Just a quick update about me…

…not that it is really important for you lol *sweat drop*

 

I really feel that January has passed way too fast. I have been juggling work related matters and wedding preparation since last December, and the fact that the time is getting closer does not make any help. It actually just makes me even more nervous, and in a sense questioning again if I am doing the right thing.

Oh, yes, did I forget to tell you? I am getting married.

*background sound of bells and wedding song*

*followed with a scream*

In one side I am happy that I finally found that someone who will be my partner and take care of me for the rest of my life support each other for the rest of our life. In other side, I am a bit worried because it will change my lifestyle completely and of course, my prioritization. I need to revisit my life plan and adjust accordingly without changing too much my main essential goals inside of it.

Sometimes I am thinking that I might be moving a bit too fast – after all, he proposed me just last November. But I know for sure he loves me, and he will treat me very well. I guess it will be a turning point for both of us – adjusting ourselves to each other, and build a family as we plan. Please pray the best for both of us *bow*

As for work related, I am still waiting final confirmation on what will happen to me. With this change inside our organization, we have no other choice than to accept and embrace it with expectation that it will help us to go even further inside the company. I really like my department anyway, so I truly hope I will still be working on this department, at least for the next few years. Fingers crossed!

That’s all for now.

*bow*

(Late Review of) 2016 Garuda Travel Fair

Traveling abroad (at least for Indonesian) now is getting easier and easier! 

With more low-cost airlines offering cheaper tickets either to European or Asian Pacific countries, more Indonesian get the opportunity to explore different countries which they commonly know from television or internet. It does not take long for premium airlines to “partially compete” by offering considerably lower ticket price (for the same premium service!) in certain events. 

Garuda Indonesia, the best Indonesia airline (and also the most expensive), has also been following the same approach. Garuda Travel Fair (GATF) has been conducted since 2009 and its scale seems to be bigger and bigger every year. This year, this event even conducted twice, on May and October. I personally was only aware of this event about two years ago, and even though I would have loved to get cheap tickets to fly either to Thailand or Seoul, I was too lazy to stand in long queue and compete with other people to book and buy a ticket. 

This year I decided to visit GATF just out of curiousity, while in the same time looking for flight tickets to Tokyo for my parents next year. Having heard the stories, I prepared myself for the worst (read: long queue, crazy crowd inside the building, shouting for attention in the booth). 

Surprisingly, it was not as bad as I thought. Yes, I had to queue for about two hours before I could get in, but situation inside the building was not too packed as I would have expected. Maybe this was driven by fact that this event occupied two big halls in Jakarta Convention Center (one of big convention center buildings in Jakarya). Or maybe because I was there only during the day, I missed the big crowd which (might have) jeopardized the event 🙂 

 >> Pass card to get into the event

 >> Queue in front of GATF entrance gate  

 >> Aand queue behind me… 😅

In this event, Garuda Airlines (GA) did not sell directly the cheap flight tickets, instead GA was having travel agents as intermediate partners. GA established “Happy Hour” (10AM to 1PM and 4PM to 7PM): a period when certain Garuda flight tickets were sold at cheaper price and had to be booked and bought immediately. Outside the “Happy Hour”, Garuda flight ticket in general was cheaper by around 20-25%, which was still quite good, I must say. But of course, getting ” Happy Hour” price would be the best option 🙂

Some key takeaways from 2016 GATF:

  • Come early so you will face less crowd. Particularly if you want to participate in “cash back” program held by participating/sponsorship bank (this year was BNI), you need to ensure you are part of limited participants
  • Once you are inside, just go to one travel agent which you are comfortable with. All agents will offer you the same price for Garuda flight tickets anyway
  • Browse for international flight tickets instead of domestic. The international flight ticket price in GATF is significantly cheaper than normal. In other hand, domestic flight ticket price does not differ much from normal price
  • Have a clear goal on which flight ticket you want to buy to speed up purchase process in the booth

In the end, I managed to buy Jakarta-Tokyo return flight with USD337/pax. Not bad at all considering it is Garuda. I guess I would not mind to visit the next GATF to do another hunting of cheap flight ticket 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O 

Finally catching up with this week’s theme of Photo Challenge: H2O. When I was browsing through my photo collection, I realized that it has been so long since I used my camera to take pictures of nature. Work becomes my reason for not doing so, but I could not help to think if it was also because of my laziness to relaxing at home in the weekend instead of going out and hunting a picture. Maybe I am not that into it anyway? 😦

Anyway, here they are my pictures for H2O theme this week! 

