Friday, 17 February 2017

Reflection of 2016: I Made My Dream Come True...

Officially becoming UWA master student :)
Okaaay, I know that it's almost the end of the 7th week of 2017. But well, I think it's not late to reflect the year 2016. It's better late than never, isn't it?

For me, 2016 was the toughest but fruitful year for me. In this year I finally started to live my dream: STUDYING ABROAD. Not in Germany as I profoundly obsessed, but in Australia (the land in southern hemisphere which I impulsively chose. Haha!). And here it is the summary of what happened during the year of 2016.

1st Quarter : January, February and March

I was so lucky and proud for having been chosen as one of LPDP (Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education) awardee at the last batch of 2015 scholarship application. But, the struggle in hunting scholarship was continued with harder strugle to hunt unconditional LOA. That hunt even forced me to resign (again!), the company in which I've developed my knowledge and expertise in offshore survey industry, especially in offshore geotechnical survey works. I could never thank enough to Java Offshore (JO) families for all the precious moments and support they give. Special thanks to Baba Bachir, my strict but kind-hearted supervisor, who wrote such beautiful recommendation for my scholarship application. I owe you a lot, Pak, though your "YOU WANNA DIE?!?" anger will always be memorised on my head. Hahahaha!

The main reason I resigned too early from JO was because I had to struggle for IELTS Test. Before resigning from JO I already take IELTS twice with the same disappointed result: Overall score 7.0 but writing section 5.5. *cry a river* So that I decided to take an intensive IELTS writing course at Kampung Inggris, Pare (a small town near Kediri, East Java). Huuuuuge thanks for Mr. Mika and Ms. Jun for their dedication to help me to be much better in composing English academic writing. Thanks also for Grizzy and Affan for our friendship there. Finally at the 3rd IELTS test (which I took in Denpasar, Bali), I got the desired result which met the University of Western Australia (UWA)'s requirement.  

2nd Quarter : April, May, and June

After obtaining the unconditional LOA from UWA, I started the preparation for my departure abroad. I was a bit in a rush to complete the paperwork for my departure to Australia i.e securing contract with LPDP,  obtaining LoG from LPDP and CoE (Certificate of Enrolment) from UWA to apply student visa. Special thanks to Mbak Dania, UWA's representative in Jakarta, and Mbak Dani from AUG for having helped me with all the paperworks.

I was also in a rush to shop some winter apparels and got a lil bit broke because they took quite huge amount of my money. Hahaha!

3rd Quarter : July, August, September

I spent most of my July with my former partner, Om Jos. Together with him, I had vacation in Bandung and Bali. He also accompanied me to visit my grandma (from paternal side) in Pacitan, East Java and my relatives (from maternal side) in Purwodadi, Central Java. With him I also attended y best friend (Tante Anggie)'s wedding, a night before my departure to Aussie. At July 24th, together with my families and lovely friends (Ella and Rahmi), he also delivered me to the airport. We promised to double the the age of our relationship, planned to have another 3 years of togetherness. 

My life in Australia started quite smoothly. I lived with a nice Indonesian family for the first 2 months I live here. But due to one and other reasons I finally decided to move out into a studio apartment. I think the older I am the less I could resist drama and fake people. Glad that here I have a great small circle of friends that is awesome. Zidnie, Abie, Fajrie, Mas Bond... I really don't know how I could survive my first semester in UWA without you, guys.

4rd Quarter : October, November, December

Soooo many thing happened during this last quarter of 2016. 

I broke the plan I made with Om Jos... No more better sparrow in the hand than pigeon on the roof. I couldn't catch the pigeon but a falcon (both are on the same age. Two years younger than me). 

Many people say that sometimes the person you are truly meant to fall in love with will come in the strangest, most unexpected way. And that saying really happened to me. I met this falcon through..... Tinder. Hahahaaaaaa! And I really fall in love with him. I've never ha this kind of feeling before. And this excerpt of poem titled 'Icarus in Love' written by David Jones perfectly describes this feeling
"I love you as Icarus loved the sun. Too Close. Too Much."
Well, enough about romance. The most important thing happened in this period period odf was I could survive my first semester in UWA though my grade was not good enough (2 Pass, and 2 Credits). Hehehe. Next semester I'll study harder! Yeaaaaah!

As a reward, I dared my self to join a 6-week road and climbing trip Perth - Esperance - Fowlers Bay - Adelaide - Grampians - Melbourne - Albany - Margaret River - Perth. The complete stories will be published on separated posts. I hope I won't be too lazy to post them. LOL.


That's all I could write about my 2016.  Thank you for all families and friends who supported me to pass that year. Without you, I'd be nothing. All I can wish at this moment is to be more and more  compassionate, passionate and grateful in enjoying life.




Perth, 7 Feb 2017

When I was waiting on the Gate 53 for my flight to Jakarta, next to me there was an Indonesian man (on my father's age) having a video call with his family. While talking through his headset, through the big glass window he showed his family the plane in front of us. Eavesdropping his conversation, I heard he said, "That's the plane carrying the coffin of her corpse. We'll arrive tonight in Jakarta." 

