Sunday, October 27, 2013

an afternoon stroll

Don't know why, i was really bored today and wanted to go somewhere, out of the apartment. There is this place that i know but never have the chance to visit it. Then, i decided to go there and explore. After 5 minutes ride with the bus, i arrived.


I tried not to put a high expectation for this place, but this was a pretty entrance. 



Well, i'm sure it will be easily recognized with these buildings...


yep, it's taman menteng! :D


I don't know since when i become a fan of park. But, there is this tranquil feeling when i sit and enjoy a park. It also happened today in this park. This was my view from my seat.


And i like the details of the bench.


It was more than my expectations. There were more than just trees and grass. There were also fountains, kids playground, basketball court and futsal court. Many people strolled around the park, took photos, or just relaxing on the bench. I thought the weather would be hot but the trees did their job well. Some breezy winds could make me forget about Jakarta hot weather for awhile. A cherry on top, there was also some people practising with violins! Free live music. Accompanied by a book, i just had a perfect Sunday afternoon :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Independence trip!

Happy independence day! For Indonesia and for me, of course! :D

To celebrate, i would like to share about my last year trip to......


UK! What? Why UK? Where's my nationalism?

So, this long-awaited trip started on August 17th by taking a flight from Eindhoven-London Stansted. I was a bit nervous at the immigration counter because the officer took longer time when checking my papers. "Please..Please..Please..." me mumbling and.....OK TO BOARD!
  

This was one of few solo trips i had in Europe. For this one, i felt more confident and safe to do it because...people in UK speak freaking English! :)) at least, if i'm lost, i'm not really lost because i can completely understand what all the signs mean, i can ask people and get answered nicely because i speak their language!

It took only one hour flight to London Stansted, but i arrived at my hostel around 10 pm because London Stansted is a small airport in the outskirt of London. I needed to take a bus to go to the city. It's ok, i can completely understand all the signs! :))

August 18th, i decided to join a tour with guide. Free, of course. London has many history which i think it will be better to know directly from its people than from books/internet, no?


So we went to several interesting places like Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, Trafalgar Square, saw the famous infantry and cavalry Queen's Guard, Pall Mall, Downing street, and of course, Westminster and Big Ben.


Westminster
It was very fun and informative because the tour guide had many stories and also very funny with her British accent :)) I remember some stories about people who successfully broke into Buckingham Palace.

First story, about some tourists that arrived in London very late and they were looking for a place to camp. Apparently they were some of kind of outdoorsy or hippies and this happened a long time ago where hotel or hostel was not as many as today. Long story short, they found some garden that they thought it was a safe place to stay. Then they just built their tents and slept. In the next morning, they realized that they were actually inside the Buckingham Palace area and found by the guards. Well, it was an honest mistake, nobody hurts, nothing get stolen, so these tourist was released.

Buckingham Palace

Second story, there was a man, not part of the Royal Family nor the servants, that lived in the Palace for days and nobody noticed him. The Palace is so big, many people work there. No doubt that nobody knows every single human being that lives there. So this man was actually a repair man and probably during his work time, he decided not to go out of the palace. But as what the proverb says, sepandai-pandainya tupai melompat, pasti akan jatuh juga.

Third story was my favorite. There was a man who broke into the palace, twice! The first time, he went to the storage room and got drunk but still able to escape. Second time, he decided to stay a bit longer. He took a stroll inside the palace, turned off the alarm, and went to one of the room. Luckily, it was the Queen's bedroom! A bit drunk, this man woke the Queen up. I guess as a queen, she was taught not to panic in any situation, including when there was a stranger in her bedroom. So she asked the man nicely who he was and what he was doing in her bedroom. She tried to push the alarm near her bed while they were chatting, but as we know, this man had already turned off the alarm before. Smart man. After some time chatting with the queen, the man wanted to smoke and asked the queen for a cigar/lighter. She had it, of course, but didn't have it with her. So, she decided to call her servant, "Hello, could you please bring me a cigar/lighter for a stranger in my bedroom? YES, A STRANGER IN MY BEDROOM!" Smart queen.

