Dressed up: Dutch Style

Dear Readers, I hope you are doing great in this late September. I feel like time running up in extreme pace. Suddenly the end of 2014 is getting closer. Anyway, I would like to share some stories about my gone local experience in Holland. I knew I’ve posted a lot about Holland, but this stuff is worth to tell.

So, back then when I studied in the Hague, I didn’t waste any weekend by just staying in my room. Me and my friends wandered around not only in The Hague but also several cities in Holland. One day we decided to go to Volendam, a boat city in Northern part of Holland. The view in this city is quite breathtaking, as you can see the old boats in the harbor. But, the main reason why we went there is not to see the boat and the small conblock path all around the city, but we were filled with desire to pose in Volendam traditional costume!

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Well, Volendam has known for its costume, a peaked cap, black long dress  and kraplap (to be worn on the shoulders). Rumor has it that until now if you are lucky you still can see local people wear it in the street, especially on Sunday. When we arrived there, we went straight to the downtown and find many outlets offering Volendam traditional costume photo experience. Before we went there, we already heard that many Indonesian visited Volendam to get their photo taken. And by doing quick research, we decided to take picture in Fotograaf de Boer. This place located in Haven 83 Volendam. The interior design was neat, old-fashioned, and look promising as well. I can tell that by seeing many famous and friendly Indonesian photos there, from Indonesian former president to celebrities.1620443_10203084748025783_1543221339_n 1920426_611123868942591_523346245_n

We then changed and get dressed, my first impression wearing the Volendam costume is very practical and quick. We only needed 10 minutes tops and ready to be photographed.

Delft

Two week before I return to Indonesia, me and my friend, Mia, went to Delft. Not only we want to buy the souvenirs before we finally of from Holland, but we also want to take picture wearing Delft traditional costume. Why we did it all over again? Because the traditional costume in Delft is different than in Volendam. A white long-sleeves top, with blue long skirt. Delft costume still use a peaked cap like the one we wore in Volendam. What I really love in Delft is the outdoor concept. Yes! We got our pictures taken outdoor, while sometimes people stopped by just to check on us.mia white

So, what do you think readers? Which one suits me better?

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Italy Trip – February 2014

Buongiorno everyone. Happy seeing me again this fast? Well, I promise you last time that I’d do whatever it takes so that I can write you more, and that includes my laziness.

I feel tingle in my fingers when I type this post, because right here right now, I finally get the opportunity to tell you that I finally made it to visit Italy last month *dance* I went there with Ima, the one that I told you in this post. We took the flight to Milan from Paris. Why Paris? Because during my ticket hunt, I found that flying to Italy from the Netherland cost you a fortune. So when my friends prefer to prolong their stay in Paris after the working visit, me and Ima decided to go to Italy over the weekend.20140207_171657 20140207_174617

First Day

We arrived in Malpensa airport at 5pm, and waited for about 30 minutes before my friend, Anggi, picked us up. Anggi is my colleague when I worked in ELTI. She married an Italian and lives in Genoa, Italy since May 2013. She saw my status and post in FB and invited me over to visit her. Who am I gonna say no for this rare opportunity? Of course I said yes and I manage to bring Ima with me.20140207_202258 20140208_084531

Anggi and her husband, Carlo, picked us up and drove us to Genoa. It was quite long trip, about 2 hours, and I believe Anggi was aware with the hungry look in me and Ima’s face, so we stopped near Genoa, ouch, I forgot the name of the city, but we found snow there, super weird! What did we order that night? If you mention pizza then you are super right. Pizza in Italy is thin, less spice, huge, and delicious. And one pan is all for you. You should see the look in me and Ima’s face when Anggi told me that we have to finish it up, and I almost fell down of my chair when she continued that Italian people did not casually bring back the left over. So yes, we both struggle to eat our first Italian pizza, while we about to take the second slice, Anggi’s husband already finish his. Hahahaha.  After a slow and long dinner, we then continue the journey to Anggi’s house in Genoa, and fell into deep sleep.

