Sabrina’s Farewell Lunch

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If you remember my earlier post here, you may notice that I receive a lot of help from my co-worker named Sabrina. I met Sabrina at the first day I move to Japan, at our office. She is half France, half Japanese, speak both of the language fluently + her english was also beyond perfect.

The Boss told me that Sabrina is currently waiting for her visa. When her visa was approved, it was really relived. But at one point, it means we have to let her go (crying).

Last week, we have farewell lunch for Sabrina in a very authentic Japanese place, Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai. This place are serving kaiseki cusine. Means it’s serving traditional multi-course Japanese dishes. The dishes are cooked with such a technique so it can bring out the natural flavour. The menu are usually seasonal so it will change from time to time.

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We’ve got a room with fish pond view!

Entering this restaurant, you will greeted and led to receptionist by the soft-spoke kimono lady. You will walk trough a paving stone and a very green + traditional Japanese garden that will make you pinch yourself to make sure you are in Tokyo (I didn’t believe I was in Tokyo, I believe that enterance was doraemon-kind-of-anywhere-door which dissaperate me to Kyoto). On the inside part of the building, the interior was really define the beauty of traditional Japanese house at Edo period era. Seems like the layout of the building itself designed so that all rooms have views over the inner garden (yes, there’s also inner garden!).

 

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(Photo: Sabrina)

 

Since this restaurant speciality is tofu, everything is basically safe for me to eat. But to make sure, Sabrina called the restaurant and make sure I’ve got no alcohol on my food (See? I can’t live without her). She asked me things that I allowed to eat (vegetable and fish) and not allowed to eat (non-halal chicken/meat, alcohol-based seasoning), also what if the shoyu contain alcohol but it’s evaporated on the cooking proccess (I’m not sure about that so I told her better not to use alcohol seasoning at all). She discussed it with the restaurant and adjust the menu that fit my preference. After making a thousand call, Sabrina told me that the restaurant can make something that was a mix between vegetarian and fish dishes and without any alcohol seasoning.

So this is it! The special menu that Tokyo Shiba Tofuya Ukai have for a muslim like me!

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First Dish – What’s behind the umbrella? (hint: It’s not Totoro)
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Ta-da! It’s Chilled Corn Soup!
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Speciality (Age-dengaku) : Deep fried tofu with fresh green onion chop and thin wheat noodle

On the actual menu, they coated the tofu with Miso. Special for me, they made it without miso. It’s crunchy on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside. The tofu itself have a right amount of saltiness, so even without miso, it’s perfect enough for me! Every tofu in this restaurant was created on their own workshop in Owadamachi. The soybeans itself are from Hokkaido. The tofu were made and delivered daily to the restaurant!

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Otsukuri – Sashimi course of the day

The fresh thick slice of tuna served with Tororo! (I think it was Maguro no Yamakake?) I’ve got a tamarind-based soy sauce (which has no alcohol, yippie!) incase I want to add something to my sashimi. The other was getting their shoyu infused to the sashimi.

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Simmered – Baked eggplant.

When the waitress give me this food, the other was getting wax gourd and chicken. And the other was drolling on my food. I have no idea actually, but then The Boss said it was Kyoto style baked eggplant. I never eat eggplant before, so this is new experience for me! It taste really good! The only thing is, it’s really hard to cut this eggplant with chopstick. I had a panic attack (hopefully nobody see it, lol) and almost ask if the restaurant can provide me a fork (and probably make a shame for myself…). But at the end, I eat all the I-want-to-cut-this-into-two eggplant in one-time swallowing. Almost chocked but I made it!

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The Hassun course – sushi, fresh cut of okra with delicious peanut sauce, cherry tomato, octopus with plum vinegar, and a beautiful japanese ginger pickled – gari.

Hassun, or seasonal platter, are the main course who set the seasonal theme of the kaiseki cuisine. This course typically includes one kind of sushi and a few smaller dishes.

