My Next Oscar

When I first started this blog on March 2005, I have a bunch of good friends who helped me out, such as Romo. And for them my Oscars went. Now, 5 months later, I'm finally able to change my template hehehe... It's an achievement, for me, at least. Not that the last one was no good, I just think I need something new. Being a girl and all wekekekeks.... Then I'd like to give another Oscar for my kind friend, Alaryx, for his help in realizing my long-time wish (read: change this template), his encouragement, and mostly for his patience ;p Being in an army academy is not as scary as changing a template, trust me!
So, B-I-G thanks, dudes! You all rock!

Life is Full

Yep. Life is full. Period.
That's what I've been feeling for a month. Well, of course, not just this month that I've learned a life lesson, I believe every month, or every day, the lesson is there waiting. However, in this particular month, things have gone a bit... too much. Almost. That's why my conclusion to end this month is Life if Full. Of lessons, of choices, of sadness, of happiness, of tears, of laughs, of many things.
I bet you don't understand a bit what I'm saying, do you? hehehehe....
Now, let me just tell you what happened this month, before I'm starting to transform into a kind of philosopher you all hate about... By the way, this will be an awfully long story. So make sure your kids are sleeping, your hubby/wife/honey doesn't bother you staring at the monitor, and most importantly, you have your boss stuck in the toilet for a long time!

First of all, the news that I(!) have to move out from this apato and that we won the dorm (instead of the university apato) shook my life's yin and yang. It's kind of difficult to move out because I've felt at home here, and that's rare! The only place I've called home is the Halim's house. But, well, I finally agree to move out. For the sake of world peace. And of course, the promise of some nice compensations from Papap ;b

And then out of the blue, I decided to join the blogfam's August 17 competition (Wish me luck, puhleeeezzz). I nearly couldn't come up with something. I didn't have any ideas at all of what to write about the Independence ceremony since we live far from the Indonesian embassy and we wouldn't be able to go there to attend the ceremony. More to that, the owner of this computer brought the computer along with him to campus and that left me with no computer at all. How could I write? I also had to wait for Hikari to sleep (at 1 am!) before I could sit down and type something! Still the problem was: what should I write? But then, something struck me! Not something, then. Someone! You can read who in my posting below.
On the D-day, the August 17, I spent the Independence Day eating out, or should I say, eating in the room of our Bangladeshi friends, in the campus dormitory. This Bangladeshi couple invited us (our family and other Indonesian friends) for lunch. Really really yummy..mmm... It came in a complete course: appetizer, main course, and dessert. So, it was quite amusing: having Bangladeshis treated us on our Independence Day. Please don't say it's ironic...
While riding my bike to the dorm, I decided to take some photos of the road we have to take from our apato to the dorm. This road will become legendary for us, later when we move to the dorm because it will be the road from the dorm to... civilization... ahhh...

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Start from the upper left: the road from our recent apato. It's faaaarrrrrrr behind that road. Then the road to campus, on the upper right. Left below, the scenery along the road. Right below, the shinkansen station in front. Behind the station is the road to the dorm, the hills, and behind the hills is the the campus.
And when you see the pictures below, they are the forever-climbing road to the dorm. You can actually see the building among the trees. Nice place. For meditation.

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After that, Saturday the 20th came. We went to Kumagaya -a city 20 minutes away by train- for hanabi. This is my first hanabi as well as Hikari's. Together with Papap's friends from campus, we set up a mat at the Arakawa's river bank. Unfortunately, we don't have a camera that's good enough for advanced photography since its main use is as a handycam. But, may be you can check the pictures of these fireworks in Ully's blog, that is if she finally decides to sit down in front of her computer and update her blog huahhaahaha.... Meanwhile, I provide you with some pictures of the hanabi from my camera.

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The river bank was already crowded when we arrived at 5 pm. The hanabi itself didn't start until 7 pm! At first, Hikari didn't like the sound of the fireworks. He even cried in the first 1 hour. But after that he got used to it, well, after we closed his ears so to speak. So he watched the fireworks with his ears closed for 2 hours!

