Monday, January 31, 2011

#877 - 2011 Australian Open

pre-note: this entry will only be written in English :-)

Last Sunday, this year's edition of the Australian Open, one of this year's grand slam tournaments, was concluded. As the first grand slam of the year, which is held in the end of January, of course this tournament is always very interesting to watch as we can expect a bit more upsets because some top players might still have not found their top forms yet. Anyway, let me elaborate my thought about this year's edition of the tournament.

Women's Singles

Even before the tournament started, about one month prior, there had been a big upset in the women's draw. The defending champion, Serena Williams, announced her withdrawal from the tournament because of the continuing rehabilitation of her foot injury. This left the women's draw to be extremely wide open: many players could be the champion. For me, before the tournament started, I had three players in my mind who were more likely to be the champion: Kim Clijsters, Caroline Wozniacki, and Venus Williams. Well, picking Venus Williams might be a "weird" one since she had been sidelined for most of the second half of 2010 due to knee injury, but she is one of the Williams sisters, of course she is still a contender to win the title. Even with that knee injury, she came so close to winning the US Open title last year.

::: Li Na of China

As the tournament progressed, I think my picks was proven to be a good one. Well, of course Venus Williams got eliminated in the third round, but it was because of an unexpected injury she suffered during her second round match (in a match that she miraculously still won). Both Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters made it to the semifinal where en route, Clijsters created a history by double-bageling a former world no.1 (Dinara Safina) in the first round, the first time ever in the open era it happened in a grand slam tournament. However, an underdog, Li Na of China, slowly and steadily dug deeper into the tournament. In the end, she beat the world no.1 Wozniacki after saving a match point to be the first ever Chinese player to reach a grand slam final. From the other side of the draw, Kim Clijsters emerged to be in the other side of the net.

Of course Kim Clijsters was the heavy favorite of this final match. Well, but then, it turned out that Li Na was mentally so strong! She was really calm in the first set, taking it 6-3! It was her first grand slam final, so it must have been very overwhelming for her, but she managed the pressure well. She definitely handled it way better than Dinara Safina two years ago (Safina lost the first set 0-6 to Serena Williams exactly two years before). However, in the second set, Clijsters proved why she had won three US Open titles and many other titles. She had all the experiences and she definitely took advantages out of that. While Li Na somehow could not maintain her level, Clijsters geared up and never looked back. She won the last two sets 6-3, 6-3 to claim her first ever Australian Open title.

::: Kim Clijsters with her Australian Open throphy.

Btw, there has been a rumor that 2011 might be Clijsters' last year on tour. It was getting more worrying when Clijsters did not say "See you next year" in her winning speech, hmmm...

Men's Singles

In the beginning, the men's draw was a bit more predictable. Robin Soderling and Andy Murray's ranking change (Soderling to number 4, Murray down to number 5) did not appear to be a major change as the two were still in the same quarter of the group (not like last year where Murray met Nadal in the quarterfinals). The favorite one was of course Rafael Nadal, who had won all three major proceeding this Australian Open and was chasing for "Rafa Slam" where IF he won this tournament, he would have hold all grand slam titles simultaneously (kinda like Serena Williams in 2003). The other favorites were familiar faces: Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. Robin Soderling and Tomas Berdych followed silently behind them. My pick for the winner would be Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Andy Murray, and maybe Novak Djokovic (it was tough to pick one of these guys though, because they were pretty much at the same level and they were all hungry to win a major title).

As the tournament progressed, all these players proved that they were the favorites. Nadal lost in the quarterfinal to David Ferrer because of an apparent injury. But aside from him, Federer, Djokovic, and Murray moved to the semifinals. Federer lost to Djokovic there, and I was so happy because finally we would have a major final with no Federer nor Nadal. Well, do not get me wrong. Not that I do not like both of them, but it is just that the two of them had been dominating grand slam for the past several years. Some new names to be in that league are of course a really nice addition as the competition is getting more open, right? Anyway, in the other side of the draw, Murray managed to make his way to his second straight Australian Open final.

::: Andy Murray celebrating after winning a point.

For the final, I really hoped Murray would win, as I think it was already a time for him to finally win a major title. It had been tough for him, with all the expectations from UK media, and I think it would be nice for him to finally release that burden. Beside, I think he had all he needed to win a major title and he was not facing Roger Federer this time. However, somehow in the final, he just shrank!! I did not what happened to him but it was clearly he was not even close to his best. Djokovic controlled pretty much everything on the match, winning it in straight sets. I still do not understand why Andy Murray, so far, always shrinks everytime he reaches a major final, hmmm. Well, it actually does not matter if he lost in the final, as long as he played his best effort and games in that final, but the thing is, he was not playing his best in that final. That is what's strange for me, hmmm... . I still hope Andy will win a major title soon :-)


The Bryan brothers created a history by winning Australian Open for the third time in a row, and women's doubles' world no.1, Gisela Dulko and Flavia Pennetta, won the women's doubles title. I do not have many comments about this though, hehehe

::: Novak Djokovic and his Australian Open throphy.

Anyway, so finally, congratulations for Kim Clijsters and Novak Djokovic for winning Australian Open this year!! And also the Bryans, Gisela Dulko, and Flavia Pennetta!!

note : All photos were taken from the official website, link above.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

#876 - It is DONE!!!


