Uncategorized

#2082 – A DST Weekend

ENGLISH

So yesterday was when the Daylight Saving Time (DST) officially kicked in in Europe, when the time was moved forward by one hour from 2 AM to 3 AM. This meant there were only 23 hours this Sunday.

I have mentioned here a few times that this is my less favorite DST of the year. And especially so this year because yesterday my Spring trip started! When I booked my ticket this January, I didn’t consider the DST and so I ended up with a morning flight departing out of Schiphol at 08:35 AM to start the trip! Lol 😆

And so to avoid this, which was a real risk that should never be underestimated:

(Forgetting to move the clock forward by an hour on a Spring DST like this Sunday would cause your alarm set at 4 AM to only beep at 5 AM due to the time change), I decided to spend a night at Schiphol on the evening prior to the trip. This way, the risk would be much lower. Plus, it would be less of a hassle for me because I would already be at the airport in the morning of departure. I would not need to worry about getting to Schiphol at the ungodly early hours on a Sunday, haha 😆 .

Having said that, this trip actually made the DST really unique. You know, my Sunday was supposed to be 23 hours in length. But my flights that day made my Sunday be 30 hours in length, due to the seven hours time difference between the Netherlands and Louisiana, haha. This was similar to my latest Winter Solstice when I was flying from Amsterdam to San Francisco that day. A day that was supposed to be short actually became (much) longer 😛 .

BAHASA INDONESIA

Kemarin adalah Daylight Saving Time (DST) di Eropa, dimana waktu dimajukan satu jam dari jam 2 subuh ke jam 3. Ini berarti hari Minggu kemarin hanya terdiri atas 23 jam saja.

Sudah beberapa kali kusebutkan bahwa DST ini adalah DST yang tidak aku sukai. Terutama tahun ini sih karena kebetulan kemarin adalah permulaan dari perjalanan musim semiku! Ketika tiketnya aku booking Januari ini, aku tidak mempertimbangkan DST sama sekali dan jadilah aku mendapatkan tiket keberangkatan dari Schiphol di pagi hari jam 08:35 pagi dong! Haha 😆 .

Dan untuk mencegah yang berikut ini kejadian, yang mana merupakan risiko yang jangan pernah disepelekan lho:

(Lupa memajukan jam selama satu jam di hari DST musim semi seperti hari Minggu kemarin menyebabkan alarm yang disetel jam 4 pagi untuk baru berbunyi jam 5 pagi karena pergeseran waktu), aku memutuskan untuk menginap di Schiphol semalam sebelum perjalanannya dimulai. Dengan begini, risikonya menjadi lebih kecil. Ditambah lagi, ini jelas lebih praktis karena aku sudah berada di bandara di pagi keberangkatan. Aku tidak perlu untuk pusing-pusing mencari cara untuk berangkat ke Schiphol di pagi-pagi buta di hari Minggu kan ya, haha 😆 .

Walaupun begitu, perjalanan ini justru membuat DST kali ini unik loh. Jadi seharusnya hari Mingguku memiliki panjang 23 jam kan. Tapi penerbangan-penerbanganku hari itu membuat hari Mingguku menjadi berpanjang 30 jam, karena perbedaan waktu tujuh jam antara Belanda dan Louisiana, haha. Mirip-mirip nih dengan Winter Solstice terakhirku ketika aku terbang dari Amsterdam ke San Francisco hari itu. Suatu hari yang seharusnya pendek menjadi (jauh) lebih panjang 😛 .

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#1550 – 2015 Spring Trip (Part III: Tokyo (3))

ENGLISH

Previous post on the 2015 Spring Trip to Japan series:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)

Previously on 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko went to Japan for a conference where he would later extend his stay in Japan for a trip after the conference where he would meet his parents and brother. He stayed in Tokyo for twelve days and this post is the third and final one of the Tokyo part of the trip.

***

Mount Fuji

Probably one of the most famous mountains in the entire planet, Mount Fuji was definitely in our itinerary to visit. To get there, we decided to just book a local tour so we did not have to arrange anything ourselves. We chose the Mount Fuji and Hakone one day tour with a Shinkansen (bullet train) ticket to go back to Tokyo (if we did not want the Shinkansen ticket, there was a cheaper tour for around €30 cheaper. But heck we were in Japan so obviously we needed to try the famous Shinkansen as well! 😀 )

Our tour departed at 9 AM from Hamamatsucho Bus Terminal. We arrived there a little bit early, at around 8:15 AM, and it turned out to be a blessing to us because at that time the queue for the tour was still tame. A few minutes later, the bus terminal was flocked with people going on tours (the tour agency organized a few different tour packages everyday, and it was Sunday) so the queue became crazy. Anyway, our bus departed a little bit late at around 9:15 AM. Our tour guide today was Katsu, whose name reminded me of “chicken katsu” or “beef katsu”, haha 😳 .

Our first destination today was Mount Fuji Visitor Centre which was around 2 hours drive from Tokyo. On the way, Katsu gave a nice lecture on general information about Japan, like the size, the number of population, the season, etc; on the Japanese language, like the reason for the existence of the hiragana, katakana, and kanji characters; and on the geological history of Mount Fuji. I was probably one of the few people on the bus who actually listened to him, haha 😆 . But honestly, it was a good lecture actually!

