Boat, boat, boat

Our friends from church (B and J, husband and wife) invited us to boat. End of last year, their first invitation was, but we couldn’t make it due to some uni schedule.So, when they invited us again this year, we said yes!

When we arrived at their home, there, the boat was already on top of its trail, connected to the rear part of a car.  B drove us to Ermington boat ramp, at the end of Wharf Rd, where we will launch the boat onto Paramatta River. I know I may sound weird but sitting in a car with a boat towed behind was something. :p

There is a way the boat is launched to the water. So, the car needs to be driven backwards until the boat trail is partially submerged. B was ready in the boat so as trail was submerged, he turned the engine and move the boat backwards. As it may again sound weird, but I do really think that watching the launching boat was indeed interesting.

I learnt that when the boat is docked, a hawser (sort of a thick rope, according to dictionary) is tied to a spring line in a infinity-pattern moving from the top to the bottom part of the spring, not in a mere circle-pattern the spring neck. The latter will not create a friction if the boat moves away from the dock, however, the former will intensify the knot should it happens. We used this hawser to also tow our boat closer to the dock.

Interesting fact that at some certain point, you can’t drive a boat more than a certain speed, such as under the bridge or when passing a bridging boat. When you’re under a bridge, high speed will create a high current for your boat and when the turbulence it creates hit the bridge’s pillar, the current could hit your boat back. A bridging boat (yes, I created the name by myself) is a boat used to transfer things (or people in Indonesia) to cross over the river. This kind of boat is pulled by a thick-strong cable that mostly stay submerged all the time. However, if the bridging boat is operated, the cable will be hovering the river’s surface. Therefore, when a high-speed boat passed without ensuring the cable whereabouts, can you imagine what could happen from this collision? I don’t wanna know certainly.

Oh, another thing is there is no speed camera, like the ones the government placed in streets. XD During boating, we need to take the right side of the river, not the left as we do when we walk or drive a car. You also need to have license in driving a boat because you need to understand all the sign and safety regulations. You don’t need to wear seat belts (yeay!) but do need to wear the life jacket. We didn’t but make sure that you can swim. 🙂 The person who is behind the wheel are not allowed to drink, but the rest of the member is fine.

So, we boated (or sailed?)! B and J provided us with tons of information as we sailed.They have been living in Sydney a lot of years, so they updated us with city history and story along the river. We went to a location where it used to be an array of factories, but then closed down as the environmental policy on waste made them difficult to cope with the regulation. So, as the environmental regulation tighten the waste allowance, the river now is significantly clean. Not even a bad smell. The river, that leads to high seas, was so polluted that houses with the river view used to be so cheap and allocated for public houses. However, as you might already know that Sydney is one of the cities with the highest accommodation cost, river-view houses especially the ones close to Darling Harbor and close by, are approximately ten of thousands dollar per week rent! Might be not in all area along the river, yes, that’s true, but it won’t be only few hundred dollars per week. Only during the WWII, the owner of the river-houses were willing to give away their houses with peanuts. Well, we obviously understood why.

Such houses 😉
Darling Harbor, a darling view from boat.

Regarding the public houses, there was another story. When we passed Barangaroo Reserve, B and J told us a story many years back. Public houses was intended to give the society who are less fortunate in getting a place to stay due to their earning, a way cheaper place to stay. The government expected the tenants to stay temporarily, get a job, earn and move to a more permanent place by their own. However, one time, there was this man stating and bragging in public that he and his family throughout few generations have been living in the same public house. XD B thought that they might already earn enough to move but the public houses they stayed in might too comfortable for them to leave. As the government found it out (oh-oh), they decided to sell this particular public houses in Barangaroo Reserve area to the current tenants and used the money to build more public houses in different areas. XD Good for you, govt, hopefully the public houses now is used to its original and good purposes. 🙂

We arrived at the most-visit spot in Sydney, the Opera House and Harbor bridge. Here are some pictures.

From the boat, the view was astonishing.

We also passed other distinctive spot, the Anzac bridge.

