Sunday, December 10, 2006
Kata orang, petir gak akan nyambar 2x di tempat yang sama. Kenyataannya, saya distop polisi utk ketiga kalinya di lokasi yang sama! Tapi yang bikin nyengir hati saya, sama seperti penghentian yg sebelumnya, kali ini saya bisa lolos tanpa tilang ataupun suap lagi :)
Kemudian, kemarin saya dan cowo saya terbawa ke arah Kota, setelah sebelumnya mblasuk-blasuk tersesat di daerah Glodok. Dalam keadaan asyik mengobrol, mobil meluncur mengikuti kendaraan di depan. Tiba2 lambaian tangan polisi yang begitu familiar muncul mengganggu pemandangan kami. Cowo saya yg pegang stir, menepi. Jendela mobil dibuka dan pertanyaan2 standar dari mulut si Bapak berbaju coklat ini terucap, diawali dengan: "Mau kemana?" (padahal gak ada hubungannya dengan tuduhan pelanggaran kami). Dan singkat cerita, tidak sampai 2 menit, cowo saya sudah memberinya 50ribu dalam selipan tangan.
Setelah jendela ditutup dan roda mobil melaju kembali, saya hanya bisa terpingkal2, karena begitu kontras dengan kejadian saya tertangkap sebelumnya.
Memang sih, dalam kejadian ini, cowo saya memang salah (gak liat lampu merah, bener2 gak liat, wong gw jg gak liat :) ), tapi kok ya gak ada perdebatannya dan negosiasi dulu sama Pak Polisi tentang denda/suapan.
Akhirnya kami membahas kejadian ini selama paling tidak 15menit selanjutnya (sampai akhirnya kami tersesat lagi di daerah hayam wuruk).
Bottom line is, walopun dia tidak pernah ngaku, saya tau dia hanya lagi enggan berdebat dgn polisi karena dia tidak mau merepotkanku dengan kejadian ini... ya kan honey...
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Sunday, November 12, 2006
I did not find it as good as I thought it was going to be. The story was more towards the life of each of the character the author inquisited. Some of them were not even original Venetian, so I didnt get the feeling of the true Venice which I was hoping for.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Saturday, October 07, 2006
Yang membuat saya bingung campur tidak percaya:
1. Apa mereka sudah tidak bergaul dengan dunia nyata? Bukankah mereka keluarga eks-pemimpin yang harusnya peduli dengan nasib rakyat, atau setidaknya sensitif dengan kehidupan mereka? Apa maksudnya melipat2 uang dan diberi2 ke tamu2nya yg notabene pasti kebanyakan juga orang berkecukupan.
2. Apa mereka tidak membaca koran atau menonton TV? baru-baru ini, BI mengeluarkan iklan pendidikan ke masyarakat "5J": Uang Jangan Dilipat; Jangan Diremas; Jangan Basah; Jangan distrapless; Jangan Dicoret-coret".
Saya pikir lebih indah bunga-bunga kertas origami
Sunday, September 10, 2006
I've been looking this book since last year and I finally found it 3 months ago on a trip to KL. Alas, just these past weeks I can now see the same book finally sold in Kino Jakarta. Melissa's first book, "The Girl's Guide to Hunting & Fishing", was the reason I went hunting for this book. The review put on the cover book of Wonder Spot looked promising.
As I read it, I'm not sure whether it is just me or not, but I didnt find it as captivating as the first one. This one has less drama, less heartfelt touches. It's a stroll thru a woman's 20-30's, but it's a stroll on a flat walk. Wished there was more hills, mountains, up & downs. But maybe, such is Sophie Applebaum's life, an everyday woman that can well be me or you.
