A Sunflowery Weekend in Jakarta

Agent D added some colour to the weekend with a bouquet of my favourite sunflowers. He used to gift me with flowers every few weeks when we were dating but it has become more of a rarity of late. So the flowers same as a lovely surrrprise! 🙂


Saturday Flower Power.

Apart from me, someone else took an interest in the pretty flowers.

Freckles could not stop sniffing at them. I guess she’s still a girl at heart too (although she’s been recently spayed – oops sorry Freckles!).


Taking a selfie with the flowers.

We caught Allied this weekend and it was my first time watching a movie in the Premiere XXI studios (yes, super belated I know!). Paying to watch a movie in premiere class is somewhat similar to paying for first class air tickets. For IDR 150k (verus the usual ticket price of IDR 40k), we sat on luxury leather seats that could recline, had special access to a VIP lounge as well as had our lunch delivered to our seat. #OnlyInJakarta

All in all, it was a nice experience. But I think I still prefer the regular cinemas. 🙂

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” ― Helen Keller

Have a blessed Sunday everyone! xxx

Freckles The Tortie is 4 Months!!!


Freckles @ 14 weeks.

TIME FLIES. Freckles the lil’ girl is coming 4 months in two weeks time. In terms of cat years, I think she is nearing puberty?!! Though still very much a sweetheart, Freckles is becoming increasingly defiant (PMS!!). Sometimes after a scolding, she deliberately commits the wrongdoing AGAIN + shoots us a glare. :/ :/ :/

As a female teen, Freckles is learning to appreciate the finer things in life such as…smelling flowers.



Thankfully Freckles is not at the boy crazy/raging hormones stage yet. Heard that female cats give out LOUD SHRILL PERSISTENT wails when they are “in the heat” which can last all night long. Sorry Freckles, but we have decided to sterilize you. It’s for your own good really, please understand your parents’ heart.

Freckles recently went for her second vaccination, exactly one month after her first. Her third and last vaccination + rabies jab is due end of September, after which we can proceed to spay her.


Freckles’ health booklet. 2 vaccinations down, 1 more to go!

According to Dr. Osye, Freckles’ weight has increased from 1.2 kg to 1.8 kg in just one month (no wonder my hands are getting sore after holding her for a couple of minutes!). She’s growing too fast. 😦


Poor Freckles running a fever after her second vaccination.

Before heading to the vet, Agent D and I put her in the bubble bath and gave her a good scrub. (She’s not allowed to touch water for a week after getting vaccinated.)

Freckles is reacting much better to water now. Two months back when we first bathed her, man was it a nightmare. She would – CLAW. CRY. SCREAM. BITE. CLAW. CRY. SCREAM. BITE – up to the very moment she got out of the bathtub.

Recently, I lugged back 2 new toys for Freckles all the way from Singapore — a cat tree house and a cat bed. BOY WERE THEY HEAVVVVY!! Because of them, I had to pay for 20 kg check-in luggage space on Jetstar.

I’m so glad she’s lovin’ her new toys. Makes all the effort and $$$ worth it. Here’s Freckles enjoying her new tree house.

 And here’s Freckles in her new crib. She loves to laze in it and watch the world go by.

Like all growing teenagers, Freckles has been napping a whole lot less compared to when she was a baby kitten. Missing the times where she napped on my lap for hours. 😦

I love taking photos of her asleep. That’s the only time when she is an absolute angel (VS absolute tyrant when awake).






Little manja just waking up from a short nap in my arms.

Dear Freckles, I hope you continue to eat and grow well + transform into a beautiful lady. I don’t think boys are going to like your hyperactivity much (correct me if I’m wrong).


BEEG slurpy kiss for momma.

Till the next update! x

Good Vet in Jakarta for Canines and Felines: My Vets

A few days back, I brought Freckles for her first vaccination at My Vets clinic. This was her second visit to the vet within a month; her first visit was the day we got her, where she was dewormed.

She was too small at that time and wasn’t fit to be vaccinated. Since then, Freckles has gained close to 500g – weighing in at 1.2kg now. She’s growing too fast for my liking. I want my little cantik to stay tiny longer. 😦 😦 😦

From the moment I put her into her pet taxi, Freckles the smartie pants seemed to know what was coming. She CRIED and SHIVERED and WHINED non-stop in the car on the way to the vet. Think about being stuck with a whiny kitten in bad Jakarta macet traffic – not very fun at all. :/


A very displeased Freckles. Aww look at that face!

