Jun 14, 2017

Jakarta Aquarium


Yes I know the title said 'Jakarta Aquarium' but I want to have a little foreword here as this is my first post after three years and whaddayaknow the last time I wrote something was also in June. So will this also be another last before a long hiatus? I don't know 😂 And well, I don't want to think that I owe anyone an explanation but let me just put it here for the record. For the past three years I guess you can say I lost my willingness to blog. I did some "offline" journaling, all very depressing, so it's better not to put them in a blog :p Why write again? The trigger was quite silly. There was this misunderstanding with a certain online store and I felt that the owner did not really paying attention to what I was saying so I just needed to out it somewhere (meaning: writing super long caption at Insta). And it actually felt good. FYI Instagram and Twitter are my only active social media rn with Facebook too crowded and Path too exclusive but not really? So I tried writing longer captions until yesterday, we went to a new aquarium in Jakarta and I thought I'm gonna do a bit of a review along with a slideshow of pics and videos in Instagram, and well.. let's just say I just found out that captions have word limits. So well, you know, with my motivation to write being renewed, I thought why not blog again. And here I am.

2nd foreword:
The following post was basically what I've posted on Instagram, and some more..

Last Tuesday me and Navis went to the newly established Jakarta Aquarium down in West Jakarta along with my nephew and sister-in-law as well as Navis' school friend and his mom. I first heard about it from another friend and had a visit planned somewhere during the school holiday then I knew about their 20% off promo with CIMB Niaga bank card when I decided to make the visit to happen soon. At first there were already misinformation about ticket prices and promos, what time does a certain attraction start, regulations for the "controversial" pingoo restaurant. Then the mixed reviews, some say it's boring and overpriced, tho it's new and rarely crowded like Seaworld Ancol.

So 1st the ticket price, I was looking for a cheaper group/family package that their website said was available at 500k for 2 adults and 2 children, so that would be ideal. I would only need to get 2 regular ones (kids >2 yo pay standard admission 😔) which were priced at 175k each on weekdays.

The website listed a call center number that connects you to the Taman Safari national park which manages the Aquarium as well. An officer there told me that the family ticket was only available till June 10. However the bank discount was still valid. Then I tried calling the aquarium directly. I found their number on their Instagram page, they said the family ticket was still available but it couldn't be combined with other promos. So I checked their website again where there's an option to buy online, bought the family and regular tix and BAM got my 20% discount 😂

HOWEVER, somehow the barcode from my e-tickets would not scan so the staff had to go back and forth trying to figure out a way. 

The first thing we encountered was the otter tank which was quite delightful. I don't think I've seen a live one before. The creature was eating and swimming actively. It's kinda sad that he's alone, I hope they would get him a friend soon. The next memorable spot was the dock overseeing their big tank where you can watch big groupers, stingrays and nurse sharks swimming beneath your feet. Could be a bit unnerving for young children and maybe adults too, seeing those big fishes swimming under you.

my nephew needed some time to adjust

I think the key to visiting these sorts of places with young children is to take your time. We made sure we spent a few moments in front of each tank, trying to spot the animals, reading a few facts from their interactive tablets. And also because I read reviews complaining that the place wasn't big enough 😅

The Aquarium also has touch pools (don't forget to wash your hands before and after), they would also bring out one of their snakes around 5.30 pm for visitors to pet.

Next up was the mermaid show. It keeps showing up in TripAdvisor reviews so I made sure to include them in our itinerary. The Taman Safari call center said that the show begins at 5pm and lasts about 20 minutes. I forgot if I ran it with the aquarium but according to the mermaids' Insta account @jakartamermaid (yes they have their own insta), Ramadhan show starts at 4. Of course I believed them more than some call center officer.

The show itself was over my expectation. The actresses, especially the one who played the evil queen, took their roles to heart. Their facial expressions were a bit sinetron but a good thing they didn't overplay it. And I guess with kids you do have to show big emotions so that they can understand what's going on. The show got smoke effects and dancing crabs too (men in costumes..) And the swimming mermaids were a delight to look at. I'm not a fan of mermaids but seeing them made me (slightly) want to be them. Or at least swim like them. My son likes the show because of the crabs because they reminded him of Tamatoa from Moana.

