Favourite Ice Creams from 4 Continents

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Who does not love ice cream? Wherever I go, I always try to make a stop at as many ice cream joints as possible.  Here are a list of my favourite ice cream joints in 4 continents: America, Australia, Europe, and – of course – Asia!

Here are my choices of favourite ice creams from 4 continents!

Big Dipper

I spent a summer in Missoula of the “big sky country” Montana, United States, in 2010. Big Dipper is its most famous ice cream place. Not only it has an outlet near our place (we stayed in the dorm of the University of Montana), Big Dipper also has a number of ice cream trucks going around the city whenever something is happening (such as the outdoor cinema). Recommended flavours: white mint Oreo, huckleberry, and Mexican chocolate. Price: single cup/cone is $3.15.

Big Dipper Ice Cream
631 S. Higgins, Missoula MT 59801
(also available in Helena and Billings, MT, U.S.A.)

Fennochio

Fennochio is an ice cream place owned by an Italian family in Nice, France. It was established in 1966 at Place Rosetti, the center of Nice’s Old Town, where it still sits at the moment. Fennochio offers 59 ice creams and 35 sorbets in total. Recommended flavours: nocciolato, speculoos, pina colada.

Fennochio
2 place Rossetti and 6 rue de la Poissonerie — both in Nice’s Old Town.

Jock’s

Jock’s prides itself as “Melbourne’s best ice cream” and I would say, I believe it’s right! Established in 2001, Jock’s has always been a great sight of Albert Park area. The interior looks vintage, so does the flavours (they have something called Obamarama!). A must-go if you ever visit this majestic city. Recommended flavours: hokey pokey and chocolate, mandarin orange. Price: single cup/cone is $4.

Jock’s
83 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park

Anita – La Mamma del Gelato

A friend of mine recommended Anita and I tried the one at Bondi, just a few steps away from the beach. It offers ice cream, sorbet, vegan ice cream, and yogurt. Recommended flavours: watermelon and mint (you must not miss it), and something from the ice cream side (it’s difficult to pick one).

Anita – La Mamma del Gelato
28 Broadway, Chippendale, NSW

Gusto

I never get bored of traveling to Bali and there are certain places that I always go to whenever I fly there. One of the places would be Gusto Gelato, a modest, small ice cream place strategically located in Seminyak, but quite far from the hustle of the most crowded areas. At its affordable price, I can try two flavours at once, and it tastes just as good as the gelato I find in Rome, Italy. Recommended flavours: lemongrass, mascarpone. Prices: single cup/cone with two flavours for IDR 22,000 (around $1.7).

Gusto Gelateria
Jalan Mertanadi 46B, Seminyak, Bali

Ragusa

Established in 1932, Ragusa is one of the oldest ice cream places (that are still standing tall at this day and age) established in my hometown, Jakarta. Its ice cream is made of milk instead of heavy cream, which makes it distinctive. It’s always nice to spend an afternoon here, sitting in its old building, listening to street buskers, eating satay before/after the ice cream. Always a perfect date. Recommended flavours: spaghetti ice cream. Prices: single cup is IDR 15,000 (around $1), spaghetti ice cream is IDR 35,000 (around $3).

Ragusa Es Italia
Jalan Veteran I no. 10, Jakarta

Amame

Amame Ice Cream Therapy at my wedding

Amame Ice Cream Therapy at our wedding.

Favourite ice creams from 4 continents.

Okay, this one’s a bit cheating but I dearly love a certain flavour from the ice cream business I established with my best friends. Our ice cream, Amame Ice Cream Therapy, has this flavour made of marie biscuits and cream. We call it Big Warm Hugs (as the flavour feels like one!). We do not have an ice cream shop but we can cater your events, from birthdays to weddings. Fill in the comment box if you would like to try! Recommended flavours: Big Warm Hugs (marie biscuits & cream) and Joyous Relaxant (dark chocolate & mint). Prices: single cup is IDR 22,000.

Photos via Desination Missoula, Examiner, Fennochio, Little Bali Love,  Mel Hot or Not, and Electreats. Photo of Amame Ice Cream Therapy via its Instagram.

Summer 2016 – Melbourne

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New life. Got a nice place in South Yarra. Visited a few places and festivals, like the St. Kilda Festival on Valentine’s Day and White Night. Then, Williamstown. NSW this weekend.