Anzac bridge, from the from tip of the boat
And, obviously, from the back.
Chillin’ out XD

We finished by 2 PM in the afternoon (yes, we had lunch in the boat. How interesting!) and took the boat back to Ermington boat ramp, back to its trail in the back of the car. Ha! Another interesting aspect of the day was seeing B drove the boat to its trail. Due to strong wind, the boat was pushed away when it was almost reaching the trail. So, when B needs to drive the boat in, he was not putting 100% working engine, he needed to drive slowly because if not, he might hit the car, right. But, because of that, the boat was not having enough energy to fight the wind back XD so, it got pushed away once or twice.

B and J had been boating since forever. B had a boat before they met, both of them had a great interest, and therefore knowledge, in boat, I mean in any kind of boat. They knew what boat we passed and so thrilled to see a particular boat parked (some boat’s name we don’t recognize). When I asked what name they gave to their boat, they said, “It is ‘Our Boat’. Or, ‘My boat’.” XD

Thank you for inviting us, B and J! We definitely had a great time and experiences!

See you soon!


Happy new year!

#sydnye 2017 at Blues Point Reserve

2016 passed like wooosshhh, really fast, something that still wowed me until now, and really in a marvelous way. I wrapped 2016 with things I prayed for in the beginning of 2016: new title, responsibilities, commitment, blessing, abundant grace and love.

Since early 2015, I’ve been writing ‘2017’ on a couple of things I’ve always use and in a visible distance. I’ve been hoping something big is going to happen this year. Now that 2017 is here, I realize that this thing most likely won’t happen in near future. XD

My feet, my plan may fail and fear surrounds me, but I am praying that the Spirit will lead me where my trust is without border and my faith will be made stronger. I pray that He will lead me enrolling in new titles, responsibilities, commitments, blessing and love towards each other with His abundant grace. Happy new year 2017! 🙂

Leason learned in January

I’ve been down with flu, cold, coughing, and running nose (in the evening, it turns to be blocked nose) for few days now. Officially, yesterday, but I felt I was not fit since few days ago. And, I’ve been wasting a lot of tissue papers today. I realized my body is fighting to beat this flu, cold, or whatever their names are.

However, these two days I’ve been enjoying myself, not having to commute to the office in this rainy weather, snuggling inside a blanket and letting myself to sleep couple more hours than I used to be. I drank hot tea (my housemate’s, btw), made tomato ginger soup because it loads with vitamin c from the fresh tomatoes and warmness from the ginger, watched movies (yes, plural) and made progress as well with my work (only) today. I am actually surprised that I still made progress with this nose.

Man, taking a break is necessary. Being ill is not a good way to take a break, yes, I know. XD But, I guess this is the only way I stopped working and thinking about work for a while. At least, I am forced to. :p

Lesson learned. Hopefully won’t happen again.

See you soon.

Yesterday’s year

I always have a tendency to have one post in every new year. Wonder why. This year, I am not sure what to write. I thought it might be boring since I always have the pattern to reflect back what I experienced or what I learned in previous year.

Oh, last year’s post was not a reflection. So is it okay if I write the reflection for today’s post?

Anyway. 🙂

2015 was amazing year. It was the year that was not just passed by without thorough examination and observation.

Around 30 minutes before the new year in The Netherlands finally arrive, I called my bf who already has at least 9 hours of 2016 (fyi, it is 10 hours difference). We talked  randomly at first, and I decided to tell him my significant experiences and learnings that year.

I survived the first year of PDEng. We were surprised on how much I grew to develop my personality because of PDEng. Thanks be to God.

I grew into more reserved and introvert person. I am introvert, but it just gets even more that year. I don’t know why. I enjoyed being in a quiet environment, with less people. I love to meet people, but not that many people, especially people that I don’t know or that I am not comfortable with.

I loved things to be organized. Sometimes I felt I was too much focused on making the schedule of the day, that if it went wrong, I just get stressed. In other words, I grew into less flexible person.

Baking is my preference over cooking. I just love the smell of the whatever-I-bake-in-the-oven fresh from the oven! I (or my bf, sometimes) challenged me to bake something I never try before. It was a nice experience. During baking, I enjoyed being in-control of what I am doing at that moment, forgetting other things, relaxing, and appreciating the solitude. Note to bf: a nice oven is one of the must-have kitchen equipment in future home, okay?

