Posts tagged ‘lifestyle’
Kami tiba di Bandara Heathrow lebih dari tiga jam terlalu cepat, maklum penginapan terakhir jaraknya 2½ jam dari bandara. Setelah melakukan wisata lokal ke Salisbury, kami memutuskan untuk membuang waktu di Bandara saja. Dan karena kami menggunakan Emirates Airline, terminal yang digunakan di Heathrow adalah terminal 3, khusus untuk maskapai penerbangan lain selain British Airways dan dengan tujuan arah barat dari Inggris. Terminal ini tidak besar, dan dengan banyaknya maskapai asing yang menggunakan terminal ini, menjadikan terminal ini penuh dengan calon penumpang yang menunggu. Pesawat kami baru akan berangkat pukul 8.40 malam sementara itu kami sudah tiba di bandara sekitar jam 5 sore. Menghabiskan waktu di bandara dengan melakukan window shopping di duty free area yang sangat kecil dibandingkan dengan pengalaman belanja di Dubai Mall seminggu sebelumnya, duty free shopping ini sama sekali tidak berarti. Menunggu makan malam yang diberikan di pesawat akan terlalu lama. Akhirnya kami memutuskan untuk makan di restauran yang bukan fast food, sekalian mengakhiri liburan ini dengan gaya.
Karena suami saya menyukai makanan laut, dan tertarik dengan seafood yang di pajang di etalase dari seafood bar yang berlokasi ditengah ruang tunggu terminal, kami lalu memutuskan untuk makan malam ringan di ‘seafood bar’ ini: ‘Caviar House & Prunier” Melihat dari lokasi dari seafood bar ini, sama sekali tidak eksotis, mirip tempat makan cepat saji (fast food) tapi cara menyajikannya sangat menarik. Saya lalu memutuskan untuk memesan makanan yang ‘agak’ eksotik : ”signature menu” mereka: “Pourqoui Pas?”. Agak mahal memang, tapi kan kami mengakhirinya adengan GAYA.
Tidak lupa kami juga memesan wine – white wine (anggur putih) sebagai minuman pelengkap untuk makan makanan laut.
Biasanya saya tidak begitu suka makan caviar – telur ikan, karena ini sangat amis, tapi ternyata cara makan caviar adalah dengan roti toast, bersama sejumput putih telur dan sejumput irisan bawang merah sebagai penyedap dan mengurangi rasa amis… hmmm rasanya bukan main, sedaap….
Yang membedakan seafood bar ini tidak seperti tempat makan cepat saji atau restauran biasa adalah setelah makan kami di berikan coklat pencuci mulut sebagai komplemen dari seafood bar ini.
Yang kami tidak tau adalah bahwa di ‘darat’ restaurant ini adalah ‘speciality restaurant’ khusus makanan laut yang punya cabang di seluruh Eropa: “Caviar House & Prunier” memiliki seafood bar di banyak bandara di Eropa, Asia dan Australia, termasuk di Dubai dan Hongkong.
Ini alamat persisnya untuk Seafood Bar yang kami kunjungi:
TW6 1EB Hounslow, Middlesex Phone: +44 (0)208 897 1332
Jam buka: 6.30 – 21.30
When I landed in Doha for the first time back in 2005, I was surprise that I had to take the stairs and walk on the runway to the bus to take me to the airport arrival lounge and the immigration counter. Then I learned that for 2006 Asian Games, Qatar would use a new airport, for the athletes. As the time got nearer to the event, I wondered when would this new airport open. Then I heard the gossip that ‘they’ couldn’t make it for the Asian Games and instead they would open a temporary arrival lounge especially for the Asian Games athletes and officials.
Now, more than six years on, Qatar is still working on the New Doha International Airport, or rather the Hamad International Airport; but it’s now very close to the opening time, at least the authority is sort of announcing the soft opening date, the 1st of April 2013. The question is whether this is for real or an April Fool?
I think this is now for real, as now I am part of the team involved in the construction of this new airport, at least I know how far it is to go for the finishing of the airport and at least I know and I can see how the airport will look like; as six years ago, I never knew anything about the design or the shape of the airport.
Did I mention that it’s only a soft opening? As only 10 airlines will fly from HIA on the 1st of April, namely:
- Air Arabia,
- Air India Express,
- Biman Bangladesh Airlines,
- Iran Air,
- Nepal Airlines,
- Pakistan International Airline,
- RAK Airways,
- Syrian Air
- Yemen Airways,
So for the frequent flyers with Qatar Airways and from the other bigger airlines, they will have to wait until at least the end of the year when officially the airport will be fully operated.
Here are some interesting facts about the new airport as of Doha News which said:
“There are 41 contact gates in the main passenger terminal – Those gates have some 88 Passenger Loading Bridges. That means no more long bus rides to and from the planes – passengers can just walk down the bridge onto the plane, like at many other airports in the world. Also, the terminal itself should be able to handle 28 million people a year.”
