Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halfway to Half Done (Pt. 1)

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Selamat sore, sobat sejagat!

Huff udah lama juganih gak bikin postingan pake bahasa Indo haha pegel juga euy ngomong pake bahasa orang. Sudah saatnya bahasa sendiri dikumandangkan!!! Padahal bahasa yang dipakai pun tidaklah baku :)

Oke jadi gue udah semester 7 kan nih ceritanya. Semester akhir. Nah tengah semester pun udah lewat minggu lalu, jadi masa masa gue sebagai mahasiswa tuh kayak cuman... Tiga bulan lagi? :')

Minggu lalu udah pitching klien pertama buat matkul Praktikum Periklanan -which was Mirai, yang sukses bikin anak iklan UI 2010 trauma denger kata "ocha". Laporan magang batch 1 out of 2 pun udah diluncurkan. Nah buat TKA Whiskas gue tersayang, udah memasuki bab 3 dari 5.

Intinya, semua udah serba setengah jalan.

PrakPrik udah ngeluarin brief kedua soal, ehm, kondom. Laporan magang udah harus dilanjutin sampe abis dan TKA, tanggal 17 Desember udah harus dikumpulin buat disidang Januari.

Serem gasih?
Gue sih sebenernya excited.
Excited karena udah mau lulus aja.

Tapi kalo mikirin mau kemana dan mau berbuat apa sehari setelah wisuda...

To be honest,
I still can't tell

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Taking Worldwide Citizenship

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Hi. So, I'm guessing that you're getting tired of me keep talking about USA eh? Well... I'm sorry, but I don't care. This is just how I get over it. The impact was just too big. It kept appearing in my dream for like fourteen days in a row and stopped three days ago. Not just mentally, it also bugged me physically. My jetlag completely finished just two days ago. So now you know how much this trip really matters to me eh?

But I promise, this'll be the last one because it's the overview and for you who've been keeping up with my writings -is there any? :(- you knew that I've always made an overview by the end of my interesting trip.

So here it is, the summary of my journey to...


Now let's see what I can summarize about this trip.
There are too many, I tell you, so you better brace yourself.

I'm totally, like genuinely into traveling
No doubt. Traveling turns me on. Booking flights are the foreplays. Boarding the aircraft gives me tiny orgasm. Visiting places I could only read from books or see from TV, hanging out with locals, eat their dishes OH GOD those are all like having sex to me and going back home is like the post ejaculation sensation. Hm this topic is getting inappropriate but HEY, that's the truth.

Now let's tell some other truths. I've been thinking about switching my direction of professional world. From that harsh advertising world, to magazine kinda stuff I'm actually more attracted to, since I was a kid. But of course, a traveling magazine. It's still all about writing but now, there's this added value I can benefit, and that is just my other passion. Won't I be on fire all the time about that??

Oh. There's one more thing I learn from this trip. That everything's possible. All my life, USA was just a fantasy. Never once on my mind, I would actually go there. NY has always been something sacred to me and DC, never thought I'd go there. But now that I ever visited US, I have this huge huge confident about the upcoming, undecided, unexpected trips ahead in the future. Why can't I do visit any other places??

So who knows next year I'll spend a month observing animals in Serengeti?
Or travel from Kiev to Reykjavik and the other way around from Lisbon to Helsinki?
Or in two years I'll spend the whole year studying in Cali, spending summer vacation in Hawaii?

Everything seems to be un-impossible after that trip.
Including my dream to be somewhere else's local?

Yeah, at least I can be a global local

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Highlight Three: The Study

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Let's not forget the essence of me, going to the US.
To be honest, it wasn't for traveling or for some culinary trip.
Well have I actually told you before? No?? Oh my God, what have I been doing??

There's this Model United Nations held by Columbia University the girls and I wanted--okay, HAD TO attend. Neither of us four had ever joined to this MUN things before, and it was actually a total shock when we first came inside the class. So umm, I guess we might gonna skip this topic.

So. Columbia University. To tell you the truth, I barely hear about the name before all this MUN thing started to be a part of my life since April this year. I'm more familiar with Harvard or Yale. So I took it for granted and never expected that Columbia University would be umm, what's the best word ya... Okay,


Architecture-wise, enchanting. I mean, three years in college, all I ever known about a "good" campus is a hundred-acre-woods one with buildings spread around, bus connecting one area to another and is placed out of town. In fact, an excellent campus doesn't necessarily have to be like that.

