Thursday, May 16, 2019

Autoworld, Perjalanan ke Masa Lampau

"Wow banyak sekali mobil mama"
Komentar pertama Kellan ketika kami memasuki hall Autoworld.

Memang dibutuhkan ide kreatif ketika bepergian dengan batita. Kita harus memilih tempat tempat yang child friendly dan juga menarik buat mereka. Alih alih menikmati liburan, yang ada malah sibuk menenangkan anak kalau mereka tidak tertarik dengan tempat tersebut. Kebetulan Kellan suka sekali dengan mobil. Jadilah kami berkunjung ke Autoworld yang berlokasi di Parc du Cinquantenaire 11 di Brussels.

Karena menginap di apartment di bagian kota tua Brussel, tidak sulit buat kami menuju ke Autoworld. Cukup dengan menggunakan Metro (kereta bawah tanah) M1 jurusan Stockel atau M5 jurusan Herrman-Debroux dan berhenti di stasiun Merode. Kemudian berjalan sepanjang 450 meter menyusuri taman Ciquantaneire karena Autoworld berapa ditengah taman itu.

Setelah membayar tiket masuk sebesar €12, kami mulai menyusuri zona zona display mobil yang ada disana. Hall besar yang dapat menampung 1000 orang itu merupakan rumah bagi sekitar 250 mobil dan sepeda motor antik. Museum yang dibuka sejak 1986 memang merupakan surga bagi pecinta mobil antik. Autoworld juga merupakan sumber informasi bagi seseorang yang tertarik mengenai perkembangan dan evolusi automobil di Belgia karena koleksinya yang langkap mulai dari akhir abad ke-19 sampai akhir tahun 70-an. Kunjungan ke Autoworld sungguh dapat membawa pengunjung kembali ke masa lalu.

Sebagian besar koleksi mobil antik disana adalah koleksi pribadi pecinta mobil. Termasuk keluarga Mahy yang sangat antusias dengan automobil. Pada awalnya, Ghislain Mahy yang lahir tahun 1907 di Ghent berhasil merangkai mobil pertamanya barang barang dan mesin bekas pada usianya yang ke-17. Sejak saat itu beliau semakin antusias dengan mobil dan hingga saat ini keluarga Mahy masih memiliki koleksi dan dipajang di Autoworld.

Selama kunjungan saya tertarik sekali dengan evolusi mobil elektrik yang ternyata sudah ada sejak tahun 1916 di Amerika. Kemudian tahun 1997 – 2003, Toyota mengeluarkan Prius generasi pertama dengan menggunakan 2 mesin elektrik. Dan pada tahun 2014 Volkswagen mengeluarkan produknya yang disebut E-blue Motion. Jangan khawatir, pengunjung akan dipandu dengan panduan audio berdasarkan zona zona kunjungan. Jadi tidak akan ada informasi yang terlewatkan.

Karena asyiknya melihat lihat koleksi Autoworld, tidak terasa kamu menghabiskan 2 jam disana. Pengunjung yang tidak ramai dan koridor yang lumayan luas membuat Kellan dapat bergerak dengan leluasa mengagumi mobil demi mobil.

"Ayo jemput papa.."
Katanya sambil menunjukkan mobil FORD model T Speedster yang dikeluarkan tahun 1927.
Senang rasanya bisa menghabiskan quality time dengannya.  Semoga Kellan belajar sesuatu yang baru hari ini.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Koblenz 3rd of November 2016

Well, it's been a long time since i write something. seems the habit of writing disappeared with all the major changes in my life. It's time to get back and tell stories again. short or long, deep or even just shallow stories.

I will challenge myself to write one post a day for two weeks and starting again from there. There are a lot to tell...from the backpacking in vietnam to cambodia, from the first time to fall in love again after so many years of feeling empty, from the chaotic wedding preparation, from crazy official paper works in both Indonesian and German part, from the hardest saying good bye to my beloved family and my cute niece and nephew, from the first two weeks life as confused housewife, and more and more....

