Thursday, July 9, 2015

More Adventure: South-East Asia!

I read. I travel. I become.

After Europe (which was a year ago yet I haven't finished write about), I think maybe i should hold the desire of travel for a while. But I could not last long without traveling. With my head hot from all the year's work, a week off, and a last scholarship stipend, I decide to do another ultimate-travel: South-East Asia!

Why SEA? First, it is Asia. It's bound to have the same food, culture, and values as mine. Second, their currency is not overwhelmingly expensive! VND is almost at half-price the IDR, and the others are less than a USD. So when Ning Tiyas suggested that I fill my week off with SEA-travel, I immediately thought out a plan.

In 10 days, I managed to cover 8 cities in 5 countries, with less than IDR 5mills. Maybe not everyone's travel style, but I need to cram as many places as possible in the limited time. So here's my itinerary

Day 1: Flight Jakarta - Singapore, sleep in Singapore
Day 2: Bus to Melaka, sleep in Melaka
Day 3: Bus to KL, sleep in night bus from KL to Hat Yai, Thailand
Day 4: Continues from Hat Yai to Krabi, arrive in the afternoon
Day 5: Island-hopping at Krabi, then take the night bus to Bangkok
Day 6: Exploring Bangkok, sleep in Bangkok
Day 7: Bus to Siem Reap, Cambodia, arrive in the afternoon
Day 8: Temple-touring at Angkor Wat, then take a night bus to Phnom Penh
Day 9: Spend the morning in Phnom Penh, then continue to Ho Chi Minh City, arrive in the afternoon
Day 10: Spend the day in HCMC, flight back to Singapore in the afternoon, spend the night in Changi airport Singapore
Day 11: Morning flight to Jakarta

I take night buses to cut on hotels' budget, even spend a night in airport, and just visit the free-places (or super-cheap ones), and that effectively cut the budget to less than 5 mills IDR!

The initial plan included M, L, and D, the latter being my friend from medschol, and the others from highschool. But M could not go because her boss says no (and this is my number one reason to travel more before I start working! You can always make money, but you do not always have the time, right?), and D could not go because she's late for her flight. In the end, it was just me and L. If only M and D continues with the plan, the budget could be significantly cheaper!

So, here's my stories about SEA and its wonders, enjoy!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Eurotrip Part 3 - Paris #1 The Garden and The Mosque

The next day, I woke up really early to pray Subuh (4AM) and the sun was well up! It was still late spring in Paris, but my tropical-adjusted circadian rhytm was not used to the sun at 4AM. Still, I prayed, hoping that I'll be forgiven, and plan the journey for the date. I'll be leaving at 23.00 from Gallieni to Amsterdam again, so I need to squeeze everything in the limited time.

Learn from yesterday's mistake, I walk for about 1 km to reach the neraest zone-3 RER train station, so then I could use the tickets I've already bought. The walk is long and steep, much longer than it seemed on the map (I walked crossing zones! can you believe that?) Fortunately Paris is pedestrian-friendly, with its wide trottoires (yes, the Indonesian word trotoar is French in origin!) and neat old buildings along the way.
cute parks like this are just around the corners
lots of public space, even in the middle of the city
une maison like this must cost a fortune
love the flowers
cars are parked paralelly, which must be troublesome for slacky drivers like me
My first destination was... guess what. Eiffel again! I wanted to see the day-version of the tower as well as the evening one. Hey, I came from half-the-globe away, why not savor everything while I'm here? :D This time I came nearer than last night, so that I am practically under it. And eventhough I just sat there, enjoying the air, people-watching, it seemed to be a dream comes true! No matter however I look at it, Eiffel is still too grand to be taken for granted. I took a lot of pictures, while being on guard since lots of scammers were roaming the place. 

Then I continue to walk along the river Seine. It reminded me of Ciliwung near my kost; the water is the same gray, although the river is wider and the banks much more cleaner. People were sitting on the river banks, playing musical instruments, having tea, or just chatting to pass time. If only the Jakarta Governor has taken Ciliwung matters seriously, i'm pretty sure someday we can enjoy it -nearly- as much as I enjoy Seine. But something about Paris sure contributes to the tranquility of Seine, maybe the air, maybe the people, I don't know. 

I spent like 5 hours alone around the Eiffel and Seine! How time flies when you are in Paris. I could not afford to miss my bus, so I canceled the original plan to Louvre. It is a must, of course, but I'll come again before my flight back to Indonesia! A solid reason to come back :)

 So instead I boarded a metro to another part of the city, which is Quartier Latin. My plan was to pray in the Grande Mosquee de Paris. I got off at Censier Daubenton station, and then.... I was lost! The area map in the station did not include the mosque, and eventhough I was holding a map in my hand, I must agree with whoisit that said women suck at map-reading! I turned at wrong alleys, and the street names is nowhere to be seen in my map. So I approached a random young monsieur in the street, time to put my francais to the test!

