If Life is About a Journey on a Train

pic source: public-forums.blogspot.com

pic source: public-forums.blogspot.com

“Life is like a journey on a train…

with its stations.. with changes of routes.. and with accidents.

We board this train when we are born and our parents are the ones who get our ticket.

We believe they will always travel on this train with us.

However, at some station our parents will get off the train,leaving us alone on this journey.

As time goes by, other passengers will board the train, many of whom will be significant – our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of our life.

Many will get off during the journey and leave a permanent vacuum in our lives.

Many will go so unnoticed that we won’t even know when they vacated their seats and got off the train 

This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, good-byes and farewells.

A good journey is helping, loving, having a good relationship with all co passengers…

and making sure that we give our best to make their journey comfortable.

The mystery of this fabulous journey is :

We do not know at which station we ourselves are going to get off.

So, we must live in the best way – adjust, forget, forgive, and offer the best of what we have.

It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to leave our seat… we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.”

Came across this amazing piece of thought online, and I decided to share this with SOL’s readers.  🙂

Cheers~

My Bali Trip Part 2 – Ubud Day Trip 2

This is a continuation to the recount on my Ubud day trip from Ubud Day Trip 1 

After a packed programme in morning, which we visited a Batik Shop, the Batuan Temple and a Coffee Plantation, it was time for us to have a good lunch!

4. Lunch at Sawah Indah

Our friends actually recommended us to dine in dirty duck restaurant (aka Bebek Bengil) for their famous crispy duck. However, our driver told us that the original chef has left the original shop and went over to Sawah Indah. As he is local, and will not earn any commission by sending us to Sawah Indah, we decided to trust him and give it a try.

Sawah Indah

Sawah Indah

Once we entered the compound, we were greeted by a huge pond just beside the parking area. Trust me, when you are there, it gives you a sense of tranquility and peace. (Maybe also because we were the only few early ones to reach this restaurant, less people = less noise pollution)

Huge Pond filled with Koi

Huge pond at the entrance

The restaurant setting is simple and resorts style. The friendly staff will allow you to choose which hut you will like to have your meal.

One of the huts

One of the dining huts

Resort-styled Setting

Resort-styled setting in the huts

The best thing about this place is the view you will get. From the little hut you are sitting in, you will get to overlook a vast horizon of paddy field. Coupled with the continuous cool breeze blowing gently at you, the overall experience will make you feel relaxed and soothing.

Rice patty field 1

Paddy field view 1

Patty rice field 2

Paddy field view 2

Food wise, they offered extensive range of Balinese delicacies, ranging from fish, shrimp, meat, to the cooking method be it grilled, fried, and cooked in a bamboo (which is their specialty).  They are not only delicious but also reasonably priced. As we were 2 person dining, our stomach could only afford to order 2 of their specialities + 1 veggie.

– Bebek Goreng (Crispy Duck) – Rp 80,000 (~SGD 8)

As the name implies, the duck is fried till crispy. With their special spice put in while frying, it removes the natural odour of a duck, and giving it a tasteful sensation. The chili dip that comes with the dish is hot but worth a try!

This dish looks small but is just nice for 2 persons. So perhaps if you go over there as a family, you might want to consider ordering more sets.

This dish is definitely worth your money!

The famous crispy duck

The famous crispy duck

– Gurami Timbung (Bamboo Fish) – Rp  120,000 (~SGD 12)

This dish follows a balinese tradition cooking style in which by grilling the bamboo with the fish inside the bamboo stem to allow the fragrance of young green bamboo infused into the fish meat. You will get to taste sourness, sweetness and a bit of spiciness (as we requested for it to be less spicy) from just one bite of the fish meat.  It is really delicious, and I recommend all visitors to give it a try. Yum Yum~

This is also another dish that worth ordering!

Bamboo fish

Bamboo fish

– Gado Gado (Mixed Vegetables Salad)

To complete an healthy meal, it is always advisable to include a veggie dish into your selection. Therefore, Gado Gado was recommended by the staff.

It contains bean sprout, potato, carrot, cabbage, Chinese spinach and cucumber. This dish is  then doused with peanut sauce to give it a sweet taste. And also because of the peanut sauce, it resembles Rojak, a famous dish from Singapore.

Mixed Veggies

Mixed Veggies

Experiential Learning for Students

The owner of this restaurant actually allows school to have students to ‘work on’ their paddy field. I felt that it is good as student gets to undergo experiential learning journey so as to provide them with a hands-on experience on rice growing.