Image source: Moana Facebook page

Photo cred: Trip Advisor user Liburing d

Visitors were encouraged to go straight to the Lower Ground at 3 pm, one hour before the show starts in order to get the best seat. Or more like benches. And there weren't many of them but when we were there it wasn't so crowded so we took our places 30 minutes before. Even so, 15 minutes later the staffs announced that kids are allowed to sit on the floor in front of the stage. So..  actually there was plenty of space to share with everyone. After the mermaid show, do linger around the big tank because feeding time is around the corner and it was truly a magnificent sight not to be missed. Most staffs were also willing to help and ready to explain any fish-related questions.

Another attraction of the Aquarium is the Pingoo restaurant where guests are offered to dine alongside a tank filled with penguins as well as an opportunity to feed them. This drew controversies a while back especially from animal welfare activists because they think it's a horrible way to make money. 

Photo source: Merdeka.com

I could totally understand their point of view and I'm sure Taman Safari is not 100% guilt-free. But I'm just going to give them the benefit of doubt, HOPING that the money they made from this are used for the welfare of their animals as well as their caretaker. From yesterday's visit I could see that none of the animals look distraught but of course I'm no animal behaviour expert. And the restaurant has a tricky T&R for penguin feedings as well as rules that they actively enforce such as: no knocking at glass tank, no picture taking with flash, no touching of the penguins once inside the tank, the staffs told my friend repeatedly to hold her son's and Navis' hands firmly once they were inside, etc. Also, I did a couple of glances whenever we stroll past the restaurant and at times I could not see any penguins in the tank. So I assume they have a separate, private chamber for the birds where they can, you know.. be themselves.

The feeding slot for the penguins itself is limited between 5-6.30 pm on weekdays with only up to 10 tables, 2 people/table max. (or 2 kids 1 adult) are allowed to feed them. Guests also need to notify one of the staffs if they want to feed the penguin and they would let you fill in a "waiting list" for the feeding. The staffs themselves did not offer it to us. I guess some online reviewers lambasted the restaurant for failing to inform people about this penguin feeding T&R so many came to the place and was disappointed that they couldn't feed the penguin after paying quite an exorbitant price for their meal 😃 On normal days there was a minimum charge of up to 300k (not sure 😕). But during Ramadan they offered a 120k buffet per person, half price for kids under 12, and you can get an extra 10% discount using CIMB Niaga bank card. Is the food any good? It's okay. It's not horrible, but you're there for the experience anyway.

Another FYI, the Aquarium's entrance was located on LGM (Lower Ground Mezzanine) while the restaurant's was further down at LG. 

So.. should you go or not? I'd say, if you're bored of Seaworld and think it's too crowded for you, then yes! The aquarium has an advantage of being new so everything inside was still shiny and bright..and working! However, older kids might find that it lacks oomph. I found the travelator tunnel at Seaworld and the quantity of their sea creatures still wins over Jakarta Aquarium. The Pingoo restaurant was optional. Go if you want the experience, but otherwise don't. 

Distance-wise, Jakarta Aquarium is closer to home. One cannot travel that far to Ancol only to see the fishes. So one usually spends the whole day there. Yesterday we arrived at around 2 pm, got our tickets sorted, and had dinner around 5.30 at Pingoo, then finally got on our Ubers around 7.30. 

Do I want to visit them again? Maybe next year? We'll see. To me, the point of taking my kids to places like these was not only for their experience but also so that they can appreciate nature and wildlife. Living in a city like Jakarta can make you feel so much removed from nature and you need small reminders like going to an aquarium or the zoo that there is more out there. Hopefully, teasing them (and myself) with a "glimpse" of nature could encourage us to preserve them AND save enough money to see these wildlife in their natural habitat.

