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At the border (My definition of fancy)


I am just gonna make this short.

So before crossing to Italy from Croatian border we checked in into a fancy transit hotel. We might have a different definition on being fancy. So this is why it was fancy.

1. It was clean and the prize was descent

2. The owner was warm and welcoming

3. The owner let us used his kitchen to cook our own dinner. And this was a hotel, not a hostel.

4. The owner insisted that we leave dirty dishes and he would clean it the next day

Fancy, eh?

Winner!

(From Croatia to Italian border)

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Cres


I wrote this based on distant memory, I couldn’t quite recall the fun detail since it was a long while ago.

We docked in Cres and found, by far, my favorite camping site, the Kovacine (http://camp-kovacine.com/en), located right by the beach, hence, we stayed for 5 days. The camping site was humongous and divided by some sections, of which I couldn’t remember the exact detail. But I do remember there was the nude section. In my country, yang beginian bakal dirubung pria iseng dan digrebeg FPI.

We chose a site by the main road, a perfect location, since it was just short feet away from bakery and front office. The camping site was crowded, I guess it was quite famous, therefor, not only it has mini market and café, it also has kid center, including playground. Cres town, a feast to my lens, is just 10 – 15 minutes away, depends on your walking pace.

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 Along the main road, speedboats were parked, many of them. In my country, there is no such thing as parking boats in land.

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 As my racial feature (and my friend’s) was quite unknown to the campers, our camp spot often caught some passers by’s stares. My friend heard some kid asked his mom if we might have come from Finland. Right!

Oh, now I remember, on my first arrival in Trieste, we decided to crash McDonald at rest area for lunch. And it was funny that the minute I stepped in, most of the eyes in the room stared. At first, I felt very uneasy, I didn’t like being a center of attention. When I ordered at the counter, the waiter was nervous, he walked back and forth between me and coffee machine, asked me many questions and got it wrong many times-he spoke little English, and I swore he was trembling. At the end, I was frustrated since he was unsure what kind of coffee I wanted, and I was tired of explaining, not to mention that the line behind me was the longest, I told him, “Just give me coffee!”. My friend laughed at me and at that funny situation. Anyway, that day I felt like superstar…no comment is invited.

On one of those days in Cres, we rent a small boat. Captained by my friend, we reached secluded beaches. Funny thing, on the sea, a patrol boat stopped us, demanded boat driving license-which we couldn’t produce. The cop threatened us for greater fine if we refused to cooperate, aka bribed money. Since we protested, he finally said that we could get our money back from the boat rental agent. Wow, mafia game between boat rental and dirty cops. It happens every where, but it was still amazed me for it happened on the water, far from land.

So it got even better. We hopped on beautiful beaches (reachable by boats only-unless you want to swim all the way). I told you they were secluded, so it was so peaceful there. From the distance, as we headed to one beach, I noticed that a group of nude women were there already. I wondered if it was okay for us to dock there, since we wouldn’t go nude.

Did I say it got even better? For some reason, my friend’s glasses fell in the water, hence, he barely could see. So he demanded me to borrow goggle from those women who formed circle and sipping champagne in the water and having the time of their lives. So I asked them if they had goggle I could borrow, they didn’t have goggle. Somehow, one of them called out someone in language I didn’t know. And from up the hill, hidden behind tree and bush, a man came out.

Did I say it got even better just now? He was a middle age man and he was naked. He was up there on the hill, and I was down here by the shore, so my visibility was crystal clear. I mean, yeah, I would like to see some p****, but not that way my friend. I looked away from the bell (euphemism), but it had been recorded in my mind already. Again, I would love to see one, but not that way, my friend, and definitely not his.

Now I am telling you it got better and better, the goggle was on his boat, so I followed him to his boat. Now my visibility on his rear part (I played some euphemisms today) was crystal clear. KAMPRET! So he climbed on his small boat, he was up there, I was down here looking up, very close. He turned around and handed me the goggle. He was a kind man, but I saw him naked. For those of you coming from my culture, or culture like mine, you would understand why it was awkward. So unhallelujah for the school bell.

Croatia: Istria


Cruising the European road, we reached Croatia. Finally, a stamp on my passport! First thing first, zip line! Didn’t do it since I was acrophobic, yet my two couchsurfing dudes did it, and of course, I was there as photographer.

Transformers!

Transformers!

The instructor

The instructor

 

The instructor

The instructor

 

From the zip line instructors, we received information that we could wild camp by the waterfalls, cops wouldn’t find us there. There are strict rules about wild camping in Europe, the fine would bankrupt whoever get caught. I personally didn’t like the idea of wild camping. I am not demanding but I also like comfort. But my friend loved the idea so much that she decided we should have. So, sure we finally did. However my friend was terrified, her excitement gone 🙂 But overall it was a “good” experience. Plus I had the most expensive dinner that night by the waterfall, the overrated truffle!

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shhhh!

Crossing water, we docked in Istria and pitched our tents in a humble camping site. It was a 5 minutes walking from a lagoon, where people sit their boats. I swam in the lagoon and got allergic from the kerosene, I guess. So no more swimming in the lagoon, we found better beach. But at least, I found a hot daddy there. Watching good view from a distance in a non creepy way.

I forgot how much we paid for the camping site, but it was not expensive, once I got it, I’ll let you guys know. Too bad it didn’t provide internet connection.

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We also visited Rovinj, a beautiful small town looked like Venezia. Loved this place

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And this place

Nice, eh?

Nice, eh?

A warrior

A warrior

Medieval castle

Medieval castle

And if you ask me what is Croatian best dish, the answer would be seafood. The seafood platter had always been my option, shared with my friend since the platter was huge…and costly…ding it.

