Monday, December 19, 2016

Itinerary and 12 Unforgettable Moments

In case you are planning to visit New Zealand for 20 days and need a decent reference, very briefly:

Day 1: Queenstown
- Walk around Lake Wakatipu & enjoy The Remarkables
- Queue at the infamous Fergburger (please order the fries with aioli)
- Patagonia Chocolate by the lake
- Discover Taco Medic! (please order: The Stockman and The Ken Tuckyman)
- Gear up for Routeburn track ---> visit DOC and rent trekking equipments

Day 2: Routeburn track day 1
- Catch a glimpse of Glenorchy
- Hit the Routeburn track (Routeburn Shelter to Falls hut)

Day 3: Routeburn track day 2
- Falls Hut to Lake Mackenzie Hut

Day 4: Routeburn track day 3 - Milford Sound
- Lake MacKenzie Hut to The Divide
- Depart to Milford Sound Lodge, have a warm shower and a good night sleep
- The cafe is not bad, you have no other choice anyway

Day 5: Milford Sound - Queenstown
- Cruise through Milford Sound
- Go back to Queenstown via Te Anau

Day 6: Queenstown - Wanaka
- Collect campervan
- Have lunch at Arrowtown (that little Italian restaurant on the main street!)
- Explore Wanaka's lakeside & city centre
- Catch a movie Cinema Paradiso
- Order Risotto from Federal's Diner

Day 7: Wanaka -  Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
- Have breakfast at Kai Whaka-pai
- Discover Lake Pukaki
- Have a meal at Astro Cafe (St John's observatory)
- Enjoy Lake Tekapo & Church of The Good Shepherd
- Reach Mount Cook & set up camp.

Day 8: Aoraki Mount Cook National Park
- Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center

It was raining all day so we're sort of had to spend day 8 at The Hermitage /  Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center (not a problem if you like mountains/mountaineering stuff). The original plan was to do Hooker Valley track today & head to Fox Glacier the next day ---> which would take HOURS of drive even though distance-wise, it's very near from Mt. Cook! So we didn't regret cancelling that. Plus, we save 800++ bucks.

Day 9:  Aoraki Mount Cook National Park - Tekapo
- Start Hooker Valley track early
- See Mount Cook and spot some Mount Cook Lilies
- Explore the DOC for good insights about the mountains
- Have lunch at Old Mountaineer cafe if it's open
- See the "Blue" lake and what's left of Tasman Glacier

Because we cancelled Fox Glacier and decided to just head to Christchurch, we had to go back to Tekapo (haha). But the lakeview holiday park was nice and we got to stargaze (Tekapo is a dark sky reserve).

Day 10: Tekapo - Christchurch
- Head to Christchurch
- Explore Cathedral square
- Re-Start mall
- Cardboard / Transitional Cathedral
- 185 Empty White Chair memorial

Day 11: Christchurch
- Go to iSite to buy Christchurch combo
- Go punting at the Avon
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens (which is awesome)
- Explore the city with tram
- Please do not eat Fiddlestick

Day 12: Christchurch, Akaroa & Banks Peninsula
- Fish and Chips from Akaroa Best Fish n Chips (duh)
- Board a boat to see Hector's dolphins
- Explore the city, Akaroa Museum
- See cheesemaker at Barrys Bay Cheese
- Stop by at Governor's bay
- Dine at Roots, Lyttelton

Day 13: Christchurch - Kaikoura - Bleinheim
- Drive to Kaikoura (2,5 hours)
- Whale Watching at 12.45PM (3++ hours) - Head to Blenheim
- Eat seafood at Kaikoura BBQ & Nin's bin
- Head to Blenheim, stay at Olde Mill House (actually if you can reach early, this BnB will also lend you bicycles for free ---> to cycle to wineries)

Day 14: Blenheim - Wellington
- Cross to the north with Interislander
- Spend hours at TePapa
- Walk along Cuba St (try Loretta and kafe eis)

