hostel life

Wow, It’s the longest time I don’t write any single entry on this blog, kinda missing it…  I’ve  got a lot stories to be told actually, until I don’t know where do I start 😉

Well. let me start recalling what have been happening for almost 6 months since the last time I blog.

April, where the adventure starts….

In April, I flew to Singapore in order to attend a job interview for graphic designer position. I came to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur, then stopped at KL central and took a bus to Singapore, which take around 5 hours road trip. I was so excited to start my new adventure in foreign countries (again). It’s just me!!! I don’t know why.. I guess I was born as a gypsy who enjoys moving from one place to another.

My mom told me, I was born in Jakarta, Java island.. my dad lived in Padang, West Sumatra – Sumatra island. However, my grandparents of my mom’s side lived in Jakarta. So, I just born in Jakarta, then at the age of 2 months ..  my mom brought me back to Padang city, by plane. So.. my first flight experience is, when I was two months old. I guess, that’s why I do enjoy traveling and just can’t stand staying at one place for a long time!! Nomad or gypsy girl, I like to call myself so!!

Stepping my feet again in Singapore after one year long being away of this country gave me such a nostalgia. Singapore, I lived here more than 5 years, love and hate have been grown toward this country. I learned a lot here, about design, life, English,  .. being a die hard designer, having such a bad and good experience while working here… and, meeting multinational friends in this country, which I can say it’s a great experience for me.

It was around 10 pm Singapore time. I was officially homeless, no place to stay with carrying one big luggage with me, Oh ya, with no Singapore Dollar in my wallet for taxi fee. So, I just walked around one kilometer to find money changer. Locals were so helpful, by giving me some direction and a lift to get a money changer.

I stopped at the hostel located not really far from Sultan Mosque, around Arab street district. This is my favorite part of Singapore, because there are several nice places to eat here, and comfy place to hang around. I used to sit for many hours at one of cafe around here just for catching up on my readings with teh tarik as my companion.

After lunch time, one day on the weekday,- I attended my job interview. It went quite well, nice company, they told me that I’d be the only designer in this company. We had around 40 minutes of interview, discussing about the job scope and introducing the company about. Yeah, it’s just part of my job hunting.. My another job interviews still went on, by the way.. I still kept searching until being hired.

One day after staying at the hostel, I met a western guy which the latter I knew he comes from Berlin, Germany. Aha, I’ve been to that place!!!

Viktoria Park – Kreuzberg

He’s still 25 years old, an adventurist, he just finished his working holiday in New Zealand for more than 6 months and did a transit in Singapore for 6 days to start his South East Asia adventure before going back to his home country, Germany. He had such a great life there, it’s like a life in movies, … staying in his own caravan, from city to city in New Zealand. Exploring New Zealand by hiking, mountain biking.. well, well… what a great life. I hear New Zealand is an amazing place to visit.

I spent my early days in Singapore with him,  knowing him is a wonderful time I got though in a short time. He changed my perception about German that before I had some ideas that German are cold people and they don’t want to speak English. This Berlin guy I met, he’s fun, sarcastic humor and had some jokes come out of his words.

It was a bit sad when the day we had to separate, I had to continue my job hunting and him, ready for his fantastic South East Asia journey before going back home.

May, got a new job and busy life.

I got a new job as graphic and web designer, then they started to apply my working visa. It’s not the first time I deal with Ministry of Man Power, but Singapore was in Election time where foreign worker is such a big deal for them. I don’t need to elaborate Singapore’s Politics here, because it’s not my business to interfere since I don’t really follow Singapore politics.

At least I got monthly salary again, having 5 hours of sleep everyday, taking MRT early morning and left office after 6 pm and waiting for the weekend during weekdays.

Hostel life….

I stayed at the hostel, in the dorm room.. yeah, it’s quite a hard life I have to face. Staying at the hostel for quite a long term ain’t comfortable where you have to deal with different people and different character. Sometimes, I have to hear somebody’s snoring in the middle of the nite,I had to hear zip out and in from somebody’s zipper backpack, etc etc.

I enjoy my hostel life, from meeting many people, world travelers who happen to transit in Singapore and are on the way to continue their way to south and north. Most of them, young Europeans aged from 19 to 35. They are backpacking alone, traveling and exploring the world.

Sometimes I envy them, They are still young, but able to travel the world, visiting many countries even though as a low budget travelers who stay at backpacker hostels. Sometimes, I blamed my destiny why do I have to be born in Indonesia as Indonesian, suck passport, traveling overseas is sorta luxury for us.

In general, Indonesians who are able to travel overseas, crossing the continents are rich kids from rich daddy. They travel with parents’ money and the main intention to travel is Shopping (with parents’ money), stay at luxury hotels.

It’s totally different from backpackers I met while staying at the hostel. They are young, traveling after saving their own money for years (from blue collar kind of job generally), while traveling they don’t shop but searching some experience and adventure.

