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Thereโ€™s always a home for a wanderer. Sweet homeโ€” Sweeter than sugar.

โ€”

taking off
to land

Love Eat or Love Pray? ๐Ÿฅฐ (sharing)

I canโ€™t know anymore what makes this area special for me, whether the Masjid Sultan or Wardah Books or two favourite restaurants here. Anyway at least two are in must-visit list at the same time. After visiting Masjid Sultan to submit charity from my fellow Indonesian, todayโ€™s preferred was Hokkaido (halal) ramen as Wardah Books was closed and the Turkish restaurant was too crowded โ€” I donโ€™t like crowded restaurant.

FYI, Masjid Sultan is surrounded by hundreds of restaurants and shops; it is an equivalent with old-time mosque which was always built around market place in order for people to reach it in no time.

When I meet friends in this area, it is either with a statement โ€œletโ€™s meet up at the mosqueโ€ or โ€œmeet at *** restaurantโ€ or โ€œWardah Books this time?โ€. There is one question that my friends and I like to ask each other as either teaser or respect: โ€œeating 1st or praying*) 1st?โ€ The answer?

*) praying here is not a flash pray before starting activities  like simply saying โ€œIn the name of The Gracious and The Mercifulโ€ but praying is around 5-10 minutes protocol that is normally done by fellow Muslim.

Group #1 (religious friends, they can pray โ€œforeverโ€, wow!): Pray first. It is more important than anything including eating. We should prioritise God who has given us everything, others can wait. Donโ€™t make God jealous.

Group #2 (rascals, will let you pray while they start eating): Eat first. God wonโ€™t force you to pray when you are hungry. Better you eat remembering that you will pray rather than you pray and your thought is wandering around all kinds of food.

Group #3 (clown, bitter that makes all chatters jokers): Donโ€™t ask me, I am fasting everyday because of having no food at all and so I donโ€™t pray because I have nothing to thank for.

Group #4 (good jugglers, like Group #3 but to the next level): Why so picky? Canโ€™t we do both at the same time? You can choose at the mosque or in the restaurant!

Some jokes are actually dead serious that the way people respond can either be considered as intelligence or harassment or abuse rather than as just fun. Yet I share mine as part of showing how religious comedy exists among Javanese Muslims (there are way more that I will never share publicly to avoid misunderstanding and misinterpretation); no harassment or abuse whatsoever. I even see philosophy in many if not all jokes. ๐Ÿ˜

Ah! Life is so rich, why feel no good just because of one point of view?

Salaam.

open for everyone ๐Ÿ™‡โ€โ™€๏ธ

About Masjid Sultan or Sultan Mosque

more than just a bookstore; my Arabic class was here by then

About Wardah Books

good! my colleague of course said โ€œno!โ€

About ICHIKOKUDO

this is how Hokkaido (halal) ramen looks – eater can select ramen with light-consistency broth thatโ€™s why I like it yet the presentation is not up to my expectation: messy kelp, wet spoon, no wet tissue ๐Ÿ˜Œ
berry jelly tea – yum!, sweet
todayโ€™s drink, also good ๐Ÿ˜Š

Wedded

When two are wedded,
The rest are singing, wishing
Brighter days and nights.

โ€”

I attended my nephewโ€™s wedding matrimony today. Mike looked stunning, and so did Vera.

Hearing their wedding vows was mixture of fun and heartwarming feelings โ€” two poles apart met by destiny. ๐Ÿ’

Tante Rike happy for you, Mike
๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜
congrats, Mike and Vera! ๐Ÿ˜˜
๐Ÿ’
๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ’๐Ÿ˜˜

Morning

Morning is party of colours celebrating blessings wrapped in fruits.

โ€”

Good morning from a market! ๐ŸŽ‰

๐Ÿ’
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the king! Malaysia durian is the best on earth! ๐Ÿ’

Prime Crime

Partners in crime, Love
Sail from torii to torii.
A ship of good friendsโ€”

โ€”

Fushimi Inari Taisha, our favourite shrine has its duplicate in Singapore ๐Ÿ˜˜ being with partner in crime is always prime time ๐Ÿ˜‚ thank you!

