What makes a good purchase is a good purchase? Is it needed? Or is it fulfill our desire? Or its usefulness and long last? When we travel, we sometimes buy this and that for any reason. Those three also our reasons to buy something. “I like that fridge magnet, I can’t only buy five, I need ten.” “You fit in that shoe.” “It would be nice if you change your backpack with that.” “I love these books.” “We have to try that cake.” and other humanitarian reasons possible. But in all of those experiences, we have some of the best buys that have come from various places we’ve been. Let me share with you.
Indonesia, Makassar: Tawon Balm
Just discovered Tawon Balm when I waited for the saleswoman packing Ny. Elly grilled fish-cake back in Makassar. Don’t get me wrong, a gift shop in Indonesia usually sell many types of souvenirs. In one shop, you can find food, snacks, traditional scarfs, t-shirts, and traditional remedies such as cajeput oil, massage oil, and balm. Tawon Balm comes in many sizes from small, medium, and large. Its yellow-pale colour reminds me of Tjing Tjau Balm, but the texture and aroma were different. When I rub at my forehead and neck, it is soothing while penetrating and its fragrance is appealing without being too stinging. I even felt it kinda therapeutic. To enhance its effects especially when I experience headache, I usually massage the balm into my skin until it’s fully absorbed. It also works for bloated, flu-related symptoms, and colds!
Indonesia, Jakarta: Eiger Daypack
Initially, we bought the turquois Eiger daypack for me. But as I found it oversized and not fashionable (oops!), I gave it to Mas Gepeng and has been his go-to daypack both for travel and work. If I’m not mistaken, we bought it in 2017 at Eiger Store in Pejaten Village for only IDR350k and brought it to the UK in the same year. Mas Gepeng said the backpack really comfortable. We can put a lot of stuff in it from prayer-set to packed meal, from tumbler to electricity kinds of stuff. Until today, the fabric is still in good condition and the zippers are still functioning properly. We only need it washed wkwk. OH speak of the devil, our Eiger carrier also one of the phenomenal items we have. Our friend gave it back in 2010 (wow a decade ago!) and we always take it on the go. Eiger was true has strong and durable products for travellers #SupportJustinindyoBeTheEigerAmbassador #Yeah #Ayeaah #Asoy.
Japan: Hisamitsu Salonpas Lotion Pain Relief Roll.
When in Japan, Mas Gepeng and I walked a lot. We walked more than 15k steps in a day, we even hit 25k when we walked around Kamakura. Not surprisingly we felt pain in our calves, ankles, and soles. It felt like a lot of bruises on our legs! As we needed immediate help, we went to the drugstore and asked if they had any pain relievers for muscles. The young salesman gave us Hisamitsu Salonpas Lotion and I was like wow, a new method using a pain relief gel. It comes with foam so we only need to tap and rub the foam. After one night of sleep with all the lotion covering our ankles, we woke up feeling so much better. No more ache, no more pain, ready for long march ahahay. Once again, the pain is gone! Salonpas now being our number one saviour every time we need to get through our day with discreet, easy to use, topical pain relief for temporary relief of aches and pains. It can be used all over whereas the patches can’t be. What an invention!
Slovenia: Löffler Mid-Layer
Even made in Austria, we bought Löffler mid-layer shirt in Bled, Slovenia, at the Koala Sport to be precise. At that time, I was freezing and thought about buying a new jacket. After a little talk and told our budget, the shop owner said I better change the base layer at least for now. As the season was changing to summer, so I don’t need a jacket for the further days. “You can save your money to buy a jacket later,” suggest Matjaž. I tried a certain mid-layer and finally fell for Löffler. Aside from its affordable price, the clothes are very comfortable to wear. With their transtex® hybrid innovation, my body warmth is maintained while giving a soft touch to the skin since the fabric itself made from natural fibres and Tencel ™. It was even warmer than using two layers of Uniqlo Heattech HAHA. Since then, I’ve always relied on Löffler as a mid-layer to survive the winter. The true investment, indeed!
Malaysia: KEEN Magenta Sandal
Another item you’ll find me wearing for years was KEEN sandals. Since 2017 until today, I have one and only sandal—don’t count flip-flops haha. I finally found my true love back in Malaysia, when I walked by the end of the escalator at iSetan and saw a big family of KEEN beautifully sit on display. I’ve been looking for KEEN sandals everywhere but unfortunately, Indonesia wasn’t the right market for them. So without thinking, I just bought the magenta one and to this day, I have used it almost everywhere. Try me! From going to the office, hiking, hanging out at the mall, to wet market, to waterfall, travelled to Japan, China, Europe, and so on. Even though I can say KEEN is quite pricey—I bought mine for IDR1,7mio (if I’m not mistaken), but seeing as I’ve only had one sandal in all these years and still have no idea when the retirement day is, I guess it easily worth the price tag.
China: Artisan Tea
Two weeks ago, Mas Gepeng and I realized that the Chinese tea we bought back in Lijiang was left for only around 250 grams. We officially facing an arduous situation right here, my friend. As the China border was still tightly closed for Indonesian, we need to carefully manage our tea as we can’t easily find them at Tokped or another marketplace. We even forget the name haha! If you want to know how precious the tea is, let me tell you. The tea was composed of dried fruits and flowers. We only need a tsp for a cup, stir along with 95°C hot water and a little pinch of sugar. If you poured into a glass cup, you’ll see them dancing up and down, then slowly creating a pretty magenta colour. What a real satisfaction it is to witness such a moment. When you get your tea in the right dose, the taste was exactly special. I really like the taste of pear, rose, and citrus in one slurp. Feels refreshing yet surprisingly calming.