Month: March 2016
We cross path with people we meet during our life. I crossed path with my husband when we were still in elementary school. We were just acquaintance until we became friend years later, when we were in junior high school. We walked the same path but then we moved to different directions. I was here, he was there. I am sure that we were in a very opposite side of the world. I may not be his type; he was definitely not my type.
Then, we crossed path again. We communicated with each other and found the similarities between us. Funny how people can feel very close even when they are so far away, right? It was indeed funny how we could connect although we spent years apart. After that we met again, and again and again.
Now here we are, walking on the same path; hopefully not for a short crossing path, but forever and ever.
Photo Credit: https://www.instagram.com/ryantoanugroho/
Nov 19, 2015
Birmingham Christmas Market
The word above means ‘being a clown’. This is not about being a clown in literal meaning. This is being something that you do with all your heart.
Today I saw a post of my friends saying that she is now in a rural area doing her job as a researcher – I assume because she is collecting data and interviewing. However she cannot help herself not to ‘ngebadut’, her term of saying that she is teaching. It may not really teaching in a classroom, but giving instruction to a classroom. Yeah, it still counts as teaching, right?
After reading that, I remembered my aunt once said that it is difficult to find a teacher. There are many people with good qualification and experience, but finding one with the ‘heart’ to teach is difficult. I agree with that. I agree that for some people, they cannot resist themselves to not ‘ngebadut’ because that’s what their heart always tell them.
Maybe I kind of miss it. I kind of miss having that kind of interaction with students. It is not a job, it is not just something to do to have fun or to have money. It is something that needs to be done with the heart. Maybe that’s the reason that a simple cute message from my students can make me smile, because it touched my heart.
Oct 14, 2015
Black Country Living Museum
Last Saturday I went for a trip to Black Country Living Museum. Since I was still in Jakarta, I already know this place and had wanted to go there. Yes, I am such a sucker for this travelling this. Sometimes it seems that I can’t wait to go out again, to travel again, and to have another adventure. Anyway, finally I got to go to the Black Country Living Museum.
I was interested to go there because of its unique concept. It’s not a regular museum, not the one where we come in and see the collections inside glass boxes. It is literally a living museum. The complex consists of buildings, transportation tools, workshops, shops, restaurants – just like a town. There are also people acting like they are living there. They wear the old fashioned clothes, speak in the ‘Black Country accent’, and do like different kind of jobs. It was a very distinct experience.
I went there with my husband, his friends, and a big group from the university. The first thing we did was watch an introductory video about Black Country. So it actually was an area that produces tools. Its natural resource had something to do with mining (pardon my lack of knowledge). So the whole area worked as people who are producing different kinds of tools, such as glass, chain, and anchor. It was said in the video that the anchor in Titanic was made in Black Country. As industrial area, Black Country also had quite advance modes of transportation at that time, such as trams, boats in canals, and buses.
As we walked into the area, there was this massive open area. We could see buses, cars, and motorcycle come and goes. We went to the mine office building, got prepared, and actually went into the mine. We went underground with limited light and it was quite an interesting and unusual experience for me. It was the first time I went into a mine – well, I don’t know when I will do that again basically. There was this kind of diorama showing what happened in the mine. What amazing was that we had to stop in several points and there will be narration of the ‘mine worker’ who is presented in the diorama. I don’t know but it was kind of amazing that they can build something like that – very educating and full of knowledge and history but not boring.
There are many buildings in the area of Black Country Living Museum. We go into some buildings and heard stories from the people there – you know the people who dress up like they really are living in the Black Country in the 1800-1900. The area actually divided into 2 parts, the first one is the kind of industrial space which is the mining with its machines (which is still working, amazingly!) and the other one is the town. We had to be careful walking there because there are buses, cars, and motorcycles. Those are the transportation which is a part of museum collection. They are all working very well and the museum people drive it for show.
We went to some shops and listened to the explanation from the shopkeeper about how people used to live in the past. We also learned about the money – which was different with the money system nowadays. We came into two very different houses, one is the house of a quite well-off family and one house is called Back to Back house because the houses were attached to each other and despite of its size tens of people lived there. The stories told were interesting. It was enjoyable and I could really imagine living at that time.
Oh! And we also saw this chain-making attraction. Basically it just a person playing as a chain maker and he showed us how to make chain. He also explained about how people get paid at that time and how women get paid lower than men. That’s maybe why the women in the museum wear this pin stating ‘Vote for Women’ on their clothes.
At the end of our visit we watched a black and white silent movie in the cinema. Yes, there is a cinema in Black Country Living Museum. Just like the old days (who am I talking like I know the old days), there are just benches in the cinema and the movie was funny. It is amazing how people in the movie can really act up to the point that the audiences understand what they mean although they are not speaking at all. Oh, but there was some kind of subtitle explaining briefly about the setting of the movie – but that’s just it. We looked at the school – there was really a class going on at that time – and finally we hopped on the tram to go back to the main reception building.
It was a very nice and memorable visit, I think. I don’t know if there is any other museum that offers this kind of experience, but it sure is my first one. I’m glad that I decided to go and let’s plan the next visit!
