Tropical Fruits

A month before I fly back to my home country, I found a one of my favorite fruits in German supermarket. I don’t know what does it called in English, but it’s called Markisa in Indonesian. You can see the picture here.

I am so happy to find it but at the same time I feel so angry and annoyed in looking to the price tag. It costs € 1.5 each!!! Oh My God!!!

Luckily I’ll fly within a month, so I decided to be patient. And now, almost a month back in my home country, I can have my markisa with only less than € 0.50 for 5.

So, for those from tropical countries and craving for tropical fruits, be prepare, it surely costs a lot just to get what you miss…

Priceless Moment

Although my home country is very chaotic, but home is home. Many things can’t be found elsewhere. Spicy and delicious foods, cheap massage, and cheap beauty care treatments are where my money flies so far. I have trimmed my hair, having hair creambath, facial, buying custom made facial creams, and having full body massage; it seems that I don’t have money left for research especially I have done all of these treatments twice in one month!


Yeah, of course to say that as a priceless moment is too much because I have to spend money on them. But the feeling to access them easily, that’s priceless.


Another priceless moment that I have is when I met my old friends. To be exact: my high school friends. It started accidentally when I chat with one of my high school friends. We decide to meet for old time sake. But then, somehow it grows and some people show up! I feel so touched with it. I have a good time and a good laugh; something that I haven’t got for a long time. To make it more priceless moment, we stay until midnight outside with short sleeve shirt! This is surely priceless for me, as it’s impossible to go out in Bremen without wearing, or at least, carrying jacket.

Another Episode of Visa Drama

Ok, now I am in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia which is also my hometown. I’ll use this opportunity in extending my visa because German Embassy is here. I want this issue being settled so I can go to my field research without any burden.

So there I go, to the Embassy with all the documents that I have to submit which are consisting of documents needed for applying a new visa. If I can extend it in Bremen, it only requires my scholarship document and insurance. See the difference?

There are layers of examination there. Not only for security, but before you can enter the visa administration office, there’ll be someone who checks your documents. If your documents are less complete, then you can’t enter the office.

I think I wait about 45 minutes before I meet this document check section. And of course I feel nervous when I face this section, afraid that my documents are not enough. Fortunately, I can go through. Then I enter the visa office and of course I have to wait again until I get my turn.

I think, once you get inside the office then there’s no chance that your application will be rejected. But apparently I am wrong! Because mine is :( Soon after the officer finds out that I will fly back to Germany in February, she said it’s not possible to process my application now. If I want to process it, at least I have to come as early as November!!!

Oh well, I guess I still can’t end this drama now. There’s still another episode waiting; I hope it’ll be only one more left. But what makes me irritated, now I have to juggle my time between research and this visa application; especially in arranging the travel schedule. Argh! And this is what I got for trying to become a good citizen… :( :( :(

Home Country Shocked

Starting September, I am back in my home country i.e. Indonesia. Not much change actually, but somehow I still get some shocks!

The first shock, I completely forgot how diverse the smell of air in big cities of Indonesia. Smell of garbage and vehicle emissions are mix together with the nice smells of the foods from the street vendors. Now I find it totally funny!

Second shock, the currency. € 1 is equal to around Rp. 13,400!! So imagine, usually I spend around € 5 to € 10 a day; and now if I spend Rp. 100,000, it’s just normal. But of course I feel that I am too spendrift or too much in wasting money because the amount is so big in numbers! And to add more dilemmas, my wallet that I bought in Germany is too small to host so many pieces of money. Oh well, I need a new wallet…

Another unprepared shock… Although I am ready to feel the hot and humid weather, but still there’re some aspect that I haven’t prepare properly. Now I feel amazed that my face is so oily and I need tissue to absorb the oil from my face again. This is normal actually, but somehow I forgot that I used to have this situation.