St James Palace
After the tour, i decided to go to Oxford. The purpose is visiting one of the oldest university in the world and seeing the dining hall in Christ Church College that inspires Hogwarts' Hall. But my ultimate purpose is...


wearing oxford shoes in Oxford! :)) *super penting*


Unfortunately, the university was not open for visitors. Weird. So, i just walked around the city, bought some souvenirs, and went to the Blackwell bookstore. I took many breaks while walking. So so tired. Compare to London, Oxford was very small and less crowded. Suitable for studying.

August 19th, Eid al Fitr! I went to the embassy to pray and stopped by in Starbucks to have some breakfast. I was so surprised that not so many cafes open before 9 am.


I know, i should've picked a better view than that big black bin.

From the embassy, I went to Royal Albert Hall. I knew this place from Adele concert that i watched in youtube :)) I took another tour with guide here. I had it for free because i used the London Pass :p


There's a sad story behind the monument on the left photo. That monument was just across the street from the hall. The golden/yellow statue was Prince Albert. The Royal Albert Hall was built in Queen Victoria era and Prince Albert was her husband. When Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria was really devastated. Every time she went to this hall, they had to cover the statue so the queen would not see her dearly husband statue that could remind her of his death. *sniff

The hall was nice, but for a short trip like this, i should've gone to other places like Tower of London which more historical (probably).

Next is Baker Street 221B. Yes, Sherlock Museum! So excited to see the museum, Sherlock was really a hit for its movies and series. But, the souvenirs was sooo expensive. Ergh.


From Baker street, i went to the famous Abbey Road. Obviously not only me who want to take the 'crossing the road' picture. The thing is, the road is a public road, cars and buses keep coming every time people tried to take a picture. I'm sure the Londoner sick of these tourists who keep crossing the road :))


And i didn't take a good shot here. darn.

Then i went down to Tower of London. It was already closed. Walked to see the London Bridge. Get on the boat for some cruise along the Thames river. Get off at Westminster Pier. Enjoying the London eye-Big Ben-Westminster-Thames view.


There are other places that i visited, out of curiosity, like Warwick Avenue, Piccadily Circus, and King's Cross Station platform 9 3/4! Overall, most of my targets were achieved! Yeaay! But there are still many places i wanted to see. Hope this is just a teaser ;)


Now, it's time to go home....

Saturday, August 10, 2013

#15

i met her in school and all i can remember, we became close friends. she was really talented in art. it was in her blood, she was born from an artsy family. a happy family of four. being a sister from one little naughty brother often made her angry and sometimes brought the angry mood to school. but we still can laugh at that.

years later, we were not in the same school anymore. passed college time with distinction in social major, she tried to look for jobs. but not so many decent jobs landed on her hand, not like her other friends. one day she said she was a bit shame of what she had, not as what she expected before. with her achievement, she expected a better life and opportunities. a year later, she continued her study. parents and peer pressure were her motivations to do even better this time. i asked why she didn't take art, the best talent i see from her. she said, "art is my escape, my sanctuary."

finished her master with an outstanding result, she had more options. after thought about it carefully, she decided to take a job in another country. we rarely see each other, yet we still keep in touch. although it became less and less. sometimes if she went back home, we went out together. but one thing i realized that we now live in a different world. i don't remember when this is happening but the silence between us has become longer each time we talk. a simple hello has become only a courtesy.

she is one of my dearly friend. she is one of the people in my life that makes me realized that people stay temporarily. that in some time in your life you came across someone, they stayed with you for a while and then they parted away. like an intersection point of two lines, when you walked away from that point, you realized that the distance between you and them are getting bigger as you walk further. but they are still your people who leave their footprints in your heart.

hello again

it is my first time to celebrate eid together with my family again after three times away from home. pretty much the same from the last time i was here, except now i also give THR to all little cousins :|

ramadhan flew too fast as i put too much focus on my work. the dilemma between putting an all nighter but can cause not waking up for sahoor or getting sleepy at work. i also noticed that i rarely post on plurk or twitter, hardly got time to check. even blog (i regret deeply). i still wonder how people keeping up with social media and make everything looks interesting. as for me, less and less things seem interesting enough to be shared. have i been living a dull life?

anyway, happy eid mubarak everyone!