Does this now mean a competition between 3 airports in the region? (namely Abu Dhabi Airport, Dubai Airport and Doha Airport) and is there a need to have 3 hubs in the region? I just try to compare the competition of airports in the ‘80s between Amsterdam and Frankfurt airport, when both tried to be the European air hub, but never fulfilled it’s expectation.
“Terminal 1 will have 150 passenger check-in stations. That includes 14 check-in booths for First Class and 16 check-in desks for Business Class. Ideally that also means no waiting in long lines, although that remains to be seen.”
I guess Qatar is gearing up toward the 2022 World Cup (which is 9 years away from now) when they will expect an influx of tourists and football fans. But between now and then, I can’t see any possibility that Qatar will have so many visitors except business people and expats. I wonder what will happen after the World Cup? I just remember the building of new airports in Barcelona, just for the Olympic Games, but after that, the airport was too empty….
“The next phase of the airport will handle 50 million passengers a year. Dubbed Phase 3A, and due to be completed by 2017, it will include the development of an expansion of Terminal 1 and the addition of a training center, rail station, car rental facilities, a “sea rescue” harbor and a multi-story parking structure.”
Well, I don’t think I will be there by the time the next terminal opens. Will I still be a Seasoned Traveler and using Qatar Airways to see the “New” terminal…? Who knows…..
As a Middle East expat, I think we work harder than other expats who work in a ‘normal’ world. Yes, we work 6 days a week and at least a 50 hour week. And our break day is on Friday, not Sunday like the rest of the world. However, we play hard as well. Not only that we can have exotic holidays, but we also enjoy treats every now and then. I am lucky enough that I get the same deployment as my husband, so we work for the same company and in the same country. However, that doesn’t mean that we lead a ‘normal’ life. We left our families and relatives behind. Even though means of communication have never been so easy, I bet they still don’t understand what kind of lifestyle we are having out here.
Nevertheless, I keep on sending them pictures, through MMS facility, so that it reaches them instantly in their mobile phone, telling them whereabouts we are or what am I doing or even what I eat for lunch. What I didn’t realize was that how often I send them pictures of my food:
“So it seems that you never cook, you are always eating in a restaurant…” that was a reply from my cousin.
Other people even wrote on her Facebook status : “Somebody out there, STOP uploading food pictures on Facebook!”
I feel embarrassed with that remark, and I felt like I had too many treats of eating out too often, if its not always. Yes, I have to admit that I don’t cook, and as we can afford to eat out. Especially our Saturday Lunchtime. We like to have a special treat, having it in a hotel restaurant. Currently our favorite place to eat is at the Cellar Wine & Tapas.
A Mediterranean Tapas and Wine tasting place that is popular among the yuppies after hours. I will write more about The Cellar next week. but this is the food that we ate during our last two visits to this place.
And this is what we had today:
Jawabannya, mungkin! Dan memang benar-benar ada.
Pertama kali melihat papan namanya terpampang di Octóber 6 Utcában, atau mungkin artinya di Jalan October 6, saya agak bingung, mungkin saja ini adalah salah satu nama a-la bahasa Hungaria yang tidak termasuk dalam rumpun bahasa inggris atau Germanic ataupun Rusia seperti Negara-negara eropa yang lain. Apalagi papan nama café ini tidak ber’bau’ Indonesia ataupun Jogya sama sekali.
Kamipun berjalan cepat melalui café tersebut, karena tujuan kami tidaklah berkunjung ke café. Segera setelah kami melewati café tersebut, rasa penarasan saya mengalahkan ketetapan hati saya, dan kami berjalan kembali meskipun hujan gerimis dan dingin. hanya untuk melihat apa yang dijual oleh café ini.
Walaupun cafe tersebut kecil saja, dan tidak banyak ornamen khas Indonesia, tapi ada sedikit-sedikit sentuhan dekorasi interior ala Indonesia, seperti Ganesha yang menjadi pajangan di ujung bar.
dan kain batik yang memisahkan antara ruang tamu dan dapur, khas gaya ‘warung’ di Indonesia.
Menunya, ah ternyata ini benar-benar menjual culinary Indonesia, seperti lumpia yang saya pesan ini:
Dan makanan favorit saya dan yang sudah menjadi makanan universal di dunia, bukan cuma di Indonesia:
Apalagi yang pedas…. hmm lumayan untuk menghangatkan tubuh yang kedinginan dari cuaca diluar…
Mereka bahkan punya Facebook Page nya Cafe Yogya, tapi sayangnya terakhir saya mengunjungi facebook pagenya, ada pemberitahuan bahwa Cafe ini tutup
Dari notification di Facebook, rupanya membuka restoran Indonesia/Yogya di Budapest ternyata tidak mudah….