Columbia's placed in town, and is not organized too strict. I mean, they don't place their buildings in one full complex of their own. From one building to another, those are all in walking distance and are blending with public buildings. It's also easily accessed, you don't really have to spend like one hour driving from your house. And the important part is, you don't feel like you're traveling out of town when going to campus.

Aside of Columbia, I visited like, three other big universities in US. NYU was the first -even firster than Columbia- so when the girls and I stepped near the area, because we have no standards yet about how American universities were, we were like amazed with it. We convinced ourselves that we would be continuing our studies there -but once we saw how Columbia was looking better, we simply forgot about those empty promises.

In two or three years, we'll be posing again like this as two of the students. AMEN O LORD!

In DC, my local friend gave me a tour to Georgetown and George Washington University. Okay, Georgetown was like this fancy European castle, while GW, it's a university where rich human beings study. The fee, my friend said, costs a fortune. It's the most expensive one across US.

This is Georgetown University. I didn't take a pic of GW :(

Seeing Georgetown and GW, it changed my mind again about the best university. I mean, NYU and Columbia were good. Big cities good. These two were good. Elegantly good. It just depends on which kind of city I'd love to live in, to complete my study experience.

I blabbered as if
I'm about to study in US eh?

Well, I'll work on it.

I been thinking to continue my study in Europe. Germany to be exact. People said that the cost won't be that harmful to Indonesians, both for academic and daily living. Plus, I have some friends whose apartment I can crash in for a while so, it's just the scholarship matter before I fly to Germany.

But studying in US, well, the cost and stakes are higher but...
This, is America. Who would say no to America?
Well some random people would.
But not me.

Back in the day those girls asked me to join their delegation attending the Columbia University MUN, it took only a single night for me to decide that I'd spend my mind, my money and my effort to be a part of them. Because this, is America. Who would say no to America? I won't.

I was worried that we'd probably get no sponsors and I had to pay like, millions.
But guess what? It turned out to be the best experience ever.

And studying in the US, well baby,
I should be worried if I get no scholarships... I have to pay like, millions.
But I'm sure I'll figure some way out, making this studying experience better than anything.

Because by studying in there,
I'm feeling like, I'm halfway localized.
Now who would say no to be American local?

Not me

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Highlight Two: Foods

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When it comes to lifestyle,
It also comes to styles of eating.

So I guess you figured out already what this post is all about:
Foods I tried in the US.

American Authentic // Diners and Street Eats
I must admit, we visited like, thousands of diners while visiting US. Let's start mentioning! Crown Diner near Yankee's Stadium -the sunny side up was the best, The Diner in Adams Morgan -I ordered a turkey platter but my thumbs go to their mashed potatoes, Artie's by the Upper West Side, 82 Cafe, another one named The Diner in Meatpacking District -first time eating the genuine grilled cheese, oh Lord! But the best one was Boar's Head in Staten Island. I don't know, the place was good, the Filipino waitress was nice, the bacon--TURKEY bacon was top notch, it all just blended too well.

On the left is Crown Diner, I was so excited because that's the first diner experience,
and on the right is the meals served by Boar's Head.

And yaaa, we also spent much dollar on street foods. You know, sometimes we need to secure our money just to shop more HAHA. But it didn't necessarily mean that the foods weren't the best choices. We tried both American and Arabian street foods. The gyro, cheeseburger, wraps, lamb and chicken over rice... Sometimes they tasted boring but, I missed them :(

The authentic street-made cheeseburger and chicken gyro

Asian Delight // Spice and Ollie's
Some other night, a local friend wanted to meet me over dinner at some Thai restaurant. She's Vietnamese and was longing for some Asian spices so, Spice it was. I liked the restaurant. No lights, just candle-lighted. I didn't really read the menu -because it was dark anyway- so I ordered some, I don't know, weird sweet chicken and sticky rice. It turned out that sticky rice is fvckin LEMPER in Indonesian. Worst dinner ever, since I have to pay like $14 and didn't manage to finish my food. But well, at least the place was good.

