Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Orang Bali tak suka kecap manis?

"Eh tukang mie ayam tuh" seru teman kerja yang baru kembali dari meeting di luar kantor, dan sayapun kemudian menyadari ada suara kentongan kayu khas penjual Mie Ayam keliling terdengar, hidangan yang banyak dijual di jalanan Bali atau di tempat-tempat keramaian.

Walaupun sebenarnya sudah lumayan kapok jajan mie ayam keliling di Bali ini, karena jarang yang enak, tapi karena perut sedang lumayan kosong jadinya saya memberanikan diri untuk mencoba saja, siapa tahu dapat langganan baru? Kalaupun nggak enak yah sudah terduga kan?


Gerobaknya sendiri berwarna cokelat, kokoh dan bersih, adapun penjual mie ayamnya adalah seorang bapak di usianya yang sekitar 40an tahun. Sempat agak khawatir melihat stock bakso nya yang benar-benar tanpa tekstur, tapi merasa gembira melihat tumpukan pangsit goreng yang si bapak bawa.

"Mie Ayam satu ya pak" seru saya.

Sambil si bapak penjual mie ayam menyiapkan pesanan, sayapun tergerak memperhatikan bumbu apa saja yang ia masukkan ke mangkuk: sedikit vetsin, minyak, kecap asin, dan satu jenis kecap lain yang mungkin saja kecap ikan, karena penampilannya dan kekentalannya mirip kecap asin.

"Pak, sekalian kasih saus duluan ya, biar ikut diaduk. Terus keringin aja jangan pakai kuah" pinta saya, sesuai gaya mie ayam yang saya sukai. Beberapa gelontor saus misterius berwarna oranye pun kemudian dituangkan, bercampur dengan adukan kecap yang sudah lebih dulu ada di mangkuk saya.
Iya mas, kalau di Bali #kecap manis saya yang paling cepet abis, sambung bapak penjual mie ayam

"Kecap manis pak?" tanya si bapak.
"Oh, jangan!" seru saya cepat, karena kecap yang berlebih cenderung menenggelamkan rasa lain yang ada di si mie ayam, apa lagi biasanya kecap yang dipakai rasanya asal-asalan juga.

Mendadak tengingat diskusi dengan rekan-rekan panelis waktu diskusi Bango tempo hari, plus asumsi bahwa kecap nggak laku di Bali, maka sayapun tergerak untuk melakukan sedikit interview dengan si penjual mie ayam,

"Bawa kecap manis juga pak?" tanya saya
"Oh iya mas, orang Bali kan suka manis" jawab si bapak

Hm? Bukannya orang Bali justru nggak suka kecap dan lebih suka rasa pedas asin? Agak kurang percaya dengan apa yang saya dengar, saya pun bertanya kembali:

"Oh, jadi kalau di Bali malah pada suka pake kecap manis pak?" tanya saya kembali.
"Iya mas, kalau di Bali kecap manis saya yang paling cepet abis" sambung si bapak sambil menunjukkan isi botol kecap manis nya yang tinggal 1/2 penuh.
"Kalau di Jawa Barat kan saus tuh yang cepet abis, kalau di Bali saus nggak laku" lanjut si bapak.
"Jaman saya jualan di Jakarta wah bawa saus dua botol gini aja nggak cukup pak" sambungnya.
"Hahaha, iya, iya, betul pak di Jakarta sih saus yang laku keras" lanjut saya mengiyakan, berdasar pengalaman pribadi sebagai seorang mieayamphilia yang puas menjelajahi mie ayam di jalanan Jakarta selama 9 tahun.

Pembicaraan pun dilanjutkan dengan tempat asal, secara sama-sama pendatang, sambil si bapak menyiapkan pesanan saya.

Begitu panci berisi semur ayam nya dibuka, ternyata potongan ayam nya cukup besar-besar dan semuanya daging, bukan jenis asal-asalan yang biasanya lebih banyak berisi tulang dan kulit. Kuah nya pun menunjukkan warna kehitaman yang cukup pekat, plus tebaran minyak di permukaan yang cukup merata. Pertanda baik, pikir saya.

