Pindahan Tulisan Bahasa Indonesia

Dear pembaca, untuk kedepannya tulisan dalam bahasa Indonesia di blog ini bakalan aku pindahkan ke blog aku yang lain "Nona Backpacker" biar gak bingung bacanya.. thanks!

Home is Where Your Heart is

When i was traveling to Europe. At a hostel in Belgium i met a fellow backpacker and had morning conversation after breakfast. He was from Brazil. He was about my age, 2 years older actually. He start the conversation when i was looking at Brussel map and try to find out what to see on Monday--as most of museum closed on Monday.

We talk a lot about destinations in Europe and he told me about his experiences in some countries he already visit. We share stories about Thailand, and some Asian countries that we both visited. I ask him how long had he been traveling? he said its been 3 years.

I ask him again, don't you miss home? his reply short of made me think again about everything, he said "home is where your heart is" he said he didn't miss it that much, surprisingly. He said he belong to every country he traveled to. He still had his mom and sister at home, but he found his passion to travel around the world beyond those. It made him miss traveling even more when he was at home. He quit his job and just on the road from one city to another, from one country to another one.

He ask me, so Fika, where your home is? i was laugh at his question. I said i don't know, but deep down, i had this same feeling like him. How i miss traveling when i was sitting on my desk at work, i miss traveling when i open my passport and could remember experiences i got from every each immigration stamps i got.

How i missed to be a stranger in a new town that i just stepped in. And the fun when i met new friends, learn new language, and do things i never done in my country. And be my self, express my feelings and just enjoy the details i see in every corner of streets.

i miss the small narrow cobble street in Europe

I do miss some people that i meet on my trip more than anything. I miss the short memories we've made, i miss the sense of adventure i got when i meet troubles there. I miss the feeling being independent and believe in my own self and judgement. I miss being a traveler.

I travel less than most of the backpackers that i met during my trip. I had very less mileage  than most of travelers who had traveling blogs like i do. But i know somehow the way i think and the way i see things are much different than i was....say 5 years ago. Whenever i travel back then the sound of "home" made me smile, and think wow my journeys end! why these days when i travel, and see my return ticket back to Indonesia i feel sad because the journey is end?

can you point where your heart is??

I do miss home when i was away, but its just to tiny small details like when i hear one of Indonesian song played, or when i miss one of those blazing spicy Indonesian food or when i see the price of a plate or rice in Euro nominal. I miss home when i was in a hostel female dorm and the girls just had this little gossip session or discussion which guy is the hottest one there---reminds me much of my sisters. I miss Indonesia when i was on this hard day, and no one smile or greet me on street. But do i miss Indonesia as much as i miss traveling?

Physically i am in a place i call home but my heart and my mind wondering to somewhere else.

I do feel like being a traitor because i could easily answer i love being away rather than being at my hometown. I am at my home country but i feel no less different than a stranded traveler. In place that i think i will never know. It is my home country, but But its just something you cant deny... home is where your heart is...

When my journey in Europe ends i remember i was crying in front of the immigration check, and say over and over--i dont want to go back home, i want to stay--oh well i cant stay as my visa will be over in less than 24 hours. But i do wish i could just stay there and not flying back.

When someone at the airport ask me: where are you flying to? my mind remind me of this "home" concept that i just learn, i told that person "i am going back to Jakarta" instead saying "i am going back home" its still an intriguing small question that i never be able to answer... where is my home truly are?

Home where you come back to, loved for who you are, when the whole world reject you that's the only place where you could go to. Home is where you found your truly happiness. Home where you could find your self. Home is the place where you could find your love.

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Stopped by Vin Diesel between Belgium & French (Part 2)

He could arrest me any time..haha!

Previous post was all about me on my journey between Brussel Belgium to Paris to catch my train to Strassburg was a drama. You could see it here.

When they told me to unzip my  luggage i was thinking about the 5 pirates DVD i bought from Kuningan Jakarta, fake Louis Vuitton handphone organizer, and the worse hahah indonesian food like gado-gado pasta, and one plastic bag of my meds and jamu, the traditional Indonesian herbs!! omg! hahaha i was smiling and i know i will be in trouble because honestly forgot if i ever read what kind of drugs that allowed to bring in to Paris. Even some cold meds are prohibited in certain country. Uhmm... not wise!

When i unzipped my bag, there you go everything pops out, first my purple VS bra and the whole thing i wore last night... geez.. i was blushing hahaha... but they seemed relax (he catch it and put it back to my suit case... errhh sure.. its a bra.. so what?) and then one of the dark skin passenger shout in French and some of the police round him.. oh oww.... i tried to focus on my own problem here.

