Friday, November 24, 2017

#JadiBisa Ngerencanain Liburan Dadakan Sedadakan-dadakannya

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Kalo ada yang nyinggung masalah traveling, atau ada yang rencana jalan-jalan, mau itu orang rumah, orang kantor, atau temen-temen sekolah bahkan—biasanya pada langsung lari ke saya. Alasannya sesederhana karena saya sendiri sering jalan-jalan. Haha... Kadang suka bingung sih, karena kalo saya banyak jalan-jalan kan bukan berarti saya tau semuanya. Tapi gapapa saya justru seneng kok, soalnya jadi berasa kayak travel consultant gitu. Mungkin besok-besok patok tarif konsultasi per jam aja kali ya? Hehehe.

Nah, baru banget minggu lalu, tiba-tiba ada salah satu sepupu saya yang nanya-nanya soal liburan ke Hong Kong. Kebetulan emang saya tahu lumayan banyak soal destinasi yang satu itu, karena udah pernah ke sana juga.

“Tolong carikan hotel dan pesawatnya ya, Vicky. Bujetnya tolong ditekeeenn...”

Oke, gampang lah itu. Pikir saya.

“Berangkatnya pas liburan akhir tahun, satu minggu.”

Hmm. Bujet diteken, tapi untuk libur akhir tahun which is... bulan depan?? Menantang sih. Coba dulu deh. Di situ saya merasa sudah agak gentar, tapi kalimat berikutnyalah yang bikin saya semriwing.

“Kita ber-18.”

Hehehehehehehehehe. Gimana, gimana? Bujet diteken untuk low season okelah. Bujet diteken untuk high season, yaahh, masih bisa diakalin dikit. Bujet diteken untuk high season dan perginya ber-18?!?! Nah ini, saatnya membuktikan kalau saya bisa jadi seorang travel consultant tulen.

Sel-sel otak curang saya pun mulai bekerja. Rencana awal saya adalah cari tiket pesawat dulu, karena kalo semakin ditunda bakalan semakin mahal. Apalagi ini menjelang Natal. Tapi setelah dipikir-pikir, hotel juga gak kalah urgent buat dipesen. Takut tiba-tiba full booked kan...

Jadi, langkah pertama adalah saya harus ke satu tempat yang nawarin semuanya sekaligus. Satu tempat, semua sekaligus... Traveloka. Pikiran saya langsung ke sana. Saya tahu di situ saya bisa pesen tiket pesawat dan hotel, dan pesennya bisa untuk banyak orang. Nah pas masuk, alangkah senang hati ini ketika baru sadar bahwa di Traveloka ternyata ada pilihan paket hotel + penerbangan sekaligus! Langsung saja saya masukkan detail tanggalnya: 23 - 30 Desember, untuk tiket PP pesawat dan reservasi hotel, dan BOOM!

Jujur awalnya saya agak kaget waktu angkanya keluar. Tapi pas diinget-inget lagi, Vick, ini kan peak season ya, seminggu pula, jadi normal lah angka segitu! Dengan perasaan agak sedikit tenang, saya pun baru sadar kalo ada satu hal lagi yang belum saya ubah: filter. Ini dia fitur Traveloka yang paling saya doyan karena jadi bisa langsung tau paket termurah. Apalagi ini perginya ramean kan, jadi selisih sekecil apapun bisa bikin semuanya jadi lebih hemat!

Klak klik klak klik dan BOOM! Lagi-lagi saya kaget pas angkanya keluar (tapi kagetnya gak “eh ayam ayam” gitu loh ya). Bukan karena angkanya gede, tapi justru kaget karena sekarang jadi murah! Murahnya bikin hampir gak percaya karena satu, ini liburan akhir tahun, dua, pesennya dadakan, dan tiga, maskapai yang direkomendasiin Traveloka-nya oke pula! Udah gitu saya tahu angka yang saya lihat itu adalah angka final yang udah termasuk pajak lalalili kan, jadi makin pede nih mau laporan ke client a.k.a sang sepupu.

Baru masuk langsung disuguhi info diskon!
Harga segini untuk tiket pesawat PP plus hotel seminggu, pas high season!?

Usut punya usut, ternyata emang kalo milih paket hotel + penerbangan di Traveloka bakalan dapet penawaran dan potongan harga lebih! Sebenernya saya udah tau soal ini sih, cuman gara-gara keburu jiper diminta cariin tiket sekaligus hotel buat 18 orang, saya jadi agak sedikit (sedikiiiittt aja) panik hehe.

