"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."
Audrey Hepburn

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Help for no reasons

In Bahasa:

 Gambar dari ini

Dalam sebuah perjalanan, saya percaya akan makna penting dari perjalanan itu sendiri.
Bukan akhir dari perjalanan yang dituju.
Mengapa? Karna tatkala bergerak, ribuan hal akan terjadi.
Dari sanalah kita bisa belajar banyak.
Belajar akan makna kehidupan dan belajar untuk lebih bersyukur.

Menolong dan ditolong.
Pelajaran yang kembali saya peroleh sepanjang perjalanan di Prancis di liburan natal tahun ini.

Tidak hanya satu-dua kali, kami dibantu oleh orang lain yang tidak kami kenal.
Saat kami sangat membutuhkan bantuan terkadang tidak.
Juga berupa bantuan berwujud maupun tidak berwujud.
Dan kesemuanya adalah bantuan yang tidak bisa ditolak.

Hanya rasa syukur dan ucapan terimakasih yang dapat kami lontarkan.
Serta pikiran untuk melanjutkan bantuan tersebut kepada orang lain.

Disini saya belajar bagaimana seharusnya sesama manusia membantu.
Tanpa pandang siapa orangnya, apa statusnya, dan segenting apa kondisinya.

Kata orang, berbuat baik ke orang lain itu menular.
Sudah pasti di kemudian hari, kebaikan darimu akan kembali ke dirimu.
Nah, jadi tunggu apa lagi?
Spread the kindness to everyone, and the same thing will goes around.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Fiore Firenze

As I stated before, during Italian trip last summer I kept making myself busy by jotting down notes. Everything that appealed me, let’s say Italian hand gestures, current feeling, refreshing flavor of gelato, or tiring foot after long walk, I just wrote it as soon as the thought popped up.

Being in Firenze after Venezia, my intention to write was reaching its peak (i guess). Gently and gradually, Firenze showed its charm to me. It was like more and more edges passed, I found more comfort, beauty, and uniqueness.

Firenze is popular in having numerous museums with prominent collections like sculptures and paintings (Adam sculpture supposed to be the famous one). Well, you don’t have to be an art-and-culture-addict to completely enjoy the real Firenze. As for me, instead of spending time (and money) to admire “unknown-art”, I prefer to explore the other iconic spots of Firenze.

Tough she is a medium city compare to Paris the gigantic city or Cesky Krumlov as small one, she offers almost complete package of a nice city! How can I say like that? Okay, enough with blabbering introduction, time to share few of my notes which copied directly from my notebook.
Could I say that the people are too creative?
Unique signage and artistic graffiti are common things in Firenze. Lucky me, during the trip I kept founding “cute” ornament around the city instead of grudge or hardcore art (which I can’t understand).


Presenting countless of pleasant food, whatever your budget are
Before going to Firenze, one of my Couchsurfing friend said that I had to optimize my appetite in Tuscan. She said that Tuscan cooking is historically rooted of Italian cuisine, and Firenze is one of the birthplaces of Italian gastronomy. No wonder I easily enjoy the taste of simple Margherita pizza, Schiacciata (try this Tuscan focaccia bread that has salt and olive oil on the crust) with Finocchiona (my goodness, this Florentine’s salami with fennel seeds was a blast!), Cornetta con Nutella, and more and more Gelato with affordable price.

Divergence of aura in each piazza
I am big fan of piazza, or plaza, or park. It is favorite place where I can sit the bench or part of building’s stairs, staring others, enjoying the shine and daydreaming (sometimes). I was little surprised knowing that there are big number of recommended piazzas in Firenze based on lonelyplanet. Will it be like numerous piazza in Rome which focus on its particular building architectures? The answer is not :D The longer I stayed in each piazza, the more I felt different atmospheres which are proper for moody people (like me). Hehe.
Piazza San Spirito, the name perfectly represents the feel of the piazza, filled with people’s spirit. J You can find local market selling food, clothes, kitchen utensils, with loud Italian buyers in the morning. When afternoon comes, you can see running children around the piazza. And when it starts to be dark, group of youngster gossip and laugh together with small glass of wine on hand. Uhlala..
Piazza del Duomo, placed in the center of Duomo- Cathedral of Santa Maria de Fiore and dainty cafes surrounded. It offers charms of green-pink-white exterior of Cathedral. No wonder you will feel the sense of touristy around.
Piazza S.M. Novella, perfect place to relax by seeing beautiful flowers in the piazza. Don’t forget to get fresh gelato that easily found in Gelateria around. Best partner for lazy-me-time. 
Piazzale Michelangelo, which offers beautiful Firenze. I can’t say anything else. More details later.

Having three iconic spots which perfect enough for a not art-addict like me

Ponte Vecchio
The moment when I walk down from Via De Guicciardini to Via Por Santa Maria by crossing Ponte Vecchio was totally memorable. Tough it was quite loaded with flow of people; the exterior of jewelries stalls got full attention of mine indeed. The banners and rooftops were totally totally totally charming and elegant with wood nuance.

At the end of bridge, just turn right and walk along Arno River. Slow but sure, you will see unique block of buildings at the opposite of your stand and colorful and unique Ponte Vecchio at the right. I was lucky enough to get reflection of them on Arno River due to summer sunshine :)

Duomo- Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
When other churches in Europe dominantly painted with white or gothic color, it stands differently with its own color which is combination between pink, green, and white. Eye catching and beautiful like Fiore (fiore means flower). Besides, it also has the largest dome ever constructed. You can capture whole beauty of the cathedral from Piazzale Micheangelo.

