Spring Vacation 06: The Side Dish

Okay, I'm back, officially. It's really good to be back home. Did anyone miss me? :) Sorry for the late update. I do miss you all, really!

Baru sekarang gue sempat nulis lagi. Not only I hadn't recovered from the sore muscles resulted from all the walks during the trip, but I also had to sort out the photos I'm going to show here. If I didn't do that (choosing which photos to put here), you'd suffer from having to look at one thousand something photos I've got. But, if you prefer to do that (looking at one thousand something photos), let me know...

Now, I heard or read some of you shout: where have you been? For one thing: I wasn't having a second honeymoon. Really! Although it'd be nice to have one here...
Okay, we've been to the Kansai part of Japan. A bit in the lower part of Tokyo. 3-4 hours ride by Shinkansen, 6 hours by bus, forever on foot.
There is Kobe, for a start, and then Himeji, Nara, and all over Kyoto. And yes, I'm going to tell you all about our trip and I'm going to show you (not) all of our photos, but you're gonna have to click here for that (published soon). Here, I'll only tell/show you the side dish :)

The only and ultimate reason why we had this trip a.k.a vacation
Remember when I wrote Papap was going out of town for a seminar? Well, he went to Kobe for a week. Business thing. No, let me rephrase that: School thing.
So, he thought why didn't Hikari and I join him in Kobe and have a look at the other cities around Kobe? The time was perfect. It was decided then.
Papap went to Kobe first, leaving Hikari and me alone for a week.
Of course the two of us (almost) went kablooey, and even now I still wonder how we could survive. How Hikari could survive this hysterical-nonsensed mother, and how I could survive my high-pitched-almost-like-a-sirene son.

A week later, Hikari and I did the trip to Kobe, the two of us (only). We went there by Shinkansen, from Honjo to Tokyo and then from Tokyo to Kobe. It would be a really nice Shinkansen trip, if only we didn't miss the second train from Tokyo to Kobe!!!
Alone, with a 3-year-old kid who constantly begged, in a city where the universal alphabet is not popular and English speaker is a total alien, at a station with more than 20 platforms, with people who think 'procedure' is cute...

The short version: the Honjo-Tokyo train was 5 minutes behind schedule (Why in the hell did they choose that day to be late while they are usually precise till the seconds, I don't know???). 5 minutes, so what? You'd probably say that.
Well, that 5 minutes reduced my 13-minute transfer time from Honjo-Tokyo train to Tokyo-Kobe train, while I had to get down the stairs of the first platform (P20), ran to the ticket gate, got out of it, ran to the second ticket gate, got in to that, ran up to the next platform, and searched for my train.
At home, I thought, okay, I was 100% prepared for this transfer moment: earlier, I was equipped with the number of my next platform (P19, from the internet), the number and name of my train, and so on. Problem: the number of the platform and the number of the train were wrong! It took me four station officers to go to the right gate (the first officer asked me to go the 2nd, the 2nd asked me to go to the 3rd, and so forth). I finally arrived at platform 19 where I was told to go, and was relieved because I still had 1 minute.
Krinnnngggg! Wrong! The passengers told me I was in the wrong platform! I asked another officer who asked another officer who asked another, and finally a cleaning service man told me to go to P17. I ran down the stairs of P19, practically dragging Hikari, ran up the stairs of P17, arrived there, panting, and again asked another officer who -you know- asked me to ask another one, and found out P17 was also wrong!
Then, out of pity, an old man told me to go to P16. I went there, and met this nice train conductor who was finally able to speak English and able to explain to me that my train was already left...
Next, he apologized to me for my inconvenience (yeah, right), calmed me down, watched my shaking hands and panicked face, and then informed me -without so much of other procedures- to take his train (which also went to Kobe). The problem was I had to sit in the non-reserved car (I had a reserved ticket) which at that time was full. Another problem was I was standing outside car# 16 WHILE the non-reserved car were car#1 and #2, and I only had one minute to run from car16 to car1!
Hikari and I ran as fast as we could, I dragged him, I carried him, and finally we were there in car1. Again another problem: no empty seats! Hikari was crying, tired from all the running down and up, but I couldn't find any seat. Finally, two men took pity on us and gave in their seats to us. There, I felt like crying, but No, Hikari already cried.
Anyway, thank You, God, and thank you, guys. You, guys, give meaning to the word: unselfishness.

