Cooking Indonesian

DSC_4944cThey say that there is something for everyone on Bali. Whether you are on your honeymoon looking for peaceful time or with friends hunting for adrenaline, you will surely find a rich offer on this Indonesian island. From sunrise yoga sessions in the most peaceful sceneries, Balinese craft and dance classes to surfing and extreme rock climbing.

Today two examples- totally different, though both amazing: cooking class and rafting.

Indonesian cooking classes are one of the most popular activities on Bali. Every known restaurant in Ubut offers a course with their head chefs. DSC_4845c   DSC_4881cDSC_4864c DSC_4897cDSC_4948cDSC_4955cGOPR8411cThose who fancy more extreme way of spending time should definitely put rafting on their to do list! IMG_0618cIMG_0395cGOPR8290c

 

Bali- deep in the Island

DSC_8131cIt has been a while since the last post. It doesn’t mean that nothing happened in the mean time- quite the contrary! Our passports are much fuller with visas and stamps while our carry-on bags wear many more marks of frequent use ;)

Last year has been very fulfilling and we mostly satisfied our travelers’ hunger (if it is possible at all). We managed to visit a few more places in the close proximity to Singapore, knowing that our departure from Asia is coming close.

I could not start with any other place but Bali, Indonesia- an island we visited several times and were never discontent. Is it because of beautiful landscapes? Rich culture? Are we drawn to friendly inhabitants and the amazing Indonesian cuisine? I guess all together. Check it for yourself! DSC_8180cVolcano

DSC_8201cSpectacular Rice Fields

GOPR0849cDSC_5189cDSC_4403cMonkey Forest in Ubut is one of the most beloved attractions in the region.

DSC_4367c   DSC_4378c DSC_4381cDSC_4433cDSC_8148cKopi Luvak- famous local delicacy and the world’s most expensive coffee for those who appreciate the taste despite where it came from ;)

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Melaka Melaka

I know- it’s been far too long since the last post. And so be it. For the first time I’ll not beat myself up for that. I should know myself better by now- when writing diaries I used to leave empty pages with small notes thinking that one day I’ll go back to the past days and catch up. Well guess what- I NEVER did. And so it might happen that I will never get to the point where those unfinished posts, piled up in this blog’s ‘waiting room’, will see the day light. Life goes on…really quickly and as long as we manage to grasp and keep a fraction of it should count as a success. So hooray! Here are the bits and pieces of the latest trip. Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Melaka. DSC_5462cDSC_5306bDSC_5463cDSC_5287b   DSC_5303bDSC_5291bDSC_5284bDSC_5316cDSC_5320cDSC_5371c   DSC_5375cDSC_5406cDSC_5416cDSC_5414cDSC_5368cDSC_5351cDSC_5482cDSC_5483c 

 

 

China Town.

Here are a few images from China Town in Singapore, full of colours and lights, a place with good food and pleasant cafes.
It’s a district where time has a different value and the everyday rush dissolves in every public space.

  

Saturday Lunch.

I think I like Saturdays. Vanila ice- cream with mango, papaya and lychee was not a bad combination for lunch (thanks F). Anyone wants to join?
Have a great weekend :)

 

Something green.

Saturday morning caused a real dilemma- shall we spend all day at the pool eating sushi and drinking… tea with umbrellas or go to a rain forest in the middle of a boiling hot day? Hiking in a MacRitchie Reservoir Park seemed to be a better option for extreme needs ;) Despite all doubts and prejudices I had it ended up to be a brilliant afternoon with prehistoric animals (which always run away from the picture) and a walk above tree tops.

Trying to dry my face a bit before posing for the picture below:)

A Tree Top Walk. One way route. Please DO NOT TURN ARROUND.

Gosh, it’s high.

By the end of the trip I spotted a few particular creatures in the bushes….

 

Wicked.

The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.
I’ve been dreaming about this moment for many years and couldn’t believe my eyes when I got a ticket from F! I could finally watch the Wicked musical, an adaptation of a book by Gregory Maguire (which is much more serious than the show).
Everyone knows the story of Dorothy from Kansas, who landed by chance in magic Oz. At the end of a ridiculous yellow path, the Wizard of Oz was supposed to help her to get back home. The Musical covers events long before Dorothy’s journey and tells a story of two completely different school girls who grew fond of each other and became friends before they transformed into a Wicked Witch of the West and a Good Witch of the North. The show brings explanations to such phenomenons as the Wicked Witch’s obsession with ruby shoes or why the Good Witch was traveling by a bubble.
Despite the brilliant humor and entertaining dialogues, ‘Wicked’ tries to handle also important questions: are people born bad or good from the start? Is it possible to justify and understand the wickedness of the human nature?
I try my best not to write much more as I really believe it’s worth watching. And starting today ‘I think I’ll try Defying Gravity’ :)

  

Sneak a peek of a stage design.

