3 January 2011

Birthday Dinner 2010: Little V Restaurant

It's a little bit late to upload this post, but why not? :)

Last month, Stefy celebrated his birthday. And as a suprise (I love surprises!), I booked a table in a vietnamese restaurant in the Hague, Little V. Some friends have been mentioning this restaurant to us, but we just never had the time to try. And in fact, you need to reserve your table before coming. It's always busy!

So, there we were, for stefy's birthday dinner.

To start, we ordered nothing else than the famous vietnamese spring roll for appetizer! I used to have a vietnamese roommate, and she made a tasty spring roll. Hoping the spring roll would be as good as, I was very happy that it definitely tasted yummy! The dip made the taste even more yummy!

For main courses, we ordered something with white fish, stir-fry beef and veggies, and seafood curry. They all taste WONDERFUL! Love them so much! We also ordered fried rice (instead of only white rice), and it tasted just like Hongkong fried rice in Indonesia. Yum yum yum!

Oh, and the teapot was really unique!

I ordered Vietnamese ice tea, which turned out to be all ingredients for Soto Ayam mixed with Ice and some tea :P It's true tho, there were ginger, lemon grass, and lime!! If you added chicken, bean sprouts and eggs, it could be a portion of Soto Ayam :) But it wasn't! This was a delicious, Vietnamese Ice Tea. Yummy!

En dessert!! Supper yummy. We ordered fresh coconut and some ice cream. Definitely no-regret dessert!

And this is the birthday boy! :)

So Little V Den Haag is definitely recommended.

2 January 2011

Year 2011: Resolutions!

A new year should be started with a new resolution. It's kinda part of the deal, toch?

Thus, to honor that tradition, here are some of my new year resolution:

1. Start and finish reading the whole bible. This has ALWAYS been listed in my New Year resolution, but always ended up being wiped off. But, this year I will give it another try. And this year, this is my priority! :)

2. Seriously start to plan my wedding: to decide when to get married is the priority, which then will be followed with other details like venue, dresses, etc. And also to be wiser with saving money.

3. In relation to my second resolution, I need to plan my future job: what will I do when I go back to Indonesia. Will I be a teacher? Will I be a lecturer? Will I open my own business?

Resolution number 2 and 3 might be a bit confusing for you who haven't really met us in person. Stefy, my fiancee, and I are currently living in the Netherlands. He is going back to Indonesia, just before summer 2011, and my working contract is until September 2011. What's next? That's the part we haven't quite figured out yet. I might be staying a bit longer, while Stefy is working on his business in Indonesia. Or, I might be following him, getting married soon after I arrive in Indonesia, and work in Indonesia. So, yes, we are still puzzeled about our future plan. But, the Us-part is certain :)

4. Spend more time with friends, socialising and having fun with them. I know this may involve a little bit more extra spending. But, why not?

5. Love one another and don't judge people by the first impression.
This is my weakness that I need to work on. I need to be more loving and passionate to people, especially to those who are close to me. It's hard, isn't it? We often tend to put people in boxes a second we meet them or get to know them a bit better. But, this year, I will try to avoid this.

6. Finally, the most important thing, to be less bitter.
My life hasn't been easy: hence my bitter attitude. But I'm so glad that this morning, at church, I was again encouraged. Troubles don't happen in our lives just to tease us. Troubles exist to make us a better person. It's like your school exams. When you pass the exams, you can go to the next level. Or like in games, when you have to beat more and more difficult monsters by the time your reach a higher level; but defeating the monster will make you go to the next level, which will be more fun and also challenging!

So, here are my new year resolutions. I will enter this new year with a confidence and attitude to be a better person.

So, let me close this post by sharing a wonderful quote shared by the speakers in my church this morning: David & Hillary Porrit.

“God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus. ” — Max Lucado

Have a happy, prosperous, and challenging new year!

Final thoughts in 2010

This post should have been posted before the end of the year 2010. But let me share my final thought of 2010, and wish you a very happy new year 2011.

The year of 2010 is about facing the reality and making choices

This midnight, looking back at the past 12 months I've been through, I questioned myself what I have done, what I have learned. I pondered on what good things happened - any luck or fails?

There have been tons of things happened to me. I started this year with a visit to Indonesia, meeting my friends and family, which had given me more clarity that I would go home to Indonesia at some point, soon. It was followed with my temporary project working at the embassy of Republic Indonesia, which was a definite eye-opener about the reality I would face in the future. Then the luck happened! Actually God happened. I was given the most precious gift: I got a proper, always-been-my-dream, job.

And these are the highlights of my 2010.

But the number of things I have learned are more than that of what has happened in 2010.

I have learned that it's not what happens to you, it's what you do about it (W. Mitchell).

In the past, when problems occurred, I tended to blame other things but me: their faults, wrong people, unfairness, difficult situation, no opportunity; and even worse, I used to blame God!

I am so thankful that this year, I got to see problems differently. I could now work some ways out to solve the problems. Instead of focusing my attention to other things, I have tried to focus on myself. Not blaming myself, though, but I have tried to find a way to do something about the problem. If you want to use an academic term, what I've done is to make a problem analysis. Then, I posted an objective, of which the goal is always to get the problem solved, as possible as it could be.

Following the first lesson, I have also learned to make a hard choice. A friend of mine said that being with the 'one' is like enjoying your perfect meal. If you still crave for other meals, you have not yet found the 'one'. This year, I made my final choice to be with 'the perfect meal'. I am not saying it happened on one revelation night, like when Gabriel came to the virgin Mary. It's has become a continuous strife. But again and again, I am reminded and am back to enjoy my "perfect meal".

And it's like all the fears, worries, doubts about love and questions I've had about relationship and marriages have been wiped away. Ah, it makes me want to sing "you are the only exception."

Apart from love relationship, I also have learned a lot in the area of friendship. There are friends that love you unconditionally and love you as who you are. There are also people that seem to be your friends, but they occur to be just someone who happen to be at the same place, at the same time, and sharing some similar thoughts. For some time, it seems that you are good buddies. But when the common things did no longer exist, all the binds that for a moment seems like a true friendship, were gone.

So really value your friendship. Be kind to people, especially to your close friends, and love them unconditionally too. It reminds me of my favourite quote from the Soloist: "Sometimes friends piss each other off, right? It's part of the deal." Friends will disappoint you, for goodness' sake! But it's just part of the deal. This is where you need to learn to forgive and forget.

All of these things make me want to mention One Friend to whom I have to send my deepest gratitude and apology, too: God. Jesus, I haven't been good this year; I wasn't the nicest one this year. But I thank You for all the things I have done and learned. Thanks for giving me a smile, thanks for giving me a slap on my face once in a while. I promise, in 2011, I'll be better.

Happy new year, my dearest readers. May your 2010, which has made you who you are today, has prepared you to embrace the new 2011. Be ready to have fun!

"There are no mistakes or failures, only lessons." (Dennis Waitley)