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Speciality Tofu (Tosui-tofu) – Tofu boiled in seasonal soy milk in a hot pot

For this dishes, the kimono-lady bring a huge ceramic black hot pot called nabe heated with carchoal stove to our table. Mine was served separated, I don’t know why, but maybe they add something that I wasn’t allowed to eat. But overall, I really love this dishes and gave 10/10! I love the soy milk soup better than the tofu actually, lol.

 

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Gohan – Corn rice (Photo: Sabrina)

 

The last dishes before dessert, gohan (rice). It was yummy!

For the dessert, I’ve got a frest cut fruit (grape and sunkist orange), meanwhile the other get sweet azuki beans. This time, I’m the one who drolling lol.

Sabrina is a big lover of food, so we can see her happy face when the kimono-lady come up with the dishes during this farewell lunch. She is a big fan of healthy food. She’s not vegetarian but avoiding to eat meat and gluten as much as possible. I think this place suits her a lot! (The Boss are the one who pick this place by the way). Though each individual dish in the course come with a small portion, at the end we are coming back to office all smiling because we are so full. Gochisosamadeshta!

Nb: Sabrina helping her friends spreading healthy eating vibe and provide the best product at the same time! Stop by at this website to find out more!

 

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A Good Quote

“I’ve learnt that when you’re in a highly competitive industry and environment, the smartest way to stay ahead is to act fast and adapt. Both are the things I advocate within and try to impact to my team. Deadlines are something I’m extremely strict with, and changes are so constant that the winners are the ones with best ability to adapt and move on.”

– Jasmine KhoMin-Jee

My Current Skin Care Routine

Since I working in lifestyle area, I met a lot of people and most of them are people who have influence of their area. And looking up some standart like that, I feel the need for taking care of my appearance and not look lousy in front of people. At first, I only dress nicer (getting my self some local designer pieces – the discount one of course) and applied make up evertime I need to meet someone important, but then I realize that if you have a good skin condition, you don’t have to apply much make up on your face, and I kinda like that idea.

So I’m looking of trusted reference about how to take care of your skin (mostly from Female Daily). After reading a bunch of article and watching almost all of their video, I decided to do the Korean Layering Skin Care Routine!

The complete steps~ #die

At first I thought there’s no way I can do this routine. Too many products and too many layering to be done! But then I watch some tips and trick from one of my favorite Youtuber here, and think it’s possible to do the routine without doing all the steps that mentioned above.

So here’s my version of korean layering skin care routine. I started my skin care routine right before I move to Japan so that’s why you’re still seeing that most of the product are the Indonesian one – I bring it all to Japan!

1. Cleansing

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Double Cleansing is a must! – I will start with wiping my face with cotton pad that has been soaked with BIODERMA Sensibio H2O Micellar Water. I know many influencer reccomend oil cleanser, but I love the lightness of micellar water. It needs effort to clean some eye make-up of course. But I love the fact that my eye never get irritated with micellar water (My eyes are a bit sensitive, it gets irritated so easy everytime I use make up remover other than micellar water – and yes eventhough it’s oil cleanser).

I will let my face dry for a few minutes, and then go to the 2nd cleansing step, facial wash. I use Hada Labo facial wash, the Tamagohada one.

2. Toner

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The Key of Balance Skin – I never care about using toner before I read the 10-steps Korean layering skin care tips. Before micellar water was exist, I will just using milk cleanser and then using facial wash. Always skip toner.

I currently use VIVA Face Tonic green tea and astrigent cucumber – The cheapest toner on earth that come with good quality. I will first using the green tea (because it was the anti-bacterial one), and then the astrigent cucumber one for tightening my pore. I didn’t use cotton pad. So i will have 4 drops of toner on my palms and tap it directly onto my face.

Once I start using it regularly, I have to admit that it has a powerful impact for balancing my skin condition.

3. Essence and Face Oil

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I currently use essence for my skin rather than serum. If you are wondering, essence is some-kind-of-skincare-concentrate that is more watery-based than serum. So basically it’s easier for your skin to absord it.

