Sunday, September 29, 2013

Jakarta Culinary Trip and Denny & Steph's Wedding

In August, Ryan and I went to Jakarta for Denny and Steph's wedding. It was exciting for me because it was also the Beijing crew reunion. Martono was a great host to all of us during our stay there in Jakarta. He gave us his driver and his car to travel around while he's busy at work.

Ryan and I arrived a day earlier than the rest. Well, the initial plan was to go for golf with Martono but the plan was cancelled after I got pregnant. Since the air ticket was bought much earlier, we just went a day earlier anyway.

As there's really nothing much to do in Jakarta, I made this a culinary trip instead. So fortunate that I have Martono, a local, to take us around Jakarta to eat (when he's not working).

Martono's driver taking us from the airport to a restaurant where Martono will meet us for lunch

Our first meal at R.M. Baji Pamai somehwere in Teluk Kelapa Gading

We stayed at Hotel Pullman Thamrin. The room was small for the price that we paid but tastefully furnished.

Marina from Japan, arrived very early in the morning the next day.

I met up with her at our hotel lobby and we walked to Plaza Indonesia which is just right opposite of the hotel for breakfast.

Marina and I

Hamburg and rice omelette at Ten Ten

We shopped a bit at the supermarket in Plaza Indonesia. Marina bought some Indomie, coffee beans, etc.

Around noon, Martono picked us up for lunch at Sate Khas Senayan in Kebon Sirih. Oooh, the food was good.

The food we ordered at Sate Khas Senayan in Kebon Sirih
Sup Buntut, Mixed Satay and Durian Cendol

Martono likes to tease me like how Malaysia is always stealing Indonesia's food. So I teased him that this Satay is Malaysian food so is the Cendol and the Sup Buntut. Marina then pointed at the satay and told us that it's Japanese and it's called yakitori. Martono was like, "Fine...say whatever you guys want." LOL!

With Marina and Martono

For dinner, we went to Pondok Laguna in Batu Ceper. It's a famous restaurant in Jakarta with the locals. Robert arrived in the evening and the driver drove him there to meet us for dinner.

The food we ordered at Pondok Laguna

After dinner, we all went to Mandarin Oriental Hotel (where Robert was staying) to meet up with Denny and Stephanie for a quick drink. Mike arrived later in the evening and the driver drove him there to meet us. Now, we're complete. :D

The Beijing crew reunion in Jakarta - It's amazing how we all flew in from different parts of the world and we all talked and joked as if we've never been apart

Martono then took us to Skye Bar. Located in the heart of the city, on the 56th floor rooftop of BCA Tower - Grand Indonesia, Thamrin.

Us at Skye Bar with the view of Jakarta behind us

The next morning, Martono took us out for breakfast at Pinangsari.

Breakfast at Pinangsari

We went to Denny and Steph's traditional wedding blessing ceremony in the afternoon. This wedding event was of Aceh and Batak ethnic groups as Denny is half Acehnese and half Bataknese.

Denny and Steph

The dinner reception was a standing party. Apparently, I was told that standing party wedding dinner reception is a norm in Jakarta where the guests are all free to roam and mingle around.

Marina in her Kimono and I all dolled up for the dinner reception

My darling husband and I


The party


Marina and the flower she got from the bouquet tossing session


Me, Mike and Marina

All of us - Last kopek before we say our goodbyes again :(

It was a memorable trip that I treasured so much. Our next reunion will probably be in Japan if Marina is inviting us to her wedding. I'm looking forward to it already. Lol!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Starting to Invest

So, now that the baby is coming along and I have been thinking a lot about money. I started to learn the ropes of investing a few months ago and started planning for my child's education fund.

Sigh.

"If only I started early..."

This thought is always in my mind. It's like this quote from Warren Buffett, "Someone's sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago". Lol! Yes, I kind of regret that I didn't save much before. I've spent most chunk of my savings to travel and splurge on nice things. I'm going to stay grounded for a while now and be more frugal on my spending until I build a solid foundation for my future financials to make up for lost time. In one word, I'm planting that tree now so that I can sit in the shade tomorrow. Haha!

I actually love the fact that both my husband and I produce income and not relying on only one sole bread-winner. Therefore, there will be no single source income problem in this household. At least if something bad happen to anyone of us (touch wood!), the other one can still contribute to the household income.

So I started investing in the stock market since July. So far, I'm quite comfortable with the stocks I'm holding at the moment and at least I think I have a healthy portfolio. Below is the comparison between my portfolio against Bursa Composite and Fixed Deposit assuming my capital is put into bank's FD at average of 3.5% per annum (the current position as at 25 September 2013).

KLCI is up 0.72% now from my first investment date.
If I were to put my capital into the bank's FD, my earnings is only up 0.59% today.
My current portfolio is up 8.43%.
Therefore, the average earnings p.a (up to the date) is 37.52%.

This is so much better than keeping my money in FD.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Journey to Motherhood

I am 26 weeks pregnant now. The journey has been great so far.

When I tell people that I am going to move to a new house (which is still under renovation), I get questions and statements like:

"Aren't pregnant woman not supposed to move to a new house?"
"Pregnant woman should not enter an empty house"
"You shouldn't do renovation when you're pregnant"


I know that there're a lot of Chinese superstitious beliefs during pregnancy but I'm not a superstitious person. I think that those beliefs must have been created back in the olden days by someone with a motive. For example, maybe the pregnant woman is lazy, so she cooked up some story to say it's bad luck to help out in the house renovation. Or maybe there were some family politics like some monster-in-law who tried to keep her daughter-in-law away from meddling in her son's matter. I know it sounds like some Chinese soap opera but hey, anything could happen right?! Oh, don't let me start on the other superstitions I heard especially those food to avoid. Lol.

Talking about renovation, I'm really excited to move in to this new house. It's been progressing well lately and we all aim to move in before I'm due. There are still some stuff that we need for the house like made-to-measure curtains, cabinets, etc. So, I'm currently looking at some good bargain for some stuffs that we still need. If you know any, let me know. Sponsors are welcome too! :D

Okay. I digressed a little. Back to the pregnancy. It's thrilling to be going through something that I have not experienced before. I am just going with the flow. I do read here and there and I listen here and there. You know, when you're pregnant, there will be a flock of people around you giving you advises without you even asking for it. Then there are those type of people who thinks that they know-it-all which is kinda irritating.

The sad part of the pregnancy is that I do get lonely sometimes. That's because I can't hangout like before and I'm growing distant from my friends. That's normal I guess. I think every pregnant woman goes through the same thing. Good thing is that I only feel this way like 2% throughout of this pregnancy so far. Some had it worst and that got them into depression.

I can't wait to have my baby. Oh no, wait. I'm not ready for her yet. I still have a list of shopping to be done for her arrival. Gosh. I don't really like shopping now. Can someone shop for me, please? Haha!

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