Trips and Travels

Jumat, 03 November 2017

SERBA SERBI GAK PENTING DI POLANDIA

Y'ello folks!
because the days are getting colder dan bikin males ngapa-ngapain tiap pagi dan karena emang bisa ngapain kalo udah kebiasaan bangun jam 4 atau 5 pagi. This is my first autumn turns out to be winter soon in Europe, entah ini salah cuaca atau salah diriku sendiri yang selalu dan selalu, cuaca dan udara macem begini bisa bikin depressed gak jelas dan mellow ga karuan. Miapah coba baru seminggu disini aku udah bisa produktif bikin beberapa puisi mellow gak jelas. Kalau musim panas di Alaska bisa bikin AlPacino Insomnia dan jadi cranky gak jelas, cuaca macem begini yang entah kenapa selalu bikin hati yang sudah dingin ini menjadi hampa tak berasa *ecielah. Okelah kalau begitu, daripada bersedih dan malah ngoceh gak jelas, mari kita review beberapa produk yang saya temukan di Poland selama seminggu ini, dan menurut saya lumayan worthy buat di share.

1. MLEKO (SUSU KENTAL MANIS DALAM TUBE)

Nah, ini dia bukan odol bukan obat jerawat, hahah. Bentukna mirip odol tapi dalam bahasa polandia, Mleko adalah susu, yah sama kayak Melk/Milk/Milka/Au Lait, ini semacam susu kental manis begitu. Bisa diminum/dicucup begitu aja, tapi rasana eneg pol. Enakan kalo macam mirip ala orang Indon, kasik buat topping roti sama mentega, widih mantap jiwa. Paling enak menurut aku yang rasa vanilla. Tersedia dengan rasa caramel maupun coklat yang hmmm, better nggak deh, soalna manis banget dan saya nggak terlalu suka yang terlalu manis (apalagi janji manis *halah). Harganya kalo nggak salah sekitar 6zl atau 20rb an...

2. NESTLE  PRINCESSA (WAFER RASA COKLAT JERUK)


Waduh,, ini nih hayati suka banget. Macem mana hayati udah emang suka wafer dari macam model wafer superman yang biasa dijual di kantin sekolah lalu ketemu wafer model begini. Ini enak banget sodara-sodara.. dan hargana sekitar 1zl atau 3500an saja. Wafer na crunchy begitu dengan rasa coklat dan sedikit rasa asem asem jeruk yang menggoda. Widih, tapi entah kenapa baru makan satu aja udah bikin kenyang. Ini pas banget kamu bawa kalau lagi di kelas dan kelaperan pas ngerjain saat Examen. Entah kenapa namana Princessa, mungkin setelah makan ini kamu akan berasa seperti Princess (?)--- well, it didn't work on me. 

3. NATURIA OLIVE OIL SCRUB

Paling suka kalo jalan jalan ke luar negeri adalah bisa nemuin beberapa produk skin care/ body care dengan harga murah yang wangina tahan lama. Saya paling gak bisa mandi tanpa scrub, karena saya mandi na jarang jarang. Bisa dibayangkan kalo di Indon yang panas aja bisa mandi sekali sehari atau dua hari sekali pas weekend, bisa anda bayangkan akan jadi apa saya kalo pas winter begini ahahha. Paling suka pake scrub yang rasa buah buahan, sambil mandi sambil bengong sambil gosok gosok badan mikirin bagaimana kinerja pak Jokowi di Indonesia hahahha. Saya iseng cobain merk ini karena.. ini yang murah hahahah. Cuma 8zl, alias 27rb saja  sudah bisa bikin kulit kinclong, bersih dan halus mulus seperti bintang iklan. 

4. NATUReLIA BODY BUTTER ALOE VERA

Ini asli gak penting kenapa saya secara gak sadar beli body butter. Well, saya jarang jarang pake body butter atau body lotion karena males. Gak kayak dulu jaman agak muda-an dikit yang hobi gonta ganti body butter atau cobain body lotion berbagai merk. Sekarang mah barusan beli vaseline di Indomaret ukuran kecil bisa bertahan sampe setahun lebih. Pas cobain merk yang random ini, eh ternyata enak juja. Ini beli ukuran medium, gak tahu deh habisna kapan, mungkin biar cepet habis, bisa dibantu buat dicemilin?

