#2110 – A Summery Spring in Munich

ENGLISH

I went on a short weekend trip to Munich in mid-April. As I have shared, I forgot to bring my pocket camera on the trip; which unintentionally turned the trip into an experiment for me to measure the “value” of a pocket camera during a trip of mine. As it turned out, it was very valuable because I noticed that I didn’t take as many pictures on the trip, and the trip was generally less enjoyable without my camera! Consequently, this post won’t have as many pictures as usual simply because I did not take enough for that.

Anyway, a bit uncharacteristically, I also took KLM’s direct return Amsterdam – Munich flights for this trip, i.e. without any transit! Both flights were operated by Boeing 737-800, PH-BCA named “Flamingo” on the way to Munich and PH-BXL named “Sperwere” on the way back to Amsterdam. Both were pleasant intra-European flights with KLM as usual and so there is not much too share.

A KLM’s Boeing 737-800 reg PH-BCA

As I also had pretty much half a day in Munich this time, I decided to focus on the area which I had heard nice things about but didn’t yet visit on my first trip there two years ago. And the area was the famous Englischer Garten (The English Garden), a large park in the northeastern park of the city.

Mid-April and one layer of clothes in Munich. Say whaaatt?

It was supposed to be Spring in Western Europe, but the weather at the time was quite unique, where the it was really sunny and the temperature was hovering around the high 20s Centigrade. To be honest it felt more like Summer than Spring to me, a season which I preferred less, haha 😛 . Nonetheless, especially after a harsh and long Winter and the day being a Saturday, many people decided to take advantage of it by going to the garden. As a result, the Englischer Garten was so full of people, many of them were sunbathing, when I was there! Lol 😆 .

The English Garden in Munich when the weather was great

Anyway, I found the Englisher Garten to be beautiful, and it certainly made the city livable! It was also very big, but one needed not to worry because a lot of signages and maps were installed throughout the garden. Uniquely, and perhaps confusingly, one landmark of the garden was the Chinesischer Turm (the Chinese Tower). Yep, a “Chinese” tower in an “English” garden in Munich, “Germany”, haha 😆 .

A Chinese Tower in an English Garden in Germany

As you know, I am not the biggest fan of warm weather. While the weather today wasn’t very warm (I mean, it was nothing like the humid tropical condition on a sunny day!), it was still warm enough to make me feel a little bit uncomfortable outside. So after wandering in the Englischer Garten for about two hours, I decided to go back to the hotel to shower and rest.

Crispy knuckle of suckling pig

As for the food, of course I had local German cuisine on the two full meals I had there. For lunch, I had a turkey schnitzel, which was tasty with an ideal serving size (haha 😆 ). And for dinner, I had a rösche spanferkelhaxn, translated as crispy knuckle of suckling pig which was served with the Bavarian spitzkrout (sour cabbage) and kartoffelknödel (potato dumplings). While I liked the meat, just as before, I didn’t really enjoy the cabbage and potato, haha. It was overall very tasty, though 😀 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Aku pergi dalam perjalanan akhir pekan singkat ke Munich di pertengahan April. Seperti yang sudah kubilang, aku lupa membawa kamera sakuku di perjalanan ini; yang mana justru tidak sengaja membuat perjalanan ini menjadi suatu percobaan bagiku untuk mengukur “nilai” dari kamera saku di perjalananku. Ternyata, kamera saku itu amat bernilai. Ini kuamati dari tidak-banyaknya foto yang aku ambil di perjalanan ini, dan perjalanannya sendiri agak lebih kurang asyik sih tanpa kamera! Sebagai akibatnya, tidak banyak foto yang aku unggah di posting ini karena ya memang tidak ada banyak foto yang aku ambil.

Anyway, agak tidak seperti biasanya, aku terbang langsung pp Amsterdam – Munich dengan KLM di perjalanan ini, alias tanpa transit! Keduanya dioperasikan dengan Boeing 737-800, PH-BCA dengan nama “Flamingo” di keberangkatan dan PH-BXL dengan nama “Sperwer” di kepulangan. Keduanya adalah penerbangan reguler dan nyaman intra-Eropa dengan KLM sehingga tak banyak yang mau kuceritakan di sini.

Sebuah Boeing 737-800nya KLM dengan rego PH-BCA

Karena aku hanya memiliki waktu setengah harian saja di Munich kali ini, aku memutuskan untuk fokus di area yang aku dengar cantik tapi belum sempat aku kunjungi di perjalananku dua tahun yang lalu. Dan area ini adalah Englischer Garten (Taman Inggris), sebuah taman besar dan terkenal di timur laut kotanya.

Mid-April and one layer of clothes in Munich. Say whaaatt?

Waktu itu seharusnya adalah Musim Semi di Eropa Barat, tapi cuaca waktu itu cukup unik, dimana matahari bersinar cerah dan temperaturnya berada di kisaran hampir 30 derajat. Sejujurnya rasanya lebih kayak Musim Panas daripada Musim Semi deh, sebuah musim yang lebih tidak aku sukai, haha 😛 . Walaupun begitu, waktu itu kan Eropa baru saja melewati Musim Dingin panjang dan keras ya, jadilah banyak orang yang memanfaatkan cuaca ini dengan pergi ke tamannya. Sebagai akibatnya, Englischer Garten rame banget waktu itu, dimana tentu banyak yang berjemur! Haha 😆 .

Taman Inggris di Munich ketika cuaca cerah

Anyway, Englischer Garten memang indah, dan membuat kotanya enak untuk dibuat hidup! Tamannya juga besar, tetapi pengunjung tidak perlu khawatir akan tersasar karena ada banyak petunjuk dan papan peta di seluruh tamannya. Uniknya, dan mungkin membingungkan, satu landmark terkenal di tamannya adalah Chinesischer Turm (Menara China). Iya, menara “China” di sebuah taman “Inggris” di Munich di “Jerman”, haha 😆 .

Chinesischer Turm di Taman Inggris di Jerman

Tentu sudah pada tahu bahwa aku bukanlah seorang fans dari cuaca panas, haha. Walaupun cuaca di Munich hari ini nggak panas yang gila banget (Maksudnya, nggak kayak cuaca lembab di daerah Tropis ketika matahari bersinar cerah!), tetapi cuacanya sudah cukup panas untuk membuatku merasa agak tidak nyaman berada di luar berlama-lama, haha. Jadilah setelah jalan-jalan di Englischer Garten selama sekitar dua jam-an, aku memutuskan kembali ke hotel untuk mandi dan beristirahat.

Crispy knuckle of suckling pig

Untuk urusan makanan, jelas dong aku menikmati masakan setempat di dua kali makanku di sana. Untuk makan siang, aku makan schnitzel daging kalkun, yang mana enak dan ukuran porsinya pun ideal (haha 😆 ). Untuk makan malam, aku makan rösche spanferkelhaxn, yang mana kurang lebih berarti lutut babi crispy yang disajikan dengan spitzkrout (kubis asam) ala Bavaria dan kartoffelknödel (kentang). Walaupun aku suka dagingnya, seperti dulu, aku juga masih kurang bisa menikmati kubis dan kentangnya, haha. Tapi secara keseluruhan enak sih D: .

