About Our Fleeting Little Life

“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
.. Then again, it could be a permanent solution to a permanent problem.
.. Well, if you fuck it up, it could be a temporary solution to a permanent problem.

I don’t know what it is about being suicidal that makes people treat you like a fucking 6 year-old.
Cause to be honest, it is a bit shit.

Is it really that surprising that the thought of suicide crosses our mind every now and then?
That little voice that tells you to jump, those moments when you remind yourself how thin the line is.
And it’s easier to shut them down, to suppress them and to slap a big suicidal label on anyone who dares to say it out loud.
But are they not the most human thing? Reminding yourself that you have control over your fleeting little life if nothing else.

But…

If you kill yourself right now, kids are still gonna go to school, get their lunch money stolen. DFS is still gonna have another one of half price winter sale. Pre-pubescent teens are gonna fuck up their first times and still brag about it to their friends. The clocks will keep ticking.

You know, in this great nation of ours, about 14 people kill themselves everyday. Is that what you wanna become? A number? A part of a number? A fucking tally on a fucking spreadsheet? Filed away somewhere deep in the office of national statistics. Until some entrepreneurial fuckwit digs it out and half beg attempt to convince all that we need to invest in this pricey safety initiative. Or stats on tejustic in their assembly slideshow, just to remind the kids that the school has a counseling team. As if ten minutes of circle table and color-coordinated leaflets on how dealing with stress is really gonna tip the balance.

Course you’re right. You don’t matter. Not in a grand scheme of things, I mean I’d miss you, but I’m gonna fucking move away.
Bill Murray, Mrs. Buckston’s cat, that racist man at the end of my road.
None of it matters, not in the end. Except Bill Murray, he is a treasure.

But still 100 years from now, you and I are gonna be nothing but a few faded photos in a shoe box and an abandoned facebook profile. Or maybe facebook would be dead.
Ultimately, it’s all pointless. But what does that even mean? As a species, we seem obsessed with finding our purpose and a point to everything. But maybe there isn’t one. Or maybe there is, and this is it.

Kill Peter Wright if you have to, but don’t kill yourself. Jump on the next Eurostar to Belgium, leave all this behind. Pursue a life as a chocolatier in the Rue of Tranquility, of Derby. And learn a new language, marry the local barmaid with massive tits and grow old in a thatched cottage. Can you imagine? Your grand-kids would love you.. You’d be like Willy Wonka to them or something.

No, but I’m serious. Is that NOT better than dying?

If you really were committed to the idea of saying goodbye, surely you’d have the conviction to pack up and start fresh.

I know you’re not religious, but the way I see it you have three options.

Either you meet your maker and find out suicide is a sin and good luck with that.
Alternatively, you’re reincarnated as a mosquito and find out that your best efforts were wasted.

Or.. you assume that this is the ONE shot we get.
Stick it out for a bit…

See what happens.”

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What Has, What Has Not, and What Hopefully Will 2014-2015

OMG! Has it seriously been more than a year since the last time I wrote something here? God, I can’t believe it. I feel sorry for myself. I have no documentation whatsoever about what happened in 2014. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ And damn, a lot have happened. Well, I am not gonna write what happened in 2014 in this post. As usual, this post is a running tradition where I am gonna babble about my last year’s resolution and whether I managed to accomplish them or not. I know I know, I am late. So, let’s get to it people!

So, let’s list my last year’sย resolutions:

  1. Publishing cool papers and going around the world. ย I am so proud and grateful to say that I have achieved this. At the beginning of the year, my paper was accepted to IPCAI 2014 in Japan. Later in March/April, my paper was accepted to a very good conference, MICCAI 2014 which was in Boston. I had the chance to go to MIT and step on the land of the free for the first time. My job has made me travel all over the world: Austria, Italy, and France. It was a really good year for me. (FYI: I just got a good news this morning that my paper for IPCAI 2015 was accepted without the need for rebuttal. Man, I am so lucky! :D)
  2. Travel a lot more. and travel I did! The great thing about it is that most of the trips were covered by my lab. In addition to those “business/leisure” trips, I also went to Brugge and Ghent to see my undergrad friends, to Paris meeting my bimbz, and also to a bunch of cities in Germany during winter break. Again, 2014 was an awesome year!
  3. In touch with my right brain. Well, I should say this one was not successful. I just couldn’t find the time nor the motivation to work on this. I’d rather spend my time on youtube. lol
  4. Fourth language. Well, this is also a fail. I started catching bits and pieces of other languages, like Spanish or German. But, again just haven’t got around to it. Youtube sucks my whole life force.
  5. Generally be happy. Being happy has been a very hard thing to do. Despite all the awesomeness that happened in 2014, I canย positively say that 2014 was also the lowest point of my life. I hit rock bottom, multiple times. When I thought nothing could get worse, it did. Well, I am still working on this department. However, I am very thankful to be around very great and supportive friends who have helped me through this. ๐Ÿ™‚