Near Columbia University, there's this Chinese restaurant where students usually dined in. The girls and I kinda liked the place. Also the food. I once ate some chicken rice with spinach, and share-ordered a big bowl of noodle soup on the other day. The best meal? Was the pan-fried dumplings. I'm telling you, if they apparently double the price of the dumplings, I don't care and will still buy it anyway.

Italian Regale // Sofia's and Eataly
Well, we only ordered one big plate of pizza for the four of us. It wasn't that remarkable, but this Sofia's restaurant was in Little Italy area. And the area, was too damn cozy. It was more like blocks of restaurants in Europe with people hanging around with their friends, chatting and laughing, sitting in front of the building, seeing others walking down the streets checking out each restaurants' menus... Delightful.

Another Italian experience I had was Eataly in Flatiron District. It wasn't just a restaurant, but also a market. Too bad when I came down there, the place was so full that I could only bought a raspberry sorbet. Now about the sorbet. Okay imagine this. The weather was kinda hot. Hot enough that on that day, we actually went to Coney Island and had a brightful beachy experience, and the sour-fresh-berry sensation could actually made my day. Get it? No? Well that's simply because I can't describe how tasteful that sorbet was.

Mid Eastern Feast // Ilili
Just when I was on my mood to spend more money and try some fine dining experience, another local friend of mine asked me to go with him to this Mediterranean restaurant. First step in, some Arabic music welcomed me. Some Arabic scent rushed into my nose. And some Arabic menu confused my mind. Okay, do you know moujadara, tabbouleh, shawarma, atayef, and mouhamara?? Yea he ordered them all.

Now though I had no idea what the hell those were, I actually enjoyed everything. Turned out that those foods, are small bites called mezza. Some kind of appetizers I guess -but since we ordered like six different appetizers and better yet, it was all American people's portion, so I considered those as full main course. The unique part was, those foods could be eaten all together because the rule is
"There's no exact way of eating these,
Mix everything with everything else."
Mexican Fiesta // Chipotle
Along the trip in US, I saw like many times, people wandering around the streets, bringing this huge paper bag with name "Chipotle" written on it. Finally I knew that it was some kind of Mexican fast food restaurant but I never get the chance to try one. So on my last day, before going back to the hotel to get the girls and grab our luggage before heading back to JFK, I stopped by and got a spicy chicken burrito.

Oh my God, American tummies, they're seriously big. I ate this stuff for my early dinner -in the airport, yes, and those girls just stood there doing nothing, it rushed me really. I was so hungry because I skipped lunch and that's why I bought this big sized burrito. But when I tried to finish it, still, I gave up.

Saturday Night Out // McGee's
While Ted, Barney, Robin, Marshall and Lily get together at MacLaren's, Vicky, Ammy, Salsa and Ami hang around McGee's. Lol yea. The place is where the series take place. Lol kidding. McGee's is the pub where MacLaren's was based on. So the shooting's not at all done at McGee's, but inside the building, you can always find all gimmicks related to HIMYM.

The food was so so. The margarita was the highlight of the night. What's the best was the fun times I spent with the girls. You know it was Saturday night. And the weather was totally splendid. We laughed, we did stupid stuff, honestly we always do that the whole trip but I don't know, what we did at McGee's, it felt kinda different. Guess I just realized I love hanging out with them so much.

Drink Spots // Domain and Serendipity
As a part of MUN agenda, I was invited to Domain Bar to attend the head delegates social night. It was a new place. Small yet cozy, but the best thing was the open bar. Got some cranberry water and joyed myself near the snack buffet. Now aside all those chips, tortillas, nachos and any other snacks served upon the table, my favorite one was the goat cheese. Red drink and goat cheese, and the attire was my slim fit formal suit. Feelin like a fancy gentleman, eh?

Another noted place for drink that I paid a visit was the place where the famous frozen hot chocolate originates: Serendipity. In NY, it was seriously that famous that we had to wait to be seated just to taste two big bowls of frozen hot chocolate and a plate of apple pie for four of us. Worth it? Of course. Until we visited DC and spotted another Serendipity, where people didn't really have to take queue for drinking. Still thinking it was worth waiting in NY? Ha-ha we just laughed in bitterness and left.

