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Friday, February 11, 2011

Outdoor Valentine Dates (Because Mall is so Passé)

Yes, thank you Garfield for noting it down :D

Malls are indeed essential for (some of) us, in fact I remember the first thing I noticed when I move in to Bali (and one of the things that leave me quite freak out) was the lack of, ahem, proper mall which in turn means lack of proper bookstore. This is of course my biased opinion as my so-called proper bookstore means a LARGE ones with huge collection of Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton and Eoin Colfer and a proper Anne Rice section. Yes. I'm a freak.

However, I would like to encourage you lovebirds and other assortment of lovestruck people to AVOID mall this upcoming Valentine and hit outdoor instead. No, I'm not making a conspiracy against mall, I love them. I devoted to them still, especially those with grand bookstores. It's just something that I learn recently in Bali, that being together with someone (you loved) counts more when you do it outside (i.e. blend with nature) than when you do it in the mall/enclosed space.

Let's face it, in the mall/enclosed space you have to share your affection with many people, all in the same small space. Imagine whispering sweet words to your partner's ear during movie, only to find the person sitting behind you making, ahem, films of their own or the couple next to you state his undying love to each other. Or imagine walking hand in hand with your loved ones only to find yourself caught in the middle of Alays (yes, they will be there flocking the malls, another reason why you should avoid malls at any cost!). Or imagine holding hands with her on romantic dinner table only to find the waiter comes to you with the sour look of "God! How many pinks and silly lovebirds I have to endure for the day??" Outdoor it is, love. Outdoor it is.

If you happen to be in Bali or other small cities, outdoor dates are easy and relatively lower in cost than the indoor ones. A suggestion for Bali Valentine Date, do tourists stuff and enjoy it: Start your valentine day with a trip at the park (e.g. Bajra Sandhi or Puputan Badung) with playing and do sport together. Frisbee is one of the suggested game, even though you're there with the lover and not the dog, it sure brings out the sweat and lots of laughter. Then, get some delicious Balinese cakes for breakfast or even go for a full lunch/brunch/whatever at the local market. If you're nowhere near a local market, just pack up some stuff before you go and have a picnic in the park. Hit the beach at sunset, explore it and feel every wonderful things with all your senses, the sand on your feet, the splashing waves, his beaming face. And close it with dinner for two in an outdoor restaurant, or just plain fun at Angkringan! Not really romantic? It depends. Romantic for me is spending quality time JUST with my loved ones, it's about who I share the day with, not where I share the day.

Happen to be in Jakarta or other big city? Go to the park like Menteng park etc. Visit the Old City part of the town (where the buildings were made not later than 1950s) or visit the museum. Eat in a comfortable old-style dining spot, or the street vendor (there are plenty good spots such as Blok S). Get a bike tour if necessary (I know lots of major city offered bike tour now). Happen to have some extra money in your poscket? Kidnap her and sail to Pulau Seribu for a day in the sun. There are so many things that you can do with your loved ones without including the mall, and yes, they can be really budget friendly too. Some ideas to ask around to: @wisatakeluarga, @backpackseru, @infojakarta, @infojogja, etc. They usually know the best location in town, and the most affordable one. So plan it well.

Bottom line: do something different outdoor this valentine, blend in with nature and appreciate the colors in it, the life in it. Feel and taste the un-modern part of your surroundings. If ever in doubt, again keep this mantra for you: It's not what or where you share the day, it's whom you share the day with. Besides, if your partner willing to do crazy or uncommon valentine activities with you, you can be sure she/he'll stick "in sadness and in sorrow, in gladness and in joy". Happy Valentine's day everybody!


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