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Why?

Lately i've seen a perpetual debate over taking a PhD or not. Or even a master degree. Is it really worth it? Is it gonna be useful for the future career? Some people encourage others in taking a higher degree, some people don't see its worth. Or if it is decided to take a higher degree, should it be the same education background or cross background? or management? Which one will give more benefit?

For me, for now, i don't want a PhD. Why? Because after i met some PhD students, i could not see myself as them. During my master degree, i also realized that I am more a practical person than theoretical. Although sometimes when i see a PhD friend, a tiny little voice in me wants the same thing. but (un)fortunately, this tiny voice lost the votes from other voices :p

It has been a dilemma for some people about this because the reality is even a PhD degree will not guarantee a better life afterwards. One example, a post doc researcher became a taxi driver in singapore. I didn't mean that a taxi driver is uneducated or else but for a researcher, he deserves to earn much more than a taxi driver, doesn't he?

yeah, it will come back again to money. that the PhD educated taxi driver just try to pay the bills. i'm kinda tired with this.

a master degree/PhD? Why not? If you really want, take it. why can't we take the same or different background for our next degree? If we take the same background, it's good that we can have a specialization. Or if it's different, we can broaden our own knowledge. I don't think there's something wrong with those choices. This thing always reminds me of the scientists from centuries ago, when one can learn a broad range of science disciplines. Why we have to limit ourselves now? Why can't we pursue knowledge for the sake of the knowledge itself? or for the sake of our curiosity?

Why, people, why?


Sunday, January 27, 2013

Happy 26!

Yes, it's 26, people! Already. Been in lot of ups and many downs, none seconds of regrets. Many dreams, plans, have not yet achieved. Still along way to go, if i still have the time. Then, while i still have the time, let's savor it for today! Today as in 24th January :p

First stop: "Yang mau insyaf, yang mau tobat, halte selanjutnya, Istiqlal!" - petugas TJ
Kenapa Istiqlal? Pengen aja. Udah lama menginjakkan kaki di Jakarta tapi belum pernah melangkah ke mesjid yang katanya terbesar se-Asia Tenggara ini. Perjalanan kesananya agak-agak dudul XD. Di rumah sebenernya udah ngecek cara ke Istiqlal gimana. Entah baca dimana, katanya sih dateng aja ke Gambir trus naik ojek or jalan kaki. Sip, Gambir it is. Dari halte GOR Soemantri, nanya ke petugas TJ, kalau ke Gambir katanya transit di Harmoni trus ganti yang ke arah Gambir. Oke, seems easy. Turun di Dukuh Atas, naik yang ke Harmoni. Waktu lewat halte Monas, udah keliatan sih Istiqlalnya. Mikir turun di situ tapi takutnya meskipun keliatan bangunannya bisa aja sebenernya masih jauh. Daripada buang-buang waktu di jalan, mending yang pasti-pasti aja toh? Turun di Harmoni, liat petunjuk bus yang ke arah Gambir, langsung naik.

Selama perjalanan di bus arah Gambir ini, beberapa kali liat bangunan Istiqlal, tapi kok ya busnya ga berhenti-berhenti ya??? XD Bus malah jalan semakin menjauh dari Istiqlal, akhirnya diputuskan turun di Senen. Putar balik. Liat peta di halte, ternyata ada bus yang langsung turun di halte yang namanya "Istiqlal". Kenapa engga dari tadi naik yang itu coba? XD


Dari awal engga ada ekspektasi apa-apa untuk bagian dalam mesjidnya dan memang, ternyata engga melebihi ekspektasi juga. Biasa aja. Terlalu biasa malah. Kecuali kubahnya, cukup bagus.

