Just a short blog about how Carol and Vincent's wedding went yesterday.

We started early in the morning as we had to have our make up done. Had fun with the other bridesmaids - Audrey and Ingrid - as Carol was juggling with the last minute stuffs. Vincent (Carol's Vincent) looked relaxed and happy.

The party was awesome though lacking sources of light. But it was touching as Vincent and Carol read their vows - a beautiful journey that ends in a beautiful marriage. I am very happy for both of them!!!

Oh it was also the first time I saw MY Vincent in a suit. He looked incredibly handsome. Too bad it was too humid that the suit had to go off not long after worn and the long sleeves were rolled up.

Anyway, after years of avoiding being in the row of single women who tried to catch the bride's bouquet, I didn't escape this time (it was my bestfriend's wedding, how could I?). I stood in the back and let the girls on the front after the bouquet. But of course they had to fail to catch it and it just simply fell on my hands... with no effort at all. Too bad... now Vincent has to marry me. LOL.
People tend to overlook how useful 5 gallon buckets are. Whether you are at home, at the office, in the garden, at a camping site, chances are you are probably going to need one 5 gallon pail, or more. Below are a few examples of its uses at home.

In the kitchen

There will always something to store in the kitchen. Most of the time, food and drink. But the small kitchen utensils also need a container when you don't have it. Some 5 gallon buckets in the kitchen can come as a great help. When storing food and drink, however, always make sure that the 5 gallon pails are of food grade plastic materials. It is always important to be safe than sorry. When you have the food grade 5 gallon buckets, you can start storing the sugar, grains, cereal and/or milk.

In the playroom

Sometimes it is highly frustrating when the children start playing but never start cleaning up their toys afterwards. To rearrange them one by one in a good order on the shelves can be very tiring, too. Especially if they start messing up with them in the next 5 minutes. Why not having some colorful 5 gallon buckets there and teaching the kids some organization? If the work is simple enough to do, they are surely not going to be pouting when doing it, right? So, the car toys in the blue pail, dolls in pink, stuffed animals in yellow, etc.

In the garage

So many tools, so little space. 5 gallon pails can come in handy in this case. What you need to do is assemble your tools based on the functions and sizes. Cleaning tools should be put together with the other equipments or supplies of the same function, drop them in a 5 gallon bucket, then add a label on the outside to indicate what is stored inside. Do the same with the garden tools or supplies and carpentry tools. A nice organized garage is what you will get.

In the study room

Research shows that Americans waste approximately 4 million tons of office paper in a year. So here is a little advice: recycle your paper and use it until you cannot use it. When you receive a letter or print out a document that you no longer use, store them in a 5 gallon bucket for future use. You may need to use scrap paper one of these days and you can save the environment by using both sides of the used paper stored there.

Around the house

So it's a cleaning day. Why don't you grab your 5-gallon bucket and put your cleaning tools inside, going to one room to another as you clean every bit of the house? When you find garbage on your way, pick it up and drop it in the pail, then move on with the cleaning. When things are done in a practical manner, cleaning job doesn't look and feel that bad.

Those are just a few things one can do with 5 gallon buckets at home. There are many other things when the plastic pails come very versatile in daily life wherever we are. Next articles will discuss how 5 gallon pails can be useful in the garden, at a camp site, and even at the office.

This article was first published here.
It's gonna be the most boring Christmas and New Year this December. Vincent just told me today that he would go back to France from the 16th of December to the 8th of January. I am going to have to plan something for myself if I want to save myself from boredom during the festivities. And this whole year hasn't even been close to good, leave alone awesome.

Maybe a travel to Flores.

As much as the Frenchs are so much fun when they want to speak English (or at least try), they are the most boring community when they don't. Unfortunately the latter is more likely to happen.

And I thought that the gatherings with Vincent's friends have been boring. But really... now that David left last week and Fred is leaving too next week, I imagine I won't be really looking forward to the future outings now. I can only think of Laurence who probably wants to speak to me - as in having a real conversation more than just "ça va? Oui, et toi?"

Vincent doesn't look very happy either with the fact that his two nicest friends are leaving.


