Category Archives: My Stories

Someday in Land of Lion – Part 4: City Walk

Due to limited time after work (we leave office at 6 PM!!!) I spend several days to do city walk (just walk around the city), and I summary them into this post.

I visit 5 areas of different life/culture (Gee I am surprised I’ve done that much in short time). And here is the story

1. China Town (Day 3)
As its name, it is full with chinese things, especially chinese food. I buy pork porridge and pork (again) rice dumpling (bachang). My first gifts I buy here, they are t-shirts (10 SGD/pack). I think they are cheap at first time, but I am wrong, in other place (Bugis village) the price is even cheaper.

China Town Street

China Town Street

ChinaTown basically contains low level shopping center and street food seller. Low level shopping center is if it’s compared to Orchard Street. You can imagine mall in China Town is ITC, and the Orchard Mall is GI. Although it’s low level, it doesn’t sell pirated DVD, hehehe. I know that because once I go to one movie shop and search it, but can’t find one. When I am about to leave that shop, I take picture of the shop. And then the shopkeeper run into me angrily said something like ‘you should pay to take a picture’… What?!? At the end I show him I delete the pictures.

The other thing you find in China Town is 3 Pray House, each one located in the street which represents it: Mosque St (Muslim), Pagoda St (Hindustan), Temple St (Buddhist).

Temple

Mosque

Pagoda

2. Marina Bay (Day 3)
Walking in Marina Bay is breathtaking. It’s because there are so many interesting things in here.

a. Merlion
The mascot of Singapore. I just know that it’s combination Lion and Fish. I though it’s Lion in chess game.

Merlion

b. Marina Bay Sand Attraction
It’s a laser and water fall attraction, it’s very beautiful to watch it from a far at night. The more beautiful if you can watch it from a boat. In the middle of darkness it’s glowing beautifully.

Marina Bay Sand Laser and Water Fall Show

c. Cool Rest
If there is person stay under it, the fan start moving

Cool Rest Area

d. City View
Marina is a business center, so it is full of high building

City Look

e. Splash Pipe
Since it’s a beach area, it’s hot. That’s why this cooling water sprayer pipe is installed here

Splash Pipe

f. Half Ball Sound Relay
This one is really genius invention, one person can talk in one side of ball and the other one in the other side will be able to hear it. It’s like metal wire phone, but it’s made on a half ball shape from end to end.

Sound Relay

g. Helix Bridge
Wow this one is also great landmark. There is mirror in shape of helix surround the bridge.

Helix Bridge

h. Art Science Museum
A good shape building. You can watch it from the Flyer

Art Science Museum

i. Stadium
This place is a normal bay side stadium.

Stadium

3. Little India (Day 4)
First thing that I catch from this area is traditional market. Yes it’s far from the view of big city of Singapore. I can preview suburb of my city Jember in here. Then I also notice there are many flower booths. Yes in Hindustan’s ceremony, they usually wear a flower necklace on their neck. The last is I smell a fragrance of incense. It’s not bad smell but I can’t stand it, the smell is too strong.

Little India

It seems that Indies in here still use rupee for their daily transaction. That’s why there are many money changer counters here.

And of course I find Hindustan’s Temple, like the one in China Town.

After some walk, I go to a restaurant to buy food. When I see the receipt I find that they put additional 2 items in there. Oh no… They try to cheat. When I ask it, they answer like they don’t understand me. It’s so annoying. So after eating I go as fast as possible leaving this area. Quite bad experience, I will put it on my black list surely.

Little India

4. Geylang (Day 4)
Hohohoho… I don’t expect to get here actually. After unpleasant moment in Little India, I decide to go home quickly, but it’s too early so I plan to explore area which is not listed in my itinerary. And the one I choose to visit (also the closest area from Little India) is,,, Geylang, the Singapore Red District Area.

I hear something about red district area in Europe (Netherlands) and it’s very crazy. So I am curious enough to visit this part in Singapore.

I walk in main road of Geylang. There are mostly chinese restaurant. It’s about 8 PM, when I am at there. The situation seems normal, probably it’s not night enough.