5. ZOVIRAX INTENSIVE LIP CREAM


HAH! ALHAMDULILLAH BISA NEMUIN INI!
seriusan, I always have problem sama bibir kering. Beberapa minggu sebelum dateng ke Poland, ini bibir udah berdarah darah karena kering kena panas yang gak umum di Surabaya. Bibir jadi cracky, ngelupas, kering, dan duh gak karuan. Bahkan lip balm dari Burstbee udah gak ngatasin. Terus sama temen yang orang Polandia, disaranin suruh pake merk ini. Pas diolesin ternyata perih perih gitu tapi bibir jadi mendingan. Semingguan pake ini, bibir masih berasa kebas tapi udah lumayan jauh membaik 60%, dan udah mulai alus alus begitu. Entah sampe kapan yah pake ini, hahaha. Btw, ini bukan lip balm yah, tapi semacam salep gitu buat ngobatin bibir kering. Masih dipertanyakan apakah bibir kebas saya ini akibat salah cobain pakai lipstick atau karena udara yang panas/dingin gak jelas. But at least, buat temen temen yang ada di Europe dan punya problem sama bibir, at least ini bisa membantu. Harganya sekitar 15zl atau 50rb an...


Oke folks, segitu dulu serba serbi gak penting hasil hunting saya ke supermarket deket rumah di Polandia. hahaha, kalau ada saran produk yang harus saya cobain atau beli, monggo mari silakan tulis di komen. <3


Senin, 30 Oktober 2017

Euro Trip: Perjalanan dari Jakarta ke Frankfurt (part1)

Y'ello folks!
super sekali sudah di penghujung akhir Oktober aja, lalu jangan ditanya sudah ngapain aja bulan ini?
I have been contemplating all of my complacency eciyeeee.. berat, padahal yah begini begini aja sih, kerja agak lebih banyak ngejar ketinggalan yang dulu dulu, itupun sekarang masih bawa beban kerjaan ke Europe. Yup, sejak 4 hari yang lalu untuk sementara saya jadi turis di Europe kurang lebih beberapa bulan. Ada beberapa project yang harus saya lakuin, yang meskipun projectna mostly ongkang ongkang, makan, tidur, baca buku, ambil data, ngopi ngopi di Nijhaven, ngecengin sugar dad ganteng, belajar, yang nantinya mendapatkan banyak ilmu dan sedikit bayaran.

Part untuk traveling dan jalan jalan ke Europe akan diceritakan di kemudian hari. :)

First stop saya yang pertama adalah Polandia, tepatnya di Warschau atau Warsawa. Ada cerita unik waktu perjalanan dari Frankfurt ke Warsaw. Saya tiba di Frankfurt jam 7 pagi setelah menghabiskan perjalanan kurang lebih 12 jam dari Singapore dengan memakai jasa maskapai Singapore Airlines or SQ dari CGK-SIN, suka banget sama maskapai ini, makanana enak, tempat dudukna mangsatb. Top lah dia. Kemudian dilanjut pake Lutwaffe (Lufthansa). This is my first time naik maskapai Luftwaffe, kesan pertama saya, pesawatna bersih dan tempat dudukna enak. Jangan ditanya soal Pramugari-na, hahahhaa baru kali ini saya naik pesawat dengan pramugari dengan tampang ala ala bodybuilder. Since I was super random, I texted my good friend, Bimo, yang hobinya nyobain maskapai yang berbeda beda. Jadi, Bimo ini punya cita-cita mulia. Kalo kalian punya cita-cita ingin mendaki gunung Everest, hmm kayakna kurang hits kalo dibandingin sama Bimo. Dia punya impian nyobain maskapai di dunia ini satu persatu,

"Bapakkuw punya impian nyobain semua bioskop di Jogja waktu dia lulus sarjana, impiankuw harus lebih besar donk, nyobain airlines satu persatu."

Dan doski emang nyobain satu-satu semua maskapai, mulai yang paling budget sampe berkelas macem SQ atau Cathay, tapi yang paling epic adalah, dia pergi ke Turki pake Lufthansa, jadi pesawatnya harus muter dulu ke Frankfurt, terus balik ke Istanbul. Oke, jangan heran kl pake Bimo's logic macem beginik. Gitu-gitu dia udah pernah ke Europe (meski bandarana doank) duluan sebelum saya.

So, saya texting sama Bimo, soal Pramugari Lutwaffe, gosip gak penting pas di bandara Frankfurt, alias cuma ngabisin waktu nunggu pesawat ke Warschau. 

Vera: "Eh, pramugari na modelan kayak tukang angkat besi"

Bimo: "Emang ente ngarepin model gimane? Macem Giselle Bundchen? Diane Kruger?"

Vera: "Yakali, ane bisa dapet pemandangan mbak mbak cantik ala ala model, atau mas mas Jerman ganteng kayak Daniel Bruhl"

Bimo: "2x naek Lutwaffe, cuma satu pramugari na yang cantik. Namae K. Stengel. Jadi waktu itu ane suka manggil manggil Kaastengel Kaastengel... "

Oke, in conclusion, kl ada pramugari Lutwaffe yang cantik dan namanya Kaastengel (mirip nama kue keju buat lebaran), jangan lupa salamin dari Bimo.

