Monday, September 27, 2010

#849 - October Trip!!!


Overall, my days lately have been okay. I think I have entered my new routinities here in Delft and basically I am sunk into it. Even though I "only" have classes on Wednesday, Thurday, and Friday, I still have to go to my campus and work in my office from Monday to Friday to work on the assignments. I need to maintain this current "flow of assignments" as now I have a managable flow. I mean, with this current flow, I will not have any assignment piling up.

Anyway, writing about something MUCH more interesting, last week, a friend of mine offered an open trip to go to either Portugal or Southern France this October during the quarter-break. Well, I am now in Europe and of course I am not going to miss the opportunity, of course I am in!! I will have three weeks of quarter break and I know I must use this opportunity!! So, I did some researches on flight tickets to either Nice or Marseille (in Southern France)and Lisbon or Faro (in Portugal). Comparing the prices, we were somehow more interested in going to Portugal. So, Portugal it was.

The only question was which airline we would pick. We had two options. One option is flying with RyanAir, an LCC airline, to Faro from Maastricht Airport. The other option is flying with TAP Portugal, the national airline of Portugal, to Lisbon from Schiphol Airpot. Schiphol Airport is just about one hour away from Delft (and there is a train station at Schiphol Airport, so it is convenient to get there). While as you can read here, trip to Maasticht alone can take up to 2.5 hours and we still need to get to the airport from the railway station. We must put this information to the account to make our final decision. Beside, if we pick RyanAir, we must travel for 10 days while I think the maximum number of days I can afford is 7-8 days since I also need to work on some assignments during the break. Plus, RyanAir is an LCC, so we also need to pay extra fee for our baggages. Putting all the factors in, RyanAir still offers slightly cheaper tickets, about 20-30 euro cheaper one way. BUT we think that our time worths way more than 40-60 euro vv. I mean, it is more convenient and time-effective to take flight from Schiphol than from Maastricht. Moreover, we will have a 7 days trip from Schiphol, compared to 10 days trip from Maastricht. So, TAP Portugal it is!!

This afternoon, I bought our TAP Portugal tickets and now it is confirmed, I am SO going to Portugal this October!!! Yeah, really exciting!!! (but now, before the trip, I must work my ass off to finish all the assignments, hahaha)

note : picture taken from here


Secara keseluruhan, hariku akhir2 ini biasa saja. Rasanya aku sudah memasuki rutinitasku sekarang di Delft dan pada dasarnya sih aku sudah mulai tenggelam di dalamnya. Walaupun aku "cuma" ada kelas di hari Rabu, Kamis, dan Jumat, aku masih harus pergi ke kampus setiap hari untuk mengerjakan tugas. Aku rasa aku harus mempertahankan "arus tugas" kini karena arus tugasku kini berada dalam taraf teratur. Maksudnya, dengan arus sekarang ini, aku nggak akan menemui tugas yang menumpuk.

Ngomong2, nulis sesuatu yang JAUH lebih menarik ah. Minggu lalu, temanku menawarkan tawaran terbuka untuk jalan2 ke Portugal atau Perancis Selatan Oktober ini ketika libur kuarter. Yah, aku sekarang berada di Eropa dan tentu donk aku nggak akan melewatkan kesempatan ini, tentu saja aku ikut!! Aku akan memiliki libur kuarter selama tiga minggu dan aku tahu aku harus memanfaatkannya!! Nah, aku kemudian melakukan riset tiket pesawat ke Nice atau Marseille (di Perancis Selatan) dan Lisbon atau Faro (di Portugal). Setelah membandingkan harga, kami agak lebih tertarik untuk pergi ke Portugal. Jadi, Potugal deh.