White Vin Diesel search my luggage, his charming friends try to talk with me in French, i trieeddd hard to understand, and most of time said "Je ne compre pas!" he tried again in english, ask where i go, and what am i doing in Paris, and who will meet me there, where will i stay. I said i am just passing by to catch my train to Strassburg. He check my passport, and Vin Diesel found my Indonesia food and smell it one by one. Hahahah omg... you dont smell Indonesian food seasoning!! its too strong! haha and i see his nose hit the smell hahah.. poor thing!

He found my medics plastic bag and check it one by one, ask to me what is it for. The friend, which is nicer always smile ask me if i ever went to Paris before, and i said yes, i told him that i was in Paris before went to Brussel, and he ask again, where did i go, what did i see in Paris, hahahah this is short of flirty convo.. hmmm nice :) but they do made me relax and i feel lucky i didnt get any short fuse officer hahaha i am dead from nervous if i did!

Vin Diesel finally smile and said so sorry to cause trouble and made my travel bothered, they just looking for drug trafficker and illegal immigrant, and wish me a very nice stay in Paris and safe on my journey. Awwww... such sweet guy! i just said "merci beacoup" senyum manis..  his friends smile nice again and leave me with my luggage wide open and messed up... aaaaarrrgghh!!

I tries to do the exact same thing but this time faster, sit on my suitcase and zipped it up!! the whole drama still there. There was this American girl with more than 5 bottle of parfume and she said its just collection, because she love perfumes, and the other woman bring painting ohh wow... i don't know if boarder patrol could be this intense.

I drag my suitcase back to the bus compartment and lines up to get to the bus. I passed Thierry who still interviewed by the police, just gave him the smile and he grinned back. The African guy was the last and when he get to the bus he was seemed still pissed off. The bus slowly back to highway again.

Thierry look at me with that funny face, "why are you so nervous?" he ask, hahah i said because i might done something against French law, and he look at me more weird hahaha... i said its just a joke! In Indonesia might not like that, i mean with the whole troops and everything. But what do i know! Indonesia have much longer boarder to guard from illegal drugs and illegal immigrant. Thierry also said its just difficult to fight those drugs trafficking there in Europe its just like fighting with ghost!

Its just something to think of, like its everywhere problem, drugs, and imigrants... i think Indonesia facing the same problem with a quite different approach i guess. In Europe of course people take it more serious. We had death penalty for drug trafficking in Indonesia i said to Thierry he said well might also the same there. But it will still happening. Its a never ending war, might not stop the drug trafficker but at least slow them down i told him.

One hour later we were there at Gare Routier Paris Gallieni. We went with the same train from there. But half way i have to continue by my self to Paris Est... hahah and he took a picture of me sitting on train with my suitcase. We talk a bit more about his art project in Paris. I wish him good luck with that!

Its always a pleasure to meet new friends on the road, even when we're just two strangers but it feels good when things like the police search happening and you're in panic mode there are someone with you, that at least help you out to clear your mind from bad thoughts (and translate things haha) this kind of experience wanted me to travel more for sure :) even though i was scared so much, but its fun to remember this stuff! not all experience should be good, the bad one sometimes good to laugh what i am doing now hehehe

Thierry took this picture-we finally arrive in Paris!

I wasn't late for my train at Paris Est. Even had the chance for cup of tea and change my clothes and refresh my self before departing. When people said most of Paris people are arrogant i wont say that all true, i had some great friends from street.. and even after the thing that happens in the hostel i still would like to come to Belgium and met people like Thierry.

Next would be Strassbourg, and soon the Germany, land of castles, knights and scientist!

I can't wait for my next adventure! Merci beacoup mon ami Thierry!

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Stopped by Vin Diesel between Belgium&French (part 1)

(if its real Vin Diesel i would beg him to arrest me---ohhh yeah *drools*) keep on dreaming! hahah! 

May 24, 2011

I had no idea that my journey from Belgium back to Paris would be so tense.
Let me start from beginning.

It was before 8am i was rushing from Van Gogh Youth Hostel to the Brussel Midi/Bruxelles Midi train station. I wasn't able to fine the Eurolines bus office at the train station the day before. Because i was tired the day before and i was thinking it should be there at the train station. Its so huge!

Huge Brussel Midi

I did very huge mistake. I was mistaken between EUROLINES with EUROTRANS. Its huge mistake that i didn't see it very good hahaha.. Eurolines is the bus company and Eurotrans is the train at the train station!! i thought its just like in Indonesia should be the same company etc. But its not.