JGLEG. Suddenly I felt a horror. I'd be one plane with a dead body.

After finishing his video call, with teary eyes the man greeted me and started a conversation with me. His name is Kosim,  a Javanese living in Serang, Banten.  He asked me what do I do in Perth. And thenI dared myself to ask him who was on the coffin.

"My daughter. She and her husband died on a airplane crash on Australian Day, 26 Jan," he answered.

"I'm sorry to hear that. I saw the news on TV and newspapers. What such an unfortunate event it was. May she rest in peace."

The news about the plane crash in

He then shared some story about his daughter plus showed me some pictures of hers. It extremely made me sad. It made me imagine, how if my parents were on his position. Coming to Australia not for sharing time together here (attending my graduation ceremony, walking together in park, barbequeing at Matilda Bay,  strolling at beaches,  having fun together) but to pick up my dead body.

I was somehow lingered by question: How would people feel after my demise?!? How would the after taste after my demise?

OZ Summer Trip - Part 3a: Esperance Day-1

Esperance, 4 December 2016

Our first destination for this was Esperance, a beautiful town which is nestled on the southern coastline of Western Australia (WA). There we met his brother, Byron, who teamed up with his mate, Callum, to travel around Aussie in a medium toyota coaster bus they named 'Blue Lagoon'.

Esperance offers some of WA's pristine beaches and coastal landscapes. But... since I had trip with a rock climber, the focus was not to the beaches but the big boulders scattered there in which he could create some bouldering problems to be solved. Hahahaaaa! *batal sudah impian lari-lari cantik di pantai ala-ala serial Baywatch. Plaaaak!*

So here it is some pictures of their bouldering activities in Twilight beach, captured during the first day we spent in Esperance.

Byron, Callum, and Daniel


Tuesday, 14 February 2017



It was almost midnight, 2 nights prior to her departure to Jakarta, when Ariadne heard the loud knocks on her apartment door.  Before opening the door she already knew who was her guess. D. No one else would knock her door that loud other than him. She opened the door to let him in and a bit ignored him because she was busy packing her stuffs into her big blue polkadot luggage.

Only after she almost finished packing, they sat side by side on the brown sofa in her living room and she didn’t expect that they would talk about a sensitive topic: PREGNANCY. That topic was raised because before coming to her house, he had a serious talk with his dad prior to his upcoming 27th birthday that would fall in next couple of week. To make it short, his father tried to help him to figure out his life because 27 is considered as an important milestone in a man’s life, an age in which more responsibilities should be taken. It made him realised that there were many things he wanted to do in his life. He was even inspired by his dad to buy a boat and sail around the world. She listened it thoroughfully. ‘Till then, she was told that her name had been mentioned on that dad-and-son talk.

“How if Ari wants to have baby?”

“How did you response that question?” she asked.

With all his excuses he declared, “I DON’T WANT TO HAVE KID! I DON’T WANT US TO GET PREGNANT!” He even blatantly added, “to be frank, if somehow you get pregnant I’D URGE YOU TO DO ABORTION.”

Having raised in a moslem family and society, of course she against that idea. Knowing that he said, “If you were pregnant, I’d be totally scared. It would really damage our relationship. We even haven’t known each other well. I wouldn’t be ready. I wouldn’t be a good father for the baby. To tell you the truth, if you get pregnant I’D JUST LEAVE YOU AND ASK YOU TO GO BACK TO INDONESIA.”

She was not too surprised to hear that statements. Come on… BOYS WOULD ALWAYS BE BOYS, WOULDN’T THEY? 

But…  a few minutes later, when he left her to go to the bed, that pregnancy talk started to bother much her mind. Since she had tendency of over-projecting thing, that talk led her into a crucial issue i.e. RELIABILITY.  For her, instead of to die, to have unplanned pregnancy would be the worst scenario that might happen during his study in Oz no matter how slight its possibility (because she regularly took contraception pill). So then the question of  ‘How could I stay in a relationship with this guy that wouldn’t be there on her worst condition?’ started to haunt her. Immense sadness hugged her. But she was too proud to shed any tears.

Please don’t take her wrong. It was not only him who didn’t want having kid. She didn’t want it either though she was often be tempted of the idea of having kid. The presence of kid would disrupt the life master plan she already designed. She wanted to travel around the world, back to her offshore engineering job, pursuing doctoral degree in USA, and so many other things in which no kid involved there. Moreover she always dreamed TO DIE YOUNG, and she really meant it. She was sure that she couldn’t stand ageing. She couldn’t imagine how would she survived the life without her youthfulness, strength, and physical attractions.

She pretended to continue packing when he asked her to go to bed to hide her imbalanced feeling. She didn’t want to look hopeless in front of him. She waited until he had fallen asleep before she finally laid herself beside him. In the dark, she stared at the ceiling. She tried to sleep but she couldn’t. Moreover when the sound of shower and flush from her upper neighbour were so disturbing. It was even when he started snoring. What such a dreadful night for her it was! Only because of mind-exhaustion the finally managed to fall asleep a few minutes before the dawn.