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They look like stars above me, don't they. Actually, the moon at that night was quite pretty. And it was in full shape too.
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After hanabi, I got some news from Jakarta that my parents are going to move out too in a couple of months. Actually, the plan is there for ages, but I just keep wishing it won't happen. Thinking that I won't ever be able to see my old house again quite depresses me. I just so happen to love the house very much. And that even doesn't make sense, you see, because when we return to Indonesia, I won't even live in that house again anyway! I mean it's my parents' house, not mine, and I have to leave someday... But, somehow, I just can't get rid of the memory that I've spent 99% of my life in that house. I guess that's all I can keep.
But, that news is not the worst news, eventually. A couple of days later the worst news reached me: my dad was hospitalized for hemorraghic stroke (read: brain bleeding). It hit me so hard because I know my dad doesn't have high blood pressure. I couldn't sleep for a couple of days and got my self a migraine. I didn't know if I had to return to Indonesia or what. Finally, I decided I stayed, for various of reasons.
My dad is Hikari's best friend. They were always had mischievous plans around the house. Hikari even inherited his style and his humor.

Alhamdulillah, he wasn't unconscious. He stayed in the hospital more than a week, and then he was able to return home. The doctors advised him lots of things such as less salt, less fat, less all of the yummy-edible food. Another important advice from the doctors is no stress! My dad actually giggled when he told me this. He said how could he be in a stress if he didn't have anything in his mind at all... Once he started to make jokes, I knew he'd be alright.

Our next duty was to take Hikari to hokken senta (health center). Every child that is 3 years old in Honjo would get a health check up. For free! So, after filling a long questioneer about Hikari's health and abilities (e.g. can he do this and that? can he see an object? can he hear something? etc.) we went to that place. For 2 hours, Hikari got a complete med check up, from body, teeth, ears, eyes, etc. Hmm... may be this is what our Pusyandu's supposed to do... Well, I don't know, I've never been to Pusyandu before. Before we went home, we were given a bit of advice on how to raise a healthy and happy kid. Wow! It's like all the pages in the parenting books. The best part is this is free! Papap was there too (or else I didn't know how to get to the place). He was the only 5 men in the whole building, excluding the kids and including 2 male doctors. Hehehehe.... Although he was a bit 'shy' at first to enter the building, he was relieved because he found there were 2 other Dads inside among 60 something women. Hihihihihihiii.... Thumbs up for you, Pap!

I think another peak in this month's story is when Hikari's going to school. He started kindergarten on the 25th. He's been waiting for this day ever since he arrived in this country. Yes, that long! It's because in Jakarta he was already in preschool and he missed the playground and the kids, I think. We prepared him for starting school for... 4 months so that he would be fine at school without us. And this first day could be a wonderful day, really, except for the rain. That day, a big typhoon hit Japan, so the rain was pouring down heavily all day long. Having no car and being unable to ride a bus (no bus is going to our direction) or a taxi, we decided to take Hikari to school by bike. One hand held the steer/handle, the other held an umbrella. We didn't have a raincoat for Hikari, so we put him in his winter coat. Keep him dry, that's what matters most! We're glad Hikari enjoyed the first day of school. He didn't even look for us. Our worries that he might not be able to understand instructions disappeared at once. Although Hikari speaks bahasa and his teachers speak Japanese, they seemed to understand each other very well...

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Then suddenly, the apartment seems 'empty'. I've prepared myself for this time for a few months, but Papap hasn't. These 3 days, Papap kept saying how quiet -not peaceful- the house is :( He even made time to wait for Hikari's school bus at the pick up point behind our building, just to see if his son was doing okay. Fortunately, his son was okay! So, everyday, I have new tasks: taking Hikari to the pick up point to wait for his school bus, picking up Hikari from the school bus, and cooking after Subuh pray... the last one is the spoiler, surely! After 3 days at school, he can already say, "Ari kan udah bisa sendiri, Ma." Hmmmm..... our son is a big little guy now (my husband said, half proudly, half sadly).


-Indikasi korupsi di badan KPU
-Ancaman bom di beberapa kedubes asing
-Anggota DPR studi banding ke luar negeri
-Indonesia, negara penghasil minyak, langka BBM
-Listrik Jawa-Bali padam mendadak sehari setelah perayaan kemerdekaan

Lagi baca berita tentang Indonesia. Hmm… jadi ingat komentar orang-orang di milis. Bukan komentar baru sih, karena gw sudah sering dengar. Komentar aslinya seperti:
“Saya malu jadi orang Indonesia!” dan “Apa yang bisa dibanggain jadi orang Indonesia?!”