The vets at My Vets clinic speak good English which was helpful for me (can’t count on my substandard Bahasa Indonesian). Dr. Osye, the first vet Freckles saw was not around, so we ended up seeing another vet. Both were equally reassuring and I felt comfortable with them.

I asked the vet to help me trim Freckles’ nails and she happily obliged without charging me extra. Freckles was not happy at having her nails trimmed and screamed at the top of her lungs (I’ve never heard her scream so loud before). Such a small feisty kitty!


Barring all her teeth: cut my nails if you dare!

She wriggled with all her might and the vet had no choice but to call in another person to help pin Freckles down for her vaccination.

1 vet + 2 big men holding down a tiny 11-weeks-old kitten was quite a funny sight.



Her next vaccination will be in one month’s time. Crossing my fingers she’ll be better adjusted then.

In case you were wondering, the total bill came up to IDR 225K (inclusive of consultation, cutting of nails, and vaccination). Very reasonable indeed! 🙂

My Vets
Jalan Kemang Selatan 8 No. 7A
Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta
Phone no:  +62 21 7668241

PS: My Vets at Kemang has two separate clinics side by side each other – one for canines and one for felines.

I’m currently back in Singapore and have been busy running around trying to settle the renovation for the new apartment, catching up with friends, running errands, etc.

IT IS SO GOOD TO BE BACK! (though I’m missing Agent D a tiny weeny bit)

Will update on my days in sunny (actually rainy these days) Singapore soon! ❤

Cheap Hair Wash and Blow-Dry in Jakarta + First Birthday in Jakarta

Having lived in Jakarta for almost a year now, I’ve come to understand a little bit more about the Indonesian culture and way of life. One of the things I’ve observed — there is a greater emphasis on outward appearance here as compared to my home country. Most Indonesians enjoy dolling/dressing up. And boy do they look good – nothing wrong with that.

For instance, back home, I’d be happy to buy groceries nearby in my oversized high school PE T-shirt, FBT shorts, and flip-flops (whilst crossing my fingers I don’t run into anyone). I tried it once here at the supermarket below my apartment and ended up getting weird frowns/stares. Okay I get the point.


IBU-fied with my blow-dried hair.

Prior to a wedding dinner/party/reception/date night in Jakarta, it is common to drop by a hair salon to get your hair washed and blow-dried. You can even bring your favourite Hollywood star’s picture and show it to the stylist. Whether you’re going for a curly big look or straight flat look, rest assured he/she will get it done. (I’ve heard that some Indonesian tai-tais never ever wash their own hair, i.e. they visit the salon several times a week.)

So anyway, I decided to treat myself to a hair wash cum blow-dry last Thursday (disclaimer: I don’t do this often) since I had a reception to attend with Agent D and it was my birthday on Friday.

If you’re looking for a value for money hair wash and blow-dry in Jakarta, do check out Johnny Andrean. They have many outlets across Jakarta. I paid IDR 56K excluding tips for my recent hair wash and blow-dry at Johnny Andrean (Mall Ambassador) while most other salons in big malls charge between IDR 100K – IDR 150K.

In the left picture above, I paid IDR 140K to get my hair washed and blow-dried at one of the salons in Plaza Indonesia. In the picture on the right, I paid IDR 56K for the same service. Any difference?!

Well, one thing’s for sure — the more expensive hair salons use better quality shampoo and conditioning. Their seats are more comfortable too. When choosing which salon to visit for a blow-dry, bear in mind that the results also differ depending on the expertise of the stylist. 🙂

Very sadly, Freckles the kitty didn’t quite take a liking to my new va-va voom hair. She was curious at first, wondering why Momma’s hair suddenly became bigger.


Hmm what are those…???

And then she started attacking my hair, pulling at it with her extended claws and biting down hard on it. Silly Freckles must have thought IT WAS A BALL OF YARN hanging off me. :/ :/ :/


Spot those claws of hers?!! Time to cut nails!

I was horrified/petrified/startled/aghast and tried to yank her away from my hair but to no avail. She’s growing stronger by the day as compared to 1 month back.

