terrain and random weather occurrences would be enough to make people break. As I experienced it myself, 500 meters off the peak I honestly thought I was going to die..!

But thankfully, I made it. And just in time for sunrise. Despite all the hardship that I had to go through, it was worth it. The view and the feeling, they were just outer-worldly.

"Hey Bayu", called Garu. "Yea Bro". "You do realize that we have to climb down after this, right?" After I survived that day, I told myself that I would never ever walk again. But then again, I like breaking silly vows like that.

Prepare an umbrella before it rains... huh?
Welcoming a new day

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hello There!!

Wow I think it has been a year since I last posted something here in my blog! Or just a few months maybe.. Well, plenty of reasons for that actually.

1. I totally forgot about the existence of this blog!

Not until I was updating my Facebook account and I saw the link to my blog! So I thought why don't I pay a little visit to my blog :)

2. Work has been a nightmare recently!

Okay, I know. It's the easiest way out isn't it? Blame work when the rest of your time is gone. But seriously, it is work and I have been going to a lot of places where seeing and feeling the place will be more of a benefit than spending the time I have typing or writing a blog.

Or maybe... I have been lazy. :(

3. I need my doze of sanity check

Yes. I think this is it. It has a nice ring to it. And every time I type something up, my mind eases. It's like I am a prophet in the middle of his enlightenment. Or not.

I just have too much cooped up and I guess I just feel like sharing it all here. So we'll see just how much better I will feel after a few posts

So, let's get it on then shall we?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kimchi Adventure: Incheon and Songdo

And so the six hours flight had finally ended. It was around 7am when we had touched down at the newly developed Incheon Airport. "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Korea" announced the Garuda Indonesia pilot over the airplane's pa system. Then I took a deep breath and exhaled it fully. "Okay, here we go then". Another work-related adventure in a foreign land awaits me.

Welcome to Korea!
As I stepped out of the airplane and into the Incheon International airport, I was pretty surprised to see how empty the building was. Isn't this supposed to be the up and coming, most efficient airport in the world? The empty void which I saw was unnatural in a sense that it was not what I had expected from an airport. Then as we were shepherded by the airport ushers into another area, I saw a subway terminal.

View from the Subway train

It was then my father, who were with me during this trip along with my mother and a business partner of my father, had told me that the Incheon Airport is interconnected through a subway system that would take people into the main airport building. "Just how big is this airport??" I asked my father. "Well son, just wait and see" He replied, "I told you that Korea is going to amaze you right?"

And like always, he is right again this time.

"I'm pretty sure I saw that in Star Trek"
The modern look of the airport was just the tip of the iceberg. As we drove into the city of Incheon, I came to realise that we were driving on a 21 meters long bridge, which connects the island where Incheon International Airport is located to the mainland Songdo. The view was shockingly spectacular and as the main bridge came into view I could only stare in awe. The last time I ever saw something this spectacular was when I was playing soccer at this tournament back in Sydney, Australia. That day I made this huge assist where I kicked a cross field pass from almost the half way line, into just behind the defense line. And my friend took it nicely on his right foot and continued it with a swift volley. The way it happened and from where I was standing, it was breath taking... So, Incheon bridge, I think, produced almost the same kind of excitement in me... ALMOST!

A very long bridge above the sea!
"If only I could kick a pass that beautiful again..." *sigh*

And then we arrived at this city called Songdo. It was newly built, and most part of it were still empty land. But from the look of its infrastructure, you could just tell that the city is going to become a major city in the near future.

Well, due to the fact that it was still under development, we decided to cut short our stay there and move to Seoul.

A city in development