Katsu giving a lecture on the Japanese geography
Katsu giving a lecture on the Japanese geography

Anyway at 11 AM we arrived at the Mount Fuji Visitor Centre where apparently our sole purpose there was a toilet break, haha 😆 . We had 20 minutes and thanks God I was a guy so there was no queue in the men’s restroom, haha. So I had a few minutes to take picture of the majestic Mount Fuji there; which turned out as a blessing because this turned out to be the last place today where I could get good view of the mountain.

Fujiyama
Mount Fuji as seen from the Visitor Center

The weather was not the best today. And by not being the best I mean it was actually snowing quite hard in Mount Fuji. Snowing as in when we were there, the snow was actually falling down! WOW!! It has really been awhile since I experienced that! The past two winters in the Netherlands have been tame so it was quite nice to experience an actual winter weather in Japan! Haha. But because of it, the road to Mount Fuji’s 5th Station was closed so we could only go to the 4th station.

Here is a short vlogging video from Mount Fuji’s 4th Station:

From the 4th station, we went back down to have lunch at a pre-arranged restaurant somewhere in Kawaguchi. The lunch was, unfortunately, extremely horrible. It was basically a bowl of horrible soup with noodles. They made distinction between vegetarian and non-vegetarian but I honestly saw only very little difference between the two options.

I would be lying if I said I enjoyed this meal
I would be lying if I said I enjoyed this meal

From there, we went to Hakone where we were taken to the Hakone Ropeway. Initially, the plan was to go to the Hakone Komagatake Ropeway but due to poor weather, the Komagatake Ropeway was closed today. So they changed the plan and went to the other one instead. Even here, we only had like literally 3 minutes at the top of the Hakone Ropeway at Owakudani where I managed to snap a few shots before having to go back down immediately.

Really bad weather at the Hakone Ropeway
Really bad weather at the Hakone Ropeway today 😦
Owakudani at the top of the Hakone Ropeway
Owakudani at the top of the Hakone Ropeway

From there, they took us to Lake Ashi where we were supposed to take a boat ride. At first I thought the boat would look like this:

A pirate-themed ship
A pirate-themed ship

but then it turned out to be a “normal” catamaran boat:

A catamaran
A catamaran

haha 😆 .

After the boat trip finished, we were taken by bus to Odawara where we would catch our Shinkansen train back to Tokyo. As if we had not been unlucky enough today, the traffic from Lake Ashi to Odawara was also horrible today with a long traffic jam. Instead of the normal 40 minutes ride to Odawara, it took us 1.5 hours! 😦 .

The Kodama Shinkansen 

Long story short, we arrived at Odawara Station and took the Kodama Shinkansen train back to Tokyo. We got the unreserved seat ticket so we got into the unreserved coach where we could sit literally at any empty seat. Luckily I found an empty window seat so I sat there, haha 😆 .

#ShinkansenSelfie
#ShinkansenSelfie

The Shinkansen ride turned out to be just okay to me, if not a little bit underwhelming. I mean, it was a cool high-speed train indeed but it was not my first time riding a high-speed train. I have tried Thalys a few times, Eurostar, TGV, and Eurostar Italia before and I have to say that this Shinkansen ride was no better than any of the European high speed train. It was okay (but indeed extremely punctual though). Even actually I think the seats in the European high-speed trains are wider than Shinkansen; even though it seems that the seat pitch in Shinkansen is longer.

Asakusa and Ueno Park

Asakusa

A giant lantern in the Sensoji Shrine in Asakusa
A giant lantern in the Sensoji Shrine in Asakusa

In Tokyo, we stayed in Asakusa. So naturally our first destination in Tokyo was the famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. It was on a Friday so it was full of people! And it was beautiful! In Sensoji, we decided to also enter the garden next to it which was only opened in the spring. In Asakusa, we also went to the Kunitsu Sumida Park just by the Sumida River.

Ueno Park

The reason why Spring is the best time to visit Japan is none other than the cherry blossom, or sakura, which blossoming is peaking in, usually, early April and the local celebrates it as the Hanami season. So obviously we know that we must enjoy this given that we are in Japan in exactly this period! Haha 😆

So on the day where we knew the weather would be good, we decided to go to Ueno Park; a park in the heart of Tokyo where many deemed as one of the best place in Tokyo to enjoy the cherry blossom.

And it was, indeed, AMAZING!! I don’t think any word can fully describe the awesomeness of the cherry blossom season in Japan, especially the Ueno Park! It was just very stunning!!

The Food

Another superb restaurant which we visited during our trip to Tokyo was the Mutekiya ramen. For this, I must say my biggest thank you to Jendluvu who posted a story about her visit there which inspired me to pay a visit as well, haha 😆 .

The ramen restaurant was in Ikebukuro and was not that far away from the JR Ikebukuro station. It was not that difficult to find the restaurant; but probably to add a bit of more detail to what Jen described in her post on how to get there, it was indeed just across the Junkudo building and was exactly in the corner of the main intersection with traffic lights.

