Illustro 1 Day – the best disposable softlens for travellers

I have myopia but I hate to wear glasses when travelling because it is not practical. So I switched to softlens for day time use about 10 years ago. At first I used 6-monthly soflens, but again it was not practical, as I have to bring along the softlens pack and liquid with me. The liquid itself will be a problem if I only travel with a carry-on baggage.

When I went to South Korea in 2012, it was the first time I used daily disposable soflens, and I love everything about it, except for the price! So then began my quest to find the perfect daily disposable softlens.

I have tried Acuvue Moist and Acuvue Trueye (both are Johnson & Johnson’s products) and Dailies (Ciba Vision’s product). Acuvue Trueye is the best of the three, it is comfortable on the eyes and easy to take it off. But it is also most expensive among them. My complaints also for these products are their big package and sometimes it got the wrong side on, so I have to carefully check before put it on.

So, I was very delightful when I found Illustro 1 Day. As read in the package it is manufactured in Singapore. In Indonesia, it is only available in Optik Melawai. What I love about this softlens is its super slim package, claimed to be the thinnest in the world! which is very essential for travelling. I also love its modern design, which guarantee a right side is popped out and ready to put on.

Its normal price is more expensive than Acuvue Moist/ Ciba Dailies but cheaper than Acuvue Trueye. But it is still on promotion buy 2 get 3 until 24 November 2016 – so for now it is the cheapest daily disposable lens in Indonesian market.

For more information of Illustro 1 Day, follow this link:


Walking in Jakarta

Jakarta is, by no means, a friendly city to walk. A rumor about Jakarta citizen who use Ojek (motorbike taxi) to a destination within 10 minutes walking distance is true. There are at least 2 reasons for this, first is the fact that Jakarta is very hot and humid, walking around in the afternoon will be very exhausting. The second reason is because the pedestrian walk way in Jakarta is very awful. And no, I am not exaggerate it.  The pedestrian walk way in  of Jakarta, where it exists, mostly damaged, or blocked by street vendors, or occupied by construction works, or in some strange way, trees grow on it, I am not kidding. One of my expatriate friend once told me that pedestrian walk way in Jakarta is one of the worst in the world, and judging from my travelling experience, I have to agree with him.

I have stayed in Jakarta for 13 years now, and I have very rarely walked in this City. When I lived in South Jakarta, I bought a motorbike to go to the office everyday, and the distance was less than 1 km! The reason that I told myself was because there is no pedestrian walk way, so it is very dangerous to walk between cars and motorbikes, I did not want to be a victim of a hit-run.

But it was changed 4 months ago when I moved to my current place where traffic is much worse and walking  becomes the fastest way to get to the office, literally. The distance between my place and office is 2 km one way, so I walk 4 km daily. I am skeptical about this at first, and I still have to be very careful everyday considering the pedestrian walk way condition, but the walk is growing on me. I like it, and somehow I feel better.

Then I start to read a dozen articles about the benefit of daily walking exercise, and becoming more motivated. It was mentioned that walking is good to improve our health, it can slash our risk of heart disease, cancer and osteoporosis. One of the benefit I felt is during my recent trip in Japan, the whole week there, my total walking distance is 50 km (yes, it is real, I use “moves” app in my iPhone to track my walking distance). But I was not exhausted at all! I even got complaints from my travelmates because I walked too fast and rarely took a break.

My experience in Japan motivated me to walk further and more often, even in Jakarta. I want to try hiking also for next, but knowing that there is no hiking place in Jakarta, for now I determine to walk whenever I have the time, instead of using ojek or taxi. The key to walk in Jakarta are to do the research first to find a better walk way, remain careful along the way and wear shoes! never use sandals or you’ll end up with injured feet. Just today I walked to a mall (Blok M Square) within 2.3 km walking distance according to Google Maps’ suggested route. I bump my feet several times because of uneven pavement and I almost got a hit by a Bus when walked along the way near flyover construction in Trunajaya street. The construction occupies the whole pedestrian walk way and no dedicated replacement provided, so pedestrians have to walk on the street. So I tried a different route when I got home, longer distance but safer. I walked 6 km in total, and I felt very good about it. I will try a longer distance on my next walk.

Walking Route



My Note in Learning Italian (1)

On Saturday, July 19th 2014, I completed the exam for A2 level of Italian Language Course, which marked my journey of 160 hours (in over of 10 months) in learning Italian language. As I have completed the A (Basic) Level, I would like to write a note to memorize this accomplishment.

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Before jumping to the part: why Italian? I’d like to share why I like to learn a new language in the first place.

 It is started when I read an article in a teen’s magazine when I was a college student about the research result that people who can talk 2 languages or more, possess lower risk to suffer from Alzheimer and dementia in the old age. You can google about this topic right now and you will find at least a dozen of similar article. So it stroked me, because I have seen old people with Alzheimer and dementia in my family and neighborhood and it was very difficult for them and also people who took care of them. So at that time, I already determined to learn as many languages as I can.

 Maybe you’ll ask why you learn more when 2 is already enough. Well, at that time I am already able to speak 2 languages fluently: my mother tongue: Cirebonese and my national language: Bahasa Indonesia. I have also studied English since my middle school up to university, so in total I have learned English for 10 years! But to be honest, I did not use it regularly until I start to work, where English is the formal language used in the company I work for. That was the time when I realize that to master another language gives me a lot of advantage, especially an international language like English. It’s not only the fact that I can perform better at work or I can communicate easily during travel abroad. But for me, most importantly, it opens the door to the new cultures, new knowledge, and new point of views that it is impossible to absorb by reading a translation. And to know and to understand these whole new things are an excitement for me. And the great thing is because I am not a native to the language, even after 17 years of involvement with it, I can always find a new thing to learn, for example a word or a phrase that I have never heard before.