Pertanyaannya, maskapai mana yang akan kami pilih. Kami memiliki dua pilihan. Satu pilihan adalah terbang dengan RyanAir, maskapai LCC (tiket murah), ke Faro dari Bandara Maastricht. Pilihan lain adalah terbang dengan TAP Portugal, maskapai nasional Portugal, ke Lisbon dari Bandara Schiphol. Bandara Schiphol berada sekitar satu jam naik kereta dari Delft (dan ada stasiun kereta di Schiphol, jadi enak deh untuk pergi kesana). Sementara seperti yang bisa dibaca disini, perjalanan ke Maastricht-nya sendiri bisa memakan waktu 2,5 jam dan kami masih harus pergi ke bandaranya dari stasiun kereta. Kami harus memasukkan faktor ini ke dalam perhitungan akhir kan. Di samping itu, kalau kami memilih RyanAir, kami harus pergi selama 10 hari sementara jumlah hari maksimum yang bisa aku ambil untuk jalan-jalan adalah 7-8 hari karena aku juga harus mengerjakan tugas selama libur kuarter. Plus, karena RyanAir itu maskapai LCC, kami juga harus membayar lagi untuk bagasi kami. Menghitung semua faktor, RyanAir masih menawarkan harga tiket sedikit lebih murah, sekitar 20-30 euro sekali jalan. TETAPI, kami merasa kalau waktu kami bernilai jauh lebih mahal daripada 40-60 euro pp. Maksudku, kan lebih nyaman dan efisien dalam hal waktu untuk terbang dari Bandara Schiphol daripada Bandara Maastricht. Ditambah lagi, kami akan jalan selama 7 hari dari Schiphol, sementara kalau dari Maasticht harus 10 hari. Jadi, TAP Portugal deh yang dipilih!!

Siang tadi, aku membeli tiket TAP Portugal kami dan sekarang sudah terkonfirmasi deh, Aku akan pergi ke Portugal Oktober ini!!! Waaa, sudah bersemangat banget nih!!! (tapi sekarang, sebelum jalan2, harus kerja keras dulu deh nyelesein semua tugas2 dari kampus, hahaha)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

#848 - One Full Month in Europe


Wow, today, it has been exactly one month since the day I arrived in the Netherlands!! Well, this has been one full of good month!! I think I have settled in really well, feeling fairly comfortable with my new environment, which is exactly in the top of my to-do-list about things I had to first after arriving in the Netherlands. I have also grasp about what I might expect in the course I am taking, and I know that I (and all students) must work our asses off to execute it. Assignments are lining up and we have to be extra time-discipline to avoid it to piling up. One mess can ruin the whole lining thing. Plus, to finish our assignments efficiently, the most effective way is by working together. By working together, it literally means working together. Each individual tries to solve a question and if they do, they will be willing to help the other, and vice versa!! I really love this kind of working environment!! Everyone is contributing, and it is efficient! Well, some clashes, of course, are inavoidable since we came from different countries, different cultures, and different backgrounds. But that is the "beauty".

Another thing I have developed is my cooking skill. In Indonesia, I was never put in any situation where I had to cook for myself. Sure sometimes I cooked, but it was not a "must" situation, and I only cooked something really instant (and kinda unhealthy). Having lived for one month here, I have cooked several things and I think my food is not that bad, in fact, I think it is pretty good! One question: "Why must I cook for myself here?" Well, look at the picture below, for that kind of so called "lunch", I had to pay 5.35 euro (or around Rp 63,000.- in current currency-rate)!! And it was not really a big serve (as a comparison, the cola bottle in the corner of the picture was a regular-sized one, 500 mL). And I bought that meal in the cheapest canteen in campus!! Well, if I don't cook for myself here, my monthly financial flow will face a serious problem (as I also want to save money, and I have a monthly target for that :D).

Anyway, this week, finally I got my bike! I had been looking for one for a month and last Friday, I went to a bike store near my campus and I found one. It is not a new one (of course, a new one is really expensive), but it is in a really good condition. I like to model, I like the size (not too big and not too small), and I like the color. The brakes work perfectly, and lights are already installed. It all cost 60 euro!! A relatively good price for that spec in the Netherlands (even though for that price, maybe we can get a new one in Indonesia, hahaha).

There was one problem. The last time I rode a bike was when I was 10 or 11, back when I was in elementary school!! After that I never rode a bike because I then just learnt how to drive a car and I rode a car ever since. Luckily, knowing how to ride a bike is "eternal". Once we find the "balance", we will never forget it. Fortunately, that was my case. Last Friday, I tried to pedal the paddle for the first time in about 12 years, and I still owned it!! Well, it is true that my "bike-expertise" was really rusty, but at least I still "knew" the balance!! It was not all good news though. In the first few minutes, I still had not "owned" my bike. I kinda lost control of it, and I fell down (lucky, I fell down to grass). But that was it. Ever since, I slowly gained control of my bike. I made use of my time this weekend to sharpen my "bike-expertise" and so far it has been good. I went groceries-shopping today on my bike, and I like it since riding a bike is (apparently) faster than walking, lol.

All these new experiences, I am pretty sure, will not come to me if I decided to stay in my niche in Indonesia. So, I am really glad with my decision!!

::: A 5.35 Euro Meal!! And I bought this meal in the cheapest canteen in campus, and it was not even a big serve. Anyway, the brownies and cheese were awesome.