Piazzale Micheangelo
Having experience in climbing Gellert Hill to see the beauty of Budapest in 15 minutes, firstly I assumed that I had to do the same thing again to enjoy Firenze from above. Ta da… with less than 10 minutes and low slope hill, I finally reached Piazzale Micheangelo. Happy and disappointed at the same time since I had prepared high spirit and energy as well. Hahaha.

Magnificent panoramic view of Firenze. By standing in one place, I can grab picture of Firenze starts from Forete Belvedere to Santa Croce, not forget to mention the iconic Ponte Vecchio, Duomo, and Palazzo Vecchio. No wonder it becomes one of the best place not only for tourists but also Fiorentine. As I stated before, here you can witness beauty of full Cathedral from Façade till Duomo part. 

And one more, on the way down you could find a small park with petite bench and nice view. I was sitting there when the church’s bell rang coincidentally. I have no suitable word to express my feeling at that time. :”)

You don’t need daily or three days transport travel pass to roll around the city

No need to open your purse to pay for bus or tram to hop the touristic spots. Just prepare proper shoes and full energy. Most of the spots can be reached by walking, since they are quite concentrated in one big area. Moreover, you will enjoy most of your time during walking because the city itself is too beautiful (the building’s exterior, piazza, sculpture, and so on). Ah, be careful with the carved window, I was stumbled once because of too excited with the sky. Clumsy me -_-

After spending some days in Venezia without urban transportation at all, I felt stressful somehow due to high density of scooters, cars, tourist bus, and small pedestrian. All in one in centrum area. Kind of like being in commuter line to Jakarta in peak hour. Haha.

By now, you should be interested to come to Firenze, the best medium city that I ever visited till now. Seriously! If not, kindly read my too-random-thought below and try to check and find the answer there. Until the next post, ciciciciaooo!


Peep tip:
I found that purchasing coffee during morning will cost you less than during afternoon in some coffee shop here. You could see it from separate prices mentioned in the board.

Author of Pinocchio, Carlo Lorenzini, lived in Firenze for quite long time. That’s why you will find many Pinocchio woody-puppets as souvenir.

Too-random thought:
It was very common to see old vehicle, bicycle or car, around the city. I was wondering whether they have no money to get the new one or they appreciate it too much. Well, I love the way locals, both old and youngster, cherish their old vehicle.

Why do people build wall connection between two houses in the second floor? What is the main function? Or is it just an unimportant home decoration? I found it in many houses there.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

15 Top Things I Enjoy About Gent

Celebrating my one year in Ghent (maybe less than 10 months, if I consider sweet getaway on Christmas break, Easter break, and another breaks), I’ll be very happy to share some ultimate lovely things that I did or I felt during my stay in Gent.

1. Hearing ringing bell per hour and seeing current time from Sint Pietersabdij church in front of my study desk. Living in the fourth floor of Home Groningen, I am totally grateful to get this rare opportunity.

2. Jogging around Koning Albertpark, when I am bored with treadmill in Escape Fitness. This park located less than 300 m from my place, has well-maintained track for running and pasture for stretching and relaxing. I am also a fan of fresh fountain there.

3. Munching frieten and kebab in Overpoortstraat. Gouden sate for frieten and red-painted store for kebab.

pic from here

4. Cycling or walking on fall season in the park between Gustaaf Callierlaan and Zuidparklaan. Long straight line with two-sided trees between. You will feel romantic and relaxing when the brown leaves dropped down.

5. Browsing around lovely Dille and Kimelle in Hornstraat. Heaven for cooking and kitchen hardcore fans with limited budget. Not forget to mention CASA in Veldstraat for its cute seasonal eating utensils and interior decorations.

photo from here 

6. Getting cheap with good quality Belgian chocolate and fresh fruit and vegetable in Vridagmarkt.

7. Sitting and enjoying rare sunshine with kriek Lindemans in hand in Graslei.

8. Having big stuk of grilled chicken from slagerij next to DelHaize in Rabot. Combine with giant Turkish bread from bakkerij nearby. Self-reward after passing daily long-class.

9. Joining the crowd of massive 10 days Gentsefeesten around the city in September. Small street acts or big stage events pleased me so well. 

10. Enjoying fresh Chocoladebrood from Bakkerij Himschoot. European typical bread at the outside but still has fluffiness like Asian in the inside.

11. Sipping yummy hot Belgian chocolate with books in cozy Huize Colette. When coffee addiction coming, I visit little Mokabon café for its cappuccino met crème J. Small tips, use some Dutch for better service.

photo from here

12. Watching walking people from Hema café. Cheap Dutch dish (and some Indonesian) with wonderful view of Korenmarkt from above.

13. Walking around small medieval  Patershol quarter. Beautiful neighborhood with old row homes with cobblestone alleys. Uber romantic at night. (You can find good Indonesian restaurant as well)

photo from here 

12. Admiring beauty of posh Bloemenmarkt every Sunday in Kouter.

15. Lastly, as a student, I force myself to study in Boekentoren, UGent central library. Quite good ambience and sometimes with nice “view” of cute students. Hehehe.

photo from here

I still have 10 months to go. Perhaps I will add more to this list later.

If you come to Gent, don’t forget to try some of my favorite things here. J