Okay, I'm officially getting crazy.

Things have been overly hectic at work since the office moved to Sanur. The construction work is still ongoing, the smell of the paint gave me a headache, problems after problems come with the tukang's, earlier on last week (even up to now) Vincent has been having a hard time adjusting himself here. And yesterday he was finally happy because he got a call for a meeting with Fabio's friend for a job/partnership they could do, ONLY to find today that he couldn't find the place because he said I drew a wrong map. He was now very late and obviously isn't happy with me because of that.

To make things even more perfectly messed up, Vincent's angry call came at the same time when I was trying to meddle with another detail problem of painting work between Fabio and the landlord, where both were expressing their displeasure at one another THROUGH ME.

I can't take any more shouts today. I hope I won't.
A few updates that have been happening in my life this past fresh one week:
  • My sister, Ita, has moved to Bali at the same time my boss was recruiting for a new staff to replace Carol (after 5 months I struggled doing two-person job!). She appeared to be the best candidate among the other 5 [I don't know how, my critical self thinks that her English is far from sufficient]. But anyway, congratulations to her. She started working on Monday (3 days ago) and so far she has shown a real motivation in learning what she should be doing at the office. It is not easy in the beginning, but I do appreciate her willingness.
  • Fabio and Inga are moving to a big house in Sanur next weekend. It will be the same day Vincent arrives (YAY!!!!). So that means both my sister and I will have to get a (separate) place near the new office.
    I think I could settle the first month living in this hotel/kost in Sidakarya, less than 5 minutes drive from Fabio's place. I actually liked a little house overlooking a rice field like 20 minutes from the new office. But it's really too far for Vincent to get to the expat area. While I think it is important for him to build his network in his first months here so that he can secure a job not long after he moves. So we agreed to take this full-service hotel for a month. Good deal for a short period, but not really in the long run. But I guess it is a better option. Then we can buy one-month time to look around for a house for us together.
  • This evening after work I drove Ita to Sanur area near the new office to look around for a boarding house for her. Amazingly enough, among the so many mushrooming boarding houses (Bahasa = kos-kosan), everything was full. And we were actually looking at the "city" side of Sanur instead of the seaside. My sister kept wondering why. I did not understand it, either.

    We finally tried our luck in the seaside area. Ita found something that looked like a boarding house so she went in to see if there were a room available. I think I shouldn't waste time accompanying her there, but instead I checked out the other places nearby that looked like a boarding house. So I went inside this place next door that looked like a small losmen.

    There was a guy with a well-built-body and latino-look curly hair approaching me and asked me what I wanted. I asked him if it was a penginapan (inn) and he said yes. Then I asked him how much it would cost if I was to rent it for a month. He said he was not renting rooms monthly.

    "Oh, alright. It's like a hotel then. How much is it per day/night?" I asked again.

    I swear he looked like he almost burst into laughing when he said, "We don't rent it on daily basis either."

    I was stunned and confused.

    "We rent rooms on hour-basis," he continued.

    I stopped being dumb and the images of the places with the Sutra condom zone signs made me realise that I just stepped into one of the brothels in Sanur. I got so awkward and I prepared myself to run out of that place as soon as I could before he thought I could be recruited as one of their sex workers.

My sister was laughing her arse off when she heard the story, and so was Pam.

"I never saw any hotel rooms in Kuta that are rented on hourly basis," Pam said, "So Sanur must be the Bali-side of prostitution area."

I may need to research that. She might be right. I mean I'm not in the slightest doubt that Kuta is full of ayam's[1]. We saw a lot of them everywhere. But brothels, hmm... I don't think I've seen one yet here. Not as obvious as a sex-trade marketplace like in Sanur, at least.

Now that explains why the boarding houses are full! Those girls must have occupied them.

---

[1] Ayam carries the connotation meaning of a young female prostitute. However, its literal meaning is chicken.

A practical way to record your lovelife story.

40 years from now, I won't have to buy a rocking chair and tell my grandchildren how his granddad and I got together and what else, the story won't be one-sided since the man in focus is also contributing.

I'll just email them the link. ;) I'm so clever!


Not quite my style, but this one I like. The video is cute. :)
By Carla Ardian.

Denpasar - The convicted so-called terrorists accused for killing 202 innocent people in Bali in the year 2002, namely Imam Samudra, Ali Gufron and Amrozi, were executed today at 00:15, leaving mixed feelings for various numbers of people.


Late Amrozi, the smiling bomber

These past several days the embassies of Australia and the United States of America in Jakarta had received hoax calls threatening that there were bombs planted, which would be activated if the Bali bombers were still to be executed. The police went through and checked the whole buildings, but no bombs were found.

On 5 November 2008, Ustadz Ja'far Shodiq, Amrozi's brother, threatened that bloodshed should occur if the execution would still be conducted. "If you want to be safe, stop the execution," he said.

In August, a website called foznawarabbilkakbah.com stowed the bombers' so-called testament that menaced a death of some important people who "supported" the execution of the Bali bombers. Included in the testament were the President of Republik Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Attorney General Hendarman Supandji, all judges and prosecutors. More people in the revenge list were the Hindus and Christians, who are considered kafirs, and all American slaves.

The police took the threat seriously and intensified the protection for President Yudhoyono. The website now has been reportedly taken down.

Australia, whose citizens were most killed in the bombing incident, is happy that the bombers were finally executed. But hours after the execution took place, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith told ABC that they urged countries not to continue the application of capital punishment.

In another place in Indonesia, three of the Bali Nine drug smugglers - Scott Rush, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan - Australian nationals, went sluggish once they heard that the Bali bombers were shot dead today. Their government's failure to ask for the clemency had already put their lives on the same firing squad.

With the mounting threats of revenge attacks coming from the Indonesian Muslim radicals, the Australian government keeps the travel warning to Indonesia.

"We advise Australians firstly to reconsider their need to travel to Indonesia," Smith said.

At the same time the spokesperson of the Indonesian Police main headquarter, Irjen Pol Abubakar Nataprawira, reported that the situation in Jakarta remained conducive. However, high security is focused in some fragile places, such as malls and embassies.

"We maintain a tight security especially at the embassies of USA, United Kingdom and Australia," he told detikcom today.

-CBA-

How do you read these?

  • F**k
  • D**n
  • S**t
Fuck? Damn? Shit? Not that hard to figure out, is it?