Small Bites // Nathan's and Georgetown Cupcake
Okay so I mentioned visiting Coney Island. It was bright, sky was clear, the best food I could ever had was something small and chunky. So I bought a mini box of melted-cheese potato and a freaking ice cold strawberry lemonade -God, the drink came down straight from heaven! Oh did I say I had a mini box? Hm. Yea I didn't finish it. Americans and their gigantic portion.

While in DC, the girls dragged me to Georgetown cupcake. Naaa I'm not a cupcake kinda guy, but hey at least I stepped my ass on that worldwide famous cupcake store. But don't worry, I still tried the cake anyway.

Home Savored Meals
There were foods I bought outside, there were also foods I ate indoor, like a local citizen. Peanut butter and jelly for breakfast, taken away Chinese food from Ollie's -I've always wanted to feel how it is like eating Chinese food from a box like Monica Geller and Sheldon Cooper had always done, frozen pizza-in-a-box, frozen bowled fried noodle, and, delivered Cuban meal.

Okay for the last mentioned meal. I was invited by my local friends to have some Cuban dinner over their apartment. Dumb stuff was, I came late and the feast was over. The food entered the fridge already so they had to heat it up for me. *ting!* the microwave said, and there goes my leftover roasted meat with red bean sauced rice. And guess what. That was the best cold meal I ever eaten. The roast meat was still so juicy and tender, and the salad was still fresh. Those Cuban cooks made their meals with heart, I'm sure.

No matter how great the foods were and how fancy the restaurants looked, to be honest, the best culinary experience came from the last category.

You can always do fine dining everywhere.
You can always have someone cook for you, or serve you, everywhere.
You can always eat what you see in some restaurant, at some other restaurants everywhere.

But to eat like locals,
To eat what locals eat,
Not everybody can, want,
And will ever do that sincerely.


I'm so proud of myself,
For being a semi local traveler

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Highlight One: Lifestyle

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When you visit some different places, there's this culture gap.
Like language, currency, sides of driving and the reversed driver seat.

Also the lifestyle.
Even two cities from the same state,
Only 5 hours away from one another like New York and DC,

Share a quiet different lifestyle.

The City That Never Sleeps
The quote don't lie. New York never sleeps. Everyone's everywhere, everytime. The subway's 24/7, the Apple Store's 24/7, some other shops are 24/7, you won't ever feel so lonely walking down the streets and the avenues even by midnights. And speaking about roads, I couldn't stop praising how buildings are well structured in there.

Streets are named consecutively, after numbers. You can always easily measure the distance and how many blocks you should walk through, because you clearly know where to go. Oh the organized city, it's just a paradise for OCD weirdos like me. And! The simplicity can also be felt when it comes to cab riding. Damn it's so easy to navigate the driver and you won't, ever, get, lost.

And cabs. You don't always use cabs, unless you're in such terrible hurry. The main transportation is yet to be mentioned. It's the Metro. I'm sure the creator of NY subway will end up in heaven. Because it gives us effectiveness. Stations are everywhere, covering almost every corner of lower Manhattan, in which metropolitan life mostly runs. And it integrates with buses. You seriously don't have to own a car because pedestrians are treated like a king.

Yes, we're kings. The sidewalks are wide open, shaded under trees, guarded by curbside traffic lights, human and dog friendly anyway. And the walkers are sophisticated, well dressed and beautiful. Cute girls and good guys are wandering around with you. Street performers are in touch as well! It's like an entertainment a king would always ask -I even ran into Shakira's concert in one of those parks, what better thing could I ask??

And kings live in a castle, right? You know what castle is to me? Yes, an apartment. I visited like three different apartment my friends have and, oh Lord, I really want to have one like, REALLY DO. I'm sorry Dad I keep bringing this up but I have to live in an apartment at least once in my lifetime. Well if you don't want me to have one back home, how if I have one in NY? It's more like a hotel with lobbies and receptionists, and bigger spaces too you would extremely like it!


In Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens or even Bronx,
Not just in Manhattan, I tell you, good stuff are on you.

View from Brooklyn Bridge and see how buildings rule the city.

The City That Sleeps, In Peace
When big, hectic city starts to piss you off, DC's the one to go. I don't know, it possesses this serenity with its simple brick-touched buildings, no modern skyscrapers in sight and plus, the windy and wet atmosphere. And I felt like the city's sacred. Oh. I know, maybe because all the historical tracks, monuments and memorials are there. Let's now talk about the historical sites.

