Gunung Padang, The Journey (Prehistoric Site+Train Ride+Nature)

The story of the prehistoric site which has drawn attention of many researchers will be better with pictures, as part of my photo essay.

I started the journey to the prehistorical site by using a train from Paledang train station, located just some 500 meters from Bogor train station. The train ride gave me nice view of mountain and tea plantation.Thanks to better service of the train company since I easily bought the ticket at a minimarket.

As expected, the view is breathtaking with Mount Salak standing visible from the train window and the lampegan station has the only tunnel, around 500 meters, during the track leading to Cianjur. I was also able to see some groups going rafting in the river next to the railroad and found a train transporting mineral water from Sukabumi. After having a stop in Sukabumi for around 15 minutes, the train continued to the journey to Cianjur.

The tea plantation seen on the ojek ride is really nice view, the men with traditional headdress looked exotic and cool which were commonly used by men in Indonesia’s archipelago until the first half of 20th century,  the view from Gunung Padang is really nice. As in other tourist destination in Indonesia, hawkers selling rujak and bakso could be found on top of Gunung Padang site but I got karedok, another version of vegetable salad with peanut sauce which is similar to gado-gado, for my lunch

above bakso d view gate gerbong air gunung headdress - sunda lampegan tunnel macro near the holy ground sukabumi tea tukang rujak window view - 1

A Synagogue in Yangon, Myanmar – Story in Photos

The synagogue in Yangon was built by a sizable Jewish community, back then,  in Yangon. The Jewish community in Burma, with its long history,  has now seemingly gone and the Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue is the last house of worship for the Jewish community in Yangon.

I was thrilled to visit the synagogue since I may call myself a history buff and have made a visit to other synagogues in Europe. After reading some resources and use google maps, I managed to visit this place.

To my surprise this historical building is located in the bustling street, next to a busy market. I arrived during break time and was informed to come after lunch time. It was there where I met a Jewish man from the US and some European tourists who are interested to see this place.

DSC_0762 - INSIDE

2014-02-02 14.23.38 - synagogue sideway

 

DSC_0715 - candle

 

 

 

 

DSC_0720 - torah

 

DSC_0732 - window

 

DSC_0740 - prayer book

 

DSC_0736 - inside synagogue

synagouge - yangon - copyright

Sadly, the synagogue reminds me of Indonesia’s only synagogue in Surabaya that now only becomes history after the synagogue was torn down.   A heritage from the past, in my opinion, should be preserved without any discrimination and a synagogue itself has to be included.

 

A devotion in Yangon, Myanmar – Photo Essay

Myanmar indeed has its own charm, a truly religious nation and its own charm is more than just temples and I was lucky to pay a visit. From the hassle since I have to get a visa in Kuala Lumpur which requires me to bring pictures, application form and, of course, money, not to the embassy but to the travel agent appointed by the Myanmar embassy to provide visa service until the daily devotion in their daily life.

This posting is just one of few things I will write about Myanmar

ritual swedagon - copyright

The ritual in Shwedagon Pagoda,  where I got a chance to enter the non touristic gate where I didn’t have to pay for entrance fee, it was on holiday that the pagoda was full of devotees  and tourists

DSC_0477 - on bended knee - sleeping buddha - w cright

The picture above was taken at the biggest reclining buddha, or sleeping buddha in Chaukhtatgyi Paya, obviously the biggest I have seen, bigger than the sleeping buddha in Bangkok and this one is free though I was happy to donate my money in the donation box

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I was really surprised to hear that Yangon has its own synagogue, located in the busy market, I once got a problem to locate this synagogue and never expected that the accompanying history of this synagogue is unbelievable.

DSC_0821 - multilingual church in yangon

Who could believe that probably the most multilingual church could be found in Yangon as the church above has 8 different languages in its services

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On my way to find the Kandawgyi Lake (and Park), I was somehow lost in a busy intersection that happened to be a moslem quarter and the picture above was even a mosque building.

I will continue with other stories….

