Traveling for Disabled People or People with Babies

In Germany, disabled people are encouraged to be independent as many facilities are provided.

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.


Walking is very pleasant in Germany (and maybe for Europe as well). The side walk is sufficient and the road signs are everywhere. Pedestrians are respected (well sometimes we’re not, by bicycle riders). But by car riders, our rights are appreciated.

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 ;)


The steering wheel for German’s cars is on the left side, while in Indonesia it’s on the right side.

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!


Surprise… surprise…! Bicycle is very hip in Germany.

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.

Tram and City Bus

These transportations are the most common within each city. It’s so reliable which can make you don’t need a car for traveling within the city.

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 driving quality, I find out not much different than bus drivers in Jakarta. Although these drivers don’t cross-cutting other cars as they have a specific line, but still they hit the gas and brake unsympathetically.

In Bremen, only these two types of transportations are provided. Other cities have City Train (S-Bahn) and Underground Train (U-Bahn), but Bremen doesn’t have it. So it’s easy for me to travel in Bremen as these two lines are not so complicated to follow. However, I might end up in a complicated situation if I have to travel within big city as I haven’t mastered that kind of transportation.

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!

However, if he gets busted, the fine isn’t cheap. Someone told me that the fine for free riding is € 40! It’s even more expensive than the monthly ticket which is € 30.50!!!

Ticket check is conducted randomly and the officers don’t wear any uniform. I have experiencing 2 times of ticket check. So it’s seems like a normal guy step into the tram but when the tram starts moving, he shows his badge and announces that he’s an officer who’ll do a ticket check. I never see anyone got busted, though :(

Semester Ticket

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.

Lift sharers (part 1)

Maybe this kind of travel culture is growing because Germany has made nice cars. To travel from one city to another, there’s a service called Lift sharers.

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.

Inter-City Bus

Surprisingly, traveling using bus isn’t so popular in Germany! Maybe they just made great cars and not busses.

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.


With its well-known technology, it’s not surprising that Germany has some options for fast trains. So it’s easy to travel within places in Germany as the railway infrastructure is very good.

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.
ICE, one of the fast trains

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…!

RB, one of the slow trains

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.

Train Seats
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.

Train Punctuality
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…!!!

Traveling in Germany - Introduction

If you think about Mercedes, Audi, BMW, you probably will think that transportation in Germany is very convenient and traveling in Germany is a pleasant activity to do. Well, under this topics, here are some of my experiences and observations about transportation and traveling in Germany.

Food Preserving

I know it sounds weird to have this issue under this topic. But I found out food preserving here is different than in Indonesia because of the weather.

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 ;)

Activities Adaptation

Since it’s mostly cloudy and rainy, having the sun shining full is something to celebrate. I notice that more people will filled the streets during sunny days. They just biking around, hang out in an outdoor place, or driving slowly with the roof open. Well maybe it’s not much different like in Indonesia. Whenever the rainy days come, people tend to stay at home. But I doubt that people in Indonesia will go around for nothing just because it’s a sunny day…

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…

Clothes Washing Adaptation

Since clothes can’t be dirty easily, washing them isn’t a daily activity in here. Usually people will pile up their clothes until certain amounts before washing it.

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…

Clothing Adaptation

Well, what else should I say, it’s cold, so you have to wear warm clothes in Bremen. However, from the custom point of view, I am not use to it. As a tropical country girl, I use to wear light clothes and sandals. But here, another new habit that I have to adapt.

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!

Body Adaptation

The natural way and surely the most pleasant way in adapting to the cold weather is: eating a lot! [yummy!]. By eating a lot, there’re a lot to burn inside your body and then there’re many calories to produce to keep your body warm. I think, now I have more excuses to eat a lot rather than just for making my mouth shut.

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.

The Weather

As a tropical girl who loves going to tropical beaches, living in Bremen is not easy from the weather point of view. Bremen is in the northern part of Germany which means closer to the North Pole! Brrr…! It’s surely colder than the cities in the southern part.

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]


This is another strange thing to me. German people are big in size, in general. However, their living space is smaller than Indonesian point of view.

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?


When I send pictures of my room to my family, one of the questions that I got is “Does the room have Air Conditioned?” Yeah, that’s so Indonesian standard. Tropical country is so hot, which make AC becomes primary need.

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 :)

When I have my language lesson, the building where I study is just a regular concrete building with glasses as its windows. In here, the cold still can creeping in so most of the times, I can’t take off my jacket :(

People in Bremen

German people have a stereotype of being cold, stiff, serious, and unfunny. On the contrary, Thank God, it doesn’t exist in Bremen. People in Bremen are pretty friendly and nice. They aren’t stingy in smiling and greeting.