Me: Excusez-moi monsieur, ou est Grande Mosque de Paris?
Monsieur: Oooh, ^&!^@!$ *point )(&&$#& *wave hands !@^%%#
Me: Oui, oui, merci monsieur!

I did not understand a word! Real French were much more throaty than in my practice. Well, I know that Parisien were not very good at english, and they did not bother to learn. And they dislike tourists approaching them in the middle of their business, out of the blue asking "do you speak english?" because they do not. It may not look so, but manners are very important to Parisien, and they hold the principle "where in Paris, do as the Parisien do" which is parlez francais! Put manners aside, this is  great time to practice my french with a native, and altho I pretty much embarassed myself, at the very least I could hear the original French tongues and that is priceless :))

I tried my luck turning here and there, till I saw the familiar-looking door. Voila, the mosque was there! Not very grande, but I did not expect much from a city where muslim is not a majority. The mosque is decent, with a secluded garden inside where I can hear another young monsieur reciting Quran in a way I never heard before. The wudhu place is much more complicated to find, it was in the basement level, the ways are winding, and there were staircase at the most unexpected place. Fortunately, a kind madame greeted me and showed me the way. The prayer room is nearly empty, only me, Dina, and another madame. This is the first time I prayed in a mosque where muslim is rare. The atmosphere is somewhat different, but I liked how it is more peaceful than outside.
the corner door of Grande Mosque du Paris
The garden inside the mosque
The Prayer Room
French Calligraphy
After prayer, we walked a bit to the Jardin des Plantes which is just around the corner from the mosque. It was a the main botanical garden in Paris, inside it was Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle. (I currently am reading a book about it, "All The Light We Cannot See" by Anthony Doerr"). Unfortunately it was closed, but the buildings is just as photogenic from the outside. So I strolled along the cypress-lined path, sat at a bench and breathed the afternoon air. The sun was still high, like 3pm in Indonesia. People, couples and children, all walking peacefully among the bushes. Behind my bench was a pretty rose garden filled with roses in any color you can name! It's It felt so good just to be there. I lied on my back on top of the green green grass and stared at the bright blue sky. My thoughts wandered of home. So strange, I was million miles away but I felt as peaceful as if I'm home :)

a lady in waiting (?) this is one of the museum of natural history's building

 a picture of me

yet another picture of me

the main building of the museum

so green and fluffy  i wanna lie down

blue sky

last picture of me, grinning, remembering home
And before I knew it, my hour is up! I need to move fast to collect my things in my friend's place and back again to board the bus to Amsterdam. So many things I have not seen yet, but Paris, I'll come back!

A weird story as I pace along the metro platforms: there was this weird creepy guy who seemed to be following me from Chatelet station up until the last station before Gallieni (my destination). He was tall, dark skinned, wearing a hoodie covering his head, and followed every step of mine. Even when I changed metro at Republique. I stood as far away as I could from him inside the metro, throwing a side glance from time to time. He definitely stared with somewhat greedy eyes! How scary! But then he got off at Porte de Bagnolet, which was just a station away from Gallieni. Huftness.....

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Eurotrip Part 2 - Paris #1 The Desperate Attempt

Why Paris#1? Because There's gonna be #2 of course! One visit is obviously not enough to discover the city of light. I think my #2 will be some years later, but turns out I'll just have to wait a few days before visiting this city  again! :) More on that later...

This is getting ridiculous since this trip is almost a year ago, so please forgive me if I left out details that are already buried deep in the back of my brain. Nevertheless, Paris left an impression so strong that there are still much to tell from what's left of my memory :")

So where did I? O yeah, in my aunt's house in Brussels. I woke up with a happy mind, knowing that I'll finally get to see Eiffel today. After the usual morning hassle, a cabbie came and Galis (my cousin, remember?) join in to see us off from the bus stop. It was a windy, chilly morning, I'm still not used to the dry coldness of Europe. I walked as fast as I can to the warmth of waiting room. The bus, like everything in Europe, came on time. Paris, here we come!

The highway is dull, just greens and grays and blues like any other highway. We stopped once in a rest area, and after a 4 hour the bus pulled in at Gallieni Terminal. What I like about European transportation, it's all integrated. The terminal is directly connected with a metro station (Gallieni). We already arranged to stay in an Indonesian student, and she already messaged the metro route to her dorm. And here's when it all got real messy.

We get to the destination metro station okay, we got off from the metro, we walked to the check-out gate, we tap our tickets... but the gate denied our tickets. It said ours are not valid. Curious, we let people pass us and tried again, but it stubbornly refused to open for us. That's when a kind madame advised us to.... just crawl under the gate. Ha ha ha, merci madame. It was not easy with two heavy luggages, but fortunately there was no guards around. We then walked out casually from the station, acted like we belong :D

Turns out, our friends' address was a good 1 km away from the metro station. Imagine carrying luggages down the sidewalks of Paris suburb. Cool, eh? NO! I was sure we looked like two lost girls. We asked a random demoiselle once, then finally we get to the address.