::: My new bike. I like it!!

::: The bridge was rolled to let a ship to pass. A daily scenery in Holland.


Wow, hari ini, sudah genap sebulan semenjak aku tiba di Belanda!! Yah, sebulan ini sudah menjadi bulan yang menyenangkan!! Aku rasa aku sudah menyesuaikan diri dengan cukup baik, merasa lumayan nyaman dengan lingkungan baruku, yang berada di bagian atas dari daftar-yang-harus-kulakukan setelah tiba di Belanda. Aku juga sudah mulai menangkap apa yang bisa aku harapkan akan kuliah yang aku ikuti disini, dan aku tahu kalau aku (dan semua mahasiswa) harus bekerja keras untuk menyelesaikannya. Tugas-tugas selalu mengantri dan kami harus ekstra disiplin dalam hal waktu untuk mencegahnya menumpuk. Satu kesalahan aja bisa menghancurkan alur tugasnya. Plus, untuk menyelesaikan tugas dengan efisien, cara paling efektif adalah dengan bekerja bersama. Maksudnya, ya benar-benar kerja sama. Tiap individu mencoba menyelesaikan soal dan kalau bisa, mereka sangat bersedia membantu yang lain, dan kebalikannya!! Aku sangat suka lingkungan yang seperti ini!! Semuanya berkontribusi dan sangat efisien! Yah, beberapa bentrok kecil jelas tak terhindarkan lah, karena kami kan datang dari berbagai macam negara, berbagai macam budaya, dan berbagai macam latar belakang. Tapi itulah "keindahannya".

Hal lain yang aku kembangkan adalah kemampuan masak. Di Indonesia, aku tidak pernah berada dalam situasi dimana aku harus memasak untuk diriku sendiri. Memang sih beberapa kali aku masak, tapi bukan situasi "harus", dan aku cuma masak masakan yang instan-instan aja (dan agak ga sehat). Sudah hidup selama sebulan penuh disini, aku sudah memasak beberapa masakan dan ternyata masakanku gak parah-parah amat loh, malahan, lumayan juga! Satu pertanyaan: "Kenapa aku harus memasak sendiri disini?" Yah, liat deh foto di atas, untuk makan siang yang cuma kaya gitu itu, aku harus membayar 5,35 euro (berarti sekitar Rp 63.000,- pakai kurs saat ini)! Dan porsinya itu bukan porsi yang besar lho (sebagai perbandingan, cola yang ada di ujung foto itu adalah cola ukuran biasa, 500 mL). Dan aku beli menu itu di kantin paling murah di kampus!! Yah, kalau aku nggak memasak sendiri disini, alur keuangan bulananku bisa menemui masalah serius nih (kan aku juga mau nabung, dan aku ada target bulanan mengenainya :D).

Ngomong2, minggu ini, akhirnya aku dapat sepeda! Aku sudah mencari sepeda selama sebulan dan Jumat kemarin, aku pergi ke sebuah toko sepeda di dekat kampus dan menemukannya. Bukan sepeda yang baru (jelas lah ya, soalnya yang baru kan mahal), tapi kondisinya bagus. Aku suka modelnya, suka ukurannya (nggak terlalu besar dan nggak terlalu kecil), dan aku suka warnanya. Remnya bekerja dengan baik, lampu-lampu sudah dipasang semua. Dan harganya adalah 60 euro!! Harga yang relatif baik tuh untuk ukuran sepeda dengan spek seperti itu di Belanda (walau di Indonesia dengan uang segitu mungkin sudah dapat yang baru dan bagus ya, hahaha).

Tapiiii, ada satu masalah. Terakhir kali aku naik sepeda adalah ketika aku berumur 10 atau 11 tahun, waktu aku masih di SD!! Setelahnya, aku nggak pernah lagi naik sepeda karena aku langsung belajar nyetir mobil dan trus aku naik mobil deh. Untungnya, tahu cara naik sepeda itu "abadi". Maksudnya, begitu kita menemukan "keseimbangannya", kita tidak akan pernah melupakannya. Untungnya, itulah yang terjadi padaku. Jumat lalu, aku mencoba mengayuh pedal sepeda untuk pertama kalinya dalam waktu sekitar 12 tahun, dan aku masih bisa!! Memang benar kalau "keahlian-bersepeda"-ku sudah sangat karatan, tapi setidaknya aku masih "tahu" keseimbangannya!! Tidak semuanya berita bagus sih. Di beberapa menit pertama, aku masih belum "menguasai" sepedaku. Aku agak kehilangan kontrol, dan jatuh loh (untungnya jatuh ke rumput). Tapi cuma itu saja sih. Setelahnya, aku mulai perlahan-lahan memegang kontrol sepedaku. Aku memanfaatkan waktuku wiken ini untuk mengasah "keahlian-bersepeda"-ku dan sejauh ini semuanya baik-baik saja nih. Hari ini aku belanja keperluan sehari-hari naik sepeda loh, dan aku menyukainya soalnya (ternyata) naik sepeda itu lebih cepat daripada jalan kaki, lol.