Pesanan sayapun siap dan waktunya makan!


Sambil menikmati mie ayam yang ternyata jauh lebih enak dari perkiraan saya tersebut, sayapun tak habis pikir dengan ucapan si bapak penjual mie ayam bahwa orang Bali ternyata gemar kecap manis, suatu hal yang bertentangan dengan apa yang selama ini para produsen kecap kira.

Memang tidak seheboh kecintaan masyarakat Jawa pada kecap misalnya, namun dari interview singkat tadi sepertinya saya mulai berubah pikiran mengenai stereotype selera masyarakat Bali, yang selama ini setahu saya cenderung mengarah ke asin dan pedas.

Bukan berarti pula ada pergeseran selera besar-besaran, namun sepertinya masyarakat Bali sudah terbiasa dengan masakan pulau Jawa seperti Siomay Bandung (Baso Tahu), Sate Madura, Mie Ayam, dan hidangan lainnya yang kadar kecapnya cukup dominan. Malah salahsatu trend makanan terbaru di Bali, adalah perpaduan antara makanan tradisional Bali dengan kuliner China: Nasi Jinggo Babi Kecap.

Jadi betulkah orang Bali tak suka kecap manis? Sepertinya asumsi ini sudah perlu ditinjau ulang. (byms)
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Find your dream wedding venues in Bali with Bridestory

Looking out ideas for your dream wedding? Bali has plenty of beautiful setting, wedding venues, and breathtaking sceneries. Interested? Let’s see what’s available in Bali for you:

The Mulia Resorts


Wow yourself and your best buddies with the breathtaking and luxurious scene The Mulia has to offers, like this Mulia’s Harmony chapel which sits on water, the Eternity chapel surrounded by a lake, or a barefoot wedding on Nusa Dua’s secluded beach. Awe inspiring, it’s no wonder that Conde Nast Traveller once crowned The Mulia Resorts as #1 Beach Resort in the World.

Grand Nikko


With the awesome view of the vast Indian Ocean from a cliff’s top, the Wiwaha Wedding Venue and provides a truly exclusive wedding experience. The magnificent leaf-shaped architecture makes a bold statement in contemporary Balinese design, perfected by the Balinese beautiful sunset.

The Diamond Chapel


Set in the serene Sanur Beach, The Diamond Bali offers a unique wedding experience where you will be taking your vow inside a diamond shaped chapel. Opened in 2008, The Diamond Bali has been picked as the sacred place by more than 500 couples.

The Bulgari


Five types of wedding ceremonies are available: The Water Wedding, Bulgari Chapel, Bulgari Villa, The Pavilion Wedding and The Beach Wedding. For The Bulgari Water Wedding, the altar stands upon a flower floating carpet over of the infinity Water Pond. Here you will take your vows in the infinity, looking out over the magnificent blue Indian Ocean.

Alila Purnama Phinisi Boat


For an extraordinary venue, set your dream wedding on board Alila Purnama, one of the most luxurious live aboard Phinisi ships in Asia. Handcrafted in the traditional style of a Phinisi, as used by the adventurous Bugis seafarers from South of Sulawesi, Alila Purnama provides ultra-modern and relaxing accommodation which surely thrills both the wedding couple and their closest ones.

Interested to find out more options? Click away to Bridestory.com.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dwiki Dharmawan "Passion, Love, Life" Tour Indonesia 2015 at Taman Bhagawan

A while ago Epicurina received a media invitation to attend the Passion, Love, Life concert at Taman Bhagawan, Tanjung Benoa, Bali. While I'm no big fan of Jazz, my wife is, and it's been a while since she saw a good life Jazz concert so I think it will be worth our time to visit the concert. 

After all I considers Krakatau as one of the biggest music achievement of Indonesia hence it's a pleasure to watch Dwiki Dharmawan live on stage.

On that evening Taman Bhagawan was dressed up nicely with colorful banners, and there were some seating and pillows under the stars. Speaking of experience, they've been organizing one of the biggest Jazz event in Bali: Jazz Market by The Beach, which get a quite good response. 