More info about BCLM: http://www.bclm.co.uk/
Photos: personal collection and https://instagram.com/ryantoanugroho/
Oct 10, 2015
Living as a Muslim in Birmingham
Okay, I admit that the title is a bit overgeneralizing but I just want to share my experience so far, living here as a Muslim in Birmingham. Having had the experience of living in Hull where I must say that I even went to the mosque during Ramadhan far more frequently than when I was back home, I start to compare my life here and there.
It was quite a small community we had in Hull and I felt like I had a family there – people with the same religion and living the same way of life. The mosque was very comfortable, there were lots of activities, and it was full during the Ramadhan. Obviously I haven’t experienced Ramadhan in Birmingham but I hope it is better!
Now in Birmingham, there are many Muslims. Based on the Census on 2011, the Muslims were 21.8% of the total population in Birmingham (http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/cs/Satellite?c=Page&childpagename=Planning-and-Regeneration%2FPageLayout&cid=1223096353923&pagename=BCC%2FCommon%2FWrapper%2FWrapper). Therefore, it is not unusual to find many women with hijab around the city. There are immigrants, Muslims from all around the world, and also local people. In regard to the usualness (I’m not even sure that’s a word) of people wearing hijab, I don’t think it’s far different with Indonesia, honestly and in my opinion, it is quite easy and comfortable living as a Muslim in Birmingham.
As a Muslim, I have to pray five times a day. The time of the prayer depends on the position of the sun. It is quite easy to do it during the fall season but in my experience, finding time and place to pray during the winter was kind of a challenge. Sometimes, I had to pray twice throughout a lecture and with the condition; I had to pray in empty rooms around my class. That also happens here in Birmingham. As the prayer room in the university is placed in the Guild of Student – which is quite far from certain points in the university, my husband sometimes has to pray in empty rooms. The good thing is, in several restrooms in the university, there are places to do ablution or mostly known as wudhu. Well, not only in the university, even in the airport the restrooms are integrated with wudhu place. It’s comfortable, right? In the city center, there was limited space to pray. Yes, we can pray in the park or other open public spaces or sometimes we pray sitting on benches. Now, there was this multi-faith prayer room in Birmingham New Street Station. Yeay! The place is right in the middle of the city center and very easy to reach. There shouldn’t be any more problem trying to find places to pray. The place is not big but it is enough.
Another thing that people usually feel kind of difficult is halal food. As you can guess, there are many Muslims here so halal food shouldn’t be a problem. Yes! It isn’t a problem at all. We can find halal food almost everywhere, such as restaurants, takeaways, and food courts. The halal meat is also easily available. There are special butchers selling halal meat and even Tesco has its own butcher serving halal meat. It is nice because in Hull, there is only frozen halal meat.
During my time living in the UK, I haven’t got any different treatment because of my religion. I think it is a quite friendly country to live in. It is even friendlier here in Birmingham. The city is quite tolerant when you show your religious attributes, even there are people persuading others to know more about Islam and playing Quranic recitals in the city center. So don’t be afraid to come and live here because the negative rumors you hear, maybe they are just rumors.
Oct 05, 2015
So here I am again, trying to write again. It’s been a long time since I got caught up with life (how am I supposed to be caught up in my own life?) and unable to write but now I have some extra time to be able to write again. Yeay!
Writing again after a long time of not writing is awkward. I feel awkward but I suppose the awkwardness will go away eventually. But then again, isn’t everything new will feel awkward in the beginning? I just moved to another town so it gets sometime to adapt. I didn’t know where to go, I didn’t know how to get to where I suppose to be, I didn’t know the people – the lots of not knowing. It was uncomfortable. That’s why, maybe, change is not easy; moving towards something new is not easy.
Yes, change is not easy, but someone wise said that the only constant thing in life is change. So despite of everything, everyone has to feel that kind of awkwardness throughout their lives. For me now, I feel awkward writing. I still need to get a grip on this, to learn again, and to improve again. I hope I can get through this uncomfortable phase soon enough!
Photo credit: https://instagram.com/ryantoanugroho/
Oct 03, 2015
AdventureNotes #7: Malacca
The decision to go to Malacca was made a few weeks before we actually departed. We decided to go there because we both haven’t been there before. It was a UNESCO World Heritage place and we were curious on the attractions. We both love photography and exploring new places – especially with cultural highlights.
As we went through Batam, we took ferry to Johor Bahru before going to Malacca by bus. The ferry ride was around 90 minutes and it costs around IDR 800k for return ticket per person. We went quite early in the morning, noting that there is an hour time difference between Indonesia and Malaysia. After we arrived in Johor Bahru, we took a taxi to Larkin Bus Terminal to continue our journey by bus. The terminal was quite far from the port but fortunately we got the meter taxi. Note that the taxis in Malaysia sometimes do not follow the regulation so that passenger needs to bargain for the fare. We already bought the bus ticket online (RM 42 return / person) and we just needed to exchange the online receipt before we could get on the bus. We arrived in the bus terminal just in time and a few minutes after we got on the bus, it departed. Malacca, here we come!
