New York Minute

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Honestly, it feels so surreal that right now I’m typing up a post about my New York trip. As a generic Indonesian, I always felt like going to US is such an impossible thing to do. There are a lot of horror stories when it comes to obtaining US visa. Fortunately, mine was quite breezy (if you don’t count my stupidity of not bringing passport on my first interview). And now I feel like there are a lot more places that I can visit. Because visa application doesn’t feel unreachable anymore.

I won’t be typing up my experience day by day because it will be so boring and I have a very very very short memory, so I don’t really recall all of the things that I did. But here are the highlights of the trip:

  • Meet up with my childhood friend. I have promised her that I would visit her in the States for years and it finally happened!
  • Visiting museum of natural history. I spent 5 hours in there all by myself and the only reason why I left is because I got cold! I really want to go back and read everything.
  • Walked from start to finish on the high line bridge. What a beautiful concept! And seeing this concrete jungle from the bridge was very relaxing.
  • Breakfast at the cafe where they shot You’ve Got Mail.
  • Crossing Brooklyn bridge in the rain (I count it as a positive thing).
  • Seeing a very cool breakdance performance in Times Square.
  • Korean BBQ in Korea town.
  • Reading at a bookstore cafe in Chelsea, feeling like a local.
  • RAMEN BURGER!
  • And many more that I can’t remember.

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New York, I’m coming back for you. To see more of your beauty. Good thing my visa is valid for 5 years!

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Osprey Fairpoint 40L Review

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When I did my trip to Thailand and Malaysia for my birthday, I decided to bring a backpack instead of a luggage. One is because I had a connecting flight from Bangkok to Phuket with different aircrafts. Meaning if I were to have my bag checked, I have to take it from the conveyor belt and re-check it for the next flight. Two, there were a lot of walking with the bag. And having a rolling suitcase wasn’t sound appealing to me.

Before purchasing the Osprey Fairpoint, I initially bought a backpack from Quechua (I don’t remember which exactly). The price was cheaper and it was easier to get for me. However, the size was just too big. I believe I chose the 50L one. I fear of stuffing it to the max and it will exceed the allowed weight for carry on. Also when I compare to the Osprey one, the Osprey one is much more comfortable worn.

The main reason why I go for Fairpoint 40L is because this pack is carry-on accepted. As long as you don’t bring too much so that it exceeds the weight allowance. It’s also front-loading backpack. Meaning, it can open up just like a suitcase. I really hate top loading backpack if I want to use it as my suitcase replacement. Those are the two most important aspects that I look for before purchasing a travel pack.

The hip belt is also a very great feature. I found this helps a lot to distribute the weight so I can carry my pack longer without having shoulder pain. Also it’s very padded which makes it comfortable and doesn’t dig into my hip. Unfortunately, there’s no zipper on the hip belt that I can use to store my phone or passport for easy access.

This pack can also turn into a duffel if you’d like. There’s a special flap to cover the shoulder straps when you don’t want to use it as a backpack. And it’s also came with a separate cross body strap. So when you want to check it in your shoulder straps can be tucked away safely to not get caught in anything.

So to make it easier to read,

Pros:

  • Carry-on acceptable
  • Front loading pack
  • Adjustable hip belt
  • Shoulder straps can be zipped away

When it comes to things that I don’t really like about this pack, I have a few. One is the size. Although it’s supposedly not a large pack, I feel like it’s still big on my back. I look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle when I have it on. Oh I forgot to mention that mine is the S/M version of the two (there’s one that’s M/L). Which means it’s 38L instead of 40L. So it should look better for my 163cm figure than the bigger version. But still, I look like a turtle. Not a very pretty look.

As I mentioned previously, there’s no pocket on the hip belt. Although is not a deal breaker, I wouldn’t mind to have it. A lot of people mentioned that the mesh pockets on the front are too tight to fit water bottles in. To me, I don’t care about that because I hate carrying water bottles outside like that even if they fit. So you decide if it’s a con or you also don’t care.

One last thing, the placement of the laptop compartment is on the front of the pack instead of closer to your back. People say it’s annoying to have it on the front for balance compare to having it on the back. I have no personal experience to add to the discussion. So I should have just shut up and not mention this at all, I know.

Now TL;DR of the cons:

  • Too bulky for my body (163cm & 50kg)
  • No hip belt pocket
  • Mesh pockets don’t fit water bottles
  • Laptop compartment placement

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This is how I look with the backpack on. Granted it was way too full. I bought two new pairs of shoes, which I shouldn’t have. Also I brought a full face snorkel mask which took up about 30% of the bag width.

So there you have it, I finally found the motivation to type up a review of the Osprey Fairpoint 40L from my experience. Not gonna lie, I sometimes browse to look for replacement. But for now there’s no urgent need to shell out >€100 for a new backpack that I don’t use everyday.

So how about you? Do you prefer suitcase or backpack for travel?

Easy Jersey Dress Look

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Wearing a dress is probably the easiest way to dress up during the summer months. One garment and done. If it’s really really really hot, you don’t even have to bother with a jacket although bigger chance I probably would still bring one just in case. That’s just the kind of person I am.