Speaking of the weather however, it's been raining all morning and while it stopped for a while before the event, the sky was still dark and there were some heavy clouds. Thanks God outside of some very light drizzle the concert was safe, no rain.

As with the previous events took place in Taman Bhagawan Bali, the food was sold by several carts, and they offers a quite diverse selections, from gorengan (10K/4 pcs), Sate Madura (25K/10 pcs), Grilled Chicken (30K), up to the delicious looking Beef Steak (80K). Drinks are available starting from Aqua 600ml (10K) and there were some free samples of alcoholic beverages.

Thank you Taman Bhagawan Bali for the invitation, and please enjoy some of the moments captured below. (byms)
















What's next?

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The art of creating short but meaningful Twitter message

Delivering a clear message on Twitter could pose a challenge, since its limitation to 140 characters. As a food blogger, the issue remains the same: how to cramp those delicious message into a mere 140 characters short? While that question alone poses some challenge, it gets more complicated if what you're aiming for is interaction, and that's what makes Twitter and other social media, social.

The character count


The first consideration when writing a Twitter message is that if you want to include a link, 22 characters will be deducted automatically by Twitter's URL shortener service (23 if its a https URL). There goes the first casualty of those precious limited Twitter characters.

Should you think you have managed to form a message that exactly meet the 140 characters limitation including the link, the next considerations is to make it possible for your readers to retweet your message with comments (an "RT"), instead of simply forwarding them (the "retweet" button on Twitter). After all it doesn't feel social without a dose of interaction, isn't it? Well there goes another six precious Twitter character estate.

Why six? This happens because when someone want to properly retweet your post, they need to add an "RT", space, your Twitter ID, colon, then another space, to your original message, (for example "RT @epicurina: ") which mean some parts of your message will be truncated to give way to the additional required information (6 characters to be exact). On most third party apps, the addition of the extra characters are done automatically so you don't need to worry about doing it wrong.

Next, let's not forget to also deduct the characters for the length of the message your readers wants to add. Should it's something simple like "Wow! ", then there's another 5 characters you need to make a room for.

Therefore, the safe amount of characters you can put into each of your Twitter message can be calculated using this formula:

x = a - b - c - d - e

x = the safe number
a = maximum Twitter character (140)
b = the shortened link (22 or 23)
c = the RT (6)
d = the length of your ID in chars
e = the "Wow! " comment (5)

For example, as my Twitter ID "epicurina" consisted of 9 characters, therefore the safe amount of characters I can put into my Twitter posts are:

With link:
x = 140 - 22 - 6 - 9 - 5 = 98 characters

With https link:
x = 140 - 22 - 6 - 9 - 5 = 97 characters

Without link:
x = 140 - 6 - 9 - 5 = 120 characters

While you might get a better understanding of the actual character limitation now, or already received a permanent brain damage from reading all those calculations, the most challenging step in creating a good Twitter message is in the art of creating the message itself. Here's how.

How to keep your message short but still meaningful


While using abbreviation might work, in many cases they looks ugly, and often incomprehensible. Yes, we bloggers as other wordsmiths out there do care about the aesthetic of our message, as well as its clarity.

Here's a quick guidance: 

  1. Focus on delivering the message, instead of being a Grammar Nazi
  2. Rephrase instead of truncating
  3. Use noun and verb, less on the adjective
  4. Omit unnecessary punctuation marks
  5. Try out different versions, approach, perspective to your message 
For example, instead of writing this:
"Hi guys! Epicurina will have its annual dinner again this Friday night at 7:00, please refer to this link for details: http://xyz.org/abcdefg"
Optimize it into this:
"Annual Epicurina dinner this Friday 7pm http://xyz.org/abcdefg"
Not this:
"Hi guys! Epicurina'll hv its annual dnr 'agn ths Fri nite at 7, pls rfr to dis link 4 dtails http://xyz.org/abcdefg"
While the first message takes exactly 140 characters, which fit to the Twitter's char limit, however it makes commenting for your readers impossible, as explained in the previous section.