...Then we figured out our friend has not left the info regarding her building or her room. She stayed in a campus dorm, but it has, like, 6 buildings, and I did not know where her room was. Worse, all dorm buildings are locked and can only be opened by registered residents. Worser, there were no Wi-Fi connection in the area and neither Dina or I had any pulsa to call her. It was already afternoon, we were exhausted from a long journey and a long walk and a heavy backpack (a big, heavy suitcase for Dina).

I left my backpack with Dina in a bus stop in front of the campus, and ask around to get in. I tried asking the security man about a student named XX, from Indonesia, I am her friend and want to visit but she has not left the room number. He did not speak English. Hmmm, I learned some Decent French back then but i was not confident enough to explain myself to him, especially when I looked suspicious asking a room of a student. Then I tried other plan, which is to "slip in" to each dorm buildings everytime someone come in/out (again, act like I belong) then checked the lockers'label in each dorm hall, searching for my friends' name, hoping that I'll find her in hundreds of rows of names. Nothing.

one of the building
bus stop in front of the dorm
Time for desperate attempt. Every dorm has a living room when students gather to study. So I tried explaining myself to a young Arab guy, hoping that at least he should be able to speak English. Fortunately he did. And better, he lent me his phone to contact my friend. He even walked me to the right building and the right floor until the very door my friend lived in. I forgot his name, but whoever you are, Monsieur, i wish you a happy day everyday and after and ever! :D

My friend has cooked us chicken soup, which was delicious. After a meal and prayer, she explained us where we got wrong with the metro. Her area is in the fourth zone of Paris, and apparently our regular ticket only cover 1st-3rd zones. Pity, since we already bought 10 tickets (because it was cheaper than singles!) But maybe the tickets will be useful later for our trip in the city. It was 8pm, but the sun was still high. We decided to go back to the city, maybe see Eiffel in the evening light. She reminded us that in the summer, sun sets at 10pm and maybe we'll have to wait until late to see it. She was okay with us coming back late, though (very kind of her!) and without further ado, we set off!

Navigating Paris is super easy!
A random pictures of a dental surgeon name-plaque

And there it was, magnificent as ever: The Eiffel Tower! You know that feeling when everyone is talking about one beautiful thing, but you cant believe it until you see it with your own eyes. And you're very curious about it to the point of you're dying to see it (well, not that extreme), but here I was. Seeing the most-talked-about tower earth-wide. Maybe the urban legend or the legend or anything, but Eiffel is no ordinary towel. It stood there, waiting to be included in our every pictures:)

Add caption

Then we waited until the sun fully sets, and the tower lit itself. It was a view to remember :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Smitten by Lumia

Sejak pertama kali punya hp kelas 6 SD (waw, 9 tahun lalu) sudah tak terhitung berapa kali aku ganti hp. Yah, mau diitung sebenernya bisa juga sih, cuma males aja saking banyaknya :"D Gantinya bukan karena aku orang techgeek yang ingin selalu catch up dengan teknologi gadget terbaru, melainkan karena hp-hpku raib alias berpindah tangan.

Ya, mungkin memang aku ga primpen kalo soal hp. Rasanya ya hp itu nempel2 aja sama badan, tapi begitu mau dipake kok dah ilang aja. Paling rekor pas tk. 3 kemaren, kehilangan hp ampe 2 dalam sebulan! Modusnya sama lagi, dirampok pencopet Kopaja 502 -.-

Alhamdulillah sekarang aku dah punya motor. jadi gaperlu naik 502 lagi kemana-mana. Tapi rupanya kehilangan hp tetep aja terjadi. Waktu naik lift poliklinik RSCM, hp lowbat dan mati jadi kutaro kantong jas dokter. Keluar lift mau nyolokin powerbank, eh kok si Galaxy Note dah ga ada :" Ditelpon juga ga aktif (karena emang dalam keadaan mati) akhirnya lapor ke satpam dan ternyataaaaaaaa, hari itu juga, di lift itu juga, ada 3 orang kehilangan hp! Hiks, biarpun si Note suka lemot binti lola, tapi aku ttp merasa kehilangan dong :" Tapi ya mau gimana. Aku pun akhirnya balik ke Lumia 710 yang kubeli pas tk.3 lalu.

Sebenernya aku sukaaaaa bgt ama Lumia ini. Cepet, anti-lola, anti-mainstream, kameranya juga bagus. Cuma jadi kurang fungsional di aku, karena
- LINEnya lama (pdhl komunikasi utama di FKUI menggunakan LINE), gabisa liat timeline dan call pula
- gada kamera depan buat selfie (penting banget guys!)
- gabisa attach file dari hp, jadi kalo mau kirim tugas2 musti tether ke laptop dulu (repot bingit)
- sync ke laptop pun harus pake Zune, semacam iTunes nya WP, jadi gabisa "colok n go" kaya Android
- gabisa screenshot
- paling repot, gabisa telpon *363# buat sekedar isi ulang pulsa internet Telkomsel, jadi kalo mau isi pulsa musti pindahin SIM ke hp orang dulu. Iya kalo lagi ada orang, kalo engga, kan repot :")
- beberapa fitur Telkomsel juga gabisa di Hp ini, kaya Telkomsel poin, yang mayan bangeeet buat klaim bonus2 kalo lagi jalan2 macam voucher XXI, voucher Chatime, voucher The Body Shop,..

