Friday, October 29, 2010

Farewell Notes

Today marks the last day of my service to my current company after almost 3.5 years tenure there. I blasted emails to all my speakers of my ongoing events last week and at one point, I got so moved by some of their reactions minutes after I sent the emails out. What they wrote to me prompted me to keep those here so I can get easy access in retrieving the memory about my departure from ABF sometime in the near future.

Here they go in chronological order:

Where are you going??
LD, Foreign Legal Counsel of HHP, Indonesia

Hi Christine,
Sorry to hear that you are leaving. Please do keep in touch in your new role (where this will be)? All the best! Remind me to email introduce you to my colleague Robert Liew. Partner who runs our Singapore office.
HH, Resident Partner, Roosdiono & Partners, Indonesia

Hey, mau kemana? :)
Ini email lo?
Good luck for your new job!!!!
Semoga Sukses ya...
AN, Program Officer, International Finance Corporation, Indonesia

Dear Christine,
I was very sorry to receive your e-mail regarding your decision to leave the Asia Business Forum, Singapore soon. I want to take this opportunity to say that during your assignment, you have been with us; your role has been entirely satisfactory.
Hope to see you again soon, perhaps at some place in East Java.
With warm regards,
Udibowo
UC, President Commissioner, PLN Geothermal and Ret-Principal Engineer, PLN Indonesia

Good luck with your new position. Are you staying with ABF?
OK. Best of luck.

EMcC III, Managing Director, Asia Renewables, Hong Kong


Dear Christine,
It is indeed unfavorable moment to see you leave ABF though we've never met each other.
I have had an enjoyable experience working with you through email communication.
Wishing you all the best in your future endeavor.
Kind regards,
AP, President Director, PT. Medco Geothermal Indonesia

Dear Christine,
We wish you all the best and hope our relationship will be continued in the future.
IR, Secretary of CEO, Pusat Investasi Pemerintah (PIP), Ministry of Finance of Republic Indonesia

Dear Christine,
This has come as surprise, indeed it was pleasure interacting with you. I so much wish that you were around at the time of the conference. I hope in your new assignment, there is something for us to interact. Wish you all the best and thanks for your valuable support. Please be in touch.
With warm regards,
Dr. PS, Director of Finance, Delhi Power Company and Delhi Transco Limited, India

Dear Christine,
It's been a pleasure interacting with you. Wish you all the best for your future endeavors.
Thanks and regards,
AK, Head, Crisil Ratings, India

Where are you going Christine.................................... Take me with you also.... hahahahhahaha
GS, Senior Pipeline Engineer, PTTEP, Thailand

Hi Christine,
What a surprise! Are you moving on to some greener pasture? All the best for a brighter future.
CZ, Regional Manager Midstream Asia Pacific, IHS, Singapore

Those lines are so sweet and I appreciate those very much indeed. I saw someone has obviously overplayed it in a silly note (I really hope he is not serious!). Another reaction that really got me rather emotional was from a speaker named JL from Hong Kong whom I've interacted well for the past few months. He called me right after I blasted the announcement farewell email to him.

Farewell presents from colleagues. I still cannot believe that it was my turn to receive them after so many times chipping in and shopping for farewell gifts for other ex-colleagues.

My department colleagues bought me farewell gift and wrote sweet notes on a cute card personally made by Jen. Jen herself gave me a fresh Sunflower after lunch time. The very first Sunflower I received in my entire life. This evening, some colleagues sent farewell emails and SMSes to me. They were such sweethearts. I would definitely missed them, especially all those staff who served the company long before me!

Me under the spotlight.

My boss bought me a farewell cake and gathered the whole office in the conference room. He did the farewell speech and I had to say something too after him. My second time ever giving a farewell speech to my hosting company.

My cubicle.

And at last, this is the photo of my beloved corner cubicle when I left today. The place where I laughed and quietly shed my tears out of frustration once in a while. The place where I dwelt with overloading information, phone calls, emails and produced all those events for the past few years. It was usually messy and loaded with stacks of papers and folders since I liked to drown myself with lots of research papers when I was in the midst of developing an event. Quite weird to see it rather neat now.