  

 

Review: A Very Special Year

Title: A Very Special Year
Author: Thomas Montasser
Year Published: May 2016

(Spoiler alert! You have been warned!)

As a student majoring in business, managing a small, old bookstore was not part of Valerie’s future plan. Yet, when one day her aunt, Charlotte, suddenly vanished and left a very short note appointing Valerie to maintain the bookstore, Valerie did not have another choice beside taking over ‘Ringelnatz & Co.’ while hoping one day Aunt Charlotte would come back. 

It looked pretty simple in the beginning. Valerie had knowledge in business anyway, so with good analysis, reasonable plan and couple of contacts, she believed she could run the bookstore for a little while to pay off its debt, before eventually selling it to another party. 

It was not too long before she realized there was another part of the business that she had not been mastering on: portion of magic. There must be couple hundred of titles in the bookstore, with several version per title. Simply said, thousand books are available for readers! The problem is, without magic, it would be useless. How could we know what from all these books which would attract the readers? Who could remember by heart this magnificent collection which ranges from decades ago to the latest published? This is the magic of a bookseller which Valerie noticed and concluded. 

Though a bit devastated in the beginning, gradually Valerie enchanted by the charm of ‘Ringelnatz & Co.’, or in particular, its book collection. Valerie, who in the last few years rarely reading books beside Business related, started drawning herself in the world of Orhan Pamuk, Thomas Mann, and other authors which she had never heard before. Soon, she was engtangled with the magic of books, and unconsciously developing her skill as a bookseller. 

Her meeting with several interesting people across the seasons enriched her experience and progressively guided her to a direction which she had been thinking of. Until one day she found herself with two train tickets in her hand, accompanied by an attractive gentleman, and had to decide what she would do next….

I bought this book out of curiousity since the summary sounded promising. It is actually a German book which has been translated to English, and just published last May. In general, I quite like this book. The early chapters are a bit slow for me, but after chapter three, the pace becomes normal and more enjoyable. What I like in this book is the description of magic, either for the books, or the bookstore. I also like the fact that Montasser provided examples of different titles and the authors (and they are real), which made me realize how little I know about literature. 

The missing part of this book was the explanation of a special book with the same title: “A Very Special Year”, which later would influence Valerie’s life greatly. In the beginning of story, audiences were introduced to this special book. Valerie thought it was a defect due to blank pages in half of the book. Only later Valerie knew that “A Very Special Year” was a rare book and only few copies available in this world. And this copy, which she thought a misprinted book, was her copy. It was her own book. It was her chance to experience her own story. 

Now, for me, it would be another magical experience should Montasser have given  a little bit more space for this portion, to peek a little bit on how Valerie would have chosen her path to build her own story. Unfortunately the explanation was very brief, and somehow this was also washed off by last section (Epilogue) which explained on what happened next to Charlotte and Valerie. I wish Montasser had put more story of Valerie and the young guy in the train rather than putting some closure summary in the Epilogue. 

In conclusion, this book was light, easy to digest, though a bit slow in the beginning. I think it represents nicely Montasser’s passion of books and literature. I enjoyed reading it while learning a bit on literature. Not bad to accompany your evening.

(Belated) Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

I did not know where to start when I first read this theme. Thoughts were flying in my head, flashing pictures of my dear friends whom I miss so much. I have always been a people-person, so relationship with people really matters for me, which I think could be my strength yet also my weakness in the same time. 

Lately I have been missing my brothers and sisters in Europe. I was lucky to meet and engage with them closely during my assignment in Lausanne. For sure they have special place in my heart, and I wish my friendship with them will last forever. 

My three brothers and me! Christian, Adrian, me and Paul. We had wonderful time back then! 😍

I used to call them The Planning Musketeers, lol! Christian, Adrian and Edouard. Edouard retired three years ago and now enjoying his retirement period. 