Mutekiya Ramen was just accross this building
Mutekiya Ramen was just accross this building

We knew it was a super famous restaurant so we decided to come early for an early dinner at 4:30 PM, hoping to find no queue. But when we arrived at 4:30 PM, it was already like this:

The queue for Mutekiya Ramen at 4:30 PM
The queue for Mutekiya Ramen at 4:30 PM

Dang! Haha 😆 .

What I immediately liked about this restaurant was its efficiency. The queueing time was actually quite productive where they asked us to place our order while we were queuing. Therefore, inside we would just sit and not long after our orders would be served right away! Great job!

We ordered while queuing
We ordered while queuing

And how was the ramen? Well:

IT. WAS. THE. BEST.

From the scale of 0 to 10, I score it 11! Seriously! It was just SOO GOOD!! Everything about it was just so perfect. The noodles. The broth. The vegetables. The pork slices. Everything! We ordered three different kind of ramen dish, and all of them were so good. Seriously!

Three extremely delicious ramen at Mutekiya
Three extremely delicious ramen at Mutekiya

If you ever come to Tokyo, this small ramen shop is A MUST to visit! Heck if I am back in Tokyo in the future, for sure I will pay a visit again!

TO BE CONTINUED…

Next on 2015 Spring Trip:
– Hakodate
– Sapporo
– Otaru
– Kyoto
– Osaka

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting sebelumnya dalam seri 2015 Spring Trip ke Jepang:
1. Getting to Japan
2. Part I: Tokyo (1)
3. Part II: Tokyo (2)

Sebelumnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip: Zilko pergi ke Jepang untuk sebuah konferensi dimana nantinya ia akan memperpanjang masa tinggalnya di Jepang setelah konferensi berakhir dimana ia akan bertemu dengan orangtua dan adiknya. Ia tinggal di Tokyo selama dua belas hari dan posting ini adalah posting ketiga dan terakhir dari bagian Tokyo dari perjalanan ini.

***

Gunung Fuji

Salah satu dari gunung paling terkenal di dunia, Gunung Fuji, jelas berada di dalam itinerary kami di perjalanan ini. Untuk kesana, kami memutuskan untuk menggunakan jasa tur lokal sehingga kami tidak perlu repot-repot mengurus segalanya sendiri. Kami memilih paket tur satu hari Gunung Fuji dan Hakone dengan tiket kereta Shinkansen (kereta peluru) untuk kembali ke Tokyo (kalau kami tidak mau tiket Shinkansennya, ada tur yang harganya sekitar €30 (sekitar Rp 450.000) lebih murah. Tetapi berhubung kami sudah berada di Jepang jadi kami harus nyobain yang namanya Shinkansen lah ya! 😀 )

Tur kami berangkat jam 9 pagi dari Terminal Bus Hamamatsucho. Kami tiba disana agak terlalu awal, sekitar jam 8:15 pagi, yang mana ternyata malah menjadi berkat bagi kami karena jam segitu antrian di turnya masih oke. Beberapa menit kemudian, terminalnya penuh oleh orang-orang yang ingin ikutan tur-turnya (agen turnya menyediakan beberapa paket yang berbeda setiap hari, dan hari itu adalah hari Minggu) jadi antriannya menggila dah. Akhirnya, bus kami berangkat agak terlambat, jam 9:15 pagi. Oh iya, pemandu tur kami hari ini adalah Katsu, yang mana namanya kok mengingatkanku akan “chicken katsu” dan “beef katsu” ya? Haha 😳 .

Destinasi pertama kami adalah Pusat Pengunjung Gunung Fuji yang mana lokasinya sekitar dua jam perjalanan dari Tokyo. Di sepanjang perjalanan, Katsu memberikan sebuah kuliah tentang Jepang, seperti ukurannya, jumlah penduduk, musim, dsb; kuliah tentang bahasa Jepang, seperti misalnya alasan terdapatnya aksara hiragana, katakana, dan kanji; dan juga kuliah tentang sejarah geologisnya Gunung Fuji. Aku mungkin adalah satu dari tidak banyak orang di bus yang memperhatikan kuliahnya, haha 😆 . Eh, tetapi kuliahnya adalah kuliah yang bagus lho!

Katsu giving a lecture on the Japanese geography
Katsu memberikan kuliah tentang geografi Jepang

Jam 11 pagi, kami tiba di Pusat Pengunjung Gunung Fuji yang mana ternyata satu-satunya tujuan kami berhenti disini adalah istirahat untuk mampir di toiletnya, haha 😆 . Kami memiliki waktu 20 menit dan untungnya aku laki-laki dimana tidak ada antrian di toilet laki-laki, haha. Jadilah aku memiliki beberapa menit untuk foto-foto Gunung Fuji yang keren banget itu dari sana; yang mana ternyata adalah berkat juga karena ini adalah kali terakhir hari ini aku bisa mendapatkan pemandangan yang bagus tentang gunungnya.