 

Pray for MH370, Water and Haze

The tragic story of missing plane of MH370 has been part of many people’s prayer. The recent story, along with lots of speculation and conspiracy theory, drew more attention when it is possible that the plane ended up somewhere near Australia

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Lots of people, not only the passengers’ family, but many felt the urge to join the prayer. The picture above is the one shown on TM Tower in Kuala Lumpur. The fact is that the building is located in the area where water supply stopped periodically, two days with water supply and the other two days without water supply. In addition, the area, starting from February 2014 was also covered by haze

Pray for water and haze

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The pic above shows the difference of air quality of Klang Area affected by the haze and I am worried that the hazy days will come more frequently during dry season where hotspots are more likely to come again

Never before I saw people buying pales or water containers, but the water rationing still continues if the heavy rains doesn’t come. Too bad, most likely, like hazy days, this could be recurring problems during dry season like June or July and I need to use my big water container in my apartment more often.

That is the reason that I could ask people to pray, not only for the missing MH370 but also for the end of water rationing and end of hazy days in Kuala Lumpur greater area

The nicest people for strangers are perhaps the Japanese.

I never thought that I could say that probably the nicest, the most helpful people when it comes to helping strangers on the street are most likely Japanese people

I arrived in Namba station with my huge backpack, a huge luggage along with my most precious belonging on the stroller, you know him, it was my son. My wife and I got confused about the right platform we had to choose for the metro.  After taking the train from Osaka’s new airport located in a man-made island, we arrived in  the station and hoped that we would soon arrive in the hotel, Super Hotel, which had free onsen for its visitors.

Despite the fact that my wife was able to communicate in Japanese while I temporarily became a kind of deaf-mute-and-illiterate we still found it tricky to get the right platform until we decided to ask a shopkeeper about the right platform. His reply and attitude were shocking and mind-blowing since he left his shop and offered us to carry my luggage literally. The platform that he showed had no escalator hence his attitude and aid were understandable but really nice. He did help me to carry my luggage that was around 20 kg and after that I had to carry my son downstairs.

I must admit that his act of kindness was one of the nicest things I have ever seen in my life. He knew my family was strangers but he was really nice.

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Imagine if you want to bring downstairs a sleeping toddler who had his slumber in that afternoon while I needed to take my huge 45 L backpack and a small day pack.

The attitude didn’t stop there, I was shocked again in Osaka when we were looking for direction to go back to hotel and after asking for direction to a man, he was willing to accompany us to the hotel though his direction was on the opposite direction of our hotel location.

On the other day, early morning, when we took a taxi to Namba station around 5 AM, we were not sure which gate of the station that was open, the taxi driver left his car to ask someone and find the right entrance. His attitude was indeed priceless and unbelievable. It is more than an excellent service.

A few months later, I concluded that this attitude is somewhat a part of their culture after learning that there was a Japanese wearing superhero costume helping people going downstairs and upstairs in the metro station in Tokyo, the biggest metropolis in the country

This story is dedicated to those people who showed me the acts of kindness in Japan. Thank you for teaching how to do that and inspire me to do the same thing

Hot summer days in Japan – Part 1

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note : i was fortunate to sit close to the wing to take this air asia x logo

I didn’t plan nor dream of paying a visit to this rising-sun country in summer but since my babysitter needs to get back home, or dearly known as ‘mudik’, i made impromptu check to see available options until this choice popped out and it was air asia x which made this dream a reality at in summer
Preparing Japanese visa, which is not difficult as I only needed to show my saving amount and employment letter (a bit awkward as it tells your boss of you travel plan), bought ticket (got relatively cheap Air Asia X ticket), booked hotels in Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto as well as Tune Hotels at LCCT and perhaps more importantly preparing the best way to take care of my toddler along the journey

Yes, i couldnt leave my one and a half year son at home so I decided that I will take him to travel. Story books, sticker books, drawing board, kid stories in tablet were all prepared and succesfully helped in 6-hour flight from KL to Osaka

Despite the fact that I was thoroughly disappointed by Tune Hotels at LCCT, come on for 220 ringgit, I couldnt bring my normal-sized luggage inside my very tiny room (i’m not kidding) i boarded the plane in the nick of time when check in time was almost closed 😦

btw about tune hotels, it was the worst hotel i ever had, the smallest size and not value for money, the benefit is merely the location and nothing more, sorry to say that though air asia x provides great service and i love it

more stories will come 😛

Starting New Blog

I have been thinking for quite some time to move to wordpress after realizing that blogdrive is dull and multiply.com will turn definitely into an e-commerce [and kick those bloggers out] hence wordpress is, apparently, the best choice for me
I could even blogging using my tablet and make my life blogging easier for sure 😛 thanks to wordpress application on google play

Belajar Bahasa Melayu

Meski saya adalah penutur asli bahasa Indonesia .. (ehem) ternyata saya tetap harus belajar dengan bahasa Melayu. Aneh? Saya punya banyak alasan dan cerita tentang pelajaran bahasa Melayu dalam dan luar negeri.