To Freckles the kitty, the yarn was loosening and it was so much fun!


This is not fun!!!! Get off me!!

Sigh. And so I went to the reception with a lopsided hair-do, straight hair on the left and curls on the right. Thankfully it wasn’t too noticeable, or at least I hope it wasn’t.

My First Birthday in Jakarta was…

A really low-key one this time (not complaining). Spent the day with some Singaporean ladies over a lovely Japanese lunch at Akira Back + fun board games. I deliberately didn’t tell them it was my birthday so it was like any other normal day. 🙂


Chirashi don at Akira Back was SO GOOD. #fresh

Agent D and I were supposed to go out for a simple dinner that night (we had actually celebrated our anniversary and my birthday together earlier in the week). But then I received an impromptu message from Christian in the afternoon, asking if we were free for dinner that night. Well, WHY NOT of course. 🙂

And so I celebrated my birthday in the company of Agent D and both Christian and Sasha, one of the first few friends I knew before coming to Jakarta.


Blowing out my cakes from UNION.

Thanks for making time to meet up with us, guys! ❤

And now I’ve officially entered my last year as a twenty-something. *aging woes*

Our 3-Week Mark With Freckles

So it has been 3 weeks since we adopted the little girl, Freckles the kitty. She’s now 8+ weeks old and is longer, taller, heavier, and ROUNDER (*horror of horrors* she actually looks preggers at certain angles).


Freckles @ 8+ weeks.

Conversation I had with Agent D a few days ago…

Agent D: Are you sureeee you’re not overfeeding Freckles?

Me: Of course not!

Agent D: How often do you feed her?

Me: Whenever she meows. (Just like how a baby cries when hungry right?!!)

Dang. So I guess I’ve been overfeeding the little one. No wonder she’s PERPETUALLY TIRED AND ALWAYS SLEEPING. Because her body is digesting all the food that momma is giving her.


Photo credit: Healthline.

Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Eat. Sleep. Story of her kitty life.


Freckles using her paws to block out the sunlight when sleeping.

Then again, she’s an ADORABLY CUTE ANGEL when asleep (and a naughty little devil when awake – scratching our furniture and curtains, biting the wires, pulling the toilet roll down until the entire roll is sprawled on the floor, prancing out of nowhere and tripping us, etc – you get the drift). We can never leave Freckles unsupervised for anything more than erm 10 seconds. Crossing my fingers it’s a kitten-thang and she’ll outgrow this bullish behaviour soon. :/


Just look at her devouring Mister Chilli Crab for brunch.


And now guarding it with all her life.

I must say her little antics have brought much joy to Agent D and myself though.

Being an optimist, I choose to see the sweet angel in her (which is why I take so many photos of her ASLEEEEEP). Peace reigns in the household when she’s sleeping really.

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Good night, world. Sweet Freckles dreams. X

Cute Cafe in Kuningan: Harlow Brasserie

Last Friday, I finally got to check out Harlow Cafe – an exciting new Brasserie concept located in Kuningan (lovin’ the fact that it’s just 10 minutes away from me!). The concept behind Harlow is to bring to diners a melting pot of cultural flavors and diversity that New York City offers in a fun yet casual setting.


Homely  Scandinavian architecture of Harlow Brasserie.

Located on the mezzanine floor of H Tower in Kuningan, Harlow’s interior is Scandinavian-styled (which I absolutely adore). The brasserie is nestled within a beautiful view of pine trees and its full length glass windows allow daylight to stream in, brightening up the entire place.


Open and well lit design. Spot the pine trees outside? 🙂

The main dining area can seat up to 150 people which is ideal for functions of all sorts ranging from business meetings, casual gatherings, bridal showers, birthday parties, product launches, etc.

When I was there with Ivana on Friday, we happened to be the only ones having lunch at that time. It could be because June is the fasting month of Ramadan. Anyhow, it was pretty shiok. It was as if we had booked the entire restaurant and the waiters were serving us only. Perfect for a great chit-chat in a serene setting.


A variety of seating at the bar, hangout lounge and tables.

Interestingly, Harlow serves daily continental breakfast (buffet-style) to residents of Citadines serviced apartment nearby. As such, they open super early for breakfast from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., continuing with lunch until 5 p.m., and serving dinner till 10 p.m. For those who need an early breakfast fix after morning gym, before going to work, etc – Harlow is the place to go!

