31

31

Last Sunday was my birthday. 31 years old.

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At first I was thinking not to celebrate anything.

I used to celebrate my birthday with my only two best-friends-since-childhood back in Indonesia. Sometimes with some close friends from my bachelor degree who were working in Jakarta and had time to celebrate with me. So seldom with my family, because I usually didn’t have days off from work on my birthdays. Home was 1.5 hours flight away from Jakarta. So I usually saved my days off for Idul Fitri celebration. I remember, the last birthday I spent with my Mom and Dad was on 2012, at the hospital in Kuching, Malaysia because my Dad had to be hospitalized due to a heart attack.

Last year was the first birthday apart from everyone I used to celebrate with.

I spent my “big” 30th birthday only with my flatmate at the moment because all of my new friends, ones that I considered as close friends were not in Karlskrona. However, it was a good day. We went for ice cream, then pizza, then watch movies (The Raid and Kill Bill ~ a hell of birthday movies). He was a really good company, keeping me from being sad for that was my first birthday without my best friends, and also my first birthday after my Dad passed away and Mom was 10.000 miles away. And a week later, some of my friends were back, and we’re celebrating my birthday with watching the final of World Cup 2014, as well as making it a farewell party for a friend who’s going back to Japan on the next day.

This year, I was thinking not to celebrate anything. I’m no longer communicating with my (now ex-)flatmate for some reasons. Some of the friends that I knew from last year were leaving Karlskrona already. I didn’t make a lot of new friends throughout the second year here because I preferred to have an in-depth relationship with my depression. And I still think that any celebration to have since my Dad passed away is going to be a sad celebration anyway. True, I’m still grieving. It just won’t go away no matter how hard I tried.

But anyhow, I wanted to feel happy if only for a day, for my birthday.

The thing is one of my new friends who I hang out with recently, had to move out from Karlskrona on Saturday, to another city where she has her job. Another one of them would probably leave on the weekend to his hometown for a summer holiday. I don’t have many friends left to celebrate my birthday with, that’s why I decided to celebrate it early. So, the celebration was starting on Friday night.

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.13.01 PMI made an Indonesian traditional birthday dish, nasi kuning (yellow rice), with all its side dishes that I could afford to make: tempe kecap (tempeh with sweet soy sauce), kering kentang (fried shredded potato), telur dadar (shredded omelet), ayam kecap (sweet soy sauce chicken) and sambal balado (balado chili sauce). I also made a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting that tasted heavenly (I swear!). My friends (Lithuanian, Greek, Swedish and Turkish) loved my food. I was happy.

The next day, one of my Indonesian friends invited me to celebrate his son’s first birthday. So, another Indonesian food and Swedish typical birthday cake, princestårta to enjoy. Then some of the friends asked to go to a swimming park in Ronneby for the next day, my actual birthday. I was absolutely excited about it, but then we didn’t make it because one of the girls who supposed to drive the car was getting sick. So sorry for her.

On my birthday, since we canceled the Ronneby trip, I was staying in my bed until 11 o’clock in the morning. Then I checked my phone and got messages from my family and best friends. I was not excited to do anything until I decided that I wanted to feel happy again, on my actual birthday day!

So, I texted one of my Indonesian friends to enjoy ice cream with me. It was a really warm day, ice cream would be perfect. She and her husband agreed. Then we met another Indonesian friend and her family in the ice cream place also. It was an unplan small birthday celebration with them. Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 1.12.28 PMLater on, my friend and her husband asked me to join them for a short trip outside the town. Even though the husband said that it might me boring, but I joined anyway. It was nice to go outside of Karlskrona for a while. Don’t get me wrong. I love Karlskrona, but I’m getting bored by being lonely too much.

Before we left, I turned on my birthday information on facebook to be able to be viewed by my facebook friends. I normally just keep the information for myself. I don’t really like people to know my birthday, except for my close friends and family who I expect would know it by heart. But yeah, something different might do me good. However, I don’t have internet access to check on my facebook anytime anywhere. So, after went back home, I felt more happy to found that a lot of my international friends wrote me birthday wishes.

