Tuesday, October 30, 2007


It's autumn now in Incheon. Look at the view from my kitchen's window

Autumn's specialties are also sold everywhere. Like mushrooms (many kinds), sanma (mackerel pike), kaki fruit (Japanese persimmon), pear (huge ones!), grapes and chestnut.
Kuri gohan (chestnut rice) is a common Japanese meal to feel aki (autumn), so I also have to serve it on our dinner table. This year we bought peeled chestnut, much more expensive, but worthed (last year we spent hours peeling chestnuts' hard skin, was really a pain in the ass!)

So here's the photo of our dinner tonight

Kuri gohan (chestnut rice)
Mebaru no ni tsuke (boiled mebaru fish)
Hourensou no ohitashi (boiled spinach seasoned with Japanese soy sauce)
Age nasu (deep fried eggplant seasoned with soy sauce and grated ginger)
Wakame miso soup (seaweed miso soup)

Welcome to "Aki", my favourite season of the year. With its beautiful brown-red-orange-yellow tree leaves. And with its nice cool weather, yet enough sunshine to dry my laundry.

Friday, October 26, 2007

"It's your fault!!"

It was warm today so I brought Iki to the big park this morning. As usual there were no other children there at such time so Iki enjoyed playing by himself. It's like that he owned the whole park.

Then a woman came. Out of sudden she approached Iki and greeted him. Iki, who doesn't like stranger, went away. She kept following him so at last Iki's mood was ruined and just stood behind the slide quietly. I felt pity for him so I took him to the airplane model toy and let him play there by himself. She couldn't disturb him at such a small and high place :p

Then she talked to me. She understood English a little, and my Korean is not that bad anymore so we could communicate pretty well. She asked why Iki was so afraid of stranger. I told her that Iki is a shy and sensitive boy. She told me that Iki is a boy that he shouldn't act like that. And as a mother, it's definitely my fault. She said that it's because I didn't bring him out enough and stayed at home all the time instead.

I was like...WTF!! Everyday we go out. Everyday we play at the park and go shopping. Iki plays with some people he is familiar with, like our apartment security guard, yakult seller, supermarket staffs and cashier, and the postman. It's just that he needs some time to get used with new people.

Again she insisted that still a boy MUST not be as shy as Iki. I must join mothers club and Iki must go to nearby preschool so that he could interact with other children of his age.
Well, I met some mothers at the park regularly. But we have language barrier, and some just looked down on me once they know I'm Indonesian. So our occasional meetings never continued any further.
I also brought Iki to department store's playground, local children library, and to the parks. Lots of children there, but Iki still avoided them and prefer to play by himself. I couldn't force him to play if he doesn't want to. It would make him even scared of other people.

Still she didn't want to accept my explanation. At last, still pointing out that it's my fault, she said that it might be because I don't teach Korean to Iki. It made Iki unfamiliar with people speaking in Korean that he got scared of them.
She might be true in this case. Iki didn't have any problem with new people in Indonesia and Japan. Language matter could be the reason. But it's already hard enough for Iki to cope with 3 languages at a time so he got speaking delayed. In addition, how am I supposed to teach him Korean if I myself don't master it?!
And still she said that it's my fault. I didn't learn Korean well (@_@)
At the end she wanted to bring Iki to Korean preschool. So that Iki could socialize with other children and learn Korean language and culture.

Ha?!?! I mean, WHO THE HELL IS SHE?! blaming me over my son's character and wanting to take over my son's education??!!! I grumbled to Iki as we walked home.
Papa-chan was a shy boy as well. And until Junior high school I used to be a scared shy girl too. At the end both of us became one of the world's narcist people :p

But then....when I enjoyed my hot tub alone and thought about this matter, I started questioning myself....what if she's correct?! What if it's my fault.......?!

Tell me...Is it really my fault?!