In the morning she tried to neutralise her feeling, pretended that she didn’t think much about last night talk. She even started her day with making love with him. She tried to act normally to spend her last day in Perth with him before her flight home. She hold her will to talk about how she felt. She guessed that it would be better for her to think deeply about it during her 2-week holiday in Indonesia.

On the departure day, nothing happened much. D delivered her to the airport, gave her a goodbye kisses. She kissed him back. She got into the plane.

Once arriving home  in Jakarta the thought immediately lingered her. When she was laying  on the bed she shared with her mom, she could no longer hold her tears. Though it was a silent cry, her mom noticed that. Tenderly that woman in late 40s caressed her hair, asked her whether she had something to share or not. But of course she just said ‘nothing’ and left her mom with confusion. There was NO WAY she could talk with her mom about what bothering her.

Day by day, she spent her time by visiting her significant colleagues and friends. And tonight she met Tanya, the one she shared the same des for the whole 3 years of studying in high school, and remained as her best friend for half of their age.

“Though it (the pregnancy) hasn’t happened yet and would never happens since you take the pill *knock2onthewood*, you should see that talk in broader sense, Ndut!  If he doesn’t want to take responsibility on that kind of accident that theoretically half of his mistake, how would he support and take care of you in a bad condition caused by your own silliness, clumsiness or whatever it would be?!? How would he, Ndut? If I were you, I wouldn’t think twice to cut him off!”

Tanya also asked her to see her (Ariadne’s) own younger brother case. He and his gf had baby-bump and they decided to  be responsible with what they did. They finally get married and raised the baby boy together no matter how hard their conditions were and would be: they were both still under 20, still studying at uni, having no stable income yet. But life must go on! It’s only cowards that pull themselves out from responsibility.

“Well, theoretically, with or without consulting with you, with or without having a look at my own brother’s case, I know that I should have just cut him off immediately …”


“But Tan, we are in different culture. And the mature age is different for Asians and Westerners. So I think it’s understandable why he acted like that,“ Ariadne started making excuses to defend him, “Anyway, since the beginning I already quantify all the risk of having a relationship with younger bule guy like him. Consciously or not, my engineering sense investigates his characterisation and profiling, performs the risk assessment, cost and benefit analysis, double check with other possibilities, and whatever it is. And well, I came into conclusion that I am ready for any possibility how this relationship will go and end. And since I praise equality, I’d just give as much as I’d take from him. If he just wanna have fun with me, I could treat him the same way. And Tan, to be frank I don’t want to be alone. I couldn’t stand loneliness. It would be better for me to stay in this lustful relationship. I’d just enjoy this relationship ‘till this desire eventually will go, sooner or later.”

“I know, I know how ‘engineering’ your brain is. I know you already calculate everything . And well, I even never doubt your survival ability in any case including the unplanned pregnancy. You would be a gorgeous mom, and I’d be a superb aunt for your kid. Haha! But, Ndut, no matter how ‘having fun’ you want, deep inside you want to hold into ‘something’, into a ‘core’ that can make you feel safe and loved, don’t you? And please stop saying that you are in lustful relationship. You love him. It’s obviously seen in your eyes. Even I could say that YOU LOVE HIM. Even TOO MUCH!”

“What?!? Sorry, how come you jump into that conclusion?” For Ariadne love was relative, lust was absolute. So that was why she got a bot irritated when another people - including Tanya, her closest friend - could brutally define the feeling she never could understand. 

“Ndut, stop playing with your own heart. You are a creature full of compassion. No matter how loud you said that your relationship with him is dominated with lust, no matter how often you confirm that you love him only for his muscles, penis and ass, deep inside YOU LOVE HIM. I repeat: YOU LOVE HIM.”

Ariadne shook her head as negation.

“Stop denying, Ndut. If you don’t love him unconditionally, you wouldn’t end your relationship with Om Jos that you’d build for more than 3 years. You had such a wonderful relationship with Om Jos. He is kind, SUPER KIND. You both invested much not only the feeling but also time and money on that relationship. He never hurt you. He didn’t cheat on you. Your family, even your mom started to accept him. But then you cut him off. Why did it happen? Because you couldn’t sweep away Philip from your mind no matter how long you were with him and how much love he showered to you. Only D who could stop your infatuation with Philip. Why? because you found him as someone to love unconditionally, not to obsess.”

“OK. I stop denying. I LOVE HIM, Tan,” Ariadne finally confessed, “MUCH! she sighed heavily. “And well,,, lets stop this conversation. I guess, we’ve already been too far to develop this ‘imaginative’ case.”

Dead air filled up the room for couple of minutes before Tanya finally broke the silence between them, “Ndut, in the end all decision is in your hand. To break up or not to break up is your choice. But first, you should be firm on what you really wants. You should listen and understand more about your own self. I know I might be the hundredth person saying this: you’re young, beautiful, bright, charming, passionate, you have so many things to offer. You deserve to be treated well. Remember, Ndut, having relationship is more than just a carnal pleasure. but also mind nourishment. You deserve to have a relationship which gives you peaceful mind, not the one that makes you to struggle in taming  your sadness thoughts.  And at least, if in the end you stay with him, all I can advise is, you should stick a label ‘FRAGILE’ on your forehead so next time he talks to you he wouldn’t be so vicious and hurt you with his insensitive words! And, if you have no guts to talk about this eyes to eyes with him, just write it down. I know you articulate your thoughts better in writing than in talking.”