So why do people put asterisk censor ( * ) on those words? So that they were considered "lighter"? Or more polite? Or for religious people, as a way to avoid sinning? Can it actually justify it? Say you die then you tell God you always behaved, you never bad mouthed people, you never swore etc. Will God say, "Oh, that's correct. You said Jangkrik instead of Jancuk. You put asterisk censor in your chats and blogs for f**k. OKAY, you pass, My child."

I don't think God is really that shallow.

Has any of us realised that it is our mind that counts? When you typed f**k, didn't you think out loud of the word fuck? When you read f**k, didn't you read it in your mind as fuck? You can't tell me your mind plays it as : F-BEEP-K!

On earth, people!

Picture courtesy of different media.

An Indonesian rich muslim cleric has triggered a heated debate by marrying a 12-year-old girl last August.

Syekh Puji, 43, the founder of Pondok Pesantren Miftakhul Jannah - an Islamic boarding school - in Bedono Semarang, has admitted to an Indonesian media that he liked young girls. In realisation to that, he decided to marry Lutfiana Ulfa, 12 now, a girl coming from the poor family.

His first wife, 26 years old, was allegedly said that she was okay with that, and was even "encouraging" the cleric to take other brides.

The choice fell onto Ulfa, being said as a smart, good at English language and beautiful among the other 20 "candidates".

When asked why he married the 12-year-old Ulfa, Puji said that he was following Prophet Muhammad's lead. The prophet married his wife Aisyah when she was 7, but he gave her back to her parents until she was mature enough to be bedded.

Aries Merdeka Sirait from Komnas Anak - National Commission for Children - claimed that Puji should have been jailed for marrying an underage child, who was obviously having no consent of the real decision for the marriage. It is also, he continues, violating the Indonesian marriage law which pushes the youngest age for a girl to marry is 16, and boy 19.

Hilman Rosyad Syihab, member of Indonesian parliament from PKS party, backs Syekh Puji in his action and states that it is allowed in the Islamic law to set up a marriage with younger girls, as long as they are not "touched" before they menstruate.

Hilman also remarks that the marriage law is to "suggest" the age to marry, but it is not compulsory.

However, Hilman continues, if it is found that it was actually a human trafficking action - father selling his daughter to Puji - it will be a different case. Then both the father and Puji could be taken into charges.

There is no evident so far if it was a trade marriage contract. Although making Ulfa as the director of PT Silenter - Puji's company - has already been a suspicious act that displeases certain groups.

"It is an underage child labour!" Mr Sirait said.

In the mean time, Pujianto Cahyo Widianto - Syekh Puji's real name, is thinking to take 2 other brides, each aged 9 and 7.

-CBA-
Felix.



Do you remember Felix? Some of you have met him these past few years. He is the nice Dutch guy who fancies Indonesian women and has the biggest heart for children.

While I was in the Netherlands, we did not have the chance to meet up. I did not tell him that I was coming, in the other words. But the next week after that, I smsed him and asked if he could make it to go to Strasbourg instead. He had never been there, so he said yes. So we spent our third weekend with Felix.

I already had a bad feeling when Vincent started interrogating me about him. Endlessly. He seemed to have thousands of questions. Have I told you that Vincent was a very jealous guy?

Felix came on Saturday evening driving all the way from the Netherlands. As usual he was very loud and (over) cheerful and happy. And THIS contradicted Vincent's distinguished personality of calm and contented and proper - which is probably so French, but please rule out the Parisians!

I do not think that the meeting with Felix was the best decision as I felt Vincent's tension too much. Felix didn't feel it of course, at least he didn't show it if he did. But we survived it. We took Felix around on Sunday and hugged him good bye that very day, too. I really appreciated that he came to Strasbourg for the weekend. He was a really good friend. But I could also understand the way Vincent thought: Why the hell is a guy driving 5.5 hours for less than 36 hours stay in Strasbourg?

---

Paris and the Grimm Brothers.

I didn't know that Vincent hated Paris. No, he loathes Paris. He would burn it along with all the people living there if he could. Okay, that's an exaggeration. But anyway, he hates it and he showed his discontent feeling as blatantly as he could. He moaned all the way the Eiffel tower to Champs-Élysées and he refused to say that he blamed me for making him go there, but he really did blame me psychologically.

Now let's turn back the time. What I remember is, he never said explicitly that he hated Paris. It was only when Johann called me and urged me to go to Paris to visit him and Francois, Vincent said: "Well, we can go there if you want, baby. This is your vacation." But he never gave a hint that he didn't want to go! Of course had he said that, I wouldn't have opted to go to Paris. Been there. I was impressed but not too crazy to go back there. So since I knew it too late - when we had already been in the glorious Paris city, he gave me this face below and pouted all the time. Sigh.



Luckily the things changed slightly when we met Johann and Francois Grimm. If you are my blog's regular reader, you will probably notice those names. Johann is the bitchy Grimm, and Francois is the sweet Grimm. They're brothers.

My statement above is not baseless. You can just see how bitchy Johann is in this picture (had to censor it, sorry... I don't think anyone could dare to see his newly pierced nipple)

and how sweet Francois here in comparison with his older brother:

MUAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

But anyway let's be a little bit serious here. I had never met Johann and Francois before. I chatted with Johann for years (knew him from DeviantArt, oh why is it so unsurprising?) and we click when it comes to mocking each other to the very end level of impropriety! And just to contradict that, his only kin - Francois - appears to be the sweetest boy of all! What were their parents think and do when they made them, only God knows.

One thing for sure though... the very first time I saw Johann, it felt like it was not the first time. It felt like I had known him for the longest time. He was funny, comfortable to be with, crazy but lovable, and downearth.... crazy. Oh, I've already said crazy. Anyway...

Francois and Johann gave me early birthday presents. I've got dices of different shapes from Francois, which I now always use to teach my private students. Very useful, bro. And from Johann a silver necklace. Too bad it didn't come along with the earrings (HAHA, joking!)

They were very, very sweet. It kind of melted down the tension Vincent and I felt earlier about who was trapping whom to be in Paris. :P

I can't wait to see them again.

---

29th Birthday (ouch!)

I was sick on my birthday (the sign of ageing - ouch again)! I felt weak the whole day and I almost begged Vincent not to go to Pascal's barbeque. But it was really not nice not to go to a party prepared for you, right? And I'm happy I did manage to go to the party with my weak limbs. Because it's hillarious!!!

They decorated the venue with some balloons and a banner that says Joyeaux Anniversaire. Don't ask me how to pronounce that. :P

And they prepared a really delicious birthday cake EVER (though as usual I couldn't eat more than 1 slice of a sweet cake) with oh, not candles on it. But a small firecracker! Never had such a birthday cake before! Look, look!