All right. Good bye for now, ABF! It has been a long good journey with you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The 'Tired' Mascot

This cute giraffe with a 'So Tired' writing on its neck, at first, was on Rej's desk. I think she brought this from the Philippines. In the beginning, its role was merely as a cute colorful desk decoration or a toy.

 
This is how the giraffe looks when it stands still.

 
This is what happens when the giraffe gets tired. 
Just pressed the button underneath to make it all weak.

Once, when Iris was so stressed out at work, Rej passed this to Iris's desk for few months. This giraffe became our 'tired' mascot ever since.

When it was my turned to be pressed up to the wall at work, Iris passed this to me. It was on my desk until both of them left the company a month ago. 

I took it home today as my last day in the company is drawing near. I have eight more days to go.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Fixed Change

This evening, my husband accompanied me to my new office to sign the employment contract with my new employer. Yes, I finally secured a new job few weeks ago. I'm happy and relieved.


But honestly, I've been dreading and worrying about the fact that I am about to leave my comfort zone in my current company. The energy field that the company's trusted to me for the past few years is really my passion. I always enjoy producing high-profile conferences related to energy sector especially the Power sector.

I grew the company's energy sector and Indonesia event performances from humble beginning back in 2007 into the present's steady 40-50 paid delegates per event. I am so going to miss playing around with the energy sector in Asia - producing an event from just an idea based on the sector's constant developments. I am undoubtedly going to miss meeting the industry people from around the world at the forums that I created too, especially those whom I've established good relationships with thus far. Big time!

My management is pleased with my events' performances too and since last Friday, my direct manager has been asking me to reconsider my decision in leaving my current role as the conference producer there. I appreciate what my bosses feel towards my service in the company since they welcomed me to taste the real working life as a fresh graduate.

Moving forward, I really thank my superiors for all the learnings and opportunities that they gave me to grow into the person that I am today. I also appreciate the independence that my direct manager gives me to create the events that I want to do according to my passion. Him asking me to reconsider my decision to stay put really feels like something is pulling my leg whilst my legs are ready to move forward.

Anyhow, I have made up my mind to move on with my career. I want to learn and explore some new things. Plus, I must not forget the major reasons why I resigned in the first place. Moreover, today the new contract is signed. My brand new life will officially start mid of next month. I'm preparing myself to the changes. Major adjustments will take place soon.

Now I can just trust what people say about change. That a change is good since nothing in this world is permanent but change.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

江山易改, 本性难移

江山易改, 本性难移
jiāng shān yì gǎi,běn xìng nán yí

Snow leopard.

This Chinese idiom means "It is easy to change rivers and mountains, but hard to alter one's nature". Or in other translation, it can also mean "A leopard can't change its spots". From a free dictionary in the internet, this idiom means that a person's character, especially if it is bad, will not change even if he or she pretends it has.

My husband texted me this line when we were not in our best mood last weekend. We fought over the same thing. Well, I made him angry over the same thing, to be exact. Unreasonable jealousy and over-control. Somehow, I am always the one who pick the fight between us. I like to test his love on me. And when he really can't take it anymore and is finally really angry, I get so scared. I apologize and promise him to change. Over and over again.


This happens repeatedly. Although deep inside I seriously dread for the worst consequences from him (one day), I still do the pattern. Again and again. I never change.


Will I not change?


*Photo randomly taken from the internet since I never took a photo of a leopard, although I saw one in a zoo I think.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Movie Review: Eat, Pray, Love

To take my husband to cinema especially for a drama or love story movie is almost not possible.

Yesterday, we were just so bored at home. Hot Saturday afternoon with not much to do at home, here in Singapore. We decided to just go to Bishan Cinema and bought two tickets of whatever movie available for sudden purchase. Somehow, we just like that Junction8 Mall in Bishan better than AMK Hub.