Jun 23, 2014

motherhood is a lonely business

i know it sounds weird right?
how could you be lonely when you have at least one tiny person clinging to you 24/7?
but it does.. and this post kinda said what I have in my head. i guess it's the way that motherhood is a selfless job. you are "sucked out" of your own ego, accomplishments, pride, whoever you were, whatever you had, before being a mother. Then there's the issue of "each and every mother and child relationship is unique". it just adds to the loneliness -_-" Like the +AngryGoT Fan puts it #NOONEUNDERSTAAANDSS

it was also why scrolling down through facebook/instagram/path can be a difficult business. you're lonely so you check them out but then seeing pictures of people having FUN made you feel sorry for yourself.
Last night, I was in bed, ready for sleep, doing my nightly terrible habit of scrolling through my facebook feed, when it hit me. It grasped my heart and stole my peace. It was just something as simple as a photo of a few moms hanging out and their playful comment banter under the photo. But it hit me hard. Jealousy. Bitterness. ANGER. And then when those feelings had faded away, all that was left was loneliness.
ditto. in my case i once decided to uninstall everything so i wouldn't get distracted. but it didn't really work. well now I limit my social media trolling to a few hours a day. i'd rather check out parenting/montessori homeschooling blogs and think out new ideas/projects that I can play with Navis. that and arrange as many playdates as possible, lol.

May 21, 2014

(Pre)Motherhood tools of trade

This blog contains too much whining already, so i guess it's time to post something more useful. Am gonna write down the tools and resources I've been using to get a hold of pregnancy and beyond. So..first up: Pregnancy

The app
Nothing says 21st century more than mobile apps. I installed Baby Center, it's a mammoth with videos and all, but the day-to-day tips and activities is a great companion to D-day. Their website is easily the most resourceful and having the app makes it even easier to access their rich content. Too bad it didnt come with a journal feature. My pregnancy journal was scattered everywhere *sigh*

I tried different apps but only this one made it to the end. After the baby popped out I subscribed myself for weekly emails.

The products
Pregnancy does havoc to our hormones. You may have breakouts, drier skin, etc. I switched to baby products. I actually dont remember if i used anti stretch mark.. Maybe i did... But i think any kind of moisturisers should be fine. Anyways.. Ure not supposed to apply a lot of "chemical" stuffs on your skin and my theory was the gentle it is the better.. Hence baby product :D i think it's even better if you use all-natural stuffs..but they cost a lot.

Pregnancy pillows: cost a lot but not really necessary if you have a lot of pillows at home already

Belly belts: cost saver! I think i only bought one cheapo pregnancy jegging. The rest of my pregnancy i rely on loose shirts n blouses, either my mom's or husband's. If i bought something i made sure i could wear it post partum. (Loose blouses).

For insane hunger i made my own trail mix. Mini choc bars, raisins, fruits, nuts. I had a relatively no-fuss pregnancy i took my vitamins with care (only the essential ones like calcium and folic acid. Indonesian doctors tend to over-prescribe). I ate unhealthy food once in a while when the urge got really REALLY strong. I also managed to stay off coffee for the first 5 months. Then I opted for a decaf/instant coffee/latte (in that order) whenever possible.

The tools
My fav tools from baby center during pregnancy are:
- baby cost calculator (for a good dose of reality check)
- hospital packing list, and of course..
- baby registry

I loved going to pregnancy exercise classes and most ultimately: yoga. Exercise classes are usually available in all good hospitals and are relatively affordable. They always have snacks and freebies in the end of the session. The more expensive the hospital, the better the freebies :))
For yoga i went to Rumah Yoga Lamandau. Closer to home, reasonable price, serene atmosphere.

Hmm that's all i can think of. Stay tuned for the next one!

May 2, 2014

Goodbye world!

No no. This is not a suicide note :)) (gotcha?)
By world i was referring to the social media world.
And by social media i meant everything BUT twitter and google+ :)))

A week ago i was in one of those low mood, I'm not sure if it could still be classified as "baby blues" :)) i cried all day and couldn't seem to stop, at one point googled "motherhood depression" and cried some more.