So, finally, after working my ass of for the past two weeks, I am free!!! Yesterday I had my last exam this semester and I am really happy about that. Well, hopefully I did good so that I do not need to take the resit though. Certainly I am more sure in one than the other, but overall, I think I did well. Hopefully they are really well. So, finally now I have a literally free weekend with no assignment (nor exam) to think. Well, even though I have decided to take the Dutch Class for Beginners next quarter and I have to study one chapter of the book for that class. But it is a bit nothing (for now) compared to all the crazy assignments I had before (and might have in the near future).

Btw, next quarter, I will be a moving student. On Monday, I am taking two classes that are held in TWO different cities, about 52 km apart. I will have a morning class in Utrecht and an evening class in Delft. Well, I guess I have to really travel back and forth those days, hahaha.

Well, that is pretty much the update of my life lately. Lately, my life is not really interesting, as you know, I just got out of my campus just when I needed to do grocery shopping. The other time, I just stayed in my apartment or in my office to prepare myself for the exam, hahaha


Jadi, akhirnya, setelah bekerja membanting tulang selama dua minggu terakhir, aku bebas juga!!! Kemarin aku mengikuti ujian terakhirku semester ini dan aku sangat senang karenanya. Yah, mudah2an sih aku mengerjakan semua ujianku dengan baik jadi gak harus ngulang sih. Tentu aku lebih yakin di satu ujian dibanding yang lain, tapi secara keseluruhan sih kayanya aku cukup bisa deh. Nah, akhirnya sekarang aku beneran memiliki satu akhir minggu yang bebas nih tanpa tugas (apalagi ujian) untuk dipikirin. Ya, walaupun untuk kuarter depan aku akan mengambil Kelas Bahasa Belanda bagi pemula dimana aku harus mempersiapkan satu bab untuk itu. Tapi itu nggak masalah lah (untuk saat ini) dibanding dengan tugas2 gila yang aku jalani sebelumnya (dan mungkin akan aku jalani lagi bentar lagi).

Btw, kuarter depan aku akan menjadi mahasiswa nglaju nih. Di hari Senin aku mengambil dua kelas yang diselenggarakan di DUA kota yang berbeda yang terpisah sekitar 52 km loh. Kelas pagi di Utrecht dan kelas sore di Delft. Alhasil, sehari itu aku harus bolak-balik deh, hahaha.

Yah, kurang lebih itu aja sih update tentang kehidupanku akhir2 ini. Akhir2 ini memang nggak menarik koq, tau lah, aku cuma keluar kampus ketika harus belanja kebutuhan sehari-hari aja. Selain itu, aku ya cuma di apartement ato kantor buat belajar, hahaha

Saturday, January 22, 2011

#875 - One Down, Two to Go! Oops, It's Three!!


Well, as you may have noticed, I have been muttering about my mega busy weeks. They are filled with big assignments and exams. Well, this week, I had one of the exams. How did I do on my exams? Well, I think I did enough to pass the course (Amen for that!!) but the thing is, I am not really satisfied with my performance on the exam as I think I could have done better. Plus, I was kinda misled and prepared slightly the wrong things for the exams. I did researh the old exams and examined the type of the questions, a bit focusing on the last two years. But then, the exam this year was SO different from the past two years! Well, I guess I was just being unlucky there.

Anyway, so one is down. I still have two more exams which will be held next week, on Wednesday and on Friday. Arrgggh, I cannot wait next week to pass soon!! Btw, did I just say two?? Arrrgghh, I just remembered that I still have one more exam next week on Wednesday, it is the Dutch class pre-exam!! Well, I think I will take the Dutch course next quarter (I am still not sure though whether I will take it now or not). And to take that class, we have to enrol ourselves in the pre-exam first. If we pass the pre-exam, we can take the course. So, apparently, instead of two, I still have three!!

Btw, let's talk about something a bit more fun. As you can read at my last entry, I bought a tennis tournament ticket which will be held in Rotterdam next February. Well, finally, last Thursday, I got the ticket delivered! I am so excited!! :-)

Well, speaking about tennis, now the 2011 Australian Open is underway. Maybe I will write a whole entry dedicated for this next week. But in a nutshell, it is still exciting to watch but in the women's side, it is not really because so many top players are injured.

::: My ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament's Final's ticket.


Yah, seperti yang mungkin sudah disadari, akhir-akhir ini aku ngedumel tentang mingguku yang mega menyibukkan. Minggu-mingguku dipenuhi tugas-tugas dan ujian. Yah, minggu ini, aku menghadapi salah satu ujiannya. Bagaimana kabarnya? Yah, aku rasa jawabanku cukup lah untuk lulus (Amiiiin!!) cuma, aku nggak terlalu puas sama performaku di ujian itu karena aku rasa aku dapat mengerjakannya dengan lebih baik. Plus, aku juga agak salah arah dan mempersiapkan hal yang sedikit salah untuk ujianku. Aku meriset ujian-ujian yang lama dan fokusku lebih pada ujian dua tahun terakhir. Tapi kemudian, ujiannya beda BANGET dari ujian dua tahun terakhir! Yah, aku rasa sih aku lagi sial aja disitu.