Balik lagi perjalanan dari SIN-FRA, Lutwaffe bener bener kasik makan yg super ngenyangin, jd dinner pertama dapat potato with beef rasa kari begitu, dengan porsi yg besar, Roti bantat, Butter, Juice, Susu, dan Pie Apel. Dasar perut Indonesia yg cuma seupil, Porsi macem kuli tersebut tentu aja cm bisa ngabisin sepersepuluhna aja. Agak agak berasa bersalah gimana gitu kalo gak ngabisin makanan. Rasanya hmm, B aja sih, 6.5/10, itupun mungkin karena aku udah kenyang banget abis makan dinner sebelumna di Singapore Airlines dari Jakarta ke SIN.

Enakna, emang dari awal udah booked pengen duduk di aisle seat (my favorite one!), dan disebelah aku kursinya kosong! yay, it means bangku kosongnya bisa buat selonjoran tidur dengan in a bit proper position. Nggak enaknya, agak agak sedikit expect perjalanan ini bakal diisi sama mas mas jerman ganteng yang lumayan bisa cuci mata, nyatanya kanan kiri depan belakang samping penuh sama oma opa jerman yg balik dari liburan.... *sad face*. Theeeen, abis dinner pengen banget sok sok an liat film Jerman dan ternyata gak ada subtitle Englishna, akhirnya nonton Penguin of Madagascar sampe ketiduran. Bangun bangun nonton konser Michael Buble live on BBC yang super duper menghibur! dan baru ketahuan di jam-jam terakhir kalo ada David Lynch's Twin Peaks yang super absurd tapi aku suka banget. Nggak lama kemudian Breakfast pun datang, dengan menu muslim yang isinya Nasi goreng ayam yg gak jelas sama roti bantat (lagi). Kalo mau makanan enak, AirAsia yang paling juarak kalo makanan pesawat, Nasi Lemak Pak Nasser, hmmm so nyamnyam banget, walopun pesawatna gak rekomen banget kalo perjalanan lebih dari 4 jam.

Sampe di Frankfurt jam 7 pagi dan agak agak disoriented, karena ini udah mendekati winter dan jam 7 pagi keliatan masih kayak jam 4 subuh. Cuma punya waktu satu jam buat transit dan harus lari sepanjang terminal (yang cuma lurus doank, luruuuuuussss lariiii notoook, belok kanan done! Airport Jerman emang super efektif, tanpa banyak toko dan ngeharusin kamu exercise a bit during the transit) dan setengah kenelet pipis yang harus ditahan, Akhirna sampe di border imigrasi. 
Karena lagi lagi disoriented dan stengah jet lag, salah masuk line yang kudunya buat EU citizen,pertama coba masukin di fast track machine yang mindai kode paspor dan ternyata gak bisa (elu sumpah dongok banget Vera, elu belum  bukan EU citizen), dan akhirnya disuruh ke line antrian biasa, yang lagi lagi keliru itu ternyata juga buat lane EU citizen. and I was like...

Me: *sodorin paspor*

Mas mas imigrasi ganteng tapi jutek: *ngecek* not EU passport

Me: SHIT! (literally I said this)

Bapak bapak imigrasi baik hati: *speaking German* hskwhfgcgikchrighsxkdwhdkyschon (translation: udah cek aja gpp)

Mas mas imigrasi ganteng tapi jutek: *cek cek bolak balik* okay. 

Cap!Stempel!

Yay, I passed through the border!
Dan akhirnya lari lagi karena perjalanan menuju gate belumlah usai, miapah coba ada gate sampe jumlahna lebih dari 60 *mringis nangis*. Sampe di gate A38 beneran yang tadina kebelet pipis, jadi ga kebelet lagi :p. Pas dan on time kurang 10 menit udah harus duduk di pesawat! Congrats! you made it! 

P.S: This map is a route from Singapore to Frankfurt kalo situ mau jalan kaki. Yah kali aja gitu pengen iseng jalan jalan ke Europe dari Singapore pake kaki :P


Sabtu, 02 September 2017

Bali Influence avec The Monkeys (day 1)

Wah, ternyata sudah september aja yah! 
Gak kerasa banget udah hampir setahun lulus dari sekolah, mulai full time kerja walaupun kerjaan juga amburadul gak karuan tapi at least buat tahun ini kayaknya udah mulai lebih rajin buat ngatur jam tayang (macem mirip artis ajeeee...)

Kurang 3 bulan lagi udah masuk Desember dan masuk tahun 2018, lalu tetiba (dan udah kayaknya jadi kebiasaan) kepikiran, what have you done this year, Vera?
harus mulai di list satu satu, aku ngapain aja mulai januari awal sampe sekarang udah masuk september. hahahah jangan bilang gak ngapa-ngapain, I did plenty of things kok.