I’m still fighting my sadness and depression, but it felt good that I could make myself happy on my birthday weekend. 🙂

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Recipe – Stuffed Paprika

Recipe – Stuffed Paprika

My Spanish friend, who’s got the recipe from his German friend, taught me to cook Stuffed Paprika (bell pepper) last week. I couldn’t remember when was the last time I eat stuffed paprika, maybe never (!), so I found that this food is amazing! 😆

I tried to remember all the ingredients and made my own meal today. Maybe it’s quite different from his recipe, but the end result is amazing. So I don’t care x)

This recipe is enough for two. Perfect for romantic Christmas dinner. (yea, right!)

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Ingredients:

  1. 2 big red paprika (bell pepper). Find the equal size and ones that can stand perfectly 😛
  2. 250 g of ground meat (I used beef)
  3. 100 g of shredded mozzarella
  4. 150 g of crushed tomato
  5. 1.5 liter of water
  6. 3 cloves garlic
  7. 1/2 small red onion
  8. 1 block of vegetable stock
  9. 1 tablespoon of Hungarian paprika powder (or normal paprika powder)
  10. 1 teaspoon Salt
  11. 1 tablespoon Sugar
  12. I used powder of: pepper, parsley and basil

How to cook:

  • Cut red onion to small pieces and crush the garlic. Combine all with ground meat. Add salt.
  • Open up the top of the paprika and remove seeds.
  • Stuff the meat inside the paprika. Put shredded mozzarella on top of the meat and put the chopped paprika tops.

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  • Boil water. Better use the small pot that fit two paprika inside, so you won’t have a lot of excess water later.
  • Put to the water: crushed tomato, hungarian paprika powder, pinch of pepper + parsley + basil, sugar, vegetable stock. Let it boiled for a while. You can always taste and add more spices based on your preference 😉
  • Put the stuffed paprika inside the boiling sauce. Put the lid of the pot and let it rest for half an hour with medium heat.

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And then, you can eat with rice or pasta. Enjoy! *nomnomnom*

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Sweden – Residence Permit

Sweden – Residence Permit

As I said before on this blog, I’m going to continue my study in Software Engineering starting this September in Sweden. I will get there in August, 2 weeks before my courses start, to adapt myself in a significant new environment. I said “significant”, because at this moment I’m living in a crowded and busiest city in Indonesia called Jakarta, and I’ll be living in a quiet peaceful village (as mentioned by my new friend in there) called Karlskrona, and I will be living surrounded by Sea! Yeah! Sea!

Now, before I could get there, as an Indonesian, I need some kind of visa to enter Sweden. For you, Indonesian, who wanted to study in Sweden, I’m going to inform you how to get a Residence Permit to Enter Sweden. Wait, is it a Visa or is it the Residence Permit? A Visa is needed when you intend to live in Sweden for not more than 3 months, for students who will be living at least a year, must apply for a Residence Permit.

This is how it looks like
This is how it looks like

Now, this is what you have to do to:

  1. Make sure you have an Admission Letter from your aim University, in my case it is from Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH). Most of students who aim a Sweden University, applied from universityadmissions.se. I was applied for Erasmus Mundus in Software Engineering (EMSE), so my first Admission Letter was coming from EMSE Consortium. Later on I’ve been told, that I will received another Admission Letter from BTH, and this letter came on late May.
  2. Make sure you have paid for your Tuition Fee. Though I was applying through Erasmus Mundus Consortium, I didn’t get the scholarship, which means I have to pay the study (and my living cost) on my own. After I received BTH’S Admission Letter, I processed the tuition fee payment immediately. The BTH’s staff informed me when the payment is received, and I can continue to the next step.
  3. Make sure you had a Health Insurance. If you are a scholarship recipient, this should be provided by your scholarship provider. if you are not, then you must have a 30.000 euros insurance, provided by any insurance company here in Indonesia. Thanks to God, I didn’t have to prepare that sum of money because my University provides the Health Insurance.
  4. Make sure you have sufficient amount of money for your living cost, printed on your own name. In my case, I will be studying in Sweden for a year, then continue the study in Germany. When you apply for a year, you only need to have 10 months living cost of 7300 SEK (Swedish Krona) per month. So the total amount in your bank account should not be less than 73000 SEK (109.500.000 rupiahs / $10.950). You can ask your bank to provide a Recommendation Letter, a proof that state you have this amount. But my method was: I scanned my bank account book, then printed the last 6 months journal of my account transaction from internet banking.
  5. Now, you have your Admission Letter and Health Insurance, you have paid your tuition fee, and you have your bank proof, you only need to scan it all (if they didn’t come as digital file) and a scan of your passport (the identity information and pages contain stamped from other places you went).
  6. Apply Online. Yes, it is online. Prepare about 40 minutes to 1 hour of your time in front of the computer to fill some form and upload your files. It’s easy and fast. But if you cannot apply online, you need to download a form and send it with copies of your files to Sweden Embassy in Jakarta.