Jadi setelah ada rezeki, aku pun memutuskan beli hp baru

Tapi yaaaa nyari hp kok kaya nyari pasangan hidup. Susah bener. aku menghabiskan satu weekend penuh buat galau mikirin mau beli hp apa. Dari sekian banyak hp android di pasaran, ada 3 yang menarik perhatian, tapi gada satupun yang sreg.

Lenovo A6000, baru banget rilis di Indonesia nih. Layarnya decent 5 inc, ada kamera depannya, udah 4G pula, udah deal pula beli sama temen. Tapi pas mau bayar kok ya ada ilham2 gaenak, kaya diliatin hp-hp Lenovo lain punya orang yang baru 2 bulan rusak, suka error, dan ga awet. Sejak awal pun sebenernya aku dah ga sreg ama Lenovo, yah meskipun spec tinggi dan harganya murah (1.6jt), tapi ada faktor X yang membuatku gajadi beli hp ini. Kameranya pun meskipun 8MP tapi hasilnya standar aja.

Xiaomi Redmi 2, ini malah lebih baru lagi, baru dijual hari ini banget jam 11 tadi. Specnya persis Lenovo A6000, tapi layarnya lebih kecil (4.7 inc). Nilai minus buatku karena layar paling pas ya 5 inc, biar enak dilihat dan dipake baca2. Brand Xiaomi emang lagi naik daun, sempet dibilang Apple-nya China, karena spec yang sama tapi harga yang jauh lebih murah karena gapake "harga brand" (kalo kata dek Tasya). Ada yang pink pula, bagus banget warna pink nya. Dibandingin Lenovo sih tapi aku lebih sreg ke Xiaomi, walaupuuuun karena relatif baru jadi belum banyak service centrenya. Nanti kalo ada apa2 susah kan repot jugaa.

Asus Zenfone 5, ini nih yang sebenernya dah kuincer sejak ada niat beli hp baru (which is 3 bulan lalu). Iya sih kameranya bagus (banget!) dan selfienya juga keren, androidnya jg dah Kitkat, tapi masih belum ada yang masuk budget, rata2 masih 1,9an buat barang baru. Akhirnya aku nemu harga 1.6jt punya orang dah dipake 2 bulan (second bruh) dengan spec paling tinggi (RAM 2GB memori 16GB) warnanya jg oke, merah. Udah deal nih, janjian ketemu jam stg9 malem di Menteng Huis.


Siangnya aku janjian birthday lunch sama temen di Atrium Senen. Iseng turun ke lantai dasar tempat kounter2 Hp. Pas banget depan eskalator ada yang jual Lumia 535. And guess what, aku jatuh cinta pada pandangan pertama :")

Aku memang uda punya pengalaman sama Lumia. Menurutku Windows Phone ini OSnya cakep, simpel, dan enteng, sehingga gada tuh cerita lemot dan lag yang sering sekali dijumpai di hp-hp android bahkan yang high-end sekalipun (ehm, Note, ehm). OSnya juga uda WP 8.1 yang paling baru, sehingga uda support app-app di Store yang belum ada di Lumia 710 (WP 7.8, dah jebot). Yah, emang kalo soal app store, Windows Store masih kalah ama Google Playstore. Tapi emang aku mau cari apa sih, toh semua app yang kubutuhin uda ada di Windows Store.

LINE nya uda ga lemot, bahkan uda bisa liat timeline dan videocall. Instagram juga lebih oke, bisa dibuka dengan 6Tag yang bisa save photo ke hp. Path juga udah ada (walaupun jarang kebuka). Whatsapp juga akan ada fitur Call nya kaya di Android dan Apple. Peta ada Here Maps, yang personally menurutku lebih oke dari Google Maps. GPSnya lebih akurat, temen yang pake Nokia juga mengakui gapernah nyasar kalo pake maps sementara pake Google Maps sering nyasar. Dropbox juga uda support, jadi bisa buka2 file akademis dari hp. Kamera selfienya pun 5MP, lebih oke daripada Zenfone. Uda bisa screenshot, bisa "colok n go". Syncnya sama laptop juga bagus banget, mengingat laptopku juga Windows. Office dan OneDrive bawaan Microsoft, tentu saja bisa dibuka dengan smooth dari sini, bahkan bisa edit file Word, PowerPoint, dan Excel langsung. Intinya, semua yang kubutuhkan dari hp lamaku uda bisa di hp ini. RAM uda 1GB, memori internal 8GB yang bisa diexpand sampe 128 GB. Bodinya pun ramping, cakep, layarnya gede 5 inc, dan paling penting, tahan banting (mengingat hp di tanganku bisa jaruh 2x sehari). Apalagi Lumia ini kan dah punya brand, ga kaya Lenovo ataupun Xiaomi. Dan aku langsung klop banget begitu tau harganya 1.5jt aja :")

just beautiful :)