During my Friday lunch with big groups of colleagues in Swensen's Orchard, I heard they mentioned that Eat, Pray, Love The Movie is rather boring though the book is famous. Anyway, despite the not-so-good remark, I chose Julia Roberts movie for my movie date with husband. I was pretty sure, my husband would scold me if I made him watch this kind of movie in a cinema but I just wanted to see the movie since Bali was chosen as one of the movie sets. During the movie, I heard him laughing and teasing me. So I thought, my choice was okay. In the end, he said the movie was not bad.

Basically this movie Eat, Pray, Love is literally about eating, praying and loving. To live a full life, we need to have good appetite to enjoy good food offered in this world. Secondly, we need pray to God so we need a faith to hold on to when ourselves or other humans fail to help us. And lastly, we have to find someone of group of people to sincerely love, express our love and feel loved.

One negative thing that my husband and I felt about this movie is the divorce part and frequent lover changing (although maybe the second point is inevitable in life).

We both love the scenery and cultural settings that the movie offered. Italy, India and Indonesia. Hmm... I miss Bali now.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

IKEA Date

My husband and I went shopping to IKEA Tampines last Saturday. Shopping in IKEA is always fun. Our main mission was to find a writing table for the AMK room. We have been surviving without a table in the new house for about three months already.

 
 Ready to hunt the table.

 
Shop shop shop 'til you drop.

We bought quite a number of stuff there such as a table, a chair, a photo frame and a plastic container set. Surprisingly they all only cost us about S$77 in total.

Not to mention, we had the chance to taste the infamous Swedish meatballs again with a cup of Neapolitan Ice Cream and Princess Cake for lunch.

  Lunch Menu: Swedish meatballs pasta, Neapolitan ice cream and Princess cake.


Trying IKEA's meatballs pasta for the first time.
The meatballs with potato dish is still better.

Just now I thought of compiling my husband's comical face series using Scrapblog again. I purposely snapped lots of his candid expression pictures when we were checking the garage sale for the partially damage products there, despite his constant protests.


The photos look rather small, huh!

10.10.10 Was Not Our Day

People buzzed about 10.10.10 a lot. Mostly on the happy stuff about 10.10.10. On Facebook, I saw so many people posted many special things and quotes about the date. In the news, I saw hundreds of people tied the knot in Singapore.

But 10.10.10 was not really my husband's and my day. It was not a regular Sunday. There were so many things happened that day, literally since we opened our eyes in the morning until we closed our eyes at night. Almost all were bad things.

Here are the chronicles:

After we woke up rather late that Sunday morning, my husband suggested us drive away from Ang Mo Kio area and have breakfast somewhere, considering that last weekend might be his last time driving to Singapore. I suggested we eat at one of the restaurants along the Killiney Road. We agreed and drove there. According to our GPS in iPhone, AMK to Killiney Road was only about 10km. In fact, we did not have so much complications in finding the way there by driving, but what happened in the end was that we could not find a parking spot around the Killiney road.

We circled the Somerset-Orchard-Dhoby Ghaut area to get to the Killiney Road again for the second time and hoped for an empty spot. Yet, there was no luck. Could not afford wasting time, petrol and growling stomachs any longer, we decided to go home with empty stomach.

On our way home, my husband knocked someone's car in front of us when we were stuck in the traffic light in Orchard Road. He was reading the GPS on iPhone and could not split his concentration in the traffic light. Totally my bad. I should have been a better partner and learned to help him read GPS and navigate the direction whilst he drives. Moreover, I should have let him buy the real GPS to begin with. A lesson well learned.

Super bad luck on a sunny Sunday.

Not long, my husband ended making a report in Somerset Police Station and I waited for him in the car for about one hour. Luckily, the Caucasian guy whose car was hit was not rude to us and settled this issue calmly. There was no fine implied from Singapore Police for this unfortunate event but my husband will have to compensate the victim S$ 600 cash this weekend for fixing the car and sign a mutual agreement to dismiss the police reports.

Like any other normal guys who had just knocked someone's car, my husband's mood was indeed very much affected after the accident. Finally, we only our breakfast during lunch time and decided to just park the car in a residential area around the Somerset Police Station and walked back to the restaurant stretch along the Killiney Road.

