Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri

Wishing all Muslims a very happy and joyous Eid ul-Fitr celebration. Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri, mohon maaf lahir dan batin. :)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Celebrating Hari Raya in Singapore

It's confirmed. Unlike last year, we will not be able to go back for our "mudik" ritual to Indonesia for this year's Hari Raya Idul Fitri. I have called Inka and Irza's school last week and confirmed that not only that there'll be no school holiday during the Hari Raya week, they will also have their SA2 paper 1 exam for both English and Mother Tongue on the following week after the Hari Raya.

Therefore, similar to two years ago, we will be celebrating Hari Raya Idul Fitri here in Singapore. Feeling sad? Of course, but we (myself, my wife and the kids) have already accepted this as one of the consequences of hidup merantau di negeri orang. We just have to live with it. :)

Based on our experience two years ago, celebrating Hari Raya Idul Fitri in Singapore is not really too bad, after all. This is because we have many Indonesian friends in Singapore who also, mostly due to the same reason, do not go back to Indonesia during Hari Raya. I remember two years ago, we went to three different places in Singapore on one day: Hougang, Tampines and Braddell, to celebrate Hari Raya together with our Indonesian friends here. My wife even conducted our own open house on the following weekend at that time.

Therefore, we are looking forward to celebrate Hari Raya in Singapore again for this year. For friends who plan to conduct an open house event in Singapore on this year's Hari Raya, please, do not hesitate to invite us along... :) :)

Love Letter

Akhirnya, "surat cinta" dari Traffic Police itu-pun datang juga...

Last Sunday, 7 September 2008, I was driving along Bukit Timah Road after picking up my wife and daughter at Bugis Junction towards Al-Azhar which is located along Upper Bukit Timah Road for us to break our fast for the day. Was held up on a red light junction while two traffic police officers were riding their motorcycles just beside our car.

When the light turned green, one of the officers then asked me to pull over on the side of the road. Apparently, he noticed that Irza was sleeping on the middle seat without properly secured by a child booster seat, even though he always wears his seat belts. The police officer explained that a child younger than 8 years old and less than 150cm in height would have to be properly secured by an approved child restraint. I had to wake Irza up so that the officer can measure his height, which definitely is shorter than 150cm.

Really didn't know that he still has to use a booster seat until he's 8 years old, since he has not been using the booster seat for quite some time. The composition amount is $120 (!!!) which I have to pay by 10 October 2008, plus 3 demerit points being given.

After the incident, Irza now re-uses his old booster seat and will do so until he turns 8 next year. He was also a bit shocked when he had to wake up and being checked by the police officer at that time.

Lesson learnt: if you have a child which is not yet 8 years old and not yet 150cm in height, please ensure that the he/she uses an approved child restraint (either a child seat or a booster seat, depends on his/her age/height) in the car.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Windsor Bed & Breakfast Hotel

1000 - Windsor Private Hotel Windsor Bed & Breakfast Hotel is the hotel I'm staying during my week stay in Christchurch to attend the APNIC 26 Meeting. As one of the APNIC meeting fellows, the hotel cost is bourne by APNIC (thanks Sunny!) and I'm sharing a room with another fellow, Stanley Osao from Papua New Guinea.

1045 - Cozy bed I would have to say that their service standards are quite high for a budget hotel. The hosts (which are the owners of the hotel) are very nice and friendly, and the room is very clean, tidy and comfortable. The bathrooms are shared, but they are quite a plenty and bathrobes are provided.

1100 - One of the best breakfast I had ever Every morning, they serve a very generous English-style breakfast, which is cooked on the spot. We can choose the breakfast menu, which consists of eggs (scrambled, poached or fried), sausages, bacon, baked beans and sweet corn. I love their beef sausages, unfortunately I couldn't try the bacon since it's made of pork. On top of that, there are also toasts, fresh fruits and cereals which you can have your own servings. To be frank, the breakfast time is one of my most-waited time during my stay there. :)

1075 - The TV lounge They have a lounge where guests can watch TV and use some computer terminals to connect to the Internet, free of charge. On top of that, they also provide free wireless Internet connections for people like me who has laptop with wireless connection. The lounge also allows us to interact with other guests, creating a "warm" environment for the guests. Free carpark lots are also available for those who drive or rent a car.

1040 - Tram stop just in front of the hotel It's conveniently located near the Christchurch city centre, just in front of Cranmer Square and only several minutes walk to the Arts Centre, Canterbury Museum and Cathedral Square. The historic Christchurch Tramway also stops just in front of the hotel.

These high standards of services for a bed and breakfast hotel makes its rates to be a bit higher than other B&Bs in Christchurch. The price for single is NZ$89 while for twin/double is NZ$128, and they have a plan to increase the rates to $NZ98 (single) and NZ$140 (twin/double) after 1 November 2008.

More pictures of the hotel can be found here.