Alors on d... (X3)

Qui dit étude dit travail,
Qui dit taf te dit les thunes,
Qui dit argent dit dépenses,
Qui dit crédit dit créance,
Qui dit dette te dit huissier,
Oui dit assis dans la merde.
Qui dit Amour dit les gosses,
Dit toujours et dit divorce.
Qui dit proches te dis deuils car les problèmes ne viennent pas seul.
Qui dit crise te dis monde dit famine dit tiers- monde.
Qui dit fatigue dit réveille encore sourd de la veille,
Alors on sort pour oublier tous les problèmes.
Alors on danse... (X9)
Et la tu t'dis que c'est fini car pire que ça ce serait la mort.
Qu'en tu crois enfin que tu t'en sors quand y en a plus et ben y en a encore!
Ecstasy dis problème les problèmes ou bien la musique.
Ca t'prends les trips ca te prends la tête et puis tu prie pour que ça s'arrête.
Mais c'est ton corps c'est pas le ciel alors tu t'bouche plus les oreilles.
Et là tu cries encore plus fort et ca persiste...
Alors on chante
Lalalalalala, Lalalalalala,
Alors on chante
Lalalalalala, Lalalalalala

Alors on chante (x2)
Et puis seulement quand c'est fini, alors on danse.
Alors on danse (x7)
Et ben y en a encore (X5)
There is a huge difference between a bad one-night-stand decision and a rape.

One starts with a heavy flirting game and and is followed by a consented decision - drunk or not - to have a heating sexual action before hitting the sack. If in the morning it feels like an aweful mistake, well it IS a mistake. A mistake that you wrongly decided at a bad time.

A rape on the other hand, is a sexual act that is being forced to an un-consented individual. If I hit a guy on the street for trying to grab my ass, then he hits me back and forces me to have sex with him, that means I am being raped.

Why is it so hard for him to understand?

Is it that hard for YOU to understand? If you don't agree with me, please leave a comment here and prove me wrong. I have never wanted so much to be proven wrong like I do now.

Sometimes I wish I was less independent and more needy just to get more attention from him. But I can't help being able to defend myself from nasty Sanur or Kuta guys until maybe... God forbids, one day when they find out that I am not as physically strong as I look. Until then, my boyfriend may still need to find other "weaker" girls to protect when they are drunk.
What you thought was a perfect thing may not still be over time.
Love is such a weird thing. When you are too tightly wrapped with it, you feel like getting off. When it's really off, you feel miserable.

Vincent went to Thailand for work 11 days ago. At first I felt sort of relieved (nothing bad against him, it's just that the personal space sometimes feels good, too). But after a few days, I just felt so lonely and the space was suddenly not fun anymore. I even missed the sound that he always makes - his fart (doh!).

But he's back now, ending the silly misery and the guessing what-he's-doing-now game. He is a little sick from being exposed too much to the aircon and too much work so I guess I am going to have to do a good job in returning his energy the next few days.

For the second time in the last 2 weeks, I feel relieved again.
Pets never stayed alive for a long time in my house, I wonder why. There were already two stray animals that we picked up, took care of until they were healthy and happy, and not long after they reached the contentment, they died. I didn't write about this before because I always cried my eyes out every time my babies were taken away from me. But now I am revealing it.


She was a little kitten Vincent found at his office. At first I was against the idea of keeping her because A. I was not used to cats, thanks to my mom's phobia of cats, B. I tried to save baby cats 3 times, none survived (mainly because they were too little, only a few days old, C. I didn't want to get attached to an animal where I doubted I would always be in Bali.
Geisha when we first adopted her, so tiny with her super big eyes and ears
But Vincent won. He would have to clean the cat litters as a part of the agreement and I could deal with the food.

Over time, I developed such a closeness to Geisha even after she scratched my skin a hundred times. She was taken to a vet and Vincent spent a lot of money and time, and attention to make her flea-free and healthy again like below.
Active and healthy, as well as furniture destroyer
Until one day she was attacked by a black cat three times her size and died less than 24 hours after she was attacked. Both Vincent and I regretted that we did not take her right away to the vet after the attack, but we didn't find any open wound and thought she would be okay. Later on we suspected it might have been the snake who killed her. She ran away from the black cat to a little hole inside my pump compartment where my neighbour saw a big snake there.

We had such a hard time because of the loss.


Piment was a Balinese puppy that one day out of the blue appeared at my porch. It was in mid August if I am not mistaken. Vincent gave him some water and a piece of bacon, but we had to leave to a party when we found him, so we just decided that we would adopt the dog if he was still there when we came back.

And he was.

