Being in Bromo,
As I brush off the misty mirror of a 6ºC Mount Bromo lodge, I look at the reflection of a girl I once know possesed all the youth, all the guns and surprises. She grows up somewhat way faster since she's back to her homeland. Not a bad thing.
Coming home, all the same thing we used to do but with a different mindset of perceiving it. A state of realisation. I might say, the first visit was always to find some sort of idea, and the second is to make it work. Not to forget, get along with the new circle.
There is something inside me, believing that 'Hey, we could be friend.' Everyone. Indeed, with that sort of thought that I hold, I manage to break myelf to pieces yet gather back all the pieces again.
To open up to somebody is an undressing process. Naked, they might point out the size of your hips, or your chest. Unveiled, there might be an adjective that has already been attached to you before you're lips are moving. It is indeed scary. If you open up to somebody who's not even deserving your genuine self.
Being surrounded by beautiful creatures,
I am still in awe having to share this space we are living with another beautiful creatures, called Woman. It is official now that I am now working in herworld magazine Indonesia. I can not believe that women indeed could do so much. Regardless what we posses outside or inside.
Society tend to emphasise the idea of woman is a child bearer. Hold on, that is just one of the tasks that could possibly done by us. The room of exploration is limitless.
So next time if someone is telling you that there is no need for you to pursue your master or degree or anything, reply them, cause I'll be raising kids, but I would save up lots of cost in raising kids if I am educated and I could educate my son and daughter.
I believe in the idea of sisterhood. Girls do take care of other girls. Though sometimes we do not have the heart to be completely honest, but in the end of the day we have bigger heart to scream out the truth. Sometimes we tend to hold back our tears, but in the end of the month we would be the one who wipe it out. We are able to save ourselves, and take care our sisters.
I am a woman who hold the weight of my body with my own feet, standing strong in heels. I admire women who live by my side. My mom who never give up on me. My sister who went through bad relationships. My best friend who carry on living by someone else's words. They are stronger than how much they weight. They are more beautiful than the colours painted on their face. They are women.
P.S: Check on this inspiring woman Anetasha Eunike Gloria
MUA: Anetasha Eunike Gloria, Photographer: Ariel Ezra Bezaliel
Being in The City Palace of Udaipur,
As I looked at this palace, stands bright in the dark, from a distance at the rooftop, an all night long exhibition must be held there, I had that in mind. As I walked around this grand yellow gold palace after the sun totally sets behind the line that separates the lake and the sky, even the sun shines on every edge of it.
The bats were coming out from their hiding place, blue, orange, yellow, and purple hues. Have I said too much? Trust me you would if you were standing as a part of something impeccable.
As I entered the gate of the City Palace, I know that I would crave for something more. I would wander further, I would seek more, I would express louder, and I would love deeper. I think you should too (:
My Portrait Photographer: Guénolé Jean Jacq
Being in Kumbhalgarh and Jain Temple,
Standing in these two places had me seen one of the face of India that I always have in mind. Stands out in modernity. Visiting India, I depended so much on the feelings it gives me rather than counting on the things I have seen. Little by little understanding India. Again, I have done a lot of research about India. These words "you will end up loving it or hating it" keep on coming like echoes.
There is no harm is doing research before you visit a country, especially when it is totally different than yours, but overdoing it is bad, for real. You will depend on the expectations you have rather than the actual thing you see. You would like the idea of the place itself rather than the feeling you have when you step on its ground. Yes pictures are perfect. Sometimes we do allow things that we see to manipulate us, I am looking at you, Pinterest.
Well, we are that, believing things we could see. However, this is India for me, you will use all the senses you have, not only your eyes. You will walk to the further miles, not using your legs. You will see beauty with your heart.
We attempted to visit Kumbhalgarh and Jain Temple in Ranakpur once, but failed. Then we realised that the best way to get here is by staying at Udaipur and take a day trip with a car, which only takes 2 hours. I am not a person who intend to visit a country and by visiting the touristic sites, take pictures and go home, because of the entrance fees and most of the time transportation price means giving up lunch, but we had to sometimes no?
No, go visit! It is worth sacrificing your lunch for. It is a real beauty, and you won't find any ways to manipulate it, or to make it look even better anymore. And yes, it looks the same like those pictures I have seen on the Pinterest, sorry Pinterest, I still depend on you in dreaming to go to some places before bedtime (:
Location: Kumbhalgarh Fort, Jain Temple, on the way.
Green Crop Tanktop: H&M, Jeans: New Look, Fringe Bag: H&M
My Portrait Photographer: Guénolé Jean Jacq
Being in Udaipur,
Before I landed here, I was reminded that India is all the extreme. The beauty and the unpleasant, peaceful but loud, the best and the worst. Well, just look at all of the landmark India has. Up north to the mountains and down to the tip of the beaches, few miles from the city to the forest and up west to the dessert. And let's not talk about where does the 70% of the spices come from. Duhh, INDIA! I held my breath as I landed in Delhi Airport the other day.
