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14 December: Los Angeles to Mexico City

Our Impression of Mexico Megacity

When descending to Mexico City, a land at 2500m above sea level, we saw the city light from above, which was very very very beautiful. Too bad we didn’t have camera ready. We won’t be seeing this beautiful sight again. Such glitters are unique to this city of 23 million!

We arrived at dawn in Mexico City. The immigration officer talked really fast, somehow I felt that the effort I made in learning Spanish has been futile.

When we took our luggage we found out that Noe’s pack of diapers was torn up. But amazingly the officer returned the scattered diapers into the conveyor belt.

After clearing out the Douana we met Carlos Peralta! He is such a crazy gringo loco who is very skinny and eccentric. He told us a lot of story about when he was in Indonesia and traveling around the world learning arts, including glass blowing art. Carlos stayed with Indi’s family in Jakarta from 1992 to 1993 and has kept his Indonesian lingo polished since then.

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13 December: Singapore to Manila to Los Angeles


Everything was set by 10 am and we called taxi to go to the airport. Noe was really excited about going and he kept saying "wee wee wee", which means, airplane (and cars, and boats).

In Changi

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Noe Jontor

We went for Indosing-mums Lebaran celebration lunch in Tampines, hosted by Ellen and Wiwie. And the food, oh the food, was so very good, ranging from the traditional lebaran dishes such as opor and sambel goreng ati, to pempek, es campur, lotek, and mi baso. Fabulous! Noe also met his future girlfriend, Kinara binti Nico.

But then Noe fell down at the play ground because he was too excited to be in a new place, but too tired (because he hasn't had his afternoon nap). Noe fell and landed on his lips. There were some minor tears in his lips but with lots of blood. He cried and cried unconsolably, poor thing. Breastfeeding did help to reduce the pain, but only a little. After the bleeding stopped, his lips sweeled three times from the original size. He ended up with jontor lips. Jontor is an indonesian word for big lips that protrude far forward.

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The air in Singapore has been really unpleasant. When you look out the window you wouldn't be able to see really far because there is blurry fog all day long. But wait, it's not foggy at all!

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2 Aug - Maine Dinner

Today I just plan to go easy with Noe and let him adjust to the new surroundings slowly. Noe woke up at 4am and I tried to put him to bed again, but couldn't. So we decided to take a walk along the peninsula, through the woods. It was a nice place with rural atmosphere. Noe ended up chasing cats.

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Dadiah - Traditional Yogurt from West Sumatra

When we went to Padang last month, we splurged on traditional Minang food that we missed so much, such as Sate Padang, Bebek Lado Ijo (with happy seasoning), many kinds of Sambal Lado and Gulai, and the special grilled fish from Lake Maninjau, grilled banana, and sanjai crackers. We took the opportunity to get Dadih or Dadiah, traditional minang water buffalo yogurt which is fermented in bamboo container covered with banana leaf.

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Minangkabau Day 3

The last day Indi was supposed to wake up early for a game of golf, but the rain did not stop so everybody ended up waiting at the café and enjoying a prolonged breakfast amidst the rain. Finally, nearing 10am, everybody decided to cancel the golf game and boarded the bus to lake Maninjau.

It was a long yet scenic drive to the lake. We passed by a vegetable market, and I thought that I had never seen vegetable that fresh before. But who wants to buy cabbages that have been sat on for hours?

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Minangkabau Day 1

Last weekend we did a short trip to West Sumatra. It was Noe's first trip to visit the land of his great-grandmother.

We took Tiger Airways flight 222, from the budget terminal. Noe was really excited when he arrived at the terminal building, because it was so spacious. After checking in, we had breakfast at Han's café, before boarding into the plane. This is our first time taking a flight and had free-seating arrangement. The stewardess told us that we need to sit in the back in order to distribute the load of passenger evenly. I guess the plane won't fly if all the passengers sit in the front only, since the plane's nose would be too heavy to lift.

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Balut and Others

This is a long overdue post about Balut, Vietnamese Spring Roll, and Square Watermelon. But first of all, I got to know Michael Ohlsson, another weird food connoisseur, who lives in China, through my entry about weird food

Back to Balut. It has been years since the last time I ate balut. My dad used to live in Manila, and he’s the one who introduced me to Balut, a traditional delicacy of the region. Balut is essentially duck egg with duckling in it. Baby ducks. Duck Foetus. He taught me to eat it freshly boiled with salt. Unlike ordinary eggs, this egg has crunchiness and meatiness in it. The boiled egg would also have a bit of duck broth in it. For me it tasted delicious. But for some people, the very concept of eating foetus really turns them off. Well, you wouldn’t know unless you try.

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