Pelajaran Pertama

Saat pertama tinggal di kos, saya mendapati diri saya dikelilingi orang halak hita (baca: orang Batak) dan Pujakesuma yang berbahasa Melayu Medan atau dapat dikatakan bahasa Indonesia logat Medan yang membuat saya bengong, termangu dan bingung, mmm ini di Jakarta atau di Medan ya?


Satu malam, teman eh kawan saya berseru-seru dari balik pintu,â?Pinjam belabas, ada kau?â? saya bengong dan dia semakin berteriak,â?Pekak kali kau?â?

Ternyata belabas itu adalah penggaris, hah?

Lain waktu setelah belajar, dia bertanya,â?Sudah siap kau?â?, saya bengong lagiâ?Siap apaan? Emang mau pergi?â? Eh ternyata siap maksudnya sudah selesai belajar.


Dalam kurun waktu beberapa bulan saya akhirnya dapat menyerap bahasa dan logat mereka dengan lancar sampai akhirnya sering disangka orang Medan saat berbicara logat mereka.


Pelajaran kedua

Pelajaran berlanjut saat berada di wilayah utara Sumatera hingga saya menyerap bahasa mereka dengan utuh. Dalam perjalan ke Medan tahun 2009 bersama istri saya langsung berbisik kepadanya untuk memanggil cowo dengan sebutan abang dan wanita dengan kakak. Maklum ini Medan, kakak hanya digunakan untuk wanita, ia sendiri sempat bengong melihat saya meminta pipet saat membeli minumanm, hehehe pipet artinya sedotan bagi orang Medan.


Beberapa kata berbeda yang sempat membuat bingung namun saya pahami belakangan dengan kata :

kereta dan motor yang bagi orang Medan berarti sepeda motor dan mobil berturut-turut, dan kata lainnya seperti

pipet,

tengok yang artinya melihat,

tampak yang artinya melihat

sikit yang artinya sedikit

kuat yang dipakai saat berbicara kuat (kalau di Jawa kadang disebut kencang untuk suara)

kutip yang bisa berarti petik (buah)

bergaduh berarti berkelahi

kacau untuk aduk

pusing yang berarti putar

pajak yang berarti pasar (mmm aneh ya)

ligat yang artinya lincah

kedai yang lebih sering dipakai daripada warung atau toko

Mocok-mocok, ecek-ecek dll

Malah di internet saya nemu kamus bahasa Medan




Pelajaran lainnya

Satu hari di satu sudut hotel tempat pelatihan berlangsung saya berbicara tentang butuh sesuatu yang harus saya beli dan mendadak seorang teman asal Ambon tertawa karena menurutnya butuh itu berarti barangnya lelaki, haaaaaaaaa?


Belakangan saya menemukan cerita tentang bahasa Melayu sebagai lingua franca di Nusantara hingga ke timur Indonesia seperti terjemahan Injil di Papua abad 19 yang menggunakan bahasa Melayu, bahasa di Kupang yang menggunakan bahasa Melayu hingga bahasa di Jakarta yang memakai bahasa Melayu karena aslinya penduduk Jayakarta adalah penutur bahasa Sunda sesuai sejarah Sunda Kelapa sebagai bagian kerajaan Pakuan Pajajaran


Namun pelajaran terbesar adalah saat berkelana di dua negara Semenanjung Malaya dimana saya bingung lagi dengan bahasa mereka karena perbedaan arti kata hingga gaya bahasa dari pesawat hingga paling parah berupa bahasa hukum yang membuat saya menyerah

