Saturday, November 18, 2017


“Where is your home?”

“Are you coming back home? do you want to stay abroad forever? What’s your plan?”

These are questions I often receive on daily basis. Sometimes I wonder about the meaning of them, are they just #kepo or simply care about my situation?

and sometimes I’m too exhausted to explain my concept of home to some fuddy-duddies again and again.

Look, sometimes home is not where you were born; home is where all your attempts to escape cease (says, Naguib Mahfouz). Because I don’t want to be stuck anymore. I want to pull myself out there. Explore them. To feel the rush of happiness. To go on adventures where I can be fearless like nothing can stop me. I want to get the chance to breathe in different cities before my last breath escapes me.

Anyway, here I doodled two houses (a typical old Belgian house—where I currently live and a joglo house—where I was born) and as the representation of what I could call homes, despite any love-hate-relationships with these places.

#wip and inspirations

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

From Warsaw to Santorini

Hey there! Finally, I had time to write this blog again. I know I know I've been so busy with school (as always)  This year I haven't been anywhere outside Belgium. My last trip was last summer to Berlin. School life is hard and I really need an escape from my daily routine. So, let's book a ticket!

So I booked flights. And after that, I didn't really plan my trip until the last minutes. My routes were: 
  • Day 1: Charleroi - Warsaw
  • Day 2: Warsaw - Athens
  • Day 3: Athens
  • Day 4: Athens - Santorini
  • Day 5: Santorini
  • Day 6: Santorini - Athens
  • Day 7: Athens-Charleroi

Day 1: Warsaw at night with a Vegan host
Let me begin to tell you about one day in Warsaw. 
To be exact, I had only 22 hours in Warsaw. I arrived there at 10 pm and I had to leave the next day at 6 pm. It was really short visit. But I did enjoy Warsaw. 

From Modlin Warsaw Airport, I took a bus, then a train to reach the city center. It took like one hour to get to the center. In the Warsaw Central Station, there was a lovely girl who is already waiting for me.  I know her from Couchsurfing, and she hosted me for a night. From the tram on the way to her place, I could see Warsaw at night. Full of lights. Just like another big capital cities, typical skyscrappers,  it reminds me of Jakarta though. 

Palace of Culture and Science in front of the central station.

At my CS host place, we had a cup of warm tea and we had a convo about many things. My host is a vegan, and we shared our thoughts about what we see the world about eating less meat. She is also a hitch-hiker, and she shared her experiences. It was a lovely night.  We stayed late until 1 AM. Then we went to bed. 

Day 2: Polish Dumpling and Korean Bulgogi
In the morning, my host made me an oatmeal porridge as breakfast, served with a strawberry on top! Normally I don't really like oatmeal, but hers was good! After back from my trip, I even make my own oatmeal porridge! 

After breakfast, we took the same tram to Old City. Her university is close to Old Town. She is cool, she is from Ukraine, and she studies at Warsaw University, and of course, she takes Polish courses. Her story is similar to me, a foreign student in her class. And she is just 18 years old. She is smart! And she has already a job as a translator. How cool is that?

Old Town Square
I needed to pee, so I needed to change the money.

In the morning, I explored the old town. It was a sunny day. And I did enjoy my dairy free muffin in front of this monument.
I brought some muffins on my trip. 

My Polish friend recommends me to try Polish dumplings. Since I don't eat meat, so I ordered the mushroom fillings. It was super! I really liked them. Especially it served with melted butter.  This become my favorite now! And I tried a glass of warming fruit winter exilir hibiscus and raspberry juice. It was good but too sweet. 

You should try this! 

After from the Old Town, I walked to the Warsaw University Library. My host recommended this place, so I checked that out. So at the rooftop of the library, there is a garden. And here you can sit and chill. And you can enjoy the view like this. 

From the rooftop

After from the library, I walked again to try Korean food. I know. I know. Why did I choose Korean food? Because I just wanted to. I've been craving Korean food since ages. And I saw there is a good one. So why not I give it a try. 
When I was eating my bulgogi, this guy was hitting on me :P
Here is vegetarian bulgogi at Miss Kimchi, Warsaw.

After having a lunch, I walked to Krowarzywa Vegan Burger. You just had a bowl of rice!! I know. I know. But I wanted a vegan burger for my dinner. Since I know the food at the airport can be expensive, why not I take away a vegan burger? I saw there are a lot of vegan options in Warsaw. I was quite surprised. They even have a vegan sushi bar! How cool is that?