Then those notifications kept coming, from path, Facebook, instagram .. Social media-wise i am always quite curious and like to experiment. Even with having that much socmed app I know what kind of posts to go with each of them. I.e. serious posts, or i want them to be seen by the whole world/certain public figure/institution: twitter
General friends&relatives: Facebook
More private posts (pics of my son, family outings): path
Pics with what i thought to have some aesthetic value (remotely?): instagram
Popular subjects: google+

But last week i was somehow tired..and maybe because of that low mood i felt, suddenly i was so annoyed by these people and their good lives. Not to mention the cute dresses/bracelets/bags at instagram!
So i uninstalled them all.
(FYI u cant uninstall google+ if ure using android). I still hold on to twitter coz..i mean just in case a war is breaking/major tsunami i would want to know.

It also lessen the burden of having this feeling that 'i have to share it somewhere'.

No it doesn't mean i *hate* social media. This morning i was trying to remember that online shop that sells accessories with precious stones that i think would suit my mom so i installed instagram again..and afterwards i couldn't help sharing 2 pics :)) will be uninstalling it again after this.
Also yesterday i was trying to reach out to a friend, whose phone number i lost, so i installed path, messaged her, then uninstalled again :))

I also still get fb notifications via email for posts that mentioned me. But it's rare..most ppl moved to path/IG anyways. If I got them i can just visit the web version, click on courtesy likes and comments, then close the browser.

Why not deleting my account altogether? Coz this might be temporary :)) also, deleting accounts would invite lots of questions.

Yes, my life is now somewhat more peaceful. No longer feel irritated by spelling mistakes. Or having to know people's secret thoughts/night out pics they don't want their mom n dads to find. If you don't want the whole world to know then why bother sharing them in the first place..why bother showing me. If you want, specifically, me to know about it then hit me out on google talk/whatsapp/bbm/call/email/knock on my door (before i uninstalled them too!)

Apr 29, 2014

that long overdue motherhood post

so....as i posted before...that itch.

my largest concern is always leaving Navis.

I decided to start slow. Previously I managed to wedge in 1-2 hours of work a day during Navis' naptime. But lately as he has grown to be more active, I needed that nap as well :)) And because these days my role, aside from breastfeeding him, is to watch him play/play with him. I have been finding myself vacantly staring into the wall o_O

So we decided to find a daycare. I'm not against nannies but as I intend to do this gradually, I probably would need someone to look after my son for at most 6 hours per day and only for 3 days a week.

The weirdest thing if you google 'Daycare Jakarta' you will stumble upon many blogs with this seemingly comprehensive list + contact info of daycares all across Jakarta. HOWEVER...many of the names listed have either moved/non-existent. so, UNHELPFUL at all.

My next bet was scouring the online forums. I found theurbanmama.com really helpful...eventho I have to scan through these mama's laments for anything that contains "Jakarta". The thread was only about "daycares" not region-specific. (In the end I posted a review there as a my way of "giving back")

As i mentioned in the review, I finally chose this relatively new daycare called Kidee Childcare. the place is halfway between our home and my husband's office..annnddd..there are a lot of cafe/hang out place in the area tee-hee..well not a lot. I found at least two that can serve as my "mobile office": anomali coffee in Senopati and coffe crematology in Suryo.

The result is this blog post you're reading and the other two in my other blog. Anomali has a promo till May where u can get a syphon coffee and a croissant/banana cake for 29k. which is cheap! but today i'm trying crematology. cozy place, okay coffee. with so many nice coffee houses in jakarta i wonder why people still go to starbucks. (well coz theyre easier to find, thats why!).

but what i crave the most is 1/15 in Gandaria. *sigh* too bad navis' daycare is not in their neighborhood. 

umm yeah, so before i can get like a real writing job i guess am gonna do a more regular post on my own blog lol.


Apr 10, 2014

This post was originally written in December. I dunno why i didnt publish it. Privacy concerns I guess.