I just add new family member on my skin care routine, KneippBio Oil Rose. The reason why I bought this was actually funny. I really want Khiel’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate, but it’s really expensive (specially in Indonesia, it’s cheaper here in Japan). So, looking for more economical solution, I’m googling what is the most important ingredient on that stuff. And then I found out that it was Roseship oil (well, it has 10 more ingredients but the biggest composition was Roseship oil). I decided to just look up if there’s some brand that selling the Roseship oil and found it on the drugstore near my house.

I give 5 minutes interval between the essence and oil because I heard that you should let the product with vitamin C absorb perfectly before applying the next layer of skincare.

So far Garnier essence make my skin look one step brighter and Kneipp Bio Oil make my face more supple.

4. Moisturizer

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I was looking for The True Cream Aqua Bomb by Belif when I found out that some people on the internet was saying that Garnier have the dupe version of this product. But since this product wasn’t available in Indonesia, I have no intended to buy it. One day, I was browsing on carousell and suddenly think about this product. I type it on the search column and found it! It’s not expensive (less than IDR 100K), a new one (not pre-loved) and not a pre-order stuff so I decided to buy it! #impulsive. Later the seller told me that she just came back from America and buy too much of this product, so she decided to sell it #luckyairin.

The Aesop was a gift from Jimba. At the first week after I arrive in Japan, I help him with some working stuff on weekend and then we pass Aesop store on our way back home. I was pretending I’m not looking at the store but I can’t (HAHAHA) and then he offer me to get something from the store.

It was expensive. No more Aesop for Airin for the rest of the year (*/_\)

Things that I like from the garnier, it feels really light, giving some fresh feeling on my face. The best thing is, it didn’t make your face oily after using it.

I would like to do some separated review for the aesop, simply because it’s worth a blog post. But here’s a quick review: My skin feels more plump and the anti-oxidant slowly get my acne scars dissapear. Going to save my salary for this holy-grail product!

5. Extra Treatment

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I will add another product on my skin after moisturizer, but it depends on situation. If I was in a rush, I will just skip this step and go to sunscreen. But if I had extra time, I will layering Garnier Light Complete Serum Cream in the morning, or Wardah Renew You Anti Aging Night Cream at night.

6. Protection

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I never use sunsreen before having a skin care routine. I was that kind of person that believed that pigment on my colored skin should taking a good care of the UV Rays. But after give it a try using Bioderma Photoderm Max Fluide sample, I started to understand why people said sunscreen is important. Well, I can’t see through my epidermis, but it’s prevent your skin from getting dull.


Things I didn’t use:

Eye cream – I use BIODERMA Sensibio Eye Contour gel, but then I got milia under my eye so I stop using eye cream. For now I only apply the regular moisturizer cream under my eye to prevent that part from dryness.

Exfoliator – Haven’t found the suitable one and I’ve got a lot of acne on my jaw area so was taking a break from scrub. Any advice?

Mask – Living in Japan, you are spoiled by choice they give you for sheet masks. BUT they use glycerin. I know, I should kiss the sheet masks good bye.

 

What you need to prepare before moving to Japan as a Muslim

So, you’ve made it. The visa is now right on your hand. You have 3 months before it’s expired. You are wondering where to start, what to pay first. Should you book a flight first? Should you book an apartment first? What to bring from your country? Will you find halal food in Japan airport? Where did you buy groceries?

PRE-DEPARTURE

• Book a house

I will strongly sugest you to book a house at first. Make your decicion right in picking a  house because it will be linked to a lot of official things like bank account, phone bill, and many more.

Book an airplane ticket

If you can go to the full service airlines, I strongly suggest to use that one rather than the budget one because you need every kilogram of your baggage. And if it’s possible, choose one with direct flight for minimize the risk of losing baggage during transit.

If you are a muslim like me, don’t forget to check if the airlines provide halal food. I use Garuda Indonesia so I don’t have problem with it. But if you are using Japanese airplane (like JAL or ANA), or airplane where the major residence are not muslims (like Philliphine airlines), it’s better to ask muslim meal – read about muslim meal on my previous post here.