And jersey is just an easy material, not too thick so I don’t feel suffocated inside. I am not one to wear a sleeveless dress (or tops) but when the sun is basically on top of my head 1) I don’t want to risk having a t-shirt tan and 2) It’s just bloody hot! I kind of have no option.

The easiest and comfiest and the most me way of dressing this is by wearing sneakers as footwear of choice. I tried with my Isabel Marant Etoile Dicker boots once but it’s just not right. I’m not giving up just yet though! There must be a way to wear the two together.

By the way, I just recently re-discovered LOVE.FEAT.ZACARI by Kendrick Lamar feat Zacari (duh). And it’s so good!!! Also Selfish by Future and Rihanna?! I’m on the mellow vibe lately. Maybe because the rain has been visiting us more often than the past few weeks. Despite being mellow, I still can appreciate the music video of LOYALTY.FEAT.RIHANNA by Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna. That is so siiick! Kung Fu Kenny is on FIRE! Ok I’m off topic now. Time to head out.

What do you guys listen to lately?

How I Plan to Save Money for My Wedding

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Breaking news: Deo and I are getting married! The trip to Indonesia that we took a few weeks ago was to discuss him and I getting married with my parents. Probably not the most cost effective thing to do but we both glad we took the trip and talked to them in person. And now come the half fun half stressful part of the wedding. Planning it.

If it were up to us, Deo and I would have been married by now without any ceremonies. We would have gone to the city hall and paid €200 and be done with it. Not too romantic I know, but that would have happened if I disregard my mother’s request. We might still throw a mini hey we’re married now party but nothing like a wedding reception at all. But I love my mom to bits and I would want her to have what she wants. So we’re doing the whole shebang in March 2018 in Indonesia.

The things I will mention below might confuse you because Indonesians do wedding quite differently than the west. On average, people invite about 1000 people to their weddings (at least the weddings I attend to and my friends do). You might ask “do you even know 1000 people???”. And I would have answered no, and they probably would to. But in Indonesia, the people who got invited to a wedding is not just close family or the bride and groom’s friends. Both parents’ friends are also invited. Also the extended of their extended families. It’s seen as a ‘gift’ to your parents to throw a party before you leave their house.

And since what I want is a complete opposite to what the norm is in Indonesia. My mother and I agreed to meet in the middle. Which means, I can save some money from not planning a regular Indonesian wedding. And here are some ways I plan to save money for my wedding.

1. Doing it at home

Our wedding will be held at home in Indonesia. My family has done this several times in the past. It’s not the same house, but we got this. My mom’s second wedding as well as my aunt’s wedding were held at our old family house. And I remembered both being more cozy and close as opposed to the weddings I have been to in the past. We do have to rent a tent (a nice event worthy tent) and some chairs. But it’s nothing compared to the bills we have to pay if we were to book a ballroom or some sort.

2. Limited invitations

When my Indonesian friend got married, she sent out 600 invitations (resulting in roughly 1200 guests). She also invited her closest friends through Facebook additionally as well as her immediate family. Which means there were more than 1200 people came to her wedding reception. So when I said limited invitations that means I expect to have up to 100 people in my wedding including my family. It’s still a lot for me, but my parents would like to invite their closest friends so the number of guest can get closer to 100.

3. Spotify is my DJ

I’m in love love love with Spotify. I’ve been trying to start to curate my own playlists for my wedding. There’s no need to hire a band since my home in Indonesia is not that big. I would much prefer for people to just chat around with a soft music in the background. This way I’m paying only €7.50 for my DJ.

4. Home cooked meals

Like I have mentioned earlier, my mom’s second and my aunt’s wedding were held at my family home. And for my aunt’s wedding, my other aunt cooked almost all of the meals that were served during the reception. At least most or maybe all of the main dishes. And my aunt who cooks is quite possibly the best cook in the whole world. So I believe we can save some moolah for this wedding when it comes to food without compromising quality.

5. No liquors/alcoholic beverage

Liquors are expensive. And since this wedding will be a muslim wedding, we won’t be serving any liquor/alcoholic beverage. If none of my coworkers decide to come to this reception, I think not one person will even realize the lack of alcohol in this wedding.

6. No engagement ring

Since the wedding is still many moons to come, people have been nagging me to get an engagement ring. But I stood my ground to not wanting to have one. Because firstly it’s really not a necessity in my book and secondly I despise the thought of Deo having to spend thousands of euros just for a ring that will be replaced come March. Because I plan to wear my wedding band and my wedding band only. I’m not that into jewellery thus there’s really no reason to spend a ludicrous amount of money on a ring. Shoes? We can talk about it…

There are also other articles that I can save money from such as having my ‘dress’ (I won’t be wearing a dress per se, it’s something traditional-ish) tailor made by my mom’s go to lady. As well as getting our wedding bands made in Indonesia for a fraction of the price from getting them in Europe. I will be updating this space when I can share more detail about what I do end up saving as well as splurging (I’m drooling over a pair of Manolo’s at this minute).