Walaupun setelah kubuka review di internet, banyak yang kecewa ama Lumia 535 ini. Katanya screennya over-sensitive jadi suka keketik yang gabener. Not an issue for me karena kadang2 di Lumia 710 ku pun kaya gitu, walau ya tinggal direstart beres. 4G memang belum support di hp ini. Tapi aku toh ga butuh juga, yang penting bisa 3G uda cukup. Pokoknya gada yang menggoyahkan keyakinanku beli Lumia ini.

Beda banget sama kemarin pas galau beli Android. Sedikit aja aku tau ada reviewan jelek tentang ketiga hp inceranku, langsung gajadi mau beli. Lenovo ga awet lah, Xiaomi servisnya susah lah, Zenfone restart2 sendiri lah, dll. Kalo kata Kak Hali, aku dah "kesengsem" ama si Lumia ini :") Mungkin kaya jodoh kali ya, ada kalanya kamu ga sreg, meskipun yang ditawarin itu berkualitas tinggi. Tapi kalah oleh yang begitu kamu liat langsung sreg, dan kamu mau menerima apapun kekurangannya dan berusaha live with that.

Setelah 3 hari make, gabisa dipungkiri, ada beberapa hal yang aku miss dari Note ku yang dulu. Kameranya ternyata ga begitu bagus, mungkin juga karena layarnya Lumia ini pixelnya ga gede, sehingga kalo foto hasilnya noisy banget. Layar yang suka keketik sendiri juga kadang muncul. Tapi those i can live with. And i am happy with my new Lumia :)b makasih Abi Ummi adek buat hadiah ulang tahun ini. Semoga bisa awet dan bermanfaat, aamiin ^^

Friday, March 6, 2015

Kelaparan di Eropa

Siapa bilang di Eropa bisa makan enak? Yang ada kelaparan sampai terbawa mimpi.

Saya bersyukur lahir di keluarga yang berkecukupan. Walaupun tidak bisa dibilang kaya, namun saya tidak pernah pusing soal makan sehari-hari. Selama 20 tahun hidup, Alhamdulillah belum pernah merasakan kelaparan karena tidak punya makanan (yang ada lapar karena puasa :p). Siapa sangka, beberapa bulan yang lalu saya mengalaminya. Tepatnya saat saya jalan backpackeran di benua biru alias Eropa.

Di bus Eurolines dalam perjalanan Berlin-Paris yang lamanya 7 jam, saya meringkuk menahan lapar. Perut sudah melilit saking kosongnya. Melihat bule di sebelah membuka bekal semangkuk buah-buahan segar, air liur langsung menetes (dalam mulut, untungnya). Serius, belum pernah saya merasa selapar itu sampai ngiler. Maklum sudah hampir dua hari itu tidak makan. Karena tidak tahan, akhirnya saya bawa tidur saja. Namun otak memang tidak bisa dibohongi. Saya yang tidak pernah mimpi kalau tidur di jalan, malam itu memimpikan makanan yang berlimpah. Bayangkan, alangkah kecewanya saat saya terbangun oleh suara batuk pak supir dan mendapati perut saya masih melilit.

Kenapa saya tidak makan? Karena, untuk pertama kali dalam hidup, saya tidak mampu beli makanan. Saya akui perjalanan ini sangat menguras budget yang sudah terbatas. Saya menahan diri karena esok hari saya sudah akan kembali ke Indonesia, dan di pesawat tentunya dapat jatah makan. Namun karena sudah tak kuat, pada pemberhentian bus berikutnya, saya beli roti tawar sebungkus seharga EUR 1.5 (IDR 24000). Namanya roti tawar memang hambar, tapi roti ini rasanya kalah dibanding salah satu merk roti yang sering saya beli di Jakarta.

Inilah alasan kedua saya tidak makan di Eropa. Di sana, secantik apapun makanan ditata di piring, tidak akan menggoyang lidah seheboh masakan sederhana warteg Indonesia. Selama dua minggu di sana, hanya beberapa kali saya makan layak; dari paket konferensi yang jadi tujuan utama ke sana, ditraktir host di Paris dan Budapest, dan ditraktir ibu-ibu Indonesia baik yang bertemu di depan gereja Slovakia. Semuanya tampak enak. Tapi itu hanya tampaknya saja.