I also opened my first champagne. Didn't know that it was a special thing to do. LOL. I mean I LOOOOVE champagne. But I just was not aware that opening the bottle was a special tradition. But I was happy I had the chance. :)

Oh and then this... Brigitte, Pascal's girlfriend, went into the house and changed to this outfit! Don't YOU want the pants?!?! I totally, totally want a pair of that!!!

So in the end, I was still sick physically, but healthy mentally. These are very nice people I hang out with during my stay in Strasbourg.

---

Last days

It was emotional! Vincent didn't want me to go home. I didn't want to go home. But I had to go home. It was so hard. My friends and family had been texting me and emailing me and I just couldn't reply because I was busy with my own sad feeling.

I might have been able to stay longer... but what? I couldn't live illegally in France! It would take some time to pick up the language, so I suppose it would take even longer time to finally get a job. And what? Does Vincent have to support me all along? I know he's willing, but I am NOT. I can't be dependent on him now. Not yet. Even when I am one day, I won't want it to be 100% dependence. And say I loved being here for a month - but I should not forget that Vincent took almost 3 weeks off for me. If I stayed longer, he would go to work everyday (which is fine) but who should I talk to? Hardly anyone speaks English, my French is still limited to the magical Je ne parle pas Francais, and people might have already lost their excitement of having an Indonesian tourist around!!!

Okay, I'm a whiner. But it was just then I admired Shierly's courage to move to Korea for Hiro without knowing the language. And though I remember she did whine, too, but I think I am not as strong as she is.

Vincent was totally moody. And he almost didn't want to wake up to take me to Frankfurt airport. He didn't help me pack either. He just wouldn't do things that would "encourage" my going home. But I just had to go home!

Well, I'm home now. And I wish I didn't go home. :(
BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

So you think it's going to be a super happy post about you, Sheila? Maybe, but not 100%.

Sheila and her friend visited me and Vincent in Strasbourg the second weekend I was there. We promised to meet at downtown Strasbourg, near Petite France. But of course, due to Sheila's super petite body and lack of parking space on Friday night, it was rather a challenge at first to find her.

By the way, for those who don't know about this infamous wicked little woman, she is a university friend of mine (2 years below me? or 3?) at Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya. She is bright, just like any other friends I have, and as soon as she finished her teaching degree, she moved on studying and living in Germany to pursue her then "future prospect." However, she could not manage to get what she initially wanted. But she did finish the things she started - her study - and seems to be leading a happy, lovely life at the moment.

So since our last meeting in Bali last year was pretty much time restricted, both of us were excited to meet each other again after she heard that I was going to France. She immediately arranged (wait a minute... I think it was her friend who arranged it) a car, booked a hotel and reserved weekend 15-17 August for us.

It was a rather chilly afternoon in Strasbourg when we were supposed to meet up. Vincent and I were waiting on the street near his car while checking out if Sheila passed us by. But I did not spend a long time standing outside the car. As soon as I felt that my lungs were freezing up, I nagged Vincent to get back to the car and watched the street carefully in case there was a small tiny little girl walking down the paved alley with a tall guy.

Now that was an easy way to detect Sheila even without my glasses standing on my nose. Hihihi...

Anyway, it was lovely to see her. We yelled at each other for the lengthened delay of the meeting time and we did it like for about full 5 minutes before we finally said hello and hugged each other.

Then because these road travelers were already too hungry (and me too, Vincent was of course the only one who wasn't hungry - have I told you that he hardly eats???), we walked together to find a restaurant. We didn't walk too far and we picked a nice restaurant called... hmm what's that called again? Marco Polo?

Dinner was good. And we were happy to have been able to catch up with one another's news. They were excited (and curious) to see this Vincent guy I had been talking about in my blog the last couple of months before I met them. And I was glad that they liked Vincent.

"He seems to be a very nice guy, despite his prejudices. But I suppose they were all jokes," Sheila's friend said.

He then continued, "I'm so happy you are with him, Carla. You both are a cute couple."

YAY!
YAY YAY YAY!

By the way, after dinner, Sheila was actually dying to get loads of her pictures taken (as usual). I actually wouldn't have minded if only the air was not too cold and my hands were not shaking when trying to set up my camera.

I only took a nightshot photo of this former women jail below and I really had to give it up after knowing I wouldn't win against the weather. And yes, it was summer!!!



Saturday, 16 August 2008.

We were meeting late morning (or early afternoon?) the next day in respect of Vincent's wish (he's just not a morning person) and Sheila's (she just can't let go her hairdryer before 60 minutes past). Sheila and her friend came to Vincent's flat and we entertained them with some coffee before we went out for around-the-town tour and photo session!

We went to Petite France again. This time, daytime view for Sheila and her friend. We went to the lovely cathedral downtown called Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Strasbourg. And with a so much correct anticipation, we didn't waste our time doing any other useless things but taking pictures of ourselves. Hihi...



There is a strange thing about this cathedral though. It is only windy around the cathedral, but never in the other parts of the area. 100 metre away from the cathedral, you can hardly feel the wind anymore. I was wondering why that was like that. Maybe because the form of the building?



Here are some other pictures of our touristy rendezvouz:

By the canal


Petite France.


Town Centre

Food/Snack

Okay... after walking around for a while, we decided to get an ice cream in one of the mushrooming restaurants and cafes. I initially wanted an ice cream so much. But then I changed my mind and would like to try the crepes instead. That was after Vincent said that the French crepes are different from the crepes I might have in mind.



It was indeed different. They cooked the crepes really, really thin and then they folded it into halves. I ordered the classic/plain one. At the time I didn't want any other flavour like chocolate or ice cream scoop distracted the real taste of the crepes. So I only had this refine sugar (is that the English term for gula halus???) sprinkled on top of the crepes. And the taste? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm.... the best crepes I've ever tasted! It was slightly different. And the major highlight was in the texture of the crepes and slightly on the taste. It tasted like... crepes! I mean after eating that, I referred the Indonesian crepes - I don't even think Indonesians have always had crepes as our national specialty- to more of a pancake-like crepes. Does anyone share the same opinion?


This is another picture at that same ice-cream/crepes place. I must admit I hated Sheila's look on Vincent. STOP STARING AT HIM!!!

