Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stranger In A Night

What if you take a cab, share with two strangers, in a night of Jakarta?
You're alone. It's almost dark. And the city is running out of cabs.


Saturday. Long day for a weekend: 2 meetings and one class to attend. Far far away from my home in East Jakarta.

Since morning, I got a meeting in Dharmawangsa for my side job at Blaire. Second, I got a class in Salihara, at 4pm. Then, a meeting at 7pm in Diagonale, Plaza Senayan---this one, I met bad traffic, so I arrived at 8.30pm.

I started to queue up for a cab at the lobby at 10pm-ish. It was a long queue, but even so, many people in front of me were given up already. Soooo, step forward please! Woohoo! 

While I waited, I talked to a woman standing before me. She just bought many t-shirts from a store. Many... until two shopkeepers walked out to help her bringing the stuff to the cab queue line. She said she was going to arrange a gathering for the employees. "Year's closing," she said.

Then, our conversation was around the traffic we found everyday, from home to work and vice versa. It took a long time just to get one cab that time. Until she offered me, "What if we just share cab, you can drop by somewhere with more taxis available!" Her destination was Tebet and not so far from my home. Just go through Casablanca and voila!

I was stumbled a bit, but I said yes. My mom worried about me already. Besides, I was too tired and it's damned late and dark. Later, I found out that she was there with a colleague. Her colleague was waiting not so far away from the queue line. She expected to have another brand of taxi. And yes, she got it. It was white cab. She yelled out to call the woman who had been talking to me to join her. I saw from where I stood that they loaded their shopping bags into the cab. I just stood still. I wonder if the lady remembered her offer. Ha!

I didn't want to leave my spot in the line. Many people lined up after me and I had been there like forever. Surprisingly, that woman ran a little towards me and asked, "you still wanna join us?"

"Oh, yes, of course," I answered, stepping out from my spot. I jumped into the car. All the way to Casablanca, we were lucky. Not bad traffic. It's 11pm anyway.

There, we talked about the city and all. The cab driver was friendly and helpful in finding better routes. He told us that he was just about to drink his coffee when someone asked him to take him to Senayan. He drank fast and went off. His passenger was begging him. He got no choice. Cab is hard to find whenever it's raining or in weekend nights.

Say 'Hi' to strangers, Kitties!
He also shared his knowledge about cab branding and the drivers' quality, regarding our conversation about safety in traveling with cabs in Jakarta. "BlueBird and Express are quite common now. They have good drivers yet some of them are new and not trained. Many of them are still getting lost in taking clients," he said. "Actually, another good cab is Putra, but they don't have interesting branding. Proton cars, in such unattractive dark blue colour," he added.

Then, we arrived at Casablanca, in front of Kota Kasablanka, they dropped me off after seeing another cab standby there. I handed the money. We were sharing, that was the deal. But they refused so hardly, I couldn't resist anyway. They said it's their route and it didn't cause them any trouble to take me there.

So, there I go. Leaving them so grateful. Believe it or not. I shared the cab with couple of strangers, in the middle of the night. Alone, with them. Without knowing their names---Yes, we didn't exchange for names at all. Something unbelievable.

Maybe it's about instincts that told me if the woman wouldn't harm or anything. I gave my positive energy since morning, even before the meeting started. The class was great. I bought the book written by the lecturer. I was happy and satisfied, although I was tired. Maybe... I can feel better when I'm in neutral state.

Somehow, it opened up my eyes. I think that situation tried to make me realized something. At the time, no matter how positive I was that day, I felt I lost my trust in myself and towards anyone else. I'd been feeling lonely and in need to talk to someone. I just didn't know to whom I could trust after all the situation I got myself trapped into. But this stranger...miraculously I can trust her. In this small world, this experience woke up me if there are still someone out there I could put my trust and faith on. What a stranger!

Dear strangers, thank you! Whoever you are...and wherever you are now. It was fun!

(Not suggested, though. ^^ )

... what happens in my bedroom, stays in my bedroom...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Finally.... HOLIDAY!

Well, I don't have many holiday or day-off this year after I get work contract for 6 months. Hmm.. anyway, I was absent for quite few days too during these 5 months due to my sickness.

By the way, the 21st December 2012 was the last day working before Christmas. I stayed at Starbucks Plaza Indonesia with a dear colleague, Agnes. She mentioned that that day, her mom made 'onde'. It's in Chinese culture to celebrate that on 21st or 22nd Dec is the peak of the winter (if I'm not mistaken) as the Chinese New Year will be in February 2013 soon.

When I got home, my niece was about to have a sleep over at our place. She joined my mom and my sis who also make some Onde. They used some of my food coloring I used to make for macaroon. The violet, pink and blue.

Before and after

Onde itself is made from rice flour and boiled with water, along with ginger and pandan leaf. Usually, people will make it in red, green and white. Coz we got blue and green, they choose to use them, too. Being a bit different is fun, right?

Do you see the Smurf? Really you smurf it?

Ok, for this one... Well, it's been awhile I don't spend much time and money to shop. But due to my need for advanced appearance at work, fresher me...those make good reasons to hop the malls and keep on swiping my debit card. What's fun? I hoarded them in my bedroom, not opening them until Dec, 30th. It felt like gifts from me for myself. I don't know why I love to keep things wrapped and unused.

I bought new shoes (other than the ones in previous blogpost), trousers as my body turned smaller---believe it or not---new tops, new bag... whew! To your surprise, I bought Goody products! If I've never paid attention that much to hair care or hair styles, maybe I would try a little bit taking care of them. I'll write about hair care and hair styles experiment later. For books, I have shared it in my bookblogpost.

You see I bought some The Body Shop stuff. Ugh, yeah I got to admit I have something wrong with my feet, caused by new shoes I'd bought months ago. There were dark scars remained on my skin. D'oh! Pray for me it would work... smooth and nice feet in 2013. Crossing fingers for me, will ya?

And if you happened to read my old blog post about my obsession on cook blog, you would see I post a pic of kinky, girly, sweet grey polcadots apron. I didn't find the same thing, but I found this in Daiso, Japanese corner in FoodHall.

I looked big. Yes?

The fate of my Christmas presents are the same. I like to keep them wrapped in their cute gift-wrap paper. Here are some gifts that gathered in my home's Christmas tree. Not all of them belonged to me of course. Two of them were from me to my nephew and niece. One of them was a prank from mom to my niece as she left her stuffed dog at our washing machine. My sis also brought some cupcakes with cute marzipan and sugar Santa. Well, it was simple 25th Dec this year but I love all my gifts. One of them is a collection of Doraemon figurines.

... what happens in my bedroom, stays in my bedroom...