Trus gw jadi mikir. Iya, ya. Apa yang bisa dibanggain jadi orang Indonesia? Atau, apa masih bisa bangga jadi orang Indonesia? Ah, wajar aja orang-orang berkomentar begitu. Habis, mau bangga gimana? Tiap kali ada berita yang muncul, malah bikin malu. Nah, bagaimana kalo kita punya teman orang asing, atau ketemu orang asing dan harus memperkenalkan diri. Bagaimana bisa menjabat tangan manusia dari negara lain dan kemudian dengan perasaan bangga menyebut, “I’m from Indonesia”. Apa gak dia mikir.. Oo, ini toh contoh manusia dari negara yang katanya nomor sekian terkorupsi di dunia? Aarrggh… Mau ditaro dimana muka ini?
Masalahnya, tinggal di negara orang, di Jepang tepatnya, membuat gw harus tiap kali mengenalkan diri. Termasuk menyebutkan negara gw. Yang pasti, gw gak mungkin bilang gw orang Amerika, atau Belanda, atau Inggris, atau Jepang karena kulit dan muka gw benar-benar Indonesia banget! Duuh, ini semua tiba-tiba menjadi masalah karena gw kepikiran sama komentar-komentar di milis itu. Gara-gara inget itu, tiap kali gw harus nyebutin negara sendiri, gw jadi hampir percaya bahwa semua orang yang mendengar kata Indonesia bakal langsung terbayang kata-kata korupsi, teroris, hutang, miskin dan... bodoh, mungkin? Jangan-jangan setelah tahu gw dari Indonesia, satu-satunya hubungan sosial yang akan mereka lakukan pada gw hanya tersenyum sopan dari jarak paling minim 2 meter?

Sejauh ini sih paranoid gw belom terbukti. Waktu gw sebutin Indonesia di beberapa kesempatan, ada yang ekspresif sampai langsung nyanyi Bengawan Solo versi Jepang (Pak Gesang, makasih banyak!), ada yang langsung ngucapin turut bersedih karena tsunami. Ada yang langsung pengen dianter liat orang utan di Kalimantan (padahal gw juga belum pernah kesana). Ada yang sedih banget karena gak bisa ke Bali (travel warning dari negaranya). Ada yang langsung nyebut salam sambil meluk gw (hehehe...). Yang paling mengecewakan cuma dari pemotong rambut gw yang gak tau Indonesia itu dimana...
Gw jadi malu sendiri. Gw sudah berburuk sangka pada orang. Dan yang bikin gw tambah malu adalah komentar Pak Tua orang Jepang yang jadi guru bahasa Jepang gw disini. Waktu dia tau gw dari Indonesia, matanya berbinar-binar dan dia langsung mengenalkan gw ke murid-murid yang lain (yang semuanya orang asing) lengkap dengan embel-embel ‘dari Indonesia’. Lalu pelajaran pertama gw selama 2 mingguan bukan tentang tatabahasa atau kosakata. Dia bercerita panjang dan lebar mengenai Indonesia. Iya! Tentang Indonesia!

Sensei gw ini belum pernah ke Indonesia, tapi waktu jamannya Jepang dateng ke Indonesia, banyak teman-temannya yang dikirim ke Indonesia. Dia sendiri masih terlalu muda untuk dikirim. Umurnya waktu itu masih 15-an tahun. Waktu pertama dengar ceritanya tentang Indonesia dan teman-temannya, hati gw rasanya mendidih. Pengen marah! Dia berpikir teman-temannya datang ke Indonesia untuk membebaskan kakek nenek kita dari penjajah Barat! Dan sodara-sodara, sampai sekarang pun dia masih berpikir Jepang lah yang membantu kita merdeka 60 tahun yang lalu!
Tapi anehnya rasa marah gw semakin lama dia bercerita, semakin hilang. Sensei gw bercerita bahwa teman-temannya –yang tadinya hanya petani atau guru- dikirim ke pulau kecil di dekat Jawa. Kemudian mereka mendidik orang-orang Indonesia supaya bisa menggunakan senjata. Kalau siang, mereka bertani, tapi kalau malam, mereka bergerilya menyerang prajurit-prajurit Belanda. Malah ada 2 orang teman Sensei yang selalu diundang datang pada upacara 17 Agustus di istana pada jamannya Soekarno dan Soeharto! Setiap kali dia bercerita, setiap kali pula keluar nada sayang pada kata Indonesia. Gimana pula gw bisa menginterupsi dia dengan bilang, “Sori, Sensei, kita mah merdeka merdeka sendiri. Kagak ada itu dibantu-bantu ama negara Sensei. Ada juga tentara sini yang nyiksa rakyat ane!”

