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Birthday and 2nd time at Giethoorn – with parents and husband

28th December 2016 - 7 min read

How time flew, just a few years back I visited Giethoorn with good friends that are now back in Indonesia, with my brother who is already back in Indonesia, and I was still in a long distance relationship with my ex, then.

This time, I touched the water of Giethoorn for the second time with my husband and my beloved parents. My parents were visiting me and my sister, while also babysitting my sister’s children during their Hajj time in mid of September. They stayed in the Netherlands for more than a month. I hoped it could re-pay the time we missed to spend together and paying back a little bit for everything that they have sacrificed for me and my siblings. I know that all of those efforts were priceless and could never been re-paid, but I’d do anything to make them happy and to listen to their wishes. Too bad I was not able to take too many days off, but we managed to escape during the weekend or a little bit more. This little trip to North-West of Holland was in the first weekend of their stay. We were afraid of the weather that gone back the days prior our visit, but our worry was proved to be wrong. The weather turned out so great, very beautiful and sunny. It was just us four and actually the very first quality time my parents spent together with their son-in-law. I had to say it went pretty well. There was something magical seeing Damar interacted with my parents. I shall cherish the moment… Hence the bunch of pictures..

Oh and by the way, my birthday was also that week. Damar got me a beatiful mirrorless camera that I fell in love instantly. To be fairly honest, we had this discussion about camera way before my birthday so I am quite aware for his little surprise. He said so I can take better pictures. That just motivated me to start learning about photography. I was born in a family who loves photography, my dad (and brother) used to be a photographer himself.  The camera is Canon EOSM3 with 24.29 Megapixels (as sharp as the reality). Lens 3.10xzoom 18-55mm, shutter is 1/4000-30 seconds and it is quite light as well just 350 gram. I’d ike to say this is mini version of SLR.

So below are my captures with  my new toy, no editing involved (it’s too beautiful as is but also because I took it from my lens, my perspective while considering the amount of light already). Another challenge in the new age for making my life always alive: Photography and Videography.

Cheers to more adventurous life with my forever travel buddy and good moments with loved ones..



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About the place

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Giethoorn. It is so peaceful, so different and has such simple beauty that is very gentle. The only transportation back then was through the canal/water hence the boat as the main tourist attraction. For local, this place is not considered as a place to go, and not so many Dutch know that people call this city as ‘the Venice of Netherlands’. But believe it or not, because I reckoned, a partnership of a Holland trip agency, there a lot of Asian especially Chinese tourist in the city which allows you reading chinese/mandarin menu in the restaurant ad store.

I went from Amsterdam by car and it took around 2 hours via the highway. According to Damar, it is quite convenient driving city to city by car because of the accessibility of high way and lower cost, only we did not contribute to the emission decreasing. Train goes to this city as well. You have to stop in Almere and then Steedwijk and transfer to Bus 70 to the city of Giethoorn. Because of its size, the last public transportation is quite early as well. You have to assure you leave the city no more than 7 pm especially in the winter.

It is worth visiting but it is not necessary to take more than 1 day in this city and you don’t have to stay over in the hotel locally.

Cost

Return ticket Ams-Giethoorn = € 49.17

Boat = € 17.00

Haring = € 3.00

Kibbeling (fried fish) = € 5.00

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ME!

Europe France Life Thoughts

Weekend at Refugee Camp Grand Synthe, North of France

28th September 2016 - 14 min read

12 Sept 2016

I snuggled with Damar just 15 minutes before I wrote this post, I was very upset taking a closer look to the news of Calais strike today (after I received an email chain from TOMS carrier about the possibility of delayed goods due to the strike – says a person who works in a supply chain department :)). Freight drivers blockaded the main road leading to the port of Calais demanding French authorities to shut down a refugee camp or the ‘Jungle’. Drivers want to force the government to address what they say are increasingly violent roadside attacks and rising human and economic costs associated with stowaways trying to get to the U.K.

I was sad because I know I cannot do anything to make the situation any better. I cannot even picture the feeling of those cornered refugees. There might be some people who do some harms to other people, but the majority of them do not do it. All of them have nowhere to go and they certainly do not choose to be in this position. Calais has more than 2500 refugees who want to get the asylum to the UK, for the sake of having peace and to create a better life. Seems like they do not acknowledge what has been going on in the UK recently. But who can blame them, they do not want so much, they just want to live a normal life with open opportunities.

Anyway speaking of which, on the 26-28 of August, I was lucky and humbled to be able to get the chance to visit the refugee camp, not in Calais, but in Grand Synthe, also in the Northern part of France. Having witnessed it, Grand Synthe is relatively in much better condition than Calais. I was there in the occasion of TOMS’ Tomorrow’s Project. One of my TOMS colleague, Marie, who is French, and other 9 French women initiated a program called Le Recho (REfuge. CHaleur. Optimisme). This program is in the culinary area and the aim is to provide healthy food with full of nutrition. Most likely the food provided in such camp are fulfilling in terms quantity (such as rice, noodles, pasta piece of meat, small amount of veggies), but not quality.

Nutrition is actually plays a very important role to combat depression in which could trigger sickness more easily. There is a monthly budget allocation from TOMS to any project that its employees have, and by the by it does not have to be a project from the employee directly but could also be a project from friends/family in your surrounding. I personally felt very privileged to have this kind of opportunity because as I know there are a lot of people who are willing to help and/or donate but does not have an easy access to. For me, this was just simply coming to my way.

I went with 5 other people consist with 2 Indonesian Women, 1 French Man, 1 French Woman, and 1 Dutch Man. We rented the car ourselves at Sixt in Amsterdam. We took half day from the office off (paid and not counted as a day off due to the voluntary activity – such a blessing!). It was Friday thus my manager did not mind at all for me to leave after lunch. We gathered at the rental car place and started driving from there. We were all a little bit anxious because of the safety that other colleagues, who was there a week before, have warned us prior the departure. I could have been bailed but I decided not to, I guess because as said earlier, this is such an opportunity to experience. I re-winded why I ended up where I am now. I wanted to do something more meaningful and close to feel more fulfilling by what I do everyday even though the impact might be small. And when what I do everyday gets me nearly to the extra philanthropist activity, I would not say No.