Bayangkan saat naik pesawat yang saya temui adalah

Maklumat penerbangan

Tali Keledar

Telepon Bimbit

Air minum semula jadi


Hingga di bank

Kadar faedah

Pernyataan Baki terkini

De el el

Elaun


Saya sadar masing-masing bahasa dipengaruhi Inggris dan Belanda meski bahasa Melayu Malaysia dan Singapura dipengaruhi bahasa Belanda juga seperti dilarang merokok, bahasa Portugis dalam kata gereja

Orang melayu tak paham arti kata tas karena berasal dari bahasa Belanda, tak paham arti karcis, besuk, kulkas, asbak karena berasal dari bahasa Belanda pula

Sebaliknya kita bisa mengerti kata serapan mereka dari Inggris seperti beg (tas), kempen (kampanye), bas (bus), hospital (rumah sakit) dll


Karena merasa tidak pede, saat berkomunikasi dengan bank dan kontrak saya lebih senang berbahasa enggres karena itu aman daripada bahasa Melayu yang bisa salah sangka seperti pejabat yang artinya kantor, menjemput yang artinya mengundang.


Mmmm, untung ada Google Translate yang menolong saya kalau penasaran hehehe karena rasanya ga ada kamus resmi Melayu â Indonesia. Itu sebabnya juga sinetron Indo yang terpaksa saya tengok, karena iseng tidak ada pilihan, di tengah malam mempunyai teks bahasa Melayu dan Upin Ipin juga mempunyai teks Indonesia. Mmm jika di Belgia ada terjemahan flemish untuk acara TV Belanda meski perbedaan mereka jauh lebih sedikit apalagi untuk Melayu di Indonesia dan negara tetangga.



3 countries, 3 cities in 2 days … and my story with budget airlines

Leaving an island of gods for sleeping in another country and get my baggage before my next destination in merlion city. Yes, last month was the highlight of my travel experience, thanks to budget air.

My arrival at midnight in Ngurah Rai surprised me with long queue for visa on arrival, well I was lucky for not being in the queue. Imagine that it will be worse during the day or summer, yes, I suppose they mostly arrive with budget airlines.

Leaving the island, I was only able to spend less than 24 hours only for packing my clothes etc before final departure to that city state. The good thing about self check in is I am able to arrive in the airport just 30 minutes before the the departure time. Thatâs exactly what I did that afternoon.

I was cautious for bringing more than 7 kilos on my carry on luggage but in practice the staff never used that scale to check my luggageâs weight despite the fact, I am quite sure, that my luggage is more than 7 kilos due to my books, suites, computers etc. Lessons learned, Air Asia is not as strict as Ryan Air or Easy Jet. I remember that Ryan will allow us to bring luggage without taking into account the weight as long as the volume or size is acceptable.

Arriving in Clark Quay, I was exhausted but still interested to take a walk around that area and shocked with the food prices, OMG, it had similar prices like Amsterdam!

This highlight of my travel reminds me that i might be unfortunate for not being able to become frequent flyer since Air Asia, or other budget airlines, has no reward system and Big promo is merely a new credit card offered by the airlines group.

Budget air with pluses and cons

Personally, I call budget airlines hilariously as angkot air since the terminal resembles angkot terminal to certain extent despite lots of benefits. Perhaps I prefer LCCT as better place for waiting airlines especially if you have already passing the security and immigration since in KLIA LCCT you are able to buy drinks, food, books or even goods at duty free shop. It is way better than Terminal 3 where we had no access for food and drink unless you wanna use that lousy vending machines for coffee.

In my flight, i was indeed surprised to see a middle-aged woman who apparently has diplomatic status or coming from government official background using Air Asia. Why did she use budget air and not use full service flight? Oops, budget air has more frequent flight than full service airlines therefore pricing is not the only main reason. Other than that, what airlines has midnight flight beside budget airlines?

The cons? I saw people boarding the wrong plane in LCCT, they were supposed to go to Bandung but managed to board a plane going to Jakarta. It was due to the lack of ground staff checking and helping the passenger. It is indeed a nasty tragedy that could happen in budget air.

At last, budget airlines is undeniably one of the biggest blessing for global citizen wannabe (who???) and avid traveller

My journey – an everlasting journey