My Australian-and-kind-of-half-Indonesian brother, Ben! I just love him and his family so much!! 

Adrian, my Romanian brother. He is one of the kindest man I have ever known. I always wish him for the best in his life as he totally deserves it. 

My beautiful sister, Basak! I adore and admire her not only as a supervisor, but also a professional, a strong woman, a soft hearted person and also a big sister! 


My very first teacher on company system, Edouard. Smart, full of jokes though sometimes could be really stubborn. I miss you Ed! Hope to see you soon in the near future! 

Tintin Community in 2016 Indonesia Comic Con

Seems otaku, manga and anime lovers and pop culture fans in Indonesia could channel their passion more and more now! Continuing the success last year, ReedPop together with Reed Panorama exhibition conducted the second Indonesia Comic Con (ICC) this year on October 1st and 2nd. To put it simply, ICC is a big exhibition which brings us various pop culture aspects such as comics, manga, anime, games and others to all Indonesia fans. As quoted in their official site

Indonesia Comic Con brings the best pop culture experience from both East and West in celebration of the latest content from comics, anime, toys, collectibles, games, TV, film and entertainment to dedicated fans across Indonesia.

I am not a die-hard-fan of specific manga, comic, anime or cartoon (except Tintin), so I ashamedly admit that I did not know much about the guest stars and the comic artist guests. I only know few of local comic artists attended the event (sorry!). 

Though I could not enjoy performance of the guest stars, I enjoyed visiting various booths, such as community booth (Star Trek com., Star Wars com., Marvel com., etc.), local comic, toys shop, etc. One of the booths sold cute things made by disabled people which I really appreciated. 

      

Beside the booths, I enjoyed performance of cosplayers who portrayed different characters, either with a simple costume, or a quite complicated one. Too bad I did not get a chance to chase them and take their pictures 😩 I only managed to take one picture with this madhatter 😅

My community, Indonesia Tintin Community or Komunitas Tintin Indonesia in bahasa (KTI), was lucky to get a booth in 2016 ICC, similar like last year. This time we got a bigger area, and still, we did not have enough space for our members who came to stand-by and supporting the event. 

People might wonder what we were doing in the booth. Well, first, we introduced ourselves to other people to make them aware that there is a community of people who really love Tintin. Second, we have some talented people in our group, so it was a good opportunity for us to promote their products with tribute to Tintin.

For me, opportunity to gather with other members of KTI is always delightful, considering that we are all quite different, yet we somehow can connect nicely because of this fictional reporter who solved mysterious cases and traveled around the world! They are funny, smart, and more importantly, makes me feel like I am part ofa family, and that matters.

I was cosplaying as Tintin (some called me Tintin “hijab”, obviously because I wore hijab, lol) at ICC because I thought it would be fun (and it was, though some people were not aware about it, huhu). It was my second time dressing up as Tintin and I personally think it was not too bad…what do you think?*cough* 

Of course, beside Tintin, there was also Captain Haddock, Tintin’s best friend! Oom Berthold is a senior in KTI and he has been cosplaying Haddock since the very beginning this community founded. I looked like a true amateur standing next to this gent! Lol 

I am thinking to cosplay differently next time…maybe as Abdullah? Or Calculus?  ðŸ˜ƒ

All in all, we had lot of fun in this event. We took a lot of pictures, maybe even more than the visitors of our booth! Seems most of KTI members are part-timing as models! 😅😂

   

Lol.. You can see how crazy we were in the last picture 😂😂 It was a great moment 😁

See you next year, Indonesia Comic-Con! 😎❤️

(Belated) Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Somehow I feel it has become a habit to do several Weekly Photo Challenge entries at once due to my laziness in doing it weekly. I have become this lazy creature who only writes once per month, and it does not cover full week entries 😦 

Anyway, enough with the rant! Catching up Weekly Photo Challenge for the last three weeks, here is my picture which I think could meet theme of “Quest”. Taken at Roches de Naye, Switzerland, when I had my first (and maybe last) hiking experience with my friends. This picture makes me think of a destination, which could be in a form of a place where we are longing to know and eager to find. Are we all there yet?