Consultant for hotel development

Apparently someone truly paid attention when I said “one of my biggest dreams is to run (my own) a hotel.” 🌷.

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Landing a job as consultant for hotel/hostel development for the first time. .

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I previously worked in two different hotels, in Indonesia and France. Although it was for a very short period of time, but I did (somehow) enjoy it. Maybe it was because I am a keen observer, that I love to know how things work, how people do what they do and what people think they do when they do what they do, so yes during those two short periods I did earn a handful of knowledge on the hotel management system and some bitter experiences along the way, of course. .

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Subsequently, I love to stay over in hotels or hostels in various cities or countries just to understand their uniqueness, and the meanings behind every little detail of its decoration or simply why this wooden table is paired with these colorful chairs? Or why the lobby is on the second floor? .

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And yesterday’s visit marked the first time for me to make use of my knowledge as Bachelor of Art in Tourism Management in a more professional way, incorporating past trends to current tourist’s preferences. Are people still fond with taking selfies in front of tall buildings, statues, monuments or anything grandiose anymore? Or do they prefer to have a flat façade, parallel, close to them yet attractive backgrounds, instead? Why the sense of closeness to certain objects, the importance of touching, is crucial when it comes to attract people nowadays?

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See how messy my life is, my dissertation is on conflict society but my interest is pretty much on everything else but my research topic. I know. 🙆 this long caption is meant to show you that, you can be whatever you want to be, simply by maintaining your interests and staying curious. ❤️

Puasa di Belanda (18-19 jam)

Hari ini adalah hari pertama puasa di Belanda disambut dengan suhu 31-35 derajat celcius di siang bolong yang terik. Sungguh nikmat Tuhanmu yang manakah yang kau dustakan. 

Panas. Gerah. 
Kami di sini, berpuasa selama kurang lebih 18-19 jam. Kenapa bisa beda? Tergantung mazhab yang dianut sebenarnya. Ada yang mulai dari jam 3 pagi, ada yang jam 4. Saya sendiri mengikuti yang puasa dari jam 4 pagi. Bismillah ya. 
Sebenarnya ini bukan kali pertama saya puasa di rantau, ataupun puasa di luar negeri. Puasa di rantau pertama saya adalah ketika saya kuliah S1 di UI. Pertama kali merasakan puasa jauh dari rumah, dari keluarga, menyiapkan sahur sendiri, memilih dan menentukan menu buka puasa sendiri. Jujur, berat juga dulu rasanya. Ditambah adaptasi dari anak kampung ke Jakarta (well, Depok sebenernya bukan Jakarta sih ya). Coba anggap aja seperti itu. Haha. Jadilah sering galau sendiri kalau malam, atau kalau sahur. Tapi untungnya, dulu saya tinggal di asrama UI, di mana lorong saya ada piket untuk membeli makan sahur bergantian. Dan suasana akrab kekeluargaan pun sangat terasa. Terima kasih teman-teman gedung F2 lantai 1! 

Kemudian sejak saat itu saya sering puasa di rantau, waktu S1, kemudian lanjut double degree di Prancis, kemudian kuliah S2 di Belanda, kemudian S3 di Belanda. 
Pengalaman pertama kali puasa di luar negeri adalah ketika saya kuliah di Prancis. Tahun 2012 yang lalu. Waktu itu kebetulan saya sedang magang di suatu daerah di Prancis bagian Utara, namanya Grand-camp Maisy, daerah Normandy/Normandie. Daerahnya sepi, kebanyakan penduduknya adalah lansia, turis ada beberapa yang datang karena daerah ini termasuk daerah yang cukup bersejarah bagi orang-orang Eropa terutama berkaitan dengan Perang Dunia kedua. Ayo jangan malas coba di Google sendiri. Atau, atau kalian bisa tonton film Saving Private Ryan. Nah, settingnya di situ. Hehehe.
Jadi dulu itu saya ingat kalau saya harus puasa sambil kerja, fyuh, kerja di bidang hospitality pula, di sebuah apartemen untuk liburan. Saya menjadi asisten direktur slash resepsionis slash cleaning lady slash tukang maintenance. Harusnya sih nggak boleh begitu yah karena di kontrak, jobdesc saya adalah asisten direktur. Tapi namanya juga orang Indonesia, atau mungkin lebih karena keturunan Jawa, jadi ya saya iya-iyain aja disuruh apa aja. Ya gitu. Tapi sebenarnya saya nggak pernah mempermasalahkan itu sih, saya selalu anggap semua hal itu adalah proses belajar. #sokbijak #iyah
Nah, karena jobdesc saya yang beragam itu, jadi cobaan tersendiri untuk menjalani puasa di tengah musim panas. Ketika jadi resepsionis, saya harus tetap menjaga sikap selalu ramah dan baik terhadap tamu. Setelah kerja kadang saya harus belanja di supermarket sebelum masak, kemudian tentunya masak sendiri, dan makan pun sendiri. Mungkin kalian yang belum pernah ke luar negeri selalu punya imaji bahwa hidup di luar negeri itu menyenangkan, indah, seru, dll seakan semua seindah postingan instagram. Nope. Yang begini-begini jarang banget kalian tau karena nggak semua orang share tentang kegalauan mereka. Eh kami. 