Grand Theater at Marina Bay Sands.

images from: http://wickedthemusical.com.sg/

Cocotte.

Still in Little India, after a long day of walking in circles, came the time to cool down (or rather run away from the heat) and drink small Bierchen :) On our way to an unknown destination I decided to check what hides behind an intriguing tiled façade. How surprised I was to find not a museum, not even an antique shop but a bar + a French restaurant called Cocotte. 

It took me a while to realize what was actually happening- I can see myself standing there for a few good minutes, confused, surprised, ready to say: “I’m sorry, I mixed up the entrances”. Because what was I supposed to think about barber/dentist (????) chairs around coffee tables, shopping trolleys parked next to the armchairs and gigantic coca-cola caps on top of bar stools? That it’s BRILLIANT (after 3 min). Hah! To add more, opened ceiling, tons of wires and metal furniture accompanied by vintage, cosy elements = INDUSTRIAL/HOMY INTERIOR made me forget about my beer and run around with my camera taking pictures.
Apparently the place is known for a very good French cuisine, which we’ll have to check out sometime soon.
A bartender must have realized our fascination as he decided to add even more to this positive experience by bringing a ball for … a free FOOSBALL! No wonder we didn’t manage to cool down in the end ;)

  

I couldn’t help myself from photographing this bathroom. Just like everything in eclectic Cocotte, a washroom in Arabic style was put together with a minimalistic black glass cabin.


Address:
No. 2 Dickson Road
Singapore 209494

Little India.

This place can be compared to an exotic “bath” in a big pallet of colours, tastes and smells. Within this overwhelming parade of incentives and temptations there are, however, some aspects which I simply don’t understand. To start with- a peculiar balance between the REAL flowers, authentic meals, fresh spices and PLASTIC, kitschy jewellery, blinking window displays and synthetic fabrics. Weirdly enough, Little India in Singapore is mainly known for it’s famous shopping “Mecca”, called after the owner- MUSTAFA. The quality of goods is far from the highest standard, however, just like the famous Harrods in London, it proudly holds the title of the best equipped store in Singapore. No wonder there is a feeling of almost NON-existing district as this multistory giant constantly grows, “eating up” small shops and businesses. Outrageous? Not at all! Mustafa is an Indian hero, thanks to whom the district is a real magnet on the local and touristic maps. Moreover, having even a tiny stall “glued” to this multi store is good enough to have a successful business.

  

Inside MUSTAFA. There are arround 2100 Indians working in the store.

Happy Easter!!

Happy Easter to all visitors.
Have a wonderful time with family and friends. May the holidays be the moment to experience not only the miracle of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, but also possibility to work on upgrading the relationships and human interactions.
Cheers!

Photo from Little India market- apparently they also added Easter to their holdays ;)

Hello Singapore!

The beginnings are never easy and I don’t mean the first days in a completely new environment but the fresh start of posts series from Asia. For weeks I was wondering how to deal with the NAME of the BLOG, which I really like but which doesn’t match the new chapter of life I’ve began. In the end melkamafrica is going to be exchanged with this address:       www.martatravelblog.com      Till the end of the year both of them will be active, though.
About the travel to Asia- Apparently I didn’t manage to master the packing technique as I ended up with two huge bags (had to pay for the second piece of luggage), which turned out to be 3-4kg underweight! Of course all this “Darn… I should have taken…” thoughts started the moment I realized that. 12 hours flight from FR to SING didn’t sound exciting. However, the fact that we’ll be on board of a new A-380 – a double- decker plane made us feel better :) The next day was simply GONE! The time difference stole ONE day and 5 hours after waking up….it was time to sleep again! The only thing I remember after landing were Orchids… lot of them and they were NOT PLASTIC! (hahahaha ;)

The moment it got to us- WE ARE IN SINGAPORE- our legs led us to…. CHINATOWN. Maybe it doesn’t sound logic but it is. Almost 75% of population in Singapore are Chinese and the district itself is a marvelous spot in the city. That’s why I’ll gladly write about it more some other time.