Saturday, March 29, 2008


Ohanami (literary means "flowers viewing") is Japanese traditional custom to enjoy watching the beauty of once-a-year-and-only-for-less-than-a-week Sakura or Cherry blossoms in Spring. During this period parks with sakura trees are really crowded. Some people are enjoying sakura by only scrolling down the park, but traditionally people have picnic party under the blooming sakura trees. Picnic here also involves enormous amount of beer so drunk people is a normal view -and excotic (?!) view- under the trees.

Actually Sakura trees can be seen almost everywhere here, but people prefer to go to parks where there are a lot of sakura trees. I took this photo this afternoon at the nearest park from our house. I love the contrast view of sakura color and the clear blue sky color.

Hiro hates crowded places so we didn't go to famous cherry blossoms spot for hanami. He said that there would be tooooo many people that it would be difficult to walk, especially with a small kid. So today we went to Tetsugakudou park, about 15-20 minutes walking from our apartment for hanami. There are many people there having hanami but not as crowded as famous hanami park, lets say Ueno park or Imperial Garden.

This is the close up of sakura flowers.

I love this spot. I felt like being inside a house with sakura roof

There were small pond inside the park so we had our small "picnic" there.

This is a photo of sakura flowers with pond's water as a background

And here is the close up:

The last shot before we left the park, and just before my camera was out of battery :p

And this is our dinner tonight. The highlight was Takenoko Gohan or bamboo shoots rice, one of Japanese spring food specialty.

Served with Hiyayakko (soft tofu topped with katsuobushi and soy sauce), Renkon no Hasamiage (fried minched pork in sandwich style lotus root), Shirasu (baby sardines), and Nameko Miso Soup (kind of mushroom).


At hair salon now. Trying to change my cute image into a matured one. Let's see how would it be (^_-)〜☆

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring is here (^___^)

It's actually already getting much warmer this month, but I could really feel spring today as we walked around our neighborhood after Iki's swimming class. Small leaves are starting to appear, waking up from their long sleep during winter. Spring is an important season for Japanese because they believe that it is when everything is started. That's why schools and offices start their new term in April, the month when Spring starts (Indonesia starts the school term in July, and Europe in September -as far as I know).

We bought a small pot of imported tulips from Holland, and it brought pretty spring feeling in our home.

And really good fragrance too. This is the first time I know that tulips open all the petals during daytime, and close them again at night.

Also this small pot of cute bell-shaped flowers. No smell, but it is a nice view beside my PC.

These small white flowers were pretty. I found them in front of the playing ground inside our apartment complex

And these pink swirling flowers were inside a pot behind the kindergarten. They smelled really really good too!

Nearby was a tree full of these small pink flowers

And these are the most beautiful ones. Sakura!! They are fully bloomed today in Tokyo.

I found this long road full of Sakura trees nearby our apartment. We had little walk there with a friend and her son. Beautiful. Really beautiful. It was a nice walk with a nice friend. Too bad that today was her last day joining the baby swimming class since the boy turned three already and will start kindergarten next month. Here is Iki under the Sakura trees. Lately he always gives me that kind of smile during photo taking. Somewhat he feels that that smile is cool (?!)

Iki was in a good mood today *phew*. And I got good news from papa-chan. Today was my first perfect spring day (^_____^)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

what to do?

I told him not to tap the fish displays at the supermarket. He was angry and cried on the floor. I tried to talk to him but he didnt want to listen. I tried to hug him and brought him out of but he was really strong. You wont believe such a small kid could have such last i put back all the shopping stuffs and used all the power i had to bring him out. its been 1.5 hours now and he is still crying. I couldnt do any groceries, couldnt go home for preparing his lunch. All the eyes are on us, some tried to talk to him but no result. I could only sit beside him, hoping he would calm down.I really want to cry now....