Begitu pula ketika saya harus puasa di Belanda ketika S2, tahun 2014 dan sekarang S3, 2016 dan 2017. Tetap nano nano rasanya. Tapi mungkin saya sudah naik kelas, jadi lebih ke “menerima” situasi dan beradaptasi sebisanya dan tetap bersyukur dengan pencapaian dan fase-fase yang sudah saya lalui hingga sampai di sini. Terutama di Belanda banyak sekali orang Indonesia dan kami pun sering berkumpul, masak bareng, ngobrol-ngobrol, piknik dan melakukan aktivitas lain bersama. Menjadikan kami keluarga dadakan yang dekat. Sehingga perasaan jauh dari keluarga pun tak terlalu membayangi dan menjadikan alasan untuk galau. 

Hari ini, tanggal 27 Mei 2017, pertama kali saya masak besar di saat menjalankan ibadah puasa. Sebelumnya tidak pernah terpikir apakah saya akan mampu untuk melakukannya, membayangkan puasa 18 jam di suhu 35 derajat saja sudah bergidik, apalagi harus masak untuk 11 orang? Masak dengan menu yang tingkat kerumitannya pun lumayan. Untuk kalian yang berpuasa, pasti tau kan beratnya hari pertama, terutama di jam-jam kritis setelah dzuhur. Huft. 

Dulu saya selalu bertanya-tanya, kok bisa ya mamah saya kuat masak untuk kami semua di hari pertama puasa, sedangkan saya hanya mampu gegoleran di kasur sambil dengerin lagu ataupun baca buku-buku ringan. 

Dan baru kemarin saya rasakan. Iya bisa. Dan iya. Saya nggak merasa berat untuk masak sambil menahan lapar dan tetap berpuasa, 18 jam. Aneh ya? 

Mungkin ini berhubungan erat dengan kecintaan saya terhadap memasak beberapa tahun ini. Memasak membuat saya tenang, membuat saya bahagia, melatih otak saya bekerja, saya menjadi sangat fokus, badan saya pun terus bergerak. Saya lelah, pastinya, tapi memasak tidak melelahkan. If you get what I mean. 

Dari situ saya pun ingat banyak sekali kutipan yang mengatakan: “love your job and you will never work a day.” 

Ini adalah menu kami kemarin:

1. Nasi bakar ayam kemangi

2. Kolak pisang + labu kuning + ubi jalar + kolang kaling (yeay kolang kaling! Seharga satu kilo ayam)

3. Mendoan

4. Baklava (dari Mas Andrie)

5. Bubur ketan hitam


Dan inilah teman-teman yang kemarin berbuka puasa bersama:

Aiyubi, Laduma, Mas Andrie, Vicky, Fadra, Bli Putra, Sean Putra, Kevin, Jecky, dan Nancy. 

Semoga lancar puasanya kawans dan sukses selalu! 

Tilburg,

28 Mei 2017

A lucky Muadzin

[Mostar, Bosna i Hercegovina, 2017] inside of a mosque dates back to 16th century in Mostar. Look at its mihrab and minbar, beautifully designed, painted, and sculpted. And from its minaret, your eyes will be indulged with one of the most pittoresque landscapes you could possibly imagine, bird’s-eye view of the Stari Most, the famous Ottoman bridge. I’m wondering, the muadzin of this mosque must have been very lucky to have it as daily job, 5 times a day calling on people to pray from its minaret. Count your blessings. 🌷

Carnaval Parade in Tilburg, the Netherlands. 

[Tilburg, 2017] Carnaval day has always been the best day during my stay in the Netherlands. The parade indulges the act of “see and be seen”, the term that most Parisians would refer to “be, then exist” in cafés. Yet, the Dutch operationalize this idea in a somewhat altered way, while it might not come as a surprise since both societies share completely opposite views towards the ideal way to lead their lives. Dutch as being modest and practical, whereas such adjectives are irrelevant to depict Parisians’ mode-de-vie.  .