Okay, Now, Where'd We Go?
Like I said before, first went to Kobe. Kobe was our first 'homebase' for three days. From Kobe, we traveled to Himeji and then to Nara. After that, we moved our 'base' to Kyoto, and stayed there for another three days. While we were there (Kobe and Kyoto), we had a small reunion with Papap's friends: Tante Esti, Om Murdhi (who I found out later was my senior in junior high... well, well, the world is indeed small), and then there were Om Puguh, Om Imtihan, and Om Widi). Thank you, guys, a lot, for making time to meet us despite all the stress and deadlines that all of you were facing.

When we arrived in Kobe, the wind was chilly. Gosh, Kobe was colder than I thought. I was really miserable on the first day, but the following days, everything became nicer and nicer. The only thing I missed there is MY CAR! Whew, for 7 days we walked around in 4 cities, and if we counted those kilometers, I'm sure we'd walked to the moon!

Port of Kobe, at night:
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+ Kobe is now a glittering city. Relatively more shining (and new) compared to Tokyo. There is no sign of the city wreck, except for the monuments that are kept to remind people of the 1995 Earthquake.

Himeji, The Himeji Castle:
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+ Himeji Castle is nicknamed "White Heron" Castle because of its white walls which are covered with white plaster. The white color is made from seashells. Himeji Castle is well-known for the huge main tower (consisted of five floors), and also the highly effective and complicated defensive design, which is just like a maze. Himeji Castle has kept its original form for nearly 400 years.

Nara, Todaiji Temple:
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+Todaiji means "a large temple to the east (of the capital)". The temple is indeed very big, and it is famous for a very big Buddha statue (a Great Buddha cast in bronze) housed in the Daibutsu Den Building at the center of the Todaiji. The statue was 14.9 m high and the total height including the pedestal was 17 m. Workers mobilized for the construction of the temple numbered as many as 1,665,000 man-days!
For Hikari himself, the fact that wild deer can freely walk around the temple and its surrounding is more exciting than the temple itself.

Kyoto, the whole city:
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+ Papap, in front of an old house next to our hotel. Our hotel is exactly in front of the Kyoto Imperial Palace.

Kyoto, Imperial Palace:
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Kiyomizudera, a big temple on top of a mountain. It has Love Stones. If you can touch both stones with your eyes closed, you'll have a very promising love life:
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Kinkakuji, the golden temple: See the sillhouete of the temple on the water!
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Me and a Japanese girl in Kiyomizudera:
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+Actually I wasn't sure about posing next to this girl. She surely looked stunning! Me? Shut up!

Forget means You DON'T Remember
Since Kyoto is full of tourist sites, we really made time to go (almost) everywhere in the city. Then, we headed back home on the night of 27th, by bus (Oh, how I missed the Shinkansen despite what happened!). We took the bus from Kyoto Eki (station), and we had the chance to see Kyoto city at night from Kyoto tower.

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About an hour before we departed, Papap just remembered that he put the bus tickets in his other bag. It would be no big deal, except that that bag was inside our briefcase. And our briefcase was already sent to Honjo!
Thank God, we were in Japan, and we were allowed to take the initial bus without so much fuss. (Yes, Pap, no hard feeling, but I still think it's silly)

We arrived in Honjo the next morning. Safe and sound. Right now, I'm doing the writing of our trip to Kansai. Soon, I promise, the full story and pictures will be published in the Journey. Even though it's rather difficult these days since Hikari is at home 24-7 for Spring Holiday and Papap has been employed me as his typist for these last two weeks :(
*exhaling very-very deep breath*

Okay, guys, don't miss that story. I'll tell you when, when it's ready :) Until then!

note: thanks again to Tante Esti, Om Murdhi, Om Imtihan, Om Widi, and Om Puguh for the companion and the tour. We had a great time! When will you visit us in Honjo?
Specially to our Kyoto guide: Om Puguh, Hikari says Hi! :)

Not At Home

We are out of town for a week. See you again, when we're back.
Drop some lines when you visit so that we can check on how you are.
Miss you already.


Sejenak bisa duduk di depan kompie. Nulis dulu, sebelum absen selama seminggu :)

Seminggu bersama Hikari (doang)
Cuma satu kata: Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhhhh!

Nonton Film
Awal bulan lalu dapat stok film Indonesia dari sepupu yang baru pulkam. Jadilah gw nonton Gie dan Janji Joni. Dan sekarang gw pengen curhat aja ttg 2 film itu. Tapi catet ya, gw bukan kritikus film, jadinya opini gw berikut ini bener2 personal.

