Body Celebration

As I have just come to my sense that this cruel world has always been trying to show the life of hell to each of its creature by creating this natural instinct of insecurity that is spread externally and internally, I am finally choosing to refuse all the judgement of myself, by myself, and to myself, especially of how I should appreciate the way I look.

I spent almost the past 10 years of my life believing my soul has been fitted to an un-ideal body as it is bigger than what society thinks it should be, and that bigotry stops now!

Me and my body are as beautiful as a morning sunrise or any of your favourite things. I will still appreciate my body by supplying it with good consumption of food and having exercise as having a tight skin still obviously look nice, but if none of that goodwill turn out to be the way as what ideal beauty demands, I will never be sad and just be totally rocking it.

Wearing larger size of clothing will not me less valuable or less worthy. My body is a celebration and if the society thinks that I look big or fat, none of that thought are my problems. When you tell me “you’re fat!”, that’s your problem and you can all suck it! 😉

Anak Rantau

Anak rantau pergi jauh membawa mimpi-mimpi masa lalu

Penuh semangat memeluk masa kini yang kata orang cepat berlalu

Melangkah gamang menuju semak-semak dan jalan berbatu

Tak ingin berpikir kapan kembali dan bersatu

 

Anak rantau mencintai tempat-tempat baru

Bersorak-sorai berbangga hati membuat kenangan yang tak semu

Memamerkan pigura digital supaya seru

Pantang bersedih agar tak malu

 

Anak rantau rindu Ibu yang selalu memberi restu

Minggu lalu, Ayah berkunjung dalam mimpi haru

Membuatnya bangun dengan tetesan air mata syahdu

Memeluk guling seperti bayi meringkuk sedu

 

Anak rantau membuka kembali catatan terdahulu

Mempelajari setiap jengkal sampai ke ujung kuku

Bertanya kembali kepada dirinya yang dulu

Sudah seberapa jauh dia melangkah maju

Membuktikan bahwa dirinya tak akan pernah kalah dari semua tantangan perjalanan itu

 

Jakarta, 7 Mei 2016

Isa Town, Bahrain – 2014

CWY Series 1 – The Day It All Started

People like Anggoro, Fairuz, Dini, or some other who have experienced North American fall/winter might have already understood that weird combination of bright sunshine and freezing-air-that-made-you-numb. But I still could not accept that the wind slapped me so hard that afternoon, just outside of Pierre-Truedeau International Airport while we were waiting for the bus. We were fully suited and tired of 16 hours long flight. Some people were just well prepared, they wore sweater underneath the coat, put on a scarf or had a big fluffy ear puffs in the middle of their red faces.

“I need to lay down for a while” as I obviously didn’t have a proper sleep, and those extra layer of clothing preparation besides a pair of leopard mitten that I borrowed from Reyska. As like it would help.

One bus with the first group just left before us. Another bus arrived and our group put our belongings in the trunk. The bus was too small for 11 people including the driver, but maybe it was just fine enough to be really close to each other and kept ourselves warm. And in just 15 minutes, the bus stopped at Best Western Hotel.

Those pile of luggage doesn’t look like that attractive now

I was in the middle of most diva-ish situation when I had to stay overnight with 2 of the most brilliant musicians in the group. Noval and Azis better shared the bed as we only had 2 beds in the room, and diva didn’t share bed. But diva did get thirsty. We saw nothing but empty glasses on the table. This hotel didn’t provide water for the visitor.

I went to the reception and stupidly shocked of what the friendly lady said.

“You can get water from the tap. We all drink tap water here.” She said in a French accent

Not sure, I called Kak Asni and she said don’t worry because tap water was indeed drinkable there. I went back to the room and found Noval had a glass of tap water already.

“Anggoro told me.” He said.

Alright, so who cared? I drank and it tasted like I-won’t-get-diarrhea. Something that nobody would ever do anywhere in Indonesia, at least not before you boil it.

3 of us laid down had a very little sleep and get ready as we needed to be in the hall for an arrival briefing.