I took him to The Freshly Baked Restaurant and ordered a sandwich for both of us. Luckily, the Cajun Chicken Sandwich in whole meal bread plus a glass of cold milk consoled us a bit. But obviously, both of our mood was already ruined by the whole Sunday morning ordeal.

Forced smile.

The Freshly Baked's Cajun Chicken Sandwich ($ 6.90 per portion).
A glass of cold milk ($3 per serving).

A one shared huge sandwich was not enough. We continued to Killiney Kopitiam next door and ordered Nasi Lemak, Chee Chong Fan and my favorite grass jelly with Longan dessert. I didn't take any photo of our stop there, unfortunately.

We went home and took a nap. Then at 5pm, my husband had to go back to Malaysia. It was my first Sunday after so long without him around. I was suddenly so down when I realized that I had to spend my Sunday evening alone at home, without him. I was just not used to the lonely feeling anymore, especially on weekend. Call me cheesy, but I literally missed him in seconds after I saw him driving away. That's where another bad mood kicked in my brain.

I felt so tortured being alone at home in AMK so when Miyuki invited me to go to her house in Toa Payoh for dinner that night I said YES. I went to Toa Payoh and tried to find her house. I got lost twice in Toa Payoh HDB area until she had to picked me up in the MRT Station. We tried to find dinner but the food court near her house was closed already. We ended cooked Indomie at her house, without knowing that Indomie would be banned in the foreign markets a day later. Darn.

I already had bad mood since my husband went home earlier that day. He also had a bad mood since I made him miss his friend's wedding in Malaysia for the second time consecutively. To complete the story, my husband had to deal with the longest traffic ever in the highway near Seremban on his way back home. There was a fatal bus accident in the highway and it caused him trapped in the traffic for two hours for 15 km distance.

In conclusion, we both had the longest Sunday ever and went through an uneasy night as well. We could not help but brought this bad mood forward to the next day.

What a Sunday. And What a Monday to start this week. Lucky, so far, Tuesday treats us slightly better.

Frangipani

If I had a garden of my own, I'd plant two favorite flowers of mine there: Lilies and Frangipani.

I've been admiring of one particular flower for the longest time but only managed to find the real name from my husband's "1001 Garden Plants in Singapore" book published by National Parks Singapore last weekend. His sub-contractor bought this book for choosing the plants needed for his Mersing's project landscape.


Last Saturday night, he let me read the book and I finally found what I wanted to know. After so long. I found the photos and name of my favorite flower on page 1001 in the book. I knew the name of this flower in Bahasa Indonesia since my Mom has few pots of the pink one at home but I had always been curious to find out its popular name in English.

My other favorite flower after Lily is called Plumeria. Its common name is Frangipani. It is a tropical flower family and has two famous color variations, pink and white/yellow. I often see hotels and spa houses put this flowers as decorations in the rooms or bathrooms or even the swimming pools, especially in Bali.

Pink Frangipani

 
White/Yellow Frangipani

In my imagination, I'd have one tall Frangipani stand in the middle of my grass-carpeted garden. Then smaller frangipani plants in pots will be put surrounds the garden itself. Neat and nice. I shared this idea to my husband and he said it's a good idea.

But now I am contemplating. After reading more about this flower in Wikipedia, Frangipani is associated as to ghosts and demon. In facts, they are common plants planted in cemeteries in Indonesia or Malaysia, which I noticed too. Although nowadays, many people plants these flowers in their house, but still this fact creeps me. Brr.....

Apparently, there is nothing perfect even when it comes to beautiful flowers too.

** Photos are randomly taken from various sources in the internet.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wedding Photos and Songs

My husband was in Singapore since Wednesday but I was not able to accompany him during the day since I had to work. He was quite bored at home, alone and doing nothing much all day long. Yesterday afternoon, he told me that he had thought on the photos and wedding songs for us and would discuss again with me when I reached home.

