For example in traveling using public transportation. In bus and tram, there is a platform that can be lower down to allow a wheelchair going in. Once the wheelchair is on the platform, it will going up to the same level as the bus’ floor. This platform also can be used by people with baby trolley.
If we walk passing an exit way of supermarket parking lot, for example, the car that wants to go out at the same time, will give us a chance to pass.
It also happens if we cross the street. Sometimes, the traffic light for pedestrians turns red while we are still walking in the middle of the street. In this situation, cars will wait. So it’s nice to walk as I don’t have to give my middle finger or popping my eyes cruelly to car riders in Jakarta whenever I cross the street.
I notice that some people here are just crossing the street without paying attention to the traffic light. Just like in Indonesia. With this, I don’t have any problem to adapt ;)
In this issue, most of the time, as a passenger, I go to the front left side cause that’s the side where I use to sit in Indonesia. I even have to set my mind before going to a car that I shouldn’t go to the front left side. Well, I still training myself on it.
The driving site is in the right side, again opposite from Indonesia. Another adaptation for me, I have to look left first in crossing the street. But of course I haven’t adapt it well, I keep looking to the right side first, and then left, crossing halfway, and then look to the right side again. What a waste of motoric movements!
In Indonesia, bicycle is identical to kids who still not allowed to ride motorbike or to people who can’t afford to buy motorbike. Well yes, there are people who try to make bicycle looks hip and cool again (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but still the general impression of bicycle in Indonesia are like that.
Well actually it’s understandable why bicycle is popular in Germany or even Europe. The weather is colder than my place in the equatorial area, so it’s nicer and even warmer to travel with bikes. And it’s also the reason why motorbikes are not too popular in Germany especially in Bremen. Riding motorbikes in cold air will make you feel even colder. And in Bremen, where the wind comes from the North Pole, riding motorbikes could be painful. You may end up having masuk angin or trapped wind inside your body.
Like motorbikers in Indonesia, bicycle riders in Bremen are the king of the roads. Although they have a particular line for bicycle, still they cross the road recklessly. Maybe it’s because if they get hit by a car, than most likely it’s the car who’ll be accused for the accident.
The bicycle riders also often don’t want to hit the break and choose to ring while cursing the walkers that blocked their way.
In my first day, I almost get strike twice by bicycle as I am not familiar with the lines for pedestrian and bicycle.
In Germany, people walks in the right side, while in Indonesia we walk at the left side. So if there’s something happened in our way, we’re moving to the left side reflexively.
This is why I almost get hit, when the bicycle rider rings me, I move to the left which is actually his line! And of course we’re stuck in an awkward situation. He has to break immediately while I don’t know where else should I be standing. Gosh, I didn’t know that a reflexive movement could be such a cultural problem.
The only problem for me so far is that when I have to buy big things like a knock-down cabinet from IKEA. It’s not easy to bring those slices of wood in a bus or tram.
As a consequences of well infrastructure, the schedule of these transportations are 99,9% on time. Only rare occasion that they are late, like 1 in 1.000 chances. However, if they ever miss the time, most likely it’s because they come earlier than the schedule!
As a person who comes from a country where time is flexible, it’s a bit challenge for me to always come on time at the tram or bus stop. Most of the time, I’ll end up running for about 20 m to the stop as I see the tram or the bus already reach there. In this situation, usually the drivers will kindly waiting for me to get inside.
For the ticket, in Germany there’re what so called daily ticket, 2-days ticket and even monthly ticket. With these tickets, we can use all public transportation within the city in the given period. For me, having the monthly ticket is very useful. I can just jump in to a tram or buss without having to care about where to buy tickets or prepare small money for it.
Yeah I know, Indonesian must be start thinking to challenge the rule. How if we don’t have any ticket at all. If you’re lucky, well you can travel within the city without paying at all. My Portuguese friend has tried this. For about 1 month, he keeps traveling within the city for free!
There’s a ticket called semester ticket for students. With this ticket, students can take any tram and bus freely within the city for the whole semester. Of course we have to pay it in advance, but it’s relatively cheap and you don’t have to be bothered in buying any tickets. And what makes it even better this ticket also applies for traveling using slow train to nearby cities! In this case, my semester ticket allows me to travel free to Hamburg and Hanover.
So if you want to travel to another city, you can seek for people who also travel to the same destination at the same period (day and time). There’s a website that organize this information.
