Aug 28, 2011


"I believe that many Indonesian students who are or have settled abroad have a drive to contribute back to the betterment of his or her own country"
- my dear 'nerdy' friend who loves to dance, Yuza

Well, I do not study abroad (yet) but I have been traveling on my own (quite) a lot this year. I went to Hong Kong in March and was in awe with their public transportation system. I saw how beautiful the public places their Government provides and was so jealous with the fact that they have Mrs Fields’s stalls in many places (with tempting DISCOUNT after 10PM, ha!).

Pool for people with Remote Control Boat at Causeway Bay.
Yes darling, it's for leisure and it's free.

One park at Sai Wan Ho,
we stil can find lots of parks like this in other districts.

'all of those above are provided by
Leisure and Cultural Services Department'.

If only I could take something from Hong Kong back to my home town, it would be definitely their amazing Mass Transit Railway (MTR). Oh, I might also take the Mrs Fields stalls, and also LUSH shops, and Coral restaurant with its epic roasted duck along with me though :p But as long as I can have convenient public transports in Indonesia like they do in Hong Kong, I believe my tummy can understand.

MTR in Hong Kong
I would never mind to give up all that food for this =p

*credit to Reti for all MTR photos above.

I also went to Singapore for a day or two (for transit since I did not take direct flights) and I was amazed by how disciplined the people there. I was stunned with the size of the green man who gives you the sign whether you can or cannot across the road (you know, that traffic light sign, I think it is even bigger than my fist). And I was ultimately envious looking at how clean their roads are and how easy to go anywhere taking public transports (just like in Hong Kong).

Singapore is a small country which is apparently younger than Indonesia (it became an independent Republic in 1965), it must have made a huge stride. I asked my cousin who lives in Singapore and she told me that it takes her 45 mins (AT MOST) from one point in the very east to another point in the very west. You can imagine how tiny Singapore is. Singapore and Indonesia are neighbours but everytime I go there, I feel like coming to the future. No kidding.

And about a month ago, I went to India for a week. One country that is (and definitely will always be) on my buckett list. I met more than 60 young people from Asia Pacific and UK with wonderful activisms. I was so moved, humbled, and inspired hearing their stories and knowing how young they started their activities.

60 Young Changemakers
from more than 20 countries from Asia Pacific and UK

I fell in love with the beauty of the Taj Mahal (will definitely go back there someday) and astonished with the story behind it. I loved their local food which is so rich of herbs and would love to taste their tofu ‘paneer’ again.

*credit to Dwight for two photos above.

I once thought that it must be very easy for Hong Kong and Singapore Government to build up such public transports system, since they are small countries. But India, with the third largest population in the world, is also one step ahead in this thing. Although when you come to India you will find it a bit similar like Jakarta (the crowd and the mess :p), but India has Metro, the train system just like Singapore and Hong Kong have.

*Too bad I forgot to take pictures of Metro in India :(

Yesterday I just got back from Singapore for Project Inspire. Another chance to explore this country. I also met people who have projects in Africa, Philippines, Singapore, and India. I cherish every second I spent and any lessons I learned there.

Wherever I go traveling, there is always something I wish I could bring home. And I guess Yuza was right. Unconciously.. Even with all things we are lacking of, somehow it makes me love Indonesia more.. I might not be able to build public transport system like they have in Hong Kong or Singapore, nor to build beautiful mosque like The Taj. But traveling, you know.., seeing new places and meeting new people, it drives me to contribute in the development of my country towards better..
In anyway I can.

Keep traveling, I will.

"When you have a deep appreciation of the things around you, you'll want to protect them"
- my super fun girl who is also one of my Tagalog teachers, Anna