Second day

We woke up quite early because we decided to visit several cities that day. Me and Ima then helped Anggi in the kitchen, by mostly taking pictures and asked her a lot about Italy. Anggi then shut us off by giving us a homemade pear jam. Seriously readers, it was the most delicious jam we ever taste, we even take picture of it. After a warm and delicious breakfast we were ready to start our trip. Our first destination is Leaning Pisa Tower.20140208_094016

20140208_122218 20140208_123159 20140208_123532 20140208_125252After 90 minutes driving, we finally arrived in Pisa. The weather that day was perfect, blue sky with some with clouds raise my instinct to never stop taking pictures. You know what, it wasn’t easy to take picture with Pisa Tower. Ima needed to almost laid in the grass so she can take a good picture, so Asian, but we love the result. And oh, there was also a Cathedral near the Pisa Tower, but unfortunately it closed.

We only stay in Pisa for like one hour only, we then grabbed the lunch (pasta and enormous Italian salad) and continued to our next destination, Florence.20140208_155230 20140208_160941 20140208_163526 20140208_164304

The trip to Florence was about one hour and a half. I couldn’t remember it precisely because I spent most of the time sleeping. Florence or Firenze (the Italian version) is a small classy town in Italy. Along with other 24 cities, Florence has been categorized as one of must have visit in Europe. And I found it true. Florence is so artsy. There were many statues crafted detail. They looked surreal. We almost stop everywhere just to ooh aaaah admiring the view, and taking pictures. At the end of our journey in Florence, Anggi’s husband take us to a hill, where we can see Florence city view at night. Good grief, it was splendid!1948011_630287040359607_371959070_n 20140208_165306 20140208_165134 20140208_181828 20140208_182155_night 20140208_182712_night

Feeling hungry and tired, we then drove to Italian restaurant, where we’re gonna meet Anggi and Carlo’s friends. The restaurant was so cozy. The food again was huge (I ordered Californian steak, don’t ask me why, but I saw a tiny recommendation thumb next to the menu) yet delicious, but what I like the most from Italy is the people. They were loud and super friendly. The waiters and the chef sometimes greeted us just to check we were happy with food, and yes we were!20140208_194306 20140208_194843 20140208_203212 20140208_194243

Third day

It was our last day in Italy. We had our pancakes breakfast and the legendary pear jam in the dining room. Anggi and his husband then drove us to Malpensa because we need to catch our flight at 3pm. We arrived there on time. I can’t thank Anggi enough for the hospitality during our short stay in Italy. Thank you so much Anggi and Carlo, I wish you both happiness ever after. Ciao!20140209_144931 20140209_143225 20140209_144858

2013 In a Glance – Uber Late Post!

Morning readers! Happy belated new year! I hope you guys welcome 2014 as excited as I am. Nevertheless, 2013 has just went away, I have no doubt that last year was one of the important years in my timeline. There were excessive moments in 2013, the good and the bad, which makes me stronger and better. And here is some summary from my 2013:

1. January

  • In the beginning of 2013, i officially moved to Jakarta to start my 8 months diplomatic training. I was still remember the anxious feeling of that time.

2. February

  • I started my diplomatic school training (Sekdilu) in Jakarta. It was such a great things since i got the chance to meet other 58 brilliant young diplomats (in the making). LOL. And since then, we’re labeled as Sekdilu batch 37 till now.

3. March

  • The “late” opening of Sekdilu 37 in Gedung Pancasila, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But hey, better late than never, right?
  • I force my lazy ass to joined Fun Running Prambors. I’m not a fan of doing a sport but you can count on me for watching! Surprisingly, the event was really fun. In the beginning, the committee suddenly showered us with color powder, hahaha, so we run in mix color!