It took around 4-5 hours from point A to B. We arrived at 19.00 in Grand Synthe and went straight to the camp just to check in and have a quick look around. I was nervous because I did not know what or who I would encounter. When I entered the camp, I remember what they all said to not look at people’s face/eyes especially another gender for too long, do not take pictures, do not make that much noises, do not wear over exposed clothes. I did everything except looking at people’s eyes/face. I guess I would feel respected when people greet and look me in the face/eye. I believe, in this situation, smile does not do any harm but warming, the eyes tell that there are other people care about their beings.

There were a lot of guys, wait, to be honest, I only saw Men. Most women were asked by their spouse or family to stay inside the house. Some households can be very lucky to have stoves inside to cook. Those are sold around there, and only people with money can buy that kind of luxury. After the entrance, there was a power charge station where the guys used for charging, hangout, simply chat with others, or just to be alone, there was a small table where some refugees sold several items (food, tissues, snacks, etc), there was a small barbershop in the corner, and there is also a hotdog/snack place nearby. Grand Synthe refugee camp depends on the food 100% to the donations. Any food there is free expect the one that is run by refugees.

That 1st day went by so quickly. We were warned to be out from the camp before it got dark, because the darkness brings all the insecurity within. Those are the times when the smugglers do their job. By smugglers, I mean people who get refugees from the war countries in to France. These people also come from war countries, but they slightly are more lucky in terms of financial and sly in terms of using that privilege. They demand those refugees to pay a fortune to get them out of the country. Back in the past couple of months, they have to have 5000-8000 euro per person to get in to the boat with no guarantee they will arrive safe and sound. Nowadays, it is around 10000 euro. Those refugees are rather educated and rich in their home country, I cannot image what about other unfortunate people who do not have that amount of money in their saving.

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Our stay 🙂 More than perfect. We felt very safe.

It was a hard day….. I could not loosen up thinking how fortunate and how grateful I am born in a safe country with a family who love me whole-heartedly and now live in so much developed country where thousand of opportunities open. I just have sooooo much uncountable options.

The 2nd day started at 08.00. We stopped for a quick breakfast in the Brasserie nearby our stay and we drove straight to the kitchen. The kitchen was not inside the refugee camp as there was already people who run the kitchen there, who is the refugee themselves. We wanted to avoid any conflict possible, hence the rented kitchen. The kitchen was at the back of a theatre. I am not sure whether it was rented or donated, but surely the mayor is there everyday and help preparing the food. He is very warm-hearted and earned so much respect. He was the one who fought the government to create a proper neighborhood for refugees. It looked horrible, muddy, vulnerable back then, now much better (shown in the above pictures).

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Sarita, the other Indonesian from TOMS 😉

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Giom- the French guy, is ‘cooking’ 🙂

img_5999The food is all vegetarian – so much respect for the organizer! I was worried with the fact that most refugees are from Muslim country, that they would refuse non-halal food. But the doubt was answered clearly. We cooked until lunch time, the quality was undoubtedly high class. Especially because it was cooked with heart. Hopefully the love could be delivered through food. That day, the food was bulgur salad, sponge cake and banana. The hit was in the cake, it was finished in a split second, I guess because it was a luxury that they could not always get. They eat something to get through the day. We served the food and then ate together with all of them. And for the dinner, we cooked together with the refugees over there to involve them in the activity to avoid any power struggle. Because we did not want to dominate anyone, we were there to help.

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Left to right: Laurens (Dutch) – Nadia (fellow Indonesian) – Giom (French)

In between the time, we went to check out the women Centre. We brought some old kids clothes given by my colleagues’ friends to be donated to the women centre inside the camp. I checked on the wish list board, it filled with normal woman stuff, they need make up, tights, hair dye, literally, they do not want so much. I wish I had all the money in the world to bring all they want/need.

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What I have learnt from the trip:

  • You have to experience something yourself in order give judgement and put things into perspective
  • There are so many hatred out there, including the local themselves towards refugees. Do not hate things you do not know!
  • Those refugees are not bad people, they were once a normal people with normal life and opened opportunities like all of us, but their country happened to be in a war
  • The people that are in the refugees are not all victims from wars, there are also people from other countries who would like to get into the UK. I personally think, these kind of people need to be filtered and less prioritized
  • Language of love always works!
  • Most of the people there are Kurdish, some from Turkey, and Afghanistan. These different cultures could possibly spark a conflict between them
  • I learnt from those people that there is always HOPE. To have the privilege to not to be in a war country, to have  a lot options should NEVER be taken for granted. We should make the best out of our privileges. 

I am very glad to always be reminded again and again…. There is a reason for each human to be born in this world, one of those is to help one another.

Life Self growth Thoughts

Alasan mengapa saya travelling?

4th September 2016 - 5 min read

Post saya ini terinspirasi dari halaman Backpacker Dunia di facebook. Seneng dan bangga rasanya ada kumpulan orang-orang yang memotivasi dan termotivasi untuk melihat dunia luar. Memotivasi untuk orang-orang yang sudah punya cukup uang dan waktu untuk disisihkan dan termotivasi bagi yang belum dan sedang menabung  untuk selalu semangat mencapai tempat yang ingin dituju. Bapak saya bilang bahwa cara berpikirnya banyak sekali dirubah dengan kenyataan bahwa dia pernah mendapat beasiswa untuk kuliah di luar negeri selama  beberapa tahun. Jadilah, menjadi salah satu mimpinya untuk menyekolahkan anaknya diluar negeri. Yang alhamdulillah diberi jalan. Saya ini termasuk yang beruntung bisa membangun karakter saya diluar negeri sehingga saya tumbuh menjadi orang yang berpikiran terbuka dan menghargai perbedaan. Walaupun begitu, jika saya hanya berhenti disini dan tidak kemana-kemana, tidak akan cukup banyak saya belajar.

Semakin kesini, memang benar orang-orang indonesia semakin aware dengan travelling. Tapi sayangnya travelling masih sekedar dipandang sebagai perjalanan menuju tempat tujuan wisata dan sarana untuk bilang ‘oh saya sudah pernah kesana’. Foto selfie di depan lenmarc, jalan-jalan ke tempat yang mainstream, tinggal di hotel, pakai agen, pindah sana sini, jepret lagi, lalu pulang, selesai. Padahal sebenarnya pertanyaan untuk traveller adalah siapa yang kamu temui, dan bagaimana pengalaman itu merubah kamu sebagai individual.