Day 15 :Wellington
- Take the cable car up and walk down through Botanic Gardens
- See Old St Paul's
- Visit iSite for complete info and free wifi
- Have a meal at Fidel's
- Try a cup of coffee at The Flight coffee Hangar!
- Please go to Zealandia (we did not)

Day 16 :Wellington - Rivendell - Palmerston North
- Head to Rivendell and explore. Great ability to imagine is required.
- Spend a night at Palmerston North

Day 17: Palmerston North - Taupo
- Aratiatia Rapids
- Huka Falls
- Take a look at the free thermal swimming hole (and return to your car)
- Try the thermal bath in a more private place

Day 18: Taupo - Waitomo - Matamata
- Visit Craters of the Moon
- Have a meal at the coolest McD in the world
- Head to Waitomo to do 45 mins Waitomo Caves, Glow worm tour
- Head to Matamata, explore the town center (it's apparently a nice small town to explore)
- Stay at Marion & Ernie's AirBnB (highly recommended)

Day 19: Waitomo - Hobbiton - Auckland
- Do the earliest Hobbiton tour
- Head to Auckland, explore city center
- Britomart, the harbour, and Queen street

Day 20: Auckland - Singapore
- Explore the neighbourhoods: Ponsonby, Domain Wintergardens
- Walk around Cornwall park and climb to One Tree Hill

And over the span of 20 happy days I pull out 12 moments that I deem distinguishably unforgettable.
Note: Unforgettable is not necessarily pleasant. They are:

12. Scenic Flight
So we touched down in Auckland only to have around 4-ish hours of sleep because we had to catch a flight to Queenstown the next early morning.

Up in the air, the husband slowly dived into deep sleep and I had no choice but to look out the window because I'm not a very talented sleeper. The thing is, God gave us an appetizer:

I didn't know if I should:
a) Interfere with the deep sleep, which can cause prolonged fitness and emotional problem. But, but. Might be worth it.
b) Be quiet and continue life with a fresh-looking happy husband who won't ever find out what he just missed.

Whatever choice I made, I hope he's happy with the outcome.

(Well, I tapped his hand and he woke up shocked, thinking we're still in the hotel and we missed this flight).

11. Olde Mill House
All we knew was it's the only accomodation that combines BnB and bike hire to wineries (which is already enough to win us over), but we had no idea the house looked like this:

Everyone will have to hike through this garden to reach the house :)

Plus, a thermal pool and nice homemade jam for breakfast!

10. Cinema Paradiso
So we had a romantic Friday Nite date with Benedict Cumberbatch in this cinema

9. Cry-fish
He wanted to eat crayfish, Kaikoura's go-to food (even the town is named after it). They apparently (and disappointingly) costs around 80 bucks each, which can easily feed a village in Indonesia, or fund few sushi buffets in Singapore. So with heavy hearts, we decided to order clams for him and fries for me instead.

We had to eat those in front of three Chinese tourists who were having crayfish fiesta.

Cinderella only could watch the ball from the attic's window
They probably ordered too much that one of them gave feed the crayfish to birds! (followed by koko's silent cry screaming "why do you have to do thaaaaat? why birds??? why not me???).

8. ASIAN FOOD in the Southernmost Hemisphere!!!
Not bad, technically, I gave up ONLY on day 10. That means I survived 9 DAYS without sexy fluffy white rice yow.

Unforgettable moment 8a. Vietnamese Pho, Palmerston North.

Unforgettable moment 8b. Thanking God for the Chinese food, Matamata.

7. The Bluest of Them All.
I had seen postcards of Lake Tekapo before. Man, it is blue.
But on the way there we bumped into Lake Pukaki. And man, it is BLUE.

We were curious why these beautiful flowers called Lupines (which apparently are a kind of weed) flourish in this region but too lazy to do research. So if someone finds out why please leave a comment below this page.

These gottabe the most beautiful weed out there.