Friday, March 21, 2008

8 Things

Got tagged by Intan about this 8 things, so here we go (^_-^)v

8 Things that I am passionate about (now):
  • My family
  • Living together everywhere with my family :(
  • Friends
  • Food
  • Body shaping :p
  • Traveling and food
  • Cooking
  • Internet and computer
Eight books I have read recently (hmmm baru sadar gak pernah baca novel lagi....)
  • Japanese food, Orange page cooking book
  • VERY magazine (for spring fashion :p)
  • Picture dictionary
  • The Food of Asia
  • Who is hiding under the sea?
  • Orange page February edition: Tamago
  • Land of plenty, by Fuchsia Dunlop
  • Small Christmas books
8 Things I want to do before I die:
  • To watch Iki growing up, getting married and having children
  • To live together with my small family
  • To visit church again :p
  • To reach body weight 38 kgs
  • To swim properly
  • To learn skiing
  • To visit at least one country in each continent
  • To buy a house somewhere in South East Asia (preferably Bali) to spend our life after Hiro's retirement
8 Things I have learnt in these past years:
  • TRUST is very important
  • Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder
  • Sometimes "I'm sorry" is a difficult word. So I really respect someone who could put aside the pride, be responsible and say sorry
  • Patience is one most important thing I must have in raising a toddler
  • That money can ruin a friendship :( and also family ties
  • Positive thinking is healthy!!!!
  • Don't worry too much about everything, it's tiring!
  • That I'm no longer "Shierly". I'm just a wife and a mother now....
8 Things that attract me to my bestfriends:
Hmmmmmm I don't know too. Any of you, my bestfriends, could help me answering this?

8 Songs that I could listen to over and over again: (I MUST to)
  • Obento by Iki
  • Cicak cicak didinding by Iki
  • Ayaya-o-o by Iki
  • Move your head by Iki
  • I think those are songs I must listen to over and over again now. Don't listen to any other songs lately...
8 Things I say often:
  • IKI!!! (more to scream or shout :p)
  • No!
  • Mama is cooking!
  • Mama is busy!
  • Please play by yourself
  • Sit during eating!
  • Bite your food
  • Iki, pipis??
8 people I'm excited to tag:
  • Carla
  • Valens
  • Pre
  • Emmy
  • No more people to tag :p. Others already posted the same thing before

Monday, March 17, 2008


I got sms this afternoon that Hiro will leave in less than a month.

I was numb.

But Hiro felt bad because he said I was so quiet this evening and thought that I was angry to him.
I am NOT!!! I am just numb.

What am I supposed to feel then? happy?

YAY!!! My husband is leaving in less than a month!!
YAY!!! I don't know where to live yet
YAY!!! My family will be separated
YAY!!! It'd be great to raise a toddler by myself
YAY!!! Iki won't see a father's figure for few years
YAY!!! I'll have no one to talk to at night for few years
YAY!!! I'm scared
YAY!!! I'm so waiting forward to it!

I thought tonight I would get warm hug and comforting words. I got harsh ones instead :(

Thank you!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


We went to Asakusa -a distric name that offers traditional side of Tokyo- with my parents in law today. They wanted to show us their new bigger car. Unfortunately I got carsick because of the new car's smell, and drove Hiro mad because I forgot to bring my medicine (forgetting stuffs is in my blood! don't be surprised :p). So actually I lost my mood at the very beginning of the trip (_ _o)

It was lunch time when we arrived there so we browsed for this very famous restaurant named Komagata Dozeu. It serves "dojo" or Japanese loach, and we chose that restaurant because I haven't tried dojo in my life before. Dojo is like small version of unagi (eel) served in its whole shape.

We ordered two types of dojo. The first one coming was this nabe style (hotpot) one. Hiro said that lots of Japanese women could not eat dojo in this style because it came in a whole shape of dojo. They prefer to eat raw fish that these boiled poor dojo hahaha. It tasted soooo good thought and I really really loved it!!

Hiro also doesn't really like the nabe style dojo so he ordered this one. Dojo mixed with gobo (kind of roots) and eggs. The shape of dojo couldn't really be seen then.

There's also dojo Miso soup. I didn't take picture of it, unfortunately. It freaked me out because the dojo I ate was wet from the thick soup. I really felt like they were alive and I ate them directly from the mud. YUCK! God, I got goosebumps remembering that soup (>.<)!