“Hi everyone, my name is Giselle from Canada World Youth” the curly-haired lady announced herself. I could tell that her first language was neither English nor French. She announced few basic things about tomorrow’s departure. Another flight, of course.

Later I figured, Giselle was originally from Brazil. It was interesting enough remembering the fact that she was representing Canada World Youth, the organization that gave a third-world-country youth like me opportunity to join such an amazing program.

I was sitting on a couch at one corner in the city of Montreal, listening to Gisele’s explanation of our next travel arrangement. My other Indonesian friends who had just traveled all the way from South East Asia with me were sitting around me as well.

Those names I previously mentioned at the beginning were some of few weirdos I had to deal with almost every day, around 4 years ago. We started our journey in our each 27 different places all over Indonesia, wanting to get an International experience and were finally recruited by Indonesian Ministry of Youth and Sport to represent the Indonesian Youth in a program that they partnered with Canada World Youth.

It was September 2011 and this exchange program was at its 38th year. We had 2 weeks full of pre-departure training with the alumni in Jakarta as they expected we would be ‘ready’ to face the bittersweet of the 6 months program. 27 of us were divided in 3 groups who would live in 3 different communities, with each person would be paired with another Canadian youth as our counterpart, and each group would also be facilitated by a pair of Indonesian-Canadian project supervisors.

I was in the same group with Laksmi, Azis, Nadia, Fairuz, Anggoro, Amelia, Noval, and Dwi. Kak Asni was our project supervisor, she joined this program earlier in 2006 and Indonesian supervisor always had to be an alumnus of the program, just like her. We were supposed to live in Charlottetown, the capital of Canada’s littlest and eastern most province Prince Edward Island with environmental-focused project and volunteering.

The whole crew with the Chief of DPD RI – Irman Gusman

Other two groups were placed in Halifax and Truro, both in the province of Nova’s Scotia. The members of those groups might not really be that important to be mentioned, now. They will just naturally appear in the next posts through some incidents, if I feel like to.

Like Salam the member of Halifax group, right now. He just ran back from his room with a big bottle of chili sauce in his hand. “Can’t live without it!” he said.

Gisele had finished explaining about things I couldn’t even remember now. The short meeting was ended with an early dinner, at like 5 PM. Canadians had an interesting dinner time, I thought. Back in Pontianak, a city where I lived, I could just eat a bowl of noodle and would not call it as dinner and would eat a plate of rice and chicken 2 hours later, the meal that I would call as dinner. No wonder I weighted around 98kg.

Gisele distributed the dinner boxes. 2 big chicken breasts and french fries were in it. Without rice, of course, as this was unusual for the Indonesians to eat anything without rice and chili sauce. Some people were approaching Salam to get a bit of his chili sauce, I assumed that big bottle was his 3 months’ supply and decided not to ask for it. I did have my own in my luggage, but it was day 1 and that bitch Feby really loved challenge.

We finished eating and came back to our rooms as we had quite early flight the next day. But again, it was day 1. No matter how tired you were, you would not miss your very first North American night by sleeping. 10 of us were gathered in a room to discuss on what we called ‘group rules’, basically some bullshits of Do’s and Don’ts that we might not commit several weeks after.

Group Rules situation. It shows that we were not interested

I saw Wan Vina from Truro group changed her BBM profile picture at the downtown of Montreal, which was obviously the place where we should be at that very moment. We convinced Kak Asni that we should go around Montreal that night, as the very first group activity that we had never done before.

She agreed as we were all set and waited for the hotel’s shuttle to the bus station. And that’s how my group and I started to have our Canadian experience for the very first time.

# # #

Next Series: CWY Series 2 – Montreal Drama

Small Boy, Big Dream – You Won’t Understand

My blog posts haven’t been that useful in 2015. Excuses are better be left unsaid because to be honest, what am I defending for? I don’t have that much of blog followers on the first place.