Saturday, 11 February 2017

OZ Summer Trip - Part 2: Perlengkapan dan Perbekalan

Siap cabcus setelah beres packing dan pamitan sama Papanya Kudanil

Di postingan kali ini, gue berbagi tentang apa saja perbekalan yang gue dan Kudanil bawa  (dan isi ulang) selama Oz Summer trip yang telah kami jalani selama 3 Desember 2016 sampai dengan 18 Januari 2017 lalu. 

  • Ban serep
  • Dongkrak dan peralatan ganti ban
  • Oli cadangan
  • Tool box berisi obeng dengan beragam mata, tang, kunci inggris, kunci pas beraneka ukuran, dll
  • Jerrigen buat bensin. Harga bensin di setiap pom bensin Aussie itu beda-beda walaupun sama-sama BP/Caltex/Shell atau provider lainnya. Terus, semakin kecil dan terisolasi wilayahnya, makin mahal harga bensinnya. Jadi untuk meminimalisir pengeluaran bahan bakar, sebisa mungkin kami isi full tank plus 2 jerrigen yang kami bawa begitu nemu pom bensin murah (yang bisa dipantau via beberapa web/aplikasi pencari harga bensin murah) dan sebelum masuk Nullarbor, jalur gurun yang terbentang sepanjang 1675km mulai dari Norsman di Western Australia hingga Ceduna di South Australia dimana harga bensin disana bisa mencapai 50 sen lebih mahal dari harga rata-rata di Aussie.

Selain sebagai kendaraan, van yang kami bawa juga merupakan tempat tidur utama kami selama trip berlangsung. Berhubung van yang kami bawa bukanlah sebuah camper van, jadinya kami harus ngeset tempat tidur kami sendiri di dalam van tsb.  Kami ngeset sebuah queen-sized air mattress beralas papan kayu yang disangga oleh krat di ujung-ujungnya. Selai sebagai penyangga, krat-krat tersebut kami manfaatkan untuk menyimpan logistik makanan dan perlengkapan. Ruang kosong di bawahnya kami gunakan untuk menyimpan ban serep, body board, kursi kemping  dan beberapa kontainer berisi logisitk dan beberapa barang printilan.

  • Air
Gue dan Kudanil cukup lebay bawa 2 jerrigen dengan total volume sebesar 60 liter soalnya kami malas bentar-bentar berhenti untuk ngisi air. Selain buat minum, masak, dan cuci piring, air juga penting banget untuk mendinginkan kepala. Selain dehidrasi, saking teriknya matahari plus AC di Twilight nggak berfungsi, darah di ubun-ubun gue serasa mendidih pas meintasi Nullarbor, bikin kepala pusing, keliyengan dan nyaris pingsan. Tepat sebelum gue terkapar, Kudanil ngebasahin handuk untuk dibebat di kepala gue biar adem.
  • Makanan Pokok
* Beras. As an Indonesian, I obviously need RICE POWER lah yaaaaa. Minimal seminggu 2x gue harus makan nasi. Kalau nggak, bisa lemah, letih, dan lesu gue. Anw, dari pasangan Prancis yang gue temui pas climbing di Siera Range, Grampians, gue mendapatkan sebuah trik jitu untuk memasak nasi, yaitu dengan mencampur beras yang akan dimasak dengan parutan kelapa kering (desicated coconut). Jadinya gurih dan harum gitu nasinya.
* Mie dan Pasta
Untuk mie, favorit gue sudah pasti Indomie goreng. Favorit gue sih yang rasa ayam goreng, yang bungkusnya ada warna biru gitu di ujungnya, tapi orang-orang Aussie yang gue kenal lebih suka yang rasa original. Untuk pasta, kami makan segala macam bentuk pasta, mulai dari spaghetti, maccaroni, fettuchini,  dlll. Yang penting murah, 1$ per 500gr di Coles.
* Musli
Gue nggak doyan-doyan amat sama yang namanya Musli tapi pas nyobain homemade musli buatan mamanya Kudanil, gue jadi ketagihan. Hahahaa! Homemade musli yang terdiri dari kepingan gandum plus buah kering dan aneka kacang-kacangan tsb jadi menu favorit banget buat sarapan. Selain enak, gampang pula nyiapinnya, yaitu tinggal ditambahin susu dan potongan buah segar atau kalengan seperti pisang, pir, aprikot atau plum.