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#2109 – This Week’s Story

ENGLISH

This week at work I have been … really busy! Yeah I have said something about this before as indeed this time of the year is pretty much the “busy season” in my office. But I felt like this was even more true this week! I mean, this was to the degree that I felt like I needed a weekend already … by Tuesday; and this was considering that we were just emerging from a “long” weekend at that point. Haha 😆

Though, perhaps pretty much starting the week with a drama played a role as well in this perception of mine, haha. But objectively, indeed this week was quite “unique” in the sense that there were more “varieties” in what I needed to do. I started to work on a new project this week, had several routine “mini” tasks that needed to be done, and also so many meetings and discussions over various topics. On top of that, I was scheduled to give a presentation too this Thursday! Haha 😆

Moving on to a non-work related topic, physically this week was also quite strange where for a few days, I had insomnia! Lol 😆 . Anyway, I was excited for my tennis lesson this week because my last lesson was … four weeks ago! Haha 😆 . You know, three weeks ago I went on a long weekend trip to Switzerland. There was no lesson two weeks ago because it was the “Tennis Camp” week. And last week was another “long” weekend in the Netherlands.

And so it had been almost one month of no tennis for me. Understandably because of the long recess and insomnia which led to me being quite tired already by the time the lesson started in the evening, my tennis game was so lethargic. Well, the windy condition didn’t help too, though I still won two of the three super tiebreaks we played at the end of the lesson, haha 😛 .

Yeah, this is all for today. Just a short post this time around 😛 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

DI kantor minggu aku … sibuk dah! Iya, ini sudah kusebutkan sih sebelumnya karena memang sekarang ini lagi musim sibuk di kantor. Tapi kok rasanya minggu ini lebih intense gitu! Maksudku, sibuknya ini sampai-sampai membuatku merasa aku butuh akhir pekan … di hari Selasa; dan ini dengan mempertimbangkan bahwa kita baru saja melewati sebuah “long” weekend kan ya waktu itu. Haha 😆

Walaupun, memang sih mungkin drama di awal minggu ini berperan dalam persepsiku ini juga, haha. Tapi sebenarnya sih, memang kok minggu ini “unik” dalam artian apa yang aku kerjakan di kantor “bermacam-macam” banget. Aku mulai mengerjakan proyek baru, di samping tugas-tugas “mini” tapi rutin yang perlu dikerjakan, dan juga banyaknya meeting dan diskusi tentang berbagai macam hal. Di atas itu semua, kok ya kebetulan aku dijadwalkan untuk memberikan sebuah presentasi di hari Kamis! Haha 😆

Anyway, mari kita berganti topik ke yang tidak berhubungan dengan urusan kantor. Secara fisik minggu ini juga cukup aneh dimana selama beberapa hari aku insomnia dong! Haha 😆 Oh iya, aku merasa excited dengan les tenisku minggu ini karena les terakhirku adalah … empat minggu yang lalu! Haha 😆 . Tahu kan, tiga minggu lalu aku pergi dalam sebuah perjalanan long weekend ke Swiss. Lalu dua minggu lalu lesnya libur karena adalah minggu “Tennis Camp”. Dan minggu lalu adalah “long” weekend lagi di Belanda.

Jadi ya gitu deh, nyaris sebulan lho aku hidup tanpa tenis! Yang mana jelas akibat dari absen yang berkepanjangan itu dan insomnianya yang membuat badanku merasa sudah capek ketika lesnya dimulai di malam hari, permainan tenisku parah banget deh. Yah, memang sih kondisinya yang waktu itu berangin juga tidak membantu, haha, walaupun aku masih memenangi dua dari tiga game “super tiebreak” yang dimainkan di akhir les, haha 😛 .

Ya segini dulu deh untuk sekarang. Kali ini pendek aja posting-nya, haha 😛 .

#2108 – Early Week Drama

ENGLISH

So my week started with a “drama”, haha.

This broken old blender started it all…

It started with my blender breaking down on Monday morning when I was making a smoothie bowl for breakfast. And so I went to an electronic store after work that day to buy a new one (the old blender’s warranty period had passed); as I love having a smoothie bowl for breakfast nowadays 😀 .

I decided to buy a good blender, which was made from stainless steel, meaning it was quite heavy. The electronic store was located near a tram stop which I, usually, could access via one of the two pedestrian bridges nearby. However, it just happened that both bridges were closed today for some construction work! And so I had to walk a little bit further away, while carrying the quite heavy blender, to another tram stop which required no access via those bridges. On top of that, the weather was “great” that afternoon in Amsterdam when the sun was shining at it was really warm at around 25°C!

The weather in Amsterdam was nice though…

When I almost reached the other tram stop, I just realized that I had lost my ov-chipkaart (the Dutch public transportation card)! I knew I must have just lost it, because I used the card to take the Metro from my office to the electronic store. Initially I put the card in one of my jacket’s pocket. But because of the sun and warm weather, I decided to take off my jacket and put the card in my jeans’ pocket. This turned out to be a terrible idea, because at some point the card must have fallen off somewhere (possibly when I was taking my iPhone out for some Instagram Story posts (Hey, the weather was “great”, don’t judge! 😛 ), as I put both in the same pocket). I tried to trace the card back, while -I must mention this again- carrying my new heavy blender, but had no luck.

Oh well…

To get back home, I had no other option than buying a standard one-way tourist ticket for €3. And of course I already knew what my next course of actions would be. Once home, I would access my personal profile online, block the card, and ask for a replacement (which would cost €11). The remaining credit in the lost card would be transferred back to my bank account automatically.

Except that … somehow I couldn’t see my card that I just lost linked to my account! And then I remembered that this card was, indeed, new which I just got this February. Since then, I hadn’t bothered to manually couple the card to my account because I assumed it would happen automatically (which I think was a fair assumption given that my NS and GVB abonnement (subscription/deal) were automatically transferred to this new card).

Of course I could add a new card into my account. I could dig into my email to find the card number (which obviously I didn’t remember by heart). The problem was, I also needed the expiry date of the card, which could only be found on the card itself! Darn!! I always think I am a good problem solver, but at this point I felt like I was facing a dead end.

But then I thought that while I didn’t exactly remember the expiry date, I could make an educated guess by inferring from the date I received the confirmation email of this “new” card earlier this year and the “usual” validity period of a card (5 years). As I had nothing to lose, I decided to enter my guess, and I got it correct in the first trial! Yay!

Once the card was coupled, I immediately blocked it and asked for a replacement (and paid the €11 fee), haha.

So I guess the moral of the story is: never forget to couple a personal ov-chipkaart into your account! Lol 😆 . And also, to never panic while facing an immediate problem! A calm mind is more likely to think of a creative solution! 😀

My new blender

BAHASA INDONESIA

Jadi ceritanya mingguku ini dimulai dengan sebuah “drama”, haha.

Blender lamaku yang rusak ini memulai semuanya…

Semuanya dimulai dengan blender-ku yang tiba-tiba rusak di hari Senin pagi ketika aku sedang membuat smoothie bowl untuk sarapan. Dan jadilah sorenya sepulang kerja aku mampir di sebuah toko elektronik untuk membeli yang baru (masa garansi blender lamaku sudah lewat); soalnya sekarang ini aku suka makan smoothie bowl untuk sarapan 😀 .

Jelas dong aku memutuskan membeli blender yang bagus, yaitu yang dibuat dari stainless steel, yang mana berarti blendernya lumayan berat. Toko elektroniknya berlokasi di dekat sebuah halte tram yang mana, biasanya, bisa diakses melalui satu dari dua jembatan pejalan-kaki di dekat situ. Namun, kebetulan hari ini kedua jembatannya ditutup karena pekerjaan konstruksi! Jadilah aku harus berjalan lebih jauh, sembari membawa blender yang lumayan berat itu, ke halte tram lain yang bisa diakses tanpa harus menyeberangi dua jembatan itu. Di samping itu semua, cuaca sore itu lagi “bagus” di Amsterdam dimana matahari bersinar cerah dan panas dengan suhu sekitar 25°C!