Pertama, I let go of my schedule yang di tempat di daerah Rungkut itu, karena eh karena jadwalnya bertabrakan dengan jadwal yang lain. Aku alesan minta cuti, eh ternyata aku dikira resign beneran, walhasil akhirnya memang harus di kick out dari group whatsapp kerjaan, which meant aku sudah tidak dianggap bekerja disitu HAHAHAHAH.
Februari dan Maret, kerja rodi seperti biasa, kemudian dilanjutkan dengan hampir sebulan penuh kerja rasa holiday di Thailand during April. Ninggalin kerjaan di Indo demi kerjaan yang bisa dibilang lehaleha tapi berbayar di Thailand, and I did spent half of my salary there. Sisa cuma 1200 Baht yang aku bawa pulang ke Indo dan gak aku tukerin sampe sekarang (semoga kurs na stabil dan gak urakan kalopun naik).

Mei dan Juni masuk bulan puasa dan literally I didn't want to do anything pas puasaan, mengapa? karena puasa itu waktunya buat relax dan ibadah, walopun kenyataannya juga gak berubah juga hahah masih sering gibah dan sholat bolong-bolong tapi paling gak aku usaha sebaik dan semaksimal mungkin *InshaAllah

July literally kerjaan mulai berkurang, udah masuk liburan anak-anak kuliahan, kerjaan lebih nyante, akhirna sabet sana sini cari project sampingan (maklum masih golongan kelas menengah ngehek, hahaha) nabung berhemat buat rekreasi ke Bali sama the monkeys. Agustus pergi ke Jogja nonton konser Babang Shane Filan... ugh I will tell you later about this one. <3

Selanjutna, akhirnya kita jadi ke Bali yay! It was our third trip together, setelah sebelumnya cuma mentok main ke taman safari, lalu ke Solo, lalu sekarang ke Bali (hey, ini adalah sebuah kemajuan yang signifikan sodara sodara). Kita udah jauh-jauh hari beli tiket lewat garuda travel fair dan dapet promo yang bisa dibilang cukup murah, 650k pp dan bisa dicicil ke mbak nobican hahaha (I really wanna tell you about lingkaran cicilan di dalam sebuah persahabatan, but I think nanti ini harus jadi cerita tersendiri,*kidding).

We four were so happy, kayak gak punya beban. Our Motto, "We eat cheap, travel in budget, love will make us stronger" (iyee emang kagak nyambung). Disana kita dapet motor sewaan gratis berkat usaha mbak Mbothe yang rajin dan giat bekerja di pelabuhan dan suka godain para sailor (and she probably always shouts, "hey, Sailor!"). Kita dijemput pake mobil kantor mbak Mbothe (dan disopirin salah satu Boss wkakakak) dari bandara dan dianter di hotel bintang dua di daerah sekitar Kuta.
Hotelnya bagus sih, menurut aku okelah yah, kamarnya luas, bersih, cuma gak ada amenitiesnya! hahaha gilak! mana aku sama Nobi sama sama gak bawa pasta gigi, yang akhirnya terpaksa kita beli di minimarket malam malam. Nobi sampe marah-marah ke frontdesk hotel lewat telpon gegara dia udah mau mandi dan gak bawa sabun, odol, sampo dan lain lain (she worked in a top star hotel, so she expected that she would have had amenities, but reality was...). Nyampe di hotel kita kelaperan tapi males banget keluar, akhirnya kita pesan nasi pedas via delivery... Nasi pedas yang terkenal di Bali ituloh, yang pedesnya enak dahsyat banget. Finallement, akhirnya keturutan makan nasi pedas senssional ini. 

Kita nyampe jam 2 siang dan leyeh leyeh ga jelas sampe jam 4 sore, ganti baju bentar terus jalan ke pantai. Katanya sih dari google jalan ke pantai cuma 10 menit dan ternyata hahaha 10 menit kalo naek motor wkwkkw. I have no problem buat jalan kaki, udah kebiasaan kemana mana pasti prefer jalan kaki (kecuali pas lagi di kota sendiri, kemana mana jadi super molor dan maunya naik motor terus). Mbothe, Sandy, dan Nobi udah mulai ricuh pas 20 menit jalan kaki...

"gak tekan-tekan seh rek...."
(translate: kok gak nyampe-nyampe sih..)

"Iki awakdewe wes balung tuwek..."
(translate: kita ini udah tuwirrrr...)

Aku mah cuma ketawa-ketawa aja, aku suka jalan kok :p pas udah nyampe di pantai Kuta, kita langsung duduk duduk melihat indahnya sunset. Dan aku pun langsung bertingkah ala ala bule, yaitu... cuma duduk dan gak ngapa ngapain. hahaha. Kalo yang lain pada sibuk moto sana sini, maenan aer dan lain lain, aku mah cuma duduk, pasang sunglasses biar kelihatan kece, dan moto moto sekitar sedikit trus duduk di atas pasir dan literally gak ngapa-ngapain. There is always a moment that I just wanna spend by doing nothing, kayak contohnya di pantai, aku bisa cuma sitting, atau lying and talking or reading some book. Hmm I love it.

