Summer Lovin’ All Year Round

Living in a tropical country, I can proudly say that we celebrate summer all year round. But we do have seasons: dry and wet. During this time of year when the dry season is putting on its display, the heat is so unbearable that I often long for the rain to come and wash the dust away.

But last week came a pleasant surprise: a series of weather irregularities brought abundant rain and the temperature dropped a few degrees. So I decided to head to the hills to soak myself in a hotspring. Here’s my lovely spot for this ‘summer’:

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More posts on this challenge can be found here.

Free Healthcare?

You’re probably wondering why I look pessimistic by adding a question mark at the end of the post. But as someone coming from a developing country such as Indonesia, having a reliable healthcare system is a relative luxury which is yet to be accorded to all citizens.

Healthcare system and development is a work in progress; infact the government has just launched the free healthcare facilities in the 2nd semester of 2013. Under this scheme, all citizens who are government and private employees can have access to the system while the insurance premium is bore by their respective institutions. Meanwhile those without the support of any company may apply for the individual scheme; in this case they have to pay for the monthly premium, ranging from 2, 4, to 6 dollars.

My family decided to apply independently for the past 6 months and I’ve been in charge of ensuring the premium is duly paid not later than the 10th every month. But never have I used the system, until today. Still shivering from cold and flu, this afternoon I decided to pay a visit to the designated clinic.

It was the 3rd day of Eid holiday and the clinic had no patient (I assumed they were still away in their hometowns). So the receptionist welcomed me warmly and took my details before taking my blood pressure and ushering me to the doctor’s room; all done in around 5 minutes! The examination was equally swift and I was told to pick up the medicine at the pharmacy. Another 5 minutes of waiting and I was released from the clinic. Gosh it was surreal!

The medicine was standard generic brand for my cough plus a vitamin. But the best of it all, it’s FREE. Hurray, let’s celebrate this small victory for Indonesia. ^^

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Facts:
1. The insurance card, or BPJS, bears the name of the designated clinic so the free treatment is only valid there. I still don’t know if the same treatment will be granted when you have an ilness they cannot treat and you are referred to the public hospital.

2. The paperwork is a bit of a hassle. You must produce a photocopy of the insurance card everytime you visit. EVERY TIME.

Diet vs. Durian

For the umpteenth time now, I have decided to watch over my weight and do some exercise. I started things slowly, such as hitting the treadmill for a meager 10 minutes of regular-paced walking and followed by flexing some upper muscles.

Sounds like a good start, until I do it again the next week. NEXT WEEK!

And then there’s a reason for a guilty pleasure after a good afternoon at the gym. This is one of them:

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Meet Durian Pancake, a soft textured green pancake filled with a handful of paste-like durian fruit plus durian cream. It surely makes your mouth water and I never fail to miss it each week.

But standing tall at 500 calories, do you think it will do any good to the exercise and diet programs I’m supposed to be on? *sigh*

Google Now’s hourly weather forecast is proven to be accurate today, as thunderstorm passes through town shortly before 2 PM.

Let’s hope the government’s undergoing efforts in modifying the weather really work. We’ve seen enough rain and flood already for the last 4 days. >.<

View on Path

The Joy of Ice Breaking

During my last visit to Genting Highlands in Malaysia, I was set to travel with a group of bloggers unknown before except one girl that I had met. I’m naturally shy and nervous when it comes to meeting new people and the thought of suddenly having to share common space with them for the next 3 days was enough to make me stay awake the night before departure.

So I smiled politely and shook hands with them at the airport the next morning, quietly listened to whatever topic they came up in the conversations. But it turned out those bloggers were genuinely nice persons with sincere intention of getting to know each other and to learn many insights about blogging and everything else. Encouraged by such positive ambiance, I quickly opened up and engaged in more talks.

Here was a picture taken just 24 hours later:

Ice breaking wasn’t so bad, after all.😀

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Related Post:

* Daily Prompt: Happy Happy Joy Joy by The Daily Post

2014: The Kickoff Gathering

After spending some quality time with family and close friends during Christmas and New Year holidays, it was time to go back to work. However there was still a little time for a small gathering on Saturday afternoon.

Suropati Park, one of the parks in an affluent area in Jakarta was crowded with people jogging, strolling, or just sitting around the open areas. Blogfam (Blogger Family) Community was no exception; occupying a corner next to lush trees and some artistic statues, around fourteen bloggers gathered for a smartphone photography crash course. Here are some captures:

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Getting ready for Photography 101

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Lesson 1: capturing a rather big model. The trick is for the model to pose slightly on her side and the picture should be taken from a certain angle above or below the face. That should give somewhat ‘tall’ effect on the model

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Lesson 2: Food photography. Not only close ups, but composition also poses a good factor.

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Lesson 3: capturing the model while sunset light is directly behind her

The crash course lasted for about an hour and everything stopped when dusk descended and we rushed to a nearby restaurant. But the fun part of it was about to start: the heart of each gathering is always warm conversation around the dinner table. I felt it was a good kickoff for a fruitful year of blogging because I knew there were others who shared the same passion as I did.

Hope you guys have a good beginning of your own. ^^

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This post is an answer to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Beginning