Semua pengalaman baru ini, aku cukup yakin, tidak akan kudapatkan kalau aku memutuskan untuk tinggal di zona nyamanku di Indonesia. Dan aku sangat senang dengan keputusanku!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

#847 - Trip to Limburg


Before I keep this entry for too long, I must write it now so that it will not be out of date, lol.

So, two weeks ago, my friend's girlfriend got an offerings where she could buy super-discounted tickets to travel by train within the Netherlands. They informed us this info and asked who was interested. Of course I was interested!! It was only for 10 euro nett!! As a comparison, my friend bought a return ticket from Delft to Maastricht and it was around 24 (or 26, I kinda forget it) euro, and that price was after 40% discount (using the kortingkaart)!! Assuming it was 24 euro, so the normal price was 40 euro!! Well, this was a super interesting offer, right? :)

Anyway, so, last Satuday, we all went on this trip. Well, apparently, there was no direct train from Delft to Maastricht. We had to change train in Eindhoven. But the cool thing about the Netherlands is, we did not need to wait in Eindhoven. We only needed to get out our train and our connecting train had been ready in the very next platform, and it departed like 2 or 3 minutes later!! :)

After two hours of train ride from Delft, we arrived at a town called Roermond. Roermond is a town also in the province of Limburg, in the southern part of the Netherlands. We stopped there first because my friends wanted to buy some stuffs at some factory outlets (yeah, there are FOs there in Roermond, just like in Bandung). My original plan was that I did not want to shop because I think I have had everything I need until now. Well, I have prepared myself for the upcoming winter. I don't know whether my preparation is enough or not, but I just do not want to spend hundred of euros for extra preparation that I might not need (yeah, I am being stingy there :D) because I think I have prepared well. Well, we spent many time in Roermond and of course I went around the factory outlets because I had gone all the way there, I had to at least see something :). I saw several really nice trainer-jackets and it cost 40-50 euro per item in average. Well, I did not need trainer-jacket that immediately, so I did not buy them (because I think 40-50 euro for something I did not need was expensive!!). But then, I saw this one trainer-jacket, and it was only for 13 euro!! It was a branded jacket (from a branded store), and while the other jackets were around 40-50 euro in average, it was only for 13 euro!! And it was the last stock (I asked the employee to find another one in the warehouse and he said there was no more left). I then grabbed it and kept it in my hand for a while even though I hadn't made my mind whether I was going to buy it or not, I just did not want anyone else to take it from me, hahaha. I tried it, and it was good. It was not really a new model though, but it was only for 13 euro!! That's why I decided to buy it, hahaha. So, I ended up with a trainer-jacket there. The ironic thing was that the trainer jacket was made in: Indonesia!! hahaha

At around 3.45 PM, we split up. I, along with two other friends, continued our trip to Maastricht. Maastricht was 30 minutes away by train from Roermond. At first I thought Maastricht was a city right in the border of the Netherlands and Belgium. Apparently, it is not. The closest border is like 3 km away from the city. Given that we arrived there at around 4.30 PM and we also wanted to explore the city, I didn't mind the idea about going to the border. Anyway, Maastricht is a beautiful city which is traversed by the Maas (Meuse) River. However, I think the city is kinda "Dutch". Well, I mean, it is true that now I am in Holland so that I should expect that, but I just feel like in some ways it is just like the other Dutch cities, hmmmm. My friend apparently felt the same thing and we thought next time we should go to somewhere outside the Netherlands, hahahaha.

At 8 PM, we left Maastricht and caught a train back to Delft. Here are some pictures from my trip last weekend :

L : Train ride to Eindhoven from Delft. It was a 2nd class train.
R : Roermond Station

L : The city of Roermond.
R : Munsterkerk in Roermond, a church.

L : Roermond City Plaza with an open market on Saturday.
R : Roermond Designer Outlet (FO).

L : a pink train which we caught to go to Maastricht from Roermond.
R : Roermond Station.

L : Sint Servaasburg, a bridge in Maastricht which overpasses the Maas River.
R : The city of Maastricht.