GIE: Selama nonton Gie, ada satu hal yang mengganjal, yaitu, adegan sewaktu Gie dan teman-temannya naik gunung. Gw baru liat ada orang naik gunung yang cuma pake kaos oblong, dan kemeja kerja?! (tanpa perbekalan pula???)
Emang sih, gw tidak pernah jadi pendaki gunung profesional. Naek gunung juga dulu banget waktu masih mudaaaa. Tapi seinget gw, gunung itu dingin, bo! Bahkan kaos yang ditutupi kemeja flanel juga gak bisa menahan dinginnya.
Tolong dong, buat yang udah nonton film ini, buat kalian aneh juga gak sih? Or is it just me?
Oh, satu lagi. Gw belum pernah ke gunung Semeru. Sementara gunung yang didaki si Nico itu katanya G. Semeru. Tapi kok terlalu sama dengan Suryakencana-nya Gunung Gede ya? Apa memang sengaja ngambil setting disitu?

JANJI JONI: Idenya fresh. Kocaknya juga. *walopun kadang berasa baca novel 'Jomblo'* Beberapa jokenya mirip. Spoilernya, menurut gw, pada narasi datar suara Nico. Apa karena gw abis nonton Gie yang pake narasi suara dia juga ya?
Padahal gw cukup kagum sama Nico...

Baca Buku
Lagi nunggu delivery novel-novelnya mbak Donna dan Nana. Manaaaaaaaa dong?

What's in it today?

Weird Weird World
You see the photo of pink flowers above? It was taken today at 3:15 PM, while waiting for Hikari to return from school. The weather was chilly and the wind was freezing, but the day was quite fine. But you know what? Around 4 PM, there was this sound of wind buzzing, and when I looked out of the window, it SNOWED!?! Crazy weather!
*Oh, the famous Sakura hasn't bloomed yet. Probably at the end of March. But the pink flowers above can already be seen everywhere (in Honjo, I mean), together with the yellow and pale pink varieties. All of them don't have leaves when the flowers bloom. Flowers bloom first, then they fall, and leaves take over. I'm still trying to find out the names. Some say they aren't Sakura, although they almost look the same, including the way they blossom.

Hikari got one tag from Caca-chan. Done! Since it's about Hikari, you can read it in his blog :)

Mia asked me about my 5 wishes. This is easy, but at the same time difficult. Easy because I have a lot of wishes, difficult because I can only write 5... hehehe... Choosing five from a million IS almost a mission impossible. But, I said almost, right?! Okay, don't get bored. Read on...
ps: I think I want to do this in Bahasa :)

Pertama, gw gak mudeng waktu diminta nyebutin 5 mimpi gw. Kirain disuruh nyeritain mimpi, gitu. Ternyata maksudnya impian, angan-angan, kepengenan, cita-cita, dan teman-temannya. Sebenernya, di profile gw pada sidebar udah gw tulis tuh wishes gw. Untuk lebih jelasnya 5 mimpi gw adalah...
1) Gw pengen punya perpustakaan pribadi tempat gw menyimpan seluruh koleksi buku dan teman-temannya, juga tempat gw 'kerja' n 'nyepi' di rumah. Nah, this comes in one package. Maksupnya, kalo pengen punya perpustakaan pribadi, berarti kan harus punya rumahnya juga doooonnnggg............ kikikiks...

2) Gw pengen punya toko buku. Lebih spesifik lagi gw pengen punya toko buku seperti toko bukunya Meg Ryan di film You've Got Mail. Tapi kalo gak bisa, yah, toko buku biasa aja juga boleeee. Yang penting gw boleh n bisa memilih semua jenis buku yang mau dijual ;b

3) Gw pengen bikin sekolah. Sekolah yang humanis. Yang disiplin tapi menyenangkan. Yang modern dan Islami. Yang semua anak bisa masuk, gak perduli apakah ortunya bisa bayar ato gak. Pokoke sekolah yang beyond all prejudice. Nah, ini juga satu paket. Paketnya sama duit gw. Kalo gw gak kaya alias punya duit banyak, gak bisa juga bikin sekolah kan? *garuk-garuk kepala*
Hmm... kenapa ya gw pengen bikin sekolah? Itu juga yang gw pikirin. Pertama: karena gw bingung nyekolahin Hikari dimana. Gw pengen dia sekolah di sekolah yang humanis. Yang menganggap murid itu manusia yang unik dengan segala kelebihan dan kekurangannya. Sekolah yang pakai hati. Kedua: karena gw prihatin dengan sekolah-sekolah yang begitu komersil dan tak berhati. Yang maunya punya anak murid pinter-pinter (kalo udah pinter ngapain disekolahin?). Yang bikin anak pinter ngapal tapi rendah kemandirian, rasa percaya diri, critical thinking dan hal-hal semacam itu.
Ngayalnya terlalu tinggi ya?