That day happened to have a group of Singapore secondary school student working on the field.

Singapore secondary school kids having fun on paddy field.

Singapore secondary school kids having fun on paddy field.

In conclusion, Mrs SOL and I really enjoyed our dine in experience in Sawah Indah. It has proven to be a wise decision, and we thank the driver for his kind recommendation. 🙂

5. Monkey Forest

Monkey Forest of Padangtegal

Monkey Forest of Padangtegal

The Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal is owned by the village of Padangtegal.

The Monkey Forest of Padangtegal represents a sacred Balinese Hindu site. However, today many Balinese believe that ravines and forested areas are particularly notorious for harbouring human and animal spirits. These beliefs probably originated from the Bali Aga and suggest that the Bali Aga may have considered sites like the Monkey Forest of Padangtegal to be sacred.

The Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal is about approximately a tenth of a square kilometer (approximately 27 acres) in size. Although it is not really a huge forest, the greatest highlight is that you get to be close (really close) to the monkeys.

Map of Monkey Forest

Map of Monkey Forest

The monkeys are fun to watch, and some of them will come up close to you. We were warned by our driver to be careful with our belonging as the monkeys will take it if they get a chance, and you probably won’t get it back or even if you do retrieve it, it probably won’t be in a good state.

IMG_7028

Purchased tickets at one of the side entrance of the forest

Although scary it might sound, but do rest assured that as long as you follow the rules and take good care of your stuff, unpleasant event will not happened. In fact, Mrs SOL and I did enjoy ourselves a lot in this forest tour.

The monkeys within the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal are commonly called long-tailed macaques. Once you entered the monkey forest, you will be greeted by dozens of monkeys which roam about freely in this forest.

IMG_7054

Monkeys are free to roam in the forest

What you can do is that you get close to them (really close) and get to feed them by buying the official forest bananas from a counter. Mind you the monkey gets really aggressive to snatch the bunch of bananas from you.

Counter selling official forest bananas to feed the monkeys

Counter selling official forest bananas to feed the monkeys

You will also get to see couple of small ‘families’ within the large eco-system. Usually a few adult monkeys will be around to take care of a baby monkey.

Group living with a baby monkey

Group living with a baby monkey

However, for this group of monkeys, you have to be very careful not to get too close as you will provoke the protective mum.

Protective mum

Protective mum

In conclusion, I will definitely recommend all visitors of Ubud to have Monkey forest as part of their itinerary. You get will be in for a unique experience.

The ticket cost is Rp 30,000.

Opening hours are from 8.30am to 6.00pm.

6. Tanah Lot Temple

Our last stop of our day trip is a visit to the Tanah Lot Temple.

First of all, Tanah Lot is not located in Ubud. The reason why we wanted to go there was that we heard that night was having full moon, therefore, we can expect the temple to be buzzing with devotees. My driver was really nice to drive us there although it was really way off Ubud.

tanah lot rock temple source: amazingworlddestinations.com

tanah lot rock temple source: amazingworlddestinations.com

Tanah Lot is a formation of the rock- off the Indonesian island of Bali. It is famous for its location, a temple on sea coupled with beautiful panorama and amazing sunset as a backdrop, makes it a popular tourist and cultural icon for photography and sightseeing.
To reach the temple, you will walk through 2 rows of shops that sell souvenirs. Just walk down these shops, it will lead you to a path down to the sea side.

Tanah Lot Market  Source: indonesia.travel

Tanah Lot Market
Source: indonesia.travel

Upon hitting the sea side, you will get to see the famous Tanah lot temple. It is best if you can go all the way to the front to feel the gushing sea waves. Being at front also allows you to have a best view of the sunset.

Gushing sea waves

Gushing sea waves

Full moon night, devoters making their way to tahah lot temple

Full moon night, devotees making their way to tahah lot temple

Beautiful Sunset of Bali

Beautiful Sunset Taken at Tanah Lot

If time permits, you can also make your way to the mainland cliff tops, where you can dine in restaurants while enjoying the scenery. Mrs SOL and I did not get the chance to the luxury of time as we have been out the whole day, rushing from Ubud to Tanah Lot. But we will be back to try it in the future.
Tanah Lot Entrance Ticket Price :
         Children      : Rp. 15.000,-/person
         Adult          : Rp. 30.000,-/person

 

Conclusion

I have reached the end of my Ubud day tour post. Of course, these 2 entries will do no full justice to the beauty of Ubud. There are certainly more places that you can go visit. Places like the Kintamani – to have a look at Mount Batur (a live volcano), Goa Gajah aka the Elephant Cave (nominated to be an UNESCO site) and  the famous Ubud Market near the royal palace.