Well, there you go! The resolution review. I wish I had done more last year, but I already did a lot. It felt like I never stopped working (which is of course not true). I guess I should manage my time better this year. I also should go back to writing stuff on this blog. God, it is so sad that I have nothing to look back to in this blog for 2014. Ah, there it is my first resolution for the year 2015, let’s get to it, then. ๐Ÿ˜€

  1. Go back to writing blog regularly. Seriously, it is sad that I have nothing in 2014. I am actually not sure whether it is a good idea or not that I stopped writing here because I needed to get used to writing things scientifically. And this blog is not the most scientific stuff on the internet. I was kinda afraid that writing this blog will impede (see, this is a scientific word) my scientific writing skills. In any case, I wanna go back to writing here regularly.
  2. Reading one book in French every month. My french is not improving as fast as I want it to. I remember that one of the things that helped my English was reading Harry Potter in English. So, now I am going to try to do the same in French. I will start reading novels in French. ๐Ÿ˜€
  3. Fourth language is still in my list. I really want to be able to speak Spanish now. It will be super useful since so many countries speak it. XD
  4. Get healthier. In 2014, I picked up swimming as one of my new hobbies and I really like it. There was one time when I was swimming almost 3-4 times a week. And I felt really great. I wanna go back to that. I want to be healthier, and superficially speaking to have a better body. ๐Ÿ˜€
  5. Get over my insecurities. One of the things that has been keeping me from being happy is my insecurities. I am not sure how, but I am willing to work on it. This is very abstract, I know. But I feel like I need to write this down to remind myself to get over them.

So, yea. That’s all, folks!

I just realized that I will be 25 this year, and pretty soon too. I have been on this earth for quarter a century. Wow, ain’t that something?

What Has, What Has Not and What Hopefully Will 2013-2014

It has been a very long time since the last time I posted something on my blog. Have been (kinda) very busy and I guess I am getting old. I don’t feel the need to write down what I think about stuff anymore. I am becoming more.. what should I say? Accepting the condition as is. Maybe.

However, this resolution post has been a tradition in this blog, so I will try to keep the tradition going. Let’s take a look to my las resolution for 2013 (that can be read here).

  1. Stay fit: Well, I am not fat and not overly thin. So I guess, well done!
  2. Violin thingy: come to think of it, I haven’t played violin as often as I planned.
  3. Earn and save money: my life has been telling me that I am still too young to think too hard about it. Saving money is important, but don’t stress out over it!
  4. Job/PhD: I signed the contract around October, so this is one point checked! ๐Ÿ˜€
  5. Northern/Eastern Europe: I JUST DID IT! And I am writing this post in Northern Europe. Well, Budapest is the eastest and Stockholm is the northestย I have been. But hey, that counts, right!
  6. Serious relationship: well, let’s just keep our fingers crossed for this one! ๐Ÿ˜‰

There you go, my review for 2013! Actually a lot of other things happened as well: receiving my master diploma, moving in with 2 great friends in Strasbourg, learning to play guitar, getting my first ever paper accepted in a workshop, submitting my first paper to a legit international conference, and the most recent thing: losing my bestfriend.

2013 has been a roller coaster ride. Tears, blood, joy, despair, grief, it has been all but uneventful. I am grateful for the opportunities that have been thrown at me and the experiences that I got to go through. Not only am I one year older than I was a year ago, I think I am somehow a bit wiser when it comes to real life problems.

As for 2014, I have a really high hope. Let’s make the resolution list, shall we?