Berarti itulah saat saya terakhir kali mengunjungi Cafe Yogya, dan kesempatan lain saya mengunjungi Budapest, mungkin tidak akan ketemu dengan restauran Indonesia lagi….
Last year I had a good start on blogging, but suddenly toward the second half of the year, I did not manage to keep up the good work I’ve done earlier.
Now, forget about 2012; this year I would like to start fresh again. The first step I do, and the thing that I’ve been thinking all this time was to combine my 2 best blogs into one only; so that people or my audience would not confuse on to which blog they should visit. In the mean time, I will keep my photoblog (take a look here) alive maybe until the end of this year.
Thus, in this blog you can see all my posts including from my photography blog. Which will be part of the Photo Essay Category. And with this post you will mark as the first post in the new year, with a new look of this blog.
On the side bar, you can see some buttons that connect to my other activities around the net, just in case you are nosy enough and wanted to know what I am doing in between blogging.
For now, I will use the theme ‘Adventure Journal’ as in the picture below, however, I can not promise that I will stick with this theme till the end of the year.
Anyway, just enjoy my post this year, I can promise you that I will travel to different places in the coming months, and I will for sure post my travel tale with more pictures.
However, you might be interesting to see my previous post which listed in 2012 archive.
Hosting an international game is hard as the organizer is under the scrutiny of the public eye. After saying that, Qatar, a small country of 1.5 million population and 11,571 km sq. in land area will be hosting the most popular game on earth in 2022: the FIFA World Cup. This will not be an easy quest, however, Qatar has 10 years to practice to be a good host the way London proved this year by hosting 2012 Olympic Games.
Below is one of the many practice matches that Qatar will have until D-Day, as described by my office colleague who is a football freak and went to see a qualification football match between Iraq and Australia in Doha. The above was the title of his story, which I only copy paste from his email to us:
“Went to watch the Socceroos play Iraq last night – what a joke!
It must be the emptiest stadium I’ve ever visited for an international football match (refer attached) – even when Malta play San Marino, there’s more people than that! Official attendance was a mere 2183! It felt like security outnumbered fans!! They even had this enormous anti-riot armoured tank outside the stadium. God knows what for! Maybe they thought we were all hooligan poms?!!
Mind you, they decided I was a hooligan as I got chucked out for a couple of minutes coz I was a very naughty boy & spat water out of my mouth when one of the Ozzies carrying a blow-up kangaroo had me in stitches. After all, I do look exactly like a hooligan Geordie, don’t I??!!! (They let me back in 30 seconds later!!)
The Oz fans were made to sit in a corner at one of the far ends, so our view wasn’t great. But I would think there were more of us than Iraqis, which I thought was surprising. When a bunch of Ozzie kids (5 to 10 year olds!) were playing/running around & climbing the handrails in front of the riot squad (!), they promptly sprung into action & used their walkie-talkies to get some reinforcements (2 more!), then insisted with the Oz parents that their children were not allowed to act in such a threatening manner!!! Boos from the Oz crowd then erupted!
Standard of services was pathetic. To go to the loo, you had to exit the stadium through the turnstiles then walk around to the men’s somewhere around. The food outlet was also outside. AND useless! One Oz fan decided to buy the only box of Gulfa plastic-cup water that they had for sale on a free-standing table to be able to distribute it to the rest of us. After that, THEY RAN OUT!!! And that’s with a grand total of 2183 people. Other than that, they were only selling twistees & crisps!!
Then, traffic after the match was horrendous. And that’s with an attendance of 2183! Does not augur well for the World Cup!!!
The game itself was quite boring & only got interesting in the latter half of the 2nd half. Most Ozzies got bored & were just having a social chat while the game went on. It was only after we went a goal down that the Socceroos & the Ozzie fans lifted. In the end, the better team won, but as usual we did it the hard way.
As an expat, one of the fun and exciting things moment is going home, no matter if it’s only for a few days or for a period of 40 days it’s always exciting. Yes, once we are there, the fun maybe only for the first few days, after that, it was only routine. However, this time, my going home holiday is a bit different and special; that’s because I haven’t been home for one and a half year, and also celebrating my Mom’s 80th birthday.
Yes, it was 1½ years since the last time I’ve visited my family back home. For some maybe that was not long enough, but it’s because there are a lot of things going on between that period of time that made me feel like I desperately needs to see them. As communication means is so easy these days, we talk most weeks, we text massage, we telephone and see each other most of time thru Skype, but the things that happens daily that I missed most of the time. My sister move in to her newly renovated house with my Mom that I miss, my brother got his own apartment that I missed this occasion as well.
I’ve buying a lot of presents for them for the past 6 months and I’ve been wrapping and packing them up for the last 2 weeks now, and I can’t wait to dish it out… The thing is as they all wrapped now, I need to remember each one of it what it was, as I’m not going to put names on it.
So guys here I come.