Warsaw university
a reversed Indonesian flag?

So I went to the famous vegan burger in town, it costs like 3 euro for a burger. It comes in a big portion. I meant it. 

I ate this burger at the airport and it tastes good!

My flight to Athens was at 6 PM. And I arrived at 10.45 PM. I took the bus to the city center. And walked to my next host place. It was around midnight. The next host is Spanish. He works as an animator. And he is a kind guy. He dances the tango very good!

Day 3: Acropolis and Greek yogurt
Here is my highlights:
  • Starting my day with visiting Acropolis museum for free :)

  •  After the museum, I had my lunch. As a starter, I began with Greek salad, then the main course was soy pita. I never tried a vegetarian version of pita, and it was good!! I never find vegetarian pita in Belgium :( (so far). And the last part was greek yogurt. That was the bomb! I really liked it!

  • Visiting the Acropolis, again, for free. And I enjoyed my homemade muffin on top. The view from above was heaven! 

Day 4: Baklava and red velvet

I would say the 4th day kind of random stuff to do, no plans at all. I had sesame sandwich and baklava as lunch.  I sat at the cafe for hours, for charging my phone. Then I went to the park for reading a book that I brought. But it was raining after a while. And I looked for a shelter, I found a sweet one. I had a cup of warm cappuccino and red velvet there. After that, I went to the airport to catch a flight to Santorini.

sesame sandwich
Baklava and spinotaka

Chillin' in the Athens park

Reading session with Red Velvet
Day 5: Santorini! LOVE IT SO MUCH!
I was there around midnight. But there was an accident, that I couldn't reach the host. And after 2 hours wandering in Firostefani in the dark, I gave up. And the only place that still opened is a five stars resort. I know. I know. Not planning to stay there at the first place, but I guess for an emergency situation. What can I say? So little options did I have, and I was super tired.

And I woke up with the view like this in the morning. I feel blessed.

The view from the room. 
It was so quite in the morning. 

Then in the noon, I visited the north part of the island, Oia, it is famous with the three blue domes. The view is superb!

Then back to Fira, the big city on the island. I ate pasta. 

the room was like this one

When in Oia

in Fira

In Fira
 Day 6: Bye Santorini!
 If the 5th day I explored the north part, this time I explored the most south part of the island. Akrotori. I climbed the cliff close to the lighthouse. The panorama from there was breathtaking. And I said to myself. I don't want to go back. In the noon, I visited the prehistoric town close to the lighthouse. Lucky me, it's free for a student. After that, I just visited beaches and small villages. And back to cloudy Belgium.

Akrotori from top

The light house at Akrotori

When in Akrotori Prehistoric Town
free enterance again :D

When in Megalochori

When in Pygros, I had some cakes :D

Kamari Beach

Sunset was the other part of the island :(

Last dinner at Santorini

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sepotong tart lemon di antara rintik hujan

"Hei, apa kabar? Besok aku akan ke kotamu. Mau bertemu?" tanyaku melalui pesan singkat.
"Ya, mungkin kita bisa ke Mbak Tukang Kue," balasmu.
"Mbak Tukang Kue? Apa itu? Aku belum pernah dengar," sahutku. Kamu segera mengirimkan alamat situs sebuah kedai kopi hipster. Wah, tempatnya boleh juga! Tart-tart yang disediakan bebas gluten, terbuat dari bahan-bahan organik dan fairtrade. Pilihan yang tepat!

Langit di atas stasiun kereta siang itu nampak sendu. Suhu siang itu cocok untuk memelukmu, sayangnya kamu belum nampak. Jalur tram nampak masih basah dari jejak hujan. Aku kembali masuk ke dalam stasiun untuk menunggumu. Tak lama, senyumku terbit seiring dengan kemunculanmu di depan stasiun.

Ini adalah pertemuan pertama. Kau, bermata biru terang. Kau, berambut seperti biksu. Kau, terseyum padaku. Kecupanmu yang mendarat di pipiku menandakan  kencan pertama kami akan segera dimulai...

Kami bersepeda menuju kedai kopi yang belum lama ini dibuka. Aku bersepeda persis di belakangmu. Aku tersadar jika kamu butuh celana jins baru. Ujung jinsmu terkoyak-koyak, aku yakin itu bukan mode. Aku pasrah mengikutimu dengan sepedaku karena aku tak tahu banyak tentang kotamu.