 Then, back to the first question, why Italian?

 I have already revealed in my previous posts that I am a huge fan of Juventus, so I think, subconsciously that must be my first motivation. Everything about Juventus and Italian football fascinates me, so to be able to talk the same language as they do and receive every information on their original language is my long lasting dream. The second reason, I honestly think that the language sounds very beautiful, la lingua di piú bella nel mondo, the most beautiful language in the world. For me, it is beautiful literally in all conditions, whether it’s just a regular conversation or even during angry situation. These two reasons alone are good enough to make me spend 4 hours of my time every saturday. I don’t even flinch to the fact that Italian is only spoken by 62.1 million people (0.88% of world population), so even if I master this language someday, it will not give me too many advantage to my career, for example. In my opinion, every single thing that makes me happy in life, no matter how small or even useless it is, worth my time, energy and money.

 A question that might popped-up is why starting now? If I was so fascinated about it, why didn’t I start earlier?

 I have tried, actually. I started to buy some easy Italian conversation books when I was in school/college. I have managed to memorize a few words, but then I easily forget them because I never used them. I have also tried to sign-up free online course when internet became more reachable in the following years, but then I skipped it as I was tied to other urgent activities. That was the time when I realized that I have to follow old-school method, classroom, just like I always did. I finally determined to sign for the course, when I was sent away for a rotation job which made it impossible for me to attend the course continually. It was unfortunate, but it’s better late than never, right? So, I signed the first level (A) of the course at Italian Culture Institute (Istituto Italiano di Cultura/ IIC), located at HOS Cokroaminoto Road, South Jakarta


This institute is funded by Italian Government, therefore the course fee is relatively cheap, IDR 1 – 1.3M for 1 level (40 hours). And because it affiliates to Italian Embassy in Jakarta, the completion certificate is signed by the ambassador himself. Other than IIC, I don’t know other place which offer Italian course, apparently it’s pretty rare in Indonesia, because when I googled for other place closer to home, I couldn’t find one.


Ok, now, we get to the point where I share my impression about this language after I actually learned it in a classroom for 160 hours.

 Well, I have to admit that Italian is more difficult than English. But to have a good background in English has helped me a lot to learn Italian, because there is a lot of similarity between English and Italian words, examples: Experience = Esperienza, Certainly = Certamente, To disturb = Disturbare. So, the way I do it was to think about what I want to say in Bahasa Indonesia, translate it to English, and then translate it again to Italian. For me, the process is faster that translate the word directly from Bahasa to Italian. However, since quite some time, in my mind I have been practicing to always think directly in English, so I hope it can cut down the processing time in my brain. Another thing, I also often gamble with it, if I stuck with some words that I have never used before, I use the English word and modify it a little bit to sound more Italian 😀 – I can tell that it works sometimes, but some other time I sound so ridiculous, so be careful with this approach!

 So, English has been helpful with Italian vocabulary, but about the grammar, Italian is way more complex. At least I can point out the following major differences:

 1. Each Italian noun have a specific gender: Maschile (Male) and Feminile (Female), and the article, adjective and plural form will change following the noun’s gender.



(1) Il ragazzo è carino (the boy is cute), I ragazzi sono carini (the boys are cute)

(2) Lo zaino è pesante (the backpack is heavy), Gli zaini sono pesanti (the backpacks are heavy)


(1) La ragazza è carina (the girl is cute), Le ragazze sono carine (the girls are cute)

(2) L’arancia è dolce (the orange is sweet), Le arance sono dolci (the oranges are sweet)

2. Italian verbs change  (conjugate) according to the subject, in addition to the tenses. And there are too many tenses.

Example: To eat = Mangiare

(1) I eat = (Io) Mangio

(2) You eat = (Tu) Mangi

(3) He/ she/ you (formal) eat = (lui/lei/Lei) Mangia

(4) We eat = (Noi) Mangiamo

(5) You (plural) eat = (Voi) Mangiate

(6) They eat = (Loro) Mangiano

The subjects are put in bracket because normally it is omitted since the verb itself already reveals the subject. Note that above example is a regular verb, for irregular verbs, they do not follow the pattern of regular conjugation, so we have to memorize them. I will not share about the tenses yet, maybe in my next post.

3. There are a lot of words which have a lot of meaning, depend to the context.


(1) Gli means ‘the’ (plural masculine article), but gli also means ‘him’ (indirect pronouns)

(2) Ci means ‘us’ (direct/indirect pronouns), but also means ‘there’

While about the pronunciation, unlike English, Italian words are pronounced as it’s written. So it’s easier because Bahasa use the same approach. However, the alphabet pronunciation is not exactly the same. For example, Italian does not use the letter K, J and Y.

 The following is a chart that I obtained from Ngag – and guess what? Italian is categorized as EASY here 😀 so it makes me wonder how it will feel like to learn the HARD one. According to the chart, it requires 575-600 class hours for English speakers to achieve language proficiency. So it seems that I still have 415 hours to go!! 😀 CORRAGGIO!!

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