And the silliest thing that I’ve done so far, it’s my idea to buy a jumbo size body milk from Germany to be used in Indonesia! In Germany, the weather is dry, so I need body milk, instead of regular body lotion, to moisturize my skin. Since my body milk is running out about a week before I fly, I thought it will be a good idea to buy a jumbo size one so I don’t have to buy it again in Indonesia for some times. But when I apply it to my skin, aaarrrggghhh…. it’s too sticky!!! It just makes me feel worse: humid and sticky! Surely that’s not a good combination…

August

People say August is the warmest month in Europe. Hmmm I wonder what is the justification for that cause for the whole August I don’t feel any significant warm. The weather is cloudy as usual and the temperature is mostly under 20 centigrade. So, no difference.

Even, some of the outdoor events aren’t going well as expected. There’s one open air beach party that has to be cancelled due to the ‘unexpected’ weather. This event then has to be moved to other day.

If the event can’t be moved, then the organizer has to face reality. It might not be as successful as it is planned. Just take a look at the video below. This event, called Viertelfest, is supposed to be a very nice and worth waiting for. But the never ending rain has ruined it. Look at the number of people who watch this band. I am sure in a clear day, more people will come to see.

video



Uhm, or maybe for Bremen people, the rain has made the festival more lovely… I don’t know… I am just wondering when people in Bremen will start to use rain-controller (pawang hujan – Indonesian) service.

Visa Extension

Although I have 2 years Master program and full scholarship for that, but somehow the installment of the fund is given annually. And this scheme is affecting the visa application. My visa in Germany is only valid for 1 year and I have to extend it for the second year after the second fund installment is approved.

My current visa is valid until September 30th 2008. But since I plan to conduct my research starting September in my home country, so I thought I should extend my visa before I leave Germany.

So there I am, acting as a high-aware citizen with complete documents, try to extend my visa. But then, what do I got? The officer there tells me that I am too early in applying for visa extension. What??!!

He said that I am only eligible to extend it starting September 17th!!! I try to argue, saying that I have to leave at August 31st, but he just apologizes that he can do nothing. This is such a lightning strike to me cause I imagine it will be difficult to extend the visa in German Embassy in Jakarta. Even to enter the building, it’s so difficult as it has layers of security check. Beside, I will need to concentrate to my research that’s far from my hometown, so surely this visa extension problem is really not a good news for me. But as an Indonesian, I try my best in bargaining everything. I ask the officer to make me a reference letter to the embassy, saying that there’s no problem in my visa extension application; it’s just submitted too early. Fortunately, he agrees. So at least I won’t be interrogated much about it in the embassy.

My case is a rare case somehow; so I contact DAAD Jakarta to inform it. But after a week, I still got no reply at all. This surely makes me wondering. Why they don’t reply? Is it because my case is not so important? I don’t know. But somehow I feel that something wrong has happened. It can’t be like this. So then I come up with brilliant idea to check my spam box. And after searching for awhile, there it is! I find a reply from DAAD Jakarta. The mail says that to extend my visa I have to submit the evidence of 2nd fund installment. Well this is easy, I have it. But there’s also another letter that I have to submit. It’s a reference letter from my Master program that says that I am registered there and will finish my study until certain time! Now, this, I don’t have. To have this, I have to ask the secretariat of my Master program. And to add more drama, I only have 1 day left to get it!!!

Life is a drama, sure! So I email the secretariat and tell about my story. That happens in the afternoon. And in the next day, I come to the secretariat office to pick it up. Nice…! Oh God; and all of these happened just because I try to become a good citizen…

Research

After doing a full year study, now it’s time for me to do my research. In my Master program, it is required that the students have ‘Auslandsemester’ or abroad semester in tropical country to conduct a research. And since I come from a tropical country, my destination is, of course, my home country.

My research will be in different island from my hometown (Jakarta). I need 1.5 hour flight to go to the biggest city (Makassar) and then my research area will be in the small archipelago in front of Makassar.

It’s good to go back home after traveling for a year. At least I can be free from the cold weather and plain taste foods ;) I will also have a chance to meet my family and friends. In fact, actually I have to juggle my time between research and meeting them! It surely won’t be easy…

It’ll be an interesting experience, whether I’ll miss Bremen (and Germany) or not. And if I do, in what sense? But one thing for sure, I’ll be sad that some of my friends won’t be at Bremen anymore when I return :(