Looks Hot, Feels Cold

Welcome winter as today officially marks the winter solstice in northern hemisphere. I have no idea why they call this place Middle East since it is technically not in the middle geographically because it lies above the equator line and that makes it as part of the northern hemisphere.

It is obviously not snowing here so ditch the fur coat as it is both a fashion suicide and a sign that you support cruelty to animals. But it is actually really cold with around 10 degrees on the average days. That is why, sweater, jacket, or cardigan are the perfect tops you can possibly wear.

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Sweater: Balmain, Pants: Dolce & Gabbana, Shoes: Topman, Bag: Zara

November Food

Recaps of all my culinary adventure in November 2015.

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Strawberry and Chocolate Ice Cream, Prince Salman Bin Khalifa Park

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Thai Seafood Feast, Wang Thai

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Red Velvet Cake & Vanilla Frappe, New York Coffee

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Big round cookie, Hardee’s

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Lebanese vegetarian feast, The Coral Bay

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Hammour Fillet Sayadiyeh, The Coral Bay

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Chocolate Mint Frappe, Caribou Coffee

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Tuna Salad & English Breakfast Tea, Costa Coffee

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Fruit Platter, The Noodle House

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Christmas special, Starbucks Coffee

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Appetizer, Kei Japanese Restaurant

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Zaru Soba, Key Japanese Restaurant

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Caesar Salad, Pizza Company

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Danish Chocolate Pastry & Coffee, New York Coffee

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Cheese Omelet Platter & Iced Tea, Fuddruckers

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Celebrating a best friend’s birthday with Red Velvet, New York Coffee

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Tiramisu & Pistachio Cake, New York Coffee

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The Nest

It’s Friday evening and we know that Friday is the new Saturday in the Middle East. I had a beautiful afternoon by visiting an annual exhibition around Adliya; The Market 338.

Located in Block 338 as obvious as its name, Market 338 is organized by Al Riwaq Art Space, an art gallery and cafe in the neighborhood. They have different themes this year and decided to have “The Nest” as a theme for this year’s exhibition.

For 2014, Market 338’s theme is the “The Nest”; which focuses on the concept of regenerating life in the area by planting new roots and flourishing new blooms.

Three main areas as well as the “Park” constitute the structure for this year’s Market. “The Greenhouse” is allocated to incubating new businesses; “The Patch” will provide the ideal environment for established creative entrepreneurs, and “The Botanical Garden” will provide an exhibition space for artists.

“The Nest” also aims to highlight the concept of sustainability, permaculture and gardening in Block 338. In order to do so, Al Riwaq Art Space is currently working closely with a range of designers, artists and architects to create unique natural installations throughout the Market that reflect the theme in a creative manner by combining design with gardening and agriculture to create an inspirational and memorable experience for the public.

The Market will offer a series of workshops, a music program hosted by Boho Baha and various activities for children and youth in collaboration with Project 616.

http://www.alriwaqartspace.com/events/the-nest/

See some pictures I took as they literally turned the whole block 338 into “The Nest”

it’s called the nest for a reason

Many of local crafts, fashions, and unique collections are sold around the exhibition.

Al Riwaq Art Space & Cafe, the place where it all began

Children playground

Musics are usually performed during the night

I *heart* BH

I Love Bahrain (That Day)!

Busy is such a super lame excuse but not showing you what I did during Eid-Al Adha in Bahrain is definitely a sin.

About 2 months ago, Moslems around the World celebrated one of the biggest religious holiday called Eid-Al Adha. It’s that time of the year when people around the world who can afford go to a pilgrimage in Mecca. For those who can’t afford it yet are not obligated to go.

The question is, where can you celebrate the holiday any better than the Mecca itself? As literally the country which is just right beside to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain can be on the top of the list. At least that’s what I thought.

The government of Bahrain had this pretty huge celebration all over the places during the holiday. We had 3 days of official public holiday while in Indonesia, it’s usually just one day. And as it happens every year, restaurants are full booked as the part of the culture that people like to dine outside rather than at home as Indonesian culture.

Bahrain has this beautiful big mosque called Al Fateh Grand Mosque located in the capital Manama. Instead of making it as the celebration for Muslim only, the committee had this brilliant idea of having an open house in the mosque special for expats and tourists in any beliefs for 2 days. Too awesome!

View from the street

The fountain just across the main street. The lighting is beautiful at night.

Standing magnificiently as the 6,500 square meters, The mosque was built by the late Sheikh Isa ibn Salman Al Khalifa in 1987 and was named after Ahmed Al Fateh, the conqueror of Bahrain. It is located next to the King Faisal Highway which is pretty much one of the main highways that can be easily accesed. It was actually pretty closed to my home so I just needed around 30 minutes of walking to get there.

The whole Mosque with a little bit Isa Cultural Centre in the background.