6. The not so-far-journey to Lake Mackenzie Hut.
This one is actually more an inside story. It was the 2nd day of Routeburn Track, the longest, the wettest, the most memorable, involving rain, snow, dirty shoes, wet clothes, and wet socks (ewww).

LSS, we reached the point somewhere in the semi-wilderness where I could barely walk anymore. My soles were aching and there's no signs of the next hut. And there from an altitude we saw something that resembles a hut faaaar faaaar faaaaaar away. And he shouted "there it is! we're so close!" when I was praying that it was NOT the hut. It was just someone's villa. The hut got to be somewhere very close, covered by the bushes.

Well sadly it was the hut. And the only way to reach was to carry on. He kept saying something that sounded very much like "go on, we're so close," where deep down I knew it's a bloody lie.

See the white arrow. THAT. is the hut.

Me looking down in disbelief.

Anyway when we reached the bottom of the mountain he said, "look, we were there," pointing the mountaintop where we first spotted the hut. "Now we're here. We were so faaar away, now we're so close,"

I was so angry when he said that. Remember back there he clearly said "we're so close?"

And that's not even true, we still had to walk through the forest, with possibilities of meeting evil wizards, poisonous apples, knight in shining armour, or shrek.

The forest was extremely enchanting tho, really looked like the ones we see in fairy tale books. Just that the princess was extremely angry.

5.  Sperm Whales and Hector's dolphins.
So koko planned how this year's November 10th is going to go. After the best fish 'n chips I've ever tasted (not sure if he agrees), he took me to see the smallest and rarest dolphins in the planet! And 2 days later we went back to the oceans to see sperm whales :)

4. The Chronicle of a Mighty Campervan
First of all, it's a MIGHTY campervan okay. So let's expect the vehicle to live up to its name.

To me the idea of campervaning is both charming and terrifying (because campervan is a giant confusing machine, know, which tank for what, what button is this for, how to operate this and that, thank God I have a husband). First few minutes were confusing but we (he) got the hang of it. Then the journey started to be pleasantly unforgettable: learning how campsites work, surviving the first night, trying the shower, cooking in the campervan, and so on. Of course there were parts that are a little bit less-glam, like emptying the portable toilet, but once again, thank God I have a husband.

The machine showed signs of rebel few times, some indicators on the dashboard flashed red, sometimes the engine refused to start, but we sort of ignored it.

It was the day when we're supposed to head to Christchurch and return the campervan. We stopped by a gas station in a town called Fairlie looking for a place where we can refill the LPG gas. The engine refused to start again, this time for real.

LSS, the Mighty campervan, the husband and I, head to Christchurch in a dusty truck. With a driver who was not so easy to understand and a dog.

But we didn't have to refill the LPG gas, only paid half of the fuel, and got a free ride to the hotel! And only then we understood why God let the rain to fall for the whole day when we were in Mt. Cook (so we had to cancel Fox Glacier), or else we would be in the remote Mt. Cook when this happened. Meaning, it would take hours for anyone to reach us.

3. Chef's Table Experience
Koko ganteng planned an unforgettable birthday dinner in a charming little town called Lyttleton.

We've been hooked by Netflix' Chef's Table these few months and we wanted to experience something like that one day but there's no way I will eat something alien. It would be such a delight if everything on the table is made of leaves.

Koko arranged an all-vegetarian night for me :) + he remembered the cake!

We were pretty disappointed when the waitress said "you can only eat the green one"

I accidentally ate Paua! I thought it was seaweed...

2. 2016 Earthquake
If we didn't see what happened to Christchurch before that, maybe we would deem the experience as "amusing".

But we went to a museum dedicated to the earthquake few days prior, we saw how dead the city became, we read the story of how a building collapsed instantly killing 111 people inside, and we visited an eerie memorial facing the site of that building.

Read about this heartbreaking memorial here

Then we moved on, we crossed to the north leaving all the gloom behind, to meet Wellington that is so alive. Yes there's a section in Wellington's museum TePaPa talking about how scary an earthquake can be (thank you very much), and there were stickers in some buildings marking that they are not quake-safe, but after that we forgot all about it because we're to busy exploring the city's bagels, brunches, coffees, and Thai food.