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!

Bremen people are also helpful. If they encounter a clueless person, for example a person who’s clueless in using train ticket machine, most likely they will help it out. Even though they don’t talk in English, but they will try to help. Nice, isn’t it?

And this is making my life, as a foreigner here, easier. Whenever they see my face with a clueless expression and a big question mark written on it, they will help me until I could get it done. Once I have to pay my semester ticket at a Bank, which is not my Bank. So I went to the customer service and ask about how to do it. I don’t know whether she tries to be helpful or she just gets irritated with my question. In the end, she just fills in the bank slip for me and I only have to go to the cashier for paying.

Somehow, I enjoy being foreigner in here cause people tend to tolerate my silly questions and behavior ;)

The City of Bremen

Bremen is a small city, from Indonesian people point of view. The population is only less than 600,000 people! I think this population size is pretty much the same like Kecamatan (Sub-District) Kebayoran Baru where I live in Jakarta.

Bremen covers an area of 300 something square kilometer. So, it’s pretty small. Although I come from a megapolitan city, I like small city better. It’s cozier to live in. That’s why I like living in Bremen, of course apart from the weather issue.

Asia Market

What it means as Asia Market is actually a supermarket that sells foods and ingredients from Asia. As Indonesian, I visit this place regularly because they sell Indomie, cabe rawit (green chili), tahu (tofu), tempe, bakso (meatballs) and various sambal (chili sauce).

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 :)

Oxfam Store

Oxfam is a humanitarian organization that started in England. They also have an office in Indonesia and I somehow familiar with their works. However, I just find out in Germany that they also have stores for their fund raising activities.

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”.

Flea Market

Like everywhere in the world, second-hand or used items are still attracted for people and worth to buy. In Germany, every weekend there’s what so called Flea Market or Flohmarkt that sells used items. In Bremen, this Flea Market is located in the side of Wesser River.

The items sold here are used items from a person or household. It can be clothes, books, CD record, bicycle, anything! It’s not a big business like in Makassar or Kendari where they imported used clothes, bag, and shoes from other countries and then sell it.

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.

Sometime, there’re also new items sold in the Flea Market. For example, I buy new Tupperware container here. It seems that the vendor is a member of Tupperware MLM network, that’s why he can offer unused products. I also buy a new towel from the Flea Market. I guess the vendor is somehow a distributor. Other new products that we can find here are electricity stuffs like cable, jack, lamp, battery, flashlight, etc. Usually they are Chinese products.

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.

Returned Items

In here, most of the things you buy can be returned. Of course there’re terms and conditions applied for returning it. But in general, it can. When I buy shoes, it stated in the receipt that they can be returned in not more than 12 days. And once I witness a lady who returned an opened cosmetic product. So it is allowed. So I think you can just buy a fancy outfit, wearing it for 1 day and then return it back at no cost! ;)

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are free in Indonesia. Whenever you buy something, you’ll get a plastic bag to place your items. Sometimes, we even get more plastic bags than what we buy!

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…

Shopping Hours

In Germany, normal shopping hours are from 10 AM – 5 PM. I don’t know whether this is according to the law or not but most of the stores are operated within that hours. For supermarkets and department stores, the shopping hours are longer, until 8 PM or sometime 10 PM. I never have seen any 24-hours store in Bremen.

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? ;)


Blanket in here is thicker than in Indonesia. Of course, no surprise in that. But blanket here is made from tiny light mattress that covered with sheet. So it’s like a pillow, you can buy the blanket and the sheet separately. The normal blanket like we use in Indonesia is rarely found in here.

Bed Cleaner

How do Europeans tidy up their bed? It’s still a mystery to me…

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.

Dust Cleaner a.k.a. Broom

Although Germany is relatively cleaner than Indonesia but still dust is everywhere. Yes the chance of furniture getting dusty is slower than in Indonesia. But hey, it’s still dusty in the end.

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

Melamine Housewares

In Indonesia, my household uses melamine housewares to be practical. It’s cheap, light and unbreakable so we don’t need a specific handling for it. So when I come to Germany, I also look for this type of housewares for my dining utilities.

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?


This is the major household culture shock to me. How come it isn’t? The pillow in Germany is too flat!

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…

Household - Introduction

I never thought that household issue could raise a culture shock for me. Cause although I never stay in Europe before, I was exposed to foreign culture. So if there’s a culture shock to me that must come from the culture itself and not from household tools!