Ini makanan saya ketika konferensi di Groningen, Belanda. Namanya pasta jamur, termasuk salah satu menu vegetarian yang disajikan panitia konferensi. (Muslim adalah alasan ketiga saya kelaparan di Eropa.  Cari makanan halal, sulit. Begitu ada, mahal, hehe). Pasta jamur ini tampilannya sekelas restoran, ya, namun rasanya kalah jauh dengan rendang Bu Eha yang buka lapak di dekat kos saya.

Yang ini grilled salmon, harganya EUR 18 (IDR 288000) sepiring. Untungnya saya ditraktir seorang tante-tante Indonesia yang kebetulan bertemu di jalan. Saat itu saya sedang kepanasan di depan gereja di Bratislva, Slovakia. Tiba-tiba dengar seorang ibu menyapa dengan bahasa Indonesia. Senangnya, bertemu orang Indonesia di tempat yang tidak terduga. Beliau pun dengan royalnya mentraktir saya makan siang di kafe keren (satu-satunya makanan keren saya selama dua minggu di Eropa!). Tampak menggoda sekali ya, Salmonnya? Tapi ya jangan disamakan rasanya dengan pindang bandeng buatan mbah nun jauh di Lamongan sana :”) Walaupun salmonnya segar, bumbunya cuma lemon yang ada di ujung piring itu.

Kalau ini kita semua pasti sudah kenal, French Fries. Harganya EUR 5 seporsi (IDR 80000). Saya makan ini di Brussel, Belgia, itu juga ditraktir tante saya yang memang orang sana. Melimpah ruah, sausnya lumer, tampak lezat bukan? Percayalah, masih lebih yahud singkong keju yang dimakan panas-panas sembari hujan di teras rumah!

Rasa memang soal selera. Saya yang dibesarkan di Indonesia, negeri yang memikat bangsawan Eropa dengan rempahnya ratusan tahun lalu, mana kuat makan makanan yang bumbunya lemon doang?

Karena itulah, ketika pramugari di pesawat Amsterdam-Jakarta yang membawa saya pulang menawarkan pilihan makanan “gulai ayam dengan buncis kuning” atau “beef steak with potato wedges”, dengan mantap saya menjawab “gulai ayam” J

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Brussels, Belgium #2

Hari kedua di Eropa! Semangat banget doong buat liat-liat secara kemarinnya belom sempet ngapa2in selain foto2 geje di kanal Amsterdam dan kedinginan di Brussel-Noord nunggu dijemput Galis. Akhirnya, jalan-jalan resmi dimulai!

Namanya orang Indonesia, bahkan di Eropa pun budaya ngaret masih dibawa-bawa. Niatnya kami mau mulai jalan pagi-pagi jam 9an. Masalahnya Dina temen travelku yang satu ini super rempong jadi nungguin doi dandan dulu. Tapi gapapa laah, dah jauh2 ini ke Belgia masa jalan2 ga in style, ye ga? ;) Jadi sekitar jam 11 kami (aku, Dina, Galis, dan Bi Eni) cus ninggalin apartemen. Dina sengaja minjem coat item punya Galis biar lebih gaya, sementara aku pake coat merah andalan (modal pinjem juga deng wkwk).Sebenernya di Brussel waktu itu dah masuk late spring, jadi cuacanya ga adem2 banget. Tapi dasar orang tropis, norak deh di Eropa maunya make coat yang keren haha buat gaya2 doang. kapan lagi kaan, emang bisa di Jakarta pake coat, yang ada malah amok. Pada akhirnya ga nyesel kok, karena emang masih sejuk2 gitu jadi ga salah kostum amat. Eh malah ngomongin kostum. Yaudah, the adventure begins!

Keluar apartemen, disambut angin Eropa yang kering. Kami jalan ampe stasiun Metro terdekat, yaitu Schuman. Perjalanan ke sana sendiri juga seru, karena lewat semacam square (kalo di bahasa Indonesia jadi "lapangan" kali ya). Katanya Bi eni sih, lapangan ini jadi pasar kaget kalo hari-hari tertentu. Herannya pas itu lapangannya bersih, ga nyangka deh kalo sebenernya merupakan pasar. Sampe stasiun metro, ini pertama kalinya naik metro ya, maapin norak :p. Stasiunnya underground, jadi turun eskalator dulu.

Ayo keliling kota!