So when we woke up in the middle of the night to a shaken ground (or shaken 5th floor), we were in disbelief that this is really happening again.

I tried to think straight:
- Should we do what we were taught to do when we were young, hide under the table.
- or Should we follow the relatively new Triangle of Life theory, hide beside a sofa.

For some reasons the civil engineer thought about holding on the balcony's railings (can you explain that to me again sayang? all the reasons I can think of just don't make sense)

It's so funny that my first reaction after we managed to get out from the bed (which supposed to be running down the stairs to get out from the building) was to pee. Then we ran outside.

We spent few hours in the cold because there were still aftershocks, walking around to see whether there are damages or just to see how people reacted. New Zealanders seemed to be very used to it, most of them just gathered around and chit-chat, made fun of the fallen mannequins (see image below), or went to McDonald's.

We *tried to* sleep in the hotel lobby for the rest of the night because the aftershocks just did not stop

*korban gempa* 

But after we saw the news from the newspapers and TV, we realised how God saved us and how close we were from disaster. The town that was hit the most was Kaikoura, where we were 2 days before to see sperm whales. If we were there during the earthquake, not only we were in great danger, but all access to and from the town. Even that the ferry that brought us from south to north island was non-operational for few days because the terminal dock was broken. Every news we heard made us realise how God protected us in every step we took.

Psalm 91.

1. Taupo's Aratiatia

4 times a day (and 3 in winter), they will release tonnes of water from Aratiatia dam into the rapid. So  that still, peaceful water will turn into a massive rapid within few seconds. After 15 minutes, it will  slowly be quiet again. Doesn't that sound magical already?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

What Matthew 6:33 Means to a Girl, Madly in Love, Thinks Too Much

We all long to be perfectly loved by That Special Someone. I just realized that this past year, and it hit me hard (lucky me). I mean...some people might never even realize it (lucky you).

"Perfectly loved" means differently to each person. I cannot fully describe mine, because I can go on and on and on and confuse the whole world. To give you a glimpse of it, let's say it's a Love like no other. Deep. Passionate. Soulful. Magical. Once in a lifetime. And to give you a summary, let's say it's a Love the way I would love.

Ironically, I found this journey of realization full of agony. Because the world is not a wish-granting factory and the rest of the world don't think the way I do (or as much as I do).

Until He gave me a revelation beyond anything my soul can even think of.

Being perfectly loved by That Special Someone? Checked.

I no longer have to long for it. It's granted. Not by the world, but by The Creator of it.

And you know what? That Special Someone is more than 1000000x hotter than the hottest guy you can picture, handsom-est of them all, mighty but gentle, powerful yet humble, had all the reasons to despise me but chose to die for me.

He loves me the way I would never, ever be able to love.

Human beings annoyingly need constant reminder of what's important. Sometimes we harass each other repeatedly to do just that, we rebuke each other, we use loud, harmful alarm clocks to wake ourselves up. You know what God did to remind me? He did that by gently reminding me He loves me perfectly. And suddenly everything else becomes secondary.

He loves me, it also means my happiness is an important matter to Him. And He knows the best way to achieve it. He gave someone who loves me the way I long to be loved.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

All these things.
That includes being perfectly loved.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Is Everyone Supposed to Feel This?

When love beckons to you, follow him, 
Though his ways are hard and steep. 
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions

may wound you.

Kahlil Gibran on love


Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Life is unfair. I get it.

You've never smoked a cigarette in your life.
Smokers around you damage your lungs.

You don't know how alcohol tastes like.
You can get hit by drunk drivers.

Your little sis broke the vase.
You're grounded for a week.

You've been waiting for someone your whole life.
That person did not wait for you.


You've never been a good person.
The Creator of this world died to save you.


Friday, January 1, 2016

Back to Being Best Buddies

Junior high was the first time I realized that he's actually pretty cool.

