Meppen

Again, another small city near the border where I have to stop for changing my train. This time, I have to wait for about 1 hour. The interesting part of this town is a mural in the station wall. It’s not well preserved, but it still nice to see.

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Salzbergen

This is a small town near the border of Germany. I go there just for transit because I have to change trains from Bad Bentheim to Bremen, as I try to travel in cheapest way.

I have to wait there around 30 minutes and that time, it was Sunday. First, I thought I’ll end up dead in boredom as this town doesn’t even exist in my map. But I am glad that I am wrong. Outside its small station, there’s a monument of an old train, complete with old train shower, old lamp, and old information post. So interesting!

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And across the street, there’s 1 café and 1 small restaurant. They both open in Sunday!!! And not far from there, like 1 minute walk, there’s larger open air café that also open in Sunday. I think if I explore more, I could find many more interesting places to kill the time. Well, probably the town is aware of this situation; where many people have to wait for changing train. That’s why they keep open in Sunday.


I think I kinda regret that I only have 30 minutes there.

Amsterdam (and Enschede)

Enschede is a small town in the Netherlands near the border of Germany. I have an uncle who lives there, this is the reason I visit that place.

I travel there by train until the last town in Germany side, Bad Bentheim. There, my uncle picks me up and we continue the travel to Enchede for another 20 minutes.

To be honest, I don’t really know about the city of Enschede. Because I spend my time only for eating Indonesian food! Yummy…!!! I really enjoy my time there as my uncle spoiled me with cooking lots and lots of Indonesian foods. Well, there goes all of my calorie burning activities….

Although I haven’t got a chance to know Enschede more, I do have a chance to know Amsterdam. My uncle takes me there for a day. Amsterdam is a busy city, just like any other capital city in the world. A lot of people, many things to see, and many things to offer. However, in my opinion, Amsterdam is less modern than Berlin. Even the central station looks slum (Indonesian: kumuh) to me. Maybe I should explore more to get the whole impression of Amsterdam.

Anyway, I take a boat trip in the canal. It’s a 1-hour trip exploring the canal that built for controlling the flood in Amsterdam. The boat goes under the bridges and sometime narrow paths around the city. Somehow I am wondering, how come exploring bottom part of bridges can be a major tourist attraction?

In this trip, I also can see the social value of the canal. (I sound like social scientist, eh?!). Well basically I see many people traveling in their boat just for fun; like when people drives car or rides bicycle just to go around. I also see many floating houses and flower shops along the canal. Below is the video that I made during the boat trip.

While seeing these, my mind also flies to Indonesia. I remember one tribe called ‘Bajo’ who live as a sea gypsy. But surely, their wealth standard is far beyond the people of Amsterdam.
I also think about ‘Water Bender Tribe’ from the Avatar cartoon series. But I guess these guys can’t move the boat without paddling or using machine…
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Another trip that I have is visiting the replica of VOC ship. VOC is a Dutch trading company that initiate the colonialism era in Indonesia. This ship is huge and made by wood. I can’t imagine how is live back then; cruising for almost 2 years to Indonesia! In one of the display, it stated that the crews never wash! Eeeooowww!!!! Gross…

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Other thing that make me amazed, some parts of the ship have lower ceiling; even I have to bend my head inside. Well European suppose to be taller than Asian in general, how come they make shorter rooms??? Were they shorter??? Then how tall were Indonesians at that time???



In the end, I am glad that I can visit Amsterdam although only for a short time. At least I can experience Holland as I don’t travel outside Germany frequently. Or else, I don’t feel like I were in Europe at all as I keep eating Indonesian foods and talk in my language;)

Watching Live Football Match

Before I went to Germany, the only thing that crossed my mind whenever the name ‘Bremen’ pops up is ‘Werder Bremen’; the football club in Bremen. Although I’ve heard about ‘4 Musicians from Bremen’ tale when I was a kid, I really don’t remember it until I have arrived here.

So, of course watching Werder Bremen live in their stadium is one of my must things to do. And even if I could do more, like working part time for them, that would be lovely! But apparently it’s not easy. Getting the ticket is so difficult. Tickets have been sold out weeks or months before the match itself. Well, maybe in winter it’s easier to get the ticket. But freezing in the stadium for 2 hours? Naaah, I’d better wait.

Luckily, I know somebody that has a boyfriend who work for ticket sales :) How’s that… After months trying to look for info, suddenly the info comes to me… God really works in mysterious way!

But still, it’s not easy to get tickets. The tickets have been sold out, so the only chance is waiting for people who return their tickets. After waiting while praying, then the good news came: We got the tickets!

So this is it. Finally I get a chance to see European football match live; after just seen it in TV for several years. I will feel the atmosphere. I will feel the excitement.

On the D-day, we’re 8 people in the end. We watch it from the standing sector, the cheapest one. We buy for this sector because we want to feel the real excitement, and not because of any financial reason. Standing sector is the place where all the party happens. However, there’re 2 standing sectors: one for the hard core fans on the right side and the other is for calmer die hard fans on the left side. As a foreigner girl, I am not advised to go to hard core fans sector. (There’re 3 foreigner girls in our group). I think I can understand this situation as in Indonesia I also stay away from the potential-riot-making hard core fans.

I never have been to Werder-Stadion before.


So, although I know that it’s located in suburb area, I am so surprised to see that the stadium is located close to private housing. My God, I wonder how it will be if the match end up in riot??? Maybe that’s so Indonesia!!

Today, May 10th 2008, is the last home game of this season for Werder Bremen. The opponent is Hannover 96. As Bayern Muenchen has won the Bundesliga title, Werder Bremen needs to stay at 2nd position in order to be able to compete in European Champions League. Also, Werder Bremen always claim itself as the strongest team in Northern Germany; so to win against other Northern football team is a must. And I’ll be witnessing all of these ambitions.