Eurolines Bus in Brussel

So when i was arriving at the train station i went there, and i ask the security that standing there with very little english he said he doesn't know where Eurolines bus office is! I should check in before 10 am and i made huge mistake.

I was still walking from one end to another at the train station, try not to be panicking to find someone who able to speak english! the main language in here either French or Dutch and both i am not mastered!

And some help comes from those who you never expected..always like that. I went out to one of the train station ends.. because its like a long straight line from one to another. I was at the door, with my purple huge suitcase when i almost step on wet floor that a young guy just moping the floor. I said sorry right away. But he said in fluent English, no problem, and he smile. I was walk away and then think, he speak English! i went back and poke him and said sorry again for bothering! i ask if he know where Euroline bus office is. And he knew!!! he said its outside the train station! hahah thats why i can not find it! he even went to the street and point the directions and distance! omg! On the ticket that i had it only said Bruxelles Midi which is the train station!

Hidden Eurolines Office next to Bruxelles Midi

I was dragging my suitcase, i had to cross the cobble street.... its the Avenue Fonsny, from across the street i could see there is a bus station next to the train station. But the Euroline bus office not there. Because i were there yesterday afternoon. I had my ticket booked before i even leave Indonesia (i use online booking). The bus office is right across the street where the bus station is like that guy said. But its just not that easy to spot too!

After walking about 100 meters passing a hotel (hotel Continental) i finally spot the white door with Eurolines name on it. Its very tiny like 4X5 meters big after a convenience shop. The worse part when i went in the two old guys on the counter not really speak good english. There are two people there beside me a couple from Spain. The husband good enough to help me to translate from english to france, merci beacoup! :) i bet i hurt his ear much with my Eng-French hahah..

Sitting there on the back of the office i was thinking its not that very different than any Indonesian bus office. Small.. at the back of the office there stack of chairs and tables... don't know what was that for.

The guy shout in French i had no idea what he said but seeing those couple grabbing their luggage i went with them and ask if the bus coming, he said yes and we had to hurry... where?? lol i was half running following them, their suitcase bigger than mine! the two old guy not even following us they just stay at the counter office.

We walk back to the road where i came before and cross the street. Right between the train station and the bus office in the middle of road there are short of small pavement. Stood there the winds are chilling! the guy ask me where i came from i said Indonesia, he had no idea where Indonesia is! hahah but i told them its where you got most of 33C degrees the whole year. He said some part of Spain just like that... the wife not speaking english but i know she try to understand our conversation. The husband translate it for her most of time. When he ask if i study here or going with someone else i said all by my self, he explain that to her and she took my hand haha and said something he translate that his wife said i am very brave! haha.. Its very nice of her :)

Not long after 15 minutes our bus coming. I just dont want to made mistake i ask the driver before jump in, is this goes to Paris? he said "oui mademoiselle" ok thats it.. haha there are 4 more people come with us. There is no bus seat numbers on my ticket. I had to show my ticket to the bus driver, he took one of the ticket for him (print it double!! dont forget!)

When i got in... i see the seat mostly full on the back... i had a choice to sit near seemly a father and daughter, a big woman with big curly hair (and pierced lips) and ohh very sour face old woman, and old man who smile too much to me.

I walk in and ok what ever the big lady smile to me she might be my age... so.. i went there and put my backpack on the top compartment and said "excuse moi" she smile, ok thats good sign... i put my ipod on and just try to enjoy the journey.

Soon i start to realize the next person to me not a woman!!! lol when i put my hand next to "her" omg my fingers and palms are much smaller.. i was lol really gasping!! omg! hahah such pretty guy! he look at me and smile again. I end up had small conversation with him. His name is Thierry. Very nice and friendly guy. He was several times look at me before we talk... hahah i was afraid *about psyco girl duuhh* but then he ask me... what are you listening to? so i share my ipod with him.

I introduce him to Anggun, and some of indonesian song, his face was frowning. We still had some language barrier sometimes as he speak in French and i try to understand it. He speak little bit english. He said he never travel to Asia, i said he should try. He check up my play list and laugh when he know a song there, mostly i put 1980-1990 song there especially rock band. I also had huge range of music on my ipod from classical music such as Mozart and Bethoven, some pop Nsync, Michael Buble, Linkin Park etc. He love music as much as i do! Thierry is an artist and he also on his way to Paris :)

My beau new friend Thierry!