The second (optimized) version on the other hand, consisted of just 62 chars, which left plenty of room for your readers to retweet with their own comments, like:
"Soo excited! RT @epicurina: Annual Epicurina dinner this Friday 7pm http://xyz.org/abcdefg" (90 chars)
"Soo excited! Poke @otherreader RT @epicurina: Annual Epicurina dinner this Friday 7pm http://xyz.org/abcdefg" (108 chars) 
"Very excited #eventoftheyear! Poke @otherreader @yetanotherone RT @epicurina: Annual Epicurina dinner this Friday 7pm http://xyz.org/abcdefg" (140 chars)  
The third version doesn't even look comprehensible nor professional. Unless that's exactly how you want people to perceive you or the brand you represents.

The workaround


For those who don't want to get dizzy with trying to cope with the Twitter 140 character limitation, there are some applications out there that offers workaround to this limitation:
  1. Write whatever you want and let the app convert it into a proper length Twitter message, which includes link to the full post. See: TwishortTwenthTwitlongerJumbotweet.
  2. Write whatever you want and let the app sliced them into series of proper length Twitter message. See Talltweets
  3. Write whatever you want and let the app convert the text into image instead. See Talltweets
Just keep in mind though, each of the workaround have their own pros and cons, but feel free to try around the available options, you might find them helpful.

Got questions or comments? Please share it below. (byms)
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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Planning your dream wedding in Bali with Bridestory.com

Known as one of the favourite travel destination in the world, Bali attracts holiday makers from all over the world. Among all the international travellers, Aussies top the list, followed by Chinese, Malaysian, Japanese, and Singaporean.

With the more affordable airfares and good exchange rate, Bali has even becoming more attractive in the recent years. Bali was even listed in the top 50 countries Americans visited in 2014, according to Hotels.com record.

While Bali is usually synonymous with Kuta Beach, in reality different regions attracts different crowds. Kuta tend to be flocked by the party-goers, which also includes, to mimic our neighbour's term, Schoolies, and Bogans. Seminyak and further north like Petitenget and Kerobokan tend to attract more mature audience as there are more elegant restaurants and beach club presents. Ubud is known as the Yoga capital of Indonesia, and the holy ground of Eat Pray Love's pilgrimage.

Sanur which was the first tourism area in Bali, is famous among families and elders for its serene atmosphere matched by the plenty options of a good eats and shops. Nusa Dua, Uluwatu, and Jimbaran on the other hand, are well known for their luxurious high end resorts, including their beautiful wedding chapels. Back in 2012 CNN even nominated one of the hotel in this area as the best wedding venue in the world. Many of Indonesian celebrities, and international names as well, declared their wedding vow in one of those resorts.


For those looking to wedding in Bali, you can now research and plan your ideal wedding from the comfortable sofa in your house, or from your work desk. How? By using Bridestory.

Bridestory

Bridestory.com is an online portal that offers an extensive list of wedding vendors, each representing different concepts and unique expertise. Now you can find the right wedding vendors complete with their portfolio and type of service provided through a quick and easy access. You will also in a better command of your budget, as the website provides an easy way to compare, filter, and mark those vendors that you like, and are within your budget (or worry about budget later).

For example, you can start with first choosing your dream wedding location:



Afterwards you can trim down your selection into just the necessary categories you’d need, or just browse around to find out what’s available. You might be in for a surprise.

Now what happen should you haven't got a vivid idea of how your ideal wedding is going to look? They can help as well.

Need a jumpstart for your wedding ideas?

At Bridestory you can also browse for wedding ideas, should you’re a bit confused on where to start. Just use the unique filtering tools, like the color chart to start with picking what color should dominate your wedding later?


Or if you're a business offering your service, Bridestory offers an attractive platform and easy to maintain the virtual outlet for your business. Now you can also show off your potentials, as well as competing for regional clients, all without having to extensively participate in wedding exhibitions. Don't you love it? (byms)
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Monday, February 2, 2015

America's increased interest in Bali

Guess what? Bali is on the top 50 International destinations that Americans visited in 2014! Based on the research carried out by Hotels.com, Bali is at the #45 position, beating Taipei, Quebec, and even Rio de Janeiro. Bali wasn't even on the list in 2013. However, Bali is still less famous from its neighboring countries like Bangkok (#12) and Singapore (#17).