But when I walk further, it become different. There are some bars and night clubs. And also there are many lair with stair which probably go to some place you know :D.

And beside the main street, there are some branch streets. It’s smaller and quieter. And I find some temple in here, a little bit ironic huh… Also there are some flat with probably 10 floors. It’s creepy enough to walk in this area. I am afraid if a mafia/yakuza will get me in this kind area. So I go back to main street as quick as possible.

Finally I arrive at place where I think is the main part of Geylang dark secret. This place is literally dark. There is a big building, I think it is a bar and hotel. In front of it, I find some drug dealer. Not kind of narcotic drug but it’s more like Stamina Drug.

The people in here are vary. The guests who need entertainment are mostly chinese and western. The entertainers are mostly chinese, but I can also see brown skin people like philliphines / indonesian. The guests usually park their cars in the sideway of street. And it make this area is really full of cars.

I leave that area and walk into MRT station. That place is very hot, in connotation and denotation meaning. So I am glad I have left it. Although I don’t think to come back, I get sort of experience of being here :D.

Note: I don’t take any photos in Geylang (or probably I do take but I don’t want to share it hehehhee, who knows)

5. Bugis Village (Day 7)
In the other hand of Little India, Bugis Village is my favorite point. If you want to get something cheap from Singapore, this is the place. You can have 3 t-shirts for 10 SGD, and many other Singapore accessories. It has many stands in one square area. I enjoy window shopping here. I only buy several items since lack of budget hehehe (unfortunately I have spent my money to buy gifts in other places, and go to Bugis Village on the last day). Next time I will surely go to here to buy gift. It saves your money

Bugis Village

6. Other places
a. City Harvest Church (Day 6 – Sunday)
I plan to visit this church. So I am looking for the schedule and the place. Gladly I find that the Sunday Service is held in a Suntec building exactly in front of my hotel. It’s a dilemma for me to choose English Service or Indonesia Service (wow there is Indonesia Service here). Finally I choose English Service because I don’t experience it so often.

City Harvest Church

And I make good decision :D, because I am totally get something new here. First when I sit before the service start, I choose the empty seat at the corner, far from crowd (because I don’t know them, it is normal to sit a bit far from them). But then 5 minutes later, a man comes to me and greets me. He asks me if I am a newcomer. Wooo, how can he know that? He explains that everyone in City Harvest church is sitting in a group, it’s called cell group. So if there is someone who is sitting alone, they can guess that he/she is a newcomer.

A warm welcome really makes me glad, the man’s name is Bryan, he is about my age and we exchange phone number in case we visit each other. He introduces me to other member of his group and they are really nice to me. At the end of service they ask me to have lunch together, unfortunately in my itinerary I need to go to Santosa Island so I politely decline their invitation. I will surely contact them if I visit Singapore next time.

The Sunday service in here is also special that day, because there are guest speakers, YouTube singers but also strong Christian figures: Jayeslee. Well it’s one of the reasons why I think I made good decision. I am their fan. And now I have a chance to watch them by my own eyes in a place I never expected. They give testimony about their mother faith and it’s very beautiful story. They also sing 2 songs,,, another beautiful melody. I feel really blessed by this Sunday service. Thanks God I can experience this moment.

b. National Library (Day 7)
A very beautiful and well organized library. I glad to witness it. But it’s already closed when I arrive there. May be next time I should come before 9.00 PM.

National Library Floors

It has 14 floors. Each floor consists of book, study room, reading room (indoor/outdoor), theater room, and many others. Imagine you are reading a book in the outdoor park in 10th floor, how enjoyable it is.

Outdoor Park of National Library

It has book drop box that will be used to collect book donation from any people. This book drop box available for 24 hours.

Drop Box for Books

c. Golden Village (Day 8 )
Many Indonesian go to Singapore cinemas since Hollywood movies didn’t showed up in Indonesian cinema. So I also feel like to go to the cinema as one of my checklist in Singapore.