Second stop: Reading Room, Kemang
Beberapa kali liat tempat ini disebut-sebut di twitter dan jadi penasaran kayak apa bentuknya. Baca reviewnya juga di sini. Agak deg-degan sih pergi kesini, takut karena belum tau tempatnya malah jadi nyasar, makan waktu lebih lama, dan ngerusak itinerary selanjutnya. Ada untungnya hari ini hari libur, perjalanan dari Istiqlal ke Kemang cukup lancar. 


Bukunya banyaaak. I like the way they put the book covers on the wall (middle photo). Suasananya cukup cozy dan makanannya juga enak.

my (finished) lunch and a loyal companion

Sebenernya ada dua lantai tapi waktu ditengok lantai duanya ternyata suicidal room, a.k.a. smoking room. Too bad. 

Pergi ke tujuan selanjutnya pake ojek. Berhubung jarang ke daerah Kemang, amazed sama rumah-rumah di sana. Nanya-nanya ke abang ojek, ada rumah yang gede banget tapi katanya engga pernah ditempatin sama yang punya. Sama sekali. "Yang punya orang Betawi, konglomerat! Kebanyakan duitnya, kak!" gitu katanya. Satu lagi, liat rumah yang bagian depannya mirip banget bentuknya sama Al Hambra. Ditunjukin sama abangnya sampe mana perimeter rumahnya. Guede. "Yang punya, orang Pakistan!" we o we.

Third stop: 24601!
Setelah denger review teman-temen dan baca berita kemenangannya di Golden Globe, jadi pengen nonton.
Oui, c'est Les Miserables. Belum pernah sebelumnya nonton film musikal yang semua dialognya dinyanyiin. Pertamanya agak aneh, terdengar sedikit maksa, tapi lama-lama biasa. Hugh Jackman dan Anne Hathaway acted really good. Kecewa sama ending Javert. Cupu kali :))

Fourth stop: Planetarium, TIM 
Dari dulu pengeeeen banget ke Bosscha tapi ga pernah kesampean. Kesini aja dulu deh kalo gitu. Yang ini engga pas tanggal 24 sih, berhubung ditutup. Jadi baru kemaren didatenginnya :p Dateng kira-kira jam setengah 11 dan ternyata antrian udah panjang, bung.


Yep, untuk yang ini saingannya sama bocah-bocah SD! Rombongan dari berbagai sekolah. Antrian udah tiga baris dan loket belum dibuka (loketnya yang ditengah-tengah, warna hitam). Setelah penantian yang panjang, loket baru dibuka jam 12! Nunggu satu setengah jam untuk sebuah pertunjukan satu jam (okay). But, it does not matter, I like the show :)


Selain nonton, tempat-tempat yang dikunjungi adalah tempat yang belum pernah dikunjungi sebelumnya. Menyenangkan sekali :) Resolusi selanjutnya untuk pergi ke tempat-tempat baru, ketemu orang baru, dan belajar hal baru. Happy start for a (hopefully) happy year! :)

Monday, January 07, 2013

2012

So, in 2012 there were......only 12 posts! *tutupmuka*

The least ever. What really happened?

January
New year's eve in Leeuwarden. Had exams on early Jan. It was supposed to be a holiday after that, but i was searching for an internship and i thought it would be better to stay put. Just in case any news came. I spent two weeks basically doing nothing particular in my room. On the third week, i got an internship in Philips. I didn't do much on my birthday, just had a nice lunch with my roommate. This month, i finally went to Volendam!


February
Moved to Eindhoven, started my internship and thesis. New city, new place, new challenges.

March
Thesis, thesis, thesis.