There, you can find not only who’ll travel to where in what time, but also the specification of the cars that they use, smoker or non-smoker type of drivers, language that the driver speaks, the fare that they offer and of course their contact details. Amazing!
The meeting point for this kind of travel is at the main station of each city. Of course you might end up with nothing, nobody travel to your destination at your desired time. However, this kind of travel is a good alternative for cheap travel.
I can’t imagine this kind of travel can be happened at Jakarta. Picking up strangers to our car. Yes I know that many of commuters have done this kind of travel where a person with a car, while commuting to Jakarta, also picking up passengers. So the driver could earn money and spend less on gasoline while the passengers could have a nice and comforting seat rather than the possibility of having no seat in public transportation. But to travel inter-city? Uhmm… I don’t think so. Or maybe I watch too many movies where most of the hitchhikers are killers or criminals.
Bus only serves foreign travels like inter Europe countries. For within country, the options are limited. Busses only travel to big cities, but not to all big cities.
As an Indonesian, yes, this condition is a bit shocking as busses in Indonesia provide many options in inter-city and inter-province travels.
Of course the service travel is in correlation with the price. The faster the train is, the price is expensive. And the slower ones are cheaper. For example: From Bremen to Frankfurt using fast (and of course, expensive) train could take 3,5 h travel.
While using the cheaper ones could take more than 7 h! For comparison, driving from Bremen to Frankfurt only takes about 4 h!! So yes, it’s complicated in deciding which train that we should take. Especially if you travel alone, sitting on the train for a long times can make you feel uneasy or even nervous. You have to be well-equipped with whole bunch of self-entertainment like books, songs and movies in iPod, or even making Origami…!
You have to think wisely whether the cheaper price is worth it comparing to all the boredom and the opportunity to spend time longer at the place of your destination.
In Germany, if you buy a train ticket, that’s just for the fare cost and not including the seat. To get a seat, you have to pay extra. I’d rather to pay extra € 2 for a seat rather than walking along all the wagons to find one. But most of people tend to do the later.
And if you want to do this, you also have to know the route as reserved seats are written with detail travel. For example if you travel from Bonn to Bremen and you find a reserved seat with Köln-Dortmund written on it, that means this ‘empty’ seat will only available from Bonn to Köln and then the person that has reserved it will come. Another example, if you travel from Bonn to Köln and there’s empty reserved seat with ‘Dortmund-Bremen’ then you can seat there without worry. Once I tried to take a train without seat reservation and I end up have to move my seat 3 times!!!
But this seat problem only applies for the fast train. The slow train doesn’t even have seat number. You can just seat everywhere in an empty seat.
Although is not as worse as in Indonesia, the train is frequently late. But the term late in here means less than 5 minutes while in Indonesia it might be late for hour.
Once when I was in Frankfurt central station, I keep hearing the announcement that some trains are delayed. That must be a special day!
When I visit my friend in Sankt Wendel, I have to take fast train and continued with slow train. And when I have to go back, actually I am late to arrive in the station. But Thank God, the slow train is also late for 3 minutes so I don’t miss my connection!! Imagine, if I have missed it, I have to pay extra to get into the next scheduled train…!!!
In Indonesia I can’t put bread outside without having ants crawling all over it after some hours. I have to put it inside a very well closed container to keep it away from ants.
Amazingly, in here I can put bread in an open space for days (I never try weeks) without having any little creatures around it! It’s so amazing! My life will be easier if this can be happened in Indonesia. I don’t have to yell to anybody that brings food into my room…
My friend, Ari, even try to put expired bread in an open space for 2 days and no fungus arise! That would never happen in Indonesia. So I guess, it’s still safe to eat expired bread in here ;)
Anyway, I also have adapted this kind of behavior. I feel like I have to do something outside whenever the day is sunny. It seems that I feel guilty just to stay home in sunny days. I think, I even become a sun worshipper now. Whenever the sun is shining full, I always place myself directly under the sun light. I feel thankful that the sun is shining and I enjoy the warm that it produced. No wonder even though I stay at the cold weather place, my skin is getting darker…
A bit challenge must I face during summer time. The sun will set at night. Yeah, this is a strange term. How come you said ‘night’ when the sun is still shining? But to Indonesian standard, after 7 PM is night. The challenge that I have is usually in Indonesia, after the sunset, people tend to lower down their activities. Since during summer the sunset can reach 9.30 PM, I keep having tireless activities until I realize that usually I already get rest at that time :( What a weird situation…
Nothing special about washing it actually, it’s just the same as in Indonesia except the machines here have more options in type of clothes like wool, cotton, rayon, etc.