Step 7. Selecting photos for pre-wed photos inspirations

I have seen quite a number of wedding and pre-wedding photo works but I always particularly love and admire Axioo photography results. Sadly, we do not think we could hire Axioo at the time being. Axioo's photo works are fantastic and uber creative for wedding photos inspirations.

We'd browsed many wedding photographers' websites and some other random wedding photos from google. I had shown my husband the kind and style of pre-wedding photos that I want to have for ours and he has done the same too. We'd feedback these to our assigned photographer once we fix the dates for the pre-wedding photo shooting session.

Next to-do-list:
  • Fix the dates for pre-wedding photos and select the dresses for the photo shooting session
  • Give feedback the photographer about the exact style and locations of the pre-wedding photos that we want to take
Step 8. Selecting wedding songs

Yesterday my husband has started selecting the songs that we want to play during the wedding. He chose about five songs but I only approved half of them. Then, he asked me to select the songs that I want myself and he will look into them again.

We both feel that in selecting wedding songs, it is important to select those evergreen love songs with attention to the lyrics and melody. Below are some wedding songs that I chose and this list is still subject to my husband's approval.
  1. Wedding March (Instrumental)
  2. Beautiful - Jim Brickman ft. Wayne Brady
  3. The Gift - Jim Brickman ft. Martina Bride
  4. You're My Destiny - Jim Brickman ft. Martina Bride
  5. Beautiful Girl - Jose Mari Chan
  6. A Whole New World - Celine Dion & Peabo Bryson
  7. Can't Help Falling in Love - UB40
  8. Can't Take My Eyes Off You - TBA
  9. I'm Your Angel - Celine Dion & R. Kelly
  10. All the Love in the World - The Corrs
  11. Eternal Flame - Atomic Kitten
  12. Everything - Michael Buble
  13. From This Moment On - Shania Twain
  14. I Knew I Love You - Savage Garden
  15. I Swear - All4One
  16. Lucky - Jason Mraz ft. Colbie Caillat
  17. You're Beautiful - James Blunt
  18. Tonight I Celebrate My Love - Peabo Bryson
Next to-do-list:
  • Finalize the wedding songs selection and burn them into a CD. My husband said choose 10 songs for this is good enough but I am still not sure with this. Create a slide show for the other couple photos that we want to display during the wedding lunch/dinner

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Beef Noodle War: Seremban vs. Singapore

I put the bet on Hock Lam's Authentic Beef Noodle as the Singapore's beef noodle champion. This is the best beef noodle I've ever tasted in Singapore. It is Singapore's oldest beef noodle restaurant and has been maintained by the family's four generations since its inception in 1911. There's always long queues at their restaurant in Boat Quay and I saw so many national reviews and award certificates about the goodness of their beef noodle pasted everywhere in the restaurant's wall. I am this restaurant's regular customer since Iris Tan introduced this place to me sometime last year.

Recently both my husband and I tried the beef noodle from the food court in Bishan, but to our disappointment, its taste was very bad. Very plain and traumatic. Therefore, I thought for beef noodle in Singapore, Hock Lam's is still the winner.

Hock Lam's Dry Beef Kway Tiao with Meatballs in Boat Quay.
(Normal size at S$ 5.50).

I was very proud over this fact and purposely dragged my husband to Hock Lam's restaurant near my workplace for lunch last Friday. Amazingly, after the first bite, he gave me a sour face. According to him, Hock Lam's beef noodle is not good. He gave me a bored and unhappy face whilst eating my favorite beef noodle in Singapore and looked like struggling in finishing it.

Showing my favorite Beef Noodle in Singapore off to my husband.

I was terrified and surprised at his response. Then, he said, "This beef noodle is nothing compared to the one in Seremban. You tasted the beef noodle in Malaysia before, right? The one from Pasar Besar (Big Market). What do you think?" I told him that the one from Seremban is good. Both taste equally good. It's just that Singapore has different style in preparing the beef noodle. Both use different type of noodles, sauce mix and part of the beef.

After lunch, he told me that he is so going to take me eat his favorite beef noodle in Malaysia over the weekend.