  1. As I just started my doctoral study, I am really hoping that everything goes well and I can finish all the milestones that have been set for me. Publishing cool papers, going all around the world attending conferences and stuff. Getting to know a lot more people in the field, gaining a lot of knowledge to boost my confidence.
  2. I wanna travel a lot more. East Asia and South East Asia. I wouldn’t mind going to Greece and Turkey as well. I wanna see a lot more places!
  3. Getting in touch with my right brain a bit more. I wanna try to learn as many instruments as I can. In 2013, I just learnt to play a bit of guitar. I wanna learn to play ukulele and saxophone. And also, I wanna buy a piano to put in my room. The trip to Vienna reminded me of my dream of being a legit musician. I know that it might be too late to be a professional musician, but at least I wanna be able to learn a lot of other instruments.
  4. Start learning my fourth language. Well, I wouldn’t say I am fluent at French, but I can get by with daily conversations. So, I guess it’s time for me to learn my fourth language. I am interested in Mandarin actually, but that will be hard as hell to learn. The options are: Chinese, Italian, Spanish, German, and Japanese. I will get back to this later.
  5. Just generally be happy. Oblivious to what other people say, be less caring of society’s expectation. Just, yea, be happy.

So, yea that’s all I want to say for 2014. May 2014 be a very happy year for all of us!

RIP Kaisar Siregar

It was 2006, my first few classes during my undergrad study. There he was, looking like the most spoiled boy on earth walking like a penguin with his friends. I hated his guts that instant.

Fast forward to 2007, still with the same sentiment towards him, I happened to be working with him a lot in this organization, we called HMIF. As annoying and childish as he might have been, he was a very nice friend. We started to work together for class assignments. Soon I realized, he was one of the smartest people I know. There were times when he was my sole motivation to work harder just to compete with him. And I thank him for that.ย He was Kaisar Siregar.

From that point, despite our highly different characters, we found something in common and somehow became really good friends. We talked about a lot of things, politics, religion, present, future, basically everything. I vividly remember some laughing-my-ass-off moments with him. Chatting with strangers on omegle, giving wise advices to a teenager in Thailand. Laughing our ass off to a husband who didn’t look happy because his wife got the golden ticket on american idol. Mocking that IT guy from the project presentation that we went to. Some funniest moments in my life. So glad I could share it with him. ๐Ÿ˜€

9th December 2013, he passed away. Too soon. Too fucking soon.

He was a friend to me, one of my best friends, and one of the most annoying, hahaa… But I loved him nonetheless, and I always will. I hope he knew that. Rest in peace, my dear friend. ๐Ÿ˜€

ALAY! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s not about how he died, it’s about how he lived.

[Code Journal] OpenCV Project

Heya. Just another geeky post from me. A few days ago, one of my professors asked me for a software that I made for an assignment on 2nd semester. The specification was 3-page long. Basically, the specification was “implement all the functionalities explained in the OpenCV cookbook on C++.” It was more of a software engineering project than computer vision, but it was a cool project and I enjoyed the process of building the software. Idiotically, I didn’t know that the book actually comes with the softcopy of the examples written in the book. So, instead of just copying the available code, I rewrote everything from scratch. Stupid I know. ย *sigh

Anyway, I had wanted to put it up somewhere, but I didn’t get around to it. So here we are, more than a year later. So I am putting it up here. It comes with all the necessary libs, so it should run rightaway on your machine. Windows machine tho. Might run on other machines, but I haven’t tested it. It even comes with a user manual.

Basically, you can process images and videos with basic image processing stuff included in the OpenCV. However, it also includes some computer vision stuff, like image matching, camera calibration, image mosaicing, and such. If you want to perform two-image stitching, this software suits you.

I have improved the software a bit after the project submission (just out of curiosity, yes I am a nerd just like that). However, I haven’t managed to find the latest version. Must be somewhere, in one of these hard drives, but too lazy to look for. Comment if you like it, or maybe if you have ideas for me to add to the software, those are always welcome.

Okay, that’s all. Just one thing. Stay nerdy, bitches! ๐Ÿ˜›

Still Alive (For The Moment)

I don’t know where to start. It feels like an eternity, while it was just really 4 months ago the last time I posted something. “AINT NOBODY GOT TIME FOR THAT” is what the cool people say to that. Hahaa. But honestly, I have been thinking of starting a video blog. It looks easier and more fun, but I haven’t built up enough confidence to put things up online. That being said, I guess I will stick with the ol’ good wordpress for a little more while.

