My Surabaya City Guide


I read Garance Dore's city guide last night, and opened the newest update of Ayorek at the same time. Am suddenly thinking, yes, people usually brings tourist or guess into a place that maybe touristy, but actually doesn't very comfortable, the food doesn't good enough, etc. Dore's version is more daily place where you can't live without, the reason(s) why you do keep sane in living there.

So I decided for having my own version of city guide. I'm not a fashionista, or a socialites, then you maybe won't have my favorite shop/place list as reliable enough. I'm easily fascinated by books, comfort & beautiful places, and good gourmet. Then, here we go!

How would I describe Surabaya to someone who has never been?
Surabaya is busy bee. A transit place where people come and go. 
Surabaya is a city in a move

What does that term actually means? 
As the city itself, now Surabaya is moving into the better one. In infrastructural and structural, Surabaya does many things. Traffic jam, flood in rainy season, pollution, billboards until the green zone is changing now. So, never listened too much into people whose went to Surabaya 2-5 years ago. Surabaya's better, I guaranteed!

What is Surabaya’s philosophy?
Surabaya's hot, baby. =D It doesn't only because the weather, but how's the people. They could changing degree instantly because of dishonesty or any negative manner, but they're really warm at their heart too. =)

Okay, let's start the tour. What is your perfect breakfast? 
Perfect breakfast would go in Sunday morning, because I don't do it in other day. I would love to have a big glass of STMJ (an abbreviation for Susu Telur Madu Jahe: Milk, Egg, Honey and Ginger) in aside of Dharmawangsa street. I'll drink it while having a lovely chat with the seller, and of course, reading a newspaper. I don't know why, but in every STMJ seller in Surabaya which I know, they always have newspapers there. If I feel starve to death, then I'll have Nasi Kuning in traditional market or Sate Ondomohen in Walikota Mustajab street. Have a big heart for the queue. Hehe.

How about brunch?
Absolutely SMA kompleks cafeteria in Jimerto street! There is a block where you could find 4 high schools in it. School means a lot of snacks and foods. I'll choose Mie Pitik by bang Azat (Noodle with Chicken) with special addition Quail eggs or chicken wings. It will be completed with special Orange Ice from Pacar. 

Where is the best place to unwind?
Unwind means escape from the routinity. I'll choose to go to c2o library in dr Cipto street. A private library where you could feel homy. I love to sip an Earl Grey here and read Enid Blyton's or Hitchcock's for my once-seated-book. You could find my Gathotkaca Studio's merchandise here also. Hehe. If I want a bigger place to bear and several scoops of gelato for melting my mind, then I go to Hallo Surabaya in Bubutan street. Don't forget to bring your camera!

Me and Rida at Hallo Surabaya, almost 3 years ago. =)

Rida & Sheila. Sheila has her marriage reception here, at Hallo Surabaya!
What are the things that you HAVE to eat in Surabaya? Where to find them? 
Duck and Penyetan! The best (and the cheapest) fried duck comes from Surabaya. Every area almost have their best fried duck, you name it. Bebek (duck) cak Sandy, Bebek Bratang, Bebek Kayu Tangan, Bebek Tugu Pahlawan, Bebek Tugu Pahlawan, Bebek Item Pak Sayeki, Bebek Express. Just choose. My favorite are Bebek Bratang at Bratang district and Bebek Item Pak Sayeki at Dharmahusada Street. For Penyetan, which is basically everything fried and goes with steamed rice and -- definitely -- chilli sauce (sambal). I'll have Ho-Ha at Dharmawangsa street, because its delicious sambal will burn your tongue and you can't stop eat it till done. 

Tell me about your favorite shop...
I don't have any actually, but I usually get my Wondershoes shoes or boyfie's shirt in Garlick store, Bawean street. If I need some unique outerwear, then I go to Bigbox Complex, Sumatra street. I'll meet Robe de Noerm coat and KuyaGaya footwear here, and sometimes several dresses.

And what about the vintage? 
The one and only: Tugu Pahlawan Sunday's market! Dress, tops or several cute pieces such as vest, cropped jacket and sweater. Get ready for the heaps, anyway. 

Your favorite beauty habit, how and where?
Facial. I always do that in Larissa, Bali street. If I want some body massage or milk bath, then I go to Alfalfa, Menur street. The last is girl only, fyi. 