Dan akhirnya gw cuma bisa menyimak dan terus menyimak. Sampai akhirnya gw mengerti. Dia melihat gw seperti... kira-kira gini deh gambarannya: teman-teman satu kampungnya pergi ke negara bernama Indonesia untuk membantu orang-orang Indonesia yang dijajah bangsa Barat. Kemudian di Indonesia mereka berjuang bahu-membahu mengenyahkan penjajah Barat ini. Lalu orang-orang Indonesia menjadi merdeka. Dan, ini lah gw! Cucu dari orang-orang yang pernah berjuang bahu-membahu dengan teman sekampungnya itu! Begitulah dia memandang gw! Cucu saudaranya yang sudah merdeka! O-oh, akhirnya gw gak bisa menyalahkan dia yang berpikir bahwa Jepang membantu Indonesia merdeka. Ini doktrin pemerintah mereka sejak jaman perang dulu. Bahwa kepergian tentara-tentara mereka adalah untuk memenuhi tugas suci membantu orang-orang di negara yang ditindas oleh bangsa Barat. Begitulah yang dimengerti oleh orang-orang disini. Dan itu tertulis di buku sejarah di sekolah Jepang sampai sekarang. Makanya Cina dan Korea sampai protes kenceng supaya buku sejarah itu diubah. Jadi mikir, kok Indonesia gak ikut protes yak? Heh, bukan itu poin gw. Poin gw –kembali ke cerita Pak Tua Jepang tadi- dia tidak bermaksud membanggakan dirinya atau negaranya. Rasa bangganya di tiap ceritanya adalah karena dia melihat GW, saudaranya itu SUDAH MERDEKA!

Tanggal 14 Agustus kemarin, terakhir gw ketemu, dia tiba-tiba bilang ‘Selamat Hari Kemerdekaan, ya!’ Gw jadi terdiam. Ya ampun! Sensei kok bisa ingat sampai begitu? Padahal –serius, ini padahal- tanggal 15 nya itu hari peringatan Jepang kalah perang! Dan Sensei -yang merupakan generasi dengan kesadaran akan malu yang sangat tinggi- masih bisa bilang selamat dengan tulus ke gw!
Ini saat yang memalukan buat gw! Sementara gw sedang mencari-cari alasan untuk bisa berbangga menjadi orang Indonesia, Sensei menunjukkan pada gw kalau alasan itu sudah ada sejak gw lahir: Gw, orang Indonesia ini, sudah merdeka! Apa lagi alasan yang paling benar untuk menjadi berbangga atas negara sendiri?


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Indonesia, our native country,
Our birthplace,
Where we all arise to stand guard
Over this our Motherland:
Indonesia our nationality,
Our people and our country.
Come then, let us all exclaim
Indonesia united.
Long live our land,
Long live our state,
Our nation, our people, and all
Arise then, its spirit,
Arise, its bodies
For Great Indonesia.

Indonesia the Great,
independent and free,
Our beloved country.
Indonesia the Great,
independent and free,
Long live Indonesia the Great!

Indonesia, an eminent country,
Our wealthy country,
There we shall be forever.
Indonesia, the country of our ancestors,
A relic of all of us.
Let us pray
For Indonesia's prosperity:
May her soil be fertile
And spirited her soul,
The nation and all the people.
Conscious be her heart
And her mind
For Indonesia the Great.

Indonesia, a sacred country,
Our victorious country:
There we stand
Guarding our true Mother.
Indonesia, a beaming Country,
A country we love with all our heart,
Let's make a vow
That Indonesia be there forever.
Blessed be her people
And her sons,
All her islands, and her seas.
Fast be the country's progress
And the progress of her youth
For Indonesia the Great.