Ceritanya lagi sebel sama ni bocah. Ga mau makan, udah bisa marah balik kalo dilarang. Jadi ceritanya mo nyuekin aja.
Mommy is ignoring you and will only tidur2an aja today.
Bocah nyamperin bawa tas kosmetik minta dibukain. Abis ngeluarin isinya, sama dia dimasuk2in lagi trs dibalikin ke tempatnya haha

Having a kid really took toll on my patience. I broke my own "no hitting" rule several times. (A small slap or pinch, or shove when I got really mad). I am NOT a patient person. (Nor am I structured). All of my vices are being extrapolated back at me. *sigh*


I've been itching to go back to work lately. Would be good for both of us. Had this same dilemma when i was pregnant. Work or stay at home. I know i made the right decision. Stayed home but I always know that work makes me happy. No, being a mother is not a 'job'. You don't get paid for it. *snort* it's a status. Like being a wife. 

Maybe ive always itched for work. Took in all odd freelance work (would do a separate post on it). At some point I had to put them off. Son is priority. He is dependent on me. Ive been his life support. But now.. I can see his eagerness when he sees other kids. Of course he still looks for me when faced with strangers. Was thinking of starting him on a preschool program. Then we'll go slow from there.

Aug 21, 2013

mother knows best.. do we really?

If there is ONE thing that really stressed me out after 10-months of mommyhood is WHAT TO FEED THE BABY. I mean, for me, I ENJOY eating. I love food. I couldnt wait to give Navis his first taste of whatever. Little did I know, me and my baby weren't on the same page. This is what I first thought of baby feeding: Tossing whatever from the table and baby will chew/gum happily Boy I was wrong! Okay the first couple of weeks was relatively easy. I had the whole thing figured out (or so I thought). I'd cook his meals in big batches, freeze them in ice cubes and ready for reheating anytime of the day.

Yes it worked..for a few months. 

Then comes toddlerhood. 

Ok this one was written in August. Yes I was so fed up by people acted as if I know EVERYTHING about my kid. And put on this puzzled look when I said I dont. Come on.. Ive only been with him for less than a year and cant they notice he's growing?? Everyday something inside them CHANGES. plus...how many times i have to say this.. They dont come with a manual! 

Feeding was a nightmare..everything was trial and error. Now it's less so. I know things he would happily chomp (krupuk) and spit out (bananas).

Jul 14, 2013

Why do people have kids?

So i was thinking aloud, "Is it instinct when I had Navis, or do I really want kids?"

The reason I asked this is because I did have a passing thought of not having kids. Well actually with Navis it's just sorta happened. Never intended to get pregnant but wouldn't object if I do.

It has always been a tricky question.. Do i want kids? What to do with them anyways? Why do we have to have kids? (Of course we don't )

Our body are engineered to have kids. You have the urge to have sex and sex = kids. Of course nowadays there are contraceptives but they can be so tedious. E.g. with pills you have to take one every day at the same hour. IUD doesn't always work.. Condom is well I just hate condoms. See.. You get this feeling that it's unnatural. No i am not against family planning i am for it. Couples should plan when they want children. And if you don't want any, then go ahead.

So anyways.. Then I have Navis everything in me just switched to mommy-mode. He becomes the most important thing in my life and right now everything I do revolves around him. (Sorry Iko, mom & dad).

So, is this just instinct? Part of our survival thingy as a species? Can you want kids the way you want a particular dress or shoes? (Yes i guess you can).. I wish i could ask my DNA..Am sure this survival instinct is embedded somewhere in our genes: "Is having kids still necessary when human population is way way too much?"

Jul 2, 2013


Soooo.. I finally made an official "departure" from my previous personal blog (the beloved pip-squeak aka ratsustekuzo aka tikus-ilang aka whatever else i'd named it :D)

At least for a few years (!) I'm gonna update this blog with family, maternal, motherly stuffs.. 
I know this blog still needs editing, layout-wise..I guess this was the only"family-friendly" template i could find 4 years (!) ago.

A little recap of what had happened in the past year (!):
- I gave birth to a lovely baby boy: Navis Sahl Putera in October
- I quit my 3.5-year stint as a reporter to stay at home with my son
- I still do various freelance work: translation, writing, editing, transcribing, heck even trolling ;p
- I started cooking again, albeit on and off
- I started reading 5 books and finished none
- I don't know what movies are playing in the theatre anymore
- The last time I discovered a "new" band was Ellie Goulding
And I've just installed this blogger app for Android that is supposed to motivate me to write more often here rather than wasting my time over at Quora.