Anw, selain homemade musli, mamanya Kudanl juga ngebekelin kami dengan 31 kaleng sarden. Awalnya gue terharu banget dengan kebaikannya tersebut. Eh ndelalah sarden tersebut merupakan makanan kucing peliharaan doi. Doi ngehibahin sarden tersebut karena kucingnya nggak doyan. Hahaha! Tahu akan fakta tersebut, gue jadi malas banget makan tuh sarden. Sampai trip berakhir, kami nggak sekalipun nyentuh sarden tersebut. Ogaaah!
  • Ransum Tentara (Army ration) 
YUP! Untuk road trip ini, perbekalan utama kami adalah paketan ransum tentara yang dihibahkan oleh Byron, adik tirinya Daniel. Byron dulu sempat gabung di tentara darat Aussie. Doi nimbun sisa-sisa paketan ransum yang dia dapat selama menjalankan misi ketentaraan. Bahkan doi juga ngumpulin paketan-paketan yang dibuang ma rekan-rekan di kesatuannya. Ransum tentara ini terdiri dari
* hydrated food aneka jenis dan rasa (beef /chicken teriyaki, beef and green beans, savoury beef, tuna mornay, Malaysian lamb curry, etc)  yang tinggal diseduh atau diangetin selama 15-20 menit
* keju kaleng (yang isinya kadang berwarna kuning, kadang oren)
* permen dan smarties
* minuman berenergi
* teh, kopi, krimer, gula, garam, dan merica dalam sachet
* selai, susu kental manis, dan yeast extract (cem Vegemite gitu)
Selain makanan, paketan ransum tentara ini juga terdiri dari beberapa peralatan masak dan makan seperti
* spons mini ukuran 2x3cm untuk cuci piring
* sendok merangkatp alat pembuka kaleng
* korek api: yang biasa dan yang tahan air
To tell you the truth, awalnya gue enggan gitu mau makan ransum tentara tersebut. Iuch gimana gitu. Mending makan mie goreng instan kemana-mana deh. Tapi mau nggak mau akhirnya gue harus makan ransum tentara tersebut. Surprisingly, they were much better and tastier than I thought.  Yang awalnya nggak doyan malah jadi ketagihan. Hahaaaa. Tapi nggak baik juga sih terus-terusan makan hydrated food tsb karena walaupun tasty, kandungan nutrisi di dalamnya cukup meragukan. Lidah senang, perut kenyang namun badan gampang lemes. 
  • Buah dan sayuran segar
Agar jadi lebih sehat dan berenergi, sebisa mungkin kami mengolah aneka bahan makanan instant tersebut dengan mengkombinasikannya bersama sayuran segar seperti basil, bayam, wortel dan tomat.
  • Bahan makanan kalengan
Berhubung ngirit dan nggak bisa terus-terusan ngandalin esky, mau nggak mau kami nyetok buah, sayur dan kacang-kacangan dalam kaleng.
  • Minuman
Kopi, teh, susu, coklat seduh, air kelapa dalam kaleng (Mak cess pleng banget diminum dingin-dingin di kala hari sedang terik-teriknya)
  • Bahan makanan lainnya
Telur, margarin, mayones, wraps, bawang putih, bawang bombay, gula, garam, bumbu kari instan, aneka bumbu dan herbs.

  • Esky. Penting banget untuk menjaga buah-buahan dan sayuran tetap segar selama beberapa hari. Tips: Dibandingkan mengandalkan es curah untuk dimasukkan ke dalam esky, lebih baik membekukan air dalam botol plastik. Selain es-nya awet lebih lama, saat meleleh, airnya nggak ngerendem makanan di dalam esky. Bisa diminum pula lelehannya. Kalau mau lebih efisien lagi, bikin esnya pakai kotal tetrapak ukuran 1 liter bekas susu/jus. Jadi lebih gampang dan efisien tempat pas ditata di dalam esky.
  • Mini Fridge. Kami colok selama driving. Biasanya kami isi dengan  bir dan air kelapa kalengan.  Mak cess pleng banget panas-panas, haus, minum air kelapa dingin.
  • Kompor. Dalam trip ini gue dan kudanil membawa sebuah kompor gas double burner lengkap dengan gas tabung seberat 15kg which surprisingly lasted till the end of the trip. Untuk cadangan kami bawa kompor hi-cook + gas kalengan, dan kompor gas metane kecil.
  • Peralatan  makan & memasak: Mangkok, gelas, sendok, garpu, talenan, pisau, wajan, panci, dll. 
  • Tenda. Bosan juga kalau terus-terusan tidur di dalam van. Lagipula lebih enak tidur di tenda (tanpa fly sheet yang nutupin bagian atas tenda yang biasanya berupa jaring-jaring)  pas malam bertabur bintang dengan indahnya.
  • Kursi kemping untuk leyeh-leyeh khususnya pas api-unggunan
  • Portable lamps: solar lamp, head lamp.
  • Kontainer  (kotak kayu/plastik) dan krat. Agar lebih well-organized, kami membawa beberapa kontainer kayu, plastik  dan crates untuk menata barang-barang bawaan kami.Secara garis besar, kotak-kotak yang kami bawa terbagi menjadi 4 fungsi: tempat peralatan masak dan makan, tempat bahan makanan, tempat pakaian, dan tempat barang printilan lainnya.