However the difference arises when you want to dry it. I know in Indonesia every washing machine also equipped by the drying machine. And since the sun is very strong in Indonesia and to save the electricity bill, people tend to dry the clothes under the sun. And this isn’t happening in here. Drying clothes outside could take you months! (Yes, of course I am exaggerating it. But what do you expect? It keeps raining in here!). So, even drying clothes under the sun is a luxury in Bremen…
Jacket (a protective outer covering) is a must. Whatever it is called: rain coat, pullover, poncho, or even sweaters. You need these to warm your body in the outdoor. But once you are indoor and feeling warm, you can take off these clothes.
As a girl, it’s natural to have a sense of fashion. And the skill to mix and match the clothes is necessary in here as jackets are not a type of clothes that usually owned in a large amount. Well at least in Indonesia, one doesn’t need many jackets in the closet. But maybe in here it’s different. It’s more important to have many jackets rather than the clothes underneath.
Anyway, in the end, I have to ignore any sense of fashion here. As long as I get warm, that’s the most important. I don’t care much whether my clothes are color mismatch or something like that.
Wearing 2 or 3 layers clothes are common here. It’s never too much. Nobody will look at you in a puzzled face. Imagine if we see someone wearing jacket in the middle of Sudirman Street in Jakarta! To decide whether you need 2, 3, or even more layers of clothes, you have to check the weather report. What describes in there will be the principal of your fashion style that day. That’s the rule to survive in fashion and weather.
Also, wearing the same outfit for some days isn’t a big issue here. As the weather is cold, the air is somehow clean and we aren’t sweaty, the clothes aren’t getting dirty or stinky easily. That’s why people tend to use the same outfit for some days. At least, that’s what I notice from my friends in the University. I don’t know whether the same behavior is also applied in offices.
Anyway, this behavior is new for me as in Indonesia it’s rarely that our clothes can survive without sweat and dirt for a day. So to use the same outfit for 2 days, it gives me a little awkward feeling at first. But washing un-dirty clothes everyday or putting back the used clothes into cabinet are also too much. And this make me have no choice other than to adapt, wearing the same clothes for some days. I feel like a cartoon character at first, by wearing the same clothes over and over again. But after 1 month, now I can wear the same clothes for a week!
Well of course I also wear some accessories here and there to make it look ‘different’ every day. But again, it’s not a big issue here. Wearing sandals is also a luxury here. The cold weather will strike your open feet without mercy. So wearing shoes with socks is normal, so does wearing boots during summer. Even inside the house it considered as normal.
I have an experience about this. When my apartment’s caretaker comes to my room to fix something, he just steps on my rug that I use as my sitting corner! Of course I feel surprised, imagine where that shoes have been!
Of course there’s a side effect for this, you can get fat! In my first month, I gain 2 kilos. And after 2 months, suddenly I need bigger clothes! (Of course at first I thought there’s something wrong with the washing machine, as I feel all my clothes are shrinking:( )
Another adaptation for your body, which is probably unpopular, is to get a cold shower! Am not joking… I am sure there’s a physics explanation about this like thermodynamic or so, but am not good at it. But it’s true, after having a cold shower, I can stand the cold! Yes it takes a very brave mental to do it, and I use to pray a lot before showering the cold water to my body. But it’s worth it. Of course it doesn’t mean that you can stand the cold forever. After some hours, you can feel cold again and it’s up to you whether you still want to challenge yourself or not. But again, it’s really worth it.
On a contrary, if we take a hot or warm shower, we’ll feel cold after it. Yes it’s nice to have warm water flowing on your body but as soon as you turn off the valve, you’ll start feeling cold and even shacking.
To get a balance, I usually take cold shower in the morning. I do this is to warm myself and to wake my nerves up in facing the day. And in the night, I have a warm shower to relax my nerves and muscles before going to sleep. Yes I feel cold after the warm shower, but hey I duck into my blanket right away, anyway!
I notice having shower 2 times a day isn’t a popular custom in here. Even many of my Indonesian friends are leaving their 2-times-shower-a-day habit in here. They only take shower once a day, and even my friend who have stayed for a year only take shower twice a week! Well I don’t blame them. The weather really prevents us to be sweaty and stinky. So having no shower in here won’t cause you many problems as in Indonesia.