L : A performer in Maastricht. He made him up to look like a wax statue and entertained the pedestrians.
R : Churches at Vrijthof.

L : A Gothic Church in Maastricht, near Vrijthof.
R : Onze-Lieve-Vrouwewal in Maastricht. I think it was the remains of an old fort.

L : The remains of an old fort, near Helpoort in Maastricht.
R : Another shot of the city of Maastricht.

L : Another shot of the city of Maastricht.
R : One spot at Maastricht.


Sebelum aku kelamaan menunda menulis posting ini, kayanya sebaiknya aku publikasikan sekarang ya sebelum basi, lol.

Jadi, sekitar dua minggu yang lalu, pacarnya temenku mendapat penawaran dimana ia bisa membeli tiket kereta dengan harga super-diskon untuk bepergian di Belanda. Mereka memberi-tahu kita informasi ini dan tanya siapa yang tertarik. Tentu saja dong aku tertarik!! Harganya cuma 10 euro bersih tuh!! Sebagai perbandingan ya, temanku beli tiket pulang pergi dari Delft ke Maastricht dengan harga 24 (ato 26 ya, lupa aku) euro, dan harga itu adalah harga setelah didiskon 40% (menggunakan kortingkaart)!! Asumsikan aja harganya 24 euro, artinya harga normalnya adalah 40 euro kan!! Makanya penawaran ini menarik banget tuh, ya nggak? :)

Yah, jadi, Sabtu lalu, kami pergi-pergi deh. Ternyata, nggak ada kereta langsung dari Delft menuju Maastricht. Kami harus berganti kereta di Eindhoven. Hal yang keren tentang Belanda adalah, kami tidak harus menunggu loh di Eindhoven. Kami hanya harus keluar dari kereta dan kereta lanjutan sudah siap di jalur sebelah, dan kira-kira 2 atau 3 menit kemudian, kereta lanjutan itu berangkat!! :)

Setelah dua jam perjalanan dengan kereta dari Delft, kami tiba di sebuah kota kecil bernama Roermond. Roermond adalah kota yang juga berada di Provinsi Limburg, di bagian selatan negeri Belanda. Kami berhenti disana karena teman-teman mau beli barang di beberapa factory outlets (iya, di Roermond ada FO gitu, kaya di Bandung). Rencana awalku adalah tidak belanja apa-apa karena memang aku rasa aku sudah memiliki apa yang aku butuhkan hingga sekarang. Yah, aku juga sudah mempersiapkan diri untuk musim dingin yang akan datang. Aku nggak tahu juga apakah persiapanku itu cukup atau tidak, tapi aku tidak mau aja mengeluarkan uang ratusan euro untuk sesuatu yang kemungkinan tidak akan aku butuhkan (ya, aku memang lagi pelit :D) karena aku rasa persiapanku sudah ok koq. Yah, karena kami menghabiskan lumayan banyak waktu di Roermond, tentu aku jalan-jalan aja keliling FO mumpung sudah sampai sana koq, kan nggak mau rugi :). Aku melihat beberapa jaket-trainer yang bagus dan harganya rata-rata 40-50an euro per barang. Ya, aku rasa aku nggak membutuhkan jaket-trainer segera, jadi aku nggak beli deh (soalnya aku rasa harga 40-50 euro untuk sesuatu yang tidak aku butuhkan itu mahal!!) . Tetapi kemudian, aku melihat satu jaket-trainer, yang harganya cuma 13 euro!! Jaketnya bermerk terkenal (dari toko bermerk terkenal juga), dan ketika jaket-jaket lain harganya rata-rata 40-50 euro, eh dia koq harganya 13 euro!! Dan itu adalah barang terakhir (aku meminta pegawainya untuk mengecek stok di gudang dan katanya sudah habis). Ya udah aku kemudian mengambilnya dan memegangnya terus walau aku belum tahu apakah aku akan membelinya atau tidak, cuma aku nggak mau aja tiba-tiba orang lain mengambilnya duluan, hahaha. Aku mencobanya, dan ok juga. Memang bukan model yang baru, tapi kan cuma 13 euro!! Ya udah, aku beli aja deh, hahaha. Jadi, akhirnya aku pulang dengan jaket-trainer baru dari sana. Dan hal ironisnya adalah, ternyata jaket itu dibuat di: Indonesia!! hahaha