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Sunset view from our apartment's living room yesterday evening. I'll certainly miss this..... :)

Now that we're almost at the end of our stay in Korea, I helplessly become melancholy about everything around me.
This sunset is Iki's favorite. Every evening he sits by the big window watching the sun goes down. Everyday I tell him that the sun's going to sleep by that time, and he starts giving his favorite toys to the sun. The toys he usually brings to bed. And then waves goodbye and gives the sun good night kiss. All using his body language. So cute :p

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy birthday, papa-chan

Happy birthday, papa...
Happy birthday, papa...

Happy birthday, papa-chan....

Happy birthday, papa....!!!!

The song I taught Iki these few days, though he couldn't sing yet. Last SUnday was Hiro's birthday. What else could I give him as present than food and food and food? :p

Breakfast was Japanese birthday meal. Sekihan, served with sake no shioyaki and wakame miso soup

Steak for dinner. With potato salad, fries and boiled veggies

And closed with Imoet's cheese cake. Don't judge a book from its cover, don't judge a cake from its appearance :p. It looks awful, but it did taste good. Hiro, who adores simplicity, wouldn't be pleased to see his birthday cake covered with 'beautiful' icing. So I just put same amount of candles as his age. But it shows that I REALLY made it, right? :p

Again, happy birthday, papa-chan....

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Our dinner tonight...

One of our simple favorite dinner.

Gomoku gohan: steamed rice with 5 ingredients seasoned with Japanese soy sauce
Toriniku no karaage with negi sauce: fried chicken with leek (spring onion) sauce
Kyuri no ume ae
Tofu and wakame Miso soup

Our family is a big fan of fried food. This tori niku no karaage with negi sauce is one meal served regularly for our dinner. Gomoku gohan used to be Iki's favorite, but somewhat tonight he wasn't as excited as usual (_ _o). It is a very healthy meal indeed, with chicken, shiitake, carrot, bamboo shoots, and gobo inside. A good balance for the oily fried chicken.
Today's side dish is kyuri no ume ae, cucumber with chopped umeboshi (Japanese super salty plum pickles). It's easy to make and I love the combination of cucumber and salty taste of umeboshi. Miso soup is like a must in Japanese meal, and this time I put tofu and wakame as the main ingredients. Tofu and Miso paste are high protein sources, and wakame (seaweed) is rich of fibers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oh My God..

I just woke up from my nap with Iki
Did some house chores and turned my PC on to see recipe.

While cleaning the floor I remembered the dream I just had.
I read a short sad poem at Vanie's baby's blog
Her baby passed away.
I was shocked that I woke up.

And I am trembling as I wrote this
As I turned my PC on, I got message from Mariza....
Vanie's baby passed away. At 1:30 pm today

Vanie, vanie....
I'm so sorry....
Hope you'll be strong....

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Postpartum Recovery

Look what I found as a draft during labeling my old posts. Written on 19 January 2006, at 22:06. I think it's worth to share:

I thought giving birth was the hardest task.

It is definitely NOT.

What come after were even harder and more painful hahahaha [cegek mode: ON]
  1. I must have total rest while taking care of my sleeping-angel-yet-crying-monster baby. Trust me, they're two impossible tasks at the same time without any help! We hired a baby sitter for the first three weeks (only from 9 a.m to 6 p.m, Mon - Sat), but the total damage was 1000 USD a.k.a hampir 10 juta rupiah.
  2. I must have good nutritous food for the sake of producing good milk, while breastfeeding caused a lot more painful contractions and vomitting to me. How can I give good milk if the food I ate were all always thrown out? It was really frustrating for me and Hiro. He was so worried that he kept asking me to stop breastfeeding. Which was not a solution for me!
  3. The stitches are painful and must be taken care really well. And once they're almost recovered, they became very itchy. Itchy but couldn't be scratched. Really suffering.
  4. The bleeding is
I believed it was not finished yet so I kept it in my draft folder. 20 months has passed now, and I'm trying to think of the rest of the list to complete the post, but I couldn't think of any. I thought that time was the hardest moment after we got Iki. Well, I couldn't even get enough time to complete that story, for instance.
But still I couldn't think of any now. Too many things happened afterwards. I think there's no more "hardest" moment while raising a kid. It was nothing comparing to what I had to deal with 6 months ago, and what I had 6 months ago is nothing compared to what I have to deal with today. And all of them are nothing compared to what I have to deal with next year, or next 5 years or next 10 years.