  • Peralatan rock climbing . YA IYA LAAAH YAAA karena tujuan utama trip ini adalah untuk rock climbing di Grampians.
  • Guide book, disesuaikan dengan destinasi yang dikunjungi
  • Kamera + charger/adaptor yang bisa dicolok di mobil 
  • Fly Swat! Believe me, there’s nothing more annoying than flies during summer in Aussie.
  • Kelambu dan mosquito repellant
  • Tikar dan terpal
  • Toiletries: sabun mandi, sikat gigi, pasta gigi, shampo, sun block, dll
  • Alat tulis. Buku dan pulpen untuk menulis jurnal perjalanan
  • Buku Bacaan! Penting banget untuk seorang kutu buku macam gue. Note: Selain membawa beberapa koleksi sastra gue, di trip ini gue dibekali Papanya Kudanil  novel bertajuk 1984 karangan George Orwell. Jadi ceritanya, beberapa hari sebelum trip dimulai, gue dan doi ngobrolin tentang pemilu Jakarta. Di obrolan itu gue sharing tentang artikel tentang Pemilu Jakarta dan bahaya Double Think yang menjadikan 1984 sebagai referensi. Eh ndelalah novel tersebut adalah salah satu novel favorit doi. Saat tahu gue belum pernah baca novel tsb, doi langsung ngambil novel miliknya dan minjemin ke gue. Kata doi, "Novel ini jadi bahan penjaga kewarasan gue selama ngetrip bareng anaknya yang ajaib.
  • Plastik sampah
  • Deterjen, tali jemuran dan jepitan baju

In the end, all I could say is prepare your trip thoroughfully! Pertimbangkan betul-betul apa yang perlu dan benar-benar dibutuhkan untuk dibawa selama. Ada yang bilang untuk selalu memaksimalkan ruang, but…  just because there is still enough space, it doesn’t mean that you should fill it up all. Jangan kayak kami, rempong-rempong bawa body board, wet suit, skate board yang berat, makan tempat dan ujung-ujungnya nggak dipakai sama sekali.

Sekian yang bisa gue bagi dalam postingan kali ini. Semoga postingan ini bisa bermanfaat bagi kalian yang ingin menjalani road trip di Australia. Untuk yang ingin bertanya lebih lanjut, monggo tinggalkan pertanyaan di kolom komentar. Japri juga boyeeeeh :)



Monday, 23 January 2017

Gue, Kudanil, Persahabatan dan Romantisme

Grampians, Pertengahan Desember 2016

Photo by: Rosie Hardi (Romance Isn't Dead - 2008)
Banyak orang yang bilang kalau hal terbaik dalam sebuah hubungan percintaan itu adalah saat bisa menjadi sahabat dengan pasangan kita sendiri. Saat bersama sahabat, kita merasa nyaman menjadi diri kita sendiri, merasa nggak perlu lagi menutupi segala kekurangan diri, nggak ada lagi rahasia dan jaim-jaiman, karena kita yakin dia akan (atau bahkan telah) menerima diri kita apa adanya. Namun bagai pisau bermata dua, persahabatan bisa menjadi salah satu bahaya laten dalam sebuah hubungan karena disadari atau tidak, ia bisa membunuh romantisme.

Gue benar-benar merasakan efek pisau bermata dua tersebut dalam hubungan gue bersama Kudanil. Baru 2 bulan pacaran,  gue ngerasa kalau fase romantis di antara kami terlalu cepat berlalu memudar. Kadang (atau bahkan sering) kami ngerasa kalau hubungan kami ini lebih cocok disebut dengan ‘Friends with Benefits’.

Di masa PDKT dan awal pacaran, sama seperti kebanyakan orang pada umumnya, gue sadar dan peduli banget penampilan.  Dulu tiap kali pengen ketemu sama Kudanil, gue heboh nyobain baju seisi lemari, ribet nge-mix&match. Nyoba kaos ini, dress itu, sambil mikir doi bakal suka nggak ya. Lha sekarang gue dah cuek bebek dalam berpakaian. Udah kagak ada malu-malunya gue pakai celana dengan tambalan tape merah untuk nutupin bolong di bagian pantat.  Terus gue benci saat lipatan di perut gue udah nggak santai, lha sekarang perut balapan sama tetek pun gue nyaris nggak peduli. Selain penampilan, seharusnya kelakuan pun dikontrol sebaik mungkin. Harus sopan. Harus santun. Harus jaim! Lha sekarang, kagak ada lagi lemah lembutnya gue. Ketawa pun ngakak. Bahkan, saking kagak ada jaim-jaimnya, sendawa dan kentut di dekat satu sama lain sudah menjadi hal yang sering kami lakukan. 

Kendali terhadap mood dan emosi pun berubah. Dulu gue selalu berusaha mati-matian ngontrol emosi dan mood gue. Sekarang mah sababodo teuing. Secara mood swing gue parah banget, ya udah kalau gue lagi BT ya BT, kalau tiba-tiba sedih tanpa alasan, ya udah sedih aja. Kalau lagi sedih tanpa alasan pasti gue narik diri, mojok sendirian dan cenderung nyuekin dia. All I want is to be ALONE. Dia merasa tersakiti dengan hal tersebut karena ignorance is the thing he hate most. But I swear, I never mean to hurt him by doing that. I just simply couldn’t handle the my emotions.