Cuaca di Amsterdam lagi oke sih…

Ketika aku nyaris tiba di halte tramnya, aku baru sadar bahwa ov-chipkaart-ku (kartu transportasi umum di Belanda) hilang dong! Aku yakin banget aku baru saja kehilangannya, karena kartunya kugunakan untuk naik Metro dari kantorku ke toko elektroniknya. Awalnya, kartunya kusimpan di kantong jaket. Tapi karena matahari yang bersinar cerah dan suhu yang panas itu, aku memutuskan untuk melepas jaketku dan kartunya kupindahkan ke kantong celana. Ini ternyata adalah ide yang buruk karena suatu waktu pasti kartunya terjatuh entah dimana (kemungkinan sih ketika aku mengambil iPhone-ku untuk membuat posting InstaStory (Hey, cuacanya kan lagi “kece” ya, hahaha! 😛 ), karena aku menyimpan keduanya di kantong yang sama). Aku mencoba meniti ulang langkahku untuk mencari kartunya, sembari -harus kutekankan lagi nih- membawa blender yang berat, tetapi keberuntungan tidak berpihak padaku.

Ya sudah…

Untuk pulang ke rumah, aku tidak memiliki pilihan lain selain membeli tiket satu arah standar untuk turis seharga €3. Dan tentu saja aku sudah tahu langkah-langkahku selanjutnya. Begitu sampai di rumah, aku akan mengakses profil personalku di internet, memblok kartunya, dan mengajukan permohonan kartu pengganti (yang biayanya €11). Sisa kredit di kartuku yang hilang otomatis akan ditransfer kembali ke rekening bank-ku.

Kecuali … entah mengapa aku tidak melihat kartuku yang baru saja hilang ini di akunku! Dan jadilah aku ingat bahwa kartu ini adalah kartu baru yang baru aku dapatkan Februari kemarin. Semenjak waktu itu, aku memang belum memasangkan kartu baru ini secara manual ke akun online-ku karena aku berasumsi pemasangan ini otomatis (yang mana menurutku adalah asumsi yang wajar mengingat abonemen NS dan GVBku kan otomatis ditransfer ke kartu baru ya).

Tentu saja aku bisa menambahkan kartuku ini ke akunku ini. Dari salah satu email, aku bisa mendapatkan nomor kartuku (yang mana jelas lah nggak aku hafal di luar kepala). Masalahnya, untuk menambahkan kartu ini aku juga memerlukan tanggal masa habis berlaku kartu, yang hanya ada di kartunya! Sial!! Aku percaya bahwa aku adalah problem solver yang baik, tapi di waktu ini aku sempat merasa menghadapi jalan buntu.

Tapi kemudian aku berpikir bahwa biarpun aku tidak ingat tanggal masa habis berlaku kartunya, kan aku bisa membuat tebakan yang cerdas ya dengan menggunakan informasi tanggal dari hari dimana aku menerima email konfirmasi kartu “baru” ini di awal tahun ini dan panjang normal periode masa berlaku kartunya (5 tahun). Karena toh nothing to lose, aku memutuskan untuk mencoba menggunakan tanggal tebakanku ini, dan ternyata aku langsung benar di tebakan pertama dong! Hore!

Setelah kartunya berada di akunku, langsung deh aku membloknya dan meminta kartu pengganti (dan membayar biaya €11), haha.

Jadi pesan dari cerita ini adalah: jangan pernah lupa memasukkan kartu ov-chipkaart baru ke akun kalian! Huahaha 😆 . Dan juga, jangan pernah panik ketika menghadapi masalah! Pikiran yang kalem lebih mungkin untuk menghasilkan solusi yang kreatif! 😀

Blender baruku

#2107 – 2018 Spring Break (Part VII: Air France AF137 ORD-CDG in Business Class)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2018 Spring Break series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Two days before my Air France flights back to Amsterdam via Paris, a part of Air France workers went on strike which meant Air France had to cancel some of their (global) flights. One of these was their daily Paris – Chicago flight that day.

Then on the day of my departure, just before going to the airport, I got a call from Air France’s Chicago office offerring me to switch to KLM’s direct Chicago – Amsterdam flight free of charge. I, of course, declined the offer.

Flight: Air France AF137
Equipment: Airbus A330-200 reg F-GZCH
ATD: 17:37 CDT (Runway 28R of ORD)
ATA: 08:23 CET (Runway 08R of CDG)

After taking the L train to O’Hare Airport and proceeded to Terminal 5, I checked-in at Air France/KLM’s counters. It turned out the agent was the one who contacted me before, haha. He then told me that I had been upgraded to Business Class on the Chicago – Paris flight. Yeay!! 😀

I then cleared security and headed to the Air France/KLM Lounge at Terminal 5. The lounge turned out to be quite small, though I still found it impressive that Air France/KLM operated their own lounge despite Chicago not being a SkyTeam hub (Air France and KLM each only operated one daily flight to Chicago). Anyway, I found the lounge to be sufficient, despite the lack of power ports.

Air France Lounge at Chicago O’Hare Airport

My flight today would be operated with Air France’s Airbus A330-200 reg F-GZCH. Long story short, I walked to the gate, boarded the plane, and turned left to the Business Class cabin 😀 . I took off my coat, which not long after was retrieved by a cabin crew to store it in a cabinet, and settled onto my 2K seat.

The business class cabin on board Air France’s Airbus A330-200 F-GZCH

“Unfortunately”, F-GZCH was still equipped with the old Business Class cabin in 2-2-2 configuration. Plus, the seat was still of the older “angled-lie-flat” one, i.e. we could flatten the seat out, but it would still be angled (not fully horizontal like in KLM’s Boeing 747-400 World Business Class). Despite so, it was still much better than economy so I’d still take it, lol 😆 .

On my business class seat board an Air France’s Airbus A330-200 F-GZCH

The cabin crew went around distributing newspapers, amenity kits, and drinks before departure. The amenity kit pouches were Air France branded and came in a few different colours (I obviously chose the blue one) and for the drink I got myself a champagne, lol 😆 .

Pre-departure drink service: French champagne

After boarding was completed, we began our pushback and, hence, departure to Paris. The safety video was played on the IFE screen. While it was still the same version, I noticed that Air France had changed the music. Somehow I liked the older music better, though. Anyway, here is the new “version” of the video:

Anyway, it was quite a quick taxi to the departure runway, which was runway 28R today. After taking-off, we made a turn towards Paris. Being seat on the right side of the plane, this provided me with a great view of Chicago in the background! 😀

Chicago O’Hare Airport and Downtown Chicago in the background

After the seatbelt sign was switched off, I took off my shoes and stored it in the shoes bag that was provided in the seat. The bag also contained a pair of slippers and socks, which I, then, of course used.

Such a comfortable flight this would be!!

The cabin crew distributed warm towels and the menu book for this flight. And then, they went on another round of drink service and, again, I had a glass of champagne, haha 🙈 .

French champagne service after take-off

The dinner service commenced not long after. There was no choice for the appetizer, which consisted of bresaola, shrimps on ratatoille, and salad with pecans. I accompanied it with a glass of 2016 Loire Blanc. It was, as expected, good!

The appetizer

Then the main course followed with four options: pan-seared tournedos, scallops in lobster sauce, chicken supreme in foie gras sauce, or red bell pepper gnocchi. I was torn between the scallops or the chicken, but in the end settled for the scallops which also came with a serving of basmati rice and carrots. A plate of gourmet cheeses was also served accompanying the main dish. It was really good!!

The main course: scallops in lobster sauce and a plate of gourmet cheeses

The dessert then followed, with two options: a sorbet with fruit salad or bites of cake, tart, and sponge. Initially I opted for the sorbet but then changed my mind to the small bites, haha. I accompanied the dessert with a glass of warm green tea 😀 .