Bicara soal panik, ada lagi nih fitur yang bikin saya makin sayang sama Traveloka. Jadi mereka punya semacam sistem automatic adjusment gitu, yang nyesuain jadwal hotel dengan tiket pesawat. Maksudnya, kalo ada waktu kedatangan/keberangkatan pesawat dan tanggal check-in check-out yang gak sesuai atau dirasa bisa membuat kita gak nyaman, Traveloka akan melakukan penyesuaian secara otomatis. Ini jadi penting banget buat orang-orang yang kurang teliti (not me!), atau orang-orang yang lagi ribet karena harus pesen banyak sekaligus (nah, kalo yang ini baru saya hehe). Dengan begini, pembeli terutama saya yang lagi hectic jadi bisa double-check dan cross-check di tengah-tengah keriuhan ini!

Mbaknya perhatian banget sama saya yang lagi keder, hehehe...

Setelah melewati pengalaman yang memacu adrenalin ini, sekarang saya yakin dan gak akan pernah takut lagi untuk ngerencanain liburan APAPUN untuk BERAPA ORANGPUN, secara DADAKAN SEKALIPUN.

Karena untuk liburan Natal yang tiket pesawat dan hotelnya dipesan sebulan sebelum berangkat saja, yang untuk seminggu penuh dan untuk 18 orang, dengan maskapai nomor satu se-Indonesia pula (kalau dipikir-pikir, seharusnya bisa jadi mahal banget karena pas peak season kan), saya jadi bisa dapet penawaran yang murah, yang bahkan lebih hemat daripada liburan low season!

Itu saja bisa, apalagi kalau liburan yang biasa-biasa saja??

Pasti makin #JadiBisa
Dengan Traveloka

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Thank You, Malaysia

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Mmm no. If you think that the country had done anything good to me and my life, no. I still hate them for whatever they did to my nation—but hey! Let’s not talk about that now. Let’s talk about, real goodness that Malaysia did for a particular interest of mine.

Yep, Formula One.

Sorry guys, the topic is not over yet.

I believed I mentioned that this year’s Malaysia Grand Prix is the last one ever, right? I know, it’s really sad. Although this guy inside of me felt a bit happy because if us Indonesians can’t enjoy the race, what makes you Malaysians can? But when I get to think it thoroughly, yea, it’s plain sadness.

Because I just realized that the GP is the cheapest I could get in the world. Singapore may be closer, but the price of the ticket is criminal. They’re so fucking commercialized that people are forced to spend SGD200-300 to get the shittiest spot, for just one day entry –come to think of it, I was so robbed, fuck! I payed less than half of Singapore for Malaysia, and guess what, I got to access all three days of its event! Now that the GP will no longer be there, the cheapest I could get would be China or Japan. But getting my ass up there would cost me the same price for the ticket alone in Singapore. Am I screwed?

My heart is broken, for real. I discovered just the most suitable way to fulfill my budding F1 hunger, exactly on its last time running. But who am I kidding? If there are people whose heart break more, it should be those Malaysians.

I mean, seriously. It’s been on for 19 years, and has been an integral part of the country’s annual agenda. Malaysian guys my age grew up watching each and every single races, and Malaysian kids were raised knowing that the GP has always been there. And now, what, it’ll all be gone.

I met an Indian-Malaysian guy while queuing –uselessly– for the drivers’ signing. He was from Johor Bahru, going all the way to Sepang only for the race. When I asked how he felt knowing that this’d be his last race, he said he was okay. Maybe because he just began to like F1 for the last 2 years. But I knew he lied. He liked F1 just as much as I do –as we talked about F1 really a lot, making my useless 2 hours of waiting didn’t seem that long, and if I were him, I would really be devastated.

Because it’s one hell of a pride, hosting an F1 race. It’s such a big brag to see the name of your country lined up with other exclusive nations who are eligible to hold a Grand Prix.

But well, I think that new friend I met wasn’t fully lying. Because when I looked around, I didn’t see even one Malaysian looking all sad and gloomy –one thing I’m pretty sure I’d fail to do, if I were in their shoe.

Everybody seemed to be enjoying their finale. Everybody acted like there would be another race next year, as what they had always feel every year. The whole event was a blast, and I must say, as a customer, I was more than just satisfied. They did great. And ended things up with such awesome dignity.

I wonder how it feels to create the line....


So dear Malaysia,

Personal hatred aside, I feel your sorrow.
And for that first yet last race I had last week,

I thank you

Monday, October 2, 2017

Closer, Closer

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So I missed the plan for the second half of 2017.