And he indeed did. On late Sunday morning, he took me to Pasar Besar in Seremban. The place is rather smelly, wet and dirty (you know.. wet market!) but apparently that's where you get the best Beef Noodle in Seremban. The kitchen's hygiene is definitely a far cry from A Grade but people say, just eat. Don't look at the cooking process. So, I just ate. It tasted delicious, anyway.

Seremban Pasar Besar's Dry Beef Noodle with Extra Meat Balls.
(Big size at RM 6).

Tasting the Pasar Besar's Dry Beef Noodle again for the second time.

Actually, after eating the one from Seremban, I have to sadly report that Seremban's style tastes much better (and cheaper) than the one in Singapore. Singapore's beef noodle is rather pale in comparison with Seremban Pasar Besar's beef noodle. I lost to my husband for this beef noodle tasting championship.

But still, in Singapore, only Hock Lam's beef noodle is recommended.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Making Pecel

Growing up, I always love Pecel - A traditional Indonesian dish made of various boiled vegetables poured with peanut sauce. To me, it's a healthy and delicious dish especially if served with hot steamed rice and crackers.

My Mom brought three packs of Bumbu Pecel from Malang as presents for my husband's family when she visited us last August. Only last weekend, I finally did something with one of them since my mother in law did not know how to make Pecel.

My husband and I bought kangkong, bean sprouts and cabbage on Saturday night and planned to have Pecel for lunch. Since we had a very late breakfast on Sunday, we cooked Pecel together as our Sunday's super late lunch.

I think eating Pecel without any crackers is quite sad. Something is just missing. Luckily, my Mom reminded me to deep fry some prawn crackers that she also brought to Malaysia last August. I tasked my husband to do all the frying thing - sunny side up eggs and prawn crackers. Before that, I told him to put some raw crackers under the sun before frying them up.

Easy-peasy steps for making Pecel at home.

Wash all the vegetables you like for the mix.

Boil the cleaned cut preferred choice of vegetables.


Boiled cabbage ready for Pecel mix.

Fry some sunny side up eggs for additional Pecel's companion.

Dilute one pack of the Bumbu Pecel with hot water, as needed. 
Pour the diluted Bumbu Pecel on top of the boiled veggies

Raw prawn crackers ready for deep frying

The cracker expands in boiling hot cooking oil in less than one second.

Prawn crackers ready for Pecel.

Serve Pecel with the prawn crackers.  
Best eaten with hot steamed rice.

It felt so damn GOOD to eat Pecel again after so long. Especially when you, an Indonesian, are not in Indonesia. Too bad there was no hot steamed rice at home.

Hey, apparently Pecel's taste appeals to Malaysian's palate too. Phew!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Did Something Brave

On Friday morning, I did something brave. I did something that I thought I would never ever do. I ruined my own plan.

That morning, I tendered my resignation letter from my current company before actually finding a new job. I mean I have been trying to find one every now and then but have yet to secure one. I hope I will find one soon, within this one-month notice - or I'd be a stranded expensive housewife in Singapore.

I had planned for moving on for so long but in my initial plan, I would only really quit my job when I finally find a new better one. Not without one, like now. However, I believe that Friday's incident was not an impromptu move over anger or frustration (or maybe a little bit). I have given thoughts on this for quite some time but something happened on Thursday afternoon rounded my plan up. I consulted my husband and parents about this plan and even had a terrible sleepless night in welcoming that Friday's morning.

I have been affected by too many things, for too long and stayed put for the past 3.5 years. Now my dear producer colleagues, Iris and Rej, who had been always together with me in ups and downs - ones of the only reasons to stay in this job, have decided to move on.

I hope my decision to leave my current job won't reflect cowardice or anything equal to that. These days are the period of my life whereby I cannot afford to be jobless and relying on my husband's finances, simply because I have husband now, is never really in my plan.

Now, I am horribly scared and worried on the uncertainties ahead. God, help me find my new way soon. I believe that everything happens for a reason. What's meant to be is meant to be.