Mini bites for dessert

After dinner, naturally I was trying to get some rest. We were already at the northeastern point of Canada at this point, so this was already about 1/3 way through to Paris! But first, I was browsing what was offerred in the IFE. As mentioned above, unfortunately F-GZCH was still equipped with the old seat and hence also the old IFE system. The content was rather disappointing and the screen was rather small.

Trying to get some rest, and notice the small-ish screen

I then flattened my seat, put my eyepad and blanket on (which were of better quality than in economy), and tried to get some rest. While I wasn’t able to get into deep sleep, this helped a lot as I could still get some rest! A few times I made a few trips to the lavatory, which smelled really good in business class because of the special perfumes, haha. They galley was also full of drink and premium snacks available for business class passengers to grab. The cabin crew was also very courteous. When seeing me in the galley, he asked me if I would like a cup of tea or coffee. I said I was fine and probably would ask for the coffee later just before breakfast.

The business class galley

As we were approaching Ireland, the cabin crew slowly brighten the cabin (They must have closed my window shades when I was asleep, without me noticing!). Not long after, they distributed warm towels and I got my cup of (powdered) cappuccino. Breakfast was then served, which consisted of some pastries, bread rools, fresh fruit, yoghurt, and some warm drinks. It was good.

The breakfast service.

Not long after, we began our descent to Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport. We flew over the city of Paris before landing at runway 08R of the airport. The plane parked at Concourse L. I disembarked the plane, cleared security and immigration before heading to Terminal 2F for my connecting flight to Amsterdam.

***

I’m not going to share my AF1640 flight to Amsterdam in too much details now. Only that it was operated with Air France’s A321-200 reg F-GTAH and was delayed for about 40 minutes. I was also flying economy on this flight, though I didn’t really mind, haha.

And here, my one week 2018 Spring Break to New Orleans and Chicago officially ended.

THE END.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2018 Spring Break:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Dua hari sebelum penerbangan Air France-ku ke Amsterdam via Paris, sebagian karyawannya Air France memutuskan untuk mogok kerja yang menyebabkan pembatalan sebagian penerbangan (global)-nya Air France. Salah satunya yang kena adalah penerbangan Paris – Chicago hari itu.

Lalu di hari keberangkatanku, tepat sebelum aku berangkat ke bandara, aku mendapatkan telepon dari kantor Chicagonya Air France yang menawarkanku untuk pindah ke penerbangan langsung Chicago – Amsterdam dengan KLM. Aku, tentu saja, menolak penawaran ini.

Penerbangan: Air France AF137
Pesawat: Airbus A330-200 reg F-GZCH
ATD: 17:37 CDT (Runway 28R of ORD)
ATA: 08:23 CET (Runway 08R of CDG)

Setelah naik kereta L menuju Bandara O’Hare dan berjalan ke Terminal 5, aku check-in di konternya Air France/KLM. Ternyata agen yang melayaniku adalah yang meneleponku sebelumnya, haha. Ia kemudian memberi-tahuku bahwa aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis di penerbangan Chicago – Paris. Hore!! 😀

Setelah pemeriksaan sekuriti, aku pergi ke lounge Air France/KLM di Terminal 5. Lounge-nya berukuran cukup kecil ternyata. Walaupun begitu aku masih cukup kagum sih Air France/KLM memiliki lounge-nya sendiri di Chicago padahal bandara ini bukanlah hub dari SkyTeam (Air France dan KLM masing-masing hanya mengoperasikan satu penerbangan per hari ke Chicago). Anyway, lounge-nya bisa dibilang cukup oke lah walaupun nggak spesial-spesial amat, tetapi colokan listriknya tidak begitu banyak.

Lounge Air France di Bandara Chicago O’Hare

Penerbanganku hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan pesawat Airbus A330-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GZCH. Singkat cerita, aku berjalan ke gerbang keberangkatan, naik ke pesawat, dan kemudian berbelok kiri ke kabin kelas bisnis 😀 . Aku melepaskan mantelku, yang mana tidak lama kemudian diambil oleh seorang pramugara untuk disimpankan di kloset mantel, dan duduk nyaman di kursi 2K.

Kabin kelas bisnis di pesawat Airbus A330-200 F-GZCHnya Air France

“Sayangnya”, F-GZCH masih dilengkapi dengan kabin kelas bisnis model lamanya Air France dengan konfigurasi kursi 2-2-2. Ditambah lagi, kursinya pun masih yang bertipe “angled-lie-flat“, alias bisa diratakan tetapi masih “bersudut” (jadi tidak benar-benar horizontal seperti di World Business Class Boeing 747-400nya KLM). Walaupun begitu, kursi ini masih jauh lebih nyaman daripada kursi di kelas ekonomi sih jadi aku mah nggak komplain lah ya, hahaha 😆 .

Di kursi kelas bisnisku di pesawat Airbus A330-200 F-GZCHnya Air France

Pramugarinya membagikan koran, amenity kits, dan minuman sebelum berangkat. Pouch amenity kit-nya bermerk Air France dan datang dengan beberapa pilihan warna (Tentu aku memilih yang berwarna biru) dan untuk minumnya aku memilih segelas champagne, haha 😆 .

Layanan minuman sebelum berangkat: champagne Prancis

Setelah boarding selesai, pushback dimulai sehingga pesawat mulai diberangkatkan ke Paris. Peragaan video keselamatan dimainkan di layar IFEnya. Walaupun masih merupakan versi yang sama, aku perhatikan Air France telah mengubah musiknya. Aku lebih suka musik yang lama nih. Berikut ini “versi” baru videonya:

Anyway, setelah taxiing yang singkat, kami lepas landas dari landasan pacu 28R. Pesawat kemudian berbelok ke arah Paris. Karena duduk di sisi kanan pesawat, aku mendapatkan pemandangan kota Chicago yang keren banget sebagai latar belakang! 😀

Bandara Chicago O’Hare dan Downtown Chicago di latar belakang.

Setelah tanda kenakan sabuk pengaman dipadamkan, aku melepas sepatuku dan menyimpannya di tas sepatu yang disediakan di setiap kursi. Tasnya juga berisi sandal dan kaus kaki, yang mana jelas kemudian aku pakai.

Penerbangannya bakal nyaman nih!!

Awak kabin kemudian membagikan handuk hangat dan buku menu untuk penerbangan ini. Kemudian layanan minuman kembali diberikan, dan aku memilih segelas champagne lagi, haha 🙈 .

Champagne Prancis setelah lepas landas

Layanan makan malam disajikan tidak lama kemudian. Tidak ada pilihan untuk makanan pembuka, yang terdiri atas ham bresaola, udang di atas ratatouille, dan salad dengan kacang pecan. Aku menemaninya dengan segelas 2016 Loire Blanc. Seperti penampilannya, memang enak!

Makanan pembuka

Lalu makanan utama disajikan yang datang dengan empat pilihan: pan-seared tournedos, scallops dengan saus lobster, ayam dengan saus foie gras, atau gnocchi paprika merah. Awalnya aku galau antara scallops atau ayamnya, tetapi kemudian memilih scallops yang disajikan bersama dengan nasi basmati dan wortel. Sepiring keju gourmet juga disajikan bersamaan dengan makanan utama ini. Rasanya enak!!

Makanan utama: scallops dengan saus lobster dan sepiring keju gourmet

Pencuci mulut kemudian disajikan, dengan dua pilihan: es krim sorbet dengan buah-buahan atau potongan mini kue, tart, dan sponge. Awalnya aku memilih es krim sorbet tetapi kemudian berganti pilihan ke potongan-potongan mini itu dengan segelas teh hijau hangat 😀 .

Pencuci mulut mini dan teh hijau hangat.