Terus yaaaa, dulu gue selalu tersipu malu, meleleh klepek-klepek tiap kali si Kudanil ngerayu atau memuji gue seberapapun cheesy kata-kata yang dia pakai. Lha sekarang, gue cenderung menganggap setiap pujian yg terlontar dari mulut doi gue adalah gombal. Apalagi tiap kali gue turun climbing dan doi bilang, “Oh… you look like an angel coming from heaven.” Dia suka BT karena gue nggak bisa ngebedain mana pujian tulus mana yang gombal, abisan semuanya selalu gue tanggapi dengan lebay, “Ouuuuuuuuuuuuu (yang terdengar sangat menyebalkan di kuping doi) I am so melted/honored to hear that.” Sampai-sampai teman gue Ridlo (yang juga merupakan host kami selama singgah di Adelaide) berkomentar, “Poor Daniel for having to deal with your sarcastic comments and dramatic behaviour.” Bercanda dan ledek-ledekan (poking and teasing) sudah jadi panganan sehari-hari. Kadang sampai keterlaluan dan bikin berantem.

Hal yang nggak kalah penting lainnya dalah, saat udah sahabatan, kita jadi saling bocor cerita tentang semua hal. Apa juga diceritain, termasuk cerita soal mantan. Gue bukan tipe orang yang gampang cemburuan sih. Past is past, isn’t it? Tapi terkadang saat doi ngasih TMI (too much information) tentang mantannya, gue jadi tiba-tiba insecure ngerasa kalau doi masih cinta sama mantannya. Terus kalau gue panas, nggak mau kalah, gue cerita balik tentang mantan-mantan gue. No point banget kan ngelakuin hal tersebut?!?

Intinya, saking sahabatannya, kayaknya nggak ada hari dimana kami nggak berperilaku menyebalkan ke satu sama lain. Hingga terkadang, tanpa disadari menyakiti satu sama lain. Untungnya sebelum kebablasan ‘jadi sahabat’, gue dan Kudanil bicara serius dari hati ke hati (ciye ileh) dan sepakat pada kesimpulan kalau FRIENDSHIP KILLS ROMANCE. It dims the sparks of love.  Dan demi kebaikan masing-masing, akhirnya kami setuju untuk menciptakan jarak satu sama lain. Creating new awarkness. Kami coba untuk saling memberi  cukup ruang dan waktu untuk merenung dan menikmati diri masing-masing. 

Begitu pikiran jernih dan ’balikan’ ma doi,  tararaaaaaaa gue tambah cinta dong sama doi. Then I vehemently refuse to love him as friend because all I want to do is to love him as LOVERHahaha!


Friday, 20 January 2017

OZ Summer Trip - Part 1: Tips and Ticks to Survive a Long Road Trip

Crawley, 19 Jan 2017
My driver having breakfast in the middle of Nullarbor :P
After reading On The Road written by Jack Kerouac, I've always been fancied with the idea of having road trip. For me, road trip is the true way to explore a country. So that's why I didn't hesitate to abandon my flight from Perth to Melbourne to grab the chance of having road trip accross Australia (Perth - Melbourne - Perth) with my (gorgeous) rock climber boyfriend from Fremantle. And now after coming back from that wonderful 1.5 months of road & rock climbing trip, I'd love to share some tips and tricks to survive a long road trip.

1. Find Good Partner(s)

Since having a long road trip will cause physiccal and emotional exhaustion, finding good partner is extremely important. A good partner will make each km passed become amazing. While a bad one will make you fell like driving into hell. Ideally your (close) friend(s), sibling(s), or bf/gf might be the best option to be your road trip partner because they've known you well. But it doesn't mean that it's not worth to try to team up with stranger(s) for a road trip as written by Anida Dyah on her blog Nona Ransel and her book titled Under the Southern Stars. 

In my case, as I told you earlier, I had my Oz Road Trip with my (gorgeous) boyfriend from Fremantle. To finally agree to be on long trip with him was a quiet gambling decision for me because hey.... I'd just known him only for 6 weeks before the trip started. We didn't know how many facets each of us have. We didn't know how we could and would survive the trip and also our relationship. Would we make-it or break it was a big unknown for us. 

But well, in the end I could say to have that road trip with him is one of great decisions I ever made in my life.

2. Chose and Prepare the Proper Vehicle + Insurance

Whether it is MPV, SUV, Van, 4WD, bus, or any other kind of vehicles, make sure that your choice will suit your needs. And after making the choice, it is vital to do thoroughful check to the vehicle especially the engines and the tires. Check also the indicators, headlights, brake and interior lights by turning them on and off. Make sure the horn is working. Have a look also at the wipers, brakes, transmission fluid, antifreeze and oil. And don't forget to bring car essential kits, jacks and spare tires.  Be protected also with insurance.

For our trip, we used Ford Transit van (which we named it 'Twilight'). Inside the fan, we set up our bed, arranged containers (instead of suitcases) for clothes & wooden box cooking utensils, and a bit messily piles another stuffs in any available space. Before the trip started, the car got serviced. But... on Day-1 of our  trip we had a tire problem. The rear-left tire got flat and damaged. We had to stop and changed it. The funny thing was, the tools we brought, both lug wrench and tire iron, were not sufficient to open the lug nuts of the tire so we couldn't take the tire off. We needed a longer lever. Glad that my bf had great idea of taking the side rod of the nearby trash bin and attach it to the lug wrench so we had longer lever to remove the nuts.