Some background info. So right now, I am still in France, I moved to another city: Strasbourg. Which is located on the French border, close to Germany. I moved in ย at the beginning of July, with the help of my friend: Fakhri Afiff, who was nice enough to visit me while he was on vacation and accompanied me all the way to Strasbourg. He also helped me finding my apartment in which I am currently living in. Since I had been wanting to better my french, I was focusing on shared apartments and I found one which is really cool and real close from my lab. So, I am living in the apartment with 2 other people: one French girl and one half-German half-Italian guy. They are crazy people and we don’t have one common language to speak in with each other. The “speakable” languages are: English, French, German, Indonesian, Italian. And since French has the highest point average among the 3 of use, we picked French. And also the other guy and I want to better our French. But of course, inevitably we make silly mistakes. Like over and over again.

Meet Margaux and Enrico!

After I got the apartment, I left for Indonesia for a month and a half. It was for the Ramadhan and the Eid Al-Fitr (no idea how to spell this) as well. It was a good vacation and I got to see friends, family and also.. eat a bunch of stuff!! But the time to go back to school came soon, thus once again I had to leave my home sweet home for the better future. This time, with a whole new purpose: my doctorate study.

So, talking a bit of the serious stuff. My thesis topic is a workflow analysis in the operating room. In simpler words, I am making a system to recognize what is happening in the operating room during surgeries, using all available data, may it be surveillance or endoscopic videos, kinematic data, or whatever. Doesn’t sound simpler? Well, I am sorry. Hahaa…
I am one and a half months in, I am loving the work so far. However, I have to say that it is not a kid’s game. Pursuing my academic career meaning that everything I am doing has to be justifiable, not only in my own head, but also has to be accepted by others. Nights spent without reading a paper/textbook lead to unbearable guilt in the morning. Weekends spent without running experiments make me suicidal on the following Mondays. Well, maybe not that dramatic, but you get the point. Why Andru, you sound like you’re having regrets. No, never. For sure, I have to work harder and I might not get out in one piece. But I want this, I can be better at this, and mark my words I will be really good at it. ๐Ÿ™‚

On a lighter note, I had my graduation party mid-September which was basically just a party where we humiliated everybody by asking them to sing their favorite song. Literally everybody, even the lady who is responsible for our bank accounts couldn’t escape from the trap. It was a great night!
So I returned to Le Creusot after 6 months, I couldn’t bear the joy and the longing of the feeling being home. Le Creusot has that effect on me, it feels like home. Temporary, but home nonetheless. When I stepped out of the train, I couldn’t hold back a smile and the smile was still there for a solid 5-minute. Meeting my friends and professors certainly brought another whole level of joy. It was one good weekend, though in the end I fell sick. But it was expected from me, since on the last day in Spain (during thesis defense week), I fell terribly sick as well. I guess, it’s the world trying to tell me that I am getting older. Hahaa..

 

Le Creusot on fire

Well, here I am. A 23-year-old kid, again stranded in a city abroad, trying to put a mark in his tiny little world by pursuing his life goals. If all goes well, I should finish this chapter of my life in 3 years. So, if I tell you now that I am not having regrets, well come again in 3 years, and ask me then. ๐Ÿ˜›

Thesis, PhD and Glee

Oh man! It has been too long!! Well, let me tell you that I am DONE with my thesis. Done, done and done! Well, not technically. I still gotta present it and am still contractually bound to work for another month. But still, at least some of the pressure is off my shoulders. Damn, the last four months have been, to say the least, one of the cruelest roller-coaster ride in my whole life. The emotional ups and downs were just oh man, exhausting. But, now that I will be done in a month. I can not wait to move on to the next thing.

So, most of you might already know this, but a couple weeks ago I got a PhD offering from a place in Strasbourg (in France FYI). I accepted it not long after it was being offered to me. I am just so excited to move there since it’s (kinda) a big city. I haven’t lived in a big city in France. Though I am really close to Nice right now, I don’t actually LIVE in the city. So my whole 2 years in France was spent in small towns. Well, I am not complaining, those two years were fun and all, but you know, you just want to have a change from time to time. And Strasbourg sounds like a good change to me. Not to mention that one of my friends from Le Creusot will be there as well. So, I will not be so lonely at the beginning. I am also planning to share an apartment, instead of renting my own room. First, it is more expensive since it’s a big city and second, I wanna improve my French like really. I wanna be fluent after finishing up my PhD. I guess 3 years should be enough to master the language.