Setelah makan malam, jelas aku mencoba beristirahat. Kami sudah berada di atas ujung timur laut Kanada waktu ini, yang mana artinya sudah sekitar 1/3 perjalanan ke Paris! Tetapi pertama-tama, jelas aku sudah mem-browsing IFEnya. Seperti yang kusebutkan di atas, F-GZCH masih dilengkapi dengan kursi yang lama sehingga sistem IFEnya pun masih sistem lama. Isinya sedikit mengecewakan dan layarnya berukuran relatif kecil.

Mencoba beristirahat, dan perhatikan layarnya yang berukuran agak kecil.

Aku kemudian meratakan kursiku, memasang penutup mata dan selimut (yang mana berkualitas lebih baik daripada yang di ekonomi, haha), dan mencoba beristirahat. Walaupun aku tidak mencapai fase tidur nyenyak, toh aku bisa beristirahat dengan lumayan! Beberapa kali aku pergi ke toilet, yang mana wangi loh karena diberi parfum, haha. Galley-nya juga penuh dengan minuman dan snack premium untuk penumpang kelas bisnis. Awak kabinnya juga perhatian sekali. Ketika melihatku di galley, ia bertanya apakah aku ingin dibuatkan teh atau kopi. Aku bilang tidak perlu untuk saat itu dan nanti saja sebelum sarapan.

Galley kelas bisnis

Ketika pesawat sudah mendekati Irlandia, awak kabin mulai perlahan-lahan menerangkan kabin pesawat (Mereka menutupkan penutup jendelaku ketika aku tertidur, tanpa menggangguku lho!). Tak lama setelahnya, handuk hangat dibagikan dan aku mendapatkan secangkir cappuccino (dari bubuk bungkusan). Sarapan kemudian dibagikan, yang terdiri atas beberapa potong roti, buah-buahan segar, yoghurt, dan minuman hangat. Enak.

Layanan sarapan.

Tidak lama setelahnya, pesawat mulai turun ke Bandara Charles De Gaulle di Paris. Kami terbang di atas kota Paris sebelum mendarat di landasan pacu 08R. Pesawat diparkir di Concourse L. Aku menuruni pesawat, melewati pemeriksaan sekuriti dan imigrasi, sebelum kemudian berjalan ke Terminal 2F untuk penerbangan lanjutanku ke Amsterdam.

***

Aku tidak akan menuliskan terlalu mendetail penerbangan AF1640ku ke Amsterdam. Hanya saja penerbangannya dioperasikan dengan Airbus A321-200nya Air France dengan rego F-GTAH dan terlambat sekitar 40an menit. Aku juga duduk di kelas ekonomi sih di penerbangan ini, tetapi tidak masalah bagiku, haha.

Dan di sini, liburan musim semi 2018 satu mingguku ke New Orleans dan Chicago resmi berakhir.

SELESAI.

#2106 – A “Long” Weekend and Chitato

ENGLISH

A “Long” Weekend

This Thursday was the Ascension Day which was a public holiday in the Netherlands. So technically, this weekend could become a “long” weekend if one decided to take Friday off, which many of my colleagues did.

I, however, didn’t and so I worked as usual on Friday, even though it was a bridging day, haha 😆 . The main reason for it was that I couldn’t find a good deal for a trip this weekend, on top of still having to take one day off nonetheless if I would make use of the opportunity. I felt like my holiday allowance was more valuable when used for a “bigger” trip than for “just” a long weekend.

So there I was, still having to work on Friday when quite many of my colleagues were away somewhere. As a result, my office felt “peaceful” and quier that day, haha 😆 . But it was fine, though, as I could finish off one project I was busy week and so tomorrow I can start my week on a cleaner state for the other projects in my backlog, haha 😆 .

Chitato in the Netherlands

Anyway, I was very excited when I spotted Chitato Indomie Goreng the last time I was in Indonesia. Btw here are the main posts of this most recent trip there:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Indonesia
3. Part II: Jakarta
4. Part III: Yogyakarta
5. Part IV: The Wedding
6. Part V: Solo
7. Part VI: Back to Europe

At the time I even mentioned that it was practically impossible to get this product in Europe. This statement, however, turned out to be quite premature. Earlier this week when I went to the orientalmarkt, I spotted the following:

Yes, Chitato Indomie Goreng was, for now, available too in the Netherlands 😍!

I was really excited about it and actually impulsively decided to buy two of them. Indeed I went to the shop before having my dinner, lol 😆 . But well, it was worth it and certainly cheat days were allowed here and there, no? 😛

And so how was it? I actually liked it, even though I also found it to be spicy! Hahaha 😆 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Sebuah “Long” Weekend

Hari Kamis kemarin adalah Hari Kenaikan Isa Al-Masih yang merupakan tanggal merah di Belanda. Jadi sebenarnya akhir pekan ini bisa dibuat menjadi “long” weekend jika kita mengambil cuti di hari Jumat, yang mana banyak dilakukan oleh kolegaku.

Aku, tapinya, tidak dan jadilah aku bekerja seperti biasa di hari Jumat, biarpun hari itu sebenarnya adalah hari kejepit, haha 😆 . Alasan utamanya adalah karena aku tidak menemukan tiket promo yang oke, di samping toh masih harus mengambil cuti satu hari kalau mau memanfaatkannya. Aku merasa jatah cutiku lebih berharga untuk digunakan di perjalanan yang “lebih besar” daripada “hanya sekedar” long weekend, haha.

Jadi ya gitu deh, aku masih harus bekerja di hari Jumat ketika banyak kolegaku yang sedang berlibur kemana gitu. Sebagai akibatnya, kantorku terasa “sepi” banget, haha 😆 . Tapi nggak apa-apa sih, dengan begini justru aku bisa menyelesaikan satu proyek yang menyibukkanku sebelumnya dan besok aku bisa memulai minggu baru dengan bersih untuk proyek-proyek lain yang berada di backlog-ku, haha 😆 .

Chitato di Belanda

Anyway, aku merasa excited ketika aku melihat Chitato Indomie Goreng terakhir kali aku di Indonesia. Btw, berikut ini posting-posting utama cerita dari perjalananku ini kesana:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to Indonesia
3. Part II: Jakarta
4. Part III: Yogyakarta
5. Part IV: The Wedding
6. Part V: Solo
7. Part VI: Back to Europe

Waktu itu aku sebutkan bahwa bisa dibilang mustahil untuk bisa mendapatkan produk ini di Eropa. Pernyataan ini, ternyata, aku keluarkan terlalu dini. Awal minggu ini ketika aku pergi ke orientalmarkt, aku melihat ini dong:

Iya, Chitato Indomie Goreng, untuk saat ini, juga tersedia di Belanda 😍!

Aku merasa excited sehingga aku spontan membeli dua bungkus. Memang sih aku pergi ke tokonya sebelum makan malam, haha 😆 . Ah, tapi worth it kok dan toh cheat days juga sekali-sekali nggak apa-apa kan 😛

Dan bagaimanakah rasanya? Aku suka loh, walaupun agak terlalu pedas sih untukku! Hahaha 😆 .