Yah, pokoknya satu sudah lewat. Aku masih ada dua ujian lagi yang akan diadakan minggu depan, di hari Rabu dan Jumat. Arrgggh, aku nggak sabar nih agar minggu depan segera beres!! Btw, apakah aku baru saja mengatakan dua?? Arrrgghh, jadi inget deh kalau aku masih ada satu lagi ujian ekstra hari Rabu besok, yaitu pra-ujian kelas bahasa Belanda!! Yah, mungkin aku akan mengambil kelas bahasa Belanda kuarter depan (aku masih nggak yakin sih akan hal ini). Dan untuk mengambil kelas ini, kami harus ikut pra-ujian dulu. Dan kalau lulus, baru deh kami bisa ikut kuliahnya. Yah, ternyata, bukannya dua ujian lagi nih, tapi masih tiga!!

Btw, mari berpindah topik ke sesuatu yang lebih mengasyikkan. Seperti yang bisa dibaca di posting sebelumnya, aku membeli tiket turnamen tenis yang akan diadakan di Rotterdam bulan Februari nanti. Yah, akhirnya, Kamis lalu, tiketnya datang! Aku sangat bersemangat nih!! :-)

Hmm, ngomong-ngomong tentang tenis, kini turnamen Australian Open 2011 sedang berlangsung. Mungkin aku akan menulis satu posting khusus tentang ini minggu depan. Cuma untuk sekarang, secara ringkas, aku merasa turnamen ini masih sangat asyik untuk ditonton walau di bagian putrinya agak kurang seru karena terlalu banyak pemain top yang cedera.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

#874 - Typing in the Dark, Exams, and Tennis Tournament


Setting : In my studio apartment which currently has no power because for some reason and I don't know (yet) how to fix it. I cannot report it to the caretaker now because it is already almost 10 PM and the caretaker is not here by this time of the day.

Laptop's battery : currently 85%

About one hour ago I just came back home from my office. Yes, I got back home at 9 PM ++ today because I had to study for one exam next Wednesday, the first written exam I have during my study in TU Delft. I have reviewed all materials but I know it is better for me to reread all of them tomorrow and on Wednesday morning to give me an even better preparation. Talking about exam's preparation, I just checked today that next Wednesday's exam would be in room with code CT IZ-0.96. I had no idea where the hell that room was, and so I asked my friends on Facebook and saw my campus' scheme. Earlier today, my friends and I tried to find it first, so that if we really had to get lost in finding it, it'd better be now, not on Wednesday, hahaha.

Anyway, so I got back to my apartment like one hour ago. I felt weird because the outdoor lamp of my room was off, usually it is always on. When I entered my room I felt even weirder because it was too dark (I always leave my showerroom's lamp on and open its door a bit so in case I come back home late, it is not going to be totally dark to find the switch of my main lamp). I thought maybe I forgot to turn it on today or I closed my showerroom's door. Then, I tried to turn my lamp on but it did not work. Dammit! I had a feeling about what was going on. The problem was that because this thing has never happened before, I do not know where the electric fuse is. To make things worse, I got back home late tonight, when the caretaker had already got back home. So, I can only report and complain about this problem tomorrow morning. Lucky my internet is still working and I fully charged my laptop last night so it still has some power now, hahaha. And somehow, I decided to type this entry in the dark, I do not know why, hahaha...

Btw, as you might know, I am a fan of tennis. And the good thing about living in Europe is that there are many reachable prestigious tennis tournaments nearby. The most prestigious are, of course, grand slams. And the closest grand slams from Delft are held in Paris (French Open) and London (Wimbledon). However, the ticket price to watch a grand slam is incredibly expensive for me now! (yea, I have done some surveys) I am now not sure whether I want to actually go there this year or not (damn this crazy ticket). But it does not mean I cannot afford watching tennis tournament. There will be a pretty prestigious tennis tournament nearby, just in Rotterdam, next February. Many of the top 10 players will participate there including my favorite male player now: Andy Murray. And yesterday, I just bought the ticket of the final of that tournament!! I was pretty late so I did not get the better seat (down near the court) but I do not care! I am still really excited!! Well, the final would better be between Murray and Djokovic now, hahaha :-)

Laptop's battery : 67%.


Setting : Di apartemen kecilku yang sekarang lagi mati lampu karena satu alasan dan aku nggak tahu bagaimana cara memperbaikinya. Aku nggak bisa melaporkannya ke caretaker sekarang karena sudah jam 10 malam dan caretaker-nya nggak ada di kompleks ini jam segini.

Batere laptop : sekarang 85%

Sekitar sejam yang lalu aku balik ke rumah dari kantor. Ya, aku balik ke rumah jam 9 malam lebih hari ini karena aku harus belajar untuk satu ujian di hari Rabu nanti, ujian tertulis pertamaku di TU Delft. Aku sudah membaca semua materinya dan aku tahu sih akan lebih baik lagi kalau aku membaca ulang semuanya besok dan Rabu pagi untuk memberikan persiapan yang lebih matang. Ngomong2, tentang persiapan ujian, aku tahu bahwa ujian Rabu besok akan diadaka di ruangan dengan kode CT IZ-0.96. Aku tadi nggak tahu ni ruangan ada di sebelah mana, dan kemudian aku tanya teman2ku di Facebook dan melihat denah kampus. Hari ini tadi aku dan beberapa teman berusaha mencarinya dulu, jadi andaikata kami harus kesasar dulu untuk mencari ruangan itu, mending kesasarnya hari ini, bukan hari Rabu nanti, hahaha.