Anyway, dont forget to bring spare keys. The advice might sound silly, but well.. if we hadn't brought the spare key we might just stopped the trip because due to one and another thing, we lost the main key of the van. 

3. Discuss and Make a Plan Together

Basically when 2 (or more) people decide to have a long road trip together, they must have same interests. But no matter how similar the interest, each person has their own specific expectation and achievement goals. So it is very important for each person to communicate what they expect and want to each other. Hence there's room for discussion and compromise. 

In my case, my bf's main purpose of that trip was ONLY for rock climbing in Grampians National Park. I loved to join him climbing. I keen to learn and improve my strength and skills on in but my main interest in that trip was the journey on the road. I easily get bored when I stuck in one place for too long no matter how beautiful the place it is. I love moving whether it is driving, walking, trekking or even just city strolling. I love moving, embrace the feeling of loving things without attaching myself on them, the exact feeling I get each time passing by some certain distance. 

Actually rather than climbing in Grampians, one thing I really wanted to do on that trip was to have a drive at The Great Ocean Road and visit The Twelve Apostles while my bf was not too enthusiastic about that. Due to one and other reasons, we had a big arguments about it. Glad that in the end we drove accross The Great Ocean Road to reach Melbourne for NYE celebration.

Another important thing is sharing the responsibility. Since I can't drive, my bf became the sole driver for this trip. I tried to be a good navigator (though often failed because I forgot to save Google Maps for offline use when we were outside the coverage area. I personally recommend to bring real map than to rely on that apps), a nice passenger (though sometimes I felt asleep while he was driving and other times annoyed him by suddenly getting grumpy without reason), and occasionally became masseuse (though I almost killed him once by incedentally pouring half bottle of massage oil on his back). For cooking, since he is better in it, my bf became the main cook for us and all I could offer just diswashing the dishes. 

4. Find The Cheapest Petrol Price on Your Route By Online Searching or Apps

In Australia, each petrol station sets their own selling prices. Except in state of South Australia, customers could find the cheapest petrol price in specified area by accessing websites such as RACV, Fuel MapMotorMouth, etc. Save the money by filling up the tank as much as you can in big cities rather than in small town. Bring jerry cans would be very helpful so that you can skip filling up petrol in 'unfriedly' area such as Nullarbor (in which the price would be 50-60 cents higher than average).

5. Bring music CDs

Road trip without music would be miserable. So make sure you bring enough stocks of music CDs to accompany you during the trip. Run the CDs every day during the on the road. They will stuck on your head and after days, weeks or months later when you listen to those songs, you'll find yourself transported back to your trip in a way song could transport you.

Some of albums that stuck into my head are:
Little Creature  - Talking Head (Fav songs: Road to Nowhere, Creatures of Love)
Best Collection of Jack Johnson (Fav songs: Flake, Upside Down)
Angel -  Dido (I turned up the volume for track 6, Thank You, and sing that song when I felt so much in love with my gorgeous driver. Not when I was grumpy and felt that he was annoying. Hahaha!!!).

6. Make-up Your Own Road Game

Sometimes talking and music are not enough to kill the boredom on the road especially on the long road such as Eyre Highway (Nullarbor) which total lenggth is 1675km accross desert. You need to be creative to keep each other 'alive'. My bf and I set a game called 'Sweet & Sour'. We waved to all the vehicles passing us from opposite direction. We bet 1 to 3 push-up/sit-up by predicting whether they would wave back (Sweet) or not (Sour). For so man rounds, my bf won the game but in the end I turned the table. The final score was 48 for him and 0 for me. Yeay!!!

7. Freeze Some Drinking Water in Plastic Bottle to Be Put in Esky.

Instead of buying ice bulks, it would be beter to put some frozen drinking water in the bottle in the esky. They would last longer and make you save some amounts of money. Fortunately, some hosts of ours let us put some bottles of water on their freezer to make the ice.

8. Bring Car Cooler

A car cooler (mini fridge) would be a great essential thing during on the road. Nothing's beeter than a can of cold coconut to sweep away the thirst while driving in hot summer of Australia. Glad that my bf found a good deal to purchase a car cooler from a garage sale near his house a few days prior to our trip.

9. Announce Whereabouts

Text a friend or your parents the name of the place you stay each night and which city you plan to reach by next night. In the very rare event that anything dodgy happens, it's good to have a public record of where you are. It's not nice to make your family and friends worry about you just like I did when my phone didn't have any reception for around 3 days, while on the road from Norseman to Port Augusta. I felt guilty to my Mom and Ridlo (my friend and my host in Adelaide) for making them so damn worry about me during those days.

10. Capture Tons of Picture

Freeze the moments. Capture the pics not only for instagram update but ones which preserve the memories and remind you about the trip for the rest of your life. They can be also the powerful tools for you when someday you're gonna proudly tell your great adventure to your friends, family, kids or even your grand kids.