Mrs SOL and I certainty enjoyed ourselves for that day. We would like to give credits to our driver who did a very good job in driving us around and, of course, for accommodating us on our request to visit the Tahan Lot Temple.  You can contact him if you need his service. His details are as below:

I Made Parwita (you can call him Mr Made, pronounced as “Maaa Day”)

Mobile no.: +62 81 338 039 605

Cheers~

How to make impactful changes?

How to make impactful changes to business and in your life? The advice given by futurologist, Magnus Lindkvist, is to make enemies and think of stupid ideas!

Okok chill, I know you might be wondering what is this guy trying to preach?

Why make enemies?

In Mr Lindkvist own words he explained,”You start making enemies when you create. A sign that you are doing something new is that people don’t like it. If they say ‘great job,’ it’s been done before.”

I guess what he meant is that we humans dislike changes- a real change, just like how we feel when we experience changes in existing policy by the authorities that affect us one way another. It seemed to mess up with our cognitive mind map weaved by our brain in order for us to make sense of this complex world, and yet a change is to mess up everything.

So yeah, you get the idea; a simple litmus test on whether your idea is boring or radical is simply to look at what reaction you get when you are sharing your ideas with them.

Why think stupid?

This idea shouldn’t be too radical as compare to asking you to make enemies. Just like what I had shared in my previous post on Steve Jobs and his inspirational lessons, to those who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

The present’s success is built on ideas that were once thought to be stupid (crudely put it).

In Mr Lindkvist’s point of view, he classified change into 2 dimensions:

1. Horizontal Change

Horizontal change is when something proliferated into different places or market till the state of being ubiquitous. This is also the change that most companions preferred because it is easier to implement and its intrinsic properties of being linear, predictable and stable.

The drawback of such change is that it reduces diversification resulting an increase in competition, by having more companies going after the limited type of clients by offering the same products or services. Therefore, instead of competing on big ideas, they only focus on attributes or simply more gimmicks, like how mobile phones is being marketed.

2. Vertical Change

Vertical change is when something previously deemed to be ‘impossible’ becomes ‘I’m possible” or even a reality! This is like Disney magical moment comes true but in a practical sense.

Mr Lindkvist quoted Twitter as an example to illustrate this point. Long ago, people used to think the idea of reading other people’s thoughts are impossible or even considered to be black magic. However in modern days, do you realise all of us are reading each other mind by literally reading it off from our Twitter’s page?

The drawback although didn’t mention in the article, I believe is that you will have to be a crazy fellow to think of all the means to turn impossible be possible. Stubborn enough to believe whatever you are doing is meaningful.

I apologise for using descriptive words that have a negative connotation in them, but I just feel that it is a hard truth. I see no point in icing the process of inventing by calling yourself a visionary that is determined to succeed. Crazy and stubborn. That’s how I will like to put it.

Conclusion

No matter what  kind of change you intend to make try to make it to a more vertical one. Challenge the convention and see what are the results. No doubt when discussing change, people will always doubt themselves to make the change and also having the fear of failing.

In the process of inventing, do not be afraid to fail. By failing, it forces you to invent new ways or things to tackle the problem.

Last but not least, do not be too hung up by what’s the next big thing too, as you will only lose yourself to fashion rather than substance.

Cheers~

Steve Jobs Inspirational Lessons

You can call me an Apple fanboy from the way how I love my Apple gadgets.

But deep in my heart, I know partly is due to how Steve Jobs has caused me to think life differently.

I was searching for a video for Mrs SOL on “Think Different”, that I chanced upon this video.

It summarises the lessons from his 3 life stories that instil deep in me.

I hope it can inspires you too.

For a young adult who just starting to build up his career, one particular lesson resonates well with me:

You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect the dots by looking backward. You have to trust the dots will somehow connect in your future, you have to trust in something.  Because believe the dots will connect down the road will gives you all the confidence to follow your heart. This makes all the difference. ~ Steve Jobs