4. April

  • April was mostly about study, and also we keep on practicing on our choir since we’ve already scheduled to some events in the near future.
  • We celebrated Kartini Day by wearing traditional costume, looking good, girls!

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5. May

  • Sekdilu 37 went to Surabaya! Yay! We got the chance to visit Madura as well and experience the famous Suramadu bridge, Bromo mountain, Sampurna house, KRI Dewaruci and also TKI training class. It will be hard to forget Surabaya since we had many memories and class performances!

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  • Hey you! Happy bday my precious!

6. June

  • My favorite month in a year! June means birthday! And birthday means presents and surprise. Thank you all for the gifts and the cake and the mid-night lilies :*

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7. July

  • July was 2013 fasting month. And i went through it with my Sekdilu 37 fellow. I also sometimes spent my “ngabuburit” time by going to Bendungan Hilir market to find delicious snack and food.

8. August

  • I bought myself a new gadget. It feels nice spoiling yourself with your very own money after a long and tiring work.
  • Went back home to celebrate Eid Al Fitr with my family. One of my favorite holiday at all times.
  • Gita Bhuana choir was appointed to sing in the opening and closing 2nd Congress of Indonesian Diaspora in JCC Jakarta. We could see our president, minister of foreign affairs, and other very important people in extremely close distance.

9. September

  • Sekdilu 37 finally graduated! Our graduation ceremony was attended by Minister of Foreign Affairs, and what made me even happier, my mother and my brother managed to come as well in very short notice.
  • My brother’s birthday
  • Sekdilu 37 successfuly held Salam ASEAN in one of Jakarta most famous landmark, Monas! We also make a new world record as the longest ASEAN Handshake! Splendid!

10. October

  • In October, i was appointed to be Liason Officer for Peru for the APEC event in Bali. That was stunning. My knowledge before the APEC in escorting the high level was, lets say, zero. I was continuously asking about this and that. Fortunately, things were ended up perfectly. And i have no doubt in trying this again.
  • October also means abroad internship. And where is the perfect internship for young diplomat? Yep, you’re right, we were sent to the Indonesia representative office in four countries, Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. I was sent to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with my other 9 colleagues.

11. November

  • Half of this month was still spent in Kuala Lumpur. One month internship was quite fast and hurry. I do wish the next batch will have at least 2 months internship abroad.
  • One of GenkGonk member, Riri, finally got married. So some of us flew to Malang to attend the birthday. Such a warm and bonding experience. It remained us how fast time flies. Happy wedding Riri!

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12. December

  • I celebrated new year eve with my friends in Jakarta. We marched to Bundaran HI with thousands of people. We then saw fireworks and exhibitions, not to mentions, the new media darling, the governor of Jakarta, Jokowi. That was fun!

Well, then, so we can bluntly conclude that almost most of my 2013 was about Sekdilu 37. But i also manage to spent time with my GenkGonk, and also my dearly cheri. Well, i guess it’s a wrap. I hope this year will bring joy, blessing, and happiness. 2014, bring it on!!!

Respect? Think Again!

Hello my dear readers, how’s life treating you so far? I’m pretty fine here, dealing with rainy season in Jakarta and pushing myself to predict the weather for the sake of my laziness in carrying umbrella in my bag. LOL. Anyway, several days ago, a friend of mine shared her opinion about how women mostly treated while walking in the street. That’s pathetic and tragic *sigh* I was so moved and couldn’t agree more on her piece. Well, then, why don’t we read it together? And feel free to comment on it 🙂

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything at All

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They say the Indonesian society highly values manners, politeness, respect for others, all in all a “civilized” society. While, sure, like most Asian or “Eastern” societies, Indonesians put emphasis on respecting the elderly, acting within certain social norms and a tradition of communality, I can’t help but became irate at some of the things that occur on a daily basis and people think is “normal” and therefore “acceptable”. It’s nothing new and this is something that has angered me for almost all of the time I’ve spent living in Indonesia and it continues to do so. I’ve probably ranted about this a few times here on Facebook and on twitter, but this is probably the first time I decided to actually post a whole writing on it.