Several weeks before it happened, I allocated some spaces in my brain to think of how I would spend the Christmas long weekend. This may sound exaggerating –you know, my life as usual– but I put a lot of thought in it. I was thinking of several options as, thank God, I live in a country where literally anywhere is beautiful. And for the sake of the memory, at the end I put the dot on my map to this place where several parts of my character was shaped. And then it became the travelling of a reminder. A reminder of what kind of person I was, a reminder what kind of person I wished I would become.

I hopped in to the bus around 12 PM that 24 December. I read from social media that the traffic was literally crazy, but yeah bitch, what would my life be without craziness? I was lucky that I could sit as the bus was literally full of people who were probably tired of the city, excited to see other places, or just simply missed home. Another man sat next to me, an ear phone was plugged in to his ears as he was sleeping unbotheredly, great skill.

I committed myself to do a digital detox; I would turn off any internet connection and be in the ‘real life’ during the trip. It was such a perfect timing as I did not really have to reply emails or did some other work related things, I just wanted to be a hippie –And I am not using this in a sarcastic term–, I would not care about anything else other than what I would actually be experiencing in those 4 days, and I expected that to be lovely.

But then life was always a bitch. Traffic was, to be exact. It took 11 hours to arrive in the town where it usually took only 5 hours to visit. It was an hour after midnight and the early morning was really cold at the bus station. Everything was basically the same at that station: several buses were lining up to drop the passangers, the corner stores were open with limited lighting, and many motorcycle and pedicab drivers offered everyone their transportation service, it did feel really nostalgic. But it was really different as I was just literally alone.

I asked one random driver to bring me to the nearest hotel for me to stay overnight. It took 2 places before there was an inn that actually had an available room for a lonely visitor to stay. The lady was extremely friendly to me and to another couple that I thought only wanted to stay there to have sex. You know I’m really judgmental.

The couple was disgusted by the shitty room as they went with a motorcycle in that cold morning but I guess I did not have any choice. Dirty might be a strong word but the room was so far to be said as proper, it was really ‘different’.

“I will change the sheet” Said the lady as like it would help the room to be more proper.

“This should be fun and nothing wrong with having a different experience” I convinced myself, and it was really sincere. That was supposed to be the travelling of a reminder and I reminded not to complain. Besides, I was tired anyways and I would not do anything but sleep and I would just leave in the morning.

I woke up around 10 PM the next day and as planned, immediately leave the inn to explore the city a little bit before continuing to the final destination. I took another pedicab and went to the downtown, looking around to re-feel the “city warmth”, tasted good local foods, and did a Friday prayer in the City’s Great Mosque – all by my own.

The digital detox was working perfectly fine as well. I talked to real people when I wanted to know the direction, or when I was waiting for the angkot , sort of a van that became a public transportation in most Indonesian cities. I knew more about the people and their background I was actually facing rather than spending my time looking at the phone screen and putting love on people-whom-I-don’t-actually-know on instagram pictures,  it just felt damn nice! I wish the people of Jakarta would be more friendly so everytime I talked to random people on the street, they would be more welcoming and would not think that I am capable of doing bad things to them.

After a full-hour of eye indulgence when I saw anywhere was nothing but prettiness, I arrived in my destination around 4 PM in the afternoon. I ran to my house, where I spent several time of my life with people I really cared about, and surprised everyone as I did not tell everyone that I would go ‘home’.

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“You look more handsome!” Ibu –The Indonesian nick for mother and as how I called my host mom– said. “Of course!” I replied. Typical me.

I had a great conversation with the members of the house, updating each other’s life and laughing the fool things we did that we could remember. I left the house for an afternoon walk before the sun set. That was the second Christmas day I spent in that place I called home.

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Adncraib

The sun almost set behind the green mountains. Everything still existed, the mural, the library (they even have a new one!), the village hall, the ram statue, the football court, and of course the ram fighting arena with its famous huts. I broke my heart that Christmas afternoon, right in the heart of Cikandang Village.

