Graduation Madness

After having a graduation ceremony, the real party is begun. Me and my classmates enjoy our night starting with dinner in a fancy sushi restaurant. We eat and chat there until around 11PM.

After that, our journey of bar hopping is started. We go from one bar to another to experience the atmospheres. Unfortunately, it is Wednesday; so not many bars are open after midnight.

But as people say “Third time is a charm”; we settled in our third bar. This bar has a very cool bartender and nice music collections. We really have a good time there as we dance and sing the whole night.

And when the music plays “I will always love you” by Whitney Houston, we sing together in a circle. In the end, we hug each other as an expression that we will always love each other. It is a very nice memory; I am sure we will never forget this moment. Ever!

We go out from the last bar at around 5AM. The trams are starting to run in normal hours again. It means that many people are starting to go to work while we are just start going home. What a night!


This is my last traveling in Germany before I fly back to my country. With a very limited time, I can’t travel far. I have to choose one city nearby Bremen where I can visit it without staying. The option is going to a city that I haven’t visited before or; a city that I have visited before but to a place that I haven’t visited. In the end, I choose to go to a city that I haven’t visited before.

Why Lübeck? Well it’s a recommendation from a friend. She said that it’s possible to explore Lübeck in one day and the city has many old buildings from the medieval and gothic times.

Lübeck is in the north direction from Bremen. To go there, I have to go by train to Hamburg and then change train to Lübeck. I use this route because my semester ticket covers a train cost from Bremen to Hamburg, which means I don’t have to pay. And when I try to buy a ticket to Lübeck in Hamburg, there’s a guy offers me to join his group ticket. With this ticket, the cost is cheaper than a single ticket.

By using a free map that one can get almost everywhere, it’s easy to travel around the city by walking. The city is just a one big round, nobody will get lost. It’s just a matter if one wants to travel clockwise or anti clockwise direction.

The landmark of the city is the two twin towers as the ancient gate of the city. And as my friend said, there’re many interesting historical buildings. The city is very nice; I think it is cleaner than Bremen. The sidewalk beside the river is also nice because it is on the same level as the city road. I think I don’t mind to live there.

Lübeck is famous for its marzipan, a kind of nuts. There’s a big marzipan museum and store there. Most of the marzipans are made as a filling for chocolates. Only small numbers are purely marzipan. I bought a pure marzipan in a form of sea turtle. I feel so sad in eating the turtle :(

I walk circling the city for about four hours. I manage to go home before 9PM. It’s tiring, of course, but I hope I could do it again in the future.


Actually it’s not common to have graduation ceremony in Germany, but since majority of my class is foreigners, having graduation ceremony is necessary. With a ceremony, we will leave Germany with nice memories; beside, the ceremony also acts as a farewell party. It’s nice to see most of the classmates in one place again before we all get separated.

The ceremony is far from formal. It opens with a talk from the head of the Master study saying how nice our class was. Then it followed by distributing our certificates. Each person is called to receive the certificate and a rose. After this, it’s party time. We’re free for chatting, taking pictures, drinking, eating, whatever…

Most common topic is ‘what will you do after this’; and if one’s plan could cross with anybody else, the two make a promise to meet again. I feel sad to say goodbye to my classmates without knowing when we can meet again. But there’s a German proverb that says “People meet twice in life”; so I hope I can meet all my classmates again someday…

My First (Hopefully, Not Only) Real Idul Fitri Celebration in Germany

OK, the title is too long, I admit. But don’t worry, I’ll explain it.

Idul Fitri is the celebration after the fasting month or Ramadan is over. When I came to Germany in 2007, I have my fasting month in Germany so does the Idul Fitri. However, the Idul Fitri day is on the weekdays which means normal class day in Germany. So, I couldn’t celebrate it as I used to have in Indonesia.

It was a funny feeling because I never experienced in having Idul Fitri far from my family. I wasn’t happy, of course, but I wasn’t sad either because I know in the next year (2008) I’ll have my Idul Fitri in Indonesia with my family.

And yes, that’s what had happened. In 2008, the Ramadan and Idul Fitri were in the period of my research work in Indonesia. So I didn’t miss anything.