(Not that he was not cool before, when I got to know this guy he was already awesome. Great father figure, charismatic leader, #RESPECT. Then I learned that he speaks my language, he's totally into football, and we could talk about anything and everything. Pretty cool, believe me).

We were inseparable ever since.
At school we sat together, had bakmie ayam together, everything together.
Studying with him felt almost effortless, he could explain stuff to me much clearer than the teachers did, he also taught me some useful tricks to memorize stuff.
I wrote him notes on my textbooks: funny stuff, doodles, even S.O.S notes (my math teacher was fiercer than your mom).

We watched Juve almost every weekend.
I highed-five him everytime they won, eventho until now I'm not actually sure which side is he on. But that's fine, it kept the game exciting, like what football is supposed to be.

He also somehow kept life exciting by being unpredictable.
I don't know if he only acted mysterious to keep the game on or what, but it seemed to work.

In junior high there were also dark moments, several months of daily fear.
If I were him I probably would have grown tired of our friendship.
But he remained a great friend. He was there by my side, helping me until I could smile again.
Since then I knew he is not just a nice guy, he went all out.
And he seems to be capable of doing everything.
Nothing is impossible if I got him, really.

He made first year of high school much mooooore bearable.
I doodled on Chemistry textbook and he warned me if the teacher's coming.
I talked to him when things got boring (I'm talking about P.E.).
Well, sometimes. Sometimes. He jokes around. He made funny stuff happen.
"To keep high school memorable," he said, laughing.
And he reaaaally, really seemed to enjoyed it when we had to things like jumping to the pitch-black jamboree mud.

He made the rest of high school FUN.
Okay he used that 'to keep high school memorable' excuse again by making me talk in sociology class (but also whispered to me the right things to say whenever I ran out of words).
I also relapsed once, quiet badly. Only for two days, but I felt like giving up on myself.
But he did not give up on me.
Again he was always there by my side, helping me until I could smile again.

In a way that I (still) cannot explain, he somehow, managed to bring me to Italy.
And in the same year dragged my shivering-fearful self to witness Italy win the world cup.
He said that he waited for the right time to make my dream come true.
Where else you can find a best friend like this, how could I be soooo lucky?

In college, we were closer then ever. 
We moved to a new country, but I was not afraid because I got him.
We stayed up all night brainstorming, doing projects, we did that often, and we LOVED it.
We explored new places, tried this food and that food (I kind of think we're tastebud-buddies too but I'm way more compulsive), prata at 2AM, deliberately getting lost in the CBD (which I thought felt similar to NYC), we had so much, so much, so much fun. 

There were a lot of disappointments in the later part of college and sometimes I acted like it's his fault (I'm sorry). Only to realize there's much more to life than my expectations, and that whatever he did was love.

After college, we still talked everyday, but not like what we used to do.
Sometimes I got too busy with work that I neglected him, 
he was actually there beside me all the time, not wanting me to feel alone.

I'm sorry :(

On lunch breaks, I talked to my colleagues and I forgot to include him in the conversation. Although I knew how much he wanted to say the words we needed to hear.

I'm sorry :(

Sometimes I got too stressed out until I forgot that he's capable of doing anything. I guess he also wondered why didn't I just ask him for help, he's more than willing.

I'm sorry :(

I missed him. I missed us. Sometimes I made a promise to be what we used to be, but after sometime, I went back to being busy again. I'm sorry :(. And as time went by and I encountered more disappointments in life, I acted like it's his fault again. I'm sorry :( And when I heard the sound of storms, I focused on the storms and forgot he's got my back.

I'm really sorry :(

On one fine Sunday, I heard someone talking about him, he's also his best friend.
That guy talked about how wonderful he is, how good life is when he's your best friend,
and how can he be that lucky.

And I realize I was that lucky. And I want to be that lucky again.

He smiled.

Whatever happened, please forgive me.
Let's go back to being best buddies again, Lord Jesus.
It's my 2016 resolution.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Damn You Chinatown.

