Header Image


Navigation images

It’s not all about chocolate

This may sound odd but I am off chocolate. I am not entirely sure how it comes about, just that I eat a whole lot less of them (or none at all for extended period) and I am no longer tempted to buy them regularly either. On the other hand, F is chomping in chocolate on a daily basis, at just about every main meal of the day. I reckon he’s eating enough chocolate for the two of us in any case. And yes, we have a stock of chocolate tablets at home to sustain his habit (and this is just about all the chocolate I pick up nowadays).

So when Salon du Chocolat came rolling into town this week, I debated. Nearly an annual pilgrimage for me, I hemmed and hawed about going this year. I probably would have skipped it had my childhood friend not been in town and curious about this large gathering of chocolate vendors and other purveyors of sweet goodies. :)

Salon du Chocolate 2013

Salon du Chocolate 2013

Continue reading »

Always a learner

One question that used to pop up a lot when people see me, especially among older (and extended) relatives, was if I was done yet with studying. Granted, back in the days, every time they saw me, I was still a student and showed no sign of graduating, even if the reality pointed to multiple graduation ceremonies and the upward move in the academic ladder.

Even a few of my friends have teased that I never seem to tire of being a student, and if given my way, I’d be voted as “most likely to be the oldest student in the class/course”, not because I’ve failed or anything but I would happily register myself to one after another.

Street art

You know what – I didn’t (and still don’t) mind this remark at all. I love learning. In fact, I’d say “thank you” for recognising my effort to learn continuously, regardless of my age or my attained level in education.

Continue reading »

Project 365 – Week 43

A mostly grey week made me hanker for more sunshine, but as I was busy catching up with various course load from my online classes, among other things, time just flew by and before I knew it, we were packing our bag to go away for the weekend to attend a family event, and by the time we got back to Paris, my best friend was settling in into our apartment with a cup of hot chocolate and awaiting our return. Next few days will be busier than ever!

* * *

59 rue de Rivoli

21 Oct: It is easy to walk down rue de Rivoli and identify the building that is today an art squat. I’ve photographed 59 rue de Rivoli for my previous Project 365, and it appears the exterior of the building is ever so lively! The changes made had been subtle, in terms of forms of the decor given the theme promoted by the artists in residence, but the materials used seem to be similar, mostly clothes and string-based. I like this new “kite-like” theme more than the old “pants-like” theme.

Continue reading »

Sarah asked me 10 questions …

My friend Sarah loves to create and she blogs about her hobby over at Crafty Sorcha. She recently nominated me for a Liebster Award in which she has 10 questions for me. I’m honoured – merci, Sarah – and you can read my responses following the photo break.

It has been a while since I participated in a meme, and I’m afraid this particular chain of meme will also end here. One of the conditions set out for this award asks for its re-rewarding to bloggers with limited audience, and somehow, in recent months, most blogs that I read have large number of followers while the smaller ones have stopped being updated. (A sign of losing popularity of blogs among small-audience writers?)

Sunny

Continue reading »

Postcards: Inlands of Bali (ID)

A considerable amount of time of our final 24 hours in Bali was spent on the road. The north-south parallel roads system in the region we were at meant it would never be quick to get from one place to another, even if they are geographically nearby. From the car, we scanned the horizons so to remember what it was like to be there, and when the vista got really interesting, we asked Komang to park to the side briefly so I could at least grab a few photos.

Given Komang was really there to be our driver and not as a driver-guide, I don’t have much stories to tell you in return either. Nonetheless, I hope you too enjoy the views which we had oohed-aahed over ;)

Gunung Agung

Gunung Agung

Continue reading »

Project 365 – Week 42

Now that we’re settling back in to the daily grind, our social calendar also starts to fill itself up quickly. We’ll be seeing friends and family, in Paris and elsewhere, and significantly my oldest and best friend will be here in a week for a visit. I have so much to show and to share with her, that I don’t really quite know where to start. Since la rentrée there are many interesting exhibitions to see, new places to eat, etc. I need to make a list and let her choose what she’d like to do most.

* * *

Notre Dame Cathedral

14 Oct: Paris is beautiful, and even more so in autumn. For F, it’s the softer lights of the sky that make autumn an enchanting season of the year. For me, it’s the colours surrounding us. There’s something about golden leaves on the trees and a variety of hues between vermillion and tangerine to spread some seasonal colours – quite a difference from the multi-coloured summer blooms. I also love stepping on the drying leaves, hearing the rustles under my feet while daydreaming as I walk. Even the slight nip in the air doesn’t bother me when I get into this little world of my own.

Continue reading »

Pura Tirta Empul

F and I had initially planned to trek Mount Batur on our final day in Bali. However, for a number of reasons, we scrapped that plan (so I brought my trekking shoes for nothing?) and swapped it for some inland sightseeing and a visit to the Pura Tirta Empul, more commonly known as the temple of Holy Water Spring, in Tampak Siring.