5 Favourite Travel Products

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Traveling has played a big role in my life since I was 17. Since then, I have been traveling a lot to different cities and sometimes different countries due to my work. Packing light has never been my virtue, but I do not usually travel heavily either.

Here are my favourite travel products that I always bring wherever and whenever I go:

5 things I always bring wherever and whenever I travel.

Passport holder

I swear by MUJI’s products, especially their travel range. In Indonesia, MUJI is not that affordable (at least according to my standards), so I bought only two items that I know I will use the most. I love their travel documents organiser (a.k.a. passport holder!) and hanging travel case.

A knitted tube scarf

Easy to wear, can double up as either my “blanket” or my “pillow” in the airplane.

Slip on sneakers

Actually, any pair of sneakers will do, because I think it’s way more comfortable to have long walks through the big halls of airport lounges in sneakers rather than in boots or ballerina flats. I like slip ons better as they are easy to put on and take off.

Kindle

I used to bring a couple of books for long haul flights, but since Adit got me a Kindle reader as a birthday gift, I cannot travel without it. For me, it is way more comfortable to read on a Kindle than a tablet as it does not hurt my eyes and the battery lasts way longer — even for weeks!

A Kipling Seoul laptop backpack

I first got myself a Kipling when I was 13 years old. I got a small backpack and I had been using it on a daily basis ever since. Turns out, it lasted for more than 10 years! So, when I was 23, I finally got myself a new one. I admire Kipling because of its durable and light material. It also has distinctive prints. I choose a Seoul backpack as I can fit many things into it, including my laptop. Most of the time, I only need this bag to bring all of my carry-on items. It also fits into under the seat in front of me while in the airplane.

What are your favourite travel products?

Davos Notes: 1

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We were sitting in a Morosani Posthotel’s lobby, waiting to get picked up by the shuttle service after a fun so-called Bollywood Night, when Michael started telling me many things his wife is. Michael is from Nairobi, Kenya. He is 30, a father of one. I first met him during my flight transfer in Dubai. His wife was about to give birth to his second-born.

I had been pretty anxious about the trip. I just got married and was about to start a new life in another country, with no formal job and no formal education planned, in a matter of days.

I asked Michael a simple question: “What does your wife do?”

He told me a lot of things she is doing, which are mostly done from home, or could be worked upon from pretty much anywhere.

“My wife — she’s everything for me. She’s amazing. She’s pretty, she’s smart, she’s rich. Her family is rich, especially compared to me; I’m just a commoner. I don’t know what she saw in me, but she fell for me first. I did not dare to fall for a woman like her. She was too good to be true, and still is. But she did, and you see, we got married. I would not be where I am without her. She is very kind, very supportive, she lets me attend this event as long as I get back before the second-born comes out! But yes, she is amazing. That’s how I would describe her: simply, amazing.”

At that moment, I wondered. Will there ever be anyone who thinks I am amazing for him/her?

Our Honeymoon Trip at The Santai

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I have always thought of Bali as the place to go to for a honeymoon. Well, the ideal one would probably be Maldives, but we just could not afford it — finance-wise and also schedule-wise. So, we went to Bali instead, and had the opportunity to stay at The Santai, a villa owned by LifestyleRetreats at Umalas area.

When we first arrived, we were welcomed by the hospitality of the staffs, particularly the butler. The Santai is a very private resort, with only around 11 villas in the premise, and there is a designated butler for each villa. We were going to have the 2-bedroom villa, as it was the smallest villa there is. However, Pak Jelantik – our butler for the day, let us know that our villa had been upgraded to the 3-bedroom villa!

What a beautiful honeymoon gift!

Our 3-bedroom villa was undeniably spacious. Of course – it was supposed to hold around 6 to 8 people in one go! The Santai is located in Kerobokan – Umalas, pretty far from downtown Canggu and Seminyak. Nevertheless, it was exactly what we needed as we were on our honeymoon. The Santai had everything that we needed and wanted, and of course, we did not have to leave the villa just to get food or the like.

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The Santai went the extra mile to provide everything we asked for. I asked for a yoga mat to exercise, yet my partner asked for a PlayStation 4. :)) When we arrived our villa, both of these items were already available. The PlayStation 4 was even accompanied by plenty of games, including FIFA.