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August 17, 1945 - 2005


Siang tadi ada gempa. Lumayan besar dan lama, lebih besar dari yang udah-udah. Sejak gw disini, gw baru ngerasain gempa 3 kali, Alhamdulillah. Kalo di Tokyo sih lebih sering. Cuman gw blom pernah ngerasain gempa di Tokyo juga sih. Mudah-mudahan sih gak perlu. Kita tadi lagi nyetel tivi pas gempa. Trus, di studio, gempanya juga berasa. Jadinya di layar tivi kita, si pembawa acara berdiri sambil goyang-goyang. Si pembawa acara (ada 2 orang) sibuk cuap-cuap, "Jaga diri masing-masing. Gempanya cukup besar. Hati-hati." Ternyata memang walopun gak ada korban jiwa, cukup banyak juga yg rusak: kereta-kereta berhenti semua, ada rumah ambruk di Saitama (rumahnya sih emang tua, krn rumah-rumah lain tetangganya gak ada yang rusak), eternit kolam renang roboh (disini ada yang luka 16 orang yang tadinya lagi berenang), dll dsb. Kalo di apato gw, rasanya kayak rumah gw miring-miring ke kanan-kiri aja. Udah pake arsitektur anti gempa soalnya. Jadi Alhamdulillah, barang-barang pun gak ada yang jatuh-jatuh. Hebatnya pula, semenit kemudian, begitu gempa selesai, di layar tivi udah terpampang daerah mana aja yang kena gempa dan berapa skalanya. Hmm... jadi mikir... bisa gak negara gw begitu...
Ternyata gempa terbesar ada di Miyagi prefecture. Sebelah timur laut Jepang. Ada warning soal tsunami juga disana. Jadi semua orang sudah bersiap siaga. Well, knowledge saves people. Kalo kita pinter dikit -apalagi banyak-, gak perlu ada bencana akibat kebodohan manusia. Jangankan banjir tahunan, tsunami pun bisa diprediksi. Iya. Gw emang lagi nyindir...

Dan Harapan Itu....

Kemaren, kita berharap. Masih ada satu kesempatan lagi buat ngedapetin apato kampus, krn si pemenang undian mengundurkan diri. Hampir 2 minggu berdebar-debar. Terus-terusan berdoa. Kali aja...

Dan hari ini, vonisnya udah jatoh. And... we're just not lucky enough. Twice! We are simply unlucky even though they made the drawing 2 times! You just can't have everything in the world, can you?!

Tapi the truth is, gw udah gak gitu broken hearted sih. Eh, maksupnya, masih broken hearted cuma less broken hearted (apaan seh?!). Pasalnya, selaen karena temen-temen gw yang baik hati dan penyayang serta pandai dan tidak sombong itu selalu menguatkan hati gw, hari Jumat lalupun, sembari pergi belanja, kita mampir ke apato kampus yang dimimpi-mimpikan itu. Lantai 6. Untung, ada lift. Hmmm.... gedungnya... tua, ya?! Kusam n hampir -hampir loh- seram. Gak semengkilap apato gw sekarang. N gak sekinclong dormitory. Duuhhh, ada penghuninya gak sih? Penghuni yang biasa-biasa n normal aja gitu. Gak perlu yang bisa tembus tembok. Gw jadi berpikir ulang. Emang sih, bagian dalamnya udah di furnish abis sama kampus. N dari lantai 6 itu pemandangan kota Honjo yang lebih menyerupai pedesaan yang permai itu indah terlihat. Tapi tetep aja, gitu. (Ternyata gw msh terpengaruh sama first impression matters yak). Akhirnya kok gw malah berdoa, kasih yg terbaik aja. N inilah yg terbaik.......... we're moving into the dorm! Wish me luck, guys...

Sekarang tinggal beberes barang-barang yang cuma sedikit itu, sambil mengenang masa-masa indah disini. Masih ada satu setengah bulan buat menikmati apato ini.