Beli tiket (€6,5 buat seharian) trus bebas deh mau naik metro ke mana aja di Brussel selama 24 jam. Sejujurnya aku waktu itu ga merhatiin turun di mana-mana aja, soalnya kan kita bawa tour guide jadi lupa deh :'D tapi inget ada satu stasiun transit namanya "De Brouckere" di mana kita poto2 sambil nunggu metro nya dateng (ketauan lho berapa menit lagi datengnya, dan akurat ga kaya busway hahah). Trus turun di suatu stasiun yang lupa namanya, kita mulai jalan2 keliling pusat kota Brussel. Yang enak dari Brussel adalah, hampir semua atraksi sightseeingnya terletak di satu area, jadi kita bisa keliling2 ngeliat semuanya on foot. Tujuan utama adalah Brussel Centrum, di mana terdapat salah satu tujuan klasik para turis yaitu Grand Place. Secara bahasa Indonesia, bisa diartikan "Lapangan besar" atau "alun-alun" kali ya. Memang lapangan ini merupakan pusat kota Brussel, dan di sekitarnya terdapat gedung-gedung tua cantik nan "Eropa banget". Yang paling menarik mata mungkin adalah "Maison du Roi" yang memang terlihat paling mencolok di antara bangunan2 lain di sekitarnya. Kata Bi Eni, arsitek bangunan ini bunuh diri karena merasa ga sempurna dalam membangun. Bi Eni nunjuk Maison du Roi dan menyadarkanku akan ketidaksimetrisannya. Hmm, tapi walaupun penceng tetep cantik koook!
semacam Geng Motor Brussel di Grand Place. Asikin aja :D notice the asymmetry of the building?

Maison du Roi, atau "Rumah Raja" kalo diIndonesiain

motoin Dina miss fotomodel :D

Fleur de la Bruxelle

mighty gargoyle slayers at the maison du roi

Brussel's City Town Hall. C'est magnifique!
bunga dan bunga-bunga (apaseeeeh wkwk)

Puas foto2 di sekitar centrum yang banyak banget spot2 cantik, kita cari makan siang. Galis dengan semangat ngajak makan Frites, yang adalah kebanggaan kaum Belgia. Tau French Fries kan? Kentang goreng itu? Yap, one thing you should remember, NEVER say French Fries in Belgium, because the proud inventor of the infamous fries is, indeed, the Belgians. Here they call them "Frites". And just as like you'll never taste any better soto Lamongan than in Lamongan, there's no better way to eat Frites than sitting at a cafe in Brussel roadside, watching passers by and chatting all afternoon. Now I feel like European! :D

frites! YUM! btw itu yang namanya Galis, sepupu jauhku :)
Makan kali ini bayarnya €20 buat ber4, disponsori oleh Bi Eni (Merci beaucoup, tante!) Habis makan, galupa foto2 lagi karena di sekitar kafenya juga bagus buat gaya-gayaan B)

wanna join me around Bxl? ;)
Dari kafe itu kita rencananya mau ke Maneken Pis. Tau kan, patung anak kecil yang pipis sambil megang tititnya itu... Ternyata itu khas Belgia lho. Jadi ya ga boleh dilewatkan deeh. Dari daerah situ bisa jalan aja ke sana. Galis udah wanti-wanti jangan kecewa, karena Maneken Pisnya mungkin ga sesuai bayangan alias kecil banget. Dan bener aja, sampe tempat sananya, itu si Maneken Pis kecil banget, paling cuma seukuran bayi beneran. Dia menjulang di balik pagar, lagi pipis di atas batu, dikelilingi serombongan turis-turis yang ramenya ngalahin KRL Jakarta-Bogor di Jumat sore. No hope sih kalo mau foto2. Jadinya ya gada fotonya deh :") although aku dapet foto sama versi lebih gedenya Maneken Pis di depan sebuah toko wafel deket situ.
Si Maneken pipis sambil makan wafel.. jorok ya.. samping tempat sampah lagi..

Kemudian kami lanjut jalan-jalan di sekitar situ, ngeliat beberapa spot menarik: Everard't Serclaes Monument, museum Tintin, Galeries Royale St. Hubert, dan Cathedrale of St. Michael & St. Gudula. namanya susye2 ye :'D

Monument Everard't Serclaes sebenernya adalah patung di pojokan Grand Place, berupa seorang wanita sedang tiduran. Gosipnya sii kalo ngelus ni patung bakal balik lagi ke Brussel suatu hari nanti. :)

Dina ngelus patung, semoga balik lagi ke Brussel. aamiin Ya Allah!
Museum Tintin (di Brussel dibacanya Tangtang, thanks french) isinya semua tentang Tintin! Keren, ada komik2 dan berbagai merchandisenya. Aku baru tau sih kalo Tintin asalnya dari Belgia :p
Tangtang dan Snowy :'D
Mengenai Galeries Royale St. Hubert, atau bahasa Belandanya Koninklijke SintHubertus Galerijen (whateva) adalah salah satu mall tertua di dunia. Bagus banget nih, jadi bayangin sebuah shopping arcade terdiri dari dua facade yang saling berhadapan, dengan desain yang jadul2 keren tentunya. Shoppers (atau windowshoppers) bisa belanja melalui jalanan sempit yang atapnya semacam atap Hogwarts, alias bisa ngeliat langsung ke langit di atasnya. Cakep deh, panel2 kaca gitu. Cuacanya juga lagi cerah banget jadi keliatan cantik :)

Oldest shopping arcade in the world ;)

Pose mupeng di depan cokela terbaik dunia: Belgians'!
 Kalo Cathedrale nya sendiri sih, yaaa mirip2 lah sama yang di depan Istiqlal di Jakarta, cuma ya lebih gede dan lebih bagus aja haha.