Food for us was one of the most important things as well. We were worried that we could not find decent food and the ones served in the villa might be too expensive (as how food in hotels and resorts usually are). When we checked the room service menu, apparently it was not expensive at all, especially for a villa as luxurious as The Santai. The food was affordable, served daily by the Gong Restaurant. I think it was even more affordable compared to the newly opened joints around Seminyak area.

For breakfast, we could choose whether we wanted to have it in our villa or in the restaurant. We asked for the breakfast to be served in our villa on our second day. I had these pancakes, along with hot tea and smoothies, while Adit chose to eat grilled salmon for his breakfast.

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Not only in-villa breakfast, we could also ask for an in-villa spa treatment. During our stay, there was a “buy 1 get 1” promo for all spa treatments taken before noon.

Our villa was also equipped with a built-in kitchen, dining area, as well as living room. Although we were on honeymoon, I could use some time for myself, especially to write. Therefore, when Adit is using his time to swim, I would sit in the living room to write. Most of all, the place was very inspiring!

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On the last night, though, we decided that we should (finally) hang out of the villa. So, we asked – quite suddenly – to our butler whether it is possible for us to rent a motorcycle to go around Seminyak area. (I desperately wanted to go to Potato Head Beach Club, as I had never been!) The butler magically was able to rent a motorcycle for us. It was a painless process! I still can’t believe we could easily got a motorcycle.

As I have mentioned, the service was top notch.

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Our stay at The Santai is unforgettable and we definitely would love to go back. Or perhaps, we can also go to other resorts owned by LifestyleRetreats. :)

I would say, The Santai is perfectly suitable for families or groups of friends, as the villa are spacious and equipped by child-friendly amenities (floats, PlayStation, bicycles, etc.).
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For more information regarding this resort, kindly go to LifestyleRetreats’ website or The Santai’s.

THE SANTAI
Umalas – Bali

Jalan Bumbak No.88A, Banjar Kelod Anyar
Kerobokan – Umalas, Bali – Indonesia

Tel: +62 361 900 26 99  or  +62 828 971 900 99
Fax: +62 361 900 25 77
E-mail: bliss@thesantai.com

The Little Traffic Light Men

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I was flipping through the pages of a novel when I got recouped with that particular bookmark. A bookmark made of plastic with lenticular changing image of Ampelmännchen upon it. The uncanny word, in German, can literally be translated into “the little traffic light men”. A definition I still find rather offbeat, in a good way.

Not long ago I learned that the little traffic light men are symbols inherited from the times when Germany was split into the East and the West. Each region had different figures of Ampelmännchen. This bookmark, though, affixed the one East Germans are very proud of and keen to preserve by keeping them on their traffic lights. The kind of men who have big head, short legs, and are wearing the petit bourgeois hats.

I looked at the bookmark and remembered that it was one of the first presents he has ever given me. Bought two years ago, when he was going on a business trip in Berlin. Whichever city in the world he flies to, he always comes back with a memento for me to keep. With this bookmark sneaking through one of my belongings, now I cannot help to cherish our fondness of traveling and how it has brought us to where we are right at this moment.

I remember the years of 2010-2012. Even in those years, both of our jobs already demanded plenty of travels. Despite still only being friends, whenever one of us was going to travel, the other must have wished a “good luck” or “safe travels” to the other, at least via text. We were not that close, not at all, but the gestures somehow had always been there, as if those were what we were supposed to do to each other. Little that we knew we were going to travel to so many places together, not having to wish each other “safe travels” ever again.

Two years ago — just one week after we went on our first date, to be exact — I had to leave Jakarta to attend a conference in Vatican City for almost two weeks. We could only text each other and have video calls some time, making it felt like a trip that would have wreaked us apart. I got home just in time for my 22nd birthday, a day when he surprisingly showed up with a piece of cheesecake and candles for me to blow upon. On the contrary, the distance made us so much closer, I thought.

Nonetheless, just a few days later, I had to leave again to Shanghai to compete in an international university while he had to fly to Berlin for work. Another chance to blow the chance of being together, perhaps; turning us into nothing more than two fiddling dots located at two different parts of the world.

I was having late lunch at IKEA Shanghai with my friends when he let me know he was going to board and take off for Berlin. Just like the old days, I wished him to have good luck and safe travels. Only this time, I did it through a phone call.

“I wish I could brush a long kiss upon your forehead before I fly,” he said. All my blood, then, rushed to my cheeks, flushing them without my consent.