So here’s the deal: verbal harassment of women.

While most verbal harassment issues relate to couples already in relationships, what I wanted to bring up here is verbal harassment done in a broader sense. One that is so commonly practiced, people merely turn a blind eye against it.

Imagine a woman walking on her own, passing by a group of a single male on the streets. That male catcalls her, or calls her out, or makes a comment on her physical appearance, or jokes around with his fellow men that they’d like to “get to know her”, or remarks upon how she walks, or how heavy the load she’s bringing is (while making an offhand comment about helping, yet not actually doing so), or any other unnecessary comment that merely aims to catch the attention of said woman.

Imagine how uncomfortable the woman becomes. Imagine the unsettling feeling of fear she goes through simply to walk by. Imagine her hurried steps as she rushes to return to the comfort of her home. Imagine the disgust she feels at being stared at like she’s some attraction to gawk at.

How would you feel if the only time you could ever feel safe was in the confines of your own home?

How does this not restrict women from being independent and venturing into the world on her own?

How do you expect women to survive on their own when they have to walk with a male companion simply to evade these discomforting remarks?

Women can’t even dress how they like simply to avoid unwanted attention by perverted men who can’t keep it in their pants. A guy could walk around however they like and people wouldn’t give a damn. A girl wears shorts and a simple shirt and she feels like people are ready to swallow her whole. How is that fucking fair?

I’m not saying this is exclusive towards women. I’m sure men getting unwanted attention from women may feel the discomfort. But if a girl were to catcall or make a remark on a passing male stranger, she’d be considered slutty. If it were the other way around, people wouldn’t even blink an eye. How is that not sexist?

And I’m not saying all men can be generalized like the illustration I gave above. Men can be civilized. I have friends, colleagues and acquaintances who I can vouch for that. So why can’t all men be equally civilized?

OK. I may be taking this too seriously. These guys are just joking around, some might say. But that is exactly the problem! Who the hell thought it was OK to make women the object of a joke? It was and never will be OK to make a remark on someone’s physical appearance, whether they’re “conventionally” attractive or whether they don’t fit into your cookie-cutter mold of beauty. There is no right in this world that allows you to call a passing stranger chubby or fat or make any other offhand comment about how they look. Even close friends tread carefully around jokes regarding physical appearance because it is simply not nice.

The society revels so much in its diverse culture, broadcasting its pride of multiculturalism. But where is your respect for others when they fall out of the conformed paradigm of what you consider “pretty” or “handsome”? Why would you preach “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” when you look down upon Indonesians with darker skin and call them “black”?

What makes it OK for you to be judgmental upon other people when you, yourself, do not want to be judged?

I am sick and tired of not being able to walk around the streets without wanting to punch every guy I pass who makes a joking comment. I am sick and tired of fearing for my own safety when stepping out onto the streets unless I dress like a freaking nun. I am sick and tired of not being able to be in my own skin for fear of judgmental individuals. I am sick and tired of a society that claims itself to be “religious” and of moral values, but has no decency in the way they act and speak.

And if anyone says that it’s a girl’s fault she calls upon unwanted attention simply because she isn’t dressing “appropriately”, then I say eff you. When a girl is raped and she gets blamed because “she had it coming”, then I would very much like to bang your head against a brick wall to try and put some sense into you. And if any woman still thinks this kind of behaviour is OK and it should be the girl taking precaution, I say where is your self-worth?

I am not speaking as a feminist nor am I saying this because I’m a girl. I simply believe that everyone is entitled to being treated equally as a human being: with respect and dignity, with the ability to feel safe and secure as who they are in their society, with the comfort of being able to stand on their own two feet and not be reliant upon others, with the chance to simply be yourself without judgment.