Setelah hampir satu jam di pantai dan sunset udah mulai ngilang, kita jalan ke Kuta Beach Walk dan langsung mampir ke salah satu toko sandal ngehits, dan kita berempat beli sandal kembaran dengan warna beda-beda. It was super pricey for slippers, tapi yah gimana lagi, anak alay mah emang suka gitu :) . 

Pas selesei beli sendal, kita bingung mau makan apa buat dinner dan akhirnya mampir ke salah satu resto murah yang bisa dijumpai dimanapun diseluruh belahan Indonesia. Kita pesen beberapa makanan, aku pesen cordon bleu yang enak banget (soalna laper banget kali yak) dan yang lain pada pesen chinese food. Karena nasi gorengna porsi na banyak banget, akhirna minta dibungkus dan kita dapet free lunch box dari restonya (yang nantinya bakal dipake buat bekal pas kita traveling, hemat beb!)

Karena gak kuat jalan (walopun aku ngasik saran biar kita jalan aja supaya lebih hemat dan malah aku disuruh jalan pulang sendiri), akhirnya kita pesen taksi online dan bisa dibilang lumayan mahal dan malah gak jadi hemat hahaha.

Pas di hotel, kita udah setengah kecapean tapi masih sempet nonton The Kardashian. Dan dilanjutkan dengan diskusi diskusi penting yang mencakup perputaran roda dunia. Kita emang super awesome 2000.

Btw, nemu juga motto yang cocok buat kita berempat selama traveling, quoted from Hemingway :

“We ate well and cheaply and drank well and cheaply and slept well and warm together and loved each other” 

Cerita di Bali yang lain nanti berlanjut yah

....

 

Minggu, 18 Juni 2017

Nikita and CuChi Tunnel Tour in HCMC

Y'ello folks!
It's almost 7 days to go to Eid Mubarak in 2017, Alhamdulillah I still do my fasting even though the weather is super hawt and I so want to eat ice cream in the mid of the day *no no, tak boleh!*
and now exactly at 11 pm, I am having this random thought about people or strangers whom I met during my travel. Some are my friend's friends, some are my friend's relatives, and some of them are totally stranger I met: on the train, on the plane, in the bus, on the road, etc.

I once told a brief story about meeting up with two strangers on a flight to Perth, one is a cute nerd Frenchie guy who studied Biology and the other one was an old guy whom suggested me to visit Mandurah (and I did!), and there are other rest I will talk about them later but for this chapter I will talk about a guy whom I met in the bus in Ho Chi Minh.

The story of a lonely blonde guy.


It was in February 2016, I visited HCMC with Rosita and we booked two tickets to Cu Chi Tunnel. We booked it in our travel agent in the ho(s)tel we stayed, pretty cheap for both of us as we were excited to join the tour to the post-vietnam war caves/tunnels!

At 7am in the morning, I wore my blue tank top and hot pants and ready to catch the bus. Rosita was prepared too, as she always wore her sneakers, and I forgot to bring my sneakers so I only wore my oxford shoes. Yes, oxford shoes. Rather too fancy to wear to have some adventure in Cu Chi Tunnel. While we were waiting for our bus, I was with two other German fellows whom I thought they would go to the tunnel as well, then nope, their destination was Hanoi (they took 16 hours van to Hanoi, crazy enough!).

Rosita and I were called by the bus driver then we hopped on. I didn't like to sit in the back so I sat in the second front row. Behind me, there was a skinny blonde guy, with glasses, looked like a nerd then smiled at me. I just smiled back, I didn't want to open the conversation as I was shy, so I'd better quiet. This blonde guy behind me seemed relax and alone and no one accompanied him whatsoever then I rather pitied. 

I looked outside the window, there were some other buses, passing by, and some random white guy looked at the opposite side and waved his hand and smiled at me. what? This Vietnam vibe probably a bit... in the mood for lust, hahha everyone seemed like in the mood to chuckle and flirt :p (or perhaps, being friendly?). Ten mins later, the guide, a young Vietnamese boy introduced himself and gave us instructions what to do's and dont's during our trip, and suddenly another guy jumped to our bus and sat close to this blonde guy, but he seemed reluctant as he saw a girl next to my seat sitting alone and he rather sat with that girl (oh boy is always be boy). I don't know why I was not that interested to his attitude but I admired a bit of his puzzle piece tattoo on his ankle (now you know how observant I am). When I was observing him (like a creep), he looked back at me and said, "Hi, good morning!" and I just replied, "good."

For about 20 minutes on the road, our bus stopped and five old couples jumped onto it. The funny thing is, the guide was kinda worried about the condition of the old couples so he asked us to move our seat, the blonde guy sat closed to the driver (he sat in the small and fragile seat) then Rosita and I moved to the back. We met with two girls, Jemma from Australia and Stacy from Phillipines. We talked a bit and mostly I was sleeping during the journey. We stopped in some craft shop and I was looking around a bit, but mostly I just needed the toilet. Our bus didn't start to move as we waited for one person whom hadn't entered our bus yet, and 15 minutes later.. there was that lonely blonde guy whom was the person! hahaha, he strolled very calmly and very innocent as he came into the bus. He'd not brought anything, just himself and small waist bag.