April
My grandfather passed away. From the story i heard about his suffering, i think this is the best for him. May you rest in peace, grandpa.

PARIS! once is not enough to see Paris, my friend. I thought it would be warmer in Paris than in Netherlands, but i was wrong! I still needed to wear three shirt under my jacket. I like this trip more than before because the weather was much much better! Je l'aime!


There was also my friend's wedding, my first Indonesian-Dutch wedding in Leeuwarden. It was a very simple and nice wedding, although they didn't use any particular Indonesian wedding tradition, except wearing the kebaya. Stopped by in Groningen and have some tour in the city center.

Finally i had the chance to go to Keukenhof. However, it turned out to be one of my bad day. At first, i and my friend in Rotterdam planned to go on the second week, but my friend said probably it would rain on that weekend. So, we planned to go on the third week. I also told the plan to my other friend in Tilburg because she wanted to tag along. However, on the night before the day, my Tilburg friend cancelled it because she had a paper work. No problem, i still have my other friend from Rotterdam. That night, we agreed to meet in Den Haag central station and take the bus to Lisse, where the Keukenhof is. Ok, everything settled.

On the d-day, when i was on the train to Den Haag, my Rotterdam friend texted me, she could not come. Great. Arrived in Den Haag, it was raining. And freezing. Grreat. To boost my mood and warm up my body, i bought a cup of choco. I sat on a cafe, thinking, should i go today? should i go back home? heck, i've been waiting for this. I'll go alone! Now or never!

Walked to the information booth, asking for the bus to Lisse and the officer said, "there's no bus this weekend to Lisse. you have to go to Leiden first and take the bus from there."

my dear God.

Fine! i took another train to Leiden. Well, i had never been to Leiden before, so i decided to go for a walk around the city *gamaurugi*. After visited several cities in Netherlands, i think all the cities look the same. The buildings, the city plan, the windmills. Btw, i bought another jacket here and wore it double with my other jacket because it was freaking cold! in April!!!

Later on, proceed to Keukenhof. It was really beautiful and thank God the rain stopped. My quote of the day: "could you take a picture of me with this/that?"


May
Thesis, thesis, thesis.

June
Thesis, thesis, thesis. d'oh.

July
failed my thesis defense. Lalalalala~  Although i still worked on my thesis, i went to Dusseldorf and applied for UK visa. Planned to go sometime on August. Truly wished by that time, i already finished the thesis.


August
Got the date for my second defense! Got my UK visa! Finally! Yippie! I moved the trip schedule after the defense. I had my defense on 17th, my flight to London was at night, the same day. Haha. 17th August 2012, landed in London and new title in my pocket. One of my winning moment.

I fulfilled your calling, London.

My last day in Philips was on 21st, i was walking to the bike parking lot with my friend, he said,
"finally you will go back home."
"yeah. time flies, doesn't it?"

Couldn't describe the feeling, sad and happy in the same time. Maybe sadness took a bigger portion.

The morning view in Philips neighborhood. Last day, saying goodbyes to the ducks

On 23rd, i arrived safely in CGK.

September
I didn't expect to have a culture-shock in my home country. The prices, the people behavior, the fashion styles, the weather. Until now, i'm still amazed with people wearing jacket in Jakarta (except riders).
I don't know if i am lucky or not, but on early September i already got a project to work on from my friend. As a helping hand, i thought, why not, i have nothing to do anyway.

Oktober, November
Busy with work in the project.

December
Finished the project. Well, actually i have to resign because i got a new job in January :D
I bought a bike! How i miss riding a bike!

That's all for 2012, i think. As you can see, until August, it was all about the little vicious word that i mentioned a lot. The rest, nothing really interesting....That is why, for this year, 2013, i bought this book:

In the past two years, i wandered around some cities, finding the places of interest. Now, i have lived in Jakarta for some time, but i don't really know this city. To make my weekend more interesting, probably i'll spend once or twice a month to visit the places in the book. Can't wait to see how it goes!