Friday, September 7, 2012

Mommy Goes to Workshop

It's my third trip to Indonesia in five months and my nth workshop since joining the company. We stayed at the lovely Kempinski Hotel this time around and we learned from our country host that the hotel is actually a historic landmark and was built in 1962 for the Asian Games. In fact right in front of the hotel stands the Welcome Statue intended to welcome the guests who visited Jakarta for the Asian Games. I didn't get to take a picture of the statue, but here's what welcomed us upon entering the hotel.

Photo courtesy of

And here are pictures of the rooms.

The bed, not luxurious-looking, but you could choose from a customized pillow menu and an aromatherapy menu to help you sleep better 

Welcome gifts - toiletry products for our short stay 

The very large, very deep bathtub - you could take a soak with the blinds open but maybe not if you're on the ground floor like I was 

Here's to warm toilet seats and to never having to lift the seat or put it down with your own hands.

The very sleek side table and lounge chair which I never used anyway

The very sharp transparent table I bumped into on the first day.  

The first thing I looked for inside the room, the in room dining menu. I loved the look and feel of the menu. Too bad the nachos and calamari I ordered wasn't as good. Ended up with a stomachache. But still much better than my last Indonesia trip where I ended up vomiting a very nice but expensive dinner.   

Where is the goddamn light switch?!!! I found it on the second day, inside the bedside drawer 

Great design idea: Spray painted toy soldiers behind a plexiglass frame

We finished the first day of workshop and had a customary dinner at another historic place. I dreaded going to the restaurant though given my experience of horrendous Indonesian traffic. I remember during my last trip, it took us an hour an a half every time to go from one place to the next so it was always much better to just eat dinner at the hotel. But this time around they ordered car services for everyone and we had cops on motorbikes clearing the way for us. That's VIP service for you.

Anyway, we went to this restaurant called Oasis. Here's a description of the restaurant from their menu:

'The Oasis is famous for its Rijsttafel, a feast of mild to strongly spiced Indonesian dishes that includes a soup, and such delights as crabmeat omelet, fillet of fish in a spicy turmeric sauce, lamb stew in coconut milk, grilled chicken with chilies and garlic, lamb and beef satay, and stir-fried baby corn and of course a dessert along with coffee or tea.

Rijsttafel means Rice Table, although it is a Dutch idea, its origin is clearly Indonesia and it was known at one time as MAKAN BESAR. 

There are many variations on the Rijsttafel, at the Oasis Restaurant, we believe we have preserved the best of the tradition. It will be brought to your table on old porcelain by gliding procession of twelve waitresses in neat kebaya gowns and floor length Batik sarongs.'

Images of the restaurant from their postcard menu

The twelve waitresses - each one goes to your place and gives you a serving of whatever dish it is she's holding, and they go around the table.

The menu listing down all the dishes -  and this doesn't even include the appetizers

I said no to a lot of dishes and still ended up with a full plate, and I didn't realize there was a second round! So the twelve waitresses go around the table again, but most of us said no as we were already too full - and to date I've never said no as many times as I did during that night

That was a very nice end to the first day of workshop. The second day was pretty much just a blur. We promptly finished off at 5 pm with everyone rushing off to catch the evening flights and I piggybacked onto a colleague's APEC card so we also pretty much sailed through immigration (Gotta try and see if I can get one of these APEC cards for myself). Then a quick conference call while waiting at the airport lounge, before finally boarding the flight back to Singapore and then home to my babies.

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