Another point of view of this book: reygreena
Saturday, September 02, 2006
I’m not a born dancer & I dont get notes or rhytm rite, but I’m having a ball with my fitness-dance classes. The level of difficulty is probably beginner level, so that’s probably why I’m not lost (yet) :)
I’ve always loved Spanish & latin language & music, there’s just a sexy feeling to it & it just vibrates your heart. Their expressiveness & passion of living are reflected in their music, dances, & way speaking. The argentinian tango music, which I recently found out, has got this romantic feeling & when you close your eyes you just cant help to imagine as if you are strolling in one of those Parisian romantic alleys (like you see in movies). Salsa is just like the salsa dip, tasty, spicy & delicious, makes you want more of it. I never knew I could move my hips like that. It’s teaching you to appreciate your body more.
While hip-hop just makes you feel like a born-again college kid.
Dancing uplifts my spirit. You should try it too.
Monday, August 21, 2006
I discovered it unintentionally, while strolling myself into a newly opened bookshop. The title got my attention because stories with a travel-place setting always attract me, it was set in a place I've gone too, & also the fact that there was only 1 book left with this title in the shelf The comments on the cover were done by Dian Sastro, Aditya & Ninit. Although I'm not sure about the taste of Dian's in reading, at least I’m quite familiar with the taste of the later 2 (well, at least I’ve read their books before & follow their blogs). The book was tightly plastic wrapped & I bought it without opening it, trusting my instincts.
The thing about chicklit is it doesn’t require you to concentrate to read it. This book, I finished reading it in a night, maybe 2.5 hours. The story turns up to use Antwerp as a setting, where I went for holiday to visit my brother last spring. It's an enjoyable book, about a young female worker & her love life. The plot is light & it feels like reading your friend's life story or a short story in one of those female magazines. It's a good book to read if your brain cells are already suffocating from overwork or maybe bring it to the swimmingpool to accompany you sunbathing. I got to be honest, I still liked TestPack (by Ninit) better as a book in the same genre & I would just classify this novel as an 'intermezzo'.
When I told my brother about this book, it turned up the storywriter was my brother’s senior & a lot of the story in the book used glimpses of a life of trainee in the company my bro worked. This is the 2nd trainee employee in my bro’s company to publish a fiction.
Verdict: 3 stars.
1. History of Love (Penguin – Nicole Krauss)
2. Four Seasons in Belgium (Gagas Media – FannyHartanti)
I bought History of Love a few hours before my EuroTrip as a companion during my vacation flight or travel time. I chose it because the title sounded quite romantic and hopeful (not something about war or fight), it had good review by knowledgeable magazines, and parts of the book are in a diary format. I’ve always loved books of type ‘diary’ because when the story is told from the first subject, I feel that it reveals more feeling and also the words are easier to read just like what you would write to yourself if you wrote a diary. However, I end up only reading very few chapters during my vacation & continued bit by bit after that.
Today, I spent 3 hours without break finishing half of it. I have to say that reading this book requires some concentration, especially during the first half. This is probably why I had trouble continuing reading it at the beginning. However, this hard work of concentrating will pay you off once the labyrinth of story begins to intertwine & you begin to map the pieces together.
The storyteller cleverly reveals information bit by bit. Only when it’s time to discover, this will appear to you. During the first few chapter, I couldn’t figure out whether one of the main characters was a girl or a boy and I also had the timing background mixed up. Phew… boy was I lost. But with some patience and determination, I continued reading, then I could then see how careful & skillful this writer is, for being able to plot a story like this. It is sad, beautiful, refreshing at the same time, with added humour here & there. I also think that it will be worthit to reread this novel again & again, to discover the story more (especially that I felt loss at the beginning)
My favorite paragraph was below (p 125), I loved how she played with the words metaphorically & yet gave such powerful & beautiful illustration of the meaning of a simple word, mother :
My mother worried me the most. She was the force around which our world turned. Unlike our father, who spent his life in the clouds, my mother was propelled through the universe by the force of reason. She was the judge in all of our arguments. One disapproving word from her was enough to send us off to hide in a corner, where we would cry and fantasize our own martyrdom. And yet. One kiss could restore us to princedom. Without her, our lives would dissolve into chaos.
Ps: It turns up she is married to Jonathan Safran Foer, a writer too, who also had his book hit the top best seller list (Everything is Illuminated). This woman is only 4 years older than me.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
1. Sehabis cuti 3 minggu jalan-jalan ala turis backpacker, betis lagi lumayan bandel & ada momentum untuk paling nggak mempertahankan stamina yg terbentuk waktu liburan.