#2105 – Digimon Adventure Tri (6: Bokura no Mirai)

ENGLISH

Previous posts in the Digimon Adventure Tri series:
1. Digimon Adventure Tri (1: Saikai)
2. Digimon Adventure Tri (2: Ketsui)
3. Digimon Adventure Tri (3: Kokuhaku)
4. Digimon Adventure Tri (4: Sōshitsu)
5. Digimon Adventure Tri (5: Kyōsei)

***

Last weekend, the sixth and final film of Digimon Adventure Tri, Bokura no Mirai (Future), was released. As this was the finale, obviously I had been longing for it! This would also mark the end of the three years journey with this series (Even though the first film, Saikai, was just released in November 2015 (or 2.5 years ago), I learned about Tri in May 2015 and obviously that half a year time of my life counts, lol 😆 ) so of course I couldn’t wait to find out how the story would end! Anyway, so here we go:

*** SPOILERS ALERT ***

The film started in mellow mood as the DigiDestined believed Taichi was dead. They then decided to return to the Real World. There, the DigiDestined tried to fight the fusion of Ophanimon Falldown Mode and Raguelmon, which was revealed to be Ordinemon. But they were certainly no match to the very powerful Ordinemon. Because of this, Homeostasis decided to execute his last resort plan, which was to reboot the Real World.

Hackmon revealed Homeostasis’ final resort

Meanwhile, Taichi was revealed to still be alive (Not surprising at all, lol 😆 ) and woke up in a facility in the Digital World along with Nishijima. There they discovered cryostasis pods which kept many of the other DigiDestined, including those (annoying) ones from season 2 (Daisuke, Yolei, Iori, and Ken). Dark Gennai then suddenly appear, explained that these other DigiDestined were captured as they found out about Yggdrasill’s plan. He then initiated the facility to self-destruct, and said that there was only one free pod left for safety. Nishijima tricked Taichi to use the pod, and he died from his wounds before the facility exploded.

Hikari then got a vision of prophecy, which led Koshiro to understand that Meicoomon stored the backup data of all Digimons prior to the original reboot (Part III: Kokuhaku) which explained why it still kept its memory even after the reboot (Part IV: Sōshitsu) and was so powerful now. With the help of Meiko, they were able to “unlock” the memories, hence freeing Tailmon and restoring the memories of all Digimons. Ordinemon appeared to weaken significantly and Homeostasis aborted the Real World reboot.

However, Ordinemon appeared to still keep its form and Yggdrasill used the now “free” space in it for more virus. Taichi was then back with all the other DigiDestined, and everyone decided to fight, despite reluctantly. Tailmon Mega-Digivolved, correctly this time, to Holydramon. With Meiko’s digivice, the six Mega-level digimons fused into Omnimon, creating the Omnimon Merciful Mode, and killed Ordinemon, and hence also Meicoomon, in the process. Yggdrasill was, then, defeated for now, and Homeostasis’ will of harmony was achieved.

Angewomon Mega-digivolved to Holydramon

The movie ended three months later, where Meiko had moved back to Tottori and the other eight Digi-Destined sent her a Christmas present. During the awkward silence moment, Agumon jumped in and said no matter what happened, they were still friends.

***

I have to say I was very happy with how Digimon Adventure Tri ended! I mean, the plot and execution could have been better indeed, but the idea and story was great! It didn’t exactly have the happy ending (as Meicoomon and Nishijima were dead) but this precisely, to me, showed how the show has “matured”, along with its fans who were just mostly kids (including myself) during the first airing of Digimon Adventure in 1999 or early 2000s.

How the DigiDestined have become more mature now

Most of the mysteries introduced in the earlier films were also explained, which was such a responsible thing to do, I guess, after keeping fans in suspense for 2.5 years, lol 😆 . I wrote “most” because not the fate of everyone was known. For instance, we don’t know what happened to Himekawa after Tapirmon didn’t recognize her and so broke her heart. But this was great! I loved it that some mysteries remained “untouched”, especially the “less important” mysteries like this one, haha 😆 .

I also liked the fact that what happened to the other DigiDestined introduced in season 2 was explained. While I am not a fans of season 2 and the DigiDestined (I found them annoying as hell), it was good that they were given a fitting amount of acknowledgement in this movie (lol 😆 ).

And I especially like the light-hearted ending as well, where Agumon said to Meiko they would still be friends.

***

Yeah, so overall, I have been satisfied with Digimon Adventure Tri! 😀

Digimon Adventure Tri: THE END

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri Digimon Adventure Tri:
1. Digimon Adventure Tri (1: Saikai)
2. Digimon Adventure Tri (2: Ketsui)
3. Digimon Adventure Tri (3: Kokuhaku)
4. Digimon Adventure Tri (4: Sōshitsu)
5. Digimon Adventure Tri (5: Kyōsei)

***

Akhir pekan yang lalu, film keenam dan terakhir dari Digimon Adventure Tri, Bokura no Mirai (Masa Depan), ditayangkan. Yang namanya film terakhir, jelas sudah aku tunggu-tunggu dong ya! Ini akan menandai akhir dari perjalananku selama tiga tahun dengan seri ini (Walaupun film pertamanya, Saikai, baru dirilis November 2015 (2,5 tahun yang lalu), kan aku sudah tahu akan Tri ini semenjak Mei 2015 ya dan jelas lah hidupku selama setengah tahun ini juga mesti dihitung! Haha 😆 ). Jadilah aku penasaran bagaimana ceritanya akan berakhir. Mari kita mulai:

*** SPOILERS ALERT ***

Film dimulai dengan mood yang mellow dimana Anak Terpilih mengira Taichi sudah meninggal. Mereka memutuskan untuk kembali ke Dunia Nyata. Di sana, mereka mencoba melawan digimon fusion dari Ophanimon Falldown Mode dan Raguelmon, yang diperkenalkan bernama Ordinemon. Sayangnya mereka sama sekali bukan tandingan Ordinemon yang kuat banget. Karenanya, Homesotasis mmutuskan untuk menjalankan rencana terakhirnya, yaitu me-reboot Dunia Nyata.

Hackmon memberi-tahu rencana terakhirnya Homeostasis

Sementara itu, diungkapkan bahwa Taichi masih hidup (Ya jelas lah, haha 😆 ) dimana ia bangun di sebuah laboratorium di Dunia Digital bersama Nishijima. Di sana, mereka menemukan tabung-tabung cryostasis yang mana ternyata menyimpan anak-anak terpilih lainnya, termasuk yang dari season 2 (Daisuke, Yolei, Iori, dan Ken) yang sok dan menyebalkan itu, haha. Dark Gennai kemudian muncul, menjelaskan bahwa anak-anak terpilih lainnya ini ia tangkap karena mereka menyadari akan rencana dari Yggdrasill. Ia kemudian mengeset laboratoriumnya untuk self destruct, dan berkata bahwa cuma ada satu tabung tersisa agar selamat. Nishijima menipu Taichi agar Taichi masuk ke dalam tabungnya, dan Nishijima meninggal karena lukanya yang parah sebelum laboratoriumnya meledak.

Hikari lalu mendapatkan wangsit dan ramalan, yang membuat Koshiro menyadari bahwa di dalam Meicoomon tersimpan data back-up dari semua Digimon sebelum reboot yang pertama (bagian III: Kokuhaku) yang menjelaskan mengapa Meicoomon masih memiliki ingatannya bahkan setelah reboot (bagian IV: Sōshitsu) dan kini sangat amat kuat. Dengan bantuan Meiko, mereka berhasil “membuka” memori itu, yang mana membebaskan Tailmon dan mengembalikan memori-memori dari semua Digimon. Ordinemon kemudian nampak melemah dan Homeostasis membatalkan reboot Dunia Nyatanya.

Namun, Meicoomon masih berwujud Ordinemon dan Yggdrasill memanfaatkan ruang “kosong” yang dulunya berisi memori itu untuk diisi dengan virus. Taichi kemudian kembali bergabung bersama yang lainnya, dan semuanya memutuskan untuk bertarung, walaupun sebenarnya mereka enggan. Tailmon ber-Mega-digivolve, kali ini benar, menjadi Holydramon. Dengan digivice-nya Meiko, keenam digimon level Mega bergabung dengan Omnimon, yang berubah menjadi Omnimon Merciful Mode, yang mampu menghancurkan Ordinemon, dan juga ikut membunuh Meicoomon. Yggdrasill terkalahkan, untuk saat ini, dan keinginan Homeostasis untuk menjaga harmoni tercapai.