Anyway... we walked further more and I found this sort of gate on our way. I asked Sheila to pose there and she was like.... "Why? why why??? There's nothing special about this gate!" But I got what I wanted eventually and she posed as below.



I thought I could add a line for the picture, and I was satisfied with what I came up with. People in Sheila's and my circle will understand what I mean with it. Say, am I right or am I right? :)

PS: Don't take my cynicism as something negative, La. You know I always support you. And by the look at it, it seems that you are going to the better direction.

All in all, that was one of the best weekends I've ever had in Europe. I was happy being surrounded by nice friends and a GREAT boyfriend.

Life can't be better than this. :)
Listening to: Hey Sexy Lady - Shaggy
---
Vincent and I enjoyed our Holland trip and we wished we could stay longer. But Tuesday evening we would have to attend a BBQ invitation from Vincent's friend, Pascal. So we went back to Strasbourg after a two-night stay in Velserbroek.

The weather was crappy when we had the barbecue, so Pascal covered his backyard with the roof. He was sort of cute when he changed his top with a Bintang tees and said, "It reminds me of Bali when I wear this. I want to go to Bali again!"







Flammenkuchen

Wednesday the 13th, we stayed the whole day in the apartment lazying around. We went to this very traditional (according to me) restaurant with Vincent's mum and ate flows of flammenkuchen (not sure if that's the right spelling). It's like a very, very thin square pizza with different kinds of topping. I like the cheese and bacon topping the best. You don't cut it in triangle shape, though. You will need to cut it in rectangles and roll the piece. It's soooooo good!


Europa Park, Germany

14 August 2008. It was Vincent's birthday!!!

But we had to leave early in the morning for Europa Park. We were going with Vincent's friend Pierre and his girlfriend. Vincent had been very ecstatic about it. He had not gone there for years. He already imagined himself going on super fast rides and all. Being supportive, I showed a positive spirit. Of course, I preferred to egotistically spend the day alone with him. But he was too cute when he was excited so... I thought it would be cool. I mean Europa Park, come on! I'd like to see it.

I'm afraid I did not particularly mention beforehand to Vincent and his friends that I hated rollercoasters. So they were rather disappointed when I told them I wasn't joining for the rides. I felt bad because it was Vincent's birthday and I was supposed to have fun with them. I did try to get into this small rollercoasters for children called Pegasus, but I was so scared as hell. Then I refused to take any other rollercoasters.

We did go on separate ways when they were taking Mercedez Benz ride. I'd rather take pictures around! So I took this skytrain and went around the amusement park. It was pretty cool to see the miniature-sized theme countries there. I liked the Greece theme. The buildings and textures are so beautiful (to me) so that it attracted me to visit it one day. But anyway... that meant I broke my promise to stay not too far from the Mercedez Benz Hall. When Vincent and friends got off the ride, they couldn't find me and I was in the other part of the huge park. Vincent became worried and that resulted to his refusal to leave me alone.

I thought it was unnecessary. I'm a big girl and I think I can take care of myself. And if we had to be together all the time in that park, it was either I gave in and took those scary rides to make Vincent happy, or I made him take "safer" rides like the train around the park (it's not even a ride!). The latter was the one that happened. It didn't make me proud, really. I hated myself for being so selfish. But rollercoasters do make me sick. And I broke half of my tooth when riding one of them before. Because the fact is: the more scared I am, the more silent I'd be. When I'm silent while everybody else is screaming out loud, it'll cost me something. Like gritting my own teeth too hard...

Anyway, Pierre and Gaelle were taking the Silver Star (favourite stuff there I think) and I saw Vincent watching them sadly when they were queuing. And he did look so bored when we took Euro Tower because I wanted to take panoramic photos.

I know. I sucked. Big time.

The fact that I couldn't make my boyfriend as happy as he should have been on his birthday pissed me off. Plus the fact that it was already past midday and I hadn't had any single breakfast, brunch or lunch made me in such a bad mood that I did not behave very nicely.

I sucked again and I am full of excuses, yes. Sigh.

Anyway, I did like Europa Park. I just didn't enjoy the rollercoasters, that's all. I especially liked Cassandra's Curse in Spain section. We were brought into an illusion room and it felt like the room was going upside down. Pierre got dizzy in that room.



The funny thing, though, Vincent was trying to win me a doll at this ball-throwing stall. He bought some coins and with them tried to hit the targets. The only thing you could win that was by having 3 successful hits in a row. But fact #1, Vincent sucks at it. Fact #2, Pierre, too. I was curious so I asked if I could try it.

And YES, ladies and gentlemen, I threw the ball three times and didn't miss any single shot. I KICKED THE GUYS' ARSES! Gaelle was laughing out loud and teased Pierre and Vincent. In French, but I could guess it. So I won Bibou, that's the name of the big bird below. And because there is no way I could bring that back to Indonesia, I gave it to Vincent as a birthday present. Hihihi...


Vincent's defeated face and his birthday present


The winner


007 Carla and Bibou.


Bibou at Europa Park

So Vincent and I went home smiling anyway. With some partial guilt still lingering in my head and heart.
Eating: Microwaved chicken wings

---

Last weekend Vincent and I went to Holland. I did not quite plan the trip before, as my aunt and some other friends said that they would visit me in Strasbourg instead. But Aunt Joyce sent me an email in somewhat like last minute saying that she wouldn't make it to visit us in Strasbourg. I felt it was important to meet her this time, so I requested to Vincent if we could indeed go to Amsterdam. He said it was fine. "Whatever you want, baby."

It takes 6 hours drive from Strasbourg to Amsterdam. With the reason that I didn't want Vincent to be overly tired from driving, I proposed a stop either in Luxembourg or Maastricht. We decided to stop in Maastricht instead.

Maastricht



Maastricht is a nice city. That is not very objective by the way, since I was only there for less than an hour. It was just enough to get Vincent to stop driving and to buy some weed before proceeding to Velserbroek.

I couldn't help it when I saw bitterballen in the menu of a restaurant, though. I HAD TO HAVE IT!

So we ordered a portion of bitterballen, which we shared. They of course tasted so good. I forgot the fact that Vincent had never eaten it before, though. So when he started eating it, although it was in room temperature on the surface, it was burning hot in the inside. He took one whole bitterball and munched it in one go. And the result was.... he burnt his tongue!!! I think he almost cried. Hihihi...

Velserbroek

I've never been in Velserbroek before. Not a lot of Dutch people know about this village either. But that's where my aunt lives with her son, Clarence. It is only 10 minutes from Haarlem and 20 from Amsterdam.