Saya pernah ke negara yang bikin saya iri karena kelebihannya, kemakmurannya, sistem pendidikannya, sistem publik transportasi dan kesehatannya. Soal kekayaan, Indonesia nggak kurang-kurang dengan sumber daya alam yang dimiliki, tapi kenapa susah sekali menjadi makmur? kenapa sistem pendidikan nggak bener? banyak korupsi, dan sebagainya. Hal-hal seperti itu membuat  saya berkaca dan semakin semangat memperbaiki diri (karena memperbaiki negara dalam satu kedipan mata hampir nggak mungkin). Bayangkan jika semakin banyak orang travelling yang mengedepankan pembelajaran dan pengalaman, mungkin Indonesia akan menjadi berkembang dengan mengadopsi cara berpikir yang lebih maju.

Di sisi lain, saya juga merasakan gimana orang-orang Eropa sangat individualistik dan cenderung tidak peduli dengan sekitar. Juga gimana nggak gampangnya cari makanan karena jam-jam buka tertentu dan tidak adanya warung-warung kecil sembarangan di jalan. Gimana sepinya jalanan setelah jam 6 karena semua toko tutup. Disitu saya bersyukur banget jadi orang Indonesia.

Saat saya ke Andalusia, saya menemukan banyak sekali kekayaan di era islam beratus-ratus tahun lalu yang sengaja disembunyikan. Saya melihat agama saya kembali dari perspektif yang lain, bahwa islam bukan hanya melambangkan kekerasan dan ketradisionalan, tapi juga intelektualitas. Saya melihat secara langsung bagaimana buku-buku bertuliskan bahasa arab disimpan di dalam dinding karena agama islam harus dimusnahkan. Saya jadi punya cerita untuk teman-teman bule saya yang tidak tahu menahu akan hal ini. Saya bisa bilang bahwa saya menyaksikannya sendiri.

Travelling bener-bener ngajarin banyak hal-hal yang dulu tidak diajarkan di sekolah. Saat traveling saya belajar kemampuan kendali emosi, belajar mengapresiasi dan toleransi. The world is the true university, and when we’re travelling, we are learning. Saya jadi tahu bahwa humanity itu lebih ada dari yang kita pikir. Banyak sekali orang-orang baik di luar sana yang tulus ikhlas membantu tanpa berharap apa-apa. Saat saya di Lisbon, publik transportasi yang kami biasa pakai sedang strike tanpa kami tahu. Saya bingung setengah mati, tapi ada 1 orang yang baik hatinya yang mau menunjukkan bahkan mengantarkan ke tempat dimana kami bisa menemukan transportasi pengganti. Di Turki juga begitu, walaupun orang-orangnya tidak terlalu fasih berbahasa inggris, namun mereka berusaha keras untuk membantu bahkan nggak segan-segan mengantar ke tempat yang kami ingin tuju.

Travelling membuat saya lebih menghargai arti kata ‘rumah’ yang sebeneranya.

Travelling mengajarkan kita untuk menerima diri kita apa adanya dan untuk menemukan jati diri.

Travelling adalah pembuka mata, setiap perjalanan yang dilakukan ialah sebuah proses dan kesempatan unik untuk membuka mata selebar-lebarnya terhadap dunia serta kehidupan disekeliling saya. Saya belajar hal-hal kecil dari bagaimana sebuah kultur sehari-hari dari negara atau tempat yang berbeda. Hal ini mengajarkan saya dalam membangun opini pribadi, memberikan perspektif baru dan menjadikan saya tidak mudah percaya terhadap berita-berita yang media tampilkan.

Maka jika ada kesempatan, travelling-lah dan kembali dengan pelajaran-pelajaran berharga yang membuat kamu selalu ingin memperbaiki diri. Jika tidak ada kesempatan, bersabarlah dan terus mencari 🙂

 

Europe Hidup di Belanda Life Netherlands

Life in Amsterdam

7th August 2016 - 10 min read

Ever since I moved my luggage of life to the Netherlands in 2009, I had always been living in The Hague, the third biggest city in the Netherlands. It truly witnessed my struggle during college life. I adapted-adopted with things about being ‘Dutch’ since day one in that friendly city. I call it friendly because it had everything I could ever asked for as an Indonesia foreigner. As pathetic as it sounds, I still wanted to have a piece of Indonesia in where I live, and The Hague has the largest population of Indonesian (mixed blood, half blood, veteran, pure, etc). No wonder, it is practically very easy to find things that can eliminate longing feeling of my beloved home country, such as food, spices, cultures, as well as the people. In every meter I walked, I could find one or 2 Indonesians, to be roughly calculating. And I found it astonishing.. I felt like I was not alone, even though I clearly did not know all of them. Though, I made friends who then become family, I made a place who then become a home (one, two, three, four moving around, with and without my sister). I made myself an independent young woman in this very city, I watched myself grew from a spoiled little girl to be a responsible adult woman. This city was also a place that beheld the sparks between Damar and I…. whom at the end I ended up marrying to and whom the reason I had to move from this old city…..

Never had I thought, I would move to the only city I never wanted to live in, the city of tourists, Amsterdam. By only being a guest for a couple of times, I concluded that I would never live there. Oh well, I jinxed it. I started daily working and commuting The Hague-Amsterdam from 2014, hence the intensity spend in the city. I started falling in love with its beauty; the flow of its canals, its modern people, it’s old yet modern architecture, its expats life, its culinary, its parks, its easiness to access whatever. Most importantly, it allows people to have the balance life, where people could have fun and relax at the same time. Oh yes, and ultimately the fact that it is a shorter distance to work. 

Well, here I am… since I got back from Indonesia after the wedding, I moved and started living together with Damar. He has been living here from 2012. We are living in the North of Amsterdam which is likely underrated even by myself, earlier. But actually, it has a big potential, and it is exactly when I describe ‘have fun and relax at the same time’ because the neighbourhood is calm but it is still Amsterdam and I can get to the city to find madness if I’d like.

I wanted to share a sample day living in this beautiful city…

Yesterday was marked as the Gay Pride Festival. The city was all of the sudden fully packed with tourists, local people, and people from throughout the Netherlands to celebrate the freedom of choosing gender preference. Damar and I did not really want to be part of the crowd, but already planned to go the city with our bikes (YES I GOT A BIKE, TRYING TO BE A PROPER AMSTERDAMER! :P) to get ourselves to a glasses showroom of a brand called polette.nl. I am in the need of a new pair of glasses as I am getting blinder and blinder everyday. This is again what I like about Amsterdam, this kind of hippie brand, you will not find in any other cities. Amsterdam is always the first place to open something cool haha. I heard about the brand from my colleague, she said it’s very affordable with a high range of trendy, classy, cool options. I thought we could buy it right away in the store but apparently, I could only check my eyes (for free! and according to the shopkeeper the machine is one of the most expensive and accurate). I ended up finding out that my eyes are sooooo bad. Anyway, the concept of the store is to only try on and fit the glasses, to be subsequently order online. Not a problem at all! I found the winner!