Sekitar jam 3.45 sore, kami berpisah. Aku, bersama dua teman, melanjutkan perjalanan ke Maastricht. Maastricht berada sekitar 30 menit dengan kereta dari Roermond. Pertamanya aku kira Maastricht itu kota yang ada tepat di perbatasannya Belanda dan Belgia. Ternyata engga. Perbatasan terdekat berada 3 km dari kota. Karena kami sampai disana saja sudah jam 4.30 sore dan kami juga mau keliling kotanya, ya sudah aku mencoret rencana ke perbatasan dari pikiranku. Ngomong2, Maastricht kotanya bagus tuh dan dilalui oleh Sungai Maas (Meuse). Tetapi, koq rasanya kotanya "Belanda" banget yah. Ya, maksudnya, memang aku sekarang berada di Belanda dan seharusnya aku sudah memperkirakannya, cuma rasanya di beberapa segi tuh mirip-mirip gitu sama kota-kota di Belanda yang lain, hmmmm. Temenku ternyata sependapat dan kami rasa lain kali kami harus pergi ke suatu tempat selain Belanda deh, hahahaha.

Jam 8 malam, kami meninggalkan Maastricht dan naik kereta kembali ke Delft. Di atas adalah beberapa foto dari perjalananku akhir minggu lalu.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

#846 - Serious Week and Happy Lebaran


First of all, I would like to say:


to all people who celebrate it this year :) Please forgive me if I did something wrong. Idul Fitri or Lebaran or Eid Mubarak is not really celebrated here in the Netherlands. In fact, we even had normal days during the Lebaran days.

One main reason why I came all the way to the Netherlands is, of course, to study. And this week, it has officially begun. I got my schedules this semester with classes only on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! YEAH! But it means that I have a long Wednesday this semester. About my classes, well, it has been interesting. One class is really pure in mathematics (while its name involves the word "applied" but I think it is not that directly applicative). Another class has been really fun, as we are studying about the really application of mathematics which I had not know before, which is really interesting to know! Well, about the materials, of course it is in higher level(s) than my undergraduate study but I already expected that. I mean, it is obvious that the materials in master studies is in higher level than bachelor studies, right?

Anyway, as I mentioned before, I got an office here. It is really cool, right!! I am not complaining about it, lol. Well, not all masters students get an office, in fact, most of them don't. That is why some friends who know that I got an office envied me, hahaha. Having an office is such an advantage for me as it definitely supports my study a lot. In the office, the atmosphere is much more supportive for me to study than in my apartment. This is obvious since there are more temptations in my apartment (there is my laptop there, a bed, etc). Well, I also get my own computer in my office which is also linked to the internet, but still, the "temptation" is relatively smaller :D

Well, it has been a good week. Last Saturday, my friends and I went to the province of Limburg in the Netherlands. We went to two cities, Roermond and Maastricht. The story (and photos) of this trip will be kept for later entry. :D The weather was so perfect yesterday. Even so, I think we have officially passed summer. Fall has taken over the control of the season, and it is getting cooler and cooler every day.

::: TU Delft's Library

::: TU Delft's Library

::: Open Market in Delft's Centrum

::: Gooses in a canal.

::: Fall has come.

::: Fall and the falling leaves.

::: One spot at Delft at night.


Pertama-tama, aku ingin mengucapkan:


bagi semua umat yang merayakannya tahun ini :) Mohon maaf lahir dan batin apabila ada salah ya. Idul Fitri atau Lebaran atau Eid Mubarak tidak terlalu dirayakan di Belanda ini. Malahan, tanggal Lebaran itu, disini merupakan hari biasa.

Satu alasan utama mengapa aku datang jauh-jauh ke Belanda adalah, tentu saja, untuk belajar. Dan minggu ini, hal ini telah resmi dimulai. Aku dapat jadwalku semester ini dengan kelas hanya ada di hari Rabu, Kamis, dan Jumat! YESS! Tapi itu berarti aku memiliki hari Rabu yang panjang semester ini. Tentang kelas-kelasku, yah, menarik tuh. Satu kelas menurutku sangat murni matematikanya (walaupun di namanya sih ada kata applied 'terapan' tapi aku rasa sih nggak seaplikatif itu deh). Kelas lain ada yang sangat menarik dan asyik, karena kami belajar benar-benar aplikasi matematika yang sebelumnya belum aku tahu, dan ini sangat menarik! Mengenai materinya, tentu saja hal ini ada di level yang lebih tinggi dari kuliah S1ku tapi aku sudah menduganya sih. Maksudnya, jelas dong materi S2 tentu lebih tinggi daripada materi S1 kan?