To men and those who have sons, husbands, brothers, please advise them to respect the women they know and those they see in society.

To women and those who have daughters, wives, sisters, tell them it’s alright to be yourself, do not feel pressured to conform by society’s demands of how you want to be. Your self-worth is only measured by yourself, not by those around you.

To people in general, seriously stop making remarks about a person’s physical appearance, whether mild or crude, whether its complementary or degrading. Unless you definitely know for sure that the person in question is OK with it, just keep your damn mouth shut.

I feel like I still have a lot to rant about, but I’ll stop here. Before cuss words start spilling out.

Peace out, peepz.

Jonkoping Trip, Sweden, January 2012

Bonjouuur people !! How are you guys doing ? It’s a windy Thursday here and the weekend is just one day away. As a person who impatiently waits for the work to start, everyday is holiday for me. I know I should write more, but there’re always something came up eventually. So here I am, try to pay my dues, just for you, my amazing readers 😀

Remember when I told you here about my unexpected adventure in my way to Sweden? I haven’t got the chance yet to tell you about what happened next after I landed in the Viking Land. Well, it was around 5.30am when I arrived in Charlesroi Airport in Brussels, the airport was quite clean, but the weather was a bit rainy. My flight to Sweden was at 7:40 am and as I tried to notice the other passengers, I found that the majority of them had strong Nordic look, tall, blond, and pale. Again, that wasn’t disturbing me at all. I caught a cute little girl grinned at me with her sleepy look. Poor little girl, she supposed to be still in bed in that ungodly hour.

My flight was on-time, and I was so happy that I got a near-window seat. A near-window seat is always my favorite seat. Every single time when I travel I will always find the urgency to choose my seat, which is near-window seat. Okay, I babbled too much. Sooo, the flight took about two hours, and I arrived in Gothenborg, Sweden at around 9 am. Anyway, my real destination wasn’t Gothenborg, but Jonkoping. But since I flew with a low-cost airline, Ryan Air, the direct flight from Brussels to Jonkoping didn’t exist. Heheheh.

Once I arrived in Gothenborg, I exchanged my euro, because Sweden uses krone as their currency. One euro is about eight to ten krones, depends on where do you exchange it 😀 Well, from Gothenborg airport, I took a shuttle bus (79 krones) to the city center. The city center was quite far, I spent like 30 minutes to go there. In Gothenborg city center, I went to Swebus counter to buy the bus ticket to Jonkoping, I didn’t remember exactly but it wasn’t expensive 😀 no worries. And oh, the site to look for the bus in Sweden is www.sj.se, truly useful, believe me.

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The trip to Jonkoping was a bit long. I believe it’s more than two hours. Fortunately, since I was pretty exhausted, I fell asleep in the bus. When I woke up, I was enchanted by the remaining snow in the street. Ah, life is good. Briefly, I arrived in Jonkoping station in the afternoon and then greeted by two friendly faces, Vidya and Sani, my two dear friends from MM UGM who also joined exchange programs. They then took me to their apartment by bus. Vidya and Sani were so happy seeing me. They said I’m the one who finally made it in visiting them, LOL. We couldn’t stop chatting in the bus, it was hilarious.

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I stayed in Jonkoping for three days.  Vidya and Sani treated me nicely, although I sometimes complained a lot about how far they lived to the city center. As a person who gets used stay in city center, their apartment was a bit too quiet, but the scenery there was fantastic. Vidya and Sani took me to several places. We went to city park, downtown bridge, and even to JIBS (Jonkoping International Business School)!

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Since i went there on weekdays, it’s a bit difficult to have Vidya and Sani till noon because they had class to attend. Instead of doing nothing, i initiated myself to go to IKEA, one of the leading departments stores in Europe which focused on home furnishing products. IKEA in Sweden was stunning. Well although there was also IKEA in Lille, i found unexplained feeling in IKEA Sweden. Weird, LOL. What i like the most about IKEA is the food and snack corner near the cashier. The food and beverage there were too yummy, not to mention cheap. Aaaah, me love it.What surprising in Scandinavian countries is that, the people there collect bottle for money. That was smart. The recycle thingy is easier there. I think the people there are already quite aware with the eco-style.