Anyway, now that I have submitted my thesis. I have some free time in my hand. And I am planning to spend it by watching GLEE!! OMG, I missed the whole season! Can you believe it!? Semester 3 and thesis work really took a lot. I didn’t have enough time to catch up with any of my TV series guilty pleasures. I missed Glee, Dexter, Revenge, oh man everything! I have watched Glee up to episode 7 now, so far so good. I make a note to myself that I shouldn’t stop watching TV series no matter how busy I am. Watching Glee reminded me a lot of stuff, life lessons that I forgot. It’s good once in a while to get reminded of your purpose, the bigger picture. And TV series do remind me of that from time to time.

So, here I am. Still a master student. About to finish in 2.5 weeks. I will defend my thesis on 19th of June. And I will be done with this and move on to Strasbourg where my new life will wait for me. Wish me luck, guys. For now, I will be back to my Glee marathon. ๐Ÿ˜€

Tentang Pendidikan Tinggi di Indonesia (Bahasa Pengantar)

Hulaeo hulahup. Udah lama banget rasanya ga nulis. A little update, sekarang lagi riweuh-riweuhnya tesis. Melancarkan beribu-ribu eksperimen dan menganalisis bajillion data. *sigh* Tapi harus tetap semangat. ๐Ÿ˜€

Tulisan kali ini ditulis pake Bahasa Indonesia, soalnya ditujukan untuk orang Indo (berasa ada bule yang baca tulisan gue aja). Naah, poin kali ini adalah tentang pendidikan tinggi di Indonesia, especially di almamater tercinta Institut Teknologi Bandung.

Jadi awal mulanya adalah dari bercerita tentang kemampuan bahasa Inggris sama temen-temen se-lab di sini. Of course, mereka mengagumi kemampuan bahasa Inggris gue (aum), sampe-sampe dibilang…. Eh, sorry not the point. ๐Ÿ˜› Intinya kita ngobrol tentang gimana kok kita bisa ampe ngomong pake bahasa inggris to our level. At some point of the discussion, gue akhirnya bilang bahwa gue ga begitu ngerti technical/mathematical terms di bahasa Inggris. Gue gatau banyak apa bahasa inggrisnya segitiga sama kaki, tegak lurus, siku-siku, yaah yang gitu2 deh. Of course sekarang jadi tau lebih banyak, yaa karena belajarnya pake bahasa Inggris. Ahahaa..

Compared to me, most of my friends here belajar di pendidikan tinggi (universitas) pake bahasa Inggris. Jadi, technical terms itu ga jadi sesuatu yang asing di telinga mereka. At that point, gue ngerasa negara kita itu ketinggalan BANGET! Yes, pake kapital.

No offense, tapi di kampus gue, setidaknya di jurusan gue, ada dosen yang berusaha sekeras mungkin buat menghindari menggunakan istilah-istilah inggris (you know whom I am talking about. :P). Gue setuju dengan ideologi untuk melestarikan bahasa Indonesia, but no. This is totally out of context.

Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB) bisa dibilang salah satu kampus engineering yang kece lah di Indonesia, bukannya bermaksud menyombong. Meski pengetahuan engineering gue in general ga kalah dari temen-temen di sini, sangat memalukan sih ketika gue pertama kali dateng ke Prancis dengan pengetahuan yang sangat minim tentang technical terms in English. Padahal gue bisa dibilang segelintir orang yang beruntung karena masih punya kesempatan untuk belajar Bahasa Inggris di luar silabus kuliah. Bayangkan dengan orang-orang lain yang ga punya kesempatan kaya gitu?

Jalan keluar yang ada di pikiran gue sih, mulailah menggunakan istilah inggris yang lazim di kelas-kelas. Ketika menjelaskan matriks dan ruang vektor, mari gunakan istilah matrix dan vector space. Ketika menjelaskan geometri mari gunakan perpendicular (tegak lurus), equilateral (sama sisi) dan isosceles (sama kaki). Karena there’s no point in translating those terms to Bahasa Indonesia in class. Kenapa? Karena semua pengetahuan itu ditulis dalam Bahasa Inggris. International papers, articles, journals, you name it. Dan ketika kita taunya tegak lurus dan di dalam artikel ditulis perpendicular, kita akan kebingungan dan harus mencari padanannya dalam Bahasa Indonesia.