Being a parent is a 24 hours job, 7 days a week, for a lifetime (^__^)

Monday, October 15, 2007


Bicycle parking is a common sight in Tokyo, though the biggest one I've ever seen was at Amsterdam Central Station (Gosh, it was like TP's parking lot and full of bicycles!! - TP? berlebihan ya? :p). Guess I would end up having one bike and riding Iki everyday for grocery shopping if we moved back to Tokyo. Well, I couldn't drive a car, and even if I could, would Hiro ever let me driving his car?! :p

But I've never seen any baby stroller parking before in my life until I we went to Disneyland Tokyo last month! People just leave their strollers there unattended, no parking cards or whatsoever, and free of charge. Unbelievably safe country!!!!
The photo below was taken just before we rode a train-like attraction, and after we finished, the strollers parked were already twice than before. I almost cried trying to find Iki's stroller considering the fact that it's a Japanese branded one, and almost all the strollers parked there had the same brand, the same type and the same color (@_@). Thanks God it still had airline sticker label on it!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Counting Down

The company has decided Hiro's last working date in Korea, which is just a few days before Christmas this year. We thought we would go back to Japan afterwards. We did apartment hunting already, put in mind important stuffs to be bought -like bed, refrigerator, washing machine, etc etc. We also didn't buy a lot of food supply from Japan last month since we thought we would stay in Korea only for 2.5 months. I even bought Japanese pocket language book that I thought this time I would really need it. Iki's grandparents would be those who are waiting forward of our coming back to Japan the most. We were almost mentally ready to move back there. But few days ago Hiro got news again from the company that he MAY be sent directly to other country. No idea where will it be yet. We might know it by the end of November.

Now I'm counting down. Till the time we know exactly where Hiro will be placed next. It could be in Africa, Middle east, or anywhere in Asia. Wherever it is, I don't mind. As long as we could be together. My worry raised when Hiro told me that there are several countries where family could not be brought along due to security reasons, mostly are countries with unstable political condition.

I am fully aware that until Hiro's retirement day we would be moving around from one country to another. Nobody knows where and when would we be sent until about a month before the departure. Our life is full of surprises, huh? :p. We might live separately due to company's policy, or Iki's education later on, but I actually do not expect it this time. Not this time. Iki is still in his first stage of development. He hasn't even acquire his first languages yet. He surely will forget the father figure if living without Hiro even for a month only, and Hiro will surely miss a lot of his development. I don't want it, I don't expect it.....
Our life based on company's policy. I know it, understand it well. But please, please postpone "the tough" policy for us. Until Iki is big enough. Until he could remember his father perfectly and understand the concept of living separately for working reason.

I am counting down now. We are counting down......

Cute Pudding

Look at these cute puddings I bought at Asahikawa airport last month....

Balloon shape pudding, cute :p

I Put it inside a bowl and stabbed it with a toothpick

The thin plastic cover was removed automatically

Look what was left! Isn't it like condom? hihihi

Served with caramel syrup. Hmmmm it was sooo creamy. Yummy!!!

One of the long-fatty-food-list that spoilt my tummy last month (^__^)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

If only...

I'm very busy lately. Gosh I wished I could have more than 24 hours a day. I barely have free time during day time. Iki still doesn't want to "release" me from playing all the time with him. Guess he's lonely after spending 2 weeks with always-ready-to-play grandparents in Tokyo.