To make it worst, raining is a daily agenda in Bremen. Just like Bogor but it’s 10 times colder! However the raindrops in here are smaller than in Indonesia. In here I could go out in a rain for 10 minutes and my clothes are not so wet, while in Indonesia I’ll be soaking wet. I guess that’s why the rain in Indonesia are called tropical rain, cause it’s different than the rain in 4-season countries.
Sunshine is an expensive thing in Bremen! Cloudy is normal :( I guess if there’s a pawang hujan (Oh well, I don’t know the English term for this. But this is a profession which prevent the rain to fall in certain areas as ordered) here, he has to work hard in moving all the clouds. Well it could be a good income, though!
Normal clouds in Summer.
When I travel from Bremen to Frankfurt, I notice that the clouds are getting less and less. And when I go back, the clouds are getting thicker and thicker.
Bremen is also windy. So although the sun is shining bright, still you can feel the cold that caused by the wind.
The average temperature is ‘some-teen’ degrees. 16 to 19 are common. In summer, it could reach more than 25 degrees but it doesn’t make you sweat a lot like in Jakarta. I guess humidity play a role in this. However, summer time also bejeweled by the clouds. So again, it’s hard for a tropical girl like me to live near the north pole :(
If there’s funny thing about the weather, it’s always raining in weekdays but it’s mostly sunny during weekend. [puzzled]
Their house is small because they can organize the space efficiently. That’s why they don’t need bigger house and chooses to live in doll house type. Well this is just my judgments. Probably there’re many more reasons behind it. But it’s just strange for me.
And not just for the house. The space in tram’s seat is also too narrow. If we sit facing each other, our feet can’t be relaxed. We have to retract our body tight on the seat so all the four foots can be fit in. Of course this is only applied for 2 skinny Indonesians like me and Ari. If I have to sit facing German, one of us should bend the knee toward outside! Nah, can you believe what kind of acrobatic movement arise when there’re 2 Germans sitting in front of each other? Gosh, what kind of calculation that they use when designing that thing?
My friends and I even find stranger situation. We are 3 skinny persons entering 1 small elevator. Even in there, we feel discomfort cause there’re not much space available. We have to stand straight to avoid contact with each other, which we’ll have if we stand in relaxing mode. But then when we see the directory of the elevator, it stated that it’s for 6 persons! What?!! Who design this thing? Isn’t there any anticipation that people inside have to breathe?
In this cold refrigerator land, I haven’t seen any AC at all. AC is only exist in the car. At least, that’s so far that I know. For buildings, and rooms, a heater is mandatory. Transportation means are also equipped with heaters.
Another building adaptation for the cold is having many glasses like a greenhouse. This is designed to generate a greenhouse effect, which will make the building warm in the inside. My Master Program Office is also having this type of building so we can take off our jacket once we’re inside as it’s so warm :)
In my apartment building, people always greet each other when they met, although we don’t know each other. This even doesn’t happen in my kost (rented room) in Depok when I did my bachelor degree. If we don’t know each other, then we don’t greet. What a big city life!
The best thing of this place is that you can get discount like in traditional market. Once, my total purchase is € 15.62 but then the cashier allows me to just pay for € 15! And then there are many times where I get bonus in form of kerupuk (crackers)! So it’s fun to shop in Asia Market :)
What makes it interesting, the items that they sell are second-hand items. And surprisingly, these items are still in good condition. So, it’s really far from the flea market image. In Bremen, they sell clothes, shoes, toys, dolls, books, CDs, and household related items. It’s really worth to shop here cause it’s cheap and you don’t have to examine the items in too detail. As you can see in the picture, I bought these shirts for only E 4.50 each!
So, even my friend, after I show him about this store, comments “After Oxfam, Flea Market is no longer needed for me”.
Of course you have to be attentive in choosing the items as most of it can’t be tested. And the good thing is, you can bargain in here. I think every girl have natural talent in bargaining.
In general, Flea Market is not much different than Friday Market at Mosques in Indonesia. And probably before I return to Indonesia for good, I’ll end up in the Flea Market selling my stuffs.
But not in Germany. Plastic bags are limited. Only department stores will give plastic bags for free. But sometime if you just buy a small thing, they will ask you whether you need a plastic bag or not.