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Back in 2011, I had an international youth exchange where they put together 9 Canadian Youth and 9 Indonesian Youth in one group to live together in both Canadian and Indonesian community for several months and aimed for International relations, mutual understanding, cultural exchange, sustainable changemaking, youth leadership and other endless positivity.  We were placed in the city of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for the Canadian Phase and the village of Cikandang, a mountainous village in Southern Garut, West Java. We left the village at the end of the program around end of March 2012 with many beautiful memories.

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I have actually been back visiting the village after the program for three times with some other people, but the last time was in 2013, just right before I departed to Bahrain. So this visit was actually my first visit in 2 years, and the very first time when I came back literally alone in Cikandang.

My heart broke not because I haven’t moved on with my life. In fact, I did not even know what broke me inside to be exact. Maybe the fact that I was visiting with no friends or the reminder of how I envisioned the future-Feby in the past.

Rtuboaby

I am really grateful of how my life turned after the program. I moved out from my hometown and I befriended great helpful people that gave me descent jobs in the capital city, Jakarta. I was blessed to have another opportunity to live in another foreign country, learning new stuffs and living in a total different culture, and especially at this time of my life when I was having my best job yet with lovely people around me, no reason to complain about life.

But something was missing….

And it was not my body fat, obviously. I did not know, It was maybe my attention to humanity, my sensitivity or my motivation to spread positivity.

Saying that I am not as a positive person as I was is too strong of an argument, especially it also indicates of how exaggerated I judged myself in the past. I mean, who claimed themselves of creating positive vibes by themselves? Maybe some people but I don’t think that’s my call.

Instead, I have the right to say something has definitely has changed. And honestly, until this particular word, I have no idea where this article will lead to and how it will end. Thoughts in my head are just like strings that can be straighten from earth to moon and back, but now it’s tangled. It became really messy that made it just as big as a tennis ball.

I was lucky to be born in a supportive family where my opinions and willingness are always heard and appreciated. The situation probably shaped my character to be a decisive individual and I always see the goal in any actions that I did. Every single one of them.

But I just felt that being adult is not that easy….

Life has always been a total player for every human in any ways possible. We undeniably have bigger burdens, big enough to think that the great master plans we always had suddenly became unconvincing. And as it probably got you, it might get me even harder.

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I spent 2 days in Cikandang and re-saw what myself particularly have contributed to that beautiful small area. It was probably intangible, I mean, the sidewalk marks that we hand-painted were not even there anymore. But seeing the exact same mural on the wall about not littering your garbage on the street or realizing that the blue colour or library wall haven’t changed since we dramatically decorated them made me smile a lot.

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My friends and I might not save the world or became a bunch of fairy godmothers and turned a poor girl to be a princess. But we clearly shared the same spirit. We were bunch of young people from major cities in both country and were placed in a village that was totally different with how we used to live, was a total slap in the face. Moreover, this opportunity did not just arrive in my lap in a silver platter. I fought for my spot to be there, to be the part of the team and I did not just start that because I was following the trend. I made some names for myself until those judges could decide that I deserved the spot.

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We sincerely loved the place and had the motivation that we could contribute positively to the village. At that time, the motivation was even bigger because we are entitled as “Youth of The World” which in overreacting version of me years ago, it meant really important as it led to do really important things to the world as well.

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And how I applied that in the life I had? I realized that volunteering and social movement was not a new thing. As I said, I was probably chosen to join the program because I was actively involved in those kinds of activity. And I used those learning process to be really pay attention of any actions I would contribute. I took every single opportunity to help things get better in the village seriously like I would live there forever. All with a very supporting environment from magnificent team member and locals. I sincerely had super strong willing to keep doing what I did until forever, somehow, somewhere.

But now it has been 4 years since that flame positivity burned me inside and outside. When you see myself right now and compare with what kind of person I told you before, your reaction might be really subjective because in reality, those plans haven’t worked, yet. Why? I wish I can say I don’t know but I clearly know the reason. Because it’s what life is about. Remember at that time you ordered a customized menu at the restaurant? You wanted double scoop of vanilla and chocolate ice cream and specifically wanted the vanilla scoop to be on top but the waiter came with the chocolate on top instead? You can plan, decide, or even manipulate how you wish your life be, but it’s not always up to you, it has never been, it will never be. The world and any single thing inside it work together like a pair of gear that makes certain action affects the others and that is not new information for anyone, I know.