Angewomon ber-Mega-digivolve menjadi Holydramon

Filmnya berakhir tiga bulan kemudian, dimana Meiko sudah pindah kembali ke Tottori dan kedelapan anak terpilih mengiriminya hadiah Natal. Di suatu momen awkward dimana tidak ada yang bisa berkata apa-apa, Agumon menimpali dan berkata bahwa apa pun yang terjadi, mereka tetap lah teman.

***

Harus aku bilang aku suka dengan bagaimana Digimon Adventure Tri ini berakhir! Maksudku, memang sih plot dan eksekusinya bisa lebih baik lagi, tapi ide dan jalan ceritanya bagus! Filmnya tidak berakhir benar-benar dengan happy ending (karena Meicoomon dan Nishijima mati) tetapi justru karena ini lah, untukku, kita ditunjukkan bahwa acaranya juga sudah menjadi “dewasa”, persis sama seperti anak-anak (termasuk aku) yang menonton penayangan Digimon Adventure di tahun 1999 atau awal 2000.

Bagaimana anak terpilihnya sudah lebih dewasa sekarang.

Kebanyakan misteri yang diperkenalkan di film-film yang sebelumnya juga diungkapkan di film ini, yang mana adalah hal yang bertanggung-jawab banget kan ya, haha, setelah membuat fans bertanya-tanya selama 2,5 tahun kan 😆 . Aku tulis “kebanyakan” karena tidak semuanya diceritakan. Misalnya, kita masih tidak tahu apa yang terjadi dengan Himekawa setelah Tapirmon tidak mengenalinya sehingga hatinya hancur. Tetapi ini justru keren sih! Aku suka bahwa beberapa misterinya tetap dibuat misteri, terutama yang relatif tidak penting seperti Himekawa ini kan ya, haha 😆 .

Aku juga suka bahwa apa yang terjadi dengan anak-anak terpilih lainnya yang diperkenalkan di musim 2 dijelaskan. Walaupun aku bukanlah fans musim 2 dan tidak suka dengan anak-anaknya (bagiku mereka menyebalkan banget), bagus juga dimana mereka diberikan acknowledgement dengan porsi yang pas lah di film ini (haha 😆 ).

Dan terutama aku suka ending-nya yang ringan dan mengena di hati, dimana Agumon berkata kepada Meiko bahwa mereka masih lah teman.

***

Jadi, ya, secara keseluruhan aku puas dengan Digimon Adventure Tri!! 😀

Digimon Adventure Tri: SELESAI

#2104 – 2018 Spring Break (Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food)

ENGLISH

Posts in the 2018 Spring Break series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

In Chicago, I paid a visit (literally) to two attractions in the city (The “free” attractions were covered in Part V), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and the Chicago Skydeck.

The MCA

The MCA was located near the Hancock Tower in the Magnificent Mile. At first I wasn’t so sure if I would like to come in. But then it was quite some walk already from the hotel and I had some time anyway, and so I decided to pay a visit.

Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art

The MCA turned out to be quite cool, though rather small in size despite its five stories building, haha. The exhibitions were, as the museum’s name, contemporary; so some of the artists played more with our senses (than just visual) with their creations. This visit reminded me a little bit of my visit to a contemporary art museum in Salzburg back in 2011, in which sometimes I felt like some of the “artworks” were difficult to understand, or way too “simplistic” and made me think “Even I could make this“, lol 🙈.

A contemporary artwork in Chicago

Nonetheless, the museum was beautiful. Did it worth the $15 admission? Well, it was rather on the steep side to me but it was still okay, haha 😛 .

The Chicago Skydeck

Willis Tower was the tallest building in Chicago. It had an observation deck, called the Skydeck, on the 103rd floor that was equipped with four glass balconies. The balconies had glass floor so visitors could literally look at the street and everything else 412 meters below. So obviously I would like to pay a visit.

Willis Tower

I went to Willis Tower after my visit to the MCA. Upon entering the building, I was told that there was a line of 2.5 hours before I would get access to the Skydeck. This was Saturday afternoon (of an Easter long weekend) and was my last full day in Chicago; so I didn’t have any other alternative. Upon reaching the ticket kiosk, there was a “Fast Pass” ticket that came with a priority queuing line (with only 40 minutes of waiting time) but cost $49. I felt cheap today so I just went with the general admission ticket which only cost $24, haha.

The queue for the Skydeck

I was thinking they must have exaggerated the “2.5 hours” queueing time; but it turned out they were being serious, lol 😆 . But free wifi was provided and it helped a lot to pass the time, haha. Long story short, I finally got my turn to take the elevator up to the 103rd floor. The elevator moved really fast, btw.

The Skydeck provided 360 degree view of Chicago. I went to one window which faced The Loop, and admired the awesome view of Chicago City Center from 412 meters above the ground.

The business district of Chicago from Skydeck

The balconies were in the other side of the room; and, unsurprisingly but rather annoyingly, there was another line for those! I chose one of the line (each balcony had its own line(s)); and this line felt like moving at a much slower pace than the previous line!

The queue for the balconies at the SkyDeck

It was another half an hour of queueing before finally I got my turn at one of the balconies. By this time I was already so tired from the three hours of queueing and just wanted to get my pictures taken, lol 😆 . And so I didn’t have a lot of time and energy to look down and “felt the height” under me. Though, I did manage to snap one picture of it; and it wasn’t “that” scary to be honest, haha.

The view of the glass bottom deck at 412 meters (103rd floor) above the ground

It was cool though that each balcony was managed by an officer who made sure the lines were respected and each visitor wouldn’t take too much time in the balcony (to be courteous to other visitors still waiting in the lines). My officer also helped me to take a few photos, haha 😆 .

Sky Deck Chicago

After my about 1 minute turn (lol 😆 ) at the balcony was over, I went down the elevator and left the Willis Tower.

Was the Skydeck worth a visit? Yes, definitely! Perhaps just choose a better timing than I did. I mean, a Saturday afternoon in the middle of a long weekend was probably not the most ideal time to pay a visit there, haha 😆 . Ah, and don’t forget to check the weather forecast too to make sure you would get good view of the city from up there!

The Food in Chicago

Coming to Chicago, I knew that I would like to try out their famous deep dish pizza! And I wasted no time. I went to two restaurants, Pizano and Giordano’s, and at both I ordered this dish. There were many different choices of toppings but those were mostly for small-and-up sized pizza. For the individual sized one which I was after, the topping variety wasn’t that wide; but what I was after, the cheesy one, thankfully came in this size.

A Chicago’s cheesy deep dish pizza

And indeed, it was delicious!! The pizza looked thick but it was thick with the topping, not the crust! Years ago when I was still in Indonesia, someone told me that Pizza Hut’s pizza was Chicago-style. And now, I can say that this person was lying to my face! It wasn’t like Pizza Hut’s pizza!! Lol 😆

Anyway, I learned that deep dish pizza took a long time to cook, at least in these two restaurants that I went to. Even at Giordano’s, I had to wait for nearly an hour! The waitress told me about this when I was placing my order, though.

A delicious steak in Chicago

Another dish that one should try while in Chicago was the steak! Apparently Chicago was a steak city; and for my last dinner there I went to a pub that served steak. And the sirloin steak was delicious, and unique in its own way! It was served with fried onion with Worcestershire sauce, a combination I had never seen for a steak before! 😀

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam seri 2018 Spring Break:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: Getting to New Orleans
3. Part II: New Orleans
4. Part III: NOLA the Foodie Destination
5. Part IV: New Orleans to Chicago
6. Part V: Chicago the City
7. Part VI: The MCA, Skydeck, and the Food
8. Part VII: Back to Europe in Business Class

Di Chicago, aku masuk ke dua atraksi berbayar (Atraksi “gratisan”-nya sudah kuceritakan di Bagian V), yaitu Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) dan Chicago Skydeck.