Never give up and never stop on job hunting! I will find one. A better one. Soon. *convincing myself*

Wedding Checklist Phase 1: Starting Up the Plan

I am now in the midst of preparing our wedding and instead of doing the planner in a piece of paper or notebook, I was thinking to keep the track of the wedding checklist in my blog - what have been done so far and what needs to be done ahead given the time frame. Plus, to make the whole wedding process preparation memory accessible again in the future, when dementia might attacks.


I have actually done some of the basic preparations and am currently using some online sources for guides but of course, the online wedding checklist that I found is customized to my husband's and my personal needs and tastes.

These are few things what we both have accomplished thus far in terms of counting down to the wedding date.

Step 1. Engagement

My husband and I have two different nationalities and practice different faiths, in terms of religion. Engagement could be one of the quarrel source since the way both parties practice this are not the same. To most of Chinese Malaysians, there's no such thing. To Chinese Indonesian community, engagement (订亲) is a big and must-do thing. I remember we quarreled a lot in meeting in the middle to determine the engagement procedure that satisfies both parties. In the end, his side agreed to do this before ROM and his core family members flew all the way to my hometown armed with the necessary 'equipments' to 'buy over' me  from my parents.

Finally it took place back on 10th of July in my hometown, Malang. My parents prepared a small lunch buffet for the bride's big family to witness the engagement. Full story of my engagement party is here.

He needed to give me a necklace as a promise of marriage

Engagement is done. The very first official step to marriage after the proposal is finally done.

Step 2. Registration of Marriage (ROM)

Due to different nationalities and current domiciles, we had difficulties in registering our marriage in Malaysia. ROM paperwork and procedures for foreign spouse were just madness there and not possible to be done in my current condition. Indonesia itself was not much a choice for conducting our ROM since I live in Singapore.

In the end, after some research, we decided to just do it in Singapore. The neutral place with doable and very practical ROM paperwork. ROM first application was done online and basically, it only required for IC and passport numbers.

For this, we flew my core family members over to Malaysia and Singapore to witness our legal marriage solemnization. We chose our mothers to be our ROM witnesses. I engaged a local ROM/Wedding specialist photographer, Nick Goh, to do the photo shooting and given the fact that he is a specialist in Singapore, his ROM photography time line planner was really already in order and easy for us to follow - from booking until the photo album  collection.

Pre-ROM photo shoot at the Telok Ayer Park

After the Solemnization

Next to-do-list:

Both husband and I need to go to Malaysia High Commission and Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and update them about our ROM. We need to get the legalization chops on our ROM Certificate from both embassies for paperwork purpose. I really need to get this done within 6 months since our ROM date otherwise we would have to pay 100RM penalty for the Malaysian side.


Step 3. Planning the Wedding - Choosing the Wedding Date

Both families had actually discussed on how to proceed with the wedding celebrations. In summary, we agreed that we would do a wedding dinner in my hometown, Malang, sometime before the wedding party in Seremban. So, we really have to do double wedding preparations and budget here.

Before we could do any further on the wedding preparation, the one thing that we need to settle is the wedding date. It was not that easy for us to do since both families believe in 'The Good Wedding Date' and for this we have to ask the 'Smart Person' (usually in temple) for his advice. We waited for almost two months for the new lunar calendar to come out before we actually could find the 'Smart Person' and get the wedding date from him.

A couple weeks ago, the whole family visited my mother in law's trusted temple in Muar and sought the advice on the wedding date there. The 'Smart Person' asked for the birthday particulars of the bride, groom and their respective parents for consideration. He jotted all the dates down and opened his lunar calendar book.

 
The birthdays' scribbles

In the end, he came up with 11th September 2011 (or 14th August in Lunar Calendar) as the best date for our wedding date during the Rabbit Year.

The chosen wedding date and the advised 'pick-up' hours. 

I am a Christian and my husband is a Buddhist. To me, it would be ideal if we could do a wedding matrimony again in church in Malang but sadly, I had to drop the idea since both bride and groom have to be baptized first to be eligible for holy matrimony in Christian church. I do not believe in forcing religion, faith or belief to somebody. So, we would just do the ceremony again in a traditional Chinese way in Malaysia - To suit his family tradition too.