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But we just sometimes forget about it, I often forget about it. And the reflection of it shows in our action. We can complain to the waiter who brought the wrong order of ice cream scoop or just accept and eat as it would taste the same, anyway. And that’s how I probably choose to respond the life world is offering me to.  I am not capable of fulfilling my dream 100% but I should be able to be patient and use any learning in my journey to be the ‘weapon’ of my future. I was probably part of the bigger gear who affected smaller gear in the program and I never wanted such habit to stop happening in any circumstances.

Nevertheless, the beauty of that mountainous village was just everything I needed last end of the year. This reminder, reflection, whatever you call it to make me realize of how grateful I am to be the person that I am now, and the person that  I will be. I was visiting the former head of village’s house and the family greeted me warmly. I had a nice conversation with them and heard them talking sincerely of how happy they were when we were there, joking around about funny things that happened in 2012. Rury, the eldest daughter was still in middle school back then and now she is a year away from University. She told me of how she planned to take International Relation in either University of Padjadjaran or University of Gadjah Mada, two major universities in Indonesia because of how she was inspired by the program that she was being involved with as the local. For the 5 years activities with around 90 youth in the period, irregardless the debatable sustainability and controversy it created. And that seriously made me smile a lot.

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I visited many places in the village where I liked to spend time with my friends and had great conversation with not just my host family but some other host families. You never realize of what impressions you could leave to certain community until you come back in quite some time and feel, really feel inside yourself of how joyful and peaceful your little heart to stand on the place where you usually stood. And I don’t want Cikandang to be the only place where I can feel that way.

Small boy, big dream. That I know.

Xvmulwi6

 

The Golden Boys

There were times when these boys stole public’s attention with their performances. Being dubbed as the next generation of Hollywood legends, many are wondering where are they and what are their next big hit as they we have not really hear much from them at the moment.

With the absence of Boys Brunch this July, let’s refresh our memory with these Hollywood golden boys and be excited for what they are preparing for us.

Alex Pettyfer

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Alex Pettyfer for V Magazine January 2014, photographed by Sebastian Faena

This British heartthrob started his career with modeling until he got his first acting job back in 2005 with a TV movie called Tom Brown’s Schooldays. Slowly but sure climbing the ladder of the fame, Alex led the cast in various popular movies including being the cute headmistress son and love interest of Emma Roberts in Wild Child and being a real hot alien from the book-adaptation-movie I Am Number Four. But we all know, it’s his massive body transformation and hot strip-dance that made everyone turned their heads to him when he landed a major role in Magic Mike alongside industry hunky-heavyweight names like Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and Matthew McConaughey.

Alex also turned to be a fashion icon, being featured on magazine covers and editorials, front rowing the menswear fashion shows and handpicked by the Burberry creative editor, Christopher Bailey himself to be the face of the brand’s campaign for two seasons. He established more of his excellent acting skill by landing more mature role in historical movie, The Butler and showed his softer romantic side in modern days Romeo & Juliet drama called Endless Love early last year.

“It’s easier for me to play darker roles. To open yourself up and open your heart. It’s a scary thing. It’s a scary thing in life. Let alone in a movie” as he said to V magazine. Alex is currently busy filming another historical movie about two American legends Elvis & Nixon by taking a role as the King of Rock and Roll’s best man Jerry Schilling himself. Excited much?

Aaron Taylor-Johnson

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Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Wonderland Magazine Summer 2014, photographed by Steven Pan

He started his acting career really young as a TV sweetheart and broke many girls (and gays) hearts when he decided to marry movie director Sam Taylor when he was only 22 years old back in 2012. But as we see, that doesn’t stop him to still be everyone’s favourite. He set his prestige by landing a role in a movie that every actor would kill for; to be young John Lennon in 2009 British biographical musical drama film called Nowhere Boy. From there, his name became more established by leading the cast in action-comedy Kick Ass sequel and various other movie with different genres like Anna Karenina, Savages, and the legendary movie remake Godzilla.