MCA

MCA berlokasi di dekat Menara Hancock tidak jauh dari Magnificent Mile. Awalnya aku nggak yakin apakah aku mau masuk atau tidak. Tetapi berhubung aku sudah berjalan-kaki jauh dari hotel dan toh ada waktu, aku memutuskan untuk masuk.

Museum of Contemporary Art di Chicago

MCA ternyata lumayan keren juga lho, walaupun ukurannya tergolong cukup kecil sih untukku biarpun ada lima lantai, haha. Yang dipamerkan, sesuai nama museumnya, ber-genre kontemporer; dimana beberapa artisnya bermain dengan indra-indra kita (lebih dari sekedar visual) dengan karya-karyanya. Kunjungan ini mengingatkanku akan kunjunganku ke museum seni kontemporer di Salzburg di tahun 2011 dulu, yang mana aku merasa beberapa “karya seni”-nya sulit dimengerti, atau sebagian yang saking “terlalu sederhana”-nya membuatku berpikir “Begini mah gue juga bisa“, huahahaha 🙈.

Sebuah karya seni kontemporer di Chicago

Walaupun begitu, museumnya secara keseluruhan indah kok. Apakah layak dengan rate tiket masuknya yang $15? Hmm, memang sih rate segini tergolong lumayan mahal tapi masih nggak papa lah, haha 😛 .

Chicago Skydeck

Menara Willis adalah bangunan paling tinggi di Chicago. Menara ini memiliki dek observasi, yang disebut Skydeck, di lantai 103 yang dilengkapi dengan empat balkon. Balkon-balkon ini berlantaikan kaca sehingga pengunjung bisa melihat bebas ke jalanan dan menara-menara di bawah kaki yang berada 412 meter di bawahnya. Jadi jelas dong ya aku ingin mengunjunginya juga.

Menara Willis

Aku pergi ke Menara Willis setelah kunjunganku ke MCA. Ketika memasuki gedungnya, aku diberi-tahu bahwa antrian untuk akses ke Skydeck adalah 2,5 jam. Waktu itu adalah hari Sabtu siang (di long weekend Paskah pula) dan adalah hari penuh terakhirku di Chicago; jadilah aku tidak memiliki alternatif lain. Ketika mencapai loket tiketnya, aku diberi-tahu akan tiket “Fast Pass” dengan jalur prioritas antrian (sehingga antriannya hanya 40 menit) tetapi seharga $49. Karena sedang merasa pelit hari itu, aku membeli tiket yang biasa saja yang hanya seharga $24, haha.

Antrian Skydeck jalur biasa

Awalnya aku berpikir pasti petugasnya melebih-lebihkan lah dengan waktu tunggu “2,5 jam” itu; tetapi ternyata memang beneran segitu dong, haha 😆 . Tetapi di antriannya ada free wifi sih sehingga ini membantu sekali untuk melewatkan waktu, haha. Singkat cerita, aku akhirnya mendapatkan giliranku naik lift ke lantai 103. Liftnya bergerak naik dengan amat cepat loh, btw.

Skydeck menawarkan pemandangan 360 derajat akan Chicago. Aku pergi ke salah satu jendelanya yang mengarah ke The Loop, dan dari sana aku mendapatkan pemandangan kece distrik bisnisnya Chicago dari ketinggian 412 meter di atas tanah.

Distrik bisnisnya Chicago dari Skydeck

Balkon-balkonnya berada di sisi lain ruangannya; dan, tidak mengherankan tetapi menjengkelkannya, ada antrian untuknya lagi dong! Aku memilih salah satu antriannya (masing-masing balkon memiliki antriannya sendiri-sendiri); dan antrian kali ini rasanya bergerak lebih lamban daripada yang sebelumnya!

Antri lagi untuk balkon-balkon di SkyDeck

Kira-kira aku harus mengantri setengah jam lagi sebelum akhirnya mendapatkan giliranku di salah satu balkonnya. Di waktu ini aku sudah lelah dari yang namanya tiga jam mengantri dan ingin cepat-cepat foto-foto saja, haha 😆 . Dan aku pun tidak memiliki banyak waktu dan energi untuk melihat ke bawah untuk “merasakan” ketinggian di bawahku waktu itu. Walaupun aku sempat mengambil satu fotonya sih; dan sebenarnya nggak “seram-seram amat” menurutku, haha.

Pemandangan ke bawah dari dek kaca di ketinggian 412 meter (lantai 103) di atas tanah.

Keren lho di setiap balkonnya terdapat petugas yang memastikan antriannya berjalan mulus dan setiap pengunjung tidak memakan waktu di balkonnya terlalu lama (ya mesti juga memikirkan pengunjung-pengunjung lain yang sedang mengantri kan ya). Petugas di balkonku juga membantuku foto-foto, haha 😆 .

Sky Deck Chicago

Setelah giliranku selama 1 menitan (haha 😆 ) berakhir, aku turun dengan lift-nya dan meninggalkan Menara Willis.

Apakah Skydeck worth it? Iya banget! Tapi waktu kunjungannya bisa dipilih yang lebih baik daripada waktuku kemarin ini deh. Maksudku, Sabtu siang di pertengahan long weekend jelas bukan waktu yang ideal untuk mengunjunginya kan ya, haha 😆 . Ah, dan jangan lupa mengecek ramalan cuaca untuk memastikan pemandangan kotanya lagi kece dari atas sana!

Makanan di Chicago

Dari awal, aku sudah tahu aku ingin banget makan deep dish pizza di Chicago yang memang terkenal banget itu! Dan aku fokus banget dengan ini. Aku pergi ke dua restoran, Pizano dan Giordano’s, dan di keduanya aku memesan menu ini. Pilihan topping-nya ada bermacam-macam tetapi kebanyakan untuk pizza ukuran small ke atas. Untuk ukuran individu seperti yang kuinginkan, pilihan topping-nya tiak sebanyak itu; tetapi yang memang aku inginkan, topping keju, untungnya tersedia di ukuran ini.

Sebuah deep dish pizza yang berkeju banget di Chicago

Dan memang beneran enak banget lho!! Pizzanya nampak tebal tetapi tebal oleh topping-nya, bukan oleh crust-nya! Jadi ceritanya dulu ketika masih di Indonesia, aku diberi-tahu bahwa pizza-nya Pizza Hut itu bergaya Chicago. Dan sekarang, aku bisa bilang bahwa siapa pun yang memberi-tahuku waktu itu itu jahat bohong! Soalnya pizza-nya nggak mirip sama sekali dengan pizza-nya Pizza Hut!! Haha 😆 .

Anyway, memasak deep dish pizza ini membutuhkan waktu lama banget, setidaknya di dua restoran yang kukunjungi ini. Bahkan di Giordano’s, aku harus menunggu hampir satu jam! Pelayannya sudah memberi-tahuku ini ketika memesannya sih.

Steak yang enak banget di Chicago

Menu lainnya yang perlu dicoba di Chicago adalah steak-nya! Ternyata Chicago adalah kota steak; dan untuk makan malamku di sana aku pergi ke sebuah pub yang menyediakan steak. Dan steak sirloinnya memang enak banget, dan unik! Steak-nya disajikan dengan bawang goreng tepung dengan saus Inggris, kombinasi yang belum pernah kudapatkan sebelumnya! 😀

BERSAMBUNG…