Den Haag (2 – 5 July 2009)
I visit Den Haag for participating in a conference. Actually, I wasn’t aware about the conference; I participate just as a favor to my friend.
Here’s the story…
Few months before, I talked with my Indonesian friend who lives in a same student apartment area with me. He said that he is a part of the organizers of Indonesian Students Conference in Den Haag; and he needs more people to present or talk about their research. So I just say yes. It’s not a problem to present something; and at that time I don’t have any deadline; beside I haven’t visited Den Haag anyway.
But when the conference time comes closer, I just knew that the conference is very international. It’s not just for Indonesian students in Europe, but also all over the world; from middle east, Australia, USA, Africa, and of course Asia! Furthermore, this conference has its own prestige; it’ll be open by Indonesian president through tele-conference! What…??!!
Well, so be it. I come to
Talking about food. In the first day, there’s a dish called Rendang; a spicy beef which contains of coconut milk. Coconut milk is easy to get spoiled if one is not careful. So I guess that’s the reason; cause after eating it, half of the people there get diarrhea! I am alsoL I have to wake up in 3AM to run to toilet! And in the 2nd day of conference, many people are still disappearing suddenly from a conference room; to go to toilet. Oh well…
And about the conference itself. In the 1st day, the talks are general; about our country. In the 2nd day, the talks are divided into groups. There’re groups fro education topic, law topic, economy topic, etc. I am a part of 3E group which stands for Energy, Earth, and Environment. In my group, there’re 11 presenters. Half of them talk about natural disaster and recent technology in relation with it; for example, earthquake simulation or detection. Another half is talk about renewable energy, such as wind turbine and micro hydro. And I am the only one who talks about human; in a more specific term: fishermen!
At least I have put ‘a different color’ in the talks; and I am glad that the audiences understand of what I am talking about. So, that’s how it is; my chat with a friend in front of a garbage dumpsite ends up in I become a part of Indonesian Intellectual International Association!
Actually I haven’t got much chance in exploring the city as the conference schedule is very tight and tiring. The conference is started at 8AM everyday and it could ends up at midnight for some of the groups.
So among those tight schedules, I just see the city in general. The main impression that I get is Den Haag is the multi ethnic/ race city. Various specific shops are scattered everywhere like Indonesian restaurant, Pakistani supermarket,
Photos courtesy of: Widodo S. Pranowo
Enschede (5 – 8 July 2009)
Enschede is a small city; one can’t get lost there. There’s no tram, only bus as a public transportation. Here I am also not exploring the city so much as I try to recover from the conference’s hectic schedule.
But somehow I manage to go to the city centre and introduced to an award-winning ice cream parlor! Very nice! The place is called ‘Ijs salon van der Poel’. There’re ‘crown’ signs on some of the flavor’s name; the crown shows that the flavor has won an award.
Before I go back to
I went here with my aunt who has a train ticket for two which applies everywhere in
In the end, I have to pick very special places that I want to see as I can’t tour the whole tourist sitesL I pick the famous cubic houses which I know from Jackie Chan movie; Erasmus bridge; and anything in between.
Jackie Chan's hands print on the walk of fame in Rotterdam
As a football freak, I know that
But I guess destiny is on my side. When I have to wait for my aunt who looks for vitamin in drug store; my eyes struck on a window display in a sport store across the street. It’s a
Of course I don’t waste my time. I went there and ask for girl shirt. Surprisingly, they only have 1 shirt for girls! Talking about gender equality again…
I have no choice, I take that one. But then the salesguy tells me that I can print my own name on the back side! Woow, how cool is that!!! I mean, having player’s name is normal; but having our own name, that’s really special. So I decide to have it. But when it comes to number, I really can’t make up my mind. Which number should I put? I don’t have any special or lucky number. After thinking for some time, I decide to put ‘8’ as my number; it comes after my birth date. Apparently, number 8 is the number for the team captain: Giovanni van Bronckhorst!
This is very cool! In the end, my bad mood from the bad weather is gone after having this custom made Feyenoord FC jersey J
Holland in General
Although this is my 2nd time in visiting
I find Dutch people are easier to talk English than the Germans. I can just start talking English in a bus or stores and the people will just reply automatically. They don’t have to think or show some surprised expression at me.
I notice that the English programs on TV are not dubbed. They are still in English with a Dutch subtitle. Except for children programs, of course. I think this is why the Dutch is so familiar to English.
Funny transportation system
Yes I just realize this; the Dutch has funny transportation system.
First, the train. The trains here don’t have a number. Here’s a thing. On each normal platform in the train station, there’s a board which stated the schedule of the current and/or next train. Usually it has information of the time, direction, route, and the train number. But in
So when I have to change my train in
Still the trains. Apparently
But then I see how the Dutch do in taking the train. They just jump into a wagon, ask the people inside the wagon; and if it’s the wrong wagon, they jump out again. For sure, many people do this. They don’t bother to read or maybe they are also confused as I am.
Second is the strippenkaart system. This is a ticket stripe for bus and tram. One ticket consists of (at least) 15 stripes or numbers. If one takes a tram or bus, then one has to put the ticket inside a stamping machine. This machine will stamp the hour and date as the travel begins. If one travels for 2 zones or longer distance, one has to stamp additional 1 stripe on the ticket. If one travels for 3 zones, then additional 2 stripes have to be stamped.
OK, nothing wrong with this; except, one has to start put a stamp on the stripe number 2 for traveling in 1 zone!!! No kidding, if one has a new ticket stripe and one wants to travel for 1 zone only; then one has to start put a stamp on 2nd row which leaves the 1st row blanks!!! I really don’t get it; why we should start at number 2 instead of number 1? Why don’t we start to put a stamp on number 1 for traveling in 1 zone? Isn’t this just wasting a paper? Hmmm talking about saving the trees, eh?!
Third one is not really about transportation; but it’s related to it. It’s the traffic light for pedestrian. Like in
If the street is consists of 2 parts, the pedestrian has 2 traffic lights to cross it. Normally, the near traffic light will go green first, so the pedestrian can walk half way. Then, there’s a place on halfway where the pedestrian wait for the next traffic light goes green. Sometime the pedestrian doesn’t have to wait at all; while pedestrian walks halfway the next traffic light goes green immediately.
What makes it funny in