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With my so not amused husband :p

We cycled through Amsterdam North, getting ourselves to the Ferry (because the connecting tunnel between the central and North is closed due to maintenance). FYI, Amsterdam North is a separate island, hence the need of connection/water transportation, and hence the underrate (haha). It was a hot sunny beautiful day, everybody was just simply smiling and happy. I almost forgot why it was more crowded than usual until I saw the rainbow flags fluttered in every corners. Here we go again, the sign of freedom 🙂 I am constantly reminded of differences between people, than we have to stay open-minded and being non-judgmental. Every body really have their own stories and people here just simply mind their own business. Let’s say, it is easy to have a true colour here, to differentiate between you and other people. 

Bicycle is the first transportation in Amsterdam, just because Amsterdam is not big, and people like to save their money. Actually it was trended because at one point, the Netherlands were full of traffic jam and the government promoted the use of bike. Anyway, it has become part of the culture for so long, and as the infrastructures support bikers, every body just gotta own it. We went through the small streets, seeing little houses and bars, and the crowd of gay pride. We stopped at a traditional market in the Old West of Amsterdam to buy some fruits. Note: if you want to buy fruit in Holland or in this case Amsterdam, buy it in the traditional market, sooo much cheaper and fresher. What I like about being in the traditional market was not only because of the price, but also the whole experiences, the life that comes with it. I liked seeing the vendors who were shouting loudly about the price their offer competing with the other vendors next to them, seeing the different people walking through the market alleys for the sake of walking, window shopping or groceries (dutch word: ‘bodschappendoen’). We ended up buying 3 different kind of fruits in a big bowl; blueberries, strawberries, and nectarines. Those are my favourite fruits that are now currently the season. We only paid less than 5 euros!!!! In Albert Heijn or Jumbo (the name of popular supermarkets), it would be like 8 euros I guess.

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After fruits (and flowers) shopping (and strike posing), we cycled back to the city towards the crowd and found a very very very nice organic salad bars (again: only in Amsterdam, this kind of lots of place options are possible :)). The place is called SLA (in English, it means ‘lettuce or salad’). We fuelled ourselves there with a powerful meal! It was super good.

 

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There goes our Saturday and we will keep on exploring the nice new places every time we could… Seems like, the size of the city does not define the richness inside it 🙂

I am glad I have got the chance to move to Amsterdam and live as an Amsterdamer.

 

XXX

Europe Family Hidup di Belanda Life Milestone Netherlands

Idul Fitri 1437 – Lebaran di Belanda

18th July 2016 - 3 min read

Alhamdulillahhh akhirnya melewati hari kemenangan juga. Puasa selama 1 bulan penuh terbayar dengan makanan yang berlimpah di hari raya 😀

Damar, saya, dan mas Argo (kakak Damar) memang sengaja ngambil cuti tanggal 6 Juli kemarin karena kami pengen merayakan hari Idul Fitri dengan proper. Apalagi kan tahun ini adalah lebaran pertama sebagai istri, jadi pengen banget masak masakan Lebaran yang serius. Dan tahun ini ceritanya mau bikin menu Lebaran yang beda, karena keluarga suami yang berdarah Medan. Menu yang biasanya lontong opor, berubah jadi lontong gule nangka dan rendang. Untuuuuunggg banget mamanya Damar super baik bawan bumbu gilingan gule dan rendang, jadi gak perlu terlalu repot bikin semua dari scratch. Dan pastinya terbebas dari potential error hhaha. Jadi cuma tinggal nambah-nambahin sedikit spices dan santan, bikin lontong, bikin sambal balado, dan nggak ketinggalan opor (pengen banget!).

“Lebaran sebagai minoritas hanya bisa dirasakan lewat suasana yang diciptakan sendiri”

Jadi di hari H-nya, kami bangun pagi-pagi, sarapan, pake baju muslim yang akhirnya sukses bikin orang-orang dijalan ngeliatin kami haha padahal belum lengkap sama jilbab dan kopyah lho. Sepi banget rasanya hari itu, nggak ada kumandang takbir atau apapun, sama sekali nggak kerasa suasana lebarannya. Tapi ini lebaran ke-7 saya di Belanda, jadi sudah lumrah. Kami pergi ke masjid komunitas indonesia di Amsterdam yang namanya Al Ikhlas. Sholat ied disini dimulai jam 09.00 pagi. Setelah selesai, kami dibagikan goreng-gorengan dan lontong opor. Alhamdulillah rejekiii! selama ini saya selalu sholat ied di Den Haag dan setelah sholat nggak ada dibagikan lontong opor karena pukul 13.00 ada makan siang dengan sajian lengkap menu lebaran di wisma duta (rumah duta besar).

Hari itu penuh dengan makan, makan, dan makan. Makanan yang full dengan santan *elus-elus perut* dan akhirnya bisa menikmati kue kering yang sengaja disiapkan jauh-jauh hari hihi. Sorenya saya beli kue spekkoek di toko Oriental untuk dibawa ke kantor, ceritanya berbagi dan merayakan idul fitri bersama-sama, supaya mereka aware soal kultur islam yang suka bersyukur dengan cara berbagi. Besoknya orang-orang senang sekaliiii dibawakan kue indonesia, dan banyak yang mengucapkan selamat idul fitri ke saya. Indahnyaaaa!!

Foto-foto di bawah ini adalah foto-foto yang diambil di akhir pekan, saat kami berkumpul di rumah kerabat dan akhirnya bertemu dengan mbak Vicka (kakak perempuan saya) sekeluarga. Suddenly feeling like home. Itu ada foto saya sedang skype dengan bapak mama di rumah 🙂

Taqabbalallahu Minna Wa Minkum – Taqabal ya Kareem

Europe Hidup di Belanda Life

Ramadhan di Belanda

4th July 2016 - 7 min read

Nggak kerasa sudah memasuki hari ke-29 di bulan Ramadhan. Kalau dilihat ke belakang rasanya cepet juga dan sedih mau ninggalin bulan yang baik ini. Begitu banyak janji-janji yang belum bisa terselesaikan, seperti contohnya baca terjemahan hingga khatam. Tapi insha Allah masih punya waktu untuk nyelesein sampe tahun ini habis. Paling engga janjinya untuk nyelesaiin di tahun 2016. Bismillah, semoga masih diberikan kesempatan.