2. Ada klub baru buka di jakarta, yg mana bisa tetep saya capai walau lagi jam 3-in-1 + masih diskon.
3. Temen2 kantor lumayan banyak yg join (jika dibandingkan dengan club yg dulu saya join), jadi klo nantinya malas, semoga paling nggak teman2 berangkat bareng bisa menutupi itu.
4. Sehabis ketemu teman2 lama waktu sma, ngobrol bareng mereka mengingatkan betapa dulunya kita gila fitness & sangat sehat. Kita jadi sadar bahwa jika kita masih ingin travelling by hiking & do fun with sports, umur paling ideal ya saat2 ini, yaitu sebelum 30. dan mengingat saya tinggal beberapa guliran ke arah situ, ya sebaiknya saya mulai saja kegiatan utk kembali fit, mumpung tubuh masih di puncak ke-fit-an.
So, sekarang saya adalah member dari f***** f**** club di senayan city jakarta.Kegiatan berolahraga baru ini memang memberi warna baru di kehidupan saya sehari-hari. Biasanya di hari kerja sesudah jam 7 malam, tidak terlalu ada dorongan pulang kantor (wong di kos juga bengong2 aja liat tv yg hampir gak ada acara menariknya). Weekend biasanya malas bangun pagi. Tapi dengan adanya kelas2 menarik di ff club ini, saya terdorong utk pulang cepat dan bangun pagi . yew!
Memang efek positif dari olahraga ini cukup banyak aku rasakan... dari hal yang diatas, sensitivitas akan tulang batangku yg ternyata sering mencong klo duduk di meja, sampai aku jadi sering ngaca utk ngeliat bentuk kakiku yg semakin indah (yg ini cuma perasaanku saja, tp at least it makes me feel better!).
Dengan hal-hal positif diatas, sebenarnya membuatku berpikir, mahal juga ya hidup sehat di jakarta ini. Selama 2 taon terakhir ini, aku gak pernah berhasil membuat diriku lari pagi lebih dari 500m tanpa berhenti. Ada usaha utk beberapa kali berenang, tapi itu sebenarnya lebih ke berjemur2 menikmati sinar matahari. Namun, sekarang dengan 400ribu yg kukeluarkan per bulan, aku sudah berlari2 kencang di atas threadmill utk 1.2 kilo (di hari pertamaku), interval sepeda di RPM class selama 1 jam, mengangkat2 beban, dan tidur2an & melatih otot perut di kelas yoga & pilates. Tentunya bukan karena sayang uang-sudah keburu bayar, aku jadi rajin olahraga, tapi karena memang nikmat olahraga di tempat dan suasana yg mendukung (at least, inilah yg kurasakan sampai saat ini).
Semoga aku bisa rutin melakukan ini.Seperti semboyan di klub: Discipline is what makes you start. Habis is what keeps you going.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Klang, is appparently, THE PLACE for Bak Kut Teh. An old port city for the profitable tin industry, 45 mins drive away from KL, it's also the birthplace for this special PORKIE dish!I dont remember the name of the food stall we went too, but it's an old traditional non-aircon shophouse. We ordered both the dry & the soup version of Bak Kut Teh. And along with these 2 bowls, we got to brew our own chinese tea. Each table is served with a make-shift small stove and the terracota teapot put on a bench, beside the typical food stall round table. Aaron told us that the real 'connaisseurs' will bring their own tea sachet & brew it here to accompany the food.
Well, I got to tell you that the dish tasted so delicious! I dont know what kind of spices they put in it, cause I'm not good at cooking, but it the dry one looks black - probably some soya sauce & chinese herbs + a little bit of shrimp paste (at least I could recognize this flavour). The soup one has also some browny colour but less concentrated. So far the signature malaysian dish I've most heard is the Penang Laksa, but I dont really like spicy food & asian noodles are not my favourite either. So tasting this Bak Kut Teh is like discovering another side of Malaysia for me & a 'tongue-opener' for what kind of (other) wonderful food my neighbouring countries may have. What a treat to my taste buds!