I had that thought in mind for awhile like a mantra "It's all of the extreme", so glad that I did not find the other way around. You would be dragged in the "Indian world" as you are doing nothing at all. By walking uphill and downhill on the main street, you could hear all the sounds from things that are moving around you. So does the split second, sitting, sipping cold Indian drinks at the rooftop cafe you would find peace, like you have never appreciate this moment of peaceful before in your life. I am not joking. But, but, but...
Well, India is sort of this and that, but the extreme level of this and that. A moment you could find people helping each other at the temple and celebrating, the next second you see on the papers of the bad deeds that a very few of the population do. It is amazing how people in India get to experience so many things at once in India, and I had a chance to feel most of the emotion in the world for these 3 weeks that I hold dear.
However, let's not forget a thing. To be grateful for life that is given, easily, effortlessly. No matter what purpose you are going to serve, no matter what family names you are attached to, no matter how hard the living condition you are about to face when you are born.
I personally love India the most of all the places I have landed on, it gives me the chance to wake up as Indian, eat my meal like the Indian do, taking public transport with the locals, and living with the locals. As soon as I got out from the hostel, I am living an Indian life, I am really feeling it. Let's not forget to thank Sarthak Mohindra, my dear Indian best friend found in South China. Thank you for showing me so many faces of India.
Then, those night before the city palace's lights turned off, from afar, the rooftop of Palace View Guesthouse, I was taking my silent moment reading "Dreaming in Hindi" by Katherine Rusell Rich. Man, I feel it! I am living it here! Thank you Katherine, the author of this book, reading your book really inspire me to come back around again and learn Hindi, as the setting of this book was in Udaipur.
This place, Udaipur, I specifically romanticise it. The weather is somehow milder here than any of the Rajasthan cities in the summer. Walking side by side with the one I love, letting the time passed by exploring the cities, enjoying the company of each other, and sunset, yes. We never missed a day, or a moment of sunsets here. Maybe, maybe I am a little bit crazy over India or this trip, I have not seen much but I experienced a lot here.
Location: Udaipur River, Taj Lake Palace Hotel, The jetty port
White tank top: Topshop, Blue Silk Scarf: Local store bought in Udaipur, Blue jeans: New Look, Chocolate Sling Bag: H&M
My Portraits' Photographer: Guénolé Jean Jacq
Being in Jakarta,
When was I really feeling it, this place? Familiar, at the same time, a stranger to me as well. Sadly I find it the hard way, friends do come and go, and we too, might be the one who come and go in other's life. We found there was no one who are looking forward for our coming back, or no one to find for when we come home.
Sometimes we are coming home for the concrete idea of home itself, not the feeling of being home. The idea of home has always been the people for me. I would actually come home for the people I have left for awhile. I am scared I left nothing. Ouch.
Well, to be completely honest, I left a mess, big mess, before I left this place. First year after I left, some of the nights, my thoughts used to bring me back here. Until, I am used to the idea of solitary. Living a wardrobe life, playing dressing up.
I used to love so many places but the place I was born. Indeed, what is wrong with me?! I don't know, did you leave mess before you leave a place? Cause if you did, it will never lead you anywhere but closer to your self destruction.
How could we fly if we are holding sacks of burning charcoal? Neither do run faster helps, the fire will burn higher. I have learned to accept my past in these few weeks, make peace with our past, or the people. Talk it out, and forgive. Forgiveness does not always come from both side, but I could be started by ourselves. That might be the hardest first move we could do.
Next would be, give time to breath the new air. As I forgive my past and myself, I begin to know more. Begin again, we are given thousand chances to change, to begin again. You see? even some corners in our home have not been discovered by us. As well as, there are things we got to absorb back. Catching up with people we have left before, or people we used to adore or love.
The last thing would be, just believe, we are loved. Acceptance comes from those whom we trust to catch us when we feel vulnerable. Yes, it would take a long time to find those we could just trust and accept us apart from whatever we have become. It takes a long process, and searching, However, this time, trust me, do not see with your eyes, but use every senses you have but eyes.
Initiate to forgive, begin again, we are loved.
P.S: Thank you so much for Erlin Garelli for standing by my side and wearing my shoes.
Location: Lucky Cat Coffee Kitchen, Jetski Cafe.
Black dress: Local store bought in Guangzhou, Blue&White striped top: Zara, Ripped Jeans Long Pants: Zara
Photographer: Ariel Ezra Bezaliel (www.arielbezaliel.com)
Being in Guilin,
Second time being in this paradise. I would not lie, but do you think big cities in Asia kind of drive you insane? Cause it does to me. I am looking at you, Guang Zhou! Indeed, people come from every regions in a country and gather in one's big cities. There are pursuer, there are dreamers, everyone is young appears to be at the peak of their energy, and there are purposes.
It sounds like a good idea indeed, does not necessarily drive you crazy. Myself, I used to migrate. If you ever heard a place called Borneo, the forest in the eyes of the world, yeah, that is where I was born. It is completely developed these days, not so foresty like how it is emphasised to be. Some times in a year, my thoughts bring me back there. Yang Shuo is sort of that.
Some developed certain walk that represent one city's identity, certain way of dressing up, and certain slangs. Again, it is a good thing no? You have got to choose your identity, instead of settling with identities that are given when you were born. That is partly why I like being in a big cities. However, aren't we, people are tired living with synchronisation?
