Nope, summer is over and I shouLd have written this post 2 weeks ago.
See, every time I’m back from anywhere I’ve gone to I’m supposed to write something about the peopLe I met there, but this time I’m not as inspired as before because the majority of peopLe I was with were feLLow Indonesian and I’ve known some for a Long time.. Except three super genki Japanese grannies and a coupLe of guys from Vietnam.
Let’s just say this trip is one that couLd break a friendship.
I’m back. I’m stiLL aLive. ALbeit with shorter Lifespan, a few pounds heavier, and spottier in the face. And Lazy as ever, as I can onLy push myseLf to write this Long overdue “faces of the journey” post on a ‘sick day’.
But first of aLL, Let me say that Japanese peopLe never cease to amaze me with their.. dare I say kindness? More about it Later.
So this is my first ever soLo trip! Just me, my seLf, my shadow, and I. Maybe I’LL write a separate post on how I feeL about touristing aLone, but one thing for sure, it makes the peopLe I met on the trip more.. meaningfuL 🙂
So Last week I finaLLy decided to fuLLy go soLo for the upcoming trip. PredictabLy, it caused some riffs with the ex-traveLbuddies-to-be. Again, predictabLy enough, money matters. But the biggest Lesson I’ve Learned from this: never agree to traveL together with a bunch of peopLe you bareLy know, especiaLLy if the thought of sharing a doubLe bed and a bathroom with strangers can make you go hot and coLd.
ALong came other things to be taken care of.
I got my visa waiver sticker Last week (right before I teLL the strangers Sayonara).
Accommodations for aLL cities booked.
To Be Done ASAP Hurry Up You Lazy Ass List:
Rent mobiLe wifi.
Buy JR RaiL Pass.
Make a packing List (this is kinda fun, untiL you have to pack for reaL).
FinaLize shopping List.
And the hardest of aLL, the mother of aLL headaches – Itineraries.
PLanning itineraries aLL by myseLf is crazy hard because I’m trying to incLude everything I want to do and see without any interferences from other parties into a Limited time sLot. And instead of hearing other peopLe opinions or constructing critics, sometimes I’d hear LittLe voices in my head, Like:
“WiLL I be a bad person if I’m not interested to go to the Peace MemoriaL?”
“You’ve been there twice before, so why shouLd you go again now?”
“I don’t reaLLy Like the goLden tempLe that much (and have seen it twice), but now I want to go there again because Tomoya went there a coupLe of days ago and posted it on his Instagram. How stupid is that?”
“Do you reaLLy have to go that far just to see a 18m robot statue?”
“Is this pLan feasibLe? WiLL I not go crazy and drop dead in the middLe of everything?”
“WILL THERE BE ENOUGH TIME FOR EVERYTHING?”
Sometimes I envy the traveLers who can do everything on a whim, not pLanning everything and just see what the day wiLL bring them.
But, to quote BFU (she’s been very quotabLe for the Last two posts): “When you do it by yourseLf, aLL you have to do when something go wrong is just suck it.”
Back to itinerary pLanning I go.
I’m back. ALive, weLL (at Least untiL I caught fLu from office peopLe), broke, and head fiLLed with more memories. Oh, and some extra pounds of fat in my beLLy and zits on my face.
TaLking about face, some of the memorabLe thing about this Japan trip are the faces of the peopLe I met aLong the way. So just as I’ve done here and here, here’s another “It’s the peopLe that made the journey” post. And it’s going to be a Long post, okay?
I got home from a short BaLi vacation today. The foLLowing diaLogue happened when my mom saw me.
Mom: You’re not getting any darker!!
Me: What???? My BB cream is aLready too Light for me right now!
Mom: Well, you’re stiLL not tan enough.
Oh mother -______________-
Anyway, just Like what I did after my trip to Japan, I decided to do a “It’s the peopLe that made the journey” post because honestLy it’s more fun than writing about day-to-day records. Aaaand maybe sneaks in a few mumbLes and rants in the end..
So Last Wednesday me and a high schooL bestie went on a LittLe mid-week escape to Pari IsLand, just 40 minutes off Jakarta by speedboat.
Everything was perfect. Aside from a 10-minutes drizzLe, the weather was so kind to us. The beach was aLmost deserted. The water was gentLe, perfect for just pLaying around, seasheLL hunting, and Learning how to fLoat. The food – just simpLe instant noodLes from a simpLe shack staLL – tasted divine. The speedboat rides were caLm.
But. The 3 hours journey home from the marina to home was far more taxing than the 5 hours spent in the water. Oh city Life.
Last Sunday a friend toLd me she’s going to Amsterdam on JuLy to attend her brother’s graduation ceremony, and she pLans to traveL the BLue Continent for two weeks. And without being asked, I offered myseLf to heLp pLanning the itinerary. The traveL agent in me is chaLLenged, even though I’m not one anymore. But actuaLLy, making up itineraries is one of my favorite pasttime. Which was why I took that job as a traveL agent, even though eventuaLLy I got sick of pLanning other peopLe’s hoLiday trips (with LittLe to zero chance of going on a trip myseLf) — especiaLLy Chinese ancestors piLgrimage itineraries.
Maybe this is weird, but I aLways feeL quite accompLished everytime I succesfuLLy taiLored a feasibLe itinerary. Figuring out how to get to City A to City B is Like soLving a puzzLe. And because for some unknown reason I aLways feeL intimidated by trains and raiLway networks, sorting out train connections feeLs Like beating a troLL with a furry, gLittery, orange fairy stick.
So, what shouLd I do with in-and-out from Amsterdam with ItaLy in between?
Let’s get to work. (ActuaLLy I’ve been working quite hard on this thing that my own office work are quite abandoned.. :p And no, it wouLdn’t be as busy as the above picture depicted. )
Everyone has Life wishes, as simple as things they want to do or pLaces they want to go to, to see, before they die. A bucket List.
I have one, too, and some of the wishes were ticked off the List on the merry trip to Japan Last September. Those are:
- Visit Opa Hayao’s house aka GhibLi Museum
- See the Life-size Gundam up cLose
- CamoufLaging between the torii in Fushimi Inari
I’m going to talk about the Gundam and Fushimi Inari first, because writing about GhibLi Museum will be hard without me getting teary-eyed.
September 23th 2012
It was raining in Tokyo. Quite hard..
So it’s been more than a week since I got home from my LitLLe merry trip to Japan, and I haven’t written anything about it. And it’s bugging me because I don’t know what shouLd I write — tips? Tricks? HosteL and attractions reviews? Money tips?
But then I remember a saying: “It’s not the pLaces you go, it’s the experiences you get and the peopLe you met that made the traveL.” I don’t remember who originaLLy said that, or maybe that’s just my own rambLing.. So I wiLL write about the peopLe I met on that trip first.
Be prepared, this is going to be a Loooooooooooooooong post.