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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Boston 3rd Chapter (a small list)

I noticed some interesting things in the City. For me, it's more fascinating to learn about the people in a city, a part from touristic objects. Here the list:

- when it's sunshine and warm, wear your best suite to office but don't forget to put sandals instead of high heels or boots. Everyone does! and it looks good too!

- though it's not a big ciy, there're homeless people. the number tends to grow when it's getting colder. you can find them dodging along in front of churches.

- don't get confused. they're still fixing the stations, so it's normal that in one place you use card to get in and then use token to get out in next station. they might not notice if you drop 5-cent coin instead of the token to the box (same size, similar color) tho I wasn't brave enough to try... hehehe

- you are a stranger in one of US cities. So obviously you wanna be a good visitor. Walk through the cross-line when the sign shows "WALK" or greenlight. But be ware, don't be surprised. People there do walk through no matter it's still red or green. So far there's no car passing, you can still keep crossing. Good thing is, cars do stop here if you pass, even tho it's green light for them and red for you. So no worry. I learned quit fast, stop by only when it's necessary, meaning when there's a bunch of cars coming fast to the crossing light.

- the best way to get branded stuffs (bags, wallet, shoes, clothes) is go to common stores selling them for all-time discounts. They are real (genuine) stuffs, not fake, so don't worry. Most are made in China tho, it's normal... they no longer produce or fabricate mass production in State I guess... plus it's SUMMER SALEEEEE!

- there's a fixed schedule for damping your waste bags, most commonly 2 times per week. Remember, you'll get fined if damping them outside the schedule!

- the washing machines in most apartments only use quarter dollar coin. So don't forget to collect them when you buy something out of shops. You'll need them. It's 2 dollar for washing and another 2 dollar for drying, 16 quarter dollar coins! It made me crazy everytime I was short of 1 coin. 5 and 10 ct coins, even the 1 dollar coin, are practically useless! (I gave all left with me to a taxi driver in New York).

- they don't have as many types of milks and milk product as in Holland. The CVS Pharmacy don't sell either them or washing soap for clothes. You'll need to go to 7Eleven for that.

Will add the list when I can remember more.

posted by retno@23:41


Boston - 2nd Chapter (the Weatherman must make a lot of money in US!)

I possessed a new habit when stayed in Boston.

First thing to do in the morning: turn on TV and watch weather forecast for that day and the whole week! It helped a lot to decide what to wear for that day!

The weather is just like a rollercoaster, it goes up and down for a whole week. Even in a day. Once, it was 80 degree Fahrenheit one night and then 50 degree the next day! So stick on weather forecast is a must to take the best out of it.

And i think TV Stations in State surely know this.

Can't expect to see world news except those around Bush stories... (you name it: Iran, Korea, Iraq, Mid East). Hey there're so many other countries around the world!

Can't expect to watch Formula 1 Grand Prix or Football (soccer) Leagues. All they have are: (1) American Football, (2) Baseball, (3) American Football, (4) Baseball...and the list continues...

But I saw Weatherman appeared on TV every 15-20 minutes!
They must get paid well for doing that!

posted by retno@22:47


Boston - 1st chapter

I'd been longing to visit Boston since years ago...

The only city in US I'd been to before was Houston, and there's no interesting part I could find in it. Except the fact I made several wonderful friends there, friends that are now all over the world. Well, aside NASA Center and Natural Science Museum, the city is mostly full of highways and cars...

I'm really eager to see only 2 cities: Boston and San Fransisco. Boston for its universities, and SF for its Golden Gate. Have you read Laura Ingalls book? there's one telling the story when she went to visit her only daughter in SF, I think it's around 1916. She was lucky cos that year San Fransisco held a world event and she could see all parts! She even managed to collect some world food recipes, including mooncake (if i'm not mistaken... must read the book again). Anyway, that book was the first thing that sparked my dream visiting San Fransisco and taking a journey like hers. Well, someday perhaps...

So back to Boston.

I talked 'bout the training programme in Boston with my boss last year, but only this year I finally got the approval. So it's like a dream come true! I'd love to walk around MIT and Harvard... It'd gonna be a nice break from work (well that's what i thought...) and I promised to write in my blog everyday.