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

Once I arrived, all the visitors had to entered a giant tent where we had to do a registration. Many people from all over the World were there. There were a couple of Russians beside me as we had a little conversation while we were waiting for the tour guide. At first, as always, they thought that I was Filipino and asked me to wait for the Tagalog speaking tour guide, but since the only Tagalog that I know was all swearing words, I chose to tell them, again, as always, that I am an Indonesian. Despite of that, It was pretty organized that they have tour guides who spoke English, Arabic and also Hindi and Tagalog as the majority of expats who live in Bahrain are from those countries that speak both language. My first impression was really neat. They even provide an abbaya for women who came there wearing short pieces.

As our tour guide asked us to follow, we entered the Mosque through the main door. They gave us map and explained that there were around 16 booths that we could visit as we wish with some really interesting information all around the corners. The booths were various from General islamic knowledge like Hajj and Quran, scientific information like Science in Islam and of course some fun like photo booth and food corner.

Firstly, we were brought to the main praying area which was a really big square room with such a beautiful interior. Our tour gruide introduced himself that he was from Uzbekhistan and told us general information about the mosque. We were informed that the huge dome built on top of the Al-Fatih Mosque is constructed entirely of fiberglass. Weighing over 60,000 kg, the dome is currently the world’s largest fiberglass dome. The marble used in the floors is Italian and the chandelier is from Austria. The doors are made of teak wood from India. Throughout the mosque are calligraphy writings in a very old type of style called Kufic. It was surely such a fancy Mosque!

Look at that giant chandelier!

The main prayer area.

The Holy Quran.

Visitors were divided into groups and women should cover their body parts except face.

One of the tour guides were telling us some information about the Mosque history

My throne. Kinda.

People were praying Asr, the third prayer in the day. It goes from Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, Isha.

After several questions and answers, we were pleased to explore the Mosque as we like, visited the booths that we wanted. I found out that the committee were not just from Bahrain. People from all over the World all could volunteer. There was an american man became a speaker in Hajj booth, A Filipino boy my age were helping at the photo booth, I even met an Indonesian-Malaysian friend who was also volunteering the event.

Free finger foods for everyone!

A native is pouring an Arabic coffee to a visitor.

Fresh Arabic coffee, anyone?

The outdoor area was surrounded by some posters. Look at those beautiful marbles.

I don’t look fat, do I?

One of the posters with interesting paragraphs.

It doesn’t look good on me.

And this is even worse for me.

Relaxing booth. The fabric is Bahrain’s authentic.

As I get there pretty late and it ended at 4 PM, I just get to visit several booths. But to be honest it was a real fun. Everything was well organized. Everyone was really warm and welcome as they really respect diversity and people from other religions. This can totally be a great example of some big iconic Mosque in Indonesia.

The Isa Cultural Centre just 100 metres away

It was a pretty hot day, a t-shirt should save the day.

The main door

*******

As it was too late for the Mosque and too early to just went home, I decided to continue the adventure to Bab Al Bahrain. Once upon a time, the place which is also called as Manama Souq was the centre of Bahrain civilization, even maybe until now, as it is located right in the heart of Manama. I have had written about a really nice breakfast experience here, but this time I visited it evening time which gave kinda different vibe, especially since it was Eid time and more people visited the place.

Kingdom of Bahrain’s centre of civilization.

The buildings around

It was a quite busy night

The alley

One of the stores. Manama Souq was also famous for souvenir’s shopping

Some old pictures of The Souq

The gate from inside

I went there by Bus and took a cup of coffee right after I arrived. It turned out there was a folk band playing in the Souq so I was just there watching it with the rest of the people which was surprisingly a lot. The band was playing inside the big hall in the Souq. It was the first time ever I saw a traditional Arabic band playing in real life and it was pretty fun. Everyone was dancing happily as the music played. I finally felt like I was in a foreign country!

I believe it must be such a heavy door

The hall inside the Souq

People are watching the Folk Band

Overall, that was actually one of my best days in Bahrain. I really explored the local iconic place and experienced the native culture. I give my thumbs up as the whole thing was organized by the Ministry of Tourism. There were actually more things going on like Leona Lewis concert and another concert in Tree of Life which was quite far. But hey, I was trully satisfied with the day so yeah, I loved Bahrain (that day)!

I *heart* BH

Doll Nation

Barbie comes to real life, but just, more gorgeously High Fashion…

That pretty much what I thought the past 10 years. Gemma Ward who is, without a doubt, the biggest Australian supermodel ever were a big hit for having a sensational body of work in such a very young age. I was still in the last year of middle school and nobody sold Vogue (even if there were any, I would not be able to afford it) back then in Pontianak, the city where I grew up. I could only see the baby doll-face through some fashion shows on TV every Saturdays after school or on the celeb page.

