mood: tired
watching: american idol

Right, this post will be about last weekend. (Photos will be uploaded soon)


I promised myself I would wake up earlier that day. I wanted to repaint my place. I kept my promise by NOT drinking the night before so I could have an energy to work on the wall of the lower level of my house. But still, I had to struggle to wake up.

I managed to be awake at around 10ish, went to the house-construction shop (is that what you call it?) and bought the paint. I wanted red, but they didn't have red. Lame. So I switched to yellow (which definitely would freak out some of my friends later). But I just thought it would look nice and fresh.

That was my first time painting the wall with a roller. I usually used paintbrushes. But I just thought it would be faster to get it done with the roller. What I didn't really consider was that using roller would take more paint that it was with the brushes. So I ran out of the paint before I could do the second layer. (And this is only one wall we're talking about!) So I had to run to the store again and buy the paint of the same colour... to find out in the end that I still couldn't finish ONE single wall on that very day because I couldn't reach the upper part of the wall. I used the extension that I borrowed from Inga, but still I had to paint the upper part more closely WITH a brush to make it neat. And my landlord didn't have any ladder for me to borrow. :P

In the mean time, I got some invitations for the evening. Ganis, an ex student I taught at IALF asked me to watch some movie. I had to turn it down for I already promised to meet Ismael for an early dinner and later on with Hita for some clubbing at Home Cafe.

The meeting with Ismael was good. As usual he was chatty and friendly. He asked me to see his shop one day and that he would introduce me to his photographer friend in case he/she was interested in employing an assistant. Hoorah.

Different case with Hita. I went to Home Cafe as promised. She was not there. Tried to call and text her but her phone was off. I thought I'd drink a bottle of beer and waited in case she would shop up later on, while observing the lovely guys in the cafe...

Midnight, she was still not there. I called it off. This is what happens when you get to meet with an Indonesian fellow, you know. One time it looked so certain, at the due time they just didn't show up without any notice. Until today there was no apology or anything. Mwah.

I walked to the parking place, found my motorbike, but I canceled my plan to go home for I got attracted to the live music noise in another restaurant nearby. I walked there spontaneously, grabbed a seat and ordered a bottle of beer.

The band was not that excellent (pianist was great, though). But they seemed to enjoy their own play so much. That kept me stay there and listen to them. After it was over, the pianist stayed on stage and invited some people to sing while he played. After some performances, the rather tipsy me (I drank a glass of vodka and orange juice at home while watching the badminton match of Simon Santoso and Taufik Hidayat on TV, also a bottle of beer at Home Cafe and another bottle at this place) asked them if I could sing on stage.

They said yes. Of course.

First song, Leaving on a Jet Plane.
Everybody clapped. Everybody asked for a second song.
Feeling high, I gave them a second song.

The pianist suggested Whitney Houston's I Will Always Love You. I told him that was a difficult song. But I sang it anyway..

One positive thing when you were drunk was that you would feel like you could do EVERYTHING. Haha...

I didn't embarrass myself, luckily.
Moreover, when I sat at the bar with the other crews of the band, they asked me if I could come to their rehearsals and sing for their band. I told them that they'd already got a singer (2 singers), why would they need another one? They said they kept changing their singers.

So at that time I said no. But now, feeling sober... I've been thinking to maybe try that offer. I like singing so I'll definitely enjoy it. Given to the fact that Bali doesn't have a decent karaoke place (they've only got the ++ ones, puke!), a gratis karaoke would be nice, wouldn't it? Especially if you get paid for it.


Sunday: Beach Hopping

I should meet Patricia for brunch this morning. My head was still not very stable from last night but I forced myself to wake up and met her at Bintang supermarket. I drove her to Bali Bakery and ate a delicious bolognaise lasagna. We gossiped and tried to catch up with things after our first meeting at 66 beach the month before. And later on, I convinced her to go with me to the beach. The group extended to four people when her mates, Bobo and Raja, agreed to go with us to Dreamland.

After a rather long ride to Dreamland, we found out that the beach was not as good as the last time I visited it with Mark Mulder. The cafes and shops were knocked down for they wanted to hit an upscale market there. Darned business people! The beach is already as naturally beautiful as it is! Why should they mess it up?

Dreamland construction.

Mates at Dreamland. See the ruins of the cafes in the back ground?

We were disappointed. So I suggested another beach I had never visited, but heard of, nearby, called Bingin beach. Bobo said that he knew it and would take us there.

But Bobo misunderstood me. Instead he took us to Padang-Padang beach. Also a surfer beach with a Hindu temple in the upper part, and a short staircase to the small beach.
There was a hightide and it looked ugly. So we only stayed there for 10 minutes and moved on to Nusa Dua beach.

The temple up.

The way down to the beach.

The narcissists.

The beach itself, high tide.

The boys changed their mind in the last minute, though. They took us to the Geger beach, also in Nusa Dua area. Here we stayed much longer. Pat didn't have her bikini with her so she stayed at the beach the whole time. The boys and I jumped into the sea and swam...

It's a sweet beach. Calm, clean, and shallow water. Gorgeous guys (and girls) all around. And babies!!! I think this beach is more for families' vacation. So although you think you see great-looking guys, you should all beware that they MAY already have a toddle somewhere in that beach. :P

Me at Geger beach.

Me and Raja.

We had fun nevertheless. The boys liked me to take their pictures, especially Raja. And he claimed himself to be a shy guy! Patricia, the workaholic, enjoyed it because she hardly has any time for this leisure activity. She even sometimes works at the weekend! Bobo, in the meantime, is a natural model. He kept saying that he didn't like his photos to be taken, but whenever I had my lens aiming towards him, he would pose like crazy. I told him that he should pose nude for me... which was rejected automatically. But I got volunteers from the other participants (ha!).