Its a total change indeed, hard but i know i can make it, especially with the man that i love, i trust, i make vow to live with.

To start the active blog, a beautiful song from James Arthur, Say you won't let go

I met you in the dark
You lit me up
You made me feel as though
I was enough
We danced the night away
We drank too much
I held your hair back when
You were throwing up

Then you smiled over your shoulder
For a minute, I was stone cold sober
I pulled you closer to my chest
And you asked me to stay over
I said, I already told ya
I think that you should get some rest

I knew I loved you then
But you'd never know
Cause I played it cool
When I was scared of letting go
I know I needed you
But I never showed
But I wanna stay with you
Until we're grey and old
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go

I'm so in love with you
And I hope you know
Darling your love is more
than its worth in gold
We've come so far my dear
Look how we've grown
And I wanna stay with you
Until we're grey and old
Just say you won't let go
Just say you won't let go

I wanna live with you
Even when we're ghosts
Cause you were always there for me
When I needed you most

I'm gonna love you till
My lungs give out
I promise till death we part
Like in our vows...

Thursday, March 17, 2016

A bay of descending dragons, Ha Long Bay

When my brain refused to work on my project, writing is the only switch button and way to keep my insanity. I guess I will just use this hibernating moment to write something that I promised long time ago (and make it up with my project tonight when I got some inspiration).

This time about a Bay of Descending Dragons, Ha Long Bay

“Have fun in Ha Long Bay”

Huong opened the door of her apartment.

Typical Cruise Boat
Carefully I gave a kiss to her sweet 1 year old girl that she carried in her hand. Huong’s apartment was my sanctuary in Hanoi, in between my trips. She was so generous to let me stay and treat me as her new family.

I tried to walk as fast as I can fighting the January Cold in Hanoi. I saw the minivan that will take me about 170 km to a very famous spot in Vietnam, Ha Long Bay, as soon as I reached the end of the aisle from Huong’s apartment.

There were already group of people that will share the tour with me. After a few chit chats, I found out that most of my groups came from the UK. But there were Emilio, a guy with a camera from the Philippines. It was easy for him to impress me with all his travels. Somehow, it inspired me. Thanks Emilio.

View from TITOP Island
As soon as we reached the Ha Long City, we were transferred to a nice boat. There were rows of bedrooms in the lower deck, communal place (for karaoke and restaurant) in the medium level, and open space with many lounge chairs for sun bathing (well, of course it would not happen during my visit due to wrong season) at the upper deck.

Cruising along the famous sea in between 2000 islets gave me different perspective. At first, I only could see the arrogant tall limestones behind the mist. Seems so far, mysterious and unreachable. But as we cruised closer through the mist, the arrogant tall limestones became the prettiest stars that standing proudly in the sea. It gave me a very warm feeling admiring the power that placed those beautiful stones. 

Warewolf game ended up with terrible Hangover
At some points of the tour, we had a chance to jump off the boat and hiked the highest peak of one of the island, TITOP Island, explored the surprised cave, Hang Sun Sot, and kayaked around the floating village. The activities bounded the group so well. We spent the rest of the evening dancing to a “Ganggam Style”, singing karaoke with our silly voices and playing “Warewolf” game. At the end of the each game, the one who was losing, should take a strong mix of alcohol shoot. And oh Boy, he had a terrible hangover the next day. Poor guy!

Enjoying the dawn
The next morning, when everyone was sleeping, I got myself to the upper level. The sun was not yet shining. I closed my eyes and mindfully moved my body to some cycles of Sun Salutation. I breathed to the tranquillity and peaceful moment. I didn’t know how long I sat there watching to the layers of mist slowly disappeared along with the coming of the warm and yet shy sun.

The best thing were, this journey to  a mystical nights in between 2000 islets, this journey to a World's new 7 wonders and one of UNESCO World Heritage Site rejuvenated me. I was indeed need a good holiday.

Now your turn to find your way to this magical place.