ARRIVING DAY

• Finding prayer room at Japan’s Airport

You can easily find prayer room in major airport like Haneda (Tokyo), Narita (Tokyo), Kansai (Osaka), and Chubu (Nagoya), Shin Chitose (Hokkaido), Naha (Okinawa), Fukuoka Airport (Fukuoka) and Kagoshima Airport (Kagoshima). It was complete with place for ablution (wudhu), but maybe prepare for bring your own praying garment because sometimes they didn’t provide it. Please be informed that prayer room in Japan are made for all religion and sects, so don’t be surprised if there is someone else that was not a  muslim also using the prayer room.

• Finding halal food to eat at airport

In Japan, halal food are dominated with Turkish, Indian, and Malay food. At Haneda airport, you can find Turkish kebab stall and it’s halal, in Narita there’s a curry place which provide halal menu. If you are arriving in Japan via Kansai, you can have more options since they have a lot of halal restaurant!

ARRIVED AT YOUR HOUSE

• Orientation

I life in a share house and I have to do some move-in orientation. I was thinking it will be like earth quake or nuclear missile evacuation 101 stuff, but then I found out it’s only explaining that you have to put-your-food-inside-ziplock-at-the-shared refrigator kind of stuff.

• Finding Qibla

I use an apps called ‘Qibla finder’ to find praying direction at my house and my office.

GETTING YOURSELF REGISTERED

Residence Card

If you are arrived at one of this airport: Haneda, Narita, KIX, or Chubu, you can get your residence card (zairyu card) issued at airport. After that, you have 14 days for registering yourself at the munipicial office where you lived. I currently lived in Meguro, so my munipicial office is Meguro Ward. I do my registration a day after I arrived in Japan with A LOT of help for translating from my co-worker, Sabrina. If you can’t speak Japanese and didn’t bring any friends who understand Japanese with you, you have to explain about it. The munipicial office will call some staff who can speak english, but you have to wait like 15 minutes.

Health Insurance

If you are living in Japan more than 3 months, it’s required by law to have health insurance. If you are having the National Health Insurance (NHI), you only have to pay 30% when you need to visit the doctor or bought medicine because the rest of 70% are on Goverment. But there’s also people who choose private insurance instead the NHI one where you have to pay 100% by yourself and then get reimbursed to the insurance company. Pick one that will meet your need.

GETTING HANKO

• Hanko

In Japan, Hanko (or sometimes also called Inkan) are autograph/signature subtitute for official document. You will need it for Bank stuff and signing contract/agreement. When you firstly getting to the shop, they will ask your last name in Japanese and count how much letter it has. I’ve got 4 letter for my last name, so the craftman will count it as = 4 x the cost for crave the Hanko. And then they will ask you which material you’d like for the Hanko/Inkan body. On the Hanko shop I went, they have plastic, wood, and bamboo. I go to the very basic plastic one because I don’t think I will sign for any big contract like house loan or car installment (You need some kind of the ‘fancier’ Hanko if you’re going to sign that kind of document).

GETTING BANK ACCOUNT & MOBILE PHONE

• Bank Account

Bank staff usually not speak english, so I’m very lucky to have Sabrina helped me when I set up my Bank Account for the first time. You need to have your official Katakana also your home address written by yourself in Japanese for some documents. I didn’t prepared for that but I pass because I can imitate it easily (THANKS GOD FOR ILLUSTRATOR HANDS).

• Mobile Phone

Network in Japan is a bit different with other countries, so you have to check it first if you can use your phone in Japan. In my case, my phone can’t make it on Japan network (rolling my eyes), so I need to get a new one. I’m so lucky that I can get the phone for free just by sign up a data plan, and then change to the cheaper plan on the next month (My provider officer are the one who suggest this. Don’t blame me, I’m not cheating! lol).

GROCERIES

Where to buy groceries

You can use google maps to find some local supermarket near your house, but usually there’s also a supermarket close or next to the station like Tokyu Store. The price are a bit competitive you need to figure it out by yourself which supermarket have the best price for you.