Finally, we arrived at Cu Chi Tunnel.

I jumped out from the bus and gave my high five to Rosita as somebody called me, "Hey, where are you from?"

I turned my head and it was that blonde guy who called me, "Oh I am from Indonesia, and you?"

"Oh Indonesia, I thought you were from Iran, haha. I am from Belarus"

"Belarus? Minsk?"

"Hey yeah, how do you know?"
 
"I am just guessing."

"and... Jakarta?"

"Nope, Surabaya. My name is Vera."

"Nikita."

"Gorbachev?"

"Hahaha, no, not that one" , he laughed and we had the friendly handshake .

Apparently, we belonged to the same group, he was quite adventurous as he tried almost any "challenges" in CuChi Tunnel. We tried the Vietcong's small hidden cave, and we went through it! omg, I couldn't really record the 'journey' that I did in the cave, it was pretty intense, super narrow and small cave and it was 100meters! so we needed to walk 100 meters in a dark and we almost couldn't breathe due to the lack of oxygen... it made me think how could the Vietcong soldiers survive in this kind of place? dayum.

I sweated a lot after getting passed through the tunnel. Nikita gave me high fives, and he started to ask me about stuff. He asked me about the muslim population in Indonesia as he was really interested in. I told him, I am a muslim and he suddenly asked me if I could speak Arabic. I said yeah, I am a passive Arabic, and in a sudden he tried to speak Arabic to me! what the heck?

I was super astonished. It was super cool to know that he could speak Arabic fluently. Then, he explained that he could speak 5 languages: Russian, English, Arabic, German, and Italian. He did his master in Parma, Italy and used to live in Jordania to master his Arabic. He was the man of culture, I thought so!

Our conversation was getting deeper as he questioned about my travel time and life in Indonesia particularly. In the bus, before we finished our trip, he asked me for a dinner together but I was too shy to say yes so we just said farewell without even exchange some contacts.

When I arrived at the hostel, I felt regretful a bit, it must have been a cool idea just to get to know some stranger and discuss and blabber about some deep shite about universe.

This story is dedicated to him, to Nikita, the Blonde Belarussian guy!
dude, wherever you are, I should have said yes to your offer and we could probably be bestfriend!    

 








Minggu, 14 Mei 2017

Off We Go to HCMC : prelude

Y'ello folks!
long time no see (who wants to see your blog, anyway? you are talking to yourself!)
ahahah yer, whatever!
It's been a long time since I wrote my last story when I was in Japon, I even didn't continue the story in Nara part 2! well, I should do it but hmm perhaps not today as I want to write about my journey in Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam :D

Yep, VIETNAM!
Super crowded place, though I am a typical of big city girl, I was once scared when I explored the whole HCMC, like seriously dude, motorcycles there are very agrressive hahaha, but I like it though!
My trip in HCMC was pretty short, only 4 days, as I wanted short escape from Phnom Penh after doing a conference there. I super really want to visit Ha long Bay actually, but yeaaaah because I need to take longeer bus or plane tickets to go there, and I am only a student, so I decided to take the cheaper bus from Phnom Penh.

I woke up in earlyyy in the morning and waited for the pick-up service I already booked with my friend Rosita, a day prior. I paid USD15 including the pick-up service. They promised me to pick me up at 6 am in the morning, and I am a very punctual person (ahem!) so I was standing in front of our hostel waiting for the pick-up service.

6.10.... nothing

6.20.... still nothing

and 5 minutes later, a big limousin bus approached our hotel. I was happy, yay!
the driver got out from the bus and asked my receipt then I gave them but he said "No, not you"
I mean, like what?
He then came into the hostel and 5 minutes later he came out with two european couples. BUAHHAHAHA, okay so not this great limousin bus. I thought I was that exclusive so they needed to pick me up with a nice limousin bus.

short after that, a tuk-tuk driver approached us and he asked us if we were going to HCMC bus, with bad english.
"You? tuk tuk?"

well.. I didn't understand what he said so I answered, "No, I am not Tuktuk"
he was confused again then he said, "Ho chi minh! ho chi minh!"
AAAHH.. SO HE WAS OUR DRIVER!
great, we were picked up by a tuk-tuk! not bad!

So we went to the bus station at 6.40 or something, he drove very fast, as our bus was actually at 7 am, and we assumed that he overslept so that's why he was kinda late to pick up us and WE GOT LOST to the wrong bus station. HAHAHA, nice. we arrived at the correct bus station at 7.20, the bus driver was kinda patient as we were the last one who jumped in!
Thanks sir :D
So here we go, our 6-hour-trip to HCMC began.