Ngomong2, jadi aku balik ke apartemenku sekitar sejam yang lalu. Aku merasa aneh karena lampu di luar kamarku mati, biasanya selalu nyala. Aku merasa makin aneh lagi ketika aku masuk kamar, kamarnya terlalu gelap (aku biasanya selalu menyalakan lampu kamar mandi dan pintunya aku buka sedikit jadinya andaikata aku pulang kemalaman, paling nggak kamar nggak gelap2 amat lah untuk mencari saklar lampu utama). Aku berpikir mungkin aku lupa nyalain atau aku menutup pintu kamar mandi. Lalu, aku menyalakan lampu kamar tapi lampunya nggak nyala. Sial! Tau deh aku apa yang terjadi. Masalahnya, kejadian ini belum pernah terjadi sebelumnya dan aku nggak tahu dimana sekeringnya berada jadi aku nggak bisa ngecek. Yang lebih parah lagi adalah karena aku pulang malem, caretaker-nya sudah pulang. Jadi aku baru bisa melaporkan dan komplain akan kejadian ini besok pagi. Untungnya koneksi internetku masih jalan dan semalam aku menge-charge penuh laptopku jadi sekarang masih ada tenaga deh, hahaha. Dan entah kenapa, koq aku memutuskan mengetik gelap-gelap gini yah, aku nggak tahu deh mengapa, hahaha...

Btw, seperti yang mungkin pada tau, aku nge-fans sama tenis. Dan hal baik tentang tinggal di Eropa adalah ada beberapa turnamen tenis bergengsi yang jaraknya terjangkau dari sini. Tentu yang paling bergengsi adalah grand slam. Dan grand slam terdekat dari Delft diadakan di Paris (French Open) dan London (Wimbledon). Dan memang keduanya jaraknya terjangkau sih. Masalahnya, harga tiketnya itu lho koq mahal banget yah untukku sekarang! (yea, aku sudah survey harga). Aku jadi nggak yakin apakah aku memang akan beneran mencoba nonton grand slam langsung tahun ini. Tapi bukan berarti aku nggak bisa membeli tiket untuk nonton tenis sih. Bulan Februari nanti akan ada turnamen tenis putra lumayan bergengsi deket dari tempatku berada, di Rotterdam. Banyak pemain 10 besar putra yang akan main disitu, termasuk pemain putra favoritku sekarang: Andy Murray. Dan kemarin, aku baru saja membeli tiket final turnamen itu!! Aku belinya agak terlambat jadi aku nggak mendapat kursi yang bagusan dikit (di bagian bawah stadion di dekat lapangan) tapi nggak papa lah! Aku masih bersemangat nih karenanya! Yah, sekarang sih sebaiknya finalnya antara Murray dan Djokovic aja deh, hahaha :-)

Laptop's battery : 67%.

Friday, January 14, 2011

#873 - I Survived the Week!


Crazy Week but I Beat It!!

So, technically, this week has come close to an end, and somehow, I managed to survive this week!! Why am I so surprised? Well, as you can read here, I had three assignments due this week. Honestly, about ten days ago, I had no idea how I would survive this week. I knew it would be crazy: three assignments which were not easy at all!! And I am really glad that I somehow managed to survive it! :-)

I think the main contributor of my survival this week was my very-productive Monday where I managed to finish two assignments that day. And this could come to reality because I "sacrificed" my weekend last week, by still keeping working on my assignments. I think it was "fair enough" because I already had like two-weeks off in Italy, so one less weekend should do no harm to me. I then worked on the last assignment the whole week, and it was not easy at all. I got misled one time that made me waste one entire day of my precious time focusing on the wrong thing. It kinda sucked, but I learned my lesson. And today, I finished it. I am feeling a bit relieved. However, I can not really relax now as the exam week is approaching. I am having exam next Wednesday and I have to start preparing for it now!! Wish me luck!!

Spring Vacation??

Anyway, my friends told me this week that there will be a one-week spring-break holiday next February. Of course I am really excited as I can use that time to explore a little bit of more Europe. I have already got two invitations from two groups of friends: going to Paris for four days and going to Luxembourg for three days. The good news is: they are not during the same time, so if I want to go on both trips, technically I can go. The bad news is: I already had a two-week trip to Italy during Christmas and New-Year and in total, it cost pretty much. Well, I would not say I was being extravagant in Italy, in fact, I think my expenses was really well-controlled as I managed to be on budget by a few hundred of euros. But still, two-week holiday in Italy during the high season, even if its expenses was well-controlled, would still cost some money. That is why I am a little bit not sure now. I think I should not go on both offers. I might only be able to pick one. Or in fact, maybe I should not pick either of them, just stay in Holland for that one whole week. So, what do you think? :-)


Minggu Gila tapi Aku Berhasil Melaluinya!!