The Structure

This is the strangest one. The composition of German grammar is so fix, which is make it easier to study, but at the same time also can make us clueless.

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 ;)

The Words

As I mentioned earlier, what makes it difficult is to have many consonants in a row before meeting 1 vowel. While in Indonesia, it’s rare to have 3 consonants in the row before meeting 1 vowel.

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!

The Pronunciation

This is somehow a thing to cheer for: the pronunciation of German words is pretty much the same like Indonesian words. Even for double letters like ‘ng’, it reads the same.So it’s easy for me to spell any words whenever people don’t understand what I said. And I notice it’s hard for English mother tongue people to do the same. Yes! Finally I don’t look too stupid in language ;)

German Language - Introduction

In general, German language is so difficult. Even German people themselves admit it. So imagine, what kind of difficulties that I have in learning it. Just to read the word, it already causes me a trouble as German words dominantly contain many consonants. Don’t believe me? How many consonants that you have in the word ‘Deutschland’?

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…

Spices and Spicy Seasonings

As a girl who comes from the country that had been colonialized for its spices, German foods are considered to be tasteless. So it’s not surprise at all that it’s hard to find spices or spicy seasonings in the normal supermarkets. You have to go to Asian Market to find them.

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…

Mineral Water

Tap water is drinkable in Germany. So I wonder, “Why people still buy mineral waters?” In Indonesia, the tap water is undrinkable (unless you boil it first) that’s why many people buy mineral water for their drink. But in here, I don’t think it’s needed. Beside, why would you buy a drink that tastes the same as the free ones?

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?


Unlike what Indonesian people think, it’s easy to find beras (uncooked rice) in Germany. In all supermarkets that I’ve been visited, I always can find beras. It is sold in a carton box of 500 gr or 1 kg. These beras mainly come from Thailand and Vietnam and there are many types of it.

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.

Food and Beverages

Of course they are different from in Indonesia! But what I’ll describe here are some of ‘serious’ notes of F & B comparison as a guide for Indonesian.

Internet Banking

As I stated before, in Germany we’re encouraged to use internet banking. No administration fee will be charged for all the transaction within Europe countries! I wish Indonesia could do the same in Asia…

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…

Administration Fee

The most plus point for opening an account in Germany is there’s no administration fee :) :) :) So you can have a zero account forever without worrying that your account will be closed. And this is also applied in using internet banking. Cool, isn’t it? However, an account here is just an account. You don’t get any interest from your account. There’s another type of account if you want to get an interest.

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...

Opening an Account

For legal alien like me, it’s easy to open an account in German Banks. It only needs a passport and one form to be filled in. For less than 1 hour, our account is ready. I don’t even have to put some amount of money in my account as a start. So, it’s not like in Indonesia!

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…

Bank - Introduction

As a well-known country for its technology, I am expecting that all the service is fast and reliable. However for banking system, there are some plus and strange things about it that makes me questioning how hi-tech Germany really is.

Getting Stranded in Germany

After my ‘interesting process of departure’, finally I arrived in Bremen. I arrived at 8 o’clock in the morning. Me and Ari are welcomed by one Indonesian student who study at the same Master Program Course but from earlier year. With all the luggage, that make us look like country people who come for the fist time and seek for a new life in a big city, we went directly to the Goethe-Institut (GI) at Bremen University. We take tram no.6 that goes directly there.

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…

They say that there’s an arrangement from our Master Program Course for our accommodation. But the most important thing is that, our accommodation will be available starting at 1 August! Great!!

Of course I complained. I told them that I already confirmed about my arrival in this exact date. However, it doesn’t solve anything as the person who reply my email is on leave :(

To make everything clear, the GI people will confirm with the student tutor of our Master Program Course. But apparently this student tutor hasn’t come yet. So, to prevent us in waiting too long, the GI people tell us the way to a cafeteria and then we are expected to come back at 11.00. Since our friend is still with us, he offers us a better place to eat, a Turkish restaurant downtown. So, we’re heading to downtown, this time without the luggage as they’re allowed to stay at the GI office.