Damn I've been crazy busy lately you won't ever imagine how it's like to be me -lol who am I again?? But seriously. Juggling with three jobs, two personal projects, and one busy life as an adult at the same time is not quiet like a good idea. I feel like I barely breathe, and have much too limited time to do stuff including to update this blog, and the next thing I know, boom, it's October, and I missed the plan for the second half of 2017.

But no worries. On July, I still had no idea what I was going to do for the rest of the year anyway, so the post will only be full of bullshit. Oh but wait. I knew at least one plan. One, thing, that I did last year so randomly, and I kinda suspected that I'd do again this year. One thing that really matched my "Restart Project".

Formula 1 Race.

Yep. I did it again this year. Was talking to a co-worker about F1, and this little -yet awesome- spontaneous guy inside of me somehow urged me to "buy the ticket for a Grand Prix like right now!" and ta-dah, there I was, in front of my desktop, with my credit card raped.

No, it wasn't Singapore again -man, the price of the ticket was such a ripoff!- so I bought the other one that you might guess. Because as the second GP ever in my entire life, of course I would try the second closest one from home. Yea, it was

MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX

Pic's from here.

No considerations. But no regrets. Especially because the ticket consisted all three days of the Grand Prix -the freaking expensive tix I bought for Singapore, was only for the Race Day. But nothing made it better when they announced that it was going to be the last ever Grand Prix in Malaysia. The image of me being a part of the ending of what had been going on for the last 19 years, and how it matched my coming there, I couldn't be any more grateful of that.

The waiting was extra draining, but it was worth the excitement. As when I saw the drivers arrived one by one in Sepang, knowing that they were only 5000kms away and one hour ahead of me, I INSTANTLY FORGOT ABOUT ALL THE WAITINGS!

Then came the weekend. It was oh another spontaneous trip I haven't done for a fair long time. Only packed one bag, which I brought to the office -yes, I didn't want to lose any dayoff so I still went to the office before my flight, caught a late night flight to Malaysia, arrived early on  Saturday morning, took a quick power nap by the airport lounge before heading straight to the circuit which was only several kilometers away from the airport, and decided to stay at a capsule hotel at the airport, well, I must say, I never know anybody who can plan a trip more effective than myself! HA-HA.

Okay enough talking about the trip.
This is not a post about traveling, Vick.

Okay, day one! Day one, was quiet of a bummer at the beginning. Overall it was unbelievable, of course, to be able to wander around the F1 circuit one more time. Plus, this one was much better as I had more access. But I missed the first session of the drivers interview on the stage. And it was Red Bull, the team I'm supporting! Still I got to see Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa, even Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel but, I WAS FLYING THERE FOR DANIEL RICCIARDO OH GOD AND I WAS SO CLOSE IN SEEING HIM!

Alright! Chill.

So I missed the interview, not a big deal. It's not like Daniel talked to the fan one by one -if that's really what happened, I wouldn't forgive myself for missing the interview. I still got to enjoy the whole day by taking photos here and there, getting free 360 and free podium jump celebration photo ops, shopping trinkets, enjoying the Free Practice and hell yeah, the main course of the day, the Qualification. After all I returned to the airport fulfilled and hopeful, because on the following day, there was still the drivers signing thing I could take part of.

And so I woke up earlier on Sunday.

Checked out early from the hostel, had early breakfast, and took the earlier bus to the circuit. But of course, when you thought that you did good, somebody else did better. When I got there, the line was like that of a Justin Bieber concert. And that's only the line entering the circuit. When I reached the stage where the signing would take place, God I swear, I felt like I lost any faith in life. It was too long, the queue. And all the people around me were pretty sure that we didn't stand even a chance. But what the heck I tried anyway. Even if it was only Jolyon Palmer, I wouldn't mind -at least he could tell Daniel that I said "hi" to him.

But I think God still wanted me to try harder.
And so they announced that the signing was over.

I was so pissed. Two hours standing, less than halfway to go. If only I woke up even earlier, and ran even faster, I could at least be close enough to the stage that I could shout to attract Daniel's attention. But well it was just a bonus. The main dish was still the main race, and so I kept my head held high and stepped to the grandstand I was assigned to.

Luckily, the race was damn good.

I was so worried that rain would ruin the whole race, but it only showered until a minute before the lights out! So all my worries about this race would end up so boring-ly like Singapore two weeks earlier, it all washed out along with the rainfall. And the race itself was, I may be biased because I was there and it might sound a bit defensive, but the race was to me one of the best in 2017.