Dream Home (ranting)

Dream home, Beloved,
A place where nature meets hearts;
Hearts warmly greet soulsโ€”

โ€”

The conversation with a long lost friend came to a topic of โ€œwhere we want to live if ending living alone?โ€

Living in Singapore was never part of my dream. A visit in 2010 gave me impression that I would die of hunger in a week with Indonesia salary. ๐Ÿ˜

Now this city is a lovely second home; my impression has changed. I wonโ€™t die because of hunger but I will die because of loneliness if I stay single retiring here. I still canโ€™t find enough friends like those in home country. There are three but all of them will retire in Bali and New Zealand sooner than me.

Residing in a landed property where gardening and backyard dining is affordable is a preference, yet I donโ€™t have the luxury of living in such place here. And I donโ€™t want to die alone in a locked condo found rotten after days or even weeks. Oh God, please protect me from such horrible thing. Amenโ€ฆ.

F: Iโ€™ve always wanted to live in Ubud and it will happen very soon. Iโ€™ll open a spa with all traditional herbal from all over Indonesia. Iโ€™ll quit my job soon. I want to live my own life as me, no one can tell me to do this and that anymore! No bloody politics anymore! Visit me often! Youโ€™ll find my spa super special! Iโ€™ll give you discount! Be a regular customer! Hey! You once wanted to live in Thailand?

Me: Someone informed me about a good property in low price near my favourite hotel in Ayutthaya. Yet Thai have controversial life style Iโ€™m not comfortable with in a way. Iโ€™m too simple, sometimes too honest and can be against those status-oriented that I might not be able to adapt well. Not a true dream! Hey! Actually love to live in Kyoto!

F: Youโ€™ll die in three months after you complete second round of shrine, temple and ancient house hopping! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Me: Dying of walking! ๐Ÿ˜‚

What a refreshing conversation! And yes, Iโ€™ll visit her spa soon! ๐Ÿ˜

Lesson learnt: Will only live with those I love and loving me where home is a real feel. No excuse.

Salaamโ€ฆ. ๐Ÿ’

gebyok – the Javanese teak wood door symbolizing the hostโ€™s living in welfare, peace and harmony with nature ๐Ÿ’
angkul-angkul – the Balinese gate symbolizing warmth welcome to guests and privacy of the host at the same time ๐Ÿ’

Welcome

Welcome, Beloved,
To where you belong. The home
That keeps missing you.

โ€”

They are welcoming me home with love โ™ฅ๏ธ

the I-thought-you-would-have-died-when-Iโ€™m-home one ๐Ÿ˜˜
hallo! ๐Ÿ˜˜
the toughest of all! ๐Ÿ˜
budding ๐Ÿฅฐ
๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜
I thought it was a keiki! a bud! ๐Ÿ˜

Tonight Is A Good Night

Good night, Beloved,
They slow down even the trains.
But times, it moves right.

โ€”-

One friend said โ€œSome people show their sweet side when they need me, I just knew they laughed at me behind my back and said how stupid Iโ€™ve been for (she mentioned one big social contribution she made). Do you think I should stop being kind to people?โ€

Another friend said โ€œNo. why stop? There is karma so youโ€™d better do good deed. Your good actions will be repaid with good reactions. Believe it.โ€ This one is also very kind.

Another one said โ€œThis life doesnโ€™t owe you anything. So how much ever you spend, it will not be paid back. You will not be repaid 10 points just because you donate 1 point. Look! How much have you lost, just like that? No one gives you 10 times the amount, right? What karma? Whose karma? Youโ€™d better do whatโ€™s the best for your benefits and without harming others.โ€ She is the most critical.

The other friend said โ€œit should be balanced. You do good things and donโ€™t forget doing bad things.โ€ ๐Ÿค” Gosh she is always the most confusing.

I said โ€œIโ€™m hungry. Letโ€™s go dinner. Our brain needs to slow down.โ€ Those three stopped arguing.

Night is always good for a chat with some friends whose heads contain different things whose heart is of one intension โ€” to respect friendship.

Salaam. โ™ฅ๏ธ

two trains to/from opposite directions of the same line, Red Line

To The North Star

Forward, Beloved,
To the North Star. Ride the wind.
Ignore the thunders.

โ€”

โญ๏ธ

Lower Seletar Reservoir – thousands of mosquitoes but breezy and serene to see bright stars
in good mood with red riding hood ๐Ÿšด๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

Taken for Granted

For granted I take
The green, the blue and the red
Until they turn grey.