Secara teknis, minggu ini sudah mendekati akhir, dan entah bagaimana, aku berhasil melalui minggu ini!! Mengapa aku sangat terkejut? Yah, seperti yang bisa dibaca disini, aku ada tiga tugas yang harus dikumpulkan minggu ini. Jujur, sekitar sepuluh hari yang lalu, aku nggak tahu bagaimana aku akan melalui minggu ini. Aku tahu minggu ini akan menjadi minggu yang gila: tiga tugas yang tidak ada yang mudah!! Dan aku sangat lega akhirnya aku berhasil melaluinya! :-)

Aku rasa, kontributor utama dari keberhasilanku melalui minggu ini adalah hari Seninku yang sangat produktif dimana aku berhasil menyelesaikan dua tugas hari itu. Dan ini bisa terjadi karena aku "mengorbankan" wikenku minggu lalu, dengan tetap mengerjakan tugas-tugas. Aku rasa itu masih "imbang" lah karena aku kan sudah menikmati liburan selama dua minggu di Italia, jadi ya satu wiken lebih sedikit nggak masalah lah ya. Aku kemudian mengerjakan satu tugas tersisa lainnya sepanjang minggu, yang juga tidaklah mudah. Aku salah arah di satu waktu yang menyebabkanku membuang waktu sehari dari waktuku yang sangat berharga karena aku fokus di hal yang bukan krusial. Menyebalkan memang, tapi aku belajar darinya. Dan hari ini, akhirnya tugasnya selesai. Aku meraasa lega deh. Namun, aku nggak bisa bersantai-santai karena minggu ujian sudah sangat dekat. Aku akan mengikuti ujian yang pertama di hari Rabu nanti dan aku harus mulai mempersiapkannya dari sekarang!! Doakan aku yah!!

Jalan-Jalan di Musim Semi??

Ngomong-ngomong, beberapa teman memberitahuku minggu ini bahwa akan ada liburan musim semi selama seminggu di bulan Februari nanti. Tentu saja dong aku tertarik karena aku bisa menggunakan waktu itu untuk mengeksplorasi Eropa sedikit lebih banyak. Aku sudah mendapat dua ajakan jalan-jalan dari dua grup teman yang berbeda: jalan selama empat hari ke Paris dan jalan selama tiga hari ke Luxembourg. Berita baiknya adalah: kedua acara ini bukanlah di waktu yang sama, jadi andai aku mau ikutan kedua agenda itu, secara waktu sih aku bisa pergi. Berita buruknya adalah: aku baru saja pergi jalan-jalan selama dua minggu ke Italia ketika libur Natal dan tahun baru, dan secara total, biayanya lumayan juga. Yah, aku nggak mengatakan kalau aku boros yah, malah kebalikannya, aku rasa pengeluaranku di Italia sangat terkontrol dengan baik dan aku berhasil menghemat sekian ratus euro dari ekspektasi pengeluaranku. Tapi ya masih saja kan, liburan dua minggu di Italia di saat musim liburan, walau pengeluarannya sangat terkontrol, tetap saja membutuhkan uang yang lumayan juga. Makanya nih aku sekarang agak nggak terlalu yakin. Aku rasa aku nggak bisa mengikuti kedua agenda itu. Aku mungkin bisa memilih salah satunya. Atau malah, mungkin aku nggak usah memilih keduanya, dan hanya tinggal di Belanda aja selama seminggu itu. Bagaimana nih menurut kalian? :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

#872 - Crazy Week


Well, I am really sorry for not being so active in the blogosphere lately, especially after my trip from Italy. This inactivity is due to the crazy ammount of workload from campus. I had three assignments to submit within ten days after I came back from Italy. And the assignments from TU Delft are not well-known for their easiness, in fact it is kinda the opposite :-D

To make things even worse, I wrongly read the deadline for one assignment! I thought for this particular assignment (let's call it RA), the deadline was next Friday. I had another assignment (SP) due this Wednesday and the other one (SC) next Saturday. Based on this fact, I made an agenda to work on SP first, then RA, then SC. But then, last Saturday my friend told me that the deadline for RA was actually THIS Monday!! I checked it and my friend was correct, it was THIS Monday!! I felt doomed!! The good thing was that my friend told me this fact on Saturday, which meant that I still had time to make things up. I immediately changed my plan. I stopped working on SP and started working on RA all weekend. The result was fantastic: I finished RA on time, on Monday afternoon, AND I also finished SP on Monday!! I guess I was on a full gear today, I was so productive!! But there is an effect, after finishing SP, I think I got a headache, hahaha. I need to take a little rest now and start working on SC again tomorrow.

Well, these assignments will not be the end of the crazy workload. I am having an exam starting next week. Well, I "only" have three exams though, one for next week and two for the week after that. But it doesn't mean they are going to be easy. I know I have to work my ass off to get good grades on them. Wish me luck!! :-)


Wah, sorry banget yah kalau aku tidak terlalu aktif di dunia perblogan akhir-akhir ini, terutama setelah pulang dari Italia. Ketidak-aktifan ini dikarenakan banyaknya kerjaan dari kampus. Aku ada tiga tugas yang harus dikumpulkan dalam waktu sepuluh hari semenjak aku pulang dari Italia. Dan tugas-tugas da

Untuk membuat keadaan semakin buruk, aku salah membaca deadline tugas salah satu tugas! Aku kira deadline salah satu tugas (sebut saja tugas RA) adalah hari Jumat esok. Aku ada tugas lain (SP) yang deadline-nya hari Rabu esok dan tugas lain (SC) yang deadline-nya Sabtu esok. Berdasarkan fakta ini, aku menyusun agenda untuk mengerjakan SP dulu, kemudian RA, kemudian SC. Tapi kemudian, hari Sabtu lalu temanku bilang ke aku kalau deadline tugas RA adalah hari Senin INI!! Aku kemudian mengeceknya dan ternyata temanku benar, deadline untuk RA adalah Senin INI!! Aku merasa hancur!! Untungnya, temanku memberi tahu aku di hari Sabtu jadinya aku masih ada waktu untuk mengerjakannya. Aku langsung mengubah rencanaku. Aku berhenti mengerjakan SP dan mulai mengerjakan RA sepanjang akhir minggu. Hasilnya menakjubkan: Aku menyelesaikan RA tepat waktu, hari Senin siang, DAN juga aku menyelesaikan SP di hari Senin ini!! Aku rasa aku sangat bersemangat untuk bekerja keras hari ini, aku sangat produktif!! Tapi ada efeknya, setelah menyelesaikan SP, aku rasa aku sudah memberikan cukup sakit kepala untuk diriku, hahaha. Aku perlu mengambil istirahat sejenak dan mulai bekerja di SC besok.