Where is the best place to get in a good work out?
I don't do gym and I'd like to practice yoga by myself. But there is one place for my muscles to be exercised: Class 5 Recreational Climbing Center, at the complex Plaza Graha Famili. It is indoor wall climbing ever in Surabaya and East Java. I don't feel like exercising there, I'm just having fun. =D

At Class 5
Could you have any romantic scenes in Surabaya?
Yes, of course. My version will be a picnic style. I would love to bring chocolate, having snacks and drinks from street hawkers such as sugarcane juice or soy milk ice, bakpao Chik Yen, etc. My boyfie brings his guitar and we go to lovely park. Surabaya has many beautiful park nowadays. My favorite goes to Surabaya-Korean park or Prestasi park. Both of them never too crowded or too quiet. If you want to have a romantic dinner, go to Loops at Plaza Graha Famili complex or Citilites in Java Paragon hotel. Unfortunately I haven't had chance to feel the last two places with my couple. *curcol* =P
Surabaya-Korean park
Prestasi park
Where is your absolute favorite restaurant?

What is the best old and chic restaurant?
I found it as ice cream shops. The old: Zangrandi, the chic: De Boliva Gubeng.

Where is the best place to have a coffee and watch people go by ?
I like to watch people go by in Surabaya Town Square (SuToS), a boutique mall, where there are many coffee shops too. I was a coffee addict couple times ago and sober lately, that's why now I choose to have J-Cool frozen yoghurt in J.Co or having my Lemon Crush in Tator, when I go to SuToS. The 2nd choice will go to Dapur Cokelat in Biliton street. I love to have a cup of Hot Chocolate here, with a slice of Opera or famous Rainbow Cake, while watching how people passed by on the road and doodling in my notebook. 

The super non-fashion place you like to go is...
House of Sampoerna, a museum of cigarettes. Sometimes several exhibition were there. You'll definitely love the tour also. HoS made Surabaya Heritage Track tour for public, with different routes for weekdays and weekend. You should try these, at least once when you're in Surabaya. You will feel riding the time machine, back to colonial time with many European buildings in Surabaya. The 2nd is Institut Francais-Indonesia (IFI), where I really love the bibliotheque or the library. The ambience is nice. IFI also have several exhibition, usually in art, photography, or even science. Good place for realizing that the world is vast and explorable.

How do you go around city? 
By motorcycle, if you really could ride it well. Use the standard utilities: helmet, jacket, then masker and gloves if you try avoiding ultraviolet effects. The most important about going around the city is the time. You will be fine riding motorcycle in 8.30am, 3.30pm and 8.30pm. The road will be friendly, and comfortable enough for travel in Surabaya. 

Do enjoy Surabaya, fellas!


Save Me In Your Playlist, So You Always Could Repeat It


Today I'm playing with songs in my lappy. Doodling. And just in a glance I feel like wanting a list for the big day. Hehe. I don't know if the local wedding singer could sing all of these songs. This is just my love song list, if there is any reduction or addition, I don't mind. I also thinking about having traditional songs played in jazz version for the D-Day. That would be cool. =D

Anyway, it's personal matters why you could see New Amsterdam from Travis became a love song in the list, hehe. Mostly I choose them based on the lyrics. So, please don't bothered for attentively listen their words. Here they are:
1. Pour Que Tu M'aime Encore -- Celine Dion

Je trouverai des langages pour chanter tes louanges
Je ferai nos bagages pour d’infinies vendanges
Les formules magiques des marabouts d’Afrique
J’les dirai sans remords pour que tu m’aimes encore...

I'll find other languages to sing your praises
I'll pack our bags for the fields of eternal harvests
I'll say those magic words spoken by African healers
I'll say them with no regrets, so that you love me still

2. At The Beginning -- Richard Marx & Donna Lewis      

"Life is a road, and I want to keep going
Love is a river, I wanna keep flowing
Life is a road, now and forever
Wonderful journey

I'll be there, when the world stops turning
I'll be there, when the storm is through
In the end I wanna be standing
At the beginning with you"

3. Itulah Cinta -- Naif
4. Because of You -- Ne-Yo
5. KKEB -- Andre Hehanussa
6. Sempurna -- Andra and the Backbone
7. True -- Black Eyed Peas
8. I Finally Found Someone -- Brian Adams & Barbara Streisand
9. Like A Love Song -- Selena Gomez & The Scene
10. Can I Walk With You -- India Arie
11. Love Like This -- Natasha Bedingfield ft Sean Kingston