In this year, I am back in Germany. This time, I don’t have any class anymore. So I can just sleep the whole fasting time. But of course I didn’t do that. I even travel out of town on the first and second day of Ramadan. I go to Köln to visit friends. Although the weather is pretty hot and dry but I don’t break my fast before the time. In the first day, my friend takes me for a long walk along the river and the city. Yes, this is during the fasting time, not after the breaking time. While in the second day, other friends take me for a cruise along the river during the day. It sounds an easy thing to do. But as I mentioned before, the weather is hot and sunny. I am cooked directly under the sun!

Another thing during this year’s Ramadan, my thesis defense is during the fasting time. Actually nothing special about this, but my supervisors think it’s something special. They couldn’t imagine standing for an hour and talking while fasting.

Anyway, in the end I can celebrate the Idul Fitri like normal celebration. I can join the praying and gathering with Indonesian and Malaysian people. This year’s Idul Fitri is on the weekend which makes many people from Bremen and around can come to gather. Even people from other religion also come to join.

I think this is perfect cause in the end of my study period, I can have a real Idul Fitri celebration. Since I still hoping that I could come back to Germany in the future, I hope I could have another real Idul Fitri celebration.

Flohmarkt (part 2)

A week after my first experience in opening a stall in flohmarkt, I try my luck again. It’s still on the same place, the Wesser River. This time, the weather is totally different from the previous week. It’s a bright sunny day.

I start very early from my place. At a tram stop, I see two Chinese girls with big suitcases. They take the same tram with me. When the tram stops at the central station, these girls do not step down; by this time, I know that they are heading to the flohmarkt also.

The weather really makes a difference on everything. More vendors crowded the place since early morning. Me and my friend, this time only two of us, find difficulties in getting a space for our stall.

Once we find a place, we try to set the knocked-down clothes hanger. However, it’s not easy in doing this task. The clothes hanger is not ours, and apparently setting up a clothes hanger is beyond our skill. We place all the pipes and screws according to our logics. However, the clothes hanger couldn’t stand still; it’s always unbalanced.

After 10 to 15 minutes struggling with the clothes hanger, finally an African man comes to us. He says, “If you do it like that, it won’t stand even if you try it for 2 days!”. Of course we’re just grinning. Luckily, this man helps us to set up the clothes hanger. Apparently, we connect two wrong sides of the pipes which make it unbalanced. Right, if he’s not around, probably we would take a week to figure it out….

The African man, apparently, is a flohmarkt regular. He buys things from flohmarkt and sells it to his country: Senegal. I see some African people do the same.

Along with the nice weather, a lot of people come to the flohmarkt. But still, it’s not easy to sell things because the competition is higher. A lot of vendors sell clothes, so we have to compete with them. In my case, my clothes are small which are unlikely sizes for the Germans. Once, there’s a big(ger) lady try to fit in my clothe. I am so afraid that she would tearing apart my clothe because just by looking at her, I know the clothe doesn’t fit for her!

In the end, my income for the day is even worse than the previous week! I can only sell stationeries like pens, pencils, erasers, and sharpeners. No clothes or shoes sold. Fortunately, my friend has a better luck. Her children stuffs are easily sold. She makes more than € 15; which make us can pay the space rent for € 6.

I guess selling children stuffs is easier in flohmarkt because children tend to break their stuffs easily. It means, having cheaper stuffs is preferred. Lesson learned for today: sell children stuffs to get better income in the flohmarkt.

Thesis Defense

This is the last step of my Master study. After completing the writing of the thesis, I have to present it and defend everything that I have written.

The deadline submission for the thesis is August 17th; in this time, all theses are handed to the supervisors and/or examiners. Then, starting September 8th the thesis defense period is started.

As agreed with my supervisors, I got a date on September 8th which means the first day of thesis defense period! However, apparently some of my friends even want to finish earlier. So I am not the first; three of my classmates are having their defense before the 8th.

The thesis defense is consists of two parts: first is presenting the research in 30 minute presentation, then another 30 minute for questions and answers (Q & A) session. In the Q & A, usually only the supervisors are allowed to ask. However, sometimes the supervisors allow the audiences to ask in the last minutes.

For my presentation, I have to fit my slides and talk into 30 minute. I have lost count of how many times I have to readjust my slides. Then, I try to memorize everything that I wanted to say. It’s not easy but when I do my presentation, the words are just sliding out from my mouth and I couldn’t control them!

As for the Q & A, I keep looking on the clock to see how much time that I still have. I have no idea whether my answers are good enough or not. I just say everything that crosses my mind at that time…

In the end, my torture is over. I got A- for the whole thesis work. Not bad; and my Master study is officially over.

Me and my three supervisors.