Btw, Singapore also has its Bak Kut Teh but apparently when they brought the recipe down from Klang, along the way, the spices & herbs got less & less, so by the time it reaches SG, it's just pork & soya sauce. haha... no offense, this is probably another singaporean joke.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The air is still unmistakeably fresh & the grass & plants were still nicely maintained. In Cibodas, there are actually 2 parks: The LIPI park (the more expensive one) & the other smaller park, which is actually entrance point to camping ground & gunung gede hiking trail (I hope I get the fact right). LIPI Park has a very large "padang" on a hilly terrain. There is quite a variation of trees there, some of them very old, like almost a century or maybe more. Walking down & up a little bit further, we can reach the Ciismun waterfall & by car we can also reach a smaller waterfall, Cibogo. The terrain is quite easy to manage, except when we took an alternative route back to the Park from Ciismun. We took what seemed to be a less slopy route at the beginning, but it ended up being quite steep at the end, cause our 6 year old village guide boy ended up taking a swerve to the steep hill on our left.
It's best to stuff some heavy food (eg for lunch) before we enter the park & then you can have a leisurely picnic in the Padang. Or alternatively, you can buy lunch packets in a warung inside the park, just like we did. Because we were hungry after our long walking trail, the food tasted delicious to me.
We all agreed that LIPI Park deserved more publicity & we could not figure out why this place is not much talked about in any Indo tourist book or local travel magazine. In fact, none of my friends in this trip had gone here before. The park is big, hilly, breezy & with the waterfalls, monkeys, rafflesia plant, and ponds, but still within a short distance to Jakarta, it's a getaway place & by the time you are there, you forget that Jakarta is just 1.5 hour from here. Actually, on our way back, Puncak was MACET! but hey, what can you expect. Maybe that's why this place is not as famous as it should be. but we still think this is a worthit trip & anytime I'm sick of Jakarta air, I will go here again just to refresh my lungs!
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Yippee! Finally, the Day for my 3 weeks vacation has come.
Arvi & me departed on Saturday 13 May from Jakarta & came back on 4th of June Sunday.
Track taken: Jakarta - Antwerp - Bruges - Brussel - Barcelona - Girona - Florence - Pisa - Berlin - Paris - Amsterdam !
Read & view more at:
More photos in http://photos.yahoo.com/iniakupake .
More stories in my travelpod travelogue (in progress).
Sunday, January 08, 2006
If everything goes well, I will be going to Europe for a backpack holiday cum a visit to my brother in Antwerp this end of Spring. So I'm currently doing my research, considering my budget & strength, to where I can go...
1. Choosing what to visit:
http://www.lonelyplanet.com/: overview of various places
http://www.visiteurope.com/http://www.journeywoman.com/ : sites for women solo travellers, but even if u aren ot going alone, this is a fun site to read. I think I will hit this site many times during my reseach.
http://thorntree.lonelyplanet.com/ forum for travellers, membership req.
http://www.seat61.com/ blog by a permanent uk rail-traveller, has useful links inc. railway timetable, sponsored by travel sites.
http://www.towd.com/ lists all tourist offices.
You can also ask for Europe Tour Travel Brochures from your local agent to give u inspiration/clue what are the more known places. Ask for those organized by European Tour (eg. cosmos, insight), rather than local tour, as the first's objective is more to historical/must see places, while the later is known to incorporate more shopping places (unless that's what u prefer to do).