I named him Piment (means chilli in French) because I just liked the word piment. And he was so thin like chilli. But unlike the other stray dogs, this Balinese puppy was quiet (compared to the others) and only barked when he saw a stranger or (God forbid) a snake.
He seemed to understand what I said to him and even without a proper obedient training, he was already naturally obedient! I took him to the beach one day, put him inside a basket covered with his sleeping cushion and towel as I was riding my motorbike, and he wouldn't even budge or try to commit suicide by neurotically jumping out of it when the engine started (like any other unschooled dogs might). No. He just quietly waited while I drove slowly to the beach.
Piment, sitting quietly in the basket
Not long after, Vincent bought him a leash and a nice collar that I used only when we went for a walk or run at the beach. Yes, run. Me who never jogged and never wished to. I had a totally different perspective about running when I went with Piment. Suddenly it had more meaning than before and felt like playing rather than doing sport.

But the fun didn't stay long. Again, after I called a vet and Piment got his first shot to help eliminate his fleas, after he gained much weight with the nutritious food I gave him every day, after he looked very happy to be with us and satisfied enough by only staying outside or just resting his head on my foot while I was working, a fucking stupid car had to hit him and run. My neighbour knocked almost in the middle of the night to tell us about it. I was hysterical when I saw him lying on the side of the street, not moving actively like how he usually was and not breathing with his eyes and mouth open. His flea collar was cut and sat not far from his body. Vincent was very mad and swore that we would never take a pet again as long as we still lived in this country. Me... I was just devastated.
Piment's last visit to the beach - two days before the accident.
Maybe it is a wise move - not to adopt a pet. If every time an animal we love - a member of our family - has to die tragically, it is just too much to bear.
Oh shit... I forgot the ice. Hahahahaha....

The offering with a burning incense.
Last Saturday was Tumpak Landep day. That was the birthday of all vehicles and machinaries in Bali. Balinese prayed and put "sesajen" or offering on their motorbikes, cars and even sewing machines and scissors.

I went out to meet Aliki - Vincent's friend's wife - and I saw the maid next door was making a little ceremony with all the motorbikes in the shared parking lot. I asked her to decorate my motorbike too, and this is what her husband had to say to me, "Not decorate; it's to pray for it."

Oops, well okay, but the offering looked charming, so the insensible me just spurt out the first vocab that applied to it that came to my mind. So yes, it was my fault.

Anyway, I should have asked earlier, they said, because it needed to be prayed in the temple before. But to make me happy, they slipped one pack of offering between the bike and my license plate, splashed some fragranced water on to it, then on to my face.

"Okay, you are safe now," they both said. Then they looked at Vincent's motorbike and they splashed the water too there. "This one, too. Now everybody is safe."

Oh, one of the things I love about Bali.
One thing I learnt during my blogging absence was that nothing was 100% definite in this world.

At some point I felt that I might have turned into too trusting individual and I rested and believed my future would be all bright and positive now that I had someone to share it with. But people do get weary and they do change. And love shares the same amount of extremity with hatred. Everything is too positive in love just like everything is too negative in hatred. For a while, I'd forgotten about that. I also forgot one of my own life values: keep a room inside your heart in case something breaks. That should help keep you away from desperation and massive breakdown. I did not. As I said, I was becoming too positive in looking at things.

Well, let's say I was reminded of all that. And though it is somewhat bitter to base your relationship on, it is the truth. So I have been struggling to get my old self back and maybe I will do things that I enjoyed doing again. I am thinking about traveling to the eastern part of Indonesia as soon as my financial situation gets better - Carla's way.
After over 2 years together, Vincent finally gave me a bouquet of roses in different colours.

It was on my birthday, I was out to Fabio's and Inga's, and when I was back, this sweet bouquet was stuck between the handle of the door to the guest room where I usually work and two birthday gifts were put on the floor under the flowers.

I was upset at him earlier that month, but with this he is forgiven for the next 3 years. :)
So many things have happened during my absence in blogging. One of the reasons is that I write more for money than take photos these past two months. I've been so sick and tired of writing that I couldn't put effort on taking care of my blog -- which is another writing. But I realised that it wasn't fair. So I am just gonna try to post short recaps of how life has been going on so far. They may not be in chronological order but they are still updates anyway.

First one, my mother and niece, Michelle, came to Bali for a holiday (Sept 6 to Sept 17, I think). They were staying in my house as usual, and Ita was taking a week off from work so she could be with her daughter more. We even made family pictures (I pioneered the idea after seeing our last family photos were taken when I was.... nine. It's a horrid fact for a photographer! I made nice photos of other people and family, but not mine). So we were heading to this nice beach in Canggu called Echo -- some good swells for surfers, black sand and interesting rocks to texturize the beach. Did I tell you I made awesome photos for a client a couple of months ago? If not, check it out here, and below are some of the shots from our family rendesvous (girls only).