I watch Transformer 3 in cinema Golden Village, the ticket is 8 SGD. And I fall sleep inside the cinema, hahahaha. I don’t know why but the studio is almost empty that day, less than 20 people inside the studio. I take the last schedule (10 PM), because I am afraid I have something I need to do in the office so I can’t leave early. The subtitle of the movie is in Chinese. So all those factors are combined to make me sleep inside the cinema (I lost my 8 SGD, hiks)

The ticket is bought online in internet and you will receive booking code, then there is a vending machine in malls that you can use to get your ticket (by input the booking code).

When the show ends, everyone (cinema keeper) have already left. So it’s very quiet. I need use back door to leave the cinema. It’s almost 00:30 AM. I try to go back from the cinema to my hotel. Usually it’s very simple to use underway inside the mall, but now since the mall is already close, I need to find other way through main street and believe me it’s not easy. Finally I manage to reach hotel, thanks God!!!

d. Changi Airport (Day 9)
Although it’s an airport, you can find anything in here. It’s a mall, a supermarket, a park, an internet cafe, a game center, an information center, a restaurant, a lounge. You will never get bored in here. Moreover it’s very big and there are too many things to be explored while waiting you planes.

The interesting parts for me are:
– Free internet box, if you are a geek, you can spend you waiting time in here.
– Parks: bamboo park, rain forest park, butterfly parks, etc. Actually they are small but they are designed beautifully, you can spend natural moment in the middle of crowded airport in here
– There are 3 terminals, and since it’s too far to walk from one to another, they prepare monorail for the transportation between terminals
– Snack to bring back home; of course my choice goes to the most popular snack for non-Muslim: Bee Cheng Hiang, roasted pork meat. Beside that buy some chocolate can be an option here
– Gifts, e.g. key holder, sticker, book separator, t-shirt, etc.

Butterfly Park Changi Airport

It’s quite long story, but I think I enjoy each part of exploring the city of Singapore.

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Someday in Land of Lion – Part 3: Walking Day

I think I miscalculate distance of several places in Singapore. I use google map and in my reading I find that several places are actually near to the hotel I stay.

For example, Orchard road is supposed to be around 1 km in my calculation. Means that it should only take a half on an hour to reach it (because usually when I go to office, it only takes 15 mins for 500 m distance). But I reach it about 1 hour. So I guess it around 2 km far.
And I walk that far…

OK, that makes me really healthy. Gladly I don’t walk alone, I walk with my colleague (I mean my boss during my assignment) in one evening after office hour on day 2.

We walk from the south (my office in Marina Bay area) into the center of entertainment Orchard Road. After several minutes we reach Beach Road. It’s said that in the past Marina Bay is a bay, a sea. The beach line is located on Beach Road. But now Singapore reclamate the bay and make it to be land.

After several minutes we finally reach the most crowded MRT junction call Dhoby Ghaut. It’s like Harmony in Jakarta.

And several minutes later we are welcomed to Orchard Road by the bird chirping. It’s crowded, very very crowded. When see it, I remember about Harajuku, Akihabara, or some crowded place I usually watch in Japanese Dorama. It’s full of huge malls with colorful lamps, but it also has nature touch: bird chirping. Very weird, but it’s real.

Singapore Visitor Centre

I visit my colleague apartment and then we go to food court for dinner. We get into mall, it’s surely even more crowded in here, it’s very packed with human being. So after eating I don’t want to stay too long on place full of carbon dioxide, I go outside and start my own adventure (I and my friend separate in here).

Since it’s mall area, so I can’t find too much interesting things here. But finally I find one, a bookstore, yeay… It’s a big bookstore ‘Borders’. I take a chance to go inside, walking around the bookstore. The place is very wide; there is big space between one rack to another. I also find several sofas so the reader can sit enjoy reading the book. All books in here are uncovered, so if you want you can read every book all day as long as you want. But the book type is mostly a written book, I don’t see too many comic books.

After get bored with so many serious books, I get out and look for something else. I find a part of street side where it has many picture about Singaporean places of interest. Hmmm basically my itinerary (I make itinerary before I go to here, hehehe) has cover some of them, so I am satisfied hehehe.

