Quote of the day

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"All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless."

"因 为 他 日 日 忧 虑 , 他 的 劳 苦 成 为 愁 烦 , 连 夜 间 心 也 不 安 。 这 也 是 虚 空 。"

~ Ecclesiastes 2:23 傳 道 書 2:23 ~
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Trip to Solo-Yogya

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-29 Apr 2007-

From left to right, starting from the top:

1) Looking at the sun rising in the midst of KL clouds

2) Arrived at Solo airport at 9.20am (Indonesia time)

3) The street outside the airport

4) The street outside the Solo Balapan train station

5) One of the many monuments/statues along the road. Most serve as a roundabout, I think.

6) Pasar Gede (side view). By the time we reached there, it was already closing. Besides the one mistake we made; spending too much time choosing for a hotel room, alot of tourist attractions are closed by 2pm!!! So, we just walked around the city that day.

This is how the journey began...

On the 29th of April 2007, I left my house at about 3 something in the morning, took a bus from KL sentral, arrived at LCCT, ate McD breakfast set and then flew in the airbus to Solo at about 7 am. These whole morning travels were just plain COLD and sleepy..*yawn* and *shiver*. Well, at least I get to see the sunrise on a plane(,which got me amazed for a few minutes because after snapping a picture or two, I shut the window and cuddled to sleep.) I was really really really sleepy..coz I did not sleep at all the night before. I packed my luggage last minute and I packed until the very last minute before leaving my house. But thank God, I managed to catch about an hour plus of sleep before arriving at about 9.20 am in Solo, Indonesia.

It was a small airport. The arrival hall has only 2 lanes!!!; one for international passport holders and the other one is for local.
Taxis are readily available outside the airport. They all offer the same minimal price of 50,000 Rp to drive you down to the town. We took none of the taxis there as they were reluctant to reduce their fares. From our survey after asking a few locals in the aiport, we knew we could get to the town with a cheaper price. So, we walked out to search for other taxis. The search was pretty brief and we got Mr.Daniel to drive us down town at a fair price of 35,000 Rp.

Left to right, from the top:

1) One of the house with a gabenor like statue.

2) Solo city map at display in Adem Ayem Restaurant, where we had our lunch. [Rate: 1.5 stars; I ordered a bowl of Soto there. Although there were considerable amount of people queued up for take-aways, the food there is not really as nice as I expected.]

3) Slamet Riyadi Street; the busiest street in Solo ( if I'm not mistaken)

4) Our dinner at Malioboro Restaurant. We had:

  • fried chicken (ayam goreng)- crispily delicious.. one of Solo's nice food ;)
  • roasted chicken (ayam panggang) - finger lickin' good
  • sweet and sour vege (which they recommended) - horribly sweet

with rice. Overall, it was a satisfying meal. [Rate: 4 stars]

5) Petrol stalls.

6) Atria Cafe. It was indeed rather surprising to find this decent and quite well decorated cafe here. Nice and quiet ambience, perfect for a cup of tea after walking around whole day. [Rate: 4 stars]

7) The 'hotel' we stayed for that night. They said the room come with fan but to our surprise, it is only an exhaust fan!? %#$@!! The budget hotels near the railway station is generally in poor condition. However, we chosed to stay there because it is within our budget and the station is just a stone's throw away. [Rate: 1.5 stars]

Our next destination: Yogjakarta (by train).

Our 'old house'

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Whenever we celebrate our own new year, be it Hari Raya or Chinese New Year, we will all swarm back to our own hometown (if condition allows) during the festive season and everybody sings, "Balik Kampung! oh oh oh..balik kampung~..." Balik kampung to me means balik Taiping.

I used to go back Taiping, my father's hometown for Chinese New Year and Christmas every year. Then when the church's carolling switched from attending every open house to only one or two house in an area, we stoped going back during year end since there are no more christmas celebration in our 'old house'. As everybody grows, some of my cousins got married, and some migrated elsewhere, so there are lesser people attending reunion dinner every year. And then we stopped going back altogether two years ago.

And...now, our 'old house' has been sold as it is really 'old' and to maintain it would cost a big sum. It was only practical to sell the house. So, before they hand the key over to the lawyer next month, I took a trip back to have a last glance at our 'old house', which held over seventy years of Mdm.Say, Mdm. Chew and the five Lim brothers, at 175, Jalan Chung Thye Phin...


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Expectations; we all have it. Right from the very moment we qualify as a life being, 'expectations' clinged on to us everywhere, tightly, till the day we depart.

As soon as being in the form of an embryo, we are expected to healthily develop and grow. Everyone, especially parents, is expecting us to arrive to the world safe and healthy. And of course, we grow up with our parents' expectations. When we enter the schools, the teachers have expectations on us too. Then when we finally graduated and work, we are then responsible for our boss' expectations. When married, our spouse and family expect something out of us as well. The list of great expectations goes on. Similarly, we have expectations on them too. Annoyingly, expectations never really leave us alone, do they?

In every relationship that bridges us together, expectations exist and it is hard to escape from one. Its existance signifies that it is only right to do according to and hence, that is what should be done. With so many expectations adhering to us, sometimes it is plain hard to juggle between meeting his' and her's. Also, not to forget, we too expect something out of ourselves. So, with his', her's and our own, it is no easy job to please everyone.

A lot of time we work, or maybe even struggle, towards meeting other's expectations on us to avoid upseting any of them. However, some expectations are just simply too hard to be met. Or in some cases, they may be expecting more and more out of us. So till the end of the day, the only product may only be exhaustation. And that, we have not included our own interest, our own dreams, our own plans, and our own destiny.

Heave it out, "Hey! What about me?!" Pause a while and ok...dead silence. When nobody seems to notice your existence or even cares about your interest, that makes your heart swells.

Perhaps at some point we just have to bear the pain of dissapointing some people in our life or the pain of letting go 'the hold'. No wonder people always say that it is impossible to please everybody in this world.