Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekend in Jakarta and Depok

Telletubies Mountain in UI Depok
Bored with mall? Some of you who know me might scream loudly and said "No way, I would be bored with mall!". But it happens sometime, when I am mostly broke/out of money/tanggal tua/weeks away from paycheck.
Not sure why we have to hold our hand..cheesy romantic? urgh

I would like to suggest alternatives of things to do on weekend with low budget. As you already know, our Commuter Line has changed a lot. It looks better and decent now. So, I proposed an idea to a friend of mine who despite of working in Jakarta, refuse to leave her old kosan (boarding house) in her campus area (UI Depok). I told her I would like to visit her campus (ex) and see what they got in there on Saturday. Then on Sunday, she could come to Jakarta and I am gonna take her to National Museum, Monas, and etc.
I am not "Si Manis Jembatan Ancol"

When I went to UI Depok, I took the commuter line. Since I don't have the card yet, I have to get the one day only card. I forgot the price but it was super cheap. She welcomed me and our friend in UI Depok Station with a "Welcome" sign. So cute!
What a lovely greeting!!

She took us walking around her campus and for lunch se took us to a korean restaurant near their library. It was a small but decent restaurant. The food was cheap for Korean food and it taste delicious. I can't get over the drink that I ordered. I forgot the name, but it was really good.
The Restaurant 
What was I holding there? *pikun
It was raining, so we had to wait for a little wail in Starbuck before proceed our trip walking around the campus.
Rain pitter-pattering on the road
On Sunday, she came to Jakarta and I took her to National Museum.  Then we ate mie ayam in Monas which was super crappy taste. Don't even bother to finish it. It was gross and yucky. Street food in Monas is just super bad. I would rather eat in Benhil street food. They have better taste and price.
A statue in National Museum

The hidden gem of National Museum, the haunted cave.

We went to Indonesia Kaya. Yes it is in mall, but it is for free. So, we didn't have to spend any money for it.
We played a little bit of this digital game in Indonesia Kaya. I won! Obviously!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

New Orleans: Land of Merriment

 New Orleans, Yeay!!
This was totally a trip to remember. Are you familiar with Red District in Amsterdam? I have never been there, but I heard about Red District before. A place where debauchery is a common thing. New Orleans (for me) was like Red District of The United States. It wasn't as frontal as the one in Amsterdam, I am sure. But you would still see the joy, merry, gay (happy and gay gay), festivity, cheerfulness, vibrant, and a lot more other things. There is no place like New Orleans.
New Orleans <- Official Guide
Pop-up Musics

It was suppose to be fall season, but it feels like summer in New Orleans. I changed my outfit in the car earlier to summer jumpsuit dress that I got for free in American Eagle store, thanks to a friend.

Let me tell you something I learned on this trip, New Orleans is the only French Colony area that still adopts the French Governmental system. All the buildings, houses, foods, etc in New Orleans resembles French on the old era (I think, what do I know, never been to France either).
Jail Looking place

One of the Parks in New Orleans

Cute Houses
The thing about New Orleans is that they are quite open minded to homosexuality which is good. They respect gay(s), lesbians, and bi(s) there. They even put on a certain color flags on the street or on their house that symbolize their respect for the LGBT community.
Strip Bar?
Red District of USA
Right before we entered New Orleans, I already plan to eat Lousiana Crab. Last time I wanted to eat one in Holy Crab Jakarta but it was super expensive. I only bought the local mud crab and it cost me Rp.600.000. Crazy right!!?

We went to the restaurant that the nice lady in Rest Area told us to check, apparently they don't have the crab that I was looking for. The waitress lady told us to go to the Crazy Lobster next to River Walk Mall. I was so surprise that this lady was super nice to told me where to go. She also reminded us that the price will be expensive. Well, I came prepared. So it was not a big deal. It wouldn't be as expensive as Holy Crab, I am sure.