12. Get Married -- Slank ft Nirina
13. Umbrella (accoustic version) -- Rihanna
14. Random Awesome -- Yuna
15. Growin' Old with You -- Adam Sandler
16. No Air -- Jordin Sparks ft Chris Brown
17. Hate That I Love You -- Rihanna & Ne-Yo
18. Lost Without You -- Robin Thicke
19. I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing -- Rockapella
20. Way Back Into Love -- Hugh Grant & Drew Barrymore
21. 1, 2, 3, 4 -- Plain White T's

22.  Aku Ada -- Dewi Lestari ft Arina Mocca
"Suaraku memanggilmu.. 
Akulah lautan kemana kau selalu pulang..."

23. Johan & Enny -- Naif
"Kuingin engkau tahu, bila dikau menutup pintu, 
ku kan tetap menunggu..."
24. Number One -- Adhitia Sofyan
25. Wanita Yang Kau Pilih -- Rosa
26. Pulang -- Float
27. I Remember -- Mocca
28. Bertahan Di Sana -- Sheila on 7
29. After The Rain -- Adhitia Sofyan
30. Kau Kini Ada -- Sheila on 7
"sebuah kecupan darimu, 
cukup membuat duniaku terasa lebih terang
secangkir teh hangat darimu, cukup ‘tuk awali hari terindah dalam hidupku"

31. Glitter In The Air -- Pink
32. Quando, Quando, Quando -- Michael Buble
33. Forever -- Chris Brown
34. New Amsterdam -- Travis
"Jean Michel Basquiat, Francois Truffaut. 
Robert Zimmerman, and De Niro.." =D

35. Emotion -- MYMP
36. Fallen from The Sky -- Glen Hansard, Marketa Irglova & The Frames
(this video version just recorded by the duet in elevator but still: beautiful!)

37. Bubbly -- Colbie Caillat
38. Let's Say Love -- Glenn Fredly, Sandhy Sandoro, Endah & Rhesa

C'est tout! Hope you enjoyed it.. =*




 "Sometimes, being financially limited made people smarter in using cheapskate."

I love doing cheapskate. Not only after I read B.T.D.T.G.T.T.T.S by Risyiana Muthia and Emeralda N.A. but a long time ago before it. Yes, I've already read this book. It mentions cheapskate too, even give you some guidance. 

Anyway, what is cheapskate Von? Based on the book, cheapskate is: using creativity to minimize your expense. In dramatic way >> it's an art which only chosen people did whose bring the efficient & economical principle into advanced level! =D It sounds opportunist? Off course. But I don't think it's dangerous or harm others, then go on beibi! =P

I'm a real cheapskater, and I'm proud of it. Hehehe. Call me as the laziest person in this earth, and I won't bothered, because it's true. I'm so lazy but I'm greedy in other side. I have many goals, targets in my life. That's why I have to think harder on how should I spend my energy and source to the least, but still getting the maximum effect. It is the very basic idea of cheapskate. I'll tell you the example: I should go to the library in the campus. It has big square yard in the front. There is a pathway in the side, with several trees which covered you from the sun. I choose NOT walking in the path, but walking diagonally across the yard, in a fast pace. Why? 1st, based on Pythagoras law, diagonal side of  the right triangle is the shortest than the sum of its two sides. 2nd, based on basic physics & biology law, the calories which I need to traverse the yard will still be reduced by the reduction of fluid made ​​of sunlight on our body surface area. That's why we should walk in fast pace under the direct sunlight, for avoiding dehydration. 

Several people laughing when I explained all of this. They said: come on Von, why are you so serious just about walking to the library? You even use many theories! I just smile and said on my mind: "Be my guess". There is a reason why you've already learned about Pythagoras since you're elementary school, learned IPA or IPS. If these simple theories could not be applied into your life, how about the complicated one? I believe the theorist already have long process before their thoughts formally called as a theory. I respect the process by learning and applying the theory. For "going to library" case, I don't need to think, FYI. I just think of it once, a long time ago. Then for the second and third, I just remembered and make this simple thing into my habit. Habit doesn't need thinking process. At all. 