The drama was real. The leader changed from the default Hamilton to Verstappen, who had been a bit underestimated because of all the engine problems he suffered. The slippery track made it even more exciting. But of course, the one I screamed so loud about, was Daniel's attempts to regain his place on Top 3 from the Force Indias and Bottas, and, to defend himself from Vettel who surprisingly accelerated like devil from the bottom to P4.

I swear I was all squeaky like an old lady. It was so tight towards the end, between Daniel and Sebastian -I'm sure if there were one or two extra laps, he's done. Best part was, I was surrounded by Ferrari fans. So being all so loud and cringy while Vettel was trying so hard to reach Ricciardo's ass, I swear people were looking at me. But I don't care because I WAS FLYING THERE FOR DANIEL RICCIARDO OH GOD AND THOSE MANEUVERS WERE SO CLOSE!

Finally it ended, and Daniel finished third. Never once in my life I felt so manly -or not?- for supporting some sport stuff with all my heart. Well. What a race. If my day ought to end on that exact second, I wouldn't mind.

But I think God still wanted me to try harder.
And so they opened up the gate for us to go down under.

My adrenaline came rushing. This could be my only chance to get closer to Daniel, remembering that I missed both of the first two chances. Plus, he got podium. Along with Verstappen who finished first. There had to be something going on around the main grandstand.

So I pushed whatever was in front of me. I swifted like an antelope, snatched any empty spot like a cat squeezed itself inside a cardbox half its size. I ran like I've always trained myself days before the race, leaving those slow weaklings before me and joined they who had arrived there in front of the main grandstand. The Dutch national anthem finished playing, and the trophies were all distributed when I arrived in front of the podium. I was so close to him...

I took photos like it was my wedding: A LOT. And even after the drivers left, and people got fed up taking pics, I stayed. I didn't know why but I told myself that I needed to stay, just to fulfill my need to be around the atmosphere. After 30 mins I felt like I had enough, so I began to clear away from the podium front, and walked along the garage.

And I saw these people climbing up the fence in front of a garage. I was too tired to do the same, but like a spotlight from heaven, I saw this one empty spot among these people, ONLY ONE AND I'M NOT TRYING TO MAKE IT LIKE A SWEET SERENDIPITY, calling me with such grand bliss, waiting to be climbed.

You wouldn't believe what happened next. Or you would: I climbed, of course. But what you wouldn't believe is what I saw in front of the fence I climbed.

It was Red Bull's garage.

I don't know how else to say how lucky I was. To stand right in front of their garage. Exactly theirs like, theirs only! And the cars were being dragged inside, the mechanics and engineers were working on some parts with such joy, and us here lining up the fence looking at them with pure happiness. It was quiet for a long time, me standing there doing nothing but looking at the garage. But my guts once again told me to stay for at least 15 more minutes, without knowing why.

And he was right.

People from my right started shouting. That kind of shout in a concert where people realize that it's about to start. That kind of atmosphere in a gig where the main star shows a bit of his presence.

Yep, Daniel appeared.

With Max. And the old lady I unleashed earlier during the race, suddenly came back. As a crazy fanboy who seemed ready to jump in and crouch the idol. My brain was blank, and my mouth kept shouting Daniel's name. Only the name, nothing else. I was blinded by excitement I think I forgot other words but his name. No shame at all, because thanks to that restless shouting, he FUCKING WAVED AT ME, WHAT THE HELL WHY AM I SO EXCITING AND TYPING IN ALL CAPS AGAIN? OH YEAH BECAUSE IT WAS DANIEL RICCIARDO WAVING AT ME, AND HELL YEA IT WAS THE CLOSEST I COULD BE TO HIM!

Fuck, chill Vick, that's not even the best part.
No, I lied. Of course it was the best part.

Although what happened after that was also unforgettable to me. They were appearing in front of the garage to do the trophy shots, as they got double podium that race. My camera never once stopped working. Photos, videos, photos, videos, stupid selfies, photos, I didn't want to miss even one second.

Because I was too lucky, and I wanted to keep this forever.

It looks like a photo taken by journalist, eh? But no. IT'S ME!

No considerations.
But no regrets, at all.

Because all my random plans paid off. All my tight, not-staying-in-downtown-not-even-staying-away-from-the-airport schedule succeeded. And most importantly, my wish to get real close to my idol came true -lol it made me sound like a freaky psychopath BUT TO HELL WITH THAT!.

But I think God still wants me to try harder.
Because after all, I still don't have any photo with the honey badger.

Maybe next time, next time for real.
In Japan, China, or maybe his home Australia,
I'll be actually that close