To be honest, I never liked places of histories. I mean, why should I bother learning about other people's history? I'm not even familiar with mine. But things are different when it comes to big, gigantic buildings. And those memorials in DC are colossal, damn I liked it! Especially the Lincoln ones. Looks exactly like one of those Grecian temples I'm dying to pay a visit.

But my hat's off to Georgetown. You can actually feel the difference between NY and DC, when you walk around that area. I don't really have to tell you about how tranquil it is, it's like a village of old people, except the citizens are actually young! You remember my trip to Malaysia? Well the sensation's just the same when I compare KL with Penang -and the name of the area was George Town too, anyway.

It's not just in DC. A local friend invited me over his house in Virginia -so technically, I visited three different states in the US yeay!- and it has the same scene. Quiet, breezy on the outside and warm inside. Plus, his house was so cozy. American-wise cozy. Just matched too well with the atmosphere.

Buildings in Georgetown. See the one on the right? That might be the tallest there.

Seeing DC and NY, all I ever thought about was The Hunger Games.
Yea it's like The Capitol and District One, as I picture them in my mind.

You know DC's the central of American governmental stuff. The citizens live in welfare and peace, no pressure and fear, also secured because they're just on the same area where the government residents are. And their houses are placed so close one another. That's just what I imagined Capitol is.

And NY, well you can always find beautiful guys and girls in New York, just the same as in District One. New Yorkers live in luxury, just like District One citizens who produces luxury items. And they seem like enjoying their life, living so near to Capitol. That scene played when I see New Yorkers always seen to be in a rush, joyfully going to work or stuff, while by the end of the day their hard work will end up in the government's desk.

But the major similarity between DC-Capitol and NY-District One came when I saw their subway stations. DC's got the best. Futuristic architecture, clean, calm and empty, sophisticated as Capitol will always be. While the ones in NY, you know how matter fancy District One is, after all they are still a part of those districts. They're still one level beneath somehow, and you can see it when waiting on their dirty, moist, crowded and full-of-rats subway stations.

The left one is stations in Capitol, the right one belongs to District One.

Look how long this post has become, ladies and gentlemen.
I told you, I can't decide what to tell and what not to tell.

But to sum it all up, there's this one big thing I loved about US.
And once again, like what I always liked on my previous trips, is

The Local Side:
The places to visit, the people, the way they live.

There's no other way to place your trip at its best,
Unless you also feel how it is like to live the locals' life.
Or maybe I become a local, someday?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Places Where Dreams Are Made Of

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Okay so now I'm done being mellow about the US trip.
It's time for me to emphasize about how wonderful it was!

So yea it wasn't only New York. After a week spent on that indescribable city, my friends and I visited Washington DC for two nights before got back to NY.

There were too many, I repeat, too many stuff I witnessed, I thought was too amazing, that I had difficult time thinking of how to reveal it all here, without being seemed too, you know, carried away and, corny. But I guess now I know how to break it down into posts. Hope it'll make sense because I'm sure, there'll be too much sparks and excitements in each of those posts. And will possibly seem too, you know, carried away and, corny.

Well, I'm starting.
Don't get sick and tired okay?
You can always click the close button ;)

Who would've thought I could capture it myself? I just realized,
"who would've thought" is so the quote of the trip :)

Because no matter what,
I'll start spreading the news

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

And It Really Never Sleeps, Even in My Head

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It's mid October already, but I haven't posted anything in here.
Yea. I was away for almost like, two weeks. You know where to.

It's New York.

Never thought that this kind of picture will be found inside my phone.

It was totally mind blowing.

Who would've thought I'd be able to walk the scenery I could ever only see in TV my whole life. I couldn't stop admiring, my breath couldn't flow properly. I can't even decide already which part to share in here, and how to tell that, because it's just too much.

And actually, I tried my best to delay writing about it. Because by writing about it, I recall every single details about it. By recalling every single details about it, I relive what I did. By reliving what I did, my heart breaks.

I can't move on. I'm still hung up. My three friends can't get over it.
We're just too carried away, we're just in love with New York too much.

Just this morning, I woke up with Miley Cyrus' song played subconsciously.
It's always been played the whole trip so it connects real strong with the city.

See? I just can't stop