Alhamdulillah, kali ini Ramadhan-nya sedikit berbeda. YES I AM A MARRIED WOMAN NOW! hihi dan juga lokasi tempat tinggal yang berpindah ke Amsterdam (artinya lebih dekat dengan kantor dan bisa bangun sedikit lebih siang dari biasanya). Menjalani bulan Ramadhan sebagai istri itu sangat menyenangkan. Rasanya semangat setiap hari mikirin dan diskusi bareng mau buka pake apa. Seneng mau masak apa aja, ada yang dengan senang hati dan tulus ikhlas habisin. Sesederhana itu… 🙂 Di kantor bawaannya juga semangat, semangat buat pulang 😛 nggak sabar rasanya cepet-cepet sampai rumah dan cuddle sebentar. Biasanya Damar selalu tidur setelah jam kantor dan baru bangun jam 21.00 untuk bantuin saya masak. Sedangkan saya cuma tidur-tiduran sebentar terus bangkit dan “ngapa-ngapain”. Ya ngerjain projek, baca buku/berita, liat vlog terbaru dari vlogger yang menginspirasi atau dengerin podcast. Ohya dan pastinya, google untuk cari ide untuk berbuka. Biasanya saya cari di cookpad, tasty, masaktv, atau kokikutv, atau sebenernya simply google aja. Nggak bisa diem banget deh pokoknya walau agak lemas.

Kebetulan karena bulan Ramadhan terjadi di musim panas, puasa di Belanda jadi jauh lebih panjang dari puasa di Indonesia. Totalnya sekitar 19 jam, dari pukul 03.00-22.00. Setelah sebelumnya research, saya memutuskan untuk mengikuti puasa dari terbenam hingga tenggelamnya matahari. Dari hadist yang saya baca, kita baru boleh menjalankan puasa lebih pendek jika tidak ada waktu terbenam matahari, contoh seperti di negara-negara Scandinavia. Di kondisi seperti itu, kita boleh mengikuti jam buka di negara islam terdekat (Turki atau Arab). Tapi itu semua tergantung preferensi dan kepercayaan masing-masing ya, yang berpuasa mengikuti jam Indonesia juga adadan sah-sah aja. Tapi itulah indahnya perbedaan, kita cuma perlu toleransi dan menghormati. Karena bukannya itu poin penting bulan Ramadhan? Anyway, saya jadi sadar gimana powerful-nya the power of mind karena sebenernya semuanya itu bermula dari niat dan mindset. Saat kita yakin kita bisa, kita akan bener-bener bisa dan cari cara untuk menyempurnakan niat kita. Saya percaya bahwa segala sesuatu yang terjadi di hidup kita itu adalah hasil dari manifestasi proses kita meng-attract sesuatu yang baik untuk datang ke diri kita. Saat kita menjalankan sesuatu setengah-setengah, maka begitu pun juga hasil yang akan dituai.  Life has so many things to offerlet it offer you good things by thinking good. Saat kita bersyukur dan punya niat yang baik akan sesuatu, maka kita pun akan diberi lebih-lebih oleh hidup. Rasanya akan bahagia terus, karena kita jadi terbiasa melihat sesuatu dari perspektif yang baik.

Bagi saya, ajang puasa nggak cuma jadi ajang untuk beribadah tapi juga untuk mempromosikan agama islam. Bahwa islam nggak melulu hanya soal terorisme. Banyak teman-teman bule yang nanya tentang puasa, Ramadhan, dan alasan kenapa saya harus melakukannya. Ini kesempatan yang tepat banget untuk menjelaskan ke mereka tentang agama saya, gimana islam sangat mengedepankan kasih dan toleransi. Walaupun mereka selalu melihat saya dengan pandangan iba, sudah kering kurus kecil gini, tapi harus nggak makan dan minum selama 19 jam haha Saya berusaha ngejelasin dengan bahasa yang sesimpel dan nyampe ke pikiran mereka yang nggak percaya dengan Tuhan. Saya ngejelasin bahwa ini adalah  sarana untuk belajar ngekontrol pikiran kita, dan karena niat yang kuat saya jadi nggak ngerasa kesulitan (padahal kadang haus juga hahah). Saya bilang ke mereka bahwa saya juga jadi jauh lebih bersyukur dan nggak take things for granted karena saya menahan lapar dan haus seharian with knowing kalau malamnya saya bisa masak dan makan enak. Sedangkan orang-orang di negara bagian lain harus menahan rasa haus dan lapar endlessly karena mereka nggak tahu kapan bisa makan/ minum. Kolega-kolega saya di kantor sih mengangguk-angguku terkesima. Semoga itu membuka sedikit pikiran mereka bahwa ada contoh muslim yang menjalankan kewajibannya dan tetap open minded dengan segala perbedaan. Karena gimana-gimana saya adalah agen yang bisa membagikan hal-hal baik terhadap sesama.

Perbedaan puasa di Belanda di Indonesia

1. Panjang durasi- 19 jam

2. Ta’jil dn makanan buka yang harus disipakan dan bikin sendiri

3. Nggak ada kue kering! kecuali buat sendiri

4. Azan nggak akan kedengeran (karena disini dilarang) kecuali denger dari Youtube atau dari islamic Finder. Biasanya kita melototin jam kalau udah deket-deket waktu buka

5. Dulu di Indonesia, saat Ramadhan kita semua berlomba-lomba untuk tarawih di masjd. Kalau disini, kecuali mau begadang dan nggak tidur, baru bisa. Karena tarawihnya pukul 12 malam

6. Jarak antara berbuka dan sahur hanya 4 jam

7. Suasana kosong melompong, biasa aja kaya nggak ada apa-apa kecuali tinggal di neighborhood orang Turki atau Maroko

By the way, kemarin saya seneng deh akhirnya tercapai untuk bikin kue kering. Kemarin bikin Nastar dan Putri Salju (dari Resep NCC dan dari resep sahabat saya, Tania). Enakkkkk, tapi cuma bikin setoples dan nggak boleh dimakan sampai Hari Raya. Di sini, ambience Ramadhan dan hari Raya cuma bisa diciptkan sendiri, dan saya bersuka cita sekali melakukannya. Rencananya pengen bawa manis-manis ke kantor hari Kamis nanti untuk berbagi ke mereka dan untuk cerita bahwa saya sukses berpuasa sebulan penuh (minus seminggu). Di Belanda itu sebutan hari Raya adalah Suiker Feest (english: Sugar Festival), so it’s always associated to a day full with sweets, hence the plan. Ah we’ll see!