Singapore places of interest

Big avocado

Now time to go home, it’s already far I have walked, I am very tired. I will take MRT to go home, my colleague has teach me previously how to travel by MRT, even he buy me my first ticket from station near his place (Somerset St). Now I have walked far away from Somerset St, and I find other MRT station Orchard St. But hmmm the ticket is more expensive because the distance Orchard St – Promenade St (my hotel) is farther than Somerset St – Promenade St. I get panicked, what should I do, should I buy other ticket Orchard St – Promenade St? Mean that I will not use the ticket I already have (Somerset St – Promenade St).

MRT Station

In the confusion I decide to walk back to Somerset St so I can use my MRT ticket. After think again, actually I can buy short ticket Orchard St – Somerset St, and then continue Somerset St – Promenade St. But probably it’s destined to be my walking day. In total I’ve walked:
2 km : Office – Dhoby Ghout
1 km : Dhoby Ghout – Somerset (my colleague apartment)
1 km : Somerset – Orchard
1 km : go back Orchard – Somerset
Total: 5 km

Day 2 travel map

Fiuhhh… I need long sleep for sure to recover my walking energy for next adventure.

I get lost in MRT lair after that, hahaha (I still need more walk inside MRT lair!!!!). But glad after that day I don’t anymore trouble using MRT. I finally master it.

Inside MRT, it's very clean!!!

That’s my story on day 2 which I spend most walk. But I glad I can explore this place. There are still 6 days to go. Let’s adventuring!!!

It’s Not Always Same

Yesterday my friend told me story about how generousity make her life happy. She was sitting inside a full train and a few moment later an old couple got into the train. They didn’t get seat since the train was full packed. She was alone while there were 2 person there need seats. In her mind, if she gave the seat to the couple, still only one got the seat while the other would still stand, it didn’t sound fully help.

So inside her mind she battled if she really need to give her seat or not. After a while finally she made her mind, she gave up the seat to the old couple, whoever would sit, it’s not her problem, at least she had already done a good will.

Surprisingly another man, sat beside her (she didn’t this man) also gave his seat following her. And now there were two empty seats for the old couple. They sat there and then the grandma gave a shake hand to my friend and expressed her deep gratitude for her generousity.

The story is very memorable for me, especially at the next day I encounter same experience.

It’s on trans bus, I’ve sitted on my seat when an old couple get into the bus. Well, I still remember yesterday story, so I plan to do the same. But it seems I am a little bit late, since a man beside me has already stand up, giving in the seat to the grandma. Okay, I will give up my seat to grandpa I think. And then I stand up, please grandpa to sit at my seat. The next thing, I hear he anwers me out loud “I still have enough strength to stand up young boy, come back to your seat, I don’t need it”.

I am shocked. Then answer “No problem sir, in next station I will drop out, that’s why I am standing”, I say lying. On the next station I drop out and wait for next bus.

Well, sometime something happened just in the opposite of what you thinking. Enjoy all possibilities of life 🙂

Deal with Criminals (2)

This happen several years ago when I start working. My company send me to training. I am very glad. Since the training cost is already much, I don’t want to bother more to ask company car and take public transport instead to go to the training place.

This is a new bus for me to use. A new route too, I just try once the day before and I think this bus is the most effective one, so I take it.

It’s a very busy morning, and the bus is very full. I don’t get a chair to sit so I stand with several other men and women. It’s almost my destination when the bus suddenly stop. Although it’s stop suddenly, it’s not that sudden actually, but some men is overdo it. Like they are getting unbalance and fall into me. I see there are 2 or 3 of them fall into me and I almost fall too. I get out the bus after that since I already arrive at my destination.

I always check my pocket every time I get out of public bus. And this time it turn to be a very good habit. I find that I lose my mobile phone that I put in a pocket in my belt.  I am very angry. It must be them who are pretending fall into me just now.

Luckily the bus is in the middle of traffic jam, so it’s not move that far. I run into it and get in. I remember face one of man who fall into me and I grab his hand. I shout “Sir where is my mobile phone, give me back my mobile phone!!!”.  It’s surely make all passenger put their attention to us. He is surprised and somehow look afraid. He is bubbling “What are you talking about” but I don’t free his hand. Finally one of his friend point my mobile phone on the bus floor. “It must be fall from your pocket” he says. But I know for sure that it’s not. They already pickpocket it. But thanks God I get it back.