(I am refraining myself from comparing the Dutch to the Parisians, even though, it might simply fall into some worldly known preconceived notions to Parisians). 

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The Dutch also have a deep rooted cultural value that is read “Doe maar gewoon, dan doe je al gek genoeg.” or translated as “just act normal, that’s already crazy enough.” They, as far as I know, are those who tend to keep everything else on the down-low, but, obviously not during the carnaval parade. This event, that is only celebrated in the southern part of the Netherlands, was initially a religious celebration, but as the Dutch becoming less and less identifying themselves to any particular religious identity, this festivity saw a mere shift from its origin. It is now seen as a sort of an annual tradition where people party all day and night long for at least 4 days. You read that right, 4 days in a row. Among any other parades I have participated in, the Dutch parade is different. It allows the audience to take part in the performance, they are not passive audience, instead, they are the performer themselves, and hand in hand with the parade actors are responsible to build an ambiance full of happiness, a festive world, a please-today-I’m-a-cow-and-you-gotta-deal-with-that day. The day where you take the train and see carrot sit next to you, where supermarket is full of living animals buying stuffs, where frogs are riding bike, etc. As a researcher, I found the carnaval day and the parade serve as ‘a field’ where socio-cultural practice is being produced, and it’s always exciting to witness how a social concept eventually works in a real-world situation. #laventuregrams

36 questions to fall in love

Just watched a Ted Talk from Mandy Len Catron. She wrote an article on the New York Times about her own experiment of falling in love with stranger through asking 36 questions and 4 minutes of gazing each other. These questions begin with some more general view about other’s life experience and continue with some more personal questions that lead to intimate answer. Here are the 36 questions. Why don’t give it a shot? 🙂

https://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/fashion/no-37-big-wedding-or-small.html

The job you know it exists but simply never really thought about.

Happy birthday to my Sagittarian sister ketemu gedhe @agliestagaluh ! Instagram, meet Galuh. She is one of the most big-hearted persons I’ve ever met..

It all started when she came to the NL and stayed at my place for a couple of days, we went to Bruges and had to stay over in Antwerp, just because we were so ignorant about our train schedule. It was quite an adventure though.

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A few months later I visited her in Berlin, and stayed for 10 days! She introduced me to all of her friends and showed me corners of Berlin, everything, except what she was exactly doing as a job there. Everytime I casually asked her about her job. I never had any impression of her complaining, hating it, or having any negative thoughts about it. I might be wrong. I got the impression that it wasn’t that she didn’t want to tell what her job was or being ashamed with it, but she was sorting out the most digestible information for me.

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And it was only on my last day in Berlin that I seriously asked her, what her job really was. Then she explained to me everything. She worked as a volunteer at a nursing home for mentally & physically disabled persons. She told me that it was all hard at first, she cried all night for the first days of her work. She didn’t know about the job she’d be doing, only after she arrived in Germany, that she did know about it. So I decided to spend my last day in Berlin to visit her workplace, was grateful that I was allowed to. It is a private nursing home (looks like an ordinary 3-bedroom apartment), with only three patients (two female & one male) having disabilities.

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After greeting all the caretakers & the patients, I was invited to have dinner with them, all of them. That was a quite experience for me, being on the same table with people who could barely hold their spoon properly & other stuffs & other stuffs, etc. I am just not so fond to describe what it felt to me that time, it was all new to me. That world that I never really thought about, now seems so alive and kicking. In short, her job is supporting the life of these people, in all possible ways u could imagine, from when they wake up until their bedtime. .

Big & brave heart! Have a blast Luh! 🌷

Kuliah di Prancis

Ada yang tau bangunan ini? Ada yang mau kuliah di sini? Salah satu universitas tertua di Eropa yang telah melahirkan banyak filsuf, pembuat kebijakan, dan petinggi perusahaan, baik di Prancis maupun di setiap sudut dunia. Untuk bisa berkuliah di Prancis, kalian memang (setengah) diwajibkan untuk cakap berbicara, menulis, dan mendengar bahasa Prancis, meskipun kuliah kalian (ada yang) berbahasa Inggris. Pengalaman kuliah di Prancis jauh berbeda dari pengalaman berkuliah di negara lain. Di sini kita diajarkan untuk berpikir dengan cara berpikir orang Prancis yang kadang bisa dibilang “nyeleneh”, “out of the box”, dan “sangat Prancis”, karena being authentic or even more, being singular, is what they expect you to be, to exist..

Paris, 2016