In supermarket, plastic bags are sold! Yeah, you read it right. No free plastic bags from supermarkets. People are encouraged to bring their own bags to carry the purchased items.
I guess this is a way to minimize plastic wastes in order to save the environment. Hmm, can it applied in Indonesia? Probably plastic producers will conduct a demonstration for it. But I still remember the time when my maid used to carry a basket for shopping at the traditional market though…
Anyway, I have an experience too with all the items that I bought. There’s a time when me and Ari shop a lot in the supermarket. When we want to pay, we just realize that we can’t carry all the items. Even though if we use plastic bags, still we will need about 5 big sizes of them. And we have to walk. So carrying 5 big and heavy plastic bags for 15 minutes walking isn’t a good idea. So we have no choice. We have to bring along the trolley if we don’t want to suffer. Well at least, to minimize our suffer.
So we push the trolley along the street with shaky shock and noisy sound from the trolley cause it doesn’t designed to be used on the street. And of course, people are starring to us…
At the next day, which is Sunday, we bring back the trolley to the supermarket. During that time, we met other people who also returning the trolley. So it’s a common behavior apparently, and I don’t have to avoid any CCTV whenever I bring out the trolley…
In Saturday, the shopping hours are shorter. And in Sunday, no stores are open! When I got briefing about life in Germany, I’ve been told that the Sunday-closed-stores regulation is made based on the Christian culture where people would go to churches at that time. So okay, fine with that. I am not going to comment on it, I’ll just adapt on it.
However, I still can’t understand with the workdays’ hours. That’s basically the same as workdays’ hours for offices. So suppose that I am working and want to shop around. I have to wait until Saturday to do it! Oooh, I think that’s not good for economic growth. Yea right, suddenly I am an expert in economic major. Well as a girl, I like to walk around in shopping areas. And as a normal girl, I use to buy something without planning! So I think it’s good if the stores could open until 9 or 10 PM to give a chance for working people to shop around. Imagine, how many girls will take this opportunity!
Now I wonder, do Germans have a longer lunch break in order to give a chance to office workers in case they have to buy something? And if it’s not, can we use that as an excuse to have shorter hour at the office? ;)
In Indonesia we used specific tool for it. It’s made from coconut stick. Everyday, we tap and sweep the bed or mattress with it before we tidy up the sheet. But in here, how?
Whenever I go to a supermarket or department store, I’ve been observing the bed and cleaner tools sections, but still don’t get the idea of how to tidy up the bed properly. And of course right until this writing is made, I just clean and tidy up my bed using my bare hands.
Anyway, just for clarification, what I mean with cleaning the bed is daily cleaning which the bed sheet still covering the mattress. I don’t want mislead people to think that I sleep directly on the mattress without any sheet.
In Indonesia we have to sweep everyday because dust is easy to settled everywhere. However, that’s not what I want to tell you about. In Indonesia we use broom made from coconut branch or stick. And of course, you can’t find that here. In here, brooms are made from plastic and it looks like the long brush that in Indonesia is used in bathrooms! So yes, it’s a bit funny to see people sweeping their front yard using toilet brush :D
For the rooms, small brush, plastic bulu ayam (Gosh, what’s the English term for this?), and vacuum cleaner are used. I don’t have vacuum cleaner yet and I still don’t have a friend who has vacuum cleaner. So for sweeping my room, I have to get down using the small brush like you can see here in the picture. So you can imagine how skillful I am in bending my knee :( I feel like I am having an Ospek…
Surprisingly, I can’t find one. Dining set is always made from breakable materials. Even for children, the dining set is still heavy and breakable! Well there’re a few stores that sell plastic dining set for children but of course it’s not compliance with what I want. Children plates are smaller. Beside, I can’t find Avatar cartoon characters so far. So I don’t buy it.
I have also looked at the camping equipments but camping plates are made by aluminium and expensive. Well I try to be practical, not to be stylish or show off. So I don’t understand why there’re no melamine plates in Germany. Are they prohibited? Or just out of fashion?