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Life Love life Thoughts Wedding Series

Wedding Series part 6 – Arranged marriage?

24th April 2016 - 4 min read

Pengen deh ngebahas soal gimana anehnya temen-temen bule saya nangkep cerita soal rencana saya menikah di usia yang bagi mereka masih sangat muda dan apalagi dengan waktu pacaran yang singkat. Dua kolega saya (yang terhitung dekat) tiba-tiba nanya dengan rasa ingin tahunya, “is it arranged marriage?”. Mereka tahu saya akan menikah nggak lama setelah saya dan Damar ketemu kembali semenjak pertemuan pertama kita 3-4 tahun lalu. Kita nggak pernah menjadi temen atau hangout bareng di antara pertemuan pertama kami dan pertemuan kembali kami setahun lalu. Yang jadi pertanyaan mereka, kenapa saya bisa begitu yakin untuk menikah padahal kita nggak pernah tinggal bareng dll. Saya sudah siap dengan pertanyaan macam ini, karena setelah pengumuman pernikahan, pertanyaan selanjutnya adalah ‘berapa lama kalian pacaran?”, pertanyaan yang menyisakan pertanyaan-pertanyaan berikutnya.

Untuk orang barat, wedding/get married itu sekedar formalitas dan bukti kertas agar kedua pasangan memiliki hak adil yang diatur di perundang-undangan pemerintah. Tentunya orang barat yang saya maksud adalah orang-orang barat yang tidak mempercayai agama, ya. Karena bagi mereka pernikahan itu adalah hal kesekian, maka mengenal pasangan dalam jangka waktu yang lama menjadi pokok yang harus dilalui. Nggak jarang juga mereka menikah saat sudah memiliki anak. Dan saya sangat menghormati keputusan mereka ini. Mereka lebih tau yang mereka butuhkan dan prioritas dalam hidupnya, yang penting mereka bahagia.

Mengenal pasangan disini sama artinya dengan tinggal bersama. Saya dan Damar tidak tinggal bersama dan tidak berencana untuk tinggal bersama sebelum menikah, alasan agama/kepercayaan yang kami anut adalah satu hal, tapi hal lain adalah kami ingin menjaga sparks dan kejutan-kejutan baru yang bisa kami temukan setelah menjadi pasangan suami istri. Walaupun begitu, saya percaya mengenal dan berada di satu tempat selama beberapa hari adalah penting untuk manajemen ekspektasi setelah pernikahan (paling nggak selama 1-2 minggu, karena mereka mau nggak mau akan menjadi dirinya sendiri di waktu sepanjang itu). Kami berdua plus kakak adeknya dia ke Iceland bulan Februari lalu, disitu saya mengenal dia lebih jauh, gimana cara dia handle stress, gimana leadership skill-nya dia, gimana rajinnya dia beribadah (poin penting nih, karena saya masih suka telat dan kelewatan heheh it is a huge deal concerning he has been living abroad where islam is mega minority, but he always comes back to his rug). Kami berdua menghabiskan waktu bersama dengan jadi diri sendiri (karena, capek kan berpura-pura selama seminggu), disitu saya semakin tahu kalau kita punya cara berpikir dan pandangan yang sama dalam banyak hal terutama dalam mengatasi masalah. Well, sebenarnya dia much better problem solver karena pembawaannya yang jauh lebih tenang dari saya. Saya udah persiapan dari awal, kalau di suatu perjalanan fraksi yang timbul adalah normal, akan ada waktu dimana mood akan berubah, tapi it went very smoothly untuk kami alhamdulillah. Saya merasa semakin yakin 🙂 🙂 Jadi pengenalan yang bukan cuma ngedate-ngedate aja itu penting bagi saya, walaupun gak sampai harus tinggal bareng.

Saya somewhat pengen ngejelasin dan bikin temen-temenku aware bahwa kami nggak berpikiran setradisional itu. Saya sendiri malah nggak percaya dengan blunt arranged married. Tapi disisi lain, saya juga malas menjelaskan panjang lebar. So ‘is it arranged married?’, I smiled and answered ‘no, we chose each other and he’s the man of my dream. When you know, you know. And we both know what we want, including choosing life partner. And when I find that kind of person, I just cannot wait to live and start the life together’…. 

Europe Hidup di Belanda Life Netherlands Thoughts

Dutch – Indo Cross Culture

21st December 2015 - 10 min read

Setelah resmi keluar dari pekerjaan, aku punya waktu 2 minggu untuk berlibur sebelum mulai bekerja di TOMS. Aku memutuskan untuk nggak berlibur ke luar negeri, mengingat bulan Februari aku berencana untuk berlibur musim dingin untuk mencari Aurora di Islandia, jadi sekarang waktunya untuk menabung karena katanya Islandia itu mahal banget. Dan juga, di pekerjaan  baruku, bulan Januari nanti, ada beberapah hal yang aku harus pelajari untuk menunjukan performa maksimal hihi maklum anak baru. Selain itu juga, aku sedang dalam proses mendapatkan permanen residen di Belanda. Dan step yang harus aku ambil adalah mengambil tes Inburgeren (Bahasa Belanda). Tesku dijadualkan tanggal 8 Januari, jadilah aku harus mempersiapkan tes yang jumlahnya 6 itu.

Jadi ceritanya kemarin aku lagi latihan di website inburgeren.nl. Dan banyak menemukan pertanyaan tentang perbedaan kultur Belanda dan negara asalku. Asik juga kayanya nulis diblog tentang ini.. Terutama buat orang-orang yang berencana tinggal sementara, sekolah atau menetap lama di Belanda. Ini bisa jadi persiapan dan antisipasi untuk cross cultural barrier.