Ngomong2, seperti yang kusebutkan sebelumnya, aku mendapatkan sebuah kantor disini. Ya, keren banget kan!! Aku nggak protes deh, lol. Ya, ternyata tidak semua mahasiswa S2 dapat kantor, malah kebanyakan sih pada nggak dapat kantor. Makanya ketika beberapa teman tahu aku dapat kantor, mereka iri, hahaha. Memiliki kantor sendiri adalah keuntungan banget untukku karena hal ini jelas sangat menyokong proses belajarku. Di kantor, atmosfernya sangat berbeda dan sangat mendukung untukku belajar daripada di apartemenku. Ini jelas soalnya kan ada banyak godaan kalo di apartemen (ada laptopku, ada ranjang, dll). Di kantor memang sih aku dapat komputer yang juga terhubung dengan jaringan internet, tapi tetap aja, "godaan"-nya lebih kecil :-D

Hmm, minggu ini sudah menjadi minggu yang baik. Sabtu lalu, aku dan teman-temanku pergi ke Provinsi Limburg di Belanda. Kami pergi ke dua kota, Roermond dan Maastricht. Cerita (dan foto-foto) tentang perjalanan ini akan aku tulis nanti yah. :D Cuaca juga sempurna banget kemarin. Walau begitu, aku rasa di Belanda ini sekarang sudah resmi meninggalkan musim panas deh. Musim gugur sudah mengambil alih, dan temperatur jadi makin dingin saja.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

#845 - Going on Double Two


Today is my birthday. Well, I guess:


to me. hahaha

Anyway, this time, my birthday seems so different. The obvious one is that this is my first birthday abroad. It feels kinda strange, you know, and also the time difference, LOL. Plus, the atmosphere is really different even though I received tons of happy birthday greetings from friends and relatives (mostly via Facebook). I am in a new place now and I haven't met those many people, so, even though today is my birthday, I think overall it is just like another normal day (except the fact that I deliberately cooked noodle this morning, LOL). This is probably also because of mostly I only stayed at my office today (read: yeah, my office, I am getting to this in later entry). Well, not that I am complaining or what, but it just feels slightly different and I am actually okay with it. In some ways, maybe it is like when I first had my birthday in Bandung four years ago. So, we will see ... :D

Anyway, this is the sixth time I celebrate my birthday in this blog. Wow, look at how long I have been blogging!! :)

ps : birthday cake picture taken from here.


Hari ini adalah hari ulang tahunku. Jadi, aku rasa:


untuk diriku sendiri. hahaha

Ngomong2, kali ini, ulang tahunku terasa berbeda. Hal yang jelas adalah ini adalah ulang tahun pertamaku di luar negeri. Kerasa aneh aja, tau kan, dan juga dengan perbedaan waktunya, LOL. Ditambah lagi, atmosfernya terasa berbeda walau memang aku menerima berjibun ucapan selamat dari teman dan kerabat (kebanyakan via Facebook). Aku berada di tempat yang baru sekarang, jadi walaupun hari ini adalah hari ulang tahunku, rasanya sih seperti hari biasa saja (kecuali fakta bahwa aku masak mi dengan sengaja pagi ini, LOL).Ini juga mungkin karena aku seharian ini hanya di kantor saja sih (baca: ya, kantorku, aku akan menceritakan hal ini di posting2 selanjutnya). Ya, ini bukannya aku mengeluh sih, aku cuma merasa agak sedikit berbeda saja dan sebenarnya sih aku ga masalah dengan hal ini. Di beberapa sisi, mungkin ini seperti ketika aku pertama berulang-tahun di Bandung empat tahun yang lalu. Jadi, kita lihat deh ... :D

Ngomong2, ini adalah kali keenam aku merayakan ulang tahun di blog ini. Wow, sudah lama juga ya aku nge-blog!! :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010

#844 - First Week of September


This week things have become more serious. Last Monday, I joined an obligatory orientation program from my campus for all new master students called Masters Kick Off (MKO). I was excited to go on this trip but there were several stuffs which haunted my mind. First, we weren't told at all about the destination before we registered ourselves just one hour before departure. Well, that was somehow exciting. But the other problem was that we were also not told about what we were going to do there, whether there would be games, lectures, assignments, or stuffs as our full activities were revealed during that registration too. This caused a problem as we hadn't really prepared ourselves for those activities, which some of them were lectures of three mandatory courses.

Anyway, so, the mystery place was apaprently Bunnik, a very small municipality near Utrecht. We were provided two buses to get there and the bus I was on during our departure was so cool!! There was a kitchen on the bus with a coffeemaker, microwaves, etc. Even the chairs were set in a comfortable formation, just like in a room. We stayed at Stayokay hostel which was in a very beautiful place with two antique Rennaissance buildings as its main buildings.