We were lost on Bourbon Street, so we had to ask one of those guides who stayed on a box. Tourist can come over, ask them questions, or get a booklet. He told us the direction and said "Good Luck!" as if making sure that the price would be expensive. We were having a doubt at this point. People seems to think the price in Crazy Lobster will be expensive. Now, we are worried.
The Crazy Lobster
We still went anyway. I ordered Snow Crab for $23.99 (Rp.290.000) still twice cheaper than the one from Holy Crab. Boyfriend ordered Po Boy special sandwich for $13.99 (Rp.190.000). We were worried that the price was gonna be super expensive. It is kinda expensive, the normal price for foods in Southern area would be around $5-$10. It was totally worth all the money tho!!
Crazy Lobster
Truly yummy and jaw dropping portion of Snow Crabs (Louisiana Crab)

One of New Orleans special delicacy: Po Boy
We saw some attraction near Crazy Lobster. It was the bull machine that we have to ride and stay on top as long as possible. The guy gave me 2 chances and I failed miserably on both times. The bull was not even on a difficult mode. It was an easy ride (said the operator guy). On my defense, I never ride one (fake or real).  It was pretty empty at first but my screams was so loud that people started to gather around the area, seems like they had a good laugh. One boy was actually wanting to try, but after the mother saw the bull throw me. She said No firmly and dragged the boy. Poor kid hahaha.
paid 2 pennies for using this telescope
Knocked out by the Bull

Give a hug to the evil looking bull. Thanks for the ride, Bull Bull!
We decided to go to River Walk Mall next to the Tour Boat Terminal (or something like that). Boyfriend said he really wanted to eat Beignet, is the French term for a pastry made fromdeep-fried choux paste.[2] Beignets are commonly known in New Orleans as a breakfast served with powdered sugar on top. He said the best Beignet in town is in Cafe Du Monde, one of the oldest cafe ever open in America. Cafe

The Beignet was warm, fluffy, delicious, and right amount of sweets.

Beignet from Cafe Du Monde
After all the foods, we decided to walk around in French Market and bought some trinkets for my friends and walk around in French Quarter, Bourbon Street, etc. 

Funny things happened when I was walking. A manly looking lady (pretty sure she is a she, maybe the manly one in the relationship) came to me and touched my hand and flirt with me. She said "Hey, how are ya, pretty!?" and smiled brightly. She said something about going out with her. I said "haha (awkwardly), thanks!" and ran to my boyfriend, immediately cling to his hand. Originally, I am not homophobic. I actually feel flattered when anyone check me out (men or women). But she was drank and looks kinda creepy.

We had a good laugh about it. While I was roaming around in New Orleans, I was hoping to spot The Originals (Spin off from Vampire Diaries) cast. I am really into Claus. I saw some of the places that appeared on the series, but Claus or any Originals and other vampires was no where to be seen.

One of the Shooting Locations for The Originals

Unfortunately, we had to leave before it gets too dark. I was actually hoping to join one of the tours. New Orleans is also famous for their witch, vampire, werewolf, and other dark creatures. They actually have designed tour (a make believe world) for Vampires, Werewolves, Witch, etc. I saw some voodoo store along the way, but too scaredy cat to actually went inside.

A day was not enough, because at night in New Orleans will be even more festive. I am definitely going back, but next time we will stay in one of those french looking houses.

Written in Voodoo store

PS: Some of the available Night Tours

Haunted History Tours
Spirit Town
Witches Brew Tours
Magic Tours Nola
French Quarter Panthom (Including vampires,  werewolves, other night creatures)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Road Trip from Madison to Gulf Shore (Alabama)

Day 6th in America, boyfriend took me on my first American Road Trip experience. He took me to Gulf Shore (8 hours away) before going to New Orleans (15 hours away or 4 hours away from Gulf Shore).