Jadi menurut kesimpulan aku yang sudah beberapa tahun tinggal di Belanda, berikut adalah perbedaan paling menonjol dari kultur budaya Indonesia dan Belanda:

1. Belanda itu tepat waktu. Indonesia suka telat

Indonesia terbiasa dengan orang-orang yang nggak menjaga janjinya. Telat itu adalah sesuatu yang lumrah. Saat sesuatu dianggap normal, maka pada saat itulah perkembangan kultur baru akan melejit. Semua orang akan berpikir, kalau semua telat, kenapa kita harus ontime? Orang jadi meremehkan arti waktu dan jadi memiliki asumsi tertentu kalau acaranya pasti telat, pasti molor dsb. Aku pun juga begitu, karena kalau semua orang terlambat, acaranya pasti molor, dan kalau kita nggak ikut acara sampai selesai, kitu juga ikut rugi. Serba salah yah.. Yang jelas kalau disini, orang sangat menghargai waktu dan semua terencana dengan baik. Aku tidak menyalahkan, mungkin banyak faktor eksternal di Indonesia yang membuat terlambat, seperti macet atau tidak adanya jadwal transportasi publik yang jelas, jadi pada akhirnya semua orang menghadapi masalah yang sama. Sedangkan disini, semuanya tersedia online dan memungkinkan untuk merencakan perjalanan. Mungkin saat Indonesia sudah memiliki ini semua, mentalitas soal waktu juga bisa ikut dibenahi. Mudah2an… Tapi tetep, menurut aku telat itu adalah pilihan, bukan alasan.

2. Belanda itu direct. Indonesia suka ngalor ngidul dan pemalu

Dulu saat pertama kali aku sampai di Belanda, teman satu grup pernah konfrontasi soal kecewanya dia saat aku nggak membela dia di suatu grup diskusi. Saat itu kelihatan dari mimik mukanya kalau dia marah banget. Tapi setelah itu dia baik lagi, mengajak makan bersama di kantin. Aku kaget karena nggak biasa menerima konfrontasi langsung. Bingung harus ngapain. Tapi karena dia santai, aku pun juga santai. Di Belanda, orang akan menyatakan maksudnya pada saat itu juga. Iya iya, enggak enggak. Kalau nggak suka mereka akan bilang, begitupun sebaliknya. Tapi yang aku suka dari mereka, direct-nya mereka nggak menyebabkan fraksi di hubungan profesional atau pertemanan. Nggak ada yang taken personally.. Positifnya dari kebiasaan ini adalah, aku jadi tau secara jelas maunya apa dan harus ekspektasi seperti apa. Juga, aku jadi nggak usah bingung dengan hipokrasi, karena saat mereka bilang A, maksud mereka adalah A, bukan ABCDE…. Saat mereka bilang mau membantu, mereka akan mengerahkan segenap jiwanya untuk membantu. Bukan menawar-nawari dengan setengah hati berharap tawaran bantuannya ditolak, hanya karena menawari adalah hal yang benar haha pengalaman pribadi.

 3. Di Belanda, semua orang punya hak dan diperlakukan dengan sama. Di Indonesia, tergantung bawaannya apa

Mau kamu naik mobil, naik sepeda, naik angkot, dll, semua akan diperlakukan sama. Nggak banyak yang namanya kesenjangan sosial disini. Jadi jarang tuh ada orang pamer setelah dia beli tas Hermes atau mobil Lamborghini. Kalaupun mereka punya, mereka akan biasa saja, karena pertemanan atau pemberian servis di toko atau mall tidak didasari dari bagaimana orang berpenampilan dan dari status seseorang tersebut.

4. Di Belanda, cara hidup mereka sangat individual. Di Indonesia, sangat berbasis kekeluargaan dan gotong royong

Orang Asia khususnya indonesia, suka banget sama yang namanya kumpul-kumpul, arisan, makan-makan. Saat kamu tinggal di suatu perumahan di Indonesia, kamu akan mengenal tetangga sekitarmu dan mereka akan dengan senang hati menerima kamu. Itu adalah salah satunya pilihan yang bisa dilakukan dan juga the right thing to do. Di Belanda, mereka punya pilihan untuk terbuka atau tidak. Di Indonesia, saat terjadi sesuatu dengan kita, kita merasa tenang karena orang-orang disekiling sangat ramah dan mengenal kita. Sedangkan di Belanda, orang-orangnya cenderung tertutup dan hanya akan terbuka dengan teman yang sudah dikenalnya lama. Disini kita harus sedikit berhati-hati, karena orang Indonesia cenderung banyak omong dan juga suka berkomentar. Orang-orang bule tidak terlalu mengapresiasi hal ini, apalagi kalau belum dekat.

5. Di Belanda orang-orangnya perhitungan. Di Indonesia sangat royal.

Orang Indonesia menganut faham banyak memberi banyak rejeki. Hal ini juga diajarkan di agama. Sedangkan di Belanda, planning adalah everything, mereka tidak biasa mengeluarkan sesuatu yang tidak terplanning atau untuk sesuatu yang hukumnya nggak wajib. Saat kamu diundang oleh orang Belanda di suatu acara, jangan lupa makan dulu dari rumah, karena mereka biasanya tidak menjamu tamunya dengan makanan. Hanya minuman dan snack ringan. Ada cerita lucu dari kakakku yang diundang ke pernikahan temannya orang Belanda. Untuk kita, pernikahan adalah ajang makan makanan-makanan enak dan gratis. Jadilah, dia berangkat dengan perut kosong. Eh ternyata, di acara pernikahan itu tidak sedikitpun makanan disuguhkan. Hanya minuman keras, soft drink air putih, juga cheese dan olive. HAHAHAH Dan itu saat musim dingin, jadi dia pulang kedinginan dengan perut kosong. Akhirnya besoknya dia masuk angin.

6. Di Belanda, acara ulang tahun, adalah acara untuk menyelamati semua orang dan duduk melingkar. Di Indonesia, acara ulang tahun adalah untuk menjamu tamu undangan 

Saat diundang di acara ulang tahun orang Belanda di rumah, kamu harus masuk dan menyelamati semua orang yang ada di rumah itu dengan ucapan ‘gefeliciteerd’.  Ini adalah tradisi Belanda. Di dalam rumah akan tersedia kursi-kursi melingkar, minuman, dan juga kacang atau chips. Setelah itu disambut dengan obrolan-obrolan, kemudian pamit pulang. Bosen yah? Sedangkan di Indonesia sebaliknya banget. Ah yaaa, dan di Indonesia saat kamu mengundang orang ke acara ulang tahunmu di luar rumah, maka yang bertanggung jawab membayar adalah orang yang mengundang. Di Belanda, orang yang mengundang atau ulang tahun-lah yang harusnya ditraktir. Lucu ya…

7. Di Belanda, kamu bisa berteman dan hang out bareng dengan bos. Bisa ngomong apa aja ke dia. Di Indonesia boro-boro…

Di Belanda, kamu bisa panggil guru atau bos kamu dengan nama depan mereka. Berpengalaman kerja di Belanda, membuat aku jadi mengerti bahwa hierarki itu hanya struktur organisasi yang nggak membuat kita nggak bisa berteman dengan bos kita. Mereka bukan orang yang suka dipuja-puja, hal yang berkebalikan sekali di Indonesia.