I took a picture of their lunch menu for your reference. 🙂 They are currently having a weekday lunch special: IDR 100K nett for selected mains + drink. Very value for $$$!

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Harlow prides itself in using healthy farm ingredients (not sure how true though). In addition to its core menu, Harlow offers by-monthly special menus highlighting the various ethnic neighborhood cuisines of New York City, such as China Town, Little Tokyo, Astoria and many more.

Ivana and I went for their lunch special (can’t say no to a good bargain!).


Against the pretty background.

Complimentary bread was served first, followed by the mains. I liked the fact that they took effort to heat up the bread. Love butter melting on warm soft bread!


Complimentary bread and free drink (ice lemon/peach tea).


Aglio olio with prawns.

The pasta was cooked al dente and had a good bite to it. It was a little on the dry side though, and portions were smaller than usual. But not complaining since it was a lunch special.

After lunch, we still had a bit of space in our tummies and so ordered a honey cheesecake to share.


Honey cheesecake.

The cheesecake was nice and creamy but I couldn’t taste any honey. :/

All in all, Harlow Brasserie in Kuningan is a nice place to have a lazy casual lunch at. Due to its spacious layout, one can talk loudly enough with having anyone eavesdrop on his/her conversations! The prices are mid range for Jakarta standards. 🙂

Harlow Brasserie
The H Tower, Mezzanine Floor
Jl. H. R. Rasuna Said Kav. 20
Jakarta 12940

After lunch, Ivana came over to play with Freckles. Ivana was amused at how small Freckles was, only slightly larger than the size of her palm. But to me, she’s growing wayyy too fast. (I secretly wish she would stay mini forever!)


Little Freckles on Aunty Ivana’s lap.

As usual, Freckles was prancing around with great bursts of energy (a result of long periods of napping). We managed to quieten her down for a few wefies. It was so hard to get her to look at the camera though!

After expending all her energy, she fell asleep almost immediately. #suchacutie


Struggling to keep awake.

Thank you for helping us take photos, Aunty Ivana! ❤ ❤ ❤

Come and play with Freckles again soon pleassssse.

Our First Weekend with 6-week Old Freckles


Hello, nice to meet you. My name is Freckles!

Our first weekend with Freckles the tortie was surprisingly less traumatizing (and sweeter) than expected. When I first brought my 2 dogs back home (on 2 separate occasions), they peed and shat ALL OVER the house — on the carpet, at the sofa, on the dining chair leg, beside the bed, in the toilet…EVERYWHERE & ANYWHERE POSSIBLE. Hence it came as lovely surprise that Freckles was potty trained, even at 6-weeks old. After her first night with us, I checked every nook and cranny in her room on Sunday morning – ALL CLEAR. Phewwwww.

Here’s a rundown of what happened on Saturday – the day we collected Freckles. (Read about Freckles’ adoption story here: Our Kitten Adoption Story in Jakarta | thediplowifey.)

We picked up Freckles from Jo’s house on Saturday afternoon, after buying all the necessary cat supplies (e.g. litter box, dry and canned cat food, nail clipper, shampoo, scratching pole, food bowl, toys, etc etc) earlier in the morning. Having been taken away from her momma and siblings, the little kitty was really scared initially. She was shaking all over when in the car with us. Poooor baby.


Shivering on my lap in the car.

We brought her straight to the vet for a full body check-up and to get her dewormed. At first glance, Dr. Osye (the vet) commented that she looked a lil’ funny. Upon further inspection, she went OH DEAR YOU HAVE NO WHISKERS!!! Why (??) and how (!!) her whiskers were missing I have no idea at all. Perhaps Jo’s little boy snipped them off while playing with her. Anyhow, I am hoping they grow out soon. :/

On the way back home, Freckles got a little more comfortable with us and took a nap during the car ride.


Curled up like a ball fast asleep.

To get her acquainted with her new home, we took out her toys and played with her. We also taught her how to use her scratching pole (and NOT our furniture). She’s SUCHAAA FRISKY little thing! Agent D and I could hardly keep up with her as she pranced from one corner of the room to another. *signs of growing old*

For now, we are confining her to the laundry area at night and when we are not at home.