                                                          50 Most Popular International Cities for Americans
City
Country
FY 2014 vs
FY 2013
Change
City [Province]
Country
FY 2014 vs
FY 2013
Change
1. London
United Kingdom
No Change
26. Munich
Germany
-1
2. Paris
France
No Change
27. Sydney
Australia
+5
3. Toronto
Canada
No Change
28. Prague
Czech Republic
-1
4. Rome
Italy
No Change
29. Copenhagen
Denmark
+7
5. Vancouver
Canada
No Change
30. Beijing
China
-2
6. Cancun/Riviera Maya
Mexico
+4
31. Panama City
Panama
+3
7. Montreal
Canada
+1
32. Milan
Italy
+3
8. Hong Kong
Hong Kong
-1
33. Buenos Aires
Argentina
No Change
9. Tokyo
Japan
-3
34. Carolina
Puerto Rico
-3
10. Barcelona
Spain
-1
35. Vienna
Austria
-5
11. Niagara Falls
Canada
No Change
36. Los Cabos
Mexico
-7
12. Bangkok
Thailand
No Change
37. Bogota
Colombia
No Change
13. Amsterdam
Netherlands
No Change
38. Vallarta
Mexico
+7
14. San Juan
Puerto Rico
No Change
39. Athens
Greece
No Change
15. Mexico City
Mexico
+3
40. Punta Cana
Dominican Republic
+2
16. Madrid
Spain
No Change
41. Edinburgh
United Kingdom
+6
17. Singapore
Singapore
+4
42. Calgary
Canada
+1
18. Florence
Italy
-1
43. Sao Paulo
Brazil
-3
19. Dubai
United Arab Emirates
-4
44. Stockholm
Sweden
New to List
20. Istanbul
Turkey
+2
45. Bali
Indonesia
New to List
21. Venice
Italy
-2
46. Taipei
Taiwan
-2
22. Dublin
Ireland
-2
47. Quebec
Canada
+2
23. Seoul
South Korea
+3
48. Rio De Janeiro
Brazil
-10
24. Berlin
Germany
No Change
49. Lima
Peru
New to List
25. Shanghai
China
-2
50. Frankfurt
Germany
-9

Travel here for the complete the article: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/where-did-americans-travel-most-in-2014-300027922.html 

Now I'm quite curious, what made this sudden jump? I did noticed the rising trend of American readers on my blog posts though, as they're now excels the numbers of my Indonesian readers in an almost 2:1 composition, but couldn't really find out why?

Anything got to do with this movie perhaps?

Eat Pray Love




Image courtesy of imdb.com

While the movie was released in 2010, but many agrees that it has brought wave after wave of foreigners looking to find their own slice of "Eat, Pray, Love" in the town of Ubud, Bali, Indonesia.

According to Mark Johanson from IBT:

“Eat, Pray, Love” might have had something to do with it. Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s self-absorbed prose flock to Ubud each year in search of a prince, a medicine man and a remedy for their own idiosyncrasies. Locals here jokingly call them EPLs, and they've made Ubud something of a sponge soaking up lost souls.

A Rich Startup Ground


Outside of the spiritual and romantic reasons though, Ubud is also a good ground to develop your startup business. That's because you can both retreat from the current box that you live in, without having to let your startup business crumbles into chaos when you're doing so.

With the advent of good internet connection, and a creative collaboration ground like Hubud, Ubud has also quickly known as a place for entrepreneurs to start or grow whatever business that you want to create, especially since you can still develop it while you're away in the Eastern heaven of Ubud.

Ubud has quickly garnered a reputation the world over as the ultimate expat haven. Ubud is a laidback slice of tropical paradise where location independent workers and professional vagabonds gather en mass to get back in touch with nature, retreat into yoga and gorge on fresh fruits and vegetables for a fraction of the cost back home.

Why work in a comfort of a wall-facing work desk, when you can work while enjoying the rice paddy views with 50 shades of green? (byms)
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