To Do List
The Jakarta Post -- WEEKENDER | Sun, 11/23/2008 1:38 PM |
ESCAPE the grime of the city without having to head to Bali or points farther afield at Segarra, the beautiful beach club located at Carnaval in North Jakarta’s Ancol Baycity. Promoted as an ideal place for dining, tying the knot at a romantic beachside setting or, as the club says, simply to “break free from the mundane … [and] reconnect with nature and oneself”. All that sea air will work up a healthy appetite, and the culinary delectables include sandwiches, pizzas and salads and, naturally, seafood, with the house specialty of jumbo chili crab cooked in a dazzling array of ways.
ENJOY a loving and luscious spoonful at Sour Sally, a frozen yogurt store in Senayan City. The U.S. premium nonfat frozen yogurt can be eaten alone (it’s good that way, too) or with toppings, ranging from thehealthy (fruit, such as mango, kiwi and lychee, and nuts) to more sinful picks (chocolate chips, oreo). Sally has already garnered a loyal following among Jakartans in the know, who also stop by for its smoothies and shaved ice. Check out its charming website http://hellosoursally.com. This is the kind of outstanding Indonesian enterprise that could, and should, go international.
SPREAD a little cheer this Christmas… to a shopkeeper in Uganda, a farmer in Cambodia, or even a tailor in Tajikistan. Microfinance platform KIVA (www.kiva.org) lets you channel loans (as opposed to donations) – as at low as US$25 – to microenterprises in poverty-stricken places like Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Americas. Governed by the philosophy that if you give a man a fish he’ll eat for a day, teach him to fish and he’ll eat a lifetime, microfinance loans are small sums of money that go into building a sustainable livelihood for the poor in developing countries. On KIVA, lenders get to view the profiles of borrowers, and choose who and what businesses they want their loans channeled to. They’ll also be able to find out the impact of their loan with blog updates from their chosen borrower. Payment is via PayPal, and donors can expect to get their loan back in a year.
HOLD off on holiday plans for a month. Come January next year, Indonesian residents paying RP1mil each time they’re bound for foreign ground may become a thing of the past as a new ruling to do away with the unpopular fiscal tax kicks in. Under the new law, designed to encourage Indonesians to register and pay taxes, travelers with an official tax registration number (NPWP) get to travel fiscal free. For family travel, only the NPWP of the family head needs t be shown for exemption – dependents under 21 years of age are exempted under parent’s NPWP. Cherish the goodwill though; tax officials have hinted that the new law, up for review two years later in 2011, may only be temporary.
OVERDOSE on the holiday blitz of feel-good movies. For your consideration: Marley and Me, the movie adaptation of John Grogan’s best-selling book of the same title stars Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston as a couple who adopt a misbehaving but loveable Labrador retriever. Elsewhere, Jim Carrey resurrects his comedic talent in Yes Man, about a man whose life is transformed when he tries out a self-help program that encourages him to say yes to everything. Always good for a laugh too is Adam Sandler, who stars in the fantasy-comedy Bedtime Stories. In it, Sandler’s wild imagination, which feeds his bedtime tales for his nephew, become a bane when they start coming true.
KEEP the kids happy. The Harry Potter series is complete and the release of the next Harry Potter movie (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince) won’t be until July next year. JK Rowling fans however, can get their hands on her latest money-raker, The Tales of Beedle the Bard when the standard edition is released this month - just in time for Christmas too. The book, which features five tales, has an interesting back story related to the Harry Potter canon. A supposed find from Professor Dumbledore’s office at Hogwarts, the tome even includes commentary and extensive footnotes by the Professor himself, ruminating on the tales in the book, which are set in 16th century Muggle society.