Yah, tugas-tugas ini bukanlah akhir dari banyaknya kerjaan dari kampus. Minggu ujian akan dimulai minggu depan. Yah, aku "hanya" ada tiga ujian sih, satu untuk minggu depan dan dua untuk minggu setelahnya. Tapi ini bukan berarti minggu depan akan menjadi mudah. Aku tahu aku harus bekerja ekstra keras agar mendapat hasil yang memuaskan. Doakan aku ya!! :-)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

#871 - Screwed Day


Hi all, I just got back from my awesome two-week trip to Italy over the Christmas break last night. As you might expect, I have so many stories to tell and let me catch up a little bit. By the way, this entry is practically just a repost of my note on Facebook I posted like two weeks ago, so maybe some of you have already read it :-)

One of the most interesting thing that happened during the trip was the adventure we had on the very first day. It was literally an adventure as many things went wrong simultaneously. Let me elaborate all of them, trust me, it is so adventurous and exciting! ;-)


The first thing that went wrong was the flight. When we checked in at easyJet's desk, there was no indication something would go wrong. It was smooth, we got our boarding-passes with still on time time departure (9.30 AM), gate, etc. But then, because one of my friend had to travel with wheelchair and crutches, we had to report to the service desk first before getting through the security. There, the lady told us that our flight was delayed until 12.50 PM. We said no and that we just checked in and it was said it was on time. She insisted and said the announcement just came to the system so that was why when we checked in, it was still on time. We checked, and yes, it was delayed until 12.50 PM.

At first we thought it was the snow but then we realized something weird as no other flight was canceled for more than 1 hour that day. Finally, at around 1.15 PM, we were allowed to board the plane, an Airbus A319-111 reg code G-EZEB. On board, it was revealed that the reason behind the delay was that earlier that morning, the first officer (copilot) who was supposed to fly the plane got a really bad accident so that the company had to find another guy to fill in his job. Of course it took time.

Well, the accident that happened to that first officer apparently caused all these things to happen.


We landed at around 3.30 PM at Milan Malpensa International Airport. Our next destination was Milan Central Station as we needed to go to Pisa that day. To get there, we chose to catch a bus as the bus-ticket seller said that it would only take around 45 minutes to get to the station. But then, in reality, it took NINETY minutes, freaking NINETY minutes, to finally arrive at the station!! We arrived there at around 5.45 PM, leaving us with only TWO train options to get to Pisa.


Both options were not direct trip. We had to transit one time in both trips, and of course we picked the earlier one (and because the earlier one was some 4 or 5 euro cheaper). The first train was scheduled to depart at 7.05 PM and the transit was in a town called Genova. It was scheduled to arrive at 8.46 PM, and our connecting train would depart at 8.56 PM, which meant that we only had like 10 minutes to transfer.

BUT THEN, because the theme of the day was: "we were screwed", another thing went wrong. Our train departed at 7.30 PM from Milan, some 25 minutes behind schedule!! We only had like 10 minutes between trains and now we were suddenly 25 minutes behind schedule?? NIGHTMARE!!! Our only hope was that our connecting train would also be late for some 20 or 30 minutes. But then, because of that theme, it was not the case. When we arrived at Genova Station at around 9.15 PM, our connecting train had already gone. GONE!!! We were officially stranded in Genova, and it was not even a big town!! We looked at the train schedule and saw that the next train to Pisa would leave at 10.45 PM from Genova. Okay, this was our only feasible option, we had to wait for like 1.5 hours in Geneva Station.

The train arrived and we arrived at 12.50 AM in Pisa. "Yeah, finally we are in Pisa", that's what we thought at that point, not knowing that the day loved us so much that two other unfortunate things were still waiting for us.


We were in Pisa Station at around 1 AM and to get out, we had to climb down the stairs to cross the platforms and then climb another stairs up. If you read carefully, one of my friend was travelling with a wheel-chair, so this was a problem. Actually, there was an elevator for handicapped people, but there was a stupid regulation stating that the elevator could only be used for public between 6 AM and 10 PM AND that noone from Trenitalia was in charge that night (if there was one, we could have asked him to activate the elevator just that time to help my friend). We tried to look for different solution(s), but none was there. There was this ramp to cross the rail but it would only bring us one platform closer but not to the exit gate. So, it seemed that we had no other option than for my friend to climb down the stairs using her ass and we carried all the luggages.


About one hour after we arrived at Pisa Station, we finally made it to the gate. Another problem occured. We had to find a taxi. The only available taxi at that time was the small one, so we called our hostel to call us a bigger one. Some fifteen minutes later, a bigger taxi showed up, but he did not seem to have the intention to slow down looking for passengers waiting for him. He just came there, drove around the roundabout and just fleed. F**k!! We waived but because (I think) he did not really care, he did not see us. So we called the hostel again and asked the guy to call another cab. Some fifteen minutes more, finally the cab arrived and now finally he saw us!! We left the station at around 2.15 AM and arrived at the hostel at about 2.30 AM!!