I put my data online on 05/29, I got a phone by Sweden Embassy’s staff two days later telling me that I have granted the residence permit, and I have to come to Sweden Embassy’s office on 05/06 to take picture, fingerprint and signature, no interview needed. Very fast, huh? Yeah, I like Sweden already!

I finally got my Residence Permit card last thursday, 06/20 (as they promised me in advanced that the card will be delivered in two weeks). There’s no need to put some stickers on my passport, because the card itself have a same function as a Schengen Visa. This means, I can travel the whole countries in Europe that allows Schengen Visa! I hope I can make time and money to do the travel! Amin!

Ayutthaya in a Day

Ayutthaya in a Day

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O this very late posting is killing me. Lately I wanted to tell you about the details on my travel to Thailand last March. But I only took notes on my expenses, not the places I’ve been. So I will tell you later only the expenses for this one day trip and the general things about Ayutthaya. Nena, Carrie and I, was about to try one of some tour provider that has a round trip from Bangkok-Ayutthaya and a bicycle tour in Ayutthaya. But then we decide to change the plan, and doing the “Do-It-Yourself” tour instead.

So, we’re leaving our hotel on 6.00 am to Hua Lampong Railway Station. We wanted to catch the 7.00 am train to Bang Pa In station. We had to take BTS and MRT to get there, but all is connected, so it wasn’t a problem. We bought our ticket for 20 baht each (6600 rupiahs / $0.6), very cheap, for a 1.5 hours trip. After arriving to Bang-Pa-In railway station, we made our way to Bang-Pa-In Summer Palace by walk, for about 2 km far. The ticket to enter Bang-Pa-In Palace is 100 baht (33000 rupiahs / $3.3).

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After an hour or so walking around the palace, the weather was getting much hotter (I was getting a headache), we decided to move to another places and tried our bargaining skill to a tuk tuk driver we met in front of the gates, who doesn’t speak english, to take us around Ayutthaya. We agreed to pay the driver 500 baht (165000 rupiahs / $16.5) for 4 hours trip around Ayutthaya. Very cheap!

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We went to 3 Wats (as I can remember), Wat Phranan Cheong, Wat Mahathat, and I can’t remember the last one (screw me).  We spent 20-50 baht for the entrance ticket. We hopped one place to another, until we starved and the driver took us to a nearby restaurant where I spent 170 baht (56000 rupiahs / $5.6) for a pineapple fried rice (lol). With a happy tummy (and my headache was getting worst), we asked our tuk tuk driver, in a very hard way, because he can’t speak english, to take us to the floating market.

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I was hoping the market would be like the one in Bangkok (where we didn’t go, sigh) where people sell things on boat, but then we found out that it was a market that build on top of a river (or lake?) so they call it floating market (lol). We didn’t spend to much time there, then we headed to Ayutthaya Railway Station for a 1 pm train back to Bangkok, another 20 baht.

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Oh, you might want to know, if the tuk tuk driver can’t speak english, how did we communicate when we’re traveling around Ayutthaya? Well, he have this kind of a big brochure contains pictures of the Wats. So he/we pointed to the picture, of where we wanted/should go. Clever, right? The floating market wasn’t in the brochure, that is why it was so hard to explain to him that we wanted to go there 😆

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The Answer

The Answer

I don’t know if it’s good thing or bad, but I often forget bad things.. or maybe it is just some kind of short-memory problem.. but I can remember many good things since I was kid though, so it must be some kind of ability.. 😆

What kind of bad things.. hmm.. the kind that related to how bad I feel about that.. 😛 like broken heart, like crying when I was kid just because I couldn’t finish the dinner my friends’ mom cooked (they told me about this, i don’t even remember it), and so many things.. I guess.. (see? i can’t remember..)

mm.. but let’s talk about the broken heart matter.. 😆 my heart broke a lot! and those people who did it, sometimes run in my head, but they are now just a flash of memory. They broke my heart, it’s a bad thing, so they deserve to be forgotten, don’t they?