Some more pictures:

Typical room

The surprised cave


Hangout at the upper deck


Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Ethereal Clouds of SA PA

It was indeed way too long for me to write about this trip. But hand notes, pictures, facebook post helped me to collect the memories and write about this post.  Slowly, when I decided to write about this, my brain started to collect all the information to the point that I can remember some important details. The trip was so memorable after all. I call it “The ETHEREAL clouds of SAPA’

Stranded in Hanoi

It was 6 am when I reached Nội Bài International airport in Hanoi. I felt terribly tired and sleepy after 6 hours stopped over in Kuala Lumpur. Since I was traveling with a tight budget, The only budget flight that I got from Bali to Hanoi was only with Air Asia which unfortunately offered a very long stop over. There was I waiting and sleeping at the super freezing KLCC. Good thing was a Vietnamese friend warned me to bring enough warm clothes as January known as cold and windy season in the North of Vietnam. I never imagined that I would use them earlier in the warm Kuala Lumpur and yet freezing airport.

Looking out to the distance
Anyways, I safely landed in Nội Bài International airport and found my way to the GA HANOI, the railway station in Hanoi to get the train ticket to Lao Chai. Struggling with the language, I found myself crammed in to the locals in front of a small counter where they sold the ticket to Lao Chai where I can continue my trip to SAPA. Perhaps because they mistakenly thought that I am a Vietnamese, they allowed me to queue to buy the ticket in that counter with a very reasonable local price. I wasn’t surprise to learn that there are different building where they sell train tickets for tourist which of course with different (higher) price. I considered myself lucky.

I paid for 560.000 DONG for a comfortable sleeper train. I was happy except that the train only started off by 8 pm. It means I would be stranded again for more than 12 hours. I asked my brain to quickly decide what to do when I was eventually free from the crowd.  I checked my only map and found out the center for backpackers is not that far from the station that I could walk for less than 30 minutes. Off I went there and of course with some dramas of getting lost Instead of 30 minutes, it took me almost one hour to get to Hanoi’s Old Quarter where all bars, hotels, backpacker hostels are located.  Quickly I screened hostels and backpacking guesthouse. I badly needed a shower and a space to just crushed on. Hanoi Backpackers hostel it is. With only 5 USD ( in 2013, could be more now), one bed on a 6 beds dorm was mine. My world was slowly getting better.

The town behind the mist
Paddy Rice Fields
Long story short, after recuperated from the hassle and stranding story, I reached SAPA the next morning. The ride with sleeper train was comfortable. I was surprise to found clean linens in my berth. I used the 10 hours ride from Hanoi to Lao Chai the nearest train station to SAPA with a beautiful sleep. I geared up myself as soon I stepped off from the train as the cold brutally slapped my face. I followed the crowed with backpacks assuming they would also travelling to SAPA which was a good decision I made. Together with the crowed, I hopped on a minivan to continue another 45 minutes road trip to town SAPA itself.

As far as I could see, it was only a mist. I narrowed my eyes, focusing at searching for the name of the hostels that I book from Jakarta. My hostel situated in a center of the town. With only 25 USD per night I could get a private room with all utilities that I needed including heater blanket.
After a few chit-chat with the owner of the hostel, it turned out I could change my reservation to the next day if I followed the trekking group that she organized. It was a 1N/2D trekking in the valley of SAPA. Of course, I did it.