Well, that was pretty much the end of that day. We left Delft at around 6.30 AM and arrived at our hostel in Pisa at 2.30 AM the next day!! It was kinda amazing that all these things (starting with an unfortunate fate for a first officer to a sucky cab-driver) could happen in the same day, in the trip of a specific group of people. Eventhough they all undeniably sucked, but the whole trip was a real adventure and it was super exciting!! Waaaay more interesting than just smooth and all-things-were-fine trip as this trip will always be remembered!!

Anyway, our hostel was only like 100 meter from the Leaning Tower of Pisa, so I could take a peek of the tower and the park (with the Baptistry) that night. And yes, it was really beautiful!! I remember feeling that all the things we had been going though that day worthed it!! (beside, the hostel was really good though :-D)

::: easyJet's Airbus A319-111 reg code G-EZEB which brought us to Milan Malpensa Airport from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport as EZ 2724.

::: the train that took us to Genova Station from Milan Station which were late for 25 minutes.

::: one view at Genova Station.

::: Pisa Station. If you are curious enough, you can actually see the clock there pointing 1.50 AM!!

::: The Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Baptistry. Beautiful!


Halo semua, aku baru saja balik dari liburanku yang hebat selama dua minggu di Italia nih semalam. Seperti yang mungkin bisa ditebak, ada banyak cerita untuk dibagikan dan izinkan aku memulai menuangkannya sedikit. By the way, di posting ini sebenarnya aku hanya mem-posting ulang note-ku di Facebook yang kutulis sekitar dua minggu yang lalu sih, jadi mungkin sebagian sudah pada baca :-)

Satu hal yang paling menarik yang terjadi selama liburanku adalah petualangan yang terjadi di hari pertama. Hari itu benar-benar sebuah petualangan karena banyak hal yang kacau secara bersamaan. Aku akan menguraikannya sekarang, dan percaya deh, cerita ini sangat seru dan mengasyikkan! ;-)


Hal pertama yang kacau adalah penerbangan. Ketika kami check-in di konternya easyJet, tidak ada indikasi sesuatu akan berubah menjadi kacau. Semua berjalan lancar, kami mendapat boarding-pass dimana tertera waktu keberangkatan yang tepat waktu (jam 9.30 pagi), gerbang keberangkatan, dll. Namun kemudian, karena salah satu temanku harus bepergian dengan kursi roda, kami harus melapor ke meja servis dulu sebelum berjalan memasuki area keberangkatan. Disana, petugasnya bilang bahwa penerbangan kami ditunda sampai jam 12.50 siang. Kami berkata itu tidak mungkin karena kami baru saja check in dan waktu penerbangannya masih tepat waktu. Ia kemudian bersikukuh bahwa memang pengumumannya baru saja masuk ke sistem dan oleh karenanya pada saat check in, waktunya masih tepat waktu. Kami kemudian mengecek di layar keberangkatan, dan memang, penerbangan ditunda hingga jam 12.50 siang.

Awalnya kami mengira keterlambatan ini disebabkan oleh salju tapi kami kemudian mengamati bahwa hanya penerbangan kami lah yang ditunda lebih dari satu jam hari itu. Akhirnya sekitar jam 1.15 siang, kami dipersilakan naik ke pesawat, sebuah Airbus A319-111 kode registrasi G-EZEB. Di pesawat, akhirnya dibeberkan alasan di balik keterlambatan ini bahwa pada pagi harinya, kopilot yang seharusnya menerbangkan pesawatnya kecelakaan parah dan easyJet harus mencari kopilot pengganti untuknya. Tentu ini memakan waktu.

Yah, kecelakaan yang terjadi ke kopilot itu ternyata adalah awal dari semua hal yang terjadi pada kami hari itu.


Kami mendarat sekitar jam 3.30 sore di Bandar Udara Internasional Milan Malpensa. Tujuan kami selanjutnya adalah Stasiun Kereta Api Milan Sentral karena kami harus pergi ke Pisa di hari itu. Untuk pergi kesana, kami memutuskan untuk naik bus karena penjual tiketnya menginformasikan bahwa perjalanan dengan bus menuju stasiun akan memakan waktu sekitar 45 menit. Tapi kemudian, pada kenyataannya, waktu yang dibutuhkan adalah SEMBILAN PULUH menit, SEMBILAN PULUH menit saudara-saudara, untuk sampai di stasiun!! Kami tiba disana sekitar jam 5.45 sore, menyisakan hanya DUA pilihan kereta tujuan Pisa.


Kedua pilihan kereta itu bukanlah perjalanan kereta yang langsung, kami harus melakukan satu kali transit di keduanya, dan tentu saja kami memilih perjalanan yang pertama (dan juga karena perjalanan yang pertama lebih murah sekitar 4 atau 5 euro sih). Kereta pertama ini dijadwalkkan berangkat jam 7.05 malam dan transitnya adalah di sebuah kota kecil bernama Genova. Kereta dijadwalkan tiba di Genova jam 8.46 malam, dan kereta lanjutan akan berangkat jam 8.56 malam, yang artinya kami memiliki waktu 10 menit untuk pindah kereta.