That being said, mungkin agak rancu kalau di dalam kelas yang berbahasa pengantar Indonesia diselipkan banyak istilah asing. This leads to my second point, ITB needs to conduct classes in English. This is just plain mandatory in my opinion. Tau gak kenapa banyak orang India/Nepal di US atau di seluruh dunia. Karena most of their higher education itu taught in English. Ketika mereka keluar negeri, mereka ga kagok dengan diskusi teknikal berbahasa Inggris. Mungkin ada yang bilang “Ah, pake bahasa Indonesia aja udah banyak yang keluar negeri kok, Ndru. Sukses pula.” Bener! Tapi efeknya itu ga cuma sampai “mahasiswa bisa kuliah di luar negeri”. Banyak banget informasi itu datangnya dari luar negeri dan diantar dengan Bahasa Inggris. Keterbatasan pemahaman bahasa teknikal bisa menghambat kelancaran pengetahuan itu untuk dicerna dan menurut gue sih ini cukup krusial.

Mungkin ada juga yang mikir “Apa sih Ndru cuman gara2 gatau bahasa inggrisnya pemampatan citra (image compressing) aja bisa ampe segitunya. Yang penting bisa bahasa Inggris toh cukup.” No! Untuk ke US (dan beberapa negara lain), most of the criteria itu bukan TOEFL, melainkan GRE yang mana meng-include a bit of math and engineering technical terms.

Ahahaa, at this point, I’m just blabbering. Intinya sih, menurut gue sudah saatnya Indonesia mulai mencanangkan edukasi berbasis Bahasa Inggris. So far, edukasi berbahasa Inggris itu cuman ada di sekolah internasional yang isinya mostly bule atau orang-orang kaya. Sudah saatnya perguruan tinggi negeri mulai bergerak ke arah sini. Bahasa Indonesia itu WAJIB dilestarikan, tapi sangat irelevan dan such a setback rasanya untuk ‘memaksakan’ Bahasa Indonesia to conduct higher education.

Negeri 5 Menara and Ranah 3 Warna Reviewed!

Berhubung ini novel Indonesia, kayanya lebih enak juga kalo ngebahasnya pake bahasa Indonesia. Okay, here goes.

Pas gue balik ke Indo selama liburan tahun baru, gue beli beberapa novel Indonesia soalnya udah lama ga baca literatur Indonesia. Gue beli tiga novel, Partikel-nya Dee, dan Negeri 5 Menara (NLM) dan Ranah 3 Warna(RTW)-nya A. Fuadi. Setengah beres baca Partikel, novelnya raib dicolong sama orang yang nyolong tas gue. Alhasil, gue ga bisa review padahal ceritanya kayanya bagus banget sampe gue nangis pas baca di pesawat. However, mari bahas dua novel yang lainnya.

NLM sama RTW ini novel yang ditulis bernuansa islami, dan menurut gue banyak pengalaman pribadi yang menjadi material novelnya. Di satu sisi, agak risih bacanya, soalnya kepikiran aja kenapa sang penulis ga sekalian bikin autobiografi aja ketimbang bikin novel. ๐Ÿ˜›

As a novel, it has so many weak points. In terms of writing, ada beberapa kesalaham penulisan, kata-kata yang gak pas dibaca, beberapa kalimat asing yang typo. Menurut gue harusnya untuk novel yang udah se-terkenal ini, it should be without these little mistakes. Ga terlalu ngaruh sih, cuman agak mengecewakan aja.

Tentang storyline dan plot. Sangat datar, ga ada klimaks, awal tengah akhir semuanya terasa datar. Tapi ada beberapa chapter yang penuh life lesson yang sampe gue bookmark in case gue butuh penyemangat atau perlu “diingatkan”. Ada juga beberapa chapter yang cukup sedih sampe bikin gue nangis. Well, it might not be that sad since I’m a crybaby anyway.