This image is deceiving, the platter is actually bigger in reality

This image is deceiving, the platter is actually bigger in reality

Dinner by the sea

Dinner by the sea

 

Next destination is the Cres island. I’ll see you there

Milan, Como, Trieste (Italy)….again


Since I had a faith in future, so I made an attempt to make peace with the past by living the present.

 

Italy, I always love this beautiful country. Sicily was the mission. A chirpy man told me that only in Sicily, that I would find a train onboard the ferry. Apart from that, that is the land where mafias live. I watched too many mafia movies when I was a kid. So, two reasons to go. Three, my Italian friend suggested me to go to Sicily instead of Cinque Terre. So, Italy, Rome, was decided to be my entry point.

Off course I didn’t go to Sicily, I had to go along with plan B. Como! So I bought return tickets to Milan via Dubai with the Emirates (1470 USD). Como didn’t  excite me that much, was there last year, but my friend never been. So she and another backpacker friend picked me up at Malpensa very late at night, and headed to Como.

Off course we didn’t visit the lake. It had been raining since the night we arrived there, and it was heavier the following day. So we left Como for Trieste, my first camping site.

It blew me away. My neighbours were very friendly, they smiled and greeted us when they passed by, we didn’t even converse but the warm I could feel the warm neighbourhood and I liked it.

Trieste camping site is a large area, it has supermarket, cafe, laundromat, sinks to wash dishes and shared restrooms which are very clean. Wifi is available at the cafe.

Grey Como

Grey Como

Trieste Camping Site

Trieste Camping Site

The cafe! I came here for the wifi. Also, when we realised it was about to rain, we evacuated ourselves from being stuck under our tents and played uno while drinking hot chocolate at the cafe.

The world cup fever

The world cup fever

 

It was rainy all the time in Trieste. As we camped by the beach, the stormy night was really scary. The lightning and thunder were not good combination for my tiny tent. Did I tell you that I was afraid of loud voices? Since the lightning was a perfect indicator for thunder, it frightened me as well. So I covered my eyes with my jacket so I didn’t need to anticipate the thunder. My tent was shaky due to the storm. So it was a very good survival skills practise. To sleep on it.

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The small tent, the dining table, the laundry

The small tent, the dining table, the laundry

 

On this place, I got introduced to delicious French dish (Herbed fingerling potatoes). The fried sliced potatoes with onion, garlic and rosemary. And by the way, rosemary is for free. The campsite was like free rosemary supermarket, just go grab it. The second dish is tomato with mozarella salad (The Caprese salad). We cooked ourselves, chipping in for gas and toll money, hence the trip was cheap. To add with, I also washed my clothes myself.

Loved Trieste, but we still had long way to go. Croatia, our main destination awaiting. So, we bid Italy good bye. I lived the present.

Impossible is Nothing


Travellers do suffer from post travel syndrome. It is not a made up condition, it is a real thing. (Depressed After a Trip? Travel Addiction is a Real Thing) Last year I decided that traveling to Europe was too ambitious, therefore, one visit was enough. Again, I thought it was impossible, financially. Please take into account that rupiah-my national currency-is very weak against Euro.

The post travel syndrome affected me in many aspects, one of them was my work. I just moved into a new job for less than a month and I already decided that I wanted to take sabbatical leave the following year (2014/15). That was how stressed out I was. I was not on my functional mode for months. When a couchsurfing guest stayed at mine, shared his travel story, my drive to just ditch everything and leave grew higher.

Then things gradually changed, I calmed down, though not in peace. I decided that I had to visit Europe for the second time (after a quick getaway to Thailand….see? Mini trip is a good painkiller), hence, I took an extra job twice a week to strengthen my financial department.

I made it! I bought Emirates return tickets. The Italian embassy stressed me out though. Last year, it took me 2 working days to get my schengen visa. This year, it took me more than a month. I finally got my visa a week before departure.

I didn’t take sabbatical leave, I-in fact-plan to visit Europe again next year. Well who knows?

When there is a will, there is a way. Quoted from Adidas, my favourite phrase, Impossible is nothing. You just have to find your way.

*Did you see a pattern here? You did? True, I am now at the state of post travel syndrome again. It is a vicious circle. My friend once told me, the person who needed holiday was the person who just came back from one. I need my holiday!

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Lupa yang Tertunda


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Thailand: Krabi Phuket Bangkok (October 2013)


Since I fell in love with water. Since I realized that there were worlds out there when men ignored women in bikinis. Life is good

Krabi 

Kiss kiss the nearly Holy Grail

Rush rush to the water

Abandon abandon the baggage

Beware beware of the joy ahead

Indulge indulge with me

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Phuket

 My very own time lapse video in Patong beach

I am a child of many nations. I was thought to be Sundanese, Bataknese, Malaysian, Philippino, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Nepali, and even Hong Kong. Is that bothering? Not at all! However, when I arrived in Phuket, my racial feature and attributes worried me a bit.

I like watching people, can’t help about it. So in this island infamous for its prostitution, I noticed that there were many women of my age, even younger, were hooking up with much older people for either sex or money. Most of the girls looked like me, skinny, tanned skin, long dyed hair. Since I over analyzed everything, I began to worry  that I was thought a prostitute, especially when I walked down the streets and caught some stares from those grey haired or bald uncles. So I assumed I might have fallen into this stereotype of a girl looking for “fun”.

Then one day, I had breakfast at some hostel and I saw “a couple” having breakfast after the glory night transaction, many of them had this descent goodbye or maybe I’ll see you later breakfast. Then I realized, that most of the “girls” I saw were wearing black tops. Then I started observation on the streets, and saw many girls wearing black tops holding hands with guys who paid them. EUREKA! I ditched my black top immediately. I didn’t know if this was a code or something, but I’d like to assume that my observation was valid.

Bangkok

Bizare Food