But you.. You who must not be named *wink*..

You never broke my heart.. I will not allow you to do that.. That’s why we have nothing.. So that I wouldn’t have bad memories of you, because I don’t want to forget you..

And this is the answer for a question: “Why didn’t you tell him?” 🙂

Melbourne #1

Melbourne #1

As you know (yea, I’m telling you again now), last May I went to Melbourve, Victoria, Australia. It was for a 5 days course from IBM called Customizing Maximo Business Objects. But I won’t telling you ’bout the course, you won’t like it, won’t you? 😆 I’ll tell you ’bout Melbourne itself. Well, at least at this part, I’ll tell you ’bout my preparation to get there 🙂

First thing first was VISA! Yea, to get to Australia, as an Indonesian citizen, we needed to have Entry Visas. Well, since this trip was sponsored by my Company, I didn’t have to go the embassy to deal with that, but some person from my Company did. We were applying for a short Business Trip Visa (that’s what i’ve been told) so this might be different if you wanted to apply for a tourist visa application. What I prepared for visa application were:

  1. A passport (of course).
  2. Photo with white background. (mine was red, but thanks to photoshop we could make it white in no time 😆 )
  3. A statement letter from my Company explaining my objectives and financial support while I was in Australia)
  4. My printed cash flow of my bank account for the last 3 months. (they said later that they didn’t need it though, since it was sponsored by Company, but it should be prepared)
  5. Some money 😆 I didn’t know exactly how much it cost for the Visa, but you can check it from Australian Embassy’s website 🙂
  6. …. i think I forgot one more thing, I’ll try to remember it later.. (_ _!)

It took us about not more than 2 weeks to have the visa on our passports 🙂

Second thing was the Airplane Ticket and the Accommodation! Two part into one ’cause this was also bought by the Company *plakk* I was using Singapore Airlines. It was a connecting flight through Singapore. And we had a reservation in some hotel in the City 🙂 (guess it.. :-P)

Third thing, the wardrobe and shoes! It was autumn season in Melbourne. I have a friend living in Melbourne, and she told me that before my departed time, the city was having some kind of Icy Rain. So I should bring a warm clothes and (better have) boots! I was sooo happy that I got the chance to dress like that 😆 Here in Jakarta, yea we could see some people go to the mall with coat and boots, but since I’m using public transportation to get anywhere, that is really not a proper clothes to wear.. hahaha.. (bahasa indonesianya: sumuk!)

Last thing to prepared was: A SLR Camera! 😆 This was very important! There’s so many beautiful places and spots in Melbourne (that made wanted to cry). I don’t have a SLR Camera, so I borrowed it from my sister. And she is living in Yogyakarta! What a coincidence, my other sister (who lives in Yogyakarta too) was a having a billiard tournament in Jakarta, so she could bring me Fido (my sister’s camera’s name) 😆

So there was me, up and ready to go to Melbourne! 😆

to be continued..

Little Trip to Bali

Little Trip to Bali

I had a two days Workshop in Bali last week on Thursday to Friday. Thought to extend it until Sunday to explore Bali with my friend. We were going to Ubud, Tanah Lot, having sunset at Jimbaran, having pizza there (yea right.. pizza) and at Legian too. Before going back to Jakarta, I was having a great expensive spa dan bought some balinese shirts for my family and of course for my childhood bestfriends.. hihi.. That’s all 😛

I should go to Bali again next time to shop at Ubud, there’s a lot of cute store there *but I had to save my money so I didn’t shop* hehe.. Should be with my girls Nena and Carrie (we should plan our next trip there girls, I save dreamland and nammos beach for you :lol:), and with my family later on 😛

I should write my trip to Melbourne last month, but I still want to keep it in my head. It’s like if I wrote it, then I’ll forget it 😆