Things are different in small villages. Ain’t nobody got time trying to paint their faces for people on the streets. Ain't nobody save up their income for what so called "social spendings", ain't nobody settle for cold coffees in the morning. What I mean, ain't nobody doing things to keep up with society standards. Sounds like another good idea as well?
Guilin makes me happy personally, 3.5 hours train ride from Guang Zhou, then 2 hours bus ride from Guilin to Yang Shuo, I get to see something that represent China. Twice! If you are curious, find 20 Yuan Chinese note, that picture is Yangshuo, Guilin, Yang Tze River. Take a look! or take a visit if you are nearby. It is really impressive how lots of small villages has developed in to new cities by the prime minister of China, Xi JinPing, pressure for the people though, but it is getting more and more convenience to travel China.
I know some people have developed certain thoughts of China or the Chines. If you think about the dog meat festival in Guilin, and all other thoughts that scares you to visit China, hey, come on, it is the most populated country in the world, and people tend to emphasise and over publicise a tiny bit negative out of something. Think about the rest of the population. If you think about having to eat fake stuffs, come on, oh well, maybe just try at least once in your life.
Wander, to places to were scared of visiting before. Moreover, travel to small villages, to see and feel the real, authentic characteristics of the country itself. Be courageous my friends! You will come home, proud of hitting the spots where you could not find your own people.
Location: YangTze River Cruise, 20 Yuan Spot (二十块的地方), Yang Shuo Sunset Spot Hill, West Street.
Chinese Cheongsam/旗袍: Local Store bought at the West Street Yangshuo, Skull Tshirt: Zara, Black Coat: Zara
Photographer: Ariel Ezra Bezaliel (www.arielbezaliel.com)
Being in Hong Kong,
Location: Nathan St., Avenue of Stars, Ocean Park HK, HK International Airport, Yau Ma Tei, everywhere else.
Red Dress: L. K Bennet London, Black Coat: Zara, Green Sweater: Ralph Lauren
Photographers: Ariel Ezra Bezaliel (www.arielbezaliel.com), Ong Yi Sheng (www.oysays.com), Oscar Tong
Being in Macao,
is to be in like sort of small community get comfortable with each other and call themselves a nation. One and a half hour from Guangzhou, a sweet escape. Don't get me wrong, I like Guangzhou, but I wouldn't like it that much if I had not meet the friends that I have now.
Indeed, Macau is smaller in term of area, and it is less rapid than most of cities in Asia, thus I love the chiller vibe it brings. But honestly, looking at the moon across the border of China reminds me of the good time I had in Portugal, or could be an entirely new culture?
It is exciting to wander around Macau by feet, getting lost pass midnight, buying drinks from a Philippine's stall, asking way to a Cantonese couple, standing at the hill surrounded by Portuguese buildings, coming back, going through the same alley all over again. However, along the way, there are contrast in buildings, dialogues, delicacies. There is diversity lives in harmony.
I've always loved the idea of people from all over the world, sharing ideas, sipping coffees at the same table, a dancing to good music together. Especially the idea of immersing oneself to an entirely new culture, and Macau is sort of that.
Location: Ruins of St. Paul, The Venetian, Casino de Lisboa, Macau Tower
Photographer: Ariel Ezra Bezaliel (www.arielbezaliel.com), Ong Yi Sheng (www.oysays.com), Oscar Tong
Being in Shanghai,
I attempted to write this post in Chinese, but oh well, 我的中文还没进步呢 (my Chinese has not improved yet). Shanghai was a saviour, sort of. Studying in Guangzhou limit my possibilities to roam around in the city when the sun is up. Trust me, being in the the sea of crowds, it is impossible to get yourself an empty room to breath.
I grew some sort of astonishment upon Shanghai, no, those who live in Shanghai. The first time I landed at the airport, brought by a meter taxi to the hotel, my buddies (Lum Ka Wai and Francis Galicia) and I had to split the ridiculously expensive taxi fare together, and left us with fifty percent of our budget for the whole one week trip. How could people carry on living with this sort of expenses? Oh well, forget it.
Shanghai is beautiful, as ever, indeed. Those sky rocketed buildings, modern city with a little foreign touch here and there. Every corner, you could easily find things alike in French, German, British, and even Japanese. Passerby from all over the world, roaming, wearing pride being in an ultimate oriental city of Asia. I would not argue, indeed, Shanghai is the pearl of Asia. Well, but,..
Anyway, everyone would love to visit Shanghai. Gosh, it is such a relieve to escape Guangzhou. Local said that Shanghai people are the snobs, but here I am, as a foreigner, they are sort of the friendliest people in China, I am good. In Guangzhou, I have been shouted at, been spitted on, and so many horrible experiences. Shanghai saved my impression towards Chinese experience. But,..
Shanghai, I am sorry, your look astonished me, but I would not suggest anyone to visit Shanghai to experience the real China. And hello, you do not have to speak Chinese to travel China. Travel always, nothing, what I mean, language, could not stop you.
Location: The Bund, The people's park
Black Coat: Zara, White Sweater: Zara, Blue and Black Blazer: H&M