It was a very nice journey with a friend to talk with. Event hough most of time he will speak in French and me in English. Its quite funny tho... its a good example about ... hey you shouldn't worry about languages!! haha better if you know French, English, and Arabic etc.. but most of time the willingness to communicate.. at least you try! And it worked for me :)

You can not wait until you brush up your languages abilities to travel around :D would take you ages to travel then!

About one hour the bus stop and i ask him what happened? because we're not even close to Paris, he said just stop at resting area. Its near gas station. So i went down and go to toilet like most of passenger. Thierry ask me if i want to eat anything, i said i am full. He went to eat some frites. I share the story about the best frites in Brussel. All the debate about the best frites comes :D

We had to go back to the bus again when the driver turn on the engines. Unlike Indonesian bus, he didnt count the passenger anymore hahaha in Indonesia bus driver re count the passenger every time he stop incase if he missed anyone! but its not the case there hehehe... i cant imagine what happened if i dont know about this and went to toilet and the bus left me hahah...

I was almost fall a sleep while Thierry still busy with my ipod, when i see the blue and red lights on the bus window and sirens. I was thought... woooww.. a real highway chase!

Soon then i realize they were surrounding the bus from both side and there were loud megaphone sound saying things in French and oh my the bus still running! i was like whats going on? i was panicking a bit, Thierry?? same he say its ok but i know he also worry!

I was thinking something bad like bus hijacking or terrorist on the bus as they were so many police involve!! and the worse the back passenger were starting to yell and very noisy in French language... most of the passenger on the back part of the bus are dark skin-African people. And now i am more worried.

The only thing i was thinking that time--why on earth this driver still driving fast??!!

Then i found out he was trying to find a wide open space, a gas station with few trailers parking there and omg over 6 police cars and the whole troops. Babies were crying other passenger were seemed very worried, and me? i was saying "here we go, i will be on Indonesia news this time"---news flash "indonesian girl among those arrested with the terrorist gank with over 1kgs dope and trafficking guy and illegal immigrants" hahah... *had very active imagination when i am in panic mode*

one of the scene came on my head!! *too much CSI*

Suddenly Thierry said, prepare your passport, its probably just a boarder check. I was like hahah ok grabbing my passport tight! When the bus finally stop. The police rush in, and talk in ..again French language and then German language ohh shuutt.. hahah i dont understand both!!. They said we stay in our seat, and prepare documents-Thierry said. They told the bus driver to open the luggage compartment.

They check our passport one by one and, one of the guy ask me where i came from and why i want to go to Paris etc. After that, they ask all guys come out first one by one. Thierry look at me.. and im in despair omg no translation anymore hahahah.... He said just walk outside when they told you to, and show your passport.

And then after all guys go out, i could peep on window all luggage was on the asphalt on the gas station. One by one they arrange it. What the?

And then a police shout again, and the woman on front move out. I think they ask the woman all out one by one too. They search on us one by one. Policewoman do the search.

The police use complete automatic weapons that i could see on movies, and bullet proof jacket and there are dogs... omg what is this??? **as crazy as it sound they all looks good>>this is my stressed out brain talking**

They point one by one the suitcase and ask the owner to open it up. Check every details of it even the sew lines the back of the luggage. I saw Thierry stand next to his backpack and talking to a police. And when every single suitcase was pointed mine still there and no one check it yet.

A police came and see my suitcase tag and ask around people who stood up next to the bus including me, i raise my hand, i guess they ask whos luggage is this. When i get closer then i was thinking.. geezz this one looks like Vin Diesel with French language, and pretty damn killer smile... *should listen when he said mademoissele* ohh ohhh ohhh... hahahha.... and then his friend came a long gezz... this one even nicer.. and they ask me to open my luggage... darn!! hahah i was sitting on my suitcase to close the zip... hahah.. im dead!

I was thinking about the 5 pirates DVD, fake Louis Vuitton wallet, and the worse hahah indonesian food like gado-gado pasta, and one plastic bag of my meds!! omg! hahaha i was smiling and i know i will be in trouble because honestly forgot if i ever read what kind of drugs that allowed to bring in to Paris. Even some cold meds are prohibited in certain country. Uhmm... not wise! be continued......................

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A book from Backpacker Girls

Its been quite sometimes since i wrote here *sorry* i had so much thing going on.

First, i start my Russian language class since November 2011, and i almost complete the first level now. Also i work in a new office so, its been a busy days for me.

A good news coming to my mail box on December, a publisher in Indonesia ask me if i could write a book about backpacking for girls. So, yessss..... i think some of you wrote me mail to ask if i wrote a book... now i could say yes.. i am :)

Just wish me good luck!

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