Fujiyama
Gunung Fuji seperti yang terlihat dari Pusat Pengunjung

Cuaca hari ini bukanlah yang terbaik. Dan dengan bukan yang terbaik maksudku adalah hari ini bersalju lumayan banyak loh di Gunung Fuji. Bersalju dalam artian ketika kami berada disana, saljunya itu sedang turun! WOW!! Sudah lama juga kan ya semenjak terakhir kali aku mengalaminya! Dua musim dingin terakhir di Belanda habisnya jinak sih jadi sebenarnya asyik juga malah merasakan turunnya salju di Jepang! Haha. Tetapi karena cuaca yang seperti ini, jalan ke Stasiun Kelima Gunung Fuji ditutup sehingga kami hanya bisa mencapai Stasiun Keempat saja.

Berikut ini sebuah video vlogging singkat dari Stasiun Keempat Gunung Fuji (dalam bahasa Inggris):

Dari Stasiun keempat, kami turun untuk makan siang di sebuah restoran yang sudah ditentukan di area Kawaguchi. Makan siangnya, sayangnya, nggak enak banget. Pada dasarnya hanyalah semangkok sup dengan mie. Sebenarnya ada dua pilihan untuk menu vegetarian dan non-vegetarian tetapi menurutku kedua pilihan ini pada kenyataannya hampir sama.

I would be lying if I said I enjoyed this meal
Aku bohong kalau bilang aku menikmati makanan ini

Dari sana, kami pergi ke Hakone dimana kami dibawa ke Hakone Ropeway. Awalnya, rencananya adalah pergi ke Hakone Komagatake Ropeway. Tetapi akibat cuaca yang kurang baik, Komagatake Ropeway-nya ditutup hari ini. Oleh karenanya rencananya diubah dan kami dibawa ke kereta gantung yang satunya deh. Itu pun kami hanya memiliki waktu 3 menit saja dong di puncaknya Hakone Ropeway itu di Owakudani dimana aku untungnya masih sempat menjepret beberapa foto sebelum harus langsung turun.

Really bad weather at the Hakone Ropeway
Cuaca yang amat buruk di Hakone Ropeway 😦
Owakudani at the top of the Hakone Ropeway
Owakudani di puncaknya Hakone Ropeway

Darisana kami dibawa ke Danau Ashi dimana kami akan menaiki sebuah kapalnya. Awalnya aku kira kapalnya bakal berbentuk kayak gini:

A pirate-themed ship
Kapal dengan tema bajak laut

tetapi ternyata kapalnya adalah kapal catamaran “biasa”:

A catamaran
Sebuah catamaran

haha 😆 .

Setelah perjalanan dengan kapalnya selesai, kami dibawa dengan bus ke Odawara dimana dari sana kami akan menaiki kereta Shinkansen untuk kembali ke Tokyo. Karena kesialan kami masih belum cukup, lalu lintas dari Danau Ashi ke Odawara juga buruk banget hari ini dimana kami terjebak macet panjang. Waktu tempuh yang seharusnya 40 menit saja ke Odawara molor menjadi 1,5 jam! 😦 .

Shinkansen Kodama 

Singkat cerita, tibalah kami di Stasiun Odawara dan kami menaiki kereta Shinkansen Kodama untuk kembali ke Tokyo. Kami mendapatkan tiket tanpa kursi sehingga kami menaiki gerbong unreserved dimana kami bisa duduk di kursi kosong yang mana pun. Untungnya aku menemukan satu kursi jendela yang kosong dan duduklah aku disana, haha 😆 .

#ShinkansenSelfie
#ShinkansenSelfie

Perjalanan dengan Shinkansen rasanya biasa saja untukku ternyata, kalau tidak mau dibilang agak di bawah ekspektasi. Maksudku, memang sih ini kereta super cepat yang amat keren tetapi ini bukanlah kali pertama aku menaiki kereta super cepat. Aku sudah pernah mencoba Thalys beberapa kali, Eurostar, TGV, dan Eurostar Italia sebelumnya dan harus aku bilang pengalaman dengan Shinkansen ini tidak banyak bedanya dengan pengalaman naik kereta super cepatnya Eropa. Biasa saja gitu (tetapi memang sangat amat tepat waktu sih). Bahkan menurutku kursi di kereta super cepatnya Eropa lebih lebar daripada yang di Shinkansen loh, walaupun sepertinya seat pitch-nya kursi di Shinkansen memang lebih lapang sih.

Asakusa dan Taman Ueno

Asakusa

A giant lantern in the Sensoji Shrine in Asakusa
Lentera raksasas di Kuil Sensoji di Asakusa

Di Tokyo, kami menginap di Asakusa. Jadi jelas tujuan pertama kami di Tokyo adalah Kuil Sensoji yang terkenal itu di Asakusa. Hari itu adalah hari Jumat jadi kuilnya penuh orang! Dan memang indah banget! Mumpung disana, kami juga memasuki taman di sampingnya yang hanya dibuka di musim semi saja. Di Asakusa, kami juga mampir di Taman Kunitsu Sumida di sampingnya Sungai Sumida.