I was expecting too much... the first week was so mad! I went to training from 8 to 5, walked around until 9, got home then worked 'till 2 or 3 am, slept for 2 hours, woke up at 5 am, had "sahur" cos I was still fasting, then tried to sleep again until 7 but always failed. I became too sleepy during the course and finally I decided it's just too much... so I gave up in 2nd week, it's too exhausting and my energy was pretty much drained already.

The city turned out to be more lovelier than I ever expected. The harbour is small but very nice. Walk through Quincy Market and you get to feel it's like in Europe though of course it doesn't feel as old as in Europe (most buildings are from 18th and 19 centuries I guess... it's mostly from 15th and 16th in Delft city center, for a comparison). The best thing is you can walk around the city, literally. I couldn't do the same thing in Houston, you must have a car there! But in Boston, most parts: Coupley Square, China Town, Theatre District, Boston Common, Downtown, Quincy Market, can be reached by feet. Taking subway is a must if you want to go to MIT and Harvard, but it's very easy cos the subway system is simple. Well, the stations are quite old and there were so much works around, so it's a little bit annoying... but once I got out to the streets, that feeling's gone cos it's just very nice.

I was lucky, got at least 3-4 warm-and-sunny days, plus several sunny-but-rather-cool days. Rest of week was cold, the temperature went down to below 50 degree Fahrenheit, that's around 10 degree Celcius! I was quite freezing... didn't bring proper jacket (left my leather jacket at home cos I didn't think it'd be that cold!). I finally bought one GAP jacket in second week, just couldn't stand it anymore... funny thing, it's made in Indonesia! hahaha... but you can hardly find anything made in USA. Everything comes from either Honduras, China, Bangladesh or Indonesia! So forgive me friends, if the souvenir in your hand now is made in China :D can't help it!

I love being able to walk from home to the training center every morning. Breath fresh air. Enjoy the sun. Sometimes it gets too cold but still enjoyable. It's the same like being able to bike every day in Delft. I miss that part in Jakarta... really miss it.

posted by retno@22:20


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Generasi Intelijen - Gie

Dua malam yang lalu aku nonton Gie di tv (akhirnya!) dan masih terpesona sampai sekarang. Bukan karena yang main Nicholas Saputra loh...

Jadi teringat, beberapa bulan yang lalu, sewaktu peluncuran filmnya, ada the making of Gie diputar di Metro TV dan beberapa potong film dokumenter tentang Gie juga ditayangkan.

Aku belum pernah membaca buku atau tulisan Gie sampai sekarang (duh!) tapi melihat dokumenternya saja sudah cukup membuat aku terkagum-kagum.

Selintas Gie adalah sosok pemikir, negarawan yang bersikukuh memegang kebenaran di atas apa pun, tanpa keberpihakan atas golongan tertentu. Pemberontakannya terhadap Orde Lama dia namakan gerakan intelijensia. Mahasiswa sebagai kaum intelijen yang tidak boleh disusupi atau mengatasnamakan gerakannya atas golongan2 tertentu. Pemikiran murni idealis yang pastinya banyak tidak dipahami oleh orang lain, baik dulu maupun sekarang.

Aku teringat di potongan dokumenter itu, Gie berbicara dalam bahasa Inggris yang sangat lancar. Intinya dia mengatakan kalau pembentukan organisasi bersama mahasiswa (KAMMI) hanya bersifat sementara sampai tujuan bersama tercapai. Setelah itu organisasi tsb harus dibubarkan karena kalau tidak mereka yang terlibat di dalamnya akan cenderung korup suatu saat. Korup akan kekuasaan. Dan itu terbukti!

Tergelitik, aku sempat bertanya pada ayahku, apakah memang Gie cukup berpengaruh pada masanya... beliau menjawab, ya.... terutama di kalangan mahasiswa. Karena dia menganjurkan pemberontakan gaya baru yang berbeda dari tahun 45, yaitu pemberontakan lewat tulisan yang tajam tapi juga memberi solusi.

Tentunya bukan sekedar tulisan mengkritik tapi tidak memberi solusi seperti yang sekarang bertebaran di mana-mana.

I'll read his book soon and then let's see if my first impression on him will remain or change....

posted by retno@19:06


More on Klinsi

Klinsi's fans!

Do not miss out this interview... it's SUPERB! It gets you inside his mind :)
It makes me admire him even more...

The big interview: Jurgen Klinsmann(Times Online)

posted by retno@18:55