Padahal, gw udah nyiapin gaya 'bahagia' gw kalo sampe dapet itu apato. Misalnya kayak gini:

Tokyo Disneyland in Summer Trip

It's gotta be now!
That's our motto for this Tokyo Disneyland trip. Although it's still very very hot these days, we've got to go there now in the middle of summer, or it will be soooo much later. The reason? Hikari's starting school at the end of August. We won't be able to go anywhere, just whenever. Whenever we have time, whenever we want to, whenever we feel like it, or whenever we have some cash to spend -which is very unlikely despite the want and need...
Considering that August 10 is still very hot, we set out quite late; just before noon. But, it was actually raining lightly when we left. We hoped it would stop by the time we arrived in Disneyland. Wishes granted! Not only rain had stopped, but the sun had also shone brightly! Welcome sun burn, sun bath, and of course sun tan -which will be followed by long weeks of complaining on how to less-darken my skin. Never happen, though!
We didn't have extraordinary plans, like experiencing ALL the attractions or watching ALL the shows. We came here to give Hikari an experience, so forget jet coaster riding and the kinds!

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When we arrived, Disney's Rock Around The Mouse parade just started. Mickey and the gang appeared as high school students as they danced and performed to '50s era rock and roll (read: John Travolta's Saturday Night's Fever). I managed to tape them, but I was too excited to remember taking pictures of them:(Besides, who could resist the temptation of dancing the Saturday Night's Fever? Then our quest began. After lunch, of course. Check out what we actually did there, aside from getting myself tanned (which I really don't need it).

1) Pooh's Hunny Hunt. We followed Pooh through the Hundred Acre Wood as he hunted for his favorite food. Firstly, we had to conquer a very long queue in front of Pooh's House, of course.

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The front side of the Pooh's house and the inside. We rode in a hunny pot to follow Pooh on his journey to find some 'hunny'... Note that the pot moves without cable, and it moves smoothly. Running fast, slow, turning left, right, around. It's just... fantastically superb!

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The waiting line took us 1 hour! Thank God, it worthed the attraction! Thank God again, the sun glasses really saved my sweaty-not-at-all-preety face. (who cares?) Okay, kids, down here is Pooh's front window!

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2) Next, Hikari and his father rode the Castle Carrousel. The line was short this time. Guess, you don't need to go to Disneyland just to ride a carrousel...

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3) And then we returned to Buzz Lightyear's house. Yes, return. We were here first, but the automatic announcement showed that the line would take us 90 minutes, so we went to Pooh's House for a shorter line instead: 60 minutes!?! In Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters, we helped Buzz stop the evil Emperor Zurg! We blasted away all the evil-spirited monsters as we cruised through space in a space car. We were... space warriors! It's true! Then we checked our score on how many monsters we had shot at the exit... Exciting and thrilling!!! It's a rare opportunity to help a hero, right?

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Buzz' best friend and his mother on the left picture. And the space warriors on the right trying to take down as many space monsters as possible. "Buzz Lightyear on the rescue! To infinity and beyond.....!!!"

3) We continued walking around the vicinity, trying to spot some places with short queue, or just posing around: Cinderella castle, spacecraft, etc. Got the chance of watching Buzz Lightyear's parade that made Hikari jump up and down with a beaming face, and also Cinderella and Snow White parades. It didn't make me jump up and down, let alone having a beaming face. It was entertaining, though. It's like watching Princess Diary, the Prince and Me, and that sort of movies. Pretty + handsome faces, beautiful dresses, nice carriots, minus the horses.

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4) It was almost dark when we climbed aboard a real steam train for a trip around the wilderness at the Western River Railroad.

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It is built to be an extraordinary historical excursion around the wilderness because we travel through the supposed-to-be wild American jungle, Indians, old-time train station, and everything that we usually see in the old western movies, minus the cowboys, unfortunately. It's really really a good trip. We also got bonuses of being able to rest for 15 minutes or so on the train, and being able to see the fantastic Primeval World (meaning: Dinosaurs), although I'm not sure what Dinos have got to do in the cowboy world. It's a bonus for Hikari after all, a dino freak!

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Okay, time to go home! But, wait! More pictures, please! Coz we're not sure if we can return to this place... I mean, we still have a lot more tourist spots to visit in this country hehehe... Oh, well, we can always go to Dunia Fantasi. It's ALMOST the same. Mind that I emphasized on the world almost. Almost means not the same, of course, but if we close our eyes and imagine.... like Eeyore always says: you only need to use your imagination.

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Some pictures are from the official site of Tokyo Disney Resort.

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