There was I with  other fellow backpackers, Mathew, Vianey, Jessica and Greg guided by Zuong, a nice girl from the Black H’mong Tribe. We walked from 9 am to 5 pm passing through small muddy path and the beds of the rice fields. Often we fell down for it was so slippery and ended up having mud all over our body. We had fun on each other and couldn’t stop laughing. What a trip! The view itself was tremendous and sophisticated. As far as I could see lies the huge (never seen like that before in Indonesia) paddy rice terraced fields. From time to time we passed the ethnic minorities like Black H’mong and Red Dao women. It felt different when you are being expose to a total different culture. I felt lucky.
Accomodation in the village
After 20 km walked, we stopped at one simple Hmong house to rest and sleep for a night. Nothing was special with our accommodation BUT Its simplicity. Experiencing how the ethnic minority live for only one night with a very basic facilities There are matrass lied close to each other at the second floor where people were gathered (cooking, eating, or just simply chatting) at the first floor. Togetherness continued still, the smell of food being cooked from the open kitchen, the warmth of the house owner, and a simple fireplace that they placed in the middle of the house was really inviting me to stay downstairs. We shared stories, we made jokes, and we laugh. Of course with the help of very bitter and strong rice wine helped us all to feel at ease.

The next day, we continue our trekking program towards the town. We passed several beautiful waterfalls and more paddy rice fields. Tiring and content at the same time, we finished the program in the afternoon and ended up in one nice bar drinking warm wine.

Everything was completely different in Town. The town was still hidden by its mist. I couldn’t see the valley as clouds perfectly covered them. But this place is indeed special.

And oh, my story of this trip has been published at detik. travel too, writing in Bahasa Indonesia was indeed easier for is the link

Some more pictures:

Hmong Woman
Our Next Generation

fire place to keep us warm
Sweet Souvenir

behind the mist

Traditional Market

View of Pansipan mountain from my room

Stay tune for the story of The descendent of a dragon in Halong Bay

Monday, September 14, 2015

Malawi, a bitter sweet experience

I realized that I haven't write anything on this blog for such a long time, SO SHAME...
However, I wrote a one year journey in Africa in another blog it means I am not literally abandoning my writing habits.

Here is the address if you want to now some stories about MALAWI, ZAMBIA and Tanzania...(but I have to warn you to read it with emotion.. LOL)

Here we go...

Enjoy reading,

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Manila for the first time

6 am i landed in the land of the Filipinos. 4 hours flight with Philippine airlines seemed bearable since i am looking forward to this trip. The main purpose of this trip to Manila was the Wider Role of Volunteering training held by VSO Bahaginan. But what make this trip special was meeting my good old friends.

Welcoming card by Pan Pan (sweet)
as soon as i got the invitation, i immediately informed Orvil and Wanda, and some other friends whom i met in Belgium. We were so excited to plan anything that we could plan during my stay. Orvil, Pet his wife and two beautiful daughters (Yana 10 and Pan Pan 8) picked me up from the airport. I know they had to wake up so early to be in the airport for me. i felt so lucky that i didnt have to get confuse finding my way to the city centre to attend my appointment with Dr. Baleva at St. Lukes Hospital in Quezon City. I praised the moment when we drove from the airport to Quezon City. i couldn't tell what i felt but obviously it was something beautiful. The girls were easily talking about their routines, their schools, their activities as if they knew me for so long. They call me "Tita Lili"  which means aunty Lili. Pet, whom i just meet, talked like i am her old friend. I kept telling Orvil that he has a wonderful family. It was really bad that i didnt make it to meet their youngest daughter Alexis. But surely, i admire those 6 hours that i spent with them. They made it easy for me to feel that i have a family in Manila.
Orvil, Pet, and Pan Pan (after we dropped Yana at School)

Pet dropped me at VSO Bahaginan Office at 12 pm after we planned how we got together in between my training. The one thing that we really wanted to do was to drink Belgian Beer at one bar in the Global City.
The group in Belgium, including Orvil and  i, used to hang out on the weekend. And the only affordable drinks for us a students was its Beer. Thank Goodness the have these 2000 kind of beers (ok, i might be exaggerated about the number, but what a heck). so we think it will be cool to experience the same hang out, the same drinks BUT in Manila..