Well it looks soft and supple like normal pillow, but when you tap on it, it becomes flat! Just look at the picture on the left. See?! Nah, how come you sleep at the flat pillow like that? And how come German people who are known to have big body could sleep on a flat pillow?? I really don’t understand, it could make your neck painful…
To cope with this, I put 2 pillows under 1 pillow sheet. If you look at the picture here, you can see that inside that 1 big pillow sheet, I put 2 pillows in it to make it more supple. But to find a cozier pillow takes time as mostly are flat. Cozier pillow (than the flat one, cause I still can’t find a real cozy one) is of course more expensive but still not as squishy, squashy, flabby, supple, soft as I could have in Indonesia. Well, don’t even try to discuss a bolster…
Verb always occupied second position after the subject. If you think there’s nothing wrong with it, then try this: to say ‘Yesterday I went for a walk’, you have to say it ‘Yesterday went I for a walk’!
Not to mention if the sentence contains 2 or more verbs. The later verbs are all placed at the end! So for example if you want to say ‘Yesterday I went to buy something’, then you have to say it ‘Yesterday went I something to buy’!
Yea I know, it’s not fair to compare English and German as I have been exposed to English for more than 20 years. But still, even German people say that it’s not easy to perform oral translation directly cause they all wait for the verb at the end!
Now I am thinking, since language is a reflection of the way people think, then this is how German people think. Since the facts are all in the middle of the sentence and the verb is at the end, maybe this is how they make decision. They collect all the facts and or materials and then decide what to do with them. So instead of deciding what to do first and then followed by collecting all the facts or materials needed, they do it differently. And that is how they made nice cars ;)
To make people life more suffer, a compound word is written as a single word! For example: ‘Night cream’ will be written ‘Nightcream’. But this is still easy cause the words are short and recognizable. The problem starts when the words are long and unrecognizable. I don’t know where one word is finish before continue to other word. So it causes me a headache to search it in a dictionary!
Anther problem is the noun gender like in Spanish and most of other language. It’s not easy to memorize which one is masculine, feminine, or neutral. But hey, I am just a foreigner. People understand if I keep using the wrong gender. Well of course, except my German language teacher…
However, I find 1 German supermarket in Bremen that sells these kinds of stuffs. It called Lestra. The choices are surprisingly various although most of them are in formed of powder and not fresh. But it’s really a good place to shop for these purposes. The price is a bit more expensive than regular supermarkets but if you want to have options, Lestra is the place.
However, I never saw any other branch of Lestra in Bremen.
Just don’t be surprise to find that most of spices and spicy seasonings products are made in Holland…
Then I get the answer, it doesn’t have the same taste. In Germany, mineral water contains CO2 like regular soft drink. So it tastes differently. In here, they call this kind of mineral water as ‘Sparkling mineral water’.
Yes, there’s a type of mineral water with no spark in it. But it’s rare. Otherwise it would go back to my question earlier: Why would people buy a drink that tastes the same as the free ones?
But only one thing that you should notice: milk rice or not!
The milk rice type is pretty much the same like we have in Indonesia, which will turn into nasi pulen (the grain of rice is a bit sticky). While the non milk rice will turn into infamous nasi pera’ (the grain is loosely and usually used for nasi goreng or fried rice). Most Indonesian love nasi pulen, that’s why we have to be careful in buying the beras. Especially the price of non milk rice is cheaper than the milk rice.
If you consider that having non milk rice is okay cause you want to save your money, well consider it again cause the nasi pera’ here is worse than in Indonesia. The color is slightly brownish and it encrusted easily. So I think it’s better to pay a little more to get fully satisfaction in eating rice.
So yes, it’s so efficient. You don’t have to go out from your home to make a transaction. Well of course in here, internet connection isn’t an issue. Even my friend who lives in a kampong, which never exists on the map, can access the internet easily.
But… here comes the funny part.
Although the transaction you made is successful, the saldo or balance of your account reminds the same until midnight! So, suppose you make a transaction at 10 AM, buying a credit/ voucher for your phone account. On the screen you are told that the transaction is successful. And your phone credit is increased. However, your balance will not change until almost midnight!
So don’t be pleased if you buy many things but then your balance reminds the same. It seems that they collect all the transaction within a day and then calculate it! That’s so strange. I am using Bank Mandiri in Indonesia, and they always provide a real time data. Whenever I made any transaction, my balance is adjusted directly. In this issue, Indonesia rules!
Another funny thing…
In performing a transaction, we’re required to put a confirmation code. It’s nothing new with this. Bank Mandiri also required the same. However what makes it funny, in Germany the confirmation code is written in a large table! So we have to look on a specific row and column to put in the confirmation code. And watching many numbers in a small font isn’t easy. While in Indonesia, we use a small device called ‘token’ as presented in the picture on the right. We just have to input the number from the internet and then press enter, the confirmation code is ready. Talking about hi-tech country, eh?