8. Planning is everything, agenda di tangan. Indonesia angin-anginan

Semua orang disini punya agenda di tangan. Jaman sekarang sudah pake ponsel yaaa, jadi nggak perlu buku lagi. Orang Belanda sangat menghargai waktu, jadi mereka membuat rencana hari-harinya dengan baik. Itulah mengapa mereka selalu menepati janji, karena waktu mereka terencana dan dibukukan. Jadi saat mereka membuat janji dengan seseorang, mereka akan cross check dulu dengan agendanya dan tidak ada yang namanya membatalkan di hari yang sama atau 1 jam sebelum ketemu. Jangan kaget kalau buat janji dengan orang Belanda, biasanya mereka sudah memiliki jadwal sebulan atau dua bulan ke depan. Dari sisi ini, aku suka banget, karena aku dasarnya emang perencana, jadi hal ini aku adopsi dengan cukup baik.

9. Di Belanda gift giving bisa menciptakan ketidaknyamanan, di Indonesia gift giving sangat lumrah

Ini terkait lagi dengan orang-orang Indonesia yang suka memberi dan loyal. Dengan atau tanpa tendensi, orang Indonesia suka sekali memberi dan membuat orang lain senang. Seperti contohnya oleh-oleh souvenir yang harus dibawa saat pergi jalan-jalan. Seperti mamaku, semua orang di kompleks harus dapet. Satu sisi, memberi adalah habit yang baik selama itu tidak merepotkanmu sendiri. Lain halnya dengan orang Belanda, aku pernah cuma ngasih teh 1 kotak ke salah satu kolega karena aku tau teh itu baik buat dia yang susah tidur. Dengan sopan dia bilang, terima kasih sekali tapi lain kali jangan membelikan dia apa-apa, karena itu membuat dia nggak nyaman.  Uhmm okayyyy.. Orang Belanda akan merasa harus membalas budi jika menerima sesuatu dari orang lain tanpa occasion tertentu (ulang tahun, dll)

Seru banget sih punya pengalaman hidup di 2 negara yang bertolak belakang tapi juga punya banyak keterkaitan. Pikiran aku jadi lebih terbuka dan nggak gampang menghakimi. Dunia ituu kaya bangettt.. Akan sangat baik, jika kita bisa eksplor dan meninggalkan hati di beberapa tempatnya.

 

Life Milestone Thoughts

Meet him…..

6th December 2015 - 4 min read

“We are a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love” Robert Fulghum

Tonight, I look at my North Sea Jazz picture in which, I remember, was the first time we were ever together in a frame. Not only that, but also the first time I had ever talked to him continuously for an hour train ride prior to the concert. I was about to travel to Rotterdam by myself, until he asked ‘why not travel together?’. I was checkmated.

There we were on the train sitting face to face enthusiastically talking about life, somehow. I enjoyed every second with him very much, felt brightened and somehow felt really safe. As we went along, I realize we were never that close but the gestures somehow had been there. Little did I know, he had the eyes on me the entire time ever since the first sight.

My memory flew back to the years of 2012 in an old little house in Amsterdam where I stayed for a couple of months during my internship, I met this guy who happened to be my housemate’s younger brother. I did not count it as something memorable at all until the past few months when I found out that he remembered every little details of our first meeting, about what the conversation was, what clothes I was wearing, what kind of questions I asked him, etc. Who knows, that very night, he promised to himself to get to know me.

He was fulfilling his promise. Before the whole North Sea Jazz thing, he came to me again after 3 years, asking if I was up to see an orchestra Brahm A German Requiem, To Words of the Holy Scriptures, the longest Brahm play. I said yes to it in which I never regret I did. It was right to the target, as if everything was planned. I would have said no if he asked me to go watch movies or had dinner or anything aside jazz/orchestra concert. I always wanted to go to a live classic concert, yet I had never felt right to visit the music building by myself nor had proper company to go with. I think the universe was preparing someone to accompany me and also the other way around. Someone whom I would feel comfortable to share my interest with.

Who knows it was the start of us getting to know each other?

On the train, I secretly observed and took some fix conclusions: He is a doer, not a talker; both a dreamer and a realist; he is a thinker, not a blind believer. A lot of things about him I can so much relate to.

 

To be continued

Meet him part 2

Meet him part 3

 

Picture is courtsey of Lurik Photography

Life Quotes Self growth

Paulo Coelhoe – Pilgrimage

13th June 2015 - 3 min read

“We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. Many times in our lives we see our dreams shattered and our desired frustrated, but we have to continue dreaming. If we don’t, our soul dies and agape cannot reach it.”

 ” The first symptom of the process of our killing our dreams is the lack of time. The busiest people I have known in my life always have time enough to do everything. Those who do nothing are always tried and pay no attention to the little amount of work they are required to do. They complain constantly that the day is too short. The truth is, they are afraid to fight for the good fight”

The second symptom of the death of our dreams lies in our certainties. Because we dont want to see life as a grand adventure, we begin to think of ourselves as wise and fair and correct in asking so little of life. We look beyond the walls of our day-to-day existence, and we hear the sound of lances breaking, we smell the dust and the sweat, and we see the great defeats and the fire in the eyes of the warriors. But we never see the delight, the immense delight in the hearts of those who are engaged in the battle. For them, neither victory nor defeat is important; what’s important is only that they are fighting the good fight”

 

“And finally, the third symptom of the passing of our dreams is peace. Life becomes as Sunday afternoon; we ask for nothing grand, and we crease to demand anything more than we are willing to give. In that state, we think of ourselves as being mature; we put aside the fantasies of our youth, and we seek personal and professional achievement.”

– Pilgrimage by Paulo Coelho