So, do I recommend this novel? It depends. Tergantung apa yang mau lo cari. Kalo lo mencari suatu novel dengan cerita yang bagus dan alur yang bagus, the answer is no, this novel is not for you. Tapi kalo lo mau belajar tentang ajaran agama Islam dengan cara yang fun, yes this is for you. Kalo lo mau baca tentang life lessons, yes this is for you. Now that I think of it, this series is more of a self-help stuff rather than a novel for me. It is not necessarily a bad thing. It just might not be for everybody. Everybody needs to be reminded once in a while right? ๐Ÿ˜€

Christmas and New Years Vacation

Disclaimer: OMG, I just realized this post wasn’t published. Ahahaa, kinda old news, but whatever. I’ll post it anyway.

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Greeting human beings! How was your vacation? Did you have a killer time during the holidays? I DID!!

So, I spent my holidays in Indonesia since it was two weeks free. My dad told me that 2 weeks was long enough, so just come home! And I did! I already booked the tickets in early November, I guess. However there was a problem regarding my residence permit in France, which I haven’t received until a week before my departure. It was quite nerve wrecking, since tickets had been bought, as well as some souvenirs. But thanks to the fabulous mister univ secretary, my residence permit was ready just 5 days before my flight back home. So, my holidays were saved.

After two long flights and one long transit time, I landed in Indonesia safely. And 5 hours later, I took another flight to Padang, where my sister lives now. Eating a bunch of shit for 5 solid days, the most memorable one was jering! I can’t explain to you what it is, but this is one special food. It’s extra delicious if my aunt cooks it. I already tweeted my cousin the day before to tell her mother (the aunt) to make me a jering dish. It was awesome, so awesome that my brother in another city (Medan) asked me to bring him some. Lol.

Nom Nom NOm

Nom Nom NOm

I also did try some durians in Padang, however it was way disappointing. No flavor whatsoever. Another good point from Padang would be the beach. It was a cool afternoon watching the sunset, eventhough it was quite cloudy. But, it was somehow sweet and nice. Next stop, off to Medan, my bro’s place.

One of the things that I was super excited about being in Medan was seeing my precious nieces, Chiara and Aundra. Both are super cute and pretty. Especially, Chiara is 3 yo now, talking cute and stuff. Aundra is just a few months old, a pretty little girl that rarely cries. They’re super cute and super pretty, seeing them was awesome and saying goodbye was heartbreaking. Aside from that, I got to taste real durians in Medan. Damn, it was real good. I ate soo much, from craving to actually being sick of it. XD. Next stop, Bandung, where my heart actually belongs.

Me and Chiara

Me and Chiara

Noo, no, I didnt mean heart as in my girlfie or whatever. No, I am frikkin single, sadly (but happy). I spent the second half of my life in Bandung, from 10 to 21, so I consider this city as home. Most of my friends still reside there and a lot of places with nice memories. :-). First highlight would be the new year’s eve, with high school friends. My high school friends are actually like my family. Whenever I spend time with them, it’s always a great time. And new year’s eve was no exception. We started by cooking stuff and had dinner together. A bit of card games and off to the street where we watched the fireworks. The fireworks were awesome! Defo a night to remember. Not to mention the ruckus (a good one) I made during the night.

New Year's EVE!!!

New Year’s EVE!!!

I also spent a lot of time with my college friends. I should totally give a shoutout to Obbie, who was nice enough to drive me anywhere. Thanks, dude! We watched a movie, Jack Reacher, which was a weird movie if I must say, and ate a lot of shit as well. Next stop Jakarta, and off to France.

Unfortunately but inevitably, I have to go back to France, so a few days before my flight, I went to Jakarta and spent some time with friends. It was absolutely fun, meeting old and new friends, hanging out with my old family Creusotins who already moved out of Le Creusot. It was totally great!

Les Creusotins

Les Creusotins

So, overall. It was a really really good vacation. A country, four cities, 7 flights, a lot of car rides. There were some problems along the way (e.g. me losing my bag on my way bag to Le Creusot), but it didn’t really matter since I had a lot to be thankful for. Most of the items on my checklist are checked, so mission accomplished! Ate a lot of stuff, bought a lot of shit, met a lot of people. Now I’m back in France, ready to study and next time will come back to Indonesia, bringing a title following my name. Amen.

Have fun, guys!

PS: On one article I wrote a Terry Pratchett quote saying that leaving and coming back is not the same as never leaving. It’s true. ๐Ÿ™‚

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05.04.2014

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