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Showing posts from 2011

Christmas

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I just want to share my Christmas service.

Christmas at United Christian Church of Dubai (UCCD).
No decoration at all.

And the sermon went something like this:

Christmas is to remind us of the deeply disturbing, the ugly: our sins.
No one deserves Christmas.
If we realize we are sinners, then indeed, merry is the news of Christmas. The one who we should be saved from is the one who saves us: Christ.

My effort to hold my tears almost would not let me sing "Amazing Grace" after the sermon. Why can't Christmas be celebrated like this every year, in the whole world?

Lord, have mercy on us. Kyrie, Eleison.
Christ, have mercy on us. Christe, Eleison.

My HG Facial Wash

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Because this is a blog belongs to an acne prone wife, I think it's about time I talk about acne :)

I had to say goodbye to clear skin since the last year of senior high school. My acne started to run havoc on my face since I was around 17. Since then, I have tried to get rid of those bumps by getting drugstore products, seeing the doctor, going to skin clinic, etc. They sometimes got better, they sometimes got worse. But I would consider my acne mild. It's nothing a little powder cannot cover ;)

Anyway, in these last couple of years, I have found an HG (holy grail) facial wash that has kept my acne at bay. May I present: Himalaya Herbals Neem & Turmeric Soap.

Image is from the website
Gently cleanses. Keeps skin soft & smooth.
Fortified with Azadirachta indica (Neem) and Curcuma longa (Turmeric) that remove problem causing bacteria and protect your skin keeping it refreshed and healthy.

It is not specifically designed for facial wash, but when I first bought it in Singapor…

Retirement Fund

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I know that in Money Talks I said I wanted to talk about Emergency Fund first. But after thinking it through, I think I'm comfortable with first talking about Retirement Fund.

Note: This post will talk about money in IDR currency.

Everyone plans to retire someday, right? To be able to enjoy your senior years without struggling about work and money anymore. Now, let's do some math with the help of http://tujuanloapa.qmfinancial.com

Please click it for bigger image.

So if I am now 28 years old, and I want to retire working at 55 years old, and I expect to live until 80 years old, that means I have 25 years of enjoying my retirement life. The problem is I will still have expenses, right? And because I will have retired, I will no longer have income.

25 years of having to spend for expenses without income. Oh no.

Perhaps you will say that it will be easy because by then we will already have saving. So now, let's calculate how much we need for that 25 years of my retirement life, sti…

Customer Service WHAT?

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Have you ever been disappointed by how a company/store serves customers? In the past I had some complaints about this and that, here and there. Especially in Dubai, everyone seems to have a bad temper. Store keepers are usually very snappy and rarely say thank you. I had disappointments, but never bitterness, until yesterday.

Yesterday I went to a branch of HSBC in Deira, Dubai to cash my hard-earned-first-ever check (from my first freelance job - I will talk more about that in another post).

That's the building. But I grabbed the image from here.

I walked in the big building, confused which counter to go, then asked the receptionist. The beautiful receptionist did not so much as look at me while answering my question with mumbled words. I grasped only a part of what she said, and decided to look for the counter myself.

I found the counter, got a queuing ticket. A man behind a counter was available and he called me. I showed him my check, and he mumbled something, pointing at the back…

Five Hours in A Foreign Country

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So the husband got quite a long weekend a couple of weeks ago because of a national holiday, so we decided we were going somewhere out of town.

We googled and found out that Oman is a neighboring country that can be reached with land transportation. And what a pleasant surprise it was when a friend invited to go with his family after called him to ask about visa to Oman.

So the somewhat winding journey began :)

The view when we were near the border

We left from Dubai to Oman border at 8 am, and reached Dubai-Oman border at 10 am. The process at the Dubai immigration was fast although somewhat confusing. There were no signs of which counter to go first.

Things got worse when we hit Oman immigration. There were NO building to queue to get our passports stamped. We were to queue under the dessert sun. Unbelievable.

See?

And the immigration officer worked quite slow. It took us three hours to clear the immigration, from 10 am until 1 pm! Luckily the gentlemen of our group sacrificed themselves t…

Money Talks

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For some time I've been reading some blogs from (Indonesian) independent financial planners, and I realized that I couldn't have been less wiser in money matters.

I have posted in January about how I wanted to do debt diet. Fortunately, this one I managed. I have trimmed down my debt and I can proudly say that I am now free of debt. But I have almost no saving.