Taman Ueno

Alasan mengapa waktu terbaik untuk mengunjungi Jepang adalah di musim semi adalah bunga sakura yang mekar kembangnya memuncak, biasanya, di awal April dan masyarakat setempat merayakannya dengan nama Hanami. Jadi kami tahu jelas kami harus menikmatinya dong ya karena kami berada di Jepang tepat di musim ini! Haha 😆

Jadilah di hari dimana kami tahu cuacanya akan bagus, kami memutuskan untuk mengunjungi Taman Ueno; taman di jantung kota Tokyo yang banyak dibilang orang sebagai tempat terbaik di Tokyo untuk menikmati bunga sakuranya.

Dan ternyata tamannya itu memang KEREN BANGET!! Aku rasa tidak ada kata-kata yang mampu mendeskripsikan keindahannya musim bunga sakura di Jepang deh, terutama Taman Ueno! Benar-benar menakjubkan!!

Makanannya

Satu restoran lagi yang amat enak yang kami kunjungi di Tokyo adalah Ramen Mutekiya. Untuk ini, aku harus berterima-kasih kepada Jendluvu yang mem-posting cerita kunjunganya kesana yang menginspirasiku untuk mengunjunginya juga, haha 😆 .

Restoran ramennya berlokasi di Ikebukuro dan tidak jauh dari stasiun JR Ikebukuro. Tidak sulit kok untuk menemukan restorannya; dan mungkin untuk memberikan petunjuk tempatnya dengan lebih detail daripada yang dituliskan Jen di posting-nya: lokasinya di seberangnya gedung Junkudo dan tepat berada di pojok perempatan utama dengan lampu merah.

Mutekiya Ramen was just accross this building
Ramen Mutekiya berada di seberang gedung ini

Kami tahu restoran ini amat terkenal sehingga kami memutuskan untuk datang awal saja jam 4:30 sore, berharap tidak ada antrian gitu. Tetapi ketika kami tiba jam 4:30 sore, antriannya sudah kayak gini dong:

The queue for Mutekiya Ramen at 4:30 PM
Antriannya Ramen Mutekiya jam 4:30 sore

Sial! Haha 😆 .

Yang langsung kusuka dari restoran ini adalah tingkat efisiensinya. Waktu mengantri kami lumayan produktif karena sembari menunggu kami diminta untuk sekalian memesan makanannya. Jadilah ketika sudah di dalam kami tinggal duduk dan tidak lama kemudian pesanan kami langsung disajikan! Idenya bagus ya!

We ordered while queuing
Kami memesan makanannya sembari mengantri

Dan bagaimanakah ramennya? Well:

RAMENNYA. ENAK. BANGET.

Dari skala 0 sampai 10, aku beri nilai 11 deh! Beneran! Karena memang ramennya itu ENAAK BANGETT!! Semua elemen dari ramennya sungguh sempurna. Mienya. Kuahnya. Sayurannya. Potongan daging babinya. Semuanya! Kami memesan tiga jenis ramen, dan semuanya enak. Serius!

Three extremely delicious ramen at Mutekiya
Tiga ramen yang terlampau enak di Mutekiya

Jadi kalau akan berkunjung ke Tokyo (dan bisa makan makanan non-halal), ramen ini WAJIB untuk dikunjungi! Kalau aku kembali lagi ke Tokyo nanti kapan-kapan, aku yakin aku pasti akan mampir lagi!

BERSAMBUNG…

Selanjutnya dalam 2015 Spring Trip:
– Hakodate
– Sapporo
– Otaru
– Kyoto
– Osaka

Indonesia Trip, Long Trip, Uncategorized, Vacation

#1430 – Hello from Lombok!

So now I am actually still in the middle of the Eastern Indonesia Trip part of my one month Indonesia Trip. Well, not actually at the middle though; but more like the second half already! Man, time flies so fast, haha. Anyway, after staying for five nights on the Sulawesi soil, now I am in the island of Lombok! Haha…

I won’t write the details of this trip yet, obviously. But I can say that FINALLY I am visiting Lombok! This island has been on my list for quite awhile though. But for some reasons I have not made it come true until before this trip! So it feels really nice to finally be here.

Anyway, to sum this short post up, here are a few teasers from the Lombok part of this trip 😉 .

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Uncategorized

#1309 – Hello from Seoul!

So currently I am in the middle of the South Korean part of my one month Asia trip. I am in Seoul now! I arrived here two days ago and tomorrow I am off to Jeju.

What can I say about South Korea at this point? Well, one thing is that the food is SO HOT and spicy!! But well, it comes from me who can’t eat spicy food though, hahaha… 😆

Right now I am not feeling that well so I decide to take a rest in my hotel. Well, maybe that is all for now. And here are a couple of pictures I took lately here in Seoul as a preview of this trip of mine 😀

image
The famous Namiseom
image
Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul
General Life, Life in Holland, Uncategorized, Zilko's Life

#1273 – Story from Tuesday

ENGLISH

Just like two weeks ago and last week, I worked in my Utrecht office yesterday. And here are some stories that I can share about my day in Utrecht.