I started my Tae Bo again yesterday. Having no exercise for more than two weeks, eating high calorie food, and daily beer consumption made me lost my flat stomach. So quick, huh?! Hiro said that my tummy looks like Jabalaba's tummy (you will know if you watch star wars!). I got pain all over my body only after 35 minutes exercise. Now that I have new "hobby", I could only have 35 minutes exercise a day during Iki's nap time.

I'm making my very first jewelry now. My own design, my own taste. Most of all, no one in this world would ever wear the same design hohoho. I only have less than an hour a day to do this hobby. I must also take a nap at least half an hour to keep my good mood when Iki's awake.

Then the playing time starts again, continued with cooking time, cleaning time, etc etc. Got free time only after Iki's asleep, which sometimes I use for watching drama or movie with Hiro. At last now I can sit and write something here. Wished I have more time for chatting with friends or reading news and playing more with my jewelry tools. It's now almost 3 a.m. Not sleepy yet must go to bed. If only I could have more than 24 hours a day....

Friday, October 05, 2007

The beauty of Hokkaido

Something I would never see either in Tokyo or Incheon.

And this is the beauty of one of the farms in Furano, Hokkaido:

Hope to be able to come back sometimes in the future....Perhaps to see it in white snowy winter? :p

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


What do I love the most about Japan?

Sushi, sushi and sushi!!!!! I couldn't remember how many times I ate sushi during our two weeks stay in Japan.

My first onsen

Beforehand I already looked for information about getting into Japanese public hot spring bath: onsen. I joined Japanese foreign wives mailing list where mostly I got some important tips. So in spite of my embarrassment, basically I'm quite prepared.

The most embarrassing moment would be when I opened the yukata covered my naked body. The mailing list said that there're lockers to put all my stuffs so I could hide behind the door and then grab the towel to cover my front body part. It relieved me to know that so I was so shocked and panicked when I saw there were no lockers in that changing room. Only shelf with numbered baskets to put our stuffs into!! Nowhere to hide and there's nothing to cover me while opening my cloth. I was stunned for some minutes before my mother in law asking me till when would I stand there with opened mouth. Yeah well I had no choice than opening my cloth as fast as possible and covered my front important part with little brown towel from the hotel.

I felt so awkward, but I couldn't help not to look around my surrounding :p. The room was filled with naked women. Those women might have been to onsen since they were babies so being naked around was not something unusual. I was the only woman standing nervous next to the wall (to hide my butt:p) with towel covering my front body part.
I've never seen such a lot naked women in my life, and truthfully my eyes couldn't just stop scanning. There were young skinny women, old women, mother with a toddler, and 2 little girls, but proudly I can say that none has better body shape then mine hehehehe (at least I think that none could beat my boobs hahaha) -oh narcist me!!

I started to get back my confidence then. Smiling naughtily, I took off the towel covering me and walked confidently beside my mother in law. Though basically I knew what to do inside the onsen from the information I gathered before, my mother in law was a big help.

So after we got naked, we went to the shower room. There I must clean my body well before entering the pool. Shampoo, rinse, and body soaps were available. There were two kinds of onsen in that hotel. The indoor and the outdoor one. I tried the outdoor one at that time. The pool was small but for me it was really beautiful. I could see the starry sky above me, the trees around me, with night animal sounds as the music. The water was really really hot, so I had to get into the pool really slowly and sometimes got out for some fresh cool air. I did enjoy my first onsen there and got relaxed. I wanted to take photo and share you the pictures, but those naked women would kick me out if I dared :p. Click here for photos from the hotel's homepage (^_^)

We stayed at Shirogane Onsen hotel at the first night and then moved to Asahikawa Paco hotel (inside Asahikawa city) at the second night. In total I went into onsen for three times during that journey. I would love to do that again sometime in the future.

Now we're back in Korea. Dirty house welcomed us yesterday. Today I had a long tiring day, cleaning up the house with squeaking-lonely-Iki. Tomorrow some leftover works are waiting, so I guess I need longer time for sharing our Asahikawa zoo, dining out, and Disneyland stories (^_-)v