If I were one of them, European, in early 20 something I would be able to across continents from my own salary. I don’t need to own my own company or waiting for director/ general manager position to travel overseas. Pfhhh.. life is unfair. Period.

A PhD medicine student, Gogh and Dali Exhibition at Science Museum, Kungfu Panda and Pirate of the Caribbean.

She’s still 25 years old, from Rotterdam… just finished her PhD in Medicine. I like her, she’s smart and humble Dutch girl I met at the hostel on Friday night. On the weekend, we spent some times by exploring Singapore from Little India to Arab Street, had dinner around there. After taking a walk for many kilometers, we ended our Saturday by watching Pirate Of the Caribbean movie.

On Sunday, without my knowledge she bought Kungfu Panda ticket for me.. so nice, she gave me a treat. We went to Gogh and Dali Exhibition before the show, it was a cool exhibition especially van Gogh part 😉

Science Center

Science Center

Like the other girls in Singapore, she’s so fascinated by shops in every corner of this country. She asked me many times, do you guys shop a lot and so rich?? I think it’s good I don’t live here, otherwise, I can’t wait for shopping, shopping and shopping.

Yes, i do agree with her, that’s why I really like Holland. I could save more money living there where the country doesn’t have many malls as we have here. In Holland, when you want to go shopping, you just need to go to city centrum. No massive malls like here. We, Asians are very consumerist, we spend money for shop and shop.

The day when she left the hostel while I was at work, she left her Paulo Coelho book titled Brida on my bed. Thanks for the book 🙂 It was nice meeting you……

June, another German!!

On Sunday morning in the beginning of June, while having breakfast at the hostel, I had a good chat with another German guy. German student who is doing his internship in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. The funny thing is, my office is closer to his place in JB than hostel I was staying in Singapore which took me around one hour by MRT.

He’s from Berlin (oh, again.. what’s going on between me and Berlin?? I always meet people from Berlin!!??)

Two months after I knew him I nicknamed him ‘Wichrispedia’. He’s a smart German who know a lot about everything, speak almost impeccable English with high level vocabulary, almost no type error while chatting either on Facebook or Skype, and a bit mysterious and I sense he’s  ‘more German’, cold and too patriotic.

Things I become to know or observe while hanging out with him;

1. One day, where he became my housemate,- I knocked his door and borrow his toothpaste because I ran out of toothpaste. He lent me his toothpaste, it’s made in Germany.. I was surprised by the brand of his toothpaste. The brand name is Odol. Aha.. I told him, you know.. In Indonesian odol means toothpaste.

Then I look up on google the origin of odol name in Indonesian, okay… Odol is derived from German brand toothpaste in Indonesia long time ago. I guess it’s like our habit to call Aqua for mineral water, Honda for motorcycle and so on. Maybe, the Dutch brought and sold this brand in colonial time and indirectly, it enters our Indonesian word for toothpaste.



2. German drink beer a lot without getting drunk easily. Seriously, they could drink 20 bottle of beers in one nite without getting drunk easily. So now, I got conclusion.. because they are used to drink culture such a October fest, or he told me.. the way Asian drink beer is kinda funny. They drink beer like they drink mineral water, sipping them frequently in a short time, which he told me.. this is the reason you get drunk easily. It’s different from us, who drink beer while chatting for many hours and when we drink beer, we just drink beer without food like Asian who drink beer with meal such as, rice and noodle.

3. While hanging out with a group of German, they speak German all the time and I remained silent without any idea what they were talking about. They don’t think it’s a big deal watching  Hollywood movie with dubbing to German. I often said dubbing is for a kid show, they always said.. it’s even better in German. oh man!!! 😉

4. German, they traveled around the world, which is easier to find them in everywhere…..

With two Germans (I’m older than both of them 😛 )

August 1st, The Cranberries concert in Singapore Indoor stadium,…

The Cranberries Concert in Singapore

Yihaa.. I went to the Cranberries concert for the second time. I’m a big fan of the cranberries, the first time was in Jakarta in 2002 which I can say, it’s the best one. In Singapore, besides the ticket fees is damn expensive and it’s unlike watching a rock concert. I don’t think we need chairs to watch the Cranberries concert, c’mon it’s not unplugged or orchestra type of show. it’s a rock music, we don’t need chairs, it’s the art of watching rock music where you only need to stand, jump and sweating.

When life gives you lemons make lemonade,…

When life give you sour, put sugar on it, some ices and tadaa… sipping my lemonade…. Be happy and keep smiling. My Working visa was being rejected for the third time, I was so tired of this matter and crossing the island to stay in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.. where my German friend became my housemate again. He’s a Sunday born child, meeting him give me a luckiness indirectly. In Johor Bahru, I got another website project where I can make some ringgit and cool, I got another portfolio from Malaysia client!!

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