I kinda expected that my bus would be full of foreign travelers so we could exchange stories and probably do the spontaneous trip with them. BUT NOT AGAIN, the bus was full of Cambodian people or Viatnemese perhaps, as we were the only foreigners from Indonesia, :D the bus was super comfy and we enjoyed the trip, the bus driver played some original Khmer or Viatnamese songs which were very ear-catchy! I danced on the seat, a bit, as the music offered you a dance-feeling tune.
We were sleepy, then we ate our snacks we bought from seven eleven last night. I really enjoyed the scenery, the long way scenery, kinda different with what I usually have in Java, Indonesia. Similar but a slight different.
 
The one thing I like was, before we crossed the border between Cambodia and Vietnam, we passed through some 'casino areas' and we thought we were in Las Vegas. Super different what we had in Phnom penh, this area was pretty 'colorful' with big hotels and casinos.So, I searched on internet and found the location is called Bavet . You can click on to get to know what it is.

Then, the bus stopped for awhile, at some restaurant, we were hungry as hell, but we were hesitating about the meal and we kinda didn't have any dollars left :p So we just took a deep breath and said bye bye to the food. As the bus started to hit the road, we were asked by the co-bus driver what kind of food we ate, we said none since we didn't have money, and he said, "the food was free".

CRAP!

As we entered the border, Rosita and I were the only persons who jumped out the bus to do some check, immigration in the border was not that fancy, but pretty calm and I  liked it, no rushy-rushy and less people. The immigration officer spent time to look at my passport, checked my face again, checked the passport, and asked me what will I do in Vietnam, I said, hm holiday. So he smiled at me and said that I needed to do some re-check on my baggage again. HAHAHHA, cheeky!

Then yay, we were in Ho chi minh! stamped!
Which the city was totally different what we had in Phnom penh, super lively, and cheerful and we found starbucks!!! AHAHHAAH, you capitalist pig!
We arrived safely in Pham Ngu Lao, the similar Khaosan Road in Thailand, where the backpackers stay or average students like us stay with two big suitcases . hahaha (how could you consider yourself as a backpacker when you traveled with suitcase?)

In my opinion, I like Pham Ngu Lao better than Khaosan Road, don't ask me why but next to our hotel there was a park (I didn't really know the name, something like September park or whatever), and very nice view to just being lazy and judging people passing by :p
Because we were damn hungry so we walked along Pham Ngu Lao to find some famous Pho, I made some brief research that don't buy a Bo Pho as it is pork and I don't eat pig, (maybe because you are the capitalist pig, eh Vera?).

One of The best food in the world

I had some interesting discussion with Rosita, how to consider this food is halal food or not, hmm pretty rough discussion along the street and we also had to fight the traffic! 

I still remember when she said, 
"No, Vera, I can prove you that our food we eat in Indonesia is 100% halal!"
"Like how?"
"I can show you the butchery places close to my home!"
"So you think those butchers distribute the meat in our whole city?"
"We can do some research about that!"
"Challenge?"

I know this somehow led to some unnecessary arguments

But it was less tense after we found some veggies food! See?! good food brought you some good mood and everyone was happy as the pho was super delicious and spicy!!!

LOVE IT. BLESS YOU VIETNAM. 

It was already at 4pm and we just walked aimlessly to just sightseeing and did some random trivial things between us.

Rosita and The Park

Them People

PS. I really like taking pictures of people in the street, or local people there instead of taking pictures of myself. Local people are the example of reality, endearment, a very original part of what we are facing now. Then, it always brings a long flashback memory what I have done there when I see the pictures.

Minggu, 23 Oktober 2016

The Journey of Simplicity: Nara (part 1)

October is almost leaving ,
Then November is gonna be raining.

I just realised that I haven't touched this blog for more than a month. Well, I was in Japan for 2 weeks and tried to enjoy my autumn experiences there. I went to Japan for a week workshop in a place called Kitakyushu, a small island in the south - close to Fukuoka and 7 hours from Osaka. I will tell you later about my story in Kyushu . But now I am going to share my first solo traveling (well, it's not really that solo, it was a sorta runaway) to Nara.

To be honest, I didn't really enjoy my trip in Japan, almost a week full of workshop, several troubles I had because of bollocks stuff I didn't expect. I stayed there from late September until early October, and I spent a week to explore Kansai province: Osaka, Kyoto, and Nara. Though I know that there are other prefectures I wish I could visit them all, then see, so many things to do and yet so little time. I had wasted 4 days prior to a trash, I didn't really have fun. Though I was happy and grateful that I got a chance to visit and explore Japan. I don't know what happened to me lately, wish I could do many things alone and felt the autumn breeze in Japan. So, I ran away. I was a bit in doubt when I told my friends that I really did want me time; I still woke up late on Friday, and met my friends in the hostel lounge. I convinced them I would be alright, they didn't have to come along, yer they said that they still did not have any plans what they were gonna do on that day. 