I went to high school and for some reasons had more access to a bigger fashion world. There were these other girls who were literally everywhere and had the similarity with the Australian sensation: they all look like dolls. Sasha Pivovarova, Caroline Trentini, Jessica Stam, and Lily Donaldson were a group of High Fashion girls with exceptional experiences. They have handful covers of International magazines, walk on the A-List fashion shows in the fashion capitals, and become photographer’s and designer’s muses for the last decade.

At this very moment, years after their debut, their powers are still undeniably strong. Gemma kinda took a long hiatus but even with just a single appearance by opening Prada Spring Summer 2015 in Milan, she took over the fashion world’s attention more than any other girls in the season. Lily still regularly walks on the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show and honoured to wear a special outfit made of hundred pieces of Swarovski crystal. Jessica, Caroline, and Sasha still regularly appear on the cover of prestigious magazines including the historical Vogue Italia 50th Anniversary September 2014 Issue.

With such portfolios under their belts; Gemma, Sasha, Caroline, Jessica, and Lily are truly fashion icons. But what is amazing behind is that they remain pals when the curtain is closed. This time’s Women Crush Wednesday will be dedicated to their print work together in various campaigns and editorials these many years. It’s such a shame that there is no work that have all 5 together in a picture. But hey, It-girls come and go but the legends stand still! I believe that we will see that some point as they will absolutely still be around!

Gemma Ward & Sasha Pivovarova by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia

Jessica Stam and Lily Donaldson in V53 by Sebastian Faena

Lily Donaldson & Jessica Stam by Sebastian Faena for V Magazine

Lily Donaldson, Gemma Ward & Caroline Trentini by Steven Meisel for Vogue US December 2005, Glamorama 05

Caroline Trentini & Lily Donaldson by Steven Meisel for Vogue US

Lily Donaldson, Gemma Ward & Caroline Trentini by Steven Meisel for Vogue US December 2005, Glamorama 06

Lily Donaldson & Gemma Ward by Steven Meisel for Vogue US

Gemma Ward & Lily Donaldson by Emma Summerton for i-D

Jessica Stam & Caroline Trentini by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana

Sasha Pivovarova & Lily Donaldson by Mario Sorrenti for Kenzo

Fashion Model Sasha Pivovarova, Jessica Stam, Lily Donaldson, Style inspiration, Fashion photography, Long hair

Jessica Stam, Sasha Pivovarova, Lily Donaldson cr: http://www.littleplastichorses.com

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Caroline Trentini, Lily Donaldson, Jessica Stam by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana

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Caroline Trentini, Lily Donaldson, Jessica Stam by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana

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Caroline Trentini, Lily Donaldson, Jessica Stam by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana

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Gemma Ward, Jessica Stam, Lily Donaldson by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana

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Gemma Ward, Jessica Stam, Lily Donaldson by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana

Caroline Trentini

Caroline Trentini by Nigel Barker for Senhoa

Caroline Trentini by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin for Vogue US

Caroline Trentini by Fabio Bartelt for Harper’s Bazaar Brasil

Birth Date: July 6, 1987

Nationality: Brazilian

Height: 180 cm

Measurement: 33 – 24 – 35

models.com Ranking: Industry Icons

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram (click to visit)

Gemma Ward

Gemma Ward by Steven Klein for Dolce & Gabbana

Gemma Ward by Craig McDean for Vogue Paris

Gemma Ward by Beau Grealy for Sunday Style Australia

Birth Date: November 3, 1987

Nationality: Australian

Height: 176 cm

Measurement: 34 – 24 – 35

Years active: 2003 – Present

models.com Ranking: Industry Icons

Twitter (click to visit)

Jessica Stam

Jessica Stam by Terry Richardson for Aldo

Jessica Stam by Bojana Tatarska for Glass Magazine

Jessica Stam by Alan Gelati for Numero Russia

Birth Date: April 23, 1986

Nationality: Canadian

Height: 178 cm

Measurement: 33 – 24 – 35

Years active: 2002 – Present

models.com Ranking: Industry Icons & The Money Girls

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram (click to visit)

Lily Donaldson

Lily Donaldson by Craig McDean for End

Lily Donaldson by Hong Jang Hyun for Harper’s Bazaar Korea

Lily Donaldson by Ben Weller for The Edit

Birth Date: January 27, 1987

Nationality: British

Height: 178 cm

Measurement: 33 – 23 – 34

Years active: 2003 – Present

models.com Ranking: Industry Icons & The Money Girls

Twitter | Instagram (click to visit)

Sasha Pivovarova

Sasha Pivovarova by Victor Demarchelier for Neiman Marcus

Sasha Pivovarova by David Sims for Vogue US

Sasha Pivovarova by Patrick Demarchelier for Vogue Japan

Birth Date: January 21, 1985

Nationality: Russian

Height: 174 cm

Measurement: 32.5 – 23.5 – 33

Years active: 2005 – Present

models.com Ranking: Industry Icons