"What's worse than Chinatown? A wet Chinatown." That expression of mild rage popped up while I was walking very carefully among lanterns, raindrops, and pools of water few years ago. I was on my way to my noisy, cluttered, overcrowded (and now wet) workplace.

I thought about me as a child.
I imagine what if she's given a chance to see a glimpse of the future, 'where will I work when I grow up'. And she sees this panorama. I bet she would be horrified and probably would be afraid of what the future would bring. She dislikes Chinatown, nobody taught her to (or not to), but it just doesn't come across to her as beautiful. And it stayed that way for a long, long time.

When I turned 18 I went to Singapore to study. Back then when I had not realized how small the island is, Singapore was like a new playground asking to be explored. Chinatown remained one of the places I had no interest of (and even avoided). I met new friends (named Grandma and Her Majesty, respectively) and discovered that they had the same sentiment toward that noisy, cluttered, overcrowded area. We entered the working world. We liked our office. One day, Grandma's office moved to Chinatown. I laughed. Her majesty got a job in Chinatown. I laughed. Until one day, the bosses told me our studio was moving to Chinatown. I thought they were just teasing me, they knew how I felt about Chinatown. They were just teasing me, someone please tell me they were just kidding.

Well, they were not. The studio really moved to Chinatown. Everyone laughed. And although this will sound extremely first-worldly, it felt like a slap in the face.

By then I had realized that I have developed some kind of mental survival-mechanism: whenever I encounter something that is not like expected, I will try very hard to trick my mind to think it is actually a good thing (or at least, not too bad). I started by making a list of a good thing about Chinatown:
1. This place has a newly-renovated mall. The mall has Yoshinoya. Not bad.
2. This place has a newly-renovated mall. The mall has Uniglo. Not bad.
3. It's just one station away from Clarke Quay. 
4. Okay, the list went on, but even with these items on the list, making the RED-GOLD-LOUD, cluttered, overcrowded Chinatown acceptable, was proven to be a challenge. Especially during CNY period where even walking to MRT station needs anger management.

Not only that, it's confusing. They seem no name everything with "People's Park (Something)".

But then weeks passed, months passed, years passed. Walking among lanterns and red-gold-loudness has become an emotionless routine, and slowly I became an expert (or the empress) of this small kingdom. I remember being lost inside People's Park Complex and out of desperation almost called the Grandma asking for the way out. Now I can easily navigate through its infamous narrow alleys. I no longer see Chinatown as a scary oriental jungle, but just a place I go to Mon to Fri, to work and to have good lunch. And you know what, through these years, the list went on and on.

And there came the day I had to bid Chinatown goodbye. Great. I am finally free. I no longer have to worry about Chinatown or wet Chinatown. No more walking among lanterns, raindrops, and funny-coloured pools of water.

It has been two months. Two months of tranquility.
I am at home, sipping a cup of green tea, away from the noise, the crowd, and the lanterns thinking how I miss them all very much.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Things We Treasured Deeply, and Let Go, Eventually

Gue lagi punya weekly program baru, it's exciting, and the rule is very simple: Every week, I have to discard 1 plasticbagful of crap. Pokoknya (bagaimanapun caranya), gue harus ngisi kantong plastik itu dengan apapun yang bisa ditemukan di kamar ---> untuk dibuang. Ini tentunya tidak mudah dan makan waktu. Because for an true blue sentimentalist, spring cleaning can turn into a longggg nostalgic indulgence session and a dramatic mind-battle (one voice says 'throw away' and the other says no).

Ibu saya pasti bangga dengan lahirnya program ini. Lebih ke bingung tepatnya, secara salah satu perbedaan mendasar antara saya dengan beliau adalah how we see the little things in life widely known as "memento". Perbedaan ini sudah mengakibatkan begitu banyak prahara rumah tangga. Contoh yang paling sulit dilupakan adalah tragedi La Gazetta dello Sports, harian olahraga Italia yang secara gemilang dan mengharukan berhasil dibawa pulang dari Roma, delapan musim panas yang lalu.