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hot chocolates and ginger breads

Well, it was a nice trip in Jonkoping. Thanks Vidya and Sani for the hospitality. I won’t forget when we made bakwan fiesta or when i had to force Vidya to take me to the bus station at 6am in the morning. All the best for you guys 🙂

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Master Study, The Story 3 – Photo Session

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My dearest readers, what are you doing right now? Have you prepared something special for new year eve? Tick tock, the clock is ticking, the year is changing pretty fast. 2012 was such an amazing year.  I have tons of lifechanging experiences, which successfully transformed me into a better person 🙂

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MM UGM Batch 56 International Class plus Exchange Students from France and Netherlands

When i opened my laptop, i was thinking about my MBA friends in international class batch 56. Although our togetherness was kinda short, but the memories with them are always on my mind. Time flies. Some of them (including me) have already managed to find a good job, some of them are still struggled with their thesis, and some of them are now studying overseas to achieve their double degree. I miss you guys. Wherever you guys are now, my pray goes with you always. I wish 2013 will be an enchanted year for us.

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Ahmad (the man in the middle) forgot to wear our red “uniform”

Here I present some pictures when we hadn’t separated by continent and thesis 🙂 Too bad Alberto couldn’t join this photo session.  Take care guys, and thanks for the joy and the wonderful memories.

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Beach Girl Adventure. Le Touquet Paris-Plage. September 2011.

Morning pretty peeps, how are you ? 2013 is getting closer and the fact that we succeed in surviving the Mayan apocalypse was such like an achievement, wasn’t it? I personally can’t wait for 2013. I have plenty of new year resolutions which need to be done soon. One of those resolutions is to write more often 😀 Wish me luck then, fellas. Anyway, today’s post is about my adventure in finding beach in France. When I arrived in France (September 5, 2011), the weather was still sunny enough. That was surprising. This weather anomaly was happened until October if I recall. Since I still missed Indonesian heat, I asked to my friends about the nearest beach in Lille. One of them, David, answered that he already did some research and found a nice beach in Le Touquet. It was about 150 km from Lille. My adventure mood suddenly sneaked out. We (me, Alajandra, Natalia, David and Aaron) then prepared for our little trip.

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Since David brought his car from Germany, we then didn’t have to worry about our transportation to Le Touquet. What we have to do was only shared the gasoline. We spent about four hours in the road. The trip there was ah-ma-zing. As a person who often fell asleep in a trip, I didn’t have to force myself to keep my eyes open at that time. The view was relieving; the chat in the car was also fun. We sang many songs, from the top 40 list to the lamest one. We arrived in Le Touquet at around 4 pm. We then went to our cottage (damn, I forgot the name of the cottage). It was really nice cottage. The design was dominated by wood and it was only 5 minutes walk to the beach.

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Sooo, how’s the beach? The name’s Le Touquet Paris-Plage. I have no idea why they attached Paris there, since Le Touquet is closer to Lille than Paris. The beach was fine. It was quite long and big. There were a lot of people in bikinis and tried to suck the last summer sunshine in the beach. I can’t blame them, they’d meet summer again in about eight months! Too long!! Well, compared to the beaches in Bali or Yogyakarta, Le Touquet is more, errrr, hot? Ahahahha, you better watch the photos below to get better description. Enjoy!!!

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i’m the flip-flop keeper, LOL

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Good Lord, i finally could experience beach sunset!! 

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Do you know what i love the most from this picture? My awesome hair, hahaha

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morning escape, feeling the sand, wind, and the grass. That simple 🙂

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birdie birdie in the sea, thanks for the warm greeting

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