Then we went to the most famous site in Asakusa area, Shenonji temple. I've been there alone in 2003, so this was my second time being there. Can you see the smokey point in front of the main temple? Japanese believe that the smoke could cure diseases so people tried to catch it to their sick part of the body. I put some smoke onto my stomach, hoping that all the fat there would go away hehehe

There were lots of small shops along the street to the main temple. From souvenir shops, snack shops, food stalls, to toy shops (so of course little Iki did some shopping there!). At the end of the row of those shops, there were hanging lanterns in front of the main gate. They must be beautiful at night!

This is the inside part of the temple where people pray. I haven't been to church for almost three years but I went to Japanese temple for three times already in less than 3 months! (two of which were in two weekends!)

There were also Japanese traditional children game stalls. Iki was interested but he was just way toooo small to play the game :)

I enjoyed this chocolate banana. It looked "good" and it tasted good (^_-)v

And this is me in front of the main gate of the temple :). Look at me.....I really need strict diet (T_T)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

White Day

March 14 is celebrated as White Day in Japan. It is when women get the return of the chocolates they gave the ones they love on Valentine's Day. As soon as Valentine's Day was over, all the stores in Japan would change their display for this White Day gifts. Usually men give sweets but nowadays other expensive gifts like jewelry or lingerie are also common. This explains why I didn't get anything from papa-chan on the Valentine's day (^_-)v.

I am not used to this White Day culture yet so I totally forgot about this today. That's why I was bit surprised when papa-chan brought home a box of chocolate for me, and some cheese cakes to celebrate this day. I actually didn't expect it and thought he would be too busy to remember this :p

Papa-chan's rare blueberry cheese cake tasted really good. The cheese simply melted in my mouth.

Iki took this Orange Cheese Cake. I think it's the best amongst others. It had perfect combination of orange's sweetness and thick cheesy taste. Oh I was so sure it contained liquor which made it even tastier. Iki loved it (>.<) and didn't allow me to have any bite hahaha (but my lovely papa-chan took some for me :p)

I had this baked cheese cake because this is what Iki allowed me to eat! It tasted really good though (^_^)

And this is what were inside the red box. Orange chocolate sticks. Boy, they were heaven!. Haven't finished all, of course. I'm sure those cakes and 4 chocolate sticks and Mabo Tofu and a big portion of rice with super spicy sambal for my dinner are enough to make me doubled my Tae Bo practice tomorrow (>.<)

Thank you Papa-chan. This is really sweet *hugs*

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Impossible dream

Two days ago I got information that Hiro is going to be sent to a country where he could not bring family for security reasons.
I knew it would happen sooner or later but still, knowing it myself was like a nightmare. But as a wife I must support him. He's leaving for our sake anyway. Dissapointed? Yes. But life must go on and I have to deal with the decision.
I have to decide where will I live with Iki when we're apart. Either in Indonesia or Japan. Too many things come into consideration that I couldn't decide even though I've been thinking about this nonstop for these two days *sigh*
I miss Indonesia. I miss my family, friends, and the food. But I don't know what will I face there. Where would I live? Manado? My parents are now living with my sister on a small island in the middle of nowhere. My brother lives alone now and I know he'd be more than happy to live with me. BUT I don't think it's wise to live with him and anyway I don't want to take care of him :p.

I have no place to live in Surabaya. I must rent a house and buy ALL the furnitures, or rent a furnished apartment (which is much more expensive than renting our apartment in Japan now!). I don't have any job, and don't intend to have any either. I don't want to leave Iki to baby sitter.
OK I'll be busy on the first few weeks if I moved there. But after I tried all the food I'm missing now, and met my friends, I might have nothing to do then. I don't want to spend my days jumping from one shopping mall to another shopping mall :p.

Bali? I love going there for holiday. But for living? Will I just lying on the beach, tanning myself and Iki every day?!

In other hands, I could actually put Iki into playgroups, or swimming school. But....I don't know. I just think that something is not right. Don't ask me, I couldn't explain what. I want to go to Indonesia. It's just..........

And Japan.
I just started my life here. I don't speak good Japanese, I can't read kanji, I don't know a lot of rules and cultures and habit and common senses yet. I don't know A LOT of things.
But I just start enjoying my life here. I just start making friends. We have swimming class three times a week. Iki and I love it. The food is good and Iki loves Japanese food more than any other food. We're always busy. Either for swimming, playing, surveying, traveling, and shopping. We have happy life here, as a whole family. I don't know if we would still feel the same without Hiro. I am not sure if I could manage being with Iki only for 24 hours.