According to those financial planners' blogs I read (they are on the list of My Daily Reading on the right side of this blog, by the way), the next things I should prepare are:
Protection (Insurance)
Emergency FundEducation Fund (for my future children)Retirement FundNow, how much we should prepare for those funds, and what financial products we should buy, they all depend on each of our goals, so what works for me might not work for everybody else.
Note: Now, excuse my English terms in all this financial matters :D The blogs I read are in Indonesian, and I am not familiar with finance terms in English :DLet's talk a…

Homesick

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Homesick was one of the things I could not understand, simply because I never felt homesick. Maybe because I was never away from home for a long time.

However, moving to another country proves to be a whole new experience for me to learn to be homesick.

I moved from Indonesia to Dubai in August 2011. The first weeks were awesome. The husband took me to places for sightseeing; I learned to manage our little studio apartment. Basically, meeting the husband after month apart felt good.

After that, I started to look for jobs.

And my first interview.

We took a couple of buses and had to walk a couple of miles to the interview place. The sun was strikingly hot. We got lost and had to take a taxi there.

The interviewee was a big Western guy (after I googled I found out he was Australian), and he was intimidating.

And I was intimidated.

We got home, and I started to worry.

Can I survive in this place? This place is so foreign. Come to think of it, the people are not friendly. Moreover, Asian people ar…

My (Early) Impression of Dubai

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It's tricky to define Dubai, and my definition might be too early because I've just been here for a month and a couple of days.
However, for sure, although Dubai is in Arabian peninsula, you will be disappointed if you look for Arabia world here. For one thing, 85% of the people here are expatriates (and most of them are India and Pakistani). Another thing, Dubai is like a showcase of its country UAE to display how modern and rich the country is.
In my humble opinion, the showcase is somewhat tacky and lots of times over the top.
"Literally" over the top, right? :D
You can browse the Internet and read the history of Dubai, but to make the story short, it was in around 1970 that Dubai started to build fast and tall. So it is like in the Arabian 1001 nights. This modern city was built "magically" overnight . No wonder not much ancient culture can be found here. But if you insist, you can still see such things (click for bigger picture):
Left: Traditional Dubai Wat…

Eat What You Cook

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The beauty of just-married couples is how they do everything together. They sleep together, they shop together, they solve problem together, they laugh together, they pray together, they cry together, they cook together.

And they eat together.

And we realized that our cooking is crap.


Yuck.
Image is from here.


I shared about this with a best friend back in the home country, and he was exceptionally sympathetic.
Best friend: Poor you. What are you craving now? I'll take pictures of it.
Me: Ha. Ha. Very funny.
Now is 4 pm. And I have to think of something to cook for dinner. *sigh*

Lesson learned: Learn to cook and actually do cook when you're still in your mom's house!

How One-Way Ticket Works for Me

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I don't know if this rule is worldwide or only in Indonesia, but to travel abroad you have to have return ticket. I believe it is to avoid people to work illegally abroad and not coming back to their home country.

No country would want this to happen.
Image is from here.


Anyway, when I wanted to leave for Dubai, UAE to be with the husband who's working there, I called several travel agents to purchase a one-way ticket because I needed not a return ticket (and of course to save some money :D). But those travel agents insisted that they could not sell a one-way ticket. It's against the rule, they said, although I had tried to explain that I would have some kind of a visa.

So the husband decided to make a residence visa sponsored by the husband (not by the company) and here is the process:
Prepare a copy of the marriage certificate (translated into English by a certified and sworn translator, legalized by Kementerian Hukum dan HAM RI, Kementerian Luar Negeri RI, and Embassy of UAE…

Pokoknya Sambel Goreng ala Mama

Bahan + bumbu:
Kerang / udang / ayam / lauk apa aja dehBawang putihBawang merahLombok besarDaun jeruk
Garam, gulaKecap manis
Cara masak:
Campur lauk dengan garam dan gula
Gongsong bawang putih dan bawang merahTambahkan lombok, daun jeruk, dan lauknyaKetika air sudah sat, tambahkan kecap manisMasak sebentar, matang deh
Looks easy peasy!

*Resep diajarkan oleh Mama kepada anaknya si Acne Prone Wife yang sedang merantau dan lebih sering dimasakin suami ini

Resep Sayur Kuah ala Suci

Bahan:
Kaldu (ayam/daging)
Potongan tahu halusWortelKocokan telurSawi / Pochai
Bumbu:
Merica, garam, gula1/2 sdt minyak wijenTumisan bawang putih (cincang) dan daun prei (potong tipis)

Cara masak:
Didihkan kalduBumbui dengan merica, garam, gulaMasukkan potongan tahu halus, wortel, kocokan telurTerakhir masukkan potongan sawi/pochaiTambahkan minyak wijen, tumisan bawang putih & daun preiSetelah mendidih langsung angkat supaya sayur tidak layu
Selamat mencoba!