His British charm won him several awards including Man Of The Year 2010 (Glamour Award), Best Newcomer 2010 (Empire Award) and brought his resume to a whole new level by fronting Prada Spring Summer 2013 menswear campaign. Aaron is currently known as a Superhero by appearing as Quicksilver in two marvel movies Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

“I worked hard, played hard, and had money to burn. I got myself into some serious, crappy situations. My adolescence was all about wild exploring and experimentation, about doing and trying everything. Searching for what fit right.” told this father of two in Flaunt Magazine. It is rumored that he will reprise his role in both Godzilla 2 and Avengers 3 with really big possibility. Fingercrossed!

Liam Hemsworth

Liam Hemsworth for GQ Australia March 2012, photographed by Dusan Reljin

With his brother, they are double trouble. With him alone, we all know why Miley Cyrus was bust in tears and nakedly wrecked that ball. Flew all the way from southern part of the globe to The States, Liam Hemsworth can be called as Australian phenomenon.

He started his career when he was still a teenager in Australian Television before making a Hollywood debut in 2009 movie, Knowing, alongside Nicolas Cage. He once again showed his impressive act in 2010 romantic drama, The Last Song before having a two years hiatus and made a big comeback in one of the most successful both book and adapted movie The Hunger Games in 2012 as Jennifer Lawrence’s sidekick, Gale Hawthorne. After that, this younger version of Hugh Jackman’s acting career has always been unstoppable.

The Last Song and The Hunger Games trilogy might be the only movies that gave him award categories and victories, but we believe he will totally get much more than that in his bright future career. He has not only one, or two, but four movies coming up, queuing to amaze the public until 2016 by far.

Logan Lerman

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Logan Lerman for Interview magazine April 2014, photographed by Robbie Fimmano

The perks of being Logan Lerman: people will just love him in any ways. He might always be associated with characters that is innocent but have a big eagerness to be a hero and fight for his friends, but his career is totally much more than just innocence. This boy has risen all the way from the innocent little boy to a smoking Hollywood next hottie.

Logan scored his big role as Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson series, which is said to be Harry Potter series counterpart, and continued his success on another adapted movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower alongside Hollywood darling Emma Watson that gave him numerous awards including Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actor: Drama. Another notable work from him is probably a American war film, Fury, which he played alongside Hollywood veteran Brad Pitt that was released last year.

Logan is currently busy filming, yet again, another book adapted movie called Indignation, not only as an actor, but excellently as an executive producer. The movie is shot in Brooklyn and expected to come out next year. Logan Lerman must kill it once again.

Nick Jonas

Nick Jonas for Flaunt Magazine October 2014, photographed by Yu Tsai

Nick Jonas is a child star turns to be a bad ass. Or maybe, the good ass. As he is the youngest Jonas Brother that turn into maybe the most revealed one -literally, he is bares it all everywhere-, he is totally hard to miss.

Nick separated himself from the bros and started his own music project that still gained him loyal fans followed. Besides busy being a cool musician that people look up to, his love life might also be as busy as that. He is well known to be the Don Juan, dating it-girls from entertainment industry like Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, Australian pop star Delta Goodrem, and former Miss Universe, Olivia Culpo.

Nick is also aiming for the film industry of Hollywood and landed several roles in movies and TV series that strengthen his declaration of versatile artist. Besides, his body transformation is also undeniably world-widely talked about, especially ever since he instagrammed that shirtless body of his around 2 years ago. He is currently filming a movie called Goat that will be released next year and playing a recurring role in TV series Scream Queens alongside Emma Roberts and Lea Michelle. Big days ahead, boy!

-F

April’s Appetite

2 months late but being late doesn’t necessarily mean bad. April’s Appetite to indulge your eyes, and of course, appetite! Follow @febylous__ on instagram for daily updates.