How I see it: Artifak bersejarah yang menandai sebuah kejadian penting yang tidak dapat diulang lagi; moment dimana akhirnya gue bisa melihat dengan mata kepala sendiri koran legendaris yang dulu hanya bisa dibayangkan rupanya; pertanda betapa saya sangat dicintai dan diperhatikan oleh Sang Pencipta.

How she sees it: Koran bekas.

Gak perlu dibahas lah apa yang selanjutnya terjadi. Pastinya akhirnya yang salah gue, "siapa suruh taro disini?" *padahal ditaro dilaci khusus untuk Italy-related valuables*. Anyway, there's a fine line between being sentimental dan nyampah.

Saya dulu tidak mengerti bagaimana mungkin dengan mudahnya orang membuang memori, to me it's almost like taking experiences and life's special moments for granted. Until one day came a forced wake-up call: a life event (that some people fortunately, or unfortunately will never encounter) bernama pindahan.

Pindahan is. ARGH. STRESS. GILA.

'Pindahan' actually has happened few times, but feelers gonna feel. Setelah settled di cangkang baru, life went on, we encountered new moments, collected new memories, harta karun itu akan kembali menumpuk. I went back to 'not understanding how can people throw memories away so easily?' Nah baru-baru ini ada realisasi yg lebih profound *don't laugh this is serious*: the end is near. Bentar lagi Maranatha man! We don't know when, or what will happen tomorrow. These days I think about it more and I get more and more aware how short life is. Apakah harta karun ini akan pernah berguna lagi? Apa malah bikin hidup susah? I made up my mind, found a large plastic bag, and started hunting for prey. Gak akan mati juga kan kalo gue buang.

After a few minutes I realized, this wouldn't be easy. Here we go again, another round of nostagic indulgence session. I bumped into some precious, forgotten reminders:

1. Hand-drawn map from Hostel Ceria ke Places of Interest terdekat (tulisan masi lumayan).
Itu sebelum saya menyadari, eh kecil banget yah negeri ini. Tapi bikin inget masa-masa masih excited sama this new playground (dan betapa positifnya saya memandang hidup ini).
*can do anything I want*
*can go anywhere alone*
*can eat absolutely everything*
*tapi harus ngirit*
*mahal banget gila*

2. Peta lusuh Tokyo subway network yang berjasa bikin survive dari Maihama ke Shinjuku and back, padahal itu adalah manifestasi sempurna dari frase 'urban jungle'.

3. Printed draft about summer 2006. Gila niat banget diprint. Yang mau baca juga cuma saya.
Longgg and detailed story about the achieving the Italian dream, and thank God for each little details, jadi inget exactly how it felt, breathing the Italian air for the first time. Time fades memories about feelings. I remember 2006 being on the the best years ever but I have started to forget how it felt like.

4. First-ever payslip.
Young, inexperienced, confused. I thank God that stage is over. And how much better life is now.

5. Tiket exhibition da Vinci sama koko sayang (oke ini gak dibuang).

Beberapa penemuan itu cukup bikin saya wondering again, why am I throwing these memories away? Siapa bilang gak berguna? Buktinya barang-barang ini bisa men-generate rasa...ini apa yah namanya. Terenyuh gitu. Then, at that very moment, it was revealed to me, ini toh gunanya. This is why I had to keep these things for a certain period of time (long enough for me to forget and remember again): for moments like these. For a moment of profound thanksgiving and humbling reflection. And I guess that's enough. Bad things become good lessons and good times become good memories. Now it's time to let go and expect new experiences, wonderful things God has for us.

So goodbye, things I used to treasure (in the name of sentimentality), and had to let go (in the name of practicality). I put those things in the plastic bag and threw it away. It felt therapeutic.

P.S: Okay I didn't not entirely let go. Thank God for those people who invented virtual space. And mobile phones with good camera.