Barely Made the Train

Obviously, to work in Utrecht, I must travel from Delft to Utrecht. For this, I chose to take train. There was no direct train from Delft to Utrecht, so we had to make one transfer (at least) in either Den Haag or Rotterdam. Yesterday, I chose the one with the transit in Rotterdam Centraal Station. The train that took me from Delft to Rotterdam stopped at platform 3 at Rotterdam Centraal, while my connecting train to Utrecht would depart from platform 13 of the station. So I had to take the stairs and cross the bridge to get to my connecting train. And I barely made it! Just when I entered my connecting train, the doors were closed and the train departed! 😯 Hahaha 😆 . Well, it wasn’t that big of a deal though because if I had missed it, I would (only) have to wait for 15 minutes for the next departure to Utrecht Centraal. But still…

(Dutch) Gado-gado

So far, my Utrecht office’s cafeteria hasn’t failed to amaze me yet with their service. After a nice beef noodles and babi pangang I had two weeks ago and last week respectively, guess what they had as one of the warm meals yesterday? Gado-gado! Yes, gado-gado! 😯 Huahaha 😆 .

Okay, it was not really like the original Indonesian gado-gado, as I would like to refer it as a “Dutch interpretation of gado-gado”, huahaha 😆 . For the vegetables, carrot and cauliflower were used, and tortilla chips took place as the crackers. It was  very interesting though, and very nice as well 🙂 .

Payment System

Speaking of lunching in Utrecht, yesterday I realized a “unique” system in the cafeteria. So the computer in the cashier counter of the cafeteria (I always paid there in my previous two visits) went down yesterday and so we had to make use of the self-service payment computer. How the computer worked was very simple. We just needed to tick the pictures in the screen of the items/meals that we bought, the total ammount would then be shown, and we paid with our pinpas/debit card at the pinpas/debit card machine connected to the computer.

Simple, right? Well, not really in the sense that, what if someone was “dishonest”? Because it was self-service, one literally had the freedom to choose whatever they “wanted” from the list in the screen. So (s)he could just pick a cheap item in the screen while (s)he took the more expensive item from the cafeteria, and it would still appear that (s)he had made a payment.

So basically the whole system “relies” on people’s honesty 🙂 . Well, I am sure the catering company feels “safe” to have this system because the cafeteria is situated inside the company’s headquarter, so only the company’s people can enter the cafeteria. And obviously because they (we 😛 ) are educated enough, it is less likely to encounter dishonesty. But it does not eliminate the possibility. And I am sure that in case it happens (because a simple cross-check between what is paid and the actual sales can, of course, be made so they know if it happens), the catering company can have a talk or done deal with the company itself, haha 🙂 .

But it feels nice though, knowing that if this system exists in our daily life. It means we are living in a place where people believe in the value of honesty, right? 😉

A Dutch interpretation of "gado-gado". I only remembered to take the tortilla chips after this photo was taken, lol.
A Dutch interpretation of “gado-gado”. I only remembered to take the tortilla chips after this photo was taken, lol.

BAHASA INDONESIA

Seperti dua minggu yang lalu dan seminggu yang lalu, aku bekerja di kantor Utrecht-ku kemarin. Dan inilah beberapa cerita yang bisa aku bagikan dari hariku di Utrecht kemarin.

Nyaris Tertinggal Kereta

Tentu saja, untuk bekerja di Utrecht, aku harus bepergian dari Delft ke Utrecht kan. Untuk ini, aku memilih untuk naik kereta. Nah, nggak ada kereta langsung dari Delft ke Utrecht, jadi kita harus transit (minimal) satu kali di Den Haag atau Rotterdam. Kemarin, aku memilih untuk transit di Stasiun Rotterdam Centraal. Kereta yang membawaku dari Delft ke Rotterdam berhenti di jalur 3 di Stasiun Rotterdam Centraal, sementara kereta lanjutanku ke Utrecht bakal berangkat dari jalur 13 di stasiun itu. Jadi artinya aku harus naik tangga dan menyebrang jembatan kan untuk menuju kereta lanjutanku. Dan aku nyaris tertinggal keretanya loh! Jadi begitu aku memasuki keretanya, pintunya ditutup aja gitu dan keretanya langsung jalan! 😯 Hahaha 😆 . Ya, bukan sesuatu yang wow banget juga sih soalnya andaikata aku tertinggal keretanya beneran, aku hanya perlu menunggu 15 menit untuk keberangkatan selanjutnya ke Utrecht Centraal. Tapi tetap aja lah ya…

Gado-gado (Ala Belanda)

Sejauh ini, kantin di kantor Utrecht-ku masih belum gagal untuk membuatku merasa wah loh dengan pelayanan mereka. Setelah mie daging sapi dan babi pangang yang aku beli dua minggu dan satu minggu yang lalu, coba tebak apakah salah satu menu yang mereka sajikan kemarin? Gado-gado! Iya, gado-gado dong! 😯 Huahaha 😆 .