Now, here’s a thought. How if I bought many things from e-Bay and then at the same day I close my bank account ;)
Internet Banking is only a Machine
As in other normal procedure, you can change your login number and password after you register it. So to make it easy for me in memorizing my bank account, I want to change it also.
And so I did it. It worked… well, at least for 1 transaction. After that, it doesn’t work anymore! I can’t login either using with my new or old login name and password!!! In the end I have to go back to the Bank office to address this issue. Apparently there’s technical problem that cause it. So my account has to be reset again. And as you might guess, it takes days to do that! Sigh…
But for ATM, they will charge you if you withdraw your money using other Bank’s ATM. Well, that’s life!
However, the funny thing is there’s an administration fee for conducting a transaction in the Bank! For example, if we want to save our money. If we go to the Bank and fill in the form, we’ll be charged for the form and the human resource (teller) costs. And the cost for each Bank is different. We’re encouraged to use the internet and machines. So in many places, there’re machines that can also receive money. Even just for printing our account record, there’s a specific machine for it! Funny, isn’t it? In Indonesia our account is deducted whenever we use all the facilities like ATM and internet but we never charged for forms that we use in Bank. Or maybe it’s already included in the whole monthly administration fee...
A friend of mine tells me that not all Banks have the same requirements. There is a Bank that requires an evidence of city resident. Ouch, glad that I didn’t apply to that Bank!
So after we have an account, we’ll get a small card in the size of name card that contains our bank account and bank code like you can see on the right picture.
Then the Bank will send us the rest via post. The Bank will send 5 mails containing, in respective order: ATM card, PIN for ATM card, Internet Banking ID, PIN for Internet Banking, and a confirmation table for doing transaction in internet. The good thing is these mails will arrive within less than 2 weeks after your application. So it’s pretty efficient.
However I have an unpleasant experience. Well, it’s mainly my fault actually. I didn’t put my name in my post box as soon as I apply to the Bank. I thought these mails will start coming later. As a result, I never get my bank mails at all. I have to ask the Bank to send me again and it cost me an administration fee :( Another lesson learned…
Okay, now here’s some background. The reason why we fly to Germany at 29 July is because GI said that the language course will started at 31 July. (The language course is mandatory for us before our Master Program started). And they also mention that if we come earlier than 30 July, our accommodation will not be ready yet. So if we want to come earlier than 30 July, we have to be ready to stay somewhere else. And before we fly, we have confirmed about our arrival there.
So, when we arrive at the GI, we also meet other people with big luggage. It seems that this day is the day when everybody starts coming. But then, when we introduce ourself, the GI people say that we’re too early and our accommodation isn’t ready!!!
Oh yeah please.. please.. give me another joke…
Anyway, before we have to walk along the alley, there’s another check point to pass. And again, I have to take out the laptop for security reason. This time I already too tired so I can’t pack my backpack fast and create pretty long queue behind me. Gladly, nobody complains. Finally, I can arrive at the boarding room on time and depart to Bremen. No more funny things happened during the flight, Thank God! However, I am not sure whether I have learned about German culture from this trip or not. Am too tired to think.
Around 1 hour before our transit time ended, we go to the boarding room. This time, we have to pass another security check. But this time, and this is new to me, if you bring a laptop then you have to take it out and show it to the security checker. So there I am, already do a bit of circus to carry my 2 enormous backpacks steadily, and now I have to take out my laptop that already sink under my towel, socks, books and I don’t know what else. And still… I have to look cool. Sigh!
And again, I passed. Another long exhale and then I wait for the boarding call. However, until the transit time is over, no signs that the flight will be leaving soon. The passengers start being nervous and walking around in the boarding room. Then there’s an announcement from Lufthansa that the flight will be delayed due to the longer safety check or something like that.
When we finally allowed going into the plane and ready to depart, the captain inform us that the plane will arrive exactly as it scheduled before. Oh cool! So the plane will speeding and passes other planes during its flight!
On the plane, I don’t do anything much apart from sleeping. I am not interested with the offered TV program, beside, the TV is too far above, it causes me a neck pain if I watch it too long. Of course, don’t expect for play station… just sleep!