In Tokyo there’s a halal supermarket called Al-Falah in Ikebukuro. My Basket also bring halal food at some of their branch. You can also go to vegetarian store like Natural House if you’re looking for vegetarian food. But in general, you can easily finding fish and seafood at any supermarket in Japan. So, except you have major allergy with fish and seafood, actually eating in Japan are not that hard.

For cleaning stuff like detergent, fabric softener, fabric spray, you can have more choice + getting a better price or some special offer on the local drugstore rather than supermarket.

If there’s a place called Don Quijote near you, besides groceries stuff you can also bought cooking utentils and house equipment right there (like frying pan, wooden spatula, steam iron, etc). Basically it’s a discount store that selling everything.

Life Update: I’m Moving to Japan!

YES, I’m moving to Japan!

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  • I’m working for Flagship LLC, a creative team based in Tokyo who’s passionate to make a global e-commerce service and business in the internet world. The reason why I choose to work in Flagship is probably very simple, I choose my boss (a bit personal, I’ll explain later). Also, I like to make things work, and I want to help others to reach their potential as far as possible, as broad as possible.
  • I’m living in Central Tokyo. Pretty much burn my pocket (at Indonesia you probably could rent a 3-bedroom house with this amount, lol). Somehow loving the location. May or may not move my house within this area after 3 or 6 months period.
  •  I have been helped by Flagship LLC staff, Sabrina, for doing all my document stuff in here. From filling address to getting my Bank Account, Sabrina helped me translating all of them, and even help me to write my name in katakana. Thank you Sabrina! Wouldn’t have done anything without you!

Here’s some random stuff that I’ve experienced during moving:

  • I bring 31.7 kg luggage, which actually overweight for one (should be in 2 suitcases if you want to use the 46kg limit). But the check-in officer let my luggage go inside the plane. He put the ‘heavy stuff’ tag on my luggage. FYI, there’s currently no self check-in services for international flight, so you still have to go to the check in counter.
  • Asking the check-in officer if I can get I get a row of seat for myself, and I get it! So I can lay my back and sleep with better position during the flight #flywitheconomy101.
  • I have no idea that GIA didn’t have usb plug-in (because JAL and ANA have it). So, trying to save my battery with not playing games/music from my phone during the flight.
  • I was born in Australia, own Indonesian passport, and have working permit in Japan. Immigration officer need to triple check everything when I landed and about to entering Japan in Haneda airport. She looked up to her screen, down to my passport, repeat for 10 times. And then when she’s about to issued my residence card, the CMYK ribbon inside her printer was twisted. She’s politely ask me to go to the next immigration counter because her printer had problem. I have to repeat all the procedure lol.
  • It’s my 4th time in Tokyo and this time I didn’t get lost on my way from airport to office! (I usually taking the wrong train!). I didn’t buy any sim-card on airport or bought some international roaming package for helping me contacting others when I arrived. Tourist sim-card are a bit pricey for a person who’s going to have a long stay like me. The sim-card for 1 week with 1GB data was around ¥3000 and with that amount of quota and my instagram addiction problem, it will only lasted a day for me. So I just following the google maps screenshot I’ve made before I took my flight to Japan. I didn’t have internet until I arrived at the office!
  • I go to Indonesian embassy last Friday to do the lapor diri stuff. I found the form, but then the officer told me that there’s a website called Sakura Indonesia for that stuff. I’m trying to fill the form and a bit confused with things they called ‘registration number’ on those form. Anybody have idea what is this?

IMG_6370IMG_6384IMG_6400Btw, I need to get a new phone since I can’t use my current phone (iPhone 5s, bought it on iBox Jakarta). You can check it wherever your phone is could be used in Japan or not by checking it on the regulatory menu. Mine is NOT so I have to get a new phone (-_-“).

 

I have a bunch of farewell before went to Japan.

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Missing this baby boy already! He might have a girlfriend already once I’m going back home next Raya. hiks.

Quick Trip to Malaysia

On the 3rd day of my internship at Kami Idea, I went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for a quick business trip. I was accompanying Mbak Siti to drop some sample for clients.