3 hours and a tube of Pringles later, we finally arrived in Malacca. We embarked in Melaka Sentral, a bus terminal there. We were hungry and it was already 2 pm. We decided to eat in the terminal. I could say that it was carbohydrate party for our lunch. As usual, the meal in Malaysia does not cost a diamond. It was less than RM 20 for both of us.
As it was still bright after we had our meal, we asked the information desk for a trip to Portuguese Settlement. Apparently, bus number 17 to Ujong Pasir passes the Portuguese Settlement. We found the bus and waited for a while before the bus started its journey. Downtown Malacca is a touristy place. The whole bunch of attraction condensed in that one place and it caused traffic. It was Christmas holiday and it was no wonder that there were lots of tourists there. We skipped the whole attraction because we planned to go there on the next day. Around 45 minutes later, we got off the bus in front of the Portuguese Settlement gate. We walked for around 10 minutes before we reached the place. Sadly, there was nothing. Well, one or two restaurants were opened, but the rest was quiet. The whole neighborhood seemed to celebrate Christmas and it was kind of similar to Eid in Indonesia. People went around the neighborhood, visiting the houses. The Christmas decoration was cheerful and it may be better to be seen during the night. We took picture and in less than 30 minutes we were back to the main road to catch a bus back to the terminal.
We were tired so we went to our hotel. It was a shame that the hotel was located far from the central. However for the service and the room, as well as the Melaka River Cruise ticket, the price was quite good (IDR 900k for 2 nights). It seemed that we were so tired that we dozed off straight away. At around 9 pm we woke up. Unsure whether there is anything that is still open, we tried our luck and went out. It turned out that near our hotel, there was a kind of small restaurant that still opened. In Indonesia, it was like ‘tukang nasi goreng’ or ‘warteg’. We ordered roti canai and fried noodle. Ryan loved the roti canai. The fried noodle was okay for me. As usual, it only costs less than RM 15 for the whole meal. We were full and went back to the hotel, continuing our rest.
It was raining in the morning on our second day in Malacca. We tried to wait but when it hit 9.30 am, we thought that we may be stuck in our room if we don’t try to get out. We ordered a taxi from the hotel and went to Malacca River Cruise. It was quiet and there were not too many people there. We had our cruise along the Malacca River. It was nice and worth the ticket. We could see Kampung Morten and other attractions we haven’t got a chance to go to. The cafes on the riverside were interesting. We didn’t have a chance to walk along the riverside, but I really recommend it if you go to Malacca.
After the river cruise, the rain got worse but we had no choice. We had to continue our trip. We decided to go to the tourist information center to get a map of downtown Malacca. Walking through the rain, we stopped by a few attractions, like Malacca Watermill and St. John Fort. After we got the map, we went to the ‘Red Brick’ area and took plenty of pictures. The good thing of walking around when it was raining was that we had the place for ourselves. We walked around the area and walked our way up to the St. Paul Church on the hill. We passed a few museums on our way up and on our way down.
As the rain got pretty bad and we were exhausted and so wet, we decided to go inside Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall. We walked around and did a little window shopping and tried to find a place to eat. We ate in the newly opened food court there, warming ourselves. During the time we visited Malacca, it was sale period. Fortunately (or unfortunately), we only brought our backpack and if we shop, we would have to bring the shopping bags and it was not efficient. Therefore we did not shop (or try to stop ourselves from shopping).
At 3 pm, finally the rain stopped. Excitedly we went out, feeling warmth of the sunlight. We walked back to the central area, stopping by some museums to take pictures. Now that it was almost evening, we went to Jonker area. Jonker Street area was a night attraction. However, nearby that street, there are many tourist attractions. We strolled along the street, moving ourselves to some historical places, like Kampung Kling Mosque and Cheng Hoon Teng Temple. On our way, we stopped by a café called Mods Café. It was a unique small café with a VW inside their small place. It was opened just until 6 pm so we were forced to come in although we were still full. It was truly a hidden gem in Malacca.
We walked around, passing by some other temples, other unique buildings and such until it was kind of crowded in Jonker area. It was 5.30 and the atmosphere was getting hotter. Lots of food stalls opened up on the sidewalks. There were other kinds of things sold there, too. We walked our way in and out the area, gave up waiting the well-known Jonker 88 restaurant and walked our way to an area near Dataran Pahlawan Shopping Mall. In front of the mall, there was a place called Pahlawan Walk, and there was a halal food court there. We ordered seafood set meal. It was the most luxurious meal we had during our trip to Malacca. After we finished our dinner, we went back to the hotel to rest.
There was not much going on during our third day. We went back to Melaka Sentral to take the bus back to Johor Bahru. At first, we wanted to go to Doraemon Expo in JB Sentral. However, looking at the ferry schedule, there was one just around the time we arrived in Johor Bahru. We decided to take the earlier ferry back to Batam.
To summarize, the whole trip only costs us about IDR 3500k for the whole trip, including transportation, hotel, and meal. We had fun and Malacca was a worth place to visit.
“Educators also need to be ensured about what are the fundamental aims of education. They should have the power to create educational practice based on their conscience and perform their professionalism”
“If childhood were properly valued by society, education reform