NAMUN KEMUDIAN, karena tema hari itu adalah: "kami sial", hal lain berubah menjadi kacau. Kereta kami baru berangkat jam 7.30 malam dari Milan, yang artinya terlambat sekitar 25 menit!! Waktu transit kami hanyalah 10 menit dan sekarang kami sudah telat 25 menit?? MIMPI BURUK!!! Satu-satunya harapan adalah kereta lanjutan kami juga akan terlambat 20 atau 30an menit. Tapi kemudian, karena tema tersebut di atas, itu bukanlah hal yang terjadi. Kami tiba di Stasiun Genova jam 9.15 malam, dan kereta lanjutannya sudah berangkat. Kami ketinggalan kereta!! Resmilah kami terdampar di kota Genova, yang bukanlah kota besar. Kami kemudian melihat jadwal kereta dan kereta selanjutnya tujuan Pisa akan berangkat jam 10.45 malam dari Genova. Oke, hanya inilah pilihan memungkinkan bagi kami, kami harus menunggu selama 1,5 jam di Stasiun Genova.

Keretanya akhirnya tiba dan akhir kata kami tiba di Pisa sekitar jam 12.50 subuh. "Yeah, akhirnya kami tiba di Pisa", itulah pikiran kami pada saat itu, tanpa menyadari bahwa hari itu sangat mencintai kami sampai dua kejadian tak mengenakkan masih menunggu kami.


Kami tiba di Stasiun Pisa sekitar jam 1 subuh dan untuk keluar, kami harus menuruni tangga (untuk menyeberangi jalur kereta) kemudian naik tangga lain di pintu keluar. Kalau pada membaca dengan cermat, salah satu temanku bepergian dengan kursi roda, dan ini adalah satu masalah. Sebenarnya, ada lift untuk turun ke penyeberangan itu, hanya saja ada aturan tolol dimana lift hanya beroperasi antara jam 6 pagi hinggal jam 10 malam DAN tidak ada seorang petugaspun dari Trenitalia yang bertugas malam itu (kalau ada, kan kami bisa tuh memintanya mengaktifkan lift hanya sekali itu saja untuk membantu temanku). Kami mencoba mencari solusi lain, tapi nggak ketemu. Ada sih penyeberangan biasa antara jalur, tetapi penyeberangan itu tidak berlanjut sampai ke pintu keluar. Ya udah, nggak ada pilihan lain selain melakukan cara paling sederhana: temanku harus menuruni tangga itu satu per satu sambil duduk di lantai dan kami membawa semua barang bawaan.


Sekitar sejam setelah tiba di Stasiun Pisa, kami akhirnya berhasil mencapai pintu keluar. Masalah lain muncul. Satu-satunya taksi yang sudah siap di stasiun itu hanyalah yang taksi berukuran kecil, maka kami menelepon hostel kami untuk meminta taksi yang lebih besar. Sekitar lima belas menit kemudian, satu taksi yang lebih besar datang, tapi sopirnya seperti tidak ada niat untuk mencari penumpang yang sedang menunggunya. Ia cuma datang kesana, menyetir mengelilingi bundaran di depan stasiun, dan langsung pergi begitu saja. Si***n!! Kami tentu melambaikan tangan tapi (sepertinya) ia tidak begitu peduli, dan ia tidak melihat kami. Kemudian kami menelepon hostel kami lagi dan meminta orangnya menelepon taksi lagi. Sekitar 15 menit kemudian, akhirnya taksinya tiba dan akhirnya ia melihat kami!! Kami meninggalkan stasiun sekitar jam 2.15 subuh dan tiba di hostel jam 2.30 subuh!!

Yah, kira-kira itulah akhir hari itu. Kami meninggalkan Delft sekitar jam 6.30 pagi dan tiba di hostel kami di Pisa sekitar jam 2.30 subuh keesokan harinya!! Agak menakjubkan juga bagaimana semua hal ini (dimulai dengan nasib malang kopilot hingga sopir taksi menyebalkan) bisa terjadi di hari yang sama, di perjalanan sebuah grup. Walaupun semua hal ini sangat menyebalkan, tapi keseluruhan perjalanannya benar-benar sebuah petualangan dan sangat mengasyikkan loh!! Jauuuh lebih menarik daripada perjalanan yang lancar dan semua-hal-baik-baik-saja karena perjalanan ini justru akan lebih terkenang!!

Ngomong2, hostel kami berada hanya sekitar 100 meter dari Menara Pisa, jadi aku bisa mengintip menaranya dan tamannya (dengan katedralnya) di malam hari. Dan ya, Menara Pisa memang sangat indah!! Aku ingat merasa bahwa semua hal yang telah kami lalui hari itu setimpal dengan keindahannya!! (di samping fakta bahwa hostelnya bagus sih :-D)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

#870 - Happy New Year 2011!!

Hello all!! I want to say:


to all of us!!

May 2011 be a lot better and more awesome year than 2010!!

Anyway, if at this time last year I was thinking that 2009 was an unproductive year for this blog, well, 2010 has kinda been even more unproductive in that kind of point of view as I only posted 82 entries. Well, forget about that, why do we have to dwell about numbers?? The more important thing is the essence, right? :-)

Well, thanks for supporting my blog and I will keep writing here!! :-)

p.s: Just as before, I am now in the middle of my holiday in Italy, to be precise, in Venice, when this entry is posted. That is why I put this entry in automatic-post so that I still can post it when I am away in holiday. :-)