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Almond Croissant and Cappuccino, Starbucks Coffee

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Tuna Salad, Nicole’s Kitchen & Lounge, Puncak

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Seafood Fettuccine, Nicole’s Kitchen & Lounge, Puncak

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Salmon Ravioli, Nicole’s Kitchen & Lounge, Puncak

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Chocolate Lava Cake, Nicole’s Kitchen & Lounge, Puncak

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Teh Tarik, Bangi Kopitiam Pontianak

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Bread and Brunch, Crystal Jade My Bread, Pontianak

Lilou Lifestyle

As a current market demand, cafe or restaurant should not only provide great meals and excellent service. To survive in the business, a lifestyle should be created and a prestige is all we need. Those kind of thing had been successfully fulfilled by Cafe Lilou in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain.

I remember clearly my first week in Manama, I was craving for a Red Velvet cake, the thing I used to have regularly and people were recommending this Fancy French Cafe down the street as it was located in the famous Block 338, the dining capital Bahrain, which was pretty close to my office.

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Lilou’s front view. credit: https://crazyyetwise.files.wordpress.com/

As a cafe and anything-that-might-sell-red-velvet-cake hunter, of course visiting Cafe Lilou became one of my main agendas. I was quite disappointed when I first visited because they actually did not have the original Red Velvet cake that people had been telling me about. In fact, they had this thing called Le Mirabeau, which interestingly was the combination of Red Velvet and Cheesecake. I should not be upset when I could have two of most amazing things in life in a single plate, no? The cake was topped with berries to balance and I personally thought that to make it look chic. About the taste? I admit it was kinda heavy cake but who cared! It tasted heavenly since the time the first scoop touched my tongue. “I totally need to come back” I thought.

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Le Mirabeu: Oreo crust with red velvet cheesecake topped with caramel and berries

As the longer I hung out in the area, it was not just once or two times people were asking me the direction of Cafe Lilou. Most of them came from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait for the Arab Weekend -a whole new other story- which proved that the lifestyle that Cafe Lilou created was impactful enough to be heard by the neighbour countries. It was actually no surprise, the place was always full everytime I went there. Cafe Lilou was impressively designed with the touch of the enchanting Bohemian era in Paris. The red and gold ambiance blended perfectly with the sophisticated decor. The giant moulin rouge lady poster, the fancy stair and chairs, the fountain and the statue, totally made everyone there felt ‘expensive’, which was something that Middle Eastern loved, as I observed.

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That royal ceiling, though! credit: https://crazyyetwise.files.wordpress.com/

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Fancy yourselves, please. credit: https://crazyyetwise.files.wordpress.com

They actually had other European-with the mix of Arabic dishes other than just cakes and desserts. But I was not really interested by that as the award-winning Cafe is well known by their sweet treats. They were pretty creative with theme, too. They would make special cakes for special occasions like Valentines, Halloween, and Christmas. But as more often I visited them, the more I felt that there was not much variety in their cakes. They sure had their own identity: the cakes were always heavy, I could not make them as a dessert as they made me full right away. But that whole thing made me believe that all the cakes were made from one single recipe. They just put different flavours and colours in the process to make them looked different. They tasted undeniably great, but their capability of making me not bored with their selection just failed.

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Halloween Special, Pumpkin Cake!

But again, as I said earlier, this Cafe created the lifestyle that not many dining place could make. They have two locations in Bahrain and spending an afternoon with a cup of its relaxing beverage and a dish of cake was something that socialites of Bahrain considered “cool and current”. I don’t blame them, though. I also really enjoyed sitting in that comfortable couch finishing my sweet and committed of not eating any sugar the next two days.

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Coco: Layer of montana sponge, praline, sanfarine and roasted hazelnut

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Rahash Cheesecake: Cheesecake, caramel, and rahash cubes

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Bagatelle: Layers of pistachio sponge with fresh mango, strawberry, and peach fruits

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Pistachio Melo-Melo: Combination of chocolate bacarra and mafrooka with pistachio chocolate mousse

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French Onion Soup for The Soul!