Getting Interviewed

On February 28th 2013, Deutsche Welle (DW) TV interviewed me. Although this TV station is German but it has Indonesian version, like a franchise. I never have been interviewed by a TV, so this is a new experience for me. Funnily, when I was doing my Masters study, the Greenpeace Germany magazine interviewed me. So it is like an improvement for me, going to higher level of interview.
The Deutsche Welle TV interviewed me.
The DW TV contacted me from December 2012 to do an interview, but the schedule kept changing until it finally reached on February. However, a night before the interview, I got a sore throat and had a fever (see: Getting Sick in Germany). I was in a very bad condition the whole day before finally I consumed paracetamol half an hour before the interview. So basically I was on drugs during the interview.

The DW TV has a program called “Inovator” in which it features news in science and technology. Within this program, there is a segment of a profile of a researcher. When the DW TV crews came to my institution, they interviewed researchers from South and Southeast Asia.

Me, from behind a camera.
Anyway, back to my interview, I was asked about my research, the challenges, the reasons of choosing Germany as a place of study, and what I like about Germany or Bremen in particular.  Since the interview is for a TV show, it needs some visuals. However, my daily activities are far from visually interesting. I only sit in front of my computer the whole day, reading and writing. To make my interview visually interesting, I had to shoot some “generic” scenes. I had to pretend that I am observing an aquarium (really, why would I do that?), to stand on some points along a corridor (I love this scene), and pretend that I am discussing about marine species in front of the marine species display (luckily my friend is willing to be a co-star).

After two months, my interview is broadcast. It is in form of web article ( and feature video called Inovator episode 57 ( My interview appears in minute of 04.40 to 07.16. The feature is broadcast on some TV channels in Indonesia.

I also received some pictures from the interview. What makes me surprised is that I look so enthusiastic! That must have come from the drugs…

This is how I look under the influence of Paracetamol.

Getting Sick in Germany

Of course this is not a suggestion. I just want to share my horrible story and hope that you (the readers) wouldn’t have to experience it at all. And of course, I didn’t intentionally get sick just to have an experience. In fact, I always careful with my health. I control my meals, I exercise, I don’t stay late during weekdays; those kind of stuffs. So when I got sick, I felt like I was being punished for something that I never did.

It started with a sore throat. One Wednesday night, I felt that my throat was swollen and I had fever too. Unfortunately I had to go to work in the next day because I had an appointment already. So I thought: “Let’s finished it and skip work on Friday”.

But it wasn’t that easy. My appointment was at 4 PM and I felt horrible in waiting it. I brought some herbal/ traditional remedies for sore throat but of course they couldn’t work immediately. I knew that I need to rest.

My traditional remedies that I brought to office.

So there I was, trying to read some scientific articles in pain while waiting for the appointment time. My body was weak and aching. I felt so horrible and uncomfortable. This condition stayed until lunch time when I met my friend and told about it. He then volunteered to buy a paracetamol from nearby pharmacy. I took it just 30 minutes before my appointment. It was very timely. In the end my appointment went well and I could go home right away.

After staying at home for 3 days, my fever had gone. I still had running nose and cough, but I guessed it would go away in a week. I was wrong! Even in almost 2 weeks, my running nose and cough still existed. Even worst, I felt like all my bones were aching. At this point, I couldn’t take it anymore. I went to a doctor.

I thought I was having a serious illness. But according to the doctor, it was just a normal cold! Hmmm, I guess we have different standard of normal. For me it’s not normal to have a cold for more than a week! This German virus is so fierce!

I got a medicine for taking out all the slime in my nose and throat. This is the only medicine that the doctor gave me, and it lasted for a week. So within a week, I kept taking out slime from my nose and throat. And surprisingly, after a week, my slime was completely gone! Wooow, these Germans really calculate for everything!

The only medicine I got from the doctor.

Finally I am free from a cold. It took me 3 weeks to get rid of it! Now I have to be even more careful of my health. I guess I have to adjust my tropical standard to the cold standard. The illnesses are different, and the treatments for illnesses are also different. But I think the prevention of illnesses remains the same: eating healthy meals, exercising, and having enough rest.