Pura Tirta Empul

Pura Tirta Empul

Continue reading »

Pura Besakih

It was Day 3 and the last that we would spend in East Bali. Given the prominence of Mount Agung in the region, what’s more culturally fitting than to pay a visit to Pura Besakih, the Mother Temple of Bali that’s perched some 950 metres up on the south-western slope of Mount Agung? Pura Besakih is, like Pura Lempuyang, both a kahyangan jagat (directional temple) and a sad kahyangan (temple of the heaven).

Pura Besakih

Pura Besakih

Continue reading »

Project 365 – Week 41

It is somewhat disorientating to be back in Paris when I’m still in semi-Asian mode. You know, like wanting to eat noodles or nasi lemak first thing in the morning, craving for dim sum in the afternoon, longing for late-night supper, lamenting the lack of time to play more with my niece and my nephew, missing my family in general… Poor F had had an overdose of Asian food though (my family was feeding him ALL the time) and had decreed that we would be eating European fare for the coming weeks.

* * *

Happy Hours

7 Oct: Many bars around Paris have some kind of happy hours offer nowadays, but sadly, not at my favourite cocktail hangout… and sometimes, I wish happy hours in Paris can be more like the happy hours in I used to enjoy in Milan. Strictly speaking, it’s not happy hours per se, but l’aperitivo, the time for a pre-dinner drink. Traditionally a good selection of snacks/food are also available and usually included in the price of the drink. Classic options include olives, chips, pizza and pasta but some upscale places would even serve fruits, antipasti, savoury pastries and more!

Continue reading »

Postcards: Amed and Tulamben (ID)

There wasn’t a day in Bali that we did not go into the sea. In fact, whenever possible, we squeezed in two sessions in the water – once in the morning, and another in the evening. I usually paddled by the beach, although I did once go out snorkelling with F, the veritable water baby.

Amed was therefore the perfect base for us while exploring East Bali, and we also nipped over Tulamben, which is popular among divers, for a couple of hours to snorkel. These sleepy towns were exactly what we were looking for – calm and peace from large tourist groups and urban traffic. Don’t get me wrong, there are other visitors around, but unlike Kuta or Ubud, we did not feel like there were more foreigners than locals in Amed.

Amed

Amed

Continue reading »

Pura Lempuyang

Balinese culture is steeped in spirituality, and therefore it is not a surprise that there are tens of thousand Hindu temples all over the island. Bali is, afterall, “the Island of a Thousand Puras”. Some of the temples are small and territorial, located within private compounds (usually among the wealthier clans) or local community-based (each village has at least 3, known as kahyangan tiga), while the larger public temple complexes are revelled by Balinese near and afar, and they are also among the most visited by non-Balinese.

Pura Lempuyang

Pura Lempuyang

Continue reading »

Project 365 – Week 40

Final week of holiday and then we’re back in good ol’ Paris. We were lucky to not have suffered too much from jetlag when we flew out to Southeast Asia, courtesy of a 3-hours hotel room rental in KLIA to nap before we headed further south to Bali. We were all adjusted from Day 1 after arrival. Coming back, it’s different. We now find ourselves up at 5am and ready to sleep by 7pm. Good thing we have relatively flexible working hour, since it means starting our work day by a couple of hours earlier than usual (might as well) and therefore ending it slightly earlier too.

* * *

Old Dutch fort

30 Sep: Many many years ago, my friends and I did a geographical survey of the area surrounding this former (reconstructed) Dutch fort, designed in the 17th century to store and to protect the abundant tin supplies in the state. I don’t remember what we wrote, but it was certainly back in an era when I was punching away at a typewriter so we would have a neatly written report. Spaces were left empty on certain pages so we could incorporate tables, charts and photographs. There were just no such thing as instant paragraph editing and constant play with format etc, so we really had to plan ahead on layout to make sure everything was good to go!

Continue reading »

Postcards: Masceti and Candidasa (ID)

Our ultimate destination in East Bali was Amed, the name of a village but synonymously used to refer to a number of other villages within the same coastal stretch. Normally a solid three hours drive away from Kuta, we broke the journey down a little by making a few short stops along the way. We made it to Masceti Beach and Candidasa in the morning, before tracking down Bali Asli for lunch and the subsequent visit to Tirta Gangga.

Bali

Bali

Continue reading »

A feast at Bali Asli

I wanted F’s first trip to Southeast Asia be a memorable one, so I put in considerable effort in planning our holiday. Not a rigid hour-by-hour schedule, mind, but enough to have a good idea what we could do each day and what were the alternatives should we fancy a change. It was during this research phase that I came to know about Bali Asli.

“Asli” refers to something genuine or authentic, and Bali Asli strives to promote the food tradition of East Bali by using own-grown or locally sourced fresh produce for its constantly changing menu. Not only the ingredients used are indigenous to the region, the cooking method is also preserved (wood-fired mud brick stoves!) so to showcase the best East Bali has to offer. More significantly, Bali Asli serves a menu that is based on the concept of megibung, where food and drink are presented as communal platters to be shared, a tradition that harks back a few centuries ago where the King of Karangasem would sit down with his soldiers for their daily meals.

This was the restaurant we “dropped a cool half million for lunch” ;)

Bali Asli

Bali Asli

Continue reading »


Notify me!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.