*Resep diberikan oleh Suci kepada sepupunya si Acne Prone Wife yang sedang merantau ini

Eleven Hours in Brunei

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Between my flight from Surabaya to Dubai, I had an eleven-hour-layover in Bandar Sri Begawan, Brunei. It wasn't a lot of time but I managed to snap these few random things (click for bigger pictures):

How streets and building look in Bandar Sri Begawan


A traditional market by the river.
We can ride on the boat, but the smell of the river was too much.


The hotel where I stayed for a couple of hours.
I like the logo.


For lunch I went to a shabby food court next to the hotel.
The sign made me pay attention to where I stepped.


If you're not an Indonesian, you might not find this picture amusing.
Indome - ayam - telur
Indome - cornbeef
Indome - mata lembu
Indome - skramble


Bandar Sri Begawan airport.
Everyone in Gate 5 wanted to go to London. It seemed that I'm the only one heading to Dubai.


Interesting things I found about Brunei:
The cars are very polite. They always stop when people want to cross the street. (Unlike in Surabaya/Indonesia)There are only 400,000 people living …

Menuju Suami

Today I feel like writing in Indonesian. So, here it is.

Akhirnya saya menyusul suami juga setelah enam bulan menjalani long-distance-marriage, setelah setahun lebih sebelumnya menjalani long-distance-pacaran.

Jujur, saya merasa seperti Siti Nurbaya yang dikawinkan melalui perjodohan (untungnya tanpa paksa). Semacam akan menemui orang baru yang cuma saya kenal lewat chatting. Tapi semoga ini bisa bikin banyak sparks seperti orang baru pacaran yang lagi hot-hotnya gitu ya.

Anyway, ini bukan kali pertama saya ke luar negeri, tapi jujur dodolnya mirip orang yang belum pernah naik pesawat. Sepertinya ini dikarenakan setiap kali bepergian saya tidak pernah sendiri. Dan itu membuat saya "seperti kerbau dicocok hidung," ngikut aja tanpa ngerti.

Dimulai dari kelebihan beban, membongkar koper di hadapan petugas demi mengeluarkan 3kg dan gawatnya lingerie macan (haummm) pemberian teman kok paling atas *plak*. Lalu salah jalan ke sana sini (ini sih biasa buat saya).

Yang agak memalukan…

Not the royal wedding

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Because today is the wedding of the century, the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate, I thought I would write something about wedding. Not the royal wedding, though. This is the story of my very own wedding.My wedding was a multicultural wedding, not because the bride and the groom were of different culture, but because Chinese Indonesians in Indonesia are usually bewildered among cultures. But that what makes it interesting, doesn't it?I started the long ceremony list by holding "Widodaren" at my home a couple of days before the wedding. From the name, you know that it's a Javanese tradition. Please don't ask me what it means; I don't know. What my family did was just having dinner together at my home. Why did I do it when I don't know the meaning? Because one of my aunts INSISTED that it should be held.The wedding day itself was a confusion between Christian, Chinese, and Western weddings. The bride's dress and the groom's suit w…

Debt Diet

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Okay, who's got debt? Raise your hand! *raising mine*

Because in two weeks I'm gonna be a wife, I know I cannot be a wife bringing all my credit card debt with me. What a burden I'll be for the Husband.


image is from here

So I browsed around and found myself this couple of things to help me pay my debt:

The obvious things:
Stop shopping until the next decade for the things (read: clothes, accessories, bags) that I literally already have for until the next decade
Sell my unused things (you know, those bags because IRL we only need one bag to live, right?)
The not so obvious things:
Read http://qmfinancial.com, starting doing what she said by noting down my expenses this FebruaryUse the help of http://www.ngaturduit.com/ to maintain my finance life in shape
Random Tips:
Start investing/saving (am still trying to figure out the difference)Reksadana (will have to read a lot, like A LOT, about it)Reksadana for dummies: http://mommiesdaily.com/2010/06/28/investasi-reksadana-untuk-pemula/S…

Welcome!

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Hi, everyone! Welcome to this blog. I am actually not a wife yet. I will be in two weeks. Gasp!

I am now busy preparing for the wedding day while I am still struggling to write my thesis to finish a graduate program. Consequently, I am happy but super cranky, like this cat.


image is from here

Anyway, in this blog you will find posts about what I am interested in. Right now I am selfish enough to be kinda interested in my own wedding. I am also interested in skincare, as I am acne prone (as reflected in the title of this blog) and I am trying hard to present a flawless face on my wedding day and marriage days.

See you soon,
Acne Prone Wife