I changed my diet preference into eating whole food instead of processed food. I read about the hazard the latter can give if I eat too much of those. I enjoyed (and still enjoying) eating more vegetables and I substitute my carbs with oatmeal. Here, oatmeal is cheaper and faster to prepare than rice, anyway. 😛

Exercising became a routine. I swim, run (not on winter season, of course! Not even on fall when it gets colder), now, I add yoga to the list. I tried to maintain the habit of doing exercise once per day, but sometimes the schedule won’t allow or the eyes choose to close and my body chooses to get inside the blanket.

I learnt how to say “No, thanks” to something I don’t really like to do or want. Most importantly, I did it without feeling guilty (ga enakan in Bahasa) anymore.

I was struggling (and I still do) not to throw myself such a high standard and perfection. It gave me heavy burden in the shoulder and at some point, I just wanted to give up. Ironically, it still happens. This is one of my homeworks in 2016.

I realized I couldn’t multitask. If most of article said that girls can multitask, I don’t think I can. If there are so many things to be done, I prefer to do it one at a time. If not, I only got headache.

I was more aware of my migrain and headache that year. I still don’t know exactly the reason why I always have these 2. We are on our investigation now *owyeah. One thing my bf concluded: one of the trigger is if I have lots of things to do and I want to do it all at once. (See previous paragraph).

I didn’t like uncertainty. It made me uncomfortable. I needed to be in control of what I was doing. If things were uncontrolled, I made sure that I went to finish it fast. It was actually a positive point, considering that I don’t procrastinate. However, it had also negative effect: that I didn’t enjoy the process, I didn’t enjoy learning the process.

I was not into travelling that much. Or I just haven’t found the right time?

I have to say that I love being busy. I need to do something at that moment. I probably can define myself as workaholic? I still don’t know. :p I just can’t stay still without doing anything. XD

I tended to become bossy. Ask my bf because this is one of the reasons we had our fight. :p

I accomplished more than 80% of my 2015 resolution! Thanks God!

Long-distance relationship works! I hope we can continue to communicate and argue and discuss like this until I can join him there. One of my friend’s friend said that maybe there is reason why out path didn’t cross each other. Well, we surely can assure you that the LDR worked (and will work, Amen) well last year (and the year before), and there are also reasons why. 🙂 Actually, we learnt and grew together during this LDR.

I am actually pretty exciting about this year. Can’t wait to wrap up this year with new title (Oh God, help), new responsibilities, new commitments, new blessings and abundant grace and love! I will try to live in the present, enjoy the learning process, and bake more! Ha!

See you soon!

The excitement of baking

Since I am residing in The Netherlands, cooking becomes a priority. By cooking almost every day or two, I can save a lot in food and groceries expenses. It is not that I am stingy or what. At first, I cook because I am bored of dutch way of having lunch. Dutch eats sandwich every lunch, or in general, they eat ‘cold’ lunch, such as yogurt, sandwich with fillings, etc. I eat what we call ‘warm lunch’. So, to provide satisfaction to my tongue and have more variety in eating, I cook. Besides, eating out is expensive. I can spend half of what I will buy in the cafeteria/supermarket if I cook.

Starting from there, I somehow find the excitement to do it on a daily basis. Well, if the work doesn’t allow me to do that, I need to be flexible and eat what I can get from the supermarket: ready-made food or salad. Or even a sandwich in the cafeteria. But, if the time allows, I prefer to eat what I cook. Following to that, I somehow found even more excitement in baking. Since moving out from the housing that has no oven to the one that has both oven and gas stove, I am starting to develop this excitement into sweets embodiment. Hahaha. What a way to say such thing :p.

So far, I am following the recipe that I found either from the book or from the internet. At the very beginning, I followed it precisely. But later on, I changed the measurement as I like. Mostly the amount of sugar added because sometimes the sugar addition is way too much, or not make sense. Once I found a recipe that has sugar addition 3 times more than the main ingredient. I am a sweet tooth but unfortunately (or fortunately?) too sweet can make me sick as well.