โ€”-

Sometimes Iโ€™m thankful that Iโ€™m not given opportunity to have children. I canโ€™t imagine what playfulness and nature exploration they will have in their future with very minimum real nature around. Iโ€™m thankful. ๐Ÿฅฐ

Sometimes Iโ€™m broken-hearted that Iโ€™m not given opportunity to have children. I canโ€™t agree on how some people raise their children. I egotistically imagine how well I would raise them to be human-respecting and nature-loving generation in the family tree. Iโ€™m selfish. ๐Ÿ˜

Meanwhile Iโ€™m always feeling lucky to be me, born when and where nature was willing to introduce her excessive bounties, grew up when and where human interaction was real and warm, working when and where human right and environment protection is a paramount topic. Iโ€™m blessed. ๐Ÿฅฐ

โ™ฅ๏ธ

just realised there is a fully shaven greenery farther across the road ๐Ÿ™ƒ
zoomed in – ohโ€ฆ. maybe not long after this the greenery around me will turn to patches of garden and playground among grey concrete ๐Ÿ™ƒ

Time Zones

Time zones, Beloved,
Limit spaces with blurred ends.
Illusion that jails.

โ€”

One hour makes things different.

Dear, timeโ€ฆ. Thanks for the space you just gave for whatโ€™s called holiday. Please bless me with nice pace and good vibe again and again like always.

If I forget about your kindness, please remind me gently as Iโ€™m fragile. If I take you for granted, please remind me that Iโ€™m traveling between your two points: start and end.

Thanks again.

Me that is blessed with both negative and positive yet trying to balance at the zero โฃ๏ธ

illusion that jails – time zones
sky is the limit – love?

A Gift

A gift, Beloved,
From hands with a heart tested
Through time to well shineโ€”

โ€”-

Giving is one of human nature that can fade away if the hands and the heart are let be corroded by calculation and distrust.

Itโ€™s a gift to have hands loaded with loving and caring heart or heart equipped with loving and caring hands with very little if not any calculation and distrust. Train yourself, dear self to be generous. Just donโ€™t get trapped by scammers who never stop trying to leak tanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

Alfatihah.

first medium size canvas (30×30) – preparing a painting for one good neighbour in Singapore

MacRitchie National Park

Green, lush forest trail
Where fresh air infuses life
With hopes and good vibes.

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

Todayโ€™s 4-hour walk in MacRitchie National Park gave me full stock of tropical vibes that will last for a year ahead keeping me positively motivated.

Wish there are more and bigger places like this in more countries especially in South East Asia so that people can find sanctuaries to breathe in cleaner tropical air for a while after busily working in populated buildings where air is conditioned or in factories where excessive chemicals are used or made.

Thanks, Singapore for keeping some managed greeneries which keeps the oxygen happily circulated.

๐ŸŒณ

of the entrance of MacRitchie Reservoir
greeted by a big family
respect neighbours ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
respect neighbours, donโ€™t misunderstand ๐Ÿ˜
simple beauty
humble green
yellow iris
yellow at the bank
gate to the green
green from the tree top walk
walk happily, wear mask to keep happiness longer

Pulau Ubin

Sail by a bumboat
To linger where natureโ€™s mixed
With preserved good life.

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”-

Finally I visited Pulau Ubin, the only place in Singapore where there are no apartment buildings, malls or highways. It just a kampung (village in Malay language). Cool and green!

Wikipedia: On 3 June 2005, the Singapore Government ordered that all the farmers rearing poultry on the island were to ship them to mainland Singapore and rear them in government-approved farms by 17 June 2005, in the wake of the avian influenza. In exchange, the local inhabitants were offered HDB government housing packages, although they could choose to live on the island. As of 2012, there are only 38 people living on the island.[8]

Wikipedia: Pulau Ubin’s wooden house villages and wooden jetties, relaxed inhabitants, rich and preserved wildlife, abandoned quarries and plantations, and untouched nature make it the last witness of the old kampung Singapore that existed before modern industrial times and large-scale urban development.

Thanks, Singapore for teaching me a lot of paradoxical loads of experiences.

Holiday is real! ๐Ÿคฉ

trace together, vaccinated
monkey is free to roam as a neighbour ๐Ÿ˜Ž
the most dismounting time in my biking history โ˜บ๏ธ
lock it up!
walk only
boardwalk in Chek Jawa Wetland – check why it is called Chek Jawa ๐Ÿ˜Ž
Chek Jawa beacons
mangrove forest
pray before going home, aaaahhh forgot when departing ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
see you again!