Oke, memang sih gado-gadonya nggak asli seperti gado-gado ala Indonesia gitu, dan aku lebih suka menyebutnya sebagai “interpretasi orang Belanda akan gado-gado”, huahaha 😆 . Untuk sayurnya, wortel dan kembang kol dipakai juga loh, dan untuk krupuknya, dipakailah tortilla chips, hahaha 😆 . Rasanya menarik juga, dan enak juga sih 🙂 .

Sistem Pembayaran

Ngomongin makan siang di Utrecht, kemarin aku menyadari sistem “unik” di kantinnya. Jadi ceritanya komputer di bagian kasir kantinnya (di dua kunjunganku sebelumnya, aku selalu membayar disana) lagi rusak sehingga kami hanya bisa memakai komputer pembayaran self-service. Cara kerja komputernya sederhana banget kok. Jadi kami tinggal perlu mencentang di layar gambar makanan/barang yang kita beli, total harganya kemudian muncul, dan kemudian dibayar dengan kartu pin/debit dengan mesin kartu debit/pin yang terhubung dengan komputernya.

Sederhana kan? Hmm, nggak juga sih karena bagaimana kalau ada yang “nakal” dan “nggak jujur” coba? Karena self-service, seseorang memiliki kebebasan untuk memilih apa saja yang mereka “mau” di layarnya loh. Jadi bisa aja dia memilih item yang murah di layarnya padahal ia mengambil item yang lebih mahal di kantinnya, tapi sekilas dia terlihat sudah membayar sesuatu kan.

Jadi pada dasarnya sistem ini “bergantung” pada kejujuran orang-orangnya 🙂 . Ya, aku yakin sih perusahaan kateringnya merasa “aman” dengan sistem ini karena kantinnya berlokasi di dalam kantor pusat perusahaan, jadi hanya orang-orang perusahaannya aja yang bisa makan di kantinnya. Dan tentu saja karena mereka (kami 😛 ) berpendidikan, relatif cenderung kurang mungkin untuk menghadapi ketidak-jujuran kan. Tapi tetap aja bukan berarti kemungkinannya menjadi nol. Ah, aku yakin sih kalau ini terjadi (kan sebuah cross-check sederhana antara apa yang terbayar dan apa yang terjual, tentu saja, bisa dilakukan dengan mudah), perusahaan kateringnya ada negosiasi atau deal dengan perusahaan, haha 🙂 .

Tapi rasanya enak juga ya, mengetahui bahwa sistem semacam ini ada dan diterapkan dekat dengan kehidupan sehari-hari kita. Ini karena setidaknya menunjukkan bahwa kita hidup di suatu tempat dimana orang-orangnya percaya dengan nilai kejujuran. Iya nggak? 😉

General Life, Uncategorized, Zilko's Life

#1262 – Friday Story

ENGLISH

From when I got up from my bed in the morning until when I was about to get back on it in the night, I lost 3 kg on Friday (yes, so I also have a weight scale in my apartment. And coincidentally, yesterday morning I weighed myself, hahaha 😆 ). So what happened?

I started the morning with panicking for losing my bicycle key. I could not find it anywhere in the apartment. You know, I had a new apartment and I practically had just lived for one night there (because I had just moved in on Thursday) and so I was still quite unfamiliar with where I put my stuffs and everything. I spent the whole morning looking for it at every corner of my apartment (not only my bedroom) but it came with no success. I knew it must be somewhere there because the evening before, I did some grocery shopping and I used my bike for that. My bike was still safely parked and locked in the bike stand so the keys must have had fallen down or gone missing somewhere in between the bike stand and (including) the apartment.

I was very stupid because I had two keys for the bike, with one of them was meant for as a spare key in case the other key gone missing. But since I bought my bike (and, thus, got the key), I was too lazy to separate the two keys apart. So both of them were still hanging on the same key chain. And in this situation, I “lost” both of them simultaneously because of that. Seriously, I felt like an idiot.

Anyway, because I had to go to work, I walked to the university (about 30 minutes one way with my speed). On campus, I emailed my roommates to ask if they, somehow, saw my bicycle key. And apparently, one of them did! 😯 Yay! 🙂 So he saw it on the mat just outside our apartment’s door and because he didn’t know whose key it was, he just put it under the mat. Ah, it made sense now! The night before, when I was coming back from grocery-shopping and was about to open the door with my apartment key, the bicycle key somehow fell out of my pocket and I did not realize it.

It was 13:30 at that time and I would have a meeting at 14:30. The time was quite tight but I decided to go back to my apartment to take the key (because even though it was under the mat, the key was still outside my apartment after all). My calculation was that if I walked back to my apartment and biked back to the university as fast as I could, I should be able to be back at 14:15 and, thus, was still in time for the meeting which was in another building. And I did! It was just in time to make the meeting! 😀

I had the meeting until 17:00; and because I had a dinner plan with my friends at 19:00 in the centrum, I decided to stay in my office until 18:45. This was another reason why I decided to take the key and bring my bike to the university before the meeting: so I could just go directly from the university to the centrum without having to go back home first.

So at 19:00 I met my friends and we had dinner at a new vegetarian restaurant in the centrum. I ordered a vegetarian lasagna which was quite nice. Then we had an ice cream at an ice cream parlor near the Oude Kerk (Old Church). After that we went to a bar for a couple of drinks.