At 11.00 we’re back at the GI office. The people there confirmed us that our accommodation only be ready at 1 August. If we want to confirm with our student tutor, he has came and ready to meet us. So, to be sure, we’re heading to our student tutor and ask about this accommodation problem. Of course he said that he has informed GI that our accommodation can only be ready at 1 August. He didn’t know where the miscommunication starts. Well you tell me, of course we don’t know that either. Maybe he doesn’t tell clearly to GI people or, maybe GI people are too busy in preparing all the accommodation. (Summer is the time where the classes are full). Who knows? All I know is that not only us who has to suffer, stranded in the country that we never been visited before. I also notice there are 2 people who have the same problem like us i.e. the accommodation aren’t ready yet. And by the way, the course is started at 1 August. The 31 July is only a date for placement test. And all these information we just got when we’re arrived. Nobody or no letter ever informed us before. Now I really wonder where the miscommunication is started…

As a ‘solution’ we are told to stay at a backpacker’s hostel in town for our 2 stranded nights. Luckily, our friend can look for available rooms, and of course they are free. It’s a flat of Indonesian students where most of them are on vacation. Only 1 person stays and the flat still have 2 available rooms.

But even to stay there, we have to undergo a complicated situation. At first we’re just heading there cause my friend really sure that we can use the rooms. The flat is far away in the opposite direction from GI. Imagine how we have to carry our luggage to the tram and drag it for about 10 minutes crossing a big road before finally we reach the flat. But when we get there and ring the flat, there’s no answer. And my friend can’t do anything, like calling, cause he doesn’t have any credit in his cellphone. Oh yeah, to give more dramatic event, it’s raining…

Then, my friend thinks of another solution, which is to send us to another place. So again, we drag our big and heavy luggage back to the tram towards whatever… I just want my day quickly over. But in the middle of our journey, my friend suggest us to go down at the city centre and he’ll look for a public phone and try to call the flat again. And so it happens. I am at the city centre of Bremen, where the views are nice and beautiful, but I am not happy. But I thankful that I am not alone in facing this situation. If I were alone, probably I do nothing and just cry hard in the city centre.

So, after waiting for my friend who left us to find a public phone, finally we can go back to the flat. My friend says that the person is sleeping so he can’t hear the door bell ring. And this time, after God knows how many times we have to drag the luggage, it’s for real. We’re welcomed to the flat and we’re allowed to stay for 2 nights.

Lesson learned: Prepare for the worst even though you are sure that everything is under controlled.

Arriving at Frankfurt, 30 July 2007

After about 16 hours of flight, finally we arrived at Frankfurt. Still 1 hour transit before continuing to Bremen. Again, it’s not easy to find a trolley. And after we find it, still there are some areas that disallowed trolley. So I have to juggle again, put in, take out, put in and take out again… I don’t know how many times I should do that. I lost count for it. But thankfully, we could have the trolley at the hardest part: walk along (very long!) the alley from the international arrival to the local departure.

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.

Transit in Singapore, 29 July 2007

My flight route is Jakarta-Singapore-Frankfurt-Bremen. So after about 1 hour flight, we are having transit in Singapore for 3 hours. And while we have to step down from the plane, we also have to carry all the hand-carry with us. Great, it seems that I haven’t suffered enough. Annoyingly, I can’t find any trolley immediately. I have to walk about 100 m to finally find one.
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!

Departing from Jakarta, 29 July 2007

After preparing for some months, finally the time has come for me to go to Germany. I leave Jakarta at 29 July 2007 using Lufthansa. The main reason for choosing Lufthansa is because I want to experience Germany as early as possible. I didn't get any German course in Indonesia before, so I haven't learned anything about German culture. Yeah true, I have German boss and colleagues. But they are in Indonesia so, somehow they're the ones who adapted to me.

Another reason is because I don't have to change flight or carry my luggage here and there for transferring to other airlines. So, there I go. In their rules and regulations it said that the maximum luggage weight is 25 kg, and for hand carry is only 1 bag with maximum weight of 7 kg. However, since I am a student and will leave in Bremen for 2 years so, I know I'll carry more than that. After looking for information in Lufthansa office Jakarta, I've been told that I could request for excess baggage to the General Manager by fax. So I did. I fax my request 2.5 weeks before I am departing. Two days after I faxed it, I call Lufthansa office to know the progress, but they tell me that they haven’t received my fax and ask me to do it again. So I did again and after 3 days, they said that it hasn’t been processed and I should call in the next 2 days. And of course when I called them, it doesn’t mean that I could talk to the responsible person at the first attempt. I need to call 3 – 5 times a day before finally I could talk to the assistant for the Managing Director. And finally, on the last Thursday before I leave, the assistant tell me that the Managing Director just return from trip abroad and he will come to the office on Friday. At that moment, I know that my chance is gone however, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. My friend said that somehow we could ask the Manager on Duty at the airport to ask for excess baggage. So I print my request letter again in hope that it will work.