Get our coffee for the trip.
The owner/Barista found out that I am from Indonesia and Indonesia has a big variety of Coffee. Then out of no where, he gave us this huge bulk of Sumatran Coffee. He seemed happy that boyfriend introduced us and that I ordered cold drip.
He said he wanted to introduce me to his childhood friends. They have been friends since they were toddler up till now fully grown adults, yet they still talk passionately about games (nerds huh!?lol)
Posing in Rest Area
Their Rest Area provided us with tour booklets

8 hours was a long drive. I thought we were going to pass by an area that resembles the setting for any creepy movie like Chainsaw Massacre, Wrong Turn, and/or Psycho, Motel or something. Well, i really had no idea on what kind of roads we would have to pass through. But apparently we stayed mostly on the highway.  

We stopped by in Montgomery,AL for dinner in Japanese restaurant. Arrrrrgh it was horrible experience. I asked the waitress if they have Ramen and the waitress flipping out, rudely put the menu on my table and said "This is Japanese restaurant!Only Japanese food, not Korean!". Ramen is Japanese food! Then I found out she was actually Korean American. She thought I was asking for Ramyeon. But hey, there is no need to get upset with me! At the end of our dinner, they gave us fortune cookie. Yeah right Fortune cookie is Japanese food? And you don't know if Ramen is Japanese food? Meh!!! 
There will be a lot of changes in your life.
I was so upset that I barely eat. We decided to move to lively Mexican restaurant. We ordered Guacamole dips and chips. The waitress and the cashier was a lot nicer in this one. The Guacamole was reallly reallllllly good. 

Boyfriend's parents has several condos for rent near Gulf Shore beach. The condo was neat and pretty clean. I love the view to the beach. It has it's own swimming pool. The sands is really really white, even whiter than the so-called Pasir Putih. It was a nice spot. We were able to spot Sunset from our balcony.
First Selfie in Gulf Shore

Sunset Light

White Sands

Boyfriend's friends come over and stayed with us. They took me to Irish Pub/Restaurant for dinner, the name of the restaurant is McGuire's Irish Pub located in Pensacola, Florida.
I love their decoration. Do you know the old tale about pile of money on the end of a rainbow? I think the Irish invented that saying. The color was dominated with green and they hang dollar notes on the ceiling in almost every rooms. It is like Leprechaun's luck or something.

Moneeeeeeey!!! Dollllllaarrrrr!! Gimme!!!

What to eat????
My money that we were planning to hang on the ceiling.
Good Luck Charm
The light was pretty dim there. So, I was not able to take picture of foods nicely. But the food was really good. I ordered a bean soup for only $0.18 or around Rp.2.500 yes that cheap. They said they never change the price ever since they open the restaurant. Whaatttt!!!
The Calamari that I ordered comes in a huge portion that we had to box the rest (almost or more than half of the portion) and took it home.

The Ultimate Irish Wake that will send you down memory lane but not on so-smooth ride.
Complementary Bread which was moist and fluffy on the inside but crunchy and buttered with sweets on the outside.
$0.18 bean soup with granny crackers, a comfort food for any bad day.
The next day, we had to go back to Alabama, Guntersville to stay in the cabin house there for several days. They took me to a very authentic Mexican restaurant. It was a cute and small restaurant, kinda like Bakso/Mie Ayam small restaurant with only 5 tables available. We tried the salsa dips and chips this time and I absolutely love it. The food that I miss the most now that I am back in Indonesia is the dips and chips from all those Mexican Restaurants.
Spicy Shrimp with Bean and Buttered Rice
On the way home, we stopped by in Montgomery to eat Indian food (finally a decent Indian food, compare to the one I tried in Huntsville and Madison) and to watch Shahrukh's new movie Happy New Year. There is no way I would miss his new movie. It was 3 hours drive from Madison or 4 hours from Guntersville maybe. So, we decided to watch it on our way home.
The huge Samosas for appetizer, yup not even main course yet.
It was a memorable road trip. We ate good foods, met good friends, went to great places, bought good stuffs. We had so many fun times. I would do it again with no hesitation.