We arrived at around 7-ish and for the first time in my life, I met Aunt Joyce and Clarence. Aunt Joyce was just like how I imagined she had been all this time through our communication via email and phone. But Clarence gave a different impression. Of course I knew from Aunt Joyce that Clarence was a good boy, very talented and that she was very proud of him. But then again, whose parents would say bad things about their son or daughter? What I found out was that she was being true about it. He looked like he was good at a lot of things. He writes scripts for plays, he is knowledgable, he travels a lot thanks to the fact that his mother and uncle work for KLM, and he cooks like a real chef - according to Vincent. In fact, he cooked dinner for us that evening and guess what the menu was. Foie gras and its luxurious companions.

Vincent was impressed. He said that Clarence cooked like a real pro French cook. Applause!!!

But yeah... being so kampung-ly Indonesian, I couldn't finish my food. No offense to Clarence or any other French people, but foei gras is only good to taste. That means one bite or two. But not more than that. It was.... - how do I say it? - too thick for me. I had to give Vincent "that look" when he claimed jokingly, "You have to like foie gras or we break up." Bah.


From left to right: the amazing ME, Aunt Joyce, Uncle Ernst, Vincent and Great Aunt in the front sitting. I must admit that they did share the Halatoe's facial features. They reminded me of my mum and aunts and uncles. Hihi...



Around Amsterdam

The next day I called Mia and we promised to meet up at Amsterdam Centraal Station at around 3.

It was SOOO good to meet her again. She looked rather different from the Mia I remembered. She was more beautiful. More vibrant. More... I don't know.

Anyway... we spent almost the rest of the day with her. We had coffee, we walked around the Leidseplein and shopped a bit [Vincent bought me a LOT of stroopwafel, yay!], and we sort of sunbathed by the canal in front of the Vondel Park.

And only, ONLY, just before we byed each other, we were met with Mia's boyfriend, Michael. I had always been curious about this guy since Mia mentioned him several times in her blog, but not quite transparently and openly. Aaaand, he turned out to be a really nice guy. He only had maybe less than 15 minutes to hang with us, but he seemed to get along pretty well with Vincent... due to their shared interest in rap music.

But if you are curious, too, about this mysterious Michael guy, here is the pic. ;)

Aren't they lovely?
That's the French sentence I remember the most. I trained myself to say that over and over again before I was even off for France. It means: I can't speak French.

The other day when I was taking pictures on my own in the Petite France, downtown Strasbourg, I was standing in front of a building and drinking my Fanta orange. A middle aged lady came to me and started to speak in German.

"Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah... Blah blah blah blah blah blah?"
It sounded like she was asking for a direction.

I let her speak some more.

"Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah?"

I said, "Do you speak English?"

She said, "Ooh, only English?"
And then she left.

The next day I was walking around the Capucins neighbourhood near Vincent's apartment. I felt a little tired after a while but I couldn't see any benches around for me to sit on. There was no park in sight either. So I went to this bus stop and sat there while examining the bus routes.

An old lady suddenly turned to me when a bus stopped in front of us and asked in French, "Blah blah blah blah blah?"

"Je ne parle pas Francais," I gave her a little smile.

She just waved her hand and left.

And last week, Vincent and I attended a barbeque party held by his friends, most of whom I happened to know because they were in Bali when I met Vincent. And still, a lot of them had trouble communicating with me.



But one of them, named Nicole, I guess, came to me, laughed and kissed me and spoke in French delightedly, "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, Carla!!!!"

My magic sentence: "Je ne parle pas Francais."

This time the reaction was more pleasant than the other previous experience, maybe because they knew me already.

As soon as they heard me saying that, everybody cheered. And one of them who could speak a little English remarked, "Carla, you can speak French now!!!"

I thought Je ne parle pas Francais means I can't speak French. Hihi...

Watching: Family Guy 1st Season

---

I'm still having a hard time believing that I'm in France. The first days I had mixed feelings of happy, excited, loved and in love. That seemed to suffuse my physical state where I was super tired from the long journey, stresses I had before leaving and my body sort of rejected the fact that I was 6 hours behind Bali now. Obviously Vincent loves me too much that he hardly sounded any objection of my waking up at 3 or 4 or 5 in the morning!

Anyway, Sunday we went to Vincent's mum's. She was going to cook dinner for us. I was ready with my bribes: 5 pieces of necklaces and kecap Bango.

I was anxious. Not really that nervous, but it was supposed to be sort of important dinner. To be honest, that was the first time I met the mother of a boyfriend. I never had it in the past... and when I came to think about it, I realised that I never really had a REAL relationship before! That is if you link real with seriousness. And seriousness with meeting the parents of your partner. Not that it bothered me. But it was quite "new" to me. I didn't dare to imagine the worst, but I wouldn't expect for the best, either. I mean... I don't speak any single French and she doesn't speak any English word. What a perfect first dinner!

We left 3 hours earlier before the dinner date because I wanted to take some photos of me and Vincent. What was so cute was that he did whatever I wanted. He didn't mind me choosing the clothes he was supposed to be wearing for the photoshoot, and he was quite a patient first-time model.

Of course, the great photographer me also counts. That made the whole session fun and enjoyable.


[Me and Vincent at the photoshoot. Aren't we freaking cute???]

At 6 o'clock we arrived at Vincent's mum's place.
His mum seemed to be a cheerful, friendly woman. That was nice. I needed as much positivity as possible since the communication wouldn't go that smoothly. Of course I had Vincent to translate what we said to each other. But still....

She liked my gifts and so she took me to her bedroom and asked me to pick one sweater among 5 (or 6?) that she knitted herself. She never expected Vincent to date a petite girl, I suppose, for the sweaters are either too long on the waist or too long on the arms, or both. I chose the green one. NICE!

So I suppose the dinner could be categorized as a SUCCESS! Not with flying colours, but at least I passed it.

Yay!

12 has got to be the theme of the trip.

First of all, I decided to take a travel minibus from Denpasar to Surabaya (on the 29th evening), which took 12 hours from the time of picking up and delivering [me].

I stayed only slightly over a day in Surabaya and met Jun and her newest boyfriend [this one looks serious and he seemed to be a very nice guy]. It was also so, so, so very nice to see mum, Michelle and my crazy sister and brother. Lovely, lovely.