Cathedrale de St. Michael & St. Gudula
Capek jalan, akhirnya kita naik metro buat ngeliat Basilica du Sacre Coeur versi Brussel (kan ada satu lagi yang terkenal, yang di Paris). Yang nyaranin Bi Eni, beliau memang katolik jadi tau gereja2 keren di Brussel. Karena mikirnya kapan lagi ke Brussel, aku mah ayo aja!

Turun dari metro, ternyata Basilica nya masih di ujung sana, melewati sebuah jalan panjang yang cantik banget dengan deretan pohon2 hijau di pinggirnya. Gini ya kalo di luar negeri, tertata n apik :") Aku ngebayangin sih jalan ini kalo autumn pasti kece banget deh, warnanya kuning2 oranye gitu.

Basilica dari kejauhan. Hosh hosh

Maunya sih gaya ala-ala girlband cover album gitu tapi fail

Gaya menunggu

Charlie's Angels?
Akhirnya setelah what feels like 1 km (lemah nih) kita nyampe juga di Basilica nya. Boleh masuk lhooo despite aku n Dina kerudungan. Ini pertama kalinya aku masuk gereja. Dan rupanya gereja satu ini spesial karena pernah jadi tempat nikahnya Pangeran Belgia yang kemarin ini nih. Ada foto2nya, mereka dinikahin sama Sri Paus dari Vatican City. Dalemnya Basilica emang kece siih, kaca2 patrinya cantik2 banget.

Altar Basilica... liat kaca2nya deh bagus banget tuh

Dari Basilica ini, Bi Eni keliatan dah capek. Tapi dasarnya emang beliau baik, mau aja beliau nemenin kami ke satu destinasi terakhir yang gaboleh dilewatkan kalo ke Brussel: Atomium! Harus naik tram kalo mau ke sana, soalnya letaknya di ujung kota gitu. Sebenarnya gaenakan, tapi Bi Eni berkeras mau, jadi yaaa gapapa deh.

Sampe Atomium, mau liat2 Mini Europe (ini semacam kota miniatur kaya Madurodam di Belanda, atau kaya TMII deh, tapi dia depict Eropa secara keseluruhan) sayangnya dah tutup (udah jam stg 6 gitu pas sampe sana). Jadinya kita liat2 poster film di Kinepolis,  sebuah bioskop yang keren (mirip kaya Blitz GI gitu, film yang diputer banyak banget). Ga niat nonton sih, uda malem juga walaupun matahari masih bersinar terang benderang. Kayaknya definisi malam harus diganti nih selama di Eropa haha

The weight of an atom....ium

Sweet Carousel

Norak banget ya, maapin :p

banyak kaan pelemnya
Sudah puas keliling Atomium, sudah bener2 waktunya pulang nih. Kita ngopi2 cantik bentar di McD (bukan McD sih, tapi yaa semacam itu lah). Aku mesen ke mbaknya pake French lhooo! Seneng bangeet berkesempatan ngomong Francais sama native ^^ Bubar minum kopi kita pulang de naik metro lagi
Sama Bi Eni di Metro pulang. Merci Bi Enii dah nemenin kita seharian banget :")

Eits, ternyata ada satu tempat lagi yang ga boleh dilewatkan, yaitu sebuah taman yang punya Arc yang mirip ama Brandenburg nya Berlin. Galis nyaranin kita ke sana. Dasar darah muda, energi masih ada, kita pun Ayooo. Kebetulan memang Parc du Cinquantenaire ini deket sama apartemen Galis, jadi doi bersedia nemenin ke sana (zuper makasih!) Galis sendiri emang suka kongkow di taman ini kalo sore-sore dan weekend. Dan ga heran siih, karena tamannya emang oke banget! Apalagi dengan sinar matahari terbenam (saat itu jam 9 malam tapi matahari masih semacam jam 5 nya Indonesia) bikin foto2 jadi makin romantis!

sok sok romantis gitu deh :p

 Parc du Cinquantenaire in the afternoon haze (or should i say evening, cause it was 9 pm)
 Akhirnya, badan (dan kandung kemih) gabisa boong. Sudah bener2 waktunya pulang. Dari Cinquantenaire itu kita jalan ke apartemen (emang gajauh), aku dengan nahan2 pipis yang tanpa sadar sudah super kebelet sejak tadi :") What a day! Brussels, i will come back, insya Allah :) Seenggaknya ngunjungin Galis, Bi Eni, dan Bi Ina lagi. Mereka ini baik bangetttttt jazakumullah yaa tante2 dan Galis :")

Malam itu aku tidur enak, karena besok paginya ngejar bus ke Paris. So,... cerita apa dari Paris? Nantikan post selanjutnya! (insya Allah ga lama, stase bedah mayan santai nih ;)