Wanna know why I was chosen to going Malaysia and accompanyings Mbak Siti even though I just working in Kami Idea for 3 days………..?

*drum roll*

Because I’m the last one who has active passport in office!  #insertemoticonlaughingwhilecryinginhere

It was only one night trip but it was fun!

 

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Kuala Lumpur from above

 

 

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Airplane flatlay

 

 

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Terminal 2 KLIA Airport
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The LRT token – Instead getting some instant card/paper ticket, you’ll get this token in Kuala Lumpur
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Lychee ice cream!
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I was surprised there’s no rice menu in Mcdonald’s Malaysia!

 

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Managed to find chicken rice in KLCC foodcourt
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Quick stop at Central Market, looking something to bring back home

 

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Kami Idea’s booth at iSetan KLCC

 

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The Petronas Twin Tower!

I hope we will meet again soon, Malaysia!

 

 

 

 

Tension Pain

 

Two months ago, I start feeling tension pain on my neck, back of my head, and forehead. At first, I think the tension appear because I just normally tired from my daily activity, but then, it’s getting more intense.

One day, I can’t bear with the tension pain anymore and decided to get some treatment. I don’t like taking medicine, so I was think some kind of body treatment would be wonderful. Massage it is.

After 15 minutes of googling, I found out that most of therapist/spa will closed at 6 pm. It was weekdays at that time, so I have to find therapist/spa that still open until after office hours. It’s a bit hard actually to find it, but finally, I managed to find one: Martha Tilaar Spa Express in Kuningan City. I make a phone call at 5 pm to reserve a treatment at 7 pm.

They have a lot of treatment, but basically the treatment was divided into 3 categories: Body, Face, Hand & Foot. I’m having ‘Back Massage’. The description said, “Massage treatment special at the back, neck, and shoulder, for relaxation and reduce headache due it’s supporting muscle tension“. Sounds perfect.

I arrived at Martha Tilaar Spa Express on time. The therapist quickly prepared my treatment bed and then ask me to come in.

 

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source: ferishaaresti.blogspot.co.id

 

Surprisingly, this is not female-only spa (I saw a guy doing foot treatment together with his wife when I enter the treatment room). But then when I saw my treatment bed, they are covered with a thick curtain so I think it’s ok.

The therapist asked me to take off my clothes, and lay off at the treatment bed. She firstly wipe my back with a warm towel and rub it with treatment oil.

And then, here goes the torturing time.

My therapist start with giving me massage from lower back to shoulder. Seems like my therapist have dinner already since she was so powerful. I was cringing a lot during the massage and pray the therapist will not stepping on my back because she probably will break my bone.

The most hurtful massage are the one from lower back to shoulder to each part of your back (right and left). The therapist will do some push and then she’s doing twisting movement when it’s almost reach your shoulder. IT HURTS SO BAD, I even crying. My therapist, probably know there is some knots that make tension on my back (Indonesian probably will say ‘uratnya ngerinkel‘), repeat the movement for many times until there’s no cracking sound on that part.

 

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My iliocostalis thoracis was -_- it was really painful when my therapist give massage on that part. (image: http://www.painneck.com)

 

The other massage actually enjoyable. The therapist even use some funny wodden roller. I laughing in pain when the wodden roller reach my waist because my waist is pretty sensitive for some touches.

The back massage session lasted for 45 minutes. After the massage session is done, the therapist asked me if I want to drink hot ginger tea or cold lemon grass tea. I choose the ginger one.

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I can’t find myself getting feel sleepy on this-should-be-relaxation time like the one they advertising it on those glossy magazine. But hey, my back feel so much better and the tension pain is gone!!! I also feel my bloodstream improved after the treatment.

The back massage cost IDR 108.000. I think the price is pretty much ideal. Great location, great staff (the staff are all woman), but unfortunately the spa aren’t female-only and no toilet inside the spa. Will i back to have some massage? I will! But probably will looking for another branch which have female-only option!