Anyway, this morning, I flew with Malaysian Airlines from Surabaya to Kuala Lumpur - where I am now - and I have to wait for 12 hours until my connecting flight to Frankfurt departs. I am still trying to figure out what to do during those 12 hours... but one is blogging here at the internet section of KLIA, knowing that some other people are queuing behind and beside me but I'll just selfishly continue. I was waiting long, too. :P Besides, it's not my fault that among the 4 computers provided, only one works.

Later at about 12 midnight, I'll have a 12-hour flight to Frankfurt.

12 is definitely the magic number.
12 is definitely making me so freaking tired.
12 is definitely not something that sounds so positive the way I just described it.
But these twelves can't beat the happy feeling I have now, because when the twelves are over, there will be ONE waiting for me in the end of the journey, and this 1 will be so ready with wide arms to catch and nurture me.

WHAT A NICE THOUGHT!!!
So this Vincent guy called me on Sunday asking me to go out with him. But at the time Corinne (the internee from Hogeschool INHOLLAND who used to work for CDU) was visiting and I had not seen her for like what... 6 years? So I had to turn down the offer. He sounded disappointed but I really wanted to spend as much time with Corinne as she was staying here only for a couple of days. And of course when it was weekdays again, I could not accompany her as I had to work.

And then Monday he called me wondering if I were available. Again, I had to turn that down because Corinne was still here. She was present when I got the call, and she felt bad that I had to miss a date chance because of her. But hey... you can't have too much possibility accompanying your friend after a six-year absence!

I promised him I'd see him on Tuesday evening, though. And I kept my promise.

After that first lovely date, we grew fond of each other VERY much that we felt necessary to meet every evening after I finished work. I really had a blast that week! He introduced me to his extended family (15 in total). Every one of them is nice, though I had to really struggle to communicate with most of them. Out of those 15, only 3 speak English (hieeehhh!!!!!)

But anyway, in short, I had a wonderful 5-day time with Vincent. Then at a party on Jimbaran beach in his last night here, he looked at me on the eyes and said, "Je t'aime."

The world was splitting up in two and I felt like I was pulled down to the core of earth. But I struggled to climb up and said,

"Really?"

Oh come on, was that the best thing I could do??? But I really didn't expect it to come out from him that soon!

He looked very convincing and replied, "Yes."

That's the scene I remember best by the way. The moonlight fused with the beach lights reflecting on his face... The white wine I'd been drinking all evening.... The yellowish, orangish glow on Vincent's face and eyes... But I guess what happened next was I smiled and kissed him. [Vincent, if you read this, confirm it please. What was my response???]

But I did declare my feeling a bit later that night. And he left the next day for Strasbourg with a hope from his side and mine that I would return the visit in about 2-month time.

Which is about now.

So yes, my dear friends... I'm leaving for France on the 31st of July and will be in my lover's arms the very first day in August. I'M SO EXCITED!!!!

How could I not????
Alright, to meet the readers' demands.... Here is the shortened story of how I met this guy I dare to call a boyfriend. FINALLY AFTER SO MANY YEARS!!!!

---

His name is Vincent. He's a French guy I met at the Living Room, somewhere in Peti Tenget area, Bali. It was almost dawn when his cousin, Jean, approached me in the garden of the Living Room.

Being somewhat tipsy after so much cocktail that I drank at a house party of some Spanish mates (this was before we decided to go to the Living Room), I began dropping my stuff. As usual, everytime I go partying, I would either bring my rather big camera bag with the camera itself inside or no bags at all. That night/day, however, I didn't have any bags with me. Not even a handbag. So I put my mobile phone, house keys, some money and my ID card all in my jeans pockets.

Well, the dolphin key hanger I had in my pocket kept pricking my skin under the jeans so I took it out and put it on the table (maybe... this is just an assumption because to be truly honest, I can't remember doing that).

So at a point I may have dropped that. Because I also dropped one of the earrings Vanessa found on the dance floor onto one of the bushes near the table. And I realised that quite a bit a while later on and I got so panicked when I couldn't find my keys! I went to check the places I sat on and all that for 3 rounds and I couldn't find them anywhere. Then the club was closing and everybody was going home/out. Vanessa offered me to sleep at her place and Jean did, too. But of course I wouldn't accept Jean's kind offer. I just met him! Well, Vanessa, too, but I already knew about her long before I met her from Carol's stories.

Anyway, I must have looked so gloomy and sad and all, thinking that I couldn't go back to my own place; because then Vincent offered to accompany me looking for the keys for the last time. I told him I'd tried to find it anywhere so it wouldn't make any difference. But he said there was nothing wrong going through the places one more time.

And as you can predict (this is so much of a soap!), he found the keys. IN THE BUSHES next to my table! I was all jumpy and happy and I saw him pointing at his cheek, asking for a redemption. So I kissed his cheek. :)

In short, we hooked up until the sun came up and went to another pizza-craving journey at the La vi da Loca at 66 Beach along with some other people I met earlier. Then Vincent and I walked for about 10 minutes at the beach until Vanessa called me saying that she and Vincent's cousin and mate wanted to go back home.

Vincent, Jean and Pascal took me home and he promised to call soon.

.... in love.

That's the only explanation why I have been idle from blogging for so long now. So much to tell, so little time to write, so confusing to elaborate.

By Carla Ardian.

[Writer’s note: Actually I wanted to write about this sooner when it was still fresh. But these past 4 weeks I’ve been facing some rather serious matters and I needed to focus my attention to overcome them.]

One lovely morning on 17th of April 2008, I was sitting by the pool with two friends of mine. Though the sun shone brightly and the birds chirped happily, we were involved in a deep conversation. Not long after that the intense discussion we had became more emotional as one of my mates, S – a young woman of 33 years old – just told us that she had just been raped a couple of weeks before.

She was just visiting her family in the northern part of Denpasar on Thursday, 3rd of April 2008 when she was approached by a guy who claimed to be friends with her aunt. He asked a direction to a certain place and she provided him that. The man pretended stupid and requested her to take him to that place instead. She resisted the idea in the beginning but she gave in eventually and took a ride with that guy on his motorcycle.

S said that this awful bloke drove his motorcycle to the wrong direction with a reason that he had to pick up his friends who also wanted to see the house.

Apparently they ended up in a hotel out of nowhere. It was then when S was forced to come inside the hotel room when she met the other two guys. Once inside, the three guys started to make a sexual move to her. She struggled her best to free herself, she admitted, but with one guy holding her wrists and the other her ankles, she had to lose the battle. In turn they raped her until she was left feeling very shaky, deeply humiliated and devastated.