Yesterday, I did a cheapskate move that I'm proud of. Haha. What is it? Buying fruits in supermarket. Hihi. Firstly, I just getting better from sick. I have ISPA/Upper Respiratory Tract Infections. And now I'm in healing phase where my appetite getting higher and have my hunger easily. As my sickness, I could not eat fried food, instant noodles, ice cream, cold food, peanuts, chocolate and every food which made my throat itchy. Regarding that I lived in Surabaya, it is very hard for finding snacks with those criteria. I thought and re-thought, then I choose for buying fruits. Even fruits, I still could not eating fruits which have gum (usually into dicotyledon class). Fortunately, the yummy and forbidden fruits averagely expensive, then allowed fruits were quite cheap. Ha! I choose for buying Salak Pondoh (Salacca edulis) & Red Guava (Psidium guajava). There are 2 kind Salak Pondoh: export quality and local/ordinary. Do you know how much the price difference? Twice! In fact, you just need spend 5 minutes for finding the good Salak Pondoh in local/ordinary basket, then you'll get the same quality as the other one. I got 800grs Salak in IDR 5600, in a very good quality. Then I got 600grs Guava in IDR 4500. Cheap! And healthy!

Some people advised me for buying the fruits in traditional market for having cheap fruits. As my experience before, you'll have a good price in traditional market (in Surabaya) if you have at least 1 to 3 conditions: #1, buying seasonal fruits #2, you are good in bargaining #3, you could speak Maduranese. Yes, seriously. And I'm not good at those three, that's why I choose buying in supermarket where I could compare the price directly. Don't worry, supermarket always have SALE section. =P

Being cheapskater exercises me for making decision sharply and faster. Why? Because I could not waste my time on thinking one subject only. Now, I even try to practice how thinking efficiently and as much thoughts in one go: multitasking. Yes, it's another thing mentioned in B.T.D.T.G.T.T.S., and I'm on my process for mastering it. Hihi. 

Then, how about you? Have an interest in cheapskating?  
Need some help?
Read the book!


QoTD: (Persist to Be) Resilient


"Sometimes we need extreme reason to move from the comfort zone. 
I guess I had one."

-- Vinka Maharani


Heart Month


 The theme of last month is heart.

1. The heart-thumping moment
My brother, mas Andre, opened his first noodle stall in Malang, in Soekarno-Hatta street for exactly. It has a catchy name: Mie Buto Ijo or Green Giant Noodle. I was fortunate to be there in Malang and help him. The noodle is delicious, I mean it. It's made with vegetable extract, that's why the color is green. And the unique side is you should choose your "hotness level" when you want to try it. It has zero until 5th level. First level equals to 7 chillis. Hehe. Yes, it's so spicy. Try 'em when you go to Malang. It has 2 stalls: Sulfat st. and Soekarno-Hatta st. I'm salivating right away just because telling you this. Yumm! =9
Green Giant Noodle, #1 level!
Am trying the #2 level. Hot!
2. The most heartbreaking short message
Sheila sent me a SMS that made me teary: "... last night all my bestfriends were there kcuali km huhuuuu....". Yeah, a pity me, I can't go to my beautiful twin's marriage. And yesterday she just left Surabaya to her hubby's, Makassar. After passing through many things, I thought she's already passed the tests and have a new grade in her life. A new and bright life. I'm proud of her. Take care, twin. =*

I should be there also, T_T
3. Heart-enthralling time: saying goodbye
I'm excited yet feeling sappy at the same time: when I should do "rolling" into another outlet. I've already know that I have to do this, but still, talk is cheap baby. I've fell in love into my team, my kitchen crews, feel so comfortable to work with 'em. I do really know what I should do is to do the same with the new outlets, but still -once again-, it takes time and courage and good willing to do it all. It's already 5th day in Q-Royal, and am trying to work my ass off on many things. Fighting!
Ah, these kids. =D
Could you see the heart-shaped in my noodle? Cooked by mas Poer, as my farewell. =')
4. My heart rang up!
If you noticed, I finally wore a ring. After a whole life without any remarkable jewellery on me. Hehe. But now I realized how the meaning of symbolic thing is beyond itself. How the presence is more than enough than a bunch of words of explanation. And it is really works for shooing any intruder. It says, "I'm someone's, you better leave", louder than another way. =D

And for the last, I'm quoting my friends post: 
"Some people are like cloud. 
When they are disappear, it is brighter." =P
However, my heart feels broader now. Surabaya's sky seems brighter.