“I wish I could feel you brushing a long kiss upon my forehead before you fly,” I answered.

Off he went. But, apparently, the circumstances mixed time differences up and brought us even further than we used to be — something that we have gotten used to two years later now. Like today, when he and I got separated by 10 hours of time zone difference, and more than 16,000 units of kilometres.

In Berlin, he told me he really wished I were there, as he believed I would have loved the atmosphere. That I would have loved the ability to stroll around the vibrant streets of Germany. We had not officially been dating that time, but he had crafted dreams inside my mind, promising he would one day fulfil them.

As soon as he got back from Berlin, we knew we were going to sail the seas together.

A couple of years later now, things start to make more sense. One by one, they fell right into place — the places where we wished those things would fall into.

Here I am, sitting in the same land where he bought this Ampelmännchen bookmark, oveywroughtingly waiting for us to reunite. To travel the world side by side.

But for now, be my guest, Ampelmännchen.

Photo: Ampelmann.de

Our First Duet Trip to Singapore

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Saya dan adik saya yang berusia 9 tahun, Fara, baru saja diundang untuk mengunjungi Hospital Land dan mengikuti kegiatan Doctor-for-a-Day di Mount Elizabeth Hospital Novena, Singapura. Ketika menerima undangan tersebut, tentu saja saya segera mengiyakan ajakan ini, mengingat saya belum pernah berkesempatan untuk mengajak adik saya jalan-jalan.

Di hari Minggu pagi, tepatnya tanggal 28 September, kami pun berkunjung ke Mount Elizabeth bersama sejumlah perwakilan media asal Indonesia. Sesampainya di sana, ruangan lobi rumah sakit sudah disulap menjadi Hospital Land, di mana anak-anak berusia 4 sampai 10 tahun bisa belajar tentang berbagai profesi yang mendukung kegiatan di rumah sakit. Ada permainan A-B-SEE di mana anak-anak bisa menjadi optometrist, Build A Body di mana peserta bisa belajar soal anatomi tubuh, section untuk menjadi pharmacist, maupun belajar soal radiologi. Permainan-permainan ini dilengkapi dengan alat-alat yang child-friendly dan penuh warna – seperti yang biasa kita lihat di KidZania (bahkan mungkin lebih seru, karena diselenggarakannya di rumah sakit betulan). Fara dan teman-teman seusianya pun begitu bersemangat untuk tahu lebih banyak soal profesi-profesi yang berhubungan soal medis.

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Setelah selesai “berkelana” di Hospital Land, kami pun diajak ke lantai dua di mana para peserta bisa mengikuti kegiatan Doctor-for-a-Day. Sebagai pengantar, saya hanya diperbolehkan untuk mengobservasi dari luar, tetapi para peserta bahkan diminta untuk mengenakan scrubs yang biasa dipakai para dokter ketika hendak mengoperasi pasien. Di kegiatan ini, Fara belajar banyak hal soal menjadi dokter, mulai dari bagaimana caranya menggendong bayi di nursing room, sampai mengobati luka bakar bagi orang yang habis menjadi korban kebakaran di emergency room (bayi dan korbannya sih tentunya bohong-bohongan, ya).

Seru banget, deh, pokoknya! Kebetulan, Fara memang bercita-cita untuk menjadi dokter — walaupun sejauh ini keinginannya memang menjadi dokter hewan. :) Ia jadi tambah semangat, apalagi setelah sepulang dari acaranya, semua peserta dibekali dengan sertifikat dan berbagai badge yang menunjukkan bahwa mereka telah lulus menjadi “dokter” di Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Sekembalinya ke Jakarta, Fara pun bisa “mengalami ulang” perjalannya di Singapura dengan memainkan aplikasi Doctor-for-a-Day yang dirilis oleh Mount Elizabeth Hospital. Konon kabarnya, versi Bahasa Indonesia-nya akan diluncurkan akhir tahun ini.

It’s been a one-of-a-kind trip with my youngest sister! How about you? Pernah jalan-jalan ke mana dengan kakak atau adik kamu?

A love letter, to my life Changemakers

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It was supposed to be a good start of the week. A few days left to thesis submission, my days always began with sleepless nights. But, as soon as I received an e-mail from an old friend, my heart leaped reading the subject. It was Fran, the Global Changemakers’ team leader. I haven’t heard from Fran for awhile, thus I was very glad to have received some news from her. Little that  I knew, it was not a good news.