The next four days she locked herself in her small boarding room and cried her eyes out. She did not dare to tell anyone about it because of the sole reason of the humiliation she would bring into the family. She did not tell anyone; her family, her boyfriend, or her friends, so leave alone the police. The case was left unreported, even after a heavy persuasion from me and the people who finally knew about this.

Though failing in our attempts to make her report that to the police, we managed to assure her that she definitely had to go to the hospital for a medical check. And she was only convinced after I told her that I took one of those tests, too, once.

Like her, like me, and like most of the unprotected girls all over Indonesia who are often rated second by the community, we experienced a sexual abuse at least once in our life. And I do hope the rapists and the people who blame women for the rapes to happen die in hell!


These people live in a village with hay roofs close by the central tourism area -- which is not like the other over crowded hype tourist places you imagine -- in Kuta, Lombok.

Ana, the woman, has 3 children. Her first two are twin girls who were very shy in the beginning, but became very excited when shown their pictures on my LCD screen.

Most East Lomboknese live their live from fishery and soy bean farming. Every now and then you'll notice some neat row of soy bean in branches being dried in the sun in front of traditional Lombok houses.
watching: National Treasure
tags: politics

---

The government of Indonesia is finally to issue the Cyber Law after two years going back and forth discussing the matter. This law apparently has hauled some rather strong reactions from some of the Indonesian bloggers, especially those who attended the meeting held by the British Council on Friday, 4 April 2008.

Blogger Enda Nasution warned the Indonesian bloggers to be more careful in their choice of content uploaded on their journal as it might be considered sensitive by certain groups. Even a simple linking to a website with a defamation content can get a blogger in trouble, he told the Jakarta Post.

But how do we define a libel? How do we know when a statement is offensive or abusive when it seems like people have different standpoints of the degrees of how a matter should be expressed? But that is just the key point, isn't it? Different standpoints. Different opinions. Isn't that what makes this world such an interesting place to live?

After two years of deliberation, the House of Representatives passed the Electronic Information and Transaction Law last month, which prohibits citizens from distributing slander in any electronic format. Perpetrators can get a maximum of six years in prison or a fine of Rp 1 billion (US$107,526). The law also prohibits any kind of pornography, gambling, blackmail, lies, threats and racist comments.

More questions:

How do you differentiate pornography and art? That is an ongoing forever debate all over the world, and still... it is in the grey area where you keep being confused about it. For me personally, it needs not be defined in any way extreme for it is so abstract and it always comes back to the viewer's background (culture, religion, economy condition, etc.) and perception over things.

Racist comments.

This is hard. I mean maybe almost everyone reading this may have agreed with me that racism shouldn't ever exist. But almost everyone reading this may have made at least one racist comment or joke on something that is stereotypical. Most of the time, they would have been ever much funnier when you were making fun of your own race. So how to define a comment is racial and abusive?

I've gone through some occasions in my life where I felt so abused by statements that were delivered politely and decorated beautifully with very nice words. But I knew the real meaning underlying all of them were not to praise me at all. In fact, it was meant to put me down. So is this kind of statement not abusive merely because it is stated in the polite manner? I know enough cases where someone uses racist or sensitive words in a statement, it does not necessarily mean literally the same way it sounds. And the real point is usually taken rightly.

So again, grey area.

Some bloggers, including Raditya Dika, deleted some posts on their blogs so that they would not get the bad impact of the bill. Really, as a person who often makes honest and sharp (yes I have to admit it) comments over basically various aspects in life like me, I couldn't agree with the bill passed. I may even get a problem by having this uploaded. But where is the freedom of speech that we claim to have after Soeharto stepped down from his throne? I thought we were proud of being one of the nations in South East Asia that could voice ourselves the most. First the youtube was blocked due to the wide circulation of Fitna the movie in the site. Now this.

I am very concerned that Indonesia is going backwards in terms of this freedom of speech. I mean what can you really expect from the Indonesian lawmakers who slept during the President's speech on important subjects of the people's lives? Of course these bupatis who irresponsibly did this are not those who issued the law we are talking about. But they are an example.

And clearly Ibu Siti Fadilah Supari, Indonesian Minister of Health, has expressed and used her right in the freedom of speech to the highest by accusing WHO stealing the Bird Flu sample and not benefiting the sample giver country (us). I am surprised that she did not get any warning concerning her book titled "Time For The World To Change, The Hand Of God In Bird Flu", which more or less putting the United States of America and WHO in the corner of a rather baseless (maybe it's right, but not much fact revealed) accusation in this bird flu sample case.

But oh, I forgot. Of course she didn't get banned. It was A BOOK. Not a BLOG. And what again? She's a minister. An Indonesian high profile person.

So despite the Communication and Information Minister, Muhammad Nuh's diplomatic comment on Indonesian bloggers are not enemy, but family, he still licensed the law to be passed.

The inconsistency that exists among the ministers is the one that probably triggered the hacking of some minister's and parties website.

Hackers on Thursday posted a message on the information ministry's Web site (http://www.depkominfo.go.id) saying: "Prove that the law has not been made to cover government stupidity."

---

All in all, as a big time blogger, I feel rather threatened, too. And if by a mere linking to a website that contains a defamation is considered wrong, while our real purpose is to inform people of the existing happening in the society, how can we possibly be knowledgeable and aware of what is going on in our own country? How can we contribute our voice in this kind of medium? How else can we be a good but critical citizen of the Republic of Indonesia?

I really hope President Yudhoyono is not signing that proposed bill.
Taken from Weird Asia News:



Parents are getting crazier and crazier everyday. I think I'll name my daughter Catwoman binti Carla.