We finally made it at my last night. They brought me to a nice restaurant called FINO Bar and Restaurant and Wanda was there too. It was so good to meet a friend whom you did all fun stuffs back then (sttttt, Wanda was friend whom i went to a wild party, got drunk till we couldn't stepped on the stairs and literally crawling, drinking beer from 9 am to 1 am). How cool was that when we made it to meet again???
Finally after 3 years we met again Wanda
Orvil and Pet wanted me to try a local cocktail called Manila Manila. Then there i was sitting at Murray and D'Vine (Burgers, Ribs and damn good Wine :).  They made me tried Manila Manila which basically like Mojito except it is with ginger. Orvil challenged me to drink MMF-Mongolian Mother F***er (well, excuse me, i am not trying to speak dirty words here, but that's actually a name of drink in this bar. It is a mix of 9 high content alcohols which i dont remember what). but, Pet didnt allow me as i would be destroyed and couldn't enjoy the night afterwards. thanks Pet for not letting me try :).
I long for this sweet beer, couldn`t find one in Indonesia

We were end up in the DRAFT Gastropub. Emmillio, my travel mate in Vietnam was also there. After some bottles of Kriek (Cherry Beer) and drafts, everyone were so happy and loud. We laughed so much and telling the story back there in Belgium. I was so happy being reunite again with them.

The next day i managed to find my way to the Intramuros, the walled city in Metro Manila. I had chance to see a bit of the city, visited Manila House and some historic places during Spanish colonialism.What i really like about Manila is people didnt see me as stranger since i have the same look and the same skin color with them which made them treated me like i am one of them. I am so lucky, Manila for the first time turned to be the most comfortable foreign land for me.

i hope to be back some day...

Stay tune for the "when i walked in vietnam, a journey to the mist"

Monday, October 29, 2012

Long weekend at BINGIN BEACH

 “Long weekend, Gosh what am i gonna do?” my mind keep thinking,
I should have had so much excitement since I move to Sanur taking in to consideration I love being in the beach. I spent hours and hours driving down from Ubud to be in the beach before I moved. But the excitement of moving closer to the beach and office was not really there.
I loved living in Ubud and and two hours motorbike riding back and forth everyday to the office seemed bearable for me as fresh air, tranquility and its vibe were enough to pay all the tiredness of riding. But for reasons that I couldn`t share here I have no choice but moving out. I was debating in my heart for several weeks either staying, look for another house in Ubud, or just move closer to the place I work.
Then here I am, trying to feel something about Sanur, trying to get the feeling that I really live here, trying to look places where my heart feel the beat, trying to look road and path where my feet could stop and just standing there for a while, trying to search amazing person who inspired me and gave me more strength to live just like I found in Ubud. None, I found nothing. Perhaps I didn’t give myself enough time. But come on, a month should be enough to feel better about a new place. I was this easy going, flexible, and adaptable girl. But this time, I simply have a hard time.
There must be reasons; perhaps, I am harder to please now, or I am having this hormone changing that everything just falls wrong. People said at age 30s you would become a different one. It might be true in my case.
Back to the first question, long weekend what am I gonna do?
I used to trick my mind by having some fun with friends from work. But I guess this time; I simply need time for myself.
I packed my back pack though I had no idea where I headed. I packed cloths, foods, creams for a day or two and off I went. I rode my bike to the south and just followed my feeling where I wanted to go and ended up parked my bike at Bingin Beach.
It is a surf camp in between dreamland beach and impossible beach. The only thing I can do there is sunbathing and swimming as I don’t surf and I don’t have snorkeling gear. But what the heck, I am coming here to skip my ordinary life in Sanur. A 70.000 IDR basic room seems ok. But the price for food is overpriced. I am glad I packed some fruits and foods from home that I don’t have to spend heaps of money for ordinary taste of food.
I was equipped with a KOBO reader where I keep hundreds of e books. I made myself promise to finish one or two during my stay which I finally do J

I wished some thoughts come to my mind to make me feel better, but still, no thoughts no inspirations no achievements. I didn’t even do proper yoga or meditation during my stay. To be honest, I don’t know what to feel. But one thing I still know, I am a lucky one to have this life now regardless the ups and downs of the life that I have.