Well, I had so much fun during my four days three nights stay there as I met so many people and befriended with them. There were also three classes, as mentioned above, and a group project. Aside from that, I learnt how to play "Ultimate Frisbee" which apparently was so fun!! Speaking of sports, ignoring the fact that I haven't been working out for some time now, somehow I become a bit easier to be out of breath here, hmm. Is it because of the chilly air?? hahaha.

However, there was one thing. The place was located in such a place surrounded by jungles and fields. In short, we were relatively isolated from the outside world (though internet access was still available but we had to pay 3 euro for 1 acumulative hour usage of it). Sure the scenery and air were super great and fresh, but I needed civilization! hahaha... :-) Well, it was overall still fun and refreshing.

That is it, the story of MKO.

By the way, yesterday I got a bad news. My new laptop got attacked by a (?) damn virus and I needed to reinstall it. Lucky I had my friend who knew how to do that :-D.

::: A building from the 1300s as Stayokay's main building.

::: Another building at Stayokay where all the rooms are located. It is from the 1400s.

::: Crazy jenga.

::: Sheeps passing.

::: A very beautiful and serene morning in Bunnik.

::: A green road to the hostel.

::: A very beautiful and serene morning in Bunnik.

::: A balloon!! This thing is rare in Indonesia.

::: Donkeys


Minggu ini beberapa hal sudah menjadi semakin serius. Senin lalu, aku mengikuti acara orientasi wajib dari kampusku yang disebut dengan nama Masters Kick Off (MKO) untuk mahasiswa master baru. Aku sangat bersemangat untuk mengikutinya tetapi ada beberapa hal yang menghantui pikiranku. Pertama, kami tidak diberi-taahu sama sekali mengenai tujuannya sebelum daftar ulang yang berlangsung satu jam sebelum keberangkatan. Namun, masalah lainnya adalah kami juga tidak diberi tahu mengenai apa yang akan kami lakukan disana, apakah itu games, kuliah, tugas, atau hal-hal lain karena aktivitas baru diberi-tahukan waktu daftar ulang itu juga. Ini menjadi agak masalah karena kami jadi tidak terlalu mempersiapkan diri untuk aktivitas-aktivitas itu, yang sebagian di antaranya ternyata adalah kuliah tiga kelas wajib.

Ngomong2, tempat misteri tersebut ternyata adalah Bunnik, sebuah daerah kecil sekali di dekat Utrecht. Kami disediakan dua buah bus untuk pergi kesana dan bus yang aku naiki dalam perjalanan ke Bunnik keren banget loh!! Di dalam busnya ada dapur lengkap dengan pembuat kopi, microwave, dll. Bahkan kursi-kursinya disusun dengan asyik juga, seperti di dalam ruangan. Kami tinggal di hostel Stayokay yang berada di tempat yang sangat indah dan dua bangunan kuno ala Rennaissance sebagai bangunan utamanya.

Yah, aku sih melewatkan waktuku dengan asyik selama tinggal empat hari tiga malam disana karena aku bertemu banyak orang dan berteman dengan mereka. Disana ada juga tiga kelas, seperti yang kusebutkan di atas, dan sebuah tugas kelompok. Di samping itu semua, aku juga belajar bagaimana memainkan permainan "Ultimate Frisbee" yang ternyata asyik juga!! Ngomong2 tentang olahraga nih, dengan mengabaikan fakta bahwa memang aku sudah nggak olahraga rutin selama beberapa waktu sekarang, koq kayanya aku agak lebih mudah kehabisan nafas ya disini, hmm. Apa karena udara yang dingin?? hahaha.

Ngomong2, ada satu hal deh. Tempatnya itu berada di suatu lokasi yang dikelilingi hutan dan lapangan. Singkatnya, kami bisa dibilang terisolasi dari dunia luar (walau akses internet masih ada sih tapi kami harus membayar 3 euro untuk akses akumulatif selama 1 jam). Memang pemandangan dan udaranya bagus dan bersih banget, tapi aku butuh peradaban juga! hahaha... :-) Yah, secara keseluruhan sih masih sangat asyik dan menyegarkan.

Itulah, cerita tentang MKO.

Ngomong2, kemarin aku mendapat kabar buruk neh. Laptop baruku diserang satu (?) virus dan harus di-instal ulang. Untungnya aku punya teman yang tahu bagaimana cara melakukannya :-D