After double check everything I get out of this bus. I am angry but somehow I feel I win. I almost lose but with bravery everything can turn.

The lesson that I learn:

1. In a bus full of persons, you should be focus. Put everything down and just pay attention, because anything can happen around you. But it’s even better if you choose the other bus which is not full.

2. Check your pocket regularly after several minutes just to make sure your things is still with you.

3. It’s very recommended to shout if you are being pick pocket in the middle of many people. The criminals will be afraid of it.

4. I stop using a belt pocket after that, it’s made so that the phone is easily being picked when there is incoming call. But it also make the criminal has an easy job.

Deal with Criminals (1)

Hmmm… reading this title, you will know that it is surely not very nice experience. But it surely will teach us a lesson to make a better deal next time (I mean to avoid / react correctly to it :D).  I give numbers on these stories since I have several experience about it so it’s more than one, that the function of the number. By sharing it hopefully it also can give insight for any reader to be aware to this kind of criminal modes.

Let’s start with recent story.

It’s happened several days ago on my way to a mall. I use same public transport as I used to (I have been three years ride the same kind of bus, it’s always safe, until this day) and I sit in the front.

When I almost reach my destination, one man behind me tap on my shoulder and tell me “Sir, one of homeless who just comes, vomits beside you”. I am surprised and look at the chair next to me, yieks I find some kind of liquid like vomit. Wow how can I don’t know about it. I am actually listening to my ipod, may be that’s why I am not paying attention that someone has thrown up beside me.

OK It’s nasty, but I just sit and avoid to touch it, after all I almost reach my destination. But this man (let’s call him A) ask me to go to the back of bus. He said “It’s very stink in here, let’s move back”. Well I am not smell the stink because I get flu (My nose barely can smell anything), but I follow his advice. He seems like kind man. He also offers me some tissue. Wow nice guy I think.

Then I sit in some place in the middle of bus. A asks me again “Go sit in the back…”. I answer “Why?”. He is thinking for some moment and then he says “Because you are stink, there is some vomit on your clothes and if you sit in front, you make the stink go all of bus”. Hmmm that’s very rude,,, T.T He says I am stink. I try to smell my cloth but can’t smell anything, yes because I get flu. But because he said so, I move to sit in back chair.

There is already somebody else there, let’s name him B. So I sit beside B. The back chair is a long chair for 5 persons, while the front chair is designed just for 2 persons. I sit next B and then A sit next to me on the other side. Three of us sit in a row. B me A.

Then come another man, C, who offers his service of reflection massage. First he do it to B.  B look very relax when C massage his arm for some seconds. Next, C reach my hand and start to massage me “Free try” he says. I think he massage me more than 5 seconds. I pull my arm but I fell C grab my arm with force. I pull it with force too.

I have reflex to check my pocket anytime I fell insecure. I grab my trousers pocket to find that A’s hand is trying to get my blackberry. He pulls his arm as soon as possible after I see it. I check my other pocket with my dorm room key, and it’s there. Then I check my bag, oh no my bag is open. I check inside and find that my ipod is lost. I shout “Where is my ipod” to C, he looks very confuse and afraid. Then I look at B’s hand, he throw something into chair, including my ipod. I am very angry. I put back everything inside my bag and I close it. I double check that everything is safe, then I get out the bus.

I am very angry, especially with the way they use. A vomit yieks… moreover they vomit at me and tell me stink. I can’t accept that!!!!

Well it’s close. I am almost lost my things, but thanks God everything is safe. Glad also that I can react correctly and I am not afraid. If you afraid, the criminals will surely get you.

And this is the lesson I learn:

In public transport

1. Take a look at anybody near you, be aware if they do something strange.

2. Don’t sit at back chair (in a bus), criminal usually do their job there. Remember the formation I mention earlier, they will try to corner you. Two persons will sit beside you in right and left and another person will attract your attention from the front.

3. Don’t feel bad if someone tell that you stink, the one who say that is actually even stinker.

Medical Equipment I Ever Try

Not very proud about it but it will give me memory to stay health in the future.