The e-mail was sent to inform an important update that the Global Changemakers programme has been discontinued. It was such, such a heartbreaking news for me. Global Changemakers is a platform for youth activists from all around the world, established and run by the British Council, supported by the World Economic Forum. Every year, it organises the Global Youth Summit (as well as a number of non-regular regional youth summits) to gather young people and train them to develop projects in order to make betterment of their respective communities. It also supports the projects led by its participants, through the Community Action Projects grants scheme, as well as Changemakers’ Toolkit that it has developed.

Global Changemakers’ literally changed my life. And, this post, was written and dedicated to thank them: Fran, Gaby, Matt, Katherine, John, and the rest of the team, as well as every single Global Changemaker in the world.

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A small note I left by the end of my first Global Changemakers summit.
January 24, 2009.
Today, 4.5 years later, I still feel the same. 

 

In 2009, I was an ordinary student in a public high school. Such a weirdo (and still am), did not really fit in school, could not handle bullying, could not manage my stress, and ended up looking for extracurricular activities outside school. I yearned to travel, to see the world, to get to know strangers, and basically, to make my life a better one; an extraordinary one. I then applied to participate in the 3rd Global Changemakers Youth Summit 2009 (formerly called Global Changemakers Guildford Forum 2009). And in a blink, my life changed.

In the summit, I trained myself to be a better person. I learned on how to speak well in front of the public, and basically how to manage a project. Most of all, for the first time in my life, I flew so far, without my parents (my last international trip was in 1995). For the first time, I landed my feet in London (and saw The Lion King at the West End!). For the first time, I finally made use of my English to its native speakers. I met inspiring young people, some of whom I’ve written about in my book. Including Simon Moss, an alumnus of Global Changemakers–who then became the respondent for my undergraduate thesis. Yet also, I got to know Fajar Anugerah, whom was assigned to ‘accompany’ me during the travels (flights). We became really good friends ever since, and he’s now like a surrogate brother to me (I could never ask for a better one).

Indonesian Youth Conference (IYC), an annual programme of Sinergi Muda, that is going to be held for the fourth time this year, was initially my outcome from the summit. After the event, the participants were encouraged to develop a project that will benefit our community in the Community Action Projects scheme, and my idea was to organise IYC. I proposed the idea and Global Changemakers provided a small amount of start-up grant, which I used to print proposals and stuff. They also introduced me to Veronica Colondam, the CEO of YCAB Foundation, who then agreed to become my mentor in organising IYC.

A few months later, Global Changemakers asked me to represent Indonesia in its programme with the G-20, in which we were asked to develop our own version of communique to be handed to the Head of States who were in London for the G-20. I did a crash course on Indonesian economics with my then-boyfriend’s Dad, especially its relevance towards the global financial crisis. We presented the communique to David Miliband in the House of Lords; and I personally met former PM Gordon Brown, President Felipe Calderon, and our very own President Yudhoyono. In that occasion, I became acquaintances with Dino Patti Djalal. He would have never come to my book launch hadn’t we met in the UK.

Time went by, and IYC was successfully held. It then became one of the most successful Community Action Projects and was featured in the Global Changemakers’ annual report. Because of that, I was asked to develop a Social Media Toolkit to help other changemakers to design and develop the social media strategy for their projects.

Now, well, I am who I am now. And I would never, ever be this person if it weren’t for the Global Changemakers.

So, knowing that the programme has been discontinued really, really breaks my heart. I really wished that there were more young people who could have been a part of it, and could have their lives changed as what Global Changemakers have done to me. But, I am surer than ever, that its legacy will live on, and every Changemaker in the world is going to leave a dent in the universe (as deep as the dent that Global Changemakers had left in my heart — a good dent, of course).

Thank you, Gaby, Katherine, Matt, Fran. I hope you would know that you have given a tremendous amount of contribution in people’s lives, especially in mine. You guys have helped me improved myself to be a better person, and supported me in reaching my dream to change the world (one step at a time). I’ve always tried to connect all the dots, and I’ve realised that Global Changemakers will always be a part of those connections (one of the bigger dots, even). I wish you all the best for your future endeavours, and I dearly hope that our paths will cross again sometime (just like what happened with me and Gaby when I had the chance to visit Bern!).

I love you, guys.

Thank you for being a part of my life, and helping me to make it an awesome one. x