Jihad-ready Bobo! Nice headscarf, sweetheart!

Was that supposed to be sexy?

The four of us. From left to right: me, Bobo, Raja, Patricia.

Before we left the beach for some dinner in Seminyak, I felt that I was being watched by someone. But I thought that was just my feeling. The guy took a place near us, and (maybe it was just my feeling) he was watching me.
We left our lazy chairs and walked towards the parking place. A few steps from there, I still felt being watched, so I looked back. And I caught him, watching me while twirling his body so that his eyes could see where I was going. Hmm...

I was thinking for 2 secs and then told my mates to wait up. I walked to his chair and greeted him.

"Hey, you alone?"


"Right. My name's Carla and I'm wondering if you would like to go out with me sometime?"

He looked shocked, but responded nevertheless, "Sure. This evening?"

"Hmm, no. I've got a plan this evening. Some other evenings?" I actually had no plan that evening. But the game had to be played, huh.

"Sure. You've got an Indonesian number I can contact?"

"Yeah." Then I wrote my number on the parking ticket.

I was about to leave him when I remembered that I didn't know his name. After a few effort and ignoring the surprised looks from my mates from the parking lot, I got the basic info. David from Germany. I said bye to him and walked away.

At the Italian restaurant an hour later, Pat, Bobo and Raja urged me to tell them the details. While eating the tasty pizza and parmigiana at the restaurant, I told them the story. They asked me if the guy would really contact me. I shrugged and said, "I don't know. I don't care. It happens when it happens. I won't be putting so much thought into it."


As usual I had my second coffee ready on the table in front of me after I had my lunch break. I was transcribing a steering committee meeting and was half-frustrated with the team member’s English pronunciation in the recording. So I did not quite pay attention to the coffee glass when I took it and drank a sip out of it. Instantly I thought, hmm, that tasted and smelled rather peculiar than the previous sip I took like three minutes before.

I checked my glass and saw a drip of dark liquid from the top of the lid going down to reach the coffee, which at the time was a quarter of glass left. I thought that it couldn’t have been MY coffee, since the other empty area was clear. And secondly, it was Nescafe, huh, not original Bali coffee or Java coffee. So it couldn’t leave a trace of the coffee powder.

I looked up to the high ceiling but found nothing. But my best guess was a house gecko, or a mouse, or some other distinctive stinky creature that wandered about this property, had fucking crapped into my coffee and I had fucking drunk a sip of this unusual mix coffee and – God saved me – swallowed it!

mood: juggling with many tasks
listening to: interview with Pak Amin

But not my fault. I'm in a rush when writing this!

So I'm still in the sort of dreamy mood at the moment. It's hard to focus my mind 100% onto work and get back to the serious pace once again. I've been doing okay... Though I did make a mistake of putting the plug of the voice recorder in the wrong hole when I interviewed a political expert over the phone yesterday. That resulted to the slightly less accurate transcript for I couldn't listen to it again. Sigh...

After the church wedding...

The church where Ernie and Ken got married.

The bride and groom.

ANYWAY... life's been good. Especially great even last week when I was on vacation in Samosir island surrounded by the biggest lake in Indonesia (after Ernie's wedding). It's gorgeous! One of the must-see places in this country. All travelers, listen to me. GO TO LAKE TOBA!

In summary of the place..

It takes about 6 hours in total to get there (probably 5) from Medan. We went on a bus journey to Pematang Siantar, had a delicious lunch at some Chinese restaurant there, then went on again in rougher, curvy roads up and down the mountains for an hour (good that Pam wasn't joining, she could be so sick), arrived at the small port town called Parapat, and crossed the huge lake by the hotel's boat (I felt like I was going in a luxurious trip, really) for about 30 minutes to an hour.

Me with the boat.

Me and Ernie on the boat.


Me again on the boat on the way to Lake Toba.

Carolina Hotel was awesome. It's got nice view to the lake and for a deluxe room I got (1 living room, 1 bedroom and a bathroom with hot water), Rp 145,000 a day was a good bargain. Second day in Samosir island we were just lazying around at the hotel. I started the day with taking Ken and Ernie's post wedding photos, though. It was a great fun. Maggie, Ken's sister, joined the photo shoot too. This is one of the shots..

Day after many of us went on a boat trip around some parts of Samosir island. We basically did some historical, touristy things like visiting the old cannibal Bataknese village, Batak Kings tombs, had lunch at a small island called Pulau Tao (GREAT scenery, I even swam there though it needed a LOT of encouragement, but now I can say that I HAVE SWUM IN LAKE TOBA!!!) that had only one restaurant (ridiculously expensive compared to the other places in North Sumatra and has a bizarre perception of what FU YONG HAI is). So I ordered this Chinese omelette (with sweet and sour sauce on top, I mean supposed to be) and I was served this scrambled egg that consisted of 90% cabbage, 5% egg and 5% carrot!!!!). I was very annoyed. But anyway, that was the ONLY disappointing cuisine experience I had in North Sumatra. The rest was awesome. The whole Sumatra island clearly has the most delicious food ever in Indonesia. And oh, I had this Terong Belanda juice literally everyday. You can hardly find it anywhere else in the country.

Me and other people trying the Batak dance. Very easy. Just walk and wave the ulos and shout HORAS!!!

I just wished I could do more shopping there, though. We were in a very tight schedule on the boat trip and once they almost left me in one of the places because I was busy getting myself a white T-shirt with a Lake Toba embroidery on it.

I wish I could say much more, but lunch time is over. I've got to get back to work.