1. X-Ray: Dental
I use it for several reasons: dental neuron network check, preparation of dental surgery

2. X-Ray: Body
First use it after accident to check fracture on my hand, and then it’s also included in medical check up to generate work permit and lastly use it to detect neuron network on near neck-bones

3. Audiology Room
This check places you inside the soundproof room and give you very soft sound with different frequencies. You then need to reply if you hear the sound

4. Ultrasonography (USG)
Well it’s often used for pregnant mother, but it’s also use to check kidney. I use it as part of medical check up.

5. Blood Pressure Tool
I still use the old-fashion one, with somebody need to use stethoscope to check.

6. Cardiovascular Treadmill
I think it tends to check the max capability of heart rate.

7. Spiromety
It’s used to measure how fast and how much air you can breath

8. Eye Test
I’m used to conventional eye chart and also high-tech check up

9. Blood and Urine Laboratory
It checks many things: Cholesterol, blood sugar, positive or negative of kind of disease, etc

10. CT (Computer Tomography) Scan
It’s almost same with X-Ray but it scans 360 degree of your body. I recently use it to detect any injuries in my brain, fortunately my brain is normal

11. Ultrasound Therapy
It’s almost like USG, but if USG only for detecting purpose, this Ultrasound Therapy give special effect to brain relaxation.

12. TENS (Trans-cutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
It’s said to be able to give muscle relaxation.

13. Microwave Therapy
For blood current stabilization.

Well I think that’s all. I will update if there is any more I ever use.
PS. I am not the model of each photograph (sure some model are women and old men, and I am still young man :D)

Someday in Land of Lion – Part 2: Singapore Appetizer

OK I admit that I come here in Singapore not for vacation, but for job assignment. But it doesn’t mean that I will not get fun, otherwise I kind of glad since I get paid for semi vacation work, :D.

My first day of work is like work. I don’t need to write about that. But I just want to give some note about it. At my first day I have already realized that Singapore’s people is kind of hard worker. They start by 9 AM and should end by 6 PM, but they don’t. I am very afraid to come home on time at first, so I wait until several people go home. But until 7 PM there is still 50% employee still stay at office. Wow, I am leaving anyway. Probably it’s their natural habit to work hard and become diligent. After all I think this city is very competitive, probably they need struggle to survive.

Now about the kind of people that I meet here. They are vary. Mostly is Chinese, but I also find Indian, Malay, American, Japanese, Korean, and many more. That’s why there is many languages I hear everywhere. Most of it is Chinese and English (Singlish) but some time I hear Malay and Indian. And then I realize that they sometime don’t talk when communicate. For example the food seller a Chinese old man sells his food to American, they don’t understand each other but transaction accomplished by body movement. I am surprised. And having so many language in here make more difficult to listen, since they have different accent. Believe me it’s hard to switch from listening one person to another in this case. Or probably I need more time to adapt.

About the things you may find in Singapore, they’re tons. Almost everywhere you can find landmark, statue, unique building, attraction, etc. You can even see unique things in mall.

I share you here several unusual things I encounter there on my first day. Actually I am not planning to go to specific place, but still I get good object to share

1. Fountain of Wealth
There a circle pipe that shoot the water, so the water somehow can shape like a ball, and then there is lasers shot on it and make a 3D image appear. Very interesting technology. Once it show dragon image moving in 3D motion, it’s very cool.

Fountain of Wealth

Location: on North side of Conrad Hotel, Marina Bay Area

2. A Snaking Ladder

Location: Southern of Millenia Walk Mall, Marina Bay Area

3. Singapore Flyer
The world largest observation wheel. It take 30 minutes to ride it and it’s very beautiful to watch city scenery from the top. At night view is even more awesome, the city, landmark, street, beach, bridge, and the triple tower of Marina Bay Sands.

I ride it on my first day. It cost 29 SGD and there is a museum under it. The museum basically give information about specification of the flyer and gift shop.

Entrance

The tube

Sky Show: Art and Science Museum (left) & Stadium (right)

City View

Interior

The Flyer from the street

Location: Marina Bay Area