I arrived at my apartment at around midnight. After showering, I was quite intrigued to see if I lost some weight after the quite stressful day that I had. And apparently I lost 3 kg! Hahaha 😆 .

Yeah, what a crazy Friday indeed.

Vegetarian lasagna that I had in the centrum
Vegetarian lasagna that I had in the centrum

BAHASA INDONESIA

Dari waktu aku bangun pagi di pagi hari sampai ketika aku mau tidur di malam harinya, berat badanku turun 3 kg loh di hari Jumat (iya, jadi di apartemen baruku, aku juga mendapatkan timbangan berat badan gitu deh. Dan kebetulan, kemarin pagi memang aku iseng menimbang berat badan, hahaha 😆 ). Nah, apakah yang terjadi?

Aku memulai pagi hari dengan panik soalnya aku nggak bisa menemukan kunci-kunci sepedaku. Tahu kan, aku mendapatkan sebuah apartemen baru dan aku baru tinggal disana selama satu malam (soalnya aku baru saja pindahan di hari Kamis) sehingga aku masih belum terlalu familier dengan dimana aku menaruh barang-barangku dan sebagainya. Seluruh pagi aku habiskan mengecek setiap sudut apartemenku (nggak hanya kamar tidurku saja) tapi hasilnya nihil. Aku tahu seharusnya kuncinya ada di sekitar situ sih soalnya semalam sebelumnya, aku berbelanja di supermarket dan aku menggunakan sepedaku untuk itu. Sepedaku masih terparkir dan terkunci dengan aman di parkiran sepeda jadi kuncinya pasti jatuh di antara parkiran sepeda dan (termasuk) apartemenku kan.

Aku merasa bodoh banget karena aku memiliki dua kunci untuk sepeda ini, salah satunya dimaksudkan sebagai kunci cadangan untuk situasi kalau-kalau yang satunya hilang. Tapi semenjak aku membeli sepedaku (dan, oleh karenanya, mendapatkan kuncinya), aku merasa malas untuk memisahkan kedua kunci itu. Jadi keduanya masih tergantung di gantungan kunci yang sama. Dan di situasi ini, jelaslah aku jadi “kehilangan” keduanya karenanya. Bener deh, tolol banget kan.

Anyway, karena aku harus pergi bekerja, jadilah aku ke universitas dengan berjalan kaki (sekitar 30 menit satu kali jalan dengan kecepatanku). Di kampus, aku meng-email roommates-ku untuk bertanya, siapa tahu kan, kalau mereka melihat kunci sepedaku dimana gitu. Dan ternyata, salah satunya beneran melihatnya loh! 😯 Yes! 🙂 Jadi ia melihat ada kunci di atas keset di luar pintu apartemen kami dan karena ia nggak tahu kunci itu milik siapa, jadilah kuncinya ia pindahkan ke bawah kesetnya. Ah, sekarang semuanya masuk akal deh! Semalam sebelumnya, ketika aku kembali dari berbelanja itu dan mau membuka pintu dengan kunci apartemenku, kunci sepedanya entah bagaimana, mungkin, tertarik dan jatuh dari kantongku dan aku tidak menyadarinya.

Waktu itu sudah jam 13:30 siang dan aku akan ada meeting jam 14:30. Waktunya memang cukup mepet tetapi aku memutuskan untuk berjalan pulang ke apartemenku untuk mengambil kuncinya (karena walaupun berada di bawah keset, bagaimanapun kuncinya masih berada di luar apartemenku kan ya). Menurut perhitunganku sih, kalau aku berjalan kaki ke apartemenku dan bersepeda kembali ke kampus secepat yang aku bisa, seharusnya aku bisa lah sampai kembali di kampus jam 14:15 dan, artinya, waktunya pas kan untuk meeting yang akan diadakan di gedung seberang. Dan berhasil loh! Aku sampai tepat waktu jadi nggak terlambat untuk meeting-nya! 😀

Meeting-nya berlangsung hingga jam 17:00; dan karena aku ada rencana makan malam bareng bersama beberapa temanku di centrum jam 19:00, aku memutuskan untuk tinggal di kantorku sampai jam 18:45 deh. Inilah alasan lain mengapa aku membela-belain mengambil kunci dan membawa sepedaku ke universitas sebelum meeting: jadi aku bisa langsung pergi dari universitas ke centrum tanpa harus pulang dulu.

Jadi, jam 19:00 aku bertemu teman-temanku dan kami makan malam di sebuah restoran vegetarian baru di centrum. Aku memesan lasagna vegetarian yang lumayan juga. Lalu kami membeli es krim di sebuah kafe es krim di dekat Oude Kerk (Gereja Tua). Setelahnya, ke bar deh seperti biasa.

Aku sampai kembali di apartemenku sekitar tengah malam. Setelah mandi, aku jadi merasa ingin tahu kalau berat badanku turun setelah satu hari yang bikin stress ini kan. Dan ternyata beneran loh, berat badanku turun 3 kg! Hahaha 😆 .

Ya, memang satu hari Jumat yang gila deh.