If u want to go on a budget, lonely planet publish "on a shoestring" edition which lists hostels, tips on the places, transportation method, useful websites etc. In jkt u can find it in Periplus or Aksara, I found Aksara's cheaper. Roughguides also has similar version but I still prefer "on a shoestring"
2. Estimating Air Tickets from Asia to Europe:
This is what will eat up my budget the most. Still, after going to various websites, the best prices I've got is from my local travel agent, due to promo fare they have. However local agents will only have price listing for the current quarter of the year, so u cant really book ticket 6mths or 1 year early from the agent. Since I'm probably going in May/June which is high season, ticket fare will be more expensive than current price. Currenly, KLM promo fare Jkt-Ams costs $900 (inc return), while on Internet USD 800 is only 1 way (non promo). The guy in my local agent estimates in high season it would be around USD 1200. Places to look for prices online:
http://www.travelocity.com/: us maintained ticket searcher
http://www.klm.com/ : if u want to fly from jkt/sg/kl to ams/prs, this is one of the cheapest already.
http://www.lufthansa.com/online/portal/lh/id/homepage?l=en&nodeid=760791 : Lufthansa also has local promo fares. search from indonesia's lufthansa portal.
3. Estimating Transportation Costs within Europe
Choices: Train, Bus, Air
1. AIR: Low-price air carrier:
http://www.ryanair.com/ british owned
http://www.virginexpress.com/ i think this is either british or belge. eg. Brussel-Barcelona in June E40.
http://www.easyjet.com/splash.asp?lang=en british owned, linked to cheap hotels too.eg. Pisa-Berlin June costs E 40.
http://buy.volareweb.com/jsp/web/index.jsp?lang=en Italian aircarriers, seems to have bounced back from a difficult time.For these cheap flights, must check in which airport they land, cause some cities may have more than
2. TRAIN: NonEuropean are eligible for EURAIL pass.
http://www.eurail.com/ This url is linked to individual country rail companies.eg. DB (Deutsche Bahn AG) - Germany. Check out the nite trains for o/n sleeps.BUS: I havent looked for any on website, cause I prefer one of the above, unless price will be an issue.
4. Where to stay
Luckily, my bro is in Antwerp, but other places, I've got to look for cheap places to stay. Since the theme is backpacking, hostels would be my target, with probably a hotel stay in the middle of the 1-2 weeks voyage, to have proper rest. Hostels dont usually have age limit, except in Germany where they prioritize people below 26 (:( ). Some have curfew (eg. at midnite).Hostels check in time must be checked. sometimes it is only at 5pm. Charges must be checked, linen & towel can be charged.
http://www.stayokay.com/ - seems to be the most popular google search result
Auberge de Jeunesse, it turns up it is the same as hihostels.com below, but has a direct link: http://www.fuaj.org/eng/index.php
haha, I'm not sure whether they have nice cheap hostels. but actually they may have...
http://www.hihostels.com/ This association seem to be popular in Europe, u pay a membership fee & u are elligible to stay in their member hostels as little additional price but I'm not sure they have it in Berlin.
5. Planning the details
By now, you should already have an estimate the bigger portion of your expense: tickets+transports+hostels. Decent meals in Europe will cost you around E10-15. Lonely Planet says u should be prepared to sepnd E50-70 a day (inc meal & hostel).
Now u can go more detailed & get for example local festive timetable
http://www.expedia.com/daily/vacations/europe/default.asp provides links, the most obvious ones are displayed as adv on their main urls, eg pass to Paris museums/historic sites.
http://www.whatsonwhen.com/ international agenda- Passes to museums etc- Booking Queue to see historic sites/painting etc. eg. If u want to go to MILAN to see the paining "the last supper", u should book it via Internet first as sometimes people have to queue for 3 weeks online. PISA tower also has a queue registry on the Net.
6. Documenting your travel story
www.travelpod.com There is a cool auto-map function to display the geographic link of your itinerary.
www.photos.yahoo.com an all-time favourite. unlimited photo space.
OK. Hopefully, the above will provide an easy reference for future travellers.
ps: TIPS I read from books but I have not tried yet:
- if u are going to sleep in hostel, they provide lockers, but bring your own padlock for more safety. If your luggage cannot be put inside, think of bringing a padlock chain so u can tie your baggage around a pole or something. Recommended also to do in trains.
- Bring earplugs if u sleep in dorms/hostels
- If u are under 26, europe gives a lot of discounts for hostel stay, railtickets, museum tickets (too late for me already)