Why named Chek Jawa?

Where Will I Go

Nature, Beloved,
Speaks to you about a path
Where wings be North Star
Which gives signs and directions
Only when you walk.

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

Only when you know your destination, Beloved, and are willing to take the walk, all signs, symbols and directions become relevant.

Salaamโ€ฆ. ๐Ÿ’

many branches, prioritise!
it is good to have a map, but having a destination is a pre-condition
thereโ€™s always risk in an action – evaluate and still do the walk
there should be an exit of everything – decision making is paramount, donโ€™t get trapped in indecisiveness
know where to evacuate esp in emergency situation
know where and what to wait ๐Ÿ’

Rain of Lights

Lunar and field lights.
One beams, the other ones glare.
Runners run in peace.

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ

Moment

Moment, Beloved
The breeze before falling rain
Greets the earth. A joyโ€”

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

Moment is when an experience gets clicked with all senses, falls on to the right-chosen meanings, stays for a longer time.

Yet each moment should vanish, fade away, blend into pixels of maturity in someoneโ€™s life. It will be forgiven, might be forgotten, must be learnt as life lessons. How delicious this life is for those who are willing to appreciate both shade and light. How beautiful life is as it is composed by millions of pixels of different experiences whose essence is memorable.

The more experience, the better? Yes, only when its essence is memorable. Its essence is memorable only when all senses are capturing the experience and reflecting it through lesson learnt. Or else, it is just motion gone with the tick-tock of a clockโ€” not forgiven, not forgotten, no learnt-lesson.

Walking through the lanes around Masjid Sultan, sitting at the verandah of an old shop lot, reading new old-book from Wardah Books, drinking Turkish coffee, sucking the sweetness of kunefe, breathing the air right before the rain, hearing the warm chats from other tables are all motions which are waiting for the moment to disclose beauty before things end. The taste of life!

Weekend is always much appreciated through slow pace, to balance the fast-paced demanding targets that are relevant for a preparation before the next beneficial life journey.

May all beings be happy.

books before coffee, coffee before sugar, sugar before smiles
taken it many many times, still favourite Turkish food of mine
dear Lamp, is anyone living inside of you?

Alaturka Mediterranean and Turkish Restaurant, gonna be back again (and again) ๐Ÿฅ‡

a pretty corner
eyes everywhere, omnipresent omniscient

Shape A Good Heart

Good heart, Beloved,
What blossoms her life. Always.
Bright light in the darkโ€”

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

Human being with good heart looks weak. Yes. Not always though

Human being with good heart looks stupid. Yes. Not always though

Human being with good heart looks naive. Yes. Not always though

Human being with good heart looks vulnerable. Yes. Not always though

With all those, sheโ€™s still seeking all ways to shape a good heart. Failure. Pain. Sadness. Vulnerability. Anger. Disappointment. All those are nothing but chisels sculpting the best figure in the right place at the right time.

Thanks for sending me all those human beings with good heart along this journey.

May all beings be happy.

Salaamโ€ฆ.

where I am now after my Japanese class – this heart is filled with joy! ๐Ÿ’

Independence Day

Freedom, Beloved,
Inner beauty blooms in time.
True celebrationโ€”

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

Celebration is a blessings enjoyed everyday. Celebrating health. Celebrating welfare. Celebrating family. Celebrating friendship. Celebrating breath. Celebrating greeneryโ€ฆโ€ฆ Celebrating anything I want to celebrate.

Celebrating stupid chats with some good friends. ๐Ÿ˜

I love celebration in which commemoration is the core but never ever enjoy party in which entertainment is the core.

August is major celebration after September. In August two home countries celebrate their independence: Indonesia on 17, Singapura on 9. Both have unique ways to celebrate the days. For the past nine years on Singapuraโ€™s Iโ€™ve personally loved seeing all the flags hanging in apartments and along streets, in Indonesiaโ€™s except last and this years Iโ€™ve gone to the Embassy for flag ceremony combined with meeting with other Indonesians enjoying the precious moment together.

Happy National Day, Singapura! Thanks for taking care of me.

Dirgahayu Indonesiaku! How much ever the distance between us, youโ€™re always in this heart. Thanks for gushing me some blood of great archipelago.

May all beings be happy.

flowers for celebrations of August

red, white on green