I took a quick shower, put my leather jacket on and took the train, to Nara.

I was never really interested going to Japan before. Despite its awesome cakes and delicate dishes, to be honest , Japan was not on my list. But who knew about the future ahead? *smirk. My brother used to live in Osaka for almost 3 years and I got used to have many presents from Japan every time he came back home: play station, shirt, toys, books, dorayaki, chocolates and of course, stories. He told me he really loves Nara, a small place located in Japan, I could tell that is touristic place, but he said, it would amaze you by its simplicity, its ancient, its old smell oaks, its silent. I dared myself to visit there, well Okay, this could be my quality time, and I should indulge my own very self. 

He was right.

Nara's weather is so uncanny, I love it. I told you before that there is a small place called Mandurah (click here for a glimpse story) in Western Australia that I loved the most. Nara is at the same level with Mandurah: small, thoughtful, calm. You don't know why you admire things, somehow, a little thing which looks very normal could make you experience the curious feeling.

because, it is the feeling you can't deny. As I got when I first stepped my feet there, I told you again, Nara is such a solace. 

Whether I was right or not, there was a glance thought that probably I always like something that is simple (or probably every body does like simple stuff, somehow). I enjoyed every single moment I spent alone on train, which was not similar to my journey when I was on trip to Kyoto. The train was not so crowded, it passed through small forest and bridges, rivers, and I still remember I passed  some stations called Oji, and some towns with "-Chi" at the end (hahahah I am getting older baby, it's hard to recall the names). I sat alone , I read a bit on train but I put it off as I mesmerized by the nature of Japan.

You know, sometimes you didn't have to share beautiful things with someone. Just keep it for yourself. Make it your own unshared belonging. You can tell anyone later if you want to but they would not see what you have seen. That's the best selfish act you would have ever done. 

:)


Back to Nara station, I checked my purse and I talked to a guide there what places I should visit (It is common in Japan in which they provide several guides who speak Mandarin, Korean and English - even when in the station or bus'/train announcement as well). Then, she gave me the map, I told her I had no idea where I should go except Naramachi, a strange name I googled a day prior, and it is described as "preserved village" in Nara. She suggested that I should go to bla bla, seeing the deer, seeing the temples, and seeing bla bla bla . She offered a one-day-pass bus ticket but I ignored (I was stupid, you should take it if you wanted to explore more, worth in value). 


My boots were a bit slippery so it was so annoying to walk on them. That's why, I sauntered to the bus stop for tourists, a yellow bus, a Loop bus that will go in circle around Nara. I stepped on and gave the driver 210 Yen to go to terminal 5, Nara Park, which I could walk for 20 minutes instead.  It only took 10 mins by bus to take me to Nara Park and many deer already greeted me there. 


Happiness, Is it?


It was so delightful! a truly peaceful spot with squealing deer. Hahaha
Bambinas were pretty timid unless you gave them crackers, and be careful of meese or goat-deer or Illama (?) -hell yeah I don't know those names- because sometimes they are too aggressive especially with girls :) . You could see the deer master who is in charge to feed them. Well basically, deer there eat almost everything: your crackers, your chocolates, your cake or even you if you smell like biscuits. I didn't buy the crackers, I wanted to attract the deer with my heart and they seemed so ignorant (oh deer! why aren't you 'endeering?') . It didn't need any second to be frolicking with the deer, captured some pictures of them, had a lame selfie (because they never looked at my camera), or just watched people passing by. I saw other tourists, solo travelers perhaps, then smiled at them and pretending to send telepathic message to them , "let's have fun!" when they are a bit disturbed by those hyperactive squealing fellas. 

T'was sunny, that was super fantastic weather and accidentally, my phone captured this:

no filter at all

the sky tone in my hometown has a slight difference with the color tone in Nara.
another simple thing I am fond of: just looking up the sky then feeling the wind.

There is Nara national museum near it and I got 50% discount by showing off my student card : from 600 yen to 300 yen.
The museum itself is pretty astonishing, though it is full of statues and ancient Buddhist sculptures from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean royals in the past. We are not allowed to take any pictures inside it but I had snapped an insightful info :

You weren't even conceived yet, I bet

P.S. It was even better I could practice my French on the board.
After my exploring in the museum was done, I got out and bought Ice bread ice cream for 350 yen. Seemed like, two American guys (I suppose, I guessed it by their accent) were attracted to buy it as well when one of them stared at me eating Macha (green tea) ice cream gruesomely. He smiled at me and damn, actually, I was really shy when a cute guy smiled at me :o). 

Later on, I tried to offer it to little fella whom sat outside the park, as she didn't move his ass off.  However, as usual, some little are very ignorant. I was just tryin' to be nice to her but she gave me her cold-hearted refusal :(. Okay, pretty Bambi, this Macha cream is For Me only!

Lady Bambi ignored my offer


Then I continued my trip to Naramachi .