On the D-Day, I went to the airport carrying 1 big luggage, 1 medium backpack and 1 laptop backpack. My family is accompanying me. There, I meet Ari, the person that will go to the same Master Program Course as me. He carries 1 big luggage, 1 big carrier and 1 regular backpack. Then we go to the Lufthansa counter for check in. We tell the lady at the counter that we have excess baggage and therefore ask for permission. She asked us to put the luggage on the scale. So I put on and read the scale… Oh great… my luggage weighing 38 kg!!! And this is only my luggage! My medium backpack weighing 3 kg. I don’t remember how much weight is Ari’s but the lady at the counter don’t want to talk to us anymore. She tells us to talk to the Manager on Duty. And it can be predicted, she objects to give us any excess baggage. The maximum that she will compromise is addition of 3 kg for each of us. Of course I am shocked! How should I repacking? And how could I decide quickly about which items that are more important than the others?? Argh!!!! My mood is really ruined. How come they are not so supportive? I know my friend that uses another airline could get additional 6 kg…

So then, me and Ari go back outside to meet our family. I tell my family about the problem helplessly. Thank God, my sister can handle the situation. She and her husband then repacking my luggage. They move some of my stuffs from the luggage to the backpacks. So all the light stuffs are in a luggage and the rest are separated among the 2 backpacks. However, not all of my stuffs can be repacking. I have to leave my mini rice cooker, my lonely planet book about traveling Europe, some clothes and booksL Well, don’t ask about how other people look at us. I have no time to observe them. If my sister wasn’t that calm, I think I will just wasting my time there without doing anything and just cursing for Lufthansa. And I might even cancel my flight!

So, after my mood getting recharged by the way my sister and her husband repacking my luggage, I go back to the check in counter. There I see Ari who already pass the scale measurement. He could put his luggage and medium carrier in the flight baggage so, he will just carry 1 regular backpack. Then it’s my turn to measure my luggage. This time, it read 29.9 kg! My heart starts beating faster… The counter lady asks the Manager on Duty about how much that I am allowed. Instead of answering, the Manager on Duty asks back “How much weight is that?” The lady answers “29 kg”. And finally the manager says “OK”. Aaaah… I exhale gladly. So one problem is solved.

I, then, go back to my family and report the progress. However, there’ll be still a problem. I have to carry 2 backpacks into cabin. I am not sure whether it’s allowed after this luggage experience. Again, my sister tries to calm me down, but somehow this time it doesn’t work well. She said “Well, pretend that you don’t know the rule. So this time, it depends on how good your acting skill is”. What???!!!! Well, even though I am a drama queen, but still my audience isn’t wide enough. My audience is still limited so I am not sure that these people would buy it. At the end, my family agrees to wait until my flight is departing to make sure that I shouldn’t do any repacking again or even one of my backpacks should be left.

One of my 2 hand-carry. I think this one is about 9 kg!

It’s not easy to carry 2 heavy backpacks. The first trial is at the entrance of boarding room. There I see many people should leave their bottle of mineral water because it is not allowed to carry liquid material more than 100 ml. I even see a man arguing that the liquor he bought is from the duty free. I don’t know what happened at the end but my heart starts beating faster again. I try as hard as I can to look cool and expressionless. Apparently, since I don’t bring any liquid material that exceeds 100 ml, they don’t care too much about how many hand-carry that I bring. So the first trial is passed.

But of course I still feel worried. How if the cabin crews disallowed me? Ah well, second trial then. Again, I try to look cool and don’t show the pain for carrying the 2 backpacks. I smile and greet the cabin crews until I find my seat. It succeeds so far. Now I have to put one of my backpacks to the cabin baggage. Since the space under the seat is pretty small, I decide to put my laptop backpack there and the medium backpack will go into cabin baggage. However, it’s not easy to put this ‘big hand-carry’ into it. My seat is in the middle column so I try to fit my backpack into the cabin baggage above it. Apparently the baggage isn’t big enough so I have to take out my backpack. A bit of worried starts creeping me again. What should I do? Put this backpack on my lap for the next 19 hours of flight? But then I realize that the baggage at side column is bigger than in the middle. So I try to put it there. This time, a lady who sit behind me, is helping me. (Actually not far from there, there’s a stewardess standing and watching us, but she didn’t do anything at all!). Finally, my backpack is fit so, the second trial is also passed. I could sit nicely and feel relax, at least for a moment.

My other hand-carry. Perhaps this one is 3 kg.