So there I was, joining other 42,099 fans in the stadium and absorbing the aura.
We arrived about 1 hour before the match started. And some minutes before the match, the players start to do their warming up. To welcome the players into the field, the announcer will say the first name of the player and the fans will scream the last name. For example, the goalkeeper: Tim Wiese. The announcer will say, “Tim” and the fans will scream “Wiese!!!”. For the players who only have ‘one name’ like Naldo and Diego, there’re other rules. For Naldo, the announcer will say, “Nal… Nal… Nal…” and the fans will scream, “Do!!!”. And for Diego, the announcer will say, “Dieee…” and the fans will scream, “Gooo!!!”. So lovely :) And of course, when Hannover players were announced, we all just scream, “Booooo!!!”

Finally, the match will start. However, there’s a ritual before it started. The anthem of Werder Bremen is aired and all the fans stand up and lift their scarf. They then sing along together. Very nice! This is exactly the atmosphere that I want to feel: being in the middle of the football crowd singing their anthem. I feel really really grateful.

Then, the kick off! The party is started. Singing and shouting are continuously filling the atmosphere to support Werder Bremen. Of course the hard core fans sector is the leader in directing what to sing or shout. During this, I learned a song about Werder Bremen is the number one team in Northern Germany and some supportive shouts. Cool!!!

And after about 14 minutes, then the first goal for Werder Bremen is made. It’s a very nice collaboration between Naldo and Hugo Almeida. After the goal, the announcer guides the fans, that the one who pas the ball is, “Nal… Nal… Nal…” and the fans shout, “Naldo!!!”. Then the announcer says that the goal scorer is, “Hugo” and the fans scream, “Almeida!!!”. After that the announcer asks about the score like, “How’s the score for Bremen?” the fans shout, “One!”. And the announcer asks again, “And for Hannover?” the fans scream, “Null!”. Then the announcer says, “Thank You!” and the fans say, “You’re welcome!”.

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After the Goal

In the first half, the score is 2-0 for Bremen. We’re happy but we hope that there’ll be more goals in the 2nd half because Hannover goal will be in front of our seats. And apparently our wishes are coming true! More 4 goals are created in the second half, make the final score becomes 6-1 for Werder Bremen. I even can record the 4th goal with my camera because the goal is initiated by penalty, so I am well prepared. Diego’s penalty is blocked but then Ivan Klasnic can take advantage of the rebound to score. I upload this video in youtube. In less than 24 hours, this video has been viewed for more than 100 times although I haven’t told anybody about it!!!

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The Goal

There’s also a slight drama from this game. The 3rd goal scorer, Tim Borowski, is withdrawn after making the score. This would be his last home game with Werder Bremen as in the next season he’ll join Bayern Muenchen. When he’s walking to the dressing room, he has to walk about half a stadium. All the fans are shouting his name emotionally, expressing their thankfulness. In the other hand, Tim Borowski also bows and claps, appreciating the fans. It’s so touchy!

When the game is over, all players walk circling the stadium, thanking the fans while distributing some balls. I feel so happy and content that I can experience all of these. Everything is so perfect. The weather is so perfect at that time, it’s so warm and sunny. The score is good, it’s the biggest score for Werder Bremen during this season. And this is the last home game, so the stadium is full capacity and the fans go crazy. Sooo perfect!!! I hope this wouldn’t be the only live European game that I watch. It’s just the beginning…

For more videos, check out at http://www.youtube.com/user/seafoodgirl

Flirty European

So far, I think Italians are flirtier than Germans. At least, according to my experiences.

In my first experience, it’s even come from Italian girl! Well maybe the word ‘flirty’ is not proper. But let’s see… When I was traveling to Frankfurt, once I buy a hot chocolate in a small café. There’re one waiter and one waitress. The waitress, she’s Italian, try to talk to me. She asked where I come from and what do I do in Germany etc. When she found out that I am Moslem, then she called the waiter: an Egyptian guy. After that, she tried to matchmaking us!!! She forced him to ask my cellphone number and email!! In the other hand, she asked me whether I can come again to the café later after it closed!!! Oh My God, I just want to buy a hot chocolate, I don’t need any boyfriend as a bonus…!!!!

In the second one, it’s in Bremen. This time it’s in ice cream shop. The waiter, again, is Italian. After I get my ice cream and ready to pay, I asked how much should I pay. He answers, “It’s 1.20 because I love you”. So I give him the money and say, “Here’s 1.20 and I love you too!”

Italians…!!!

Are German Guys Flirty?

As I’ve been observed, German guys have high manners in public places. So although they spot a good looking girl, they will just look and not doing any action. This is probably because they are also shy people.

However, the situation will be different when they are drunk. Suddenly they become flirty and brave. So be careful, if suddenly there’s a guy come to you, out of nowhere in public places, asking your name or telling that you are beautiful; then surely that guy is drunk!

No joke in this. At least there’re two times that I tried to escape from these kinda guys!

May

In the end of April towards May, the weather becomes warmer and nicer. The sun shining everyday and the temperature can reach 26 centigrades. Although it’s still colder than average temperature in my city where I come from, but since I have been through the winter time here, that temperature is surely very hot now.

Surprisingly, the sky is very clear, no clouds; something that rarely happen in Bremen. And I think, we even don’t have rain for the last 2 weeks!!! What a very nice time!

Outdoor activities like sunbathing, having BBQ, playing football, etc can be seen everywhere. People really enjoy their time, they look happy.

For me, finally I can dress up like my normal dress in Indonesia: light shirt with Capri pants and sandals. Funnily, since I haven’t use my sandals for a long time, now it feels awkward to me in wearing them :(