Kedai Mbak Tukang Kue terletak tak jauh dari stasiun kereta. Konsep interiornya seperti kedai-kedai hipster pada umumnya. Kedainya kecil namun aku merasa nyaman untuk berlama-lama di sana, senyaman aku menatap dua bola mata birumu yang terus menatapku. Kami memesan dua jenis tart, punyaku tart lemon, dan punyamu tart rasberi.

Kami diberi semangkuk popcorn karamel gratis. Sambil menikmati tart dan teh, kami mendiskusikan banyak hal. Kami saling mengenal satu sama lain. Mulanya kami merasa sedikit kikuk, karena tidak tahu harus memulai pembicaraan apa. Waktu memberikan kami ruang untuk menemukan tempo dalam obrolan kami.

Semakin lama, Kedai Mbak Tukang Kue semakin dipenuhi pengunjung. Kami tergusur keluar, karena pesanan kami sudah tandas. Kamu membawaku ke pelabuhan sore itu. Kamu menceritakan sejarah pelabuhan itu. Kami bersepeda menyisiri sungai. Kamu membawaku ke tempat-tempat tersembunyi yang memiliki grafiti mengagumkan. Kami melewati gedung tempatmu berlatih yoga. Kami melewati pemukiman miskin yang memiliki banyak pergerakan radikal. Aku menikmati tur sepeda bersamamu.

Sungai yang kami susuri membawa kami ke apartemenmu. Kamu mengundangku untuk segelas air mineral. Ruang tamumu penuh buku-buku. Kami membicarakan buku-buku tersebut. Selera bukumu beragam, mulai dari catatan seorang jurnalis tentang perjalanannya ke Mekah, komik Jepang yang diterjemahkan dalam bahasa Prancis, komik-komik tentang sindiran terhadap Alkitab, hingga novel-novel Timur Tengah.

Di dinding ruang kerjamu, ada koleksi foto orang-orang terdekatmu. Aku mulai penasaran dengan kisah cintamu, namun aku tak bertanya soal itu. Mungkin nanti. Di ruang tamu, kamu bertanya jenis musik apa yang aku suka. Aku suka apa saja, jawabku. Lalu kami menikmati akustikan dari Spotify. Aku menemukan gitar di ujung ruangan. Ternyata gitar tersebut bukan milikmu, namun kamu memainkan beberapa melodi untukku. Aku tersentuh.

Kamu mengajakku bermain kartu. Aku sebenarnya sudah lelah dari bersepeda. Maaf, aku menolakmu halus. Kami berakhir dengan menikmati serial American Dad! Beberapa kali aku terkejut dengan bahak tawamu yang menggelegar. Sepikah yang kau rasa? Kalau saja kamu membuka sedikit ruang, aku mampu mendengarkan keluh-kesahmu. Aku rasa kamu tipe pria yang senang memendam rasa.

Seperti Cinderella yang harus kembali ke upik labunya, aku pun demikian. Aku harus kembali ke kotaku. Sebelum semuanya terlambat. Kamu mengantarku kembali ke stasiunn di mana kencan kami bermula.

Terima kasih, kau yang bermata biru, kau yang berambut biksu, kau yang alergi susu, kau yang lucu, sampai jumpa di suatu waktu.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Beginning: 40 days Without Meat

How is your life these days?

I don't have much to talk about, well, I could tell you all night long about my school. But why I would tell you about it? Instead, I will tell you what I've been up to.

So I'm participating #dagenzondervlees or #dayswithoutmeat for 40 days. Even now I'm already not a fan of meat and eating less of it.

Okay, there are many reasons why I'm doing this. I can give you tons of bullshit, such as carbon footprint, living healthier, or loving animals. Those are true. I agree. But why I am doing this? for sharing it on my social media? Of course not as cheesy as that.

Behind this decision, I think because I want to challenge myself. You know, I want to leave my comfort zone. Isn't it boring if you always get what you want to eat? I mean, how easy it is for you to buy meat, but have you ever considered the impact of meat on the world? and the answer isn't easy. The meat industry causes hunger in the world. Isn't that bad? Don't you feel guilty if you can eat meat, but the farmer who grows the food for the cows couldn't afford a proper meal? By consuming more meat, we are still supporting this inequality. And I don't want to live my life in such way.

Does it sound too bullshit? I don't care what you think. This is just a piece of my opinion how I believe the meat industry has such a huge impact on the world.

My life has been not so pure, I would say I don't really live my life. I'm so much attached to things instead of what really matters. I think it's the core reason why I am in for this program. So wish me luck!

How about you?