Monday, January 3, 2011

Travel log - sizzling Bali

Isn't it nice that I am starting my first post for 2011 on such a sizzling note? :)

So the Jakarta conference ended up with a bang because

a) My research won an award
b) I visited approximately 40 different shoe shops (yayyyyy!!!)

The conference was huge with close over 700 participants. The nice thing was that all us foreign delegates were allocated an "escort", either a final year medical student or a recent graduate who would help us change money, locate conference venues etc.

100's of participants!

I was really nervous while making my presentation because of the big audience, and because I tend to ramble and exceed the allocated time, but fortunately everything went well, including the Q/A session... phew!

The rest of the conference was very intensive, with workshops going on after dinner until 9.30pm, and then follow-up activities starting at 8.30am the next day. Somehow all the participants were oblivious to the bustling theme park around the hotel as they madly threw themselves into the academic activities.

Lovers at the beach, Anchol, Jakarta

By the final day, I was well primed for some fun, so I asked Gina, my lovely Indonesian assistant to take me shopping. Her reward? To be dressed in one of my sarees so she can take pics and post them on Facebook! So Gina and I, accompanied by her long suffering boyfriend hit Mangga Dua the shopping district of Jakarta...

Oh Em Gee.

The malls were massive, even when comparing with those of Malaysia and Singapore... and had everything from key tags to SUVs on sale. I was like a kid let loose in a candy store, running from one shop to the other squealing with delight at the offerings there. The only things that limited my spending were the consciousness of limited weight allowance by the airline, and strict instructions by Darling not to use my credit card in Indonesia.

SUVs for sale!!

Lame dude trying to sell me SUV

We shopped for more hours than I would like to confess, and I gorged myself on the yummy food available at every corner of the mall. They had sweets very similar to our kevum and banana pancakes which involved a sliced banana and a hefty dose of chocolate rolled up in a pancake, dipped in sweet batter and deep fried.... the chocolate melts and oozes out of the sides, getting caramalised and it's like a warm taste explosion when you bite into it... sigh...

Kevum, aggala, thalaguli, anyone?

Chocolate banana pancakes

Somehow, banana, cheese and chocolate seem to be the most popular flavours in Indonesia, since they were everywhere in all possible combinations. My foodie experiments also included a chocolate and banana bun, a chocolate and cheese doughnut and cheese and banana pastry. :)

Anyways, food experimented with, shoes and clothes bought... I headed back to the airport and boarded a truly terrible flight. For those of you who consider Garuda Indonesia as a potential carrier, don't.


The sizzle continues...

Well, my next stop was the beautiful tropical paradise of Bali... where I was joined by Darling. The declared reason was so that I could attend another conference... the underlying reason was for us to celebrate our 3rd year as hubby-and-wifey. Sigh.... isn't that romantic?

Conference #2 was even bigger, with close to 1000 participants... it was hosted in the post resort area of Nusa Dua, and the sheer size of the conference hotel made us go all O_o. Darling and I stayed at less ostentatious but very comfortable digs in an area about 1/2 an hour away from Nusa Dua, and close to Kuta, which is like teh happening place in Bali, night club bombings and all.

Ohhhh Bali!

The beaches.... the sights... the sounds....

I think that warrants a separate post, don't you?

Till next time, gentle readers... stay tuned!


Sach said...

Congrats on the award!
Awesome way to start the year indeed!

Gehan said...

chocolate banana pancakes?? what a way to start the day..


Dee said...

oh wowowow..can't wait!

cj said...

Wooow chocolate banana pan cakes!!!!!!! That sounds good and must try. My mouth is watering already. And congratulations!!!!

santhoshi said...

congrats Angel thats brilliant news.

await more posts!

Hoot-a-Toot said...

Congats on the award you clever thing!!! I really can't imagine how banana and chocolate tastes together, but I have tried the banana and cheese combo...hmmm...must give it a try. Oh! and Happy 3rd Anniversary!!!

Cadence said...

Congrats!!!! and Happy NY!!! :)

~ lo$t $oul ~ said...


More tales? pics?