4) Antara pengen keliling dunia dengan pengen punya/tau satu salon yang bisa mencukur rambut gw sesuai keinginan, gw pilih yang kedua. Lebih urgent soalnya. Dan lebih memalukan efeknya.

5) Mimpi gw yang kelima adalah XXXXX. I won't tell. Nanti kalo sudah tercapai (berhubung ini mimpi kalo bisa short term) gw akan nulis tentang yang ini. Doain yah walopun ente gak (belom) tau bendanya. Sumpah deh, keinginan gw yang ini gak berbahaya buat umat manusia.

Oke, itu 'impian' gw. Namun seperti biasanya, I say my prayers, and make my wishes, but never think of them twice :)

Lempar lagi, Mi? Okeh! Gw lempar ke Jimmi, Alarix, Ardho, Linda, Fitri Mohan, dan Nana. Banyak yah? Sengaja. Ditunggu yaaaa......

Maturity, Growing Up, and Aging

Tentang Judul
Tau dong, kalimat klise yang sering diomongin orang-orang: Umur tua itu belum tentu dewasa dan Kedewasaan tidak identik dengan Umur. Seperti itulah. Tapi apakah umur identik dengan penuaan?
Beberapa hari yang lalu, sejenak setelah ulang tahun gw yang melewati titik kritis umur antara pembaca chiklit dan pembaca buku resep keluarga, kita melihat Winona Ryder di tivi. Papap adalah penggemar cewek cantik ini. Alasannya, si Winona ini selain cute juga ageless. Dari dulu sampe sekarang, mukanya ya begitu aja. Gak nunjukin umur. Beda, katanya, dengan Meg Ryan (yang juga dia suka) atau Julia Roberts (yang ini dia gak suka). Pointnya adalah ageless.
Memang kurang ajar namanya kalo ngebandingin gw dengan Winona. Walopun sama-sama cute (pake tanda seru), gw belom bisa proklamasi kalo gw pun ageless. Sekalipun gw peminum berat teh botol S sehari bisa sekerat (n kata Papap teh botol mengandung formalin yg bisa mengawetkan mayat, sehingga mungkin juga bisa membuat gw awet muda), sekalipun kemungkinan besar sejak lahir gw juga termasuk pengkonsumsi-tanpa-sadar formalin di negara tercinta gw. Tapi toh, di umur baru ini, terpikir juga soal korelasi antara umur dan penuaan. Sementara disisi lain, gw sudah melupakan urusan kedewasaan karena seperti emak gw pernah bilang, dari segi mental dan maturity, gw berhenti di umur 13 taon! Eniwei, sekali lagi this month I grew up -a year older. Mature or not mature. Ageless or not ageless. Nothing or no one can stop the process of growing up and growing old, to me or to you, except death which is out of question (at least for now). Jadi kalo kita sudah tau esensi dari grow up and grow old itu, dan menerima dengan lapang dada bahwa umur gak bisa di stop dan diubah, mari kita cari hal lain yang bisa di stop atau bisa diubah: bisa jadi tua tapi tetep konyol kekanakan, tua dan dewasa penuh kebijaksanaan, tua tapi gak tau kalo dia udah tua, tua dan merasa pengen bunuh diri karena berasa tua, dan lain sebagainya. Permasalahannya sekarang adalah bisa gak umur menua tanpa perlu menjadi kelihatan tua? Kalo bisa, gw pesen satu...

Birthday Celebration
Ulang tahun disini gak gitu berasa, karena gak ada sms yang tat tit tut sejak jam 24:00 kayak jaman di Jakarta dulu. Kemaren itu, gw n Papap nyempetin belanja berdua aja... lumayan romantis.
Gw: Pap, beli sayur apa ya?
Papap: Terserah kamu.
Gw: Kamu mau sayur apa?
Papap: Aku ikut aja. Kan kamu yang ulang tahun, jadi kamu boleh milih sayur apa aja.

Abis itu kita beli kue tart yang udah dipesen sehari sebelumnya. Kuenya berdekorasi Magic Rangers, berlilin 3, dan bertuliskan HIKARI.

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Pulang ke dorm, kita nunggu Hikari pulang sekolah buat niup lilin. Eh, ternyata setelahnya gw dapet kejutan manis: Papap ternyata beli coklat buat gw... cup cup cup...