Step 4. Book the restaurant

Right after we knew about the confirmed wedding date, my husband immediately called his preferred Chinese restaurant in Seremban and booked it for our wedding lunch next year. I quickly informed my parents in Indonesia on the final date and we decided to have our wedding dinner in Malang two weeks earlier before the one in Seremban, which falls on 27 August 2011. My Mom had booked her preferred restaurant for our wedding dinner sometime after Hari Raya holiday. At least, now the most crucial thing has been done.

Step 5. Research and Book the Wedding Package 

My husband and I had spent one day to visit some bridal houses in Seremban. We compared their wedding packages, gowns, prices and photo portfolios. Today, after careful considerations, we finally confirmed Passion Bridal Selection which we feel to be the best bridal house amongst all in town and paid the required early deposit. With this, basically for the Malaysia Wedding we have settled:
  • Wedding gowns
  • Groom's coat
  • Pre-wedding photography (together with the 7 different gowns, hair-do and make up plus photo albums)
  • Pre-wedding photo slideshows (in DVD) for the wedding lunch
  • Flower bouquet for the wedding lunch
  • Car decoration 
  • Make-up and hair-do for the actual wedding date
Next to-do-list prior the pre-wed photography sessions: 
  • Plan the dates for choosing pre-wedding photography gowns and photo shooting time and venues
  • Buy long-sleeve white shirt for the groom
  • Get inspirations for the preferred pre-wedding photos for the photographer
  • Buy hand-bouquet flowers for photo-shoot purpose
  • Buy balloons for photo-shoot purpose (since I knew that I wanted some casual and sweet photos with colorful balloons)
Next to-do-list for the wedding preparation in Malaysia: 
  • Choose the wedding cake
  • Browse and choose wedding invitation
  • Buy shoes that match the wedding dress
  • Compile photos for the slideshows during wedding lunch
  • Choose songs for the wedding lunch
  • Confirm on-site photographer for the wedding lunch
  • Browse for souvenirs
  • Think of the wedding lunch procession including choosing MC
  • Consult with Iris Tan and Rej for the groom's obstacle games, if need be
  • Learn to speak and listen more Mandarin so I can communicate with the photographer and make-up artist better. 要听,要讲。
That's all I can think for Malaysia wedding preparation for now. I can't think of the Indonesia wedding just yet and heavily rely on my parents to settle almost everything there. Indonesia's wedding would definitely be more complicated than the straight-to-the-point Malaysia's wedding style. I might even need to hire a Wedding Organizer to get the Malang Wedding done - and it means more money to spend! I'll get my hands dirty on this during my visit with husband to Malang this December.

Yehey! At least we finally did something about it! Slowly but sure.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Superb Steaks in Seremban

We thought Mother was spending the night in KL today. After we ran errands around the town, we decided to settle our dinner outside. My husband suggested Kensington Restaurant for dinner tonight when we accidentally passed by the restaurant whilst we were searching for a beauty salon for my facial around the area - which we could not find. He told me that his friends said the food in this restaurant is not bad. So I said OK. Let's try.

After he finished paying the outstanding bill in the hospital, we dropped by to the quiet Kensington restaurant. It was about 6 pm and I think it was too early for people to have steak dinners. Out of my expectation, their streaks turned to be GOOD!

Grilled dory fish with cajun sauce and tomato, onion bits: 9/10.
 I love the tangy tomato cuts and tasty wedges!

I just ate fish and chips the other night but tonight's fish was not a bad choice at all. 
Mango and orange juice combo was nice too.

My husband ordered this chicken steak. I could not help but stealing the sauce almost all the time.

Sizzling chicken with ham in cheese sauce: 10/10

As we were eating our dinner, apparently people started coming. The quiet restaurant was half-full in less than one hour. And I know why. Price is affordable. Food is excellent. Environment is acceptable. We have just found another place for regular dining.