After eating a bowl of noodles and drink for lunch, I decided to tried out the famous Red Mango Yogurt which my friend is so crazy about. There were a few customers at the shop even during lunch hour as compared to the Es Teler 77 outlet where I had my lunch. The shop signage states that it is USA’s best non fat frozen yogurt, so hopefully it taste good. My first reaction when I saw the prices listed on the menu board was that the food here are really expensive.
I ordered the green Avocado yogurt with fruit and nuts toppings. The cost of this yogurt ( see photos ) was nearly RP60,000 for a cup of yogurt. The yogurt taste creamy and it is in fact quite solid and firm; unlike some yogurts that melts in your mouth the minute you eat it. I liked the yogurt taste but I felt that it is too little. Perhaps for the price of nearly RP60,000, they should give a bigger portion of yogurt – perhaps 2 scoops served in a better cup. The toppings was nice but nothing fantastic about it.
The Red Mango store which I visited was a small outlet with limited seating capacity if you compared it with KFC or MacDonald. But it was sufficient because really there were not many customers even during lunch hour. In fact, there were still many empty seats available. Perhaps that goes to show that not many people would want to pay such a high price for this food. In fact, the noodles and drink that I had in Es Teler 77 was almost the same price as this cup of yogurt. Well if Red Mango can do a promotion on one flavor each month with a lower price for their yogurt, I would definitely com back for more.
I wanted to visit the famous Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni, which is a Catholic church located in the outskirt of Medan city. The easiest way to travel would be to book a taxi to take me there. The problem with Medan is that it is quite difficult to find a proper taxi – the ones that use meter; whereas pirated taxi are plentiful. In some hotels such as Swiss Belinn Medan, I could not find Blue Bird or Express taxi outside the hotel – I wonder where they had gone? Anyway, once you have booked a taxi to this church, it would be advisable to ask the cab driver to wait for you for about 30 minutes at the compound of this church ( extra charges of course ); and thereafter you can take the same cab back to whenever is your next destination. The reason is because this church is located in the middle of nowhere. The church is surrounded by residential homes along a narrow dirt road – so be warned and be prepared.
The Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni is one the most bizarre church I have even visited in my life. When I step out of my taxi and stared at the building, I thought I was visiting a Hindu or a Chinese cum Hindu temple combined into one. Couldn’t really make it out that this tall structure building is a Catholic church – and I am truly amazed and loved it! It is a church dedicated to the Holy Mary Annai Velangkanni or Our Lady of Good Health who appeared in Tamil Nadu in India in the 17th century.
On the ground floor of this church building is a community hall which is for activities held in this church. The prayer hall is located on the 2nd storey level and to reach it, you just have to walk the gentle spiral slope. Before you enter the prayer hall, all visitors have to take off their shoes. There are 2 large statues on the balcony itself – the statue of St Paul, the Apostle of nations and St. Francis Xavier, the Apostle of Asia welcoming visitors into the prayer hall. The prayer hall is well decorated with paintings, art and shrine and very peaceful too. I saw many young students sitting on the bench at the time. In front you can see the Lord with the words – ” Come to me, all who laboured and are heavily burdened, I will give you rest.” Very meaningful words and very peaceful environment; and so I did sat down and rest; together with the many young students sitting on the bench.
I understand that the church has its own spring water which was discovered at the Altar of the Marian Chapel. I am not sure whether they allow visitors to collect the blessed spring water in a bottle – do asked the staff when you are there. The Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni is really a must visit place in Medan. Do make the time and effort to see this unique church. Not only it is beautiful, the prayer hall is also a peaceful place to rest and sort out your thoughts or problems. And don’t forget to make a donation at the donation box ( any amount) – though it is a voluntary act, but I felt that it is the right time to do.
For those interested in viewing more photos of Graha Maria Annai Velangkanni, do check it out at the Image gallery of Indonesiapics.com
I wonder whether there is any company or organization in Indonesia that prohibits the wearing of perfume at workplace? I think wearing of perfume, cologne and scented lotion is an acceptable practice, as I have seen many people wearing perfume in offices, banks, government offices and shopping malls in Jakarta. The sale of perfumes is a booming business in Indonesia and there are countless perfume counters and shops in almost all shopping malls in Jakarta. As people spend more money on grooming and personal appearance, I believe this would lead to more people wearing perfumes in Indonesia.
A friend of mine has a mild allergy to certain perfumes. He would sneeze or develop symptoms of blocked nose if comes into contact with it. Fortunately for me, I do not have such problem. But sometimes my nose do feel irritated by the smell of certain perfumes – especially those which have strong musky smell or smelling too sweet. I think the problem is that some ladies and men tend to put lots of perfume on their body; so the smell of the perfume tend to be extra strong. You can in fact smell them even if they are a few cubicles away in the office. Now imagine having to put up with the smell 8 hours a day, five days a week with a co-worker who wears a perfume that irritates your nose. If the fragrance from the perfume affects the sensitivity of the co-workers, the employer should step in and educate the worker concerned. I think if a person wears a perfume lightly, there should not be a problem as the smell would not be overwhelming throughout the office.
I think it is difficult to implement a fragrance free policy in the office or workplace in Indonesia. Besides, it may not be practical to enforce such a policy especially in a workplace where you have visitors or the public have accessed to it – for example hotels and shopping malls. In such instance, the employer can reduce the smell by installing an air purifier machine and through better air ventilation system. Personally, I am not against the policy of people wearing of perfumes to workplace; neither am I for it. I think whether you choose to wear perfume or be fragrance free is a personal choice. However, it would be nice if people who wear perfumes understand that all they need to do is to put a little ( a few drops ) perfume to smell good.