Princess and The Rock

Parenting | Homeschooling | Food | Fashion

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A great meal or charity?

I just came back from a break at Jakarta with my husband. Jakarta - break? Doesn't seem to gel right? The truth is my husband was there for business and he asked me to tag along. We did not venture out much due to the infamous traffic jam but we had a few good meals and a so-so spa experience. 

Special mention should go to La Luce restaurant for its lips smacking food and tip top service. I had the best pasta to date; it came in the form of squid ink pasta with wild prawns and sea urchin, topped with Bottarga shavings! I loved the umami taste of the Bottarga coupled with the briny, sea flavour of the squid ink and sea urchin. Oh... the thought of it makes my mouth water. According to my husband, his tenderloin steak with porcini mushroom sauce was also stellar. The whole evening was made even more enjoyable by the attentive wait staff and live piano accompaniment. If you are in Jakarta and in the mood for a treat, do yourself a favour and check yourself in, you won't regret it!

This trip to Jakarta though made for a good break and couple time with my husband, it also opened up to my eyes to poverty and inequality. Poverty that was easily seen with my eyes - mothers and young children were seen sleeping and begging on the bridge. Our hotel was across two major shopping malls (Plaza Indonesia and Grand Indonesia Shopping Mall) so we did cross the bridge a few times for our meal needs. Thus we see the above-mentioned scene a number of times in our short trip. As if the image of toddlers sleeping on the bridge wasn't enough, we had to witness a primary school aged boy slinging a Gucci messenger across his shoulders, walking alongside his mother (presumably) who was clad in designer garb from head to toe. 

This apparent inequality created a sense of discomfort in me throughout the whole trip. Was it due to the part of me that desires utopia? Was it anger with the authorities for not doing enough? Or maybe it's the guilt of having an over a hundred dollars meal despite having seen the state of affairs?

I think about the comfortable lives my children (or most children in Singapore) have and I thank God for that but I can't help but wonder what can be done to make life a bit better for those children on the streets too.

As a family, we know we want to do our bit for charity but we have not nailed down how we would like to contribute. So far the Princess has saved up all the coins that were given to her and decided that the money is meant for "people who have no money". 

Many may have heard this poem before but it doesn't hurt to be reminded I think. 

Image courtesy of Chuck Felix /

The Starfish Story
adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren Eiseley
(1907 - 1977)
Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. 
One day, as he was walking along the shore, he looked down the beach and saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself at the thought of someone who would dance to the day, so he walked faster to catch up.  
As he got closer, he noticed that the figure was that of a young man, and that what he was doing was not dancing at all. The young man was reaching down to the shore, picking up small objects and throwing them into the ocean.   
He came closer still and called out, "Good morning! May I ask what it is that you are doing?"   
The young man paused, looked up and replied, "Throwing starfish into the ocean."   
"I must ask, then, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?" asked the somewhat startled wise man.   
To this the young man replied, "The sun is up and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them in, they'll die."   
Upon hearing this, the wise man commented, "But, young man, do you not realize that there are miles and miles of beach and there are starfish all along every mile? You can't possibly make a difference!"   
As if he hadn't heard, the young man bent down, picked up yet another starfish and threw it into the ocean. As it met the water, he turned, smiled and said, "It made a difference to that one!" 

Are you or your family involved in any charity effort? I'll like to hear from you to get some ideas. :)

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