My parents in law would be really really sad if I moved to Indonesia with Iki. My mother in law always said that she's old and dying and wants to spend time as much time with Iki as possible. But I'll be dying if I have to spend as much time as possible with them hahahaha. JOKING!! I love them. Really I do. They are very nice and lovable. I don't mind to visit them sometime and enjoy traveling with them. It's also very nice to see their happy faces, and also Iki's happy faces if they're together. But it's just tiring, really tiring, spending too much time with them *sorry, Hiro :p*

I couldn't let this matter out of my mind these days, that's why I think I got this very nice dream last night.......

We were packing Hiro's stuffs when suddenly Hiro got the idea to ask his boss if he could bring his family along. I was laughing out loud at his idea but honestly couldn't stop hoping. So the next day we went to his office together. We met a lot of people, and talked with them before at last we met the boss. Then Hiro told her (in my dream, the boss is a woman!) about his idea and explained how we would be able to manage living there. To my surprised, she agreed!!!
So then we went home, full of joy. We stopped by at the nearest supermarket and bought some stuffs for dinner. For dinner celebration, for exact.
Then as we arrived home I started to cook. I couldn't stop smiling because I was too happy. It was like a dream to me. Then my cooking alarm rang as the sign that my rice was ready. It was when my real "alarm" rang too and woke me up :(

I took me few minutes to realize why I was on the bed. My heart was broken into pieces. IT WAS A DREAM!! hahahaha
A very sweet dream indeed, isn't it? but it's an impossible dream.

However I tried to deal with this, from that dream I still realized that deep in my heart I still wished....I wished that we could be together.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

At the park

I'm now accompanying Iki playing at the park.On mornings when we don't have our swimming class,I like to bring him here,let him playing with the slide, with ball,with the swing, or simply trying to catch the pigeons. After he got really tired then he would eat lunch a lot and then sleep easily hehehe
Then I could have little time to take a rest or do my thing (^o^)v

Nikko is Nature

Nikko offers wide range of beautiful nature attractions. Actually it is best to be visited during autumn but Hiro said he might not go there during that time because there would be too many people and too many cars. But visiting Nikko in this winter satisfied me already. It's only two hours drive away from Tokyo but it showed us totally different view.

After visiting the famous Toshugu Shrine, we drove to Lake Chuzenji. We must pass the Irohazaka Winding road. This road 48 needlepoints curves uphill which made me almost throwing up (@_@).
This photo is taken at one panoramic point in the middle of the Irohazaka Winding Road. We could see a beautiful waterfall from there with Irohazaka winding road beside it. I bet this viewpoint is full of people with cameras in Autumn!!

We didn't make a stop at the Lake anyway, but continued our journey to Nikko National Park where our hotel is located. I felt good and relaxed playing with snow again.

I used to hate onsen but this time I loved it. I think it's because I went there alone. My mind and body got relaxed and my skin became very soft afterwards. I enjoyed being inside the very hot outdoor bath surrounded by thick snow. I really wished I could take photo, but those naked ladies will definitely kill me and police will catch me (seriously) if I dared bringing camera inside. The wet towel I put on the rock outside the pool turned into ice when I finished bathing!. Actually I wanted to get inside the onsen at night, after iki was asleep. I wanted to see the night sky with stars from the bath. But I was too "busy" that night with papa-chan hihihihi.
This is me after onsen.

Iki enjoyed this trip too. He happily played with the rented slide:

And trying to make snowman

I drew railway on the snow and Iki excitedly ran on it while shouting "uuuh uuuhhh"

Papa-chan claimed that he was a professional cross country ski player and showed it off

And of course Iki-chan also wanted to try

On the way home we passed this beautiful frozen lake

And visited a small waterfall. There's famous waterfall nearby Lake Chuzenji but there were too tourists coming that we didn't make a stop.

It was my first time getting on a car on this thick snowy road.

Look at those benches. I was tempted to lay down there actually hehehe

We were all happy. I love nature, and Nikko offers more than that.