Snow is slowly drifting down outside, rendering the streets and all that lay out there a powdery white. The big blizzard has come and gone. An impressive bit of mother nature that was – with whirling winds and a lot of movement. It’s now quiet, save for the intermittent rumble of our HVAC unit and the occasional snow plow driving by. People are cozied up under their fluffy blankets, ready for slumber.
It’s a good time to sit back and reflect.
A lot of time has passed since the last posting. I have, happily, spent a lot of it with my family – both immediate and extended. This as you might know from the last entry, is quite a special thing for me. What was really special was the fact that both my sisters, my mom and I were all in the same place. Before moving here, we were all so spread out- what with one being in Jakarta, the other in LA, and me in Munich – that it was just really hard to get together.
Anyways, we did quite a lot… I don’t want to detail all the events, because that would be a bit much for everyone. But below are some visual highlights, which I think is aptly entitled “They came, they saw, they ate.” Well, that is the story of all Indonesian gatherings, really. Anyhoo…
Christmas Eve at home. The first Christmas we had together in a very, very long time. I think the last time we celebrated together, Papa was still alive, and we all met in Jakarta. My, that was ages ago. Here we are with the first course: pumpkin soup. It wasn’t my favorite version of our pumpkin soup, and we made a lot. There are still bags of it frozen in the fridge. Will we ever eat it again? Hmm….
Christmas Day. We slowly sauntered through Central Park and then had dinner at Koreatown.
Here we are all lined up in a row… This is really one of my favorite photos. (Thanks Lin!)
The Korean BBQ we originally wanted to go to had a 1.5-hour waiting list, which was just too long. So they sent us to this place, which had great food.
But, it was designed for 20+year olds, so while eating, deafening K-pop blasted in our ears, non-stop.
Bizarrely fun and quite unforgettable.
And jump to the 27th. We did a mix between a family housewarming and an Indonesian Christmas. On the menu was rendang, sate, corn fritters, acar, rice, mocha cake. I’a brought delicious soto and sambal goreng udang. Such a nice afternoon. Loved it.
A day or two later, we all went to the city again.
After a very intense trip to get to the Met, in which we only had an hour to spend, we trekked through town to reach Momofuku, which, like the K-pop BBQ, also had a 1.5-hour waiting list.
So…we opted for what turned out to be a very good Japanese restaurant across the street instead.
It was nice. When we were done eating, Momofuku paged us to say that our table was available. : )
The day after, as duty called, Gita and Paul had to go back to California. Soon after, Alex’s vacation also came to an end. Which left the three of us. So Mama, Linda and I kept ourselves busy, checking out small towns, hanging out, shopping. One day, we drove down to Princeton, which was lovely.
We also drove down south to Baltimore, where they saw Dharma Swara perform at the Peabody. It was our first time in Baltimore. It was also the first and most likely last time that Mama would see me play. It was a nice concert, and a nice atmosphere, so am glad.
Baltimore is pretty close to Virginia, so the next day we visited my uncle, aunt my cousins in Vienna. The last time I was in that house was 20 years ago. Wow. Time flies indeed.
And lastly, below is a picture of my birthday dinner with the cousins, Linda and Mama. Another first, another nice evening.
And just like that, it was time for them to make their way back home.
A friend of mine asked me about what I did over the holidays. I said I spent it with my family. He said, wow, what a luxury. And indeed it is. That is one perk of not having a work permit yet… I have time. You have to make the most of what’s handed to you. I don’t know when that will happen again – when we would all be together again. Got time? Spend it doing something you love or with the people you love. If you can combine the two, all the better.
Right then. My arm needs a rest, so I will end this here. Now there’s a story with the arm…will write about it in the next entry, which is coming soon.
Till then, stay warm or keep cool, depending on where you are in the world…. Bis bald!
P.S. Many of you have been kindly writing and texting me recently and I am really really happy about that. I just wanted to say here that if I haven’t written back, it’s not because I’ve forgotten you. I just wanna make sure that you get a proper reply. And sometimes that takes a bit. xox!