Haha.
8 Things that I am passionate about:
  1. Photography
  2. Food
  3. Home decorating
  4. Smart guys
  5. Guys with great body
  6. Rich guys
  7. Guys who are willing to try to understand the women
  8. Movies

Eight books I have read recently:
  1. Rethinking Thailand's Southern Violence - Duncan McCargo
  2. The Runaway Jury - John Grisham
  3. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
  4. MDF Operations Manual
  5. Rebuilding Together - Multi Donor Fund for Aceh and Nias, Progress Report - December 2005
  6. How to Draw Manga
  7. Thinking for a Change
  8. The Bag of Bones - Stephen King

8 Things I want to do before I die:
  1. Have at least one photo of mine published in National Geographic
  2. Try 10 more different jobs
  3. Find my soul mate
  4. Have a dog farm
  5. Have a child of my own
  6. Travel to Africa
  7. French-kiss Jack Johnson
  8. Read the real Kamasutra and practise it
8 Things I have learnt in these past years:
  1. Believe that what I believe is what will happen
  2. Friends in need are real friends
  3. Don't fall in love with a travel mate
  4. Don't cook when you're sleepy or not in the mood
  5. Call your mum at least once a week or she'll nag you for the whole month
  6. Make photos mainly by heart, not by technique
  7. Poop in the morning, or don't poop at all
  8. Don't buy jewelery in Thailand

8 Things that attract me to my bestfriends:
  1. Honesty
  2. Modesty
  3. Easygoingness
  4. Generosity
  5. Uniqueness
  6. Playfulness
  7. Ability to listen and understand
  8. Cleverness
8 Songs that I could listen to over and over again:
  1. The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
  2. Growth - India Arie
  3. Loving You - Shanice Wilson
  4. Constellations - Jack Johnson
  5. Inertia Creeps - Massive Attack
  6. 2 + 2 = 5 - Radiohead
  7. Cicak-Cicak di Dinding - Michelle
  8. Je M'Suis Fait Tout Petit - Georges Brassens

8 Things I say often:
  1. Shut up.
  2. Whatever.
  3. Screw you, guys. I'm going home [impersonating Eric Cartman in South Park]
  4. I don't care.
  5. Thanks.
  6. Really?
  7. Aduh lapar. Makan yuk.
  8. Cool.
8 People I am tagging now:
  1. Johann
  2. Francois
  3. Coolz
  4. Martha
  5. Pei
  6. Mariza
  7. Denni
  8. Carol
mood: busy deleting deviations notifications
watching: John Tucker must die
---
My last weekend activity started early. I had a dinner invitation by Ismael (Nene) along with some other friends, Pam and Carol. I thought that was nice. So soon after I finished work on Friday, I went back home, took 15 minutes nap and refreshed myself until Pam picked me up with a taxi to head to Ismael's villa.

Carol as usual was very late. I called her at 8 (the time when we supposedly started the dinner) and she was still at home. I wouldn't mind that much when someone was late actually, except the fact that I am so not used to having dinner at 9. That's way too late for me, considering that I usually have lunch at 12 or 1. And I don't really snack... Besides that, I was curious how this Vincent guy whom she had been telling me a lot about lately. She bigged him as a gorgeous guy she met at a music concert in Denpasar a couple of weeks ago. While waiting for her to arrive, I shot some pics of Ismael preparing the dishes.



There was also another French guy (can't remember what exactly his name is.... probably Xavier), whose girlfriend is a Thai girl. Very, very sweet mannered. Very Thai. Her name is Aey.
Pam often made this mistake of talking to her in Bahasa Indonesia and I always had to keep reminding her that Aey was not Indonesian. Pam always said, "I did it again? Oh, sorry. But you look so Indonesian."

Carol also said a few times, "Hey Carla, don't you look alike with Aey! No wonder they kept mistaking you as a Thai girl when you were in Thailand."

N.o. W.a.y.

I can't believe my mates thought the same. Now look at this picture very carefully and tell me she doesn't look like me!!!!



In overall, the dinner was very nice. It was very relaxing. And though I lost about a quarter of the conversation because the men kept speaking in French (Ismael, Xavier and Vincent are French), it was cool to gather with friends and meet new people.


Left to right: Carol, Vincent, Pam.

One other thing is that Ombak and Manja, Ismael's dogs, are sooooo adorable. They are big golden retriever dogs but as sweet as ever. They liked me a lot, as most dogs do. But really, they're so big that when they jumped on me to lick on my face, they'd reach my shoulder and I would be pushed a few steps backwards and their claws would leave very red marks on my cleavage and shoulders. Doh!







11:30 we went back home feeling so full and happy.

---

Saturday, 29 March 2008.

Because of the increasing stress I got from work last week and the lack of sleep the night before, I slept for about 13 hours in total on Saturday. I finally got up at around 3ish when Patricia called and asked me to go out to the Discovery Mall for an ice cream. The day was super hot so I thought ice cream would be GREAT.


Pat.

She picked me up and off we went to the mall. Pam joined us later on and we went window shopping together. Okay, I mean in the beginning we planned to do window shopping only. But when we saw these discounted cool items everywhere up to 75% at Sogo, Centro and La Senza, we couldn't resist the temptation to buy a few stuffs.

I didn't quite realise what things I bought until I arrived home and checked the plastic bags and..... it appeared that I ONLY BOUGHT THONGS!!!

What was I thinking? :">

---

The last day of the weekend was spent by painting one other (bigger) wall of my livingroom/kitchen. I chose the colour blue. To the right part of the wall was my yellowish orange wall I painted a few weeks ago.
I only did two layers this time and it already took 2 litres of paint. When it was done (which I still feel rather unsatisfied with because of the uneven colour. I think I have to do the third layer (doh!), I felt quite proud of myself for finally doing that.



Pam called and asked me to go karaoke at Inul Vista that has just been opened at the Discovery Mall. So going to the mall again??? :P That was a little bit too much for Bali standard when you have all the beautiful beaches and nice coffee shops, and instead you spent two days in a row at the MALL!
But I never karaoked in Bali. The other karaoke places are like ++ ones [sex service included] and unless you counted the times where I sang at some restaurants as a karaoke experience, I actually never had a microphone to sing in a private booth like I did in Surabaya or Jakarta.

It was ridiculously expensive, though. Rp 60,000 an hour for the smallest room! We had fun, nevertheless. Especially when singing CRAZY from Aerosmith. It felt SO GOOD to yell and shout and jump up and down during the song!
We even did the cheesy Step by Step of New Kids on the Block of the 80s and got a score of 98 out of our so many mistakes!!! :D

One thing why I hate malls is that it is hard not to buy anything. I am not a shoppaholic. But I was so interested in buying a lot of stuff last weekend. On Sunday alone I bought a long carpet that I'd put in front of the TV, a bright red tape for fixing my sink pipe (and I did this morning, with no help of plumber!) and 6 DVDs, which Pam complained to be so unfair because I could borrow all her DVDs but she was not very much interested in borrowing mine. Out of those 6, I had 4 of cartoons (and one of them is the latest Barbie movie release, which she despised. haha). Oh well, so what? I love cartoons and animations. :P

But I think I should punish myself for shopping too much last weekend. I won't go out for meals this week. I have to cook everyday (it's saving much money)!

As much as I thought it was unwise to shop a lot, I still agreed on my thongs! :D