Vanilla cupcake on a sunny day

I said it on the beginning about the time I have now is somehow determined by the work I am doing now. Not certainly true but mostly yes, at least for the previous and next 2 months. Since the work sometimes (or most of the times in a month) requested me to work on weekend, I couldn’t bake as many as I want. Baking does indeed take time. It is not only the preparation and baking hour, but also the dishes washing and cleaning the afterward-mess I made in the kitchen :p. Imagine the mess I made for making Lamington cake. Bake the cake, coated with chocolate, and desiccated coconut afterwards. It was worth the time and the effort, tho.

Lamington cake after a long-tiring day

It is so worth that I always in for cake challenge, suggested by my bf. Well, he’s a sweet tooth too, and loves sweets as I do. Most of the cakes I made so far are based on his challenge (or we can say request?). Hahaha. I don’t feel pressurized or being demanded by someone far far away. Totally not! I just do it voluntarily. Even if he’s not suggesting anything, I will come up with something to make. I can’t ask him to taste it for real now, but later hopefully I can 🙂

As I recall, not every baking moment is successful ones. I tried to replicate my mom’s sponge cake that supposedly expand. Mine expanded in the oven, but, after taking it out from the oven, it became ppffffff’, gone. Not even a small amount of spongy-texture at all. I thought about it and tried to do it again the next day with different method. I still couldn’t get the right level however the taste is already like my mom’s. Anyway, I feel that there’s some research-thingy inside me. I should get a PhD in this kind of things. Can I? 😛

Failed pandan sponge cake

One nice thing about baking is that I can eat what I want to eat. I don’t need to find the place/cafe/bakery. I can just go to the internet, browse the recipe, look for the ingredients at the supermarket, and make it by my own. What I would love to make, and I finally make it, is souffle. It appears lots of time in MasterChef and I just wanted to try how it taste. I still can not find it in The Netherlands, so, I thought, why don’t I make it? It probably not the best one, or not the right one, but at least, I try 🙂 The thing about souffle is that it rises until certain level and you need to jump and dig in directly. The excitement of digging it before it sinks back to its normal level is amazing! It was really on top of my head. I have to say, the recipe is amazing and the taste is even more.

The chocolate souffle
The chocolate souffle

Every time I bake, I learn something. At least some baking facts. Which is nice because I learn to develop my skill! Owyeah! As I also analyse the process of baking, the process of adding ingredients and the reason behind it. That’s what I do when I browse the recipe. I compare the different recipe and the possibility to substitute the ingredient with what I have at home. Even though probably the taste is not close, or the consistency and texture is not even close, I still earn the food for thought! Again, I guess, I need to do PhD in this topic. Probably that is easier to find. :p

See you soon!



Learn to be grateful (even more)

I guess it will be a long-life-learning for me: to be grateful.

Though the sky is mostly grey, I am grateful even more now when the sun is out. We jumped out to the balcony without jacket (though it is still 5 degrees out there) just because we want the warmth of the sun right on our skin.

Though it was raining, I am grateful with the water-proof  and super-warm jacket I bought (and the ability to buy one, of course!).

Though it means that spending time on it was necessary, I am grateful I can improve my cooking ability. And baking! It saves money, probably to buy another jacket XD.

Though I can say that it was a never-ending-work-and-tight-schedule, I am grateful that I still have something to do (a lot of things to do, as a matter of fact). I am grateful as well that there is always people around me that working along, helping and soothing in their own way.

Though it’s morning there and evening here, I am grateful that we can communicate, argue, discuss, and talk constantly. I am grateful that when I am home at night, he just wake up and hasn’t start his day so we can talk without interfering with the work. Also, for the internet connection. 🙂

Though it is not easy, I am grateful that the work jere challenges me to step out of my secluded box and to learn new things, to open up, and to receive and give.

See you soon! 🙂

It’s a matter of perspective

A : How you could be so calm when you have lots of task?

B : I am calm outside but inside, I am struggling. Haha.

A : But you still so calm facing those stuff!

B : I used to panic badly when I had some other stuff long time ago. But, my prof told me that my job won’t harm my life. My life is not at dangerous state when my job is not finished or If I fail. If I fail, I should try again. If I can’t proceed, I can try again the other way. It’s only a matter of perspective.



See you soon!