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Beginilah perayaannya...
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Thank God, I got everything and everyone I need to celebrate a birthday...

ps: makasih banyak buat temen-temen atas ucapan selamat ultahnya. You guys rock!
Buat mami di rumah: makasih buat sweaternya. Berguna banget buat spring yang masih dingin-dingin anget. Cuma... kok nge-pink sih?

I Feel The Fortune Of My Years

I feel the fortune of my years,
I hope. For all my children's love

This day must bring me happy tears
And thoughts that joyful music prove.

taken from http://www.poemsforfree.com

Dear God,
I'm thankful for my life,
for all the happy parts,
and even for the sad ones.
Each one shows me just how much You love me.

I watch my son's face
when he laughs, when he cries, when he sleeps.
Then I see You,
so again I'm thankful.

I look at my husband
and to his smile, and to his worries.
Then I see You,
and again I'm thankful

I listen to my mother
whisper to my father
laugh to my brothers
talk to my friends.
Then I see You,
again I'm thankful

I'm thankful for You've given me a full life
and most of all for teaching me how to lead it.
And if I may have one wish, today
I'd wish that You bless me,
dengan kehidupan yang membawa rahmat bagi matiku.

Budi Kemulyaan, Jakarta, 31 years ago.

Saya, Aku, Gue and I

Today, I've been blogging for one year! Yiippie Yay!
Okay, I must admit, one-year blogging isn't exactly an extraordinary record for me to boast, especially compared to those blogger veterans. But, one year being a blogger without once ignoring my blog, and also maintaining another blog, plus making a new one, is an achievement for me. Another plus is when I started this I didn't even know what blog/blogger/blogging was. I didn't even know that words such as template, html, sidebar, shoutbox, and the kinds ever existed in this world... I know, I know, I was such a piteous creature :(

There are million things to reminisce if I'm going to tell you all about my blogging life in a year, BUT consider yourself lucky I'm not gonna do it. Instead, I'll tell you one thing that still disturbs me even after a year blogging. It's worst than html-and-other-blog things, because for these blog things, I can always rely on the kind-hearted-super-power bloggers, like him and him and this (hehehe...) while for this one problem I haven't had a clue yet...

That one thing is choosing the right first-person singular!
When you read my posts (IF you read my posts ha!), you'd probably think what's wrong with me. Read: with ME, not you. Why does this person (read: me) have the habit of changing her first-person singular. Why can't she stick to one style only? One time she uses Saya, other times, Gw, sometimes (which is rare) Aku, and often times she even switches the whole post into English...

Honestly, this thing gets me too. I think a blog should represent the owner, and the representative of the owner is his/her words, style of writing. Now, how would my blog represent me while I don't know how to address myself, while I keep changing my writing style through Saya, Aku, Gue and I?!
Uh-uh, I really don't know why. It just happens like that. I write when I have the mood, and my mood often swings to Saya, Aku, Gw and also I. What's wrong with me?
Another confession I've to make is I also have trouble addressing my self in my real-life situation. Imagine myself in an office meeting where everyone-worth-knowing was present. I got some colleagues who were a loooot older, to whom I usually used Saya. I got a few superiors (not to call them my boss) who were older but not too old, and to whom I usually used Aku (because we were rather close). I also got few superiors who were older but really not old at all and to whom I usually used Gw. Got it? Now, what would you do if you were me being there, in the meeting, with everyone older than you, and you had to talk to them at the same time. What would you use? Saya? Aku? Absolutely not Gue? Tell me please, because it's been bothering me since... ever since, actually.

In blogging, really, that is when I usually switch to English which I always find comfortable to use. This trick hasn't been a problem in blogging, not in real life, though. If I start addressing myself as "I" in my real life, people would put a banner in front of my parents' house (since I don't have a house of my own, yet) read Here Lives An Indonesian Who Thinks Using "I" Is Cute...

Okay, now, it's the part where you've got to tell me what I should do to get rid of this first-person-singular problem. To give you a clue: I'm not really into Aku since Aku sounds cute and girlie while I am... NOT. And I'd love to be able to use Saya freely, but I'll suffer a great deal because Saya sounds serious and formal, while I look more silly in the real life. I am also no fan of addressing myself with my name/nick name, unless to family members. Addressing myself using my own name sounds too childish and it's not good for me because I'm already silly and child-like. I'd prefer Gue which suits my personality well but I know you'd object it for obvious reasons, right?!

So, what have you got for me?

-commemorating one year blogging and trully feeling that it's a life-time achievement-

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