After close to 10 rounds of “catch the mouse”, Freckles fell into a deep slumber on Agent D’s lap. Apparently, kittens are like babies and need about 15 to 18 hours of sleep a day!


Totally knocked out after playing.


Drooling on daddy’s lap to mark territory.



I woke Freckles up for a short photo taking + selfie session. She was visibly annoyed at first but kindly accommodated me. What a sweetheart.

I may be biased but Freckles is a really smart kitty. PINTAR SEKALI! Without any training/teaching from us, she climbed up the high walls of her potty aka litter box to pee and poop. Looks like she’s living up to the name of being a Tortoiseshell cat.


SHY. She turns her back to us when taking a dump.

As Freckles is not entirely weaned off from her momma’s milk yet, she sometimes snuggles up to my tummy and tries to find the non-existent nipples there. SHE MUST THINK I AM MOMMA CAT. Meow.

Milk aside, she’s been eating independently – a mixture of dry kitten food + wet canned food + water. As her stomach is still very small, I feed her 4-5 times a day depending on my schedule.


Eating all by herself.

Freckles has started marking her territory around beautiful things at home. She has taken a liking to flowers (just like me), especially flowers that are from daddy.

Here are some of my favourite pictures of the little one:




I’m a black furball.


Sleeping on my side.


Are you sizing me up, handsome?


Sweet dreams are made of this.


Momma’s arm makes the best pillow.


Sleeping belly up.

Ooopsies sorry for spamming you with pictures. BUT isn’t she just adorable?!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

If you haven’t got enough of Freckles, here are more sleeping pictures of her.

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Even as I type this post, she’s snuggling up on my lap.


We hope you like your forever home, Freckles. Please don’t grow up so fast.

Good night, world. xxx

Our Kitten Adoption Story in Jakarta

Last Friday, on the “Expat Jakarta Garage Sale #1” Facebook group, a lady by the name of Jo posted that her cat had given birth and 4 of her kittens were up for adoption. She attached the picture below:


Please help us find a home!

How to reject those cute lil’ faces right. Well, for some time, Agent D and I were thinking of getting a dog/cat to keep us company in Jakarta. We toyed with the idea for a while, went to visit pet shops in Singapore, looked at adoption websites online – but we couldn’t find THEE ONE.

When I first saw the Facebook post, my heart melted. I forwarded the picture to Agent D on Whatsapp (he was at work at that time) and he replied, “Let’s go see them this Sunday”. We fell in love with all of them at first sight. One thing led to another and…YES one of them is coming home with us!!! 🙂

Here’s what happened…

We dropped by Jo’s house (way down in South Jakarta) on Sunday and she introduced us to momma cat and her 4 babies. Momma cat was very protective over the kitties and kept looking at us suspiciously (well I guess I would too, if I were her). As the kittens are only four weeks old, they’re not weaned off from their momma yet.


Yo Wassssup.

A Japanese lady had earlier adopted the 2 white kitties, who happened to be also the males of the litter.


Brothers who were adopted together.

That left us with 2 choices – the grey tabby or the black tortie. Both were females and equally cute in their own special ways.


This grey stripy lil’ one has a snowy white underside and white socks.


This black cutie has patches of colours all over her.

Jo and her husband tried to persuade us to adopt the 2 of them together. But being first time cat owners, we thought it was better to start off with one.

Agent D and myself spent the next half hour or so playing with the kittens to see which one would bond with us best. It was such a hard decision to make as both were simply SO SO SO ADORABLE.

We eventually decided on…*drum roll*…the black tortie. From our short observation of the kitties, she seemed more responsive to our touches and liked to be cuddled in our arms. There was one instance where she crawled up onto my leg and remained there for a good few minutes. AWW.

Although she can only come home with us in a few weeks time (when she’s about 7-8 weeks old), we have already thought of a name for her — FRECKLES.

Jo taught us how to pick up the kitties by the skin fold around their necks (just like how momma picks them up). Agent D managed to do it successfully whilst I couldn’t bring myself to “pinch” them!

And I know I look like I’m strangling poor Freckles in the last picture. :/ Both Agent D and myself have loads to read up on how to care for Freckles and provide her with a warm, loving home environment.

BTW does anyone know where I can buy a scratching post (sisal covered) and cat tree (for climbing) in Jakarta?!

Counting down to 3 weeks time! XXX